Always Be Dancing

The Art of Movement for Every/body & Mindful Book Reviews By Eve


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Yule Soul-stice Embodiment: an embodied movement event to celebrate the winter solstice and the dawning of the age of Aquarius

Yule Soul-stice Embodiment is our gift to you in celebration of the winter solstice and the dawning of the age of Aquarius. Let us bring in the light on the longest, darkest day of the year with a promise of joy, connection and a huge dose of creativity!

Playlist: Let you love be like the sun; shine down on everyone. Let the sunshine in!
Myopia by Moby
A Love Song by Garth Stevenson
Reflection by Garth Stevenson
Sea of Stars (Remix f. Amanda Giacomini) by MC Yogi
Give Me the Sunshine by Leo’s Sunshipp
Age of Aquarius Dub (f. Ashley Irae) by Soultry Dub
Slippin’ Into Darkness by War
Be Still by Beautiful Chorus
Ek Ong Kar Sat Nam Siri Wahe Guru by Soul Surfing
Solstice Playlist
The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper
And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us—listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome, Yule!
Illustration from The Shortest Day

Eve Costarelli (Groove and Flow Embodied Movement) blends yoga, Qigong, dance and meditation where participants can explore and experience the joy of movement and freedom of expression within a supportive, creative environment, regardless of experience and/or abilities. Classes are balanced with movement, relaxation and meditation and participants can be on a mat or in a chair. All abilities welcomed for this one of a kind experience.

Paula Spina (Upward Spiral Studio) combines the best techniques and learnings distilled from many disciplines from Core Movement Integration to Pilates to enable better posture, a stronger core and greater overall health with the goal to help people live better by moving better.

If you loved this event…we’ll be back on Saturday March 20th for the Spring EquinoxStay tuned!


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Groove & Flow: Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe

Groove: Movement relaxation series to relax the entire body

Flow: Short & Sweet Kriya to get the energy moving

Playlist:
Myopia by Moby
Circling by Four Tet
Swisha by Ratatat
Running Up That Hill (Instrumental) by Kate Bush
Samba de Orfeo by António Carlos Jobim
Dazz by Brick
Be Still by Beautiful Chorus
My Secret Lover (Diplo Remix) by Private
I Was Born This Way (12 Instrumental) by Carol Bean
Like Some Dream I Can’t Stop Dreaming (Break Mix) by Daniel Wang
Synchronize Ft. Jarvis Cocker by Discodeine
I Want To Be Free by Ohio Players
Groove & Flow playlist for 11/9/2020

Ayurvedic Tips for Autumn

Fall is a time of transition. Trees, shrubs, animals and birds are preparing for the winter. They are all gathering the energy, including nutrition, that they will need to survive the winter. Temperatures, although right now quite balmy, are going to drop and the wind is slowly gathering strength, carrying with it the whiff of winter on its breath. Autumn is dry, rough, windy, erratic and cool.

These are all qualities shared by vata dosha (vata-wind/dosha=energy) 
Vata is one of the three energetic forces of the subtle body, the inner happenings of the life inside your body.. This particular dosha corresponds with the elements of air and ether (space). Thanks to the airy and mobile qualities of vata, it plays an integral part in healthy bodily functions such as digestion, the flow of breath, and communication between the mind and the nervous system. Vata types tend to have creative personalities and are often inquisitive in nature.
 
Excess vata can cause the body, mind, and emotions to feel scattered like the wind. This type of imbalance can happen to anyone, regardless of their Ayurvedic constitution or body type.

Here are a few simple ayurvedic tips to balance Vata this fall:

1. Enjoy warm cooked foods. Foods made with a little olive oil or ghee have a wonderful soothing effect that immediately calms down restless Vata. Root vegetables, hearty grains, soups, and stews are recommended. Cooked grains – like oatmeal, tapioca, cream of rice, and cream of wheat – and most nuts and seeds are also beneficial.
2. Use warming spices like ginger, black pepper, cinnamon and cumin, but not extremely hot spices like cayenne pepper.
3. Enjoy warm beverages such as chai or golden milk.
4. Eat less cold and raw foods. 
5. Take extra care of your skin with a warm sesame oil self-massage. 
6. Increase stillness in your day to connect with yourself. Vata is aggravated by feelings of fear and insecurity.
7. Get enough sleep, nap when you need.
8. Reduce stress by consciously practicing yoga, meditation, long deep breathing and alternate nostril breathing.
9. The colors we wear can greatly contribute to how you feel. Choose colors from the environment around you. In this cooler season of autumn, warmer richer hues, like autumn’s foliage, are a great choice. Adorn yourself with rich red, warm gold, and burnt orange.
10. Try to stick to a regular routine: go to bed at the same time, meditate daily, mindful movement every morning.
Simple techniques to help you feel grounded, steady, and nourished all season long!


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Wanna sleep like a baby?

My granddaughter, Aubree

Wanna sleep like a baby? Tonight’s groove and Flow is the kriya for Conquering Sleep, plus foot massages and the perfect bedtime meditation.

Kick the sleep aids and conquer sleep on your own (disclaimer…this is not an easy set)The resulting sleep is blissful!

If sleep is a constant problem for you, practice this kriya regularly for 90 days. It can be done before bed at night or in the morning. We waste billions of dollars on sleeping aids and stimulants when a much safer and more stable approach exists in exercise and meditation. Unfortunately, the exercises take effort; a pill doesn’t. If you choose to put the effort into this kriya, it will eliminate sleep disturbances and give you alertness throughout the day.

I Am by Nirinjan Kaur
Rock On Hanuman (Omstumental) by MC Yogi
Adi Shakti by Benjhamin
Hari Har by Jai-Jagdeesh
Har Haray Hari Wahe Gurut by Kamari & Manvir
Be Still by Beautiful Chorus
Sa Ta Na Ma by Jiwanpal Kaur
Playlist for 10-26-2020

Mimi and Aubree

Many people have difficulty going to sleep even though they are tired. Most of us would agree that the deeper and more peaceful the sleep, the stronger, more focused, more kind  we feel the next morning. There are several things that we can do to promote deeper and more restful sleep:

  1. Slow Down: Before going to bed, begin to slow everything down. Put down your phone. Move slower. Stop ruminating. Make a list of what you need to do the next day and leave the list in another room. This will allow you to clear your mind and also allows the energy to start balancing so you will be able to accomplish what you want to get done, but be free of it for the night. If there is something on your mind that you have not been able to resolve, make a special list turn it over to a higher power (an angel, a god, whatever you relate to) for the night-this power will focus their activity on the list through the night and free you of it.
    Feel complete about the day. Acknowledge yourself for what you accomplished and lessons learned. Forgive yourself for anything that lingers. No one’s perfect, so let it go. Make a list of five things you are grateful for. Prepare yourself to devote the next hours to peaceful, un-preoccupied sleep. You not only deserve it; you need to rest.
  2. Eating Habits: Try to eat your last meal at least 2 1/2 hours before you go to bed. When you eat just before going to bed your energy is tied up with digestion and it is hard to sleep deeply. Eat lightly for your evening meal. Definitely try to not eat animal protein, fried or heavy foods. Soups, salads, steamed vegetables or other easily digested dishes are the best for the evening meal. Eating dairy at night will make it more difficult to get up the next day (so skip the ice cream, yogurt or large glass of milk before bed).
  3. Left Nostril Breathing: The two nostrils are associated with two very different energies. Breathing through the right nostril, we are energized and stimulated. Breathing through the left nostril, we relax and calm down. Our breath naturally changes dominant nostrils approximately every 2-1/2 hours. After eating our nostrils will change to the left to accommodate the energy needed to digest our food. That is one reason why we feel like sleeping after eating.
Grandpa and Aubree

You can tell which nostril is dominant at any time simply by blocking off one, then the other. The dominant one is easy to breathe through and the less dominant one feels like it is blocked.

It is useful before going to bed to sit quietly, block off the right nostril and breath long and deeply through the left nostril. Slowing down the breath to 4 or less breaths per minute also facilitates sleep. You can mentally chant Sat Nam while you breathe to help your mind “erase”.

This meditation below has been a life saver for me.

I do this meditation for 5 minutes every night before bed, plus I usually add on at the end, 4-8 repetitions of the 4-7-8 Breath (see below) just to seal the deal. I sleep through the night now. I do not take any sleep aides.

Breathing and Mantra: Inhale 4 equal parts through the nose, i.e. the inhale is divided into 4 sniffs. Mentally vibrate SA TA NA MA If you do not connect with this chant, you can substitute with something like “I AM So Calm” or “I Will Sleep Deep” with the four parts of the inhale breath.

Hold the breath and mentally repeat 4 repetitions of SA TA NA MA (or your chosen chant). This will be 16 counts

SA* TA* NA* MA* SA* TA* NA* MA* SA* TA* NA* MA* SA* TA* NA* MA*

I* Am* So* Calm* I* Am* So* Calm* I* Am* So* Calm* I* Am* So* Calm*

I * Will* Sleep* Deep* I * Will* Sleep* Deep* I * Will* Sleep* Deep* I * Will* Sleep* Deep*

Then exhale in 2 equal strokes, mentally projecting WAHE GURU (Wonderful/Inner Sage; Wonderful/Inner Guide)

Time: Set a timer for the length of time you want to meditate. Start with a few minutes and work up. I find 5 minutes is a good reset for myself. You can continue for 11, 15, 22, 31 or even 62 minutes. This meditation will often put you to sleep before you complete the allotted time.

4-7-8 Breath (you can also try this as a stand alone bedtime meditation):

Breathe in with your nose for the count of 4.

Hold breath for the count of 7

Breathe out through rounded lips, making a gentle whooshing, for the count of 8

Repeat this 4-8 times; or set a timer and practice for 5-10 minutes before bed.

https://www.3ho.org/3ho-lifestyle/health-and-healing/healing-yogic-foot-massage


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Groove & Flow: Flexibility of the Spine no.1

A flexible spine is the key to youth!

Groove & Flow is only getting groovier!  

We are focusing on flexibility of the spine for the next few weeks.

A flexible spine is the key to youth! Please join me.

Groove: Swimming Dragon

Flow: (Based on) Basic Spinal Flexibility Kriya

Groove and Flow is a specially blended style of embodied movement where participants explore and experience the joy of movement and freedom of expression within a supportive, creative environment, regardless of experience and/or abilities. This class is balanced with movement, tranquility and meditation and participants can be on a mat or in a chair. All abilities welcomed for this one of a kind experience. 

Get creative! Build connections! Create community!

Playlist for G&F 10-19-2020

Garth in a tux in the snow.

Garth Stevenson (All songs are from his album Flying. I highly recommend buying this album. It’s truly magnificent, made even more special if you order a hard copy, as you will receive a beautiful hand made CD envelope. Both of his albums are glorious!)


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Bedtime Meditation Ideas

Playlist for 10-12-2020

Groove: 

  • I Am by Nirinjan Kaur
  • Adi Shakti by Ajeet Kaur
  • Adi Shakti by Benjhamin

Flow:

  • Rock On Hanuman (Omstrumental) by MC Yogi
  • Salala by Anglique Kidjo f. Peter Gabriel
  • Sea of Stars MC Yogi f. Amanda Giacomini 
  • Om Namo by Eeday
  • I Shall Believe by Sheryl Crow
  • Har Haray Hari Wahe Guru (Meditation for Creativity) by Kamari & Manvir
  • Be Still by Beautiful Chorus

Many people have difficulty going to sleep even though they are tired. Most of us would agree that the deeper and more peaceful the sleep, the more rested we feel the next morning. There are several things that we can do to promote deeper and more restful sleep:

  1. Slow Down: Before going to bed, begin to slow everything down. Put down your phone. Move slower. Stop ruminating. Make a list of what you need to do the next day and leave the list in another room. This will allow you to clear your mind and allows the energy to start balancing so you will be able to accomplish what you want to get done, but be free of it for the night. If there is something on your mind that you have not been able to resolve, make a special list turn it over to a higher power (an angel, a god, whatever you relate to) for the night-this power will focus their activity on the list through the night and free you of it.
    Feel complete about the day. Acknowledge yourself for what you accomplished and lessons learned. Forgive yourself for anything that lingers. No one’s perfect, so let it go. Make a list of five things you are grateful for. Prepare yourself to devote the next hours to peaceful, un-preoccupied sleep. You not only deserve it; you need to rest.
  2. Eating Habits: Try to eat your last meal at least 2 1/2 hours before you go to bed. When you eat just before going to bed your energy is tied up with digestion and it is hard to sleep deeply. Eat lightly for your evening meal. Definitely try to not eat animal protein, fried or heavy foods. Soups, salads, steamed vegetables or other easily digested dishes are the best for the evening meal. Eating dairy at night will make it more difficult to get up the next day (so skip the ice cream, yogurt or large glass of milk before bed).
  3. Left Nostril Breathing: The two nostrils are associated with two very different energies. Breathing through the right nostril, we are energized and stimulated. Breathing through the left nostril, we relax and calm down. Our breath naturally changes dominant nostrils approximately every 2-1/2 hours. After eating our nostrils will change to the left to accommodate the energy needed to digest our food. That is one reason why we feel like sleeping after eating.

You can tell which nostril is dominant at any time simply by blocking off one, then the other. The dominant one is easy to breathe through and the less dominate one feels like it is blocked.

It is useful before going to bed to sit quietly, block off the right nostril and breath long and deeply through the left nostril. Slowing down the breath to 4 or less breaths per minute also facilitates sleep. You can mentally chant Sat or I; Nam or Am (Sat Nam; I Am) while you breathe to help your mind “erase” My mother once told me that she was taught, when she wanted to make a word illegible, that she should, in cursive, write the word apple over the word that needs to be hidden, rendering it illegible. I think of meditation like this. Using a mantra scribbles out our thoughts and makes them “unthinkable”.

This meditation below has been a life saver for me.

I do this meditation for 11 minutes every night before bed, plus I usually add on at the end, 4 repetitions of the 4-7-8 Breath (see below) just to seal the deal. I sleep through the night now. I do not take any sleep aides.

Breathing and Mantra: Inhale 4 equal parts through the nose, i.e. the inhale is divided into 4 sniffs. Mentally vibrate SA TA NA MA If you do not connect with this chant, you can substitute with something like “I AM So Calm” or “I Will Sleep Deep” with the four parts of the inhale breath.

Hold the breath and mentally repeat 4 repetitions of SA TA NA MA (or your chosen chant). This will be 16 counts

SA* TA* NA* MA* SA* TA* NA* MA* SA* TA* NA* MA* SA* TA* NA* MA*

I* Am* So* Calm* I* Am* So* Calm* I* Am* So* Calm* I* Am* So* Calm*

I * Will* Sleep* Deep* I * Will* Sleep* Deep* I * Will* Sleep* Deep* I * Will* Sleep* Deep*

Then exhale in 2 equal strokes, mentally projecting WAHE GURU (Wonderful/Inner Sage; Wonderful/Inner Guide)

Time: Set a timer. Start with a few minutes and work up. I find 5-11 minutes is a good reset for myself. Continue for 11, 15, 22, 31 or even 62 minutes. This meditation will often put you to sleep before you complete the allotted time.

4-7-8 Breath (you can also try this as a stand alone bedtime meditation):

Breathe in with your nose for the count of 4.

Hold breath for the count of 7

Breathe out through rounded lips, making a gentle whooshing, for the count of 8

Repeat this 4-8 times; or set a timer and practice for 5-10 minutes before bed.


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Flamenco Books for Spanish Heritage Month (9/15-10/15)

Children’s Books (many available both English and Spanish editions):

  • Aunt Elaine Does The Dance From Spain by Leah Komaiko
  • Carmen Amaya (Pequeño y Grande) by María Isabel Sánchez Vegara and Ana Albero Vázquez 
  • Flamenco Fantasy by Cynthia Ventrola Struven
  • In My Family by Carmen Lomas Garza
  • Lola’s Fandango by Ann Witte
  • Mo Baila Flamenco by Fresia Barrientos Morales 
  • ¡Olé! Flamenco by George Ancona
  • Perlie and The Flamenco Fairy by Wendy Harmer
  • Quiero Bailar Flamenco by Azucena Huidobro
  • Spain by Susie Brooks
  • Spain: The Culture by Noa Lior
  • Thea Stilton and The Spanish Dance Mission by Thea Stilton

Mid Grade/Adult Books:

  • A Way Of Life by D. E. Pohren
  • A Summer In Flamenco by Jackie Cornwall
  • All About Flamenco/Todos Sobre Flamenco by Silvia Oivo
  • Art Of Flamenco by D. E. Pohren
  • Bird With The Heart Of A Mountain by Barbara Mariconda
  • Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies And Their Journey by Isabel Fonseca
  • Carmen: A Gypsy Geography by Ninotchka Devorah Bennahum
  • Duende: A Journey Into The Heart Of Flamenco by Jason Webster
  • Flamenco…All You Ever Wanted To Know by Emma Martinez
  • Flamenco, Flan And Fatalities: A Happy Hoofers Mystery Series by Mary McHugh
  • Flamenco Legend: In Search Of Camarón De La Isla by Marcos
  • Flamenco: Passion, Politics and Pop Culture by William Washabaugh
  • Golden Earrings by Belinda Alexander
  • Lady Bullfighter: The Autobiography Of The Northamerican Bullfighter by Patricia McCormick
  • Lives and Legends of Flamenco by D. E. Pohren
  • Only In Spain: A Foot-Stomping Firecracker of a Memoir About Food, Flamenco and Falling In Love by Nellie Bennett
  • Queen of The Gypsies: The Life And Legend of Carmen Amaya by Paco Sevilla
  • Song Of The Outcasts: An Introduction To Flamenco by Robin Totton
  • Sonidos Negros: On The Blackness Of Flamenco by K. Meira Goldberg
  • Tales of The Alhambra by Washington Irving
  • The Gypsies of Spain by Jan Yoors (Photographs by André A. López)
  • Through Spain On Donkey Back by W. Parker Bodfish


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Eve Costarelli’s Online Offerings: Groove and Flow Yoga and Dance Breaks (all ages; all abilities) May-June 2020

All of my online group offerings are being offered without a set fee to enable broader participation. I gratefully accept donations of any amount.If you are able to do so, please make a donation, through Venmo, PayPal or check (info included below)*

My Tween/Teen/Adult and my Tots+ classes will be continuing through June and I encourage you to take advantage of them. After-School Yoga will resume in September.

In addition to group classes, I am offering private sessions. I am a certified therapeutic yoga teacher with over three-decades of teaching experience. I am passionate in my love for yoga and dance and for making movement accessible and possible for all. I love designing personal practices that will enhance your quality of life. I would love for you to enjoy the experience of my yoga. My ideal clients are children, women and families for these private sessions. Please contact me at AdamAnt_Eve@gmail.com for private lesson rates.

Practitioners are welcome on a mat or in a chair. Rock, roll or stroll! . 

Wishing you all love, peace and hope! Eve Costarelli

Eve Costarelli’s Online Offerings

All of my online offerings are being offered without a set fee to enable broader participation. I gratefully accept donations of any amount. If you are able to do so, please make a donation, through Venmo, PayPal or check (info included below)*

For Kids:

After-school Groove & Flow Yoga (on hold until September)

Groove & Flow Yoga for Tots+ https://commonstreet.zoom.us/s/717933065 Thurs. 10:00-10:45AM (EDT)
What: Classes are imaginative, playful and vary from very active to quietly meditative. Children will explore yoga poses and relaxation techniques through stories, games, books and songs which help to develop their confidence, awareness, focus and their interactions with peers within a safe, supportive environment. Fun for all!

For Tweens, Teens & Adults:

Groove & Flow Yoga & Dance Break   https://commonstreet.zoom.us/j/953634210 Mon. 5:00-6:00PM (EDT)
Groove and Flow is a mix of yoga, dance and mindfulness that affords the participants the opportunity to explore and experience the joy of movement and freedom of expression within a supportive, creative environment, regardless of experience and/or abilities.

Groove & Flow Yoga  https://commonstreet.zoom.us/s/781560765 Thurs. 5:00-6:00PM (EDT)
Breathe, move, meditate then deeply relax. With a blend of styles, this yoga class aims to help you realize your true blissful self. This class designed to strengthen your body, mind, and spirit is balanced with relaxation and meditation. All levels welcomed for this one of a kind experience.

*I am holding space for everyone, with no expectations. I appreciate gratefully the donations of love I receive! *suggested donations $5-$20

**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************Free fitness videos offered through the Natick Recreation & Parks YouTube channel. Videos are posted every day Monday-Friday at 11:00AM (EDT) with an active fitness class that is fully accessible and inclusive . Classes are taught at a level for tweens/teens but it available to all to join. 

Flamenco Monday taught by Eve Costarelli

Groove & Flow Yoga Wednesday taught by Eve Costarelli

(Fitness classes being offered Monday-Friday, please check them out!)


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International Woman’s Day Event, Wayland MA

                                       International Women’s Day is 2 Weeks Away! 

                                                 Eve Costarelli, Always Be Dancing
Striking the #EachForEqual Pose!

Have you ever heard of a “Yoga Snack”? Well, if you’re interested in finding out more, join us March 8th for our International Women’s Day Event where our friend Eve will be leading her Yoga Snack!

Eve is passionate about bringing dance to all-bodies. She facilitates mindful movement experiences that increase positive vibrations and is on a mission to open people’s hearts and minds and will use all means necessary.

Learn more about Eve and Always Be Dancing by clicking here

International Women’s Day (IWD) is March 8th!

Sunday, March 8th, 3:30 pm, W Gallery, 57 Andrew Ave, Wayland, MA

One of the best things about International Women’s Day, besides the fact that it’s a special day for women all around the globe, is that YOU can celebrate in wherever you are! You can celebrate BIG or SMALL! The key is to gather with a friend, or two or a hundred (!) and talk about the issues facing women and girls in YOUR community!

An equal world is an enabled world.

Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day.

We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements.

Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world.

Let’s all be #EachforEqual.

***

Tickets for our 3rd Annual International Women’s Day are going fast and they are available in advance only.

If you want to join us and haven’t already reserved a spot or purchased your ticket, please send me an email so that I can include you! Also, please feel free to forward this email to others who you think would like to join us for the event.

All proceeds from ticket sales benefit the following MA-based nonprofits – RIA HouseNeighbor Brigade & Dignity Matters.

Thanks for your support! I look forward to celebrating with you on March 8th!

– Drita, MAPA Translations

Learn More About International Women’s Day


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Meditation: Getting Started

IMG_3994

How does one start to meditate? I started meditating about 5 years ago. I wanted to start before that but just never sat down on my own and meditated. When I started, I had little knowledge of “how-to” meditate. I thought you needed to sit absolutely still, in total silence and think of nothing. Yeah….you can guess how well that went.

But overtime, it seemed to take hook. I was never sure if I was meditating correctly and often felt I was not doing it right or well, but I stuck at it and it stuck to me. First, I found that I needed to meditate in the morning, because if I waited until later in the day, it did not get done. So every morning, after I made breakfast for my son, I would sit on the other sofa and meditate…listening to him munch his bagel and gulp his milk. I felt like a pro! Look at me sitting here, not moving, blocking out the sounds around me….but I still felt like I was not doing it right and it was not “affecting” or “effecting” me correctly.  But I stuck to it. And it stuck to me. It was oddly satisfying and if I did not do it, I felt like I was missing something that I wanted. My brain wanted it. My body wanted it. My soul wanted it.

Enter Kundalini. In Kundalini, everything is organized and makes sense. The exercises have aim and purpose and are felt physically, mentally and energetically. There are physical movements or stillness encased by specific breathing patterns, chants and mudras. This allows for the seeing, the hearing and the sensing of of what’s happening  within minutes of starting a practice. The truth is in the doing. Here form really follow function. Kundlini fits all bodies, all sizes, all adaptations without getting lost in the “what my body should look like” thoughts. 

Also, Kundlini is a gold mine when it comes to varied meditations. Kundalini offers metal, physical and emotional distractions that ope the gateway for meditation that is wholly enjoyable and accessible. 

     Two Meditations to Start Your Journey:

                            Kirtan Kriya/ Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation

Kirtan Kriya, often referred to as SA TA NA MA meditation, is the most important meditation in Kundalini Yoga. If you can do only one meditation, this is it. It will readjust and align you to bring balance into your body, mind and spirit and thus your life. It is your teacher. It is your best friend. 

The bottom line is that this meditation works. All you have to do is do it. You can trust the process and the technology.

Directions:

Sit with a straight spine. Bring your mental focus to the brow point/3rd eye point.

Chant SA TA NA MA.

While chanting alternately press the thumb with the four fingers. Press hard enough to keep yourself awake and aware of the pressure. Keep repeating in a stable rhythm and keep the hand motion going throughout the whole meditation.

kirtan_2

SA press the thumb and the pointer or Jupiter finger together with pressure.
TA press the thumb and the middle or Saturn finger together.
NA press the thumb and the ring or Sun finger together.
MA press the thumb and the pinky or Mercury finger together.

The Jupiter/Pointer finger brings in knowledge, expands our field of possibilities and releases us from limitations.

The Saturn/Middle finger gives us patience, wisdom and purity.

The Sun/Ring finger gives us vitality and aliveness.

The Mercury/Pinky finger aids clear communication.

Visualize or feel each individual sound come in the crown chakra at the top of the head, down through the middle of the head and out to infinity through the third eye. This is very important and must be done with each sound. It is an essential part of the cleansing process. If this part of the meditation is not done, you may experience a headache.

While doing the meditation, you may experience pictures of the past come up like on a movie screen in your mind. Let them dance in front of your eyes and release them with the mantra. This is part of the cleansing of the subconscious mind. If emotions come up, you can also incorporate them in the chanting, i.e. if you feel anger then chant out the anger. Whatever you experience is OK. Do not try to avoid or control your experiences. Simply be with what is going on and go through it. It is all part of the cleansing process.

** Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation is becoming scientifically recognized as a powerful tool for preventing or stopping Alzheimer’s disease, increasing all aspects of cognitive function, (perception, thinking, reasoning and remembering) and reducing stress levels while improving short term memory.

                                          Morning Meditation

6 minutes version:

  • 1 min out-loud
  • 1 min whisper
  • 2 min in-head (can add tongue movements) with hand movements
  • 1 min whisper
  • 1 min out-loud.

This meditation can be done for 6-31 minutes. Just keep all the segments equal length (the silent section is repeated twice). It can really be done for as little as 3 minutes (30 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 30 sec, 30 sec)

31 minute version:

  • 5 min out loud
  • 5 min whisper
  • 10 min in-head (tongue moving) with hand movement
  • 5 min whisper
  • 5 min out-loud
  • [1 min listen inside, hear the mantra, experience it. No hand movements.]

                                        Evening Meditation

                                      Sa Ta Na Ma Variation

3-30 minutes

Rest hands in lap. Fingers interlaced with the pads of the thumbs pressing into each other

Rest eyes gently looking at tip of nose; eyes may close.

Sniff in 4-counts, mentally saying Sa-Ta-Na-Ma.

Hold breath while mentally repeating the mantra 4 times.

Breath out through the nose in two strokes while mentally chanting Wahe/Guru. (Wahe/Wow! + Guru/Inner teacher = Cheers to my inner super hero!)

To end: Breath in for the count of 4. Hold breath for the count of 7. Breathe out through a circle mouth, making a whooshing sound, for the count of 8. Repeat 4-8x.

                                          Practice Timing:

3 minutes: Affects your circulation, blood chemistry and stability of the blood. The increased blood circulations begins, distributing enhanced neuroendocrine secretions throughout the body.

7 minutes: Brain patterns start to shift from the static of beta waves, to calmer alpha waves and ultimately to deep relaxing delta waves. Simultaneously, the magnetic force surrounding the body increases in strength.

11 minutes: The pituitary gland, glandular system and the nerves start to learn and change. The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems begin to accommodate the increased energy.

22 minutes: Anxiety producing thoughts in the subconscious begin to clear. Your three minds (negative, positive, and neutral) start to work together so your mental integration changes. 22 is the infinite number of longing and gives mastery of the mental realm.

31 minutes: Affects your whole mind and your aura. Endocrinological balance is achieved, as is balance of the chakra’s of the ethereal body. This balance persists throughout the day, and is reflected by changes in moods and behavior.

                                            Amount of days: 

11 days: 11 is the number of Infinity in the material world and conqueror of the physical realm. So it’s like the first step to break loose from the entanglement of the mind.

40 days: Helps to break negative habits that block you from the expansion possible through the Kriya or mantra, if done 40 days straight in a row

90 days: When you practice the Kriya or mantra for 90 days straight it will establish a new habit in your conscious and subconscious mind. It will change you in a very deep way.

120 days: When you commit to practice the Kriya or mantra for 120 days without skipping a day it will confirm the new habit of consciousness. The positive benefits of the Kriya get integrated permanently into your psyche.

1000 days: This will allow you to master the new habit of consciousness that the Kriya or mantra has promised. No matter what the challenge, you can call on this new habit to serve you.


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Today’s Accessible Yoga Set: It’s All About You

October 2, 2019

I am in the process of putting more of my yoga online, so bear with me. My next goal is to add voice-over to my videos so that people can be guided through the sets. Today’s set is, accompanied by my son practicing his sax, so enjoy!

Here is the video of the practice and below are all the various chair adaptations for the set. If you have a specific issue and would like a different adaptation, please comment and I will make poses for you.

In this set, the warm-up is timed to about three breaths per movement. I have done the 4 U’s at 5 min. each, but you can do anywhere between 1-11 min each (just remember all segments must be of equal time.) *Not videoed: 10 min. deep relaxation (Allow your body to fully sleep. “I am in a deep sleep. I do nothing”)

Breath Series 

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Part 1: Prosperity Meditation (3 min): Pictures 1 & 2

~It is so powerful in bringing prosperity that more than 11 minutes would be greedy. This meditation stimulates the mind, the moon center, and Jupiter. When Jupiter and the moon come together, there is no way in the world you will not create wealth.” -Yogi Bhajan
  • Alternately strike the sides of the hands together. When the palms are face down, the sides of the Jupiter (index) fingers touch, and the thumbs cross below the hands, with the right thumb under the left.
  • When the palms are face up, the Mercury (pinky) fingers and the Moon Mounds (located at the base of the palms) touch.
  • Mantra: Har. Chant continuously from the navel, using the tip of the tongue (pronounced “hu-duh”  or a rolled “rrrr”).

Part 2: I’ve Got It In My Sight/Caliber of Life Meditation. (3 min) Pictures 3-6.

~Removes depression & discouragement
  • Extend arms straight forward, parallel to ground. Elbows remain straight through the whole meditation.
  • Curl fingers of right hand into a fist. Extend thumb straight up.
  • Wrap fingers of left hand around right, so end of palms still touch and extend thumb straight up, so that both thumbs touch along their sides. There will be a tiny “v” between the tips of the two thumbs.
  • Focus eyes on this “v”. Look as if through a eagle eyes, seeing far away and seeing the “v”.
  • Inhale deeply 5 sec./ Exhale completely 5 sec./ Suspend breath out for 15 sec. (can increase hold to up to 1 min.)

Part 3: Ego Eradicator with Breath-of-Fire (3 min)

~Ego Eradicator opens the lungs, consolidates the magnetic field, and brings the brain hemispheres to a state of alertness. 

Posture: Raise arms up to a 60 degree angle. Keep elbows straight and the shoulders down. Apply Neck Lock. Curl fingertips onto the pads of the palms at the base of the fingers. Thumbs stretched back, pointing towards each other. Feel a rainbow streching over your head thumb tip to thumb tip.

Eyes: Eyes are closed.

Mental Focus: Focus above the head.

Breath: Breath of Fire

Time: Continue for 1 – 3 minutes.

To end: Inhale deeply and bring arms overhead with the thumb tips touching. Open the fingers (like moose antlers), exhale and relax the arms down in a wide arch, feeling the rainbow expand.

Part 4: Peaceful Heart (2 min)

Warm fuzzy happy glow for you

Cross one hand over the other at the heart (try right hand on top and then left the next time; notice). Breathe long and deep. Bring the positive energy into your heart. Share it.

Sun Salutation Variation with Warrior Series

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  • Mountain, Up Mountain, Look Up To Hands, but keep them straight up *First notice your feet. Step hip distance apart. Big toes are slightly turned in towards each other.  Knee is tracking the directions set by the line between second & third toes. Sit and stand a few times. Make sure the knee do not fold inwards or splay out; keep them aligned with your toe line.
  • Utkatasana, Flat Back (1/2 Way Lift), Forward Fold

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  • Lunge, Lunge w/ Arms Up, Low Lunge

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  • Plank var. 1, Plank var. 2
  • Downward Facing Dog var. 1, Downward Facing Dog var. 2

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  • Cobra, Upward Facing Dog

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  • Wide Legged Forward Bend, Twist var. 1, Twist var. 2, Twist var. 3

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  • Head Stand variations #1 fingers interlaced, pressing firmly on the crown of the head. This contraction helps to build strength in the shoulder complex.
  • **Headstands are invigorating and revitalizing, resulting in increased positive energy and mental vitality. Headstands also improve circulation and balance.

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  • Crescent Lunge Set-Up, Crescent Lunge **I found in this instance, that trying to turn my back foot out into Warrior 1 caused tweeking in my hips and obliques, so I chose to do Crescent Lunge, a straight back-leg.
  • Warrior 2, Archer, Dancing Warrior

Kriya/The Four U’s

Originally taught by Yogi Bhajan on July 5, 1984
This is the set of “U.” It invigorates you by adjusting your Pranic Body with your Auric Body in direct contrast with the Ardine. These are called the 4 U’s and they are “for you.” Anytime you do these, you need to do a deep relaxation afterwards.
“The ‘4 U’ kriya sets the nervous system to withstand pressures of society and challenges of times.  Do each posture for 11 minutes for 11 days without moving a muscle and this is said to create nerves strong as steel—’stainless steel forever.’ This kriya also works on eliminating fear and developing greater spinal flexibility. Different people will function at individual levels of development and capability. Therefore, though the full time for each posture is 11 minutes, practice according to your individual ability.”
-Mukta Kaur, SuperHealth

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  • U #1 variations

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  • U #2 variations

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U #3 & #4 variations