Contact us 530 746 8456 info@triyogadavis.com


Summer is Here


Summer's Here.
July Special  ---3 classes per week/9 total.

In July, attend three TriYoga Davis classes per week! Read what our students have said about their experience attending multiple classes per week.

"I attend yoga classes 1-2 times a week and do some flows at home other days as my schedule allows. I find that doing yoga more than once a week has many benefits.  My body seems to be stronger, more flexible and I have less “old age” pain.  The flows and breathing improve much more with multiple classes and I more easily am able to transition to a state of well-being.  After nights when sleep has evaded me, a session of yoga is rejuvenating and provides energy for the rest of the day." -from a student in our Tuesday class.


Read what National Institute of Health reports about doing yoga several times per week.

Register here. $108 for Nine Classes in July. Come to Kamala's, Kendra's and Rose's classes. You'll feel relaxed, strong and flexible all month long. Your mind and spirit will soar.

Notice the relaxation in action, expansion of body and breath and increased vitality with nine classes in this 3-week session.

There are no classes during July 4th week. 
For just one class per week, you may pay $43.50 or use the drop-in rate of $18.

Animals' Health Benefits- Laughter, Calm and More.

In my childhood home we had many animals. Mostly the usual kinds: my brother’s Guinea pigs, a pet rabbit, random fish, birds, and the ever present dogs, and cats. There were also the periodic bummer lambs or calves that failed to nurse, requiring bottle feeding:  farm creatures that passed through our household when my father the veterinarian helped out some farmer who was stretched to the limits and couldn’t manage the neediest of her creatures.
Of all the animals, I felt particular affinity for the cats.
TriYoga teacher Kendra and her purring cat.

There was something about curling up with a purring cat kneading my arm at the end of the day, or waking to the gentle rumble and a paw on the nose reminding me of breakfast time that touched me in ways that the other critters didn’t. No matter the worries of the day I’d find my breath calming as my hand stroked the cat, her purr vibrating into my being.

Today, my husband and I still share our home and garden with several cats, and other random pets that come into our lives in their own ways. Although we have several critters, I’m still most fond of the cats. We don’t have any that like to sit on laps, but they will sit beside us and purr, the gentle rumble vibrating into our beings.

Studies show that having pets and interacting with these creatures that love us unconditionally is good for people. No wonder Goat Yoga classes sell out quickly, and Cat and Dog Yoga is in high demand in areas where it’s offered. People long to be in contact with other creatures, and how can we possibly stay stressed if there’s a goat jumping on our back when in child’s pose, or a dog stretching out beside us on the mat.  

In TriYoga, even without the added creatures in class, I have found similar calm in watching my breath slow, using the complete breath in the kriya, lengthening the exhale in the asana. When I focus on the breath, the calm spreads through my being. Come to one of Kendra's TriYoga classes soon.

TriYoga Instructor Kendra West Williams

Check out these benefits of living with pets:

Or these about animals and yoga:


My joints are inflammed. My knees hurt. Suggestions Please!

Spices can help reduce inflammation. 

Season your food with anti-inflammatory spices.

This article comes fro the Arthritis Foundation Website
Eating foods know to be anti-inflammatory can help joints and muscles feel much better and reduce swelling. Spices are an important part of that type of diet.

Often when prepping a meal, food is the primary focus and spices are, at best, an afterthought. But when following an anti-inflammatory diet to help reduce the pain and joint inflammation, researchers say don’t forget about the potential benefits of the spices you use to season your meals.
“The more anti-inflammatory foods and spices you eat, the more you are tamping down chronic inflammation,” explains board certified sports dietitian Kim Larson, a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “I think people are often surprised at what a great anti-inflammatory source spices can be.”
Your joints and sometimes other parts of your body become inflamed, and many spices inhibit certain inflammatory pathways in the body. And although a dash of cinnamon on your oatmeal is somewhat infinitesimal, spices can pack a significant punch when you consume a number of them throughout the day.
“If you do a sprinkle of cinnamon in oatmeal or a smoothie, then have some ginger tea
mid-morning and something with pepper and garlic for lunch and dinner it can certainly have an additive effect,” explains Beth McDonald, a nutritionist at The Center for Health and Healing in the Department of Integrative Medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in New York City. “So with spices – experiment with new recipes and try to incorporate a spice with an anti -inflammatory benefit with every meal.”
With that in mind…here are some spices to consider the next time you are in the kitchen.

Garlic

Garlic is a tasty addition to just about any savory dish. Like onions and leeks, it contains diallyl disulfide, an anti-inflammatory compound that limits the effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Garlic, therefore can help fight the pain, inflammation and cartilage damage of arthritis.
Opt for fresh garlic from the produce section of your market because preservatives may be added to bottled garlic and processing may decrease some of its strength.

Turmeric

Curcumin is the active chemical in turmeric root; it blocks inflammatory cytokines and enzymes in two inflammatory pathways. Several human trials have shown an anti-inflammatory benefit, which can translate to reduced joint pain and swelling. The yellow spice is popular in curries and other Indian dishes. It is most effective in combination with black pepper, which helps the body absorb it better – so eat the two together when possible.

Ginger

Gingerol and shogaol are the chemicals in ginger that block inflammation pathways in the body. Along with its anti-inflammatory properties, some studies have shown ginger can also reduce osteoarthritis symptoms, although other studies did not find such benefit.
Ginger is a versatile spice and can go in both sweet and savory dishes. It’s best to use it in its fresh form. A great way to add ginger to your diet is to boil it into a tea: Put a one- to two-inch piece of fresh ginger root in boiling water for 30 to 60 minutes.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde and cinnamic acid, both of which have antioxidant properties that help inhibit cell damage caused by free radicals. Studies say more research is needed to make formal recommendations about its use, however.
Cinnamon is delicious mixed with oatmeal or added to smoothies, but it’s not strong enough on its own to offer a therapeutic effect. Used in combination with other foods and spices, it may offer a cumulative anti-inflammatory effect over the course of the day.

Cayenne

Chili peppers contain natural compounds called capsaicinoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Cayenne and other dried chilies spice up sauces, marinades and rubs. Chilies can be hot, so start with just a dash or two.

Final Tips

When trying a new spice, start small and add more after you’ve taste-tested your dish. Anywhere from a half teaspoon to a full teaspoon is generally a good place to start for most spices, except cayenne (start with a ¼ tsp or less of cayenne).
A good rule of thumb with spices is “fresh is best.” But experts say bottled spices can pack a punch too. “Spices are already dehydrated so the antioxidants are concentrated in a small, powerful amount,” Larson explains.
And remember the wide variety of foods you can spice up. They are wonderful in rubs, marinades and sauces; on steamed or roasted vegetables; mixed into pasta, potatoes, rice, couscous and quinoa; and in soups and stews.


Summer Travel!



It's Summer! Pack healthy, nutritious foods that travel well.
Road Trip

Or Air Travel
You may be heading out of town this Summer - off on a road trip or a flight to places known and unknown. Check out Kelli's Vegan Kitchen for lots of ideas for yummy and easily prepared healthy snacks to pack. Here's one that holds up really well when traveling. Kelli Roberts is a TriYoga instructor in southern California who is also a fabulous certified cook! She offered a plant-based diet workshop in Davis. Photos below and on our TriYoga Davis Facebook page.

Quinoa Tabbouli
By Kelli Roberts



I’ve been traveling a lot over the past few years, and the people around me travel A LOT, so I’m always on the lookout for great food that travels well, either on a flight or in the car.
Now this search certainly hasn’t been without its comic relief, trying to work around security regulations. You know what I’m talking about ~ when you try for a healthy light salad, and you’re pouring on the dressing at the last minute in the security line so it doesn’t count as one of your 3 oz. liquids, and it ends up all over you and your carry-on. And I won’t even tell you what I said to the poor TSA guy who had the nerve to take my pint of guacamole. Let’s just say that I told him to keep it… but not nearly that nicely. 😁
Over the years, I’ve come up with a few go-to recipes, that I make pretty much every time that someone around me (or I) travels. I’ll write a post with a list of my favorites soon, but here is one of my favorites in the meantime ~ quinoa tabbouli. The quinoa and hemp seeds make it a protein-packed dish that is incredibly light and fresh, and can also be made as spicy as you want it. And it holds up to traveling really well, so it’s a great one to take along. And it’s easy. Did I mention that?
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Quinoa Tabbouli

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 regular or 2 small Persian or Japanese cucumbers (peel if you’re using a regular cuke)
  • minced red onion to taste (I usually use about 2-3 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • juice of 1 lemon (or more if you like it lemony)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • a couple dashes of cayenne pepper, to taste
My personal preferences in this recipe are Roma tomatoes (since they are less seedy and watery than regular ones), but heirloom tomatoes would also be great, and flat parsley (somehow I just like it better than the curly stuff).
Mix everything from the quinoa through the hemp seeds together in a medium-sized bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Taste and adjust any of the seasonings – lemon, oil, salt, or cayenne. This is a very forgiving recipe that holds up well, so it’s easy to adjust to your particular taste.
Makes 2-4 servings, depending on your serving size!


Photos of Kelli's Plant-Based Cooking Workshop in Davis. 
It was great fun and delicious, too. Let us know if you'd like to do another one!

                                 


                                    

The Yoga Sutras

Patanjali’s “Yoga Sutra”

From this text and it's commentaries we can learn 'Purna Yoga Abhyasa'--the complete yoga practice.

This book, in 4 chapters written 2500 years ago by Patanjali, a sage and Samskrit grammarian is the probably the most significant text on Yoga. He compiled the yoga knowledge of his time (which may be more than 4000 years old) and organized it into a condensed wisdom, simply written in ‘threads’ or aphorisms in a ‘sutra’ writing style. The profound philosophical ideas in this form could be chanted, therefore memorized since most students of yoga didn’t have access to books or writings or may not have been literate. In this way the information was passed from teacher to student through the ages. The short pithy sutras are the ‘bare-bones’ of concepts and ideas. The style makes them difficult to completely understand so ancient teachers and enlightened sages (including Patanjali himself) added commentaries for their students. There are many ancient and modern texts of commentaries from which to find interpretations of Patanjali’s brief and powerful comments.

The sutras hold practical, down-to-earth suggestions about how we can best understand ourselves and how to live in harmony with others. These writings are not tenants of a religion, but describe a philosophy of life, and are amazingly just as relevant today as when they were written. Within the sutras are suggestions about how to gain "the ability to direct the mind without distraction or interruption- so we can live a focused and productive life"(Desikachar).

 When we think of yoga, we first imagine postures and perhaps breathing practices and meditation.  Patanjali has described the complete yoga practices that go beyond the yoga asanas on the mat, yogic breathing and meditation. Yoga as presented in this text is a whole lifestyle, a system of thought- a way to understand how to make good decisions and take responsible actions and to be happy in life. Taking action to be healthy, learn all about ourselves and improve the quality of our actions, will help us make fewer mistakes and be contented and peaceful. Patanjali’s describes the yogic idea that change is certain, but something deep within us is not subject to change. He helps us find that place within us that is peace and bliss. From there we can come back into the world behaving as our best selves, making the world a more peaceful and loving place
.
Kaliji’s commentaries are available on the TriYoga Kriya website. Some other modern commentaries are by T.K.S. Desikachar, Bramananda Svarasvati, Edwin Bryant, Frans Moors, Chip Hartranft, Georg Feuerstein, and many others. Ancient ones are by Vyasa, Vacaspati Mishra, Vinjnana Bhiksu. 


P.S. There is a fabulous Yoga Sutra class taught at the Davis Art Center by Ann Rogers. Check out their schedule.



Meet TriYoga Davis Students


Every so often we introduce one of our students. We want you to get to know them so you'll feel comfortable coming to class for the first time. OR if you've already been coming, we want you to learn more about who may be on the mat next to yours.


This time I'm happy to introduce Rick Palkovic.

A recent retiree, Rick wonders how he ever had time for work. He plays guitar and mandolin in various local performance ensembles, and turns his hand to songwriting and composition. You can spot him around Davis riding his bright green recumbent tricycle.  

Rick describes TriYoga as "a calm pool in the rushing stream of life." He enjoys the community of a class setting, too. "Sure, I could work out at home by myself, but there's a camaraderie when you're working with others. And, it's different from a workout at the gym. You're not wrestling with weights and machines, but only with the dynamics of your own body. I guess that's part of the inward-looking, spiritual dimension of yoga.”

See one of Rick’s performance ensembles, Tree-O. Or, better yet, listen to one of Tree-O's songs!

More about Rick from the Tree-O website: Rick has kept his musical muse going over the years by playing a little bit of everything. Yep, there he was in the polyester disco outfit playing guitar on Chicago covers in the early ‘80s (who knew? not me!). And there he was picking up Dobro and mandolin when the bluegrass band needed another instrumentalist in the '90s, all the while keeping up his interest in jazz guitar.


Multi-talented, huh? You can join his mailing list at "Contacts" to learn when he is playing around town with his wife, Jamie Knapp, another TriYoga Davis student, and musician George Haver.

The Dangers of Sitting Too Much


A have a meeting while walking
What? My hour-long workout is not enough?  Why do we need to do a lot of moving-all day long-not just during our workout hour?  To find out read the article below that I found at  www.mylifestages.org 

After you read the article, do some chair yoga at your desk-several times during the day. I found this fabulous little video by Adrien on you-tube. 
Then before or after work, join a TriYoga Davis yoga class. Check out our schedule

What You Can Do to Overcome the Health Hazards of Sitting
  • The news about sitting too much is not good, but it’s worth knowing: Our modern lifestyle, with long spells of sitting down, is hazardous to our health. You thought you knew that, right? That’s why you fit in an aerobic workout three to five times a week, like you were told. The emerging news is: That may not be enough.

    A new field called “inactivity studies” has been looking at what happens when we sit down a lot. And the surprising news is that sitting for too many hours can harm your health, whether or not you exercise the rest of the time. Couch potatoes and marathon runners share the danger, in slightly differing degrees. Dang, that’s depressing.

    “This is (hazards of sitting) an important field of study,” says San Francisco Internist Toni Brayer
    , medical advisor to MyLifeStages. “This doesn’t mean your exercise plan should be scrapped; it means you should find ways to reduce long periods of sitting, in addition to getting regular aerobic exercise.”

    What inactivity studies found about sitting

    A key study in the field of “inactivity” was attempting to figure out why some people gain weight while others don’t. The study subjects were fed the same amount of extra calories and forbidden to exercise during the study. Surprisingly, not all subjects gained weight. So what was happening?

    The researchers then wired up the subjects’ bodies to see how much they moved. Although no one was doing traditional “exercise,” they discovered that the leaner subjects moved a lot during the day – standing , walking, even just fidgeting. Th
    ese subtle movements burned calories and changed the subjects’ overall metabolism, in a healthy way.
  • Facts about sitting still, according to inactivity researchers:
    • When we sit, the electrical activity in the legs and gluteal muscles (buttocks) slows way down.
    • Calorie burning slows to 1 calorie per minute.
    • Enzymes in the blood that burn fat drop precipitously.
    • After two hours, good cholesterol levels can drop 20%.
Scientists at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana analyzed the lifestyles of more than 17,000 men and women over about 13 years, and found that people who sit for most of the day are 54 percent more likely to die of heart attacks. The results of this inactivity study were published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Another study found that those who sat the most had the highest mortality, not just from heart-related disease, but from cancer deaths as well, said the study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Those who sat a lot but did some exercise fared better than those who just sat, but sitting more than six hours a day impacted the mortality of all subjects, no matter what else they did.

How to move more and sit less

Many of us are tied to jobs that involve sitting at a desk, or to long commutes in the car. In addition, we may relax in the evening with more sitting, in front of the TV, video game or computer. So what can we do, short of opting for a job that involves manual labor?
"Do any kind of movement" -Dr. Brayer
    • Take breaks from your desk. These can be as simple as standing up for a phone call, or walking down the hall to the copier. Try to space this activity throughout the day, so you don’t sit for more than an hour without a break. (If you’re at home, you can try some moves from our easy home fitness circuit.)

    • Consider a standing desk arrangement, or a sitting ball. Yes, it’s different and might look weird at first– but the act of standing or balancing on a ball can burn many more calories and keep your muscles engaged and alive. You can also take a couple of minutes to try these desk exercises at work. Check with your organization to understand whether or not your organization policies permit these adjustments and under what circumstances.
    • Take a walk! Consider a walking meeting with co-workers, or just head out the door yourself, circle the building, and come back refreshed.
    • Move before climbing into the car for your commute. Is there a quick activity you can do before you leave in the morning - sweep the floor or hang up some clothes? Or, stop for a cup of tea on the way home to break up a long ride. Just getting out of the car and doing something active helps.
    • While watching TV – stand up. Do some squats and other moves to strengthen your legs. Dance around or do yoga poses. Ride your exercise bike. Or, if you aren’t ready for the sitting ball at work, bring one home and use it in front of the TV.
    • Play with the kids (or grandkids). Kids know how to move – you can hardly stop them. So play ball with them, or crawl around on the floor. Be more kid like and you will move more.

“We need to keep our bodies moving,” says Dr. Brayer. “Humans were built to stand, walk, bend, run and move. Our modern lifestyle forces us to sit still, and we weren’t built for that.”

Yoga for Runners

TriYoga for Runners class starts on Tuesday, May 2 at 7:30pm. First class free. 

The benefits and effects of yoga for runners

This is an excerpt from Yoga for Runners edited by Christine Felstead.

Effects of Yoga on Runners
Runners are often reluctant to try yoga; their most common fear is that they are not flexible enough. It is not uncommon for those attending their first Yoga for Runners class to ask whether the room will be filled with lithe and flexible bodies, in spite of the class being advertised “For runners; no yoga experience necessary.” This fear may be driven by the many media images showing people in advanced yoga poses, fueling the notion that you have to be able to bend like a pretzel to do yoga. This is the furthest thing from the truth. Yoga is suitable for every body type. It can be started at any age regardless of physical condition, and those who are the stiffest have the most to gain. Runners, specifically, have a tremendous amount to gain from adding yoga to their fitness regimens.
____Running can lead to injury because of its repetitive nature and the resulting musculoskeletal imbalances. On a physical level, yoga restores balance and symmetry to the body, making it the perfect complement to running. Runners are often drawn to yoga to deal with specific issues, such as improving flexibility or helping with an injury. Yet many are shocked at the world it opens for them, specifically, the strengthening capacity and the use of muscles they never knew they had. Let’s take a closer look at the effects of yoga, both physical and mental, on runners.
______
Physical Effects
As seen in the preceding definitions, yoga encompasses more than the mere physical postures. Nonetheless, the physicality of yoga is what draws most people to their first yoga class. The following summarizes the physical benefits that runners can expect from yoga.
______
Flexibility Many runners cite greater flexibility as the number one reason for beginning a yoga practice. This is a good reason, because yoga stretches the muscles that are tight, which in turn increases the range of motion in related joints. Increased flexibility decreases stiffness, results in greater ease of movement, and reduces many nagging aches and pains.
______
Strength Runners are strong in ways that relate to running. However, a running stride involves only the lower body and movement in one plane—sagittal (i.e., forward and backward). Thus, certain muscles become strong while others are underused and remain weak. Runners have strong legs for running, but when faced with holding a standing yoga pose, they are quite surprised to find that their legs feel like jelly. This is simply because a properly aligned yoga pose involves using all the muscles in a variety of planes. The muscles that are weak fatigue quickly, and those that are tight scream for release—thus, the jelly-leg syndrome.
____Overly tight muscles are also weak ones. To be fully functional, a muscle needs to contract when needed and also relax and lengthen when needed. For example, if your hand is perpetually in a state of contraction, as in a fist, its function is severely impaired. A healthy muscle is able to move through a healthy range of motion.
____Additionally, running primarily uses the muscles from the hips down, whereas a balanced yoga practice involves the entire body. Muscles that are simply not used while running are called upon and strengthened—specifically in the arms, upper torso, abdominals, and back. Moreover, yoga uses the person’s own body weight to create resistance, working against gravity to build the muscle and bone strength vital for overall health. Muscles strengthen by various methods of contraction, followed by rest and supported with proper nutrition. In running, the strengthening is primarily in the legs, whereas a balanced yoga practice contracts and stretches the muscles of the entire body. For example, a fairly basic pose such as plank requires numerous muscles to actively engage; otherwise, the effect of gravity would result in the belly, hips, and upper torso sagging.
____Strengthening the upper body and core helps improve posture during daily activities and also while running. Moreover, a strong core allows the arms and legs to move more efficiently, creating better overall form, less fatigue, less weight impact on the legs, and a reduced risk of injury. A strong core creates a strong runner!
____Additionally, a by-product of becoming stronger is greater muscle tone. Yoga helps shape long, lean muscles that do not hinder free range of movement in joints.
______
Biomechanical Balance Overusing some muscles while underusing others creates muscular imbalances, which affect the entire musculoskeletal balance and impairs biomechanical efficiency. For runners, biomechanical imbalances eventually lead to pain and injury.
____Depending on the action, a muscle is either contracting (i.e., an agonist) or lengthening (i.e., an antagonist). For example, if you make a fist and lift your forearm, the biceps contracts while the triceps stretches. If you want showy biceps and do repeated biceps curls to pump up the muscle, the triceps will shorten and you could lose the ability to straighten your arm.
____A healthy balance is to work to both contract and stretch to maintain muscle equilibrium as well as functionality. For example, when stretching the hamstrings, the quadriceps need to contract. This coordinated action not only creates a deeper and safer hamstring stretch, but also provides an opportunity to strengthen the quadriceps, especially the inner quadriceps, which are weak in many runners. This is crucial for runners because the hamstrings most likely need lengthening while the commonly weak inner quads need strengthening.
____Executed correctly, a seemingly simple yoga pose requires the balanced activity of opposing muscle groups. To hold a pose, some muscles need to stretch while others need to contract. In this way, a natural balancing of strength and flexibility occurs, which creates biomechanical balance over time. This is one of the major benefits that await runners who undertake a regular yoga practice.
____Every yoga pose is a balance of stability (muscles contracting and strengthening) and mobility (muscles stretching and lengthening). At no time is only one muscle group used. Even the simplest yoga pose requires an awakening of every part of the body. Downward dog is an exemplary pose to demonstrate this. Following is a summary of the major muscle actions in this fundamental pose.
Stability (Strength)
  • Arms: hands, wrists, lower arms, triceps, deltoids
  • Back: lower trapezius, serratus anterior
  • Legs: quadriceps, tibialis anterior (front of shins)
Mobility (Flexibility)
  • Arms: fingers, biceps
  • Back: latissimus dorsi, paraspinals (both superficial and deep layers of back muscles)
  • Legs: hamstrings, calves, Achilles tendon
A balanced yoga practice requires most of the muscles in the body to perform some action. At the same time, joints are taken through their full ranges of motion as the corresponding muscles contract or stretch to support the movement. The result is improved muscle balance, which translates to better form, stronger running, and fewer injuries.
______
A Complete, Inside-Out Body Workout Yoga provides a workout that includes every muscle and all the joints. Yoga uses all muscle groups, including the small muscles in the hands and toes, the large muscles of the legs and torso, the superficial muscles such as the calves and hamstrings, and the deeply layered muscles that are not visible. When examining a person in the downward dog pose, you can see clearly that the superficial muscles of the back are stretching. What is less obvious is the lengthening of the intrinsic layer of paraspinal muscles, creating space and decompressing the vertebrae.
____Furthermore, all of the body’s systems beyond the muscle groups are worked in yoga, including the cardiovascular, respiratory, skeletal, and endocrine systems. Additionally, the internal organs are massaged and oxygenated through yogic breathing and movement in the poses.
______
An Energized Body Many forms of exercise deplete the body of its energy stores. Yet a yoga practice oxygenates the blood and creates more energy, leaving the body and mind feeling restored and energized. Yoga provides a vehicle through which the body can actively recover from the physical demands of running.
______
Improved Breathing Lung capacity is of prime importance for runners, because it creates the ability to maintain an even breathing pattern through all phases of running. The better the lung capacity is, the more oxygen is circulated through the system, which is most helpful for running long and strong. However, the breathing pattern used in running and other forms of aerobic exercise involves quick and shallow inhalations and exhalations. This uses only the top portion of the lungs, leaving the middle and lower portions untouched. Yogic breathing involves slow, deep inhalations and long exhalations, making use of the upper, middle, and lower portions of the lungs. Yogic breathing has been shown to increase lung capacity, and greater lung capacity increases endurance and improves overall athletic performance.
____In Sanskrit, prana means “energy,” and yogic breathing is called pranayama. Through the breath, you bring in oxygen, feeding your cells and creating vital life force, and remove carbon dioxide, eliminating toxins. The use of the breath in yoga is vital. Whereas holding the breath creates internal tightness, tension, and anxiety, deep breathing releases tension, reduces stress and anxiety, and physically helps the body ease into poses, particularly those that are challenging. Through this conscious breathing, the body is energized as a result of increased oxygen circulation throughout all of its systems.
Register now for the TriYoga for Runners class, starting May 2. This is a 9-week class, through June 27.
Improve flexibility of posterior thighs, hip flexors and ankles. Improve balance and focus. Have fun! 
Non-runners also welcome. A great class for beginners, too.
We have all the props you need, but if you have your own mat, bring it. 

At the Pence Gallery. Sign up now.

Nada Yoga- Peace, Bliss, Self Realization -the Goal of Yoga - through Music

ॐ ॐ ॐ ॐ 

There are many ways to enter the meditative state.
Try focusing the mind on uplifting music. Many yogis have deemed music to be the easiest of all paths to inner peace.

Focus the mind on uplifting music.  One can do this by listening to peaceful, uplifting or devotional music, or one can sing mantras. When people meet to sing in a call and response style, this is kirtan. Kirtan is a form of Nada Yoga, the yoga of sound. Nada refers to the flow of sound and the subsequent flow of higher consciousness.
The harmonium, shown, is a keyboard so often used in Kirtan. Vina, flute and mridagam also provide sacred vibrations to enhance meditation. Listen to a Peace Chant with Kaliji and Mercury Max.
Beautiful sound reduces stress, maintains health and invokes spiritual awakening. As our experience shows us, sound has a profound effect on consciousness. 

Just as a child is lulled to sleep by lullabies, just as a person is pleased with good words from another, just as a beautiful melody can open the heart, the practice of Kirtan, the effortless and complete absorption into the source of sound leads us to sacchidananda. That is the deepest meditation of existence, knowledge and bliss. 

What food is to the body, music is to the soul. Sing kirtan, chant mantra, listen to higher truths, or read sacred scriptures from any tradition. Such activity is a wonderful pathway to meditation and knowing one’s true self. When devotional music replaces clutter in mind, we can hear the inner voice of our higher mind and the ageless wisdom. Read on for more info on Kirtan below.

                                        ॐ ॐ ॐ 
Kirtan and Mangos -Nada Yoga 
Having returned home from teaching TriYoga Basics this morning, I read last night’s Davis Enterprise newspaper. Two announcements of Indian music concerts in Davis this weekend caught my eye and I am excited to share them with you. The first is Kirtan and the second an Indian music concert---read on.
One of my very favorite things in the whole wide world to do is Kirtan (Save Saturday at 7:30p, Kaya Yoga Studio)! What is Kirtan? It is singing along with others in call and response fashion, following a lead singer. The songs are usually in Sanskrit, are meditative and can be devotional in nature. Instruments vary but often include at least one Indian instrument like a harmonium, tabla, vina, sitar. You’ll also hear guitar, bells and other percussion, flute, violin and more. Click here to listen. 
The chants speed up and slow down, in doing so creating the ability to lead the audience into ecstatic highs of joy, love and harmony. Perhaps the most famous American kirtan leader is Krishna Das, who is credited with introducing this transformative practice to the West. Many others have contributed to making kirtan what it is in the United States, including Deva Premal, Jai Uttal, Bhagavan Das, Russill Paul, Wah!, and Dave Stringer. Kaliji and her Chant Band are my favorite, naturally.
Though someone whom I found online, named Sri Prahlada said the following, this is close to what I would have said about my joyful experience of kirtan.

”My personal experience of kirtan is that when the lead chanter and the group participants are sincere and sing from the heart with devotion – there is nothing in the world that has the power to move and uplift me like kirtan. When I look back on my life, my happiest, most blissful moments, were all in kirtan.

Most kirtan authorities share that the benefits of kirtan cannot be explained in words, it has to be experienced in order to be understood. How do you explain the taste of a mango to someone who has never tasted these fruits? You can intellectualize over the taste by saying it’s something like a cross between a peach, pineapple, and an orange, but until a person tastes a mango, they can never really know its flavor. The same is with the experience of kirtan – you have to experience it to know what it is. Satchidandana Swami put it eloquently when he wrote: “Words can show us the direction in which to look for the kirtan-experience, but only when you sit down, move towards your inner space, and then sing out, will you start to know what kirtan really is. Because at that time your soul will rise up and start to dance…

People will experience kirtan differently. Some people might immediately love it, like meeting a long lost friend or returning home after a long time away. Others might take a little while to get used to an unfamiliar experience. Additionally, kirtan can often sound raw and unpolished. Hence, some might find the mango a little green – immature and therefore unpalatable. But in India, people love green mangos (eaten with salt and chili powder pickled) as much as they love ripe mangos. They can also discern between different varieties of mangos – some are sweeter and others have a slightly bitter taste, others stringy, and others are more or less firm. Similarly, a kirtan connoisseur can discern and appreciate different varieties and flavors of kirtan."

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