Monday, January 14, 2019

Honor Your Environment Honor Your Body



Your body is an extension of your environment. Honoring both is a perfect way to balance your life. If you think of your body as a means to access the world, then taking care of it is of utmost importance. If you think of your environment as a means to protect and nurture your body, then tending to it also becomes important. 

It is through your body that you experience sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. Your body is made up of countless complex systems that collaborate to enable you to move, be still, to laugh, cry, and to experience pain and pleasure. Honor your environment and your body by treating them with respect and awe.

Simple Ways to Honor Your Environment:

  • Assess your environment on a weekly basis for any extras things that you really don't need and remove them. 
  • Spruce up your walls, floors and furnishings. Move things around to create a new look and feel, especially when seasons change.
  • Create focal points of interest with interesting artwork, books or sculpture.
  • Infuse natural scents and soothing sounds.
  • Less is more when decorating, so be mindful of what you choose to place in your rooms.
  • Create an inviting look from the outdoors to draw the positive energy inside.
Simple Ways to Honor Your Body:

  • Commit to exercise
  • Eat healthy
  • Groom
  • Meditate
  • Love yourself 
  • Embrace challenges
  • Live mindfully
  • Be present

Living in an embodied state means to honor the your house; the one that houses your body and the one that houses your soul.

Om Shant,
Mary Jane
Feng Shui Yoga Girl


Friday, January 11, 2019

Being Mindful With Your Plants






Did you ever think that being mindful with your plants can actually keep you in the present moment? We can most certainly learn something from our plants. Notice how they acclimate to their surroundings - sunlight, water, air temperature -  and how they use those surroundings to thrive. Plants can teach us the great lesson of patience, humility and impermanence; the cycles of beginning, maturing, ending and transforming.

In feng shui, plants are a symbol of growth, vitality, health and abundance. They are notoriously positioned in the area of "wealth" and "health" within an environment as a reminder how we need to take responsibility in these areas of our life. Just as we tend to our plants, we also must tend to our health and wealth.

We can rejoice in seeing new leaves sprout, flower shoots emerge, and plants growing taller and wider. It is an amazing feeling to know your plants are thriving because you are tending to them. Can you do the same for yourself?

Mindful Exercise:

Take a moment to connect with your plants. Perhaps have a little chat with them. They make wonderful listeners! Observe weekly any new shoots, and take note of how they emerge. January is the month for creating, so why not create plant groupings that remind you of memorable trips and locations: a bowl of cacti evokes a desert landscape while a terrarium of ferns and mosses recalls the soft floor of a forest in the Pacific Northwest.

Being mindful means engaging with other living things. A plant isn't as demanding as a pet or another human being, but can offer us comfort and happiness. Take the time to nourish your plants and you'll be amazed how nourished you feel in return.

Om,
Mary Jane Feng Shui Yoga Girl.
www.fengshuiyoganj.com

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Be Strong, Be Creative and Find Your Roots!

Be Strong, Be Creative and Find Your Roots
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Welcome! 
     January is the month of the ox that pulls the plough to prepare the soil for the seeds of creation to take root.  There is a great deal of elements that combine this month to set the wheels in motion for 2019! The temptation to set lofty goals, albeit admirable, can work against the natural flow of things. Instead, align your intention to your soul's mission, and then release it. In yoga we refer to this as a Sankalpa. The intention is formed by the heart and mind. It is a heartfelt desire  or affirmation that harmonizes the mind, body and spirit.

     Patanjali explains that suffering is caused by attachment. By and large, when setting goals for the new year, there is a tendency to become attached to the outcome. This year, why not step into your power and suffer less by lowering your expectations. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but if you look at it from the perspective of not expecting too much from someone or something that is not capable of giving that, then you avoid the attachment and suffering that goes along with it. In 2019, decide to shift your attachment and linger in the present moment. This will help you navigate the bumps along the spiritual path.

 
Elevate Your Consciousness!

Mary Jane
 

Be Strong, Be Creative and Find Your Roots!

Strong wood (yang) is present this month in the LoShu Grid. Each month there is a new element that shines and releases its qualities into the atmosphere for all living things to absorb. If you refer to the tree image to the right, it is easy to notice the graceful stretch of the branches high into the sky, and as it soars, guidance is present. The roots reach deep into the ground and find strength. Think of this support system as a family's dynamic. It provides roots so you may know strength and develop the ability to grow, thrive and meet your potential.

This energy teaches us to develop strength of character, build a strong body and sound mind. It provides fertile ground to plant the seeds of our creativity, manifest our desires and put ideas into action so they may blossom and bear fruit in the world.

The strength of the ox this month assists in the process of creating new things because it is willing to do the work that is required of us. The ox perseveres no matter what obstacles may arise, and does it with a helping hand. This is much like the legendary goddess  Durga who can help empower your aspirations and tap into the leader within.

Environmental Accents to Support Roots and Creativity:

1. From the center of your home, locate the east portent. Remove any clutter, items you no longer like and anything in disrepair.

2. Place a few family photos, especially of elders. Use qualities of three when positioning photos or other décor accent pieces.

3. Include a cultural piece or item depicting your heritage. You may also add artwork or photos of trees, water or landscape scenes.

4. Add a few healthy plants and accents of blue or green with a splash of fire. Columnar shapes are perfect for this area.


5. Add a water feature such as a fish bowl or water fountain provided it is not a kitchen or bedroom.

6. Add upward light source and place a notebook or journal that is easy to access so when an idea comes to mind you can write it down.

7. Wake early and take notice of nature, especially trees and repeat this affirmation: I cultivate and live a dynamic life of strength and purpose.

 


        The Winter Water:
This is the time of year when water is strong. In 5 element theory, a system used in Chinese medicine and Feng Shui, the element of water prospers in the winter. It refers to our life path, belief and the journey ahead. It is a promise of one's life path and a bringing forth of one's dreams. There is only one journey, and that is to go inside yourself. It is through the inner work we find the courage to reveal our true self and be authentic.

Without the element of water, there is no fuel to feed the creative process. Water pulls us in so we can reflect, contemplate and meditate. The result is flowing ideas for strong wood to propagate so we can take action. This is why it is important to have artwork with water scenes or actual water features in your environment. The aforementioned bode best in the East, Southeast or North directions, as long as these areas are not the kitchen or bedroom.

Water ignites the second chakra (Svadhistana) where our creative resources lie. It is the dwelling place of the self. As humans, part of our nature is to create. We create in many ways from giving birth, gardening, writing, art, cooking or when we find a solution to an old problem. Anytime we take raw materials, and transform them into something new, we are using our creative energy.

3 Yoga Poses to Assist Water Energy:

 
  • Seated Pelvic Circles
  • Baddha Konasana (Butterfly Pose)
  • Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Mantra:
I personify the attributes of strength and courage. I am in the flow.


Earth - The Element of Stability:


Earth is the stabilizer. It revolves, centers and  provides a strong foundation for whatever we decide to venture into. In Feng Shui, it represents the aspects of inner knowing and how we relate to others. It is a point where all else revolves around including our roots, blessings, soul's mission, joy, heavenly spirit and life path. Without the earth we have no reference point of matter.


>From this place of stability, we are able to create and let our ideas root deep giving us confidence and strength. The element of earth awakens the root chakra (Muladhara), a reminder of the power of grounding. It's our core connection to the Mother and humanity. It is helpful to anchor the root by having strong earth elements in your environment, especially in the center, Northeast and Southwest directions. Accents such as a stone pillar or statue bodes well. Carrying grounding stones like black tourmaline in your pocket is also advantageous.

3 Yoga Poses to Awaken the Root:
  • Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
  • Janu Sirsansana (Head-to-Knee Forward Bend)
  • Virabhadrasana II (Warrior 2 Pose)
Mantra:
I rejoice and live in peace, freedom and joy. My path is enlightened with clarity and wisdom.


Putting It All Together:

Your focus this month is to create. Rely on the wisdom of elders and true-self. That's it! Nothing fancy or expectations that pull you from your dharmic path.

Rishikesh, India


Many Blessings!
Mary Jane



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Friday, December 28, 2018

Light - Shade - Color


There are so many ways to infuse different shades of lighting and color into your environment to maximize the flow of energy. They both promote physical vitality and mental alertness. 

One of the ways to get a feel for the lighting is to follow the sun on its journey around the room on a sunny day. Take note of how the light quality changes depending on the angle at which the sunlight falls through the window. Plan your décor around this observation to make the most of this type of lighting. This is the primary factor in creating a peaceful home atmosphere.

Lighting Ideas:

  • Use sheer fabrics as curtains or shades to diffuse and soften the light especially in living rooms and dining rooms.
  • Be flexible with artificial lighting. Go beyond a single light source by installing directional lighting on a favorite piece of artwork or individual lights around seating arrangements.
  • Use candles as mood lighting. Choose interesting holders as accent pieces or floating candles for an additional element layer.
  • Add an accent mirror to energize natural light source. Position a plant in front of the mirror to spread the light and double the impact of the plant.
Color Ideas:

  • Choose colors strategically. From a feng shui perspective, every direction has color association. This is based on the five Chinese elements. It's a powerful way to design and reap the highest benefits on a personal basis.
  • Bare in mind color has an impact on mood. Cooler hues tend to be calming and warmer hues tend to be stimulating. 
  • Accent colors can be used in cushions, pillows or throws.
  • Mix color hues to create a harmonious effect.They can be different colors in matching tones or a narrower range of colors in different tones.
  • Add a touch of pattern as an accent, especially if the room is monochromatic.

Creating a peaceful home begins with observing mother nature. You have everything you need by following Her lead. Have fun, and let the process unfold naturally.

Om!

Mary Jane - Feng Shui Yoga Girl

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Winter Solstice - A Calling Back to the Light!

Winter Solstice - A Calling Back to the Light!
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Welcome! 
     The winter solstice is a time of deepening and calling back to the light. It is one of the most powerful turning points of the year when one of the Earth's poles has its maximum tilt away from the sun. It is an astronomical phenomenon marking the day with the  shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year.

     At this auspicious time of the year, we can attune to the energy of the earth that begins to pull inward. Nature contracts and pulls downward. As the seasons turn, we can find a quiet time to draw into our center, exploring our higher self, and connecting with our spirit. Just as the earth settles this time of year, we can let ourselves settle. We can mindfully turn within and welcome the peace it brings and the love that accompanies it.

     Acknowledge the depth of this time in your life and the planet we live on. Use the power of the Divine Universe to give you courage for the next steps. Listen and hear guidance to accept everything just the way it is.

 
Elevate Your Consciousness!

Mary Jane
 

Waking Well

During the winter season we are surrounded by more darkness. Without the darkness there would be no light. Take this time to retreat inward and restore your energy. Here are a few simple ways to do that.

1. Wake early and reconnect with your bodily cycles (circadian rhythms).  You may find there's extra time before breakfast to do some worthwhile meditation.

2. Draw insights from dreams when you wake up while they are still fresh. Follow your intuition with the symbols that show up. Keep a diary to record your dreams so that you can review them later in the day or week.

3. Immediately upon waking, think about how you can bring joy to another person. Practice Metta or loving friendliness towards others. This is an extraordinary frequency to begin your day.

4. Engage all five senses as soon as you awaken. The sight of sunlight or darkness, the sound of birdsong, the feel of a towel, the taste of your breakfast, the wafting smell of coffee or tea brewing.


5. Say a morning prayer giving thanks for a new day, your family, friends, health and happiness.
 


        Create a Power Grid of Crystals
This is a wonderful way to lift the energy within your environment especially this time of the year when the energy moves inward and downward. You can create a simple offering tray of assorted crystals and keep it in the area where you meditate and pray, or you can place them around your home. Stones and crystals are energetically aligned to the southwest, northeast and center points.

It's a great idea to bless and clear your stones prior to placing them in the home. You can do this by leaving them outdoors during a full moon, sunrise, or rain/snow event. Set prayerful intentions over the stones, and then place them on your tray offering, or in the aforementioned points of your environment. 

 
 

Celebrating Light During the Winter Solstice:


Throughout time people have celebrated the light of the sun. Special ceremonies to honor the time of the solstice and equinox mark not only the movement of the sun, but the inherent cycles within spiritual and physical life.

The astronomical events of the Solstices corresponds to our own rhythms helping us to understand what to focus on in the ever-changing cycles of life. They are powerful points in time to celebrate the light and consciously expand.

The changing seasons are associated with the key points within the human life cycle. The winter solstice has a direct correlation with seeking higher states of consciousness through meditation. Expanding your consciousness increases your vibration so healing at every level can take place.

 


Celebrating:

Just as the seasons move through cycles, there are peaks and lows in the spiritual human journey. There are times to create, move forward and share, and there are times to rest, retreat and nurture self. This is the time to pull in, listen more than speak, be flexible and contemplate life just as it is now.

This time of year is a natural way to reconnect with life's Divine plan and to feel a deep connection with self and others. Honor and celebrate your unique spiritual path while living as a human being.

There are many ways you can celebrate the Solstice from gathering with friends and family, taking a spiritual retreat, attending a candlelight meditation ceremony, engaging with nature, sitting around a campfire, star gazing, spending time with elders and listening to the wisdom they have to share. This list can go on and on. The idea is to engage in an activity that resonates with you internally.

 


The Ebb and Flow of Your Yoga Practice:

Beatles Ashram Rishikesh, India


The length of the day, the span of the year, the duration of a life, the blossoming and decay of a flower; your yoga practice mirrors the rhythm of these cyclical changes. Every time you practice yoga your experience is different from every other time you have practiced. You have your favorite poses and sequences, but consider the fact that we grow and change as individuals every day and in every moment. This means that everything is new each time we do it, including our yoga practice. What we may have loved one day on our mat, we dislike the next day. You may be drawn to an intense yoga practice, and then your tastes may shift and you prefer a more yin practice. Like nature, and like you, your yoga practice can fluctuate and grow to surprise you over time.

Like the peaceful warrior, when the work is done, we can rest and seek the journey within. 


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