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A Beautiful Yin Yoga practice with Adriene

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQyX48NtDrQ

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Candlelight Yoga

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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 Exercises:

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

The Spiritual Diary…..

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The Spiritual Diary

by Swami Sivananda

Download – Spiritual Diary Form

The Spiritual Diary is a whip for goading the mind towards righteousness and God. If you regularly maintain this diary you will get solace, peace of mind and make quick progress in the spiritual path. Maintain a daily diary and realize the marvelous results.

-Swami Sivananda

1 When did you go to bed last night?

2 When did you get up from bed?

3 How many hours did you sleep?

4 How many Malas of Japa?

5 How long in Kirtan?

6 How many Pranayamas?

7 How long did you perform Asanas?

8 How long did you meditate in one Asana?

9 How many Gita Slokas did you read or get by heart?

10 How long in the company of the wise (Satsanga)?

11 How many hours did you observe Mouna?

12 How long in disinterested selfless service?

13 How much did you give in charity?

14 How many Mantras you wrote?

15 How long did you practice physical exercise?

16 How many lies did you tell and with what self-punishment?

17 How many times and how long of anger and with what self-punishment?

18 How many hours you spent in useless company?

19 How many times you failed in Brahmacharya?

20 How long in study of religious books?

21 How many times you failed in the control of evil habits and with what self-punishment?

22 How long you concentrated on your Ishta Devata (Saguna or Nirguna Dhyana)?

23 How many days did you observe fast and vigil?

24 Were you regular in your meditation?

25 What virtue are you developing?

26 What evil quality are you trying to eradicate?

27 What Indriya is troubling you most?

NOTES:

4. One Mala of Japa is one full turn around the Japa Mala or rosary for a count of 108 repetitions of the Lord’s Name or Mantra.

5. You can perform Kirtan in any language you wish.

Abraham Hicks on Weight Loss

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Thought:  “I Cannot Lose Weight”

I don’t feel comfortable in my clothes and dread shopping for new ones. I stand in front of my closet looking for something to wear, and even though I have some nice things, nothing appeals to me because I don’t like the way I look no matter what I’m wearing.   My body doesn’t move well, and I know that I’d feel so much better all around if I could just lose a few pounds, but I feel powerless to do anything about this excess weight, so I’m very discouraged. 

Abe:  Now we want to begin this discussion by reminding you of the most important part of Deliberate Creation: Creating is not about making things happen through action. In fact, creating is not about making things happen at all. Creating is about allowing the thing that you desire to happen, and the allowing happens through Energy alignment, not through action. 

Sometimes this is a hard thing for you to hear because you know, from your personal experience in life, that action does get results. You know that you have been able to shed unwanted pounds by decreasing your food consumption, and there is no question in your mind that the exercise helped, too. And we are not disagreeing with any of that, for it is obvious that action does have a place in the creating of many things. In fact, without action, your society would be without a great many of its things. 

But when you make action the cornerstone of your Creative Process without considering the vibrational basis of your Being as you are taking the action, you are working under a distinct handicap, for there simply is not enough power in the action itself to compensate for the competing Energies of your misaligned thought. 

You may recall a successful experience where someone offered you an idea regarding losing weight, and you felt an immediate enthusiasm toward the idea. Your enthusiasm could be attributed to the power of the belief of the person who offered the idea to you, or it could be that the idea dovetailed precisely with beliefs of your own . . . but it is your enthusiasm that we want to call your attention toward. Your enthusiasm was the evidence that the vibration of your Being was in alignment. 

And then, remember what happened next: You were eager to take the action—and in taking it, positive results occurred. . . . It is possible to take action because someone suggests it or encourages it or even demands it; and once involved in the action, your attitude can begin to improve. 

But the deliberate alignment of your vibration, first—which then inspires successful action—is a much more powerful approach to whatever it is you want to create. 

During your discouraged moments as you acknowledged that your body was not as you would like it to be, you were launching rockets of desire about what you preferred, and within all of that processing of life—and without realizing it—you have been adding to your Vibrational Escrow. You have created a vibrational version of the new-and-improved physical version of yourself. 

We want to help you understand that this is not a flimsy dream floating somewhere in your imagination. This is not a delusional departure from reality. This is a creation in the making, and it is being created in precisely the same way that everything you see around you has been created: 

The living of life gave birth to the idea or thought—which, in time, with focus, became what you call your “reality.” So the discouragement that you have been feeling is indicating the discord between the continually evolving creation of your beautiful body and the thoughts that you continue to think regarding your body. Your body has been vibrationally evolving, but your old patterns of thoughts, your beliefs (which are only thoughts that you continue to think), are causing a vibrational discord. And under those conditions, successful action cannot be inspired or performed. Under those conditions, all action is harder, yielding little or no results, causing more discouragement still. 

The key to bringing your body to a new place is to see it differently from the way it is. It is necessary that you focus upon the body that is coming and distract yourself from the negative aspects of your current physical body, for as long as you are seeing your body as it is, you are contradicting the vibration of the idea of a slender body. You cannot create a new reality while looking at your current reality. 

So now that you understand why it has been so difficult to find the inspiration to act and why the action, even when you did offer it, netted you very little results, let us show you some very simple things that you can do that will begin the process of aligning your Energies immediately, for by understanding the Laws of the Universe, and by understanding the basis of your creation (which is the simple alignment of vibration), you will now be on your way to the outcome that you desire: 

• Your choices, right now, do not include whether you are at your perfect body weight or not. 

• You have no choice other than to be at the body weight you are at right now. 

• You are going to weigh about the same thing tomorrow as you do today, and the next day, too . . . and so on. 

• Changing your body weight right now is not an option. 

• Changing your vibrational alignment right now is an option—a powerful one. Also, you are not, right now, choosing between feeling fabulous or terrible. 

• You are not choosing between feeling enthusiasm or discouragement. 

• Your choices, right now, are more subtle and more fine-tuned than that. 

• You are making the simple choice of feeling a little better or a little worse. 

• You can choose an upstream thought or a betterfeeling, downstream thought. 

• Those are your only choices: upstream or downstream. 

• But those choices are enough. For example, imagine you are at an outdoor shopping center. You are moving in and out of many beautiful shops, and there are hundreds of people moving in and out of them with you. These individuals vary in size and shape and wardrobe, but you are predominantly noticing nicely dressed, nicely shaped, beautiful people all around you; and as you see them, you feel self-conscious. 

You are now awkwardly aware of what you are wearing, and you are unhappy with the way you look today. You turn to see your reflection in the window as you are walking, and you are extremely unhappy about the way you look. You feel agitated, discouraged, and unhappy, and you are not having a good time on this shopping outing at all. You have now lost interest in the reason why you came to the mall. You do not feel like shopping anymore. 

In fact, the only thing that is appealing to you right now is the idea of getting something to eat. There are good-smelling things in the air, and you realize that you are hungry and that you do want a snack. There are several choices within view, and from the fragrances in the air, you know there are more choices nearby. Any one of several things sounds good to you: ice cream, candy, maybe something more substantial such as a sandwich. Actually, all of that sounds pretty good to you right now.  

Your urge to find a quiet place to sit while you eat something is becoming quite strong, and while you are trying to fight the urge to follow through on your impulse, it is much easier to just give in to it and get something to eat. As you are standing in line at the ice-cream counter, you notice the slender people waiting in line with you. They are annoying, and as you are annoyed, your urge for the ice cream grows stronger still. . . . 

Before we continue with the details of this example, and before we offer guidance to assist you in improving your situation, we want to explain something that most people do not understand and, in fact, have a hard time believing: Whether you gird up your willpower and walk out of the ice-cream parlor or whether you go ahead and select—and eat—a large tub of ice cream, there is absolutely no difference in the effect of one of those actions over the other! 

Even if we are talking about 1,000 days of walking out as compared to 1,000 days of eating a tub of ice cream, the action choice of one or the other makes no difference. It is not your action that matters; it is your vibration. It is not your action that makes you fat; it is your vibration. It is not what you are doing that makes the difference; it is how you are feeling about what you are doing. 

In the beginning of your vibrational alignment regarding your body weight, you may begin to feel enthusiasm for some changes in your diet, and many would say, “Well, then, I don’t see how this approach differs that much from just going on a diet as I’ve done so many times before.” But we would ask you to notice how much easier it is this time in the feeling of enthusiasm rather than the discouragement that you have been acting from before. 

You will also notice that in this state of improved emotion, you will find an appealing idea, and then another. You will begin to find a sort of rolling out of a continuous path of good-feeling new ideas. You will begin to feel carried along by those new ideas rather than struggling to find them, and, before long, you will begin to see physical results. 

Of course, upon seeing the physical results, your feeling of enthusiasm will be even greater, and then you are really off and running toward the outcome that you have been seeking. And as you achieve your desired body weight (and you will), you will say to yourself after the fact, This time it wasn’t difficult, and this time I’ll keep it off. And, in any case, I now know what to do, whenever I decide to, about achieving whatever physical bodily condition I choose. 

Consider This: If being slender matches the emotion of happiness . . . and you were to consistently eat ice cream while feeling happy . . . you would be a slender person who eats large quantities of ice cream. If your desire to be slender while you are currently not slender matches the emotion of discouragement . . . and you were to consistently eat ice cream while feeling discouraged . . . you would be a fat person who eats ice cream. 

If your desire to be slender while you are currently not slender matches the emotion of discouragement . . . and you were to consistently use your willpower to keep yourself from eating ice cream . . . you would be a fat person who does not eat ice cream. Some would ask, “Abraham, if being unhappy makes you fat, why are there no fat people in an environment where food is scarce? They are unhappy, and they are not fat. They are often starving to death.” 

And we would answer, if you are focused upon the current situation of food scarcity, and you feel fear for yourself and your loved ones, you are a match to what you do not want. It makes no difference if not wanting to be fat is the issue that turns your thoughts upstream or if the idea of  starving to death is the issue that turns your thoughts upstream: Your thoughts are still upstream— which is resistance to what you desire, whether your desire is slenderness or enough food for your family. 

Being slender matches the emotion of happiness. (downstream) Being fat matches the emotion of unhappiness. (upstream) Having enough to eat matches the emotion of happiness. (downstream) 

Not having enough to eat matches the emotion of un-happiness. (upstream) The key to creating everything that you desire is to find a way to turn to the better-feeling, downstream thoughts, even when the current situation does not evoke it from you, and to use your willpower to focus your thoughts in the direction of your desire and who-you-really-are, rather than using your willpower to try to produce action against the Current. 

So, in the beginning, your thoughts may be something like the following: I am fat. (upstream) I don’t want to be fat. (upstream) I’m so tired of being overweight. (upstream) I don’t like how I look. (upstream) I don’t like my clothes. (upstream) I don’t want to shop for clothes. (upstream) I’ve tried so many things. (upstream) Nothing works for me. (upstream) 

Remember, you do not have to fix everything. Just try to find a thought that feels a little bit better: I wish I could find a way. (downstream) My feet would feel better for sure. (downstream)  Again, these are not earth-shattering statements, but they do feel better, and therefore they are downstream—so your work, for now, is done. 

Whenever you find yourself beating the same old drum about your body weight, if you would make an effort to turn your thoughts downstream and stay focused upon the subject until you feel a slight turn, in a very short period of time you will improve the vibrational relationship between where you are and what you want, and you will be amazed at the leverage this improved vibration will give to your process. Everything about this will get easier and easier until, in time, your desired body weight will have been achieved. 

So now, let us say that you are at work. You have not been focused on your body or your weight because you had things to accomplish and you’ve been busy at those things. But now it is lunchtime, and as you are walking past the vending machine, you feel an urge to buy a cookie. You put in your money, the cookie drops through the chute, and while you are unwrapping it, the feeling of discomfort comes over you. “Here I go again,” you say, feeling the discomfort washing over you. 

But the urge is strong, and you take a big bite of the cookie. You feel worse still as a strong feeling of disappointment now rises within you. But this time things are slightly different from ever before because you have some positive momentum going from those statements you have been making about the subject of your weight.  

You remember, It isn’t about what I’m doing. It’s about how I’m feeling while I’m doing it. So you pause and look at the cookie, and you make the following statements: I shouldn’t be eating you. (upstream) You’ll only make me fatter. (upstream) You are delicious, though. (downstream) And you’re not all that big. (downstream) I could eat some of you now and save some for later. (downstream) I like having choices. (downstream) I like making deliberate choices. (downstream) I like being in charge of my actions. (downstream) If I had stopped to think, I may not have been so quick to put my money in this machine. (downstream) I’m really making quite a big to-do over eating a little cookie. (downstream) You’re a tasty little cookie. (downstream) Well, I’m enjoying you, cookie. (downstream) I’m deliberately enjoying you. (downstream) And sometimes I’ll choose to eat you, and sometimes I’ll pass. (downstream) Right now I’m going to eat you. (downstream) And I’m going to enjoy you. (downstream) 

You have just accomplished something that is rather unusual for you. You are eating a cookie, and you have talked yourself into alignment with yourself and therefore with your desire to be slender at the same time. You are in alignment with You, which is much more significant than anything you are doing—or not doing—with the cookie. And now, a very slender person walks up to the machine, pulls out a cookie, and begins to eat it. And as you watch, you can tell that this person is truly savoring this cookie. 

In the past as you watched a slender person eating a cookie, your thoughts would be: It’s not fair. (upstream) Her metabolism allows her to eat tasty things and still be slender. (upstream) She’s probably unhealthy, and that’s the only thing she will eat today. (upstream) But this time, because of the vibrational work you have been doing, you think instead: Ah, there is evidence of someone who’s in alignment with her desire of eating a cookie. (downstream) It is all about vibrational alignment. 

Do not look for immediate measurable physical results. Instead, look for improvement in your mood, your attitude, and your emotions. When you feel better, you are more in alignment—and everything else will follow. It is Law. 

#Abraham-Hicks

Excerpt, Astonishing Power of Emotions

Wordless Wednesday

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To engage with art, we have to be willing to be wrong,

venture outside our psychic comfort zones, suspend disbelief,

and remember that art explores and alters

consciousness simultaneously.
~Jerry Saltz