Oct
30
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The Chakra System

chakras5I am excited about the Chakra Workshop being offered this November by Misty. The Chakras (energy wheel) is just one of many systems in a human body. And according to Ayurveda, if one system is out of “whack” then the whole system becomes vulnerable. When we can tap into the Chakras or Energy System in the body, we allow the same energy that spins the planets to flow through us freely in a natural state.

Misty will be guiding students through the Chakra “System” and will show you how it effects our physical, spiritual and mental heath. It’s just one of the many healing modalities that we use in Yoga/Ayurveda to gain balance in life. We have seven main chakra energy centers that run in a straight line along our spine – starting at the base and up to the crown of our head. They can be thought of as little spinning energy generators along the spine. The Chakras are Yoga’s way of mapping the energy system in the body. There are many types of body maps. In western medicine has its own maps of the body: Anatomical maps include the musculature maps and brain maps that identify how every function is connected to its own region in the body. Yet, in Chinese Medicine – the nervous system is mapped using Meridians controlling the flow of our “chi” or energy. In Yoga and Ayurveda, the seven energy systems correspond to a specific function of the nervous system. The Chakra system points out the all the energies that sustain us is ultimately spiritual energy.

These seven spinning wheels of energy along the spine are like a little dynamos of life energy. Spiritual energy is different from electricity. Spiritual energy is intelligent. It brings you everything you need in life. It makes wishes become reality. It removes the obstacles that stand in our way.

Opening our chakras make us energized, and promotes emotional and spiritual growth. We experience “free flowing” energy and information that moves in alignment within the natural rhythms of our bodies and the universal rhythms of nature.

Awakening our chakra energies is a powerful wisdom tool for us to move closer to our most divine self – our best version. I hope you can join Misty to begin exploring and bringing attention to this very important system in your own body.

Where attention goes – energy flows. Let the energy flow!

Much love,
Denise

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Early Bird Pricing! Register by Novemeber 2, and SAVE!

Oct
15
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What is Qigong?

According to the National Qigong Association http://nqa.org. Qigong is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention.qigong

The word Qigong (Chi Kung) is made up of two Chinese words. Qi is pronounced chee and is usually translated to mean the life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe.

The second word, Gong, pronounced gung, means accomplishment, or skill that is cultivated through steady practice. Together, Qigong (Chi Kung) means cultivating energy, it is a system practiced for health maintenance, healing and increasing vitality.

Qigong is an integration of physical postures, breathing techniques, and focused intentions.

Qigong practices can be classified as martial, medical, or spiritual. All styles have three things in common: they all involve a posture, (whether moving or stationary), breathing techniques, and mental focus. Some practices increase the Qi; others circulate it, use it to cleanse and heal the body, store it, or emit Qi to help heal others. Practices vary from the soft internal styles such as Tai Chi; to the external, vigorous styles such as Kung Fu. However, the slow gentle movements of most Qigong forms can be easily adapted, even for the physically challenged and can be practiced by all age groups.

Like any other system of health care, Qigong is not a panacea, but it is certainly a highly effective health care practice. Many health care professionals recommend Qigong as an important form of alternative complementary medicine.

Qigong creates an awareness of and influences dimensions of our being that are not part of traditional exercise programs. Most exercises do not involve the meridian system used in acupuncture nor do they emphasize the importance of adding mind intent and breathing techniques to physical movements. When these dimensions are added, the benefits of exercise increase exponentially.

The gentle, rhythmic movements of Qigong reduce stress, build stamina, increase vitality, and enhance the immune system. It has also been found to improve cardiovascular, respiratory, circulatory, lymphatic and digestive functions.

Those who maintain a consistent practice of Qigong find that it helps one regain a youthful vitality, maintain health even into old age and helps speed recovery from illness. Western scientific research confirms that Qigong reduces hypertension and the incidence of falling in the aged population. One of the more important long-term effects is that Qigong reestablishes the body/mind/soul connection.

People do Qigong to maintain health, heal their bodies, calm their minds, and reconnect with their spirit.

When these three aspects of our being are integrated, it encourages a positive outlook on life and helps eliminate harmful attitudes and behaviors. It also creates a balanced life style, which brings greater harmony, stability, and enjoyment

There are a wide variety of Qigong practices. They vary from the simple, internal forms to the more complex and challenging external styles. They can interest and benefit everyone, from the most physically challenged to the super athlete. There are Qigong classes for children, senior citizens, and every age group in between. Since Qigong can be practiced anywhere or at any time, there is no need to buy special clothing or to join a health club.

Qigong’s great appeal is that everyone can benefit, regardless of ability, age, belief system or life circumstances.

Anyone can enrich their lives by adding Qigong to their daily routine. Children learning to channel their energy and develop increased concentration; office workers learning Qigong to reduce stress; seniors participating in gentle movements to enhance balance and their quality of life; caregivers embracing a practice to develop their ability to help others; prisons instituting Qigong programs to restore balance in inmates lives; midwives using Qigong techniques to ease child birth.

When an individual or group assumes responsibility and takes action for their health and healing, we all benefit. It is best to get referrals from people whose judgment you have confidence in. Check the Yellow Pages for Tai Chi schools, acupuncturists, or martial art academies. The National Qigong Association member directory is also an excellent source for finding instructors.

Keep in mind the following criteria for choosing a qualified instructor: what is their background and experience; are they of good character; do they treat everyone fairly and with respect; do they live what they teach; do they refrain from making wild, unsubstantiated claims; do they encourage and bring out a student’s highest potential? While keeping these points in mind, remember to trust your intuition in finding an instructor who is right for you.

How can I learn if there aren’t any teachers near me?

If there are no instructors in your area, many teachers regularly travel to give workshops in all regions of the country. Many excellent instructional books and videos are also available.

Begin by familiarizing yourself with the many resources available for learning Qigong. The internet is one of the best tools today for learning about Qigong.

Seek referrals in your area and visit local classes. Attending the annual NQA conference also provides an introduction to many styles of Qigong and practitioners from around the world.

After you have looked into some of these resources, find a style you feel comfortable with, and develop a consistent daily practice. It is recommended by experienced teachers to stay with a form for at least 100 days. A consistent practice is the most important asset you can develop.

When beginners ask, “What is the most important aspect of practicing Qigong?” The answer is always…”just do it.”

 

October Newsletter 2015

Thanks to YOU! Falcon Yoga is Off to a Great Start! The change of season is upon us and with it comes the promise of a newer healthier you, new friendships and new growth. I am thrilled with the positive responses that Falcon Yoga has received upon opening its doors. This past month we’ve had an awesome turnout! Falcon peeps are ecstatic about finally having their own Yoga Studio. I am in total gratitude for everyone that dropped in for classes. We are so fortunate to have so many wonderful teachers here at Falcon Yoga. We have added some wonderful workshop offerings (please see Workshops). We have also added some new classes. We now offer Qigong, Teen Yoga, Momma & Baby Yoga, Meditation, Yoga for Veterans and Yoga of Mythology. And coming soon, Yoga Body Blast..a powerful yoga hybrid class designed to build strength, cardio and agility. We hope these new classes and workshops will give you the opportunity to grow your yoga practice. Take a look and register for the events coming up in October and save the dates for the upcoming months!

We have signed you up for our newsletter in the hopes that you will find great value in its content and that it will aid you in your own goals to grow and thrive. If you ever find that what we offer is not for you, simply click ‘unsubscribe’ at the bottom of any email. We will keep you up-to-date with schedule updates, special classes, workshops and news. Can’t wait to see you on the mat!

Much love,

Denise

Are you ready to discover the key to who you are today, so you can open the door to 
who you want to be?

Registration for our BRAND-NEW 21-Day Meditation Experience, Become What You Believe, is now open!

Join us on an inspirational journey to connect to the very core of your being and direct the movement of your life. Embrace your positive beliefs and step into your highest potential, dissolve the unconscious beliefs that are holding you back, and connect to the might of our humanity through the power of shared belief.

It all begins 11.2.15 – for free. Register now!

Blessings,

 

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 6.30.29 AMMeditation, yoga, and other mindfulness practices are popping up in school systems nationwide—and for good reason. Studies have shown that teaching kids mindfulness practices can build students’ attentiveness, respect for fellow classmates, self control, and empathy, all while reducing stress, hyperactive behavior, ADHD symptoms, and depression. In addition, grades are shown to improve for students who participate in mindfulness programs.

Yet only 1.6 percent of U.S. children meditate, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

Giving kids the tools to help them fend off negative thoughts and behaviors, build self-confidence, focus, and treat others and themselves with respect and appreciation is a gift they will have for the rest of their lives.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan instituted the Skills for Life program in Ohio schools to teach deep breathing, meditation, and other problem-solving skills to elementary-aged kids. What they found was that these practices helped kids balance their emotions, cut down on bullying, and increased awareness, and both students and teachers are excited about the program.

Another study done in the San Francisco Unified School District with more than 3,000 students found dramatic improvement in overall academic performance, including a spike in math test scores for students who practiced mindfulness meditation and “quiet time.” In one rough middle school, where gunfire, fighting, and suspension rates were the highest in San Francisco, when “quiet time” was integrated into curriculum, suspension rates dropped by 45 percent, attendance rose, and grades improved significantly.

In a world where electronics rule behavior and disconnection is a rising problem, our next generation needs to build the muscle of awareness—why leave it to the school system to provide these programs and tools to your kids?

Whether you’re a parent, teacher, aunt, grandfather, babysitter or otherwise spend time with kids of any age, try out these three practices to introduce kids to meditation and mindfulness.

Guided Meditation: The Balloon
This guided meditation brings a visual component to a very simple deep breathing exercise. You can do this standing or seated.

Relax your body and begin to take deep inhales and slow exhales through the nose.
Start to take a slow, deep breath to fill your belly up with air, as if you’re trying to blow up a big balloon. Expand your belly as much as you can.
Slowly let the air out of the balloon (through the nose) as you release the breath from the belly.

Encourage your kids to feel their entire body relax each time they exhale, each time air is slowly being released from the balloon. You can even make a “hissing” noise to encourage them to slow down the exhale even more, “Like letting air out of the balloon.”

Continue for several minutes.

If the child you’re teaching is younger, you can add a little more detail and fun to the exercise to keep them engaged. Young kids, especially under the age of 6, love the extra movement when they’re learning to bring awareness to their breath. Encourage them to stand up in a relaxed way and follow these steps:

Ask them to think of their favorite color and picture a giant balloon of that color in their mind.

Then have them take a slow, deep inhale through the nose, filling up their tummies with air as if trying to blow up a giant [their favorite color] balloon. As an option, you can also have them stretch their arms open and overhead to represent expansion and the big balloon.

When their balloon is totally full, have them hold their breath at the top, and then you can “pop the balloon” for them (gesture finger to belly) and they can fall down as they exhale.

This one will likely elicit giggles and awareness of their breath.

Guided Meditation: Follow the Leader
This meditation works best for kids who are at least 5 years old. Ask your child to picture their best friend or a sibling—someone they do everything with or someone they look up to. Then ask them which one (your child or their best friend) usually leads. Usually one friend is the one who decides things—the one who is more of the leader; the other one is the friend who usually follows the leader. Ask them which they are.

If they are the leader, you can tell them to picture themselves as the breath. If they are the follower, you can ask them to picture themselves as the mind. For this example, I’ll pretend that they’ve chosen their big brother as their best bud, and the big brother is the leader.

Say something like, “So you and your big brother do everything together. Let’s pretend that your breath and your mind are best friends, too. And that you are just like the mind—the follower, and your big brother is just like the breath—the leader.” Then follow the steps below to guide them through the meditation.

Sit down comfortably and close your eyes.

Bring all of your attention to your breath and slow it down, taking deep inhales and slow exhales.

Let’s have the mind follow the breath—no matter what. Picture yourself as your mind, the one that’s following your big brother, your breath. Try to focus your mind on the breath and follow as the breath inhales and exhales.

Count your breaths at the end of every exhale. Don’t let your mind count before the end of the exhale. The mind always wants to jump ahead, but don’t let it. Allow it to remain focused on being the follower.

Count to 10 slowly, always at the end of each exhale, continuing to let the mind follow the breath.

Guided Relaxation Practice
This practice is great for kids (and adults) of all ages, whether they’re having trouble sleeping, stressed out, sick and in bed, or acting out. It’s based on the progressive muscle relaxation technique that Dr. Edmund Jacobson developed in the 1920’s. It’s used to help alleviate tension when people are in a situation that makes it difficult for them to relax. Guide your kids with these steps:

Sit down or lie down comfortably and close your eyes. You can use pillows or blankets to make yourself as comfortable as you can be.
Take a few deep, cleansing breaths as you begin to relax.
Bring all of your attention to your right foot, noticing how it feels. Squeeze the right foot, making a fist with your entire right foot and all five toes; tense and squeeze it tightly. Hold this tension for two deep breaths.
Then release all tension in the right foot suddenly. Relax it completely and notice the tension release. You may feel a tingling sensation in the foot.
Take a deep breath, and then move on…
Move your attention to your left foot. Same instructions as for the right foot.
Move slowly up and around the body, squeezing one body part at a time to create tension, immediately followed by the contrasting sensation of release and ease. Follow each part with a deep, cleansing breath. Here’s a sample progression you can follow:
Right foot, left foot
Right ankle and calf, left ankle and calf
Right knee, left knee
Right thigh, left thigh
All feet and legs
Hips
Butt
Belly
Entire lower body, from tummy down
Chest and heart
Right arm, left arm
Right hand, left hand
Shoulders
Neck
Face
Whole body at once (do this one twice)

When you’re finished guiding your child through the relaxation technique, make sure they spend at least a few minutes in quiet, encouraging them to keep their breathing slow and steady.

Try one or all of these meditations to encourage more awareness, mindfulness, and overall balance for your kids and the whole family.

– Learn more about Meditation here: http://www.chopra.com/ccl/3-kid-friendly-meditations-your-children-will-love

OverwelmFeeling overwhelmed by the pressures of daily life has become a common complaint, especially for those who are trying to balance marriage, family, and work.

The external demands can mount up to the point where you feel that simply getting through the day is the biggest challenge you face. There are strategies for coping better with the overwhelm. These generally divide into external and internal strategies.

As society is set up, with a strong emphasis on achievement and rewards, one hears much more about external strategies than internal ones. It’s certainly true that taking steps to reduce sources of stress is a desirable external strategy. So are other things as well such as straightening out your immediate environment so that it’s more orderly and less chaotic, and planning some realistic steps to reach your career goals.

But the world’s wisdom traditions suggest an entirely different approach. It might seem that the “out there” is overwhelming you with all kinds of duties and demands. However, wisdom traditions declare that everything “out there” reflects a person’s state “in here.” So the best way to reduce the overwhelm is to address what is going on inside yourself. The chief problems that everyone encounters “in here” are the following:

• Feeling confused.
• Being pulled between conflicting desires.
• Failing to find adequate solutions.
• Being afflicted with negative emotions.
• Losing control.
• Giving in to old conditioning and ingrained beliefs.

If you itemize the mental obstacles in your life this way, it can look discouraging. But the wisdom traditions point out that each of these problems can be traced back to one cause: constricted awareness. Here’s where an understanding of consciousness is more helpful than any external strategy or even the conventional approaches of psychotherapy. If you leave a window open and a storm blows through your house, you will see all kinds of disorder afterwards, yet you know that it all resulted from one thing, the open window.

Likewise, when the mind is constricted, which means that it’s operating within boundaries it can’t escape, it creates confusion, conflicting desires, and negative emotions. The solution is to expand your awareness through meditation and by holding on to a higher vision of possibilities. These possibilities will unfold as your awareness reaches beyond its old narrow limitations. Another way to express it is to say that you start to see your life from a deeper level, where consciousness is calmer and less agitated.

How can we have trust that this strategy actually works in real life? Only by testing it. First comes a vision of possibilities. The ones offered by the wisdom traditions are primarily the following:
Consciousness always contains an answer to every problem.
The path to these answers lies within—the level of the solution is deeper than the level of the problem.

By regularly practicing yoga and meditation, you culture a new state of consciousness.

As this new state unfolds, you begin to notice that your life runs more smoothly, with less effort and struggle.

The second step is to practice yoga and meditation while focusing on the fruits of the practice in your daily life. In other words, you don’t meditate and then plunge directly back into your old habits of struggle and effort. Those habits increase the overwhelm. Instead, you keep track of how your awareness is changing—journaling helps here—because it focuses your attention toward your goal of coping with life through fewer struggles.

The signs to look for are both internal and external, since they’re intimately connected.
Internal signs:

• Feeling more alertness and clarity.
• Feeling less stressed.
• More acceptance of yourself and others.
• Developing a naturally optimistic attitude.
• Trusting more.
• Feeling safe.
• Believing in yourself.
• Feeling more open to new possibilities.
• External signs:
• Decreasing sources of stress.
• More cooperation from others.
• Fewer obstacles and less resistance during the day.
• New opportunities springing up.
• Surprising coincidences that bring solutions to a problem.
• Being more appreciated and valued by others.

Greater challenges that are somehow as easy to conquer as small challenges used to be.

This inner strategy for decreasing the overwhelm has centuries of wisdom behind it, meaning centuries of experience in methods for expanding a person’s consciousness. Taking advantage of such wisdom has a transformative power. So don’t look at the duties and demands in your life as something totally negative. They are telling you that a change is needed, and you have the ability to change once you hold the key to expanded awareness.

– See more at: See More

Contact Us

719-271-0944

denise@falconyoga.com