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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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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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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Get Out in Nature, Go Straight to Samahdi (Yogic Bliss)!

Get Out in Nature, Go Straight to Samahdi (Yogic Bliss)!

As we celebrate Spring and Earth Day this week, we contemplate the connections of being in nature with the practice of yoga.

As humans, we experience an undeniable pull to nature. When we are outdoors, our body and our mind automatically feel lighter and life seems simpler. Nature immediately takes us to a place of being that can sometimes take years of dedicated yoga practice to achieve.  There are many ways that nature and yoga parallel significant lessons. To intertwine them is a harmonious  practice.

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Living with an Open Heart

Living with an Open Heart

In the wintertime we are encouraged to practice back-bending poses, since they build heat and provide the nervous system an opportunity to ground, to be centered and to allow us to be open to the future while we conserve our energy for the coming spring. We constantly recognize that our asanas practice has many lessons for application “off the mat,” and into our daily life.

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Attention to Intention

Attention to Intention

Sankalpa, a Sanskrit word which refers to intention, is typically the beginning of each practice, whether you give attention to it deliberately, anmng the intention specifically or whether you arrive at your practice with an unconscious intention. Seasoned students come to understand that all yogic practices are preceded by a Sankalpa and the reason behind this has great depth as each practice is an opportunity to honor the intention and to grow in our understanding of our place in this world.

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Beginning Anew, Using the Power of Intention

Beginning Anew, Using the Power of Intention

Each part of yoga practice is just that, a practice. In coming to the beginning of your yoga practice, whether it is meditation, pranayama, asana,…. traditionally there is attention to the breath, for many reasons. Focus on the breath calms the nervous system, since a “watched breath” tends to slow and become full and deep. Where your attention goes, your awareness grows.

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Present Moment Spiritual Awakening

Present Moment Spiritual Awakening

Yoga is a spiritual practice – a surprise to new yogis, yet quickly understood. In all aspects of the practice, we cultivate the habits of coming “present,” using a one-pointed focus to allow both the mind and body to quiet. Most often the one point is to focus on the breath. The one point can also be a mantra, mudra, prayer, … To slow down and release the mind’s eye from the constant thoughtwaves is a great opportunity to appreciate what is in front of us, awaiting our attention.

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