Soma: The Inner Flow of Bliss

I watched a PBS talk show on yoga and meditation last night, and I gotta tell you, I was a little disappointed.

Everything focused on relaxation and stress relief. Really just the psychological benefits of meditating.

Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with either (or both!) of those things. But that’s just really one side of the coin. The side of getting rid of undesirable stuff–tension and stress.

But there’s a very yummy side of yoga meditation that cultivates positive things–like deep abiding peace and a constant flow of joy–that they never even mentioned. Too bad. ‘Cause I’m all over this part these days.

The experience or state of inner bliss is called “soma”, and is said to be the nectar of rejuvenation. When we connect to our inner soma, we are able to live our lives with a sense of wonder and delight. With child-like eyes and mind–the direct opposite of a stiff, aging, cranky mind. (Ya’ll know who I’m talking about.)

It’s important to balance our “cleansing” practices that get rid of the undesirable stuff with soma practices that nourish the spirit and feed us with deliciousness. Otherwise we run the risk of burning up and burning out. Just like after a food cleanse or detox, if you go back to your old, poor eating habits afterwards (or just do cleanse after cleanse after cleanse) you are actually weakening yourself.

There are many specific practices that can be used to start connecting to and even developing more soma. One approach is through special pranayama (breathwork) and meditation techniques for the chakras. That’s what we’ll focus on at the fall retreat in October. Yay! You’re coming, right?

Inspiration from Martha G.

 

You know how you notice something that you’ve never noticed before, and then all of the sudden it starts showing up everywhere? Well that’s what this quote from Martha Graham–the famous dancer and choreographer–keeps doing for me right now. So I figured it was important and I better share it with you…

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.” 

       –Martha Graham

I’d invite you to take a few moments to contemplate each line of this amazing quote. Even better, journal a few moments about each idea.
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that istranslated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique.
What does that mean? What’s your gut reaction to it? Is it true? What if it is?
And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it.
What does that mean? What’s your gut reaction to it? Is it true? What if it is?
It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions.
 
Oh wow. Let that one sink in. How are you doing with that on a day-to-day basis?
It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.
 
Again, how are you doing with this?

Things to do with Chakras

“So, Lorna,”  I’ve been asked. “What are Chakras and what do you do with them?”
This is a great question with a not so simple answer.
From an ancient yogic perspective chakras are energetic centers correlated to certain locations of the body (like the navel, heart and throat) and certain functions of the body (like digestion or respiration), as well as emotional and mental function. But their greatest potential is to serve us on the spiritual path of personal transformation, self-realization, and liberation from suffering.
What you “do” with chakras–if you want to evolve spiritually–isopen them through the appropriate practices, including pranayama (breathwork), mantra (chanting) and meditation.
Learning more about chakras and cultivating a greater awareness of your own chakra centers is a way to expand into your full potential as a healthy, whole person. And I personally think it’s an amazingly fun and fascinating way! (I guess that’s why I keep deepening my own chakra practices and teach clients about them, too. :))
 ******

If you want to explore the chakras, consider coming the Chakra & Soma Retreat or set up a complimentary consultation to find out about sessions we can do at the studio or by phone: info@synergyfitnessandwellness.com or (307) 362-5632. Chakra-licious!

Brave.

Commit to doing at least one brave thing per day for the next week. Watch how your confidence and vitality skyrocket!

How’s your Balance?

Play in the dirt a little bit! The connection to the earth through things like gardening, building sand castles, or walking in your yard barefoot helps to balance and center you.

Just a Few Extra Steps

This week park your car in the farthest parking spot everytime you go to work, the store, etc. Getting a few extra steps in helps you burn more calories, get the blood and oxygen moving through your system, and gets into the fresh air and sunshine for a few moments. Plus, you won’t have to fight others for the spot.

Flour Power

Last week I recommended you cut out any kind of food or drink sweetener, at least for a time. If you did that with
awareness, love and interest, then you are now in a position to decide if you want to bring back some sweeteners into your life in a  

moderate way that serves your happiness and well-being at all levels. Be selective and continue to

 

stay mindful. From my training and personal experience,

 

white sugar and artificial sweeteners are best avoided at all times.
This week we continue our stroll down food awareness lane with an experiment with flour.
Ready? Here’s the experiment:
Avoid eating anything made with flour.
 
This means things like bread, tortillas, pasta, crackers, many snack foods and desserts. Check the ingredients label or recipe to be sure.
I highly recommend you do this for at least 3 cycles in a row of 3 days (aka 9 days–but I’m subtly reminding you of the importance of the number 3 when it comes to changing habits.) You can definitely go for 66 days. Or a lifetime. But choose one time period for now and commit to it.
And don’t even bother to do this if you’re not going to do it with enthusiasm, happiness and humbleness. (If you’re wondering how in the world that will happen, maybe just ease your way into it for a 3 day commitment.) Attitude is everything.
By definition, flour is processed and it can act more like sugar in your system than the whole grain/whole food version of the same food. Many people get cravings for more food when they eat things made with flour, and are surprised at how easy it is to feel satisfied and lose weight when joyfully they cut out flour from their diet.
Benefits beyond the obvious:
  • you may discover that flour and/or the glutens in certain flours are not right for your particular system and that you digest better without them
  • you may experience fewer cravings
  • you may lose weight
  • you’ll train your ability to focus and commit
  • your positive emotions around it will actually contribute to more physical benefits (and you’ll be nicer to have around)

Aren’t these experiments fun!

 

Let me know how it goes…

You’re so sweet!

I’m always getting questions about what the most important dietary change is. So for the next few weeks I’m going to share some simple ideas that you can implement for not only better physical health, but also better mental health.

I highly recommend you do this for at least 3 cycles in a row of 3 days (aka 9 days–but I’m subtly reminding you of the importance of the number 3 when it comes to changing habits.) You can definitely go for 66 days. Or a lifetime. But choose one time period and commit to it.
Ok, here it is:
Avoid eating or drinking anything with added sweetener.
Yup, I’m talking sugar, dextrose, aspartame, honey, high fructose corn syrup, agave, stevia and so forth.
And don’t bother to do this if you’re not going to do it with enthusiasm, happiness and humbleness. (If you’re wondering how in the world that will happen, maybe just ease your way into it for a 3 day commitment.)
Benefits beyond the obvious:
  • you’ll remember and learn to appreciate what food really tastes like
  • you’ll train your ability to focus and commit
  • your positive emotions around it will actually contribute to more physical benefits (and you’ll be nicer to have around)

Groovy! Let me know how that goes–I’m excited for you. 🙂

Breathwork Benefits

Breathing is one way to define life.  From the moment you’re born until you die you are breathing. Luckily it’s automatic, so we don’t have to remind ourselves to do it. Yay! But if you do take the time to learn how to consciously control the breath, you can gain great benefits for your health and well-being.
Ancient yogis figured this out and developed a way to transform the body and mind on a physiological level, by using breathwork (pranayama). This physiological transformation can be used for reducing stress or improving energy levels –your vitality, energy, and joy. Breathwork is less known and used than physical yoga poses (asana), but only 5 minutes a day can make astounding differences in your life.

I remember an experience I had when I was taking an Anatomy & Physiology class several years ago. We were studying respiration, breath capacity, etc.,  and I mentioned to the professor that I had a whole CD on breathing. (It was by Andrew Weil, one of the leading lights in Integrative Medicine.)

 And he said, “That must be the most boring CD in the world!”

 But you know, it wasn’t to me. It was fascinating to bring awareness to the breath and begin to consciously control it in different ways. And then noticing how I felt. Ever since, I’ve been enthralled with how the breath affects us.

 When I went to yoga teacher training and learned a lot more about the art and science of breath mastery. Since then I’ve been practicing it daily — sometimes for just 12 breaths, sometimes for 20 minutes of focused practice. I journaled about the effects it had on me immediately after the practice (mostly very alert but peaceful)… then noticed the effects lasting throughout the day… then noticed what happened when I missed a few days. (Yow!)

I’m here to attest that it is a terrifically powerful tool that can literally change your life. The breath is a gift that we all have by virtue of being a live human being. All it takes is a little bit of guidance to understand how to begin to use it to address your particular needs so that you gain the greatest benefit with the least risk.

I’d love to guide you on an exploration of breathwork, when you are ready to make your own corner of the world a better place to hang out! Ready…set…breathe!

For you: New Options for Summer!

I’ve want you to know I’ve listened to what so many of you have been saying…it’s hard to commit to a fitness routine or yoga practice in the summer because your schedule changes, you want to take advantage of the weather and share quality time with your friends and family. Plus, most of us think we’ll be more active in the summer so we don’t need to worry about regular workouts or yoga practices.
But, yikes! What I as a wellness coach actually see happen over the summer is usually one of these:
  1. You’re more active with things like walking, but you lose beneficial muscle gradually and then gain weight more easily when the walking outdoors season ends
  2. You “weekend warrior” it, overloading the body with activity for a few days at a time but not maintaining it on a consistent basis, leading to injury, fatigue and/ordecreased performance in those very activities you love
  3. You focus on cramming in as much fun as possible and end up at the end of the summer worn out and stressed, unhappy with your overall health and fitness, and out of touch with your inner spirit
So like I said I’ve listened and I’ve observed. And now I’ve come up with some special solutions for you. Yay!

If you are ready to come in to a no-pressure, no-obligation, free consultation about your unique fitness and wellness needs, then let’s schedule a Free “Find the Right Fit” Consultation right now!

 

Simply click here:  info@synergyfitnessandwellness.com

And put “Yes, I’m ready!” in the Subject line of your email.

 

Please include your name and phone number and we will be delighted to schedule a time with you!

 

Act right away to ensure you get the time slot that works best for you. Just contact us at  info@synergyfitnessandwellness.com or simply call (307) 362-5632 and we’ll set up a FREE “Find the Right Fit” Consultation!

 

I can’t wait to hear from you and see how we can partner together to help you reach your wellness goals. 🙂