Ever feel the urge to walk barefoot on the beach or feel the grass between your toes? As it turns out, this urge goes much deeper than simply feeling good. It has been repeatedly demonstrated that there is a significant electrical interaction between the Earth and each one of us.
If you’ve been practicing yoga for a while, you’re probably familiar with sun salutations or Surya Namaskar A or B. If not, I’ll give you a short introduction, based on my personal experience: The sun salutation is a sequence of poses—each with a different meaning—designed to be done in the direction of the sun, everyday at dawn, sunset, or at any time you want. It’s a perfect opportunity to establish a personal relationship with the sun based on gratitude, awe and respect. I’ve been starting my day with Surya Namaskar A—in my opinion it’s the easier one—for more than a year, and it has been helping me greatly to overcome anxiety and related depression. Here is why: It’s a great way to [...]
Satya is often referred to as truth in speech. This refers to the way we converse with others as well as the way we speak to ourselves, even our thoughts. Conversely, by speaking our truth we should also steer clear of lying, exaggerating, and “story –telling”. Both sides of satya reflect our ability to express ourselves from a place of wisdom versus a place of reaction. Reaction often comes from a place of heightened emotion. Most of the time, our emotions do not reflect the facts of the circumstances in front of us, but mirror our learned behaviors and emotions from the past. These tendencies and habits are called vasanas. These are our beliefs, impressions, and unconscious conditionings that usually guide our decision-making. [...]
The more we learn about yoga, the more we realize the benefits aren’t all in the minds of the 20 million or so devotees in the U.S. Yoga helps people to relax, making the heart rate go down, which is great for those with high blood pressure. The poses help increase flexibility and strength, bringing relief to back pain sufferers. Now, in the largest study of yoga that used biological measures to assess results, it seems that those meditative sun salutations and downward dog poses can reduce inflammation, the body’s way of reacting to injury or irritation. That’s important because inflammation is associated with chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. It’s also one of the reasons that cancer [...]
In the past decade, there has been a lot of fascinating academic research conducted around habit formation and willpower. By examining things like how smokers quit, why student perform well and how New Year’s resolvers stay on track, researchers are starting to piece together the answers to how we can build lasting habits and improve our ability to resist temptation. One surprising result is this: to improve your overall well-being, start a new regular habit. Pretty much any positive habit will do. For details on how this really worked, I have always been extremely curious. I’ve dug in deep into the research and how to apply it to find out more: Willpower as a muscle for habit formation At the [...]
Chogyam Trungpa, a famous Buddhist teacher, wished people a “Cheerful Birthday.” He didn’t like the word, “Happy.” “Happiness,” he’d say, is a temporary, conditional state of mind. It’s part of ego’s play—samsara—the cyclical search for pleasure that is itself the cause of most unnecessary suffering in this world. Rather, let’s aspire to “cheerfulness”—in the sense of an unconditional confidence and relaxation and appreciation and sense of humor, regardless of the circumstances.”
Life emerges out of the silence of our inner being. The life that we have in our mind, the life that is a reflection of our planning, the life that has been constructed out of bits and pieces in our environment—external conditioning, things we have observed in other people, things that influential people have told us—is actually not who we are.That pre-planned life is rigid. It’s artificial. It’s unresponsive. It doesn’t reflect the life that we were born to live.As a student of mine observed, obstacles—which are always with us—are not really obstacles when you work with them in the right way. And we have to work with them.Many, many people tell me “I’m having a lot of problems doing this [...]