A forum for all of those open to balancing their Chakras, enhancing their yoga practice and ensuring optimum holistic health

Archive for the ‘Becca Chopra’ Category

The Color of Medicine: Working with the 7 Chakras


Deanna Minich, PhD, has put together the color-coded 7 Systems of Health that will help you see your health in a refreshing, new way. It supports all I teach in The Chakra Energy Diet, and takes it a step further, associating your glands and your 7 chakras. Here’s a quick snapshot of the associations with color:

RED represents the adrenal glands and instinct;
ORANGE represents the reproductive glands and creativity;
YELLOW represents the digestive system and transformation;
GREEN represents the heart and love;
BLUE-GREEN represents the thyroid gland and truth;
INDIGO represents the pituitary gland and wisdom;
LAVENDER represents the pineal gland and connection.

Deanna Minich also has a new book, The Rainbow Diet, which makes full-spectrum healing easy, vibrant, and delicious. Dr. Minich outlines specific colorful foods, supplements, recipes, and activities to help you heal and flourish.

Rainbow Diet

Whatever diet you follow, vegan or paleo, it’s important to make the majority of your diet nutrient-rich, full of colorful vegetables and fruit to support your chakra balance. Here’s to balance!

Namaste,

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra DiariesChakra SecretsBalance the Chakras, Balance Your Lifeand The Chakra Energy Diet

www.theChakras.org

A New Year – A New You: Download a FREE copy of The Chakra Energy Diet


The Chakra Energy Diet coverHappy New Year! Celebrate starting your best year ever by getting tips on how to stay in balance and keep stress at bay. This information and more is in THE CHAKRA ENERGY DIET, free for download on Amazon throughout the world this week.

If you’re blaming yourself for not being your “perfect weight,” stop. It’s not your fault. Rather, the way our bodies are programmed to handle stress is the problem. Stress is a double whammy for weight – it increases our appetites and leads to overeating or poor food choices, then makes our bodies hold on to the fat. The solution is not extreme dieting, which causes more stress, but knowing how to stop the stress reactions.

STRESS, THE NOT-SO-SILENT SABOTEUR
Stress affects weight both physiologically and psychologically. 

When you’re under stress, your digestion is impaired and you can’t receive the nourishment from the food you eat. Once the effects of adrenaline wear off, cortisol, known as the “stress hormone,” stimulates your appetite to replenish your food stores.

Excess cortisol also slows down your metabolism, because your body wants to maintain an adequate supply of glucose to deal with the next “threat.”

The disruption of cortisol secretion during the “fight or flight” response may not only lead to weight gain, but it can also put that weight exactly where you don’t want it – in your belly. Studies have shown that stress and elevated cortisol tend to cause fat deposits in the abdominal area, which is strongly related to Syndrome X, the cluster of risk factors associated with heart disease.

When under stress, doesn’t your willpower go out the window? Most people are driven to eat comfort foods when stressed out, even if they’re not hungry. And comfort foods are usually high-fat, sugary or salty foods. You may be eating whatever is within reach to fill an emotional need, or cruising to the closest fast food window because you have no time to shop and cook a healthy meal.

Screen Shot 2017-12-22 at 7.49.21 AMSo what should you eat? Take the quiz for each chakra in your FREE COPY of  THE CHAKRA ENERGY DIET, and learn exactly what foods YOU personally need to ADD to nourish yourself, banish stress, and help you achieve your optimal weight.

You’ll find out which of your chakras is under stress, and learn the best foods, relaxation techniques, yoga and exercise to balance your chakras and have a vibrant, healthy and beautiful New Year and New You.

Namaste!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, Balance Your Chakras-Balance Your Lifeand The Chakra Energy Diet

www.theChakras.org

DO YOU FEEL ENOUGH LOVE IN OUR WORLD? Balancing the #HeartChakra


LOVEI think we can all agree what the world needs now is love. You feel love when you give love. And you need an open, balanced Heart Chakra to be the compassionate, loving person that is the real you. Following is an excerpt from The Chakra Energy Diet: The Right Food, Relaxation, Yoga & Exercise to Look and Feel your Best! on the Heart Chakra:

HEART CHAKRA ISSUES

If you agree with more than 3 or 4 of the following statements, you may want to look at ways to heal your Heart Chakra…

  1. I’m tired from putting others ahead of myself.
  2. I find it hard to forgive or let go of hurt feelings.
  3. I’m very empathic – feeling other’s feelings.
  4. My heart has been broken in the past.
  5. I have heart and/or lung problems.
  6. I feel numb and a loss of passion.
  7. Connecting with friends or family helps relieve my stress.
  8. I don’t get enough hugs, kisses or massages.
  9. I often get heartburn after eating.
  10. I don’t really like vegetables.
  11. Relationship problems cause me to overeat.

All healing is achieved through the magic of love. We can all benefit by releasing the tension that blocks our healing energy from flowing. Start with self-love, accepting and praising your body and mind for being – yes, just for being here for you, allowing you to be part of life. Go from there, and do Saturation Praise (telling yourself out loud what you love about yourself) for a minute every day – the more you learn to love yourself, the more you will be able to do what’s best for your body, and to show love and compassion to others.

The Fourth Chakra: Located at the center of your chest, the Heart Chakra is associated with the heart and lungs. If your Heart Chakra is blocked or imbalanced, you may experience physical issues with these organs, such as hypertension or respiratory ailments, or feel pain in the upper back and shoulders. You may feel emotional insensitivity, sorrow, depression, and resentment, and develop a dependency on smoking cigarettes or marijuana.

When the Heart Chakra is balanced, you are able to feel love, openly giving and receiving it. You are able to be compassionate without taking on other people’s feelings. You can let go of sadness, release old resentments, forgive yourselves and others, and move forward with emotional empowerment.

The Heart Chakra is the bridge between the lower three chakras – the Root Chakra which relates to our safety and security; the Sacral Chakra, which relates to our creativity and sexuality; the Solar Plexus Chakra, which is the base of our personal power and identity; and the upper three chakras – the Throat Chakra, which is associated with speaking our truth; the Third Eye Chakra, which opens us to our higher knowing and intuition; and the Crown Chakra, our connection to spirit.

Leafy greensHeart Chakra Healing Foods

While the first three chakras are fed by protein, fats and carbohydrates, the Heart Chakra is balanced through phytochemicals or macronutrients, especially those in green vegetables. The rising energy imparted by leafy greens, for instance, feeds our expansion, growth and opening in all directions, like the feeling of love and a willingness to give of ourselves.

Foods, especially that share colors with the chakras, carry vibrations that can activate or balance your chakras. So, nourish your Heart Chakra with the many GREEN vegetables – from kale, spinach, chard, collard, dandelion and mustard greens, to lettuce and sprouts of all kinds, and nourishing and health-protective cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower. There’s also bok choy, cabbage, arugula, green peas and peppers, leeks and green onions, watercress, zucchini, and celery.

Take a stroll through your local Farmer’s Market and appreciate the abundance of green veggies and choose your favorites, then open up and try some new ones. Ask how to best prepare them to savor their delicious flavors.

Also, include green fruit in your diet, from green apples, pears, grapes and kiwi, to that best salad ingredient of all – avocados.

Heart Chakra Healing Activities

Use this general affirmation or blessing while cooking and before eating for the Heart Chakra:

“May this food bless and nourish my body and make me more loving and compassionate.”

You can strengthen the healing effect of your food by adding in some green veggies at each meal, for instance, adding some leafy greens to your morning juice or smoothie, or green peppers in your omelet, having a large salad at lunch, and steaming broccoli or zucchini for your side dish at dinner. Make your meal with love and gratitude, for the people who grew your food, to the people you will share it with.

We often overeat to fill a feeling of emptiness or lack of love. If sharing food is one of the major ways your mother has expressed her love to you, or you to your family, think of other ways to feed the longing of your own heart, rather than with food. Instead, pamper yourself with a massage or social activity, or reach out to others through volunteer work.

Exercising with others is recommended for the Heart Chakra. Join in a team sport, an aerobics or spin class at the gym, take a walk with a friend or partner, play catch with your children, and be sure to take a yoga class.

Circle 3Heart Chakra Yoga Poses

I like to open up Heart Chakra energy in the chest by doing the Circle of Joy sequence; and also with the Cobra Pose.

The Heart Chakra will also be energized by the Fish Pose, the head-to-knee Forward Bend and the Head of Cow pose.

Heart Chakra Visualization

In your mind’s eye, see a person who may have hurt you and caused your heart to be blocked to the flow of love and compassion. Imagine sending them blessings as you throw them a ball in a game of catch. See if they throw it back. If not, surround the game of catch or relationship with a green glow, sending that person love and forgiveness, and through magical thinking, have them throw the ball back and forth with you. And then catch yourself smiling.

It’s not hard to let go and forgive someone…wrap that person who has caused you pain in bright green light, cleansing and healing the situation. Release yourself and them from any negative connections, only keeping the good. Let go of anger to have space for love to grow. Now, with love and compassion, envelop yourself and your whole life experience in healing green light.

The Chakra Energy Diet is available on Amazon Kindle for download to any device. Here’s to balance, health, and always, love.

Namaste!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra DiariesChakra SecretsBalance Your Chakras-Balance Your Lifeand The Chakra Energy Diet
www.theChakras.org

Becca’s Inspirational Book Blog

 

An Open Heart Chakra is a Necessary Bridge between the Physical and Spiritual Worlds


Infographic by Yeurik Eldr

As you can see in the above infographic, the Heart Chakra glows with green energy, and it connects the lower chakras that deal with the physical world with the higher chakras that deal with the spiritual. As these energies meet, as matter and spirit unite, the force released is love.

When our heart chakra is closed, we lose loving contact with others and cut off the flow of energy within ourselves.

Love is a powerful, life-giving energy that can heal the broken heart and the agitated soul, move mountains, and sustain us when we face hardship or disaster. A balanced heart chakra steadies us when we fall in love, the lower chakras keeping us rooted so we don’t lose our grounding. And it is only through love that we can attain communion with God too, wrote Albert Schweitzer.

Love has strong healing power, in fact, it is the most therapeutic commodity known, a powerful antidote to all troubles.

Serge Kahili King teaching the four easy steps to using Dynamind.

Serge Kahili King teaching the four easy steps to using Dynamind.

So, how can you balance your heart chakra? There are many ways to balance the chakras, but today I’d like to share the Dynamind technique, a powerful healing tool I learned from Huna Healer/Shaman Serge Kahili King, Ph.D.

It can be used to quickly and simply resolve tension that is blocking chakras, creating physical, emotional and spiritual dis-ase. Dynamind is similar to EFT, but uses just four simple tapping movements, in concert with breath and words, to release blocked energy flow.

Using Dynamind to balance the Heart Chakra can bring forth more love and compassion in your life while healing physical and emotional pain….

Physical health issues commonly associated with the Heart Chakra include cardiovascular problems including hypertension, stroke, respiratory ailments, upper back and shoulder pain.

Emotional or mental health issues include anger or resentment, jealousy, suspicion, possessiveness, fear of commitment, lasting grief, sorrow, depression.

You can work with Dynamind to relieve these symptoms and, at the same time, balance your Heart Chakra.

USING DYNAMIND TO BALANCE THE HEART CHAKRA

1) FOCUS – Hold your hands out in a loose prayer-like position.

2) DECLARE – Say aloud the condition you’re feeling that you would like to change, e.g,

“I feel sad and depressed and I know that can change. I want that feeling to go away.”

“I have tightness and pain in my chest and I know that can change. I want that pain to go away.”

If you have no symptoms to release, you can use Dynamind to strengthen the Heart Chakra, with a declaration such as:

“I’m not as caring as I want to be. I want to nurture and reach out to others like the wind blowing through the leaves of a tree.”

3) RELEASE – Tap 7 times on the center of your chest, then at the point between the thumb and forefinger of each hand, and on the top bone of your spine (the 7th cervical vertebra).

4) BREATHE – Direct your breath, inhaling with your attention on the crown of your head, exhaling with your attention below your feet.

Repeat until you feel the desired result.

While simple to use, Dynamind has been found effective at releasing painful physical, emotional and mental problems. Serge Kahili King documents the use of Dyamind in his book, Healing for the Millions, available at Huna.org.

You can download a free video of Serge Kahili King and me using Dynamind to balance all seven chakras at www.theChakras.org.

Namaste!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra DiariesChakra SecretsBalance Your Chakras-Balance Your Lifeand The Chakra Energy Diet
www.theChakras.org

Becca’s Inspirational Book Blog

 

How to Balance Your Chakras with Crystals


Thanks to guest blogger, Ana Blanche, jewelry enthusiast and founder of Fabbeat.com – a store that educates about the healing powers of natural crystals and offers a selection of handmade chakra balancing items, meditation malas and more. She’s also offering  a 10% discount on her products for the readers of Chakra Blog.

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 6.47.24 PM

Natural Stone Tree of Life Charm Bracelet

Crystals are used by many to help the body balance its vital strength. But can you really balance your chakra with crystals? The answer is yes, and in this post, we will tell you how these crystals work.

Crystals and Chakras

Healing crystals and stones in chakra bracelets and necklaces are not just pieces of jewelry. Even if a person just wears them as an eye candy, these crystals do much, much more. The patterns of healing crystals and stones work to help cleanse, align and balance your energy centers.

Crystals and Chakras go hand in hand when talking about our body. Our body has seven chakras or energy centers. Chakras play vital roles and maintain a constant flow of strength in the body. They are also linked to each other and work in sync to strike an overall body energy balance.

Here are the 7 Chakras, with their colors and features:

  1. Root Chakra (Red) – this chakra is about how we feel safe and secure, and controls our basic needs as human beings.
  2. Sacral Chakra (Orange) – this chakra is linked with being creative. It is also our sexual center.
  3. Solar Plexus Chakra (Yellow) – this chakra stands for our sense of power and self-esteem. This is the area between your belly button and breastbone.
  4. Heart Chakra (Green) – the heart chakra is about love and kindness. It also unites the upper and lower chakras. It also shows how we relate to ourselves and others.
  5. Throat Chakra (Blue) – this chakra is connected to our ability to speak the truth, and how creative we are in expressing ourselves. It helps unlock our deepest feelings.
  6. Third Eye Chakra (Indigo) – also known as the “Ajna.” This chakra relates to our intuition and helps us listen to our gut instinct.
  7.  Crown Chakra (Violet) – the crown chakra stands for our conscious self, spiritual health and how we connect with the universe. It helps us feel aware and gives us a sense of love and light.

But what if there’s an imbalance in your chakras? Here’s where healing crystals come in. Like the chakras, they stand for certain colors and support your energy centers.

How to Balance Your Chakras with Crystals

Chakras need to be open and aligned for energy balance. If your powers are not balanced, you’ll find it hard to keep them open. One way to do this is to balance your chakras with crystals.

Chakra crystals help open, balance, or support the energy of the chakras. This is based on the belief that such stones or crystals have a natural healing frequency.

In short, energy is harnessed and channeled through the crystal. It then resonates with the vibration of the chakra you’re focusing on. And the easiest way to utilize this healing energy is by wearing jewelry containing natural stones. Stones used in a particular healing piece may vary as each crystal has its own properties and resonates the most with a specific chakra.

List of Healing Crystals

Here’s a list of commonly used stones and crystals that heal our chakras:

  • Root Chakra: Tiger’s Eye, Hematite, Fire Agate, Bloodstone, Black Tourmaline
  • Sacral Chakra: Moonstone, Coral, Citrine, Carnelian
  • Solar Plexus Chakra: Topaz, Malachite, Calcite
  • Heart Chakra: Rose Quartz, Jade, Green Tourmaline, Green Calcite
  • Throat Chakra: Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli, Aquamarine
  • Third Eye Chakra: Purple Fluorite, Black Obsidian, Amethyst
  • Crown Chakra: Selenite, Diamond, Clear Quartz

First, you can check the set of crystals that are related to your chakras. Bear in mind that the chakras can be linked to many crystals and you will need to find out which one works best for you.

You may also use your intuition to choose your healing crystal. Observe the glow of the crystals and see which ones are most suitable. You may also feel the energy of the crystal by placing it in your hand. You will feel a tingling or heating sensation.

Benefits of Chakra Crystals

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 6.04.37 PM.pngWearing a bracelet, such as the one shown here – the Chakra Healing Amethyst Buddha Bracelet, is beneficial for your body and mind in many ways. For instance, in this bracelet, the Amethyst meaning is to purify, heal, and protect; Tigers Eye is included to maintain harmony and balance and help to relieve fear and anxiety; Lapis Lazuli to stimulate the desire for knowledge and truth, etc. Wearing this bracelet, you’ll notice:

  • It balances our energy centers and grounds us.
  • It calms us and relieves anxiety.
  • It clears our thoughts.
  • We feel more stable and secure.
  • It cleanses our body and mind of negative energy. It also removes blockages to promote the smooth flow of positive energy.
  • It helps us focus on things that really matter in our life.
  • It helps us seek enlightenment and awakens our spirit.

The benefits of wearing a bracelet or a necklace with healing crystals are endless and it’s indeed a very powerful item to keep up with our hectic lives.

Fabbeat.com has a great selection of chakra balancing and chakra healing items. If you’d like to give their healing crystals a try, you can enjoy a 10% discount offered exclusively for the readers of Chakra Blog. Just use the code chakradiaries at the checkout.

Namaste!

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra DiariesChakra SecretsBalance the Chakras, Balance Your Lifeand The Chakra Energy Diet

www.theChakras.org

Becca’s Inspirational Book Blog

 

 

Color your World GREEN for #EarthDay


Abundance

Happy Earth Day – a great time to replace products that contain toxic chemicals you may be ingesting, bringing into your home, or spraying on your lawn. They not only effect your personal health and chakras, but the balance of our entire ecosystem.

Since the EPA doesn’t guarantee us safe perfumes, makeup, pesticides or cleaning products, you need to become your own expert on what to use and what not to use to heal both yourself and the earth.

Be proactive and choose safer products for yourself and the environment now, with these tips…

ORGANIC FOOD

Organic produce is the smart choiceLike I explain in The Chakra Energy Diet, eating organic food will reduce your exposure to pesticides and even provide you with more nutrients in your fruits and vegetables. Check the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list of which vegetables are most important to buy organic. They include lettuce, cucumbers, and leafy greens like kale, which can luckily be found in abundance at our local farmer’s markets.

By choosing local organic produce, you’ll also be supporting the health of farm workers and the soil and closing your wallet to growers who poison the groundwater, wildlife and everyone downwind of pesticide spraying.

SAFER PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS

Did you know that the chemicals in your favorite fragrance may be making you, your friends, coworkers and family sick? Not only are 95% of the chemicals used to make products “fragrant” derived from petroleum, but they are also neurotoxins and endocrine disrupters that eventually end up in our environment.

For example, a natural mineral sunscreen with a reflective barrier like zinc, in a fragrance-free base, is better for your skin and our coral reefs. The CDC reported that 97% of Americans are contaminated with oxybenzone, a widely-used sunscreen chemical linked to allergies, hormone disruption, and cell damage that may actually increase the signs of aging. And even trace levels of sunscreen chemicals can cause coral reef damage.

NON-TOXIC CLEANSERS

Choose safer cleaning products.The chemical cleaners under your sink can be a source of indoor air pollution that is worse than any pollution we experience outside. Commercial cleansers often contain concoctions of chemicals, many of which are toxic first to our bodies and then to the environment once they’ve gone down the drain.

For instance, your dish and laundry cleaners are often detergents, not soaps, and are derived from petroleum, are non-biodegradable, and contain phosphates that pollute the groundwater and ocean. Choose from the many new chemical-free alternatives, like Seventh Generation products, or the age-old cleaning standbys – vinegar, baking soda, Borax and Bon Ami.

Everyone likes fresh smelling laundry, right? Be aware that dryer sheets contain chloroform, camphor, ethylacetate and other hazardous ingredients. Instead, add a little baking soda to your wash water to soften and deodorize your clothes.

CHEMICAL-FREE GARDENS

A perfect lawn for your children is one without chemicals.If you think weed killers are non-toxic, think again. Roundup is now labelled as a “probable carcinogen” in California, based on the World Health Organization report on its toxicity. There are also many many other side effects from exposure to glyphosate and other herbicides, especially for our children, such as asthma, autism, allergies and ADHD. Research reported in the February 2013 issue of Toxicology showed that the secret “inactive” ingredients in Roundup, such as POE-15, may be even more toxic to human cells, and should also be regulated.

Do you want your children and pets to be playing on a lawn sprayed with dangerous chemicals, which they then track into your home? Or to have a backyard vegetable garden tainted with chemicals?

Why not just pull the weeds, mow or weed-whack them along with your grass, or use an infrared or flame weeder? If you do choose to spray, try using plain vinegar to kill weeds in your driveway or gravel path.

The ecosystem within and without are all connected – so let’s celebrate Earth Day by starting health-restoring practices for all.

Namaste!

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra DiariesChakra SecretsBalance the Chakras, Balance Your Lifeand The Chakra Energy Diet

www.theChakras.org

Becca’s Inspirational Book Blog

Calling All Macho Men to #Yoga Class


Reposted from http://www.Chopra.com:

man doing yoga outdoors

Yoga is popular these days. Very popular. According to a recent Yoga Journal survey, over 20 million Americans practice yoga on a regular basis, up from 15.8 million in 2004. Yoga practice has clearly found its stride and is attracting more followers every day. Yet, while many people are reaping the benefits of yoga, there are countless others who are unfortunately scared off due to ill-founded myths and misconceptions about what yoga is. Like any other popular activity, yoga can fall victim to stereotyping and sweeping generalizations if you’re unwilling to look below the surface to really experience the essence of the practice. Once you dig a little deeper, however, you soon discover a simple and profound truth: yoga is for everyone.

The following are some of the most popular myths and misconceptions surrounding yoga and its practice. If you are a yogi, perhaps you once held one or more of these mistaken beliefs before experience changed your mind. If you’re new to yoga or sitting on the fence and unsure about taking the plunge, explore these myths and see if they may be holding you back from finding your place on the mat.

Myth 1: Yoga Is Just About Stretching

While on the surface, yoga may appear to be a simple stretching or calisthenics routine, it is far, far more. The yoga poses or asanas that most people associate with stretching only make up a small portion of a very thoroughgoing philosophy, science, and way of life. The word yoga means union—the union of body, mind, spirit, breath, and environment. It forms an all-inclusive and comprehensive worldview.

The vast storehouse of Vedic and yogic thought comprises a body of knowledge that espouses yoga as a complete and total path of liberation. The classical eight limbs of yoga enumerated by the great yogic sage Patanjali include rules for:

  1. Social behavior
  2. Personal observances
  3. Mind-body integration exercises
  4. Breathing techniques
  5. Focusing of the senses
  6. Mastery of attention and intention
  7. Meditation
  8. Experience of pure awareness

Myth 2: Yoga Is Only for Women

There’s no doubt that yoga is more popular with women than men. Most yoga classes have far more female than male participants. However, this wasn’t always the case. In the records of time, yoga was traditionally practiced almost exclusively by men in ancient India. With its arrival in the West however, yoga began to draw a large female following. Regardless, yoga is not a gender-specific activity. Men and women alike can practice and benefit from a regular yoga practice.

Myth 3: You Have to Be Flexible and in Shape to Practice Yoga

Many potential yogis get scared off from yoga practice by images of very flexible or fit yogis gracing the covers of magazines or website articles. They see someone in an asana and mistakenly assume that flexibility and strength are prerequisites for the practice. In actuality, flexibility and fitness come as byproducts of yoga, not as requirements.

While it’s true that yoga poses can build strength, flexibility, and balance, you can practice yoga without having those skills or attributes and still receive all the wonderful mind and body benefits. Yoga is for every body, no matter what body you bring to the practice. Tall or short, thick or thin, young or old, yoga is meant to adapt to you, not the other way around.

Myth 4: You Need Fancy Clothing and Mat to Practice Yoga

The popularity of yoga worldwide has created a unique and unexpected offshoot–yoga gear. Entire companies now exist to provide yogis with specialized clothing, mats, gear bags, and sweat towels. While these add-ons can be nice, they are in no way required to practice yoga. Consider that the ancient yogis once performed yoga on beds of leaves in a forest wearing nothing but loincloths. Although you don’t need to be that minimal in your practice, it’s important to remember that yoga is an “inward stroke”—taking your awareness within.

External appearances like that flashy new mat or those trendy new yoga pants exist on the material-level of your awareness, while the actual practice of yoga coaxes you to go deeper. Yoga can be practiced in whatever feels comfortable for you, with or without a mat, with just a few feet of empty space in which to move.

Myth 5: Yoga Is a Religion

Because of its ancient Indian roots and ties to Hinduism, yoga often gets misidentified as a religion. However, it is actually much more like a science (In India, yoga is often thought of as a science of Self-Realization). As such, yoga practice is likened to a laboratory in which you are both the subject and the object of your experiment, the goal of which is to awaken your own inner potential and the divinity within.

The archetypal concepts sometimes invoked through mantras, chants, or images of a specific deity are meant to awaken the dormant potential of those states of consciousness that reside within you. But those practices are not required to benefit from yoga practice, nor does their use carry a religious connotation. Yoga is not about outer worship; it’s about inner exploration.

Myth 6: Yoga Is Too Easy

Those who look at yoga through a purely physical lens may think it’s too gentle or mild to be of any benefit. The “No Pain, No Gain” mentality so common in the modern fitness culture paints a picture of results based on hard work and struggle. While yoga, especially restorative yoga practices such as The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga, can focus on doing less to accomplish more, it doesn’t mean that yoga is easy or passive.

The mind-body coordination required during yoga practice is unlike many other forms of exercise because your full attention is engaged and present in each movement. Unlike running on a treadmill while watching television, yoga engages all aspects of your being, making it more challenging than it may appear on the surface. Yoga unifies your:

  • Mind
  • Body
  • Emotions
  • Senses
  • Breathing
  • Environment

Myth 7: Yoga Is Too Hard

At the opposite end of the spectrum are those who shy away from yoga because they fear it will be too difficult. Fearing that their bodies “don’t go that way,” many will opt out of yoga and miss out on its countless benefits. Granted, some yoga poses can seem intimidating, but the beautiful thing about the practice is that it meets you where you are. The idea is not to force yourself into a yoga pose – it’s about adapting the pose to fit your body where it is today.

There are always alternatives to any given pose. Yoga encourages you to listen to your body’s signals of comfort and discomfort, and choose those poses that feel best for you. Then, as you become more comfortable with yourself in the practice, you can explore more challenging poses, and often, to your surprise, they end up being easier to attain than you once believed.

Myth 8: Yoga Will Make You Self-Conscious

Performing any new activity with people you don’t know can stir up self-doubt and self-consciousness, but potential yogis shouldn’t fear this. Remember that yoga is about deepening the conversation between your mind and body–it’s a personal journey. Worrying about what others think keeps your awareness stuck at the level of the ego and personality.

Yoga is about being fully present and aware of who you are in the moment. The practice encourages genuine authenticity and self-acceptance. The more you begin to accept yourself in the practice, the sooner you’ll notice a deeper bond forming between you and your fellow classmates. Everyone is a wave on the vast ocean of Spirit. Yoga allows you to express yourself with openness, kindness, and self-love.

Myth 9: Your Physical Condition Prevents You from Practicing Yoga

While there are some contraindications for doing yoga, it is on the whole a very accessible practice that nearly anyone, at any age or condition can practice. Once again, it’s important to think of yoga as malleable to your life and who you are. Take what you need, and allow yoga to give you its gifts.

There are numerous styles of yoga, each with a unique focus or interpretation of these ageless teachings, so if one yoga school or class doesn’t work for you, try another until you find the right fit. In addition, consider chair yoga or the use of yoga props such as blocks or straps to aid you in your practice. If you can’t go to a class, try a DVD or online video. The options are countless if you’re willing to try.

Myth 10: Yoga Is Just a Fad

Although yoga may appear to be just another trendy exercise program that will be replaced by the next gimmick to hit the scene, it’s actually far from being a new thing, and it’s not likely to fade out of popularity anytime soon. Yoga has been around for thousands of years. While modern books, classes, videos, and workshops are relatively new methods of communicating its timeless teachings, yoga has been an established and proven means to integrate all the layers of life and awaken human potential for countless generations.

The persistence of yoga’s appeal is quite simple—it works. Whether in the laboratory of scientific research on mind-body and consciousness research or in the subjective framework of an individual’s life, yoga has stood the test of time and will continue to do so.

Spend some time reflecting on these myths. If one or more of these misconceptions has been holding you back from trying yoga, embrace the truth behind them and fear no more. Hop off that fence and step onto the mat. You won’t be sorry.

 

Namaste!
Becca Chopra

www.thechakras.org

Tag Cloud