Cobra2

Cobra

Cobra

Start in table then slowly lower down to your stomach. Keeping your hands under your shoulders, elbows are bent into the body, shoulder blades melt down the back.  All ten toenails are pushing into the mat and your legs are zip together into a tail. Forehead on the floor.  Inhale and slowly lift your head, straightening your arms keeping your elbows tucked in at the side, continuing with lifting part of the chest off the floor.  Abdomen on the floor. Breathe.  Release back down slowly, exhaling, with control. Lowering your chest to the floor, then your head. Breathe.  Again. Inhale and slowly lift your head and chest, elbows tucked into the sides raise up into Cobra. Breathe here three breathes.  Then lower back down.

breath-of-fresh-air

The Breath: Reduce Stress and Find Your Inner Peace

The Breath: Reduce Stress and Find Your Inner Peace – Part 1

As we begin 2013, we look for ways to improve our precious life. In our busy lives, we need simple methods which we can apply each day. We know that stress can have a negative impact on our bodies and mind. We know that continued stress has a negative impact on our longevity. So what do we have that is simple and can be effective. The breath or prana, our life force or spirit-energy.

Pranayama, the fourth of the eight limbs of yoga outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, can be one method to reduce our stress. Pranayama, defined by Wikipedia, means “to extend the vital life force”. Pranayama can vary in technique from complex to simple. Do Yoga St. John will explore pranayamas over the next several months.

Why Pranayama? Experienced yoga teachers have seen the impact of a pranayama practice. Pranayama can reduce stress and anxiety, help with sleeplessness, ease pain, increase awareness and enable one to find a calm, quiet, inner peace.

How to practice Pranayama? To start, become aware of your breath. Observe your breath without judgment. Find a quiet place to lie on your back comfortably, with one hand on your abdomen below the naval and one hand above the naval. As you inhale, feel the breath from the nostrils and then expansion and the subtle changes in the body. As you exhale, feel the contraction. Next, gently but actively expand the abdomen on the inhale letting all the abdomen muscles open up. Now on the exhale, contract the abdomen and at the very end of the exhale, slightly pull the abdomen muscles in to the center of the body. Repeat this practice for 6 to 12 breaths. We will call this method basic pranayama.

Another pranayama, the long exhale, involves gradually increasing your exhalation until it is twice the length of your inhalation. This pranayana relaxes the nervous system and can reduce insomnia, sleep disturbances, and anxiety. Again, begin by lying on your back in a comfortable position, place a few rounds of basic pranayama from above. Control your breath and get your inhalation and exhalation to be equal. Gradually start to increase your exhalation by 2 or 3 seconds with the contraction of the abdomen at the end of the exhalation. As long as the breath feels smooth and relaxed, continue to increase the exhale by 1 or 2 seconds once every few breaths. Next, start to count the length of the inhale, for example it may be the count of 5 and see if you can double the count and exhale for the count of 10 without changing the pace of the count. If your breath feels uncomfortable or short, reduce the ratio to a comfortable level. Try the long exhale method for 8 or 12 breaths. Then go back to your natural breath for 6 to 8 breaths.
Pause, check in with yourself, notice if you feel more relaxed and less stressed.

Check in with us in the next months for more pranayama practices.

breathe_by_sibayak

The Breath: Reduce Stress and Find Your Inner Peace Part 2

The Breath:  Reduce Stress and Find Your Inner Peace – part 2

As we continue our experiment with Pranayama, let us examine more deeply the benefits of reduced stress and the impact on our bodies, our psych and our lives.

From the Mayo Clinic and other medical reports, we learn that stress may be affecting our health without our awareness. There are many common effects of stress on the body including headaches, muscle tension, chest pains, fatigue and sleep problems.  Stress can have many negative impacts on our bodies and contribute to serious health issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Our psyche, sometimes defined as our human soul, mind or spirit, is the reflection of our being in the universe. It is our mental state. Stress can cause many issues including anxiety, restlessness, irritability, sadness or depression. Our lives, which are always a challenge to keep in balance, can be thrown way off balance by continued stress. Stress can eventually lead to destructive life styles and behavior like over or under eating, drug or alcohol abuse, and social withdrawal.

So how can pranayama help with stress? Pranayama quiets the mind and allows the mind to rest. Through pranayama, one can experience an expansion of the mind and freshness in ones perspective. Pranayama keeps us focus on our life force, the breath, and keeps us in the present moment, which is all we truly have since the past is gone and the future is yet to be. A great deal of stress is generated from living in the past or the future.

So here is another pranayama to practice called four-part breathing. To start, find a quiet calm place to sit and begin to become aware of your breath.  Four part breathing consists of an inhale, a hold, an exhale and a hold. Observe your breath without judgment. Exhale all the breath out of the body. Inhale through the nose for a slow count of four.  Hold your breath in the body for a slow count of four.  Exhale through the nose for a slow count of four.  And then keep the breath out of the body for the same count of four. Repeat again with the inhale.  Repeat this four-part breath a minimum of eight cycles for optimal benefit.

You may find that the last part, the holding of the breath out of the body, to be the most difficult. Sit in the quiet with this difficult part and think about why you are experiencing these feeling.  Pranayama can open up blocks in our thinking and change the old thinking patterns that we are repeating.  After the pranayama, check in with yourself, become aware of your feelings and see if you feel less inner stress.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Workshops with Visiting Teacher Charmian Redwood

Visiting spiritual teacher Charmian Redwood will be offering workshops at the People Moving Forward Foundation located behind Morgan’s Mango in Cruz Bay.

About Charmian Redwood: 

Charmian offers workshops and individual sessions guiding people to connect with their own Divine Essence and the Self who has already made the transformation into the Higher Self.  30 years ago Charmian had a Near Death Experience during which she returned to the Golden Light of the Source. There she was awakened to the consciousness of Herself as a God Presence. Her life purpose since that event has been to assist others to experience themselves as Divine Essence in the Golden Light of Home before they leave the body at the end of their lives.

She has written two books, both taken from hypnosis sessions. Coming Home To Lemuria, was written after taking many people back to the lost continent of Lemuria to remember how we lived in Oneness and Love. The second book, 2012 A New Earth Rising, was written after taking people forward through the dimensional shift of 2012 into the Healed Earth where we are living once more from our God Essence as we did in Lemuria.

Sunday April 14th
2 pm to 5 pm
Archangel Gabriel Connection to the Divine Within
at the People Moving Forward Foundation

Archangel Gabriel is the messenger who connects Heaven and Earth. At this event Charmian will play crystal bowls and guide us to connect with our own God Self. We will then create a ceremony to acknowledge ourselves and each other as Divine Beings. Bring something ceremonial, flowers, scarves, jewels for the ceremony.

Cost $ 50 ( sliding scale available) Space is limited RSVP Charmian 340-626-5443    or e mail  charmiangel40@hotmail.com

Saturday April 20th
10 am to 5 pm
Archangels Uriel and Raphael
at the People Moving Forward Foundation

A workshop with Charmian Redwood and her crystal singing bowls. Journeys of initiation and empowerment with Archangels Uriel, he is the overlighting Archangel of the Kingdom of Nature. All of the devas and elementals work under him. We will learn how to communicate with the plant spirits all around us and how to grow your garden in harmony with all kingdoms. Archangel Raphael is the head of the Healing Host. Wherever healing is taking place Raphael is there. We will receive initiation with this powerful Archangel and then practice our healing skills in a group.

Cost $100 (sliding scale available) Space is limited RSVP Charmian 340-626-5443  or e mail

charmiangel40@hotmail.com

Sunday, April 21st
2 pm to 5 pm
Sacred Feminine and Sacred Masculine in Perfect Balance
at the People Moving Forward Foundation

It is time now to heal the division between men and women that has resulted from thousands of years of patriarchy. Both men and women have been wounded so now we need to find the balance of the male and feminine within ourselves and then walk together as equals in sacred union. Charmian will play crystal singing bowls and lead a journey to bring in the sacred feminine and the sacred masculine and to find the point of balance in the heart.

Cost $ 50 RSVP Charmian 340-626-5443   or charmiangel40@hotmail.com space is limited

yoga-pavilion

Full Moon Maho Bay Camps Yoga Celebration

Full Moon Maho Bay Camps Yoga Celebration
Wednesday, April 24th
7 pm – 9 pm
Maho Pavilion
$25 or sliding scale. Limited yoga mats and blankets available.

Maho Bay Campground is officially closing on May 15. Maho’s yoga teachers, Suki, Joel and Jessa are hosting a Celebration of Maho, with Yoga Asana, Pranayama and Satsang.

Come join in Honoring the Beauty, Celebrate the Community, finding Joy and Celebration in all the wonderful memories of Maho Bay Camps!!

Suki has been leading her Heart-Centered Yoga classes at Maho Bay Camps since 1997 and has inspired 1000’s of people to begin or renew their yoga practice; giving guests at Maho their own private yoga retreat. Joel attended many of Suki’s classes over his years of working at Maho before traveling to New Mexico, India and Australia; for training and teaching. He has become a strong, well- loved yoga instructor. Jessa began her yoga practice in the Womb, took classes with Suki growing up and pursued yoga in college. She trained for her RYT at the Shoshoni Ashram in Shambhava Yoga and studied Anusara in Colorado. She has  developed a beautiful teaching style.

Come join us for this Full Moon Maho Celebration. All levels welcome.

Teacher_Training

Yoga Teacher Training on St. Thomas!

Robin Buck of Jane’s House returns to St. Thomas to offer a three part yoga teacher training in the Dynamic Yoga Method

This training is not only appropriate for those who wish to become yoga teachers, but rather, is an opportunity for any practicing yogi or yogini to deepen his or her yoga practice and to delve deeper into the inquiry into the nature of self, its relationships with the totality of being, and surrender.

DATES:

The 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training will be provided over the course of four modules, with final testing upon the conclusion of the final module.  Each attendee will also receive a beautifully produced 200+ page training manual containing illustrations and professionally photographed Asanas.

Module #1 April 22-28
Module #2 July 8-13
Module #3 September 23-28
Module #4 December 2-8 (includes test-out)

Each module will take place Monday through Saturday, 8am-5pm, for a total of 40 hours.  (These dates may be adjusted depending on whether the minimum number of students is obtained. We will confirm these
dates as soon as possible).

CERTIFICATION BY THE NATIONAL YOGA ALLIANCE:

Successful participation in all training modules, passing a comprehensive final exam, and an assessment by the teacher training instructors that the trainee is able to competently and compassionately a basic yoga class will result in a 200-Hour certification by the National Yoga Alliance.

SPACE AND PAYMENT:

•    Space is limited to 10 participants.

•    Payment and a signed agreement are required to reserve your space.

•    Payment options

Option 1: 
One payment of $3,000

Option 2:    
Two payments of $1575 (for a total of $3150); First payment to reserve your spot in program and second payment due by the end of second module.

Option 3:     
Three payments of $1100 (for a total of $3300); First payment to reserve your spot in program, second payment due by the end of second module, and third payment due by the end of the third module.

*Please contact Jennie Alvarez at (340) 643-7758 or Laura Nagi at (808) 728-2800 to register.

JANE’S HOUSE

For the last decade, Jane’s House has had the privilege of developing teachers who are seen as the most competent of teachers in their markets  and have evolved a program over the course of that time that is equaled by none: there is a difference between training someone to be a teacher, and training someone to be an instructor. To be a teacher of Yoga is to be an example of the process of personal transformation, and a carrier of the ancient wisdom of self-inquiry, compassion and devotion: Jane’s House trains teachers.

ROBIN BUCK:

Much of the technical curriculum is derived from the work of Godfrey Devereux. Mr. Devereux teaches something called the Dynamic Yoga Method. The Dynamic Yoga Method is not to be understood as a new “style” of Hatha yoga. It is essentially a way to organize and experience the actions one takes within practice, a basic set of principles that can be taught to students in the beginning of their training to give them a way to gain autonomy in their investigation of Yoga. Within the realm of technique, trainees are taught to organize the many possible actions that the body can take within the rubric of three main areas: expanding actions (broadening actions), extending actions (lengthening actions), and spiraling actions (the basic medial and lateral rotations of the major joints).

The training is structured around several key elements:

•    Technical training: in asana, meditation, and pranayama.

•    Teaching skills: how to language and teach actions rather than guiding a class via practicing together; sequencing classes based on a deep understanding of the techniques and postures as actions rather than forms; hands-on adjustments, holding the space, and adapting to the needs of students spontaneously.

•    History and philosophy: The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, the Baghavad Gita, and the Gospels.

•    Anatomy and physiology: Joint mechanics, the reflexes, and the respiratory system as applied to the actions of practice.

•    The psychology of teaching: The training curriculum takes advantage of adult learning methods and places tremendous focus on character development. Yoga is a transformational practice and as such
requires teachers who can anticipate situations in which boundary or ethical issues may arise. Other topics of interest include, but are not limited to: Pregnancy and other special populations.

See www.dynamicyoga.com  for more information on Godfrey Devereux and the Dynamic Yoga Method.

woman-in-desert-for-triangle-meditation

Visiting Ayurveda Specialist Returns with a New Workshop – A Radical Journey in Self-Care

Ayurveda- A Radical Journey in Self-Care
with Jessica Rhodes and Lindsey Chabot

March 22nd through 24th
Concordia Eco-Resort
$250, includes food!
$220 if paid before March 8th

To register, contact Lindsey at 340-201-6970 or ldchabot@gmail.com or sign up online at EventSpot.

Register for this Do Yoga St. John event with EventSpot and receive a gift card for one free yoga class at Concordia. The gift card is good for any regular class with any teacher and is transferable. Your card will be given to you at the event.

Join us at Concordia Eco-Resort, St. John, for a beautiful weekend of self-discovery through Ayurvedic traditions.  Ayurveda translates to mean the “Science of Life” and is truly a living experiential science that develops awareness and a deeper connection to self.  Through the use of foods, herbs, yoga asana, massage, and practices, Ayurveda guides us towards balance and optimal health.  This workshop will help you create a tool kit to maintain balance in your life and in your diet specific to your constitutional dosha (dominant elemental energies).  Your Ayurvedic guides will be Jessica Rhodes, Sacramento, California; and Lindsey Chabot, St. John, USVI – Certified Ayurvedic Practitioners and Yoga teachers.

THE WORKSHOP:

Friday, March 22nd–  5:00 – 9:00PM

  • Ayurveda revealed – introducing Ayurveda including breathing, elements and doshas.
  • Guided Yoga Asana – a cleansing evening practice
  • Dinner – Ayurvedic inspired with specific information about each dish and a discussion on food and recipes.

Saturday, March 23rd–  8:00AM – 2:00PM

  • Early morning Yoga Asana followed by tea and snack
  • Tools for YOU: Hot, Cold, Wet, Dry & gaining a deeper understanding of the doshas and the pulse as they relate to emotions you experience and problems you face
  • Lunch – Eating for your constitution, more learnings about food, preparation and recipes
  • Ayurveda explored – experiencing the senses…balancing your life with spices and essential oils

Sunday, March 24th–  8:00AM – 3:00PM

  • Early morning Yoga Asana followed by tea and snack
  • Ayurvedic practiced – learning about self care tools, oil pulling, salt scrubs & massage
  • Hike down to Salt Pond Bay: Scrub
  • Lunch – Sensing and Balancing: Come up with a practical set of ways to bring these tools to your life

You will be going home with:

Guided written instructions on balancing your life

Ways to incorporate yoga into your life, specific for your needs

Tridoshic recipes

Salt Scrub with essential oils

Resources for future needs

THE PLACE:

Concordia Eco Resorts

Surrounded by pristine US Virgin Islands National Park on the island of St. John, Concordia Eco-Resort overlooks the Caribbean waters of Salt Pond Bay, Drunk Bay, and the Drake Passage. A variety of accommodations are perched like tree houses along the hillside, connected by elevated walkways to minimize impact and engage the surrounding flora and fauna. Low-impact construction, an extensive rain-water collection system, photovoltaic electric generation, and its recycling program make Concordia the perfect retreat for the eco-conscience traveler.  For more information about Concordia visit their site by clicking here.

THE SPECIALISTS:

Jessica Rhodes

Jess’s classes will support and uplift you. Jess is an Ayurvedic practitioner and devotional teacher that draws from Pattabhi Jois’ Ashtanga, Sivananda, Power Vinyasa, Bhakti and Yin schools of thought.  Roll these powerful practices into a Yoga Therapy background, and she makes it accessible and available for all.

“Yoga isn’t elite,” she says,  “ Yoga is breath, yoga is life, and yoga is for all people – all faiths – all cultures – all sizes – and all bodies.” The same goes with Ayurveda. Jess started seriously practicing yoga when she broke her back and was bedridden.

During her stay in India, Jess lived in both the Sivananda and Hari Om ashrams. These experiences afforded her the knowledge of practice, daily observances, ayurvedic history, and legend that enrich her classes in Sacramento. Jessica has completed two 200-hour teacher training programs, one in Rishikesh, India focused on Pranayama, Chanting, Kriya, and Asana. She also completed a 200-hr Power Vinyasa Teacher Training in Sacramento. She will complete a supplemental 700 hour training in Yoga Therapy in the summer of 2013.

Jess is the Director of Development and Outreach champion at the Yoga Seed Collective, a non profit working to heal and unite the community through the power of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness.  She is also an Ayurvedic practitioner serving the Sacramento community with private consultations and group classes.

Lindsey Chabot

Lindsey went looking for something different after running a marathon in college. It was all over after going to her first Bikram yoga class. She immediately fell in love with the focused energy and self-discipline that yoga requires. The way that yoga makes you face yourself moment by moment has allowed her to know herself in great strength, and in moments of extreme weakness. She has since been exploring the many ways yoga changes….absolutely everything. Yoga quickly became something like taking a shower, you just DO IT. Having been lucky enough to practice in many different studios all over the country, Lindsey tries to absorb as much as possible and share it with friends, yogi’s and anyone who’s interested. She was trained and certified in Ashtanga by the late and great Larry Shultz and the amazing people at It’s Yoga, San Francisco in 2008. Also a certified Ayurvedic practitioner, Lindsey’s interest in wellness stretches way beyond the perfect pose. Well aware that her journey has just begun, she feels honored and blessed to be on it with the people of St. John. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about feeling good.

 

THE FEE:

This fee includes –  dinner on Friday, lunches on Saturday & Sunday, three yoga classes, salt scrub, written instructions and recipes.

Also available and highly recommended additional sessions and fees (limited space so reserved your times early):

Ayurvedic Birth Pulse Assessment: Discover your constitution  – 30 minutes – $40

Ayurvedic Nutrition and Wellness: Consultation including Birth Pulse Assessment and how to eat for your dosha – 60 minutes – $60

Chakra Reading:  Deepen your understanding of your emotions and how they impact your body – 30 minutes – $40

Personalized yoga plan: Customized yoga practice based on your body type, condition and wellness goals – 30 minutes – $40

Ayurvedic Package: Includes your choice of three of the above sessions:  90 minutes – $100

Ayurvedic Massage:  Specific to your needs for  90 minutes $125 or $250 for four hand massage (limited space available)

 

 

Assist

Yoga Seed Assist Workshop

Yoga Seed Assisting Program
March 26th – 27th
3 to 9PM
at Villa Pelican Beach – Coral Bay
with visiting teacher Jessica Rhodes
$180

To register, contact Lindsey at 340-201-6970 or ldchabot@gmail.com or sign up online at EventSpot.
Register for this Do Yoga St. John event with EventSpot and receive a gift card for one free yoga class at Concordia. The gift card is good for any regular class with any teacher and is transferable. Your card will be given to you at the event.
Do you want to deepen your practice and understanding of yoga?

Do you want to experience loving-kindness in your life?

Do you need more massage?

As humans we seek one simple thing: Healing. That’s why we are here. We seek it through others and we seek it on a solitary journey.

Whether you are currently teaching, thinking about teaching, or new to yoga and  just wanting to learn more about the poses, this Kosha based assisting program will serve you well. You will learn how to practice Loving Kindness meditation, how to implement it when physically assisting someone in a yoga pose, and you will learn how to deepen your students’ practice with physical assists.

Yoga teachers, build confidence in your physical assists that will expand your class offerings in a whole new way!

Assisting is the ultimate way to deepen your understanding of yoga, to put loving-kindness into practice, and to experience safe and appropriate touch as a healing modality.

The Yoga Seed’s 25 hour Assisting Training has been condensed into 12 hours for the St. John program. It is a speedy and intimate program that  will teach you to use physical, energetic, mental, intuitive, and blissful levels of our-selves to teach hands-on assisting skills. During this training you will learn to:

-Observe Students, their practice, and find the assist that fits

-Understand the in’s and out’s of the physical poses

-Develop Skills for Safe Hands-on Assisting

The course also contains the following as it pertains to assisting:

-General Anatomy Overview

-Modifications for Bodies of different Shapes, Sizes & Ability Levels

Join Jessica Rhodes E-RYT  as they take you through the 5 Koshas, or energy bodies, and 50+ poses in two weekends. You will receive a book, 12 hours of hands on practice and recieving. This is a self-healing and community building workshop that will feed your soul.

 

blue lotus flower photo

Instead of a Nap, Nidra! – Yoga Nidra March 7th

Yoga Nidra
with Yoga BETH

Thursday, March 7, 2013 @ 5:30pm
Mongoose Jct. Yoga Center
$15 – bring pillow & blanket
drop ins welcome!

www.yoga-beth.blogspot.com      340/643-6467

Yoga nidra is yoga without movement. Yoga nidra relaxes the body and the mind. It allows you to completely unwind and get in touch with your inner self. The benefits of yoga nidra are far reaching, and can be different for everyone. Yoga nidra is an ancient practice that is also referred to as yogic sleep or sleep with awareness that is done in a comfortable lying position. The goal of yoga nidra is full body relaxation and a deep meditative state that addresses physiological, neurological and subconscious needs using techniques including guided imagery, breathing, meditation, concentration and body scanning. The biggest benefit of yoga nidra is that anyone can do it. It doesn’t involve physical expertise of any kind so even if you have a health condition, you can practice yoga nidra. Yoga nidra helps to quiet the overactive mind, promotes better sleep, eases anxiety and calms stress.

Explore the 10 Steps of Yoga Nidra

Unless you are an experienced practitioner of yoga nidra, a guide is needed to lead you through the experience at a relaxing and beneficial pace. Beth Escardo is a certified nidra teacher. If you attend a session with her, you will be expertly led through the following ten stages.

Getting Started: Set up your practice space by placing a bolster lengthwise on your mat and slipping a block under the top end, so that the bolster slants gently. Lie down with your sitting bones on the mat and with the bolster supporting you from the low back to the head. Place a folded blanket under your head for a pillow. Notice and welcome sounds, smells, and taste as well as color and light. Release excess tension throughout your body and feel a sense of relaxation spreading throughout your entire body and mind.

1. Connect to Your Heartfelt Desire. Bring to mind your heart’s deepest desire—something that you want more than anything else in life. Perhaps it is a desire for health, well-being, or awakening. Feel this heartfelt desire with your entire body while imagining and experiencing it in this moment as if it were true.

2. Set an Intention. Reflect on your intention for your practice today. It might be to relax and rest, or to inquire into a particular sensation, emotion, or belief. Whatever your intention, welcome and affirm it with your entire body and mind.

3. Find Your Inner Resource. Bring attention to your Inner Resource, a safe haven within your body where you experience feelings of security, well-being, and calm. You may imagine a place, person, or experience that helps you feel secure and at ease and that helps you feel within your body the sense of well-being. Re-experience your Inner Resource at any time during your practice or in daily life when you feel overwhelmed by an emotion, thought, or life circumstance and wish to feel secure and at ease.

4. Scan Your Body. Gradually move your awareness through your body. Sense your jaw, mouth, ears, nose, and eyes. Sense your forehead, scalp, neck, and the inside of your throat. Scan your attention through your left arm and left palm, your right arm and right palm, and then both arms and hands simultaneously. Sense your torso, pelvis, and sacrum. Experience sensation in your left hip, leg, and foot, and then in your right hip, leg, and foot. Sense your entire body as a field of radiant sensation.

5. Become Aware of Your Breath. Sense the body breathing by itself. Observe the natural flow of air in the nostrils, throat, and rib cage as well as the rise and fall of the abdomen with each breath. Feel each breath as flowing energy coursing throughout your entire body.

6. Welcome Your Feelings. Without judging or trying to change anything, welcome the sensations (such as heaviness, tension, or warmth) and emotions (such as sadness, anger, or worry) that are present in your body and mind. Also notice opposite sensations and emotions: If you feel worry, call up feelings of serenity; if you feel tense, experience ease. Sense each feeling and its opposite within your body.

7. Witness Your Thoughts. Notice and welcome the thoughts, memories, and images that are present in your mind. Observe your thoughts without judging them or trying to change them. As you come upon beliefs that you hold about yourself, also bring to mind and experience their opposites, welcoming your experience just as it is.

8. Experience Joy. Welcome sensations of joy, well-being, or bliss emanating from your heart or belly and spreading throughout your body and into the space around you. With every exhalation, experience sensations of warmth, joy, and well-being radiating throughout your body.

9. Observe Your Self. Be aware of your sense of “I-ness,” or personality. Notice this sense of identity when you say “I’m hungry,” “I’m angry,” or “I’m happy.” Then, experience yourself as an observing witness or Awareness that is cognizant of these feelings. Set aside thinking and dissolve into Awareness, awake and conscious of the self.

10. Reflect on Your Practice. As you complete your practice, reflect on the journey you’ve just taken. Affirm how the feeling of pure Being, or pure Awareness, is always present as a deep, unchanging peace that underlies every changing circumstance. Imagine integrating that feeling into your everyday life, in both pleasant and difficult moments, and always reconnecting to that sense of equanimity.

To Finish: At your own pace, transition back to your waking life, reorienting to your surroundings. Come back slowly, and pause for a moment to feel grateful for taking this time for yourself.

walkeralice

Be Nobody’s Darling – Alice Walker

Be nobody’s darling;

Be an outcast.
Take the contradictions
Of your life
And wrap around
You like a shawl,
To parry stones
To keep you warm.
Watch the people succumb
To madness
With ample cheer;
Let them look askance at you
And you askance reply.
Be an outcast;
Be pleased to walk alone
Or line the crowded
River beds
With other impetuous
Fools.

Make a merry gathering
On the bank
Where thousands perished
For brave hurt words
They said.

But be nobody’s darling;
Be an outcast.
Qualified to live
Among your dead.

– Alice Walker