Open Your Fifth Chakra with Blue Space

Yoga-extended-side-angle-Linda-Eichberg

Extended Side Angle pose – Utthita Parsvakonasana

I always get a spiritual and mental health boost when I visit the ocean and that’s not just me. A study, co-authored by Michigan State University’s Amber L. Pearson, is the first to find a link between health and the visibility of water, which the researchers call blue space.

“Increased views of blue space is significantly associated with lower levels of psychological distress,” said Pearson, assistant professor of health geography and a member of MSU’s Water Science Network. ¹

The study found that having a view of the ocean was associated with improved mental health.

 

Open your Throat Chakra with the Color Blue 

Associated the color blue, a healthy throat chakra (Fifth Chakra) enables self-expression and speaking with wisdom and honesty. Meditating on the color blue or a blue ocean can help alleviate throat chakra imbalance.

 

Ocean Breath 

Whether you’re on the beach or in a quiet room, you will enjoy the stillness and health benefits of the ocean breath. Ocean Breath; Ujjayi Breath offers gentle stimulation to your larynx and thyroid as well as a chance to slow down and quiet the mind from distracting thoughts. Create a sanctuary within.

How to do ocean breath for the throat chakra – Sit in a comfortable position with your core engaged. Breathe in through the nose and breathe out through the nose. Inhale fully under the diaphragm with your lips closed and relaxed. Exhale with a haaa sound similar to what you would hear if you had your ear up to a conch shell to ‘listen’ to the ocean.

Feel the sensation of the breath touching the back of your throat. Focus on the color blue. Visualize the blue ocean surf ebbing and flowing in time to your breath.

Yoga is as much about breathing, (Pranayama) as it is about postures. Using the Ujjayi breath in your yoga postures can help give you focus and power.

 

“Meditation is not meant to eliminate thoughts. It simply teaches you to direct the mind’s mental traffic” -Leonard Perlmutter

 

Singing and the Fifth Chakra 

Ah, the perfection of gazing at a blue ocean and singing a positive affirmation.

My father taught me this affirmation when I was a child. I loved the way it soothed my soul when he sang it. “I’m healthy, I’m strong, I’m peaceful, I’m loving and I’m happy.” Sing it with me!

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. ~ 2 Cor. 12:9

 

Footnote

  1. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160428132236.htm

 

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Time To Blossom

If you’re wishing and waiting for things to be better, you are wasting your time and your precious life force! It is essential to make peace with this moment and be grateful for all the blessings in front of you right now.

 

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The time to blossom is today, not sometime in the future when we believe there will be no distractions or roadblocks. At this very moment we have beauty flowering in our lives, even if circumstances seem dim. Having a vision for the future that differs from our present status can be inspiring but it can also keep us from fully participating in this hour and seeing with fresh eyes the Divine at work.

Shift to Gratitude

Unforseen tragedies do happen and must be processed and then let go so we can make room to receive what is meant for us now. So, here I go with my personal story…

Our beloved family patriarch, my father in law Norman Eichberg, passed on recently. His sister also passed away a couple of weeks after him. Norman and his sister, Hilda, left an incredible loving family and legacy. My focus lately has been holding on to gratitude for that.

 

 

My husband’s father was a leaders, leader. He was larger than life with a booming voice. Norman loved telling jokes, he was gregarious and intelligent. Steven’s dad was a compassionate man who had a thirst for life up to the day he died. He lived an amazing 97 years.

 

shirley Norman young

Steven’s parents, Norman and Shirley

 

Being active in the community and a vocal leader in the Jewish community, Norman and his wife, Shirley were one of the founding families of Stephen S. Weis Temple along with, Rabbi Zeldin. This notable man also passed away within a week of my father in law. Stephen S. Weis is a Los Angeles landmark and grew to become one of the largest Temples in the United States. Norman served two terms as President of the Temple.

 

Norman-Eichberg

 

Norman Eichberg was a World War II veteran, an officer in the Army Chemical Corps. After the war he became a successful business man and grew a well-respected insurance company, Eichberg Associates. He was also a humanitarian and devoted family man.

 

Norman boys youth

Norman and his three sons

 

Steven’s Aunt Hilda had a heart of gold. She was like a second mother to him and his brothers. When they were young boys, Hilda helped raise them while their mother was working. Hilda was fit and athletic; she had a brilliant, witty personality.

 

Norman Eichberg with his sons, Steven & Peter and sister, Hilda Markus

 

My husband, Steven, cannot remember a night when his parents did not kiss him good night. Both of his parents were loving and non-judgemental. Norman and Shirley opened their hearts and their home to all kinds of people without reservation, including children with behavioral challenges in partnership with Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services. These special children got to experience living with the unconditional love that was expressed in the Eichberg family, giving them the healing and life skills they desperately needed.

 

 

It’s easy to get stuck in the pain of loss. Practicing gratitude daily, will keep us moving forward. We heal this moment in time by calmly centering ourselves and finding the place of our joy and happiness.

Celebrate life and count your blessings. It is a powerful way to consistently raise your vibration to attract what ever it is that your heart desires. What you focus on grows!

 

Eichberg Family group

 

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” – Thích Nhất Hạnh

 

What are you waiting for?

Gratefully yours, Linda

 

A Loving Celebration of the Life of Norman Eichberg by Steven Eichberg

Our father Norman Ira Eichberg passed away at the age of 97 and a half years young. He was older in body, but his infectious laughter and sense of humor kept him young and able to cope with whatever came his way. From the time we were little boys our dad always wanted to spend time with us in whatever activities we would join. Our first was the Indian Guides and dad accompanied us to every meeting and eventually became chief of our tribe. Next was Cub Scouts and dad became our den leader attending all of our meetings and events. Next we joined the Boy Scouts and he became our co Pack leader along with the legendary Lloyd Bridges.
When Pete and I began to venture into sports dad and mom went to every game. Dad eventually coached then managed our various teams. Our father was always active in our lives.
Dad and mom took us on vacations every summer. Whether to Yosemite National Park, Palm Springs, Dear Valley, The Grand Teton, San Diego the whole family always had a ball. It wasn’t where we were that was important, but that we were all there together.
The Eichberg family was as close-knit as any family could be. There was so much love between all of us we grew up emulating our dad and mom by trying to spread it always and to everyone.
Our father was humorous, extremely bright and had a God-given talent to speak almost every major language in its exact accent. He would have us and friends and family laughing hysterically when he broke into all his different dialects. Up until the day he died he had the nurses and staff at the Vi skilled nursing residence laughing at his jokes and his still funny and remembered accents.
Norman Eichberg served his country as a Lieutenant in the army in World War II. He was eventually stationed in Paris, France where he was handpicked by General Dwight D. Eisenhower to command the allied forces chemical corp. He came back from the war to his wife, three children and began the next three-quarters of his amazing life.
We love you dad and will always miss you, but knowing you are now with grandpa and grandma, Uncle Alvin and most important our brother, Rob, along with your not suffering from melanomas, hip pain and other things you always just shrugged off, gives me some comfort.
RIP Dad

 

Photo memories of our family patriarch are presented in this beautiful slide show by Alison Eichberg.

 

 

“Having hope will give you courage. You will be protected and will rest in safety.” 
– Job 11:18

 

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Why We Cry in Yoga Class

It is a rare occurrence but I have had students cry in my yoga class. I have cried in yoga class. The tears are not from any physical pain caused by the yoga postures, so why does this happen?

Yoga and Emotional Healing

“The body remembers everything and holds unprocessed tension”, Melody Moore, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and registered yoga teacher says. “When we move our bodies and breathe, it gives us an opportunity to work out that tension. As it releases, so too does the emotional story or baggage.”

Karol Ward and other therapists maintain that the body holds on to feelings, even if it seems the mind has dealt with them. “So if a person has the opportunity to relax that area, whatever has been held there can come to the surface,” Ward says. “The body wants to complete the emotional experience.” ¹

 

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Awaken Your Body – Movement is Medicine

Certainly, one of the reasons we go to yoga class is to release tension but understanding that memories, and the emotions attached to those memories, are held, even trapped inside our muscles is a revelation. The stretches and exercises we do in yoga release pent-up emotions, adding another perk to the holistic benefits of yoga.

Some say crying is more common in hip-opener poses like Pigeon pose. That is the pose I was doing when a repressed memory and emotion flooded to the surface and had me weeping.

 

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Pigeon and laying pigeon pose

 

“The yoga mat is our own personal island where any emotions we feel—joy, dread, exhilaration or despair—can all surface safely here without judgement. A good yoga practice taps directly into our core and reality of what’s happening in our lives, so it can be an emotional release depending on what we’ve been denying or holding in. It’s a fabulous place for sweet release and surrender which leads to healing.” – Kathryn Budig, (yoga author & instructor)

 

Yoga and the Psyche

I think, when you soften your heart and body you find your true spiritual essence and improve your yoga practice. Yoga teacher, Marc Holzman clarifies this; “We wear thick, protective, armor. Our survival tactics are well in place and have accumulated over a lifetime. After a deep practice, when you least expect it … even when you’ve had an ordinary day … some of that armor melts. The thick outer shield softens and gives way to a softer more vulnerable layer. We surrender just a little bit. We give up the fight. Emotions can easily make their way to the surface.”

Mariana Caplan, Ph.D., and author explains, “The body contains the memory of the whole life we have lived,” so many emotions—sadness, fear, anger, arousal—can pop up in class when you’re not as focused on your day-to-day demands.

If you ever do find yourself crying in yoga class, remember this is healing, let the tears flow in gratitude and take Caplan’s advice. “The body just needs to release sometimes,” she says. “Allow it to happen and don’t make too much of a story. Let it be and trust it’s a positive thing.” ²

Best in health, Linda

 

“Let your favor shine on your servant. In your unfailing love, rescue me.” – Psalms 31: 16 (NLT)

 

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Footnotes

  1. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/21073097/ns/health-fitness/t/moved-tears-workouts-waterworks/#.WnILoiPMzm0
  2. https://www.self.com/story/crying-in-yoga-class

Into The Woods – Walking Meditation

 

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Many people say they don’t meditate because they can’t sit still. Not a problem. Walking can be a form of moving meditation. People find walking meditation easier than seated meditation because the motion of the body helps them to stay anchored in the present moment.

Both walking and meditation are good lifestyle choices and an antidote to stress. Together they offer significant health benefits.

 

Health Advantages of Walking

Walking has been proven to help in: maintaining a healthy weight, lowering blood pressure, improving coordination and strengthening bones and muscles. It also aids in regulating moods because it boosts brain chemistry and releases feel good endorphins. Walking can even prevent or control heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. ¹

 

Health Advantages of Meditation 

Meditation can give a sense of calm, peace and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health. It helps clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to stress. Meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day increasing patience, imagination and creativity. ²

 

Where to Walk and Meditate

Find an open space away from noise and traffic. Forests and woodlands provide wonderful restorative environments where you can enjoy walking.

Linda-Eichberg-forest-gratitude

There is rising evidence that forests and green spaces contribute to our physical, mental and social well-being. Exposure to natural environments, forests specifically, has stress-reducing effects due to their attractive landscapes, light conditions and air composition (including natural essential oils). In addition, they can be inexpensive to visit, enabling everyone to be included in their health benefits.

 

Turning Your Walk Into a Meditation

Begin by standing with your spine straight and your shoulders relaxed. Let your arms hang naturally by your sides. Take long, slow and deep breaths. As you exhale, let go of any unnecessary tension, smile softly, and let your attention flow deep into your hips. Relax your pelvis, to a neutral position, (neither tipped up nor down). Feel a connection to the heavens with the top of your head and to the earth with your feet.

Next, coordinate your breathing with your steps, taking several steps with your inhale, and several steps with your exhale. Keep a relaxed pace with no thought of “getting somewhere”.

Once you are comfortable coordinating breath and movement you may become aware of other body sensations, the smell of the forest or the feeling under your foot as it makes contact with the forest floor.

“Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh

Kissing The Earth

Try this beautiful visualization: Each time you place one of your feet down, imagine that you are kissing the earth through the sole of your foot. Each time you pick up one of your feet, imagine that a beautiful flower is blossoming in the place that your foot just was. “In this way, our walking becomes a way of expressing our love for the earth, and of creating beauty with each step.” ³

If something beautiful or interesting catches your eye while walking and you can’t let go of it, stop walking and do a looking meditation. Find God in the stillness.

Linda-Eichberg-forest

Grateful – Taking a moment of gratitude for mother nature and her forests. I see miracles of God and life everywhere.

 

Where there is gratitude, there is love, growth and healing.

If you are not close to a quite spot to walk and meditate, I recommend this Relax-n-Renew CD download for your headphones.

Be blessed, Linda

 

Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. – Psalm 96:12

 

Footnotes:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/walking/art-20046261
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858
  3. https://www.thoughtco.com/practice-walking-meditation-p2-3182955

 

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Exploring Your Dynamic Energy With Revolved Triangle

What if I told you, you could receive $10,000 if you practiced yoga on a regular basis. Would that motivated you? I received a $10,000 discount on the purchase of my long-term health care plan because I had a regular yoga practice. Keeping you healthy will lower your health care rates and keep you from burdening the health care system in general so everyone benefits! This is National Yoga Month, what better time to start?

Revolved Triangle is one of the most expansive stretches I know for the lower back. This pose blends two different dynamic energies as you root down into the earth with the legs, and send energy up through the extended arm.

Finding Your Reach

Revolved Triangle Pose (Parivrtta Trikonasana) provides generous rotation in the mid torso but this pose isn’t all about twisting, it is also a balancing posture that engages your legs and core muscles for support. When alignment is correct, this asana can create strength and flexibility in the back, hips and hamstrings and establish balance both physically and energetically. It can generate a steadiness of mind and a sense of extension as you ground one hand to the earth and reach the other to the sky.

 

Revolved Triangle Pose – Instructions

  1. Using the length of the yoga mat, step your feet about 3½ ft. apart, opening into a wide leg stance with the heels in line with each other, toes pointing forwards. Raise your arms parallel to the floor and reach them actively out to the sides palms down.
  2. Adjust your left foot in to the right at a 60 degrees angle and turn your right foot out to the right 90 degrees. Align the right heel with the left heel. Feel as if you are drawing up energy with your pelvic floor. Firm your thigh muscles as you lift your abdominals. Turn your right thigh outward, so that the center of the right kneecap is in line with the center of the right ankle.
  3. Lengthen your spine and raise the left arm up and turn your torso to the right. Square your hips with the front edge of your mat. As you bring the left hip around to the right firmly ground the left heel.
  4. Turn your torso further to the right and lean forward over the front leg. Place your left hand on the floor (or a yoga block) adjacent to the big toe.
Linda-revolved-triangle-modified-prep

Almost there! – A modified version

(Sometimes I’ll strike an impromptu yoga pose without a mat but please use a yoga mat for your practice.) 

  1. If your balance is stable and you feel you can twist deeper, finish the pose by moving your hand (or block) to the baby toe side of the right foot.

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  1. Keep your head in a neutral position or turn the head and gaze up at your top thumb. From the center of the back, between the shoulder blades, press the arms away from the torso and lengthen. Bring most of your weight on the back heel and the front hand.
  2. Hold this pose for 4 to 10 deep breathes. With your exhalation grip your core muscles and release the twist. Slowly and with control, bring your torso back to upright as you inhale.

Tip: You can place your left heel against a wall for extra stability.

Repeat for the same length of time with the legs reversed, twisting to the left.

Therapeutic Applications: Constipation, Digestive problems, Lower backache, Sciatica, tight hips or hamstrings and Asthma. ¹

As a yoga instructor, I recommend Revolved Triangle for tennis players and golfers to stretch their overused muscles. Use caution, perform this pose only with the supervision of an experienced teacher. Consult a doctor if you have back, hip or spine pain, or injury.

Best in health, Linda

 

“He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.” – Psalm 23:3 NLT

 

My heart and prayers go out to the victims of the latest hurricanes, Irma and Maria. The American Red Cross is on the ground in Puerto Rico and has already mobilized more than 250 tractor-trailer loads of relief supplies to help Puerto Rico including 9,000 comfort kits as well as several thousand tarps, flashlights, batteries, blankets and hand sanitizer. Please join me in the effort. Donate here.

 

Footnote:

  1. https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/revolved-triangle-pose

 

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The Power of Intentions

A long line formed outside the door of the fitness room. With yoga mats in arms, the group whispered excitedly to each other as they waited for the teacher to usher them into class. It took a couple of seconds for it to register, they were all waiting for me and my class and what God would reveal through it. 

 

 “When the deepest part of you becomes engaged in what you are doing, when your activities and actions become gratifying and purposeful, when what you do serves both yourself and others, when you do not tire within but seek the sweet satisfaction of your life and your work, you are doing what you were meant to be doing.” – Gary Zukav

 

Life Like Yoga

Yoga is good physical fitness, but it is the mind is where all yoga postures begin and expand. In my classes, I usually start the session by having my people center their mind and set an intention for their class. We start simple, focusing on sustaining deep and resourceful breathing. From there, we can move on to more specific intentions like mastering a pose, healing an injury, releasing physical and emotional tension or improving flexibility and alignment.

Your intentions whether conscious or unconscious, positive or negative will prove themselves in the end, taking you in their direction. Like a signal or message transmitted from us, intentions are always being served.

 

Alignment – Agree With the Soul’s Wisdom

 As long as your intentions are in agreement with the spiritual energy and wisdom within the soul, your intentions will have power! This energy will bring bring your desires closer to you. You’ll be surprised how much support flows to you when you bring a greater spiritual meaning to your physical experience. This invariably involves harmonizing your intentions with how you can best serve others while still being true to yourself. An authentically driven person lives in love.

 

Gary Zukav_quote

 

Desire and Destiny

Don’t put off living. Do what makes your soul sing! Only you know what you desire more than anything else in life. Powerful actions are shaped from that knowing. As your desire is, so is your intention and your destiny.

Intention is much more powerful when it comes from a place of contentment than if it arises from a sense of lack or need.  In his book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, the Law of Intention and Desire, Deepak Chopra lays out five steps to setting powerful intentions. This is a brief summary:

  1. Meditation takes you beyond the ego-mind into the stillness of pure consciousness. This is the ideal state in which to plant your seeds of intention.
  2. After you set an intention, let it go—simply stop thinking about it. Continue this process for a few minutes after your meditation period each day.
  3. Stay centered, abstain from being influenced by doubt or other people’s criticisms. Your higher self knows that everything is all right and will be all right, even without knowing the timing or the details of what will happen.
  4. Relinquish any attachment to a specific outcome because attachment is based on fear and insecurity. Have an unquestioning belief in the power of your true self. Intend for everything to work out as it should, then let go and allow opportunities and openings to come your way.
  5. Your intention will set the power of the universe in motion. Trust it. Don’t listen to the voice that says that you have to be in charge or obsessively vigilant to accomplish your purpose. The outcome that you try to force may not be as good for you as the one that comes naturally. Release your intentions to bloom when the season is right.

 

It’s all God’s anyway. He already knows what we want and need. The Scriptures put it like this…

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” – Romans 8:28 NLT

My attention for this moment is focused on being grateful for right now, full of praise and wonder, growing more in the understanding of myself and God. I make my intentions with thankfulness, acknowledging my current blessings and what is to come, as if I am already in receipt of it.

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Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

Many Blessings, Linda

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

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My heart and prayers go out to the coast of Texas and the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Join me in supporting them through the Red Cross and Foursquare Disaster Relief.

 

© All Rights Reserved, Linda Eichberg – 2017

 

 

Celebrating with Both Big Toe Pose

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA

Yoga is a 5,000-year-old physical, mental and spiritual practice; the United Nations General Assembly declared June 21st as the International Day of Yoga.

Yoga is an invaluable gift! More than just exercise, yoga is the exploration of the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and nature. “It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being.” – Narendra Modi

 

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Both Big Toe Pose – Ubhaya Padangusthasana

 

Spotlight on Both Big Toe Pose – Ubhaya Padangusthasana

 How to do Both Big Toe Pose – To hold this pose, you will first need to breathe and calm your mind. The object is to find a balance of energy in the legs and spine. Sit down with your legs bent. Grab your toes with two fingers; use your sitting bones as your grounding point. Without letting go of your toes, straighten your legs up. Elongate your back, lift your breastbone and lengthen through the hamstrings.

Energy Flow

Feel life force extend through your head and feet. Keep your heart lifted; don’t let your rib cage collapse onto your stomach or round your back. Hold for six deep breaths or longer and enjoy this energizing yoga posture.

“Every posture has important principles of structure, alignment, and kinesiology. But learning to cultivate internal energy flow is just as important as mastering these mechanical aspects,” – Ganga White

Happy yoga day and May God bless you with His life-giving energy.

With gratitude, Linda

 

“For He who is Almighty has done great things for me and holy is His name.” – Luke 1:14

 

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Finding the Balance to Stay Strong and Carry On

 

It may seem that I’m sitting on the rock, but look closer and you will see my body is floating, hovering above it.

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Floating Stick Pose – Utpluti Dandasana

The goal of this exercise is to explore how changing your center of gravity affects how well you can balance. It would be almost impossible for me to support all my body weight, as I am in the photo, if I didn’t find the perfect spot to place my hands to balance evenly front to back.

When I put Floating Stick Pose into one of my yoga fitness classes, it invokes some giggles because at first, my students think it’s impossible to do. But once the foundation of the fulcrum is placed in the right spot, it is possible.

Exploring Balancing Poses

Most of the women I teach like to follow me as I go through my yoga postures, this is fine, but sometimes I need to challenge them to find their own way in balancing postures. Balancing poses cannot be achieve by just watching, you must listen to your own body and discover the way. It is not only how far you stretch into a yoga pose that matters but also how you engage your body’s dynamic energy. 

Benefits

Balancing requires that we tighten our core, and lengthen outward, as a result it tones the whole body.

Working to stabilize a balancing posture burns calories and improves cardio vascular function.

Holding your balance teaches the interplay of concentration and focus.

In learning to balance, you will perfect control and develop an understanding of lines of energy.

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Balancing Stick Pose -Tuladandasana

Other names for this posture include warrior three pose, one-legged pose & balancing staff pose.

“If I am loosing balance in a pose, I stretch higher and God reaches down to steady me. It works every time, and not just in yoga.” – Terri Guillemets

Soul Yoga

Balance is the foundation of all movement and helps to develop coordination and grace that carries over to everything you do. Finding the right balance and the right purpose is one of the secrets to a long fulfilling life and when life’s storms come, you will know how to stand. 

“Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.” – Barbara De Angeles

Mindfulness, prayer and meditation releases God’s wisdom into our circumstances. If we continue to feel for the vibration of our true essence as daughters of God and align our thoughts to Him, we will find balance and energy.

I reflect on the many blessings God has given me and my family. His blessings are my inheritance. I am here for a purpose. God is within me.

With gratitude ~ Linda

 

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” – Matthew 7: 24 – 25

 

The Love of Trees

I couldn’t see it at first. From the trail it just looked like a gnarly old oak tree but something beckoned me to take a closer look. I thought I should beware of rattlesnakes in the grass but my curiosity got the best of me. I walked off the trail through the thick wild grass and stood before the tree’s massive form. And there it was, staring at me with a gaping mouth, like it was trying to speak!

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“I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues,” – Dr. Seuss

 

TREES ARE VITAL TO OUR HEALTH AND THE HEALTH OF OUR PLANET.

As stewards of the Earth, Earth Day is a good time to renew our commitments to the Earth and give thanks for its constant support, beauty and inspiration. This year I honor the trees.

Trees are beautiful and make people feel good.

Exposure to trees and nature has a positive effect on our health and mental attitude. Recent research has shown that trees not only filter pollutants from the air so we breathe easier, but they help make us feel better emotionally as well. ¹

Research published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology shows that trees help people to feel more alive. And another study, in the Journal Landscape and Urban Planning, shows evidence that being around trees could actually decrease levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

Acacia-yellow-flower_I planted a variety of drought tolerant trees around my home including this attractive flowering Acacia tree. I enjoy its beauty. It’s the first tree to bloom in late winter. With a burst of color it offers the hope of Springs eminent arrival.

Laboratory research shows visual exposure to settings with trees, produced significant recovery from stress within five minutes, as indicated by changes in blood pressure and muscle tension. – Dr. Roger Ulrich Texas A&M University ²

Trees conserve energy.

Three trees placed strategically around a single-family home can lower summer air conditioning needs by up to 50 percent. By reducing the energy demand for cooling our houses, we reduce carbon dioxide and other pollution emissions from power plants. If you plant a tree today on the west side of your home, in 5 years your energy bills should be 3% less. In 15 years the savings will be nearly 12%. – Dr. E. Greg McPherson, Center for Urban Forest Research ²

Trees increase property value.

The majority of realtors believe that having well cared for trees in your yard, will have a significant impact on the value and salability of your home. Healthy, mature trees add an average of 10 percent to a property’s value. – USDA Forest Service.

Trees cool our cities.

Average temperatures in Los Angeles have risen 6°F in the last 50 years as tree coverage has declined and the number of heat-absorbing roads and buildings has increased. ³ The net cooling effect of a healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day. – U.S. Department of Agriculture

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Trees combat climate change.

Excess carbon dioxide contributes to climate change. In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs, six tons of carbon dioxide, the amount of carbon dioxide produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles. ³

Trees provide oxygen and clean the air.

One acre of forest puts out four tons of oxygen. According to the U.S.D.A., this is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people. Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.

“In a study published in 2014, U.S. Forest Service scientists and collaborators calculated that trees are saving more than 850 human lives a year and preventing 670,000 incidents of acute respiratory symptoms. The researchers valued the human health effects of the reduced air pollution at nearly $7 billion every year.” ¹

I love trees. Trees are an amazing creation. Let us show our gratitude with action by protecting our trees and rainforests, for they are the lungs of the earth. Together we live or together we die. – Linda Eichberg

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Love our earth and be blessed, Happy Earth Day!

~ Linda

 

Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. – Psalm 33: 8-9

 

Footnotes:

  1. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/does-being-around-trees-help-people-feel-good/
  2. https://www.arborday.org/trees/benefits.cfm
  3. https://www.treepeople.org/resources/tree-benefits

Energize and Turn Up Your Body Heat With Inversions

SIX GREAT REASONS TO DO INVERSIONS

The world seems a little upside down lately. The tide has turned in politics and it’s really shaking things up. I’m feeling like I need to ward off some sensory pollution and get a renewed mindset on taking care of my wellbeing.

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By shaking things up in your yoga practice, you can refresh your body, mind and spirit. When you’re feeling weighed down or sluggish, inversions are wonderful for bursting through the blahs, especially in the winter months when you need increased circulation to stay warm.

1) Improve circulation and stimulate the blood flow in the body. In inverted yoga poses, the head is below the heart. This boosts your vascular system, helping the blood to circulate and stabilize body temperature. Inversions aid the body in transporting nutrients (such as amino acids and electrolytes), oxygen, carbon dioxide and hormones to and from the cells in the body.

2) Strengthen your upper body and core. The standing split I am doing in the photo, supports a good deal of body weight on the shoulders and triceps. It takes a considerable amount core strength to hold your balance in inversions like headstands and handstands.

3) Increase your mental clarity. Acute focus is needed for most inversions, which helps concentration and calms the mind. Blood and oxygen flow to the brain is stepped-up. Your head will be cleared of negative thoughts, as you feel empowered by your practice and ultimate success.

4) Move out of your comfort zone emotionally and physically. Upside down asanas are some of the most difficult and challenging. You may experience a wide range of feelings, from apprehension to courage about changing your relationship to gravity. But do not fear, you can always start with more gentle inversions, like legs up the wall, standing forward fold or down dog.

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Downward Facing Dog is a good pose to start with to get yourself comfortable with being upside down.

Dolphin Pose (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana – Half Feather Peacock Pose) is great for toning the arms. It stretches deeply in the upper back, shoulders, hamstrings and calves. Dolphin can flow from Downward Facing Dog by lowering down to your forearms and firmly pressing your heels into the mat. You can also approach Dolphin Pose by starting out on all fours.

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Dolphin Pose

5) Boost your immune system. By turning upside down, you are going against gravity which helps purify the body. The fluid that circulates throughout the lymphatic system can travel more readily to assist in the elimination of toxins and bacteria and bring you optimal health. Increased blood flow provides extra nourishment to the cells and serves to fight diseases and stabilize pH.

6) Improve balance and coordination. “Learning to find balance in inversions can help bring balance into your life off the mat as well. Holding an inversion requires patience, practice, and being present in the moment; all qualities that can help create balance in your life.” ¹

If you want to be a yoga ‘rock star’, build your flexibility with this yoga wheel.

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Maria Lauren – yoga wheel with leg extension

That’s my sister, Maria. I’m very grateful to have her to inspire my life!

Wishing you love and light and the best in health, Linda

“Light in the messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.” – Proverbs 15: 30

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Disclaimer – Inversions can be harmful to persons with certain medical conditions. Best to consult a doctor before practicing yoga inversions, especially if you have one or more of the following: glaucoma, detached retina, cervical spine or shoulder  injuries, heart disease, stroke and/or high blood pressure.

Footnote

  1. http://www.yogiapproved.com/yoga/10-reasons-to-do-inversions/

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