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Archive for November, 2015

Paul Grilley discusses the Functional Approach to Yoga- Podcast

Posted on November 24th, 2015 by Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Stay tuned for Paul Grilley’s new upcoming program. To see more from Paul please visit:Paul Grilley info


Yoga To Strengthen Pelvic Floor Could Help Women With Urinary Incontinence

Posted on November 24th, 2015 by Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Child's Pose

An old school yoga program, designed to improve pelvic health, could help women who suffer from urinary incontinence, according to a new study published in Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery.

UC San Fransisco (UCSF) researchers discovered that the specifically designed yoga training program can help women gain more control over their urination and avoid accidental urine leakage.

“Yoga is often directed at mindful awareness, increasing relaxation, and relieving anxiety and stress,” said first author Alison Huang, MD, assistant professor in theUCSF School of Medicine.

“For these reasons, yoga has been directed at a variety of other conditions – metabolic syndrome or pain syndromes – but there’s also a reason to think that it could help for incontinence as well.”

Huang and her colleagues recruited 20 women from the Bay Area who were 40 years and older and who suffered from urinary incontinence on a daily basis.

Half were randomly assigned to take part in a six-week yoga therapy program and the other half were not.

The women who took part in the yoga program experienced an overall 70% improvement – or reduction – in the frequency of their urine leakage compared to the baseline.

The control group – or the group that did not start yoga therapy – only had 13% improvement.

Most of the observed improvement in incontinence was in stress incontinence, or urine leakage brought on by activities that increase abdominal pressure such as coughing, sneezing, and bending over.

Huang and her colleagues believe that yoga can improve urinary incontinence through more than one mechanism.

Because incontinence is associated with anxiety and depression, women suffering from incontinence may benefit from yoga’s emphasis on mindful meditation and relaxation.

But regular practice of yoga may also help women strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor that support the bladder and protect against incontinence.

“We thought this would be a good opportunity for women to use yoga to become more aware of and have more control over their pelvic floor muscles,” Huang said.

Approximately 25 million adults in America suffer from some form of urinary incontinence, according to the National Association for Continence. Up to 80% of them are women.

Urinary incontinence becomes more common as women age, although many younger women also suffer from it.

“We specifically developed a yoga therapy program that would be safe for older women, including women with minor mobility limitations,” Huang said.

“So we were partially assessing safety of this program for older women who are at highest risk for having incontinence in the first place.”

Not all types of yoga may help with urinary incontinence.

The yoga program used in the study was specially designed with input from yoga consultants Leslie Howard and Judith Hanson Lasater, who have experience teaching women to practice yoga in ways that will improve their pelvic health.

Still Huang and her colleagues believe that many women in the community can be taught to preserve pelvic muscle strength and prevent incontinence.

“It would be a way for women to gain more control over their pelvic floor muscles without having to go through traditional costly and time-intensive rehabilitation therapy,” Huang said.

Men were not included in this study because urinary incontinence in men is often related to problems related to the prostate, which may be less likely to improve with yoga.

Huang and her colleagues hope to eventually build on this study and double the length of the study to 12 weeks.

This article was originally posted on Huffington Post UK.

For more about Pelvic Floor Health listen to Leslie Howard’s podcast with Pranamaya Yoga Wisdom Click HereTo learn more about Leslie Howard, visit her website at, and check out her online course here at Pranamaya.




Sneak Peek of Paul Grilley’s New Pranamaya Program

Posted on November 19th, 2015 by Both comments and pings are currently closed.

You’ve watched the Anatomy for Yoga by Paul Grilley as well as his Yin Yoga, Chakra Theory and online courses on Anatomy. And you’ve probably read his book on Yin Yoga too. Here’s a sneak peak of Paul’s latest offering from Pranamaya due out in 2016. In this short clip Paul discusses Chi and its relationship to yoga. Take a look and let us know what you think! Check out Paul’s video’s at


Kríyā Yoga: Transformation Through Practice

Posted on November 18th, 2015 by Both comments and pings are currently closed.

By Gary Kraftsow

A seed sprouts , shoots up, and becomes a plant or a tree. The ancients believed that our emotions— anger, frustration, sadness, jealousy, envy, fear, loneliness , anxiety, and depression, for example— exist within us as seeds waiting to sprout. We act continuously and our activity follows set patterns— patterns acquired in childhood and slavishly followed— so that every new opportunity serves mainly to reinforce old patterning. If we could see a video of ourselves— a digital recording of our walking sequence over time— we would recognize this unconscious patterning in the way we walk. And that is only an example of physical patterning— the outer expression of a condition that penetrates through all dimensions of our five-dimensional natures and impacts the way we breathe, communicate, and emote as well as the way we relate to food, sex, people, and the world around us.

The science of Kriyā Yoga developed primarily as an antidote to the basic problem of human misperception and the ignorance that results. It grew out of the realization that patterning is basic to everything we think and do. As human beings, we are constantly involved in activity that can affect our lives in two basic ways: it can either reinforce our conditioning or serve as the ground for positive change . These are the bases for Yoga practice. Thus, in his classical teachings, Patañjali poetically describes the purpose of Kriyā Yoga in terms of reducing the seeds of suffering and awakening the higher potentials of the mind. And this suggests that within each of us lies the potential to reduce and ultimately to eliminate undesirable characteristics, dysfunctional patterns, and impurities from our systems ; to awaken our inherent potential, discriminative awareness, and the wisdom-mind; and to experience a still, quiet, untroubled, calm, joyous, and expanded consciousness.

Excerpt from: Yoga for Transformation: Ancient Teachings and Practices for Healing the Body, Mind,and Heart by Gary Kraftsow.


KraftsowGary Kraftsow

Gary Kraftsow, the leading proponent of viniyoga therapy in the US, has been a pioneer in the transmission of yoga for health, healing, and personal transformation for 30 years. After studying in India with T.K.V. Desikachar and his father T. Krishnamacharya, Gary received a special diploma from Viniyoga International in Paris. In 1999 he founded the American Viniyoga Institute where he is currently director and senior teacher of the Institute’s teacher and therapist trainings.

To learn more about Gary Kraftsow, check out his DVDs here at Pranamaya.



Podcast- Pelvic Floor Health and Yoga with Leslie Howard

Posted on November 14th, 2015 by Both comments and pings are currently closed.



Join Pranamaya Wisdom in a conversation about the pelvic floor with master yoga teacher Leslie Howard. Leslie is known as “The Pelvic Floor Lady”   here she discusses the importance of the Pelvic Floor keeping it healthy and what can be done to keep it tone through yoga. She also discusses popular misconceptions and the use of bandhas in yoga. Listen in and get valuable information on this rarely talked about topic that is so important for women’s health and wellness.

Here’s some wisdom from Leslie’s website about why  you should care about the Pelvic Floor.

A Healthy Pelvic Floor and Pelvic Floor Yoga®

Proper work of strengthening, stabilizing, stretching and softening the pelvic floor helps to create the correct foundation of each movement in the body. It is a basic tool to avoid loss of energy from this important area. A strong pelvic floor helps keep the pelvic and abdominal organs healthy as we age. But “strong” also means flexible. Think of your torso as “a tote bag” for your organs. The pelvic floor is the bottom of the tote bag. Someone with a weak pelvic floor (too loose or too tight) has a tote bag that is about to have the bottom fall out! Prolapsed organs, incontinence and pelvic pain are common to over fifty percent of women. Yet what is most prescribed as a catch all cure is “just do your Kegels.” A healthy pelvic floor is more than doing Kegels. A healthy pelvic floor is more than doing mula bandha. These practices are under taught, misunderstood and can sometimes lead to more problems.

The female pelvis and the pelvic muscles are an under appreciated region of the anatomy. Important not only for sexuality, the pelvic muscles are crucial for optimal functioning of the body. The pelvic muscles begin at perineum and are complex arrangement of muscles that create a “bowl” for the lower organs. Common problems that are related to the health of the pelvic floor are lumbar spinal problems, sacroiliac, hip or sciatic pain, bladder weakness, prolapse of the uterus or the bladder, and digestive, menstrual and sexual difficulties. This area can be too gripped, or too weak and sometimes both. Many women have a lack of tone due to age, lifestyle, bearing children or hereditary tendencies. What is less commonly known is that about 20-25 percent of all women have a chronic holding and tightening of the muscles of the pelvic floor. Sometimes an unhealthy holding pattern can start in early age or perhaps develop as a result of a fall, an accident or sexual abuse.

For online courses with Leslie visit 


Dhi Is A Word Every Yogi Should Know

Posted on November 6th, 2015 by Both comments and pings are currently closed.















by Chanti Tacoronte-Perez  MA

In school we learn the A, B, C’s or the important aspects of a variety of subjects, however we seem to have missed out the Dhi’s. Dhi is a sanskrit word that means true knowingness, which we can interpret as a gut feeling or highest truth. I will argue that this “illuminated wisdom” as Yogarupa Rod Stryker calls it can be developed from a young age, yet the tools that allow us the freedom as children to play and deeply listen like: music, painting and dancing have been cut off. When the arts or the humanities have been severed from our upbringing then as children and adolescents we have less time to explore and express ourselves from within.
Dhi as Stryker (2010) eloquently states is “more than our personal barometer or inner voice of morality––more than what helps us distinguish right from wrong…It is the inner voice of higher wisdom that knows and is capable of guiding you to do precisely the right thing at precisely the right time. In effect, dhi is the light of the inner teacher that dwells within you. Intuition is your way of hearing it (p. 253). In other words it is through the honing of light of the teacher that we can begin to clearly hear intuition.
In Rod Stryker’s Book The Four Desires, he describes a method to develop a relationship with that part of you that already knows. To make this relationship blossom, and to trust your own intuitive voice it take dedication, time, practice and eventually the courage to act from the voice of Dhi. Yet, how is it that we can learn to live in this world with all our humanness and be able to listen to that inner guidance? The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali states that “by mastering samyama [meditation in its various stages] prajna [the light of wisdom] dawns” (as quoted in Stryker, 2010, p. 253)
Personally, creating a relationship with my inner teacher has come through my own creative practice in addition to my established meditation ritual. For many years I spent time after meditation asking a single question, taking time to listen and then writing down the answers. This method then morphed into stream of consciousness writing, poetry as well as drawing images that would come when the words wouldn’t.
As we grow into adults that space that may have been filed with a trust for who we are in the world and our finest desires, may have been stuffed with facts, expectations, calculations and unfortunately someone else’s truth. It is my hunch this is why creativity is making a comeback; it’s important to spend some time in the realm of creativity, meditation and inwardly focused — to allows for the time and space to listen deeply and develop the Dhi muscle. When we know how to listen then we have the strength and courage necessary to live our lives and make all our decision from the guidance of that intimate part we now know.









Chanti Tacoronte-Perez is the innovator and artist behind she leads retreats and workshops internationally and has an upcoming retreat in Tulum Mexico – 7 Days of Dhi – Fearless Living

Chanti has had a paintbrush in her hand since she can remember. In 2002 she graduated from Hampshire College with a Bachelors in fine arts, (oil painting) as well as a specialization in special education. In 2005 she began to deepen her studies in The Sri Viddya Linage with Rod Stryker founder of Para Yoga. The Tantric teachings she encountered eventually lead her to the discovery of Yantra painting.

The Yantras and their symbology inspired Chanti to dive deeply into the practice of creatively healing. Chanti has recently completed her Masters at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Humanities with an emphasis on Depth Psychology. Chanti is a guide in weaving the practices of Tantra, Yantra painting and Depth Psychology; she mentors students to awaken to their purposeful creatively-engaged life.

Sva Bhava Artwork created by Chanti


Yoga Therapy Mini-Workshop Cakravakasna

Posted on November 2nd, 2015 by Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Viniyoga founder Gary Kraftsow demonstrates how and why we practice cakravakasna and how to do it to maximum effect. To see more of Gary’s videos vista and Use the code SACREDCOW to get 10% OFF at checkout.