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October 2012

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It’s that time of year again…

October 16, 2012

Today is the first day of the Navratras and although I don’t consider myself a very religious person I still feel that this is a good time for everyone to clean up and make space for a healthier and more fulfilling life.  You could decide to let go of stale emotions, bad habits, bad people, old clothes etc.  When you start thinking about it there are so many things in our lives that don’t add any value to the quality of our lives.  These nine days are a good time to reflect and to jettison the unneeded and the unwanted.

I’ve decided to fast for the next nine days.  However, this doesn’t mean that I’ll eat all the fried ‘goodies’ that are ‘allowed’ during the Navratras.  I’ll take this opportunity to cleanse and to detoxify.  So gorging on fruits, juices and veggies.  And of course, lots and lots of water to flush out the toxins that have accumulated over the past year.  During the nine days I’ll make sure I go to sleep on time and wake up on time.  I’ll make sure to make time for the things that I like, such as reading and taking long walks through the hills.  So not only is my digestive system going to be on a break, but also my mind.  The thing is, if you don’t get rid of old emotions then you don’t have enough space for new emotions.  This kind of mind and body detox can be done any time during the year but I find that during the Navratras you have company and motivation.

What you decide to do is up to you, but here are a few suggestions:

1.  Give up tea/coffee for the nine days and have a fruit as a substitute.

2.  Wake up an hour earlier and use it to meditate/practice yoga/go for long walks/do something that is meaningful to you.

3.  Clean up your closet and discard stuff.

4.  Sleep earlier than you usually do and see the effects of extra snooze time.

5.  Practice yoga every day!!!

6.  Do one nice thing for someone else each day for the next 9 days.

The list is endless.  The idea is to make a resolution and stick to it.  This makes your mind stronger and gets your body in touch with your mind.

Good luck and Happy Navratri!!!

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Intentions, sankalp, prayers….

October 4, 2012

Often yoga sessions start with an intention, a sankalp or a prayer.  I don’t think yoga is connected to any religion, but I do believe that yoga and spirituality are entertwined.  There are many shlokas found in the upanishads and other ancient scriptures that are used to begin and end yoga sessions.  Below are the ones that I use in my class.

Opening Prayer

Om sahanavavatu, saha nou bhunaktu,

Saha Viryam karvavahai,

Tejasvi navadhitamastu ma vidvisavahai.

Om Santih Santih Santih (Taitt. Upanishad)

 

May he protect us both, May he nourish us both;

May we both work together with great energy;

May our studies be enlightened and fruitful;

May we not hate each other,

Om Peace, Peace, Peace.

 

Closing Prayer

Sarve bhavantu sukhinah,

Sarve santu niramayah,

Sarve bhadrani pasyantu,

Ma kascit dukhabhag bhavet,

Om Santih Santih Santih

 

May all be happy,

May all be free from diseases,

May all see things auspicious,

May none be subjected to misery.

Om Peace, Peace, Peace.