Finding Harmony Through Chakra Balance

Finding Harmony Through Chakra Balance

Let’s be real here. Life often takes a toll on our bodies both physically and emotionally. Whether it be emotionally traumatic experiences or general stress and anxiety, everyday experiences can cause a chakra to get thrown out of whack. When our chakras are underactive, or overactive, they are not able to work together harmoniously resulting in an overall imbalance. The negative effects of an over or underactive chakra can be reduced thanks to certain poses that target particular chakra systems. In my experience targeting the first and second chakra have been the most effective in allowing me to balance the remaining chakras – by starting from the ground and working up! To dig a bit deeper into this concept, think of a creek in a forest. When the water flows through this creek without any rocks, branches or debris blocking the flow, the water moves freely and calmly. When there is too much water flowing through the creek, havoc and flooding may occur. When there is not enough water, the creek may dry up causing some water to become stagnant. When we have too much energy residing in one chakra, or not enough, it may act as a domino effect which could potentially throw our other chakra’s out of line by causing them to be overactive or underactive. So what do we need to do? Be active in finding harmony in your body! Luckily, it’s completely normal to have chakras that are underactive or overactive! The aim here is to balance them. There are ways we can use our practice to help in finding harmony within the Chakra’s and...
Change and How it Affects Your Yoga Practice

Change and How it Affects Your Yoga Practice

Change: The Powerful Way We Can Embrace It by Emily Kane, E-RYT500, Owner of Yogacara Whistler and Co-Lead Teacher Trainer There’s nothing like fall to remind us that change is in the air. The air is crisper, the leaves change colour and we’re left to reflect on how this shift affects us in other aspects of our lives. Ayurveda is widely known as yoga’s sister science; in this system, there are multiple constitutions originating from different elements. Fall is recognized as the “vata” season which is made up of air and ether. This is evident in the cooler, dryer, windy and unpredictable conditions that dominate the autumn months. So how can change be embraced during this time of transition? Change Your Yoga Practice Accept that you will have different needs based on the change in seasons. How does your body feel? The shift into fall can change your physical, mental and emotional well-being. If you feel scattered, rushed, or flustered, find balance with a slow, grounding yoga practice. Focus on a creating a solid foundation through your feet and legs while developing a meditative state of mind. This can be done through breath awareness, mantra (silent or not), and a variety of other techniques to improve concentration while calming a busy mind. Finding ways to develop stillness on and off your mat can help anyone who is seeking balance, especially during transition. Want to read more? Click...
Yin Yoga 101

Yin Yoga 101

Yin Yoga 101: learn the basics about this beautiful practice from Yogacara Yoga Teacher Training   Yin Yoga has the same goals and objectives as any other school of yoga. Most practices of yoga are utilized to work the muscular portion of our body (Yang), where as Yin yoga lets us dive deeper into the yin tissues of our bodies, ligaments, bones and joints. Yin yoga can have the same objectives as another school of yoga and some students can find this style of class boring and passive but quickly discover that this can be the most challenging style of practice due to the long duration of poses. With less postures in Yin Yoga and postures that are more passive, on the floor, it is different in that you are “relaxed” into the posture, allowing your muscles to soften, allowing you to delve deeper into your body. Postures are held significantly longer than in a Yang style class and can range from 3-10 minutes or even longer, and becomes more of a meditation. As we age flexibility in our joints decreases and Yin yoga allows us to maintain our flexibility, but requires that the student get to know their whole body, the physical, emotional and all the sensations that come with it. Benefits of Yin Yoga: Regulates energy in the body Increases mobility & flexibility in the body, especially the joints and hips Stress & Anxiety Management Deeper Relaxation Better ability to sit for meditation To read more, visit the original article...
Yoga Poses to Practice Daily

Yoga Poses to Practice Daily

Yoga is such a unique practice that can vary day-to-day. Even if you go to the same yoga class regularly, you’ll notice that most teachers will alter what they share with students. There’s an infinite amount of yoga poses and sequences to choose from. We give you a few yoga poses that you may want to add to your daily practice. *Please note, not all of these poses are suitable for everyone. If you have any medical conditions please consult a medical doctor and a knowledgeable yoga teacher before you begin. #1: Balasana (AKA Child’s Pose) Why? It’s ability to feel grounding and nurturing makes it one of the most ideal yoga poses to practice daily! Whether you’ve had a busy day, or feel emotionally taxed, child’s pose is for YOU. It’s also great if you’re looking to gently stretch your hips, thighs and ankles.   #2: Adho Mukha Svanasana (AKA Downward Facing Dog) Why? It calms the brain and helps to relieve stress but also has many physical benefits. Down dog is one of the yoga poses that strengthens hands, wrists and legs but also releases shoulders, hamstrings, and calves while reducing compression in the spine. #3: Uttanasana (AKA Forward Fold) Why? Forward fold will help release your hamstrings while relaxing your spine. It’s a great way to release tension in your neck and feel the full benefits of a gentle inversion! It can also help relieve anxiety and fatigue. #4: Savasana (AKA corpse pose) Why? It really is the most important pose of your practice! If you choose one pose today, let it be this one. It can...
Anatomy in Yoga

Anatomy in Yoga

An excerpt from the Yogacara Yoga Teacher Training Manual by Emily Kane – studio owner and staff member   An understanding of anatomy is key for the safety and development of your students. Integrating this knowledge can encourage injury prevention and facilitate the healing process. It can connect a deeper understanding of the philosophies in creating yoga sequences for public and private classes. For private classes, if there is a specific area of focus, then you can design a practice that addresses those concerns.  An anatomical awareness also prepares you to take on students with injuries in a safe and effective manner. Using variations, props, and mindful sequencing to compliment this information can create an inclusive yoga class. An understanding of anatomy also gives you the tools to analyze your practice and teachings to create effective movement patterns. This encourages proper sequencing techniques that include adequate warm-ups and poses with appropriate counterposes. It also reinforces the importance of alignment for the purpose of safety for our joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments rather than for an esthetic appeal. The patterns we create on our mat have the ability to affect how we progress outside of yoga, meaning that our muscle memory creates healthy habits to impact other activities in our daily lives. The evolution of yoga suggests that one day it can be utilized for rehabilitation in a clinical setting – perhaps a connection can be made between medical providers and the application of yoga as therapy. This is one of the many reasons anatomy should be part of the curriculum in any yoga teacher training. In teaching yoga, it...
The Journey of Yoga Teacher Training

The Journey of Yoga Teacher Training

Written by Emily Kane – owner of Yogacara Whistler and staff member of the Yogacara Yoga Teacher Training program   I used to think Yoga Teacher Training was out of my grasp. Seeing the respect that yoga teachers had for leading classes with confidence, awareness and grace is what drew me towards yoga teacher training, but life seemed to get in the way. Becoming a yoga teacher was always put on the back burner. When I finally took the leap, it was like I found the place I was always meant to be. I was making a commitment to myself – the start of a lifelong journey. Even if I had decided not to teach public classes, it would still be one of the most important decisions I’ve ever made. So why did it take me so long? There are some common misconceptions about yoga teacher training that could hold someone back from doing what they love. Here’s why anytime’s a great time to start your next journey.   1.) You think you’re not good enough I started practicing yoga just before I turned 15 years old, but it took me years to complete my yoga teacher training. Why? I didn’t think I was good enough. I couldn’t really do anything “crazy,” my warrior II felt like it needed some work, and from time-to-time, I fell out of balancing poses. If you think you need to do EVERY pose, think again. Yoga’s much more than asana (or poses) and just like the lessons we’re taught in class, we’re encouraged to work wherever we’re at in that moment. Honoring your body and...
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