Balancing the Solar Plexus Charka

The solar plexus charka is all about personal will, self control, self worth and feeling a sense of belonging. When we connected to this inner strength, we find balance and abundance. If you are struggling with stepping into your true potential and lack feelings of confidence this is a great charka to work with. Lying on your back or in a seated position and place your hands on your belly.Taking deep belly breaths connect this charka by imagine your sending bright yellow light into your belly centre through your hands. Take this visualization as you mindfully breathe into your belly and say the mantra in your mind or out loud. Do this for as long as feels good for you.

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Colour: Yellow.

Element: Fire.

Purpose: Personal self will, energy, strength, self worth, feeling of belonging.

Location: Upper belly, navel.

Sound: RAM.

Crystals: Orange Calcite, Citrine, Amber.

Foods: Warming properties, like ginger, cayenne, turmeric, cinnamon. Yellow foods like lemons, pineapple, bananas, yellow squash.

Essential oils: Fennel, Juniper, Lemongrass.

Yoga postures: Arha Matsyendrasana, Parivrtta Parsvakonasana, Side lying stretch over bolster. Poses that focus on twisting, and firing up the abdominal are

Balancing the Sacral Charka

The sacral charka is all about connecting back to our sensuality. It’s about living life with creative passion and deep desire. When we are balanced in this charka, we feel a healthy sense of confidence in who we are. We are deeply connected to our emotions and find a way to honour ourselves and that beautiful creative flow of energy. We can find ourselves out of balance when we feel we have lost our passion for life and adventure. If you find you are struggling connecting to what fuels that “fire” in your belly this charka is a great one to focus on. Lying down on your back or sitting in a seated meditation posture start by rubbing your hands together to create heat and place your hands on your lower belly. Repeating this mantra in your mind. Imagine with every mindful breath you breathe in fire and every exhale the flames grow larger. Inhaling expand your belly out and exhaling release the belly back down. Imagine your hands are sending healing energy in the colour of orange to this charka. Stay in meditation as long as is needed.

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Colour: Orange.

Element: Water.

Purpose: Pleasure, emotions, passion, sensuality, creativity.

Location: Lower Belly.

Sound: VAM.

Crystals: Carnelian, Sunstone, Aragonite Star Cluster.

Foods: Hydrating foods such as topical fruits, and oranges food such as aprociots, oranges, bell peppers, yams and carrots.

Essential oils: Clary sage, Rosewood, Patchouli.

Yoga postures: Belly down on bolsters, Baddha Konasona, Supta Kapotasana, Supported bridge.

Pre/Post Yoga Snack Ideas

I am a Plant-based yoga teacher which simply means I don’t eat any animal products. One thing I have noticed is I can’t eat huge meals before practicing or teaching yoga, so I have found some yummy snacks for pre/post yoga practices that I really enjoy. These snacks give me energy to teach but are light and do not cause stomach upset. These are snacks that ANYONE can enjoy no matter what your lifestyle is.

Pre yoga practice:

I like to eat at least 1 hour before class to allow the food to settle.

-Having a green smoothie or smoothie bowls packed with lots of plant protein like hemp, chai seeds, nut butters, and LOTS of green is enough keep you going but not over burden the digestive system.

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-Salads and lettuce wraps with protein like organic tofu can be great before and after yoga practice.

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-Veggie soups filled with nutrition are light enough to allow you to move easily throughout your practice.

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-Celery with cashew cheese is SOOOOO good!! Add olives for healthy fats and you have a filling but light snack.

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Post yoga practice:

I work late when I teach so I make sure eat as soon as I get home so I don’t go to bed with a full stomach, to avoid any discomfort and stomach upset. Depending on the size of my pre yoga meal I will chose something to fulfill my nutritional and caloric needs for the day.

-Green juice is packed with minerals and helps to rehydrate the body after practice. Fresh fruit juices like watermelon can help to bring up your electrolytes after a hot class.

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-Fruit is BEST consumed AFTER practice since it digests so quickly it can give you gas and bloating before practice, but after practice it is very hydrating to the body adding in some healthy vitamins and carbs to rebalance the body. Tip: you can add some nut butter or granola to give it more some protein. Note: Adding proteins to fruit can sometimes cause bloating so try it out and see how it works for you.

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-Vegan Bliss balls. You can make these amazing little balls of goodness packed with nutrition, great for after class to get a boast of energy!

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-Loaded oatmeal or protein pancakes. Have this with all the fixings like fruit, coconut milk, nuts and seeds, cacao nibs, coconut flakes whatever you desire to make it extra special.IMG_6022

These are just a few ideas that has helped me in my recovery. It has been a slow and steady process of finding a healthy balance and fuelling my body so I can do all the things I truly love, like teaching yoga.

Ways to incorporate the healing energy of crystals into your day

There are MANY ways to use crystals in your everyday life. Each crystal is unique and carries with it it’s own vibrational frequency and energy just as we as are all different and unique. I wanted to share a few ways you can begin to incorporate the use of crystals to help you feel more connected and balanced.

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1) One of the most common ways is to wear your crystals as jewlery or carrying them in your pocket or purse. This is a great way to use the protective and grounding aspects of certain crystals as you move throughout your day. Wearing crystals is a great reminder of your personal intention that you set forth.

2) Using them in meditation in the way of mala beads or simply choosing a crystal that carries the energy that you are needing and holding it in your hand during meditation. You can also place crystals around your yoga mat to set an intention and amplify your personal practice.

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3) I absolutely love setting up crystals around my house to help in creating a peaceful and supportive environment. Picking out some beautiful crystal candle holders can really help to set the mood and create that connection.

4) Using crystals in your bath or even in your drinking water can help to yoke the cleansing energy of water with the healing energy of crystals. *Make sure to check that the crystals you are using is safe to be placed in water*

5) Placing crystals under your pillow can help to enhance spiritual dreams and open up a path way for a more deeper connection to your subconscious and even offer support if you are experience nightmares.

6) Using crystals in reiki and healing session to aid in balancing charkas can be a powerful healing tool.

7) A selenite wand is an example of a crystal that can aid in cleansing your aura and energetic space.

8) Setting up an intentional crystal grid with gemstones you picked yourself is such a beautiful way to create a visual for manifesting the things you want to bring into your life. Setting up a crystal grids is helpful during transitional times in life. Creating grids for healing, support, creativity, abundance, and so much more.

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These are a few simple ways you can begin to use the healing powers of crystals each and everyday.

 

Yoga postures for SAD(Seasonal Affective Disorder)

This time of year many of us struggle with SAD (seasonal affective disorder). This can bring on feelings of depression, anxiety, insomina to name a few. With darker and colder days it can be a really hard to find motivation to much of anything. These are a few restorative postures that bring benefits of relaxation into your life when you are feeling overwhelming, anxious or a little under the weather.

1.First pose is a supported child’s pose (Balasana). Here I am using a bolster but you can use pillows or rolled up blanket. Knees are wide, belly relaxed on to bolster, arms can be next to you or extended forward.

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Benefits of this posture:
-Release the tension in the shoulders, and lower back.
-Hip opener
-Helps the digestive system
-Quiets the mind
-Calms the nervous system

Take this posture for as long as you’d like, making sure to switch your head from side to side half way through.

2.Second posture is a forward fold (Uttanasana). In this posture you have a deep bend in your knees, connecting the chest to thighs, allowing your head and shoulders to release, you can grab on to wrists or elbows, and sway from side to side releasing tension in your neck and shoulders or find stillness.

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Benefits of this posture:
-Stretches the backs of the legs
-Lengthens the back side of the body
-Releases tension that we carry in shoulders and neck.
-Calms the nervous system
-Excellent to do when having moments of high anxiety
-Relieves stress

Remember to always roll up SLOWLY from a forward fold to avoid any dizziness.

3.Third pose is Legs up the wall (Viparita Karani). This pose is exactly how it sounds, legs up the wall. You can take variations by bringing your legs out to the side and make it wide-legged, or bring soles of feet together, making it baddha konasana against the wall.

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Benefits of this posture:
-Helps with swollen legs
-Stretches the hamstrings
-Relieves tension in lower back
-Calms the nervous system
-Helps to relieve anxiety, stress and insomnia

Do this pose after a long stressful day, place a warm aromatherapy cloth on your eyes, play some relaxing music and allow yourself to let the stresses of the day melt away into your mat.

I hope these posture help you find comfort during these harder months and anytime you feel overwhelmed .
Take care of yourself, Your worth it.

What makes your soul sing?

What makes your soul sing? What fills you with so much joy that you can’t imagine being anywhere else but right in that moment? When you are so engulfed with inner peace, everything feels just as it should, perfect. This isn’t the high you feel when you buy a new shirt or a new vehicle. Or the excitement of going on a trip somewhere remote and tropical. This is a joy that is unexplainable. Being completely immersed in an activity that puts you into a place of active meditation. Finding what makes you feel so alive that you dance in delight is key to discovering a place of balance between the pressures of our everyday life and the peace that lives within us.

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There are many activities I couldn’t imagine living without. Gardening, meditation, biking, and connecting with nature to name a few. But the most impactful daily practice that has changed my life has been yoga. I was introduced to yoga as a teenager and practiced on and off for those earlier years. Yoga became more consistent during the later years of my 20s and continuing on to my early 30s. Yoga has grounded and supported me through the most difficult times in my life. It also provided me with a beautiful blank canvas to write my own story and express myself freely. Yoga is an expression of my soul. As a painter speaking through their paintings, postures are an expression of where I am in that moment. Moving from one asana to the next, just as a painter moves their brush across the canvas, I follow the lines within myself, mixing in the vibrancy of creativity, love, peace, and spirituality. This daily practice brings me back to my truth. The moment I roll out my mat, all judgements leave me. My ego is silenced, and I go to a place inside myself of comfort, and familiarity. I know every movement as if it was as natural as my breath. Following alongside, the energy guides me and softens away any stress. I enter a place of active mediation. I am safe and secure. I am at home. A place where I can rejuvenate and energize or reflect and contemplate life’s challenges. It’s where I can laugh and at the same time feel safe to cry and release. This is the only place in this world I can naturally and authentically be myself.

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What is your place of release? Is it expressing yourself through music as you let go of life’s stresses while you sing from your heart? Do you find comfort in connecting with nature by growing your own garden and watching with delight as your seedlings emerge into beautiful fruit bearing plants? Whatever it may be for you there is so much value in finding an activity that brings you true happiness and so much joy that all concepts of time are lost and a sense of tranquility takes over. We need to have those places of healthy escape. Somewhere that is for us alone. This is where we can allow ourselves to release all judgements, and accept ourselves for who we really are in that moment. Allow yourself time to discover what makes your soul sing. When you find it be sure to embrace the beauty that grows inside from enjoying something uniquely yours. That is the only place where freedom truly exists.

Self-Care Rituals

We have all heard it before: “Make sure to take care of yourself.” But the reality is most of us are running on empty with nothing left in our tanks. We pack our schedules so full we have no time to just relax and enjoy the littlest things such as a cup of tea. How can we give to others if we are always worn out? The world around us begins to feel the effects. Our jobs suffers. Our relationship become rocky. And we begin to feel agitated with everything and everyone. By giving ourselves permission to enjoy those moments of stillness we can begin to release any feelings of guilt. The guilt we sometimes feel when we desire to do something that fills our souls and feeds us with new energy. Building these self-care rituals are essential for balancing all aspects of ourselves.

I see this all the time from other moms. Every one of us is running our children from one thing to the next, trying so desperately to keep up with this ridiculous chaos we choose buy into. We all would claim that we didn’t have time for ourselves. For so long I felt guilty for wanting quiet time in the afternoon. A time for just me where I could enjoy my tea tonics, read up on healing touch and spend a good hour practicing my yoga and sitting in mediation. I felt I couldn’t have it all. Either I would have to be that amazing stay-at-home mom that did crafts all day with my children and made everything from scratch and spend my days cleaning, cooking and attending to my children and husbands every need. Or I would be “that” mother. The mother that never has enough time to sit and play with her children because she was too busy fulfilling her own needs. But why couldn’t there be a balance? Why couldn’t I have both? I wanted time to myself AND I wanted to be an amazing mother. Over time, I started to give myself the permission to fulfill my personal needs. The more I let go of the guilt the more I began to find a balance. By taking care of myself I became a better mother, wife, and friend. Allowing myself time to reenergize means I am more patient and loving with everyone around me.

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Sitting in the afternoon sun, enjoying my tea tonic and reading a good book. 

It’s okay to take time for yourself. By doing this we become these beautiful examples of balance for our children and the future generations. Allow yourself permission to let go and fill your bucket with whatever makes your soul sing. There is always time for those important practices that help us find balance in our lives. Allow yourself the freedom to spend time enjoying a long bike ride, or reading a good book. Take the time to do an activity that bring you happiness and joy each and every day because we are all worth it. We all deserve balance.