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

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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.

http://upliftconnect.com/breathing-in-yoga-video/

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

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

Nepal Earthquake Relief

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If you have been wondering how you can help right now, here is a link to seven different vetted charities including the SEVA Foundation:

http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-04-25/how-help-nepal-7-vetted-charities-doing-relief-work-following-earthquake

Also, in two weeks Breathe Los Gatos will be hosting an evening workshop, from which all funds will be donated to the SEVA Foundation.  The SEVA Foundation works to prevent blindness, and restore eyesight to those who need it most.   Because of the recent earthquake in Nepal, funds will also support those who suffered traumatic eye and head injuries as a result of the earthquake.  Jennifer Prugh will lead a candle-light, closed-eye flow-based moving meditation class.  Joanne Varni will lead a closed-eye restorative and somatic movement class.   It promises to be a beautiful and inspiring evening:

http://breathelosgatos.com/?tribe_events=be-the-change-you-wish-to-see