It is better to aim high and miss, than to aim low and hit.- Les Brown
Practice becomes firmly established when it has been cultivated uninterruptedly and with devotion over a prolonged period of time.
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 1.14- Edwin Bryant
Yoga is not something intended for a few months, or years but for a lifetime. The challenge in yoga is not stiff joints or tight muscles but to establish a regular practice and then to sustain it over the long term. The enthusiasm we begin with soon wanes. Like a fire it must be tended to and fed to keep from burning out. Sometimes the fire burns even and steady. More frequently we need to add new kindle, to stoke the dying embers to keep the fire of our practice going. Now is the time to feed the fire of our enthusiasm by reaching high, thinking big and envisioning a dream to really challenge ourselves. Lets look forward to the mistakes we will make and learn from, and to the unexpected surprises we will encounter along the way to further cultivate our practice and propel it forward into the new year ahead.
The slide show photos are taken from some of the SHIZEN instructors weekly practices over the year 2018. Our instructors practice time is a precious time for us to share, learn, teach and inspire each other. It is often the source of our teaching and the spirit of yoga found at SHIZEN Yoga Studio.
From all of us at SHIZEN, we wish you an inspirational new year!
Digital fasting is saucha or cleaning/cleansing for the mind and is a beneficial practice for the modern day yogi. A digital fast is taking time off from electronic devices once a week. It means not checking your phone, watching t.v., or opening your computer for one whole day. A digital fast unplugs our mind and hearts away from the constant stream of commercials, emails and the agendas of others that engage us through advertising and social media. It enables us to turn inward and consider our own personal agenda and to be attentive to our thoughts and feelings without outside influences. We can prioritize time spent with family and friends without distraction and become more interactive and creative with our physical environment. A digital fast resets our mind for a more balanced perspective when we return to the digital world and helps us maintain a deeper relationship with the real world around us. I hope you will try a digital fast this new year holiday!
This sequence is good for conditions that need to relieve tension from the abdomen, and promote better circulation in the abdominal organs. It also creates relief for heavy menses.
Props: bolster, 3 blankets, 2 blocks, 2 belts, 1 chair, 2 sandbags (optional)
Time: 15 min short practice or 30 min long practice
Each pose should be held comfortably for 2 to 6 min as your ability enables.
Photo sequence from left to right
1 ) Supta upavista konasana
2 ) Supta badhokonasana,
3) Setubhanda sarvangasana legs open
4) Setubhanda sarvangasana legs badhakonasana or svastikasana ( support outer thigh/calves)
5) Upavista konasana chair edge below shoulder blades, upper shoulder supported on bolster, back of neck and head resting on blanket. Be sure pelvis is neutral, abdomen is not pushing forward, and there is no compression on back. If using sandbag, weight should be placed close to the hips joints.
6) Bhadokonasana Outer thigh supported as needed.
7) Savasana 2 chairs belt at knees- thighs parallel, ankles wider apart than knees.
All of these postures encourage releasing tension and circulating energy in the abdomen. There should be no tension in the neck or shoulders, keep the facial muscles soft. Observe your breath to increase its quality and encourage relaxed and even inhalations and exhalations in the pose.
Eating or should I say not eating is often a challenge for yoga instructors and students with busy schedules. To avoid eating before practice can be challenging when work, teaching, and class schedules are tight. Here are some suggestions that I have found helpful over the years. These suggestions are perfect between classes when there is little time to eat but you need something light to hold you through another few hours of teaching or practice. Since each of us is different, get to know what digests well for you and keep some of those foods in stock at home to take with you when needed.
*Crispbread is a thick dense cracker made of seeds and grains. It digests well and one crispbread cracker can fill you easily. (It is now available at Kaldi Farm.)
*Nuts are another light snack if chewed thoroughly that gives energy without weighing you down.
*A piece of fresh fruit or vegetable
*A little dried fruit
A little of the right food will provide you with the energy your body and mind needs to practice more effectively than no food and contribute to maintaining your mental and physical balance.
If you have any other suggestions please let us know!
ヨガの練習の中で、私達は身体の中の知性や繊細さを失った部分に更に注意を向けていきます。クラスの中でも自己練習の時でも、観察する対象の身体を纏うもの(Tシャツ、パンツやブルマー)はある程度フィットしていて腕や脚などパーツが見えるものがおすすめです。生徒もインストラクターも微細な身体の動きをより観察しやすく、より注意を向けることができます。In yoga we make an effort to bring our attention to places in the body that have lost intelligence or sensitivity. As students and instructors we observe the actions and details of the body in poses, so fitted t-shirts and shorts or bloomers that expose the legs and arms are recommended for practice and in class.
Although most open classes are taught only in Japanese, our instructors (and many of our regular students) are comfortable with English conversation and can answer any questions and assist you in English before or after their class.
We also offer several workshops throughout the year with international guest instructors who teach in English with Japanese interpreters.
We believe yoga is an inclusive practice and that the benefits of yoga speaks to all of us equally. We look forward to welcoming you to a class at SHIZEN Yoga.