I think the best way to describe how to develop present moment awareness through your yoga practice is to look at it as a moving meditation. “Yesterday ended last night” is a good way of affirming and grounding yourself in now. You may be living the consequences of yesterday today, but hopefully your new mindfulness will lead you to make different choices so that when you say this tomorrow, you are actually in a better place.
“Aligning the mind with the experience of the present moment is the fundamental practice of mindfulness…As soon as you become aware that your mind has ventured off into thoughts about the past or the future, slowly reestablish the vertical axis of mindfulness…” ~ Will Johnson
“Being “in the state of flow” doesn’t mean that we spend all of our time in bliss in the nondual realms. Flow means allowing ourselves to be surrendered to life, to the way it is, and to forget ourselves in pure involvement in our work, our task at hand, our love-without worry over the outcome. As Robert Frost said, “Freedom means moving comfortably in harness.”” ~ Stephen Cope
“Mindfulness is not just an action of the mind” ~ Will Johnson
Today, see if you can, every time the mind flies off to yesterday or tomorrow, just stop, take a breath and feel where that breath is moving in your body right now. Do that for just a minute if that is all you have, and see whether exchanging the thinking mind for the feeling self, harnesses your energy and guides you into an aware presence and calm
Seventh chakra affirmations…As you now know, from reading the first and subsequent instalments of these chakra posts traditionally the yogic system holds that there are 7 chakras, or energy centres in the body. These are arranged vertically from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. Chakra is the Sanskrit word for ‘wheel’, and these centers are perceived as spinning wheels of energy. Today we arrive at the crown of the head, cerebral cortex, which is, if you are doing a headstand, where you place your head down (as opposed to the forehead). Called the Sahasrara chakra, the colour associated with it is purple.
The affirmation here is “I am connected to all. I am part of all.” Concepts associated with this energy centre are awareness, and expanded consciousness, spirit, intelligence and divinity; our connection with our higher self. Naturally, if you are lost in worry and over-thinking, this is going to present an imbalance here. Meditation, on the other hand, will promote harmony. If you tend to ‘space out’ just to be clear, this is also an imbalance. the process is one of expanding your notion of self, but also, staying grounded in your body and in the present moment.
Heart Chakra Meditation:
Appropriately for this Thanksgiving Day, we turn our attention to the Anahata, or Heart Chakra. If you have been following, today is the fourth day of the series, which originated with an older post I wrote on chakra balance
The colour associated with the heart chakra is green. Today’s meditation: “I listen to my heart and honor its connection to the hearts of others. I allow love to fill me up and guide me in all of my actions. I gracefully move to the rhythm of life.”
Some of the key concepts of this energy centre are: balance, love, compassion, relationship, breath, peace. The location is upper chest and includes the back of the heart space as well. Put into practice with the essential breath on my Yoga Mind cd
Solar Plexus Chakra ~ today in instalment three we focus on the solar plexus, this a continuation of the past 2 days and an older blog post I wrote. The third chakra is also called The Manipura (navel) –or solar plexus, and is associated with the colour yellow.
Each of the 7 chakras is associated with particular emotions and specific issues that we deal with in life. They also relate to how we handle these in our own internal processes and our ways of interacting within our environment. These chakras can be thought of as power/distribution centres of life energy, or prana. They are sensitive and fluctuations or imbalances can occur through external stressful circumstances, long stored physical tension or limited self- concepts.
The meditation today is “I love myself. I am willing to stand up, with strength and confidence, for that which I believe. I have the freedom to make my own choices in life with appreciation of my sense of self. I am connected to the source of all power and it flows through me to encourage the power of others.” Key concepts are power, will, energy, metabolism, control, fire amongst others.
solar plexus chakra
If a chakra is deficient, it does not receive the energy it needs to help with manifestation of its positive qualities in the world, and, when excessive, it can dominate the personality which creates further imbalances for the chakra to receive, absorb, integrate and distribute the flow of energy through our being.
I did write a full blog on the seven chakras if you click through you can brief yourself. I am starting a seven day voyage into the chakras here on my home blog because a student mentioned the chakras to me after my restorative class last night. If you are not familiar with the term, Chakra is the Sanskrit word for ‘wheel’, and these centers are perceived as spinning wheels of energy.
We begin our excursion with the root chakra. As you can see, the colour associated with this energy center is red. The meditation here is an affirmation, that you can repeat to yourself silently and see how it resonates. “I am connected to all that is around me. This connection gives me a strong foundation and does not hold me back. Security and stability in life allow me to move with both confidence and connection to be who I am.”
Acceptance quotes can be used in your quiet sitting time when your mind is freer of the habitual thoughts that bind itWherever freedom comes embrace it… This one is lovely; “When I accept myself, I am freed from the burden of needing you to accept me.” Sounds like the path to integrity if you ask me!
In yoga, the word jivanmukti means “spiritual release or salvation achieved while still alive”. We best experience this freedom when we are still, quiet, relaxed, and in a state of flow. This being said, if you cultivate this state of mind, it is easier to then foster a sense of self acceptance.
10 Ways To Add A Dose of om off your yoga mat:
Little tips go a long way to encourage us !
Appreciation is the key to a positive day. This is a great affirmation: I open 2 gifts this morning. They were my eyes…
Breathe and Reboot this weekend, whether you practice yoga on a mat, or self-reflect on a park bench…whatever your pleasure, add one of these 10 Ways To Add A Dose of Om !
Change yourself. You are in control. Forgive. let go. Without action you aren’t going anywhere. Take care of the moment. Everyone is human. Persist. See the good in people, help them. Be congruent. Be authentic. Be your true self. Continue to grow and evolve.
The same tips can be used on your yoga mat, after all, if you aren’t present and honest with yourself, that can be when you overdo or, maybe don’t reach into your potential.
There are different ways to get your om on, which is a funky way of saying being in a meditative, or flow state. I wrote a post about meditation awhile back and also have some tracks on my yoga mind cd, but also, walk, write, find a mantra…whatever advice resonates
What a lovely affirmation !
Yoga Sutra 1.36 tells of the inner light within us all : visoka va jyotismati ~ mental stability also stems from serenity linked to luminous lucidity ~ Bounchaud
So for today, just let the light from the center of your heart radiate. You can also download my Golden Light Healing Relaxation practice for a full body-mind experience
Such a perfect snippet of wisdom…this is a time of renewal for many of us…so exhale long and deep and let go the challenges of winter.
If you are trying to fit in some healthy self-reflection, read this before you walk, or do a yoga session, let it simmer into your consciousness. Make sure to relax after and/or do some yoga based calming breathing. Read it again. See which line springs out at you and then practice that for awhile. Re-building blocks
Timing your affirmations and how to use affirmations in your yoga practice:
Any time is a good time for affirmations. I would have to say though, that the time your mind is most likely to allow the positivity to take root in your consciousness is when you are calm.
I like what this first affirmation says: “Whenever there is a problem, repeat over and over: All is well. Everything is working out for my highest good. Out of this situation only good will come. I am safe!”
If you plan to incorporate incorporate pranayama in your yoga practice; do the physical asana practice first then a brief still time before meditation / breathing. That way the mind is considerably less agitated. It’s like weeding a garden before you plant. The new seeds shouldn’t compete for nourishment with the weeds. Also, don’t worry if some resistance pops up. Re-conditioning the mind into positivity is something that takes repetition. It is actually not a far off practice from the practice of repeating a mantra. Repeat is key word here.
Try a 5 minute mindfulness of breathing then repeat the affirmation “Everything comes to me at the perfect time” and let it work into your psyche – this is a good recipe for your mind-body-spirit. Off the same cd, the Yoga Mind cd, there are relaxation practices too which I recommend. Just putting yourself in a positive state, any affirmations have better chance of getting heard by the brain