When I lay in bed at night, one of the heart-based exercises I do is to mentally go through the alphabet and list things that my best self enjoys extending and receiving:
Acceptance (celebrate our differences) Benefit of the doubt Compassion Divinity in action Encouragement Forgiveness Gratitude Hospitality Inclusion Joie de vivre (joy of life) Kindness Listening between the lines (attentiveness) Mindfulness (present-moment focus)
Namaste’ (honoring the divine spark in self and others) Optimism Peace Quiet strength Respect Simplicity (the gift of ease) Truth Understanding Vision (cultivating and nurturing original ideas to fruition) Wisdom Xellence (the daily practice of being my best self—living my best life) Yoga mindset (valuing connection with the world and its inhabitants) Zen attitude (daily letting go of what I can’t control)
When I was a little girl my mother would sometimes take me with her to shop for groceries at FedMart in Escondido, California. Before we entered the store she’d remind me to “Stay close” — encouraging me to “cling” to her so I wouldn’t get lost.
Before long I’d be mesmerized by the wide variety of items within easy reach and wander off. One time I remember looking up at a strange woman and in astonishment gasped, “You’re not my mother!” Mom knew I’d separated from her and was watching the scene unfold from behind. She reminded me — yet again — “Stay close.”
As an adult, I no longer have to “stay close” for fear of getting lost, but I do live close to certain ideas — Namaste‘ being one. I embrace the idea that there is a divine spark in each of us that deserves recognition and respect.
Yoga invites us to drop beneath the surface of life into quieter, more introspective realms; at our house it’s a family affair.
First and foremost, it’s important to pay close attention — especially to one’s breathing.
Next, sink into stillness and get comfortable…
Our online instructor says, “Yoga straps help us stretch to the limit, increasing flexibility and muscular strength.” Willa’s look says, “You have GOT to be kidding!”
“Happy Baby” pose gently brings a greater awareness to the hip joints.
The “Butterfly” pose (also known as “Cobbler’s” pose) provides relief to muscle tension around the inner thigh area.
We use several props in our practice. Lexi will be the equivalent of 77 human years this August. She appreciates the comfortable support of an extra blanket throughout the session.
Legs-up-the-wall (or simply balanced in the air) is a posture that gets blood flowing to parts of the body that need it.
Willa is doing an exaggerated “Downward Facing Dog” pose. This posture feels especially good after resting because it elongates and lengthens the back. And as a mild inversion, it’s great for increasing blood flow to the brain and eyes.
Certain yoga postures can strengthen the cervical curve in the back of the neck.
Commonly referred to as “Corpse” pose, we simply call it “Dead Dog” at our house.
After a balanced practice, the muscles in the entire body will have been stretched. “Shavasana” provides the body with a chance to regroup and reset itself.
Namaste — hands held in prayer-like fashion in front of the heart, accompanied by a slight bow — represents the belief that there’s a divine spark within each of us. This gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one, by the soul in another.
nam means bow as means I te means you
Therefore, namaste literally means “bow I you” or “I bow to you.”
If you have animal companions at home, what do they enjoy doing with you?
In many cultures, the Sanskrit word “Namaste” is used as a respectful greeting. Translated it means “The light in me honors the light in you;” or “I honor the light within you.” When spoken to another person, it’s commonly accompanied by a slight bow made with hands pressed together, palms touching, and fingers pointed upwards in front of the chest. The gesture can also be performed wordlessly and carry the same meaning; acknowledgment of another’s divinity.
The optical occurrence in certain gemstones such as moonstone, opal, and Labradorite is of tremendous interest to me. It’s known as Adularescence; a distinctive shimmering or glow that appears to come from below the surface, but which is caused by diffraction of light. This phenomenon is impossible in the absence of light. The shimmering only takes place in the presence of light. It is my desire to live in a heart-based manner that radiates the presence of inner light—Divine Love.