we breathe provides a window into your current energetic state. Simple
breathing (Pranayama) practices can function as tonics to invite calm
and equilibrium. Before you start you should take a moment to check in
with yourself. Become aware of how you are breathing, how each
inhalation and exhalation feels.
Nadi Shodhana Pranayama
This is a great breathing technique that relaxes your body and mind while boosting your alertness.
Curl your right ring finger and pinky fingers into your palm.
Join your middle and index fingers and point your thumb upright.
Rest your left hand on your thigh.
Gently press the extended two fingers to seal off the left nostril as you inhale for 4 counts through the right nostril.
Close your right nostril by pressing down with your thumb, releasing the left nostril as you exhale out of it for 4 counts.
Close the left nostril, open the right, and breathe out of it for a count of 4. Practice 4 - 6 rounds.
Feeling anxious? Do you feel the need to settle the mind? Mantra meditations are a wonderful way to raise your vibration and discover your higher consciousness. Mantras use the quality of sound to raise the frequency of our physical body.
Om is the most powerful of all the meditation mantras. It is known to be the first sound of the universe representing the infinite nature of the cosmos. It literally gave birth to all the other sounds.
Try chanting the sound of "om" for 5 or 10 minutes daily and you will automatically raise the vibration frequency of your body and calm your mind. You can incorporate your chanting meditation with prayer and your exercise routine. This is a perfect way to adjust the subtle energy centers of your body and mind for better physical and mental health.
Letting go of the old can be hurtful. It's
like claws leaving a mark on your skin. It's real easy to put those old
habits on the back burner but not worth the stuck residue it will leave
behind. The first step is to set the intention to let go. Perhaps write a mantra or word phrase and repeat it several times during the day. You can combine it with a breathing meditation. For example, breathe in for a count of four, then retain the breath and silently repeat your mantra. Exhale the breath for a count of four, retain the breath and repeat the mantra again.
Letting go of old ways may also require forgiveness. If you hold on to
grudges it's like feeding yourself poison. You'll feel pretty sick after
awhile. Besides, there are not just physical benefits to forgiving but
also spiritual ones. The Lord's Prayer includes the line, "Forgive us
our debts as we forgive our debtors."
Practicing mindful meditation is another simple way to shed the old.
This is a powerful way to let go of past thoughts and old scenarios. In
addition, remaining present sharpens the mind and reduces stress.
Albeit remaining present is noble and beneficial, you also need to move
forward. Having a goal that reaches beyond you is very helpful in the
letting go process. A powerful way to meet your goal is to create a vision board and hang it in a place you spend time in. The repeated image works subliminally and has a tremendous impact on seeing your goal to fruition.
Make a point of mindfully speaking up instead of holding things in. This simple approach goes a long way to release stress while you are in the process of releasing the old. Growth can be an erratic forward movement: two steps forward and one step back. Let go, have patience, and trust the process.
No doubt this is a stressful time with COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are many ways to navigate during this crisis so that you can bounce back, survive and carry on. Here are a few ideas from the sixth book "Strong, Perfect, Whole - Becoming Who You Want to Be." 1.
Whenever you are attached to something-- whether a material object, person or
in this case the fear of COVID-19, you are giving it permission to represent the
concept of being strong. The first step to being strong is to let go of your belief
about the strength these objects hold. The reality is that attachment is an obstacle
to obtaining your desires including the desire to be strong in mind, body, and
In yoga, one of the ten living principles, or fifth Yama, is Aparigrapha. Aparigrapha
translates as "non-attachment." It teaches us to accept the present situation
as it is. Making a point of bending with the blows life may throw us (in this
case COVID-19), makes room for new things to bloom. 2.
We all have thoughts that lie deep in our conscious and subconscious mind. Those
we pay attention to are the ones that sprout. We are all capable of feeling strong
if we practice appropriate attention to the thoughts that nourish us. It is simply
good food for the mind. A simple approach is to remember that everything has an
opposite. In other words, if you are feeling fearful, it is easier for the mind
to focus on the fearful thoughts. These are seeds you do not want to nourish.
The opposite nature of fear is feeling safe and secure. Therefore, if you
practice mindfulness of feeling safe and secure everyday, then those are the seeds
that will take root. You have to choose
be positive. 3.
Mindfulness helps us to embrace our weaknesses, and in doing so, it allows us
to get in touch with our strengths. With each breath, we can appreciate our body
and connect to the blessings that have been bestowed upon us. We begin to realize
that there are many things available to us in this very moment, and just knowing
this can make us feel strong, vibrant, and joyful. 4.
There is enormous power in a focused mind. It gives us the capacity to diminish
negative thoughts instantaneously so we can break through anything. Existing in
the here and now requires great focus and concentration, but once we have it we
explode with energy. 5. Insight. Practicing mindfulness will point to areas of tension in your body. Sometimes it is a struggle to release this tension. This is when insight becomes a necessary tool in the process. It allows us to see what is there and what we might need to liberate ourselves from. Jealousy, resentment, or anger can act as barriers to strength in mind, body, and spirit. Having the insight to spend more time on your strengths and less time on your weaknesses releases the fountain of youth. When you are entrenched in your strengths it is an energy booster, a bolster to your world. Spending more time with activities and practices that make you strong unleashes the best in you. It is the single greatest thing you can do for YOU. Om Shanti! Mary
Jane Kasliner - www.fengshuiyoganj.com
mantra So Hum is the natural sound of the breath - your inhale making
the sound So and your exhale making the sound Hum. So Hum means "I am
that." It signifies the recognition when we see reflections of ourselves
in the world and the world within ourselves.
We are a product not just of our DNA, but of every experience we
have ever had, our environment, and of every person we have known. When
you move through the world, recognize that everyone and everything
around you shows you something about yourself. There is significance of
every soul we encounter. When the experience has been passed is when you
realize how the person helped you along the way, taking you to the next
part of your journey, opened you up to begin learning the next lesson.
Each moment, each interaction is important. The ones that are barely
noticed, and the more significant all count. Some are hurtful and some
are joyful. Either way, they helped. Everyone and everything is joined
in an intricate dance, a dance in which our souls learn and grow. Honor
the lessons of the planet earth and the people who help you learn them.
Repeat this mantra, So Hum frequently during the day and see how
your relationship with the world around you shifts and deepens. This
mantra is a reminder that you are divine. There is no need to hold on to
stored emotions (samskaras). Instead, liberate your being by letting
the sweet sound of your breath be enough.
Join me for moving meditations in any of my yoga classes. For my Thompson Park schedule click here! I also sub in for classes at Inlet Yoga in Manasaquan, NJ.
Mary Jane Kasliner is a feng shui consultant and yoga teacher. She is the author of several books and feng shui training CD's. She has been interviewed on radio and TV and lives at the Jersey shore. FOr more information please visit her website.
New beginnings and rebirth of time as the
cycle of 12 starts with the architype of the Rat. In Chinese Astrology,
the Rat is noted as the first animal based on a legend that whatever
animal arrived first to meet the Jade Emperor would be awarded a place
in the zodiac calendar. The first to set out were best friends, the rat
and the cat. Both were scared they would drown in the fast-flowing
river if they tried to cross it. They appealed to the ox to let them
ride on his back to cross the river. During the crossing, the rat was
concerned the cat would outrun him to the finish line and in a devious
act pushed the cat off the back of the ox into the water. As the ox
reached the other side, the rat sat atop its head and leaped off the top
to the finish line and arrived first. Even though the ox had done all
the work, the Buddha admired the rat for his craftiness and awarded him
first place on the calendar.
The rat is known in the East for being resourceful, skillful and
open-minded and one of nature's greatest survivors in times of danger
and scarcity. The rat represents creativity, passion and dynamic energy.
The element of water associated with the rat adds a layer of courage,
purity, generosity and forgiveness. These combined qualities create a
strong and purposeful year. As you lay down your seeds of intentions,
know 2020 is a time for regeneration and renewal, the perfect time to
lay foundations and launch new projects. This new cycle of time will
create significant growth for years to come and more specifically, for
the next 60 years to come.
The metal element combines with the water rat in 2020 suggesting strong
framework or structure to base your plans to build upon. Think big as
this year is the foundation that you will build upon. In the process of
thinking big, you want to lay a good base for your finances. Since the
elements of metal and water are inward (representing autumn and winter
months), the stock market will slow down, pull inward and stagnate. In
previous rat years we have seen the market do exactly that. It's not to
say you can't enjoy yourself this year, it simply means to strike a
balance between spending and saving.
How will the Yang Metal Rat year (2020) impact you personally? I offer
professional astrology reports for my clients. If you are interested in a
report email me for more information.
permeates the shapes of everything it touches. It carves mountains into
sand and swells seeds to fruition. It fuels the planet, our cells and
all living things. Every time we encounter this basic element, we have
the opportunity to gain insight about its divine essence and our own.
Water is a source of creativity and love. It teaches us to be flexible,
tenacious and humble. It can heal and nurture all that is in
This year as the watery energy of the rat moves in, keep these meditation statements in mind:
~ I can be shallow or deep, calm or rough, but most of all I am a resource for man and animal alike.
~ I am like a chameleon - always changing my appearance.
~ I am the elixir of life.
~ I erode what is overwhelming and feed the depleted.
~ I ebb and flow like the tides of life.
~ I cleanse the body and the spirit and make all things new.
sacral, or second chakra, is just seated below the navel in the lower
abdomen. It is associated with the element of water, creativity and
creation/birth. This chakra is naturally activated in the year of the Rat - 2020. As previously mentioned, this is a year where
you will be inspired to create and emote your ideas. It's advantageous
to keep this chakra aligned and active so you can feel supported from
within your energy body. Below are some ideas of how you can activate
this energy center.
The mantra sound that aligns to the sacral chakra is the sound VAM. By
chanting VAM,the vibrations will open and align this chakra.
The color for the sacral chakra is orange. Visualizing a blossoming
orange flower over the lower abdomen - just beneath the navel, is an
excellent way to balance this energy center.
Mary Jane Kasliner
Feng Shui Master
Yoga Instructor www.fengshuiyoganj.com
We are all traveling on the road of life with some sort of map. Whether
it is etched in stone, modified to a specific liking, or no map at all,
we end up on a course that will take us from here to there and back
again. Lao Tzu offers this piece of good advice: A good traveler has no
fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving." Tzu's statement lends
itself toward a learning process - trial and error, and ultimately
Life's journey is undoubtedly filled with detours, stop signs and
roundabouts. These roadblocks will test our faith, courage, strengths
and weaknesses. They will force us to accept what is and learn the
lessons that are to be learned or let life pass us by. When we
experience hardships, it is usually the universe's way of catapulting
change. Like the detour sign we encounter on a roadway, life's
challenges offer us another route. The question is, do we embrace the
new route or do we hold tight and try to force the pre-set course?
Obviously holding tight will initially seem like the easiest choice, but
in the long run it will lead to suffering, pain and stagnation.
Life's detours are meant to be challenged by venturing down a new path.
If we don't, we stifle ourselves and lose interest altogether. We must
realize that time stops for no one. We can't go back to the past or leap
into the future unless we have the imfamous flux capacitor from the
movie Back to the Future. However, we can take the lessons we have
learned and move on.
Ultimately, the paths we create in life are our responsibility. We get
to make the choices, feel the pleasure and the pain. No matter how many
people cross our path, the best-mapped route comes from trusting your
inner navigation system, It knows the way and only requires trust from
you. Relying on it daily is the best roadside tool to finding your
life's purpose; otherwise we become like fish swimming in the ocean who
is frantically searching for the ocean itself. All we need to know in
this life is already within us if we are only aware enough to realize
it. - Chapter 8: Strong, Perfect, Whole - Becoming Who You Want to Be.
"As soon as you trust yourself you will know how to live."
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
most journeys, the journey to wholeness begins with a leap of faith.
This leap is not about transcending life but rather a more inclusive
relationship with it. When there is harmony among the three dimensions
of our lives - body, mind, and spirit - wholeness exist. It connects us
to the web of life and completes us. Why is it though, we tend to yearn
to "belong," when the reality is we are all connected? Why do we feel
compelled to find another to complete us when the triad of self lives
within? These are important questions to unravel on the journey, as the
answers will undoubtedly fill the void so many of us experience.
One of the easiest ways you can plug back into your spirit is to move
with awareness of your breath. Let it unfold like the petals of a flower
to calm the mind and physical body. When you do so, you are able to
detach from the chatter that tends to override your inner voice. If you
allow your breath to ride gracefully as a surfer rides a wave or a bird
on a breeze you will discover who you really are. It is through silence
that the breath reveals it answers.
As a yogi, and teacher of yoga, the breath is the cornerstone to the
practice. The sound of the breath becomes a mantra and its rhythm sets
the mind in the right place - a meditation that evolves with the body in
motion. This particular aspect of yoga is known as pranayama, or breath
control. The regulation of the breath nourishes the body, mind, and
spirit so personal insight can begin to manifest. We become more...Page
262 Strong, Perfect, Whole - Becoming Who You Want to Be.
I once found myself mesmerized in a yoga
workshop given by a world renowned yogi. She had developed a program to
raise global consciousness in the yoga community. The organization was
called Off the Mat and Into the World. The idea was to take the principles of yoga and put them into action off your mat.
The year was 2009, and the question posed during the workshop was: "How
many of you right now can take the yogic philosophy and put it into
action out in the world?" I had to admit I wasn't quite sure where she
was going with this question. She expounded by telling us about her
quest, the Seva Challenge, which was to raise as much money as possible
for the children of Uganda who were largely uneducated and infected by
the HIV virus. At the time, one million children between the ages of
6-12 were not in school and five people per minute were becoming
infected by the HIV virus. Now, I was pretty familiar with the disease
HIV as I had worked nearly eight years in an HIV clinic as a practicing
Dental Hygienist. The facility was state of the art that offered
patients the latest medications and treatment modalities - a far cry
from what these innocent children in Uganda were receiving.