Archives for category: Meditation

This week I will be teaching a yoga routine for the fourth or Heart Chakra.The Heart Chakra is about the energy that resides in each one of us individually. The Sanskrit name for this chakra is Anahata meaning unstruck, not the result of striking or beating something to create sound. It is a spontaneously occurring sound current that is always present within us and in the cosmos, detected during deep meditation paving the way to higher levels of consciousness, to pure, unconditional love. Tapping into this vibration allows for a deep, satisfying rush.

When the Heart Chakra is balanced, we live in unconditional love. We make deep connections with others. We actually listen deeply without glancing at the messages on our smart phones or computers. We make eye contact and honor the spirit of the person talking; it is a paradox that with the boon of the Internet and social media, we have skyrocketing rates of loneliness.  A social media connection is not the same thing as a bond, nor is a text or smiley face.

 In an article about loneliness, the Atlantic Magazine, (2012) says that instant cyber connection is no ticket to happiness or ultimately a better world. Creating real life social bonds and communities not only increases happiness but also promotes optimal health. It’s worth noting that being alone does not necessarily constitute loneliness. Solitude used to be good for self-reflection and self-discovery. But now we are constantly left thinking about the image we portray as we share our daily photos, activities, and posts. We are so busy instantly sharing every minute detail that we never take the time to discover who we really are!

So, in honor of the heart chakra and our journey to lasting happiness, plan to establish deeper bonds:

  •  Begin a Facebook or smartphone fast.
  • Create community.
  • Take the time to truly listen to someone speak and worry less about what you need or want to say.
  • Devote moments to silence, to no distractions, to uncovering the authentic Self.

Let your Inner Voice, your Inner Teacher arise and perhaps in the midst of the unveiling a subtle but detectable vibration or hum will be felt or heard, the Anahata, the rhythm of the heart. And you will touch, at least for a moment, the face of bliss, finding the profound and unconditional love of all humankind.

 Join me Wednesday at Fit Studio for Kundalini Yoga at 6 p.m. Let’s share in this opening together!

 

Love, Ellyn

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/05/is-facebook-making-us-lonely/308930/

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As I prepare to teach a yoga class for the first chakra, I review Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa’s chapter on the first chakra in his intriguing book Meditation as Medicine (2009). I am curious and can’t help but smile at his description of “consciousness constipation” to reflect those of us with stuck energy in the first chakra. When this occurs, people become fixated on physical survival at the expense of spiritual survival. Health, money, and status are a constant worry. Feelings of isolation ensue as negative emotions such as jealousy, anger, and greed surface.

The first chakra is about elimination. Physically, it relates to the bowel, specifically the descending colon, sacrum, lower spine, rectum, and anus. Inadequate elimination of toxins can lead to a variety of health problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, and chronic constipation in addition to more systemic diseases.

I have been told in many of my mind/body classes that our bodies are windows to our emotional and spiritual blockages; physical ailments perhaps reflecting the “consciousness constipation” that Dr. Singh Khalsa writes about.  We get stuck in unhealthy habits and beliefs as we try to navigate through life. Perhaps we can go within and undo the tightness (or looseness) of our innards as we release our rigid thinking that keeps us bound up.

Tomorrow’s class will incorporate the Healthy Bowel Kriya as an exercise to physically promote the health of the colon followed by a meditation to release anger and a mantra to support bowel health.

These exercises are easy to do every day and promote acceptance and neutrality along with a sense of wellbeing. We benefit from the elimination of negative thoughts and bad habits as well as a healthier functional bowel. Our sense of security comes from having a strong sense of self in contrast to the weak, threatened identity laden with security fears and feelings of lack.

How do you view the health of your first chakra?  Every party has a pooper, maybe it will be you?

Kundalini Yoga Classes offered at Fit, 62 Rockford Road, Wilmington  Wednesdays 6:30 p.m.

…if you are feeling unmotivated, depressed, or just a big sluggish.Here is my prescription for the week: shaking and dancing. Before you brush the idea off, thinking you’ll look or feel silly, hear me out.

Shaking and dancing are means of breaking patterns. Not just physical patterns, but mental and emotional ones as well. It is OK to feel embarrassed or doubtful when you first start doing this exercise but if you notice a postive change, keep doing it! Some people practice it daily, even more than once a day!

Start by playing music that you yourself really enjoy. It should be energetic, something that puts you in a good mood. It’s usually easier for people to move freely when they are enjoying the sounds around them.

I know that many people associate shaking with anxiety, or fear and that many people feel silly shaking voluntarily. But don’t. Shaking will help you release some tension and it may even energize you. That’s why you should consider this exercise even if you are feeling tired or fatigued. If your practice this regularly, it can also help you become more at ease and at home with your body.

After about five to ten minutes of shaking you can move onto five (or more!) minutes of dance!

Here’s how to go about this expressive meditation:

There are three parts: shaking, stopping and remaining still for a minute or two, and dancing.

Prepare a fast paced rhythmic song followed by dance music.

Begin by planting your feet shoulder-width apart, bending your knees slightly, relaxing your shoulders and breathing deeply. Then shake your whole body from your feet, through your knees, hips and shoulders, to your head. If you have physical limitations, shake to the best of your ability. You may need to shake slowly or while sitting down. Listen to your body. Do not push too hard.

Turn on some fast music:

Shake for seven to eight minutes. Then when the music stops freeze in place and just notice how you feel. Hold that pose and pay attention to your breathing and to your physical sensations. Begin playing your new music and let the music move you…in whatever way feels good and right.

During this exercise it helps to keep your eyes closed, so you can focus on yourself and your experience. Allow the music to move you. Dance your own unique dance for about five minutes. Don’t follow a particular pattern or dance step just let your body move as it will, freely and spontaneously.

Remember….there is no right way to do this. Just having the experience is all you need to do.

Now consider these questions:

What was it like to shake? For me it feels freeing and rejuvenating, especially when I wake up feeling overwhelmed about the day ahead.

What kinds of thoughts or feelings did you have? I realize how tight my muscles are. By the mere “letting go” action of shaking, I feel them loosen up. When my body opens up, so does my mind.

How did it feel to dance? I enjoy dancing. I always have. My mom and dad would dance every day when I was a child. No wonder they had such a great marriage.

How do you feel now? I am smiling. This exercise feels really good.

Do you notice any physical, mental, or emotional changes after this exercise? I feel much more excited about my day!

I feel connected to all of you who are shaking and dancing with me.

Please let me know about your experience with this exercise. Tune in next week for a new activity.

Have a great day.