At the beginning of this year, we talked about creating a sankalpa instead of a New Year's Resolution. Creating a sankalpa is easy and fun!!
Read the following article and create your own! Then share with us in the comments!
At the end of all our classes, we say namasté to each other. Here is a great article to help you gain a better understanding of this important word....
We all know that at the end of the class when we come down to relax in savasana, we know it is going to be challenging. But why????
Check out this article and find out what we are really doing while resting after our practice!
If you are interested in learning how to have Happy Healthy Feet, and you should be, then I encourage you to check out this amazing woman, Katy Bowman. Her work is incredible!
Please check out this article. I encourage you to start on a path of Happy Healthy Feet NOW and not waiting.
The Moon Salutation was created in the late 1980’s by a group of senior female teachers at the Kripalu Center. Their goal was to honor women's bodies and women's rhythms while also complementing the Sun Salutation. For some women during menstruation and menopause, the more familiar Sun Salutation is too stimulating for the nervous system, and should be practiced gently or not at all. In contrast, the Moon Salutation cools and calms the nervous system, and includes several of the most beneficial postures for menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause.
Men also love practicing the Moon Salutation because it is such a powerful psychological and spiritual counterbalance to the Sun Salutation. While the Sun Salutation enacts the hero's journey--stepping forward to face life's challenges--the Moon Salutation enacts the journey of descent--sinking into the depths to discover one's creativity, the process of literal or metaphoric birth.
Just as the moon goes through dark phases and returns to its full brilliance, so the Moon Salutation drops into the depths of lunging and squatting, returning to triangle, star, and half moon poses with radiant joy and openness. Further, because it is oriented to the side it is perfectly suited to practicing in a circle or facing a partner, opening us to relationship and community in our Yoga practice. Its earthy squats help us to feel grounded and open to emotions.
Once you are familiar with its movements, you can experiment with practicing it at different times of the day, such as during a morning stretch break (instead of a coffee break!), before bedtime as a way to quiet and center yourself, or even as a way of celebrating the full moon. You can teach the Moon Salutation to a friend or family member, and practice it while mirroring each other, enjoying its balance and completeness. The Moon Salutation has both ancient and modern roots. The recovery of the Moon Salutation is part of the recovery of the divine feminine at this time in history.
Our Primary source of light is, of course, the Sun. For thousands of years, the Hindus have revered the sun, which they call Surya, as both the physical and spiritual heart of the universe. One of the means of honoring the sun is through the dynamic asana sequence Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation). The Sanskrit work for namaskar stems from namas, which means “to bow to” or “ to adore.” (The familiar phrase we use to close our yoga classes, namasté – té meaning “you” – also comes from this root.) Each Sun Salutation begins and ends with the joined-hands mudra (gesture) touched at the heart (Anjali Mudra).
There’s some disagreement among authorities over the origins of the Sun Salutation. Traditionalists contended that the sequence is at least 2,500 years old (perhaps even several hundred years older), and that it originated during Vedic times (first millennia BCE). However old the Sun Salutation is, and whatever it may have originally looked like, many variations have evolved over the years. Our sequence here consists of 12 “stations” composed of eight different postures (asanas), the last four being the same as the first four but performed in reverse order. In this sequence, we will start and end in Tadasana (Mountain Pose).
The transition from posture to posture is facilitated by either an inhalation or and exhalation. As you move through the sequence, watch your breath closely. Slow your pace or stop and rest entirely if your breathing becomes labored. Always breath through your nose to filter and warm the incoming air.
Since this sequence is, in essence, a humble adoration of light and insight of the self, make each movement as mindful and precise as possible, especially as you near the end of your rounds when fatigue can lead to sloppiness.
Traditionally, the Sun Salutation is performed outdoors, facing east (the location of the rising sun) This may be the perfect wake-up routine in India where it is usually warm, but it’s probably not feasible in Oregon in January. Nowadays, the sequence is used primarily as a warm-up for an asana session.