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Depending upon one’s dexterity, there are many yoga asanas which are considered to be beyond our physical capacity like the sitting position of Full Lotus or the flexibility and strength required in the yogic posture of Pincha Mayurasana – Forearm Stand.

Aside from yoga, if I asked you where you experienced your current greatest life challenge you might respond, “Getting everything accomplished!”, “Finding time to relax” “Getting to sleep” “Handling all of my varied responsibilities” or “Letting Go”.

For those of us who aren’t suffering from insomnia, we may remember how to sleep but many of us have lost the art of how to truly rest.

For some, it takes great effort to resist turning on the television, and, once it’s spiraling on, can become even harder to turn off.  We are often mesmerized by its constant promises of entertainment as time drains away from other more nourishing pursuits.

In this day and age of over-exertion, over-extension, a coffee hut on every corner, media over-stimulation, and excessive noise, relaxation has been pushed aside.  Replaced by activity and consumed by the effort, we think ourselves lazy if we aren’t busy.  Our ability to be fully present and the degree of our authenticity often become lost in forward moving, frenetic activity.

Wisdom too becomes lost and harder to access when we don’t pause to notice our current state of being and check in with our habitual or reptilian responses from the limbic part of our brain.

Yoga Nidra – the mental and physical equivalent of deep relaxation is often the most difficult yoga experience for people.  Part Shavasana, part Pratyahara and part karma buster, it is the least physically challenging posture in the spectrum of yoga asanas because we don’t have to do anything with our bodies other than give our self permission to receive and surrender. 

The challenge of experiencing the benefits from Yoga Nidra comes from the mind’s tendency to want to hold on, to do something and remain active.  Yoga Nidra teaches us to let go while it supports us in total health.

As the mind adjusts to settling down in Yoga Nidra the body learns to lean into itself and the internal organs begin to unwind.  Blood pressure regulates, accumulated stress begins to dissipate, the adrenal glands relax, and breathing slows and deepens. The body’s natural healing powers are allowed to rise as we surrender into inner ease.

Students who practice Yoga Nidra over time begin to relish the cumulative benefits of this restorative and rejuvenative experience.  As our body relaxes the mind becomes calmer and we begin to feel better.  We begin to notice that sleep is richer and our capacity for kindness expands. 

As a result of our new found inner peace it becomes easier for us to make decisions with mental clarity, and we feel more connected to source.

In the practice of yoga nidra, the mind gradually becomes one-pointed allowing focus to lead into deep concentration which further leads into meditation and later, deep mediation.  We learn to enter Turiya, the state between sleep and wakefulness, without loss of awareness.

According to the Mayo Clinic, if we are experiencing a great deal of stress in our lives, it is imperative to find the time for relaxation and just a few minutes a day isn’t enough to provide the stress reducing benefits of deep relaxation. For a clearer, less stressed mind, body and spirit, 15 minutes of deep relaxation a day is good while 30 minutes a day is best.  This is rest at the core level leading to optimal health.

As a precursor to meditation, deep relaxation also provides relief from headaches, reduced body pain, improved concentration, emotional stability, elimination of insomnia, lowering of blood pressure, reduced fatigue, improved bowl function, reconnection to our source and less depression and anxiety.  The quality of observing without judging is also developed in this pose.

When do you truly and deeply relax?  The Mayo Clinic recommends a daily practice of deep relaxation.  Yogi’s do too.  If you add to your daily relaxation practice with a gradual and regular series of at first 5, then 10 and finally 20 minute Shavasana classes, you will enjoy the peace, clarity, strength and restfulness of this miraculous yoga posture. 

Turn down your mind and begin to turn up the quiet with Shavasana – The Corpse Pose.

Copyright © 2008 (Stacy Kamala Waltman)

 

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KamalaYoga.com

Hi all,

I’m moving over to a new blog.  It’s called, Kamala Yoga.com.  Hope you all join me over there.  Here’s the link:  http://kamalayoga.wordpress.com.

To your health!

Smiles,
Stacy

 buddah2.jpg

 Here is an excerpt from the book, The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist: 

Buddha told his followers that whatever they chose to give their attention, their love, their appreciation, their listening, and their affirmation to would grow in their life and in their world. 

He likened one’s life and the world to a garden ~ a garden that calls for sunlight and nourishment and water to grow.

In that garden are the seeds of compassion, forgiveness, love, commitment, courage and all the qualities that affirm and inspire us.

Alongside those seeds and in the same garden are the seeds of hatred, the seeds of prejudice, the seeds of vengeance, the seeds of violence, and all the other hurtful, destructive ways of being.

These seeds and many more like them exist in the same garden.  The seeds that grow are the seeds we tend with our attention.

Our attention is like water and sunshine, and the seeds we cultivate will grow and fill our garden. 

If we choose to invest our attention in the seeds of scarcity ~ acquisition, accumulation, greed, and all that springs from those seeds ~ then scarcity is what will fill the space of our life and the space of our world.

If we tend the seeds of sufficiency with our attention, and use our money like water to nourish them with soulful purpose, then we will enjoy that bountiful harvest.

Where are you putting your attention?

Am very pleased to announce that my 5 CD Yoga Nidra, Level 1 program is now available on Amazon.  Here is the link:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0075ETB68/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me&seller

To your health!

~

Written by:  Stacy Kamala Waltman

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Having been away from San Diego for a long period of time I have seen it grow from a small charming Navy town to a large urban city. Its quaintness has been replaced with savvy smooth restaurants and nightclubs yet there is still a small sliver of small town appeal. As with all change, there is both good and bad with the new and many faces of evolution this city displays. My mom has been living in San Diego continuously for some time. She loves the town and its transformations except for the one she says is most glaring: the weather. She claims “June Gloom”, a phrase used for the marine layer which turns any summer day into a cold foggy soup, is no longer just one month out of 12 but rather lasts for longer stretches of time.

My mom and I were talking on the phone a few weeks ago and she said, “San Diego has now become the new San Francisco!” I ponder this statement and funnel it through my lens of observation; the level of sophistication the city now exhibits. “Yes, I say to myself, San Diego has become more of an international hub.” And in the course of my conversations with others, I repeat what my mother said, “My, how things have changed! San Diego has become the new San Francisco. It’s now so sophisticated.”

Several days later my mother and I were having lunch and she says again, “San Diego has become the new San Francisco!” I think I know what she is talking about. This time she adds though, “You know I don’t like the fog!” And I then realize she never intended to make a commentary on the level of sophistication the city now wears but was simply making a statement about its change of climate. Ha!

How many times do we think we know what the other person is intending to communicate? Sometimes we check in with them for clarification and at other times we just go along thinking we understand and are being understood. Our filters sift through information on a regular basis; categorizing and evaluating experiences based upon what’s in our consciousness at any given moment.

Keeping the mind open to alternatives is a skill developed with practice. Meditation is a useful tool to help train the mind away from this tendency to limit and categorize as is Yoga Nidra.

Join us for the next Yoga Nidra telephone series on February 8. There are still four spots left.  Click here for more information and to register:  http://www.integrationcoaching.com/YogaNidraLevel1February8.html

Blessings ~

Deliverance!

Written by: Stacy Kamala Waltman
October 2, 2010

I wrote this note yesterday not realizing it was Ghandi’s birthday. It was in response to the death of 18 year old Tyler Clementi who killed himself after being “outted” on the internet.  We have an opportunity to transmute this tragedy into one of leadership. Perhaps Tyler’s spirit agreed to perform this tragic role to elicit such a collective shift toward true leadership. ~

Here’s the note…

When we see atrocities, our ability to teach a different way is being called forth that embraces and includes all with love and respect.

Hard to do – no one promised this path to be easy – the magnetic pull is toward whatever collective consciousness is prevailing at the time.

How do we develop our capacity to “fight” something without fighting it?

How do we transmute the energy of hate into a path of learning so that we honor and educate rather than meet hatred with more of the same?

There is at least one if not a multitude of ways to meet any tragedy. Look at the peacemakers of Brother David Steindl-Rast, Ghandi, Mandella, Azim Khamisa, The Trevor Project Founders, Martin Luther King, etc. for inspiration to develop ways to be successful and effect enormous change through love rather than through hate.

Rather than rage at the injustice we see around us, I invite you to develop your creativity and design a new model for what angers you the most.

Be the change you wish to see. Pick up the gauntlet and lead!

Yes…..you!

Copyright © 2010 (Stacy Kamala Waltman)

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Developing Compassion

Written by:  Stacy Kamala Waltman
September26, 2010

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Before the heroes journey our laser sharp and strategic mind identifies and postulates experiences outside – intellectually, abstractly and compartmentalized.

Everything neatly in its place constricted, rigid and controlled by repetition and stale, lifeless air.

Synapse grooves deepen becoming more and more entrenched.  Caring for others only when payoff wafts and ego satiated.

Enter Grace; as miraculous intervention.  With veiled eyes her gifts are discarded; valueless.  Our sight on another horizon of glory.

Refusing the rebuke while turning up the heat, Grace stands firm remaining cloaked.  We begin the journey; unawares.  A reluctant traveler still holding on.

Tests accelerate; tackle once depended upon melts as we enter hot swampy depths; tar pits, shadow selves and skeletons abound.

Hell, this must be we decide.  How will we survive?  We can’t possibly deserve this wrath!  After all!…..but the ripening has begun in spite of accelerated protests.

Applying what we know, failing again and again.  We need to become firmer the past demands!  Take hold!  I AM in charge!

Constricting tightly, then inevitable shattering into slivered shards.

Yet Grace still there gently smiling, showers us with fresh new gifts; courage and vision.  A newer and richer life  reflected in those threads of glass.

Light cast in radiant hues.

Vulnerable, scared, hopeless yet brave; new unfamiliar tools slowly hammer within.

Awkwardness increases in direct proportion to vision, vast.  Yesterday’s certainty a dusty mirage.

Beginner’s mind congeals as we traverse this dark night.  Unsteady and staggering we forge anew.

Today’s discomfort fights yesterday’s certainty; battle raging in a field of ambivalence.  To the death each one cries!

One is annihilated, the other truly born.

Grace, like a firefly flickers again with encouragement seen only with vision, clear.

Emerging from the darkened swamp, demons vanquished, black wood drizzled with dappled light; knowledge transmuting.

Wisdom weaves then integrates into cellular memory, the decay giving rise to the bloom.  A blossom rare.

As seasons pass, compassion springs forth from these seeded fields, no longer feigned.

Allowing, letting go, surrendering into interconnectedness. ~

Copyright © 2010 (Stacy Kamala Waltman)

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