Summer Challenge

Looking for a fun little challenge this summer that will up the peace quotient in your life?  The Breathe Los Gatos 2016 Summer Games begin June 5th!  The Summer Games are a fantastic opportunity to check out yoga classes you’ve never taken, and to help you establish a regular yoga practice.  Full participation includes a chance to win some amazing raffle prizes!

Full details here:  http://breathelosgatos.com/?tribe_events=summer-challenge-2016

Summer-Challenge-2016-Thumbnail-03-e1462209577478

Compassion in Action

“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded.  It’s a relationship between equals.  Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others.  Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” –Pema Chödrön

Compassion in action begins with self.  Notice how many moments during your average day, when you are unkind to yourself.  Self-judgement, feelings of unworthiness, comparison of self versus another are just a few of the ways we are unkind toward ourselves.  This month we will explore the many ways we can soften the relationship we have with self and others.

See you on the mat!

IMG_2214

The Essential Breath

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras outlines an eight limbed path to self-realization, or enlightenment, called ashtanga.  Ashtanga translates literally to eight (ashta) limb (anga).  Pranayama, or breath control, is the fourth limb, and one of the key components to both asana practice (the third limb) and meditation (dhyana, the seventh limb).  Breath both carries and sustains us during asana practice, and provides an anchor for meditation.  Pausing and paying attention to our breath is also very useful in everyday life, helping us to respond rather than react when encountering stressors.  Join me this week for dedicated pranayama practice, along with meditation, at our new time:  Breath & Meditation, 2:00pm, Fridays, Breathe Los Gatos.

P.S.  This video gives a beautiful explanation of the science behind breathing and its affect on the nervous system.

Watch ‘The Science of Breathing’

Yes! Dessert Can Be Healthy!

Berries are some of my all time favorite fruits to eat.  Mix in a little shaved dark chocolate, and you have one heavenly bowl of goodness.  Try this dessert out tonight!  http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/recipe-for-health-cherry-berry-fruit-salad-with-shaved-dark-chocolate?utm_source=FitnessConnect%20February%202016&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=February%20Client%20Newsletter%202016%20(8)

Breath Science

We do it every day, every moment of every hour in a day, and usually with very little thought devoted to it.  Breathing.  Inhaling and exhaling.  Simple and autonomous, and yet so much more.  B. K. S. Iyengar wrote that prāna is “breath, respiration, life, vitality, wind, energy, or strength.”  Prānāyāma is essentially the science of breathing.  Body and mind, breath and mind, are inextricably linked together.  When we work with our breath, we directly affect and influence the physiology of the body.  Steady, even inhalations and exhalations help balance and regulate the nervous system.  Longer exhalations shift the body in to the parasympathetic nervous system, which is calming and soothing to the body (think slowing down of the heartbeat).

As the body calms, desire diminishes and the mind settles.  This is why in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, prānāyāma is described as a precursor to concentration.  Concentration is one of the core precepts of meditation.  With a calm mind, meditation becomes effortless instead of a struggle.  Then we can begin the work of sifting through the layers of “stuff”–thoughts, feelings, memories, emotions, boredom, the endless play of life–until we reach Source.

Beginning this week and continuing through the year, we will be learning and practicing a series of prānāyāma techniques as an integral part of our meditation practice.  Join me every Friday, 1:30-2:00pm, Breath & Meditation, Breathe Los Gatos. http://breathelosgatos.com

How to Exit “Auto-pilot” Mode

Remember back to the last time you got angry, or upset, about a situation or a comment.  How was the next hour or the rest of your day affected?  Emotional reactions often feel like overwhelming surges that keep us caught in their momentum, making it difficult to respond with thoughtfulness or any kind of awareness.

This article gives a very simple and accessible way to handle the release of difficult emotions.  The next time you find yourself caught in a web of reactionary emotional responses to a situation, take a moment to simply pause.  Slow down and BREATH.  Then RELAX.  FEEL, WATCH, and ALLOW the felt physiological sensations to wash through before making a response.

http://invokemagazine.com/practice-series-a-brain-scientists-advice-for-letting-go/?fb_action_ids=10153764293322250&fb_action_types=og.likes

Deepen Your Yoga Practice

I am working on the final touches of my workshop, and I am pretty excited about sharing it with you!  In this workshop you will explore the Koshas, using them as a roadmap for deepening your connection to your energy bodies.  We will be discussing, practicing, breathing, meditating, and journaling.  I hope to see you there!

For more information, and to register:

Kosha Workshop Flyer

http://breathelosgatos.com/?tribe_events=2859

5+ Chest Stretch Variations

Stretching the chest is essential for most of us! These five are great variations. I also would add a sixth restorative variation:  Supine over a yoga bolster or a rolled blanket. Place the bolster behind you on the floor, with your hips on the floor and touching the end of the bolster. Lay back along the length of the bolster. Your head should be supported on the bolster, or with an additional pillow or folded blanket. Your legs can be straight on the floor, or bent with the bottoms of your feet together and knees apart on the floor. Rest your arms on the floor at about shoulder high, or slightly lower, palms up. Stay for 2-3 minutes, breathing comfortably.

http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/healthy-living-article/60/5657/5-chest-stretch-variations?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ACE-Fit-Life-09-30-2015&utm_content=Consumer+Outreach&spMailingID=23630438&spUserID=NjU5NTYyNDE5MzES1&spJobID=643206536&spReportId=NjQzMjA2NTM2S0

You Are Here! Mapping the Energy Body

I am excited and thrilled to be presenting my very first workshop next month!   Have you ever wondered if there was more to yoga than laying down a sticky mat and moving through a series of poses?  In this workshop we will learn about and explore the Koshas–an ancient system for mapping the energy body.  And, how we can use the Koshas to deepen and transform our yoga practice.

When & Where:  October 11, 2015, 1:30-4:30 pm, $55, Breathe Los Gatos, Los Gatos, CA

For more information:  Kosha Workshophttp://breathelosgatos.com

POSE4APURPOSE.COM

An outdoor yoga festival that benefits cancer patients and their families–it doesn’t get much better than that!  This coming Saturday, September 12th, in Vasona Park, Los Gatos, CA.  You will find collaborative (multiple teachers) yoga, acro yoga, SUP yoga, meditation, walking yoga, sound healing, and much more!  For tickets:  http://www.pose4apurpose.com/registration-tips #yoga #cancercarepoint