LEARN TO LOVE AND CARE YOURSELF

When you practice yoga, and as you sit and do your deep breathing, you should always pay attention to the nature of your thoughts. If you think negatively, a negative reaction take place within the body.

The Breath of Positive Thinking:

If you experience a disturbing mental or emotional incident, as you sit down to do your  breathing, you might have lingering feelings such as hatred or bitterness. Try to get red of them. When you exhale, say to yourself that you are exhaling this hate or bitterness-exhale it away, and let it leave your body and mind. As you inhale, replace it with love. Love will always make you feel better.

If you have had a physically exhausting day, exhale the tiredness away. Picture the tiredness leaving your body and your body relaxing-release and relax. Inhale and feel all the beautiful prana energy enter you, fill you with new aliveness. Learn to feel its rewards, and learn to feel renewed.

If you are sad, exhale it away and inhale joy. Whatever might be bothering you can always be released, if you learn to get rid of it and think positively. You can do it. You should remember that your mind tells your body how to react, and your body reacts to your thoughts. As soon as a negative thought creeps in, which is something we all experience once in a while, replace it with a positive thought. Practice this positive thinking  when you are doing your postures. If you think a posture is too difficult, your body will absolutely agree with you and will be less likely to perform it. If you think positively, your body will perform positively.

Sometimes you might find yourself hurrying through your postures. After all, who’s going to know? We’ve all found ourselves occasionally getting lazy or bored. In doing so, we cheat ourselves. Every once in a while, when you practice your postures, picture yourself as a yoga teacher. In front of all your  students, If you must perform the postures as close to perfection as you can. picture God or your loved ones watching you-picture someone watching. This training will enable you to get back on the right track and do the very best that you can. You’ll not only feel better physically, but mentally, and you’ll be proud of yourself.

Someone you might feel that to just sit and breathe makes you idle. Some of us were told when we were younger that idle hands get us into mischief. Idle stillness will never lead to mischief. Stillness affords us the opportunity to store energy-to find peace and reality-and to discover our true self. We must learn to sit silently and be still. Naturally, we must pause-unmoving and unthinking.

Postures:

Temple 1

Stand with your palms together under your chin – thumbs overlapped. Inhale and stretch your arms above your head by your ears. As you exhale through your mouth, open your arms wide to your sides and let them float down the sides. The sound of your exhalation should be a long, released “Aaaaaah.” This is a very relaxing posture.

Temple 2                                                                                                     

Stand with your arms at your sides. Inhale as you raise  your body on  your toes  and raise your arms  over your head. Exhale  and drop down  onto the flat of your feet. Bend your body forward  and  at the same time  lower your arms  and let them hang loosely. Take hold of your calf muscles and pull your body in, tightly to your legs or as closely as you comfortably can. Raise your legs and inhale very, very slowly. Use your Inhalation to roll your body back to a standing position. Then take a final exhalation.

Upper Body Stress Release                       

Roll your back up until you are in a kneeling position with your arms at your sides. Exhale and arch your back forward, slowly letting your head drop back. Inhale and straighten yourself up to a kneeling position. Roll your neck three times to each side, and finish with an exhalation. Inhale and place your hands on your shoulders with your elbows forward. As you roll your shoulders, roll your arms backward and out to the sides three to four times. Finish with an exhalation, and release your hands from your shoulders. Inhale and clasp your hands behind your lower back. Exhale, bend forward, and place your head to floor. your arms are raised up behind you. Release your arms and let them flop to the floor. Rest there for a few moments. Inhale and very slowly roll your body back up to a kneeling position.

Relaxation/Meditation: Metamorphosis

This is an exercise in metamorphosis, in the sense that you will change from, much like the caterpillar changes into a beautiful butterfly as it emerges from it cocoon. Stretch out in your comfortable, centered position. Twist and wiggle to settle in. Relax your head and neck area; relax your face, and relax your eyes, as you close them and enter your inner self.

As you take this deep exhalation and let go, notice the heaviness of your body. This heaviness allows you to sink down, down, down. But you also want your mind, your soul, your spirit to rise up. Concentrating on your inhalation, take a few calming breaths to feel lighter. you are about to experience lightness.

Only for the moment, picture yourself in a cocoon, which should be fairly easy since most of us have lived sheltered lives and limited forms of existence. It’s time to change all that, to become light and fly freely like the butterfly. Some of you may say: “But I do not want to let go.” Do not forget that you let go every time that you put your head to your pillow each night. Feel the same trust now, here in your cocoon.

There is a very small opening at one end of the cocoon. As you continue to become lighter through your inhalations, you will be able to pass through this opening; it’s right there at the top of your head. Continue to breathe softly, and you will begin to feel light enough to float right out of the opening. Try it now. (pause.)

You are almost out, still feeling light and growing lighter, and floating free. (pause.)

You made it ! You feel boundless and limitless, as you rise up and up higher still. See yourself floating free – feel yourself floating free – and enjoy your freedom. See yourself at the ceiling of the room you are in – boundless and joyful ! But why limit yourself to this room? Picture yourself above your building, drifting effortlessly among the treetops. Have you ever felt so free, so light? (pause.)

Just as there are no limits to your dreams, there are no limits to your lightness. You can explore the Milky way, if you wish, or go to different planet – circle the universe. Any time you put your body aside, even momentarily, you will be free. You will know the joy and freedom of the butterfly, the bird, the drifting snowflake, the leaf that rides the wind. Look at the sky around you – reach out – and touch a star ! Enjoy ! (pause.)

Fill yourself with this feeling and bring it with you as you return to the cocoon of your building and your room. Let your descent be very slow, returning slowly downwards once more with every exhalation. Relax back to the earth, to the room that surrounds you. Simply drift, drift down, until a final full exhalation says that you are home again, back from having touched the stars and having tasted freedom, lightness and joy! (pause.)

The success of your journey – of all your journeys – depends completely on you, on saying “yes” to life, “yes” to this moment, “yes” to the experience. In your journeys, we must try to be completely aware, from silence to sound, to our inner self and outer self. We speak of silence and sound as being different things when, in fact, the original sound was silence. Silence can make the biggest sound, if we truly listen for it. Dis you say “yes” to this experiencing? The first leap into the unknown, can be scary at first. Remember that others have taken that leap before you and have flown! When you are ready, you too will spread your wings, and you will fly!

It is time for you to ask yourself the following questions: Do you feel like you have changed over the Past weeks? Do you feel like you have grown? Do you have a greater awareness of your body and of your breathing? Are you satisfied with yourself? Do you feel more relaxed, calm, content and peaceful?

The Five Senses:

We find happiness within the discovery of our real self, and in living in a more natural state – that is reality. How do we accomplish this? We must first become more in tune with our five senses: let your eyes really see the blue sky; let your ears really hear the birds; let your nose really smell the fresh breeze; let your hands really touch the wonders about you; and let your mouth really taste that sweet-sour morsel of the apple.

Try not to live in your past impressions, as they are of the past and, generally, they are impressions that others have passed on to you. Learn to experience your own life, your own awareness of the present moment. Awareness brings us out of our limited self and lets us truly discover this moment, this thing as it is. This reality is our true being, where we find peace and joy. When you reach this place, there will be no need for formal meditation – life will be your meditative state of being. Paradise is not a destination but an attitude toward life.

The Power of Controlled Breathing:

When doing your breathing, utilize the oxygen properties that you take in. Let your breath enter your nose, fill your larynx; let it subdivide into the bronchial tubes, subdivide again into the air sacs, energizing the entire lung and taking up your whole lung capacity. This contributes to your physical will-being as well as your mental well-being. Think about this: one minute of anger has a very destructive effect on the body. In anger, bile is secreted into your bloodstream, and your face becomes red. This redness comes from lots of energy being burned during a period of uncontrolled emotion. This tremendous surge of uncontrolled, burning energy can cause fatigue, and many occurrences of it can cause fatal diseases. While you are in such a state your breathing is out of control. Proper breathing allows pure prana energy to calm and heal you.

We have amazing inner healing powers that we take for granted far too often. Have you ever tripped and fallen on your knee? what was the first thing you did? You probably put both hands down and held the knee, and it felt a little better, did not it? That’s the healing power in you. Taking in prana energy consciously, through proper breathing, helps keep our healing power strong.

Control your breath and you control thought; control thought and control ego; controlling ego is mastering the self. Mastering the self is to know peace.

Take a nice deep, deep inhalation. As you inhale, push your stomach out, and when you exhale let your stomach come in. Remember that when you inhale, you should not pull your shoulders up and your stomach in. Yoga is learning to breathe naturally. Your stomach will automatically push out on your second inhalation, even if you had difficulty pushing your stomach out on the first inhalation. Always try to exhale twice as much, or twice as long, as you inhale. Do not turn purple trying, simply practice to your comfort level. Inhale through your nostrils and exhale through your nostrils. Close your eyes and breathe. Closing your eyes will make you more comfortable and relaxed, and allow you to go inward more easily. Put aside all thoughts and burdens that you’ve been carrying all day and simply sit and breathe for a moment, then begin your postures.

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