Archives

now browsing by author

 

Meditation and Yoga for Injuries

If you have an injury you probably want to rest and avoid activities that can slow your healing. This is where meditation comes into play. It requires almost no movement and can bring forth ways to improve your healing. If you have never considered meditation before, this article will show you how you can use it in at least one aspect of your life because, let’s face it, we all will be injured at some point.

meditation yj
By: Yoga Journal

The best (if dreaded) remedy for battling a yoga injury? Rest. My left arm is in need of a major vacation from Chaturanga, but my mind is highly displeased by the verdict. I decided to appease my cranky brain with a simple visual and mantra-oriented meditation. I created this meditation while sitting outside overlooking a beautiful lake in upstate New York last week. The slow pace combined with the glory of nature reminded me to use them as healing tools in my visualization practice. I’ve been using this simple mediation since to encourage my mind to rest and my body to recharge, so it can come back strong.

A quiet space outdoors in nature would be ideal if available, but even a cracked window or sitting on a balcony should do the trick.

Start by cultivating ujjayi breath.

Keep it simple and soft. Close your eyes and let your internal vision rest between your eyes on your brow. Set the scene for about one minute.

As you inhale, think to yourself: I am strong. As you exhale: I am healing. Continue this mantra for another minute.

Next, as you say to yourself, I am strong, envision an outer casing shattering off your body. This is the residual buildup of opinions, experiences, hurtful words, or anything that may have added to your duress. See it combust into a million pieces and flutter off into the wind.

As you use the statement, I am healing, envision a flowering vine wrapping around the ailment of on your body. This gorgeous plant is drawing up healing energy deep from within it’s roots and transporting it toward you. See the plant blossom as it makes contact with your skin, because you are ripe with healing and fertile with potential.

Continue this combination of mantra and visualization for at least 5 minutes or up to as long as you’d like. Once you’re done with the mantra, sit in silence for a few minutes more.

About Kathryn Budig

Kathryn Budig is the yoga teacher behind AIM TRUE, a regular writer for Yoga Journal, and a presenter at Yoga Journal LIVE!

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yoga-journal/a-healing-meditation-for_b_10946528.html

Best analogy for mindfulness yet

Something that we at the Society of Healing Arts enjoy practicing is mindfulness in conjunction with yoga and other natural remedies for common illnesses that plague us today. It can sometimes be hard to explain certain aspects of mindfulness so we love this visual representation of the core principles of mindfulness. Enjoy!

GLITTER-HPG
By: Yoga Journal

We make mindfulness practice fun and kid-friendly by integrating it into play, games, stories, arts, visualization, or movement — all the natural ways children learn and explore the world. There is growing research on the importance of play. (In fact, another child mindfulness teacher told me that she was recently asked, “Is play the new mindfulness?”) Visualization is playing with the imagination, a powerful resource for both children and adults.

Children, especially struggling ones, tend to act out their difficulties rather than share them in words. We adults are often only marginally better. When words are unavailable, it helps to find other ways to demonstrate the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

A snow globe or glitter jar is one of the most powerful visual metaphors for that connection; it illustrates how mindfulness — the cultivation of stillness in the face of swirling chaos of life — affects us. In this practice, you can actually make a glitter jar. At first I used to do this practice only with young kids, but I’ve since found that even teens enjoy it.

How to Make a Glitter Jar

You can use a mason jar, a spice jar, or even a plastic water bottle for this practice. Be sure to use glitter that sinks rather than floats. Adding some glycerin to the water slows down the fall of the glitter. Fill the jar to the top with water. Have your children pick three colors of glitter: one to represent thoughts, one to represent feelings, and one to represent behaviors (or “urges to do things”). Drop a few pinches of each color glitter into the water, which represents their mind. Seal the jar with its lid or duct tape.

How to Use Your Glitter Jar

Ask the children what kinds of things will make the glitter in the jar swirl. Encourage answers that reflect distressing events (fights with siblings, losing in sports) and positive ones (getting a good grade, making a new friend), events in the foreground (sick siblings) and events in the background (scary stories on the news). With each event they name, swirl and turn the jar, demonstrating how it becomes difficult to keep track and see clearly what our thoughts, feelings, and urges are.

Your script can go something like this:

The jar is like our mind, and each color of glitter represents something different in our mind.

Let’s put in red for thoughts, gold for feelings, and silver for urges to do things. (Pour in a little bit of glitter with each comment.)

Now we seal up the jar. (Put the lid on the jar and seal it.) Then we start our day.
We wake up, and things are pretty settled. We can see that clearly. (Show how all the glitter has settled on the bottom of the jar.)

But pretty soon, things start swirling around. Maybe we are running late (swirl the jar). Our big sister eats the last pancake for breakfast, and it leads to a fight (shake the jar). We hear scary things on the news in the car ride to school (swirl the jar). We get to school, and find out we aced the test (shake the jar).

Now it’s only a few minutes into the school day, and we can’t see clearly because all of our thoughts and feelings and urges are getting in the way. So what is the one thing we can do to get the glitter to settle and see clearly again?

Be still. That’s right!

And what happens when we are still? That’s right — we can see clearly again.

There is also no way to rush being still. We can’t push all the glitter down to the bottom. We just have to watch and wait. No amount of effort will make it settle sooner.

When things become clear, we’ll know the wise next thing to do. In fact, that’s one definition of wisdom: seeing things as they are and choosing how to act.

While we wait, does the glitter go away? No, it stays at the bottom. Our thoughts and feelings and urges are still in our minds, but they are no longer in our way, clouding our vision.

More Ways to Use the Glitter Jar

A finished glitter jar can serve as a visual timer for other practices, such as breathing practices. For example, you can shake the jar and say, “Let’s do some mindful breaths until the glitter settles.” Some families use the jar as a “calm-down jar,” to mark and measure calm-down time. Ideally, the entire family can use the calm-down jar together when there is a conflict: “We are all upset with lots of thoughts and feelings right now. So let’s all take a break until the glitter in the calm-down jar has settled and then start talking again.” There are even a few glitter jar and snow-globe smartphone apps, which one kid I work with just loves.

There are many images that can act as an anchor. Consider what makes sense in terms of what your kid knows, what they like, and what will resonate with them as you guide them through a practice grounded in visualization.

Adapted from Growing Up Mindful: Essential Practices to Help Children, Teens, and Families Find Balance, Calm, and Resilience by Christopher Willard, PsyD. Copyright © 2016 by Christopher Willard, PsyD. To be published in June 2016 by Sounds True.

Christopher Willard, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist and consultant specializing in bringing mindfulness into education and psychotherapy. The author of Child’s Mind (Parallax, 2010) and other books on the topic, Dr. Willard lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts and teaches at Harvard Medical School and Lesley University. For more, visit drchristopherwillard.com.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yoga-journal/how-to-make-a-glitter-jar_b_10244838.html

Good digestion comes from this pose

Yoga has been used to cure a vast array of maladies throughout the ages but modern science is now proving time and time again that yoga is even better for you than we originally helped. There are certain poses that help with relaxation, breathing, exercise and even digestion! Check out this must have pose for digestive help.

yoga

Even yogis need a little help in the digestion department from time to time. Fortunately, Kathryn Budig says calling on the right pose at the right time can help.

I like to think of The Squatty Potty as the lazy person’s Malasana (Gina Caputo was the first person to suggest pulling your feet up onto the toilet seat like Malasana in times of need). This low squat is the digestive system’s hero. It puts everything into perfect alignment for easy elimination. Try holding this pose for a minute (or longer) first thing in the morning — or whenever you need some help — getting your system going.

Kathryn Budig’s Digestion Rx: Malasana (Garland Pose)

Start standing with your feet slightly wider than your hips. Turn your heels in and toes out, pointing your knees point in the same direction as your toes. Drop down into a full squat. (If this is too intense on your knees, you can place a block under your hips.) Either place your hands on the floor for support or snuggle your triceps to the inside of your thighs and join your palms together in front of your heart. Press your palms together to fire your arms, which will give you a bonus hip opener.

Kathryn Budig is the yoga teacher behind AIM TRUE, a regular writer for Yoga Journal, and a presenter at Yoga Journal LIVE! Her organization Poses for Paws raises funds to support animal shelters through yoga events. She shares the moments, places, and people that motivate and move her with #findyourinspiration. Discover what inspires her here in challenging asana, feel-good flows, and tips and tricks of the trade to help you advance your practice.
Still having tummy troubles? Find more poses to ease digestion.

Read the full article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yoga-journal/the-yoga-pose-you-need-to_b_10458024.html

One of the many benefits of yoga

Besides increased flexibility, relaxation, circulation and flexibility, studies are coming out about even more benefits that one can experience from doing yoga! One such benefit is the improved sleep that you can get from participating in this activity. Also, join us at SOHAI and you can do yoga in the nude with trained professionals!

By Yoga Journal

FNL

If you’re feeling too tired to practice, keep in mind that yoga may be the very thing to bring you sound slumber.

According to a study presented at the Associated Professional Sleep Societies’ annual meeting, people who practiced and did other purposeful activities, such as meditation, were more likely to get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep. The researchers suspect that yoga may address both the physical and psychological aspects of sleep problems.

Find more ways yoga beats insomnia and gives you a more restful sleep.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yoga-journal/research-says-cant-sleep_b_8806772.html