The Heart as a Filter

The Heart as a Filter

We know that the heart chakra, Anahata, is the balance point of the lower and upper chakras, but have we contemplated its true placement in the emotional body?  When we consider that the heart chakra resides between the Manipura (3rd) chakra and the Vishuddha (5th) chakra we discover the power of the heart to act as a filter.  Consider that an imbalance in our Manipura chakra may result in violent outbursts, or the need to be right and have the final word and we can witness that natural jump for Manipura to Vishuddha.  We have a gut reaction and for some of us the instinct is to react and allow the vocal chords of the throat chakra to respond.  What would happen, if we realized the power of the heart as a filter?

Just as a cup of tea or coffee moves from compression of beans, through a slow filter, to ensure that the result is a smooth and tasteful beverage, we too can employ the filter of the heart to deliver a smooth result from a gut reaction.  If we use the heart as a filter, we are given an opportunity to gain connection with the self inside, to ruminate on our gut instinct and invite in the time necessary to offer a loving response that supports our optimal health and the health of others. 

February is National Heart Month – Cardiovascular disease knows no borders. Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, remains the leading global cause of death with more than 17.3 million deaths each year.  Consider the next time you feel an instinct to go from gut to voice the impact you may have to your heart.   Our practice is here to support you in soothing the heart, reducing stress and finding peace in your life.  Choose a new path for a healthy heart.

 

NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness is The Place to Discover Yoga as a Healing Art.  We are a private sanctuary located in the heart of Highlands Ranch that offers specialized private yoga therapy programs, classes, teacher training, workshops and retreats.  Our founder is Nancy Levenson, a certified yoga therapist with a focus on providing wellness to our community.  To inquire about any of our programs, reach us on our contact form, or call us directly at 303.725.1434.

 

 

Pushpanjali Mudra – Appreciate Life Just As It Is

Pushpa means “flower,” and anjali means “hands joined together in reverence.”Pushpanjali is therefore an offering of flowers. This gesture also instills a sense of openness that allows us to appreciate life exactly as it is, in the present moment, without reaching out to fulfill perceived needs endlessly.  When we hold this mudra, we notice the natural lengthening of the exhalation, cultivating a sense of relaxation and ease that supports us in releasing attachments more easily.

NamasteWorks Yoga Therapy

Pushpanjali mudra also instills a sense of generosity, which is the antidote to grasping. This gesture facilitates both physical and subtle digestion, instilling a sense of natural abundance, a knowing that we have all that we need, making it easier to release neediness and grasping.

Pushpanjali is one of the many mudras you will encounter in the new book, Mudras for Healing and Transformation by Joseph and Lilian Le Page.  May each of you find a way to instill a sense of generosity throughout the upcoming months and remind yourself of your present abundance 

Mudras are just one of the many therapeutic tools used in our practice.  Mudras are seals that allow the energy/prana of our being to be directed into a certain place within us to support our overall healing and wellbeing. 

NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness is The Place to Discover Yoga as a Healing Art.  We offer specialized private yoga therapy programs, classes, trainings, workshops and retreats – with healing at the focus.  We serve clients suffering with anxiety, depression, stress, structural issues and respiratory and digestive diseases that seek wellness.  We custom tailor each client’s wellness program based on a vision of health as a unity of body, mind and spirit.

2.23 The Union of the Seer and the Seen

Interpretive Translation by Joseph Le Page – 2.23 The Union of the Seer and the Seen

The union of the seer and the seen, purusha and prakriti, allows us to perceive the nature of each clearly (and to recognize their essential unity).

Commentary: The Union of the Seer and the Seen

The union of the seer and the seen forms a field of learning and awakening, allowing us to perceive both the world and our own inner being with absolute clarity.

As we gain greater clarity, we come to see that the personality with all of its wants and needs is not the destination, but only a means to awaken the seer, our limitless true being.

But the personality has an essential role to play along this journey, providing a relative sense of security that is gradually released as we awaken to the absolute safety of our authentic being.

NamasteWorks Yoga + WellnessAnd each of the joys and tragedies that form our life’s tapestry are part of this process of learning and awakening, like a butterfly’s stages of release that allow it to finally unfold its wings of freedom.

Along this journey there is a natural reciprocity in which we receive exactly the lessons we need while providing others with the experiences that support their awakening.

But to make this journey requires both wisdom and compassion equally, for wisdom guides our way while compassion allows us to see that everyone is seeking unity within the limits of their understanding.

As wisdom and compassion meet, awakening occurs naturally, allowing us to perceive that the satisfaction experienced at the level of the personality is only a dim reflection of the wholeness of our true being.

With a greater sense of our inherent wholeness, we release our compulsive need to do and achieve motivated by feelings of being defective and incomplete that are ultimately just beliefs.

And our deepest beliefs are disguised most convincingly; a sense of unworthiness looks like humility and control issues are camouflaged as self-mastery until all masks are released to reveal our authentic being.

Our spiritual beliefs are the last to leave as we come to see that even our “experiences of ecstasy” are just a release of energy as we evolve from the complexes of the personality to the clarity of simply living.

With clarity and simplicity, the world becomes less threatening, eliminating the need to struggle with or resist the seen, thereby allowing binding desires, anger, fear and suffering to dissolve naturally.

With the release of negativity, we awaken to the beauty of both the seer and the seen while perceiving their essential unity, allowing us to live in deep appreciation at each moment along the life journey.

For unity is our destiny, like drops of water within life’s stream, our boundaries in the form of limiting beliefs are dissolved gradually until we reach the sea of limitless being where all separation is released.

As separation is released, the world outside and our inner being are experienced as expressions of a single source energy, divided into two initially to create the contrast and clarity to perceive our essential unity.

And this union of the seer and the seen is ultimately like a marriage ending, but reversed one hundred and eighty degrees – it begins with the pain of separation and culminates in the honeymoon of unity.

Joseph Le Page is the founder and director of Integrative Yoga Therapy (IYT) and a pioneer in Yoga therapy training programs. IYT, a leader in the Yoga therapy field since 1993, is the result of Joseph’s life experiences, his training as a Kripalu Yoga teacher and his master’s degree work in experiential education, along with his lifelong interest in mind-body health. Joseph is also the founder and director of Enchanted Mountain Yoga Center in Brazil, which is one of the largest Yoga centers in South America.

Joseph Le Page and Lillian Le Page have recently released a new book, Mudras for Healing and Transformation.  They are also the authors of Yoga Teachers’ Box.  Joseph Le Page has also authored Healing Tools 3 CDSet and Loka Samasta Sukino Bavantu music CD.

NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness is an affiliate school of Integrative Yoga Therapy.

Mudras for Healing & Transformation – New Book Available

Be the first to own a copy! The long anticipated Mudras for Healing and Transformation.  Never before has any one book articulated the depth of mudras in an easy to understand and apply format.  Emerging out of the Five Koshas, readers will have access to over one hundred mudras that explore our physical dimension, our subtle body, balancing of our mind and emotions, support on our journey of spiritual awakening and, tapping into our inherent spiritual nature. 

From one of the world’s top mudra experts, Joseph Le Page, this book breaks down the complexity of each mudra through step-by-step instructions.  Easy-to-use breakout boxes for each mudra include; core quality, benefits, cautions, instructions and mudras with similar effects.  Illustrations throughout help further define the systems balanced, elements activated, doshas balanced, prana vayus nourished, chakras balanced and provide a scale of the energizing effect of each mudra.

Going beyond mudras to address the entire spectrum of healing, each mudra is paired with a beautiful guided meditation to deepen awareness and the energetic affect of each.  These timeless meditations are a perfect complement to the overall flow of the book and will be enjoyed by readers from any spiritual tradition. 

Over one hundred mudras united with over one hundred meditations make this a must-have text and tool for any yoga therapist, teacher, healing professional, yoga school and individual desiring to tap into this healing resource.  This breakthrough book retails for only $29.95. The first run of this book is limited.   Don’t miss out on your opportunity to obtain a copy from the first run of this book.  It’s easy, just click here and add your copy into the Integrative Yoga Therapy shopping cart.   

And stay tuned in as Integrative Yoga Therapy announces a new Mudra teacher training program later this fall.

NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness is an affiliate school of Integrative Yoga Therapy and fully endorses this new book, Mudras for Healing & Transformation.

Using Mudras and Movement in Your Teaching

In this instructor inspired workshop, explore how mudras can change the energetic shift of your entire practice. You will experience a variety of mudras and how to apply these ancient seals to your teaching to create dynamic shifts in energy and movement. Taught by Nancy Levenson, PYT-1000, ERYT 500, with extensive experience with mudras for healing.  For Yoga Instructors – Earn 5 CEU’s.  Space is limited.  RSVP via the contact form or by calling 303.725.1434.  Held at NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness Center.

 

Mudra Workshop (C)NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness

Using Mudras and Movement in Your Teaching
Saturday, September 15, 2012 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
5 CEU’s – $59

NamasteWorks Yoga and Wellness is located in a vintage home, at 5860 S. Curtice Street, Old Town Littleton, Colorado. 303.725.1434.  We are not a walk-in studio, rather a private center – A Place to Discover Yoga as a Healing Art.  Visit us at www.namasteworksyoga.com

Caring for the Physical Body – Practice Being In It

The first step in caring for the body is to practice being it, having moment to moment awareness, awareness of the breath, sensations, feelings and thoughts.  Can you even remember the last time you stepped mindfully into your physical body? Each day we are given an opportunity to honor this temple through the simple practice of awareness. 

Being in the Body - NamasteWorks YogaAs you open your eyes in the morning, are you aware of what you first see or do you jump into action, or chose to close them again and retreat under the covers.  There is no right or wrong, just an opportunity to notice that each brings a different quality to the body and an opportunity for us to take our first morning sip of awareness.  Awareness is one of the most powerful tools we have for our optimal health.  Allow your morning awareness to permeate you the same way a warm shower awakens all the senses.  Step into your body and allow the inner experience to awaken and inform the outer experience.  When you find yourself hunched over, achy, crying in pain as you step forth into the day, have you identified, examined and contemplated what inner sensations, emotions, feelings, or thoughts have guided your body to respond in this manner?  This is the body’s way of giving you an opportunity to step into the present moment and gain a sense of where you are simply through body awareness.

Consider doing you own body scan each morning before you even rise.  Imagine a search light floating through you from the crown of the head to the tips of the toes.  Follow this scan consciously taking note of sensations or areas that feel especially open and spacious or those that might feel more closed and tight. When you begin to move the joints, do you notice they move with ease or are they rigid and almost immobile?  Or maybe a certain part of the body is calling out to you…..”Here I am, notice me.” 

Allow yourself to shift your morning mindset from areas of pain and resistance to those areas of comfort and pleasure. Hold onto these points and make them the focus of your awareness.  When you learn to listen to the messages of the body a shift occurs and you innately begin the healing process.    And who knows, you may find yourself waking up to a whole new body.

Consider enhancing your body awareness with a breath with movement practice utilizing mudras, pranayama, pranavayus and meditation.  Our therapeutic center’s mantra is – A Place to Discover Yoga as a Healing Art.

NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness, 5860 S. Curtice St., Littleton, CO 80120. We are not a walk-in studio, we operate as a private center for our clients. All classes and private sessions require an RSVP. www.namasteworksyoga.com – A Place to Discover Yoga as a Healing Art.

Healing Through the Prana Vayus

In the opening scene of the Kite Runner, we witness two friends taking command of nature’s air as they fly their kites through the village, out into the open landscape and into a vast competition, where each participant has learned how to master the wind, allowing them to fly their kites in an amazing chorography and dance.  As two of the kites appear to collide, we gasp, hold our breath, blocking our own inner winds, only to witness the kite master’s precision in creating a shift and find the kite flying a new rhythm, a new current.

We too have the ability to ride the winds of our prana vayus.  Within the body, prana is divided into different forms each with its own function and location.  These different energy currents are called vayus, inner winds, or energy movement.  According to Ayurvedic philosophy there are ten vayus that perform ten functions, five major and five minor.  The five major prana vayus are Udana (circular movement of prana), Prana (upward movement of prana), Samana (horizontal movement of prana), Apana (downward movement of prana) and Vyana (all pervasive movement).  Each of us has these internal currents of energy that flow within us and when we feel out of control, tapping into the prana vayus and shifting our inner winds, can bring us back to optimal health.

In our therapeutic yoga, the prana vayus play an important role in assisting our client’s journey to a balanced state of body, mind and spirit.  Each vayu travels it own channel and is intimately linked with a system of our body, an element, and one or more chakras.  When a vayu is out of balance, that system of the body tends to also be imbalanced.  And, when imbalance occurs, we invite all sorts of disorders and dis-eases to emerge.  We can also rely on one vayu too much in our daily living which is the case with stress induced disorders.  When one vayu becomes prominent over all others, both hyper and hypo conditions of our physical body can occur.

At NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness our approach is to help clients bring awareness to their vayus, find imbalances and then choose the appropriate Langhana and Brahmana tools, of pranayama, asana, meditation, and mudra to allow the client, just like the kite, to soar once again, unobstructed and untangled.  Interested in your own prana vayu assessment?  We would be happy to help you understand how to soar unobstructed.

NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness, 5860 S. Curtice St., Littleton, CO 80120.  We are not a walk-in studio, we operate as a private center for our clients.  All classes and private sessions require a RSVP. www.namasteworksyoga.com – A Place to Discover Yoga as a Healing Art.

FREE Yoga in the Park Next Date: June 15

NO YOGA IN THE PARK THIS MORNING…..Kidfest is being held.

I’ll be guiding the Primal Mood & Mudras Class this morning….

Enhancing Mood with Mudras, Movement and Meditation – June 11 – 8:30-10:30
Saturday, June 11. One Day Program. Explore your primal nature in this two hour blended yoga class. We will go on a journey through free form movement of the body blending yoga, somatics and ballet, finding and moving the breath with mudras and dropping into a deep meditative state with Yoga Nidra – all in an effort to enhance mood, release stress and find joy!

Earthing and Prana Vidya

I am in praise of the new book, Earthing by Clinton Ober, Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D. and Martin Zucker. A few months back I wrote an article entitled, “Lying Mindfully on the Earth.” In this article, I shared with you the importance of getting down and lying mindfully on the earth daily to connect with a convergence of two energies, the feminine, yin energy of the Earth and the masculine, yang, energy of the sky as a source of healing our bodies.

Earthing takes this exploration even further and explores the concept of reducing inflammation naturally by equalizing our body’s energy with that of the Earth’s. The subhead on the book reads “The most important health discovery ever?” I believe the authors have an important message to share, a message that many civilizations have known for centuries, known as grounding.

In my yoga therapy practice grounding a client is one of the first processes we discover together. Although the Earth serves as a major tool to ground and heal, many other tools are available to ground a client in yoga therapy. First, we may work to connect with the client’s Apana Vayu, the downward movement of prana through the body. Apana Vayu roots and grounds our energy, allowing us to feel anchored into the Earth. This downward current of energy nourishes the low abdomen, pelvis, eliminatory and reproductive systems of the body. Carefully choosing appropriate pranayama, asana and mudras allow the client to not only heal, but actually sense this downward current of energy throughout their physical body.

My theory is that energetically, prana holds the key to all healing. Utilize the knowledge to control your prana with the ability to equalize your body to the Earth and you have two very powerful tools to achieve optimal health. I highly recommend Earthing as a must-read for anyone considering a way to ground and heal their physical and energetic bodies.

© Namasteworks Yoga + Wellness, LLC. Founder, Nancy Levenson, Serving the Highlands Ranch and Littleton, CO communities. http://www.namasteworksyoga.com

Combining Prithivi Mudra and Pranayama

Combining a mudra, a hand gesture, with alternate nostril breathing can help senior yoga students restore and balance their subtle body in a safe and easy practice. Instead of the traditional fingers to the nose method, try using an approach that feels more accessible.

For this breath work, have your clients either seated in a chair or on the floor in simple seated pose, depending on their flexibility.

Start your clients out in Prithivi Mudra, also known as the Earth Mudra. Prithivi Mudra tends to be easier for seniors to manage, even with arthritic hands. Have your client place the tips of the thumb and the ring finger of each hand together. Then extend the remaining fingers straight out. Then guide them through a three part series of Anuloma (Alternate) Pranayama (Energy/Breathing); Chandra Anuloma Pranayama, Surya Anuloma Pranayama and Anuloma Viloma Pranayama.

Mudra

Part 1: Chandra Anuloma Pranayama connects the participant with the cooling side of their body, the left nostril, the feminine side. Have them then place their left hand under the right, palms facing upward and place the hands a few inches from the solar plexus. The elbows are naturally drawn outward to the sides of the body, creating a triangle from the crown of the head to the hands, which form the base. Ensure that the hands are not touching each other and that the fingers remain extended. Now encourage them to experience breathing through the left nostril only. Guide the process by having them Inhale and breathe in the left nostril, exhale and breathe out the left nostril. This is a slow and deep breath, not a face rapid breath. Repeat six to ten times on this one side. I’ve even had my students who are somewhat skeptical attempt to breathe in on the right side and notice how difficult if not impossible it is to do while holding the Prithivi Mudra.

Part 2: Surya Anuloma Pranayama connects the participant with the heating side of their body, the right nostril, the male dominant side. Simply have your students reverse the position of the hands, placing the left hand now above the right. Shift the awareness of the breathing in and out through the right nostril. Repeat six to ten times.

Part 3: Anuloma Viloma Pranayama connects the participant with balanced nostril breathing. In this phase you will be guiding them through a shifting of left and right nostril dominance. Start with the left hand under the right, breathing in to the left nostril. After completing one cycle of inhale, exhale; shift the hands and the instructions to breath in and out of the right nostril. Repeat six to ten times. Then release the breath exercise altogether and guide them back to natural breathing.

Many of my students find the practice an easy way to explore the boundaries of the right and left nostril and an enjoyable and easy way to connect with, restore and balance the flow of their breath.

©NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness, LLC, http://www.namasteworksyoga.com, by: Nancy Levenson