Pose of the day...Garland Pose..Malasana...

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When you travel the streets of India or Indonesia, you'll notice that many people hang out—cooking street food, reading, waiting for the bus—crouched in a squat position. This tradition has incredible benefits. Squatting is one of the most effective ways to tone the entire lower body. It works the quadricep, hamstring, gluteal, and calf muscles of the legs, plus, it strengthens the lower back and core.

The meaning of Om Mani Padme Hum...

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“ It is very good to recite the mantra Om mani padme hum, but while you are doing it, you should be thinking on its meaning, for the meaning of the six syllables is great and vast …. The first, OM … symbolizes the practitioner’s impure body, speech, and mind; it also symbolizes the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha…. The path is indicated by the next four syllables. MANI, meaning jewel, symbolizes the … altruistic intention to become enlightened, compassionate and loving…. The two syllables, PADME, meaning lotus, symbolize wisdom…. Purity must be achieved by an indivisible unity of method and wisdom, symbolized by the final syllable HUM, which indicates indivisibility…. Thus the six syllables, om mani padme hum, mean that in dependence on the practice of a path which is an indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech, and mind into the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha….

— His Holiness the Dalai Lama, www.sacred-texts.com and Wikipedia

Reverse Plank Pose... Purvottanasana...

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Description:

Purva literally means the east. It also means the whole front of the body, from the forehead to the toes. Uttana means an intense stretch. The Reverse Plank Pose strongly stretches the entire front of the body, while strengthening the arms, shoulders, glutes and core muscles and range of motion in the shoulders.

Pose Position: Sitting

Body Position: Backbends

Body Part: Core, Shoulders, Arms, Back

Muscle Groups

Upper Body: Pectoralis, Biceps, Erector Spinae, Abdominals

Lower Body: Feet

Meaning of the lotus flower...

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The Lotus flower is regarded in many different cultures, especially in eastern religions, as a symbol of purity, enlightenment, self-regeneration and rebirth. Its characteristics are a perfect analogy for the human condition: even when its roots are in the dirtiest waters, the Lotus produces the most beautiful flower.

The Untold Story of Sita: An Empowering Tale for Our Time by Dena Merrimack...

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The Untold Story of Sita replaces the traditional narrative of Sita's life as told in the Ramayana with Sita as she truly is -- an incarnation of the great Devi Narayani. Sita comes to Earth to join Sri Ram in setting the foundation for a new civilization at a time when humans are becoming separate from the natural world. She seeks to embed a great love for the forests and rivers, plant and animal life in the hearts and minds of the people, and to share the high spiritual accomplishments of the great women rishis and sages, many of whom you meet along Sita's journey. This is a story of a woman's wisdom, courage and strength, her love for the manifest and unmanifest worlds, and her selfless sacrifices for the welfare of all. So step into Sita's time and see what life was like during a more spiritually more advanced age, when there was an understanding of Dharma, not just as duty but as an alignment with the higher forces of love that make possible the preservation of our world.

Poses to ease lower back pain...

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The lower back, or the lumbar region, can be an area that often gets sensitive for most of us at some point in our lives. Whether we have to sit a lot during the day, or whether we move a lot, the lumbar region can get affected. In any case, pain in the lower back can seriously affect your mood and your day.

Yoga can offer a great relief for the pain, as well as provide great preventative care for the future. Here are five yoga poses to ease lower back pain and relieve that dull ache.

  1. Supine twist

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2. Sphinx pose

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3. Thread the needle pose

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4. Cat and Cow pose image

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5. Downward Facing Dog Pose

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The meaning of Om...

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Om is a very simple sound with a complex meaning. It is the whole universe coalesced into a single word, representing the union of mind, body, and spirit that is at the heart of yoga. Often chanted three times at the start and at the finish of a yoga session, the sound of om is actually three syllables: a, u, and m.

Alternate Nostril Breathing or Nadi Shodhana Pranayama...

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Alternate Nostril Breathing or Nadi Shodhana Pranayama

To breathe consciously is a powerful act. The process of breathing falls at the intersection of your voluntary nervous system (conscious acts) and your autonomic nervous system (unconscious acts). Pranayama, or conscious breathing, can help to balance the sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (rest and relax) branches of the nervous system.
 
Alternate Nostril Breathing balances the two hemispheres (left and right) of the brain and body, resulting in a balance in your physical and mental well-being. While practicing this technique, focus on feeling your sit bones connect with the earth.

How to practice alternate nostril breathing:

Sit in a comfortable seated position. Ensure that your spine is straight and roll your shoulders down your back

  • Rest your left hand on your left knee or lap

  • Bring your index and middle finger of your right hand into a “peace sign” and either fold them into your palm or rest them on the bridge of your nose

  • Place your thumb gently on your right nostril and your ring and pinky fingers onto your left nostril

  • Begin with an exhale out of both nostrils

  • Close your right nostril with your thumb. Inhale through your left nostril. Pause for a moment

  • Close your left nostril with your ring and pinky fingers

  • Release the right nostril and exhale through it. Pause for a moment

  • Inhale through the right nostril. Close the right nostril with your thumb. Pause

  • Release your left nostril and exhale through it

 
This completes one round of Nadi Shodhana. Repeat this pattern for 5 to 8 rounds.
 

Pose of the Day...Balancing Half Moon...Ardha Chandrasana...

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The moon has a rich symbolic significance in yoga mythology. In hatha yoga, for example, the sun and the moon represent the two polar energies of the human body. In fact, the word hatha itself is often divided into its two constituent syllables, "ha" and "tha", which are then esoterically interpreted as signifying the solar and lunar energies respectively.

(are-dah chan-DRAHS-anna) 
ardha = half
candra = glittering, shining, having the brilliancy or hue of light (said of the gods); usually translated as "moon"

Benefits:

Strengthens the abdomen, ankles, thighs, buttocks, and spine

  • Stretches the groins, hamstrings and calves, shoulders, chest, and spine

  • Improves coordination and sense of balance

  • Helps relieve stress

  • Improves digestion

Tea Tree Oil...

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Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, a small tree native to Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. 

Although Melaleuca alternifolia is known as the tea tree, it should not be confused with the plant that produces leaves used to make black and green tea.

Tea tree oil has been used as a traditional medicine by Aborigines for centuries. These native Australians crush tea tree leaves to extract the oil, which is then inhaled to treat coughs and colds or applied directly to the skin for healing.

Today, tea tree oil is widely available as a 100% undiluted or "neat" oil. Diluted forms are also available, ranging from 5–50% strength in products designed for the skin.

Uses of tea tree oil:

  1. Hand Sanitizer

  2. insect repellent

  3. natural deodorant

  4. fight acne

  5. gets rid of nail fungus

  6. chemical-free mouthwash

  7. boost wound healing

  8. all-purpose cleaner

  9. control dandruff

  10. treat athlete’s foot

  11. banish mold on fruits and vegetables

  12. relieve psoriasis