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  1. Benefits of Naked Yoga

    July 13, 2015 by Katherine

    CitizenSketcher

    It started as a part of Indian yoga philosophy where members would undress themselves both physically and spiritually from all material possessions, sexual desires and anything physical of this world.  So freeing!!

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    Naked yoga then trailed to Europe through naturist movements in Germany and Switzerland and to North America in the early 60’s building a bit of steam from the hippie movement.  It was even depicted in serval movies from the 60’s and 70’s!

    WHY PRACTICE NAKED YOGA?

    1.  Feeling Good.  Feel good about your body.  One of the key aspects of one’s self-esteem is body acceptance.  Achieving that is tough when your mind is flooded with the media’s images of what society is lead to believe is beautiful.  What if you saw for yourself what other people look like naked and could see they have exactly what you have – every lump, bump, scar or mark? It may be bigger or smaller but we all have them! There would be so much less to feel embarrassed about!!  Isn’t that feeling worth owning?!

    2.  Feeling Proud.  Feelings like embarrassment, shame, fear and other negative emotions are socially constructed emotions.  We are taught we should feel these, wouldn’t it be great to not feel them about our bodies?

    3.  Feeling Free.  When you dispose of everything and present yourself fully to the world you’ll feel free.  You might also feel free from liberating yourself from social restraints against nudity.  Clothing by design seperates us, removing it helps remove social barriers – even for only a moment.

    4.  Be Present.  Yoga is about being with you on your mat.  Not your shirt that keeps bunching up, or your thong wedgie, or waist band pinching you.  Removing your clothes forces you to feel your body as it moves, your breath as breathe it.  It forces you to pay attention to you.

    5.  Re-connect.  In a world that is moving at warp speed we forget we need other people.  We need to see them, hear them, feel them (ok not in naked yoga class except adjustments from the teacher) The earth with hold our fragile selves and we will prove to ourselves that we are strong and safe and beautiful and powerful.

    A FEW OF THE BENEFITS OF NAKED YOGA

    1.  SELF-ESTEEM.  Accepting one’s body as it is, is half-way into accepting one in overall and valuing the person that you are.

    2.  HAVING FUN.  Practicing naked yoga can bring back the amazing feeling of when you were young and carefree and running in the backyard or beach fully naked.

    3.  SEX, SEXY AND SEXUALITY.  We you see a person you consider sexy and you look closer and see they have the same lumps and bumps as you do, you will start to see yourself the same way.  You will feel good about your sexual identity – accepting your social part as a man or a women and feel comfortable in your own skin.  Naked yoga can help you regain intimacy with your partner, a far greater component in successful relations that just good sex.

     


  2. Yoga and essential oils….. rather, MEDITATION and essential oils

    June 2, 2015 by Katherine

    Have you always wanted to start meditating…but don’t know how? It takes a little instruction, but it’s easier than you may think.

    As yogis have known for centuries and scientists more recently discovered, the benefits of meditation are profound!

    Studies show, that meditation can help you:

    • LOSE WEIGHT
    • Vastly IMPROVE COMMUNICATION + RELATIONSHIPS
    • REDUCE ANXIETY + DEPRESSION
    • OVERCOME ADDICTION
    • SHARPEN YOUR THINKING and
    • MASTER YOUR EMOTIONS

    When you meditate, you access deeper brainwave states, helping to clear
    distracting thoughts, reduce stress and boost brainpower while cultivating a
    spiritual connection and reaching deeper states of awareness and wholeness.

    Meditation trains us to use the inevitable challenges of life as opportunities to
    grow. This class breaks down and demystifies meditation.

    Here are my tips on how to start meditating.

    1. Get comfortable.

    We tend to make meditation more complicated and challenging than
    necessary. Take it easy. Start by taking a comfortable seat. If you’re flexible,
    sit on the floor, on a meditation cushion, bolster or blanket (hips higher than
    your knees). If you’re not, sit in a chair with your feet on the floor.

    2. Make it a ritual.

    One of the most lucrative ways to coax the mind into submission is to create a
    ritual. Set a clearly designated space for meditation. This can be as simple as
    a candle, picture or stone, thoughtfully placed.

    Practice at the same time every day. Start with the same protocol for each
    meditation. Routine triggers the mind out of the left brain (logical, linear) and
    into the right hemisphere (intuitive, non-linear).

    3. Sit tall.

    Sit tall. Straighten your spine. Sit in a chair or against the wall if
    you need to. Lengthen the spine to help increase circulation and keep you
    alert.

    4. Start where you are.

    If 10 minutes seems overwhelming, begin with 5. After a
    week, begin to add 1 min. to your practice each week until you build up to 30
    min. (or more) at a time.

    5. Keep your thoughts gentle.

    Ultimately, it is all about your relationship to yourself. The way
    you do anything is the way you do everything. Meditation teaches us radical
    acceptance, compassion and unconditional love. Surrender to exactly who you are and what is happening – Right here, right now. Smile.

    6. Note your excuses.

    Meditation is a practice of self-inquiry. Observe the excuses you tell yourself.
    “I’m too tired.” “I don’t have time.” You can carve 5 – 10 min. out of your day.
    Notice how your mind rationalizes breaking your commitment. No judgment.
    Just observation and understanding. Then, recommit.

    7. Find a meditation buddy.

    Accountability is the answer to your excuses. Find a buddy. We all have an
    overactive, unruly mind. It’s built that way! Find a friend who is also beginning
    to meditate, join a Facebook group or online course. Your struggle is
    normal…and it will get easier.

    8. Practice Makes Perfect.

    Or at least perfectly imperfect. As the great Ashtanga guru, Patthabi Jois says…”Practice. Practice. Practice. All is coming.” Like anything, we get better with practice. Think of your meditation as bicep curls for the muscle of your mind. You are training your brain to focus, concentrate and let go. Over time, with consistency…you will become more skillful.

    9. Just Breathe.

    The breath is a gateway beyond the mind. Our mind is addicted to analyzing
    the past or projecting into the future. The breath is only ever right here, right
    now. Focus on your breath to anchor the mind into the present moment.

    10. Start a “Benefit book”.

    End your practice by observing the benefits of your practice. How do you
    feel? What is your emotional state or mood? Make note any changes so they
    register in your body and conscious mind. Next time you resist meditation,
    remember the benefits to help you motivate and stay committed.

    To use essential oils in meditation, you have several options: You can anoint yourself (try the third eye). You can create a mist (mix oils with water in a small spray bottle) and spray the fragrance in the air, or you can use a diffuser. I’m personally a fan of putting the oils on my body, particularly the third eye point. You may find a combination of methods work well. Try these 8 essential oils in your meditation practice.

    1. Frankincense: A holy fragrance if there ever was one, it’s believed to help you increase your faith and connection with spirit.

    2. Myrrh: One of the highest sesquiterpene contents in an essential oil, myrrh directly stimulates the hypothalamus, pituitary and amygdalin glands to help reduce stress and bring focus. It’s uplifting scent can assist in deep spiritual “opening” while bringing calm and tranquility.

    3. Cedarwood: Focus inward a bit more clearly with the help of cedarwood. It can also help to illuminate your need for meditation and return you to your spiritual path when obstacles have made it difficult.

    4. Sandalwood: This oil is very helpful in healing, particularly emotional/spiritual wounds. It opens the heart and helps to promote trust.

    5. Vetiver: This oil is extremely grounding and can be especially beneficial if you have a tendency to wander and lose focus in meditation.

    6. Neroli: The potent floral fragrance of neroli can help you to be more self-accepting, face your fears and accept the work you need to do for yourself. It’s incredibly sensual and transformative, and the fragrance can also inspire creativity, particularly as it pertains to a spiritual practice.

    7. Rose: The fragrance of love—both the human and the Divine, this romantic and sensual oil opens the heart to receive love–particularly self-love—and a deeper connection to the spirit world.

    8. Sage: Burning sage is a common ceremonial practice in many tribal cultures. It cleanses and purifies, removing negative energies. It is grounding and restores both balance and energy.


  3. Yoga and Essential Oils

    March 2, 2015 by Katherine

    Yoga and oils Sundays