So I totally lifted this blog from Bulletproof’s newsletter…and there is no shame in this game – why recreate the wheel? But here’s what is work saying…if something as “mainstream” and as well funded as Bulletproof is talking to us about how to hack your way into your best self through floating, then we might want to pay attention. I love my bulletproof tea – I make it each and every morning like some sort of zen ritual…which I believe it is…and if only I could float every morning…but that’s where this blog comes in…Float, when you can! As often as you can…if you are already convinced click here to schedule your float at Kodawari today!

Want to float your way to less stress, anxiety, depression, and pain? Though it sounds too good to be true, science says it’s possible.

While floating in a sensory-deprivation tank may sound terrifying, it’s meant to have the opposite effect. Magnesium-saturated water (aka epsom salt), kept at a temperature that matches your skin’s, keeps you effortlessly buoyant so you don’t have to worry about staying afloat. With little to touch, taste, smell, hear, or feel, you’re wrapped in a cocoon of warmth and silence, with only your thoughts keep you company. Herein lies the magic of floating – it puts you in a meditative state to better heal what ails you.

Origins of floating

Floating in salt water for therapeutic reasons is not new. People have made pilgrimages to the Dead Sea for centuries. However, over the past 15 years, there’s been a renewed interest in the practice, with chic flotation studios, offering 60-90-minute float sessions, cropping up all over metropolitan areas.[1]

In the late ’50s, neuroscientist and psychoanalyst John C. Lilly, MD studied the effects of sensory deprivation flotation on anxiety disorders, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Due to the impressive benefits he saw for people with these conditions, he decided to team up with two business partners — Glenn and Lee Perry — to develop a commercial float tank that anyone could use.

In the ‘70s, concerns over water cleanliness halted the industry’s growth. Nonetheless, the scientific study of floating — namely the effects of isolation on the brain — continued within the academic community.

Floating goes mainstream

5 Health Benefits of Floating_Floating goes mainstream

Image via Pause Float Studio

About 15 years ago, a UK-based company called ISOPOD enlisted a team of engineers to resolve concerns over water cleanliness. With the latest water-filtration technology, they built a system to remove particles 15 times smaller than a commercial filtration unit. As a result, small studios popped up in England, Vancouver, Toronto, Portland, and Seattle; then in larger hubs like NYC, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Now, you can float in nearly any major metropolitan area at a studio like the one featured in this video above, Pause Float Studio in Venice, California.

So why would you do it? Read on for the science-backed benefits of floating.

5 major health benefits of floating

Floating decreases anxiety and depression and improves sleep

5 Health Benefits of Floating_Floating decreases anxiety and depression and improves sleep_New

Image via Pause Float Studio

Under stress, your hypothalamus (the almond-sized part of your brain just above your brainstem) signals your adrenal glands to release the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Chronic stress leads to an overactive hypothalamus, which can lead to depression.[2] Floating helps combat depression and anxiety by minimizing your cortisol production.[3]

In one study[4], people who floated for 12 sessions noticed decreased pain, stress, anxiety, and depression as well as improved sleep quality and general optimism. The results lasted up to four months post-flotation.

In a single-subject study[5], a 24-year-old diagnosed with autism, PTSD, anxiety, and depression participated in regular float sessions for one and a half years. She experienced beneficial therapeutic effects including improved quality of life, subjective sense of wellbeing, and healthier behaviors. The study quotes her stating: “I feel good, well, like a new person, and so it has made a great difference… It really has and I really want to continue with this because I really need it.”

Floating lowers stress

5 Health Benefits of Floating_Floating helps with stress management_New

Image via Pause Float Studio

Floating combats stress in two main ways. First, the water’s magnesium inhibits ACTH, a hormone that drives your adrenal glands to release the stress hormone cortisol.[6] Magnesium also improves sleep quality, which contributes to feeling less stressed.[7]

The sensory deprivation component of floating also minimizes stress. In a recent study, people who floated eight times in two weeks saw their cortisol decrease by 21.6 percent. They also showed a 50.5 percent decrease in cortisol variability, meaning, they handled stressful situations better without the cortisol spikes.[8]

A meta-analysis of 27 studies revealed that floating also has relaxation, mood, and performance-enhancing effects, particularly in cases of burnout or chronic fatigue.[9]

Floating relieves physical pain

5 Health Benefits of Floating_Floating relieves physical pain_New

Image via Pause Float Studio

For people with chronic, stress-related muscle pain and burnout-related depression, floating served as an integral part of pain treatment plans, in one study.[10] Since floating oxygenates your body by promoting vasodilation — better blood flow to the brain, organs, and limbs — it serves to minimize muscular pain and even pain from degenerative disc disease or herniated disks.

Specifically floating provides significant reductions in pain, muscle tension, stress, anxiety, and sadness for those who suffer from fibromyalgia. Floating also increases feelings of relaxation, well-being, energy, and ease of movement in the same group of people.[11]

Floating enhances athletic performance

5 Health Benefits of Floating_Floating enhances athletic performance

Floating helps you bounce back faster from workouts by reducing lactic acid in the blood. By floating fee of gravity, lactic acid passes out of the muscles faster, which reduces overall muscle stiffness and pain.[12] Floating benefits extend to athletes on the field as well. One study on basketball players found strong evidence of athletic skill improvement post floating. These results may be due to a lower arousal state post floating, which enabled the players to maintain better focus while shooting foul shots.[13]

Floating benefits creativity

5 Health Benefits of Floating_Floating benefits creativity

Musicians, writers, and creative performers also gain from floating. A study in the journal Music and Medicine found that floating improved the technical ability of musicians during jazz improvisation.[14]

What to expect with your first float

A typical float session lasts 60 to 90 minutes. You may experience restlessness in the tank on your first float, until your body and mind settle into the sensory deprivation. Some float studios have water-based speakers with guided meditations to help you ease into your session.

Huge portions of this blog was lifted from the original post By: JULIE HAND

Video Credit: Thanks to Pause Float Studio in Venice, California for inviting us into your float studio. 

What’s Trap Yoga?

July 3, 2018

Greetings fellow Yogi! If you’ve gotten this far – you’re probably itching to know – just what is Trap Yoga? Well we can tell you this much, you’re in the right place. We’re going to break down what makes Trap Yoga – Trap Yoga, nahmean.

In a nutshell, Trap Yoga is a vinyasa style class that’s uptempo and guided by the drums, kicks and snares of trap music. The class is taught by Meeyogi founder, Mya Cato, a certified yoga instructor who developed the Meeyogi Trap Yoga flow.

To give more background on the vinyasa style, the word vinyasa translates to “arranging something in a special way”. Per OneFlow Yoga, this [means] that we are not “throwing our bodies around” but are bringing consciousness to each movement in each moment. The Trap Yoga vinyasa style was developed to strengthen and stretch the lower back, thighs, glutes, calves, chest and core. We instruct yogis to focus on their breath and smoothness of their transitions as it feels comfortable to them.

However, to really understand Trap Yoga you have to start with your mindset. Trap Yoga is all about empowerment and building your core strength to boost your mood, energy and wellness. Before class and during class, we want Trap Yogis to tap into their innerG, affirm their greatness and come ready to have a good time. The energy you bring to the class and give to your fellow yogis is what keeps the class vibin’.

  

Trap Yoga is open to any fitness level and those over 18 years old. Our class is upbeat and conducted at a steady pace, so be prepared to sweat! Yoga, in general, is all about understanding and pushing your personal limits to grow stronger. So while the class may be a bit fast-paced we encourage you to do what feels comfortable.

The Trap Yoga playlist includes some current trap & hip hop hits along with classics we all love to shake to. And as mentioned before, our vinyasa flow is designed to follow the beat. We’ll ride waves, get low, release #innerG and twerk a little!

Trap Yoga is being offered this coming Friday, July 6th at Kodawari Studio. Register now @ https://bit.ly/2JQRset  

You can also find other upcoming Trap Yoga dates at meeyogi.com/events.

Few things are more fascinatingly complex to me (and many other curious humans – some of which are called scientists) than the human brain. It possesses an extraordinary capacity to learn, adapt and grow in ways that cannot be duplicated – not even by the most complex computer. My interest (it’s Annette talking here) in how our brains work and its potential as an evolutionary tool is why I got into floating in the first place.

On a personal note, if I had a “second chance” at life I would have taken the trajectory in my schooling to become a psychoneuroimmunologist…but for now, I remain a lay person with a keen interest in wanting to be an effective bio-hacker…which leads me back to the conversation about floating. The combination of my research into and my personal experiences with floating led me to believe that it is one of the best tools available to humanity for crafting a vibrant, healthy, peace-oriented human being (I believe that our species does have this potential) which is how and why Kodawari Studios ended up with a float tank.

If we could spend an hour observing a human brain during a floating session in an isolation tank or as they are called now, Reduced Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST) tanks, we would witness firsthand just how much that brain is capable of changing and adapting to its environment.

With the explosion of popular interest in floating, scientific researchers in such fields as biochemistry, electromagnetism, brain waves, sleep, behavioral change, self-regulation and healing have intensified their efforts at understanding what actually happens when you float.

One of the most productive areas of research has been in coming to understand how floating affects brainwave patterns, which in turn correlates to affects on mood and cognitive function. By now, thanks to the thousand science fiction movies and television hospital series we have all become familiar with the electroencephalograph (or EEG), which monitors these signals…this is where you watch a medical technician place electrodes against the patient’s scalp with the accompanying cut (in the case of a healthy patient) to the sensitive mechanical pen tracing across a long sheet of paper giving a mountain range of jagged lines or, in the unlucky case of the soon-to-die patient, you get the flat line which equals brain death – you can cart him away, nurse.

We are, however, way less familiar with the 4 patterns that all humans seem to share…and how and why we for our health and longevity, emotional equanimity and evolution should work to practice moving into some more so than others.

So here’s a brief breakdown of the 4 types of brainwaves of which we are all capable:

Beta: When the brain is generating mostly beta waves, whose frequency is about 13-30 Hz (that is, a rhythm of 13 to 30 cycles per second), it is in what is called its waking rhythm: The brain is focusing on the world outside itself, or dealing with concrete, specific problems. This is the critical, analytical mind.

Alpha: As the brain waves slow down they take on a more coherent rhythm, and can be seen on the EEG as a regular sawtooth pattern at about 8 – 12 Hz. These waves are often present when the brain is alert but unfocused, and most people generate alpha waves when their eyes are closed, even if only bursts of one or two seconds. Frequently, alpha waves are associated with feelings of relaxation and calmness. This is the curious, open mind.

Theta: As calmness and relaxation deepen into drowsiness, the brain shifts to slower, more powerfully rhythmic waves with a frequency of about 4 -7 Hz. Everyone generates these theta waves at least twice per day: in those fleeting instants when we drift from conscious drowsiness into sleep, and again when we rise from sleep to consciousness as we awaken. The theta state is accompanied by unexpected, unpredictable, dreamlike but very vivid mental images (known as the hypnagogic images). Often these startlingly real images are accompanied by intense memories, particularly childhood memories. Theta offers access to unconscious material, reverie, free association, sudden insight and creative inspiration. For most of us, most of the time, it is a mysterious, elusive state, potentially highly productive and enlightening, but experimenters have had a difficult time studying it, and for an untrained mind (this is where things start to get exciting), it is hard to maintain, since people tend to fall asleep as soon as soon as they begin generating large amounts of theta.

Delta: Cycling at an extremely slow frequency (.5-4 Hz), delta rhythms are produced when people are deeply asleep or otherwise unconscious. Throughout the 1960s, experimenters discovered that with the use of equipment that electrically monitored selected physical functions, humans could learn to generate those functions at will. While biofeedback equipment could be made to monitor just about any physical function, researchers often focused on the production of alpha waves. Stress was a problem shared by almost everyone, and an accepted antidote to stress was relaxation; since alpha waves accompanied relaxation, and were relatively easy to learn to produce at will, clinical biofeedback experts assumed that if you learn to generate alpha waves, you would automatically become relaxed. In the early 1970s, with the advent of relatively inexpensive equipment came an explosion of interest in biofeedback, and alpha became the catchword seized on by the mass media and seekers of expanded consciousness.

Almost unnoticed amidst the hoopla surrounding alpha was an earlier study by Akira Kasamatsu and Tomio Hirai which analyzed EEG tests of Zen monks going into deep meditative states. The study showed that as the monks went into meditation they passed through four stages: the appearance of alpha waves, an increase of alpha amplitude, a decrease of alpha frequency, and finally (for those with the most skill at meditation), the production of long trains of theta waves. Interestingly, the four states “were parallel with the disciples’ years spent in Zen training.” In other words, the more meditative experience a monk had, the more theta he generated 9 i.e., those monks who had more than twenty years of experience generated the greatest amounts of theta waves). And, even in the depths of theta, the monks were not asleep but mentally alert.

Elmer and Alyce Green, biofeedback researchers at the Menninger Clinic, became interested in the theta state (they’d been studying the brain waves of swami Rama when he told them: “Alpha is nothing!”) and began training subjects to generate theta waves consciously. They found theta “to be associated with a deeply internalized state and with a quieting of the body, emotions, and thoughts, thus allowing usually ‘unheard or unseen things’ to come to consciousness in the form of hypnagogic imagery.” As their theta training groups progressed, they were surprised to find a “high frequency of subjects report integrative experiences leading to feelings of psychological well-being.” Many of the subjects began reporting spontaneous improvements in personal relationships. Many vivid memories of long-forgotten childhood events arose: “They were not like going through a memory in one’s mind but rather like an experience, a reliving.” Subjects reported both physical and psychological wellbeing, and Greens discovered that people with the most hypnagogic imagery were “psychologically healthier, had more social poise, were less rigid and conforming, and were more self-accepting and creative” than those who produce little or no hypnagogic imagery.

The Greens were surprised by their findings, and concluded that the theta state caused people to “experience a new kind of body consciousness very much related to their total well-being.” Physiologically, the theta state seemed to bring “physical healing, physical regeneration.” In the emotional domain, the theta state was “manifested in improved relationships with other people as well as greater tolerance, understanding, and love of oneself and of one’s world.” In the mental domain, theta ability involves “new and valid ideas or syntheses of ideas, not primarily by deduction, but springing by intuition from unconscious sources.”

Understandably excited by the extraordinarily beneficial powers of the ability to generate theta waves, the Greens undertook a research project they called Brain-wave Training for Mental Health, to train psychotherapists to assist their clients in learning the technique. The problem is that it is not easy to learn to produce theta waves; first of all, theta usually leads to sleep. And as the Greens point out, “In order to produce theta consciously it is necessary to have a quiet body, tranquil emotions, and quiet thoughts all at the same time.” Some cynics might retort that if one had a quiet body, tranquil emotions, and quiet thoughts, one would have no need for any training. The fact is, few people know how to achieve this happy simultaneity, and few have the necessary discipline and patience to learn. After all, it seems to take Zen monks some twenty years to be able to generate this state at will.

But as anyone who has floated is aware, the quiet body, the tranquil emotions, and quiet thoughts formula is a perfect description of the floater’s circumstances. Could it be that floating increases and facilitates the production of theta waves? Research indicates that this is indeed so!

As early as 1956, John Lilly was noting that the state of mind in the float tank was “hypnagogic,” full of ” reveries and fantasies,” with much visual imagery and many childhood memories, and mental events that were “surprising to the ego”- all characteristics of theta activity. J.P. Zubek, investigating “EEG changes in perceptual and sensory deprivation,” reported that theta waves became prominent. A recent study by Gary S. Stern, associate professor of psychology at the University of Colorado at Denver, found that” the significant effect of floating…indicates that individuals who had floated in the isolation tank for one hour significantly raised their theta level.”

A large controlled study by Professor Thomas E. Taylor, of Texas A & M, analyzed the effects of floating on several types of learning abilities, comparing floaters with people in a relaxed state in a dark, quiet room. Both the float and non-float groups measured with EEGs, and the study found that floating leads to an increase in the generation of theta waves.

Biofeedback expert Thomas Budzynski, clinical director of the Biofeedback Institute of Denver and professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado Medical Center, is currently doing research involving the measurement by EEG of the brain during hypnosis. He has concluded that float tanks increase the production of theta waves, and believes that this has great potential for opening the mind to learning: “We take advantage of the fact that the hypnagogic state, the twilight state, between waking and sleep, has these properties of uncritical acceptance of verbal material, or almost any material it can process. What if you could cause a person to sustain that state, and not fall asleep? I believe floatation tanks are an ideal medium for doing that.”

 

Budzynski’s observation that the tank is ideal for maintaining wakefulness while in the theta is supported by almost everyone who has done work in the area of sensory deprivation. Jay Shurley and John Lilly were probably the first to point out that the tank facilitates wakefulness in most users. Others (A.M. Rossi and colleagues, for instance) have since indicated various reasons for this, such as the body’s natural homeostatic mechanism to maintain alertness, the “sensoristat,” which creates a unique combination of high brain arousal and low muscular arousal. It’s important to emphasize this point: Usually when you enter the theta state you fall asleep, but the tank causes the floater to generate large amounts of theta, yet remain awake. This means that the vivid hypnagogic imagery, the creative ideas, the eureka moments and lightbulb thoughts, the “knowing” feeling, the “integrative experiences” mentioned by Elmer and Alyce Green, with all the resultant beneficial effects on body, emotions, and mind, are available to the floater; in the tank these experiences come while the floater remains awake, so they remain a part of the floater’s conscious mind even after he has emerged.

Arthur, the psychologist who had a “religious revelation” while floating said, “the reason I’ve become very enthusiastic about it is that the feelings I had in the float tank expressed themselves in terms of ideas which stayed with me.” When he tried to explain this extraordinary experience, Arthur said, “I went into such deep relaxation that I felt a special form of communication with myself. I was communicating with thoughts and feelings I normally disregard.” And finally he pointed out that the floats had a permanent impact on him: He is able to recapture the experiences at any time he wishes, because they were so “strong” and “vivid.

Clearly, the potential for the average cat among us to move into the theta brain is high when you decide to take the shallow plunge into floating…you can book your session now by clicking here. Join me on the journey to our potential.

 

 

It’s fast, effective, numerous health benefits – what’s not to love about dry body brushing in the morning? A daily routine is absolutely necessary to bring radical change in body, mind, and consciousness. Routine helps to establish balance in one’s personal constitution. It also regularizes a person’s biological clock, aids digestion, absorption and assimilation, and generates self-esteem, discipline, peace, happiness, and longevity.

And yet, you still may be thinking, Why do I need to add something else to my already busy morning routine? Let me assure you, the extra five minutes this takes is well worth the investment.

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Om is a very simple sound with a pretty complex meaning. Om is, according to ancient yogis, the whole universe coalesced into a single word, representing the union of mind, body, and spirit that is at the heart of yoga. Often chanted three times at the start and finish of a yoga session, the sound of om is actually three syllables – a, u, and m.

The Power of Om

Om is an ancient mantra that is used in Hinduism and Buddhism, among other faiths.

Traditionally the sound om is said to contain the entire universe. It is believed to be the first sound from the beginning of time, as well encompassing the present and the future. As such, its importance and power are difficult to overstate. It is also a seed syllable, used as a building block for other mantras. In the chakra system (the , it is connected to ajna chakra, the third eye, which represents intuition and self knowledge.

In a yoga setting, the chanting of om at the beginning of class ushers practitioners into the time and space that is about to be spent on the mat or in meditation. Likewise, an om at the end of class signifies that our physical practice has ended and it is time to reenter society. Chanting with a group of people – often called kirtan – also serves to unify the group and create a sense of community. As you feel the vibration of the chant and lose the sound of your own voice amongst those of your classmates, it’s possible to feel at one with other people and even with the universe.

 

The Science of Om

Scientists have begun to research the effects on the brain of the vibrations created by chanting. A small 2011 study specifically evaluated the effects of using om as a mantra by taking fMRIs of participants as they chanted om and also the sound ssss as a control. The brain activity the researchers observed during the om periods was similar to that created by vagus nerve stimulation, which is used to treat depression and epilepsy.

Although these results are considered preliminary, they still offer scientific support of the positive effects many people experience from chanting om.

The Om Symbol in Yoga

The om symbol has become the unofficial logo of yoga. You’ll see it on mats and t-shirts, painted on studio walls and tattooed onto the bodies of yogis. It’s such a ubiquitous image in the yoga world that it’s easy to forget that its significance goes beyond proclaiming your love for all things yoga. The origin of the symbol is not known, but it is said to represent four states of consciousness: deep sleep (unconsciousness), dreaming, wakefulness, and bliss (samadhi).

Pronunciation

Sometimes om is taught with a long o sound followed by a vibrating m. Others prefer to separate the a and u sounds, so it’s more of an ah-oo-mm. The emphasis on a particular aspect of the sound as not as important as simply adding your voice and vibration to the collective…and if you really, really don’t want to chant…well, that’s cool too. Refrain and simply absorb the sounds of your fellow practitioners and feel/listen for the peace that follows once it’s all done!

See you on the mat soon!!!

 

When you first start doing yoga, it can be hard to know what you really need to buy. So we thought we’d give you a little direction because while the yoga industrial complex has put a lot of products into the world, the good news is that you don’t need most of them, especially as a beginner. So don’t feel like you need to spend a lot of money up front. In fact, it’s quite the opposite…let’s take a look at what are the essentials…

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Why and When Would I Do A 300hr Teacher Training? Is it Necessary? After all, I’m Already Teaching…

How do you know when the time is right to enroll in a 300hr teacher training (TT) program? Since you are reading this, I suspect you are beginning to hear the whisper (or scream) that it is time to take the plunge again…and although I think the answer is ultimately a very individualized one, there are some common cues that can help confirm that now is the time. If you’re wondering how I know what the “cues” are – I’ve been teaching yoga for 13+ years, am a E-RYT 500 myself, run a large studio with 20+ yoga teachers, am a mentor to a number of them and I teach in both our 200hr and 300hr teacher trainings.

1st: Do an Honest Self-assessment:

Personally, I began thinking about signing up for a 300hr TT because I could tell that my 200hr level teachings were only going to take me so far into being the teacher I wanted to be. Yes, I could continue gaining practical experience by teaching but deep down, I knew it was not going to help me to become the “great” teacher I aspired to be. I found that my thirst to learn, to fill in my self-assessed gaps (anatomy, the underlying philosophy, voice modulation, seamless, superb cueing anyone?) coupled with my desire to pass on more to my students was burning in my consciousness as something I needed to do. I wanted to improve the complexity, elegance and intelligence of my sequencing so that I could be more effective at leading a student deeper into their own process…essentially, my 200hr had opened the door to transformation and now I wanted to have a sense of mastery about how to deeply connect and positively impact the people in my classes.

I was also aware that I was ready to deepen my own meditation, pranayama and asana practices because I knew that would translate into being a better teacher and human. Essentially, I was ready to get out of my teaching/personal comfort zone, plus I knew I was ready for fresh and more experienced guidance.

2nd: Think About Your Life Situation: If you know that you want to do TT and have the time/finances/space in your life to do it now, do it NOW. I know a lot of people who had been wanting to do TT for years, but kept putting it off because of one thing or another; then, when they finally do it, it’s life changing and they wish they’d done it years ago.

If it’s something that you know you want to do eventually, but you can do it now, just do it, so that you don’t end up feeling like you’ve wasted many years not following your dreams. I know this sounds cheesy, but if your life opens up a bit and you have space–just enough space to take the plunge and make it work–then do it.

3rd: Review the Studio or Training Program: If the first two points confirm that it’s time, take a bit of time, do your research and find a program that is a good fit for you. If you have a studio or a teacher who teaches the way that you want to teach, try to take TT with them or at that studio. Every studio is different, every teacher is different, and every training program is different, so I strongly suggest finding out which teachers teach the bulk of the training that you’re planning on taking, and then, if you haven’t already, take their classes to be sure that they teach in a style that resonates with you.

I know quite a few people who did their training somewhere without doing a lot of research into the program, and later, had to either take TT over again or augment their training with many other trainings in order to hone the skills needed to teach in the style in which they wanted to teach. Best to figure this out before you fork over a large sum of money and an even larger chunk of your time and life.

Overall, yes, getting involved in a 300hr TT is a big decision and yet, if the call is there, answer it. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me personally at annette@kodawariyoga.com.

Want to lose weight while increasing your strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, emotional equanimity and mental focus? Well then, hot yoga is for you!!

Steamy hot yoga

Despite what you may initially think – if you are, like me, a Tampanian, your first response might legitimately be some version of, “For the love of god, do you understand that I live in Florida? I don’t need it any hotter than it already is…” but wait, before you write hot yoga off, give me a chance – first, we aren’t just offering you a plain old hot room where you “simply” get a good sweat on (although the sweat does happen) …for starters, Kodawari uses infrared heat which is a significant game changer in terms of the type of heat (here’s a blog about how infrared works differently than blown air) nor is our hot yoga just about increasing flexibility.

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We’re betting that you are, like so many, wanting to try yoga. It’s true…It is an amazing way to get in shape, to become more mentally, emotionally and physically flexible and yet, when you’re brand new to yoga, you probably have a lot of questions about what you’re getting into – knowing what’s expected and what works ahead of time will help you to feel more comfortable. Below are the four topics I wish someone had briefed me about way back before I started yoga, including what to wear, what to bring with you, how to prepare for class, and some basic practice tips. If there are still some questions you might have don’t hesitate to reach out to us – we love helping you get what you need!

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As we prepare to enter into a new year, you may want to finally make good on setting some resolutions, for real, this year…

And to help you in that effort we’re planning on bringing in the New Year in a special way…We are going to get our community together for a sweet vinyasa flow, a little yoga nidra, some chanting and general goodness on the eve of the new year. We will close out the year letting what needs to pass through pass through so that we can open to January 1st  with grace and goodness coming in to fill the open spaces we create through all the letting go. This a way for you to plant your intentions for 2018 deep in the subconscious where the likelihood of real change exists…

We all know that the superficial day-to-day mind is a champ at rationalizing, conveniently forgetting, overlooking and just plain old not-doing…and yet, combining movement, mindfulness and clarity of intention can open the door to the expansive nature of our own consciousness – the place within us where all kinds of mystery exists, giving us access to the source – where real manifestation exists…

As we all know, intention (or a sankalpa as it is known in Sanskrit – is a solemn vow or determination to perform the conception, idea or notion formed in the heart or mind) is the starting point for every dream to become manifest. It is the creative power that fulfills all of our needs, whether for money, relationships, spiritual awakening, or love.

Everything that happens in the universe begins with intention. The sages of India observed thousands of years ago that our destiny is ultimately shaped by our deepest intentions and desires. The classic Vedic text known as the Upanishads declares, “You are what your deepest desire is. As your desire is, so is your intention. As your intention is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.”

An intention is a directed impulse of consciousness that contains the seed of that which you aim to create. Like real seeds, intentions can’t grow if you plant, water and care for them. Only when you plant your intentions into the fertile depths of your consciousness can they grow and flourish. There are, essentially, five steps for harnessing the power of intention to create anything you desire.

Slip into the Gap
Most of the time our mind is caught up in thoughts, emotions, and memories. Beyond this noisy internal dialogue is a state of pure awareness that is sometimes referred to as “the gap.” One of the most effective tools we have for entering the gap is meditation. Meditation takes you beyond the ego-mind into the silence and stillness of pure consciousness. This is the ideal state in which to plant your seeds of intention.

Release Your Intentions and Desires
Once you’re established in a state of restful awareness, release your intentions and desires. The best time to plant your intentions is during the period after meditation, while your awareness remains centered in the quiet, open field of infinite possibility. After you set an intention, let it go—simply stop thinking about it. Continue this process for a few minutes after your meditation period each day.

Remain Centered in a State of Restful Awareness
Intention is much more powerful when it comes from a place of contentment than if it arises from a sense of lack or need. It is best to state your intentions in positive, present time language. Stay centered and refuse to be influenced by other people’s doubts or criticisms. Your higher self knows that everything is all right and will be all right, even without knowing the timing or the details of what will happen.

Detach from the Outcome
Relinquish your rigid attachment to a specific result and live in the wisdom and magic of the mystery. Attachment is based on fear and insecurity, while detachment is based on the unquestioning belief in the power of your true Self. Intend for everything to work out as it should, then let go and allow opportunities and openings to come your way.

Let the Universe Handle the Details
Your focused intentions set the infinite organizing power of the universe in motion. Trust that infinite organizing power to orchestrate the complete fulfillment of your desires. Don’t listen to the voice that says that you have to be in charge, that obsessive vigilance is the only way to get anything done. The outcome that you try so hard to force may not be as good for you as the one that comes naturally. You have released your intentions into the fertile ground of pure potentiality, and they will bloom when the season is right.

If you can’t make it to class to join us, I might suggest you check this one from youtube…it’s my current favorite:

 

But don’t stop there, because we then open New Year’s Day with ceremony to cement the intention and chanting to call in the grace we will need to carry our intentions through to action. Join Marley and I in the mid-morning to make good on the momentum of bringing in the energy you want to have carry you through the year!