Category Archives: health

Ayurveda on the 5 Senses-Deepak Chopra-Find Your inner Pharmacy

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In this very moment, you are seamlessly connected to the cosmos. The same deep intelligence that streams through the rivers flows through your bloodstream, and the same breath that nourishes your cells animates the life of a rain forest. Although it may seem like you are separate from the world “out there,” in reality your body and the universe are made up of the same molecules, obey the same principles, and are inextricably connected.

More than 5,000 years ago, the Vedic sages of India understood what quantum physicists are just beginning to recognize: we are all part of an infinite field of intelligence that orchestrates all of the activities in the universe. With every breath, we exchange our personal energy with the energy of the universe, and we are constantly taking in impressions via the five sense organs—the ears, skin, eyes, tongue, and nose.

In Ayurveda, sensory impressions are considered crucial to health. Just as the food we eat creates our bodily tissues, our sensory impressions determine the quality of our thoughts and emotions. If we want greater physical and emotional well-being, we can use sounds, feelings, sights, tastes, and smells to balance and heal our selves. At the Chopra Center’s Perfect Health program, patients learn how to awaken their inner pharmacy using the tools of the five senses. Here are a few suggestions that you can use in your own daily routine.

 

Sound Therapy

 

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Every sound has a physiological effect. When you listen to a beautiful piece of music or inspirational words, a cascade of pleasure-producing chemicals course through your body, supporting health and wholeness. In contrast, studies of urban environments show that people subjected to ongoing noise pollution are more likely to suffer from stress and lowered immune function.

Ayurveda recognizes that music is a valuable therapeutic tool for balance and healing. The specific sounds that will benefit you most depend a great deal on your mind-body type, known as your dosha in Ayurveda. If you don’t know your dosha, take the Chopra Center’s complete dosha quiz online to find out. It is also important to simply tune in to your body and discover which sounds are healing and inspiring for you. If you feel refreshed, joyful, and alert, the music is working.

 

Healing Sights

 

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The visual impressions you take in have a surprisingly profound effect on your mind, body, and emotions. Watching violent movies or television shows triggers your body’s stress response, creating jittery cells and suppressing the immune system. In contrast, looking at peaceful or beautiful images creates a cascade of soothing neurochemicals in the body.

Surrounding yourself with images that uplift your spirit is as important for your health as nutritious food. Spending time in nature is healing for your mind, body, and soul. When you view a gorgeous sunset, look into the eyes of your beloved, or see a magnificent painting, you cultivate the power of your inner pharmacy.

Aromatherapy

 

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The most primitive of the senses, smell connects us directly with our memories, emotions, and instincts. When we smell something, we are actually absorbing some of its molecules, making aromatherapy a form of natural medicine. Here are some specific suggestions for balancing fragrances:

Invigorating            Cooling            Calming

Lemon                  Jasmine            Lavender

Orange                  Mint                  Vanilla

Clove                  Lime                  Sandalwood

Cinnamon            Rose                  Neroli

You can also use a process known as neuroassociative conditioning to consciously link a healing response to a given smell. First choose a favorite aroma and inhale it whenever you are feeling relaxed, calm or happy. Your body will begin to associate pleasurable feelings with the smell. Before long, just a hint of the fragrance will invoke your inner healing response.

 

The Sense of Taste

 

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Ayurveda categorizes food into six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. Each of the tastes has a unique effect on our mind-body physiology and provides the flavor that makes eating a pleasure. If you include the six tastes in a meal, you will get the nutrients you need and will feel completely satisfied and energized. If one or more of the tastes are missing from a meal, however, you may feel full but unsatisfied and find yourself snacking two hours later. You can find more in-depth information on the six tastes here.

 

 

 

Therapeutic Touch

 

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Touch is fundamental to health and well-being. When your skin is stimulated by loving touch or massage, it releases many healing chemicals that enhance immune function, improve circulation, and promote restful sleep.

You can give yourself the healing benefits of touch every day with an Ayurvedic self-massage or abhyanga. For those who are feeling excessively stressed and ungrounded, use heavy, warm oils such as sesame or almond. If you are feeling irritated or overheated, try cooling oils such as coconut, sunflower or olive. Finally, if you are feeling sluggish or lethargic, massaging yourself vigorously with oils such as safflower, sunflower or mustard will help invigorate you.

  • Being by pouring a tablespoon of warm oil onto your scalp, vigorously working in the oil. Use small circular strokes to massage your entire scalp, as if you were shampooing your hair.
  • Now move to your face and ears, massaging more gently. Put a bit more oil in your palms and massage your neck, front, and back, moving out to your shoulders.
  • Vigorously massage your arms, using a circular motion at the shoulders, and back-and-forth motions on the arms. Then massage your chest, stomach, and lower abdomen using gentle circular motions. Use a straight up-and-down motion over the breastbone. Reach around to your back and spine and massage them as well as you can.
  • Energetically massage your legs, using circular motions at the ankles and knees, and back-and-forth motions on the long parts. With the remaining oil, thoroughly massage your feet, giving your toes extra attention. Massage your body with love and tenderness—your state of mind is as important as your technique in creating a healing experience for yourself.
  • Leaving a thin, almost imperceptible layer of oil on the body is extremely beneficial, toning the skin and warming the muscles throughout the day. It’s therefore recommended that you use very mild soap and lukewarm water to rinse your body after the massage.

Link : http://www.chopra.com/articles/healing-through-the-5-senses

What Is Upayoga?

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Upayoga is a simple yet powerful system of exercise that activates the joints, muscles and energy system.

Based on the sophisticated understanding of the body’s mechanics, Upayoga releases the inertia in the energy and brings ease to the whole system.

Within the human system, the energy flows along 72,000 pathways called nadis. At the joints, the nadis form energy nodes, making the joints a storehouse of energy.

Upayoga activates this energy and also lubricates the joints, creates instant sense of alertness and liveliness. Upayoga essentially means “sub-yoga” or “pre-yoga”. Because of its many immediate and evident benefits, the word upayoga in Indian languages is commonly used to denote “usefulness”.

Upayoga has several benefits:

  • Relieves physical stress and tiredness
  • Exercises and strengthens the joints and muscles
  • Rejuvenates the body after periods of inactivity
  • Negates the effects of long travel and joint pain

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“I strongly recommend every yoga teacher to begin a class by integrating this wonderful practice. There are so many benefits to be acquired. You can also share this knowledge with patients and clients who have arthritis, nervous disorders and M.S. among many other ailments. “

Melika Emira Baccouche

FEELING DRAINED BY YOUR COMPUTER? I FOUND MY MAGICAL SOLUTION!

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I found my magical recipie for feeling healthy and normal after a long day on the computer. 

I’ve always seemed to feel drained and even durty from being on the computer to long. But after getting 2 beautiful salt lamps, I feel the need to share this holistic approach to healthy living on a computer :).

Enjoy this article for it is very informative!!

SALT LAMPS

  • Have you ever noticed how mentally and physically refreshed you feel after sitting by a gashing waterfall? Or how you experience a boost in energy after spending some time at an untamed seafront? What makes you feel so good in spots of this kind is the abundance of negative ions, which get produced in some natural places.

    Now, there is a way to mimic these perfect circumstances in your own home and indoor places where you spend a lot of time. Himalayan salt lamps have the ability to chemically and physically transform a room, and have unique healing effects. Find out how Himalayan salt lamps work, where to use them and what are their health benefits.

    Before I can explain to you why these lamps are so beneficial to your health, I need to briefly tell you about positive and negative ions and how they can affect the way you feel.

    The Dangers of Positive Ions

    We are surrounded by positive and negative ions – these are atoms or molecules that have lost or gained an electron and are electrically charged.

    Positive ions are created by electronic devices and have been dubbed ‘electronic smog’ or ‘electronic air pollution’. As we all know, we are increasingly surrounded by all sorts of computers, large screen TVs, telephones, microwaves and other appliances we now deem necessary for our survival and entertainment (although only a decade ago we did perfectly well without most of these).

    I have previously mentioned the dangers of Wi-Fi / cellular radiation and how it affects your health.

    Studies have shown that your brain gets bombarded by frequencies 20 times higher than its optimal frequency, which results in all sorts of problems, including insomnia, nervousness and allergies.

    The World Health Organization calls the electronic smog “one of the most common and fastest growing environmental influences” and states that concerns about the health effects should be taken seriously.

    In short, positive ions are very harmful to us and need to be neutralized.

    The Potential of Negative Ions

    Nature produces negative ions to combat air pollution. They attract the harmful particles, which are positively charged, and they balance and neutralize them, so that they lose their damaging characteristics.

    In order to breathe in fresh and pure air and protect our health, we want to be surrounded by negative ions. WebMD explains that negative ions stimulate the flow of oxygen to the brain and in this way increase our mental alertness and energy.

    What is a Himalayan Salt Lamp?

    I have previously written about the amazing pink Himalayan salt. Salt lamps are blocks of pure Himalayan salt, so they come from the same region of the world. Also known as the ‘Vitamins of the Air’, they are made from the salt that came from ancient oceans, and serve as a perfect air ionizer.

    Himalayan salt lamps can be solid pieces of salt like this one or decorative baskets filled with large crystals of salt like this one.

    The lamp has a small bulb inside and is shaped in a sophisticated way to create a beautiful decorative object of an exceptional health value.

    How do Salt Crystal Lamps Work?

    Salt lamps emit negative ions.

    The bulb inside of the lamp heats the crystal and supports the ionizing effect. Salt itself is hygroscopic and attracts the water from the surroundings. You can often see that the lamp is damp or even wet, especially in more humid environments. Due to the gentle heat of the lamp, the water quickly evaporates and during the evaporation process the beneficial negative ions get created. They go on to bind with excessive positive ions (bacteria, molds and allergens all carry a positive charge) and neutralize the electronic smog in your home.

    Moreover, the lamp is a very pure source of light and its multi-colored glow has a soothing effect and relaxes you.

    Scientifically speaking, the Himalayan salt lamp achieves the following things:

    1. It ionizes the room.
    2. It balances artificial frequencies and unnatural electromagnetic wavelengths that originate from electronic appliances.
    3. It produces the light waves of the rainbow spectrum which protect your body.

    Health Benefits of Himalayan Salt Lamps

    People using salt lamps report improvement in their physical and mental well-being soon after starting to light them. They are said to help with:

    • respiratory problems (including colds)
    • allergies
    • skin conditions
    • mental and stress-related disorders (including insomnia)
    • headaches and migraines
    • rheumatism
    • blood system disorders.

    Due to their calming colors (different shades of orange and pink), they have also been used in color therapy to help treat neurotic disorders and sleeplessness.

    The lamps have been recommended for anyone wishing to:

    Improve the quality of air in their immediate environment.

  • Achieve a feeling of relaxation and meditation.
  • Improve various health disorders and maintain good health.

Himalayan Salt Lamps in your Home: Where and When

Don’t expect massive improvements if you tuck away a single lamp in the far corner of your house where no-one ever goes. These lamps have a limited range. You will achieve best results if you place them somewhere where you and your family spend a lot of time, or where there are a lot of electronic appliances.

It is suggested to have more than just one lamp. You can start with one of course and then add to your collection as you go along. It’s similar to plants – the more the better. You should aim to have at least one in every room you frequently use, such as bedrooms and living rooms.

Think about the following:

  • Where do you spend most time?
  • Where do you have a lot of ‘electronic smog’ from computers, TVs, mobile phones, etc.?
  • Where would you like to enjoy the lamp’s relaxing effects?

Then, place your lamps in these areas.

Another way to improve the quality of air in your house is by frequently airing the place, so the air can circulate. In the winter months or when there are high levels of air pollution, it might be difficult to leave the windows open and sufficiently air all the rooms. That is when the salt lamps can be particularly useful and can help cleanse the air and remove the stubborn winter bugs.

There are a lot of fake and cheaper versions on the market that don’t use Himalayan salt. You should check the origin of the lamp you are purchasing. The real lamp is made from pure, food grade Himalayan salt. Substitutes from rock salt will not provide you with the same benefits.

http://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/the-amazing-health-benefits-of-himalayan-salt-lamp/

PERIOD CRAMPS ANYONE? HERE ARE SOME KEY POSES TO BALANCE YOUR UTERUS!

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If you have heavy, painful periods or your uterus has dropped into your vaginal canal as a result of weakened ligaments and pelvic muscles — a condition known as a prolapsed uterus — yoga poses may be able to help. According to Swami Satyananda Saraswati, in an article for “Yoga” magazine, asanas can also help correct a retroverted, or tipped, uterus. 

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BOAT POSE

Boat pose, also called navasana or naukasana, helps with balance during pregnancy. According to MyYogaOnline.com, it also strengthens your abs, hips and thighs. In this pose, you balance on your butt and lift your upper body and legs into the air so your body looks like the letter “V.” As you reach past your knees with your extended arms, your lower abs work to help you keep your balance. Over time, YogaWiz.com reports, boat pose can help a prolapsed uterus fall back into place.

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UPWARD ABDOMINAL LOCK

Upward abdominal lock, or Uddiyana Bandha, incorporates a specific breathing technique that combines with a standing posture to engage your lower abdominal organs. To do this pose, bend at the waist, bend your knees slightly and rest your hands on your knees. Inhale through your nose, exhale strongly through your nose and pull your abdominal muscles in tight to push the rest of the air out of your lungs. Expand your rib cage without inhaling, which pulls in the lower abs. Hold for 10 to 15 minutes before you exhale and return to breathing normally. Repeat three times.

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SHOULDERSTAND

Sarvangasana, or shoulderstand, usually takes place at the end of a yoga class. In this pose, you rest your upper body on a folded blanket with your head hanging off or directly on the mat if it doesn’t hurt your neck. By reaching behind your back with your elbows bent and the palms of your hands resting on your mid-back, you can lift your legs straight up in the air. Tucking in your lower abdominal muscles, pointing your toes and keeping your back straight help maintain the posture. According to Swami Satyananda Saraswati, this common inversion, usually held for at least three minutes in class, helps relieve the pain of a prolapsed uterus and return it gently to its correct position in the body.

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YOGA DURING MENSTRUATION

Certain yoga poses, particularly inversions, such as headstand, handstand and shoulderstand, are contraindicated during menstruation. Backbends and standing balancing poses may also be difficult when you have your period. Instead, focus on restorative poses, such as forward bends, seated twists and supported bridge. Replace wheel, or backbend, with supported bridge by placing an upright block beneath your sacrum. Yin Yoga classes, which focus on restorative poses for the lower body, can also be particularly comforting during menstruation.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/362293-effective-yoga-postures-for-uterus-strength/

LAVENDER LEMONADE FOR HEALTH

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So many people suffer from anxiety and headaches these days. I believe this to be a mixture of our lifestyles and many of the changes that are taking place in our world that are pushing people to question what we’ve been doing as a society repetitively for many years. You know what I mean… that feeling that there is something more than just going to work, making money, coming home, eating and repeating it all. It may sound cliche, but it’s evident.

Deep down we can feel it, that something isn’t quite “right” with our world anymore and there’s a certain sense of freedom from it all that is calling us from deep within ourselves. Not knowing what that feeling is exactly or what to do, we sometimes will feel anxiety or overwhelm as we look at our lives. How do we deal with these things? There are a number of actions we can take to address the core issue which you can explore here.

It’s important that we begin to explore this feeling inside. That knowing that things can be different, that our world doesn’t have to be the way it is. Whether it is people getting fed up with the 9 – 5, feeling disconnected from themselves and others or feeling the desire to do what we love and are passionate about, our patience with avoiding these things is continuously growing thin. It’s time, it’s time to explore it!

Other than inspiring people to begin that exploration and letting them know “you’re not crazy, many people are feeling this too,” I also wanted to share something simple that can aid us while we are making more long-term adjustments.

Lavender Lemonade

Pure lavender oil is an incredible essential oil to use for your own health and wellness. It’s among the gentlest of essential oils, but also one of the most powerful, making it a favorite of households for the healing properties and uses of lavender essential oil. Lavender oil  has a chemically complex structure with over 150 active constituents, which explains its effectiveness at helping with a lot of health ailments. Lavender oil possesses amazing anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, analgesic, detoxifier, hypotensive, and sedative properties.

Florida researchers have found that lavender oil benefits include reducing anxiety and lowering pulse rates in nursing students taking stressful tests. And in hospital settings, lavender aromatherapy has been demonstrated to decrease pre-surgery distress and to be more relaxing than massage or merely resting.

Lavender essential oil has medicinal properties as well. It has been shown to reduce depression, improve insomnia and ease labor pains. And anecdotal evidence suggests that lavender oil benefits those with headaches, hangovers, sinus congestion and pain relief.
“Much prior research on lavender has focused on the administration of lavender via an olfactory route. The anxiolytic activity of lavender olfaction has been demonstrated in several small and medium-sized clinical trials. The efficacy of aromatherapy of lavender is thought to be due to the psychological effects of the fragrance combined with physiological effects of volatile oils in the limbic system. These calming effects of lavender oil and single constituents may be the origin of the traditional use of lavender. Lavender oil olfaction has been shown to decrease anxiety, as measured by the Hamilton rating scale,51 and can increase mood scores.



The following are selected examples of clinical trials on lavender aromatherapy:

  • Dunn and colleagues demonstrated anxiolytic activity of lavender oil aromatherapy in patients in intensive care units. Subjects received at least 1 session of aromatherapy with 1% lavender essential oil. Significant anxiolytic effects were noted in the 1st treatment, though 2nd and 3rd treatments did not appear to be as effective.
  • Alaoui-Ismaili and colleagues found that the aroma of lavender is considered by subjects to be very pleasant and is correlated with changes in the autonomic nervous system.
  • Tysoe and colleagues conducted a study of lavender oil in burner use on staff mood and stress in a hospital setting. A significant number of respondents (85%) believed that lavender aroma improved the work environment following the use of the lavender oil burners.
  • Diego and colleagues demonstrated that people receiving lavender oil (10%) olfaction for 3 minutes felt significantly more relaxed and had decreased anxiety scores, improved mood and increased scores of alpha power on EEG (an indicator of alertness), and increased speed of mathematical calculations.
  • Lewith and colleagues investigated the effects of lavender aromatherapy on depressed mood and anxiety in female patients being treated with chronic hemodialysis. The effects of aromatherapy were measured using the Hamilton rating scale for depression (HAMD) and the Hamilton rating scale for anxiety (HAMA). Lavender aroma significantly decreased the mean scores of HAMA, suggesting an effective, noninvasive means for the treatment of anxiety in hemodialysis patients.
  • Lavender aromatherapy, with or without massage, may also reduce the perception of pain and the need for conventional analgesics in adults and children, though more rigorously controlled trials are needed.

DIY Lavender Lemonade with Lavender Essential Oil

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw honey
  • 12 cups pure water
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil
  • 6 lemons, peeled and juiced
  • Lavender sprigs for garnish

Directions

Mix all ingredients together and chill. Add more water or raw honey if needed.

Other ways you can use Lavender Oil for Anxiety and Headaches

  • Mix 5 to 6 drops of Lavender essential oil to your bath water if you have dry skin.
  • Diffuse 10 to 12 drops of Lavender into the air during your workday for natural stress relief.
  • Add 2 drops of Lavender per ounce of your favorite lightly scented, unrefined organic oil (like almond oil or olive oil) for a body oil with all the benefits of lavender for improving your skin, relaxing your mind, warding off insects or helping you sleep.

9 Essential Oils + How To Use Them For Clear, Radiant Skin

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Essential oils are highly potent, steam-distilled plant extracts. Though completely natural, they must be handled and used with care.

Essential oils are used medicinally by aromatherapists. Like any medicine, these natural chemicals can be harmful if used improperly. It’s important to research any essential oil before using it in your routine. You’ll need to determine its recommended dilution, and check to see if the oil has any restrictions for use. Certain essential oils can be disruptive to medical conditions like pregnancy, high blood pressure, or epilepsy.

As a rule, any essential oil you are working with should be diluted to around 1–3% for use in skin care. That means that the oil needs to be blended with a carrier oil to be used directly, or used in very small proportions in recipes and formulations.

It’s important to note that essential oils should be used with extreme care on children and babies. Kids and babies can’t process the chemicals in essential oils as easily as adults. If you’re, I recommend consulting a doctor or aromatherapist before using or handling any essential oils.

While there are thousands of essential oils available, I tend to lean on a handful of favorites. Choose one or two that suit your skin type, and invest in small bottles of high quality oil.

The ultimate oil for mature skin care, rose essential oil is treasured for its ability to help soothe and soften. Rose essential oil is soothing to all skin types, and is an excellent addition to any of your most precious facial recipes.

Geranium essential oil makes a great alternative to rose essential oil and is far less expensive. It can still help balance skin pH, fight fine lines and wrinkles, and benefit facial recipes. Though any variety of geranium essential oil will do, my personal favorites are rose geranium and geranium bourbon.

Neroli essential oil is another great choice for facial care. Like rose essential oil and geranium essential oil, it helps to balance skin’s moisture. Which of the three you choose mostly depends on budget and personal preference.

Personally, I adore the smell of neroli essential oil. It is made from orange blossoms, giving it a delightfully sweet and floral scent.

Roman chamomile essential oil is very effective at soothing itchy, red skin. It also has a calming effect emotionally, which as far as side effects go, is not too shabby.

 

Another great essential oil for soothing inflamed skin, yarrow is also slightly astringent, making it a good choice for oily or combination skin.

 

Helichrysum essential oil is expensive, but a worthwhile investment for those fighting acne. It not only possesses potent antibacterial and antifungal properties, it can help reduce scarring. Helichrysum essential oil’s restorative properties also make it a good choice for mature skin.

 

Niaouli essential oil is a close relative to tea tree essential oil, an ingredient commonly used to combat acne. While both boast potent antibacterial properties and are excellent for acne-prone and combination skin, niaouli essential oil is more gentle on the nervous system and overall health. I recommend using niaouli essential oil in place of tea tree essential oil in recipes.

 

I use peppermint essential oil in almost all of my lip balm recipes. The hint of cooling mint will make your lips tingle. That stimulating feeling can also benefit tired muscles in your feet, legs, and hands.

A word to the wise though: a little peppermint essential oil goes a long way, so go easy with this particular essential oil. By the way, do not use peppermint essential oil with babies or toddlers.

 

Rosemary is a popular essential oil in haircare recipes because it encourages a healthy balance of oils in the scalp. It is believed to discourage dandruff, soothe inflammation, and may even stimulate hair growth.

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-22268/9-essential-oils-how-to-use-them-for-clear-radiant-skin.html

My Body, My love

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Loneliness is an illusion—we are never truly alone.

I say this as someone who used to feel lonely most of the time.

Even with my spouse, even with my best friends, in my heart I felt separate, as if behind an invisible wall. At first, I chalked this up to poor socialization. Beset by frequent moves, childhood trauma and family unhappiness, I had grown up isolated. I hadn’t learned how to relate to others, so I could not connect with them.

Years later, I learned about attachment theory and realized the problem ran deeper. My mother suffered from low moods (she died in a psychiatric hospital when I was six years old). I have good reason to believe she was feeling poorly after my birth, a condition now called postpartum depression. She probably found it hard to resonate with me, her infant son, so my feeling of being walled off seemed traceable to gazing at my mother’s face, who was pained and distant rather than joyful and attuned.

Understanding that my feelings of isolation grew out of my earliest experiences, did not lessen them.

There seemed little to do but muddle through life as best I could, alone behind my wall.

Luckily, I was wrong.

There has turned out to be a way I can feel profoundly connected with another being, not just on occasion, but all the time.

Who is that being?

My own body.

How I came to appreciate my body as an intimate partner is a long story

Key factors include my training as a surgeon and familiarity with the body’s biology. Then came a series of medical crises, that both ended my clinical career and forced me to pay attention to my health. When a yoga institute enlisted me to teach anatomy and physiology to its trainees, I found that these sciences could be used to deepen my self-understanding. In meditations and yoga poses, I explored how human awareness relates to the organism who supports it.

This led to the key insight: the body isn’t a mechanical conveyance, as I’d assumed on the basis of medical training, it isn’t a blood-filled robot.

The body is a lively, responsive animal.

Like a beloved dog or cat, the body is capable of wordless love. In other words, my body and mind are in a relationship. My mind, who felt so lonely, is not alone—at every moment it is embraced by the warm animal who surrounds it. By upholding my consciousness in myriad ways (breathing air, circulating blood, digesting food), this sensitive, vulnerable body is holding me with love.

Consider: If another person did as much for us as our own bodies, we’d have no doubt about that person’s affection.

One of the main points of yoga is to help us recognize the unity of body and mind.

How can the body love the mind if the two are one?

There are many answers to these questions—here, I’ll offer an analogy:

Two people in a marriage are separate, yet in their loving partnership, they are one.

Perhaps the goal of yoga practice isn’t to erase all distinctions between the mind and physical body, but to build a sweeter relationship between them.

To get a sense of how this relationship can be developed, here’s a simple but useful meditation.

It is best done after relaxation practices or a period of mindful breathing.

Bring to mind an adored partner, child or pet. Visualize the beloved in your arms. Feel the warmth that blossoms in the center of your chest. Now imagine holding your body with that same tender regard, feeling the same sweet glow of affection. As your mind honors the organism who gives it life, recall how the body supports the mind with its own encompassing embrace.

Your body works on your behalf every minute of every day.

Feel how your consciousness arises within this living, vibrant animal we call a human body. Appreciate how your body surrounds you with boundless concern for your wellbeing. Even in times of illness, it does its best to keep your life on track. You are your body’s beloved.

Practices, like this one, gradually melted my sense of isolation.

As my mind grew to understand its intimate partnership with my body, it no longer felt walled off. Instead, I felt nurtured and realized I was never alone.

At every moment, human awareness is wrapped in a sort of biological hug.

How wondrous! How healing!

SEKHEM REIKI

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When I first got initiated to Reiki, my wonderful teacher Fiona Young spoke of Sekhem. She told us she would initiate us with the symbols of Sekhem as well and attune our hands and our feet so we could receive the healing energy of the earth as well as the cosmos.

I’ve recently started feeling and seeing symbols with my hands and my feet when I am giving a Reiki treatment. The symbol above is a good representation of what I feel and see in the energetic realm of reality.  I was curious about what the symbols meant and did some research, having completely forgotten what Sekhem was and never really understanding what Fiona Young meant when she was speaking about it during our attunments. She also spoke of the traditional Reiki tradition which is what initially spoke to me. Slowly after years of practicing Reiki, Sekhem popped up and my selective memory opened up and I remembered some of these teachings.

The spiritual path is never ending and I feel very grateful for the wonderful experience of being a channel for the divine loving energy that always surrounds us. I feel grateful to be able to share it with those who need it and are willing to receive it. It is all around us  and we are all able to receive it. Simply ask and you shall receive!

Sending Love! Love! Love!

Melika Emira Baccouche

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Sekhem is a very powerful transformational force in energy healing. It is believed to be the healing energy taught and practiced by the Priesthood in the temples of ancient Egypt. There are references to Sekhem in scrolls and hieroglyphs indicating that ‘Sekhem’ denoted ‘Power’ or ‘Might’ when used in spiritual terms.” Simon Treselyan

Sekhem has a close connection to the Egyptian lion – headed Goddess Sekhmet -the Goddess of a thousand names. She destroys all that is no longer of value and brings healing to the world.

Many people not connected with Egypt and her archetypes experience the energies in different ways. Other powerful archetypes, saints and angels carry the same energy and manifest to the initiates. The energy comes through in the way most appropriate for each student or person receiving healing.

Sekhem means the “Power of Powers” and it is connected with our own empowerment for both healing and spiritual development. Once initiated all our healing work improves exponentially.

Egyptian Sekhem is more powerful than Reiki and it works on different energy bodies simultaneously. This results in the avoidance of a prolonged healing crisis and is a great aid in spiritual development.

Egyptian Sekhememploys 3D symbols which are linked to the science of the pyramids.

Reiki uses symbols two-dimensionally so Seichim/Reiki Masters will benefit both from the increase in power and dimensionality when using their Seichim/Reiki symbols. At Advanced level and beyond it is the original Egyptian Sekhem energy and how it manifests symbolically. This energy is fundamentally Unconditional Love in its pure form. The symbols include access tointer-dimensional portals.

Some of the benefits of Egyptian Sekhem are:

  • Accelerating the infinite process of spiritual development and enlightenment
  • Assisting in manifesting our goals
  • Increasing our psychic powers and abilities to see energy
  • Increasing our feeling of aliveness by bringing us more fully into the present
  • Increasing awareness of who we are and about our relationships
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Egyptian Sekhem Masters are encouraged to be initiated into the Egyptian Cartouche. This is a very powerful initiation not suitable for beginners in which the initiate embodies the frequencies of each of the archetypal energies in turn. The initiation into the archetypes brings about a state of heightened awareness and a deep understanding of those energies. Psychics who are initiated receive clearer information and powers of mediumship are enhanced.

 

The foundation of the system is the attunement to the male and female aspects of the Ultimate Divinity as expressed through both Egyptian and Kaballastic symbolism. This foundation is included as part of the Seichem Reiki Mastership– see below.

Subsequently there is an initiation into 25 different archetypal energies. These energies are represented by 25 different symbols. These symbols represent certain Universal Archetypes. Those universal concepts remain the same regardless of whether the shape of the symbol is a Rune, Egyptian Hieroglyph or Astrological Sign. The 9 major symbols correspond to the early Egyptian Pantheon known as the Ennead of Heliopolis.

These represent those energies which are the purest archetypal aspects possible. Universal or cosmic energy is totally impersonal being neither good nor evil. It is coloured by the intention of the user. Cosmic Laws and the energies they cover do not belong to anyone creed, religion or philosophy.

“Cartouche” is the oval within which the hieroglyphs are drawn. Usually the cartouche contains the name of a sovereign or person of high rank. Many of the symbols within the Egyptian Cartouche are familiar to us such as the pyramid, the caduceus, the lotus etc.

These ancient symbols capture the essence of the forces or energies that govern the universe. “Archetype” means first type or pattern. An archetype represents principles that can be personified.

Each symbol is accurately tuned to its own respective energy field, ray or vibration and to employ its use is to invoke the forces it represents.

This system is incorporating the work of Kathleen Milner, Simon Treselyan and Murry Hope.

SEICHIM REIKI

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Seichim is a system of Reiki Healing which incorporates the traditional Usui Reiki System symbols with slight variations but with a very different form of initiation.  It includes many extra symbols, methods of awakening and healing and focuses more on the Heart and upper Chakras.  As such it is a very spiritual form and it vibrates with the principal ofUnconditional Love.  Some of the symbols are connected to ancient Egypt and Seichim is the foundation system for Egyptian Sekhem Mystery School.  The symbols assist with the opening of the 3rd Eye and Crown and strengthening the spiritual connection.
The Chinese Goddess of Kwan Yin – the Goddess of Compassion
Seichim is a high level system with only 2 levels of initiation and it is ideal for those Reiki Masters who would like to progress with greater scope of symbols, a deeper understanding of forgiveness and unconditional love and an acceleration of their spiritual journey.

SEICHEM REIKI

This system was created by Kathleen Milner after coming across Patrick Ziegler’s Sekhem work and it includes full Reiki Initiation.  Some of the symbols are also contained in the Karuna System – see Reiki Energy Mastery section.  It is a stand-alone system but it can be given in addition to Usui Mastership.  It is pronounced ‘say keem’ and it originated in ancient Egypt.

http://www.egyptianskhm-reiki.com/index.php/initiations-egyptian_systems/?k=31967:4::

 

PLEASE REMOVE YOUR SHOES

49994394172a8ec05e7428102d4b8d21When I come home, I take off my shoes and go inside. I never thought to do it the other way around, until now.

Aside from the beach or your backyard, how often do you take off your shoes and walk around outside? If you are like me, you can’t remember when—it may have been sometime in childhood.

Every morning for the past 15 years, I’ve walked my dog in the woods next to my cottage. A couple of days ago I finally slipped off my shoes and walked barefoot. This is what I learned.

1. I still worry about what people think.

As soon as I took off my shoes I had a minute worrying that passerby’s might think I had either taken LSD or was stuck in the ’70s. I also realized how weird it was to have shoes on all of the time. We are animals after all. The only animals that wear lace up, padded shoes.

2. The earth is soft.

So soft in fact that it deeply moved me. Like touching a beloved’s cheek. The temperature of the dirt changed step after step depending on the tree cover over me, and the leaf litter under me. The moisture, the rocks, the shade, the direction of the wind. It all mattered.

3. Walking barefoot is best done slowly and gently.

This way of moving alters your mind and mood. The sharp rocks and prickly oak leaves are there, but it is no big deal. The animal in us knows how to shift our weight, slide a little to the left, step on a rock, or not.

4. Walking barefoot creates presence.

Mind chatter dissipates. The birds are less suspicious. We are quieter and the animals tend to stick around more. We notice sounds, smells and see more detail as we slowly pass by.

5. Sensing connection.

I could really sense the “mother” in mother earth as I stood on her warm skin. I felt the biosphere. The connection of us all. Roots nested under the soles of my feet, cool spikes of growth poking through the earth all around me, and leafing out above me. Feeling the rumble of the creek rise up through my small bones. The delicate nature of our world. I also realized why my dog walks where she walks.

Last month, my mentor, Martha Beck first encouraged me to remove my socks and shoes and venture out on the earth barefoot. We were at a retreat surrounded by horse pastures. I have been lucky enough to have spent much of my life in the company of wonderful horses but this was the very first time I was shoeless. It was a whole new, almost unexplainable experience. When the horses noticed me, they stopped eating and trotted up to the fence. I silently moved towards them. They seemed very curious and very calm. We stood together on the warm earth for a long while, and then noiselessly, we separated as one.

It is amazing to me how wearing shoes on my feet has separated me from so much of who I am, and what I am a part of.

I am completely aware that much of this may sound hokey but I encourage you to try this simple yet slightly radical act of slipping off your shoes and walking in the dirt. Please leave a comment and let me know what you discover.

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/11/please-remove-your-shoes-how-to-find-the-mother-in-mother-earth/

5 Things Every Yogi Should Know

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One of the joys of being a yoga teacher is that I get to see a side of people that most people don’t get to see.

During an hour-long practice, I see a room full of people drop their outer facades and fall into the present moment. I see faces soften. I see shoulders relax. I see defenses fall away. It is hard to accurately describe what that looks like, but it is one of the most beautiful things in the world.

I am honored and grateful to be a teacher of yoga. I see people blossom right into the best, most confident, versions of themselves. There are five things I want to make sure that every yogi knows.

1. Yoga is more than just doing poses on the mat.

The beauty and inspiration of yoga is that it consists of many different elements. The ancient sage Patanjali talks about eight limbs of yoga in the Yoga Sutras. They consist of yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi. If you want more info on each limb, you can read the basics on Yoga Journal, or jump right into the Yoga Sutras of Pantajali.

While most people are most familiar with the physical aspects of yoga, asana practice is only the tip of the iceberg. If you are interested in more depth, more spirit, more love… other limbs of yoga can help you as much, if not more, as being on the mat. There is always more to learn, in each and every limb of yoga, and because of that, we are all students figuring it all out — even the most advanced teachers. Open yourself to the possibilities of the entire yoga tree.

2. Honoring your present moment—no matter what that is—is the key to yoga.

Some practices are hard. Some flow with ease. We all, at one time or another, feel like swearing at our teachers as we hold a pose longer than we want to. We all feel like running from the room screaming like our hair is on fire at one time or another. Whatever comes up is real, it is important, and it needs to be acknowledged. Every time we practice yoga, we have the opportunity to be present, to stop the stories raging in our mind, and just be. It sounds so easy, but it is one of the most challenging parts of the practice. Staying with each breath as it unfolds is the most advanced part of yoga.

3. It is important to feel yoga, not perform yoga.

I don’t look like a svelt cover model yogi. I barely squeeze my ladies into size 12 Lululemon tops. I can’t do certain poses that some of my students can do. However, when I am on the mat, I feel my yoga. When in dancer’s pose, I feel my body express the pose like I am a ballerina on a NYC stage. When I arch my back in camel, I feel my heart center creak open and the energy flood in. It doesn’t matter what it looks like to others. It only matters how it feels to you. Yoga makes me feel beautiful.

Sometimes you’ll run across a person who is performing for the crowd. The pre-class headstands and arm balances, the looking around to make sure everyone is watching, the pushing of bones and muscles into places they have no right going are all tell-tale signs of a yoga performance. I used to get annoyed, mainly because I can’t do many performance ready poses, but now I send love to the performer. I want her to feel her own beauty, not need anyone else’s approval. Watch what happens in your mind when you practice. When you turn inward and are present to your current experience, the room can fall away and the practice can be felt deeply in your heart. You can feel beautiful and strong.

4. What we do on the mat is practice for “real life.”

It’s so great to be able to go to a studio and roll down a mat next to other like-minded people. What we do there is practice for what happens in our “out of the studio” world. We learn to stay present at the office, to breathe through the discomfort of a hard conversation, to accept what is happening with our kids, to let go of the big critic on our shoulder (aka our ego).

Yesterday, I was in a meeting with a grumpy colleague and I felt anger and defensiveness start to rumble in me. I was internally mounting my argument against the poor unsuspecting man, which surely would have blown back his chair and launched him into the next decade. In a word, I was pissed. Then I remembered my yoga… breathe, Katie, breathe. Deep breaths. Three of them. The anger passed. I was able to be calm as I expressed my thoughts. I was able to negotiate. My colleague’s life was saved. Everybody won. That situation was sponsored by vinyasa yoga.

5. What we deal with what happens on the mat is how we deal with life.

This is one of the hardest things for me to learn. When I am in practice and something really challenging comes up, I want to run. I am a bit shamed to tell you that I have actually faked nosebleeds to get out of holding a pose. Running from the room with my hand over my face, I sure as hell got out of that pose.

Guess what my defense mechanism is in life? Yup, run little rabbit, run. Yoga has taught me that how I react to things on the mat is a mirror to my reactions in life. That is a big, hard, ugly pill to swallow, but it is true. My self-doubt comes up on the mat, and it comes up in my life. When I experience a breakthrough on the mat, I learn that if I practice hard and believe in myself, I can do anything. Instant breakthrough.

Yoga is a not just something I do. It is the way I live my life. I encourage everyone to start where they are and let the practice evolve, unfold, and transform you. It all starts with your willingness to be present in this very moment. Breathe on, sweet one. Breathe.