Mirror Yoga

By Guest Blogger: Jeffrey Starbuck

The ultimate place where we feel and experience yoga is within ourselves. When we do asanas (postures) or other practices, we feel it in our bodies, our minds, and our emotional fields.

A great practice for connecting more deeply with ourselves both psychologically and emotionally is mirror work. Yes, literally gazing into a mirror! This is done alone, with yourself, in front of a large mirror. The purpose isn’t to observe how you look, but rather to see what you feel. Try it.

1. Set aside 5 minutes of dedicated time.

2. Stand or sit in front of a mirror. Ensure you can see your head, shoulders, and upper torso.

3. Gaze into your eyes. Notice what thoughts and feelings arise. Any thought, any feeling. Simply notice. This practice could also be called “Mirror Meditation.”

4. Keeping in mind the adage, “The eyes are the windows of the soul,” simply continue observing anything and everything that enters your field of awareness. Especially negative, critical thoughts.

5. Keep returning your attention to the eyes.

6. Think to yourself, or speak aloud, “This is me! This is the person, of all the people I’ve known, that I’m most familiar with. The one I’m closest to!”

7. Notice any and all negative, critical thoughts, and practice letting them go. Let go.

8. Finish by thinking or speaking aloud, while looking into your eyes, “Perhaps I can learn to really love you. I would like that, even if I can’t do it now.”

Practice “Mirror Yoga” once a week. Or more frequently, there’s no downside.

Jeffrey Starbuck, LCSW, RYT, is a Renaissance Healer who teaches Integral Yoga,  meditation, and qigong, while also helping individuals move into deeper levels of yoga within themselves. He is the author of “Snapshots in Eternity: Stitching Together the For Corners of Existence,” a small book of sacred poetry available through Amazon. For more information: http://www.JeffreyStarbuck.com

Mindful Moment

Let It Go

by: Danna Faulds

Let go of the ways you thought life would unfold;

the holding of plans or dreams or expectations –

Let it all go. Save your strength to swim with the tide.

The choice to fight what is here before you now will only result

in struggle, fear, and desperate attempts to flee from the very energy

you long for. Let go.

Let it all go and flow with the grace that washes through your days

whether you receive it gently or with all your quills raised to defend

against invaders. Take this on faith; the mind may never find the

explanations that it seeks, but you will move forward nonetheless.

Let go, and the wave’s crest will carry you to unknown shores,

beyond your wildest dreams or destinations.

Let it all go and find the place of rest and peace, and certain transformation.

Auto Body Shop

By Guest Blogger: Sandi Merrill

Would you put low grade gasoline in your prized Ferrari? When was the last time you changed your oil? Like cars, our bodies need regular maintenance for peak performance. We tend to our appearance, sometimes excessively – washing, waxing, and polishing the chrome. We give attention to the foods we eat – seeking high octane fuel. But, taking full deep breaths and maintaining a peaceful mind are just as important.

These days, constant stress and the focused, visual demand of our tech. devices robs us of our breath. Our breath becomes shallow when we’re anxious, angry, or fearful. Our breath sometimes stops completely when we squint our eyes to read the text on our ever shrinking displays.

Without adequate oxygen, our bodies are unable to efficiently convert the fuel we consume into energy. When fuel is not fully metabolized, it leaves behind residue that eventually “gunks up the works.” In the science of Ayurveda, this toxic residue is called “ama.” In Sanskrit it literally means undigested. We combat the accumulation of ama by maintaining a strong digestive fire, “agni.” Full, deep inhales fan the digestive flame with more oxygen. Full, complete exhales eliminate more of the residue resulting from that combustion. The more efficient our engine is, the cleaner we burn fuel. Less dirt accumulates in our engine oil. So, while our Ferraris may show a few more dings over the years, a well-maintained engine will carry us far.  Happy trails.

Sandi Merrill is an everywoman who stumbled upon yoga 20+ years ago. After some “taste-testing,” she found joy in the Integral Yoga tradition. She is honored and blessed to be able to share the teachings of Sri Swami Satchidananda. Yoga teacher training uplifted her life. Today, she is one of the lead trainers for the Integral Yoga 200-hour Teacher Training when she isn’t globetrotting with her newly retired hubby.