Category: Holistic Health

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.

Holistic Health The Sciences Time Management Yoga yoga nidra Yoga Therapy

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One of the precepts of yoga (fromthe yamas & niyamas) is svadhyaya, a Sanskrit word loosely translated as self-study. Swami Kripalu, the wise sage from India that inspired the creation of Kripalu Center in MA,  says that “self observation without judgment” is the highest form of yoga we can practice. The Sanctuary is a place to practice.

Since 2002, The Sanctuary has been a host to yoga classes, astrology workshops, feng shui trainings, meditation circles and many other types of spiritual/metaphysical studies. The intent is to provide  a safe and sacred space where self discovery is encouraged, deep transformation is possible, and healing can occur.

Directions to The Sanctuary.

The Sanctuary is located at 560 Main St. Suite 2C in Loch Arbor, NJ which is just north of Asbury Park, NJ. It is easily reached from the NJ Garden State Parkway and other major roads as well as walking distance from the NJ Transit train station . See Map

Also within walking distance is the Atlantic Ocean, Deal Lake, the rejuvenated city of Asbury Park, shopping & restaurants.

Our telephone number is (732) 531-9013.

Miscellaneous

The Sanctuary is on the second floor of a small office building. There is no elevator. Ample, well-lit parking off the street is located at the back of the building. Inside, there are approximately 500 square feet of empty, carpeted space suitable for yoga practice. Some yoga props and supplies are available.

The building is mostly leased by professionals such as: accountants, therapists, property managers, insurance agents, etc. It is very quiet most of the time and there is not a lot of ‘thru’ traffic. Western exposure provides ample daylight, and the landlord provides heat, a/c, and electric.

The Sanctuary is available to guest teachers, facilitators, and healers. For more information click on Questions? above.  It’ll provide you with a contact form.

Asbury Park Astrology Feng Shui Holistic Health My photos self-promotion The Jersey Shore Yoga Yoga Therapy

The moon returns to darkness once again. Perhaps you can see the slightest sliver of light remaining. Sigh. We’re tired. Something inside is calling for rest, retreat, and rejuvenation. The balsamic phase is the time when we need to honor that feeling, and honor ourselves for all the work and effort we have expended during the previous cycles. This phase of the moon beckons us to turn our attention inward, to the deepest parts of ourselves. It is the time to connect with spirit and the divine energy that lies within. And, if we are not in touch with those aspects of ourselves then perhaps this is the time to search for it.

Many of the eastern philosophies speak of the light that resides within. God is to be found on the inside, deep within oneself. Our disconnection from that source of light within may indeed be part of the problem that permeates society today. Many times when I tell my clients and students to use this balsamic time for meditation, contemplation, soul-searching or prayer they look at me like I’m crazy. “I don’t have time for that” is a common response. There’s “too much to do, too much work, too many responsibilities”.

“But, I wish I could”, is a communal sad song. Well, this is the time to take the time for inward-oriented activities. And, the amazing, magical result of pursuing this inward journey at this particular time is the reduction of stress and the feeling & experience of having more time throughout the rest of the cycle.

The Balsamic Phase of the Moon is when our system is crying for psychic detoxification. It’s the perfect time to pause and reflect on all events and activities of the recent past. A ‘letting go’ time, when we acknowledge ourselves for doing the best we could. Or, if we weren’t able to do our best, we acknowledge ourselves for trying and then let it go.

What does it mean to let go of something? One hears this expression a lot these days. On one level I think it means to not worry or be concerned with outcome. Replace the energy spent on mental/emotional anguish and instead practice cultivating the energy of faith, trust and stillness. The Bhagava Gita gives very explicit instructions for how to do this and the balsamic phase is the time to practice more intently.

During the balsamic period the veil between the conscious and the unconscious is thin. Therefore, it is also a good time to pay more attention to our dreams. Dreams come from the Vijananamaya Kosha, one of our subtle bodies according to Yogic Philosophy. Our higher mind usually has some very important information and dreams are a way of communicating with ourselves. Sometimes they may even take on a prophetic tone. Our need to daydream, fantasize or simply escape our everyday realities is a natural tendency that requires attention just like any other health routine me might employ. We all need time to be alone and connect with ourselves. Long walks or drives, frequent naps, listening to music, connecting with nature, journaling, painting, dancing, practicing yoga, tai chi, chi gong, reading, or just sitting staring out a window are all befitting activities for these days.

In psychological terms this lunar phase is when we are more connected to the collective unconscious. This is a term used most frequently within the Jungian tradition of psychology. Freudians might refer to it as the unconscious or supra-conscious mind. People have created different words for the same concepts for eons. The point is that there is a part of our mind that works from a different operating system than the rest of our mind. And this ‘hidden file’ is very busy connecting to the ethereal WWW all the time.

So, perhaps the most important thing to really understand is that if you do not honor this time, if you continue your daily life and your routine without including “downtime’, then you will not feel energized and refreshed when the next cycle begins. At first the effects of this may not be apparent. However, over time, if you continue to ignore your inner world and focus only on the external the stresses will accumulate and can create obstacles, dis-ease, and crisis in your life.

Without adequate time for pause and reflection, the body/mind/spirit will rebel and hopefully send you some clear signals that things are out of balance. When that happens our lives begin to spin seemingly out of control. We find ourselves in dysfunction, dis-ease, and disarray. And as a result something may happen by which we are then forced (by some external factor?) to give up our routine. Either we land in a hospital, or we are down-sized, laid-off or fired. Either way, we are now forced to use our time to reflect because now we have no other choice. Fate or Free Will……..make your choice.

It’s so much easier to voluntarily step back from our routines then to have them forcibly removed from us. This is the gift of the Balsamic Phase of the Moon. Two days out of every 28 day cycle can go really far in preventing & healing accumulated stress.

©Time & Space Consulting. All rights reserved. This article is an excerpt of my book in progress.

Astrology Holistic Health lunar phases Meditation philosophy Planets and their Cycles The Lunar Cycle Time Management Yoga

monkey For years now I have been opening yoga class with a “check-in”. It’s an opportunity for those who choose, to speak without fear of feedback. It can be a difficult practice and not everyone participates, nor does everyone understand the benefits or meaning of the practice.

I will be turning over my yoga classes to my assistants when I travel later this month. We’ve been having ‘training’ sessions to cover as much as we can before I leave. “Holding the space” for a deep-listening practice can be extremely challenging. And, yet, I want the studio to remain constant and safe for those who attend in my absence.

Over the years of working with deep listening techniques, conscious communication, and silence I have learned a lot. It’s my intention to get it all down in the manual I’m writing for yoga teachers/therapists.

For today, I’d like to call your attention to some words that are best eliminated from your everyday dialogue. They are powerless and ineffective. Nothing of importance gets communicated if these words are in your sentences. And, for now, you’ll just have to take my word for it and do your own research. Let me know what you find. Here’s the list.

COULD

WOULD

SHOULD

BUT

NEVER

ALWAYS

NOT (or any word that has a n’t attached to it)

It’s a short list. However, if you begin to really listen to yourself you will probably find it quite difficult to eliminate these words.

The moon’s in Gemini today….the impulse to connect thru language presents itself. The mental field is active and the communication channels are active.

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chiron2.jpgThe asteroid Chiron is named after a mythological centaur (horse/man) who became a great healer/teacher. In astrological mythology, Chiron is the Wounded Healer and has many talents. One story tells how he became immortal and lived a life of suffering after a fatal(?) wound from a poisoned arrow. In the attempt to heal himself,  Chiron learned the magic of herbs, gems, astrology, and  other ancient healing techniques.

In our natal horoscopes, the placement of Chiron describes the circumstances of our unhealed wounds, the ones that require an integrated approach to understand. These are the wounds that are invisible to the world and sometimes even invisible to ourselves.The emotions of shame and humiliation will give you a clue as to where these wounds are located. By the time we reach our early 50’s we have had numerous opportunities to confront these wounds and perhaps we were successful in transforming this lead into gold. Also around the age of 50, the asteroid Chiron returns to the same place he was in when you were born….a Chiron Return in the astrological language. This might be considered a ‘last chance’ for healing in this lifetime the wound that binds you. It’s also a time (after 50) to share your knowledge with others and become the teacher/counselor/healer who helps others with wounds similar to your own, just as Chiron did in mythology.

The Heirophant

The success of the 12-step format is one example of how wounded healers have helped others create happy lives from painful pasts. The Wounded Healer contributes to the whole in ways that can’t be measured.We all have Chiron somewhere in our psyche. It is an archetype that the whole human race feels. The location of Chiron in your personal astrological birthmap can shed some light on the wound that follows you everywhere and has the potential to become your greatest strength. Consult your astrologer/yoga teacher for guidance on this topic.

Om shanti, shanti, shantihi.


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electricity

It’s time to become more consciously aware of the quantity of electro-magnetic energy that you live with inside your home. Unfortunately our insatiable desire for convenience has overtaken our common sense. Take a look at how many electrical appliances are in your bedroom for starters. Lights, radios, tv’s, computers…….what else is in there? Did you know that all of these items emit electromagnetic energy even if they are turned off? Did you know that electro-magnetic energy weakens your immune system? Do you realize that when you are sleeping (or tossing around from insomnia) your body is more vulnerable to electro-magnetic energy? Do you think there might be a connection between your insomnia and your health to the amount of electro-magnetic energy in your bedroom? I certainly do.

Wanna sleep better? Wanna strengthen your immune system?

Create a bedroom space that’s free of electrical appliances……….especially TV’s!

………………..and don’t even get me started on cells, wireless, & microwaves……………………………

Go here for more info

Ayurveda electro-magnetic energy Feng Shui Holistic Health Miscellaneous

Sabbath

Today & tomorrow all of us will be experiencing the balsamic phase of the moon ending on Wednesday at 3;27 EDT when the New Moon cycle at 26Taurus begins. It’s time to dive in again and clean out the internal clutter.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to meet Wayne Muller who is an ordained minister, therapist and author of Sabbath, Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in our Busy Lives. He definitly understood the symbolic meaning of the balsamic phase of the moon. He agrees that, without this time of introverted activity we are doomed to remain a stressed out, disease-ridden, self-centered culture showing little compassion or understanding for others. Whew. It stressed me out just writing that sentence!

The balsamic phase of the moon as I have previously written about here and here is the time to direct our attention to our inner world and our inner life. Many people don’t have a clue what that means which illustrates the need to educate and encourage this practice. Wayne Muller writes about Sabbath from both the Jewish & the Christian perspective. One celebrates this restful time on Saturday, the other on Sunday. I have personally discovered as an astrologer/yogini that using the balsamic time of the moon for my inward journeys to be extrodinarily auspicious.

We on this planet Earth are intimately connected to the cycle & phases of the Moon, our closest neighbor in the sky. We know that the moon affects the tides thru it’s gravitational pull on Earth. We know that we are more than 80% water. It’s not a gigantic leap to realize that we too are affected by that same gravitational pull. And, finally, we know that since the dawning of mankind we have watched and scheduled our lives by the consistent rhythms of the sun & moon. Afterall, isn’t that where our calendar came from? But, I digress.

It does make it somewhat challenging to withdraw from our daily lives if the balsamic phase falls on a Monday & Tuesday! Our contemporary worklife does not have a flexible enough schedule to accomodate the fluctuations of the lunar cycle. We are a solar based society, unlike some of the other cultures on our planet. (See this article on East vs. West astrology)

However, where there’s a will there’s a way. One of the ways I make sure that I acknowledge my balsamic tasks is to step up my yoga & meditation practice during these days. You might want to do the same and attend a class or two. Taking time out to be in nature is another way to celebrate this time. Journaling, napping, day-dreaming, are some other ways to honor yourself and build up your internal bank account. Practice ‘not doing’ as the yogi’s would say. Just Be. You will find that you are even more productive when the new moon comes back around if you take out some time for yourself now.

 

Astrology Holistic Health lunar phases Meditation Time Management Yoga

Yesterday, 5/10/2007, the NY Times published an article on yoga therapy. You can read it for yourself at this site: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/10/fashion/10Fitness.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Wow. Much of what is written there is what I have been teaching (or preaching?) for years. It’s nice to be validated by the media.

Establishing a working relationship with main-stream medicine is easier said than done though. For one thing, few doctors have had any personal experience with yoga or yoga therapy. Many are  mis-informed about yoga is, believing it to be a form of ‘exercise’ that helps people relax. I suppose that is true on some level, however it’s so much more than that.

Regardless, it’s nice to be on the cutting edge of something and helping to establish the standards. What frightens me though is the idea that at some point we, yoga teachers & therapists alike, will be regulated by some anonymous body of ‘professionals’ who will try to standardize our practices. Although I do recognize the need for some sort of credential that lets the public know that we have learned something, standardization will also seriously diminish the creative and intuitive spark that fuels our abilities. Yoga, as we know, is a body/mind/spiritual approach to health. How do you measure Spirit?

Time to meditate……………………………..

Krishna

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Saturn is currently squaring my natal Sun.  Ugh.  It feels like being trapped within concrete walls with only a small little penknife to chip my way out.  I suppose there is a postive side to this transit, there always is a good side.  However, today I just feel stuck.

Saturn

Just before the transit came to exactitude I spent a week at Kripalu Center attending the Symposium on Yoga Therapy.  It was wonderful to be with a community of yoga professionals who are focused on using these ancient practices towards health & wellness.  There are some really good things happening out there! I learned a lot.  And, I also realized how much I already know…………..it’s always good to be validated!

Yoga Therapy is definitely an up and coming modality that is beginning to receive recognition from the medical establishment.  In my own practice a few of my clients are getting reimbursed by their insurance companies for their sessions with me.  And, their doctors are writing prescriptions for Yoga Therapy!

What sets my practice apart from most of the other yoga therapists is the use of astrology in my analysis.  Looking at a clients natal chart along with current transits & progressions can provide a lot of information that you wouldn’t find anywhere else.  As soon as this concrete wall crumbles I hope to complete some of the articles on this and post them here or on my website.  But until then……….I’ll continue to practice procrastination!

Astrology Education Holistic Health journal entry Kripalu Planets and their Cycles Saturn Yoga Therapy