This video explains what drew me to Divya yoga in the hopes that it will help you decide if this is a style that would resonate with you.
If you have trouble sitting comfortably on the floor this modification might be helpful.
This is a great way to start any yoga practice. Allowing your thoughts to settle and connecting with your body. It's important every time we come to the yoga mat to check in with what is present both emotionally and physically to ensure that we honor that throughout the practice. In this sequence we do a 3-part breath where we breathe into the belly, then open up the rib cage with our breath and then take the breath right up to our collar bones. Breathing just into the belly is called diaphragmatic breathing. The diaphragm is a dome shaped muscle located at the base of the lungs. Your abdominal muscles help to move this muscle and give you more power to empty your lungs, thus improving your breathing capacity. Diaphragmatic breathing, or breathing into the belly, is very calming for the nervous system. When you breathe into the belly you send a message to your brain that you're calm (even though this might not be the case). It's something you can do anywhere, anytime, to calm your nervous system.
In this sequence we stretch everything that holds the skeleton together - skin, tissue, muscles and fascia.
You can think of the sleeve of the body as a container. Like the skin of an apple. It's our outer structure - the membrane that holds our bodies together. In our settling in we worked with the 3 part breath and throughout all our yoga practices we connect with breath. Why is the concept of breath so important? It's the connection between mind and body. Connecting with our breath and movement creates a meditative state, almost feeling as though the breath is moving the body. Our breath is a bridge between our conscious mind and our unconscious body. Focusing on our breath also keeps us in the present moment. Breath is an attitude of letting go. When we tighten our bodies, our breath tightens. When we loosen the sleeve of the body, and the breath, we move with more ease. Our breath is the mover of all the circulation and liquid in our body. It's the mover of our blood and cerebral spinal fluid.
This sequence is a nice gentle stretch with both lying down and seated postures. During the sequence try to connect with your breath. Don't worry if it doesn't come naturally at first - with practice it will.
I've added some resource documents that explain the benefits of some of the postures we do in this section. Although we do a supine butterfly pose in this section I've included the benefits of the seated cobbler's pose since many of the benefits are the same.
In working with the core of the body we work with deeper muscles than when stretching the sleeve. This section includes some work on strengthening the abdominal muscles.
In my years of teaching I've noticed some postures can be tricky for people who have limited flexibility so I've included modifications where I think they might help. This video gives you modifications that might come in handy for the next sequence where we work on the core of the body.
In the first sequence I described the sleeve of the body as the peel on an apple. In this sequence you can think of the core of the body as the core of an apple. Here we work with deeper muscles than in the sleeve sequence. Our core is our 'guts' - the soft parts - the organs. Our organs' shape are maintained by the amount of fluid in them and our lungs' shape by the amount of air inside. We've already spoken about the benefits of connecting with our breath during our yoga practice and how that opens up our breathing capacity. With regards to our organs, when we twist the body we're squeezing fluid out of the organs (much like squeezing water out of a sponge) and then when we untwist our organs fill with new fluid. Apart from working on our 'guts' in this sequence we also work a bit with strengthening the abdominal muscles.
In yogic philosophy the feminine energy is governed by the left side of the body and masculine by the right side. This sequence will help to balance the two sides.
This video will show you some modifications if you find you can't do all the postures in the Masculine & Feminine sequence.
In this video we do some postures to bring our masculine and feminine energy into alignment and we also do postures to help improve our balance.
When we practice yoga, one of the benefits is bringing masculine and feminine energy into alignment. In this practice we'll balance activity with receptivity. On the one hand we have effort and on the other hand surrender. It's about finding a balance within yourself. Feminine energy is about 'being' and relates to the lower part of the body, as well as the inner body. During this practice we could associate our exhale with letting go. Masculine energy is more about doing, reaching out, expanding and it relates to our upper body. We could relate our inhale to expansion.
In the yogic term hatha, ha refers to the masculine, warming, active energy of the sun and tha – the feminine, cooling, receptive elements of the moon. Hatha yoga, therefore, seeks to unify these apparently opposing elements, creating harmony and balance.
The moon sequence balances feminine energy. As I mentioned in the previous sequence where we balanced both feminine and masculine energy, our feminine energy is grounding. The focus of the moon salutation is about feeling connected to mother earth.
This video will show you some modifications to the moon salutations that will be helpful if you have trouble with parts of the following video.
This sequence of postures balances feminine energy and includes a moon salutation. At the time of this filming I had a sore left shoulder so you'll see I did a few modifications to accommodate that. It's important every time you come to the yoga mat to notice what's present and honor it.
Feminine energy is more grounding than masculine. The moon salutation focuses on the lower part of the body and is considered to have a meditative calming quality that helps us connect to our breath. You've probably heard of yin and yang. Yin being loosely translated as feminine energy, or receptive meditative and cooling and yang being considered masculine, or active, reaching out and warming. This is a yin practice.
The masculine energy is more active and reaching out. The sun salutation creates energy and heat. On a more symbolic level it offers gratitude for the energy that the sun provides us.
This video will demonstrate how you can do sun salutations using a chair. The chair brings the floor up about 18 inches and can make the difference between the sun salutation being too difficult or being enjoyable. Using a chair for the sun salutations gives you the same benefits as using the floor and it also enables you to keep in alignment if using the floor is too much of a struggle.
This sequence of postures includes sun salutations. If you find this version difficult please use the modifications for this section. Remember this yoga is for you - do what works best for your body on any given day,
Sun salutations build stamina and strength and connects movement with breath. It's good for stretching and strengthening the whole body. Whereas the moon salutation focuses on being grounded and connected to the earth and is a meditative calming practice, the sun salutation is about reaching out, expanding, and is a warming practice.
Final relaxation, savasana, is one of the most important postures in yoga. It's the time to allow all the asanas, or postures, that we performed to integrate into our bodies. It's also deeply restful. Allowing ourselves to rest is very important for our overall well being.
In savasana we try to remain fully conscious (i.e. not asleep :-) ) while being completely relaxed. Practiced after a yoga class, when our muscles are tired, makes it a little easier, but often people still have trouble calming the mind. Our society is so geared to 'doing' that it can be difficult to learn to do nothing. Think of it as rebooting your computer. When we turn our computers off and then back on they often function more efficiently. So too with our bodies and minds - when we take the time to deeply rest we actually become more efficient in our lives.
The attached resource document gives you a brief overview of the 8 limbs of yoga. You'll find the more you practice yoga the more you benefit not just physically but spiritually and emotionally as well. Keeping in mind the yamas and the niyamas of yoga help you to take yoga off the mat and in to your life.
Barbara Pearce is fiercely committed to guiding the “less flexible” to achieve comfort in their bodies and an overall sense of well being in their minds and spirits so that they can move through life with more enjoyment.
If you’re looking for a proven professional yoga teacher who can guide you to address aching joints, anxiety, and fatigue you’ve come to the right place. Since 2004 Barbara has worked with amazing clients who had similar worries and concerns and she guided them to achieve remarkable success. Her mission, and commitment, is to bring people a state a peace and well being in their bodies and minds.
The yogic journey that she’s on has brought her a profound sense of peace in her mind, body and soul. She knew she wanted to help other people feel the same sense of being grounded, safe and at peace.
For over one year, I have been suffering with pain in my knee and my leg due to a severe case of Osteoarthritis. I had tried medication, injections, exercise, etc.
At the time when “Prime Time” offered Yoga for 50+, this was the furthest thing from my plans for the upcoming year. My daughter and her girlfriends had been doing Yoga and when I said that perhaps I should give it a try, my daughter did not believe that I would enjoy Yoga on a weekly basis.
Going to Yoga class every Tuesday evening was the highlight of the week for me. Not only did I enjoy our dedicated Yoga instructor, Barbara Pearce, but I felt so relaxed and happy at the end of each class. Barbara’s encouragement and understanding of my pain level, helped me to persevere and continue to try hard. It was not always easy, especially on the days when the pain was overtaking my body. However, I knew that attending the Yoga classes would make me feel better, and it certainly did!
I look forward to another session of Yoga classes with Barbara after the summer months. I now understand that age does not have any bearing on how much a person derives from her classes. Barbara is always prepared to cater to our needs.
Thank you, Barbara!!
After being diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease, and trying every avenue in search for pain relief, I was introduced to Reiki. Because of the chronic pain I had developed severe anxiety, addiction and major depression. I had lost all hope, and could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. Barbara made me feel comfortable from the beginning- that’s an understatement. As soon as I started the Reiki sessions I felt something shift inside of me. I came to Barbara in mental, physical, and spiritual pain. I felt broken and I wanted to die. During the Reiki sessions I’d relax, but more than that I’d feel as though all my pain and suffering was validated and taken care of. It allowed me to release so much stress and tension that I had been carrying for years. I not only learnt a lot about myself through Reiki but I experienced tremendous pain relief. Barbara is amazing, a miracle in my life! She knew where I was experiencing pain well before I’d tell her. She would let the energy flow through me and do it’s healing. Reiki is very gentle, yet powerful and always knows what you need. I can honestly say that having Reiki with Barbara gave me hope and the courage to get through another day. Thanks to Barbara and the Reiki I began to have better sleep patterns, I felt rested, my chronic pain was more manageable, my anxiety levels decreased, I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I felt as though I was given the strength to live again! I have never met such a kind and caring person until I met Barbara. She was so dedicated to my wellness that she even came to perform Reiki on me while I was in the hospital. I have complete trust in Barbara and benefit tremendously as a person simply by knowing her. I think that Reiki is an experience that you truly have to undergo to fully understand its benefits. I will forever be grateful for your dedication to help- for the power and the love I received. Thank you, I don’t know where I’d be if it wasn’t for your healing during that dark time in my life.
So the next time you doubt the power of Reiki, even just a little, think about my story and how it has saved my life.
Not only did Barbara help with Reiki, I also took her yoga Nidra classes. The classes helped me relax and cope with my anxiety. Because of the deep relaxation I also felt a lot of pain relief with regards to my back because of this class. Barbara was always extremely accommodating and considerate of my physical limitations. I always felt really good leaving her classes; so much that I bought her personal yoga Nidra CD. I began listening to the CD whenever I was experiencing stress or discomfort in my day to day life. This has been an extremely helpful and essential tool on my journey of recovery. I fell asleep countless nights listening to her Yoga nidra CD. Thank you very much for everything that you have done to help me Barbara, I sincerely appreciate it.
A more than satisfied client,
Similar benefits await when you decide to invite her to serve in the powerful ways that she can to support your success.
What lights me up about this work is serving others in a way that improves their lives. I have a personality that likes to serve. I worked for years as an administrative assistant and it was my pleasure to make people’s lives more organized and smooth. Now I have the pleasure to work with people who are seeking to feel better, both physically and emotionally, and no one is more delighted than me when people start to feel that way.
What sets me apart from other yoga teachers is that I really meet people where they are on the yoga mat on any given day and I’m committed to bringing them the best yoga for their bodies. Because of that I work predominantly with people who are flexibly challenged, including people in wheel chairs. I work with people who have debilitating illnesses, people who are recovering from an illness, the elderly, and people who are healthy but inflexible. I’m trained in several different modalities of yoga and I can use those different styles to customize a class that works for anyone.
I love a yoga practice that allows me to feel into the postures and truly enjoy the experience – as opposed to rushing through it. I enjoy the sensation of feeling deeply relaxed, grounded and refreshed.
Off the mat I love beautiful surroundings both in my home and in nature, music that makes my heart soar and gives me goose bumps and the smell of a home cooked meal. I love to cook – and by association I love to eat. I’m a green tea enthusiast. I enjoy reading and being transported to another place. I’m an avid student – and it’s my pleasure to share what I learn with others.