I teach yoga to persons with disabilities where the person often has a weaker side which sometimes cannot move without assistance. In class I often encourage them to do the pose or movement on the stronger/ dominant side first to really feel in their body how the movement feels. I then encourage them to close their eyes and visualize the second side doing the same movement. They will often find an increase in strength and flexibility on the weaker side. There have been studies done on the powerful effects of visualization even for athletes. Check out this link.
One morning right before I awoke, I had a dream I was in Crane (Bakasana) Pose. In my dream, I could feel my abdominal muscles engaging and all the muscles working that needed to work. During my morning practice, I told my husband my dream and that I was going to see if I could do the pose, which I could not do before. Wow, I got into the pose with ease. I shared my experience with my students and encourage them to keep visualizing!
What is something you want for your life? Try some visualization. I would love to hear how it works for you!
“To bring anything into your life, imagine that it’s already there.” Richard Bach
I hope you’ve enjoyed this 4 week Meditation/Mindfulness Journey with me. I hope you have found more ways to be present for your life and those around you. Maybe you’ve found that sitting everyday is a challenge but have found mindfulness in your day to day activities. As a result, you are living with less stress and the increased ability to be more responsive versus reactive with the difficulties that arise in the ups and downs of life. I invite you to continue your Meditation/Mindfulness Journey and, would love to hear in the comment section how it is affecting your life and those around you.
Today or this week, I invite you to do a moving meditation. This can be a yoga practice if you do yoga or, a walking meditation. If walking is a challenge but you are able to walk with the assistance of a cane, I invite you to try walking backwards next to a wall using the wall for support. PLEASE only do this if your doctor says it is okay and if you have support and a friend or loved one near. Walking backwards is helpful for alignment of the pelvis over the legs and, may help you to feel more balanced.
As a side note, my son came downstairs this morning and noted that he heard birds singing, I do believe spring is coming.
“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.”
― Jon Kabat-Zinn
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Tagged beautiful nature, contemplative time, health, healthy-living, Jon Kabat-Zinn, little inspiration, meditation, mindfulness, moving meditation, MS yoga, self-care, transformation, walking meditation, yoga
Here we are at week 2 of our Meditation/Mindfulness Journey. This week’s practice is Loving Kindness Meditation or Metta Meditation. Typically with Loving Kindness Meditation we start with offering loving kindness to ourselves followed by our loved ones and then, to persons that are neutral, for example, the grocery store clerk a stranger on the street, finally, we offer loving kindness to people we find it difficult to be around. You could spend a month or more offering loving kindness to yourself if you feel the need or desire. After all, we need to love and accept ourselves truly before we can love others.
How: Find a comfortable position and settle in. Becoming aware of sensations in the body and then noticing your breath. Bring your awareness into your heart, maybe placing your hands on your heart. Silently repeating these phrases or, any that feel more comfortable to you, 2-3 times. As you are ready you can progress to loved ones and so on:
May I be healthy in body and mind
May I be happy
May I live with ease and in peace
According to Jack Kornfield in Meditation for Beginners, Mahatma Gandhi said, “I believe in the essential unity of all beings, and so I understand deeply that if one person gains spiritually, the whole world gains. If one person falls, the whole world falls to that extent.” Kornfield contines, “thus to wish others well or to send loving thoughts and prayers to another is not simply a rote or automatic activity. The practice is based on the effect our thoughts and feelings and actions have on the world around us.”
“When you plant lovingkindess in the garden of your heart and continue to regularly nourish and fertilize it, it will begin to spread and grow.” Jack Kornfield
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Tagged beautiful nature, community, contemplative time, health, healthy-living, Jack Kornfield, loving kindness meditation, Mahatma Gandhi, meditation, mental-health, mindfulness, MS yoga, self-care, stress, transformation, yoga
The start of a new year offers a time to reflect on what is working for you and what is not; what thoughts and actions are leading you to your best self. The beginning of a new year opens the door to possibilities. My yoga practice deepens my life experiences and fosters a life lived intentionally. Yoga offers me the tools with which to look inside to discover who I am and my purpose in life. Many use yoga as a form of exercise to tone, stretch and strengthen their body. If this is what you are looking for, you will find it. Yoga can offer so much more as well. A consistent yoga practice can offer relief from physical and mental pain and lead one to potential inner happiness. Maybe you set New Years’ Resolutions every year and find that by the end of the first month you have forgotten about them or thrown in the towel, seeing the “resolutions” as unattainable. I invite you instead to open yourself to the possibilities of what this new year can bring you with small but meaningful changes by giving yoga a try. Yoga is not just for the flexible, (which actually, I’m not naturally flexible). If you can breathe, you can do yoga. Real Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis DVD was created to reach those with MS. However, anyone can benefit from the yoga practices on this DVD. We are offering free shipping and handling for the month of January 2014. Check out this sneak preview of our DVD.
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Tagged change, contemplative time, gentle yoga, happiness, health, healthy-living, hope, intention, life's purpose, listening to your body, little inspiration, mental-health, MS yoga, New Years' Resolutions, partner yoga, possibilities, Real Yoga for MS, self-care, stress, transformation, yoga
Oh, it feels so good to be back here! It has been a whirlwind of amazing opportunities and activities. I am in the final stages of becoming an Urban Zen Integrative Therapist, (so excited about this and will post more about this soon), I’m also in the final stages of making a Yoga DVD for Multiple Sclerosis, as well as enjoying all the wonderful yoga classes I’m teaching. I feel so blessed. With all this activity underway and the continued life as a mother, I needed to be resourceful in finding ways to care for myself without which none of the aforementioned work could happen. I would arrive early for work and have a few minutes to read or walk through a nearby park, as the weather got nice, I would go to our Conservatory’s beautiful outdoor areas and eat my freshly made salad in a jar, nurturing my body and soul before heading off to nurture others with my Urban Zen tools. I realized I had “pockets of peace”, these were breaks in between work and clinicals in which I spent time alone and often outdoors. These “pockets of peace” really seemed to refresh me and help me stay grounded and present for the rest of my day. I encourage you, if you feel you are too busy to find time for yourself, to look for “pockets of peace”, time to be outdoors, take in a good book, meditate, breathe and just be.
“Only when one is connected to one’s own core is one connected to others, I am beginning to discover. And for me, the core, the inner spring, can best be refound through solitude.” Anne Morrow Lindbergh