The Yoga Shala now offers 20 different yoga classes, and we warmly welcome current and aspiring yoga practitioners of all levels to discover the joy of harmonic breath and movement.
If you’re looking for a beginner’s class, we offer a Yoga Basics class on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. If you want to turn up the heat and are up for a challenge, we have a variety of Power, Buti, Hatha and Vinyasa classes available every day of the week. If your body is asking for a more relaxing and restorative flow, drop in to Yin Yoga on Sundays, Relax & Restore on Mondays, Flow and Stretch on Wednesdays, or Therapeutic Yoga on Wednesdays. New Students can take advantage of all these fabulous new offerings for our special $39 for 30 days of unlimited yoga (non-ashtanga classes). That means for just a little more than a dollar a day, you can take as many yoga classes as you want for a whole month! How great does that sound?
If you’re looking for something very different, very traditional, and very individualized, the Mysore program at The Yoga Shala provides the unique opportunity to explore the Ashtanga Yoga system. The owner of The Yoga Shala, Krista Shirley, was authorized to teach this style of yoga by her teacher in Mysore, India. This self-practice is based on a specific sequence of poses, taught one-on-one and hands-on by one of our dedicated Ashtanga instructors. We have a 6-class Introduction to Ashtanga Yoga course to build the foundation of your practice, no matter whether you’ve practiced 20 years or you’re trying this for the first time.
As an added bonus, The Yoga Shala hosts various workshops with teachers visiting from near and far. In October, 2019, The Yoga Shala will host Harmony Slater, a certified Ashtanga yoga teacher from Canada, with a full schedule of workshops and Mysore classes. https://www.theyogashala.org/harmony-slater---october-18-23-2019.html In January, 2020 the lovely Kino McGregor, another certified Ashtanga teacher, will join us for a weekend full of workshops and a Traditional Led Primary Class. https://www.theyogashala.org/kino-macgregor---dec-6-8-2019.html
In February 2020, join the owner of The Yoga Shala, Krista Shirley, on a once-in-a-lifetime journey to practice yoga for a week and explore Patagonia, South America. https://www.theyogashala.org/patagonia-retreat-2020.html
If you seek to immerse yourself, expand your knowledge of Ashtanga, or are maybe thinking about teaching some day, The Yoga Shala offers a 5-month Ashtanga Apprenticeship (8 weekends Friday-Sunday) with Krista Shirley, starting in March 2020.
For more information about the classes, workshops, retreats, or any of our offerings, check out theyogashala.org or follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@theyogashala).
With a long history, yoga is a mind, body, and spiritual practice that is rooted in Indian philosophy. These days, there are several different types of yoga that practitioners can take part in that combine different postures, meditation, breathing techniques, and relaxation.
While yoga can be a sweat-inducing, muscle-pumping passion, it is also known for helping practitioners tap into their spirituality and connect a person's soul with the physical.
The inclusion of cannabis within the yoga community is a natural and easy one, given how the use of cannabis can help put a person's mind and body at ease, and promote mental focus. And now that recreational marijuana is legal in California and other states like Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, incorporating legal cannabis with yoga is becoming increasingly popular.
Known as "ganja yoga," this practice is exactly what it sounds like: smoking or otherwise indulging in cannabis products before practicing yoga.
Why Practice Ganja Yoga?
As the stigmatization of the cannabis plant continues to weaken and its legalization becomes more widespread, the research being done on cannabis also becomes more common and in-depth. There are now a number of different studies that have shown the many powerful medicinal and wellness properties of marijuana and the cannabinoids within it.
Adding cannabis to a yoga session can help practitioners take advantage of these perks while simultaneously benefiting from yoga itself - the practice is growing in the industry as cannabis and yoga enthusiasts recognize the benefits of this collaboration.
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of combining yoga with cannabis is the mindfulness aspect. A big part of yoga involves quieting the mind and connecting to the spirit, and the marijuana plant’s relaxing effect can help yogis achieve a heightened state of meditation.
But there are plenty of other health and wellness benefits of marijuana that yoga practitioners can take advantage of:
Reducing inflammation. Perhaps one of the most powerful healing benefits of marijuana is its ability to combat inflammation. While inflammation can be a good thing and is the body's way of responding to and healing a wound when injured, it can often have negative effects.
At the root of many ailments, chronic inflammation can cause several diseases and medical conditions, including arthritis and some types of cancers.
The cannabinoids in marijuana have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help combat a slew of different ailments. By interacting with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system in the body and brain, marijuana cannabinoids can effectively reduce the inflammatory response, as well as minimize all the negative effects that come with inflammation.
Reducing pain. When there’s a reduction in inflammation, a reduction in pain tends to follow. One of the more common reasons why medical marijuana is used is because of its pain-relieving effects.
Many people who use marijuana do so specifically to alleviate their pain. Whether they smoke it, eat it, or rub it onto their skin at specific sites on the body, marijuana can offer similar pain-relieving effects as pharmaceutical painkillers.
Relieving pain can help to enhance mobilization of the body, which can be helpful when practicing yoga. It can also help relax and loosen the muscles in preparation for the challenging stretches that tend to come with yoga.
Relieving anxiety. While there are traditional medications that can be prescribed to combat anxiety, marijuana has been shown to help relax the mind naturally.
Since yoga is a practice that is designed to quiet the mind and relax the soul, incorporating marijuana into the mix can serve an important purpose and strengthen a person's ability to combat anxiety.
Heightening the senses. Marijuana consumption is known to alter the mind and create a euphoric state, which encourages the senses to be heightened. Adding cannabis to the practice can provide a shortcut to enlightenment and help practitioners get more out of their sessions than they might have without it, especially for newbies.
Lowering inhibitions. Certain yoga poses can seem very uncomfortable, especially for those who are new to the practice. As such, they may be a bit hesitant to go all out with their poses and inherently limit what they can get out of their session. But marijuana can help people lower their inhibitions and try different moves that they may otherwise be apprehensive about.
How Does Ganja Yoga Work?
While different yoga classes may do something a little different, they all obviously incorporate the use of marijuana with the practice of yoga.
While yogis can smoke their cannabis before they arrive to class, one particular Ganja Yoga studio in San Francisco led by Dee Dussault encourages students to get there a few minutes early and consume it just before the poses start. Some classes may even have different marijuana products available to sample, including edibles and tinctures.
Throughout the class, participants can take smoke breaks every now and then to maintain their "zen." Once class ends, students are usually encouraged to stick around to sober up following a puff-and-pose session to ensure everyone's safety. Dussault also has a ganja yoga studio in LA.
But Dussault's classes aren't the only ganja yoga sessions that take place in the Golden State and surrounding states. There are plenty of others for yogis to choose from, and there will likely be many more to pop up as the legalization of marijuana continues.
Lit Yoga is Los Angeles' first marijuana-only yoga studio, co-founded by Hannah Mason. The beginning of each class involves a cannabis and tea ceremony where students sip on herbal tea and pass joints around for the first few minutes of class before the posing really starts.
The cannabis tea ceremony serves as a way to be intentional about using marijuana and preparing the mind and body for the session to come.
While California might sound like an obvious place for ganja yoga classes to take place, other states have their own cannabis-yoga studios that are popping up. In Denver, Colorado, Bend & Blaze Held led by yoga instructor Amanda Hintz blends a great workout with cannabis to encourage a deeper, experience.
And Ganjasana in nearby Boulder, led by Rachael Carlevale, offers both co-ed and women's-only cannabis yoga classes, as well as cannabis yoga teacher certifications.
Although there aren’t many cannabis yoga studios in many other parts of the US because of the issue of legalization, there are still plenty of marijuana yoga meetups that take occur all throughout the country where recreational cannabis use is legal.
Yoga can be an invigorating workout that can strengthen the muscles, but it can also be a way to develop a deeper connection to the spirit. And for those who are looking to take their yoga practice to new heights, participating in a ganja yoga class can potentially help them achieve a more intense and focused state of mind while benefiting from all the miraculous properties that marijuana possesses.
This article originally appeared on myfoli.com
By April Joyce Yoga - Namaste Florida
This one is especially for all the guys out there.
This article is originally published on knowledgeformen.com
Meditation is all about clearing your mind and achieving a mental state of peace and calm regardless of the circumstances of the outside world.
So what’s it all about? What are all these people finding that you may still yet to realize? What are the actual benefits of meditation that can help you in your life and your career?
1. Meditation Reduces Stress
“To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still.” ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
OK, guys, we all know how life can go.
The constant grind to find the next dollar, to seal the next deal, to land the next gig, to leave the legacy of which you can be proud, to achieve, achieve, achieve!
All this ambition and drive is great, but it can come with a price, namely, your peace of mind. The problem is, that all this responsibility and angst can overwhelm you and create tremendous stress. The weight of the world can end up on your shoulders.
So what can you do with all that pent-up stress?
Instead of ignoring it, drinking or drugging over it, fighting it or trying to push it away, many are finding that going inward helps them discover the part of the mind that remains calm.
Science has found meditation to be incredibly effective at reducing stress and anxiety.
One study found that mindfulness and Zen type meditations significantly reduce stress when practiced over a period of three months.
Another study revealed that meditation literally reduces the density of brain tissue associated with anxiety and worrying. (SOP)
According to the Harvard resource, 100 percent of insomnia patients reported improved sleep, and 91 percent either eliminated or reduced sleeping medication use.
An amazing 75 percent of insomniacs who started a daily meditation program were able to fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed. (MBMI)
It was found that during meditation the production of the stress hormone cortisol is greatly decreased, thus making it possible for those people to better deal with stress. Sixty percent of anxiety prone people showed marked improvements in anxiety levels after 6-9 months of starting a meditation protocol. (PM)
With all that angst and ambition driving your stress levels skyward, why would you wait to shut up the world and find the benefits that inner stillness can offer?
2. Meditation Increases Your Overall Sense of Well Being
“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ~ Carl Jung
What can you do with an agitated, busy and depressed mind but live an agitated, busy and depressed life?
No more, right?
Why not let go of these things and live a life of happiness, joy, and energy?
Anyone interested in going beyond the depressed state of Debbie Downer from Saturday Night Live?
According to studies, mindfulness meditation increases your psychological functioning and in the process improves your sense of well being. When regularly practiced, meditation has significant therapeutic effects, increasing your quality of life. (SOP)
High school students exposed to a relaxation response-based curriculum had significantly increased their self-esteem. (MBMI)
Meditators were more independent and self-confident. People who deliberated daily were less fearful of death.
It has also been documented that people who use meditation and relaxation techniques may even be physiologically younger by 12 to 15 years. (PM)
If that last stat didn’t wake you up just a bit, you may already be dead.
If not, then keep reading. There will be tips on how to get started when you’re ready.
3. Meditation Improves Your Emotional Reactivity
“There are different things one can do to establish and hasten the peace process. Meditation is one way.” ~ Mike Love
There’s nothing more embarrassing and disempowering than a man who constantly flies off the handle, overreacting to every little stressor and negative situation.
Kind of like Jackie Gleason used to do from the old “The Honeymooners” show: “One of these days Alice – boom pow to the moon.”
What man wants to be at the mercy of his emotional nature, falling prey to being so out of control?
Or would you rather have a strong control over your emotional states?
To relate to others, to empathize, to hone your ability to pick up on cues indicating how others are feeling?
According to studies, meditation does just that, as well as increase your emotional stability, making you less likely to be influenced by negative people in your life. (SOP)
According to Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience,” meditation can put you into that flow of life when you are absolutely absorbed in the present moment, finding success in whatever you are doing.
Maybe it’s when you are painting, or writing or playing a sport. Research indicates you can reach a state of mind where you are operating in harmony with the ability to perfectly handle all challenges.
Only happiness can follow.
4. Meditation Improves Focus and Productivity
“When we meditate, what we actually do is enter into the deeper part of our being. At that time, we are able to bring to the fore the wealth that we have deep within us.“ ~ Sri Chinmoy
You’re the man for the job.
What you need to accomplish has been laid out before you.
Do you want to have a razor-edge focus so you can be as productive as possible?
Think of the lazer-like focus one of the most productive quarterbacks in NFL history.
Tom Brady’s eagle eyes on the field and even on the sidelines tells you this athlete is on the mark.
Whereas he hasn’t commented on any meditating habits, his wife Gisele Bundchen’s did credit her own meditation as a cause of his Patriots’ team 2017 SuperBowl victory, saying on the Jimmy Fallon show: “After screaming and praying and calling my family and asking everyone to pray I started meditating, because it was the only thing that could calm me down. I channeled some great energy and I feel like a little responsible.”
Research shows that meditation does improve cognition and increases abilities to perform tasks requiring focus. (SOP)
Project Meditation reported that a Detroit-based chemical plant posted the following results three years after implementing meditation:
Other clinical findings included inner city middle school students improving grade score, work habits and cooperation, and decreasing absences. (BPMI)
So if you are the man for the job, get focused, get on it, and get meditating.
5. Meditation Improves Creativity
“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It is a way of entering into the quiet that is already there – buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day.” ~ Deepak Chopra
The free and relaxed mind is open to ideas.
And in that state what a man thinketh he may just be able to “create-eth.” Yes, we know that’s not a word, but you get the idea.
According to studies, being mindful helps reduce cognitive rigidity leading to some higher inspiration. The science says that meditation increases your creativity, unleashing deeper thoughts that may reside below the surface thinking. (SOP)
It’s no wonder that famous creatives like John Lennon and David Lynch made meditation a major part of their life. Make it yours, and you just may come up with a brand new idea … or two … or 1,000.
6. Meditation Improves Your Memory
What did you have for dinner two nights ago?
There is little chance of recalling. But what about those vital ideas and concepts that would be great to have committed to memory? Such as lines for a play, answers to test questions, data for research, or the name of your boss, or coworkers or girlfriends?
A successful man would possess a keen mind and a steel-trap memory. You don’t have to become one of those memory experts who can recall everyone’s name in an audience of 200, but if you simply want to improve your memory, medication does the trick.
Research has shown that. In an Indian study in 2004, the practice of Transcendental Meditation was shown to improve academic performance in university students. (SOP)
Meditation helps. Remember that!
7. Meditation Improves Your Immunity
“People who used to have migraines, don’t. People are sleeping better. People have better relationships. People interact with other people better. It’s been fantastic.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
It’s tough to be a powerful He-man or Hercules if you are coughing up a lung, or carrying around Kleenex for your sniffles. Worry not, sneeze not. Yes, meditation can support you around health as well.
Different types of meditation have shown to strengthen the body’s immunes system, which makes you more resistant to viruses and infections. (SOP)
Throw that hanky away Hercules and get back to business.
8. Meditation Can Lower Blood Pressure and Inflammation
Imagine boosting your cardiovascular health by not even moving a muscle. Counterintuitive yes. But it’s true!
Research indicates mindfulness and Transcendental Meditation improve your cardiovascular health and reduce your risk of heart disease. (SOP)
Heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and oxygen consumption are all decreased with meditation. Thickness of the artery walls is shown to decrease, which effectively lowers the risk of heart attack or stroke by 8 to 15% (PM)
As well, 80 percent of hypertensive patients have lowered blood pressure and decreased medications – 16 percent are able to discontinue all of their medications. (BPMI)
So instead of letting your blood boil over, sit still and chill.
10. Meditation Can Improve Decision Making Skills
Indecision is not a sign of a man standing in his truth or power. Imagine a high-powered executive at a board meeting, claiming “well, I’m not sure which way to go.”
Important finding: meditation improves your ability to make decisions.
Studies have found that with mindfulness meditation you can improve the functioning of your brain’s decision-making centers. (SOP)
So to meditate or not to meditate – it’s your decision.
What’s the move?
11. Meditation Can Be Used to Alleviate Pain
You’ve heard “no pain, no gain?” Well, the truth may also be “do meditation, lessen pain.”
One study claims that meditation reduces physical and emotional pain better than morphine.
Hard to imagine, but it’s a scientific finding in a Forbes research article.
It’s also been shown that relaxation therapy has been helpful in chronic pain patients. (PM)
And chronic pain patients have shown to reduce their physician visits by 36 percent after starting a meditation practice. (MBMI)
So if you are struggling with chronic pain… You may want to put down the pills and pick up the “Oms” it might just prove more effective in the long run.
This article is originally published on knowledgeformen.com
Hey gang! It’s Shelby here, your mid-morning Mysore teacher and General Manager. Can you all believe that we’re halfway through the summer? Where does the time go?
This summer has been a bit challenging for me, and maybe you’ve had your own challenges as well. But I try to look at it as a time to grow, to learn about myself.
Let me tell you my story: my bedroom has a leak, which has caused extensive water damage and mold. To make a long story short, my entire bedroom was ripped apart: part of the ceiling and walls were removed along with the entire floor. I slept on a mattress in my dining room for two weeks. Not fun!
But what I did try to remember each morning was the word “equanimity”. Equanimity is defined as: mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation. Isn’t that what we’re working on in our yoga practice? We try to keep the mind focused and calm, the breath steady, even as we move through difficult poses. Our bodies may feel uncomfortable at times, but we try to remain steady. What a great lesson for both on and off the mat: to remain equanimous in the face of adversity.
Remaining calm during difficult times is a lifelong work-in-progress. I can’t say I was always equanimous throughout my bedroom ordeal. As I can’t say that my breath is always steady and my mind is always calm in each asana. But I know that I WILL return to the steadiness when I can. Equanimity is always waiting for us: it IS our authentic self.
Forget "pot brownies." While this classic cannabis concoction is still immensely popular, there are plenty of other recipes that include cannabis plant on the list of ingredients.
They’re not only delicious, they also allow you to enjoy the benefits of THC and CBD.
The world of edible cannabis has nearly limitless possibilities. Whether you’re looking for main courses, desserts, drinks, or desserts, there's a cannabis-inspired recipe to suit your needs.
When searching for marijuana recipes, you'll find a couple of products on the list of ingredients, including:
The process of creating canna-oil involves decarboxylating raw cannabis (basically, heating it in the oven), tossing it into a saucepan with oil, then straining out the plant material. What you'll be left with is a simple, potent base for cooking.
The process of creating canna-butter is similar to the above process, and involves decarboxylating the weed in the oven, placing it into a saucepan with butter and water, straining the canna-butter, and refrigerating it.
Get creative and try these amazing cannabis food recipes.
Certain types of foods - including pasta, meat, and potatoes - are staples in many people's lives. And while entrees are meant to nourish our bodies, there's no reason why they can't tempt our palates too.
Here are a few cannabis-infused dishes you absolutely need to try.
1. Cannabis-infused Gnocchi
Pasta is a staple in most people’s diet. It’s filling, tasty, and affordable. Gnocchi, in particular, is especially hearty, and with this recipe from Munchies, you’ll also be left with the benefits of cannabis too.
3 baking potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp baking powder
3 cups flour
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Another classic dish, this recipe has been tweaked by Culinary Cannabis to include some cannabis.
2 15 oz cans black beans, drained
2 15 oz cans black-eyed peas, drained
2 15 oz cans dark red kidney beans, drained
2 sweet onions, chopped
8-12 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup dry red wine
1-2 pounds chopped beef
1-2 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp chili powder
1-2 tbsp dried chili flakes
3 tbsp Lea and Perrins
3-4 large tbsp marijuana butter
3. Pizza with Cannabis Oil Crust
Classic pizza is getting an additional ingredients tossed into the mix thanks to this recipe variation from Cannabis.info.
1 1/2 cups flour, sifted
2 tbsp cannabis-infused olive oil
2 tsp granulated yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
4. Mac, Cannabis & Cheese
Swapping traditional butter with canna-butter makes this classic dish, tweaked by The Cannabist, somewhat unique.
1/2 lb elbow macaroni or shells
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp salt
Cheese Sauce Ingredients:
5 tbsp cannabutter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk, warmed
4 oz mozzarella, grated
8 oz medium cheddar, grated
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 tbsp canola oil or canna-oil
2 oz cheddar, grated
Onion Rings Ingredients:
1 cup canola oil
1 onion, peeled and sliced
5. Cannabis Sesame Honey Lime Chicken Wings
Chicken wings are a classic dish to serve up at large gatherings. They’re relatively easy to make, and they’re a crowd pleaser.
This particular recipe concocted by Cannabis Cheri takes a spin on things, tossing in a little lime juice, honey, sriracha sauce, and of course, cannabis.
Snacks and Quick Bites
It's tough to go between meals without putting a little something in our mouths and settling our grumbling tummies. With these snack recipes, you can keep hunger at bay, satisfy your cravings, and even add a little marijuana to your life to reap its many rewards.
Give any one of these snack recipes a try.
6. Cannabis-infused Guacamole
The classic avocado-based dip has been spun to include cannabis oil. Cannadish has created their own version of guacamole, and it’s pretty easy - simply mash some avocado with cannabis oil, then stir in chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro and lemon juice (although as guacamole purists, we’d have to recommend using lime juice) .
7. Cannabis Popsicles
Easy to make and totally refreshing, popsicles make the perfect treat on a hot sizzling day.
This recipe from Original Weed Recipes combines mangos (or any fruit of your choice), yogurt, and little bit of what they refer to as “medicated” coconut oil.
8. Cannabis Fruit Galette
A fancy name for pancakes, “galette” may be a simple recipe, but it’s taste is anything but. For this cannabis fruit galette recipe from Sous Weed, you’ll be filling the galette with a variety of fruits, blackberry jam, and lemon verbena.
To top things off, a dollop of whipped cream completes a truly delectable dessert.
9. Rosemary Mashed Potatoes with Cannabis
Eat Your Cannabis has put its own spin on traditional mashed potatoes by including canna-butter in place of olive oil or animal butter.
4 large potatoes, cubed
1/2 cup canna-milk
4 tbsp cannabutter
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
Salt and pepper
10. Cannabis Artichoke Dip
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t like artichoke dip. Just about anything can be dipped into this dish, making it a universal dip to serve with various appetizers.
Wake and Bake’s take on artichoke dip calls for a few cashews, mustard, swiss chard, artichoke hearts, and some marijuana-infused walnut oil.
No meal is complete without a sweet treat to top things off right. Try these marijuana-inspired dessert recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth.
11. Cannabis Caramels
You might be able to find traditional caramels at the grocery store, but you won’t likely find any infused with cannabis.
This easy-to-make recipe from Original Weed Recipes combines canna-butter along with corn syrup, brown sugar, and vanilla for a tasty treat.
12. Cannabis Snickerdoodles
Snickerdoodles might be the most commonly baked cookies in the world. Original Weed Recipes’ version takes the classic recipe known to millions of grandmothers and simply substitutes regular butter with canna-butter.
Sugar and cinnamon (to roll the cookies in)
13. Cannabis Donut Holes
Just as good as the whole donut, donut holes are just enough to satisfy our sugar cravings.
This recipe from Munchies adds canna-butter to the mix, along with conventional ingredients like flour, sugar, and eggs.
14. Chocolate Cannabis Peanut Butter Bars
There may never be a more perfect union than chocolate and peanut butter, and these bars from Original Weed Recipes cleverly sneaks THC-cannabis flower alongside the chocolate, peanut butter, sugar, flour, and eggs.
15. Cheesecake with Cannabis
A delicacy in the dessert sphere, cheesecake is a timeless treat that can take on various forms, including chocolate, fruit, or simply plain. The Weed Scene’s take on cheesecake involves adding canna-butter, in addition to cheesecake recipe staples like cream cheese, sugar, flour, and, of course, the graham cracker crust.
With so many different recipes out there with THC-laden or CBD-rich marijuana, there's no reason why you can't enjoy your favorite dishes or desserts while taking advantage of the medicinal and wellness benefits of the plant. Use your imagination, get creative and give any one of these cannabis-inspired recipes a try!
This article originally appeared on myfoli.com
The word “spirituality” means different things for different people. For some, spirituality is associated with religion and is tied to concrete rites and rituals. For others, meaningful activities like swimming, making art, and walking through the woods brings on a spiritual experience. For the most part, though, the word spirituality has become as ambiguous and vague as the word “the,” and is often stigmatized by associations to “hippy-dippy” new-age philosophies, patchouli, dreadlocks, and yoga pants.
Spirituality seems to have become confused with religion, as it is common to now associate as “spiritual” or “not spiritual”. However, at its core, spirituality is a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves, and is not an ideology to believe or not believe in. Spirituality is, in fact, what gives life a sense of meaning and purpose.
Practicing spirituality has scientifically-validated benefits, making it important for each and every person, not just yogis in the Himalayas. If you find yourself skeptical about the necessity of spirituality, check out these 10 reasons why spirituality matters for the average Jo(sephine):
1. Be Present
The spiritual life is based in the present moment, as the present moment is the only real moment; the past and future are concepts in the mind. When living with our minds in the present moment, we function with greater focus, clarity, and spontaneity. We also feel greater levels of joy, as happiness is only accessible in the here and now.
2. Get Smart
Studies show that many spiritual practices, especially meditation, result in increased grey matter area in the brain. Among its many benefits, regular meditation leads to increased cognition, improved focus, attention, and ability to perform under stress, and higher levels of emotional intelligence, all of which contribute to enhanced work performance.
3. Be Healthy
Most spiritual paths and religious traditions recommend abstaining from behaviors and substances that are detrimental to health, such as drinking, smoking, using drugs, committing crimes, and harming others. Many paths, such as Ayurveda and Buddhism, even make dietary recommendations, which can lead to a lower body weight and lessened risk for chronic health problems.
4. Let Go of Grudges
A basic tenet of most spiritual paths and traditions is forgiveness. When we forgive ourselves and others, we are able to let go of blame, negative feelings, and anything else holding us back from moving forward in our lives. In fact, studies now show the positive health benefits of forgiveness, which include lowered risk of heart attack, lowered blood pressure, improved cholesterol levels, and reduced levels of pain, depression, anxiety, and stress.
5. Bounce Back Faster
Studies show that people who feel a sense of spirituality have greater resilience to hardships. Those with a spiritual outlook have an easier time moving through challenges by finding meaning in difficult situations. High resiliency is also a trait associated with the most successful people in the world.
6. Make Better Decisions
Decision-making is an area that many people struggle with. By simply identifying a set of values that we feel aligned with, we can make decisions that help us feel connected to the greater whole and with a sense of purpose. Spiritual paths also tend to support the development of faith and trust, which helps with stress-reduction in times of uncertain decision-making.
7. Enjoy Amazing Relationships
Research in social science demonstrates that humans are neuroscientifically hardwired for connection, and that connection is what brings meaning to life. Interconnectedness, which is at the core of spirituality, helps us to recognize the shared human experience and feel compassion for others. And when we feel compassion, we enjoy the company of others more and find it easier to find common ground.
8. Release Stress and Anxiety
When we feel a sense of connection to a higher power, we experience mental and emotional freedom. Personal spiritual practices, such as yoga, meditation, running, gardening, and other meaningful activities, are all correlated with lower levels of stress and tension.
9. Enhance Creativity
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “True art takes note not merely of form but also of what lies behind.” Many of the great artists in history attribute their creations to a higher power. When we are relaxed and in the present moment we can more easily experience the state of flow, which leads to more spontaneous ideas and greater levels of creativity.
10. Be Happily Alone
In our modern day culture, it is all too easy to never be alone. If you walk into any restaurant or cafe and look for the people sitting by themselves, chances are they will be absentmindedly eating their food while scrolling through Instagram and sending Snapchats to people in other locations. People in this day and age find it difficult and even painful to be alone, both metaphorically and physically. However, when armed with spirituality, being alone is a gift, offering an opportunity to look inward and know oneself. Because, as almost all spiritual traditions teach, our Self is all we truly have. Spirituality teaches us how to ENJOY being alone, so that we can truly enjoy being with others.
Full article originally posted on ArtofLiving.com
By Amanda Turner
In a world filled with distractions, trying to find a way to have a zen session without something popping up to break us away from self-care in inevitable. Taking time to have a zen session each day allows you to clear your mind of the clutter and distractions that happen each day, so finding a way to squeeze it in and not be distracted is essential. To discover ways to dedicate time to meditation, take a look at these tips to avoid distractions.
It is essential to dedicate time each day for meditation and self-care, so treat it as such. Whether you make a point to have your zen session every morning or every night when there are fewer distractions, or you plug it into your calendar to make sure you don’t overbook yourself, make sure that self-care is considered a priority for you.
Use “Do Not Disturb”
Whether you use your phone for guided meditation or an app that walks you through a yoga sequence - it is hard to not peek your eye open when you hear that “ding” letting you know that you just received a text or an email. Even the most disciplined individuals will find it hard not to take note of your phone making a sound during meditation. Most modern phones have a “Do Not Disturb” option to keep those notifications from happening during your moments of zen.
Create a Routine
Did you know that when you create a routine, your mind and body will automatically start to get used to tuning into certain tasks at certain periods of time? Whether you want to create a routine for creativity, physical fitness, or for meditation, your body will begin to look forward to these tasks at certain periods of time each day. Create a routine for your mind and body so that it will tune into “zen mode” for whatever time you decide to dedicate a zen session during the day.
Get Rid of Excess Noise
During your zen session, make sure that there is as little excess noise as possible. If possible, call a repairman to fix any noisy or faulty appliances so that they don’t distract you throughout the practice. On the same note, you may experience your family and friends that are staying with you feeling the liberty to interrupt your session without understanding its importance. If you have family that is prone to opening the door during your zen session, consider putting a note outside the door to let them know this is “you time” to avoid having to pause your time for meditation.
Now is Not the Time for Multitasking
Your zen session is a time to clear your mind and focus on being in the present. This helps mitigate stress, anxiety, and even depression. Now is not the time to try and do yoga while also playing with your child or dog. When you prioritize your zen session, make sure that you are not multitasking to also squeeze in other tasks at the same time.
With continued research, fans of cannabis - both old and new - are coming to realize how useful CBD can be as part of an overall wellness regime.
Cannabis is not just something that "stoners" use on a recreational basis in an effort to get high. While it certainly can be consumed for recreational purposes, cannabis has so many more uses.
In fact, science continues to show us how the various cannabinoids in cannabis - including CBD - play a key role in health and wellness and serve as a natural alternative to traditional remedies for various ailments.
With continued research, fans of cannabis - both old and new - are coming to realize how useful CBD can be as part of an overall wellness regime.
How CBD Helps Your System
CBD - or cannabidiol - may have some incredibly promising cannabis health benefits to the mind and body, but how exactly does it work to do this?
CBD's ability to promote better health and wellness stems from its interaction with the endocannabinoid system of the body. This system is tasked with regulating brain, endocrine, and immune functions, and influences various experiences in the body, including appetite, pain, stress, anxiety, inflammation, and mood, among others.
More importantly, the system is responsible for maintaining homeostasis - or balance - in the body that's needed to keep the body healthy and free of disease and ailments.
The endocannabinoid system is made up of endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors located throughout the central and nervous systems. The body produces its own cannabinoids that bind to these receptors, but cannabinoids from outside sources - such as CBD and THC from the cannabis plant - can also serve a similar function.
When cannabinoids interact with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system - either directly or indirectly - they can relieve pain, minimize inflammation, improve mood, promote better sleep, and alleviate stress and anxiety.
Why Incorporate CBD Into Your Wellness Routine?
As already mentioned, the endocannabinoid system's main job is to maintain homeostasis in the body. The body's internal conditions must constantly be controlled and in proper balance because the cells depend on this environment to function properly. If the conditions are not optimal, certain processes will not function the way they should, and that can lead to disease.
CBD can help the endocannabinoid system maintain this balance and help the body adapt to outside stressors. As such, adding this cannabinoid to your daily wellness regime can help you boost your overall level of health and wellness.
Here are four main areas in which users can take advantage of the benefits of CBD.
Promote Better Sleep
Good sleep is integral to overall health and wellness. Lack of proper sleep can bring about a myriad of health issues. In fact, not getting enough quality sleep can lead to high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and even heart disease.
Many people go to great lengths to try and improve their sleep patterns, including taking sleep medications. However, CBD may be an effective natural alternative to pharmaceutical meds.
Studies have been conducted on CBD and its relationship with sleep, revealing that the cannabinoid can encourage better sleep and may be able to treat specific sleep disorders, including insomnia, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy, to name a few.
Induce an Anti-Inflammatory Effect
Inflammation in the body can lead to a host of issues because of the damage it causes to the cells and tissues as a result of oxidative stress from free radicals. A high level of oxidative stress can cause serious damage, even to our DNA.
Recent research has shown a link between CBD and reducing inflammation. More specifically, CBD can mimic how the immune system works to alleviate inflammation in the body. By reducing inflammation, a number of ailments can be relieved, including pain and skin conditions.
Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Perhaps the most well-known reason for introducing cannabis into a daily regime is to reduce stress and anxiety. Cannabinoids' role in alleviating stress and anxiety stems from their interaction with certain receptors that influence serotonin.
Low levels of serotonin in the brain can cause anxiety. Medications that target serotonin levels - known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) - work to increase the level of serotonin in the brain by blocking reabsorption of the neurotransmitter. This, in turn, can alleviate stress and anxiety and boost a person's mood.
CBD and THC can mimic the work that SSRIs do to make serotonin more readily available, thereby helping to relieve stress and anxiety and help patients feel better. The cannabinoids do this by enhancing 5-HT1A transmission and may affect serotonin faster than medications.
Promote Healthier Skin
CBD's anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties are particularly useful when trying to improve the look and feel of the skin. More specifically, it can help alleviate certain skin conditions, such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema.
Studies have found that CBD and THC serve as effective agents in the function of sebaceous glands, which secretes "sebum," an oily substance which can clog pores and cause acne flare-ups. Dilation of CBD topicals can minimize the secretion of sebum and therefore help keep the skin free and clear of breakouts.
Different Ways to Incorporate CBD Into Everyday Life
There are various ways that CBD can be used and implemented into your daily regime, depending on your comfort level. Here are a few formats that CBD is available in:
Edibles. CBD can be quickly and easily added to beverages and foods and ingested orally. Whether you add the product yourself and create your own recipes or purchase edibles that are already infused with CBD, edibles are an easy and convenient way to add CBD to your daily regimen.
Tinctures. Another simple way to consume CBD is to use tinctures that can be taken sublingually, meaning under the tongue. The great things about tinctures is that they provide CBD in a concentrated form that bypasses the digestive system and takes effect more quickly once it is absorbed through the mucous membrane under the tongue.
Topicals. Individuals who are looking to alleviate specific pain points may find topicals more convenient, as they can be applied and rubbed onto the exact areas where the pain is being experienced. Topicals are also useful for those who wish to apply them to the skin as a means to boost skin health and combat acne.
Vapes. To quickly take the edge off and alleviate stress or anxiety, vapes tend to work quite well. Consuming CBD in this manner also takes effect rather quickly because the CBD does not have to be digested before it starts working.
Capsules. An easy way to take CBD is in capsule format. That said, exact dosing might be a bit more difficult.
CBD continues to show great promise in the world of health and wellness. With so many different applications - including promoting better sleep, improving skin health, alleviating anxiety, and combating pain - CBD certainly has a bona fide place in this sphere. And with a variety of different modes of application and consumption, CBD can be implemented according to each individual user's comfort level.
This article originally appeared on myfoli.com
In Sanskrit, Alternate Nostril Breathing is called Nadi Shodhana Pranayama, which translates to “subtle energy clearing breathing technique”, and it has many benefits. Alternate Nostril Breathing helps calm the mind, reduce anxiety, and bring a feeling of relaxation to the entire body. It also relaxes the mind in preparation for meditation, which can be helpful for those struggling to settle down before meditating. When performed for just a few minutes, Alternate Nostril Breathing can instantly reduce stress and fatigue, and is a quick and efficient practice to do before high-stress situations such as job interviews and public speaking engagements.
How To Do Alternate Nostril Breathing
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