Thursday, May 11, 2017

Your Brain On Stress



Stress can be caused by a lot of different things. And people have many different ways of dealing with stress. When something causes stress in the body the HPA axis kicks in. The hypothalamus will be redirecting traffic of the flight fight or freeze response. Pituitary and adrenaline glands release adrenaline and cortisol to aid in response. This complete process is detrimental to the human physiology because 1. It shuts down 2. High cortisol levels are going to depression and 3. Repeated exposure to excessive adrenaline causes depletion of the neural connections.

Studies have shown that meditators are able to settle down after a stressful situation quicker! As well as prolonged exposure does not trigger the same flight or fight response but rather activates the prefrontal cortex and regulates thoughts.

The brain/gut connection is very important in the human physiology. Understanding this connection hope to relate the two main centers of the nervous system CNS in the PNS. The vagus nerve connects the brain to the stomach.

The ability to control your response to stress and harness the positive energy of stressful situations to use it to work for you takes a lot of conditioning and practice. This is why meditation, yoga, and pranayama are all called practices. With structured stress, it allows our bodies to respond in a systematic manner while being in a controlled environment. Work hard at these practices so you'll never be overwhlemed.



You are not your brain, you are the user of your brain.

You are not your thoughts, you are the one who witnesses the thoughts.

You are not your emotions, you are the one that experiences emotions.

You are not your physical body, you are the one that lives inside the body.

With every breath, allow yourself to create space between the false you, these illusions of "you" and the True You.

Breathe in light and truth...

Breathe out fear and illusion...

Beneath the meandering thoughts, floods of emotion and bodily sensations, is the pure, wise, vibrant and omnipresent You.

May this be the foundation of your existence.

I see you through and through...

By Manas Kshirsagar


*Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about
the tradition of yoga and ayurveda. This information is not intended
for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any
disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern,
please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess
your needs and address them effectively. Check with your doctor
before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or
nursing.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mending The Self




Manas Krishagar


Our very own Manas Kshirsagar was a featured speaker at the online summit, Mending The Self!
Click the link below to hear his wisdom on guiding oneself through grief and loss.



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

How To Become An Early Riser




You likely know someone who has expressed his or her disdain for mornings. Or perhaps you’ve thought it yourself when the alarm goes off early Monday morning, or your kids wake you up before the sun rises. Then there are those who are up before their alarm even sounds, well rested and motivated to get a head start on their day.
Unsurprisingly, studies show that early risers, also referred to as larks, are at an advantage in more ways than one compared to night owls—those who are more active and awake at night. Here are four benefits of being an early riser and three steps to become one. For those who think they can never become one, there’s hope.

Improved Health

In a 2012 study published in the journal Emotion, adult participants who considered themselves early risers reported feeling healthier than those who thought of themselves as night owls. New research also indicates morning people may make healthier food choices, consuming a more balanced diet compared to night owls.
Additionally, early risers tend to go to sleep earlier, eliminating the temptation to consume late-night sugary snacks, a habit that can lead to weight gain and restless sleep.  

Greater Productivity

Early risers may be more productive than night owls, according to a 2009 study conducted by Christopher Randler, a biology professor at the University of Education in Heidelberg, Germany. In addition to feeling more in charge of their lives, he found that morning people tend to anticipate problems and do their best to try to minimize them. Dr. Randler’s earlier research also indicates morning people achieve better grades, which he argues opens the door to better schools and job opportunities. 

More Sleep, Less Worry  

Early risers often have an earlier bedtime, a decision that may quiet down the monkey brain. According to research published in Cognitive Therapy and Research in 2015, individuals who favored a later bedtime reported an increase in repetitive negative thinking (RNT). RNT was also associated with a reduction in sleep time. Simply put, going to bed earlier and sleeping longer may help to tame negative thoughts that can potentially lead to disruptive sleep and distress.

Enhanced Positive Emotions

In addition to improved health, the previously mentioned 2012 study published in Emotion also found early risers experience greater levels of positive emotions and are generally more satisfied with their lives than night owls. The researchers suggest this may because society’s typical 9 to 5 workday often clashes with night owls’ decision to stay up later at night.

3 Steps to Become an Early Riser

So how can you become an early riser? Ayurveda encourages the establishment of daily routines to help balance your mind and body and to maintain a peaceful state. Going to bed early and rising early are key. The Ayurvedic approach suggests waking up before or with the sunrise in order to sync the body cycle with the rise of the sun. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Get on a Sleep Schedule

Sleep experts suggest gradually moving up your wake time by 20 minutes every morning until you’ve reached your ideal time. For example, if you’d like to start your mornings at 6 a.m., but typically sleep until 7 a.m., start by rising at 6:40 a.m., then 6:20 a.m., and so on. Waking up earlier should signal your body to fall asleep earlier as well. If you’re waking up 20 minutes earlier in the morning, you will likely fall asleep 20 minutes earlier in the evening.
As difficult as it may be at first, try to stick to your routine on the weekends as well, since staying up late and sleeping in on these days can potentially sabotage your entire week.

Create Morning Rituals

Establish a morning routine to help you better achieve your purpose: to nourish your body and mind so you’re at your best all day. Ayurveda encourages early morning rituals that energize and cleanse the body and mind while instilling peace. Below are a few suggestions to incorporate into your morning routine:
  • Go for an early morning walk (sun exposure is vital early in the morning)
  • Practice yoga
  • Meditate
  • Practice mindful breathing
  • Take a bath
  • Drink warm water with lemon and/or ginger
  • Give yourself an oil-infused massage
  • Journal
  • Clean your tongue before brushing your teeth

Develop an Evening Routine


The quality and duration of sleep you get the night before will inevitably determine how you spend your morning. If you stay up late to catch up on work emails, you are less likely to wake up feeling rejuvenated and motivated to start your early morning routine. Ultimately, a restful evening will translate into a better morning. Here are a few tips for cultivating calmer evenings:
  • Start to gear down around the same time every night.
  • Turn off all electronics at least two hours before bedtime and put them away (you’ll be less tempted to use them if you can’t see them).
  • Avoid eating at least three hours before bed.
  • Drink warm milk with cardamom and honey or brew herbal teas such as chamomile or lavender.
  • Combat evening stress by meditating, journaling, or reading.
  • Listen to soothing music.
Follow this advice to start your days off on a high note—yes, even you night owls.

*Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about
the tradition of yoga and ayurveda. This information is not intended
for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any
disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern,
please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess
your needs and address them effectively. Check with your doctor
before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or
nursing.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Dr. Suhas Is In The House





Dr. Suhas and  Dr. Manisha will be in our Folsom location this weekend (Saturday April 29th)! They'll also be giving an incredibly powerful and informative lecture on Spirituality and Medicine.
This is a complimentary lecture but seating is limited so please call head to reserve your spot.
916-542-7363

If you haven't had the chance to attend one of his lectures visit his website alsowatch the video above on Ayurvedic Home Remedies!


*Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about
the tradition of yoga and ayurveda. This information is not intended
for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any
disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern,
please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess
your needs and address them effectively. Check with your doctor
before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or
nursing.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

SSLY Featured in Yoga Journal!

We here at Soul Yoga know how sacred and life-changing Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga is.  That's why it's so exciting to see others recognize the impact this unique style of yoga has.  Dr. Deepak Chopra has teamed up with Yoga Journal and is offering several workshops, one of them highlighting Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga!

Here's what Yoga Journal's, Sarah Platt-Finger, has to say about SSLY;

"I'm Sarah Platt-Finger, co-founder of ISHTA Yoga in New York City and Deepak Chopra's yoga teacher. The course Dr. Chopra and I have created, Finding Connection Through Yoga: A Workshop on Our Universal Oneness, builds on the wisdom he shares in his bestselling book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga. These laws are a practical guide for holistic healing, offering advice on how to calm the mind and move energy to feel your absolute best.
What I love most about Dr. Chopra's Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga is how accessible they are to anyone in any circumstance. I'm a mother, a business woman, a teacher; I don't always have the time or availability to attend seminars and classes in person, so I look for inspiration in the ordinary, everyday experiences of life. As Dr. Chopra discusses in his book, potential is all around us and isn't hard to access. We can find invigorating beauty in the way the sun sets, and we feel comfort in the way animals care for and nurture each other. When we're able to incorporate concrete principles of truth and wisdom into our living—and especially into our yoga practice—we can rest in the knowledge that we are supported on our path, whatever that path may be.
Our new course with Yoga Journal walks you through the seven spiritual laws—related to potential, giving and receiving, karma, effort, intention, detachment, and dharma—and then uses the laws to help you connect to something bigger than yourself, which can foster inspiration and joy.
As preparation for our upcoming online course, I want to guide you through a yoga practice that incorporates Dr. Chopra's Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga to help you experience greater health, joy, and peace in your life. You'll find a new yoga pose each day that illustrates one of the seven laws, and I'll explain how the law and the pose can benefit your practice-and your life.
Then I hope you'll join us in the course and on a journey of finding a deeper connection to yourself and others through yoga. It is a powerful connection that will last a lifetime."




Click the link below to read the full article and see details on this workshop!

YOGA JOURNAL SSLY 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Going with the Flow: How to Increase Emotional, Energetic, and Physical Flexibility




The Greek philosopher Heraclitus is quoted as saying, “The only constant in life is change,” putting the onus on you to either adapt or get left behind. In a time when it might feel like things are changing faster than you can keep up with (whether it’s relationships, technology, or politics), it’s vital that you learn how to remain open, curious, and flexible in all facets of life. Just like how a tree is likely to snap if it resists the wind rather than swaying with it, you can reduce your suffering and live a more enriched life if you invite more grace and less rigidity.

What Does “Flexibility” Mean to You?

You’re likely to think of a “flexible person” as someone who can put his/her leg behind his/her head, or who can easily touch his/her toes. After all, Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s first definition of flexibility is “capable of being flexed.” However, flexibility is not limited to the physical body.
It also means to flow, yield, or to be “characterized by a ready capability to adapt to new, different, or changing requirements.” Flexibility is a virtue.
Ask yourself the following questions:
  • How do you handle conflict or chaos?
  • What do you do when things don’t go your way?
  • Do you consider yourself easy to work with?
  • Are you open to other people’s opinions and ideas?
Consider the following four ways you can look at flexibility, so that you can practice embracing it on every level of your being.

Emotional Flexibility

Emotional flexibility is the ability to recognize, release, and regulate your emotions in changing situations. Here’s how you can increase your emotional flexibility:
  • Feel your feelings. John Bradshaw said, “We cannot heal what we cannot feel.” If you deny yourself the experience of feeling the full range of emotions, you are resisting part of your humanity. You know you’ve been emotionally inflexible if you refuse to feel unpleasant feelings, or if you find yourself pushing down deeper or more confusing emotions. When you feel your emotions, they pass. When you suppress them, they linger.
  • Express your feelings. Sometimes therapy is necessary to express your emotions, and sometimes writing in a journal or allowing yourself to have a good cry can do a lot to free up emotional blockages. Let the feelings flow and you’ll feel the benefits in your personal and interpersonal lives.

Energetic Flexibility

Flexibility and emotions correlate to the second chakra (svadisthana), which resides in your hips and pelvis. A balanced chakra leads to better energetic flexibility. Here’s how you can increase your energetic flexibility.
  • Connect to the water element. The second chakra is associated with the water element. By connecting to the water element, you can draw upon nature for inspiration by inviting more fluidity into your life. Try moving like the water, with softer edges. Practice breathing like water, noticing the ebb and flow of your in-breath and out-breath. Water is flexible, but it’s powerful. Sit beside or in a body of water, listen to water sounds, or do a water meditation to feel its energetic effects.
  • Do something fun. The second chakra is also our pleasure center, so ask yourself, “What do I do for pleasure?” Do you allow yourself time to feel flow—a positive psychology term describing the feeling of being so completely immersed in an enjoyable activity, that time passes quickly? Getting creative about how you spend your free time is also a good sign of flexibility. In other words, try something new!

Mental Flexibility

Mental flexibility is the ability to quickly adjust your thinking from one situation to the next. Here’s how you can increase your mental flexibility.
  • Be open-minded. Flexibility in your convictions or thoughts isn’t the same as being a pushover. It is actually a sign of maturity when you’re able to consider other people’s ideas as well as your own. The world needs new ways of thinking, new ways of problem-solving, and new ways of living and working together. The positive evolution of the planet will only come about if you keep your roots firmly grounded, but open yourself up to consider inspiration from everyone and everything.
  • Have faith. Letting go of logic in some cases can also help you to take action from a more evolved standpoint. When you trust that something bigger may be at work, you avoid devastation when things don’t go exactly as planned. Logic can only get you so far. Faith in divine interplay can open you up to greater and more meaningful life experiences.
  • Add flexibility to your schedule. Are you stuck in your routine? While routine and ritual have wonderful benefits, be sure to have flexibility with your schedule, try new experiences, and consider the potential when you go without a plan. You might admit that some of the greatest blessings in your life so far were actually the result of an unexpected event or surprise.

Physical Flexibility

While physical flexibility is just one component of your overall ability to adapt, it is a crucial one—hence the importance of the physical practice of yoga. Here’s how you can increase your physical flexibility.
  • Practice free flow of movement. How do you move? What is the quality of your physical expression, regardless of the activity? Try to allow for free flow of movement—whether you are walking, running, swimming, biking, or doing yoga. Breathe more consciously while you move, and become more mindful of your tendencies.
  • Practice yoga. Blocked emotions usually manifest in the body, resulting in stiffness, tightness, and physical rigidity. Mental stiffness undoubtedly causes stress, so the deep breathing practices and mental stillness you strive for on the mat can help you to unwind. Try these 5 yoga practices for increased flexibility:

1. Sun Salutations

Sun Salutations is usually a sequence of 12 poses. Pay attention to how you move from one pose to the next, and then allow your body to linger where it feels good.  

2. Strengthen Your Core

Developing and maintaining core strength helps with postural alignment and greater ease with movement and flexibility. 

3. Tight Hamstrings

Opening up the backs of your legs helps you to find greater physical flexibility, while testing your ability to surrender to strong sensations. 

4. Hip Openers

If you sit at a desk all day for work, you may experience tight hip muscles.

5. Healthy Back

Stretching and strengthening your back can provide a greater range of movement and prevent injury and pain. 
Written by Karson McGinley
*Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about
the tradition of yoga and ayurveda. This information is not intended
for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any
disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern,
please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess
your needs and address them effectively. Check with your doctor
before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or
nursing.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Ayurveda And The Heart



In the ayurvedic texts the heart is described as "Hrdaya." This Sanskrit word consists of several parts, each with its own meaning: Hr means to receive, Da to give, and Ya to move. The very qualities of the heart are contained within its Sanskrit name. It is further described as Mahata (great) and Artha (serving all purposes). Thus, it is an organ par excellence.

The ayurvedic text Charaka describes the heart as, "indispensable for all mental and physical activities," because the entire sense perception depends on the heart.

The heart is also, most importantly, the seat of ojas. Ojas is the most refined substance in the physiology. It is the essence of the body's inner intelligence. Ojas is maintained through good diet, digestion, and living a happy, stress-free life.

The Key points to balancing heart health are diet, excercise, and effective stress management.

Making sure to avoid excessive indulgence in food that is too hot and spicy, or food that is too heavy or astringent. Food should be consumed at the right time of day, should contain all six tastes and should be fresh, in the right proportions and eaten only when the previous meal is digested. Ayurveda also promotes favoring whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and good-quality protein, along with spices that are balancing to the prakruti.

There have been countless articles published and studies done on the effect of excercise on Blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol all of which are risk factors for cardiovascular health. A brisk 30 min walk a day is all you need!

Stress management techniques such as meditation, yoga, and pranayam have all been proven to have a significant impact on hypertension, high cholesterol and other risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease.

Written by Manas Kshirsagar

*Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about
the tradition of yoga and ayurveda. This information is not intended
for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any
disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern,
please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess
your needs and address them effectively. Check with your doctor
before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or
nursing.