Month: January 2017

Free Yoga Workshop in Mandalay Mindfulness and the Yoga Practice presented by katiayoga.com

Free yoga workshop in Mandalay

Free Yoga Workshop in Mandalay Mindfulness and the Yoga Practice presented by katiayoga.comHi Yogis, There will be a free yoga workshop in Mandalay this Sunday at 3.  Mihail Iordache will be presenting on “Mindfulness and the Yoga Practice- a profound exploration on the connection with oneself.”

Mihail is a Romanian yogi, traveling through Myanmar.  He is trained in VAK Yoga, Yoga Chikitsa, Kriya Yoga and Hatha Yoga. He is also a psychotherapist who specializes in body psychotherapy, dance and move psychotherapy, transactional analysis, and group psychotherapy. He has taught in more than 20 countries around the globe.

Mihail’s representative emailed me through this website and I have been working with them to set up the event.  I’m doing the local event planning side of things.  It’s been fun to connect with yogis and businesses in town.  Collaboration is fantastic!

Nay and May Paing have been kind enough to open their beautiful home to us for the workshop. Their home is located at the intersection of 26th and 90th streets, next to Elementary School number 17.

We will probably be on the roof (unless the group turns out to be fairly small) so bring hat/sunnies, water and whatever else you might need for some warm winter sun along with your mat.

I hope you can join us!

Lokah Samastah Sukino Bhavantu/ May All Beings Be Happy and Free. Kirtan mantra chant and personal story

Lokah Samastah Sukino Bhavantu Mantra chant

Lokah Samastah Sukino Bhavantu/ May All Being Be Happy and Freeeeee

Lokah Samastah Sukino Bhavantu/ May All Beings Be Happy and Free. Kirtan mantra chant and personal storyLonger Translation:

May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.

My Experience with the Mantra:

You might not be able to tell, but I am singing this as I write.  This beautiful mantra has been stuck in my head for nearly a month now and I don’t mind at all.  It’s a lovely phrase to live by.  There have been a couple of times that I have been in a tough place emotionally (I’ll spare you the intimate details) and when this mantra came back into my mind, it softened my feelings a bit.  I’m not saying I was cured, but it helped me find perspective and a little more love to apply to the situation.

On New Year’s Day, I went to a kirtan/restorative class (what could be better) and we sang this mantra at the end of the session.  Everyone was so calm and so centered, the mantra just flowed through us, joining our hearts into one beautiful song.  I was honestly close to tears and others’ cheeks were streaked with that liquid love.  There’s such a sense of community and unity when a large group is singing together.  It’s really moving.  It’s hard to step back into the regular world untouched by such a moment or mantra, which is probably a good thing.

How you can use the mantra:

Withing you: Perhaps as a meditation or just in a spare moment, try to embody selflessly wanting happiness and freedom for all.  Not just the ones you love or agree with (of course them too), but really, truly, share with all.  All includes you as well so let happiness and freedom shine on you.  Imagine sharing that happiness and freedom with those who need it most.  Imagine others also spreading joy and freedom; know you are not alone.  Feel the happiness and freedom for yourself and let those feelings emanate from you.

Interacting with others in our world: As you move through your day, see if you can spread a little happiness or a little extra love.  It could be as simple as a sharing your smile with someone.  Or trying to see a situation from someone else’s point of view.  Even in your thoughts, you can wish someone well and maybe they will feel your positivity.

Sing it! Singing has a calming effect because you are exhaling more than you are inhaling.  It allows you to release tension, fear, anger and sadness along with your breath.  Chanting mantra is also a form of meditation.  It allows you to focus your mind on the mantra rather than your troubles, worries or to-do list even if it’s only for a moment.  You can sing along silently if you feel uncomfortable singing.  You will still receive the benefits of focusing in and the positive energy of the mantra.  Allow yourself the freedom to enjoy the mantra.

Video in case you want to sing along:

I haven’t been able to find a video of the song that reflects the version that we sang at kirtan that day, but at the moment, I’m also fairly obsessed with the version in this video.  If you’re as taken with it as I am and you want to integrate the mantra into every aspect of your being, you’ll be singing along by the end.

Lokah Samastah Sukino Bhavantu women's tank, great for yoga or kirtan with translation on the back ($32)

This beautiful mantra, "Lokah Samastah Sukino Bhavantu" is on one side of the mug, and its English translation is on the other: "May All Beings Be Happy and Free." Perfect for a cozy cup of tea or coffee. ($15-20)

 

I also designed this shirt and mug for days when I want an extra reminder of the mantra. Click through if you might want one too!

 

Guide to the 8 Limbs of Yoga: Asana. Learn about the origins of yoga poses and how asana can be incorporated with other aspects to fully experience "yoga" history, theory and philosophy. #yogasana #asana

Guide to the 8 Limbs of Yoga: Asana: history, theory and philosophy

Guide to the 8 Limbs of Yoga: Asana.  Learn about the origins of yoga poses and how asana can be incorporated with other aspects to fully experience "yoga" history, theory and philosophy.  #yogasana #asana

The third and most well-known limb of the 8 limbs of yoga is asana.  This means all of those yoga poses—the physical practice of making all of those shapes with your body.  In the West, asana often is yoga.  We sometimes forget about the other 7 branches.

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When yoga first started, about 5000 years ago, it was all based around meditation, with the goal of gaining self-awareness.  As yoga progressed, different postures for meditation were created, at first only 16 poses.  Yoga asanas were created as a means of building discipline and concentration for meditation.  The body’s sole purpose was to house the spirit.  As time went on, the number of postures grew.  In early 1800’s there were just over 100 poses or asanas and now there are thousands.  In modern yoga, more and more poses are being created as people experiment with their bodies and transitions into new shapes.

Asanas are often grouped based on the orientation of the yogi or the goal of the pose, like standing postures, balancing postures, folds, back bends, seated poses, inversions, hips openers, twists, supine poses, etc.  Instructors often try to incorporate all of the types of postures or parts of the body in a class.  Other classes aim at a “peak pose,” opening the muscles needed for a final, specific posture.  Other classes are based on a theme and all of the poses relate to exploring the theme conceptually.  There are lots of different ways to sequence a yoga class, practice or flow.

Guide to the 8 Limbs of Yoga: Asana.  Learn about the origins of yoga poses and how asana can be incorporated with other aspects to fully experience "yoga" history, theory and philosophy.  #yogasana #asanaIdeally, yoga poses (asana) should be combined with the other 7 limbs of yoga to create a fuller experience; body, mind and soul should unite in yoga.  The word “yoga” itself is translated as union or yoke.  The limbs of yoga must be connected to reach yoga’s full potential.

 

Solar Plexus Chakra: Power and Will: meaning, meditations, balancing, mantras, mudra, asana. The manipura chakra corresponds with action, choice, power, will and liveliness. #solarplexuschakra #manipurachakra #chakras

Solar Plexus Chakra: Power and Will: meaning, meditations, balancing, mantras, mudra

Solar Plexus Chakra: Power and Will: meaning, meditations, balancing, mantras, mudra, asana. The manipura chakra corresponds with action, choice, power, will and liveliness. #solarplexuschakra #manipurachakra #chakrasThe solar plexus chakra is called the Manipura Chakra in Sanskrit.  This third chakra is associated with the color yellow and corresponds with action, choice, power, will and liveliness.  It’s related to your perception of who you are.  This chakra is also responsible for feelings of self-worth, ego, trust, passion, anger and guilt.  This is where your “gut feelings” come from.  Digestive functions also stem from this chakra.  The solar plexus chakra is located in the stomach area, at your navel or solar plexus.  It is associated with the element of fire.

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Mantra

The bij mantra that goes with this chakra is “rung” or “ram.”  Chanting this mantra can help awaken and ignite the solar plexus chakra.  If you prefer English, you can also chant the affirmation, “I can” or “I do,” either aloud or consciously silently.

 

Mudra

Solar Plexus Chakra: Power and Will: meaning, meditations, balancing, mantras, mudra, asana. The manipura chakra corresponds with action, choice, power, will and liveliness. #solarplexuschakra #manipurachakra #chakrasAs Solar Plexus Chakra: Power and Will: meaning, meditations, balancing, mantras, mudra, asana. The manipura chakra corresponds with action, choice, power, will and liveliness. #solarplexuschakra #manipurachakra #chakrasyou chant the mantra, you can also try the hakini mudra.  Bring the tips of all 5 fingers to touch, with the thumb and pinkie fingers nearly in line with each other.  Hold the mudra in front of your solar plexus as you chant the bij mantra or meditate.  Alternatively, try the rudra mudra, with your pointer and ring finger curled in to meet your thumb and your pinkie and middle finger extended.

Balance

If you solar plexus chakra is properly balanced, you will feel self-confident and secure.  You feel at peace with yourself, your emotions, and your surroundings.  You will feel at home in your place in the universe.  If this chakra is imbalanced with a deficiency, it can lead to weaknesses like indecision, sensitivity to criticism and susceptibility.  On the other hand, an excessive imbalance can lead to anger, competitiveness, and dominating tendencies.  You may not feel like you have control over your emotions if your manipura chakra is imbalanced.

Asanas

The best yoga poses for this chakra fire up the belly/core.  Some examples are poses like boat (navasana) and bow (dhanurasana).

Foods

Yellow foods (eg lentils, bell peppers, yellow pears or apples), yellow crystals or stones (eg amber or citrine), and scents (eg lemon or chamomile) can also help balance this chakra.

Meditation

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Solar Plexus Chakra: Power and Will: meaning, meditations, balancing, mantras, mudra, asana. The manipura chakra corresponds with action, choice, power, will and liveliness. #solarplexuschakra #manipurachakra #chakrasFor a solar plexus meditation, imagine a bright yellow light or fire (the manipura element) burning in your belly.  Think of that fire fueling your power and energizing your passion and self-esteem.  Alternatively, if you need a more serene meditation, you can imagine a flower blooming at your solar plexus, and as it unfolds, allow it to release all of the power, self-worth, and passion you may be missing.

Alternatively, you can find healing through a more concrete fire—like taking a walk in the sun or sitting by a fireplace or bonfire.  Take in the warmth and power of the fire.

To feel whole, powerful, strong and self-confident, it is very important to balance your Manipura chakra.

 

Solar Plexus Chakra: Power and Will: meaning, meditations, balancing, mantras, mudra, asana. The manipura chakra corresponds with action, choice, power, will and liveliness. #solarplexuschakra #manipurachakra #chakras