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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.]
Sa Ta Na Ma Variation
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.
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.
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.
I was inspired to create a chair yoga sequence with the aim to create healing energy for realignment physically, mentally and emotionally for a friend of mine, who is recovering from a Tibial Plateau Fracture . Not only does a physical injury throw the body out of physical alignment, like the game Topple where every little shift away from center creates the need for the body to readjust itself to be balanced. The left compensates for the right, the right compensates for the left and back and forth it goes. Like in the game, though if too much weight is shifted to one side, it topples over. In the human body, this can lead to other injuries, depression and general deterioration of health.
Yoga’s goal is to balance body, mind and spirit. It uses various modalities to affect the positive effect on the physical body, the emotional state, the state of consciousness and the energetic impression , but not solely through postures that are often unattainable for injured, stiff, elderly and physically disabled persons. I realize one of my gifts, is to help bring movement and balance back to these bodies, inside and out. I feel my yoga creates a safe space for healing, flying, dancing….wholesome goodness to create a pathway for self-healing.
The Sequence (click here for video of the sequence)
5-Minute Breathing (each section 1 min; between each section, release the nostrils and breath deeply several times with both nostrils):
Breathe only with the left nostril (male, calming). Block of the right gently.
Breathe only with the right nostril (female, fiery). Block the left gently.
Breathe in with the left and out with the right, only.
Breathe on with the right and out with the left, only.
Alternate Nostril Breathing: In with the left, out with the right; in with the right, out with the left
If you have trouble inhaling or exhaling, with a finger, gently lift the area on your face, near the cheekbone, on the same side as the nostril. Lifting that area can open the sinus passage and allow for freer breath. You can notice this in the accompanying video of the sequence. Before beginning the next exercise, take a moment to make sure your feet are aligned properly-big toes slightly in so that the outer edge of the foot is parallel with the outer edge of the mat. Feel the triangle beneath the foot between the pads of the big and little toes and the center of the heel. Notice that the knees should follow the same line created between the second and third toes.
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
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Spinal Flex (2-3 min)
Suffi Grind/Coffee Grinder, both directions (2-2 min)
Side Twists/Washing Machine (2 min)
Shoulder Shrugs (2 min)
Lazy Neck Rolls, both directions (1-1 min or 2-2 min)
Alternate Leg Stretches (2 min)
Life Nerve Stretch with Breath-of-Fire (BoF) , both sides (1-1 min or 2-2 min)
Downward Facing Dog (2 min)
Bridge (2 min) or 12-26 times
Ego Eradicator w/ BoF (1-3 min)
Healing Meditation/Rest (5 min)
Triple Mantra by Bachan Kaur*
Aeo (pts 1 & 2) by Brian Briggs
Circle by Adam F.
Expansions by Lonnie Liston Smith
Brazilain Rhythm (Fearless Mix) by Mondo Grosso (esp. good for Breath of Fire)
Life Is Something Special by NYC Peech Boys
Bah Sama (Yoruba Soul Mix) (esp. good for Breath of Fire)
Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Say So Hung by Ajjet Kaur**
*Aad Guray Nameh, Jugaad Guray Nameh Sat Guray Nameh, Siri Guroo Dayv-ay Nameh(Surrounds you with a power shield of protection)
Aad Such Jugaad Such Hai Bhee Such Nanak Hosee Bhee Such (Clears away obstacles that block your personal growth)
Aad Such Jugaad Such Hai Bhai Such Nanak Hosee Bhai Such (All obstacle remover)
**Ra Ma Da Sa, Sa Say So Hungis the healing meditation used to generate healing energy for friends, family, ourselves, the planet.
Practice the Woman’s Set to feel empowered, strong and confident. If you want to feel like Superwoman, try The Woman’s Set one morning… even better, practice it daily over the course of a week (or 40 days even!) and see for yourself. This set keep will keep us young, vital and radiant and builds courage and grace.
Kundalini Kriya’s are little prescriptions for the mind, body and soul. Each one is unique and offers such a wide variety of movement, breath and meditation that they are wholly accessible to everybody. I am enamored, to say the least. I feel that the combination of movement, breath and meditation are acupressure from the inside out. With this yoga you can heal yourself.
I love my background in Hatha yoga and cannot thank my dearest teacher Barbara Benagh for instilling in me the love of bodily focus and alignment, but the general flow yoga classes just bore me to tears. It’s like everyone is on repeat. Same old every single time with just a different “affirmation” being preached at me with the same old poses which are never taught. I am so happy to have stumbled onto Kundalini since it has given me an avenue to be different. I am not a Sikh nor a certified Kundalini teacher, but I get it and I can give it. I can give it in my way, with house music in the back ground, by adding dance and by offering people the chance to let go of what they think yoga is and experience something new-something different.
Thank you deeply to the birthday boy (August 26th), Yogi Bhajan for sharing the beautiful art of Kundalini with the world!
I am an Aquarian teacher.
~Remember to always be dancing!
Rock Pose. Sit on heels or in chair, palms on thighs or hands relaxed in lap, spine straight. Relax meditatively in this position. 1-3 minutes.
Life Nerve Stretch. Extend both legs straight out in front. Grab the big toe(s) in finger-lock. Inhale, lengthen the spine. Exhale, bend forward bringing chest to thighs, and nose to knees. Avoid leading with the head. Long deep Breathing. 1-3 minutes.
Camel Pose. Long, deep breathing. 1-3 minutes. This exercise adjusts the reproductive organs.
Shoulder Stand. Long, deep breathing. 1-3 minutes. This exercise releases pressure on all of the organs and stimulates the thyroid gland.
Archer Pose. Start with right foot forward so that the feet are 2-3 feet apart. The right toes face forward while the left foot comes to a 45 degree angle, with the heel back and the toes forward. The left leg stays straight and strong as the right knee bends until the thigh is almost parallel to the ground (do not let the knee go beyond the toes); tuck the tailbone. Curl the fingers of both hands onto the palms, thumbs pulled back. As if pulling back a bow and arrow, lift the right arm up, extended forward parallel to the ground, over the right knee. The left arm, bent at the elbow, pulls back until the fist is at the left shoulder. Pull Neck Lock. chin in, chest out. Feel this stretch across the chest. Eyes stare beyond the thumb to Infinity. Practice for 1-5 minutes on each side. *Please note: In the standing picture, with my left foot forward, I note my right arm should be higher up. In the seated pose, you should push forward a bit towards the extended knee, which is not evident in the photos.
Child’s Pose. Palms face up by feet. Totally relax. 1-3 minutes.
Bow Pose. Long Deep Breathing. In chair (or on floor) you can try the one handed version. Stretch up with the extended arm to increase the stretch. 1-3 minutes.
Locust Pose. Still on the stomach, feet together, with the chin on the ground, place the fists under the hips where the hips and thighs join. Raise the legs up, and the back of the thighs to keep the legs together. Long Deep Breathing. 1-3 minutes. *I am not sure this is the best chair representation for this pose, but it did allow for a light-opening stretch for the back of the leg.
Cow Pose. Do not scrunch the neck. Open the heart and raise the chin as far as you can without collapsing the neck. Hold with long, deep breathing. 1-3 minutes.
Cat Pose. Press chin into chest; arch up like an angry cat. Hold with long, deep breathing. 1-3 minutes.
Stretch Pose. Lie on the back with the feet together, toes pointed. Flatten the lower back. Place hands palms down over the thighs, pointing toward the toes. Lift the head up, apply Neck Lock and look at the toes. Lift the feet up 6 inches and begin Breath of Fire for 1-3 minutes. In chair, raise one or two legs off the floor, out straight. If doing one leg at a time (on floor or in chair) switch at 1/2 way mark)
Corpse Pose. Relax on the back or in chair, palms facing up. 3-10 minutes.
Today’s class blends the balancing effect of Alternate Nostril Breathing with the Kriya for Polarity Balance. These two will help to bring balance to the energy channel that runs down the center of your body, the channel to allow the prana, your life force, to flow freely & energetically throughout the body.
Two main components of prana are the prana and apana vayus, or winds. Prana vayu is located in the head by the third eye and its energy pervades the chest area (like an inhale). Its flow is up and out. Apana Vayu is located by the pelvic floor and its energy pervades the lower abdomen. Its flow is down and out (like an exhale).The main channel is the Shushumna Nadi-the central energy channel that is flanked by, on the left, the Ida, female moon energy that starts at the root and ends n the left nostril and on the right, by the Pingala, masculine, sun energy that ends in the right nostril. These two nadis, criss-cross the shushumna nadi, resembling a cadusa, intersecting at each chakra.
Tilted Balance: Extend through the core. Balance is the basis for health. 2 min. each side.
Demi-Squats: Inhale up; Exhale down. This exercise will put pressure on the hips, spine and the muscles along the back. 5 min.
March w/ Robot Arms: move the arms back and forth with a precise and controlled movement. The left arm should move forward as the right knee comes up. Continue alternating sides. For the final minute, increase the pace, moving powerfully. 5 min.
Wide Legged Hip Circles: Allow the entire body to move and rotate. 3 min.
Heel March: Dance on your toes. Hips move. 3 min.
Yoga Jumping Jacks: Rhythmic 3 min.
Dancing Pointer Dog: Try to kick butt. The left arm should move forward as the right foot kicks back. Continue alternating sides. 3 min.
Dancing Pointer Dog w/ Partner: Face a partner. Do same exercise but grasp hands and lift legs together on alternate sides as legs go back. 1-1/2 min.
Partner Squats: Spread legs. Hold hands facing each other. Squat in demi-knee bends, then come up. Inhale up, exhale down. 1-3 min.
Straight Line w/ Arms-Over-Shoulder Group Standing Meditation: Close eyes. Stand still. 1-5 min (play Electric Boogie). Feel the group electricity.
Seated Cross Heart Mediation: Sit in an easy meditative pose. Fold and hold the hands at heart center. (Listen to Guru Ram Das Lullaby by Bachan Kaur. Sing along in head)
Rest w/ Chakra Meditation: Lie down and rest. Meditatively sleep.
Ong Namo by Eeday
Breathe-Prana Apana by Ananda Yogiji f. Jaya Lakshmi
My Friend Is A Seahorse (James Priestley & Dan Berkson’s Bariz e Syntho Remix) by Kissogram
Ease My Mind (DJ Premier Mix) by Arrested Development
I am always trying to open paths to a richer experience. When I teach yoga, I choose a contemplation and from there build the class. This week, I was inspired by something my yoga teacher talked about and I kept mulling over it for myself. Intuitive awareness. To be intuitively aware; Allowing your intuition to blossom and grow like a flower because you are aware of it and its power.
When I meditate, I see colors. I see a crunching blackness and then it gets eaten away by the vivid colors of the rainbow-like a geode kaleidoscope. Sometimes its deep and dark purple/indigo/blue; others times bright yellow and one time even pink and green-like watermelon tourmaline. I feel calm and floating when I see these colors. I am in awe and entranced yet at peace. Another student mentioned after class that she too saw colors. Her pattern is different than mine but I could totally relate. I am so inspired by her discovery that I am planning a chakra balancing class for next week and I will be interested to hear her experience with it. I see these color-visions as relating to the chakras. Each chakra is a whirling energy center along the spine and head. Each one a lotus flower that blooms and grows in each of these energy centers. Every chakra is related to a gland or glands. The ultimate goal to balance the chakras would have a profound effect on over-all health and well-being-total happiness, health and wholesomeness.
Breathing Sequence (1-3 min each) :
Left nostril breathing only.
Right nostril breathing only.
Breath in left and out right only.
Breathe in right and out left only.
Alternate nostril breathing (In left & out right; In right & out left…)
Breath of fire. *at end of each section, breathe in and hold for 10-30 seconds, pull up root lock; try to beam out the third eye the whole time/eyes at 3/4
Stand and dance gracefully. Arms are completely relaxed. Close eyes. Consciously release all the tension from each body part. Scan and release. Begin to sway gently. Dance gracefully with freeing, easy movements, using every body part
Stop. Stand still and straight. Begin to gently touch every part of your body. Feel sensitive with the palms of hands.
Lean forward and hang completely relaxed. Use a block or a chair to rest on if the floor is too far away. Gently bend your knees so your hips can be completely relaxed. Breathe normally.
Stand carefully. Hang back slowly with arms hanging loosely by sides. Feel like you are resting on Little Bo Peeps crook. Back up along the pole and then upper back gracefully following the crook. (1 minute only)
Cross Heart Kriya With A Partner: This meditation balances the hemispheres of your brain, allows your past to become processed and released, and eliminates insecurities.
Sit back-to-back with a partner. Spine straight and together.
All all grudges to release as you breathe easily.
Cross the forearms below the wrist and place them in front of the chest. Arms should be out slightly and angled a bit up towards the chest.
Eye Focus: Look down to the tip of your nose.
Mantra: Sa – Infinity Ta – Life Na – Death, Transformation Ma – Birth
Process: Chant “Sa Ta Na Ma” and press the corresponding fingers to your thumb on each syllable. Chant out- loud (2 min.); chant in a loud whisper (2 min.) chant in head and continue hand movements (4 min.); chant in a loud whisper (2 min.); Chant out- loud (2 min.). Hear the chant with your third ear which is in the same location as your third eye, right in the middle of the brow. Sa – Press thumb and index finger (brings knowledge) Ta – Press thumb and middle finger (brings wisdom and patience) Na – Press thumb and ring finger (brings vitality) Ma – Press thumb and pinkie finger (brings enhanced communication)
To Finish: Inhale and suspend breath, roll eyes up to look out third eye and become completely still.
Relax in resting pose.
On Namo Guru Tune-In by Shakta Kaur Khalsa
Breathe-Prana-Apana by Ananda Yogiji f. Jaya Lakshmi
Circles by Adam F
Ek Ong Kar by Simrit Kaur
Move Your Body by Marshall Jefferson
Bah Samba (Yoruna Soul Vocal Mix) by Tired Little One
Toast by Koffee
Om Tar Tuttare (Red Fulka Remix) by Deva Premal & Miten
This weeks Kundalini Fusion class is based on two kriya’s. The first for Releasing Elementary Stress and the second for Strength and Stability. I had one lesson planned out but was so inspired by my own class last night that I did some adjusting and I am even more satisfied with the flow now. In general, for maximum benefit, kriya’s should be done in full, but this is not a Kundlini yoga class-just one inspired by it. I also know that benefit will be reaped even in this fusion form. What can I say…I like to color outside the lines. I want to do something that no one else is doing which will be the authentic representation of the energy inside my soul that inspires me to dance. #AlwaysBeDancing
Elementary stress causes imbalances by creating blockages inside the body. They act like a dam blocking the flow of prana/life force energy through the body-therefore causing illnesses to arise physically, emotionally, and energetically. We need to open the flood gates to release this stress.
Sometimes we have to create friction (and even look at our own inner friction) to initiate change. By channeling energy into our third chakra, the seat of our willpower, we can become stronger and more stable and will be able to initiate, carry through and absorb positive change in our bodies and out lives.
July is an exceptionally fiery and creative month. Use friction to your advantage to channel energy for good within you and let go of destructive, negative habits. Use this “hot” energy/friction as a positive tool to proactively move forward in your life.
Ong Namo by Shakta Kaur Khalsa
Ek Ong Kar by Tina Malia
Initiation by DJ Taz Tashid & Ingmarlo
Boy With A Coin by Iron & Wine
Brazilian Rhyme (Fearless Mix) by Mondo Grosso
Hey Hey by Muete
Dinner At Sugarbush by Brent Lewis
Expansion by Lonnie Liston Smith
Rock Creek Park by The Blackbyrds
Chattr Chakkr Vartee by Nirinjan Kaur
If At First You Don’t Succeed by Aaliyah
Ease My Mind (DJ Premier Remix) by Arrested Development