Posts Tagged With: trust

Yoga Love is growing!

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I am so super excited to let you know that I am in the wonderful process of creating new life! We are half way now (just over 20 weeks) and super excited to be on this new journey of parenthood. After a challenging and anxious first trimester, I am so grateful to be here today and to feel life growing inside me. We had our 20 week echo today and everything is looking wonderful! I feel so honoured to be able to experience this miracle, called life! Even though baby is not here yet, he/she has already taught us to be patient, to trust and to let go. Babies will come in their own divine timing and for me it was a challenging journey of trusting my body, the universe and let go.

Before I got pregnant, I found out about For Two Fitness, a beautiful maternity gear for the active mum-to-be. A wonderful way to show your bump, to tell the world you are expecting and to be inspired to stay fit & healthy during your pregnancy. They offer beautiful gear for runners, fitness, cyclist, dancers, yoga and for all active mums-to-be out there. They also have clothes for mums expecting twins and after-baby clothes. A perfect way to celebrate your pregnancy, your body and inspire! Through their Instagram and Facebook profile you will continuously be inspired by the amazing possibilities of the female body and to be active and fit ‘For Two’. So I am super honoured to announce that I am ambassador for this maternity apparel! And the wonderful new to this: you will receive 30% discount of all merchandise! You can use the code YOGALOVENZ which will run from today until April 18.

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Categories: Happiness, Inspiration, Sharing, Yoga | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Earth Day 2013

Today is Earth Day; developed to raise awareness for environmental protection. A day to be grateful and respectful for the earth we live on.

A perfect way to connect yourself with the earth is by practicing some grounding yoga poses. Grounding yoga poses can help to quiet the mind and release anxiety. When your first chakra or muladhara chakra is balanced, you’re grounded in the world, both emotionally and physically. It shows in your posture, in the way you walk and in the way you feel about yourself. You feel a sense of security and stability.

One of the basic grounding yoga poses is Tadasana or Mountain Posture:

Tadasana

Tadasana

Tadasana establishes the basic alignment for other standing poses. It may seem an easy pose, but an experienced yogi will agree that the pose isn’t that easy as it may look like. Most people for example find it hard to keep their balance in Tadasana if their feet are touching and their eyes are closed. There are many alignment cues, you could focus on in this Mountain Pose:

  • Toes spread wide
  • Inner thighs rolling back
  • Tailbone drawing down
  • Tops of thigh bones back
  • Shoulder blades together
  • Biceps externally rotated
  • Chin drawn back

At the same time you focus on the feeling of your feet rooting into the earth. During big life events or stressful periods, most people can definitely benefit from grounding yoga poses. I have experienced myself that during an emigration process, you’re highly likely to lose your ‘earth connection’  temporarily. Physically, you need to learn to ground in a totally different environment. Clearly, an emigration has emotionally affects as well. I dealt with feelings of insecurity and anxiety among others. Slowly, I learn to trust life again and feeling more settled in my new life. If you are in need for more grounding, it is better to avoid backbends and quick sun salutations in your yoga practice, since they may further agitate your mind. A more restorative or gently yoga session is recommended to help calm your mind.

Love for our Earth

Love for our Earth

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A meditative journey towards Bliss

Sit and be still

Sit and be still

Raja Yoga is also called the classical yoga. The word Raja means King and therefore Raja Yoga can be translated into the ‘King of Yoga practices’. You can consider your mind as the king. Raja yoga concerns with this king and its fluctuations through meditation. Intense meditation is the focal point of Raja yoga, while embracing the whole of yoga. This approach includes the adherence to the eight limbs of yoga as outlined by Patanjali.

I have just finished my first Teacher Training weekend. It was a profound and amazing experience. It feels special and wonderful to share your passion for yoga with others and learn more about the whole concept and practice of yoga. I’ve realized that my meditation practice has come alive again after this first weekend. First of all, because it is one of the homework requirements to practice pranayama and meditation on a daily basis. This is just the extra push I needed. Normally I would feel guilty to spent an hour or so in the morning to do my asana and meditation practice. Why practice yoga if you have to apply for jobs? Time goes quick and money is urgent, argues my mind. I now allow myself to take that extra bit of time and develop my home practice more and deeper.

The wonderful thing is that I actually save time by starting my day with yoga. I feel more relaxed and at ease with the result of making more efficient decisions during the day. I already knew this of course. Sometimes you need to start fresh over and over again, till it is part of you. I feel blessed that I gave myself the opportunity to start a Yoga Teacher Training. Not sure where my journey will head to, I only know that it feels so right. A yogi friend recently sent me an inspirational speech of Steve Jobs. He talks about the death and how the thought of our upcoming death can inspire you to live life to the fullest. This makes me realize what I really love doing (writing, yoga, counselling, inspire) and that I should trust that life will guide me.

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The Ajna Chakra

The sixth chakra is the Ajna chakra, but is also known as the ‘brow chakra’ or the ‘third eye’ and is located between the eyebrows. The Sanskrit meaning of Ajna is ‘command, knowledge or monitoring center’. It is the center of insight and also called ‘the eye of intuition’ and it is the place where you integrate all the information and intuition in your life. The qualities of the brow chakra are inspiration, intuition and inner vision. In the Indian philosophy the third eye is the symbol for enlightenment and also referred to as the ‘eye of wisdom’ or the ‘eye of knowledge’. The Ajna chakra has control over seeing, not only in the physical sense, but also in terms of intuitive seeing, clairvoyance and other paranormal forms of knowing. The symbolic representation and the mantra of the Ajna chakra is the syllable Ohm which represents the beginning and end of all things. The associated colour is the indigo which represents self-mastery, spiritual realization and the attainment of wisdom. Light is the element most associated with the sixth chakra, but some say it is time. The gland associated with this chakra is the pituitary and pineal gland. The pituitary gland is often referred to as the ‘master gland’, because it secretes a hormone that controls the activities of the other glands of the body. For example the pituitary gland controls your growth, skin coloring and the contraction of a woman’s uterus during childbirth.

Ajna Chakra

Ajna Chakra

Balance

When it’s open and clear, you feel deeply connected to your inner wisdom, trust and intuition and it guides you in your choices. You’re able to see yourself and others as energetic and spiritual beings and you can create your own reality by using your imagination, freedom of choice and enhanced insight. You can rely on your self-reflection, perception, interpretation, telepathy and past life experiences. An open Ajna chakra results in compassion and forgiveness. This energy center is directly related to mind. If you awaken this chakra, your mind is able to gain information by subtle means, rather than by the experiences felt by the sense organs. In general, you gain knowledge through the information that senses conducts to the brain. Though, the Ajna chakra has the power to gain knowledge directly without the help of sense organs and thereby the mind becomes purified and evolved. This requires discipline, firm belief and persistent effort. It is about understanding how training can change your behaviour to always be open and loving to everyone, not just close friends and family. There is no ego involved, instead our conditioning, habits, false ideas and misidentifications are dissolved as a result of a healthy active Ajna chakra. Notice really extraordinary people and become aware of their humble character. A great way to open and balance the third chakra is through meditation and visualisation. The sixth chakra is all about reconnecting to the wisdom that is available to all of us from within.

Cherish the humble things in life

Cherish the humble things in life

Blocked Ajna chakra

However in most of us, this ‘inner eye’ remains closed. You have a sense of self-doubt and you don’t trust your inner voice. You are convinced that there is not something like a non-material world, since this is beyond your capacity to reach. A blocked Ajna chakra can result in the following physical symptoms; migraine headaches, eye strain, blindness, brain tumors, strokes, learning disabilities, spinal dysfunctions, nightmares, panic attacks, deafness, insomnia, high blood pressure and seizures. Difficulty concentrating, memory problems, fear of truth, confusion, judgment issues, lack of concentration or discipline are also connected to a sixth chakra imbalance. If the energy in your sixth chakra is not flowing freely, you can become quite superstitious and afraid of your own thoughts and everything you can’t explain with logic. You have difficulties making decisions, procrastinate a lot about any plans made and you don’t know what you want. You strive for routine and are vulnerable to developing depression. If you third eye chakra is overactive, you may be unable to be practical in your daily life and irresponsible. You’re not connected or aware of the world and yourself, everything seems to be external and not part of you. There can be a victim mentality; you will blame everything that happens of a negative nature on someone or something outside yourself. Just as the pituitary gland is the ‘master gland’, the Ajna chakra governs all other energy centres. If the sixth chakra is out of balance, all others chakra won’t be perfectly aligned either.

The power of intuition

The power of intuition

Yoga

Postures that support the opening and balancing of the sixth chakra are Balasana (Child’s Pose) or any other posture in which the forehead touches the ground. Other helpful postures are those in which the gazing point or drishti calls for movement of the eyes such as Marichyasana (Sage Twist). Alternate nostril breathing is a supporting pranayama exercise to activate the Ajna chakra. If you are practicing your asana, pranayama or meditation, notice when your mind becomes quiet. This quiet, clear and peaceful space will allow you to experience a glimpse of the possibilities of the Ajna chakra. This chakra can shine an insightful light on your life that you were previously not aware of. You can concentrate and focus and imagine something and bring that idea into reality.

Turn inwards for stillness, peace and clarity

Turn inwards for stillness, peace and clarity

Categories: Chakra, Freedom, Inspiration, Yoga | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Flying Yoga

Acro yoga has become increasingly popular over the last couple of years. It blends  together elements of yoga, acrobatics and Thai massage. Thereby it combines the spiritual wisdom of yoga, the dynamic and playful energy of acrobatics and the loving kindness of Thai massage. Through the practice of Acro yoga you develop trust, connection and playfulness between you and your partner. The essence is to be in the here and now and in balance with each other. Acro yoga is suitable for people from all levels and ages, from beginner to advanced students.

There are three main roles in an Acro yoga practise: base, flyer and spotter. The base represents stability and grounding and is the individual who has the most points of contact with the ground. Most of the time this person is lying on the ground with the entire back torso in full contact. The main points of contact with the flyer are the feet, generally placed on the flyer’s hips. The flyer is the person who is elevated off the ground by the base and represents freedom and dynamic balance. A flyer needs balance, confidence and core strength. The spotter basically ‘spots’ the flyer to make sure the flyer lands safely. The spotter also supports the base and the flyer by making recommendations to improve alignment. The spotter represents safety and guidance. An Acro yoga workshop usually begins by building mutual trust through an opening circle and several yoga postures as a warm-up. The main part of the workshop will be the flying poses and for the more advanced students acrobatic flow. The workshop ends with the exchange of (Thai) massage.

The flying poses may look spectacular, yet they are mainly tools to let underlying themes appear. The unique playfulness of Acro yoga supports you to step out your comfort zone and build up trust and connection with others. Most styles of yoga are quite individual and focused on turning inwards. The meaning of yoga is to unite, to connect and to realize we are all one. In an increasingly digital world the desire for personal connections can be even stronger. This can explain the popularity and creation of Acro yoga. For me, Acro yoga is a beautiful way to interact with other yoga practitioners and to feel and experience my interconnectedness with other people. The practice of Acro yoga can stretch your body more deeply and in a different way, compared to a solitary yoga practise. It is a safe and fun way to meet new people and cooperate with others. Imagine how the world would change if everybody would practise Acro yoga on a sunny day at the beach? I guess it would be a fun and playful world to be in. Get out and play!

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