Sunday Funday at Yoga Nidra

"So I have this pal Julie Murphy from South Africa who used to be a corporate big wig but is now this great yoga teacher who runs around India for fun and is always talking about things like “alignment” as opposed to shoe sales. For some reason she still likes to hang out with me now and then despite the fact that I long ago replaced my downward dog with a sideways slug-on-the-couch variation. So here we are walking the other day and she tells me about this new practice she has launched called Yoga Nidra which Wikipedia likes to call “yogic sleep”—an hour of lying down on a yoga mat listening to woo-woo music and Julie telling you how to be happy."


Read more... http://bocamag.com/blog/2015/12/07/sunday-funday-at-yoga-nidra/
 

How Yoga Can Be Your Guide


It is when you are willing to listen to yourself and be fearless that figuring out your next step becomes easy. Beneath the fear and hesitation and uncertainty lies your inner knowing that always knows which step you need to take next. If you can allow the taking of your next step to be as easy as putting one foot in front of the next, you’ll notice that your next step is always the one that is right in front of you. All you have to do is put one foot forward and on the ground. SW

Where will your next step lead you? 
 

Yoga Sounds

"Surround Sound"

"Drop in on a yoga class anywhere in America, and chances are good that you'll hear a melody wafting from a nearby boom box or stereo. Be it Sanskrit mantras, soft synthesizer textures, or even contemporary indie hits, music is often an integral part of yoga instruction in the West. But Krishnamacharya, the father of modern yoga and teacher of B.K.S. Iyengar, K. Pattabhi Jois, and T.K.V. Desikachar, did not hold trance dances for his students.

While some teachers hail music as a modern evolution to an ancient practice, others feel it creates another unnecessary distraction in the yoga studio. Decisions about playing music are highly individualized. While it seems pretty certain that music during practice isn't traditional, many contemporary teachers and students are trying to balance the classical wisdom of yoga with the realities of modern life." YJ

Share with us how you feel about the sounds and music you hear in class. Tell us what you like and do not like! 

 

 

Mantra

In our Yoga practice, Mantras are often employed. Mantra is a Sanskrit word, generally defined as “divine speech”, or transformative sound. When we recite Mantra, not only do the words have power, but the very vibration and sound (which IS vibration) have power. Notice how your body often vibrates within as a word is sung or recited..or even breathed, like a whisper. According to Yoga teaching, the physical vibration in the body clears the Chakras, bringing another sense of peace and awareness. Chant mindfully and feel the difference….

WELL-KNOWN MANTRAS:

OM SHANTI

Om…the universal sound vibration representing the world

Shanti….Sanskrit for Peace

When said or chanted, this is a simple prayer for peace within ourselves, and within all beings

OM MANI PADME HUM

Translation: The jewel in the lotus of the heart

Inspired by the lotus flower that takes root in the mud, yet blossoms beautifully toward the sun, this MANTRA is a reminder that transformation is possible under any circumstances.  It is a much-used, often-heard Mantra among the Tibetan Buddhists.

OM NAMAH SHIVAYA

Translation: I bow to the goodness within myself

This MANTRA has roots in the Hindu tradition and it honors the god, Shiva.

It is a reminder that there is goodness within all things, and we honor that.

Sheri W.

A Fan Letter

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Every so often I take a class at SY that resonates or grabs me…and often for different reasons. Today, 10/24, I had the opportunity to take a Hatha class with Kat teaching. She was “subbing” for another wonderful teacher, Jill, and I knew with either of these accomplished guides, my journey would be lovely.
Both of these instructors have vocal power on their side; each has a very distinctive and commanding voice that bridges the direction-giving and soothing, encouraging aspects of a successful Yoga teacher.
Kat uses words in a way that conjures up  spiritual and ethereal sensibilities. When she speaks of “Taking Grace” during a Sun Salutation, I feel exactly what that means, and where it comes from. The language of Savasana, the releasing, and yet finding that goes along with this sacred asana was enhanced by her expression of “Sanctuary” and “coming home”. Sanctuary is a safe place, and a holy place. In both a religious and social way, it is a refuge, and often considered “holy”. Whether a Bird Sanctuary, or a SafeHouse for children, it IS a place where one is free from harm…the Ahimsa, of Sanskrit.
I enjoy so many of the offerings one finds at SY, and to continue to discover new points of awareness and appreciation just makes me happier that this is a Yoga Home that is also a Sanctuary. Sheri W.
 

Sanskrit: The Language of Yoga by Yogi Bodhi Bliss!

The deep, rich philosophy behind our Yoga practice holds at its heart center Sanskrit, the powerful, energetic, vibrational language by which that philosophy lives, breathes, and flows. Pronouncing Sanskrit correctly can be quite challenging, but it is of utmost importance. Sanskrit, which means “refined,” is purely phonetic, and thus sound is its most significant element. The Sanskrit alphabet consists of fifty letters and the addition of vowels and consonants with diacritical marks or symbols placed over them to distinguish their rich, diverse sounds. Equally important is that most Sanskrit “words” are not words in the true sense of the English language. In fact, much of the Sanskrit we use in our Yoga practice translates to multi-word terms or meaningful phrases for which there is no equivalent in English. This post will focus on one of the most widely used and meaningful phrases in our Yoga practice, Namastē. Namastē or namaskāra is a common greeting in India. Upon meeting, the hands come together in prayer-like devotion at the heart’s center, a gesture known as anjali mudra, and the sound namastē is exchanged and accompanied by a slight bow. Similar to the English “hello,” namastē is used when acknowledging a person whom you wish to engage in conversation, either in person or when answering the telephone. Namastē is not a word in the English sense of the term, but rather a meaningful phrase with deep, spiritual roots. In Yoga, when namastē is uttered at the end of practice, it is taken to mean “the light in me honors the light in you,” or “the life force, the self, the divinity, or the God in me is the same in all, we are all one.” In Sanskrit, namastē derives from namaskāra which originates from namaha, meaning “paying obeisance.” The belief that within each human being there resides a divine spirit or supreme God pervades the philosophy of Yoga. It is the belief in soul (ātmā) that forms the foundation on which is built the long-standing meaning of namastē, which holds that when two souls meet, each soul is compelled to acknowledge or pay obeisance to the other.  The significance of namastē is not lost on its companion namaskāra, and in fact gives greater meaning to Surya Namaskara, the sequence of poses (asanas) most commonly referred to as Sun Salutation. When the true meaning of namaskāra is applied to the sequence, one no longer merely “salutes” or “greets” the Sun, but rather humbly and honorably acknowledges the soul that brings forth the light of the Sun, as in “the light in me honors the light in you, Sun, for we are one light, the same.” Namastē

The Present Moment

From Sheri Weiner:
In order to feel more at home in the present moment, it is important to try to stay aware, open, and receptive. Being in the present moment requires our full attention so that we are fully awake to experience it. When we are fully present, our minds do not wander. We are focused on what is going on right now, rather than thinking about what just happened or worrying about what is going to happen next. Being present lets us experience each moment in our lives in a way that cannot be fully lived through memory or fantasy.

How do you experience The Present Moment?
 

Musings of a Yoga Teacher

 

 by Yoga Bodhi Bliss 

Leading a yoga class Monday night, I had the students performing standing side-moon pose (parsva chandrasana). I invited, “On your next inhalation elevate your arms slightly higher, and on your exhalation lengthen from your waist and release into a deeper side bend.” One student in particular held my gaze. He took a breath and raised his arms strong and deliberate, and as he exhaled he extended through his torso and relaxed deeply into the pose with purpose, his face radiating triumph. I was touched by his proud, pleased expression and smiling eyes. It was the look of achievement. While it was apparent to me that he could have accomplished this all along, on his own and without my instruction, I was immediately struck by the realization that a teacher wields enormous power over her/his willing students. Teachers have the power to lead willing students toward accomplishments they would otherwise not undertake by their own volition. A teacher’s power is natural and great.

I love the notion that everyone is our teacher and that we learn when our hearts and minds are open to receive the knowledge being presented (gifted) to us. Why is everyone our teacher? Because we are perpetual students by nature, driven by curiosity and an innate need to understand the world and our place in it. We are students and we are also teachers, driven by our need to create, collaborate and contribute.

In my role as his yoga teacher Monday night he, my student, followed my direction and, without hesitation, took a breath and moved mindfully in the direction I asked him to, accomplishing something new to him, something he would not have done on his own. I was part of his success, both as his teacher and as his student. In that brief, fleeting moment he didn’t question me or himself, and neither did I.

What if we realized that we were our own best teacher? What if during each and every moment of the day we lead ourselves, our practice, in a deeper, more thoughtful and faithful direction? What if I taught myself, as my student, that I could accomplish anything and everything I wanted to do? And what if I listened? 

Another Benefit from Your Yoga Practice!

From Sheri Weiner:

As we practice our asanas, we often find the natural or default position of our faces reflect effort, concentration or meditative relaxed countenances.The beauty of the SMILE is that it, too, can become the “default” expression, especially during longer meditations. At times we are encouraged to smile, and by willing it, we make it so, naturally.

Even off the mat we can have more influence on the face we put out to the world. We already know that beauty truly comes from within; but interestingly, by thinking about a smile during our mindfulness, we can express and even create the very happiness a smile represents.

A 19th century Frenchman, G.B.Duchenne de Boulogne worked with and theorized about facial expressions as part of his in-depth research. He was the first to observe that a spontaneously joyful smile cannot be faked. Most people can lift the corners of the mouth, but AUTHENTIC JOY lives in the eyes! Only the “sweet emotions of the soul” can cause the lower eyelids to move the skin around the eyes inward, thereby allowing the eyes to seem to sparkle. 

Just another amazing benefit we receive from a Yoga practice dedicated to making our lives, and of those around us ever better, happier and more at peace.

If you find this to be true, please share your thoughts & comments! 

"Use your Eyes"

 

"Often, during the day, our eyes become unfocused and our vision blurs. This can happen when we're "checked out" or when our eyes are tired from staring at a computer screen all day long. We may also keep our vision soft in order to avoid invading the personal space of others.

"In yoga, however, we learn to focus our eyes with precision. Instead of allowing the eyes to be soft, we direct our gaze purposefully. Our gaze (called drishti in Sanskrit) can help us direct the energy of a pose, helping us stay mentally clear. The gaze also has other benefits. In twists, using your gaze can help you turn further. In balances, setting your gaze can keep you upright.

The next time you're in class, notice how you use your eyes. Are you sharp and precise in your focus, or do your eyes seem to wander? See if focusing your eyes more carefully can also focus your mind." YJ

Why is Yoga Teacher Training such a Transformational Experience?

                                                                                    School of Hatha Yoga at Simply Yoga, 200 hr

                                                                                   School of Hatha Yoga at Simply Yoga, 200 hr


Blog post by Kat Danio, E-RYT 500
 
Regardless of the decision to pursue teaching after completion, those that have attended a Yoga Teacher Training program can attest that the experience changed their life.  You may wonder…“why is Teacher Training such a transformational experience?” 
 
It is not how much you know or how much technical experience you have; rather it is the innate desire and curiosity to explore your edges, mentally and physically, which leads to transformation. Training programs are a safe haven encouraging self-reflection where you’ll recognize your limitations and connect to your strengths; releasing judgments to become more accepting of yourself and those in your life. While in the container of the program, you are able to unplug from the daily grind; letting go of unhealthy behaviors and creating bonds and friendships with like-minded people.  Your asana practice improves as you learn proper alignment, anatomy, and assists. Through the study of the eight fold path and other yogic texts you’ll expand your consciousness and find your authentic voice; liberating yourself from internal battles resulting in heightened perspective and focus.
A Yoga Teacher Training program is an empowering process. Please share with us…
Why are you interested in attending Simply Yoga’s Teacher Training program?
Or,
How has Teacher Training change your life?
Kat
 

What brings you to your Mat?

We are ready to hear from you, to help us connect with each other. Our mat draws many of us as a refuge where we feel safe, open and willing. Many emotions can rise up and through the Asanas can be let go. Share with us something special about when you come to sit on your mat. Some love the physical experience, some the spiritual connection and many feel its the combination of both. We are so fortunate at Simply Yoga to have a place and space to feel safe, free and surrounded by caring and loving friends. What brings you to your mat? What draws you to the practice?

Meditation

"When you nurture the inside, the outside will flourish".

Meditation is the art of getting still and being quiet in the mind. Making a daily commitment to yourself  to Meditate will be the greatest gift to yourself that you can give. How do you sit still, how do you quiet the thoughts that appear? Pay attention to your Breath, it's always with you and will help keep you present and in the moment. How, why and when do you practice Meditation? Please share with us!

"At any Moment, you have a choice, that either leads you to your Spirit or further away from it" -Thich Nhat Hanh

Namaste and Welcome

Namaste and Welcome

Namaste and Welcome to our New website and our very first Blog post! We wanted to create a place where you can voice your thoughts, opinions, share your ideas and be a part of our Simply Yoga community.  We are really looking forward to sharing more yogic insights with you via this platform and hope that you will support us in our mission to inspire more people to get on their mats! 

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