Reboot Willpower Through Yoga and Aromatherapy Week 2

Reboot Willpower Through Yoga and Aromatherapy Week 2

Sometimes in life, where we need to grow, we must first shrink back before expanding. That can look like many different things – after all, we are each unique beings. That shrinking back might translate to “doing our homework,” researching options, and taking time to understand the parameters.  Growth can be scary. Navigating new territory feels like  risk taking. We want some solid ground underneath us, something familiar that reminds us of sure footage. If we do not grow, we do not evolve, our diamond selves won’t get polished, our capacity to shine stays undiscovered and we feel stuck.

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Embracing Change

Embracing Change

This week brings our attention to a seasonal change, marked by the Fall Solstice, September 21. As we recognize the many layers of change, there are equally many emotions around change that arise. If we look at the change of season, we anticipate the beauty of the emerging Fall, yet we might lament over how quickly the Summer flew by. As there is opportunity to start anew, we might have anxiety alongside excitement over what may lie ahead. Our yoga practice offers us great growth potential, learning to glide past the default habits associated with how we are conditioned to handle change in the past.

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Back to School Practices Week 4

Back to School Practices Week 4

So far this month we’ve talked about boosting our kids’ immune systems, helping our kids sleep well during the night and increase their ability to focus and concentrate during the day, and some simple tips and strategies for handling the everyday pressures of life. As we wrap up our ‘Back to School’ series, let’s talk about encouraging and teaching good communication on three levels: with parents, with teachers, and with peers.

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Back to School Practices Week 1

Back to School Practices Week 1

August brings varied responses from parents and children! Children tend to bemoan the end of summer break when it seems it barely began, while parents may have a more bittersweet reaction: it’s wonderful to have the downtime of summer with fewer pressures, perhaps, but it’s also good to get back into a routine and know that your children are focused on something that will serve them (at least at some future point!)

So as we start preparing for school-time, we have a few tips to help make the transition a seamless one. Today, we are focusing on the brain, and some techniques that will help you promote a great night’s sleep and good concentration.

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Seeking Freedom Through Yoga Practice

Seeking Freedom Through Yoga Practice

What does freedom mean to you?  In Sanskrit, freedom is “moksha,” and is achieved from overcoming ignorance and desire. Focusing on freedom redirects us to gratitude over the myriad of ways that we in the west live with the luxury of freedoms.  Yoga gives us tools to rediscovering personal freedoms as well. With consistent practice, yoga helps us connect the two and recognize the freedoms of everyday living that we sometimes take for granted. Here are three ways that yoga practice guides us to freedom:

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Essential Oils to Support Personal Freedom

Essential Oils to Support Personal Freedom

July is such a monumental month in remembering the freedoms and personal liberties that we enjoy! Sometimes, however, we don’t feel so free on the inside because of painful past experiences or beliefs we’ve acquired that don’t serve our highest good. Sometimes we feel trapped, stuck, and might even experience sad or anxious feelings. When we haven’t learned how to process and release these lower-vibration emotions, they can become stuck in the body and can actually cause physical symptoms.

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Meditation

Meditation

The benefits of meditation are becoming more and more widely recognized. Most of us like to participate in it because of how we feel afterwards – less stressed, more clear, more peaceful and happy. What we may not realize is that under the surface, lots of AMAZING physiological events are taking place that collectively give us that feeling of well-being we love.

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Stability Leads to Freedom

Stability Leads to Freedom

As yogis, we are attune to the fact that we are spiritual beings, and most of us are open to using our yoga for finding new ways to improve ourselves. When a challenge arises, we seek to learn from it so we can grow and evolve to do better next time. But, often, what is hidden underneath are old habits that do not serve us, called samscaras, in Sanskrit, which linger and keep us from making progress or replacing the old, limiting habits with the new. It is too easy to let our old habits lead the way and it is rather challenging to be mindful to embrace new ways of doing things.

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Where Does Our Freedom Come From?

Where Does Our Freedom Come From?

This is indeed a thought provoking question, and can mean many things to each of us. First of all I want to acknowledge that we live in the greatest country and as my neighbor so thoughtfully added, “at the greatest time on earth” (with regard to abundance of our blessings). Yes, the myriad of freedoms we enjoy in the US come from our founding fathers (and mothers), folks who work in the judicial system and law enforcement, the men and women who have served and currently serve to ensure these freedoms, and the list can go on an on. We can and should include the teachers who empower us, health care providers and researchers who keep us as healthy as possible so that we can lend our efforts, artists who inspire us, religious leaders who lead us toward spiritual growth so that we better understand our place in serving our world,… Your list might be similar and more detailed too.

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Sun Salutations

Sun Salutations

The “Summer Solstice,” June 21, the longest day of the year, is approaching. This auspicious day and the weeks leading up to it, have been celebrated throughout time among yogis and in many cultures. On this day, we have 12 hours of sun in our area of the world. Furthermore, we are encouraged to meditate and focus on “light.” Ancient cultures recognized that the sun, which provided energy for our existence here on earth, was in fact Divine light, put there by a Higher Source, and thus much reverence is built around giving attention to the Sun. Yogis practice Sun Salutations, in Sanskrit, Surya Namaskar, at the summer solstice. In some lineages the idea is to use the auspicious number 108 and repeat a sun salute any increments of 3 or 9 repetitions, building up to 108 rounds. Remember that each round is actually one repetition with the right side leading followed with another repetition of the left side of the body leading. It is only good that we build up our practice of many repetitions, remembering “ahimsa,” doing no harm or nonviolence, so that we do not overdo while building tolerance, gradually increasing the number of repetitions we can do in a practice session. There are many variations on the Surya Namaskar and you can see/follow from the Morning and the Strengthening Sequences in our book and DVD, Essential Yoga Practice.

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Release that which does not serve – the physical and emotional benefits of forgiveness

Release that which does not serve – the physical and emotional benefits of forgiveness

One of the best definitions of forgiveness I’ve ever heard is: “To completely give up the wish or desire for a different or better yesterday.” Just close your eyes, take a breath, and think about that for a few minutes. Think about a few times someone did something to irritate you, or take advantage of you. Think of a time when someone close to you did something that felt like utter betrayal, leaving behind heartbreak. Think of something you did to yourself that you just don’t know if you can put behind you.

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How to Nurture Our Future Unfolding

How to Nurture Our Future Unfolding

Epigenetics is a fascinating topic. Scientific discoveries are ever-expanding, and it is now known that our environment can change the expression of our DNA. Epigenomes, the chemical markers that lie along the length of our DNA, can be as important to our development as the genes we inherit. And the epigenome can be altered by various lifestyle choices we make. Think about the implications of this: We inherit certain genes that impact how we think, react and feel in certain situations. If we change our diet, our exercise regimen, use pure and potent essential oils, create authentic and loving relationships, and/or experience a paradigm change in how we view the world -- all these factors can influence and even completely change the expression of our DNA because these lifestyle changes affect our epigenomes.

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6 Ways to Honor the Connection we have with special women in our life

6 Ways to Honor the Connection we have with special women in our life

Isn’t it interesting how Earth Day and Mother’s Day are close together? What is interesting all the more are the parallels.  According to one of my teachers, Indu Arora, “Both nurture, nourish and provide consistently and unconditionally. It is one of the highest dharma to practice non-violence towards these mothers and to repay the debt by taking care” of the earth we live in and the people who nurture us and to whom we have been entrusted

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