Category Archives: Meditation

07 Feb

Wellness Retreat in Jamaica!

blog_retreat1Hey friends,

Hope you are all doing well! I wanted to share some exciting news…

I will be part of a week long retreat in Ocho Rios, Jamaica this coming May!!!

Being healthy is more than just a visit to the gym or eating well. It is also about investing in your emotional and spiritual health. Picture yourself waking up with the sun, having breakfast by the water and stretching your limbs with a yoga or boot-camp class. Enjoy all day exercise and activities, see the sights or simply lay in the sun. It’s up to you!

Recharge your batteries at the beautiful Scotch on the Rocks villa on the shores of Ocho Rios, Jamaica, a location known for its breathtaking beauty and relaxing charm.

If you are interested, you can email: reserve@fabulouslyhealthyyou.com

The early bird price is $1150 if you register by February 25th.

Regular price after 2/25 is $1250

$300 due upon booking and the remainder due by 3/25.

Price includes: Accommodations for 6 nights/7 days, 3 meals per day, transportation to and from the airport, and daily exercise classes and activities.

Sounds pretty good, right? There are thirteen spots available… if you are anyone you think might be interested in this awesome deal, please forward on, or email the above address for more info! Of course you can always email me for more info too! The flyer for this retreat is attached to this email as well. Check it out!

Love to all.

12 Jan

Svadhyaya – Self Study

blog_svadhyayaAs written by Sri Swami Satchidananda in the introduction to the Yoga Sutras, “Truth is one, paths are many.” We all have our different ways of understanding, accepting and exploring our individual truths.

Svadhyaya, also defined as self-study, is the ability to see our true divine nature through the contemplation of our life lessons and through the study of ancient scriptures and texts. It is a form of inquiry, examination, getting to know oneself. Through this process of inquiring about our own nature, we come to the distractions, the mental afflictions and all that stands in our way of reaching our highest potential.

When we use the yoga practice of Svadhyaya effectively, our actions become much more than a way to achieve something external; they can become a mirror in which we learn to see ourselves on a deeper level. If we are willing to look at behaviors, motivations, and strategies we habitually use to maintain our own self-image, we can use Svadhyaya to pierce through the veil that this self-image creates and into the nature of our own essential being. Once we understand ourselves well enough to know how to detach from this habitual behavior, we are able to move forward and quiet the mind.

Our deepest life experiences directly tie into how we see ourselves. If we spend time in contemplation, either through study of self and/or study of scriptures, we can understand our perception and see it from a place of perspective instead of attaching ourselves to it. In Book 1, Sutra 7 – “The sources of right knowledge are direct perception, inference and scriptural testimony”. The “right” knowledge is what we perceive it to be. But the “truth” or declared truthful knowledge, is that which is written in ancient scriptures and has somehow been proven or declared as truth.

Ultimately, we are all looking for that inner peace that comes from our contemplative truth. In order to manage situations that may come up in life, knowing ourselves well enough to resist the urge for drama or high intensity for that which breeds emotion, Svadhyaya allows us to recognize the triggers, and enables us to stay calm without labeling or attaching.

Although extremely challenging at times, I do believe that this is the only way to live, and it’s largely how I live my life. I believe strongly that we are handed the same lesson until we overcome what is necessary in order to see our true Selves. Whether these reoccurring feelings, actions or thoughts are at work, our minds are unable to release the grasping until we understand the root to where they come from. If we don’t clear these lessons in the organic way, by dealing, then they will undoubtedly keep on repeating themselves until our perceptions shift. In discovering the liberation from our minds and perception via our individual paths, we come to our divine truth.

04 Dec

Monday Night Yoga

blog_mondaynightyogaHi Yoga Friends,

My sister Shira and I, will be teaching yoga classes every week on Monday at 7pm. We will switch on and off each week – so if you attend regularly you will experience both of our individual teaching styles! Both certified at Sonic Yoga, NYC, we teach Vinyasa based classes open to any level of Yoga experience.

Fear not, that if you decide one Monday that it is THE MONDAY that you will delve into your yoga practice, you can be assured that we will be there to offer and share our yoga with you. And don’t be intimidated by what seem like the crazy, bendy yoga postures… there is a pose and comfort level for everyone, and we aim to find that for each person.

THE DEETS:

TIME: Every Monday, 7-8pm

LOCATION: Essential Therapy located on East 25th street between Park and Lexington, Ground Floor.

RSVP: essentialyoga108@gmail.com to reserve your spot!

**It’s $10, which is to help us provide the lovely space that we practice in.

**Please bring a mat if you have one, otherwise there are some available for us to use.

**Also, please feel free to bring friends! Just let us know who’s coming so we can make sure we reserve your place… as it does fill up quickly!

Yay Yoga! Hope to see you there!

Namaste.

25 Oct

Quiet Alertness

blog_DarknessMy latest read is “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. I came across this book as I was browsing in a gift shop one day, and just picked it up as it seemed appropriate to my current focus in life, and the theme in which I’m trying to keep constant. Staying present. I’m halfway through, and I have to say, it has definitely had an effect on my way of thinking.

There are so many various ways we can be reminded of not only how important it is to stay present in our lives… but how hard it is to stay present in our everyday lives. Tolle’s book and teachings offer a very interesting approach to finding the present moment as we continue to live and function as our Selves. He suggests we take a backseat to our minds, and watch our thoughts as they pass by, like clouds in the sky. Instead of identifying with all that our mind tells us from moment to moment, listen to the thoughts, without labeling them or judging them, and see about finding themes, reoccuring illusions – ex: the thoughts that our minds create for us… the thoughts that aren’t necessarily reality, but feel like our reality.

Clearly, very complex, it’s hard to explain in detail all that Tolle is offering, but I do recommend reading this book if you are interested in delving a bit deeper into how you can find your own truth in the present moment… and further to that, without being constantly burdened by the past, or fascinated with the extreme vague possibilites of all that the future can or will bring. We cannot let our pasts live on in us and sabotage what our present lives can bring. We also cannot function by living in the future, that which keeps us keeping on and hoping for the bigger and better things to come, because that, too, has its own way of sabotaging what we can wholly get from the present.

On a slightly different note, last night, we saw a new Off-Broadway show called Play Dead . This show was an attempt to spook you and keep you on your toes, while incorporating magic and complete darkness in some moments as part of the production. Interestingly enough, usually situations like these leave me sitting totally on the edge of my seat and in the complete state of uneasiness and discomfort. In these recent times that I’ve been available to access the present moment on a greater level than ever before, and the ability to practice quiet alertness while fully being present in the darkness, allowed my heightened senses to keep me attune and more at ease, even in the darkness. I could feel what was going on around me even though I couldn’t see it… so instead of being caught completely off guard in the spookiness, I was immersed in the spookiness and therefore not scared of it. It was pretty cool, actually… It was a fun show to see, entertaining for sure, and a nice intro to Halloween week!

01 Sep

The Sun

blog_thesunThe Sun

Have you ever seen
anything
in your life
more wonderful

than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats towards the horizon

and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone–
and how it slides again

out of the blackness,
every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower

streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance–
and have you ever felt for anything

such wild love–
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure

that fills you,
as the sun
reaches out,
as it warms you

as you stand there,
empty-handed–
or have you too
turned from this world–

or have you too
gone crazy
for power,
for things?

-Mary Oliver, New & Selected Poems: Volume One

16 Jun

Yoga for Mamas-to-be

blog_prenatalayogaTo contribute to the circle of prenatal studies in my world, along with prenatal massage, I took the first part, of a two part series, in prenatal yoga at Yogaworks in NYC. Whether those enrolled in a prenatal yoga class are moms that have children already, or are pregnant with their first child, prenatal yoga can be very beneficial for the body and mind during the length of pregnancy, and extremely useful during labor as well!

One of the major themes in yoga in general, is BREATHING. So many of us don’t even realize we are breathing! When in a yoga class, the constant cues to “turn the awareness inwards and on the breath” or “focus on the inhalation and exhalation” are helpful clues in finding more relaxation and becoming more mindful of our breathing and actions, both on and off the mat. Breathing deeply, equal ratio breathing, and focusing on the breath can all come in very handy when labor and contractions start to take their course. If women are able to come back to some of the breathing we teach in yoga class, this might assist in labor.

The benefits of yoga aren’t only limited to the physical well being. It is another way to meet other pregnant, and a chance to become part of a community. Being in a positive, supportive environment with others that are going through the same experience, can help with and provide a regular emotional boost and keep up the motivation to continue practicing yoga and/or exercising. Listed below are some of the key benefits of prenatal yoga.

Increases strength and flexibility: Yoga helps increase flexibility in muscles and surrounding tissues, which also enhances blood circulation. This is important during pregnancy, because as hormones, like relaxin and prolactin, are circulating through the body, yoga helps strengthen and stabilize the joints as they become looser, making room for the baby during labor.

Helps diminish swelling and joint inflammation: Swelling and inflammation are both caused by water retention and decreased circulation. Since yoga is useful for promoting circulation throughout the joints, it is extremely helpful in reducing and maybe even preventing swelling in common areas like the ankles, feet and hands.

Prevents and decreases pain in the lower back and sciatica pain: Because of all of the extra weight that women carry when pregnant, lower back and sciatica pain are common complaints. Regular prenatal yoga practice helps strengthen the lower and middle back muscles, which also helps with posture during pregnancy, and alleviates some, if not all back pain.

Stress Relief: Yoga is a powerful tool for relaxation. It helps slow down the general pace of life, focus on the breath on an internal level, while also alleviating pains and stresses on the external level. During pregnancy, many changes are occurring physically and emotionally in the body, and yoga can be extremely helpful with relieving stress.

Helps prepare for labor: A yoga class can provide meditation, breath work and imagery that a woman can use during labor and during pain around time of contraction. If she is able to come back to any of the techniques that yoga class has taught her during labor, imagery and breathing through the pain can really help with relaxation and pain coping management.

30 Mar

Your calling.

Saturday night, I attended a talk with an internationally-renown teacher of spiritual philosophy. Widely-recognized for her profound knowledge of both Buddhism and Christian mysticism, she brings a modern voice to ancient wisdom in the form of lectures, retreats, partnership teachings, corporate events, and yoga teacher trainings around the world.

During the course of the evening, we paused at several points for a variety of meditations, specific to “Finding Your Calling”, as that was the theme of the discussion.

Meditation:

You are at a later stage in your life. You have your health and happiness, but physically, you are much, much older. Picture yourself, in a room, of a house, that is yours and that you created. It is your favorite room, and there are pictures of your loved ones on the wall. You feel a sense of complete ease and contentment. Feel that.

Then, people begin coming into the room that you are in. They are there to celebrate your 100th birthday. Now, there are three people that raise their glasses for a toast to you. What do these three people say? Think in your mind what each person says. When you have the words in your mind, write them down.

I will share what my three thoughts of each toast were from my loved ones. Interestingly enough, I didn’t specify who the three people were. As a side note, my friend that came to the talk with me, did specify, and I pondered the notion of perception, and how we all perceive things differently. I just thought of the words that all three people might say to me at my 100th birthday party, not specifically who they were.

1. Thank you for your love.
2. Thank you for your unconditional support.
3. Thank you for always being there.

Now, in hindsight, if I had specified who the three people were, I think that 1. would be my spouse, 2. would be my best-friend, and 3. would be a family member.

Then, we were asked to underline any patterns that we saw in the three toasts. I underlined ‘unconditional’ and ‘for always being there’ . To me, this illustrated a certain level of acceptance of others… when you are unconditional – that is a feeling of unrequited love and support. When you are ‘always there’, that, too, illustrates a level of understanding and standing by one’s side. To take it to the next level, the theme or pattern that came to mind while I was participating in this exercise was acceptance of others. While offering unconditional support and always being there, I have illustrated in my life the ability to be there for people and unconditionally support them, which in my eyes is the highest form of acceptance. Baffling, in a way, yet completely apropos at this current time in my life, as this is what I have been meditating on and trying so wholeheartedly to practice.

Overall, the talk left me with plenty of food for thought. I left feeling full, in the best of all ways.

24 Mar

Balance.

blog_balanceHello friends!

While finally getting back into the routine of life, I am still coming off of the vacation whirlwind. I am lucky enough to have had the amazing opportunity to travel and see three different beaches along the way, but since my return, I have realized how important it is to feel a peace of mind not only when away, but when home. I understand this may sound like an obvious statement, but when lounging beachside or poolside, and becoming aware of the fact that my mind was NOT at ease at all – it got me thinking, to say the least.

If one is not able to fully relax and unwind on a beautiful beach, when is one EVER able to relax and unwind?

This all leads to the notion of wherever you are, your mind follows you. That’s why it is so important to incorporate and maintain balance into your everyday life. When there is no balance, there is no sense of self. At least that is my strong point of view. I am working everyday to find and maintain balance and harmony for my comfort level. Being away on vacation and feeling unsettled, was a “friendly” reminder that the work is never done. Focus and clarity, along side balance are the essences to a happy and healthy life.

18 Feb

Yoga Sadhana

blog_sadhanaI know I keep coming back to this idea of meditation… but I think there is something to it! I have committed myself to the practice of meditating, (my morning sadhana)… whatever it turns out to be each day. I wake up, get myself situated, and then sit for as little as 5 minutes to 30 minutes. Some days are easier than others… but in general, I find that just the sitting part is getting easier.

When I first began, finding a comfortable seat was miserable! I couldn’t sit still without squirming, sweating, stressing myself out with my own discomfort. That part has gotten better now, so I am hopeful that clearing the mind and finding focus will take easier form soon too! Meditation has been known to help tap back into the basic fundamentals of breathing and calming the mind, and I am determined to find that inner calm that I can carry with me through my days. I’ll get back to you on that one. :)

OM Shanti.