Pink Moon 2018

The moon carries a lot of magic in its mystery. The April full moon, also known as the Pink Moon due to its appearance around the time of the first flower to bloom (the pink phlox) is bringing the spirit of renewal and cleansing into our lives right now.

Typically, full moons enhance the energy already upon us. If you are experiencing negative feelings, it will be more challenge to turn that around now. If you are feeling positive, the intensity is turned up and you may feel especially joyous.

Whatever state your in at this time, allow those feelings to be felt. They are there for a reason, perhaps for a lesson to be learned or appreciation to be had. Be mindful, however, of your behavior. Heightened energy can lead to later regrettable spontaneity.

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The emergence of this full moon took place on April 29, 2018. In numerology, this date equals 8. The number 8 represents karmic value or in other words, “you reap what you sow”. Although the date has passed, the energy is still lingering. Whatever seeds you have been planting up until this point are manifesting now, be them positive or negative. But, no matter what side of the totem pole you are on, it is a good time to set your intentions going forward.

Maybe you intend to be less negative or to be more creative. Maybe you intend to bask in gratefulness going forward in your life. Maybe you plan to cut toxic people or behavior out of your space or enhance your self care routine. Whatever your goals, start meditating on them.

The Universe is listening. Namaste.

 

New Moon: April 2018

For many cultures and faiths, new moons are a symbol of new beginnings. This month’s new moon is in Aries which is the first sign of the zodiac, also indicative of rebirth.

This time is about turning over a new leaf. It’s perfect for trying something different or innovative. It is also about going forth on our life’s journey with an assured sense of authenticity and excitement.

In my personal life, I have experienced some emotions and thoughts that are forcing me to let go so I can enter the next phase of my life without baggage. It’s amazing how real we think we are when we feel lower level energies expressed as anger and sadness. However, our Higher Self wants us to experience something greater: authentic joy and oneness. We have to allow ourselves to accept and express this joy. Otherwise, no matter how many great things we achieve, we will never find peace and satisfaction.

One way to welcome in the new moon energy is to cleanse our energetic bodies. Take some alone time to meditate on how you see yourself without the weight of the past holding you down. Light 3 candles: one red, one white, one green or yellow (3 white candles will suffice also). The red candle is for love and relationships. The green or yellow is for financial or overall abundance and success. The white is for the Self and anything else you’d like to focus on improving.

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Meditate and use positive affirmations while these candles burn. Draw yourself a warm/hot salt bath in which you should allow yourself to soak for at least 15 minutes. After you soak, rinse yourself off in the shower with a gentle scrub across you entire body. I recommend including your hair and scalp into this ritual if you are able to. Moisturize your skin with a natural oil or butter and return to your meditation space with a stick of white sage. Repeat your affirmations while burning the sage at each chakra, front and back, starting and ending with the crown.

Take as much time you need to do this and feel free to modify this as you need to. These rituals are about what suit us individually. If you prefer, use rosemary instead of sage or add essential oils to your bath. You can even use tarot or oracle card to aid in your meditation. It’s all up to you.

I hope this new beginning bring about great positive change to each of your lives as I believe it will for mine. Best wishes!

Namaste.

What “Yogi Life” Really Means

Yoga is all the rave these days. You probably have friends on social media striking poses with foreign names and calling themselves living the yogi life. Maybe, you’re one of them. However, do you really know what it means to be a yogi? If you think it only requires you to be athletic, limber and to give up meat most of the time, the answer is more than likely “no”. Yoga is much more than a fun way to get fit, it is truly a lifestyle.

Nearly 2,000 years ago, a sage by the name of Patanjali compiled a group of verses known as the Yoga Sutra. These verses became the foundation for true yoga practice. The text contains the guidelines of the Eightfold Path or ashtanga which literally translates to “eight limbs” in English. Each limb is a piece of wisdom aimed at developing one’s mental capacity and physical ability with the goal of achieving spiritual oneness. These limbs are 1. Yama, 2. Niyama, 3. Asana, 4. Pranayama, 5. Pratyahara, 6. Dharana, 7. Dhyana, and 8. Samadhi. Each limb is distinct in its purpose but collectively prepares the practitioner to reach one end goal.

Yama, the first limb, is summed up best with the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you want done unto you. It is about how we move in the world and how we treat the other living beings around us. Yama is composed of five distinct parts with more specific guidelines regarding non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence, and non-covetousness. The second limb, Niyama, is about self-discipline and spiritual practices. It establishes the importance of meditation and is also split into five small principles regarding cleanliness, contentment, spiritual austerity, the study of sacred scripture and surrendering to God.

The third limb, asana, is the most popular part of the yoga practice. Asana is Sanskrit for pose or posture and is about more than just one’s physical ability and agility. The practice of asanas is to build concentration and consistency necessary for following the other limbs and eventually achieving advanced levels of meditation. The fourth limb, Pranayama, which translates to life force extension is about the breath. It emphasizes the importance of breath in meditation and how it connects the mind, body, and spirit. Some even believe that breath mastery could truly extend the days of one’s life.

Pratyahara, the fifth limb, is another common practice among people of faith although under a different name. Followers of Abrahamic religions often refer to it as fasting. This is the limb that challenges us to give up external distractions and habits that do not necessarily serve us, for example, unhealthy foods or excessive television. Pratyahara directly prepares us for limb six which is Dharana or concentration. With the absence of external distractions, one can better notice the internal distractions and prepare to eliminate them. This is done in the immersion of silence to perfecting the ability to focus on a single point for an extended period of time which is also necessary for meditation.

The seventh limb is all about reaching full awareness with a still mind. This is deep meditation and called Dhyana. It is distinct from the sixth limb, Dharana, which is about focusing on one particular point where as Dhyana is about focusing on everything simultaneously with great clarity and calm. This is considered a very high level of consciousness and very difficult to achieve but certainly possible. Even more complicated to achieve is samadhi, the eighth and final limb. At this level, the yogi is able to meditate with high consciousness in such a way that she becomes one with all things, even the Universe itself. A remarkable sense of peace is attained and the practitioner transcends what we understand as the physical world.

As you can see, of the eight limbs, only one is dedicated to the strength and flexibility of the body. If you are overlooking the remaining 7 limbs, chances are you are merely exercising and not practicing yoga as each pose or movement should be accompanied by an inward purpose or lesson. Let this not discourage you as yoga is for absolutely everyone. If anything, this should encourage anyone who has begun the physical aspect of the practice and those considering it. Acknowledging and implementing all the pieces of a yoga practice will only enhance not just the physical body but the spiritual being. Namaste.