Turn off and Tune In

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    is it me or what?  The times they be a changing.  In the last month we all have been over exposed to death, sadness, unrest and at times anarchy, via the internet, FB and various media oulets.  It is time to turn off and tune in!  Turn off the television set, go off-line, get away from the mindless chatter that keeps us away from being centred and positive.
All of this negativity is not good for one’s soul and as much as we want to watch this and stay current our bodies and minds need rest, rejuvenation and self- care.

The atrocities of the world will always be there the next day and the day after, we will not miss much.  Let’s get off the train of doom and into the light of some positive activities, maybe get up and move, do some stretching, read an uplifting book, walk the dog, take a nap, whatever your body and mind are desiring from us.  Hug someone you love, play in the snow, go to a yoga class, paint, write, sing, take a mental health day, sculpt, plan a day with family and friends but do something that takes you away from all the pain in the world.

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Yoga Benefits

Increased energy. Do you feel completely drained out by the end of the day? Shuttling between multiple tasks through the day can sometimes be quite exhausting. A few minutes of yoga everyday provides the secret to feeling fresh and energetic even after a long day. A 10-minute online guided meditation benefits you immensely, leaving you refreshed and recharged in the middle of a hectic day.

All-round fitness. You are truly healthy when you are not just physically fit but also mentally and emotionally balanced. As Sri Sri Ravi Shankar puts it, “Health is not a mere absence of disease. It is a dynamic expression of life – in terms of how joyful, loving and enthusiastic you are.” This is where yoga helps: postures, pranayama (breathing techniques) and meditation are a holistic package.

Stress relief. A few minutes of yoga during the day can be a great way to get rid of stress that accumulates daily – in both the body and mind. Yoga postures, pranayama and meditation are effective techniques to release stress. You can also experience how yoga helps de-tox the body and de-stress the mind at a Sri Sri Yoga Level 2 Course.

Inner peace. We all love to visit peaceful, serene spots, rich in natural beauty. Little do we realize that peace can be found right within us and we can take a mini-vacation to experience this any time of the day! Benefit from a small holiday every day with yoga and meditation. Yoga is also one of the best ways to calm a disturbed mind.

Yoga and Creativity: Catch the wave!

Start the day with yoga

Dawn marks a new day’s creation. Morning is a great time to start the day with a quiet hour of yoga and meditation. An effective morning yoga routine can end with a yoga breathing technique called the Sudarshan Kriya, taught by The Art of Living Foundation. Practicing Sudarshan Kriya has shown to reduce stress and calm anxiety over time, helping the mind relax naturally into creativity. After morning yoga practice, the day ahead is like a fresh canvas to paint on. At the end of your yoga session, take a journal with you and write down any creative ideas that come up.

Make your own creative yoga space

Yoga and creativity can meld together for an inspiring environment at work and home. To make your space for yoga ready, gather some recorded guided meditations, a favorite chair to sit on, a yoga mat, and some pillows. Now, to add creativity, place some art supplies or musical instruments near your yoga space. Allow yourself at least 15 minutes a day to write, draw or play music in your own “creative yoga corner”.

Forming friendships with creativity and meditation

To catch the biggest waves, a surfer has to learn how to dive into deep waters. When you are ready for more than surfing on the waves, dive into your creativity. Take the challenge to learn more about an interesting sport, or an old love of art. Join a workshop. Couple this with a meditation practice, and you can find yourself picking up new skills and possibly uncovering hidden talents you didn’t know you had. Here’s a tip: Sit for meditation just before your creative class, then start your creative work for best results.

Be inspired by nature

Sometimes in the afternoon, I find my creative well starts running dry. That means it’s time for a nature walk. There’s a walking path nearby that meanders into fields of dense brush – great for taking in deep breaths of air and creative ideas. When I get there, I find a favorite place to sit and watch nature. What flowers are growing there? What birds’ songs do I hear? At least ten to 15 minutes of observing nature revives up my mind with a fresh new creative start.

Meditate through the day

A surf rider’s day isn’t complete without a few memorable moments on the waves. In between each new wave is the silent, quiet wait. The surfer has a chance to gather energy and notice the surrounding scenery. In the middle of the day, a meditation works like the ebbing ocean wave. Your chattering mind gently drops back into its quiet source. When your mind feels overwhelmed and no creative thoughts are materializing, a 10-20 minute meditation can calm the mind so new ideas can naturally surface. Before lunch, or at the end of the day, meditation can help you feel rejuvenated and ready for your next creative task.

Finding your flow with yoga

The surfer grabs the ultimate wave. A tunnel of water spirals forward, almost threatening to circle around him. No problem – the surfer has found the flow and sails right through to the other side. A good flow of ideas is effortless like breathing. Here is one yoga breath exercise to help you find your flow. Sit quietly with eyes closed. Slowly, take a deep breath in. Breathe out slowly. As you breathe, notice the flow of your breath. Does it seem to shake, or is it slow and steady? Do you find that you stop in between to take a bigger gulp of air to complete the breath? Continue breathing slowly and deeply for ten breaths.

Now, take out your journal. On the page, write down a central theme and circle it. For the next few minutes, keep writing down any thoughts that come to you relating to your central theme. Circle each new word and draw a connecting line to the main word. When your mind comes to a natural stop, you have completed the exercise.

Yoga helps you do what you love

Practicing yoga, we gradually build more awareness about our own creativity. We can move toward doing more of what we love. Yoga and meditation help focus the mind. With a more focused, calm mind, we can move more directly toward what we really want, toward the deep yearning of the soul, kind of like the tunnel opening at the end of the ultimate wave.

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References:

http://www.artofliving.org/in-en/yoga/excel-with-yoga/yoga-and-creativity

http://www.artofliving.org/in-en/benefits-yoga-asanas