Posts Tagged ‘Laugher Yoga’

Storms, Coyotes, and Bucks

November 7, 2015

Last week, we had another houseful of yogis at Little Renaissance for our Sicilian Heritage and Yoga Weekend Retreat.  Imagine a weekend of homemade Sicilian vegetarian meals,  Hatha Yoga sessions, beach walks on the west edge of the continental USA, and immersing yourself into a natural setting where you are surrounded by various shades of green.

Feet and Ocean Froth

Feet and Ocean Froth

We practiced yoga in a space warmed by the wood stove my parents gifted us, a woodstove that keeps us warm all winter long, and surrounded by windows looking out onto Pacific Northwest low beach forest.  Surrounded by trees, it feels as if we practice our yoga in a lofty tree house.

Storms, gusts of wind that woke us up at night, sideways rain, rainbows, large hail stones that fell and accumulated like a premature snow fall, and bright bursts of sunshine kept us on our toes all weekend. It was one of those weekends filled with the unexpected:

  • We saw a full grown buck casually grazing near us on the property, separated from us only by a window pane.
  • We saw a fat well-groomed raccoon, sitting on its hind legs on the deck next to the sliding glass door, begging for a handout.  When he didn’t get any food, he started sniffing around the outside cooler, trying to figure out how to open it.  Rick placed a heavy potted plant on the cooler.  The cooler quickly became raccoon-proof as well as Fran-proof.
  • One morning, while leading a yoga session, I spotted the most beautiful coyote traipsing down the path leading from the meadow to our house.  We all stood by the window as this healthy coyote approached the house.  Unaware of us, he sniffed at the salal and allowed us to observe him up close.  We all marveled at him (her?).  Someone said, “Are you sure that isn’t a dog?”  We all said, “NO!  That’s definitely a coyote!”  How do we know these things?  Not sure how to explain it, but there was not an inkling of a doubt it was a coyote we were observing.  Following is something I found on the symbolism of the coyote: The coyote symbolizes playfulness, nonsense, intelligence, cunning and joy. Coyote people form strong family bonds and have strong preferences. They are highly adaptable, opportunistic, and versatile.
  • In the afternoon yoga session,  a blue jay flew from branch to branch while a winter wren danced around the potted plants on the deck. Later while walking on the beach, we saw two eagles flying over head.   I was half thinking we would see a whale with all the great animal sightings, but that did not happen.

Joyce led us in Laughter Yoga!  Ho ho! Ha ha ha!  It really works.  In seconds, you feel intoxicated and silly, loose and giddy.  So much fun!  Joyce has put me in touch with her Laughter Yoga Guru, Dr. Kataria, from Mumbai.  I hope he will be able to meet with my yoga group in Mumbai, India next spring when we are there.  Wouldn’t that be a blast to be led into Laughter Yoga with him?  Got to meet this guy! Here is a very short you tube video of Dr. Kataria doing Laughter Yoga with 7000 people in Russia:  

Another topic discussed over the weekend was Heart Consciousness.  There are some very exciting research findings on the heart:

“Heart Consciousness” explained …….

Inner-G Fields

Basic research at the Institute of HeartMath shows that information pertaining to a person’s emotional state is also communicated throughout the body via the heart’s electromagnetic field. The rhythmic beating patterns of the heart change significantly as we experience different emotions. Negative emotions, such as anger or frustration, are associated with an erratic, disordered, incoherent pattern in the heart’s rhythms. In contrast, positive emotions, such as love or appreciation, are associated with a smooth, ordered, coherent pattern in the heart’s rhythmic activity. In turn, these changes in the heart’s beating patterns create corresponding changes in the structure of the electromagnetic field radiated by the heart, measurable by a technique called spectral analysis.

Experiments conducted at the Institute of HeartMath have found remarkable evidence that the heart’s electromagnetic field can transmit information between people. We have been able to measure an exchange of heart energy between individuals up to 5 feet apart. We have also found that one person’s brain waves can actually synchronize to another person’s heart. Furthermore, when an individual is generating a coherent heart rhythm, synchronization between that person’s brain waves and another person’s heartbeat is more likely to occur. These findings have intriguing implications, suggesting that individuals in a psycho-physiologically coherent state become more aware of the information encoded in the heart fields of those around them.

The results of these experiments have led us to infer that the nervous system acts as an “antenna,” which is tuned to and responds to the electromagnetic fields produced by the hearts of other individuals. We believe this capacity for exchange of energetic information is an innate ability that heightens awareness and mediates important aspects of true empathy and sensitivity to others Furthermore, we have observed that this energetic communication ability can be intentionally enhanced, producing a much deeper level of nonverbal communication, understanding, and connection between people. There is also intriguing evidence that heart field interactions can occur between people and animals.

In short, energetic communication via the heart field facilitates development of an expanded consciousness in relation to our social world.

Another topic discussed was Super Brain Yoga!  It is a very interesting concept, a simple practice to enhance brain function.  I have yet to give it a try, but here is the link, in case you are interested:

The clearing after the heavy rain storms.

The clearing after the heavy rain storms.

A frame beckons us

A frame beckons us

Beach Half Moons (impromptu driftwood props)

Beach Half Moons (impromptu driftwood props)

Yoga Chairs are backless and make for great backbends!

Yoga Chairs are backless and make for great backbends as Joyce demonstrates!


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