twitter @yogarobin108
my rss feed

blog on inspirational yoga


Svadhishthana Chakra: Feel creative with second chakra

Sacral Chakra, do I feel creative now? Or is there something that you know is trapped inside me? Am I living the life you meant me to live?

This pose, Eka Pada Sirsasana, is on the theme of softness, grace and melting into your true self. Often times I can see how my efforts create tension that hold me back (in yoga poses but also in life). Since I've been doing this pose every day for a long time, and it's possible because of open hips, It made sense to dedicate it to the 2nd chakra.

You are my sexuality, creativity, intuition and self-worth. I feel you as my inner cravings transform to thriving energy. I want you to understand something. It isn’t me, it’s you. I need you. I need to keep you close. ‪#‎chakrahealing‬ ‪#‎emotions‬ ‪#‎svadhishthanachakra‬

(excerpt from "You Transfix Me: You Are My Chakras"  Part 2 in series of 7)


~ Robin Ellen Lucas, MA


Muladhara Chakra: Get grounded with first chakra 

Image © Yoga Robin®Root Chakra (muladhara charka), am I grounded?

It's easy to float through life without being in my mind and body. You are my basic needs, security, survival. You are primal.

When I'm not looking you trap me and hold me down. I feel your power when I stand up tall, feet plugged into the earth, grounded. ‪#‎chakrahealing‬ ‪#‎emotions‬ ‪#‎muladharachakra‬

(excerpt from "You Transfix Me: You Are My Chakras" Part 1 in series of 7)


~ Robin Ellen Lucas, MA


Are you nervous? Ashtanga yoga cleanses the nervous system

Bow to who you are becoming... (Balasana, image © Yoga Robin®)Are you nervous? Many people do yoga to increase strength and flexibility, to lower stress and to gain mental and spiritual clarity. Those are great reasons. After a yoga practice, no matter which style (e.g., Ashtanga, Iyengar, etc.) you'll undoubtedly be left with an overall feeling of peacefulness that tops the way you felt before you moved your body.

uplift mood, lower stress

Physical exercise in general helps to uplift the mood and lower stress levels; in particular, it diminishes Cortisol, the stress hormone. Ashtanga yoga has an added benefit: nervous system cleansing.

This is especially true in the Ashtanga Intermediate Series, Nadi Shodhana (2nd series), and that is its main purpose. This goes back over 5,000 years. When practiced regularly (5-6 days per week), the "cleansing" of the nervous system can be felt in various ways and many are *not* enjoyable.

nervous system cleanse kicks your ass

It wasn't until after practicing Mysore-style Ashtanga six mornings per week (specifically, half of the Primary Series, full intermediate, and beginning of advance A—takes 2-2 1/2 hours) for approximately nine months that I was able to discuss the nervous system cleanse in a positive light. That is putting it lightly.

It can feel like overall fatigue. All. Day. Long. It can feel like anxiety, over-sensitivity to lights and sounds, depression, obsession, needs to be in solitude, drinking more wine, yet a pervading fearlessness that overrides it all... It can feel overly emotional. It can take over your life and force you to make some big lifestyle changes, like adding an afternoon nap, going to sleep earlier, eating more protein, taking more epsom baths, wondering what is wrong with your life, questioning love, feeling safest while hanging out with your cats, etc. But why do it if it causes so much upheaval to the system?

because it works

Because it works... I like to see the nervous system cleansing as I would any other type of cleanse where you're taking away habits that may be contributing to harm in your body. Whether this be detoxing from sugar, caffeine, or all food in general to clear out the intestines, a cleanse does not necessarily feel good while you're in the process of it. The idea is to rid your body of toxins; on their way out, you feel them full force as they rise to the surface, so to speak.

This is all a great way for me to understand the nervous system cleanses. I was feeling toxins in my nervous system and I was boldly letting them play themselves out, knowing that if they didn't, they would continue to control me from underneath it all. In this case, they were involuntary processes driving me, also affecting me physiologically, and were of a higher intelligence in the mind-body.

It all makes sense. The nervous system directs complex processes (seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling, responding). It regulates the internal environment and links to external environment. It directs the organs in the body so that they don’t act independently of each other; without a nervous system, there’d be chaos inside.

wants to feel that again

When the autonomic nervous system's sympathetic is out of balance, and escalated (fight-or-flight), your body reacts as if it needs to protect itself... your heart beats faster, your body temperature increases, you feel anxious, you feel like a victim, you are triggered by even small incidences (as your nervous system remembers and wants to feel *that* again).

I describe this as an electric feeling that will *not* go away no matter what I do to try to soothe it. It was probably even accompanied by a scared look on my face—or in my aura—that even animals would stay away from me.

Calming this side down illuminates the parasympathetic, bringing calm to your body, heart and soul. Here you can breathe calmly again and the electrical impulses are replaced with a softly-flowing river of prana, bathing you with each breath. Your muscles relax, your mind stops overthinking, you actually are relaxed.

I believe that the nervous system is smarter than the mind. Yet, its direct connection to the mind dissolves the protective boundary as it's easily triggered, vulnerable to the mind's overthinking and worry. A main purpose of yoga in general is complete cessation of the mind, as the thinking mind is what creates suffering.

i've been rewired

I'm different now. Subtleties such as no longer becoming easily startled by spontaneous sounds make me smile when I notice this new involuntary response of calm. The biggest change is an overall lack of emotional triggers that have historically affected me deeply, physically but also unconsciously; those natural responses—harmful ones—have dissolved. That's my reason in a nutshell for waking up each morning at 5:00 a.m. to return again to my mat.

Now I'm able to go to the next level, which used to be more of an act of will power or something that only worked for other people. The best way to feel your spirit and know—without a doubt—your next move in life is to first get STILL. This means, calming the nervous system first so that you can see the magic. Ashtanga Yoga works for me and essential oils are a big help too (next topic :)


~ Robin Ellen Lucas, MA


What is your intention? Open yourself up to find your gems held inside

Image © Yoga Robin® (Markatasana, Twisted Monkey pose)"Too often our outer posture is not representing our inner posture, our external behavior isn't matching what we're thinking or feeling, and that conflict drains us. Explore bringing consistency to both your inward stance and your outer posture." ~Elena Brower

What is your intention? You start your class or day with an interesting idea that moves you, or a more serious intent to change a behavior, and then what? Do you tuck it away in your heart? Yoga twists and heart-opening backbends unleash what's within you, allowing the Prana to circulate as you move your body. Before the words even articulate themselves, you know what they are. Often times it's in the silence.


~ Robin Ellen Lucas, MA


Shoulder opening and alignment is key in balancing postures

Image © Yoga Robin® (Scorpion)Using my new favorite yoga toy, the "Infinity strap" to keep my shoulders from flailing out too much (a little stretchy).

Arms should be parallel to each other. My shoulder rotation makes this a tough one. Also, in order to get my feet to my head, my cervical spine and lumbar spine both need to bend more. Balancing is easier on this pose with the head and feet offering the balancing weights.

Pincha Mayurasana is more challenging for me.

For both poses, shoulder alignment is important but for Pincha Mayurasana it's the foundation to also aligning the hips over the shoulders, tucking the rib cage in (not sticking out), which in turn elongates the legs upward. Then balancing is simple and comfortable (no nerve pinching in shoulders).

Of course, shoulder muscles are activated as these are strength poses, but if the bones are not aligned correctly, the right muscles are not able to fire, giving room for other muscles to overcompensate. This causes injury (especially with repetition), in particular to the rotator cuff—subscapularis, supraspinatus.



~ Robin Ellen Lucas, MA

Image © Yoga Robin® (Pincha Mayurasana)



Let yoga give to you: Remove your veil

Image © Yoga Robin® (Vrksasana, Tree Pose)

Grow like a tree even if your leaves fall off as the seasons change, and flower buds wait for their time to bloom. Be like nature ebbing and flowing.

Yoga sutra 1.22 says that as much as you give to your yoga practice, it will give back to you by removing the veil. Remove your veil. Grow.


~ Robin Ellen Lucas, MA


Sometimes the wall offers added security while learning

Image © Yoga Robin®

Sometimes the wall helps. My favorite prop.

When you want to get deeper and don't have a teacher to help you, or you are seeking some security, the wall can be a solace.

However, if you use it as a crutch (for too long), it will hold you back from experiencing your true potential. I like the wall in this half handstand pose for shoulder strengthening, and energy in legs pressed against the weight of the wall.


~ Robin Ellen Lucas, MA


Find your strength by uncovering fear

Galavasana (Image © Yoga Robin®)When you're trying to find the strength, sometimes it can be found in what would seem to be indirect places.

Expressing emotions unlocks secrets. Voices speak from within the subtle body. What you hear might not be easy to deal with, but move your body around anyway and hear it. Unclog your heart.

Don't build a shell around you or act out from that hidden source covered with fear. Embrace uncertainty.


~ Robin Ellen Lucas, MA