Friday, April 28, 2017

You are My Sunshine...seeing the Light

There is a light within each of us as bright as the sun. A spark of light filled with love and kindness that always shines. Each of us has this inner light; it is who we are at our core. This light illuminates our life, affecting our thoughts, words, and actions.

Sometimes we don't notice it and other times we forget it's even there. Yoga wakens us, allowing us to see the inner light. As we begin to see this inner light in ourselves and others we become more loving and kind. 

A simple way to practice is to offer a silent greeting of Namaste when you encounter someone, " The light in me, sees the light in you." When the light guides us we treat others the way we want to be treated. Therefore embrace your inner spark and let it light your way!

Seeing the light in our sassy seniors led us to this month's story; You Are My Sunshine. We opened the practice by letting our "Sun shine" for all to see. Circling the arms overhead with full, deep Sunbreaths fanned the flame while loosening up stiff upper backs, necks, and shoulders. Then gentle twists created sparks that had us shining all the brighter as back discomfort diminished. Simple leg lifts strengthened and stretched hamstrings and quadriceps, tight from time spent mostly sitting.

The ancient practice of yoga is perfect for seniors. It helps keep the mind sharp and the muscles strong. Our inner light illuminating the way, we closed with a grateful Namaste.

The light in me, sees the light in you. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Cleansing Twists

Mel in Chair Twist
Kathe in Lunge Twist

Spring has arrived and it's a great time to assist the body in its natural cleansing process. There are many ways in which we can help the body to obtain vibrant health and wellness. We yogis' like twists!

Twists are good for the back, belly, shoulders and chest. Our practice this month focused on twisting from the core; strengthening the immune system by stimulating the lymphatic and digestive systems. These systems keep us healthy. 

Our story for the month; I am healthy. I am well.  

To fully express the twists, we need to concentrate on our core and rotate from the lower spine. Twists keep the spine flexible and supple, helping to prevent herniated disks and compressed nerves. They massage and tone the abdominal organs. These organs compress when you twist, squeezing out stagnant blood. When we release the twist fresh oxygen filled blood enters the tissues. Twisting stimulates respiration and circulation too, nourishing us and removing toxins from the body. Twists also relieve stress; opening the chest and shoulders, areas where most of us hold tension. 

No wonder we feel so good after yoga twists. May these twist help you obtain vibrant health and wellness!

Here are a couple of poses from this months sequence. Remember to engage your core as you lengthen through the spine before twisting...

Chair pose with a twist

Stand in mountain with feet hip distance apart. Inhale and extend the arms forward at shoulder-height, reaching forward through your fingertips. Exhale and bend the knees as though you are sitting back into a chair, engage your center as you lengthen through the spine, shift the weight to your heels. Bring your hands together in prayer and then twist to the right, bringing the left elbow to the right knee, lifting the right elbow high. Look out over your fingertips, holding the pose for several breaths. Inhale to center and exhale twisting to the left. 

Lunge pose with a twist

Stand in mountain with feet hip distance apart. Inhale and step the left leg back as you extend the arms forward at shoulder height. Exhale and bend the front knee as you come up on the toes of the back foot. Inhale as you bring the left hand to the ground and exhale as you twist to the right, lifting the right arm straight overhead. Return the arms to center as you step up into mountain and repeat on the opposite side.

Mahalo, we serve.