Meditation

Drop that hibernation weight

I felt a deep and overwhelming need to hibernate for several weeks during the holidays. I had a calling for it. And just like any other wild animal, I packed on a couple hibernation pounds.

This article by Katie Silcox (via Yoga Journal) plots a return to balance from an Ayurvedic perspective. She points out that this season is a Kaphic time of year and that the prevailing conditions are lethargy- and heaviness-inducing (glad it’s not just my powerful, powerful hunger for cereal).

I love that her suggestions include eating fresh ginger, going outside, and sipping hot water/tea throughout the day. Those are 3 of my favorite things! This is going to be a snap!

[Sidenote: I recommend Banyan Botanicals for your Ayurvedic herbal needs if you are wondering about that. Their (very awesome) catalog is an education in Ayurveda in itself. Also, click here for a free dosha quiz.]

Bonne chance, mes amis!!

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Yoga for your immune system

So, the munchkin completed his first full week of school with flying colors… and a snotty nose. As I was meditating on my class this week, I was simultaneously wrestling with a tickly, pre-sickness throat. Hence, I decided that this week’s class should focus on poses to support the immune system.

Here are a few poses you could try at home any time to bolster your immune health:

Simhasana (lion pose): This pose activates the tonsils and the lymph nodes in the throat. I’ve heard that it is possible to squash an oncoming bout of the sniffles if you practice this pose when you first feel ‘that tickle’ in your throat.

Bhujangasana (cobra pose): This pose, and any other upper back bends that open the chest and heart center, activate the thymus gland.

Namaskar Parsvakonasana (prayer twist): This twist puts pressure on the lymph nodes in the armpits.

Viparita Karani (legs-up-the-wall pose): All inversions work wonders on the immune system. Getting the heart and the feet above the head encourages blood and lymphatic fluid to circulate and rejuvenate the cells. I chose this very gentle inversion for class today… because, honestly, who wants to do a handstand with a snotty nose??

Supta Baddha Konasana (reclining bound angle pose): Hip openers, like this one, work on the lymph nodes and activate the spleen. I chose a supported, restorative version of this pose for class today so that we could comfortably remain in the pose longer while it worked its magic.

If you’re feeling a little under the weather, or if you feel as if you’re headed in that direction, give these poses a try. Also, remember that nasal cleansing with a neti pot can clear illness-inducing bacteria from the nasal passages and breathing exercises (pranayama) can improve the health of the nose, throat, and lungs. And everyone has their personal favorite healing recipes… one of my students was on her way home today to enjoy a bowl of chicken soup.

And for the cherry on top of the healing goodness? Ask for help from the Angels. I closed today’s practice with a guided meditation during savasana. I asked my students to visualize themselves surrounded by the emerald green light of Archangel Raphael (the Archangel of physical healing) and to allow that healing light to penetrate into any areas of their body that needed it.

Love, light… and a little luck! ♥

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Weekly wisdom from Doreen Virtue

Hey! I have this deck! Doreen is here with the Archangels to share guidance for this week.

I love that she says we are in an energy cycle of great manifestation and that the reading reflects that. I’m already looking ahead to the new moon next week to add a little extra power to manifesting a fan-freakin-tastic 2012.

So many crucial reminders in this reading (for me and maybe for you, too). And she also includes a brief breathing exercise/meditation for moving forward. Yummy. Yummy. Goodness.

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I heart my angels

I’ve felt somewhat conflicted about my new-found ‘virtual’ connectedness since I created this blog. Long story short, I’m often overwhelmed with amount of guidance I encounter when I log on. I wonder how I could possibly incorporate it into my life (irl)?? Would my time be better spent sticking to the simple truths that have managed to stick in my brain? Balance is key, for sure. Moderation.

And then, something simply beautiful will happen, and I’m reminded not to worry so much. I’m not the showrunner. I need not feel responsible for every last how and why. And if I’m ever feeling overwhelmed or indecisive, I need only call on my Angels.

That’s kinda what happened just now. I got a little ‘wink wink nudge nudge’ from my Angel crew. I just posted a love note to my Angels, asking for help in opening my heart. Before I could post it to my Facebook page, I discovered a link to this guided meditation with Jack Kornfield about the awakening and opening of the heart.

You may have to enter an email address to get to the actual page, but it’s well worth it. Audio and video are available for download.

RAAAAAAAAD!!!!!

Thanks.

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Wednesday wisdom: Believe in me

Day 3 of Yoga Journal’s 21-day yoga challenge, and I’m really loving the ‘social’ aspect of it. I’m finding that connecting and sharing my experiences with others is really keeping me motivated to stay with my practice every day!

Check out this article (via Tiny Buddha) about the importance of believing in ourselves and in each other. I think it speaks very well to the way I’m feeling so far into this new year’s challenge.

How are you doing with your resolutions? What’s keeping you motivated?

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Meditation for day 2

This is a very cool meditation for day 2 of the Yoga Journal’s 21 day yoga challenge. I know there are those among you who have practiced yoga (asana) in the past, but have never committed to a meditation practice.

This is a great practice for anyone who is interested in Reiki or in amplifying the healing abilities of their own bodies (via Spirit Voyage).

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Full moon meditation

Enjoy!

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Let the challenge begin!

Today is the first day of Yoga Journal’s 21-day yoga challenge. The challenge includes a daily yoga practice, 15 minutes of meditation each day, and at least one vegetarian meal a day.

The video above is an ‘intermediate’ practice, but you can choose a level when you sign up for the challenge. I love that I can track my progress on Social Workout and share it with yoga buddies. I think it’s a great way to stay motivated!

If you would like to join a ‘team’ with me, search for my email: holly@kamelienyoga.com

Let the challenge begin!

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December smells like cough drops

I gotta be honest here- I feel like I’ve hit a wall in the last week. I was definitely all geared up for my birthday (or birthweek, as I like to do it). Then, for my birthday, I got a cold. Thanks, germy little buddy!

All three of us have been sick for a week now- more or less. More than being physically ill, though, it’s the loss of momentum that’s got me in a rut.

First, Max was sick and had lower energy than usual, so I took a break (and kinda enjoyed it… bad mama) to take care of him. Then, I got sick, so I gave myself a pass on housework. Then, we were all sick, so all bets were off. And then came the rain.

The fact is, if I’m not motivated to keep up with my daily duties, there will always be ample excuses to flake. And the more I flake, the easier it becomes. The term ‘downward spiral’ comes to mind.

This is actually something that I’ve struggled with on my spiritual path. When is it slowing down for a much-needed respite? When is it laziness? When is it accepting my flaws? When is it enabling them?

You see, when I opt out of my sadhana, my chores, proper nutrition, etc., things becomes less and less clear. And by ‘things’, I mean my mind. Confusion and delusion rule the land. In my altered state, I lose sight of the big picture (i.e., some of what I’m experiencing is karmic, cosmic, and not all about me), stumbling into the wasteland of separateness consciousness- the land of the ego.

I‘ll eat five bowls of cereal today and watch Netflix all day… for me. It will make me feel good. It’s what I need. I need this break. I deserve it.’

CONFUSION AND DELUSION.

Let’s put this out there right now, my ego- the ego- is entirely invested in making me believe I’m living on an island. Because on this island, the ego is king. It’s a ‘king’ like Denethor, Steward of Gondor– a place-holder who resists being replaced at any cost. A usurper.

The moment that I turn my gaze from my spiritual focus, the ego sees an opportunity to get a foothold.

Lucky for me, the remedy is quite simple. I’m going to meditate now. I’ll tell you how it goes… 😉

Check out these ideas for avoiding the sicky trap this holiday season. No excuses!

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So what is Sadhana?

I’ve been writing a lot lately about the Global Sadhana I’m participating in. This is a wonderful illumination about the importance of Sadhana by Yogi Bhajan.

I love the part about cold showers… not sure if I’m on board for that today. Baby steps.

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