Summer Solstice 2014 and Sun Salute

Wishing you a joy filled Summer Solstice. Today is the beautiful solstice, where we celebrate the longest day of sunlight. The twilight hours—morning and evening—call us to make the journey back to our inner selves. Take the time today to notice the rising and setting sun. Feel the essence of her warmth and rays of light by chanting the beautiful mantra – Gayatri (Guy-ah-tree).

Invite the Gayatri into your Sun Salutation practice today.  This method of honoring the sun was  taught to me by my master teachers Joseph and Lilian Le Page, and taught to my students by me, and their students by them.  Invite the twelve words to flow to the twelve classical steps of the Surya Namaskar.

OM, bhur, bhuvah, swaha, tat, savitur, varenyaum
bhargo, devasya, dimahi, dhyo, yo nah, prachodayat

Translation by Joseph Le Page:

Om, body mind and spirit
That Sun God
That we venerate
May the divine light which we meditate upon
Inspire our vision and energy

NamasteWorks Summer Solstice

Interested in learning more about meditation and mantra as part of your journey to optimal health?  Contact NamasteWorks Yoga and Wellness.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can Being Bound Teach You Something?

This month in our NamasteWorks Integrative Yoga Therapy Teacher training, lead instructor Jammie Speyer, taught a session to the student teachers on Rheumatoid Arthritis. 

Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects the synovial fluid in the body, attacking it instead of protecting it.  Joints are primarily affected, but the heart, lungs, eyes, and other organs can be affected as well.  While RA mainly affects the skeletal system of the body, it can also attack and damage the muscular, circulatory, digestive, and respiratory systems.

RA Workshop

To help student teachers “feel” some of the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis, the students were bound at the joints.  Jammie then led them through a flow class, so that they could sense from the inside, what they observe happening from the outside.  Student teachers were able to feel for themselves, the difficulty of dropping into child’s or dog pose that seemed so simple just moments earlier.  Sensory exploration is one method employed to educate our student teachers about diseases and conditions. 

To learn more about our teacher training, CEUs, retreats and more, visit our site at http://www.namasteworksyoga.com

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.

The Yoga Prescription

By Nancy Levenson

Having just returned from a week’s vacation, I picked up my mail and was stunned to see so many personal letters from friends and acquaintances.  I just love the old art of postage stamps and hand written addressed envelopes – it indicates someone took the time to send me something that touched them in a way that reminded them of me.  With elation, I opened one after the other, to find the same article included by each, The Yoga Prescription – The ancient practice goes from gym class to doctor’s orders.  By Laura Hilgers. 

This article which appears in the current issue of Oprah shares the story of Jacquelyn Jackson, former employee of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and the day her world changed in Tucson.  While reading her story and journey of her PTSD from the shooting and another personal tragedy, it reminded me of my own tragic day of being in New York on 9/11.  Jackson and I both sought out multiple healing therapies and modalities to recover from a tragic event.  She and I both found long-term relief and recovery from employing the tools of Yoga Therapy.

Yoga Therapy honors the integration of the principles and teachings of yoga and eastern philosophies with Western science and medicine.  Yoga Therapy is an invitation to discover yoga as a healing art, designed and customized for each specific client.  Through the process of working with a yoga therapist, one discovers the path to their own healing has always been inside themselves.

Today, medical and therapeutic professionals are discovering how the ancient art of Yoga Therapy compliments more traditional practices of medicine and talk therapy to enhance health and wellness at all levels of the person. 

 

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.

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.

Is There One Right Way to Breathe in Yoga?

Let’s start first with an exploration of this question.  Since yesterday, you’ve probably taken twenty thousand inhales and twenty thousand exhales.  How present were you to any of those breaths?  Did you notice the natural rhythm of your inhale and exhale and the rise or fall of the belly or chest?  Or, hone in on an awareness of one being longer or shorter than the other?  Perhaps you sensed the texture, the length of the breath, or how the breath moved about your own being?  Or maybe your awareness was focused on where the breath began its journey and where it ended inside you?  If not, maybe you want to take a moment now and just be with your own breath. What you will discover is that we all have our own innate breathing pattern, some good, some not so good.

In our therapeutic practice, we aim to help clients learn that there is NO one way to breathe in yoga.  But, there are ways to breathe optimally to enhance our overall health.  Each breath we draw upon infuses our inner being with a lush gift of prana and learning how to honor that gift in how and where we move the breath are all equally important.  In our Breath with Movement sessions, we guide our clients to move their physical body to their own innate breathing, not group movement, but individual movement.  When we allow our body to be guided by the breath, we step into a beautiful flow, a meditative movement that fuels and energies us as well as dispels the body of no longer needed toxins, stress, and dis-ease.

And the way we breathe changes from moment to moment, and practice to practice.  Our trained therapeutic instructors guide you to flow your movement to your breath to enhance all systems of your body.  Using the concept of Langhana or Brahmana breathing, tied to mudras that support,  and yoga movement that awakens,  you will discover that there is no one way to breathe in yoga, but a rainbow of strategies to maintain optimal health.

Private therapy for the respiratory system is also available and guided by Nancy Levenson, PYT-1000.  She will work with you to improve conditions of Asthma, COPD, Anxiety and other taxing disorders to the respiratory system.

 

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 require a RSVP. www.namasteworksyoga.com – A Place to Discover Yoga as a Healing Art.

I Will Miss My Practice

Over one year ago I began a search for the perfect yoga class.  I attended several yoga classes that left me feeling more inept than peaceful or introspective.  I was frustrated and disappointed that yoga was taking on a seemingly aerobic and boot camp feel, racing through poses without thought or purpose.  I was going through a particularly stressful period and my brother wanted to give me a birthday gift that would allow me to take time out just for myself and not think about anything else, even if just for an hour a week. 

I was also suffering from low back pain issues that were aggravated by the yoga classes I had tried.  He knew of my interest in yoga and of my frustration in finding a yoga center that fit.  He searched for a studio in the area close to my home and found NamasteWorks Yoga Center.  He purchased an eight week “Breath with Movement” class for me as a Birthday present. 

From the first class, I knew I had finally found the right place and the perfect instructor in Nancy.  This class was exactly what I had been searching for.  In just a few short weeks my lower back pain not only subsided but my body began to feel stronger.  My stress level decreased tremendously and allowed me to function more effectively.  In fact, I remember in my second class with Nancy, having an emotional release that brought me to tears.  It was as though a weight had been lifted. 

My lower back issues were further abated by a private yoga therapy session with Nancy.  She equipped me with a fully customized program with poses that would alleviate my back pain and strengthen those lower back muscles to prevent further injury and pain.  I loved my class so much that I decided to add on another night.  I now attend classes two nights per week with additional participation in several specialty classes & programs when offered. 

My practice has become such an important part of my life that I cannot imagine my life without it.  I have become physically stronger, more flexible and limber, introspective and thoughtful and fulfilled spiritually.  The perfect practice indeed!  The sad part of my story is that my husband has accepted a new work situation in New York which we both agreed would be a positive move & we will be leaving the Denver area this week.  I am so heavy hearted that I have to leave Nancy and my practice behind.  It has truly become such an integral part of my life.  Nancy, I cannot thank you enough for all that you do for all of us and for the profound impact you have on our lives.  You’ve helped us to become physically stronger, emotionally calmed & spiritually fulfilled.  I will miss you and all of my wonderful friends in practice so very much. 

 

Namaste,
Carol P.
October 10, 2011

The Yoga of Non-Doing Encourages Self Renewal

Can you think of the last time you were doing nothing?  Literally doing nothing, allowing your body and mind to fully release?  Today, so many of us are on a non-stop journey moving from one situation to the next that we have little if no  opportunity to recharge our personal batteries, replenish our life force and rejuvenate our personal energy.   Much like the technology that we surround ourselves with, without recharging, we too become susceptible to stress, run on empty and eventually are unable to function due to illness or fatigue.

Restorative yoga is helping many individuals learn a new practice of just being, just allowing, and dropping into profound surrender. This style of yoga permits active relaxation that allows individuals to lose all sense of time and place, through props, breathing and meditation.  It allows for an opportunity to slow down from the inherent pace of life, to open the body gently, and bring the mind to a relaxed state.  If you have not explored this form of yoga, you will find that it is yoga of being, rather than doing. 

Unlike a traditional yoga session, this form of yoga invites you to move deeper into levels of relaxation through the use of props; blankets, pillows, bolsters, blocks, and more.  The props provide support to create passive openings to the body and allow in self-renewal.  Restorative yoga uses very little muscular effort and simply focuses on legging go, inviting the breath and mind to become more integrated with the body, and allow for healing and self-renewal to take place. 

The art of self renewal is permission to love ourselves and honor the need to ensure our overall well-being and optimal health toward ourselves.  Finding a way to continually replenish our energy is a gift to our body, mind and spirit and not only serves us, but everyone.

NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness, located in Old Town Littleton will be offering a new four week session of restorative yoga beginning October 14 and running through November 4th for only $79.  In just four weeks, this Friday night, 5:45-7:00 pm, restorative yoga session can offer a transformational effect to body and soul with supported postures, blissful breathing and deep meditation.  The practice will be led by Renee Carrillo, a 200HR Yoga Therapist who will help participants discover the fine art of non-doing.  Explore this mini-renewal series by claiming your space now and emerge released from the daily stress of doing and arrive in the art of being. 

To register send a request through our contact form or call 303.725.1434. 

NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness is located at 5680 S. Curtice Street, Littleton, CO 80120 and can also be reached by phone at 303.725.1434.  This wellness center is by appointment only, not a walk-in facility.

Coolness in Every Breath – Kaki Pranayama

If you are finding the summer heat unbearable, you can always turn to a yogic pranayama to cool you from the inside out. Kaki Pranayama employs the use of forming a small beak with your lips, allowing the inhale to cool as it travels over the tongue, then seal the mouth and exhale out the nose.  Follow the practice below:

Coolness in Every Breath

Pranayama:  Kaki on the inhale

  • Sit/Lie and be with yourself
  • Eyes closed, body grounding
  • Soften the structure of what you call you
  • Let out all rigidity
  • And ask yourself am I breathing?
  • Invite in Kaki Pranayama on the inhale
  • Take a slow breath in through pursed lips
  • At the same time notice how the navel radiates outward toward the sky
  • Seal the mouth and exhale the breath
  • At the same time invite the navel to draw inwards to the spine
  • And stay with this breath
  • Imagine yourself as a small inflatable boat
  • Allow each inhale to draw the cool air slowly inside you
  • Each exhale, seal the mouth and feel your boat slowly moving
  • And as you breath, notice if your body needs something from you
  • As you inhale, feel the texture of the breath
  • As you exhale, hear the sound of the breath
  • Kaki beathing, drawing breath in and down
  • Sealed lips, nose releasing the breath
  • Noticing how Kaki helps you to lengthen your inhalation and begins to cool you
  • How the exhale continues to move your small boat
  • And noticing now, where is my mind?
  • What emotions/sensations am I feeling right now
  • And now imagine rowing a boat to a peaceful location, by slowly rolling the arms forward and back in rhythm to your breath
  • And invite the arms to mimic oars
  • With each pull of the oars feel yourself becoming more graceful
  • Your breathing slowing
  • And your strokes , longer and more open, allowing this cooling breath in for a minimum of five minutes

Kaki Pranayama is just one of the therapeutic yoga breathing strategies offered to our clients to improve overall respiratory health.   To learn more about pranayama or breath with movement, just contact us. NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness is a center focused on helping you Discover Yoga as a Healing Art.