Serena Williams is an Energy Queen

Serena Williams is an Energy Queen

If you watched Wimbledon this week, you would have witnessed a true Energy Queen in action.  The story book ending would have ended with Serena Williams winning the tournament and twirling her way around the court and accepting the large gold plate and gracefully congratulating her opponent.     As much as we wanted this to be true, real life situations don’t typically have fairy tale endings, but the completion of this tournament was for me a demonstration of a true energy Queen in action. Serena is a living example of someone who has figured out how to access her physical, mental, emotional and spiritual power so that she can do her work in the world.  

लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु

Lokah Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu

romy.jpg

I was thinking about my message for the month of May and this mantra popped into my mind: Lokah Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu.  I think it’s because the English translation of the mantra begins with the word, “May”.  "May all beings everywhere be happy and free."

“Man” is mind and “Tra” is vehicle.  A mantra is a sacred word we can repeat to affirm something to ourselves and allow that meaning to merge into our subconscious and to bring about a positive pattern or habit.  To me, a mantra is a way of praying and this particular mantra has been passed down through generations by way of oral tradition. A more detailed translation is: “May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may my thoughts, words, and actions contribute in some way to happiness and freedom for all.”

The Sanskrit breakdown of this peace mantra is as follows:

  • lokah: location, realm, all universes existing now

  • samastah: all beings sharing that same location

  • sukhino: centered in happiness and joy, free from suffering

  • bhav: the divine mood or state of unified existence

  • antu: may it be so, it must be so (antu used as an ending here transforms this mantra into a powerful pledge)

    When we add the “Lokah” mantra to our yoga practice, we affirm our capacity to create freedom and happiness in the lives of others. Mother Teresa reminded us that “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”   For me, praying this mantra is a way to do something small and great because of its power to make available happiness and freedom to every creature, everywhere.

    “May all beings everywhere be happy and free." mantra also reminds me of the Buddhist Metta or Loving Kindness Prayer which is so simple, but so profound. This prayer begins by a repeating a blessing for oneself and then, expanding out by sending that blessing to our loved ones, the sick, and eventually to all beings, even our enemies and all creatures. There are many variations of the Metta meditation and you can even make up your own version to suit your intentions.

    The CHY family wishes to send you the following blessing:

    May you live with ease, may you be happy, may you be free from pain.  May your life be filled with happiness, health, and well-being.

     Namaste,

    Romy & the CHY Family

    Here is a one of my favorite versions of this mantra by Deva Premal

Are you feeling Springy?

Mojie.jpg

Check out my dear friend, Yogi Mojie as she shifts into Spring and battles cancer

Are you feeling Springy?     No? Maybe?
 

It maybe hard to feel springy when we just weathered one of the  coldest winters ever, and it snowed on April 2, but Spring is coming.  Pattabhi Jois, the great yoga Guru said: “ Practice and all is coming.”  While Spring is a time of rebirth and transition, you maybe feeling stuck or anxious and still thawing out from our beautiful but long winter.  It may be hard to shift out ot the winter hibernation, to shed your layers and have access to your vivacious energy and vitality. But just like yoga, we have to create practices that will help us make space to transition into a new season.  Shifting from winter to spring, physically and energetically will help us to refresh our bodies, homes, schedules and set intentions to ease into the season of rebirth.

Here are 5 of my favorite practices that I use to shift into Spring!

1. GET OUTSIDE-  This is the easiest way to shift your energy.  Step outside for short or long walks and take deep breaths.  Invite fresh air into your body and soothe your mind. Spend some time in silence out in nature and close your eyes and listen for the birds and the sounds of Spring.  

2. BRING SPRING IN -  Find ways to bring Spring indoors to you.  Essential oils are great for soothing the senses.  Use some of your favorite Spring scents like, lavender, and orange and spray your home, curtains and linens.  Adorn yourself with color: change out your pillows and tablecloths and bring out favorite colorful patterned clothing.  Place colorful flowers in beautiful vases around your home and even at work at your desk.

3. LET GO!-   Practice Aparigraha or letting go by decluttering you home, care, and office space.  Bring out your Spring wardrobe and donate everything that no longer lights you up! Keep only what makes your energy go up!  Try something new like a hair cut. I am loving mine! This is also a great time to assess how you spend your time and energy.  Review your commitments; notice how you are spending your time to see what you value and what serves you.

4. RADICAL SELF CARE!  Feel better by taking care of your body-  Visit your Chiropractor and get an adjustment; Get Acupuncture and prepare your body to transition energetically and stay ahead of the allergies that comes with the flowers.  Get a massage -Treat yourself to some good body work as this is one of the best self care tool.

5. PRACTICE YOGA -  To me the most important step to shifting into Spring is to Practice more of the 8- fold path of yoga.  Now is the best time to recommit to your practice. Our theme this month at CHY is Pranayama, or breathing.  Perfect timing to breathe new life into your practice. Join our newer pilates classes and strengthen your core and get ready for bathing suit season!

Inhale the new  and  Exhale the old!

Namaste,

The Art of Appreciation- Practice Makes Permanent

Romy Yellow.jpg

In simple terms, appreciation is feeling grateful for what one has.  It's easy for most of us to feel appreciative when things are going our way to be thankful for our health, family, and the ability to live in this great country. Many would also agree that it's not so easy to be thankful in the midst of hardship or chaos. However, difficult times are when the practice of appreciation, like the practice of yoga actually begins. Despite whats going on around you, we can all set a conscious intention to be more appreciative and in doing so, elevate your life and the lives of those around you. There are four ways we can practice the "art of appreciation."

 

 1. Daily gratitude practice: Make time daily to reflect on how grateful you are for your life, family, health and children.

2. In times of difficulty, trauma, or even disaster consciously pause and note just one small thing to appreciate about that situation.

3. Become a master appreciator: Letting others know that we appreciate them is a powerful connector. Whether it's someone in our family, a coworker or an acquaintance, make time to notice something that you appreciate about them and then let them know. This does not have to be complex and awkward, the simpler the thought the better, but a little bit of gratitude can go a long way in building relationships.   

4. Practice receiving gratitude: When someone gives you an appreciation, allow yourself a moment to fully receive their sentiment, internalize it, and notice how the energy in your body goes up. Rather than deflecting it, say thank you and enjoy!  

 

Namaste,  

Romy

Pure Motive

IMG_9318.JPG

When my teacher Christopher Hareesh Wallis taught on the importance of having a pure motive for practicing yoga, I gained a whole new perspective on how to approach my practice. What we do on the mat and in meditation is greatly affected by our motive for doing so, and having a pure motive is the most effective over the long term.  

 

What is a pure motive? It is practicing out of love for yourself, with a longing to know the truth, and for the benefit of all beings. When we approach our practice with pure motive we do so with an attitude of curiosity and wonder. An example of an impure motive is practicing in order to fix something or change something in ourselves; impure motives are not effective in the long term. Impure motives may originate from some story or a vision that you have that there is something wrong with you as you are, and you practice yoga or meditate to fix, or to achieve and attain something. Practicing with pure motive affirms all that is right with me; that I am already perfect and good; and I practice in order to remember, uncover, or get a glimpse of the truth. Approaching the practice with pure motive will open us up to remember and connect to the divine within.  

 

One way to enhance our yoga and spiritual practice is to make time to be still.  There is no better time than December, the Advent season, to recommit to meditation. Today our community of Complete Health Yoga will begin a meditation challenge. Start with at least 5 minutes of meditation daily and build up to 25 minutes by end of year.  Yes, this is the busiest time of the year, so no better time to sit, be still, remember and connect with the divine within you.  
 

Namaste,

Romy

Surya Namaskar- Sun Salutation

Surya-Namaskar.jpg

 

There is so much to say about the deeply-rooted Surya Namaskar tradition, just hearing its beautiful lyrical pronunciation makes me smile.  Surya Namaskar translates from Sanskrit to “Sun Prostrations." Traditionally one rose early, at the time of the rising sun to do them. This yogic exercise has been practiced for thousands of years and consists of twelve asanas, one following the other in a cyclic order. Sun Salutations are an integral part of classic Hatha and Vinyasa practices but you will encounter many variations depending on the lineage, tradition, teacher, and ability. There are 3 formal versions of Surya Namaskar, A, B and C.  Surya namaskar can represent the entire practice or can be used as warm up or integrated within other yoga postures.  An important tradition of practicing 108 Sun Salutations at one time is used by many to celebrate major celestial events, like the equinox or changing of seasons.

 

Sun salutations are a fun and easy way to personalize yoga for a home practice. Waking up to 2 or 3 Sun salutations each day will get your breath in rhythm and your blood flowing. Approach them as a meditative dance, moving to the sound of your breath. You will get hooked!

 

Below are just a few reasons why we encourage you to learn surya namaskar by heart, and do them daily:  

Surya Namaskar is a practice all in itself

Can’t get to class? Too busy? Do a few sun salutations and you're done!

The Perfect Yoga Workout -  No equipment needed – and you can even do them in a chair!

Strengthens and impacts the heart, liver, intestine, stomach, chest, throat, and legs

Improves digestion, energy flow, agility, rejuvenation, beauty, and longevity

Helps keep the mind calm, relaxed and meditative

You can adapt them to your own style by adding other favorite postures at will

Express gratitude to the sun for its life sustaining energy for our planet