Coloring & Uncoloring the Mind

Yogis, Yoginis, Musicians, and All Creative Warriors: join us on Saturday, April 7th for a special Ashtanga Yoga class and classical Indian Music workshop! We are going to have some fun learning about Coloring & Uncoloring the Mind while connecting these two ancient traditions. So honored that Sitar maestro Purbayan Chatterjee will be joining us at Playful Yogi Space! Slightly terrified to accompany him for the music workshop on Tabla, but maybe I will play better with my legs behind my head. ; ) Travellers from NYC : feel free to message me if you have transportation questions. Nearby train stop is Pearl River and we can try to help you find a lift from and to the station if needed. See you soon!

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Spring Cleaning: 1 Week Juice Cleanse

Change of season is a great time to cleanse and help the bodymind adjust, letting go of the old and welcoming the new. Juicing can help to rest the digestive system and eliminate toxins from many layers of our bodies. Knowledge and guidance going in and out of the cleanse is really important for getting started!

Thanks to Karen Ranzi of Super Healthy Children for the structure and guidance to complete this cleanse. It was the longest liquid diet I’ve done yet and having her group to do it with certainly helped me to motivate and prepare. In one week, I lost about 5 pounds and rediscovered the delicious energy of fresh juices!

Juicing is such a wonderful gift of rest and replenishment to give ourselves! It also prompted me to purchase a dehydrator in order to make juice pulp crackers (that look like they should be called “lawnmower crackers” but they taste kale chips) with the left over juice pulp.

Looking forward to the next juice cleanse at the turn to Autumn, but first a long Spring & Summer please ….

 

 

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Meditation Style

Tired of the same old drinking games? Come celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day (also my birthday) in a fresh meditative way! Join me for this workshop that explores the connection between traditional Buddhist Meditation on the 4 Sublime Abidings with the first chapter of the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali.  We’ll take a dive into an ancient text and bring it back to contemporary reality together!

Clearing The Path Workshop

Saturday, March 17th 2018
2:30PM – 5:30PM (with a break for stretching and chai!)
103 South Greenbush Road, Orangeburg, NY 10962
Registration: www.playfulyogi.space

 

New class schedule!

Grateful to be teaching at  Playful Yogi Space at the beautiful Bell-ans creative arts center and animal sanctuary in Orangeburg, New York! Join me for early morning Mysore style classes during the week & Ashtanga Led Primary Series on the weekend.

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Starting March 10th:

Led Ashtanga Primary Series with Sandi Higgins

Saturdays, 11am – 12:30pm

Register for class

Starting March 12th:

Mysore Ashtanga (Primary Series) with Sandi Higgins

Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 6am – 8am

Students may arrive anytime to start your practice. Opening chant is at 6:15am.

Register for class

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Mysore is the traditional method for learning Ashtanga Yoga, established by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India, and carried on today by his family and dedicated students all over the world.

In the Mysore tradition, or parampara, each student learns gradually, pose by pose, at their own pace. The Mysore teacher acts more like a guide or personal trainer who observes the studentsʼ individual practice and helps each one to progress through the asanas with personal instruction and assists as needed.

Sandi has been devoted to the Mysore Ashtanga practice since 2013 and made her first trip to study at KPJAYI in 2016. Sandi continues to develop her Ashtanga practice with the guidance of R. Sharath Jois, Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor.

Read more about Sandi

Read more about Playful Yogi Space

Women’s March on New Jersey 2018

Feminism back by popular demand…

 

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Beautiful & Inspirational day in Morristown!  It was great to see the new NJ Governor Phil Murphy and first lady Tammy Murphy show up, share, and represent! Highlights for me also included speeches by Kim Gaddy, Environmental Justice Organizer at Clean Water Action, and writer/advisor Dr. Khyati Joshi, the First Vice-President of ISAAW, Inspiring South Asian American Women. I have to give three cheers for the sign language speakers, whom I couldn’t help but watch translate every word with gestural clarity and conviction. Thanks to NJ 11th for Change for their organization in making this march a passionately peaceful one. May we continue to awaken consciousness, interconnectedness, and the rights and roles of all women in our world with love and respect.

Love, Not Hate, Makes America Great!

 

 

Governor Phil Murphy, 56th Governor of New Jersey

 

 

Tammy Murphy, First Lady of New Jersey

 

 

Dr. Kyaati Joshi, First Vice President of ISAAW

 

 

Kim Gaddy, Environmental Activist with Clean Water Action

 


Women’s March on New Jersey, January 20th 2018 Goals (from www.womensmarchnj2018.com)
1. Empower every human who participates in the Women’s March on New Jersey 2018 to stand up for their beliefs and their rights.
2. Connect victims of discrimination, civil injustice, sexual harassment, or unfair treatment in an environment that encourages them to share their stories, receive support and know that they are not alone.
3. Remind the elected officials of New Jersey that they report to the people and the people expect their civil liberties to be upheld.
4. Bring hope to those who have lost confidence in our government by physically showing them that the power lies with the people.
5. Remind every New Jerseyan that our right to assemble, march, demonstrate, protest and vote is sacred and should be exercised.
6. Bring our Power to the Polls through increased New Jersey voter registration and participation in both the 2018 primary and general elections. Visit Vote411.org, and enter your address for voting information and local, state and national candidate and ballot questions.

Our voices cannot be silenced.

#WomensMarchNJ2018

 

Information subject to changes c. 2018

cork yoga mat and environmental protection: ashtanga updates from #yogawithsandi

Aloha!

Mostly I’m on Instagram these days with the hashtag #yogawithsandi – that’s where I post mini photo-video reflections from daily practice, on and off the mat. Please do find and follow me there if you want more frequent updates as relates to this journey in Ashtanga Yoga.

Recently I purchased an eco-friendly CORK yoga mat from Yoloha Yoga, after a long search for an eco-friendly mat to replace my rubber mat that has been deteriorating after two years. I’m very happy that this cork mat seems to be truly eco-friendly (not just cleverly advertised as such), constructed with sustainably sourced cork and rubber, and handmade by a small family run business in the USA.

On a side note, I highly recommend: Braiding Sweet Grass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer.

Please check out the Karmapa’s latest podcast on Buddhism and Environmental Protection Episode #16 (my quick English summary on instagram is posted below).

What environmentally friendly news have you found this week? How does it relate to the 8 Limbs of Yoga?

Please contact me here and share!

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Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha 🌿🐘🌿 1st practice on my new eco-friendly and sustainable cork Yoga mat handmade from family run business, @yolohayoga. So far so great! I appreciate this company’s eco-conscious packaging in their delivery too. Thanks dad and @barbaracorcoran for gifting me the gift card behind this mat. May real (and not just advertised as such) eco-friendly yoga gear flourish. Earth needs eco-conscious producers and consumers, makers and shakers, who remind us that our health and wellness is deeply interwoven with our environment’s. 🙏💕🌊🌲🌙☀️✨ #corkyogamat #yogamats #yogagear #wouldtherealecofriendlypleasestandup #mysore #ashtanga #vinyasa #yoga #sadhana #kapotasana #backbends #spinalhealth #healthandwellness #smallbusiness #familybusiness #thenewecoeconomy #ecoconscious #environmentalprotection #ecofriendly #meditation #movingmeditation #mantra #jaiganesha #yogawithsandi

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What is the root of the environmental crisis we face today? The root, according to Buddhist philosophy, is our ignorance and insatiable desire for material satisfaction. We need to reduce our external demands on the environment by first finding greater peace within our selves. This is how meditation and yoga can help us to help the environment (Unless we turn even these spiritual practices into too much of a materialistic trip as well). When we can focus on the joy of something simple and given, like #breathing, we are no longer caught up in the never ending search of some other form of satisfaction – products or activities that put more and more pressure and demands on an already over taxed environment. Balance. Balance between the material and the immaterial. Mental peace. Physical peace. Balance. That’s my English summary from this podcast. Now listen for yourself (and hear the beautiful Tibetan language too)! 🙏👂☀️✨🌙 💫 @karmapa #tibetan #buddhism #environment #climatechange #humanbehavior #environmentalprotection #santosha #contentment #ashtanga #yoga #materialism #spirituality #spiritualmaterialism #chogyamtrungpa #buddhistvalues #karmapa #karmapachenno #solarenergy #solarpanels #renewableenergy #moralimperative #moralimperativetomeditate #meditation #yogawithsandi

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How do we find a reasonable faith by which to keep going? By looking to the footsteps of those who have gone beyond where we are. I feel grateful for the experience of studying with Sharathji and his inspiration to practice without laziness. Little by little, I am getting less lazy. 🙏👣💕 #shraddha #virya #smriti #samadhi #mysore #ashtanga #yoga #sharathjois #myteacher #yogawithsandi #Repost @sharathjoisr (@get_repost) ・・・ Ashtanga Yoga is not a style of Yoga it should never be compared to any other style of Yoga Ashtanga(Eight Limbs) Yoga is a method to reach Moksha( liberation) Shri. K.Pattabhi Jois started yoga institute called “Ashtanga Yoga Nilaya” In Lakshmi Puram , Mysore in 1950s….He is the Guru of Ashtanga Yoga

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I seek a Reciprocal Relation with Earth The Earth who provides Everything What can little me Possibly give The giant Earth In return? I can give… Love with my hands Gratitude with my heart Respect with my feet Wonder with my eyes Humility with my nose Curiosity with my mouth Compassion with my ears Protection with my whole Body Readiness with my whole Mind Time with my whole Spirit I seek a Reciprocal Relation with Earth The Earth who provides Everything What can little me Possibly give The giant Earth In return? 👒 #planetearth #nature #reciprocity #relationshipwithnature #interdependence #yoginilife #mysore #ashtanga #yoga #yogachikitsa #kukkutasana #sadhana #strength #flexibility #peace #healthandwellness #vegan #veganstrong #plantbased #plantpowered #yogadaily #yogawithsandi #earthpoems

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Lady’s Holiday and The Menstrual Cycle

The Menstrual Series by BKS and Geeta S Iyengar

 

Why do we take rest from yoga during menstruation, aka the “lady’s holiday”?

On the mat, like in life, some of us may be drawn to yoga practice not just because we want to relax, but actually because we want to Go Go Go and see how far we can go. We may knowingly or unknowingly be competitive with ourselves and others, and we may seek an ever ungraspable sense of perfection. We discover that yoga practice, particularly Mysore Ashtanga Yoga, can help us Go into an experience of our bodies and minds that no other physical discipline seems to map.

Mysore Ashtanga, compared to other forms of yoga, offers a distinct and gradual path through a range of asanas which are quite amazing. The practice requires that we start from the “bottom” and work our way “up” through the asanas, and the progress and learning we experience by doing so is thrilling. Maybe sometimes it’s so thrilling and compelling that we even like to practice to the point of ignoring our bodies, which is actually contrary to the practice. That’s a signal that we need to re-synch with our bodies, and ultimately, with Nature.

One of the amazing aspects of yoga practice is how well it can work for males and females alike. In a Mysore Ashtanga room, you will find male practitioners and female practitioners cultivating physical and mental transformation through their practice. Both males and females can make the practice look masculine or feminine, or even beyond gender.

So this is not about gender so much as physiology. Between the physiology of the male and female body, we do have differences that can ask us to make different choices at different times.

One of the big differences is the menstrual cycle. As we know: the female body sheds blood regularly, just about every three to five weeks from puberty to menopause, with the exception of during pregnancy.

“Having regular menstrual cycles is a sign that important parts of your body are working normally. The menstrual cycle provides important body chemicals, called hormones, to keep you healthy. It also prepares your body for pregnancy each month. A cycle is counted from the first day of 1 period to the first day of the next period. The average menstrual cycle is 28 days long… In the first half of the cycle, levels of estrogen (the “female hormone”) start to rise. Estrogen plays an important role in keeping you healthy, especially by helping you to build strong bones and to help keep them strong as you get older. Estrogen also makes the lining of the uterus (womb) grow and thicken. This lining of the womb is a place that will nourish the embryo if a pregnancy occurs. At the same time the lining of the womb is growing, an egg, or ovum, in one of the ovaries starts to mature. At about day 14 of an average 28-day cycle, the egg leaves the ovary. This is called ovulationAfter the egg has left the ovary, it travels through the Fallopian tube to the uterus. Hormone levels rise and help prepare the uterine lining for pregnancy. A woman is most likely to get pregnant during the 3 days before or on the day of ovulation. Keep in mind, women with cycles that are shorter or longer than average may ovulate before or after day 14. A woman becomes pregnant if the egg is fertilized by a man’s sperm cell and attaches to the uterine wall. If the egg is not fertilized, it will break apart. Then, hormone levels drop, and the thickened lining of the uterus is shed during the menstrual period.” ~ https://www.medicinenet.com

Menstruation is Nature’s way of cleaning the womb we carry within us. For the female, this can be a very physical but also a mental and emotional experience.

During the time of the month when the body is focused on cleaning the womb, the asanas we practice should support that process. Asanas are meant to help clean the body (and the mind) from the inside out, not to infringe upon its natural cleaning process.

For this reason, it is recommend to alter our practice during menstruation. Often this means refraining from at least the following: Inversions, Deep Twists, Deep Bends, Lower Body Bandhas, Over-Exertion of Any Kind.

Dr. Geeta S. Iyengar and the Iyengar tradition offer a wonderful guide and sequence of more restorative asanas that can be practiced during menstruation (posted at the top of this page). For further in-depth reading, check out Dr. Iyengar’s paper on The Practice Of Women.

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photo courtesy: https://iynaus.org