Hatha Yoga (the yoga of physical movement).

Hatha is the branch of yoga in which we use the physical practices – including postures, breathwork, dietary selection, and other “external” means – to build better control of our thoughts in order to move ultimately toward one-mindedness.

As part of this, we strive to balance the body and mind, with the understanding that they are always in fluctuation.

Goal: To gain freedom through physical discipline.

How to get there: Through practicing the 8 limbs of yoga.

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Yamas and Niyamas,

The five yamas are moral directives intended to guide the practitioner’s behavior towards others.

  • Ahimsa: Nonviolence towards others.
  • Satya: Truthfulness.
  • Asteya: Not stealing from others. Though this probably had a literal meaning originally, it has been extended to mean not putting others down to build yourself up.
  • Brahmacharya: Chastity. Whether this means celibacy or simply controlling one’s sexual impulses is open to interpretation.

While the yamas direct one’s behavior towards others, the niyamas describe how to act ethically towards oneself.  The 5 niyamas are:

  • Saucha: Cleanliness. Again, probably a practical meaning originally but has a modern interpretation keeping your intentions pure.
  • Santosa: Contentment with oneself.
  • Tapas: Self discipline. Having the commitment to sustain a practice.
  • Svadhyaya: Self study. Having the courage to look within yourself for answers.
  • Isvara pranidhana: Surrender to a higher power. Whether that is a deity or the acceptance that the world is governed by forces outside of our control is up to you.

Together, these two sets of rules were meant to guide one to a righteous lifestyle.

Asana

The practice of yoga postures, although it should be noted that the word asana means seat.

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Pranayama

The practice of breathing exercises. Choosing to control the breath for specific effects.

Pratyahara

The withdrawal of the senses, meaning that the exterior world is not a distraction from the interior world within oneself.

Dharana

Concentration, or the ability to focus on something uninterrupted by external or internal distractions. Dharana builds upon pratyahara.

Once you can ignore external stimuli, you can begin to direct your concentration elsewhere.

Dhyana

Meditation. Building upon dharana, your are able to expand your concentration beyond a single thing so that it becomes all encompassing

Samadhi

Bliss. After you have achieved dhyana, the transcendence of the self through meditation can begin. The self merges with the universe, which is sometimes translated as enlightenment.

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Bhakti Yoga. (the yoga of devotion)

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While Hatha Yoga requires a strong and flexible body, Raja Yoga requires a disciplined and concentrated mind, and Jnana Yoga requires a keen intellect, the only requirement for Bhakti Yoga is an open, loving heart. 

GOAL: To develop a personal relationship with the ‘divine’, which could include a higher power, nature, or the self.

HOW TO GET THERE: Prayer, chanting or your own preferred way of expressing devotion.

MORE INFO:

Bhakti means “devotion” or “love” and this path contains various practices to unite the practitioner with the Divine.

Bhakti Yoga is considered the most direct method to experience the unity of mind, body and spirit.

This deeply spiritual practice draws heavily on the Hindu deities. Each of these deities is seen as representing a human aspect of the single Godhead or Brahman (similar to the way Christian saints represent specific attributes and qualities of God). The use of Hindu deities in Bhakti Yoga can be a large obstacle for Western practitioners, especially for those with a deeply religious background. But the use of the Hindu deities is not required for this practice.

 

The most popular limb of Bhakti Yoga in the West is  Kirtan,  with national and local Kirtan walas performing weekly in small to large cities. Bhakti Yoga can be practiced by itself or be integrated into other types of yoga or spiritual practices.

Branches of Yoga.

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What opens your heart to being receptive to new ideas, creativity and compassion?

There are many branches of yoga that reflect the diversity in our temperament, personalities and goals.

There is a style of yoga for everyone! Maybe your goal is to exercise, or open your heart and quiet your mind, maybe it’s music or service to others?

Here are a few of the modern forms of yoga and I will be writing a short blurb about each individually.

 

BHAKTI YOGA (Devotion)

HATHA YOGA (Physical Exercise)

JNANA YOGA (Wisdom)

KARMA YOGA (Service)

MANTRA YOGA (Sound)

RAJA YOGA (Meditation)

TANTRA YOGA (study of the universal from the point of view of the individual)

One Love San Francisco

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I’d like to invite you to join me and my friends, Danni Pomplun, Martin Scott and Susannah Freedman to take your yoga off the mat and help us give back to underserved and homeless youth.

Please join us for One Love’s San Francisco 2016 Charity Yoga Event! Help us give back to the SF community and make a positive impact in the lives of local and global underprivileged youth. Your ticket purchase will be a direct donation locally to Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco, aiding to get homeless and at-risk kids off the street, and globally to the One Love shelter in India, which is home to 20 kids rescued from the streets.

Date: Saturday, June 18th 2016
Time: 1:30 – 3:30pm (doors open 12:45pm – arrive early to save your mat space)
Location: Yoga Tree, Castro (97 Collingwood St, San Francisco, CA 94114)
Tickets start at $30. available here: https://www.movewith.com/at/onelovemovementsf

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Yoga Teachers

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Thank you to LYFT for making it easy for our yogis to get around
NEW LYFT USERS get $50 in credit towards their first 10 rides. Promo code: lyfttoonelove
https://www.lyft.com/invited/lyfttoonelove

EXISTING LYFT USERS get a 25% discount on their Lyft ride to or from Yoga Tree Castro on the day of the event (June 18th). As long as your ride begins or ends at the event, the code will be applicable. Promo code: Ridetoonelove
https://www.lyft.com/invited/Ridetoonelove

DIY ice pack.

Some of you already know that I only recently learned how to ride a bicycle. Although it was always a little embarrassing admitting to people that I did not know how to ride a bike, I was never motivated or interested enough to learn.

At the beginning of this year, I was gifted my very first bicycle from my friends over at Lululemon and Public Bikes. It was love at first sight!  I think my bike is beautiful and it has the words “Do one thing a day that scares you” printed on the frame.

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Okiedokie, NOW I was motivated to learn to ride this beauty. I rallied up a dear friend who has infinite patience and off we went to learn how to ride a bike in Golden Gate Park. SUCCESS!!!

Safety First.
Safety First.

My ride in the park was fun and I only freaked out for most of it.

Lets cut forward to my holiday in Mammoth Lakes where I crashed into another rider and split my ear open and bruised my shin bone so bad that my leg swelled to the size of a football.  Here is where my DIY ice pack comes in. I needed to ice my leg constantly and found this little recipe online that works really well. It has been good having an ice pack or two or four at home for achy shoulders after climbing or random injuries here and there.

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  • Mix 1 part rubbing alcohol with 3 parts water in a ziploc bag and put in the freezer. (The alcohol will prevent the water from freezing completely.)
  • When it’s frozen, wrap with a towel or cloth of some sort and apply.

That’s how we roll.

Foam rolling is essential in the recovery of tight, overworked muscles. By using your own body weight you can perform a variety of self massage techniques to break up trigger points, soothe tight muscles and increase blood flow and circulation. A foam roller can help release tension in connective tissue, work out knots in sore muscles and also stretch muscles and tendons.

Here are a few of my favorite stretches.

What you will need:

* Foam Roller

*Tennis ball

*Patience

1. Quad Massage.

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Start by coming to forearm plank, with both of your thighs on the roller (be sure to engage your abs to protect your lower back). Roll back and forth from your hip to your knees. If you would like to increase the pressure, try lifting one thigh off the roller and leaning into the roller with the leg you are massaging. Roll each leg for 60 seconds.

2. Hamstring Massage.

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Sit on the floor with the foam roller under your knee and your legs extended straight over the roller. Roll back and forth until your hamstrings feel loose. To increase the pressure, try crossing one leg over the other.

I really like using a tennis ball to stretch out my hamstrings, I find it targets specific knots and kinks a lot better than the foam roller. Here is how:

Place the tennis ball under one of your legs while sitting on the ground. I have found that the best results come from elevating the leg that is not being rolled. Flex the foot of the leg you are rolling (by pulling toes toward you). Here you can really focus on any tender spots.

3. IT Band Massage:

This is one exercise that i have a true love/hate relationship with. It is quite intense when you first start rolling this area, but if you are consistent and patient, it will begin to ease up after a few sessions.

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Lie sideways with the foam roller under the side of your thigh. Start from the hips and roll slowly all the way down to your knee.. As uncomfortable as this is, try to spend a little extra time holding on the more tender areas you encounter. Roll each leg for 60 seconds.

4. Glute and Piriformis Massage.

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This is another stretch that I feel a tennis ball targets the problem areas a little more clearly, but you can try both.

Sit with your buttocks on top of the foam roller. Bend your knees, and cross the right leg so that the right ankle is resting over the left knee. Shift/tilt your weight to your right side. Roll over the buttocks until you feel the tension in your glute, again holding in areas that feel especially tender (this is more apparent when rolling with a tennis ball). Repeat on other side.