Last night I did yoga by candlelight in a darkened room with soft music playing in the background. Some well known truths showed up for me in this sacred space.
1. Things I desire in a relationship. Tantric openness. Intimacy. Being held after lovemaking. Holding hands. Taking our time and enjoying the experience. Kissing with intensity and tongue. Taking things one step farther than just “doing it.” Empowering and understanding his own personal love language in order to create a deeper bond between us.
2. Being vulnerable-both with my self and with my lover. Not being afraid to confess “I need you” when I do instead of acting brave.
3. Being needed. Feeling wanted, needed, and appreciated by him being able to tell me when he is needy for me and for my body. Excuses breed contempt when you keep getting neglected in the physical “needs” department.
4. Being feminine. Being a lady instead of constantly trying to do a man’s job or being too masculine and “in control” in everything in life. Letting the man be the man. Letting him be the provider/hunter/gatherer and man of the house. Being soft instead of trying to be rigid and hard or manipulative.
5. Releasing the energy of attachments to old relationships. When something goes wrong not focusing on attracting the same energy as the last relationship or comparing “well blah blah blah did that same bad habit too” without a feeling of overpowering, emasculating, or getting even tactics.
6. Release the need for sportsmanship or competition within the relationship. My earliest relationship was formed through a time when my ex was very active in sports and auto racing so naturally he felt competition was necessary-even from within our relationship makeup. This put an unnecessary strain on us as partners and co-creators because of me being a woman I could never quite keep up with him. And when I tried I usually fell flat on my face. (Ice/roller-skating-bike racing Etc.. ) plus I was raised with guys that treated me like a tough little sister so I got very competitive by nature while growing up.
Yoga is all about surrendering your ego at the mat..
Allow your practice to come from a place of surrender. Sometimes handling stress can be as simple as changing the way we look at external things that we can’t control. If you are angry-release it. If you are sad release it. Come from a place of total surrender. Let everything and everyone go and focus on the posture and the breath.
Nothing else matters in this space but the posture and the breath. Ujjayi breath can work wonders on a worried overactive mind. Yoga is about feeling good in your own skin. Not just looking good in spandex. Sometimes the postures are like early morning drill master to our overactive monkey mind where as other times postures are like a lover’s soft caress upon our skin.
Things don’t have to “be” a certain way for them to work or for them to be released. It’s about clearing out the gunky stuff that accumulates in our mind and body during a busy work week from stress and eating junk food Etc. Releasing isn’t about expecting/demanding outcomes or trying to control everything around you (people-work-family-self/weight Etc..) Just recognizing when you are “grasping” is also a practice. Have too many thoughts? Journal that shizz out of your system! I spent the better part of the early 2000’s journaling about my health and love or lack there of. It was transformational for me to write my sorrows and mind chatter down on paper in order to release it. Journaling isn’t just for a writer. You can journal about your hopes, dreams, yoga practice. Etc.. You have the freedom to expand your bliss by writing it down. Try a gratitude practice. Pick the top ten things you love most and that add value to your life in some way and write about them.
Try a candlelit yoga practice. You can use a tea light or a flame-less candle for a more ambient effect.If you use a real candle for this practice just remember to place it far enough away from you and your body/mat so it doesn’t come into any close contact with your body or your hair so you don’t get burned. If you feel inspired to try something new now could be a time to try practicing nude yoga. At first I was shy when trying it but during Saturday night Sacred Self Sadhanas. I began exploring nude yoga alone by candle light and it was such a beautiful and inspiring way for me to release the stress that had accumulated during the week in my mind and in my knee joints; which is where I feel most of my tension and pain when I am stressed.
Some things that may come up for you when doing this practice are feelings of:
1. I feel vulnerable and weak when my partner acts out or yells
2. I feel angry at my coworker when she pushes her workload on to me
3. Caring for my special needs child is quite a challenge I want to cry sometimes
4. My physical aches and pains hurt me and make it hard to lead a normal life
5. Going from being too weak and soft to being too masculine/living life too intensly and fast
6. I feel too old/young/fat/sad/hopeless/mad/angry/short/tall/stiff (insert other excuse for self sabotage here)
Some of these things that come up for me are:
1. The rush to complete these summaries is exhausting me and I need extra rest
2. I can’t get everything done in a day-will I run out of time?
3. I am in fight/ flight mode and have been for the last year
4. My body is sore and tired from walking five miles yesterday so I’m not going to yoga class today (or other excuse)
5. Fear of abandonment (even though my mom and dad died of natural causes at different times it still feels like I am a teen again being abandoned by both parents)
Yoga is meant to cultivate a sense of deep relaxation and a sense of rooted connection within the body. Only go at your own pace. If the posture shows an extended version of the pose and you know your body is just starting out don’t try to overextend yourself or your muscles and joints. Do what works and feels right for you. If your body can only do half the posture then do half the posture. Never try to over extend yourself in yoga. Even some of the most experienced teacher’s still have trouble with a rotator cuff, herniated disc, or knee injury they have to work around in their practice.
Breathing is something we all do during our life time. We all know we are going to die if we are not breathing. Breathing is a reflex action done by our body to provide the flow of oxygen around the body to the vital organs.
Wikipedia, online encyclopedia, describes humans breathe between 12 and 20 times per minute, with children breathing faster than adults.
Babies may breathe as much as 40 times per minute. Adults normally breathe about 500-700ml of air at a time. An average 14 year old takes around 30,000 breaths per day.
However, we can control our breathing. We can be more relaxed by breathing in and out so deeply. The more we allow our body to be filled by deep breathing, the less stress we place on our body and mind.
The more we practice our deep and controlled breathing, the more natural it becomes and we can call on it at any time of day to help us through those tired or stressed out moments.
With all the problems we have — either we feel stressed out at work, or at the end of a long hard day and we can’t sleep, or if we just want a few minutes to our self — we will find this simple breathing exercise really beneficial.
Here are some steps to do breathing exercise:
1. You can lie down, sit down or stand up as long as you are comfortable. Breathe in slowly through your nose to the count of four. Breathe very deep until all your body feel expanded.
2. Hold on that deep breath for four counts, and then exhale slowly through mouth to a count of eight.
3. Repeat the breathing in – right down so your tummy expands. Hold on to it and then exhaling nine more times.
4. You can breathe deeper once you get used to the above steps by leave one hand on your stomach and place the other lightly across the chest. Breathe right down so your tummy expands
5. When it can’t go any further, breathe in some more and fill the tops of your lungs. Inhalations and exhalation are the same length, eight counts each, without holding in between.
6. When you exhale, let the old air out from your chest then from your tummy. So, you are going to be relaxed.
Relaxing Candlelight Yoga video