Thursday, June 12, 2008

Connect to the True Self

We have now entered my favorite transition - spring to summer! This season is the time to cherish being surrounded by warmth, sunshine green trees, flowers (thank goodness for NYC Parks!), outdoor cafes and rooftops! I am sure that everyone also appreciates the extra time getting ready in the morning now that we no longer have to spend extra time getting sweaters, coats, hats and scarves on। However, now that we are able to shed our protective layers of clothing, we also may become increasingly aware of and even self-conscious of our bare bodies.

I often have the conversation with friends that when we are physically active and eating healthy, nourishing foods our self-conscious feelings apparently don't mind going on vacation। However, self-criticism loves to go to work in our minds when we have busy and stressful days/nights that absorb our time and energy so much that we are forced to sit idle – staggering our breath, creating discomfort in our bodies and letting our minds fill with vrittis (busy meaningless thoughts). Fortunately for us, there are remedies right at our fingertips! The answer can be as simple as going for a walk, reading something inspirational, sitting quietly to focus on the breath or watching the sunset. Mr. BKS Iyengar even recommends resting the top of the head or forehead on a surface to help settle your mind, improving your connection to the true self through the mind, breath and body.

Pressure to the top of the head also helps your metabolism through stimulating the hypothalamus, pineal gland and the pituitary gland that assists the endocrine system। Healthy functioning of these glands encourages vitality and chemical balance of our bodies। With our bodies and minds in balance, the motivation to make the time to run, workout, dance or do yoga comes more easily।

Internationally known teacher of Vedic texts, Shubhraji (
http://www.namahom.org/), reminds us the Bhagavad Gita's important lesson that tells us the secret to a fulfilling life when she spells out the Sanskrit word for teacher, "GURU"– "GEE, YOU ARE YOU!" We are all in fact already what we seek to be in life! Yet, to discover what it is that we seek, and whom we are, we must let go of the only thing in life that we truly own – our egos! This is not such an easy task! However, through the expression of love for ourselves and for others, inner peace deepens, our mind quiets down and we experience the great clarity in our lives.

Express love for yourself and others and take care of your body today - get to a yoga class, go to the gym, go for a walk, sit down and be still or just simply step away from your work and enjoy the beautiful weather outside and just being you for a few moments. The greatest teacher is the one within ourselves. When we nurture ourselves with love we are better able to find our true selves, improve our own lives and be there for others.

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