Posts Tagged cleansing

10 poses to promote creativity & emotional balance

Since the beginning of October, my yoga goddesses and I have used our weekly yoga practice together to explore different aspects of manifesting our dreams, goals, and intentions. What are the best ways to nurture the seeds we are sowing? How do we pave the way there while staying open to the myriad possibilities present in each moment?

With the arrival of the full moon (it reached its fullest less than an hour after our class), we ushered in the time in the cycle for putting our plans into action. It is the time to “git ‘er done,” as one of my teachers puts it. It is also a time for cleansing, letting go, releasing any excess baggage that impedes our progress.

As I was looking ahead to this week’s class and the full moon, I was simultaneously experiencing cleansing “symptoms” associated with receiving my level II Reiki attunements. It has been (and continues to be) a wild ride- with the most intense symptoms manifesting emotionally. I’ve felt like the “stuff” that I’ve held on to for waaaay too long is shaking loose and forcing its way to the surface. Not always pleasant. Not always fun. But I have been doing my best to at least make it constructive.

I suppose it is the time of the year when the goblins pop up. It’s been weeks since I could walk through the aisles of almost any store without my son being terrified by some beasty or other. My inner child has been dealing with the same thing, I guess. So, I’ve tried to be open to the lessons contained within each situation- good, bad, or beastly- and to stay focused on ways to transmute my goblins into gold.

One of the methods of my madness has been seriously cleaning my house. Don’t you just love a good, cathartic clean? I’ve been cleaning like I can clear emotional debris with a Swiffer.

Spiders, beware! I’ve got your number! No dark corner is safe from this fi-yah!

Ummm… yeah. Transmutation was the word of the day… every day. It couldn’t help but spill over into this week’s class. My students are a talented, creative bunch. There is so much creative power among them that I let that be my inspiration. How can we use our creative gifts and talents to burn through emotional cobwebs? What poses would light the creative fire and transmute emotional goblins into greater presence and wisdom?

When we hold on to baggage for too long, it can “stick” in certain areas of the body. The heart center is one area that gets weighed down by holding on to emotions. The shoulders slump. Breathing becomes more shallow. Backbends! Backbends create opening across the chest and lift the heaviness that many of us carry in our shoulders and chest.

For our purposes this week, however, I chose to focus on another emotional center: the hips. Our hips carry us through life. They support us and help us stand tall. They can also be restricted by emotional build-up.

Hip-opening postures are know to trigger deep emotional release. They are also the category of poses associated with the sacral chakra- the energy center of emotions (its element is water) and creativity.

Lots of hip-openers it is then! You know it. You love it.

Here are 10 poses to promote creativity and emotional balance. I’ve also included a few throat chakra poses (forward bends) to facilitate communicating your creative inspirations outward.

1. “Cradle the baby” Pose
2. Baddha Konasana / Bound Angle Pose
3.Anjaneyasana / Low lunge
4. Utthan Pristhasana / Lizard Pose
5. Uttanasana / Standing Forward Bend
6. Gomukhasana / Cow Face Pose
7. Upavistha Konasana / Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend
8. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana / One-Legged King Pigeon Pose
9. Paschimottanasana / Seated Forward Bend
10. Apanasana / Knees-to-Chest Pose

Now get on your mat and turn those goblins into creative gold!

Namaste!

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Weekly wisdom from Doreen Virtue

Wow! Doreen’s oracle card reading for this week resonates very deeply with me.

I received my Reiki II attunements on Sunday (yay!), and I am already experiencing some fairly profound shifting and cleansing. In fact, I’m a little delayed in posting this because I’ve been following her wise guidance to “nurture myself” even though I hadn’t watched her reading for this week yet. It was what my body, mind,… everything was requiring.

And she doesn’t stop ringing bells for me there! Her entire reading this week feels as if she is speaking directly to me.

She what she has to say about the week of October 22-28 and see if you feel the same way!

I’d love to hear what you think/feel!

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Crystal in the spotlight: Tiger’s Eye

Do you remember way, way back when I was working my way through a 7-day crystal/chakra healing marathon? We had made it all the way to Day 5 / the throat chakra when my computer went on summer vacation.

To me, the change of seasons is like nature’s reminder alert to slow down and take stock of things. Check in. Whether it’s in my yoga practice, diet, daily meditation, habits, thoughts, emotions, etc.- I boost my efforts to bring change where it is needed by aligning with the energy of change that swells at the solstices and equinoxes.

It’s a time of one phase ending and a new one beginning. Why not follow Mother Nature’s lead to let go of the ‘old’ and welcome the ‘new?’ She pretty much has this whole managing life thing down to a science.

If your chakra health is an area that will have your attention as we approach the fall equinox, healing crystals are a great way to uplift your efforts.

…Which brings me back to the crystal/chakra healing countdown. Who needs a refresher?

Me, too.

1st chakra / root / bloodstone
2nd chakra / sacral / chrysoprase
3rd chakra / solar plexus / malachite
4th chakra / heart / aventurine
5th chakra / throat

And now… let’s resume, shall we?

6th chakra / third eye / tiger’s eye

“Tiger’s Eye combines the earth energy with the energies of the sun to create a high vibrational state that is nevertheless grounded, drawing the spiritual energies to earth. Placed on the third eye, it enhances psychic abilities in earthy people and balances the lower chakras, stimulating the rise of the kundalini energy.

Tiger’s Eye is a protective stone that was traditionally carried as a talisman against ill wishing and curses. It shows the correct use of power and brings out integrity. It assists in accomplishing goals, recognizing inner resources and promoting clarity of intention. Placed on the navel chakra, Tiger’s Eye is excellent for people who are spaced out or uncommitted. It grounds and facilitates manifestation of the will. Tiger’s Eye anchors change in the physical body.”

~from The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall

Mmm… sounds good. Love you, Tiger’s Eye!

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Weekly wisdom from Doreen Virtue

Last week’s oracle card reading wrapped up with the suggestion to spend time outdoors over the weekend. I happened to take that advice, packing up the fam and heading out to Joshua Tree. It was a great trip for many reasons (I got to see Sean Johnson and the Wild Lotus Band, CC White, Arjun Baba, and Krishna Das!!!), but one of the things that made it the most special for me was being in the desert landscape. I love going to places where the natural environment is different than the one I see in my day-to-day. It gives me a new perspective on things.

So, I guess I don’t have to tell you that I’m stoked that Doreen is using her ‘Healing with the Fairies’ oracle card deck this week. The fairies are nature angels. They back up Mother Earth and work to keep her balanced. Doreen states in the beginning of her reading that the Healing Fairies deck works well for anyone who has environmental issues on the brain.

I also love that the reading for the weekend brings up detoxing and clearing. We are rapidly coming upon the change of the seasons again. I often like to observe solstices and equinoxes with some type of cleanse or detox- whether it be in my diet, my thoughts, my habits, my schedule. Whatever form it might take, I love to ride the energetic wave of ‘change’ that surges around solstices and equinoxes.

I’ll have more to share about that as we roll up to the autumnal equinox, but I love that it came up already. A great reminder and great motivation.

Do you observe the changing of the seasons in some way? What will you be doing to get ready for fall?

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Crystal in the spotlight: Malachite

For so, so long I had been hoping to add a piece of malachite to my crystal babies. And guess what? I found it! I found it! I found my own very special little piece.

I remember malachite from the time of my first fascination with rocks and minerals when I was a small child. I loved the color, and I loved the beautiful swirl patterns in it. Malachite is a secondary copper mineral, and its deep green color is caused by the copper within it.

The high copper content in malachite is the reason for its pulsing electromagnetic energy field. It is a powerful protection stone that absorbs negativity and environmental pollutants. Because of its ability to soak up negative energies, malachite must be cleansed frequently.

It activates all chakras, especially the heart. Here are some of its associations with the chakras:

-On the solar plexus, it facilitates emotional healing and balances the heart and sacral chakras. Place it on the solar plexus to absorb negative emotions.

-On the heart, it promotes greater harmony and balance.

-On the heart and throat, it promotes the physical health of the heart.

-On the third eye, it activates the intuition and enhances insight, helping the individual to see clearly what is impeding spiritual growth.

For its properties of protection and increased insight, malachite is known as a stone of transformation. It is an excellent companion for anyone who is in a period of great change in their lives. It facilitates the ‘rebirth’ process.

So, can I get a ‘yay, malachite!’ now?

Thought so.

Welcome to the crew, malachite. I think you’re going to fit in just fine… ♥

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Ayurvedic spring cleaning

Now that spring is here, you may be considering undertaking some good ol’ spring cleaning. As I’ve said, this is a great time of year to make changes- out with the old and in with the new. Powerful forces are present to support any little seedling intentions that we wish to manifest. Working consciously with them is like a power-boost to our manifestation.

If your spring cleaning includes ditching any old habits or patterns that affect the body, the equinoxes are a great time for an Ayurvedic cleanse.

In Ayurveda, the seasons have a predominant dosha just as human beings do. Spring is a kapha season- with the wetness of spring rains and the heaviness of the saturated earth as comes back to life.

Following an Ayuvedic ‘spring cleaning’ program can help balance kapha in the body. Less kapha means less heaviness and more energy. Less inertia and more action.

Working with Mother Nature in this way is a great way to jumpstart any goals you have concerning your health and wellbeing. I don’t know about you… but I can use all the help I can get ♥

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Hey there, Nature Devas

For many, the Spring Equinox is symbolic of rejuvenation in various forms and facets. The rebirth time in earthly cycles has come again. There are many ways in which a feeling of newness and possibility can manifest at this time of year.

Maybe you are inspired to undertake spring cleaning in your home- allowing the old junk to move out and make room for new things to come in. Maybe the milder weather and the prospect of summer on the horizon motivates you to get out and move around more. There are many ways to plant seeds during this season so that you may enjoy them throughout the year.

If the seeds you will be planting are literal, you have a great opportunity to connect with the Nature Devas. “The word deva comes from the Sanskrit language, meaning ‘a being of brilliant light’ and is used to indicate a non-physical being.” (via Soul-Guidance). They are nature spirits.

Even if you do not have a garden or grow any plants, you can send them a little love for the nourishing food that they help grow for you. You can send thanks when you appreciate the beauty of Mother Nature. They’re her entourage.

Take some time and include the Nature Devas as you celebrate the beginning of spring. They’re working hard this time of year!

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Prepping the soil

The buzzwords of this week (according to me)? Ritual, observance, fasting, prayer, new beginnings.

Monday marked Mahashivaratri, the Great Night of Shiva- a Hindu festival of fasting, prayer, and rituals. Worshippers of Shiva believe that their observances during Shivaratri will grant them expiation of all sins they have committed in the prior year. A fresh start.

Tuesday brought the new moon, which I observe as a monthly day of renewal and manifestation of my intentions- allowing them to come into being as the moon waxes.

And today (Wednesday)? Not only is it Losar (Tibetan New Year), it is also Ash Wednesday.

I was raised in a Catholic family. Or more accurately- I had devout Catholic grandparents, and I went to church on Christmas, Easter, and Sunday mornings after I had had a sleepover with my beloved Gram and Pap.

Lent was my first experience with fasting- a practice that I later embraced as an adult. My early memories of Lent include my grandfather giving up everything he enjoyed for the entire duration. I remember sitting at his right hand at the breakfast table on Easter morning, watching with delight as he had his first tastes of the things he had given up for Lent. I remember egging him on, making suggestions as to what should be his next reclaimed indulgence. Of course, my Johnny is a wonderful, wonderful man with a heart packed full of love for his family. I’m sure he played up the joy of breaking the fast to encourage my smiles and giggles.

Now, I sit here as a grown-up (??) who has found my way to the spiritual path. I love and adore Jesus, though my questing has hardly been limited to Christianity. It has led me all over- far, near, unfamiliar places, and the deepest places within my Self. It has even led me back to a curiosity about the religion I had ‘grown up’ with, beginning with Paramahansa Yogananda’s powerful and profound readings of Christian scripture.

With all of the observances of new beginnings happening this week, I felt a call to learn more about the Christian observances known as Lent. My initial experiences with Lent registered as something like an endurance test of self-deprivation. Giving up everything that brings you pleasure because… someone told you to do it. As a child, I understood that (follow the rules). As a teen, I rebelled and turned my back on the whole idea. As an adult who embraces a very personal version of spirit and spirituality, I have a renewed interest in Lent and what it all means.

The original Latin word for ‘Lent’ was Quadragesima, meaning ‘fortieth’. Although 40 has various significances in Christian scripture, the 40 days (+ or -) of Lent are generally described as a reflection of the 40 days Jesus spent “fasting in the desert before the beginning of his public ministry, where he endured temptation by Satan.”

The observances of Lent are many, mostly focusing on giving up anything that tempts indulgence. Some devotees in the Eastern world even adhere to a vegan diet for the entire 40 days!

Through my adventures in yoga, I’ve become familiar with the yama Aparigraha (non-attachment), which urges the individual to renounce earthly attachments and give their undivided attention to God. ‘Clinging’ is another translation. Clinging to objects or attachments that keep the individual separate from The Whole.

So, the ‘renunciation’ bit, I get. Fasting, I get. But all of these other words came up as well. Penance, denial, deprivation, grief, repentance. Well… they remind me of the ‘Lent’ I remember. The ‘God’ I’ve come to know is not a harsh or punitive authority. He did not put us here to suffer??

As I read on, I discovered that ‘Quadragesima’ transformed to ‘Lent’ as the Church transitioned from Latin to the vernacular. ‘Lent’ derives from the German word ‘Lenz’ or the Dutch word ‘Lente’, meaning ‘Spring’, which totally makes sense to me.

Spring is coming! Recall way, way back when I mentioned those seedling intentions that we can nurture in the new moon? Cycles and symbols reappear in different incarnations over and over. Springtime is the calendar year’s new moon. It’s the time when we plant the seeds that will grow to maturity this year. Spring cleaning ring a bell?

March 21 marks the Spring Equinox (a holy day in many traditions). Even the word ‘Easter’ derives from the name of the Germanic goddess Eostre, the goddess of virginity and rebirth. This time, leading up to Easter or the beginning of Spring, is a time to prep the soil. Overcome temptations and indulgences so that the field is renewed for the next generation of seedlings to be (re)born. Align with the Divine so that our attachments no longer hold us back- allowing our Christ Consciousness to (re)emerge.

When the table is set on Easter morning, where will I sit? Will I dive back into my indulgences with aplomb? Or will they be mourned and released? And my Self? Resurrected into a new way of being…?

Best wishes to all in manifesting the highest and best version of their Self in this auspicious time of year… Check out these wonderful suggestions for observing Lent even if you are not Catholic (via BeliefNet) ♥

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Mahashivaratri blessings


Body as Temple – Shivratri poem
The rich will make temples for Shiva. What shall I a poor man do?
My legs are pillars.The body the shrine
The head a cupola of gold.
O Lord of the meeting rivers
Things standing shall fall
But the moving ever shall stay.

~Basavanna, revolution Vira Saiva poet who made teachings available to all, women, men of all castes and backgrounds

Mahashivaratri Blessings!

Join us tonight as all prayers, mantra, meditation, the smallest of offerings are amplified with the New Moon of Shivratri as over a billion beings around the world offer their own form of sadhana. Some will fast all day and night staying up in the home or temples, some in silence, some in kirtan or mantra japa, some offering elaborate puja, some offering a simple fruit or flower. We will be in a hour process of meditation and mantra and some simple movement meditation for all.

With this new moon it is a beautiful time to clear your inner and outer space, listen to mantra or kirtan, read sacred texts, Shiva Sutras, YogaSpandakarikas, Shiva Puranas, take an energy regeneration retreat, take a break from all media, unplug at sundown and use only candle light or ghee lamps. Enjoy a ritual yoga practice and meditation, a japa walk with mantra, love your family and friends and anyone you encounter as an emanation of the One.

Mahashivaratri is a time outside of time for realization and alignment with auspicious (one of the meanings of Siva) consciousness at the heart of all beings. Have a blessed night, day and new moon renewal.”

~Shiva Rea (via Facebook)

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Weekly wisdom from Doreen Virtue

It’s the last week for the Romance Angels. It’s the last week of their run, leading up to Valentine’s Day today. And once again, I think it’s an amazing reading. Shock. You never would have guessed that, right?

I especially love her suggestion to focus on clearing and healing this weekend- and her meditation to facilitate this is so good. Enjoy. Injoy, everyone!

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