Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Meditation/Practice Props

I read the book Eat, Pray, Love this summer and absolutely adored it. I was going through a breakup myself and I really felt like the words in the book were coming right from my heart. Something that I was introduced to in this book are japa mala beads. These are Hindu or Buddhist meditation/prayer beads. Traditionally they have 108 beads on what looks like a necklace. From my readings monks would sit and pray/meditate with these beads in their hand. They would pull one bead between their fingers for every prayer/mantra they repeated in their head.

Typically, I have a hard time meditating. It is something I have always struggled with because I am always thinking at least 5 thoughts at once. I have tried repeating different mantra's which has helped but I always end up thinking about something else as I'm repeating the mantra. Yes, you do not want to get in my head while I'm trying to meditate. I'm hoping that maybe by using these beads, since it will give me a physical point of reference it will help me to concentrate better. We'll see. I am going to go to a few local stores looking for a set. If I can't find any I have found a great website where you can order them. I think I would want the Rosewood ones they make.

On a similar note, Dave (what a sweet guy) got me some quartz. He got it for me with the intention of focusing my energy on it and pushing "positive energy/thoughts" to it when meditating. I did a little bit of research on quartz and have found some interesting information. Turns out it is one of the most abundant rocks in the world. I found this website that mentions a lot of the mythology around quartz such as "The strongest of Grandfather Dragon stones, Quartz is the master stone for bringing energy and light to all it encounters. I've found that one of its most potent attributes is to amplify, and that can be anything from mental activity to spiritual consciousness to emotional disposition." and "Quartz increases the power of anything that it is placed near to ... It can be used for healing, increasing physical vitality, enhancing all spellwork, or for anything you wish to amplify.".

Personally, I don't practice spellwork but I do think that using it during meditation might have some positive effects. Or at least I hope it will :) I'll try to update here if I find either the quartz or my japa mala beads (once I get them) help during my meditation practice.

Monday, November 22, 2010


In my last post I mentioned that I had done a yoga routine from Yoga Glo. One of the poses the focused on was vasisthasana. Before I started yoga I always hated doing side planks, which is what vasisthasana is essentially. Now I love it. There are so many poses I love to do that have vasisthasana as a foundational pose. Wild thing or camatkarasana is one. There are some others that Kathryn went through in that routine but I don't remember the name of them. After that class and finding the love for this pose I decided to do a quick 20 minute practice just on vasisthasana with the variations I know so far. Although it was a quick practice it was still great. I find no matter how long I do yoga I always feel relaxed and at peace afterwards.

One thing I did notice is that I have a lot more strength in my core during this pose that before. I can lift my top leg up when in the pose. Can grab my foot and even do a bit of a back bend. What I need to work on now is gaining more strength in my arms. I shake so bad when on one arm. Something to progress towards though. Have to have goals right?

Hoping to get in another practice tonight. Maybe a full 60 minute or 90 minute practice. We'll see. :)


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Love The Pain

I believe that there is good pain and bad pain. Right now I'm definitely experiencing the good pain. *phew*. I practiced yoga consistently from last January til about June. Then a lot of stuff happened in my life and I fell off the band wagon. I find once you get into the routine of doing something I'm pretty good at keeping it up. But once you get out of the routine it's so hard to get back into it.

I've been trying to get myself back into doing yoga but it hasn't really worked. Yesterday, in hopes to make that effort better I bought some new yoga pants. I can't do yoga in pants that are too long so I bought a pair of the capri style ones. And I love them! As lame as this sounds, I hope they are the thing that pushes me to get back into yoga. Once I start doing it a bunch I'll get into the habit again and keep it up. Well, lets hope so at least.

Last night I finally took advantage of my Yoga Glo membership. I took one of Kathryn Budig's classes and it was fabulous. It absolutely, 100% kicked my butt. And I loved it. We did some new poses. Some interesting back bends that I have never done before and don't know what they're called. But now I'm so sore. I was hoping to do at least some sun salutations today but I can't even do chatarunga so sun salutations are out of the picture. I am going to force myself to do something tomorrow morning though. Whether it is sun salutations or the 5 Tibetan Rites. *crossing fingers*

One thing that I did notice about the practice last night was that I could actually calm my mind when in savasana. I don't do a lot of yoga at home so I find it hard to focus sometimes on quieting my thoughts. Which is why I love going to a yoga studio because it helps for some reason. But after last night's practice I could almost go into a meditative state right away. I think it might be because I had such a good workout and I was so focused on doing the yoga that it maybe started the meditation process? I have no idea. We'll see next time though. I'm hoping that if yoga makes it easier to meditate then I'll want to do both more often.

That's all of my fitness updates though. I'm re-doing my photography blog right now so I haven't gotten around to fixing this one up yet but it'll happen soon. I promise :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Reiki Attunement #1

This is the first post where I am actually going to talk about Reiki. So I'll start by giving you a quote from Wikipedia:

Reiki (霊気?, English pronunciation: /ˈreɪkiː/) is a spiritual practice[1] developed in 1922 by Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui. It uses a technique commonly called palm healing as a form of complementary and alternative medicine and is sometimes classified as oriental medicine by some professional bodies.[2] Through the use of this technique, practitioners transfer healing energy in the form of ki through the palms.

There are two main branches of Reiki, commonly referred to as Traditional Japanese Reiki and Western Reiki. Within both Traditional and Westernised forms of Reiki, there are three forms of degrees, commonly referred to as the First, Second, and Master/Teacher degree. According to Reiki practitioners and Masters, at First Degree, a Reiki practitioner is able to heal himself and others, at Second Degree is able to heal others distantly (commonly called distant healing) with the use of specialised symbols, and at Master level (specifically Master/Teacher level) is able to teach and attune others to Reiki.
Now from my research and from talking with my friend Dave about reiki, I have interpreted it as being a form of healing by using our energy source. You can use reiki to heal physical problems, emotional problems, mental problems, etc. My experience with it so far has been really interesting and I find that it does help a bit. Now there are going to be a lot of skeptics out there, and that is ok, but if you try this yourself, you have to keep an open mind. If you hold doubt in your heart when trying to practice reiki it puts up a barrier and it won't always work.

That being said, last night Dave performed my first level attunement. As the Wiki quote said, once the first attunement has been performed on you, you can then start practicing healing others. My main want for going through the attunements is to be able to meditate better myself. I have such a hard time meditating because I'm always thinking about something. I find it very difficult to quiet my mind, let thoughts pass through and not grab onto one and run with it.

The attunement itself wasn't very eventful for myself. It took roughly a half hour. There were 3 or 4 sections that needed to be completed and I pretty much just focused on trying to meditate and being open and accepting for whatever was being pushed to me. Afterward I didn't feel very different. Maybe a bit more relaxed but that's it. I'm going to try meditating for at least 15 minutes every day. I think it might be easiest to do either late at night when everyone in my house is sleeping or early in the morning before work, that way everyone has already gotten up and left and no noise is being made. We'll see though. I'm going to ask Dave if it's ok to meditate with music. If it is I'll get some ocean/nature sounds on my iPod and try using that to help drown out all other distractions.

Once thing Dave did say about the after effects of attunements is that your body will try to get rid of waste/toxins. The attunements are designed to try and help clear out the paths that energy takes in your body and the connection to the "higher being" and to do that your body needs to get rid of toxins that you may be holding onto. Just as he predicted, I woke up this morning and REALLY needed to poop. Hahaha. I know this is TMI for most people that might read this but it was a "larger than normal" kind of dump. LMAO. I'm going to focus on meditating and maybe try practicing healing on friends/family for the next month or so. Depending on how much I get done and how far I feel I have progressed I'll then do the second attunement.

If you have any questions about the experience just leave them in the comment box and I'll answer them in my next post.

And oh yeah! I'm sorry the blog is a little messy right now. I'm focusing on getting my photo blog looking the way I want it to, then I'll start updating this one so it looks better. Please be patient :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Back Again


I have decided to activate this blog again and take a new route with it. I'm doing more now than just running. I'm pretty serious about yoga and reiki now as well. So to document the challenges, the progress and the fun times in all three areas I decided to activate this blog again. In the next week or so I will be tweaking the way it looks until I get it just right. Then I'll start posting about this lovely journey to a balanced life I am on.