Passover and Easter

Spring has definitely sprung and this weekend we celebrate the holidays of Passover and Easter. 

The holiday of Passover focuses on release from the bondage of slavery into freedom.  Easter is a time of rebirth and renewal. 

We commonly think of bondage as being under the control or influence of something powerful.  The celebration of Passover marks the freedom of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage.

Today we are in another kind of bondage:  It is self imposed and it stems from our mind.  We are slaves to our own minds.  We get stuck in our way of thinking and perceiving life and see no way out.  There is no rebirth for us to move in new directions. 

We need to be willing to let go of the old thoughts and belief systems so you have room to receive the new.  When we do our mind can be clear and calm.  This year while celebrating the holidays,  think about where in your life you are stuck-that is the first step to freedom.

Let me know in the comments below if you are hanging on to old beliefs.

Posted in: A Calm Perspective

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Calm Your Mind: Attitude #3

Cultivating a change in our attitudes unlock the mind from the inner obstacles that create agitation.  The keys to the locks are in these four practices.

In previous posts I have focused on the first two:

  1. Friendliness toward the happy
  2. Compassion for the unhappy

The third is:  Delight in the virtuous

What this is talking about is that to help the mind, we need to appreciate others virtuous qualities rather than trying to pull them down.

Others might be extremely giving  or knowledgeable in ways that make you feel “less than” and we envy them and are critical rather than complimentary.

The practice of taking delight in another would be to look at their qualities with the possibility of cultivating them within yourself.

Focus on their kindness, generosity or whatever quality they display and practice emulating it.

Give this a try and let me know in the comments below what happened.  If you could not find delight, what do you think got in the way?

Posted in: Technique of the Week

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Calm Your Mind: Attitude #2

Helping the mind remain calm and undisturbed is a lifelong practice. Often our thoughts are agitated from our reactions to other people.

A chapter in the yoga texts focuses on four categories of people and how cultivating certain attitudes will help.

Focus #2:

Cultivate attitude of:  Compassion for the unhappy

This one seems easy when we first look at it.  Of course we are compassionate for others who are not happy.  However, when we are around people that we find annoying and whining, are we able to be merciful toward them?

It is easy to get frustrated and judgmental with those individuals.  

Next time you find yourself feeling impatient with someone who is unhappy, even if their behavior is inappropriate, take a breath and look beyond the behavior and practice compassion, even if you do not feel compassionate.

Your mind will be calmer and your attitude might help them feel better about themselves.

Let me know in the comments below how this worked for you.  If you could not practice compassion, what do you think got in the way?









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Lynn Suffered from Chronic Back Pain and Poor Posture

Lynn’s Challenge

I lived with chronic pain.  My right hip was frozen and it hurt all day long.  I have a sway back and my low back would lock up at times.  My shoulders rolled forward, my belly protruded and my overall posture was terrible.

What Lynn Tried

I tried many different practices including yoga in the past.  Also, I go for deep massage, which does help, but I was still in pain.

What Worked

Step by step, over time with the practice of Custom Calm yoga, my hip began to open up and as a result, others areas of my body opened and straightened up as well.

The yoga quieted my mind and relaxed my body.  I think the support has been the key to my body and my mind finally relaxing and accepting joy and ease.

The Yoga Therapy totally melted the tension in my hip muscles so much so that whenever we began a session, the muscle remembered the treatment and would soften to Ellen's touch.

Over time, my yoga practice has become a central part of my life, opening me up to real happiness and contentment. The daily practice has slowed and relaxed my mind and my body resulting in a “being comfortable in my own skin” feeling that stays with me all day. I have come to know a depth to my Self that I did not know existed and was afraid to experience.

My posture has changed, the chronic pains have subsided, I breathe more fully, my state of mind is calm, and life is full of joy.   The yoga and the yoga therapy have brought me internal peace in an ever-changing, fragile world. And the deeper I go, the better it gets.

What you can learn from Lynn’s Experiences

Lynn was motivated by pain to explore other avenues.  Lynn embraced the practices and committed to home practice, which expedited her healing.  When Lynn's body became more open and relaxed, it resulted in physical, mental, emotional and spiritual changes as well.  It is all connected.   At times yoga is not enough and Lynn was able to work individually through yoga therapy to speed up her process of healing.    Lynn’s experiences show the life changing power of consistent practice Custom Calm techniques.


Posted in: This Stuff Works

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Spring into Life!

As I walk in my neighborhood, I see people walking, gardening, kids playing, dogs barking and flowers blooming.   It is an energizing time of year.

It is also holiday time with the arrival of Easter and Passover.

These meaningful holidays focus on rebirth, renewal and freedom.

Take a look at the trees and flowers.  The blooms from last year died off and once again you see the rebirth and renewal in each new bud.  It is absolutely exquisite. 

Our lives can encompass this wonderful unfolding.

This happens when the mind is calm. We gain a renewed perspective on life.

The inner calm we access releases us from our self imposed bondage:  The tight grip we have on our safe limited thinking that keeps us stressed, with no way out.

Settling our busy minds is a process, and at times it is uncomfortable.  The new buds did not emerge in a moment.  The plants and flowers had to let go and die out in order to slowly emerge again with increased color, beauty and vitality. 

Take a few minutes each day to quiet your mind, renew your perspective and enjoy more spring in your life.

Posted in: A Calm Perspective

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Waiting with Patience

standing in line

Stand with your feet parallel to one another, a few inches apart. Stand with your body upright and look straight ahead with a soft gaze.

Bring your awareness to the connection to your feet on the floor and notice how your weight is distributed.

Is there more in front of you feet, or in your heels? Is it even? See if you can even out your weight, even feeling the connection of sides of your feet to the floor.

Take an easy inhale, and an easy exhale. Keep your awareness on the connection of your feet to the earth as you continue with easy breathing.

This simple tool will calm your mind and body and bring you back to the moment. It is great to use when you are out and about during your day.

Try this next time you are waiting on line and let me know how it went in the comments below. Did it help avert growing frustration? Were you able to keep your attention the connection of your feet to the floor? If not, what do you think happened? If you have any questions, please ask.

Posted in: Technique of the Week

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