Just read a great article on Huffington Post by Yogini Tara Stiles of Strala Yoga. It is entitled "Generation X: Praying to No One." Loved it. It basically talked about Gen X'ers and Y'ers realizing that many churches and religious organization are more about money than God. She even talked about guru brainwashing and spiritual elitism found in the yoga world.
More importantly, she discussed the benefits of yoga and meditation.
A regular yoga practice will keep your body healthy your mind clear and your heart open. I cannot adequately describe your spiritual experience nor would it be of use to try. It is yours to enjoy, revel in, and be amazed. When your body, mind, and heart are healthy and open, your spirit has a green light to do its thing. Physical yoga is the best form of health care. It was designed to help us care for ourselves before we had doctors around to treat disease. The poses regulate your entire body and its systems so you can live healthy, feel good, and meditate with ease. Which is a matter of finding spirituality inside you, no outside religion or velvet-robed authorities required.
To read the full piece, click here.
The Yoga Bella
So today before I did anything I "made" myself sit in meditation for 15 minutes. I told myself - "you wanted to get consistent, so get consistent." Last night I missed my meditation but I watched an Osho video about the meaning of life. (Yes, you heard my first of probably many excuses as to why I didn't meditate last night.) So eventhough I had plenty of things to do this morning, I decided that sitting in meditation should be my top priority and would probably help my day go smoother.
Sometimes I do a prayer before starting meditation like asking God to join me and show me what I need to see. Other times, I take my crystal friends with me on the meditative journey. Today I chose to bring along Selenite and Angeline, which are both powerful crystals to really help me tune in. (I didn't choose these two for any other reason than they spoke to me today.) Selenite is supposed to help "bring clarity of mind, access angelic consciousness." (pretty great huh) It is also supposed to "help reach other lives (not sure what that means), assist judgment and insight, as well as show inner workings."
The other mineral friend I used was Angelite. This beautiful blue crystal is also "useful for angelic contact" and it "transmutes pain and disorder into wholeness and healing." The cool thing about Angelite is that it is Celestite, which has been compressed over millions of years. Just for background, Celestite helps "contact spiritual and angelic realms, encourages spiritual development, enlightenment and pureness of heart." I love the fact that it "disperses worries and attracts good fortune." It also aids clairvoyant communication, dream recall and astral travel. In addition to all of these wonderful qualities, it "synthesizes instinct and intellect, aiding analysis of complex ideas, brings balance and alignment, balances mind, as well as eliminates toxins and brings cellular order." With Celestite you almost don't need another crystal.
If you aren't spooked out by the fact that I used crystals and have a belief that they might work and help bring about their said properties then keep reading.
So with these crystals (Selenite in my left hand and Angelite in my right) I meditated. And like usual, I think they may have assisted me with getting messages in my meditation that I need right now. Today I received the message that I should "enjoy this time" - referring to my meditation time.
I don't know if you are like me but I am often thinking about all the things that I have to do during meditation - like things I need to write or my never-ending to do list. Yet, when I go to yoga class I feel as though I've set aside this special yoga time just for me. Why don't I have the same spirit with my meditation? Isn't meditation the highest honoring of myself. So, this message came through crystal clear (pun intended) in my meditation today. I must cherish this special time that I am taking for myself twice a day (yes that's the goal) - just like I treasure my yoga time. I can't make it seem like something else to do.
I need to enjoy this time when I can just be....
The Yoga Bella
(Note: Crystal properties are from "The Illustrated Guide to Crystals" by Judy Hall.)
Today I decided to take my meditation practice seriously. I set a goal. I want to meditate at any length (to begin with) twice a day. I'm starting out with 15 minutes twice a day. However, I will not beat myself up if I forget, don't make 15 minutes or miss a session. I will just begin anew the next day.
I believe that meditation will help me in numerous areas of my life - spiritually, physically (health wise), mentally (become clearer in my thinking), and emotionally.
We'll see how it goes. I hope my meditation goal encourages others to set their own. If you start a new meditation practice, let me know! I'd love to hear your stories as well.
The Yoga Bella
Today, I came upon a video on vegetarianism and spirituality by Swami Kriyananda of Ananda. This organization is a "worldwide movement based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda and founded by Swami Kriyananda," who is a disciple of Yogananda. Although you should definitely watch the video for yourself, Kriyananda's conclusion, based on Yogananda's teachings, is that yes - a vegetarian diet is preferred because of the ingestion of a "fear consciousness" due eating the meat of more evolved animals (like cows and pigs). (Funny, there was no mention of chicken.) However, if you have to eat meat, he recommended eating sheep or fish, which are less conscious beings. And he also mentions that many Indian vegetarians also eat fish. (I personally eat fish from time to time but not other meat -- which makes me a vegetarian-pescatarian.)
Check out the video for yourself and draw your own diet conclusions. Great article on raw foods and weight loss over at Vegan Fusion called "Are Raw Foods Good for Weight Loss?" And yes, eating a raw foods diet definitely helps you lose weight. (Disclaimer: I don't know if the model is on the raw foods diet. LOL) I just found a great listing of the Top 25 yoga studios around the world from Travel + Leisure. Granted, they were the best in 2007 but I'm sure they will still deliver a good workout and yoga-time. I wanted to check out Tranquil Space while I was here in Washington, DC but I ran out of time. (Yes, I know... priorities. I really don't know where the time went.) I love the owner of Tranquil Space, Kimberly Wilson's blog, Hip Tranquil Chic. As far as Los Angeles, YogaWorks and Liberation Yoga were on the list. YogaWorks has locations all over the greater Los Angeles area - even El Segundo which is close to this yogini to be. (P.S. YogaWorks is in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Orange County.)
Some of my current favorite yoga studios are Lyfe Yoga and Yoga West. I'm also planning to try Harmony Yoga in the new year. We'll see. What are your yoga studio favs? Hit me up and let me know!
2009 is all about yoga for me!
As if completely in rhythm, I saw this post on Guru Singh's site on Monday.
Since expectations are what you get, and desires are what you want . . . you already know your desires, get to know your expectations.
In the Quantum reality, observation is everything . . . observation and expectation are in effect siblings, or more like kissing cousins.
Get to know them now and create the sense of family.
So, I guess the burden is upon us to get to know our thoughts, desires and expectations because they have created our reality at the moment and our building our futures.