January 01, 2018
Sankalpa - an ancient Sanskrit word - means intention, purpose, commitment. Sankalpa are set before yoga practice, and are connected with while in the flow. Like New Year’s resolutions, sankalpa are about positive change that brings out the best in you for a happier life. However, there is one striking way in which sankalpa are different from New Year’s resolutions.
Resolutions are harsh. Resolutions say this is hard. They punish you when they’re broken. Once you’ve had enough, New Year’s resolutions get cut up, tossed to the side and forgotten about. (At least until next year…)
On the flip side, Sankalpa are kind. They know that the road from intending to having is built on choosing. Over and over and over, step by step by step.
Sankalpa are mindful, conscious efforts to achieve a goal in a way that is truly supportive. Sankalpa explores motivation and inspires curiosity. They pay respect to effort and determination. They do not punish slip ups or being wrong, instead they provide understanding, forgiveness and love.
This New Year’s Eve did you make a resolution or a sankalpa? (Resolved to do more yoga in 2018? Save $25 on your yoga journey with A New You in 2018 Yoga Bundle deal!)
Integrity means being fully whole, at one with your true self and committed to living from your essential nature. We are the source of what we are feeling. Listening to sensations in our bodies unlocks the secrets of how we feel.
Shoulders tight? That’s anger.
Gut tied in a knot? That’s fear.
Heart warm and open? Pure joy.
What is your body telling you right now? If you allow your inner experience to be true, it will always make sense.
Little annoyances build up over time, making us feel royally tense. Stress creates mixed up, down-right negative energy in the body that projects outward. We can treat situations so seriously. Do you ever catch yourself caught up in the moment of an aggravation and ask, how did things get this way? What’s the big deal anyway??
It’s time to lighten up.
How many yogi’s won’t try Lion’s Pose out of fear of looking silly? Forgetting other people’s judgements and giving yourself permission to let go creates confidence, power and internal strength!
Have you ever thanked yourself for getting on your yoga mat and committing to your practice? How did that feel?
Here’s a reminder to show yourself some feel-good gratitude! You deserve it!
Yoga With Adriene generously shares reminders that you are amazing for making it to the mat and taking care of yourself. Thank yourself and feel warm and glad from the inside out!
Listening sounds easy, but hearing is only one part of the formula! Tapping into truly empathetic listening looks like acknowledging your partner’s feelings and experience. Are you willing to fully hear the other person’s response without doing anything to change his or her experience?
If the answer is yes, you are already on the right track. With practice, authentic listening becomes second nature. Listening strengthens relationships, and leads to healthier bonds with your partner, family and friends.
Pranayama is the yogic art of breathing. There are different pranayamas, all of which have different effects on the body deepen your yoga or meditation experience.
The dirgha breath, ujjayi breath, nadi shodhana, kapalabhakti, bhastrika, and brahmari are only a few of the many pranayama breathing techniques that can be used during practice. In 2018, make a commitment to mastering a deep connection to your body through your breath.
Nurture your mind and your body! Or as Mom would say, you are what you eat. Of course, a healthy diet is the perfect compliment to a dedicated yoga practice.
Need help? Expert nutritionist and author Jennifer Workman is serious about her book Stop Your Cravings: Satisfy Your Tastes Without Sacrificing Your Health. Blending the best of traditional Eastern and breakthrough Western wellness, this book reveals how to find balance for a more juicy, nutritious, fulfilling life. (And includes 26 tasty recipes!)
When did you last say no to trying something new? Have you decided against trying a hot yoga class because you thought it might be challenging? Or does hatha practice feel slow and seem to take an eternity to get through?
Trying something new builds confidence. It shows fears otherwise. This year try a yoga class that you’ve never attempted before. You may be surprised by what you learn about yourself!
Start the new year by discovering yoga’s roots.
Reading The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali will support you on your journey to concentration and bliss. Developed over 4,000 years ago, the Sutras explore yogic teachings about poses, ethics, spirituality and calming the mind. Connecting with historical teachings creates a foundation for pure peace. Revered author and ancient Sanskrit translator Sri Swami Satchidananda shares advice and his experiences on championing physical, mental, and emotional harmony.
Practice loving and become love! Keeping relationships alive requires making many more deposits into the emotional bank account of a relationship than withdrawals. Sometimes it feels hard to give others love or appreciation.
The truth it, you don’t have to feel extra lovely or appreciative to share love. You can just choose to be loving. What do you love about your partner / kid / friend / parent / sibling? What do you love about yourself?
This year, commit to becoming a generator of love and to receiving others’ love freely.
Meditating helps bring out your best energy and makes facing the daily grind manageable. Even though meditating for even one minute might feel as difficult as scaling Mount Everest, nothing is more precious that reaching that peak. With practice, the mind sharpens, the soul stretches and becomes flexible. (Need some Mind Food?)
In 2018, we challenge you to meditate more, and become a bold source of clarity!
Kick-start your yoga adventure in 2018 by saving $25 with A New You in 2018 bundled yoga deal!
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January 17, 2023
Cultivating mindfulness is the key to overcoming suffering and recognizing natural wisdom: both our own and others'. How do we go about it?
In the Buddhist tradition and in Contemplative Psychotherapy training, we nurture mindfulness through the practice of sitting meditation. There are many different kinds of meditation. For example, some are designed to help us relax; others are meant to produce altered states of consciousness.
Mindfulness meditation is unique in that it is not directed toward getting us to be different from how we already are. Instead, it helps us become aware of what is already true moment by moment. We could say that it teaches us how to be unconditionally present; that is, it helps us be present with whatever is happening, no matter what it is.
Mindfulness, paying precise, nonjudgmental attention to the details of our experience as it arises and subsides, doesn't reject anything. Instead of struggling to get away from experiences we find difficult, we practice being able to be with them. Equally, we bring mindfulness to pleasant experiences as well. Perhaps surprisingly, many times we have a hard time staying simply present with happiness. We turn it into something more familiar, like worrying that it won't last or trying to keep it from fading away.
When we are mindful, we show up for our lives; we don't miss them in being distracted or in wishing for things to be different. Instead, if something needs to be changed we are present enough to understand what needs to be done. Being mindful is not a substitute for actually participating in our lives and taking care of our own and others' needs. In fact, the more mindful we are, the more skillful we can be in compassionate action.
December 19, 2022
It's easy to lose sight of the beauty of the world in the midst of tragedy, political upheaval, injustice and suffering. While we continue with our practice, working to ease the suffering of others and living a life of compassion and Love, we also need to be mindful and grateful for the beauty of the world that still surrounds us when we choose Love. Like Pops says, "Love baby. Love. That's the secret."
"What a Wonderful World" [1970 Spoken Introduction Version] along with Oliver Nelson's Orchestra is a song written by Bob Thiele (as George Douglas) and George David Weiss. It was first recorded by Louis Armstrong and released as a single in 1968. Thiele and Weiss were both prominent in the music world (Thiele as a producer and Weiss as a composer/performer). Armstrong's recording was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. Intended as an antidote for the increasingly racially and politically charged climate of everyday life in the United States, the song also has a hopeful, optimistic tone with regard to the future, with reference to babies being born into the world and having much to look forward to.
November 04, 2022