Kundalini yoga

  • Grow a (Yoga) Spine!

    Is your spinal health something you give much thought? Most often, spinal health takes a back seat. We mind our spines only in the aftermath of something gone wrong. Let’s not, however, allow it to reach that point. Let’s, instead, take our spines to yoga.

    Yoga is a blessing to the spine. Supporting strength, flexibility, mobility, and proper alignment, yoga helps to prevent spinal degeneration and potential injury. Maintaining a diligent, mindful yoga practice will render your spine strong and healthy, and also, enhance your total state of health.

    Spinal health is a solid indicator of overall well-being and vigor. In yoga, the spinal column is referred to as Brahma-danda, which literally translates as “the walking stick of God.” This implies that the spine is pretty darn important. According to master teachers, "A Yogi is one whose spine is full of energy."

    Spine

    Yogis consider the spine to be a channel through which the power of the universe may manifest. It is through Sushumna Nadi, the central channel within the spinal column, that the potent Kundalini energy rises from its dormant state at the base of the spine to the crown of the head.

    The Sushumna, the most essential Nadi (channel), plays the most important role in the expansion of our intellectual, moral, and spiritual journey. It is the path through which our vital energies travel upward, resulting in self-realization, union with the divine, and enlightenment or nirvana. When your chakras are balanced and aligned, a current of Kundalini energy is free to flow and flourish through this channel.

    Because of this upward movement of energy, it is important to maintain a "yoga spine" during a meditation practice. Remaining vertical and erect is paramount to facilitate this vertical surge of energy. Asanas are intended to support the development of a yoga spine. By strengthening and realigning the spine, an asana practice will help prepare you for a deeper, sustained meditation experience.

    To set up a strong yoga spine, practice this new online meditation with Jeanne Heileman. Grow tall and strong. Realign. Awaken your energy.

    Sushumna: Centering the Energy Along the Spine - This online yoga video is great to practice after the Twisting: Balancing the Nadis class and can also be used after most yoga classes or on its own. Start laying down to transition from mental and physical activity, using a Tantric Technique called 61 Points to shift the mind's focus. Sitting in a straight and aligned position, the pranayama technique of Nadi Sodhana is practiced into a Tantric Technique of Prana Shuddhi, a method of developing concentration that allows for meditation. Play with the energy in the spine. Bring awareness to that energy in a calm, enjoyable process. (34 mins.)

    Jeanne Heileman

    ~TJ

     

  • 6 Reasons to Practice Kundalini Yoga

    kundalini yoga kriyas

    First…

    What is Kundalini Yoga?

    This style of yoga, referred to as "the yoga of awareness," is all about unlocking the snake-like Kundalini (“coiled”) energy located at the base of the spine. It is a highly spiritual practice with heavy focus on breath and movement all intended to open up the heart, strengthen the mind + body, and create greater health + happiness.

    What are the benefits of Kundalini Yoga? Why should you all give it a go?

    1. Spinal Flexibility. So many of the Kundalini Yoga poses + kriyas work the agility of the spine (sufi grind, spinal flexes, spinal twists, cat-cow, bow, camel, cobra, and wheel). In yoga, it’s all about spinal health. In fact, yogis judge youthfulness based on the healthiness of the spine. A healthier spine means a more youthful you!
    2. Greater Lung Capacity. Like other styles of yoga, Kundalini is all about the breath. Breathing techniques such as Breath of Fire and alternate nostril breathing serve to expand lung capacity. Learning to deeply attune to your breath is a powerful tool - one that calms unsettling emotional states and resolves stress.
    3. Core Power. Powerful pranayama techniques (i.e. Breath of Fire) coupled with abdominal heavy postures + exercises all work to create a more sculpted and strong center. Give those tired crunches a rest. Enter Kundalini Yoga.
    4. Memory + Mood Enhancement. Certain Kundalini exercises are believed to enhance memory and are even recommended for Alzheimer’s patients. Many exercises have also proven to inspire positive mood shifts in practitioners.
    5. Energy Booster. Feelin’ low? Run down? Sad? Depressed? Kundalini can be a powerful fix by heightening your energy and also, your overall experience of life. Touch can feel more powerful. The visual world, more colorful. Your taste buds, more alive. Smells, more potent.
    6. Balance. With its focus on meditation, Kundalini Yoga offers many opportunities to enter a blissed out, harmonious state. With regular practice, these blissful vibes will sneak into all areas of your life! Kundalini has the potential to unleash and unlock barriers within yourself - barriers that are holding you back from living your life at its fullest.

    Realize all of these kundalini yoga benefits and more, in Sukhdev's Jackson online yoga class: Awakening Our Intuition.

    This online yoga experience targets the pituitary gland, which is your center of intuition. When the pituitary gland secretes, the nectar is said to raise intuition and open the door to the Infinite. This meditation (Smiling Buddha Kriya) is said to have been practiced by both Jesus and the Buddha, and it is a very ancient mudra of peace. Resonate the four primal sounds Sa Ta Na Ma - meaning Infinity, Life, Death, and Rebirth - to connect with the whole cycle of life. The meditation presented in this online yoga video is also good for connecting with the positive mind and taking care of depression. (88 mins.)

    kundalini yoga online

    Push past your comfort zone, move, breathe deep, and let go to connect to your intuition & feel happy!

    Image: Kundalini Yoga via www.lestrangeland.tumblr.com 

  • A Spirited Class to Celebrate the Season

    "It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air." ~W.T. Ellis 

    yoga christmas

    Longing to feel that surge of Christmas spirit in your heart?

    Kiyomi Takahashi's Kundalini Yoga Set delivers just that.

    Allow peace and joy to fill your heart by practicing this powerful Heart Chakra Healing and Balancing yoga class online.

    This online yoga class is perfect for your morning or mid-day practice. Expect it to uplift your energy. The short meditation at the end of the class will induce a sense of calmness in your heart. Designed to remove energetic blockages from your Heart Chakra, this online yoga experience will help you connect to yourself with greater compassion, and allow yourself to receive the healing, love, and compassion that you deserve. The ending meditation - a Calm Heart Meditation - adds clear perspective to your relationship with yourself and others. This meditation can even be used on its own. You can increase the time for each exercise in the set and add the time for meditation from 3 minutes to 7 minutes, 11 minutes, 22 minutes, or 31 minutes. (49 mins.)

    Open and balance your heart to love yourself and all the family and friends around you this holiday season.  

    kundalini yoga online

    May the increased healing energy from your heart radiate loving, healing vibes to all those around you this Christmas! 

     

     

  • Bring Back that Lovin' Feeling

    In case you’ve lost that lovin’ feeling, today is a good reminder to bring it back. And I’m not strictly referring to that lovin’ feeling that you may have for someone else. Maybe you need to bring it back to yourself.

    Bring it back with some love-inspired yoga online. Practice one of five heart-themed yoga classes to journey inwards, connect to yourself, and open your heart.

    Camel Pose Ustrasana

    • Fluid Heart Opening Flow with Hala Khouri Focus on opening the upper spine, shoulders and heart in this online yoga class filmed at Exhale Spa. Connect to your body, breath and essence with compassion and love. (80 mins.)
    • Blast Your Heart Open with Gigi Yogini Open your heart and let the light of love shine from within in this short online Vinyasa yoga class. Tap into a sense of universal abundance to access your highest potential through sacred breath and movement. (29 mins.)
    • Heart Chakra Healing & Balancing Kundalini Yoga Set with Kiyomi Takahashi This powerful Kundalini yoga set is the perfect practice to uplift your energy. The short meditation at the end of the class will induce a sense of calmness in your heart. This class is designed to remove energetic blockages from your Heart Chakra, so you can connect with yourself with true compassion, and allow yourself to receive the healing, love, and compassion that you deserve. The ending meditation adds clear perception to your relationships with yourself and others. May the increased healing energy from your heart penetrate and dissolve your pain and the pain of others around you. Open and balance your heart to love yourself and all creatures. (49 mins.)
    • Backbends to Access More Love with Jeanne Heileman This online yoga class will thread together a number of seemingly easy backbends that when coupled with mantra and breathing techniques, will open the energy of goodness that lies deep within your heart. If you can do these backbends in this method, your body will be able to handle any type of backbend. (63 mins.)
    • Anahata: Finding the Lightness of the Heart with Jeanne Heileman The quality of the Heart Chakra is Air, yet most of us do not feel as though our hearts could be as light as air. This online yoga class will help transform your perspective. You will be guided through a specific pranayama called Viloma that moves the breath against the grain of what is comfortable, to create expansion and strength in the lungs and heart. Jeanne will then guide you on a journey deep within the heart, using Tantric techniques she has learned from her master teacher, that can help you find a beauty and deep love that dwells at the darkest cave of the heart. (24 mins.)

    If you’re a lone wolf this V-Day, consider your yoga practice your valentine. Reconnect with it. Get intimate with it. Love it. Let it teach you, expand your consciousness, and elevate your vibration. Let it bring back that lovin’ feeling. Because it will. Yoga has been my greatest lover. Added Bonus: I know it's not going anywhere.

    ~TJ

    Photo Credit: Camel Pose via sevenswans.tumblr.com

  • Gigi Yogini on Throat Chakra Healing

    Do you experience difficulty expressing yourself? Speaking your truth? Do you silently conduct negative, self-critical conversations with yourself about yourself? If you experience any of these communication drawbacks, you may be up against an imbalance, or blockage, of your throat chakra.

    Throat Chakra Opening

    Worry not. This is not an incurable condition. In fact, there are ways to heal a throat chakra imbalance through the physical practice of yoga.

    Gigi Yogini teaches that simple exercises combined with song can unblock this subtle energy center and unleash your ability to express yourself freely and genuinely:

    These days, it’s not often that you sing in a yoga class. But singing is a great way to open the fifth energy wheel in the body, the Throat Chakra (Vishuddha), which is known as the purification center that relates to self-expression.

    It is said that when our throat chakra is open we can transform negative experiences into wisdom.

    Opening this energy wheel can bring about balance between the past, present and future. When we learn how to express ourselves by using our voices so say what is most true, and to ask questions when we need clarification, we create a sense of freedom.

    This chakra not only reflects verbal communication but also includes non-verbal communication and the way we silently speak to ourselves.

    Sometimes I hear how critical the negative mind can be and my observing mind is shocked. I often try to counterbalance the mean and insecure thoughts with a powerfully positive and uplifting mantra or statement. Using affirmations with my actual voice helps me overcome the limitations expressed by my subconscious one.

    While opening the throat chakra is often an energetic practice, it can also be aided physically.

    In the video below, we do some simple physical exercises to release any tension in the jaw, face, neck and we even sing a little song you might know and love. The point is to loosen up physically, and mentally, to have some fun.

    Speaking your truth takes practice and sometimes it’s easier when you can smile and laugh. This way you can remind yourself of who you really are.

    Practice Gigi Yogini's Throat Chakra Opener - a playful online yoga class exploring mantra and affirmative singing.

    Throat Chakra Opener with Gigi Yogini

    Smile, maybe laugh, and find balance in the way you communicate to the world and to yourself.

    ~TJ

    Photo Credit: Image via www.instagram.com/nessavendetta/

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