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Thich Nhat Hanh on Loosening the Knots of Anger

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Thich Nhat Hanh teaches us how to relax the bonds of anger, attachment and delusion through mindfulness and kindness toward ourselves.

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To be happy, to me, is to suffer less. If we were not capable of transforming the pain within ourselves, happiness would not be possible.

Many people look for happiness outside themselves, but true happiness must come from inside of us. Our culture tells us that happiness comes from having a lot of money, a lot of power and a high position in society. But if you observe carefully, you will see that many rich and famous people are not happy. Many of them commit suicide.

The Buddha and the monks and nuns of his time did not own anything except their three robes and one bowl. But they were very happy, because they had something extremely precious: freedom.

According to the Buddha’s teachings, the most basic condition for happiness is freedom. Here we do not mean political freedom, but freedom from the mental formations of anger, despair, jealousy and delusion. These mental formations are described by the Buddha as poisons. As long as these poisons are still in our heart, happiness can not be possible.

In order to be free from anger, we have to practice, whether we are Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or Jewish. We cannot ask the Buddha, Jesus, God or Mohammed to take anger out of our hearts for us. There are concrete instructions on how to transform the craving, anger and confusion within us. If we follow these instructions and learn to take good care of our suffering, we can help others do the same.

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The Knots of Anger

In our consciousness there are blocks of pain, anger and frustration called internal formations. They are also called knots because they tie us up and obstruct our freedom.

When someone insults us or does something unkind to us, an internal formation is created in our consciousness. If you don’t know how to undo the internal knot and transform it, the knot will stay there for a long time. And the next time someone says something or does something to you of the same nature, that internal formation will grow stronger. As knots or blocks of pain in us, our internal formations have the power to push us, to dictate our behavior.

After a while, it becomes very difficult for us to transform, to undo the knots, and we cannot ease the constriction of this crystallized formation. The Sanskrit word for internal formation is samyojana. It means “to crystallize.” Every one of us has internal formations that we need to take care of. With the practice of meditation we can undo these knots and experience transformation and healing.

Not all internal formations are unpleasant. There are also pleasant internal formations, but they can still make us suffer. When you taste, hear or see something pleasant, then that pleasure can become a strong internal knot. When the object of your pleasure disappears, you miss it and you begin searching for it. You spend a lot of time and energy trying to experience it again. If you smoke marijuana or drink alcohol and begin to like it, then it becomes an internal formation in your body and in your mind. You cannot get it off your mind. You will always look for more. The strength of the internal knot is pushing you and controlling you. So internal formations deprive us of our freedom.

Falling in love is a big internal formation. Once you are in love, you only think of the other person. You are not free anymore. You cannot do anything; you cannot study, you cannot work, you cannot enjoy the sunshine or the beauty of nature around you. You can only think of the object of your love. That is why we speak about it as a kind of accident: “falling in love.” You fall down. You are not stable anymore because you have gotten into an accident. So love can also be an internal knot.

Pleasant or unpleasant, both kinds of knots take away our liberty. That is why we should guard our body and our mind very carefully, to prevent these knots from taking root in us. Drugs, alcohol and tobacco can create internal formations in our body. And anger, craving, jealousy, despair can create internal formations in our mind.

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Training in Aggression

Anger is an internal formation, and since it makes us suffer, we try our best to get rid of it. Psychologists like the expression, “getting it out of your system.” And they speak about venting anger, like ventilating a room filled with smoke. Some psychologists say that when the energy of anger arises in you, you should ventilate it by hitting a pillow, kicking something, or by going into the forest to yell and shout.

As a kid you were not supposed to say certain swear words. Your parents may not have allowed you to say these words because they are harmful, they damage relationships. So you went into the woods or to an isolated place and shouted these words very clearly, very strongly, in order to relieve the feeling of oppression. This is also venting.

People who use venting techniques like hitting a pillow or shouting are actually rehearsing anger. When someone is angry and vents their anger by hitting a pillow, they are learning a dangerous habit. They are training in aggression. Instead, our approach is to generate the energy of mindfulness and embrace anger every time it manifests.

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Treating Anger with Tenderness

Mindfulness does not fight anger or despair. Mindfulness is there in order to recognize. To be mindful of something is to recognize that something is there in the present moment. Mindfulness is the capacity of being aware of what is going on in the present moment. “Breathing in, I know that anger has manifested in me; breathing out, I smile towards my anger.” This is not an act of suppression or of fighting. It is an act of recognizing. Once we recognize our anger, we embrace it with a lot of awareness, a lot of tenderness.

When it is cold in your room, you turn on the heater, and the heater begins to send out waves of hot air. The cold air doesn’t have to leave the room for the room to become warm. The cold air is embraced by the hot air and becomes warm—there’s no fighting at all between them.

We practice taking care of our anger in the same way. Mindfulness recognizes anger, is aware of its presence, accepts and allows it to be there. Mindfulness is like a big brother who does not suppress his younger brother’s suffering. He simply says, “Dear brother, I’m here for you.” You take your younger brother in your arms and you comfort him. This is exactly our practice.

Imagine a mother getting angry with her baby and hitting him when he cries. That mother does not know that she and her baby are one. We are mothers of our anger and we have to help our baby, our anger, not fight and destroy it. Our anger is us and our compassion is also us. To meditate does not mean to fight. In Buddhism, the practice of meditation should be the practice of embracing and transforming, not of fighting.

Using Anger, Using Suffering

To grow the tree of enlightenment, we must make good use of our afflictions, our suffering. It is like growing lotus flowers; we cannot grow a lotus on marble. We cannot grow a lotus without mud.

Practitioners of meditation do not discriminate against or reject their internal formations. We do not transform ourselves into a battle field, good fighting evil. We treat our afflictions, our anger, our jealousy with a lot of tenderness. When anger comes up in us, we should begin to practice mindful breathing right away: “Breathing in, I know that anger is in me. Breathing out, I am taking good care of my anger.” We behave exactly like a mother: “Breathing in, I know that my child is crying. Breathing out, I will take good care of my child.” This is the practice of compassion.

If you don’t know how to treat yourself with compassion, how can you treat another person with compassion? When anger arises, continue to practice mindful breathing and mindful walking to generate the energy of mindfulness. Continue to embrace tenderly the energy of anger within you. Anger may continue to be there for sometime, but you are safe, because the Buddha is in you, helping you to take good care of your anger. The energy of mindfulness is the energy of the Buddha. When you practice mindful breathing and embrace your anger, you are under the protection of the Buddha. There is no doubt about it: the Buddha is embracing you and your anger with a lot of compassion.

Giving and Receiving Mindfulness Energy

When you are angry, when you feel despair, you practice mindful breathing, mindful walking, to generate the energy of mindfulness. This energy allows you to recognize and embrace your painful feelings. And if your mindfulness is not strong enough, you ask a brother or a sister in the practice to sit close to you, to breathe with you, to walk with you in order to support you with his or her mindfulness energy.

Practicing mindfulness does not mean that you have to do everything on your own. You can practice with the support of your friends. They can generate enough mindfulness energy to help you take care of your strong emotions.

We can also support others with our mindfulness when they are in difficulty. When our child is drowning in a strong emotion, we can hold his or her hand and say, “My dear one, breathe. Breathe in and out with mommy, with daddy.” We can also invite our child to do walking meditation with us, gently taking her hand and helping her calm down, with each step. When you give your child some of your mindfulness energy, she will be able to calm down very quickly and embrace her emotions.

Recognizing, Embracing, Relieving the Suffering of Anger

The first function of mindfulness is to recognize, not to fight. “Breathing in, I know that anger has manifested in me. Hello, my little anger.” And breathing out, “I will take good care of you.”

Once we have recognized our anger, we embrace it. This is the second function of mindfulness and it is a very pleasant practice. Instead of fighting, we are taking good care of our emotion. If you know how to embrace your anger, something will change.

It is like cooking potatoes. You cover the pot and then the water will begin to boil. You must keep the stove on for at least twenty minutes for the potatoes to cook. Your anger is a kind of potato and you cannot eat a raw potato.

Mindfulness is like the fire cooking the potatoes of anger. The first few minutes of recognizing and embracing your anger with tenderness can bring results. You get some relief. Anger is still there, but you do not suffer so much anymore, because you know how to take care of your baby. So the third function of mindfulness is soothing, relieving. Anger is there, but it is being taken care of. The situation is no longer in chaos, with the crying baby left all alone. The mother is there to take care of the baby and the situation is under control.

Keeping Mindfulness Alive

And who is this mother? The mother is the living Buddha. The capacity of being mindful, the capacity of being understanding, loving and caring is the Buddha in us. Every time we are capable of generating mindfulness, it makes the Buddha in us a reality. With the Buddha in you, you have nothing to worry about anymore. Everything will be fine if you know how to keep the Buddha within you alive.

It is important to recognize that we always have the Buddha in us. Even if we are angry, unkind or in despair, the Buddha is always within us. This means we always have the potential to be mindful, to be understanding, to be loving.

We need to practice mindful breathing or walking in order to touch the Buddha within us. When you touch the seed of mindfulness that lies in your consciousness, the Buddha will manifest in your mind consciousness and embrace your anger. You don’t have to worry; just continue to practice breathing or walking to keep the Buddha alive. Then everything will be fine. The Buddha recognizes. The Buddha embraces. The Buddha relieves, and the Buddha looks deeply into the nature of anger. The Buddha understands. And this understanding will bring about transformation.

The energy of mindfulness contains the energy of concentration, as well as the energy of insight. Concentration helps you to focus on just one thing. With concentration, the energy of looking becomes more powerful.

Because of that it can make a breakthrough that is insight. Insight always has the power of liberating you. If mindfulness is there, and you know how to keep mindfulness alive, concentration will be there too. And if you know how to keep concentration alive, insight will also come. So mindfulness recognizes, embraces and relieves. Mindfulness helps us look deeply in order to gain insight. Insight is the liberating factor. It is what frees us and allows transformation to happen. This is the Buddhist practice of taking care of anger.

Every time you give your internal formations a bath of mindfulness, the blocks of pain in you become lighter and less dangerous. So give your anger, your despair, your sorrow a bath of mindfulness every day—that is your practice. If mindfulness is not there, it is very unpleasant to have these seeds come up. But if you know how to generate the energy of mindfulness, it is very healing to invite them up every day and embrace them. And after several days or weeks of bringing them up daily and helping them go back down again, you create good circulation in your psyche, and the symptoms of mental illness will begin to disappear.

Mindfulness does the work of massaging your internal formations, your blocks of suffering. You have to allow them to circulate, and this is possible only if you are not afraid of them. If you learn not to fear your knots of suffering, you can learn how to embrace them with the energy of mindfulness, and transform them.

Reprinted from “Anger,” by Thich Nhat Hanh, with permission of Riverhead Books, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc. Copyright © 2001 by Thich Nhat Hanh.

http://www.lionsroar.com/loosening-the-knots-of-anger/

MAKING LOVE WITH THE COSMOS WHILE PUKING MY GUTS OUT! An Ayahuasca Adventure :)

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I’ve just returned from a stay in a beautiful slice of jungle paradise, nestled somewhere in the South American rainforest.

Over the course of seven days, I drank the ancient brew named ayahuasca five times, was whipped with a prickly jungle leaf called Ortiga twice, vomited more than I have in my entire life, and was completely reborn.

I was led to plant medicine when I became fed up with being incredibly bored by the life that I was living and sick of my repetitive, isolated culture. I was deeply disappointed with my prospects of adulthood and I couldn’t bear the thought of living in a world devoid of magic.

I began to surround myself with nature—a place where I had always been able to find serenity and connection.

Much to my surprise, the Earth began to speak to me, comforting my depression with mountain air and rolling thunder. She gave me gifts of plants that could teach and people who could help me to understand them. I was a lost child, and she took me by the hand and led me home.

I heard about ayahuasca through whispered rumors among my group of “tripping buddies.” I was told stories of her healing powers, but I did not ever expect to drink the medicine. I was terrified by what I had heard about the intense visions and the prospect of the grueling, infamous purge.

Yet, less than two weeks ago, by a chain of mysterious and magical events, I found myself sitting before three shamans in a circular hut at 5 a.m., my shaking hands holding a small bowl filled with a thick brown liquid that smelled like really gross wine.

I gulped the brew, thanked the shamans and returned to my mat. Although I didn’t know what to expect, I was certain the plant would be gentle with my delicate self.

Within an hour, I was face down in the dirt, completely puking my guts out. I have never felt more sick in my entire life. The jungle was swirling around me as my mind lit up with beautiful images and brutally honest lessons.

I was completely lost in a psychedelic world, and the voice of ayahuasca made it very clear that I was cleansing my body and mind from years of self-doubt, hatred and ignorance, but was absolutely certain I was about to die.

Yet, even as I experienced this miserable state, I felt like a baby in the arms of her mother. There was no punishment, only consequence for the decisions I had made and the paths I had taken.

For hours I lay outside on beautiful, grassy knoll. Trees bent over me, laden with flowers, and I began to stop resisting the purging that continued to come. I had asked to connect with nature, and I saw that I was being connected to all of her aspects: The disgusting, painful, harsh, beautiful and complete reality of my own mortality.

Everyone else left for lunch, except one shaman who coaxed me back inside and sat patiently while I lay on my mat, slipping in and out of lucidity.

After 20 minutes, like magic, I felt perfectly fine. I sat up, and she came over to help me stand. My arm around her shoulder, we walked to the kitchen where I ate enough of the delicious, homemade food to feed a small army.

Still seeing geometric patterns and slightly tripping out, I was told that we would be having another ceremony in seven hours.

Surprisingly, I couldn’t wait to have my ass kicked again.

That night, I did not expect that I could possibly need to purge more, but 20 minutes after I drank from the cup, I was outside kneeling on the ground.

Yet this experience was entirely different. I was transported to the stars, while still aware of my body. As I purged, I felt new spaces opening up in my being. They were filled with the purest love I had ever felt. I began to see that as I gave up my attachment to old beliefs, patterns and stories about myself, I made room for the connections that I had been asking to find. The only way I can describe that night is to say that I made love with the entire universe for eight hours. I was transformed into a jeweled star goddess, crowned with grace and divinity.

I remember saying, “My third-eye is wide open and I’m never closing it” as I saw crystalline geometry and danced without moving a muscle. I laughed and sighed as one lesson after another fell into place. Mother Ayahuasca turned my cheeks to velvet and my eyes to galaxies. I lay in the hut, just feeling my skin and seeing all the ways I had not been loving my beautiful body. I felt one with the cosmos and saw the exquisite beauty in the duality of our world. My mind kept singing, “I forget so I can remember.” And the remembrance of this Love was beautiful.

The next three ceremonies unveiled to me different aspects of myself that I had been ignoring, suppressing and denying. I realized that I had been going to everything—books, articles, videos, fellow humans and even drugs, but never to myself for guidance.

I was shown that in my fear, I had created a safe shell around myself and filled it with a dreamworld, convincing myself that it was reality. I had been given everything that I had ever asked for, but my shell had not allowed me to receive these gifts. I did not want to feel pain and so I wouldn’t let myself grow.

But that day, beneath the warm sun, I began to hatch into something more complete.

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It is easy to love light and beautiful things, I realized, but I had been focusing so much on this light and beauty that I had allowed my dark side to fester in the shadows. There were ugly pieces of me that I was denying while professing to accept myself. This made me believe that I had to be beautiful to be loved and resulted in me spending hours in front of mirrors, criticizing and trying to hide my imperfections.

At one point during my fourth ceremony, right after a bout of purging, a friend walked by and asked how I was doing. With vomit and dirt covering my face, I smiled and said, “Amazing. I am learning how to be ugly” He smiled and said, “At last.”

During the final ceremony, it began to rain. I cried with the downpour and let it wash away all of the lies I had been telling myself. Here I am: naked, confessing that I have lied, stolen, cheated, inflicted pain and shattered beautiful things.

And I love myself anyway.

I am being taught how to hold a space of balance for myself. Allowing all of my facets to be loved is a constant choice for now, but I am committed to surrendering to this love over and over again. “I am finished fighting this endless battle against myself,” I scrawled in my journal. I meant it.

On the plane home I wrote:

“I think the most precious thing I have been given is the ability to love and be loved more deeply. It was like being carried home to the nest, held under my mother’s wing, against her heart, then set free to fly away again and become lost in the world. We have forgotten how to be unconditionally loved and it is the wound we are all trying to hide. Thank you, mother, for breathing me into life and then drawing me back to death. I get lost so you can find me, forget so you’ll remind me: I’m a child of the dark and light.”

I’ll be returning to that magical paradise again, but first I have some things to do at home. I am going to spread this love as far and wide as I can reach. I am going to stop wasting my precious life through laziness and start blazing my own path through this jungle of existence. I will rise with gratitude, fall with grace, and above all, keep falling in love with this glorious, wild ride.

~http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/04/making-love-with-the-cosmos-while-puking-my-guts-out-an-ayahuasca-adventure/

HALLA FARHAT FASHION DESIGN!

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This girl has an amazing soul and a free heart full of love. A book could not describe her for she is indescribable. Her sense of fashion, taste and spirituality has always been the taste of a rebel looking for her own voice, whatever people say or do she has her own voice and I’ve always admired that in beautiful Halla. She is my soul sister and forever will be.

I don’t know if she know’s her own amazingness and talent but I’ve always recognized it through her cooking, photography, drawings and of course FASHION! She could always dress with courage, not giving a fuck or a shit what other people thought or think. She is a secret rebel, very mysterious woman at first to hide this great beautiful heart that simply wants to dance threw life and drink from every sacred and spiritual creative experience.

I love you forever girl and beyond this life!! My admiration goes deep!!

HALLA’S BIO:

Adult Fairy Tales fashion designer: Halla Farhat models: Helena Prat, Andrea Gimeno make up artist: Verónica Marín photographer: Alexander Flórez assistant photographer: Abraham Sebastia — Halla has been inspired in the youth rebellion, graffiti and the Indian culture to create her collection Adult Fairy Tales, all this inspiration came to her while living in Barcelona. — Halla se ha inspirado en la rebeldia juvenil, el graffiti y la cultura india, para crear su colección Adult Fairy Tales, toda esta inspiración viene a ella mientras vive en Barcelona.

https://www.behance.net/gallery/14142119/Adult-Fairy-Tales

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Which of Your Chakras Are Blocked And How to Fix Them?

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Hello dear friends,

This is a wonderful example I’ve found on chakra and chakra balancing. I will add the sound of each chakra for your own personal meditation’s and visualizations beside in Italic with some other tips and tricks.

1) Blocks in the Root Chakra make us insecure, scared, anxious. To get rid of the blocks, you need to face your fears, deal with them and let go. To feel more grounded and safe, try walking barefoot, dance, eat root vegetables.

Lam is the sounds of your root chakra and it is ruby-red. It turns clock wise and you should always start with this chakra in any spiritual practice, whatever the teacher says. If we are not grounded we cannot fly as high, unless we will eventually crash. Always keep grounded in any spiritual practice. Are inter-connectedness to the earth, a symbol of our spiritual mother is the essence of being able to expand our spirituality without damaging ourselves. This is your safety net!

2) If the Sacral Chakra is blocked, we feel guilty, numb, lack emotions and sexual satisfaction. To balance this chakra, take a closer look at the situation that bothers you, fix the things you can fix and relax about those that can’t be fixed. Surround yourself with beauty and take your time to enjoy the things you like.

Vam is the sound of this chakra and it is a beautiful orange, the colour of the sun when it rises or when it is setting. This chakra is our relationship towards ourselves and when we decide to share our sexual energy with someone, we are sharing a part of our sacredness. This chakra is our creativity, our own personal sanctuary full of watery emotion’s. Nourish this chakra with singing, dancing, cooking, feeling. Allow yourself to truly shine and express whatever your light wants to shine through!

3) Solar Plexus Chakra is blocked when we feel insecure, frustrated; are afraid of being rejected. To balance this chakra, you need to revive yourself and boost self-confidence. Spend more time in the air, groom yourself well, take up some sports and notice the progress you make.

The sound of this chakra is Ram. This chakra is a beautiful golden yellow and thrives in self-respect. If you did not respect yourself and ignored your inner strength, your inner fire that wants to build your life according to your beliefs and your centre, this chakra can go out of balance. Go where you are respected as you are and where you are celebrated. Listen to your inner voice, allow it to guide you. Do not dim your light for anyone and acknowledge the peaceful warrior in yourself and other’s.

4) Complicated relationships, tragic losses and loneliness often block our Heart Chakra. This chakra is hard to heal, but you can gradually balance it by focusing on the positive things in life, noticing the people who love you and need you, and being grateful for what you have. Also, working as a volunteer, meeting new people and helping them will eventually open your Heart Chakra

Yum!! I always remember the name of this chakra for yummy!! The heart is a beautiful jade green orb and all the chakras rotate clock wise. When you go deeper and deeper into chakra balancing and self-healing, you will notice that sometime’s your chakra’s even spin in the wrong direction. Set the intention and chant the sound of your chakra. Ask for healing. Give yourself plenty of self-love because there is no energy that is more powerful than yours and your relationship with your energy towards yourself.  Do many heart opening asanas, let go of the negative with the exhalation. Breath is prana, life force. Allow yourself to take responsibility for your suffering and let go. Whatever is stuck in this chakra you can visualize all the negativity and the hurt as rocks or mud, whatever seems natural to you. Let it come out of your heart and visually cut it and send it to the light. The light always transforms things for the greater good.

5) Blocked Throat Chakra is usually associated with self-expression problems, deception, manipulative communication. The key to healing your fifth chakra is to be honest with yourself and others. Sing, talk to yourself, write a blog – do things that stimulate your ability to communicate with yourself and with the world.

Hum is the sound of this wonderful ocean blue chakra. Sometime’s this chakra can become blocked for other reasons. When your mind and your heart are not on the same page or not connected this chakra can become blocked. Allow the flow my chanting, singing, laughing. Pin point what is stuck and allow it to release by self-massage and breath. 

6) Do you have trouble concentrating, remembering things, suffer from nightmares or can’t seem to find your way in life? Try clearing your Third Eye Chakra by meditation (focus on the space between your eyebrows as you meditate). Do eye exercises and find the time for relaxed horizon- or star-gazing and mindful concentration on something small – like insects in the grass. Train your concentration without overloading your mind.

The sound for the next 2 chakra’s is Om! Om is the sound that the universe was created through and still vibrates to. Intake positive impressions, train your mind because mind is like monkey. Practice gratitude and simply enjoy being!  Look at tree’s and clear your mind,  feel the wind and clear your mind or sit and close your eyes and feel the grass on your toes.

7) If your Crown Chakra is blocked, you may feel indecisive; worry that your life is meaningless and suffer from depression. Also, this chakra is negatively affected when we get too attached to material things and lose the ability to let go. To start healing, meditate and do more of those things that make you feel peaceful. Learn to think of yourself as a part of the Universe (as opposed to, for example, being a professional belonging to a company).

Let the white and golden light of the universe pass through your crown chakra and experience unconditional love. Let it enter every cell of your body and appreciate the unity of the universe. You will no longer feel like an orphan of the universe but one of its loved and never forgotten child.

As you have probably noticed yourself, most of these problems don’t emerge in one day, so you can’t expect them to disappear quickly. What’s more, they tend to appear simultaneously and usually are the top of the iceberg. It means that you’re probably going through one of those complicated life twists that are meant to teach us a lesson and make us wiser and stronger. Take a break to think about your current situation; about the people you need in your life and about those who are bringing you down; about the things you need to change and about the things you need to let go. No matter how small you are in the face of the Universe, you have the power to fine-tune your life to fully enjoy the peace and harmony you deserve.

https://yoga.com/article/which-of-your-chakras-are-blocked-and-how-to-fix-them

ANXIETY AND AYURVEDA

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Since I began doing consultations as an Ayurvedic practitioner,

I’ve noticed one common element in which 4 of out 5 patients seem to all have in common. They all seem to be suffering from anxiety, anxiety disorders and panic attacks. Common symptoms in Ayurveda are: tremors, uncontrollable thoughts, spasms, difficulty breathing, heart palpitations, a feeling of emptiness, every sound seems more intense and people feel very sensitive to energy. It’s as tho they have become a sponge for all the energy in the world.

We already have enough to deal with our own lives and our own health, it becomes even more difficult to feel everything, sound, sight, touch, energy, like a waterfall of bricks falling over you.

It becomes harder to go to work, to go do groceries and to even see friends for some of us. We slowly start allowing our fear to manage our life by avoiding mundane habits and social settings that we usually thrived in and enjoyed. Everything is taken more personally, we feel as tho everyone is looking at us and judging us. It can even become difficult to eat in front of other’s or to simply say hello to our best friends. Depending on the type of anxiety level you have or the type of anxiety you developed.

In Ayurveda this is called a Vata unbalance. It can be triggered by many things. A post traumatic stress that was not dealt with or noticed, a heartbreak, a burn out. To many ignored emotion’s kept inside which created a blockage of your energy from circulating properly, everything becomes stuck.

Sometime’s the thoughts are so uncontrollable and negative that we would love to cut our heads off to calm the noise and to simply stop feeling and living in a constant state of fear. The hardest thing is to have the knowledge and the logic to know that we have no reason to be fearful but the fear is still present.

It feels like some fear mongering monster has taken over your brain and your body, reacting with different manifestation’s of fear and not even knowing why? For me this was the hardest thing.

In ayurveda Vata is considered the dosha air and space. Air and space are beautiful, they connect with creativity, communication, fluidity, being open to change, feeling like a social butterfly, joy, clarity and so many other wonderful gifts. Vata is also responsible for physical movement, movement of thoughts, feelings and nerve impulses, movement of the organs for ingestion to assimilate and absorption of nutrients. Vata governs the mind, sensory perception, motor functions; including speech and muscular coordination.

When there is to much Vata, we are drying out our nervous system which is one of the primary sites of Vata. The colon is a primary site of Vata as well and when there is derangement we tend to become constipated, the mucus membrane diminishes. We have difficulty focusing or have difficulty sleeping and feel a sense of breathlessness when we feel anxious. My personal experience was feeling my heart and my chest cramped up with difficulty breathing from morning until night. This was constant anxiety and don’t get me started on my panic attacks :).

As someone who has suffered from anxiety, it was a relief to know that I was not the only one. That this seems like an epidemic, to my 50 year old male clients, to my 22 year old female clients. There is a consistency going on with the way people are responding to stress and their environment in our society.  Everyone is different and has a different body type. I will give you general information to bring you back into balance. Things that I practice everyday or almost everyday :).

Pranayama was a great help to me, the practice of Aloma Veloma, alternate nostril breathing and Kapalabhati, shinning skull. Do not practice these exercises with breath retention since the goal is to push the air out of the body not hold more in. These exercises are going to re-build your gray matter in the brain and your white coating of myelin sheath; white coating around your brain.

To put it in a simple way, are nervous system in our brain is like a room full of electrical wires all plugged into each other. Vata dry’s out the matter, the protection surrounding the electrical cord. When this is gone, you lose control of your nervous system and it’s natural functions.

Fight or flight a natural instinct for survival becomes very sensitive and the brain gets confused and feels the urge to flight.

Be mindful of not watching to many action or horror movies. Try taking in healthy impressions, being receptive to positive things and going for silent walks in nature to breath and ground yourself. The brain is primarily a Vata organ and there are factors that damage the brain and strips it from it’s cerebrospinal fluid. Excessive sensory stimulation, too much thought, too much worry, stimulants like coffee, sugar and drugs. A derangement in the brain will manifest as; insomnia, poor motor function and sensory function, spasms, tremors.

Yoga: Very soft and slow yoga, grounding poses and heart opening poses. Try to practice with your eyes closed and soft music alone. Be very soft and gently with yourself. When you do heart opening exercises try to exhale deeply. If you feel like letting out an animalistic noise, go for it. This is expelling the extra air and the negative emotions that need to move out of your body and your mind! Developed a harmonious routine, practice letting go and end the day with a beautiful gift to yourself of an Abyanga! Self-Massage!! Almond oil in my teachings and apricot oil is fine for all body types. The smell of jasmine, rose and sandalwood is soft and bring up emotion’s of love, softness and relaxation 1 or 2 drops is enough, essential oils are very concentrated and you do not want to put to much. Sometime’s less is more. Apply the base all over your body and simply send yourself love and be present. You can apply oil in your nose, your ears, under you feet and deeply massage your head with circular motions to help the nervous system replenish itself.

Slowly slowly sleep will become better, cultivating relaxation is an art. We are in a world where everyone is over stimulated. Try to turn your cell phone off before bed and take your time before you open it in the morning. Sing and allow your energy to flow, cultivate presence and mindfulness. Enjoy your LIFE! Not everyone else’s threw a screen. Moderation in anything in life is the key.

Allow yourself to listen to soft music and simply chill 1 hour before bed. Without constant television and stimulation, just be in your body and be in your thoughts. If you are not connected to yourself, no one can do it for you. These are the tools and if you practice for 1 week, you will already feel a difference.

Do not push to hard and listen to yourself. If you need to stay home because of a long stressful day at work. Stay home, there will be many more occasions to go out but your health is priority. When you have your health the rest will come.

Last but not least 2 magical herbs for every body-type,ashwaganda andtriphala.

LOVE LOVE LOVE!!

Author: Melika Emira Baccouche

DIVINE DANCE AND CULTURE! THE MOST BEAUTIFUL DANCER & CHOREOGRAPHER IN MY EYES!

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The choreographer Pina Bausch was an intensely serious exponent of the neo-expressionist form of German dance known as Tanztheater. She was known for works showing men and women engaged in endless, often violent, power struggles. She died June 30, 2009, at 68 in Wuppertal, Germany.

The 1984 United States debut of the Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal at the Brooklyn Academy of Music electrified audiences and spurred American dancers to audition for her. Her troupe returned to BAM in December 2008 with “Bamboo Blues,” a dreamscape that switched between episodes of sensual impulsiveness, catwalklike audience-awareness, scenes of harrowing need or anxiety and aspects of melancholia.

Referring to “Bamboo Blues,” the Times dance critic Alistair Macaulay wrote, “Perhaps the most interesting dichotomy lies between its presentation of the intensely social self (in which her characters’ artful awareness of an audience often makes them become bizarre or grotesque) and its images of the less affected but often more driven inner person.”

Ms. Bausch said of her own attitude toward dance-watching: ”I want to feel something, as a person. I don’t want to be bored.” Feeling, in fact, was paramount in Ms. Bausch’s work, and nowhere did she experiment with emotions more typically than in her penchant for repeating scenes and gestures. Over the years, her stagings included dancers splashing through pools of water and flip-flopping on mounds of dirt.

Ms. Bausch was the spiritual daughter of two mentors, Kurt Jooss, the German Expressionist choreographer, and Antony Tudor, the English-born choreographer whose dance-dramas at American Ballet Theater remain the models for psychological ballet.

Born in 1940 in Solingen, Germany, she studied in Essen at the famous Folkwang School, whose dance department spawned the Jooss Ballet. That company burst upon the international scene in 1932 with Jooss’s most famous work, ”The Green Table.” An anti-Nazi, Jooss left Germany in 1933, but he returned after World War II to head the Folkwang dance department again. Miss Bausch graduated from the school in 1959 and at the age of 18, became a special student at Juilliard in New York.

Mr. Tudor, who was her teacher there, recruited her for the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. She also appeared with the American modern-dance troupe of Paul Sanasardo and Donya Feuer, and in the New American Ballet, which was actually made up of modern dancers like Donald McKayle and Paul Taylor. In 1962, Miss Bausch returned to West Germany to join Jooss’s new Essen Folkwang Ballet.

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/pina_bausch/index.html

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnUesmL-1CQ watch this amazing dance, feel this amazing dance!

Love you Pina Bausch, thank-you for opening the doors to a new dimension

Melika Emira Baccouche