Sunday, December 13, 2009

Beautiful and Sparkling Yoginis Celebrate the Holidays in Style!



A bunch of us got together for great food, drinks and company to celebrate the holidays at Alexis restaurant! Fun time was had by all!!Check out photos above.. (pictured yoginis: Katherine, Adele, Fiona, Sarah B., Christine, Stephanie, Sarah L. and Anne)

Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Holidays to Everyone and my Holiday Schedule!

Just wanted to wish everyone a very, very merry Christmas...lots of joy, love, peace, health, abundance and of course yoga! Don't forget to keep up with your practice during the holidays! If the studio is closed, just do one of the videos I have posted on this web space! And when things get too hectic with all the festivities, food and relatives.. just go in..inhale and exhale. Just find your breath.

I'll be in the US visiting friends and family from Dec. 17th to Jan. 3rd. I'll also be at Todd Norian's "Illume your Soul through Asana, Meditation and Pranayama" retreat/training for 6 days at the Kripalu Center in Mass., US. So, I look forward to rejuvenating my practice and coming back with new tricks! :) See you on the mat in the New Year!!

Love and Blessings,
Anna

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My New Teaching Schedule (Starting week of Dec. 7th, 2009)

All classes, courses and workshops taught at the Sunrise Studio in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin (www.sunrise.ie)

DROP INs:
MONDAYS
6:15pm-7:45pm (Hatha Flow Level 2)
8pm-9:15pm (Beginner Hatha/Vinyasa Level)

TUESDAYS
6pm-7:30pm (Hatha Flow Level 2)
7:45pm-9pm (Yoga for Men)

WEDNESDAYS
7:45pm-9:15pm (Hatha/Vinyasa Flow Open Level)

THURSDAYS
7pm-8:15pm (Hatha/Vinyasa Flow Open Level)

SATURDAYS
11:30am-1pm (Hatha/Vinyasa Flow Level 2)

WORKSHOPS:
Chakra Workshop:
Sunday, January 10, 2010 (11-1:30pm)

Relax, Refresh, Renew Restorative Workshop:
Sunday, January 17th, 2010 (4-6pm)
Sunday, February 14th, 2010 (4-6pm)

COURSE:
Introduction to Yoga (fundamentals, both theory and practice of yoga)
4 class course: 4 Saturdays (3pm-4:30pm) starting on Jan. 9, 2010 to Jan. 30th, 2010)

To register for the workshops and course, please go to www.sunrise.ie

Please let me know if you have any questions, and see you on the mat!!!

Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

20 minutes of Twist and Detox!!!



Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lower Back Relief Sequence

1hour,2 blocks, 2 blankets, 1 strap, 1 bolster (optional)

Lie on back (with knees bent or bolster under knees)

Relax senses one by one

Pranayama - ujjayi breath review

Apanasana - kees to chest - roll to side to all fours

Cat/cow

Down Dog (DD)

Modified plank knees on floor

Cat Chattaranga 9x

Plank

DD

Walk up hands to feet

Uttanasana - Standing forward bend (with blocks high knees can bend)

Tadasana - mountain pose

Urdva hastasana - hands over head

Virabhudrasana 2 - warrior #2 - right and left (r&l)

Parsvakonasana - right angle pose r&l

Trikonasana - triangle pose r&l

Vrksasana - tree pose r&l

Virasana - hero pose (on blocks)

Gomukasana - cow face arms in Virasana r&l

Lie back

Setu bandhasana - bridge 2x

Pavan muktasana - wind expeller into

Supta padangustasana - reclining hand to foot pose r&l (with strap)

Reclining ankle to knee r&l

Jathara parivartanasana - reclining twist r&l

Savasana - final relaxation (with bolster under knees)

Yoga Helps Us to Nourish the Seed of Greatness that's Within ALL of US!!!

Watch this great video where Todd Norian, well-recognized Anusara yoga teacher in the US, speaks about how yoga helps us to nourish the seed of GREATNESS that's in all of us!! I will be fortunate enough to study under Todd for a week this December at the Kripalu Yoga Center in Massachusetts, US. The workshop/continuing education course is focused on "Illuminating the Soul through yoga, meditation and pranayama"! Can't wait to learn new things, re-energize my own practice and come back with all new tricks!! :)

http://dh-sky.dreamhosters.com/projects/flash_player/www/?v=48BF159173270

Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Sunday, November 8, 2009

My November Schedule!

MONDAYS
8pm Sunrise Studio (Beginner Hatha/Vinyasa Level)

WEDNESDAYS
6pm Dalkey Studio (Breathwork and Meditation)
7:45pm Sunrise Studio (Hatha/Vinyasa Flow Open Level)

THURSDAYS
7pm Sunrise Studio (Hatha/Vinyasa Flow Open Level)

SATURDAYS
11:30am Sunrise Studio (Hatha/Vinyasa Flow Level 2)

SUNDAY, November 22nd
Chakra Workshop, Sunrise Studio

Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Awaken and Strenghten the Arms: Excellent 20 min Sequence



Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I might have the answer to conquer the lack of sunlight in Ireland!!!!

Jyoti (Inner Light): A Source of Healing for Seasonal Depression

According to the ancient yogis, Jyoti is our inner source of divine light. During daylight savings time when days are shorter, people become light deprived and experience signs of Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD) such as depression, lethargy, and apathy. It is at this time that they need to tap into their internal glow.

The analogy of a plant awakening and growing in sunlight, then losing its vitality, becoming limp, and recharging from the inside during the night while at rest, can help us to understand how by turning to our Jyoti, we too can better function while awake when the sun goes down and our vitality is low (we do not have the luxury to purely rest and renew like the plant during the dark hours). Though science has tried to accommodate our schedules by creating special lamps at a frequency similar to that of the sun, we cannot fill our surroundings with that light which also makes us feel energized inside. Practicing five minutes of Jyoti where you experience the light internally, has a far longer reaching effect than the external stimulation of sun lamps.

Jyoti occurs when the brain is in a relaxation similar to that of sleep, yet the person remains awake. Holding the attention to the midbrain and diencephalon region (Ajna Chakra) stimulates this inner light. Science acknowledges that there is an optical radiance that takes place in the mid brain during a state of deep relaxation.

Practice:
Count backwards from ten to zero, tapping the center of the forehead. Between each tap, pause for 2 seconds , feeling your consciousness move to that point in the center. When you reach zero use the mantra "Aim" (ah-eem) to relax and clear thought, allowing the light to remain in the mid brain region for five minutes. When finished, rub your palms together to create heat and move the energy down chakra by chakra to reground. Practice this every day in the late afternoon.

Blessings and Namaste!
Anna

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pranayama: Alternate Nostril Breathing (Balancing the Brain)

Here's instructions on how to perform alternate nostril breathing as demonstrated by my teacher, Alan Finger.

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama
alternate-nostril-breathing

This profound technique creates a balance between the right and left sides of the brain.

The right nostril governs the sympathetic nervous system; it is related to the mathematical, analytical, active, left side of the brain, harnessing Ha, or sun energy. The left nostril governs the parasympathetic nervous system, the creative, free-associative, passive side of the brain, ruled by Tha, or moon energy.

Every eight-eight minutes, one of these nostrils is dominant, then for up to four minutes both nostrils operate equally, and for the next eight-eight minutes the other nostril becomes more dominant, and so on. You can experience this when your nasal passages are congested; all of a sudden the congestion passes from one nostril to the other.

Alternate-nostril breathing tricks the brain; it does not know which nostril to make dominant, so it lets the breath flow evenly in and out of both. This allows the brain to balance and move into a more meditative state.

On an energetic level, it balances two of the three main nadis (energetic channels) in the body.

The result is that the consciousness draws inward, allowing you to sense the central meridian, Shashumna nadi and draw the energy from the base of the spine back up to the crown.

1. sit in a comfortable cross-legged position. place the back of your left hand on your left knee with your thumb and index finger forming a circle.

2. take the first two fingers of your right hand to the fleshy part of your palm, letting the thumb and last two fingers remain extended. Lift your breastbone to stabilize your collarbones and shoulder girdle, and let your chin drop down to lengthen through the back of your neck.

3. lift your right hand to your nostrils and place your thumb on your right nostril and your ring finger on your left nostril where the hard cartilage and soft cartilage meet. Note: the thumb and ring finger remain in contact with the nostrils throughout this breathing technique.

4. exhale through both nostrils, block your left nostril completely with your ring finger, and inhale through your right nostril. block both nostrils and hold your breath as long as is comfortable. (Note: if pregnant, skip retention of breath.) when you need to exhale, keep your right nostril closed and let the breath out through your left nostril.

5. keeping your left nostril open and your right nostril fully blocked, take your next inhalation through your left nostril. hold your breath in as you block both nostrils, and when you need to exhale, breath out through your right nostril. this completes one round of alternate-nostril breathing.

Practice at least six rounds to prepare your mind for meditation, more if your mind is particularly busy. try to lengthen your breath and, if possible, develop the ability to use the ratio 1:4:2. [inhale (1) hold (4) exhale (2)]

Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Saturday, October 3, 2009

October is all about Transformation!!

The month of October is all about transformation. The trees become brilliant shades of orange, red, and yellow; new birds appear at the feeder on pit stops during their travels to winter homes; and even the food we eat changes as the fall harvest makes its way to our tables. I believe that yoga has the power to transform lives as it has mine....It's never too early or too late to start. Begin where you are...and here's a cool quote that I found that I hope you'll like:

"Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary..."

Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Global Mala Photos!!



The Global Mala in Dublin, Ireland was a huge success!! We saluted the sun and celebrated UN International Peace Day on Sunday, Sept. 20th at Stephen's Green! Nearly forty of us moved to music and raised over Euro 200 for charities!! Thank you to Siobhan and Tahnee and everyone who came and took part!!

Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Monday, September 14, 2009

Yoga as Medicine: Meditation and Pranayama (Breathwork) Course

Description: Pre-and post-meditative asanas are used to prepare and restore the body for meditation, while the ancient tools of pranayama, visualization, and mantra are used to still the mind. This class will leave you feeling centered and more in tune with your true self. Open to all levels and great for those recovering from stress, illness or disease.

YOGAVILLAGE
4b St Patricks Rd, Dalkey
Starting on Wednesday,October 21st, at 6pm (6 week course)
Sign up by email or call: info@yogavillage.ie or 087 232 2481
Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Come to a Chakra Workshop!


What are chakras and how do they impact our bodies, mind and spirit?

Join me for this informative, hands on workshop, and unravel the mystery: balance your seven bodily energy centers (chakras) with yoga poses, breathing exercises, mantras and more. From love to health to prosperity and more, the state of your chakras directly affects every area of your life. Come create positive change by balancing your chakras. Open to all levels and no yoga experience necessary.

YOGAVILLAGE
4b St Patricks Rd, Dalkey
Sunday, October 11th
11am-1pm, Euro 30
Sign up by email or call:
info@yogavillage.ie or 087 232 2481
http://www.yogavillage.ie/workshops.htm


Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

GLOBAL MALA FOR PEACE (Ireland, 2009)!

Sunday, September 20th from 2-4pm (Dublin, Stephen's Green) rain or shine!! Everyone is welcome!!


The event will consist of a yoga practice and deep relaxation (108 minutes) led by Siobhan Murphy, Tahnee Fournier, Caragh Egan and me and set to live music!

Inspired by Shiva Rea, the purpose of the Global Mala is to unite the global yoga community from every continent, school or approach to form a "mala around the earth" through collective practices based upon the sacred cycle of 108 on September 20th. This is the Fall Equinox and the yoga world's offering to bring more awareness to the UN INTERNATIONAL PEACE DAY.Any funds raised will be sent to organizations to address the most urgent issues of our times. www.globalmala.org

"Perhaps the key to transforming war is to give so much joy to the world that we all stop needing violence to reduce our frustrations, ignorance and fear..."

"We, the peoples of the United Nations, determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal right of men and women and of nations large and small....And for these ends to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors...have resolved to combine our efforts to accomplish these aims." Preamble, Charter of the United Nations.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Biggest Myths and Misconceptions about Yoga Debunked


Whenever I tell someone that I teach yoga, they look at me like I have 2 heads (they must picture a contortionist in Circe de Soleil) and ask: "you must be very flexible!!" Followed my some other ignorant remarks (not a very yogic statement but that's really what it is). :) Although I practice and teach yoga doesn't mean that I can perform amazing postures and possess feats of physical prowess. I am probably more flexible because of yoga (but that's a result, not a prerequisite). We all started somewhere and just like anything else, yoga produces results if you are dedicated and work hard.

Also, if I mention yoga to somebody who doesn’t practice that person is likely to say one of the things listed below (they are all frequently heard excuses for not trying yoga, and they’re all inaccurate):

1. “I’m not flexible enough..you have to be a pretzel!"
Not true! I already explained that flexibility can be a result of a consistent and dedicated yoga practice. I myself don't have the most open hamstrings!! That's why it's called a practice!!

2. “Yoga is for women!!”
Not true! One look at well-known yogis -- from B.K.S. Iyengar to Baron Baptiste -- should dispel this one. While the majority of yoga practitioners today are women -- 72.2 percent according to Yoga Journal’s 2008 “Yoga in America” study -- it originated among men in India about 5,000 years ago. For many men, stepping into a class dominated by women, especially one that requires movements that are completely different from anything they ever have tried, can be intimidating. That why some studios will offer men’s classes. If that’s not an option, try bringing a friend to class.

3. “I can’t sit still and do nothing”
That's not all yoga is..there are many types..some more physical and the other slower and more restorative. You can find a school and type of yoga for any personality!! YogaFit master trainer Suzie Celentano has been there. In 1998, her step instructor mentioned she was teaching a yoga class and Celentano decided to try it. “I loved that first class, except for the relaxation. I was a Type-AAA personality and sitting still did not agree with me,” she said. Still, she said the physical poses made her feel great, so she kept practicing. After five years, the gym she was teaching at needed a yoga instructor and Celentano volunteered. Step into one of her teacher training sessions and the Type-AAA personality still shows up, but she also has learned to relax and still her mind over time. It takes practice, but in many ways, the people who are least likely to relax on their own benefit the most from yoga’s deep relaxation time.

4.
“Yoga is for those earthy-crunchy weirdos”
Yes, many yogis and yoginis are vegetarians; many eat organic or prefer natural fibers. Those who delve deeper into the practice and its philosophical underpinnings, such as ahimsa, or nonviolence, often begin to change their habits. But it’s a rare studio that will only allow a student in the doors if they first renounce meat. Likewise, many studios do a lot with candles, incense and chanting. Others don’t. Gyms and fitness centers are least likely to embrace those pieces of yoga, in part because they’re catering to people who want the flexibility benefits as part of their workouts.

What myths have you heard? Please share :)

Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Friday, August 7, 2009

Creating Space on and off the mat.....



Creating Space in our lives is a simple concept - a concept that we all understand. Yet it’s a concept most of us find difficult to put into action. Through our yoga practice, we can re-discover it together... and although creating space isn’t easy, the rewards are worth our efforts.

In our yoga practice, we can look for space in our bodies, and explore its possibilities with an open curiosity and without expectations. We can see that creating space in our body by “undoing” the tension and stiffness, allows us to move deeper into a particular yoga posture. We can create space in our ligaments, joints, bones and muscles. And space means freedom...throught extension, expansion and through our movement...through our focus on the breath and meditation...

We can also create a space in our minds, and in our breath, allowing us the opportunity to discover what it’s like to live more freely and openly. More space in our thoughts, feelings...space for other people: for the differences, limitations, and dreams...

Contemplate what it would be like to create space in our lives – more space to explore ourselves, more space to play with our loves ones, more space to experience what we love. We become in a position to receive....


Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Music Can Enhance Your Yoga Practice

I always try to play music in my yoga classes to deepen and enhance the students' experiences and practice. I really think it works. Speaking of music, U2 is in Dublin (their home!!) this week, and in their honor and in appreciation of the power of music I make this post..enjoy!! This is an audio swap: "Sweet Mary Talks to You"...but it's really Bono performing "Beautiful Day" at Live 8...



Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Sunday, July 12, 2009

20 Minute Yoga Lesson for Mental Clarity and Focus



Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Seeing the World Through the Eyes of a Child



My nephew visited me in Ireland yesterday..almost 2.5 years old... I wish I could somehow regress to a time where I could see the world as he does, through his eyes, with the innocence, excitement and the anticipation of trying something new, meeting someone for the first time, the way he worships and just enjoys people for who they are without any outside influence that might spoil that emotional sense of being. It is a shame that as we mature, we lose that ability to do things for just the shear pleasure of trying something new without hesitation or fear or worry about what others might think of that decision to do it in the first place...He has no fear of the unknown, doesn't have the capacity for hate, and trusts those around him to care and nurture him. He looks at another child as a potential playmate, someone to have fun with at the park. He doesn't think about the color of that child's skin or even what language that child speaks. I think about how innocent his gestures are and that he will eventually at no fault of his own, learn about prejudice, and fear of the unknown. Believe me, not from me, but from other's around him, the media and other outside influences. He will learn the cruelty of ethnic jokes, how sometimes religion can even in an innocent way, make others less tolerant of your beliefs and how people have a way of judging you by a name or the way you may look. I hope and pray that even though he will be subjected to that, he will never lose his ability to think as an individual and to stand up for what he knows is the right thing to do.

Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dinner outing with beautiful yoginis :)

thanks to nicola for organizing!
blessings and namaste,
anna

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Standing Pose Practice with John Friend, Anusara Yoga!



Enjoy this practice video on standing poses with John Friend, founder of Anusara Yoga!

Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Interview with one of my favorite yoga teachers, Seane Corn

Here's an interview with one of my favorite yoga teachers. Enjoy!



Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My Yoga Retreat at the Burren!





I haven't written about my yoga retreat in March at the Burren Yoga Retreat Center in County Galway! It was a weekend of amazing Ashtanga Yoga and Meditation with Ciara Cronin (who's the owner of the Yoga Room in Dublin, www.yoga.ie). We were also served delicious, vegeterian meals during our stay and went on a hike (see pics above). My dear friend, Anna C., was visiting from Switzerland and she enjoyed the weekend immensely. Check out the Burren Yoga Retreat Center at www.burrenyoga.com (Dave who runs the Center is super hospitable)! I recommend it highly! A big THANK YOU to Ciara, Dave, Anna C. and everyone I met who made this experience a great one....

Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Sunday, April 12, 2009

10 Best Yoga Poses for Women


Practice these 10 poses in this order at least three times a week for optimal overall health:
http://www.womenshealthmag.com/yoga/best-yoga-poses-for-women

*from Women's Health Magazine

Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

One of my Favorite Quotes


"Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for they become your destiny."

-Unknown Author

How Do We Live Without Fear?



Loving-kindness meditation/practice is the classic antidote for fear. If you see through the lens of love, you are not afraid of what is out there in the same way, even though it remains just as difficult and may still succeed in harming you. Your relationships to fear and to yourself are thus changed by experiencing the threatening aspects of life through the lens of love.

Doing loving-kindness practice formally for just five minutes each morning, followed by saying loving-kindness phrases as you go through your daily routines, may well begin to make a difference in your life. I specifically suggest doing the following loving-kindness meditation to work with fear: "May I find freedom from fear in my life. May I also in turn help others find freedom from fear in their lives. And may I meet the fear in our culture with the courage of the open heart, which acts with decisiveness but never divisiveness."

You can begin practicing mindfulness of fear today. When your mind seems to be caught in a storm of thoughts about how bad the world is or about something in your own life, take a moment to notice what happens in your body. Then notice how your mind is communicating with images and words. Remember to be curious and receptive without taking any of it personally. Let your heart open to the suffering the fear is causing.

The story is often told of a monk who lived in isolation in a cave where he painted beautiful murals on the wall as part of his meditation practice. With his strongly developed concentration and acquired skill, he painted a ferocious tiger that appeared as real as any live one. It seemed so real, it scared him to death! All things that arise in your mind are like the monk's brush strokes on the cave wall—none of them, not even the ones that seem to be the most solid, are composed of lasting, unchanging substance.

When the fear feels stuck, realize that you are clinging to a perception that is merely painted on the walls of your mind. It's this clinging, not the danger, no matter how genuinely threatening it might be, that is the cause of your greatest distress. The proper response is threefold: continual mindfulness of the fear, deep compassion for the suffering it is causing, and cultivation of equanimity that allows you to stay with it.

Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

20 minute Yoga Lesson





Enjoy this one! It's fun and prepares you for Spring!

Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Saturday, March 7, 2009

What I Will Fall in Love With...

Brave Heart: Meditation for Courage

Find the courage to face your biggest fears:

Sit quietly and contemplate your own style of courage. What do you think were your most courageous acts? Remember that they may not look like classic acts of heroism; any moment when you stand up to your own fear counts. Where was your edge in those moments? What did you gain from going beyond it?

Now, ask yourself, "At this time in my life, what is my edge? What's the biggest thing I'm confronting? Where do I need to exercise courage?"

Now breathe in and out of the heart and imagine the presence of a radiant sun in the center of your chest. When you feel connected inwardly, ask your heart, "In what can I place my trust?" Then begin to write, without thought, whatever arises. After you've written everything that comes up, you may want to stop and ask again. You can keep asking the question, with the intent to get deeper and deeper. Don't worry if tears arise, or old memories. Keep asking the question until you get a sense of a deeper center. The answer may come immediately, or over the next few hours or days.

Have courage!!

Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Saturday, February 28, 2009

"Mothering Sunday Workshop" at YogaVillage in Dalkey


'God could not be everywhere; therefore he created mothers.'

Yoga is the perfect gift for your mother. The mother/daughter relationship in its many forms, grandmother/granddaughter, aunt/niece, godmother/goddaughter, is a gift. Yoga will keep her young and vibrant, healthy and strong. Not to mention keeping her calm and it's always good to have a calm mother! Consider a yoga gift for your mother or if you're a mother, a gift for yourself! Come along with your mother/daughter/aunt/niece/granddaughter/sister...Gentle Vinyasa Flow/Hatha Workshop with a 1/2 hour yoga nidra at the end. No previous yoga experience is necessary. Open to all levels, ages eighteen and up. Class size is limited to 15 people, so that you receive the attention and guidance you need. All props are provided.

YogaVillage
4b St Patricks Rd
Dalkey, Co. Dublin
Sunday, March 22nd, 2009
11am-1pm
Book online at http://www.yogavillage.ie/workshops.htm

Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tips for Conquering Stress and Exhaustion


I came across a book about conquering exhaustion and stress...and here's a few tips from that book:

a) Eat in accordance to your body’s rhythms. Since your metabolism peaks at about noon, it is better for your body to have a bigger breakfast and lunch and smaller dinner. Eat good fats and protein for breakfast because that is what your body needs for fuel during the day. Smoothies are a great way to get both of these into your diet. The typical sugar and carb-laden breakfast of a bagel, muffin, toast or sugary cereal are just about the worst things you can have, so avoid those at all costs.

b) Have an “electronic sundown.” At around 10 pm, turn off your computer, charge your cell in the other room and turn off the TV. Scan your bedroom for blinking or glowing lights – the alarm clock, the charging indicator on your cell phone, the DVD clock and timer, etc. Turn these off or cover the lights. Each little bit of light can stop your melatonin levels from rising, which you need to induce sleep and to reach the deep restorative sleep your body requires. If you can’t darken your room, wear a sleep mask. This period of darkness will help reset your natural rhythm.

c) Slow down with relaxing music. Music is one of the best ways to retrain your body to chill out. Our internal rhythms will speed up or slow down to match the stronger external rhythm around us. For instance, research has shown that when you are at a beach, your rhythms slow down or when you are in a busy city, they speed up. This is called entrainment. We are entraining all the time to our surroundings and the rhythms around us. Music is a wonderful way to help your rhythms entrain. Relaxing music slows heart and breathing rates and creates a feeling of well-being.

d) Invite ease with restorative yoga. Restorative yoga is the perfect solution to the over-stressed state we all are in. As you are supported in the poses, one gets the profound effects of yoga without having to exert any energy. Restorative yoga is one of the most physically reviving things you can do when you feel run-down, burned-out, stressed-out and spent. These poses are particularly good to chill you out at night before bed.

e) Release tension with tennis balls. Buy two tennis balls, as these can be used to do self-massage, especially on your shoulders, back or feet. Releasing tight muscles will free up blocked energy and not only decrease pain, but energize you, too.

(Note: For the ultimate neck and shoulder release, you can lie on your back, knees bent and feet hip width apart. Place two tennis balls at the top of your shoulder blades, side by side, in the area where you would love to have a massage. Slowly lower your head and shoulders. Place a pillow behind your head if your neck is uncomfortable. Lift your arms to the ceiling, then move them slowly toward your knees and then toward the wall behind you. Repeat this 10 times.)

f) Add an adaptogen in the morning. Adaptogenic herbal formulas have been used by Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. They serve as energizing tonics to help energize people who are weak or aging. These herbs increase the capacity of the body to adjust to the stresses of life. Lately, there has been much research confirming their positive effects. My favorite adaptogens are Panax ginseng, ashwagandha and rhodiola. Because they combat stress and are anti-aging, they are the perfect antidote to spent. (Note: Please consult your doctor before taking any herbs or supplements)

g) Practice ubuntu. “Ubuntu” is an African term that means what makes us human is the humanity we show each other. It’s a worldview that sees humanity as a web of family rather than a mass of individuals. When you relate in this way, you feel connected, energized and have a sense of abundance.

Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Saturday, February 7, 2009

How to do Crow Pose (Bakasana)

If you're ready for something challenging, try this arm balance for fun!!



Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Some inspirational quotes for everyone.. :)


Nothing is impossible to a willing heart. - John Heywood, sixteenth-century English poet

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most...We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
- Marianne Williamson, American author and lecturer

Accomplishment of purpose is better than making a profit. - Nigerien Proverb

The question should be, is it worth trying to do, not can it be done. - Allard Lowenstein, twentieth-century American diplomat

Let us strive on to finish the work we are in... - Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United States

Ability is sexless. - Christabel Pankhurst

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. - Theodore Roosevelt

Better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness. - Chinese Proverb

You must motivate yourself EVERYDAY. - Matthew Stasior

The best motivation always comes from within. - Michael Johnson
Finally, watch this video and immerse yourself in its images and music:
Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Opening the PSOAS

Take a look at this really neat sequence of opening the psoas (the long muscle on the side of your lumbar spine). This link shows you great illustrations and demos of your skeleton, muscles and ligaments:

Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Monday, January 12, 2009

Heart Opening Restorative Yoga Workshop

Yes, I'm doing another workshop! Come and open your heart chakra while you linger peacefully in well-supported postures to the sound of soothing music, the aroma of essential oil and gentle hands-on adjustments. The entire workshop including the asanas, restorative poses, meditations and visualizations is designed to release blocks in the heart (anahata) chakra.

The heart chakra is the energy center that governs love, relationship, self acceptance and balance in our lives. When this energy center is out of balance we lack self love and often fear intimacy with ourselves and others or, conversely, we can become demanding and codependent. When this energy center is balanced our lives are balanced and we are compassionate and self accepting. The class will end with a ½ hour yoga nidra, a guided meditation that induces complete and deep physical, mental and emotional relaxation.

Restorative yoga is a practice that reduces your stress and improves your health. It is helpful when you feel stressed, weak, or fatigued from daily activities or major life events. Restorative yoga is especially valuable for those suffering from stress, cancer, menopause, injury, depression or other challenges. Even those who feel perfectly healthy report that restorative yoga has helped them develop more energy and sleep better. No previous yoga experience is necessary. Class size is limited to 15 people, so that you receive the attention and guidance you need. All props are provided.

YogaVillage
4b St Patricks Rd
Dalkey, Co. Dublin
Sunday, February 15th, 2009
11am-1pm
Book online at http://www.yogavillage.ie/workshops.htm

Sunrise Yoga
Patrick Street
Dun Laoghaire, Co. Bulin
Sunday, February 15th, 2009
4pm-6pm
Book online at http://sunrise.ie/index.php/Workshops/heartchakraworkshop.html

Hope to see you there!

Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Friday, January 2, 2009

DETOX!!!

I need to lose a few pounds of holiday excess. Anyone else? Detox!! The three recipes for shakes and juices below are meant to be liquid meals that help decrease the amount of work your digestive system has to do. I will be suffering along with you to kickstart my year a bit lighter. Good luck to us all! :)

1. BLUEBERRY and ALMOND SHAKE
This could easily be made with any fruit—raspberries, peaches, mango, etc. Also, feel free to substitute rice or coconut milk for almond milk.

SERVES: 1
TIME: 5 minutes
1 scoop of a complete nutritional, whey protein fortified powder (not soy protein)
1/2 cup blueberries
1 scoop of a ProGreens type of powder (preferably with probiotics)
1 1/2 cups almond milk
Blend everything together.
2. BEET, CARROT, APPLE and GINGER JUICE
This juice is the most incredible color and is wonderfully sweet. Beets are said to lower blood pressure, carrots pack a super beta-carotene punch, apples are cancer-fighters and ginger just loves your heart.

SERVES: 1
TIME: 5 minutes
1 large or 2 medium beets, cut into wedges
1/2 lemon, zest and pith removed
2 large carrots
1 large apple, cut into wedges
1" piece of ginger
Juice everything into a glass, give it a stir and enjoy.

3. CUCUMBER, BASIL and LIME JUICE
This juice is especially refreshing when you blend it with a handful of ice cubes (use a whole lime if you do, as the acid is muted when it’s cold). Think of it as a detox-friendly mojito.

SERVES: 1
TIME: 5 minutes
1/2 cup fresh basil
1 English cucumber, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 lime, zest and pith removed
1 apple, cut into wedges
Starting with the basil, juice everything into a glass, give it a stir and enjoy.
Blessings and Namaste,
Anna

Do more Yoga!! My intention for 2009!


One of my New Year's INTENTIONS is to do more yoga myself in 2009. To that end, I woke up early on New Year's Day excited to go to Michael Ryan's special class at the Yoga Room for the start of the New Year. What I forgot was that the trains were running on a Sunday schedule, and I wound up showing up 15 minutes late for class and couldn't get into the class since it had already started and they couldn't here they buzzing!! I was sooo disappointed!! So, I wound up taking a walk around town instead and going to church. I have to admit I haven't been to church in a while, but it was a nice introspective and meditative experience. I prayed for peace. :)

Anyway, I realize a lot of you have your New Year's Resolutions/Intentions (I know I have a lot), so here's some help in manifesting them in your life:

Samkalpa literally means "intention." We meditate on our Sampkalpas so that we can root our goals into the unconscious part of our beings from where they can then manifest into realities. According to the yogis, that which is in our unconscious, is the most difficult to call upon yet the most empowering when it comes to motivating our intentions.
Sit in a meditative posture. Close your eyes. Visualize your New Year's Samkalpa on the screen of your mind. Chant the following mantra 27 times:
Om Trum Atma

"Ohm Troom Aht-mah"

Happy New Year!!

Blessings and Namaste,

Anna