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Practice yoga, off your mat! December, 2021 Author: Deepali Sinha
Meditative Drawing September, 2021 Author: Ria Sinha
Let your kids fail.... September, 2020 Author: Sonali Perti
Yes, that’s right - let them Fail.
Remember when your child was crawling and started to take their first steps? How many steps did they take before they fell down? Did you try to make them stop so they don’t get hurt or did you run to capture that proud moment on your phone? How many falls was it before they could walk steadily?
Fast forward to today. We are directly or indirectly telling our kids that failing is bad. They need to be perfect. They need to get it right. Why?
Perfect is the enemy of growth.
Perfect means you do what you’re comfortable doing.
Perfect means you stop taking risks.
Perfect means you don’t try something new.
Let’s say we ask an artist to paint something and give them two conditions. One, it has to be perfect and two, they don’t get another chance. What do you think will happen? That artist will most likely paint something that they have done before and not try something new and creative. How about if we ask the same artist to paint something and the conditions are that they get 100 attempts. Think about all the creative ideas that will flow! Each of those 100 paintings will be an experiment to try something new and will all those attempts, ideas and practice something amazing will be created.
Try - struggle - fail - repeat!
Just like we baby proofed the environment so the child learning to walk didn’t hurt themselves in the same way, we need to provide our older kids an environment to fail. Allow them to try new things. Allow them to make age appropriate mistakes. This will teach them and help with grow. Let them learn that they will not always win but there will always be more chances. Isn’t that life anyway?
Virtual Yoga - six months and counting August, 2020 Author: Deepali Sinha
Six months ago, all in-person yoga, wellness and meditation classes came to a staggering halt. Six months ago, the close community we had built was forced to stay apart. Six months ago, was the start of our test for resilience, optimism and self-belief. Six months ago, we decided to pivot….
Blissful Yoga & Wellness realized that yoga and meditation were the main mechanisms for coping with anxiety and the general state of the world for many of our practitioners. We started to offer classes via Zoom. We went 100% virtual.
Our online classes turned out to be surprisingly effective for our dear community. Enthusiasm rose, comradery strengthened and faces light up with smiles as our practitioners were able to meet and connect with each other again.
The vibe of a virtual yoga class was quite different from a regular one. People weren’t necessarily wearing cute workout outfits — instead, I spotted a lot of sweatshirts and even pajama pants. Dogs, children and stuffed toys popped into view. Every little pixel on screen was a glimpse into people’s private lives. It felt very intimate.
Sharing a video of oneself was optional but for those who did, there was no judgement of a messy room or messy hair. Your own room became your sacred space. Someplace you could feel cozy and comfortable. Someplace you could continue to find deep rest, meditate and continue to be in Shavasana even after the end of class.
With virtual yoga we’ve crossed physical barriers, time zones and age limits. Our community continues to grow!
Mantra Meditation and it's benefits June, 2020 Author: Vandana Arora
Meditation is a process to try and still the mind and the means by which we can look within.
Some of the benefits of Meditation are:
1. It helps in enhancing focus
2. It may increase the feeling of self-awareness
3. It creates a sense of calm and peace during the day
4. It may help in reducing anxiety
5. It helps in cleansing the mind
There are various kinds of meditation like breathing meditation, mindfulness, vipassana or silent meditation, mantra meditation etc.
Mantra meditation is where one concentrates on a chosen word, for example Om (which is the Universal sound) or any word like peace, joy etc.
The process of doing meditation:
Sit in a comfortable position, keep your back straight and legs crossed. Bring your hands to your lap, palms facing upwards. Close your eyes and bring your focus on the middle of your forehead. Relax your body and slowly repeat your chosen mantra silently in your mind.
Thoughts will come and the mind will wander, look at the thoughts as an observer and let them pass by, just like images of clouds passing by.
Bring your attention back to the mantra.
When starting the practice of meditation start with 10 to 15 minutes a day or 10 minutes twice a day (morning and evening) and then slowly increase to 30 minutes or longer.
The mind revels in routine, so try to meditate at the same time every day and eventually you will start looking forward to that time.
Our mind is not used to silence and stillness so will try to resist meditation,
but with practice when the thoughts slowly start to slow down, our mind will start thriving in this experience of peace and bliss.
I will conclude with a couple of shlokas from the Bhagvad Gita.
Gita chapter 6 verse 11 and 12
शुचौ देशे प्रतिष्ठाप्य स्थिरमासनमात्मन: |
नात्युच्छ्रितं नातिनीचं चैलाजिनकुशोत्तरम् || 11||
Shree Krishna in this verse conveys that to start meditation sit on a clean area not too high or not too low and on a smooth surface.
तत्रैकाग्रं मन: कृत्वा यतचित्तेन्द्रियक्रिय: |
उपविश्यासने युञ्ज्याद्योगमात्मविशुद्धये || 12||
Being seated firmly with one pointed focus the yogi should try to control the mind and thoughts to eventually attain purification of mind and intellect.
Significance of Bhagavat Gita in modern day life May, 2020 Author: Deepali Sinha
This is a repost. I do not know who the original author is but I found this article many moons ago. I have been inspired by this writing and often go back and reread it. My understanding of the Gita and life in general gets deeper each time!
Gita: Eighteen chapters of your life:
Q: Thousands of years ago (at the time of the Mahabharata), people had the same problems as what we have today. There is not much difference.
So, in ones life, you may experience the 18 chapters of the Bhagavad Gita
•The first chapter is where you regret and say, "I am powerless, and I give up"
•The second chapter in your life is when someone wakes you up and says, "Hey come on! There’s nothing to regret in life. There is something in you that doesn’t change, and you have the power to sail over all this". Then you wake up and you feet good
•The third chapter tells you to act. Don’t sit and worry, ‘What about me? What about me? 'Go and act, this is Karma Yoga
•The fourth chapter tells you, now that you are acting you must also listen to knowledge. Don’t become like a machine and only act, listen to knowledge as well. There is something beyond all this
•The fifth chapter tells you about material and spiritual knowledge. You cannot say, "Everything is being done and there is nothing for me to do", or you cannot think, "I am doing everything. I did this and I did that". This is not going to work for you. Wake up and see, are things happening or are you really doing it?
•Then the sixth chapter is when you learn to meditate
•The seventh chapter tells you, now that you’re meditating, you should know the author of meditation - the one who is meditating in you. 'Who am I? What is time?' Knowing all about science
•Like that it goes on! When you meditate miracles happen in your life. Wake up and see the miracles! Many don’t observe miracles, nor believe in it. If you recognize it and believe in it then it happens even more! Give a chance for miracles to happen, don’t be so steeped in the material cause and effect - 'I did this so this will happen', or 'I did that and only that will happen', no! You did it but something else can also happen out of the blue! Recognizing that ‘something different’ is Vibhuti. Vibhuti means giving a chance for miracles in your life, exploring it
•Then after that is knowing the universal self and knowing that everything is in me and I am in everything
•Then comes love and devotion. You know and understand all this, but then what? It is not enough. You should be in deep love! When you know that the divine loves you, you cannot but fall in love with the divine! That’s the 12th chapter
•Then you understand what the divine qualities are and what are the demonic qualities and you realize that you have all the divine qualities in you
•Then there are the three qualities or Gunas (Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic) to everything: mind, ego and food. Sattvic ego is, "I am everything and everybody". The Tamasic ego is knowing that you are only this body, and the Rajasic ego is having a limited mindset and falling into craving and aversion
•The final chapter is knowing that you cannot wash your own sins. Drop them and understand what is being said, "I am here to take care of your sins. Feel that you are mine, be connected to me and I will take care of everything. Just relax!’ This is sanyaasa or liberation
These are the 18 chapters and these chapters are all a part of everybody’s life. Sometimes we don’t reach up to the 18th chapter. It takes many lifetimes to reach there!
Surya Namaskar steps with tips on how to deepen each pose April, 2020 Author: Shashi Perti
Step 1: Namaskar asana
1. Stand at the end of your mat, keep your feet together and distribute your weight on both feet equally
2. Open your chest and just relax your shoulders
3. Breathe in and lift both your arms up from the sides
4. Exhale and bring your palms together in a prayer position in front of your chest
Activate your feet and stand as if they are tripods
Activate your legs and keep your spine erect
Step 2: Raised Arms Pose – Hasta Uttanasana
1. Breathe in and bring your arms in front then lift your arms up and back
2. Make sure that your biceps are close to your ears
3. Make effort to stretch your whole body starting from the heels up to the fingertips
4. Keep knees firm and bend only upper body
5. Beginners and people with back, neck issues, BP, migraine, keep your neck straight and look in front. Arch back only with your hands
6. Keep arms open to expand the chest
Push the pelvis forward just a little bit
Instead of bending backwards, reach up with fingers
Step 3: Hand to foot pose – Padahastasana
1. Breathing out and bend forward from your hip joint while keeping your spine straight
2. Exhale and completely bring your palms down to the floor in line with your feet. If needed, cup your fingers
Bend your knees to bring your palms down to the floor.
Make a moderate effort to straighten your knees if you can.
Keep your hands motionless in this position.
Never move them until you compete this third sequence.
Step 4: Equestrian pose – Ashwa Sanchalan asana
1. Breathe in, bend knees slightly and push your right leg as far back as possible
2. Bring your right knee to the floor with toes pointing out and slowly look up. If the stretch is too much, keep your toes tucked in
3. Your left ankle and knee should be in one line forming a right angle
Check if your left foot is exactly in between the palms
Check that your left knee is not pushing out
Step 5: Stick pose – Dandasana/ Phalak asana/Plank
1. Breath in, raise your right knee off the ground and take your left leg back
2. Bring your whole upper body in a straight line. Look down to keep spine in line
3. Keep core tight and back up
4. Keep your shoulder and wrist in one line
5. Spread your fingers wide
Keep your arms erect to the floor
Step 6: Eight points – Ashtanga Namaskara/Chaturanga Dandasana
1. Gradually bring your knees down to the floor then exhale
2. Slightly take your hips back and slide forward
3. Relax your chest and chin/forehead on the ground
4. Elevate your posterior a little bit
The eight parts of your body including two hands, two feet, two knees, chest and chin should touch the ground
Step 7: Cobra Pose – Bhujangasana
1. Slide forward and raise your chest up into the Cobra pose
2. Keep your elbows bent and fixed in this pose. This makes the heart and lungs strong
3. Do not straighten elbows. This can cause backache
4. Keep your hands flat on the ground with fingers spread
5. Keep your shoulders away from your ears
6. Slowly look up and bend back if you have no issues
Inhale and make a moderate effort to push your chest forward
Exhale and make a light effort to push your navel down
Point your toes back
Make sure that you are stretching just as much as you can and do not go beyond the limits of your body
Step 8: Mountain Pose – Parvatasana
1. Breathe out, tuck your toes in and lift your hips as well as your tail bone up
2. Pull your chest downwards to create an inverted V pose
· Keep your heels on the ground as far as possible
· Make a moderate effort to lift your tailbone up
· Gradually go deeper into the stretch
Step 9: Equestrian Pose – Ashwa Sanchalanasana
1. Breathe in and bring your right foot forward in between the two hands. Or, breathe in, bring left knee to the ground and then bring your right foot in between your hands
2. Your palms can be flat on the ground or fingers cupped
3. Bring your left knee down to the ground. Point toes back
4. Press your hips down then look up
Place your right foot exactly between the two hands
Make sure that your right calf is perpendicular to the ground
· You only need moderate effort in order to push your hips down towards the floor and deepen the yoga stretch
Step 10: Hand to foot Pose – Padahastasana
1. Breathe out, lift your left knee and bring your left foot forward
2. Keep your palms on the ground
3. You can bend your knees, if you feel some discomfort
Gently straighten your knees and if you can, try and touch your nose to the knees
Keep on breathing
Step 11: Raised Arms Pose - Hasta Uttanasana
1. Breath in and roll your spine up
2. Slide your hands out and up. Bend backwards a little bit
3. Push your hips slightly outward
Make sure that your biceps are beside your ears
Aim to stretch up more instead of stretching backwards
Step 12: Namaskar asana
1. Exhale and first straighten your body
2. Bring your arms down to Namaskar/ Tadasana
Relax in this yoga pose.
Observe the sensations that the Sun salutations bring in your body.
For the finishing, lie down and relax your entire body in a Yoga Nidra. Your body needs sufficient time to adjust to the effects of the stretches of your sun salutations. It can bring enough rest for the mind and body.