Sunday, May 31, 2015

Wild make my heart sing

June's pose of the month is the powerful, amazing heart opener known as Wild Thing (sanskrit: camatkarasana). If you are a regular in Lydia's classes you'll know exactly why she chose this as her favorite pose, and our pose of the month! This gal's heart is wide open, and practicing with her will definitely make your heart sing!

When asked why she loved Wild Thing Lydia responded, "Yes, it's an amazing song but it's also my favorite yoga pose! It's a great way to start your day, with an open and grateful heart. This pose always makes me feel joyful!"

Lydia's advice for practicing Wild Thing at home:

Start in Downward Facing Dog. Bring your weight to your right hand and roll onto the outer edge of your right foot (similar to Side Plank Pose). Keep your hips lifted and step your left foot back behind you. As you release the sole of the right foot to the Earth (same direction as your left foot), keep your right leg straight and point the toes on your right foot as you square your hips toward the sky. Curl back through your upper back. Keep breathing and curl your head back into more of a backbend. Extend your left hand from your heart to express your truest nature - love.

Come practice Wild Thing with us this month. And don't be afraid to practice it on your own and show us YOUR wild side.  Post your pictures to our Facebook page or our Instagram account and tag Inner Spring Yoga using the hashtag #SoINyoga.  We look forward to letting your Wild Thing make our hearts sing!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Earth Sweats

Forward by Dr. Vasant Lad
Ayurveda is a sanskrit word which means the “knowledge
of life”, or more accurately, “the knowledge of
longevity”.  Its roots are buried deeply in the ancient
culture of India.  In fact, Ayurvedic medicine is
considered to be the oldest system of medicine.
Ayurveda is more than a medical science, however, and
can only be understood when one realizes that it is
intricately woven into the fabric of nature.  Over five
thousand years ago, spiritually enlightened persons
known as Rishis or seers, by close observation of
nature and its relationship to man through a
supramental state of meditation, imparted that truth
from guru to disciple.  Today, however, Ayurveda exists
in texts, scribed in the form of melodious poetry.
Because the roots of Ayurveda were born out of the
realm of the spirit, only with a spiritual orientation
can one understand this knowledge.
Ayurveda contains the secrets of why people need to
cooperate with nature completely in order to ensure
their well-being.  When there is little or no
cooperation, the resultant disharmony is suffering,
disease, and finally a premature death.  Thus, in
dealing with the body in the context of the spirit,
Ayurveda is a completely holistic approach to life.
Ayurveda has suggested that a change in the
consciousness of one individual, either positive or
negative, influences the consciousness of all humanity.
Thus, it is the responsibility of every human being to
allow a radical change in his/her consciousness in
order to bring about transformation in the universe.
Ayurveda, having no standard therapy, only reflects and
reacts to what naturally occurs in nature.  Ayurveda
looks at a person completely in relation to his or her
environment, and treats each individual as indivisible.
(Excerpts, Dr. Vasant Lad, Pune, India, March 1980,
Forward to “The Hidden Secret of Ayurveda”, by Dr.
Robert Svoboda, our teacher training book of Ayurveda
study for 2015)
In spring the earth sweats...
When tendrils of heat creep into the cool of remaining
spring, the earth sweats, and so should you, naturally.
Ayurveda teaches that “like increases like”, so the
external rise of an element such as heat, enhances the
power of that principle inside the body.  The primal
resting of slow, cold, viscous winter elements in the
environment, and in our bodies, relinquishes to warmth.
Heavy, accumulated energy in many forms, especially in
our lymphatic and endocrine systems, must become fluid
and flow freely, like streams into rivers, rivers into
Sweat (Sveda) from Hatha Yoga practice, is nutritious
for the skin, and is not meant to be suppressed, wiped,
or showered away immediately.  Your own sweats,
(Ayurveda  recognizes 14 primary sweat types), their
volume, odors, timing, and subtle qualities, become a
diagnostic tool to help you adopt clean Ayurvedic diet
and lifestyle practices. The way that you smell to
yourself may actually give you subconscious information
about what foods to eat for optimum nourishment, and
even the timing of when to eat them.
Clean practices, specific to your constitution, bring
new scents to body fluids;  sweet, metallic, mineral
laden fragrances, much like the essences found in the
bitter and astringent native, edible flowers and greens
produced by mother nature.  She makes these essential
healing plants, and their tastes, for us from her
sweat, mingled soil nutrients of meadows and forests.
Ayurveda sutras classify six tastes present in
substances, and also present in the taster:  sweet,
sour, bitter, pungent, and astringent.  Each one
produces more strength (for the body) than the one
which follows it, (in the order they are listed).
Sweating during exercise not only reduces the body
temperature perfectly for each individual, but
maintains water-electrolyte and acid-base balances.
Avoiding sweating, attempting to stop it with cold
drinks, cold air, and chemical body care products, may
not be the healthful course of action you are seeking.
Recognize also that emotions triggered by conditions of
heat, those in the Pitta (fire&water) realm of energy,
such as frustration or anger unexpressed, can surface
as agitation toward the outer condition of heat.  Yoga
and meditation can help you come in closer touch with,
and gain relief from, the effects of emotions held in
the body and mind.  Sweating is a natural physical
release mechanism.  Breathe deep, relax into the heat;
understanding can help you to trace aversion to its
If you are exercising to maintain healthy weight, and
bring luster, vitality, and equanimity to your body,
mind and spirit, join the earth in a good sweat.  My
Astanga Yoga teacher, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, always
cautioned never to practice in direct sunlight, but
recommended sweating, “100 drops daily”!
Soaps are not recommended for use on your skin, or any
scrub products which are not edible, as the skin
absorbs these emollients as if they were eaten.  Rely
on gentle “Ubtans”, body pastes or scrubs used
periodically to release dead skin layers.  You can make
them from organic flours, clays, mulled herbs,
combined with fruit and vegetable juices, natural oils
or essential extracts.
For the past few days I have been craving watermelon.
As a light dinner, I will pluck some fresh mint from
the garden, juice it with the melon and mix it (by
hand) with organic white rice flour and a little
unrefined coconut oil, to make a paste with a texture
that feels good to my skin.  (In regard to eating melon
of any kind, Ayurveda says, “Eat it alone or leave it
alone”.  Melon should not to combined with any other
foods, even other fruits.
Rely on your intuition, and use Ubtans several times a
week in warmer weather, so that skin can breathe
freely;  even less during fall and winter. Just a
little research and relying on your own sensitive nose,
will lead you to the right ingredients, many of which
you may have in your kitchen already. The simpler the
mixture, the better.  Fruit enzymes can sometimes be
too harsh for certain skin types, so always test your
scrub.  A little applied inside the wrist is a good
sensitive place; never leaving on too long if it seems
to irritate.  You can even save “Time” by making a
healthful smoothie for breakfast, and smearing it on
your face!
A good resource to learn more about Sveda:  Ayurveda
today, Summer 2009 issue, “Rasayana for Meda Dhatu
Mala”, by my favorite Ayurvedic physician and teacher,
Vasant Lad, BAM&S, MAS /
As a second recommendation, download the food
combination chart from his resources section on the web
site, and begin to incorporate combination practices as
a firm diet foundation, while you discover your
constitutional type and needs at present, and move into
an understanding of the foods best for you.
Kari has practiced Yoga, meditation, dance, 
and a holistic lifestyle since her youth, growing up on a farm in 
Harrison County, Indiana. She has spent many fulfilling years traveling 
and studying around the world, receiving a certification in Hatha Yoga 
from Yoga East in 2001.
Among her most inspiring and beloved teachers are Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (Astanga Yoga), Ramanand Patel & Francois Raoult (Iyengar Yoga), Sufi Master Adnan Sarhan (Meditation), Dr. Vasant Lad (Ayurveda), Grand Master Mingye Ding (Qigong/Taiji), Steve Schumacher (CranioSacral Therapy), Esak Garcia (Bikram Yoga) & Russil Paul (Nada Yoga). She is the founder of Onecologie: finding true health and joy through intuitive synchronicity with nature.

Friday, May 1, 2015

May Pose of the Month

Laura DeMent, RYT

May's Pose of the Month is Utthita Trikonasana, Extended Triangle Pose. This pose is known to most of you simply as Triangle Pose. When asked why she chose Trikonasana as her pose to share, Laura responded, "Trikonasana is an 'island pose' for me.  That means if I was stuck on an island and could only practice a few poses while I was there, I would pick Triangle as one of the poses.  It is a perfect balance of stretch and strength.  I love the way it opens my hips, stretches my back and strengthens my legs."

Practice Utthita Trikonasana at home:

1. Step your feet wide (3-4 feet) and extend your arms up to shoulder height. Check that your ankles are directly under your wrists, if not, adjust accordingly.

2. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees (so that it's pointing toward the top of your mat), and turn your left foot in 35 to 45 degrees (to the right).

3. On an exhalation, extend your torso to the right, directly over the plane of your front leg. Hinge at your right hip crease and let your right hand drop to your shin, your ankle, or the floor behind your right foot.

4. Extend your left arm toward the ceiling with your shoulders stacked. Turn your left palm in the same direction as your face and turn your gaze toward your left thumb.

5. Breathe evenly, in and out, through your nose. Hold the pose for 5-7 breaths, then hinge up to standing on an inhalation. Repeat on left side.

Benefits of Trikonasana (from

  • Stretches and strengthens the entire leg from the hip to the ankle.
  • Stretches side body
  • Stimulates abdominal organs.
  • Improves digestion.
  • Relieves stress.
  • Relieves back ache.
  • Therapeutic for anxiety 
As the complete name of the pose indicates, Utthita Trikonasana is a pose of extension. In addition to the strong extension in the legs, the sides of the waist should be equally extended. To help extend your torso, Laura shares this advice, "My tip to lengthen the torso in Triangle is to drop your bottom ribs toward the floor." 

She adds, "I have had a hard time with my neck in this pose.  I had a teacher tell me to make my head parallel to the floor, then move the skull back in space, then turn to look up toward my thumb.  This set of instructions made a big difference for the comfort of my neck in Triangle."

Unroll your mat and give Utthita Trikonasana a try today!

Laura's teaching is inspired by her teachers, Seane Corn, Chris Crews, Frank Mauro, Ramanand Patel and Laura Spaulding. Her classes focus on alignment, breath, flow and the use of props to make the asanas (postures) accessible to all students.