Saturday, August 30, 2008

Some Ideas for Your Home Practice...

You'll find that if you practice yoga long enough and consistently, you'll probably need to start your own practice at home (because going once or twice to a class in a studio just won't be enough for you!) I take about 15-30 minutes a day to go through a few sun salutations, and then I follow that with 1 or 2 videos that are posted on the Internet. These are free on the Yoga Journal website and include 20-30 minute videos with excellent teachers on a variety of topics including hip openers and ab/core work. Check it out right here:



http://www.yogajournal.com/video/jason_crandell/?bctid=1648122448

Also, the link below will lead you to a neat tool that allows you to build your own sequence of poses at home and save or print them out! Check it out here:

http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/sequence_builder/?utm_source=homepage&utm_medium=site&utm_campaign=topten

If you do try the videos or build your own sequence at home, let me know how they work for you. They should support you in your own practice by giving you a wonderful visual guide. I'd love to hear from you!

Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Friday, August 22, 2008

New Book: Yoga As Medicine...

I was thrilled to find out that Dr. Timothy Mccall, a Western trained internist and a yoga practitioner himself, authored a book entitled: Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing. A lot of people have recognized yoga as an "alternative medicine" for quite some time now, but the medical community is finally embracing it as a "medicine." Yoga is finally getting the credit it deserves!

The book offers several chapters on how to treat conditions such as arthritis, asthma, back pain, cancer, depression, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and many others with yoga. I just ordered it myself from Amazon and can't wait to incorporate the knowledge I gain from it in my own classes. If you're interested in purchasing it yourself, you can do so on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Yoga-Medicine-Prescription-Health-Healing/dp/0553384066 Or, just borrow it from me, when I'm done with it!

Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Best Yoga Instructor Ever



You see how flexible and open we are as babies!! What happens to us as we grow older??

Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What kind of junkie are you?

An essential part of yoga is to really get to know ourselves and who we are. This includes what we like and don't like and embrace everything about ourselves...the good and the bad. Speaking of this, I have been spending a lot of time on the Internet...mainly because I think technology is a great tool and has many uses: it provides me with a wealth of information about any given topic, connects me to the world and people and is visually and intellectually stimulating for me. That's why I dabble in Facebook and Youtube and have now started this blog. So, it's all good!! I admit that I'm an Internet/Technology Junkie...I know that a junkie can be associated with a drug user, but in this case I'm using the following definition of junkie:

"One who has an insatiable interest or devotion"

So, aside being an Internet junkie, I'm obviously a Yoga junkie, "my nephew" junkie (you can tell why...his photo is on the right), love junkie, people junkie, coffee junkie, friends and family junkie, travel junkie...I'm a junkie of all sorts!!!!

Feel free to comment below to let me know what kind of Junkie you are :) I'd love to hear from you!

Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

What is yoga?

Most of you have probably heard that yoga means to "yoke" and it is the union of mind, body and spirit. Did you know that yoga has been around for over 5,000 years? OK, that's great. What does it all mean?

The intent of Yoga Practice for many is to reap from its physical benefits, but as people further their practice they often find awareness within. I also benefit from the spiritual sides of Yoga, such as meditation, pranayama (breathing) and even bettering myself in hope to live more harmoniously with myself and others.

The 8 Limbs of Yoga (Yoga Sutras) are considered to be the most organized and complete definition of the discipline, allowing the Yoga Practice to extend beyond the mat and to be carried into daily living. So the physical practice (the postures or asanas) is only 1/8 of yoga. Imagine how much you're missing out on, if you're only doing the physical postures in class!! But that's OK, we're all on our own path..slowly but surely we will all get there!! Here are the 8 limbs of yoga:

1. Asana: Physical postures that you do in class (Warrior I, Trikonasana, etc)
2. Dharana: Unbending concentration of mind (focus).
3. Dhyana: Profound meditation.
4. Yama: Five behavior patterns or relationships between the individual and the outside world:
a. Ahimsa: Harmlessness.
b. Satya: Truthfulness.
c. Asteya: Non-stealing.
d. Brahmacharya:Sense-control
e. Aparigraha: Neutralizing the desire to acquire and hoard
5. Niyama: Five rules for personal observation – attitude we adopt towards ourselves:
a. Sauca: Cleanliness – Externally and internally (clarity of mind)
b. Samtosa: Modesty and being content with what we have.
c. Tapas: Keeping the body fit and healthy. Paying attention to eating habits, good posture, breathing patterns. Not eating unless we feel hungry.
d. Svadhyaya: Get close to ourselves, study ourselves to make ourselves better. Centering ourselves through meditation.
e. Isvarapranidhana: "To lay all your actions at the feet of God." We should accept the fact that we will not always get everything we want. Sometimes we get disappointed. Things do go wrong. We have done our share. We have done the best we could under the circumstances. We can leave the rest to a higher power.
6. Pranayama: Measure and control of breath to relax and balance the body.
7. Pratyahara: Withdrawal of the senses from attachment to external objects.
8. Samadhi: Unconscious state of bliss. When we succeed in becoming so absorbed in something that our mind becomes completely one with it, we are in a state of Samadhi. Samadhi means "to bring together, to merge."
Do share your comments or questions below...

Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My First Blog Post: Gratitude, Blessings and Namaste

Hello to my first ever blog post!! How exciting! I hope everyone is doing super well!! As you may know, I'm teaching yoga now in Ireland at Sunrise Studio in Dun Laoghaire. You are more than welcome to come to my classes..I teach on Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at 4pm. You can find more information by going to http://www.sunrise.ie/

I feel very fortunate to have met many wonderful people in the 2.5 months I've been here, and also feel very lucky to have the opportunity to teach yoga here in Ireland. I hope you find my blog enjoyable, insightful and inspirational....thanks for joining me on this journey as I take my yoga "off the mat" and actually live it!

In Deep Gratitude!
Blessings and Namaste,
Anna