Ritual can be done anywhere, by anyone, and in any way with Jessica Cartwright

full_IMG_6179_edited-2Living in Montana provides a constant source of inspiration. There is so much natural beauty and an abundance of healthy, heart centered energy. It’s a wondrous thing to wake up every day in what the natives called the Valley of the Flowers. I feel immensely grateful to live here and do what I love – teach yoga, energy heal, get lost in nature, and inspire others.

Another beautiful gift that Montana has given me is the importance of ritual. Ritual is grounding and gives us purpose. It’s what our ancestors did on a regular basis and allows us to feel connected to this earth and our place here within it.

Ritual can be done anywhere, by anyone, and in any way.

When I hiked Machu Picchu last year I turned it into a spiritual journey. I used my malas to set an intention with every step. I ran the beads through my fingers and honored a loved one, said a healing affirmation, and charged them with love and purpose through every step.

MountainSplitNow it’s a ritual to use my malas in meditation when I need recharging; to cleanse them along with my crystals on the full moon; to practice 108 sun salutations at the change of every season; to place them on the top of my mat during my yoga practice.

 Breaking away from technology and connecting in a more meaningful way, through ritual, is a blessing. It allows us to hear the whispers of our ancestors as we ease into the groundedness of feeling earthly, relishing the seasons, and delighting in being human.

I love the Devotion mala for this reason; it reminds me of my devotion to ritual and to the purpose we all have in this life. It also reminds me of my devotion to the dreamworld, to spirit work, to the seasons, to my ancestors, to the land where I live, to my relationship with my self, and to the source of connection that lies within us all, at our heart centers.

MachuHeadstand Let creating ritual be fun! Just like the excitement that comes from picking out the perfect mala for you, exploring meaningful rituals in your life will feel freeing, empowering, and invigorate you! Ideas are to smudge your house, pat your buddha, carry crystals with you, celebrate the full moon, all of it works. Go with what feels good!

In my opinion ritual is anything that you come back to regularly, that steps you out of your normal routine (habit) and provides a feeling of meaning, purpose, and connection. So look for inspiration and get creative in how to bring ritual into your life. It’s sort of like deepening our roots so that our branches can grow even further.

Your malas are your best ally in bringing ritual and intention into your every day. Let them connect you to the ways you want to feel, to the love and groundedness that connects us all, every time you touch, wear, and practice in them!

 

– Jessica Cartwright
VivaMyYoga

The Five Health Benefits of Meditation

It is 2014, and life is busier than ever. We work hard, we play hard. More than ever, we need to get on board with meditation and sit hard (maybe without the hard part, but we were on a roll there).

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There are as many types of meditations as there are styles of yoga pants. You will ultimately find your perfect fit, but as you try on various styles for size, you are gaining the benefits right away. Here are some of those benefits that you are adding to your life:

1)            Meditation will make you more socially connected. Much different from social media connected, the solitary activity of meditation can increase positivity to other individuals and the world at large. It can even make you feel less lonely!

2)            It improves your ability to be creative. Creative people know that writer’s (or painter’s, or dancer’s) block is a very real thing. As a substitute for banging your head against a wall, try mediating. It sure is less painful.

3)            It gives your own 50 shades of gray. Meditation has been shown to increase the gray matter in the brain, in areas relating to memory and thought. The brain volume also increases in the area that regulates  emotions. Why, what did you think this was about?

4)            It can relieve pain. The Journal of Neuroscience has discovered that meditation can relieve pain by activating multiple brain layers. The study involved voluntarily receiving uncomfortable hot flashes to the leg. Be grateful for the people who help out in the name of science!

5)            It makes you see the glass half full. Besides the well-known benefits of decreasing anxiety and stress, meditation can help you to see the bright side of life and can increase positive emotions.

Bring more mindfulness into your life this year with tuja wellness. This Canadian wellness website will offer an absolutely free 30-day meditation challenge starting in February. Meditations will range from 5 to 20 minutes (let’s be honest, you spend more time than that each day on internet browsing) and it couldn’t be easier. Sign up here!

Confessions of a Boho Fashionista

Hey Boho Beauties,

I’m warming up with a cup of sweet cinnamon tea and I thought I’d open up my moleskin and pop down some intentions for the weekend. That’s right bellas—it’s not just for New Years or special occasions, the power of intention works all the time.

The greatest time for goddesses to set intentions is in the soft light of the morning, while your dreams are still fresh and your heart is wide open.

It’s winter-time in Canada, but a true gypsy keeps her summer-heart all year round. That’s why as I write this down, I’m reflecting on the spirit of the summer passed and the nights I spent watching dragon flies dance (just like we gypsies do) and the Super moon that lit up the night sky.

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A Super moon is a special phenomenon that happens very rarely. This chance occurrence creates a serious sense of magic and creativity. In ancient times, beautiful princesses who adorned themselves in crystals and gemstones would sit under the moon, cast their dreams below its light and pray for the creative genius that would spark from the moon’s light.

The Super moon does more than just spark creativity—it wraps a warm sheath of unconditional love and divine power on the beauty who dances under its light. When you’re under the glow of the super moon, you trust in your creative nature without a shadow of a doubt. This is because the Super moon provides unconditional love that guides us on our bohemian paths.

In the chill of the winter, when the sky is dark and the moon is nowhere to be found, I’m wearing my Supermoon Mala and setting my intentions on the divine creativity that lives deep within us all.

Put on your Super Moon Mala’s beauties, remember your summer-heart and go light some creative sparks.

Peace, Love and Magic from Bohemia