Chakra Cleansing

April 9, 2019 | Yoga

Rosa O’Connor guides you through the chakras and explains how emotional imbalances are affected by a blocked chakra. Rosa’s intension is to help the student tap into the physical, mental and emotional realm of the being.Join Rosa on Saturday, May 4 from 2:00 – 3:30pm for a Chakra Cleansing Workshop.  

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The Warrior Poses | Finding Strength To Battle Anxiety

April 2, 2019 | Yoga

My late 20s have felt like a decade of suffering and depression.  Two (beautiful) babies, one soul-crushing marriage and a two-and-half year long divorce took every bit of strength and courage I had to keep moving forward.  When life is that hard, moving is painful.  Thoughts are jagged and exhausting.  I was so overwhelmed by anxiety and trauma that I was basically handicapped and homebound for about six months.   My mind, emotions, spirit and body were sick.   I started doing yoga in 2017 at Dragonfly 360 Yoga & Wellness.  At 27, my right leg was so weak that I couldn’t lift it to put on my pants.  My yoga teacher, Mike Camp, was able to work with that limitation while increasing my range of motion and strength.  A weekly yoga practice over the next year toned me up, physically and emotionally.  But my divorce was still dragging out.  I felt like … Continued

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When I Say Yoga, I Mean…

March 21, 2019 | Yoga

Yoga is commonly known in the US as a form of exercise that includes some relaxing side effects. There are yoga studios everywhere with different hooks for pulling in students – hot yoga, goat yoga, even rage yoga (yes that’s a thing now). Some yoga classes might be very physical (like ashtanga yoga) or physically form specific (like Iyengar yoga).  Other classes may focus on physical restoration or work with a specific group, like prenatal yoga. While the physical exercises of yoga (or asana) are a part of the yoga tradition, there is much more to the practice. Traditional yoga is based on changing the mind more than the body. In this way, reducing suffering and increasing one’s capacity for joy is the fundamental goal of yoga practice. Traditional Yoga Traditional yoga philosophy from Patajali’s Yoga Sutra describes yoga as the process of eliminating the mind’s habit patterns (samskara) and connecting … Continued

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Tapas – Burn Off The Heaviness

January 2, 2019 | Yoga

The term tapas is derived from the Sanskrit root “tap” meaning “to burn.” Tapas can mean either cultivating restraint or burning away impurities physically, mentally and emotionally.  It implies a sense of fiery discipline or passion. Tapas also refers to the heat that gets our heart pumping and motivates us toward change. Lois Nesbitt (yoga teacher) described the heat of tapas as coming from “the friction generated by going against the grain of habit, of complacency, of doing what is easiest” (2009, para. 5). The purpose of tapas is to burn off the heaviness in our bodies, energy flow, and mental processes to awaken the dormant energy within.  You can activate tapas during asana, pranayama and meditative yogic practices. Tapas in Yoga PracticeDuring asana (the physical practice of yoga), tapas can be the simple discipline of making time for our personal practice. It can also apply to the type of practice we do – … Continued

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Expect Obstacles!

October 4, 2018 | Yoga Philosophy

Yoga philosophy is based on the idea of evolution toward mental clarity and reduced suffering. Patanjali described in the Yoga Sutras methods for achieving this goal. Three consecutive sutras (1.30-1.32) describe potential obstacles along the path and how to overcome them.1.30 vyadhi styana samshaya pramada alasya avirati bhranti-darshana alabdha-bhumikatva anavasthitatva chitta vikshepa te antarayahDistractions arise (disease; dullness; doubt; carelessness; laziness; craving; distorted perspective; inability to know the true meaning and purpose of one’s practice; and inability to remain grounded) as obstacles naturally encountered on the path of evolution and self-awareness.1.31 duhkha daurmanasya angam-ejayatva shvasa prashvasah vikshepa sahabhuvaAs a result of encountering the obstacles listed in the previous sutra, four consequences arise: 1) duhkha = mental or physical pain, 2) daumanasya = sadness or dejection, 3) angam-ejayatva = shakiness or restlessness, and 4) shvasa/prashvasah = irregularities in the inhalation/exhalation.1.32 tat pratisedha artham eka tattva abhyasahTo prevent or deal with these nine … Continued

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Sthira & Sukha: Stability & Ease

August 31, 2018 | Yoga Philosophy

In the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, sutra 2.46 is “sthira-sukham asanam”. This sutra is commonly understood as “yoga postures should be stable, and the body be at ease.” This understanding focuses the practice of yoga postures and movements.  Aiming for steadiness and ease when practicing yoga movement is a valuable concept, but there is a deeper meaning.Patanjali used the sutras to describe a path toward developing samadhi, cultivating mental focus and clarity. In this perspective, this sutra would referr to the quality of a practitioner’s meditation pose or seated posture. The practice of asana leads to an ease in the body and allows for extended time in physical stillness to shift the practice to concerns of the mind.Yoga postures should be stable, and the body be at ease – sutra 2.46A more literal translation of the sutra could be “in yoga, we should resolutely abide in a good space.” Sthira etymologically … Continued

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Calf Envy

March 29, 2018 | Yoga

Before yoga class this morning my students were talking about what they wanted to work on in class. Several of them had lower back issues.Another confided to me that she’s trying to gain weight.

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Clear Your Mind of Suffering

February 9, 2018 | Yoga Philosophy

Abhyasa/practice and Vairagya/non-attachment (Sutra 1.12-1.16)The practice of yoga includes deep awareness of habit patterns (samskara). These habits of thinking, feeling, and reacting affect our capacity for joy. The unconscious habit patterns create filters over the reality of the present moment, with the potential of creating distress or suffering. In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, the methods of yoga are described as a pathway to reduce the internal machinations that provoke suffering. Sutra 1.12 suggests that our thought patterns (vrittis) are mastered, regulated, or quieted (nirodhah) through practice (abhyasa) and non-attachment (vairagya).  The process of persistent, systematic exploration of thought patterns, fears, and false identifications allows for detachment from the filters that enable suffering.  Abhyasa describes the continuous practice necessary to clear the mind. It cannot be accomplished in one sitting. Clearing the mind requires discipline of consistent attention and time to develop the cumulative power of yoga. It is also true that old … Continued

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Inviting New Ways of Thinking through Yoga

February 2, 2018 | Yoga Philosophy

Have you ever been stuck in negative or disturbed thinking? Ever had a time when all looks dark and there seems to be no good in the world? Yoga philosophy offers a suggestion for changing perspective, inviting new ways of thinking.Patanjali’s Yoga Stura 2.33 “VITARKA BADHANE PRATIPASHA BHAVANAM” suggests that when suffering from afflicted thinking, we need to cultivate a different perspective. Patanjali continues to describe how negative thinking is a kind of violence done to ourselves. The practice of yoga is to develop clear thinking and introduce thoughts opposite to the negative.The Western psychology perspective of this idea is cognitive restructuring. This is where the individual works to adjust their attitude, thoughts, and reactions.Cognitive restructuring refers to the process of replacing cognitive distortions with thoughts that are more accurate and useful.  Cognitive restructuring has two basic steps:  (1) Identifying the thoughts or beliefs that are influencing the disturbing emotion;  … Continued

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