Day 21 Yoga Support with Amber

Sat Naam and Namaste

Welcome to day 21 of our 30 days of yoga support.

In our lives, change is unavoidable, loss is unavoidable. In the adaptability and ease with which we experience change, lies our happiness and freedom.” Buddha

I am so grateful you are here today.  In the treasure of our practice is where we support ourselves to increase our resilience.  We give ourselves the gift of self love and provide care for our bodies and our minds, we learn acceptance, and find that spark of ease and happiness within.

Join me today as we explore some dynamic movements to release the imprint of stress on our bodymind, and support the healthy flow of cerebral spinal fluid (the fluid that supports and nourishes our spinal chord and our brain). Our sequence today helps to lift our energy and let go of tension.

To view the practice click here

I would encourage you to move through the full sequence, starting with your breath and then exploring cat/cow transitioning into the anahatasana/sphinx to child’s pose/cobra and spending some time in child’s pose to rest.  If child’s pose isn’t’ comfortable for you, then spend a bit of time on your back, give yourself some time to integrate.

These are just suggestions, make sure you explore these movements in a way that makes sense for you TODAY, your practice may look completely different than these suggestions and that is perfect.

My love travels with you, as the snow falls on this spring morning,

I look forward to being with you tomorrow.

Much love

Amber

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Day 20 of Amber’s Yoga Support Challenge

Welcome to day 20 of our 30 day’s of yoga support during this challenging time!

Today we’ll be exploring a powerful stress management practice, called Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR).

This simple technique involves the tensing and relaxing of all of the muscles in your body in a sequential order.   By tensing your muscles before relaxing them, you enable yourself to relax them more thoroughly after you release, letting go of physical and mental tension more effectively.

Dr. Herbert Benson is a pioneer in mind body medicine and was one of the first doctors in the 60’s and 70’s to bring alternative stress management  techniques, including progressive relaxation, into the medical arena.  Research shows that through this technique, as we move tension through the body with the ultimate goal of relaxation, we  also release psychological tension and stress, minimizing our stress reactivity and decreasing our experience of chronic stress.  Trying these practices can help to support many chronic health problems that are caused or exacerbated by stress, which I think we can safely say stress plays a role in all of our health concerns.

We can also let go of those old wounds, the stories we’re still carrying that no longer serve us.

Did you know that through a daily practice of stress release and management, we build our reserves?  We give our nervous systems a chance to re-calibrate and integrate the experiences of our lives, rather than overloading our bodies and our minds.  We also give ourselves an invitation to return to a state of equilibrium on a daily basis through our practice.

Today we’ll be moving through a shortened version, but you can take up to 30 minutes slowly moving through each part of your body separately and then finishing with a few rounds of full body tension followed by complete relaxation.  You want to make sure you give yourself at least 5 – 10 minutes to rest in the final relaxation state, inviting your awareness to follow the flow of breath, dropping deeper into a restorative place where you heal from.

To view the practice today click here

With regular relaxation breaks, over time your whole self will feel lighter, more easeful and more at home in yourself.

I would like to send out a special message to all the people at Country Haven today, I know we have lost more members of our community.  My heart is with all the families who have lost their loved ones at Country Haven.  My heart is with all the workers that are navigating this scary time.  My heart is with all those we have lost during this virus, sending them love on their journey, praying no more lives will be taken.

Thank you for joining me today, it is an honor to be with you on this journey.

You are so very loved, and cherished.

Thank you also to my husband, Jay Young, for the beautiful musical accompaniment in yesterday, and today’s videos, a little extra hug holding you in your practice.

Till tomorrow

Much love, Amber

Amber restorative picture

Day 19 of Amber’s 30 days of yoga support

“Seeking love keeps you from the awareness that you already have it – that you are it”

–  Byron Katie

YOU ARE LOVE, can you close your eyes and feel that?  I invite you to take a minute and breathe that into your heart, into every cell in your physical body.  Infuse your breath with kindness and compassion, acknowledging the infinite reservoir of love that you are.

Welcome to day 19!  Wow, how did we get here?  Day 19.

As I sit down to weave together a little mini yoga practice for you, the rain falls outside.  I love rainy days, I feel like it’s natures invitation for us to cocoon a little, nurture an easeful gentle practice, read a good book, cozy up with our favorite blanket and drink tea in the company of our journal.

The rain allows us to connect with it’s energy, imagining our stress washing away with the pure droplets that fall from the sky.

I wish for you a cozy day today.

Our practice will support an introspective experience, inviting you to connect with your breath and the energy of your heart.

Our movements will help to open the chest, support your breast health, release the rib cage and thoracic cavity, stimulate your lymphatics, and nourish and nurture your heart.

Coming to a comfortable seated position, with your palms in prayer pose connected to the energy of your heart in the center of your chest.

To view the practice click here

We’ll take a few deep grounding breaths together.  On your next inhale, opening your arms out to the sides (as if you’re going to give someone the biggest hug ever), as you exhale, bringing your hands back to prayer pose.  Inhale, lifting arms up towards the sky through the center line of your body as you open the space between your hands about 2 feet, exhale bringing hands back together in prayer pose and slowly lower hands back to your heart center.  We’ll move through a few cycles of this gentle sequence.  Close your eyes down and allow this to be a dance between your breath and your body.

Let’s do a few shoulder circles together, and come laying down on one side.  Resting your arms extended in front of your body, and your legs in a bent position as if you’re sitting in a chair.  It’s best to watch the video to have a visual of this movement.  There is no text book way of doing this movement, I want you to really explore the circles in any way that makes sense for you.  We’ll be drawing circles around the body, moving slowly, noticing sensations, releasing tension, and relaxing.  Relaxing into ourselves.

Thank you for being with me today, it is a privilege and such an honor to be invited into your day.

My love travels with you

Till tomorrow

Amber

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Day 18 of Amber’s 30 days of yoga!

Welcome to day 18 of our 30 days of yoga!  I am so glad you’re here.

Little daily inspirations intended to help support you during this time of so many unknowns, and our need for social distancing.

Today we send our prayers and thoughts out to everyone at Country Haven, for those we’ve lost, for all the families affected, and for all the workers who show up everyday despite the present circumstances.  I know my heart is with each of you right now.

Taking time to connect with such immense gratitude for all of our front line workers, providing us with essential care and essential services during this time.

To view the practice click here

As we begin to invite movement into our bodies today, we’ll be exploring a forward fold posture, to help flush your abdominal organs and stretch and lengthen your spine.  This is a great posture to do every couple of hours – it helps to support the integrity of your nervous system, releasing restriction along the spine and creating space through the spinal canal.  Slowly moving into some movement to help release and open through your intercostals and your rib cage, allow a little more depth into your breath.

I encourage you to spend as much time as feels good for you exploring these movements and postures.  Perhaps sitting in silence for a while after our time together, simply noticing your breath, softening around your heart, inviting in compassion.  Reflect on where you are now, and where you see yourself as we move through this time.

“Do you really want to look back on your life and see how wonderful it could have been had you not been afraid to live it?

-Carolyn Myss

You are so very loved, and my heart is with you.

Till tomorrow

Big Cozy Hugs

Amber

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Day 17 of Amber’s 30 days of yoga support challenge!

Sat Naam and Namaste!  I’m so grateful you are here today, day 17 of our 30 days of yoga.

Connecting community, and hopefully a little inspiration to carve out some time for your self care everyday during this exceptional time in the history of our lives.

Swami Sivananda Radha reminds us that twisting the spine touches on the basic foundation and functioning of the skeleton itself.

A flexible mind and an inflexible spine are very rare to find together.  If our body is tied up in knots, so often are our mind, emotions and our thoughts.

Our words can also often get twisted by others in our life and vice versa.

Remember though, what can be twisted, can also be untwisted!

A few words you can reflect on while in the posture today:

Foundation, what supports your foundation, flexible and inflexible, tied in a knot, spaciousness, bent out of shape, different points of view, unraveling emotions, exploring layers of a problem.

While our bodies move through our practice today, we’re encouraging so much vitality with our breath and with the internal massage of our abdominal organs as we move into the twist.  Our muscles along the spine are slowly released, we create space and encourage flexibility through the spine, as well as openness through the chest and the rib cage.

Let’s with a few moments of breath, setting a foundation for the posture.  I encourage you to connect with a feeling of  lengthening through the spine and expansion in our physical body.  Invite your breath to infuse the layers of this posture.

To view the practice click here

When you approach the posture, allow your breath to guide you, finding length in your inhale and gentle movement on your exhale.  Make sure you don’t twist yourself into a place of tension or pain, but rather explore the intelligent edge of the posture, guided by the intelligence of your body wisdom.

I’m so grateful you’re here today,

You are so very loved, and the world needs you!  Twist away anything that stands in the way of letting your light shine.

Much love, until tomorrow

Amber

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Day 16 Yoga Support with Amber

The following quote is one of my favorites and serves as a daily reminder

Happiness is already there, in relaxation and letting go

Don’t strain yourself, there is nothing to do…….

Only our search for happiness prevents us from seeing it……

Don’t believe in the reality of good and bad experiences;

They are like rainbows

Wanting to grasp the ungraspable, you exhaust yourself in vain

As soon as you relax this grasping, space is there

– open, inviting, and comfortable.

So, make use of it, All is yours already.

Don’t search any further……..

Nothing to do

Nothing to force, 

Nothing to want,

 – and everything happens by itself.

-Lama Gendun Rinpoche

 

I am so grateful you are here, Day 16 of our yoga support during a challenging time.

Still feeling pretty joyful after yesterdays dance celebration!

Today we explore an expansive radiant body breath and some variations of bridge pose, a beautiful posture to support a deeper reflection in what is authentic and true for us, and aligning that with how we show up in the world.  If you give yourself permission to explore the introspective place in this opening, the experience can support us to bridge our inner truth with our outer experience of living our truth.

Do you express yourself in alignment with your values?

Do you live with integrity, and speak up courageously for what you believe in?

Are you gentle with yourself in your process?

Do you follow and speak your heart wisdom?  

Take some time in this posture, noticing what comes up for you.  I want you to also connect with sensations in your body, where do you feel restricted or challenged in this sequence, where is your “sweet spot” in YOUR full expression of this posture (your hips may be just slightly lifted off the floor) and can you accept your body for exactly where you are in your practice? Where is there spaciousness and ease in your physical experience, including your breath?

To view the practice click here

Start slowly, and I encourage you to do a few gentle warm up movements before you explore bridge, maybe some shoulder rolls, easeful pelvic tilts, dropping knees from side to side, or hugging knees to chest and making some circles.  When you feel ready, we’ll take a few breaths settling with knees in a bent position grounding our feet on the floor and then  slowly move the hips up towards the sky.  Really honor what your body is needing today when you choose which variation you’ll spend some time in  – a more restorative version with a support under your hips?  Your hands interlaced under your buttocks?  or perhaps your hands or a block supporting under your low back.  Wherever you end up make sure you feel supported and at ease in the posture.

This posture is a wonderful way to release tension through the pelvis and the chest, releasing many of our habitual postural patterns.

Please know how cherished and loved you are

Till tomorrow

Much love, Amber

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Photo by Martin Damboldt on Pexels.com

Day 15 Yoga Support Challenge, a day to celebrate your self care!

Do you want to feel joyful today? Then please join us as we celebrate the half way point of our 30 days of yoga support challenge!

I am so grateful YOU are here

Welcome to day 15, wahe guru!

Since ancient times we have danced; together, alone, and in community to support healing. I invite you to dance with us as a moving meditation to release stress and tension in your own bodymind, and also as a prayer for the earth to heal, for eachother to heal, for our global community and for ourselves.  I encourage you to continue with this practice after our time together today, put on your favorite song, you know that one that really gets you moving and grooving, connecting with those deeper spaces infused with joy!

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul”

-Martha Graham

To join in our dance party click here

My heart is with each of you on this journey!

I look forward to being with you tomorrow

with so much love Amber (and Noah and Lucas)

Photo by Jackson David on Pexels.com

Day 14 Yoga Support Challenge

Namaste and Sat Naam

Welcome to day 14 of our yoga support challenge, 30 days of yoga support from my home to yours.

Thank you for joining me today!  We have some furry little friends joining, as we do some seated movements with a little pet therapy.  If you have a cuddly little friend, or a favorite stuffed animal or pillow, I invite you to bring them into your practice today.

Inviting space into the thoracic spine (the part of our vertebrae which helps to support and house our lungs and heart), often the most immobile part of the spinal column.  This is a simple movement and I want you to make sure you’re really coordinating your movement with your breath.  We want to breathe a little more powerful, creating space in the intercostals (the muscles between the ribs).

To view the practice click here

Take a few grounding breaths, feeling the space your breath can create all the way  up your spine and through the rib cage.  Then imagining someone is pulling up on a string at the top of  your head, from this lengthened place, on your exhale we’ll tip the body so the right shoulder moves towards the right hip.  Move through this sequence on both sides as many times as you need to feel some opening and release through the mid spine.

From here, we’ll bring our right hand to left knee (still in a seated position), and starting from the belly we’ll slowly twist towards the left, the neck should be the last part of your spine to enter the twist.  Allow your breath to be your guide, spend some time exploring sensations, breath and movement.  If you have the time and space I would encourage you to do this 2 times on each side.

When you’ve come to a place of completion, allow some neck rolls into your body, and whatever other movements you’re craving.

Sending you so much love, and furry cuddles today,

Love Amber, Noah, Solomon and Patch

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Day 13 Yoga Support Challenge

It hardly matters what day it is any more, since the future is so unclear. I sit quietly, and I open my heart and mind for the unexpected. My prayers of the heart are “humility, through mystery,” and “peace, through acceptance.” 

– C. Thorman

I am so grateful you are here.  Thank you for joining me today, day 13 of our 30 days of yoga support during this challenging time.

Today we’ll be exploring some standing postures and movement for the pelvic girdle and our organs of elimination.  A healthy body and immune system need to have a healthy foundation and careful consideration of all the ways you care for yourself.

It’s important to take time to reflect on all the ways your body is nourished, or depleted.

Close your eyes for a moment and think about the air you breathe, the water you drink and the quantity you bring in, the nutritional value of the foods you eat, as well thinking about where your food comes from and any processing taking that food from it’s original form, your level of activity,  do you express or suppress emotions, how much do you laugh, how do you feel when you’re with certain people, and thinking about our collective toxic overload and what that does to our body systems.

The human body is really quite amazing, and we are born with these self-regulatory mechanisms which are self – healing,  however we do need to care for ourselves to support that state of homeostasis – or balance.

If you notice your energy levels are low and perhaps your moods are also heavy,  you will want to consider how your body is eliminating toxins and the health of your internal organs.  Think also about how much you’re moving  – creating a more dynamic energy state for yourself.  We need to move and make space for new energy and new ideas to flow in.

Today my yogi friend Noah joins me as we do some simple movement based postures to help support YOU in all these ways.

To view the practice click here

We want you to feel the best you possibly can.

From our home to yours, wrapping you in so much love and light

Till tomorrow

Amber and Noah

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Day 12 Yoga Support with Amber

Welcome to day 12 of Amber’s 30 days of yoga support.

It is an honor and a blessing to join you today on this blessed Easter Sunday.  From all of us at Surya Daya we wish you a Happy Easter, and wish for you peace, happiness, and renewed hope for what lays on the other side of our present day circumstances.  You may not be watching this on Easter Sunday, but please know whatever day you do decide to open this link, I hope you know how grateful I am that you have chosen to share this little window of time with me.

Today we will be exploring a gentle practice to help bring you back to your center.  We’ll be taking some time with an alternate nostril breath sequence.  During our day our nostrils will shift their dominance periodically throughout a 24  hour period.  Sometimes this rhythm, which we call the ultradian rhythm, becomes quite out of balance usually due to increased stress in our lives.  By doing this particular practice we support our bodies to come back to a state of balance. From this grounded place of being in the world, we are able to more easefully live with the flow of life, rather than resisting what is.

To view the practice click here

“When you accept yourself exactly as you are, you shift from living for tomorrow to appreciating today.” – Kris Carr

My love is with you,

Till tomorrow

Amber

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