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Monday, October 27, 2008

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini Yoga is a yoga that focuses on the chakra system and is heavily meditative. Kundalini Yoga is a bit more energetic than some yogas and typically involves chanting, meditation, and breathing to help align the chakra energies that are naturally stored in your body. Kundalini in sanskirt translates to that which is coiled, referring to the dormant energy that is lying at the base of our spine, just waiting to be released.

Like several other forms of yoga, Kundalini Yoga links its poses specifically with breathing and adds chanting as part of the breathing process, often times Kundalini Yoga is referred to as the yoga of awareness, it's definitely more meditative and spiritually based than many other yogas.

Long ago Kundalini was considered a dangerous practice by ruling powers in India as it potentially led to infinite potential energy, total enlightenment, and mental clarity so great that the powers that be felt it dangerous for the wrong person to practice such a ritual, it was only done in secrecy. Things have since changed and it is now a widely accepted form of yoga practice worldwide.

Any of our Yoga Jewelry is great for a Kundalini routine, we designed one signature piece the Kundalini Spiral Chakra Necklace just for enthusiasts of this Yoga. Also, any of our Chakra pieces can help users align their chakras during their Kundalini routine.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar Yoga was developed by B.K.S. Iyengar, a master yoga teacher. Iyengar Yoga is a form of Hatha Yoga and seeks all the same elements in its practice. What makes it different is its design and use of props, from blocks, cushions, belts, and pads that help users to perform poses they may not otherwise be able to due to age, injury, or other physical limitations. What also makes it unique is that the poses are held longer than usual with more breathing and relaxation in between poses as well.

Unlike some other forms of yoga Iyengar does not encourage their students to find their own way to asanas by imitating their teacher, it is instead very precise and verbal during the class that each pose (asana) is exact and perfect. While there may be thousands of Iyengar teachers, becoming certified is no easy task, it requires at least 2-5yrs for the introductory level and higher levels can take a decade or more.

B.K.S. Iyengar has been teaching and doing yoga for over 75yrs. Born in 1918 in a poor Indian village with many difficulties in his life he began practicing yoga at the age of 15 under the guidance of his brother in law well known yogi, Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya in Mysore, India. Iyengar has written dozens of yoga texts and is largely responsible for bringing yoga to the west. His most famous work written in 1966 "Light on Yoga", has been translated to 17 languages and is considered by many as the Yoga Bible. He has been recognized by Time Magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world.

With the slower and less strenuous forms of yoga we always recommend wearing any of our Yoga Jewelry to help achieve balanced chakras and a more meditative state with the power of gemstones.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga is considered to be the original and most pure form of yoga. Also called Hatha Vidya, this yoga is a system introduced by Yogi Swatmarama an important figure of 15th century India. He wrote the text Hatha Yoga Pradipika, it is said to be the oldest surviving text on Hatha Yoga. The text has information on a wide variety of topics related to yoga and spiritual transcendence including asanas, pranayama, chakras, kundalini, and more.

The foundation of all yogas, Hatha uses the asanas (poses), pranayama (breathing), dharana (meditation), and kundalini (instinct). Hatha is probably the most popular form of yoga in America as it is most beneficial for stress management and also is a great strength builder and workout.

The word Hatha comes from two Sanskirt words, Ha meaning sun and Tha meaning moon, thus referring to the solar and lunar channels of our body. When combined to Hatha the term now tanslates as forceful, meaning that powerful work needs to be done in order to combine our masculine/solar side with our feminine/lunar side, in the form of yoga. The term yoga actually means to join two things together. Hatha's ultimate goal is to balance mind and body through controlled breating, postures, and meditation, and does so in a calm and soothing matter.

Since Hatha Yoga is done in a more tranquil manner than some other yoga routines we encourage our customers to wear any of our Yoga Jewelry, especially for the Hatha we recommend any of our Chakra Necklace pieces or our Kundalini Necklace both of which are integral parts of this routine.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga is one of the more unusual yogas developed in recent history. Often referred to as Hot Yoga, Bikram Yoga is done in 95-105 degree room; this promotes more flexibility as well as detoxifying one's body, if you're looking to lose weight than this is the yoga for you. This form of yoga is truly for wellness and rejuvenation of one's body, it doesn't focus as much on the mind body connection that many of the other types of yoga do. Bikram Yoga strictly focuses on Asana (Poses) and Pranayama (Breathing). Because of the heat and heavy sweating involved we don't recommend wearing our Yoga Jewelry during your routine.

Developed by Bikram Choudhury, an Olympic gold medal weight lifter in 1963, is now the only form of yoga done in a heated environment. Bikram was a student of Bishnu Ghosh, the brother of Paramanhansa Yogananda, the yogi who is considered the first to bring the philosophy and practice to America around 1920. There is some controversy in the yoga community surrounding the Bikram Yoga phenomenon, in that he has copyrighted and trademarked his yoga style and aggresivly pursued protection of these terms. There are over 500 Bikram Yoga studios around the world and each one must have a certified Bikram teacher that is paid and approved by the Bikram group. Many feel that yoga shouldn't become chains or franchises that not only put smaller yoga studios out of business but also don't focus on the fundamentals of yoga, the connection of mind and body to fulfill self-realization.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga is a system developed by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Ashtanga Yoga can be very strenuous as it combines synchronized breathing with continuous pose changes many of which take a lot of physical strength to perform. This creates a full body workout with heavy sweating that greatly improves circulation and cleanses the body.

Ashtanga Yoga is generally accepted to have its origins created from an ancient manuscript known as the Yoga Korunta that was interpreted by Pattabhi Jois under the guidance of his guru, however no one besides Jois and his guru have ever seen this text and even Jois himself has hinted that it may or may not exist. A more likely explanation on its development is that Jois's guru asked him to create a yoga routine that was suitable for children and younger adults that had less of an attention span and needed a more active routine. Sri K. Pattabhi Jois currently resides in Mysore, India.

Aside from its more active and strenuous routine some other things that make Ashtanga Yoga unique are the literal meanings of its translations, which mean eight-limbed yoga, each limb correlates to a spiritual practice that leads to the ultimate self-realization. Each of the limbs is a step and one must master each before moving on to the next.

Since Ashtanga Yoga generally brings the practioner to a heavy sweat we don't recommend wearing any of our Yoga Jewelry during your routine as the oils and salts may discolor or tarnish the silver and gemstones used.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ananda Yoga

Ananda Yoga is a great beginner's form of yoga. It focuses on the inner peace and self realization of the student by use of Asana (yoga poses) and Pranayama (breathing and energy control). Ananda Yoga helps bring back the original ideals and practices of Hatha Yoga.

Ananda Yoga was developed by Swami Kriyananda who is a direct disciple of the yogi Paramanhansa Yogananda, the yogi who is considered the first to bring the philosophy and practice to America around 1920, his teachings and practice are referred to as Kriya Yoga. Kriyananda was a minister at Yogananda's Self-Realization Fellowship. Ananda is actually more than just a yoga practice, it is a worldwide movement of intentional spiritual communities that practice yoga and meditation.

Some things that make Ananda Yoga unique are a special series of 39 techniques, each of which has its own posture and affirmation to help the practitioner increase focus and control the life force. The nice thing for beginners is that the poses are not a strict set but instead are designed to adapt to each person's style that best suits there needs.

Ananda Yoga is now practiced all over the world and several successful Ananda communities around the globe have been established and have high regards by many in the yoga community. In the pursuit of self-realization and meditation we hope you will browse through our many pieces of Yoga Jewelry, designed to help balance your energy, improve meditation, and let the world know that you find such issues important to you.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Aquamarine Jewelry

Aquamarine is actually part of the Beryl family, Beryls come in a variety of colors from pink to green, and the sea blue variety is called Aquamarine. Other stones of the Beryl family include Emeralds, Rubies, and Sapphires. Aquamarine is the birthstone of March and is said to protect the wearer in long voyages and ensure a safe return.

The wonderful sea blue color is unlike any other gemstone and goes great in almost any type of jewelry. Today most of the worlds Aquamarine come from Brazil. It is rated between a 7.5-8 on the mohs scale of hardness making it very well suited for jewelry and resistance to scratching and discoloration.

Did you know the single largest pieces of faceted cut Aquamarine is 14 inches tall and weighs 10,395 carats, titled the Dom Pedro, click here to check it out.

We generally use Aquamarine in our jewelry as a enhancement stone combined with many other gemstones. We do use it in an isolated manner in our birthstone jewelry. Here are some of our pieces that incorporate Aquamarine.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tourmaline Jewelry

Tourmaline is one of the most fascinating and beautiful gemstones out there. It often comes in multiple colors in a single stone and can vary from a pink to green fade through blue and yellow, it can pretty much be any and every color of the rainbow. The ancient Egyptians believed that this stone on its journey from the center of the earth eventually passed through a rainbow and that's what gave it its magnificent colors.

The name Tourmaline comes from the Sinhalese language of Sri-Lanka "turamali" or "toramalli" translated directly means stone of multiple colors. It is a crystal silicate mineral that includes aluminum, iron, magnesium, and sodium, which is why it can vary so wildly in color. It is mined all over the world and every location generally produces a different shade, color, or type. Tourmaline is said to be the gemstone of love and friendship, one of the reasons we feature it in our Family Bracelets.

Similar to some other crystalline based gemstones Tourmaline has a pyro-electric property. When it is heated and cooled down it becomes electrically charged with one end of the crystal becoming positive and the other negative, a fascinating property that is very interesting to scientists and meaningful to collectors and wearers of the stone.

We use a couple of types of Tourmaline from chips to pink briolette stones. Here are some of our favorites:
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