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New Year Prayer

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ON THIS FIRST DAY OF THE YEAR .. May you fall madly in love this year .. in love with someone who unhinges your tired trajectory, in love with a spouse of several years who might be aching for lightning, in love with demanding children and crazy relatives .. in love with the particular pedigree of genius insanity that has perhaps claimed you in spite of your reluctance .. and certainly in love with an animal, a cloud, a redwood, the wild .. these at least once a day. May youfall in love with this fragile jewel of a world, with hard work, real learning, just causes, petitioning and prayers. May you fall in love with wonder itself, with the grand mystery, with all that feeds you in order that you may live .. and with the responsibility that that confers. May you fall in love with heartbreak and seeing how it's stitched into everything. May you fall in love with the natural order of things and with tears, tenderness and humility. May this be a magnificent year for you. May you fall …

Helpful tips on headstand, handstand and forearm preparations

At the request of some students and friends, I made some quick videos with tips to develop your inversions. Let me know what you think, and I hope it help your yoga journey!

https://m.youtube.com/user/hooprainedance?desktop_uri=%2Fuser%2Fhooprainedance

Also, be sure to steady yourself in the intermediate postures before moving onto the more advanced versions. I like to hold the intermediate postures until I can comfortably take 10 long breaths.

Have fun! a few more videos to come....
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Fall Return... 
September welcomes us back to the natural rhythms of slowing down with long walks in cool breezes, startling us with the fall palette of bright colours before we humbly return to the quiet of Winter.

Our yoga practice changes according to the season too, as we return to a deep connection within to affirm our natural selves in the grand scheme of things. I look forward to practicing with you again, and again, like the sun and the moon, as we come back home to ourselves on our mats. 


Yoga Therapeutic Ball Rolling

Since fall of 2011, I've been including ball rolling into my yoga sessions with wonderful results and feedback. To expand further on all of the questions after a ball rolling session, here's more information for you!

*I learned these methods initially from my friend, massage therapist, yoga teacher, Kristine Karpinski in the summer of 2011. She was greatly influenced by the work of Yamuna Zake, www.yamunabodyrolling.com In September 2011, I brought the balls to my classes and learned from my students how to integrate this therapy into practice. I've taken occasional workshops with local YTU teachers, and Jill Miller, the founder of www.yogatuneup.com. YTU is a very comprehensive system based on anatomy knowledge and compassion. I continue to learn from both Yamuna and Jill Miller through their abundant internet resources.

*Rather than expensive and specific yoga therapy balls, I use playground balls, 6" in diameter, that I've deflated to half so they can yield to …

Chakra Pranayama

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A student requested this for her home meditation. Please feel free to share. Love to all - Jenny


Chakra Pranayama -breathing through the energy centres of the body. This is the opening breath sequence of a Chakra focused yoga workshop, developed by Jenny Anderson with much respect to Anodea Judith and her illuminating teachings of the chakra system. I highly recommend her book, Eastern Body, Western Mind.

Sit comfortably in easy seat. Close the eyes and breathe. Bring awareness into the body and breath, stilling the mind. Visualizing a red square at the base of the spine, begin to rock forward and back to feel the tailbone and pubic bone, then rock side to side, feeling the sitz bones. From this conscious base, inhale as you draw the knees and hands up, then pull knees and hands down as your focus remains on the base of your spine, your Muladhara chakra, the root. Do this breath cleansing action at least 21 times, inhaling and exhaling through the nose. Then chant the bija (seed sound)…

Poem...

... it is necessary to reteach a thing its loveliness, to put a hand on its brow of the flower and retell it in words and in touch it is lovely until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing... - Galway Kinnell

Yoga ethics - niyamas - observances

The Eight Limbs of Yoga start with the Yamas (ethical restraints) and the Niyamas (ethical observances). I consider the Niyamas to be how we relate to our Selves - with a capital S! The first of the five Niyamas is Saucha, or cleanliness. Saucha reminds us to treat our body as a temple, and honour our divinity with good hygiene. Staying healthy and clean in body and mind will improve our quality of life both on and off the yoga mat. In these times of flu fears, it's important to remember to keep our nasal passages functioning optimally. Many yoga practitioners use a neti pot daily to keep our sinus passages clear. This helps our nose to flush out any airborne viruses. A neti pot is a wonderful addition to your daily self-honouring ritual, and may be a vital preventative to maintaining good health this winter. Check out http://www.himalayaninstitute.org/Netipot/NetiPotGateway.aspx or ask me for more neti pot info. They are available at most drug stores and Jean Coutu.

The second Niy…