Yoga for Hot Sex // Relaxation for Pleasure and Orgasm

Join me for 2 special mini-workshops at Self Serve Sexuality Resource Center!

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Wed Oct 30, 2013: YOGA FOR HOT SEX

Wed Nov 13, 2013: RELAXATION FOR PLEASURE & ORGASM

Both classes are 7:30-9pm at the Self Serve Store in Nob Hill, Albuquerque. Preregister HERE or call 505-265-5815.

avery blissed....

Yoga practice can create access to your ability to feel what is happening in the body, strengthen your confidence in your body/ mind ability, balance hormones, build awareness, tone, and ability to relax the pelvic floor muscles and pelvic & abdominal organs, increase circulation and oxygen to various vital systems, including the endocrine and sexual/ reproductive systems, neutralize the nervous system, which enables increase of both mental/ physical/ emotional relaxation (parasympathetic nervous system response) and simultaneously, sexual excitement/ tension (sympathetic nervous system response), build emotional stability, give insight to what and where are your “edges,” increase feelings of vitality, vigor, and enthusiasm to experience new things, and help support feelings of gratitude, selflove, compassion, and connection, and creativity.

Guiding Principles

Relaxation opens the gateway to pleasure and orgasm.

Mental Distraction takes us away from our bodily awareness, out of the present moment, and dilutes the intensity and availability of feeling turned on/ pleasure, and challenges out ability to connect with intuition, and our partner(s). The mind habitually will wander; Focus/ Awareness takes practice. Be compassionate with yourself and, as possible, be entertained by the mind, rather than get critical/ frustrated with it.

Sound (especially when long and low toned) helps release the throat/pelvic floor, lengthens exhalation and therefore quiets the nervous system, channels focus/ energy, intensifies pleasure sensations, helps release endorphins, and can assist orgasmic release. Also great for claiming space and giving positive feedback to partners!

Playful Curiosity is a great way to deepen into sexual discovery. Don’t confuse Sincerity with Seriousness. Let what feels good and fun guide you. Keep shifting back into the body’s feedback loop and away from the narrative of the mind.

Stability and Freedom are 2 sides of 1 coin. The more we feel stable, safe, organized, and grounded, the more we can truly let go, get vulnerable, expand, and get ecstatic.

~Stabilize with:

~ Presence building practices, Yoga practice, and physical support (inside: strength, body awareness. outside: props, pillows, walls…)

~ Pelvic Floor Work: healthy tone, awareness and strength

~ Femur grounding to support gentle release of the psoas, pelvic organs, and pelvic floor muscles.

~ Alignment (in our bodies, as well as with our partners)

~ Slowing down to feel what is there.

~ Good, Clear Boundaries and Agreements

Ahisma: Non violence Santosha: Contentment

Bramacharya: Respectful, Healthy Utilization of Sexual Energy

Svadyaya: Self Study (internal learning) Samadhi: Total Freedom/ Bliss/ Self Realization

(from Yamas & Niyamas, the foundations of yoga: in our minds, bodies, and with others)

Exploring embodied sexuality may bring up fears or triggers, yet the very techniques of presence, breath, and feeling through what is there, can be effective ways to release layers of tension, trauma, heavy emotionality, or resistance.

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Here is a drawing I created for the class. Enjoy!
#yogaforhotsex #yoga #queeryoga #averykalapa

Favorite Teachers

In the next month or so two of my most beloved teachers are visiting Albuquerque. In my experience it is a rare and profound opportunity to study with truly great teachers, and even if the Iyengar method isn’t your route into this work, I sense you’d get a lot from any amount with Francois, or Ramanand. It’s crazy they are both coming here within a month of eachother! I love studying with both of these teachers, and have done so whenever I can, in the last several years. I invite you, since it’s a great opportunity. It would be fun to share yoga space with you!

Here’s a link to the High Desert Yoga site. You can get info and sign up there, though Ramanand registration is through Wellspring.

Francios Raoult, originally from France, has a ruthless genius way of accessing depth, and has a great sense of humor… he is doing a special session for teachers this Friday afternoon, then Pranayama (lots of asana, too, etc) intensive all weekend.

Ramanand Patel< originally from India, studied from boyhood with BKS Iyengar; he is in his 70s now, a retired engineer. Brilliant.

Both of these teachers are advanced, challenging, profound, wonderful to study with…

I’ve had some of my most deep, life altering yogic experiences with these two. I’m so excited for more… maybe see you there!

http://www.highdesertyoga.com/workshops.html#theAnchor317

High Desert Yoga | Workshops and Class Series

http://www.highdesertyoga.com

Workshops and Class Series

Urdva Hastasana Saves the Day

Delightful, today, to feel the upward rise, like the reach of a candle flame, so deep in my center. I was practicing Urdva Hastasana, or “Upward arms pose.” Tadasana, with arms raised high, heads of the humerus (upper arm bones), outer heads of the femurs, or greater trochanters (top of the thigh bones) and center heels all stacked tall in a line atop the earth’s center of gravity.

The simultaneous rising up of my perineum, the inner heads of the humerus, and the base of my skull created this profound feeling of inner body length – an integrated from of Uddiyana. In this pose, the arms lifted feeds the extension bias to the spine, and this often challenges the length of the kidney area, around the junction of T12, and L1, where the thoracic spine meets the lumber spine. The perineum, that apex of strength at the center of the pelvic floor, which gathers in the core of the figure 8 shaped bands of muscles around the front and back openings, made of connective tissue to which the bands of muscle anchor, can lift here to create the internal physiological and energetic support to lengthen the kidney area. As the kidney area lengthens, the lowest lumbar vertebra actually draw in deeper, while T1, at the base of the neck, also releases in, freeing the neck to lengthen as the inner armpits deepen into the back body.

from http://chestofbooks.com/health/anatomy/Human-Body-Construction/The-Female-Perineum.html#.UWRdX6u4Hyc

(Image taken from this article on The Female Perineum.)

This is just one example of how pelvic floor strength can support the total integrity and alignment in an asana. However the real gift of this experience of alignment was the profound feeling of freedom and pleasure in the body… and through this pleasure, a new reference created for what is possible.

The body will choose comfort, even when comfort simply means familiar and is degenerative. As I practice, I give my body a chance to experience new reference points for what is comfortable, for what is “home.” This experience of the triplicity lifting length in Urvda Hastasana while my heels anchored deep gave me a renewed sense of where my body can live. And as an encouraging sidenote, this release of the inner body through organization and pelvic floor power has given relief from pain. Today I was moving slow, due to being on the first day of my period, and feeling crampy and low energy. By unloading the visceral body though this work, however, my belly now feels spacious and relaxed; the cramping sensation have disappeared, miraculously.

And here is Mr. BKA Iyengar, in hanumanasana.... The torso doing the same work as in Urva Hastasana. Note the deeply grounded humerous and exquisite kidney length!  I am willing to bet his perineum is working enthusiastically, to support this much organization.

And here is Mr. BKS Iyengar, in hanumanasana…. his torso is doing the same pose as in Urva Hastasana, (which is why I using this image here to discuss the actions in the article. Apparently Iyengar’s Urdva Hastasana isn’t exotic enough to merit pictures online yet! And instead of scanning one in from Light On Yoga I am using this one to illustrate the similar work. Note, amazingly, how even with the legs in Hanumanasana the powerful Tadasana spine!) Also, see the deeply grounded humerous and exquisite kidney length. I am willing to bet his perineum is working enthusiastically, to support this much organization.

Yoga for Self Love…?

P1020670This weekend’s workshop, Self Love Through Yoga, may seem like a nice thought… but what will this look like in terms of practice, and experience?

When we perceive our thoughts, feelings and actions to be “good,” it’s easy to “love” ourselves, or at least feel capable of receiving  love, appreciation, acceptance, or attention. These feelings build up a healthy form of ego, an ability to appreciate oneself independently of any comparison of competition with an external frame of reference. (In a cosmic sense, the ego, that perspective of separation of the self from all that is “other,” can be a hinderance to our realization of wholeness; however for the purposes of this discussion, in the context of our human existence, having a healthy sense of self, so that we can be capable and responsible, keeps us balanced and available to connect outside ourselves, rather than swinging into the extremes of self obsession, either by placing ourselves way below or way above other people.)

However, when we only feel deserving of love when we judge ourselves as “good,” then anytime we feel our “goodness” is challenged either by others, or our own self, this conditional form of self love diminishes. Because the human mind often generates discontentment, and tends to focus on what needs work, what is “wrong”… we can get stuck in ruts where on some deep, hidden level, we believe we don’t deserve love and appreciation unless we are “good,” perfect… and this self criticism loop tends to bind our attention to ourselves, so we have less attention for the people we love, our projects, our work, our dreams.

When we can learn to appreciate ourselves, even when we are face to face with a challenge: a mistake we have made, an unpleasant emotion, a situation that points to our lack of intelligence, sensitivity, or skill, THEN, we are building our ability to love ourselves. When we are challenged is often when we most need love. This moment of compassion can create the shift we need (often by diminishing our resistance to experiencing what is there) and the external world shifts too: we discover a step we can take to make things right, have insight towards a solution, or have some more space emotionally to breathe through what is there.

In our yoga practice, we can change the nervous system’s patterns in terms of  how we react internally to challenge. If a pose is physically, emotionally, or psychologically challenging, we can either go into self criticism, or pause, breathe, back up, and observe, working through the re-patterning with awareness, creating a new way, breath by breath. This process is more accessible when we are not rushed, and if we feel safe to be in our process. This is one reason why the goal of organization, rather than range of motion, in our asana practice serves us greatly.

Asana can affect our ability to sense, release resistance to, and even appreciate, where we are at in our journey. Through practice over time, and even in just one session of asana practice, we can gain a palpable sense of how much more stable and grounded we feel through organizing the bones -the inner scaffolding- so that the soft tissues can release, the organs can cleanse though increased circulation, the breath becomes more available, creating a sense of lightness, and wellbeing, etc. By aligning our physical form, the way prana moves through us is altered, allowing us to shift out of old patterns and into more neutral perspectives.  These practices also affect our mind’s dialog of self assessment partly by interrupting the inner critic, and also by quieting the nervous system and releasing tension patterns associated with emotional stress and feelings of failure, anxiety, or regret.

In my workshop this Saturday, I am excited to explore with students, first creating a safe internal space. Restorative forward bends, warmth, darkness, and an embryonic begining will establish a home base in the nervous system. From there we will gradually branch out into stability work, to support us in lengthening versions of backbends, which not only have an energizing, joyful affect, but also can be a bit scary and confrontational, so that in a slow and safe manner we can explore loving ourselves through the challenge of opening.

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Another way to look at this sense of appreciation is through the niyama santosha, contentment. Through growing and changing, moving through feelings, challenges, highs, and lows, this healthy form of self love helps us have compassion for ourselves as we change and grow, and therefore compassion for others. Our relationships with others echo the ways we relate to ourselves. As we cultivate and strengthen our ability to accept and love ourselves through the ups and downs, we can more fully love and give attention to our lovers, partners, family, and community.

Yoga as Survival

Our human life expects so much of us. All these tender layers of self, moving through a vast, complex world. And especially now, when we have had little time to evolve to cope with the pace, technological stimulation, societal structures, expectations, and chemical environment of our modern world; when so much has changed in the last 100 years, and yet we are born into life with the same skill set as centuries prior…. how do flourish, how do we survive?

One of our main survival techniques as humans (soft, fleshy, humans…) is our ability to adapt. We can shift and change to be able to function when confronted by a plethora of different challenges. Adaptability has its problems, of course, when we give up our center to allow something else to affect our energy, our experience.  Yet claiming this ability to shift and bend to meet the challenges of our world is a dynamic skill.

The practice of yoga gives us the opportunity to adapt in ways so that we do not have to lose our essential aspects of humaness. Our tenderness,  our subtle intelligence, our ability to heal and integrate, and to really love… these are crucial aspects of our ability to be fully awake and alive. The asana we practice, which re-calibrates the nervous system, cleanses and revitalizes the organs and blood, quiets the sympathetic response and habituated tension patterns, stabilizes the structure of our bodies and matrix of our minds… this practice truly allows us to relate and thrive in this wild, contemporary world. We can be engaged in our lives, fully, and through our practice replenish our inner reservoirs again and again. Staying connected to our center, our place of power, through the many changes and challenges we face.

Of course, we stray, we have moments and even chunks of time when the storms are passing through us, the screen time and caffeine and competition takes its toll, our emotions run amuck, our vrritis become tsunamis of fluctuation… and then we come back. We re-establish what the boundaries are, the containers, for ourselves in this world. We fine tune our alignment, and reprogram the pathways of prana. We take time to feel what is really there. And through the practice of yoga, breath by breath, day by day, we rekindle that balance of being engaged in the world, and centered within ourselves. P1020429

 

Pincha Mayurasana Thoughts: Motivations for Stability

As we dive into the new year, I have been enjoying a return to the structure and routine of daily life, and the psychological stability that gives. Around the time of solstice my practice became more restorative, introspective, and a way to assimilate the flurry of holiday experiences. While I like to keep a thread of restoration throughout the winter months, the tide of “fresh start” feelings generated in our cultures psyche around New Years has awaked in my body a desire to work muscularly; create stability physically as well as in my mind.

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Today I loved practicing some variations of pincha mayurasana (peacock feather pose: a forearm stand inversion) which has profoundly stabilizing affects on the shoulder girdle. When the humerus are grounded, serratus anterior and rhomboid muscles supporting lateral expansion through the chest, and skeletal alignement sound, this pose creates strong foundation for sirsasana, and a lasting after effect of width and lift through the shoulder girdle and upper chest. The mental and emotional mirrors of stability in the shoulders reveal feeling confident, bright, capable, and calm.

I often practice this pose holding on to the base of a folding chair, but today explored stretching my palms wide rather than gripping the chair with the hands. (A fellow student in Kim Schwartz’s delicious Tuesday morning level 2 class had the idea, and we all tried it out after some exploration…)  The outstretched palms of the hands, still held against the chair, faced each other in this version. (They faced each other rather than down, as in the full pose. This allowed for less challenge to the external rotation in the upper arms and thus thus the opening in the chest and upper lungs, than if the lower arms were in complete internal rotation, as in the full pose.) This set up felt more challenging psychologically, but created the shoulders to become much more stable, and allowed my chest to open more than when hands, and thus chest, were gripping. Because of this alignment in the shoulders, the foundation of the pose was stable enough that I could articulate pelvic floor strength to lengthen the kidney area and traction the spine upwards, reaching through the inner heels. To find the subtle key awakenings of alignment in the body, (and therefore all the unseen realms, as well) allows so many other components of our work and experience to integrate. The expansion, and freedom, becomes possible through stability. After working in pincha mayurasana for a while, we practiced chakrasana, a pose I find quite challenging. But from awakening the stability in my arms and shoulders, this experience was accessible  and the effects permeated into all the levels of my being, sending the waves of shift and transformation deep within. The unknown comes into the known. Breath by breath, anything is possible.