Chakra, Uncategorized

Let Intuition Be Your Guide: The Power of Om

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I’ve never been a quiet person. My personality is based on how many one liners I can get in the conversation and what song I’m currently singing on repeat. If we hang together, I’m usually making a bunch of noise.

But intuition isn’t loud, it’s the soft voice that whispers to us guiding us into flow. When we get quiet we can hear a deeper voice within. So for me, getting quiet becomes a practice. Since I’m not naturally inclined to shush up or meditate, I practice at sitting still to hear this deeper voice within.

The sea does not wonder how to interact with the shore. It is in the flow of life, that waves kiss the land. When tapping into intuition we tap into the flow.

When in a flow state, you may notice little synchronicities lining up like little markers on the path that give you the nod that your heading in the right direction. It isn’t a magic trick. When you open yourself up into the awareness of flow, you simply become aware enough to notice.

And when something comes and breaks the flow, you open yourself up to the idea that everything that is happening is guiding you somewhere else. You simply are always where you are meant to be, mostly because there is no where else you are.

Now is the only moment, and in this moment now, we can choose what thoughts we honor, and what thoughts we discard. What is our intuition & what is just noise?

We can choose gratitude, positivity, and understanding. And we can also choose to keep up on the notion that people are out to get us, or that we are unworthy, or unable. This is a choice. Through stillness, and affirmations, you can begin to create a habit that starts to take a look at limiting belief patterns, and rewire your tendencies towards a life in the flow.

It takes work, but it’s doable. Because if you tap into your intuitive nature, you will come to understand you are more than a physical body, you are more than your thoughts about life, you are not broken, you are a human with free will and determination.

Beyond the physical body, we are energetic in nature. We sense and feel the world around us through our 5 senses yes, but there is a subtle layer of sight that is experienced with our 3rd eye.

The energetic chakra between the brow, is where our intellect lies, and our ability to determine reality beyond physical form. Subtle emotions, facial expressions, & sensations in the body culminate to produce a bigger picture which we can sense with our intution.

Sensitive people can feel the presence of energy. Everyone can feel the presence of energy if they tap into the deeper nuances of a moment. Feel into a space with your intuition, rather than coming from a space of already knowing.

In our society, we aren’t taught to follow our intution. We’re told which certain paths lead to a predictable future where houses, cars and money can be accumulated.

How do we start to come away from the hustle and bustle, and come into the flow? It starts with the om. Sit quietly and om. This is a sound that centers you in your intuitive nature and energetically connects you with the moment now.

Lets practice together here

Step into the flow and join myself and Bethany Brown for a week long retreat in sunny Guatemala. We are hosting Yoga Soundscapes, an eco yoga and sacred sound retreat over looking San Marcos, Lake Atitlan this spring. In this retreat, we will release any energetic blocks that are preventing you from tapping into your intuitive nature. Join us here for more information.

Chakra, Uncategorized

Finding Your Truth, & Singing it Out Loud

What determines authenticity and why is it so important?

How do we find our truth, and have the courage to sing it out loud?

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With technology at our fingertips, and yoga on every corner, glossy social media posts of happy little yogis getting spiritual on the mat are shared left & right. This can make us feel like even our practice isn’t good enough. We can be left wondering what is real and what is a facade. What is genuine and what is the glossed over, photoshopped, nipped & tucked version of yoga fit to a square dimension on a gadget screen.

I am no exception to sharing on the social meeds. The Face Book told me recently, over my 4 years of travel, I made 500 friends in countries other than my own. Staying in touch is important to me. I utilize social media as a way to say hello, show up & inspire. I hope I’ve shown you the truth of the matter, not everyday is rainbows and butterflies and perfectly timed handstands.

Yoga is about unearthing our true selves. In the unearthing process, you’re bound to get a little dirty.

Each of us has a world view. It’s like a window in which we view reality. Mostly, it is not a clear view. Social conditioning fogs up the glass making it difficult to see. Society has told you what you need in order to feel worthy, your parents have guided you towards what they desired for you in order for you to be valuable to society, & religion has saved you (or tried), and Yoga teaches you how to “save” yourself.

Through yoga practice, we begin to wash away layers of conditioning, trauma, and ignorance. As we practice, we clear out, making it easier to see ourselves as the worthy, valuable and whole individuals we were born as.

Sometimes in the clearing process we re-experience trauma, and karmic entanglements. When re-experiencing, we have the opportunity to acknowledge the truth of what is coming up, and continue to clear. Stand in authenticity, which isn’t always pretty, & continue on the path towards our highest truth.

Authentic expression is about examining the reality of what is, then pausing, and expressing yourself accordingly. Walking a spiritual path does not mean whenever anger arises, we act as though we are not angry. When anger arises, expressing anger in a healthy way avoids larger blow outs later on.

Expression can even avoid disease later on. Energetic imbalances effect you on a cellular level. The verdict is out, humans do in fact experience a mind body connection. Psychologists have termed the word psychosomatic for problems of the physical kind that have originated in the mind through thoughts & emotions. When the mind & our emotions are unbalanced, we experience dis-harmony & dis-ease in the body. It is no surprise that many people, women especially, develop thyroid issues.

The thyroid is the butterfly shaped gland that sits at your throat and is responsible for producing the hormones which regulate your metabolism. The throat is where the energetic vortex of the vissudhi chakra lies. This chakra governs our true expression. When we are unable to fully express our truth, the energy becomes stagnant in this area, and dis-ease may arise, often resulting in problems with the thyroid gland. This isn’t to say that every time we are angry, or sad, that we should lash out, or we will experience dis-ease. This is where the pause comes in.

Like the space between the breath, or the valley between mountains, life continuously gives us opportunities to pause, reflect, and still yet, react from a place of truth. When someone has done an unkind thing, or you just can’t seem to get into the flow, or its raining when you swore the forecast said sun; pause, breathe, and express how you truly feel. What does it feel like to say, “I am MAD, and its ok” What does it feel like not to blame, point fingers, or find the weatherman and ring his little neck. What if we paused, took a few breaths, and still we screamed into the ether as to let those emotions go.

If you’re sad, cry, if you’re scared, reach out for support, if you’re angry yell into a pillow. Don’t hold that shit in to linger and cause disease. Give yourself permission to feel authentically real. Give your self permission to have emotions, express them, and then LET THAT SHIT GO.

Express it, and then let it go, don’t stay in that vibration for longer than it takes to acknowledge the pain. Don’t let the world victimize you or hold you down. Find your truth and sing it out loud. LITERALLY SING OUT LOUD.

Studies have shown that singing releases the feel good hormones dopamine and serotonin, the good stuff, the stuff that makes you feel high. Singing together in a community has an even greater effect. Don’t worry about the quality of your voice. it’s not the performance that matters its the vibration. The vibration of your vocal chords and the humming inside your head when you sing makes you a happier person; says science and says I.

I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember, and I’ve been writing songs to express my emotions. The emotions that flow through me in writing become a gift for the elements. The natural world loves our emotions. It takes them in and transforms them into useful stuff. Its an energetic exchange. When I sing, I can feel my energy levels lift. When I sing, I transcend from a place of worry, confusion, and into the pure space of beingness. I am present and standing directly in my truth.

I present to you my newest song called secrets which is a nod to the divine, a flirty exchange with the universe, and a letting go of energy that doesn’t serve my playful nature. Learn it and sing along with me: “For all souls know its never too late, wrapped in a bow, tied to this life, I just want to play”

Come to Central America and learn how to live outrageously authentic in our Yoga Soundscapes retreat this Spring. In this retreat we will connect with our truth, dance with our creative nature, & dive deep into matters of the heart. And there will be songs! A whole lot of song. Come play with us in Guatemala. Early bird prices available now.

Yoga Soundscapes and Eco Yoga & Sacred Sound Retreat

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Chakra, Uncategorized

Lets get to the heart of it. An essay on Vedic wisdom vs. scientific theory on matters of the heart.

We can talk about the cosmos, city planning, or aerodynamics, but no matter what we discuss, we always return to matters of the heart. Why do we want to know about the stars and their path in the sky? because it connects us to an ancient time, our ancestors, and the deep knowledge of where we come from. Why do we want to discuss which way a street will bend or a building built? Because we want to know the most effective way to visit our friends & loved ones, and create a space where everyone can live and work together. And why do we want to fly? To be closer to each other and to the world around us. To do things we think are not possible.

Is it possible to connect to the heart in all things we do? I think it is possible, and both spirituality and science agree.

My respected teacher M.M Swami Abhishek Chaitanya Giri talks about the heart as the space where the knowledge of truth lies. He describes the core of you as self illuminate. Swamiji, as he is affectionately called, is the gaurder of the knowledge of the Vedas in India. The Vedas, written between 1500 & 1000 BCE. are the wisdom texts of eastern philosophy and spirituality, and where the knowledge of Yoga has sprung.

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Discover more about Swamiji Here

In my studies, Swamiji delivers ancient wisdom messages that are so relevant today, that If we listen with our heart, we can feel them as inherent truths. With this Vedic knowledge, we can determine that for centuries philosophers, sages, and knowledge seekers have been discussing matters of the heart. The external world of forms, of consumerism, and of conflict is one way to experience the world. However, if you turn inward, towards the heart, towards the eternal that resides in you, you can discover something beyond the maya, an essence that is truly loving, and an unconditional love that depends on nothing to shine.

And now science is catching up to this ancient Vedic Wisdom.

At the Heart Math Institute in California, they have been researching matters of the heart for over 20 years. Scientists have discovered that the heart is it’s own information processing center. Like the brain, the heart can perceive, process, and encode sensory information. Meaning the heart’s’ only function isn’t to pump blood throughout the body; it also absorbs information & energy of the world, and sends that throughout your system with each beat.

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Through the hearts pumping, an electrical process occurs. When your body is in rest, your heart beats approximately 60-100 times per minute. This pumping actually creates an electrical signal. This signal or frequency permeates beyond the body and generates a measurable electromagnetic field extending in all directions around you in space and time. Scientific studies conducted at the Heart Math Institute have shown that the energy of your heart radiates out & around you and mingles with the biomagnatic field of the people close to you. This is how we feel and sense the energy of others, and experience a connection with those around us. This is why science is so beautiful.

In the yogic tradition, the energetic vortex of the heart is called the Anahata Chakra. This chakra represents a universal love of all beings, empathy, and self love. To ensure that your connection to those around you is based in the purest of heart energy, I’ve created a guided meditation you can engage in to balance heart energy.

Heart space guided meditation

We progress and progress in this time of great progression and still we are coming closer to the heart of things. Connection is at the root of the matter, and connection IS the heart of the matter. I invite you to take a moment and  share this message, and when you do, first, connect to the heart and send it with a loving vibration.

PS Want to dive deeper into matters of the heart live and in person? Bethany Brown & I are holding a retreat in Guatemala called Yoga & Soundscapes where we will indulge in relaxation, move into activation, and discover how to live authentically and from the heart. <<Yoga & Soundscapes>>

Chakra, Uncategorized

How Powerful are You? 3 Practices for Personal Power & Self Confidence

Do you ever find yourself on a certain path, or stepping into something new and you just know in your gut that it’s either totally the right thing for you, or that you’re going the complete wrong way?

It’s your gut that guides you in these moments, hence the phrase, “go with your gut”. This is no surprise to me, since the guts are the geographical location of the Manipura chakra. Also known as the solar plexus chakra, this is where we hold our personal power.

There are times in a yoga class where I am holding a pose and my legs are shaking, my mind is begging me to stop & yet I stay, I hold, I persevere. Every time we persevere we are tapping into the energy of the Manipura chakra.

When we are able to get through the tough times, power through, so to speak, we foster a sense of personal self confidence.

When you know that you are able to handle all that comes your way, you build on your personal self confidence and when you are confident, you can take on whatever comes your way. It’s a lovely cycle of confidence. It’s a circle.

The confidence builds & builds until you are bursting with inner strength, hot with the passion to commit, and breaking through any obstacles that stand in your way.

Perservering through the small things, like a tough yoga pose, a long hike to the top of a summit, or a difficult conversation, builds up the confidence to get through life’s tougher times.

If you’re anything like me, you don’t always feel self confident. There are times when I’m on top of the world, singing on a stage, expressing my deepest emotions through song. And there have been many times I’ve desired to give up music all together, days where the obstacles become too much, and I want to sit in a heap on the floor and cry.

I’ve actually done this. And its totally ok, but eventually, even in our darkest times, we have to get up off the floor, we have to find our truth and sing it out loud.

There are 3 practices that I engage in to help me increase my inner fire for self confidence and perseverance.

1. Kapalabati or breath of fire:

This is a warming breath that can stoke your inner fire. Practice with me in this video.

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2. Boat Pose or Navasana:

Stagnant energy can lead to a dull and stagnant life. Asanas help get things moving in both our physical body, & our energy body.

To practice Boat Pose start sitting with knees bent towards your chest with the souls of your feet on the floor. On an in breath, lean back & lift your feet off the mat, so that your body forms the shape of a V. You can extend your feet outwards or keep your knees bent. continue breathing rinse & repeat.

3. Chanting the mantra RAM:

Ram is the seed mantra associated with the Manipura chakra. When we chant the name we clear the mind and call on the energy of fire. I invite you to listen to this guided meditation for self confidence & together well chant the mantra RAM.

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If you would like to learn more about self confidence, and create a life you desire, I’ll be holding a free online 5 day intentional living challenge in Jan. <<Join this event for more details>>

And if you’re curious to see if your manipura chakra is out of balance, you can take this free test I created to see which seed mantra is right for you.

<<Take Test Here>>

Chakra, inspiration, Relationships, sound healing

The roots of love. How to Find Connection and Call in Your Tribe.

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We as people desire connection. It’s in our DNA. No matter our current life circumstance, at each and every core of a human, we desire to be recognized through the eyes of the community. Since people started doing the people thing, we’ve been gathering in groups, weaving stories, working towards common goals, making love, and sharing song within a community setting.

Cross culturally, people do these things differently, and yet, we do them together. Humans evolved in tribes, and while our current societies don’t resemble the tribes of old, we are still rooted in a tribal connection. Our desire to belong, and our questions of what we are all doing here together remain at the foundation of human experience.

You can tell in the way we so easily segregate ourselves by sports teams, job titles, & political affiliation. We desire to belong so deeply we are often willing to put ourselves in boxes without even knowing what exactly the box contains, just that we are recognized in the eyes of the community. If you begin to start to think outside of the box, as they say, you can come to creatively discover what a tribal connection means to you.

It is your divine right to be here now. Your body is the vehicle to reach depths of physical, spiritual & tribal connection. Just like you cannot separate the droplet from the ocean, you cannot separate your energy body from the physical body. Yoga philosophy defines these aspects of the self more as layers or koshas going from dense to subtle. Going from your physical body to your deep bliss body.

At the energetic level, or pranamaya kosha, lies the chakras. These energetic points along the midline of the body, act as portals for which energy flows.

There are 7 major chakras, and each chakra has characteristics that manifest in your life through thoughts, emotions and behaviors. These 3 expressions form your personality and essentially how you connect with the world around you, & how you relate to your tribe.

Each chakra has the potential to be blocked, over active, or balanced. You can notice when a chakra is out of balance, by how the problems in your life manifest. Our problems act as little arrows pointing back to the self, revealing where in your energy body you may be experiencing disharmony. Paying attention to your thoughts, emotions, behaviors as well as external problems, is like a little road map to healing. When we feel whole and healed, we are more available to connection with the the world around us, and call in a tribe that we vibe with.

When you discover which aspects of yourself feel out of tune, you can practice mantras to bring that chakra, & thier characteristic manifestations back into balance.

Each chakra has a seed mantra or Bija mantra associated with it. We discuss Bija mantras in more detail in my last post here.

The chakra that is most closely related to a tribal connection and our beginning stages of a spiritual practice is the root chakra or muladhara chakra. This chakra’s Bija Mantra is LAM.

The root chakra or Muladhara chakra is located at the base of the spine and is the seat of spiritual energy called Kundalini. This chakra represents our sense of security, connection to others, and our primal, instinctual desires.

When this chakra is out of balance you may experience fear, lack of security and seeking for basic needs in ways that may not serve your highest good. For example, we may use food, alcohol, or other addictive substances to cope with feelings of disconnection. Feeling disconnected, and ungrounded, happens on and off for many people, myself included.

When I first began to travel 4 years ago, I felt a tribe sized hole in my heart. I began to fill this hole with adventure & experience. From the outside it looked as though I were living a happy life, seeing the world, & experiencing new cultures. But that hole continued to grow when each time I found people who lit me up, we soon all parted ways to continue our own adventures. I got really good at saying goodbye.

Then I realized, not all good things need a goodbye. I began to get in touch with the root of myself and my primal needs through yoga, chanting and self discovery. When this piece of my energy body felt balanced, I no longer desired to hoard, keep and cage all the beautiful things I found on my journey, people included.

I let free all that came and went. Through chanting, I connected to myself, my surroundings, and all the peeps I met along the journey from my roots all the way to my heart. Now I’m creating a global tribe for all those who resonate with what’s happening over here to connect and find one another. We’re in this together tribe!

My wish for you is that you vibrate on a frequency that calls in your true tribe. You can join the Leela project’s sound tribe here. And let us know how we can serve you.

To begin to balance your own root chakra and create harmonious, vibrant connection within a community, you can start by chanting the seed mantra LAM.

If you haven’t yet discovered which Chakra could use some extra attention and care, you can take my free quiz here. <<Take Chakra Quiz>>