Yoga in Nature

The Holy Grail of Chakras

Crown chakra image

The Crown Chakra is the Holy Grail of Chakras—it’s the pinnacle—the highest level of your subtle energetic Chakra body

The seventh chakra is the connection between you, the world and whatever God you believe in.  And to be honest with you, it is not that attainable for most of us “everyday folk”.  But does that mean you should not try — no way. Enhancing your crown chakra in any shape or form will enhance your life. Raising your level of consciousness will ease “physical and emotional pain and release endorphins which create happy and blissful experiences for us,”  according to Ambika Wauters , who wrote The Book of Chakras. Chakras_map.svgAnd she adds, “Once we start living from and within the Crown Chakra, we start to be thankful for our lives exactly as they are.  … we accept  trials and hardships that have shaped our spirit.” In all of the readings I have done throughout my yoga training, it is the ritual of working toward higher levels of connection that enhance your live, not necessarily the goal of pure bliss or Samadhi as it is called in Sanskrit.  In fact, according to Vedic tradition, no goal can ever be guaranteed in yoga or life, so the daily practice becomes the goal.

In helping my students work the Crown or Sahasrara Chakra, which in Sanskrit means thousand petals, we spend more time in quiet reflection than in our other Chakra practices.  When I offer my students either doTERRA Rosemary  essential oil if they are having too many visions or Frankincense oil if they need assistance in accessing the higher realm, I invariably get few takers for the Rosemary and many for the Frankincense.

“Frankincense, considered a Holy oil, is used for meditative contemplation, for achieving tranquil states of mind, and for attaining spiritual liberation.  The spiritual and psychological benefits of Frankincense have long been recognized by many cultures and spiritual traditions. On a physical level, the oil of Frankincense helps with nervous system conditions. Because of the high levels of sesquiterpenes, a type of molecules that have the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, Frankincense may help to oxygenate the pineal and pituitary glands, according to www.chakra-anatomy.com .Frankincense is so highly touted in treating a number of physical and emotional diseases and the medical community continues to research more and more of its health benefits.   To top it off, it smells great making it a top seller at doTERRA. Even though it is very expensive, I offer my students to try it topically to help with focus and meditation.frankincense banner

The Crown Chakra Yoga Practice

We do a variety of the hip and hamstring poses to get ready to meditate. See my  Youtube video on sitting comfortably in easy seat.

gentl neck stretch 300 by 225Andrea doing twist 300Tree pose 300dpi

Gentle neck stretches, side to side stretches and twists are done to make sure all blockages leading from the base of the spine to the crown of your head are cleared.  Tree pose is our balance pose to ensure our focus and connection with all living things.

An appropriate relaxation activity for activating the crown chakra is Yoga Nidra.  When I did thisyoga nidra image practice with my students recently, I had several students report some fascinating results.  One student reported being able to visualize the blue pointed star at all 61 points that I mentioned.  Another visualized a colorful Chinese dragon dancing.

I introduce my students to a variety of other ways to quiet their mind and feel connected to their higher self.  Visualizing the color purple,  chanting the OM sound or using either crystal bowls or a 108 bead mala to assist in meditating.  Each of us respond differently to the various approaches of this practice, so I give the students a sampling and encourage them to practice at home.  To find out more about my Chakra balancing series, please fill in this contact form.

 

 

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 Creations – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs. Designing individualized doTERRA oil routines for your health.  Designing custom made jewelry to fit your style.

 

Staying Healthy in September

Why is September so hard on many of us?

Letting Go Of Summer

 

soup small

Homemade Bone Broth

As we move from summer to fall, you may notice that your energy levels begin to change.  In both Traditional Chinese Medicine and in Indian Medicine known as Ayurveda, there is a good reason for this. Seasonal changes signal changes in our physical and emotional constitutions. “Traditional Chinese Medicine views the environment as an extension of the body. Therefore, living in harmony with the season helps to keep your body healthy,” according to www.eggsfromtheeast.com.  If we do not follow the rhythm of the seasons, it often shows up as dis-ease in the body. There are several ways to ease the transition into fall and possibly prevent your body from shutting down.

1) Go to bed earlier and rise earlier.  The sun is setting earlier and our circadian rhythms shift as well.

2) Eat fewer salads and smoothies and switch to cooked foods and soups. This is especially important if your primarily a Vata dosha (see my blog post  for further explanation).

3) While summer was about going and doing, fall is about reflecting, organizing, clearing out and preparing for winter. Even though we do not really have cold winters, there is still a seasonal clock at work here.

4) Add Yin yoga to your routine.  My yin yang yoga class is now Fridays at 9 am at Happehatchee.

 

While the yoga may poses look familiar, they have different names and  different purposes in Yin

Andrea doing mountain brook on the mat

For instance, Cobblers pose (Baddha Konasana) in the Yang style of yoga is called Butterfly in Yin.  Butterfly is a slightly wider -legged pose, looking more like a diamond and it is often held for three to five minutes.   In this pose you relax all muscles and let your upper body hang without focusing much on alignment.

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Butterfly Pose

 

Yin yoga emerged out of the Taoist traditions of China.  Just as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Indian medicine (Aruyveda) come from a common tree, so do Yin and Hatha yoga.  Here in the west, Yin has been catching on, particularly among athletes, martial artists and people who want a more grounding, quieter type of yoga practice.   While Yang yoga often involves flowing sequences with 40 or more Asanas (poses) being held for 3 to 5 breath rounds, a Yin Yoga sequence might include just 10-15 poses each held for three to 10 minutes.

Bernie Clark, who studied under some Yin Masters and authored YinSights, says “Yin targets connective tissues… (ligaments, joints and bones, and is complimentary to the dynamic styles of yoga, which are focused on muscles.”  For many tennis players, runners and other athletes whose sports are so dynamic, having a less dynamic yoga practice can be very balancing.  For anyone suffering from injuries or recovering from illnesses, Yin may be just the right prescription for health.

The three basic rules of Yin according to Mr. Clark, are

1) Come into the pose at an appropriate depth.  One of my teachers described that as just short of your edge.  So come to your edge and ease off just enough so that you can maintain this position for the duration. You should feel sensation, but not pain.

2) Resolve to remain still except for your breathing.  You may not always succeed, especially if you are naturally a fidgety person, but maybe say to yourself when you want to flee, I will stick with it ten more seconds.

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Cat Pulling Its Tail

3) Hold the pose for a length of time upward of a minute, preferably 3-5 minutes.  This is important for several reasons.  For one thing, it takes at least 45 seconds before your muscles stop contracting.  It is necessary for your muscles to relax in order to go deeper into the connective tissue matrix of your body.

Mr. Clark describes what is often an initial reaction to practicing Yin. “Your mind starts to play tricks on you,” he says.  You want to fidget or escape.  But by breathing into the pose and paying attention to the sensations without judgment, you learn to stay calm and still in the midst of sensation, which our minds translate into suffering.  This skill, with practice, can translate off the mat in everyday life

I was first introduced to Yin Yoga 10 years ago when one of my favorite Yoga teachers in Charlottesville, Virginia came back from a workshop and spent the next five Sundays exploring Yin with us.   She would talk to us throughout the long held poses to keep us from releasing the pose too soon.  Her commentary and her eclectic style of teaching kept me coming back for more. Little did I know then, that I would follow in her footsteps.  She was also a school teacher, as I am.   In the fall of 2014 during the Yoga teacher training at Joyful Yoga, I was again, introduced to Yin Yoga through two of my teachers.  I was immediately drawn to the grounding nature of this style of yoga and the way my body felt after the practice was finished.

If you are interested in exploring the Yin Yoga Practice, come to  my Friday 9 am Yin/Yang Yoga class at Happehatchee.  The cost is just $10 and you get the added benefits of practicing Yoga in Nature and supporting a beautiful not-for-profit eco spiritual center that is working actively to protect land in Estero . I am also available to do private yoga classes.  Schedule your class today.

Yin at happe for yoga newsletter

 

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 Creations – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs. Designing individualized doTERRA oil routines for your health.  Designing custom made jewelry to fit your style.

The Joys of Teaching Magnified in Nature

camp Andrea on the floor teaching

The greatest challenges offer the greatest rewards

Case in point, the week-long watershed education camp I directed at Happehatchee in June involving middle school age children.  Preparing for this camp kept me up for weeks.   You might be thinking “that’s not very yogic of you!”  You are right, I know I am not supposed to worry about things like this – I preach skills for coping daily to my yoga students like being in the present moment and breathing through stress.  But it had been 15 years since I last spent this much time with students in an outdoor setting.  And I had never done so in the hot, stormy Southwest Florida summer. In fact, the week before camp began, we had an unusually early tropical storm.  Zika virus threats, kids running a muck, my counselors forgetting to come and help me were some of my nightmares leading up to camp.  But like so many things we worry about in life, this was not the disaster I imagined, but an amazing experience all around.

Camp all of us in the canoes and kayaks day 4          Camp Evan falling as Savannah looks on

Here is a sampling of the Eco-camp’s greatest moments:

A young girl comes to camp.  The first day she doesn’t say a word, the second day she begins to smile. Day three she is participating fully and on day 4, she is basically doing all the work in a canoe that I share with her. Quietly she whispers “Can I go in the river tomorrow?”

camp Arcelly confident in the canoe

The high schoolers not only show up on time every day,  they bring friends to help.  When one of them is leading an activity, the other young people are cleaning up and getting ready for our next adventure without me even asking them.

The campers eagerly participate in a water cycle game, a fashion-a-fish art activity, and a skit simulating the effect of tides on critters. They build a watershed,  play water games and conduct biological, chemical and physical tests on the river.   The campers decide they will learn science vocabulary bingo words better by teaching the older counselors and myself the words. And if this weren’t enough, they collect trash, discuss world events and twice a day, do yoga and learn how yoga has many of its roots in the natural world. Every day, I go home exhausted but exhilarated by their enthusiasm for our river and their passion for learning.

camp Annie playing water drop game    camp kids doing a skitCamp throwing water balloonscamp Jenna and Savannah 225 by 223  camp owen and savanna sleeping 225  camp Aracely getting in canoe for first time 225camp legs up the air

 

To learn more about Happehatchee Sanctuary and their programs,  contact them through their web site. To stay in touch with me and find out more about how I work with students of all ages, on the Yoga Mat, in my Essential Oils classes, in environmental programs or through my jewelry making, think about subscribing to my blog please.

I wish you health and joy in your days!

Namaste, Andrea

Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesOn Location Yoga Classes EsteroPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

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

Ask me about Doterra Oils.  I can save you 25% and provide you with great, useful information.

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Let nature and positive young people sooth your soul

I am encouraged by the beauty of nature and openness and caring of many of our youth!

camp Savannah et all looking at turtle

How do you describe the curiosity of young people who are given the tools and guidance to figure out for themselves real world science or are allowed to work together in a way that allows them all to shine? How do you describe the wonder in the face of a teenager experiencing nature up close and personal for maybe the first time? How do you describe the confidence that a teenager develops when he or she is put in charge of a group of younger campers? How do you describe the camaraderie developed in a beautiful setting such as Happehatchee Eco Center in Estero Florida when  young people come together from different schools with the purpose of finding out if their beloved Estero River is healthy and what to do to protect it. Rather than try to describe it, I will take you on a journey of pictures through the Happehatchee River Watchers Program and Summer Eco Camp.

Camp Evan checking out the turtle Camp Owen taking a selfie with turtle  camp Aracely looking at frogIMG_3891  IMG_3620  camp Savanna looking happyIMG_3773camp Annie playing water drop game  camp Annie and Arcely looking at watershed activity  camp shells in the handscamp Andrea doing yoga with students

This environmental education program was made possible thanks to Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program (CHNEP), Wells Fargo Bank and the amazing staff and volunteers of the Happehatchee Eco Center. To read more about the program and what we learned about the Estero River, read on. Please feel free to comment and share because in troubled times, we all need positive people and beautiful nature to uplift our spirits.

Happe-Logo-100-300x87

 

To learn more about Happehatchee program,  contact them through their web site. To stay in touch with me and find out more about how I work with students of all ages, on the Yoga Mat, in my Essential Oils classes or through my jewelry making, think about subscribing to my blog please.

I wish you health and joy in your day!

Namaste, Andrea

Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesOn Location Yoga Classes EsteroPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

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

Ask me about Doterra Oils.  I can save you 25% and provide you with great, useful information.

Connect with me!

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Taking Root – Balancing the Muladhara Chakra

muladhara chakra

Life is always throwing curve balls at us.  Many times these abrupt changes can leave us feeling rootless.  That rootless feeling is often associated with an imbalance in the Root Chakra.

ChakrasThe root chakra, Muladhara, as it is known in Sanscript, is all about security.   Yoga and Essential Oils can help rebalance your root chakra by reducing feelings of anxiousness and helping you feel more grounded. In my experience and readings I have done, there appears to be three ways your root chakra can become imbalanced (bear with me, this is an oversimplification).

  • Something big happens like a job change, change in marital or family status, a death or health related issue that rocks your world.
  • Unresolved issues that might be deep seated related to security from childhood creating long held tension and lower self-esteem.
  • An incredibly busy mind and body that is going all the time, leading to a daily need to ground oneself  with calming practices and daily routines. (I fit into this category)

As a Yoga teacher,  I have been working with my students to understand and balance their chakras.  We started at the beginning with the root chakra, which resides at the base of the spine. (see Blog post for more basics on chakras). When teaching a yoga class focused on balancing the root chakra, I start with an invitation to use doTBalanceERRA  Oils special blend called Balance.  Pure therapeutic essential oils are 1000 times more potent than herbs.  doTERRA Oils  are produced without additives like so many of the oils sold on the market today.

Balance is a perfect blend of Spruce, Frankincense, Blue Tansy, Blue Chamomile, Ho Wood in a mixture of Coconut Oil. The Frankincense has a grounding effect on emotions, while the Ho Wood, Blue Tansy and Blue Chamomile can ease anxiety.  I offer the students a drop of the oil to rub on their hands, their feet or to place on a flat cotton pad. I also diffuse the oil in a mobile diffuser.  We start the class in Mountain Pose 1 (Tadasana) feeling our feet firmly grounded and begin breathing in the oil as a way to feel securely planted on the earth.

Balancing the Muladara ChakraWe set an intention during this grounding which might relate to personal security such as “I know I will make enough money to pay my bills” or “even though I am currently experiencing major health challenges, I will trust in my body and my health practitioners to lead me back to health.” Other yoga poses that I incorporate into a Root Chakra Balancing practice are : Child’s pose 2 (Balasana) with your head on the floor or a block, Downward -facing dog  pose 3 (Adho Mukha Savasana) into low lunge pose 4 (Anjaneyasana).  Working the lower body builds the strength in the legs and flexibility in the hips so that you feel  supported.

Rooting your feet during either a Warrior 1 or Warrior 2 series 5 (Virabhadrasana II) continues to help you draw strength from the earth and your lower body. An obvious choice for a balance pose in such a practice is Tree Pose 6 (Vrksasana), but make sure in all of these poses that you do not  push yourself beyond what feels safe and secure.  Maybe you place your feet on your shin and not on your thigh for tree or stand close to the wall in case you need to support yourself.   Chair Pose 7 (Utkatasana) and Yoga Squat  pose 8 (Malasana) can be added to  your root chakra balancing routine before you come down to the floor.

Part of balancing any chakra is to find balance within yourself between what is known as Sthira and Sukha, strength and flexibility.  Once you steady yourself through the lower body strength work, it is important to find a bit of ease.  So spend the last fifteen minutes of your root chakra balancing class, seated or lying on the floor stretching out your hips and hamstrings with a series of postures including  wind reliever pose 9 (Apanasana) reclined pidgeon pose 10 (Supta Kapotasana), reclined bound angle pose 11 (Supta Baddha Konasana) and ending in Corpse Pose 12 (Savasana). 

Muladara Chakra

In my class on the root chakra, I offer the students another whiff of  the Balance Essential Oil as we say the Root Chakra Balancing Mantra of LAM, LAM, LAM. To experience my compassionate style of yoga teaching, check my Yoga schedule.  To learn more about using Essential Oils, use the form below to send me an email.   

I wish you health and joy in your day!

Namaste, Andrea

Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesOn Location Yoga Classes EsteroPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

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

Ask me about Doterra Oils.  I can save you 25% and provide you with great, useful information.

Connect with me!

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Rebooting Your Mind: Rebooting Your Life

 Mirror Lake Photo by Ben Trank

Mirror Lake Photo by Ben Trank

Your Life is like a Mirror Reflecting your Own Thoughts Back to You!

How are your resolutions going?  Have old habits crept back in without you being fully aware?  Did you say January 1, 2016, “I am going to walk every day!” But a week later, you woke up feeling too tired or the dog threw up on your rug or you stayed up too late watching your favorite sports team?  WHY IS IT SO DARN HARD TO CHANGE?

Two authors that I read regularly wrote about this dilemma recently.  Deepak Chopra of international fame and locally, our own Yogi and Health Writer Nancy Loughlin.

Blog post reboot your mind

This Heron Did Not Respond to the threat of my two dogs! Why?

According to Chopra, the reason why it is so hard to change, is because your habits are based on your mindset.  “A mindset is like a worldview. It’s the lens through which you see life. A silent filtering process is going on. We let in certain experiences and censor others,” he points out.  Every moment of every day we are filtering messages… saying yes, no or maybe not hearing them at all.   While these things are happening unconsciously, you can make a conscious effort to retrain your mind.  Here are Chopra’s five rebooting techniques.

  • Reject Your Old Self

“Most people allow beliefs, opinions, likes, and dislikes to pop up by default. In any situation, their thinking isn’t centered on the present, but is a relic of the past. The self who originated old thinking doesn’t exist anymore.” Chopra says in his article 5 Ways to Overcome Past Conditioning. Use a mantra, which is a statement you repeat silently to yourself like… “I am not that person anymore”  I try this all the time when I feel like I have been wronged. Mostly it works.

  • Reject Default Attitudes

All of our experiences and our reactions to them leave an imprint on our mind.  They are like a record groove.  Some call it a karmic impression.  According to Chopra, they are “like a microchip that sends out the same message over and over. It makes us respond the same way over and over also, which is the opposite of actually being real and present.”  Just last week I was so angry about the way someone treated me, that my first reaction was to put this person in their place with some very choice words, but instead, I went home and did not say anything for several days.  Finally, when I was approached about this situation, I realized that I had enough time to process, so that I could respond in a logical, more careful way.  A piece of advice I was given years ago (by my husband the lawyer) was to throw out the first draft of any angry email I wrote.  It helped me many times when I was responding to a parent who was upset over their child’s behavior in school. Nancy Loughlin in her article, Break the Cycle of Poor Decision making,  (News Press Living Well, Feb. 2, 2016) advises to try a simple reboot when this happens with meditation.

 

  • Listen to the People You Don’t Listen To
Photo Taken by Annie Wood 2015

Photo Taken by Annie Wood 2015

This is a doozy for those of us who are parents, because our children reject this advice out of hand. Chopra puts it so succinctly. “When you shut anyone out, you are censoring reality,” and  he adds that people who seem very decisive are often quietly reviewing and seeking data from multiple sources before they make great decisions.  Two heads are better than one, especially the one that is occupying your thoughts every day.  When I was in college, I majored in communication.  My research was on the way hostages were censured and how it affected their thinking processes. Many hostages came to love their captors because they were basically brain washed.  If you only hear the same messages every day you are brainwashing yourself.

Chopra’s advice to overcome internal brainwashing is as follows “See yourself as a kind of human inbox, allowing as many viewpoints as you can to enter your mental landscape. A rigid mindset is soon melted this way,” he concludes.

  • Favor Expanded Awareness

This is a tricky one because it involves stepping out of your comfort zone and many people like to be comfortable.  Chopra puts it this way. “We draw back when we feel insecure and vulnerable. We are averse to the unknown and the potential risks that await us there. These are all symptoms of constricted awareness.” Loughlin suggests that you notice the circumstances surrounding your habitual negative reactions without judgement and create new positive reactions (record grooves) by responding differently than you might have in the past.

Here is another piece of advice that has helped me with changing old thinking patterns, when they are not working for me. I can go forward kicking or screaming hoping to stop the tide or I can, as Poet Donna Faulds puts it, “Use my energy to swim with the tide.” This leads perfectly into Chopra’s final piece of advice.

  • Find the Way of Least Action

As an avid tennis player, I love Chopra’s metaphor on this one.” A tennis ball falls to earth in a simple curve, not a curlicue. An arrow flies straight to the target…If nature is always this efficient, using the least effort and energy as possible, why do we complicate our lives?”  Oh my, this one hits a nerve.  I have been told by my dearest friends and family, “I never seek the easy way!”

This is why many of us, including me, need meditation.  According to Chopra, “When you encounter the silent depth of your mind, some problems dissolve automatically while others present new solutions… A life aligned with the laws of nature is easier.”

So it’s our choice– if our current ways of thinking and reacting are making our lives harder, why not free ourselves and try something new.  With these five simple techniques, it might be easier than you think.

Group of us being trees on the beach 600 dpi

That’s me in the center of a a great group of Yogis doing beach Yoga. Who says “You can’t grow trees on the beach?” Its all a matter of perspective.

To learn more about my yoga and meditation offerings, please check out my website, my on-line profile through Thumbtack Professionals or my YouTube Videos.

I wish you health and joy in your day and in 2016!

Namaste, Andrea

Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesOn Location Yoga Classes EsteroPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

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

Connect with me!

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Heaven Lane Yoga

Andrea Trank
Heaven Lane Creations
HeavenLaneCreations.com

 

Have mat will travel — deciding where you want to do yoga

1-26-16 Tarpon Beach Yoga (8)  600 dpi tallAs yoga’s popularity increases, there are so many opportunities to experience the amazing benefits of this practice.

How do you chose where to take your yoga classes?  Here is one yoga teacher’s mostly objective view on the pros and cons of the different venues.  I have taught in all of these settings.

1-26-16 Tarpon Beach Yoga (29) 600 wide

Yoga on the beach:  THE UPSIDE –beautiful scenery including sky and ocean, the smell and sounds of the sea, soft sand which is easy on the feet and knees, always available. THE DOWNSIDE: lack of privacy, hard to maintain your balance, weather conditions and bugs can sometimes be a factor and if you do not like the sand in your mat, this may not be your thing.

 

Yoga in an outdoor pavilion:  THE UPSIDE:  sounds of nature, beautiful scenery, yet protected from the elements, casual atmosphere, no mirrors, no make-up, come as you are.  THE DOWNSIDE: the equipfriends with yoga matsment is not pristine because it is out in nature, critters can make there way into the pavilion, harder to get to, limited class   schedule, can be very chilly or very hot and muggy.

 

Yoga in your country club: THE UPSIDE: convenient, friendly, affordable, everybody knows your name.  THE DOWNSIDE: often in a room that doubles as a dining area or has other types of classes so it can smell.  Often noisy as well. Lacking proper equipment and proper flooring sometimes.

 

Yoga in a gym:  THE UPSIDE:  Gyms are everywhere.  Yoga classes usually are included in the cost of your membership.  THE DOWNSIDE: noisy rooms, don’t always have the right equipment and teacher qualifications are not always as strict as other venues.Legsinairinfrontoffire

Yoga in a Yoga Studio: THE UPSIDE: Specially designed spaces with lots of amenities like props and mats, sound proof, good quality teachers.  THE DOWNSIDE: More expensive, often can be intimidating due to the beautiful yogis and the underlying glamour of a studio. Can feel cliquish.  You are either part of the “in” crowd or  you are not.

Private Yoga in Your Home: THE UPSIDE:  the comfort and convenience of your own home, no competition (except from your pets) or if you have small children.  Control of the cleanliness, go at your pace.  THE DOWNSIDE: private instruction is more expensive,  if you like a group for inspiration you might be lonely, and you need to hire someone you trust who has equipment or you will need to purchase your own equipment.

 

There you have it— a quick overview of the many yoga offerings out there.  And they are increasing all the time. My advice –sample the offerings. If you are a beginner and can afford it, take private lessons first so that you can get a firm foundation of  techniques of the poses and the breathing practices.  That way you will be safer when you join a class.  You will also be better able to decide which styles of yoga are for you and which teacher appeals to you.

To learn more about my yoga offerings, please check out my website, my on-line profile through Thumbtack Professionals or my YouTube Videos.

I wish you health and joy in your day and in 2016!

Namaste, Andrea

Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesOn Location Yoga Classes EsteroPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

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

Connect with me!

facebook twitter etsy youtube instagram pinterest

Heaven Lane Yoga

Andrea Trank
Heaven Lane Creations
HeavenLaneCreations.com

How to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Last

Andrea close up mountain pose on beach

 

2016 has arrived and with it renewed determination to change our lives for the better.  So why do New Year’s Resolutions especially those involving our health and relationships invariably fail?

According to one of my mentors,   Yoga Teacher and Life Coach Nicole DeAvilla, ” only 8% of the people successfully achieve their resolutions.” She and many Andrea Beautiful pidgeon pose full size_edited-1others who have studied this trend believe it is because a resolution is not easily turned into a new habit. “We ride the wave of enthusiasm then when that subsides, there isn’t the habit, the mindset, or more importantly, the rewired brain patterns that will sustain us one we get caught up in the usual distractions and always present mundane aspects of life” she says.

So how do you rewire your brain.  You may have guessed what I am going to say… a daily practice of yoga and meditation.  Yoga and Meditation Effects on Rewiring the Brain is a hot topic being studied.

  • A UCLA study showed meditators had better preserved brains than non-meditators
  • A Yale University study showed that mindfulness meditation practice quiets the “monkey mind” the part of the brain that is always wandering, ruminating, and worrying about the past and future.
  • A Harvard study showed that 8 weeks of meditating can actually increase the thickness of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that governs learning and memory. At the same time, decreasing the cell volume in another part of the brain, the amygdala responsible for the feelings of fear, stress and anxiety.                                                                (Alice G. Walton, Forbes Magazine on line)

Andrea  sitting up straight and tall on the dock from the sideSo how does this work?  According to the Chopra Center, the “deep state of rest produced by meditation triggers the brain to release neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins –naturally occurring brain chemicals linked to different aspects of happiness.” In general when you feel happier, you are more likely to stick with program or plan.

The yoga connection has also been written about extensively. According to Jenni Rawlings, a yoga teacher and blog writer, yoga is all about taking what we learn on the mat,  including deep breathing, softening muscles, clearing the mind and being present and bringing it off the mat into our daily lives. “These are the techniques that break bad habits, eliminate negativity, and diminish stress,” she concludes.

So try adding Yoga and Meditation to your 2016 list of resolutions and see how much it helps with all your other resolutions.  Let me help you achieve your 2016 New Year’s resolutions. I offer two public yoga classes at Happehatchee; Wednesdays at 11 am and Saturdays at 9 am. Otherwise, I am available for private and semi private yoga classes or on-line consultations. See the Heaven Lane Yoga page.

Monday Mantra sankalpa

To learn more about my yoga offerings, please check out my website, my on-line profile through Thumbtack Professionals or my YouTube Videos.

I wish you health and joy in your day and in 2016!

Namaste, Andrea

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

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Andrea Trank
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Happehatchee Happenings

Open House Happehatchee 2015

Aaron-painting-rain-barrelAwesome Open House at Happehatchee!

We had phenomenal attendance Saturday September 26 at Happehatchee’s Open House and Celebration of National Estuaries Day.  The response from the community far exceeded our “hopes and dreams,” according to board member Holley Rauen.

The weather forecast was foreboding, (it was the last week of September in Southwest Florida, what do you expect) and it had been raining cats and dogs for weeks now.

But the matriarch of Happehatchee, Ellen Peterson, must have been looking down from above giving her blessing to this event…. because young and old, new and familiar, local and foreign people flocked into Happehatchee for a celebration of National Estuaries Day. It was also an Open House to introduce or re-introduce the Center to the Southwest Florida community.

This event was billed as a chance to experience Happehatchee in all of its glory, and it lived up to its billing. Every half hour, the Peace Pavilion filled up with students eager to try out our yoga in nature classes, participate in a drum circle or Kirtan, sing for world peace or learn about cutting edge healing methods like EFT.

FGCU students were stationed everywhere as well as local artist Ehren Gerhard, Happehatchee board member Holley Rauen and regular volunteers such as Terry and Peg. Special thanks to Terry Ganley, Peggy Lindsey, Sheila Hultgren, Stephanie Bravo, Zuliana Salerno, Lexi Siegle, Kathryn Marinace, Nat Kelleher and Lindsey Smith. Two staff members, newly appointed Executive Director Julie Gerhard and me, the Yoga Coordinator tag teamed to make sure all were “happe” with Happehatchee.

The reviews were extremely positive.  “ I can feel the energy here,” said one person who had never been at Happehatchee before.  “I am staying all day,” said another Happe client after the second yoga class.  “I’m in. Sign me up!” said another.

Happe Open House TentNot a drop of rain spilled on the outdoor vendors, the food station where yummy Guatemalan food was served or the environmental education station, where children and adults alike learned what an estuary was and how to protect it.  Zuliana, who volunteered at this station commented, “the kids were like sponges, but what really surprised me was how much the adults learned as well.”

So as Happehatchee enters its 10th year in existence as a not-for-profit eco spiritual center, it looks like an auspicious beginning to health and healing for those who venture onto these sacred grounds.

Happehatchee Center is a sanctuary for peace and healing.

Below check out a gallery of Happehatchee’s Celebration of National Estuaries Day and Open House.

 

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.

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