lotus flower

lotus flower

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The 5th Law of Yoga: the Law of Intention & Desire

In the face of challenging situations, it's easy to fall into the grip of the egos’ fears and confusion.  Remind yourself each day of your intentions and spiritual purpose.  Meditate, find your center, reflect and plant your seeds of intention in the fertile field of all possibilities.

"Are you looking for me?
I am in the next seat.
When you really look for me,
You will find me instantly.
You will find me in the tiniest house of time.
Kabir says: Student, tell me, what is God?
He is the breath inside the breath."
~ Kabir

Although in daily life most of us take our ability to breathe for granted, on some deeper level we grasp its central importance.  We use the metaphor
"breathing room” when we feel we are not getting enough air...when we intuit that our very life force is draining away.

From our first breath to our last, breathing is a continuous, endless tool through which we can fulfill the dictum "know thyself.”  If we pay attention, our breath can teach us more than we can imagine: gratitude, peace and even as Kabir tells us, God.

Focusing on the breath immediately brings us into the NOW, which is why awareness of the breath is at the heart of many meditation practices.  When we allow ourselves to be present, we create the breathing room that we crave so intensely.

When we need vitality, we may need to look no further than our breath, which brings in the prana (life force) necessary to support every cell in the body.

Breathing is part of the great mystery that surrounds us every day, immersing us in the source of life even while we feel separate from it.  Take some time to follow your breath today and you will be amazed where it will take you.

om shanti, om peace, om breathe deeply & slowly,
Lee Ann

source: The Chopra Center 21- Days of Inspiration

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The 4th Law of Yoga: The Law of Least Effort

Nature's intelligence functions with effortless ease.  When you become lighthearted and let go of struggling to force things to go your way, you'll experience the spontaneous fulfillment of your desires and purpose.  

"Nature is made to conspire with spirit to emancipate us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
An ancient Vedic teaching states that the ability to embrace ambiguity, uncertainty, and paradox is the hallmark of spiritually enlightened beings.

Yet while we may acknowledge the value of flexibility and openness, the mind craves certainty.  It strives to classify ideas and experiences into  neat categories of good or bad, true of false, victim or aggressor.  While this innate response is invaluable for assessing potential danger in our environment, when we become entrenched in a a particular perspective, we constrict our awareness of new possibilities.

Through mindfulness practices such as meditation and yoga, entrenched thought patterns and their accompanying emotions lose their tight grip on you.

Take some time to meditate today.  As observe your thoughts arising and disappearing in the vastness of your awareness, you will become less and less identified with your conditioned mind and its creations.  They will cease to define your reality as you begin to see that they are just one perspective in a universe filled with perspectives...just one more expression of the infinite Divine that resides in each of us.

input from: The Chopra Center 21 Days of Inspiration

Monday, May 19, 2014

Win 5 Classes at Yoga Center for Healthy Living for FREE! Join Our Yoga Selfie Raffle :)

Yoga Center for Healthy Living “Selfie” Raffle!

You could win a 5 class yoga package ($65 value) for FREE!

Here’s what you do:

  • If you haven’t already, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @YogiBrighton
  • Take a picture of yourself (“Selfie”) before or after you attend a yoga class at Yoga Center for Healthy Living (try to get something indicative of our center in your picture so we know you’re here!)
  • Upload your picture to Twitter with hashtag #YogiRaffle OR upload your photo to the Yoga Center Facebook page (make sure to put your first and last name with every submission).
  • Every time you submit a “Yoga Selfie” in the month time frame, you are entered to win the 5 FREE Yoga classes! The more times you submit, the more chances to win!
  • This begins TODAY Monday, May 19 and we will draw our winner on June 19!

Get to your mat and get to snapping photos! We can’t wait to see your Yogi Brighton Selfies!

For questions email Cortney at cortneypeters25@gmail.com or tweet to us @YogiBrighton OR post your questions to the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/yogacenterforhealthyliving 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The 3rd Law of Yoga: The Law of Karma (or Cause & Effect)

We've all heard the old saying "what goes around comes around" which is the motto of the philosophical law of karma. It plays well with the golden rule "do unto others as you would want done unto you." Keeping this in mind, let's dive into the meaning of the third law of yoga, the law of karma (also know as the law of cause and effect). 

Struggling against old patterns only reinforces them.  Deliberately incorporating new behavior, new ideas, and new approaches into your everday life habits gives your mind the opportunity to adopt fresh perspectives.  Be patient and loving with yourself, and soon the old conditioning will relax its grip and free you to be your true self in the present.
"Happiness is not something ready-made.  It comes from your own actions." ~ Dalai Lama XIV
If you've made a commitment to take better care of yourself this year, perhaps by exercising regularly, learning to meditate, or eating more mindfully, Ayurveda offers powerful teachings to help you move beyond any resistance to changing your old patterns.  In fact, the purpose of AYURVEDA (Ah-yur-vay-da), which is a Sanskrit word meaning "wisdom of life," is to maximize the possibility of making good choices.  As you go about your day, here are three timeless Ayurvedic principles you can use to move beyond resistance to the fulfillment of your goals:
1. ACCEPT THE NOW.  When you accept life as it unfolds, offering no resistance, you become aware of the choices available in this moment.  This doesn't imply giving up desires or being a victim, but discovering the freedom to respond creatively.
2. ACCEPT THE SIGNALS OF YOUR BODY.  Feel all of your body's sensations.  While the mind lives in the past and the future, the body resides in the now and never doubts itself.  It knows the truth and will guide you towards the most evolutionary choices.
3. ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY AND COMMIT.  With deepened awareness, you can make new choices, let go of habits that no longer serve you, and commit to taking the next step to achieve your dreams.
[Input from: The Chopra Center 21 Days of Inspiration]

Friday, May 9, 2014

The 2nd Law of Yoga: The Law of Giving and Receiving! This Law Can Be Applied to All Areas of Life

Giving is based upon being, for you can only truly give what you are.  This means that you must go within to tap your infinite reservoir of intelligence, power, and joy. Meditate, read, journal, go for walks ~ let all of your activities bring you into alignment with your essential being.
"Everything in life is most fundamentally a gift.  And you receive it best and you live it best by holding it with very open hands." ~ Leo O'Donovan
As we were growing up, many of us were taught that "it is better to give than to receive."  Yet both giving and receiving are required to keep the flow of love, joy, and abundance circulating in our lives.  To take a simple example, every time we breathe in, we're taking in life-giving oxygen produced by plants and trees; and when we exhale, we're giving back the carbon dioxide that in turn nourishes plants and trees.

In receiving, we're giving.  Think of how much joy you feel when you truly give and get to experience the joy that comes from seeing the happiness of the recipient.  Imagine how you might feel if they refused your gift...if they stopped the flow of energy.
At the deepest level, giving and receiving are the same thing ~ different aspects of the same flow of energy in the universe.  If you have trouble receiving gifts, help, compliments or anything else, consider the words of one of the most giving, enlightened beings ever to live ~ Jesus: "It is in giving that you receive..." and the Buddha:
"You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere.  You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection."
excerpt from: The Chopra Center 21-Days of Inspiration

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Don't Just Join a Yoga Center, Join a Yoga Family: Editorial

My name is Cortney Peters and I have been going to the Yoga Center for Healthy Living a little over 6 months now. Having tried many yoga places (with Groupons, I might add) I had never really found a center that I fit into. There was never a place where I was recognized or acknowledged- I was just another body with a coupon. I plead guilty to "Groupon-jumping" from center to center until this method eventually lead me to Yoga Center for Healthy Living.

I went to my first yoga class at the center and it was lead by the owner, Lee Ann. Anyone who knows Lee knows what an incredible teacher she is not only of yoga, but of life. Soaking up her words of wisdom and rejuvenating my body, soul and mind during her yoga class made me realize I didn't want to practice anywhere else.

After having attended quite a few classes with a variety of teachers at Yoga Center for Healthy Living, I learned that each one of them practices and encourages the way Lee does. They make yoga enjoyable and make each person feel welcomed, respected and like you're part of their yoga family. This is when I learned that I would much rather be a part of a yoga family than just any other center. There are even some students I have come to recognize and get to know, because they know the secret of a yoga family just like I do.

If you've never been to yoga or you have, but haven't found fulfillment in your practice, give Yoga Center for Healthy Living a try. You will encounter a studio full of teachers and students who have become a yoga family. We all gather for a purpose and the hardest part is getting to the mat. Once you make it there, you won't be sorry. Yoga Center for Healthy Living is my home away from home! Thank you so much Lee and staff for cultivating such a calming and nurturing environment for my yoga practice. See you all soon! Om, Shanti!