“Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open."~ BKS Iyengar
When I was six I used to compete in acclaimed national musical festivals. I was good, and I knew it. With youth on my side and a healthy strong ego attached to my innocence, tossed with a genuine desire to excel, I began my tapestry. I have this theory that our most instinctive journeys are similar to the webbing of our nervous system. It is through the nerves that we receive all our sensory and motor messages. I am also believe, it was through these early performing arts experiences, that I begin to lay my foundation, framework, and fears.
As these childhood and adolescent pathways were magnetically charging me towards greater challenges in the arts, my confidence somewhere along that journey was becoming damaged, bruised, and maybe a little shattered. I continued to sing my way through high school plays, community theatre, youth choirs and amateur...more
“Yoga allows you to find an inner peace that is not ruffled and riled by the endless stresses and struggles of life.” – BKS Iyengar
As my last week was quietly coming to a close, I sat with my love as we enjoyed our evening rituals alongside our laughter until I was distracted by a sensation in my face. I chose to stay quiet and remain in our pleasant moment summing up this new sensation to a muscle spasm. As we started discussing our accomplishments and disappointments about the week gone by, I tried to defy the impulse to react, but couldn’t remain focused.
As we continued to reflect, I realised how much had actually taken place, not only in the last week, but also in the last several, and maybe I hadn’t downloaded everything I needed to process. When you are in constant motion and frequently feeling overwhelmed, we invite the inevitable into our body…STRESS. Stress isn’t always negative either. Maybe you are one of those people who perform better under pressure?
Stress is a message that comes directly from our nervous system. Often we are...more
“Yoga has to be practised without distress, anxiety or fear, so that one can reach the zenith in yoga” ~ B.K.S. Iyengar
I was recently sitting outside, chasing the sun, seeking the exact angle to align myself with the acute sliver of direct sunlight to penetrate my backache. For several minutes, that line of fire infused the inflamed muscles down my back. And it was insta-therapy, vitamin-D charged rays with immediate healing powers…so it seemed. Our sun warms our planet every day, provides the light by which we see, and is a necessary power for life and growth on earth. However, there is still one more supre power the sun has over our entire universe – it is constantly in a present state.
One of the first, and arguably, the most significant messages we are taught in yoga, comes from the sacred yoga text, Patanjali’s Sutras. These teachings are from ancient days, and contain 196 aphorisms that, when dissected, one might find, are still relevant and speak to our needs and challenges today. The most important message comes to us right at the onset of...more
This past week has marked a significant change of season. Not only by our cultural celebrations but also by the lunar energy shift around the spring awakening. I always find the spring such a pivotal time for transformation. And this year is no different except that the alignment for spiritual connection perhaps, has a more universal energy behind it, supporting us and creating a safe haven in which to universally bond.
So I ask myself, how does organized religion, the moon phases, and yoga help affect change? According to one philosopher, Leonard Perlmutter, author and creator of americanmeditation.org, “Both Easter and Passover teach the same yogic Truth: when we consciously choose to escape our own mental house of bondage, we see that the death of each debilitating habit clears the way for resurrection to a higher consciousness and the freedom to dwell in the Land of Milk and Honey.”
So, if we examine what the Blue Moon represents, Blue hues are all about communication and clarity of expression. Consider the Yogic...more
Soothing Your Own Worst Enemy
When I was six, I used to compete in the acclaimed national Kiwanis musical festivals. I was good, and I knew it. With that strong confidence attached to my innocence, supporting my genuine desire to excel, I began my tapestry. I have since recognised our most instinctive journeys are just like the webbing of our nervous system. It is from the nerves we get all our sensory and motor messages. And it is from these early performing arts experiences I begin to lay my foundation, framework, and fears.
I have since recognised our most instinctive journeys are just like the webbing of our nervous system
As childhood and adolescent pathways were magnetically charging me towards greater challenges in the arts, my confidence somewhere along that ride was becoming damaged. As I sang my way through high school plays, community theatre, and ‘off-Broadway’ productions, the accolades I received instilled a paralysing fear in me, instead of building me up with endorphins and six-year-old confidence.
Six-year-old self: Yogi Samantha Bederman...more
Body is the bow, asana is the arrow, and the soul is the target. ~ BKS Iyengar
We often hear Yoga Instructors encourage us to take our practice off our mat and into our daily routines. Perhaps you have wondered what this really means? Does it suggest that we need to balance off the mat with our emotions and actions more evenly in our home lives or at work? Or does it ask that we employ our breathing techniques when we find ourselves in a combative, frustrating or disappointing moment?
For me, taking my yoga off my mat and into my everyday life is more about how I integrate the physical foundations into my daily routine. When I am physically aligned, I am able to focus on the action in motion instead of the emotion of the moment. Meditation in action is the premise of the Iyengar methodology. Considering most of us do not get enough time in our daily routines to practice our yoga as frequently as we would like, taking my physical yoga off my mat and into my basic, everyday functions is often my yoga.
Here are a few tips so your yoga can meet your lifestyle. Be it...more
“Illuminated emancipation, freedom, unalloyed and untainted bliss await you, but you have to choose to embark on the inward Journey to discover it.” ~ BKS Iyengar
January is a traditional time where we make resolutions and dedications to how we would like to change, advance, and better ourselves. Often, we commit ourselves to making healthier lifestyle choices, or choosing new mantras by which to live. This year, I decided to embrace change a little differently. Instead of making a resolution or creating an intention, I am playing with the idea of what I want to bring forward and continue.
I began my yoga practice about 18 years ago. Back then; I started simply by adding yoga into my work out regime. The stretch was pivotal for my body and transformative for my digestive issues. I never feared one pose, one challenge, or the unknown. But as time passed, life challenges were greater and inevitably, the amount of fear I attached to it all increased. It wasn’t until recently that I realized...more
“Yoga allows you to rediscover a sense of wholeness in your life, where you do not feel like you are constantly trying to fit broken pieces together” ~BKS Iyengar
As human beings we seem to “get-off” on categorizing our lives and the elements around us, helping us to define where we best “fit-in”. For instance, we see those who are considered “Type-A” and deem others as “Right-brained”. There are people who need structure, perhaps are motivated by wealth, and others who are driven by their excitement and the need for freedom and flexibility. This latter category of humans is one I refer to as “Passion Enthusiasts”.
A passion driven person is often someone who battles with the left-brain vs. right-brain dominance. You might come across a passion-motivated person who has multiple talents that are gifted to them naturally but threatens a painful curse at the same time. Likely the kinds of people you find under this umbrella are lovers, dreamers, and those that are zealous enough about their natural gifts, they successfully use their zest to nourish a...more
With the New Year come all kinds of new intentions or resolutions. Often we strive towards being better at the things we already do or changing some old habits that we know are not serving us. This year, in particular, is very significant, as it has been named “The Year of Action”.
Some of you may have already noticed a change in your habits. Maybe some intense clearing, a physical purge or cleanse is well on its way? I, for one, have experienced the need to sift through all my closets and cupboards and rearrange the furniture. I believe this is a direct result of the ‘New Years’ Great Shift’. However, many of my clients have spoken of a physical purge where their organs of elimination and sleep patterns have been strongly affected. Have you noticed that your dreams have intensified over the last few weeks? Maybe you are very lethargic or you are experiencing mood swings? This is the new energy flow and it will pass and we can all get on with making our resolutions new habits!
Some of the best prescriptions for riding the wave of an energy shift is to get grounded,...more
Some people refer to it as grooming, others talk about it in shapes such as a triangle, landing strip, full package, or completely bare. It seems this bikini line and choice of style is a very personal decision and similar to how we express ourselves in our choice of dress. As we are all somewhat susceptible to how we are perceived or what our style may communicate to others it is noteworthy to recognize, that we may even be judged by our personal grooming choices.
It was very interesting to me when I decided it was time for a personal grooming change and how it contributed to my self-image.
I was quite protective and perhaps even a little proud of my old-school grooming style. Modeled after some of my favourite 70’s icons, I felt feminine and confident in my choices. My sense of self was strong. However, I quickly became very vulnerable and surprised when I learned my style was less than desirable and I felt a little judged and embarrassed. Was it possible that my positive self-image was just bruised by how I styled my bikini line area?
We expose ourselves to...more
New Yorkers…hard at the core but soft to the touch. This would describe my dear friend Johnny from Jersey. A city boy, born and bred New York style! His parents are first generation Italian immigrants who paved the way for their beloved and only son. Together they raised a fine and generous gentleman, with a heart of gold and a soul beyond his years. His sophistication and passion for pop culture made Johnny my immediate go-to! And just like a real wall-street junkie, when I summoned Johnny to help me find a locale for a weekend away, he slowly smirked at me and exclaimed with such an air of confidence, “Miami Beach…I go every year, it won’t disappoint.”
That was all the encouragement I needed…Producer and Yogi gal pals in need of a get-a-way. Our voice of reason recommended the ultimate hip, cultural, beach-front destination. So we caught the next flight out of town and made our way to SoBe, otherwise known as South Beach, with a beeline to the recommend from our wall-street guru.
Once we arrived in what felt more like “little Morocco” than the Sunshine state, the...more
Our new era of anxiety…perhaps you have experienced it or know someone who has. It is nondiscriminatory, and can affect us at any age and stage of life. Our society has seen a rise in anxiety disorders by twentyfold in the last 30 years. So we have to ask ourselves, what has changed in our culture and society to contribute to such an increase in what is known as “the most common” of all mental illnesses. We can point fingers at the environmental toxins, the abundance of processed foods, Internet bullying and accessibility of video games, but some experts explain, it is the lack of EMPATHY for ourselves and others that can lead to anxiety in our society. (Psychology Today)
The practice of extending Loving-kindness (Metta) is a form of mediation that when combined with several poses can be fruitful when working with anxiety disorders. Begin your mediation and practice by extending loving kindness to someone you love first. Then extend loving kindness to yourself. Keep the energy flowing by extending loving kindness to someone neutral, and then to enemies. It’s a simple...more
Some call them their Peeps, I call them my Props!
At Yogabodii we are fully equipped with Iyengar styled props from The Kurunta Rope Wall, A Horse or Trestle to chairs, benches, bolsters, blankets, wedges, acuballs, eye pillows and more. These props are your friends! They assist you into positions and variations you may otherwise not be able to achieve on your own, providing you with the same benefit with the bonus of teaching your muscles memory.