Meditation for the Soul:
Do not seek the answers to life....
Just ask the questions:
Sit in a comfortable position and draw your awareness to your breath.
Begin to ask these 3 simple questions over & over during your meditation:
Who am I?
Why am I here?
Where am I Going?
By the laws of the universe you will receive the answers!
If you seek the answers the Ego, Mind & Karma will get involved.
Just simply ask the questions during meditation and be open to whatever you receive.
Light & Love, Laura
DEBUNKING THE NO PAIN, NO GAIN MANTRA
By Linda Sangwine RMT at Iron Lotus Yoga
Jesus, one of the greatest healers of all times healed many people, often with a glance of the eye, a gentle touch or through prayer. He did not shout out to the masses “no pain, no gain” which has become one of the mantras of the 21st century.
Thirty years ago, when I attended massage therapy schooling in British Columbia “deep tissue” massage was the order of the day. Yes, the deep tissue massage which one grimaces through, grits their teeth and takes it -- all in the hope that the pain will dissolve. Is this necessary?
My understanding at that time was sadly lacking; in part due to little research into pain mechanisms and the fascial system. This is not to say that people have not experienced relief with this form of therapy, for many have. My sense is that during that one brief instant before the next round of pressure, there is a split nanosecond (the gap between the space), where the nervous system lets go of it’s grip and relaxes. It’s no wonder that with this type of approach, that many therapists face early retirement after 5-6 years – their hands and arms are shot!
After graduation, I had the good fortune of studying Qi Gong (qi = energy; gong = working with energy) with a Grand Master from Vancouver for 10 years. I learned medical qi gong (acupuncture without the needles). It changed the way I worked. I was able to tune into the more subtle energies in the body and it opened up a whole new world for me, as well as for clients. However, I still felt that something was missing; something was incomplete.
I was led to study Myofascial Release Massage Therapy from a world renowned Physical Therapist (physiotherapist) from the United States. He was able to articulate an understanding of the fascial system and how to treat fascial restrictions. This was 14 years ago, and to this day, I am amazed at the positive results for clients --- some who have had long-standing issues for years.
Fascia is tremendously strong and exerts well over 2000 pounds pressure per square inch (some studies now say 5000 pounds). When fascia becomes contracted/restricted from injury, trauma, posture, repetitive strain, scar tissue, it creates tremendous pressure, often resulting in pain and limited movement. Because fascia is so strong, you cannot expect to bring about structural changes through the use of force. Fascia responds to gentle holding and stretching – similar to holding putty in your hands and feeling it melt. It doesn’t have to hurt to work!
When I see new clients, often they will tell me that they want the treatment to be “hard and deep”, or that they can take a lot of pain, or to just dig in. Something just doesn’t add up. They’re coming for treatment to get rid of the pain (obviously something they don’t want), but somewhere along the line they’ve been sold a bill of goods that says that by inflicting more pain they’ll get rid of the pain --- (remember that old “no pain, no gain” mantra?). This just doesn’t make sense.
The sympathetic nervous system is stuck on “fight or flight” running at a high RPM – screaming pain, pain, pain. The body has forgotten what relaxed even feels like! Does it make sense to give one more pain? Consider if your computer has so many programs/apps running that it crashes. It freezes up. You’re not happy. What do you do? You turn it off; unplug and reboot --- getting rid of all those nasty little programs that have caused you pain. Myofascial therapy is gentle, allowing the nervous system to unplug, reboot and function with ease.
Additionally, the 3-dimensional approach to treating the fascial systems allows one to treat the root cause of the problem and not merely the symptoms. Where you feel the pain, isn’t always what’s causing the pain -- Myofascial therapy -- feel it locally, treat it globally!
Albert Einstein defines insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” When a child comes to you in pain, one doesn’t give them a swat to the head. How healing would that be? Let’s drop the “no pain, no gain” mantra and take note of Jesus’ healings which were grounded in gentleness. You are worthy of the same. Our bodies do their healing when at rest, not when your nervous system is stuck in the scream. Linda invites you to Simply Rest.
©2014 Linda Sangwine. . The views and opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the people, institutions or organizations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.
Illuminate your dark side
(don’t pretend you don’t have one)
by Wendy Weymann
Humans are complex characters, we all seem to have a dark side & light side. I’m always amazed in the midst of tragedies how there is always a massive outpouring of love. I’m also constantly amazed at the nastiness & meanness that some people (including myself) are capable of.
It happens to me all the time, I try to be nice, do the right thing and I really care about people but sometimes I find myself being truly mean-spirited & downright nasty.
When I catch myself slipping into my dark side I dig out this old Buddhist list:
5 methods to expelling evil thoughts
1. Distraction: get another wholesome thought, sometimes it’s helpful to think of the exact opposite thought ie: instead of thinking “I HATE that stupid b**ch” think “I LOVE that stupid b**ch” are you smiling yet?? It works.
2. Reflect on the misery of the thought: stopping to reflect on just how miserable you are & how much misery you are creating in your mind can be a huge wake up call. Usually when I get into a dark mood it sneaks up on me, whenever I stop & realize just how nasty I’m being it’s usually enough to shift out of it.
3. Ignore (pay no attention to these thoughts) I see nothing, I hear nothing, I am nothing!! What evil thought were you thinking about??? Lalalalalala.
4. Investigate: consider compound nature of thoughts. Go a little deeper & ask questions like “what triggered this” “why am I being so nasty?” whenever I go a little deeper I realize it’s usually because my feelings are hurt or I’m afraid and sometimes I realize something’s been bugging me for awhile & it’s finally time to deal with it. Other times I realize it’s something really simple like I’m tired, cold or hungry.
5. Suppress the thought, grit your teeth and white knuckle it. Discipline is needed for this one. Shut it down. Knock it off. Let it go. I notice that some people can really skilfully do this – I find it challenging (it takes practice).
After studying my own mind through meditation over the years I’ve noticed I always have a choice :: darkness or light.
If you’re stuck in the darkness, dig out the list, your inner light is waiting to shine (& the world wants to see your brilliance).
Read more of Wendy's articles HERE
The Struggles Within,
By Laura Sigurdson,
owner & teacher at Iron lotus Yoga, Mission BC We are all human and with being human we often make bad decisions, speak or act from a place of jealousy, hate or even anger. Does this make us bad people? Does this make us not spiritual? No, this makes us human.
The goal is not to be perfect, the goal is to be authentic and mindful. If we are able to reflect on our actions and know that they were not in line with our "truth" then we can, prevent the same thing from happening in the future and continue to grow and move forward on our spiritual path. Here is an old story that I like to reflect on when I have fallen of my path.
A Cherokee Legend, -Cherokee Mythology-
A long time ago there was an old Cherokee woman walking through the forest with her granddaughter. The old woman told her granddaughter that she was really struggling that day with how she was feeling. The granddaughter ask what was wrong.
The old Cherokee woman answered; "I feel as if there are two wolves fighting in my heart."
One wolf is; vengeful, anger and violent.
The other wolf is; loving, kind and compassionate.
The Granddaughter then asked; "What wolf is going to win?"
The old Cherokee woman replied; "The one I choose to feed today."
Everyday is a battle to feed the right emotions. Some days we feed the "good wolf" and other days we feed the "evil wolf". This is the inevitability of being human, but as long as we are aware that there are two wolves and that no matter what wolf we choose to feed in the moment we will always move forward on our spiritual path simply by, living with awareness, mindfulness and kindness.
What wolf have you been feeding today?
Light & Love, Laura Sigurdson
THE BEAUTY OF INDIA
By Laura Sigurdson, owner & teacher at Iron Lotus Yoga.
A month in India has taught me a lot and I would like to share some with you.
The beauty of India lies not within the landscapes but within the land it's self. There is a calmness and peacefulness that lies hidden under the chaos. It's an ancient energy that just vibrates along amongst the people. Within a city you'll find millions of people, cows, dogs, cars, bikes, rickshaws and the occasional camel crowding down a small two lane street. The most amazing part is the calmness within it. There is no yelling, pushing, fighting or road rage it just beats along at it's own pace.
India is the birth place of yoga but when I was exploring India there was little yoga to be visibly seen. As I continued my travels I sought out yoga and meditation and found some amazing teachers and students. What I came to realize is that the people of India have found a way to connect body, mind and spirit off the mat and to pull it into their every day lives. We as Canadian's have not yet been able to do this. We find that oneness of body, mind and spirit on the mat but have not yet found a way to keep it in our every day lives.
So for those of you who are practicing yoga on a regular basis I have a New Year's challenge for you.... try and cultivate the oneness of body, mind and spirit within your home, work, family and relationships. It becomes contagious and soon those around you will begin to change their reactions and actions! Good luck:)