Sunday, January 31, 2010

Big Picture of Yoga

Life is a moment to moment practice of mindfulness. With each second you have limitless choices in your brain to make. At the biochemical level when you decide something a neuron in your brain is fired along a pathway. As the neuron fires it clears the path, therefore, making it easier for a neuron to travel down the same path in the future. If you make decisions based on fear, it becomes easier to be afraid and make decisions based on fear. By making mindful choices that honor your true self you can cultivate the life the you want to live. Yoga is a huge philosophy and science that applies to every aspect of living offering tools to cultivate balance of the body, mind and spirit. According to my experience yoga can help to reinforce healthy decision making and feelings of well-being. 

Yoga is a path that leads towards a state where there are more calm nurturing moments than those where I feel stress. Yoga as a practice is about creating union of body, mind and spirit so that we are health and whole.

There are eight aspects of practice that are under the root term Ashtanga or Raja Yoga put into words by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. This is the big picture of what yoga practice really is. 

1. Yamas: ethical observances
- Practice: Non-violence, truthfulness, control of the senses, non-stealing, and do not receive of others kindness more than needed.

2. Niyamas: personal observances
- Practice: cleanliness, contentment, warrior-like dedication, perpetual self-study, and surrender to the notion that there is a higher power, life force, God, energy, breath, whatever you want to call it exists.

3. Asana: practice of mindful postures that uncover the tight, tense, and weak areas of the body where the energy is blocked. Through the postures build strength, balance, and flexibility.

4. Pranayama: the art of manipulating the breath for a desired benefit.

5. Pratyahara: withdrawal of the senses (moments when you are touching enlightenment - your mind is calm and you think of nothing without realizing it).

6. Dharana: practicing one-pointed concentration

7. Dhyana: practicing meditation and inward focus

8. Samadhi: experiencing a state of divine bliss or super-conciousness

Through practicing Raja Yoga rather than the strictly physical path one is able to live in a way that cultivates health for the mental, physical and spiritual body. 

Article by:

Keri Marino is an internationally Registered Yoga Teacher and Yoga Therapist. She's owns and operates Yoga Unique offering therapy, classes, workshops and yoga products. Keri teachers both privately and publicly around the Greenville area. Check out more here: YogaUnique

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

January Yoga Schedule

Hello all! Happy New Year! As we embark on another year, my goal is to root myself in present moment. To understand and accept life as it is - a perpetual choice. Practicing Yoga has many benefits that can be the tools to live a life of limitless growth. The Yoga journey is one of of inward study - I challenge you to try out this profoundly healing philosophy. There are many types of benefits you can obtain from practicing Yoga, including: physical, spiritual, and mental.

Check out one of my many Yoga classes this January:

Classes Open to the Public:

6:00-7:00PM - Yoga - All Levels. Ogeechee Technical College Auditorium.
This class is an 8 week series that begins January 19th: attend the entire series for $60 or drop in for $10.
5:45-6:45PM - Community Flow Yoga - All Levels. Honey Bowen Community Center. $5

Classes for RAC members:

8:00-9:30PM - Private Yoga Clinics on the last Monday of every month.
7:00-8:00AM - Advanced Yoga.
12:00-1:00PM - Yoga - All Levels.
7:00-8:00AM - Yoga - All Levels.
5:00-5:20PM - Yin Yoga/Stretch.
5:30-6:20PM - Yoga - All Levels.
5:30-6:20PM - Beginner Yoga.
6:30-6:50PM - Yin Yoga/Stretch.

I am also available for private Yoga lessons, contact me for details at

For all Yoga classes wear stretchy comfortable pants, and a shirt that can be tucked in and/or you will be comfortable bending over in. Bringing your own equipment is encouraged. However, extra props and mats are provided.

Namaste :-)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Natural Help when you're feeling Dis-Ease

   At some point or another we've all found ourselves tucked under four blankets, with a temperature, congestion, and discomfort among other things. Our western mind tells us, "Take a pill and feel better." But is this always the best answer? Does popping a pill really examine what is going on in our body?
   Our bodies are inherently smart creatures which aim to heal us. Sometimes doing what is convenient and taking a pain or inflammation reliever can numb our senses and interfere with the natural process of healing.
   It's hard to step away from conventional western medicine and think about natural remedies. All of these little fears start to pop up in our heads and out the mouths of our loved ones... What if it's an infection? What if I am really sick and don't know it?
   However, if you're really paying attention and listening to that intelligent body of yours you will know whether or not you need to rush yourself to the nearest emergency room or whether or not you can utilize natural remedies.  
   In the modern world, both western and eastern medicine have a place in the healing world.  One aims to treat the symptoms and one aims to treat the cause.  For example,  Ayurveda, an old eastern system of holistic medicine, does not place importance on labeling dis-ease. Following principles of Ayurveda practitioners treat the root cause of the illness and forget about all the technical details, treating every situation, every individual as unique.

At the end of the day, achieving health is about diving a little deeper into the discomfort you feel. Bring awareness in your body, your mind, spirit, emotions, physical, etc.  You may be surprised at how helpful and inexpensive some holistic health remedies may be. 
Fresh foods are full of nutrients
and digestive enzymes.  Which
help to nourish our bodies!  

For a fever:
- If your fever is low grade skip out on the pain reliever or anti-inflammatory and cool your body down by drinking cold water or taking a cold shower. A fever is the bodies natural response to fight off dis-ease so by allowing your body to invoke this response you allow it to heal itself. If your fever is high, (102 degrees Fahrenhit +) you know what to do - see a doctor.
- Rest and allow yourself to sleep as much as needed.  Don't push it!  Fever's raise the body temperature and this is turn uses more calories, therefore, draining your energy.  

For congestion and sinus pressure:
Fresh Mint:  Mint is a natural
pain reliever
- Use a sinus cleansing system, like the Neti pot or sinucleanse. You can pick up one of these at any pharmacy or health store. They provide instant relief from sinus pressure and reduce the occurrence of sinus infections.
- Steam inhalations: Boil water and then pour into a deep glass bowl. Add 3-4 drops of Eucalyptus and/or Tea tree or Lavender oil. Sit down immediately and breathe in the steam until all of the essential oils have evaporated. Note: Essential oils keep for six months if stored in a cool, dry place.
- Splash Eucalyptus oil on your shower walls and then take a hot shower. Be careful the floor may be a little bit more slippery than usual!
- Rub a thick layer of Vic's vapor rub on your chest, lie down and let the magic happen.  Some even suggest rubbing the soles of your feet with Vic's, putting on socks, and placing feet on a heating pad.  :-)

Coconut oil is a highly digestible,
healthy fat, and can be used in a
raw or cooked form.  
For sore throat:
- Heat a small cup of water on the stove. Add a 1/2-1 teaspoon of sea salt and stir to dissolve. Gargle with the salt water several times throughout the day.
- Make a hot cup of tea with a teaspoon of honey. Such as, Peppermint (a natural pain reliever),  Chamomile, etc. Drink several times throughout the day!

For cough:
-  Drink warm water, peppermint, or chamomile tea with local honey.
-  The old classic - honey and whiskey... this stuff really works.  

For any cold and flu type illness:
- Get regular and adequate sleep so your body can protect you and have time to recover.  
- Eat small amounts throughout the day of healthy fats, lean protein, fresh fruits and vegetables.  These nutrient rich foods will help get you back on your feet!
- Drink plenty of water.... if you can't drink water drink something like coconut water! If you're opting for gatorade or powerade to replace electrolytes then dilute it with water.
- Cut out mucus forming foods, such as: dairy, fried foods, highly refined grains, and sugar.
- Apple Cider Vinegar.  Combine two tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar with filtered water and drink daily for preventative health.  May sweeten with local raw honey and sprinkle with cayenne if desired.  When you feel a cold or sickness coming on drink twice per day.  

***None of the information found in this article is meant to replace the knowledge of your inner guidance system or your health care provider.  

Keri is an internationally Registered Yoga Teacher, Culinary Nutritionist, and Wellness Coach.  She owns and operates BAYA Wellness, LLC offering Yoga and Nutrition Services.  Keri teachers both privately and publicly around the Greenville area offering on-going classes and special events.  Her path as a nutritionist is all about making healthy living approachable... she teaches the components of healthy cooking, eating, and thinking while also offering specialized services like menu planning.  Healthy living is about the whole pictures of wellness... find your path to living well.

BAYA... Be As You Are!

Contact me for details: or 864-430-1275