Category: Holistic Health

Watercolor geometric patternMany years ago I had the pleasure of working at the NJ Center for the Healing Arts. A wonderful group of various therapists, psycho-, massage-, art-, and other practitioners of the alternative/complementary arts/sciences all worked under one roof. The founder had a vision for how to treat mental illness in today’s society. She was a beacon of light to many and I applaud her for her accomplishments and the ripple effect of healing & inspiration she provided to the whole community, clients, and the world-at-large.   I was honored to offer astrological & feng shui consultations along with some hatha & dancing yoga classes during my early years studying yoga therapy.  It was a rich time.

While there, it was clear that much of the physical space was dedicated to art….The walls were filled with paintings painted by past & present clients.  Every now and then new ones would appear.  I loved peeking into the art room to see them in action.   It never occured to me that art or painting or drawing could be therapeutic, or healing, or anything other than a means to an end, a picture upon which lots of opinions/judgements might be heaped.  “I like it” I hate it” etc.    Of course, I proved myself naive, again, it happens a lot.

Anyway, today  it’s nearly two decades later and I’m excited to be working around art again.  It’s in a different context, of course, but after such a long time learning & practicing integrative yoga therapy I’m comfortable teaching whever the winds blow me.

Anything can be therapized these days and that’s maybe a good thing?  It acknowledges that we all need healing.  All of us.   Everybody.  This is something I know to be true.

And, the kind of healing that occurs when we fully engage in a process that eliminates words can be felt thru and thru.  It has to do with how the hemisphere’s of the brain are organized.  Healing, though, is not a right-side/left-side experience, but rather what happens naturally when balance is acheived.  This is what yoga/meditation teaches us.  That amazing blissful state that occurs after one does some focused hatha practice, is the same calm, blissful state that occurs when we’re in the zone of: artistic expression, dance practice,, or musical harmonies & rhythms.

That zone, that particular kind of present moment is a very seductive state of being, and once you’ve experienced it your entire being becomes engaged with trying to have the experience again.  The challenge & difficulty is to get there naturally, chemically & substance free.  But, I digress.  Neptune is one of the astrological significators for spiritual practice, yoga, imagination, fantasy and more.  For more keywords of Neptune go here.

On July, I’ll be facilitating a weekend of workshops on yoga & creativity at The Sanctuary.  For the *intensive* on Saturday we’ll be at a local art gallery.  I’m excited to see what happens!   Namaste.

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FullSizeRenderTwo important announcements regarding my yoga community were made recently.  The first is that the International Association of Yoga Therapists, after years of work, have defined and developed a curriculum with which  to certify someone as a Yoga Therapist.  This new designation will read as C-IAYT.   This achievement comes on the heels of the Yoga Alliance announcing that they will not recognize the term yoga therapy within their certification requirements.  Their primary interest is in making sure that anyone who calls themselves a yoga teacher/instructor knows how to keep people safe while guiding asana practice.  Using yoga, therapeutically or in any kind of a ‘healing’ way is not what the Yoga Alliance is focused on.  Whereas, the IAYT which was founded in 1989 has been solely focused on using yoga therapeutically and they have dedicated all their resources towards that end.   Just as my yoga ‘career’ got started (1999) the dialogue on what is yoga therapy began.  Over the next few years they discussed just what were the most important aspects of a yoga (therapy) program and should we establish a required curriculum?  Much of this discussion occurred before the current explosion of  yoga ‘teachers’ hit the scene.   My feelings at the time were in line with others who asserted that yoga could not be strictly coded for anything since it’s very foundation was based in energy, spirit, and whatever overriding belief system was operating at any given time.   IMHO Yoga can not be quantified…and my personal practice of yoga therapy emphasizes that, which does not mean that I ignore the body during practice.  Quite the contrary.  But, a holistic practice should cover the whole as understood by the early yogi’s.

Today, all the debating is complete and the organizations have chosen their paths forward and it’s exactly what I feared would happen.  They’ve narrowed down yoga therapy to mostly asana & pranayama, and turned  the subtle & causal energy-bodies over to Ayurveda….which isn’t awful, just disappointing, for me, personally.  But, I have my karma to work thru just like everyone else.

All that said it seems that I do qualify to be grandfathered (or more appropriately) grandmothered in for their official certification of yoga therapy, I guess age does have some rewards. But first I have the daunting task of documenting 15 years of client contact.  Nevertheless, those that are wanting to call themselves yoga therapists are faced with a curriculum that would never have appealed to me, or anyone who understands that healing, well-being, and self-fulfillment is more than the body, more than the sum of the parts, more than anything that can be studied, measured, or quantified.

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Another piece of yoga news was the announcement that Integrative Yoga Therapy will become a part of the Kripalu Yoga curriculum, officially.  This is not a big surprise to me as Joseph LaPage was part of the early Kripalu ashram, but it’s so wonderful to have them together in this form.  All of my teacher-trainings have been within this lineage of teachers and I feel so much gratitude to be a part of the community.

I never expected to be a pioneer of anything, but it seems as though I have been blazing a path for sure.  Just the fact that I’m posting this to all of you is evidence of that.  My studio is 14 years old  and continues to be a safe and sacred space for those who seek healing, inspiration, and enlightenment thru yoga.  Om Shanti.

 

Holistic Health Kripalu Yoga Yoga Therapy

Hi Everyone….  Longevity is the one of the topics of this panel discusssion…and it’s made for some interesting conversations in our yoga classes.  I  highly recommend listening to it if you are of the Boomer generation like me.  The young one you see is the CEO of Facebook.  Very interesting.

 

Robert Sapolsky, who is one of the panelists, wrote the book, Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers and it was required reading for certification in Integrative Yoga Therapy (2000).  I couldn’t put it down.  It explained so much to me and informs my yoga still to this day.

…more later.

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ahimsamlkIt’s MLK Day.

A day of peace?

more war?

inequality?

balance?

When hopes, and dreams, and cures, & kingdoms fail, what then?

For some odd reason of neural wiring, I always seem to link MLK to Gandhi.

Maybe it is because they both have darker skin then me?

How to know anything, for sure, anymore?

We live in a world that debates the definition of the word “is”.  And, perhaps, it is a worthwhile discussion to have?

Discussions and conversations give us opportunities to practice ahimsa, and amen to that.

I met Gandhi’s grandson about 10 years ago.  He gave a talk on ahimsa and told a story that really helped me to understand the concept,  rather than the definition.

Non-Violence in all things is a way of life, that begins again with every breath you take.  Start now.  Start again.

My teachers taught me how to look at myself,  first.  Practice.

Ugh.

The Bagua is an ancient map that helps us to understand the world around us.  It’s part of the Feng Shui tool box. Light a candle in your spiritual corner today, chant an om or a tone, and meditate on peace.

I’m leading yoga tonite……6pm.  Feng Shui Trainings coming this Spring.

Namaste.

Blogging Feng Shui Holistic Health journal entry

Feng Shui, the oriental art of placement, has been around for thousands of years. For generations its principals have been handed down as a form of folk wisdom.  Masters and adepts were called in to clear out negative spirits. Homes were sanctified and protected by invisible space.

The techniques evolved over time to include: Choosing building sites, designing the interior environment, and placing furniture.

When done, consciously, good health and good fortune will follow.  It’s written in the stars.

Over time thrThe Wayee different schools of thought developed, each of which addressed environments from a different, yet compatible, point of view. The Taoists were the earliest practitioners, followed by those who called themselves Confuscion’ists.  The most recent school of thought has been developed by Buddhists calling themselves The Black Hat Sect. More recently there is a growing group of practitioners doing research and development with a technique known as Local Space.  You won’t find much written on this before 1990 or so because it is too mathematically complicated to learn without a computer and a rudimentary understanding of astrology.

The underlying principal of feng shui, and all the esoteric sciences is the concept of Chi. ( Prana is the word that is used in Vaastu Shastra,)  Chi is the life force energy that flows through everything. It’s invisible yet powerful, and when it is blocked or obstructed it can impact our lives in  surprisingly undesirable ways. Learning how to arrange our landscapes, our living rooms, and our lives  in alignment with flow of chi energy is what feng shui is all about.

Telluride by Frank Lloyd Wright

This experiential course of study will enable you to practice feng shui for yourself and for others.  If you’re interested in becoming a professional in the field I offer a mentorship program available to those who qualify.

The course of study that I have developed begins with the philosophy of feng shui and covers how belief systems combine with human psychology & science to create our life circumstances.  Additional topics will include:

  • How and why feng shui works.
  • The three different schools and what each has to offer.
  • The Elements. Balancing the elements is a key component along with determining the best geographical direction for sleeping, cooking, and working.
  • The geographical directions.
  • The maps. (Bagua, Local Space, Astro-Cartography
  • The problem with clutter.
  • Feng Shui in the Garden.
  • Eliminating sleep problems with feng shui.
  • How to increase wealth & resources.  Finding a career or job.  Selling/Buying real estate.
  • Smoothing out relationship difficulties.
  • Living with electro-magnetic energy and it’s impact on our health.

Creating safe and sacred space.

Ida’s interest in feng shui began during college while studying art & interior design in the 70’s. She gained practice in the field while working as a real estate agent. Today, she uses feng shui along with yoga & astrology to help others create balanced, healthy, lives. Some of her experience in the field includes: Brookdale College, St. Barnabas Hospitals (NJ), the Breast Center at Monmouth Medical, Lucent Technology, NJ Supreme Court offices, a golf course, 100’s of residential properties, real estate offices, retail stores, yoga centers large and small,  business offices and schools.  she has been a state & national presenter at various conferences teaching others how to balance their lives with Feng Shui.

 

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If you have any planets or points located in the early degrees of a Cardinal sign then I’d like to hear from you.  Your  lives are as eventful as mine these days……or soon to be so.

Cardinal energy/signs really like to make plans and do stuff.  Action is key. There are 4 Cardinal signs in the zodiac: Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn.  Together they form the axis of an astrology chart- the cross that puts everyone at angles and odds with each other and the world.

Naturally, each of these signs represents it’s ‘doing nature’ differently.  For instance, Aries does things First; that’s important for this fire sign.  It’s soul purpose is to demonstrate the pioneering spirit –  going and doing what hasn’t been done before. Thinking things through takes way too much time so they’re apt to be quite impulsive as they pioneer headfirst into the unknown.

Cancer is a busy sign, too.  Their ‘doing-nature’ is more directed, but none the less active!  Security is their goal and they spend a lot of time securing it.  Establishing a roof over their head is primary, and a tent will do as long as they can call it home.  However, there is another important thing that Cancer’s must do, and that is to feel their feelings.  Our current culture has not been supportive of this important action…..feeling feelings, and therefore a lot of Cancer energy has been delegated to the unconscious where it does it’s acting out surreptiously.

Action and Libra may not seem to go together at first sight.  Libra is Venus ruled and can often show up as sloth and indulgence.  This is not a pretty sight even though Libra always looks good.  Contradictions reign, even though Libra mediates.   Libra’s don’t do first.  They wait for someone else to do something and then they know what to do themselves, either follow along or go the other way.   They always do their doing nicely maintaining a good public image.

The king of doing-nature could be Capricorn, and that particular cardinal sign is currently experiencing active transformation.  Pluto, the planet that might or might not be a planet, is currently moving thru that sector of the tropical zodiac.  (Pluto is not recognized in the Vedic/Jyotish system).  Expect power struggles for a long, long time.

Who knows what will become of Capricorn’s doing-nature throughout this tranformational transit.  In the past this Saturn ruled sign has represented symbolized authority, structure, and management…..someone has to do it, you know?  Capricorn energy shows where and how we are the authors of our  or other people’s lives. It’s a no-frills kind of energy and the goal becomes the purpose and all actions and all doing is directed towards achievement.  Once achieved, another goal/purpose replaces the first one, and on and on it goes.  Capricorns do a lot.

 

We all have ‘doing-nature’, some of us obsessively.  But, as one of my favorite teachers has said so often, “we are human beings, not human doings”, and that explains a lot to me.

Pluto and Saturn together are stressing out a majority of people on the planet.  That’s a given.  These same astrological aspects are happening everywhere and to all of us.  There’s only one time zone to consider if you look at the life from the cosmic perspective.

Once you understand the cosmic perspective it becomes increasingly important to make life choices accordingly.  During cardinal times, such as these, important decisions and significant changes happen.  These events can be pleasant or unpleasant, either way the physical body responds the same during these stressful times.  Only your mind decides or rather, judges the difference. These human-being-bodies still respond with beating hearts, sweating palms, shortened breaths, and tensed muscles.

I recommend you practice yoga in the ancient ways to help your body/mind integrate all the powerful forces that are impacting our world.   It’s time for me to do that now.  My Moon/Venus/Uranus are all early cardinal.

Om shanti, shanti, shantihi.

Astrology Holistic Health Planets and their Cycles Time Management Yoga

Can you feel it? It being the on going conjunction of Chiron & Neptune & Jupiter’s visit this last year.

I’ve been watching the unfolding of this new paradigm for many years.  We are in the cycle of eclipses today… a time of ‘transition’ where all things become possible.  Watch your thoughts, emotions, actions, and beliefs.  Nourish yourself & others. Practice ahimsa, often by paying it forward, or receiving with grace. Love everyone.

And, I love this website, and this particular post reminded me something deep and profound.  Check it  out…..http://urbansurvival.com/week.htm It’s important for those of you who are learning feng shui to become aware of the difference (in your own body) of negative ions & postive ions in a space.

Astrology Blogging electro-magnetic energy Holistic Health Planets and their Cycles

Sound is a very important element to consider when feng shui’ing your home.
Begin,
today,
to listen more closely to the sounds in your home.

Watch this video for inspiration…..if you like it check out the movie: Touch the Sound.  I watched it last night.

Do you have any instruments in your home?  Where have you placed them?

Think about it.  Meditate….. contemplate silence.

Feng Shui Holistic Health Music sound/music therapy

Cycles of Becoming, The Planetary Pattern of Growth by Alexander Ruperti is probably one of the best books I’ve ever read on the study of cycles, phases , and patterns.

Here’s what he writes for age 56-63.

Phase 9.  Possibility of 3rd birth in the Uranian cycle. Demonstration of the capacity to focus the spiritual quality of being inherent at birth, through the personality.  New spiritual activities or, negatively, further crystallization of mind and feeling responses.

He goes on to write that after 63 we move towards, “conscious preparation for the afterlife….or senility”

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I began facilitating stress management classes around 1989,  but here’s a tidbit of information Ilearned in a recent YTT class on stress-management.

When they did all those studies to determine what is known as the fight or flight reaction they used men. After observation those were the words that were chosen (Fight/flight) to represent  the surges of adrenalin and cortisol as witnessed in a male human body. Fight. Flight. Sounds simple enough , and it’s quite true. Remember, that primal brain is still operational, despite modern evolution.

The tidbit though is about how a woman’s body responds to those same adrenal gland secretions.  Recently they duplicated the same studies and discovered that neither fight or flight were the most common responses for the females.  At All!  What had been observed  was that female bodies tended  more to Freeze during stressful conditions.  Think ‘deer in the headlights’ kind of reaction.

When I took a little survey among  my students, men & women, I discovered that The Freeze feels much more resonate with them than fighting or fleeing….not always, but most of the time.  Nearly all seemed to breathe a sigh of relief by just hearing that alternative F-word. (freeze)

Whatever. Stress is stressful. There’s no doubt about it. Yoga helps. Find a teacher that you resonate with. Go often. Relieve your stress. It’s good for everyone. Yoga Nidra tonite.

Come, The Door is Round and Open. (rumi)

Here’s some information on my studio.

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