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Promotion Of The Month – April 2016

7 Days for $7

Enjoy this special price for the entire month of April.

This promotion is a deeply discounted 7 Day Unlimited Yoga Pass. Normally valued at $27, take advantage of this special offer this April and dig in for some serious yoga practice. The benefits of yoga are truly too numerous to count.

Details:

  • These Unlimited Passes allow you to take as many classes as you want during their duration.
  • Limit of 1 per person for the month.
  • The timeframe is calculated begining on the day you purchase them.
  • We offer yoga classes five days a week for the month of April.
  • These Unlimited Passes are technically memberships and have sales tax applicable.

 

What Our Name Means

Why Back To Bliss?

A lot of people like our name, but not many know the deeper symbolism and meaning behind it.

The first part of our name is Back To. Heading ‘back to’ means that we have moved away from somewhere or something.  We can’t head back to it if we have never been there before, nor can we head back to a place from which we have never left. The second part of our name is Bliss.  To our understanding, bliss is an integral part of our human nature. We have simply left that state of being and seek to return back to it. It is Back To Bliss’ mission to help us return to our natural state of bliss, or at least experience that state more often and more fully throughout our lives.

Digging deeper into why we believe bliss to be part of our nature leads us to some yoga philosophy. The model of the Koshas is often the way that yogi’s teach how happiness is part of our nature, and how happiness relates to the other parts of our being. Kosha means ‘sheath,’ and the kosha model strives to explain the expansion outwards of a human being from innermost soul to the physical body. It seeks to show relationships between all the components of the being we each call “Me.”

The Kosha Model Is Pretty Simple:

At the center point of you is the soul; the deepest ‘I.’ Covering that is a sheath, or kosha, of bliss. This is the first sheath. Surrounding that layer of bliss is a layer of Intuitive knowing and connection. This sheath is a part of our consciousness that remains attuned to all of creation at a way beyond the mind. Surrounding the layer of Intuition is the layer of the Mind. Here is the layer of thought and the pool of memories and habits that we carry with us.  These give us our deepest drives and make up our underlying personalities. Surrounding the Mind Sheath is the Energy Sheath, or the sheath of emotion and breath.  And finally, the outermost sheath is our physical body. The call it the Food Sheath because it is made up of the foods that we have eaten.

You can visualize several rings around your deepest self, much like an onion has layers surrounding a core.

We would write it to look something like this:  ( “I” ) Bliss ) Intuition ) Mind ) Breath ) Body )

The model of the koshas states that each layer of your being is like a lamp shining outwards into your life in the present moment.  Combined, these lights give us vibrancy, capacity, and all the tools we need to process the stresses and joys of our life. However, stains begin to block the light of those deeper shining layers. By stains we mean things such as grief, anger, physical trauma, shock, and poor diet. These stains all clog the system in a way, decreasing its capacity and dimming our light. These stains can be so thick and dark that we lose the capacity to access all of our sheaths on a regular basis. They block our ability to access and express our potential for: happiness, intuitive knowing, clear thinking, expressive emotion, and pain free bodies. Often, the stains are so thick that we don’t have enough experience of true bliss to even know that it comes from within us. We don’t believe in intuition because we have so little access to it that we don’t remember how it works.

Back To Bliss Is A Philosophy, Not Just A Name

Back To Bliss strives to help all of us clear these stains from our being so that we can connect with our own potentials. When you can connect with the deepest parts of yourself you come to realize that your happiness does come from deep within you. Happiness does NOT rely on any external source.  By cleansing these stains, we allow the intrinsic lights of the deeper sheaths to shine outwards into the present moment where we can experience them.  The fact that we lose connection with those parts of us is the reason for our disconnection with bliss.  Back To Bliss strives to help you reconnect with the experience of living with access to all of our potentials. Hence it is back to bliss, because bliss was yours and continues to be yours.  You have just dimmed the lights and need a bit of help shining things up again.

The details of how to cleanse the sheaths are wrapped up within the expertise of Back To Bliss’ programming and service offerings.  And while we offer all of our services, classes, and products without pressure to all, those interested in deeper benefits will find them as they learn more and continue to practice regular wellness disciplines.

The best way to get started on learning more ways to live joyfully at Back To Bliss is to attend our Journey Of Wellness free class series held once a month. Over the course of our 12 monthly classes you will learn our philosophies and many practical ways to bring a little more bliss into your life.

Be Well,

Monica & Josiah Groth – Owners

A Stretch For Gardeners

For those who like to garden, it’s a very exciting time of year.   We are ready and waiting to get out there.  Our plans are getting put together and supplies are starting to get ordered.  However, how many of us are thinking about preparing our bodies for garden season?  Now is the time to begin a stretch and strengthen routine to prepare for all that digging and weeding?  In general we need to prepare a routine that provides full body relief, but includes a focus on our particular areas of weakness.  Begin by asking yourself where you felt sore from last year’s experiences.  Those areas need extra work to prepare. Building a 15 minute daily routine will give you much more pleasure in the garden this year.  I guarantee it.

The most important parts of your body to strengthen are your core and the back of your shoulder blades.  Having a strong core will help support your back as a whole.  It will also allow you to lift and hoe without straining the back.   Strengthening your upper back eases the pressures from always leaning forward.  Working with a rowing machine might go a long way.

Try adding in some stretches that open your hips.  While sitting in a chair, cross one leg over the other and then lean forward at various angles to stretch your glute and low back muscles. Leg tightness causes all manner of hip and back inflexibility, so take some time to stretch your hamstrings and quadriceps, too.  Don’t forget to stretch your wrists and hands as well.  Below are details for one stretch that should help almost all of the areas of your body I have mentioned, but you will need to tailor a routine for your exact needs and capacity.

Angle Pose (Konasana):  Stand with feet together, hip width apart.  Step one leg forward.   The further you step forward, the more strenuous the pose will be.  Inhale and pull both shoulders up to your ears. Exhale and pull your shoulder blades together and grasp your hands together behind your back.   Inhale and pull your arms down while holding the shoulder blades pulled back so that you are stretching the chest and toning the back.  Keep both legs straight as you lean forward.  Typically we tend to tilt our torso as we do this, but work to square your shoulders and hips.  Lean forward until you are perpendicular to the floor.  Hold the stretch by breathing strongly with your core belly muscles until you fatigue.

Caution: As with all general wellness advice, not all stretches or fitness advice is suitable to every person.  When in doubt, talk to a professional at your gym, yoga studio, or therapy clinic.

Muscles of Breathing

Breathing is with us every moment of our lives, and is often something we take for granted.  Our breath is both a detoxification and a nourishing process.  When it falls into dysfunctional patterns, it can be an unnoticed cause of disease, such as fatigue, anxiety, mental health issues, and insomnia to name a few.  Today I want to teach you a simple test that yoga teachers use to evaluate your breath.

Begin by placing one hand over your solar plexus and another over the center of your heart.  Sit up straight, close your eyes, and breathe without attempting to change anything.  Just observe for a moment.  If the bottom hand moves when you breath, your diaphragm muslce is making that happen. If the top hand is moving, the muscles of your ribs and upper body are responsible for that motion, not your diaphragm.  By paying attention for a couple minutes, you can easily tell which muscles are working as you breathe.

When we consider that our primary relaxation and stress nervous systems are hard wired to these two different muscle groups, our test begins to take on meaning.  Our test tells us if we are stimulating the sympathetic stress response or the parasympathetic rest response when we breathe.  When you breathe with your chest muscles, you are telling your body, “hey, I’m using these extra breathing muscles that are used only when I need maximum air flow.”  Your body knows that this means you are in a situation where you need extra oxygen – aka fight or flight situations.  When you use your diaphragm to breathe, you are stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system, which is activated during rest and digest situations.

As you sit there, with your hands over your heart and belly, eyes closed.  Where are the bears that are ready to eat you?  If the hand over your chest is moving in any significant way while you breathe, then you are telling your nervous system there are lions and tigers around!  Without knowing it, you are stimulating your stress response with every single breath.  Thus, our unconscious breath patterns can be a major source of dysfunction, constantly telling our body to prepare for impending doom.  It takes a lot of energy to hold that readiness.  When we are busy preparing for stress, we are also diverting resources from other important physiological activities.

Our test tells us if we need to retrain our breath pattern. By training ourselves to breathe diaphragmatically instead of with our chest muscles, we change the signals we are sending to our nervous system.   We can relax more deeply and allow our body to spend more time replenishing our energy reserves instead of amping up for stressful fights that simply are not present.

To recap, if the hand on your chest moves in any significant way while you are sitting calmly in a restful environment, then you have a dysfunctional breathing pattern that is worth fixing.

Crimes Against Wisdom

There is a pearl of wisdom that says, “Well over 90% of all our dis-ease comes from performing crimes against wisdom.”  What could a crime against wisdom be?  The answer is quite simple.  A crime against wisdom happens when you know you should not do something, but you do it anyway.  In other words it is not heeding our inner voice of wisdom, also called heart knowing or our gut reaction.

We say, “Gosh, I’m tired.  I should go to bed.”  We stay up anyway.

We say, “I’m full.  I should stop eating.”  We clean our plate anyway.

All of us fail to listen to our inner voice of wisdom at times.  Often, this is because our mind and our gut have different opinions about what to do.  Our mind wants to get its own way, so it argues like crazy.  Our mind creates excuses, talks us in circles, and often manipulates us with our own desires.  It does this in order to convince you to go ahead with what it, the mind, wants.  Our gut comes to conclusions a different way.  Our gut can’t argue the way our minds can.  Our gut’s voice doesn’t explain itself with rational thought or wordy explanations.  Our gut just knows.

The difference between the voice of the gut and the voice of the mind can be explained in short by saying that knowledge isn’t wisdom.  Our mind is a complicated thing.  It has great power, but its knowledge is limited.  Wisdom is deeper.  It is intuited.  Wisdom from the gut isn’t clouded by the opinions of the mind and is therefore very honest.  This is important when it comes to wellness.  Your gut says, “I’m full.”  Your mind says, “I must keep eating until everyone else is done, too.  I don’t want them to think I don’t like the food.”

Wellness Practice:  By making a conscious effort to listen to what your gut is saying, you will strengthen your connection to that level of internal wisdom.  Start simply with two food based practices.  The first opportunity to connect occurs when you choose to make a meal.  Stop, close your eyes and ask yourself what you want to eat.  Start listening to your responses and try to make the meal your gut is telling you it wants to eat.  The second opportunity happens as you end your meal.  Listen and watch.  When your body tells you it is full, do you stop eating?  What stories do you tell yourself that complicate the simple impulse of, “I’m full?”  What are the parts of the conversation that conflict with the voice telling you to stop?  Are you conscious about your end of meal habits?  Do you nibble and don’t know it?  Is the fork back in your hand?  Stay with these two awareness building practices.  Eventually you will learn more about yourself and hopefully be able to perform a few less crimes against wisdom each week.

Caution:  By continuously suppressing our internal voice of wisdom we end up constantly pushing the boundaries of our health.  By eating too much, we stress our system.  By neglecting rest and sleep, we stress our system.  We stress ourselves by little bits again, and again, and again.  What happens to a body after 30 years of extra little stresses again, and again, and again?

Remember:  All stress caused by crimes against wisdom is avoidable.   Train yourself to heed your internal voice of wisdom.