Category: Yoga

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Why Appreciate the Body?

In yoga, the self-reflective question “Who am I?” is often posed as an invocation of personal meditation, or deep contemplation, on the critical query of discovering one’s true Self. It is an invitation for each of us to reflect, in detail, the meaning behind the “I” that we so strongly identify and associate with. Or rather, have mistakenly been conditioned to believe is who we are.

How difficult can it be to answer this 3-worded question?

I am… my name. Am I not?
I am… my nationality; a patriotic representation of my country. Am I not?

I am… this human being that you see and that I, too, see reflected in photographs and the mirror; I am the unique composition of my physical features. I am this body. Am I not?

I am… the voice behind my thoughts; a combination of my intellect, opinions, beliefs, and personality. I, therefore, am my mind. Am I not?

One must not be fooled with the simple sounding nature of this question by responding so simply when recognizing and acknowledging our Self. Then how to begin answering this undoubtedly vital and personally intricate topic?


It is important for one to first differentiate and shed light on this pivotal misconception: You are not this body, you are not the mind. I myself, was not told this differentiation so plainly and clearly until I was sitting in a Vedic philosophy class in Toronto, in 2013 – and how I wish I knew this sooner! Well, I believe as I child I knew, but then as we age we often forget our inherent disposition. But if we are neither the body or mind, who are we? Who am I within the body? And here begins the journey of discovering ourselves as a Spirit Soul.

A Yogic Perspective

Yoga values the science of self-realization. Literally, to bring awareness to one’s Self. In the West, physical yoga is very popular… you may even do it yourself. Did you know that this physical (or Hatha) Yoga is meant to prepare us for long periods of meditation? To use our bodies as a tool to engage in transcendental meditative practice, for self-realization. There are many beautiful ways in which the body can aid us in discovering who we really are. This leads me to what I wished to share today, as it is something I have had a hard time understanding over the course of my own life time: how to view the body as an instrument in facilitating Spiritual growth. But how do we acknowledge we are not the body, yet not consequentially be frustrated with it for ‘containing’ us, this Spirit Soul? I, myself, for many years felt trapped inside my body, angry for feeling limited within it. I quite literally picked my skin as a form of expressing this negative view of my skin encasing me. Of course, only furthering hyper body awareness, which many people experience.

Changing Pain to Appreciation

How to switch my perspective, while remaining respectful to the truth and science of yogic wisdom? That we are Spirit that is not born nor doesn’t die with our bodies. This is what I concluded. The body houses the Soul, gives it opportunity to experience this life and LIVE. Our one of a kind, beautiful body is the physical, material manifestation of our unique Soul. Therefore, our bodies truly are a temple of God (whoever God/Source may be to you).

Appreciating the body, yet not identifying with it, takes practice and patience. It is interesting to observe and feel how we are so closely bound to our attachments, especially regarding the body. As a young girl who was taught from others’ comments to hate her body, I can personally state from experience that revering my body as a ‘temple of God’ was not my idea of fun. Though the perspective of this ancient knowledge has undoubtedly been a source of liberation from the chains I once felt were comprised of this skin.

Celebrating the Body

Let’s talk about meditation-specific ways to appreciate the body. There are countless customs in a myriad of various cultures for how we can adorn and celebrate who we are, where we came from, through using our bodies to glorify our true and authentic selves within. For example, a devotee of Lord Krishna decorates the body with tilaka (sandalwood paste), as a reminder of Krishna, as well as to receive protection from the Lord. For us in the West who are inundated with societal pressures and expectations: instead of causing harm and destruction to the body (guilty), sabotaging it – even if that’s simply by comparing it to others or the initially innocent habit of emotional eating, etc. (again, guilty), or despising it for it not working properly for us as a result of injury or the inescapable course of aging… here is what we CAN do. We can respect and care for it as a residence of God. The Soul lives within the body, as well as the Paramatma, what is translated from Sanskrit to be called the ‘Supersoul’.

The 5 Senses

In addition, we can also employ the different senses our body already has for spiritual advancement. The tongue, for instance, can be used to chant or do mantra meditation, performed on mala beads. Tiny Devotions carries a beautiful variety of mala beads with semi-precious gemstones, created with the highest intentions of healing and peace. Wearing mala beads on your body is a useful and positively helpful method because, of course, you regularly see the mala on yourself, thus it cues you to stop and take time throughout your day to meditate and quiet the mind. They act as a great self-reminder and guide in this way, so that no matter what stress may be accumulating in your day, you can quickly and easily access the mala that is adorning your body – engage the sense of touch, connect with its strength and intrinsic potency – and dive inward. Expanding further with the senses: the nose can smell beautiful incense or candles or essential oils; we can hear scriptures or classes from learned, enlightened beings/Gurus/monks, and so on. I hope these ideas expand your current concepts and make room for new, simple and highly effective techniques you can try out and adopt into your daily life. After all, we are creatures of habit!

We All Seek Connection

To conclude, let us not forget that the word “yoga” means ‘union’, or to ‘connect’. I encourage you to remember as often as you consciously can, that in order to connect our Spirit Souls to that which created us, we must be in union with the manifestations of our Spirit Soul, including our beloved bodies. Our bodies are unique and sacred. Let us set some goals to implement into our personal practice as well as mindfully throughout our days as best as we can from here on, toward treating our bodies as our own best friend and have them assist us, versus deter us, from our inherent disposition of being happy, kind, and free Spirits. I wish this helps you view your body in a mode of goodness, with love and self-respect. You deserve it!

Namaste, With love and light,

MM0602Melinda Michael is an active pursuer of discovering the root of knowledge and the best methods that lead us on paths of discovering eternal happiness (not temporary). It has really been a calling of hers throughout her life to seek the oldest sources on any topic matter, though spirituality, religion, language, culture and history have been of keen interest. She has spent the past 5 years specifically searching and engaging herself in an abundant number of techniques from around the world for meditation (listed below). She has come to find a beautiful harmony between music and meditation, and her favourite activity is playing her harmonium while singing in group Kirtans. Melinda’s mindset is one of determination and resilience for overcoming obstacles, especially out of the throttles of anxiety and depression and chronic digestive disorders. She hopes to share her story and the information she has accumulated over the years from her own, personal journey toward serving others to attain a happy and health mind, body and Spirit.

If anyone is curious about any of the following practices, feel free to reach out. Melinda is happy to guide you as best as she can.

  • Reiki – Melinda is a certified Reiki practitioner and is available for in-person or long distance healing sessions.
  • Mantra Meditation or Chanting
  • Musical Meditation (Kirtan)
  • Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-free Nutrition
  • Manifestation
  • Brainwave Optimization
  • EFT (Emotional Freedom Therapy, or “Tapping”)
  • NDT (New Decision Therapy)
  • TMS (Trans Magnetic Stimulation)
  • CBT (Cognitive Beahvior Therapy)
  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
  • NES Health
  • Mindfulness
  • Psychodrama
  • Bach flower remedies
  • Osteopathy
  • Acupuncture
  • Cranial Sacral Therapy
  • Ozone Therapy
  • Colon Hydrotherapy
  • More Meditation Methods, like: The Lester Levenson Love Technique, theHeadless Way by Richard Lang, Direct Inquiry, Noting Meditation, and Group Awareness

Have fun engaging with Melinda on social media!
Instagram Twitter

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Bija Manifestation Meditation: The Seed of Life

Seed of Life

The Seed of Life’s sacred geometry is composed of seven overlapping circles. The number seven channels the powers of the universe and vibrates with the energies of spiritual awakening. Representing cycles and infinite possibilities, it holds a fertile energy which initiates new beginnings.

The Seed of Life ring holds the energy of creation, manifestation, and wholeness. Wearing the pattern reminds us to tap into the extraordinary creation energies that surround us and ignite our inherent manifesting powers.

Tune into your heart’s truest dreams and desires and welcome them to the surface.

Bija Mantra

Bija is the sanskirt word for seed. It represents the origin and cause of all things.

Made up of 7 seed syllabus, the bija mantra holds a highly powerful fertile + creative energy, much like the seed of life itself. Each mantra is also associated with a chakra, and a mudra (hand position). By reciting these mantras and holding the mudras, you can channel the seed energy of creation in order to manifest your hearts truest dreams + desires.

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1. LAM

Root Chakra

Mudra: Thumb to pointer finger

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2. VAM

Sacral Chakra

Mudra: Thumb to middle finger

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3. RAM

Solar Plexus Chakra

Mudra: Thumb to ring finger

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4. YAM

Heart Chakra

Mudra: Thumb to pinky finger

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5. HAM

Throat Chakra

Mudra: Thumb to base of pinky finger

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6. OM

Throat Chakra

Mudra: Hand open

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7. OM (or silence)

Crown Chakra

Mudra: Hand open (or pause)

 


Jamie Diana Yoga Teacher

Jamie Diana is our in house ambassador & inspiration guru. She is a yoga teacher + writer who is dedicated to empowering women to live magically and experience their best lives through yoga, meditation, goddess work, moon manifesting, and natural wellness.

Yoga Poses + Gemstones for Grounding

To be grounded means to be centred within yourself.

To be rooted deeply in the power of who you are.

To trust in a higher power.

To feel  balanced + stable.

To feel safe + secure.

Have you ever felt like you were swirling or spinning out of control? Like you’ve lost the essence of who you are, or like you need to reconnect? These are signs that you aren’t grounded. In order lead a well balanced life where we feel centred + at peace, it is crucial to stay grounded.

Connection to the earth is an important part of all grounding practices. The root chakra (Muladhara) is one of the best ways to ignite your connection with the earth. The root chakra is a centre of energy in the body which resides at the base of the spine. It rules feelings of safety + security, grounding + balance. The sanskirt word for root chakra, Muladhara breaks down into two parts: Mula = root, Adhara = support or base. There are many ways to connect with this chakra, keep reading to learn more!

Yoga is an amazing way to stay grounded, especially if practiced outdoors, close to the earth. Below are three of our favourite poses for grounding. These poses focus on the root chakra.

 

Grounding yoga poses that support the root chakra:

Malasana, Squat pose

A symmetrical pose, Squat keeps you close to the earth and inspires you to be centred + balanced.

As you inhale, visualize yourself drawing up earth energy,

As you exhale, visualize yourself sending roots into the earth.

Utkata Konasana, Goddess pose

Another symmetrical pose, Goddess pose gives you a strong foundation.

Feel the powerful energy of who you are.

Fierce + Strong.

Hug to your midline as you expand.

Natarajasana, Dancer pose

Any balancing posture is a great way to ignite your root chakra. Encouraging you to send down deep roots so that you may rise to great heights.

Find your centre.

Root to Rise.

Gemstones for grounding:

Carrying or wearing gemstones is simple yet effective way stay grounded. These sacred stones hold earth energies within them that can bring balance + security into every moment of your day. Tiny Devotions has just launched a new Grounding collection, each of the beautiful malas within this collection are said to assist the wearer in staying grounded. They are also deeply protected, supporting your root chakra and encouraging you to feel safe + secure.

Check them out here.

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img_5023Jamie Diana is our in house ambassador & inspiration guru. She is a yoga teacher + writer who is dedicated to empowering women to live magically and experience their best lives through yoga, meditation, goddess work, moon manifesting, and natural wellness.

 

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Intentions and Creating Your Wildest Dreams: 7 tips for being Limitless

My best friend and I decided we were going to make a movie. Together, we wrote the script when we were supposed to be filling out worksheets in science class. I borrowed my dad’s old video camera – the one with the mini bungie cord wrapped around it to prevent the tape deck from popping open. We climbed up the hills behind my house and trekked through the riverbed taking snapshots of scene locations. She made dolls out of puff balls to represent each character. We were twelve years old.

As adults, we don’t need to go in search of our wildest dreams as much as we recover them. The seeds of our heart’s desire were always there with us. Yet, without cultivation, so many have stayed tiny seeds and we have forgotten about them or misplaced them. Or perhaps, they started to sprout and turned out to be something different than we expected – oak trees instead of tomato plants, thorny roses instead of delicate poppies. So how do we find those seeds buried deep within us and make sure they get the nutrients they need?

Dream like a kid:

Give yourself time to flop down on the grass and watch the clouds.Make a mess for the fun of it.

Do anything you would’ve loved to do as a kid:

When we practice being limitless and free, our thoughts become limitless and free as well. When our thoughts become limitless and free, our lives become limitless and free.

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Make it visual:

Get out your glitter and glue. Finally make that vision board or any kind of visual representation of what you want out of life. Perhaps, you make a single 3D object or only post one quote. Remember: no rules or limits. Just put together a visual reminder of what is possible in your life. Think of it as your north star. If you can’t imagine where you want to go, you won’t know what direction to start moving in.

Do something wild everyday:

We can get so hung up on how our dreams are too big or too impossible. We start living from a place of lack and fear – a place of “I can’t do that.” Be a little naughty. Be a little nutty.

Do something you’ve always wanted to do but you were afraid that it wasn’t sensible:

Eat a dragon fruit. Read a teen novel. Buy a hammock. Paint a wall orange. You don’t have to go jumping into the deep end of your dreams. Dog paddle out. Little risk by little risk. You’ll still get there.

Let go of the outcome:

Decide right now to love the process of moving in the direction of your dreams. My best friend and I never finished that movie. But it is still one of my most cherished memories. And, this year, I optioned my first screenplay and she became an amazingly creative elementary school teacher. Who knows what will happen? You will never lose your experiences. You will not be lesser for trying even if things don’t end up looking like you expected. Even if your roses don’t grow this year, enjoy getting your hands dirty in the rich, moist earth. Kids know the mess is half the fun and who cares about the result. So, remember what you already know. Reconnect to passion, not expectation.

Forget what other people think:

Following someone else’s path will lead you to fulfilling someone else’s dreams. Remind yourself that you are unique. You have your dhrama and other people have theirs. This is not a post on fulfilling your most vanilla dreams, your safest dreams, the dreams your mother approves of. This is a post about wild dreams. Wild dreams should ruffle a few feathers and raise a few eyebrows. Wild dreams should go tearing through the house. These dreams are not hemmed in by the captivity of convention. They’re not worried about being polite. They were born to run free and all you need to do is enjoy the ride.

danielle-orner-robin-roemer-1Danielle Orner is a Cancer survivor, yoga teacher, vegan, actor and writer. She has explored yoga, veganism and living authentically to heal from cancer and see beauty in a completely different way. See more of her powerful life below! 

Web: www.danielleorner.com
Facebook: Danielle Orner
Twitter: @DanielleOrner

5 Ways to Reset + Rebalance in September

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We launch into September with an intense Virgo Super New Moon and Solar Eclipse on September 1st at 5:02 am EDT with 5 ways to realign your routine:

1. Create Order and Healthy Habits.

Now that the summer is over, we can pick back up on routines that support our health and well being. Change up your physical routine, restructure your eating habits, take up a new class, get organized, clean out the closets, or whatever you do to focus on feeling healthy and being organized.

2. Restore Balance with Essential Oils, Yoga and Meditation.

Yoga poses such as camel pose, cobra, eagle, triangle pose, and cat/cow poses help open restrictive energy within the heart and restore flow. Wear your essential oils over the heart prior to yoga.

3. Journal with the Full (Harvest) Moon

On September 16th to release, restore balance and create clarity.

What healthy habits & routines do I want to create?
Where do I need to be more organized?
Where do I need to create space in my life?

4. Embrace your talents & passion

Discover what it means to Aim True in our lives with Tiny Devotions Ambassador Kathryn Budig at Yoga Journal Live, Colorado Sept. 22nd – 25th.

5. Celebrate #NationalCoffeeDay September 24th. 

We ❤️ the smell of coffee + new beginnings.

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