Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Vishudda Chakra - Speaking Effectively with No Sorrow

Do you have a hard time expressing yourself? Or, do you say things that you later regret? A well-developed chakra in the throat helps you communicate effectively and desire to always say positive motivational truths.
I speak from the heart and let truth be my guide.
I use the power of words to make the world a better place.
Every day it becomes easier to express what I think and feel without shyness or over-efforting.

Since the most important conversation we will ever have begins in our thoughts, the words we speak begin in our innermost thinking. A positive balance is gained between our speaking and thinking when our thoughts reflect the verse in Philippians, "Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things."
Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, Codirectors for the Center of Relationship Development in Seattle, "The power of the human brain is unmistakable. It does nothing less than preside over who you are." They go on to talk about the fact that the relationship we have with ourselves and others is governed by what our brain says all day long. "The secret messages you shoot repeatedly through your mind begin to cut a groove or wear a path through your cortex. These governing messages, the ones that are heard most loudly, most often, and most quickly, are the ones that define your self-talk and your relationships."
Yoga teaches us that we become aware of our thoughts and tune them in not only to the present moment, but we also guide them toward good. The negative or the prideful messages are released as not our own, and the healthy, positive thoughts are concentrated on. Many times in yoga I say to the yogis and yoginis that are in our class, "Let go of those things that do not serve you well."
Thoughts that do not serve us are unhealthy, critical, full of self-criticism, arrogant, competitive, and worse. They may be influenced by those around us, the "Madison Avenue" concept of physical worthiness, or the books, T.V., music that we allow ourselves to experience.
Any yoga poses that have to do with shoulder strengtheners/openers or the throat can help open a blocked energy in this part of our body for the Vishudda Chakra. Some of these can include the following:
Humming "Bee" breath
Lion pose
Camel pose
Bridge pose
Shoulder stand
Plow pose
Fish pose
Join us as we practice healthy thoughts, healthy minds, healthy words, and healthy bodies. One of the quotes that I dearly love is by Maya Angelou,
"People may forget what you said, people may forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
Becoming aware of our thoughts helps us to communicate with other people with kindness, truth, and compassion.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

18 Life Affirming Mantras to Change Your Attitude

Proverbs 23:7 (New King James Version)
7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

18 Life Affirmations that Will Change Your Attitude and Your Thoughts
Attitude is both the power behind your intention for practicing hatha yoga and the power that ultimately fulfills your intention. Before starting your daily practice, contemplate your intention for doing the practice that day. Ask yourself, "What do I hope to gain or what do I wish to offer today through my practice?"

Your intention can be multilevel in its purpose – physical, emotional, mental, and/or spiritual. You might do your yoga practice to improve the health or appearance of the physical body, or to clear blocked emotions and help balance your emotional slate or even to promote mental clarity and peace.

Intertwined with attitude and intention is will power – a deep inner force that is a balance between self-effort and the ability to surrender. Aligning effort and surrender brings our intention to the flow of grace. When effort and surrender are balanced, the ride is smooth and enjoyable. A state of ease is experienced in each asana or yoga posture.

Here are eighteen life affirmations or mantras that go with a unique yoga pose to enhance the quality of your thought life.
Uttanasana (Forward Fold) “I surrender to the present moment.”
Utkatasana (Chair or Fierce Pose) “My body is no burden. It is as light as a feather.”
Chaturanga Dandasana (Plank Pose) “My core is strong, and I am as firm as a plank of wood.”
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) “I am shedding old ways of being and doing.”
Garudasana (Eagle Pose) “No matter how twisted and stressed on the outside, I am calm and centered on the inside.”
Virabhadrasana III (Warrior 3) “I find balance in all areas of my life.”
Vrksasana (Tree Posture) “We are all in unity like trees, and we do no harm to ourselves or others.”
Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide Legged Forward Fold) “I let go of all the tightness in my body, soul, and spirit. I am not afraid of forward movement.”
Utthita Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) “We are all one in unity. When my relationships are in unity, I find peace within.”
Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle) “Dispelling any negativity in my thoughts and opening myself up, I allow my future to evolve in a positive way.”
Virabhadrasana I (Warrior 1) “I am strong and confident like a warrior.”
Virabhadrasana II (Warrior 2) “I invoke my warrior energy.”
Ardha Chandrasana (Half Balancing Moon) “My body is happy and smiling.”
Utthita Hasta Padangustasana (Extended Hand to Foot Pose) which can be done in a standing balance or on the floor as a stretch “I have an abundance of energy available to me.”
Natarajasana (Dancer Pose) “I am delicate like a dancer, yet I am strong as a body builder.”
Ustrasana (Camel Pose) “It is safe to dive back into past issues.”
Simhasana (Lion Pose) “I have a voice, a strong voice, and I use it effectively.” And yes, you do have to stick your tongue out and ROAR! (:
• Each time you come back to Tadasana (Mountain Pose), bring your hands to Anjali Mudra (Hands to heart) Samasthitihi (Equal Standing) “I combine effort and surrender to find steadiness and ease.”

Our meditation at the end of class was taken from Charles Swindoll’s writings about attitude.
"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think, say, or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company…a church…a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are the only ones in charge of our attitudes.”

I believe that what we say to ourselves all day long is so important. Therefore, making new pathways in our brains by changing our self-criticism to life affirming mantras (mutterings), can change our thoughts which in turn changes our words, our actions, our lives. Come practice with us! We are improving our bodies, minds, and spirits by our yoga practice. A special thank you to Sarah Klein for inspiring this yoga class at Tranquility Yoga Studio.

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