Upcycled/Recycled – Portable Ganesha Altar Kit

X-posted from my Creative Space.

Sometimes I like to challenge myself and do something new. Think outside the box and step outside of my zone of familiarity, and my zone of comfort. Kind of like the saying, do something new or something that scares you everyday. Not necessarily just by creating this piece, but also by sharing more about myself at the end.

I looked through my stash of art supplies and I decided to craft this portable altar kit. It could also be described as a mini-shrine, and mine is made of upcycled, repurposed and recycled materials. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on something like this. Honestly most things I acquired for free, already had on hand, or made. I gave a few examples of what I gathered the products from to give you your own ideas. On how you can upcycle things into a meaningful craft.

If you’re unfamiliar with what a shrine or altar is, here’s a brief description. While The dictionary talks about them being a receptacle for sacred relics, or a place considered sacred because of its relationship to a holy person or event, they can also be for other reasons. You could have one for political, humorous, satirical, one’s family, travel, nature, basically anything that is of interest of the artist creating the piece, or  imbibed with intentions for the person it’s being designed for.

 

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Materials used:
The “box” was made from an old altoids [mints] tin I had lying around.
The covering is a combination of papers from old kannada calendars, printer paper, cardstock, and scrapbook paper.
The sacred objects are items that hold value and have meaning to me. Things I have picked up during my travels.
-A red rock from a vortex in Sedona, Az.
-Incense
-Rudraksha seed/bead from a spiritual retreat.
-Thread from a puja in India.
-Mini-ganesha idol/murti.
-Sacred symbols, quotes, yantra, shloka book, mantras etc… I made using scrap paper and my printer.
-Auspicious paper marigolds.
– Battery powered candle.
-Bag to wrap everything in. [from a spare velvet gift bag, originally given to me with a birthday gift inside]

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I never feel like it’s 100% finished, because I add special items from my journeys, and because I keep adding items from a personal wish list of items I originally wanted to add to the little altar that I came up with as I was creating it.  Portable altars come in handy for those who travel, someone living in a small space, someone going off to college, and I am sure there are other examples.

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Taking a deep breathing and just diving in. Since I don’t always talk about myself on here, as some of you may not know I celebrate an amalgamation of holidays and this craft honors the cultures that resonate with me. I honor Hindu culture and customs, as well as the standard American / Catholic Holidays that are common such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter etc… The next Hindu holiday upcoming is Ganesha Chaturthi, and since I will likely be out of town this little altar will come in handy for me. I do not consider myself to be a religious person, but a person who is spiritual.

I previously haven’t written many personal details on my blog  due to the need in the professional world to have keep details of my personal life withheld. Keep my cards held close to my chest and keep myself out of the limelight.  I am now at a new path in my life where I can share more, not be so closed off or guarded. After not having done this for so long I feel really vulnerable to open up. Sometimes it can be freeing to write to a world of strangers, to write to no one you know in particular, but today alas is just one of those days I just feel more susceptible to judgement. Anyway I hope you enjoy hearing about me and getting to know more about me from time to time. I also hope this post maybe taught you something new or inspired you to do something new today as well.

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.

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