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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Day 11 Yoga Support with Amber

Blessings to you from my heart to yours.

Welcome to day 11, I am so glad you are here.

In today’s practice we will be exploring a powerful shoulder opening stretch and posture.  If you know you have some limitations in the joints of your shoulders, you may want to grab a towel or yoga strap (if you have one), just as an extra support.

Before we start, please take a few moments to ground yourself and tune in with your breath.

From a comfortable seated position (either in a chair, on knees, or sitting crossed legged), we’ll begin by rolling our shoulders back and bringing our arms out to our sides at shoulder height (arms are straight).  From here, if you’re using the strap please grab it, then position your right palm up towards the ceiling, left palm facing the wall behind you with the thumb down.  Right arm comes up over head resting behind your body and left arm travels down also resting behind the body.  This will make sense once you see the video.

I would ask you to invite your elbows back to the wall behind you, close your eyes and focus your attention on your heart center.  Breathe deeply, expanding through the front of the body.  This helps to release restriction in the muscles of your shoulders and really brings a beautiful opening to the front of the body.  We want to create a safe container for you to experience your body with a strong back and soft front.

If it’s available, try to take 3 – 5 full deep breaths coming into the posture on both sides, ideally twice on each side.

To view the practice click here

In her book Braving the Wilderness Brene shares the following powerful quote opening us to the concept of strong back, soft front and wild heart.  Bring this reflection into your practice while you’re breathing in the posture today.

All too often our so-called strength comes from fear, not love; instead of having a strong back, many of us have a defended front shielding a weak spine.  In other words, we walk around brittle and defensive, trying to conceal our lack of confidence.  If we strengthen our backs, metaphorically speaking, and develop a spine  that’s flexible but sturdy, then we can risk having a front that’s soft and open………How can we give and accept care with strong back, soft front compassion, moving past fear into a place of genuine tenderness?  I believe it comes about when we can be truly transparent, seeing the world clearly – and letting the world see us.

– Roshi Joan Halifax

Thank you for letting the world see you, there is only one of you remember, and I think you’re pretty great.

See you tomorrow!

Much love, Amber

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Day 10 Yoga Support with Amber

“We who have lost our sense and our senses – our touch, our smell, our vision of who we are, we who frantically force and press all things, without rest for body or spirit, hurting our earth and injuring ourselves:  we call a halt.

We want to rest.  We need to rest and allow the earth to rest.  We need to reflect and to rediscover the mystery that lives in us that is the ground of every unique expression of life, the source of the fascination that calls all things to communion.  We declare a sabbath, a space for quiet:  for simply being and letting be; for recovering the great, forgotten truths; for learning to live again.” 

-United Nations Environmental Sabbath Program

 

Sat Naam and Namaste, welcome to Day 10 of Amber’s Yoga Support Challenge.

I was reflecting on that title this morning, and I think of this project rather as a 30 day yoga support during a challenging time, as a little daily check in infused with self care practices.  It is my intention as well that if any of the practices resonate for you, that you will revisit the video and practice as often as it would be supportive for you.

Today we’ll be sharing in a quiet reflective mindfulness based meditation.  We are inundated with so much stimulation in our present day world and as a culture often push past our limits regardless of how we feel, this is a time to reflect.

.  Our bodies start to break down, and we can suffer from mental and physical illness if we don’t give ourselves permission to integrate and process all the stimulation of our moment to moment life events.  The use of breathing exercises, meditation, prayer, visualization, positive affirmations and sensory awareness practices can help to create a safe space for integration and an internal invitation for healing so we can stay strong and vital.

I’m presently taking an online 12 week breast health intensive with Dr. Sat Dharam Kaur and she reminds us that we ideally need to take a break every 2 1/2 hours to offset the external stimuli,integrate our life experiences, and keep our reserves full so we can keep going.  When we lose sight of our self care, we fall apart.   In our society we often neglect our body and minds need for this 20 minute or so break, we often replace this potential window for self care with another coffee, TV, sugar, emails, work, alcohol, recreational drugs rather than taking a break with nourishing activities that are needed to fill us back up; such as a nap, a cup of herbal tea, a walk, journaling, breath work, gentle movement, meditation or any other activities that will nourish rather than deplete you.

I hope you enjoy today’s practice, and give yourself this window to reset.

To view the practice click here

Thank you for carving out this time just for you,

With so much love, until tomorrow

Amber

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Day 9 Yoga Support with Amber

Sat Naam and Namaste!

Day 9!!

Earlier this week Mary sent out a weekly practice, sharing her Monday class through our new creative way of connecting.  I wanted to review her weekly daily challenge.

Today we’ll be exploring

Sufi Grind, Spinal Flex, Spinal Twist and Neck Rolls

All very accessible movement based postures to release stress and ideally bring you into a deeper place of relaxation.  All these postures can be done seated in a chair, or on your mat in a comfortable seated position.

To view the practice click here

I love these postures and often revisit them as warm – ups in many of my classes.  Let us know if you have any questions!

Your job is not to make yourself likeable, your job is to be fully yourself – a self that is honest and aware of the equal humanity of other people.  We have a world full of people who are unable to exhale fully because they have for so long been conditioned to fold themselves into shapes to make themselves likeable

– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

From my mat to you, thank you for inspiring me, and bringing your unique light into the world!

We need you!

Love Amber

Day 8 Yoga Support with Amber

Yogic greetings to you from my heart to yours!

Day 8, we are entering week 2!  Finding peace and solace, and perhaps new layers of ourselves in the practices.

Today I will be guiding you through a beautiful sequence of movements honoring your past, your present and all that lays ahead.  Try to invite this sequence to be a dance between your breath and your body, a moving meditation to help sustain and support you right now.

It is also an amazing combination of movements to help get your energy moving and release tension through your whole body.

Try not to get to caught up in the details of the sequence, ideally you’re moving through the postures sequenced with the breath, to help balance your body and your mind but that is not necessary.  Your body wisdom may guide you to stay in any of the 4 postures for a little bit of time taking a few breaths before moving into the next phase of the sequence, listen to that wisdom and give yourself that time for self exploration.  Once you get the hang of it, close your eyes down and really explore each phase of the sequence.

To see the practice click here

Remember our yoga mats are a wonderful place for us to explore our bodies and understand how we need to be supported – physically and emotionally.  Allow it to be your own personal little laboratory.

The perfect posture is the posture where you truly meet yourself, where your breath easefully flows and creates space in your body, where you respectfully honor your own body wisdom.

My love is with you, if you need a check in I’m here.

Till tomorrow

Amber

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Day 7 Yoga Challenge

Good morning and Sat Naam

Sending you love on this beautiful day!

If you have a pen and a piece of paper handy, I invite you to cut  (or rip) that piece of paper into 3 parts.  On each separate piece, write down 1 different thing you’re grateful for, then plant those around your house in places you’ll randomly find them.  I have a sense you’ll find them when you need a little pick me up.

How are you doing? Remember you’re being held right now.

After yesterdays little mini session with my boys, today I bring you a simple and peaceful practice with the intention to help anchor you back into your breath.

Your breath is the one part of your autonomic nervous system that you can control, that can bring your parasympathetic nervous system functioning into a dominant state.  That’s the part of your nervous system that calms and restores, it’s an important simple self care tool that can help you to be calmer, more relaxed and feel more in control.  It doesn’t always  feel easy to just stop and take a deep breath, but if you practice on a daily basis, day by day, it becomes easier to drop into this ocean of calm that lives inside of you in every moment.

To view the practice  Click here

Sending you love, from my home to yours,

Amber

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