LOVE Yourself…REALLY Love Yourself!! It’s time!

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I haven’t been inspired to write lately…or read…or teach…or much of anything.  So I took a little break and did a lot of internal reflection.  I discovered that I actually WANTED to do these things…but I wasn’t inspired to.

When I would try to think of what to write, I came up blank.

When I would try to think of what to teach (or even who to teach it to).  I came up blank.

When I would tell myself to read something positive or inspiring, I couldn’t focus on it.

But I WANTED to.

So today I began a new day with a new outlook.  I set a plan.  I began a cleanse.  I set my alarm and woke up early like I used to when I had a day job to go to.  I reflected.  I practiced some very gentle restorative yoga.  I told my (yes…out loud while looking in the mirror) that I love myself.

Which also got me thinking.

Do I really?  I tell myself that I love myself but do I really mean it?

If I think about others that I love and how I treat them…is that the same way I treat myself?

The things I say to myself (in my own head and with my body language and with the look on my face when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror)…are those the same things I would say to someone I love?

Oh my goodness no!

The way I think about myself.  Is that the way I think about the people I love?

NO!

What about the way I nourish my body?  The amount of alcohol I drink or the amount of water I take in or the kinds of food I nourish myself with…are those the same recommendations I would give to someone I love?  What about the amount of sleep, the amount of stress I let in, the level of anxiety I keep or the degree and type of exercise I get?  No.  The list goes on and on and on.  There are so, so many ways that I SHOW myself a lack of love that I would never show to someone I really love.

So…today is a new day.  Today started early and it was met with a routine that I shall continue.  My morning included oil pulling (if you’re not familiar, check it out), hot water with lemon (completely skipped the coffee), a new cleanse (a healthy one), fresh juice from my juicer, yoga, meditation, healthy breakfast and snack, lots of water and….

what followed was an inspiration to write this post.  A smile that I forgot could exist for no apparent reason.  A fun text conversation with my love.  An inspiring and positive call from a friend.

Again…we’re talking about a list that goes on and on and on.

And I just started today.

I’m feeling very blessed and I don’t think it happened by accident.  I firmly believe that blessing abound when we love ourselves.  When we REALLY love ourselves.  I believe we manifest the most amazing things when we take time to care for ourselves, pray, allow God to talk to us and when we notice and hear the sounds of the world.

Right now, I hear my dog lightly snoring, I hear children at the nearby grade school playing at recess.  I hear Zen meditation music from Pandora.  I hear birds (I don’t know if they’re outside or also on Pandora but it doesn’t matter…).

I hear love.  I feel love.  I feel energy (and by the way, for the first time in a very, very long time I also skipped the coffee this morning…Oh…wait…I said that already.  But it’s a BIG deal for me!!).  I feel a sense of direction…of purpose.  And I feel inspired.

My wish for you today is that you feel some of this or more of it.  And let me know if it makes you smile.  I know today…it makes me smile.

And tomorrow will be more of the same.

Because it’s time to not just tell myself I love myself but to actually TREAT myself as I love myself.

Namaste,

Brigett (and everyone at Kahanu Yoga & Meditation Spa)

Lesson of the Week – What are Bandhas?

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This week’s lesson is a short, short introduction to bandhas.  As with all of these themes, there is so, so much more to know.  Please, explore and study on your own.  Read and practice further the lessons that intrigue you.  Spend your life studying and filling your mind with new information.  Sometimes all of this can be overwhelming…believe me…I know.  But from my personal experience, the more I study and the more I practice, the more often these concepts just sort of “wake up” inside of me.  That light comes on.  And my practice deepens…

Bandhas – Binding Locks

Bandhas are muscular locks created by contracting or squeezing certain muscles, holding them, then releasing them, thereby relaxing that area of the body.  Bandhas strengthen and balance the nervous system and subtle body and can be used for a variety of therapeutic effects. – From The Language of Yoga


jihva-bandha – tongue lock

mula-bandha – root lock

uddiyana-bandha – rising up lock

**Please note:  Bandhas should never be practiced while pregnant**

Understanding bandhas can really take your practice to the next level.  Ancient yogis would say that when you master the bandhas you master the practice.  The practice referred to is on the outside…on the mat…the physical practice BUT it also refers to the inside…your heart…your mental practice…your growth.  And…from a physical perspective, they can help you regulate your digestive system, your breath, your heart rate, your hormones, your metabolism and more.  They are not to be overlooked or taken lightly…

Practice with these.  Practice them alone…practice them during yoga.  Focus your mind on locking and releasing.  On moving your energy.  On relaxing your body.  Lock.  Hold.  Release.  And don’t forget to breathe…

Then watch where your practice goes…

Namaste,

Brigett (and everyone at Kahanu Yoga & Meditation Spa

Stay Strong? Not Always. Why You Should Have a Good Cry Sometimes

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Recently I posted on Facebook: 

“Sometimes I wonder if the words “stay strong” are always the best words to say to a friend who is hurting. Maybe the words “Go ahead and cry. I’ll hold you and hand you tissues until you’re done”are more appropriate. We can’t always be strong and maybe… Just for a minute… That’s ok too…”

And I keep thinking about that.  And it’s really starting to hit home with me.  I really do believe that staying strong isn’t always the right thing to do because staying strong isn’t always authentic…and if we’re not authentic…we’re lying to ourselves and to everyone around us.  And if we’re lying…we’ve got a long way to go…

Now understand, I’m not talking about letting negative feelings and thoughts take over you and I’m not referring to being consumed by harsh times and tears.  I’m talking about letting it all out.  Lying down on your bedroom floor, curled up in the fetal position and crying like you’ve never cried before.  Letting it all out.  Snot on the pillow, shaking, losing it.

Doesn’t sound very attractive, does it?

Well it isn’t.

But it’s not supposed to be.

So many of us are consumed with staying strong, being attractive, hiding our fears and our sadness and our negativity and putting on a face that allows others to believe that no matter what, we’re the ones who are going to be just fine.  We overwhelmed with life but we never show it.  We’re sad and angry and tired but we paste that smile on and we hold our head high and we touch up our lipstick and we make dinner. 

When really…what we need to do is tell everyone we’re going to shut the door for a while.  We need some time alone.  We’re not to be disturbed.  And we let that mascara run.  And we don’t wait until everyone else is asleep and hide it in our pillows, I mean we take the time, when we need it and we let go.  I mean we tell the husband or the kids that they’re responsible for dinner.  We tell the neighbor we can’t come over today.  We tell the boss we won’t be in.  And we cry.

And then…when we’re done…we put a REAL smile on our face and we stay strong because…well…now we ARE strong.

Sometimes it takes a little downtime to really understand and “get there” with the up times.  And that’s okay.  Actually…that’s more than okay…that’s HEALTHY!

Benefits of a good cry:

  • Releases stress in order to stay mentally healthy
  • Slows down your breathing to calm you
  • Forces you to look inside yourself to find out what’s REALLY going on in there so you can move forward
  • That kind of vulnerability helps you connect with others on a much deeper level
  • Emotional expression = major creativity release!
  • It’s one of many ways to flush out toxins
  • You just plain feel better after
  • It even feels good while it’s happening (why do you think we watch movies that we know are going o make us cry?)
  • And in the end…it makes us stronger

So go ahead if you need to.  Have a good cry.  Take time alone or better yet…bring along a supportive friend who will just let you cry and not try to force it to end.

And when you dry those tears and wash the mascara off and look in the mirror at the puffy eyes and red nose and pillow creased cheeks…

KNOW that you’ve done yourself a world of good!

Enjoy today everyone.  Or cry it out.  Whichever feels right to you…

Namaste,

Brigett (and everyone at Kahanu Yoga & Meditation Spa)