Mindfulness Monday: The Fly and the Samurai

Good morning everyone. I hope your week is beginning on a positive note and your month is ending happily.

You may be wondering where Mindfulness Monday came from. According to my schedule, I normally do either motivation (1st/3rd Monday) and meditation (2nd/4th Monday). Well, today is unusual, because it is the 5th Monday in July, So, I thought I’d do something a bit different, and MOTIVATE you, to be MEDITATE and be MINDFUL! 🙂

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What is mindfulness?

To be mindful is to be aware. By definition, mindfulness is:

A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Mindfulness, then, is a technique used be aware of and to acknowledge your negative thoughts and emotions, and change them into a positive thoughts or emotions, thereby, changing your world and the world around you.

To illustrate this point, I found a wonderful little animated video which illustrates the power of mindfulness and how it can positively impact your life. Take a look:

Guided mindfulness meditation

Do you have trouble accepting the concept of simply letting go of the negative in exchange for the positive? Or, if you’re like me, you just get too busy with life to worry about all this mindfulness stuff.

The key is to take time out of your day to meditate, relax and give your mind a rest from the negative and bathe it with positive thoughts and light.

Here is a guided meditation designed to help you detach from your anxiety and overthinking. (It’s about 40 minutes)

If you don’t have time to sit for 40 minutes, just sit for 10 minutes. Go outside tonight when the sun is setting, sit in your back yard, in the grass, in bare feet, and ground yourself to the positive energy of the earth. You’ll be surprised how well this works. Go on…what have you got to lose…except your anxiety?!

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Meditation Monday: Yoga for Mental Health

It is a well known fact that exercise is beneficial for stress relief, anxiety and  depression, but yoga is one of the best. Yoga combines strength and flexibility exercises with meditation and relaxation…a winning combination if you’re fighting depression or anxiety.

5 Reasons to use Yoga for Mental Health (1)

  1. Yoga slows down breathing and heart rates, which lowers blood pressure
  2. It has been proven that yoga helps to boost GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which slows down brain activity, enabling you to relax. A one-hour session can increase GABA by 27% (1).
  3. Research indicates that regular use of yoga can lead to improved mood, reduced anxiety and anger reduction in people suffering from depression (1).  One study found that one 12 minute yoga session daily, for 8 weeks, can reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a known risk factor for depression (1).
  4. Yoga raises the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This is a type of protein that stimulates the development of new brain cells. (1)
  5. Yoga can improve memory and concentration. Doing just one 20 minute Hatha yoga session was shown to improve memory better than any other form of exercise.

This video  discusses the science behind why yoga helps improve conditions such as depression, anxiety, stress and PTSD.

From: Live Sonima

Understanding How Yoga

Can Help Depression,

Anxiety & PTSD

Have I peaked your interest? If you are interested in using yoga to help with your depression, anxiety or stress, I have found 3 different routines for you. Each routine is approximately 30 minutes long. I personally find this to be the perfect length. Choose the video, instructor and routine that best fits you. Enjoy!

From: Psyche Truth

Beginners Yoga for

Depression, Stress,

the Blues

&

Anxiety Relief

Anxiety & Panic Attacks,

Deep Relaxation, Sleep,

Stress Relief, ASMR

From: Fightmaster Yoga

Yoga for Depression

I practice yoga as often as time allows in my life. (So not as often as I would like. 😦 ) I hope this article helps you understand how yoga can help with your depression, anxiety, or stress. It was my desire , through this article, to introduce you to yoga as a tool to help you combat the issues you face daily.

Let us stop for a moment to pray and meditate.

SOURCE:

  1. https://bebrainfit.com/mental-health-benefits-yoga/
  2. http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/yoga-for-anxiety-and-depression

Meditation Monday: Foot Soaking Meditation

Imagine coming home from a long, very stressful day at work, sitting down and in 15 minutes, your stress, anger, frustration and negative energy from the day is gone.

I recently discovered a foot soaking meditation technique, designed to draw stress and negative energy out of the body, through the feet. It is said to be one of the most powerful and helpful meditation techniques you can do to relax and rid the body of negative energy.

This method is a Sahaja Yoga technique. Sahaja Yoga is a form of meditation developed by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi in 1970 as a way to bring about evolution through human awareness. According to the Sahaja Yoga website:

“Global unity of mankind can be achieved through this awakening that can occur within each human being, so that transformation takes place within us. By this process a person becomes moral, united, integrated and balanced. “

The Sahaja Yoga foot soaking technique is quite simple. Simply run enough warm water in a bowl or bucket large enough to hold your feet. Mix in a handful of salt. (I prefer Himalayan Salt).  The salt is added to represent the Earth element. It cleanses and draws impurities from the body. Put your feet in the bucket, then, relax and meditate as usual, letting the stress and negative energy slip away.

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PICTURE COURTESY OF FREEMEDITATION.COM

Upon completion of the foot soaking session, throw the water down the toilet and wash out the bucket. It is recommended that this bucket only be used for your foot soaking sessions

The Foot Soaking Technique – Cool Check

To aid your relaxation efforts, I have included four 10 to 15 minute guided meditation for relaxation. Enjoy!

The River – Delilah Helton

A Progressive Muscle Relaxation Meditation – Debra Hardy

Guided meditation for relaxation – Body Scan

Guided meditation Deep Relaxation – Great Meditation

God Bless! Namaste! 

#sharethejoy #onesong

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Meditation Monday: Guided Imagery

When you come home from a stressful day at work or school, wouldn’t it be wonderful to go chill on the beach, walk in the forest, sit on a mountain or relax by a mountain lake? Well, guided imagery can get you to one or all those places.

When it comes to meditation, we’ve all heard terms such as “visualization” or “mental imagery”, but just what is “guided imagery”?

According to healthjourneys.com, guided imagery is much more than just visualizing. Here is a quote from their site:

“When properly constructed, guided imagery meditation has the built-in capacity to deliver multiple layers of complex, encoded messages by way of simple symbols and metaphors. You might say it acts like a depth charge dropped beneath the surface of the psyche, where it can reverberate again and again.”

In  other words, it digs deep into your brain, your imagination, and makes your body and mind truly believe you are actually there.

Over the years, the effectiveness of guided imagery has been proven through scientific research. These findings indicate that guided imagery has “a positive effect on health, creativity and performance.” (1) Just 10 minutes of guided imagery has the following effects on the body: (1)

  • reduce blood pressure
  • lower cholesterol
  • lower glucose levels
  • heighten short- term immune cell activity

Other positive effects of guided imagery include: (1)

  • reduce blood loss during surgery
  • Lessens headaches and pain
  • It can increase skill at skiing, skating, tennis, writing, acting and singing;
  • Accelerates weight loss
  • reduces anxiety
  • Reduce the aversive effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, such as: nausea, depression, soreness and fatigue.

Have I peaked your interest? To get you started, I’ve found 4  short, 10 – 15 minute guided imagery videos, to help you relax after a stressful day.

Forest Walk

Ocean Escape

Serene Mountains

Still Mountain Lake

Here is a longer 57 minute guided imagery video

to invoke positive change as you search for…

The Real You

 

If you are interested in guided imagery and want to know more, follow this link below:

  1. healthjourneys

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meditation Monday: Partner Yoga for Relaxation 

Picture it… you’ve had the worst day…it’s Monday. As if that’s not bad enough, you’re alarm didn’t go off. already late for work, you got stuck in traffic and missed an important meeting with your boss. You have 200 emails to get through…the phone is ringing off the hook and people keep coming into your office. After work, you need to throw some kind of dinner together before the PTA meeting.

Once you finally have time to relax, what do you do? If you’re like most people, you’ll plop down in front of the television until it’s time for bed.

How about something different? What if you took 15 minutes and did a yoga session with your partner, for relaxation.

According to the American Osteopathic Association, yoga does the following:

  • Increased flexibility.
  • Increased muscle strength and tone.
  • Improved respiration, energy and vitality.
  • Maintaining a balanced metabolism.
  • Weight reduction.
  • Cardio and circulatory health.
  • Improved athletic performance.
  • Protection from injury

What exactly is partner yoga? It’s just what it sounds like, a yoga session, in which you and a partner perform yoga poses together, sometimes for strength, for stretching, or for relaxation as a few examples.

According to Do You Yoga there are 7 benefits to doing partner yoga:

  1. Strengthens physical and emotional relationship support
  2. Shapes shared memories
  3. Helps you release stress
  4. Brings you closer together
  5. Learn about yourself and build trust each other
  6. Touch enhances the ability to perform
  7. Enhance your balance

Here are a few examples of some partner poses:

For more information on partner yoga and to see how to do these 5 poses, follow this link: Do You Yoga.

If you’d like to give it a try with some guidance and examples, here is an instructional video for PARTNER YOGA-RELAXING STRETCHES FOR BEGINNER COUPLES:

 

The photos in this article and in the featured photo are courtesy of DoYouYoga.com

Deepak Chopra’s Top 8 Meditation Tips

Below is a video with Oprah interviewing Deepak Chopra.

In the interview, he answers viewer questions and gives his best tips on meditation.

  1. Best time to meditate-in the morning and late afternoon (before evening meal)
  2. Meditate 15 to 20 minutes twice a day
  3. You should sit when you meditate. If you lie down, you may fall asleep.
  4. Saying a mantra is better than silence- “OM”, “I AM”, or “SO HUM” are all great mantras
  5. Using sounds of nature or soft music can be used and is helpful
  6. Observe breathing, but don’t manipulate the breath. It will get slower and deeper on its own.
  7. Trying to silence a thought, is itself a thought.  Being aware of a thought is not a thought. Acknowledge the thoughts, but, don’t try to silence thoughts. If you leave them alone, they will eventually go away on their own.
  8. Visualize your dreams BEFORE you meditate NOT DURING meditation. If you visualize DURING meditation, you’re activating the mind. The purpose of mediation is to QUIET the mind.

Source: Deepak Chopra’s Top 8 Meditation Tips – O, The Oprah Magazine

Meditation Monday: Candle Gazing

Candle gazing is also known as Trataka or concentrated gazing, and originated as one of the 6 cleansing techniques in Hatha Yoga. Candle gazing is said to have many benefits, including: (2)

  • Improves eyesight and vision.
  • Improves concentration, intelligence and memory.
  • Excellent method as preparation for mantra meditation.
  • Enhances self-confidence, patience and willpower.
  • Develops greater work efficiency and productivity.
  • Calms the mind and provides inner peace and silence.
  • Brings greater clarity in mind and improves decision-making ability.
  • Helps to overcome mental, behavioral and emotional ailments.
  • Provides stress relief and deep relaxation.
  • Deepens the sleep and cures sleep related disorders such as headache, insomnia, nightmares, etc.

To do candle gazing, you are to light a candle on a table 3 or 4 feet in front of you. Sit in a comfortable position at eye level with the candle. (3)

  • Continue to gaze at the flame until you cannot keep your eyes open and tears start flowing. Once this happens, close your eyes.
  • When you close the eyes, you may be able to visualize an after-image of the flame with closed eyes. Try to bring this image at the point between the eyebrows at the center of the forehead (the third eye location).

It is said that you can enhance different qualities by focusing and using different colors of candles. Here is a list of different colors and the qualities they hold when used. (1)

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Below is a 14 minute guided meditation for candle gazing. ENJOY!

For more information and more detailed instructions on how to do a candle gazing meditation, follow one of the source links below.

Source:

  1. Candle Gazing Meditation – Fragrant Heart
  2. http://www.integralyogastudio.com/hathayoga-intro.php
  3. http://yogawithsubhash.com/2012/04/03/trataka-candle-gazing-cleansing-technique/

 

 

Meditation Monday: EFT Tapping for Self-Love

A few weeks ago, I did a Meditation Monday article on EFT Tapping. Since this is the first week of the KINDNESS CHALLENGE, with a theme of SELF-LOVE, I thought this was a great opportunity to revisit this incredible technique.

For those of you not familiar with EFT tapping, EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique. For more detailed information on EFT tapping, you can read my article HERE. But, I’ll give you a basic overview here.

In EFT tapping, you tap 10 different acupressure/acupuncture points, while saying an affirmation. These points are just 10 of the 100 meridian points used in traditional Chinese medicine. You’ll find the 10 points below.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been using this technique with great success, in regards to cravings as well as negative thinking. If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend you give it a try. The more you do it, the better it works.

Below you’ll find three (3) different EFT Tapping videos to help you with self love. The 3 videos cover different area of self-love.

  • VIDEO 1-Loving your fearful self
  • VIDEO 2- Learning to appreciate yourself
  • VIDEO 3-Self love to aid in weight loss.

I hope you find these videos useful. I have made it a goal to use video 3 everyday over the next week. I’ll let you know in my weekly journal how it goes. I’d love any comments or thoughts on this technique. Have you used it? Did it work for you?

Have a great day everyone and

HAPPY TAPPING! 🙂

Loving Your Fearful Self – Tapping with Brad Yates (6:30 minutes)

FT Tapping for Self-Love ~ Self-Appreciation with Kathy Atkinson (8 minutes)

EFT Tapping Video + Meditation

for Weight-loss –
Self Acceptance – Self Love With Tune 2 Peace (42 minutes)

Meditation Monday: Grounding Meditation (AKA: Earthing) with Free Guidebook

What if you could sit on the grass in your backyard, enjoying the sun during the day, or moon at night, and heal inflammation throughout your body?

When I was a child, my sister and I went barefoot all summer. No matter where we went, no matter what we were doing, we were barefoot. Little did I know, I was sending healing energy throughout my body all summer long.

About a year or so ago, I watched a documentary called GROUNDED,  which discusses the concept of GROUNDING OR EARTHING. This documentary was my introduction to grounding. I hope you can take the time to watch it.  In the movie, a small town in Alaska experiments with grounding and documents the healing that occurs.

I just rewatched it today, for the first time in a year, and forgotten just how phenomenal it this film truly is. I HIGHLY recommend this to anyone, ESPECIALLY if you are a skeptic to the concept of grounding. This film just may change your mind. (The ending just may bring a few tears to your eyes! 😉 ) Here it is:

Grounding is the concept of connecting to the Earth’s energy, usually by walking barefoot on the earth. Basically, when we connect with Earth’s energy, we absorb that energy, which destroys damage causing free radicals in the body.

Here is a terrific infographic which discusses the concept:

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Clint Ober and Dr. Christy Weston

discuss what Earthing is

and

Why it’s beneficial

Here-Dr. Laura Koniver talks about

REAL scientific evidence

of the effects of grounding on the body.

FOR YOUR COPY OF

DR. KONIVER’S FREE

GROUNDING GUIDE BOOK

CLICK HERE!

balancing-stones

I like to combine stone stacking meditations and grounding into one. So, basically, I do my meditations/stone stacking outside, when possible, with bare feet. This way, I enjoy the benefits of meditation and the benefits of grounding into one practice. Below, I’ve included a 30 minute guided grounding meditation and a 1 hour long video of grounding meditation music. So, next time you want to meditate, kick off your socks and shoes and meditate outside. Give it a try!

Guided Meditation for Grounding

One hour of Grounding Meditation Music

 

 

Meditation Monday: Stone Stacking

Stone stacking, or Cairn building has been around since the dawn of time. This short, 30 second video tells what they are and the significance of the cairn.

Continue reading “Meditation Monday: Stone Stacking”