Sunday, August 30, 2015

Air Element Meditation

video

Begin inhaling through the nostrils and exhaling through the mouth.

Count to four as you Inhale and feel the air that comes through your nostrils.

Count to two as you hold the air at the top.

Count to four as you exhale through your mouth.

Count to two as you hold your breath.

Repeat.

Breathe in (1,2,3,4)

Hold (1, 2) Pay attention to the movement of breath in the nostrils and out the mouth.

Breathe out (1, 2, 3, 4)

Hold (1, 2)

Do this a couple of times. Be conscious of our center… the cradle of life within.

Breathe in (1, 2, 3, 4), Think of the life giving oxygen that the body needs. Be thankful for Air
element the element of life.

Hold…(1, 2) Breathe out (1, 2, 3, 4), Any sadness that you stuck inside of you.  Release it and see it floating in the air.

Hold…(1, 2)

Breathe in (1, 2, 3, 4), Think of the moments that you have experienced love

Hold (1, 2)

Breathe out (1, 2, 3, 4), Release any thoughts loneliness

Hold (1, 2)

Breathe in (1, 2, 3, 4), Think of the nourishing relationships in your life

Hold (1, 2)

Breathe out (1, 2, 3, 4), hurtful thoughts or experiences that have found refuge in the chambers of
your heart.

Hold (1,2)

Breathe in (1, 2, 3, 4), Green light to illumine all the love and compassion with in you

Hold (1, 2)

Breathe out (1, 2, 3, 4), Green light to heal any heartbreak

Hold (1, 2)

Breathe in (1, 2, 3, 4), Love

Hold (1, 2)

Breathe out (1, 2, 3, 4) Compassion

Hold (1,2)

Breathe in (1, 2, 3, 4), Love

Hold (1, 2)

Breathe out (1, 2, 3, 4) Compassion

Hold (1,2)

Come back to natural breathing

Yoga Nidra - Earth Element - Center and Balance


INTERNALIZATION
(as normal)

BODY ROTATION

Visualization your body as a garden waiting to be planted with rich dark soil and a each body part place a tiny side on the body
Water the right side of the body
Let the whole right side of the body grow and bloom



BREATH AWARENESS

 Take a deep breath in through the nose.
Breathe out through your mouth, making an “S” sound as you exhale.

This sound is one of the ways to strengthen your diaphragm by making you more aware of your exhalation.

Make the sound of an “S” during the entire exhalation.
Try to make that “S” sound as loud and as long as you can.
Allow yourself to exhale normally as you make the “S” sound like a balloon
expelling air when the top is open; don’t try and force the breath out.


OPPOSITES

WARM/COOL

(cool winter morning)

(warm summer's day)

HEAVY/LIGHT

(made of stone)

(leaf blowing in the wind)

VISUALIZATION

Imagine you are outside walking through a beautiful garden
It is early in the morning and you are completely alone
There are no other people around
There is only you to enjoy the beauty of nature
Become aware of the earth beneath your bare feet
it feels cool and very pleasant
Now see all the plants and trees growing out of the earth as you walk by them

As you listen
You heara loud clap of thunder.  Look up there is lightning. The sky has become very dark and now it is starting to rain.


You are standing on very green grass and you are watching the raindrops bounce off the blades of grass


Smell the wet earth
Witness the storm
Do not be afraid about getting wet
Just relax and allow yourself to become completely wet
It does not matter
It is very pleasant to get wet


Now the storm was finished
The sun is beginning to shine through the clouds
Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin
You are no longer wet
Your clothes are dry and you feel very warm inside
Look up at the sun and feel its warmth and energy penetrating your skin and entering your body

You are in the garden now.  Happy.  You cannot help laughing with joy.
All around in the trees brightly colored birds are singing
Hear their melodious songs all around you

A cool gentle breeze is blowing in all the trees.  Hear the wind rustling in the trees and feel it blowing against your face and through your hair
Breath in this fresh life-giving air.

SANKALPA
(as normal)

EXTERNALIZATION
(as normal)

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Yoga Nidra Script - New Moon - Taurus


YOGA NIDRA FOR TAURUS


INTERNALIZATION

Prepare for the practice of Yoga Nidra by lying on your back in shavasana . . .
Feel supported across the entire body . . .
Listen for sounds
Listen to the heart beat


SANKALPA

us usual

BODY ROTATION

Place a Star on each body part forming a constellation - body parts named as usual



BREATH AWARENESS

Bring your attention to the base of the spine at the tailbone

Feel the breath at the tail bone, the root chakra

Taurus is associated with the root chakra.

Taurus the bull like the root chakra is a symbol of masculine power and fertility. The bull roots in the earth with his front hooves and lowers his nostrils toward the ground to warn any who would threaten his “herd”. There are many cows in the herd, but only the strongest bull will be able to preserve the genetic integrity of the group.

The first chakra is actually the basis of both our masculine and feminine energy. It represents our masculine will and male sexual organs as well as the feminine energy of the Goddess Kundalini.

Here  a man can learn to integrate his feminine power and a woman can learn to integrate her masculine power through the clearing and opening of this chakra.

Breath in and out from the root chakra, the tailbone

No astrological sign is more grounded than sensual and security-loving Taurus.
Inhale

I am grounded
Exhale
I am secure

(repeat two times)

Now
Inhale
I am sensual
Exhale
I am secure

(repeat two times)

Sturdy, stable, steady, generous, naturally abundant and slow as a flower opening to the spring sunlight is Taurus
.
Inhale
I am sturdy

Exhale
I am stable

(repeat two times)

Inhale
I am generous

Exhale
I am abundant

An earth sign. Taurus prefers to sense its way into a situation. Taurus doesn’t need to prove much besides its ability to build bit by bit and day by day.

Say to yourself mentally

“I am proven”

(repeat two times)

Feel grounded and supported in the earth energy of Taurus and take a deep breath in and on the exhale say to yourself.  Being “grounded “ is the essence of Taurus.

“I am grounded and supported”

The bull, a preferred sacrificial animal was used in many ancient rites

Consecrated to the moon-goddess, the sacrificial bull’s blood was sprinkled on stone altars and used in rituals of baptism and purification..

What is the symbolism of sacrifice.

The archetype of sacrifice teaches that there is wisdom in giving something up in order to make room for the creative spirit of the new. It teaches that we cannot do or be all things at once.


Paring down and stripping away limits us-but at the same time gives structure and shape to our free-form spirits

Breathing at the tailbone


VISUALIZATION

Come to the chidakasha, the mind space in front of the closed eyes in that space

Assess your life and determine what part of your inner character or outer life simply “needs to go.”

 We will make a symbolic ritual sacrifice.

Unlike banishing something unwanted, the ritual of sacrifice involves relinquishing something that is meaningful or important to us.

You may find, for instance, that giving up your extroverted social life is necessary in order to bring forth some creative project.

Or, it may be that you need to forswear your love of seclusion in order to allow a relationship to blossom.

You may truly appreciate spending money on books, but need to sacrifice that in favor of an acupuncture treatment.

Making a sacrifice is a form of emotional ecology.

By practicing principles of conservation in how we live our lives, we cultivate a healthier inner ecosystem.

SPIRIT ANIMAL

After you have determined that part of your life that needs sacrificing, choose a spirit animal that symbolizes your choice.

Our inner, human nature, the ancients realized, reflects the living realm of outer nature.

A bird, for example, might stand for that part of you that loves getting together with friends.

 A  bull might signify the side of you that is assertive to the point of dominating the more sensitive, empathic side of yourself or others.

A dove may embody the peaceloving part of you that prevents confrontation.

A cow may signify the part of you that is overly nurturing to the detriment of your professional life.
A fox might symbolize your wily street smarts that has obscured the more innocent part of your soul.

Next, imagine that you are facing your spirit animal.

Pay tribute to the creature before you, honoring its positive gifts. Then explain your reasons why it must leave and give voice to the new dimension it is being sacrificed for. After you have blessed your spirit animal, imagine that you have released it into freedom, whether through opening a gate, letting it fly into the air, or seeing it rejoin its wild peers. This may not be forever, but for a portion of time, until you are ready to welcome that part of your nature back into your life.

At first, you may feel grief at letting go of a cherished part of yourself. You may also feel touched by the love of the animal that has sacrificed itself for your sake. Gradually, however, you begin to feel the spacious opening that has been created through making this spirit sacrifice.

There is room now within your soul for the birth of the new and the uprising of an  unexpected and unexplored part of yourself.  Finally, give thanks to the moon, give thanks to the realm of nature and all living creatures, and last, acknowledge the sacred principle of sacrifice and its usefulness in our everyday lives.

EXTERNALIZATION

(as usual)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Chakra Series - Yin Yoga for the Throat Chakra - Vishuddhi

STANDING FORWARD FOLD HANDS BEHIND THE NECK
The sanskrit name for the throat chakra is Vishuddha. “Visuddha/Visuddhi” is derived from the sanskrit word “shuddhi” which means to purify. The throat chakra is related to purification, communication and self-expression.


Breathwork: Ujjayi

Neck Release - PART 1 - No hands
 It is where we communicate our truth to the world.  Here we give our voice, music or sound and also hear what the world has to reply.  This chakra opens us to higher wisdom and is considered to be the center of dreams.



PART TWO - With Hands
The physical location of the chakra is at the throat.  The related organs are the laryngeal nerve plexus, vocal cords, mouth, throat, ears, thyroid and parathyroid glands.

Benefits: All the nerves connecting the different organs and limbs of the body pass through the neck. Therefore, the muscles of the neck and shoulders accumulate tension, especially after prolonged work at desk.  These asans release tension, heaviness and stiffness in the head, neck and shoulder region.

Contra-indications: These neck moves should not be performed by elderly people and those uffering from low blood pressure, high blood pressure, vertigo or extremem cervical spondylosis.  Expert advice should be sought for any of these problems.  Cervical spondylosis patients should strictly avoid forward bending of the neck.


Forward Bend Sitting on the heels
 According to Hindu tradition, this chakra is described as having a "white color" with sixteen "purple" or "smoke-colored petals". Within the symbol is a sky-blue downward pointing triangle containing a circular white region like the full moon. This represents the element of akashi or "aether".  Downward triangle is the sacred feminine or the yoni. The moon encompasses psychic energy, clairvoyance and communication without words
Benefits: Stretches and strengthens the back muscles and separated the individual vertebrae from each other, releasing pressures on the discs. Often nerve connections emantating from the spinal cord are squeezed by these discs, gicing rise to various forms of backaches.  It regulates the functioning of the adrenal glands, tones the pelvic meuscles and the sciatic nerves and is benefical for both the male and female reproductive organs.Regular practice relieves constipation.

Contraindications: Not be performed by people with very high blood pressure, slipped disc or those who suffer for vertigo.

Breathwork: Count down from 16 as a group

Thread the Needle - Twisting Child's Pose
The bija mantra (seed sound) is the syllable हं haṃ, and is written in white upon the chakra.

Benefits: Gently compresses the muscles of your upper chest. Opens the upper and outer muscles of your shoulder.. Detoxifies and calms your body with the slight twist. Sends fresh blood to your upper extremities.

Contraindications: Avoid if you have any serious shoulder or neck injuries. Anyone with back or hip conditions should take care not to overdo the twist

Symbolism: Turning to the archetypal meaning of the thread, it symbolizes the agent that links all states of being to one another. Threading a needle is the symbol of passing through the center, the target, the gateway.  Also mending something as opposed to throwing it out 

Breathwork: Inhaling and Exhaling Ham

Upward Plank
A ruling deity of the chakra is Sadashiva, who has 5 faces and 10 arms.   He holds a trident, chisel, sword, vajra, fire, a great snake, a bell, a goad, and a noose, and is makes the gesture of dispelling fear. He is clad in a tiger skin. The right half of his body is a white Shiva, and the left half of the body is a golden Shakti. Reminding us to blend the masculine and feminine within us.  Softness in strength and strength in softness. In yoga, flexibility and power together.


Benefits: Strengthens the shoulders, thighs and wrists, and tones the lumbar region of the spine and the Achilles tendons.

Symbolism: To see a wooden plank indicates something that is in need of repair or that you need to maximize your resources and make something out of seemingly nothing.

Breathwork: Ujjayi

Flapping Fish
The ruling goddess is Sakini Shakti who  represents mastery over the elements and the psychic realm. She is shining white, seated on a red lotus, and with five faces, three eyes each, and four-armed, with a bow and arrow, noose, and goad.
Benefits: Stretches the spine, shoulders, and hips. Massages the abdominal organs. Relieves lower backache, neck pain, and sciatica. Helps relieve stress. Improves digestion. Especially good in the second trimester of pregnancy for strengthening the lower back. Therapeutic for carpal tunnel syndrome

Visualization: Visualize a candle flame. Now visualize that flame  in your solar plexus down to your navel and up again through the trunk of your body.

Symbolism: A last burst of energy before you give up


Cobra
The element associated with the chakra is ether which is represented in the full moon in the yantra. According to ancient and medieval science, aether (Greek: αἰθήρ aithēr), also spelled æther or ether, also called quintessence, is the material that fills the region of the universe above the terrestrial sphere.


Benefits: Improves and deepens breathing.  Helps remove backaches and keeps the spine supple.  Tones ovaries and uterus and helps with menstrual and other gynecological disorders.  Stimulates the appetite, alleviates constipation and is beneficial for the abdominal organs, especially the liver and the kidneys

Contra-indications: People suffering from peptic ulcer, hernia, intestinal tuberculosis or hyperthyroidism should not practice this asana with guidance.


Symbolismi: In India, both Hindus and Buddhists have special reverence for the cobra. Hindus believe in the immortality of the snake due to the shedding of its skin, and a snake eating its tail is a Hindu symbol of eternity. It also may represent the sacred feminine, protectiveness, intuitiveness, wisdom, strength, unpredictability, a defensive nature or even evil. 

Sphinx/Seal Pose
Meditation upon this chakra is said to bring about the following siddhis or occult powers: vision of the three periods, past, present and future; freedom from disease and old age; destruction of dangers; and the ability to move the three worlds
Benefits:  Deep compression and stimulation of sacral lumbar arch. Stimulates the door of lide. Tones the spine. In Seal stomache gets a great stretch.

Contra-indications: Bad back or tight sacrum problems. Pregnant use bolsters and don't put belly on floor

Breathwork: Ujjayi


Symbolism:Sphinx - Power, Watching Over. Seal - Being Comfortable in your own skin



Camel
In its most abstract form, the throat chakra is associated with higher discrimination, and is associated with creativity and self-expression.




Benefits: Deeply arches the sacral/lumbar spine and opens the top of the things.  Opens the ankles.  Stretches hip flexors and opens the shoulders.  Great for dropping shoulder or hunched backs

Contra-indications:  Those with weak backs should do gentle variation.  If you have neck issues don't drop the head back keep chin to chest.

Symbolism:Endurance.Transport. Protection. Survival. Conservation. Journeying. Stamina.

Cat Cow on Hands and Knees




Tiger Pose
Vishuddha is often associated with the thyroid gland in the human endocrine system. This gland is in the neck, and produces hormones essential for growth and maturation. Excessive stress, namely fear and fear from speaking out, affect the throat chakra and thyroid problems may occur.
Symbolism: The tiger puts a special emphasis on raw feelings and emotions. The tiger symbolizes primal instincts, unpredictability, and ability to trust yourself. By affinity with the tiger  , you may enjoy dealing with life matters spontaneously, trusting your intuition and acting fast when needed.

Lion w/ Lions Breath
Although this chakra is located in the neck and the throat it is also associated with hearing, it is also related to the ears, and due to its association with speaking, it is also associated with the mouth. 




Benefits: It relieves frustration and releases emotional tension.  Tension is removed from the chest and diaphragm.  Useful for people who stutter or who are nervous and introverted.  It develops a strong and a beautiful voice.

Symbolism: The symbolic meaning of lions primarily deals with strength. The lion brings a message of balance and sound judgment. The lion shares the world of both night and day, the lion bears a message of prudence to us. In other words, the lion asks us to not overdo in certain areas of our lives. Rather, keep an even mind and an overall balance in our life activities.

Breathwork: Lion's Breath

Knees-Chest and Chin
The success and failure in one's life depend upon the state of this chakra (whether it is polluted or clean).

Rabbit Pose
It is believed that when Vishuddha is closed, we undergo decay and death. When it is open, negative experiences are transformed into wisdom and learning. 



Breathwork: Ujjayi

Symbolism: Symbolic rabbit meanings deal primarily with abundance, comfort, and vulnerability. Traditionally, rabbits are associated with fertility, sentiment, desire, and procreation. Rabbit meanings are also closely linked to the seasons, the changes of Mother Earth, and specifically Springtime. 

Fish
Guilty feelings are the most prominent reason for this chakra to block the Kundalini energy moving upwards



Benefits:A traditional text that Matsyasana is the “destroyer of all diseases.Stretches the deep hip flexors (psoas) and the muscles (intercostals) between the ribs. Stretches and stimulates the muscles of the belly and front of the neck. Stretches and stimulates the organs of the belly and throat. Strengthens the muscles of the upper back and back of the neck. Improves posture.  

Contra-indications: High or low blood pressure. Migraine. Insomnia. Serious lower-back or neck injury

Symbolism: Fertility. Eternity. Happiness. Knowledge. Transformation

Breathwork: Breathe green. With each inhale imagine your heart center—and possibly the rest of your body—filling up with a soft, green light and with every exhale feel your heart center purge pent-up negativity. Don’t be too forceful on your exhalations. Rather, focus more energy on your positive, “green” inhalation

Sleeping Thunderbolt 
Singing is a great way of stimulating the throat chakra in a beneficial and harmless way, whereas rubbing or hitting the throat area is not and can be harmful.
Benefits: Massages the abdominal organs, alleviates disgestive complaints and constipation. It tones the spinal nerves, makes the back more flexible and realigns rounded shoulders.

Contraindications: Should not be practiced by people suffering from neck problems, sciatica, slipped disc, sacral ailments or knee complaints,

Breathwork: Ujjayi

Symbolism: A thunderbolt or lightning bolt is a symbolic representation of lightning when accompanied by a loud thunderclap. In ancient Hellenic and Roman religious traditions, the thunderbolt represents Zeus or Jupiter (etymologically 'Sky Father'), thence the origin and ordaining pattern of the universe, as expressed in Heraclitus' fragment describing "the Thunderbolt that steers the course of all things".

1/2 Shoulderstand
The element of sound is an integral part of the throat chakra. Sound is a rhythmic vibration of air molecules as they are impacted by matter in movement. All sound is a vibration, and all things, living and nonliving, have a unique vibration. At this level, we do not see the world as individual things or their activities but as a complex interwoven net of energies with characteristic vibrational rhythms.

Benefits: Helps those with low blood pressure. Balances the nervous susrem, strengthens the neck muscles and brings a rich supply of blood to the brain.

Contra-indications: People with high blood pressure, heart conditions, ear inflammations, weak eyecapillaries, problems with thyroid or pituitary glands.

Supported Bridge

Communication is the activity and function of the fifth chakra. Here we have language, a complex pattern of sound and rhythm, through which we symbolize the physical world around us. Through symbol, we have a more efficient way of dealing with the world. I can describe my car, but I can’t bring it into the room with me. I can call New York without actually going there. Our minds work with symbols. We think in words, as well as image and sensory memory. The world of the upper chakras is symbolic of the world below.

Communication involves both listening and speaking. If one’s fifth chakra is closed down, then there is fear of expressing oneself, fear of speaking one’s truth, or excessive shyness. The voice itself is timid and the words are few. If the chakra is too open, we are so busy expressing that we forget to listen, or our voice is dissonant, and we are unable to enter into resonance with those around us.

Symbolism: In the tarot, the bridge card means progress, connections, and stability. Often people view bridges as the only way to reach a destination, and therefore bridges are a way to overcome obstacles. Bridges also represent transitions. “Crossing over” is a euphemism for taking that journey from life to death. 

Snail

Ideally, the fifth chakra should be connected to the self—to all the other chakras above and below—to visions of the mind and the feelings from body with equal ease. 
Chanting is an activity that increases the overall resonance of our being, allowing all our internal systems to enter into a rhythmic harmony. When chanting is practiced as a group activity, it enhances resonance and communication with the group as a whole.
 
Benefits: Stretches the pelivs, regulates the kidneys, acitvates the intenstines and removes excess weight.
Contra-indications; Not recommended for people who are infirmed, suffering from hernia, sciatica or slipped discs

Symbolism: Snails symbolize many deep and powerful things that most of us might not realize. These little crawlers are more in-depth than ever imagined. Keep in mind that not only are there land snails, but there are also sea snails so in this regard this species bridges the gap between elements. And any animal that bridges the gap between two elements bridges the gap between the mundane and the spiritual worlds.

Legs Up the Wall
The fifth chakra is also a center of creativity, another form of symbolic communication. As we open up this center, we open up our creative potential. The greater our resonance within, the greater the power within our creations.



Benefits; It reduces edema in the legs and feet.It relieves tired leg muscles.It gives you all the benefits of inversion, without the effort.It is super calming for the nervous system. It helps quiet the mind.

Breathwork: Ujjayi

SUPTA PAWANMUKTASANA - both sides and then both legs together
As children we sometimes receive the message "children should be seen and not heard.” This can be very detrimental to the growth and development of the throat chakra.

Here are a  number of core emotional, health and life survival issues related to the throat chakra:

Throat Cancer
Thyroid issues: metabolism challenges and weight issues
Parathyroid Challenges such as osteoporosis and osteopenia
Ear, Nose and Throat Issues (small children are notorious for having ear infections, runny noses and sore throats...perhaps it is because they are living in an adult world where they are not able to sufficiently express themselves)
Stiff neck and Shoulders
Speaking untruths, and creatively being deceitful without lying
Lack of Integrity
Becoming cunning
Frustration with inadequate communication
Shyness and lack of courage to speak your truth
Speaking too bluntly
Breathwork: Ujjayi
Final Spinal
When properly nurtured in our youth, and when surrounded by secure and balanced parents or caregivers, we learn to creatively express our desires and communicate with the world in harmonious and empowering ways.

In a balanced state, the fifth chakra will manifest as follows:

Ability to speak and voice the Truth
Being a good listener, and likewise, others will listen to you as an authoritative voice and a respected leader
The subtle ability to hear beneath the words, all of what is being spoken and unspoken.
Being an inspirational communicator and speaker


Breathwork:  Ujjayi

SAVASANA

Breathwork: Quiet Breath

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Kundalini Shakti and the Heart Chakra

Kundalini Shakti appears as a beautiful Goddess when she is representing in the paintings of the heart chakra. She sits in lotus position within an upward pointing triangle (symbolizing the rising of Kundalini).

Like Kakini Shakti, she a personification of spiritual devotion. She sits absorbed in meditation attempting to achieve union with Source.

At the level of the heart chakra, Kundalini Shakti is no longer the serpentine force of the first chakra

When one's sensory and intellectual mind is completely absorbed in her, divine love pervades the body of the aspirant.

Kakini Shakti



Kakini Shakti is the doorkeeper of Anahata Chakra. She moves like air to provide energy to the entire body. She symbolizes self-generating and self-emanating energy

She is all about devotion and bhakti: devotional music, devotional poetry and devotional art. She brings calmness to the mind and peace to the ego. She helps us connect our heart beat with the rhythm of the universe.

Her sword represents cutting through obstacles. Her shield represents protection from worldly conditions.  The Skull  she carries represents detachment from the body.  Her trident represents balance of preservation, creation and destruction

She has 4 faces and energy flows the her four heads in to the four aspects of individual self: physical self, rational self, sensual self and the emotional self.

She is auspicious, joyful and the benefactress of all. Art, music and poetry created under the influence of Kakini bring calmness to the mind and peace to the ego and intellect. The creativity endeavors made under her auspices can become so absorbing that one’s sense of I-consciousness dissolves away

Questions

1) Do you have devotional activities or Bhakti in your life?
2) How can you sync of your heartbeat with the rhythm of the universe?
3) What obstacles do you need to cut through with a sword?  Is this different from the obstacles you need to cut through with an ax?
4) What world conditions do you need to be shielded from.
5) What can of detachment would help you? This is subolized in Dakini's Skull?
6) What aspects of your life would you like to bring more balance to? - symbolized in the trident?

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Chakra Series - Yin Yoga - Heart Chakra

This practice consists of a lot of back bends and arm and shoulder work

SAVASANA HANDS ON THE HEART
The Fourth Chakra is sometimes called the Heart Chakra. It is located along your spine right in the center of your chest next to your physical heart. It deals with issues of love, compassion and belonging and is weakened by all forms of grief, clinging and loneliness. Physically, it supports your heart, lungs, upper torso, shoulders, arms and hands. Green is the color of the heart chakra.

Visualization: Visualize a strong, clear green light filling up your heart center—located in the center of your sternum and below your shoulder blades.

Breathwork: Silent Breath

SUPINE BUTTERFLY
Sanskrit name is Anahata which means unstruck. Anahata is associated with air. If you’ve worked with the other chakras, you can integrate all of the elements to support this work. The first chakra is earth, steady and grounded; the second chakra, water, brings a fertile creativity; the third chakra is the “fire in the belly” required to transform that grounded creativity into positive action. And now you have air dispersing and integrating spiritual understanding of love, compassion, and connection to everything you encounter. Air, like love, is within and all around.





Benefits: Opens the hips and groin, creates flexibility in the knees, strengthens the inner thighs, stimulates the digestive system and assists with elimination

Contraindications: Groin or knee injury: Only perform this pose with blanket supports under the outer thighs

Symbolism:The butterfly unquestioningly embraces the chances of her environment and her body.

Breathwork: Left Nostril Breathing .

FISH 
The Fourth Chakra lies directly in the middle position of the seven-chakra ladder with three below and three above. The three lower chakras are sometimes called the body chakras, and the three upper chakras are sometimes called the mind chakras. The heart chakra is what links body and mind together. It facilitates the balance of emotion with logic and the real with the ideal


Benefits:A traditional text that Matsyasana is the “destroyer of all diseases.Stretches the deep hip flexors (psoas) and the muscles (intercostals) between the ribs. Stretches and stimulates the muscles of the belly and front of the neck. Stretches and stimulates the organs of the belly and throat. Strengthens the muscles of the upper back and back of the neck. Improves posture.  

Contra-indications: High or low blood pressure. Migraine. Insomnia. Serious lower-back or neck injury

Symbolism: Fertility. Eternity. Happiness. Knowledge. Transformation

Breathwork: Breathe green. With each inhale imagine your heart center—and possibly the rest of your body—filling up with a soft, green light and with every exhale feel your heart center purge pent-up negativity. Don’t be too forceful on your exhalations. Rather, focus more energy on your positive, “green” inhalation

CHILD POSE'S (baby yourself, take care of yourself)
The heart chakra is located in the center of the chest at the heart. Physically, the Heart chakra controls the heart, thymus,  lungs, circulatory system, arms, hands. The ruling goddess is Kakini Shakti, who synchronizes our heartbeat with the universe and the ruling god is Isvara, who assists us in bonding with the world.  The ruling planet is Venus.



Modifications: If you have difficulty sitting on your heels in this pose, place a thickly folded blanket between your back thighs and calves.Gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles

Benefits: Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue. Relieves back and neck pain when done with head and torso supported

Contra-indications: Diarrhea. Pregnancy. Knee injury: Avoid Balasana unless you have the supervision of an experienced teacher.

MELTING HEART (about being open to love)
The sanskrit name for the chakra is Anahata which means “unbeaten” or “unbroken”. At this chakra is a non-physical sound which continues without beginning or end.  The symbol of the heart chakra is a twelve petalled lotus with two intersecting triangles inside the create a six-pointed star.  Written inside the mandala is the seed sound YAM.  The antelope is the associated animal and carrier of the bija mantra. The antelope represents the passion and joy of being alive


Benefits: A nice backbend for the upper and middle back. Will also open shoulders. Softens the heart.

Contra-indications:
If you have a bad neck, this could strain it. Be aware of any tingling in the hands or fingers! This is often a sign that a nerve is being compressed, and if we continue to compress it we may permanently damage it. If you feel tingling, adjust the arm and hand positions, or skip the pose entirely.

Symbolism: Giving in.  Letting Go.  Being Open

Breathwork:  Inhale and Exhale YAM

CAT COW - as a transition pose

THREAD THE NEEDLE ON KNEES/REVOLVED CHILD'S POSE - TWIST

Benefits: Gently compresses the muscles of your upper chest. Opens the upper and outer muscles of your shoulder.. Detoxifies and calms your body with the slight twist. Sends fresh blood to your upper extremities.

Contraindications: Avoid if you have any serious shoulder or neck injuries. Anyone with back or hip conditions should take care not to overdo the twist

Symbolism: Turning to the archetypal meaning of the thread, it symbolizes the agent that links all states of being to one another. Threading a needle is the symbol of passing through the center, the target, the gateway.  Also mending something as opposed to throwing it out 

WOOD ELEMENT SHOULDER
Metaphorically, the fourth is the center of our deepest bonds with other beings, our sense of caring and kindness and respect, which begin with feelings of self-love, and branches out to altruism, generosity, and compassion.




Breathwork; Ujjayi

Twisted Roots Arms
An integrating and unifying chakra - bringing our inner world to wholeness, as well as connecting us to the outer world - the Heart chakra is the source of our healing abilities. Indeed, most spiritual traditions recognize love as the ultimate healing force.


YIN PORTION OF CLASS
there is a dot of Yang in Yin and a drop of Yin in Yang

Plank (possibility to go to your knees)
The energy of the Heart Chakra allows us to recognize that we are a part of something greater than ourselves.  The shadow of this chakra is often depression, loneliness and grief, which all indicate dis-ease in the heart.




Forearm Plank (option to go to your knees)
This is where peace and harmony are born.  When people feel at peace around us, free from judgment, we experience the world as a kinder, more gentle place. When our hearts are open and energy is flowing freely, we not only express love to others, we are also loving ourselves.


Side Plank
The Heart Chakra is the point of balance between the mind, body, and spirit and thus symbolically between Heaven and Earth.





SPHINX (keeping your strength)
In Anahata one makes decisions ("follows one's heart") based on one's higher self, not the unfulfilled emotions and desires of lower nature. As such, it is known as the heart chakra. It is also associated with love and compassion, charity to others and psychic healing. Meditation on this chakra is said to bring about the following siddhis: he becomes a lord of speech; he is dear to women; his presence controls the senses of others, and he can leave and enter the body at will.

Interestingly, the message of this chakra is often one of paradoxes: through humility, we find our power; through discipline, we find liberation; by cleansing the physical body, we become more mentally clear and attuned.



SEAL 



Benefits:  Deep compression and stimulation of sacral lumbar arch. Stimulates the door of lide. Tones the spine. In Seal stomache gets a great stretch.

Contra-indications: Bad back or tight sacrum problems. Pregnant use bolsters and don't put belly on floor

Breathwork: Ujjayi


Symbolism:Sphinx - Power, Watching Over. Seal - Being Comfortable in your own skin

1/2 CRESCENT VARIATIONS

A) Arms over head to Backbend

A) arms behind the back fingers interlaced to humble warrior




B) twist



C)bind or half bind
Element of the chakra is Air so reminder to breath when working this chakra



CAMEL  (being prepared and ready for love)
Backbends help to balance Anahata by physically creating more openness in the heart. An integrating and unifying chakra - bringing our inner world to wholeness, as well as connecting us to the outer world - the Heart chakra is the source of our healing abilities. Indeed, most spiritual traditions recognize love as the ultimate healing force.




Benefits: Deeply arches the sacral/lumbar spine and opens the top of the things.  Opens the ankles.  Stretches hip flexors and opens the shoulders.  Great for dropping shoulder or hunched backs

Contra-indications:  Those with weak backs should do gentle variation.  If you have neck issues don't drop the head back keep chin to chest.


Symbolism:Endurance.Transport. Protection. Survival. Conservation. Journeying. Stamina.


SWAN or EYE OF THE NEEDLE


A healthy Heart chakra means living with loving kindness and compassion towards others. When we live with a heart that is open to others and inspire kindness and compassion in others, others can feel our love and warmth. They feel loved and accepted unconditionally.


SLEEPING SWAN
The Heart Chakra is the home of emotional processing. In a sense, the Heart Chakra is all about agape (selfless love) and compassion. The heart processes our emotions for us. We grieve and mourn and equally celebrate and laugh uproariously, from the heart. We say, “It feels good to get that off of my chest.” Get it?





Benefits:A vigorous way to open the hips, allowing gravity to do the work. Strong external rotation of front hip (especially in the image shown ). Provides the quadriceps and hip flexors a nice stretch for the side that has the leg back. A moderate to strong backbend, compressing the lower back. Can control sexual desires due to lots of blood flowing through the pubic region 

Contra-indications: If you have bad knees (especially any problems with the inner meniscus), watch the pressure. If hips are too tight, that is where the pressure will go. If this happens, bring the front foot back, more toward or under that hip.

Alternatives & Options (Swan): To protect the front knee, keep the foot flexed before coming forward. Keep the weight back into the hips as you lower yourself. Stay on the hands with the arms straight, or come on to the elbows.You could lie on a bolster placed lengthwise under the chest.If you're really flexible, try to bring the front foot forward, pull the bent knee more to the side, and lay your chest on top of the shin. Other alternatives include Eye-of-the-Needle (can be done lying down, while sitting, or with one leg against the wall), Shoelace, or Square Pose.

SPLIT - 1/2 MONKEY KING
Signs Your Fourth Chakra is Weak:

You are often guarded and closed and never or rarely allow yourself to open up to others and be authentic for fear of being hurt or rejected.

You are unable to let a situation rest because it didn’t go your way, until you have assigned fault to all you see as responsible. You assign negative motive to everyone whose actions impact you, judging their actions as intentional.



Benefits: Stretches the thighs, hamstrings, groins. Stimulates the abdominal organs.

Contraindications: Groin or hamstring injuries

CROSS LEGGED FROG WITH COW FACE ARMS 
Your relationships are characterized by your tendency to be clingy and needy, anxious that your partner doesn’t need you as much as you need them.


Benefits: Hip opening and decompression for the lower spine when folding forward

Contra-indications: If you have sciatica, elevate the hips by sitting on a prop until the knees are below them. People with lower back disorders which do not allow flexion of the spine should not allow the spine to round: keep the back as straight as you can. Pregnant women should not fold forward after the first trimester.

Alternatives & Options: If hips are tight, sit on a bolster to tilt them forward.
If the bottom knee complains, do the pose with the bottom leg straight. If the top knee complains, place a bolster or blanket under that knee. If this is still too hard, sit cross-legged and fold forward.Support the chest with bolster. Other alternatives include Eye-of-the-Needle Pose, Square Pose, or Swan.


BUTTERFLY WITH FORWARD FOLD
Your expressions of love for another person are conditioned upon them conforming to your expectations of how they should be. As long as they do, all is well. As soon as they don’t, you get upset or offended and react with aggressive or passive aggressive moves to try to manipulate them back into behaving conforming to your expectations. You see a need to try to fix other people and often try to do so.
Benefits: A good stretch for the inner thighs, groins and knees, improving flexibility in the groin and hip region. Helps in intestine and bowel movement
Removes fatigue from long hours of standing and walking. Offers relief from menstrual discomfort and menopause symptoms. Helps in smooth delivery if practiced regularly until late pregnancy

Contraindications: If you are suffering from groin or knee injury, make sure you keep a blanket under the outer thighs for support. Do not perform this pose without blanket support. Also, sciatica patients should either completely avoid the pose or sit on a cushion to raise the hips. If you have any lower-back disorders, do the posture only while keeping the spine erect. Avoid rounding up the spine by bending forward.

Breathwork: Surya Bhendi

½ GENIE/ GENIE  or 2nd SPHINX (too difficult then sphinx pose) - 3 to 5 minutes
You experience any of the following physical symptoms on a frequent or chronic basis:  heart disorders, chest pain, asthma, allergies, pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema, breast lumps/cysts, circulation problems, tension/pain between the shoulder blades, shoulder, arm or hand problems or carpal tunnel.





Affirmation:

Symbolism: Magic, power of wish fufillment

Benefits:A deep opening in the sacral-lumbar arch. Stretches hips flexors and quadriceps

Contra-indications:If you have a bad back or tight sacroiliac (SI) joints
Knees can be tested too much here. Ankles can protest. Any sharp or burning pain here, you must come out!

Alternatives & Options: Sphinx pose. 1/2  Half Saddle. If you can only go as far back as your elbows, rest on a bolster to relax here.  Arms overhead can open the shoulders and intensify the stretch in the hip flexors.Lift the hips even higher by placing a block between the feet and under the buttocks.A blanket or rolled up towel under the ankles can relieve pressure there.
Play with sitting on the heels and between the heels; the first emphasizes the lumbar more, and the second works the quads and hip flexors more.



HALF LORD OF THE FISHES or MARICHI ASANA - 2 to 5 minutes each side
Ways to begin to open your heart.
Be green. Get out in nature. Let the varying greens surround you—and begin to heal you.

Be love. Being a martyr is a sign of imbalance for this chakra. Allow yourself to be loved—including, and most especially, by yourself.

Opening the heart chakra after a period of grief or personal struggle is not easy. Be patient and kind to yourself during the process. Letting go of what we don’t need to carry allows us to make room for new and better life opportunities, and learning to embrace and love yourself—for better or for worse—is a great place to begin







Benefits: Stimulates the liver and kidneys. Stretches the shoulders, hips, and neck. Energizes the spine.Stimulates the digestive fire in the belly. Relieves menstrual discomfort, fatigue, sciatica, and backache. Therapeutic for asthma and infertility. Traditional texts say that Ardha Matsyendrasana increases appetite, destroys most deadly diseases, and awakens kundalini.

Contra-indications: Back or Spine Injury

Breathwork: Ujjayi

Symbolism: Being a great student and a great listener


FINAL SAVASANA

Give love. One of the best and easiest ways to cleanse and balance this chakra is by loving others unconditionally and unselfishly.

Realize the grass isn’t always greener. It’s often human nature to naysay. Resist the urge to find fault in everything. Be thankful for what you already have.

Practice yoga.

Forgive. A lot of blockages in this chakra are fostered by not letting go of past hurts, anger, grief, regret, etc. Let go. Take care of yourself and try to also remember that when each door closes a new one opens.