There's a discount for classes until the end of the month. Awesome news!
The discount code is SC2018
Enjoy a great AP course in Maine.
Thomas has several great books out on the subject and his classes are tops! Remember the code is only good until the end of the month.
Lets face it, we really don't know much about this system. Seems like its just simply ignored by most AP classes in general. BUT it is very important and in yoga we can surely have a wonderful effect on health and well being.
The lymphatic system helps the body with fluid exchange from the blood vessels, absorbs and transports fats, and removes pathogens. It works when we move. No movement, no worky. The lymph vessels run alongside the blood vessels in the cardiovascular system. These small vessels contain lymphatic fluid that circulates when the body moves, since there is no organ pumping the fluid through like the heart in the circulatory system. Obviously this is just another reason that it is so very important to move the body. Disease can be removed from the body with a healthy functioning lymphatic system.
The lymph fluid flows through the lymph vessels to the lymph nodes These nodes are found in many places throughout the body, take a look at the picture below. The lymph nodes encapsulate the toxins or foreign pathogens and remove them from the body through sweat or excretion. Lymph nodes can become swollen and sensitive when they are dealing with these toxins, makes sense doesn't it? Lymph nodes are in the area of the throat, armpit, and inguinal area.
The spleen helps the lymph system by functioning as a large lymph node and filtering out toxins. The thymus produces lymph cells called lymphocytes that support the lymph organs. Who knew?
Another fun and educational tidbit: try dry brushing. It's known to be a wonderful addition to maintaining a healthy lymphatic system.
Kitchari is pretty easy to make, healthy and mild on the stomach.
Some choices for a unique blend:
1/2 cup basmati rice
1 cup mung dal (split yellow)
6 cups (approx.) water
1/2 to 1 inch ginger root grated
Salt (1/4 tsp. or so)
2 tsp. ghee
1/2 tsp. coriander powder
1/2 tsp. cumin powder
1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
Handful of fresh cilantro leaves
1 and 1/2 cups vegetables of your choice(optional)
Carefully pick over rice and dal to remove any stones. Wash each separately in at least 2 cleanings of water. Add the 6 cups of water to the rice and dal and cook covered until it becomes soft, about 20 minutes.
While that is cooking, prepare any vegetables of your choice. Cut them into small pieces. Add the vegetables to the cooked rice and dal mixture and cook 10 minutes longer.
In a separate saucepan, sauté the seeds in the ghee until they pop. Then add the other spices. Stir together to release the flavors. Stir the sautéed spices into the cooked dal, rice, and vegetable mixture. Add the mineral salt and chopped fresh cilantro and serve.
Another great article from Yoga International:
If you have chronic pain in your knees, if they “snap, crackle, and pop” when you bend or extend them, or if they tend to hyperextend, you may have improper tracking or “dislocation” of the kneecap. This misalignment causes the most common kind of chronic knee pain and damage to the knee joint, which develop slowly over time. Yoga knee therapy might be able to help.
Here’s a simple anatomy lesson: The kneecap is designed to slide along a groove in the femur, and it has to move smoothly within that groove to do its job well. If it goes “off track” (and it often does), it grinds away at the cartilage underneath and destabilizes the knee. The ensuing wear and tear is a key reason for knee replacement surgery, which a lot of people believe is necessary because they think the cartilage is “gone.” But the truth is that cartilage can grow back, albeit slowly. The main problem is that if we don’t correct the imbalanced pull of muscles on the kneecap, we will continue to grind our cartilage down faster than our body can replenish it.
If you want to keep the knee healthy you need to strengthen the vastus medialis (the inner quadriceps). In fact, physical therapists consider exercises that strengthen this neglected muscle key in the rehabilitation of knee injuries.
So why does the kneecap go off track? The cause lies mainly in the quadriceps, a group of four muscles that merge just above the knee into a single quadriceps tendon. This tendon surrounds and attaches to the kneecap, continuing down below the kneecap as the patellar ligament, where it attaches to the tibia (shin bone). The kneecap serves an important mechanical function. The quadriceps tendon passes over the kneecap like a rope over a pulley, and the kneecap—like a pulley—increases the strength of the quadriceps to straighten the leg by 30 percent. Together, the quadriceps and the kneecap form the “extensor mechanism” for straightening the leg. Misalignments come when the “rope” of the quadriceps exerts a sideways pull on the kneecap “pulley,” creating friction in the mechanism.
Hatha yoga has a lot to offer to correct this misalignment; the standing poses are especially effective. But be forewarned: Misalignments of the knee in various asanas can amplify the imbalances that lead to injury and can aggravate existing problems instead of correcting them. The good news is that good alignment and proper tracking are easy to achieve—once you know what to pay attention to.
Why Are We Prone to Knee Problems?
Our bodies are predisposed to injuries of the extensor mechanism because the hip joints are wider than the knees in a neutral standing position. The natural Y-shaped configuration to the leg bones promotes uneven contraction of the quadriceps, and problems such as hyperextension of the knees make these natural imbalances even worse. As a result, when we contract the quadriceps to straighten the leg, the unevenness of the contraction tends to pull the kneecap to the outside, thanks to the greater pull of the outermost quadriceps (the vastus lateralis).
The innermost quadriceps (the vastus medialis) is most responsible for counteracting this pull. This muscle tends to be weak and underused, while the outer thigh muscle tends to be stronger from overuse. So if you want to keep the knee healthy (i.e., tracking properly in its femoral groove), you need to learn to strengthen the vastus medialis. In fact, physical therapists consider exercises to strengthen this neglected muscle key in the rehabilitation of knee injuries.
Structural misalignments tend to limit the vastus medialis' proper functioning--and can even weaken it in relation to the other quadriceps muscles, making it even harder to work with.
The Challenge of Working with the Inner QuadYoga students are often told to “lift the kneecaps” in straight-legged poses to engage their quadriceps and, ostensibly, protect their knees from hyperextension. But lifting the kneecaps in a healthy and balanced way requires focused attention, especially if you already have problems in your knees.
This is easy enough to check. Sit or stand with your legs straight and your feet parallel to each other, then engage your thigh muscles so that your kneecaps “lift” or pull toward your hips. Do your kneecaps move up in a straight line, or do they move in an angle toward the outside of your knees? If the latter is the case, then you need to strengthen the vastus medialis, the inner quad, and learn how to use it properly.
This has its challenges. First, it can be difficult to find and isolate this muscle, because you can feel the vastus medialis firming most only in the last 10 to 20 degrees of knee extension. So it takes focused attention to even feel and understand what the muscle does.
Second, structural misalignments that cannot be changed (like being knock-kneed or bowlegged) tend to limit the vastus medialis’s proper functioning—and can even weaken it in relation to the other quadriceps muscles, making it even harder to work with.
Finally, although engaging the vastus medialis properly can prevent hyperextension of the knee, doing so is essentially useless if the knee is already hyperextended. Consequently, it’s important to consciously avoid hyperextension in the first place, rather than relying on the strengthening exercises to prevent it. This is critical, because the habit of hyperextension will otherwise pull you right back into your imbalanced patterns of knee extension even after you do the work of strengthening the vastus medialis.
Here’s what you can do to keep your kneecaps tracking properly with yoga knee therapy:
How to Strengthen Your Inner Quad
Isometric extensions will help you identify the inner quad and its action as you strengthen it. To do this, sit in dandasana (staff pose) with your legs extended forward. Support your upper back against a wall if that’s more comfortable. Roll up a small blanket or sticky mat and place it under your knees to prevent hyperextension while your quadriceps are contracted. Next, rotate your right leg out 10 to 15 degrees (if the sole of your foot were on a clock face, your toes would be pointing to one o’clock).To find the vastus medialis, place your fingers about one inch above the inner (or medial) corner of your kneecap, and then walk your fingers about one and a half inches toward the inner thigh. Straighten your leg slowly to feel the quadriceps engage. You’re looking in particular for the firming of the teardrop-shaped muscle just under your fingers. This is the vastus medialis, the inner quadriceps. You will feel it fully engage as your leg straightens completely. Hold the contraction for 8 to 10 seconds, then release. Repeat this for two more rounds, making sure you don’t extend the leg so hard that you feel locking or pinching in the knee. Repeat this exercise with the left leg.
Next, do the same exercise without rotating the leg out. Keep your leg aligned so that your kneecap faces straight up toward the ceiling. Extend your leg fully and see if you can engage the inner part of the quadriceps—where you’re touching with your fingers—as strongly as you can engage the outer part of the quadriceps. Watch how your kneecap moves in a straight line along the center of the knee joint when your quads are engaged in a balanced way, rather than pulling to the outside. Repeat on the other leg. You can do these exercises several times a day—just be careful not to fatigue the muscle by doing too many sets at a time.
The Warrior PosesAmong the traditional asanas, the warrior poses (virabhadrasana I and II), in which the front leg is bent and the back leg is straight, are particularly effective for strengthening the vastus medialis, if done with proper alignment and action. Because although it’s easiest to isolate this muscle’s action when the leg is fully extended, it is also engaged and strengthened when the knee is bent at a 90 degree angle and the leg is bearing weight—as long as the knee is positioned vertically over the heel and the inner heel remains grounded. This is the case in a well-aligned warrior pose.
To come into the pose, step your feet wide apart, while extending your arms out to either side. Your feet should be roughly beneath your wrists. Turn your left foot in about 30 degrees and your right leg out 90 degrees. Keep your torso upright as you bend your right knee. Make sure your knee does not go beyond your ankle and toes: Keep the shin vertical while striving to bring the thigh parallel to the floor, so the leg is bent at a right angle. If the knee goes beyond your ankle and your weight shifts into your toes, widen the distance between your feet. Turn your head to look out over your right fingertips.
Even when your stance is the proper width and your knee bends to a right angle, a common—and harmful—misalignment is to let the thigh turn inward so that the knee points more toward the big toe. This happens especially when the arch of the foot collapses, which places stress on the inner knee and prevents you from strengthening the quadriceps in a balanced way. A less common misalignment is to shift the weight to the outer edge of the foot, so that the knee turns more toward the little toe. In this case the muscles along the outer thigh tighten, and the outer (lateral) side of the knee is stressed. In this case, too, the vastus medialis doesn’t function properly.
TO PROTECT THE KNEE make sure it’s above the second toe and that both the toe and the knee are on the same plane as the sit bone. If the vastus medialis is not properly engaged the knee falls inward. The vastus laterialis then pulls the kneecap outward, stressing the inner knee. When the weight shifts to the lower heel, the knee splays out over the little toes and stresses the inner knee.
Proper alignment in the warrior pose allows the vastus medialis to work in harmony with the other quadriceps to align and strengthen the extensor mechanism of the knee. Misalignments, on the other hand, disable the vastus medialis and increase the muscular imbalances that cause wear in the knee. You can protect your knees and strengthen the vastus medialis by following three basic rules for the warrior poses.
First, make sure your knee is bent properly to a right angle, so the weight is centered in your heel. If your toes are gripping, it’s a sign that your knee is going too far beyond your heel.
Second, don’t let the inner arch of your foot collapse, for this is a sign that your knee is turning inward too much. We sometimes compensate for this collapse by shifting weight to the outer edge of the foot, causing the inner heel to lift. But this stresses the outer knee and defeats the purpose of the pose. The challenge of aligning the knee is to keep your inner heel and big toe mound grounded while keeping the inner arch of the foot lifted. These two actions—grounding and lifting—will keep the knee from turning inward or outward too much. Lift your toes to help engage and lift the inner arch; as you bend your knee, draw the energy from the inner arch up through the calf to your inner knee, so that your knee remains directly over your heel and does not turn inward.
Third, make sure that the heel, kneecap, and hip joint of your bent leg are in the same plane by allowing a slight turn of the hips. (If you were doing the pose next to a wall, your outer right ankle, knee, and hip would all be touching it.) To achieve this, when you bend your knee, let your outer hip descend toward the floor (as if you had something heavy in your hip pocket) as you lift energy from your inner arch up through your inner knee. This will make your leg spiral out as you bend it, until your heel, kneecap, and hip joint are all aligned.
The purpose of these three actions in the bent leg is to ensure that all four quadriceps muscles are working harmoniously to stabilize the knee. As a result, the vastus medialis gets a much-needed workout that brings it into balance with the other quadriceps. To confirm this, gently pinch your thigh above the inner knee to check that the muscle there—the vastus medialis—is as firm as the thigh muscles at the outer knee.
Standing poses can strengthen and stabilize your knees, helping you to overcome structural imbalances that might otherwise lead to chronic wear and tear (and ensuing pain) in your knees.
Proper alignment of the knee in the warrior poses automatically gives the vastus medialis a healthy workout. Now you can apply these same actions to the straight-legged poses like trikonasana, in which working the vastus medialis consciously is more challenging.
Step your feet wide apart, turning your left foot in 45 degrees and your right leg out 90 degrees, toward the edge of your mat. Bend your right knee slightly and align your heel, knee, and hip as in warrior pose. Then straighten the leg mindfully, engaging the vastus medialis, especially in the last 20 degrees of extension. If you engage this muscle properly and your leg is aligned as you straighten it, you’ll see your kneecap draw straight up your leg, and you’ll find it nearly impossible to lock your knee. But if you let go of the vastus medialis even for an instant, the knee can easily hyperextend and lock into that position.
Fold at the hip crease to take trikonasana to the right. Keep the vastus medialis firm and lift along your inner thigh, maintaining the straightness of your leg without locking the knee. If you feel pressure in the knee joint, you’ve probably relaxed the vastus medialis and hyperextended your knee. Come out of the pose and try again. As a bonus for good alignment, you’ll feel a stronger stretch along the inner edge of your thigh, from your inner knee back toward your sit bone. Be careful not to overstretch: use the support of a block for your hand if you need it.
ConclusionThe standing poses of hatha yoga provide powerful and effective means for strengthening and stabilizing your knees, helping you to overcome structural imbalances that might otherwise lead to chronic wear and tear (and ensuing pain) in your knees. A little extra mindfulness in aligning and working your legs in these poses will enhance the natural therapeutic benefits these poses have to offer.
I must say after being raised Catholic I have not enjoyed organized religion. Buddhism interests me. Mostly because it's more of a guideline. Just a way of trying to be a better person and understand what we are all doing here on earth. I've listed a few "truths" at the bottom of this blog; as I see them. Religion is responsbile for many deaths, wars and crimes. Pretty sure no one can say that about Buddhism though. As the teachings of the Buddha are all about peace seeking. Not a bad thing.
Here's a basic overview of Buddhism.
• What is Buddhism?
Buddhism is a religion to about 300 million people around the world. The word comes from 'budhi', 'to awaken'. It has its origins about 2,500 years ago when Siddhartha Gotama, known as the Buddha, was himself awakened (enlightened) at the age of 35.
• Is Buddhism a Religion?
To many, Buddhism goes beyond religion and is more of a philosophy or 'way of life'. It is a philosophy because philosophy 'means love of wisdom' and the Buddhist path can be summed up as:
(1) to lead a moral life,
(2) to be mindful and aware of thoughts and actions, and
(3) to develop wisdom and understanding.
• How Can Buddhism Help Me?
Buddhism explains a purpose to life, it explains apparent injustice and inequality around the world, and it provides a code of practice or way of life that leads to true happiness.
• Why is Buddhism Becoming Popular?
Buddhism is becoming popular in western countries for a number of reasons, The first good reason is Buddhism has answers to many of the problems in modern materialistic societies. It also includes (for those who are interested) a deep understanding of the human mind (and natural therapies) which prominent psychologists around the world are now discovering to be both very advanced and effective.
• Who Was the Buddha?
Siddhartha Gotama was born into a royal family in Lumbini, now located in Nepal, in 563 BC. At 29, he realised that wealth and luxury did not guarantee happiness, so he explored the different teachings religions and philosophies of the day, to find the key to human happiness. After six years of study and meditation he finally found 'the middle path' and was enlightened. After enlightenment, the Buddha spent the rest of his life teaching the principles of Buddhism — called the Dhamma, or Truth — until his death at the age of 80.
• Was the Buddha a God?
He was not, nor did he claim to be. He was a man who taught a path to enlightenment from his own experience.
• Do Buddhists Worship Idols?
Buddhists sometimes pay respect to images of the Buddha, not in worship, nor to ask for favours. A statue of the Buddha with hands rested gently in its lap and a compassionate smile reminds us to strive to develop peace and love within ourselves. Bowing to the statue is an expression of gratitude for the teaching.
• Why are so Many Buddhist Countries Poor?
One of the Buddhist teachings is that wealth does not guarantee happiness and also wealth is impermanent. The people of every country suffer whether rich or poor, but those who understand Buddhist teachings can find true happiness.
• Are There Different Types of Buddhism?
There are many different types of Buddhism, because the emphasis changes from country to country due to customs and culture. What does not vary is the essence of the teaching — the Dhamma or truth.
• Are Other Religions Wrong?
Buddhism is also a belief system which is tolerant of all other beliefs or religions. Buddhism agrees with the moral teachings of other religions but Buddhism goes further by providing a long term purpose within our existence, through wisdom and true understanding. Real Buddhism is very tolerant and not concerned with labels like 'Christian', 'Moslem', 'Hindu' or 'Buddhist'; that is why there have never been any wars fought in the name of Buddhism. That is why Buddhists do not preach and try to convert, only explain if an explanation is sought.
• Is Buddhism Scientific?
Science is knowledge which can be made into a system, which depends upon seeing and testing facts and stating general natural laws. The core of Buddhism fit into this definition, because the Four Noble truths (see below) can be tested and proven by anyone in fact the Buddha himself asked his followers to test the teaching rather than accept his word as true. Buddhism depends more on understanding than faith.
• What did the Buddha Teach?
The Buddha taught many things, but the basic concepts in Buddhism can be summed up by the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path.
• What is the First Noble Truth?
The first truth is that life is suffering i.e., life includes pain, getting old, disease, and ultimately death. We also endure psychological suffering like loneliness frustration, fear, embarrassment, disappointment and anger. This is an irrefutable fact that cannot be denied. It is realistic rather than pessimistic because pessimism is expecting things to be bad. lnstead, Buddhism explains how suffering can be avoided and how we can be truly happy.
• What is the Second Noble Truth?
The second truth is that suffering is caused by craving and aversion. We will suffer if we expect other people to conform to our expectation, if we want others to like us, if we do not get something we want,etc. In other words, getting what you want does not guarantee happiness. Rather than constantly struggling to get what you want, try to modify your wanting. Wanting deprives us of contentment and happiness. A lifetime of wanting and craving and especially the craving to continue to exist, creates a powerful energy which causes the individual to be born. So craving leads to physical suffering because it causes us to be reborn.
• What is the Third Noble Truth?
The third truth is that suffering can be overcome and happiness can be attained; that true happiness and contentment are possible. lf we give up useless craving and learn to live each day at a time (not dwelling in the past or the imagined future) then we can become happy and free. We then have more time and energy to help others. This is Nirvana.
• What is the Fourth Noble Truth?
The fourth truth is that the Noble 8-fold Path is the path which leads to the end of suffering.
• What is the Noble 8-Fold Path?
In summary, the Noble 8-fold Path is being moral (through what we say, do and our livelihood), focussing the mind on being fully aware of our thoughts and actions, and developing wisdom by understanding the Four Noble Truths and by developing compassion for others.
• What are the 5 Precepts?
The moral code within Buddhism is the precepts, of which the main five are: not to take the life of anything living, not to take anything not freely given, to abstain from sexual misconduct and sensual overindulgence, to refrain from untrue speech, and to avoid intoxication, that is, losing mindfulness.
• What is Karma?
Karma is the law that every cause has an effect, i.e., our actions have results. This simple law explains a number of things: inequality in the world, why some are born handicapped and some gifted, why some live only a short life. Karma underlines the importance of all individuals being responsible for their past and present actions. How can we test the karmic effect of our actions? The answer is summed up by looking at (1) the intention behind the action, (2) effects of the action on oneself, and (3) the effects on others.
• What is Wisdom?
Buddhism teaches that wisdom should be developed with compassion. At one extreme, you could be a good hearted fool and at the other extreme, you could attain knowledge without any emotion. Buddhism uses the middle path to develop both. The highest wisdom is seeing that in reality, all phenomena are incomplete, impermanent and do not constitute a fixed entity. True wisdom is not simply believing what we are told but instead experiencing and understanding truth and reality. Wisdom requires an open, objective, unbigoted mind. The Buddhist path requires courage, patience, flexibility and intelligence.
• What is Compassion?
Compassion includes qualities of sharing, readiness to give comfort, sympathy, concern, caring. In Buddhism, we can really understand others, when we can really understand ourselves, through wisdom.
My take on Buddhism:
We are all suffering (some more than others) in our own way. Life's not fair. Get over it. Don't compare suffering.
Ttry to be kind, or at least less of a huge dick.
Giving is a fundamental kindness we should all partake in a bit more. Without attachment to your giving.
Material items aren't the shit. Nature, animals and children are the shit.
My adoration of all yoga Esther may never die. Here she is with a 5 minute tutorial on how to do forearm stand. PinchaMayurasana.
Great shoulder strength builder. Inversion Play. Arm balance.
As I prep for 20+ hours of teaching Yin Yoga in the next few days I came across this site. The more yin I do, the more I want to know about these Meridian Lines. Things keep coming back to the Meridian Lines. It's very interesting. From Yin to acupuncture to massage and trigger points; these lines of energy are not discussed in "modern medicine" but there is way more value in ancient holistic ways than pill popping and cutting out parts of the body. IMHO.
Check this site out:
Or as I call it the "Elixir of Life Tea"
I'm sure I've posted this before. Here it is again as I've recently had a request for it. Because it's so fabulous.
You may drink in hot water solo andit is a tea on it's own or you can add a green tea bag so that it's tolerable to drink a green tea.
Two large tubers of Ginger.
Three or four small tubers of Tumeric (or three Tablespoons of turmeric powder if no root/tubers are available.
honey to taste after everything is done
Peel and cut into small bits the ginger and turmeric. Place in pan on stovetop with water (to cover and then some)
Bring to boil and then simmer for 45-60 minutes. Do not leave unattended for very long as you do need to add water or else you will burn it.
Keep about 1/2 to 3/4 inch water in the pan. Adding more when needed.
Set aside after the bits are soft.
Pour this into a blender when warm/cooled a bit and blend big time. The more you blend the less stringy the ginger will become.
Pour the slurry into a small glass jar with a lid. Add honey. I usually add 1/4 cup or so. I like it sweet.
Refrigerate unused portion. It will last 3+ weeks in the fridge.
Or how abou tthis for storing turemic tea? Pour a huge batch into ice cube trays. Freeze, then pop each turmeric ice cube into a containter and store in the freezer. It will last months and months! Just like your homemade salad dressing cubes.
Use one small teaspoon or cube at a time. Stir teaspoon into cup of hot water and enjoy.
I do not like green tea, so I add a green tea to the concoction and feel I am being super healthy.
If you can: take with a little bit of oil (cocount oil) and some black pepper as they mulitplies the absorption rate tremendously.
Want more information on the faulousness of turmeric? Check out this lady's info:
We know how important creeping up that ladder on the google search engine is. Here's a tip: get Google to recrawl your website. It's that simple. Put every single page on your website into their "fetch/fetch and render" for both desktop version AND Mobile.
WHY: This tells Google to go check out the page one more time. And they do. This is relevant! You may also do this for Bing but that's on a different site and it's easy too. Bing is another search engine some people use.
Why is it important to climb to page one on google? Becasue that's how people find you! You want to be found. Today it's all about the internet and search engines and Google is king of the search. This is how your customers will find you. If you had someone create your website, do not blog, nor ever update your site; you are missing out on a ton of potential clients becasue they do not know you exist. One easy way to keep Google interested in your site is to do this simple recrawl. Now get on it.
This does not take very long. Lots of copy and paste-ing. But worth it! You should be doing this often. So get on it.
Do all of this via the link below. There's easy to follow instructions too. Enjoy (If that's possible, but do it anyway)!
Debbie Krejci E-RYT 500
Yoga Teacher Training Mexico, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka
become a yoga teacher