Category Archives: Uncategorized

Happy Autumn! Update your routine to reflect cooling temps and the dryness of this Vata season.

Dear practitioners, lovers of yoga and yoga-curious,

I just wanted to remind you that as the leaves become dyer we need to increase our hydration – inside and out! Drink plenty of water, warmer and not summer-icy, and drink decaffeinated teas. Choose slightly oilier foods like ghee on autumnal squashes, zucchini, wetter oatmeal, basmati rice, dates soaked in water, drinking a pinch of salt in your water and using salt to taste on your food. Avoid drying foods that are cold or raw, like salads. Spices like nutmeg and cinnamon are warming. Golden milk heated to scalding with turmeric powder, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom can be very supportive of balancing Vata dosha as well, plus, it’s delicious! Also, alcohol and coffee are very drying. I know, I know, giving up my dinner glass of wine and morning java is hard for me too! So, we do our best to achieve balance and stay juicy in spite of our lesser habits. Here is my recommendation for keeping your skin healthy:

Step 1: Buy or excavate your body brush from its summer confines.

Step 2: Find or purchase a nice massage oil, sesame, apricot, or almond oil. Even a nice extra virgin olive oil might be an economic choice.

Step 3: Brush the body from soles of feet up toward your heart using short strokes. Brush from palms of hands toward your heart and brush the torso and back up toward and then downward toward the heart. This exfoliates the skin and increases lymphatic flow and circulation, increases skin tone and is anti-aging.

Step 4: Massage your favorite oil all over the skin. Enjoy this pampering, sensuous act of self-care.

Step 5: Shower or bathe in water that is warm enough to be soothing and not too hot. Use soap on the “smelly parts” of your body and avoid soaping the majority of your skin.

Step 6: Pat the skin dry to maintain the lightly oiled moisturizer that remains.

Step 7: Go out into the world feeling pampered, juicy and ready for anything your day has to offer!

Full Moon Meditation

Please email Jean for a Zoom link to YMI”s hosting of tonight’s Global Full Moon Meditation! These are monthly collaborative meditations created by AHYMSIN (Association of Himalayan Yoga Meditation Societies International) in order to create a communal mind field of peace and silence. 10PM EST so adjust according to your Time Zone. Hope to see you on your zafu, chair or in your jammies! Namaste, jean

prenatal yoga at yoga matters, indianapolis

Weekly classes meet Wednesdays at 12:12pm. Flow includes seated, standing and relaxation poses to bring you into communion with your baby – now and future – and help you to trust your body so you can consciously surrender to the process of bringing baby into the light. Woman are welcome before, and during pregnancy. Postures are modified to be perfect at each trimester and stage. See link below to register!

Please follow this link to register:

2020 Blessings from Swami ritavan of ahymsin organization

Blessings of the Lineage to you all. As we are drawn together in this celebration of illumination
let us bring the light of the hearts, our compassion, to all those who have experienced hardships, trauma, and misery. 
Let the fruits of our meditations be offered: may their suffering be alleviated.
And as to yourselves say, Thy will be done and not mine. 
Having thus unburdened yourself of all the claims of ego,
remain a dweller of the heart-center, maintaining this awareness through breath and mantram.

I have thought about this extensively and tonight I’d like to share the two words that have come to mind: “resilience and silence”. And I call this resilience and silence returning to the single “I”. For when you drop the “I” of ego, from the “silience” of resilience, you find that you are in silence. In that single presence. 
For all of us around the globe, this year has been truly a stress-test of resilience and returning again and again to silence. 
As we have removed the “I” of ego in resilience, we have become aware of our ability to change and flow with that change.
And as meditators, we have valued the quiet moments and have returned to silence, reminded of the fullness of re-silencing again and again throughout the day. This resilience and re-silence are two sides of the coin of personality and transformation. Let our meditations be a pause in the constant push and go with the flow of your breath. Let your meditations be a practice resilience and return to the single “I” of silence in stillness, in the fullness of your being.
Om, Shanti, srb

We are all glad to see the end of this strange and terrible year. Let us continue our efforts on behalf of all people on this Earth. Surrender your time on the mat and in meditation to the Greater Good and please, do your part to tamp down viral spread so that 2021 can become a year of hope, healing and possibility.

Namaste, jean

Book Review

So, Andrei brought to me a fun beginning yoga book called, Yoga For Wimps by Miriam Austin. I glanced at the pages – my kind of book – lots of photos and not too much detailed instruction unless warranted for the “Fix It” self-healing section. I read the introduction and Author’s notes and was on board with all she said. Then on the last page before the “Instant Yoga” poses she lost me. Folks let’s be clear. Hatha is a wonderful practice.  We have all felt it healing, strengthening, and relaxing our bodies. The benefits are very individual and too numerous to list! But it is only one path or practice in the 8-fold path of yoga.  I agree with Miriam Austin that we do hatha so that, through the concentration on the activity, the mind quiets a bit. (I am guilty of chat which keeps our neo-cortex wicked active. This is something of which I am painfully aware and working on!) Through the practice we often become quiet, inwardly focused on the body, on the breath and the mind can simmer down a bit. However – and here is where she and I disagree – there is no substitute for sitting in meditation. Period. We need it. It cleanses the mind of old habits and long-seated reactions to similar stimulus (aka “knee-jerk” or conditioned respnses). Hatha prepares the body for meditation by removing the obstacle of physical discomfort as we sit. So, our lovely author has done the world a service by producing a non-threatening introduction to Hatha.  Perhaps she discounts meditation in order to draw students in – meditation seems scary at first so some folks are turned off to yoga altogether because of it.  “It’s hard to do.”  “My mind is too busy.”  “My back hurts.” And sometimes the fear is religiously based – “Is it Pagan?”  “Anti-Judeo-Christian?!”  Of course, it isn’t.  In the Bible God says, “Be still and know that I am…”   Why do we reisist?

So how to begin?

Try it two minutes before you get in your car or drive from your home.  Two minutes in the parking lot before work,  two minutes at lunch – in the transitions of your day.  Try it one day – see how it goes – and maybe you can begin a scheduled time daily.  Just like brushing your teeth, meditation is another healthy habit to practice. Be not afraid of stillness. Stillness is the counter-pose for every day life.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this.

Namaste, my lovely students, jean

Celebrate Spring Green with outdoor pranayama or breath work!

DSCN8587So much beauty unfolds daily around us at this time of year it feels renewing to spend time outside walking or sitting and breathing deeply the fragrant plants, freshly mown grasses and blooming trees and flowers.  Of course, if you suffer with pollen allergies you may need to increase your neti pot nasal cleansing to compensate, but deep exhalation can help to clean allergens out of the lungs and nose.  Here is a nice easy practice to try the next time you walk your dog or just walk to your parking garage:

First: Stand and feel your feet anchoring into the earth. Notice the skeleton aligning itself over your feet.

Second: Begin walking and inhale to the count of two steps.  Exhale to the count of four steps.

Third: Enjoy the new greenness of the earth as you draw in all of that lovely, fresh oxygen.

Wishing you peace this Earth Day Month!

Breathe for your health!

IMG_3778Ok, so that title could be a joke!  Of course we have to breathe to stay alive, but wouldn’t you like to give your body breath that will help ward off disease?  Taking full diaphragmatic breaths releases pressure on major blood vessels that run through the diaphragm muscle.  Taking little chest breaths restrict the full expansion of the chest cavity and the release of those vessels.  It’s difficult for us to monitor our breathing, but the more we indulge in full inhalations that expand the torso and full exhalations that contract the abdominal muscles we actually increase our oxygen intake, improve circulation between upper body and lower body which lowers blood pressure (!), and tone the abdominal muscles!  In addition, complete breaths expel all waste gases so our inhalations give our bodies a real “breath of fresh air!”  The yogis tell us that breathing consciously and fully can actually improve our immunity to all things viral by keeping the respiratory system clean.  GIve it a try and send me results of your experiment!  Of course, breathing may not be as effective as a flu vaccine but it should make you feel great everyday!