Monday, December 11, 2017

The Power of the Breath


Breathing gives us much pleasure. Just to breathe is enough to always be happy, to enjoy life. Just to be alive is enough. Here is a simple meditation that helps us to remember the power of the breath.

  • Focus your attention on your lungs, as if only your lungs exists.
  • Notice the pleasure you feel when you lungs fully expand. This is the most powerful sensation a human being can have - to breathe freely.
  • Take a deep breath and feel the air as it fills your lungs. Feel how the air is sweet, pleasant and filled with love.
  • Notice the connection between the air and your lungs. There is a connection between the air and pure love.
  • Continue to expand your lungs with air until your body intuitively surrenders through the exhalation.
  • Notice how relaxed and fulfilled you feel with each complete inhalation and exhalation. 
  • Continue this full breathing effort for several minutes and capture the essence of love with each breath as you move through your day.
Om!
Mary Jane Feng Shui Yoga Girl

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Power of Gratitude




The power of gratitude is remarkable. It has the strongest link with mental well-being than any other character trait. Gratitude can:

  • Increase spiritualism
  • Improve health and vitality
  • Increase self esteem
  • Improve sleep
  • Make you happier

Practicing gratitude is simple and a sure way to improve your life. Here are a few ways you can express gratitude:
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Think about 5 things you are grateful for every morning
  • Send notes of appreciation to a friend or loved one
  • Tap into a meditation practice

Having an attitude of gratitude is the shortest path to happiness. This holiday season be sure to express gratitude for all that you have.

Gratitude Quotes:

"We can only said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures."  
                   - Thornton Wilder

"Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours."
                    -Marcus Aurelius

"Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude."
             - A.A. Milne in Winnie-the-Pooh


Om!
Mary Jane - Feng Shui Yoga Girl


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

In the Flurry of the Holidays...



In the flurry of the holiday season, waves of emotions may arise. Remember to breathe, let go and to meet all that arises with loving awareness. Easier said than done, but here is a powerful concept to consider; Take One Minute for Yourself!

It is the self that we need to take care of because when we take good care of our "selves," we are healthier, happier and able to help other people.
How do you take care of you in one minute? Make a point several times a day to STOP and ask yourself this question: "Is there a way, right now, for me to take better care of myself? You have the answer within exactly how to nurture yourself but here are a few ideas to consider:
  • Simplify your life
  • Change your attitude
  • Tap into the power of self observation through prayerful meditation
  • Treat yourself as you would like others to treat you
  • Encourage others to take better care of themselves
  • Be loving
  • Give yourself a daily hug

When every person in the world takes better care of themselves, everyone in the world will feel better taken care of and then we may finally begin to care more about each other.


Om!
Mary Jane Feng Shui Yoga Girl - www.fengshuiyoganj.com 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Open up to What You Are Resisting



Christina Garofalo - Colorado




What are you resisting most is the question for today? What matters is to be open to the whole journey and not just parts of it. In your yoga practice today, explore if there is a feeling, a person, a thought, a project that you have been avoiding. Is there something you are refusing to deal with, something you are resisting. Ignore the voice that is resisting and be open to everything. Open as wide as the eye can see. Your greatest lesson may come from those things you are resisting the most.

Yoga Practice Suggestions:

Try long deep hip openers like lizard or pigeon pose. Stay in the pose for at least 5 full minutes and resist the urge to release from the pose. See what comes us when you ask yourself the question; "What am I resisting most?"


Om!
Mary Jane FengshuiYoga Girl: www.fengshuiyoganj.com

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Inaction Within Action - Yoga & Feng Shui Advice for December 2017!



Photo by Serena Photography - Fairmount Park, Philadelphia





December brings forth a sheng (harmony) cycle of elements from the 7 metal star, to the yang water heavenly stem residing over the yin water rat earthly branch. In nature, all things find a point of equilibrium. Essentially, there is inaction within action. Nature is not the "doer" but rather the "non-doer." This is why we feel so free when experiencing the outdoors.

How to Experience Inaction within Action:

This is a tricky. By and large, we have programmed ourselves to be "doers." Somewhere along the way it was determined the more you do the more you will get out of life. Unfortunately, the opposite is true.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna, the great warrior, is about to enter the battlefield that represents life, when Krishna tells him: "It is the idea, "I am the doer" that binds one to samskara (emotional imprints that causes suffering). If on the other hand one is a silent witness of their activities, feeling as if " it is done through me," we experience the energy of "I am a non-doer," and free ourselves. 

Putting it Into Perspective:


The energy combinations for the month of December gives us a blueprint of how we can move towards inaction within action. The leading element of metal begins the cycle of movement this month. Metal is seen in the trigram Dui located in the west portal of the loshu grid (Magic Square), noted as the loshu number 7.


The LoShu grid was named after the river Lo in the Henan province in China. According to legend, the river would periodically over flow. A giant tortoise was said to arose from the river with an inscription of trigram markings on its shell. Yu the Great interpreted these markings and developed the Loshu grid. King Wen further developed this grid into the Later Heavenly ba-gua system used in aspects of Feng Shui analysis.

The position of this trigram corresponds to the moon rising, yin elevating, autumn reaching peak, the reaping of our works that took shape from the start of the day, and the beginning of our life. It holds the innocence and playfulness of a child. There is great precision, intuition and truth that stems from this element. There is a calling to move inward and find truth in all that we create. 

Movement of Loshu Number 7:

The ebb and flow of time causes the loshu numbers to shift from their home base. The month of December pushes the trigram Dui (loshu 7) to the center position. When this happens all the other loshu number also shift. This is how change happens. The new home base for this trigram is naturally being fueled by the center of the earth. Every 20 years there is a greater shift in energy causing the loshu numbers to take on potential problematic aspects. Trigram Dui or loshu 7, happens to be in a problematic phase. 

How to Work Inaction Within Action with Loshu # 7:

The first step is to let go of any attachment to the fruits of the actions I am going to list below. When you do this you are ever content, independent and needing nothing. We do nothing even while engaged in action!


  • Reach out to mentors, seek heavenly guidance and be open to new opportunities. Go inward first to attract the right mentor, the spirit guide, and then watch closely. The inaction of the action will catapult fortunate blessings.
  • See yourself as the vessel of your work and how you can make a difference in the world. A newness awaits, ideas manifest deep within like the water tables that fill in the depths of the earth.
  • Take the inward journey through your meditations. The road may seem long but the answers you will receive are like that of white foam in the ocean waves.
Yoga Poses Loshu #7:

Concentrating on poses that open the throat chakra are powerful for this trigram as it corresponds to the mouth and teeth, or how we talk. Poses such as:

  • Halasana- Plough
  • Matsyasana - Fish
  • Ushtrasana - Camel
  • Bhujangasana - Cobra
While practicing these poses keep the mind inactive while the body is active. In asana, if we make the spine rajastic (active), and the head tamastic (inactive), the body and the mind become sattvic (serene). We no longer "do" the pose, the pose is done through us.

Loshu #7 In The Home:

In the center of the home place virtual water such as a seashell. This will effectively tame the problematic aspects of this trigram for the month of December. Here are a few other elemental hints:

  • Place a metal element in the northeast to build the positive energy for your life journey.
  • Place fire and earth elements in the southeast to welcome new opportunities networking potential.
  • In the west place water and wood elements to support creativity for your vision and goals.
  • In the Northwest place strong earth and fire or moving water to propel your connection to resources that lead to financial gain.
Yang Water To Yin Water Rat Earthly Branch:

This is a great deal of water as seen in the 4 pillars (Bazi) for the month of December. The element of water carries the energy of the womb. There is a natural introspective and emotional nature to this element. There is also a downward pull to water as seen in nature with rain or snow. Albeit water can be nourishing, it also has a tendency to deteriorate. That can show up as being overly lethargic or destructive in the way you communicate with others.

The rat earthly branch is very active especially when it comes to the mind working overtime. This is going to really challenge us this month to find that QUIET mind; the inaction within action. This agitation can quickly turn into impatient. 

How to Find Inaction Within Action for the Water Rat:

Since we are dealing with so much water with this combination, emotions are going to run high this month. I suggest adding to your yoga practice poses that work directly with the navel chakra. Here are some suggestions:

  • Navasana - Boat Pose
  • Virabhdrasana 1 - Warrior 1
  • Sun Salutations

Adding these poses to your practice will also bring a little yang energy to the overwhelming yin component of water this month.

For further information on how to utilize the 5 elements in design effectively see my Feng Shui Designs in a Flash E-Program.


Namaste!



Mary Jane







Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Homecomings for Thanksgivng!

November 2017 - Homecomings for Thanksgiving
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Homecomings for Thanksgiving


Welcome to BSA - The Conscious Alignment of Energy
Home is the sweetest word in any language, and one can understand why.  The word itself suggests a nest where intimacy and belonging occurs so one can find their identity and individuality.

When it is a place of shelter and love, there is no place like home. Embrace homecomings this Thanksgiving and get back to your roots!


Happy Thanksgiving!
Mary Jane


To Bless the Space Between Us by John O'Donohue, is one of my favorite "go to" books for my yoga classes. In his chapter "Homecomings," he compares the home to the notion of the human body. In a sense, our body is the continuation of home, but a home that houses the mind, heart and spirit. 
He states "to be," we need to be home. When we feel as though we belong, the adventure of growth can begin with great promise. The very ordinariness of homes conceals the force and mystery of the events that unfold there.  Aside from places of worship, there are very few other buildings that house such transformation.

                                                                                                 
A home is subtle, implicit laboratory of spirit. It is here that our minds open and discover others and come to know who we might be ourselves.

Most of what happens within a home unfolds inside the ordinary daily routine. If we reflect back, it is incredible how so many of the roots of one's identity, experience, and presence lead back to childhood.


The origin of the word dwell is to "dig deep." If we cross parallel the actual physical home to the physical body where our spirit resides, we can tap into experiences that determine how we navigate the earthly journey. Those imprinted impressions either come from a place of peace and calm (buddhi mind), or a place of "I am doing" (ego - ahamkara). Either way, this is what determines the rhythm of the mind and sensitivities of the heart. Obviously, the buddhi mind creates a more peaceful rhythm, while the ego mind is more turbulent.

The home is where things flourish and originate. Therefore, in a subtle and unseen way the home is the seedbed of individual presence. It quietly shapes belief, expectation and life direction. Home is where the heart is. It stands for the center where individual life is shaped and from where it journeys.

Ultimately, the home intends for each of us to be at home with oneself. When a person is at home in his life he always has a clear instinct about the shape of outer situations and can discern the traces of a path forward, even in the midst of confusion.

Enjoy your family and your home this Thanksgiving!




Take pride in your home. The way you treat it is the way you treat your body. Learn ways to nurture your home environment through any of my feng shui publications by clicking here.

If you are looking to study feng shui on a deeper level click here.



 

Namaste!
Mary Jane Kasliner

 
As seen in...
        
Body Space Alignment
Ocean, New Jersey
732-695-2575
www.fengshuiyoganj.com

copyright 2017






Monday, November 20, 2017

Mindful Mondays!


Welcome to Mindful Mondays. I'll never forget climbing along these rocks in Canada several years ago. When I look into the chasm now it reminds me of entering into meditation through the third eye. When you mindfully make the effort to raise your gaze upward and inward, you enter the universe through the third eye. The movement of the eyes upward and inward activates shambhavi mudra, a powerful meditation to higher levels of consciousness. Here are the simple steps:

  • Sit in any meditative asana
  • Fingers assume chin mudra
  • Shambhavi mudra is nothing but gazing at the eyebrow center. With our eyes we can actually see the place where the two eyebrows meet. Roll the eyes upward and try to gaze at the eyebrow center.
  • When you do this, you can see the two eyebrows meet as curved lines at the center. It forms a V-shape with a dip at the center.
  • Concentrate the eyes at the dip in the lower center region.
  • Maintain this position as long as you can. Relax the eyes periodically and then move back to the third eye gaze.
  • This type of meditation can take you into higher levels of consciousness.
Om!
Mary Jane Feng Shui Yoga Girl - www.fengshuiyoganj.com

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Feng Shui and Your Senses!





What we see affects us positively or negatively, or even subconsciously so we may not be aware of the effect. If we surround ourselves with beautiful views, images, colors and an interesting environment, we are more likely to lead full and happy lives.

Wherever the ancient Chinese had a wall, there would be a window or "Moon Gate", so you could experience the views of the outside world and open up future possibilities. This is why it is so important to manicure your property so the image you see from your windows is a pleasant one.

What you see impacts you on so many levels. Take the time to choose your colors, artwork and other design accents with care. Make sure they are symbols that have meaning to you and are uplifting.


Sight Enhancers:



  • Natural Light Source: There is nothing better and more effective than natural light source when it comes to enhancing your environment. Clean windows, intact screens and window treatment that allows sunlight in during the day and can shield night light pollution in the evening is perfect.
  • Crystals: Color resonates with us on both a conscious and a subconscious level, and can effect our moods. The combination of crystal and light creates a wonderful dancing pattern within a room and bodes especially well in areas that are dark and stagnant.
  • Color Glass Panels: In a window can bring life to a room. These panels also provide a level of privacy and are ideal in bathrooms or side doors which look out on to a wall.

Sound:


Sound is such a powerful element in feng shui. We all connect to sound whether soothing background music, the rustle of leaves or birds chirping. They all have a therapeutic effect on us. Pleasant sounds soothe and refresh the mind, body and spirit.

Sound Enhancers:



  • Wind Chimes: Are fabulous to hang outdoors and bring energy to an otherwise stagnant area of the property. The sound can easily travel through open windows and create a relaxing internal environment.  
  • Grandfather Clock: The deep-toned, soothing ticking of a grandfather clock is a reassuring sound.
  • Water: The sound of gently bubbling water can be relaxing and energize an area with auspicious stars (flying star technique). Water does bode well in the north, east and southeast as it naturally assists and fuels the elements associated with those directions.
Touch:

Too often disregarded, touch is as vital as the other senses and is linked to our primeval desire to be in contact with the earth. The tactile sensations in our homes affect our feelings of comfort and security. The materials with which we surround ourselves in our homes make a considerable impact on us.

Touch Enhancers:




  • Velvet furnishings and accessories feel wonderfully luxurious.
  • Plants add sacred geometry to an environment along with texture.
  • Wooden objects are smooth to the touch and relax the body.
  • Different textured fabrics add character to a room and have tactile appeal.
  • Pets stimulate and relax the body and space.

    Taste:






    This is not a simple one to describe in terms of feng shui but it does impact our well-being. We are what we eat. Our diet directly affects our health. Using yin and yang and the 5 Chinese elements in the kitchen can have a tremendous impact on health. In my 4 Pillars Astrology assessments for clients, I can determine what elements are lacking or excessive. Food source is a way to balance out the element percentage you are born with. Buying local organic food makes a difference when it comes to a healthy environment and a healthy body.


    Smell:

    The power of the sense of smell is tremendous. Who can fail to be tempted by an aroma of freshly baked bread. Our homes also have a unique smell. First impressions make an impact and if our homes smell less than fresh, this can impact how comfortable we and our visitors feel there. It is fabulous when a subtle smell of flowers waft in from a nearby garden or essential oils.

    Smell Enhancers:



    • Fresh baked goods
    • Scented oils
    • Plants
    • Fruit
    • Fresh potpourri
    • Fresh flowers

    Color:

    Color is a vibration and we each respond to it on many levels. It can be used to enhance spaces or evoke emotions. When we use color we are also working with light since light contains all colors, each with its own frequency. The light quality depends on the aspect, the size of windows and how they are decorated. The materials we use on the floors and in décor have the ability to reflect , transmit and absorb light.

    Colors & Meaning:



    White: Symbolizes new beginnings, purity and innocence. It is fantastic color to support cleanliness and freshness. It bodes well in bathrooms and kitchens.

    Black: This is a mysterious and independent color. This color should only be used as an accent in décor.

    Brown: This is a color that grounds and stabilizes like the element of earth. Works well in areas that are compromised with water (laundry/bathroom), that are located in the center of the structure.

    Orange: This is a powerful and cheerful color and encourages communication and concentration. Living rooms and dining rooms work well in this color but best not to use in smaller spaces.

    Pink: Is linked with purity of thought and happiness. It bodes well for a girls room.

    Purple: Encourages vitality and has a dignified and spiritual essence. It is a perfect color for meditation rooms.

    Blue: This is a peaceful and soothing color linked also with spirituality. Meditation rooms, therapy rooms (office space) or in family rooms work well in with this color.

    Green: Symbolizes growth, fertility and harmony. It is a very optimistic color and does bode well in bedrooms, therapy rooms (office environment), conservatories and bathrooms.

    Yellow: This color is associated with enlightenment and intellect stimulating the brain and digestion. Suitable for hallways, offices and kitchens.

    Red: This is a very stimulating color that can reduce a size of a room and increase the size of objects. It is associated with warmth and prosperity. You should avoid this color in bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms.

    Every color is associated with the 5 core Chinese elements. These elements are also associated with the 8 compass directions. This makes it easier to choose your color palette when designing your rooms. For more details on how to design your home or office with the proper color choices refer to my Feng Shui Designs in a Flash CD for step-by-step instructions.


    Enjoy tapping in to your senses through your environment this spring. Make some changes inside and out and feel the difference in your mind, body and soul.

    Mary Jane Kasliner - Feng Shui Yoga Girl

    www.njfengshuitraining.com

    www.fengshuiyoganj.com

    Wednesday, November 15, 2017

    Willful Meditaion Wednesday!


      Welcome to Willful Meditation Wednesday. One of the most effective ways to incorporate meditation into your day is to start your day mindfully. Here are a few ideas of how to do just that.

    1. Wake up naturally, without an alarm clock, at least once a week if you can. This will help you reconnect with your bodily cycles (or circadian rhythms).
    2. Let the sun wake you up through open curtains or shades. Use the extra time gained to plan your day.
    3. Let music wake you up. Choose something that is soothing and slowly builds.
    4. Draw insights from your dreams in the morning while they are still fresh.
    5. Immediately upon waking, think about how you can give joy to at least one person today.
    6. Say a morning prayer giving thanks for the new day, for other people, and for yourself.
    7. Meditate on your breath immediately after getting out of bed. Focus on expanding your belly outwards on the inhalation with a still chest. As you breathe out, drop your shoulders and imagine squeezing out the air.

    After starting your day mindfully, try meditating on something in your environment such as the pattern on a plant leaf. First get a sense of the overall pattern by scanning its main features. Simply allow the shapes, lines and color penetrate your unconscious, aware that the image is both in front of you and inside your mind. Stay in this meditation for at least ten minutes.

    Om!
    Mary Jane Feng Shui Yoga Girl: www.fengshuiyoganj.com







    Monday, November 13, 2017

    Mindful Mondays!

      Happy Mindful Monday! Let's jump right in and discuss a few ways to practice being mindful. First, take notice of where your focus lies. Try to avoid the wandering mind trap. It is so easy to get caught up in your feelings of an upcoming event or things that have already occurred. When this happens, try to bring your attention back to the present moment.

    Mindfulness and awareness are similar, but aren't quite the same thing. For example, if you are in a conversation, it isn't enough to simply wait your turn to speak, but pay attention to what you say as well as your motivations of saying it in the first place. This is easier if you keep your attention on what is going on in the present moment. That is always challenge, but I tell my yogis to remain focus in their practice by always coming back to their breath. If you can use that same concept throughout the activities of your day, it becomes easier to maintain a mindful approach. 

    One of the most distracting aspects from being mindful is watching the clock. It is amazing how many times a day we can fall into the "time trap." We seem to think more is more. In other words, we place an emphasis on how much time has past since we started things, and how much time is left before we can move to the next thing. Talk about stress! Basically, when you stop worrying about how much longer you have to wait for something, you can appreciate what is going on right now.


    Om!
    Mary Jane Feng Shui Yoga Girl - www.fengshuiyoganj.com


    Wednesday, November 8, 2017

    Willful Meditation Wednesday!

                                                  Christina Garofalo Bonifacio - Oahu, Hawaii


    This is a month the trigram Gen is strong. This trigram represents inner knowledge and the voice of higher self. In nature, it represents the stillness of the mountain. The mind is a busy place that overshadows wisdom. Essentially, we walk around in a state of chaos; the mind playing out scenarios of how our day and life should be rather than seeking the eternal wisdom that lies within. It doesn't require sitting on a mountain top in Hawaii like my daughter is, albeit a tempting solution to quiet the mind; it only requires the will and commitment to carve out a few minutes in the day to sit and get quiet. Today, think about ways you can pull away from your busy life and move inward. Perhaps instead of taking that 15 minute break to grab some coffee or tea, decide to find a quiet area and simply let go, surrender, and just be. The result will far surpass that cup of coffee.


    Om!
    Mary Jane Feng Shui Yoga Girl - www.fengshuiyoganj.com