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Svaroopa® Yoga Bliss Bits - newest

#1  Ease Your Head Back

Ohm pictureDo you ever get ahead of yourself? You may be living with your head pushed forward ahead of your heart. This shortens your neck and (worse!) compresses your brainstem. It reinforces your tendency to live in the future while it cuts off the flow of inner bliss that is always flowing up your spine.

How to do - Sit on a few folded blankets in an easy cross-legged position, or sit in a chair with your legs side-by-side and both feet resting solidly on the floor. Place your hands on your knees or thighs while you soften both arms and allow your shoulders to soften down and wide. If you are standing, bring your feet in underneath you with your big toes touching (or almost touching) and soften your arms and shoulders.

Imagine that you have vertical seams on the sides of your neck. Ease those side seams slowly back, which will move your neck and head will gently backward. Don't force your neck back. Ease it back as far as it will comfortably come without straining or tightening your breath.

You may be able to align the top of your head over your tailbone. If so, you will find that the weight of your head releases spinal tensions all the way down to your tailbone. Take a few easy breaths with your head in this position.

Soften into this angle in order to cultivate a natural, easeful position. Your neck and head may rest easefully in this new alignment or they may come forward a little, but perhaps not as much as before!

Benefits - This lengthens your neck and decompresses the base of your skull, including your brainstem. Learning to live with your head over your heart will quiet your mind. Most importantly, your mind will be saturated by the fountain of bliss that is ever-flowing up your spine!

Man Yoga sitting#2  Sit in Your Seat

You spend a lot of time sitting... in your car, at your computer, on your couch, eating, and even when you are doing yoga.  It's time to really sit in your seat. It releases tension in your spine and gives you an opportunity to experience your Self.

How to do: Level your weight into both sides of your seat and allow the surface beneath you to fully support you.  As you settle into your seat, your sitbones will lean more deeply into the chair, cushion, blanket or sofa beneath you.  Allow your tailbone to lengthen downward.  Pause.  Take a few slow, long breaths.  Ease your neck and head back slowly, and allow your throat to hollow inward.  Give yourself a few more slow easy breaths. 

Minimum time: As long as you are sitting.  Maximum time: As long as you are sitting.

Benefits: Your body relaxes, your breath opens up, your neck softens and lengthens, your mind calms down, you feel more present and more able to do whatever comes next.

At Springdale Yoga you can purchase Sit Bone Block that helps you learn how to Sit In Your Seat.  You also will practice a variety of sitting poses that help you how to “Sit in Your Seat”  and practices that help you learn how to allow your throat to hollow inward.


#3 - The Yogic Sigh
butterflyRenew your relationship with your own breath, refresh yourself and quiet your mind in a fast, direct and effective way. It only takes a breath!

How to do
– Take a long, slow inhale without straining. You can even allow your chest, belly and back to expand as you breathe in. Now exhale with a long, smooth, gentle sigh sound. This is not a sigh of exasperation, but a blissful sigh of satisfaction, with a sliding pitch that starts high, and then slides down to a lower note as you exhale. Go ahead, do it again. Let that graceful sound out! Notice the pause at the end of your sigh. See what is there, in the pause. Repeat two more times for a total of three “Yogic Sighs.” Notice how you feel.

– Refreshes and relaxes your body and mind. Provides a deep sense of satisfaction, joy and letting go. Gives you a taste of the bliss of your own being (svaroopa).

#4 Recapture Breath!Lady Smiling during retreat

Recapture your breath and your sense of Self!  More than ever, the hustle, bustle and stress of the holidays can be a time when you lose your sense of who you are. 

How to do – Sit or stand comfortably, softening into your position and allowing the floor, chair, ground or blankets to support you.  Allow your breath to continue its own easy pace and flow.  On your next breath, inhale twice through your nose, first a short inhalation, followed immediately by a long full inhalation.  Exhale twice through your mouth, first a short exhalation followed immediately by a long full exhalation.  Do this three times, and then allow your breath to move in its own easy pace and flow.

Benefits –This simple breath allows you to recapture your sense of Self, brings your mind back, centers and grounds you. 

#5 Ujjayi Pranayama

Lady layingGive yourself a simple and powerful gift everyday with Ujjayi Pranayama - the essential breathing practice of Svaroopa ® yoga. You've experienced it while lying in Shavasana - yoga's relaxation pose. You may have continued this breathing practice since your yoga weekend or retreat, or in your weekly Svaroopa ® yoga classes. Now we invite you to dive more deeply into Ujjayi Pranayama. Did you know that Ujjayi can open your whole spine and that it can completely calm your mind and nervous system - all at the same time?

Begin in Shavasana - lie on your back with a few rolled blankets or pillows under your knees, and allow your body to soften into the support beneath you. Take a few easy, natural breaths, and then narrow the inside of your throat passageway. This gentle narrowing makes your breathing sound like the ocean waves. Allow your breath to continue at its own easy pace while you listen to the sweet sound. Use only a few throat muscles to establish a smooth sound that is just loud enough for you to hear it on the inside. Notice what unfolds in your body and mind.

If you already do a daily Ujjayi practice, add an extra five minutes to each day and see what you get. Otherwise, start with five minutes on the first day and increase it by five minutes every day until you are doing 20 minutes a day. We'd love to hear what happens - send us an email or share your experience with your local Svaroopa® yoga teacher or classmates.

#6 Jalandhara Bandha - "Chin Lock"


Without you realizing it, your head is probably pushed forward so that the back of your neck and your brainstem are compressed. Use this to align your neck and head on top of your spine.

Moving in: Sit in a comfortable, seated position (on the floor or in a chair). Soften your shoulders back as you tip your head forward to slowly lower your chin toward your chest, which lengthens the back of your neck. You may be able to tip your chin in toward the notch at the base of your throat. Let the inside of your throat soften. Allow your neck to soften so your head hangs forward and the back of your neck lengthens all the way up into the base of your scalp and skull. Stay for 3-8 slow easy breaths.

Moving out: Slowly roll your neck up from the base, one vertebra at a time, stacking all 7 neck vertebrae up slowly, and balance your head on top.

Benefit: Relieves neck, throat and jaw tension; improves digestion; releases tensions in your skull; provides temporary relief for neck pain; clears the mind; helps you find the position where your head is supposed to.

At Springdale Yoga you will practice many poses that use the Chin Lock, such as Anjanyasana, or Lunge and Yoga Sit Ups.


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Margie is a registered yoga instructor
Judy Dettwiler, RYT
608.437.5082 (studio) or 608.514.4854 (cell)

Svaroopa Yoga Logo Located in the Springdale Township off Hwy PD between Verona & Mount Horeb, Wisconsin.
2674 Allen Drive, Verona, WI 53593 (This is the same location!)
- Click for Map - (Note: at this time the Allen Drive address is not recognized by Yahoo maps. The previous PD address is used to find the location with GPS software.)
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