gratitute, health and fitness, resolutions, self help

INTENTION SETTING & MUDRAS

INTENTION SETTING

Intention-Setting

Intention setting is a powerful practice. We do not just set intentions in a yoga class environment, it can be done any time. We set our intentions to cultivate and amplify a certain quality in ourselves, something we feel we need to work on. Intentions should be clear, pure and come from the heart. (You can also dedicate your practice to something or someone)

Usually you would do it at the beginning of a yoga practice and would come back to it throughout the practice and during the relaxation (Savasana).

Intentions that we set should be positive affirmations set in a present tense. For example, you can say ‘I am grateful’ if you would like to cultivate the quality of gratitude, or ‘I am love’ if you would like to cultivate self love or love towards other people. By saying ‘I am not angry’ you bring the negative ‘not’ into your intention, but we can change it to ‘I am at peace with myself’ or ‘I am calm’, ‘I am aware’. 

If you are struggling to find the right intention you can always have a gratitude practice instead. The easiest way to incorporate it into your life is to either think or say aloud 10 things you are grateful for and the reason why. There’s always something to be grateful for :))

MUDRAS

Yoga-Mudras-And-Significance

Mudra is translated as a seal or a lock. Some mudras involve the entire body, but most of them are hand and finger gestures only. 

These are used in meditation and in everyday life to channel the energy within our body. Hands are closely connected to the brain. When we use mudras different areas of the brain get stimulated, thus creating specific energy flow. 

Each of the five fingers represents one of the five elements as well as certain body parts and organs. Mudras are creating the balance between the elements when those are unbalanced and are also balancing our health.

IMG_7527

Thumb – digestion

Index finger – breath (respiratory system)

Ring finger – bones, skin

Middle finger – thoughts

Little finger – blood 

Mudras work on similar principals of acupuncture and reflexology. We are redirecting the energy flow within our bodies by performing various hand and finger gestures. 

We perform mudras in our every day life without even realising that what we are doing is mudras. For example, you can catch yourself doing the Hakini Mudra when you are thinking deep about something or concentrating. 

Hakini Mudra

Thumb sucking with other fingers rolled in is Mudra – helps to soothe and calm down. 

There are 108 hand mudras, but the most common ones are 

  • CHIN MUDRA – (tips of thumb and index fingers touching) – it is a Mudra of knowledge. It improves your focus, memory, helps with anxiety, stress and is performed for a better insight into your life or specific issue. It calms the mind and brings a more receptive state with it. Thumb represents universal consciousness and index finger – individual. When they are connected – you are connecting the individual self with the high self.

chin mudra

  • BHAIRAVA MUDRA ( resting palm in palm with right one on top). This is a Mudra of healing, harmony, concentration and balance. It restores balance between feminine and masculine, Ida and Pingala; between physical and spiritual.

BHAIRAVA MUDRA

  • ANJALI MUDRA (palm to palm). This is the most familiar Mudra. It symbolises gratitude, respect and honour. We use it as a Namaste gesture in a Yoga class. 

ANJALI MUDRA

If you would like to be more receptive and open keep your palms facing up, when you wish to be more grounded keep them facing down. 

There are many other fascinating mudras and there is loads of information available on the subject online and in books. Next time you do a gesture with your hands look the gesture up and you will be surprised to discover that you have probably just done a Mudra. 

Have a lovely week everyone full of positive affirmations!

Natallia

gratitute, health and fitness, resolutions, self help, travel

My Yoga & Meditation Journey So Far

‘The quieter you become the more you can hear’

Meditating, or in my case just sitting still, was easy when I was in Bali. There was no stress, no outside noise, no washing or dishes to do and kids to entertain, no classes to teach and basically no external barriers to sit still and just breathe. For the first time in my life I actually managed to go through twice daily 30-40mins meditation practices and really enjoyed them. I still couldn’t fully switch off but I sat there and felt so much better for it (sometimes even dozing off and waking up with a little snort 😝)

I’m back to the real world and I’m not going to lie – it is so much harder to do in here. But I do it nevertheless- 15 mins every morning sometimes burning my incense sticks and candles – sometimes without.

I have a little meditation space with crystals, a candle, incense sticks, holy water and some other bits and bobs there. I don’t think you actually really need all that to meditate, but it makes me happy and helps me with my daily ‘stillness’

I did try meditation before but I wasn’t persistent and there was always something/someone to blame for not doing it. I was restless and couldn’t compose myself. Walking meditation worked better for me but it wasn’t enough.

I truly believe that meditation is the key to a happy balanced life. I still can’t fully switch off and on those days when I just can’t get into it at all instead of letting all those thousands of thoughts running through my head I practice gratitude and breathing (pranayama).

I also only do it for 15 mins for now up until I feel I’m ready to increase it. It’s getting easier and easier from day to day but I know it’s going to take me many more months to learn to control my thoughts.

An interesting fact is that physical Yoga asanas (poses) were actually initially introduced to make you stronger in order to be able to sit still during meditation practices. Yoga then evolved into many various practices.

It’s perfectly fine to have your meditation practice separate from a yoga one. Breathing (pranayama) is an essential part of any yoga practice (or at least it should be!) and it is the first step to mindfulness and relaxation. I like a good strong yoga session, but I also do enjoy a more gentle and restorative practice with loads of breathing, relaxation and a long Savasana.

My personal practice has evolved from purely physical practice with no Savasana to incorporating more breathing exercises and actually staying for Savasana to all of the above plus more mindful approach to teaching and practicing yoga and pranayama to incorporating daily meditation, external and self education and evolving my practice daily.

Mindfulness and meditation isn’t my strongest point. I wouldn’t teach meditation or narrate Yoga Nidra because that would just be fake and pretentious. But I would explain it to people and use a recording of Yoga Nidra narrated by someone who is really good at it. If something has worked for me and I learnt it from a source I would share it, but up until I feel I’m proficient at some certain practices I wouldn’t teach them.

I do like working with breath and coordinating breath with movement – hence flow yoga is by far my preferred practice. I like alignment and functional aspects of Yoga asanas, but I also grew to love restorative practices.

The moral is: do what you like and don’t feel you have to become a Buddhist monk and meditate for months avoiding a physical yoga practice because it’s ‘trendy’ nowadays. There’s time and space for everything: both of them are just fine as well as any other forms of physical activities.

It has actually been proven that meditation facilitates a better lifestyle, reduces stress and anxiety and promotes clearer thinking. The same can be said about exercise and a physical practice.

I’m still only starting my meditation journey so can’t really give you any solid advise on that, but taking time for myself, painting, walking and meditating has been really making a positive effect onto my life 💕

gratitute, health and fitness, resolutions, self help

New Year’s Resolutions: are we saying YES or NO to those?

Happy 2015, guys!

Have you started thinking about your New Year’s resolutions yet?

I stopped with having any, because ultimately they all come down to this:
____________________________________________________________
Do what makes you happy even if it annoys people around you!
(to a reasonable extent :)))

Live a healthy lifestyle (i.e. quit smoking, exercise, eat clean)

Be grateful and content with what you have rather than crying over the stuff you do not!

Be adventurous and take risks!


Remember if you really want something, but are very anxious,scared that it might not work – unless you have tried it you will never know what the outcome might be!
If you fail – you will learn from your mistakes and move on! If you succeed – imagine how amazing it would feel!
‘ If you win – you’ll be happy
If you lose – you’ll be wise’

Love life!

Spend money on travelling and exploring new places rather than acquiring material things

Value your family and family time – this is something no money can buy!

Happy 2015 everybody!
Make it your BEST year ever!
http://www.natalliasfitness.com

__________________________________________________________________