Yoga Therapy Through Ashtanga

Yoga Therapy Through Ashtanga



There are a variety of reasons why we are drawn to the different types of yoga offered in today’s society. For some, it could be as simple as wanting to get enough exercise to sustain a healthy lifestyle. For others, it could be a way to reduce stress and anxiety, and for others it could be a form of therapy for both the body and the mind.

The Ashtanga system of yoga from the Jois family is a Hatha Yoga tradition. In his book, Yogasana Cikitsa Bhaga, Yoga Therapy, Manu Jois emphasizes therapeutic yoga postures for a healthy lifestyle, especially during these modern times. It incorporates yoga and different breathing techniques aimed at energizing and revitalizing the body, as well as mudras and bandhas (locks) to stabilize the energy and the mind. According to Manju, the Primary Series is first mastered to stabilize the health of the student.

When offering Ashtanga as a form of Yoga Therapy restrictions are reduced and the healing of each individual becomes the focus.  In fact, Asanas found in Ashtanga are practiced for their healing and medicinal qualities, but they can also be used outside of the traditional sequences as well to increase the benefits. One of the purposes of practicing Ashtanga is to increase the well-being in oneself and to share this well-being with others.

One of the closing chants Mangala Mantra reminds us of how we are all connected and at our deepest core, would like all beings to be well.

Om swasti prajabhaya paripalayantam/nyayena margena mahim mahisah/go brahmanebhyay, subhamastu nityam, lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu//

May it be well with the protector of the progeny on earth,

And let them lead with intelligence for a peaceful earth,

May it be well with the connection between us and permanence.

May it be well with all beings everywhere.

(translation Greg Tebb)


Why Meditate | Julie

Why Meditate?


By: Julie Kingston

Certified Integrative Nutritionist, Yoga and Meditation teacher

Join Julie on Sunday morning for Meditation and Vinyasa

WHY Meditate?
Many people say they can’t meditate because they have too many thoughts. I know, because that was my belief as well. Every time I made the attempt, I found myself more frustrated, bombarded with more thoughts than usual and ultimately feeling like It just wasn’t for me. Since then, I have completed a 6- month training thru the Chopra Center where I studied and learned Primordial Sound Meditation instructed by Deepak Chopra, Roger Gabriel and David Frawley. This course has changed my life and I would love to share with anyone who is interested in learning more, my passion and gratitude for this ancient practice.

During most of our waking life our minds are engaged in a continuous internal dialogue where one thought triggers another. We hear a snippet of music and suddenly we are day dreaming about something that happened 10 years ago which then triggers an emotional response and before you know it, you are carrying emotional pain from years ago. This type of thing happens in our lives all day long. We have approximately 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts per day. That’s about a thought every second and a half. That doesn’t leave much room for growth or change. We think we have free will but actually we are often controlled by the constant thoughts that trigger memories and then create an action based on our memories and desires. This pattern happens to us all until we learn how to go inward and find the peace and stillness that already exists in each of us, the perfection that is covered by the layers of stress.
Meditation is a journey from activity into silence. It is impossible to silence our thoughts but with a regular practice, we become more aware of our thoughts. When we start to discover this AWARENESS, our lives begin to change. During meditation we have the ability then to go beyond our thoughts into the infinite silence of peace and stillness.


Meditation is one of the best tools to counter the brain’s negativity bias, release accumulated stress, foster positive experiences and intentions and enjoy the peace of present moment awareness. A large body of research has established that having a regular meditation practice produces tangible benefits for mental and physical health, including:
• Decreased blood pressure and hypertension
• Lowered cholesterol levels
• Reduced production of stress hormones including cortisol and adrenaline which increase weight gain especially in the mid-section
• Increased production of anti-aging hormones
• Decreased anxiety, depression and insomnia
• Improve immune function
• Improve focus, memory and ability to learn

These are some of the health benefits not to mention the spiritual benefits which are unlimited. There isn’t any area of life that meditation can’t enhance… so what are you waiting for???
I will be hosting a meditation class every Sunday morning at 8 AM for 30 mins. It will be a Mantra Based Meditation that will include awareness and intention. I hope that you will join me and give this ancient practice a try.

I will also be hosting a workshop … the date TBA for anyone who is interested in diving deeper into this practice and having a clearer understanding of the benefits, deepening your knowledge of meditation, perfecting the practice of meditation, learn about the higher states of consciousness and receiving your own personal mantra.

By: Julie Kingston

Certified Integrative Nutritionist, Yoga and Meditation teacher

*for more information or for a private consult contact Julie

Join Julie on Sunday morning for Meditation and Vinyasa

What Is Yoga Nidra | Inga

yoga nidra


By: Inga


Our modern lifestyle has become very demanding and fast. Spring is the time of the year, where everything returns to life, expands, and changes rapidly. When we miss to slow down during the winter – the time of hibernation – we feel even more under pressure right now. Our mind is continuously active and tense. When we fail to recognize the hectic without finding ways to balance out the negative stress, we end up fatigued and facing severe psychological problems.


However, there are many ways these days to seek balance. One of them is definitely Yoga Nidra. As a technique of pratyahara – internalized awareness – it not only provides our body and mind with deep relaxation and rest, it gives us countless benefits. While ‘yoga’ is known to be a way to connect and unite the physical, the mental and the spiritual, ‘nidra’ means ‘sleep’. In different words, Yoga Nidra allows us to experience a state between sleep and wakefulness, in terms of psychology called the hypnotic state – a state where the body sleeps, but our mind remains sharp and fully awake.


The main requirements during the practice involve a preparation to remain comfortable in the posture of Savasana – corpse pose – with proper spinal alignment, the eyes closed, listening to the instructions and simultaneously feeling the body points mentioned, limiting movements and trying not to fall asleep.
The suggested duration is usually between 45 and 90 minutes, and there are basic steps that Yoga Nidra involves.
1. Starting the practice: the practitioner is guided through initial relaxation, achieved through the awareness of position, posture, stillness and breath.
2. Personal intension – sankalpa – a short, clear, positive resolve, selected by the practitioner and repeated three times mentally.
3. Rotation of awareness: the practitioner systematically travels through 61 different vital and nerve-rich body points.
4. Breath awareness: becoming aware of the natural breath without making an attempt to change anything, by watching it in the nostrils, chest, and abdomen.
5. Visualization: the practitioner is instructed to visualize some objects, situations, or to concentrate on a particular chakra.
6. Personal intention – sankalpa – chosen by the practitioner in step two is repeated mentally three times with dedication and optimism.
7. Ending the practice: the awareness is slowly externalized as the practitioner becomes aware of the external sounds, objects, and persons around slowly moving the limbs and stretching the body.

There are countless benefits of Yoga Nidra. Practiced on a regular base, it not only relieves stress and muscular tension by bringing us into the state of deep physical, emotional, and mental relaxation. It also prevents stress and related disorders by training the mind to remain calm and quiet. As a meditative practice, it promotes our ability to concentrate the mind, therefore enhancing our memory and learning capacity, as well as awakening our creativity. Furthermore, Yoga Nidra has the potential to help us clear up the unconscious: particular techniques of visualization during Yoga Nidra can help us bring up traumatic experiences, conflicts and unfulfilled desires suppressed to the deeper layers of the mind, to consciously witness them and cut off the personal identification with those experiences. Researches indicate that Yoga Nidra can be used as a therapeutic technique to manage and cure psychological disorders such as anxiety, hostility, or insomnia, as well as psychosomatic diseases like asthma, coronary heart disease, or hypertension.





Favorite sayings…
“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind”
“When you owe your breath, nobody can steal your peace”
“The nature of yoga is to shine the light of awareness into the darkest corners of the body”



I started my yoga journey eight years ago. It was on day date with my husband. I bought a Groupon (so romantic, right?!) Together we walked into a Bikram studio. It was a 90 minute class. One of us liked it. I can still remember the smells, how the air seemed so heavy, and the carpet – the lovely carpet! I survived what I thought was torture and I never went back.

Fast forward a few years, I got injured. As an artist/sculptor spending long hours at my table reeked havoc on my body, especially my shoulders, neck and back. My doctor suggested I try yoga, I decided to try again. This time was different. Same style Bikram class, but the studio had ditched the carpet and I didn’t feel tortured. The more I kept going, the happier I felt. This feeling off the mat spilled over into my everyday interactions.

I practiced everyday and it was a refuge in my life. It was a natural decision to go deeper into teacher training. As an artist, my motto has always been to practice, keep learning and never think you’ve mastered your craft: Yoga is no different.

After my 200hr training, I continued learning with various workshops. I was hungry for more yoga knowledge.  Also, I chose to become certified in Trauma Yoga and Y12SR. Yoga 12-Step and Recovery is a class offered to anyone dealing with addictive behaviors. Addiction is a family disease and it most likely has touched all of us in one way or another. I have found this to be a powerful tool in my arsenal of ongoing healing and growing.

When I’m not on my mat, I create. I’m a clay artist, junk collector, journal maker, vintage lover and over all, art supply hoarder. Art is another form of healing to me. It’s a lifeline and I enjoy sharing art with others.

Yoga and art are meant to be shared, I feel very lucky to practice both. Being on my mat is like a blank canvas or a mound of clay. It is creative time for me…I create space for my mind and body.

I enjoy many styles of yoga. Being on my mat is my favorite kind of yoga. The practice of yoga is meant to be a gift and to be shared.

Through the years, I’ve grown to love the stillness just as much as the physical poses.
Teaching for me is simply looking through the lens with openness. I learn so much from others. The community is such a huge part of my practice…finding that connection is my why.

Being creative and learning is the ultimate collaboration.

So let’s create, learn and grow together on and off the mat.