Yoga Home Practice

Practicing Yoga in a Covid World – Welcome to your home practice

As a yoga teacher, I have always said that if I do my job correctly, you won’t need me or any other yoga teacher.  Essentially, my job is and always has been, to inspire you to want to practice yoga at any time and in any place and to feel safe doing so.  You don’t need me.  Your body holds all the wisdom you will ever need.

So, that being said, it appears that the current health situation of the world is inviting us to find our own practice.  To become our own teachers.  To trust ourselves and open to our own inner wisdom.

Take a seat.

Breath in, slowly

Breath out, slowly

Feel your breath

Gently turn your head from side to side

Slowly drop an ear to a shoulder, how does that feel?

Try the other side, how does that feel?

Gently move your arms up and down

Shrug your shoulders, do some windmills, how does that feel?

Notice your breath

Move your body

Stretch your sides

Rotate your torso

Move your legs

Bend your knees

Feel your hands, feel your feet,

Feel your breath

Begin to deepen the movements

Find what nourishes you, and repeat

If something hurts, stop

Notice your breath, keep it smooth, keep it steady, allow it to find your calm

Practice going deeper

Deeper in your movements

Deeper in your breath

Deeper in your awareness

Enjoy

Namaste,

Diana Bonyhadi

Taking Care of Yourself

Taking Care of Mind and Body & Helpful Online Resources

It’s been a long time since last I wrote….

I have had many requests of late.  Friends, family, students, all asking for what they can do to nourish themselves in this time of Covid 19.  I am honored to be asked, and humbly offer you the following:

There is a glut of information online about how to stay healthy in mind, body and spirit.  By this point, we all know to maintain physical distance from one another, keep our bodies and living spaces as clean as we can, eat well, exercise and get fresh air and plenty of rest.  To this, I am going to add, that we really don’t need to check the news every hour.  I worry that the tendency to do this will only feed our fears and further stress our bodies.  Sure, check your news feed in the morning or once some time during the day, but you probably don’t need to do it all day long and especially not right before bed.  If you frequent social media sites, check-in with yourself, notice if the time spent there is making you feel calmer and more present, or if it is making you more anxious and stressed.  If it is the later, maybe it is time to pick up a book, work on a puzzle, make some art or music or practice yoga or meditation.

I know many of you have asked me to make you a video.  I might just do that, but in the interim, there are so many very good offerings out there, I encourage you to explore them.

If you don’t have a home practice, and just want some coaching and guidance and want to feel like you are part of a class, there are numerous online yoga and meditation resources that have been around for years and provide a deep well of information and teachings.  Many of these require a paid membership, but in these times, that may be a worthwhile expense.  Some of these are free and offer super high quality accessible classes (Veterans Yoga Project and Insight Timer).

These are the ones I tend to return to again and again.  Just click on the links to check them out:

Yoga:

YogaInternational.com, yogajournal.com, YogaGlo.com, gaia.com, Yoga with ADRIENNE,

Veterans Yoga Project

Meditation:

Meditation Insight Timer, Waking UP, calm.com, Sounds True, Shambala

Zoom Classes:

In addition, most studios in our area and across the country are now live streaming their classes, as are many master yoga teachers who would normally be hosting large group teacher trainings.  Some of these classes are free for the next week or so, some are already fee-based.  Most yoga studios and teachers operate on very narrow margins, and as a result of the mandatory closures, they are finding it hard to make ends meet.  So taking their classes online enables them to pay their teachers and hopefully re-open their doors once this virus has run its course.

In order to take these live-streamed streamed classes, (practicing with the teacher in real time with the teacher), you will need to click on a link that will take you to a Zoom window in your browser.  The process is pretty self-explanatory, but it does require a bit of computer savvy, so do give yourself some time to figure out the technology or you will miss the start of class.

Here are the links for a few of local studios that have been posting classes.  I only post these, as I have taken the classes and know the teachers. However, there are many more out there to explore.

TwoRiversyoga.com

rivertreeyoga.com

dayafoundation.org

seattleyogaarts.com

twodogyoga.com

Home Practice Essentials:

Before you get started, make sure you have everything you might need near by.  Choose how long you want to practice and make a commitment to that.  Even 10 minutes a day will make a difference. Get a drink of water or tea.  Turn off your phone, ask housemates to join you or at least not interrupt you.  Sit down and center yourself before you begin.  Remember svasana at the end.

Props:

Yes, one of the benefits of going to the studio or gym is that they will have all these wonderful props.  Of course you can order your own online, but you can also make do with some common household items.

Yoga Mat  – or anything that will keep your feet from sliding out from under you

Straight backed chair – for support and chair-based practice

Yoga Blocks – or books or anything that raises the floor a bit will support your hands

Yoga Straps – or belts, or scarves

Yoga Bolsters – rolled up blankets/towels or pillows or sofa cushions

Yoga Blankets – firm blanket that is not slippery to provide support and comfort

 

That’s it for now.  More to follow soon.  If you have online resources you’d like to recommend, please do share.  Seems I have and abundance of time these days to practice yoga and meditation.

Winter Solstice

bonfire.jpg

Holiday Greetings Yogis

Today was the shortest day of the year, tonight the longest night of the year.  This morning I awoke to the moon shedding a golden path across the water as it set.  I thought, I am blessed to see this.  Tonight I will join friends and family around a bonfire, hurling into the fire all that we wish to shed from this year. It will be easy to think of  quite a few things we have had to endure this year that we would like to release from our consciousness.   But on the other hand, what if I could let go of/change only one thing, just one thing about myself, what would it be?  Why? And why haven’t I asked this question sooner?  And how would I go about letting that thing go?  Whatever it is.  How about you?  What would you change/let go of?  A worthy question to ponder on this, the longest, darkest night of the year.

November 2017, I removed myself from pretty much all social media.  It’s been a bit more than a year since then.  I don’t particularly miss interacting with people via a computer.  In  fact there are many things about computer socializing I haven’t missed at all. And as a result, I have had way more time to practice yoga, meditate, read books,  work on projects, observe the world around me and study. I have also learned that the forums for socializing on the computer have become the main vehicle for advertising.  I know I shouldn’t be surprised; Newspapers and magazines were for news first, and then advertising; the postal service was for communicating with friends and family news and other events, then advertising.  Now news and social interaction happen via computers, so there too will happen advertising.  I guess what all this boils down to is…

In 2019, I pledge to be more present online.  I will share with you how I have spent my last year (lots of study & meditation), what I am working on, what I am teaching, when and where. I will continue to keep my posts short, but look forward exploring with you some of the deeper explorations into meditation and yoga.  Maybe we can make it more of a dialogue.  Let me know, how your yoga is nourishing you, and what you struggle with.  Yoga lives beyond the mat, so how are you living your yoga?

Again, I offer you my deepest gratitude for your presence in my life, and for your practice.  It brings us all one breath closer to peace.

Happy Solstice & Happy New Year

Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi

P.S. I am off to Mexico for 3 weeks.  No computer.  Ahhhh

Back Bend Workshop

Back Bend Workshop

Sunday December  16, 2018

1:30-4:00pm

Village Green Yoga, Issaquah, WA

 

Welcome to the Holidays,

The Holiday Season is upon us. Up here in the Pacific Northwest, the rains have set in, coloring the skies grey and generally making things cold and damp.  Daylight hours are still waning, and many of us wake-up in the dark and don’t get back home till the sun has set. 

To balance this, we light candles, make/eat cookies, decorate our homes with lights, and host/attend numerous celebrations bringing the light of friendship and family into our homes and hearts. 

But sometimes that is just plain hard.  Maybe we are tired, worn-out, over-stimulated, already feeling the effects of the darker days, or we are dealing with difficult personal stuff; but whatever the reason, the “Season of Joy” might be our “Season of Challenge”.  And this is where yoga can once again support us.  In order to connect with others, we need to be able to open our hearts and connect with ourselves. Backbends do just that, through physical forms we touch down into emotional spaces.

Yoga is full of backbends.  Some are super dramatic, like urdhva dhanurasana (full wheel), ekapada rajakopatanasana 4 (full pigeon), others are more subtle, like Warrior I or cow pose. Regardless of the depth of the pose, backbends are incredibly nourishing.  Not only do they bring healing to the spine, but also they re-engergize the body as we open up the spaces around the heart.  They help us to breath more deeply, and with greater ease, allowing us to more fully oxygenate all the organs in the body.  At a deeper level, backbends ask us to expose our hearts, open to vulnerability, and explore the edges of our fragility.  And in doing so, we find the spaces within, from which we can draw the strength to love more deeply and give more freely, and not just to other, but also to ourselves.

In order to derive the greatest benefit from backbends, it is essential to know how to do them safely. 

This workshop will help you to understand the dynamics of the backward bending poses enabling you to make the best choices for your body about which poses will nourish and heal, and which poses could problematic or hazardous. We will look at some anatomy, appropriate warm-ups, sequencing and counterposes, so you will always be able to practice backbends safely on your own, whenever and wherever you may want/need them

Join me for an afternoon that is certain to inspire and nourish.

Click here to sign up

Shalom & Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi

 

 

 

 

 

Mastering the Standing Poses

Greetings Yogis,

I’m pleased to announce that on November 18th,  I will be hosting a workshop on  the fundamentals of the standing poses.  Of course there is more to standing poses than just placing your feet appropriately on your mat and doing something with your arms.  Standing poses are an opportunity to stand firmly upon the earth and open to the spaciousness within.    Finding the correct physical alignment for your body will also allow you to find your own internal alignment with yourself.  When your poses are no longer a struggle, opening to the peace within comes more easily with each and every breath.  Join me for an exploration of the architecture of the poses that allows us to stand firm and tall and strong and calm.

 

Last Sunday Class in Issaquah

Namaste Yogis,

A quick note to remind you all that this Sunday will be my last day of teaching my 9:45am All-Levels Vinyasa Flow Class at Village Green Yoga.  Gosh I hope to see all of you there.  We have had such a good time together these many years.  We have learned so much about ourselves and each other, and of course about yoga.  I am deeply grateful to all of you.  I do hope you will join me this Sunday.  I guarantee you an amazing and heartfelt practice.

Don’t worry, my Tuesday/Thursday Noon Mid-Day Bliss Class at Village Green is not going away.

Are you excited about the eclipse this Monday?  I am.  Hopefully you will be able to take an hour out of your busy day and spend some time experiencing this amazing event.  Research tells me that we will see 92% of the eclipse which is pretty close to the entirety.  The darkness will only last a couple of moments, but the whole event will last from 9:02-11:38am. The silence and stillness will peak at 10:22. I fully believe that that stillness will be felt deeply in our spirits if we allow ourselves to be open to it.  Make sure you have those proper glasses and are in a wide open space, preferably facing southeast.

Be Well

Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi