Understanding Violence

“When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent.

Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind.
When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence.

So a person who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.”

~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
In yoga we honor the practice of ahimsa, or non violence. There is also the understanding that we are all connected and are not separate beings. It is the persona or ego that keeps us separate and fearful. The path of yoga is to awaken to our interconnectedness and to see ourselves in others.
May we all continue to plant seeds that bring us together instead of tearing us apart.

Want to feel Secure? Breathe!

feeling insecure

Source: WikiHow

“There is a contradiction in wanting to be perfectly secure in a universe whose very nature is momentariness and fluidity.
But the contradiction lies a little deeper than the mere conflict between the desire for security and the fact of change.

If I want to be secure, that is, protected from the flux of life, I am wanting to be separate from life. Yet it is this very sense of separateness which makes me feel insecure.
To be secure means to isolate and fortify the “I,” but it is just the feeling of being an isolated “I” which makes me feel lonely and afraid.

In other words, the more security I can get, the more I shall want.
To put it still more plainly: the desire for security and the feeling of insecurity are the same thing.

To hold your breath is to lose your breath. A society based on the quest for security is nothing but a breath-retention contest in which everyone is as taut as a drum and as purple as a beet.”

~ Alan Watts

How are your breathing right now? I’m smiling, because I was holding my breath as I read this.

When we bring awareness to our thoughts, feelings and especially our breath, we set the foundation for finding our middle ground and inner peace.

Holding our breath is a defense mechanism of the human body. It prepares us to react to a threat. However, it increases the tension and stress in the body, rather than bringing it to a state of balance.

In yoga we learn to deepen the breath when sensation increases. We breathe through tension and discomfort and allow the energy to keep flowing, rather than contracting and adding more tension.

Yoga is an invitation to become present in our bodies. We connect mind to body via our breath. It helps us relax, breathe, feel, and where possible let go.
Ultimately this helps us make more skillful, conscious choices and allows us to feel grounded and secure in life.
And it all starts with the breath.

Find out more about yoga breathing by clicking here.

 

The Other Side of Comfort

chair

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

“Those who want comfort in life have to seek conformity.
The result is false compromise and hypocrisy,
and a life without integrity becomes a patchwork.”

~ Swami Avyaktananda

I read this inspiration today in class and it seemed to resonate on many levels.

Enjoy connecting with what is true for you.

Namaste

The Path of Real Love

affection afterglow backlit blur

Photo by luizclas on Pexels.com

Our life experience and level of consciousness creates different planes of existence. This can be seen in how we perceive love and how it shows in our lives.

Conditional love relies on others to make us feel happy. This conditioning comes from our childhood, when we were small, helpless and dependent on others to take care of us. We loved them for making us feel safe and loved. When we love conditionally we expect others to fulfill our needs and support us in what we want.

When we seek approval from an other by trying to please them, this is conditional love. We may think “If I do this for you, then you will love me more. I will be rewarded with attention. If I buy you the best ring, the world will see how much I love you” This kind of conditional love remains for many of us as we go through life.

We need other people to make us feel special, important and loved. We expect our wives, husbands or children to make us happy by behaving the way our ego desires.
And so begins married life with expectations and demands from each other, based on individual desires and needs.

This kind of love keeps us separate and apart. It makes us feel better as long as we feel we are receiving it. However, as soon as we feel neglected or ignored, or when the love is withdrawn, we feel bereft and unloved, or worse, unlovable.

Conditional love prevents us from growing spiritually. It has nothing to do with real or unconditional love.

Unconditional love comes from a deeper sense of awareness and being. It is essential for us to grow as spiritual beings and awaken to our fullest potential.

When you truly love someone, you love the Light within them.

With true love you are happy for others and want them to express themselves in the world…. not follow a certain path that you believe is right.
You love yourself, warts and all, and have let go of inner criticism. You appreciate and have love for humankind…. without condition.

The sense of separateness and isolation diminishes, as you see the Love in others. The ego’s desires lose their power over your choices and decisions in life.  The fullness of Love grows and you feel connection to your inner Self, as well as others.

The process of enlightenment is the path to appreciate the Light within yourself and recognizing it in those you love,  then allowing it to expand and express itself to others and into the world.

Find the Light and Love within yourself in your Middle Ground.

Namaste

How Yoga Heals

This is a re-post for those of you who are interested in exploring yoga for your health and wellbeing.

oooOOooo

yoga for wellbeing

Thanks to Nancy over at Spirit Lights the Way for sparking some yoga inspiration!

I take a therapeutic approach to my Yoga teaching; focusing on body awareness, mindfulness and the breath. To me its more than a physical work out.

I love this quote from Georg Feuerstein taken from Yoga Gems:
“Beginners on the yogic path would do well to understand correctly what Yoga is all about and to then approach it accordingly.
There is a humorous saying in Yoga circles that Yoga has been reduced to the practice of postures, and that postures have been reduced to stretching, and that stretching has been reduced to lengthening the hamstrings. Authentic Yoga is always a spiritual discipline, even when the focus is on the body, as it is in Hatha Yoga.”

The intention of Yoga is the quieten the mind and connect with our inner spirit, consciousness or higher power. Read more about it on my Yoga page.

In his book “Yoga as Medicine” Dr Timothy McCall shares 40 ways that Yoga (Poses, Breathing and Meditation) heals:

  1. Increases flexibility
  2. Strengthen muscles
  3. Improves balance
  4. Improves immune function
  5. Improves posture
  6. Improves lung function
  7. Leads to slower and deeper breathing
  8. Discourages mouth breathing
  9. Increases oxygenation of the tissues
  10. Improves joint health
  11. Nourishes intervertebral discs
  12. Improves return of venous blood
  13. Increases circulation of lymph
  14. Improves circulation of the feet
  15. Improves proprioception (awareness of body in space)
  16. Increases control of bodily functions
  17. Strengthens bones
  18. Conditions the cardiovascular system
  19. Promotes weight loss
  20. Relaxes the nervous system and reduces anxiety
  21. Improves the function of the nervous system
  22. Improves brain function
  23. Activates the left prefrontal cortex
  24. Changes neurotransmitter levels
  25. Lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol
  26. Lowers blood sugar
  27. Lowers blood pressure
  28. Improves levels of cholesterol and triglycerides
  29. Thins the blood
  30. Improves bowel function
  31. Releases unconscious muscle gripping
  32. Uses imagery to effect change in the body
  33. Relieves pain
  34. Lowers need for medication
  35. Fosters healthier relationships
  36. Improves psychological health and mood
  37. Leads to healthier habits
  38. Fosters spiritual growth
  39. Elicits the placebo effect
  40. Encourages involvement in your own healing

This list still wows me!

If you are young – there is every reason in the world to start now. Do it!

If you are in Mid life – it isn’t too late. I started yoga in my 40’s and it changed my life. This is where I find my middle ground every day.
Find a studio and a teacher that you can relate to and feel supported by. A word of caution here. Not every Yoga offered in classes is the same. Unless you are an athlete, avoid Vinyasa or Power Yoga.

Even if you are elderly and have a number of health and physical issues, finding an experienced trained teacher with a therapeutic approach can lead to a more active and healthy life… and a sense of peace and wellbeing.

yoga heals

So many people try Yoga in gyms these days. Please be careful as the focus is usually on having a physical workout. In my experience the instructors may not be as experienced, there is less personal attention and less time for relaxation and mindfulness.

For me, Yoga is about balance, alignment and inner peace. Finding balance and peace in our lives and alignment of our mind body and spirit… on and off the mat.

Namaste

Inner Alignment

Photo by Garon Piceli on Pexels.com

 

We live in a self absorbed society where everything seems to be directed to feeding the insatiable and bored little “me”.

When we start finding our Middle Ground, we get in touch with our inner being and experience what is happening in the moment. This inner world includes our thoughts, beliefs, needs, feelings and knowing what really matters to us – our values.

We become observers of ourselves.

We come nurturers of our inner being instead of critics.

Life becomes more satisfying just as it is. There is less need for stimulation, excitement and acquiring of things to prove to ourselves, entertain us, show others, or to keep boredom at bay.

This shift can happen in a moment or over a space of time … and is available to all of us.

Through yoga, I learned that this feeling of centered contentment was when my mind, body and spirit are aligned and in harmony.

I call this place of inner alignment the Middle Ground.

Thank you for joining me here 💛

Inspiration – Life is Joy

This is a re-blog . To all the heroes our there – Have a joy filled day today.
little superhero

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy.

I awoke and saw that life was service.

I acted and behold, service was joy.”

~ Rabindranath Tagore

Instead of searching for joy from what the world can give you, turn it around and give yourself to the world.

Take a moment and consider…

How am I serving others?
How can I contribute to what I want most for the world?

May we all find a life of joy in serving others.

Namaste