Nadi Shodhana Pranayama

In Hillary Clinton’s new book, What Happened, she credits Alternate Nostril Breathing for helping her find peace and calm after the 2016 presidential election. Just like that, the former Secretary of State catapulted Alternate Nostril Breathing into the mainstream as a way to ease stress. However, alternate nostril breathing, Nadi Shodhana Pranayama in Sanskrit, has been around for thousands of years and is highly regarded in the wellness community for its numerous mental and physical... [more]

 

Gratitude

Greeting students as they come into class, I often ask, “How are you.” People usually respond, “good,” without much thought. There are, however, a few people who look me straight in the eye, smile, and say with conviction, “Glad to be here.” With those few words and that look, they speak volumes. Often, but not always, these students have been through something traumatic. The aftermath is an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for everyday life and... [more]

 

Mantra

Meditation has been shown to reduce stress, improve concentration, increase happiness, and promote a healthy lifestyle. Seeking well-being, people often ask, “How do I meditate?” In response, I can provide a road map or guided meditation, but if you really want to meditate, you need to try different ways of meditating and PRACTICE. Meditation is also a process of self-discovery, self-awareness, and self-acceptance. As you learn about yourself and explore different forms of meditation, you... [more]

 

Hasta Bandha, The Hand Lock

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”    -  Audrey Hepburn

 

Bandha is the yoga term for body lock. You may have heard of Mula Bandha (root lock), Uddiyana Bandha (abdominal lock), Jalandhara Bandha (chin lock), or Pada Bandha (foot lock). In this Blog we will examine Hasta Bandha, the Hand Lock. Hasta Bandha is important in poses like Downward Dog where students... [more]

 

Carrying Angle

If you have ever had elbow discomfort during or after practicing yoga, take a moment to check the carrying angle of your elbow. To find your carrying angle, extend your arms by your sides with palms facing forwards and externally rotate your arms. Looking in a mirror, you will notice that the forearms and hands naturally diverge from the side body. That slant is the carrying angle of the elbow, and it creates space for... [more]

 

Candle Gazing Meditation

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.  - Buddha

The Harmony Yoga Teacher Training started last month. For a yoga teacher, it is a gift to witness students discover the magic of yoga and all it encompasses. 

We concluded the first day of the Harmony Yoga Teacher Training with a Candle Gazing Meditation. It was a beautiful and bonding experience.... [more]

 

Choosing a Class

“Yoga allows you to find an inner peace that is not ruffled

and riled by the endless stresses and struggles of life.”

- B.K.S. Iyengar

At Harmony Yoga, students often ask, “Which yoga class should I take?.” With seven distinct classes, Harmony offers numerous classes daily to suit every taste. To help you choose, new class descriptions can be found on the Harmony website and listed below.

If you are new to yoga, have physical limitations, or are just... [more]

 

Listen To Your Body

Have you ever been in yoga class and a pose you normally do easily feels very uncomfortable?  You might decide to come out of the pose, modify it, or push through as you have done the pose many times before without incident.  From my own experience, the chance of being in significantly more pain and potentially injured increases exponentially every time you ignore what your body is telling you.  It is important to listen when... [more]

 

Ahimsa

Last month I attended the Women’s March in Los Angeles.  It was an amazing and historic multi-city event, the largest public protest in US History.  I felt a deep sense of community with upward of a half a million strangers.  There was an overriding feeling of LOVE among this immense group of women, men, and children from varying ethnic, racial, and economic backgrounds. 

However, the Women’s March LA was not all candy and roses.  It was... [more]

 

Personal Mission Statement

New Year resolutions irk me.  Probably because they are routinely set ups for disappointment and result in self-loathing.  Often, we identify specific things that we don’t like about ourselves and resolve to change them without ever questioning the root of those displeasing habits or traits.  Without identifying the root of the problem, change is difficult.  In the New Year, I try to direct my thinking, and that of my students, away from resolutions and towards... [more]

 

Chair Pose

Chair pose is a defiance of spirit, showing how high you can reach even when you’re forced down.

-The Quote Garden

Chair pose is one of the most popular yet challenging yoga poses.  In Sanskrit it is Utkatasana pronounced OOT-kah-TAHS-anna.  Like many Sanskrit words, it has multiple translations including Chair Pose, Fierce Pose, Lightning Bolt Pose, and Awkward Pose.  If you practice Utkatasana, you will agree that all of these make perfect sense!

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Mula Bandha and Uddiyana Bandha

If you take classes at Harmony Yoga, you will undoubtable hear an instructor mention Mula Bandha and Uddiyana Bandha.  Bandha is a Sanskrit word meaning to hold, lock, or tighten.  Mula Bandha is referred to as the Root Lock because Mula means root in Sanskrit.  Uddiyana Bandha is referred to as the Upward-Flying Lock because Uddiyana means upward-flying in Sanskrit.  These two locks have benefits that reach beyond yoga.

Mula Bandha is the contraction or lifting... [more]

 

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