Saturday, February 19, 2011

New Blog

For various reasons, I've moved my blog to another website and will now be blogging more regularly (2 x/week), so please visit: yogainraleigh.wordpress.com

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

WWTD? (what would a tree do)

There's something about being in nature that feels inherently good, balanced, supportive and in harmony. Living in the city, I can't access those immense energetic affects daily, so engaging nature's wisdom requires periodic visits and then visualizing and embodying it's essence.

In tree pose, I'll often send my 'roots' down into the floor, the 'earth', and feel the affect this has on me - structurally, emotionally, etc. It's amazingly peaceful and having established a firm foundation, deep roots allow for freedom of flexibility in the 'trunk' and 'branches'.

In mountain pose, I embrace the solidness of my structure and support from the 'earth' which provides me a base from which to support other living beings.

And, in meditation, I'll sometimes view my mind as a lake. As fluctuations (thoughts) 'ripple' across the surface, beneath there remains an immense calm and clear stillness.

Like a tree, I am rooted, balanced, and in harmony.

Like a mountain, I am strong, stable, and supportive.

Like a lake, underneath the ripples I am calm, clear, and deep.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Bringing the outside, within

Grounded means to live from the inside out. Noticing warmth or coolness, tingling or pressure, pain or joy, boredom or intensity. Being present in the moment. Bringing the outside, within. Embodied.

Being grounded does not promise a joyful life. However, when the journey is not easy, an embodied response feels supported throughout the entire process, by my structure, by the Universe. A grounded life encourages authenticity by providing a more accurate experience of, and response to, the moment. When I'm grounded, I feel that my experience of the world is based on my internal environment, which leads me to take greater responsibility towards my own happiness.

Being grounded does not mean that I must always be thinking about the present moment. It means I can consciously choose to reflect into the future or on the past, and then return to the present moment without getting lost in my head.

We spend way too much time in our heads creating stories which justify our actions and circumstances or provide some sense of security. At best, these stories separate us from the present moment and at worst, create further suffering.

That said, the mind is not our enemy – it is an extremely valuable tool in navigating the world. Therefore, the next time you feel stuck in your story, here's how grounding yourself can help you to change the channel.

1. STOP
2. notice your BREATH, the inhale and exhale
3. THANK the mind for all the wonderful ways it helps you maneuver in the world
4. tell the mind that it is NOT BEING HELPFUL right now
5. connect with your breath
6. GROUND yourself - feel the body from the inside out: breath, sensations, heat, coolness - whatever comes up.

As the mind attempts to reassert itself with a story, again thank the mind and ground yourself in bodily sensations.

The practice of living a grounded life can create freedom from the tyranny of your thoughts and lead you towards a path of authenticity, wisdom and wholeness.

Surely there is no greater gift.