<![CDATA[MAYA WHOLE HEALTH STUDIO - Connections]]>Wed, 13 Dec 2017 19:02:47 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Connecting with Cassie: VisionWalk 2017]]>Fri, 22 Sep 2017 20:52:03 GMThttp://mayawholehealth.com/connections/connecting-with-cassie-visionwalk-2017Picture
When I was in 3rd grade, my teacher reached out to my parents because I was having difficulty reading the board. As any parent would do, they immediately scheduled a regular eye exam. During my appointment, and my doctor saw something that he said he had never seen before and referred me to a different doctor. Luckily, the doctor that he referred me to had just gotten back from a Retinal Disease conference. After he ran a few tests, he saw something in my eyes that seemed similar to macular degeneration. He then referred me to the UW Medical center, where I endured hours upon hours of testing before, finally reaching a diagnosis.  


It was official, I was diagnosed with Best Disease. As a 7 year old, I was extremely confused as to what was going on; all I knew was that I had something wrong with my eyes and that very few people had it. It wasn’t until in my later years did  I decide to do research on this rare disease. Best Disease is one that attacks the central vision leaving the affected person legally blind. Unfortunately, Best Disease is extremely rare and does not have a cure… yet! When I first was able to fully comprehend what was happening to my body, I felt angry because this is something that I have no control over. Within the past couple of years, I have learned to be at peace with it. Everything happens for a reason and I have accepted that this obstacle was placed in my life for good reason.


Working at Maya and being in an environment with others that are seeking to live in health and wellness, despite various challenges helps maintain my determination to not let this disease get the best of me. Maya has inspired me by what I see happening in our community every day, and I would love to share more about my experience with others who might be experiencing "invisible" challenges to their health as well.

Every year the Foundation Fighting Blindness puts on something called the VisionWalk and this year I finally have the opportunity to participate! Starting in 2006 and raising over $45 million to fund sight-saving research, VisionWalk is a signature fundraising event of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, a non-profit organization. Over 10 Million Americans are affected by blinding retinal diseases including best disease, macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa and Usher syndrome. The Foundation Fighting Blindness is working to find treatments and cures for these devastating diseases. By funded leading edge research in area such as genetics, gene therapy, transplantation, artificial retinal implants and pharmaceutical and nutritional therapies. The Foundation Fighting Blindness is making a difference today to make the world a brighter place for those suffering with retinal degenerative diseases.

If you would like to support me during my walk, please click the link below. Any donation is greatly appreciated! :)

Let's kick blindness' butt!

Click the button below to view my donation page:

Cassie's VisionWalk Page
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<![CDATA[Summer Solstice: June 21-22, 2017]]>Wed, 21 Jun 2017 01:44:08 GMThttp://mayawholehealth.com/connections/summer-solstice-june-21-22-2017
What is Summer Solstice?

Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year, due to the tilt of Earth’s rotational axis. On Summer Solstice the northern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun more than at any other time of the year. Summer Solstice happens twice each year (once in each hemisphere).

Celebrating Summer Solstice through Yoga

A sun salutation is a way to honor summer solstice, and the light the changing seasons bring. We practice sun salutations to create inner heat, which purifies the body. The circular pattern of sun salutations bring one into a state of blissful moving meditation.  This inner heat, combined with a meditative state, allows one to begin to peel away unnecessary layers; just as we are peeling away clothing as the temperatures rise.

In many ways, sun salutations parallel the change of the seasons. For example, as we move from Uttanasana(Forward Fold), a pose of turning inward - similar to what plants are doing during the darker months of the year - to Urdhva Hastasana(Upward Salute), a pose of reaching up, we “grow” towards the sun - similar to what plants are doing in the warmer months of the year.

What is the significance to old cultures?


~Viking-Midsummer was a crucial time of year for the Nordic seafarers, who would meet to discuss legal matters and resolve disputes around the summer solstice. They would also visit wells thought to have healing powers and build huge bonfires.

~Native Americans-Tribes took part in centuries-old midsummer rituals, some of which are still practiced today. The Sioux, for instance, performed a ceremonial sun dance around a tree while wearing symbolic colors.

~Ancient Greek Culture-The summer solstice was the first day of the year. Several festivals were held around this time, including Kronia, which celebrated the agriculture god Cronus.

~Ancient Romans-Days leading up to the summer solstice, ancient Romans celebrated the Vestalia festival, which paid tribute to Vesta, the goddess of the hearth.


International Yoga Day is during Summer Solstice.

“Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day”.

— Narendra Modi, Founder of International Yoga Day
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<![CDATA[Yoga for Runners:: A Community Benefit Workshop - All Proceeds go to Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence]]>Sun, 21 May 2017 19:07:09 GMThttp://mayawholehealth.com/connections/yoga-for-runners-a-community-benefit-workshop-all-proceeds-go-to-washington-state-coalition-against-domestic-violenceConnecting with Britt: Surviving Domestic Violence
Join Britt Barlow, friendly front desk staff member at Maya Whole Health Studio, for Yoga for Runners: a workshop on Saturday, June 24th from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM, with instructor Alec Davis. All Proceeds from this workshop will sponsor Britt's participation in the Refuse to Abuse 5K at Safeco and ultimately go to support the work of Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, providing resources to assist victims and survivors and promoting healthy domestic relationships in our communities.

Trigger Warning: Domestic Violence, Trauma
Six years ago, I met him. He was so charming, he swept me off my feet in a matter of days. For the first year of our relationship, he spoke to me sweetly, put me on a pedestal, and called me “the love of his life”.  We had occasional arguments, but nothing out of the ordinary, and he always assured me we would be able to get over any bumps on our path.  I was young, naive, romantic, and I believed he could be the one to fulfill my visions of a lifelong partnership.
The next year introduced a roller coaster of break-ups and apologies. Each time we had a falling out, no matter how bad, he would come up with a romantic way to win back my affections. He would cry and apologize and insist he loved me more than anything, and every time, I would relent, convinced that my enduring love and faith would overcome his temper once and for all. Rather than get better, though, the name calling and insults became worse. He always justified it, insisting, “Well, it’s normal…so and so calls his girlfriend names all the time and she doesn’t complain. Stop being so sensitive.”

After he joined the Air Force and went off to basic training, he seemed to get back to himself- the person I first came to love.  His letters were filled with the sweetness and romance that had won me over, and I regained my confidence in our relationship.  During his graduation, he proposed and I accepted.  We married in May 2012. He left for Guam in June, and I followed in August. I was excited (and nervous) to be traveling to a place outside of the US to start this new adult life together with my husband.

At first, our life together was all that I had envisioned. I was happy to be there with him and I felt validated in my decision to give my husband a second chance.  I truly believed he would be my forever partner. I was blindsided, when just 10 days into our domestic life together, we went out to dinner to celebrate my birthday, and in the midst of a casual conversation about a restaurant in our home town, he became fixated and angry about a question I asked.  He berated me throughout the ride home, calling me names and accusing me of ingratitude. That night was the first time he physically pinned me down. Continuing his tirade, he started the process of convincing me that I was worthless and unwanted and that I needed him to survive. Doubts began to seep into me then about our relationship, but also about my self-worth.

A week later, in another outburst of unreasonable anger, my husband again pinned me down and berated me, squeezing my face so hard he bruised my cheeks and cut the inside of my mouth. I recall in the aftermath, putting on makeup to cover it and thinking, ”How did it come to this?” I had to do a lot of rationalizing on his behalf,  and like a lot of survivors, I had a different image of what domestic violence looked like. I thought it required being hit or punched, and I believed it must be more constant than what I was experiencing. The insidious thing about domestic violence is that it is incorporated into a relationship that also has elements of normalcy, so it’s hard to see yourself as a victim of the perpetrator.  Another thing that makes this form of abuse so dangerous, is the access the perpetrator has to your greatest points of vulnerability.  During the love and intimacy of our happy times, I granted this man access to information about all of my weakest points, and when he craved the feeling of power over me, he would use that privileged information to lay me low, to humiliate, and to confuse me into becoming a de facto accomplice in my own abuse.  

The incidence of verbal and physical abuse became more frequent over the weeks and months to follow, escalating in intensity and varying in form, as my husband sought new ways to diminish my value; make me more dependent on him; and convince others that I was the cause of our troubles. He used every insecurity or shred of doubt I ever had about the love of my family and friends; about my intelligence and competence; and about my body image and attractiveness as a woman. He magnified those to the point that I was essentially brainwashed. At one point, he threatened to kill me and dump my body in the ocean, insisting that he would get away with it, because no one would care I was gone.
I walked on eggshells every day and had no idea what would set him off because he was unpredictable.  He got mad at me for looking out the window of the car while he was driving; for talking to my family too much; even for breathing the wrong way.  And little by little, he started cutting off every point of access I had to the world outside our relationship, taking away my iPad, phone, car keys, credit cards.

As I became more isolated, the physical violence grew more dangerous.  The first time he hit me, he came from behind, smacked me in the back of my head and shoved me face first onto the cold, hard kitchen floor. He then dragged me into the dining room and put his arms around my neck and twisted like he was attempting to break my neck. The next time, after again assaulting me from behind, he pulled me by my hair and shoved me against the wall, threatening  to snap my neck if I didn’t stop screaming. I was so terrified, I snuck out of the house in the aftermath, and went to the  sanctuary of a friend’s house.  They called the military police, and my husband received a citation for his behavior.  I hoped that would help him see that his behavior towards me was not normal or okay.  He claimed to be remorseful at first, but he ultimately turned the incident into further proof of my worthlessness as a wife, bemoaning that I had “ruined” his career and betrayed him.  Something inside me clicked, though. Getting new perspective on the danger of my situation and my own value, I started plotting my escape from him.  

It’s difficult to describe how hard it can be to leave, even in those moments when you can see through the fog that staying is not a feasible or safe option.  As I look back on my experience today, I know that if I had stayed, he could have eventually killed me. The look in his eyes and the tone of his voice during the violence still haunt me.  It’s amazing and fortunate, after years of being belittled and brainwashed, I still had instincts left for self-preservation. Along with the love and support of my family and a bit of resourcefulness, that was enough to ultimately get me out alive.  

While I can’t say that it has been a cakewalk from that point, I can say that my life today is absolutely worth the effort I went through to survive that insanely challenging experience.  I live in a beautiful part of the country, near family and friends. I have a job at Maya Whole Health Studio, where I’m frequently told how my smile and customer service skills have helped someone feel better. I am able to spend time with people who appreciate what I bring to their lives, and I’ve even found the courage to love and trust again. Despite challenges to overcome lingering health issues from my experience, my life is so worthwhile, more than I could have ever imagined during the time I was entrapped by domestic violence.  

Escaping and surviving was the toughest experience I have ever overcome, but it is also my biggest life achievement and full of powerful lessons. I learned so much about myself, who I was then, and the type of person I wanted to be. I learned how to genuinely love myself and regain my self-worth.  Thinking back, I am sometimes amazed that I had the strength to leave, but I’m so glad that I did it and that I’m alive today!

THIS feeling is why I want to help people who have gone through similar life experiences.  I want people to see how truly strong and capable they are for having survived and stayed in this life. I want to encourage people who might be feeling stuck, who have been convinced that they are crazy and that no one cares about them- that it is worth it to strive to survive-.  There is life beyond domestic violence!  You are wanted and needed.  There is help available, if you reach out.  That is why I advocate and share my story, even though it can be painful and humiliating.  If something in my story resonates with even one person who benefits, then it has been worth it.

In the present, I’ve found this opportunity to be employed at Maya has been more than “just a job”. I have found great joy, healing, acceptance, and support. I love what Maya has offered to not just myself, but to our community here in Renton. Here at Maya we encourage joy, health, and fitness to each and every person who walks through our door, including healthy relationships and home life. Please join us in a great opportunity to put those values into practice at our Yoga for Runners workshop on Saturday, June 24th from 2:00 to 3:30pm with Alec Davis. All Proceeds of this workshop will sponsor my participation in the Refuse to Abuse 5K at Safeco and ultimately go to support the work of Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, providing resources to assist victims and survivors and promoting healthy domestic relationships in our communities.
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<![CDATA[21 Days of Loving Kindness Challenge]]>Mon, 20 Feb 2017 18:22:38 GMThttp://mayawholehealth.com/connections/21-days-of-loving-kindness-challengeMay I practice loving kindness towards myself today and always::
Connecting with Kristen
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Where has fighting with myself ever gotten me? For years I was angry with myself for being myself. I was too loud, too pushy, too smart, too tall, too fat, and not loud enough, not pushy enough, not smart enough. A war that I’ve been waging on myself for years without victory.

What turned me onto yoga was this fight. I felt like if I could become a yoga warrior then I would always win, right? A yoga warrior would have everything I lacked and be strong enough to overcome everything I didn’t want to be. I started looking for teachers to help me become this yoga warrior. I was always trying to be more, without ever feeling like I was enough.

I met many teachers who could show me the right practice for defeating the self. I did lots and lots of asana that made me feel like I was gaining traction and getting somewhere on my journey to becoming a warrior. I felt like if I could conquer the poses, then I could conquer myself. But I was never good enough; there was always more asana, always a greater challenge, a better student, a better teacher. How would I finally find victory?

Eventually I met my teacher who inspired me to slow down and breathe. I asked myself how would I become a yoga warrior by just breathing, how could breathing make me powerful enough? I was struggling so hard with the constant effort to be a victorious warrior, I was exhausted and the list of imperfections I saw in myself kept growing longer and longer. With guidance and help I slowed way down in my asana practice and started meditating more.

After years of just breathing, only now have I started to get a glimmer of my softer side. A world within where there is no competition, nothing known, a constant newness, a beginning, a free space. Where I am not held to any standards or judged. Finally a space where I feel like “I am enough.” I can stop running, stop fighting with myself, and instead be myself; loving life again.

I ask myself: How do I stay here forever? I hear LOVE. All the fight in me transforms into love. I practice love. We’re all alone on the inside, just fighting with ourselves. Make it a peaceful place and love yourself. I still get angry with all my imperfections and the imperfections others reflect back to me. Now, when that happens I remember my intention:


“May I practice loving kindness towards myself today and always.”

When I do the exact opposite of being angry with myself I feel more love and there is no loss, no victory, just hope.



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Please join us for a celebration of 7 years of Maya in Renton and of one of the foundational values of Maya Whole Health Studio- KINDNESS.

There will be treats, of course...snacks and beverages and birthday cupcakes galore...and plenty of opportunity for hamming it up at the photo station. In addition, we will be honoring all who participated in our 21-Day Kindness Challenge, and be drawing raffle tickets for a bevy of excellent prizes.


3-Day Specials this year include a returning client only discount of 20% off any single purchase between Friday, 2/24 and Sunday, 2/26. Plus, introductory specials on classes, massage, and acupuncture.

Don't miss out on the deals, fun and festivities! Yummy treats, funny hats, joyous celebration! See you there.

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<![CDATA[21 Days of Kindness]]>Fri, 03 Feb 2017 22:21:19 GMThttp://mayawholehealth.com/connections/21-days-of-kindnessConnecting with Heather
Customer Service | Karma Love Fund

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So much has happened at Maya since I started my employment here back in August -  it's hard to believe it has only been 5 months since that first day on the job.  I recall clearly though, one of my first interactions was with a client who was so kind and encouraging. The first day at a new job is always nerve-racking, but this client's warmth and understanding gave me reassurance that Maya Whole Health Studio was a community I wanted to be a part of.  As I've lived and learned, navigating difficult situations and encountering people from all walks of life, I've come to realize the importance of kindness as a guiding value in my life, so I'm pleased to have found a workplace that aligns with my values and incorporates kindness as a foundation for each interaction. 

That's why it seems fitting to me to celebrate the 7th Anniversary of Maya Whole Health with a 21-Day Kindness Challenge: a challenge for each of us to intentionally expand on our personal practice of kindness, and strengthen our habit of both acting in kindness and acknowledging kindness each day. 

There has been so much emphasis on the darkness in our world lately. While it is important to stay aware and informed, too much focus on that darkness can make it hard to find the light we each have to share. To alleviate the fear and anxiety so many are feeling, we crafted this Kindness Challenge as a way to draw our focus to the good happening around us everyday. As we come together and make an impact on the larger community, we can be rejuvenated in our power to create and expand kindness and it's impact... And win prizes, too!  :-)

I'm excited to see the kindness through the eyes of each and every one of you!

Heather



21-Day Kindness Challenge: How it Works

Each day, Maya staff will post a specific challenge in kindness on our Facebook page; on our online community page; and in the studio. 

If you meet the challenge (on your honor), you can let us know one of two ways- either posting online or posting a heart on the Kindness Challenge Board in the studio with your name and as many details as you are willing to share about your experience on that particular challenge. 

Each challenge heart will have a raffle ticket attached, that you will fill out and drop in the raffle jar. You can enter up to 21 times, one time for each challenge.  For everyone who posts online, Maya staff will fill out a heart on your behalf and enter the raffle ticket.

On February 25th, we will host a celebration gathering of kindness, at which we will be drawing lucky winners for various prizes.  The grand prize will be the choice of a $100 gift certificate for anything at Maya OR free entry into all workshops for a year.  Everyone who completes all 21 challenges (even if out of order) will also receive a certificate for a Maya branded t-shirt or tank top of your choice.  

Here we go...for DAY 1...we start off with a BIGGIE.

Day 1: Perform an extraordinary kindness for yourself

The challenge for the first day,  Sunday February 5th , is to perform an extraordinary  kindness for yourself . Being kind to ourselves is sometimes the hardest and most easily dismissed form that kindness can take. It may also be
the most important  form of kindness. Only by taking care of ourselves will we have the energy and the ability to give others the attention, love, and kindness they need to thrive in this world. 
"
Self-love is an ocean
and your heart is a vessel. Make it full,
and any excess will spill over 
into the lives of the people
you hold dear. But you must come first.
"
Beau Taplin - Self Love

So... make an intentional effort today to be  extraordinarily kind to yourself take yourself for a long walk (or to a yoga class that you didn't think you'd find time for?); spend extra time doing something you enjoy; let yourself splurge on that coffee or cupcake or book you've been craving; look in the mirror and acknowledge the beauty in your own eyes; forgive yourself for that silly mistake you made five years ago.  And if you're willing, tell us about it.  Share how that kindness felt to you?  Was it easy to accept?  Or did you resist it?  As much or as little as you are willing to share...the most important thing is for you to know, you met your challenge for the day.

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<![CDATA[Happy Year of the Fire Rooster...and Happy Birthday to Maya]]>Tue, 31 Jan 2017 02:52:59 GMThttp://mayawholehealth.com/connections/happy-year-of-the-fire-roosterand-happy-birthday-to-maya

Connecting with Shannon Aldrich Payne, Owner/Manager

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As we usher in the Chinese New Year of the Fire Rooster, and all the possibilities that come with it, we are also celebrating a major benchmark in the life story of Maya Whole Health Studio- 7 years of life on the southeast shore of Lake Washington for this little health studio that could.  

In these past seven years, I have learned so much more than I ever could have imagined- about this field of endeavor, about life, about my community and myself.  The original Maya Whole Health Studio in Fremont provided a great foundation for a learning community to grow here in Renton and forward the mission of infusing health, fitness, and joy into every aspect of our lives.  I am proud of the way we have picked up and carried that torch, overcoming numerous challenges that threatened to take down our noble endeavor, while holding true to our founding values.  We have focused on being a benefit to our community, even when times have been tough, and the reciprocal gratitude of our community has buoyed us through our moments of doubt, allowing us to break those tackles and carry forward in our efforts to provide a shelter and safe haven for healing, growing, learning.  

Throughout its iterations, Maya Whole Health Studio has maintained integrity, offering services and products that truly support health and well-being, based on both modern science and the best practices and traditions taken from the wisdom of ages.  We have not given in to trends or fast fixes, nor the fear and deficit based marketing that is so common in the fitness realm, nor the thrall of celebrity gurus.  Throughout this journey of trial and error, we have made hard choices to let go of lucrative opportunities when they have proven to conflict with our values, and our community has responded and supported us in these decisions with love and loyalty.

Like the Chinese astrological Fire Rooster, the endeavor of Maya Whole Health Studio has been one of determination and dynamism.  By centering this business on the values of health, kindness, accountability, inclusiveness, and community, we have been fortunate to build a staff and clientele of humans who impress us daily with their commitment and service to these values we share.  

These seven years of serving as a "happy place" for so many, a sanctuary from the noise and demands of life, serving to support so many good humans in reconnecting with their own best power, strength, and abilities to do good and feel good in this crazy world- has been an honor.  I stand strong today in our golden sanctuary of peace and joy, amidst a stellar and diverse staff of committed professionals and clients whose gratitude and kindness is the fuel that keeps our engine revved up and moving forward in evolution.   Thank you so much for being part of it!  


As we enter into our next spin 'round the giant glowing orb, we invite you to join us in celebrating all of this goodness and sharing it far and wide.  We will be celebrating not only our anniversary, but our grand re-opening, as we are finally back to full schedule and (nearly) full staffing in all areas of the studio!  

Throughout the next few weeks, we will be hosting several special 
events and workshops, which kicked off Sunday afternoon with the fabulous New Moon Meditation with Alec; benefit classesspecial offers & promotions that will be announced weeklya new interactive online communitya 21-Day Community Kindness Challengeand a festive gathering on Saturday, February 25th to come together and hurrah! 

As we move ahead, please cock-a-doodle-doo now and again- let us know how your are feeling about what we are doing right and what you'd like to see us doing differently.  

With Health, Fitness, and Joy!   (Cue the fireworks...)

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<![CDATA[´╗┐Illuminasana: Explore Your Energy in Motion | PT 7]]>Sat, 14 Jan 2017 00:14:32 GMThttp://mayawholehealth.com/connections/illuminasana-explore-your-energy-in-motionJoin us for a weekend of in-depth chakra exploration January 21-22 with Lynn Brown and Kristen O'Conner. Details about these workshops can be found here. In preparation we will delve into each chakra through our blog series: lluminasana: Explore your Energy in Motion.

Sahasrara
The Crown Chakra

Write, draw, or meditate on one of the following key concepts related to the 7th chakra, the crown chakra.
Awareness
​Information
Consciousness
Emptiness
Learning
​Intelligence
Divinity
​God/Goddess
Spirit
This Chakra is represented in the cerebral cortex. How do you feel about your mind or the activity of the mind? Reflect on challenges or triumphs that you have experienced related to your mental capacity.

The following pose is intended to initiate a conscious awareness of your Sahasrara.  

Find stillness. Lay down in your Savasana (corpse pose), support yourself with props under the legs or head, maybe a pillow under the knees, only if necessary. Set a timer for 5-15 minutes. Focus on your breath. Count down from 27 to 1. Repeat mentally with breath awareness “I am inhaling 27”, “I am exhaling 27”... “I am inhaling 26”, “I am exhaling 26” …”I am inhaling 25”, “I am exhaling 25”... Keep going without making any mistakes. If you lose your place begin again, if you reach the end, begin again. The object of this practice is not to reach 1, but to stay present even if it is at 27.

*Note: Whenever you practice a yoga posture (asana), rest when you need to and do not force. It should feel invited and natural to be in any pose.
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<![CDATA[Illuminasana: Explore your Energy in Motion | PT 6]]>Tue, 10 Jan 2017 18:47:01 GMThttp://mayawholehealth.com/connections/illuminasana-explore-your-energy-in-motion-pt-6
Join us for a weekend of in-depth chakra exploration January 21-22 with Lynn Brown and Kristen O'Conner. Details about these workshops can be found here. In preparation we will delve into each chakra through our blog series: lluminasana: Explore your Energy in Motion.

Ajna
The Third Eye Chakra

Spend a few moments reflecting on the following key concepts for the 6th chakra. Write down, draw, or meditate on whatever images, thoughts or phrases come to mind and observe how they operate in your life.
Vision
Beauty
Visualization

Intuition
Imagination
Clairvoyance
Light
Darkness
Guidance
Memory
Dreams
This chakra involves the eyes and forehead, or third eye between the eyebrows. How do you feel about these areas of your body? Reflect on challenges or triumphs that you have experienced during your life related to these areas.

The following movements are intended to bring awareness to your third eye chakra.

Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor, your knees stacked comfortably over your feet. Lift your hips, keeping knees stable over feet (inhale). Lower your hips lengthening your spine back out onto the floor (exhale). Stay lifted and breathe into your 3rd eye.

*Note: Whenever you practice a yoga posture (asana), rest when you need to and do not force. It should feel invited and natural to be in any pose.
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<![CDATA[Illuminasana:: Explore your Energy in Motion | PT 5]]>Sat, 31 Dec 2016 19:05:23 GMThttp://mayawholehealth.com/connections/illuminasana-explore-your-energy-in-motion-pt-5
Join us for a weekend of in-depth chakra exploration January 21-22 with Lynn Brown and Kristen O'Conner. Details about these workshops can be found here. In preparation we will delve into each chakra through our blog series:
lluminasana: Explore your Energy in Motion.

Vishuddha
The Throat Chakra

Look over the following list of key concepts for the 5th chakra. Write down your feelings and thoughts, draw a picture, or meditate on one or all of the following areas.
Voice
Vibration
Connection

Communication
Rhythm
Singing / Chanting

Creativity (self expression)
Sound
Writing
Listening
Harmony
Telepathy

This chakra involves the neck, throat, mouth, and jaw. How do you feel about these areas of your body? Reflect on challenges or triumphs that you have experienced during your life related to these areas.
The following movements are intended to gently awaken your awareness of your throat chakra. These movements can be performed in seated or standing tadasana (mountain pose).

Starting with a gentle double chin, lift your nose slightly (inhale), now draw your nose down, tucking the jaw back over the shoulders (exhale). Continue until you are nodding yes slowly. Progress to nodding no, looking right and left while keeping the gentle double chin. You can also explore with the shoulders here. Let the shoulders rise toward your ears (inhale) and then draw your collar bones flat lowering shoulders (exhale). Shoulders can continue to lift and lower with the breath or small shoulder circles may naturally occur. Can you keep the double chin throughout the shoulder movement?


*Note: Whenever you practice a yoga posture (asana), rest when you need to and do not force. It should feel invited and natural to be in any pose.
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<![CDATA[´╗┐Illuminasana: Explore Your Energy in Motion | PT 4]]>Mon, 26 Dec 2016 22:22:00 GMThttp://mayawholehealth.com/connections/illuminasana-explore-your-energy-in-motion-pt-4
Join us for a weekend of in-depth chakra exploration January 21-22 with Lynn Brown and Kristen O'Conner. Details about these workshops can be found here. In preparation we will delve into each chakra through our blog series:
lluminasana: Explore your Energy in Motion.

Anahata
The Heart Chakra

The words listed below reflect key concepts for the 4th chakra. Reflect for a few moments on one and write down, draw, or meditate on whatever thoughts or phrases come to mind about how these concepts operate on your life.
Love
Receiving
Equilibrium
Compassion
​Giving
​Balance

Openness
​Grace
​Peace
Breath
Relationships

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This chakra involves the heart, upper chest, and upper back. How do you feel about these areas of your body? Reflect on challenges or triumphs that you have experienced during your life related to these areas.

The following pose is intended to bring awareness to your fourth chakra. It can be performed on your belly or standing in a doorway.

If you are in the doorway place your hands on either side of the door frame. Stand tall and keep your chin doubled, like your are holding a fresh egg between your chin and throat. Let your heart shine forward through the door frame and lean gently into a heart opening stretch, if you feel it in your shoulders, back off; the stretch should be felt in the meat of chest muscles.

If you are on your belly, rest your forehead on the floor with your arms down alongside your body. Lengthen your spine, just like you would if you were standing in Tadasana (mountain pose), and lift your forehead and palms away from the floor (inhale), let the hands and forehead rest (exhale). As you continue to lift forehead and hands (inhale) you can let the arms go wide out to the sides and even sweep them forward, return the forehead to the floor and hands to your sides (exhale). Lengthening the spine is favorable to lifting higher.
Can you feel your heart opening?

*Note: Whenever you practice a yoga posture (asana), rest when you need to and do not force. It should feel invited and natural to be in any pose.

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