Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie Bowl By Breakfast Criminals

Holidays bring a lot of cheer (and delicious meals with loved ones). But that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on feeling ah-mazing in your body. Did you know that if you start your day with a delicious nutrient-packed meal, you’re less likely to overeat or have cravings during the day? Ok, that was a fact from the doctors, let me add one more from myself: if you start your day with a delectable superfood breakfast bowl prepared with love, you’re opening the pathway to magic. Take my word for it.

tiny-devotions-mala-beadsI found the heart bowl in a lonely corner of a discount store when I was newly single two years ago, and it became my daily reminder to be present, mindful, fearless, and give myself a little more love than I think I have.

The heart bowl magic has spread wide and far, and I’m happy to be sharing my favorite recipe concoctions with you! Having just come back from a meditation retreat with my guru David Harshada Wagner, where I learned how to meditate with my beautiful I Am Love Mala, I’ve been infusing my recipes with a little extra sweetness. Get blending and feel it for yourself!

This Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie Bowl will please your senses just as much as your soul (especially if you eat it from the heart bowl) I’ve also sneaked kale into the bowl for some added alkaline – trust me, you won’t taste it at all.

Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie Bowltiny devotions-mala-beads

Dairy Free, Soy Free, Gluten Free, Added Sugar Free

Ingredients to blend:

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries (if using fresh, add 1/2 cup ice)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut yogurt
  • 1/2 or 1 banana, depending on how sweet you want it
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 tablespoon cashew butter (I use Dastony raw stone ground cashew butter)

Toppings:

  • Granola (I used Purely Elizabeth gluten free ancient grain granola)
  • Kiwi
  • Coconut chips (Dang are my favorite)
tiny-devotions-mala-beadsBio: Ksenia is a traveler, Strala yoga guide and author of the Breakfast Criminals ebook who believes that starting your day with a nourishing meal prepared with love makes you a happier person. By day, she’s a digital marketing consultant and co-founder of #FairTuesday, a grassroots ethical shopping movement that aims to change lives of whole communities by inspiring people to buy fair trade. Join Ksenia for yoga and superfoods retreats in blissful places around the globe, and get your own heart bowl, daily reminder to eat with love.

 

An Instagram Yogi’s Guide to Photography

Often, when I post my Instagram yoga and dance photos I get asked a lot of questions. People seem to want to know whether I took the photo myself or if someone else took the photo, which apps I use to edit my photos, and what equipment I use. I am not a professional photographer, however I am very passionate about taking artistic photos. The important factors to consider when taking a photo are light, depth, angle, and composition. I envision in my mind how I would like a photo to turn out before I take it. It’s all in the details. 

Camera or smartphone?tiny-devotions-yoga
I personally use a digital camera for my Instagram photos. I use the Panasonic Lumix DMC SZ5 mounted on a mini-tripod. This particular digital camera connects via WiFi to my iPhone so I can easily transfer my photos from the camera to my iPhone.  I find it easier to use this type of camera because it eliminates the extra steps of downloading the photos onto your computer and then emailing them to yourself in order to access them on your phone. My camera has a standard 10 second timer and I have it set up in burst mode to take 3 consecutive photos.  It is usually set up in Sport mode so that it can capture movement.

Lighting.
The best lighting to use is natural light.  The majority of my Instagram yoga photos are taken outdoors at the beach; I go either at Blue Hour or Golden Hour. Avoid taking photos in the middle of the day because that’s the time of the day when the light is harsh. You will appear washed out or have to deal with a lot of shadows. Overcast or cloudy days are the best for creating ambience.  It provides you with filtered/soft light that is very complimentary.

Setting and styling the scene.
Part of the fun is styling your photo. Experiment with your angles, change your perspective, and look out for cool backgrounds and scenery. I wear bright or patterned yoga clothes to stand out, especially when it’s gloomy. Sometimes I color coordinate my clothes with my scenery or backgrounds. I also love to play dress up and wear long, flowy skirts that create movement in my photos.

Editing.tiny-devotions-yoga
I use the following apps to edit my photos for Instagram: SnapSeed, TouchBlur, PictureMirror, Photogrid, and of course Instagram filters. In SnapSeed, I like to utilize the Drama and the HDR features to make the image pop. I use the Centre Focus feature to vignette my photo and create a dreamy, washed-out effect. Touch Blur app is great for blurring backgrounds and the intensity of the blur can be adjusted as well. PictureMirror is great for creating 2D or 3D mirror images of your photo. PictureMirror is pretty straightforward and simple to use.

Get out there and snap some photos!

Written by Shiela Advincula.
Find her on Instagram: @bohemian_heart .

 

Find Your Fire

Have you ever had that moment of intense fear mixed with palpable anticipation and excitement? The moment you hear the CLICK, CLICK, CLICK of the rollercoaster as you literally or figuratively climb up the track?

Perhaps you’re on a real ride, or maybe it’s moments before your performance review (and potential promotion). It could be seconds before you quit your job to pursue a life of your dreams or the day you decide to become a mama bear.

Fear keeps us on our toes, but can always be really healthy. Unless it’s a life or death situation, fear can often be the perfect motivator. It allows you to find the edge and then climb right over it.

tiny-devotions-mala-beads-scarfFear is located in the third chakra, manipura. This marks post three of our chakra series and begins the exploration of fear, courage, will power, resistance and joy. Manipura is located in the solar plexus (that soft space in between the top of our ribs, just below the sternum). I always imagine this space to be bright and full of a deliciously yellow energy that controls our portal for joy and it always brings a huge smile to my face.

This chakra is developed between the ages of 16-23 and is when we find ourselves. It’s the age when a boho babe begins to truly dig deep and discover who she is, it’s how we begin to leave our mark on the world. This is the moment we begin to find our fire, our sparkle and the shine we always need while being fully present in the world.

When this chakra is blocked: When this chakra is blocked the energy can go in one of two ways: our fire can burn too hot (anger, temper tantrums, destructive words) or our fire can burn out (lack of energy, nothing to add to a conversation or space, feeling lackluster and sadness). As the manipura is the city of jewels and controls passion, we need to find the perfect balance. Often if we are out of balance here we will have serious digestive issues (ulcers, heart burn, hypoglycemia).

When this chakra is open: When we are open in our fire energy, we feel joy and laughter. We have passion for all our favorite activities and are often willing to try new things. We enjoy the anticipation and baby amounts of fear as we conquer our dreams. We indulge in a delicious or healthy treat without over indulging and allowing our fire to dull and we are able to bring our natural spark to the world.

How to open this chakra: Twisty poses, classes that involve fire (power yoga or aerial, maybe even a zumba class). Hot & spicy foods when you feel low on energy, carbs and starches when you feel too fiery. Crystals and sound energy.

Crystals: Amber, citrine, golden topaz, tigers eye

tiny-devotions-mala-beadsColor: Yellow… I feel there is so much joy in this color, you should have it everywhere. Abundance is one of the biggest things that comes to mind around passion and fire. In order to allow true abundance into your passionate being, wear more yellow (a beautiful scarf or a new mala) or have a post card on your desk that embodies the color yellow. Integrate more of this color into your life to allow for more passion, money and energy.

Sounds: Ram, repeated in a mantra. Music with intensity… house, EDM etc.

Poses: Twists, abdominal or core work (yes ABS!!), solar flows, agni namaskra (fire salutations – go ahead, look them up because they are delicious), arm balances, utkatasana and power yoga.

Location: Solar plexus

Element: Fire

In order to tap into this chakra you need to decide where you are right now. If you’re feeling lackluster and as though you need a boost, you need to eat spicy foods or go salsa dancing. Invigorate your body, find movement and enjoy a really sweaty power yoga class. If you’re feeling too hot, drink some water and eat toast with honey butter to calm your insides. Then go enjoy a yin yoga class to bring your energy back to neutral.

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.

The Essence of Meditation

img1 (7)

The Soul of Gift Giving

Giving a gift is more than a Black Friday deal or a fancy pants bow.

It’s an extension of the heart.

It’s an extension of you.

It’s a connection.

tiny-devotions-mala-beadsHas the hurricane of holiday pressure hit your world yet? You know what I’m talking about: the parties, baking the perfect elf cookie to bring to the cookie exchange, the blanket of decorations that devours your home in tinsel, random elf trinkets, and ornaments made of out of macaroni you made in first grade. Once all of these snowflakes settle in the snow globe that is your life, you still need to get gifts… for everyone and their mom.

This year I propose we shake up the experience, process, and philosophy of gift giving. We often have an authentic intention to give, but because of the rush of life we end up giving from a place of obligation, haste, and pressure. Reaching for something at the last minute, snagging a Starbucks gift card with your triple stressed out latte, and scribbling something half-legible on a card has become the norm.

Take a moment and feel this quote from the beautiful Maya Angelou, “I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.”

There is an energy transfer when we give. When we give without intention and lack of thought, that energy is unwrapped along with the gift. On the flip side, when we give from a soulful place with the intention to connect at a heart level, that energy radiates from the gift.

So how do you tackle a new way of giving now that we are already diving into December?

Simple. This year, give from the heart and listen to your intuition about what that special beauty of a human needs and let go of the idea that you need to give something that looks like it was packaged by Martha Stewart.

So guys and dolls, here are some spectacular ways to reframe and reclaim gift giving madness this year:

Listentiny-devotions
Open those gorgeous ear canals of yours and take a moment to really think about what your friend, family member, or co-worker has expressed they need. Is it time with you? Give an adventure with you! Is it stress relief? Go bliss out at a new yoga studio together.  Let them know you hear them and through that you will give more than a gift; you will give a heap of love and instant connection!

Offer Your Unique Gift
We are all on the path to find our purpose. What is it that lights you up like a Christmas tree and makes you sing from the snowy mountain tops with glee? Is it making jewelry? Is it accounting? Is it painting? Is it personal coaching? Is it cooking a warm meal?  We are all here to give our gift to the world! Give what you do best and use this as an opportunity to serve!

Give Tick Tock
Quality, juicy time is priceless. Give the gift of eye contact and uninterrupted bonding! Have you ever thought about giving a hike, a weekly phone call to check-in for the next year, or a road trip? Give something that creates a bubble around you and your bestie, lover, or boss.

As soon as we let go of the expectation and pressure of what giving gifts mean and let our souls do the giving, we are liberated from stress and anxiety. We end up giving something far more priceless than anything you could buy in a sardine packed mall.

Challenge yourself this year and give with soul.

Jessie Gardner is an entrepreneur, inspirationist and Co-Founder of HeySoul, an inspirational experience company delivering inspiration every month to doorsteps around the world. She is dedicated to giving from the soul. The HeySoul themed box of the month is JOY. Learn more about HeySoul here! Connect with her directly at Jessie@heysoul.com. To make your soul flutter and get a daily jolt of inspiration, visit @heysoul__ on Instagram.

Holiday Season: 7 Bohemians Must Haves

When Tiny Devotions asked me to blog about this topic, I immediately knew what my top choices were be and what I’m gifting my friends for the holidays. Being the free-spirited, Bohemian flower-crown wearing woman that I am, I’m all about sharing my favorites. I won’t recommend something that I haven’t tried or absolutely love.

I have been blogging at beautybybritanie.com for the past two and a half years. I test and review the top industry brands in natural and organic beauty, health, skin care, jewelry, and fashion so it’s an understatement when I say, “I know what I like!”

I encourage people to live with an open heart and do all things with passion and a positive attitude. When making decisions on what to purchase, and from whom, I advocate for and support the companies and brands that promote wellness and are in business because they want to make a significant positive difference in the world. Some of the absolute “must haves” for the Holidays are free: kindness, love, sharing and time spent with loved ones. Most importantly, remember that true organic beauty is always created and nurtured from the inside out.

Here are my 7 favorite “Must Haves” for every Bohemian:

Tiny Devotions: The Balance Stack.tiny-devotions-mala-beads
I adore wearing my balance bracelet stack. To me, balance is an absolute “must have”. I work daily to be equally centred in all the different areas of my life: body, mind, and soul. I meditate, practice yoga, and use positive affirmations as tools to achieve my goals. When I look at this bracelet throughout the day my favorite affirmation that I repeat to myself is: ‘I create harmony in my life by maintaining a balanced lifestyle.’ Aventurine, Rosewood, Clear Quartz, Sandalwood, and African Jade all work synergistically to promote and enhance harmony in my life.

Kahina Giving Beauty: Argan Oil.
This is a must have skincare choice for me. I use a few drops on my face every single day. The quality and efficacy of this brand is unparalleled. I love that Kahina Giving Beauty works only with cooperatives in Morocco that pay a fair wage to women. This also ensures that the highest quality nuts go into their superior organic oil. I have sensitive skin and this particular Argan oil is superb. I gently press a few drops of this precious antioxidant-rich oil into my skin before I apply my mineral makeup.

Synergy Organic Clothing: Helena Long Sleeve Bamboo Dress in Snowberry.
This is the absolute perfect Boho Holiday “little red dress”. I love this color, but more importantly I love how comfortable and flattering bamboo, cotton, and lycra fabric is. All the pieces I own from Synergy are the absolute epitome of luxury. I only purchase from companies that I’m a huge fan of. I love Synergy Organic Clothing because they are mindful & conscious in every facet of the way they do business. Their clothing is sustainable and organic fair trade. When the holidays are over, this dress is perfect for a date night. Just add a scarf, leggings, lots of bracelets and your favorite jean jacket.

Nudus Organic Lipstick in “Revenge”.
This is THE color for the holidays! It’s the perfect red and is an absolute showstopper. Nudus is my favorite brand for beautifully pigmented (with ancient Ayurvedic bioactive color extracts) highest quality lipstick. I love that they’re handcrafted and made in Australia with 27 active natural ingredients for soft hydrated lips. The colors and formulation, are COSMOS Certified Organic.

AILA Cosmetics: Nail polish in “Like A Boss”.
This is a sassy rose-gold color perfect for a holiday manicure. It’s festive and classy at the same time. When I switched over to all natural & organic beauty a few years ago, the one product missing was a USA made quality nail polish that was 5-free, chip resistant, and made without parabens. This company is also cruelty free, vegan and has gorgeous colors. Once I found AILA I’ve never looked back.

 tiny-devotions-scarfTiny Devotions: Hipster Scarf.
Wrap yourselves in scarves, but never hide is a part of the Tiny Devotions Manifesto, which I whole-heartedly adhere to. Hipsters are counter-culture, have an appreciation for art, indie-rock, creativity, intelligence and witty banter. I’m continually striving to be an honest person and walk my talk. I don’t ever want to hide. I’m proud of who I am and I accept all my quirks and myself. I love that I’m not perfect and I think striving for perfection is a waste of time. I’d rather be an imperfect freethinking boho hipster. This scarf reminds me to “lighten up” my expectations.

Free People: Embellished Matador Hat.
Every Boho girl that’s into fashion needs a favorite hat. I think this particular style is flattering on everyone. It’s a wool brimmed outlaw hat with a metal plate embellished band. I wear this with everything.

Britanie Faith is a renowned Natural Beauty Advocate, Makeup Artist, Photographer & Yoga Enthusiast. Check our her site here, where she reviews the very best of natural and organic skincare, makeup, jewelry, eco-friendly products, and alternative health. She is adamantly committed to researching the myriad ways of incorporating the natural gifts of aromatherapy, yoga, meditation, herbalism & positive thinking to facilitate healing for body, mind, and soul. Organic beauty ALWAYS comes from the Inside~Out.

 

 

 

 

 

A Tiny Chat With Rebecca Rosen

Recently we had the opportunity to interview bestselling author and spiritual medium Rebecca Rosen.

We wanted to begin by thanking you for taking the time to chat with Tiny Devotions. We’re all really grateful. The girls here know a lot about your work. We’re excited to get to know you.

Can you tell me a little bit more about yourself and your daily life?
I’m currently living in Denver with my two boys who are 5 and 10. I recently got engaged and I feel like I am at an amazing point in my life.

Wow, congratulations!
Thank you, everything is falling into place, especially with work. There is a lot of change going on behind the scenes that will manifest in 2015. I’m looking forward to new opportunities, new ways to better help people; I’m really excited about it, I’m in a really good place.

tiny-devotions-mala-beads-yogaI just returned from a yoga retreat in Costa Rica. Sometimes I have a lot on plate and I have to find ways to balance work and play.  Outside of being a spiritual medium, I’m also a person. I need to stay recharged and grounded in my life as a mom and every other role that I play.

Through your work, you inspire people to live with purpose and intention. What are some ways we can all strive to live with purpose and intention?
It’s about starting your day and ending your day in prayer and meditation. Even if it’s for 5 minutes at a time, it gets you out of your head and into your heart where your truth lies, reminds you who you really are; your soul. When you tap into that you connect to the god spark within you; your purpose intention and meaning.

Your passion really comes through your work. What does passion mean to you?
To me, passion is whatever I’m doing that lights me up and brings me a sense of authentic joy. Passion for me is getting to serve others. Passion is sharing all of the enlightenment I’ve received over the years and inspiring others to find their own passion and to feel connected.

How do you use your Mala beads?
They’re so beautiful that I do wear them as a fashion statement. However, I’ve been wearing Mala beads for years and I wear them to remind me to my connected to the source. My life here is more than an earthly responsibility. I have to use my gift to help others. I also use my Mala when I meditate, counting and reciting a personal mantra I was recently given.

Are there any gemstones that are significant to you?
I don’t have one particular favorite, but there are several gemstones on my Mala. I always ask which one I need in that moment. For me, Rose Quartz connects me into self-love and unconditional love.

We read about your powerful journey and the significant role journaling played in it, what advice do you have for those who are toying with the idea of journaling?
The biggest thing is to not think too much about it, rather sit down and unload whatever comes up. Allow free flow of thought onto the paper; allow it to organically come out, versus overthinking. Overthinking blocks whatever words need to be expressed.

tiny-devotions-mala-beadsWhat benefits do you think we can all gain from journaling?
Communication. Words are a powerful way to express and create. Our words have a lot of power. Sometimes we are stuffing our feelings. It is especially great for anyone who is clairaudient. One of their heightened intuitive senses is clear sounds. Journaling is a fabulous way to get in touch with that.

Journaling can also allow one to tap into the spiritual world through automatic writing, which is how my journey began.

Who is your biggest inspiration?
In spirit I would say Quan Yin, the goddess of mercy and compassion. I have a strong connection to her as one of my higher guides. In life I have many, Ram Dass for example.

Earlier you mentioned the importance of relaxing and recharging. What are some ways you relax and recharge?
I start my day by having my cup of coffee, listening to music, and meditating. Then I step into life and get into the rhythm. I always try and figure out a way to go for a walk and get into nature; it helps me release anything I’ve soaked up during the day. I also take a yoga class.

Another thing that also really helps me recharge is playing with my kids. Kids naturally have a joyful pure energy that helps you be present and remember to find the joy in life.

What are some ways we can all work on staying grounded and balanced?
It’s going to be different for everyone based on his or her makeup, personality, and how sensitive they are to energy around them. But a great way to stay grounded and balanced is getting out into nature. Nature has natural negative ions, which is positive energy that clears us of anything that might be standing in our way of feeling a sense of peace and calm.

Another way is engaging in anything that allows us to be connected to our breath. Breath connects us to spirit and allows us to stay grounded. Cardio and yoga are both great ways to connect to your breath.

Finally, anything that is of this earth world is grounding. Travelling is grounding. Getting out and exploring new territories and new areas awakens your senses, puts you in the present moment, and grounds you.

What is the main thing you have learned about love through your work?tiny-devotions-mala
That at the end of the day love is the only thing that matters. The love that we’re able to give and receive is what we are here to do. Love is the only thing that transcends physical death. For those familiar with the course of miracles, everything stems from love or fear.

In the end it always comes back to love, making it a point to come back to love in everything you do and say.

How can we all work on connecting with other people?
First and foremost, having a solid and authentic connection to your self.  If you’re connected to source, the god spark within you, naturally you are going to have a sense of self love and self worth. You can then pay it forward to anyone who walks into your life. If you don’t love and connect with your self, you can’t give that to other people.

You are a very successful woman; how do you measure success?
Something my fiancé taught me has become my mantra: I don’t measure my success in dollars, I measure it in the amount of joy I feel on a daily basis. Spirit has taught me that success comes from feeling good and loving god. Success is connecting to that feeling every day and being able to share it with everyone around you.

Find out more about Rebecca Rosen by visiting her website here.

We Are Women

Here’s to the single women who raise children.  As well as the mothers of these women who help, or raise their daughter’s and son’s children for them.  Here’s to you, making your family by working as two people outside the home, and leading as two people inside the home. Doing all of this as one person.  Here’s to you putting a smile on every time a married woman calls herself a single mother.  Here’s to every married woman who feels like a single mother. Here’s to you, each of you for not being bitter at one another. Here’s to still making forts, hosting birthday parties, and teaching your son how to throw.  Teaching your daughter how to happy as herself and still love the thought of being in a good, honest, supportive, and equal relationship with a man.  For teaching your son, that he is not the man of the house, that he is a little boy.  That all children should spend as much time as possible being children.  Here’s to the women who don’t want to marry, or when they do marry, they don’t want any children at all.  Here’s to the aunties. 

Here’s to you being kind to other mothers, to other women.  Here’s to you for choosing whether you want to work, or stay home.  Here’s to feminism being about the freedom to make a choice that works for you without guilt.  Here’s to you for not judging someone else’s choice for happiness defined by tiny-devotions-mala-beadsthemselves. We are the women of the world.  We are the healthy spirit that takes care, and nurtures ourselves and others.  When women feel whole, happy and confident the entire world can work better.  When war takes our families, it is the women who get back up.  We get back up for ourselves, each other, for our children, and our communities.  We see the world for all of it’s beauty, even in heartache.  We see the pain, we see the bitter, and sometimes we are the victims.  Sometimes we stay there, and that is OK.  Do you want to know why?  Somewhere else there is a woman who has been able to get back up.  That is because another woman before her has shown her how, or given her a helping hand.  That strength is like a pulse, sometimes just enough to get by on for that day.  Enough to inspire.  With that strength there is enough to go around for those who do get stuck. For those that need a bit more time. For those who lose hope.  We women watch out for one another, for each others children when we fall.

If you are not a mother, then at least you have one, or have had one.  Maybe you have had another woman step in to fill that role.  You know enough to not make it all about yourself, but enough to know that when you are in trouble you take care of yourself first.  Or in really big trouble, to call on your mother. If your mother is one of the ones who is stuck, you call on another mother, or your other strong woman friend.  For we all share it.  We all have it in us.  It comes out in different ways and in different callings, but it is there.  For the mothers who can’t mother, we hire another mother.  For the mothers who can’t be mothers, we find children who need us, or we let that little part of our soul ache and watch over the world in our own way. Or, we power on, for we are very powerful.

We raise the world, us women.  We raise each other.  When we feel we can’t do that, we find a woman to heal our wounds that may have even come from another wounded woman.  We are not alone.  We are the beat, the backbone, the unconditional love that is vibrating through the world.  Where ever you heard your story here, don’t let it define you.  Where ever you heard another woman’s story, be kind to her.

I see you. I see you all, and I am in awe.  To truly be ourselves, living in our purpose and in our own happiness is a gift, one that we all deserve. We can also give this gift when we see each other in the same way.

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.

I Am Balanced

I have always had a thirst for knowledge, a hunger to know more that is never quite fulfilled. Reading about love & life, exploring rituals, and learning about new cultures were a constant in the back of my mind. I was always the girl who got yelled at for hiding in the corner, reading books underneath the coats in the cubby at school. It likely then comes as no surprise that when my {first} yoga teacher training arrived, I showed up with extra highlighters and a mind that was ready and eager to learn. I surprised myself by not only falling in love with postures, but also philosophy, anatomy and energy. I’ll never forget the day we received our rainbow colored sheets of paper, peppered with intricate designs and manytiny-devotions-balance-yoga Sanskrit words. I couldn’t wait to learn about chakras and whatever lay behind their beautiful colors. I couldn’t WAIT to decode the exquisite Sanskrit words and make the letters roll of my tongue to create meaning and structure within these foreign letters. Chakras are our energy centers within the bodies. Even before modern medicine and machines, the ancient Rishis in India knew that within each center we actually have a cluster of nerves. They could feel these channels when they sat completely still and listened to their bodies in meditation. As with any energy, when they flow, these energy channels are open and working properly. However when they stop flowing, they create a block of energy within that particular chakra or area of the body. We need all our chakras to flow with our natural rhythm to have a balanced body and a balanced life. Today begins the first post in a series of seven (one for each chakra). My goal is to break these down into simple chunks. By the seventh week I hope you feel moved by the subtle energy within you and walk away with more than just the pretty rainbow colors and flowery Sanskrit. Muladhara is the root chakra and as with any proper rainbow this is where we begin: the color red, the roots, the deep seated meaning of who we truly are. The first chakra develops within us when we are 0-7 years old and therefore controls our first thoughts around life, our values and moral compass as well as safety. Safety can be so deep: your home, your security within your family, money values and survival. When this chakra is open: You should feel free and happy. Abundance is flowing and you’re able to accept money, love, happiness and security into your life. You’re happy or content with your family, you feel balanced and loved. You have no worries about where your next meal will come from or where you’re going to lay your head tonight. Your lower back has no pain and you feel full of energy and light! When this chakra is blocked: You may feel tightness in your lower back or have feet/knee problems. You’re constantly worried about money or family issues. You don’t trust easily and you’re not sure about allowing God or the universe into your life. You may have some digestive issues (weight gain) and you don’t feel quite settled. You may have a lack of energy. tiny-devotions-red-yoga-oceanHow to open: This chakra opens in many ways, as with all. You can use a combination of crystals, color therapy (as simple as wearing a red sweatshirt or a delicious new root chakra mala), sound healing or meditation. Crystals: Bloodstone, black onyx, ruby, pyrite, hematite and garnet. Color: Red….try lighting a red candle, keeping your gemstones in your purse, or wearing your favorite red sweater (alongside your new muladhara mala). Sounds: Any music that has a deep bass. The sound LAM repeated during your sound meditation. Poses: Bridge pose (it allows your feet to make firm contact with the ground, while also making contact with the spine). Janu Sirasana or head to knee pose (a deep forward fold allows you to connect to your legs and your spine). Warrior 2, mountain pose as well as lunar or restorative flows. These poses are fierce and yet down to earth and loving to your physical body. Element: Earth Location: Perineum, base of the spine. A really great exercise to get into the root chakra is to do jumping jacks or dance. Ground your feet into the earth and allow yourself to feel the rhythm and the bass within the music (your choice, Pitbull or Krishna Das). Really feel your feet when you stamp into the ground. When you’re done stand in tadasana or mountain pose for a few breaths as the energy begins to return to your body. Feel the tingles, allow breath to deepen as your belly expands and contracts. Then drink lots of water and have a hearty meal with proteins: your roots will thank you later. 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.

Be Extraordinary

tiny-devotions