Detox Your Mind. Upset Your Mindset.

By | Mindfulness | No Comments
How do you quiet a constantly chattering mind?
What would it be like to stop overthinking everything?
How can you release the frenzy?
How can you find some PEACE in a crazy day-to-day?
In this Vlog, Monika Brass gives you the fast track to what works and what’s bogus in the Mindfulness world and presents an 8-week course that offers you an opportunity to shift your trajectory.
This special course is limited to a small group of 10 individuals dedicated to making some important mindful life changes.
Course Details: 
 Join this 8-week journey of transformation, learning the best mindfulness meditation and stress reduction techniques. We will be following the book Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams and Danny Penman.

Excerpt from the book:

“Everyday life is so frantic and full of troubles that we have largely forgotten how to live a joyful existence. We try so hard to be happy that we often end up missing the most important parts of our lives. In Mindfulness, Oxford professor Mark Williams and award-winning journalist Danny Penman reveal the secrets to live a happier and less anxious, stressful and exhausting life. Based on the techniques of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), the unique program developed by Williams and his colleagues, the book offers simple and straightforward forms of mindfulness meditation that can be done by anyone.”

Monika adds her own unique experience having studied and lived in a Tibetan Buddhist community for 3 years. Monika taught this 8-week mindfulness course through the Mindful Stress & Anxiety Management of Philadelphia and brings it to you on the Main Line.

This 8-week Mindfulness Course includes options for one or three private sessions.

FPFW Workshop Series ($350) includes:
The book Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World
Guided Meditation Recordings
Group Sessions with an Experienced Teacher
Assignments to take Home

Upgrade your experience for more individualized attention for your specific needs and goals.

FPFW Workshop Series Bundle ($475) includes:
The book Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World
Guided Meditation Recordings
Group Sessions with an Experienced Teacher
Assignments to take Home
Plus One Private Session

FPFW Workshop Series Premium Bundle ($725) includes:
The book Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World
Guided Meditation Recordings
Group Sessions with an Experienced Teacher
Assignments to take Home
Plus Three Private Sessions

Expect the Unexpected: The Answers Are Within

By | Yoga | One Comment
Start with your heart.
As February is a month about opening the heart, we are sharing some great stuff from our teachers on social media intended to help you refine and progress heart opening postures, be fearless in your pursuit of connection and follow your inner compass.
Make sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook to get all the exclusive content!
This video chronicles Derek’s tumultuous journey being true to his dharma. The obstacles of injury and pain spurred him to seek mastery of the practices of yoga. His message to you is that the answers you seek are deep inside, and the will and ability to uncover them are priceless. Your best is yet to come.
Leave a comment and let us know what your journey has been like! And, make sure to subscribe to our Youtube channel for more videos and educational content.

Dropbacks: A Curved Line Towards Enlightenment

By | Yoga | 4 Comments

A Posture Practicum on Dropbacks
By Nadia Hopkins

It’s taken me about 15 years to do a dropback like I did in this week’s video. That means the 33 seconds you (assumedly) will spend watching me manage not to faceplant at the end of this dropback have been in the making for thousands of hours since the turn of the century.

I’m at a miraculous place in my practice where I just have a lot of appreciation and gratitude for the entire thing, especially things I use to describe as dislikes. Things are STILL really challenging for me. I rarely feel flexible. There’s usually something bothering me like a toe or a shoulder. I don’t make progress at the same rate as others do. My pants always get twisted at the ankles.

I can say concretely that I’m finally in love with all of it. The postures I’m working on now in Intermediate have me uncomfortably yet safely dancing at my edges, making centimeters of progress every day. The tea’s hot. Our community is both humble and hilarious, so it’s never dull.

But, it is the internal shifts that are especially motivating and inspiring. More often than not, I can let go of judgment of myself, let my mind be still for long periods of practice and remain acutely present and thorough, especially when I’m in an unfamiliar space. These are practices far more vital than getting your foot at the right angle. Over time, we start to see every aspect of our experience as a piece of the cumulative path to freedom. Especially when we’re uncomfortable.

As February is a month about opening the heart, we will be sharing some great stuff from our teachers on social media intended to help you refine and progress heart opening postures. We chose dropbacks to start because they ask so much of us – mental, emotional and physical concentration and deep trust. You have to trust deeply in your ability to be present, in your teacher not to drop you, in the breath to go there with you and your body to support you. I feel strongly that working on dropbacks has silently developed these new and welcome mental/spiritual attributes for me.

The descent has not always been this controlled. As proof (and hopefully as inspiration that change is possible!), I’m including these pics from 2014, when I publicly faceplanted a dropback. At the time, I felt confident that I was going to pull it off, and that confidence took me to an edge I couldn’t move beyond, so I leapt. Without my arms. It seems like an obvious thing to do – use your arms. I got lost in the pose. It’s the whole disoriented-and-upside-down meets not-present-and-partially-terrified sensation that crops up when we’re fighting instability. (I had to go to a board meeting after practice, which was unfortunate).

As the postures get more complex, we’re asked to double check our practice comprehensively to make sure we haven’t been skimping, knowingly or unknowingly. Turns out I had, and it was a quick lesson with long-term staying power. You have to be even more dedicated to learning and earning postures as you advance. There’s no leaning on previous progress. It is your ability to be exceptionally present with yourself that prevents leaping blindly and hoping for the best. That presence is where the wisdom lies, and the path forward. Yoga is so elusive – when we think we have a sense of it, we find it’s actually nothing like we were perceiving it, and that trait allows us to continue to pursue it as a lifelong companion, falling in love newly every day.

Great things take great preparation and much humility, as the path is intense. Humility asks us to be still and commit to the discomfort, which is ultimately a huge relief. Avoiding the discomfort lets it remain AND creates dissonance while we fight it. In yoga, you must respect what the postures ask of you and conform to them if you want to obtain the benefit.

May you try and also receive the many gifts of having done so bravely.

My final tips for Dropbacks?

  • Practice regularly (4-5 times a week, even if some are short practices)
  • Always do your backbends in a sequence, unless you’re injured. Then, modify so you respect the injury but keep your momentum.
  • Only practice this posture with a teacher to start. Need a great one? Come to Mysore in the mornings and let Elizabeth work you towards it gradually.
  • Take your time – getting there isn’t much different than going there, so ease in. The real wisdom is in the ability to control your descent, not just stick the landing.
  • Correct your breath, connect with your breath – it’s your best ally.
  • Remember that progress doesn’t always come in big doses.
  • Use your arms, not your head 🙂

It is true that you are what you practice, so today I’m happy to be sharing this with you. Please leave a comment and let us know how YOU are challenging yourself to open the heart this month.

See you on the mat.

Bhujapidasana Breakdown with Elizabeth Sitzler

By | Posture Practicum | No Comments

Elizabeth breaks down this challenging arm balance – the first arm balance in the Primary Series of Ashtanga Yoga. Learn tips and tricks for entering the pose safely, lowering yourself to your head or chin and exiting the pose into Bakasana gracefully and with ease.

As always, the practice makes your progress, but if you equip yourself with these tools, you’ll be in a great position to achieve this asana. Learn more about the Prana Das Mysore Program at www.pranadasyoga.com/mysore

Student Spotlight: Tanya Tecce

By | Student Spotlights | No Comments

Student Spotlight: Interview by Mysore Director Elizabeth Sitzler

It can be challenging to get to know other students in the Mysore Program since we are always coming and going at different times! Student Spotlights introduce our fellow practitioners, and showcase everyone’s talents and devotion. Our first spotlight is Tanya Tecce. You may recognize Tanya, she’s been with us for a while, always working hard in the Mysore room. Here is my interview with Tanya, enjoy! Thank you Tanya for sharing a little bit about yourself and your practice!   – Elizabeth

Tanya’s Bio:
Tanya Tecce is a skilled, experienced coach who graduated with Honors in the Behavioral Sciences and is Mastery Level Certified in Transformational NLP (neurolinguistic programming) coaching which utilizes cutting-edge positive psychology, family constellations, shadow work, neuroscience and spirituality. She is also an E-RYT500 and a CHHC (Certified Holistic Health Coach).  Tanya coaches and utilizes methods that therapists don’t tend to use in their day-to-day practice.
The Interview:
How long have you been practicing yoga? 
 – Over 10 years
What drew you to Mysore style Ashtanga? 
 – Curiosity about the lineage of yoga as well as the knowledge and training of my teachers Elizabeth Sitzler and Mary Flinn who learned from Sharath and Pattabhi Jois drew me to Mysore-style Ashtanga. There is something so magical and grounding to me about learning from teachers who learned from the originators of yoga.  It’s less than 6 degrees of separation!   To know, feel and understand that I am 1 degree from Sharath, 2 degrees from Pattabhi Jois and 3 from Krishnamacharya… I find that fascinating and powerful.
What keeps you coming back?  
– The sense of peace, calm & structure – regardless of whatever else is happening in the movie of my life – and the parallels of being on the mat and “failing” as well as “succeeding” sometimes (and the insight into what those very definitions even are)  – keep me coming back.  And definitely Elizabeth’s knowledge – both the theory and especially practically – in my opinion are extraordinary.  As a yoga teacher myself, I sometimes find it difficult to find teachers I feel so comfortable with.  You can tell by Elizabeth’s cues (internally rotate your thigh, press down through your toes) that she embodies this knowledge – she doesn’t just “know” it.  Huge difference.  I trust her.
What has been the greatest challenge for you in transitioning to a Mysore style practice?  
– At first I could not wrap my head around practicing yoga amidst others at my own pace.  What?  What does that look like? How does that work?  I made it more complicated in my mind.  It was not such a big deal once I finally dove in.  Which is often the case in life, right?
What kinds of changes, if any, have you noticed since you started a Mysore practice?  
– Now I crave ashtanga like I crave brushing my teeth or taking a shower.  In the last month, I released pent up stagnation in my right side from decade-old injuries and my body feels freer, more open and lighter than ever before (so far).  I look forward to unlocking more!
Favorite posture and why?
–  I love the Marichiyasana series!  I just do!! Maybe I will hate them some other time, ’cause that can be how this goes – in waves – but for now I look forward to them and feel so great after doing them.  I think it has to do with how these postures open my shoulders and hips and absolutely wring out my 3rd chakra (our center of power) like a washcloth, and activate the root chakra (our sense of safety) so I don’t fall over.  Great to take with me daily off the mat!
Least favorite posture and why? 
– I find the ones I hate wind up being the ones I love later so let me see … I used to dread Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana but I’m getting over it.
How do you enjoy your rest day? Any guilty pleasures?  
– On rest days I really enjoy the oil bath.  Sometimes it’s a challenge to carve out the time and space to do it, but I am always so glad I did.  My knees, ankles, wrists, elbows, hips, shoulders, hair and skin are saying thank you!  Its a great balance to the asana all week.  I also love great food and having lots of fun with and connecting with loved ones.
How do you hope to grow as a student and a person through practice? 
–  Mysore-style Ashtanga yoga will always have me as a student.  There’s always another posture, a deeper expression – that’s the great news!  This lifestyle informs my growth as a person, teacher, counselor, parent, friend, loved one, customer, client, you name it … in every way there’s always a deeper expression.  I intend to practice Mysore-style Ashtanga until my final Savasana (in this lifetime).

Introducing Myofascial Massage Therapy

By | Healing Arts | No Comments
 A New Level of Healing Potential

Myofascial Massage Therapy

Heal traumas new and old, let your fascial system completely relax and release limitations. You don’t need or deserve to live with suffering. View the video to the left to learn about this special healing art, its benefits and possibilities from Ellis Kantrowitz, our Myofascial Massage Therapist.

Join Ellis’ upcoming Myofascial Massage Therapy Workshop to learn techniques that ease some of the most challenging and limiting experiences in the body. Learn more here. 

To learn more about Myofascial Massage Therapy, read on below or click here to visit the healing arts page. 

Myofascial Release is a technique that focuses on treating the cause of your pain rather than just the symptoms.  By using different cross hand release techniques, the patient has an opportunity to heal on a very deep level without the therapist inflicting pain or force.  Most of the techniques would be considered less invasive than deep tissue massage.

There can be a sense of weightlessness within the body during these sessions.  The Myofascial therapist is focusing on melting the connective tissue that is holding the tension that is creating the pain cycle deep within us. The therapist takes gravity out of the situation to heal the patient more effectively.

Myofascial Release can be useful for a variety of limitations and traumas, including: sports injuries (I.e) skiing/basketball/running, anxiety or insomnia, car accident injuries, and chronic pain of all kinds.

Myofascial Release also focuses on releasing trapped energy from the patient’s body.  The proper facilitation of energy can clear blockages we’ve had stored inside our tissue for years and even lifetimes.  It is a great way to get your energy flowing properly.

Sometimes during sessions you can feel pulsations in your tissue and that is the actual release of the muscle fibers and connective tissue that have been holding onto tension for so long.  Also you can feel a sense of weightlessness or an uplifting feeling.  Sometimes the sensation can be painful, but that is considered therapeutic pain and a normal sensation during the session.

Our bodies were created in a liquid state and over time traumas and external circumstances force or bodies to harden.  With MFR your body has an opportunity to return to its liquid state.  We are liquid crystals and they’re visible within every cell of our body.

Myofascial Massage Workshop

Yoga Teacher Training Reflections

By | Video | No Comments

Graduates of the Prana Das Yoga accelerated Yoga Alliance Certified teacher training program discuss their exploration of Ashtanga yoga, asana practice, Ayurveda discovery and anatomy and sequencing explorations.  Learn more at www.pranadasyoga.com/teacher-training

Yoga for Golfers: Part 1 of 4

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Are limitations holding you back from being the best golfer you can be? This video series with Steve, Devin and Nadia will teach you key yoga practices that can help you bridge the gaps in your game. Yoga is a universal discipline that can be appreciated and practiced by anyone regardless of age, background or current condition.

Some of the benefits you may experience from adding yoga to your performance training include:

• Increased strength over a range of motion
• Improved joint health
• Mental conditioning: disciplined focus and emotional presence
• A cardiovascular boost
• The ability to link breath and movement for fluid execution of play

Learn more about Play-a-Round Golf by visiting their site at www.playaroundgolf.net.

Beginning a Mysore Practice with Elizabeth Sitzler

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Elizabeth Sitzler and Nadia Hopkins give you the good info on getting started with a Mysore Practice and what that looks like at Prana Das Yoga. What’s the first week like? What postures will you do? What does “self led practice mean?” Learn all this and more.

Then, visit www.pranadasyoga.com/mysore for full details on the program and your form to get started.

To join Elizabeth in her upcoming “Intro to Mysore Style” workshop, register at www.pranadasyoga.com/events.