Click here to listen to today’s podcast that discusses the power of the breath in yoga and how Shakti energy has deepened my meditation practice. The podcast also includes some breathing exercises to help you navigate your daily life.
Have you ever had a yoga study buddy to create more accountability and support in your yoga practice?
This month I realized I needed to create a yoga study buddy partnership to help ground my current study of the power of Shakti energy and Kundalini yoga in my home yoga practice. So I reached out to Benjamin, one of my best friends and fellow Kundalini yoga practitioners, via Skype to discuss my idea. Our conversation revealed that we are both on a journey to understand Shakti, chakras, Kundalini yoga, and living from our hearts. Since he lives in London and I live in D.C., we decided to use email for quick check-ins and information sharing (videos, web links, articles, music etc.). We also chose to schedule one or two Skype calls per month to discuss what we have been learning and noticing in our yoga practice and life.
As a result of my yoga study buddy partnership with Benjamin, I have been creating collages that illustrate how I feel about the power of Shakti in my yoga practice and life.
I’ve started watching YouTube videos that Benjamin sent me via email that feature Maya Fiennes, an international Kundalini yoga teacher. This week, I am using Fiennes’ root chakra and sacral chakra videos to enhance my morning practice.
Having Benjamin as my yoga study buddy has created more accountability in developing inspiring content for my weekly Yoga Monday blog and podcast. Click here to listen to today’s podcast which includes three yoga wisdom quotes, my poem about yoga and writing, and reflections on the power of Shakti in my yoga practice and life. OM Enjoy OM!
PS: Yoga and Reiki healing touch sessions are great ways to energize your spirit, heart, mind, and body for the Spring season. If you are in the DC area and are seeking to develop or strengthen a kind and gentle yoga practice for your daily life, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have several slots opening up for my Spring yoga one-on-one sessions. I also have several slots opening for my Reiki healing touch sessions. Click here to learn more about my yoga and Reiki services.
During the weekend, I made one last visit to the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery’s “Yoga: The Art of Transformation” exhibition. My first visit was in October. “Yoga: The Art of Transformation” represents the world’s first exhibition of yogic art. It includes more than 120 works, from the 3rd century to the early 20th century, that celebrate the essence of yoga and its diverse history through temple sculptures, devotional icons, illustrated manuscripts, court paintings, photographs, books, and films borrowed from twenty-five museums and private collections in India, Europe, and the United States.
When I walked through the Sackler Gallery’s doors, I was greeted by two yoga practitioners who were practicing yoga on their mats and sharing their yoga wisdom and insights with visitors.
I love this pose. It reminds me of the Balasana squat pose, one of my favorites.
I was in total awe of this yogi’s ability to focus in the midst of a large crowd.
Right before I left the exhibition, I posed for a photo and signed up for a free raffle of a bag of yoga goodies from Whole Foods. Today, I received an email indicating that I won the bag of goodies. Hooray! I will pick it up this week and share a photo of it on next week’s blog.
I spent a lot of time checking out sculptures of yoginis. See photos above and below.
One of the highlights of my museum visit was meeting the exhibition’s chief curator, Debra Diamond. I told her how much I enjoyed seeing the yogini sculptures and paintings.
This month, I am infusing Digital Wellness moments into my yoga practice. Just in case you wanted you know, I define Digital Wellness as “a gift you give yourself to help manage your time online with mindful self-care practices. Mindful self-care practices encourage you to slow down, become aware of how you spend your time online, and identify and take small steps towards having a healthier digital life. Examples include breathing exercises, journaling, massage, meditation, physical movement (walking, running, yoga, and aerobic classes), rest (naps and a good night’s sleep), setting time boundaries, and using time management tools (HootSuite, TweetDeck, and an editorial calendar) to schedule your blog and social media posts” (excerpt from my new book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online). Click here for tips on creating a Digital Wellness plan.
Sandy Blaine’s Yoga for Computer Users is a guiding force in my daily yoga practice. Blaine’s book offers illustrated yoga poses and breathing and relaxation techniques that can help you take better care of your neck, shoulders, wrists, and hands. The beautiful thing about the poses and breathing and relaxation techniques is that they can be done at home or in the office. I love the book because it gives you lifestyle suggestions and mindfulness practices that encourage you to unplug from your digital life, make more time for joy in your daily schedule, learn to alternate your mouse hand, and more!
Are you using any yoga poses to take care of yourself while you are online?
Have you created a Digital Wellness plan? What does it include?
Visit Amazon.com to learn more about Digital Sisterhood. It is available for purchase on Kindle and as a paperback and hardback book.
Last week, I was shopping in Whole Foods and discovered a fabulous new yoga resource, Mantra Magazine. Mantra Magazine is a holistic publication that meets so many of my yoga heart and soul needs. The cover story featured an interview with yoga activist and teacher, Seane Corn that revealed her thoughts about aging, body image, and celebration. I was moved by the following comments she made: “I love representing what a healthy 47-year-old looks like and I don’t want to be portrayed like I’m still 25. I earned this age and am grateful to still be in this body, and would like to role model aging in an empowered and unapologetic way.” Her comments reminded me to appreciate my 48 year old body, mind, spirit, and heart, especially when I am on my yoga mat at home or in class and find myself not being able to hold a pose for a long period of time. They also reminded me to be grateful for the body I do have and how it supports me in my yoga practice and life.
Special thanks to Mantra Magazine for creating a wonderful publication.
When I was training to be a yoga teacher at Flow Yoga Center in 2005 and 2006, my teacher, Debra Perlson-Mishalove, gave the class a homework assignment to define yoga. Her assignment me to develop a YOGA acronym.
Y – Your
O – Opportunity to
G – Graciously
A – Accept yourself in the present moment.
I still use this acronym and definition in my classes and workshops.
Today’s blog features my latest discovery, YogaJournal.com’s office yoga program. It offers 15 videos featuring yoga poses that can help you release tension in your neck, shoulders, wrists, lower back, and hips. Sienna Smith, a certified teacher of Viniyoga and Anusara yoga, provides instructions for each video. Click here to get started with the office yoga program.
Today’s blog celebrates the power of Karma Yoga, the practice of serving others. After I completed my yoga teacher training at Flow Yoga Center in 2006, I created a Karma Yoga project that allowed me to teach a free monthly yoga class to my local community members in Malcolm X – Meridian Hill Park in Washington, D.C.
In 2007, I joined Meetup.com to expand my Karma Yoga project’s audience and renamed it the Kind and Gentle C-OM-MUNITY Yoga Meetup Group. This year, I am celebrating my 8th year of teaching community yoga classes. If you are in the DC area on October 27, join me for the fifth annual Frederica Leeke and Dorothy Gartin Breast Cancer Awareness Yoga Class from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Click here for more details.
What type of Karma Yoga projects are you involved in?
Today’s blog is all about my new favorite thing to sip after my evening yoga practice — Honey Lavender tea by Yogi Tea. Tranquility is the best word to describe this magical elixir of relaxation. Each tea bag has a special message attached to it that I use as an evening reflection. It helps me set the tone for a peaceful night’s sleep.
What do you like to drink after your yoga practice or class?
Since it’s National Yoga Month, I decided to up my yoga game by adding a weekly Kundalini class to my practice. I am taking classes offered by Yoga House founder Elizabeth Greathouse a/k/a Gurumukh East on Saturday mornings.
Kundalini Yoga is known as the yoga of awareness because it uses body locks, breathing exercises, eye-focus, mantras, mudras, and yoga postures to help you gain control over your body’s mental, physical, and nervous energies. It also helps you to balance your glandular system, strengthen your nervous system, expand your lung capacity, and purifiy your blood. The word “Kundalini” refers to energy located at the base of your spine that can be drawn up through the body to awaken your seven chakras (energy centers).
Are you trying any new types of yoga or yoga poses during National Yoga Month?