Reclaim your Feminine Majesty

December 17th, 2011 | Posted by lisa johnson in Meditation - (3 Comments)

Create a Throne in your Home

Have you lost your tiara? I lost my crown sometime between birthing my first and second child. It probably fell into the recycling bin, crushed amid jars of Gerber’s baby food. But more importantly, I lost my allegiance to myself, giving up the territory of my personal care while navigating the unruly land of motherhood. Raising well-adjusted children is one of life’s great rewards, but in the process my inner resources can get woefully depleted. Fortunately this “damsel in distress” has been rescued by some unexpected knights in shining armor in the form of wonderful yoga teachers who guide me along the road back to myself.

Do you feel deprived of a throne? Or, at least, a place in your home where you can seek and find your true majesty on a daily basis? Simply making an altar of sorts and committing to rituals of renewal will take you away from life’s whirlwind into the home of your heart. The ancient tools of yoga plus a few of your own invention are all that is needed to remember your essential goodness and worthiness.

Begin the process by creating a sacred space in your home. This space can be small and secluded of a corner of your kitchen where a display of objects, a candle, inspirational books or a writing journal nudge you into a benevolent frame of mind. Music and movement, breath work and visualization are effective tools to rediscover your inner goddess.

Try the following steps as your take your seat of honor:

  1. Warm up your body by following the sequence offered in my “Rise and Shine” October 2010 post.
  2. Sit with regal grace. Clear your mind by observing your natural breathing pattern for two minutes. Slowly shift into a 4-4-6 count rhythm. With focused ease breathe in for four, pause for four counts, and then exhale for six counts. As the rhythm becomes comfortable, exchange counting numbers with a simple mantra –a repeated word which represents your sam kalpa – a spiritual quality you wish to embody such as gratitude, courage or acceptance. Continue this breath awareness exercise for a couple of minutes.
  3. Relax , get comfy and enjoy your well-earned “me” time knowing that when the Queen is in a benevolent mood,  her world will reflect goodness and graciousness in return.

 

In my next blog, learn key exercises to find and keep your CORE STRENGTH.

You have a core and it wants to be strong for you every day, all day long!

 

Lisa Johnson RYT E-200 RYT 500 is a Certified Anusara Yoga Instructor.

Sick of sit-ups? Try to “float your boat” by practicing Paripurna Navasana instead. Otherwise known as full-boat pose, the asana strengthens the abdominals and hip flexor muscles, providing a tried and true alternative to pumping out gym-style crunches.

One of yoga’s vast vocabulary of core conditioners, full-boat pose improves your ability to keep your trunk stable while moving your limbs in a variety of positions.

This functional strength benefits all kinds of daily activities from opening a heavy door to playing tennis. Most importantly, finding your right angle to a tight core is key to preventing back pain and optimizing physical performance in all your endeavors.  Include Paripurna Navasana regularly in a well-rounded yoga practice or fitness regime. Soon you will “float your boat” with a steady calm and resilient power. These qualities will overflow into the way you navigate along the river of life. It’s called taking your yoga off the mat! Namaste.

“Float Your Boat” Levels 1, 2, 3

  1. Sit up with your feet and hips anchored to the ground. Link your ankles and knees together.
  2. Inhale lift your chest and roll your shoulders back. Float your head in line with your spine.
  3. Exhale tighten the low abdominals and waistline in and up. Slide the shoulder blades down and towards each other. Hinge back to a 90 degree angle between your trunk and thighs.
  4. Relax your gaze and hold the pose for 5 slow breaths.
  5.   Vary the pose by twisting the torso 45 degrees to the side and holding for 5 breaths. - Level 1 with Spinal Twist
  6. Increase difficulty:  lift one or both lower legs parallel to floor- Level 2
  7. Challenge your strength and flexibility by stretching both legs fully to create a right angle between your legs and torso – Level 3

Reside in Peace

December 17th, 2011 | Posted by lisa johnson in Meditation - (1 Comments)

Photo: YOGA CLASS SETTING
Morning sunlight peers through the arched windows at the site of a semi-private yoga class.
    Our search to find peace within ourselves often needs a nudge from the outside. The state of our surroundings has a huge impact on our state of mind. Spacious simplicity allows for more awareness and appreciation of beauty. This combination takes us to the present moment where wonder meets comfort and a soft sigh is accompanied by a sweet smile.
    Blissful peace is yours for the taking. Be imaginative and industrious. If cleaning out closets and de-cluttering your bedroom is your path to a beautiful mind, kudos to you. But perhaps you need inspiration and a new perspective. It is not necessary to travel far. Serenity is available whenever we cultivate our awareness of beauty whether it be a solitary bloom or simply-decorated room.  See for yourself. Join me IN THE GLEN!

Being Thankful for Aging

December 17th, 2011 | Posted by lisa johnson in Tantric Philosophy - (0 Comments)

It’s the autumn season now, colorful pumpkins and squash adorn roadside stands and trees shout their intentions to turn in for the winter. I love this yearly transition, perhaps because I am an early autumn age and the awesome display of foliage is made more poignant as a precursor to the stark elegance of winter.

  The feminine spirit deeply understands the natural cycles of life. In reuniting with my innate spiritual wisdom, I will gracefully journey through life’s seasons as I grow into the uncomplicated beauty of winter and it’s wisdom. It is a cycle I can trust.
 Author May Sarton expressed the beauty of aging when she stated, ”Old age is not an illness, it is a timeless ascent. As power diminishes, we grow more toward the light.” And isn’t THAT power? To grow toward and be closer to the all-loving Light?
  I am thankful for each day that I am blessed to live upon Mother Earth. May I reap the harvest of wisdom gathered from life’s joys and sorrows. May I rest for a moment, breathe deeply, and draw into my body and soul a sense of peaceful gratitude.