Mantra: Expect nothing and appreciate everything.
Meditation: Today’s meditation is about letting go of expectations for yourself and others. Think about a recent expectation you’ve placed on yourself or someone else. When we expect something that doesn’t happen we feel hurt and disappointment, we tend to get attached to a certain outcome rather than simply going with the flow and letting life unfold. It creates unnecessary worry and stress. We assume we have all this control over ourselves and over others and the reality is that while we can control some things, we can’t control outcomes and other people.
So try this, take out a piece of paper and write down your current expectation. Maybe you expect a loved one to behave a certain way or do a certain thing. Maybe your expecting to much of yourself in a particular situation. Commit in this moment to release that expectation and let it go. Take your piece of paper and review it, hold it while you sit for 5-10 ten minutes on the inhale say “let” on the exhale “go” keep repeating, until you begin to feel your stress and worry dissolving as your thoughts begin to become lighter.
You may catch yourself picking it back up from time to time just repeat the process again and let it go. Instead of expecting a certain outcome or fate appreciate what comes to you. Dwell in that place of gratitude and peace knowing that no matter what does or doesn’t happen, you will be okay. It’s easier said than done, I am well aware but just by beginning to change our mindset and thought process we can create a healthier way to live and be.
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Love this quote! We tend to forget that with a few exceptions, most people truly are doing the best they can with what they have, what they’ve been given and what they’ve learned. We are all in this together so before we think harsh thoughts or judge ourselves or others remember that 🙂
Love and be loved. That’s this edition of Friday Goodness ❤️ pass it on 😃
What do you get when you combine a love for water, the outdoors and a yogi? SUP Yoga, of course. It’s what’s happening these days. I’m here to tell you more about why you should try SUP Yoga!
What is Paddle Boarding?
Paddle boarding is a sport that allows you to have fun on the lake, get a great workout in and get a tan! What more could you want? Paddle Board’s are large surfboard’s, they are stable and can double as a yoga mat should you desire to break out your downward facing dog. You are able to stand up, sit down, lie down and even paddle on your knees. The possibilities are endless! You’re thinking what if I fall in, I have no balance? The good news is that your body is already good at balancing and you will surprise yourself at how good you will be. I promise! But you know what? What if you do fall in? Trust me on hot days you’ll be jumping in! That’s part of the fun. And guess what? The board’s stable enough that you can climb right back on with minimal effort. Think about pulling yourself out of the pool. It’s basically the same thing. It’s therapeutic, it’s outdoors, you can’t beat the scenery, and it’s just plain fun by yourself or with a group. Does it sound like I’m trying to make a sale yet? That’s because I am! It won me over on day one. Try it! You won’t regret it.
SUP Yoga, is you guessed it, yoga on a paddle board. Yoga is a little more challenging on the paddle board but that’s part of the fun! I do recommend you take a paddle board lesson before you take a SUP Yoga class. You’ll be more confident on the board and get more out of the experience. So maybe you are new to yoga and you’re wondering if SUP Yoga is something you should try? My answer is absolutely! After an intro paddle board class, and a couple of yoga classes, sign up for a SUP Yoga class! We do basic yoga poses and if you want to try a balancing pose or a headstand, I’m not going to stop you :). You always have the option of child’s pose or tanning on your board. Did I mention Savasana? Savasana will have new meaning after your SUP Yoga class, relaxing in the warm sun, sounds of nature that sing in the background, the gentle breeze that brushes over you and makes you feel like you’re a million miles away from reality. Yeah, it’s that good!
WHERE TO TRY?
If you’re in the East Tennessee area come and try it with me! I’m teaching SUP Yoga at two locations and various land classes around the area. See my website for my schedule at http://www.bepresent100.com
SUP YOGA CLASSES
Sup Yoga-Norris Paddling Adventures-Norris Dam Marina
Sundays @10am $25
SUP Yoga-Billy Lush Brand-TN River-Saturdays @8:30am $25
Registration is required contact me to sign up at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow me on twitter @bepresent100 and see my website for more info at http://www.bepresent100.com
Meditation helps clear the mind and create space. It helps us to focus and reinforce positive thoughts. It has the ability to calm and center us with just 10 minutes a day. Meditation is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It’s been used to lower blood pressure, improve memory, lose weight, help with depression and anxiety and the list of benefits continue to grow.
“Meditation is not passive sitting in silence. It is sitting in awareness, free from distraction, and realizing the clear understanding that arises from concentration.” Thich Nhat Hanh
Often in meditation we assume that we have to control our mind, that we have to magically make it be still and quiet. It reminds me of trying to calm a hyperactive child. The more effort you put in, the more you try to control, the more they resist. Our mind typically tends to be the same way. The more we try to control it the less control we actually have. Our thoughts swirl from one topic to the next, sometimes leaving us completely exhausted. So how do we control our mind for meditation? It’s simple. We don’t. The beauty of meditation is allowing yourself the freedom to simply let go. It’s not about forcing ourselves to be quiet for 10 minutes but it’s about giving ourselves the freedom to let go for 10 minutes.
“Meditation is the best exercise for the human mind.” Alton Howard
The beauty of meditation is that you don’t have to sit in a seated position for 10 mintues to reap the benefits. You have options 🙂
Ideas for Meditation
- Walking/Running is a great way to clear your head and focus on the present.
- Journaling and writing down your thoughts is a perfect way to center yourself.
- Listening to your favorite music and relaxing is a great way to unwind and let go.
- Reading is a great way to relax and focus.
Steps to develop a regular meditation practice
1) Commit. Make the decision to commit, set an intention to practice meditation everyday no matter what is or isn’t going on around you.
2) Schedule. Whether it’s first thing in the morning, a 10 minute break at work or at the end of the day. Set aside a specific time each day to practice.
3) Practice. Practice daily, use a timer if necessary. Don’t beat yourself up if your mind wanders or if it takes a while to get the hang of it. Even if you miss a day just begin again the following day. Like anything else it will take time and practice to become a habit.
Yoga Poses for Meditation
Hands on Heart
Comfortable seat, hands on heart. Connecting with your heart as you feel the rising and the falling of the breath being reminded of how fragile yet powerful we truly are, that we each have a greater purpose to fulfill. Our heart beats because we are meant to be here in this very moment. Sit here as you breath deeply down into the belly as you feel your heart beating and the rising and the falling of the breath. Allow yourself to connect with your body, allow yourself to feel any emotions that come up. Simply being aware.
Allow yourself to surrender in this pose. Letting go of everything that doesn’t serve you. Letting go of anything that weighs you down. Just for a moment release the heavy load that you carry. Be still and know that you are exactly where you are meant to be in your journey. Soak up the peace of this moment. Allow yourself to let go and simply be present. Forgetting everything else, even if only for a few moments. Clearing the space, clearing your heart, releasing any hurt, any negativity, anything that doesn’t resonate with you. Let it go.
Creating an intention and focus in this meditation. Do you need clarity? Do you need guidance? Whatever you need or want, bring your focus here. Now allow your mind to clear and meditate on this intention. What do you need in this moment? After focusing allow the mind to be free, let it go and follow it. See what comes up.
Mudras for Meditation
Mudras are symbolic hand gestures that you can use during meditation to set an intention or to simply help you focus. Here are three mudras that you may want to try.
Gyan Mudra– touch the index finger to the thumb. This mudra helps to clear the mind, improve alertness and enhances clarity.
Cosmic Mudra– use your dominant hand to cradle the other hand, with both palms facing up. Tips of your thumbs should be touching each other, forming a compressed oval shape together with your palms. This mudra helps to bring your attention inward and is useful to create self-awareness.
Prithvi Mudra– join the tip of your ring finger with the tip of the thumb. Extend all the other fingers and keep them relaxed. This mudra helps to ground and center us, promotes a sense of stability and increases tolerance and patience.
Meditation 1: Guided
“ Make meditation a daily practice, and it will soon turn into a habit.” Remez Sasson
I hope you enjoy the guided meditation and the techniques above. Remember it’s a daily practice, a daily effort but one that’s well worth your time and effort. Let me know which meditation is your favorite? Which one resonates with you? Questions? Send them to me.
Find more from me on instagram @outdooryogi and twitter @bepresent100
Mudras Yoga in Your Hands, Gertrud Hirschi
Mantra: Motivate yourself. Be happy. Live fully.
Meditate: Take 5-10 minutes and think about your current set of circumstances or situation. Are you happy with the way things are? If so, dwell on that gratitude and happiness. If not, think about what you can do differently. Sometimes all it takes is a simple shift in our attitude to change our perspective and get us on the right track.
We are as happy as we make up our mind to be. No matter what is happening to us, around us or within us; it’s all very much our choice on how we choose to react or be. Things are constantly changing sometimes things go right, sometimes they go wrong but the reality is everything keeps moving. You are the only one that can choose your response and behavior on the inside and out.
I’ll be the first to tell you that sometimes life gets the best of me and I don’t always have a yogic or yogi attitude. Sadly, I can be as stubborn and hateful as the next person, but when I catch myself behaving this way it allows me the opportunity to change and be different. We are going to have bad days, bad situations and sad times because that’s reality. Through creating awareness and observing our own behavior we have the power to be different, to be happy.
So maybe the next time we see ourselves heading straight for negative town, maybe we can choose to take a right turn to positive town instead?
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In yoga, it is has been said that we tend to hold negative emotions and stress in our hips. So you are not alone if you tend to feel emotions rising up in your hip openers. Letting go and surrendering in our yoga poses is not an easy task, it requires conscious effort to allow ourselves the freedom to surrender.
It’s easy to see how surrendering would make us feel like we’re giving up or even losing something. Surrender takes on new meaning in our hip openers. In order to be the best that we can be, to clear out the clutter and excel we have to surrender to succeed. We have to let go of what is weighing us down whether that be negative emotions, stress or tension. Letting go and surrendering doesn’t mean you’re giving up it means that you are making space for the things that matter, things that are good for you.
One of our goals in yoga is to create space. Create space in our bodies and in our life. But think about it if you have all this negative energy filling up your space you have less room for the good stuff. So where to start? How do we begin releasing the negative and embracing the positive?
Here are some poses to help you do just that and BONUS, they feel lovely on your hips. Enjoy 🙂
Fire Log Pose Variation
Stretch out both legs, bring one foot in and place outside the thigh or on top of the thigh. Hold the stretch or walk your hands forward.
Always a favorite, and a great hip opener. Beginning on the left side, bring the left knee in as close to the left hand as you can, the foot will stretch toward the right hand. The leg behind you stays stretched out. Stay upright or fold forward.
Fire Log Pose
Stacking your shins like fire logs, bringing knee over ankle and ankle over knee. Stay upright or lean forward to intensify the pose.
These are all great yoga poses for releasing tightness and tension in your hips and letting go of negativity and stress. Hold each pose for 60-90 seconds and switch sides, repeating as necessary. When you’re in the pose focus on your breath and bring your attention to the tightness or tension and ask yourself “what am I holding onto?”, “what do I need to let go of in this moment?” Use these yoga poses in your regular practice or as a meditation to let go of stress, negativity and tension.
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Life happens, so when it does are you ready to seek within? These poses will have you balancing faster than a cat’s meow. You heard it here first! Things don’t stop or sit still simply because we need them too it takes our focus, drive, determination and commitment to create balance.
While taking pictures of these balancing yoga poses, I set up on a fairly busy running/biking trail. Why? Partly, because the scenery and the hill across the way was a perfect place for my tripod but also, I knew that to achieve balance here, it would truly require me to seek from within. With a highway on one side, a river with boats on the other, runner’s and biker’s passing by quickly, it was anything but quiet but it was the challenge I needed. Rather than focusing on the sounds and things going on around me, I had to tune it out. I couldn’t worry about what everybody else was or wasn’t doing. It didn’t matter. I was making a conscious effort to balance in the midst of life.
We don’t always get to choose everything that happens around us or to us. The only choice were given is how we respond. These poses help bring your focus within. They teach us to maintain our center no matter what is taking place around us.
Balancing on All 4’s
Beginning on hands and knees, wrists under shoulders, knees under hips, left arm reaches out as you extend the opposite, right leg. Hold this position for 60-90 seconds and switch sides. Keep the spine long, gaze to the mat, hips even, belly button drawn to spine, shoulders back and down.
Side Knee Plank Balance
Beginning with right hand underneath shoulder and right knee under hip, lift left leg up parallel to the mat and reach left arm up the sky. This is prep for our half moon standing balance.
Side Plank Knee Plank Variation
Same pose as above except here you have the option to bind the left leg by bringing it in closer, allowing a stretch and a backbend.
Standing Splits with/without blocks
Begin in forward fold, reach one leg up behind you. It doesn’t matter how high you lift your leg. Activate both feet, the standing one by rooting down into the mat, and the lifted one by spreading the toes and lengthening the leg. Option: Use blocks to reach mat as shown in the picture above.
Warrior 3 with/without blocks
In this pose our goal is to bring the lifted leg and arms parallel to the floor. When first attempting this pose, use a block under each hand and practice lifting the back foot, eventually you may begin to lift one or both arms to reach out in front of you.
Half Moon Balance & Half Moon Balance Bind with block
This is one of my favorite yoga poses. Place a block out in front, a little to the side of whichever leg you’re balancing on first. You’re going to keep the balancing leg pointing forward. Take and lift the back leg up as in Warrior 3, except now we are going to rotate the hip open to the side. The chest also rotates and opens to the side reaching the top arm up. Don’t be afraid to bend the balancing leg. You have to feel your way into this pose. It will take some time and practice. Eventually you can begin to draw the extended leg in for a bind. Remember looking down helps with balance, looking up challenges it.
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