The Magic Portal of the Winter Solstice

b5b6bb_a7fa4a29bf514949b19655af0f8a7bbd.jpg_srz_p_252_200_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzThere are many moments. They are portals that we can step through consciously…or not.

Nature very often gives us a “heads-up” before these moments occur, such as birds taking flight before a tornado or elephants running to high ground before a tsunami.

Right now, all around us in Nature, we are seeing change. A sleepiness is overcoming the “rita” of growth and regeneration. We are moving into a time of stillness, quietude and reflection.

Why?

So that we might take a look at what has gone on before, assess where we could have, and possibly should have done better, and move with body, breath and conscious action into the next cycle as the Sun begins its ascent once again to the Summer Solstice.

On December 21, the sun external is at its lowest delineation in the sky. There, it will remain still and peaceful before it begins its ascent once again in 3 days’ time.

In the deeply mystical tradition, it is a time for deep contemplation and meditation, as well as celebration. A pause, if you like, before we get up once again and move in the direction we absolutely can chose, if we exercise free-will.

For me, it is a profoundly exciting portal. I have been rotating energy around my cerebral spine using tantra, mantra and yantra along with Kriya Vinyasa to include not only the Solstices but the Equinox’s as well, in the hope that my koshas will absorb a more harmonious patterning of self-realization.

You see, there is an internal mystical sun, as well as one up in the sky, found at the point between the eyebrows. It is a state in consciousness that any sentient being can attune to, if they are aware that they can, and have a technique they utilize regularly.

On this soul searching day of potentiality, I wish you peace, harmony and above all lots of love.

 In the Kriya Dharma

Camella

cam1000To learn more about Camella Nair – creator of self-study explorations in the kriya tradition – visit her website, where this blog post originally appears: https://www.camellanair.com/

To study with Camella at SYF2015 check out her bio and workshop offerings HERE

How Gratitude Improves Our Well-Being

thank-you-road-signWe make a point during this time of year to outwardly express gratitude for the good things in our lives. Some take to social media or a journal each day to write about something  for which they are thankful, while others specify time for prayer with the theme of gratitude. There seems to be no limit to the quotes, blogs, images, and articles (like this one) available on the topic.

As yogis we often advocate making gratitude a year-round practice. But what is the best way to incorporate gratitude into daily living, and what makes it worth the effort?

Gratitude is all about perception. As an example, think of the classic “glass-half-full or glass-half-empty” conundrum. One aspect of our yoga practice is learning to become observers of our thoughts and feelings so that we may avoid feeling consumed by the deleterious effects of negative thoughts and emotions. By becoming not the subject, but the observer of our inner monologues, we can alter our perception of transient events, and therefore decide whether to let them affect us in negative or positive ways. Gratitude is a strong positive emotion that we can choose to express whether we really feel it or not. But why work so hard to act grateful at times when we don’t feel grateful? What about when we are stuck in a doom-and-gloom mental cycle, and it seems impossible to think of anything good happening now or in the future?

read more…

From Stress to Inspiration Sedona Magic

Living in Sedona and consciously practicing what you preach it’s easy to forget how it is “out there” in the “main land” for most people… I get frequent reminders with clients from big cities visiting for tune-ups and their much needed “Sedona time”. I observe them arrive enveloped in broken grey auras, lower energy centers clogged with what seems like slabs of “concrete” – aka “survival concerns”, dull eyes, lack of presence, stress and drama addictions, constant dependency on their electronic devices, indigestion, anxiety, poor sleep. Their complexion is dull, eyes empty, health in decline. I welcome them, I embrace them, I speak… I know I will have to later repeat everything I’m saying as for the first few days they hear nothing except internal chatter about ginormousness of their problems. And so for the first few days they try to express to me how so important and absolutely unavoidable all of the problems in their lives really are.Isabellasm

And thus our work together begins… It’s a journey back Home, back to their Souls, back to who they really are. The day the cell phone is turned off orIsabellasm left behind in the room, I know they are ready to embrace the transformation, this is the day of “re-introduction to self”. For those who are ready and willing Source works its magic through Sedona vortex energies, through me and the work that I do, through mystics and healers they meet here, through synchronicities and strangers who say “just the right things”…

Right information assists: becoming aware of conditioning, programming, limiting beliefs, self-sabotaging habits brings “aha” moments and tears to eyes where the next step is change and letting go of what no longer serves. Finding connection with one’s own Soul, one’s true nature, one’s Divine Guidance allows the “big” every day problems to “suddenly” look much less important. Hearing the gentle voice of one’s Heart brings in miraculous synchronicities, lightness and ease into decision-making. Focusing on joy instead of problems and suffering creates more reasons to be happy. A couple more days and the inevitable “aha moment” sweeps them of their feet with inspiration, excitement and determination for change: either big or small, and the “old familiar life” no longer looks like an acceptable option.

I observe expanded glowing auras, shining eyes full of life, tears of gratitude, re-awakened sense of purpose and joy for life, faces clear and radiant, physical sickness removed, years off their spirits and faces, Source shining through with all of its magical brilliance. Off they go and later letters come from the “main land” telling of changed, inspired, incredible lives.

Blessed are brave souls who seek change and transformation as when they do it is always assisted with and given. And so it is.

 

Gratitude

A bright golden leaf framed by a clear sky floated lightly to earth. My mind was transfixed on the leaf that marked the advent of autumn and the cycles of seasons within life. Deepak Chopra once remarked that he was now in the autumn of his life. What a wonderful way to remind us that life has its seasons just as we see in nature. The beginning of life and the birth of spring, the activity peaks of life’s summers and the closing of a cycle in autumn are all a prelude to the return to the dormancy & gestation period of winter.Rama_web_sm

Even though fall is a favorite time for many people, as its cold crisp air pierces the ripple of late summer winds, I wonder if it is possible to make these transitions from the early years to the later years in life without mourning the passing of time. Is it possible I wonder, to make the transitions from one era of life to another without clinging to what was? Is it possible to let go if we can’t perceive what is yet to be? Or is it possible to live in a suspended state of fearless expectancy of what is yet to reveal itself?

As the golden leaf lingers in the crisp morning air, my thoughts travel to those in our world community ravaged by storms or wars who are forced into life’s changes with little warning. My heart holds all people, all beings everywhere, transcending current or past pain into the transformative unfolding of the future. The leaf that was once the bud of spring now is a beautiful withered reminder of its lovely past.

Our life patterns and the seasons are not as separate as they seem. In our lifetime we witness and experience many changes, individually and collectively. The hills and the valleys of life’s journey are patterns we all share.

Yoga helps us gain flexibility in body that mirrors the agility in mind that helps us bend with the winds and bow to the storms. It helps us make these transitions through the seasons of our lives, with joyful expectancy of faith in the Divine and loving hand that is guiding us from one place to another in the fulfillment of our life’s destiny.

I find the Thanksgiving holiday is a reminder that is far greater than gatherings of friends and family, much more than the ritual of sharing a meal based on an age-old tradition. It is a time to truly give thanks from our hearts for all that has graced our lives.

What a great opportunity this coming holiday is for forgiving the past, renewing compassion and releasing hardened places in our heart that have become numb to the storms that have ravaged us. One great bhakti (devotional) teacher who was a living saint from India once said to me, “Be thankful for judgments and criticism….through them, you will have greater compassion for others.”

Thanksgiving is not just once a year, but it is an attitude of gratefulness that we can practice every day of the year. As we transcend our own tears, we can see and feel the tears of others. We can, during this coming holiday and every day send our love and healing to all those whose lives have radically changed and all those who have experienced losses in our country and all countries of the world. The healing power of giving thanks silently can radiate out from Self, to community and our world.

Connect to the Present Moment

by SYF2015 Presenter Alicia Valentyn, RYT LMT

 

AliciaWhat’s the Best Way to Connect to the Present Moment?

I connect to the Present Moment by way of my Breath.

In yoga the Breath is known as Prana.

Take a Moment now and Notice Your Breath.
Notice the Quality, Rate and State of your Breath.

Is Your Breath Relaxed, Smooth and Free from Tension?

Notice the thoughts on your Mind.  Is there much self talk and are you asking yourself alot of ‘What If’s’ or ‘Why’ questions?

If you are asking yourself  ‘What If” this happens or that happens; then you may be living in an Anxious State of Mind. Living in the future.  Anxienty can mask your breath.

If you are noticing more of a tendency to ask your self, ‘Why’ did this happened to me; then you may be living in a Depressed State of Mind. Living in the past.  Depression can mask your breath too.

To Feel your utmost very best try now to Connect to the Present Moment by way of your Breath.

Your Breath will guide you to the Present Moment.  Knowing that the ‘Present Moment’ is your only guarantee in life makes it alot easier to find a connection to the Breath/Prana/Life Force Energy.

Relax Now with yourself.

Try a very Simple Pranayama… read more on Alicia’s Blog

Yoga For Personal Growth – Yoga Is About Living!

by SYF2015 presenter Hope Zvara

yoga-for-personal-growth-682x1024Yoga has taught me a lot about life and living. My mom (also a yoga teacher) and I often chat jokingly about how being awake in the world is a blessing and a curse. As yoga heightens your awareness of the things, people, actions, and words that are around you as well as what goes on inside of you, it can feel like a double-edged sword.
I was blessed to have my first real yoga experience at an ashram.  I was guided by a wonderful teacher with whom I contribute much of my understanding of spirituality and truly living in commune with God (or Universal Consciousness). Fast forward twelve years, I have evolved. Yet my roots are grounded in keeping the spirit in yoga and more recently I have added a passion for functionality and deepened core awareness.

Keeping the understanding that when you come to yoga–real yoga–expect to grow radically, expect to be uncomfortable, expect to be challenged in thought, word, and action. Expect to be confused, frustrated, angry, sad, mad, happy, and in sheer bliss. Why? Because… read more on Hope’s Blog!

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