The Radiance of Your Inner Light

We are light.  Within us is a light, very much like the Sun, that is unchanging and brilliant.  This is one of the fundamental teachings in yoga philosophy.  The darkness of the winter creates an inward movement of our attention that creates opportunities to experience our inner life and radiance.

As we move into this time of the return of the Sun, here are 5 different ways to awaken the light within your heart:

  1. Move – Stand with your feet hip distance apart. Sweep your arms wide and up on INHALE in a sun-like movement.  Lower your arms in a sun-like movement on EXHALE.  Repeat 6 times.
  2. Breathe – Close your eyes. Sense the center space of the chest.  As you INHALE, try to feel an expansiveness in the chest.  As you EXHALE, hug the navel inward.  Do 12 full deep breaths.
  3. Use Sound – Use the seed mantra of the 4th or heart cakra (energetic center), YAM. Focus on the center of the chest.  Inhale, then sound the word, YAM, on Exhale. This sound creates vibration in the center of the chest. Repeat 6 times.
  4. Visualize – Focus your attention on the center of the chest, the cave of the heart. Visualize light, perhaps a beautiful sunrise, the light of a flickering candle, a lighted star atop a Christmas tree, sunset, or the light of the full moon that we’ll see this Christmas Day.  Spend 5 minutes focused on that light.  Feel as if the light grows more expansive within and around you.  If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to visualization of light.
  5. Be Present – Linger longer with the good that comes your way through friends, family, pets, nature, and faith.

 

Fuel

How do you fuel yourself?

  • Working-out
  • Outdoor activities
  • Food
  • Family and friends
  • Music
  • Quiet…?

Recently a student stated, “Remind me what the 5 Koshas represent.”

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Light, Joy and a whole lot of Contentment

It’s almost that time again.

The snow that filled the amphitheater atop Rib Mountain has been soaked back into the earth or evaporated into the sky.

This corner of the world that peers over Wausau offering quiet respite, a vast view and one of the best ‘seats in the house’ is ready and waiting for us to roll out our mats and set ourselves free with yoga.

Yoga on top of a mountain during the heart of summer will make you healthy and happy.

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The Yoga of Heart: A Simple Practice

We all exist within our own unique expression of physical structure, physiology, mind, personality and heart. These layers of our being, also known as the koshas or sheaths or layers of being, provide a passageway into our deep center, the cave of our heart.

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Using Yoga for EmBODIED Awareness

Conscious Eating, Active Living, Habit Change

Can the tools of yoga help us change our habits?  Yoga is a powerful practice for transformation and change.  The tools of yoga can be applied in specific ways to help us strengthen will and change habits around food, exercise and body image.

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Cultivating Contentment

con·tent·ment
noun kən-ˈtent-mənt : the state of being happy and satisfied : the state of being content

We all want happiness and contentment.  My teacher, Gary Kraftsow, says that santosha, the Sanskrit word for contentment, is “the way you take experience.”  It’s an internal state of mind and attitude that permeates your internal being, words and actions.

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Apples – Symbolic of the Journey of Transformation

My husband recently turned his own harvest of apples into crowd-pleasing apple bread (see recipe below) for one of my yoga retreats. It struck me how long the journey is for that wonderful apple bread.  We can learn something for our journey in yoga from the patience it takes to nurture apples from seed to bread.

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BEing vs. DOing

The other day I read something very “new-agey” about yoga.  The author said that yoga is being, not doing.  I immediately visualized the packing of my bags to trek to the Himalayas to meditate, to just be.  It made me chuckle.

Reality set it.  It’s rare that a person of the modern world has an opportunity to set their worldly duties aside to just be.

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Transitions and Transformation

Change in our life comes in many different ways.  Sometimes we plan for the change.  A retirement, career change or getting married are examples of things that we often consciously choose.  And then some changes blow in like a strong wind taking with it any sense of order and stability.

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