Archives for category: yoga

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.

Those who practice Kundalini know it as the Yoga of Awareness because of the effects that it has on the practitioner. It is a mental, spiritual, and physical activity that develops spiritual awarenss, improved mental focus and physical fitness, and increased individual consciousness. But how?

Kundalini Yoga is a combination of both yoga and meditation. It focuses on the ideas of upholding values, speaking the truth, and encompassing compassion for the self and others. The methodology is where it gets a bit tricky, especially if you’re new to yoga in general. I’ll break it down as simply as I can for you.

Technically, kundalini is a spiritual energy located at the base of the spine. Picture it as a serpant that is coiled up, resting. Sanskrit – Kundala – that which is coiled. The practice of Kundalini yoga is meant to awaken that serpant via six chakras and to pierce the seventh, “the crown.” A chakra is known essentially as a point of energy in the body. Most practitioners describe chakras as wheel-like or flower-like, meaning each of the seven have several aspects to them (spokes of a wheel or petals on a flower). Take a look –>  Ok, so imagine a serpant coiled up at the bottom and then slowly rising up by means of practicing Kundalini yoga until it reaches the crown. As the serpent awakens, so does your consciousness, awareness, mindfullness, happiness, you name it.

Some understand Kundalini Yoga to be a “tri-fold” experience. Depending on your instructor, it may pull techniques from Bhakti yoga (“spiritual practice for fostering love and devotion for a personal God”) for devotion, Shakti yoga (“to be able” – sacred force) for power, and Raja yoga (“royal union” – focus on meditation) for control.

Kundalini classes will vary in frequency depending on your instructor but the Kundalini journey is a daily life style. Those who are dedicated will practice daily kriyas, “powers of thought,” and meditation in sadhana. Sadhana is basically a means a accomplishing something.

Beyond the benefits already discussed regarding the practice of Kundalini Yoga, many people also experience what they describe as “pure joy, pure knowledge, and pure love.” It helps those who practice to get to know themselves in a deeper and purer way which then allows them to interact with others in a sincere and compassionate manner. The physical benefits are equally as rewarding as your body will become more fit and crave healthy options in other aspects of you life.

For information on my Kundalini Yoga class schedule please check out my website! www.wellnesswithinbe.com or email Becky at rebeccam@udel.edu to be added to my Yoga and Wellness mailing list!