This month we’re thrilled to announce our return to Costa Rica for a week of yoga and relaxation. Unlike any other type of get-away, a yoga retreat can nourish your body and spirit. Our Costa Rican retreat this year showed us some of the amazing shifts that can occur just by simply taking a week to let go, shut down and dive in. Here are a few things we learned:
- The Joy of Daily Practice: There’s something so special about practicing yoga every single day. The benefits to the body are exponential yet it also brings a new lens to your practice. The opportunity to look at your practice with fresh eyes every day and realize no practice is the same is a true gift — one that will stay with you.
- Moving with Time: In Costa Rica, like so many beautiful destinations, it’s almost impossible NOT to slow down and move more in synch with the natural flow of time. You’ll find you waken early with the sounds of the jungle and crave sleep when the sun goes down. It’s as if nature calls you to come into the organic flow of the Earth.
- And Exhale…: A yoga retreat allows you to not only shut down cell phones and computers but you’ll find your truly have time to just exhale. You find release throughout your entire body as the nervous system has a chance to truly rest. Whether sitting quietly, reading a book, floating in the ocean or napping a yoga retreat will offer you the time to just be you.
Most importantly, a yoga retreat allows you to take time just to be you – to enjoy the joys of life. Join us next Spring for the adventure of a lifetime!+
Spring in Colorado is a time of so much change. One day its sunny and warm, the next day we’re driving through snow. It’s a fantastic time to embrace something new and shake off winter.
This month you’ll note that we’re offering a series of workshops to play with more advanced poses. While yoga is a deep practice that goes beyond the poses, deepening your physical practice can often help you find a shift in other aspects of your life.
Think of the first time you really felt the benefits of Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog). Inversions like this one can shift our perspective – how about taking the principals of Downward Facing Dog and finding Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand)? So many yoga asanas relate to each other and your mat is the perfect place to play!
Welcome the unpredictability and change that Spring brings and try something new. Maybe it’s one of our advanced poses workshop or maybe try a new teacher or class. Shake things up a little and enjoy all that the season brings!+
There’s nothing more rewarding at the end of a yoga class than a cozy, restful shavasana. It’s like the cherry on top of a chocolate sundae – a yoga practice just isn’t complete without this last pose. Yet the benefits of shavasana aren’t just superficial, arguabley it could be the most important pose of your practice.
Savasana translated from sanskrit means “corpse” pose. While this may seem morbid, the meaning is connected to the Hindu belief that with death we are reborn. Think of the end of your practice as a “rebirth” into the next phase of your day – a time to reconnect with your breath, rest and allow your practice to steep in your body.
On a physiological level, shavasana helps your body calibrate all the amazing work from your practice. It allows muscles to rest and rebuild while giving the nervous system a change to shift from sympathetic to parasympathetic.
This is a critical piece to the practice of shavasana. Most of us in our daily life spend the bulk our time in the “on-the-go” part of our sympathetic nervous system. It helps us be efficient, get the job done but it also puts stress on the body. Allowing our body to drop into the parasympathetic nervous system gives us a chance to truly rest and rebuild.
So next time you need to leave class early, make sure to take a few minutes to lay down and let go. Also consider adding shavasana into your daily routine. A 10 minute shavasana could shift your entire day.+
Love. Every February we are bombarded with a commercial perspective of what love should look and feel like. It can often be overwhelming or feel inauthentic so this February we offer one of the greatest ancient texts that may help you believe again. Not in the “box-of-chocolate” kind of love but the love of a deeper more soulful place –the divine love of Shiva and Shakti.
The Bhairava Tantra also known as The Radiance Sutras is a conversation between The Goddess Who is the Creative Power of the Universe, and the God who is the Consciousness That Permeates Everywhere or in other words Shakti and Shiva. They are lovers and inseparable partners, and one of their favorite places of dwelling is in the human heart.
The Radiance Sutras are a poetic and divine dance that guide us to that place where love is always present – it lives inside each and every one of us. The teachings offer the idea that maybe we don’t need a greeting card, flowers or physical token in order to love the life that is right in front of us (don’t get us wrong, we all love some flowers and chocolate now and again!).
This Valentine’s Day we offer you a taste of the shimmering, divine words of The Radiance Sutras:
“Worship does not mean offering flowers.
It means offering your heart to the vast mystery
of the universe. It means to let your heart pulse with the life
of the universe, without thought and without reservation.
It means being so in love that you are
willing to dissolve and be recreated in every moment.”
- The Radiance Sutras as translated by Lorin Roche, Ph.D.
* For more information on The Radiance Sutras translated by Lorin Roche, Ph.D. visit www.lorinroche.com.+
With the holiday season behind us we embark on a new year and a time when resolution-setting begins. January 1 arrives and many of us start setting steadfast goals to be healthier, to pay off debt, climb a 14er or give up coffee. Yet in yoga we have an opportunity to consider setting an intention for our life in addition to these very specific resolutions.
The yogic tradition embraces a different perspective on intention setting – sankalpa. The Sanskrit word sankalpa (translated as “vow” or “commitment”) assumes that we are “more than” rather than “less than.” Resolutions often come from a place of deprivation while sankalpa assumes that we are inherently on a path of our own true nature – that we are light.
In a recent article in Yoga International Magazine master teacher and founder of ParaYoga, Rod Stryker, explains that the chief architect of life is the mind. To create the life we are meant to live, we must draw the mind again and again to our dharma, our deepest intentions, and the qualities of the Divine within.
“A sankalpa is a statement that does this for us. Stryker explains that kalpa means vow, or “the rule to be followed above all other rules.” San, he says, refers to a connection with the highest truth. Sankalpa, then, is a vow and commitment we make to support our highest truth. “By definition, a sankalpa should honor the deeper meaning of our life. A sankalpa speaks to the larger arc of our lives, our dharma—our overriding purpose for being here.” The sankalpa becomes a statement you can call upon to remind you of your true nature and guide your choices.”
So this New Year’s consider embracing your higher self and higher intention. Find your sankalpa to realize your heartfelt desires without changing who you are.+
Finding Your Practice
Yoga is a practice that is about evolving. There’s no one practice that’s perfect for every yogi – the practice evolves and changes just as you shift in your own body and lifestyle. We are often asked by students “which class is right for me?” The answer is “the yoga that speaks to you is the on that your should practice…at least for now.”
The root of the word yoga is to “yolk” – to connect mind, breath, body and spirit. We all come from different experiences in our lives so the practice that one person adores another many experience struggles.
Just as each yogi has a unique experience with yoga, you may personally need different classes at various times in your life. One week you may need a more active practice while the next week your body maybe be asking for a slower, restorative class.
If you’re new to yoga find a teacher and class that speaks to you. Stick with it (it’s called practice for a reason!) but allow yourself to stay open to other practices, classes, teachers and styles. If you’ve had a dedicated practice for some time consider trying something new. Adding a Yoga Nidra or restorative practice to your weekly flow or detox classes could help your practice shift into a new direction.
Join us on your mat…let’s evolve together.+
Seeds of Growth
While Fall isn’t typically a season when we think about planting seeds it is a time of change. As the days get shorter and the air begins to cool it’s a perfect time to plant seeds of intention.
In Indian traditions, the bindu (often seen as a red dot located on the third eye center) is literally translated as “seed” and is a representation of change, transformation and connecting to the greatest guru – that teacher that lies within. Some traditions view the bindu as “the point without a center from which proceeds Cosmic Sound or Nada” or as a sacred symbol of the universe in its unmanifested form.
While various traditions interpret the bindu in different ways, the root of the bindu – as a seed – can serve any practice. Consider a specific fall intention for your practice this month to plant the seeds for change, healing, hope and growth.
Much like we plant daffodil and tulip bulbs in September so that we can enjoy beautiful flowers in April take this time to lay down roots for what you want to manifest in your life.+
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” ~ Mary Anne Radmacher
Courage isn’t a word you may hear in your yoga classes. It’s a word often reserved for those places in our life where we may feel less like calm and more like stepping into a life challenge. Yet make no mistake, every time you step on your mat you take a courageous leap.
If you haven’t already guessed it, yoga is about a world so much bigger than asana (the poses). Every moment on your mat is an opportunity to shift and change your body while also transforming your thoughts. Just sitting for five deep, conscious breaths can shift your entire day.
Each and every one of you take a courageous leap by embarking on this journey of yoga. Our purpose in this life is to evolve, grow and shift. Let your yoga guide you to the places that make change happen. Courage doesn’t have to be about rock climbing, skydiving or even an arm balance. Courage is also that place where you stand in stillness, try a new yoga class or simply come back to same place again and again.
Revel in your own courageous journey. It will transform you.+
Seven feels like a pretty lucky number. We see seven colors of the rainbow, embrace the energy of our seven chakras and enjoy the seven wonders of the world (and let’s not forget Snow White and her seven little friends). For us, seven is particularly special because it’s our birthday at Mudra Yoga Studio!
It’s been quite a journey these past seven years. While the studio has evolved, our heart and soul has remained committed to you, our brilliant and shining community. Our original founder rooted the studio with an intention to create a space to practice, grow and transform. We hold this original intention as an inherent truth as we continue on our path to provide yoga and meditation class that will offer you the transformation you’re seeking.
So while it’s our birthday we are most grateful for you, our dedicated community. We promise to continue to create a sacred space for you to join us on your journey of evolution (physical, mental, spiritual or emotional). Let us know what more we can offer; we always welcome your feedback.
Recently, we were reminded of these words of wisdom, spoken by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. This month, we send these words to you in the spirit of gratitude, hope and light.
“May we become at all times, both now and forever; A protector for those without protection; A guide for those have lost their way; A ship for those with oceans to cross; A bridge for those with rivers to cross; A sanctuary for those in danger; A lamp for those without light; A place of refuge for those who lack shelter; And a servant to all in need.” - His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama November 6, 2000+
With the coming Summer Solstice this month it’s a great time to honor the Sun! On June 22 the Sun will reach its highest point in our sky making it the longest day of the year and literally a tipping point as the days slowly beginning to get shorter and the nights longer. The latin translation for solstice means “sun standing still.”
From the Egyptian God Ra (who was believed to be reborn every morning) to the Norse Sun God, Freyr, who was the ruler of peace, fertility, rain and sunshine, legends and myths have long revered the sun as a source of light, hope and life.
The ancient Hindu sun god, Surya, represents the visible form of the divine, one that you can plainly see every day. Depicted as a red man with three eyes and four arms, the deity is commonly pulled around in a chariot, carried by either seven horses or one horse with seven heads. Surya is also believed to heal the sick, and as such is honored with temples and festivals throughout India. The sun god is also believed to bring good fortune — an attribute that prompts many shopkeepers to place the symbol of the sun over the doors of their shops.
In our yoga practice we embrace the sun as a symbol of light, heat and energy. Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutation, is often the base of many vinyasa flow classes meant to bring warmth and “tapas” (heat) into the body. However you celebrate the Sun enjoy your summer with open arms (and sunscreen!). Enjoy the warmth and life that summer brings into our lives.+