How To Find New Strength Using Your Bandhas, The Energetic Locks In The Body

How To Find New Strength Using Your Bandhas, The Energetic Locks In The Body

 

yoga bandhas

Are you struggling with arm balances?  You’re not alone, for many years I’ve struggled with crow pose and other arm balances, because I always tried to use my arm strength instead of inner body strength. 

When I learned how to use the Bandhas I felt a big shift in my practice and I’m so happy to share it with you. 

The Bandhas are the 3 energetic locks in the body. Yogis have studied for many years to figured out how we can best harness, maintain and optimize our internal energy. Understanding how to activate and use these locks will get you into balancing poses with more lightness and stability at the same time. 

You can activate the Bandhas through muscular contraction of specific body parts, which serves to ‘block’ or seal off the part of the body. When this ‘lock’ is then released, it results in a strong energy flow throughout the body, which will strengthen, renew and rejuvenate the organs, circulatory system and your mental health.

Let’s take a look at the 3 Bandhas:

1. Mula Bandha – The Root lock: 

This bandha tones your pelvic floor muscles and increases your strength and blood flow to these areas, which can also enhance your sex life! It feels like you’re contracting the pelvic floor muscles as if you want to control your urine flow. It is similar to Kegel exercises and will give you a lot of strength as you do more advanced balancing poses. 

Here’s how you can learn to engage Mula Bandha:

Sit crosslegged on the floor and imagine you have a marble underneath your perineum (the area between your genitals and anus). Inhale deeply and as you exhale imagine picking up the marble and lifting it internally up towards your navel. As you inhale slowly imagine placing it back down to the floor. Continue contracting  and lifting up on the exhale and releasing on the inhale. It’s very subtle and requires some consistent practice, but very soon you’ll feel the power of the Bandha. Practice the Bandha also in poses like downward facing dog, where it’s easier to feel the sensation without balancing in a challenging pose. 

2. Uddiyana Bandha – The Core lock: 

You might hear your yoga teacher talk about lifting the belly in and up, or drawing the navel towards the spine. This is basically how you activate the core lock. Now when you are in challenging poses imagine pulling up your root lock and drawing the navel back to meet the root lock, and you’ll have a wonderful strengthening sensation. Make sure you’re also breathing and softening the areas around the locks, so you are not being too tight and rigid.

3. Jalandhara Bhanda – The Throat lock: 

This lock will tone and strengthen your neck muscles and is automatically active in any poses where you’re lifting your chest/sternum towards the chin, like in bridge pose or shoulderstand. It’s also a great lock used in pranayama to retain and control breath flow.  It’s not so much used for balancing poses, so we’re focusing today on the root and core lock during our arm balance practice, so you can feel a big shift there.

 

Ready to practice? In this recent replay from my Zoom class in May 2020 you’ll get a chance to practice with the Bandhas for arm balances, please check it out and let me know how it goes and if my tips were helpful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy the practice!

Jungle love,

Dagmar

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Live Yoga Classes with Dagmar via Zoom

Live Yoga Classes with Dagmar via Zoom

 

How are you? As I’m writing this post we are in week 2 of #stayinghome in Costa Rica. All tourists have left the country and the whole world is turned upside down, but I’m feeling pretty calm and optimistic most of the time. I think we are facing a great global opportunity right now to shift old habits and create a better life for all of us. Yet change is never easy nor comfortable, we all know this.

I hope you’re finding ways to nurture yourself during these challenging times. I’m still going through all the ups and downs, and what I’ve been finding really helpful and inspiring is to connect with so many people regularly online. I watch less news and rather choose carefully who I’m listening to these days. I’ve downloaded some great new books to study, I’ve been practicing with yoga teacher friends online and see this as an opportunity to dive deeper into my practices.

Uncertainty, and not being able to control what’s going on, seem to be the biggest challenges for all of us. What is important is that you’re kind to yourself, allowing to feel all the emotions and thoughts running through your system, and remembering your tools to ground and calm your self.

I’m happy to offer you now  live yoga practices online. I’m on Zoom and excited to meet you there, for uplifting, grounding and inspiring practices.

From now on I’ll offer live classes via Zoom two times per week 

Thursdays at 2pm New York / 7pm London / 8pm Berlin Vinyasa or Yin in weekly rotation

Sundays at 12pm New York / 5pm London / 6pm Berlin  Vinyasa

(please verify your time zone)

Please use the following link to show up from your computer or phone:

https://zoom.us/j/805784794?pwd=ZlJocVJJS1QyTmMwSDRWSllrYmpzdz09
Meeting-ID: 805 784 794  Passwort: 276387

Zoom has increases their security, so make sure you’ll sign in early enough via your email or facebook account, and have the password ready. Sometimes it takes a few times until you get in, thank you for your patience.

I continue to offer these classes by donation and greatly appreciate your support, as teaching is how I make my living, and I’m currently relying on these online classes for income. Donations can be made via paypal using my email dagmarspremberg@gmail.com or the direct link  www.paypal.me/DSpremberg (please unselect “paying for goods or services”). If you do not have the means right now, please do not let that keep you from joining me! I want you there and you can exchange energy too by sharing about my classes on your social media. Thank you!

Replay: I will post a 24hr replay for each class exclusively in my private facebook group Spark Your Life, join me there if you are interested in my community.

Roll out your mat, bring some props if you like to use them. I have great yoga playlists on Spotify as well if you like to play music while practicing with me.

Super excited to share and connect in this new way,

I hope to see you on Zoom,

with love,

Dagmar

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On The Other Side Of Fear : Nina – A Story Of Transformation

On The Other Side Of Fear : Nina - A Story Of Transformation

How I Turned My Life Around In Just One Year 

written by Nina H. and posted with her kind permission to share

At the moment I am looking at myself and my life with deep gratitude. I am at a place where I feel empowered to do what ever I desire in life, and see new opportunities and possibilities in the horizon. I am now aligned with my highest truth and my soul’s purpose. This makes me feel joyful and abundant, even if by some standards I have not yet met my goals. I am, however, confident that I will continue to conquer every obstacle on my path and ultimately live fulfilling my true potential, enjoying a new kind of emotional and financial freedom.

This was not the case before. Just a year ago I was really stressed out with my day job and felt stuck in my life. The physical symptoms included arythmia, insomnia, indigestion and panic attacks. My entire nervous system was on fire, and I could not relax no matter what. I was diagnosed with a severe burnout in October 2018. Even after the diagnose I was still trying to keep it all together, trying to continue as before. I was still very much ego driven and resisted letting go of control. The first two months I was still in the ”fight or flight” mode, trying to convince myself and my doctor that I could go back to work and continue like I just had a bad case of flu or something. She then decided to continue my sick leave, at which point I collapsed completely and had a total mental breakdown. My recovery begun only after when I finally let go of control, stopped resisting and surrendered to the fact that I was in fact totally burnt out. 

Those weeks were full of shame and self loath. I could not believe what had happened, but at the same time deep inside I felt a huge relief. I allowed myself finally to just let go completely.

There was a lot of fear, and a feeling of being totally lost with myself… I wanted to be somebody else, somewhere else.

I did not know who I was, if I wasn’t doing the things I was supposed to do. I did not know what I wanted to feel either.

In my mind, burnout is the inevitable result of living a life that is not aligned with your deepest desires and your soul’s purpose. The society, however, is designed to manipulate people to serve other purposes, and not find your own. No wonder more and more people burn out in this system.

It was during Christmas time last year, that I discovered Dagmar’s facebook group and her Cultivating Intuition online yoga retreat. I decided to join the 5 week online mentorship with her. Dagmar’s warmth and presence helped me to get centered again. Her meditations and yoga practices gave me the routine and structure, that I so much needed in my life.  Even being an energy healer and a yoga teacher myself, in my darkest moments I had totally lost all my interest in practicing yoga. Her support along with the other women in the group was so heart warming and genuine.

As the weeks passed I felt I had found something valuable – a way back to being my authentic self, a way to connect again with my body and soul.

I was able to finally feel the stress starting to melt away from my system. For the first time, I took full responsibility for my own healing and my entire life.

I made plans to leave my job in early education, and started studying integrative health coaching. The future looked bright and I was ready to discover my purpose in life.

Unfortunately the trials in my life were not completely over yet. In late January my partner was diagnosed with cancer. This was again something big I had to deal with. Dagmar and the group supported me and held the space for me to feel the feelings and stay centered. Soon after the cancer diagnose, my partner got caught up in a brutal car accident. He survived but was severely injured. After many difficult operations and several months in the hospital, he slowly returned back home and is learning now to walk again. The cancer still remains.

During these trials I also discovered I was not able to support myself financially anymore, as I was not yet able to work fulltime.  I needed to let my apartment go and find another home for me and my children. The tools that I had received from Dagmar helped me to stay calm and composed during that stressful time. At this point I knew that resisting the situation only make it worse. Instead I surrendered again, and allowed myself to feel all the feelings and emotions, again letting go of all control. From that energetic place, I effortlessly manifested a new home in just 48 hours. It felt like a miracle at that point.

So within 3 months time I had given up my health, my job, my relationship and finally my home. All the things that gave me security and comfort. All the things I had taken for granted in my life. I was faced with a situation that I had no regular income, my body was slowly recovering from burnout, I was not able to lean on my partner for anything, and I had to pack up my home and move to a new home. This was a lot to deal with. By the beginning of this summer, I had only myself to trust and turn to, as everything else was stripped away from me. 

Today I am a new version of myself. I can honestly say, that the breakdown was my breakthrough.

It was because of the breakdown, that I had to let go of my ego and start living a life that was more authentic, more aligned with my highest purpose.

I don’t know if I had been able to bounce back and find my strength again, if it wasn’t for the support I received from Dagmar and some other coaches and mentors along the way. It is necessary to do the deep inner work alone, but you must allow other people to support you in the process. 

There are always the people who are ahead of you, guiding you and holding space for you to heal. This is one of the lessons that I learned. We are all in this together. When you show up for yourself, the universe provides for you. The answers are already inside you, and you have the power within yourself to overcome anything. Healing begins when you stop resisting your situation and accept where you are. It is a long and bumpy road, but nothing feels as good as being in my own skin these days. 

Today I am so grateful for how everything turned out for me. I have left my dayjob, and started as a fulltime entrepreneur in the beginning of August 2019. I have graduated from the Health Coach Academy in December and have clients signed up for my 90 day transformational coaching program. I incorporate yoga and energy healing in my coaching programs for women, who wish to take full responsibility for their wellbeing and change their lives for a more authentic and fulfilling one. Nothing feels more rewarding to me than helping other women to rise, helping them shine instead of playing it small.

Please feel free to contact me, if you would like to talk about your current challenges. You can book a free 60 min online coaching session with me at nina.haddadin@gmail.com or contact me by direct message in Instagram or Facebook. 

Everything you desire is waiting for you on the other side of fear.

Nina

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Does Real Friendship exist today?

Does Real Friendship exist today?

I live in the small beach town of Montezuma in Costa Rica and real friendship is sacred to me. In the last 18 years of my life here I’ve seen many tourists and expats come and leave. It’s always been a very transient place, but what I’ve also noticed is a big change in the way friendships happen here.

When I arrived in 2001 from New York this was the place, where it felt like we all had plenty of time. Life was slow, which was such a welcomed change from my hectic life back in NYC. My boyfriend at the time ran a hotel, there was only dial up internet and a fax machine, no cellphones and few landlines in town. When I started Montezuma Yoga I would spend about an hour every day on the super slow, patience requiring internet, to deal with yoga inquiries and answer my emails. I would take time once in a while to have a good long phone call with my friends back home.

No worries, this is not turning into a “back-in-the-days-everything-was-better” post, but when I look back at the quality of life and how it has shifted in just 18 years, it feels crazy to me.

By midday my boyfriend and I would go home to his house up the hill, where we had no internet and no phone. We would spend hours listening to music, talking, watching the stars, making love and just BEING. Friends would come visit for dinner, we would throw great full moon parties, where we danced all night. Life felt very peaceful and rich.

Nowadays it takes a lot of effort to see my friends here. There’s very little room for spontaneous dinners or let’s go to the beach. How did we all become so damn busy? We all created our dream lives here, we started dream businesses, build dream houses and wanted to be in nature. If I want to see my friends now, we need to make a date at least one week ahead. Or I need to go eat at their restaurant to see them while they are working. 

With my friends overseas it’s not much different. With social media you somehow feel like you know what’s going on in their lives. You see posts with glamorous pictures and once in a while even a post where somebody is really sharing a bit more than superficial truth. But the real connection takes so much more effort, because we are all so lost in our busy lives. Do we work more hours than we used to do? Or do we just spend too much of our free time on the machine?

I am making a big effort these days to connect with my friends. Two of my closest girlfriends here moved away years ago, and we’ve been trying to set up weekly or bi-weekly zoom meetings to connect. We managed so far to do it once! Between work, taking care of kids, being in different time zones it seems really hard to make it happen. I know it’s not for lack of interest. We all long for connection.

With all the technology that makes it so much easier to connect worldwide than ever, how come we’ve lost the moment of real connection? 

Are you willing to make more effort to schedule time for your friends and real relationships? To be less online, scrolling through social media or watching netflix, and instead to really check in with your friends? 

The other day I talked to a friend in California, and while I wanted to make a video call, she said, please let’s have a good old fashion audio call. We ended up talking on the phone for 1.5 hours. It felt so good. We laughed, we inspired each other, we caught up on the last 2 years we didn’t see each other, drank tea as if we were sitting together…….There was something magical not to look at a screen and to just listen to her voice.

It’s my clear intention to spend more time with my friends. It has to become a non-negotiable, nothing that happens when all else is done and I have some space left. It has to be a priority like my yoga or meditation practice, like brushing my teeth, and I will schedule everything else around it. 

What do you think, does real friendship exist today? How do you care for your friendships near and far?

I truly would love to hear from you,

with love

Dagmar

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How to Step Into Your Confidence

How to Step Into Your Confidence

How to Step Into Your Confidence

Many of us, especially women, are afraid to be confident in ourselves. Maybe we’ve been taught that it’s not an attractive quality for a woman to have, or maybe someone made us feel badly last time we acted confidently. Whatever the reason, we’ve dulled or hidden away our confidence. Even when we receive compliments for our amazingness (a good yoga class, a thoughtful social media interaction, a new hair style), it’s seductive to lean back into the habit of shame and deflect the confidence boost instead of embracing it. 

When we stop being confident in ourselves, we can lose sight of what makes us each special. More than that, we become afraid of what others may think of us. And that is a good way to deprive the world of special, amazing people and talents.  Read More

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5 meditation myths – and the truth behind them

5 meditation myths - and the truth behind them

Did you ever try to meditate regularly and gave up again? When I started meditation I was rather confused, there are so many methods out there and it was hard to find one working for me. I even travelled to India and did a 10 day silent Vipassana meditation retreat, which was the most challenging yet also a really blissful experience. I would sit up to 9 hours per day with my fellow meditators in silence. But when I came home from India pretty soon the discipline faded and it’s been quite a journey for me to finally create my own practice. What I learned is that we have to let go of some myths and concepts first before giving it a go.

There are many myths about meditation which keep people from even trying it. Here are some of the common reasons I hear and the truth behind them:

1. I can’t stop thinking

This is often the biggest obstacle for people and the truth is: Meditation is not about stopping your thoughts! Trying to stop thinking is like trying not to see with your eyes open. 

Don’t beat yourself up for any emotion or thought. Instead, allow them to rise, say ‘thanks, mind,’ and then dissolve them. We are cultivating acceptance when we meditate.

Read More

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3 simple, very effective ways to deal with negative feelings

3 simple, very effective ways to deal with negative feelings

If you are like me, you love yoga because it has given you a precious set of tools to deal with negative feelings.

It’s totally normal if emotions get tricky for you. More than ever we are bombarded with images of people having it all together, living life happily, being in perfect relationships, having stunning bodies and traveling to the most gorgeous places in the world. No wonder we feel like crap watching it when we are not in such a happy place this very moment. 

It’s also our nature that we want to control and fix everything instead of really feeling vulnerable and feeling pain.

Read More

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Are you an advanced Yogi?

Are you an advanced Yogi?

Being an Advanced Yogi – What Does That Actually Mean?

People often come to my class announcing they are a beginner or that they are advanced. It always amuses me, because what does that really mean? They often refer to the physical asana practice, I get that, but to me, I have my very own ideas about being a beginner or advanced yogi ;).

To me, yoga is not about bringing your foot behind your head. While that may impress some other people in your life, I don’t really care – I have met enough people who were able to do the most advanced and tough yoga poses yet were completely unconscious in their relationships – and even mean to other people in their life.

Read More

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Stay Grounded During the Holiday Season

Stay Grounded During the Holiday Season

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

The holidays can be challenging.

How to Thrive – Not Just Survive – This Holiday Season

You name it, the holidays can create stress around it: Money, family, politics, food, alcohol, love. We can cultivate the best of intentions going into the holiday season, but, sometimes, things just fall apart: Fights about whose family to go to (or not!), gift exchanges, current events, why you’re not eating that third piece of pie or imbibing along with everyone else.
Stressful situations abound, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Read on for some helpful tips that can help you stay grounded and practice patience with the people and circumstances that are challenging.

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Connect to the light : The Gayatri Mantra

Connect to the light : The Gayatri Mantra

Connect To The Light : The Gayatri Mantra

I love when our yoga practice becomes practical, when we can take the tools we learn into our life off the mat and feel a shift in our usual behavior. 

One of the most transformative tools yogis have discovered are Mantras. And here is my story how I used one of the most powerful ones to connect to the light:  the GAYATRI.

 

But let’s first take a look at Mantras and what they are. It’s a very old practice to chant or recite mantras and in combination with the sound vibrations they have a very powerful effect on the mind and psyche of the individual. Mantras are written in Sanskrit, regarded as one of the oldest languages known to us, and also called the mother of all languages or the sacred language of the gods. 

Read More

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