Let's talk about Inversions:
Looking at the world from a different perspective 
There is a new world just waiting. Invert and the skies will open to new possibilities!  The world is your oyster to be discovered through this age old tradition. Bring harmony back front and centre.

It was during a Teacher training program where I first began to appreciate the value of taking a moment out to following the guide of my teacher ... 20 minutes in Viparitta Karani. His reasoning was clear. It quelled the immense state of anxiety and reduced the stress!!
It is that giant unknown factor that creates so much disturbance in the mind! I can tell you the moment I came to desire this pose... the feeling just arrived without habit or effort! There was no doership..it just happ
ened..it was an absolute transformation AND IT CAME FROM THE EXPERIENCE!!

The simple gesture of placing ones legs up the wall can perform miracles and completely change everything in an instant. Placing the head lower than the heart is a complete trip, a vacation to be enjoyed and savoured as one breaths deeply to heighten the awareness! Although there is the appearance of outward stillness the body is in a state of metamorphosis. This exciting slow drip of transformation is a real game changer.. as I have seen the magic!! During an MS workshop in Florence, Italy I witnessed profound change as one man regained sensation in in his feet. He was in a wheel chair and this was the first feeling in two years!

The lead teacher Garth McClean has information to be found on his website and leads world-class Iyengar workshops to those interested in the subject matter of MS and other (auto Immune diseases).

Inversions can be used as a platform to set the mind and body free. A runway to new adventure, an open field so vast the mind is able to explore new thoughts and  ideas without interruption. It can mean a new adventure in life ..a new life within reach! Feel the excitement of reaching your dreams without restriction and limits..... what a thought!

Let the heavens open to new sensations (so pop the legs up) and find paradise within reach! The impact is immediate as balance realigns the body in a unique new path to remove threads of disease such as plaque found in the brain. This plaque is associated with auto immune disease such as MS, arthritis and other crippling enemies of the body as monitored on an MRI both as it forms and disappears from the brain. (Bats and sloths have no auto immune disease and live to invert..how interesting!)

As one lingers in an inversion the sense of wellbeing comes to the body reversing the flow of fluids to wash the central nervous system clean of dangerous debris to re-charge the batteries of this central force! Its a thrill internally to place the body outside the immediate limits of its comfort zone. Once in the pose it's hard to get excited about coming out! The king and queen of inversions will no less than dominate as one explores Shirshasana and sarvangasana. Marked by the tribulations of time they can be a yoga practice unto themselves (Adopt them according to one's ability, suppleness of body and constitution as per directed by Iyengar).

The trick is to explore inversions that are  manageable...so here are a few suggestions to get you started: 

#1 Place your hands on a wall and lower into a 90 degree downward dog

#2 Try opening your legs into a V against the wall

Over time these inversions can become like a drug! Iyengar suggests it is just as easy to form habits that are good versus bad. In closing, whether its  walking meditation, chanting, inversions or the like ..take the time to explore for yourself new ways to practice mindful behaviour and be open to receive  the fruits of your efforts ..they will come abound! It is especially significant in this given time where we live in the unknown!

WARNING: It never hurts to check in with a physician or naturopath before beginning something new like inversions. Everyone has different risks in life!  Hanging from a nearby fence I recently encountered black snakes, poison ivy and a lightning storm! Risks maybe also be assoc within the body. Regardless of the risk.. Check in before you begin. 

Namaste! Susan & Max
Flourless Banana Bread

The BEST healthy banana bread recipe made with almond flour and NO flour and no oats! 

Tender on the outside, moist and fluffy on the inside, this healthy banana breakfast bread is paleo, vegan, gluten-free and sugar free! 

Find the recipe here from The Big Man's World!
Thinking of starting running?

Like many of us out there I thought it might be a great idea to start running once all the gyms and studios started closing. It felt great to have an activity to do outside, with no equipment! I downloaded an app to start me off, laced up some old shoes and headed out.

For the first couple of weeks I was enjoying it a lot! I went down to the lake every day, and was amazed at how my endurance was building one minute at a time. I could finally understand why so many people run.

Until one day I put on my running shoes and my left foot said NO. I felt a sharp pain running along the top of it that flared up with every step. I bought fancy new shoes with loads of support but the pain was still there. I had to listen to my body and take a break from my new sport.
I was reminded of how important my feet are - with so many small bones, joints, and muscles that work together to sup port my whole body. Here are some ways we can give our feet some extra love - anytime!

Begin by sitting on your heels with your feet together. Tuck the toes under (you can use your hands to help you!)

Try and take some deep breaths here, taking breaks when needed and coming back to it. You can modify by bringing the knees onto a bolster. Don't stay if you're in pain. When you're ready to come out, bring your hands to the ground, uncurl your toes and tap out the tops of your feet! 

I've been also stretching, massaging and strengthening my feet using some yoga balls (you can also use a tennis ball.) Try slowly rolling the ball forwards and backwards and side to side under your foot. Experiment with stepping down on it with your heel, then with your arch. Try picking up the ball with your toes. This can also help with tight hamstrings!

I'm looking forward to giving running another try - but only when my feet say YES!

- Jenn

Supta Padagustasana
Another pose to try is Supta Padagustasana to stretch and strengthen the legs if beginning a new running/walking regime! It is an excellent pose to do every day of our lives.

Start on your mat with a pillow or blanket under your head with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. 

Loop a strap around the ball of one foot and try to straighten that leg out long. 

If you don't have a strap you can use a towel or a men's tie! Enjoy!

Practice Supta Padagustasana with us at home!

Hatha 2
Hatha 2

The Vedanta Philosophy

I have been travelling to Pennsylvania to study for years at the ashram "Arsha Vidya Gurukulam" founded by Dayananda Saraswati to attend yoga and sound workshops with my teacher Ramanand Patel and sound master Pandit Mukesh Desai.

Ramanand Patel has had a lifetime dedication to Swammi Dayananda and his teachings and designed the yoga studio in his honour. Part of my attendance envolves study with the Swammi at hand who teaches the Vedanta Philosophy. I have found this philosophy extraordinarily helpful as it applies to my daily life and it has been an exciting learn over the years:) My journey leaves me each year yearning as much for the vedic teaching as the  yoga and sound and the experience is always life ch anging.This is another example of transformation.. I could never have imagined in my early years my great love and appreciation for this ashram and its offerings
...it just happened!

Although this course has already commenced I wanted to make you aware of such
offerings  in case you are in search of helpful hints in life:) Namaste, Susan

Mandukya Karika chap 4 Apr 11
Mandukya Karika chap 4 Apr 11

Seated Pigeon with Sarah

Sit on a chair where your feet can comfortably be on the floor

Sit up with a tall spine

Roll the shoulders back and down

Engage the core slightly (i.e. belly to spine)

Bring the ankle up to rest just above the knee; flex the foot to protect the knee

With a tall spine, take a few rounds of inhales and exhales here

The opposite foot is planted on the floor, notice all four corners of the feet grounding down

Hold the pose for a few rounds of inhales and exhales

Variation: to deepen the stretch, lean forward on an exhale and hold(never push past your edge!)

Inhale to come back up

Switch sides

No-Bake Energy Bites

Maybe you need a break from all of that lockdown baking and cooking? 

Try rolling up some easy energy balls - perfect to reach for after a little at-home yoga!

Find the recipe here from  Gimme Some Oven !
"Yoga does not just change the way we see things, it transforms the person who sees." 
B.K.S. Iyengar
Stay safe & healthy yogis!
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