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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey


Internal Alignment

Jan 02, 2023 01:46PM ● By Nicole Zornitzer

Recently, I attended a yoga asana class with the theme “internal alignment”. What a clever concept, I thought, to focus on the internal body versus the exterior alignment of limbs. It is easy to lose sight of why we practice the physical aspects of yoga. We enter a class and go into autopilot or competitive mode by perhaps challenging our physical body to contort into postures that are uncomfortable versus listening to our subtle mind. At times, this mindset is okay, however, the real yoga happens internally and quite honestly has very little to do with the physical asana. Asana is meant to open channels of thought or energy to then dive deeper into answering the on-going question of “why”.

Internal alignment encourages us to seek answers regarding our mind/body connection—without internal peace it will be impossible to achieve external peace. When led by a skilled instructor, a yogi will be challenged to dive into consciousness and observe patterns of behavior, repetitive thoughts, relationship with ego and acknowledgement of past samskaras (traumas).

It is human nature to seek happiness in life. I cannot imagine anyone who would argue otherwise. However, happiness and finding the joys of this emotion takes effort and at times riding through mental pain to ultimately reach samadhi (total self-collectedness). When we find ourselves in a position of the observer of thoughts or actions, also known as the witness self, we can find the answers to many of life’s questions. It is my belief that our purpose in life is to clear our karma and learn the lessons we were brought onto the earth to do. This is only possible when we are open and vulnerable to experiencing uncomfortable moments and being honest with what we can change in our own lives to find true happiness.

Internal alignment allows us to reach bliss or ananda because we are aligning our thoughts, actions, and emotions with the physical experience in the body. Energy will be free-flowing and the nadis (rivers of “energy” in the body) are clear and open to receive. The true challenge of “yoga” is to address what may be holding us back from experiencing internal peace and actively change those patterns in the spirit of finding internal alignment.

The next time you step onto your yoga mat, I wish is that you close your eyes, breathe deeply, and find the space in your mind to experience the physical aspects of yoga while connecting with your subtle internal body.  Your physical practice will elevate and most importantly, your mind-body connection will enable you to release what no longer serves and create space for what does.

Nicole Zornitzer, ERYT 1000, yoga therapist, founder of Niyama Yoga & Wellness Shala, located in Randolph, New Jersey; Upper Lake Mohawk in Sparta, New Jersey; Roseland, New Jersey; and Delray Beach in Florida.

Tick Talk

Spring officially sprung on March 21. We have turned our clocks ahead. We are looking forward to warm winds, sunny skies and the smell of fresh cut grass. The daffodils and tulips have recently bloomed and we are just starting with the yard work that comes with the warmer weather.  Sadly, another season has started ramping up.  Tick season.

•             The best form of protection is prevention. Educating oneself about tick activity and how our behaviors overlap with tick habitats is the first step.

•             According to the NJ DOH, in 2022 Hunterdon County led the state with a Lyme disease incidence rate of 426 cases per 100,000 people. The fact is ticks spend approximately 90% of their lives not on a host but aggressively searching for one, molting to their next stage or over-wintering. This is why a tick remediation program should be implemented on school grounds where NJ DOH deems high risk for tick exposure and subsequent attachment to human hosts.

•             Governor Murphy has signed a bill that mandates tick education in NJ public schools. See this for the details.  Tick education must now be incorporated into K-12 school curriculum. See link:

•             May is a great month to remind the public that tick activity is in full swing. In New Jersey, there are many tickborne diseases that affect residents, including Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, Powassan, and Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiosis.

•             For years, the focus has mainly been about protecting ourselves from Lyme disease. But other tick-borne diseases are on the rise in Central Jersey. An increase of incidence of Babesia and Anaplasma are sidelining people too. These two pathogens are scary because they effect our blood cells. Babesia affects the red blood cells and Anaplasma effects the white blood cells.

•             Ticks can be infected with more than one pathogen. When you contract Lyme it is possible to contract more than just that one disease. This is called a co-infection. It is super important to pay attention to your symptoms. See link.

A good resource from the State:


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