This Sunday!

Yoga for Bone Health

Come join class on Sunday at The Red Shoes from 3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. $12

There are many contributing factors to bone loss, including hormonal shifts, diet and genes. Yoga safely stresses bones without impact, allowing for the stimulation and promotion of bone health. Students will be led through a gentle practice that introduces basic yogic principles and poses adapted for the challenges specific to osteopenia and osteoporosis.  

retreat Q and A

We have gotten a few questions about the level of yoga to be led during the retreat.  The practice will be gentle with modifications for those that need to back off or those that want an extra challenge.  Also, we intend for this to be a weekend to really nurture yourself, taking the time you need to reconnect with some peace and quiet as well as the joyful celebration of life and love.  The first evening will be introductions to each other and the weekend ahead.  There will be yoga, meditation, sound healing and art available all weekend long.  However, if you feel that a long walk on the hiking trails throughout the beautiful grounds, or quiet time by the lake is what’s calling you, you are not obligated to any planned activities.  There will be designated “down” time. During this time, if you would like to meet one-on-one with an instructor for yoga, meditation, sound healing or art, you will have the chance to coordinate with someone.  Down time also includes the availability to continue to work on your mandalas.  The art mediums will be ink and colored pencil.  For more information and to register contact Genny 225-610-7250.

“Embark on a journey of guided meditations in nada yoga, the yoga of sound, using sound vibration as medicine to resonate, massage, and heal the subtle body, awakening the heart’s song within.”


Here is some more information on sound healing and the way it will be used during the retreat…

Sound healing focuses on using the voice with biij sounds and mantras, bhajans and kiirtan, as well as low sound healing instruments. They will be blended in a unique way with guided meditations using strong symbolic internal imagery and light. Vibrations activate the seven primary chakras of the subtle body system, using vowel sounds and harmonic intervals to resonate the muscular, glandular and skeletal system. Sound massages and dissolves crystalized stagnations in the subtle mind-body complex and nadiis to facilitate a well balanced opening of the heart center. In this way we are open to finding our unique song and key signature.

This has the potential to be a really fun and energizing meditation for all. Best of all, it’s a collective experience, the eternal om, which has incredible heart opening and unifying effects on a practicing group!

–Shakti Devii

upcoming workshop

February 10th-12th at the Solomon Retreat Center, join Genny Nadler Thomas, Shakti Devii and myself for a weekend retreat to cultivate compassion. This nurturing retreat will immerse you in yoga, meditation, sound healing, and art. The poses will work to soften the heart, release tension and invite you to meet your thoughts with compassion. Embrace healing using the vibrations of sound that resonate in the heart chakra and its energy lines. Immerse yourself in an atmosphere of rest and comfort as you’re guided through meditative inquiries. Discover your own personal, visual expression of compassion through the art of mandalas. All levels welcome! Stay tuned for more information.

Yoga: Creating comfort for those with cancer and lymphedema by Jillian S. McKee

Many of us began our yoga practices seeking relief from the various maladies that accompany modern life. For some of us, it was overwhelming stress.  Others among us may be drawn to practice as we overcome more serious physical conditions. No matter what brought us here, a core truth prevails; yoga strengthens and comforts as it heals.  For yogis whose bodies are fighting cancer, or in recovery from it, these healing attributes are

What Is Lymphedema?
The body’s lymphatic system can be viewed as a clean up and waste removal specialist. It carries lymphatic fluid and immunity factors to the areas where they are needed, and then sweeps away old cells and toxic debris. When the vessels of the lymphatic system become obstructed,  fluid retention results and symptoms of lymphedema appear. These may begin with a feeling of heaviness in the affected limb that progresses to more noticeable swelling. If allowed to persist, the swollen tissue may become fibrotic, or hardened, leading to permanent enlargement and impaired mobility.

Common cancer treatments, such as lymph node dissections, radiation, and surgery, can trigger lymphedema. This is known as secondary lymphedema, and its onset may not occur until months or years after cancer treatment. Prevention and self-care for the potentially disfiguring condition depend upon strengthening the circulatory system. Because lymphatic flow is also linked to the blood-pumping action of muscular activity, yoga is an ideal means of intervention.

What Yoga Poses Are Best For Lymphedema?
The accumulation of fluid associated with lymphedema occurs when lymphatic fluid cannot return from the limbs to the thoracic region of the body. Thus, any pose that utilizes gravity to assist in correcting the proper flow will be beneficial. For those whose lymphedema symptoms are concentrated in the legs, gentle inversions like Plow Pose are ideal. Elevating the legs in plow pose has the additional benefit of creating an instant relaxing effect throughout the body. Since lymph flow is enhanced by a relaxed state , incorporating  it in your yoga routine offers double the rewards . Other poses that are exceptionally lymphedema-friendly include Cat Pose, and Staff Pose with arms raised, . 

Yogic Breathing for Lymphedema
For those who cancer manifested in the upper region of the body, as with breast cancer or mesothelioma  yoga emphasis on coordinating movement with mindful breathing is exceptionally beneficial. When lymphatic flow is impeded, tissues are
harmed not only by swelling, but by being deprived of oxygen. Yogic breathing opens the muscles of the chest and shoulders while increasing oxygenation, thus countering these negative outcomes. Practitioners are rewarded with an increased sense of serenity, vitality, and detoxification. Whether you are in recovery from breast cancer, or have just received a mesothelioma prognosis, making yogic breathing a part of your daily routine provides comfort at any stage of the cancer journey.

Jillian S. McKee
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Student/Teacher Chant

There is a chant that I sing in the beginning of every class I teach. It is a prayer of intention and a tradition at Kripalu.  The sanskrit has been translated by one of my teachers, so it is not an exact translation.  You can come across different translations, but this is the one I hold close to heart.  Since chanting this prayer I have been asked its meaning.  At the beginning of the Asana Practice page I have written it out for you in both the sanskrit and its translation.  Namaste.

Week Four/C’mon baby, let’s do the twist…

“Imagine what it would be like if we couldn’t twist.  We couldn’t swing a bat or a golf club.  We couldn’t greet someone standing next to us without turning our entire body.  We couldn’t even twist the lid from a jar.  We would walk like marionettes and dance like robots.  Twisting is needed for every activity that involves moving to the side and front simultaneously.  Lean diagonally across a table – you twist.  Throw a ball – you twist.  Scratch your left foot with your right hand – you twist.  Not only that, every inquiry about anything not directly in your line of sight requires twisting.  It might be something as simple as looking around a room to determine where to go and what to do next, or it could be something as complex as twisting the head, neck, and trunk around…in an automoile to confirm that  no one is alongside and slightly behind you before you change lanes…

Take walking.  As you stride forward with one foot the opposite hand comes forward – right foot left hand, left foot right hand…This creates a moderate whole-body twist, and a slight twist in the gait not only balances the body, it calms the nervous system.”    excerpt from Anatomy of Hatha Yoga by H. David Coulter.

Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase…Go walk it off. 

This week’s classes have combined twists with lower body strength and balance as we move from one pose to the next.  (For example, moving from Utkatasana/Chair with a twist directly into Parivritta Parsvakonasana/Rotated Lateral Angle.) Keep the spine in alignment and enjoy!