Join Me to Explore the Origins of Love and Sirsasana

when the world comes crashing at your feet
it’s okay to let others 
help pick up the pieces
if we’re present to take part in your happiness
when your circumstances are great
we are more than capable 
of sharing your pain.

 

– rupi kaur – 

Hello, fellow friends on the path,

Wow, we are a little over halfway through our month of yoga together! YIP YIP!!

Well done to those who are showing up to their mats every day!!! As we know, the hardest part is making it to the mat, so good job, friends!!

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since we launched the first virtual challenge. I can believe it’s been a year since we went into lockdown. Vancouver is back on semi-lockdown with new restrictions. Who’s over this?? ME ME ME. You? You? I’m looking forward to when we get to look BACK on this. 

This week’s theme is community – heh – as of now, it’s still virtual, but we can still be here for each other. I hope you’re reaching out to your peoples, getting outside, and doing things that feed your soul and keep your spirits up. Me, I’m trying. Cooking, taking care of my house, going for walks with Alejandro and Karmen, and enjoying the sun we are blessed with lately. 

I love coming together as a community; Kula is my dharma, and it’s something I’m very much looking forward to when things eventually shift and reopen.


Community may be the very thread that holds the fabric of our lives together; it’s a space we may rely on with the support of like-minded people of similar interests. Coming back to the quote at the beginning of this email – it’s important to talk, express, and share how you’re feeling with your inner circle/support network – both the highs and lows. 

Questions to marinate on: 
  • For those of you in the challenge: what has changed in either your body, mind, or life since we started the challenge?
  • If you could describe how you feel right now in one word, what would it be?
  • How are you feeding yourself today?
  • Who is in your inner circle/support network? When was the last time you reached out and had a catch-up?

See the details for the upcoming LIVE classes:

Here’s the info on SATURDAY’S class:
 
The Origins of Love

This week’s myth comes to us from Greece. Clara first heard this myth in the play “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and loved it. It is Aristophane’s theory of the origin of love. Clara loved the perspective it gave on why so many of us don’t feel “whole.”

After the myth, we will work towards the inversion headstand, Sirsasana.

The class will work on opening shoulders, side waist, and hamstrings. We will strengthen our chests and core.

Props you’ll need 2 Blocks, 1 Blanket.

Spotify Playlist

Here’s the info on WEDNESDAY’S class:
 
Better Together

Join Clara and guest for a partner yoga class focused on the lunar/cooling part of the class.

You’ll learn how a few hands-on assists support your partner in exploring the stretch in their bodies.

A partner is not necessary for this class; you can still participate if you’re practicing solo.

We’ll be exploring 4 poses that include a twist, hip opener, and forward fold.

The class level will be open, but I will always offer modifications to make it accessible.

Props you’ll need: 1 Block.

There is no Spotify playlist for this class.

Three New Classes on PWC:

Modifications for Common Injuries & Sensitivities

MODIFICATIONS FOR SENSITIVE KNEES

 

In this short tutorial, learn the various modifications for knee sensitivity or knee injury in a vinyasa yoga practice. Our knees take a bit of a beating in our day-to-day, so be conscious of the flexion and internal/external rotation around the knee joint to preserve longevity. Happy knees = happy people! 

WRIST MODIFICATIONS & STRETCHES 

 

In this short tutorial, you’ll see how to modify for a wrist injury and sensitivity in a vinyasa yoga class, plus some great wrist stretches to warm up your hands and forearms for arm balancing practices!

LOW BACK MODIFICATIONS 

 

Protecting and preserving the spine is one reason we practice yoga; this tutorial features the modifications for low back injury and sensitivity in common poses offered in a vinyasa yoga practice. 

The Various Lenses to Perceive the World:
An examination of systems that classify behaviors and energies. 

The way we view the world is subjective and assumed from our perception. Perception is the process of making sense of the various stimuli we encounter combined; interpretation is based on the meaning we assign to each event. How we form and apply meaning depends on our experience, cultural and socioeconomic context, upbringing, trauma, education, and inherited beliefs. 

No two people share the same sequence of experiences. Even twins, who’re conceived simultaneously, have unique experiences of being in the womb and are brought into the world at different times. As a result of the vast and diverse events we experience, perception, interpretation, and meaning are distinct to the individual. 

The way individuals assign meaning may seem confusing, eccentric, or upsetting to our own methodologies and may disrupt how we communicate and resolve conflict. 


When two people, or groups of people, do not see eye-to-eye on a subject, it’s usually a result of two opposing viewpoints of the world coming into contact. Our belief systems are a significant contributor to how we see the world and are generally linked to politics, culture, social structures, and religion. 

When our beliefs are challenged, we’re tasked with developing confidence and clarity in communicating the intentions behind our thoughts. Adversity may be a great teacher in showing us where our passion and principles align. Disputing the ideals and refuting the ideas of others may strengthen the bond we share with our tribe’s mythologies.

We may also use these experiences to practice radical acceptance for the alternate views and realities of others. 


Ahimsa is the Indian principle of non-harming or nonviolence, and it also relates to the concept of radical love towards self and others. From Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga, Ahimsa is one of the five Yamas, which governs how we integrate with others and act with integrity. 
 

A practice of radical love towards self and others can be as simple as a practice of acceptance for how others live, act, think, feel, perceive, and assign meaning to the world and events. 

 

Throughout the centuries, humankind has created numerous methods to classify human personalities and recognize the various energies present in the world. An example of such classification would be the generations. Millennials and Gen Z belong to different ages marked by distinct personality traits; such concepts are devised by humans and don’t exist outside of the rhetoric we provide. 

Classification provides us with information to better understand ourselves and all the unique personalities we encounter. It’s a way to learn and appreciate all the qualities we perceive globally, especially the qualities we find upsetting or outrageous.

Here are a few of the methods used to determine a person’s personality and preferences:

Astrology 

 

A natal chart explains where the planets were in the sky when you were born based on your birth time, date, and location. Each planet symbolizes sets of characteristics that influence the individual depending on the planet’s position. Your natal chart is a more in-depth reading of your zodiac sign and goes into the planets’ features and their degree of impact. 

Zodiac translates from Greek as ‘cycle’ or ‘little circle of animals’ and is divided into 12 signs that correspond to the sky’s constellations. The Earth’s rotation at the exact time of your birth determines your zodiac. 

 


Jungian Archetypes 


Carl Jung used archetypes to express the qualities of the human psyche. According to Jung, every action and impression in the psyche is influenced by our ancestors. Jung believed that human behavior is a direct result of the efforts of our primates. The Jungian archetypes are universal models that represent patterns and symbols of innate human knowledge. 

Of the 12 archetypes, Jung focused on four: the Self, the Persona, the Shadow, and the Anima/Animus. Jung refused the idea that the human mind was programed solely by personal experience. Instead, he believed that every mind retains our ancestors’ unconscious aspects, primarily the primordial images that set the foundation for human existence. 

 


Enneagram Personality Types 

 
The Enneagram is a popular system of classifying personalities that share how people manage their emotions and interact with their environments. Nine personality types in the Enneagram illustrate how each of the types relates. Each type is attached to a core belief concerning how the world works, which drives the essential fears, motivations, and values of a person. Enneagrams show how different personality types react to stress and share distinct core beliefs and patterns upheld in society. 

 


Myers-Briggs Personality Types
 

Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother Katherine created the Myers-Briggs test based on the basic preferences of dichotomies described by Carl Jung. The purpose of the test is to identify the four primary cases devised by Jung and categorize 16 unique personality types that result from the individual’s unique preferences. 
 

The four dichotomies are:

  • Favorite world: inner versus outer worlds, classified as extroverted or introverted.
  • Decisions: based on logic or special decisions, classified as thinking or feeling.
  • Structure: a preference for decisions or the desire to stay open, classified as judging or perceiving. 
  • Information: based on how you take in information, classified as sensing or intuition. 

 


Ayurveda and the Doshas 

 
Ayurveda is an ancient Vedic practice and one of India’s oldest medicines, originating more than 5,000 years ago. In Sanskrit, Ayurveda means ‘The Science of Life’ and is the sister science to yoga. Also called the Mother of Healing, Ayurveda’s practice is rooted in preventing the prevention of illness through balance and reflection on each individual’s diet, thoughts, relationships, environment, and activities of each individual. 

Ayurveda focuses on three energies that make up everything we see and every living being. In Sanskrit, these energies are called Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each person has a unique blend of these three energies. The three energies are made up of the five great elements: air, ether, fire, water, and ether.

  • Vata: air and ether, governed by movement, creativity, flexibility, vision, space, and sound. In harmony, Vata is inspired and inclusive. Out of balance, Vata is anxious, fearful, and flighty. 
  • Pitta: air and fire, governed by digestion, metabolism, direction, absorption, assimilation, and intelligence. In harmony, Pitta is a leader and advocate. Out of balance, Pitta is angry, resistant, and jealous.
  • Kapha: earth and water, governed by structure, stability, patience, compassion, nurturance, and immunity. In harmony, Kapha is loving and vulnerable. Out of balance, Kapha is lethargic, withdrawn, and greedy. 
 


Joseph Campbell’s Character Archetypes


Campbell’s eight character archetypes are from his prolific novel, The Hero with A Thousand Faces, and outline archetypal character stages in well-known mythology. For creatives, the roles serve to create memorable literary figures. Similar to Jungian archetypes, the characters represent popular motifs exemplified in society and may inspire readers to apply similar characteristics to their own lives. 


 

Native American Totems 

First Nations tribes use totems to represent a sacred symbol, tribe, or individual. Some tribes connect the individual with spirit guides who act as protection. ToteTotems serve as physical reminders of the totems that are alive in the spirit world that act as guardian spirits of the individual or clan. 

Animals are often used as characters that present the qualities of the innate human process. Spirit animals are used to provide inspiration, counsel, and protection. 

A birth totem is assigned to your birth chart based on the moon and where and when you were born, similar to the zodiac signs. 

Similarly, the Hindu, Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Norse, Aztec pantheons reflect energies present within the cosmos and the individual. The gods and goddesses are a way to perceive, receive, and channel the energies we wish to embody. 

 

These systems provide a way to examine others’ unique behaviors, intentions, preferences, and interests; some may consider such classifications solely for entertainment purposes, as generalizations and stereotypes are prevalent.

Or, we can recognize these systems as a method to develop a deeper understanding of the multifaceted personas and tastes we encounter in the world and means to create more awareness, compassion, empathy, and acceptance for diversity. 

More Opportunties on Practice with Clara

See the History of Our 30-Day Yoga Challenges 

Take a look at the past 30-day yoga challenges and discover more reasons to join us. 

Read the history of the 30-day challenges with the past partnerships, themes, interviews with professionals, and more. 

Join an Upcoming 30-Day Yoga Challenge

See when the next 30-day yoga challenge is hosted to join the LIVE yoga & meditation classes and connect with thousands of practitioners worldwide.

Check out the events page to learn more. 

Are you looking for more opportunities to practice yoga, for free? 

Check out our Free Yoga page to see the latest offerings. 

Choose from three unique, free, offerings: 
30-day challenge
7-day series for beginners
7-day series for advanced vinyasa yogis 

Join Me for Live Yoga Classes to Salute the Earth

You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer.

– Thich Nhat Hanh – 

Hello, fellow friends on the path,

We’re heading into week two of the 30-Day Challenge, which means we’re shifting our focus from the cosmos to the earth. With that, we invite you to examine all the ways we nourish and nurture Mama Earth.

Some cool facts to consider: 
  •  The Earth and the human body share many similarities, so in this way, you could say that how we treat the Earth is a reflection of how we treat ourselves. 
  • Earth and the human body are made primarily of water, and the body’s circulatory system mirrors the process of the rivers and streams that carry water all over the world to sustain life. The other way Earth and the body are similar is in how they present various ecosystems; the Earth is home to over 8.7 million species, and our bodies host roughly 10,000 species.
  •  The human body and planet Earth are also made from the same elements. In fact, we share 97 percent of our atoms in common with the rest of the galaxy. Oxygen accounts for more weight than any other element in both Earth and the human body.

To geek out even more on these fun facts, click here.

If you’re participating in the month of Seva, in the 50 Simple Acts booklet, you’ll see some of the ways we’re encouraging participants to give back to Mama Earth. Reducing our carbon footprint and examining how our actions impact the environment and all living beings on the planet is one way we send and receive compassion.  

 Questions for you to consider: 

  • When was the last time you convened with nature? Please take a moment to be grateful for its beauty.
  • Make a list of all the ways the Earth supports and nourishes you, then make a list of all the ways you reciprocate.
  • In what ways do you give back to the planet? 
  • What action will you take today to support sustainability for our planet?
This Saturday’s class was inspired by a creation myth I read in Braiding Sweet Grass.

A big thank you to all who recommended books a few months back in the FB group – I’m plowing through the list and enjoying the broad range!!

Sending love and a virtual hug,
Clara & the team. 

Saturday’s LIVE Class
April 10th at 9am PST
 

Turtle Island

This week’s creation myth comes to us from the First Nation communities of North America, specifically the North East.

We will begin the class with the myth of Turtle Island, then move into an open level vinyasa practice moving towards the forward fold & hip opener, turtle, kurmasana.

The physical practice will focus on opening the inner thighs, hamstrings, upper back.

Props needed: 2 Blocks.
 

Spotify Playlist

Next WEDNESDAY’S LIVE class
April 14th at 12pm PST

 

Earth Mandala

Join Clara for a 30-minute Hatha practice focused on opening all sides of the pelvis while moving through a sequence inspired by Shiva Rea’s mandala namaskars.

Great for after a run, bike ride, or a day of sitting.

Props required: 2 Blocks.
 

Spotify Playlist

🌎 
 

For your Seva this week, we invite you to examine the products you use daily and consider how they impact the planet we share. 

 

Two of our partners for the challenge, Tru Earth and Supported Soulfeature eco-friendly, biodegradable products to reduce our ecological footprint. 

Cosmic Influence of the Planets
(According to Astronomers & Astrologers)

The Greeks derived the word ‘planet’ from ‘planetes,’ which translates as ‘wanderer.’ Before 1543, when Nicolaus Copernicus produced the theory that the Earth and all planets revolve around the sun, the Earth was believed to be the center of the universe.

With advancements in technology, we’ve more data and details to enhance our understanding of outer space and how the Earth relates to the neighboring planets, stars, moons, and atmospheres. 

In 1992, the discovery of a new world named Eris caused astronomers to question the qualities of a planet and redefine the context of what makes a planet, a moon, and a star. Eris caused astronomers to strip Pluto of its label as a planet; Pluto is now a dwarf planet. 

In astronomy, there are eight planets. This consideration is based on mass and atmospheric gases. In astrology, there are ten planets. Astrology uses the planets as symbols of the different qualities and driving characteristics that govern various aspects of our lives. Each planet rules with unique energies, directives, interests, shadows, and values. 

The ten planets used in astrology include the seven planets considered by astronomers plus Pluto. The sun and the moon are known as the luminary planets. Earth is not considered as one of the governing planets in astrology as humans live on Earth. Astrology studies the movement of planets and how they affect our lives, and because we live on Earth, it cannot be considered. 

The ten planets of astrology make up the 12 Houses of the Zodiac. To know how the planets affect us and events on Earth depends on where they’re located in the zodiac at any given point in time. 

Here’s how it works: as the planets move, they orbit through the different zodiac constellations. A natal chart expresses where each of the planets were located when you were born. Understanding the planetary influence over the zodiac is one lens to examine how you interact with the world and express energy. 

☄︎ The Symbols and Characteristics
of the Ten Planets of Astrology ☄︎

☉ Sun ☉
Represents: ego-self
Rules over: Leo 

 

The sun represents our ego. As the center of the universe, it represents the core of who we are and our conscious mind. The sun is the driving force and light behind our personalities and reflects what gives life to the world around us. Sun signs are the most commonly known of the zodiac as it captures our passions, inner motives, and ultimate desires. The sun represents a more solar, active, masculine energy and is expressed in our public personas. Leo’s, ruled by the sun, love being in the spotlight and sharing their gifts with all those around them. 

☽ Moon ☽
Represents: emotional-self
Rules over: Cancer

 

The moon is our inner world. How we process emotions and intuit events is linked to the energy of the moon. The moon represents the private side of ourselves, the inner and hidden realms we explore alone. Moon energy is feminine, receptive, soft, and empathetic. The moon may also present the shadow side of ourselves that we do not want or allow others to see. Cancer’s ruled by the moon are often very in touch with their emotions and attune with ease to others’ feelings. 

☿ Mercury ☿
Represents: communication
Rules over: Gemini and Virgo 

 

Named for the Roman messenger god, Mercury affects how we communicate, express ideas, and reason. How we transmit, process, and assimilate information is affected by Mercury, which is why Mercury in Retrograde disrupts the flow of information and throws everything off-kilter. Gemini and Virgo, as ruled by Mercury, are intellectually sharp, witty, and capable of carrying on in diverse social groups and relationships. 

♀ Venus ♀ 
Represents: romance
Rules over: Taurus and Libra

 

Named for the Roman goddess of beauty and love, Venus reminds us to exalt in the world’s aesthetic pleasures through sound, touch, taste, sight, and smell. Luxuriating in romantic relationships and sensual pleasures is the typical style of Taureans and Libras. This planet also manages our finances and material possessions and how they relate to our values. 

♂︎ Mars ♂︎
Represents: action and assertion
Rules over: Aries  

 

Mars represents raw, passionate, determined energy; those with mars in their chart are natural-born leaders. Named for the god of war, Mars shows us how to pursue our wildest dreams and aspire to goals others wouldn’t dare leap for. Mars is our inner, primal instinct; it screams loud and clear from the depths of our bellies to tell us when, where, and how to act. Aries ruled by mars have the potential to become great and fearless leaders. 

♃ Jupiter ♃
Represents: opportunity
Rules over: Sagittarius

 

The largest of all the planets, Jupiter, is the symbol of abundance and growth. Sagittarians with Jupiter in their chart are naturally lucky, prone to take risks others wouldn’t, and typically herald good fortune for their efforts! Jupiter also represents healing and expresses the contraction and expansion that occur when we push past our comfort zone and test new boundaries. 

♄ Saturn ♄
Represents: discipline
Rules over: Capricorn 

 

Saturn is most widely known for the Saturn Return that occurs for individuals in their late twenties. Saturn Return refers to the moment when Saturn completes its cycles around the sun and arrives in the exact place in the sky that it was when you were born. Saturn is the disciplinarian. Setting boundaries, maturation, responsibility, and questioning one’s motives are the general themes for Saturn’s energy. Capricorns ruled by Saturn might use this hard-edge energy to pursue challenging aspirations and develop their higher self. 

♅ Uranus ♅
Represents: awakening
Rules over: Aquarius

 

Uranus is known as the Awakener for its ability to shake things up and invent new modes of power. This planet presents us with the unusual, the absurd, and the chaotic; riots and revolution occur through Uranus. Aquarians ruled by Uranus energy are quick-witted, inventive, direct, and utterly unique; you might call them the mad scientist.  

 

♆ Neptune ♆
Represents: intuition
Rules over: Pisces 

 

Neptune was the god of the sea, so it’s only natural that this planet governs Pisces. Neptune guides the world’s more subtle forces that diminish the ego and other superficial boundaries associated with dreams, intuition, and mystery. Neptune seeks and leads the individual toward fantasy; it’s the planet of escapism and exploring spiritual depths. Pisces are known for being dreamy and super sensitive to things others do not experience, which is Neptune’s influence. 

♇ Pluto ♇
Represents: the subconscious
Rules over: Scorpio 

 

Pluto represents the depths of the subconscious and hidden desires. Named for the god of the underworld, Pluto also symbolizes the power of transformation, regeneration and helps individuals shift their perspective to see events or themselves in a new light. Scorpios ruled by Pluto likely experience things in extremes; balancing light with dark, birth with death, and being an individual with joining the collective. 

Join Me for a Yoga Class that Explores the Cosmos

The cosmos is a vast living body, of which we are still parts.
The sun is a great heart whose tremors run through our smallest veins.
The moon is a great nerve center from which we quiver forever.
Who knows the power that Saturn has over us, or Venus? But it is a vital power, rippling exquisitely through us all the time.


– D. H. Lawrence – 

Hello, fellow friends on the path,

We’re three days into Energize 30-Day Yoga Challenge! I’ve themed the month of classes and content to explore various aspects of the universe, including the cosmos, Gaia (the earth), community, and the individual experience. 

Each week is based on one of the four aspects; the class offerings will include an origin story, themes, and postures to connect you to the concept. 

If you’re not participating in the challenge, I hope you take a little extra something away from the LIVE classes and the content we share this month. 
 

✨ A few things to note for April ✨ 

  • I’m offering two LIVE classes all month. You can join me every Saturday at 9 AM PST for a 60-minute vinyasa practice and Wednesday at noon PST for a 30-minute slower-paced practice
  • All LIVE classes will be available on-demand within a few hours after the event. 

  • We’re tracking our progress all month by typing YES after each class. You can participate by adding your comment to the class on the Apps or to the Facebook Group, where we upload the day’s class. 

See the details for the upcoming LIVE classes:

Here’s the info on SATURDAY’S class:

 

The Golden Egg – King Pigeon 

This creation myth found in the Rig Veda, one of India’s most holy and oldest books, states that the universe was born from a golden egg. Clara will begin by telling this myth and tying it into the practice working towards the backbend, Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (King Pigeon).

This physical practice will open all front and sides of the pelvis, chest, and shoulders.

Props Needed: 1 Strap/belt, 1 Block
 

Spotify Playlist

Here’s the info on WEDNESDAY’S class:
 

Into the Stars

Join Clara for a 30-minute Slow Flow practice themed in the element of Space/Ether. This practice has no peak pose but instead focuses on creating more space in the body and mind.

Props Needed: 2 Blocks.
 

Spotify Playlist

Develop Strength in Mind & Body:

Three New Core Yoga Classes on PWC 

SIMPLE CORE 

A short and simple core class targets the four core muscles, the rectus abdominous, transverse abdominous, and internal and external obliques. A strong core assists in supporting a strong and healthy spine and prevents lower back pain. All movement comes from our core center, so developing the muscles to support movement is essential to our overall health and well-being. 

GOOD TIMES IN PLANK 

A quick session to ignite the core and strengthen the abdominals, this class is great to do as a warm-up before your workout or on its own. Core strengthening exercises bring awareness to the muscles that support the spine and enhance our ability to engage in activities. In this short class, explore plank sequences to develop strength in the core, arms, and back body. 

DANCING CORE 

An energizing core class to fire up your day, Ana Forrest Yoga inspires this class with abdominal strengthening exercises to target the deep core stabilizers. Do this class before your usual practice, workout, or on its own to build heat, strength, and clear static energy. Move through six core exercises and five poses to release the abdominals and create mobility in the spine.  

Ω  
Astrology: Scientific Myth or Madness?

An Approach to Stargazing in the 21st Century

Humankind has been seeking answers about the universe since the beginning of time. We’ve begged questions, created mythologies, and hosted experiments to better understand what the galaxies are made of. Philosophers, scientists, and artists all contribute to the vast narrative of what it means to be human and how we came to be. 

The study of astronomy has helped define our relationship to outer space and celestial objects. Astronomers use mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology to explain the origin and evolution of the planets, moon, stars, nebulae, and other celestial phenomena. Astronomy has helped us track the seasons and establish when to plant crops, measure time, prolong our species’ survival, and respond to potential threats from outer space. 

As we broadened our lens to take in the stars, we discovered that we are made of the basic elements of the universe. As Carl Sagan once famously said, The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.

Astronomy is where the practice of astrology seeks its foundation; entirely different studies and conversely compared, astronomy and astrology have common roots in the investigation of the cosmos. Where astronomy fails to provide an answer, as modern science and technology go only so far, astrology attempts to provide the answers. 

Astrology considers celestial bodies, planets, and the movement of objects in space and their relationship to humankind and events on Earth. The earliest evidence of humans tracking the moon’s influence on the tides was recorded 25,000 years ago. The Babylonians were the first to create a system for astrology around the 2nd Millenium BCE. The Egyptians developed a system of time measurement based on the constellations they called the decans.   

Alexander the Great introduced the Greeks to the cosmological ideas of the Babylonians, and the theories of astrology were eventually passed on to the Romans. Astrology influenced Medieval Europe until the end of the Renaissance with the breakdown of Aristotolein physics; by the 17th Century, Astrology was considered divination. 

From India, the earliest mention of astrology is in the Vedas, one of India’s oldest texts containing Sanskrit literature and scriptures of Hinduism. 

Astrology is held in high regard in China thanks to Confucious, who once said, “Heaven sends down its good or evil symbols, and wise men act accordingly.” 

The Maya, Mixtec, and Aztecs utilized calendars linked to intricate astrological systems to answer questions of day-to-day life. Evidence shows that the Mayans also tracked planets’ movements, including Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter. 

Considering how past civilizations have examined the stars and identified with the universe’s fluctuations, how do you regard astrology? Is it best considered a scientific myth established in astronomy, or is it madness? Should we refine our decisions based on the fullness of the moon or a shooting star?

Here are a few quotes from infamous philosophers, scientists, and artists that seek to resolve the mysteries of the universe.

We have peered into a new world and have seen that it is more mysterious and more complex than we had imagined.
– Vera Rubin, astronomer.

 

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves; we are underlings. 
– William Shakespeare, playwright. 

 

We have to be very careful not to impose our hopes and desires on the cosmos, but instead, in the scientific tradition and with the most open mind possible, see what the cosmos is saying to us. 
– Carl Sagan, astronomer. 
 
About astrology and palmistry: they are good because they make people vivid and full of possibilities. They are communism at its best. Everybody has a birthday and almost everybody has a palm.  
– Kurt Vonnegut, writer.
 
Science, like every effort of thought, consists in interpreting experience… all human thought, including beliefs which appear completely absurd, is experimental and claims to be based on and confirmed by experience.
– Simone Weil, philosopher. 
 
Do not look at stars as bright spots only. Try to take in the vastness of the universe.
– Maria Mitchell, astronomer.
 
The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.
– Muriel Rukeyser, poet. 
 
Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another. 
– Plato, philosopher. 
 
Space is for everybody. It’s not just for a few people in science or math, or for a select group of astronauts. That’s our new frontier out there, and it’s everybody’s business to know about space.  
– Christa McAuliffe, astronaut.
 
And what if the sky here is no different
And it is my eyes that have been sharpening themselves?
– Sylvia Plath, poet. 
 
A physician without a knowledge of Astrology has no right to call himself a physician. 
– Hippocrates, physician. 

With Deep Gratitude to Our Partners

of Energize 30-Day Yoga Challenge

DIVINE EAST

Divine East is one of our partners for the 30-Day Challenge! One winner will receive a mala made by the wonderful women, Sam and Danelle, of Divine East. 

Shiva’s Gift & Detox Yoga Classes to Remove Toxins

Wellspring of energy 
Rises in the body’s core
Tap it and be sustained.
Channel it, and it will speak. 

– Deng Ming-Dao – 

Hello, fellow friends on the path,


We’re closing out the month honoring the Hindu god, Shiva, Lord of Destruction and Transformation. 


Shiva is the patron saint of yogis as his practice is that of meditation and dancing the tandeva, the dance of destruction. Yogis seek to connect with the Oneness of the universe – through meditation and are interesting in transforming themselves – doing their own tandeva.  

What Does Shiva Mean? 
Shiva = Sha + ee + Va
Sha stands for Shareeram or body
ee stands for eeshwari or life giving energy
Va stands for vayu or motion

Thus, Shiva represents the body with life and motion. 

This analysis brings us to the deeper understanding that Shiva is life, Shiva is potential for life, Shiva is all-encompassing – the universal soul or consciousness.

You can read more about Shiva and what he stands for, in this article

We call on Shiva when we want to transform and shift our current state—as the God of Destruction, Shiva is the warrior who appears when we need to let go, surrender, or fight to release whatever it is we’ve been holding on to. 

Questions to Consider:
✺ Are you seeking connection or transformation?
✺ How would you like to go about this, quietly or with a roar? 
30 day yoga challenge

In other news, the class playlist for Energize 30-Day Yoga Challenge live!

For all those who are joining us on this epic exploration into the cosmos, you can preview the classes of the month in the playlist on the PWC apps. 

It’s never too late to join us: all non-members can sign-up for FREE with the coupon code ENERGIZE2021

Invite your friends, family members, coworkers, and anyone you know who would benefit from the motivation and inspiration we share in our 30-day challenges!!

Here’s the info on tomorrow’s class:
 

Shiva’s Gift

Shiva is the Hindu god of destruction, transformation, and dissolution. A more primitive form of Shiva is Agni, the god of fire. 

Join Clara for a fiery 60-minute practice focused on twists and arm balances. The peak pose we’ll be working towards is Koundinyasana 1.

What to expect: Outer hip opening, lots of twists, and core integration. 

Props you’ll need: 1 Block.

 

SPOTIFY MUSIC PLAYLIST

The Benefits of Detox Yoga
(and classes for you to enjoy!)

Your body has all it needs to invigorate processes that aid in detoxification. The yoga poses stimulate the circulatory system, endocrine system, and associated organs to cleanse the body of unnecessary toxins and tension. Adhering to a specific diet and taking supplements are associated with a detox, though not necessary to feel rejuvenated and get the results you crave to restore your body to its optimal health.

Detox yoga stimulates three primary systems through specific yoga poses to detoxify and rid the body of waste. The three systems targeted in detox yoga classes include the digestive system, the lymphatic system, and the integumentary system (the skin).  Poses such as twists and inversions, increasing the heart rate through vigorous movement, and pranayamas that shift the body from fight or flight to rest and digest mode help detoxify the body.

Read on for a closer examination of how specific poses and pranayamas benefit the body through detoxification.

TWISTS 

The digestive system is affected when we twist. Twisting affects the large intestine and stimulates blood flow around the muscles of the abdomen. The large intestine is where your body forms feces to excrete from the body. 

B.K.S. Iyengar referred to twists as the squeeze-and-soak action as the twist creates an intra-abdominal compression. When the twist is released, the digestive organs receive blood rich in oxygen and nutrients. Twisting to the left compresses the descending colon, which pushes everything in the direction to relieve digestive stress and assist in the digestive process to remove waste and excrement. 

INVERSIONS

The circulatory and lymphatic systems are affected whenever we invert. Inversions allow fresh blood to be transported to the liver and kidneys to shift the blood cycle to the body’s tissues and organs. Inversions also change the flow of cerebral spinal fluid, stimulate the lymph system, and flush the adrenals to promote the release of endorphins and neurotransmitters that make you feel good.  
 

VIGOROUS MOVEMENT

The circulatory and lymphatic systems are affected by vigorous movement. The circulatory system consists of the heart and blood vessels. The lymphatic system consists of the spleen, tissues, and organs that remove toxins and transport white blood cells throughout the body. Lymph nodes are points in the body that filter the lymphatic fluid. 

Through vigorous movement, the heart rate increases and stimulates blood circulation, including blood and lymph fluid. As our heart beats faster, we may begin to sweat. Sweating is the release of toxins exiting the skin. Muscle contraction also triggers the lymphatic system to move fluids to remove bodily waste and carry white blood cells that fight and prevent infection. 

The integumentary system, the skin, is cleansed through sweating. As we sweat, hopefully, we drink more water to produce urine and clear the kidneys. 

PRANAYAMAS 

When the body is in a constant state of fight or flight, aka stress, this is very hard on the systems that promote good health and vitality. The digestive system, circulatory system, and immunity are all affected by hormones released when we’re feeling stressed. Cortisol is the stress hormone we experience during fight or flight and triggers the release of more glucose (sugars) into the bloodstream when we may not need it. 

Stress shifts our energy and refocuses the body’s vital processes on keeping the heart rate elevated to keep us alive when we’re in fight or flight.
Shifting the body’s energy into rest and digest mode benefits the digestive, circulatory, and lymphatic systems and maintains proper function. Focused pranayamas (breathwork) in yoga shifts the body into rest and digest mode. Deeper breaths slow down the heart rate and the body’s essential systems. Focused pranayamas such as kapalbhati, ujjayi, and 4-part breathing have a specific purpose and benefit overall relaxation. 

Wrap up your month with detox flow yoga to remove physical, emotional, and energetic blockages before we start the 30-Day Challenge in April!

For deep twisting to cleanse the digestive system, check out the Twists Collection.

Build a sweat to remove toxins and stimulate the circulatory and lymphatic systems in the Get Strong Collection.

Go upside down to recirculate blood, lymph, and spinal fluid flow in the Inversions Collection.

Shift the body into rest and digest mode to come back to neutral if you’re feeling stressed with the Mantra & Meditation playlist, where you’ll also find a selection of pranayamas to practice.

Did You Know…

You can develop the power, strength, and discipline to build towards a peak pose on Practice with Clara!

Choose from a selection of classes that scale to a peak pose or flow:

▴ Visvamitrasana ▴

▴ Dancing Shiva ▴ 

& More!

For more peak pose focused classes, check out these collections:

5 Ways Meditation Promotes Good Health & LIVE Meditation

meditation

“You dream of a new world to come, a new world to be birthed, a new dream to be dreamt.
In the dream, a flower grows, a lotus from which the creator and the creation will unfold.
From which light will begin to shine upon this vast dark sea, unveiling all the magic sleeping within.
From this flower, infinite worlds and universes will be born.
Each will contain a seed of light.
And these seeds will light the heavens for all to guide their journeys by.”


― Thomas Lloyd Qualls, Painted Oxen

Happy Spring Equinox, friends!

Tomorrow marks the halfway mark between the winter and summer solstice. The seeds we have planted in the winter months are beginning to surface from our interior universe into the material world. 

This is an auspicious time to set intentions, think about what you want to bring forth into the world and what you want to shed in the process. 

This weekend we’re hosting a special Spring Equinox Retreat to celebrate the shift of seasons.

In addition to the weekly LIVE class on Saturday at 9 AM PST, I’ll be hosting 2 LIVE meditations to open and close the retreat. 

You can see the full retreat schedule here and preview the list of activities, yoga classes, and yummy recipes we’ve planned for the weekend!

The vision for this retreat is to provide a space for us to reflect on what’s happened the past few months and what direction we’d like to go in the coming months; as we open to the warmth and abundance of springtime, now is the moment to cultivate the habits and rituals that will inspire us daily. It’s also a great time of year to clean and rearrange your house to help shift the energy of winter and call in spring.  

Questions for you to consider:
▴ What has happened in the past few months? What have you learned?
▴ What would you like to manifest in the physical world?
▴ What are three things you can do to change the energy in your house? 
▴ What daily ritual or habit can you start to help inspire and connect you?

The retreat is an offering, so feel free to attend as many or as few of the activities that suit your schedule. One of the benefits of online yoga is the freedom to choose where, when, and how you show up for practice. 

I cannot wait until we can come together and share physical space, and this spring equinox retreat is my way of gathering with the community we’ve created worldwide.

I hope you can join me for a live meditation or live yoga class. 

The retreat is FREE for all PWC Members, and you can always join for the 7-day free trial if you’re a non-member and want to join us.  

How You Can Make Meditation A Daily Ritual

A daily meditation practice doesn’t have to be complicated—even a short 2-5 minute meditation performed each day has many benefits that compound over time.

There is no prescribed way to meditate. For beginners, it’s best to start by focusing on the breath and breathing into all parts of the body to create space and calm. There are many different methods of meditation to accommodate individual preferences. 

Meditation is a state of mind, not an activity. Meditation may be performed sitting, laying down, walking, reading, writing, or performing other tasks that help calm the body and mind. Meditation doesn’t necessarily mean sitting on your yoga mat; we can meditate while washing the dishes, picking our kids up from school, waiting in line at the grocer, or taking out the garbage. 

How long you meditate each day depends on your level and the style of meditation you choose. If you’re tight on time, 10-minutes of meditation is better than skipping it altogether. If you’re new to meditating, start with 5-10 minutes and add a minute or two each day. Ultimately, it depends upon the practitioner. 

If you’re not convinced that meditation is something you should include in your daily routine, read on to see the mental, physical, and emotional support meditation provides.

5 Reasons Cultivate a Meditation Practice
for Your Body, Mind, and Spirit:

1.

Meditation works with the vagal tone, which is the activity of the vagus nerve.
The vagus nerve connects to the body’s principal organs, including the stomach, liver, heart, lungs, and brain, and is responsible for controlling the heart rate. By breathing deeply, we influence the vagus nerve and slow down the heart rate. A slower heart rate slows down the body’s vital processes, including the busyness of the mind.

2.

Theta waves, which are the brainwaves associated with healing and the subconscious’s powers, are released during meditation, dreaming, and deep sleep.
When theta waves are more active during meditation, it’s possible that the mind and body experience rejuvenation and growth. Theta waves help prevent burnout and healing from mental and physical stressors and are the source of our more creative and intuitive processes. 

3.

The release of feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine during meditation may help manage anxiety and intense emotions. The lessening of the stress hormone cortisol reduces tension and angst.

4.

Meditation boosts the immune system by decreasing the stressors on the body.
When we hit the burnt-out zone, our immune system takes the hit and causes the body to become inflamed as a means to protect itself. Stress causes the body to stay in fight or flight mode, which takes its toll on the mind and body. Meditation shifts the body from fight or flight, the sympathetic nervous system, into rest and digest, which is a function of the parasympathetic nervous system. It’s in rest and digest mode that we can recover and restore to a more balanced state. 

5.

The muscles relax when we meditate. Deeper breathing and stillness slow the body’s processes down, so we might passively release any tension we’re holding in the body or mind. Where yoga actively stretches to release the muscles, meditation creates space for muscles to soften and relax.

New to Meditation? —Here’s where to start!

⭐️ Open-Level Meditations for beginners:

Durga Meditation is a <5-minute meditation that focuses on the strength and power of Durga Maa. 

Use this meditation to connect to your inner warrior.

Mudra Meditation is a <10-minute meditation that includes Bhramari breath and two mudras to ease you into a meditation practice.

⚡️ Meditations for those who have a practice:

Ocean Meditation is a 15-minute meditation that features the rhythmic waves of the ocean. Take this meditation laying down or supported by a wall if you need to. 

You Who Has Been Seeking is a 12-minute meditation that asks you to sit with the simplicity of The Radiance Sutras. The offering of this meditation is to allow the poem’s words to wash over you and breathe into the feeling that the poem invokes in your body.

🕯 Meditation & Visualization practices:

Expand Visualization is a 15-minute meditation that taps into the expansiveness of the heart to bring more awareness to the breath, how you feel, and how you relate to the environments and individuals in your life.

Light Meditation is a 15-minute meditation that that moves through a body scan and visualization to help calm the nervous system.  

💫 Meditation & Movement practices:

River of Prana is a 20-minute class that features a moving meditation to connect you to your body and breath. This meditative flow class provides the space to ground through deep breathing and fluid movement from Shiva Rea’s Prana Flow, a rhythmic style of yoga that links the body to the breath to directly influence Prana (life-energy) through the body.

Pranayama Meditation is an 8-minute class that features a variety of kriyas (purification practices), pranayama (breathwork), and meditation.

If you know first-hand how good it feels to meditate and revel in the benefits, share your wealth with a friend—all new members of PWC get 7-days free!

Here’s the info on tomorrow’s class:
 

Vishnu is the Hindu god known for bringing balance back to the world. Join Clara for a 60-minute practice working on balancing on our hands.

What to expect: Core, chest, and glute strengthening. Hamstring, tricep, and shoulder opening. 

Props you’ll need: 1 Block.

 

SPOTIFY MUSIC PLAYLIST

Planting the Seeds and Tending to Your Recovery

For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone.
The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes.
To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction

– Cynthia Occelli – 

Hello, fellow friends on the path,

The quote above hits home for me. This past winter, I feel as though my shell/identity cracked, and everything within me fell out. It was time to sweep away the old. I didn’t know what I would replace it with—or who I thought I was, or how I related to the world. My mantra for about 2 months was, “I don’t know,” heh— and it still is.

In the last week or so, I’ve been feeling something shifting and growing within me. It’s so cool to witness. I’ve taken out my tools (meditation, contemplation, observing my old patterns wanting to kick in) and have begun tending the soil of my soul, letting what needs to come up come out, weeding out what I no longer want. I don’t know what I want to plant just yet, but I am laying down a new foundation. 

This is the time of year to tend the soil and plant seeds you hope to see flourish in the coming months. 

Whatever we do now will directly impact our future. No matter how small the choices, we eventually see the efforts of our endeavors. If you’re not sure what, where, or with whom your next move/choice is—then continue to tend your soul’s soil and listen. 

 

Questions for you to consider:
▴ What would you like to plant in your garden?
▴ What would you like to see manifest in the coming months? 
▴ What are you ready to weed out?
▴ What would you like your mantra/affirmation to be for this next season?

Highlights in March  

  1. The LIVE class is now at 9AM PST Saturday to accommodate our friends on the east coast. 

  2. All LIVE classes for March are OPEN levels. If you want to know more about the levels on PWC, feel free to read this article

  3.  Each class will be available on-demand in three unique segments so if you want a shorter class, you can do just the vinyasa or meditation/mantra on your own.

  4. We’re hosting a self-led spring equinox retreat. I’ll be sharing details in an email soon!

Join me SATURDAY, MARCH 6th, at 9AM PST 
for a heart-opening and back strengthening practice
Tending the Soil

Here’s the info on tomorrow’s class:

As the snow of winter begins to melt, our bodies also need to thaw. During the cold months, our bodies naturally contract. Generally, the shoulders round forward, the front body contracts to keep the core of us warm. This week’s class is all about thawing out the front body. 

Join me for a 60-minute back strengthening and chest opening working towards Bow Pose. This class is inspired by my time with Ana Forest. 
Props you’ll need, 1 Bolster. 

SPOTIFY MUSIC PLAYLIST

Reap the Benefits of a Quick Nighttime Stretch Routine

Slowing down and taking rest may as difficult as a rigorous routine for some, especially if you have a lot of fire in your personality! To coincide with our theme of planting the seeds and cultivating tapas (discipline), we’re highlighting the importance of rest and recovery and making space to unwind regardless of how busy your routine!

If you’ve ever tended a fire, you’ve seen how there are many layers to the flame. The outer-most layer is the grandest, sending flames and sparks into the ether, the middle of the fire is white-hot whirling, and the inner layer of the fire is where the blue flame glows darkly amongst the coals. The more we feed the fire, the bigger it grows and the more it consumes. If we stop feeding the fire, the flames subside and eventually fade, but the embers glow very hot and remain after the fire has died off. 

The fire embers represent the ability to sustain and maintain a specific state no matter what events occur in the external environments. The fire embers precede, support, and remain long after the flames and contain more heat. 

Restorative/yin yoga represents the embers of your practice. When we slow down and cultivate habits that allow intensities to diminish, we’re able to rest and recuperate; this is an essential part of any long-term practice, be it yoga, work, or relationships. 

 A nighttime yoga practice that’s slow, simple, and focuses on the breath allows the body and mind to shift gears from the busyness of the day (think of the flames in full-force) to the calm state of the embers.

Why Yoga Before Bed is Beneficial:

✺ Gentle and slow stretching shifts the nervous system into rest and digest mode (the parasympathetic nervous system) from fight or flight mode (the sympathetic nervous system), which causes the heart rate to slow down. 
✺ Stretching increases the blood flow and circulation to the muscles and brain, helping recover and repair tissues. 
✺ Stretching releases feel-good hormones, dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, which have a calming effect on the mind. The perception of pain lessens; it feels good and allows the body to enter a state of relaxation. 
✺ Stretching the body goes hand-in-hand with the breath; when we move slowly, we’re more likely to pay attention to how we breathe and breathe more deeply. The breath directly influences the vagus nerve that connects to the body’s organs, including the brain, heart, lungs, and stomach. By breathing deeply as we stretch, we slow the vagal tone, which affects each of the associated organs and systems. 
✺ Stretching before bed brings awareness to the body and the present moment. It allows the practitioner to focus on themselves and get quiet in body and mind through simple, slow movements. This is a great way to prepare for rest as the mind’s focus shifts from the busyness of the day to what’s going on right now.

Simple Stretches for every body

▴ Child’s Pose or Forward Fold ▴

▴ Reclined or Seated Bound Angle Pose ▴

▴ Reclined Spinal Twist ▴

▴ Supported Bridge Pose ▴

▴ Cat/Cow undulations from tabletop or seated ▴

BONUS: Shaking! Shaking hands, arms, feet, legs, and head may release energy that needs to shift before coming into restorative and restful poses. 

Preview a selection of classes that complete a quick nighttime stretch routine: 

Yoga Before Bed with Clara 

Or take a look at a few of our favorite classes to unwind before bed:

Did You Know...

See how to align in your practice with one of the how-to videos

Search a selection of videos on the proper alignment, way to do specific pranayamas, and tips on how to get into peak poses

Email us if you have requests for a how-to video!

Sending love and a virtual hug, 
Clara & the Team. 

Connecting to Your Inner Warrior

I wish I could show you
when you are lonely or in darkness
the astonishing
light of your own being.

~ by Hafiz

Hello fellow friends on the path,

I hope this letter finds you well. As I was searching for a poem by Hafiz to go with the theme of today’s class about the sage Vishvamitra, who was a friend to all, I came across this poem, and it spoke to me. When we are knee-deep in our “muck,” it’s easy to forget that we are made of something divine.

When I’m unable to get to my mat, and I need to remember/reconnect to that light within me, I quite place my hands on my heart, close my eyes, and breathe as deep as I can.

The past few days have been heavy for me as Karmen has been getting up a lot more in the night — leaving me exhausted during the day. I have learned that when I am fatigued, the heavier emotions surface much quicker and stay longer. I sat in the bathroom yesterday and just breathed into my heart and took some time to reconnect. It reminded me that I am not my emotions, that these will pass. I need that reminder often these days and thought you might as well.

Today, we’re featuring a special class with a 2-hour LIVE session from 11am-1pm PST! 

This week’s peak pose, Visvahmitrasana. Vishvamitra was a warrior king that gave up his kingdom after an encounter with the sage Vasistha. You can read the myth here. I’ll be sharing his story along with a bit of mantra to kick off the class. Afterward, we’ll flow through a 75-minute practice working towards the arm balance. We’ll close with a meditation to ground the heat/energy of the practice. 

If you cannot join me for the full class, we’ll be releasing it as 3 separate classes for you to watch on-demand afterward with the full-length version, the quickie condensed version, and the mantra & meditation version. 

On Monday, March 1st, PWC members will see that we’ve added a new month of the Class of the Day Playlist.

The Gods & Goddesses of the Hindu Pantheon is our theme for March. 🧞‍♂️ We received feedback for more Tantric Philosophy, so I’ll continue to weave the Hindu Pantheon myth in the on-demand and LIVE classes for the full month.
 

&….
Starting on Saturday, March 6th, the LIVE class will be held at @9am PST to accommodate our east coast yogis. 

We received feedback that 11am PST was too late for our friends on the east coast, so we’re shifting the time to 9am PST moving forward.  

Join me TODAY for a 2-hour class at 11am PST,
for a practice working up to the arm balance, Visvamitrasana
The Dedication of a Warrior
Here’s the info on today’s class:

Join me for a 2-hour class inspired by Vishvamitra, a warrior king who dedicated his life to a spiritual path. I’ll start the class with a myth and mantra for Vishvamitra and then dive into a 75-minute vinyasa practice moving working up to the arm balance, Vishavamitrasana. I’ll end with a meditation to ground us. 

SPOTIFY MUSIC PLAYLIST

Quick (and Easy) Ways to Boost Energy

Initiating a new habit requires determination and effort, even if it’s as simple as taking 5-minutes each day to do a pranayama practice. Creating physical and mental space to commit to a routine requires effort and awareness; to fully immerse yourself, you must understand why you’ve committed yourself to the task.

Tips to prepare for a pranayama routine:

 

✺ Create a quiet and comfortable space for your practice. ✺ 

Setting the space to sit may is more enticing to make it to your practice, especially if you decorate your room with crystals, plants, and candles. If you don’t have time to make it to your yoga space, bring a small rock or oil you can smell at your desk or sitting in your car as a reminder to connect to your breath. 

✺ Commit to a set time duration to develop discipline. ✺ 

Commit to a set length of time as you develop your ritual. Start small and add minutes to the duration as you feel necessary. Acknowledge that you may not make your full minutes every day, but do your best to squeeze your practice in—even if it means practicing pranayama in the shower!

✺ Establish a personal rItual to initiate and end your practice. ✺ 

This may be as simple as lighting a candle, bringing your hands to your heart, or closing your eyes. An action that opens and closes your practice is a gesture to honor the time you’re committing to your ritual. 

✺ Check-in with how you’re feeling right now. ✺ 

Before you do your pranayama practice, please take a moment to check in with how your body is feeling and what it needs to feel balanced. Do you need grounding or inspiration? Will excitatory pranayama, such as Kapalbhati, suit your needs? Or something softer and more meditative, such as Boa’s Breath? 

✺ Write Down How You Feel Afterwards to Boost Dedication. ✺ 

Take a few minutes after your pranayama practice to write down how you feel afterward. Name the attributes of your current state, and examine your progress as the weeks pass to note how the ritual of conscious breathing affects all areas of your life. 

Pranayamas to Boost Energy

1. Calm the Nervous System with 4-Part Breath

A simple practice of pranayama that you can take with you anywhere, anytime, is 4-part breath. This simple pranayam calms the body and mind through equally paced inhales and exhales, pausing at the top and bottom of each breath.

This pranayama style has a grounding quality, so it may be done if you’re feeling anxious, spacey, angry, overwhelmed, or if you want to soften and relax before bed. 

How To Do 4-Part Breath:

  • Inhale for the count of four,

  • Hold at the top of your inhale for the count of four,

  • Exhale for the count of four,

  • Hold at the bottom of the exhale for the count of four.

Repeat this cycle several times with the eyes open or closed, and then sit and breathe normally and feel. 

2. Clear Lethargy and Stagnant Energy with Kapalbhati

Kapalbhati is a dynamic breathing style that involves short, forceful, active exhales and passive inhales. The belly pumps to contract the abdomen to push air out of the lungs on the exhalation. This style of breath strengthens the lungs, abdominals and energizes the mind. 

Also known as Skull Shining Breath, Kapalbhati has energizing properties to generate heat and stimulate prana. 

How To Do Kapalbhati: 

  • Inhale halfway through the nose, filling up just a portion of your lung capacity

  • Exhale sharply through the nose and draw the belly in toward the spine,

Keep repeating this cycle, focusing on the sharp exhale contracting the abdomen. Find a rhythm that you can maintain comfortably for between 30 seconds to 2 minutes. When you’re first starting this pranayama, do it for a short period, 30 seconds. As you become more comfortable with it, work towards 2 minutes. 

This style of pranayama should be avoided by those who are pregnant, have high or low blood pressure, epilepsy, and chest pain. 

See how to do Kapalbhati with Clara in this short video.

 

3. Relieve Anxiety and Settle Your Nerves with Viloma Breath 

Viloma breath, also called interrupted breathing or 3-part breath, involves pausing briefly after each inhalation. This pranayama helps lengthen the breath, expand the lung’s capacity, and improves the prana’s flow and control in the body. 

By putting an intentional strain on the body by holding the breath, Viloma helps to relieve anxiety.

  How To Do Viloma:

  • Inhale ⅓ through the nose to the navel,

  • Hold the breath without strain,

  • Inhale ⅓ through the nose to the ribs,

  • Hold the breath without strain,

  • Inhale ⅓ through the nose to the heart,

  • Hold the breath without strain,

  • Exhale slowly.

  • Repeat several cycles. 

Focus on breathing into all three parts of the lungs with the lower abdomen, the rib cage, and the upper chest. Each time you pause, hold the breath lightly and draw the lower belly inwards. 

This pranayama style should be avoided by those who are pregnant, have high blood pressure, epilepsy, and chest pain. 

4. Encourage Circulation and Energy Flow with Lion’s Breath

Lion’s breath is an energetic pranayama that stimulates the throat chakra, boosts circulation, and relieves tension in the face, neck, and throat. If you’re feeling pressure around your face or neck from concentrating or stress, Lion’s breath releases physical strains and loosens up the muscles. 

How To Do Lions Breath:

  • Inhale fully through the nose,

  • Exhale open your mouth and stick out your tongue,

  • As you exhale, make a ‘ha’ sound that starts at the lower belly,

  • Sit and breathe at an average pace for a moment,

  • Repeat several cycles. 

pranayama meditation
Try these pranayamas with this class, Pranayama Meditation:
  • 4-Part Breath
  • Kapalbhati 
  • Lions Breath

5. Connect to Inner Vibration with Bhramari Breath

Bhramari breathing is also known as bee’s breath. The humming in Brahmarai can have a profound calming effect on the body’s nervous system. This pranayama is recommended if you’re feeling anxious, angry, stressed, frustrated, or depressed. It is simple and can be practiced anywhere. 

  How To Do Bhramari Breath:

  • Inhale through the nose,

  • Exhale, purse the lips, and hum OM,

  • Repeat several cycles.

As you do this pranayama, close your eyes and place your palms on various parts of the body to feel the vibration. 

Another way to perform Bhramari is to plug the ears and cover the eyes with the fingertips in shanmukhi mudra. This mudra shuts off other sensations for you to focus on the vibration of the hum. This mudra is not recommended if anxiety is high. 

6. Ground and Access Your Intuition with White Leopard 

White Leopard pranayam is from a martial art called Chien Lung, created by Constantine Darling. It helps to widen our perspective. White Leopards represent intuition and creativity and are seen as being in-tune with the flow of the cosmos. 

White Leopard involves two short inhales through the mouth and one long exhale as a whistle through the mouth accompanied by hand mudras. To whistle, create an ‘O’ shape with the tongue by curling the tongue’s sides inwards. Or make an ‘O’ with the lips as you blow air from the mouth. 

How To Do White Leopard:

  • Come to a comfortable seat, 

  • Bring the hands out in front of you with the fingers touching and the pinky fingers out to the sides,

  • Create the ‘O’ shape with your tongue or your lips,

  • Inhale draw your hands back to the occipital ridge with fingertips touching,

  • Inhale take the hands up above the head with fingertips touching,

  • Exhale and whistle as you take the fingers in a diamond shape down in front of the chest,

  • Repeat several cycles. 

The slower you go, and the longer you extend your breath, the more meditative this practice will become to create space in body and mind. 

See how to do White Leopard with Clara in this short video.

7. Enhance Energy and Wake Up with Bhastrika Breath 

This style of pranayama works to energize and clear slow or stagnant energy. Do this pranayama at any time of the day to clear the mind and body and stimulate the flow of Prana. Bhastrika is as grounding as it is energizing, so try this pranayama if you’re feeling tired and uninspired. This style of pranayama involves very deep and vigorous inhalation and exhalation.

How To Do Bhastrika Breath:

  • Take a comfortable seat and place the palms down on the thighs,

  • Inhale arch the spine, puff up the chest, and draw hands to the hip creases,

  • Exhale round the spine, pull chin to chest, and extend hands to the knees,

  • Repeat for several rounds. 

This style of pranayama should be avoided by those who are pregnant, working with anxiety, have high blood pressure, epilepsy, and chest pain. 

See how to do Bhastrika with Clara in this short video.

8. Widen Your Perspective to Receive Insight with Boa Breath

This pranayama is another pranayama from Chien Lung by Constantine Darling. Boa Breath has a calming effect on the body as the gaze is soft, the movements are slow, and the breath is deep. This style of breath is a moving form of meditation.

How To Do Boa Breath:

  • Come to stand and take the feet wider than the shoulders,

  • Softly bend the knees and come to a forward fold with hands at the earth,

  • Inhale with knees bent, chin in toward the chest slowly roll up to stand and hold the breath at the top of the inhale, if there’s no strain,

  • Holding the breath, draw your hands up to your chin like puppet arms,

  • Exhale out your mouth and take arms wide, bend your knees, and bring the fingertips to touch in front of you like you’re holding a big beach ball,

  • Inhale remain holding the beach ball with soft knees,

  • Exhale slide hands to thighs and bring the chin to the chest,

  • Inhale draw the hands to the thighs and up the center of your body to the chin,

  • Exhale bend knees, arch the spine, and forward fold take hands to the earth,

  • Repeat several cycles. 

The slower you go and the longer you extend your breath, the more meditative this will become to create space in body and mind. 

See how to do Boa Breath with Clara in this short video.

Try these pranayamas with Clara in a moving meditation class, We Are Energy:
  • Bhramari 
  • White Leopard
  • Bhastrika
  • Boa Breath

Get Your Assets for the Class of the Day

Download and save the calendar and journaling booklet to track your progress. 

 
And a big thank you to everyone who provides feedback as it helps us create better experiences for the whole community. 
Sending love and a virtual hug, 
Clara & the Team. 

Your Guide to the Various Styles & Levels of Yoga

The Sun is the symbol of divine Light that is coming down and Gayatri gives expression to the aspiration asking that divine Light to come down and give impulsion to all the activities of the mind.

– Sri Aurobindo –

Hello, fellow friends on the path,

We’ve been blessed, here in Vancouver, with lots of sunshine the past few days. The light has such a strong effect on my mind and mood. It goes perfectly with this week’s theme of Gayatri Mantra. The power and energy behind this mantra give me so much energy!

I’m looking forward to chanting it with you during the LIVE class today at 11am PST. 

This mantra is known as the Mother of all Mantras, as it’s one India’s oldest mantras, dating back to the Rig Veda – the oldest written text of India.  The mantra has three parts: Adoration, Meditation, and Prayer. 

Here’s a great source to read more about Gayatri. 

This mantra is long and can be confusing, so below are the words for you to read while we chant.  

 

Gayatri Mantra
oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ
tat savitur vareṇyaṃ
bhargo devasya dhīmahi
dhiyo yo naḥ pracodayāt 

One translation I love: 

The eternal, earth, air, heaven
That glory, that resplendence of the sun
May we contemplate the brilliance of that light
May the sun inspire our minds.

*Translation by Douglas Brooks.

 

Today’s class will open with the mythology and mantra for Gayatri before moving into the vinyasa portion of class where we’ll have 45-minutes together to dance in our bodies.

Today’s peak pose is shoulderstand. This pose is not recommended for those working with neck or shoulder injuries/sensitivity’s. For pregnant goddesses, if inversions were not in your practice prior to your pregnancy, please do the modification.. The rest of the class will be accessible for all bodies, and I’ll offer modifications for the peak pose. 

 

Recommended props for today’s class:
2 Blankets
1 strap
2 blocks
1 bolster

 

FYI: We’re breaking down the LIVE recording into three separate classes so that you have more options of classes depending upon how much time you have and what you’re looking for. 

  1. The full 60-minute mythology & vinyasa class.

  2. The 45-minute vinyasa class (great for those tight on time) that will not include an intro and will start standing. 

  3. The 15-minute mantra & meditation class. 

 
The 45-minute and 60-minute versions are added to the New Releases playlist, and the 15-minute class will be added to the Mantra & Meditation playlist

I wanted to create 3 opportunities for you to connect to your body and breath. Choose the class depending on how you feel and where you are at in the PWC Program.

Remember: it’s better to take rest days before you start to feel tired and sore. Rest is a huge part of the practice (it’s why Savasana is so important), and where mantra & meditation classes may complement your daily yoga practice.

Here’s the info on today’s class:

Join me for a 60-minute class inspired by one of the oldest mantras of India, Gayatri. I’ll start the class with an origin myth of the mantra, then we’ll chant it together. After we’ll dive into a 45-minute vinyasa practice moving working up toward the queen of all poses, shoulder stand, Sarvangasana.
 

SPOTIFY MUSIC PLAYLIST
The Divine Light of Gayatri (online)

Your Guide to the Yoga Styles on PWC

 

Developing the habit of practicing yoga every day has many positive benefits to one’s overall mental and physical health. Knowing when to push our bodies and when to take rest is an essential aspect of any wellness program, similar to creating a nutrition plan that includes the foods that are good for us and the foods we love.

Practice yoga every day to:

1️⃣ Decrease stress and anxiety
2️⃣ Lower blood pressure
3️⃣ Support flexibility 
4️⃣ Enhance mobility 
5️⃣ Build strength 
6️⃣ Increase energy 
7️⃣ Lessen back and joint pain
8️⃣ Boost bodily awareness
9️⃣ Connect to community
🔟 Reinvigorate health and healing

Switching up the class style and level may help you create a daily routine where you feel good, strong, and confident after class. 

Class Levels on Practice with Clara

⭐️ Open Level: Classes for yogis of all and any level, from beginners and those who are new to the practice, to those who’ve been practicing for 10+ years. 

⚡️ Intermediate/Advanced: Classes for yogis who have a regular daily practice for at least 1.5 years and have a rudimentary understanding of the asanas and pranayamas. 

🔥 Advanced: Classes for yogis who have a regular daily practice for at least 3+ years and are well-versed in the poses and pranayamas to follow along in a faster-paced class.

**These are guidelines. Explore the different levels and see what works for you. The biggest thing to remember is to listen to your body. With the advanced classes, I’m teaching to those who know the names and shapes of the poses. I focus less on anatomical cues and more on subtle/energetic cues. ** 

 

Introduction to the Styles of Yoga on PWC

Hatha Yoga

What it is: Hatha yoga involves physical poses (asanas) and breathing techniques (pranayamas) to create better alignment within the body. Hatha yoga translates from Sanskrit as “ha,” meaning “sun” and “tha” meaning “moon,” to refer to the balancing of opposites. Hatha yoga strives for balance by uniting such opposites; a Hatha class generally involves strengthening and heating poses and lengthening and passive postures to present a well-rounded class for participants to build strength, enhance flexibility, and increase overall mobility.

Hatha yoga is not presented in a fluid sequence like vinyasa yoga; instead, the emphasis is on the postures and not the transitions in a vinyasa yoga class. 

How to practice: This yoga style is excellent for beginners, as the class’s pace tends to be slower for new yogis to get a better idea of each pose and learn the proper alignment. Hatha is also a great option for those recovering from illness or injury as strength and mobility are regained

Slow Flow

What it is: A slower-paced vinyasa class. Benefits include sequencing that links with ease and some creativity to the next pose so practitioners can shift from pose-to-pose with the inhale and exhale of breath to build heat and keep a semi-dynamic pace.

Slow Flow is the next step to Vinyasa yoga; those new to the practice may wish to try Slow Flow classes before advancing to Vinyasa yoga. 

How to practice: Slow Flow is great for beginners as it introduces the movement and breath between the poses. Slow Flow is also a great option for those recovering from illness or injury and pregnant yogis, as the sequencing is less advanced, and the pace is much slower than a typical Vinyasa yoga class.

Vinyasa Yoga 

What it is: Vinyasa yoga translates from Sankrit roughly as “to place in a special way,” which refers to linking each movement to the breath. Vinyasa yoga is defined by the unique sequence of postures and transitions between each pose; the fluid and dynamic transitions, intentional breathing techniques, and music separate vinyasa from Ashtanga yoga.

The intensity of vinyasa is similar to that of an Ashtanga practice; however, the variety in asana, pranayama, music, theme, and transitions allow for a break in routine from the traditional Ashtanga practice. 

How to practice: Vinyasa yoga is for those who have knowledge of the basic yoga poses and how to breathe. Understanding Ujayyi breath is necessary to flow through the practice and link each posture to the breath. The teacher and style of vinyasa will also determine the intensity and level. Vinyasa may be segmented into Prana Flow, Slow Flow, and Power Yoga. 

Prana Flow 

What it is: Prana Flow Yoga is a yoga style developed by Shiva Rea; this practice embodies the rhythm and flow of the breath as one moves through the poses. This yoga style is typically set to music, has an energizing quality, and utilizes different pranayamas throughout the movement practice.

Prana Flow yoga aims to move the prana (life-force, vitality) through the body to stimulate and direct the body’s energy. 

How to practice: Yogis of all levels may do prana Flow as it includes movement and dynamic breathing techniques to energize the body and calm the mind. 

Power Yoga

What it is: Power yoga is more vigorous and dynamic than traditional yoga; it is faster, more intense, and focuses on building strength and burn calories. There is less of an emphasis on meditation, chanting, and restoration. Power yoga enhances strength, mobility, and flexibility through an active standing series. An improvement in physical health and mental stamina are the benefits of power yoga.

Power yoga may also be called Core Yoga or Detox Yoga to emphasize building strength and enhancing overall health.

How to practice: This yoga style is for yogis who have a basic understanding of yoga postures and breathing techniques as the pace of power yoga classes is much faster than traditional Hatha and flow yoga. Due to the vigorous style and endurance, Power yoga is for those who’ve been practicing yoga and know the various postures. 

Restorative Yoga

What it is: Restorative yoga is a yoga style that features the heavy use of props to help the body soften and receive each of the poses. Each pose is held for approximately  8-12 minutes in restorative yoga, and there is no muscular engagement. The goal is for the muscles to relax into the posture, hence props, to encourage a passive release in mind and body. The purpose is to release tension through passive stretching. Props used may include bolsters, blankets, sandbags, dowels, blocks, straps, eye-pillows, mats, and cushions. 

Visualization practices such as body scan and chakra workpranayamas, and yoga nidra may be included in a restorative yoga class to add to the Bhavana (mood). 

How to practice: Restorative yoga is suitable for yogis at any stage of the practice, from beginners to advanced yogis. This yoga style is especially beneficial for those who could use meditation and relaxation to restore between bouts of intense physical exercise such as running, cycling, swimming, or hiking. 

Restorative Yoga PWC:

Just Be
Quick Chill

Yin Yoga

What it is: Yin yoga is a slower-paced style of yoga that features longer holds and props to facilitate the stretching of connective tissues. Like restorative yoga, yin yoga may be a meditative practice to destress and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system to decrease the ‘flight or fight’ response and encourage a state of calm. 

Unlike restorative yoga, where the main goal is to release into a passive stretch, yin yoga works to release the fascia to strengthen and lengthen the connective tissues that support the joints. Poses are held for approximately 3-5 minutes. Yin yoga may improve joint mobility, posture and release stress and tension in the mind and body. 

How to practice: Yin yoga is suitable for yogis at any stage of the practice, from beginners to advanced yogis. This yoga style is especially beneficial for those who need to stretch and increase flexibility to enhance additional physical exercise such as running, cycling, swimming, or hiking.

I hope to see some of you today at 11 am PST for the LIVE class.


Sending love and a virtual hug, 
Clara & the Team. 

For the Love of Krishna & a Day-Long Retreat

I am the taste of pure water and the radiance of the sun and moon.
I am the sacred word and the sound heard in air, and the courage of human beings.
I am the sweet fragrance in the earth and the radiance of fire;
I am the life in every creature and the striving of the spiritual aspirant.

Lord Krishna from The Bhagavad Gita.

 

Hello, fellow friends on the path,

Last weekend was the inagural mythology & movement class where I read a myth on the featured deity and led mantra and a brief meditation before we shifted gears into a fiery vinyasa flow class.

This week’s LIVE class features Krishna, the Hindu God of Compassion, Tenderness, and Love—which is pretty fitting if you’re joining me for Feast of the Senses today!

Krishna is the eight incarnation of Vishnu (God of Preservation) and is one of the more popular Gods in Hinduism as he appears in epics such as The Bhagavad Gita and the Mahabharata. In the Bhagavad Gita—one of my favorite books—Krishna appears as Arjuna’s charioteer to assist him on the battlefeild. 

On the battlefeild as he speaks to Arjuna, Krisha says, 
 

“I am the power of discrimination in those who are intelligent, and the glory of the noble. In those who are strong, I am strength, free from passion and selfish attachment. I am desire itself, if that desire is in harmony with the purpose of life.” 
 

Today, we’ll celebrate Krisha with myth, mantra, and a brief meditation before the LIVE class that features back strengthening and heart opening. 

Join me TODAY at 11am PST,
for a practice working up to wheel with Urdhva Dhanurasana

For the Love of Krishna

 

 

 

If you aren’t able to make the class, we’ll post the on-demand replay in the New Release playlist 24-hours after the class has gone live. 

 

Here’s the info on today’s class:
 
For the Love of Krishna 

Join me for a 60-minute class inspired by the Hindu god of Krishna. I’ll start the class with a myth and mantra for Krishna. We’ll dive into a 45-minute vinyasa practice moving working up to the backbend Wheel, Urdhva Dhanurasana.

SPOTIFY MUSIC PLAYLIST

 

 

Some of you mentioned a lag in the LIVE class, making it difficult to stay with the instruction.

If you experience a lag in the LIVE class:
Refresh your web browser or app to sync back up with the class’ instruction. 

You’re Invited to My Self-Led Retreat:

Feast of the Senses

 

’ve been craving a day-long retreat and thought I would offer one to my community that’s self-led.
 

The theme for this weekend’s retreat is a Feast of the Senses.


Choose from a variety of activities, including;
 

🌲 Meditation walks
🎢 Vinyasa and Restorative Yoga sessions
🍵 Tea ceremony with my homemade chai
📚 Journaling questions
✨ & much more!

❡ 

The Power of Myth

This is the book that I read from last week in the live class when I shared the story of Kali:

Beauty, Power, & Grace
The Many Faces of the Goddess


 

I love reading and bringing mythology into my yoga classes, as storytelling gives us that sense that we’re not alone. Story allows us to connect and empathize with unique people, places, and events that we may not have been exposed to otherwise. 


The top 3 books that I’ve read lately:
  • Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
  • Girl, Woman, Other – Bernardine Evaristo
  • Untamed – Glennon Doyle
 

Last week, I asked the PWC Facebook Group to share some of their favorite books right now, here are some of the recommendations:

Practice with Clara Community 

Reading Recommendations:

· Wintering by Katherine May
· Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
· Awakening Joy by Baraz 
· Embrace Yoga’s Roots by Susan Barataki
· Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
· Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
· The Empaths Survival Guide by Judith Orloff
· Existential Kink by Carolyn Elliott 
· Spiritual Rhythms in Adult Life by Bernard Lievegoed
· There There by Tommy Orange
· Everything I know about Love by Dolly Alderton
· American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
· In My Own Moccasins by Helen Knott
· Swell by Liz Clark
· The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
· There I Am by Ruthie Lindsey
· Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese
· The Hidden Lamp by Zenshin Florence Caplow
· Women Who Run With Wolves by Clarissa Estes
· Cassandra Speaks by Elizabeth Lesser 
· When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalani
· The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V. E. Schwab

 

Did You Know…

 

We’ve added every Spotify Playlist to the App so you can easily find the music you want to accompany your yoga class. 

To play music from Spotify to accompany your class, here’s what to do:

If you’re on a web browser:
Copy/paste the link of the class into your web browser


If you’re on a mobile device:
Click on the link of the class to open on your mobile device.


Save the Spotify playlist to your Spotify library by clicking the heart icon.

I hope you can join a portion of the self-led retreat today and give yourself some space to reflect and revel in all of the senses. 

Sending love and a virtual hug, 
Clara & the Team. 

 

You’re Invited to A Feast for the Senses

The lover is always alone.
even surrounded by people;
like water and oil, he remains apart.

Love is like musk. It attracts attention.
Love is a tree, and the lovers are its shade.

– Rumi –

Hello, fellow friends on the path, 

I’ve been craving a day-long retreat and thought I would offer one to my community that is self-led. The theme for this weekend’s retreat is a Feast of the Senses.

In the Tantric tradition, the path to connection is through the senses. If you can fully be present in your body as you experience meditation, asana, eating, walking, and resting — all activities — the more present, content, and whole you will feel. 

Since we can’t come together in a live setting yet, I thought I’d share with you an outline for a self-hosted, full-day retreat. Included are two recipes—one for the chai tea that I LOVE. The second is for a soup that I just made last week that blew our socks off.

 

 

👁Feast of the Senses 👄
A 1-Day Retreat on Saturday 
February 13th

 

 

This day-long retreat includes classes that are exclusive for members of Practice with Clara – if you are not a member, we offer a 7-day free trial, which you can use to join this one day retreat for free. 

Check out the schedule below to see the entire offering.

 

Sending love and a virtual hug,
Clara & the Team. 

🙌🏼 PS: I’ll be hosting a LIVE 1-Day Retreat in March, so stay tuned for more details to come!

Agenda for Feast of the Senses

6:30am 

Wake up and prepare your mind/body to start the day.

 

🌞

7:30am

Open your day with a nourishing moving meditation. 

River of Prana 

 

Ground in fluid movement from Shiva Rea’s Prana Flow, a rhythmic style of yoga that links the body to the breath to directly influence Prana (life-energy) through the body. Stimulate the organs and nervous system through Bhastrika breath, Jalandhar bandha, and a variation of Kapalabhati with alternate nostril breathing.

✍🏼

7:30am

Take a seat for self-reflection with these journaling prompts.

 

What are some of the ways you indulge your senses? 
Sound · Sight · Taste · Touch · Smell
List the people, places, and things that make you feel good.
What are the activities that deliver total body-bliss?
&
Do you make space for these things in your life?
Why or why not?

🍵

8:00am

Tea ceremony with Clara’s Morning Chai Recipe & breakfast.

 

Below is Sara Jade’s description of a tea ceremony,
which she shared on the PWC podcast last year. 

Tea ceremony is similar to a Zen-style meditation. It’s silent, and you do one thing at a time. You pick something up in one hand and pass it to the other hand before setting it down on the table. It’s a very intentional, mindful practice, and also very engaged. It also works with spiral energy as you serve others, you move in circles from the heart coming in and out. So you’re really connecting with your guests in a shared experience. I fell in love with it. It was what I needed and is still a huge piece of my day and who I am.

Many things take our energy, and we really need to simplify and take a good look at what we’re doing and all we have. I like to ask myself, what am I really grateful for in this space right now? Tea ceremony made me more aware of the spaces around me; it opened me up to healing. Tea is the teacher, and it prompted me to examine how if things are not adding to my life, they’re taking away. So I ask you, where in your life do you feel that things are not adding to what you want to create?

🍵

Allow the making, pouring, and drinking of the tea to be a meditation on the senses — asking yourself — what do I see, feel, hear and smell?

Morning Chai Recipe

I love this tea for not only heating my body but also for stimulating Agni (spiritual and digestive fire).
🍯 This will make 8-9 cups of tea. Tea makes a great gift to friends and neighbors!

Ingredients: 

  • 5 black tea bags
  • 6 cups of water
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tbsp whole black pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup/honey
  • 2 cups of (almond) milk
Cook:
  • Grind up the spices with a spoon
  • Bring 6 cups of water to a boil and add spices and ginger
  • Set to medium heat and boil for 10 min
  • Turn off heat and add tea bags and steep for 5 min
  • Add milk and sweetener
  • Drink
🍯 If I wanna get fancy, I add a little half and half to my cup to make it really creamy!

🎶

10:00am

Turn up the volume on self love with your favorite songs. 

 

Put on your favorite music, light candles, and dance with your loved ones; luxuriate in the shower/bath; paint your nails; read a book or magazine; walk your dog or snuggle your cat.

Choose an activity that fills you with joy
and revel in it for the hour. 

🧘🏽‍♂️ 

11:00am

Join me for the LIVE yoga class. 

For the Love of Krishna

Join me for a 60-minute class inspired by the Hindu god of Krishna. I’ll start the class with a myth and mantra for Krishna. We’ll dive into a 45-minute vinyasa practice moving working up to the backbend Wheel, Urdhva Dhanurasana.

Krishna is known as the God of compassion and an avatar of Vishnu.

For those of you who cannot make it to the LIVE class at 11am PST, here are two class options for you to choose from:

A Neat Bow

This faster paced vinyasa practice is focused on opening the front and lateral/side of the body while preparing you to explore some unique variations of bow pose.

Dancing Shiva

Enjoy this slow vinyasa class that builds strength in the abdominals and back to prepare you for backbends. The peak pose is Dancing Shiva and a bow variation. This class will start with lengthening and strengthening the back and side waist. This will open up the psoas, quadriceps, and chest. Leg strengthening and balancing will build heat, while poses like Anahatasana (heart pose) create space. Enjoy a poem by Hafiz as you breathe and ground in your body. 

🧘🏻‍♀️ 

12:30pm

Take a moment for self-reflection & journaling.

 

After our LIVE yoga class featuring Krishna, take a seat in meditation OR spend some time sitting with these journaling prompts:
 
· How do you express compassion with yourself?
· How do you express tenderness with yourself?
· How do you express love? 
· When and with whom do you express your vulnerability?


List the activities you perform for yourself and others, that embody some of the above-mentioned qualities. ·

 

🍜 

1:00pm

Time for lunch with Rice Cake Soup with Edamame.


Takes about 30 minutes to make.
Recipe from the NY Times.
Link in the title. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 medium leeks, trimmed, white and light green parts cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 bunch scallions (about 6), whites and greens separated, thinly sliced
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  •  Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock ((I used veggie broth))
  • 2 medium heads baby bok choy (about 8 ounces), trimmed, stems and leaves divided, stems cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen rice cakes (about 10 ounces)
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

PREPARATION

  1. In a pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add leeks, scallion whites and ginger, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden at the edges and softened, 7 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add chicken stock and bok choy stems, and bring to a boil over high. Reduce the heat and simmer and cook until the broth is flavorful, about 10 minutes. Add rice cakes and simmer until plump, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add edamame and bok choy leaves and stir until bright green, about 1 minute. Swirl in the beaten eggs in a slow, steady stream, stirring gently to make sure the eggs form long ribbons. Stir in the vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls and top with remaining scallion greens.

🌲

2:00pm

Nature walk/time to explore the fresh air outdoors.

 
Take the afternoon to explore the outdoors (rain or shine!) for a silent meditation walk in nature.  

For the meditation walk, go slow; pay attention to your breath, and witness the beauty of nature all around you.

If you have kiddos and/or pets at home, bring them with you and enjoy the sense of spaciousness and play!
 
 

🦋

4:00pm

Restorative yoga session.
 

Chill Pill
Conscious rest is so important for the nervous system. If you’re looking to relax, ground, and go inside, join me for a chill pill.

I created this slow-moving practice on a day when I needed to connect to my body and slow down my mind.

Enjoy the musical accompaniment by Dj AuGustus

🍜

6:00pm

Dinner time with friends, family, or solitude.

As you prepare and eat your meal, get rid of distractions such as music, TV, computer, phone, books, and other media. 
 

Can you sit with your food (and loved ones) while you eat, and be present for the silence and/or conversations that arise? 


Appreciate the textures, colors, flavors, and aromas as you cook and eat.
 
 

☁️

8:00pm

Ritual and unwind time.

Do you have an evening ritual that helps you to unwind before bed?

 

Spend this hour with a ritual that helps you relax.


One of our community members asked for evening ritual ideas in the Facebook Group, here are some of the responses: 
 
⩥ Mantras (Lakshmi Mantra)
⩥ Oracle cards and tarot
⩥ Drinking herbal tea or hot chocolate
⩥ Reading or doing a craft
⩥ Spending quality time with family
 
 

🌙  

9:00pm

Yoga Nidra before bed.

Yoga Nidra
Nidra translates as “sleep” in Sanskrit. Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation to bring your body and mind into deep relaxation.

Recommended for everyone and can be helpful for those working with stress, anxiety, exhaustion, and burnout.


Music by Dj Augustus

◒ 

How to Join the Retreat: 

 

1. Follow the agenda above.
2. Attend the LIVE yoga class on Saturday.
3. Pre-purchase the food-stuffs if you want to follow the recipes. 
4. Plan accordingly with your family.
5. Share with a friend to participate with those you love!
 

 

Connect with us in our private Facebook group as you go through your day or if you have any questions!