The (Happier) Side Effects of Yoga

February 17, 2020 | Yoga

My yoga journey began several years ago when classes on VCR tapes and DVD’s were popular for exercise. That’s how I looked at yoga, as a workout, just physical movement and a way to stay in shape. I’ve always had a certain flexibility and strength, and yoga seemed the perfect form of exercise to use this. As time went on, I started attending gym classes instead of exercising exclusively at home. Mostly these were at the YMCA because of our family membership. I started taking more and more classes, and yoga class was always my favorite.  It became a place to fit my needs, without being the only person who felt the need to be bendy and to move slowly, intentionally.Time moved on, and I settled into an office job – two actually! Sitting at a desk for most of the day, with not much movement, my body began to … Continued

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Making Space for Emotion

November 8, 2019 | Yoga

Ever feel like you’re moving at high speed through life, running to keep up with the endless demand of information, social commitments, family, work, text messages, emails (like this one – ha)? Everything we look at seems to have an extra ad, a personalized distraction to pull our focus in a different direction. Some stress is useful, helps us get out of bed or achieve personal goals. Daily levels of negative stress creates a constant state of movement. There is no time to be still, to let what we are feeling or thinking come into focus. Yoga has teachings about how to use movement, breath, and mental focus to make space for what is happening within our minds and emotions. The simple practice of slowing the momentum, taking an hour to pay attention to the body and the breath can help us shift gears to get out of the stress loop. But … Continued

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More Self-Compassion, Less Stress

August 3, 2019 | Yoga

I was a corporate burnout. I was working long hours, chained to my desk, fueled by caffeine, fear, and anxiety. For almost fifteen years, I soldiered on until I was on the verge of a mental breakdown. I catastrophized at 2 a.m. every morning, certain I would fail. I binged on sweets. Then I finally took a step to save myself. I went to my first yoga class. I knew I’d found something special. I began to find peace in the combination of movement and breath with yoga. I focused on being mindful, paying attention to my breath and body, on purpose, without judgment. This mindfulness brought focus, calm, and clarity in the moment. Yoga was slowly quieting my “fight or flight” nervous system and boosting my “rest and digest” nervous system.Yoga and Stress ReliefI studied the yoga philosophy of self-compassion. The word for this idea in Sanskrit is ahimsa, or … Continued

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Yoga for Grief

June 10, 2019 | Yoga

When my husband died from suicide in late 2017, I was broken and overwhelmed with feelings of fear, guilt, and shame. I lost the ability to function in the world. For a long time, i was too scared to leave the house. My nervous system was constantly in overdrive because of post-traumatic stress disorder. I had nightmares night after night. Even now, one and a half years later, my mind still finds the truth of the situation hard to comprehend. I continue to battle anxiety and depression every day, all while taking steps now to rebuild some sort of life.It was in this rebuilding that I started taking different yoga trainings and also found my way to Dragonfly 360 Yoga & Wellness. Already being a yoga teacher, now I felt the need to support others through my yoga teachings. One of my trainings allowed me to become a Compassionate Bereavement … Continued

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Watch: 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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