Are you looking to cultivate joy, peace and harmony in your everyday? These are my trusted practices I fall back on when I’m in need of finding balance and harmony. I hope for you is that you too can find some comfort here.
There is a theme unfolding as I write this, a theme with my clients and myself, the need to get back on the wagon of self care and daily spiritual practice.
Life can move along so fast, making it so easy to keep moving from one thing to another without taking time to connect into the divine.
🪔🍃 Creating the space for morning sadhana, like lighting a candle, practicing a meditation, making a conscious drink or reading scripture, is powerful.
Sadhana means ‘conscious spiritual practice’ it’s more about what’s going on in the inside rather than what you’re doing on the outside. It’s about making even the mundane magic. For example you can rush around and drink you tea getting ready & rushing or you can sip it mindfully. Sadhana can be applied to anything you do that is uplifting and elevates your intention beyond the mundane or selfish.
Now I’ll admit I was attracted to this practice because it generally involves pretty beads and I’m a huge jewellery fan, but Mala beads are not for adorning our bodies… Japa or (mantra repetition) is an incredibly powerful practice, some practitioners believe it to be the most powerful teaching available to us at this time. The main purpose of the beads is to keep track of the mantras chanted, there are 108 beads. They help to focus the mind, calm the spirit and engage the sense of touch as the beads move through your fingers. Mantra translates in english to: man – to feel tra – to Sanskit is such a beautiful language and doesn’t always translate, what we come to understand as the meaning of mantra is an instrument to move emotion. By chanting your mantra with pure intention of the heart daily, out loud or in your mind, can be an extremely powerful healing tool.
“We know that the world and all that’s in it, vibrates at a frequency. Japa Mediation, being the repetition of your chosen mantra will move that energy through, shifting emotional and energetic blocks. Mantra helps to lift the veil and connect us back to our true nature.” ~Ana Pilar
Japa meditation has been completely, I dare say, life changing for me. My pitta mind can get too focused, I can tend to work too long and hard, stress manifests in anger for me. I don’t have a huge amount of time to dedicate to my spiritual practices, and Japa can take as little as 6mins or as long as you like. I have found that I can do this anywhere, I now don’t even need my beads, the mantra stays with you and like your breath is always there for you to come back to in times of need. For example I was at a gathering and I felt anxiousness rise up and my mind automatically went to my mantra and I felt calm come over me. There are 108 beads on a mala strand and one larger bead, known as the Guru bead, or Krishna bead. For meditation purposes, it is good to use a string of beads where all the beads are the same size and made of the same material, this will promote a consistency of experience as you are meditating. Begin with the bead next to the Krishna bead. Gently roll the bead between the thumb and middle finger of your right hand while chanting. Try not to use your index finger as this represents ego (the finger you point at people when you’re telling them off!). You can chant a mantra of your choice, but it’s good to stick with the same one for months or years. Mine is below:
Lokah Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu
May all beings everywhere be happy and free and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.
Here is a beautiful and powerful meditation by Sharon Gannon, which I read in my Teacher’s, Katie Rose, book Mindful Living, that I have found to be of great benefit in my own practice: Sit comfortably, close your eyes and become aware of your breathing, feeling each time there is breathing in and breathing out. Start with the people you know and love, as it is easier to give blessings to them. Silently say the words ‘Blessings to …’ as you inhale, and as you exhale say the name of someone. Continue for several minutes, extending your blessings to include your family and friends; then move on to others, such as your past boy- or girlfriends, neighbours, bosses and co-workers. Make sure to include others with whom you now have or in the past have had more difficult relationships. You will find that as you say their names their images will appear to you. With consistent practice over time you will be able to not only see them, but also to feel their presence when you name them. Over time difficult issues that you may have with them will begin to resolve themselves. Over time you will find that when they make an appearance in your dreams they will appear as benevolent, positive presences. Over time you will find that when and if you do encounter them physically, your relationship with them will have magically and dramatically changed.
connect with mother nature
Ever wonder why you feel so good when you’ve spent time in nature? It’s because we are nature, we are one with the earth and I believe that as women we are Mother Earth reincarnated. The Mother Wound in every women, every generation needs healing and by connecting back with THE MOTHER (earth) will support our healing journey and that of our past and future generations of women in our families. Connecting with your Shakti Prana can be beautifully simple. If you know me I love my garden, gardening is a spiritual practice, sadhana, it’s divinely feminine and will awaken shakti within. Even just having a few pots of your favourite herbs on the balcony or growing some greens in a raised garden bed in your back yard, maybe it’s getting involved with your local Community Garden or helping in a friends garden. Did you know the one hobby those living a blue zone (where people live to 100yrs) have in common? Gardening! Other ritual to connect back to Mother is taking a quiet moment to make a lovely herbal tea, sip it mindfully outdoors, giving gratitude or place a drop of your favourite essential oil in the palm of your hand and inhale, I find this practice particularly helpful when I don’t have time to get outdoors, like travelling on a plane.
Some of my other favorite ways to connect with Mother Earth is to head into the bush or to the beach. We are truly blessed living in Newcastle, Australia as we have both on our doorstep. So find a way to connect with nature everyday.
We are all human and need to have a toolkit of trusted practices that help us clear the dust from the lens and come back to our sense of self and find harmony and balance – magic in the mundane as my teacher Katie Rose has taught me.
Marigold Yoga & Ayurveda is an online membership where we cultivate these practices and learn how we can embody them daily. You can join us here.
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