Is your Vata out of balance?

Vata (1)

If your Vata is out of balance, you are not alone.  Now maybe you are asking yourself…”What is Vata?  How do I know if mine is out of balance?”

Vata is a dosha– in fact, one of the three main doshas according to Ayurveda, the sister science to Yoga.

Sleeping yin pose VataThe other two doshas are Pitta and Kapha.

Doshas are both simple and complicated at the same time.  A dosha can be used to describe your primary disposition (personality, body type, likes and dislikes, what illnesses you are prone to).

I am, for instance, according to many  Dosha tests I have taken, a Vata/Pitta. Vata-like  personality qualities include being creative and outgoing.   Vata body types include  having creaky bones, a sensitive digestion system,  and tendency toward anxiety.

Even if you don’t fit the Vata body type, you could still be experiencing a Vata imbalance if you are over 50 or  if you are experiencing the same season that I am… Fall.  Fall is the start of Vata season.

You see, a dosha can also  be used to describe cycles of life, cycles of the year and cycles of each day.  Fall and Winter are Vata times.  Spring is Kapha time and Summer is the hot Pitta time.

So how do you know  if your Vata is out of balance? For one thing, you feel spacey.  You can’t finish a project, you lose your keys, you are not sleeping well.  Maybe you are anxious, but can’t quite put a finger on what is bothering you.  Your digestive system is off, your body aches and you just don’t feel connected.

More importantly, how do you re-balance your Vata?  You can come to one of my Vata balancing Yoga classes.  I am helping my students re-balance their Vatas in the next few weeks. We will be doing a lot of one side stretch poses  like side plank, revolved triangle and pidgeon and grounding poses such as downward dog and child’s pose.

Nadi Shodana, a breathing practice where you alternate inhaling and exhaling with one nostril shut at a time is also helpful.

doterraA few other practices will help you transition from Summer to Fall.

  1. Switch from eating raw vegetables in salads to cooked vegetables in soups.
  2. Re-establish a regular eating and sleep routine
  3. Spend more time walking in nature.
  4. And maybe consider adding essential oils to  your daily ritual.

I have been doTERRA essential  oils which are said to be grounding and earthy.

Frankisense, cypress and helichrysum can be used both topical and and in your diffuser.  I can also help you with that.  Contact me. 

I wish you health and joy in  your day.  Namaste,  Andrea

Happehatchee Yoga Classes Estero Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga

Heaven Lane Yoga – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs.

You can reach me through the website contact form or by emailing me at andrea@heavenlanecreations.com .  By the way I live on Heaven Lane, so my company is aptly called Heaven Lane Creations.

Learning to flow with life instead of fighting it

yoga jewelry blog post

Dealing with life in a healthy way takes practice and the Yoga mat doing asanas and meditation is a great place to get that practice.

Yoga is HappinessA New Harvard Study shows that Meditation actually increases the part of your brain associated with self-awareness, compassion and introspection. “The participants spent an average of 27 minutes per day practicing mindfulness exercises, and this is all it took to stimulate a major increase in gray matter density in the hippocampus,” according to the article in Feelguide.

“Participant-reported reductions in stress also were correlated with decreased gray-matter density in the amygdala, which is known to play an important role in anxiety and stress. ” In other words, people who meditate  or participate in mindfulness activities like yoga  have more brain matter that helps them feel good and improves their quality of life.  Not a bad outcome for 27 minutes a day.

If you need more reasons to practice yoga, read on:

1. Development of flexibility is probably the first and most noticeable effect of yoga. Maybe when you started you could not touch your toes. With slow, careful and consistent practice, your muscles will loosen up. Eventually, your connective tissues and ligaments will feel more lubricated, which then could help alleviate back pain and pains in other joints.

2. Strong muscles – Many of the yoga poses look beautiful, but you might not know that yoga is considered one of the safest ways to develop strength. The strengthening is accomplished Andrea Yoga Blogwithout the loss of flexibility as is often the case with weight training. And because every pose is done equally on both sides, you remain balanced.

3. Lubrication of the Joints –When practicing yoga your joints are in motion, which helps to prevent degenerative arthritis. Joint tissues are a bit different than muscles tissues. They don’t have the range of motion that muscles do. In fact, they look different than a muscle, more like a matrix of fibers. A good analogy for joint tissue could be cotton candy.  Without moisture, they get stiff, but add moisture and they act like a sponge, absorbing fresh nutrients during the squeezing and gentle release. By keeping them lubricated, we are preventing them from developing a glue-like quality which over time further restricts movement.

4.Yoga can improve blood circulation. Yoga and other forms of exercise help supply cells with oxygen, in connection with which they perform their functions better. Twisting during yoga help to “squeeze” the venous blood from the internal organs and allow the oxygenated blood to flow more freely through certain Asanas such as twisting. Inverted postures help the flow of blood from the legs and pelvis to the heart and lungs, where it is enriched with oxygen again. There is a growing body of evidence that yoga can increase the level of hemoglobin and red blood cells, which deliver oxygen to the tissues, possibly reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

5. Yoga lowers cortisol levels. Normally, the adrenal glands secrete cortisol in response to an acute crisis, which temporarily enhances immunity. If the cortisol levels remain high even after the crisis, it could negatively affect the immune system. A temporary increase in cortisol levels improves long-term memory, but if your level of cortisol is kept at this level constantly (which occurs in people who feel stress much of the day), it may lead to a number of medical problems including major depression, osteoporosis (cortisol leaches from the bones of calcium and other minerals), high blood pressure and the body’s resistance to insulin. In addition, increased cortisol leads to overeating. The body converts extra calories into fat, contributing to diabetes and ailments associated with being overweight.

6.Yoga makes you more aware of where you are holding stress. The more you practice yoga, the more you become aware of your habits off the mat — like holding the steering wheel or tennis racket in a “death grip” or keeping your brow wrinkled or your face in a permanent frown. Many of these unconscious habits lead to chronic stress and muscle fatigue, and painful sensations in the hands, wrists, shoulders, neck and face. By practicing yoga, you start to notice which parts of the body have accumulated stress. It may be in the language of the eyes, the muscles of the neck and face. Gradually, you learn to relax those muscles.

7.Yoga gives our nervous system a break. The rhythm of modern life may force us to be in a state of constant excitement, which adversely affects the nervous system. Yoga can help you relax and calm down. Yoga practices such as yoga nidra (a relaxation process), Savasana (Constructed rest), pranayama (breathing practices) and meditation all give your nervous system a break, sometimes allowing you to stop focusing on your problems. This, in turn, may improve your ability to handle those problems and can lead to better habits such as eating better and getting enough sleep.

To sum it up, regular  yoga practice can  improve your body and your mind….reduce susceptibility to stressors (fear, anger, anger, regret, etc.) and make you a happier, nicer person.  Adapted from a post written by Anshul Malik of India in the Facebook group, The Yoga Room.

Catch me teaching yoga at Happehatchee Wednesdays at 11 am and Fridays at 9 (weather permitting). I teach ata Fyzical on Metro every Thursday at 8 am.  For more of my offerings, check out my yoga page.

I wish you health and joy in  your day.  Namaste,  Andrea

 

Happehatchee Yoga Classes Estero Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga

Heaven Lane Yoga – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs.

You can reach me through the website contact form or by emailing me at andrea@heavenlanecreations.com .  By the way I live on Heaven Lane, so my company is aptly called Heaven Lane Creations.

Sorting through all the health tips

Healthy Eating

Transforming_Your_Lifestyle-Christopher_Sasha-cover-682x1024For years the experts that held our attention told us “Fat was bad” and to be healthy, one needed to go on a low fat diet.  I tried those diets several times… usually losing 10 to 15 lbs and then quickly regaining it. I finally found out why I kept regaining the weight. Last week during the Cultivating Wellness Summit that Ysmay Walsh and 42 Yogis presented, a speaker  named Christopher Sasha cleared up why eating  little or no fat will eventually lead to more weight gain.

As he explained, ( and I am simplifying  and paraphrasing here) when you stop eating fat, your body thinks it is starving, so it will store the fat you have in order to maintain survival.  This, Sasha explained, is a throwback to our cavemen days when the hunter gatherers might wait for weeks for food.  He also pointed out that the reason we often gain weight quickly after going off a diet is that your body is  smarter than you.  It is basically announcing to you…”Don’t you dare starve me again.  I will show you.”  So your body stubbornly holds on to the fat.  Sasha also explained that fat and muscles are incredible important parts of our body.  The muscles protect the mitochondria (our cell intelligence centers) and the fat protects pretty much everything else including our brains.

I am particularly interested in the role of fat protecting our brains as we see Alzheimers on the rise.  My mom and step dad are suffering, so I live with the horrible effects of this disease on a daily basis.  There is some research going on to see the  connection between the use of Statin drugs to lower our cholesterol and the rise of Alzheimers. (we are theoretically clearing our arteries out of fat, but quite possible,   we  are removing protective layers of fat as well)Brain coverings

This week in article from Yoga International’s Carrier Demers , I learned how to  figure out what fats to eat.  This is the simplest advise I have ever read on this.  The fat  you eat should smell like what the fat came from…i.e avocado oil should smell like avocados, olive oil like olives, peanut oil like peanuts.  You get my drift.  So when the vegetable oils and partially hydrogenated oils and poly unsaturated oils make their way  from the grocery shelves into our diets, our bodies do not recognize them as real food that can be used and digested, so guess what:  they sit there and clog up our pipes.  So on my Monday Menu,  I am eating carrots with natural peanut butter and drinking water with mint, lemon and ginger. Here is to making informed and healthy decisions for your body.

So I hope to see you on the  yoga mat, tennis courts or just around town.

Catch me teaching yoga at Soni Yoga on Tuesday mornings at 9 am and Happehatchee Wednesdays at 10 am and Saturdays at 9:30.

Yoga in Nature Happehatchee 2

I wish you health and joy in  your day.  Namaste,  Andrea

Heaven Lane Yoga

Heaven Lane Yoga – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs.

You can reach me through the website contact form or by emailing me at andrea@heavenlanecreations.com .  By the way I live on Heaven Lane, so my company is aptly called Heaven Lane Creations.

Meditation is on the Monday Menu

Andreasilhouettecropped

Have you every obsessed about your weight?  I have been obsessing over my weight my whole life.

MomonAtlanticCItyboardwalk

When you have a mother who looked like a movie star and won Ms. Atlantic City Boardwalk because of her slim beautiful body, its ingrained in you. My mother  even looked good just a few month after giving birth to me.  That’s  a hard act to follow.

 

Mom and me when I was 1 1/2

Mom and me when I was 1 1/2

 

See the family picture below to see what I looked like right after Gabe was born.  I weighed 200 lbs and my extended family decided this was the time to do the big family portrait…. in fact, the one and only family portrait.  So I get to remind myself of how easily my body can go up and down  60 lbs ever time I look at this picture.  For years, I obsessed about getting all my nutritional needs. What was I going to eat and when exactly was I going to eat? These kinds of questions occupied a great deal of mental activity. It became background noise in my brain. This may  have been the direct result of a year in my life back in the early 2000’s when my stomach could not even adequately digest my food so I ended up juicing most of my meals.  In 2000, I was diagnosed with an odd disease known as Gastro -paresis.

 Summer 1998

Summer 1998

The medicines that I was put on caused chemical depression.   I lost 40 lbs or so and was told I might have to go on a feeding tube.  I eventually weaned myself off all medicines and re-trained my body to eat and started gaining weight again from a low of 120 lbs. (which is very thin for my frame).  That is the also year I started practicing yoga seriously.  It was my lifeline.  I started to see my sensitive stomach and my sensitive nature in general as a blessing, not just a bane. Awareness of my internal landscape could be a compass to point me in the direction of health and wellness. I could learn to control and understand the nature of the background noise.

Andrea doing squat at Happehatchee

Since that time I have been on a quest to find the right eating plan for me.  It continues to be a work in progress, which is the impetus for doing the weekly Monday Menu.   Meditation has a role in today’s Monday Menu.  During my morning 12 minute meditation, I had an epiphany.   I was going to reverse the order of what I ate! Here is how it goes:  Since I am trying to eat my main meal in the middle of the day, its about figuring out how to get in the rest of nutrition in a way that works with the desire to not eat much in the evening.  So instead of grabbing a breakfast bar (usually a Kind bar) before running out in the morning, why not try gluten free oatmeal with fruit and almond milk. Midday, when possible, will be the big healthy lunch and then the Kind bar with a cup of tea to stave off hunger and a sweet tooth in the evening.

healthyfoodfrom planet freshedited

So here is where meditation comes in! Why do ideas come during meditation you might ask?  “I thought you weren’t supposed to be thinking about anything during meditation.  Clearing your mind… right?”  Well maybe.  However, the “monkey mind” as it is known is hard to clear.  So sitting in meditation waiting for that moment might leave you a bit disappointed and possibly feeling like a failure.  Meditation, as one of  my teachers explained, is a daily practice just like brushing your teeth.  You do it every day because it is good for you… and every once in a while, you may end up with an epiphany.

 

Namaste,  Andrea

 

Cover Girl — Surprise

Summer 2015 cover design

Look what’s on the cover of the Summer Edition of Creative Spark, an on-line magazine brought to you by the Jewelry Supply Company Znetshows. It’s a necklace I designed  a few weeks ago with their cultured sea glass .In fact, I designed an entire collection of jewelry that you can see in the Creative Spark magazine (click on magazine) starting on page 28. All of the designers in this journal are so creative and they come from all over the country and most like me, are artists,  some of whom are trying to figure out the incredible confusing new world of social media.  In fact, I wrote about that social media struggle on page 142 of the Magazine. (just turn the pages with the arrow as if you are reading a book)

 

The big question for all the jewelers was  “What about the sea inspires you?”  This is what I wrote:

“In Southwest Florida, the color of the Gulf changes daily.  Every time I go to the beach, I learn something new…  maybe it’s a birSanibelIslandwithleastternsd I have not seen before, or sea pork that has been washed in on  the beach.  One day it’s a beach full of star fish and another day, its sand dollars  or live shells.  It changes daily and each day it is exquisite reminder of the beauty  and drama played out in nature.”  Please tell me what inspiration you get from our amazing Gulf of Mexico!

Peace,  Andrea

Yoga in Nature!

Yoga in Nature Happehatchee 2

Discover Yoga in Nature: Your prescription for Health

Yoga in Nature Happehatchee 6Visitors and Happehatchee regulars now have multiple opportunities to experience the healing effects of Yoga in Nature.  Happehatchee’s Yoga schedule has something for everyone…from those who want to rock out to those who are in need of a gentle rehabilitative practice

Yoga in Nature not only offers highly qualified, caring teachers but also the beauty of Happehatchee’s surroundings. The wind whispers through the screens. Birds chirp close by. Mats are scattered around beautiful wood floors. These are the elements of the Yoga in Nature program.  Anyone can take a deep, green breath in and absorb the sounds of Nature.  The cost is just $10.00 a class and no pre-registration is required.   Classes are offered Tuesday through Sunday. The schedule changes monthly so be sure to check into the website before you make your plans.

Happehatchee is located near US41, across from Koreshan State Park.  To access the five-acre natural park, go east on Corkscrew and make a U turn at Sandy Lane.  Happehatchee is on the north side of Corkscrew across from the Publix Shopping Center.  Happehatchee Center is a Park in the Heart of the Village.

Please visit happehatchee.org to learn more about the Center, volunteer opportunities and to view the yoga schedule.

Heaven Lane Yoga

Estero Yoga in Nature

Many of you know my background in jewelry design and as a teacher.  What you might not know is that I have two advanced degrees from the  University of Virginia.  I received my M.Ed.  in Science Education  in  1997 and Ed. S. in Curriculum and Instruction in 2000.  In addition to  my science and teaching background,  I have been practicing yoga and  taking yoga workshops for 15 plus years.  So it was a natural step for me  in 2014 to meld together my creative spirit, passion for teaching and interest in yoga and health into a new venture… Heaven Lane Yoga. Click on any of the images at the bottom of this blog to read more about my yoga offerings. I am constantly adding more classes and opportunities to my schedule.  For instance, I now am teaching a Tuesday 9 am Hatha Yoga class at Soni Yoga in downtown Fort Myers.

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga for Tennis and Golf SWFLYoga is the art work of awareness on the canvas of body, mind, and soul.”  Amit Ray. It brings together physical, mental  and spiritual disciplines to achieve a peaceful body and mind.  It can help to manage stress and anxiety and teach you  how to relax. It can help increase flexibility, muscle strength and body tone. It  has been known to improve respiration, energy and vitality. Practicing yoga might seem like just stretching, but it is much more.  It is learning to tune in to your body, learning to breathe in a way that is nourishing  and let go of habits and people who do not nourish you.  For many people, it also leads to other lifestyle changes, like eating better and meditating.

 

For me, it has  done all of this and more. It has enabled me to play competitive  tennis 3-5 times a week at a relatively high level.  It has also helped me deal with  the family strain caused by mom’s decline into Alzheimers.  It has brought my  husband and I closer as spending time in yoga and meditation has resulted in a  kinder, more honest approach to my relationships.

 

So I hope to see you on the  yoga mat, tennis courts or just around town.

Mostly, I wish you health and joy in  your day.  Namaste,  Andrea

 

Happehatchee Yoga Classes Estero Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga

Heaven Lane Yoga – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs.

You can reach me through the website contact form or by emailing me at andrea@heavenlanecreations.com .  By the way I live on Heaven Lane, so my company is aptly called Heaven Lane Creations.

Sensational Sunday: Finally Opening my Etsy Store

It’s a Sensational Sunday.  Why?  I have finally opened my Etsy Store.

 

Here is the back story.

Do you have a tendency to wait for everything to be perfect before you launch or do you just dive in, knowing that a few more weeks, or possibly, months of work might be warranted?  This has basically been my journey with Etsy, the on-line worldwide marketplace for crafters, jewelers, etc. you name it.  I changed my mind a hundred times about opening a shop. Heaven Lane Creations Etsy Shop

Etsy collage for first blog post

“I don’t have enough jewelry for sale, my pictures aren’t good enough, there are so many other designers on line,” these were a few of the negative mantras I was repeating in my head.  I have had an Esty account since 2008, however I never got past the posting of three pictures. It was never the right time. But in the past few months, I have turned the corner on my love/hate relationship with the world of technology.

Heaven Lane Positive

Thanks to my wonderful web designer, Monica Garcia Saenz , the help I received on social media marketing from Ysmay Walsh and Nicola DeAvilla, and good old fashion hard work and persistence on my part, I am beginning to see the value of interfacing technology with my Jewelry Design and Yoga Teaching careers.

 screenshotofinstagram

So in keeping with a Sensational Sunday,  I am offering a deal  for the next month through my Etsy Store — spend $50 and get a pair of earrings for $5.00 or spend $100 and a get a pair of earrings for free.

Etsy Store Grand Opening Sale

 

Designing custom jewelry to fit your wardrobe and match your personal look. Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs.

You can reach me through the website contact form or by emailing me at andrea@heavenlanecreations.com .  By the way I live on Heaven Lane, so my company is aptly called Heaven Lane Creations.

Heaven Lane Creations Fort Myers, FL

The Moon Salutation

Moon Salutation

Once a moon when the moon is full I teach my students the Moon Salutation This month I am participating in an Instagram challenge so you can practice all month long. The moon salutation is different than sun salutations. It is more cooling very balancing and frankly, a favorite of mine. Try it with me. Start off in mountain pose (Tadasana). Hands at your heart. Reach up and clasp your hands. Stretch left on an inhale and breath then right and breath. You will look like a crescent moon.

Moon Salutation Goddess Pose

The middle steps of the moon salutation. Start in Goddess pose (1) (also known as Horseman’s Pose). Toes are Charlie Chaplin style. Knees are bent trying to track over toes. Pelvis slightly tucked. From here straighten legs and make your fingers look like a starfish (2). Turn your left toes to face forward and your right foot is either parallel to mat or turned in slightly. Cartwheel your arms…landing with left arm on leg and right arm pointing to sky. (Triangle pose) Twist toward the sky attempting to stack shoulders. Next point both feet forward and reach over your left leg. Draping your belly on your thigh (4 pyramid pose). Breathing steadily throughout. Your almost halfway through the moon cycle.

Andrea Peace Pavillion

Follow me on Facebook for more on Moon Salutation, Yoga, my custom jewelry and more!

  • Andrea Trank, Heaven Lane Creations | Owner & Designer / Yoga Instructor

Benefits of Yoga

The art of practicing yoga helps in controlling an individual mind, body and soul. It brings together physical and mental disciplines to achieve a peaceful body and mind, it helps to manage stress and anxiety and keep you relaxing. It also helps in increasing flexibility, muscle strength and body tone. It improved respiration, energy and vitality. Practicing yoga might seem like just stretching, but it can do much more for your body from the way you feel, look and move.

Science Educator and Jewelry Designer Andrea Trank,  M.Ed. Science Education and Ed. S. Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Virginia, has been practicing yoga since 1996. In the summer of 2014, she decided to meld together her creative spirit, passion for teaching and interest in yoga and health into a new venture… Heaven Lane Yoga. Click on any of the images below to read more about her yoga classes.

Happehatchee Yoga Classes Estero Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga

Heaven Lane Yoga – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs.

You can reach me through the website contact form or by emailing me at andrea@heavenlanecreations.com .  By the way I live on Heaven Lane, so my company is aptly called Heaven Lane Creations.

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