Saturday, October 27, 2012

What's Your Breath Trying to Tell You?



Do you find yourself holding your breath throughout the day? Could the breath be trying to tell you something? It’s amazing how the breath can reveal what’s going on in our minds and perceived situations in our daily lives. Maybe you've been cut off in traffic and your breath has become shallow and choppy. How about when you get called into the bosses office and you hold your breath the entire time you're there!

The more you can tap into and become aware of your breath, you can start to tune into the many clues your breath is continuously giving you throughout the day and start to consciously create more ease. 
As you read, take a moment and listen to the quiet underneath the noise in the room. As you focus, you may have already unconsciously slowed down and deepened your breath.

Here's a few clues your breath may offer. If you notice your breathing is...

1. shallow breath - feeling anxious 
2. unconsciously holding your breath - you may be having thoughts of anger or fear
3. strained and choppy- you may be feeling rushed or stressed
4. deep rhythmic belly breathing  - calm and at ease


Here's a few tips for practicing more deep belly breathing throughout the day...

- Place your hands of the lower belly. As you inhale feel the navel move away from the spine. As you exhale feel the navel draw back towards the spine.

- Relax the upper body as you breathe. When you find yourself stressed, you may also find the upper chest, throat and jaw gripping. As you practice belly breathing imagine these areas soft, relaxed and quiet. 

- Allow the breath to be smooth and seamless. As you breathe, listen to your breath, imagine it coming in and out like gentle waves on the ocean.

- Take your time to fully exhale. In stressful situations, the breath can be short and choppy. When you feel calm, the breath extends and lengthens. Begin your breathing with equal counts: in-one, two, three, four; out-one, two, three, four. For a deeper state of relaxation, try extending your exhalations so eventually your exhale becomes twice as long as the inhale. When ready, change to a count of four in and eight out. Take your time, let go of any effort. Tip: start by extending the exhalation by one or two seconds until it feels easy. 


As you practice being mindful with your breath, you can start to create more space in every part of your life. The key is to remember that whatever shows up, you have a choice to simply pay attention, breathe and allow yourself to be with what is. If the drama and trauma shows up, you can choose to go into overwhelm or you can step back and take a slow, deep breath. From awareness and allowance, you can then consciously choose how you respond and open yourself up to new possibilities!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Creating More Vitality with Easy Twist

There’s one easy pose renowned for it's balancing and toning powers and I personally love it's ability to cleanse the body from head to toe...yes, it's twists!

The idea goes that twists cleanse the internal organs much in the same way as when you wring out a wet towel... the squeezing action massages organs, stimulating and refreshing healthy functioning as you release toxins.  Twists also create more movement of internal fluids, plumping the discs in your spine and allowing a fresh supply of
oxygenated blood to flow in.

If you’re like me, you want to take the easy route to feeling refreshed, calmer and rejuvenated..Luckily easy twisting movement squeeze and stretch the torso muscles, nerves, glands and organs from the pelvis all the way up through the neck.

Try adding a gentle seated twist from a chair to feel calmer and more energized throughout the day! As you twist, notice the energy and vitality you open to...

**See bottom of page for caution.


Sit facing the right side of your chair.  


Clasp your hands around the back of the chair.

Without moving your hips, gently start to turn your belly towards the back of the chair.

Inhale lengthen, exhale turn from the navel, ribs, then chest.

With each inhale sit taller, exhale gently twist.

Chin stays level, with an option to look over the right shoulder slightly.

Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.

Breathe deep and feel the power of wringing stress out of your body, mentally and physically. As you release the twist, take a moment and enjoy the ahhhh” feeling in your body and mind.


For more information about live classes, workshops and "Happy Yoga with Sarah Starr" visit www.happyyoga.tv

**Note: If you have any physical impairments or limitations, please be sure to check with your physician before using this or any of Sarah's programs. Pregnant women should not practice twists or any other abdominal tightening poses. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Break Out Of The Slump!


Do you spend most of your day hunched over a computer? Let's break out of the slump and create more energy and vitality in your body with backbends! I know, backbends can sound a bit daunting, but the good news is...resistance is a natural part of releasing old habits and stepping into the unfamiliar, so be easy on yourself.  

Here’s a suggestion for incorporating backbends into your daily life.
Start by keeping it short and sweet.


Try doing small backbends throughout the day at work... 
**See bottom of page for caution.

1. Sitting towards the edge of your chair, clasp your hands around each side of the chair behind you.


2. Straighten your arms and draw the shoulders down away from your ears.

3. Pull the shoulder blades together and lift your heart.

4. Chin stays level or option to look up slightly.
Breathe and enjoy. Backbends can help you to feel more energized and uplifted... It can be that easy!

For more information on Happy Yoga classes, videos or workshops, visit:www.happyyoga.tv




**Note: If you have any physical impairments or limitations, please be sure to check with your physician before using this or any of Sarah's programs. Pregnant women should not practice twists or any other abdominal tightening poses.

Saturday, August 11, 2012




   



Join in the fun with Happy Yoga's *FREE* live audio classes and videos!

Download and enjoy four *FREE* live audio Yoga classes and view two Happy Yoga Videos, a gift from me to you! 

If you subscribe, enjoy the entire back catalog of over 30+ downloadable audios, added to weekly and over 20 Happy Yoga episodes to view for your use! 

What possibilities are you ready to create for you and your body?

How much more energy are you and your body ready to receive? 

Imagine moving your body with more freedom and ease?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Prana-what??? Use Your Breath to Overcome Stress

The beautiful shapes of arm balances and impressive pretzel poses may be the most eye catching aspect of Yoga but the breath practice related to Yoga (Pranayama)  is where the real action lies. I know, Prana-what? Who doesn’t know how to breathe? Got it. My first time practicing breathing techniques in a yoga studio, I thought, how could this make any difference in my body? What could this possibly do for me? My attention was only on moving the body, while focusing on my breath seemed like a waste of time. My minds attention was on getting stronger and leaner, not sitting on a cushion. I had no idea the Pranayama practice would become life changing for me. Even though I didn’t initially seek out more, it filtrated into all areas of my life with an unmistakable calling to eventually teach this powerful practice at retreats, hospitals, schools and conferences internationally.

The formal practice of regulating the breath is at the heart of Yoga. It is the bridge between the physical, active practice of Yoga (asana) and the inward practice that leads us to allowing the mind, body and spirit to unite, rejuvenated, replenished and nurtured.

Practicing simple Pranayama exercises help you have more insight into your emotions, boost  your energy levels and increase your concentration and attention. It's scientifically proven to help with stress, anxiety, depression and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.


Usually, if you're not paying attention to your breath, it can be jumpy and sporadic, many times fluctuating depending simply on your thoughts. If you find your breath is short and choppy, you may be feeling hurried, rushed or overwhelmed. If you find yourself holding your breath throughout the day, you may be having thoughts of anger, fear or worry. On the flip side, when you're relaxed, you'll notice your breath becomes deep and slow.

The first yogis discovered that if they could even out the breath, they could also even out the scattered thoughts of the mind and now science also backs that up, reporting it take as little as 10 minutes a day of focused mindfulness to build a stronger mind and create changes in the way your brain functions. According to Dr. Daniel Siegel, after just eight weeks of simple breath awareness training, they were able to see positive effects, including an improved function of the immune system, improved blood pressure and increased empathy.

Mindfulness breathing is accessible for all of us and can be as easy as gently bringing your awareness to the sensation of the breath. Here’s two simple breathing techniques to create a new state in your body any time you feel anxious, tense or overwhelmed...

The Belly Breath
  1. Put yourself in a comfortable position, and place your hands on your lower abdomen.
  2. Inhale slowly and deeply, you will feel your belly expand like a balloon.
  3. Feel the navel draw back as you release old, stale air by exhaling slowly.
  4. Inhale easily. Feel your abdomen expand again.
  5. As you exhale, fully release all the air out, navel draws back towards the spine.
 
This is the natural way of breathing, like a baby’s breath.

The Calming Breath   
1. Do five to ten Belly Breaths.
  2. While inhaling, imagine that you are breathing into a tense or painful part of your body.
  3. With each exhale; imagine tension streaming from your nostrils.
  4. Do the Belly Breath and imaging until you feel relaxed.
Begin your breathing with equal counts: in-one, two, three, four; out-one, two, three, four. For a deeper state of relaxation, change to a count of four in and eight out. Continue for a minute and notice how relaxed and at ease your body feels.

Whether your interested in learning new techniques for coping with stress in the workplace, improve your concentration, boost energy levels, manage anxiety or improve your state of over all well-being, conscious regulation of the breath is a valuable tool and can be as easy as belly breathing and counting your breath. Practice it anywhere, anytime and the results can be life-changing!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Happy Yoga Joins the Fun at The 8th Annual Lightworkers Midwest Conference!


Join me at the high energy inspirational conference for the purpose of moving humanity forward. Amazing key note speakers, and presentations- from Quantum Healing to astounding archaeological discoveries! 

SEPTEMBER 21, 22, AND 23

Please visit their website for registration and additional information.

http://www.lightworkersconference.com/

Feel free to share with all your friends!!! 



P.S. Mention Sarah Starr when you purchase your tickets before the end of August and receive the early bird special!!! Yipeeeeee!

Check out Happy Yoga's Newest Video!!!



Happy Yoga with Sarah Starr Gentle Chair Yoga Trailer

Enjoy a short video of my newest yoga DVD for beginners, "Gentle Chair Yoga with Sarah Starr." You'll be able to apply these techniques for mini yoga breaks at work, a long plane ride, or any other time you need to balance the mind, increase blood flow and boost your energy. Enjoy a yoga practice that is invigorating, fun, and accessible, but most of all, effective. Check it out and start creating new possibilities for you AND your body!


To purchase visit: https://www.createspace.com/341653

Accessing Mindfulness with Sarah Starr


Imagine letting go of your judgment of anything, living in just awareness. What if you could start to look at everything for what it is, not for what you want it to be or what you think it should be? This gathering is dedicated to experiencing the practical steps of "Living Every Day Mindfulness" as we explore the miracle that happens when you say "Yes" to what is. The teachings all point to the same thing: of being one with your life, allowing a sense of ease, appreciation and joy to emanate in your heart. Join us as we practice techniques to transition from a life of mind chatter and worry to a life created from awareness, filled with possibilities and invitations to play!

Location: Bay Area Yoga Center 2020 S. Webster Ave., Green Bay, Wisconsin 54301

Date: Monday August 6th

Time: 6:00 - 7:30 pm

Cost $20

Please RSVP to reserve your space at:

1 (920) 445-7221 or email sarahspeaks@gmail.com

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"Deep Truth" by Gregg Braden | What's Your Truth?

Gregg Braden doesn’t ask that you wholeheartedly agree with every idea he’s brought forth in "Deep Truth," but he does ask us to go within to search our own truth. With the facts of science, he helps us understand some of the biggest problems facing our world today, based off new evidence surrounding global warming, advanced civilizations, our genetic blueprint and much more.

Yes, we may have come to a fork in the road as our world is feeling more divided under the political, religious and economic pressures, but “Deep Truth” gives hope in the chaos. Braden writes in regards to the stories of humanity that surfaced after September 11th,“In our most basic state - free from the encumbrances and false assumption that lead us to believe that we are needy, greedy, taken advantage of, or engaged in competition for survival - we are fundamentally a kind, compassionate, and giving species: a species of goodness. At the most basic level of our existence, in the moments of crisis, we prove to ourselves again and again the truth of our nature.“

The new information “Deep Truth” provides gives us options of different narratives including; when advanced civilization really began, the different ideas of the goal of evolution, even his theories on global warming. As we look into the problems our world is facing today you may ask, “What can we do on a collective level?” Braden offers a powerful new question,”Instead of asking what we can get from our world, start asking, what can I offer to the new world that is emerging?” Braden explains further in a recent interview,”The way we answer that question opens the door to new possibilities of jobs, careers, where we put our energy, what we put our energy into, new possibilities of abundance and how we can take our deepest inborn gifts and apply them to a world that needs the gifts we all have to offer.” Braden encourages all to start asking and looking within for the answers, making the personal choices that will mold our destinies collectively.

* Thank you to Hay House, for providing me with a free copy of this book for review.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What do Madonna, Wayne Dyer and Eckhart Tolle Have in Common?

They’ve been on television, graced the pages of magazines, written books, have throngs of fans and yes, all have a few words to say about yoga. Thanks to the celebrity status, yoga has turned into an option for people across the globe to create a healthier body, physically and mentally. As celebrities testify to the benefits of yoga, more and more people are checking in to see what all the hype is about. See the common thread that keeps students coming back for more...

Dr. Wayne Dyer, world-renowned self-help advocate, author, inspirational and lecturer -"I'm an inch taller since I started doing yoga because it stretches the spine. It doesn't just teach us to be flexible in our physical world, but to be flexible in our thinking and keeps us balanced. Because I am a public speaker, I first noticed a difference in my mind. I started thinking better and my lecturing was more focused. I didn't have to take notes on what I was going to say. I also noticed I was sleeping better. Practicing yoga works every part of your body not just the outer part, but the inner parts like your thyroid, pituitary gland, and your digestive system.”

Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now and A new Earth - “Spiritual practices that involve the physical body, such as t’ai chi, qigong and yoga are increasingly being embraced in the western world. These practices do not create a separation between body and spirit and are helpful in weakening the pain-body. They will play an important role in global awakening.”

Madonna - “Yoga is a metaphor for life. You have to take it really slowly, You can't rush. You can't skip to the next position. You find yourself in very humiliating situations, but you can't judge yourself. You just have to breathe, and let go. It is a workout for your mind, your body and your soul."

The reasons for practicing yoga can be different for everyone. With a restless mind and body, I stepped onto a mat for the first time over 13 years ago. A single mother, operating my own salon business, I’d just called off a wedding two weeks before the big day. Unable to sleep at night, my sister in law borrows me a Rodney Yee yoga tape “P.M. Practice.” I was hooked. On my path to self-realization, yoga has been the solid thread that keeps bringing me back to a deeper exploration of the self. The change occurs as I take a look within and take responsibility for my life.

The benefits of yoga are deep and long lasting. There is no one other exercise avenue you can take that will address all of these issues in one simple session. For those of you that think yoga is too easy, I encourage you to try one class. You may find it is just what you are looking for.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mind Full or Mindful | Practice Presence with "One Minute Mindfulness"

Enjoy the benefits of meditation in one minute! Choose a mindfulness exercise to suit your needs in the moment.

This app includes three one minute mindfulness exercises that allow you to...

• Breathe properly and effectively to reduce fatigue, creating mental clarity

• Use your breath to release internal tension and stress

• Learn to bring your emotions under conscious control and shift your mood, creating a healthy mental and physical body


http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/one-minute-mindfulness-vol-1/id501154044?ls=1&mt=8



Thursday, January 5, 2012

Enjoy my review of "Love, God, and the Art of French Cooking" | Recipes for Living in Mindfulness

I've read many of James Tywman's books and his honest journey through yet another heartbreak makes him even more likable. Tywman tells of a chance meeting with a mystic/french chef after being dumped at a BB in Canada by his latest girlfriend and how it transforms his life.

Not much of a cook myself, "Love, God, and the Art of French Cooking" reminds me I've been missing the main ingredient. It's not always what you cook, but the attention you give it. Instead of rushing through preparing my food, I am now aware of the process, making it a meditation. I can slap it together and throw it on a dish or lovingly thank the person who grew the fruit, shipped it to the store, stacked it on the shelf and packed it in my bag. I can preoccupy myself with the next task waiting for me or I can relish the colors, textures and aroma. I can thank God for my abundance or multi-task, gobbling it up in less than a minute. There is presence to be found in everything we do. "If I try to impress someone with my cooking, it never turns out well," Chef Dufau explains, "I think of food as a way to love the individual I'm cooking for. It's a simple idea, but it transforms everything and people feel it whether or not they consciously know it."

This book is not a cook book but filled with recipes of spiritual advice for living. As a teacher and a passion to share what I love this quote from Chef Dufau says it well. "Another word for intensity is passion. In order for your passion to really benefit you, you have to add one more ingredient: service. He explains further, Do you remember when we were making Rosti potatoes, and I told you the eggs held it all together? Imagine if you didn't add the eggs-it would all fall apart, right? It would break up in the pan and I wouldn't be able to serve it. That's what I am trying to explain. Passion is useless if you don't direct it into serving others. It ultimately falls apart. If you're only passionate about the things that are for you, then you can't be replenished." This beautiful quote reminds me to start my busy days as a teacher, mother, wife and entrepreneur with, "How may I serve?" In contemplating this question there is always enough time, love and abundance and I am shown the way.

I am honored to have reviewed this free book from Hay House.

To purchase this book, visit:

Hay House
http://www.hayhouse.com/details.php?id=5869&utm_id=3313

Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Love-God-Art-French-Cooking/dp/1401935230/

Barnes and Noble
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-god-and-the-art-of-french-cooking-james-f-twyman/1101003144?ean=9781401935238

Chapters.indago.ca
http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/Love-God-Art-French-Cooking-James-F-Twyman/9781401935238-item.html

Thank you for taking the time to read this review,
Sarah