February Yoga Pose of the Month

IMG_08481-150x150 WARRIOR POSE: Virabhadrasana

Learning to open your heart and feel the preciousness of each moment is a gift of yoga. Practice the variations of the WARRIOR poses to be ferocious, steadfast, strong and gentle. Find balance between the active power of masculine energy (Shiva) and the receptive, calming, embracing feminine energy of Shakti.

February is National Heart Month. Share love, kindness, generosity and forgiveness to improve your heart health!

Warrior poses help to strengthen the whole body, focus the mind and elevate the spirit!

In this Reverse Warrior or Sun Warrior (Viparita Virabhadrasana) the heart and chest are expanded so you can breathe more deeply. Awaken from the sluggish energy of winter and come onto your mat with the ferocity and determination of a true warrior.

Try using yoga as a warm-up or cool-down to your aerobic exercise.  Find balance in being active/outward as well as being receptive/inner. Listen to your inner warrior to know when it is time to make something happen and when it is time to go with the flow! Enjoy the beauty of  doing and of being.

What are your favorite ways to strengthen your heart physically? emotionally? spiritually?SONY DSC

Be sure to visit our website Energy for Life for counseling and “Secrets of a Soulful Marriage” book, retreats, seminars and coaching at www.energyforlife.us

You can get  your copy of our book “Be Your Best Self: Yoga for Families” on Amazon.


Building Bridges Back HOME

Happy 2014!  As we embark on this new journey of intentions, promises, resolutions and commitments, let me offer a simple 3-step model for health and wellbeing. Teach this to your children and friends!

First, take time upon awakening &/or before falling asleep, for even a few minutes, to be quiet, calm and relaxed. Breathing in healthy energy, breathing out old stale air. Breathing in “I AM” and breathing out “CALMING.” Do this 4-5 times and then relax.

With mindfulness (focused attention),  you can find the balance and peace within your own mind, body, heart and soul. Name this ‘state of being’ something to describe your birthright of being present, safe, whole. Try “HOME” or “My Home base” or “My calm space.”  Learn how HOME feels; write words in a circle of wholeness.

Home                                               Bridges                                                              Away from Home

Practice this 3-step way to stay true to yourself!

1. Know your HOME,

2. your AWAY FROM HOME and


Anytime you feel yourself going away from your true HOME, notice what that is like. Some people call it  “AWAY FROM HOME” or “Chaos” or Twirly” or “Overwhelmed.” Depict this state of being like jagged lines or random swirls.

You can learn many ways to bring yourself back HOME. Start with breathing deeply, shifting your thoughts to something positive and encouraging, and doing something that serves as a BRIDGE to come back HOME.

Make a list of all the ways you calm down, like exercising, cooking, making a project, talking with a friend, listening to music, praying, practicing yoga. Help your family do this as well, so you can support a calm, healthy household. Post the list on the refrigerator.


Let us know what works for you. What do the kids like best to come back HOME?

Try the Bridge yoga pose to help remind you. See January Challenge Pose for details.


Ruth Sharon


January Challenge Pose: Bridge


During January, practice the Bridge Pose as your challenge pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana), with its variations. See page 35 in our book “Be Your Best Self: Yoga for Families.” Order your copy on Amazon.com.



Lie flat on your back with your knees bent, feet on the ground and your arms by your sides. Walk your feet back toward your hips. Squeeze and lift your gluteus muscles off the floor, one vertebrae at a time. Keep this bandha or conscious hold. Push into your feet and activate your thighs. Pull your belly toward your spine, as you lift up even higher. Turn your shoulder blades under so your chest is open.
Try lifting your arms up to the sky and lifting one leg upward as well. Also, you can interlock your hands under your hips and arch even more. Be sure to keep your chin tucked to stretch your neck. Breathe as you come back HOME to yourself.



Ruth Sharon


Tips for Enjoying this Holiday Season

As this busy season is upon us, we may lose track of our own peace and inner harmony. This is a time of bringing light into the darkness. When you are too busy, cranky, off-balance or irritable, your holiday may not go as smoothly as you hoped.

Do you notice you are putting yourself last on your list?

Here are some simple tips for enjoying this holiday season and letting your light shine brightly.

1. Take time alone

CAMEL-Screen-Shot-2013-05-01-at-1.37.20-PM-300x292CamelIMG_08481-150x150                                                  Reverse Warrior

  • to set your intentions for how you want to experience this holiday season.
  • to practice your favorite yoga poses. Try December challenge pose: Camel; put together your own routine, use Ruth Sharon’s “Yoga for Life” DVD or go to class. Enjoy yoga practices with your children using our “Be Your Best Self: Yoga for Families” book on Amazon.com.
  • to breathe and relax (inhale to count of 4, hold for count of 4, exhale for count of 4, hold for count of 4).
  • to write in a journal or as a story; read, draw, send out cards or letters.
  • to bake, cook, plan; enjoy music that sets the mood.
  • to pray and meditate; focus on inner balance, gratitude and humility.
  • to visualize people /places in need,  with orbs of light around them as Divine support.

2. Manage family time so you feel nourished and not drained.

  • If you are traveling, be sure to manage your energy with rest, water and quiet.
  • Spend romantic time with your sweetheart so your relationship stays close.
  • Be sure to limit your time with people who drink or drug to the point of being dysfunctional or harmful.
  • Put up your invisible shield with compassion and firmness. This is self-love in action.
  • Deal with old issues that may surface at holiday time.
  • See a counselor or coach to help you maintain your boundaries and self-esteem.

3. Ask for help or support when you are feeling tired, overwhelmed or unappreciated. Children love to help; give everyone something to do to contribute to the holiday spirit.

4. Do fun activities that enliven, refresh and nurture you. Laughing is a very healthy activity! Play with children or with child-like spirit! Silliness is good!

5. Eat healthy, live, colorful foods amidst the sugary treats. Protein and vegetables help balance your blood sugar. Set your intentions about how you want to eat and drink. Engage an accountability partner to share how your food and alcohol intake is going.

6. Get plenty of fresh air, sunlight and exercise so your inner world can glow with radiant light! Pace your active and quiet times so you create inner harmony.

7. Serve others who are in need–volunteer or donate to spread the holiday spirit. Children learn by your modeling. Show them how small caring, generous gestures can make a big difference in someone’s life.

8. Set your budget and stick with it. Overspending becomes a very stressful pressure in January and into the next year. Money is a treasured resource to use wisely.

What are your ideas? Please share your holiday tips.


Ruth Sharon and family


P.S. new additions to our family: Dana (Michael’s fiancé), Chris (Alyssa’s boyfriend)and baby Isabella (Alaina,  Bill, Hannah)


December Challenge Yoga Pose





Camel Pose: UstrasanaCAMEL-Screen-Shot-2013-05-01-at-1.37.20-PM-300x292

Happy Holidays! May the focus of this season be light filling your heart with radiant joy, blessings and gratitude.

Learn to be more flexible during this busy time of the year. Pacing yourself with some refreshing yoga breaks can help with body, mind and emotions! Ask the children and other family members to join you in taking care of yourselves. Order our book “Be Your Best Self: Yoga for Families” from Amazon.com as a wonderful family gift and to share with others!

Use the Camel Pose (page 39) for more flexibility and balanced energy.  Stretch your spine, abdomen, chest, throat, psoas and hip flexors. Try these variations of Camel according to your flexibility.

Come onto your knees with your torso upright, with a tall spine. Lift the crown of your heart and stack your ears over shoulders, and shoulders over hips.

Start with a slight backbend: Lift and roll your shoulders back and down. Place your hands along your lower back or back of your thighs, then lift and open your chest. Breathe. This is a test for your back. Come back upright and roll your shoulders forward and round your back, placing your hands on your thighs. Relax and breathe.

If your back feels fine, lift your shoulders, roll them back, and reach back for your heel with one hand. Reach up to the sky with the other, open your chest and throat, relax your jaw. Then lean back as if your head and hand could touch the floor. Come back up and curl forward into Child’s Pose to release tension in your back. Alternate sides, then try holding both heels as you backbend, opening your heart space. Breathe slowly and evenly. Rest in Child’s Pose to end the sequence.

Hope you feel more relaxed and flexible!

Take really good care of yourself. Fill yourself first and give from the overflow!

Be well

Ruth Sharon, Counselor, Coach, Yoga Teacher



She said her husband adored her….

I was visiting my mother (soon to be 93, in the green sweater in front row) in Harrisburg, PA recently. I had the honor of sharing yoga with some of the lovely residents of the retirement community, pictured below. Have you ever shared yoga with your family? Anyone can enjoy the benefits of breathing deeply, stretching, balancing, strengthening and spending time together!

After yoga class, my mother and I went into the communal dining room. I noticed a woman I hadn’t seen in decades who was the grandmother of my neighbor. When we asked her if we could join her table,  she nodded yes. My mother and I were amazed at how well she looked. At 96, this stately woman was wearing a suit, pressed shirt, pearls, earrings, hosiery and dress pumps.

Senior Yoga OakhurstI delighted in her animated conversation as she filled me in on news from my neighbor’s family. I could not help but ask her,”What am I seeing here that you are so well-groomed, articulate and joyful? What is going on for you?” She smiled and leaned in to tell me her secret. “My husband Sam adored me. He treated me like a queen and looked out for me. I carry his love in my heart. I am so blessed.”

Right then and there, I imagined an altar in my heart–a sacred place for the love of my husband Jim and our family. The eternal light vessel of love is shining brightly to this day!

Can you imagine an altar for your love?

I have set up a small table with a white cloth, 2 small white candles to represent each of us, with one larger white candle for the union of our relationship. Lovely flowers, a photo of Jim and me smiling, and a card that says Blessings complete our altar. Try making your own display of your love and let us know what you have created. You can make an altar for your kids, work, health, prosperity, yoga and meditation practice –to elevate your spiritual connection.

Share your photos on our Facebook page

November Yoga Challenge Pose: Tree (Vrksasana)

 November Yoga Challenge Pose: Tree (Vrksasana)

Trees are wonderful symbols of balance and support! As the leaves fall off the trees, the roots go deep into the Earth for nourishment. So it is with us, as we shed off old beliefs and habits and we heal, we can deepen in our trust of the support that is always present.



The more you practice this balance pose, the more stable and rooted like a real tree you will become! Strengthen your thighs, calves, ankles and spine; stretch your groin, inner thigh, chest and shoulder.

Stand tall in Mountain pose/Tadasana. Place your palms together at your chest. Align the top of the head over the tailbone, ears over shoulders, shoulders over hips, hips over feet. Deepen your stance on the four corners of your feet.

Shift your weight to one foot/leg. Slowly lift the other knee and rotate it out to the side. Place the foot against the inner thigh, calf or ankle. Gaze lightly at a still point (dristi).

Breathe, balance and lift your arms up, as branches growing (or sway like wind blowing in the branches) or as a heart above your head. Come back to Mountain pose. Breathe slowly. Switch to the side.


Learn more on page 66 of our book “Be Your Best Self: Yoga for Families.” Order your autographed copy from Amazon.


Family Yoga with Confidence and Fun!

Children are learning yoga poses  (asanas)all over their lives: in schools, day care centers, kids yoga classes, as well as in gymnastics, ballet, martial arts and sports. Parents are practicing yoga for stress relief, relaxation, strengthening, balancing and being more flexible.

Coming together as parents and children in yoga is a joyful, and sometimes frustrating, process. Here is a great article from Yoga Journal online, family section,  with a sequence that can bring your family together in healthy ways. Check out this excerpt below and read the whole article. http://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/2561

Before You Begin

Set Up. Find a quiet spot in your home or yard to set up your mats.

Communicate. Chat with your child about yoga. Let her know that it’s a physical practice and that breathing deeply is important. Listen to her concerns and ideas. As you practice, compliment your child on her efforts. Create a sense of lightheartedness, and convey that yoga is meant to feel good and be fun!

About the sequence.

During the sequence, remind your child often to breathe deeply through her nose. Hold poses for about 2 to 5 breaths. And check in every so often by asking her how a pose feels or where she is working hardest.

1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Stand up straight with your feet together. Lift your toes up and spread them. Roll your shoulders back and place your hands on your belly. Take 5 deep breaths and feel your belly move. This pose can be called “home base” in yoga.

2. Crescent Moon Pose

Bring your left arm up toward the sky and spread your fingers wide. Keep reaching your arm long as you tip over to the right. Take 2 to 5 deep breaths and then switch sides. Remember to reach as high as you can before tipping over.

3. Rag Doll Pose

Stand with your feet parallel, hip-width apart. Take a big breath, then exhale and bend over, letting your arms and head be loose and hang toward your feet. Shake out your arms and nod your head “yes” and “no.”

4. Ostrich Pose

Step your feet wide apart. Breathe in and reach both arms up. Exhale as you fold over. Place your hands on the floor or on your legs while you look through your legs. Ask your child why this pose is called Ostrich. (Answer: Ostriches sleep with their heads buried in the ground.)

5. Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II), with a partner

First try Warrior II individually. Then try it as a partner pose. Stand shoulder to shoulder and to the right of your child. Place the outer edge of your left foot next to the outer edge of her right foot (these are your “inside feet”). Step your outside feet wide and turn them out 90 degrees. Hold each other’s inside wrists, reach your outside arms away from each other, and bend your outside knees to 90 degrees.

6. Partner Frog Pose

Try Frog Pose individually first. Stand with your feet parallel, hip-width apart. Lower yourself into a squat. (If necessary, bring your feet farther apart or rest your heels on a rolled blanket.) Place your elbows inside your knees and press your palms together at the heart. If you are tipping back, bring your head forward; if you are tipping forward, take your head back. After a few breaths, come out of the pose and try it together. Stand face to face, holding each other’s wrists. Take a big breath, then lower into a squat as you breathe out.

7. Butterfly Pose

Sit face to face, pressing the soles of your own feet together. Scoot your sitting bones close to your feet. Interlace your fingers and place them around your feet. Sit up tall and take 2 to 5 deep breaths. If you want to deepen the pose, stick your chin out and bend forward. Instruct your child to breathe into her hips.


8. Mixing Bowl

Sit facing each other and extend your legs out wide into a V shape. Press the soles of your feet into the soles of your child’s feet (or have your child place her feet higher on your legs, if she needs to). Reach forward and hold each other’s wrists, hands, or fingers. Slowly begin to lean forward and back until you each feel a stretch. After a few breaths, rotate your bodies in a circle like you are mixing something in a bowl. Move one way and then the other, making sure to communicate if you want more or less of a stretch.

9. Mirror Me

Sit comfortably, facing each other. Bring your hands up, fingers spread wide, in front of your chest. Move your palms very close to your child’s, until they are almost touching. Move your hands up, down, and side to side very slowly, while your child mirrors you. Then allow your child to become the leader. Encourage quiet focus and concentration. Practice this exercise as long as you like. Afterward, ask your child if she preferred leading or following.

10. Partner Breathing

Sit back to back and feel your partner’s back move as she breathes naturally. Next, try to both make the in breath and the out breath the same length. Take 5 to 10 breaths together, enjoying the fruits of your hard work.

After You Finish

Rest Lie together in Floating on a Cloud Pose (also known as Savasana, or Corpse Pose.


For more Family Yoga ideas, order your autographed copy of our book

“Be Your Best Self: Yoga for Families” on Amazon.com


Let us know how we may support you and your family! Namaste!

Relieve Stress and Have More Energy for Life

8 TIPS  for Relieving Stress and Having More Energy for Life!

children praying

1. Breathing with conscious awareness, slow and even, letting the mind follow the inhale all the way in and the exhale all the way out. Practice being present and calm. Awaken your spirit with meditation–the medicine of the mind! .

2. Being grateful for even the tiniest blessings in a day. Awakening each day with gratitude in your heart for another clean slate–to learn, grow, serve, love, succeed, fail, experiment, discover.

3. Being a learner. Being curious. Awakening the beginner’s mind to see things anew. Reducing judgment, criticism and demand.

4. Talking, expressing, communicating; not stuffing feelings inside your mind and body. Releasing old guilts, worries, shame and regrets. Free the energy!

5. Learning attitudes and skills for working out conflicts in peaceful ways. Practicing often to get good at it! Writing, rehearsing, roleplaying help.

6. Acknowledging successes and triumphs, affirming even your slightest progress in the direction of your goals.

7. Having fun, playing, laughing, loving, hugging, tickling, creating, inventing. Letting the spark of delight touch you and light you up!

8. Exercising, practicing yoga, walking, dancing, moving, keeping the energy flowing. Stagnant energy can create depression, anxiety and irritability. Move!!


October Yoga Pose: FISH (Matsyasana)

October Yoga Challenge Pose: Fish (Matsyasana)
Fish pose

Stretch and stimulate the muscles and organs of the belly, front of the neck, and throat. As you activate the psoas muscle in the pelvis, you can improve your posture and balance.

Lie on your back, with your legs extended, tuck your elbows to your sides and lift the upper torso and head. Arch your back and rest your head lightly on the floor or on a block, as shown.

Open your heart space and breathe love in and exhale send love out to others. Be like the fish in a sea of loving, healing energy.

Variations of Fish:  

Sit on your knees with your hips on the heels, if you can OR sit in half or full Lotus. Place your hands behind you on the floor, with your fingers pointing toward your knees, chest open.  

Slowly lower to your elbows, keeping the knees on the floor. 

If you can, lower  the top of your head to the floor and your arms sliding toward your knees (or hold your big toes in Lotus). Open the throat and chest, breathe 3-5 cycles before coming back up onto your elbows, then hands.

Learn more on page 37 of our book “Be Your Best Self: Yoga for Families.” Order your autographed copy from Amazon.

Let us know how we can support your yoga and meditation practice!

Ruth Sharon