santa fe yoga


Blog post by Eliza Skye

There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.
— Dalai Lama

Sacredness is a designation that is created in each of our minds. You can decide, as an individual, that one object or place is sacred and another is not. However, this does not mean that the same truth applies to any other person. Sacredness can be designated as a culture, but it is the individual who worships and prays. Even the non-material aspects of our world can be sacred, such as sacred time, dances, or energy. Everything has the potential to be holy - it is how we interpret what is in front of us that changes the meaning of objects and experiences. The body can be considered a sacred structure, and many yoga practitioners come to realize this over time. The body is the vessel that allows us to experience both the physical and the spiritual. It is an intricately functioning system that keeps us as safe as it possibly can. This is an astonishing feat in this ever-changing landscape of technology, society and the environment. Sacredness is something that is entitled to reverence and respect. Is that the way you see your body? Perhaps this is a thought you could explore with an open mind. When we begin to see the sacredness in all aspects of ourselves, we see it in the world around us. Then, every moment becomes a chance for worship and prayer. 


Trikonasana: Triangle Pose

“Tri” means three and “Kona” means angle, so this is literally three-angle, or triangle, pose. When practiced with safe form, this pose can feel incredibly nourishing, as it stretches some of the stiffest areas of the body. Trikonasana lengthens through the hips, groins, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, chest, and along the spine. Because of the way you must balance, it strengthens the legs, knees, ankles, arms, and chest. This balancing effect also helps bring clarity to the brain and mind. Ona physical level, it helps improve digestion and reduce anxiety, stress, back pain and sciatica. Pregnant mamas-to-be may especially find low back relief in Trikonasana, and it may be safely practiced throughout the pregnancy. You can always modify your triangle pose with a block or a wall. No matter how you practice Trikonasana, feel the strength in your own body as you hold the pose. Take a moment to admire your body for being able to move in such a beautifully complex way. 


Trishula Mudra

We now know that in Sanskrit, “tri” means three. “Shula” is a spear, so Trishula is a spear with three points, or a trident. In Hindu theology Lord Shiva, the God of Destruction, is known for carrying a trident. In Greek mythology, it is Poseidon who carries the trident, both as a means for creating a water source, but also to “stir things up”, by way of earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes. So, we can see the connection between the trident and letting go of the old way of doing things. When we destroy, it is an opportunity to recreate. This mudra can also be used for protection, as you can destroy ideas or thoughts that do not serve you. This makes Trishula Mudra protective, for you are the one in control of what is destroyed in taking this hand positioning. It is best practiced in the evening. Hold the mudra and count to twenty. Watch as anxiety disappears. 



Blog post by Eliza Skye

“When you are able to shift your inner awareness to how you can serve others, and when you make this the central focus of your life, you will then be in a position to know true miracles in your progress toward prosperity.”  -Wayne W. Dyer

When we talk about prosperity, it is natural to think of wealth and the accumulation of objects that we desire. However, in yoga, prosperity is the control of shakti, the energy of consciousness. Prosperity and wealth isn’t about possessing anything. It is the steady flow of energy and prana. Wherever the mind goes, prana goes, so it is good to check in with your mind. Are you dwelling on what you are lacking? In that case, energy goes to the idea of lacking or not having enough. If the mind is fixated on an object, whether it’s a particular possession such as a car or nice clothes or simply the idea of having money, there is a good chance the energy will go there. However, none of those things inherently bring happiness or authentic prosperity. Prosperity feels most at home in a generous heart, so the more you give selflessly, the more you will receive naturally. This is the steady flow of energy. It is only by emptying the cup that one can fill it.

Pose: Vajrasana (Diamond/Thunderbolt Pose)

This sitting pose is perfect for an asana practice, as well as seated meditation. It is often used as a transitional pose for many of our floor postures and flows, but it can be practiced with mindfulness just like other more technically challenging asanas. This pose stimulates the vajra nadi, which helps aid in digestion. It can even be practiced immediately after eating and help to move food through the body. Due to compression in the knees, the flow of blood collects in the base of the torso, which helps flood the internal organs (such as the stomach, liver and reproductive organs) with extra oxygen and energy. Vajrasana also stretches the ankles and knees, though it may be too much for some people, so props are always an option. Sitting with good posture can help to alleviate sciatica, open the chest and promote proper alignment of the cervical spine (neck). Feel the balance of the energetic channels in the body and let the prana flow steadily.

Mudra: Kubera Mudra

All mudras (or hastas) are hand positions that help to bring about certain focuses to the body or the mind. Kubera Mudra is for the fulfillment of desires, or the mudra of intention. It doesn’t matter how long the mudra is practiced for - it is the intensity of the focus of the mind that determines how effective Kubera Mudra is. It can be very effectively practiced when setting an intention before a class, before the start of a project, or at any time of new beginnings. The three fingers coming together represent the different choices one must make in order to find the best path toward whatever goal is desired. The mudra intensifies whatever the mind is fixated on, which is why it is very important to be clear about what you desire before you take this hand positioning. Otherwise, there can be increased strength directed toward a distraction rather than something that will truly serve you.

Visual Focus: Tree of Life

The Tree of Life is another sacred geometry symbol that is found all throughout the world in many different traditions. The Tree of Life symbol does not have one central focus, but two. This connects with the idea of the soul’s separation from the divine source, as well as the Darwinian model of competition/separation from other human beings. The tree of life also speaks to the idea of the duality between “good” and “evil”. Some say the Tree of Life also has a “bad” counterpart, which is the Tree of Knowledge. This can be seen in story of Adam and Eve - the Tree of Life is the abundant garden and the Tree of Knowledge is what allowed humans to fall from their divine spiritual nature. However, when we look at the Tree of Life, it is simply a part of a larger image (which we are working toward this year!), so while we imagine duality exists, it is simply an incomplete picture of the whole of creation. It is our human experience, which is only a small portion of our spiritual experience.