By Myra Lewin
Health is found in a place between extremes. It is a place of not too much, not too little. It looks like eating enough simple food, getting enough movement in your body, devoting enough time to spiritual development and spending enough time with positive community. What is “enough” depends entirely on your unique needs – there is no other guide than the one within to identify your limits.
Finding your place of balance is easier when you cultivate a regular meditation practice. Think of it as a training ground for your mind, a way to experience your stillness to allow your inner voice to speak. Follow your breath consciously and do nothing but be. With a regular practice, it soon becomes easier to make choices that lead to greater balance in all areas of your life.
One of the most revered ancient texts on Yoga, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, has 196 sutras, or small threads of wisdom, about the practice of Yoga. Did you know that only four of these talk about asana, or the physical postures that most people associate with Yoga?
By Myra Lewin
I speak with a lot of people about the value of a daily meditation practice. Much of the time I get an initial response of, “I just can’t turn off my head.” My response: This is exactly the reason you need meditation. From this place, you can begin to connect with your heart.
At the beginning of each Hale Pule Yoga teacher training, we take photos of the students upon arrival. At the end of the training we take a second picture. After one month of immersion in the teachings of Yoga, the differences are striking. They see how their posture changes as they break through limiting patterns in other areas of their life. For instance, a forward head position can signal fear and distrust (on the lookout for danger), or slouched shoulders can be a sign of insecurity or self-judgment, which is tamas, darkness and inertia. As the students clear fear and distrust by pointing rajas (activity) toward sattva (light), their energy flows and alignment becomes more natural. This is a good reminder of how Yoga affects every aspect of life.
By Shannon Wianecki
Before attending my first silent retreat, I wondered: what would happen? Would I go stir crazy? Would I be shocked by what I discovered inside myself? That was 10 years ago. I was a beginning yoga and meditation student and the idea of being totally silent, alone with my thoughts for nine days sounded both enticing and terrifying.
By Lisa Akesson
The first time I really understood what meditation is, I was at a 10-day silent meditation course in Sweden.
I was at a crossroads in my life, not really sure how to move forward. Tired of having advice thrown at me from all directions, my motivation to go was to have these 10 days in silence alone. It seemed like a brilliant idea to retreat away and make space for my own guidance to come to me. It was one of the best things I have ever done.
By Judy Michaels Safford
“Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows”
My definition of emotional sobriety is to allow and be present with whatever emotion presents itself. I welcome the emotional waves and their accompanying gifts today. This is a far cry from the past where my thoughts linked emotional sobriety with spirituality. I used to think:
By Myra Lewin
At Hale Pule, we begin each day by grounding ourselves in spiritual practice. Some parts of the practices, like meditation or Yoga asana, are familiar for our guests. But some practices are brand new – and often the most powerful. That is certainly true for those who experience our Intuitive Energy Practice guided meditations.
Is this my feeling or yours? It’s a simple question, but one that I wasn’t able to answer until after learning the Intuitive Energy Practice from Hale Pule. I’ve experienced taking on someone else’s feelings in various scenarios. It’s happened when one of my sisters expresses annoyance with our mom, and all of a sudden I feel annoyed at my mom, too. It’s happened when a customer throws anger at me and all of sudden I feel angered, too. No matter where or how it happens, the lesson is always the same: When I take on someone else’s feeling, I take on someone else’s energy, and it never feels good to run someone else’s energy through my space.
An asana practice is meant to do many things, one of which is to utilize your body in the ways it was designed so you can stay strong and flexible throughout life. But unlike modern forms of exercise, asana also strengthens your mind.
It’s easy to see the mental strengthening in action when you are challenged to hold a pose like virbhadrasana B for 15 breaths; you must let go of the thoughts that tell you “no.” But there is no better place to learn to let go than in the final pose of your asana practice: savasana, or corpse pose.
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