Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Holistic Value of Handstand



Yoga handstand, Adho Mukha Vrksasana, is one of the more challenging arm balances. It requires strength, stability, and a daringness to root through the hands to support the body. It is a pose worth the try for the amazing health benefits it offers.

Steps:

There are various ways to enter this pose including using the assistance of a wall. The method I prefer is to begin in downward facing dog. Walk the feet closer to the hands, shoulders over the wrists in alignment with the middle fingers pointing forward, palms spread out with weight evenly distributed through the fingers.

Lift one leg keeping the other leg bent, and hop off the supported bent leg extending your legs to the sky. Squeeze the heels, thighs and shoulder blades together. Lengthen through the arms for strength. With time and strength, you can hop from downward facing dog with both legs connected and rise up.

Practically the entire body is active and engaged when in handstand. The breath is the main area of focus as it usually difficult to breathe because deep breaths disrupt the balance and stability of the pose. This is especially so for beginners as the tendency is to hold the breath.


Precautions:

It's important to support yourself with the safety-net of a wall first. It is also import to have an exit strategy whether tucking your head and rolling out or rotate and cartwheel out of the pose. If your are pregnant, have high blood pressure or have any shoulder, wrist or neck issues, you should avoid this pose.


Benefits:

Rooting the hands into the mat challenges the body's equilibrium while reversing the effects of gravity or shortening of the spine. Reversing blood flow assists in improved circulation for the lower extremities and the upper region of the body, specifically the head and neck. Handstand also improves upper body strength and improves the integrity of internal organs.

Mentally, the mind feels energized. There is a boost in confidence and the ability to focus and attune the body and mind. Increase blood flow to the brain can also ease depression and anxiety.

Spiritually, handstand provides a connection to the chakras as the spine lengthens and chest broadens there is a natural gateway of energy from the lower chakras to the more refined upper chakras. Practicing headstand is a way to connect to cosmic self - your higher state of being. This connection opens the flow to Divine awareness and state of Oneness.

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





Monday, September 23, 2019

Autumnal Equinox 2019!

Happy Autumnal Equinox 2019!
You are the only true expert on your journey to enlightenment!


Our senses tell us summer has come to an end in the northern half of the world. The Autumn Equinox arrives this year on Monday, September 23, 2019. This officially marks the beginning of fall in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere. 
 
The word "equinox" comes from the Latin and means "equal night." Essentially, two times a year the day and night are equal (12 hours).  The Autumn Equinox represents a time of harvest and contractive force within the earth to prepare for the colder months ahead. It is a time to harvest the efforts of your intentions for your life path that you set earlier in the year. 

 

The changing seasons are key points in nature: the Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice and Autumnal Equinox. Just as the seasons move through these cycles, so too does the human spirit evolve ever deeper towards a state of enlightenment.  

 

From a spiritual perspective, fall is a time to acknowledge abundance. It is a time to recognize there is abundance all around, and to acknowledge abundance as our natural state of being.
 

Ways to Celebrate:
 
There are many ways to celebrate the significance of this time of year. Here are a few suggestions: Read more by clicking here!


Elevate Your Consciousness!

Mary Jane




The Tree of Oneness: Most people are used to seeing trees that grow from the ground up, but yogis talk about a tree that grows upside down.

There is an eternal tree called Ashvattha, which has its roots above and branches below. The oldest reference to this tree appears in the Rig Veda, a text composed in India over 5,000 years ago. Indias' ancient sages literally placed the tree in the sky. It is said to be located in the tail of the celestial scorpion which the yogis call Mula, "the root." This is the root in heaven out of which the world tree grows. Ashvattha, the yogis' name for the World Tree, actually means "where the horse is stationed." The horse in the sky is the constellation Pegasus. Pegasus eternally gallops around the North Celestial Pole. The pole is one point in the northern sky that never moves. Everything else in heaven revolves around it. It represents the Spirit, which lies outside of time and change. From a point of complete stillness, our inner spirit observes everything going on around us, just like a motionless axle in a spinning wheel.

In yoga, the horse symbolizes prana, the breath of life. The breath is yoked to the mind the way Pegasus is yoked to the North Star. Yogis know how to slow and finally stop the breath, merging their awareness in the unmoving center of their being. This is a state of samadhi, the deepest level of meditation. In deep meditation you start to climb the tree. The Ashvattah inside you is your spine. The mystical root is at the top of your head or Sahasrara chakra, the center where Divine consciousness resides.

The Autumnal Equinox is a time to harvest your intentions placed upon the fertile ground of your mind. This is the time  of year to move inward and seek the wisdom of higher consciousness. It is a time to explore the roots of the Ashvattah tree that lies within. This tree spawns new roots from the ONE to create abundance all around.

Botanists call the Ashvattah tree, Ficus Religiosa. In India today, it is called the Bodhi tree. Sitting under it, Buddha became enlightened. It is a type of tree that grows up from the ground, but then sends more roots downward from its branches. When these shoots reach the earth they re-root themselves and form a new tree. In other words, every tree in the forest actually is the first tree.Although everything in the universe appears to be separate, in reality all things share the eternal source. 






This Autumnal Equinox why not celebrate the abundance all around you with a Leaf Boat Ceremony!
You can prepare your leaf boats with plants from mother nature and fill them with the seeds of your intentions. Once you have filled your boats (7), the loshu number representing the trigram associated with the Autumnal Equinox, set them off to sail into the waters upon the earth.

The trigram Dui, represents creativity like that of an innocent child. The ability to create comes from your higher self.  Tapping into this state of mind requires stillness, quietude, and internal consciousness - all qualities of the contractive force of metal in combination with the movement of change, or the dosha vatta. Watch my video here about the Leaf Boats and watch them sail away in this video!  


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

Friday, September 20, 2019

The Autumnal Equinox - The Journey Within

Olympic National Park


You are the only true expert on your journey to enlightenment!

     Our senses tell us summer has come to an end in the northern half of the world. The Autumn Equinox arrives this year on Monday, September 23, 2019. This officially marks the beginning of fall in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere. 

     The word "equinox" comes from the Latin and means "equal night." Essentially, two times a year the day and night are equal (12 hours).  The Autumn Equinox represents a time of harvest and contractive force within the earth to prepare for the colder months ahead. It is a time to harvest the efforts of your intentions for your life path that you set earlier in the year. 

     The changing seasons are key points in nature: the Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice and Autumnal Equinox. Just as the seasons move through these cycles, so too does the human spirit evolve ever deeper towards a state of enlightenment.  

     From a spiritual perspective, fall is a time to acknowledge abundance. It is a time to recognize there is abundance all around, and to acknowledge abundance as our natural state of being.

Ways to Celebrate:

There are many ways to celebrate the significance of this time of year. Here are a few suggestions:

  •  Take a moment in quiet meditation perhaps sitting upon the earth at the exact time of the "equinox"- (3:50 AM EST on Monday September 23, 2019). Open your mind, body and spirit to the intelligence of nature as is gracefully moves into the next season. Fuel yourself with this powerful energy. Absorb it through every cell of your being and notice any subtle changes.
  •  Shift your state of consciousness from a position of lack to one of abundance. Create a Darshan (vision) of your desired abundance and then see this image starring back at you.
  •  Light a candle as a prayer of gratitude for all that you are and all that you have.
  •  Create a gift from all the elements of nature and give it back to Mother Earth. For example, collect different color leaves that have fallen from the trees, add some acorns, a favorite stone, flower, seeds, etc. The options are endless. Once you create your gift, go to your favorite spot outdoors and place the gift upon the earth as a gesture of gratitude. The earth is what we share. She provides us with food, air, nutrients, shelter, beauty and awe!
  •  A favorite ritual of mine is to create leaf boats. Here is part 2 of my leaf boat video. Here is my video sending the leaf boats into the lake
     Fall is a great time to become quiet and listen to your inner voice and see what is trying to emerge. As you soften your thoughts (vrittis), your mind becomes fertile like that of the soil of the earth for your creativity and greater vision to rise up. Become silent, take pause from what your are doing, and activate a new growth cycle in your life. 

     The fall Equinox is a time when the days become shorter and the nights are longer.  In essence, it is a calling for internal consciousness - a letting go of the ego to prepare for the light to rise within. When you act upon the spiritual with the physical ritual, you recognize your spiritual progress is part of the journey.

     Make a concerted effort to recognize the change of season and celebrate the process. Acknowledge as the season shifts from summer to fall, so does your spirit. In doing so, you honor your own growth and light!

Om!
Mary Jane - Feng Shui Yoga Girl


Thursday, September 19, 2019

Open Your Heart

Andrea - Opening Her Heart!


It's not easy to open your heart and move through the world in an open-hearted way. You need to trust and feel secure in your own personal power to recognize that you have the ability to support yourself in body, mind, and heart. 

Wheel pose is a deep backbend. The closer the hands to the feet, the body resembles a wheel or circle. This circle represent the completion of our internal energy circuit, which begins at the energy center that is located at the base of the spine and ends at the energy center at the crown of the head.

Discovering the Wheels of Energy:

During the fifth century, a group of renegade yogis, known as the Nath yogis, were among the first people to systemize and document the importance and function of the chakras in our bodies. They found that if they used their bodies to perform asanas, pranayama, specific mudras, and deep, inner listening, they could more easily achieve yogic powers. The Nath yogis defined and perfected what we know today as Hatha yoga. 

We think of the chakras as states of consciousness. As our consciousness ascends, we get closer and closer to the state of yoga. As we practice the asanas and begin to energize or balance these centers, we feel the effect that each has on our lives. The chakras offer a key to what the body is trying to communicate. They help us address issues that come up in our practice.

Wheel is the embodiment of opening the heart and turning the body like a wheel generating energy from the root to the crown. It demonstrates that when you trust your body to support you, it can lift you up!

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



Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Crow - The Path of the Yogi


Crow reflects the path of the yogi and the following conclusions:

  •  It begins with the realization that we often forget our divine nature which causes us to suffer. 
  •  There is ignorance of death thinking it only happens to others.
  •  The true path lies within following those who have self-actualized.
  •  The self realized person is the happy person in this world free from attachments and constraints.
Steps to crow pose:

  •  Get into a deep yoga squat such as malasana (garland pose) with your arms between our knees.
  •  Plant your hands on the ground shoulder width apart elbows pulled in near sides of your body.
  •  Pull shoulders away from ears and transition to balls of feet, lifting your butt into the air.
  •  Walk your feet in closer to your body, until you fit your knees into the spaces created from your armpits.
  •  Shift your weight forward towards your fingertips and float your toes into the air.
  •  Keep your gaze directed at the mat and aim to hold the pose for a few seconds, gradually adding time as your body grows stronger.
The next time you move into crow pose realize your divine nature and let go of constraints that only move you from the inner journey. Focus on your breath and allow it to navigate you through the pose and the moment.

Om!

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




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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Pure Abundance Blows in With The Wind

Pure Abundance Blows in With The Wind!

Pure Abundance!



Welcome to Body Space Alignment Newsletter. The Feng Shui month began on September 8th and will go to October 8th. It is a time when the wind picks up and the temperature fluctuates between a hot summers day and a chill in the air.  We are in the center of a transition between late summer and early fall.  The element of earth acts as the mediator during this transition period as it prepares to give birth to its child of metal. The air quality (vata) is also beginning to rise this month. It represents movement, change and a creative mind.

The energetic combination between the loshu number 4 that flows with the wind, the grounding forces of transition earth, metal birthing with the creativity of a child's imagination, and vata moving and churning up the waves of change,  will prove to be an exceptional month for Pure Abundance! 

Elevate Your Consciousness!

Mary Jane


Pure Abundance: Xun or the Loshu number 4 relocates its energy to the center of the loshu grid this month. Xun has the energetic qualities of pure abundance, movement in the form of wind, literary expertise, receptivity, and the ability to communicate ideas effectively. 
When you step into the energetic field of pure abundance, it is evident that everything you have ever desired is close at hand. This is truly the concept of the Law of Attraction. That which you visualize this month comes to fruition.

To Call it Forth, set your intention, visualize every aspect of it, and allow the winds to blow fortune into your life. Be a part of this abundance by reaching within yourself. Navigate the stories you collect in your mind with a sense of ease and then IGNORE them! It's the stories you create that holds you back from attaining what is rightfully yours. If you train yourself to disregard your stories, and the stories of others, you will reveal your authentic self and the true nature of others.

Once you are willing to do what it takes to hone your gifts and talents, make wise decisions, and live in gratitude; the world is your oyster. Pure abundance is activated by gratitude. Gratitude is another way of saying your are happy and content. This follows the second limb of yoga or the Niyama Santosha. Read more here about contentment.

You Are a Channel of abundant energy. It moves through you, around you, and swirls before you. If you can't see it clear your vision by clearing your environment. In fact, once you clear your surroundings, you will automatically breathe better. Breathing better means a clearer mind-set. The mind layer (Manomaya Kosha) is directly linked to the physical layer (Anamaya Kosha), by way of the breath (Pranamaya Kosha). Hence, BREATHE and your mind and body will relax!

Live Your Life fully and abundantly with all your blessings. Show gratitude and the ever-evolving cosmic consciousness will reward you ten-fold. All exists inside your reach. Dance the Dance with Abundance!

Earth: 
The element of earth is the transition element between seasons. The grounding effects are essential as wind,  air (vata), and metal rise. Metal, air and wind are qualities of the ethers. Therefore, the solid ground of mother earth offers the mind and body something to be tethered to.

To Remain Grounded it is essential to activate the root base through grounding practices such as Meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi or Qigong. Spending time outdoors sitting or walking upon the earth also bodes well. Walking a labyrinth is a perfect way to ground the mind and body while the air and wind spirals you down the path of change.

Repeating a Simple Mantra like So Ham is another way to get grounded. The mantra So ham is the natural sound of the breath - your inhale making the sound So and your exhale making the sound Ham. Read more here...

Yoga Poses that stimulate the lungs and large intestines are also favorable this month with metal chi on the rise. Poses such as bridge, cobra, wheel, upward facing dog, and triangle all stimulate the lungs while gate, seated spinal twist, reclining twist, and supported bridge activate the large intestines.

Be Creative this month like that of a child at play. Think about what makes your heart sing and then let it SING! Whatever your favorite pass time is explore, and then explore some more. A large part of manifesting abundance is being creative. Think outside the box and see what comes up. You may just surprise yourself at what you really are yearning for.

Food Choices this month should include mostly earth foods. This will stabilize the otherwise moving chi of wind and air (vata) dosha.

Earth foods include the following:

Fennel
Peppers
Yams
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Chestnuts
Beans
Mushrooms
Pears
Bananas
And for you carnivores... Beef, turkey and veal


Other Areas of Awareness This Month:
  •  Spend time with family 
  •  Stomach upset/virus especially for eldest male
  •  Lots of movement with finances - make wise decisions
  •  Resources are directly linked with goal-setting this month
  •  Plan for long-term partnership with like-minded people
  •  Keep travel plans open and double check your arrangements
  •  Networking and contracts should be closely scruntinized
  •  Career advancement is directly linked to your goals and visions this month
  •  Rely on your intuition especially during meditation practice



Tap into any one of my six book series co-authored with liked-minded people from across the country and Canada. In this series discover your authentic self!  All books are available on my website, Amazon, Barnes & Noble or The Wisdom Buffet website!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Take Time Be Happy



     Do you actually make time in your schedule to slow down and take notice of all the beauty in this world? It's important to pause and take in the scenery. Smell it, touch it, absorb it, and feel the beauty you see. Then, thank the universe for providing such beauty.

     It is also important to take time to appreciate your work, your creations, and your life. Look around; then look again. Take note of your blessings and the beauty you see in your own life. Can you share this beauty with others?

     Opening up to the world is like opening up to yourself. It allows you to grow, learn, and appreciate everything. It is a way to fuel your soul, as it is nurtured by the pleasures of this world.

     The second limb of yoga, the niyama santosha is to be satisfied with what is. To be happy and delighted with the world around you just as it is. You can think of it as a present-moment acceptance. It's the ability to open up to the world around you and within you. Albeit can be tricky, as many times the narrative we create can be a limiting one.

     Contentment arrives when wholeness comes from within. It has nothing to do with your possessions or by the different hats you where to navigate through your daily responsibilities. Taking that route only leads to endless ways to try and fill the emptiness inside. Experiencing santosha and being happy is to sense your own goodness and the goodness that the universe surrounds you with.

     Letting go of the past and expectations for the future is the pathway to happiness. Once you experience this delight, you may find your are more patient with yourself and can accept and acknowledge your gifts.

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


   

   


Friday, September 6, 2019

So Ham - I am That

When you look into the water you see the sky

     The mantra So ham is the natural sound of the breath - your inhale making the sound So and your exhale making the sound Ham. So ham 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 a every soul we encounter. When the experience has been passed is when you realize how the person helped us along the way, taking us to the next part of our journey, opened us 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 ham  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.


Om!
Mary Jane Feng Shui Yoga Girl

     

     

Thursday, September 5, 2019

The Dance of the Universe

                                                              Olympic National Park


     Natarajasana - Lord of the Dance  Pose, is a standing balance posture that involves bending one knee and grasping the ankle or foot from behind. As the yogi then leans forward and kicks back with the foot, an arm stretches forward to complete the pose. This pose is the physical embodiment of one of the many guises of Shiva.

     Shiva has many different personae that illuminate his essence. The most well known is his role as the King Dancer. In this guise he is commonly portrayed with snakes around his neck, dreadlocks standing on end, balancing atop a tiny dwarf, and encircled by a ring of fire.

     The deathless form of Shiva as Nataraja sees each age as a moment passing in time. In one of his hands he holds a drum, and with each beat signals the death and rebirth of another age. Shiva dances to his own music within the circle of flame known as samsara. Samsara is the cyclical pattern in which we are all stuck - the constant repetition of birth, life and death. Another way to think of samsara is the many ways we get stuck in patterns ad habits throughout our lives that don't serve us, but rather inhibit us. This spinning karmic cycle does not trouble Shiva. He just sees it as one more rhythm to dance to.  He is unafraid of the building wheel of fire or the serpents around his neck.

     In the depiction of Shiva as the King Dancer, ignorance is represented by the tiny dwarf-like demon upon which he stands. This demon is busy causing mischief, which mainly consists of keeping us all caught up in our own daily dramas. Shiva does not let this demon get the best of him but takes a higher level of consciousness as he stands over him.

     Shiva knows that everything that is born must die. He understands that destruction clears the path for rebirth and that in rebirth and growth there is compassion.

     In order to dance like Shiva, we must feel free. Freedom comes from knowing there is nothing that binds us permanently. If you ride the waves of change you can coast toward a blissful state of being. Change is really the only constant in the universe and therefore fear of it will only cause more stress than possibly fear itself. The desire to have things remain the same is the nature of suffering according to the Buddha.

     Shiva is known as the destroyer. If you want something new, you must destroy something old or allow it to die. Shiva in his ultimate wisdom gives us the freedom to make positive abundant choices in our lives and to let go of fear.

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



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