Magick Card of the Month: Rainbow Pose

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Rainbow Pose is what we know as side plank. Its element is air because it’s creative and also takes a lot of focus to balance and hold.

Anatomy of the Pose: Come to plank pose, where the body is parallel to the floor. Push back through the heels. Begin rotating the back of the body towards the right as you come to balance on the side of the right foot; left arm comes up as the right palm stays firmly planted on your mat. You can bend the left knee and place the foot out in front of you for balance as you lift the left hip towards the ceiling. Or, if you want the full pose, place the inside edge of the left foot on top of the right foot. Gaze can be forward, or up towards the left hand if you want to challenge your balance further. Come back to plank and switch sides.

Chakras Affected: Rainbow pose is wonderful for your solar plexus, or Manipura. It strengthens the core as well as the arms, and is a great way to improve balance and stamina. Though rainbow’s element is air, manipura is often associated with fire because it transforms and cleanses.

Benefits for Children: This pose is a lot of fun for kids because balancing is so challenging. It takes a lot of focus and kind of feels like flying once you get it down. Side plank in general is going to help your child with balance and core – which are two great areas to get a head start in.

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Defining the Five Niyamas and Putting Them Into Practice

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The Sanskrit term, niyama is what we would recognize as positive duties and observances, often practiced alongside the yamas, which we discussed last month in Defining the Five Yamas and Putting Them Into Practice. Again, we will focus on Patanjali’s teachings, which are: Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svhadhyaya, and Isvara Pranidhana.

Whereas the yamas encourage us to strive for peace with the world, the niyamas are ways we can find peace with the self; observe thyself and seek restraint with the world. These are by no means simple to live by, but when we do observe yama/niyama our life will be full, our body healthy, and our spirit will be enlightened.

Saucha (purity)

Another word commonly used to describe saucha is cleanliness. Practicing saucha means you are striving to be clean inside and out – what goes into our body is clean and what comes out is clean. What goes in could be good, clean food and what comes out could be clean language and pure intentions.

Santosha (contentment)

These days the word content is often seen as settling, or not being totally satisfied. We see it as simply accepting the situation, and while a big part of santosha is acceptance (of what you have, and of others), to be content is actually to be satisfied. When we view contentment as a bad thing, we’re insinuating that we need abundance, and in some cases over-abundance, to feel pleased. This niyama asks us to be more down to earth, be happy with what we have, and take only what we need.

Tapas (austerity)

The literal translation of the sanskrit, tapas, is “to heat”. When we practice tapas we are practicing discipline and austerity on an extreme level to liberate and renew. Some cultures practice tapas as if it were penance, believing they must suffer (often by mortification) to be cleansed of bad karma. This may bring a more literal understanding to “heat” as burning cleanses all and forces transformation.  An example of this that we encounter more often in our culture would be fasting or cleansing.

Svhadhyaya (self-study)

Many use meditation as their svhadhyaya practice, and while this is great for finding your center, we must also observe our behaviors in a number of situations, inevitably over a period of time. How we act and react to situations and to others will help us to understand where we struggle or prevail, but also how to make decisions that best fit our true disposition.

Isvara Pranidhana (dedication to the Lord)

One way of describing Isvara Pranidhana is committing yourself to that which is unaffected, because whatever that is for you is the catalyst that encourages action and/or change. For some this is God or a deity of sorts, for others it’s considered a higher form of consciousness.

Just as I said last time, none of this is easy. We are all lead so often by our senses and emotions, it’s hard to be aware of what’s in our best interest at all times. The truth is, unless we completely isolate ourselves and are void of any interaction, we will always have missteps keeping things interesting. The best we can do is have good intentions and learn from our experiences.

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Keep Your Fitness Resolution All Year Long [Infographic]

It’s almost here! That time of the year when we want to start anew by setting fitness resolutions. It’s as if the beginning of a new year brings hope and possibility that this year will be THE year. So why is it rarely THE year? Most resolutions consist of breaking our worst habits: smoking, drinking, eating too much, etc. So it’s no surprise that we’re going to fall off the wagon from time to time trying to keep ourselves from our most loved vices.

Fix.com‘s new infographic sheds some light on New Year resolution statistics, pertaining to fitness, and even comes equipped with a meal plan and training program. Feel free to substitute some of the foods and exercises to meet your needs.

Let’s try not to be a statistic this year. Instead, let’s take our time and create a new lifestyle and understand that breaking bad habits is a process, and creating good habits can be a marathon, not a sprint.


Source: Fix.com

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Magick Card of the Month: Sun Pose

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Sun Pose helps us to recall that childlike enthusiasm we often forget. It allows your child to feel creative and get energized.

Anatomy of the Pose: Start in standing position, spread the legs as far as is comfortable, and spread the arms out overhead. Then ask a very simple question in a magical voice: “Did you know that the sun is a star?” Once you see those little eyes light up, ask if there are any songs they know about a star? The most popular is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Sing along with them as you sway back and forth. Singing the song out loud helps to build confidence and they’ll naturally hold the pose longer.

Chakras Most Affected: The third chakra, located at the solar plexus is most affected by this pose. When this chakra is open we find ourselves more self-aware and strong in who we are.

Benefits for Children: There are so many elements of this pose that are wonderful. The arms out and up with the chest open is an immediate mood booster; it tells the body you’re happy, healthy, free and totally comfortable. Kids also get to come up with a song, and sing and dance. The pose is not too structured, it’s simple and fun.

 

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