Archive for Meditation

Recommending Health Journeys’ Guided Meditations/Affirmations

For some time now, I have been an avid listener of guided meditations but only recently did I discover one of the oldest companies of this helpful wellness modality – Health Journeys. Because of my positive personal experiences, I feel compelled to highly recommend Belleruth Naparstek’s guided imagery CDs (also available in digital downloads on iTunes). Her offerings range from pain reduction to preparing for surgery, stress relief, alleviating tinnitus, increasing self-compassion, reducing depression, and so much more. Belleruth is a psychotherapist whose CDs have been used in over 3,000 hospitals and clinics for years. Guided imagery bypasses the conscious mind, and works on the subconscious to promote healing and well-being. Each CD/download includes a guided meditation with visualizations as well as affirmations – all accompanied by beautiful relaxing music. To maximize the healing benefits, it is recommended that one listens once or twice per day for several weeks. I’ve found listening before sleep is very effective. Of course, everyone is different and voice preferences are subjective.  I enjoy the CDs that are personally narrated by Belleruth. My hope is that you too will benefit from her meditations and affirmations.  Please check it out at www.healthjourneys.com or on iTunes – enjoy! 

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“Chair Chi & Prana” Class at IYI NYC

I hope you are having a wonderful Summer!  This Monday night is our final “Chair Chi & Prana” of the season, and I hope to see you there at the beautiful and peaceful Integral Yoga Institute.  After July 16, there will be a short break for August, and I will be looking forward to resuming this class in the Fall. (When the Fall dates are confirmed, I will email you as well.)  See below for more details on this Monday’s class; you may sign up at http://www.iyiny.org or simply sign up as a walk-in.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and hopefully I will see you tomorrow!

Class Descriptions:  

Chair Chi and Prana is hosted by the beautiful yoga center – Integral Yoga. This fusion class increases our vitality, and improves balance and coordination by combining Chair Yoga, Qigong, and Tai Chi Easy™ walking. Seated and standing Yoga poses strengthen and stretch the body, gentle and flowing Qigong movements enhance our life force energy (chi or prana), and Tai Chi walking increases balance and helps with fall prevention.  Additionally, these practices are a moving meditation that calm the nervous system, increase immune support, focus the mind, and are accessible to all bodies and ages.  We end class with a long savasana and yoga nidra (deep relaxation) to fully relax and absorb the benefits of our practices.  All levels are welcome! No prior experience is necessary.

July 2015 – Personal Independence & Freedom

Wishing everyone a Happy 4th of July, and that you enjoy a safe and relaxing holiday weekend!

In thinking about what personal freedom means, aside from political freedom, I believe that the yogic principles directly apply. In yoga and other spiritual practices, we seek to undo the layers and layers of conditioning that bind us to repetitive thinking and habits. That conditioning mostly comes from our family environment, and even if our caretakers have wonderful intentions, we as little child sponges do soak up the norms, behaviors, and viewpoints of our family environment. Later, as we age, we also become conditioned by society – our friends, schools, media, etc. We continue through our lifetime to be exposed and conditioned by that which surrounds us. Though, as we age and mature, we begin to notice and perhaps question these outside influences. We can become more discerning and notice the effects of our family and societal influences on our selves. In our spiritual practices, we seek a liberation from these external influences so we can at least glimpse who we really are under all those conditions layers. Many of us have had moments, fleeting as they may be, of such peak transcendent experiences. Those moments are glimpses into who we really are – our true essence. For me, the more I can connect to the unconditioned self, my spirit or soul, the more I feel free and at peace. The paths to these momentary awakenings can be varied – yoga and meditation, qigong and tai chi, dancing, walking in nature, chanting, praying, jogging, being with animals or children, listening to music, connecting to art, and many more possibilities. When have you experienced this type of personal freedom?

Also, my wonderful Tai Chi Easy teacher, Roger Jahnke, OMD, will be teaching July 9 – 12 at The Open Center! Many of you have asked about studying this form of tai chi and qigong, and now is your opportunity. Thursday night, July 9 is the free intro and Friday – Sunday is his training. I highly recommend studying with Dr. Jahnke! Check out www.opencenter.org for more info.

March 2015 – Yoga and Meditation Profoundly Improve Aetna CEO’s Health, Influence His Business Decisions, and Enhance Worker Satisfaction

Spring is right around the corner, we “spring forward” with the clocks next weekend, and before we know it the flowers will be in bloom, and cafes returning to the NYC sidewalks.  I think after this doozy of a Winter, we should celebrate together with an outdoor yoga gathering and picnic in Central Park!  Let’s organize one!  The Spring Equinox is on Friday, March 20 (that could be a possible date, if not still too chilly, or we could do it in April or May). If you are interested, please let me know and we can plan a “Spring Yoga Celebration” together!

In case you did not see this fascinating New York Times article about Aetna’s CEO, and his personal and professional transformation due to yoga and mindfulness practices, here’s the link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/01/business/at-aetna-a-ceos-management-by-mantra.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

I highly recommend reading this article to learn how yoga and meditation were able to help him recover from a terrible skiing accident, in ways that traditional medicine could not post-surgeries.  Additionally, the spiritual practices have so profoundly affected him that he began offering yoga and meditation classes to his company’s employees (he runs one of the largest insurance companies in the U.S.), conducted a yoga effects study at Aetna, and increased employees’ wages beyond what was required by minimum wage laws.  As one who practices yoga would expect, employees reported less stress, less pain, and better sleep, and were found to be more effective at their jobs.  One might have thought that the company would have suffered financially as a result of the higher wages, but instead the stock was recently at a record high – perhaps in part because Aetna’s health care costs for their employees dropped after the yoga and meditation (and other health-oriented initiatives) were introduced.  How wonderful would it be if all companies began following this model!  And why stop there – how about bringing this approach to government agencies and, where it seems especially needed, to Congress!