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5 Ways to Use the Summer Months for Cleansing and Renewal.

Posted by on Jul 22, 2015 in Wellness Blog | 0 comments

Detox with the Seasons: 5 Ways to Use the Summer Months for Cleansing and Renewal.

Relaxing in a Hammock

Ayurveda teaches us how to live a longer, healthier, more fulfilled life by living according to the seasons.

One primary method of staying in optimal health is to cleanse ourselves on a regular basis for greater joy and vitality.

Using the natural energy available during each changing season is a huge key for how to cleanse properly and regularly.

 

You may think of a detox as an intense self-depriving protocol, but in actuality, a gentle cleanse that aligns with your body’s innate forces, done at the right time and in the right way, can be just as effective, if not more effective, than a hard-core rigid cleanse that requires you to stop everything and fast for three days. This gentle and natural approach also requires us to be flexible with our definition of what detoxification actually means.

 

It is important that we routinely cleanse the mind, not just the body. I will share five easy ways to cleanse ourselves from head to toe during these hot and transformative summer months, using simple self-healing principles passed down for thousands of years through the life-giving science of Ayurveda.

 

Before we get to the good stuff, it’s important to understand a little about the energetic science of Ayurveda and how it works.

Schiefertafel mit Lavendel und Ayurveda

According to Ayurveda, one should follow the cyles of nature in order to live healthy lives. By living in accordance with 3 predominant forces of nature (or doshas) that occur naturally in our environment we have the ability to correct energetic imbalances in the body before they turn into disorders. The 3 doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha), are comprised of 5 basic elements that can be found in all of life:

  • Ether
  • Air
  • Fire
  • Water
  • Earth

 

Ayurveda vector illustration. Ayurveda doshas. Vata, pitta, kaphThese 5 elements are found everywhere in varying proportions: our bodies, the foods we eat, our minds, our enviroments, and in the changing seasons. Vata is the energy of movement, which is made of ETHER and AIR. Pitta is the energy of transformation, which is made of FIRE and WATER. Kapha is the energy of structure and strength, which is comrpised of EARTH and WATER.

 

Understanding the interplay of these 3 doshas is crucial for creating harmony or disharmony. Through Ayurveda, one learns how to prevent dis-ease by bringing the body back into a state of balance by working with the doshas.

 

Summer is naturally hot and sunny (Fire), and therefore the Pitta energy in everyone increases. Pitta provides an abundance of heat, necessary for metabolism, digestion and making physical and mental changes. But too much heat can cause imbalances in the body. This is why we focus on cooling and soothing activities during the Summer to counteract the intensity of Fire experienced through Pitta.

 

Here are some ways we can take advantage of this excess fire available everywhere during this time to renew and purify ourselves, plus gentle waywoman having fun riding bicycle at the beachs to cool ourselves off to experience greater bliss and harmony throughout the summer:

 

 

 

 

 

#1 – Be Outdoors for Vitality & Greater Enthusiasm

Hispanic man riding bicycle in tropical area

Summer is the natural time to enjoy the outdoor weather and spend more time outside. When we are physically surrounded by nature, our body is able to rejuvenate naturally at a much faster rate. Relax under a shady tree, feel the strength of a giant tree, bike to the beach, swim in the ocean or cool off with water activities. You can even walk barefoot on green grass to absorb green energy, good for fertility and prosperity.

 

Avoid hot Bikram yoga during the summer, especially if you are a natural-born Pitta-type. Plan outdoor exercise in the early morning or evening to avoid direct intense sun.Young Woman Jogger

 

Your body receives plenty of Vitamin D during this time, and everywhere you look plants and flowers are blossoming. Take your cues from the signs of nature, and get inspired by the world around you. Use this time to make everything in your life shine like the sun, with intense color and vitality.

 

#2 Wash Your Plate Clean Everyday with Meditation

Ayurveda vector illustration. Ayurveda doshas. Vata, pitta, kaph

We must approach each day with a clean slate. Wash your plate daily so that when you wake up in the morning, your plate is clean and you can start anew. An amazing way to purify the mind during the summer is with a cooling breath meditation.

 

As a breathwork and meditation instructor, I have found Sitale Breath to be completely amazing in many ways. Sitale is cooling, calming and dissipates all anger. It is a tonic for the liver with a dramatic cooling effect, and great for manifesting what you really want in life. During this breath we inhale through the mouth, and exhale through the nose.

 

Close your eyes to begin.

  1. Stick a curled tongue outside your mouth and slowly inhale through the curled tongue (pretend to sip through a straw if you can’t curl your tongue). Count 8 seconds in through one long continuous inhale.
  2. Close the mouth and make one long continuous exhale through the nose. Exhale to a count of 8 seconds or more.

 

Repeat this breath for a minimum of 3 minutes. You can progressively slow down the breath, making each exhalation longer than the one before.

 

All fire will immediately be cooled. This breath reduces any reactive tendencies in the mind, and creates a neutral space so that your thoughts and internal chatter quiet down. Sitale allows you to find inner calm and realization. Devote yourself to this practice daily. If you are new to meditation, start off with 3 minutes. Gently work your way up to 22 minutes.

 

giovane donna si rilassa facendo yogaReflect on the positive changes you wish to attract in your life. Know that whatever you have planted by way of thoughts from the past are being harvested now. If you want to change your outcomes, or the fruits of your labor, change the seeds you are planting in your mind right now.

 

The root of all physical ailments is mental in cause. This is natural law. A disorder cannot manifest in the phsyical plane without first existing in the mind and emotions. To learn how to eradicate the root of disharmonious thought patterns through advanced meditation techniques, contact Naam Yoga South Florida (www.naamyogasouthflorida.com) to find an array of sacred self-healing tools.

 

 

 

 

#3 Eat Summer Foods

 

One of Ayurveda’s biggest secrets is to eat according to the seasons.

Fresh tasty fruit salad

Summer is the time to avoid all hot and spicy foods, tomatoes, excess cheese, yogurt, alcohol, fermented foods and other fiery or red foods. There is enough heat as it is! Focus on cooling and calming foods. Believe it or not, this will also help calm that laser-sharp Pitta mind to make time for relaxation and sweetness in your life, which is what a balanced summer is all about!

 

Foods recommended for the summer include sweet fruits like coconut, watermelon, berries, mango, pomegranate and peaches; fresh veggies and seaweed; aloe vera juice; grains and ghee (clarified butter). Drink more water, lemonade and iced tea.

 

Add mint, fennel, cilantro, dill, coriandor, saffron and other cooling herbs to your food.

 

#4 Remove Toxins with Dry Skin Brushing

skin-brush-legs-portable-brush

Get beach-ready by removing dead skin cells and kick-start an internal detox.

When you dry skin brush, you engage in the transformative forces of nature to get rid of unwanted debris and toxins, including any bad habits you don’t want anymore.

 

Dry skin brushing increases circulation, encourages the lymph to keep moving through the body and promotes greater immune system function by helping us get rid of the body’s unnecessary toxins.

 

Find a natural bristle brush at your closest Whole Foods or natural food store. Ask specifically for a “dry skin brush”.

 

How to Perform Skin Brushing on Yourself:

(1) Before showering, start with your feet and ankles, and brush upwards in long, brisk motions, from your ankles towards your knees and thighs, always in the direction of the heart. By doing this, you are stimulating the fluids to move in the same direction, towards the heart. This is how fluids are properly drained by the lymphatic system.
(2) Brush each arm, from fingertip to shoulder, always in the direction towards the heart.

 

(3) Brush the chest and abdomen in circular motions towards the heart.

 

(4) Step in the shower and wash away all dead skin cells.

 

The Lympatic System does not have a central automatic pump like the heart, which beats automatically on its own. This is why the lymphatic system requires our own movement to function properly.

 

What else moves the lymph? Walking, regular exercise and massage are all excellent lymphatic movers. Practice dry skin brushing now in the summer, so that you can make this part of your regular routine during the next seasonal cycle of Winter, a time when the body will most need the extra push to avoid sluggishness, exfoliate dry skin and generate a strong and healthy immune system.

 

#5 Restorative Bodywork for Pacification

Hispanic woman having a massage

The intensity of Pitta is balanced by the opposite qualities of love, compassion, coolness and calmness. With so much heat, we really need to take the time to calm and soothe our own tense and aggravated bodies. What more enjoyable way to relax the Pitta mind and body than with a stress-relieving massage.

 

An Ayurvedic massage therapist who understands the doshas and inherent energy of each oil, may choose to use a blend of cooling coconut oil or sweet almond oil during the Summer months, and go easy on the Sesame Oil for an indvidual who already has a strong Pitta body constitution. Sesame Oil is warming to the body and will have the tendency to create more heat in that person.

 

The addition of sweet and uplifting essential oils made of flower blossoms, like Jasmine, Ylang Ylang and Rose can have amazing effects on cooling down the entire system during a massage, resulting in total summer bliss.

 

For authentic Ayurvedic therapies, visit Croydon Rose Spa & Apothecary at www.croydonrose.com

 

To understand more about the seasons, and how doshas are affected, read on.

jogging along the surf

Summer is the “Pitta” time of year, spanning from June through September. Pitta (FIRE and WATER) governs all metabolic processes in the body including digestion, assimilation, absorption of nutrients, body temperature, the color of our skin and our mind’s processing center. People who have a Pitta personality tend to be very sharp and process things very quickly. They also anger easily and get more irritated than most. They are decisive and tend to be natural-born leaders. Their face is easily reddened, and a strong Pitta-type may have even been born with red hair.

 

Pitta’s alchemical fire melts and transforms everything it touches. The Pitta season is a time of transformation, purification, sharpening our tools, and allowing digestion and assimilation of ideas to happen naturally so that new paradigms of thinking can be more easily adopted and accepted.

 

Young woman meditateThe cooler Vata Season (ETHER and AIR) follows and naturally pacifies the fire months of Pitta. Vata is the force of movement in nature. It governs our channels of communication in the body, our nerve impulses, the heartbeat, circulation, and all reflexes in the body. Without the space to move, nothing would flow. Through the vast and expansive qualities of the ETHER element, Vata provides the space and environment in which all our bodily processes and communications in the body can occur. It is the channels through which things flow. The subtle and light qualities of AIR provides the force that moves. VATA rules our blood vessels, our lymphatic system, our nerve impulses. Like a hurricane, Vata is a moving force in the body that is necessary to avoid stagnation and toxic build-up.

 

When there is too much Vata, the body becomes cold and dry from too much space and air. The drying action of Vata removes moisture and lubrication in the body, and eventually the body starts to decompose. In the cycles of nature, we see this start to happen when the air turns cool during the Fall, which sets the stage for Winter. Leaves turn brown and fall from trees, and all green life has been removed and covered by the cold bitter snow.

 

fotolia_64976495The arrival of Spring signifies that the forces of Kapha are now dominant. Kapha (EARTH and WATER) brings new life to a decayed and frail winter. Kapha re-energizes and gives new life to the decompising qualities of Vata. Kapha is what provides the foundation for life. Kapha calls upon the energy of all plants and vegetables rooted in the earth, and encourages everything to blossom and grow. Kapha is the energy of newborn babies, and all processes that are giving life and rejuvenation.Baby feet  close-up

 

Too much Kapha in the body however, and again, stagnation occurs. When the earth hardens and structures become massive, the light and subtle qualities are gone and we have a problem of toxic build-up here as well. Then comes Pitta to melt and dissolve any toxicity with the purifying and transformative qualities of Fire, and so the cycles continue.

 

Young woman doing yoga near waterfallsAs you can see, all three forces are necessary for proper functon of the body and all 3 are necessary to keep the proper flow of energy moving in life. Too much or too little of any of the 3 doshas, and dis-ease starts to set in. Dis-ease is simply a state of energetic disharmony in the body. Bring back the harmony between the 3 doshas, and the body becomes more at ease and balanced again.

Our bodies are continually in a perpetual state of bringing ourselves back to harmony and balance. This is why making a regular practice of cleansing and renewal is so important to maintain overall health.

 

To learn more about using the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda and how to balance your doshas, contact me at: annettefigueredo@gmail.com

Yoga line symbols in colorful squares.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Live in the Land of Karma

Posted by on Nov 10, 2014 in Wellness Blog | 0 comments

I remember one of my first Universal Kabbalah classes, which was nine years ago in New York City. The wonderful teacher with goldi-locked hair and an adorable deep laugh described Earth as “Karma Land”.

This opened up a whole new window for me to observe life and answer the never-ending question: why are we all here?

You see on Planet Earth, nothing is ever good for long enough. You get a taste of “good” but inevitably it seems that something happens to take it away. We must fight to find the security and inner peace and inner gratitude for everything we come across, so that we can ride those waves of up and down. It’s going to happen.

We are here to push ourselves, to expand, to transform, to create alchemy. To change that which has been given to us (sometimes rotten limes) into lemonade. Don’t complain about it, don’t be remorseful, don’t pity yourself. We all have to go through it, at one point or another. Be grateful for the good when you have it. And here is the key:  be grateful for your problems too, for the moment you can truly be grateful for them, that is the moment they are taken away.

This is universal law, and if you don’t believe me, just try it.

Each one of us has break-throughs that push us further along our path. I can’t answer the question of why we are all here. But I know that while I am here, I want to be of service. I want to spread my light. I want to ignite light in others. I want to instil trust, and reliability in the human race. Afterall, if we can’t trust each other, and if we can’t uplift each other, then what are we doing it all for?

The meaning I personally have found, is that life is about community. Thank goodness to my humble and beloved teacher, who has led so many of us into understanding that the needs of the ego is to tear others down, but what we are here for is to fight for the exact opposite – to lift others up.

In my practice, thanks to my preparation, the number of trainings over the years, the investment in myself, the ability to take on a neutral, clean and pure platform, the individual who hires me for a session, taps into the same neutral space that I hold, and miraculous things start to happen when your perspective shifts. Shifts. This is a very powerful word.

There is so much more going on beneath the surface, things we can’t see.  As soon as we think we have it all figured out, something comes along to knock us back down. If we are not connected to our heart, all of our decisions become decisions of the material world, rising from the ego. But when we connect the head to the heart, the physical body is able to carry out the inner desires of the soul, regardless of the circumstance, the perceived limitations, or the erratic mind which tries to steer you to safety only to find at the end of your life that all the miracles you could have had where just on the other side of that safety line. Under the leadership of the heart, you can not go wrong. Remember what it is that we’re all here for. Is the finish line your success in the material world, or is it something entirely different?

I will ask it again – what is the real finish line? The irony sets in when we forget. Why do we act day in and day out as if the finish line is only that which can be seen in Karma Land, a temporary fix?

This continual mindset creates havoc in businesses and in relationships, relationships of any kind. Life is made up of relationships. We are meant to live in community, not to live alone.

Let’s not forget where we came from, and why we’re all here.

A Day of Fashion and Cocktails at Metta on July 26

Posted by on Jul 25, 2014 in Weekly Wednesday Wellness Wakeup Call, Wellness Blog | 0 comments

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On Saturday, July 26, Metta on Purdy Avenue will hold its new signature Summer Vibes event, paying homage to the local artists and eco-fashion designers who flower their two Miami locations: Metta in Key Biscayne, and Metta on Purdy Avenue in South Beach.

WRE_1835

Metta’s new South Beach location at 1845 Purdy Avenue is a large loft-like gift store reminiscent of an industrial Tribeca warehouse, sandwiched between Green Monkey, Panther and FlyWheel, all of which are quickly becoming favorites among a local beach crowd.

What makes Metta so unique is the concept of conscious shopping. Customers know when they buy something from the many brands available at Metta they are giving back to the world in one way or another. Some brands provide a percentage of proceeds to help underprivileged children around the world. Other brands use only sustainable and recycled materials. Almost all brands give back to at least one charity or cause of some sort.

Hosanna de Linares1

Metta provides a percentage of proceeds to worldwide organizations for the few brands who aren’t already contributing a percentage of their profits.

Metta truly is a consortium of socially conscious shopping where yogis and socially aware individuals can shop and feel good about themselves at the same time.

 

The moment you walk in the minty scented space with the intoxicating sounds of Snatam Kaur playing in the background you can breathe calmly again. The lofty ceilings and warm messages of love sprinkled everywhere give one the sense of floating in an endless sea of kindness and acceptance.WRE_1736

I didn’t want to leave, so the next best thing was take something home with me to remember this feeling, or better yet — buy something for someone else to spread the joy.

I’ll certainly be at Metta’s Summer Vibes event this Saturday at 11AM, to celebrate the artisans and designers who are at the very core of what Metta stands for.

For all you fashion-aware shoppers – Metta carries chic eco-fashions by Lisu Vega, Feat and Pure of Heart, brands which empower women to reconnect with their inner desires. Learn about how these designers fabricated their eco-friendly lines while encouraging an individual commitment to honoring the Self.

WRE_1839I’m looking forward to an entire morning of laughs, cocktails, and delightful conversation. Fresh cocktails will be sponsored by Ron Diplomatico.

WHAT: Summer Vibes at Metta

WHEN: Saturday July 26

11:00 a.m.

WHERE:

Metta South Beach

1845 Purdy Ave

Miami Beach, Fl 33139

ADMISSION: Free

RSVP APPRECIATED:

info@mettalovingkindness.com

(write RSVP SUMMER VIBES on the Subject Header)WRE_1873

exhale mind body spa Grand Opening Thursday May 29!

Posted by on May 28, 2014 in Weekly Wednesday Wellness Wakeup Call, Wellness Blog | 0 comments

CF_WaterBack copyKick off your weekend plans on Thursday, May 29, 2014 with the grand opening of the newest exhale spa location at the Loews South Beach Hotel, offering free yoga and award-winning Core Fusion classes all weekend long.  The grand opening celebration on Thursday will include complimentary classes, mini-spa therapies and cool trunk shows. Thursday’s complimentary Core Fusion Barre class at 6:30pm will even feature a live DJ!

This will be exhale’s third location within a Loews Hotel (following Loews Hotel Atlanta and Loews Hotel Hollywood).

WHEN:
* Grand Opening Event: Thursday, May 29, 2014 6 – 8 p.m.
* Free Classes: Thursday, May 29, 2014 – Sunday, June 1, 2014

WHERE:
Exhale Spa South Beach
1601 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Ph. 305-200-1301

TICKETS: Free and open to the public. 

fyler
Photo Credit: Body Image Coral Gables

Bring the whole family to the Miami Family Field Day on Saturday for a fun day of fitness focused on stretching, sweating and getting healthy for the summer!

Hosted by Body Image of Coral Gables, this action-packed event will offer complimentary massages, free wellness assessments, nutritious shakes and a free lunch. The event will feature fitness programs and games for kids, as well as fitness sessions for adults and couples.

WHEN: Saturday, May 31, 2014 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

WHERE:
Robert King High Park
7025 W. Flagler St.
Miami, FL 33126
Ph. 954-246-4492

TICKETS: Admission is free.

miami_river_looking_east_w__metrorail
Photo Credit: Miami Bicycle Tours

On Saturday May 31, 2014, enjoy a Historic Miami River Cruise through the downtown Miami River led by Miami historian, Dr. Paul George.

Hear tales of the historic Miami River, including recounts of the area’s earliest known inhabitants, the Tequesta Indians. Guests have been known to spot dolphins and manatees circling through the waters during this relaxing downtown boat tour.

WHEN: Saturday, May 31, 2014 9 – 11:30 a.m.

WHERE:
Bayside Marketplace
401 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, Fl 33132
Ph. 305-375-1621

TICKETS: Members: $44, Non-Members: $54, Children 12 and under: $25. Attendees must register in advance. Register online here or call 305-375-1621.

cfk13-143
Photo Credit: Boys & Girls Club of Miami-Dade

On Sunday, June 1, 2014, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade is holding its 3rd Annual Claws for Kids Brunch at Joe’s Stone Crab. All proceeds will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade.

The event will feature Joe’s famous stone crabs, cole slaw, hash browns, creamed spinach and Key Lime Pie. The restaurant will be open exclusively supporters of “Claws for Kids.”

The mission of the Boys & Girls Club of Miami-Dade is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need it most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.

WHEN: Sunday, June 1, 2014 11:30 a.m.

WHERE:
Joe’s Stone Crab
11 Washington Ave.
Miami Beach, Fl 33139
Ph. 305-446-9910

TICKETS: Tickets are $200 each. Table sponsorships range in price from $1,750 to $10,000. Underwriting opportunities are still available. For reservations and additional information, contact Kati Foley at 305-446-9910, ext. 30 or at kfoley@bgcmia.org.

 

Happy Birthday Universe!

Posted by on Mar 19, 2014 in Weekly Wednesday Wellness Wakeup Call | 0 comments

_BT10158Powerful days are upon us!

Tomorrow is the Spring Equinox (Thursday, March 20th), and with it comes the advent of new life, new beginnings and fresh new starts. What are you ready to start?

The next few days mark the beginning of a new period – the universe celebrates its birthday! This is due to the Sun moving into Aries, starting a whole new yearly cycle.

Is there a project or a launch you’ve been waiting to embark upon? This could be a favorable period.

And… if you’re lucky enough to live near Los Angeles or New York City, you should not miss these events:

March 20th, 7:30pm – Los Angeles

March 23rd, 5:30pm – New York City

 

The Universe is Mathematical

As Universal Kabbalists, we look at many factors when considering the right time for embarking upon certain projects and initiatives, based on a practical science of the natural cycles in life. This is the study of patterns that exist everywhere and can be found in the vibration of music, numbers, rhythm and the automatic ebb and flow that is constantly happening. These patterns and cycles are orchestrated by a force far superior to us sitting here on earth. In addition to the period of the universe, we must also look at the period you are in personally — where on the calendar a particular event or day falls in relation to your own day of birth. This, along with various factors, aids us in determining the best timing for various initiatives in one’s life by selecting the time when the most positive forces are present on the “birthday” or start of a particular initiative.

Happy Wednesday, Happy Thursday, Happy Friday and Happy Weekend Everyone!

May you have a glorious day. Let’s join the world in harmony as we bring on a whole new cycle.

During this time may you be blessed with new beginning and fresh new energy.

Namaste,

Annette

 

Incredible India

Posted by on Mar 15, 2014 in Spiritual Vacations, Weekly India, Wellness Blog | 0 comments

1891169_10152324165563777_741923881_nThis gentle giant – her name is Misakala (as in Mee-SAH-KAH-LAH) with an accent on the first “a”. She was beautiful and really loved to eat sugar cane and hay.

A Rather Yoga-Disturbing Article

Posted by on Mar 12, 2014 in Wellness Blog | 0 comments

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The caption reads: “Yoga, like prayer, is not medicine.” It makes me laugh when the “haters” come out to talk about an industry they have no professional experience in.

This article is case in point: Rather disturbing article

Of course, I have a rebuttal to the unsubstantiated claims that yoga doesn’t work, and the biased opinion of the author.

People have been practicing yoga to stay healthy for thousands of years. Yoga is a form of exercise, which we know has been proven over and over medically to work. As a form of exercise, yoga achieves many of the same physical benefits that going to the gym, running, stretching, spinning, walking, achieves. Massage and bodywork fall in this category too. Yoga calms the nervous system, gets the lymph moving, detoxifies the body, reduces inflammation, and overall promotes healing. Most medical doctors today would advocate an exercise regime to complement their patients’ management of disease and various conditions.

Yoga as “Medicine”

Now if we want to dive into yoga – speaking from my first-hand experience (both personal and with others) yoga has absolutely changed the lives of people for the better. For some people it is their “medicine”, the same way that food can be your medicine. Some people I know wouldn’t be on this planet today if it weren’t for their yoga practice.

To make a blanket statement that says that yoga does not have any therapeutic benefits is not understanding HOW yoga works. There are many reasons why this general statement is inaccurate, and many questions I have about how the studies mentioned here in broad-terms were conducted.

First let’s go into the spiritual benefits, which are not unique to yoga. Yoga is just one form where the individual can make energetic shifts that end up having a positive effect on the physical body. Yoga (and there are many forms of yoga) has been known to create spiritual awakenings within the individual. Much like massage and bodywork, yoga can also create a perception shift that could make all the difference in how someone lives his or her life.

Yoga is an energetic practice, as well as a physical practice, and in some forms of yoga, it is actually first and foremost an energy practice. Therefore benefits may or may not necessarily be quantifiable to the naked eye.

 

How Were They Measuring?

This brings me to question how exactly did the studies he refers to measure results? What constitutes yoga “working” versus “not working”? A blood pressure test? Whether a certain condition was eradicated or still existing? What conditions were they monitoring? For what length of time? What poses and regimen did they implement for the patients? In many cases, it is a progressive practice, and because it is also an energetic practice, it can have effects in areas of your life you weren’t even expecting. Physical benefit is just one of the possible benefits. To say that yoga did not work from the point of view of the author of this article is a shallow statement. It could have profoundly made a difference to someone’s life in a way beyond physical measures. This kind of statement is not looking at the full picture. Who are we to judge, assume or predict what success means to an individual? Yoga is meant to be an integrated tool to encourage the healing process – not something that should be used alone as the sole method of treating a medical condition.

So again I wonder how were they measuring the results of a yoga practice?

Then, you take the individual makeup of the person being studied, and their intention towards healing. How were they going about the practice? Were they just going from Pose A to Pose B in a methodical, mechanical way, or were they opening up their channels, receptive to healing, adopting a healthier mind along with the body, and taking these tools home with them to be integrated into daily life?

Not Every Form of Yoga is for Everyone 

Next, my questions go to what “kind” of yoga did they practice, who were the teachers and did their teaching style resonate with the students? Hopefully the answer is yes, but all of these factors must be considered and absolutely come into play when one embarks upon a path of yoga for the purpose of healing. There is not one form of yoga for everyone, there is not one teacher for everyone, just as our bodies are all made up differently, our minds are all different, with our own unique likes and preferences. For yoga to “work” and create lasting shifts – you have to be engaged energetically. Maybe the participants in this study were, and maybe they weren’t.

_BT10048I emphasize – not every yoga works for everyone in the same way. Similarly not every form of exercise works for everyone in the same way – some people can do yoga all they want and achieve no noticeable results. That does not mean yoga doesn’t work. It may not be the right modality for that person, and that person may not even realize until much later the benefits that were achieved at the time. Additionally I would say that in general we may not understand all the true benefits that are happening beneath the surface. Many benefits go unseen. Some people who are die-hard yoga fans stick with it because they feel differently, and they know it’s working for them. Just like a runner feels amazing after going for a ten-mile run. In either case, the individual knows deep down inside something is working for them unlike anything else they’ve tried, and they wouldn’t dream of giving it up.

There are other tools one can use to achieve the same benefits yoga provides. It is not touted as a miracle cure for everyone as this article seems to imply as the fallacy behind yoga, but I will say that it has certainly been the catalyst for creating the energetic shifts within some individuals that certainly have created miraculous effects. I personally know people whose lives have been saved by yoga. Saved, as in, they wouldn’t be on this planet right now, if it weren’t for the practice. Could they have achieved these results through other methods – sure, it’s entirely possible, but yoga is what they chose, and yoga is what worked for them.

Injuries During Yoga

Now, if we’re talking about getting injured – I see that as a separate issue from the efficacy of yoga as a whole as a healing modality. I totally agree some people end up pushing the limits and hurt themselves. This ties back to what “form” of yoga are people practicing and what is their intention (are they just trying to get a quick fix) or are they sincerely adopting a new lifestyle filled with greater awareness, that generates more kindness towards their fellow man, and creates optimal mind-body alignment, the key to lasting health.

And I’ll finish with this – you can show me 1000 studies that say yoga doesn’t work. Studies conducted with many variables and other elements that I don’t know about (like the questions I mentioned above – for example, just because it didn’t work in one asthma trial that could have a handful of missing links, does not mean it is not an effective healing modality for other people, in other circumstances).

I only need my own experiences and first-hand knowledge as a practitioner and after seeing many lives changed because of yoga – whether its physical, mental or energetic shifts – to know that Slate’s overall message is inaccurate. You could show me a thousand more studies and they would all be null and void in my book because I have seen first-hand with my own eyes the results.

Stay Away from “Astral Larvae”

Posted by on Dec 24, 2013 in Wellness Blog | 0 comments


9476352578_ecac995daf_cWow – every time I read Dr. Levry’s messages, new pathways of understanding and perception open up in my limited being.

I was just re-reading this excerpt from his March 2009 newsletter (it never gets old), and I love the reference he makes to “astral larvae”.

No matter how spiritual you think you are, to stay humble, to not get egotistical about what you know, about what you have experienced, whatever mastery you “think” you have, this is the lesson because at the end we are all the same.

We are all capable of the same understanding, the same enlightenment. We are all rays of the sun. We are all capable of living from the same truth. No matter how many books you have read or how many hours you meditate or pray, if you are not kind to others, if you do not have acceptance in your heart, if you do not light up the lives of others, what good is any of it?

As Dr. Levry says, meditate on the Sun, which emanates the highest qualities of God, so that we may become more like those qualities. This is better than following any human being.

 

“Keep in mind that no man is better than another. In the world of spirituality you will encounter tragic-comical messiahs, saints, prophets, charlatans, and self proclaimed psychics who run about holding the infernal torches of fantastic ideas and bitter fanaticism. They have lost sight of the fact that the crown, the honor, of spirituality is bestowed by the invisible world. It can never be conquered, bought, or manipulated.

There are many people engaged in spirituality who are full of spiritual ego. Having read and/or listened to the scriptures many times over, these individuals have turned themselves into spiritual egomaniacs. Those who walk the spiritual path with ego and unhealthy pride as their companions eventually walk with misery as well, for their dedication and devotion is built on their own shoulders. They demonstrate their power as a way of demonstrating that they are superior to others. In reality, however, they are merely half-cooked semi-Gods; spiritual junkies who know a lot of junk but have missed the point entirely.

Simply put, they may have acquired intellectual and spiritual stuff, but they are deficient human beings because they are not grateful, heart-centered, and kind. Their main purpose lies in showing you that they are superior and in establishing their domain over other people and creatures of God. Such spiritual leaders are quite dangerous, for they eventually become animals that deliver fatal bites while calling themselves spiritual teachers. They may be free, or living in the care of well-guarded asylums, but they are all in constant communion with astral larvae.”

Stay away from the burning desires of the ego – which serves to attach to a spiritual identity, a feeling of “I am better”, my path is better, my religion or my teacher or my way is better, other people don’t know what they are talking about. It is the ego who says to you about others, “Poor them, they “think” they know.” But who is actually doing the “thinking” now?

Strive to live your life from an open heart, so that no ego can live there. All roads lead to one. Embrace the divinity in each other. Embrace the divinity in all things, in every teaching, every sacred act. Make your life a sacred act. Give new meaning to your life with your partner, your child, your friends, your job. Find the significance in the insignificant. Become a soul that dances with divinity. We each have this power.

Thank you Dr. Levry for your constant source of wisdom, and much love and gratitude to the entire Rootlight team, the international Naam Yoga community, who I learn from daily, and to those who might be reading this.

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Source: http://www.rootlight.com/library/eyeofGod_March09.htm

Sacred Sites of India 7-Day Tour, January 7 – January 14, 2014

Posted by on Oct 31, 2013 in Spiritual Vacations, Weekly India, Wellness Blog | 1 comment

agumbe2Mumbai, Pune, Kanyakumari, Kerala

Have you ever wanted to explore India, but had no idea where to go, where to stay, who to go with, or how to get around?  I know exactly how you feel –  join us in Jan!

Yogi Instructor, Ayurvedic Practitioner and Spiritual Mentor, Mas Vidal, is leading our group through the consecrated sites of Mumbai, Pune and the southern tip of Kerala for 7 days. Anyone is welcome.

Safely glide through ashrams and off-the-beaten-road passages, surrounded by local foliage, healing herbs and those unique 6799853658_e5bc7c4df8_zcultural qualities that make the sacred motherland of India so special. Join us on this immersion into the Vedic tradition, which pre-dates all other cultures, and dive deep into learning about the roots from which everything else came from.

A unique opportunity to experience India the right way!

With Mas Vidal as your guide, you will get a truly authentic experience, receive comfort in the security of a knowledgeable traveler, and add a layer of spirituality to complement your trip. Daily meditation classes will be offered. Your soul will thank you for a rejuvenative and inward experience that inevitably goes hand-in-hand with traveling aside an experienced yogi and counselor.

 

Ajanta_caves_3 14 ajanta-caves-mosaic 6799853658_e5bc7c4df8_z agumbe2
Pricing & Trip Details

Sacred Sites of India 7-Day Tour
$1,008

Registrants must arrive in Mumbai airport by January 7th, 2014.
Price Includes Accommodations and travel costs within India for seven days. Ground transportation to and from Mumbai airport is included in price and will be arranged for you.Meals and international travel are not included.
Estimated meal costs are only $150 for entire seven-day trip; flights to India can fall between $1,000-$1,400 if booked before December. Updated Passport and Visa are required to enter India.
The pilgrimage will start on the morning of January 8th. Just show up at the airport on the 7th, we’ll pick you up, and let the divine take care of the rest!  You are in good hands :)
 

Pune, India: Ayurveda Intensive Training Jan 15 – Jan 29, 2014

Posted by on Sep 17, 2013 in Spiritual Vacations, Weekly India, Wellness Blog | 0 comments

seva-dham-1Healing With Sacred Medicine

Learn advanced Pancha Karma detoxification techniques and body purification rituals used for deep healing at a cellular and organ level. This rich program held in the motherland of India could change your life.

Created by Mas Vidal and Dr. Ranade in conjunction with the esteemed Bharati Vidyapeeth University in Pune, India.

Who’s coming with me! Rarely do you find this level of training at a medical university in India offered to Westerners with such open arms. This unique training, held at the highly esteemed Bharati Vidyapeeth University, was created just for us, and exists solely because of the relationship Dancing Shiva has cultivated over time with Ayurvedic professors and institutions in India after many years of travel to the country and a deep commitment to the practice.

 

Perfect for practitioners and therapists of the healing arts, this training does require Ayurvedic knowledge and prior training. Massage therapists, yoga teachers, naturopathic doctors, and herbologists, specifically those with a focus on Ayurvedic remedies, will learn advanced Pancha Karma detoxification techniques and body purification rituals used for deep healing at a cellular and organ level.

 

Curriculum Includes:

– Advanced Pathology

– Clinical Diagnosis

– Ayurvedic Detoxification and Purification

– Pancha Karma Treatment Protocols

– Marma Points and Abhyanga for Healing

– Shirodhara and Applications  of Medicinal Oils

– Application of Yoga as Therapy

(Asana, Breathwork, Meditation)

– Herbology

– 100 Hour Certification

This rich program held in the sacred motherland of India is sure to change your healing practice, maybe forever.

 

 

“Healing with Sacred Medicine” Advanced Program for Practitioners was created by Mas Vidal, founder of Dancing Shiva in Los Angeles, and Dr. Ranade, founder of International Academy of Ayurveda in India, and developed in conjunction with the esteemed medical staff at Bharati Vidyapeeth University in Pune, India.

This course offers 100-Hour Ayurveda Certification endorsed by Bharati Vidyapeeth University in Pune, India.

See Video Here

DATES: Jan 15th – 29th 2014

Rare Pricing Opportunity:
Healing With Sacred Medicine: 2-Week Intensive Training
Paid by December 1st: $2,320

 

A rare price for a rare training. An accessible and affordable program for those who wish to dive deeper into Ayurveda. Registrants must fly into Mumbai airport to arrive by January 14th, 2014. Price Includes Accommodations for two weeks of training. Ground transportation to and from Mumbai airport is included in price and will be arranged for you. Return flights should be booked to leave on January 30th.

International travel is not included in priceUpdated Passport and Visa are required to enter India.