Energize Your Mala

tiny-devotions-mala-beadsSpring is here and most of us have already embraced rejuvenating our minds, bodies and living spaces. There are also various ways you can energize and cleanse your mala. If you have been using your mala frequently all winter, the change of season is the perfect time to cleanse and energize it. Let’s fill that mala full of fresh light and energy!

Gemstones have been worn throughout history for their healing qualities. Each gemstone is believed to emit its own special vibration and healing energy. By placing your mala on a crystal grid with authentic gemstones, you are able activate and energize your mala. When setting up your crystal grid  there are some general tips that are helpful to follow.

1. Cleanse Your Environment
Smudge with sage, infuse some essential oils or light some incense.

2. Create a Sacred Space
Include something for each of the 5 senses. Here are some examples.
Smell: a scented candle.
Sound: put on a relaxing playlist.DSC_1068
Touch: your mala!
Sight: something from nature, such as a plant.
Taste: your favorite cup of tea.

3. Pick Up Your Gemstones
Hold them in your hand. Feel the positive energy they are vibrating. You are now ready to energize!

Place your Mala in the center of the grid and deeply focus on the intention you are currently manifesting. Arrange your gemstones pointing towards your Mala’s guru stone. Their vibration will amplify your Mala’s energy.

Happy energizing, manifesting + intention setting!

You Are…

tiny-devotions-mala-beads

How to Tell if You’re a Wanderlust Junkie

11084238_945101468863965_247673638103030383_n
1. You have a strong desire to travel the world.
2. Your soul longs for the open road.
3. Adventure is in your blood.
4. You always rock a mala.
5. Your intuition is your compass.
6. You have a travel journal.
7. You obsessively check festival lineups.
8. Your wrists are always stacked with crystals.
9. You own a floral crown.
10. The flowier the clothes, the shinier the soul.
11. You’d happily spend your life wandering the earth.
12. You love taking in new sights and sounds.
13. You have a bucket list (or 10).
14. You’re an explorer, a journeyer, a gypsy.

To help you get manifesting some wanderlust we’ve created and are gifting you the perfect Wanderlust Bucket List Worksheet. Click below to print.

Tiny Devotions Wanderlust Bucket List Worksheet

Boho-Chic Spring

tiny-devotions-mala-beadsI’m finally seeing hope for warmer weather and sunnier days! Spring time is much needed and I’m so happy it’s here now. How can you not be in a good mood with flowers blooming and sun shining? No more thick layers and having to bundle up every time we go outside!

Not only is the weather nicer, but the clothing choices are cuter! My pants have been replaced by flowy dresses and I’ve traded big coats for light open-stitched cardigans. They’re so refreshing and not to mention comfortable! It’s so much easier to throw on a cute little dress, a couple key accessories and be ready to go out for the day. My favorite dresses are ones with open or cut out backs. I think they add some unexpected detail to your look and a tasteful way to show a little skin. These types of dresses or tops are also perfect with lace bralettes. I’ve started to accumulate a collection of different colors and I am loving them! They’re dainty and the perfect item you for layering.

Long, open-stitched cardigans are the perfect touch to complete your spring boho-chic look. tiny-devotions-mala-beadsDuster styles that go all the way to your ankles are becoming more popular and a great contrast to a short dress. They’re also an essential item to transition your wardrobe into spring. It offers a little warmth but keeps you airy when you’re out enjoying a nice evening walk. Mostly they’re just really cute though. And a little fringe is always the right amount of fun.

There are so many opportunities to play around with fun colors and prints this spring. Floral is obvious but gingham, stripes, and tropical prints are also big this spring. Have fun experimenting with new looks this season!

I’m for sure breaking free from the dark colors from winter!

Written by Valerie Sanders. Valerie is a blogger and an apparel merchandising student. She is passionate about fashion, poetry, and her dog. Check out her blog here, and her Instagram here.

Getting Connected With The Chin Twins

tiny-devotions-mala-beadsWelcome to our Wednesday Chakra Series featuring yogis Cristen Barker & Kimberly Hise! Check out their Instagram page here.

Sacral Chakra:
The Sacral Chakra is located in the pelvic area and is associated with the water element and the color orange. The 2nd Chakra seeks pleasure and enjoyment; it is the center of our creativity and passion. This is where we feel and where we let go of emotions to create healthy relationships with others. When our Sacral Chakra is balanced we are present in our bodies and connected to our feelings. Yoga poses that help open your Sacral Chakra are hip openers and fluid dance like movements.

Yoga Poses:
Moon Salutations
Frog Pose
Revolved Triangle
Dancer Pose
Goddess Pose

Activities for the Sacral Chakra:tiny-devotions-mala-beads
Sex
Hula Hooping
Dancing
Swimming

Food for the Sacral Chakra:
Tropical Fruit, Passion fruit, Melons, Mango, Pineapple, Papaya, Oranges, Coconut and its oil, Flax seeds, Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish, Honey and Nuts.

Fashion:
Wearing the color Orange
Luxurious fabrics
Sensual clothing
Anything that makes you feel sexy

Oils:
Ylang Ylang and sandalwood both act as an aphrodisiac to aid in our sexual and reproductive energies.

Herbs:
St. John’s Wort
Marshmallow Root
Schisandra Berry
Red Raspberry Leaf
Hops

Affirmation:
“I allow myself to feel and experience plea­sure. I am a sensual being. I embrace and celebrate my sexuality. I love and nurture myself. I embrace change. I am a part of the creation of the universe.”

Ritualize Your Life!

Running trainings and workshops in various cities means it’s not uncommon for me to go weeks without a day off. Training schedules vary, and when you’re working with the public in such a capacity, you’re working when people can afford to play. I have to make a special effort to bring a sense of rhythm and routine to my life, otherwise the variance would unground and fluster me.

tiny-devotions-mala-beadsI’m grateful for the opportunity to devote my life to work I find meaningful, and I know I mean a lot to the students who practice with me. One devoted, elderly student popped by one studio to let me know that she’d be in Florida for the remainder of the winter, adding that “because of my age, I just didn’t want to leave you wondering!” Her morbid little joke prompted a laugh and a hug, but like all jokes, there were some truth in her words. If she were to abruptly stop coming, I would wonder where she was – we always count on seeing one another every Thursday morning. For all my wandering, Thursday mornings are usually with Diana, Carol, Anne, Ann, Jessica, Phil, Elizabeth….

I feel that the rising popularity of yoga studios is in part due to the void left unfulfilled for those without a religious institution to provide community and ritual. I know yoga teachers who have officiated weddings for their students, and like religion, many people turn back to the practice when going through one of life’s ruptures or require some facilitated introspection. Yoga teachers offer a routinized form of self-care – physical wellness, stress reduction, a spiritual practice, and connection to others; a sense of belonging. We are all craving to be a part of something, to go somewhere and be recognized as a valued contributor.

Rituals are habits that fulfill a deeply felt need; they tether us to the present

Photo by: Brianne W Stewart

Photo by: Brianne W Stewart

moment in their enactment and the passing of time in reflection on them. Should we get married, we stand in front of our community to introduce our chosen life partner. Before we give birth, we attend showers to receive wisdom and celebrate new life. Rituals draw on gestures, symbols, words and poetry, food and drink, design, embodiment, costume, as well as subtler elements, like the focus of thought and energy or evoking of particular emotions. They require thoughtfulness, a prescribed commitment to their enactment just so. Rituals heighten our sensory perception and reconnect us with our divine nature.

Spirituality is proven to be good for your health – both longevity and quality of life, and resistance to illness. It’s also good for your financial wellness, since our culture has an answer for our many perceived lacks: buy the thing! Actually, buy all of the things! Ritualizing your life can help you feel a deeper satisfaction with the life and things you have, alleviate anxiety and offer you a sensual experience of your daily life.

Here are my favourite ways to ritualize your life. I recommend starting with one or two, because ritual requires organization and commitment, it’s best to build confidence in change by keeping promises to yourself. That’s easier when you’ve chosen just a few realistic goals.

  • Take a deep breath before speaking. Give yourself a moment of reflection before you share your words, so they come from a place of clarity and confidence. Develop a reputation as reflective and thoughtful.
  • Moisturize with loving attention. I like to dry brush my skin before a warm shower to wash off my day, and then I moisturize with sweet almond oil and added essential oil to suit my needs. Whatever the products you use, put them on with the sweetness and attention you receive at the spa.
  • When you eat your food, just eat your food. Without television, texts or phone calls, eat your food with appreciation for what it offers you and the many hands that worked to bring it to you. Pay attention to it and the other people sharing your meal.
  • Commit to no screens an hour before bed. Decrease stimulation and promote restful sleep by appealing to your circadian rhythms and putting away your devices. Light candles for your bedtime routine and shut off as many lights as you can function without. I like to read books completely unrelated to yoga at bedtime so it doesn’t feel like work.
  • Ritualize your stuff – have fewer, more meaningful things. I’m a big fan of things, but my preference is to have reliable go-tos with good associations. Fewer things require fewer decisions, which reduces your stress load so you can pay better attention to more important things.
  • Take care of the stuff you have. Make it feel special. Pull on your socks nicely before you put your feet in your boots. Fold up your pyjamas and make your bed every morning. Clean your makeup brushes. Have somewhere you hang or tuck away your mala. Organize your space for clarity to promote mental clarity. Make cleaning a peaceful meditation in itself by putting away your phone and playing music that speaks to you.
  • Meditate. Start with five minutes or one of the numerous guided meditations available online. All you need to do is sit and observe your breath. You could even simply sit up in bed and count your breaths to 30 before you start your day.
  • Enroll in a class. Many yoga studios operate on a drop-in basis, but commit to a class (yoga or otherwise) that you attend weekly. You could write it into your calendar and treat it as a promise to yourself. Invite friends. Reliably show up for your wellness.
  • Learn the names of the people who provide you your goods. Whether it’s coffee or groceries, make connections with the people where you buy the supplies for your life.
  • Do one thing at a time. Give up on multi-tasking. Be more effective by saying no to many things and enthusiastically saying yes to some. Be fully present in all that you do.
  • Plan one day a month to dive into something you love. Learn hand lettering. Organize a monthly brunch potluck. Volunteer with an organization. Write letters to your elderly relatives. Scrapbook. Get out to the woods. Attend a meditation seminar, master a new recipe or go trampolining. Give yourself something to look forward to every month that satisfies your soul.
  • Have something you do every year. Whether it’s a yoga festival or an annual dinner party, a trip or a staycation, accumulating years of memories associated to one event or place can create a warm nostalgia and gratitude.
  • Journal before bed. Consider starting a gratitude journal – just write down three things every night before bed that you’re grateful for.
  • Make a cup of tea when you ­­­­do emails. Choose your favourite tea and your favourite mug. Make the cup of tea to perfection, and sit down to your task with a mug of coziness.
  • Cook the same thing for one occasion every year. For my birthday, I make a coconut cake. For my partner’s birthday, I make his favourite stew. Reliably, once a year, we know what’s going on the table. Food is a powerful connector.
  • Call your mother every Sunday evening. Commit to making a connection for a weekly update, even if it’s just a few minutes to remind her how much you love her.

Start something, and if it lapses, start again. With the hyper stimulated lives we lead, sometimes we just need to pare down and tune in to experience our many blessings. Happy ritualizing!

Written by Kathryn Flynn. Kathryn Flynn is a smart, warm and occasionally humourous yoga teacher who lives in Ottawa, Canada and teaches everywhere that wants to learn her researched and passionate approach to all levels vinyasa yoga, movement, and meditation. Visit her at intelligent edge yoga or on Facebook for event dates, writing, and online yoga practices.

Live Better, Live Beautiful

With spring almost in full bloom, it’s time to depart our dens of hibernation and emerge back in to the world of light. This bright season is all about beautiful living, new beginnings, and growth. So with this in mind, consider putting ambition, optimism and yourself first and foremost, in the pursuit of a more enriching and enjoyable life.

Here’s 5 ways to live better and live beautiful:

1. Aspire

As the saying goes, “where there’s a will there’s a way”. Spring is symbolic of new life and it’s the perfect time to start putting your aspirations (old or new) high on the personal agenda. Make a list of what you would like to achieve, or things you aim to do or even change. Nothing is impossible, so dare to dream big.

tiny-devotions-mala-beads

Photo by: True Food Love

2. Love your body, love your soul

All that winter comfort eating has probably left you feeling under the weather, so now’s the time to reform your lifestyle by kicking any bad habits. Make new ones promoting personal fitness, like taking up an activity to get you moving, motivated, and feeling invigorated. Remember, sensible eating is also important. Turn your focus to a clean and green diet. Your insides will thank you and the environment will too.

3. Escape

In a perfect world, every day would be a holiday. But in reality, we need to make and take time to escape from the world. A breath of fresh outdoor air or even a glimpse of relaxing scenery can make all the difference to a person’s spirit and state of mind. Incorporate a regular outing in to your routine. It could be a stroll in the park, a trek in the mountains, or something further afield like a holiday abroad! Forget your worries, switch off, and use this time to cleanse your soul.

11049378_443268785839317_1303820740_n

Photo by: Talia Sutra

4. Simplify your space

There’s nothing like interior chaos to affect the clarity of your head. As a personal sanctuary, your home should be a place to relax. Focus on ways to make this space more uplifting, like removing clutter, adding fresh blooms, or even repainting the walls with softer hues for less visual impact. Don’t forget your workplace either. A cluttered desk could also mean a cluttered mind.

5. Live the little things 

Quite often we’re so caught up in our busy lives that we forget to take time out to savour those little things in life. When was the last time you watched the sunrise, wrote a handwritten letter to a dear friend, or spent a whole morning curled up with a good book and pot of tea? Make time for those comforting and enjoyable moments but most of all ensure that they don’t pass you by.

Written by Shantelle Rodman. Shantelle is a travel and lifestyle blogger with a penchant for continent hopping and simplistic interior styling. Take a look at her blog here and follow her Instagram here

f.r.i.e.n.d.s

tiny-devotions-mala-beads

10 Ways to Love Yourself + Receive a Gifted I Am Love Worksheet

tiny-devotions-mala-beads

Photo by: @yourcloud

1. Schedule time for you.

2. Get organized.

3. See your friends more often.

4. Treat yourself! Small luxury counts.

5. Logout + get into nature.

6. Read lots of books.

7. Take long walks.

8. Pick up a new hobby.

9. Make art.

10. Go after your dreams!

To help you practice self-love we have created and are gifting the perfect I Am Love Worksheet. Click below to print!

Tiny Devotions I Am Love Worksheet

 

Mindful Meals: Why You Should Bring Good Vibes to the Dinner Table

IMG_0204“Lets get together for coffee and talk”; “Why don’t we go for a quick bite to eat and figure this out”; or “We’ll talk about this issue over dinner”. Strangely enough, North Americans have decided that reconciling our issues or bringing up new concerns is an appropriate thing to do over food. But the timing for this couldn’t be more off…

Do you ever notice when you’re nervous about something that all of a sudden you have to run to the washroom? Or when you are truly stressed out or anxious you totally lose your otherwise ravishing appetite? It’s not a coincidence, our bodies do this for good reason; it’s our physiology. We cannot have a nervous response and digest food at the same time – it’s not physically possible. Our bodies function in one of two ways: ‘fight or flight’ or ‘rest and digest’.

In fight or flight, our sympathetic nervous system responds to stress in the following ways: increased heart rate, increased blood pressure and blood sugar. Blood, oxygen and nutrients are shunted to the periphery and muscles to mobilize most of our energy rapidly, in order to cope with threats of survival (or a perceived threat; an intense conversation or argument for example). During fight or flight, digestion gets put on the back burner, and the body tries to simply avoid, or get rid of any undigested food.

While we are in rest and digest however, our digestive system is happy! Our energies are focused on the gut, so we can properly break down, assimilate, and eliminate our food. This is the biological opposite of fight or flight. Here, the parasympathetic activity dominates, and the body performs healing, regeneration and detoxification. Now it’s time to eat.

Arranging a heated discussion over food or drink really just isn’t a good idea. It can massively disrupt digestion, which frankly, can only make matters worse ;). Secondly, we are definitely not being mindful of our food if we’re having an upsetting chat while we eat. Many of us don’t even bring our attention to tasting or chewing our food let alone put our forks down between bites. The first step to improving digestion, and probably the outcome of our arguments, is to separate the two actions completely.

So the next time you find yourself in a disagreement, with let’s say your boyfriend or a family member, don’t suggest meeting up for a coffee to mend things. (Btw, according to Ayurveda, drinking warm beverages can promote anger or further inflame certain situations… so if you sense a heated convo coming on, offer a cold beverage to balance things out instead). Plan your meetings and confrontations away from meals. This will avoid unwanted indigestion, your mind will be clear, and the whole body will be hampered with one less area of exertion.

laura01-3Laura Eansor, RRT, CNP is a Holistic Lifestyle Mentor and Power Foodie who’s mission is clear and simple; it is to help each individual find their own unique balance. Her intention is to give you the tools you need to move steadily forward with your life, bettering yourself every single day, radiating such a powerful glow that those around you want to achieve the same. She envisions a holistic health movement, where we inspire one another to love ourselves first, and at the same time, put our energies toward making our planet all that it can be. Check out her website here or find her on Instagram here.