Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Year of the Tiger

It is said that when the Buddha was on his deathbed, 12 animals came to say goodbye. To honor those animals, the Buddha used each animal as one of the 12 signs of the Zodiac in Chinese Astrology. The upcoming year is the year of the Tiger.
There are no accidents for Yogis. Everything has meaning. The location of celestial bodies at the time of your birth has meaning and most mystery schools use some science of astronomy and astrology as a means of self discovery. If you are a Tiger by your birth year, then this upcoming year will be auspicious for you, but all humans will be learning the lessons of the Tiger in this year. The gift of Tiger is to learn to place your paws mindfully. To slow down and move deliberately. We slow down so that we understand what is motivating us to speak or act right now. Are we acting from love and compassion or are we acting from fear or anger? The Upanishads teach us that action is the seed we plant that grows into the reality of our life. The actions we perform now create our future experience and what is happening right now in life is a result of past actions. It is the Yogi's work to learn to experience negative emotion without acting out. If we can resist speaking or acting from negative emotion, that negative emotion loses its power and eventually ceases to be.
Slow down.....create consciously by choosing the actions you perform.
PS: The Dalai Lama is a Dragon like me! Our next year is 2012- watch out!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Core Strengthening with Yogic Breathing

This data is from The Journal of Applied Research citing a study by the Department of Physical Therapy, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California and the Department of Physical Therapy, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, California.

The focus of the study was to compare the amount of core work created from traditional crunches with the core strengthening effect of Yogic breathing. The Yogic breath that was used in the study is very similar to round 1 of the breathing that is utilized in Agni Sara Kriya- the Fire Series. (The Fire Series is the 3 rounds of core work that begins with contraction and release, then the hollowing of the belly, full Uddiyana Bandha, and finally Agni Sara, the pumping in and out of the belly. The Pranayama Kappalabhati uses the same action, but with Agni Sara the goal is to pump the belly as many times as possible while holding the breath outside of the body and with Kappalabhati each contraction is synchronized with an exhale.)

"The results showed that while muscle activity during this Yoga breathing exercise was comparable to that seen during the performance of abdominal crunches, the longer duration of the breathing exercises increased the total work on the abdominal muscles up to 5 times greater than the work during crunches. Because of the high muscle activity, this form of exercise would be good for people who cannot easily exercise of the floor such as people with disabilities or obese people."
"Thus the work performed in a single breathing exercise was equivalent to 5 crunches. For the rectus abdominus, the work was about 2.5 times higher in the breathing exercises than the crunches, whereas for the obliques, the work was 6 times higher than for the crunches."

This is the work of the advanced practitioner- to create a relationship between core and breath. Our tradition is core based for physical reasons and esoteric reasons. Core strength is an indicator of overall physical fitness and the Yogis believe that your pain is stored in your core and your greatest potential lies dormant deep in the core. Keeping the core engaged requires full concentration and one pointed focus.

PS: Swami Rama says that if you only have time for one Hatha Yoga technique that it should be Agni Sara Kriya.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mixed Level Flow Vinyasa with Live DJ Mix!

Join Us!
Thursday, Jan. 28, 6 pm to 8 pm, Mixed Level Flow Vinyasa with Shri flowing to a Live DJ Mix of Soulful Music.
$30 in advance (registration online available at )
$35 at the door
Ian Hyman, DJ HyFi, believes that bliss is our birthright and will be weaving together a tapestry of tunes that he feels are reflective of that state of being. Come soak up the vibe and dive deep into asana.

(Regularly scheduled 5:30 and 7:15 pm classes cancelled for this day ONLY.)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Great Sponge Challenge

Start the New Year with a clean kitchen-
Which would you prefer? The sponge loaded with bacteria or dish cloths that you are able to wash regularly? Sponges account for much of the trash that overflows in landfills.

The Bliss Yoga Sponge Challenge:
Be one of the first 10 environmental activists/ Yogis to bring in an old sponge to class at 8 am on January 23 and receive a FREE carton of 3 dish cloths!