Tag Archives: Meditation

Take time for yourself-DAILY

This winter I have found myself giving advice ‘to do something today that makes you happy’. Upon further reflection, what is really behind that thought is the truth of taking time for yourself to take care of yourself on a daily basis helps each and every one of us to be our best. I have often wondered what it is that makes a person leave a yoga class feeling ‘better’, as I have received many a ‘thank you, I feel great’ at the end of classes I led. I am quite certain that taking the time to enter a relaxed meditative state is like a medicine to help is feel more positive by connecting with ourselves. Meditation is medication.

There is plenty of expectation and judgement with meditation and many of us feel we should try to meditate to better ourselves. The practice of meditation is open and available to all of us anytime, anywhere. In the end, meditation is the simple act of taking a moment to take notice of what is happening for us at the present moment. From that present moment, our awareness of ourselves within and our consciousness can expand. What we go through in our daily lives can leave us frazzled and racing, which makes it even more important that we get into the habit of taking time for ourselves daily. What does taking time for yourself mean to you? Is it a walk, a bath, reading something you enjoy, an activity, practicing yoga, meditation, being inspired by art…it really could be anything, and the conscious action of taking time for yourself is a great act of self care that benefits yourself and all around you-making life good

A Chakra Meditation

Dr Blessyl www.drblessyl.com and I really enjoyed teaching a workshop at Lole www.lolewomen.com last week on colours in fashion and the chakras, the subtle energetic centres of our bodies. While I was going over our material to cover, I realized that a Maya Angelou quote that a client had shared a few weeks ago ¬†‘I approve of my right to be here’ would be the starting point to a chakra meditation I wanted to create. Bringing awareness to our subtle energetic body and our chakras helps us gain a wider perspective to ourselves and our relationship with the world around. This meditation is based on the 7 inalienable rights described in the book Eastern Body, Western Mind (Anodea Judith).

In a comfortable position, sitting, lying down, or in a restorative bridge position with a block under the sacrum to create a grounding energy:

Ground yourself with restorative bridge posture

feel grounded in restorative bridge posture

Begin by bringing awareness to the base of your spine and say to yourself:

I approve of my right to be here (1st chakra)

Moving your awareness to your pelvic area:

I approve of my right to feel (2nd chakra)

With awareness at your navel area:

I approve of my right to act (3rd chakra)

Notice your heart center:

I approve of my right to love and be loved (4th chakra)

Notice the seat of your voice, throat area:

I approve of my right to speak and hear the truth (5th chakra)

Concentrate on the area between your eyebrows, center of your forehead:

I approve of my right to see (6th chakra)

Bring your attention to the crown of your head:

I approve of my right to know (7th chakra)

These 7 phrases can also be used as mantras to meditate upon anytime and anywhere to connect with your inalienable birthrights and consider if anything is in the way of you being truly comfortable in your experience of each of these rights.

 

 

Balanced Physical Activities

I often enter into conversations on what are the best forms of exercise and physical activities to engage in? The answer is individual to each person and their intents. An important consideration is always taking care of yourself and your body. At Making Life Good, we believe that a healthy lifestyle is being well and active to the best of your abilities while thoroughly enjoying life.

It is important to aim to be active on a daily basis, as your body is made for movement. Choose activities that you enjoy and encompass these elements of performance, movement, and well being:

1. Challenging-Your body is constantly adapting and needs physical activities that challenge your current capabilities to be fit. Long, steady state activity, higher intensity activity and sprint activity are all needed to challenge the energy systems of the body.

2.Strength-Your muscles are use it or lose it. Your strength needs to be challenged and trained on a regular basis to maintain a strong and lean body. Physical challenges such as chinups, step ups, lunges, squats, pushups and plank need to practiced on a regular, weekly basis.

3. Movement and flexibility-Once you challenge your cardiovascular system and strength on a regular basis, maintaining your movement and flexibility is important. This can be any form of co-ordinated movement and/or stretching you enjoy such as dance, yoga, pilates.

4. Novel-Trying new movements and sensations on a regular basis (at least once a week) keeps your physical activity routine fresh, so your body can create new connections and adaptations. This could mean listening to different music, exercising in a different locale, trying a movement you have never tried before, or getting moving if you’ve been inactive!

5. Attunement/Breathing/Introspection/Meditation/Reflection/Relaxation-A balance between doing and being is needed and taking time to tune into our breath, bodies and ourselves is important. A clear mind united with a relaxed body is optimal health, performance and well being.

Challenging, strength, movement/flexibility, novel and attunement

Challenging, strength, movement/flexibility, novel and attunement 

 

 

A most important posture

Easy pose, meditation

Easy pose, meditation

Sitting crossed legged is a posture that I choose often, on the ground, on a couch, in an office chair and for meditation. I find the position to be most comfortable for me to stay still for a period of time. I realize the posture is not available or comfortable for everyone (it does improve with practice, I promise), however, getting down, sitting on and getting up from the ground are movements we want to cultivate for healthy spine, hips, knees and ankles.

In addition, I have learned through my studies in yoga that siddhasana (essentially sitting crossed legged on the ground), as referenced in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and Light on Yoga is one of the most important postures we can practice. The posture allows us to have a long spine with optimal relaxation throughout the rest of the body. Sitting tall gives us better awareness and alignment to our subtle energy, so we can be a meditative state. Taking a few minutes to sit cross legged on the ground, on a block, on cushions and bringing our attention to our breathing is a meditative break we can practice daily.

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On Meditation

Many of us believe that meditation is good for us, as the prevalent belief is meditating can clear our minds. Meditation can help to clear our minds, especially when practiced on a regular basis. I strongly believe the first step in meditation is simply to observe what is on our minds. I have heard many times ‘I am unable to meditate, because I have too much going on in my mind’.

I invite you to sit for one to five minutes, breathe and simply notice what is going through your mind. The exercise is even more pleasant when you are outdoors or focusing your eyes on a photo or piece of art (we’ll call it scenery). See if you can focus on your breathing and the scenery. Then simply notice what is crossing your mind without judgement. This is a start to meditation and you most certainly can do it-