Every Season of Life Matters

I’ve lived in four season climate my entire life. Sometimes the seasons seem a bit confused. But the reality is they come and go in varying degrees. Some people feel because of this variation that seasons don’t matter. This sentiment should not carry over into our lives, and yet it seems to.

We go through seasons in our lives. Great seasons and terrible seasons, chaotic seasons and calm seasons. No matter the season the expected and unexpected matter, and it matters that we understand that. Embracing the season may not be easy, but it is important all the time. Our circumstances are not a life sentence, and we need to embrace the idea that our circumstances are opportunities. How do we overcome the tension of difficult seasons and welcome opportunities for influence? First is the awareness that all seasons are important, these things can happen.

Nature’s seasons teach us about ourselves. In winter we go inward and do our internal work, reflection, hibernation, and planning brings self-reflection. Then spring comes and offers a chance for renew, learning, opportunity and progressive thinking, an opportunity for learning. The summer arrives while we steep and marinate in our new growth, rewards, celebration and fulfillment, happiness. Finally, fall comes, and we shed what no longer serves us, for survival, mistakes and problems, pain.

In summer you’ll find yourself undertaking these activities: Networking, traveling, leisure, accomplishing goals, taking risks, proactive action, expanding your comfort zone, thinking optimistically. In summer you may be experiencing these emotions: excitement, passion, euphoria, courage, confidence. The evolution of summer requires real plans, preparation, solid choices and decisions, prolonged self-reflection, capitalizing on the right opportunities.

What impact has the summers had on your life?
What have summers taught you about yourself and others?
How have summers transformed your personality?

In autumn you’ll find yourself undertaking these activities: avoiding responsibility, contracting your comfort zone, hesitating, thinking unrealistically, ineffectively and pessimistically. In summer you may be experiencing these emotions: anger, anxiety, frustration, stress, disappointment and overwhelm. The evolution of autumn requires certain factors that come into play that naturally enable us to transition through this phase like ineffective decision-making, failure to capitalize on opportunities, ignorance, mistakes stemming from ineffective thinking and mistakes originating from limiting habits of behavior.

What impact have autumns had on my life?
What have autumns taught me about myself and others?
How has autumn so transformed my personality?

In winter you’ll find yourself undertaking these activities: time for finding inner peace and solitude, time for bonding with family, friends and loved ones, time for journaling thoughts and feelings, time for thinking critically, realistically, problematically and thoughtfully about life. In winter you may be experiencing these emotions: guilt, fear, relief, grief, hope. The evolution of winter includes these factors of lack of emotional intelligence, reactive behavior to losses and uncontrolled circumstances, ineffective choices, habits, and thoughts.

What impact has the winters had on my life?
What have winters taught me about myself, life and others?
How have winters transformed my personality?

In spring you’ll find yourself undertaking these activities: developing new skills, habits, and social contacts; altering personal mindset; expanding knowledge, options, and opportunities; setting goals; thinking strategically, tactically and insightfully. In spring you may be experiencing these emotions: love, trust, joy, gratitude, appreciation. The evolution of spring of enhanced self-belief, increased self-confidence, solid reflection time that enables you to clarify what you want most in life are factors that come into play that naturally allow us to transition to this phase of life.

What impact have the springs had on my life?
What have springs taught me about myself, life and others?
How have springs transformed my personality?

The seasons of life are always changing as a result of the choices and decisions that we make on a daily basis. The life seasons transition naturally from one phase to another because of they are simply a reflection of our human nature. Our seasons of life are temporary just as nature’s seasons are. The joy you feel during summer will not last forever, the length of time it takes us to process through each season is simply a reflection of our state-of-mind a reflection of our ability to adapt to the conditions and circumstances we find ourselves in. The seasons of life are there to teach us lessons about ourselves and our lives. They are there to help us grow emotionally, physically and socially. When we succeed we celebrate. When we fail, we complain and blame, and eventually find our way into contemplation of who we are, what we want and how we would like to show up in the world. All of this shapes our character, paints the canvas of our life as we evolve. We naturally create and transition between the four seasons of life as a result of our responses and reactions to people, events, and circumstances. How we respond to our environment will directly influence what we get back from our environment whether they are problems or opportunities.

Yoga Therapy helps you build tools that allow you to flow through these seasons. It teaches you how to support, love and forgive as you go through these seasons of life. So you can ride the waves of life seasons with grace.

Which season are you currently transitioning though at this very moment?
How have the seasons shaped your character?
Have the seasons strengthened your character?
How have seasons of life enriched your experience of life?

The seasons of life don’t necessarily cycle from summer to autumn to winter to spring and then start over again. They transition any-which-way depending on the emotional choices and decisions we make on a daily basis.

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Home Run Life-Rounding 3rd Base on the Way for a Home Run!

If Winning isn’t everything, then why do they keep score?” – Vince Lombardi

As we round the corner at third base, the focus shifts to growing results. Every play of the game thus far has included growth. At home plate, it was growth in our spiritual relationship. First base was growth in our character. As you arrive at the third base, it is time to shift the eyes on growing and winning results.

This feels so natural for us, right? After all, we know that improving results at work means promotions, more money, and more respect. Winning results with our health might look like lost pounds, reduced pain, increased strength, more energy and so on. We are results driven world and time are of the essence. We hustle at work, home, and school. We think about goals and efficiency in a way that will take us to the next level.

Have you ever assumed you had it all planned out only for the universe to send you a curve ball? Remember how down straighten you were. What about looking back and thinking I would never have imagined it would end up like this. Sometimes we get in a hurry! We easily become impatient if the outcome isn’t instant. Maybe you feel a calling to do something the opportunities haven’t arrived yet. You desire to restore relationships and things seem to be worse. Despite your best efforts and hard work things just aren’t working out in life. It is time for a reality check: Will you give up on the process or grow up into a productive person? I admit I thought if I worked hard and was a respectable citizen thing would be to harvest, harvest, harvest. When to my surprise I’ve learned that life is plow, plant, harvest, plow, plant, no crop, plow, plant, harvest.

Have you ever felt this impatience with your health? It starts with a little fatigue, a twinge here, a pinch here, hmmm I can not tie my shoes and so on. You may even start to skimp on your self-care. Before you know it, you are down the rabbit hole, and you are stuck with now results of growth in sight. We can get on the path to productivity and results again you have to be committed to real growth that’s not wrapped up in worldly measurements or super-fast timing. We need growth that results in growing the self-care support system.

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my tree.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Home Plate – Connection with Spirit
First Base– Character Winning Within Self
Second Base– Community Winning with Others
Third Base: Competence Winning with Results

Are you living the home run life?
Everything starts and ends with our connection to self and our desire to grow.
How are you living these days? The empty life, the unfulfilled life, the frustrating life, the fulfilling life
What is it going to take to move from home plate to first base? Effort and Commitment to Connection, Character, Community, and Competence.

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Home Run Life – 2nd Base!

“I love mankind, it is people I can’t stand.” Linus, Peanuts

 

Have you ever heard the tongue and check statements like “People Suck!,” “Life would be better with fewer people,” “I’d love my job if it weren’t for people,” I want to go somewhere that doesn’t have people.” Yet if you do a google search what turns up:

  • “Winning Others Over,”
  • “How to win managing people,”
  • “How to make connections with others,”
  • 25 ways to this, 6 ways to that, top 10 lists,
  • Tweets, blogs, books, workshops

and so on there are infinite enter i.e. show that all have one thing in common “PEOPLE!”

 

What are some of your best moments? For me it was doing:

  • 4-H, walking again,
  • graduating with my bachelors,
  • having my niece and nephew born,
  • my wedding,
  • opening my business,
  • finding my passion and purpose in life,
  • running again and doing multiple half-marathons without chronic pain,
  • interning at John Hopkins Hospital,
  • graduating from grad school,
  • and all of the memories I create with family and friends.

What have you gone through that carries disappointment or sorrow? For me it was:

  • being in a hospital bed for a year,
  • being sexually assaulted at a party,
  • having an eating disorder,
  • being physically and emotionally abused by a loved one,
  • losing my first job,
  • struggles in my marriage,
  • the death of grandparents and friends,
  • and watching my parents deteriorate before my eyes,
  • betrayal,
  • employees that abandon clients and the philosophy I live by.

What is one thing all of these items have in common? PEOPLE! Life’s worst of times and best of times, however, life involves people and the beautiful messy encounters, and that’s why the second base is a part of the game. You know I wouldn’t change any of it because the mess allows me to reconstruct and grow and the best of times allows me to enjoy the sweetness of life. Either way the dice rolls I live in gratitude for all of it.

 

People are our base of our community. Unless you can tell me how this whole Earth and Universe was made beautiful, powerful, healing and alive with everything we need- you have to believe in God or a higher power whatever that is for you. We are imperfect beautifully perfect beings all working on issues, all hurt in some way, all perfect, and the set of unique gifts that we need to thrive. It is how we deal with them that determines our success or sorrow. It first begins at home plate our relationship with spirit. Once we are connected to that and develop our character we move onto the second base where the key is an attitude of humility and willingness to change and grow. We either have healthy or unhealthy relationships. So how do you intentionally build healthy ones?

 

Second base is where we get to put into practice everything we’ve learned at home plate. The beauty is that it is not for our gain, but we do it for others. Why is this so important? Caring about others, pursuing healthy relationships, being more loving and giving, even forgiveness are all part of being successful at second base. Maybe we could change our attitude from “people suck” to “without people, what kind of life would it be?” Boring that is for sure!

 

“Winning at second base begins with admitting that we are all imperfect people who have some emotional wounds that need to be healed.” – Kevin Myers

 

Those of you who follow my work know that I’m a big fan of non-violent communication (NVC) developed by Marshall Rosenberg. Well, one of my favorite yogi’s wrote a book called What We Say Matters: Practicing Nonviolent Communication by Judith Hanson Laster and Ike Laster. She talks about listening to ourselves and others. She uses an example of how to hear yourself in a new way, and that is to understand whatever someone else says to you as a request. So you can translate whatever somebody says to you as a “please” or “thank you.” Here is an example Judith shares in her book and I know I have done this and you probably have too. Have you ever not timed the light exactly right and you end up in the cross walk. Has someone who is using the cross walk ever looked at you in disgust or yelled “stupid driver.” Then you beat yourself up with inner dialogue filled with judgments and shame or maybe you thought that the individual in the cross walk was being rude and blame them. Instead, if you translate that into “please hear my fear” “please understand I was afraid you might hit someone.” Do you feel compassion arise for him and yourself? Next time someone says something that irritates you translate it into a “please” or “thank you” even better you may go back to someone the next day and say “What I meant to say the other day is…..Please hear…..” Note their response and how you feel in your body and mind. You can determine which way leaves you feeling empowered and empathic.

 

When I first heard the phrase “hurting people hurt people” in my mid-twenties I realized that I had been hurting people do to childhood traumas that I suffered. I learned to look at the flip side of the coin and that without addressing my issues I could not expect to have healthy relationships with others. So I started on a path of introspection, self-study, and to make a conscious choice of the person I wanted to become. Have you ever seen a family where the parents are very successful, yet the kids are not? The parent’s greed and pride, which they passed onto their children created broken relationships. This elephant in the room continues to stay affecting for years until the elephant is talked about such as the greed and pride that was causing so much pain and until that energy is willing to shift to putting each other first, the family cannot heal. The good news is that, although our brokenness may create havoc in our relationships, we are given space and time actually to heal. Time only heals when we spend time healing. When we don’t, it’s the elephant that does all the growing instead of us. I know to write a shitty rough draft in my journal where I sit across the table from them and then write a letter of nonviolent communication after I have given myself self-empathy and I can sit next to the person.

 

How does the phrase “hurting people hurt people” affect you when you first heard it? Why do you think it affected you that way?

 

What are some of your past wounds that time has not healed? Do you think they could heal if you started taking steps to improve them? What might that look like?

 

How can the encouragement of being united in a community of love, kindness, and empathy help you to show love to others? In what ways can you show that love?

 

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The Home Run Life – Home Plate

 

To me, baseball has always been a reflection of life” – Willie Stargell

It is summer and baseball is in full swing. Just as Willie a professional baseball player saw his baseball as a way of life, I too see evidence-based movement such as Yoga and Pilates as a reflection of life.

In the 1989 baseball movie “Field of Dreams”, main character Ray hears a voice telling him the now nearly infamous line, “If you build it, they will come.” Obediently, Ray mows down his cornfield, builds a baseball diamond, and then faces foreclosure on his family’s home – all to make the baseball field. This movie was coming out as I was graduating high school and thinking about what I would become as I contemplated college. Field of Dreams is centered around the all-American game of baseball which captures our imagination, nostalgia and the sense of a journey that we’ve come to expect when baseball is the backdrop. I remember at the time getting a Bachelor’s of Applied Science it wasn’t my first pick but one that would get me a job that paid fairly well, allowed for creativity and was a respectable course load that I could handle as I commuted to school and kept a full-time job to pay for school. Fast forward 20+ years later and I am finishing up my Masters of Science in Yoga Therapy. Who knew that my undergrad was setting me up for this!

Think about the game of baseball no matter what there are a home plate and three bases. You have to start at home and run the bases in order, home to first, first to second, second to third, third to home no exceptions. Failure to run the bases in order will automatically result in an out. When you run all the bases and cross home plate, you score. Your self-care is like this. If you skip the order of bases of caring for your health than at some point you are ejected and forced to connect with yourself and concede to running the bases.

If you are like me, you have a spiritual connection with something higher than yourself. You understand that there has been a particular plan or framework with a deeper meaning and purpose than you could have ever imagined laid out for you in your life. Using this analogy of a baseball diamond helps you see that your personal growth has happened in ways you couldn’t have imagined. You know that you must run and play with self-care to live life to the fullest extent, and just like in baseball you need to move your self-care in the order of the bases.

Here is how I see the bases in Integrative Sustainable Movement (ISM)-

Home Plate – Connection with something higher than yourself, Bhakti the path of devotion to love, kindness and compassion and all actions are done in the context of remembering the divine.

Bhagavad Gita 9.26 “Whoever offers me with devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or a little water – that, so offered devotedly by the pure-minded, I accept.”

First Base– Connection with your self-care, Jnana the path of knowledge, wisdom, introspection, and contemplation.

Bhagavad Gita 2.55 “When a man puts away all the desires of his mind, …and when his spirit is content in itself, then is he called stable in intelligence.”

Second Base – Connection with your community, selfless service, Karma the path of selfless service, of action, mindfulness, and remembering our actions have an impact on the world.

Bhagavad Gita 2.47 “You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty.”

Third Base– Connection with Mindfulness, Raja the path of a comprehensive method that emphasizes encompassing the whole, encountering and transcending thoughts of the mind. Being able to observe your reactions and choose how you want to respond.

Bhagavad Gita 6.6 “For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his mind will remain the greatest enemy.”

We all have different temperaments, the goal of life is to discover our true nature to connect with our divine nature and using our self-care practice is a way to help us find this truth. Every person possesses and identifies with the intellect, heart, body, and mind. Is it time to check out your local Mind Body Balance Studio to learn about the evidence-based movement?

Kevin Myers once said “Everyone wants to score in life. Everyone intends to be a winner. Most of us want to experience the equivalent of a home run life, a life where our dreams are fulfilled.” Do you have that kind of life? Have you succeeded? How have you decided to play?

The truth is when we want to play the game the way want to play it “ego” the result is often disastrous. We don’t win. We get “called out, ” and we suffer. Or maybe you are like me you do well in one area of your life and strike out in another. Do well in your career and strike out in your marriage, get your finances stable and the family is unstable, build up your reputation for success and your body breaks down in the process, drive to reach your goal and lose your spiritual connection in the process….are you losing your way and running the bases backwards, in hopes that your way will get you across home plate faster.

Is there a way to get a home run in all areas of your life? Can you trust that the Divine has a plan and everything happens in the order that it needs to happen? How can we run the bases and win? It all starts at home plate- up to bat next – is YOU!

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Restorative Yoga Practice Journal

For my practice, I chose to do revolving knee squeeze pose (Parivrtta Pavanmuktasana, both sides), restorative plow, supine tadasana with strap. I did each of these poses for fifteen minutes each from February 13th to the 20th with a five-minute sprint journal at the end of every practice.  In revolving knee squeeze pose, I used one square bolster and two blankets (one between the knees and one to cover the body). In restorative plow I used one square bolster under the sacrum, a folded blanket on the belly (between belly and thigh) and a yoga strap around the feet to draw the legs overhead slightly. In Tadasana, I was supine on the floor with two blankets under my legs and a long strap that went from the waist to the feet ( strap crossed once). All poses chosen were grounding restorative poses.

Annamaya Kosha: I noticed that it was harder to twist my body to the right in revolving knee squeeze pose. As I turned to the left in revolving knee squeeze pose, I felt at ease and by body seemed to cool in time. In restorative plow physically it is hard to get the belly blanket in the hip crease over the belly, it takes a little coordination. In tadasana at first, I would feel the tension in my lower legs to feet, which were hard to manage. At the end of the practice, my belly was smaller (plow), I felt less bloating (twist), and my legs felt light.

Pranamaya Kosha: When I turned right in revolving knee squeeze pose my breath quickened and was shallow, yet I was not in any physical pain and as I twisted left my breath was full and smooth.  The twist worked on balancing all of my prana vayus. My breath in restorative plow was quiet and moved laterally in my body. Halasana balanced udana, prana, and samana energy while cooling the body. Smooth full three-dimensional breath in tadasana. Tadasana was balancing my Prana and Apana energy.  It was interesting for me to explore how my breath could change rapidly between poses. I contribute the right twist breath quickening to the stuck facet joint on this side. Apparently, I need this type of twist in my practice, therefore I have switched to this one in my personal practice.

Manomaya Kosha: As I twisted right in revolving knee squeeze pose I felt very anxious, and as I turned left I relaxed to the point of sleepiness. I was able to witness my thoughts in restorative plow. The mind would start off busy and slowly reach a more relaxed state. It took a lot of negotiation with my nervous system to allow the tension in my lower extremities to let go and be supported by the strap and blankets.

Vijnanamaya Kosha: I was able to witness the opposites in my life here in all poses. For example, in supine Tadasana, I was able to witness that my vata element is out of balance and that the grounding of my feet and legs with the wall, strap, and blankets supporting me gave me a felt sense of grounding and support. This grounding in turn also calmed my pita qualities as the release of strain and added effort left my legs, allowing me to feel relaxed. While I was in Tadasana, I did a loving kindness meditation as well.  During revolving knee squeeze twist, I was able to focus on calming my vata tendencies by grounding down into the bolster and my pitta tendencies by surrendering into the sensations of my physical body. By the time I made it to the other side I had relaxed the torso.  In restorative plow it would take a moment for the mind to integrate within the pose however with discipline and breath awareness, I was able to negotiate a sense of deep relaxation within my mind and nervous system.

Anandamaya Kosha: In Tadasana, I was able to feel a place of steadiness and security. I felt supported by the stability of this pose and was able to attune to the natural joy that I experience from my real self. In revolving knee squeeze twist, I was able to see as I rested into the pose, there was an expansion of my inner self. In restorative halasana (also known as three, two, one pose) once I integrated my body, mind, and spirit with this pose it was very cooling and soothing as I felt a deep sense of peace.

Overall this practice allowed me to witness my thoughts, to experience my need for support and grounding. Each practice was a gift and a journey into my inner sanctuary self and stillness of consciousness. My lesson was, as I develop calmness and security, my witness of consciousness will grow. I am worth slowing down and making time for my needs on this journey, such as writing a book, increasing my speaking engagements, developing yoga teacher training, exploring my hypotheses in research arena and creating my video content.

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The Mudra Experience

Prashana Upanishad II.3 – All that exists in the three heavens rests in the control of prana. As a mother her children, oh prana, protect us and give us splendor and wisdom. To affect change, we must first understand the energy that affects it. To bring about change in the body, mind, and spirit, we must first understand the energy in which they work. The five pranas fall under the Pranamaya Kosha. Prana forward moves air, apana air that moves away, udana upward moving air, samana balancing air, and vyana outward moving air. They each work together in harmony much like a machine.  As the Vedas say, we are under the control of the Pranas. We will explore each of the pranas, conditions for each vayu and mudras that may have therapeutic effects for healing.

Introduction

Mudras are gestures for the hands, face, and body. Mudras promote health, psychological balance, and spiritual awakenings. The word mudra means gesture, seal, attitude or signature. Mudras is found in everyday body language such as crossing your hands in front of your chest, to clenched fists when angry .Shaman used them and Sages of ancient India used. If you look back at centuries old pictures most have the hands in some gesture. (LePage, 2014)

There are different types of mudras. Shambhavi Mudra is facial gestures said to awaken subtle spiritual energies. Viparita Karani Mudra is a full body mudra to enhance and maintain the flow of subtle energy for extended periods of times. The most common mudra used are hand gestures because fingers contain a large number of sensory-motor nerve endings. Fingers are extremely dexterous, each finger is related to one of the five elements and supports the health of the hands themselves. (LePage, 2014)

The Five Prana Vayus

Prana means life force or vitally energy. Vayus is the wind within the body, and there are five primary functions or components to these winds. The five prana vayus are prana vayu, udana vayu, samana vayu, apana vayu and vyana vayu. Our practice will enhance or channel this vayus in such a way that we balance the body and mind with a greater sense of inward awareness and higher states of consciousness. Remember whatever body part is open and elevated will be stimulated and whatever part of the body is lowered (inverted) or closed will be cooled or passive. The energy directions never reverse or change directions, but they can slow down or speed up.

Prana Vayu is the dad or head of the household, and the energy current runs upward. Prana Vayu is located in the heart, chest, and lungs. The energy moves to the brain affecting Buddhi (intellect), indriyas (senses), and chitta (mind). The purpose of prana vayu is the heart function and respiration, circulation of the heart, contraction and expansion mudya the middle and spondya the outward movement of vibrational energy and light. The role of prana vayu is the first and most important. The other vayus are extensions of this primary energy. Since the power begins at the heart and moves upward, it also governs ingestion, chewing and swallowing, sneezing, belching & coughing. When an imbalance occurs here, there are heart and lung conditions and lethargy. Prana vayu is associated with Anahata Charka and the element of air. (Ramirez, 2011)

Udana Vayu is like the mom and has a circular energy of movement in the body located in the chest, throat, and head. “Ud” means upward similar to prana but lighter and the energy moves in a circular clockwise direction. The purpose of udana vayu is exhalation, speech and controls the tongue. It complements prana and initiates effort. Promotes enthusiasm and governs memory and thought, provides communication between the senses and the nervous system. Usually, a disorder with udana vayu will also result in confusion with prana vayu since the exhalation and inhalation are independent until death.  An imbalance here is related to problems with cognition and communication.  Udana vayu is associated with the chakras of Vishuddha and Ajna and the element of ether. (Ramirez, 2011)

Samana Vayu is like a brother and expands in all directions in the body and is located in the belly and gastrointestinal tract; abdomen expands out from the body. The purpose of samana vayu is absorption of nutrients from food. It separates waste from food and is associated with Agni or digestive fire. The function of samana vayu is to carry essential nutrients throughout the body from the intestines. Malnourishment is apparent when samana vayu disorders are present, an imbalance can affect the digestive organs. Samana vayu is associate with Manipura Charka and the element of fire. (Ramirez, 2011)

Apana Vayu is like a sister, and the energy moves downward in the body below the navel. The location of apana vayu is the sacral plexus, sacral region, bladder and reproductive organs. The purpose of apana vayu is to govern the function of all the pelvic organs including excretion of waste products elimination as well as childbirth. It is the root that sustains all other vayus. The role of this apana vayu is very active during menstruation and disposal. The energy facilitates the meeting of sperm and egg and the process of birth. For psycho-emotional connection, it is what we use to manifest our thoughts and desires, to give birth or move potential into reality, the opposite of udana. Imbalance can result in menstrual problems, sexual dysfunction, constipation and hemorrhoids. Muladhara Chakra and the element of Earth is associated with this mudra.  (Ramirez, 2011)

Vyana Vayu is like the nanny or the housekeeper. Vyana Vayu circulates and permeates the whole body and is located in the circulation system and moves from the core to the extremities. The Vyana Vayu energy current spirals a while through the body to carry oxygen and nutrients and to produce warmth. Its purpose is to circulate emotions and feelings in the body and is associated with the peripheral nervous system and circulation, distributing energy derived from food and breath to the blood vessels and nerves. Various psychosomatic illnesses may occur as a result of underlying emotional stress that has chosen to manifest in a particular part of the body. The imbalance may lead to poor peripheral circulation or numbness. Vyana vayu relates to Svadisthana chakra and the element of water. (Ramirez, 2011)

Olgakabel in Yoga for Energy has a theory “that western medicine grew out of studying cadavers, while in the eastern world cutting up the dead bodies were frowned upon. As a result, western medicine does not have a concept of vital energy in the body, while eastern physicians had developed sophisticated ideas about the flow of human energy from having to study living breathing people.” (Olagkabel, 2015) Prana and Apana work together, right food sustains apana, and accurate impressions feed prana. Vyana and Samana are opposing forces of expansion and contraction. Udana is responsible for growth.  When a yoga practice is established, there is a way of understanding the self from personal observation, curiosity and the flow of prana is of major significance.

Conditions/Disease that may affect the Prana Vayus

Prana Vayu conditions are those that affect the heart and lungs. These conditions may be coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, cardiac arrest, congestive heart failure, arrhythmia, peripheral artery disease, stroke, congenital heart disease, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease chronic bronchitis, emphysema, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, pneumonia, tuberculosis, acute respiratory distress syndrome and so on. Explore their capacity to receive sense and let in. When doing a breath evaluation see if there is expansion up into the heart and chest and how deep the inhalation is. View the relationship of movement and sensation. How open and able are they to connect to movement and postures? How much can they sense inside their body? Can they experience emotions, and thoughts as they are moving and holding poses? Apana Vayu conditions are those that affect elimination and menstrual.  These conditions may be a premenstrual dysphoric disorder, menopause, fibroids, anemia, iron deficiency, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, colitis, ulcerative colitis, colorectal cancer, nephrolith, urethritis, nocturia, and enuresis and so on. Explore the capacity to let go, release patterns habits, thoughts and behaviors. When assessing the breath how much do they expand the lower abdominal area and how deep is the letting go on the exhale (ability to exhale fully)?  View the relationship of movement and sensation, can they let go of sensation, emotion, a belief that does not serve them in a posture and relax afterward.

Samana Vayu conditions are those that affect the digestive system, GI, and absorption.  These conditions may be functional gastrointestinal disorder, indigestion, acid reflux, dyspepsia, nausea, vomiting, peptic ulcer disease, abdominal pain syndrome, bloating, flatulence, gallstone pancreatitis, malabsorption, celiac disease, short bowel syndrome, vitamin B12 deficiency, and so on. Explore the capacity to integrate and assimilate. In assessing the breath, how much movement and expansion is in the ribs and side body, is the breath integrated well? View the relationship of movement and sensation, can they integrate what they are feeling and letting go of and have movement into Buddhi.

Udana Vayu conditions are those that affect the throat, thyroid and speaking. These conditions may be a sore throat, common cold, strep throat, flu, tonsillitis, laryngitis, thyroid nodules, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, goiter, thyroiditis, thyroid cancer, stuttering, selective mutism, dysprosody, clustering, and so on. Explore the capacity to articulate witness and observe sensation thought and emotion. In assessing the breath, how much movement expansion is there into the collarbones? View the relationship of movement, feelings and the ability to understand and articulate the qualities of sensation, emotions beliefs that arise in the body and mind as they move, release and hold postures.

Vyana Vayu conditions are those that affect circulation, distribution of energy and nervous system flow movement. These conditions may be Raynaud’s disease, neurological disorder, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, demyelinating disease, degenerative disease, dysautonomia, and so on. Explore the capacity to be fluid, to change and to expand beyond the egoic self. In assessing the breath, how much transition of the breath from one to the other?  How does the breath move throughout the body? View the relationship between movement and sensation and the ability to bring in a different perspective cultivate change in the relationship of sensation while in postures. What is the capacity for Buddhi and self-awareness and to modify the story and patterns of body and mind?

Mudras that May Provide Relief and the Potential Therapeutic Effects

Prana Vayu, when we look at the two conditions of heart and asthma, we could use apana vayu Mudra and Matangi mudra to provide relief for heart conditions. Apana Mudra is also known as the gesture of downward current of purifying energy. Touch the tips of the middle and ring fingers of each hand to the thumbs of the same hand. Extend the index and little fingers. Rest the backs of the hands onto the thighs or knees. You may consider silently repeating this affirmation “the downward current of energy purifies my body and mind completely” while you hold this gesture. The potential therapeutic effects of this mudra is supporting in lowering blood pressure, relieving stress and anxiety and releasing attachment. (LePage, 2014)  Matangi mudra also known as God of inner harmony and royal rulership can be used. Try doing this throughout the day three times to four minutes each while silently saying the affirmation “rest, silence and peace fill me completely.” The potential therapeutic effect is an excited heart becomes noticeably calmer and inner tension that disrupts digestion is resolved. Fold your hands in front of your stomach area, point both middle fingers and place against each other. (Hirschi, 2000)

 We can use more mudras and bronchial mudras to provide relief for asthma. Mira mudra is also known as the gesture of the ocean. Join the tips of the thumbs to the tips of the little fingers of the same hand. Bring the joined fingers and thumbs of each hand together. Touch the tips of the ring fingers together, extend the index and middle fingers and then rest the hands below the navel. As you hold this mudra you may consider silently repeating “Greater harmony in all my activities supports me in breathing freely and easily.” The potential therapeutic effects are to help respiratory issues and enhance abdominal breathing, reducing stress and relieving anxiety. (LePage, 2014) Bronchial Mudra is holding both hands and placing the little finger at the base of the thumb, the ring finger on the upper thumb joint, and the middle finger on the pad of the thumb while extending the index finger. Try doing this once a day for five minutes while silently saying the affirmation “Every breath gives me strength. It strengthens my body, mind and soul.” The potential therapeutic effect is in building up inner strength and keeps up the energy level as shallow breathing does not create the inner reservoir of strength and is often the cause for feelings of inner loneliness, isolation, and sadness. (Hirschi, 2000) 

Apana Vayu, when we look at the two conditions menopause and anemia, we can use Trimuriti mudra and Yoni mudra to provide relief for menopause. Trimurti mudra is also known as a gesture of the Trinity. Hold the hands in front of the pelvis with the palm facing the body and the fingers together and pointing downward. Extend the thumbs out to touch at their tips and join the index fingers to form a downward facing triangle. Rest the hands onto the pelvis below the navel. As you practice this mudra you may consider repeating this affirmation silently “Balanced at the center of my being, I embrace life’s transitions as opportunities.” The potential therapeutic effects are supporting all life changes, help support menopause and other reproductive issues including infertility, reduce stress and instill equanimity and sense of centering. (LePage, 2014)  Yoni mudra is also known as gesture of the womb. Interlace the fingers inward with the left little finger on the bottom. Join the pads of the index fingers and extend them forward. Accede to the pads of the thumbs and extend them back toward the body. Rest the hands below the navel or in your lap. As you hold this gesture you may consider this affirmation “Attuned to the rhythms of my inner being, I live in greater harmony and fluidity.”  The potential therapeutic effects are PMS and reproductive health, including menstrual imbalances, infertility and menopausal symptoms, attuning to the feminine, intuitive aspect of our being. (LePage, 2014)

We can use Merundanda mudra and Vajra mudra to provide relief for anemia. Merundanda mudra is also known as gesture of the spine. Make your hands into fists with the thumbs to the outside. Point the thumbs straight up, maintaining a gentle pressure of the fingernails into the palms. Rest the hands on the thighs or knees. Consider this affirmation while holding this hand gesture “Aligned with the central axis of my being, I live with complete integrity.” The potential therapeutic effects of this gesture are increased optimism and vitality, enhances awareness of the earth-sky axis, cultivates an ideal balance of life and grounding, supporting alignment of the spine, creating optimal space for the functioning of all organs and systems. (LePage 2014) Vajra mudra is also known as gesture of the diamond and its core quality is self-empowerment. Touch the tips of the thumbs to the tips of the index fingers of each hand. Bring the thumbs and index fingers of each hand together. Join the pads of the middle fingers together, forming a diamond shape. Curl the little and ring fingers naturally inward toward the palms. Hold the gesture at the solar plexus with the middle fingers facing forward. As you hold this gesture use the affirmation of “Attuned to my inner jewel, of radiant energy, self-esteem awakens naturally.” The potential therapeutic effects for this mudra are, enhances the movement of the diaphragm which massages and supports the health of the digestive system while increasing circulation into the mid back, kidneys and adrenal glands. (LePage, 2014)

Samana Vayu, when we look at the two conditions of irritable bowel syndrome and digestive conditions, we can use apanayana mudra and bhramara mudra to provide relief for irritable bowel syndrome. Apanayana mudra is also known as the gesture of the vehicle of elimination. Make the hands into soft fists with the thumbs inside. Extend the little and index fingers straight out. Rest the backs of the hands on the thighs or knees and its core quality is to balance elimination. As you hold this gesture repeat the following affirmation “Balance in all of my activities supports my body in functioning optimally. The potential therapeutic effects are; supporting the treatment of IBS, reducing stress, instilling a sense of balance and conservation of energy. (LePage, 2014) Bhramara Mudra is also known as the bee. Place your index finger in the thumb fold, and the tip of your thumb on the side of your middle fingernail. Extend your ring and little fingers. Do this with each hand. You may consider doing four times a day for seven minutes each while silently repeating the affirmation “In love and serenity, I like (your name).” The potential therapeutic effect is to improve the immune system and to become aware of your fears while working to dissolve them. (Hirschi, 2000)

We could use Pushan mudra and Varuna mudra to provide relief for digestive conditions. Pushan mudra is also known as the gesture of the god of prosperity and its core quality is balanced digestion. On your left hand touch the tip of the thumb to the tips of the middle and ring fingers while extending the little and index fingers straight out. On the right hand touch the tip of the thumb to the tips of the index and middle fingers while extending the little and ring fingers straight out. Rest the backs of the hands onto the thighs or knees.  As you hold this gesture repeat the mantra “As my entire being is nourished completely I experience optimal health and vitality.”  The potential therapeutic effects of this mudra are; supporting optimal digestion, assimilation and elimination while facilitating digestion of life experiences. (LePage, 2014) Varuna Mudra is the god of water. Bend your little finger of your right hand until the tip touches the ball of your right thumb, place the thumb of your right hand on it. Press the little finger and thumb slightly with your left thumb. At the same time, your left hand encircles the right hand lightly from below. You may consider practicing this three times a day for forty-five minutes each while silently repeating the affirmation “I always have possibilities letting go of something, searching for a solution and changing things.” The potential therapeutic effects are to reduce mucus from the stomach and lungs and to evaluate the root cause to your overstimulated nerves, inner tensions and unrest, being pressed for time and experiencing fear. (Hirschi, 2000)

Udana Vayu, when we look at the two conditions of thyroid and endocrine conditions and cold and flu, we can use Garuda mudra and pashini mudra to provide relief for thyroid and endocrine conditions. Garuda mudra is also known as the gesture of the eagle and its core quality is to balance metabolism. Hold the right palm facing the chest. Place the palm of the left hand onto the back of the right hand. Slide the thumbs toward each other until they interlock. The hands are angled diagonally, forming wings, with the fingers held together or slightly open. A mantra to use with this gesture is “A balance of rest and activity supports all my body systems in functioning optimally.” The potential therapeutic effects are to promote health of the thyroid, throat and vocal cords while balancing rest and activity. (LePage, 2014) Pashini mudra or noose seal (simplified form mainly knees to chest pose). Draw your knees to the chest, wrap your arms under the hollow of your knees, and place your palms on the ears. Hold this position for ten breaths and then remain in the fetus position for a few seconds longer. While you hold this pose you can silently repeat the affirmation “Repose and peace fill me completely.” The potential therapeutic effects of this pose are to calm the nerves and regulate the thyroid gland. (Hirschi, 2000)

We could use Madhyama mudra and Linga mudra to provide relief for cold and flu. Madhyama mudra is also known as gesture of the middle finger with core quality of balanced energy. Hold the palms in front of the solar plexus. Gently press the tips of the middle fingers together, allowing the other fingers to relax inward. Release the shoulders back and down, with the elbows held slightly away from the body, the forearms parallel to the earth and the spine naturally aligned. A mantra to use with this gesture is “Cultivating balance in all of my activities, I experience greater energy and vitality.” The potential therapeutic benefits are to stabilize our level of energy and balance both giving and receiving. (LePage, 2014) Linga Mudra means upright mudra. Place both palms together and clasp your fingers. One thumb should remain upright; encircle it with the thumb and index finger of your other hand. You may consider doing this three times a day for fifteen minutes while silently repeating the affirmation” My powers of resistance develop more and more from moment to moment.”  The potential therapeutic effects of this mudra are to increase the powers of resistance against colds, coughs and chest infections by helping to loosen mucus that has collected in the lungs. (Hirschi, 2000)

Vyana Vayu, when we look at the two conditions of multiple scoliosis and Nervous System Conditions, we could use Vayana Vayu mudra and Anushasana mudra to provide relief for multiple scoliosis. Vyana Vayu mudra is also known as gesture of all-pervading current of energy and its core quality is to provide a healthy nervous system. On the right hand touch the tips of the thumb to the tip of the ring finger. The other fingers are extended. On the left hand touch the tip of the thumb to the tips of the middle finger. The other fingers are extended. Rest the hands on the thighs or knees with the palms facing upward. A mantra to use with this hand gesture is “Nourishing all my energetic pathways supports my nervous system in functioning optimally.” The potential therapeutic effects are improving circulation to the extremities, enhancing body awareness and promoting the free flow of energy within the subtle body. (LePage, 2014) Anushasana mudra is also known as gesture of direction and its core quality is all-pervading current of energy. Make the hands into fists with the thumbs to the outside, resting on the second knuckle of the ring finger. Extend the index fingers straight out and rest the backs of the hands onto the thighs or knees alternatively hold the hands out to the sides of the body with the index fingers pointing upward. A mantra to consider with this hand gesture is “Attuned to the all-pervading current of energy all facets of my being are integrated as a seamless unity.” The potential therapeutic effects are; directing breath and awareness from the center of the body to the extremities, supporting the functioning of the peripheral nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems. (LePage, 2014)

 We can use Kartari mudra and Hakini mudra to provide relief for nervous system conditions. Hakini mudra also known as gesture of the goddess hakini and has the core quality of integration. Hold the hands facing each other in front of the solar plexus. Gently touch the tips of all the fingers and thumbs to the same fingers on the opposite hand. Hold the hands open and rounded as if hold a globe. A mantra to use with this hand gesture is “All the facets of my being are integrated as a seamless unity.” Potential therapeutic effects can be in creating an ideal balance between alertness and relaxation and directing breath and awareness to the entire body, balancing and integrating all systems of the body as well as the five elements. (LePage, 2014) Kartari mudra is also known as resting position. Lie in a supine position; place your hands next to your body or on your abdomen, with the right hand on top of the left. Now begin three-part breath.  With each exhale let the body become heavier and heavier. The potential therapeutic effects are to improve and deepen breathing, regenerating the autonomic nervous system and relax the entire body. (Hirschi, 2000)

Discussion

In my experience mudras are very powerful. I have had great success in with following the fibromyalgia, anxiety and joint health mudras in LePage’s book with clients over the years. When I partnered with my cohort Ola recently, I taught her Matsya and Jalashaya mudra. It was interesting to observe her go from restless to calm. I also gave her permission to relax in between the two mudras. Afterward, she shared with me that she had a hard time during Matsya to settle in. However, when Jalashaya mudra started, she felt robust, secure and energy rising in her body.  Matsya’s core quality is healthy joints and activates Apana Vayu. Jalashaya’s core quality is serenity and enables Apana while opening and balancing the first and second chakra centers of safety and self- nourishment, releasing the peace of our true being. I have been fascinated by mudras for eleven years now. There is so much to learn and explore about their potential health benefits.

 References

Five currents of prana and how they organize your physiology (5 Vayus ). (2015, January 08). Retrieved January 31, 2017, from http://sequencewiz.org/2014/09/03/5-vayus/

 

Hirschi, G. (2000). Mudras yoga in your hands. SanFrancisco, CA: Red Wheel.

 

Page, J. L., & Page, L. L. (2014). Mudras for Healing and Transformation (2nd ed.). Sebastopol, CA: Integratie Yoga Therapy.

           

Ramirez, S. (2011). YogaFit Restorative Teacher Training Manual (Vol. 4.14). CA:YogaFit

 

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Get Naked- Love Your Body

You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.”

― Amy Bloom

Time is highly elastic.  Have you ever asked someone how many hours they work? People on average work 40-65 hours in a week. If they say 75+ hours, they are most likely overestimating and not even realize that they are doing this. We sleep on average 52 hours a week. For me in my current life, there are 168 hours in my week of which I sleep 52 hours, work 65 hours leaving 51 hours for me. Since I am in grad school 40 hours is taken away leaving me 11 hours of my time. Leaving me time to apply my self-care.

Time will stretch to accommodate what we chose to accommodate.  The words “I don’t have time = It is not a priority.”  All of a sudden your water heater broke you would find the seven hours to resolve the problem and all aspects of your life would still work. Proving you could find time to practice your yoga, pilates and to have a walking program. You will accomplish what you prioritize. Is your health a priority? You have goals for your career, relationships, and health. Do you mind your self-care? Is self-care making it on your list? Sit down and take an honest look at your schedule and priorities.

There is nothing rarer, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.

― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

Here are five suggestions to look at as they might be thwarting your efforts in reaching the desire of self-care:

1.)    Are you surrounding yourself with martyrs? Take a close look at your circle of co-workers, family, and friends. Are they reaching their self-care goals? Is self-care even on their radar? Or are they taking better care of their jobs, relationships, cars than themselves? Chose to surround yourself with positive, healthy people that are further along the self-care path than yourself so that you don’t have to re-invent the wheel.

2.)    Are you expecting that Rome was built in a day? In the time of expecting immediate gratification,  reality TV shows claiming that it can happen and social media only showing highlight reels of other people’s lives the mind can run away with expectations, judgments, and competition thoughts. Creating a new habit takes time, and there will be moments of irritability, frustration, poor me feelings and guilt for prioritizing your self-care. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing task starts small 10 minutes a day and lead up to a daily practice.

3.)    Do you feel like you don’t deserve self-care? Can I put myself first without being selfish? Feelings of guilt and shame lead to half-hearted attempts and self-sabotage. Self-worth is the issue at heart and, this limiting belief is destructive in your life. If you are feeling frustrated, it is time to seek professional help to make a healthy investment in self-care. The time is now because your health is priceless because without it you cannot accomplish your other desires.

4.)    Are you paying yourself last? Are you trying to fit in your self-care after the to-do-list is done? Is this setting yourself up for success to do your self-care when you are already exhausted? Quality self-care and sitting in front of numbing activities such as TV and Mobile Device are two very different things. Do you think you are spending family time just to find out that everyone is really on an electronic device and not connecting with each other? Try connecting with your self-care be a role model and see if the dynamic of connection changes with your Self and those around you. Schedule some time when you are feeling energetic and can focus on your goal of improving your self-care. You are worth being paid first.

5.)    Are you trying to meet your needs on the sly? You can’t fit your self-care in by not inconveniencing others. Why? Because self-care takes time, money and support to accomplish it. Leave filling silly, guilty and uncomfortable behind and get back the empowerment of your self-care, be a powerful role model for others. Take a stand for your self-care time and put in your planner and your families shared planner, give your family a chance to support you because they do want to see you healthy. In sharing your intention with those that love you, you are creating a robust support system that has the momentum to propel you to reach your goal of health.

The human body is the best work of art.”

― Jess C. Scott

Keeping your self-care on your to-do list is essential, and it is the difference between surviving and thriving.

You were meant to get naked with your time and priorities to RENEW your body, mind, spirit through daily integrative sustainable movement practices and LOVE your body.” Kim Searl

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Meant To Be- Be Satisfied with YOU

As we finish a year and begin to start a year anew, depending on your relationship status with yourself, it might have been a great weekend or it may have been the loneliest, most depressing couple of weeks that you have experienced all year.

When we stop asking, ‘Why Am I alone?’ And start asking, ‘Why am I here?’ Our whole world will change – for the good.” – Michelle Hammond

But there is always chocolate, alcohol, TV, and so on, right! For the Christmas season $409 million was spent on chocolate alone. For Halloween 90 million pounds of chocolate was purchased and for the upcoming Valentines holiday, 58 million pounds of chocolate will be sold. On average $220 billion is spent on alcohol in the United States annually. The average American adult watches 33 hours of TV per week that means that last year you spent 1716 hours in front of the TV. One of my favorite mass chocolate companies is Dove Chocolate. I enjoy reading the messages inside each wrapper. Dove includes these notes as a reminder to us to love and care for ourselves. The cool thing about these words is that they focus on the individual and encourage the person at the moment. No matter where you are in life with your relationships with self or others, if you allow yourself one piece of Dove Chocolate after a meal you can be encouraged by the wrapper. No, Mind Body Balance does not have a stockpile of Dove Chocolate at the studio, but most of us do love chocolate, and it can be used as a reminder to love ourselves and to care for ourselves.

This year we are kicking off our 2017 season with the word RENEW and a theme of “MEANT TO BE.”  Often there is so much tension around self-love and self-care that you can feel the tension.  How often do you take your relationship with self and your health for granted? How often do you focus on the negatives about your body, mind, and relationships? Allow a simple piece of Dove Chocolate to remind us that there is a kind of blessing that comes from being connected relationally with ourselves.

What about you? How has your journey with your self-care and self-love been going for you? What triggers cause you to feel: Sadness, Anger, Anxiousness, and Desperation in relationship to your self-care? I hope that you can lean into Mind Body Balance this year and experience the Mind Body Balance community entirely. Do not allow another year to go by where you feel the crushing feelings of loneliness, weight gain and depression. Instead we hope that you lean in and feel the blessings and life purpose “Dharma” that is a side effect of spending 15% (260 hours/year or 6.5 work weeks) of TV time  with us at Mind Body Balance. (This still leaves you 1500 hours or 29 hours a week for TV- although Kim recommends 10 hours of TV per week-ish, we won’t tell if you don’t).

This year I am struck by the word “RENEW” it means to resume activity after an interruption, to re-establish a relationship or to repeat a statement.  How many of us make a mistake, an act of error and judge ourselves harshly and punish ourselves through a lack of self-care and self-love? If you are doing this, you are also doing this to others. If you are judging others for doing this, they are a mirror to you that you also do this to yourself. It is okay to have a misstep and lapse as you can count on life throwing you some curves, the goal is not to have a relapse. If you don’t love yourself than others cannot love you.  I am not talking about narcissistic behavior I am referring to a regard for your well-being and happiness and that you work on you first so that others have the opportunity to connect with you in a productive and meaningful way. We are wired for love. Mantra or affirmation and chanting are great ways to start this relationship with you anew.

“Just as Mother Nature teaches me about the flow of seasons and that transformation is a natural part of life. I use these seasons as a way to observe whether I am in harmony with these rhythms or if I am in need of establishing new boundaries. When I am in flow through life naturally and effortlessly I am in a valley of change where I have renewed freedom within my spirit and with others.” – Kim Searl

We are currently in winter, and this is the season for reflection, hibernation and planning. Spring is the season for learning, opportunity and progressive thinking. Summer is a season for rewards, celebration and fulfillment. Autumn is a season for survival, mistakes and problems. Understanding the life cycle flow as they are short phrases and transformation is unavoidable, inevitable and yet very manageable is a guide to your personal growth, self-love and self-care.

Here is a mantra to get you started. I will write in Sanskrit and English, pick the language that works best for your belief system.

Atma Hrdaye:

Atma Hrdaye

Hrdayam Mayi

Aham Amrte

Amrtam Anadam Brahmani

My true nature is the heart.

The heart is my true nature.

I am the bliss of the heart.

The heart I am is the everlasting bliss of oneness.

This mantra comes from Rose Kress. It is a chant that comes to the heart from the heart.  Dr. John Douillard once said, “The heart’s true nature is to love for no reason at all.”  Consider chanting this daily for 3 minutes or 108 rounds for 40 days and see if something in your spirit changes. We are familiar with the physical heart which pumps blood to the whole of our body, organs, and brain. The heart maintains our physical life, and at the same time, we refer to our heart as the residence of our emotions both negative and positive this is our emotional heart. I guess you could say we have three hearts: anatomical heart, emotional heart and our innermost heart (hrdaya) or spiritual heart. The heart never changes, it doesn’t have good days or bad days, our previous experiences do not condition it. Our body is our temple, and our innermost heart is the shrine within that temple where the light of our consciousness dwells. This light of consciousness is where we manifest love that is our divine nature. Opening our hearts means to dis-armor ourselves, to uncover our heart. Any suffering we experience is the separation from the love that exists in our heart-of-hearts.

Integrative Sustainable Movement is MEANT TO BE in your life to inspire you to Be Satisfied with YOU!

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Understanding Health and Disease through Yoga Concepts II

 I will discuss the meaning of these concepts: Gunas and their relationship to suffering; Prana and the relationship to prana vayus, chakras, granthis, nadis, and sushumna. I will discuss these concepts about classical yoga texts: The Bhagavad Gita (written about 1795 C.E.), The Yoga Sutras (written about 400 C.E.), The Samkhya Karika (written about 2500 B.C.E.), and the Upanishads (written about 800-300 B.C.E.). I will share how these concepts are present in my life. You will also learn how these concepts relate to the understanding of health and disease.

Everyone has the aspects of the three gunas in them. A guna is a quality (specifically the qualities of matter and energy that make up the world). The three gunas are sattva (law, harmony, purity, and goodness), rajas (energy, passion) and tamas (inertia, ignorance).

In the Upanishads (1.9) “Conscious spirit and inanimate matter both have existed since the dawn of time, with maya appearing to connect them, misrepresenting joy as outside us. When all these three are as one, the self-reveals his universal forms and serves as an instrument of the divine will.” (Easwanan, 2007) The appearance that separateness and happiness come from an outside source in the world entangles us through maya. Maya is an essential idea in Vedanta.  Hidden behind the gunas is our true self.  Maya has this phenomenal reality and the appearances, or illusions of a world of separate entities yet the divine power, which creates the world, can be identical with Brahman.

Sutra (I-17, II-18, IV 12-14, and IV 32-34) views the gunas as one of the qualities of nature. The Sutra sees sattva, rajas and tamas as balance, activity, and inertia.   The gunas are constantly intermingling, thus creating prakrti. Nature is here to give experience to the reflected purusa upon our “mind stuff” so you could say that prakrti is the mental mirror of our gunas. The duty of prakrti is to torture our soul with storms of life until the soul renounces the world- sannyasa (abandoning or throwing down). When our soul detaches itself, it is pure, prakrti then stops because it has fulfilled its purpose. Prakrti’s job is to experience purusa to achieve its objective or dharma. Prakrti is present when the gunas are not manifesting separately, when the gunas manifest, prakrti functions with purusa.  Once that job is over, the gunas withdraw their actions from purusa. The force of prana is the three gunas (sattva/tranquility, rajas/activity, tamas/inertia).  When they are in equilibrium, they do not affect matter, but once there is a disturbance, a motion is created in the matter, which gives rise to various forms.

Prakasa means illumination and stands for sattva. Kriya is action and represents rajas. Sthitti is inertia or tamas. The purpose of prakrti is to give us knocks in life.  Prakrti is here to give us experience and ultimately to liberate us from bondage. The secret of our wanting change is in that mind changes. All of life is a short show. If we want to hold it, even for a minute, we have tension. (Satachidananda, 2005)

Samkya looks at the three gunas according to the worldview, which has always been (and continue to be) present in all things and beings in the world. Sattva is goodness, constructive, harmonious, quality of balance, purity, universality, holistic, constructive, creative, building, positive, peaceful and virtuous. Rajas is passion, active, confused, neither good nor bad, sometimes either, self-centeredness, egoistic, individualizing, driven, dynamic and moving. Tamas is vicious, lethargy, violent, imbalance, disorder, chaos, apathy, inertia, ignorant, anxiety, impure, delusion, negative, dull, inactive, darkness, destructive, and chaotic. The qualities of the gunas are present in all of us all the time. The interplay of the gunas defines the character of someone or something as nature determines the progress of life. The force to change comes from raja; sattva empowers towards peaceful and constructive change, and tamas retards the process. (Miller, 2012)

The Bhagavad Gita in chapters fourteen, seventeen and eighteen discuss the gunas as qualities of nature. Guna means “strand” or “fiber” like strands of a rope. The three gunas are woven together to form the objective of the universe. How and what the world made of is philosophically the gunas. From a yoga perspective, it teaches us if we are moving forward in life (sattva), running in place (rajas) and losing our way (tamas). Krishna portrays the gunas as the scope of guna, activities, and teachings that inform us that nothing is free from prakrti and the gunas. When we sharpen our self-observation skills and discernment with practice and the right intention we can learn to witness the activities of the guna employing balance and purpose. (Satchidananda, 2005)

The gunas are present in my life by representing signposts to guide me where I am and where I aspire to be. Raja (attachment) and Dvesa (aversion) seem to be my habitual pattern where I lean hard into pleasurable experiences and lean away from the un-pleasurable. Leaves Prakrti needing to give me some good knocks and bumps to get me moving. While I feel rajas are at the forefront of my personality, it can either create movement toward sattva or tamas. In my forties, I am just getting to a place where I can observe my language cultivate rajas and tamas in service of sattva. The interplay of the gunas in my life seems to be more in the subconscious or outside of my conscious awareness. Nevertheless, as I start to understand the gunas more, and I allow my mind to label what is rajas, tamas or sattva behavior in my external environment, I begin to notice the distinctive qualities. I realize that I have a choice in how I respond and act, allowing me to work on cultivating my gunas. For example, when I am choosing to overwork as a form of self-protection, I can give myself permission to cultivate more tamas to be in service of self-care of stability and rest. When I am choosing to ignore a character issue with someone close to me, I can give myself permission to cultivate more rajas and modify the relationship. When I am choosing to allow my mind to run in habitual thought patterns and making decisions based on yesterday’s dirty dishes or living in the future, I can give myself permission to pause to check in with my breath. Cultivate sattva like a transparent piece of glass.  Allow the light of my conscious awareness to reveal my true nature, creating clarity and elevating my awareness so I can foster new patterns that serve my greater good.

In the context of understanding health and disease, the gunas provide a way for us to observe what could be out of balance, in balance and harmony. If the gunas are, in harmony, we have a loving mind, clarity, bliss, good health, longevity, a surplus of prana and our immunity is high. If sattva is great or we may have receding gums, muscle spasms, gas, constipation, dry skin, low back aches, insomnia, sciatica, feel anxious, insecure, and fearful, have other neurological or mental problems and gives us an irregular metabolism. If rajas is high we may experience intense cravings for sweet, nausea, vomiting; inflammatory conditions start to arise, judgmental and critical toward ourselves and others, hyperacidity, gastritis, hypoglycemia, colitis, diarrhea, dysentery, heartburn, hot flashes, indigestion. A sharp and hyper-metabolism in the body. If our tamas is high, we experience hypo-metabolism, dull, congestion, cough, allergies, nausea, mucoid vomiting, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, lethargy, excessive sleep, weakness of the body with the mental attachment of greed and possessiveness. The gunas control the five koshas.

Prana is our life force. Prana’s relationship to prana vayus is as the life-force “winds” that govern the movement of energy in the pranamaya kosha. Prana’s relationship to chakras (wheel or disk) is like the energy point or doorway to the subtle body. Prana’s relationship to granthis is as energy knots or blocks on our personality where the energy and consciousness interact and manifest.  Prana’s relationship to nadis is as pathways or highways in which prana travels. Prana’s relationship to sushumna is like the central energy channel that travels the full length of the middle of the spinal cord.  Pranic energy (vital life force) flows here as we experience kundalini (latent energy believed to lie coiled at the base of the spine). All of these concepts aid in the constant motion of Prana in the human body and are the energies responsible for the body’s life, heat and maintenance. 

Just as modern science describes two types of nervous systems SNS (sympathetic nervous system) and PNS (parasympathetic nervous system) and the two nervous systems interconnect with every organ of the body.  Pana and consciousness connected to every organ of the body. Energy supplied to the organs comes through the physical and emotional bodies creating channels. Ida nadi represents the mental energy and pingala nadi represents the prana energy while sushumna nadi represents spiritual awareness.

The Upanishads describe Prana as Pra “forth” and Na to breathe “living energy.”  Prana “Vital Energy” the power of life… the underlying substrate of all forms of energy and one of the five kinds of vital energy in living creatures. The five pranas are prana, apana, samana, vyana, and udana. Vyana is responsible for distributing energy throughout the limbs and organs. Udana Ud means “up” And means “breathe” this is an upward moving energy and is responsible for the power governing the rise of spiritual energy or tejas (the subtle essence of fire that governs digestion on both subtle and gross levels). Samana is equalizing and responsible for harmonizing and balancing energy in the body. Apana is active in biologic functions and controls downward energy processes such as elimination and the expenditure of sexual energy. Nadi is a track of prana in a living creature. Pippalada (ancient Indian Vedic sage and philosopher) names the primary polarity prana and rayi (stuff, materials) roughly as consciousness and matter. You could say he wrote a hymn to prana: prana is energy, which fuels evolution, powers the vital processes in all forms of life and ultimately becomes thoughts and desires in the mind where it becomes accessible for us to conserve or redirect. Prana is a comprehensive theory of life, which accounts for everything from health to morality.  Prana Vayu works with the other four vayus to carry out different functions in the body. Apana Vayu dwells in the eye, ear, mouth, and nose and is a downward force of the wind in the organs of sex and excretion. Samana Vayu is an equalizing force in the middle, digests foods and kindles the seven fires. Vyana Vayu distributes energy moving through a myriad of vital currents radiating from the heart where it lives at the time of death through the subtle track that runs up the spinal channel. Udana Vayu leads the selfless up the long ladder of evolution, and it leads the selfish down, but those that are both selfless and selfish come back to this Earth. (Easwaran, 2007)

The Sutra (1-34) looks at prana as vital energy and the dualities of prana and apana the ascending and descending energy within the human body. The force that moves upward is prana, the force that moves downward is apana, and the aim is to bring them together in equilibrium just as Hatha yoga is two forces (sun and moon) to gentle establish peace in mind, the two opposites must blend. Regulate and watch the breath because where the mind goes the prana follows. (Satchidananda, 2005)

The Bhagavad Gita (6:13, 15:1, 15:14) views prana as the vital energy.  Prana and apana are the life currents within, and as such, is the digestive fire. Krishna said earlier in the Gita that “The fire is me; the offering into the fire is myself; the one who accepts the offering is myself; the offer also is myself. It is all ultimately myself. So I am playing all the parts.” He appears to multiply himself into all of us. The Chakras are subtle nerve centers along the spine which when concentrated upon yield experiences of various levels of consciousness. The nadis are subtle nerves, and the sushumna is one of the major nadis or subtle nerves. The Gita gives us a suggestion of spinal alignment and gaze; it says that the flow of energy should be easy through the spine along the Ida, pingala and sushumna as these nadis are important since they pass through all the chakras. If we work on our posture, we will find our center of gravity allowing the whole body to be very still. When this energy is flowing, and we are focused on the center of the head, in the location where the king and queen glands are (pituitary and pineal), the location of the seat of consciousness it allows our intuition to flow. (Satchidananda, 2005)

Samkhya (XXIX), the standard function of the three internal organs, is the five vital airs: prana, apana, samana, udana and vyana. Prana resides inside the mouth and nose; its circulation is the common function of all the thirteen organs since the organs come into being when there is prana. Brahmrishi Vishvatma Bawra describes prana as a bird in a cage, giving motion to all, it breathes. Apana takes away, and its circulation is the common function of the organs. Samana resides in the center of the body; it distributes food and rest properly. Udana carries up, draws or lifts energy.  It lies between the navel and the head, and the circulation it provides is a common function of all the organs. Vyana is that which pervades the body and divides its interior-like space. Its circulation is a common function of all the organs. The five vayus offer circulation to the organs; this is why you see it explained as the common functions of all organs. (Bawra, 2012)

I am not sure where I heard this analogy before but I think it is exquisite and describes the vayus eloquently. Sun is the prana of the universe and rises to bring light to our eyes. The Earth draws the lower fire of apana. The space between sun and earth is samana. The moving air is vyana; fire is udana – when this fire goes out the senses draw into the mind, and rebirth happens.

The concepts of prana in relationship to the vayus, chakras, granthis, nadis, and sushumna, are present in my life as the vayus can act as a mirror if I take the time to check in with my breath, it can lead to information about what is happening in my chakras, granthis, and nadis. Being able to have my vayus flowing allows my charkas to be open and determines how I will grow and evolve as a human being. Do I want to create more shakti in my life? The more that I learn to work with my vayus and chakras the more my emotional and physical harmony will come into unity with the universe. The granthi’s and I have a love-hate relationship, to say the least. Many times I want to be tamas with them and ignore them, but I am learning to honor the information and work with them, especially the Brahma Granthi (located at the base of the spine between Muladhara and Svadhisthana chakra). The primitive brain lives here. When I am feeling fear, anxiety about basic survival needs of shelter and food, overworking, etc., this is telling me that I lack grounding, and my fears are preventing me from reaching my greater good. Vishnu Granthi (located between Manipura and Anahata chakra) is where ego and power live. Clinging to something, fear of feeling ignored or losing power and possessions is telling me I am not exercising my “letting go” muscle. I need to be more vulnerable and to put my facade aside and challenge the status quo. Rudra Granthi (located between Anhata and Ajna chakra) is difficult for me; it brings up a level of vulnerability that I leave me uncomfortable. I love to serve others to the point I have to remind myself I do not need to fix anything, and I need to be mindful of not imposing my will on them. Also, when I am performing my seva actions at the homeless shelter or raising awareness around human trafficking, I have to remind myself to bring light to these dark subjects since we are not separate from them. I could easily have been (or could be) part of this darkness. I ask others and myself these questions: Would you want to be treated how we treat homeless people? Would you want your loved ones treated how we treat those rescued from human trafficking? When you look away would you want someone to look away from you? I usually get silence with no acknowledgment, to which I ask the questions again.  Then, in dead silence that I let linger, I express that this veil of separation lifted, and we do this by healing ourselves and choosing to live a full life. 

The concepts of prana in relationship to vayus, chakras, granthis, nadis and sushumna are understood (in health and disease assessment) by noticing which chakras appear to be closed or struggling.  We look to these concepts to identify possible diseases rooted within them.  In the Muladhara chakra, we can see such diseases as addiction/addictive behavior, anorexia, colitis, constipation, Crohn’s disease, diarrhea, glaucoma, hemorrhoids, hypertension, impotence, kidney stones, knee problems, and weight gain. In the Swadhisthana chakra, we see such diseases as a testicular disease, prostatic disease, pre-menstrual syndrome, muscle cramps, menstrual problems, kidney complications, irritable bowel syndrome, fibroids, fertility issues, and endometriosis, cystitis, and bladder issues. In the Manipura chakra, we see such diseases as food allergies, coeliac disease, diabetes, digestive problems, gallstones, hepatitis, liver disease, pancreatitis, peptic ulcers, stomach problems, and ulcers. In the Anahata chakra, we see such conditions as immune disorders, heart diseases, fatigue, and circulation, breast cancer, high blood pressure, and allergies. In the Vissudha chakra, we see such diseases as asthma, bronchitis, ear infections, hearing problems, lost voice, mouth ulcers, sore throats, teeth and gums, thyroid problems, tinnitus, tonsillitis, mouth ulcers, and upper digestive tract. In the Ajna chakra, we see such diseases as visual defects, tension headache, shortsightedness, migraines, long-sightedness, insomnia, deafness, catarrh, cataracts, brain tumor, and blindness. In Saharara chakra, we see diseases such as Alzheimer’s, depression, dizziness, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, paralysis, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, and senile dementia.  Self-study through the chakras, gunas, and vayus, can help us prevent and delay some of these former disease states.

If the gunas control the five koshas then the vayus point to the energy of the chakras.  Tamas primarily affects the chakras Muladhara and Swadhisthana. Rajas primarily affect the chakra Manipura. Sattva primarily affects Ajna and Sahasrara. Rajas and Sattva together primarily affect the chakras Anahata and Vissudha. (Judith, 2015) While Vyana Vayu pervades the whole body, you can find it mainly in Swadisthana chakra.  You find udana vayu primarily in the Vishuddha chakra, prana vayu primarily in Anahata chakra, samana vayu mostly in Manipura chakra and apana vayu in Muladhara charka.  Vyana vayu is associated with the nadis and the two primary nadis of ida and pingala intertwine the length of the body, passing around and through the chakras until they reach the base of the spine (the entrance to the main nadi of sushumna). Their intertwining generates the energy of the swirling charkas. (Keller, 2015) While yoga is not a cure all for these diseases and does not fix someone, it can add in delaying or alleviating symptoms for these disease states. Our body does speak our mind, and we can choose to heal or not, the yoga lifestyle is a wonderful compliment to anyone’s life at any stage of health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Bawra, B. V. (2012). Samkhya Karika with Gaudapadacarya Bhasya. USA: Brahmrishi Yoga Publications.

 

Easwaran, E. (2007). The Upanishads (2nd ed.). Tomales, CA: Nilgiri Press.

 

Judith, A., Ph.D. (2015). Wheels of life: The classic guide to the chakra system (2nd ed.). Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications.

 

Keller, D. (2015). Refining the Breath: Pranayama: The Art of the Awakened Breath. South Riding, VA: Do Yoga Productions.

 

Miller, B. S. (2004). The Bhagavad-Gita Krishna’s Counsel in Time of War. New York, NY: Bantam Dell.

 

Miller, R. (2012). The Sankhya Karika: A New Translation.

 

Satchidananda, S. S. (2005). The Living Gita: The complete Bhagavad Gita: A commentary for modern readers (6th ed.). Buckingham, VA: Integral Yoga Publications.

 

Satachidananda, S. (2005). Sadhana Pada Portion on Practice. In The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (11th ed., pp. 131-151). Buckingham, Virginia: Integral Yoga Publications.

 

 

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Yogic Principles

What does it mean to incorporate more saucha, santosha, and svadhyaya in a client’s life? How can niyamas (specifically these three mentioned above) affect chronic pain?  Chronic pain is driven less by tissue damage and more by sleep, mood, thoughts, and emotions. Chronic pain diseases interact with their nervous system, immune system, and endocrine system.  Learn how the principals of the niyamas (also known as observances/ moral commitments) help clients relate to their inner self, the private ritual regarding self-care and how they can apply to those living with chronic pain. Learn how saucha, santosha and svadhyaya interact with the disease mechanisms/ pathways and the connections between physical, mental, emotional and social health. Find out how yoga therapists apply the niyamas with their clients. It is a journey, not a process; they check off their list. Taking it one-step at a time and proceeding with compassion (versus worrying about perfection) is needed while the client learns to dance on their edge of pain and comfort.

Saucha/ Sauca (Yoga Sutra 2:40-41) is purity and at the root concerned with keeping different energies distinct and maintaining the sanctity of the energy around us (Satchidananda, 2005). Using the perspective that there are shattered pieces of themselves, what seems like broken pieces are, what make them whole – they are a soupy mess of transformation called growth.  When faced with a chronic disease and rushing to doctor’s appointment… and subsequently rushed diagnoses in allopathic medicine the client leaves feeling fragmented as their body is talked about objectively in pieces. Practicing saucha they can un-fragment and start to see themselves as a whole. As a yoga therapist, using practices like pranayama and chanting Om (Aum) can help unify their head and heart, bringing them into the present moment. Breathing into intense discomfort at times dissipates the pain. Having a pranayama and chanting practice can bring the body into deep relaxation, relieving tension, tightness, reducing mental noise, agitation, and self-doubt.

Clients loved ones mean well; and while the customer is the ones sitting in the room facing the disease head-on, health care providers and loved ones do not see “them” anymore. They, like others, are approaching the experience with a cluttered mind scattered with thoughts. Clients leave their healthcare appointments with even more scattered thoughts than when they came. Taking a moment to practice pranayama at the end of a meeting can bring closure.   Before the appointment, it can bring clarity to the mind resulting in improved communication during the doctor’s appointment. Taking time to slow down is hard especially in our society where hurrying, multitasking and busyness are often viewed as success symbols.   They are killers of saucha (purity). When they can use pranayama to cleanse themselves, there may be a visceral reaction a feeling of being lighter, having more space and mental expansiveness. The side effects of practicing saucha are feelings of being more alive; their mind is clearer, and the heart is more compassionate (Adele, 2009).

Through pranayama, an inner cleanliness can help with being healthy (Deiskachar, 1995). The external cleanliness of the body and internal cleanliness of pure food digested removes impurities of mind such as arrogance, conceit, and malice (Keller, 2015). Sattvic food is light, fresh and nourishing.  Items such as grains, seeds, fruit, vegetables and dairy food promote health (Fields, 2001).

Santosa/ Santosha (Yoga Sutra 2:42) is being content with what they have already attained and wanting what they already have, accepting what is and making the best out of everything (Satchidananda, 2005).  Approach it from the perspective of; they are responsible for their disturbances.  Waves of emotional disturbance such as being upset, hurt, left out, not appreciated, put upon and mourning the past could be considered giving their emotional state away to someone or something outside themselves.  This is their loss of control and contentment.  The verbal explosion and ruminating are a waste of useful energy, silence, withdrawal, confiding in someone can be helpful.  At the time of diagnoses of a disease, using their energy to heal is very important. The toll is high when they are facing disease and at times have tunnel vision their health and well-being are affected, they have emotional and physical pain, misunderstanding and sloppy work. When they are upset and replaying negative events, they are the ones disturbing the flow of life, not the noise and storms in their lives. They keep themselves out of contentment because emotional disturbance can be traced back to them (Adele, 2009).

As a yoga therapist, using journaling and tracking times that clients are not in pain is a useful tool. Journaling what activity they are doing at that time as well as keeping a gratitude journal can help build more santosha (contentment) in their lives. Accept what has happened with the new diagnoses versus dwelling on the past.  Learn during the process and do not attach results with their actions.  Save them disappointment and despair as they navigate the new waters of living with chronic pain (Desikachar, 1995). Journaling can help uncover pain patterns and triggers that increase episodes of pain as well as patterns that bring them great joy and decrease pain. In learning these patterns, it allows for a better understanding of self and improved communication with health care providers. As a yoga therapist clients respond well when focusing on the patterns that bring joy and decrease pain. Journaling does not always have to be about a health record or pain; it can be about happiness, creativity, feelings, and needs. Journaling helps in the healing from stresses and traumas.  It has been linked to boosting the immune function in chronically ill patients (Murry, 2002).  Twenty minutes a day of pen and paper can be cathartic for the writer (Baikie, 2005). Santosha is the absence of desire beyond what is immediately necessary to maintain one’s life.  They feel that what they have been enough (Keller, 2015). The lack of greed results in calmness and serenity regardless of external and internal circumstances and working toward preventing mental disturbances (Fields, 2001).

Svadhyaya (Sutra 2:44) is the study of one’s self through careful observation (Satchidananda, 2005). If they think of self-study from the perspective of “being the witness.”  There is power in becoming the observer of themselves and learning how their belief system works. Can the need for fixing themselves, while controlling to keep things the same, be changed? Can they witness their reactions and respond with choice?  A yoga therapist might suggest to the client to observe their thoughts, feelings and emotional disturbances looking for clues about their matrix of belief systems. What are the stories they are telling themselves? Can they watch the ego rather than identify with it? Listening brings healing.  Beginning to know their self as something different than who they thought they gave them the opportunity to know their true self.  Understanding how they create their reality marks progress in their growth. Be curious to a beginner’s mind stepping outside their boxes and becoming free (Adele, 2009).

As a yoga therapist, using transcendental meditation ( technique, based on ancient Hindu writings and founded by Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, by which one seeks to achieve a relaxed state through regular periods of meditation during which a mantra repeated) to help the client build svadhaya or self-study. Transcendental meditation can help support the autonomic nervous system, neuroendocrine axis, cardiovascular and immune systems and well as supporting the physiology state and function through changing life conditions reducing stress (David Lynch Foundation, 2016). 

Yoga eventually influences all aspects of a person: mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. Many layers in the yoga philosophy can support a client in approaches to relax, energize, remodel and strengthen body and psyche. As Swami Sri Kripalvanadji stated, “When you pick one petal from the garland of yamas and niyamas, the entire garland will follow.” These niyamas mentioned here can provide direction to participants for clients that are finding it difficult to focus their thoughts and calm their mind. As starting any new endeavor, it ‘s hard in the beginning, but if the client continues to grow and learn about the niyamas, they will bring new behavioral patterns and a deeper understanding of how to build these practices into their life, until one day you realize they have become part of their heart and mind.

 

 

 

 

References

Adele, D. (2009). The Yamas & Niyamas Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice (pp. 105-161). Duluth, Minnesota: On-Word Bound Books.

 

Baiklie, K., & Wihelm, K. (2005, August). Home | BJPsych Advances. Retrieved March 08, 2016, from http://apt.rcpsych.org/

 

David Lynch Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved March 08, 2016, from http://www.davidlynchfoundation.org/

 

Desikachar, T. (1995). Living in the World. In The Heart of Yoga: Developing a personal practice (Rev. ed., pp. 101-102). Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions International.

 

Fields, G. (2001). Value Theory and Ethics: Health and the Good in Yoga. In Religious Therapeutics: Body and Health in Yoga, Ayurveda and Tantra (pp. 109-111). Albany, New York: State University of New York Press.

 

Keller, D. (2015). Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras- The Niyamas: Inner Observances. In Heart of the Yogi: The Philosophical World of Hatha Yoga (pp. 145-146). Doyoga.com.

 

Murry, B. (2002, June). Writing to heal. Retrieved March 08, 2016, from http://www.apa.org/

 

Satachidananda, S. (2005). Sadhana Pada Portion on Practice. In The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (11th ed., pp. 131-151). Buckingham, Virginia: Integral Yoga Publications.

 

 

 

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