Posts

Podcast Ep 28: Healing With Snake Spirit

When I pulled the Snake Spirit card from Colette Baron-Reid’s Spirit Animal Oracle, I thought of Kundalini and transformation, but Snake’s message in this deck is of healing. I share about some of the healing practices I have been neglecting before leading you through a yoga practice to explore a core-focused approach to Cobra pose, the embodiment of snake energy in yoga. There’s also an invitation to ten days of making gratitude offerings to the Earth, a challenge exclusively for members of the Shamanic Flow Circle.

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways we can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join us in the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook or sign up for the newsletter.

Gratitude to Mark Piper for the background music and skeeze from Pixabay for the image.

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

Podcast Ep 27: Build Up Strength to Open Your Heart

Before I posted this episode, I had to edit out twenty minutes of crying brought on by sharing a heart-opening experience in releasing an orphaned squirrel I had raised as a wildlife rehabilitator. While on the topic of heart opening, the yoga practice builds to a variation of Matsyasana, fish pose, that adds core strengthening to support the emotional vulnerability of the asana. The deck I pulled from this week was Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson.

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways we can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join us in the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook or sign up for the newsletter.

Gratitude to Mark Piper for the background music.

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

Podcast Ep 26: Wildlife Rehabilitation, Shamanism and Yoga

The Nightingale card from Kim Krans’ The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck inspired this episode. To practice speaking my truth and to share more of how I came to be who I am, I tell the story of how a dancing turtle led me to shamanism, which led me to wildlife rehabilitation. The 30-minute gentle yoga practice explores the poses that have been named for animals, and how we might move more like them.

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways we can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join us in the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook or sign up for the newsletter.

Gratitude to Mark Piper for the background music.

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

Podcast Ep 25: A Third Eye Opening Yoga Balance Sequence

After a mostly sleepless night spent inadvertently witnessing tragedy from afar and asking the Universe why I so often looked in the wrong place at the wrong time to avoid nights like that, I drew Unicorn from Kim Krans’ The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck to start this episode. Yes, the Universe answered me and reminded me that opening to intuitive gifts sometimes means witnessing and holding space for some challenging stuff. I’ll touch on that before leading you through some sun salutations and a balance pose sequence to test your focus and to open your third eye.

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways we can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join us in the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook or sign up for the newsletter.

Gratitude to Mark Piper for the background music and cocoparisienne on Pixabay for the image.

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

Podcast Ep 24: Yoga to Speak Your Truth

This episode of My Shamanic Life was inspired by the Black Egg card from Kim Krans’ The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck. The message is to speak your truth, so the short yoga practice focuses on your fifth chakra, the energy center in the throat. I believe we, collectively, need to work on both speaking our truths and listening (and I mean really listening) to the truths of others without judgement. My wish for this episode is that your throat chakra will more open and you will feel ready to speak your truth.

If you would like to chat about this episode, share your truth, or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways we can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join us in the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook or sign up for the newsletter.

Gratitude to Mark Piper for the background music.

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

Podcast Ep 23: Making Space for Healing

With a nudge from the Mouse card from Kim Krans’ The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck, in this episode I’m sharing how I was blocking both my own healing and my healing work for others by not making space for it, plus an upcoming challenge for you. Then there’s 30 minutes of yoga to make space in your big joints – the hips and shoulders.

If you would like to take part in the Making Space Challenge, chat about this episode, or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways we can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join us in the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook.

Gratitude to Mark Piper for the background music.

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

Podcast Ep 22: No Excuses Chair Yoga Practice

I heard lots of “I can’t do yoga because…” excuses this week and I’m done with them. This episode has a 30-minute excuse-proof chair yoga practice. Before it starts, I share about my yoga beginnings. They aren’t glamorous or exciting, but you’ll get why yoga is my “thing.” And why I know you can practice too, no matter what excuse you want to try.

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways we can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join us in the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook or sign up for the newsletter.

Gratitude to Mark Piper for the background music.

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

Yoga for Hikers: Hiking Mindfully

Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience.  It isn’t more complicated that that.
~Sylvia Boorstein

Shoulder stretch yoga at the trailheadYour backpack is loaded with water, snacks, and the safety equipment you will need for your hike. You have been practicing yoga as part of your conditioning, and you just did a quick sequence at the trailhead to warm up before you head out. There’s one last question to ask: Are you here?

Being present will not only keep you focused on where you are putting your feet, it also opens a new world on the trail. When you hike mindfully, you will see more, hear more, and be aware of nature. After all, why hike if not to explore the wilderness?

Walking Meditation

For three to five minutes during your hike, walk slowly and deliberately, taking note of everything that is going on while you move.  Listen to the sound of your breath.  Feel the air move around you.  Feel your muscles expanding and contracting as you step.  Notice your weight shift as you lift one foot and then the other.  Feel the ground under your feet.  With practice, you can build up your walking meditation to longer times.

Take It All In

Observe your surroundings very closely.  Try to use as many senses as possible (taste, touch, hearing, smell, sight).  Smell the flowers.  Listen to the bird songs.  Touch the bark of the trees.  Taste the air.  Watch for small animals darting away.  Practice using all your senses for ten to twenty minutes while you hike. Eventually it becomes habit.

Tread Lightly

Help keep the Adirondacks, or wherever you are hiking, beautiful and wild with these tips.

  • Stay on the trail.
  • Walk single file to avoid widening the trail.
  • Be considerate of others.
  • Speak softly or not at all, except in emergencies.
  • If you must hike with music, use ear buds.
  • Keep your pets under control and pack out pet waste.
  • Comply with all signs and respect barriers.
  • Avoid sensitive habitats such as meadows, lakeshores, wetlands and streams.
  • Keep your distance from any wildlife you encounter.
  • If you pack it in, pack it out again.

 

Podcast Ep 19: Play Possum in Corpse Pose

After seeing lots of posts about opossums on my social media feeds thanks to the wildlife rehabbers who are taking in orphans and trying to raise awareness of the benefits of having opossums around, I thought I’d fill in some blanks with this episode. The Earth card from Alberto Villoldo’s Mystical Shaman Oracle deck set it up and the idea of “playing possum” led into a 30-minute practice to get you deep into yoga’s corpse pose, savasana. When you’re back from playing dead, bookmark the Animal Help Now site – www.ahnow.org – to find a wildlife rehabilitator in your area and help out an opossum, or other animal, in need.

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways we can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join us in the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook or sign up for the newsletter.

Gratitude to Mark Piper for the background music and skeeze from Pixabay for this episode’s image.

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

Yoga for Hikers: Building Strength Between Hikes

The wilderness is healing, a therapy for the soul.
~Nicholas Kristof

Shoulder stretch yoga at the trailheadIf you are new to hiking, getting back into it, or building up to a long hike or backpacking trip, your body will thank you for practicing these yoga poses on days between hikes. This sequence strengthens your hips, low back, shoulders, knees, calves, ankles and feet. Additionally, take fast-paced, aerobic walks, 20 to 45 minutes each, two to three times each week. With adequate conditioning, you can enjoy longer and more difficult hikes, injury-free, for even better summit views.

Warm up with two or three gentle Sun Salutations before moving into these poses.

Downward-Facing Dog

From hands and knees, move your hands forward and lift your hips, straighten your legs and drop your heels toward the ground. Keep your tailbone lifted while stretching up out of your wrists, elbows and shoulders, letting your chest drop toward ground. Relax your neck and gaze at your knees. Hold for two to five breaths as your spine lengthens.

High Runners Lunge

From hands and knees, step your right foot forward between your hands, directly under your bent knee. Curl your left toes under and lift the left knee, straighten your leg and press through the left heel. Lift onto your fingertips and draw your heart forward and up. Look ahead for a breath. Repeat with your left foot forward.

Warrior I

Standing, step your left foot back. Keep your hips squared and angle your left toes forward. Bend your right knee until it lines up with your ankle. Lift your heart and extend your arms overhead. Hold for two to five breaths. Repeat on the other side.

Warrior II yoga pose on the beach

Warrior II

Standing, step your left foot back and turn your hips and torso to open to the left. Turn your left toes toward the left side. Bend your right knee until the knee is directly over your ankle. Lift your arms to shoulder height in the same line as your legs. Gaze over your right fingers and hold for two to five breaths. Repeat on the other side.

Goddess

Stand in a straddle with your toes angled outward. Bend your knees over your toes and, keeping your torso erect, lower your hips until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Reach your arms overhead, then bend your elbows and lower them to shoulder height. Draw your shoulder blades together to open your chest. Hold for two to five breaths.

Horse

Stand in a straddle with your toes angled outward. Bend your knees over your toes and, keeping your torso erect, lower your hips until your thighs are parallel to ground. Press your hands into tops of your thighs, fingers forward. Lift your shoulders toward your ears as your hips sink lower. Hold two to five breaths.

Chair

Stand with your feet under your hips. Lift your arms overhead. Bend your knees, reach your tailbone back and lift your heart. Hold two to five breaths.

Tree

Stand on your right leg. Bend your left knee and open the knee to the left side. Bring the bottom of your left foot to your right calf (or into your right thigh, provided you can get your toes higher than your knee). Lift your arms overhead. Gaze at a focal point and balance for at least two breaths, then repeat on the other side.

Airplane

Stand on your right leg. Extend your left leg back, as straight as possible, with your left foot flexed. Lower your torso and lift your left leg until both are parallel to the ground. Extend your arms back slightly away from your sides like wings. Gaze at a focal point on the ground slightly ahead of you and balance for at least two breaths. Repeat on the other side.

Plank

From hands and knees, reach your feet back with your toes on the ground and your legs as straight as possible. Keep your shoulders over your hands and reach through your heels. Engage your core muscles to hold your hips in line with your shoulders and heels. Hold at least two breaths.

Cobra

Cobra yoga pose in the grassLay face-down with your chin on the ground, your elbows bent and your hands under your shoulders. Press the tops of your feet into the ground and lift your chin and the top of your chest as high as is comfortable. Relax your shoulders back and reach through the crown of your head. Hold at least two breaths.

Locust

Lay face-down with your chin on the ground, your elbows bent and your hands on either side of your chest. Lift your feet, your chin, and the top of your chest. Keep your gaze at the ground slightly in front of you. Hold at least two breaths.

Boat

Sit with your legs bent and your feet on the ground. Rest your hands on the ground on either side of your hips. Lengthen your spine, lean back slightly, and lift your feet until your calves are parallel to the ground. Lift your hands and reach toward your feet. Hold at least two breaths.

Table Top

Sit with your knees bent and your feet on the ground. Bring your hands to the ground slightly behind your hips, fingers pointing toward the hips. Lift your hips off the ground until your body, you’re your shoulders to your knees, is parallel to the ground. Press your arms straight and drop your head back to gaze up. Press your knees forward to lengthen the front of your body. Hold at least two breaths.

Bicycles

Lay on your back with your knees bent over your hips and the lower legs parallel to the ground. Interlace your fingers behind your head and open your elbows to the sides. Keeping your feet flexed, press your right foot forward and straighten that leg while lifting your head and shoulders and twisting your torso to bring your right elbow to the left knee. Return to the starting position, then extend your left leg and bring your left elbow to the right knee. Repeat as many times as desired.

Always end your yoga practice with a final relaxation.

While practicing on your own is good, yoga is awesome in a group. Find some hiking friends and head to your nearest yoga studio for a class. In the Adirondack High Peaks region, join me or another talented teacher at True North Yoga.