Thanks Maheshwari

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I would like to express my gratitude to Maheshwari of Yoga With Maheshwari for nominating The flow of life in the Sunshine award. This is one of the things that I least expect. Though I was thrilled to know that things like Sunshine Award exist here. Again, Maheshwari, THANK YOU.
I view your blog as something beyond an ordinary one where people can find a lot of useful information. For me, I would humbly say, that I have learned things through reading your posts. Please keep on sharing your thoughts, because it does not only help people learn something, but your blog inspire other people in the same way that I feel.

If you happen to be nominated. Here’s the rule:

1. Blog a post linking back to the person/blog the person who nominated you.
2. Answer some questions,then nominate ten fellow bloggers and link their blogs to your post.
3. Comment on your nominees’blogs to let them know you’ve nominated them.

1. Who is your favorite philosopher?
I consider Confucius as my favorite philosopher. This is my favorite principle “Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself”.

2. What is your favorite number?
Nothing in particular 🙂

3. What is your favorite animal?
I love cats and dogs. But, it is undeniably true that dogs show more love and loyalty. Thus, they are easy to love,too.

4. What are your Facebook and Twitter URLs?
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ferylindee
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ferimoi

5. What is your favorite time of the day?
Dawn (to the breaking of the dawn). It is one of the most peaceful time of the day. Aside from the fact that most people are in their REM at dawn, the noise is lesser than the rest of the time in the day.

6. What was your favorite vacation?
I love vacation so much, and one of the nicest place that I have been to is called the Badian Island Resort in Cebu, Philippines. The resort is like a paradise to me. The only paradise that I know which serves healthy organic foods. 😀

7. What is your favorite physical activity?
The top of my list is Yoga. It keeps me healthy mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally.

8. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?
I love Lemongrass tea (the traditional way), because it easy to prepare. Plus it has aplenty of benefits.

9. What is your favorite flower?
Sampaguita. The national flower of our nation. The scent is so sweet and the color is lovely. Sampaguita is also called the Arabian jasmine in English. 🙂

10. What is your passion?
Yoga-to forever learn and share this beautiful practice-this will surely be an endless journey.

Here are my nominees: (drums please) 😉
Yoga With Maheshwari
Yoga in Rishikesh
Live Run Love Yoga
The diary of a yogi
Savasana Addict
Dori Braveman
Brett Batten
Ganesh
To Be Aware
Cultfit

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The nature of dukkha

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Dukkha means suffering, pain, anxiety, and unhappiness-something negative that exist because its part of being human. However, these sufferings does have an end according to Buddha.

Suffering comes from different directions. You can see it in other people’s lives. They are the product of our decisions and actions. Suffering here does not solely mean the disease we acquired from smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day nor the abdominal pain we get from drinking. One thing is for sure, suffering is part of our existence. But it is up to us on how we deal with it.

Suffering (or unsatisfactoriness) can be distinguished in three types:
1. Suffering of suffering: this refers to the most obvious aspects like pain, fear and mental distress.
2. Suffering of change: refers to the problems that change brings, like joy disappears, nothing stays, decay and death. *remember that the only constant thing in this universe is CHANGE.
3. All-pervasive suffering: this is the most difficult to understand aspect, it refers to the fact that we always have the potential to suffer or can get into problematic situations. Even death is not a solution in Buddhist philosophy, as we will simply find ourselves being reborn in a different body, which will also experience problems.

Then what causes human to suffer?
Our mind is the primary reason why we have all of these sufferings. Remember that our mind is one powerful source. Again, the reason that we experience suffering comes ultimately from our mind. According to Buddhism, our main mental problems or root delusions are: ATTACHMENT, ANGER and IGNORANCE. Because of these delusions, we engage in actions that cause problems to ourselves and others. With every negative action (the karma) we do, we create a potential for negative experiences.

Attachment
– Buddha explains that our attachment to life keeps us in cyclic existence or samsara, which does not bring us continuous happiness. Because we will get stuck to the cycle. Transient things do not only include the physical objects that surround us, but also the ideas,knowledge and -the things that we perceive.
– if we are attach to things and we don’t see it that way-its difficult to identify the cause of the problems
– Do you think a person will be happy if that something special (which he is attached to) will be gone?

Anger
-..all of our actions have consequences.
– When we are ignorant about somethings – as in lack of understanding or knowledge to the nature of the thing/situation, we get angry especially when we can fully understand what’s happening.
– Thus, when other people did something unpleasant to us, we tend to do the same thing to others.
– when there is pain, their is suffering. The absence of happiness.
– Little did we know that the feeling of anger that we may have for something or someone has also an impact onto our own well-being. Thus, a never ending feeling of anger will lead us to heart attack and other heart dilemmas which is also another suffering for us and our family, hence it will greatly affect them as well.
– ignorance and attachment could result to anger. How? imagine yourself totally attach to something, you tend to do many things (usually-not the good one) just to keep that special thing. When that special thing is totally gone, how will you feel? not just sad of course.

Ignorance
– if we are not having a complete or an unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding about our self, mistakes, the nature of things that we are involved in, the things that are happening around us- we tend to engage ourselves to troubles that are mostly modifiable and preventable. Thus, things repeat again and again especially if we don’t reflect on it and learn from them.

Ignorance, anger and attachment are connected to each other. One results to another.

Then the question is, what will cease our sufferings in this life? Have you heard about the four noble truth which Siddhartha taught?
“This is the most positive message of Buddhism: although suffering is always present in cyclic existence, we can end this cycle of problems and pain, and enter Nirvana, which is a state beyond all suffering. ”

The truth of dukkha (suffering, anxiety, stress)
– As in, to understand/to accept/to admit/to recognize that there is a problem/suffering
– identifying problems/sufferings.

The truth of the origin of dukkha
– identifying the cause of the sufferings
– if we can’t point out the problem, like a cycle-it will repeat over and over again, thus it will lead us to another layer of sufferings and problems. To be able to solve the problem we must identify the underlying cause.

The truth of the cessation of dukkha
– The solution
– How to remove the suffering/how to solve the problem?
– How? though Nirvana as in the elimination of suffering/ freedom from those negative thoughts, feelings, worries, troubles
and the like.

The truth of the path leading to the cessation of dukkha
– the ways to eliminate the suffering
– how? through the Eight Fold Path

The Seventh Chakra

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More than one school of thought or beliefs, is centred on the use of color to enhance mental and physical well-being. One of the best known, is the Hindu system, expressed in the Sanskrit word “chakra”, or “wheel”. Once associated with the chariot wheel, it later became linked to the “Wheel of Light”, equivalent to the Sanskrit word which means ““spinning wheel of energy”, the practice of enlightening and healing the body through its seven centres of energy.

The chakras are related to the seven basic energy centers in the body. Each of the chakras correlate to a major nerve ganglia branching out from the spinal column. In addition the chakras are correlated to colors, sounds, body functions, and much more.

According to Buddhist/Hindu teaching all of the chakras should contribute to a human’s well-being. Our instincts would join forces with our feelings and thinking. Some of our chakras are usually not open all the way (meaning, they operate just like when you where born), but some are over-active, or even near closed.An imbalance in the Crown Chakra may be felt as lack of purpose, loss of meaning or identity, mental illness, and senility.

BEAUTY, CREATIVITY, INSPIRATION, WISDOM

Violet
The 7th Chakra
Location: crown of the head
Related organ: brain
A.K.A: Sahasrara
Endocrine gland: pineal gland.

-Personal Identification with the infinite
-Oneness with God. Peace. Wisdom

PETALS: The crown chakra is known as the Thousand Petal Lotus. When it is clear and open, it is our own personal Stargate, or vortex, into the higher dimensions.

NOTES AND MANTRA: The musical note for this chakra is B and the Mantra is Om (aum) or “ee” (Ti) as in bee.

SENSE: Our multidimensional and extrasensory senses are ruled by the seventh chakra. Once this chakra is opened, our sense of empathy and unity expands. When we raise our consciousness, we experience another person, place or object as if we are inside of them or as if we are in them. It is important, then, that we remember that with this power comes responsibility. We should activate these senses only to provide help or healing.

Compassion is the main sense that develops as our crown chakra opens. We have two kinds of compassion:
Crown Compassion, which is more about perception and communication, and Heart Compassion, which is more about emotions and empathy.

GEMSTONES: like amethyst, clear quartz, diamonds, moldavite, and peacock ore are perfect for bringing the crown charka into alignment and balance.

Associated problems: depression, Parkinson’s disease, Schizophrenia, Epilepsy, seniledementia, Alzheimer’s, many mental disorders, confusion,dizziness and muscular and skeletal diseases, skin problems, exhaustion that does not have a physical root

Violet relates to self knowledge/spiritual awareness. It is the union with your higher self, with spirituality, and your higher consciousness. Disease can result with an imbalance of energy in this chakra, either too much or too little. The violet energy connects us to our spiritual self bringing guidance, wisdom and inner strength and purifies our thoughts and feelings giving us inspiration in all undertakings.

positive aspects of violet

– a reverence for all life
– self sacrificing in the service of others
– idealism
– an ability to see the appropriate route for the benefit of the higher self
– the ability to see the big picture in the stream of Life
– self-sacrifing
– kindly and just
– selflessness
– strong mentally
– creativity
– Enhances artistic talent and creativity.
PERSONALITY TRAITS: humanitarians, Inspirational leaders, visionary

negative aspects of violet

– no concern for others
– feelings of superiority
– lack of contact with reality
– lack of direction
– over-reaction to sensory stimulus and environment


HOW TO OPEN:

1. Sit cross-legged.

2. Lay your hand before your stomach. Let the little fingers point up and away from you, touching at their tops, and cross
the rest of the fingers with the left thumb underneath the right.

3. Concentrate on the Crown Chakra and what it stands for, at the very top of your head.

4. Silently, but clearly, chant the sound “NG” (yes, this chant is as hard as it looks).

5. All this time, your body should now be totally relaxed, and your mind should be at peace. However, do not stop concentrating on the Crown Chakra.

6. This meditation is the longest, and should take no less than ten minutes.

SUGGESTED MEDITATION
1. Take twenty deep breaths while visualizing above your head a bright white light that goes from the top of your head and runs down through your spine, down through your tail bone and out of your tail bone into the earth beneath you.

2. Imagine the light traveling down; down through the earth until it reaches the center where the white light becomes the fire at the center and becomes an anchor, anchoring you to Mother Earth keeping you grounded, safe, and secure within yourself.

3. From this anchor visualize the color indigo, as a glowing ball of violet blue light at the top of you head. Check the shading of this color violet blue; check the emotions and feelings that you may be experiencing. Stay with this visualization for five minutes.

4. Afterwards write down what you experienced during this seventh chakra meditation. An important part of this exercise is to write down or journal your findings. Your journal doesn’t have to be formal – it doesn’t even have to be written in complete sentences! All it is, is a place for you to express what you are feeling. These meditations can strengthen each chakra center by visualizing its vibratory color. Write down your impressions leaving out nothing you observed and/or felt. You will find that as you write that you are exploring who you are, what you are going through, and how you are dealing with it.

WARNING: don’t use this meditation for the Crown Chakra if your Root Chakra is not strong or open. Before dealing with this last chakra, you need a strong “foundation” first, which the Root exercises will present to you.

The Six Enemies

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The heart has six enemies which causes suffering and prevents the soul from shining. They are also the blockage to our chakras. They are the..

Kama- Desire and Lust
Krodha- Anger
Moha- Delusion
Lobha- Greed
Madha- Egoistic Tendency
Matsarya- Jealousy

They are not only causing us sufferings and dissatisfactions in life. Moreover, they form a habitual cycle that affects our wellbeing-physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. If we won’t do anything to eliminate them, the cycle will forever repeat itself thus the suffering will tag along with us wherever we go.

In Sikhism, they are called as the Five Thieves/Five Evils.
1. Kam (Lust,addiction)
2. Krodh (Rage,wrath,loathe,anger,grudge)
3. Lobh (Greed,materialistic)
4. Moh (Attachment/worldly infatuation)
5. Ahankar (Ego/pride)

They were believe to caused obstruction to the moral and spiritual path of the man. However, the word “evil” here may be understood to represent the connotation of Punjabi pap (sin), dokh (defect), or kilbikh (defilement).”

Here’s the detail..

    -Lust will affect our first center, the Moladhara Chakra. Sahaja Yoga meditation practices can help restore the integrity of this area.

    -Anger has a great impact into out second center known as the Swadhistan Chakra.

    -Greed affects the third center which is the Manipur Chakra. It does not only destroy our collective values but it will also create imbalance to our personality.

    -Attachment suppresses the ability of the Anahata Chakra to shine. It lessens the power of the heart to love in a generous way. “Attachment is a lower and selfish form of love-it takes instead of giving, it is a cause and a consequence for a lack of inner security”

    -Jealousy is the resentment against another person. However, because of this disposition the Vishuddhi Chakra will be prevented to glow. This kind of feeling will destroy human relationships.

    -Egoistic tendency obstruct the opening of the six center which is called the Agnya Chakra. “When the Agnya clears the soul, the subject is no longer blinded or nisled by the projections of his ego. He is capable of settling into a deeper self-identity, a source of personal strength, confidence and resilience”

The antidote of the 6 poisons is called the 5 Klesas (Kleshas).
These are the tools which can help us overcome the culprits of our afflictions.
1. meditation
2. Breathing Technique
3. Ethics
4. Postures
5. Devotional Practices

In Sikhism, the five devils can be countered with these five virtues. These five steps will help the human overcome the sins or the five evils in their lives.
1. Sat (truth)
2. Daya (compassion)
3. Santokh (contentment)
4. Nimrata (humility)
5. Pyar (love)

    “To be truly happy we must train them and gain control over our senses, our desires, and ultimately our minds”

    “First we must identify and become conscious of these behaviors and tendencies in our thinking, then we can decide that we have to eliminate them. This decision is called a Sankalpa in Yoga where we make a resolute intention to integrate or eliminate something into our lives. In Yoga we have the beautiful practice of Pratipaksha Bhavana, “cultivating the opposites”, which helps us when we have these negative thoughts. It is this practice that we must then implement by turning our minds to divine thoughts and qualities.”

Tiptoe Balance and its variations

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Tiptoe Balance
..this is one of my favorite poses. Each and every soul in this universe, for sure, has their own personal favorite. What are yours?
..This pose helps improve our physical balance, concentration, strength and flexibility especially in the lower extremities including our hips, thighs, toes, knees as well as our ankles.


One foot (right or left) is resting on the (right or left) knee. This is quite challenging yet fun to do. Once you found your balance, lift your arm out over head while the other is resting on your waist/hips/the side of your torso.


You can do so many things with this pose. Knees pointing on different directions. Soles of the feet touching together.


These variations are obviously different from the second picture above. This time, the knees, inner thighs, heels, toes are touching together. The heels are lifted, and our derriere is resting just on top of the heels. If you want to add your eagle arms in this pose, go ahead, explore all the things that you can possibly do. 😉


This is the Ardha-Prapadasana (the half-bound Tiptoe poses) and its variation (preparation). This is also known as the Padangushthasana. At times, poses have more than two names.

Here’s another picture of the tiptoe balance variations. Bring your knee (right or left) on the floor. Once you are well-balanced, extend the free leg (right or left) and grab it with your thumb and your piece fingers. You can use your spider fingers to add support. Place them couple of inches behind you. If you can flatten your palm on your mat, go for it. You can also switch arms or legs to add more thrill. Wootwoow. ehem.. don’t hold your breaths while you are doing all of these. Yoga is not solely about the physical things you do with your body. It is the union of your mind,body, soul and your breath.

Enjoy. ^_^

Self practice: legs to arms transition

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Balance strength concentration

..connecting one pose to another should feel like a dance that flows smoothly and naturally. Working on each body part is really important in a yoga class/practice. It is not just beneficial to connect Tip toe balancing to one legged Galavansana, but it is also challenging-mentally and physically-a good challenge for someone who wants to explore the possibilities.
Try these two great poses in your practice.

Tiptoe balancing pose
पादाङ्गुष्ठासन
Padangushthasana

Padangusththasana is an intermediate pose which strengthen your hips down to your legs, thighs, ankles and toes. This involves a lot of concentration on balancing. Going into a tip toe balance depends on your entry.

Balance Focus strength flexibility

Here’s the way in to the pose.
1. Go to a squatting position.
a. Right leg bent: creating number four using your legs. So, that’s right foot on top of the left thigh.
b. Left heel should be off the floor. Left heel must also be under your Perineum.
2. Place your hands into Anjali Mudra in front of your heart.
3. Spine (back, neck) should be aligned, straight and active.
4. Gaze: forward.
5. Stay in this pose for 5-10 breaths (actually depending on your preference) the longer you stay the more benefits you will get.
6. Do the same thing on the other side or otherwise connect this pose with your eka pada galavasana.

If you can’t balance yourself, you can use the wall to aid you with the balancing part. Modification of this pose is also essential.

Flying Pigeon
Eka Pada Galavasana

Eka = one, Pada = foot. The sage Galava was a student of Vasishta.

This pose is a combination of a hip opener and an arm balance.
From the tip toe balance pose, prepare yourself for the flying pigeon pose.

1. Adjust your leg (the one that is bent) until you are comfortable and ready to go to the next step which is to—
2. Plant your hands on the ground in front of you.
3. Make sure your arms are similar to the crow arms–bent. The bent leg (left or right) should be on top of your elbows.
-remember to hook your toes around the upper arm.
4. Slowly lean forward, shifting your weight into you hands, at the same time lift your heel off the floor into a baby eka pada galavasana.
-heart should be parallel to the floor.
5. Check your balance and slowly straighten your back leg (left or right)
6. Drishti: nose
7. Stay here 5-8 breaths or longer if you prefer.

After which you can go out of the pose once you are satisfied with your practice.

Enjoy your practice. I hope to hear something from you. ^_^ don’t hesitate to share your thoughts.
Namaste.

Self Practice: Eka pada Viparita Dandasana I

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image

Pronounced as:
eh-KUH PAW-duh VEE-puh-ree-tuh DAWN-DAWS-uh-nuh

Translated as:
Eka means one, and Pada means foot in Sanskrit.
Viparita means reversed or inverted.
Danda is a staff.
Asana means pose or yoga posture.

Benefits may include:
..Builds inner confidence and courage
..Heart opening posture, with emotional and physical effects
..Open the thoracic spine and lumbar spine (Make space between your vertebrae in backbends)
..Powerful leg stretch and front body stretch
..This Pose stimulates many organs and glands: adrenal, thyroid, pituitary and pineal glands, makes more space in the lungs for respiration and effects the heart while improving circulation
..Increase spine and shoulder flexibility
..Strengthens and invigorates the whole body
..Develops poise and stillness of mind, and humbles the practitioner

This pose is considered as one of the advanced back bend yoga poses. However, you have to get yourself comfortable with Wheel Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana), Camel Pose (Ustrasana), Bridge Pose(Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) or any other back bend yoga postures. They will definitely help you with this advanced pose. Some people are gifted with jelly-like spine, so it is easy for them to just fall back after a supported headstand.

I accidentally learned this pose while I was trying to do my supported headstand. Balancing myself upside down was an issue for me, so I ended up falling back. Every time I practice headstand, I unintentionally fall behind.
Intense back bending is not an easy pose, because there are things that you should consider. Is your body ready? Are you ready to commit yourself to take this adventure? Is your back flexible enough?

If you have spine issues like Ruptured disk, Prolapsed Disk, Bulging Disk, Spinal Injuries and the like. It is automatic that you should not dare to try poses which might aggravate your condition.
Remember that you are your own teacher. Listen to your body. If this is your first attempt, it is better and safe to practice with a skillful and trained Teacher.
Yoga Asanas are harmful to you and your own well-being once done improperly.

Additional Precaution:
Spinal nerve damage and disc problems
Chronic shoulder dislocations or problems
Pregnancy
Unmanaged high blood pressure
May be intense for menstruating women, listen to your body.
Retina problems

“Like most yoga poses, Eka Pada Viparita Dandasana takes strength, flexibility, and focus. And more so than with many poses, mastery of this one requires a good deal of time and effort. Most of us can achieve the beautiful actions of this asana only by practicing regularly and earnestly for months or years. There are no magical potions or secrets; it takes hard work. But the extraordinary benefits of backbends like Eka Pada Viparita Dandasana make them well worth the energy we invest in them. They don’t just bring agility and longevity to our spine and shoulders, counteracting the tendency of the upper back to round as we age. As we use them to explore the unknown, they bring joy and freedom to our soul as well. ”

Way in: (depends on your preparatory pose)

1. Upward Bow Pose/Wheel(Urdhva Dhanurasana)
-Lower down your palms and elbows to the ground.
2. Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana (Upward Facing Two-Foot Staff Pose )
– Both feet on the floor
3. Sirsasana (Supported Headstand)
– Fall back on your feet

Once you are in Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana, check your balance and slowly raise one leg up on the air. Keep your elbow and wrists firmly planted on the ground. You can stay in this pose as long as you want. In Astanga Yoga, you can stay in the pose for 5 beautiful, deep Ujjayi Breaths in each side. Keep your legs hip width apart. Roll the inner thighs down and the outer thighs up throughout. “The pose should feel almost as if you have a very slight and subtle pike position at the hips. ”

Dristi:
nāsāgre/Nose

“All postures influence the chakras, the body’s energy centers, but the strong backward curve of the body in Urdhva Dhanurasana especially awakens and inspires all the major chakras, from the muladhara (root) chakra at the perineum to the sahasrara (thousandfold) chakra at the crown of the head. The pose has an especially vibrant effect on the anahata (heart) chakra (literally, “wheel of the unstruck sound”), at the center of the chest. The big opening of the upper thoracic spine in backbends like Urdhva Dhanurasana and Eka Pada Viparita Dandasana fuels the emotional fire of our practice, burning impurities and opening and expanding the heart center. As yoga philosophy tells us, this opening can deepen our sensitivity to the world and help us develop an understanding of and compassion for all life everywhere.”