lotus flower

lotus flower

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Renewing & Reviewing the 1st Spiritual Law of Yoga: The Law of Pure Potentiality

While we tend to identify ourselves as our body and our mind, our true essence is the pure consciousness that gives rise to everything in the universe.  When you know your true self, you realize that there is just one mind, one intelligence, one observer, and one Being perceiving itself through the countless perspectives of different beings.

"Once you know who you really are, being is enough.  You feel neither superior nor inferior to anyone and you have no need for approval because you've awakened to your own infinite worth." ~ Deepak Chopra
Given our magnificent spiritual nature, why do so many of us feel powerless or afraid?  A major reason is the hypnosis of social conditioning.  From childhood on, most of us are instructed in limiting beliefs, constrictions, and fear.  Whenever you feel threatened or fearful, it's because you're in a state of object-referral.  You're defining yourself through objects, which include people, titles, possessions, and accomplishments.  By their very nature, objects change, so as long as your identity and sense of security is tied to these external factors, your life will feel unstable.
Real power comes from the experiential knowledge of your deepest self - the unchanging essence of your soul.  This is the state of self-referral.  In self-referral, you have an internal sense of wellbeing regardless of what is happening around you because you aren't identified with transient objects or events.  

One of the best ways to directly experience your true self is meditation.
When you meditate, you move beyond the emotions, thoughts, and memories that usually preoccupy the mind - into the pure awareness that is your essential nature. 
Today remember that although you are temporarily disguised as a human being, your essential nature is infinite spirit - unbounded, immortal and invincible.
source:The Chopra Center 21 Days of Inspiration

"Ever since Happiness heard your name, it's been running through the streets trying to find you." ~Hafiz

Thursday, April 24, 2014

7th Spiritual Law of Yoga: the Law of Dharma

You can make fullest use of the Law of Dharma by committing to serve others through your unique creative expression, in whatever form that takes.  When you do so, the entire field of pure potentiality opens to you.  You're able to create as much happiness and abundance as you want because you're in harmony with the domain of spirit, from which all creation flows.
"Your body cannot heal without play.  Your mind cannot heal without laughter.  Your soul cannot heal without joy." ~ Catherine Fenwick

Most of us at some time or another have felt stuck, mired in worries or unable to see a way out of difficult circumstances.  Then we talk with a good friend, see a funny movie or are struck by an offhand comment that sets us into convulsions of laughter.  Suddenly we feel lighter and we're reminded that there's more than one way to view a situation.  Laughter shifts our perspective and opens us to new possibilities.  It allows us to step outside
our time-bound state and touch the field of boundless, eternal awareness.
Spirit is inherently lighthearted and laughs easily.  Through laughter, we shift our internal reference from ego to spirit, simultaneously releasing fear and awakening to the truth that everything is unfolding for our highest good, even when we can't always see how.
There is also truth in the old saying that laughter is the best medicine.  Laughter reduces stress, boosts the immune system, increases our pain tolerance, and eases depression and anxiety. 
Invite more laughter into your life today and give yourself permission to commit spontaneous acts of silliness, joy and lightheartedness.
excerpt from: 21 Days of Inspiration ~The Chopra Center

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Cherish Life and Love for Eternal Peace

My youngest daughter recently returned home (safely, thankfully!) from a semester in Thailand & Malaysia.  We just received news this week, that her former roommate, Rachel, is not going to return home safely from her semester in South Africa...Rachel was killed in a car accident last Monday.
Needless to say, the stunning shock of hearing this upsetting, unsettling, unexpected news has saddened and sickened so many!  As a parent, my mind & heart immediately goes to: "OMG, can you imagine getting a phonecall with this traumatic news?"  How will her parents ever heal?  How would I heal, if this were to happen to me? 

I cannot wrap my mind around this...and it reminds me of being a lot younger when my brother was killed by an intern's mistake at U of M...There was a plaque, given to my parents long ago, and it remains on their bedroom wall: "No greater grief is there than that of a parent whose child dies before him."  Too true...
I ask that you pray for Rachel's parents and family, for all those friends who grieve her loss...and that you LET THOSE YOU LOVE, KNOW YOU LOVE THEM~ TODAY!   We never know how much time we have together until it's gone.
om shanti, om love,
Lee  Ann

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Top 5 Reasons to Consistently Practice Yoga

            Yoga is mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally beneficial for the body, mind and soul. The hardest part about yoga, and any other fitness for that matter, is getting to the mat. However, excuses like being “too busy” or “too tired” don’t hold up because yoga can fix both. Obviously yoga can’t dictate the business of your schedule, but it can help relieve the stress and pressure associated with being busy and put your mind at ease- if only while you’re on your mat.
            If you still aren’t convinced that making time and energy for yoga is important, read the top 5 reasons to practice yoga:
1)   Yoga helps put your body and mind in harmony. Getting to the mat isn’t just about fitness for your body but for your mind too, and harmonizing both to work together as one. Putting the body and mind in sync helps relieve stress, and helps to keep your emotions healthy and realized. Consistently practicing yoga can harmonize your body and mind even when you are outside of practice.
2)   It helps to boost your immunity. Yoga is a practice that is extremely nourishing to the body because it conditions every cell in the body. It can improve circulation, blood pressure, lung and heart function, glands, and more by sweeping toxins out of the body. You will notice that with continued practice you are much more likely to avoid illnesses and remain healthy.
3)   It helps to boost energy and focus. Long workdays and life’s little challenges can drain the energy we work hard to get while we rest. Yoga can act as a charging system for your tired body because it allows you to focus and concentrate on the practice and the breath. When you leave, your body and mind feel refreshed and rejuvenated so you are able to better focus and hone in on other aspects of your life.
4)   Improves mood and stress levels.  Not only is yoga good for the body because of the stretching and fitness aspect, but the meditation can improve your mental health undoubtedly. Yoga encourages a positive mood and controls anxiety within the brain chemically.  Deep breathing and concentration during yoga allows the brain to release oxytocin which makes your mood lightened and overall makes you happier.
5)   Improves posture, strength and flexibility. A series of yoga poses allows your body to stretch and engage all the muscles, ligaments and tendons. By focusing the mind on the breath and mental state, we can encourage our bodies to delve further into the positions, which in turn promotes strength in the muscles. With strength comes control to be balanced and flexible. Improved flexibility and strength will naturally improve posture as your muscles remember.

Consistent yoga practice is the key to taking full advantage of what it has to offer. Getting your mind, body and soul in sync will make you feel better than you ever have before.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

At Long Last, The 6th Spiritual Law of Yoga: The Law of Detachment

Those who seek security in the exterior world chase it for a lifetime.  By letting go of your attachment to the illusion of security, which is really an attachment to the known, you step into the field of all possibilities.  This is where you will find true happiness, abundance, and fulfillment.

"Security is mostly a superstition.  It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.  Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.  Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing." ~ Helen Keller

When we embark on a journey, our mind naturally wants to know all the details ahead of time.  Where exactly are we going and how long will it take?  Will we be safe and comfortable and enjoy ourselves? When we begin a spiritual journey, the mind's need for certainty is only intensified.

Life's uncertainty can feel unsettling and even, at times, threatening, but it's also the source of our greatest joy.  When we let go of the need to know how things must turn out, we can experience the spontaneity and unanticipated pleasures of the present moment.  In reality, there are no safe paths.  We can't buy traveler's insurance for our life's journey, and we can't be sure of our destination.

By opening ourselves to uncertainty, even if just a little bit at a time, we release our self-imposed limitations and allow our life and spiritual journey to unfold in ways more wondrous and fulfilling than we could have imagined.

Today let yourself release the need to know ~ if only for a few moments.  Take on small step into uncertainty, knowing that you're always supported by the universe.

om shanti, om peace,
Lee Ann