Tag Archives: Yoga

Yogic Solutions for Vertigo

I have a private meditation client who is suffering from Vertigo. Through research, I have compiled a list of Pranayama techniques as well as asanas (yoga poses) that help alleviate and supposedly, can completely eradicate the symptoms of Vertigo!

 

Poses that are beneficial for those suffering from Vertigo are those that activate the nervous system and the balance centers in the inner ear. The following practices listed below help improve blood circulation throughout the brain and body.  Such methods have been proven to  be effective natural remedies for Vertigo when performed regularly as an active solution for this disconcerting condition.

Our sense of balance is created by a complex interconnected relationship between the inner ear, eyes, skin on the bottom of the feet, muscle/ joint sense receptors, brain and the spinal cord.  I recommend this particular order when completing these exercises. Please do not consult this blog in lieu of receiving professional help with your Vertigo, as the causes of Vertigo can vary widely between allergens such as dust, mold, and pollen, and range all the way into nerve diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis and tumors.  You may want to really be seen by a Doctor to ensure the Vertigo isn’t a symptom of a deeper issue.

1st:

Nadi Shodan Pranayama or Alternate Nostril Breathing 

This particular kind of Pranayama enriches the blood with oxygen, balances the nervous system, and purifies the respiratory system.

Begin in a comfortable seated position. You can be sitting on your knees and ankles in Hero Pose, with the tops of the feet on the ground and toes pointing back behind you.  Alternately, you could fold your left foot in so that your heel is in toward your groin, and fold the right leg in front of the left, instead of stacking the ankles in a regular cross legged pose, for ease and comfort.

Freckled Fairy almost has her legs in the right position, she just needs to pull her left leg in closer to her groin.
Freckled Fairy almost has her legs in the right position, she just needs to pull her left leg in closer to her groin.

Bring your left hand onto your lap with the palms up, fingers gently curling inward, resting the back of your hand comfortably on your left thigh.  Bring your right hand to the right side of your face with your palm facing out forward the same direction as your face, fingers toward the sky and thumb naturally pointing to the face, like an unmoving wave of “Hello.” Drop the index and middle fingers of the right hand down to the palm. Use the thumb of the right hand to block the right nostril. Inhale deeply, smoothly, slowly from the left nostril. Once the lungs are filled, ribs expanded, let the ring finger drop down and press down on the outside of the left nostril, closing both nostrils now and holding the breath with the lungs full. The inhale should be a count of 4, hold lungs full for 2 counts, then lift the thumb and exhale out of the right nostril completely, letting the shoulders drop.

Then inhale through the right nostril you just exhaled out of for a count of 4, hold at the top for a count of 2, then lift the ring finger and exhale for a count of 6. The longer exhale releases carbon dioxide buildup in the bottom of the lungs and calms the heart rate, as it replicates the natural breathing rhythm of your sleep.

Throughout this practice, you are relaxing your face, sitting with your spine tall and chin level with the ground. The top of your head pulls toward the sky, but never in a straining way. Relaxation is the goal.

2nd:

Malasana/ Garland Pose

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Bring your feet to hip distance apart in a standing position with the toes pointing out, the heels in. Put your hands out in front of you toward the ground and start to drop your hips into a squat position. At first, you will sink down with your hands on the ground for balance, then let your palms come together with the thumbs at the center of the chest. Let the top of your head come up, pulling the crown toward the sky, the chin level with the ground. Stay here for about 20 seconds, then let the hands drop to the ground in between the feet, below the shoulders and about a foot away from the body, letting the forehead drop toward the ground. Stay here for another 20 seconds, breathing slowly and deeply to calm the heart and nervous system. Then lift the hips, and bring the hands under the body, putting the webbing inside of the first finger and thumb on the back of the ankles, with palms resting on the ground. If this isn’t possible for you just yet, try not to feel discouraged and simply do what you can today toward that objective. Let your forehead and the top of your head drop toward the ground, breathing deep and slow for 20 seconds. When you want to get out of this pose, lift the hips and drop onto the bottom slowly to not exacerbate the Vertigo symptoms. From a seated position, you can gently, carefully roll to one side and press yourself up to standing.

3rd:

Halasana/ Plow Pose

plow

This comforting pose improves memory, normalizes blood pressure,  and increases spinal health and flexibility. Begin by lying on your back. Bring your feet straight up, straightening the legs and feet toward the sky with palms face down at your sides. Pressing into the mat with the hands and forearms, let your feet drop back behind your head, lifting your hips and letting your knees softly bend if that’s more comfortable for you. Stay here for a count of 50 to 100. To come out of it, slowly lift your feet and allow your spine to slowly uncurl with ultimate control, dropping one vertebrae at a time onto the mat from the upper back to the lower back, engaging  your abs to slow the descent.

 

Finally:

Salamba Sirsasana/ Supported Headstand

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This pose has been touted to “cure” Vertigo! Start on your knees with your forearms on the ground, palms facing down. Bring the inside web of your forefinger and thumb and rest that on the inside of the elbows to measure the correct distance between your arms. The goal is to make a perfect triangle as your foundation, then to drop the very top of your head into the center of the triangle. Press strongly through the entire forearm, from the elbow to the inner wrists, and lightly clasp your fingers together without strain. Your knees are still on the ground, the toes are tucked under. From here, start to straighten the legs, keeping the balls of the feet on the ground, lifting the hips, and walk the feet in toward the body, lifting the hips higher until they are almost stacked above the shoulders.

Engage your abs fiercely, and start to lift the toes off of the ground, letting them begin to float up toward the sky. You’d be surprised, it seems perhaps difficult, but once you get into the position, your feet start to lift naturally. The most challenging part is keeping your balance as your feet come up. It helps to lift one leg at a time, finding your balance slowly. If this pose isn’t in your practice just yet, you can receive the same benefit from staying in Dolphin pose, with the forearms on the ground, hips lifted, legs straight, and toes resting on the ground on the balls of your feet. In this way, the head is still below the heart, and you are still receiving the benefits of the posture. Try to remain in this posture for 10 seconds, breathing slow and deep to stay calm.

Best of luck to you and your yoga practice. May you be healed quickly and feel relief from your Vertigo!

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Introducing the Napa Valley Fitness and Wellness Podcast

 

The Napa Valley Fitness and Wellness Podcast is a new podcast I’ve just recently started as of April 2017! The intent is to be a platform and community to motivate and inform those with an interest in fitness to start or continue their journey in the Napa Valley area, from American Canyon, Napa, St. Helena, all the way up to Calistoga.

There will be:

* interviews with fitness professionals

*physical and spiritual transformation stories

*motivational tips

*vegan nutrition information

*in depth information about gyms, yoga studios, teachers and trainers of all kinds within the Napa Valley.

You can follow me on Instagram @seejayneyoga

Episode 2: Jayne Forest’s Life Story: Transformation, Awakening and Purpose

photo by Joe Burke on IG: @joeburke108

In this episode I tell my complete, authentic story. A lot of people meet me as their yoga meditation teacher, and don’t know quite how different I used to be. I was an atheist, who loved the Napa Valley fine dining and hospitality industry lifestyle with amuse bouche, sous vide pork and truffles. After a deep depression, I turned to yoga, started meditating and my WHOLE life changed. I explain here in as succinct a manner as possible whilst allowing myself occasional tangents to further illustrate my personality.

I understand a lot of people may not “get” me, enjoy me or resonate with me, and that’s ok! You can just listen to the interviews and skip the more spiritual episodes. Before I gained a new understanding of spirituality I didn’t care and didn’t want to hear about it, because I didn’t have any experiences or understand at all what the hell all of this stuff was all about, so I understand. You have to be ready and open to this information on your own terms.

I’m just sharing my genuine self because it doesn’t do anyone any favors to put on airs for likability, and I can’t suppress who I am anymore to blend in with the masses. I realize my lifestyle is very different and that I’m swimming upstream, and that it’s not easy and not everyone’s journey. I’m simply sharing what has made me so happy and feel healthy and good in life, so others can hopefully take away some valuable motivation and tips and start to find ways to feel better in their day to day lives. If even one person starts doing something that makes them happier or feel better in any way, and appreciates this podcast, that will make me feel fulfilled!

Thanks for listening!

 

Yoga Schedule

 

Jayne Forest is a 200 RYT certified Yoga Instructor through Ekam Yoga and Wellness in Napa, California.  I teach yoga and indoor cycling at St. Helena Fitness in St. Helena and at Meadowood Resort Napa Valley in St. Helena. I also teach yoga in Napa at Yoga Passion.

 

CURRENT YOGA TEACHING SCHEDULE as of April 2017:

Tuesday Evenings: 6:45-7:50pm , All levels Vinyasa Flow Yoga:                               St. Helena Fitness on Dowdell Lane in St. Helena

$5 for the first visit if you mention Jayne Forest sent you. (Normally $20!) Walk-Ins welcomed!

Friday Mornings: 8:45am to 10am, Slow Flow Vinyasa Yoga for all levels at Yoga Passion in Browns Valley in Napa

Photo by Joe Burke

CURRENT CYCLING CLASS SCHEDULE:

St. Helena Fitness in St. Helena:

Tuesday Evenings: 5:30pm to 6:30pm Indoor Cycling

Wednesday Mornings: 6am to 6:45am Indoor Cycling plus abs

For More Information about St. Helena Fitness, Click Here

Contact me here to inquire about private Yoga Instruction or other yoga opportunities

 

How to Begin a Spiritual Practice and Raise Your Vibration

These are the practices that worked for me as a coadjuvant system that helped me discover different experiences of my own consciousness. It changed my life Completely when suddenly I had a WHOLE new sense of the scope of possibility of my reality, and this exponentially expanded my understanding of the wide range of depths of consciousness that can be reached within the human experience without the aid of drugs.

Spiritual practice is called Sadhana in Sanskrit, and daily Sadhana keeps my focus and intention on spiritual advancement. The idea of advancing spiritually is not driven by ego, but rather as a natural progression that we move steadily toward, and then slightly away from, spiraling back, learning lessons and gaining deeper understanding as to how this whole life game works!

photo by Joe Burke Instagram: @joeburke108

*Breath control: Pranayama. Every breath we take is life itself. Every emotional state we experience has a corresponding breathing pattern. If we learn to use pranayama and consciously and mindfully adjust our breathing pattern, we can in turn change our state of mind at will. Pranayama is insanely powerful and in India, it is commonly  understood that there is a different pranayama breathing technique for almost every ailment.

A Dutch man named Wim Hof  learned about some of these techniques and has been able to scientifically prove and document that he can fight off viruses by releasing adrenaline at will and boosting his immune system consciously, all through breathing techniques. Click the link for a super fascinating documentary to learn more about that guy!

Photo by @joeburke108

Pranayama used to only be taught to those initiated, and was not taught to women. You could only learn Pranayama if your Guru deemed your practice sincere enough and that you were mentally and physically worthy of knowledge of Pranayama, and you were only given one at a time, working with one until you earned the right to advance. I can’t stress enough how magical and powerful Pranayama is, and how working with your breath requires respect and understanding of it’s power.

Photo by @joeburke108

*Twice daily meditation practice . For myself, if I only meditate for 10 minutes, that is barely enough time for my mind to settle. When first beginning a practice, ten minutes can seem like a treacherous goal. Like anything, with practice, your brain will be able to dive into meditation mode easier and easier, which will make the whole process more enjoyable and in turn, you’ll be able to reach deeper states of meditation. Even 5 minutes of mindful breathing each day to start is a successful practice if done consistently. The more you practice, the more adept you become, like everything!

Photo by @joeburke108

Although the learning curve can seem daunting, once you get past the first few weeks, I promise it’s an infinitely rewarding practice. The way that it changes how you FEEL and handle stress, and the way stressful feelings happen less often because calmness becomes your default mode, makes life SO much more enjoyable! I can’t type complex enough explanations to give it justice how much this practice is imperative and completely life changing. Baby steps, and just try to stay consistent! Visit my “Beginner’s Guide to Meditation” post here!

Photo by Jayne Forest

*Complete sobriety from alcohol, cannabis, and caffeine.

Alcohol lowers our consciousness to the point that we are saying and doing things we aren’t even aware we did the next day. Not only is it drowning our prefrontal cortex so that we aren’t making rational decisions, drinking alcohol poisons our body, which causes our liver to have to work hard to process it.

When doing yoga, we are purifying the mind AND body to prepare our bodily vessel for higher levels of spiritual experience. Alcohol will not help you advance your spiritual progress. Everything in moderation of course, but remembering that everything is either helping or hurting your goals, it becomes easier to abstain completely. Not to mention how good and right it feels NOT to be hungover! 🙂

Aaaaand here’s a beautiful temptation for ya now that I just told you drinking lowers your vibe. Temptation is everywhere, it’s a test of your fortitude! Photo by Jayne Forest

Cannabis is used in sacred spiritual ceremonies and can absolutely lead people to spiritual experiences. I have loved cannabis for years and have found it to be infinitely beneficial. HOWEVER….the more I study spiritual advancement, and look at my own personal experience, I’ve come to realize that the only way to really dive deeply into spiritual experiences is with complete sobriety.

When trying to explore expanded states of consciousness, such as dreams, or deep meditation, it’s best to have a clear mind to be able to stay conscious within your dream and have much better recall. It is a known fact that cannabis affects lucid dreaming ability and dream recall, which is unfortunate because there are many spiritual messages sent to us in dreams.

When we are foggy of mind it becomes even more challenging than it already is to expand beyond normal awareness and maintain memory and full waking consciousness in different states of consciousness.

When you are meditating, you are riding the line between sleeping and waking, your brain goes right in between alpha and theta brainwaves, like between being sleepy in the morning and riiiiight before you fall asleep. Obviously it’s challenging to stay conscious during this sleepy state, so cannabis does not help, in my humble personal experience. I’ve spent weeks falling asleep during meditation instead of staying conscious and possibly receiving insight, it was very frustrating!

As for coffee, it speeds up our heart rate and makes us jittery and unable to sit still! The body and mind work together, if the body is moving, the mind cannot be still. Coffee creates the opposite of what we are trying to achieve with meditation, basically.

Photo by Jayne Forest

*Conservation of sexual energy with periods of abstinence. I know you’re like “hey whoa” right? Don’t stop reading now, haha. Definitely not suggesting you give up all of these
things, sex CAN be an insanely spiritual experience. When we have sex with someone we are merging energies, body fluids, thoughts, pain, everything. So we should be aware if sexual intimacy is meaningful and helps us feel more connected with our partner, or if it makes us feel empty. If we experience the latter we can be sure this sexual union is sucking energy away and lowering our vibration. Sexual Energy is an energy that can be used for spiritual advancement, according to The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. There are 8 limbs of Yoga, and the first one is called Yamas. The Yamas are moral imperatives on the yogic path, having to do with self-restraint.  The Niyamas

photo by Jayne Forest

*Dedication to daily yoga practice. This doesn’t have to mean going to a yoga class every day! Just a handful of easy poses done daily for just a few minutes even, can make a big difference in your body over time. The thing about our bodies is, it is constantly evolving according to what our lifestyle is like. If we spend 8 hours on a chair in the office five days a week, and do yoga once a week for one hour, the chair sitting is going to have the most impact on our body.  The more often we can consistently train our muscles and ligaments to become more pliable, the more you will start to see the benefits of the practice.

Photo by @joeburke108 on IG

*Abstaining from consuming dairy, eggs, and meat. More about this later, but when you are consuming the corpse of an abused and mutilated innocent sentient being, it grounds you firmly in this Earthly reality.  Everything in this entire universe is comprised of vibration obviously, and there is a kind of photography called Kirlian Photography that can document energy. Here is a visual representation of the energy you’re consuming when making the choice between plant foods and animal foods.

Raw Vegan Pizzette from Lydia Organics. Photo by Jayne Forest

*Plenty of Sleep, not too much or little
*So Much Fruit and vegetables! The more plant based foods you consume, the more smoothly your digestive system will function. Plant foods contain information in their DNA that becomes our body. The more we consume plant foods, the more we tune ourselves into alignment with nature.
*Avoidance of negative people like the plague

Photo by Jayne Forest

*Exercise is key! Moving our energy is a guaranteed mood booster and will have us feeling good and moving into alignment with our highest self.

Photo by Jayne Forest

*Doing selfless and kind things for others
*Speaking your personal truth honestly, but of course mindfully, tactfully, without shame or guilt (yeah, I’m working on this one.) The more you come to know yourself in meditation, the more your faith and confidence grows, and it becomes more difficult to stay silent in the face of injustice. This is a great sign of growth because it shows that you are in alignment with your highest self by acting from the heart.


*Consistent practice of all of the above. One thing that has helped me tremendously is recognizing that every decision we make is either helping or hurting our goals, there are no neutral decisions!

*Not trying too hard. We strive so much in life and we tend to use that same trying energy with our spiritual journey out of habit. Recognize that our higher self is available to us at any moment when we learn to just be, without striving and effort. In moments of effortlessness and deep, conscious relaxation, we can receive insight. These experiences are not impossible to achieve,  they are available to every single human being who is willing to do the work, it is our birthright!

Photo by @joeburke108 on IG