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


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

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Root ChakraIn my book, The Chakra Energy Diet, I not only recommend foods to balance each chakra, but also activities.

Root Chakra Healing Activities: Gardening is the #1 activity I recommend for Root Chakra grounding AND for weight loss. The University of Utah did a study that agreed, showing that burying your hands in the earth can help you bury excess pounds as well. The researchers found that the average body mass index (BMI) of female gardeners was 1.84 lower than that of their non-gardening neighbors, or approximately 10 pounds less for a woman 5’ 5” tall. For men, the difference was even greater, so bend down and dig in the soil, guys. Male gardeners had an average BMI difference of 2.36, which translates to 16 lbs. less for a 5’ 10” physique.

These research results, reported in the American Journal of Public Health, showed that spouses of the gardeners also had lower BMIs, which was attributed to eating more fresh produce and possibly helping with pulling weeds and other gardening activities.

What About Weeds? If hand pulling weeds isn’t an option, there are many alternatives that can help you, without resorting to toxic herbicides. Protect your own health, the health of your children and pets, plus Mother Earth, by eschewing Roundup. In addition to now being classed a “probably carcinogen,” independent researchers have long known the many side effects of being exposed to Roundup whether in your GMO food or your yard.

 
A short excerpt: “Here’s everything we know that is being linked to the chemicals, all of the chemicals in Roundup, ADHD, because these chemicals act as neurological inhibitors, both in children and in fetuses, which means that it affects the way the brain develops. The neurons do not myelinate as they’re supposed to. That also causes autism. It’s been linked to Alzheimer’s Disease, birth defects, brain cancer, breast cancer, other forms of cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, celiac disease, gluten intolerance, chronic kidney disease, colitis, depression, diabetes, heart disease, hypothyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and unfortunately I’m out of room to continue the rest of the list here. Those are all things that have been linked by studies to all of the chemicals in Monsanto’s Roundup.”
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So, what do I use in my yard? Mostly, we mow our lawn with the weeds in it – they’re green and blend in with grass and it’s healthier for myself, my husband, my dog and most importantly, my child.

But because we have flower and vegetable beds that often get choked with weeds, I was excited to try the new tool being used by the American Air Force – the cordless NatureZap DE. It uses ultraviolet light to kill weeds without toxic chemicals, is battery operated so you don’t need smelly propane, you just point and several seconds and the weed is gone, all while being safe for people, places and pets.

I can grab the NatureZap DE anytime and zap any weeds that have popped up. It actually zaps down to the roots of the weed for permanent removal!

If you have good alternatives to using Roundup and other herbicides please share them in the comments, and if you’re looking for another solution, try the NatureZap DE available for sale on Amazon.

Here’s to the your health and the health of Mother Earth!

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 Therapy for the Chakras


colorsMany years ago, when I first started studying the chakras, I bought a DVD on Chakra Balancing, and found it was simply slides of different colors corresponding to the different chakras. Can color therapy really balance the chakras? Well, I kept testing the theory and did find that often the colors we like best are the colors we most need in our lives and they provide us with subtle vibrational help.

The colors in the world around us are manifestations of light and, as such, each possesses a unique frequency… frequencies that do relate to the colors of the chakras. It’s been said that we experience the beneficial affects of color even while blindfolded. We are naturally drawn to those colors that lift our mood, expand our consciousness, and help restore wellbeing.

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Color therapy allows us to harness the power of individual color frequencies to heal the body, positively influence our emotions, and achieve a renewed sense of harmony. Colors alter the vibrational characteristics of diverse elements of the self so that each resonates at its proper healthy frequency.

red-crystalThe colors we like best are often those that we need most in our lives, and there are many ways we can utilize them. Wearing clothes or crystals of a certain color or gazing at an area of color in a painting or nature scene can stimulate or calm us depending on the color we yellow-crystalchoose. For example, red stimulates the root chakra, grounding us, while yellow strengthens the solar plexus chakra, increasing our energy, and blue acts on the throat chakra, soothing the body and mind and helping us clarify our thoughts.

blue-crystalWhite light, which is an amalgamation of all the colors of the visible spectrum is a cleansing color, one that can purify us on many levels, often associated with the crown chakra.

In my Kindle book, Balance the Chakras, Balance Your Life, I have pictures of a clear crystal lighted with different colors. Try meditating on the colored crystals for just a minute, breathing in the color and breathing out any stress or pain, and see which color works best for you at this moment in time.

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

www.theChakras.org

Becca’s Inspirational Book Blog

 

 


aThe fight at Standing Rock continues, for our water, our environment, our native people. You can join in today’s prayer effort… here’s how.

PRAYER IS ENERGY HEALING IN ACTION

Do you get discouraged if your prayers aren’t immediately answered? The problem may be that we are praying for God or a higher being to do something which it is not in its nature to do… take direct action vs. inspire and guide us to make the right choices.

Serge Kahili King, Ph.D., teacher of the Hawaiian Huna Philosophy and head of Aloha International wrote On Prayer at www.Huna.org:

In prayer we are trying to do something or to get something done, either for ourselves or for someone else. We pray to get an effect, and since an effect is involved, energy has to be involved, and all prayer involves the transmission of energy, [in this case toward the people and situation at Standing Rock].

In the prayer form known as the Lord’s Prayer that is found in the Christian Bible, Jesus states that we should ask for energy (“our daily bread”), cleansing (forgiveness), and guidance. A little further on in the chapter of Luke (11), Jesus makes the famous statement about, “Ask, and it shall be given unto you….” This has been taken to mean that you can ask God for anything you like and you will get it, although in practice it obviously doesn’t work out that way. The reason is revealed only a few lines further. What is to be given is the Holy Spirit. In other words, energy, ideas, and inspiration. We find this same idea in the Old Testament, in Sufi, Hindu, and Chinese writings, as well as in Hawaiian – namely that what we receive from above is the wisdom and the power to act. But it is we who must do the acting.

This brings us to the point of fact that there are essentially two types of prayer: vertical and horizontal. By vertical prayer, I mean that which is directed toward God or the Higher Self or toward someone in spirit. From this type of prayer we can only get inspiration, knowledge, understanding, and energy. Note carefully that the guidance we may get is in the form of ideas and inspiration. We do not actually get the kind of guidance that tells us exactly what to do and how to do it. That kind of guidance implies the making of choices, and that is our sole prerogative.

Horizontal prayer is that directed toward our everyday life, either to heal or help ourselves or others, or to change the future. This type of prayer is accomplished by us, and its effectiveness is determined by our beliefs and by the amount of energy we put into it. We each create our own experience of reality, the circumstances we find ourselves in, and through prayer properly understood we can change those circumstances. But it is the individual who changes the circumstances, not God and not the High Self. From them we only get the tools; they will not do the work for us.

Please join in prayer for Standing Rock so that all involved get the guidance to resolve the situation in a peaceful, environmentally-conscious manner. And please invite your friends to help positively impact the momentum of Standing Rock.

Namaste!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Healing, Balance Your Chakras-Balance Your Life, and The Chakra Energy Diet

www.theChakras.org


Becca Chopra performing Dynamind.Balancing the Heart Chakra is key to manifesting success and happiness in your life. When your heart is full of love, it is easier to create whatever you want, break through blocks, and overcome fear and doubt. When you send out vibrations, thoughts or feelings of how much you love something, then it comes back to you in greater and greater abundance.

“Whatever you love with positive energy will manifest more abundantly.” ~ Serge Kahili King, Ph.D.

Serge Kahili King helped me apply his “instant” energy healing technique, Dynamind, to chakra healing. Now, on Valentine’s Day, during a year with the stress of political turmoil, yet the hope for love and peace in our lives and in our world, it’s the perfect time to apply the Dynamind Process to healing the Heart Chakra.

Using Dynamind to balance the Heart Chakra can bring forth more love and compassion in your life….

Located at the center of the chest, the fourth chakra, the Heart Chakra, represents selfless love and devotion, kindness, empathy and compassion. It vibrates with the energy of the color green. When the Heart Chakra is balanced, you feel free to give and receive love in all its expressions – passion, caring, rapport, understanding, empathy, compassion and forgiveness.

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.”

Dancing treeIf 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.

Follow along with me in using Dynamind to balance all seven chakras in my video, Balance & Tone Your Chakras, FREE to download this week at www.thechakras.org.

Namaste!

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, Balance Your Chakras-Balance Your Life, and The Chakra Energy Diet

www.theChakras.org

www.BeccaChopra.com


DreamDanceIs there a question inside yourself, something important that needs resolution or requires guidance?

Put some slow, instrumental music on in the background, close your eyes and dance in an open space – doing a chakra dance to find your answer(s).

From the novel, FILL THE SKY, by Katherine Sherbrooke, I’ve paraphrased a chakra dance meditation done by the characters that brings them the resolution needed:

Red is the color of the first chakra, our base, our security. Let a bright red light shine on your question. Sway with the music, moving your hips and focus on the emotions brought up by your question.

Orange is the color of the sacral chakra, the chakra of sensuality. Breathe in the color orange. Relax into the rhythm of the music. Let your question and the emotions it brings with it relax with you as you let your body move however it wants. Feel the beauty of life.

Yellow is the color of the solar plexus chakra. It is all about your inner power, your personal will. Embrace your own power. Let it move you. Bring attention to your solar plexus area as you move your center. Listen to your answer and then tuck it away.

Now, bring awareness to your heart, bathing it in the color green. Let your heart be open to love and peace, forgiveness, trust. Surrender to the music. Ask your question again from the core of your heart. Now dance.

Move your awareness to your throat chakra – the color is blue. Hold space to speak your own truth. Let your voice be heard. Make noise, let the sound come free. Listen for your answer.

Now focus on the third eye chakra, the center of intuition, insight and inner wisdom. Put the question into the purple light of the third eye.

End by bringing your awareness to the golden light right at the top of your head, at the crown chakra, to your portal to a higher source. Bring your question into that light. This chakra is our connection to endless possibility and divine perfection.

Now lie down and listen for answers in the form of words, images, feelings.

Feel your breath rise from your root chakra up to your crown chakra, weaving together the answers given by your chakras. You may have gotten 7 answers, you may have only gotten one.

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-6-21-15-amThis beautiful meditation was experienced by the characters in the novel, FILL THE SKY at the end of a long journey to Ecuador for healing with local shamans. While one of them needed to heal from cancer, her two close friends also found healing in their mind, body and spirit.

Author Katherine Sherbrooke encourages readers to think and feel in new and refreshing ways. Her tale is one of  facts vs. intuition, mind vs. heart, action vs. being, a safe persona vs. self-discovery, Big Pharma vs. ancestral medicine and, above all, the healing power of love.

According to Sherbrooke, “Each of my three main characters in the book grapples with a complex question in her life that has arisen because of the choices she has made in the past and some level of confusion about the path she has before her. I hope women who read the book will find a bit of themselves in one or more of these characters and perhaps be a little more gentle with themselves for not having charted the perfect course, and for not having all the answers going forward. In the end, self-discovery is a wonderfully hopeful exercise. We need not be stuck in old patterns that don’t serve us well. I truly believe we all have the internal wisdom, even though it is sometimes buried very deeply, to heal old wounds and find the joy in what comes next.”

Fill the Sky is available now on Amazon and is a perfect read for the New Year and an inspiration for new ways of thinking. For more information, please see http://www.kasherbrooke.com.

Namaste!

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, Balance Your Chakras-Balance Your Life, and The Chakra Energy Diet

www.theChakras.org

www.BeccaChopra.com

 

 

 

 

 

 


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I agree with Dr. Abrams, but how do we become bodywise? Look to your chakras. They give you clues where stress is sabotaging your health resolutions (in the past and for the New Year), and where you need to nurture yourself.

To share the best stress-busting techniques I’ve learned over the last 20 years along with the best way to nurture each chakra, I’m offering you a FREE download of The Chakra Energy Diet: The Right Food, Relaxation, Yoga & Exercise To Look and Feel your Best! through Sunday, January 8.

CHAKRA ENERGY FOODS

You increase your energy when you eat food as close to its natural state as possible (not processed with additives you can’t even pronounce). So what should you eat?

First, see where stress is impacting your body and which chakra center needs to be strengthened. Learning more about the chakra system can help you determine what foods YOU personally need to ADD to nourish yourself, banish stress, and help you achieve your optimal weight.

THE CHAKRA ENERGY DIET helps you determine where you are lacking balance and how to regain it.

Are your finances in trouble? Are you feeling insecure? Do you need to perform better at work and get that raise or promotion? Strengthen your 1st or Root Chakra.

Do you want to spice up your sex life or feel more passionate and creative? Unblock your Sacral Chakra.

Want to feel more self-confident and powerful in achieving your goals? Strengthen your Solar Plexus Chakra.

Want to feel more love, be able to forgive past grievances, and connect better with your family, friends and co-workers? Work on your Heart Chakra.

Afraid of public speaking? Want to be able to express your truth and be understood? Balance your Throat Chakra.

Want more inspiration on which path you should take in life? Want to increase your intuition and psychic abilities? Open your Third Eye Chakra.

Want to feel at one with all there is? More peace, harmony and connection to spirit? Work on your Crown Chakra.

You can balance all your chakras by eating a rainbow of colors… THE CHAKRA ENERGY DIET contains full-color photos of my favorite recipes.

Using instant “stress-busting” techniques shared in the book, combined with eating more real food, will help you feel both more calm and more energized. And when you drop the excess stress, and make more conscious food choices, you’ll drop any excess weight, and feel and look better too.

Don’t wait to improve the health of yourself and your family – download THE CHAKRA ENERGY DIET today.

Namaste!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, Balance Your Chakras-Balance Your Life, and The Chakra Energy Diet
www.theChakras.org

 

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