Mantra Meditation Inspiration: Part Two

Last week we announced our 14 Day Mantra Meditation practice. This is part two of our three part series featuring Namaste teachers and the mantras they use to keep themselves feeling grounded and empowered. If you are just picking your own mantra or affirmation now – no worries! You can join in the fun at any time. The prize is the same: feeling more present, engaged, and in love with your self.

Elika Aird

Catch Elika this Wednesday for her 30 Days to Thrive mini-immersion co-led with Naushon Kabat-Zinn.

View Elika’s weekly yoga class schedule.

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Margi Young

Margi Young

My favorite mantra that I made up!

“What if this was savasana?”
(like during a hard pose, or a hard conversation, or listening to the news)

 

Another way of saying this would be:
“Can i rest in every moment?”

 

 

Sparkle Thornton

Sparkle Thornton

My personal theme for 2017  is Upgrade to Thrive. My personal mantras/affirmations can be condensed to this:

My 4 agreements for art and career in 2017:
my career is prosperous
my health is abundant
my creativity is endless
my life has direction
 
I say this often as I close my practice or meditations. See Sparkle’s weekly yoga class schedule or book a massage!
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How to Create Your Mantra:

Think about what you personally need to hear. Often Mantras begin as affirmations, “I am, I choose to be, I believe…” Mantras are statements, not questions, that enforce a value or belief about ourselves and the world.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and here of course for inspiration all month long. 

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Be Epic: 5 Workshops to Fuel Your Power

 This month our studio focus is:

Honoring Your Epic-ness.

We are choosing 2017 as the Year of Empowerment. There is an unprecedented amount of trauma and change happening in our communities here and throughout the world. We believe our practice is our power. It holds the key to understanding, strength, and the grace to use our own powers to serve the best good. We’ve chosen the word empowered because it is time for us all to tap into our wells of wisdom. We need balance and perspective more than ever. Workshops are a great way to deepen your practice. They can provide juice to fuel you through your weekly routines.

We’ve hand picked the workshops we believe will help you activate your practice and feel your most epic:

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Awaken Your Creativity with Jerry Givens

Start your year off right by using your yoga practice to dive into your creative side! Train your mind to be more creative, learn the true source of creative blocks and how to overcome them, and discover the inherent connection between creativity and your yoga practice.

Jerry walks you through creative theory through the lens of classical yoga and meditation, drawing real-world examples and practices as you awaken your hidden creative potential.

Date: Jan 14, 2017 From: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM Location: Rockridge

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Goal Setting and Prosperity 2017with Cherie Carson

We will look at the roles of self-worth, empowerment and releasing negativity play in prosperity.

Studies by Russian molecular biologists have proven that when you speak the right words, in the right way, your DNA rearranges itself for the better. The traits that make you successful – like perseverance and self-confidence – become dramatically amplified. Wealth-destroying habits like fear, procrastination and greed, disappear. Learn the yogic approach to asanas, to meditations, to chanting that open you to your ‘Prosperity DNA’.

Sat Date: Jan 14, 2017 From: 1:00 PM – 3:30 PM Location: Berkeley

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30 Days to Thrive with Naushon Kabat-Zinn and Elika Aird

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
~ Maya Angelou

Challenge yourself to THRIVE with 30 days of dedicated practice. We will use the tools of yoga, meditation, nutrition, self-care, self-reflection and mindfulness to deepen our awareness and create space for healthy personal growth. We will also have fun in the process as we support one another on this journey of not just surviving but THRIVING!

Wed Date: Jan 18, 2017 – Feb 15, 2017 From: 7:30 PM – 9:15 PM Location: Rockridge

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Softness and Strength: Ashtanga Extended Practice

New monthly extended practice with Ava, designed for a dedicated group to ‘go deeper’. We will begin this two hour session with seated meditation and gentle preparation poses, followed by the ashtanga primary series. After completing the finishing inversions, we will shift into deep hip, heart and shoulder openers and longer held yin postures.

In this extended session, we will practice softening into intensity, seeking ease and deep release as well as building strength, stamina, and focus.

Three Sundays: January 22, February 26, April 30
Price: $25 single session, $65 for all 3

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Press Resetwith Sadie Chanlett-Avery

Weaving together therapeutic movement, asana, and fitness training, this class dissolves the everyday toll on the body. We will flush out shoulder stress and unravel the hips, as we release the breath and reboot the core.With over 12 years of yoga and fitness experience, Sadie challenges and invigorates students of all levels. Leave this 2-hour class feeling worked out, relaxed, and energized.

Sat Date: Jan 28, 2017 From: 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Location: Rockridge

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Mantra Meditation Inspiration: Part One

Today is the day! Our community is ready to put our 14 Day Mantra Meditation practice into action. If you’re still seeking some inspiration, no stress – we’ve got you covered. We asked our Namaste teachers to share with us mantras they are currently using to live a stronger, fuller life. We’ll be sharing these as the challenge progresses over the next two weeks. To get started, here is part one of three inspiring posts full of wisdom straight from the mouths of our Namaste teachers:

Jill Lindsay White

My favorite mantra is Ong Namo Guru Dav Namo.  Translated as: I bow to the creative energy of the infinite, I bow to the divine channel of wisdom.
I sing this to myself whenever I need a little boost.

 

Catch Jill teaching Therapeutic Yoga Thursdays 4:30-5:45 PM and Saturdays 8:30-9:45 AM at Namaste Rockridge. And for our Grand Lake students, don’t miss her Fridays 10:00-11:30 AM! squiggle-line

Kameko 11Kameko Shibata

atha yoga-anushasanam ||1||

अथ योगानुशासनम् ॥१॥

atha yoga-anuśāsanam ॥1॥

“now, begins the exploration of yoga. ”

This is the first sutra of the yoga sutras. I have been chanting it in class with my students as the year begins. Discussing the symbolism of “atha” that auspicious “now”. “Now is the beginning, the “atha” is the bija or seed mantra to that whole sutra. Each time we get distracted and we forget our place, our breath, our way, on and off the mat, we can use “atha”, “now” I realize and begin again.

Yoga is non-judgmental.

She is always ready to take us back, to let us begin again and again.

In India my teachers always say,”Asana is for the body, pranayama for the breath and mantra for the mind”

That’s all to say, I’m all about the power of mantra. and often have students use “om” chanting and moving!

Catch Kameko Tuesday’s and Thursday’s at Namaste Grand Lake for 7:00-8:00 AM Morning Vinyasa!squiggle-line

Domonick WegesinDomonick Wegesin

I like the mantra “So Ham”.  Sanskrit phrase meaning “I Am That”. “I Am” signifies individual consciousness and “That” signifies Universal Consciousness.  Anything you see in the world is a reflection of universal consciousness.  The mantra helps the individual, small self, identify with all that is.

It also serves as a reminder that everything we witness in the world, whether pleasant or unpleasant, judged positively or negatively, is within us.   

It’s easy to judge others for their shortcomings, greed, hate, etc., but So Ham reminds us that we have those traits in us too, that we sometimes act from greed and hate.  It cultivates connection rather than separation.

Don’t miss a chance to practice with Domonick!  Mondays/Wednesdays 4:30-5:50 PM Hatha at Namaste Rockridge, 8:15-9:15 AM Pranayama and 9:30-11:00 AM Hatha at Namaste Grand Lake, and 9:30-10:50 AM Saturdays at Namaste Rockridge.

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my-mantra-example

 

How to Create Your Mantra:

Think about what you personally need to hear. Often Mantras begin as affirmations, “I am, I choose to be, I believe…” Mantras are statements, not questions, that enforce a value or belief about ourselves and the world.

 

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and here of course for inspiration all month long. 

Please follow and like us:
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Honor Your Epic-ness: 14 Day Mantra Meditation

Last week we launched our Year of Empowerment campaign catalyzing a new 12 month journey of community exploration into living an empowered life.

As promised, we’re ready for our first community practice of the year!

JANUARY’S FOCUS:

14 Day Mantra Meditation Challenge aimed at Honoring YOUR Epic-ness.

We’re sure you’ve noticed the flood of New Year, New You messages coming in hot from every corner of the web. Instead of worrying about what we want to change, we felt it was more important to notice the things we already LOVE about ourselves.

If we can’t honor the amazing parts of ourself – how will we be able to see with clear eyes what really needs to shift?

Let the anxiety of resolutions melt away into a month focused on simply honoring the beautiful, capable person you already are.

A practice that is helpful in boosting self-confidence and solidifying our feelings of inner epic-ness is the use of daily mantras. Mantras are powerful tools leveraging language to shape our consciousness. A mantra can be used in morning meditation, at the beginning or end of a practice, or even throughout the day during difficult or uninspired moments.

my-mantra-example

 

How to Create Your Mantra:

Think about what you personally need to hear. Often Mantras begin as affirmations, “I am, I choose to be, I believe…” Mantras are statements, not questions, that enforce a value or belief about ourselves and the world.

 

 

Think about the fact that YOUR narrative is what plays as the soundtrack to your life, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We’re pretty sure no one actively chooses mantras like “I am so behind” or “I messed up again” – but these are the thoughts we get stuck with more often than not.

Together, let’s begin changing our narrative to help manifest a story of heroic proportions.

Beginning THIS Wednesday, January 11th until Wednesday, January 25th 

we’re asking you to pick a sentence, a word, or a phrase that makes you feel strong, loved, and in control of your own story.

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Here is how we want to support you:

  1. Pick up your personal Mantra Meditation card at the front desk on your next visit. Write your personal mantra on the card and keep close for reflection.
  2. Join our community Facebook group, Year of Empowerment Club  for weekly tips and journal prompts.
  3. Keep up with us on the blog, Instagram, and Facebook where we’ll be sharing tips and mantras from your favorite Namaste teachers.

We are excited to share in this collective experience. Cheers to a strong, loving, and EPIC beginning to 2017.

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On Sound Healing

I recently attended Sound Healing with Missy Felsenstein, which I can describe as being on an auditory journey into space. I thought it would be a restful, relaxing experience – but have to admit there were moments of unrest mixed in there for me. Still, i think it is an experience not to be missed! We all need to practice being more restful, and that is the whole point of the exercise.

It did make me wonder — how does it work?

According to current research, the vibrations of sound in various frequencies cause the brain waves to slow down and you start to move into Alpha brainwaves. This state of being is a state of relaxation, a restful place. If you have old injuries, you might feel some tingling in those areas. Once you become more practiced, it is possible that the sound might move you into the Theta brainwave state – this is one which is meditative, and which lives between awake and asleep.

Since no one processes sound in the same way, how this state feels to you and the experience you have will be different than the person next to you.

I found that I moved in and out of the Alpha state of relaxation. But when I would waken to reality, I couldn’t tell you where I had been. It didn’t feel like I had been asleep – it felt like my mind had been doing something – thinking thoughts or travelling down some path, or following the sounds as thought they were a path of footprints — but it was all lost to me when I would become aware of where I was.

Concentrating on sound helps to retrain your nervous system and your brain to learn how to relax. Here’s a tiny snippet of the experience. It’s big and booming, because the planetary gong Uranus was there, so go easy on the volume while you lay in a restful pose and take this auditory experience in.

Join Missy for her next Sound Healing with Restorative Yoga on Sunday, November 13. Sign up here!

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Voting as an Act of Love

Voting as an Act of Love

By Eliza Andrews Richmond

We can agree that the energy surrounding this turbulent election has brought a lot of suffering to our country, and most of the people in it. The passion felt by all parties and constituents has divided our nation into radical and polarizing extremes. In times like these it can be difficult to remain open to the feelings of others, particularly those on the other side of the issues. Now, more than ever, it is important to practice the principles of yoga off the mat: to practice non-violence, forgiveness, and compassion in the face of fear. After All, the purest metric of peace in our lives is how kindly we can speak to those with whom we do not agree.

Everyday, His Holiness the Dalai Lama practices a form of meditation known as Tonglen or “sending and receiving.” Similar to the practice of Metta from the Theravada Buddhist tradition, Tonglen is a way to make peace with suffering and open up to compassion. As you prepare to vote this Tuesday, I invite you to share this Tonglen practice with me:

 

  1. Begin in a comfortable shape, with your spine long, and both hands on your heart. Allow your breath to slow down and deepen. Closing your eyes, begin to feel into the center of deeper wisdom within you: the part of your being that is of knowing rather than thinking. Begin to imagine, as clearly as you can, that you are seated together with everyone who will vote this Tuesday. Though this may be challenging, try to see the faces of people who you disagree with compassionately.
  2. On every inhale, breathe in the suffering of yourself and other voters, brought on by this election. Breathe in the fear of the unknown: the results of the general election, and the effect you anticipate. Breathe in the anger you are feeling over the issues that have been brought up. Breathe in every kind of suffering that you are feeling, knowing others in this country who are feeling it too (including those who will vote for what you fear). Breathe it all in, but also breathe in the longing that we all have to feel safe, happy and free.
  3. On every exhale, send peace into your being, send it to your loved ones who are feeling this suffering, those in the nation who are feeling it, and those beyond our national borders. Breathe out loving-kindness for every being, everywhere who feels fear, anger, divisiveness, and intolerance. Breathe out the strength and wisdom to see one another fully in compassion, loving-kindness, and peace.
  4. Practice this for a few minutes a day, and notice how you regard one another. When you are triggered by something on the news, something you overhear on the street, or you are debating with a friend, take a breath, and let this practice help you find peaceful ground.

Whether or not this practice works to fix the world is something we can’t know, but what it will help us to see is the basic goodness of one another. If we are able to see that then maybe our votes won’t simply be an expression of our personal agendas, but a reflection of the love we have for our country and those who live beside us in it.  In the words of Marie Curie: “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

1013027_475474802545693_1117117261_nEliza Andrews Richmond is Namaste Berkeley Manager, a yoga teacher, an avid adventurer, and an all around amazing gal.
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10 Minute Morning “Primer” for Gratitude

A common myth around meditation is that there is a right and wrong way to approach it. Often we believe we must sit perfectly still in order to reap the full benefits of the practice. The truth is, mindfulness can lead to similar results and may appease some of us who are just too energized to sit and focus on one thought (or lack of thought). We first heard of the gratitude meditation, or morning priming exercise, from the motivational speaker Tony Robbins. Here is our suggestion for how you can get started!10 Minute Morning Gratitude Meditation

End your meditation practice by honoring yourself for taking the time out of your day to tune in. A healthy, clear you is what helps makes this world a better place.

[Photos taken from our friend Alaia at Localwise Jobs]

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The Collective Tarot: The High Priestess

“Acknowledge the Shadows”

From the Wild Unknown Tarot

The High Priestess reminds us to take our moment of stillness and look calmly at all that lays before us. Perhaps this manifests as ten minutes of quiet sitting in meditation. Let there be some un-doing this week. A mantra to repeat: May I see clearly.

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