Tag Archives: Ashtanga

YogaPose Weekly Photo: “Ushtrasana” Pose By Jennifer Miller In Desert Hot Springs, CA

Jennifer Miller YogaPose Weekly Ushtrasana

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If We Are Conscious That Our Mind Makes Excuses, We Can Overcome Negative Attachments In Life

By Jennifer Miller

My yoga practice continues to teach me about my inner self. Working through advanced postures, I am conscious of how my mind makes “excuses” during periods where I struggle: too many babies, weak bandhas, arms and legs that are too long (very creative). But through discipline and focusing my mind, I am able to block out these thoughts and “distractions”.

This past Thursday at the Ashtanga Yoga Center in Encinitas, CA,  I finally nailed the difficult Urdhva Kukkutasana B pose (a lifting lotus) in the advanced series. But this short-term success highlighted a major theme in my overall practice: that difficult transitions in my life had reduced the desire to “push forward”.

As mothers, we must be able to “detach” from the emotions and negative energy that arise as we watch our children grow older and naturally struggle with life’s journey. We need to remain objective with the strength to make the tough calls that do not enable a continuation of poor decisions and actions.

My yoga practice and personal life both thrive when I maintain a healthy mind-body connection. My teacher noticed from across the room when I succeeded with the difficult pose. I quickly do the pose again to confirm it in my muscle memory. My mind has thoughts of “I CAN” running through it and the body responds.

I remember with a smile back to a day when I worked with girls at the Recovery Home and demonstrated this same pose. The purpose was to show them that a yoga practice mirrors our daily lives. We can feel stifled and stuck in life, but we need to have the strength to push through the barriers holding us back.

One of the girls had said “…you’re so strong you could probably take us all out”. We all laughed.  They had reacted to the positive energy I demonstrated when facing a seemingly impossible situation.

We must maintain the ability to focus our minds on the positive things we can accomplish each day in order to push through even the most difficult of times in our lives.

Namaste, Jennifer Miller

“A Morning In The Life Of A Yogini” By Jennifer Miller, Published In SunGoddessMagazine.com

“Breathing In The Moment To Stay Centered And Balanced” By Jennifer Miller

“Durvasana”

Arriving at the Yoga Center, I roll out my mat and make sure it lines up with walls that surround me. Each time I place my feet on this six-foot long, 2-foot wide space, I have a feeling of  “returning home”. I fill my lungs with deep breaths, exhaling and begin the process of “letting go”.

In yoga, this breathing technique is known as “Ujjayi”, a Sanskrit word that means “to be victorious”. Breathing, or “Pranayama”, engages the diaphragm and the “chakras”, or “force centers”, producing a sound similar to waves crashing in the ocean. I feel a calming and quieting of my mind and begin a move inward.

“Ujjayi” is important in overcoming distractions, which prevent focus as we move towards “being in the moment”.

This mind-body connection produces a warming of the body, which increases to an intense heat in my pelvis as I bend and stretch deeply. I fuel this rise in energy with deep breaths, and become one with my movements, aware of the energy in the room created by other dedicated yogis.

I am grateful to my teacher and happily drive an hour each way to the Ashtanga Yoga Center. Nearing the end of my 1 1/2 hour practice, I complete work on a third-series pose called “Durvasana”, where I am standing with one leg behind my head. This pose requires me to stay centered and balanced, as I continue the journey inward towards my essential self.

Namaste, Jennifer Miller