Category Archives: Yoga

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!

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

When inside, go inside

When all the business – busy-ness – of our lives is halted it is a great time to do some inside work.  Beyond clearing the closets and sorting the junk drawer – Add to your To-Do list the Real Inner Work in whatever form it takes for you; introspective meditation, journaling, doodling, or reading and analyzing sacred texts. Remember Namaste means, “The divine light in me honors the divine light within you.” It’s in there.  Now is a great time to lift off external stuff that hides your light from you and the world and let that light shine.

Looking for the Silence…

peace to you all, jean

Going within…..

Got two minutes? zhuzh your mind.

Swami Veda used to teach us that the best way to set ourselves up for success  was to find a peaceful frame of mind using two minute meditations in each transition of the day. You might just choose to begin with two minutes sitting up in bed before you get up in the morning.

Now, I like very much two minutes in the car before driving, two minutes in the parked car before work, meeting, etc.. If you can, try to fit in two minutes at lunch or after lunch, before driving home, once you return home and right before going to bed. It sounds like a lot but if we add it up that’s a few precious minutes of your day simply spent in peace. Or rather, spent in simple peace. It is easier to do this now that there is broad use of cell phones because now we have timers in our pockets all the time :-).

So what to do exactly?
One. Get comfortable sitting up straight and supported. Free from tension in the face, back, shoulders and hands.
Two. Focus on the movement of breath in and out of the nose. Cool as it moves into the nose, warm as it moves out.
Three. When thoughts come up acknowledge them by saying to yourself; “thinking” or “later” or “thank you.” Then draw the awareness back to the breath and wait for the chime…. Boom. You meditated. It’s a practice, a form of conditioning for your mind. The more time you spend in peace, the more easily you fall into that peaceful state. Two minutes. At. A. Time.

A Word About Your Body

Get this, folks,  Inside of your bod there are 230 joints and roughly 701 muscles.  That’s 931 opportunities for movement!  Think about your day.  You get out of bed, ( I hope you stretch!) walk, stand, get dressed, brush your teeth, maybe drive your car walk a bit more and then go sit at a desk.  Ok, so you’ve used joints and muscles in your legs, hips, feet, hands, back, mmm maybe a little bit, and then you are stationary for hours.  Is this what you were built for?  Actually that’s a hard “No.”  Your body gets achy from too much sedentary time.  It might gain weight or get  dysfunctional even. Maybe you got a standing desk?  Good move!  Since “they” -meaning the medical community- now call sitting the “new smoking” -meaning it’s just as detrimental to your health-  this should tell us that we need to keep moving these miraculous machines.  My father has seen too many of his relatives move into assisted living facilities where suddenly their world becomes too small and much too sedentary.  Previously active and vigorous people end up in wheelchairs.  They decline cognitively and experience markedly rapid physical   decline. This has saddened him and has inspired him, at the age of 87, to continue working out at his gym three times week. “Use it or lose it” is his life-enhancing motto and we should all take a page from his book of wisdom.  You don’t have to be able to put your feet behind your head, be skinny or even do headstands to stay fit.  Just walk, twist, lift some little weights, swim, bike, do sit-ups during TV commercials – whatever feels best to you.  Challenge your body as much as your doctor says it’s ok to challenge.  Give it a bit more today than it took yesterday. Just move. Every blessed day.   Your body will thank you for it and probably last a bit longer and that’s really good news for everybody who likes having you on planet.  

so many moving parts…. 

Got Two Minutes?

Have you got two minutes?  That’s all it takes to start a meditation habit!  Sit for two minutes at each transition of your day:  When you arise, before driving your car, or leaving for the bus.  Before important phone calls, meetings or emails, prior to rush hour driving or after-school activities.  We can achieve a peaceful state of mind from which to enter into interaction with the world.  

Set a timer on your phone, watch or device.  Settle into a comfortable, supported seat.  Relax your face, jaw, shoulders, hands and hips.  Let your tongue come to rest inside your mouth with hands softly resting in your lap. With closed eyes watch the space between your eyes with soft focus. Watch the breath moving in and out of your nose….  As thoughts arise acknowledge them and let them drift on past your awareness.  Bring your awareness back to the breath…

At the chime, with eyes still closed, slowly and gently bring your focus back into the present moment.  Rub your hands briskly together and cup them over your eyes.  Open your eyes into the darkness of your palms,  and then slowly curl your hands away from your eyes.  

Now you should be ready for anything the world has in store!


Monday’s Meditation

The Buddhist Metta Prayer or Prayer for Loving Kindness is a great tool for setting your head on straight for the week.  In every work or volunteer situation we are in service.  In our homes with our families or even our pets, we are in service.  All we do to help one another, to lift each other’s spirits, is in service to the hearts of all people and hence is in service to the heart of the planet.

The first step of practicing compassion or loving kindness is to practice  compassion toward ourselves.

By sending compassion and loving kindness outward toward all beings we include ourselves and can in turn receive the benefits. First you, then me.

Try this prayer on if you like:

May all beings, all breathing things, all creatures, all humans, all noble ones, all worldlings, all devas,  all those in the four woeful planes

Be free from enmity and dangers, 

Be free from mental suffering,

Be free from physical suffering,

As far as the highest plane of existence to as far down as the lowest plane in the entire universe.

May they take care of themsleves happily.

May whatever they have gained not be lost.”

~paraphrased from

Midwinter 2017

Meditation for the Solstice:

This shortest day, this longest night is the ideal time for turning inward and slowing the monkey mind.  The demands of the season often create greater than normal need for stillness and introspection. Honoring the body’s natural tendency to slow down we should turn in to bed a bit earlier whenever possible, eat and drink warming foods, soak in a soothing coconut oil bath and, of course, meditate.  Two-minute timed meditations at the transistions of your day are an easy way to stay centered and present with co-workers, co-commuters, family and friends.  (Some examples: First thing in the am, before you turn on the ignition, once  you arrive at work,  before and or after lunch, before driving home, before retiring at night. )

You may want to sit this evening with a warm candle or fire close by and perhaps a plant or festive greenery to remind you of the return of the warming sun in 3 months time.  Breathe, settle and So, join the panetary mindfield with a peaceful and open heart, a quiet mind and comfortable body as you settle in to the Yin time of the year.

Om shantih shantih shantih


What is Yin Yoga?

We are adding a Yin Yoga class for all those beginners, people with arthritic joints, or those who are healing injuries. In the universe Yin and Yang are oppositional forces with which you are already familiar.  In Vedanta (Yoga philosophy and science) Ida and Pingala are the names of these same forces.  Ida and Yin are the quiet, feminine, moon or passive energies of the universe while Yang and Pingala are the active, male, sun energies.  So in essence, Yin practice is inwardly focused, gentle movement, held postures, restorative postures and of course, meditation.  A lovely way to maintain your balance at this time of year.  Join us on Wednesdays beginning 1/18/2017.  Register for the studio and reserve your mat with the Sign-up link:

Modified Balasana  Yummmmmmmm……