Chakras In Transition

March 9th, 2010

Chakras In Transition – What Are They Anyway?

Are you feeling out of balance? Perhaps you are moving through transitions or changes and having difficulty integrating what’s coming your way? Do you feel like you have the support or energy you need to move forward? When things are unclear, are you able to give space to the emotions that may come up or find the focus you need to reflect on what comes next? Or perhaps there is a situation where you do not feel heard and are having difficulty in speaking your truth. Taking a look at what is happening with your charkas can give insight on what may need to be addressed in order to feel like you are moving forward.

Chakra is the sankskrit word for “wheel”. There are seven major charkas that are located down the center of your body, starting at the base of your spine and going all the way to the top of your head. These wheels of energy have a natural tendency to spin, and as the spin they help us to receive, integrate, and transmute energy. I like to think of them as one’s energetic spine. When a chakra is out of balance it is much like when your physical spine is out of alignment – there can be discomfort and a feeling of being stuck in life. And just like when one’s physical spine is out of alignment and an area of pain grabs our attention – the rest of our spine and surrounding muscles can be compensating by working harder than they need to. This can happen energetically as well – so we might not be feeling the ease in processing what comes our way because we need realignment to feel the flow again.

One of the most common imbalances I work with, takes place in the 3rd chakra, known as the solar plexus chakra. It spins around the area at the base of our ribs and is also connected to our adrenal glands (which are located on top of the kidneys in the back of our body within the 3rd chakra) which triggers our “fight or flight response”. So often auto-immune diseases have connection to the stress that we experience. Our adrenals kick in to create adrenaline when this stress is high or during periods of prolonged stress, giving us the energy to face into the challenge or run away from it. The third chakra is the ruler of our will, our sense of purpose and the ability to take action. The natural element connected to it is fire.

In our culture we are often focused on producing results and being productive. When this is in balance it can feed our sense of who we are and what we bring to the world. However, when we push too hard and try to take on more than we can chew – we exhaust ourselves, our adrenals and our third chakra. So we may be invited to slow down and reflect on what we can adequately take on and what is our purpose. We also might question if we are getting the support we need to feed our fire from our family, community and our work (1st – Root chakra). Or perhaps we are not attending to what brings us pleasure (2nd – Sacral chakra) or we are feeling uninspired (7th – Crown chakra).

Creating a deeper relationship with your etheric body impacts your physical body as well, since all systems are a part of the larger whole. In meditating on the chakras and having someone do chakra work for you – whether it be clearing or balancing, you can begin to attend to the deeper meaning of what is challenging you and experience a greater sense of clarity and release, grounding and flow

So what do you say? Are your charkas calling you?

Gina C James LMT #7348, Reiki Master and Spiritual Director has been working with charkas for the last twelve years. She uses Reiki and Pranic Healing to balance and clear one’s energetic body during private sessions. She also teaches Movement Through The Chakras Classes which include meditative and movement explorations of the chakras through a variety of creative, mindful and experiencial techniques.

Movement Through The Chakras – Wheels of Transformation Class

Saturdays 2:30-4:30
Purchase the whole series for $90 or take individual classes for $15 per class

April 3rd – Introduction To The Chakras
Gain a greater understanding of this dynamic system

April 17th – Root – 1st Chakra
Survival, the Body, Family

April 24th– Sacral – 2nd Chakra
Flow, Creativity, Pleasure

May 1st – Solar Plexus – 3rd Chakra
Will, Purpose, Action

May 8th – Heart – 4th Chakra
Compassion, Connection, Love

May 22nd – Throat – 5th Chakra
Truth, Expression, Sound

May 29th– Third Eye – 6th Chakra
Insight, Intuition, Light

June 5th– Crown – 7th Chakra
Unity, Spirituality, Trust

June 19th -Integrating The Whole
Celebrate the dynamics of the whole

Interested in the next Movement Through the Chakras Class? Feel free to call Gina at 503-282-8600 ext 5.

Yoga with Tammy Holder

January 21st, 2010

through the practice and discipline of yoga
with Tammy

Bring yourself to the mat, breathe and welcome yourself to this moment as you move with awareness to your own breath rhythm. Yoga meets you right where you are, here in the present moment. Even after the first practice you can begin to reap the health benefits, increased vitality and healing of yoga. Sure, your muscles with stretch and strengthen and you can relieve physical aches and pains but did you know you can improve the quality of your mental focus, quality of life, and your relationships? This is Yoga; postures and breathing practices that heal and support you on your path to vibrant health, mental stability and joyful living.


Jan. 4 – Feb. 15 (7-Weeks), Mondays 5:30-6:45 PM
Gentle Yoga – a place to begin if you are new to yoga or have some minor aches, pains or general stiffness. Gently paced, you can increase flexibility, maintain strength and experience the effects of a well-balanced yoga practice on mind, body and vital energy.
Cost: 7-week term = $70.00, Drop-in = $12.00

Jan. 4 – Feb. 15 (7-Weeks), Mondays 7:00-8:15 PM
Balanced Strength – for students with a year or more yoga experience who are looking for a well balanced practice to strengthen and stretch their whole body while training their mental focus and increasing breathing capacity without strain. A great way to begin each week; with clarity of mind, focused intention and a balanced body.
Cost: 7-week term = $70.00, Drop-in = $12.00

To Register:
call Tammy at (503) 984-6133
Register early
as class size is limited to ensure plenty of individual attention.
Can’t begin on Jan. 4th? no problem. Join the class within the first three weeks of the session and we’ll pro-rate the fee.
suggested props: bring your own mat and firm cotton or wool blanket, but should you need them, there are props available for your use.

Two New Class Offerings and an Introductory Lecture/
Demonstration for Each

Feb. 3 – March 10, Wednesdays 5:30 – 6:45 (6-week course = $90)
Yoga for the Upper Back, Neck and Shoulders
In each class you will learn a short sequence of postures and a few simple movement principles that can help you relieve tension, improve posture and find a better balance of strength and flexibility for your unique body. You will have the opportunity to explore and make the connections between your posture, your patterns of tension/hypo-tone and which movements work best to help correct your imbalances. Through this course, you will simultaneously begin relieving tension, strengthen weak areas and acquire a deeper understanding of the dynamics of movement as you relate to the forces of the earth. We will also discuss common causes of upper back, neck and shoulder tension and how ergonomics or your activities may relate to your tension patterns.

Feb. 3 – March 10, Wednesdays 7:00 – 8:15 (6-week course = $90)
Yoga for the Lower Back
you will learn some anatomy of the spine and pelvis and we will discuss common causes of lower back discomfort and how your posture, ergonomics or activities may relate to your tension patterns. In each class you will learn a short sequence of postures and a some simple movement principles that can help you relieve tension, achieve a balance of tone all throughout the lower back and lower body, improve joint function and find a better balance of strength and flexibility for your lower back. Through this course, you can simultaneously begin relieving your lower back discomfort, strengthen weak areas and acquire a deeper understanding of the dynamics of movement as you relate to the forces of the earth.

Come to an introductory lecture/demonstration
for these new courses and get more information,
experience the instructor and try it out
before you commit to a course.

Introductory lecture/demo at Numinosity Wellness Center Wednesday Jan. 13.
5:30 – 6:45 PM Yoga for the Upper Back, Neck and Shoulders
7:00 – 8:15 PM Yoga for Hips and Lower Back

About the Instructor:
Tamra Holder, LMT is a Yoga Instructor in the T. Krishnamacharya-Desikachar yoga tradition and a Massage Therapist (OR #10548). She has been studying and practicing yoga since 1999 and teaching since 2003. She completed 450 hours of teacher training including an apprenticeship with Sarahjoy Marsh. Tamra is currently completing her second 500-hour Teacher training program with the Healing Yoga Foundation, San Francisco. Both her bodywork and yoga training emphasize honoring, respecting and meeting the unique needs and goals of each person. She endeavors to create a comfortable atmosphere for students to explore, experiment, inquire and experience a state of Yoga and a qualitative change in the mind-body system. Tamra is delighted to share her joy and enthusiasm for yoga with people from all walks of life.

Gayatri Healing Yoga
growing awareness &
Inspiring radiant health

(503) 984-6133

Even More Yoga Options at Numinosity!

November 24th, 2009

Introducing: Yoga Classes with Barbara Wood at Numinosity.

Numinosity is happy to announce even more yoga options at Numinosity. Take advantage of classes from Tammy on Monday night (5:30 – 6:45 Gentle, or 7:00 – 8:15 Strength) or Barb on Wednesday nights (5:30 – 6:45 Mixed Therapeutic).

Wednesday night Yoga in December with Barb

Come work with Barb for 4 (four) weeks (Three Wednesday’s and one Thursday!) to tune up, tune in and distress during the hectic holiday season. 5:30 – 6:45, Series of 4 for $40 or drop in for $12 each class. Make checks payable to Barbara Wood.

Week 1 – Wed December 2nd – Low Back and Core

Week 2 – Wed December 9th – Hips and Legs

Week 3 – Thur December 17th – Shoulders, Arms and Neck

Week 4 – Wed December 23rd – Heart Openers and Gratitude

Barb will begin a 10 week series after the holidays. Wednesday night therapeutic yoga for all skill levels. Jan 6th – March 10th. Series of 10 for $100 or drop in for $12/class.

Give the gift of yoga to a friend or loved one. Call Barb at 503-341-6011 for gift certificate ideas.

What is Kripalu Yoga?

Kripalu Yoga is an inquiry-based yoga methodology that promotes the awakening of the life force (prana). Using classic asanas, pranayama, meditation, and relaxation techniques, Kripalu Yoga increases awareness of body, breath, and mind and encourages natural alignment.

Off the mat, this inquiry-based approach to life also encourages natural alignment and increased awareness-of our thoughts, words, feelings, and actions. In this way, Kripalu Yoga is the inquiry of optimal living.

Kripalu Yoga emphasizes the mechanics of yoga (proper breath and alignment) as well as the inner, spiritual dimensions of yoga practice. Students are encouraged to honor the wisdom of the body and to work according to its limits and strengths.

The primary objective of Kripalu Yoga is to awaken the natural intelligence of the life-force (the flow of prana) in order to promote thriving in all aspects of life. Because of its approach, Kripalu Yoga is compatible with all other styles and traditions of yoga practice.

Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health website

What is Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy?

As we struggle to keep up with the hectic pace of our busy lives, we may find ourselves longing for simplicity, inner peace and deeper meaning, for a way to heal our bodies, our spirits and our lives. Though at times we look for outside sources to guide us, somewhere deep inside we know that we must slow down, reconnect with ourselves and listen to our own inner voice.

Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, through a combination of classical yoga techniques and elements of contemporary body-mind psychology, encourages this deeper connection with self.

A Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy session is a one-on-one process lasting one-and-a-half hours. Through assisted yoga postures and non-directive dialogue, practitioners guide clients to experience the connection of their physical and emotional selves. Using focused breathing, this connection is held and explored, fostering release, personal growth and healing. Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy website

What is Coaching?

Coaching is defined as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Through the establishment of a trusting relationship, the coach works with the coachee to define their goals, get clear about any obstacles and help them hold themselves accountable for achieving what they want. Coaching is a forward moving process that deals with old issues as necessary but doesn’t mine for them. Barb brings her laser-like insights and compassionate counseling skills to the service of her clients. One client said, “I felt seen, heard and then propelled into action to take a direction I’d not thought of before.”

About Barbara.

Barbara Wood, Ph.D. was introduced to yoga in the mid 1980s and remembers silently crying on her mat in her first Shavasana. “I felt like I was coming home.” Practicing on and off since then, she began a daily practice in 2003 and completed 200 hour Kripalu teacher’s training in 2004. After completing training she taught staff of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, NJ for 2 years. Barb currently teaches two classes a week at Lloyd Center Athletic Club (Monday 6:45 pm – 8:00 Intermediate; and Saturday 11:15-12:15 Beginning) and 2 per week at her work place, Children’s Nursing Specialties. “Yoga has saved my life in so many ways. Whether it be healing from physical injuries, the death of a partner to cancer, or managing so many of life’s challenges, my yoga mat has been my refuge through so much. I want to share my love and commitment to the healing powers of yoga with as many students as possible.”

Barb is also a certified Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist and an Organizational and Executive Coach, plus holds a Master’s of Education in Counseling Psychology and a Doctorate in Human Development and Family Studies.

Besides Kripalu, Barb has trained at Integral Yoga Studio and with Cindy Lee in New York City and currently volunteers for Living Yoga through Amrita. Her classes are a blend of deep grounded introspection and light joyful play. The atmosphere in the class is one of support and relaxation as students are guided to allow their inner wisdom to be their true teacher. The smaller class size of Numinosity offer opportunities for more individualized attention. Barb’s training as a yoga therapist makes her acutely aware of the need for modifications and adaptations to fit unique needs. She’s highly creative while also being acutely aware of safety.

Call Barb at 503-341-6011 or email at for more information about classes at Numinosity, to schedule a one-on-one yoga session, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy session or free coaching sample session.

Give a healing gift this holiday season:

*One-on-one yoga session to a loved one.

*Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Session

*Term of yoga classes.

*Coaching Session.

How to be Happy this Holiday Season.

November 24th, 2009

From Christina Rose:

I am always looking for fun and easy articles for clients that help describe useful tips on different issues. I picked up Bonkers Magazine for the first time this week, and am really enjoying it. Since I’d wanted to share something about holiday stress in our Holiday Newsletter, I was quite delighted to see the following article. I hope you find it useful.

Blessings for a de-stressed holiday.

Happy, Happy Holiday: How to Really Be Happy
by Tina B. Tessina
Excerpted from Bonkers Magazine December 2009 issue

Holidays can be the best of times and the worst of times. No matter what you observe: Ramadan, Kwaanza, Chanukah, Solstice or Christmas, this is a celebratory time of year. For some it’s a joy and a time for gathering with beloved family members. For others it’s a nightmare – with pressure to spend too much, eat too much, and socialize with those we don’t even like. If your holiday expectations are out of line with what you really want, then you’ll be stressed. However, holidays can be a source of bonding and strength with a little thought and pre-planning.

De-Stress the Holiday

To de-stress the holidays, get intentional about them. Happier holidays require three things:

1.lighten up on expectations
2.ask for help
3.understand what other people are thinking

1.To lighten up expectations, understand that this is your real life, not a picture-book experience. Family or friends may squabble, food may not turn out perfectly, and gifts may not go over as well as people hope. A sense of humor will help lighten up the whole thing. Think of yourself as a holiday trouble-shooter, rather than a designer of perfect scenarios. Find out what’s really important to you, your guests and your family, and pare your celebration down to the important things. Focus less on spending money or decorating, and more on spending time with those you love.

2.Ask for help by getting other people engaged in the happenings. Ask them to share the work. You’ll find that a lot of camaraderie comes out of working together, and a lot of the holiday fun will happen behind the scenes as you work with others to get ready. Your family and friends will feel more a part of the celebration if they actually help create it.

3.Understand what people are thinking by talking about events in advance with your spouse, your children, or other members of your family and friends. Ask them what they like most and least, and what they hope will happen. If you know their “hidden agendas,” you’ll be less surprised.

Let Go of Small Problems

No matter how well you plan, little things can go wrong. Don’t let them spoil the whole day. Just let them go, using the following steps”

1.Perspective: Put it in perspective – will it be important an hour from now? Fifteen minutes from now? Most little things won’t be.

2.Self-understanding: If someone or something upsets you, don’t exacerbate the problem by getting on your own case for reacting. It’s normal to have emotional reactions, but you don’t have to let them show or act on them.

3.Rise above: If someone upset you or was rude, give a littler prayer of thanks that it wasn’t worse, say a blessing for your friend (who probably needs it) …

4.Benefit of the doubt: If someone hurt your feelings, acknowledge that your feelings are hurt, and consider the other person is probably just clumsy, not intentionally hurtful. The world is full of emotional klutzes who don’t realize the impact of their words and actions…

5.Consider the source: A relative or neighbor who is truly nasty may repeatedly hurt your feelings. Consider what must be going on inside that person’s head, and be grateful that you’re not hearing that. Even the meanest people are far nastier to themselves than they are to others…

6.Give an Adult time out: If someone repeatedly hurts, abuses or disrespects you, the best way to handle it is with an adult time out. This is a powerful and subtle way of fixing the problem. Simply become very distant and polite around the person who is not treating you well. No personal talk and interaction, no joking, no emotion. Be very polite, so no one can accuse you of being unpleasant, mean or rude. There is no need to explain what you are doing; the problem person will get the message from your behavior – which is much more effective…

7.Detach from difficult family: Learn to treat difficult family members the way you’d treat a member of someone else’s family – with whom you’d not react to obnoxious things, but just politely ignore what they’re doing or saying, and maintain a pleasant demeanor.

Add Meaning

Once you’ve made your holiday easier and less stressful, you have room to add more meaning.

Encourage family members to talk about what’s meaningful to them, or their favorite holiday memories. If your holiday is Christmas, for example, invite each person at your celebration to choose or bring a favorite ornament for the tree, and ask them to tell why it’s meaningful to them. Spend a moment after Christmas dinner asking senior family members to share their memories of Christmas past. Gather around the tree and read a favorite inspiring story. Or read a few pages of a longer work…

Whatever you are celebrating this time of year, make this your season of love, peace and warmth.

Copyright 2009
Tina Messina

Diabetes Wellness Fund

November 16th, 2009

Numinosity would like to get the word out about a wonderful new opportunity to support health and wellness in our community. Virgil Bowman has organized a Diabetes Wellness Fund to help low-income diabetics gain access to glucose testing supplies.

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Virgil says: From the viewpoint of a long-time diabetic who is blessed with excellent health care, I understand that medication, diet and exercise are all essential to my health. There is another component, however, that is just as important: blood glucose testing. Without adequate testing, my health will likely suffer despite the best medications and lifestyle. The Diabetes Wellness Fund helps ensure that diabetics who cannot afford testing supplies get them to help them maintain good health.

I have been diabetic for twenty-seven years, most of them with health insurance, but some without. Since having diabetes is expensive, there were extended periods of time that I did not test as I should have because I had to choose between paying for medication or testing supplies. For me,the results are permanent nerve damage, gastrointestinal disorders and a lessened ability to sense how high or low my blood glucose is at any particular moment. These health problems could have gotten much worse for me before I returned to regular testing, and for less fortunate diabetics, they still may.

For low- income and uninsured diabetics there are additional factors affecting their health, especially stress. Add excessive stress on a diabetic and the need for testing becomes even more critical. Stress is a terrible force on anyone’s body, but for a diabetic, excessive stress causes wild fluctuations in blood glucose. It is absolutely necessary to test during great distress.

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Please check them out and consider donating to this thoughtful campaign via The Coalition of Community Health Clinics. You will be contributing to the ongoing health and wellness of our community.  Click here for more information: Diabetic Wellness Fund.

Marsha Hansen on the Topic of Trigger Points

August 1st, 2009

Marsha Hansen, LMT

Marsha Hansen, LMT

As you may know one of Marsha’s favorite topics is the concept of trigger points. But what are trigger points?

A trigger point is a tiny nodule in a tight band of muscle. Trigger points will be very tender when pressed on. One of the most fascinating characteristics of a trigger point is its ability to refer to a distant part of the body. This means that when a trigger point is pressed on, it is not only tender, but you are likely to feel a vague sensation radiating away from the actual point.

For example, a trigger point in the infraspinatus muscle (on the back of the shoulder blade) can refer sensation into the hand. Pain in the knee can be referred from trigger points in the quadricep muscles near the hip.  Deactivating trigger points is an essential part of unlocking pain and restoring range of motion.

Trigger points have been studied for several decades now. Arguably, the most comprehensive work is Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual (1983)which was written by Janet Travell, an American physician who treated John F. Kennedy’s post-surgical back pain. She released a second edition in 1992. Other books and workbooks are out on the market now as well.

For a fun and easy way to learn about trigger points to manage your own pain, join me for one of my Soft Tissue Detective Series classes: Pain Relief thru Trigger Points which are offered at Portland Community College.  The next classes are coming up in early October.  Email Marsha or call Numinosity for more information.

EMDR Overview

April 25th, 2009

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of psychotherapy that was developed by Francine Shapiro, in 1987, to assist clients in resolving disturbing and/or traumatic life experiences. It uses a specific structured approach to address past, present, and future aspects of disturbing memories.

EMDR is based on the adaptive information processing model which hypothesizes that symptoms surface when disturbing events have not been adequately processed at the time of the experience, and that once fully processed these disturbing events can be resolved. EMDR uses an integrative approach, combining elements of traditional psychotherapy orientations and physiological approaches. It combines mind, body, spirit – or to put it another way the intellectual, the emotional and the physical. A very simple example of how to use an integrative approach is the question: When you think of that experience what emotions come up, where do you feel that in your body, and what negative thoughts do you notice?

The most unique aspect of EMDR versus other more traditional psychotherapies is the use of bilateral stimulation of the brain (moving back and forth between the right brain and the left brain.) To do this the EMDR therapist uses different forms of bilateral stimulation such as eye movements (moving the eyes back and forth – right and left,) bilateral sound (through ear phones hearing sounds go back and forth between the right ear and the left ear,) or bilateral tactile stimulation (ex., pulsars that are held in the hands or bilateral tapping on palms.)

With EMDR, an EMDR therapist would combine bilateral stimulation with negative thoughts, visualized images, and body sensations. EMDR also utilizes “dual awareness” to allow the individual to be able to move between the disturbing material of the past and what’s going on in the present moment. The intention of dual awareness is to prevent re-traumatization from exposure to the disturbing memory.

EMDR was originally used to treat PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,) currently it is used to treat many different types of issues including those that are less complicated than PTSD. Some of the other issues that can be addressed using EMDR during counseling are depression, anxiety, grief and loss. Clients also seek EMDR for symptoms that result from a car accident, surgery/hospitalization, and other experiences that were sudden and/or traumatic.

EMDR is useful for performance enhancement such as acting and or performing, presenting or giving a speech, preparing for tests, and other professional skills that the client wants to strengthen.
Depending on the issue or reason for seeking EMDR treatment, the number of sessions needed vary. For a single incident trauma the general recommendation for number of EMDR sessions is approximately six sessions. The EMDR sessions do not necessarily include the initial intake assessment, which can take several sessions depending on the client’s psychological and emotional needs. A qualified EMDR therapist can assist the client in determining an approximate number of session’s that may be needed.

For more invasive, chronic and long term issues there is not a general guideline for the number of EMDR sessions. It may take quite a number of traditional psychotherapy sessions before moving into EMDR; again a qualified EMDR therapist can help the client assess what that might look like.

For further information regarding EMDR visit the EMDR section on Christina’s website.