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joy Joy and Celebration!


So the holiday season is offically upon us. Thanksgiving has come and gone, black friday loomed it's frightful head and windows and houses have started up with the festive decorations. Did I spy a Santa the other day as well?


Now some people might delight in the holiday spirit while others might want to run and hide. Through all and all, it seems that ignoring it is inevitable. So why NOT embrace it?

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” -the buddha



Yes there are many breathing exercises and yoga routines that can help you reduce stress to help get you through the holidays, but what about ways to help boost happiness and joy within us! And the easiest lesson I could give to start this process is to simply: LIVE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT. If you can simply be in the present, you will find joy in the even the most mundane activities. Too often the mind is distracted by the future or past, which limits your capacity to be joyfully present. All forms of yoga and meditation can help reveal the jow of NOW.

ardhaA pose for joy: try Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

As you stretchi n this pose, your body traces the smooth arc of a crescent moon, you will have to practice but when you finally balance without fear it is a feat to celebrate!

 

"From joy springs all creation, by joy it is sustained, toward joy it proceeds, and to joy it returns"




 













 

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patience They say patience is a virtue. Which is true, with virtue meaning a commendable quality or trait, and especially in these times. And as much as we may all commend patience how often are we ourselves practicing it? I believe patience is more than a virtue, it's an aspiration, a goal, and as scholars would say, a compaion to wisdom. Ironically enough we learn over time to aquire patience. We are tried and tested everyday with patience, and coming from a society that is displayed and tempted with drive thrus, instant coffee, high speed internet, and botox (just to name a few) a sense of patience and restoration is needed more than ever.
rocksBreathing exercise for patience..

 

Inhale to the count of 4, exhale to the count of six. Slowly start increasing your numbers. Example: inahle to 6, exhale to 8. This breathing exercise helps reduce blood pressure and induces state of peace and relaxation.childs
We may find this true to our practice on the mat as well. Ego can sometimes run high in yoga as we scan the room and wonder and gawk on how and why someone can so easily practice an asana that we might not be able to conquer. But we think to our own bodies, we think of patience and we know that over time we will find the answers or find our own form of practice that is satisfying and true. Don't forget, one persons mastered asana can be another persons arch enemy. Our bodies are all shaped differently, from bone structure to tender fascia, we are what we are. So please let us remember the reason yoga has come around, asanas are preparing the body for meditation. Mediation takes great patience and ease to lead us to samadhi. Samadhi is the ultimate state of bliss. And eternal bliss seems like the best virtue of all..

“It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.” ~Proverb.


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Keeping the Light

 

sunrise "Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness"-chinese proverb.



Aah, it's that time of the year again where we "Fall Back", gain an hour of sleep but lose an hour of sunlight towards days end. For those who might not be early birds, it can be a bit daunting.
We should remember that "When you possess light within you, you see it externally". The following are articles found that can help us with these seasonal changes as well as remind us we can and should take the time to restore and rebalance.


Excerpts from the Huffinton Post and Yoga Journal:


lampAt 2 a.m. Sunday morning, we finally recaptured that lost hour of sleep from last March as we marked the end of daylight saving time. And for the 47 million Americans who are sleep deprived, that extra hour is a chance to literally make up for lost time."This is one of those weekends we should really relish," said HuffPost blogger Russell Rosenberg, Ph.D., CEO of the Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine and chairman of the board of the National Sleep Foundation. "The fact that Americans are so sleep deprived, it's a nice reprieve from the busy lifestyles that we all lead."a New England Journal of Medicine report found that heart attack rates decrease the Monday after the end of daylight saving time, Harvard Health Blog reports, while a Canadian study found a decrease in car accidents after the fall change, though Harvard Health Blog does point out that another study found an increase in accidents after both changes.Yet while the transition may be an easy one, for many falling back also signifies a shift into winter and the changing light patterns that come with it. And perhaps that's the real health story behind the end of daylight saving time, stretching into winter long after that regained hour is forgotten.
For early birds and school children, the shift will mean it's light instead of dark outside in the mornings, which is good news for our internal biological clocks. When light stimulates a certain part of the brain first thing in the morning, it can make us more vigilant throughout the day and boost moods in the long run, Decker explained. "Now that the sun is rising a little earlier, we really want to think about getting up, going outside," he said. "Getting that bright light in the morning is absolutely key to health and performance and everything that goes with it."
But getting sunlight earlier in the day also means it may already be dark by the time people are leaving work. "There's always a psychological impact of it getting dark so early -- feeling that the days are shorter, and that winter is coming," Rosenberg explained.
And over time, that increase in darkness can lead to feeling blue and even experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder. According to the NIH,
symptoms of SAD typically start in late autumn and winter and include increased appetite, increased daytime sleepiness, decreased energy in the afternoon, loss of interest in work, unhappiness and lethargy.restorative


For years, winter brought serious mood changes for Natalie Engler. She craved carbohydrates, struggled with lethargy, and hated to get out of bed in the morning. The feelings lasted through April, when her mood brightened and her energy returned.
Engler developed a practice to combat her winter depression. It included
pranayama (breathwork) and meditation; vinyasa yoga; and at least 20 minutes a day of restorative yoga, which she describes as the single most powerful part of the practice.
"Restorative yoga may look passive from the outside, but it's very active internally on both subtle and dramatic levels," says Forbes, who is the founder and director of the Center for Integrative Yoga Therapeutics in Boston. "Our nervous systems are designed to respond to minute fluctuations in our environments. Restorative yoga, combined with breathwork, is a potent tool to recalibrate the nervous system."
Restorative yoga and breathwork form the heart of the therapeutic
yoga practice Forbes developed for emotional balance. Restore & Rebalance
Bo Forbes says the breathwork in these restorative postures makes all the difference in their effect on the nervous system. If you're feeling anxious and restless in your mind and body, as is typical of SAD during the fall and early spring, exhale for twice the count of your inhalation as you practice these poses. (If you're still feeling agitated after that, take a supported Childs Pose.) If you're feeling lethargic in your mind and body, make your exhalations and inhalations of equal length. Hold each pose for 5 to 20 minutes.


What Is New here at ATM
  • International teacher Shiva Rea will be here this Thursday!
  • Our new catalog for Jan- April 2012 will go to the printer next week...expect it on your doorstep Dec 4!
  • Sunday is the last day for this 40 day group. They were an amazing group and Kendall made us all a wonderful apple crisp for our last class.
  • 11/11/11 an auspicious date.. a time opening and great time for intention. Mary Partyka is bring a tree for us to put our intentions on. The Reiki folks will have a ceremony at the Reiki Gathering that night. Jessica might be offering an early morning sadana...stay tuned.
  • Yoga Ball is also happening 11 11 11 click here for more info.