The Earth Has Its Day

The world has practically stopped because of the Coronavirus. In our stillness we are allowing the earth to rest and heal. We have been obliged to carry out conservation practices beyond what we have already initiated. I’m easily using a third less paper products than I was before.

Some things have become scarce but everything has become more sacred and appreciated. April 22nd, Earth Day has always been a meaningful day for me and it’s even more so now. Our place on this earth is so apparently fragile.

“Everything in excess is opposed to nature.” – Hippocrates

Keep A Sacred Perspective of Nature

When it comes to helping save the world, everyone has a part to play. I recently saw the movie “The Pollinators”. This important movie from Demand Film, is eye opening. I never envisioned the massive amounts of bees that have to be transported across the country, from field to field, to pollinate our fruits, nuts and vegetables. Because of insecticides, fungicides and other poisons, our bee population is now inadequate and the balance of nature is in a crisis.

Practice Gratitude

When I eat, I usually remember the people who plant and harvest my food, but now, I also think of these outstanding people who keep the bees that preserve our food chain.

I offer massive gratitude to our doctors, nurses, leaders and essential workers who are on the front lines of the pandemic. God bless them for keeping me safe.

Have Self-Compassion

We are at war with COVID-19 but we’re also fighting to not allow it to steal our joy. Better days are coming, but today, it is essential to have compassion for ourselves and focus on God’s daily mercies. By all means boost your immune system with exercise, healthy eating and laughter.

Use your time wisely. Many online learning centers are giving free courses, due to Coronavirus. Learn home repairs. My installing an inexpensive DIY bidet toilet seat attachment was helpful in saving toilet paper.

Spend as much time as you can outdoors exercising, following COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. I am blessed, my home backs up to open space. What a wonderful world!

With all the extra attention they are getting, my dogs have come out as winners in this situation.

We were given stewardship of the earth to use sustainably, not abuse, but that privilege can be taken away from us. God is Sovereign over all. I will leave you with these words from conservationist, Jane Goodall.

“You, as an individual, just have to remember that in your life, you matter, you have a role to play and that every single day you live, you make some impact and you get a choice as to what kind of impact you’re going to make,” she said. “If everyone is making the right ethical choice, whatever religion they’re part of, then we’re going to have a much better world…”

“We haven’t inherited this planet from our parents, we’ve borrowed it from our children. We have not borrowed our children’s future — we have stolen it and we’re still stealing it now, and it’s time we get together, whatever our religion, whatever our culture, get together and start changing the way — changing our attitude — so that we can leave a better world for our children, whom we love.” – Jane Goodall

What will you do respect this Earth Day? Happy Earth Day 2020.

Linda

“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

– Psalm 118:24

How To Embellish Your Reverse Table Top

– Reverse Table Top Pose also known as Crab Pose, is a tremendous pose for gaining agility and upper body strength. It strengthens the shoulders, arms, core, gluteus maximus, wrists and legs. Reverse Table Top opens the front of the body so it’s an excellent counter pose to Table Top Pose, Forward Fold, Plank and Chaturanga. Since the pose is beneficial in both building up and stretching the muscles that hold us in good posture, it is a good asana for preventing Text Neck.

Working Backwards

This month in my fitness classes, I have been doing a Reverse Table Top challenge. Working backwards challenges the mind and body and it’s great cross-training. Break some old patterns by moving in new ways. Try things that are opposite of what you know. Sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards.

Playing Upside Down

Crab Pose is a wonderful exercise that utilizes your own body weight. If you want even more out of this exercise, there are ways you can add variations. Adding: leg extensions, arm extensions, figure 4 stretch, knee lifts, foot on knee or the crab walk will amplify the intensity and difficulty of the exercise. First, let’s start with a simple Reverse Table.

Playing with my Reverse Table Top Pose

Reverse Table Top Pose Instructions

  1. Begin in Staff Pose or from a seated position; bend the knees bringing the feet flat on the floor hip width apart. Toes and knees are pointing straight ahead.
  2. Lean back into the arms with your fingers pointed towards the buttocks, inhale and lift the hips up towards the ceiling, level with the knees and shoulders. Press into the feet.
  3. Look up at the ceiling or carefully drop the head back. Knees are over the ankles and shoulders are over the wrists.
  4. Squeeze the glutes, engaging Mula Bandha to lift the hips high. Press into the hands and draw the shoulder blades towards each other and lift up through the sternum, keeping the spine straight. 
  5. Hold for 3 to 10 breaths. I tell my students, “Imagine you are balancing a cup of hot tea on your stomach.”
  6. To release the pose, slowly drop your hips to the floor as you exhale.

Tip – As you add on extensions to your pose, work extra hard to keep your hips from dropping by squeezing your glutei and lifting through your hips.

Benefits Of Doing Ardha Purvottanasana (Sanskrit name):

  • Improves posture
  • Strengthens: shoulders, arms, back, legs, neck, glutes and core
  • Enhances the digestive system
  • Good for playing with your kids or grand kids
  • Stretches: chest, abdominals, shoulders and legs
  • Stimulates the respiratory and endocrine systems
  • Improves the circulatory system
  • Increases agility and stamina

Fly Like the Dragonfly

“When a dragonfly flutters by, you may not realize, but it’s the greatest flier in nature, it can hover, fly backwards and even upside down.” – Louie Schwartzberg

Keep training so when things in your life go upside down, you will be ready for the turn, not just in your body, but also in your mind and spirit. Rediscover your strengths and weaknesses. Look deeply into your rooted values and reboot.

Cautions and Modifications

Half Upward Plank Pose is another English name for Reverse Table Pose. If you are a beginner, Upward Plank Pose may be a little easier for you and it shares many of the same benefits. Do not practice Reverse Table if you have carpal tunnel syndrome, or injury to your shoulders, neck, or wrist. Always work within your own abilities. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.

Have fun with your self-discovery!

Best in health, Linda

“The truth of the matter is that the whole world has already been turned upside down by the work of Jesus Christ.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

© Copyright: All materials contained within this blog may not be used without written permission.

2020 Vision

– As we come to the close of 2019, I would like to leave you with some positive thoughts that will carry you into 2020. Positive affirmations can help us get to the seed of our soul, the root of our inherent radiance, as designed by our Maker. Prayer, meditation, visualization, and mantra recitation are among the practices that help us reach a sacred space.

When we engage in mantra recitation, we feel a deeper resonance as our souls awaken in this repetition and rhythm of words. Over time, the clutter is stripped away, leading us to the core of our inner truth. We can let hope, blessings and opportunity pound on the door of our hearts or we can open the door and receive them.

POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS

Here are a few of the mantras I share with my yoga students. Repeat each affirmation a few times or more. Feel and contemplate every word as it resonates within your spirit. Speak to yourself as you would speak to someone you dearly love.

For Wisdom: I achieve my goals without compromising my well-being.

For Mental Health: I am connected to Divine truth not other people’s opinions.

For Success: What I want and desire is on its way.

For Heart Opening: I attract the love that I am.

For Healing: The energy and warmth of my smile is welcoming and healing.

For Peace: I desire a peaceful and positive presence.

For Patience: I am patient with my blossoming.

For Energy: I will not waste my precious life force on things I can’t control.

For Bravery: I am not this fear, I am of love. 

For Personal Power: I will have joy; I will not let anything steal my joy.

For Christ-likeness: “Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” – Col. 3:14 NLT

For Attracting Favor: I have passion and magnetism. Opportunity and favor are coming my way.

For godliness: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” – 1Peter 2:9

The scriptures also invite us to ‘eat’ the words within. Chew on, meditate or expand on enlightenment.

Seeing Others Through God’s Eyes

One of my favorite moments of this past year was during my visit to Ikaria, Greece. My friend, Robyn, lives there; I call her “my Greek goddess.” She took me up to the highest point on the island. I thought we were only going to hike and practice yoga but Robyn had other plans. She had brought along a beautiful dress for me to put on and she photographed me.

Perhaps she saw me as a goddess too, a daughter of God. We all have God’s DNA living inside us. We need to remind each other of this grace. We must seek it out, meditate on it and embody it.

I wish you all a happy, healthy and positive New Year! The Divine in me, salutes the Divine in you.

Gratefully yours, Linda

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8

© Copyright: All materials contained within this blog may not be used without written permission.

Is Text Neck Slowly Killing You?

Nothing makes me sadder than to see young people with Text Neck. Also know as Turtle Neck posture or anterior head syndrome, Text Neck is characterized by a rounded upper back and a forward jutting head. I have seen for myself how text neck can cause pain and headaches, as well as respiratory problems and early degeneration of the spine.

PREVENTION

Practice Good Posture

We can’t get away from the necessity of using a computer or cell phone so we have to take extra time and care to work on reversing the effects of our repetitive forward folding motions like texting and watching our mobile devices. It’s easy to help preserve your cervical spine, by prevention. Start out with practicing good posture; track ears over shoulders and draw wing bones together.

Stretch Often

A wonderful stretch, you can do anytime, is a simple standing or sitting C-Clasp Stretch. To begin, clasp your hands behind your back, then expand and lift your upper chest as you pull down with your arms arms and shoulders and lift your chin, looking upwards. Another exercise that can be done sitting or standing, is the Chin Tuck. Do these exercises as often as you can. Set a timer to remind yourself.

As a yoga instructor, I take myself and my students much further, into deeper toning and stretching.

Muscle balance and strength in the neck, chest, back and core is key to good health and healthy posture.

Train Your Muscles

Think about it, your head is like an 11 pound weight. Holding your neck down or forward for extended periods of time creates muscle fatigue and imbalance. The muscles in the front of the neck and chest need to be stretched and built up, to prevent long term physical and mental damage.

Yoga and Pilates moves like: table top, reverse plank, bow, locust, cobra, bridge, fish and camel pose are very good to do. Start with mild backbends. There are even more exercises you can do with weights to improve text neck. Consult your trainer.

Apart from neck pain, Turtle Neck posture can also cause shoulder pain, upper back pain, weight gain and increased thoracic kyphosis. Correcting hyperkyphosis will give you increased energy and better lung capacity. (1) It will also protect your spine from wear and tear. (2) You know the saying, “You are as old (or as young) as your spine.”

So, with that in mind, I celebrated my birthday this month by sharing one of my fast flow yoga combinations. This sequence of inversions and heart openers has multiple health benefits for posture, muscle balance, the cardiovascular system and brain. Just doing this vinyasa a few times on each side, will get your blood flowing and your joints moving to instantly refresh and revitalize. 

Downward Facing Dog Flow – Step by step instructions for an experienced yogini.

  • Start in Downward Facing Dog and lift leg to Three-Legged Dog.
  • Abdominal crunch two times by bringing your forehead to knee & knee to forehead.
  • Open your hip up towards the ceiling and crunch again.
  • Lift leg and lower, lining up feet with baby toes touching and flow into a Side Plank.
  • Bend the knee of your free leg and place your foot on the floor behind knee.
  • Reach back with your free arm and arch into Wild Thing.
  • Return to side and revolve to Plank.
  • Chaturanga down to a Cobra.
  • Firm your core muscles and lift to Up Dog (or Plank).
  • Return to Cobra and repeat again starting with Downward Facing Dog.

How far will you go for good health? My friend sent me this great quote from Abraham Hicks for inspiration.

“You are Beings who intend to come forth and to continue to expand and grow and change. What is the perfect age? Well, it’s the age where I finally understand my freedom, and I finally understand that I am free to create, and it’s the age that I am at my most beautiful.”

“And we say, by whose standards? In other words, who gets to decide the perfect age? And we say, rather than determining what the perfect age is, why not decide what the perfect state of being is—and then discover that you can find the perfect state of being at any age.”

Abraham Hicks (Excerpted from Tarrytown, NY on 5/10/03)

In health, Linda

“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”

Phillippians 4:13

Disclaimer: Please consult your doctor before practicing any new fitness routine.

© Copyright: All materials contained within this blog may not be used without written permission.

References:

  1. Han J, Park S, Kim Y, Choi Y, Lyu H. Effects of forward head posture on forced vital capacity and respiratory muscles activity. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 2016;28(1):128-131. doi:10.1589/jpts.28.128. Kim MS, Cha YJ, Choi JD. Correlation between forward head posture, respiratory functions, and respiratory accessory muscles in young adults. J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2017;30(4):711-715.
  2. Wickstrom BM, Oakley PA, Harrison DE. Non-surgical relief of cervical radiculopathy through reduction of forward head posture and restoration of cervical lordosis: a case report. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 2017;29(8):1472-1474. doi:10.1589/jpts.29.1472.

Cultivating Dynamic Energy

Energy flows through all facets of our life: mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. Our life is centered in that constant flow of energy. When we are connected to the infinite source of life, every aspect of our life is invigorated, nourished, and healed.

Cultivating a Dynamic Spirit

Energy is youthful, dynamic and resilient. Physical age does not define our potential for child-like energy. At the deepest level of our being, we are powerful and dynamic with the ability to shift the world around us with the energy of our presence. When we walk into a room, our vibe, our state of being, is communicated before we say a single word. Our purpose and intentions oscillate into the world.

“Energy, like you, has no beginning and no end. It can never be destroyed. It is only ever shifting states.” — Panache Desai

Tapping into the infinite well of joyful energy God placed inside me, gives me the flexibility to bend with any situation and rebound from what life throws at me.

Sharing the Gift of Happiness

One of the nicest things you can do for God or another person is to be happy and to share that wonderful energy with them. The magnetic frequency of happiness resonating in your heart has uplifting and healing qualities. Tap into the well of joy inside you. Take the time to discover your purpose and passion. What makes you glad to be alive? Find out what makes you truly happy in your heart center or God in you?

Live in Vibrational Harmony

Be grateful so others can feel and connect to that gratitude. Offering someone energy that will make them unhappy is not a godly offering. Seek to live in vibrational harmony. The positive feelings of joy, love and gratitude are high vibrational and contagious. The overflow of their light filled resonance will open the door for rich, meaningful relationships of the same kind and continue to make them blossom.

Being a Healer

God created us with unique gifts; when we joyfully share these gifts, the world benefits. It is our choice to use the energy our gifts bring to heal and transform. Sharing a gift from the feeling of religious compulsion does not carry the same blessing as a gift freely given from the heart. Knowing who your gifts come from and staying connected to that source makes all the difference. Spend time in devotion.

When you heal yourself, you also heal others without even having to try.

Energy Centers in the Body

As a yoga teacher I focus on opening the energy centers in the body by using a variety different twists, breathing techniques, visualizations and stretches. In the same way we assist overactive energy centers to become less active. The seven main energy centers are called chakras.

Sometimes yoga teachers refer to life force energy as qi (chi) energy. If the energy flow gets blocked or stagnant in the body it can cause disease. I always visualize life force energy moving through the body and outward into the universe.

Energy is always renewable. It’s not the amount of energy but the quality of energy that gives life! Our ability to preserve and balance this vitality and joyfulness, no matter what the circumstances, is true power. 

Our capacity to affect others with our energy is both a gift and a responsibility. Ultimately, we have the power to choose how we show up and interact in this world. When we come from the true self, in love, understanding and unity, we become a powerful force for good.

The joy of the Lord is my strength. I rejoice today, anticipating many blessings coming my way! The seen and unseen.

Repeat this positive affirmation… I rejoice today, anticipating many blessings coming my way!

Namaste! ~ Linda

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31 NLT

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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.

gratitude-quote-Linda-Eichberg_

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 special legacy.

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

 

movement-medicine-Linda-Eichberg-yoga

 

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.

 

pigeon-and-laying-pigeon-Linda-Eichberg

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

 

forest-walk

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.

Linda-Eichberg-revolved-triangle

  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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