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.

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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

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

The Spirit of Mantra, a 21 Day Mantra Meditation

If you enjoyed the first 21 day mantra meditation journey with Deval Premal and Miten, then you are in for a treat.

The world-renowned chant artists are offering “The Spirit of Mantra” – a 21 day exploration into the transformative power of a daily mantra meditation practice that began on May 14. It’s free to sign up and enjoy. The previous days are still up to listen.

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This new program offers another opportunity to explore the deep inner peace found in chanting these ancient sound formulas. Like the first mantra meditation journey, Deva & Miten will share a new mantra every day, with an explanation of the meaning, and a guided meditation into the chanting. This year’s program includes seven brand new chants from their album Mantras for Life. The

This free streaming 21-Day Mantra Meditation Journey has begun! Join me &  register here

A few words from Deva & Miten:
Mantras make a difference, not only for the benefits they bring us on a personal level, but also as a healing balm for our troubled world. With this in mind, we have chosen mantras that help us meet life’s daily challenges, including blessing and protecting our children; healing body, mind and spirit; caring for the animals; and celebrating Mother Earth.

 

Note:
I am not affiliated with this site and or Deva and Mitten.

Image Source:
Mentors Channel

September is the official National Yoga Month

It’s September, and you know what that means don’t you? Its national yoga month!!!

This national observance is designated by the Department of Health & Human Services) designed to educate about the health benefits of yoga and to inspire a healthy lifestyle.

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All month-long you will find events, free classes, and  it all culminates with a global practice at the end. You can print out cards from yoga studios or from the yoga health foundation and check out free classes at a few studios.
My favorite yoga spot:

Ekhart Yoga

September Yoga Month offer:

  • Get one week for FREE in September
  • Full access to ALL videos and programs
  • Join our special Sep.Yoga Month programs
  • No credit card needed
  • Just sign up and subscribe for free
Like most things I post here, I am in no way affiliated with Ekhart yoga. I am just a huge fan and believe strongly that sharing is caring. I like inspiring others and hope this great news makes your day and gives you something to look forward to this month.
One reason for my lack of posting, has been due to a few bouts of depression lately, and the national yoga month gives me something to feel excited about. Something to look forward to. It’s the little things but sometimes they can be just what we need to help pull us out of a funk.  I guess you could call me the depression cheer leader =)
– See more at:
yoga

Image Source:
http://yogahealthfoundation.org/images/uploads/photos/yogamonth_home_slideshow699_287_owfy2.jpg

21 Day Mantra Meditation Journey Returns

First and foremost, I know it’s been quite a while since I’ve written, I’ll address that in a separate post later, for now I will leave you with one of a few posts from my exciting things to share list =)

Back in May, the Mentors Channel hosted the 21- Day Mantra meditation. I have great news friends. Due to popular demand they have decided to run the free course again coinciding with the world tour of Deva Premal, Mitten and Manose. The 21 day program begins on SEPTEMBER 10th 2013.

Below is my original post from may since the below links etc… apply once again. I hope you take advantage of this special opportunity and join me.

Below is Re-posted from my May 4th entry on the journey:

I am someone who enjoys having things to look forward to each day, especially when they not only make me feel great and refreshed but can make me a better person. Things like yoga months, or a themed type of yoga 21 day challenge, etc… This month my “I feel great and I am excited to get up in the morning even though its cold and barely daylight out” journey is a 21 day Mantra Meditation Journey being presented for free from Deva Premal and Mitten on Mentors Channel.  Want to join me on this three-week  journey into the powerful world of Mantra? I have listed some details below on how you too can participate.

21day

Let me start off by saying that I am not affiliated with this site and or Deva or Mitten.  I’ll be honest I was not a huge fan of Deva and Mitten prior to this transformative journey, and never really listened to their other albums. I’ll have to check them out and give them a chance, but my point is that even if you are not a huge fan of Deva and Mitten I think you will still enjoy this special gift and should take advantage of this opportunity. There’s a saying, there’s no time like the present, so if you have been putting off trying out meditation well, why not grab life by the reins and do it now?

You too can join me and the thousands of mediators worldwide as and explore the healing power of these ancient sounds. You can join by email or Facebook. When you join [for free] you get access to the daily mantra sessions as they are released. You will receive daily emails with the link to the new mantra sessions, as well as some suggestions on ways to bring the mantra practice into your daily activities.  Each day they introduce a mantra with a guided meditation, followed by an exploration into its energies and meanings. If you decide to give it a whirl you can discover how these ancient sound formulas carry us into a state of inner peace and well-being.

meditation

This is an opportunity to acquire for yourself a potent tool for healing and transformation; one that will support and nourish you on your journey through life’s adventures and challenges.

Deva & Miten launched their first 21-Day Mantra Meditation Journey April 23.  We are invited to spend 15 minutes with them every day for three weeks. They share a new mantra every day, explaining the meaning, chanting together, and meditating on the mantra’s essential energetic quality. A program of 21 days provides the possibility for real and lasting change to occur, in body, mind and spirit. They say it takes 21 days for something to become a good habit and integrated into our lives. You can register here for this transformative inner adventure.

A few words from Deva and Mitten’s site: “We look forward to sharing these precious and sacred moments together with you, with the intention of making this world a better place”.

21dayregister

Image Source
https://www.mentorschannel.com
http://williamoconnor.files.wordpress.com

Healing Rhythms: A 15 Step Free Program to Relax, Relieve, and Restore.

Recently we had the 21 Day Mantra Journey. Looking at the site, comments and views, I know thousands of people enjoyed that course, so I wanted to share the newest free course offering from Mentors Channel. Its almost a new month with new and exciting opportunities, such as this, to look forward to. Like the last program I am again in no way affiliated with this and do not receive anything from them. I just  like to share things I think others can enjoy and benefit from.

Healing Rhythms is a 15-Step Free Program beginning on June 10th. The program will consist of a daily journey where you train with the top leaders from the world of Wellness: Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Andrew Weil, and many others. Best of all, its free!

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I joined, will you?

A few words from the site:

“With each step, you’ll receive an inspiration and two guided practices, one-on-one training with the masters in the field. Learn breathing and mindfulness techniques that will help you to quiet your mind, release physical tension and enrich the most important relationships in your life.

Together with Healing Rhythms beautifully interactive 15-Step program you will learn the tools to build a happy mind and a more balanced lifestyle. We look forward to sharing this life changing, daily experience with you.”

Image Source:
http://www.mentorschannel.com/Bestsellers/LandingPage.aspx?BookId=177&af=885

21 Day Mantra Meditation Journey

I am someone who enjoys having things to look forward to each day, especially when they not only make me feel great and refreshed but can make me a better person. Things like yoga months, or a themed type of yoga 21 day challenge, etc… This month my “I feel great and I am excited to get up in the morning even though its cold and barely daylight out” journey is a 21 day Mantra Meditation Journey being presented for free from Deva Premal and Mitten on Mentors Channel.  Want to join me on this three-week  journey into the powerful world of Mantra? I have listed some details below on how you too can participate.

21day

Let me start off by saying that I am not affiliated with this site and or Deva or Mitten.  I’ll be honest I was not a huge fan of Deva and Mitten prior to this transformative journey, and never really listened to their other albums. I’ll have to check them out and give them a chance, but my point is that even if you are not a huge fan of Deva and Mitten I think you will still enjoy this special gift and should take advantage of this opportunity. There’s a saying, there’s no time like the present, so if you have been putting off trying out meditation well, why not grab life by the reins and do it now?

You too can join me and the thousands of mediators worldwide as and explore the healing power of these ancient sounds. You can join by email or Facebook. When you join [for free] you get access to the daily mantra sessions as they are released. You will receive daily emails with the link to the new mantra sessions, as well as some suggestions on ways to bring the mantra practice into your daily activities.  Each day they introduce a mantra with a guided meditation, followed by an exploration into its energies and meanings. If you decide to give it a whirl you can discover how these ancient sound formulas carry us into a state of inner peace and well-being.

meditation

This is an opportunity to acquire for yourself a potent tool for healing and transformation; one that will support and nourish you on your journey through life’s adventures and challenges.

Deva & Miten launched their first 21-Day Mantra Meditation Journey April 23.  We are invited to spend 15 minutes with them every day for three weeks. They share a new mantra every day, explaining the meaning, chanting together, and meditating on the mantra’s essential energetic quality. A program of 21 days provides the possibility for real and lasting change to occur, in body, mind and spirit. They say it takes 21 days for something to become a good habit and integrated into our lives. You can register here for this transformative inner adventure.

A few words from Deva and Mitten’s site: “We look forward to sharing these precious and sacred moments together with you, with the intention of making this world a better place”.

21dayregister

Image Source
https://www.mentorschannel.com
http://williamoconnor.files.wordpress.com

īsṭar habbada shubhaashayagalu / Happy Easter /śubh īsṭar

Today is Easter Sunday, so I wanted to wish you all a Happy Easter.  It’s currently 35F but sunny where I’m staying, so it sure doesn’t feel like spring yet. Easter fills us with hope, joy and warmth. It is a time to get together with friends, family and loved ones to celebrate this joyful time.

easter

Oestre/Easter, is a time of rebirth and fertility, symbolized by the “bunny”.  The popular colored eggs representing the sunlight of spring.

Yogaverse:

We’ve had our spring vernal equinox meaning the day and night were of equal length since the sun was sitting above the equator. The days are getting longer, they will slowly warm up at a snail’s pace [at least where I’m at]. It’s easier to feel more motivated, joyful inside and with a happier heart. The winters are hard to get through and really exacerbate depression, so I am grateful for this new equinox granting us more sunlight and generally warmer weather.