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The Groove & Flow Experience March & April 2021
The Groove and Flow Experience is my special blend of yoga, dance, Qigong, and meditation styles where the participants can 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, relaxation and meditation and participants can be on a mat or in a chair. All abilities welcomed for this one of a kind experience.
Bio: Eve Costarelli is passionate about bringing the joy of movement to all-bodies. Through her interactive, self-designed mindful movement program, Always Be Dancing: The Art of Movement, Eve uses yoga, dance & social consciousness to create a healthy, diverse, inclusive environment. Eve is the yoga & mindfulness coordinator for the Common Street Spiritual Center and facilitates all-inclusive yoga and dance programs throughout Massachusetts. Eve’s programs are fun, upbeat, and wholly inclusive. Focus is always on abilities not disabilities.
What is The Groove & Flow Experience? What makes it unique? How does it fit in?
Bioenergetic exercise to realize potential for happiness, gratitude, inner peace, self-worth, joy
Imagination, innovation, creativity
Goal? happiness, gratitude, inner peace, self-worth, joy, balance, mindfulness, peace, self care, connection, community, creativity, health
Tonight starts the mantra of Light-Bright. We need to be the brightness that conquers the darkness of the winter months and to allow the good in us to conquer the evil. We all have the proverbial devil and angel on our shoulders it is just how we react to them is what separates us. We need to be the light and shine as bright as possible to lead the way into a more positive time of growth for us, personally, communally and globally.
To keep your vibration bright, light and at a high frequency, make time for self care every day. Yoga, meditation, clean food, positive affirmation, kindness, Qigong…..set aside time each day-in a routine-for a formal practice and then encourage as much mindfulness into your daily life as possible.
Seated Breathing Sequence:
Gyan mudra. Breathe in 4 sniffs; breathe out 4 sniffs. Last sniff in, ends the full inhale/Last sniff out, ends the full exhale. (1min.)
Clasp hands. Leave a space for a diamond to form. Powerful inhales and exhales. (1 min.)
Press hands together very hard. Make a diamond. Press the piece of coal so tightly a diamond forms. Continue powerful breathing. (1 min)
Inhale & Squeeze as hard as you can. Hold breath-tighten every part of the body as tight as possible. Breathe out & release.
Today’s set is for spinal flexibility and the release of pent up stagnation so we will become lighter and brighter.
Playlist: Myopia by Moby Circling by Four Tet Sea Of Stars (Remix ft. Amanda Giacomini) by MC Yogi Keep On Movin’ by Soul II Soul River by Ibeya Synchronize ft. Jarvis Cocker by Discodeine I Want To Be Free by Ohio Players Rude Movements by Ahsford & Simpson Can You Feel It (Instrumental) by Mr. Fingers The Ancient Gong by Guru Terath Kaur Khalsa Sweat (Sweat the Club) by Jay Williams
Groove & Flow playlist 11/16/2020
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. Temperature is dropping and the wind is slowly gathering strength, carrying with it a hint of winter on its breath. Autumn is 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.
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.
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 we feel. To help us feel light, be sure to wear bright colors, such as a camisole, a scarf or a pair of sox. Choose the color that makes you feel the lightest and brightest you, you can be. Its a sure fire way to add the perfect color splash into your day to keep you light and bright and uplifting.
10. Try to stick to a regular routine: go to bed at the same time, meditate daily, yoga every morning.
My brother just had surgery because he broke his ankle. The injury is still very fresh so I created a yoga set that he can do sitting on the floor with his legs straight out (pillow under the knees to soften, when needed). He can gradually change these to seated in a chair but for now the weight and shape of the cast and the recentness of the accident, it is best to keep him on an even, low level. He will be most grounded in this position.
I suggest setting a timer for each section and keeping the sections evenly timed. Try 1-5 minutes each to start.
Start with Deep Belly Breathing:
* Sit comfortably, upright but not rigid or lay down. *Close your eyes or keep them softly focused on one object. Having an actual spot for eyes to focus on is very important as it gives a home base for the eyes when the mind wanders. You can use the tip of your nose, a spot on the wall or through closed eyes, the third eye point. *Place your hands on your lower belly, on your legs or in your lap. *Create your own quiet, still space inside. I call this your Inner Love-Shack. *Inhale through your nose. Keep your mouth closed. Your belly should fill round on the inhale. Your body will feel like it is a balloon being filled up. *Notice the pause at the end of your inhale. *Slowly let the air out through your nose. You want the exhale to be long and gentle. Your belly will soften. If a mouth exhale is done, keep the lips slightly pursed and allow the air to seep out slowly as if you are trying to ripple a flame of a candle. *Notice the pause at the end of the exhale. *Repeat 3-5x or as long as you like. If your mind wanders, just pull it back to the breath and the sensation of your hands. *When finished, sit quietly for a few moments and enjoy the stay in your Inner Love-Shack, inside and out.
Cow/Cat: Legs out, back not against a wall/bedside, hands on knees. Close eyes and beam out through the third eye point and add in the chant “sat” Nam” or whatever resonates with you to keep a high positive vibration happening in your head and throughout your body.
With chin moving up (cow) & down (cat)
Without chin moving
Breathe in open chest, lift chin, lift puppy tail
Breathe out cat, curl forward (arch back like a halloween cat), drop chin
Breathe in your pelvic bowl spills water out the front
Breathe out the pelvic bowl spills water out the back
Holding Up The Sky With One Hand (Legs out, can be gently backed up to a support) Start with hands on belly and return there on each exhale before you switch sides.
Press down with one hand to keep the floor from coming up.
Press up the sky with the lower palm on the other hand.
Breathe in as you stretch up & open; breathe out as you, bring the energy to your power belly and change sides.
Holding Up the Sky With Two Hands
Start with both hands on lower belly
Breathe in as the hands travel up.
Stretch up over head, with both hands, from the lower palm.
Breathe out, hands return to belly.
Stealth Ninja (Legs out, body slightly pulled away from support, so that hand can snake behind)
Press one hand forward near your shoulder and chin, to ward off an attacker. It has the sensation of being propelled in that direction.
At the same time, look over the opposite shoulder, as if to check behind you.
The other hand is behind the back reaching in in the same direction the head is facing. Your body is moving in one direction and you are looking over the other shoulder while at the same time the back hand is reaching as if to grab a friend’s hand
Hip Circles (legs out, support under knees advised, hands on knees)
Move hips around in a circular motion in one direction, like an old fashioned coffee grinder
Repeat in the other direction.
Hands behind on the floor
Lift chest and lean back.
Head can drop behind, but keep chest lifting and open and back strong.
Fold forward but have knees comfortably bent
The “goal” is belly to thighs; knees bent more will facilitate this
Here is a video of the Kundalini Kriya The Woman’s Set. I have timed each exercise at 2-minutes with roughly 1-minute between for meditative reflection on the energy within the body. This is an minimal instruction video while I actually complete the practice, so you are doing it with me. It feels very nice to do yoga together. Please join me!
Here are some pose variations that might make the practice more accessible for you. Adaptation is a beautiful gift to yourself to enjoy the practice from where you are with no comparison and no expectations.
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”)
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
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
Lunge, Lunge w/ Arms Up, Low Lunge
Plank var. 1, Plank var. 2
Downward Facing Dog var. 1, Downward Facing Dog var. 2
Cobra, Upward Facing Dog
Wide Legged Forward Bend, Twist var. 1, Twist var. 2, Twist var. 3
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.
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
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.