Ajna is the energy center known as the Third Eye. It is located between the eyebrows and about a half inch above them. The back of this chakra is located just beneath the bony protrusion of the occipital bone in the back of the skull. In the middle of the Ajna center is the Pituitary Gland, known as the master gland of the endocrine system, as it secretes hormones that stimulate the functions of all the other endocrine glands in the body.Ajna is known as the Third Eye because of its connection to the human talent of intuition. Our intuition is another way of seeing and knowing without invoking our traditional senses. In fact, I think of
You might wonder why the famous piece of artwork above is the title picture for an article on the Throat chakra, Vishuddha. For me, this image represents the fullness of vocal expression. Have you ever felt so angry, frustrated, stuck, or fearful that all you can do is scream? You can't form words and so the only way to express what is inside you is a primal scream. I'm sure you have had such moments; I know I have. Vishuddha, is all about communication, expression, vocalization of our experience. It is associated with the human talent of truth.We share our inner state with the world, mainly through our words. Sometimes in written form, but also by voice.
I feel like I could write a novel on the heart chakra, but I'll try to keep it to a blog!Anahata lives in the middle of the chest and encompasses the lungs, heart, the thymus gland and the arms. The color of this chakra is green and it is connected to the earth element of air. The heart center is the bridge between the lower triangle of the first three chakras (our connection to the earth) and the upper triangle of the 5th, 6th, and 7th chakras (our connection to infinity). This center reminds us the WE are the connection between heaven and earth! It is from the power of our collective hearts that we make our
Show yourself a little love on Valentine’s Day. Join Vickie as she leads you through a calming yin practice of deep stretching finishing with relaxing restorative poses. You will need a couple of blocks and a blanket. Take the time to be your own Valentine! Click here to register . We look forward to seeing you on zoom on Sunday, February 14, 3:00-4:30. $15 investment.
The third chakra, known as Manipura, is located in the middle of the torso. It includes the kidneys and adrenal glands, the digestive organs of the stomach and gallbladder, the liver, pancreas and the diaphragm. The navel is like a bullseye right in the middle of the chakra. Manipura is the seat of our will and personal power. It is from this center that we are able to assert ourselves into the world and manifest our purpose.The color of this chakra is yellow and it is associated with the earth element of fire. When you hear expressions like, "she has guts," or "he's got a fire in his belly," they speak to the power and energy of
The second chakra, Svadhistana, is located in the region of the sacrum in the back body and the reproductive organs in the front body. This energy center is associated with passion, desire, movement, change and the ability to balance dualities and polarities. It is also related to the human talent of creativity. It is from this center that we express our passionately held beliefs and views. From this energy, we create; not only in the sense of reproduction, but also works of art, music, and literature, and in the act of living in the here and now; doing whatever makes us feel fully alive. When we vibrate from this center, life is colorful, fun, and full of
I always begin my classes in the new year with a study of the chakras. Chakras are foundational in yoga anatomy and a little hard to wrap a Western mind around as they are more theoretical in nature than what we typically associate with our physical body. In yoga, we recognize multiple different layers of the body, starting with the physical and emanating out to the subtle and ethereal aspects of our being. One of these layers is the energetic body, which is responsible for the flow of Prana, or life energy, through the physical systems. The chakras are the main "organs" of the energetic system. Invisible to the eye, these 7 or 8 energy centers (depending
As we approach the New Year most people begin with resolutions to make it better than the one before. Many of these are centered on being healthier by resolving to lose weight, eat better, exercise more, etc. Health is wealth and it matters immensely to your quality of life. Yet, these determined resolutions often fall by the wayside within weeks of the New Year. In yoga, we like to set intentions- known as a sankalpa. Sankalpa means an intention formed by the heart and mind. It involves a resolve as well to focus your energies physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually on what truly matters to you. It is a tool meant to refine the will, and to
By Angela Nichols It's been a heck of a year, hasn't it? A global pandemic with a nationwide lockdown, highest unemployment we've seen in decades, closed businesses, protesters in the streets, wildfires, hurricanes, an election that is still being contested, and a lot of death. Many people that I know can't wait for 2020 to be over while others are sad to see it go. The range of reactions to the events of the past year are as varied as our political points of view. Some are anxious to return to "normal," life (whatever that is), others feel that the global reset we've experienced was needed; to slow down the pace of life, to let the
The Winter Solstice is officially December 21st of this year. It is a sacred time to recognize the longest night or hours of darkness on this day. Then to remember that the light of the sun will begin to lengthen in the days following. It also marks the start of the winter season in the cycles of nature. There are many ways to honor this time of year. When I grew up on the eastside of Indy in Irvington, we celebrated this time with a luminaria. My father would put sand in paper bags with a single votive candle and then line them up along the sidewalk that led to the front porch. At dusk all the
Yoga attracts people for many reasons. Some come to relieve back pain, others to learn how the practice can help them become more flexible and still others come for the community and support they receive in the process. There are as many reasons as there are students that practice. I came to yoga in the midst of going through a painful divorce 24 years ago. Going to a gym and working out regularly was just not enough to help me mentally or emotionally. When my church offered a class, I decided to check it out. From that first experience I was hooked. Yoga gave me a more integrated approach to healing through the physical practices and the
We’re excited to bring back this popular workshop! Click here to Register! Treat yourself for the holidays with this relaxing and restful offering from Vickie, live-streamed online over Zoom. This special event class uses props and balls to allow your body to let go and release. You will need 2 blankets, tennis ball or foam roller and blocks at home. Pre- registration is encouraged and the investment is just $15. Click here to Register! or click Class Schedule at the top ot the page and go to “Workshops”.
The week of Thanksgiving is a reminder to pause and reflect on all that you are grateful for in your life. Gratitude is the quality of being thankful for : readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Just today I got a lovely card and a bottle of wine from one of my yogini friends who has also been a long-time student at the center. She expressed her appreciation with so much thoughtfulness it made my heart happy. Then I got home and there were flowers delivered on my doorstep from my beau Randy. He expressed that he wanted to "fill my love tank" so sweet! If that wasn't enough, I opened my e-mail and
Perseverance and patience... These two qualities go hand in hand as we pass the 9-month mark of Covid-19 with the numbers of those affected continuing to explode. Perseverance is defined as having steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Patience is defined as having the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble or suffering without getting angry or upset. As we approach the holiday season these two qualities are imperative for maintaining the CDC guidelines- which means avoiding large family gatherings or crowds and continuing to wear a mask, practice social distancing and wash your hands regularly using hand sanitizer when needed. Be ever vigilant in order to protect yourself and others by
We live in a time of overwhelming use of screen time via I-pads, phones, video games and being logged in too much! It has shortened our attention span as we swipe through too often. Yoga and meditation are the antidotes for this challenge. Yoga asana helps you to prepare your body for meditation. It helps to release the tensions that have built up during the day. The physical body needs the Attention so that it can function optimally through the various movements in a safe way. Nurturing your body with healthy foods and drinking plenty of pure water will help your energy levels as well. Getting quality sleep and rest is necessary as well. Meditation is the
The tradition between Halloween and Nov. 1 is to honor those who are no longer with us. In Mexico they celebrate this holiday as the "Day of the Dead". The belief is that when you celebrate the dead in various ways that their spirit will come and join the party to remind you of their continued presence in your life. My yoga teacher Todd Norian reminds us all to live,live,live and then let go and die. To live as fully as you can in each moment and when the time to pass on arises let go. Our culture often fears death and yet none of us are going to get out of here alive. Having the courage
Courage is defined as the ability to do something that frightens you. I think of it as choosing love over fear. Fear for me feeds any anxieties or insecurities that I have about some of the challenges I face. It shows up in relationships when I avoid difficult conversations. In making bigger decisions about so many things that arise in my life. Fear can be paralyzing at times which just leads to inaction. Sometimes fear is there to protect you from actual danger but in many cases it is your mind causing you undue suffering for no reason at all!In yoga practice it limits my ability to focus on what my body is capable of. I remember
The last Niyama teaches us how to surrender to life, to recognize when we are fighting the changes that life wants us to make and to let go and let God guide us on our path. I like to kayak and when I am in a river where it has rained recently and the current is moving more swiftly, I practice this art of surrender. It doesn't mean that I don't participate by navigating as skillfully as possible WITH the flow of the water. When I am able to do this, it becomes more easeful and enjoyable. There are times in my life where I want to control or resist whatever changes are upon me. Life becomes
This niyama epitomizes your ability to know yourself inside and out. To be able to recognize your divine nature and how sometimes your human nature clouds that recognition. One of the best practices to develop in this quest is known as "witness consciousness." This is the ability to observe yourself as if you are watching a movie. How do you show up in the world? What are the thoughts and belief systems that you operate from? Are you willing to recognize both your divine nature and how you cover it up in challenging times? In the method of Ashaya yoga that I teach the philosophy centers on your own ability to recognize your "shadow side" as well
This niyama literally means "heat" and can be translated in many ways. The heat of "cooking" ourselves in the practices of yoga so that we transform ourselves into someone of character and strength is the translation that speaks to my heart. It takes the self-discipline of cultivating daily spiritual and yogic practices in order to align more fully with our best selves and to have the tools to navigate life gracefully. Tapas also means that you will rise up when you go through the difficult times of your life and in that process, you will learn any lessons you were meant to. You will look inward to see what part you played without a victim attitude. As
Yoga continues to invite us on an inward journey to discover how we think, feel and act in our own lives. Santosha is known as the jewel of contentment- it asks us to be grateful for what we have without the constant striving to have, be and do more. I have a girlfriend who used to say: when I meet the right man or when I find the right job, right house, lose weight; the list went on and on. Then she could be happy. This constant striving for something outside of ourselves takes away our ability to focus on being totally with what is right in front of you in each moment. To allow life to
As we all try to find new ways to navigate through life -- feeling as if we’re being pushed and pulled in all directions at once by events that are out of our control, I wanted to share something that has helped me and my students quiet our minds and feel more hope as we look beyond our immediate problems.Today’s blog is about the Yamas and Niyamas, which as many of you already know, are yoga's ten ethical guidelines that are foundational to all yogic thought. They comprise the first two limbs of Yoga's eight-fold path and provide us with a simple guidance to help us understand ourselves and others more deeply, which in turn can enable
Yoga's popularity has continued to grow as people flock to the practice looking for the physical, mental and emotional benefits that the practice offers. Many yoga classes focus on just the physical aspects of the practice. Oftentimes, after a class I will have a student come up to me and say "that was a great stretch." I used to take offense but then realized that was what served their needs at that time. They hadn't yet grasped the bigger purpose of the practice.Now, I want to stretch students minds to awaken to yoga's highest intention for the practice. In the philosophy of yoga that I teach we strive to recognize and connect with both our individual nature
I am a trainer and teacher of the Ashaya Yoga method which was developed by my teacher Todd Norian. Ashaya means "abode of the heart" and is a style which incorporates 4 Essential Techniques in order to align optimally in the physical practice while weaving in a heart centered theme. This method deepens the experience of yoga on all levels physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. When I opened the center 15 years ago, I had gone through 2 teacher trainings and still felt like something was missing. And as they say when the student is ready the teacher will appear! I met Todd Norian at a yoga event in Chicago and felt I had met a sincere