DHARANA

Dharana – The sixth of the eight limb of Yoga

The yogi learns the ability to pay attention. To be in the here and now. Dharana teaches us concentration and focus. On our yoga mats we learn through the drishti to direct our gaze to one point focus. When a teacher calls out alignment points it helps us keep our minds focus in the here and now and not on tomorrow or the grocery list or a text message we need to send. Can we be present ? The present moment is all we have. In the first sutra Patanjali says : ” The Time For Yoga Is Now”. No matter what is going on in our lives the time for yoga is right now. Eckhart Tolle wrote one of my favorite books “The Power Of Now”. When we bring our minds into the now, we can than experience joy. Joy can only be experienced in the present moment. Foremost if we are always occupying our minds with what will or will not happen tomorrow we miss out on this precious moment which life offers you right now, as a gift from the Heavens. We are alive and that in itself is a miracle. On our mats we practice dharana while holding pincha mayurasana ( forearm balance) , handstand, arm balances, headstand and really all postures. In balance poses when we loose the dharana we fall. Our yoga mats is a great tool to practice all the principles of yoga and they will translate into yoga on and off the mat. Ultimately dharana leads us to the state of dhyana – meditation – from there and on we can transform and transcend into the many layers of our subtle body and our most inner Self. The practice of yoga gives us the ability to clear samskaras , to evolve as multidimensional beings, to clear past, present and future traumas and even karma. Dharana along with all the other eight limbs of yoga is a gate way so we can be who we really are, the highest version of ourselves: our most authentic Self – living a life of truth and love – not only for ourselves but for our whole planet. Namaste.

By : Nathalie Croix

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PRATYAHARA

 

Pratyahara – The fifth  limb of yoga

Turning our senses inward.

Is perhaps one of the most important limbs of yoga . When we are able to disconnect intentionally from the outer world we are given a gateway to our inner world. We pay attention to the sensations of the body and mind. We pay attention to the fluctuations of our mind and our being. Yoga gives us so many tools for transformation and connection to inner peace. While on the mat, when we engage our drishti, control our breath and focus on our asana practice such as alignment points and eventually engage the bandhas ( energy locks) – we are given the opportunity to transcend our third dimensional physical body and human experience and begin the process of becoming the observer of the mind. Finding a quiet place within. I can only speak from my own experience and perspective – for me pratyahara is the bridge, the real shift from outerly working on flexibility, strength and a body image to moving into the connection of the prana

(life force), the sensations within my body temple – which are so revealing and continuously guiding me deeper to a journey into the subtle body, hence providing an opportunity for true Soul awakening. Pratyahara connects us to a place of truth and authenticity with the good and the bad. Light and dark. The raw essence of who you are. Turning our hipper active senses from todays world of sensory overload – inward – the imagery here is a turtle withdrawing into it’s shell. By withdrawing our awareness from loud noises, media of all sorts and kinds, television, internet, others in general including our monkey mind – pratyahara strengthens our powers. We find immunity to the reactive mind. It takes practice. The practice is the journey we commit to enter and live each day as yogis. Here we begin to bridge from the outer to the inner, much like the heart chakra; which is the bridge between the first three lower worldly / mundane vortexes/ chakras / and the higher much more subtle energies. The heart is truly magnificent. Through the heart we transcend in full realization that we are multidimensional spiritual beings having a human experience. You have now entered the yoga of awakening. Welcome. Next you will find steadiness and focus in dharana – following with meditation ( dhyana)  and finally the many various levels of samadhi – eternal bliss. Divinity. The yoga of awakening is not always an easy path, but I would not have it any other way. It is said ignorance can be a certain kind of bliss, but I choose my divine blue print – I choose satya ( truth) . If you are here with me in this moment I honor your light and your soul. May we have patience. May we walk the walk together with the many millions/ billions before and presently with us – we walk in grace and equanimity. Yoga teaches us that there is no separation and it gives us so many tools to do so. Each day we are presented with new growth opportunities – I trust that our challenges are exactly what we need to face – our fears, our limited beliefs and for new horizons. Creating expansion for our hearts and soul. Ultimately freedom. We are God, we are sovereign, we are free beings.

By:

Nathalie Croix

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Yoga Teacher Training School

 

One of my biggest joys in the work I do is teaching my yoga teacher trainings. I love seeing the soul evolution and transformation of each participant and I also love the life long connections I have been blessed to cultivate from the trainings. The process is highly inspirational and the community thrives. My goal while in this incarnation is to make the world a better place. I take this task very seriously and it has and continues to be a priority in my life. Every small action counts. I believe we can change the world. Every day we are given the opportunity to do so. I hope you can join me in this peace project and know that you play a major and important role. If I have been a guiding light to you along this path – know it’s quite the honor 🙏🏼✨✨✨ I am soon announcing a 2018 Summer Intensive Training and 2018 Fall Training. If Training is not in your horizon at this moment consider joining me in retreat at Golden Sunrise this May in Oregon

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Just Announced! May 2018 Golden Sunrise Retreat

May 2018 – Golden Sunrise Retreat

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PRANAYAMA

PRANAYAMA

The Fourth Limb – Breath – Our Life Force.

The bridge between our physical existence, our soul and etheric body.

Breath Is Healing, Breath Is Light.

Awaken Your Body Cell’s Through Breath and Raise The Vibration.

In pranayama practices we work on removing the restrictions of the prana. We create freedom through breath. The various breathing techniques train us to focus, to come back and stay in the present moment in light and awareness with the good and the bad – it creates a flow, a rhythm for life itself, allowing us to connect with the deeper aspects of our humanity and natural flow of life. In pranayama practices we travel deep into the core of our being and the many levels of existence. Through the breath we start to decondition the mind, the emotional and physical body. Through breath darkness comes to light – we remove the obstacles shadowing our path and we re-connect to light. When we exhale we let go, we cleanse – rejuvenate. With the inhalations we connect to source.

Each and every day there is an opportunity for re-birth.

What an honor it is to be alive !

What a privilege of a life time the gift of breath!

May we cherish it each day for it’s magnificent jewel.

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ASANA

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ASANA – the third limb of yoga, in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is is the most popular and in many ways the reason why yoga has gotten to be so popular in the West. It also is the one I found to be most difficult to write about, perhaps because is so close to my heart –  One of my teachers has a very famous say ” Yoga is 99% Practice and 1% Theory” – Sri K. Pattabhi Jois.

Asana is the most tangible of the eight limbs.  It is a quick gateway to the other seven limbs of yoga. In this plane we exist in a physical form. Through our body temple we have access to the subtle body. Asana practice gives us an opportunity of Self expression, assists in detoxification and cleansing, relaxes our entire system, re-centers, and grounds, re-aligns the spine, relieves stress, promoted health and digestion, enhances the lymphatic system and calms the mind in preparation for different levels of meditation and deeper Spiritual practice. Asana is a tangible way to access the subtle body. The yoga mat and asana practice serves as a mirror to where we stand and how we feel each and everyday – creating a deeper level of Self awareness. Our physical body is the vehicle through which we explore the gift of life, giving us the opportunity of transformation and Self realization. There are only 3 sutras, which mentions asana, within the 196 sutras of Patanjali. The most famous is Sthira-sukham asanam – The basis of Asana is to achieve a state of steadiness and ease during practice, embracing the polarities – or a yoga posture is to be stable, steady and firm, yet also relaxed, comfortable, and delightful!

As we work strength and flexibility – asana asks us to bring attention to areas which are weak, it regulates our prana – life force and it opens our channels for deeper levels of transformation. It is not a way to create more stress in the body. It requires discipline and steady commitment.

The word discipline derives from the word disciple : suggesting devotion and commitment as a way to a higher path.

It does not involve competition but a means of commitment, not only to a better, healthier life for ourselves, but for our Planet with un understanding that we are all one and that by enhancing our lives we enhance the lives of others around us.

Asana practice keeps us grounded, connected and humble, assisting us to live in truth with each and every moment.

Promoting a healthy life long practice so we can sit for longer periods of time in meditation, preparing us for deeper spiritual work, even if and when, our physical body begins to fail us. Yoga Asana practice has meant many different things to me. I have been practicing postures since my early teens and meditating for even longer – Today I am mostly concerned with having a genuine – ego free – practice. Connecting with who I am and where I am at each and every day in Satya (Truth). What I strive for on the  yoga mat, is that my practice, in the most genuine way promotes a health body, mind and Spirit, cultivating the flow, “prana”,  life force and evolution of my Soul.

This is as well, what I am committed to transmit to my students, and their overall wellbeing. At times my philosophy of teaching and method does not make for the most popular yoga teacher, for the practice I offer is non’ flashy and many times not offering what we want (even on the mat), but we get what we need. This may come in a form of a yoga sequence (which at this moment has been revealed to me), always on the basis of well informed technique, but never closing the channels for divine source to come through. I follow my inner guide, connecting with my Higher Self through each practice and each teaching session – I simply serve as a channel of light to those in my room. Allowing divine source to come through. I firmly believe that the energy of Source – Prana – is highly intelligent and it always goes exactly where it is intended and it is needed. The yoga teacher serves as a catalyst. Each day I enter a yoga session, I am happy and grateful I get to do this work. It is my hope that my students navigate through their ups and downs in life in a state of more equanimity, that their practice serves to inform them in the highest vibrational way and that throughout this process they find not only equilibrium, peace and happiness, but also joy.

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Powerful Solar Eclipse 8/21

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Hello! How is everyone doing in the middle of two powerful eclipses and in Mercury retrograde? I am curious on how is your energy level? I have noticed within our community, people are feeling more tired! Eclipse season is always a time to reset. Things are shifting quickly. A bigger door, pathway will open for you and humanity. Just know energetically there is a lot happening right now. You are not alone. Remember this is a time for grounding, meditating, doing yoga, any clearing activities, go in nature…. Can you take things easy and not make any huge changes or decisions right now? Just let things be – easier said than done, right? Know that eclipses tend to amplify energy and you are in the middle of two! Right now gather your intentions and prepare to plant seeds for big manifestation on August 21rst when we come into the second and solar eclipse of this month. It will be a great time to visualize all our dreams and set them forth for manifestation. In the meanwhile whatever needs to come up , will come up! Because the time to cleanse and let go of all which doesn’t serve us any longer is now. Relationships that are ready to be released – will be amplified in this moment – let it go! Even when we talk about certain things we feed it energy. Work on yourself, know there is a collective consciousness, take a bubble bath :) with salts and practice some “Earthing” / hang in there and be in nature and sun. This too shall pass. Mercury retrogrades until Sept 5th / but after 8/21 things will begin to clear up. I love Kaypacha’s affirmation for this month ! – “When driving through a Thunderstorm, I take my foot of the gas and I go with caution …. checking out my options : … moving slowly as I let it pass.” Namaste Lovely Beings! Wishing you love and light and remember after the storm there is a rainbow :) <3
Tomorrow I will be recording a Podcast on these times and I look forward to @lovebasedmedicine and I “Eclipse Workshop” @rawrepublicjuice join us there this month or in September – luv luv #solareclipse #eclipseseason #love #collectiveconsciousness💫 #globalawareness #earthing #shumannresonance #moonrituals #shantipeaceproject #lifeonearthpodcast

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Happy Full Moon ! 🌕

IMG_8263Happy Full Moon Lovely Beings ! 🌕💫✨ No matter where you are in this Planet or Universe ✨ Today I hope you take some time to look up at the moon. So mysterious and so inspiring ~ allow yourself to embark on the flow of nature and it’s magical cycles. Notice if the ocean tides are changing, notice the fluidity of the waters wherever you are. If you have crystals place them out and let them bathe under the moon light. If you own a bathtub take a bath infused with salts and lavender or any other scent you love. Light a candle ✨ make a wish 💫Take time to reflect on this full moon. What is it that you want in your life ? What are ways you may cultivate your wishes ? Right it all down. Tomorrow take a walk in nature and ground with Mother Earth 🌏 #Gaia 🙏🏼✨✨🌱 As you prepare for this upcoming solar eclipse with the next new moon this August : clean your closet. Get rid of all which doesn’t serve you any longer, both material and emotional 🌙🌕create space for the new and allow your highest Self to come through. You are loved. The world needs your unique gifts and energy. I hope you can join me and @lovebasedmedicine for an ultra special solar eclipse workshop @rawrepublicjuice on August 21rst 6:15PM I will guide you through a deeply restorative yoga nidra practice, as Noell will work on acupuncture points with an opening and closing circle setting our intentions and #sankalpa for our next six months together. Private message me to sign up or email shantiyoganola@gmail.com for the link. Space is limited. Stay positive and live in love ♥️ – Nathalie Croix #happyfullmoon #solareclipse #rituals #crystals #yoganidra #meditation #journaling #acupuncture #moon #manymoons #eclipse #neworleans #shantipeaceproject #collectiveconsciousness💫

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FRUITY SUNRISE SMOOTHIE

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Some days we just need to wake up to a “Fruity Sunrise Smoothie” 😍 Water 💦 base 🍊grapefruit ☀️papaya ☀️raisins 🌻 cacao nibs ✨ raw honey 🍈lime ✨ginger ❄️ice ☀️ cinnamon & frozen wild sweet black cherries 🍒 #yum #summersmoothie #summerlove #summer #grapefruit #wildcherry #vitamix #fruits #organics #refresh #enjoylife #havefun

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ISHVARA PRANIDHANA

IMG_8184ISHVARA Pranidhana – The fifth Niyama – Surrender ✨✨✨Let Go. There is a bigger picture/ purpose and a higher power. We Are One. Open our hearts ♥️ and accept the higher purpose of our being. ” Do the best you can until you know better, and when you know better : do better ” – Maya Angelou. Know that we are all here to learn what love is. So be patient with yourself, those around you and the process. Accept situations : ask for strength to go through whatever it is life has in for you. Go through it in grace. Live your truth in ahimsa – never hurting others along the way. Believe. Love. Flow in the current of life with integrity. Wake up every morning ☀️ and let God in. Each morning I begin my days with a prayer from the wonderful @mariannewilliamson : ” Dear God, where would You have me go ? What would You have me do ? What would You have me say, and to whom?” ♥️♥️♥️ #acourseinmiracles #collectiveconsciousness #prayers #higherconsciousness #love #isvarapranidhana #eightlimbsofyoga #yoga #theniyamas #thepathoflight #shantipeaceproject #surrender

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