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Why Hot Yoga?

WHY HOT YOGA?
read on to learn why we get it so hot at Yoga Oasis written by Mary Grace


“Give me a chance to create a fever and I will cure any disease,” said the great ancient physician Parmenides. Many modern giants of biological medicine in Europe, such as the Nobel Prize winner, Dr. A. Lwoff, a famous German cancer specialist, Prof. Werner Zabel, and the director of the most successful cancer clinic in the world, the Ringberg-Klinik, Dr. Josef Issels, use artificially induced fever in their battle against cancer. Hyperthermia in general means a body temperature that is higher than normal. High body temperatures are often caused by illness such as fever or heat stroke. But hyperthermia can also refer to heat treatment – the carefully controlled use of heat for medical purposes. Here, we will focus on how heat is used to treat cancer. How can hyperthermia be used to treat cancer?


There are 2 main ways in which hyperthermia can be used:

* Very high temperatures can be used to destroy a small area of cells,
such as a tumor. This is commonly referred to as local hyperthermia or thermal ablation.

* The temperature of a part of the body (or even the whole body) can be raised to a higher than normal level. Although it isn’t hot enough to kill the cells directly, it can allow other types of cancer treatments such as radiation therapy, immunotherapy, or chemotherapy to work better. This is known as either regional hyperthermia or whole body hyperthermia.


A few studies take the body temperature higher, around 107° F, for short periods of time. At least one human study suggests that this may cause certain immune cells to become more active for the next few hours. Other studies are testing hyperthermia and chemotherapy along with other treatments that are designed to boost the activity of the person’s immune system.

Hyperthermia (also called thermal therapy or thermotherapy) is a type of cancer treatment in which body tissue is exposed to high temperatures (104-113°F). Research has shown that high temperatures can damage and kill cancer cells, usually with minimal injury to normal tissues. By killing cancer cells and damaging proteins and structures within cells, hyperthermia may shrink tumors. Whole-body hyperthermia is used to treat metastatic cancer that has spread throughout the body. This can be accomplished by several techniques that raise the body temperature to 104-108°F, including the use of thermal chambers (similar to large incubators) or hot water blankets. And HOT YOGA.


In Our Hot Yoga classes the room is heated to 95-107’ to ensure the greatest benefits to all who attend.

 

The use of heat to treat disease goes back to ancient times.

Application of fire to cure a breast tumor is recorded in an ancient Egyptian papyrus, and the therapeutic value of elevated body temperature in the form of fever was appreciated by ancient Greek physicians.
Hippocrates wrote,

‘‘What medicines do not heal, the lance will; what the lance does not heal, fire will,’’

 

While Parmenides stated,

‘‘Give me a chance to create a fever and I will cure any disease.’’

 


In the first century AD, Rufus (also written as Refus or Ruphos) of Ephesus advocated fever therapy for a variety of diseases. Hot baths were considered therapeutic in ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, and India as they still are in many aboriginal cultures today, along with burying diseased individuals in hot sand or mud. Hot baths and saunas are an integral part of health traditions throughout the Orient, in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, as well as in Eastern European and Scandinavian countries. Following several earlier anecdotal reports, several nineteenth century German physicians observed regression or cure of sarcoma in patients who suffered prolonged, high fevers due to infectious diseases. This led to efforts to induce infectious fevers in cancer patients, for example, by applying soiled bandages or the blood of malaria patients to wounds. At around the same time, treatment of syphilis by placing the patient in a stove-heated room, or a heat box, became commonplace. Successful hyperthermic treatment of other sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea, and neurological conditions, such as chorea minor, dementia paralytica, and multiple sclerosis along with arthritis, and asthma were widely reported.
Interestingly, it was noted by Italian physicians that upon completion of the draining of the Pontine Swamps near Rome by Mussolini in the 1930s. Not only was malaria eradicated, but the prevalence of cancer in the area was the same as in the rest of Italy, whereas earlier the whole malaria infected region was noted for its absence of cancer. It was concluded that the frequent fever attacks common in malaria stimulated the immune system to prevent the development of cancers. The science of hyperthermia became grounded in the first few decades of the twentieth century when some of the biological effects of elevated body temperature were elucidated and attempts were made to understand and control the therapeutic application of heat. Numerous devices were developed to produce elevated temperatures of the body, by a variety of physical means. After a shift in focus to local and regional hyperthermia, there is now a resurgence of interest in systemic hyperthermia for treatment of cancer, as well as other systemic diseases. Whole-body hyperthermia treatment is now carried out at several university centers in the United States, and Europe, where controlled clinical trials are being carried out. Sweat every day.

Join us at Yoga Oasis for a healing cleanse sometime soon.

 

Hot Yoga is BEST in the SUMMER

Hot Yoga is great in the summertime.

sweat yoga image
“lets go to hot yoga” your friend states. It is finally August and you are sweating just trying to put your bra on. Now your friend wants you to go to hot yoga? what? Is she crazy? I get hot yoga in the winter, but hot yoga in the summer? During a heat wave? Well, I am here to tell you that hot yoga feels even better during a heat wave!

We know hot yoga is great in the wintertime.
Do you know how great hot yoga is in the summertime?
Hot yoga is a system that allows the body to go into a state called thermoregulation. In this process, the body triggers mechanisms that assist the body in cooling down the internal temperature so one does not over heat. This is when you start to sweat. Sweating helps the body to adjust its internal temperature by releasing moisture onto the skin. Then it has to evaporate, allowing the body to cool down. This process is brought about by a very complex balance of hormones. The main gland that triggers this cooling response is the hypothalamus gland. This is a very powerful gland inside the brain. This is like having an internal thermostat within your body. Most people are familiar with the thermostat in their house. They are constantly adjusting their external environment. They are opening the window, closing the window, turning the air conditioner on, turning it off, some people are constantly adjusting their external environment and they are never happy. A practitioner of hot yoga learns how to adjust their own internal thermostat. They learn how to change their inner environment. Most people are like a thermometer. They are constantly saying it is hot, it is cold, it is humid, it is rainy & damp… They are constantly acting like suffering victims to the outside forces, and they are never satisfied.
A practitioner of hot yoga knows how to regulate their thermostat and to adjust their inner environment. Through the process of breathing, controlling one’s thoughts, and the conditioning from having a regular hot yoga practice, one gains more control of their own body and mind.

Through hot yoga one learns how to cool themselves down, thus enhancing their comfort in managing their internal environment.
The body adapts better, the mind adjusts better, one gains more internal control, and then one just feels better, more of the time. That sounds like a great thing to me! Plus this hypothalamus gland also helps your sleep cycle, so one who practices hot yoga gets a better nights sleep on these hot summer nights. You could even save some money keeping the air conditioner off and even enjoy some of the fresh summer air.

And the best part of hot yoga is walking out the door on what seemed like a hot day, and now it seems so much cooler and enjoyable.

So be a thermostat, not a thermometer. Adjust your inner environment and enjoy the hot, humid summer without hiding inside in air conditioning that makes the temperature as cold as a February winter.

article was written by Mary Grace of Yoga Oasis. Please read her full bio on www.yoga-oasis.com

Sweat Safely- 10 tips for your first hot yoga class

Want to try hot yoga but don’t know where to start?
Here are 10 tips to help you Sweat Safely

written by Mary Grace

Happy female friends exercising and having fun in a gym class

I am not a doctor, but I do know one thing. The human body was designed with a built in temperature gauge to torch bacteria & to help the cells to burn out disease. We get a fever for a reason. But what about the little things. The things that are draining our precious energy, but aren’t strong enough to give us a full blown fever? Sri Pattibhi Jois taught that you must boil the blood to cook out disease. Just like the process of purifying dirty water to becoming safe to drink, one must boil the water within the body to be healthy. The great yogis have taught that one must heat the body up through a yoga system that produces a great amount of sweating. Heating up the body for healing is nothing new. “Give me a chance to create a fever and I will cure any disease,” said the great ancient physician Parmenides.

The science of sweating

Sweating is induced by a process called Hyperthermia. Hyperthermia is when ones body temperature that is higher than normal. High body temperatures are often caused by illness such as fever. Hyperthermia can also be used for healing. The use of heating a patient up to induce sweating has been used since the beginning of time. Heat Shock therapy has been discovered to be incredibly healing to the body. Watch a video here http://youtu.be/aHOlM-wlNjM

I walked into my first hot yoga class as a New Years resolution on 1-1-2000. It was Y2K and I had to do something about the way my life was going. My friend was going and asked me to join her. My first class didn’t come with a training manual, or a guide book, or even a what to expect brochure. I didn’t know what to wear, and lululemon didn’t exist back then. I know Hot Yoga is always attracting new students, so I created this guide to help make it easier for you to join us and sweat safely today.
Hot yoga is nothing new. Hot yoga is popular worldwide and that is because it works!

So you just got invited to a hot yoga class

Here are my tips to help you Sweat Safely
Tip #1-
WATER

Drink a lot of water. Water, pure water. Not tea, soda or coffee. Not flavored water or ice water and not sparkling water. You need to drink pure, clean water before your class. I suggest drinking 32 oz. of room temperature water upon waking. And then another 32 oz. of water a 1/2 hour or more before your class. Its best to use a water filter at home so you can be assured that you are getting pure, clean water without additives or plastic residue. Water to the Hot Yoga practitioner becomes a part time job. The water you drink is not just to replace what you will lose in sweating, this water will help improve the circulation and assist in the detoxification of your body. It’s great for weight loss as well. Many times we think we are hungry and we are usually just thirsty. If you aren’t carrying a water bottle around with you, you are probably dehydrated. Drinking during the class may actually make the class harder, as it awakens digestion, which is depressed during the thermoregulation process.

Tip #2-
Don’t get Delhi Belly

Don’t eat before yoga class. With all that water how can you eat? If you take a morning class, wake up, drink your water, and perhaps eat a watery piece of fruit or juice. It’s not a good idea to drink a pot of coffee & have a bagel before your first yoga class. The coffee will jack you up and raise your heart rate too high, only making the class more challenging. And that bagel, well, it turned to glue in your stomach and may cause lots of nausea. The reason you don’t want to eat before yoga classes is simple. Because of the thermoregulation and the raising of the heart rate we are playing with the fight & flight response in class. When the body is in fight or flight mode, the digestion goes on the back burner, and food causes indigestion because it’s not being metabolized in the class. We suggest not eating 3-5 hours before class. Now some people take that too far, and they don’t eat all day, run 6 miles & then come to yoga class. This person may have a hard time because the blood sugar may drop. You may need some sugar in your blood so you can maintain your balance. A Juice, an apple or a banana. I suggest drinking a protein shake.

Tip #3-
No bikinis please!

Dress appropriately. We don’t suggest yoga pants for our yoga classes. Yoga pants are the new sweat pants but don’t wear them to actually sweat in! There are some awesome new products on the market made out of bathing suit material. They are tight and don’t hold the sweat. For this reason, we don’t suggest wearing cotton and don’t definitely don’t wear a baggy t-shirts. What is good to wear is a tank top and leggings. Men do well with swim trunks. But please, no speedos and ladies, please don’t show up in your bikini. Too little clothes allows the sweat to fly all over the place & you may be too slippery. So what do you wear? Think board shorts for the men and leggings & a tank top for the girls.

Tip #4-
SWEAT Responsibly

Bring a towel. I say this to everyone, bring a towel. And they show up with a facecloth. You need to bring a large beach towel. Think of the one that you would throw on your chaise lounge or bring to the beach. The towel should cover most of your body when you lay on it while doing the postures on your back. Perhaps bring two towels. We rate our classes on how many towels are needed to soak up the sweat. Like “two towel Tuesday’s”.

Tip #5-
You WILL be DIZZY

Expect to be nauseous, dizzy, maybe hallucinate. Seems kind of funny, but everyone experiences nausea, stomach upsets, and may even see stars in a hot yoga class. In some ways it’s our fear of feeling this that makes it worse. I try to think that I’m dizzy because the yoga is working. The practice is constantly squeezing the body, and pushing the blood up to the head. The super high oxygen levels also make someone feel dizzy. It’s your choice whether you decide this is a good or a bad sensation. It’s only a temporary feeling, and the more you control your breathing, and the stronger your mind, and the fitter your body gets, the less dizzy you will feel. The healthier you get from the practice, the more these symptoms seem to subside. You master your body! Yay!

Tip #6-
spacial dynamics

Get to class early so you can get into the back row- Rushing to yoga class and showing up late is not only disturbing to others, but its very stressful for you as well. Make the time to get to class early, change your clothes, sign in to the class, and find a good spot in the back row. Many students show up 20-30 minutes early to class and allow their bodies to acclimate to the heat. This might work for you as well. Warm up, start to get into your body & breathe, will allow you to meet the other students and you can get some great tips from them. Speeding to yoga class and cutting people off to be on time isn’t recommended.

Tip #7-
Relax, nothing is under control

Don’t try everything in your first class- Many first time students experience the ego pressures to do everything in the class. Don’t fall into this trap. You don’t have to externally do everything. The best advice I can give everyone in their first class is to give the poses only 50% while you give your breathing 100%. It’s challenging to listen to the teacher and try to think your way through everything, especially since you don’t have the understanding of what expected of you, or what your body can actually do. Breathe more, give yourself permission to rest, and slowly try to approach the entire class, rather than thinking you have to do everything in your first day. It’s a relief knowing yoga isn’t like the gym. Nobody is judging you or trying to compete. Resting may be the greatest challenge in a yoga class, and may actually be the most beneficial for your health.

Tip #8-

Don’t run!
Stay in the room. Many people get very uncomfortable in a hot yoga class and may feel the need to run. I suggest stay with that feeling and simply sit down and work on your breathing, or just lie down until your body can recalibrate and settle down. If you think that you have to run out then that thought will always give you a way to escape. We don’t suggest running. We suggest learning to trust your breath and exercise your will power to help calm you down. Then you will have this tool ready for you in life, when the heat is on and you want to run, now you learn to stay and change your inner state.

Tip #9-
Inhale……exHAAAAALLLEEE
Just breathe. I am always teaching my students to breathe, and I still always find students holding their breath and trying to push too hard in the poses. This not only feels terrible, may make you really dizzy & nauseous, but this also may lead to injuries. It’s a good practice to count your breaths. I use a 6 count inhale & exhale. It seems like we have been trained to push our body and our mind so much in our culture that we forget to breathe. It’s very easy to forget to breathe. Hot crazy is that? We forget to breathe. Yoga helps you breathe better awake and conscious, as well as asleep!

Tip #10

En lighten upppp

Have a light heart. Don’t judge yourself too much. Stop thinking you look like an idiot and it’s too hard. Anything new is hard, get past your conditioned thinking. We all fell learning to stand, it’s so good we didn’t have these negative thoughts then. Enlighten up, Stop projecting onto yourself, the teacher, the heat, the others and just take responsibility for your breathing. Just focus on what is happening with your breath and your mind, your thoughts, and how you feel will shift. Yoga leads to inner peace, not simply making ourselves look like everyone else. Our minds may so effected by our culture that we don’t even see it. Just take a chill in a hot yoga class and let the sweat melt your body & the heat relax your mind.

 

written by Mary Grace.

MG 1

Born on the day of the Spiritual Warrior, Mary Grace has been playing with horses, travelling the world & has been practicing yoga all her life. Read her full bio on www.yoga-oasis.com

 

Beating the heat in hot yoga class

 

We don’t do hot yoga because it’s comfortable
We do it to try to find comfort in any situation
written by Mary Grace

sweat yoga image

 

Hot yoga is exactly what it says it is.
It’s HOT!
Of course, it is uncomfortable to sweat buckets of water in a hot yoga class. It’s not like there is some superhuman subspecies on this planet that’s just not affected by the heat in hot yoga. We are all affected. The training in a Hot Yoga class is how you manage this uncomfortable state that the deeper levels of healing are to be discovered. The Hot Yoga magic lays in that the practitioner of Hot Yoga, through conditioning, proper breathing & proper mind set learns to manage the symptoms more effectively.
Students have agreed that once you can get past the heat, you get more personal will power. Through the practice of not being so easily distracted & affected by the outside forces, you train yourself to create your own inner environment.
In a Hot Yoga class, You choose how you want to feel
Through this process, you become very powerful.
Learning to put things aside, especially very uncomfortable things aside,
And just doing the work that has to be done can be a very effective tool for true physical & emotional pain management.
I like to think of yoga postures in this way.
They are a task that has to be done.
I can learn a lot about my task taking skills during a posture.
Am I frustrated
Am I angry that I can’t do it
Am I aggravated by others falling out of the pose
Am I distracted
Do I quit
Am I holding my breath
Do I try too hard & then quit too soon?
Do I go all the way with smooth and easy energy through a balanced, calm & sustainable breath?
Yoga practice can reveal a lot of your habits on to you.

Ways to beat the heat in hot yoga class
1. Pace yourself. Dont try to do everything. Your ego is not your amigo. I know it sucks when you are good at everything and then yoga breaks you down. Yoga is not like other activities. You have to learn how to pace yourself and work on the inner journey. By pacing yourself I mean pause between the poses, take deep breaths and regulate your heart beat. Dont go 10000% and then stop. Try 80% physical effort & 100 % breathing effort.
2. Keep your cool. Take deep breaths. Exhales can assist in cooling you down. In between the poses take breaks to get a hold of your breath. Don’t use this in between time to panic about how hot you are. You are hot, its supposed to be that way. MOVE BEYOND IT.
3. Don’t eat before class. Eating too close to the class time (could even be three hours, depending on what you eat) can make you feel sick, overheat and just have a very uncomfortable experience. Drink a smoothie, a juice or a piece of fruit to prepare for hot yoga.
4. Do not drink coffee right before class. Coffee has a heating element to your body and can make you too stimulated to be able to relax in between the poses. Drink a green juice or a protein shake
5. Bring an ice water. Ice water is not the best to drink, so bring two bottles of water. One iced and one not too cold to drink. The ice water is to be used to cool your skin down by putting cold water on your face & neck if you get too hot.

At Yoga Oasis we strongly believe that yoga classes are more about gaining life skills than simply about becoming more flexible.
We invite you to try one of our life transformational yoga classes at the Oasis soon

written by Mary Grace

Want to try hot yoga but don’t know where to start? 10 tips to assist your journey

Happy female friends exercising and having fun in a gym class

Want to try hot yoga but don’t know where to start?
Here are 10 tips to assist your journey


Hot yoga is a powerful system that combines yoga postures and popular fitness moves with a very hot, and humid environment to facilitate sweating. The thought of this can overwhelm the new student, and I am here to help make it easy for those, like you, who really need the healing benefits of Hot Yoga.


“Give me a chance to create a fever and I will cure any disease,” said the great ancient physician Parmenides. Hyperthermia in general means a body temperature that is higher than normal. High body temperatures are often caused by illness such as fever or heat stroke. But hyperthermia can also refer to heat treatment – the carefully controlled use of heat for medical purposes. Hot Yoga is good for young and old, overweight and thin, the sick and the healthy. We even have a student who lost 135 pounds with us practicing hot yoga.


A few studies take the body temperature higher, around 107° F, for short periods of time. The study suggests that this may cause certain immune cells to become more active for the next few hours. Other studies are testing hyperthermia and chemotherapy along with other treatments that are designed to boost the activity of the person’s immune system. From the sweating in hot yoga classes, the practitioner may detoxify the inner poisons from medications & chemotherapy. Oxygen levels are increased, there is increased immune function, increased kidney function, and a huge decrease in the stressors that get stuck in the mind as well as the body. Hot Yoga is good for everybody. Large or small. thin or obese, sick or well. Hot Yoga may be for you!


Here are my tips to help you get started.

Tip #1- Drink a lot of water. Water, pure water. Not tea, soda or coffee. Not flavored water or ice water and not sparkling water. You need to drink pure, clean water before your class. I suggest drinking 32 oz of room temperature water upon waking. And then another 32 oz of water a 1/2 hour or more before your class. Its best to use a water filter at home so you can be assured that you are getting pure, clean water without additives or plastic residue. Water to the Hot Yoga partitioner becomes a part time job. I drink up to 200 ounces of water per day. This is to saturate the tissues, hydrate the cells and facilitate the proper means to sweat. The water you drink is not just to replace what you will lose in sweating, this water will help improve the circulation and assist in the detoxification of your body. Its great for weight loss as well. Many times we think we are hungry and we are usually just thirsty. If you aren’t carrying a water bottle around with you, you are probably dehydrated. I always suggest drinking an entire bottle of water before your yoga class. Its better to drink before the class then during the class. Drinking during the class may actually make the class harder, as it awakens digestion, which is depressed during the thermoregulation process.


Tip #2- Don’t eat before yoga class. With all that water how can you eat? If you take a morning class, wake up, drink your water, and perhaps eat a watery piece of fruit or juice. Its not a good idea to drink a pot of coffee & have a bagel before your first yoga class. The coffee will jack you up and raise your heart rate too high, only making the class more challenging. And that bagel, well, it turned to glue in your stomach and may cause lots of nausea. The reason you don’t want to eat before yoga classes is simple. Because of the thermoregulation and the raising of the heart rate, We are playing with the fight & light response in class. When the body is in fight or flight mode, the digestion goes on tho the back burner, and food causes indigestion because its not being metabolized in the class. We suggest not eating 3-5 hours before class. Now some people take that too far, and they don’t eat all day, run 6 miles & then come to yoga class. This person may have a hard time because the blood sugar may drop. You may need some sugar in your blood so you can maintain your balance. A Juice, an apple or a banana. I suggest drinking a protein shake. Sun Warrior shakes are our favorite.


Tip #3- Dress appropriately. We don’t suggest yoga pants for our yoga classes. There are some awesome new products on the market made out of bathing suit material. They are tight and don’t hold the sweat. For this reason, we don’t suggest wearing cotton and don’t suggest tshirts. What is good to wear is a tank top and leggings. Men do well with swim trunks. But please, no speedos. and ladies, please don’t show up in your bikini. Too little clothes allows the sweat to fly all over the place & you may be too slippery. So what do you wear? Anything from companies like Onzie, Lulelemon, and Athleta are just perfect. Wearing some clothing helps to absorb the sweat but too much clothing and you may be weighted down. Always bring a change of clothes for your drive home, or pack your bath robe from home.


Tip #4- Bring a towel. I say this to everyone, bring a towel. And they show up with a facecloth. You need to bring a large beach towel. Think of the one that you would throw on your chaise lounge or bring to the beach. The towel should cover most of your body when you lay on it while doing the postures on your back. Perhaps bring two towels. No bring three, one small towel for your face & for your hands. There are these new yoga towels on the market from companies like Yogi Toes & Gaiam. My experience is that they are only for people who spritz and aren’t really absorbent enough for those who really sweat. If you bring a yoga towel, bring another towel as well.


Tip #5- Expect to be neauseas, dizzy, maybe even hallucinate. Seems kinda funny, but everyone experiences nausea, stomach upsets, and may even see stars in a hot yoga class. In some way its our fear of feeling this that makes it worse. I try to think that I’m dizzy because the yoga is working. The practice is constantly squeezing the body, and pushing the blood up to the head. The super high oxygen levels also make someone feel dizzy. Its your choice weather you decide this is a good or a bad sensation. Its only a temporary feeling, and the more you control your breathing, and the fitter your body gets, the less dizzy you will feel. The healthier you get from the practice, the more these symptoms seem to subside.


 

Tip #6- Get to class early so you can get into the back row- Rushing to yoga class and showing up late is not only disturbing to others, but its very stressful for you as well. Make the time to get to class early, change your clothes, sign in to the class, and find a good spot in the back row. Many students show up 20-30 minutes early to class and allow their bodies to acclimate to the heat. This also will allow you to meet the other students and you can get some great advice from them.


Tip #7- Don’t try everything in your first class- Many first time students experience the ego pressures to do everything in the class. Don’t fall into this trap. You don’t have to externally do everything. The best advice I can give everyone in their first class is to give the poses only 50% while you give your breathing 100%. Its challenging to listen to the teacher and try to think your way through everything, especially since you don’t have the understanding of what expected of you, or what your body can actually do. Breathe more, give yourself permission to rest, and slowly try to approach the entire class, rather then thinking you have to do everything in your first day. Its a relief knowing yoga isn’t like the gym. Nobody is judging you or trying to compete. Resting may be the greatest challenge in a yoga class, and may actually give you the most benefit.


Tip #8- Stay in the room. Many people get very uncomfortable in a hot yoga class and may feel the need to run. I suggest stay with that feeling and simply sit down and work on your breathing, or completely lie down until your body recalibrate and settles down. If you think that you gotta run out and cool down outside, then that thought will always give you away to escape. We don’t suggest escaping. We suggest learning to trust your breath and your will power to help calm you down. Then you will have this tool ready for you in life, when the heat is on and you want to run, now you learn to stay and change your inner state.


 

Tip #9- Just breathe. I am always teaching my students to breathe, and I still always find students holding their breath and trying too push too hard in the poses. This not only feels terrible, may make you really dizzy & nauseous, but this may lead to injuries. Its a good practice to count your breaths. I use a 6 count inhale & exhale. It seems like we have been trained to push our body and our mind so much in our culture that we forget to breathe. Its very easy to forget. I am suggesting to practice over and over to train your mind to breathe deeper, and exhale more.


Tip #10- Have a light heart. Don’t judge yourself too much. Stop thinking you look like an idiot and its too hard. Get past your conditioned thinking. As a child, simply learning to stand & to walk we fall over 300 times. Its good we didn’t have these self defeating thoughts then. Stop projecting onto the teacher, the heat, the others and just take responsibility for your breathing. Nothing else. Most of yoga is unseen. Just focus on what is happening in your mind, your thoughts, and how you can control your breath. Yoga leads to inner peace, not simply looking like everyone else. Our minds may so effected by our culture that we don’t even see it. Just try yoga today, have an open mind, and an open body will follow.

Article written by Mary Grace.

MG 1

Hot Yoga teacher since 2000. Join her at Yoga Oasis or Maui Hot Yoga sometime soon.

Sankalpa: The Power of Will

The Power of Will
Sankalpa; Merging the Heart with the Mind & Spirit.
By Mary Grace

December 7, 2015.

move mountains

 

“when the two become one, when you ask the mountain to move, the mountain will move”.*

 


It is more commonly found in the King James Bible

 

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Matthew 17:20

 


When the two become one, nothing is impossible.

What are these two forces that need to become one?


In our yoga practice and in its teachings, we are seeking to shift gears from our mental faculties to more deeply felt heart energies. It sure sounds nice, but what does this really mean?

 


According to the Yoga Tradition, there is a state of consciousness called Sankalpa. Sankalpa is the merging of the mind, connecting to the heart, and backing it up with the power of the spirit.

Sankalpa is living life from this union, or connection of these powerful aspects of the self. Sankalpa is a powerful state of consciousness which we are trying to create & connect with in our yoga practice.

 

 


Why do so many people want to change circumstances in their lives, yet they cannot commit to their goals?

 

Is it so simple to say that people just don’t have any will power?

 

Or is it that they have not found a way to add more power to their will.

 


Research shows that at least 80% of us do not achieve our New Year resolutions.

This statistic means that 4 out of 5 people who make New Years resolutions will eventually break them.

And add to that, a third won’t even make it until the end if January.

Other studies have shown that the number of people who do achieve their resolutions is a little as 8 percent.

 

Despite all of the motivational speakers and all of the self-help books filling up libraries and kindles everywhere, as little as ten percent of Americans actually achieve what they set out to achieve.

 


What is missing is what, according to Ancient Indian Texts, is a state called Sankalpa. This is the driving force behind your motivation. Sankalpa is to bring heart power to your will.

 

Sankalpa is the intention that will keep you going when life gets tough.

 

Sankalpa is also translated as a concept or an idea formed in the heart.

 

Sankalpa in practical terms is a declarative statement, a resolution or an intention in which you vow to commit to fulfill a specific goal.


Sankalpa holds a special & highly esteemed place in the ancient teachings. The concept if Sankalpa appears as early as the Rig Veda known as the most ancient of all Vedic texts. The art & science of applying Sankalpa was considered to be the foundation for achieving or becoming anything of real significance.

 

Throughout the Vedic and Tantric traditions it is made exceedingly clear that a student cannot make meaningful progress toward any worthy goal without first cultivating this state, what the yogic tradition calls Sankalpa Shakti.

 


“On this path you must first awaken your Sankalpa shakti, the power of will and determination” said the great Swami Rama.

 

This ancient concept of Sankalpa is predicated on the principle that your mind has measureless capacity to affect the quality and the content in your life.

 

In other words, the mind is the ruler of your fate. Practice using your will and empower your own personal power. This is the practice of yoga.

 

When your mind wanders around to whatever problems you may have, take the time to meditate on your resolve. Think of this state of Sankalpa as the resolve.

 


To identify and reinforce your Sankalpa, a deeply relaxed state is required. It is important to allow the mind to settle into stillness. A yoga practice followed by meditation will greatly assist one into the state most beneficial to enforce your Sankalpa. This practice is also very beneficial to perform while lying in bed trying to sleep. When you sit or lie down, calm your mind and follow your breath.
After a while of letting your thoughts just pass on by without going after them, the mind begins to settle into silence. In this quiet state, begin to focus on your Sankalpa, your resolve. Breathe into this resolve, whatever it may be. Use each breath to reinforce it with the organic, back up power of your hearts force. Keep breathing and repeating your resolve calmly and allow it to drop deep into your subconscious mind. Once you reprogram your subconscious mind, you will have more ability to stick to the new resolve. This is the reason we repeat the past habits, they are imprints in our subconscious. Take the time to focus your attention on your Sankalpa to give it power. With the help of the Sankalpa Shakti, after some time it will be imprinted in your mind. Imagine the old habits dropping away as leaves from a tree. When they are ready, the time has come and they are no longer receiving nutrition from the tree, the leaves drop. Similarly, when your habits no longer receive attention from your mind, they too will drop away, effortlessly.


Through this practice Sankalpa Shakti, it will give power to your more positive thoughts, and this will greatly assist your thoughts to have more power to move you into the direction YOU choose.

 


Once you have identified and planted the seed of your sankalpa, you can begin the process of strengthening sankalpa shakti, the energy to take the action required by your resolve. It is well known that every choice you make either supports or undermines your resolve. This is true even for the decisions that don’t seem directly related to your specific intention. “Let’s say you’re aware that sugar disrupts your energy and sleep. But time and time again, you ‘forget’ this awareness and eat sweets anyway. Each time you do this, you reinforce the part of you that says ‘screw it’ to awareness and intention. You’re giving power to the part of you that goes against your consciousness.”

 


Sound Familiar?
Many of us have great intentions to create change, only to be transformed into our more powerful intentions to undermine our own efforts. This seems a little self destructive, and for many people it is. This is what leads many people into the vicious cycle of weight gain, addiction, and suffering.
Through the practice of yoga, one may assist in strengthening the healthy intentions, and through this positive momentum, and with more & more momentum, the healthy habits begin to stick. One begins to see the results, and the healthy habits get stronger then the weaker ones, and one may achieve their goals.

 


The Buddha stated several thousand years ago

“What you think you shall become”

 

If you can learn to get to the point where your desires and your will to accomplish them are no longer two separate things. They become one.

 

Then nothing can stop you from achieving your goals.

 


Whatever you perceive you will achieve. It starts first as a dream. It starts like one is faking it. The mind may go back and forth like a child, but through the practice of yoga, one realizes that they may have an inner child that needs some tough love. A good kick in the pants will help one continue to achieve those goals.

 


When your imagination is combined with your determination, nothing can stop you from your goals.

 

This is Sankalpa.

 


For Sankalpa exercises & to read more :

The Four Desires by Rod Stryker

 

 

 

 


*This is from the Gospel of Thomas. Apparently the Gosphel of Thomas may have been removed from many bible versions as it showed the more “spiritual” stories of Jesus.

 

Yogi Detox Drink

The drink that your body will thank you for!


Yoga cleanse drink


This holiday season with all of the family gatherings, it is quite typical for someone in your family to eat too much.


I want to share with you that there is something you can do about it (besides sitting on the couch in a sub catatonic state).


Your immune system and your health depend on healthy elimination of toxins from your body, as you can only contain so many damaging substances before your system slows down and starts to produce symptoms of illness. It is estimated that over 90% of diseases can be attributed directly or indirectly to an unhealthy digestive system and the foods that are presented to it. Its so common for people to get sick right after Thanksgiving.

This may be due to the overeating, the crazy food combining mixed with the late night eating & over sleeping. (and perhaps a little alcohol was thrown into the mix too…only weakening the digestive system) But, you had fun, right?


All of our physical and mental health is a direct result of our diet. Food has life force, what we call prana, energy that comes from the sun and from the earth. From heaven and earth this life energy comes to us and then becomes a part of us. We have our most intimate moments not with people, please understand, our most intimate moments are with food. What we eat becomes us.


As my yoga teacher Dharma Mittra says, you eat fried food, you feel fried. You eat cooked food, you feel cooked. You eat live food and you become alive. Sometimes, even the purest of yogis can slip and eat something that they may regret later.


Please do not cry too much over eating too much, I have a solution. This drink is a very special drink for many ailments afflicting people today. Thee are so many ailments this may alleviate, but theres way too many for me to even list. Today we will focus on the digestive enhancement from this magical drink. 


Yogi detox drink

tumeric juice


Ingredients:
1. 1 cup apple cider vinegar
2. 1/2 cup honey
3. 2 lemons, juiced or 1/3 cup lemon (*or more)
4. Tumeric root, 3-4 3” pieces *
5. Ginger root , 3-4 3” pieces *
6. Noni juice- 1 cup
7. small red fresh chilis*


Only use fresh, organic ingredients. Please avoid the use of powders. Blend all these ingredients in blender. To assure that everything blended properly, It is best to use a Blend Tec or a Vitamix blender. Other blenders may require you to chop the ginger & tumeric into smaller pieces to assure it blends. DO NOT ADD WATER. 
Strain the pulp. I use a paint strainer bag from the hardware store. Put into a glass jar. If you use a mason jar, do not use the metal cap. This drink makes the cap rust. 
 Keep the liquid in a bottle, in the fridge & consume 1TBSP after meals.


Heres why this drink is so good for you.


Apple cider vinegar assists digestion. Apple Cider Vinegar helps to relieve hiccups. It may help cut fats and assist the fat metabolism, and science is even researching how apple cider vinegar may assist to reduce cholesterol in the blood. Apple cider is great for the liver, the gall bladder and really helps a lot with digestive issues such as bloating. 
 Honey has anti bacterial and anti microbial properties.


Honey has enzymes which assist in digestion, and its a healthy thing that tastes really really good. (which is so great) Make sure you always buy organic, raw, and unheated honey.


Lemon can help relieve many digestion problems. These include nausea, heartburn and parasites. Due to the digestive qualities of lemon juice, symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, bloating and belching are relieved. By drinking lemon juice regularly, the bowels are supported in eliminating waste more efficiently. Lemon acts as a blood purifier and as a detoxifying, cleansing agent. It is even known to help relieve hiccups when consumed as a juice. Lemon juice acts as a liver tonic and helps you digest your food by helping your liver produce more bile. It decreases the amount of phlegm produced by your body. It is also thought to help dissolve gallstones water works wonders for people having heart problem, owing to its high potassium content. It controls high blood pressure, dizziness, nausea as well as provides relaxation to mind and body. It also has been shown to reduce mental stress and depression.


Tumeric has been used in foods for thousands of years. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns. Tumeric has been reported to assist in lowering cholesterol, detoxify the liver, be an aid in weight loss, to be an antinflammatory and has been used to treat depression. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Ginger has a natural heating tendency and is very good to keep you warmed up in cooler climates.


Ginger is a known anti inflammatory and a digestive tonic. It soothes a scratchy throat, helps motion sickness, seasickness and morning sickness. It contains anti viral, anti fungal and can help prevent colds. Ginger is a good antihistamine and is used in the treatment of allergies. Ginger displays anti inflammatory properties and can be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and various other muscular disorders. Thus the root has proven to be a highly effective form of treatment, in some cases, even more so than the NSAID’s that are traditionally prescribed. The ancient Greeks used to eat ginger after a large meal in order to ease the digestion process. Due to its promotion of mucus secretion, ginger protects against the development of ulcers, unwanted holes in the lining of your stomach. Ginger has proven to help lower your cholesterol levels and prevent the formation of blood clots. Ginger is often used to settle an upset stomach or treat severe stomach ailments such as dyspepsia or colic.


Noni is a fruit native to Hawaii and other tropical places. It is a great digestive tonic as it is very high in enzymes. Noni is very high in minerals and vitamins. It is a true superfood. Noni has been used to assist with sugar metabolism issues such as diabetes. It can be found bottled as a juice in the health food store.


Chilis create the heat needed to fire up the digestion and helps metabolize fats in the body. Chilis burn fats and help the blood move through the circulatory system.


Enjoy your special drink. This drink tastes great. Kids, as well as the most finicky eaters love it.


Its great before meals, after meals, on your fasting days, as well as on your feasting days. 
Remember, its all about BALANCE. right?


Written by Mary Grace read more about Mary Grace & her many blogs www.yoga-oasis.com

Story about letting go

Old story about letting go.

There was a group of monks walking along a path to get to a holy place.

There were a few monks walking along when they came upon a river and had to get across it to continue the journey. As they approached the river, one Monk saw a woman struggling to get across, so he chose to pick her up and to help her across. The monk picked her up and assisted her to the other side. When she got to the other side and got on her feet, he smiled and sent her on her way. The monks continued walking along the path on their journey. A few miles along the path one monk turned to the other and said, “I can not believe you carried that woman back there. We are monks and we are not allowed to touch woman”. The monk replied, “I only carried her across the river, I put her down on the other side. It is you that is still carrying her all this way”.

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Dharma Yoga Wheel

The Dharma Yoga wheel is a fun new yoga prop that was first seen at the studio of Dharma Mittra. Dharma Mittra’s son Dov and his girlfriend Raquel Vamos decided it was such a great tool and they built the Dharma Yoga Wheel enterprise.


The Dharma Yoga Wheel is perfectly sized circle that can be used to assist one developing a deeper way of accessing opening up of the spine. This helps to allow one to move deeper into discovering the range of motion in ones own body. The wheel works by being a tremendously supportive and stable tool to relax into. We all know that by relaxing into yoga postures, one will develop a deeper opening.


Because of our lifestyle of sitting so much, many people complain about back pain. A lot of this has to do with the curve of the spine constantly relaxing into chairs and curving the opposite way of what nature intended. The Dharma Yoga Wheel makes a great gift for anyone interested in helping to keep that healthy, natural curve in the spine.


The Dharma Yoga Wheel is very simple to use, and is very effective for maintaining spine health. Its fun too… theres lots of ways one can deepen ones stretch by using the Dharma Yoga Wheel with the poses you may already be familiar with. We love the Dharma Yoga Wheel. It adds a little new excitement and motivation to ones home yoga practice.


 

Yoga Oasis offers Dharma Yoga Wheel classes & Workshops.
Get your Dharma Yoga Wheel today- Available in stock at Yoga Oasis.


 

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Hanuman is who?

The Hindu Pantheon includes dieties that represent all the many different ways a human heart can relate to God. As a lover, as a mother, as a father, as a friend and so on. The monkey Hanuman represents a relationship to God through loving service, as Hanuman serves, is a way of making your entire life an offering, an act of devotion. Maharajji followed the path of Hanuman and he told me that if I wanted to become enlightened, all I needed to do was to feed people and to serve people-

That is, to offer my life as a service to God. And that is what I have tried to do.
-Ram Dass, from the book one liners

hanuman murti