Tag Archives: Yoga Practice

“Yoga Is A Friend To Those Who Embrace It Sincerely…Enables Them To Live Fully…” – B.K.S. Iyengar

Jennifer Miller Yoga 2012“Yoga is a friend to those who embrace it sincerely and totally. It lifts its practitioners from the clutches of pain and sorrow, and enables them to live fully, taking a delight in life. The practice of yoga helps the lazy body to become active and vibrant. It transforms the mind, making it harmonious. Yoga helps to keep one’s body and mind in tune with the essence, the soul, so that all three are blended into one.”

From “Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” bu B.K.S. Iyengar

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“Lighting Candles, Hanging Lights And Letting Things Be With Words By Paul Ferrini”

By Jennifer Miller
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Jennifer Miller Dvi-Pada-Sirsasana Pose 2012Fire up the Pavoni.
Morning coffee, so good.
Lighting candles and incense as
I start my morning yoga practice.
Arriving on the mat is like coming home again.
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Beautiful morning walking the dogs, aka “the babies”.
Breathing in the coves of Laguna ahhh!!

Breakfast at the local cafe; cool people, artist types.

Walking out, a homeless woman under a blanket.
All I can see is one foot.
My heart sinks and I want to ask her what she needs?
I know she is probably an addict.
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Back home to make homemade granola.
A yum yum Christmas tradition.
Looking through the mail and
a child support check arrives.
It’s been a while.
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My mind goes to the last 5 years.
No father in these kid’s lives.
No anger… only hope.
Could this man possibly change?
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I let it go to the Spirit and check my heart.
It’s in a good place.
Forgiveness is there.
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My beloved hangs Christmas lights.
So many years without lights.
They symbolize healing for my family.
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I look around….
No lights in the small neighborhood.
We have been judged here.
A single mom and trouble with her son.
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Interesting.
We are the ones with lights.
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A big lesson in my journey: do not judge by the outside.
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Open up a new book.

Click on book to purchase and benefit the Heart Based Healing Foundation.

Click on book to purchase and benefit the Heart Based Healing Foundation.

A favorite thing to do.
Reading,  deep reflections come to me.
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The poetic words of Paul Ferrini:
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Life is constantly asking us to make adjustments,
to give up our agenda.
It is asking us to give up the conceit that we know the way things are supposed to be.
Letting things be is a way of saying to God
“I’m willing to dance with you.”
From “Dancing With The Beloved”.
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Namaste, Jennifer Miller
Contact Jennifer Miller at yogagoddesslaguna@yahoo.com

Contact Jennifer Miller at yogagoddesslaguna@yahoo.com

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

“How Yoga Allows Us To Master The Mental Blocks Holding Us Back In Life” By Jennifer Miller

“Vrschikasana”

As a yoga practitioner for the last 10 years, I have personally observed the mind-body connection. When I work on “inner growth”, I know that my practice will act as a mirror to my soul.

And there have been many “aha! moments”. 

The times when my ego would restrain the movement into difficult asanas; but through “Pranayama”, or the control of breathing, I was able to relax and flow like a river, expanding my ability to learn.

To remain open and let go is to find the answers that are already there.

Once, I found myself blocked and unable to complete a difficult asana for two years. It also happened that this time of frustration mirrored” a difficult time in my life, a time when I was forcing life and trying to control it.

To master and move through this asana, I would have to “trust” myself and overcome mental obstacles.

A now simple “forearm balance” created an overwhelming amount of fear inside me. My life also lacked “balance” as I was I was going through so many transitions; I was overwhelmed. My ego did not let me accept what was happening. As I observed myself and this asana, the issues became clear and I soon progressed through the asana. Yoga is a great gift to the inner workings of the mind as it connects through the body.

Namaste, Jennifer Miller

“What Your Yoga Practice Reveals About Your Life” By Jennifer Miller

How do you show up on your mat?

Are you in the present on your mat, realizing what each Asana is here to show you? Jennifer Miller

As a yoga practitioner for over 10 years, I have become very aware of the life connection between “how you are on the mat” and your state of being. 

There are many types:
 
  • Loud Moaning Yogi   They sound like they are having a Meg Ryan “When Harry Met Sally” moment…attempting to achieve the Big O right there on the mat.
  • Sloppy Sweating Yogi   Frequently uncontrolled, all over the place, these types  frequently drip sweat on your area. Unconcerned with anything around them. (I once had a wet towel thrown on my mat; not once, but three times. Each time I grabbed it with my foot and put it back in their area. Yes, my foot. I must say these feet of mine are pretty talented).
  • Intense Oblivious Yogi   Characterized by pushing their practice to the limit and not listening to their bodies. (I see many injuries with these types. You don’t  mess with them or their practice).
  • Super Zen Yogi  Just being near them you feel peace, acceptance and, kindness. (I love them).
  • Competitive Egocentric Yogi   Think “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon, and you understand this type…always one eye on those around them and the mirror. They want to be better than you but they are not at peace with who they are.
  • Graceful Connected Yogi   Their practice flows with Spirit in every movement, as if connected to a higher source. Each Asana is a dance with life. They are Zen and Grace unified with the whole of the Universe. (I feel they are in the present on their mat, realizing what each Asana is here to show them:  Mind, Body and Spirit in Divine Harmony).

How are you on the mat?

Do you see a connection to the mat and your personality?

Can you stay in the moment and BE with what is?
 

Try observing yourself during your next practice and be present to what the beauty of Yoga has to teach us all.

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Namaste, Jennifer Miller

Praise For My Feet As I Begin My “Sun Salutations”….

My toes need to be spread to create balance and eveness as I proceed through my Surya Namaskara or "Sun Salutations". Jennifer

I awoke this morning and planted both feet on the floor and thought about how far these feet have taken me.  I gazed at my toes and felt an overwhelming love that these feet have never let me down; we have been on quite a journey together so I feel a duty to show them the respect they deserve. So I promised these beautiful tootsies I would be mindful as I walked through my day starting with the present moment.

My yoga practice begins from my feet up. As I look down, I imagine each foot as a lotus, spreading my toes and knowing that my feet will support my body. I need to be centered and grounded. My toes need to be spread to create balance and eveness as I proceed through my Surya Namaskara or “Sun Salutations”.

My feet are quite “unique” as my left foot is two sizes smaller then my right. I contemplate this and realize that my right brain, which is the intuitive and emotional side, is very developed while my left brain is less so. I will go about my day very mindful of the importance of my feet as they represent the natural balance between my feminine and masculine sides. I will honor both the “Anima-Feminine” and the “Animus-Masculine” traits as they both have served me well.
 
Thank you tootsies. Jennifer Miller.