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Long Island Yoga Association
Late Spring Satsang
In This Issue
Yoga and Anatomy
Yoga and Meditation
Asana Column
JUNE 9TH 12:00 - 5:00 


The Board of LIYA has organized a wonderful Saturday afternoon event.


The program starts with a one hour asana class.


Participants will have the opportunity to receive 15-20 minute sessions of:
  • Massage/chair massage
  • Thai Yoga Session
  • Acupuncture 
  • Reiki and other energy healing
  • Reflexology
  • Nutritionist presenting short lectures
  • Organic Gardening short lectures
  • Chiropractors
  • Angel Card Readings
  • Astrology
Participants can sign up for as many of the above as time allows.

The program will end with a 45 minute meditation.

In addition, there will be a marketplace for yoga/wellness related products.

Healthy snacks of home made baked goods, fruit and veggie platters as well as Ayurvedic teas will be provided all day long.



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May 2012

President's Second Quarter Report


Greetings Yogis,


We were very fortunate this new year at LIYA to have excellent local teachers who generously shared their teachings with us.   I would like to express our gratitude to: Ricki Grossman, Kate Kaming, Janine Ambroze, Stacy Plaske and Linda Hacker for their knowledgeable and inspiring contributions to our yoga community.

We have completed the schedule for the fall and the presenters are as follows:

September - Michael Aronoff

October - Theresa Gaenzle

November - Marianne Mitsinikos

December - Arlene Lucas


Our Wellness workshop is coming up in June and is filled with many modalities to rejuvenate the body and spirit. We will have asana, reiki and other energy healing, acupuncture, nutrition lectures, massage therapy, Thai yoga sessions, reflexology, angel card readings, astrology, chiropractic adjustments, organic gardening, vendors, Ayurvedic teas, healthy snacks and of course we'll finish with meditation.


We have added a Google Group for our members to communicate their events, share ideas, fundraisers, yoga and community related events. All members will receive an email invitation to join the group. Please make sure to accept it so that you all can join in. Also, we have added a member's corner on our website that will promote your yoga or community events with a link. You will also receive a survey over the summer; we would really appreciate your feedback on how we are doing.


As a reminder we will not have workshops in July and August. As always, your input, ideas and suggestions are important to us, please email us at www.longislandyogaassociation.org.




Roxana C. Lucero


Long Island Yoga Association




Yoga and Anatomy  by Janine Ambroze RN RYT 500   

The carpel tunnel is a narrow passageway in the wrist formed by ligaments and eight small carpal bones. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused when the median nerve to the hand gets compressed in this tunnel. The median nerve runs from your forearm through a passageway in your wrist (through this tunnel) to your hand. It provides sensation to the palm side of the thumb and fingers, with the exception of the little finger. It also provides nerve signals to move the muscles around the base of the thumb.



There can be many factors associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. Although not the causative agents, they may increase the risk of developing median nerve damage and/or irritation.

  • Anatomical-wrist fracture or dislocation. CTS is generally more common is women.
  • Nerve damage-chronic illnesses i.e. diabetes, alcoholism
  • Inflammatory influences-i.e. arthritis, infection
  • Body's fluid balance-i.e. pregnancy, menopause, obesity, thyroid disorders
  • Lifestyle/ work-i.e. computer users, musicians, vibrating tool, repetitive movement

The characteristics symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include intermittent numbness and tingling in the hands, which often wakes people up at night. Some people can experience pain in arm and shoulder. Left unchecked, compression in the wrist can progress to permanent nerve damage and muscle weakness in the hands.   



Utilizing Tadasana is a great start to improve postural alignment. Making use of flexion and extension of the wrists with the arms in neutral anatomical position is encouraged. The practice of deep breathing with full expansion of the chest should be utilized yoga postures designed for stretching and balancing each joint in the upper body may aid in reducing pain and improve grip strength.



Asanas that are hardest on the wrists include bending the wrists back with putting weight on the hands.

Handstand, upward-facing dog, chaturanga dandasana, side plank (vasisthasana) full backbends (urdhva dhanurasana), plank, down-dog (adho mukha svanasana) are advisably to be avoided if you are having symptoms of CTS. Modifications suggestions -dolphin for downward-dog, caterpillar pose for chatarangua, cobra for up-ward dog. If any of these modifications cause numbness or tingling, they should be avoided. It is recommended to work under the supervision of a RYT.


Yoga and Meditation by Cathleen Fizznoglia


"Everything that happens in your mind is reflected in your body, so meditate on the good!" -- TKV Desikachar


     A lot of people are doing postures, but are they happy? They can do a beautiful headstand but their life is a big headache. Mastery of yoga is really measured, Desikachar says," by how it influences our everyday living, how it enhances our relationships, how it promotes clarity and peace of mind." He cautions us not to confuse the word "mind" with "intellectual mind" It is the center of awareness, the heart.

     A pioneer of modern therapeutic yoga, Desikachar is founder of the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, a center in India which offers yoga therapy to thousands of people from around the world. The therapy is based on the fundamental belief that practices must be adapted to suit each person's needs and abilities.

     Ancient yogis developed numerous techniques including meditation, to calm the mind and channel its power into physical, emotional and spiritual healing. "Meditation acts the way medicine does," Desikachara says, "by transforming the mind's agitation to peace." Sages sought to understand the mind by identifying its different states. In Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, the sage Vyasa cites these five states of mind:


1. Ksipta. The lowest state. A person is agitated and unable to think, listen or keep quiet. It's like a monkey jumping up and down.


2. Mudha. In this state, the mind is dull and information doesn't seem to reach the brain. It's like having our glasses on top of our head and asking where our glasses are.


3. Viksipta. Here, the mind receives information but is unable to process it. The mind oscillates in confusion like "should I do this or that?"


4. Ekagra. In this state the mind is relaxed but not sleepy. Here we are ready to focus and pay attention.


5. Nirodha. Here the mind is not distracted by random thoughts but is fully absorbed in the object of focus. This can occur in meditation or when a person is fully engaged in something.


     "Meditation holds four major benefits," says Desikachar. The first is Arta (lessening of suffering). We meditate so pain is reduced. Pain is not necessarily physical but can be emotional. Next is Jnanam (transcendent knowledge). You may get a flash, a moment of clarity or wisdom. Meditation can also result in extraordinary powers called Artharta. For example, Krishnamacharya, who died in 1989 at age 100, was apparently able to stop his heartbeat at will. The final benefit of meditation is Bhakta (realization of the highest truth where we can discover our true nature).

     Not everyone is ready for meditation and it's especially difficult if our mind is distracted, agitated and unable to think, listen, or keep quiet. Desikachara says that this is the time to do asana and breathing practices designed to bring the body and mind into stillness. Not until the mind enters Ekagra is it ready to pay attention. Here the mind is relaxed but not sleepy. We can meditate on virtually anything - a natural object such as the waves, the sun, a breeze, a flower, a tree, a mountain, person, sound, deity, a color or our breath.

     We don't have to spend an hour on our cushion for meditation to have a profound effect. "If we have just five minutes we can spend one minute on preparation (some gentle asana), one minute on breathing exercises and then three minutes in meditation," says Desikachara. I personally learned this first hand when suddenly, a few years ago after a hip-opening workshop, my body began to fail me. My five-day-a-week Ashtanga practice slowed to gentle Vinyasa classes and then, after many doctor visits and a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, to a restorative home practice only.

     My inability to sweat on the mat caused me emotional distress. I couldn't sit still for meditation, my mind was agitated and my body ached. I couldn't sleep, most foods I previously enjoyed bothered me, and a "cleanse" made everything worse. I turned once again to scripture and the sutras for comfort and guidance. I needed to return to "beginner's mind" and to allow myself to do nothing. Even my walking meditations became difficult.

     I purchased an infrared sauna and began with short five-minute meditations in there. Soon, I could stay there for twenty to thirty minutes and my body began to heal. My intuition which I received from meditation guided me to changing my diet completely, eliminating supplements in pill form, healing my adrenal glands, and eventually having the courage to stop taking the thyroid medication I had been taking for over twenty years. My five minutes of asana, five minutes of breathing and fifteen minutes of meditation was all I could manage. Letting less be more became the key to a more peaceful me.

     Yoga helps us to create the conditions in which the mind becomes as useful as possible for our actions. Desikachara says that this can only happen gradually and every shortcut is an illusion. It is a step-by-step process that includes a great number of techniques and wisdom that we learn over time. Every person is different and has a unique set of life experiences, so that is why there are so many suggestions for helping the student on the yogic path.

     Through meditation, the mind can catch a glimpse of what lies beyond normal observation and experience. Therein lies the basis of yogic wisdom: "A yogi has not seen something others can never see; rather, he or she sees what others do not yet see." Desikachara says that healing meditations should be simple and useful. This translates to easy movements, easy breathing and comfort that brings healing throughout the body, and concludes with offering healing to the entire world. By allowing less to be more, we enable meditation to become our medicine.



Asana Column by Jeff Logan


(Extended Side Angle Pose)


Utthita Parsvakonasana is considered one of the basic standing poses, and it prepares us for asanas like Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose), Janusirsasana (Head Beyond Knee Pose) and other hip openers.


On another level the regular practice of Utthita Parsvakonasana will bring a feeling of stability and spaciousness to the practitioner which frees the mind from the burden of conditioned thought, pre conceived notions and reaction.




Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and jump or step your feet approximately 4 ft. apart and spread your arms out to the sides in line with your shoulders ( palms facing down) Turn the left foot in slightly and the right foot and leg out 90 degrees making sure the right knee is facing the third toe of the right foot.


Now, as you exhale, stretch the left leg well keeping the outer left foot pressing down, and bend the right leg into a square. Make sure the right knee does not wander out of alignment with the right foot, and keep the whole back body (including the buttocks) in one plane. At this point you will basically be in Warrior 2.


Proceed into Utthita Parsvakonasana by extending your right arm and side ribs over the bent right leg and place the right hand on the floor (or on a block) near the outer right ankle bone. Keep your left leg stretched throughout. Extend your left arm straight out over the left ear with the palm facing down. 


Hold the pose for about 30 seconds breathing normally and then press down with the left foot, inhale and come up through the stretch of the left arm as you straighten the right leg. Turn the feet to face forward and repeat the pose on the second side. Then jump or step back to Tadasana.




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