Zen Blog

This blog collects various internet feeds aimed towards information, experience and technique exchange in support of our shared spiritual journey.....

”Namaste - may the light in me, honor the light in you…”

4 Surprising Ways to Use a Yoga Bolster

Set your bolster up parallel to the long edge of your yoga mat and lie down with it under your spine. Make sure you are supported from your sacrum to the back of your head; if your torso is longer than your bolster, find a yoga block or cushion to support your head.

Engage the muscles around your core, visualizing movement in two directions: drawing in around your waist and lengthening from your crown to your tail. Make sure you aren’t gripping or clenching your abdominals; you should still be able to feel your breath moving freely in your ribcage.

Keep that gentle core support and float your arms above your shoulders, as if reaching for the ceiling. Then, lift one foot off the floor to stack your bent knee above your hip. Keep firming in around your waist to steady yourself on your bolster and lift your opposite foot, stacking both knees above your hips in a supine tabletop position with your knees bent and shins parallel to the floor.

Take a smooth breath in. On your exhalation, slowly extend your left leg out straight, lowering it down toward hip height, and simultaneously reach your right arm overhead, lowering it toward shoulder height. Then, use the length of your inhalation to return to supine tabletop. As you exhale, extend your right leg and and left arm, and on an inhalation, return to your starting position. Continue to move from side to side with the steady pace of your breathing, keeping your face and neck relaxed.

Notice the coordination between your upper and lower body, and between your left and right sides, feeling how that allows you to compensate for the lack of stability in your base.After 10 rounds on each side, return to supine tabletop position. Keep drawing in around your waist for support as you set your feet back down onto the floor. Slowly roll off your bolster, lying on one side for a moment or two before pressing up to stand.

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Pranayama 101: How to Cultivate More Energy Through Your Inhalations

Want to learn how to develop basic breath awareness as well as breath-manipulation techniques that will transform your practice? Join Pranayama 101: Breathing Practices for Vital Energy and Deep Relaxation. In this six-week online course, Tias Little, founder of Prajna Yoga and author of Yoga of the Subtle Body, will help you tap into the power of your breath for optimal mind, body, and spiritual well-being and to open energetic pathways for the flow of prana (life force). Learn more and sign up today!

Feeling sluggish? Every moment, you have the opportunity to enliven your mind and body. Nope, we’re not referring to the coffee machine; it’s called your breath, and all it takes is awareness (along with regular practice) to reap the sweet benefits it has to offer. Here, Tias Little, teacher of YJ’s course Pranayama 101, shares a preparatory pose to help expand your lungs so each inhalation brings more blood flow to the body and tonifies the nervous system. 

Original linkOriginal author: Tias Little
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Pranayama 101: How to Find Your “Breath Print”

Want to learn how to develop basic breath awareness as well as breath-manipulation techniques that will transform your practice? Join Pranayama 101: Breathing Practices for Vital Energy and Deep Relaxation. In this six-week online course, Tias Little, founder of Prajna Yoga and author of Yoga of the Subtle Body, will help you tap into the power of your breath for optimal mind, body, and spiritual well-being and to open energetic pathways for the flow of prana (life force). Learn more and sign up today!

Getting to know the unique rhythm of your breath takes time, but it’s well worth your attention. After all, the breath animates prana (life force), and uncovering your baseline breath is the first step in starting a lifelong pranayama practice that taps into depths of the subtle body. Here, Tias Little, who leads YJ’s online course, Pranayama 101, shares a simple practice to boost your sensitivity to the breath as well as prana. Grab a bolster and a blanket… 

Original linkOriginal author: Tias Little
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Pranayama 101: This Mindful Breathing Practice Builds Ease After Asana

Want to learn how to develop basic breath awareness as well as breath-manipulation techniques that will transform your practice? Join Pranayama 101: Breathing Practices for Vital Energy and Deep Relaxation. In this six-week online course, Tias Little, founder of Prajna Yoga and author of Yoga of the Subtle Body, will help you tap into the power of your breath for optimal mind, body, and spiritual well-being and to open energetic pathways for the flow of prana (life force). Learn more and sign up today!

As Patanjali laid out in the Yoga Sutras, breathing is the bridge between physical practice and the more meditative limbs of yoga. It’s where you begin tapping into the subtle body and other energetic forces. And it’s more accessible than you think. Here, Tias Little, who leads YJ’s online course, Pranayama 101, offers a short mindful breathing practice you can try after asana to begin connecting with the fluid movement of your breath and eventually begin to sense prana, or life force.

Original linkOriginal author: Tias Little
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Feeling a Hot Flash? Learn How Yoga for Menopause Might Help Your Symptoms

Gracefully navigate this transition period, and ameliorate hot flashes, mood swings, and more with these yoga for menopause tips.

Darius Bashar

When Alison, 48, began experiencing intense hot flashes, they often arrived at night and interrupted her sleep. But on the whole, her perimenopausal symptoms were more annoying than unbearable. Then her menstrual cycle spun out of control. “Suddenly, my menstrual flow was really heavy and lasted twice as long as before,” says Alison, who lives in Chicago and requested that her last name not be used. “My periods went on forever.” Her gynecologist suggested that Alison try hormone replacement therapy (HRT), prescription drugs used to control menopausal symptoms. “She told me not to rule it out if my symptoms were really bad, but my feeling was that I’d rather try to just get through them,” Alison says.

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She had good reason for wanting to avoid HRT. The treatment regimen, which artificially elevates a woman’s estrogen and progesterone levels, has come under intense scrutiny in recent years. Major studies have linked it to an increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease, strokes, and other life-threatening conditions.

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