Adapted from Charlene Tops, Life Coach
Here are 5 tips to help you to begin your self-care during this most wonderful time of year.
1. Give yourself permissionIt is natural when you begin to switch your thoughts to self-care to feel guilty, irresponsible or even selfish. You need to give yourself permission. Allow yourself to do “whatever” it is that you want. If you want to say “no” to a certain event, or “no” to overspending on gifts, or “no” to hosting an event, give yourself the right to do what is best for you. This is the beginning of self-care. Learn to value the importance of setting boundaries. Slow down from the hustle and bustle and ask yourself, what do I want to gain during the holiday season this year? How can I make that happen? What do I value most? What type of traditions are important to me, that I wish to maintain?
2. Involve all of your senses
We don’t spend much time thinking of our senses. Our senses are important avenues for self care. For example, think of the smell of an apple pie baking in the oven, this smell alone can bring back specific memories . Perhaps it will remind you of a time when you were younger and your mother made home made pie. When we invoke our senses, we experience things on different levels. Think of ways to include sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing into your self care. In a cooking class I was in, the chef had us smell the different spices and smell the food as it was simmering on the stove-top. The enjoyment that was experienced during the preparation time continued as we ate, tasting the different flavors in the finished meal. Have a candlelight bubble bath scented with aromatic products. Sit and watch your favorite holiday movie while wrapped up in a soft blanket. Play music that is relaxing. Experiment with ways to incorporate all of your senses during times of refreshing for your body and soul.
3. Don’t get caught in the hustle and bustle of the seasonPlan ahead and designate specific time frames for the tasks that you need to complete or the functions that you will attend. This will give you time for mental preparation, allowing you to not be overwhelmed. The malls and stores are extremely active at certain times of the day and week. If possible, plan your shopping time during quieter hours, such as weekday mornings. Shop online in the privacy of your home to avoid crowds all together. When you do plan to be out in the crowds, calm your mind and body before going. Realize that you don’t have to rush. Take your time and enjoy the shopping process. Often times, by changing our perspective of the situation, we can approach things with calmness. We do not need to become part of the holiday frenzy. Create a sense of peace and joy, true holiday feelings, inside your mind and spirit.
4. Do things in moderation
This is the time of the year where it is easy to over-indulge. We find it easy to neglect healthy eating. Sleeping patterns may be altered as we have more activity in our days. We can over spend on gifts for those on our lists. The list of things that seem to trap us in extravagance may differ from person to person, however, it is common to be swept up into excessive behavior. Aristotle wisely stated, “all things in moderation.” This is an excellent gauge for us to recall.
5. Give up expectations
The holidays, particularly Christmas, can set us up for unrealistic expectations. It almost seems a “magical” time of year and we dream of the perfect holiday. Many people struggle with depression and high anxiety over the holidays. The crisis hotlines have an increase in calls. Domestic violence rises. Not everyone you meet is having a “Merry Christmas.” Perhaps, you are one of the ones that struggle the most. Past experiences, the loss of loved ones, the loss of a job or financial difficulty all seems to heighten during this time of year. One of the best ways to take care of yourself during this emotionally trying time, is to give up your expectations of the perfect family with the perfect tree while hosting the perfect parties with the perfect gifts. This type of thinking is extremely damaging to you. As you relinquish these ideas, you are able to open yourself up to experiencing greater joy in the reality of the moment. Let go of false illusions and celebrate the moment. Whereever you are in your life this year, take care of yourself first. Practice self-love abundantly This truly is the only way to experience the true meaning of Christmas.
Staying rooted in our yoga and meditation practices will allow us to flow through the holidays with an appreciation for the beauty and love that abounds rather than getting caught up in the demands and expectations. Perhaps we can even share the gift of yoga with someone new to the practice! It may be cliche, but nonetheless true-- always put your oxygen mask on first, then you can help others without grasping for breath yourself. Namaste and happy holidays, friends!
Excerpted from article By Cameron Cler, originally posted on www.wanderlust.com
I think of yoga teachers as a secret society of warriors. Warrior 1 is your local yoga teacher whose class you cannot miss (i.e you may have changed your wedding date to attend her retreat in Tulum). Warrior 2 is the yoga teacher who travels the world hosting convention sized classes and spreads the love to millions of yogis through her instagram. Warrior 3 might be the person in the cubicle across from you. At work she blends in just like you, in class she bends just like you, at the mall she probably spends just like you, and she also happens to be a yoga teacher. Yoga teachers range from the celebrity to the non-practicing, and all share the experience of yoga teacher training (YTT). If you have thought about a yoga teacher training before, here are six reasons it’s time to take the leap:
Now that you have all of the reasons to become a yoga teacher, you will find unending options to complete your training. Program formats range from 4 week intensive courses, to weekend-only lessons, and even international trainings. Learn more about Abhyaasa Yoga's 200-hr Teacher Training here.
Reprinted from an article by Maria Tabone for the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy,
Spring is the time of year that we start eating lighter and detoxing. It’s time for spring cleaning of body, mind and home!
While there is a lot of focus on what we eat, often not enough attention is paid to how we clean our homes... Making sure that all of your household cleaning products are naturally-derived is extremely important - especially if you have children. The products we use every day may give off toxins that we then breathe in or absorb through our skin. They may also pollute the air in our environment. Studies have shown that environmental toxicity is a contributor to many conditions such as autoimmune disease, heart disease and even cancer(1). The chemicals found in many common household cleaners are carcinogens which means that they can cause cancer. Bleach and ammonia are highly toxic and, when mixed together, they are a lethal combination(2). Other chemicals which are hormone and endocrine disruptors are glycol ethers and phthalates (3) so it’s important to be able to identify every ingredient on a label that you are using in your home. If you can’t identify it, don’t use it. With just a few simple ingredients, including some wonderfully fragrant essential oils, you can disinfect and clean, as well as rid your home of bacteria, mold, viruses, unpleasant odors, and dust mites.
As a caution, when you buy essential oils you should beware of anything that says “fragrance added.” If it does not say “100% (pure) essential oils” then the ingredient is synthetic. Most of the fragrance used in household cleaning products and deodorizers are synthetic. There is nothing natural about them and they are harmful to your health. Essential oils are great for the home since they are non-toxic and they possess many therapeutic properties that will benefit you for a clean healthy home. They are antiseptic, disinfectant, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal – and of course they smell great.
These are some recipes I created to get you through all your spring cleaning. I use sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) in all three recipes so you don’t have to go out and buy too many essential oils; however, I am also giving you a list of essential oils you can substitute.The citrus oils are all antiseptic, disinfectant, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal so you can replace orange oil with lemon (Citrus limon), grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi) or lime (Citrus aurantifolia) essential oil. It's also fun to experiment and mix scents that you like. It might even make you enjoy cleaning!
Blog note: Abhyaasa's conscious living boutique, Peace carries a large selection of pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.
GENERAL ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER
Lemon (Citrus limon)
Lemon is one of the most popular citrus fruits in the world. It is extracted from the rind of the fruit. It is antiseptic, a disinfectant, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial, making it a great all-purpose household cleaner. It was even used during World War I as a disinfectant in hospitals. Lemon essential oil is calming but it is also refreshing to the mind, as it helps lift negative emotions. It is believed that inhaling lemon essential oil helps to increase concentration and alertness; therefore, it can be a great room freshener in offices.
Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)
Orange Sweet is a citrus essential oil that is extracted from the rind of the orange. It is antiseptic, anti-fungal and anti-microbial. It is also very uplifting for your mood, making it a good scent to have in any home. Sweet orange essential oil is an excellent degreaser and cleaner due to an ingredient called, d-Limonene. A study conducted by The University of Arkansas and Colorado State University found that Valencia orange (Citrus sinensis var. valencia) essential oil inhibited E. Coli and Salmonella during the refrigeration process of beef(3). It also inhibited Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) which is a deadly staph infection(4).
Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
Peppermint essential oil is extracted from the leaves of an herb. It is a hybrid of spearmint (Mentha spicata) and water mint (Mentha aquatica). It is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-microbial and antiseptic. Bugs tend not to like it, so it is a good choice to add into an all-purpose aromatherapy blend around the house.
White Distilled Vinegar
White Distilled Vinegar is one of the best cleaning ingredients for the home since it is a natural disinfectant. It can help to kill mold, bacteria and viruses. In addition, it is very inexpensive.
Directions for Use:
You will need a sixteen ounce size spray bottle.
20 drops Lemon (Citrus limon)
30 drops Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)
15 drops Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
White Distilled Vinegar*
*Fill the remaining bottle with a 50/50 combination of white vinegar and distilled water. I prefer distilled water but if you don’t have distilled water, use filtered water. Once you have all of the ingredients in the bottle, shake it prior to every use because the essential oils and water will separate. If you want to change the scent, from time to time you can substitute with lime, grapefruit, eucalyptus (Eucaplyptus spp.), clove bud (Syzygium aromaticum) and lavender (Lavandula angustifolia).
You can use this blend as a general cleaner for your kitchen, especially for the counter tops, refrigerator, cabinets and even wood surfaces.
I like using an eight ounce size bottle since it’s smaller and easier to handle and it will fit in any cabinet. If you want to make a sixteen ounce bottle, just double-up the recipe.
3 drops Lemon (Citrus limon)
3 drops Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
White Distilled Vinegar*
*Fill the remaining bottle with a 50/50 combination of white vinegar and distilled water. I prefer distilled water but if you don’t have distilled water, you can use filtered water. Once you have all of the ingredients in the bottle, shake it prior to every use because the essential oils and water will separate. If you want to change the scent from time to time, you can substitute lemon with lime, grapefruit or orange.
BATH & SINK SCRUB
Clove (Syzygium aromaticum)
Clove essential oil is extracted from the buds of the clove plant. It is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, antiseptic and anti-viral, making it a great choice for cleaning tubs and sinks.
Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)
See above description under General All-purpose Cleaner
Pure Liquid Castile Soap
Make sure that your soap is pure castile. I use Dr. Bronner’s castile soap because for over 150 years it has been a family-run business and the quality of the product is never comprised for profit. The soap is pure and organic, with no dyes, whiteners or synthetic fragrances. The bottles are made from 100% recycled plastic so you are doing something good for the environment. They are available in different scents such as orange, sweet almond (Prunis dulcis), eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint and lemon, and the soap blends perfectly with essential oils. You should have this product in your home as it has so many uses and can replace many products. I also use it as a hand and body wash, and shampoo – and you can even wash floors and clothes with it.
Baking Soda (Sodium bicarbonate)
Baking soda is right up there with vinegar as a cleaning superstar! It is non-toxic, absorbs odor, and it is great for sinks and tubs due to its abrasive texture. It has many uses in the home – from brushing your teeth to shining silver. I never use toxic oven cleaners. Instead I mix baking soda and water to get rid of spills in my oven. You can rub it on with a soft cloth or leave some on the spills overnight and then wash it the next day.
Use a twelve ounce glass jar with an air tight clamp lid or a screw top.
5 drops Clove bud (Syzygium aromaticum)
5 drops Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)
½ cup Pure Liquid Castile Soap*
½ cup Baking Soda*
*I mix equal parts of baking soda and castile soap to make a paste. If you want to make a bigger batch just double-up the recipe. Add the baking soda and castile soap to the jar, then add the essential oils. Once you have all of the ingredients in the jar, mix it together with a spoon or spatula. You can apply a small amount to a cloth or sponge to clean. As the seasons change, or you just want to try a different aroma, you can use ten drops of any of the following essential oils, or just mix two essential oils together. They all have antiseptic, disinfectant, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties.
• Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
• Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus globulus)
• Rosemary ct. cineole (Rosmarinus officinalis)
• Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
• Lemon (Citrus limon)
• Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)
See above description under General All-purpose Cleaner
Olive Oil (Olea europaea)
Olive oil moisturizes dry wood and give it a shine.
White Distilled Vinegar
See above description under General All-purpose Cleaner
You will need a two ounce flip top bottle.
15 drops Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)
½ ounce of White Distilled Vinegar
Olive Oil (Olea europaea)*
*Fill the remaining bottle with olive oil. Once you have all of the ingredients in the bottle, shake it prior to every use. Put about a tablespoon on a soft cloth and wipe down the wood. Apply more as needed.
1. Nakazawa, Donna Jackson, The Autoimmune Epidemic, Touchstone/Simon and Schuster, 2008, 2009
2. Organic Consumers Association website, How Toxic are Your Household Cleaning Supplies? : https://www.organicconsumers.org/news/how-toxic-are-your-household-cleaning-supplies
3. Environmental Working Group website, Dirty Dozen Endocrine Disruptors: http://www.ewg.org/research/dirty-dozen-list-endocrine-disruptors
4. Harrington, Roy, Orange oil potential to deter E.coli growth in chilled beef Study 30-May-2012: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Safety-Regulation/Orange-oil-potential-to-deter-E.coli-growth-in-chilled-beef-study?utm_source=copyright&utm_medium=OnSite&utm_campaign=copyright
5. Muthaiyan A, Martin EM, Natesan S, Crandall PG, Wilkinson BJ, Ricke SC. 2012 May,
Antimicrobial effect and mode of action of terpeneless cold-pressed Valencia orange essential oil on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
It is difficult to pick up a lifestyle magazine or scroll through your favorite yoga-related social media pages without seeing mention of the benefits of mindfulness and meditation. The words "mindfulness" and "meditation" often seem interchangeable, and both practices appear to have the same advantages. So why the different terminology?
Because these terms are often used in a similar context, confusion about the differences between mindfulness and meditation is understandable. My aim here is to offer a simple explanation of how mindfulness and meditation are similar and overlapping, yet separate practices.
We can start by debunking two common myths: Mindfulness is NOT thinking really hard about something, which sounds stressful. And meditation is NOT about shutting down the mind like an off switch, which sounds boring.
Both practices are life skills that give you the tools to access inner peace, which is already inside of you. Both rely on the ability to be focused entirely on the present moment. (We can’t experience peace when we regret the past or worry about the future.) Both practices offer a way to increase happiness and decrease suffering.
Mindfulness: Awareness of Our Outer Life
By definition, “mindfulness” refers to the informal practice of present moment awareness that can be applied to any waking situation. It’s a way of being actively aware of what you’re doing while you’re doing it. Try focusing completely on the full experience of a usually “mindless” chore such as washing dishes. Be aware of the temperature of the water and how it makes your skin feel, along with the texture and smell of the soap. Engage all five senses and see if you are actually more relaxed and less stressed when it is all finished.
Society’s obsession with multitasking often leads us to do too much
at once, without focusing fully on each stage of the experience.
In his book Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabat-Zinn says that “When unawareness dominates the mind, all our decisions and actions are affected.” How often have you walked or driven somewhere, only to wonder how you got there because your mind went on autopilot, checking into the past or the future (both of which you have no control over)? In fact, most of the things we do throughout the day are done without full awareness: eating meals without fully tasting the food, showering without noticing the feeling of the water. How many sunsets and smiles have you missed because you felt compelled to check your phone? Society’s obsession with multitasking often leads us to do too much at once, without focusing fully on each stage of the experience.
Lack of awareness also prevents us from listening to our bodies when they need nutrition, rest, exercise, or hydration.
Being fully aware and engaged in an activity can make a situation less stressful because it initiates a perspective free of judgment. When practicing mindfulness, the mind isn’t guessing at the future or creating a mountain out of what is actually a small hill. If we can let go of our controlling ways—consciously observing what is without labeling it or placing an opinion on it—we can be free of the stress of expectations, regrets, and fears in order to fully accept each moment and all that it offers.
Living mindfully means that we experience life with a “beginner's mind.” This means listening to someone with full attention to their words, voice, and feelings—listening as though it were the first time you ever met this person or heard them speak, without second guessing, judging, or waiting for it to be your turn to talk. In his book True Love, Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh tells us that “Listening is an art we must cultivate.” He teaches deep, compassionate listening as a mindfulness practice, both for enlightenment and to ease pain and suffering.
Mindful listening improves our relationships because listening with patience, trust, acceptance, and an open mind strengthens our ability to communicate. Compassionate communication coupled with more conscious control over our emotions can be monumental to personal growth and relationships. Mindfully responding to stress, instead of reacting habitually, is what Kabot-Zinn calls the “mindfulness-mediated stress response.” Everyday arguments don’t trigger us in the same knee-jerk way when we’re practicing mindfulness. When our buttons are pushed, our reaction time is slower, thanks to a thoughtful presence in the present. We don’t take things as personally when we are aware of someone else’s suffering and deeper needs. Life becomes less superficial and more compassionate.
Meditation: Awareness of Our Inner life
Meditation is the formal practice of finding peace within. Awareness of peace is achieved when mental chatter is decreased. There are many different types of meditation to choose from, including guided meditation and focused meditation on an object (for example, a mantra/sound, image, candle flame, or the breath). They can all lead to the same place of inner peace.
While meditating, we are mindful of our thoughts from the viewpoint of observer, without clinging to the thoughts themselves. Our thoughts float by like clouds, while we learn something about our inner selves. We can see how negative our thinking can be, or how much time we waste dwelling on the past. This is crucial information for those interested in personal growth and transformation. Self-knowledge is the first step to self-improvement. Making changes in your outer circumstances begins first with seeing which thoughts created that which you are trying to change.
Witnessing the types of thoughts that flow by while meditating, without attaching to them, will quiet the mental chatter that Buddhists call “the monkey mind.” They say our thoughts can be like wild monkeys that jump from branch to branch. Those monkeys lead us on a tangent through an uncontrollable past and future as we follow them through the jungle of chaotic activity that can be our waking state of mind. When we give the mind something to focus on—like a guided meditation, the breath, or a mantra—we become aware of an inner world of stillness, love, and peace.
Even our immune system is strengthened from daily moments
of the deep, restful wakefulness that meditation offers.
In addition to being the perfect way to let go of accumulated stress, meditation has many health benefits, including strengthened brain function, increased physical vitality, and better sleep. Insomniacs have found that sometimes all they needed was a way to slow down the constant activity of the brain. Even our immune system is strengthened from daily moments of the deep restful wakefulness that meditation offers.
Merging the Two Practices
Combining the informal, wakeful awareness of daily mindfulness with a formal meditation practice is a potent stress management tool. Each practice enhances the effectiveness of the other.
With meditation, you close your eyes to eliminate visual distractions and become more aware of the inner world of your thoughts, bodily sensations, sounds, and energy, while at the same time being mindful of a silent mantra such as soham (pronounced so-hum). We also use mindfulness during a formal meditation practice—for example, when body scanning (which is focusing on and being present in each area of the body in order to relax and prepare for meditation). One becomes part of the other.
Meditating first thing in the morning for a minimum of five to ten minutes is a great way to start the day on the right foot. Repeat at the end of the day to release any accumulated stress. It won’t take long before you will be able to extend those ten minutes, carrying that bliss more and more into your life.
People around you may notice the benefits even before you do. Practicing mindfulness and meditation goes hand in hand with creating a happy life—no matter what terminology you use!
Imagine. Inspire. Live. Love. Laugh. Shanti (Peace).
I have these words throughout my house—on shelves, on walls, engraved in stones. I once had someone ask me, “What’s with the words?” The quick answer is that these are some of the words with meanings and vibrations that I wish to incorporate into my intentions and consequently manifest in my life.
In the practice of yoga, we learn that our thoughts, words and actions are sent out to the universe like boomerangs—bound to come back to us sooner or later. The discipline of meditation helps us to train our minds so that, even in the seemingly private world of own heads, we are choosing to emit positive vibrations. Think that you don’t have time for or don’t know how to meditate? I would bet that everyone could find 15 minutes in the day to create the life they desire, and the process does not have to be complicated. Try the simple meditation technique of picking a word or two that embody your intention for the day and focus on that with your breath. For example, breath in “imagine”, breath out “inspire” or breath in "peace", breath out "peace". Try getting up 15 minutes earlier and dedicate this time to creating your day. Chances are you will feel more awake and energized after this morning ritual than you would snoozing the alarm for the extra sleep!
Remember the law of conservation of energy—you are not creating anything new—all is already here. You are simply harnessing the powerful energy of your mind to selectively send out the boomerangs that will best serve you.
Namaste. Peace and love, Kate
An interview with Mallory Bales.
TERESA’S YOGA JOURNEY…
Started off very ironic. Teresa did a lot of kickboxing and Tai Bo. She loved the fast paced work out classes. During these classes they would sometimes do some yoga poses- and she hated them! She had an injury with her arm shortly after and was seeing a physical therapist. Her therapist told her yoga would help, she thought why not give it a shot again. Teresa started off with Vinyasa and realized this was more fitting since it was faster paced. In the beginning she liked classes that didn’t hold poses, so that she wouldn't get stuck in the constant mind chatter.
It is so much more than a physical workout. It’s all about the mind. Teresa has learned how to apply everything she applies on the mat into her everyday life.
ONE OF THE MANY THINGS YOGA HAS TAUGHT TERESA…
Patience. For example cabs honking in a big city. She used to live in Mexico City and would get annoyed with traffic. “Now I am able to say okay, relax. You don't need to react.”
ONE OF THE MANY THINGS TERESA LOVES ABOUT YOGA…
Is that she has time to think about how she is acting. “You really appreciate life because you truly learn how to be in the moment. You learn how to enjoy how to be with yourself. “
WHAT ‘PRACTICE FOR AWAKENING’ MEANS…
To Teresa “The more you practice, the more you feel. The more you practice the more you are able to do things in silence.”
“Before I had to always have music playing. Now I am able to wash the dishes in silence and enjoy the sounds around me.” Teresa feels more awake and understands the rest of humanity/life. She knows that we are all connected.
“I know that I am part of them, and they are part of me. We are all the same. If I love myself, I’ll love all.”
An interview with Mallory Bales...
“A Joyful celebration of this body and life”. It is a lifestyle that is really accessible to everyone. No one should ever feel alienated because EVERYONE can show up exactly the way they are. Yoga is meant to be playful, to be fun. It is meant to be a place to disconnect and relax.
“Yoga’s purpose is to remove the weight of the world from our shoulders.” If we come to our practice so serious and hard on ourselves that weight will only get heavier.
SARAH’S ADVICE TO THE WORLD…
“Be really proud of the person that you are. Know that you are loved, you are love, and to shine really, really bright. "
PRACTICE FOR AWAKENING MEANS…
For Sarah, asana is about expressing yourself through the body, but yoga isn't just about asana. Asana is very important but there is a deeper aspect to what yoga truly is. Sarah’s yoga practice every morning involves sitting outside on her porch enjoying her decaf coffee, gazing at the beauty in each flower and butterfly that flies by.
“Yoga doesn’t just have to be on the mat. Finding moments of stillness is what yoga is ...to feel that love and gratitude because you showed up and are giving it all that you have got. We are all amazing yogis no matter what pose we can nail!"
JUST DO YOU…
Celebrate the beautiful spirit that you are. It is important to Sarah to hold your own truth and not conform to anyone else’s. When you just are, you become completely absorbed in the real you. Sarah is truly her own unique self and won’t let any stereotype define the way she is going to live her life.
IMPORTANT VALUE...Not playing roles.
For a while Sarah was trying to become the ‘perfect wife’ or the ‘perfect mom' and then came to the realization that she was trying to play all these titles and roles. Once you realize that if you consistently make choices that fill you up than all of these will naturally be fulfilled. You won’t have to try to become anything when you make choices that are the best for your well-being. You are already there. "By doing what’s best for you, you are being your own version of perfect."
As our Abhyaasa community grows, the meaning of yoga reveals itself on more and more levels. As a philosophy, discipline, and practice of yoking or joining, yoga brings us within ourselves, so that we may discover the connection with all things-- all beings. We come together to practice-- we move together, sweat together, sometimes we groan together. Together we meditate, laugh, cry. We share our stories, experiences, preferences, likes, dislikes. We have triumphant moments in poses where our bodies open in a new way, and we applaud one another. Sometimes we fall out of poses because we are in a safe space and know that stumbling too is okay. We dance, we chant, we suspend ourselves in hammocks. Sometimes our practice does not involve a pose at all. However we come together, we are making deep connections that have the power to bring more unity to the world, more peace, more abundance and love.
South African philosophy embraces the concept of Ubuntu (oo-buun-too) which translates as " I am because of you" or "I am because you are". We know this to be true. This is yoga's most precious gift. Yoga is the ultimate social network in which I am grateful that we are all connected.
Read more about why yoga increases feelings of connection from other perspectives in an interesting article from Kripalu.
Thank you to Lara for the lovely photo of the meditation circle.
This morning I am sharing a post by Deepak Chopra, taken from The Chopra Center website, www.chopra.com. I was fortunate to attend a talk by Dr. Chopra, in an intimate setting, 18 years ago when I lived in California, and witnessed his gift of making the ancient lessons of yoga contemporary. Enjoy his eloquent explanation of how we each can create the life we desire. Namaste.
The Law of Karma: Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind. What we sow is what we reap. And when we choose actions that bring happiness and success to others, the fruit of our karma is happiness and success.
I will put the Law of Karma into effect by making a commitment to take the following steps:
An interview with Mallory Bales...
Rachel Grudner’s Yoga Story
I found yoga..
Rachel found yoga in a time of despair. Her parents were going through a divorce and sister through an addiction. Rachel came home from school during this time to try to “save the family” and ended up finding yoga. One of her friends recommend meditation to get through these times and shared the magic of a book called The Yoga Tradition. She was able to turn to yoga when life got rough. Rachel started consistently practicing at home and before she knew it became a yoga addict! Her yoga teacher ended up telling her about the temple of Kriya yoga which sparked some interest for Rachel. She wanted to learn more about the philosophy of yoga and also had so many questions for her teachers. She realized a teacher training would answer those questions and fulfill her longings of learning more about yoga. She ended up signing up for a teacher training program shortly after, and the rest is history!
“True divine marriage between individual self and the universe”. Yoga taught me how to celebrate my life in a way that was not vain. “Yoga has taught me that there is something greater than me and it is super humbling. “ Rachel brought up Dennis Rodman and how he literally ‘married himself’. She said that was one of her first thoughts when she thought of what yoga means. Let’s look deeper into what marriage means. Marriage literally means the union of feminism and masculine energies. Yoga is a union of all parts. I think that was such a brilliant and hilarious way of remembering what it truly means!
What does Abhyaasa’s philosophy practice for awakening mean?
“It is always an ongoing journey inward. You may come to crossroads but you know to keep moving forward. If you can permit yourself to be fearless and true to yourself than you’ll realize everything you’re looking for is waiting inside for you. Everything you could ever need is already deep inside of you, you just need to be willing to open your heart. “
The most important value to bring to the mat..
Rachel’s most important value is to let go and listen to her body. Rachel’s best practices are not predetermined by how she thinks it is going to be. She listens to her body. She feels what is right and lets it flow naturally without judgement.
Yoga could heal the planet because..
When we connect to ourselves on a higher level we are able to expand to infinity. When you tap into the wisdom that is already inside of you healing will happen naturally. “You just wake up and it’s a whole different reality. “ By working on yourself you will naturally help heal the planet since it is a natural process.
Something interesting most people don’t know about Rachel..
Rachel used to be a competitive Irish dancer. Now isn’t that fun to know!
A space that nurtures connection, spiritual growth and physical well-being.