India’s New Comic Book Hero

There’s a new comic book here in India named Priya Shakti, and she fights rape from the back of a tiger.

The comic was created by Ram Devineni, a new york based filmmaker. He was inspired by an incident that occurred a few years ago after a 23-year-old woman was brutally gang-raped on a moving bus in New Delhi. Three days later she died from her injuries. The incident influenced millions in the city and all over India to protest the widespread violence against women.

Priya, India’s new superhero

More info at:

Goats and Soda 

 

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Yin Yoga and Unwinding the Knots of Thoughts

My thoughts, struggles, and a love/hate relationship with a Yin Yoga style of practice began about a year or two ago. It’s an interesting path for those who aren’t aware, and you hold the poses for 3 minutes. The poses you know from a yang style of  yoga like a hatha or vinyasa practice, are the same asanas [poses] but are called a different name. Example what I traditionally know as Pigeon Pose [Eka Pada Rajakapotasana] is now called Swan Pose in Yin Yoga.

At the time I dove in feet first and took a class and just didn’t really care for it. It challenged me in a way that felt uncomfortable. Now don’t get me wrong, challenge can be good for us so let me explain. Holding poses for 3 minutes was physically not comfortable. My muscles started screaming at me “is it over yet”? They longed for that singing bowl/gong sound to signify the end of holding the asana.

Fast forward a few months [during which I passed the time with yang yoga, tea, and reading of yoga articles], I discovered that you should incorporate a yin style with the yang to balance your life. Who doesn’t need balance! So one evening I was feeling particularly moody and crampy. I didn’t have the energy to do a fast past class. I was in pain [due to menstrual cramps], and desperately required some relief. I needed something gentle yet effective. I rolled out my lovely ombre yoga mat and threw on a yin class.

Yin yoga definitely tests my focus and concentration because I am turned in ward for so long. My challenge is that dreaded monkey mind many of us are so familiar with. When the mind becomes consumed with all those manic thoughts cropping up from out of no where, I have to use a trick to place the thoughts somewhere to clear my mind and make space for healing.

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I’ll share a trick with you. In order to stay focused and tuned-in while turned-in, I unwind the knots of thoughts. I do this by continually pushing any thoughts out of my mind. My trick is to imagine a set of 3 baskets. One for the past, one for the present, and one for the future. All those manic thoughts that keep popping into my mind go into those baskets. If it’s a thought from the past then it goes into the past basket, and so on and so forth.

Circling back to the yin, I stuck with the class and after 60 minutes felt like I cultivated space for healing and really accomplished something which had been challenging me for a while. When you’re in pain it really feels like that much more of an accomplishment.

Today I can say I finally embrace the yin with the yang on a regular basis. Enough so that I even decided to invest in a few helpful props i.e. a bolster and zafu cushion. Yin helps keep me balance in the evening before bed time or when I need something more low-key or therapeutic due to back pain or menstrual cramps. I’m glad that yin yoga exists as an option. I try not to go a day with out some sort of yoga, otherwise my mind starts spinning in that downward cycle of depression, not to mention physical pains from life such as long commutes to work or sitting at a desk for hours. It’s a test of your concentration but so worth it. Perhaps this personal essay / post will give you that inspiration to give it a go like I did and not give up.

SUPER BRAIN YOGA

Yoga for brain power. 

I had never heard of Super Brain Yoga, until my husband introduced me to this concept. Being that I am someone who suffers from mental illness, and who loves yoga I figured I would give it a try. I have to say that it’s really been helpful and this winter has not been as difficult as most can be, when your living in “Blizzard Central” aka Boston. What originally began as something for devotees at the temples, has given us a new lease on life.

A work out to improve my brain?

The work out pumps up your cell and neuron activity, increases your mental energy. It helps you become smarter, and sharpens your mind. Super brain yoga also helps children with learning disabilities such as autism or dyslexia. Seniors are doing the exercises to help prevent Alzheimer’s. A side note, the exercises also tone your bum.

What is Super Brain Yoga?

This ancient Indian custom and practice has been reinvented, gained popularity, and is being endorsed across the world as “Super Brain Yoga”, a technique to stimulate and energize and recharge the brain and its functioning.  It is based on the principles of subtle energy and ear acupuncture holding the ear tips. Squats would activate the Mooladhara Chakra and raise the energy levels in the body.

What is the logical/scientific reasoning behind this technique?

The physical body is a complicated subtle electronic equipment. When proper energy wiring connection is made, it produces the right results. Your brain becomes synchronized. The right ear lobe corresponds to the left brain and the left ear lobe corresponds to the right brain. You hold each lobe and you inhale as squat down and exhale as you come up.

When the right ear lobe is gently squeezed with the left thumb and left index finger with the thumb outside, it produces the necessary energy connection. This connection causes the left brain and pituitary gland to become energized and activated.

Similarly, when the left ear lobe is gently squeezed with the right thumb and right index finger with the thumb outside, it produces necessary energy connection, which causes the right brain and pineal gland to become energized and activated. 

It increases the blood flow in the memory cells in brain and stimulates neural pathways via acupressure points in the earlobe sharpening the intelligence. It is being practiced and prescribed as a therapy for all ages to enhance the health.

Want to see a demonstration? Want to see interviews on the results?

Watch this video with interviews from doctors, teachers, therapists, and neurologists thoughts.

Benefits of Super Brain Yoga…

  • It helps in the smooth functioning of the brain.
  • It improves the memory and enhances the thinking capacity of the brain
  • It revitalizes the brain and increases the mental clarity.
  • It helps in releasing the tension and calms the brain.
  • It acts as a stress buster; relieves mild depression and anxiety.
  • It helps in fueling and sustaining a healthy brain.
  • It improves focus and concentration levels and enhances balancing skills.
  • It is believed to work for children with disabilities like Autism, Dyslexia…
  • It can even help in getting rid of aggressive behaviour.
  • It is used as an intervention to support student success.
  • It is prescribed for Kids with hyperactivity and older adults with cognitive issues, memory loss…
  • It is a simple and easy technique that can be practiced at home.

 The history of Super Brain Yoga:

In India during Ganesha Chaturthi festival we come across a unique custom, especially in South India, where the devotees performed squats holding their left ear with the right hand, and right ear with the left hand. Religiously this was performed as a mark of respect and obeisance to the elderly God Sri Ganesha (Ganapathi). This convention we come across not only during Ganesha Chaturthi festival, but additionally whenever a devotee visits the Sri Ganesha temple, or worships Lord Ganesha. This action is referred to as Thorpikarnam or Thoppukarnam. In Telugu language it is called Gunjillu.

In fact this is an Indian custom that we come across in the ancient Gurukula system of education where Gurus (teachers) asks their pupils to practice this technique. You may have come across this in schools today when teachers ask students to perform this action as a token of penalty. Example for not doing their homework, not answering a question, or for making noise and disrupting the class room.

The Hindu customs of Ladies/Gents wearing ear studs/rings at the tip of the ears is based on the above concepts of raising energy in the body, and activating the mooladhara chakra.

superbrain yoga

Are You New to Yoga?

This post is dedicated to those new to yoga, or who have stepped off the mat for an extended amount of time and looking for that push to get back on the mat.

  • Like the title says, Are you new to yoga?
  • Has it been a while since you practiced yoga?
  • Do you consider your self a beginner?
  • Are you looking for a beginner program?
  • Are you looking to expand your yoga knowledge?
  • Do you just want to check out Ekhart yoga?

Esther Ekhart of Ekhart Yoga has a great incentive program promotion currently running. Only 99 cents for your first month of membership. More details can be found here  it’s a really great deal and if I wasn’t already a member myself I would jump on this. You’ll be taught all the basics right from the comfort of your own home! So no excuses.

You can register now to receive the email alerts / newsletters for the program. Try a free class with Esther before you sign up, so you can see if her teaching style will work for you. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Let me just say I am in no way affiliated with the site. I am not getting paid or compensated for this post by any means. I am just a regular person who enjoys the many offerings on EkhartYoga.com and believe in sharing the love.

 

#ekhartyoga

 

Winter Solstice, The New Moon, and The New Year

Winter Solstice and the New Moon on December 21st were a powerful combination. At the time of this writing, not only is it a new year in 2015, the time earmarked the beginning of a new cycle.

The solstice is the darkest day for us in north america, and with each day forward the days will slowly get longer. When spring begins on March 20th this symbolizes new growth and beginnings for us all. The earth will begin its journey for us to tilt towards the sun, and signifies coming out of the darkness and into the light. This is the time to really release what you need to in order to enter into a new cycle with less baggage, wounds and general stuff that has been holding you back. A super powerful time to manifest what you want and to let go of what you no longer need, perfect timing for the New Year recently ushered in.

I thought I would share this positive spin on the longest day of the year, at least for myself. Typically these longer days of darkness make me feel depressed and angsty. Instead I am going to focus on letting go of what’s no longer needed, things that no longer serve me. I am going to count my blessings, and look forward to the new year with opportunities to grow as a person.

Its time to end cycles and welcome new beginnings. What do you need to let go of in order to evolve? What do you want in your new cycle? What do you hope to accomplish and achieve? I’d love to hear your own thoughts in the comments below.

May this new moon and the new year be the start of good things for you. Small or big, near or far, Happy New Year! Many of us are counting our blessings and going forth with hope in our hearts for new beginnings. May this year be filled with love, luck, health and happiness for you and yours!

Image Source:
http://www.vladstudio.com/wallpaper/?neptune_and_triton

Gift it forward, With Last Minute Holiday Gifts!

Still hunting for the perfect last-minute holiday gift? No need to wait on your local shipping company or post office, or deal with the holiday crowds, you can gift it forward this year.

Tis the season to give! be a do-gooder.

here are some recommendations of charity’s or organizations you can donate to:

Greater Good Networks – buy goods and funds are paid to a benefiting organization

The Giving library – Browse nonprofits. Find your passion. make donations to non-profits that match your interests.

Bars of Hoap – artisan soaps made with 100% natural ingredients. All proceeds go towards helping entrepreneurial women in Haiti.

St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity that fights childhood cancers. A donation helps fund research for cures.

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders – Your donations can help in the fight against the deadly ebola epidemic.

Heifer International  – gives livestock and other animals to empower people to earn an income and feed themselves.

Ten Thousand Villages – offers goods from local artisans in 28 different countries.

Feeding America – A gift of cash or food to your local food bank will help feed some of the millions of Americans, including children, seniors and active duty military, who go hungry, according to a

Shopping for a Change – works with artists around the globe, paying them up front for their products and work.

WhyHunger‘s – John Lennon inspired Imagine scarf will help you imagine a world without hunger a little bit easier. All proceeds go towards fighting childhood hunger.

Re:loom  – sells uniquely crafted rags made from recycled materials. All of their products are hand woven by employees who were homeless at one time or in risk of becoming homeless. All proceeds go towards employee wages and benefits.

Green Gifts  – offers an array of eco and wildlife friendly gifts that are perfect for your green friends or ways to remember loved ones.

A do-gooder’s holiday gift guide: 5 gifts that give back.

If you have an etsy shop here’s 5 ways you can give back.

Sources:
http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/16/living/do-gooder-holiday-gift-guide/

Gift It Forward / Pay It Forward this holiday season.

Some of us have everything we need, so what do you get the person that has everything? I like to give gifts that give back. I feel like I have so much to be thankful for, and that others deserve the same. I choose to be filled with gratitude and open my heart this holiday season. It fills me with love, warmth, and I feel a sense of purpose that I can bring joy to someone and put a smile on their face.

Gifting it forward is my way of paying it forward each holiday season. I am not looking for any type of recognition, I just want to do what I can to make someone’s holiday season that much merrier. I may not be rich, I work hard just like everyone else, but I have a roof over my head, food on my table, clothes to keep me warm in the blustery winter weather. Not everyone can say that.

Last year in 2013 I sponsored a 4-year-old girl through a local organizations called DFC Department of Children and Families. My instructions were to purchase at least 1 clothing item and 1 non-clothing item and or learning toy. I found some great deals on little things for her so I was able to purchase 2 pairs of leggings, a Merida doll and a learning toy.

Pay-it-forward

This year I decided to go with something that had been weighing on my mind. India holds a special place for me. I have family there, and I wanted to do something to help the future generation. I wanted to give someone the chance to better them self. I kept thinking there must be a way to help support an underprivileged girl. To give her a chance in life. I wanted to be able to provide an opportunity, the tools to succeed in life utilizing the gift of knowledge and support. As a woman who put her own self through school, I feel quite strongly about other girls being able to go to complete school, rise up, and make a better life for themselves and their families.

Facts: One-fifth of the world’s out-of-school girls are in India, and among those that enroll in school, only 3 out of 10 finish 10th grade. Only 65% of India’s women are literate.

I had thought of starting my own organization if something did not already exist. I wanted a way to give back and support many girls in such a way. I wanted a way to make an impact. After much research I found such an organization, Nanhi Kali, already in existence. They help people like me provide a girl the chance to improve her future. Sponsoring a girl child in India provides her a new beginning. Lets work towards making poverty history, promote literacy and higher education, and support the education of under-privileged girl children in India.

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If you’d like to do the same here are some details for two ways to donate through Nanhi Kali. Its worth noting that both not only ensure that such girl children get access to quality education but also complete 10 years of it. Academic support towards improving learning levels, material support to provide access to quality education, tutors, uniforms, bags, books, shoes, pencils, notebooks, even hygiene materials so she can attend school with dignity and social support to ensure that she doesn’t drop out. This Christmas send a girl to school, be her Santa.

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The Girl Store  – Gift her school supplies.
Site gives the flexibility to the donor to donate any variable denominations of payments. You can buy a girl one or all of the items needed to send her to school for a year.

Nanhi Kali Sponsorships  – Sponsor her education.
Support the education of under-privileged girl children in India where you can look forward to receiving a detailed profile of the “Nanhi Kali” [little bud/flower] along with her photograph and regular updates of her progress.

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#behersanta
#payitforward
#giftitforward

To Follow or Learn more:
https://twitter.com/NanhiKali
https://www.facebook.com/ProjectNanhiKali
http://www.the-girl-store.org/shop
http://donor.nanhikali.org/DonateNowMfusa.aspx

I am in no way affiliated with the site or organization. I am someone who believes in their mission, wants to make a difference and offer you alternative gift ideas for any time.

 

Navel to the Spine

More yoga jargon explained. “Navel to the Spine” is another a verbal que used in yoga, as well as Pilates and strength training. When presented with this instruction we want to engage our core, by pulling in our abdominal’s.

Remember just the abdominal’s only! I say that because you want to ensure you don’t create a “C” like shape with your body. You don’t want to slump forward, nor would you slouch your upper torso or tuck your pelvis. You just want to engage the abs by pulling them in with your muscles, not pulling them in by sucking or holding in your breath. Think of how you would pull in your abs if you’re trying to pull on a pair a slacks or jeans that could be a bit tight or ill-fitting, or perhaps you don’t want your tummy to stick out in a tight dress or skirt.

When performed correctly this not only strengthens our abdominal’s, but also creates an integrated core of strength that supports our body. We can become a pillar of strength using our core to support our spines. We create stability with strong abs. We add to our freedom and range of movement, and create fluidity of our muscles throughout our body.

I hope this helps to demystify some of the common jargon we hear out there.