Wednesday, March 4, 2015

To help you defrost... 2 sessions for $100

March 4, 2015

As we "march forth" through winter, I'm delighted to offer this special combo deal...

two 90-minute sessions for $100

-- that's 180 minutes of bliss, for less than a dollar a minute! ;)

First session: 90min "Yogic Stretching" - like passive yoga, I'll stretch and compress you and help get your energy moving.

Second session: 90min Energy-Balance* - Reiki combined with Chakra-balancing techniques.
*Option to substitute a 90min Ayurvedic Nutrition Consultation for the Energy-Balance session.

Click here or read below to learn more about what you might experience in these two sessions.

Sign up here or email me to book your first session now! <3


You know you want to - treat yourself !

Thursday, February 19, 2015

What is "Prana / Chakra Yoga"?

Prana Yoga is the name of the yoga teacher training I graduated from in 2011, led by Dr Jeff Migdow and Priti Robyn Ross at the New York Open Center. These two teachers had been involved with Kripalu's yoga teacher training in the past, which is evident in their focus on moving energy, and the Hatha-like style of their "Prana Yoga" teachings -- including longer holds in each asana (yoga pose or posture) as well as soft pauses between poses. (As opposed to the Vinyasa style, which is more prevalent in many studios these days, characterized by a continuously moving, sequenced flow from one pose to the next.) An intriguingly unique feature of the Prana Yoga practice is the chanting of the seven bija mantram, or "seed sounds" associated with the seven major chakram ("wheels" of energy in the body's subtle layer). Chanting and breathing into our chakras helps bring focus and balance to these energy centers, which are each associated with one of our endocrine glands and with different aspects of our psyche.

What I find most fascinating - and beneficial - about Prana Yoga is this focus on the chakra system, and on cultivating awareness of our own inner workings and experiences as we practice, or, as one student put it, "marinate in" each pose. Every Prana Yoga asana has its own unique effect on our body, mind, and spirit, as each helps us access a different chakra. For example, certain postures help us feel more grounded and stable, which signifies a connection to our Muladhara or Root chakra; some poses help open our chests, which in turn helps to open the Anahata or Heart chakra; many poses can "work" several chakras at once. Different constitutions and circumstances require different 'tools' to help maintain balance in the system -- sometimes we need to open a chakra more to release specific emotions or holding patterns, while other times we need to rein in a chakra's energy; this is part of the awareness we must develop in order to fully grow as healthy human beings. Learning how to combine asanam with breathing techniques and bija mantram helps us to re-align ourselves as needed, and to help support overall well-being in the many layers of our selves.

I really enjoy the Prana Yoga style of practice and meditation, and I continue to call it Prana Yoga in recognition of, and in deference to, my teachers and their wisdom. But when I teach it, I often refer to it as Chakra Yoga - partly because I tend to incorporate other yoga schools' techniques, which alters the practice a bit, and also because I think that including "chakra" in the name helps people understand what makes it so special and different. Please contact me to get on my mailing list and find out about my Prana/Chakra Yoga class schedule, or to inquire about private or semi-private classes - or to ask me anything about yoga, the chakras, or Ayurveda!


Be Well,

Katie

Katherine D. Rosenthal, Holistic Wellness Practitioner
www.KratuWellness.com

February 19, 2015

P.S. Check back soon for a post that explains the Chakra System in greater depth...
 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Gift of Gratitude, from me to you

November 1, 2014
 
In honor of Gratitude Month, I would like to express my thanks for all the amazing opportunities I have been given in this life, and to share this with all of you. I am so grateful to have received knowledge from so many great teachers, and since it is my dream for everyone everywhere to feel balanced and healthy, I can't think of a better way to demonstrate my appreciation and respect for these teachings than to "gift them" to others.

So I have decided to give away some free sessions of my professional offerings this month. The first five people to reply to this, either by leaving a Comment below or by emailing me, can choose a Reiki (energy-balancing) session, a private or semi-private (2-4 person) yoga class, or an Ayurvedic (holistic) consultation and personalized Life/Diet Plan, as an expression of my gratitude. Time and location can be arranged according to your schedule.
 
In case you're not familiar with these modalities, I will describe here what each session might be like. Please let me know which you find most interesting, and if you're one of the first five people to contact me, you will receive that session for free!
 
Reiki is an ancient Japanese tradition of channeling energy ("chi" or "ki") so as to help open blockages in the body's energy pathways or to help balance the flow of energy; it can also be used to heal physical or emotional wounds. As the practitioner, I am simply an "empty vessel" that allows the energy to do its work on the person receiving the reiki. Most people simply feel relaxed and calm after a session - similar to how you might feel after a massage or meditation. Sometimes one may feel a more intense shift in emotions or physical well-being, depending on what is going on in the person's life and how open the receiver is. I provide a safe and supportive environment for whatever may come up for you.
 
The yoga class can be just for you, or you can include up to three others as your guests; any level of experience is fine. A class includes asanam (poses) as well as pranayama (breathwork) and meditation (focusing), and can last anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on your preference. I teach Hatha Yoga (which is generally slower, staying in each pose longer) and Vinyasa Yoga (more movement or "flow" in the sequence) - or a combination of the two - incorporating breath and chakra awareness throughout.
 
An Ayurvedic consultation is sort of like going to see a doctor and a therapist and a life coach and a nutritionist for the first time, all at once. We'll take a medical history and talk about your current state of physical and emotional well-being, go through your daily schedule and diet, and discuss your goals in life. From this assessment I can help guide you in making choices which, according to the ancient system of Ayurveda (a holistic science of medicine that emerged in India thousands of years ago and has been evolving around the world ever since), can bring more balance to your body, mind, and spirit. The personalized Life/Diet Plan would be your guide to Ayurvedic recommendations for your unique constitution, needs, and aspirations.

Please contact me with any questions, or to request one of five free sessions this month. :)  I look forward to hearing from you, and to working with you for a happier life!


Sincerely,


Katie

Katherine D. Rosenthal, Holistic Health Counselor

KRATU Wellness
Achieving Health & Harmony Through Vedic Knowledge
www.kratuwellness.com  

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sattva, Rajas, Tamas - and You!

June 1, 2014

In Ayurveda we talk a lot about the tridosha (Three Humours) - the primary building-block substances of the physical universe: dense liquid or solid matter (kapha), heat and light (pitta), and breath/air and space (vata). We often discuss the doshas in terms of our physical bodies, our earth-bound plane of existence: basically, our anatomical and physiological components. In addition, we also use the triguna (Three Attributes) to describe the more subtle energies of the mental body, such as our individual temperaments and moral dispositions, as well as our psychological tendencies and behavioral patterns. The three gunas, or attributes that govern the astral (mental) plane, are sattva, tamas, and rajas.

In Yoga we often refer to the idea of achieving sattva - balance or harmony, related also to the word 'sat' which means "truth" in Sanskrit. This refers to a harmonious state of calm, quiet stillness in the mind; when we follow a sattvic way of life our thoughts, emotions, and then actions become clear and pure. Without sattva we could not distinguish or understand anything; and we could not have sattva without rajas and tamas, the two other gunas or mental states. Rajas is movement; kinetic energy and activity; rajas also means disturbance, but without it we couldn't move, we would just be stuck where we are. Tamas is the state of inertia, dullness and heaviness; tamas means darkness, but without it we would have no stability, nothing to keep us grounded. Each of us possesses all three of these mental qualities, to different extents. It's important to examine the mind's thoughts, habits, and tendencies to better understand the balance of the three gunas that comprise your own individual mental constitution, and to help ensure that the mind is operating at its most optimum state.

We can draw some parallels between the triguna and the tridosha, keeping in mind that they refer to different planes of the self: tamas most closely mirrors consistent kapha with its earthy, solid, slow qualities; rajas reflects the dynamism of vata's mobile, erratic tendencies. The sattvic state is most often paralleled with the clarity and focus of a balanced pitta dosha.

Kapha and Vata types need not despair, however -- this does not mean that only Pitta types can achieve a sattvic mental nature. Anyone can lead a sattvic life and have a harmonious mind and a balanced body; the only differences would be how we achieve this, and how sattva manifests in your unique constitutional make-up. For example, a perfectly balanced Vata person would be energetic, flexible and adaptable, and would have strong healing energy as well as an ability to initiate positive change and movement. A sattvic Kapha mind would be peaceful, content, compassionate, and stable, with a deep ability to be patient, loyal, loving, nurturing, and supportive. And a sattvic-yet-fiery (pitta) mental nature would have intelligence, clear perception, a courageous independence and innate tendency for being a good leader, as well as warmth, friendliness, and a general sense of good will.

We can achieve our own higher level of mental functioning by following certain "remedial measures" that will help us balance an excess of rajas or tamas in the mind. There are unique recommendations for each doshic type but in general, replacing negative habits with positive ones - for example, meditation, mantra, self-inquiry, and devotional practices - can help us achieve a more sattvic state of being. Ayurvedic nutritional guidelines also characterize foods according to whether they have a sattvic, rajasic, or tamasic effect on the body, so we can also adapt our diet to include more sattvic items to help us stay in balance, and to take less of other foods that cause excess agitation or lethargy in the system.

(You can join me later this month for a discussion on Sattvic Foods at the next "move ~ learn ~ eat" Holistic Dinner Party! Email kratuhealth @ gmail for details <3 )

Does your mind feel harmonious, disturbed, or darkened? Perhaps these states rotate and vary, maybe one or even two tend to dominate. When you feel your mood shift, take a moment to connect with the current of energy that runs through your mind, and your body. Notice whether you feel agitated or overly active, whether you feel lazy or low, or whether you feel clear-headed and in harmony with your surroundings. Building awareness of the qualities of your mental nature can go a long way toward understanding sources of imbalance or dis-ease in our physical body (for example, even modern medicine has finally accepted that mental and emotional stress can have an adverse effect on our physical health), and can also help illuminate the obstacles and patterns found in our more subtle mind-body. And incorporating practices into our life that help us connect with our inner essence - activities that help us tune in to our own clarity, truth, and balance - can help increase the sattvic energy in our being. So take time each day to sit in meditation or self-examination, engage in spiritual rituals, chant mantras and prayers, or any practice that promotes purity, love, compassion, and harmony with the self and the universe. Enjoy the balance that comes from a daily commitment to sattva!

 As always, please contact me with any questions or feedback. You can also post a Comment below!


Thanks for reading,

Katie :)


 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Self-Compassion

May 2014

"They say compassion is a virtue, but I don't have the time." ~ That is a lyric from one of my favorite songs, "No Compassion" by the Talking Heads. I interpret this particular track as an exercise in irony and social commentary (so excellently entwined by David Byrne et al), highlighting both society's obsession with analyzing and dramatizing every one of our personal problems, and our lack of true interest in the plight of others. Of course, this could be considered an exaggeration of the extent of our culture's narcissism (perhaps greater in the 1970s and '80s!), but this song always brings a moment of self-reflection for me - I stop and ask myself, am I getting so overwhelmed with my own private concerns that I run out of energy to have compassion for anyone else?

This is where the concept of self-compassion comes in. When we are able to nourish our own selves with forgiveness, understanding, patience, and acceptance, we will then be able to turn to our friends and family with an open heart, open mind, and open arms. If we are constantly bogging down our mind with negative thoughts, we will never be able to see the light and love that exists in the universe, let alone be able to accept this light and love into our own selves or share it with others.

So whatever your "problems" are, realize that they are simply an impermanent obstacle to achieving your goals. Of course, most problems do not just go away - they often require hard work and determination to overcome - but by dwelling on them and allowing our problems to overwhelm our mind we give these impermanent things too much power, which could lead to thoughts about our problems pervading all aspects of our lives, putting us in a state of depression or anxiety. Utilize your yoga/meditation practice or regular exercise routine to help move the negative thoughts and emotions through your body, expelling them into the earth where nature will compost it. Then, once you've cleared your organism of this negativity, you can approach your problems with a more focused mind and get a better grasp of how to "fix" your problems with clarity and positivity.

Whatever your journey is to overcome in this life, you must be sure to have compassion for yourself, while also maintaining an awareness that everyone you encounter is also undergoing struggle and hardship. Recognizing this will help you to remember to be patient and forgiving, and that we are all one. Your problems may appear smaller or bigger than your neighbor's, but that is beside the point. The point is: Life is hard, and that's OK. So the next time you get caught up or overwhelmed, take a deep breath, and envision a big beaming light bursting out of your hearth, covering first yourself with its warm loving rays and allowing this to pervade your whole being, then radiate this compassionate love and warmth out to the universe.

Allow your heart to shine inward on yourself first, and then allow that love-light to reflect back out to others. Forgive yourself, and be patient even when you notice yourself getting caught up in your own problems. Remind yourself that growth and change is a slow process, filled with ups and downs, and that it's important to be gentle and understanding about your progress. Your self-love will help feed your ability to love and care for others, ultimately creating a positive cycle of compassion.

So love, forgive, and have compassion. For yourself, and for all creatures in the universe. It will be a daily struggle, but one worth the effort. Enjoy the journey ;) 


with love and compassion,

Katie






Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ayurvedic Dinner Party! Tuesday 4/29 in Brooklyn

April 17, 2014

 You are invited to to a casual "move, learn, & eat" gathering at my Brooklyn apartment on Tuesday, April 29th, starting around 6pm (see below for schedule).

RSVPs are greatly appreciated so I can make enough space and food for everyone. Email me at kratuhealth @ gmail . com to let me know you're coming, and whether you're bringing anyone with you.


A $15-20 donation is requested to cover the meal and the class; you can give as you are able, no one turned away.

Can you make it to Bed-Stuy BK on the 29th? Please email kratuhealth @ gmail . com to RSVP!

If you can only make one part of the evening that's cool too, just let me know when to expect you. :) And if you can't come at all, please tell me another day(s)/date(s)/time(s) that would be better for you (if enough people could make it on a weekend, for example, instead of a weekday evening then maybe I'll schedule the next one for a weekend!).

Here's the basic outline of the evening (remember, Time is relative) --

Tuesday 4/29 Ayurveda Dinner Party!
6:00pm  Yoga
- Some basic movement followed by short&sweet breathing and meditation practice.
6:30pm  Lecture
- Find out what Ayurveda has to say about Spring, its effects on our bodies and minds and what we can do to feel our best during this time of year.
7:00pm  Dinner
- Enjoy a delicious, nutritious Ayurvedic meal with lovely new friends.


I hope to see you there!


with Love & Sunshine,

Katie :) 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

New project: Intuitive Living!

Hey y'all!

Thanks so much for reading the KRATU Wellness blog. I just wanted to let you all know that I'm now collaborating on a new project - the "Intuitive Living" blog - with my friend Daniell Cohen, a fellow yogi and a fantastic photographer. We started it with the intention of inviting our readers to join us in the discovery of how to live intuitively, even in a chaotic city like ours. Daniell and I hope it will help others navigate modern life while staying tuned in to their own personal Truth, and to find ways to maintain Balance & Harmony even on the most hectic of days. :)

Check it out here:
http://intuitivelivingblog.tumblr.com/

Let me know what you think - I'd love to hear from you!

Much love,

Katie :)

P.S. Happy Holidays!!! Warm wishes for a season filled with light, comfort, and joy...