Posts in Health
Can Ashtanga Yoga improve the health of the human reproductive system?

Should women practice Ashtanga Yoga during their cycle? How does this yoga help with regulating the menstrual cycle?

In the essential text on Ashtanga Yoga, The Yoga Mala, Jois states, ‘Some women suffer from abdominal pain during menstruation. This is removed by the practice of these asanas (Marichyasana.) The womb becomes powerful and enables a woman to carry a child strongly, and miscarriage due to weakness is cured.’

It’s impossible to deny that there is a flow of energy through the body. “It’s been called by many names. In ancient Chinese medicine, it is called Qi. In yoga, it is called Shakti. In the West, it is called Spirit….the yogis call energy centers chakras.” (The Untethered Soul - Michael A. Singer) Traditional Oriental Medicine links these centers with our internal organs. Both systems involve using natural remedies to allow the body to heal itself.

Read More
Ashtanga Yoga and the Circulatory System (part 1)

“your heart is one of the masterpieces of creation. It is a phenomenal instrument. It has the potential to create vibrations and harmonies that are far beyond the beauty of pianos, strings, or flutes. You can hear an instrument, but you feel your heart. And if you think that you feel an instrument, it’s only because it touched your heart. Your heart is an instrument made of extremely subtle energy that few people come to appreciate.” - The Untethered Soul Michael A. Singer

I didn’t want to separate the organ systems into groups because I didn’t want to give the impression that the systems work independently of each other. This seems like a, ‘No shit Sherlock’ moment, but I didn’t realize this very basic concept until a Human Systems Development class in college. Until that point I believed that the digestive system worked with food. Period. The respiratory system dealt with gas exchange, oxygen and carbon dioxide. Period. And the circulatory system dealt with blood. Period.

I didn’t recognize that the nutrients from the food we eat are carried around in the blood stream to their targets. Or that the organs, ALL of the organs, are made from the food that we eat. That all of the organs are supported by the blood that enriches them with oxygen and nutrients. I also didn’t realize that the lungs needed the contractions of the heart muscle to bring the oxygen around the body in the blood. I thought these gasses floated around inside of us, like the broken down bits of food. They eventually would get to where they were going.

There was this big “Oh!” Moment for me in that freshman class followed by this bit of anger for being taught the systems independently and lead to believe otherwise. 

For this, and other reasons, I am not going to separate the Respiratory and Cardiovascular systems. I will attempt to put the pieces together into one category. But please understand that these systems are unified with the other systems to form the perfect being that you are. 

Read More
Ashtanga Yoga for improved digestion (part 1)

The practice of ashtanga yoga is a formula designed to keep us paying attention. It keeps us on our toes and keeps us able to pursue our spiritual journey. 

On a physical level one way the practice restores or sustains our health is by keeping our digestive system strong. 

The digestive system works to serve the other organ systems. The cardiovascular/respiratory, neuro, reproductive, endocrine, etc. These other systems work to keep us on our spiritual path. The digestive system is made up of a number of organs, glands, and tissue. Digestion begins before we take the first bite.

Read More
How to practice Yoga alone

I’m afraid of the dark. I still run for the bed after turning off the lights at night. The bed is safe. Under the covers, I’m protected. Maybe I watched Gremlins, or Jaws, or It and they left an impression that plays out every time the lights go out until I’m safe in bed?

The point is I’m a grown man. I shouldn’t be afraid of the dark, but I am. And only at night. At 4am when I’m stumbling around to the shower before practice, the darkness doesn’t bother me. I have no fear at 4am. I’m not thinking enough to be afraid.

The first 10 minutes of my practice is on autopilot.

Read More
Why practice Ashtanga yoga?

There was a time when practice was a form of punishment. A punishment worthy of the crime I felt I had committed. Getting up in the AM to be alone on the mat was part of my penance. I was, Doing Time. Doing Mysore.

The beauty of these feelings being contained to practice was that I was able to work through my crap. Examine it, dissect it, experiment on it, and own it. 

Read More
Are you part of the 95%

90 to 95% of the population will take this way out if given the option.

When The Boss flip-flopped his hand at me and said, 'You do.' I was being guided through Inhibitory learning. I was being allowed to fail and test out my fear in a safe environment. I wasn't endangering myself or others, well maybe Angela, Lu and Danny, but I wasn't endangering my future.

I was being pushed beyond my comfort zone.

Dr. Sam has a direct link to your local pharmacy and a vast array of 'gifts' for you. Western medical science has come up with a patch for many health problems. Taking a CNS depressant for PTSD, panic-attacks, OCD, or Social-Anxiety Disorder. (BACK BENDS?!?)

Are you in the other 5 percent?

Read More
Yoga for injuries

Have you ever been in intense physical pain and then adding insult to injury you get some emotionally devastating news? Do you let it stop you? Or do you rise up agains it?

The first time I went into the mysore room after fracturing and dislocating the clavicle, I was afraid, scared, sad, and confused. I didn’t know what I was going to do.

I unrolled my mat and stood at the top. I closed my eyes and surrendered.

Ekam - Inhale, arm up

Dve - Exhale, lower

Trini - Inhale, head lifts

Catvari - ( I can’t lower down, I can’t jump back, I can’t . . .)

My head was filled with I can’t.  And that would have stopped me. But I wanted to figure it out. I was determined not to let an injury take this away.

If this practice is for anyone and everyone, then the injured can do this practice too!

Read how to modify your practice to fit your injury HERE

Read More