Archives for posts with tag: health

It is synchronistic that this week in yoga class we will be working on the 5th chakra, the throat chakra, the very same week the Academy Awards will be airing. The 5th chakra, Vishuddha, pertains to speaking our truth. The movie world is an art form that can send many messages through the power of words. Are these movies being lauded sending messages we need to hear? It is in the throat chakra that we find our authentic voice, that is, what we are meant to say during our time on earth. I am looking forward to seeing which movies resonated with the masses.

            “Words are not a small thing. Words are the real power.

The whole universe is a magnetic field.

If we create positive words, we feel love,

If we create negative words, we feel hatred.

-Yogi Bhajan

            The Fifth chakra includes our neck and shoulders, mouth, nose and ears. How many of us have issues in this area? I know I do. I’ve walked around with a tight neck and shoulders most of my life. I think that this chakra was affected by messages I received early on to “be quiet and nice and people will like you”. I think many of us received similar messages.

During my work in massage therapy, I find so much tightness in my clients in the muscles of the neck and head, especially around the jaw. It is like a vice, closing off the free movement of the mandible, as words and opinions are held back. When this area is closed off more and more, the risk of addictions increases. Addictions can range from alcohol, and drugs to smoking and overeating. The shadow emotion is denial. As we deny what out true voice is, we tend to find other ways to separate ourselves from our soul’s voice, which leads to depression and a lackluster life.

“When you speak, it should be as if Infinity is speaking.”

-Yogi Bhajan

             I was intrigued when I heard about Dr. Emoto’s work when I watched the film What the Bleep in 2006. Dr. Emoto decided to study how thoughts and words affected the formation of distilled water crystals. He typed words onto paper, and then taped the paper onto glass bottles overnight.

Thank you ‘Love and appreciation’ ‘You make me sick, I will kill you’

The water exposed to positive words such as “thank you,” “love and gratitude” formed beautiful geometric symmetry when frozen, unlike words “You make me sick” or “I will kill you” formed dark misshapen crystals. Just imagine what harsh words do to our bodies, which are about 85% water? How many negative things do we tell ourselves throughout the day or say to others throughout our life. You know as well as I do that a harsh word said over 10 years ago can still carry the same potent sting as it did on that very day it was uttered. It may take a lot of practice and patience to change those knee jerk reactions of harmful responses, but it is definitely worth it. I am sure that living of life full of grace and peace is much more gratifying than one with drama and hate.

So, what can we do? Begin today to change the inner conversation. When a harsh thought comes up about the way you look or think, replace it with an opposite, positive one. Make it a daily practice and it will become a new habit. How we think about ourselves directly affects how we treat others, the domino effect of love breeding love.

“To know you is to love you and I do.”

Bobby Vinton

            A simple thing I did is based on Dr. Emoto’s work. I have the words love and gratitude taped on my Brita water pitcher at work. Just recently I added a Vitajuwel gem wand filled with amethyst gemstones (exposing the water to beautiful gemstones is also based on Emoto’s work to enhance the energy of the water). My clients love it and so do I. Drinking water that has been enriched energetically is powerful. It also inspires me to drink more water, which is good thing!

What other ways can we empower the 5th chakra? Perhaps it is as easy as starting to open up this area physically by doing slow fluid neck circles. Warming up the neck and at the same time massaging the thyroid and parathyroid glands to bring balance back into the body and mind. Along with the movement, allow a tone to be released. Gurmukh in her book The Eight Human Talents (1997) suggests chanting the mantra “Ong”.

Ong (Infinity in its most creative form)

Breathe in and out deeply though your nose a few times

Scrunch your shoulders up tightly to you ear, and then relax and lower your shoulders (5 times)

Close you eyes and roll you head around to the right and to the left, inhaling and exhaling through the nose.

Bring you head back to neutral.

Focus between the eyebrows (the third eye)

Chant “Ong” Curl the tongue and press the back of the tongue against the back of the throat firmly.

Practice 3-7 minutes.

You will begin to feel a slight buzz in the back of the throat.

            Enjoy the effects. Allow your voice to be free. As you begin to find your authentic voice again, you will find other areas of creativity being cultivated beyond the spoken word such as painting, drawing, and photography. Cultivate kind thoughts, make it a daily practice, and watch the world around you become loving and alive. Unite with your inner Wisdom, your True Voice. The world is waiting to hear your song, your message of love, your own wonderful award-winning life film.

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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/

…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.