Vishuddhi Chakra

Vishuddhi Chakra.

Peace!

Peace at Mermaid Pools

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Exercises for the Manipura Chakra

Exercises for the Manipura Chakra.

Yoga Lesson: Mindfulness • Yoga Basics

Yoga Lesson: Mindfulness • Yoga Basics.

Introduction

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Yoga is the Answer

Why?

  • Because failure is impossible.
  • Because success is inevitable.

How?

  • Through understanding.
  • With proper understanding adequate discipline will naturally ensue.

Where?

  • Practice everywhere.
  • Results will manifest in the heart, mind and body.

When?

  • Always.

Who?

  • The best version of you; the “sublime” self.

What?

  • A path.

Begin the Journey

If you have stumbled across this page today it is because you are seeking either healing or enrichment for your life, as am I. I am not accomplished; I am merely on the path. I am confident that I see the way, though and that is why I can perhaps point you in the correct direction and introduce you to the basic tools. Each individual, once upon the path, will advance at different speeds and from different perspectives we can offer each other a boost and that is the fiber of life.

Once you decide that you wish to improve your well-being you can easily slide right on to the path which leads you towards improved health and happiness because making that choice is the first major hurdle.

It is natural to stray from the path from time to time, the important factor here being attitude; honesty with oneself is of the utmost importance. It is essential in this practice. You will easily distinguish between improper justifying of your actions and simple wrong behavior. Accept bad behavior but do not justify it; acknowledge it and lavish love and forgiveness upon yourself. Laugh at your stupidity and move forward.

There are no sacrifices or compromises to make if you are truly ready; this evolution is a process and has no time qualifications.

No rigidity is involved in this process. Awareness is the key factor and beyond awareness comes action, discipline and exponentially, noticeable progress.

Why We are Here

We are here because we know that engaging in yoga practices can certainly not harm us while inevitably bringing increased peace of mind and well- being into our lives.

Once we accept that these practices will certainly enhance every aspect of our lives there comes a natural pleasure to applying the necessary discipline and maintaining it.

Yoga is a way of life. Every action in your life will become infused with yoga including your perception of all people, animals, objects and situations.

We are perfect beings, at our core. We are inhibited by information we have received throughout our lives; social conditioning. Some behaviors have been so deeply instilled in us as “correct” or the only “acceptable way” that we are unable to realize that they cause us anxiety. Modern society increasingly uses fear based persuasion for marketing purposes and we accept, support and even cultivate its claims. Stress is rampant in our culture and it makes us sick. We are slowly losing our connection with our sublime selves. This can be reversed through yoga.

The progress we make through yoga practices is comparable to developing wrinkles, grey hairs or the like; it does not happen over night but will be noticeable in retrospect. Everyone will start from a different point, many variables come into play and each path is unique. It is impossible to compare individual progress with any other person’s and furthermore, it is not relevant. Occasionally, there may even be backward progress but that is part of the journey and it will not last.

On the Path

Meditation is proven to increase well-being and peacefulness. It also improves brain and bodily functions. There are levels of meditation which can be reached with practice but every level bears rewards. Yoga asana (physical yoga poses) are designed as a means to achieve the ability, through strength, stamina and peacefulness, to sit comfortably in stillness for extended periods of time.

Pranayama, yogic breathing techniques are a fundamental and essential component of a yoga practice.

Asana, yogic postures, is another component of a yoga practice which is commonly used in the West as an exercise for fitness. While asana will, indeed, improve fitness, a yoga practice is incomplete if we exclude the other essential components.

A well rounded, beginner’s yoga practice must also include familiarity with basic yoga philosophy. It is not necessary to make sacrifices to adopt a yogic attitude. Once a basic understanding of this attitude is assimilated, the life enriching behavior will automatically ensue. Not overnight though!

There are many more components but for now we will focus on meditation, pranayama and asana.

Little by little, I intend to post valuable instruction, images, videos and text here for you to explore and enjoy. It benefits all of us to help each other however we can so…

Just follow this blog and we’ll have an adventure!

Sourdough Bread and its Benefits!

IMG_0383THE JOY OF SOURDOUGH BREAD

I have been learning how sourdough is so much healthier for us than regular bread; there are several reasons.

One reason is that during the initial process we capture a “wild yeast” which is far superior to a commercially made yeast. I am not a scientist and have no ability to recall scientific mumbo jumbo but I get the gist and please do your own research on these claims that I make, summarizing what I have learned.

The good ole Joy of Cooking has a wonderful little blurb about wild yeast by the way.

Commercially made yeast is not a naturally occurring bacteria and has been modified to accomplish, in a short time, a process which takes many more hours in nature. This is due to society’s undertaking to make events happen quickly so as to squeeze more activity into every moment, rendering the senses numb and the heart anxious.

In times of yore (until not that long ago actually) all bread was made in this way, harnessing a natural bacteria for a rising agent. Food processing used to take some time, some thought, some mindfulness, some care but that has all been sacrificed in this day and age for the sake of “efficiency”. Well, along with the disappearance of the caring went the nutritional value and digestibility of this food. The baby was tossed out with the bath water!

Let’s make some real bread!

  • Your sourdough starter is like a pet, only much easier to feed and will never piddle on the carpet. Give him a name.

~ Once he is established, you will only need to feed him a mixture of rye flour and water every 4 days or so. He is very forgiving and perhaps he could withstand neglect and still be nurtured back to life. Sally Fallon says that rye flour is best because blah blah blah but probably any flour would do. Really, we should be using organic flour so it is not GMO. Oh and avoid chlorinated water please, says your starter. Chlorine supposedly evaporates out of water within 7 hours if you leave the lid of a container of chlorinated water.

The idea is that during the process of soaking the flour and exposing it to natural bacteria, the phytic acid is transformed making the chemical make up of the flour not only digestible where it wasn’t so much before but also changing the bran from a nutrient sucking element to a nutrient giving one (phytase). Not very scientifically said, again, do your own research. Please check out; thebreadgeek.blogspot.com

I would really like to reassure you from my own experience that your sourdough starter is VERY FORGIVING and that this is not an exact science. I know this because I am a dismal recipe follower, preferring to wing it and get a feel for the thing.

~ Your starter may live in the fridge or in a cool spot in the house. The cooler the location the less frequently he will need feeding…

He can live in a mason jar with air space (he bubbles and needs air) with a loosely fitting lid. He can live without a lid…he will become more sour and tangy if left outside without a lid. Don’t let him dry out ever. Keep a wet towel over him at least.

~He definitely needs feeding when a layer of liquid appears on his surface. You can pour this off and give him a nice flour and water mix. Or, you can mix the water in (I think this is not the best but I did it before I knew better and it was ok)

~He could just go on like this indefinitely but you might want to use some occasionally to make bread right? Here’s how that goes to the best of my knowledge.

  • Pour some starter into a big mixing bowl (1/4 to 1/2 cup). I swear I didn’t measure and it turned out just fine!
  • Add a cup of water, 2 tsp salt and rosemary (optional) Add white organic flour little at a time incorporating with wooden spoon.  Maybe 5 ish cups of flour in all. The consistency matters more than the amount. Now knead for a short time. You may have to keep adding some flour during this process. Coarse stone ground whole wheat works well at this point. Knead 4-5 minutes or so.
  • Place your dough in an oiled bowl (big enough for expansion about 100%) cover with a wet towel and place anywhere overnight.
  • In the a.m. punch the dough to poof the air out and fold over a couple of times. Let sit another hour or so.
  • If you’re doing loaf pans put them in pans before this last rise. If free forming then gently place on hot stone or pan just before baking and cut some slits in the top.
  • Bake in very hot oven for first 10 minutes then turn down. You can either spritz with water a couple of times during baking or have a ramequin with hot water in the oven for a touch of steam. Or not.
  • Bread is done when a hollow sound is heard when you give it a tap.
  • Trial and error is encouraged and any comments and improvements are welcome!

Yum yum!

Sirsasana at Rendez-Vous Beach

It is so sweet to practice pranayama, meditation and asana in beautiful, natural environments whenever possible. Don’t keep your practice confined!

Yoga cure

Yoga is not a “work out”…it is a “work in”

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Casita Tara

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Pics of Four Life Changing Days…

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