The Nantucket Yoga Festival is an annual community focused celebration that will bring together the very best yoga teachers, wellness experts and healthy living guides. It will unite the year round community, summer residents and visitors in a celebration of the spirit of the island.
Want to know more?
Go to http://nantucketyogafestival.com/ to join the mailing list.
Pranayama is the fourth limb of the eight limbs of Yoga
Pranayama is a Sanskrit word meaning extension of the breath or more accurately, “extension of the life force”. The word is composed of two Sanskrit words, Prāna meaning life force and āyāma, meaning to extend, draw out, restrain, or control
More simply, Pranayama is a series of breathing techniques or breathing exercises.
Breathing is a normal part of our life, and we often forget to pay attention to it. It is the body’s natural inclination to hold the breath whenever we feel physically or emotionally challenged. Pranayama teaches us the proper way to breathe: slowly and deeply. Breathing this way increases the capacity of the lungs, brings more oxygen into the body and stimulates the Vagus nerve. The Vagus Nerve stretches from your brain stem down to your abdomen. When the Vagus Nerve is stimulated it activates the parasympathetic nervous systems to slow your heart rate, relieve stress, and heal your body.
“When the breath is still, so is the mind.” this basic yoga concept tells us that, with breathing, we can help to either calm or excite the entire nervous system. When the breath becomes irregular and unsteady, so is our mental state. When the breath is steady so is the mind.
You might not always have time for a yoga class but you can always find a few minutes a day to practice Pranayama.
To practice Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing): Sit comfortably with an easy straight back and close the eyes. Fold in the pointer and middle fingers of the right hand. Use the thumb to block the right nostril and the ring finger to block the left nostril. Gently close your right nostril with your thumb. Inhale through your left nostril, then close it with your ring finger. exhale slowly through the right nostril. Keep the right nostril open, inhale, then close it, and open and exhale slowly through the left. This is one cycle.
The ancient yogis measured a person’s lifespan not by years but by the number of his respirations. They believed that everyone is allocated a fixed number of respirations in his or her or her lifetime, which differs from person to person.
Breath is life and life is breath. Keep breathing………………..
It happened. My computer crashed. Just a blue screen. On it were countless photos, music, folders, esaays, and a few pie charts and spirographs. It is one of those things that is probably inevitable in the age of fast moving technology. I should have been prepared for it. I wasn’t. Although I did have a nagging feeling a few weeks ago when everything seemed to be running a little slower than usual. I thought I should back everything up, I even said it out loud, but I didn’t. How much info will be able to be retrieved and what is lost I am not sure yet, I will have to wait and see.
While waiting for the result my mind immediately turns to thoughts of one of the Yamas of Yoga: Aparigraha.
There are many interpretations and applications for Aparigraha, this being one of the more literal translations; Non grasping. I may lose all my “stuff” and if so I have to let go of it. This idea of “non-attachment” can be applied to tangible objects as well as to our thoughts and ideas. If we practice Aparigraha we must carefully consider which objects and ideas we choose to hold onto. We must prioritize how our time and energy is spent. Maybe I was spending too much time on the computer, maybe there were too many thoughts tucked into too many folders. When we practice Aparigraha by letting go of something, someone, or some idea we create space for the things that are truly important. We create a space for possibility and begin to understand all that is truly important to us. The important things are those that cannot be lost. A generous heart, a kind spirit, a quiet mind.
It is not fun when a computer crashes, but really, in the overall scheme of things what is lost? Maybe it is time to simply let go of the old to make room for the new.
The luminous full moon represents prosperity, abundance, and healing energy.
This full moon day in July is observed as the auspicious day of Guru Purnima, a day sacred to the memory of the great sage Vyasa who edited the four Vedas, wrote the 18 Puranas, the Mahabharata and the Srimad Bhagavata.
Our Gurus are to be honored and revered on this day by remembering their life and teachings.
The word Guru translated means: remover of darkness and ignorance. In Sanskrit, “Gu” means darkness, “Ru” means remover.
Also known as Hay Moon, this day is also of great significance for farmers, as this is when the period known as Chaturmas (Four Months) begins. Farmers welcome the advent of the rainy season and the abundant life that the much needed water brings.
Drink some jasmine tea or infuse the air with jasmine oil, Jasmine has a special correlation with the moon. It is a wonderful time to take a healing bath made with mineral salts and essential oils.
Guru Purnima is a day to illuminate our lives with knowledge; to be inspired, to overcome limitations, to recognize the abundance we are surrounded by, to be receptive to a life of wonderful possibilities.
It is a day to realize your full potential.
Celebrate and let your heart and your mind shine like the moon filled with love and gratitude.
You can find essential oil of jasmine at Nantucket Natural Oils:
A lovely bath can be made with:
Masada Dead Sea mineral bath salts with lily and jasmine