Yoga Education

OM, pronounced om, is a mystic word or mantra sacred to Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs. It is regarded as the syllable of the supreme reality and is sometimes called the mother of mantras. OM is considered the one primordial sound or vibration from which all other names and forms arise and to which we all return. In Hinduism, it’s three Sanskrit phonemes- A, U and M, symbolize the Divine Trinity Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer. Or the three levels of consciousness–waking, dreaming, and deep sleep. In Buddhism it is often understood as symbolizing the true character of reality. The continuous repetition of OM is a form of meditation and in this silence and calm, do we discover our true selves, and the reality that is within us. The Sikhs, consider it the most direct and concise Divine Name. OM is a word of invocation, adoration, peace and auspiciousness. OM is the Alpha, and the Omega—The beginning and the end. The symbol that you see above this square shows is AUM (OM). The symbol is in Devanagri script, a style of writing that is common to many of India’s languages. However, we cannot say that the symbol is of any particular linguistic origin – it is not even Sanskrit, the ancient language of India. The symbol, like the meaning, is universal and symbolizes the formless aspect of God.

Of all the mantras the most powerful is the single syllabled one – pronounced ‘Aum’ or ‘Om.’

It is the sound that has been realized by ancient Rishis in the highest states of meditation and though it is great to go through the intellectual study done below we have to remember that actually it is a sound that goes beyond the intellect and we can only begin to understand it by actually chanting it and feeling its effect in one’s innermost core.

As noted by the Sages:

Aum is the primordial sound, the root mantra which empowers and gives life to all other mantras.

All mantras start with Aum.

It is called the Pranava or that which provides prana or life force to the mantra. Just as a body is only living when the life-giving breath is flowing through it, similarly the mantra gets empowered only when it begins with Aum. All mantras are hidden in Aum which is the abstract, highest mantra of the cosmos. Aum is the manifest symbol of the Vibration named God. It is the manifest symbol for the Unmanifest Supreme. The universe has come from Aum, rests in Aum and dissolves in it. Aum represents the Self which is the Supreme non-dual Reality.

The word AUM (OM) is made up of three letters that express the three great aspects of GOD
A – denotes the power of God to create the Universe. (Brahma-The Creator)
U – denotes the power of God to preserve the Universe. (Vishnu-The Preserver)
M – denotes the power of God to dissolve the Universe. (Shiva-The Destroyer)

Chakra Seven:

Thought, Universal identity, oriented to self-knowledge
This is the crown chakra that relates to consciousness as pure awareness. It is our connection to the greater world beyond, to a timeless, spaceless place of all-knowing. When developed, this chakra brings us knowledge, wisdom, understanding, spiritual connection, and bliss.

Chakra Six:

Light, Archetypal identity, oriented to self-reflection
This chakra is known as the brow chakra or third eye center. It is related to the act of seeing, both physically and intuitively. As such it opens our psychic faculties and our understanding of archetypal levels. When healthy it allows us to see clearly, in effect, letting us “see the big picture.”

Chakra Five:

Sound, Creative identity, oriented to self-expression
This is the chakra located in the throat and is thus related to communication and creativity. Here we experience the world symbolically through vibration, such as the vibration of sound representing language.

Chakra Four:

Air, Social identity, oriented to self-acceptance
This chakra is called the heart chakra and is the middle chakra in a system of seven. It is related to love and is the integrator of opposites in the psyche: mind and body, male and female, persona and shadow, ego and unity. A healthy fourth chakra allows us to love deeply, feel compassion, have a deep sense of peace and centeredness

Chakra Three:

Fire, Ego identity, oriented to self-definition
This chakra is known as the power chakra, located in the solar plexus. It rules our personal power, will, and autonomy, as well as our metabolism. When healthy, this chakra brings us energy, effectiveness, spontaneity, and non-dominating power.

Chakra Two:

Water, Emotional identity, oriented to self-gratification
The second chakra, located in the abdomen, lower back, and sexual organs, is related to the element water, and to emotions and sexuality. It connects us to others through feeling, desire, sensation, and movement. Ideally this chakra brings us fluidity and grace, depth of feeling, sexual fulfillment, and the ability to accept change.

Chakra One:

Earth, Physical identity, oriented to self-preservation
Located at the base of the spine, this chakra forms our foundation. It represents the element earth, and is therefore related to our survival instincts, and to our sense of grounding and connection to our bodies and the physical plane. Ideally this chakra brings us health, prosperity, security, and dynamic presence.


1. Basic Pregnancy Guidelines PDF
2. The First Trimester PDF
3. Basic Pregnancy Practice PDF

Even with quality obstetrical care, mothers have critical needs before, during and after childbirth. This includes education and emotional support as they prepare for their baby’s birth and later as they bond with their baby and integrate it into their families. During the birthing process, the mother-to-be needs comfort, encouragement and respect from trusted and knowledgeable companions along with the care and services provided by medical personal. The goal of this Whole-istic Prenatal Program is to provide the services that will help meet these needs.

Prenatal Yoga Fosters and Promotes:

1. Your body prepare for and recover from birth.
2. Reduce fatigue, back pain, nausea, indigestion and leg cramps.
3. Balances your mental state to create a calmer, peaceful labor.
4. Cultivate the strong sense of self, needed for successful parenting.

Why Prenatal Yoga?

Yoga is an excellent way to “prepare” for the Journey of labor and motherhood. Practicing Yoga in pregnancy helps to strengthen and stretch muscles, release tension and maintain good posture. Prenatal yoga also teaches you to relax on through positive choice, breath, meditation, movement, and restorative relaxation. Affording mother’s to be with a positive outlook while clearing the mind of the stresses associated with pregnancy and motherhood.

There are many benefits in attending a prenatal yoga class during pregnancy, benefits that are far beyond what you can receive in a regular yoga class. In my PRENATAL PRIVATES and in my PRE/POST NATAL YOGA CLASS (WHERE BABIES ARE WELCOME)

I teach yoga postures that help prepare you for labor, delivery and motherhood as well as breathing techniques you can use in labor. Regular attendance assures that you will consistently practice these exercises for greater benefits.

When can I begin attending class?

MY PRIVATE SMALL GROUP, SEMIPRIVATE, PRIVATE, AND PUBLIC CLASSES are open to pregnant women in their 2nd and 3rd trimesters as well as mothers who have gotten clearance from their doctor (once their bleeding has ceased). I recommend that women take it easy the first 12 weeks of their pregnancy and allow their body that time to become accustomed to the changes of pregnancy. Beginners are welcome, no previous yoga experience is required.

If you practiced yoga before becoming pregnant this does not mean you have to stop your practice all together. Trust your instincts. I always say your female instincts are never stronger and in tune then when you’re pregnant. Trust yourself, your body, and this amazing process of creating life, giving life, receiving life.

Pre & Post Natal Teaching Style and Philosophy

A brief overview of how I teach Pre-Natal, and what those classes are like:
We birth as we conceive. Within each woman is the power to create, nurture and love gracefully. My pre-natal yoga classes foster each unique woman’s journey to birth. I offer conscious women a spiritual yoga practice, affording them purity in strength, flexibility, health, concentration, surrender, and faith in a safe and nurturing environment in which yoga postures are modified for the changing needs of the expectant mother. Develop strength, flexibility, proper breathing and inner peace while healing the split between soul and spirit found in our culture. Prepare the body, mind, spirit, and greater consciousness for the journey to birth.

A brief overview of how I teach Post-Natal, and what those classes are like:
Birth is the most obvious expression of “What IS”. After delivery hormones begin to balance again, and the size of the uterus returns to pre-pregnancy. Once bleeding ceases and medical clearance to exercise is given new mothers make their way back to the mat and begin with gentle movements that rebuild the pelvic floor, and strengthen the abdominal wall. In addition to using the physical yoga postures to address the specific needs of the new mother including creating equanimity and balance in the body, as well as relieving neck and shoulder tension, while interacting with your baby in a supportive loving environment.


Proper attitude, a big heart and small ego are the most important ingredients to bring to yoga along with some loose fitting clothes and some quiet time. A balanced diet (sattvic) adds a lot to the practice. At last four hours between meals is advised. Practicing with a mat, blanket, a pillow or blocks is advised as well as getting to know the Basic Yoga Postures or Asanas.
Where and What to Wear for Yoga
A mat will provide support and added comfort when you do lying or sitting positions. Wear loose or stretch clothing, such as shorts, sweat clothes, or leotards. Yoga is traditionally practiced barefoot, however, socks or soft-shoes can be put on. It is also best to practice Yoga on an empty stomach or about one or two hours after a full meal.
When and How Long should you do Yoga
Practicing first thing in the morning is an excellent way to revitalize the mind and body, while practicing Yoga Breathing and Meditation Exercises at night helps induce a deep, restful sleep. Like in regular exercise, you always start with easy poses to condition your body for the more difficult exercises. Pause when you feel pain or fatigue.
Yoga Props
Props help you achieve the proper alignment, balance and make the pose a bit easier. The use of props also minimizes the strain and supports your muscles, thus allowing you to save your energy by exerting less effort on a pose. Yoga props help people with Medical Ailments and the Elderly to cross their limitations. The props provide support, enabling them to do the poses that their ailments or old age prevent them from doing.
Here are some Yoga Props to start with:
* non-slip mat
* strap or belt
* cotton or wool blanket
* chair with arm rests
* wooden or foam block or a phone book

Basic Yoga Session

• Warm-up Exercises
– conditions your body for safe transition into asana practice. For beginners, you may just use the warm-up poses as your entire practice. Warm-up exercises open the shoulder muscles, the spine, the hips, the lower back, and the groin.
* Standing Poses
– for alignment of the feet and the body. Opens the hips, stretches the legs, add strength to your back and increases your range of movement. Standing poses facilitates digestion, blood circulation and is good for those who want to lose weight.
* Sitting Poses
– sitting poses allows you to infuse with the breath and prana, and to revitalize from a pose by giving you a calm and quiet feeling. These poses greatly contribute in shaping your buttocks and legs, and in adding vitality and suppleness to the spine.
* Twists
– twist exercises releases the tension in your spines, relieves backaches and makes your shoulders more flexible. It also facilitates in the circulation of blood and nutrients in the body making it necessary for the health of the inter-vertebral discs.
* Supine and Prone Poses
– these poses releases tension in your abdomen and increase the mobility of your spine. It restores strength in your back, arms and legs, and releases your hips and groins.
* Inverted and Balance Poses
– inverted and balance poses defies gravity and develops coordination, increase stamina and strength, and improves grace, agility and poise. It also improves you concentration and focus since being quiet is necessary to be able to do these poses.
* Backbends
– backbends are the poses that benefit the adrenal glands and the kidney. It also releases tension in the front body and in your shoulders and pelvic girdle, and improves the flexibility of your spine.
* Finishing Poses
– these are the cooling-down exercises for Yoga.
Yoga Practices and Cautions
Try to concentrate on each movement – the process of moving is just as important as attaining a given position. You should not strain or continue holding any Yoga posture if it causes pain. Each asana may be repeated up to three times. Perform the poses in the prescribed order, since the routine is meant to help balance the different muscle groups.

The Five Principles of Yoga

The basis of attaining a healthy body and mind through the Practice of Yoga.
Principle 1: Proper Relaxation
By releasing the tension in the muscles and putting the whole body at rest, you revitalize your Nervous System and achieve inner peace, making you feel relaxed and refreshed.
Principle 2: Proper Exercise
This principle revolves around the idea that our physical body is meant to move and exercise. Proper Exercise is achieved through the Yoga Postures or Asana which systematically works on all parts of the body – stretches and tones the Muscles and Ligaments, enhances the flexibility of the spine and the joints, and improves Blood Circulation. Each movement and stretch should be guided by your breath, making your movement and your breath coordinated and feel like one and the same.
Principle 3: Proper Breathing
This means breathing fully and rhythmically, making use of all the parts of your Lungs to increase your oxygen intake. Proper Breathing should be deep, slow and rhythmical. Yoga Breathing Exercises or Pranayama teaches you on how you can recharge your body and control your mental state by regulating the flow of Prana – the life force. This helps you achieve a calmer and more focused mind, and increases your energy level.
Principle 4: Proper Diet
Improper diet results to mental inefficiency and blocks spiritual awareness. Proper Diet is one that nourishes both mind and body. It should be well balanced and based on natural foods. Proper Diet in Yoga also means eating in moderation and eating only when you are hungry. It should keep the body light and supple, the mind calm, and it should also help in keeping a strong immune system.
Principle 5: Positive Thinking and Meditation
The way we think highly affects our way of life. Positive thinking and Meditation helps you remove negative thoughts and puts your mind under perfect control.

1. What is yoga?
*The word yoga, from the Sanskrit word yuj means to yoke or bind and is often interpreted as “union” or a method of discipline. A male who practices yoga is called a yogi, a female practitioner, a yogini.
2. What does Hatha mean?
*The word hatha means willful or forceful. Hatha yoga refers to a set of physical exercises (known as asanas or postures), and sequences of asanas, designed to align your skin, muscles, and bones. The postures are also designed to open the many channels of the body – especially the main channel, the spine – so that energy can flow freely.
3. How many types of Yoga are there?
*Many. There are four paths of Yoga: 1) Jnana, the path of knowledge or wisdom; 2) Bhakti, the path of devotion; 3) Karma, the path of action; and 4) Raja, the path of self control. Hatha Yoga, which includes postures and breathing, and is the form most popular in the West, is actually part of Raja Yoga, the path of self control.
4. Is it okay to practice Yoga while pregnant?
*It’s okay to continue practicing Yoga while you are pregnant as long as you were practicing before conception. It can help strengthen the pelvic area, normalize thyroid functioning and blood pressure, and help keep you calm and relaxed You want to avoid strain, compressing the belly or abdomen and inverted postures, especially in the later stages.
5. Should women practice Yoga during their menstrual cycle?
*Mostly it’s a matter of personal preference. For women who do choose to practice, avoid inverted poses, abdominal strengtheners, extended holding of any pose, or energizing breaths (kapalabhati). The issue is that these practices might interfere with the downward flow or cause discomfort.
6. What is Om?
*It is a sacred Hindu sound symbolizing the Absolute. It can be spelled Aum. It is used as a mantra during meditation.
7. Is Yoga New Age?
*Yoga and New Age movements share a common focus on the improvement of the total human being. Yoga goes back thousands of years.
8. Is yoga a religion?
*No. Yoga developed in India alongside Hinduism and also has influenced and been influenced by Buddhism and Jainism. But yoga is not itself a religion.
9. Can I practice yoga with an injury or medical condition?
*If you have any injuries, medical conditions or other health concerns, it is highly recommended that you consult a medical professional before beginning practice and seek the guidance of a competent yoga expert, to safely guide you through the postures.