Dropping The F Bomb: Forgiveness

I am going through a tough time in my life, and lately forgiveness has been on my mind. A person I loved has wronged me. I have now reached a point in my healing where I am just plain sick of feeling angry, hurt and defensive. I now know it’s time for me to release this person energetically. To move on. To truly embody what my mala represents; love and inner peace.

“Do you want a quietness that cannot be disturbed? A gentleness that never can be hurt? A deep abiding comfort and rest so perfect it can never be upset? All this, forgiveness offers you, and more”   – A Course in Miracles

How awesome does this sound? Forgiveness is transformative beyond our wildest dreams.

Hold onto your coconut oil ladies: here is my breakdown of seven things you must consider in order to embrace forgiveness.

tiny-devotions-mala-beads1. A Lack of Forgiveness is Fear:
Fear manifests as anger, resentment, judgment and anxiety. Forgiveness is love, and love manifests as a feeling of deep inner peace, acceptance, joy, and connectedness. This is why forgiveness rocks and withholding it doesn’t make us feel so good.

2. The Who:
Clearly identify who you need to forgive and why. This can be tough: we often struggle to own our actions and words, and admit when we have deviated from love. What role have you played in this perceived transgression? Do you need to forgive yourself as well as the other person?

3. The Why:
Remember why you want to forgive. I have often mistakenly felt that by forgiving I am somehow condoning what this person did to me. By forgiving you are not saying that what the other person did is justified; you are simply cutting the cord of negative energy that binds you to that person and the events that took place. Forgiveness is making the decision that you would rather be happy than right.

4. Be Willing:
All you need do is be willing to forgive. It can be hard to say, “I am totally ready to forgive this person”, because we harbour fear-based attachments to what they have done to us; we don’t feel ready to let go. So, instead of waiting for a divine intervention (although those happen too!), simply assert throughout the day/in your prayers “I am willing to forgive and release (insert name)”. This statement/prayer shows the Universe you are open to the freedom forgiveness will bring; that you are ready to be guided and to learn what forgiveness feels like.

5. Have Compassion:
Know that the person you wish to forgive is struggling too. This person is on his or her own unique spiritual journey, just like you. And just like you, they sometimes choose fear-based thoughts and actions over loving ones. That old saying “hurt people hurt people” is true. Although it may be difficult, have some compassion for their struggle. This does not mean that you condone what they have done; it simply means your forgiving thoughts can stem from a place of compassion, as opposed to anger.

6. Focus on the Good in your Life:
How have you been investing in their fearful illusions and projections? Investing includes thinking about the situation/person often with feelings of anger and resentment, playing “mental movies” in your head where you give them a piece of your mind, fearing them, challenging them, arguing with them, speaking ill of them and attacking back. By staying invested in what they have done or said, you are strengthening their illusion of fear. So let go. Stop focusing on what has happened, and instead focus on the good stuff in your life. This step requires diligently monitoring your thoughts and personal energy.

7. Pray for Them:
Yup. In my meditation practice, I pray for the person I need to forgive. I pray for this person to have all the peace I long for. Some days this feels genuine, and other times it feels forced, but it doesn’t matter. I am slowly strengthening my forgiveness muscle one day at a time.

Forgiveness isn’t always easy. If it were, we would all be enlightened Zen masters. Instead we are boho goddesses, doing our very best to live a life of peace and love (while looking fabulous).

So, have I forgiven? meditating-tiny-devotions-mala

Not yet.

But I am on my way. Maybe it will take months. Or years. Maybe it will happen when I finish writing this post. It doesn’t really matter; forgiveness comes when we are ready. Our job is just to sit back, be willing and stay committed to the process.

Okay chicas—time to drop some forgiveness bombs in your life! Ka-Boom! Good luck.

Alyson is a writer, communications professional, spiritual explorer and excited Mom-to-be. You can follow her journey at EatPrayMoveblog.wordpress.com.

I Am Open

The color orange has always captured my heart. There’s something about the warmth and yet the energy is electric. It’s no wonder that orange is the color of the sacral chakra. The sacral chakra (number two in the line-up of seven) is located in the pelvic area and controls our sexuality, holds past and current relationships and aides in creativity and fertility (of life and new ideas).

This post marks our second in our series of the chakras and at the moment svadhisthana is my favorite. I love the energy of creation and as a yoga teacher and a writer I am constantly in the creative mindset. From baking healthy treats for my family to creating the perfect sequence, I am often hanging out in my second chakra. {This may be one of the reasons that hip openers are my favorite}.

mermaid-tiny-devotions-mala-beadsThe second chakra is also very fluid, for creation to flow as well as for a child to be held in the womb there needs to be a lot of water, flow and constant movement. As a self-proclaimed yogi boho mermaid, this is right up my alley. I feel most at home diving in the ocean or swimming in the lake with my best friends (my cousins, pup & husband.)

This chakra is developed from ages 7-16 and as such it is a time of discovery that rules this space. Think back to how your childhood looked and felt as well as all of your emotions. This space governs our past so tapping into it will allow us to release that which no longer serves our current space.

When this chakra is open: When this chakra is open, you are open to new intimate relationships and embrace your own sexuality. You feel fluid, pleasure and love. You have an infinite well spring of creativity running through you and your hips feel light and open. You’re full of passion, imagination and know your true identity.

When this chakra is blocked: You feel frigid in your hips or pelvic area. Writers block and digestive issues are persistent. You have a lack of energy and nothing captures your attention or makes you feel passionate. You may have a kidney infection or a URI and you don’t feel “open.” As I mentioned above, this chakra deals with relationships and change. Especially as women we have a tendency to hold onto things from the past that no longer serve us.

How to open: In Ana Forrest’s book Fierce Medicine she mentions that in order to truly release emotion from the hips, we need to embrace a hip opener for a minimum of 10 minutes. I don’t keep folks there quite that long in my classes, but I do tend to keep them a long time. Your hips are going to be the biggest release and by doing hip openers you should be able to truly let go (or begin to let go) of stuck energy. Alongside doing the physical asanas, you can chant, sing, swim and hold onto gemstones!

tiny-devotions-open-mala-beadsCrystals: Coral, moonstone, carnelian, fire opal

Color: Orange! Wearing orange, using your new svadhisthana mala beads or lighting an orange candle may help. Adding in a simple sunset photograph to your desk or using a new email background that embraces this color will definitely help open this space of energy for you!

Sounds: Vam (repeated over and over in a mantra). Water, waves or nature sounds.

Poses: Any hip openers!! Try frog pose, lizard, half pigeon or whichever you consider to be your favorite. Make sure to hang out for a little longer than you’d wish as that’s when the juicy stuff starts to release and let go. Jala Namaskara (water salutations), dancing warriors and any poses that allow creative or fluid movement.

Element: Water

Location: Lower abdomen, womb, reproductive organs

To really release here you must LET GO! Tune into your inner Elsa and let go of anything that is no longer serving you. Actually, put on Let it Go and sing along with Idinia Menzel as you belt out your worries. Crying, swimming, drinking loads of water, dancing to amazing music or meditating to the sound of ocean waves are all amazing ways to begin to tap into and open your svadhisthana chakra!

tiny-devotions-yogaJenny Ravikumar is a yoga teacher, blogger and studio owner of Barefoot Yoga Shala. As a teacher and self-proclaimed boho mermaid, Jenny has been bringing her yoga lifestyle knowledge to the online world for years through her blog, jennyravikumar.com. She specializes in helping women dig deeply into self-love & care, while also explaining yoga philosophy and love on her blog and through her courses/private online groups. You can catch her teaching 6 days a week in Massachusetts or pouring love all over the internet 24 hours a day.

Women Ignite! With Sianna Sherman & Ashley Turner

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Ashley Turner & Sianna Sherman

Together, Sianna Sherman and Ashley Turner invite you to join a revolution of women igniting their full, feminine power!

Sianna and Ashley are world-renowned yoga-meditation teachers, each completed in-depth Priestess trainings and share a passion to reclaim and demystify the ancient Mystery Schools of the Divine Feminine, applying these potent tools to modern day life. 

Sianna is the founder of the Sianna Sherman Yoga Academy, Mythic Yoga Flow, co-founder of Yoga Warrior Spirit and co-creator of Urban Priestess. She is the author of the CD Mythic Yoga Flow: Stories for your Life, the DVD Pranam and the DVD compilation of Mythic Yoga Flow. She is a featured teacher of YogaGlo and a regular contributor to Yoga Journal, Origin, Mantra, and other health-oriented magazines. 
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Ashley is an acclaimed yoga–meditation instructor, registered Marriage + Family Psychotherapy Intern, writer and Ordained Priestess. She is the creator of the popular MEDITATION 101 Virtual Conference (25,000 ppl in 2014), 7 best-selling yoga dvds and co-author of ”Aroma Yoga”. DETAILS magazine recently named Ashley Turner “1 of the Top 6 Trainers of 2014” and Dr. Oz’s ShareCare calls her “the #2 Online Influencer for Stress Relief”. She is a featured teacher on MyYogaOnline/Gaiam and core faculty on MindValley’s new meditation app.

Join Ashley + Sianna for a FREE online conference of raw, potent, in–depth conversations with some of the world’s most inspiring women on how they stay balanced, empowered and on fire. Real talk about sex, spirituality, body image, food, relationships, money, motherhood and power.

WOMEN IGNITE VIRTUAL CONFERENCE

DATES:  DECEMBER 3 – 5, 2014
PRICE:  FREE
WHERE:  Sign up Now! 

www.SiannaSherman.com | www.AshleyTurner.org

Go With All Your Heart

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The Power of Presence: 5 Lessons on the Here + Now

It’s easy to get caught up in the whirling world around us. With to do lists, job responsibilities, family responsibilities, life goals, daily goals, past fears, tramatic events and the list goes on.

What’s igging you? No mattar what it is, try applying these 5 lessons I’ve learned through the years that help me become present with the here and now and connected spiritually.

mala-beads-yoga-tiny-devotionsJust Be: I know this one doesn’t sound as easy as it is to say and type but it must happen for you to become present. Even if you have a strong yoga practice you can get caught up in the yoga, then class, then work, then kids, then boyfriend, then meeting…barely eating…opps I forgot to write that article…and return that email…and send that birthday gift…then I need to…you get the point. I’ve found myself in this situation many times and when I do I just STOP. No matter what I have lingering over my head I spend at least an hour a day doing absolutely nothing. This is not yoga and not even meditation in a structured place. Find somewhere in nature. It can be the beach, or a park or in your back yard. Just make sure whatever place you choose is quiet enough for you to lay on your back, look at the sky and listen to your breath. That’s all you have to do. Just listen to your breath for 60 minutes. Look at the sky, smell the air, feel the wind and just be. If a thought or situation comes up, feel it in the moment then let it float away in the wind. Get lost in your senses and completely out of your head.

Notice when you aren’t present: If you’re like me sometimes you can be totally oblivious to the fact that you aren’t being present. Things are happening SO fast, before you know it even a good cry is a release. Anytime you have a pretty epic emotional release it’s usually a sign you aren’t present and a cry from your soul to get in touch. The emotions could be fear, anger or guilt or even anxiousness, good stress, or overwhelm from new opportunities. It doesn’t really matter what the trigger is, just that you notice it as a sign to deepen your meditaton practice or time in nature.

Guided Meditation: This one has helped be A LOT over the years. When I started meditation I could not for the life of me quiet my mind. I wanted to think of a million things and how I could find a solution to them all while in meditation. I would sometimes go into meditation with questions I wanted answered and a handful of agendas I had planned for my life. I live in the future mostly and tend to be very optimistic and some people live in the past, both are NOT the present and are distractions from the beauty of the here and now. What helped me the most where Guided Meditatons from Glenn Harrold. He’s a experienced clinical hypnotherapist and I found his app while searching the app store on my phone. You can do your own research and find a person or program that resonates with you the most. In guided mediation someone else is guiding you through clearing your thoughts and possibly positive affirmations. This helped me in the beginning learn how to clear my mind. I still listen to the guided meditations daily usually when I wake up or before going to bed but I also get in nature and can now mediate on my own because I’ve learned to quiet the waves of my mind through guided meditation.

Be like Water: This is seriously one of my favorite things to visualize when I want to get present and clear. Water flows and cleanses. Sometimes while in meditation or breathing in nature I visualize water flowing through my body and cleansing every cell. Sometimes I even jump in the shower, bath or ocean if possible and become one with this powerful source of inspiration. What element to do resonate with the most? Fire? Air? What ever you choose you want to be bring you to stillness and a less active mind. After I visualize the water flowing and cleansing me of all thoughts…my eager anticipation and my fears. I visualize still waters and the only thing flowing is my breath. All thoughts are gone. If something pops up I send a wave through my conscienousness to wash it away. It’s pretty awesome once you get used to it. Let’s stay you resonate more with air or wind. You would see the wind flowing through and cleansing your body then allow it to completly stop after it blows away all of your mind chatter. Enjoy this silliness.

Release Worry: Why do we worry? This is one emotion I feel like everyone (including myself) naturally has. No matter how many times we see or say “Don’t worry, be happy” something always comes up to keep the mind active and wondering about this and that…I’m not sure I can ever imagine if I’ll ever completely stop worrying but that’s why being present is a practice. The more you practice it the more present you are. It’s not about being perfect but finding peace of mind more time than not so you can truely enjoy every moment of your life as it is happening. Be here now.

MG_0024column-150x150Koya Webb is an internationally recognized holistic health and wellness coach, author, motivational speaker, and professional fitness model who is helping revolutionize raw/vegan cuisine, yoga and the holistic living landscape.

Website: www.koyawebb.com 

Instagram: @koyawebb

Facebook: Koya Webb

My Top 5 Favorite Yoga Brands

I grew up in a relatively small town in Oklahoma where the most common casual wear choice on Free Dress Day at my private high school was sweatpants or Soffe shorts and an oversized t-shirt (your boyfriend’s if you were cool enough to have one).  When I moved to San Diego for College, I noticed that sweatpants were no longer acceptable-and here began my foray into “yoga pants,” or as we now know them, leggings. In my case, yoga apparel preceded my actual yoga practice, an activity that was also rather uncommon in a small midwestern town at the time. Like most of the women on my college campus, I turned to Lululemon to support my new casual wardrobe and my budding yoga practice.

tiny-devotions-mala-beadsAs my physical and spiritual yoga practice grew, as did my awareness of social justice issues. As a Masters of Social Work student, yoga practitioner, and teacher, my standards for yoga gear have risen dramatically since the day I bought my first pair of shiny black Lulu leggings. In the wake of Lululemon founder Chip Wilson’s controversial comment that “some women’s bodies just don’t actually work” for their clothing line in 2013, which ostracized hundreds of thousands of women who don’t conform to our society’s narrow and exploitative standards of ‘thinness’, many loyal customers (including myself) have turned to other active-wear brands to support their yoga practice and wardrobes. If you’re looking for some great brands to support your casual wardrobe, your yoga practice, or even your work attire (seriously, I can wear leggings with a sweater that covers my bum TO WORK!), here are some of my favorite brands:

1. HYDE YOGA

Best For: Casual wardrobe, feeling comfy and cozy, supporting the planet.
Selection: Pants, crops, tanks, tees, outerwear, men’s pants and men’s shorts.
What I Love: First, all of Hyde’s products are made from Organic cotton, which means that in addition to being super soft and luxurious due to the lack of chemical residue, the production of Hyde’s styles helps “sustain our planet and alleviate the damage done by unmindful, if commonplace, manufacturing methods” (Hyde Yoga). Additionally, Hyde values Charitable giving and incorporates this into their business model by teaming up with yoga teachers around the country to donate a percentage of the proceeds from various styles to support local and international organizations. 

2. ELLIE

Best For: Work appropriate leggings, Lululemon lovers, and those of you that like to sweat- on or off the mat.
Selection: Bra tops, tank tops, tees, jackets, workout tanks (with built-in bras), full-length leggings, capri leggings.
What I Love: The quality of all Ellie’s styles is top-tier; they are never sheer and don’t start pilling after a few washes. The brand expertly designs the seams on their bottoms to lengthen your legs and frame your booty, plus with their surplice waistband (higher on the hips, lower under the belly button) your waist looks slim, your booty stays in place and any love handle concerns are neatly tucked away. For convenience, they also offer an “Outfits” section on their website with top and bottom styles pre-matched for you.

3. ANA’S LEGGINGS

Best For: Casual-wear wardrobe, spicing up your practice gear, being cozy.
Selection: Full-length leggings, capri leggings.
What I Love: I have never experienced a softer or happier pair of leggings than my Ana’s Leggings full-length Sunflower leggings. Besides looking like a straight-up ray of sunshine in these bad boys, all of the styles from Ana’s Leggings feel like the softest pair of pyjamas you’ve ever owned. While the dark and neutral colors from other brands most certainly have a practical place in our wardrobes, Ana’s Leggings offers many fun styles and colors to brighten your mood on and off the mat.

4. TINY DEVOTIONS
tiny-devotions-yoga-mala-beads

Best For
: Casual-wear wardrobe, office attire, meditation practice, living with intention.
Selection: Traditional 108 bead malas, intentional necklaces, mala bead bracelet stacks, scarves, blankets, tanks, intentional bracelets, malas for him.
What I Love: Roughly 90% of my Christmas wish list this year is from the Tiny Devotions shop. Tiny Devotions encourages individuals to connect with their spirituality, follow their dreams and look gorgeous in the process. All of their styles are intentionally crafted with specific semi-precious stones and beads to help the wearer cultivate and develop certain characteristics such as calmness, grounding, assertiveness, and honesty. I use my 108 bead Tiny Devotions malas for my meditation practice, for courage and stress-relief at work, and to deepen my yoga practice by placing it outstretched at the top of my mat before each practice to soak up the effort and energy in the room.

5.PURA VIDA

Best For: Casual-wear wardrobe, office attire, gifts for your yogi friends, values-driven purchasing.
Selection: Bracelets, accessories (bags, key chains, hair ties and more).
What I Love: Every single bracelet purchased from Pura Vida helps to provide full-time jobs for local artisans in Costa Rica. Additionally, Pura Vida takes their charitable giving even further by donating the proceeds from various styles to a host of charitable organizations including those related to Enviro-causes, Animal awareness, Education and children, Cancer awareness, Women’s causes, Conditions, Service/military and Memorial causes. I love mixing and matching and stacking my Pura Vida bracelets to create a new style for every day while knowing I’m supporting a host of valuable causes.

Alex is an RYT-200 who began practicing yoga consistently in 2010 (after she discovered “yoga pants”) and fell in love with Acro Yoga a few years after, connecting deeply with the playful spirit of the practice and the community it creates between practitioners. While finishing her final year of a Masters in Social Work program at the University of Denver, Alex is also in the process of completing her 500 hour yoga teacher training at Kindness Yoga, the top rated yoga studio in Denver, Colorado, and preparing for her Acro Yoga teacher training in Summer 2015. For Alex, Yoga and Acro Yoga are tools for herself and her students to get out of their heads and into their bodies; a way to engage with the present moment, connect with a deeper sense and understanding of self, build community, and participate in divine play.

 

The 3 Major Benefits of Energy Healing

I am often asked what is energy healing?  When I’m asked about my work as an energy coach, I’m often confronted with blank expressions. I love what I do; energy work has been so helpful for my clients, my yoga students, and me.  That is why I am always happy to share my answer and hope to shine a little light on a very important part of ourselves that has the ability to keep us happy and healthy.  People are mostly in the benefits of energy healing. There are so many wonderful things that happen in the body as well as in our outside lives when the energy bodies are flowing in a constant state.  These are the main benefits I have noticed in my life, and in the lives of those that I help.

yoga-tiny-devotions-mala 1.Pain, Ailments and Illness
There are three energy areas in the body, the meridians, chakras, and aura.  Meridians are the 12 major energy highways of the body; they also have connections to our internal organs. Chakras are the seven vortex like energy centres travelling from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. They govern a lot of emotion and personal beliefs about us. The aura is the energy field around the body; it helps to hold a safe space around us. If there are blocks from stress, trauma, or toxins in the body these systems get knocked out of balance. Our energetic systems are layered with our physical body, because of this energy disruptions show up in the physical body as well. Pain, ailments and illness are all symptoms of a source energy block. This is sometimes easily seen, and other times the trauma or issue is buried deep within the system from years of ignoring the problem.  You may have seen this in yourself or in others, such as stomach issues and headaches from stress. We all carry differing levels of blocks from major or minor emotional traumas. Have you ever noticed that if you let something go that was bothering you all of sudden it feels like a weight has been lifted? I have had this happen many times to myself and seen it in clients and students. Especially with my yoga students who get stuck in an area in the body, then one day it opens. They will have had an emotional release at that time, or prior to it that has allowed that stuck energy, and body part to release together.  This was one of the reasons I really started to understand the connection between our energy body and our physical body. For those of us who work with energy it is often said that disease is really just dis-ease.

2.Balanced Emotions
I tend to see the balance of emotions and personal beliefs shift while working with chakras. Each area holds different energy aspects that relate to us personally. Our sense of self, creativity, personal power, love, being able to speak up, intuition and connection to the divine or others are all swirling around in the chakras. When the chakras are out of balance, blocked, or closed we lose the ability to have a balanced emotional system.  We bring in doubt, fear, lack, worry, and lose our sense of selves all to varying degrees of course. Also if one area is closed, it can keep two other centres from being able to support each other. Each centres governs its own area, but when aligned the chakras work as a whole system. This is why I think it is best to take care of the chakras, because when they are open and flowing well, the emotional issues have a chance to sort themselves with much greater ease.  Sometimes just opening a block can make the emotional turmoil stop all together. I find the greatest asset to all the chakras being opened is a sense of calm confidence. We feel a confident sense of self that can handle whatever life is going to bring that day.

yoga-tiny-devotions3.Energy Vibrations and the Law of Attraction
When our energy centres are running free and clear it is like our whole life opens up just as it was meant for us to. Everything in the Universe is energy, including our emotions and everything is in constant vibration. So if our emotions are vibrating at a lower level, such as fear, shame, anger and sadness then we are sending that vibration out and asking for the same vibration to come back to us.  That is the Law of Attraction.  If the energy is flowing well and chakras are balanced we can live happily as our true selves.  Knowing who we are gives us a sense of self, as well as confidence and we can accept and love ourselves easier.  Love is a higher vibration and who wouldn’t want to attract more of the things they love?  When the energies are running well, the vibrations are running well too.  These vibrations get things moving for the law of giving and receiving, give up the block and receive the gifts that you are asking for. It also opens up a truth within, the true you, making it easier to realize our unique gift to share with the world. This truth will be inline with what we each are meant to create in our lives, and because of that it will manifest that much easier.

I didn’t speak much to the aura’s role in a healthy energy body. However it does serve a purpose to keep other people’s negative energy out of our own energy field. These are the major areas that heal when working to keep a healthy and clear energy body.  I see these benefits happen all the time. I find what is blocking someone; we address it, and clear it. After this process what was being blocked is free to be received into their life.  It is one of the greatest joys I get from my work, watching people become happy, love themselves, and open up to receive what they want out of life.

Sarah Leavens is a yoga teacher and an energy coach, who’s goal with her students and clients is to help them achieve a happy whole sense of self.  Sarah wants everyone to feel free to create the life they desire from a deep understanding of each persons own purpose. Enjoy Sarah’s “True You Meditations” ebook series available on amazon for kindle.  As well as her free guided meditations on her website whole life energy.  Check out Sarah’s website here.

Flip Your Perspective: 3 Tips for Mastering Inversions

Inversions are a fun part of any yoga practice but let’s face it, they can also be very scary. Even with the help of an instructor or the support of a wall, turning yourself upside down is both mentally and physically challenging.

As scary as inversions can be, they are a great way to build strength, improve balance and increase mental focus. Practicing inversions helps you not only get out of your comfort zone, but it also teaches you let go of fear and learn to trust yourself.

Here are 3 tips that may help you master your fears with inversions and turn yourself upside down:

tiny-devotions-yoga-inversion1. Be Mindful, Move Slowly       

 Remember, progress is progress, no matter how small. Don’t get discouraged if you aren’t able to hold a 2-minute handstand right off the bat; everyone has to start somewhere.

The best part about mastering anything is the journey it takes to get there, so enjoy and don’t rush it. Take it slow and listen to your body.

2. Concentrate (Beforehand and During) 

Before trying any inversion, you need to be mentally prepared and focused. As a former gymnast, I would always visualize what I was about to do before doing it. This would help me tune in to what I was trying to accomplish rather than thinking about how much homework I had or what I wanted for dinner that night.

Visualizing is something I still do to this day and it is a very important tool for mastering inversions. Before flipping yourself upside down, you want to be concentrating 100% on what you are about to do, and make sure that your mind is in sync with your body.

You want to make sure you hold concentration throughout the inversion. When balancing, closing our eyes or looking at what is going on around us will make the inversion more challenging. One way to increase concentration is by keeping the eyes steadily focused on one spot, by doing so you will keep your mind present.

“If the eyes wander, the mind wanders.” Make sure to keep your gaze focused so your mind stays focused. In turn, your body will remain focused.

tiny-devotions-yoga-inversion-beach3. Don’t give up

 As discouraging as it can be at times, falling is not failing. Learning to fall is part of the process. Once you learn how to fall you are one step closer to mastering an inversion. By falling (safely), you are not only getting over your fears but you are training your body to know what works for you and what doesn’t.

Everyone is different, practice at your own pace. If you fall, don’t be discouraged. Don’t give up; use falling as a learning experience and a way to improve your abilities.

Using these tips can help you master those scary inversions. Remember, the master of anything was once a beginner. Keep practicing, stay safe, and have fun!

tiny-devotions-yogaBailey is a former gymnast and track runner. She just returned home after spending a year traveling and working in Australia as a gymnastics coach and fitness instructor. Bailey is passionate about fitness and being active and she wants to inspire others to live a healthy lifestyle. When she isn’t walking around on her hands, you’ll find her spending time with family and friends, doing crafts, or reading a good book. She currently lives just north of Boston with her three sisters, two brothers, parents, and two dogs. Check out her blog here.  Instagram:@baileyactive

Let The Universe Guide You

Silence is one of my biggest fears. Ever since I was a child I could not find the right time to just be quiet, ever.  I specifically remember being in the car with my dad one day as a young teenager and he leaned over to look at me. All he said was, “have you even taken a breath since you got in the car? You have been talking since the second you sat in the front seat.” My husband frequently says the same thing.

My problem is silence. If it’s quiet, I will fill the space with all of my thoughts, observations, to-do lists, wishes and dreams. Silence is never an option, unless I’m in yoga.

Somehow, this clumsy, loud-mouthed chatterbox becomes a yoga goddess who can hold nataragasana without a thought or a sentence to utter. I can lie in savasantiny-devotions-mala-beads-bohemiana for hours as I hear crystal bowls wash their vibrational booms over my physical body. I can put my foot over my head and stare into my drishti as I find the perfect space to concentrate and tap into my higher being.

Yoga is the only thing in the world that will render me speechless.

And I know that’s my crown chakra talking. The moment I begin my practice I can begin to feel all of my chakras align. I feel each of them as they begin to travel up my spine and open all the way from my root to the crown of my head. I feel taller and open, free and yet grounded. I am no longer afraid of silence when I step on my mat.

The seventh chakra, sahasrara, is the crown chakra. It controls the higher consciousness, the connection to your external divine (the universe, God or whomever you connect with). It is the divine source that gives us breath and energy, love and light. It is the last of the seven major chakras within us, the inner knowingness and that which allows us to give in service to ourselves and others.

When this chakra is blocked: When this chakra is blocked, we feel there is no big picture and have no connection to the divine or our intuition. We lack compassion and peace, often reacting with violence or an unharmonious response. We do not desire community and often the pineal gland or our nervous system is negatively affected.

When this chakra is open: We feel compassion when this chakra is open. We give in service to others, are nonreactive and spread spiritual love. We see big pictures and connect to the divine.

How to open this chakra: Attend yoga classes. Begin to release judgment of yourself and others. Wear your sahasrara mala beads. Meditate. Allow more love into your life. Wear more white. Practice deep breathing.

Crystals: Kunzite, diamond and quartz crystal.mala-beads-green-juice-tiny-devotions

Color: White. Wearing more white or allowing it into your environment will help you feel immediately more connected to the higher consciousness and the divine.

Sound: Silence

Poses: Savasana, or corpse pose

Location: Crown of the head

Element: Thought

As you begin to connect to this seventh and final chakra, you will begin to feel all your chakras aligning. As much as I would love to tell you that it’s easy to stay fully connected to this white light, it’s not. Similar to Samadhi, or enlightenment, this is not an infinite state of being.

When we are fully open within all our chakras, it can feel as though we have entered anandamaya kosha (the bliss body, and the deepest layer within us) and it feels OMazing! Everything is perfect and surreal; life is grand. But it’s a fleeting moment. The moment of ecstasy as you walk down the aisle and say I do, the second you hear your child’s first cry, t
he day of your promotion or your first publication and the laughter of your children on their birthday. Bliss is something that cannot be bottled but rather enjoyed fully in the present moment. As we open to these energies within us, we need to stay fully present and grasp that single giggle or cry or sigh. We need to open our eyes and BE in the here and now.

At certain times in your life, each of your chakras will feel slightly off balance. That is the moment you put your car in reverse and head to yoga, or stop, drop and meditate in your living room. It’s the moment you sit at your computer, close your eyes and take 10 deep breaths. Stop, drop and listen in to your heart, it will lead you to where you need to go next.

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Jenny Ravikumar is a yoga teacher, blogger and studio owner of Barefoot Yoga Shala. As a teacher and self-proclaimed boho mermaid, Jenny has been bringing her yoga lifestyle knowledge to the online world for years through her blog, jennyravikumar.com. She specializes in helping women dig deeply into self-love & care, while also explaining yoga philosophy and love on her blog and through her courses/private online groups. You can catch her teaching 6 days a week in Massachusetts or pouring love all over the internet 24 hours a day.

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