The 'Subtle Body' is often our overlooked or unknown body layer. We know the physical body, the mind body, the emotional body and for many the spirit body. But what exactly is the Subtle or Energetic body?Physics teaches that everything vibrates: the chair you’re sitting in, the food you eat, the rocks and trees. Whether or not we hear it, everything has a sound, a vibration all its own. That sound is called resonance, the frequency at which an object naturally vibrates. Each part of our bodies has its own natural resonance, and vibrational medicine. When we become 'out of tune' with our natural resonance is when dis-ease beings to set in.
There are many ways we can connect to our subtle/energetic body to bring us around to our natural states; becoming familiar with the Chakras, Sound Healing, Meditation, Healing Therapies such as Reiki, Healing Touch & Acupuncture just to name a few.
Tomorrow morning marks the Spring Equinox when we cross the threshold of the winter season and step forward into the season of renewal. It is a day of balance between the Light and Darkness. After the darkness and cold of Winter comes the warmth and Light of a new Spring. The rebirth of the solar year is upon us. This is a beautiful time to pause and see where we can make room to plant the seeds for new intentions.
The Sun will meet up with Uranus the next day, March 21st, radically changing our sense of identity. This is the beginning of seven years that will wake up and shake up our sense of who we are and what we are capable of. The Sun’s entry into Aries sets the tone for the whole year and its first act is to join up with Uranus. Wow! Radical changes are in store for all of us this year…
Right on the heels of the Spring Equinox where we honor new beginnings and birth, comes the full moon with the second eclipse to inspire and energize us with fullness and power (March 23). The full moon is always a time for gratitude and a time for seeing your life as full. If anything you are doing or experiencing feels less than full of what it needs, this is a good time to ask spirit for help. Whether it is love, support, health, stamina, energy, knowledge, direction, rest, inspiration, intimacy, excitement, trust or peace, ask and you shall receive.
Guardians of Love
To be a guardian and to protect does not require we be forceful. It means to see everyone as your brother and sister. Everyone. To watch within ourselves how we characterize other people in our minds and then in turn transform that characterization into sisterhood and brotherhood so that we stop the cycle of being so hard on other people and on our self. We are instruments of sacred energy, we are family and we are all guardians when when we soften into that understanding.
This is the month of connection and love. Encourage yourself to continue the conscious, diligent work of the heart so the world can deeply learn from you. You are not alone!
I leave you with one of my favourite sources of inspiration
Welcome in 2017.
As I sat down to compose my letter for the month of January this arrived in my inbox from one of my favourite teachers Elena Brower. What she wrote trumped what I was preparing. It's short, to the point and worth the read. I hope you enjoy.
Even if you keep interrupting yourself with electronic inspiration. Even if your house is messy and the dishes need your attention. Even if everyone else is still snuggling, even if you're not able to do much other than just breathe. Even if you're wondering what it's all for, and what it all means. Even if you feel alone, and afraid. Even if you feel like it won't ever change. Just practice.
Let the nectar of the early morning, midafternoon or late evening land on you and show you. Your practice is tied to your personal integrity and your trust. Even when it feels like there is something else you must do. Practice.
Where Does Inspiration Come From?
As a teacher and student I ask this question A LOT. There are times when I wish there was an 'Inspiration Hotline' when my practice feels flat and other days I want to bottle it up as it overflows. I remind myself that this is the ebb and flow of life and my relationship to the experience holds value not the experience itself.
During this holiday season remind your self that inspiration come from both the external and internal:
Externally-Let good people close to you. Surround yourself with people who emulate an essence you admire and respect. In the words of Gordon Downie on his final tour "take care of each other" and be willing to apologize and forgive.
Internally- Take care of yourself. We are always making choices. Stay awake rather than hiding from the world. Use your inner support systems: yoga, prayer, meditation, eating consciously, spend time in nature, feeling gratitude. Whatever it is that brings you home, back into the recognition and understanding that I AM ENOUGH.
Whether we go external or internal remember the Universal Law of: As Within So Without. Inspiration within leads to Inspiration in life. If you choose to be positive change agents in your families, communities and the rest of the world it begins with you. You are not alone. The world is pulsing with individuals loving their children just like you, struggling just like you, and praying for peace just like you. Stay Inspired!
Wishing you a sacred season of Serenity and Inspiration
5 Tips to Keeping Calm
The month of November can bring all kinds of emotions into play; shorter days, colder weather, it's not yet winter but definitely not summer and the Christmas season is not too far off...all reasons that we may experience more friction and less flow in our lives. I've recently learned about a beautiful system of support inside the body that can be easily drawn upon during heightened times of stress.
All hail the vagus nerve! The vagus nerve is the bodies master reset button...the CEO of calm. It arises in the brain runs through the chest and then branches in multiple directions to organs and muscles, hitting all the major chakra centres. It monitors the organs and if all is well sends a message to the brain to rest easy and be content. Sooooo if we stimulate the vagus nerve the mind is sent a calm signal and the whole body begins to relax.
Here are 5 ways to stimulate:
1. Close the eyes and expand your peripheral vision. When we expand through our peripheral vision we are sending a message to be open and expansive rather than narrowing the vision and prepping for fight or flight.
2. Slightly drop the chin down. Also know as Jalandhara lock. When the chin moves down the back of the neck opens. This brings circulation to the frontal lobes and moves the breath into the torso.
3. Humming. When the lips are closed and the vocals hum it reverberates internally throughout the body. The body has many systems that create a vibration. When we hum it equalizes the internal systems and entrains the vibrations. Simply put, less cacophony and more resonance.
4.Cold water facial immersion. Not the most favoured technique however if done post exercise it can be a simple and efficient means of immediately accelerating post-exercise parasympathetic reactivation via the vagus nerve, stimulating the reduction of heart rate, motility of the intestines, and turns on the immune system.
5. Dropping the head of the femur bone into the hip socket. Notice how you stand. If your hips are punched forward it sends a signal of fight or flight to brain (it's the same forward running stride position). Instead think of softening the knees slightly to cradle the femurs back into their sockets. Then align the tailbone down and pubic bone up. Maintain that and straighten the knees back up. The movements are subtle not big. Notice your emotional state.
Design your emotional posture and let your practice take care of your cells...
Lately I've been taking this lovely reference of the importance of self-care as much as possible on and off of my mat. In asanas we so often lengthen from our chest and head rather than from the base of the pelvis. When we create this repetitive pattern in our body we so often 'miss out' on the fullness of our expansion and openness.
In our regular day when faced with challenges they can become amplified because we maintain our attention in our lower energy centres and forget or dismiss the wealth of support around us. In these moments if we can pause and lengthen the entirety of the spine and breathe deep; we can do ourselves a world of good. This lengthening is not meant to induce a sense of righteousness or arrogance but rather it takes us into the higher centres and offers a different perspective. An opportunity to see beyond our thoughts, emotions and bodily tensions. It is in these higher centres that choice lies.
The mystics and yogis have always known about the invaluable necessity of centring and being still. It is the fabric of their existence. In this month of Thanksgiving and harvest may we all take the time to pause, lengthen and gain perspective.
So often when I practice I have goals and steps to developing poses and postures. After lovingly releasing my practice for almost a year I stepped back in, in early July. Once again I had lofty ideas of 'getting my body back'. However my mind-body suggested otherwise. To simply delight in the experience of feeling better in my body. From bottom to top releasing tensions with compassion for how muscles and facia were holding and with gratitude that my body can move once again. I've chosen to carry this sublime understanding into my fall.
Rather than charging into the change of season with big ambitions and goals (which absolutely have their relevance) I am witnessing instead the awesomeness in the moment that I all too often miss by looking to the future. How precious life's moments are, how absolutely perfect each of us are without changing a thing, how blessed we are to practice yoga, breathe clean air, and look into the eyes of a loved one.
May your fall be filled with the beauty of the season.
Acceptance is a loaded word with many possible definitions. “Acceptance” can be defined as freedom from our assumptions about our capacities, and the freedom to be more respectful toward ourselves - just as we are with our dearest, most revered friends. One way that I am working on this in my daily life is by following these simple (yet not always easy) steps in self-observation.
1) To witness what is taking place without judgement. As soon as I judge the situation at hand I have separated myself from it. In this way, I prevent myself from seeing and feeling my behaviour and taking full responsibility for it, owning my behaviour.
2)Without changing what is observed. The moment I am taken by the labelling of behaviour as 'bad/good' then I cease to observe. Now my attention is caught up in the judging of the behaviour rather than the behaviour itself.
3)With attention on bodily sensations and a relaxed body. Some traditions call this 'Self-remembering'. First I witness without judgement, then I do nothing to change the situations at hand, thirdly I find myself in time and space within my body in the present moment. I keep my awareness on the movement of energy throughout my body whether it be the 5 senses, emotions, physical tension, sleepiness etc.
4) Ruthless Self Honesty. To be honest with myself. To see all that is going on within myself simply as it is. To stand in this moment, do nothing, try to change nothing, judging nothing, simply feeling totally without judging it as 'good or bad' 'right or wrong'. The body knows what to do with this energy only if I do not interfere.
These tools are slowly and patiently shifting my experiences. If you would like to learn more please read "Self Observation"-by Red Hawk or send me a reply email with your questions and comments.
A Time for Rebirth This month I'd like to share with you a wonderful source of support. I subscribe to www.thepowerpath.com to receive monthly newsletters outlining the theme of the month and what can be expected personally, business, health and in relationships.
Here is an excerpt from April's newsletter...
The main theme for April is UNSETTLED!This month we are acutely aware that we are in transition. We have mental anxiety about what we might be forgetting or not keeping track of or not keeping up with. Our sleep is interrupted and light at best and non-existent at worst. We feel we might be missing something. It is hard to settle down and easy to get distracted. Even if we manage to cross everything off our to do list, there is a nagging feeling that something has been left undone.
This is the current state of affairs, necessary for change and evolution but extremely uncomfortable for many, especially for those with the “need to know” and a need for security. The Spring Equinox and the eclipses of March have left us in an unsettled place of asking, “what happens next?” We know it is not business as usual but we also cannot see around the bend or trust that what is showing up today will be the same as what shows up tomorrow....