U –Understanding Pranayam #AtoZChallenge

U –Understanding Pranayam #AtoZChallenge

 

“The practice of ‘asanas’ and ‘pranayam’ wards off disease and helps to maintain alertness.” ~Swami Sivananda

‘Prana’ is a Sanskrit word for life force and ‘ayam’ is to draw out. ‘Pranayam’ means breath control. In the traditional teachings of yoga, our breath is said to carry our life force and is a vital link between our body and mind. Breathing correctly brings about a joyful and healthy existence. Learning the benefits of breathing right is an integral part of doing yoga.

To be honest, I do not enjoy breathing exercises as much as I enjoy performing the asanas in my yoga practice. However, I do recognize the tremendous difference Pranayam can make in our lives. It is only in doing it regularly that we see the impact it has on our body and mind.

“As a fire blazes brightly when the covering of ash over it is scattered by the wind, the divine fire within the body shines in all its majesty when the ashes of desire are scattered by the practice of pranayama.” ~B.K.S.Iyengar

Some of the popular types of Pranayam are Kapalabhati, Ujjayi, Nadi Sodhana, Shitali, Bhramari, Anuloma Viloma and Bhastrika.

Benefits of Pranayam:

  • Reduces symptoms of various diseases
  • Improves digestive capabilities
  • Enhances levels of energy in the body
  • Prevents degeneration of brain cells
  • Weight reduction
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Improvement in mood
  • Reduces insomnia
  • Quietness in your mind and nerves
  • Connects you to your inner self
  • Improves self-awareness

Pranayam techniques are highly scientific in origin as it is a systematic process of inhaling and exhaling. It is said that when we own our breath, no one can steal our peace!

This post is part of the #AtoZChallenge 2017 Blogging from A to Z: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/.

I write about my spiritual and personal growth influences from A to Z.
My previous posts in chronology:

  1. A New Earth 
  2. Brahma Kumaris
  3. Chicken Soup for the Soul
  4. Dialogue with Death 
  5. Eat Pray Love 
  6. Finding a purpose in life
  7. GANDHI
  8. Healing with Chakras
  9. I Believe in Angels
  10. Jonathan Livingston Seagull
  11. Kahlil Gibran 
  12. Lisa Nichols
  13. Meditation
  14. Neale Donald Walsch
  15. Oprah & Deepak Meditations
  16. Power of Positive Thinking
  17. Quotes, my favourite ones
  18. Rhonda Byrne ‘The Secret’ and ‘The Magic’
  19. SKY by Santosh Joshi
  20. Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Image courtesy: http://bit.ly/2pcIrBb 

T- Thich Nhat Hanh #AtoZChallenge

T- Thich Nhat Hanh #AtoZChallenge

“With mindfulness, you can establish yourself in the present in order to touch the wonders of life that are available in that moment.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk fondly referred to as Thay, is a world-renowned Zen master, spiritual leader and author. I first heard of him when I received his book ‘Peace is every step’ as a gift from my then husband (life and it’s ironies). It was the first time I got introduced to the word ‘mindfulness’. Until then I knew of only the ‘mind’ being ‘full’ of noises.

Breathing in, I calm my body.

Breathing out, I smile.

Dwelling in the present moment,

I know this is a wonderful moment!

Thay’s key teaching is to inculcate the practice of mindfulness through which we can learn to live in peace and happiness. We are so busy getting an education and a job and material possessions, that we forget living the present moment – the only moment there is for us to be alive. He highlights some of the ways we can learn to be mindful through conscious breathing, thinking less, meditating and nourishing our awareness of the moment.

 There is nothing to chase after. We can go back to ourselves, enjoy our breathing, our smiling, ourselves and our beautiful environment.

 

His teachings are not just theoretical but they highlight the simple ways we can be mindful and aware in our daily activities – while walking, while eating, while driving or even while washing the dishes. We don’t have to be sitting only in a meditation hall to feel peace and happiness. It is available to us at every given moment.

Being passionate about calligraphy, I also enjoy his calligraphic works and how effortlessly they flow through his hands. It a mindful art of Nhat Hanh that captures and expresses his lifetime of meditative insights, peace and compassion.

Listening to his words of immense wisdom infused with a sense of calm and a bit of humour, has been extremely soothing to the chaotic mind. He is a spiritual leader I truly admire and follow.

Key Highlights:

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”

“Wearing a smile on your face is a sign that you are master of yourself.”

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”

Look at some of his bestsellers here: http://amzn.to/2p7Xuda

 

This post is part of the #AtoZChallenge 2017 Blogging from A to Z: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/.
I write about my spiritual and personal growth influences from A to Z.
My previous posts in chronology:

  1. A New Earth 
  2. Brahma Kumaris
  3. Chicken Soup for the Soul
  4. Dialogue with Death 
  5. Eat Pray Love 
  6. Finding a purpose in life
  7. GANDHI
  8. Healing with Chakras
  9. I Believe in Angels
  10. Jonathan Livingston Seagull
  11. Kahlil Gibran 
  12. Lisa Nichols
  13. Meditation
  14. Neale Donald Walsch
  15. Oprah & Deepak Meditations
  16. Power of Positive Thinking
  17. Quotes, my favourite ones
  18. Rhonda Byrne ‘The Secret’ and ‘The Magic’
  19. SKY by Santosh Joshi

 

Images courtesy: http://bit.ly/2pFwyEt; http://bit.ly/2oRTa1J

  

S- SKY by Santosh Joshi #AtoZChallenge

S- SKY by Santosh Joshi #AtoZChallenge

When the student is ready, the teacher appears. This I have experienced in some ways with things and people that have come into my life at just the right time. For instance, during the painful period of my separation, I was curious to learn more about the Law of Karma. Whether there really exists one and does it truly affect our relationships. That’s the time I did Past Life Regression (PLR) workshop with Mr. Santosh Joshi – a motivational speaker, author, SKY healer, PLR therapist and life coach. This workshop was enlightening for me in several ways. After a few months, he invited me to attend his SKY workshop.
SKY is a new-age healing technique devised by Santosh and is based on the premise that we have potent healing powers within us. It is a combination of stimulating energy medians in our body, the miraculous power of our breathing and creative visualisation. This 12-minute healing method aims to restore harmony of the body and mind at mental, emotional and physical levels. SKY is an effective self-help stress-buster in our busy lives.

Based on this practice, Santosh Joshi has recently launched his third book called ‘SKY is not the limit’. His previous books ‘Keys’ and ‘Many Lives One Soul’ have been bestsellers and having read them both, are on my recommendation list for personal growth. Eminent personalities such as Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Rahul Dravid, Mallika Sarabhai and even spiritual leaders such as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Sister Shivani and Dada Vaswani have supported Santosh’s work. He also conducts customised workshops for corporates.

Santosh is a wonderful human being who is continuing to make a strong impact in the spiritual sphere.

Read more about him and his work: www.santoshjoshi.com

You can buy Santosh Joshi’s books here: http://www.amazon.in/dp/8193341546/

 

This post is part of the #AtoZChallenge 2017 Blogging from A to Z: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/.

I write about my spiritual and personal growth influences from A to Z.
My previous posts in chronology:

  1. A New Earth 
  2. Brahma Kumaris
  3. Chicken Soup for the Soul
  4. Dialogue with Death 
  5. Eat Pray Love 
  6. Finding a purpose in life
  7. GANDHI
  8. Healing with Chakras
  9. I Believe in Angels
  10. Jonathan Livingston Seagull
  11. Kahlil Gibran 
  12. Lisa Nichols
  13. Meditation
  14. Neale Donald Walsch
  15. Oprah & Deepak Meditations
  16. Power of Positive Thinking
  17. Quotes, my favourite ones
  18. Rhonda Byrne ‘The Secret’ and ‘The Magic’
R- Rhonda Byrne ‘The Secret’ and ‘The Magic’ #AtoZChallenge

R- Rhonda Byrne ‘The Secret’ and ‘The Magic’ #AtoZChallenge

“There is a truth deep down inside of you that has been waiting for you to discover it and that truth is this: you deserve all good things life has to offer.” ~Rhonda Byrne

Rhonda Byrne’s ‘The Secret’ was one book I remember which had aroused lot of curiosity immediately after its launch. This self-help book is based on a universal Law of Attraction which is based on the premise that positive thinking can bring about life-changing results in all areas of our life like relationships, wealth, health, career, etc.

In her third book ‘The Magic’ Rhonda emphasises the power of gratitude in more detail. She takes the readers on a 28-day journey to apply this incredible knowledge in their daily lives in order to magically transform every aspect of their lives.

Rhonda’s books taught me two valuable practices which I have learnt to integrate in my life: the power of creative visualisation and the power of gratitude. Its amazing how when you are open to changing the frequency of your thoughts and beliefs, your perspective towards life is altered. The universe does start showing you what you wish to manifest. It was extremely enlightening to read the teachings from renowned people like Bob Procter, Lisa Nichols, Jack Canfield, Joe Vitale and many others.

When we want things in our life to change, we got to change our thoughts and habits!

Key Highlights:

“What you think about you bring about. Your whole life is a manifestation of the thoughts that go in your head.”

“Most of us have never allowed ourselves to want what we truly want, because we can’t see how it’s going to manifest.”

“You don’t need to know how it’s going to come about. The Universe will start to rearrange itself to make it happen for you.”

“Gratitude is absolutely the way to bring more into your life.”

“Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty.”

“That’s the thing with magic. You’ve got to know it’s still here, all around us, or it just stays invisible for you.”

 

This post is part of the #AtoZChallenge 2017 Blogging from A to Z: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/.
I write about my spiritual and personal growth influences from A to Z.
My previous posts in chronology:

  1. A New Earth 
  2. Brahma Kumaris
  3. Chicken Soup for the Soul
  4. Dialogue with Death 
  5. Eat Pray Love 
  6. Finding a purpose in life
  7. GANDHI
  8. Healing with Chakras
  9. I Believe in Angels
  10. Jonathan Livingston Seagull
  11. Kahlil Gibran 
  12. Lisa Nichols
  13. Meditation
  14. Neale Donald Walsch
  15. Oprah & Deepak Meditations
  16. Power of Positive Thinking
  17. Quotes, my favourite ones

 

Q – Quotes, my favourite ones #AtoZChallenge

Q – Quotes, my favourite ones #AtoZChallenge

Words have a great impact on our self-esteem. Words can inspire, can encourage us and boost our self-confidence. Words have the ability to make a lasting impact on our thoughts and actions.

Through this post, I would like to share some of my favourite quotes from people who inspire me. Qoutes that are relevant in my life story, the ones that have created a ripple in my inner world. Here they come:

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” ~Lao Tzu

“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.” ~Maya Angelou

“Our notions about happiness entrap us. We forget that they are just ideas. Our idea of happiness can prevent us from actually being happy. We fail to see the opportunity for joy that is right in front of us when we are caught in a belief that happiness should take a particular form.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.” ~Rumi

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” ~Buddha

“It is not how much we do but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving.” ~Mother Teresa

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” ~Oprah Winfrey

“Don’t wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul.” ~Osho

 

Images courtesy: http://www.inspirational.quotesms.com/

This post is part of the #AtoZChallenge 2017 Blogging from A to Z: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/.

I write about my spiritual and personal growth influences from A to Z.
My previous posts in chronology:

A New Earth 

Brahma Kumaris

Chicken Soup for the Soul

Dialogue with Death 

Eat Pray Love 

Finding a purpose in life

GANDHI

Healing with Chakras

I Believe in Angels

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Kahlil Gibran 

Lisa Nichols

Meditation

Neale Donald Walsch

Oprah & Deepak Meditations

Power of Positive Thinking

P- ‘Power of Positive Thinking’ #AtoZChallenge

P- ‘Power of Positive Thinking’ #AtoZChallenge

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” ~Norman Vincent Peale

Some of the best books I have read have come to me when I needed them the most. One such book was ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’ by Norman Vincent Peale. This one I remember having picked during a phase when I couldn’t see beyond the heap of negativity in my life. My choices, the regrets, the sense of despair I was in, amidst the thickest and darkest clouds of uncertainty. Perhaps life has a way of putting something in your hand when you so desperately need it.

It is hard for any amount of positive thinking to break through a mind so walled up with negativity. But while reading ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’, I slowly and gradually opened up to receiving the subtle messages. It made me willing to look beyond the negativity I had embroiled myself in. To start seeing streaks of light in the dark. And it is amazing how the situation you thought was only negative, may or may not change. But your outlook and perspective towards it can surely change to being optimistic. Our attitude to life is the one thing we have in control, not our circumstances.

The key is to replace every negative thought by a positive one. Even if it seems like a tall order, it is possible. For people who are surrounded by the gleam of everything negative and need hope, ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’ is highly recommended.

Key Highlights:

“To become a happy person have a clean soul, eyes that see romance in the commonplace, a child’s heart, and spiritual simplicity.”

“The greatest secret for eliminating the inferiority complex, which is another term for deep and profound self-doubt, is to fill your mind to overflowing with faith. Develop a tremendous faith in God and that will give you a humble yet soundly realistic faith in yourself.”

“You do not need to be a victim of worry. Reduced to its simplest form, what is worry? It is simply an unhealthy and destructive mental habit.”

“Our happiness depends on the habit of mind we cultivate.”

This post is part of the #AtoZChallenge 2017 Blogging from A to Z: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/.


I write about my spiritual and personal growth influences from A to Z.
My previous posts in chronology:

A New Earth 

Brahma Kumaris

Chicken Soup for the Soul

Dialogue with Death 

Eat Pray Love 

Finding a purpose in life

GANDHI

Healing with Chakras

I Believe in Angels

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Kahlil Gibran 

Lisa Nichols

Meditation

Neale Donald Walsch

Oprah & Deepak Meditations

 

Image courtesy: http://amzn.to/2olmRas

O – Oprah & Deepak Meditation Experience #AtoZChallenge

O – Oprah & Deepak Meditation Experience #AtoZChallenge

“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” ~Oprah Winfrey

American television host, producer, actress, philanthropist and entrepreneur, Oprah Winfrey is a woman I greatly admire. Rising above her poverty struck childhood and rough adolescence, she went on to become the first African American billionaire. She is a role model for so many young women and surely is an inspiration for me.

Deepak Chopra is an author, public speaker, alternative medicine advocate and a prominent New Age movement figure. He is the co-founder of The Chopra Centre, a premier contributor of experiences, education and integrative approach to complete well-being.

When Oprah and Deepak come together to provide a meditation experience, it is a treat – to our ears, to our mind and to our senses.

“Meditation takes you beyond the mind’s noisy chatter into the pure awareness that is the source of all your happiness, inspiration and love.” ~Deepak Chopra

Every few months, based on a theme comes a 21 Day Meditation Experience by Oprah and Deepak. One meditation a day for 21 days. A warm introduction by Oprah followed by Deepak leading you into a soulful meditation. It is a beautiful combination of a sanskrit mantra, guidance and a centering thought for the day for all 21 days.
Their soothing sounds of calm bring immense peace to the heart. The wisdom that emanates ensues clarity of thinking in your mind. It is an experience I have benefitted from and something I eagerly look forward to.

At present they have an ongoing 21 Day Meditation Experience on ‘Hope in uncertain times’. Click here for details:

https://chopracentermeditation.com/

It is also available as an app on iTunes and Google Play.

This post is part of the #AtoZChallenge 2017 Blogging from A to Z: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/.

I write about my spiritual and personal growth influences from A to Z. My previous posts in chronology:

A New Earth 

Brahma Kumaris

Chicken Soup for the Soul

Dialogue with Death 

Eat Pray Love 

Finding a purpose in life

GANDHI

Healing with Chakras

I Believe in Angels

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Kahlil Gibran 

Lisa Nichols

Meditation

Neale Donald Walsch

 

Image courtesy: http://bit.ly/2oo2AQs

N – Neale Donald Walsch #AtoZChallenge

N – Neale Donald Walsch #AtoZChallenge

“The struggle ends when gratitude begins.” ~Neale Donald Walsch

It is such a human tendency to speak to God and to ask Him questions when things in our life get difficult. But what if you would get a response from God! Imagine receiving answers from the Almighty Himself! That is what author Neale Donald Walsch experienced in his low phase. Thus was born this beautiful series of books called ‘Conversations with God’.

A conversation with God where the author poses questions and he gets the answers via a dictation. When he wondered whom does God talk to in this manner, God replied that He talks to everyone, all the time, but who really cares to listen?

Whether we call it our inner voice or our inner guidance, we can seek the answers to our most difficult questions – within. Seek and you shall receive is perhaps most true about our connection with the higher power. For those with an open mind, a limitless curiosity and a sincere desire to find answers, his books are very inspiring.

If you do read this series, go a step further to connect with your own inner voice. I did too in my desperate times*. The conversation is real. And it begins when you decide to be still and listen.

Key Highlights:

“If I do not go within, I go without.”

“All human actions are motivated at their deepest level by one of two emotions – fear or love.”

“What you do in the time of your greatest trial can be your greatest triumph. For the experience you create is a statement of who you are and who you want to be.”

*Read: The Practice of Quiet Time.

This post is part of the #AtoZChallenge 2017 Blogging from A to Z: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/. I write about my spiritual and personal growth influences from A to Z. My previous posts in chronology:


A New Earth 

Brahma Kumaris

Chicken Soup for the Soul

Dialogue with Death 

Eat Pray Love 

Finding a purpose in life

GANDHI

Healing with Chakras

I Believe in Angels

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Kahlil Gibran 

Lisa Nichols

Meditation

 

Images courtesy: http://bit.ly/2oOaGWF

M – Meditation #AtoZChallenge

M – Meditation #AtoZChallenge

The thing about meditation is you become more and more you.” ~David Lynch

If there is one daily practice of mine I absolutely look forward to, it would undoubtedly be meditation! What started as an anxious mind seeking solace during a mental storm, meditation has now become a way of life.

The word meditation, is derived from two Latin words : meditari (to think, to contemplate, to exercise the mind) and mederi (to heal). Its Sanskrit derivation ‘medha‘ means wisdom. Meditation means different things for different people.

I look at meditation in several ways –

Meditation for me means awareness. It means getting into a state of alert consciousness. Meditation is to connect with my higher self and to feel the presence of divinity. It is a recognition of my breath.  It is the observation of my mind as a bystander. Meditation is being mindful of my life. It is to live in the present moment. Meditation is who I choose to be in my full consciousness.
Various methods are used to practice meditation for e.g. prayer beads, chanting of mantras, breathing exercises, idol worship, long sitting postures, bodily movements, lighting incense and candles, using crystals, etc. The style you are comfortable with evolves with time and practice, yet the technique is not that significant as is the experience.

How has meditation helped me?

  • Keeping anxiety at bay
  • Better clarity of thought
  • Calmer response to daily challenges
  • Increased sense of intuition
  • Greater productivity
  • Better sleep
  • Improved self-confidence
  • Wiser perspective to life

If you are new to meditation, it would be good to start with focusing on your breath for 5-10 minutes daily. Then gradually begin with listening to meditation music and short guided meditations. There are loads of options available online as well as several meditation groups in your city. It is a process of trying, absorbing and evolving. If you aren’t already meditating, I do hope you get started on this beautiful journey of self-discovery.

This post is part of the #AtoZChallenge 2017 Blogging from A to Z: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/. I write about my spiritual and personal growth influences from A to Z. My previous posts in chronology:

A New Earth 

Brahma Kumaris

Chicken Soup for the Soul

Dialogue with Death 

Eat Pray Love 

Finding a purpose in life

GANDHI

Healing with Chakras

I Believe in Angels

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Kahlil Gibran 

Lisa Nichols

 

 

 

L – Lisa Nichols #AtoZChallenge

L – Lisa Nichols #AtoZChallenge

 

“You deserve to be happy, you deserve to be joyful, you deserve to be celebrated. But in order to do that you must first madly fall in love with yourself. “ ~Lisa Nichols

A world-renowned motivational speaker, best-selling author and global personality, Lisa Nichols is a woman I enjoy listening to. For she has a way with the words and many ways to stir your heart. She was voted as the most impressive teacher from the movie ‘The Secret’.

From being a struggling single mom on public assistance to leading a multi-million dollar enterprise, her extra-ordinary personal story is an inspiration in itself. Her courage and determination to massively transform her life has filled many with the hope to bring about positive changes in their lives as well.

I’m not extraordinary. I’m simply an ordinary woman who chooses every day to make extra-ordinary decisions.

Lisa has appeared on The Today Show, Oprah, Steve Harvey show and many other acclaimed TV shows, making her a sought after media celebrity. She is the Founder CEO of ‘Motivating the Masses’ – America’s one of the only publicly traded personal and business development training programs.

Your greatest fear is not that you are going to die. Your biggest fear is that you are going to die before you let the world see who you really are.

Personally for me, Lisa made an impact when I heard her online through a few personal growth sessions. Her words are uplifting, her tone so encouraging and her intent – pure and warm. I look forward to reading her books beginning with ‘Abundance Now’.

Listen to Lisa speak on:

Personal empowerment

Listen to Lisa on:

Keep your dreams your priority

My related blogpost on loving yourself:

True love begins by loving ourselves first

 

This post is part of the #AtoZChallenge 2017 Blogging from A to Z: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

I write about my spiritual and personal growth influences from A to Z.

My previous posts in chronology:


A: A New Earth 

B: Brahma Kumaris

C: Chicken Soup for the Soul

D: Dialogue with Death 

E: Eat Pray Love 

F: Finding a purpose in life

G: GANDHI

H: Healing with Chakras

I: I Believe in Angels

J: Jonathan Livingston Seagull

K: Kahlil Gibran 

 

 

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