Yoga, Tarot, & Reiki with Inbal

Integrate Body, Mind, & Soul.

Opening our Energetic Pathways of Creation: Liberation and Manifestation

I like to reminisce: thinking back to when I was a little girl, gushing with creativity. I had such a vivid imagination, and was always busy with projects. No setbacks or fears…my mind was free, my heart was big, and I was inspired by everything.

Looking back, it seems that as I grew older this free-flowing energy of creativity and manifestation really slowed down. I had less creative ideas, and the ones I did have would just float around in my head. For the most part, nothing ever came out of them.

When I started practicing Yoga, I noticed a lot of changes in myself. I was inspired again! Where I had been feeling stuck and frustrated with life, I started to feel alive, and with that, creative ideas began to flow. However, a new frustration was arising: I was inspired, and ideas were coming, but nothing was happening. I was too afraid to follow through. In the same way that our arteries can get blocked, or clogged from unnecessary substances, so can our energetic channels and hubs: the nadis and the chakras. Boy, was I blocked!

Our Chakras

At the base of our spine we have our First chakra that corresponds with the energy of Earth. Our Second chakra is in the area of our hips and reproductive organs, and corresponds with the energy of Water. Our Third chakra is in our core: the center of strength, and corresponds with the energy of Fire. Our Fourth chakra is in our heart center, where we open to receive others and corresponds with the energy of Air. Our Fifth chakra is located at our throat, our center of expression and communication and corresponds with Vibration. Our Sixth chakra is located just above the center of both eyes, known as our third eye, our center of perception and sight, and corresponds with Light. Lastly, our Seventh chakra is located at our crown: it is our center consciousness and is expansive. It corresponds with Space and Ether.

Liberation and Manifestation

As the energy moves up our central column, it gets less condensed and more spacious and expansive, from Earth to Space. This current of energy is that of liberation. When our channels and hubs are open, our energy can flow. Instead of being concerned solely about our survival and our needs, we can be open to bigger and more expansive experiences. Our perspective changes, and we feel the vastness of our possibilities and opportunities. Just like a child we can be open and inspired; creative energy can flow through us freely.

The upward moving energy, the current of liberation, is exciting and inspiring; however, with the downward moving current of energy, there is a quality of manifestation. From very vast and expansive ideas, we begin to have a vision: we define it with our words, we share with others, we find the confidence and strength to birth our ideas, bring them into form, and offer them up in the world. Both currents of energy are vital.

One of my favorite Tarot card is the Ace of Pentacles. I draw so much inspiration from this image. The pentacle is a coin and it reminds me of a chakra, round and pulsing with energy. It symbolizes the quality of Earth and manifestation: actual things in this world that have form and can be seen. The coin itself is so simple, the star in the middle represents the vastness of our possibilities. It is encompassed by two circles showing that something vast and expansive has been brought into form. The hand that holds the coin is our very own: we all have so much to give, every single one of us!

So, how do we do it?

We open ourselves, we clear out the passageways. Through the practice of Yoga, we work hard to open our bodies, hearts and mind. We twist and turn upside down and inside out, in order to detox and cleanse. We cultivate awareness and new perspectives. We become sensitive to ourselves. We begin to sense where a blockages might be.

In my own experience…the more I opened, the more aware of myself I became. I could see very clearly where I was blocked, and with the same clarity, could see what to do in order to move through the blockages. The beauty of it all is that the smallest change, a shift in our self-awareness, can bring such big change into our lives! These days, I’m so inspired, just like when I was a kid. Only now, I am much more open and able to bring my visions into form and so are you!

 

Benefits of Restorative Yoga

Our modern lives can be pretty hectic. I personally really enjoy the intensity and energy of my life. I'm drawn to big cities and buzzing atmospheres. I have many hobbies and am involved with some awesome communities. I prefer to be challenged by work and enjoy an abundance of social interactions. Sound familiar? Many of us lead very busy and full lives, which is why it is so important to cultivate balance through a restorative yoga practice.

I find that my practice of yoga sometimes mirrors the fast pace of life; I like classes that are dynamic and stimulating that make me move and sweat. However, nothing feels as good as Savasana aka Corpse pose. Savasana is considered to be one of the most, if not the most important pose in our practice. When we have enough time to be in the pose, we have the opportunity to enter a state of Yogic sleep, a state of deep relaxation and dis-identification with the monkey-mind. 

I like to think of Restorative Yoga as a practice of different variations of Savasana. The poses are completely supported with props so that we don’t have to strain to be in or stay in them, allowing us to drop into a deep Yogic sleep. When we take an active asana practice, we intentionally put our bodies into intense situations in order to find release. In the practice of restorative yoga we do the opposite; we fully support the body and try to be as passive as possible in order to release. In other words, two different methods of getting to the same goal – entering into a space in which we can let go of all the layers of who we aren’t in order to drop deep into who we are.

The benefits of an active asana practice are evident, not only do you get to have really profound experiences, but you get a workout as well. So what are the benefits of a passive practice?

  1. Restorative Yoga is healing for the body and mind.
    It engages our Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS), which takes the body into the “rest and digest” state. This state is incredibly healing. This is why after an injury or surgery it’s so important to rest; we heal when we rest, not when we run around. In this state our tissues renew and rejuvenate themselves, our cells and tissues and organs get to live out their purpose and prosper. Our active Yoga practice helps to discipline our Sympathetic Nervous System, in charge of the “fight or flight” response, which is very important for our health, but we need to engage our PNS in order to heal.
  1. Long supported holds of poses allow us to really engage in the benefits of the poses.
    In an active practice we don’t spend much time in each pose. For example, we can only be in a deep backbend for a few breaths before it becomes fatiguing. But in a restorative practice, the body is supported and we can stay in the poses for long periods of time and really let them do their magic. In that way the poses enhance flexibility, nourish fertility, balance our hormonal activity and lymphatic system and aid our immune and digestive systems as well.
  1. Reduce stress.
    In our fast paced lives it’s crucial for us to find time and space to be still. It’s incredibly beneficial to create space to physically let go of the hold of our muscles, release the muscle tonus, and relieve our body from chronic strain. That’s why we use props, to create a base of support that encourages us to let go.
  1. Create space for emotional healing.
    In a way, we hold our emotional issues in our bodies. By physically toning down, deep seeded issues can come up and wash out of our systems. That’s why we may find ourselves experiencing joy, confusion, frustration, or fear during our practice, or even weeping in Savasana. This means feelings are coming up and cycling through.

These are just a few benefits of a Restorative Yoga practice. Just like any other method of Yoga, when we continually show up and nourish our relationship with our practice and with ourselves, it can be profoundly transformative.

How I became a Yoga Teacher

My Guru's Jasmine and Keith on Graduation day!

During my second year in University (studying for a B.S. in Plant Science) I came to the dreadful realization that I did not want to develop a career in the field I was studying. I had recently started practicing yoga at a studio near campus and made a pact with myself that I would finish my studies, get my degree and then travel to India. My logic was: If I don’t know what I want to do with my life career-wise, I might as well focus on things I know I want to do, like travel and study yoga.

During my time in India, I decided that I wanted to become a yoga teacher.  I would look for a teacher training program once I returned home to Israel. It’s funny how sometimes we feel like we’re in control and we have a plan, all while life has other things in store for us. I returned after 6 months of travels and let’s just say, things didn’t go so smoothly.

Two weeks after my return I fell and broke my right shoulder in a mountain biking accident and ended up stranded at my parents home for two months completely helpless, jobless, moneyless and in a lot of pain! After healing and going to physical therapy I was ready to get back on track, but more than anything, I needed a job.

One job led to another. Time went by. I was busy and having a hard time finding a yoga training. I moved to Tel Aviv, where I found a yoga teacher and a training program, but, once again, life had something else in store for me. Out of the blue, I found myself planning a huge and permanent move to San Francisco.

Fate had it that I stepped into Laughing Lotus Yoga Center, about three weeks after arriving in San Francisco. Right away I knew that it was the right place for me! After a couple of weeks of attending classes at the Lotus, I learned that a summer intensive teacher training was being offered. I was a bit overwhelmed at the time (having just moved across the world) and didn’t think to enroll, even though I had always wanted to do a yoga training. Luckily, I off-handedly mentioned the training to my husband, who immediately responded, “Perfect! Do it!” I was hesitant. I really wanted to teach but couldn’t fathom how in such a short time I could become a teacher. But the seed had been planted. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I just decided to go for it and see what happened.

What a great decision that was! The experience was transformative. I trained with a great group of yogis; it was intense and the training literally changed my life. We delved deep into the practices of yoga. The training opened my eyes to aspects of yoga I never knew existed. I was enthralled by the beauty and the grace that all the teachers brought to the training. Not only did we deepen our knowledge and practice of yoga, we learned to teach, to share and invite students to experience the depths and beauty of the practice. Our teachers urged us to go deep into ourselves to access our knowledge within.

My classmates and I didn’t want the training to end because it was so fun and inspiring. And, we were a little intimidated to actually start teaching. But, by the end of the training, we had learned so much it felt like we were bursting at the seams to share everything we had learned. I was thrilled because I knew that I finally had all the tools I needed to live my dream and start teaching!

This summer it will be two years since that transformative experience and I’m happy to say that today, teaching yoga is what I do. I am thrilled and filled with gratitude for every turn and every decision that brought me here.

 

I've finally created a web site!

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Some processes take more time than others. As we try to realize ourselves and manifest our projects and creations, we come across obstacles on our way. Obstacles can be scary and definitely uncomfortable and nerving, however, they are an important element in our process of growth and transformation. By overcoming our obstacles we strengthen and learn to support and believe in ourselves. We lay down a strong and sturdy foundation on which we can continue to build and grow! 

Ganesh is the Hindu deity that portrays the archetype of laying down a sturdy foundation, growing deep roots so that we can nourish ourselves and flourish!
Myth has it that he himself puts those obstacles in our way to insure that we grow strong! But he is sweet and helps us overcome them as well :)

As I launch this website I am grateful for Ganesh's blessing and all of the obstacles on the way!