How to use your Mala in a Yoga Practice

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  1. Grounding:
    Inhale, exhale… Grab your mat, blankets, bolster and blocks. Find a comfortable seated position with a straight spine rooting yourself into the mat. Gently close your eyes or soften your gaze allowing yourself to dive inwards.
  2. Choose Your Mantra:
    Take a moment to choose your mantra to guide you through your meditative practice. What brought you to your mat today? What intention did you set this morning when you awoke? What emotion does your mala evoke within you? Your intention is personal to you- it can be a thought, a word, a sentence or song. Once you have chosen your mantra chant it aloud or silently.
  3. Japa Meditation:
    Hold your Mala Beads in your right hand allowing it to drape between the thumb and middle finger. Starting at the Guru Bead or the sacred stone- gently roll each bead while repeating your mantra. Repeat this 108 times, or until you are back at the sacred stone.
  4. Yoga Practice:
    Place your Mala beads at the top of your yoga mat. Allow your mantra and intention to flow through you guiding you through your asanas. If you feel yourself getting lost in the physical practice, use the intention you set with your Mala Beads to bring yourself back to the present.
  5. Savasana:
    Finish your yoga practice on your mat with a juicy savasana. You may choose to end with another round of Japa Meditation bringing your practice full circle.

What are Mala Beads?

Mala is the Sanskrit word for garland. While simply being in the presence of these Mala Beads or Malas as they are called for short is powerful, these magical beads are commonly used in the spiritual practice of Japa Meditation. Malas have 108 beads to count while reciting, chanting, or repeating a chosen mantra or intention. They are also deeply devotional and can be used in the repetition of sacred names or words like Om, Om Shanti Shanti Shanti, I am Love, I am Peaceful, etc.

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When we select a word or series of words to repeat in the form of a mantra, we’re affirming it to ourselves, allowing its meaning to sink below the surface into our subconscious, helping to shift negative vibes into positive ones. Simply the practice of asking the universe for what you want is the first step to making it into fruition.

Malas can and should be worn by anyone and everyone. They’ve beome a beloved and
intentional statement piece, inspiring their wearers to connect deeply with their inner being. They are known for their unique appearance, vibrational healing properties and ability to serve a daily reminder to live a more intention based life.

Our Malas have 108 beads, made out of Rudraksha seeds, Sandalwood or Rosewood, plus one guru stone made out of a beautiful crystal known to have many healing properties.

The 109th guru stone symbolizes gratitude and our connection to the divine. It is a way to say thank-you to all the yoga teachers, friends, family or guides who have helped us on our path to enlightenment (or at least knowing ourselves more). We also use the Gemstone Guru to set specific intentions and goals.

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Creating your own Sacred Space

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It’s important to take time to step back to rejuvinate and replenish yourself. A time for reflection, for looking within, assessing and setting intentions. For some it can be a certain activity or ritual that helps them feel relaxed and replenished and for some it can be a certain place. We wanted to share a few tips on how to make a rad boho inspired space to wind down, reflect on your journey and just relax.

1. Location, location, location. The space can be small or large, inside or out as long as it encourages a peaceful mindset, a place to replenish your mind, body & soul.

2. Find inspiration in what you love. Chose what smells, sounds, looks, and feels good to you. Things that give you energy, inspire you. This could be comfy cushions, scarves, blankets, vision boards, art, stones & crystals, essential oil diffusers. You name it.

3. Journal. Have something you can write on, to record any questions, feelings or inspirations from your day. It gives you a chance to express yourself and allows you to dig deep, reflect and encourages you to relax and unwind.

4. Add plants & flowers, they increase energy, color & oxygen. Different colours represent different feelings & emotions, include colours that align with your intentions.

5. It is important to enter your space with your intentions clear, to leave the chaos outside of your space, so as to allow cultivation of only your truest potential.

Remember that this space is yours, created by your intuition. Honour that intuition, let it flow through you, don’t be afraid to make alterations to your space at anytime as you progress through your journey.

Which Goddess are you? Take the quiz!

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The Goddess of Protection, Courage and Victory, she represents the power of good over evil. She has many arms for protection and 3 eyes to see all. With her fierce heart, she rides a lion, representing power, will + determination. This warrior Goddess of inner strength assures you that there is freedom from fear. She encourages truth, risk-taking and personal empowerment. She is a reminder of the feminine energy which protects you from negativity.

She is the goddess of love + beauty, she exudes kindness + compassion. She adores the sea and feels at ease when the yellow rays of the setting sun warms her skin. Awaken your inner Goddess Aphrodite and embrace your feminine wisdom. Aphrodite carries a mirror and a seashell everywhere she goes, guiding her to use her intuition as she flows through life. She encourages us to experience more passion in relationships + balances our yin-yang energy.

The Goddess of Wealth and Good Fortune teaches us that there are no tests or blocks in our way, only our own projection of fear.  Let go of worry and trust that your future is bright. Signifying love and grace, allow the spirit of Lakshmi to guide you through the manifestation of your wishes through inner cosmic energy.

This Goddess of Revolution and Empowerment appears in your life to prepare you for an awakening. She liberates the soul and encourages new beginnings. She comes to prepare you for the unknown, to break down barriers and rise up anew. She is the cause of all change, manifestation, and destruction. Her spirit reminds you that today is a great day to renew your thoughts and attitudes. Let the adventure begin!

The Goddess of Wisdom, Purity and Compassion, her love heals to bring health + strength. The 7 eyes on her hands, feet and forehead allow her to be all-seeing. She teaches you to acknowledge your sensitivity in order to avoid negative relationships and situations. She helps you connect with your inner light to focus on self-care. She purifies our thoughts, actions + intentions to help us find calm amongst chaos.

This Goddess of Learning, Knowledge + The Arts encourages spiritual growth and freedom. She holds a palmleaf scroll and wears a Mala, symbolising that knowledge has an everlasting life cycle. Her name means “essense of self”, and that’s exactly what she inspires. Her four arms represent the four aspects in learning: mind, intellect, alertness + ego. Her encouraging energy inspires growth, creatively and spiritually, to allow you to be happy and be yourself through speech, wisdom and learning.

The Goddess of Inner Wisdom, Strategy and Strength, she encourages you to trust your intuition and take immediate action on recurring ideas. With her olive leaf in tow and owl perched on her shoulder, she inspired peace and prosperity on earth. She teaches us not to second guess ourselves, for her energy is powerful and wise. She is compassionate and generous, yet protective and rational. She is a reminder of the power which resides in us.

Using Mala Beads for Meditation



Mala beads can be used in a variety of ways to help you manifest and achieve your dreams + desires. Our NEW Meditation Mala Collection features 6 Malas, each designed to keep you focused and on track during your practice on that specific intention, affirmation or mantra.

Originally used for japa meditation, mala beads are a great addition to any modern meditation practice. Wear your mala around your neck or clasp it firmly in your palms as you tune in and focus on your breathYou can also bring your mala beads to your mat during your yoga practice as a way to focus and bring awareness to your intentions. This is a great way to infuse your mala with the energy of your practice. We recommend placing your mala beads on the corner of your mat and using them as a focal point during your practice.

 



Peaceful Meditation Mala

Instill a calming, patient peace of mind. Perfect for those who find it difficult to have patience and trust in the right timing. In the midst of noise and hard work, you still carry calm within your heart. 

Strength Meditation Mala

Bring forth an energy that is courageous, confident and full of strength. You are independent, intelligent and capable of whatever you put your mind to. Keep your vision on what’s ahead, and let go of thoughts that don’t make you strong!

Radiance Meditation Mala

Your inner strength is radiant. You are a strong, confident, and vibrant beacon of light; a magnet for all that is good. Share your wisdom. Radiate love. 

Intuition Meditation Mala

Your intuition is your soul speaking, and it knows your truth. Trust your own voice, and believe in your heart. See with your own eyes, speak your own mind

Awakening Meditation Mala

Awaken your conscious mind, provide inspiration + assist in personal development. You see the light in everyone and everything. Your spiritual vision is clear. Awaken your truth.

Gratitude Meditation Mala

Appreciate life, freedom + love. Take the sweet shortcut to finding peace of mind and happiness inside. Wear this Mala to enhance abundance, acceptance and appreciation.

We’d love to hear how you use your mala beads for meditation. Comment + Share below.

 

 

 

How to Teach Children to Meditate

shutterstock_47183629_0How many times a day do we as adults pause and concentrate on a slow and relaxed breath?  If you are like me, or many of my clients we don’t do it often enough.  We spend our days moving from one appointment to the next, groceries, laundry, cook, clean up, bath time for the kids, bedtime routine, repeat.

The next time you find yourself running from one task to another take a moment to pause and just notice your breath. Is it shallow or deep and full?  Our children feel our energy and can feed off that. When we are feeling stressed then our children can become stressed. When we feel calm, cool and collected then our children do as well.

Many times I hear from our awesome mamas and papas that their children have a challenging time settling into bed at night. They toss and turn, can’t get comfortable and end up wide awake for hours.

Here are some tips and tricks that may help your children in settling in for a quiet and peaceful evening. In a soft voice guide your child through the following meditations:

1.  This guided meditation is appropriate for school age children and pre-teens.

  • Sit or lie down comfortably and try to close your eyes.  Make any little movements that your body would like to make to make yourself as comfortable as possible.
  • Try to close your mouth and breathe in and out of your nose.  Notice what it feels like when you breathe in and out of your nose.  I am going to ask you some questions and just think about them in your mind for a moment without speaking out loud. (Parents- pause for a few moments in between each question)
  •  Do you feel your breath as it enters and leaves your nose?
  •  Do you feel your belly and chest expanding as you breath in and getting smaller as your breath leaves your body?
  •  What does it feel like when you slow your breathe down and take a deep slow breath and then let it go slowly as well?
  •  Try to follow your breath with your mind as it enters through your nose, travels deep down into your belly.   Feel your belly grow and expand and then fill your ribs and your chest.  Follow your breath with your mind as it all leaves back through your nose. Let the air in your chest leave first. Then your ribs. Then your belly.
  •  Continue to follow the wave of your breath as it slowly enters and then leaves your body.

 2. This guided meditation is appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers.

  • Lie down on your back and close your eyes.   Place your hands lightly on your belly.  Try to lie very still and quietly.  Close your mouth and breath in and out of your nose.
  • Feel your belly move up and down as you breath.  Your belly is just like a balloon.  Fill your belly up with air and it expands like when you blow up a balloon.  When you breathe out feel your belly get small again just like a balloon does when you let the air out of it.
  • Imagine your belly is a balloon and blow your belly balloon up really really big and then let it get very very small again.  Try to blow your balloon up slowly and softly.

Some children may be resistance to lie or sit to listen to a guided meditation at first. Try not to push them into it. Allow for self-discovery and join in with them.  Lie down with your child, hold their hand or rub their belly or back, and softly allow your mind and body experience the guided meditation as well.

From my family to yours I am sending lots of sleepy vibes!

Namaste,

~Amanda

 Amanda DeGrace is the Founder & Creator of Little Lotus Yoga.  LLY specializes in Pre/Postnatal and Childrens Yoga classes.  You can find them at www.littlelotusyoga.ca  and on facebook at www.facebook.com/LLYoga and on twitter at @littlelotusyoga. When Amanda isn’t getting her OM on with her amazing clients she is at home with her two young children and another babe on the way!

#SoulFULLFall Day 2: Work with Soul

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Mantra: I am thriving, prosperous and full of creative energy

Monday morning can be a grind. Whether you work in an office or from home, getting back into the flow and routine of your job can be a struggle.

Good news? It doesn’t have to be that way. By changing your attitude and spicing up your routine you can transform your work routine into a #soulFull, enjoyable experience! Here are a few tips to get you started…

1. Focus on what you love. Instead of complaining about all the tasks you hate, focus on what you love about your job! Ask yourself, what drew you to your career in the first place? What we think about, we amplify. If you focus on what you love, your whole day will become more enjoyable!

2. Build a community. Connect with colleagues. Go out for lunch together, create an office book club, or share personal stories about your friends and family. Working with friends can be so much fun! So, strengthen your workplace bonds and relationships.

3. Take breaks and time for yourself. Meditate during break or go for a walk around the block. Do things to make yourself feel good during your workday and you will see a spike in a productivity, focus and enjoyment.

Snap a pic of your new #soulFULLfall routine and post it to social media using the #soulFULLfall hashtag for your chance to win an epic Tiny Devotions and Essence of Living prize pack!