Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Riding the Vata wave...

Dearest yogis and yoginis,

I had something completely different written up for this month's newsletter, but when I tuned in to the frenetic energy these past few weeks, I realized I needed to address it, instead. For those of you who came to the fall yoga workshop last month, this will be a bit of a repeat, because our society is definitely experiencing the swirling change of vata energy!

For some of you, our country's economic state may be very destabilizing for you, and you may be experiencing some feelings of betrayal, uncertainty or insecurity. This is a good time to get into your body and move some of that energy out. Do slow, consistent exercises and stretches with a steady breath. Connect with your heart beat, the earth, your breath, and the pauses between your breaths. Find a routine and stick to it. Avoid over-scheduling, rushing, loud noises and depleting your energy reserves.

If you are looking for options to keep to your budget, I have several for you. First, the Monday evening yin and yang class in Campbell is a donation-based class, so feel free to drop in and pay what you can... even if that's a karmic transaction! Second, Willow Glen Yoga offers work exchange options for a variety of jobs, so if you're looking to come to any of their classes in exchange for some time, check out their website for more details. Lastly, if you absolutely cannot make it to class, please see my website for podcasts of classes, including one for those of you stuck at a desk all day long. These podcasts are a great way to supplement/substitute your practice until you can rejoin a class. To find my podcasts, go to, click on Join a Class, then click on the Podcasts link.

Keep practicing, especially when you don't think you have the time or money - that's when you need it the most!


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Anahatasana (heart melting pose)

This pose, affectionately called by some students the "butt in the air pose", is a wonderful release for the back, especially the sacrum. I like the restorative version, where you place a bolster (or 2, if you're more flexible in your back) under your hips and a folded blanket under your chest, allowing your head to "hang" off the blanket to relieve any compression, if it arises, in your neck. You can stay here for up to 5 minutes, turning your head halfway through the pose. Here's a picture of me in the restorative pose:

For a more active version of the pose, check out This is a big chest opener! Remember to pad under your knees and only hold the pose as long as your neck feels comfortable.