Getting to “no” with yoga

Getting to No with “NoGa”
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on March 19, 2013.  Posted with permission. 


Practicing pigeon pose.

Taking care of the self can be a radical act if you can’t say, “No!”

The first rule of yes is to only give of overflow.  The universe hosts a pre-established harmony that only sings when you nurture your own soil.  (Note of clarification:  Since publication, I’ve realized this is poppycock. The way one develops an overflow is by giving and serving others. We all evolve.)

That can’t happen when you’re a people pleaser. A yes is too much when the results are exhaustion, stress, resentment, and the sacrifice of your work, your truth, and your needs.


NoGa will save your life.  Use your yoga practice to cultivate boundaries and to release what no longer serves you.  There is a time to say no more food, no more clothes, no more debt, no more abuse, no more of this job, and no more of that friend.

I believe that the inability to maintain self-affirming boundaries is due to stuck energy in the first, second, and fifth chakra centers.  NoGa releases that stuck energy.

Begin by standing in Mountain Pose.  As you close your eyes and inhale, imagine freedom’s current rising from the earth and up your body. Feel that energy, thick and heavy at ground; vaporize as it passes your head.  As you exhale pull manifestation currents from overhead.  Feel them gain weight and speed as they plummet to the earth.

Now move to the root chakra at the base of the spine, the hothouse of security, survival, and the sense of belonging. When root chakra energy is stuck, we don’t feel safe or comfortable in our own skin; we negate the self and its right to exist.  After Mountain Pose, meditate and breathe in restorative Child’s Pose and Bridge, NoGa essentials.

The second chakra at the sacrum and between the pubic bone and the navel is the center for sexuality, but it is also your emotional power base, an energy source for identifying and meeting your own desires whatever they may be.  Meditate and breathe in Baby Cobra, Cobra, or Upward-facing Dog.  The hips can store negative energy, and your needs won’t be met until that is released.  Go deeper with Pigeon and Rock the Baby, powerful hip openers.

Finally, speak your truth, and be unafraid to ask for all of your needs to be met.  Open your throat chakra, the communication center, with Upward Plank, dropping your head way back.  Finish your NoGa practice with Fish Pose.

As you meditate with this NoGa flow, allow yourself to chant or exhale with the sound of No. Discover and enjoy its music.  It’s close enough to Om.

After a few days of NoGa, someone may notice your energy shift and call you selfish or full-of-yourself.

Respond, “Thanks.  I’ve been working on that.”

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