the key is in the pause

How to Support your Back

We all are entering the time of year that may be fun and challenging at the same moment, which can add stress to our bodies. The back is one common pain area.  How to support your back and finding the support you need is so important.

Practicing yoga – try a twist

Sit on the floor everyday – use a supportive cushion.

Strengthen your core – practice yoga

 

 

 

Fat Tuesday may be your path to Mindfulness

Fat Tuesday may be your path to mindfulness.  I am not suggesting you over indulge and start Wednesday but  I am suggesting making a step toward mindfulness.
You can use Fat Tuesday as the spring board toward pressing the re-start button and go down a new path  even if you don’t follow the Christian season of Lent.
Do you practice mindfulness? Mindfulness lowers cortisol; less cortisol leads to decreased stress levels and increased energy levels. Mindfulness is totally healthy, completely positive, and it doesn’t cost a dime!

Who is Mindfulness For?

Mindfulness is for everyone. Don’t believe it? Well, consider this military personal  are being taught mindfulness to help them with their stress response! If military folks can benefit from mindfulness to cope with the rigors of service, surely we can all benefit from it to help tame the tension in our everyday lives.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness refers to simply being aware of your thoughts and emotions as you go through your life and the daily tasks that are a part of it. It’s about staying in the moment — you are present and truly observing the tiny things that mean so much.

How do I Practice Mindfulness?

Once you become aware of mindfulness, you can begin to identify little ways to practice it throughout the day. All it really takes is the consciousness to pause and take a moment to really see, feel, hear … use all the senses you can to take in that particular moment.

Here are some links that may help you get started after the festivities of Mardi Gras 😉

Minds at Attention: Military and Mindfulness                                                                                                                            A New Study Led by a University of Miami Neuroscientist Finds that Even Short-Form Mindfulness Meditation Training Can Help Active Duty Soldiers Perform Better and Improve Cognitive Resilience

Happify has a website and YouTube channel for ideas science and mindfulness and this sweet, short video is narrated by Sharon Salzberg lovingkindness guru and one of our favorite teachers.

Mindful Living Network just posted a blog by Dr Kathleen Hall 40 days of Mindful Living in for the Lenten season.

At Catspaw Studio we are committed pressing the pause button through yoga and meditation.  Contact us and let us know how we can help you move toward mindful living and not staying stuck on Fat Tuesday.

 cartoons by Cathy Thorne http://everydaypeoplecartoons.com/

Wisdom for the New Year

 

inner wisdomWisdom for the new year – that would be great to tap into our inner wisdom.

The 6th chakra-is our wisdom center

Have you ever had a gut feeling that turned out to be right? Had a feeling about someone upon meeting them that proved to be accurate? The 6th chakra, also known as the third eye chakra is the seat of inner wisdom, and the center of intuition. When it is in balance, you feel a strong sense of intuition, and the confidence to follow those hunches. When it is out of balance, you may feel out of touch with reality, overwhelmed, or fearful of following your instincts.

Balancing this chakra means learning to trust yourself. Take note daily of the times when you felt a hunch. What was the first thought that popped into your head on first meeting a new colleague? Any time you feel inexplicably pulled by instinct, listen to it.

Yoga poses can also help balance the 6th chakra. Forward folds encourage drawing the awareness in, and poses where gentle pressure is applied to the third eye area soothe this very active center.

catspaw cartoonsSpend some time in child’s pose. If it is not comfortable to rest your head on the mat, place a block or a Catspaw Cushions  underneath your forehead. Make the pose more restorative by placing a blanket under your seat.

An extended downward facing dog with a block underneath your forehead provides a or a cushions, more active way to tap into the third eye. Come into catspaw cartoon2a traditional down dog with one or more blocks stacked in a way that you can rest your head. The head and neck will  relax while the hands and feet are actively pressed into the mat.

Set yourself up in a supported seated forward fold. You can sit on a blanket or bolster to raise the hips. Place rolled up blankets beneath the knees, and create a stack of blocks so that when you fold forward you can rest your forehead.

Finish your third eye practice with a meditation on the sound “sham” which is associated with the chakra. Inhale through the nose, and exhale the repetition of the sound either out loud or silently.

Pause – contact us for more on tapping into the wisdom of this chakra.

6th chakra mixed media by Diane Wright @sunjourneystudio

Let’s start the new year with truth and clarity

As the new year begins let’s start with our truth.  We will focus on the 5th chakra our truth center.

This 2017 has started off a little slow, I am sick from one of my kids and that has emphasized the idea of pausing and starting the year out with truth and clarity, because I haven’t been able to do much.

The 5th Chakra, in the base of your throat, is, unsurprisingly, the center of communication. When you balance the 5th Chakra, you speak with confidence. You are able to speak from your heart, and your words are truthful.

An unhealthy 5th Chakra can manifest in many ways. Internally, you may feel fearful, painfully shy, or unfulfilled in your life’s purpose. You may speak harsh words to others. You may not listen well to others. Many believe that physical symptoms manifest from more subtle imbalances. Some examples may include an over- or underactive thyroid.

To balance your 5th Chakra, you must be honest in your introspection. Observing your thoughts and emotions from a place of compassionate honesty, your speech will be honest and compassionate. You will be kind to others, and you will feel strong within yourself. Your words will be truthful, necessary, and kind. You will never criticize unless you do so constructively.

In seeking to balance your 5th Chakra, you will also allow others to do the same. Listening is an essential way to bring this balance. You offer to others that which you seek—the feeling of confident self-expression.

Physically, there are powerful yoga asanas to help you. For instance, the shoulder stand, plow, and bridge all work to clear obstructions in the 5th Chakra.  At Catspaw Studio we are committed to helping you whether find your yogic journey.

5th Chakra mixed media by Diane Wright @sunjourneystudio

Winter Solstice Meditation

According to many religious-spiritual traditions, the Winter Solstice symbolizes a time for important festivals and observances to welcome stillness, silence, gratitude, blessings, and reflection. Mindful meditation during the Winter Solstice enhances insight and sets intention for the year to come. This is the perfect time to optimize on positive opportunities and increase awareness.

Here are some tips on balancing your energy through meditation during this winter:

Think positively

Keep your energy happy and uplifting – whether in the car, at home, or at work, spend at least five minutes of the day being mindful of the beauty that is around you.

Keep yourself hydrated

Drinking water is the best way to detoxify the waste in the body, flushing out negativity so that positivity can enter in during your meditation.

Keep a list of goals or prayers

Spend some time imagining your dreams or goals. Try writing them down on paper, or make a “vision board” and place it some where you can view it daily. Spending time each day focusing on your dreams and goals during meditation can amplify the outcome.

catspawC2Solo meditation or Group mediation

The beauty of meditation is that you can do it alone in the sacred space of your home, or you can connect with other like-minded friends to meditate with in a group setting. Whether your preferences are alone or with a group, meditation creates a stillness that allows us to look inward for growth and development.

Enjoy this winter! Let it be a time of opportunity and manifestation. For more tips on meditation, please contact us

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