We all have our favorite yoga poses and just love when they are included in a yoga class. You feel as though you can glide into the pose and remain there forever. Well, maybe forever is a bit stretching it but I'm sure you get the point. The following are my favorite yoga poses:
1. Warrior 2
3. Supported warrior 3
Discover what your favorite yoga poses are and why. Then, the next time you roll out your mat only include those poses for your entire practice. Notice how you feel at the end of your practice. Just to mix it up a bit, with your following yoga practice avoid doing those favorite poses and notice the difference in your mind, body and attitude. It's an interesting way to broaden your perspective of your practice. Who knows, you may even discover 5 new poses that become you favorites!
From the book: The Teacher Appears, Govind Das suggest a way to tap in to your most spiritual heart and be inspired. By bringing your hands to prayer position in front of your chest you can go deep into your most spiritual heart, and with total sincerity finish the statement: "I dedicate my life to..."
This is a powerful way to connect to your soul's mission, the Dharmic path. Try moving through at least 20 sun salutations and when you are finish place prayer hands over heart center and open your mind and heart to the whispers of your soul. The answer should be clear.
Welcome to BSA - The Conscious Alignment of Energy BSA is busy updating its newsletter and website for the start of this summer season! We hope you like what you see and enjoy what you read.
June is the month of the Yang Fire Horse, the summer solstice, and the literary star (4 Xun). The element of fire is at its peak, so get ready to fill your days with action, adventure, transformation and illumination.
The Fire Horse: Fire represents a host of things from the color red, hot weather, the sense of touch, the heart, eyes, small intestines, our soul's path, accolades and our reputation. It is an element that sparks all life and brings clarity to any situation. The active side of fire is spontaneous and hard to control while the passive side is easily directed to serve our needs.
The fire element has a natural capacity to lead; a decisive and confident energy. Therefore, this month there is a natural capacity to motivate people and bring ideas to fruition. There is a tendency however to be aggressive and dominate others with your own ideas and creativity. There is also a greater tendency to take risks and move to pioneer new trails. It's important to tighten the reins on your emotions as forceful ambitions can make you inconsiderate and impatient. Curb impulsiveness for your own good and realize that diplomacy goes a long way.
The fire stem meets the horse for a rather flamboyant and adventurous nature. Change is welcomed through sheer willpower. Distractions can easily hold you back from accomplishing all you would like so make sure you stick to your "to do" list for best outcome. Competition is likely but that will not deter you from your path. Just know the horse can be rather unpredictable. With that being said, expect crazy things to unfold in relationships and on the job. Remain agile and passionate in your approach to business dealings. Exercise is important this month so get out there and embrace the outdoors. The more strenuous the activity the better. This goes for mental activity as well. You may find people are quick to make decisions and very flexible and open- minded.
*What to Learn from the Horse:
Be quick and come to the point when interacting in business
Think in terms of new ideas and approaches
Pursue lofty goals
And most of all...Take some time to smell the roses!
The 4 Literary Star: This month the focus is on literature, writing, the arts and theater. This is a creative flowing type of energy, when combined with the Horse month, can really fuel great ideas that spread easily. From a feng shui perspective, this is the trigram of Xun; the eldest female, the element of wood and the wind in nature. Wood is expansive, but in this yin polarity takes on a softer and more gentle approach. In other words, it is the slow growth that begins to bloom into full expression. It represents the thighs and pelvic region of the body, so these areas can be more vulnerable to injury this month. This trigram also represents fortunate blessings and wealth. Therefore, a greater chance exists for financial return for your creations.
Areas of Concern:
East: Place a metal element here on June 6th and remove by July 7th to ease the negative star residing here for the month. This star can cause family tension and abdominal illness for male. Northwest: Metal sound vibration is helpful to break up this negative star that can result in chaos especially for eldest male (patriarch). This can impact networking and potential deals for financial return. You can remove the metal vibration by July 7th. Northeast: Virtual water cure to alleviate potential theft. This star can also cause you to question yourself bringing about uncertainty. Remove cure by July 7th.
Areas to Highlight:
Southeast: Drum up new business. Add water and fire element to add movement and stability to finances. Remove cures by July 7th. South: Run with your services and reputation to corner the market in your business. Bring clarity and vision to your goals this month by adding strong fire element here. Remove by July 7th. Southwest: Career focus for female this month. See the big picture. Add metal element to this sector and remove by July 7th. West: Keep the creativity flowing and have some fun while you are at it. Add earth to this direction and remove by July 7th. North: Fine tune your goals and vision for career longevity. Add wood here and remove by July 7th.
Yoga This Month!
With fire at its peak this month it is natural to engage in practices that illuminate the 3rd chakra, manipura.Manipura is about tapping into our raw potential, our God-given gifts bestowed upon us entering this earthly plane. By utilizing theses gifts to serve others we walk the dharmic path - our soul's mission.Here are a few poses to include in your practice.
Sun Salutations, Warrior Poses 1, 2 & 3, Plank, Bow, Child's Pose and Corpse
Happy Wednesday! Today the yang earth stem meets up with the fire horse branch. The earth and fire blend well for grounding movement. In other words, there is sound decision making before jumping directly into something new. The earth quality today is about functional and practical aspirations. Deductive powers and solid reliable pursuits bode best. Organization and effective planning will propel you to the next level. Reinforce the foundation of whatever you are working on before anything else as this will create lasting results.
As the earth stem moves towards the horse branch this afternoon things may move at a slower pace. You'll want to consider all sides of a question before acting. Once you weigh the pros and cons, you'll be able to assess the competition more effectively. There is a tendency to be overly capricious about little things that will make it more difficult to make up your mind. Don't over think it and go with your gut reaction.
Energy Combinations To Look Out For:
The energy is strong today for marketing and teaming up with others for services offered to the public. Add strong fire element to the south to take advantage of this combination.
Real estate transactions bode well today. Enhance the Northeast with strong fire and look closely at contracts before signing.
Time to revisit your resume. Determine a strategy for long term career growth and then stick with it. Add strong wood - thriving plant to the north sector today to capture this combination.
Feng Shui Tip:
Make a Pot Pourri using the leaves of dried herbs or dried flower pedals. Examples are: sage, pine, bergamot, bay, rosemary, rose geranium, lavender, lemon verbena, peppermint. Mix in an attractive bowl with ground gloves and cinnamon, with a little ground orris root added as a preservative. Stir the pot pourri occasionally to release scents. Revive it from time to time by sprinkling with a few drops of essential oil.
Scent is a powerful way to raise the energy in your environment. It activate the ancient part of our brain that is responsible for emotion and perception. It is a terrific way to enhance mood and the flow of energy in your home or office.
Yoga Tip Crow Pose:
Key points to consider when attempting this pose is as follows:
Place a bolster about two feet in front of the body to protect the head when learning this pose
Begin in a squat pose with heels lifted into the air
Place hands on the earth and spread the fingers wide for good support base
Rest the inner knees on the upper arms (triceps), bringing the knees as close to the armpits as possible; create stability by pressing the knees and arms against each other
Relax the shoulders away from the ears
Engage the bandhas, lifting the torso up and forward
Keep the spine lengthened and take a soft gaze with the forehead
Visualize the first 3 chakras and their respective colors opening and expanding as you hold the pose and unlock your unlimited potential!
Your breath is like a body of water, sometimes shallow, other times deep, always rising and falling. You breathe air into your lungs, but the energy of the breath travels everywhere in your body, as oxygen is invited into all of your cells. Take a moment and close your eyes and inhale. Imagine the breath, like a river, moving through your body and extending through your body and extending through smaller tributaries into your limbs, feet, and hands. Your body becomes a landscape, nourished by the ebb and flow of your breath.
Any activity that serves to center you, bringing you a sense of deep inner connection with both yourself and the world around you, can form the basis for a spiritual practice. Examples include Eastern disciplines, such as yoga and meditation, as well as spiritual pilgrimage or other ceremonial rituals. The activity will absorb you completely, so that you reach a state of "flow" whereby you are one with what you are doing. Practice this as regularly as possible as it will give you a point of steadiness in your life.
Learn from spiritual teachers. Study their lives and teachings and follow their precepts.
Be humble - as Henry Thoreau once said, "Humility like darkness reveals the heavenly lights."
Call upon your spirit guides as they can help you whenever you are in a difficult situation or have a question that you are unable to answer.
Be in the flow of life - the ceaseless movement from one form to another. When we try to resist or control the natural pattern of change, problems arise. Harmony is restored by accepting change.
Man yearns for the silence and stability the mountain offers. We can learn a great deal from the majestic mountain. Here are a few aspects to contemplate.
Stillness: No matter where we are travelling, the mountain remains stationary on the horizon. To the Taoist, the virtue of the mountain is keeping still. When we are still we maintain composure. By maintaining composure we find a greater meaning in each experience and unleash potential power.
Strength: Life is full of ups and downs. Strength is what helps us get through the rough patches. It defines the limits of everything we do and gives a foundation for life. Only after everything that happens comes one's true nature. When things still affect our being then we have not yet reached a stable inner core like that of the mountain.
Silence: The mountain represents a transition between one phase and another, the silent moment between the in breath and the out breath. It is in that space that absolute quietude exists and higher self is revealed. Like the state of meditation, sleep or the first beginning, silence is how we connect to self and others without judgment.
Patience: The ascent to the top of a mountain requires patience. It teaches us to value the effort and not just the success. It is through patience that we discover who we are and who we are not. Patience leads us to the axis of our being where everything revolves and a cheerful acceptance of life exists. Patience is certainly a virtue that means we can work without expecting a certain outcome.
Peace: Mountains define the limit of everything we do and when we have done all that we can it is time to rest and find peace. When we are peaceful everything turns around us and yet we do not need to move. From this state we develop patience, inner strength, tolerance, compassion and true happiness.
This is a wonderful pose that focuses on grounding and surrendering. It activates all 7 chakras with focus on the 5th, 6th and 7th. Key aspects in this pose is to make sure the shoulders remain drawn away from the ears and space is created between the shoulder blades. You want to make sure there is an opening across the front of the chest. As he head rests below the heart, visualize a flower unfolding within your heart and allow this flower to hold all the potential for spiritual growth.
While surrendering in this pose ask yourself what is lacking in this moment and keeping you from feeling completely at ease.
We all desire things in life but the difference between wanting something and creating compassionate goals is if it is "born from the heart," a yogic practice of sankalpa. Authentic intention comes directly from the heart. It comes from asking what is it that life wants, which is different from what "I" want. But how do you begin to tap into sankalpa? Here is a simple meditation to start the process.
1. Sit in a comfortable position so you can relax your mind and body.
2. Welcome the feeling within your body what best expresses what you most desire in life.
3. Journal your thoughts that best reflect your heart's deepest desire. Write these words down in the present tense.
4. Compose a statement that reflects your heart's desire to bring your desire into action.
Once you are clear on your sankalpa, ask your soul what it is you need to do to fulfill your highest purpose. Starting with a quiet mind is essential in order to tune in to the whispers of the heart - the words from your soul. A relative question might be; "What is the first step I need to take to move forward on my path."
The next aspect is to commit or what is referred to as tapas. Habit building takes the most discipline, because it relies on willpower to keep the same decision day after day in motion to achieve the end result. This process calls for perseverance. There is no way around reaching your heart felt desire without conscious effort. This can uncover the behavior that contributes to roadblocks and old fears. Meet obstacles and learn from them, rather than falling apart. Take responsibility and get back on track. Finally, envision (darshan) the end result. Visualize the future you in order to get a boost over the bumps in the road. It actually tricks your brain into believing the goal is already accomplished.
Today is a yin fire rooster day and considered to be a good day for long term activity, plan or strategy. Noting however that 2017 is also a yin fire rooster so that is a lot of fire over metal requiring the element of earth to stabilize this conflict. Therefore, it is important any decisions made today come from a position of strength and firm ground.
Fire is about clarity, vision and goals that work for your ultimate path. Revisit why you are doing what you do. This is an element that is kindled in the solar plexus chakra (manipura), corresponding to our raw potential. Are you using your natural talents in a way that produces an outcome? If not, why not?
The double rooster today may spark impulsivity especially with double fire. Be willing to take constructive criticism as it will work to your benefit. No need to be blunt towards others as you can still achieve your position without pressing it. Be tactful and organize your thoughts and actions for greater success.
Tips for Today:
Avoid disagreement with matriarch
Activate relationships with those who can promote you
Come back to your career goals
*Remove one item in your environment that isn't working for you and replace it with something that does.
From the Daily Motivator, Ralph Marston talks about letting joy be and not making it become a need. When we take things we enjoy and feel they need to become a necessity, the joy actually disappears. Don't reshape joy into a burden by needing to have it. Instead, just allow joy to happen. Let it pull you towards it. Get away from the need to have joy and simply live it!
For more ways to see the joy and happiness in everyday life read: The Happiness Chronicles by the Wisdom Buffet Writers!
The month changes at exactly 3:42 PM today when the yin wood heavenly stem meets the snake branch. Let's take a look at how these energies play out for today and for the month.
Stem - Yin Wood:
Wood is an active element representing growth, vitality, ethics and self-confidence. Interest this month will be wide and varied. Expansive by nature, you'll want to do things on a grand scale. Organization and apportion separate matters into correct categories and work orders is essential this month. Taking on long-term large projects is fine but know it will bode best to bring others on board. Branching out and diversifying is a plus this month. Financial support is readily available as it will be easy to convince others to join in on your idea. One drawback with wood is a tendency to bite off more than you can chew. Be mindful of what you can realistically handle.
Snake Branch: The snake is a deep thinker, wily financier and philosopher. Wisdom is the name of the game when it comes to the snake. Relying on your own judgement is key this month as well as paying your dues. Matters may arise that cause you to feel skeptical but go with the flow to avoid undo stress. You may feel it necessary to put up your guard this month, but know that is only the energy of the snake who has issues when it comes to trusting others.
Wood Snake Combination:
This is a strategic combination that has a true understanding of what is going to prevail in the course of events. Intellectual freedom this month is a must. Emotional stability and financial security are top priorities. It is easier to attract what you need this month as the wood snake combination acts like a magnet. Good judgment and detective work make for excellent investment strategies. Spend time appreciating the arts this month.
Full Chart Combination:
The Snake month branch forms a six combinations with the hour branch of the Monkey. The result is the element of water. For today (5/5/17), that adds strength for good communication in deals.
The Rooster year branch combines with the Dragon day branch and releases the element of metal to build strength when it comes to leading others and managing situations.
The Snake month branch to the year Rooster branch forms a semi-earth trine this month. This results in the element of metal. This is an element that can cut or destroy or lead with precision. The choice is yours. The most effective way to utilize the metal influence is to organize your thoughts and come up with a strategic plan to lead others towards reaching your goals.
The Monkey hour branch to the Rooster year branch also creates a directional semi-trine, and this too releases the element of metal. Mental processes this month is extremely important for the most effective outcome.
The wood Snake releases fire in the 5-melodotics pointing to wealth prospects for this month.
A heavenly noble is formed this month between the day stem of yang water and the Snake month branch. Therefore, a benefactor may appear when one is in trouble. This could simply mean you assist someone today who is in need of help.
Post Horse is formed between the Rooster year branch to the month Snake branch. This month be aware of travel. Take precautions.
The stars find their natural home this month with the 5 landing in the central palace of the loshu. Therefore, each star trigram receives assistance from its' home.
The 5 earth star is a very difficult star and especially during this 20-year cycle. This star essentially creates chaos, potential legal issues and illness. Not a very good combination of energy. When the 5 star arrives in the center of the structure it is best not to engage in any major decisions such as:
·Purchasing real estate
·New business venture
Since the center is represented by the element of earth, this star is naturally assisted. Obviously, this is not good. Because this star is located in the center, then all occupants tend to experience the effects of this energy.
It is best to keep the area quiet and ring a bell frequently to disperse the negative energy.
North - Career is flowing this month. Keep the energy moving here with water or metal elements.
Northeast - Finances are a given. Support with fire and movement.
Northwest - Network and lead with grace. This will catapult into new business ventures.
South - Tap into your soul's mission, vision and goals. Support with strong wood.
East - Family gathering can be intense this month. Elders will show their strength. New business is likely. Add fire to calm the qi.
Southeast - Female disturbance in relationship is possible. Literature research is strong for financial gain. Add fire to tame this energy.
Southwest - Abdominal disturbance and relationship strain. Add metal to drain this energy.
West - Skin, mouth irritation and cutting remarks from female. Virtual water to lessen the effects.
Center: Overall chaos and/or legal issues. Metal vibration - ringing bell frequently.
Yoga & Meditation:
Since the central palace has a disturbance, it is best not to take on any new or strong yoga practices this month. Stick with free flowing classes and asanas (poses) that you are comfortable with. This isn't a month to explore a challenging pose.
Your meditation practice should be strong and regular to balance the otherwise chaotic 5 star. Choose to meditate in any of the positive areas mentioned above. It is best to stick with a regular routine so you remain grounded.
Working the root chakra for stability bodes well. Standing poses such as mountain pose, warrior 2 and pyramid pose bode well this month. Practice engaging the root lock by squeezing the pelvic floor throughout your practice.
It's easy to become unglued. Let's face it, we tend to move in a rapid pace so getting grounded can be difficult to do. But it doesn't have to be. Try these simple moves to start your day and see if you feel a difference. I bet you will!
First thing in the morning massage your feet. It is a good way to ground, center and remember ourselves. You can do this by sitting on your yoga mat, the floor, chair or couch. Massage each foot for 5 complete breaths.
Move into downward facing dog pose. This opens the entire back of the body and helps recirculate energy through the system. Take 3 to 5 long, deep breaths. Feel free to bend your knees in this pose to ease into the hamstrings.
Next, move into standing forward fold. Keep your knees also bent in this pose while you reach your sits bones high.
Legs up a wall pose. Find a clear space at a wall or against a chair or sofa and shimmy your seat close, and rest your legs up the wall or on the chair or sofa. Set a timer for 3 to 5 minutes and breathe normally.
Sit in meditation for 5-10 or 20 minutes.
Starting your day with the aforementioned will ground and center you so you can handle anything that comes your way.
This is a pose that illuminates the first, secon and third chakra points. The vayus of samana and vyana are also activated. It is a powerful stretch for the groin and leg muscles, balances the immune system and rejuvenates the nervous system.
Support the head by placing hand just above the ear
Supporting arm should be in one straight line with the body
Hold on to lifted leg with hand or strap at any point that feels comfortable
Open deeply through the lifted leg
Draw the breath through the soles of the feet
Exhale (samana vayu ) to massage the pelvic area and organs
Let the mind be still
Release slowly back to center and repeat opposite side
Ashwa Sanchalasana or runner pose is one of the most common poses in yoga practice. It naturally activates the first, second and sixth chakra. It strengthens and aligns the legs, opens the hip joints in extension and flexion, helpful for sciatica and massages the digestive and reproductive organs. Here are a few tips to consider for this pose.
Make sure the front foot is positioned between the hands and knee is in alignment with the ankle.
Hug muscle to bone as you extend the back leg lifting the knee from the earth.
Lift up through the fingertips or rest hands on blocks.
Check the pelvis is square and level in relation to the torso.
Create a straight line of energy from the back heel through the spine to the crown of the head.
Stretch the body in opposite directions - front shin forward and back heel backward.
With each inhalation, draw the breath up through the sole of the back foot into the hips and pelvis, with each exhalation allow the breath to open and expand and open the pelvic area.
"The most important thing is to enjoy your life - to be happy - it's all that matters."
I love this quote by Audrey Hepburn. It's short, sweet and to the point. This is just one of the many quotes you can find in the Happiness Chronicles - Short Stories and Recipes for a Happy Life. It is a unique collective experience of eight energy healing practitioners known as the Wisdom Buffet Writers. Here's a little sampling from my chapter; The Happiness Cookbook.
The Daily Sweetener presented to me by my meditation teacher Anmol Mehta, this recipe offer 10 simple ingredients for daily happiness.
Wake up early
Move the body enough to break a sweat
Time in nature
Completion of daily affairs
One good deed a day
A daily Challenge
Begin by rising early and get in tough with yourself. Simmer, and feel more focused throughout the day. Add a healthy portion of exercise to release toxins and keep your body in shape. Bring to a low boil while slowly adding daily meditation to cultivate a peaceful and open mind; strengthen the connection to your spirit. Let these ingredients cultivate your love for creation. Spend time in nature. Complete daily affairs by replacing procrastination with alone time without distractions of your cell phone, computer, or TV.
As you bring the ingredients to a second boil, do some daily accounting. Reflect on your actions, words, and thoughts, especially in trying moments. Add a double serving of good deeds for others, and let it set for several minutes before adding entertainment. Finally, take on a new challenge. Consume daily, and this recipe will serve you for a lifetime.
Read more satisfying recipes and short stories by visiting Amazon for your copy!
No truth is ours until we make it our own. All the truths in the world don't matter unless and until we discover them to be true for ourselves. That's what the journey is about. The lesson we are seeking comes from inside us, from our hearts, from our deep abiding connection to consciousness and the truth.
Today, in your yoga practice think about heart and throat opening asanas like camel and cobra. Let the sound mantra "Yam" and "Ham" reverberate through the heart and throat respectively. Get in touch with your authentic self and your truth.
Trimurti hand mudra is a powerful sacred symbol. As you create a triangle with your hands on your navel, you are invoking ‘Trimurti’, the three energies of life: creation, sustenance and transformation. A very soothing mudra, Trimurti can help you to tune in to feel and awaken your inner healing source. This is one of the best mudras to practice during times of transition and change.
This asana, named after the sage Marichi (son of the creator Brahma and grandfather of the Sun of God, Surya), is excellent for the abdominal region as it causes those organs to contract, thereby increasing circulation.
Start in Dandasana, sitting with your legs straight in front of you. You can fold a blanket underneath your hips, or roll half of the yoga mat to bring your hips a bit higher.
Bend your right knee, and bring the heel as close to the sitting bone as feels possible. Your right foot is flat on the ground, and the left foot is straight, left knee and toes are pointing up. Press the heel of the left leg onto the floor to activate the back of the leg.
You can keep a slight internal rotation in the left leg, while the right, bent leg has a slight external rotation. Turn your upper body gently towards the left, so that the right shoulder rotates towards the left leg, and the left shoulder rotates back.
Inhale your right arm up to shoulder level, and turn the thumb down. Exhale, start folding forward, and bring the right arm from outside your bent leg towards the right outer thigh.
Inhale, and with an exhalation bring your left arm behind your back, and take a hold of your wrists or fingers behind your back.
Keeping your back long, and keeping space between your pubic bone and navel, fold more forward. Draw your shoulder blades back towards your hands.
Stay for 3-6 long breaths.
To come out, release the hands first, sit up slowly, straighten the leg and take a few breaths before you repeat on the other side.
What can we learn from the element of fire? In nature it represents the largest star in our solar system - the sun, that provides the planet earth with life force energy. Fire illuminates so we can see clearly and become the creator of our own destiny. It helps us to remain present, in the "here and now" reminding us to filter through the endless information that can fill our days with nothingness. Fire represents the joy of summer, a time of year where everything comes out to play, flowers are in bloom, and laughter is in the air. It is the element of the heart, the flame within that reminds us to give as much as we take. It is the element of power that implores us to move beyond reactive and destructive ways to settle conflicts. The more consciously aware we become the greater our understanding of what true power is. Build fire today in your yoga practice with sun salutations. Start with 5 and continue until you build that spark of life - agni within.
Tao is a Chinese word, meaning "the way" or "the path". Taoism is an Eastern philosophy based on the principle that life involves a ceaseless movement and flow from one form to another. Problems arise when we attempt to resist or control the natural pattern of change. Harmony can be restored by following the Tao or going with the flow and accepting the ever-changing pattern of life without judgment or resistance.
In your yoga practice today, let your asanas unfold, flow and naturally take shape. Don't push or get stuck in the outer layer of your body (annamaykosha). Instead, follow the path of your breath and let your intuitive body flow.
I'm not one that generally likes to wake up early for anything, but this one morning while on vacation at Prince Edward Island, I did just that. There is a very distinct difference in the feel of the atmosphere. The ions are freshly imbued with the sun in its' ascent position. It's amazing how energized you feel at the end of your yoga practice. If you never have rolled out your mat and practiced in the early morning hours, I suggest you give it a try. Perhaps commit to setting your alarm for those early morning hours and force yourself to get up and practice. When your done take a few moments to journal your thoughts and see what comes up.