Discovering The Moon Centers: Balance, Sexuality & Power.

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I want to share a powerful yogic practice for women that I have known about for a long time, but am only now beginning to dive into- the experience of our Moon Centers.

According to yogic philosophy, both men and women are highly effected by the moon and have "moon centers", parts of their bodies which are greatly influenced by the shifting phases of the moon. 

Men have just one moon center: the chin. It is recommended for men to allow the hair on their chin to grow to its natural length in order to create stability in the psyche; men are highly sensitive to the moons energy, and their nervous systems may have a difficult time handling it. The hair on the chin softens this lunar effect and will make a man feel more stable and grounded.

Women on the other hand, have eleven moon centers. Every 2 1/2 days the moons energy stimulates a different part of her body. This links powerfully to her sexual energy, and if she learns to trace and come into relationship with the cycle of this energy, she can tap into a reservoir of energy to use for healing, growth, creativity- and well, sex! Additionally, each moon center holds a specific attribute, and embracing these attributes can lead to a deeper sense of wholeness in the female psyche.

Below is an explanation of the woman's moon centers, taken from A Woman's Book of Yoga: Embracing Our Natural Life Cycles by Hari Kaur Khalsa and Machelle Seibel, MD. (Which I really recommend reading. Besides the rather out- of-date references to soy as being super nutritious for women, this book has some great wisdom for women of all stages of life.)

The Eleven Moon Centers and the Qualities They Represent:

Hairline: the arc line-- steadiness, stability, divine clarity, reality

Cheeks: unpredictability, emotional stability

Lips: Verbal, interactive, communicative

Ear Lobes: intelligence, concern with values and ethics

Back of the neck: sensitivity, romance

Breasts: divine compassion, giving (can be to the point of foolishness)

Belly button/Back: insecure, exposed, vulnerable

Inner thighs: confirmative, verifying, affirming

Eyebrows: illusionary, imaginative, visionary

Clitoris: external, talkative in social situations

Vagina: depth, sharing in personal or cultural cycle

Each woman has her own "map" or sequence as she moves through the moon centers, and it ultimately takes 28 days to cycle through all of them, thus corresponding with the blueprint of the 28 day menstrual cycle.

The teachings of kundalini yoga have several different meditations to help a woman locate her moon centers. Oftentimes a few of the centers of their inherent qualities will feel numb or missing from a woman's life due to societal expectations and past traumas.

The practice:

Sit for a few minutes every day, sensing, and ask yourself "In which of these eleven places to I feel the most energy or activity?" Ask yourself this question for 28 days and see if you can begin to map out your own cycle. It may take more than one phase of the moon to connect with all your moon centers, but starting with one, right now, will yield insight into understanding your self.

As you hone in on your moon centers, I'd love to hear from you. 

What feelings, talents or ideas do you see being unearthed as a result of living in closer rhythm with your moon centers? Is there a shift in your sexual energy or libido?

I am going through this process myself for the next 28 days, because yogic philosophy only becomes truth through the wisdom of personal experience. 

Love,

Anja

P.S Want to continue the exploration of yogic teachings for women's health, sexuality and freedom? Check out the next round of Restoring Power, A 40 Day Kundalini Transformation. Signup to be notified for the beginning of our next session in April!

 

Nourishing Chicken Soup: Low GI, Paleo, & Mineral Balancing.

Sat Nam Friends. 

People often ask me about my diet, the foods I eat, and the supplements I take. I've spent literally half my life devoting myself to eating clean(er) and I figure its time to share some of my recipes and supplement reviews for you all. (Don't worry, my first love is yoga, spiritual practice, and the work of the spirit, so I'll keep sharing that, too.)

Below is the recipe for nourishing chicken soup I ate recently. It has a low glycemic index, loaded with protein, minerals and collagen, (bone broth). Soups like these are a staple in my diet to support the healing of my gut and the nourishing of my spirit.


Fresh picked Rosemary

Fresh picked Rosemary

Ingredients

  • 1 whole organic chicken
  • 2 medium sized turnips
  • 2 medium sized rutabegas
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 2 onions
  • 4 shallots
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 handfuls arugula
  • 3 inch piece of ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • dried basil & rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

In your largest soup pot, bring 2 quarts to 1 gallon of filtered water and the apple cider vinegar to a boil. Before the water reaches a simmer, add one onion chopped in half, two sticks of celery, entire piece of ginger roughly chopped and the entire chicken. Keep on a medium boil for one hour.

In a separate saucepan, place diced turnips, rutabegas, remaining celery, garlic and shallots and herbs to lightly saute. 

After 5 minutes add 1/2 to 1 cup of the boiling broth, cover with a lid and cook on low until turnips are tender.

After one hour, remove the chicken, let cool, and remove all edible meat while the stock continues to cook. 

Add meat back into the stock, add vegetables from saucepan, salt and pepper to taste

Place a handful of fresh arugula in each bowl before serving.

Enjoy!


What is your favorite, healthy comfort food? Let me know! And if you try this soup or a variation of it, take a photo and share it with me.

All Love

Anja

 

Photo Journal January 2017- Beginning The Year With Openness

This is the first in a series of posts I plan to do capturing the months of the year in quiet, subtle images. I spent January planning for, doing, and recovering from a two week drive adventure across the country with my husband, Filip, and our dog, Au. We were heading back west.

The theme of January was Openness; a kind of innocent, moving forward that is half lifted heart, half blindness. I listened to Donald trumps first speech as president as I drove through a thick, cold fog across Kansas, in utter disbelief. Some things are real, and not real.

Its always from these moments of openness with a light and integrity-filled expectation for the future that dreams are born.

Enjoy these images and may the seeds of a new year continue to grow for all of us.

 

Like brick, like diamond, like invincible spirit.

 
Signs.

Signs.

 

AU boy.

 

Grace in Kansas City.

 

Driving across the plains covered in snow.

 

High elevation blizzard, Utah.

 

Awake.

 

Alone in the canyon.

 

Grateful for the tree spirits.

 

Unconditional spring.

 
 

In the half light, beginning again. And again. 


Someone asked me 'what can I do, now?'

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Yesterday, while I was getting a routine intravenous vitamin/mineral treatment, the nurse turned to me, clear eyed and asked "can you tell me why everything is crazy right now? can you help me figure out whats going on? What do I do?"

I looked at her for a moment, realized she was genuinely searching for an answer, and waited for to reply. I didn't know her political or religious affiliations, but I suspected they differed greatly from my own. So I replied accordingly.

"Everything is changing, and everything is speeding up. Those are the new laws of reality. You have to base your life off of how you want things to change. Now more than ever you are the pivot, the catalyst and the lens through which your reality is going to transform. Use your power carefully and wisely."

 No political anger, no reasons why thing are the way they are, simply a choice. 

I couldn't tell her what to do, only give her the clarity about the space we are living in right now. It was her choice how to use this information, just as it is mine and yours.

What can you do, how can you change, how can you support the healing of yourself, those you love, and those you don't even know by working with these two realities: time is speeding up, and everything is changing?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. Where and how are you going to use your Power for the greatest good?

In Love,

Anja

Three ways to claim your power, now.

It's been heartening to witness the thousands of individuals who are standing up in the name of women's rights, equality, diversity and love. As always, my work is about helping people integrate the inner changes so that outer change can be more authentic and powerful.

Below are three (sometimes) easy ways to restore your personal power so that you can be a powerful contributing force to the movement of love.

Be relentlessly kind to yourself. 

In the grand scheme of things, you owe it to yourself to be relentless with your kindness.This means finding the crack of light between your own self down, shame, hatred and illusion (we all have it, in some form,) and acknowledging the sobering truth that you are f**king brilliant. You are a light. And you deserve your own kindness in every moment. All those knots inside? Let them go. You are bigger, brighter and better than any self shame.

Forgive anyone and anything that you can.

People misinterpret what forgiveness means. Forgiveness does not mean to let somebody off the hook for something they did, it means that you let go of the emotional, mental and spiritual burden of the wrong that was caused. You embrace the lesson, and make the choice to be kind to yourself by releasing the pain. When you do this, you automatically send any residual weight back to the “sender” or perpetrator. They can deal with this energy now, and you can pray for their highest resolution of this energy with love.

Commit to using your unique gifts for the greater good.

The time has come for you to take inspired action. With so many pressing causes and changes needing to be made in the world, it can be easy to think “I don’t have time to pursue _______ because I should be doing something more meaningful.” This is your ego’s way out of your greatest service to humanity. Its time for you to start embracing, sharing and using your greatest gifts, and pursuing those hobbies and passions which light you up like nothing else, even if you don’t see a “point” to them. The secret is, once you begin to follow your highest joy and share your inner gifts, you will begin to create much more impactful and lasting change than doing something you think you “should” do for the greater good.

Want to continue to solidify the restoration of personal power in your own life to help the collective? Click below to learn more about my upcoming kundalini yoga & meditation challenge beginning January 25th.

In Love,

Anja

The Goddess Emerges & An Invitation to Restore Your Power

What is "The Goddess"? 

The Goddess as an archetype is as old as time itself. She emerges from the ashes when civilizations have been burnt down, she whispers to us in dreams in the form of animal, plant and strange symbology, she changes form, paints her face, and washes away the portrait that history painted of her, only to take fresh clay and mark her own face anew. 

She is the divine feminine principle, but in essence she is genderless. She is born from darkness- not "evil" darkness- but rich, warm, fertile darkness; the kind of darkness that seeds need to grow.

She cares deeply, and yet has no hesitation destroying that which is not in alignment with the Way, with a swift conscious thought. 


If you read my writings, I don't often use the word "Goddess." I feel that all too often the word is used to conjure up superficial and static images of a two- at best three- dimensional idea, often portrayed as a human female. 

When I refer to the Goddess, I refer to the deepest impulse of creativity which lives inside of us, and the need to integrate this impulse into the fabric of our lives so completely that radical outward shift takes place. Working with the Goddess implies re-weaving our psyche into a wholeness which embraces our deepest instinctual nature. 

The ritual of working with the Goddess and restoring my personal Power has become a foundation of my practice every single day. It is the most intimate, and seldom shared, yet profound part of my practice.

(And as somebody who identifies as 50% male and 50% female, working with the energy of the Goddess is not just for people who identify as female. In fact, the energy of the Goddess, though often depicted as a woman, is beyond shape form and gender.)

My Journey with the Goddess:

I have been working with the Goddess nature, and the different facets of this energy which manifest as deities and ascended masters like Kuan Yin goddess of compassion, Kali goddess of death, destruction and transformation, and Mother Mary, goddess of justice, harmony and power of sacred birth, for several years.

A few years ago I began to see where in my life I had been disempowered, where I had consciously given away my power in the name of "safety", and where and how I had been sexually assaulted, from the subtle, to the obvious. So much pain was unearthed- and still is- as I continue to untangle the knots that the denial, misuse, and mistrust of my own Power created.

Now, I've realized that it is time to share these practices, and the wisdom I have experienced through my healing with the Goddess. I am still learning, and in order to take my healing to the next level, it is time to share, connect, and create spaces where all women are seen and have sisters to support them in their relationship to the Goddess.

Looking outward at the world stage it is easy to see the effects of cultures, leaders and people unknowingly starved for their wild self. The seeds of our souls are calling desperately for the warm nourishing relationship which is the resurrection and intimate knowing of the Goddess.

That is why I am inviting you, and the women in your life to join me on a 40 day journey to discover the Goddess within ourselves, and restore our Power. Using the tools and ancient teachings of kundalini yoga and meditation, combined with guided shamanic journeys into our bodies & cells, we will transform, heal, and contribute to the rise of the collective feminine consciousness. 

Want to learn more?

Click on the link below, share with a friend, and if you have any questions or trepidations, send me a message and I'll help you decide if this course is a good fit- we should only participate in things which serve our highest good.

All Blessings, as always,

Anja

Kirtan Kriya- A Meditation To Heal The Brain

I've had several people come to me recently asking for advice about meditation, how to still the mind, and bring themselves to calm. The phrase that seems to be the most common is something like

"I just feel so scattered," or "sometimes I feel like I'm going a little crazy."

Enter Kirtan Kriya, a medically researched kundalini meditation which is a favorite in the yoga community for promoting balance, improved cognitive function, and a healing, neutral state of mind.

According to the  Alzheimers Research and Prevention Foundation, It has been clinically proven to increase gray matter in the brain, balance endocrine secretions and even prevent and sometimes reverse symptoms of Alzheimers.

If this meditation doesn't resonate with you right now, please share it with somebody who will benefit from it- we all have a mother, father, sister, friend or colleague who would experience greater calm and quality of life by practicing it.

Bless You All,

Anja

Finding strength within the flames: 3 ways to transform your health and spiritual practice in 2017

A new years self portrait.

A new years self portrait.

I was recently assisting the facilitation of a retreat at Kripalu school of yoga in Massachusetts, and was  struck by three end of year lessons which provided me with powerful medicine to leap into the new year with integrity and alignment with my spirit. Here they are:

1. Be Humble.

Whatever it is you think you know, there is always room for more growth. This is as it should be. There is a great quote which can be applied to business and life which reads, "If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room." If you are the smartest person in the room, you have no one to look up to, and no room to grow. When we release our need for intellectual mastery and understanding we begin to let our soul, and its messages through the body, take over. 

In the lineage of kundalini yoga, as our practice deepens and we begin to experience intense or supernatural abilities, we are asked to "bow" before a higher and greater power. This act of surrendering our ego, finite, and limited self before the greater Self is what allows our gifts to blossom for the greater good and healing of the planet. Try this physical or metaphorical "bowing" before and after your daily meditation.

2. Your body loves rhythm. 

One of the pillars of my philosophy on healing is to treat the body as if it were a child. The body loves to have a routine, a nourishing schedule based on the flow of the seasons, the cycle of the sun and moon, and its own unique needs. The more you give yourself consistent, daily space, to eat, to meditate, to rest, to exercise, the more the body learns, the nervous system becomes entrained, and those acts become assimilated into your being with greater and greater Power.

If you want to truly feel nourished, eat at least two nourishing, home cooked, distraction free meals a day for a week, at roughly the same times. After that week check in with your body and notice how balanced and at peace your digestion feels.

3. Share the space of your heart.

When we sit in compassionate listening with friends, family, or strangers, one of the blessings we receive is the sensation of connection to all life, and all suffering. 

"compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded, it's a relationship between equals." - Pema Chodron

There is great strength in sharing the space of the heart with each other, whatever it may contain. This brings us into direct relationship with the needs of the world and the universality of human struggles, which then gives us a clear idea of how we can help to serve and uplift ourselves and humanity.

We often hear that to make positive lasting change in the world we need to start with ourselves, and we can see this in action when we share the space of the heart with somebody else. My suffering becomes transformed by the shared experience of your suffering. My victory and healing becomes the guiding light to your victory and healing. 

Sometimes we may not connect on this deep level with other people because we are afraid of the pain inside us, and the pain in other people. This is okay, be gentle with yourself. Practice connecting with somebody who you genuinely feel safe opening up to. Sit with their emotions, and yours, without trying to change them.

as Yogi Bhajan says,

"If you can't see God in all, you can't see God at all."

That means God in all situations, experiences and emotions, not just people.

Now I want to hear from and connect with you. What insights do you have about moving into the year head? How do you feel inspired to apply these practices in your own life? Leave me a comment and share your thoughts. 

Love, 

Anja

Mugwort, a power plant + kundalini exercise for enhanced creativity

About a year ago some guidance came to me through an intuitive drawing. When we allow ourselves to sit down with paper and art supplies with the intention of allowing any image that needs to come through us,  we get surprising and powerful insights into the subconscious, and are able to tap into an inner wisdom which has much to teach us. 

I created this particular drawing (shared below) during a time when I was intensely researching education to be a home birth midwife. When I came out of my doodling trance and noticed the image, I understood that it had a powerful message for me but was unsure of what it meant. I folded it up and put it in my pocket, and proceeded to pack up my life, travel halfway across the globe and back before unfolding it again this past week.

A few days ago I visited a prominent midwifery school in Maine, and left with the unsettled feeling that my original dream had shifted; something was off and I felt both equally drawn and pushed away from pursuing midwifery.

Around this same time I stumbled across a photograph of the plant mugwort. I have been working with plant spirit medicine for some time, and had, for some strange reason, never seen, touched or worked with mugwort. Ever. 

Upon seeing the photograph I was immediately flooded with the memory of my picture; I knew that the plant in my picture was mugwort and that this image was mugworts way of coming to me now, asking for me to work with her.

Mugwort is a powerful plant often associated with spiritual quests, astral travel, visions and lucid dreaming. Physically it has powerful sedative and nervine qualities and is a part of the Artimisia family, of which Wormwood, (a powerful anti parasitic and anti Lyme herb) is a part.

In the image I drew, its almost as if mugwort is saying "get back down to earth" or "Get your head out of the stars and change your vision." 

Mugworts message.

Mugworts message.

I'm excited to see what her medicine brings me in the form of my dreams and aspirations for my life and future. I will share an update with you when the time comes.

I share this story with you because it is helpful for others when we share our individual experiences of synchronicity and guidance on our individual paths, and because creative expression can be such a powerful tool to allow us to uncover messages from our body and psyche: parts of ourselves we oftentimes don't even know have something to express.

Below is a Kundalini Yoga and art exercise for connecting with your creativity and waking up the body. My teacher Hari Kirin Kaur Khalsa also has a beautiful book dedicated to these practices called .

Kundalini Exercise for generating creative energy

Sit in a comfortable seated position. Tune in by chanting the mantra Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo 3 times

  • Sit in frog pose: come into a squatting position balanced on the balls of your feet with your knees out to the side and your finger tips tented on the floor in between your knees. Straighten your spine to the best of your ability and tuck your chin in so that the back of your neck is flush with the rest of your spine. Inhale, and then exhale into the following movement.
  • Exhale as you lift your buttocks up, straighten your knees, and bring your head down towards the floor in a forward bend, while keeping your heels lifted and your fingers touching the floor.
  • Alternate between these two positions as you inhale and exhale. 
  • To End, inhale into the squatting position and suspend your breath for as long is comfortable, while squeezing the muscles of your pelvis and imagining you are lifting nutrients up from the earth through your root chakra. Exhale, and relax.
  • Now, tune into your drawing again. With a relaxed and playful mind, begin drawing any sensations, thoughts or feelings you have as they might translate into images. Don't judge your work, just let it flow.
  • When you feel a sense of completion take a step back and take in what your body/inner guidance has shared with you. Accept whatever answers have come onto the page with love, and keep this image handy for later reflection. You can practice this daily for several days and notice the story which begins to unfold through your images.

Once you do this exercise, I'd love to hear from you, what came up for you? Take a photograph of your image and share it in the comments below- we all benefit from witnessing each others creativity.

Blessings,

Anja

Striving too hard: a 3 minute exercise for inner balance.

We hear a lot of talk about inner wisdom, and going "within." 

Sometimes when we try to go within and experience the state of peace and unity that so many people talk about, we just feel like we are hitting against a brick wall. We might be tired, angry, or simply stressed out for too long. We can't sit still. It doesn't work. 

These are the times when we need to be exceedingly gentle with ourselves. To continue committing ourselves to what we know to be true, but gently.

When we are having a hard time, and we know that going within, meditating and returning ti a state of mental and energetic equilibrium is what we need, we sometimes try to go within to "get" a specific result and to force ourselves into a better state of mind or into an answer to a problem.

Our inner world doesn't work that way. Come to think of it, our outer world doesn't work that way either. 

You may have heard the phrase "how you do one thing is how you do everything." We ascend and heal ourselves on all levels at the same time, not just in one aspect of our life. So when we are searching for "the answer" to a problem by going within, and force ourselves to have an experience of some kind, we are also doing a disservice to our growth in other areas of our life. In fact, forcing ourselves and having an expectation of ourselves in spiritual practice can lead us to come up against our hard edges again and again, without progress.

To find the balance born of going within while holding the intention of knowing ourselves and experiencing truth, whatever that may be in this moment. We need to practice gently and without needing to return from the other side with some tangible prize of our efforts. We must go within in a very tender, light hearted way.

Fortunately for us, we are beings with physical bodies. This means that there are a whole host of different ways we can engage our body and breath to influence our mind and our inner experience.

Below is a basic practice for balancing this inner and outer striving. Don't think too much about it, just do it. Be fully present during the entire video and then let go of whatever results or attachments to the results might occur when you are finished. This is one moment in time where you can receive this gift. Sat Nam.

After practicing, I'd love to connect with you. What challenges are asking you to go deeper within yourself right now? How can I be of service to you?

In Light

Anja

Full Moon Message from Sage, a Power Plant.

Sage, or Salvia Officinalis, is a potent herb when used as medicine, and powerful plant when greeted as a plant spirit ally. The longish leaves carry an unmistakable scent, a prominent color has taken its name, and it has been mentioned throughout folk lore and song through the ages.

Recently, sage spoke to me.  I have been exploring the sensation and definition of "home" during the past few months, and have landed in a temporarily living situation where sage has greeted me, at once as a friend, a sister, and a wise grandmother waiting silent and patiently for me to find my way towards her and her medicine.

This past full super moon I sat in ceremony, the cold New England wind biting my bare hands as I placed them over a bowl of water with sage and several quartz crystals. We sat together, sage, moon, quartz and I, in contemplation and prayer as I made a plant spirit essence. We communicated about the large cycles at play on our planet right now, and the opportunity given to us by an awareness of these cycles playing out globally, no matter how dark. 

The message Sage shared was this:  Who can fear death and darkness when they know they are connected to a cycle of wholeness which exists far beyond themselves and the lifespan of their body? When we know our true Power, darkness cannot be feared.

Sage allows us to tap into the darkness in and around us; darkness is a natural part of life. She allows us to connect to the darkness which is inside of us and see what lies there, sleeping. Not all of what lies in the darkness is scary- sometimes we find jewels waiting to be received in the shadows, other times we find shrouded aspects of ourselves, dusty with neglect, which may need to be brought back to life or fully let go of.

Whatever we may find there, sage is a powerful ally, standing sentinel, allowing us to see in the dark and uncover a greater truth and ultimately a greater lightness, one which holds the most power because it embraces the dark.

As we ride the wave of this recent full moon into its waning stages, We have an opportunity to feel, experience and know the grandmother who is keeper of cycles of light and dark. She can help teach us to clear away the old stagnant energy and give us the power to embrace the shadows, both individually in our psyche and collectively as a people. 

I encourage you to connect with sage, ask for her medicine, and see what power through darkness is revealed to you.

Sage is patient. She will wait for an eternity if she has to. Her medicine is all permeating, strong, deeply connected to the earth, and led by the mother and grandmother archetypes. She will stand by you as you move through the darkness, and will ensure you will maintain your Power.

If you are a healer who wants to support the global consciousness and not be afraid of relating to and working in relation to the darkness in the world, consider ordering a bottle of my recent super- moon sage + quartz essence. Send me an email at anja.sofia.churchill@gmail.com and I will send you a bottle while my supply lasts.

With All my Love

Anja

How to feel at home: tune in to your body amidst constant change

I am in a period of change in my life where I feel effectively homeless, and am being called to return to my ultimate home: my body. 

Home. What does it mean?

For the past several weeks I have a roof over my head every night, food to eat and abundance to support me, but have struggled with finding a sense of home. I just returned from one of my home continents of Europe, my spouse on the other side of the country, and I am floating around New England in a town where I grew up. I'm sleeping on a couch, feeling the seasons change, and trying to balance the bite of an autumn wind with my own inner strength and warmth. 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the seat of our chi, or life force, is the kidneys. They hold the potential energy we inherited from our ancestors, and the seeds of life force which we will pass on to our children and future generations. 

When our Kidney chi is weak and depleted, it is difficult to feel the sensation of safety, comfort and stability we so often associate with "home." 

The life force of the kidneys is often effected during times of duress or change, and I have to say my life has been a whirlwind of change recently. As Bashar, one of my favorite channelled beings says when describing the laws of creation: "Everything changes. Change is the only constant." 

So how do we find the stability, coziness and warmth of our Inner home when the outside world as awhirl which change? How do we embrace the constancy of change in a way which catalyzes our growth and healing, instead of letting it throw us into downward spirals?

Below are three things I do to honor my body, connect to my Self, and remind myself that I am my primary home in my life. I also use these techniques whenever I am traveling. 

1. Come home to your body, with tenderness
The first thing I do when I'm feeling disconnected from my roots is to treat my body as if it were a small child. I take high quality massage oil and gently massage my own feet, opening up the meridians which connect me with the earth, my kidneys, and my sense of groundedness. I recommend doing this as many times a day as it takes for you to start to fully relax and feel your body's appreciation for your touch.
2. Eye Gazing
Stand in front of a mirror and stare into your own eyes. Breathe deeply and relax into your own gaze. Notice how you feel while making eye contact with yourself: relaxed? Alert? Insecure? Confident? Next tune into how much you recognize yourself in your eyes alone. If you are feeling disconnected from your own gaze, close your eyes and sense your body, while summoning up a sensation of unconditional joy and presence in your body. This feeling will be unique to you, as it is your own soul essence. Let it permeate your entire body. Then, open your eyes and reconnect with your own gaze. Do this as many times are you need to until you feel an unshakable connection wth your Self.
3. Honor your body's connection to the earth through food.
Choose seasonal ingredients which are local to the area where you currently reside, and calmly prepare a warm, healthful and delicious meal. Engage all of your senses; light candles and pair your meal with a favorite beverage. Before you eat, say a prayer of thanks to the land where the food was grown, and the people and resources who brought it to your plate. Eat the meal slowly, thoughtfully chewing each bite and noticing your body's response to each new flavor. After you finish the meal, sit or lay down in a restful position and be present with your body. Be content to be at home in you, and acknowledge the role of the earths energy in sustaining you. 

What do you do when you need to cultivate a sense of home? Leave me a comment below this post- I want to hear how you ground yourself during times of change!

I'd love it if you shared these words with fellow travelers, journeyers and adventurers of all kinds. May they serve whoever reads them.

All Love,

Anja

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Messages from the Body Part 5: Healing the Brain, & the evolution of higher consciousness

The brain. Those magical three pounds of fat which house the origins of our nervous system and are the assumed center of thought, knowledge and consciousness. 

We have credited the evolution of the innocent brain with the building and destruction of civilizations, with the advent of agriculture and the very development of man as a species.

We all know that a healthy, optimally functioning brain is paramount to survival. The brain alone uses 60% of the all the glucose in the body every day and 85% of its makeup is water. Without the brain, we would be like deep sea divers fumbling around in the dark pressure of the ocean, more like somewhat responsive human seaweed than creating, imaginative, communicative beings. 

We have books and medical professionals to help us take better care of our brains, but few of us give as much attention to our energetic brain as our physical one. 

The energetic brain consists of the 6th and 7th chakras. A chakra is a spinning vortex of subtle energy which relates to an aspect of the physical body. The chakras are the portals through which we can bring spiritual inspiration and healing into the physical body and mental emotional life. The 6th and 7th Chakras are located at the point in between the eyebrows, and at the crown of the head. 

Because science can not prove that the seat of consciousness is in the brain, it seems highly likely that the brains relationship with the mind is as a sort of epicenter or antennae for our consciousness; conscious awareness is enhanced and translated into the human experience by the functions of the brain, but it is not of the brain itself. We know that people who experience near death experiences can be declared clinically dead with no activity in the brain whatsoever, and have the experience of floating above their body, in complete consciousness.

Where the computing capacity of the brain leaves off, the 6th and 7th chakras take over. While the brain processes information and calculates its tasks, the 6th and 7th chakras are responsible for activating our brains ability to access higher levels of consciousness, intelligence and inspiration. 

Why is it important to acknowledge the energetic realm when considering brain health?

As a species who are continually evolving, we need to start accessing these higher levels of our consciousness in order to find creative solutions to our global problems. The beauty of the energetic brain is that when the 6th and 7th chakras are healthy and in balance, not only are we able to dream up and receive "divine inspiration" to our problems, but we do so from a place of no fear and complete trust.

This is the nectar of which there is such a drought right now. These solutions which come to us from a balanced 6th and 7th chakra are based on a trust in a higher order: The order of nature, the order of the Divine, the order physics- the kind of inspiration free from human ego.  

Of course, in order to experience these higher levels of intelligence we must first have an optimally functioning physical brain. Below of the essential steps to supercharging the brain:

  1.  Maintain stable blood sugar. Eat 3-4 medium to smallish meals every day. Keep your plate filled with 1/2 vegetables, 1/4 carbohydrates and fats, and 1/4 lean protein.
  2. Increase vitamin B. Eat foods which are high in vitamin B's: nutritional yeast, sauerkraut, nuts and whole grains. If you really want to make sure you have enough B vitamins, consider seeing a Naturopath who can prescribe a blood test and then help you accurately supplement for your body.
  3. Stay Hydrated. Drink 16 oz of warm water upon waking, and always drink before you get thirsty. Studies show that 90 minutes of intensive sweating can shrink your brain equal to one year of aging! 
  4. Eat healthy fats. A study from from 2012 published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease showed that consuming more healthy fats (the proper ratio of omega 3's 6's and 9's) reduced the risk of Alzheimers.

Once we have a healthy physical foundation, we can expand our consciousness by balancing the 6th and 7th chakras. Below is a Kundalini Yoga Meditation to enhance our intuitive thinking capacities, connect with Divine inspiration and use our inspirations with humbleness and no ego.

'Bowing Before the Infinite'. Meditation taught by Yogi Bhajan in1971

  1. Tune in by chanting 'Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo' three times, to connect with your inner and outer guidance.
  2. Sit in rock pose on your heels and lengthen your spine tall. Gently bring your chin in towards your throat, lengthening the back of your neck.
  3. Place your hands at your lower back and interlace them in Venus Mudra. (Interlace your fingers, if you are a woman, placing your left thumb on the bottom, thumb tip touching the outer side of your right hand. If you are a man, place your right thumb on the bottom, thumb tip touching the outside of the left hand.)
  4. Close your eyes, focus your awareness at the 3rd eye point and being to chant 'Har Ham'. As you chant 'Har', lower your forehead down to the floor in a bowing posture, hands still clasped behind the back. As you chant 'Ham', rise upwards to your straight-spine starting position. 
  5. Practice for 11 minutes.
  6. To finish, inhale deeply, suspend your breath while squeezing the spine straight, then exhale completely. Repeat two more times.

Try these practices and leave a comment below with your experiences. What form of inspiration presents itself to you when you practice this meditation? How can you nurture and cultivate this connection to your brains physical and energetic health?

As always, share this post with somebody who you think might need to read it.

All my Love,

Anja

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What you truly Love can transform you. 

The end of the day, Wuppenau, Switzerland. 

The end of the day, Wuppenau, Switzerland. 

Sometimes we over commit ourselves to personal growth. We think "I should do this, and this and this, and at the end of the day I am going to do that. Every single day."

I know I have more self help books on my shelf and in storage than I know what to do with. I give them away as gifts, but somehow they keep coming back…

Yesterday evening on the autumn equinox, I was walking along a small country road where I am staying for two weeks in Switzerland. The sun had set, and I could hear the sound of the cows, making music with their weighty cowbells over the hill.

I veered off the road when I saw an opening in the bordering pasture. I walked slowly, without any goal or intention, entranced by my leather boots moving through the bursting ground cover- dandelion greens and clover as thick as the fur on Benny, the farm dog where I am staying.

This soil is healthy, I think. 

I feel rich and purposeful just walking through it, watching the evening dew fly off the leaves as my shoes push through the greenery.

I surprise myself with a new thought:

I am so used to doing things, practicing things, striving for things, even in a non doing, spiritual sense..but this, this is pure being.

Practicing things- yoga, meditation, self care- are fabulous ways to keep us vital and live up to our highest potential, but at the end of the day, at the end of our life, we are only going to have truly lived and enjoyed and been nourished by what was closest to our own true nature. 

You know what I mean, you were cut from a certain cloth and theres nothing you can do to change the fact that you just Love thunderstorms, or gardening, or designing your own clothes, playing music with friends or cooking the perfect eggs benedict. 

For me right now, its being in nature, doing nothing. Absolute bliss.

I think when we acknowledge the things we truly love through the lens of personal transformation and meeting our highest potential, they can carry us farther than somebody else’s idea or theory of spiritual practice or self help ever could. 

Be at home with what you truly love, and don't underestimate its evolutionary power to transform you. 

What do you love that is in your true nature? How can you water it with intention and care so that it becomes your personal vehicle for transformation and joy? 

Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear from you.

Love,

Anja

 

Messages from the Body Part 4: Heal your Aura and your Fascia Simultaneously

Fascia is a fancy word for our connective tissue. It is made up of layers of collagen rich tissue which covers, connects and protects our organs, muscles, nerves and tendons. Our skin may clothe our body, but it is the fascia which keeps all the major organs and our structural alignment physically together. 

The energetic system which corresponds to the connective tissue is the aura- the electromagnetic field which surrounds our body and protects us from energetic harm. When we have beliefs or self talk which show up in our body as tension you can bet that it has shown up in our aura first. 

I've drawn the connection between connective tissue and the aura for a simple reason: there have been many years of my life when I have experienced different types of body work, while trying to heal myself of chronic lyme disease. As a result I started to create my own form of energetic/physical healing technique using different pieces of practices I had learned. (I've included a sample exercise at the bottom of this post).

When we relate to the fascia and the aura together, we discover physical proof that mental and emotional states show up physically in the body, and understanding this connection gives us the power and the confidence to approach the delicate realm of our own healing.  

If we experience hurtful criticism or verbal abuse for a long time- from others or even from ourselves- our upper back muscles become tight, we hunch over and the back of the heart becomes like a turtle shell stuck in a protective mode. Conversely, if our self talk is loving and joyful, our muscles and fascia naturally relax and our heart lifts, changing our posture. 

Stress, thoughts and beliefs all effect our fascia. Sometimes a mental frame of reference (very strong belief) we have had for a long time shows up physically in the body when it no longer serves us. Unexplainable back pain, chest tightness and even inflexibility can be a result. If you want a more in depth read about the importance of fascia in releasing psychological trauma, click here.

Because the aura is part of our energetic body, it is possible to reverse and clear unhealthy energy here more quickly than in the physical body. In fact, working on this auric level is the best first step in repairing the patterning of the fascia. It is by no means the only step, but it is the first. 

(We can see a million chiropractors and body workers but if our emotional patterns of holding the body don’t change, we are wasting our time. I always recommend a body worker, masseuse, etc, who has an understanding of the aura and how to connect with a clients emotional/energetic patterns as well as the physical ones).

What weakens the Aura?

Prolonged negativity of any kind: unproductive, criticizing talk from ourselves or others. Self limiting beliefs, oppressive or unhappy environments, prolonged malnutrition and not getting our physical needs met. 

What strengthens it?

Positive thoughts, life affirming experiences, joy, exposure to negative ions: (spending time at the ocean, in the rain, in the woods), 

What weakens the fascia?

Lack of activity, dehydration, stress, mental and emotional irritation.

What balances it? 

Gentle movement & stretching, hydration, rest, eating healthy fats and foods rich in collagen. Finding a positive frame of mind which supports a healthy outlook on life.

When the aura is weak or clouded with unhealthy impressions, we feel sad, vulnerable, confused and unable to find our center. When it is strong we feel radiant, powerful, protected and vital. 

When the fascia is out of balance we experience muscle pain, tightness and cramping throughout the body. We feel stiff out of whack and not quite "ourselves". When it is balanced we feel full range of mobility, flexibility and strength. We feel capable and confident in our body's ability to both exert itself and rest deeply. 

Below is an exercise which both helps to strengthen and brighten the aura, as well as to to relax and balance the systems of fascia. It is very dear to my heart, as It is part of my own energy healing technique which I have developed over the years while trying to heal myself.

*For this exercise, choose one part of your body, like your stiff neck. As you become comfortable with it, repeat the exercise with other parts of the body.*

 

Technique to release fascial tension and clear the energy field:

1. Lie down in a comfortable supported position. Take a moment to relax and center yourself.
2. Take 10 to fifteen long deep breaths. Don’t rush this step. Breathe deeply into your belly to create a state of deep relaxation.
3. close your eyes, and imagine that you are seeing 360 degrees around your body, even though your eyes are closed. Don’t focus on visualizing your actual surroundings, just experience the mental state of opening your consciousness to a wider state.
4. place your there index, middle and ring fingers on the part of your body which is experiencing tightness, stress or needs adjusting.
5. Begin to sense the pulsing of energy beneath your finger tips- this could be an actual energetic sensation or the feeling of your heartbeat in your body. Concentrate on this flow of energy without trying to change it. Stay here for 2-5 minutes
6. Now that you have a sense of the energy flow in the area, gently begin alternating the pressure of your fingers, individually. With continued long deep breathing, gently increase the pressure of just your index finger and hold this position for 2-5 minutes, continuing to sense your body’s energy.
7. When you feel the energy has shifted, release the pressure of your first finger and increase the pressure of your middle finger. Continue in the same way, alternating fingers. Listen to your body and change the pressure according to your intuition. As the fascia releases, you can move your hand slightly to a different part of the muscle or body to continue releasing. 
8. Release your hand. and lie in deep relaxation to integrate your self healing. Allow any emotions, thoughts or sensations to arise. Welcome them, and welcome yourself back to your body.

Go deep with this technique, and let me know what comes up for you and how it supports you.

As always, please share these words with the people you know need to read them.

In Health, 

Anja

 

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Lunar Eclipse September 16th & How I am releasing the past

This morning I woke up in a cabin in the woods. The sun was rising and the dogs were itching to be let out. The garden was calling, and we reached her just as the first sun grazed the echinacea plants.

I washed my face with a calendula blossom which sparkled with morning dew. I closed my eyes to absorb the warmth of the sun, and allowed it to penetrate my body, pushing away the frosty morning chill. The blossom, gliding across my face, washed away the night which had been filled with strange dreams and my racing heart. I sat silently in the garden, painting my face with sun colored strokes.

Here I am, I thought. Like many times before, I'm about to say goodbye again to my childhood home. This time, I'm ready. I'm ready to close a cycle I once thought was just a ghost but now I know is real. Let me explain:

This particular eclipse is closing a cycle which started in September 1998. To read more about the astrological details about this eclipse check out my friend Jenn Racioppi and her report about this eclipse here.

My Story

Eighteen years ago this place, the land of cabins in the woods and morning dew, was about to became my home. I was six years old, and transitioning with my family from a life in Manhattan to Camden, Maine. 

My uncle, my fathers identical twin brother, had committed suicide in this quiet slice of New England. My father, being tethered to an invisible cord, eventually pulled us to this picturesque place to live a new life and uncover the secret of small town living.

I grew and flourished and ran in the Maine woods, losing the hard edge I had acquired in New York City public school system. Maine became home. When I fell ill, home became a feeling of being trapped. The ghost of a thing, being stuck in one place, never leaves.

Today, on the full moon, I went to my uncles grave. Not to release him- he is peaceful, attentive and close at hand to my father when he is needed- but to free myself: a child swept up by an invisible cord and the loyalty to place and grief.

Thank you I say, and place a few small plants on his grave. Thank you for keeping us safe, thank you for keeping my family together. I have known many people who have passed, and have felt their wings. Now, I claim my own.


I'd love to hear your reflections on what you can let go of as this full lunar eclipse cycle closes.

Bless you,

Anja

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Messages from the body part 3: awaken the circulatory system and your inner healer.

The circulatory system is made up of two parts: the cardiovascular, (the heart pumps blood to the cells throughout the body delivering nutrients), and the lymphatic, (the detoxification system which carries and purifies waste fluid from between the cells).

Okay, so now we know what the circulatory system is by definition, but what does it really do and why is it important on more than just a physical level?

The physical circulatory system is like an intricate web of channels which run through the body, delivering nutrients and expelling waste fluid through the lymphatic pathways. Energetically, it corresponds to the subtle network of energy pathways called Nadis in yoga and Ayurveda, and meridians, in traditional Chinese medicine.

The beauty of these energetic pathways is that in both the Chinese and Vedic systems, it is the carrier not for blood, but for our energetic blood: the intangible life force, chi, or prana, which keeps us alive and healthy. Good health is created through cultivating this life force energy, and removing the blockages in the pathways.

Rudolf Steiner, the Austrian mystic and philosopher, alluded to the energetic circulatory system when he said that it was not the heart which pumped the blood and gave cause of life in the body, but that it was the blood itself which held a special force, a special quality which moved itself through the body. According to Steiner, the heart was simply a vortex or meeting point which regulated this flow.

When the physical and energetic circulatory systems are strong, not only are healthy blood and nutrients are delivered to every cell of the body, your body becomes nourished on the most subtle of levels.

You cultivate the ability to tune into the most delicate of healing mechanisms of your body, and to know and sense when you are truly aligned with the flow of life or not. You develop an almost psychic relationship with your body, and any unwanted or negative energy is quickly processed and released from your system.

Below are two exercises to strengthen the physical and energetic circulatory systems:

Dry Brushing

This technique is used to increase circulation and help the lymphatic system flush out toxins. It should be practiced for 15 minutes every day.

1. Before a bath or shower, take off your clothes, and use a hard bristled bath brush to brush the skin of your body.
2. Begin at your extremities, brushing your feet, lower legs, then hands and arms.  Brush with a firm pressure which is comfortable to you. Use long straight strokes, moving from your extremities inward. Your skin should become pink, and you should feel a sense of heat and movement in the outer layer of your body.
3. Once you reach your abdomen, brush firm circles around your chest and breasts, moving inwards towards your heart.
4. Once you are complete, you may apply a non hydrogentated oil to the brushed skin. I recommend virgin coconut oil, or almond oil.

Meditation to connect with the energetic circulatory system:

1. Tune in by chanting Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo three times, to connect with the lineage of kundalini yoga teachings.
2. Sit in a chair or in a comfortable cross legged position with a straight spine. Close your eyes so that your lids are 1/10th open, and concentrate your awareness at your 3rd eye, the space in between your eyebrows
3. Bring your right hand up to your face, and close off your right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale for one count through your left nostril, suspend your breath in for four counts, and then exhale for two counts from your right nostril, as you block your left with your index finger. Then repeat this pattern of inhaling 1 count, holding 4 counts, exhaling 2 counts, from the other nostril.
4. Start with five minutes of this practice, and slowly build up to fifteen.

I encourage you to try these practices, and notice how your health improves, and your relationships to the healing mechanism of your body.

As always, if these words hit home for you, share them with somebody who will also benefit from them.

All my Love,

Anja

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messages from the body part 2: the power of your gut

I could talk about the spiritual significance of the gut and digestive system for days, but for the sake of this blog post, (and you too, I know you're busy and just want that one golden nugget of wisdom) I will keep these words succinct and to the point.

Your belly. Your gut. That beautiful round tummy of yours, which houses your small and large intestines, stomach spleen, liver, gallbladder and pancreas. These organs comprise what I call your inner alchemist. When these organs and their energetic fields are strong, you have the capacity to transform and transmute anything in your life.

On a physical level, your gut is your bodies best asset. It provides you with a stable and joyful outlook on life (90 percent of your serotonin is created in the gut), and the billions of bacteria which reside there, both healthy and unhealthy, can actually change the way you think. It is well documented that the presence of too may unhealthy bacteria or parasites, or not enough healthy ones, actually cause the brain to function abnormally and exhibit cognitive dysfunction.

When you have a strong energetic digestive system, you are, like the yogis say, "like a lotus growing from the mud." The mud represents all the ungraceful qualities of every day life: the bills, the miscommunication, the heartbreak. But despite these situations you live like the lotus rising above them, as radiant as the sun. You are in the world but not of it, and yet your very nourishment comes from the mud of the world.

Taking nourishment from the mud of the world means we feel connected to life, we experience all the polarity and contrast it has to offer, and yet we move through our days with a resilience and a life force which courses through us and is independent of circumstance.

This is the very crux of the gut: to transform and transmute, to find gold and nourishment from all experiences situations and foods.

If the physical digestion is weak, we cannot break down our nourishment of food, or experiences into the pure potential energy which keeps our bodies vital and our minds awake. We must cultivate the power to completely deconstruct our nourishment to its innermost essence, to find its "gold" and then completely reconstruct it again into the waste matter which is not essential to our fullest self.

If the energetic gut is weak, we are easily depressed, anxious and brought down by the hardships and difficulties of life. Insecurity and a lack of faith in ones self arise from this imbalance.

Below are my three greatest tips for how to bring your physical and energetic gut health back into balance. Try them, they work.

Stop Eating Sugar

This simple yet profound dietary change can completely reset the bacterial balance of your gut for the better. Conditions like Candida (yeast overgrowth) parasites, blood sugar sensitivities, digestive pain, inflammation and discomfort can all be resolved or improved when you stop or limit your sugar intake. Not ready to go cold turkey? Stop eating white and brown sugars, cane sugar or any foods with these ingredients. Rely instead on small amounts of honey, maple syrup and fruits. *Avoid agave if possible, as it produces inflammatory responses within the body.*

Make Your Own Sauerkraut

1. Finely chop 1 head of cabbage. Add cabbage to a large mixing bowl and add 2 tablespoons of sea salt
2. Massage and kneed the salt and cabbage mixture with your hands for 10-15 minutes. The cabbage will become limp, and water will begin to accumulate in the bottom of the bowl. Don't get rid of this liquid.
3. Add your spices! A traditional spice profile which is healthy for the gut is caraway seeds. Add one tablespoon to the cabbage mixture. *A more adventurous and anti inflammatory kraut can be made by adding 2 inches finely chopped turmeric root and or ginger root.*
4. Sterilize a 2 quart sized wide mouth mason jar and lid. Fill the jar about 3/4 full with the cabbage mixture. Be sure to press the cabbage down snugly into the jar so that there are no pockets of air.
5. Once the jar is full, use a wooden spoon to press the cabbage down firmly so that the liquid rises well above it.
6. Put on the lid and place the jar in a cool cupboard, and wait 3 days. Make sure you press down the kraut at least once a day to keep the liquid well above the cabbage, this prevents improper fermentation. If you need to, you can add a little bit of salt water for this purpose.
7. Enjoy anytime after 3 days of fermentation! You can experiment with longer fermenting times to create more intense flavors.
 

Meditation to Increase the Energetic Power of the Gut.

1. Come into a comfortable seated position, and begin the kundalini practice by chanting Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo three times. This connects you to your own inner teacher, and the lineage of this practice to provide you with the best results.
2. Bring your hands together in prayer mudra with your palms flat against each other, and place this mudra just in front of your body at the area of your solar plexus.
3. Close your eyes and focus your gaze at the point in between your eyebrows.
4. Chant the mantra "Humee Hum Brahm Hum". Pull your navel in towards the back of your spine once as you chant "Humee Hum" and a second time as you chant "Brahm Hum."
5. Continue for 3-11 minutes. When you are finished, inhale and suspend your breath for as long as is comfortable. Repeat this three times.

Please try these out and let me know what your results are!

Share your own thoughts, insights or personal transformations with the gut in the comments below, and as always, share these words with someone who needs to hear them!

All my Love, and in Health,

Anja

 

Messages from the body part 1: Say Hello To Your Lungs

*This week begins a series of blog posts about different parts of the human body and their physical and energetic attributes which play a role in our good (or poor) health.*

Introducing: the lungs.

Think of your lungs like diplomats. They take in information (breath) from literally all over the world. They filter out impurities and then translate the information to another form which other beings (plants) can use.

They assist us in acquiring this absolutely essential nourishment. Sure some of us thrive better on vegetarian diets and some monks can go years without eating a real meal, but the nutrient of oxygen is essential for every living being.

The lesson of the lungs:

While our gut and digestive system can separate us and show our differences, (more on that next week), our lungs unify us.

Because they are intimately connected to and cannot function without the heart, nervous system and blood, they teach us to remember and honor our connection to others.

They teach us is how to balance our relationship with other human beings: we are interconnected and must rely on others in order to share the gifts of the heart in relationship and realize our highest potential as a society.

We also need to understand our own connection to the "inner heart" , which is our primary relationship. This inner heart is "God", "Spirit", "Higher Self", "Tao" and any other number of names. I like to call it Self with a capital "S" because It resides inside us, as well as around us.

When we focus on this primary relationship with Self, it helps us navigate the challenging aspects of relationships with others; we get offended less easily, we don't get triggered to behave poorly as much, and we don't allow the oppression which comes from others who don't act from their Self.

When our physical lungs are strong, we can endure strenuous physical exercises, detoxify and cleans our body from any airborne contaminants with ease, and regulate our nervous system through the use of powerful breath techniques.

When our energetic lungs are strong, we feel compassion and connection to others, contribute and support others in relationships, while holding healthy boundaries based off of our understanding of Self.

Below are two different exercises from Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan, to support the lungs on a physical and energetic level. As always before beginning any Kundalini practice, tune in by chanting Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo three times to connect to the highest outcome and prepare your space.

Exercise to strengthen the physical lungs:

1. Sit in a comfortable cross legged position or in a chair. Place your hands on your knees with your elbows straight and chin slightly tucked down and in, elongating the back of your spine.
2. Take a deep inhale, and with the breath held in, begin flexing your spine forward and back. Alternate between flexing forward by lifting your chest up and out and rolling forward on your pelvis, and rounding your back, bringing your navel in towards your spine. Continue this spinal flex with the breath held in until you cannot comfortably hold your breath any longer.
3. Exhale and return to a neutral spinal position. Then repeat the exercise.
* Practice this exercise gently and slowly build up to 11 minutes of practice.
Exercise to strengthen the energetic lungs:
1. Sit in a comfortable cross legged position or in a chair with your back straight. Place your left hand over your heart center, elbow resting comfortably by your side. Bring your right hand up to your shoulder and point your index finger straight up to the sky, folding down the remaining fingers with your thumb. Your elbow should be tucked into the side of your ribs.
2. Lower your eyelids so they are 1/10 open, and stare straight ahead into your darkened lids.
3. Inhale deeply and slowly, while bringing your attention to the space of the heart and lungs beneath your left hand. At the top of the inhale, suspend your breath for as long as possible. When you are ready to exhale, do so at the same speed as the inhale. When you reach the bottom of the exhale, suspend the breath out again. Continue for 3-11 minutes.

If you are feeling stress in relationship, or just needing a bit more physical energy and stamina, I encourage you to try both of these practices and let me know what you experience.

As always, share these words with those you love, and those who need to read them!

All Love, Anja

P.S Stay tuned for the next post in this series about the digestive system, and sign up below to receive these weekly insights directly in your inbox.