The Mind Whirlpool—and How to Calm the Waves

The Mind Whirlpool—and How to Calm the Waves

“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.”

The mind.  It can be a calm ocean of happiness and peace or it can be a whirlpool, dangerous and just plain scary.  Our minds are often bombarded with many thoughts that must be controlled.   There’s no limit to what we as humans can accomplish, but that darn mind…..it’s not always pleasant.

The sanskrit term for the conscious mind is Citta and the mind chatter, also known as the monkey mind, is called Vrtti.

So yoga citta vritti nirodha translates to yoga stops, or stills the mind fluctuations. Ta-da!

According to The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (one of the most revered and important yoga texts)

“Yoga is the control of the modifications (gross and subtle thought patterns) of the mind field.”

These thought patterns come in 5 different forms:

  1. Valid Cognition (Pramana) right knowledge, valid proof, seeing clearly
  2. Misconception (Viparyaya) false knowledge
  3. Imagination (Vikalpa), delusion
  4. Sleep (Nidra) dreamless sleep
  5. Memory (Smriti) remembering

Thoughts can be painful, or pleasant.  If I received a dollar for every negative thought that entered my mind, I’d be a very rich woman.  Sometimes certain events can trigger these thoughts, and sometimes there really is something bad happening in your life and it can be hard to escape these thoughts.  When I look back on the past, sometimes I allow that emotional pain to come back into the present.  It’s normal to feel this way, but these thoughts must be neutralized.

How do we neutralize the mind?

There must be a deep devotion to practice yoga (including all 8 limbs) on a daily basis.  Sometimes it can be difficult when life gets in the way.  Work demands, school, raising children and family life, can really limit our free time.  Somehow, yoga must be worked into our schedule because the effects of not practicing can cause a ripple of effects.

According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, 1.21

“Those who pursue their practices with intensity of feeling, vigor, and firm conviction achieve concentration and the fruits thereof more quickly, compared to those of medium or lesser intensity.”
(tivra samvega asannah)

Meditate

How many of us have practiced yoga and then skipped Savasana?  It’s a shame, but I can admit to doing this on several occasions.  Naturally after a good yoga practice, our body is relaxed from all the endorphins and it’s easy to say, “I’m done!” Um no.  Meditation must be performed for a few minutes before practice or afterwards.  Skipping meditation is like skipping dinner and going straight for a bowl of ice cream.  Okay, maybe not the best analogy but you know what I mean.  You’re not getting the nutrients you need to flourish!

Filter the Noise

When we understand the classifications of our thoughts, we can filter out what’s helpful and what’s harmful.  Negative thoughts can quickly be sent back where they came from.  Positive is what allows us to thrive and reach our goals and aspirations.  Those are the thoughts that should be acknowledged and focused on.  Thoughts like “I can’t do this.” or “I’m not good enough.” must be tossed into the fire.  In addition, negativity from other people must not be tolerated.   We have to replace these with  “I can and will do this.”  “I will succeed.” etc.

Breathe

Have you ever been stressed about something, and let out a long, deep sigh and felt better?  Prana is life force energy.  We can’t live without breathing.  Taking a long, slow deep breath and then exhaling slowly revitalizes us.  It’s also super important when practicing yoga.  When you have controlled breath, you perform poses more graceful and at ease.  When negative thoughts enter your mind.  Close your eyes.  Focus on your breath.  Calm the waves.

‘Every breath you take, Every move you make, I’ll be watching you.’  Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Thank you so much for reading.  Please like and share this with friends!  Namaste.

 

 

 

5 Secrets to Activate your Third Eye for Clarity and Wisdom

5 Secrets to Activate your Third Eye for Clarity and Wisdom

“A quiet mind is able to hear intuition over fear.” -Unknown

The Ajna (which means command or summoning in Sanskrit) Chakra is the 6th primary chakra in the body, located in the center of the brain between the brow in the pineal gland. The pineal gland, most commonly referred to as the Third Eye, is a tiny pine comb shaped endocrine gland that produces melatonin, and regulates our sleep patterns.

The third eye is met with much skepticism, with many people believing the metaphysical and spiritual benefits are just occult mysticism, or pseudoscience.  The third eye has been known for thousands of years and has a history in many cultures all over the world.

The benefits of an open third is a heightened sense of clarity, concentration, intuition, consciousness, and spiritual enlightenment.

Unfortunately, many of us have a blocked Ajna (Third Eye) Chakra.  Listed below are 5 ways to activate this amazing psychic energy.

Raw Cacao Powder

Cacao powder was much desired by the Ancient Mayans and Aztecs and used to make spicy, chocolate drinks.  Cacao comes from the Theobroma Cacao fruit tree, which translates to “food for the gods”, is an evergreen tree in the family Malvaceae, native to the deep tropical regions of the Americas.

Raw organic Cacao powder has many benefits but should not be confused with cocoa powder (which is more processed and sweeter).  Cacao powder has a bitter taste, contains more nutrients and is fermented and heated at a lower temperature.

Cacao powder is a natural antioxidant that prevents premature aging, boosts vitality, and improves mood.  Cacao powder is ideal for activating your third eye because of its richness in antioxidants.  Cacao Powder contains Antioxidants such as Flavonoids that protect your cells and brain against the harmful effects of free radicals.

Balasana/ Child’s Pose

Balasana is a resting pose that’s very relaxing, soothing, that alleviates stress, and is a mild spinal stretch.  You’re forehead rests on the earth, and this is very calming on the brain and nervous system.  You can stretch your arms out in front of you or stretch them behind you.  Relax and stimulate your third eye in this pose!

Reishi Mushroom

Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi) is a medicinal mushroom that has been used for over 2,000 years. In Chinese, the name Lingzhi is known as the “herb of spiritual potency,” symbolizing success, well-being, divine power, and longevity.  Reishi really boosts the immune system, and is considered a superfood due to its high antioxidant content. Reishi is usually consumed as a powder to add to a beverage, dietary supplements, or tea.

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Eating fruits and vegetables is absolutely vital to a healthy immune system.  They are the source of many nutrients, low-in fat, and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes.  When we eat fast food, unhealthy snacks, and processed foods, we introduce harmful toxins that prevent our third eye from opening.  Highly acidic foods, meat, alcohol, even fluoride found in water calcify our third eye, so eat plenty of leafy greens!

Balanced Chakras

According to ancient Hindu tradition, when our chakras are aligned, healing energy is able to pass freely from one chakra to the next.  When our Chakras are aligned, were happy, healthy, content, and at peace. Practicing yoga is an effective technique for a healthy overall wellbeing. Through yoga, we’re able to assess our body and heal emotional turmoil.

Reiki is a form of alternative medicine developed in 1922 by Mikao Usui. Reiki is comprised of two words Japanese words, Rei- “God’s wisdom or the Higher Power” and Kei- “life force energy”.

Reiki is an energy transfer by “laying on hands”. This method has been used to treat for hundreds of years to treat illnesses and reduce pain. It can be performed by a trained reiki master or you can try it yourself. Balanced chakras also mean that the energy from your Ajna chakra is able to flow freely to the 7th and final Crown (Sahasrara) chakra.

Namaste.

Is Yoga Evil and Demonic?

Is Yoga Evil and Demonic?
“I looked in temples, churches, and mosques. But I found the divine within my heart.”
-Rumi

As a black woman who grew up in the south, it’s rather unusual to deem yourself non-religious and just spiritual.  My parents raised me to be a free thinker and religion was never something that was forced upon me.

When I first began practicing yoga, a friend of mind, who is Christian, stated she did not like meditation.  She quoted the popular saying; “The idle mind is the devils’ workshop.”  In response I said that meditation was similar to prayer, except words are not spoken.  To be honest, it was a futile attempt, and the last thing I wanted to do was offend her.

Continue reading “Is Yoga Evil and Demonic?”