Ganesha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ganesha is the son of Shiva and Parvati. He is an elephant-headed deity that is worshiped in India and many parts of the world. Daily routines, opening of new businesses, the start of a journey, and even an exam are preceded by a prayer to Ganesha. It is felt that he is the remover of all obstacles and before all endeavors it is important to seek Ganesha’s blessing first.

I begin each of my meditations with an invocation to Ganesha. The chant I repeat is Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha (I offer my love and devotion to Sri Ganesha; please grant me success in my noble endeavor).

Ganesha is a loveable deity and the image above is a statue of Ganesha that I purchased while in Kerala, India. This work of art sits on my desk as my protector and remover of obstacles. Each time I glance at Ganesha I am reminded to breathe deep and I feel at peace. No matter who or what you meditate, pray, or worship to, keeping a token nearby as a reminder of that devotion keeps one present and brings a sense of calm when needed.

Interested in learning more about Ganesha? Recommended reading:

The Little Book of Hindu Deities by Sanjay Patel

The Book of Ganesha by Royina Giewal

Sep01

BODY

One of the joys of travel is experiencing new yoga communities. It is an opportunity to get a new perspective on yoga, from experiencing the style of different teachers, seeing how some studios may be one small room or an entire wellness center, enjoying organic juices, and sharing yoga with friends.

While I was in Santa Fe, New Mexico I went to the Body studio. I was amazed by the size of it! It offers everything you can want at a wellness center – an organic cafe, spa, yoga studio, fitness center, boutique, and kids play area.

When I first walked in I was surprised, I never expected such a large store to be the entrance of the yoga studio. It was almost overwhelming and a little distracting to have all of those beautiful clothes in front of me before class. Although I was very tempted, I didn’t buy anything. Well, I did buy a juice on my way out, and it was delicious!

The yoga room felt like a big gymnasium. Each yogi had plenty of space to move around, and especially since it was a midday class there was room to stretch. The yoga instructor was kind, quiet, and genuine. It was a hatha yoga class, gentle, and just what I needed as I was getting used to the high elevation (8,000 ft above sea level).

I look forward to going back to Body when I take my next trip out to Santa Fe. Hopefully next time I will be able to enjoy more of the studio, the cafe, spa, and boutique!

Aug24

Get Grounded

After traveling a short or long distance in a plane or train, it is important to take sometime to ground yourself before diving into anything. Today after flying for many hours on two planes from NYC to Santa Fe my body was feeling stiff. I’m not the calmest flyer so my body builds tension in my shoulders and hips. I also find that my ankles and feet become swollen. In order to release these tensions I made sure to whip out my mat and take sometime to ground, calm, and open myself.

No matter if you have arrived at home or your hotel for business or pleasure putting aside the first 10-30min to settle in can make a world of difference for the return home or the rest of your trip. Your body physically, mentally, and emotionally experiences different stressors when traveling and it is human nature to feel a little unstable or insecure after traveling for a long distance.

Here is a sequence to try after traveling. These postures will help relieve the tensions of travel, mental anxieties, and reduce bloating. Feel free to add in an extra vinyasa here and there if you are feeling you need a little more action in the sequence.

Cat Cow (10 breaths)

Childs Pose (5 breaths)

Down Dog (5 breaths)

Childs Pose (5 breaths)

Down Dog to Plank (5x)

Down Dog to Uttanasana

Uttanasana (5 breaths)

Surya Namaskara A (3-6x)

Low Lunge (Right Leg) (5 breaths)

Vinyasa

Low Lunge (Left Leg) (5 breaths)

Vinyasa

Dolphin (2x @ 5breaths)

High Lunge (Right Leg) (5 breaths)

High Lunge Twist (Right Leg) (5 breaths)

Vinyasa

High Lunge (Left Leg) (5 breaths)

High Lunge Twist (Left Leg) (5 breaths)

Down Dog (5 breaths)

Plank

Chaturanga to the floor

Roll over onto back

Supta Baddha Konasana (with blankets or pillows under knees) (5 minutes)

Legs up the wall (5-10 minutes)

Sukhasana

In sukhasana take time to reflect on what you notice in your body and mind. Does your breath feel steady? Do you feel clear and grounded? Set an intention for the rest of your day or trip.
Shanti,

Liza

Aug17

Morning Practice

Having a morning practice can shape your day. It allows you to release the grogginess of sleep and open your body, mind, and breath to the new day. Before you have food, coffee, tea, or whatever your morning sustenance is open your mat and practice. Take 10-30 min for asana, 10 min for med, and 10 min pranayama. If you’re strapped for time try 6 surya namaskara A and 3 surya namaskara B then a 5 min meditation. Trying this just a few days in a row you will notice how much brighter your days feel.
Shanti!

Aug11