Kundalini

Tommy Rosen: Recovery 2.0: Yoga and Meditation for People in Recovery From Addiction

Addiction is a disease of “lack.” At the core level, we feel something is missing and we set out to try to fill the void through a set of behaviors that leave us further depleted. We damage the systems of our body and sap ourselves of “life force.” Our endocrine system gets taxed. Our nervous system is overworked. We live in nearly constant fight or flight, bringing on the horrible consequences of stress.

In my opinion, the 12 steps provide a wonderful path to overcome acute addiction. They work almost always, I think, if you put your energy and focus into them. The great promise they delivered to me was that the desire to do drugs and alcohol was removed altogether. That’s a HUGE statement, a miracle really. Yet, there are three important things that the 12 steps do not address: body, breath and diet. Interestingly, these three things are the irreplaceable building blocks, the essential amino acids if you will, for a stronger recovery and a more successful, enjoyable life.

Think of recovery as a multi-tiered process in which different people need different things at different times. If a person is mired in acute addiction to any of the big five — drugs, alcohol, food, sex or money — then that must be dealt with first. That is where Recovery 1.0 or the 12 steps come in. A person has to detoxify first. One must have a community to support the epic and imminent transformation that takes place in early recovery. After some time, and this varies from person to person, one’s energy and “frequency” rises up and permits the practice of yoga, breath work and meditation. This is where Recovery 2.0 comes in. This is a great benchmark on the path of recovery, and if taken with intention, awareness and proper guidance from a mentor or teacher, one has the opportunity to make a lot of progress.

I do not feel that yoga and meditation are optional for people in recovery. Life will simply be better with practice than without it. Of course, one can stay sober without yoga and meditation. It’s just that if you want to lift yourself up out of the energy of addiction and break through to a new level of strength and awareness, one will have to adopt a practice that continues the detoxification process on a much deeper level.

I learned the hard way what it means to be sober while still stuck in the energy of addiction. I had put the drugs and alcohol down, but other addictions, stresses and dis-ease plagued me for many years into my recovery. It was not until I found Kundalini Yoga and gained a deeper understanding of Vinyasa that I began to re-claim my self and break through the force field of addiction perhaps for the first time in my life.

Here I am now 11 years later. I teach people in recovery how to apply these tools to their lives so that they, too, can experience the freedom that was given to me by my teacher, Guru Prem, and these amazing practices he shared with me.

On Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. at Golden Bridge Yoga in Santa Monica, I teach Yoga and Recovery. We do one hour of yoga and then circle up to have a one-hour 12-step meeting where everyone is welcome. We will see more and more of this I feel, as people realize the tremendous benefit of yoga as a cornerstone of one’s recovery path.

if you or anyone you know has been touched by addiction and are interested in exploring what Recovery 2.0 has to offer, connect with me here.

Please leave comments here below so we can be more connected. I would love to have a better sense of who you are and what your recovery journey is like.

With Love and Gratitude,

Tommy Rosen

I just released the first two titles in the Recovery 2.0 DVD series to help people who struggle with addiction of all kinds. These first two Recovery 2.0 DVDs bring together some of my most cherished yoga sets and meditations. There is an amazing soundtrack featuring the uplifting music of Aykanna and Earthrise Soundsystem. These practices are accessible to most people who have detoxed off of drugs and alcohol. They have made a huge difference in my life and I hope they will for you, too.

Need help with substance abuse or mental health issues? In the U.S., call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline.

via Tommy Rosen: Recovery 2.0: Yoga and Meditation for People in Recovery From Addiction.

Gabrielle Bernstein: A Meditation for Manifesting

In this video I teach a Kundalini meditation called “Purify the Subtle Body.” The subtle body is the part of us that calls in opportunities, brings us good news and attracts positivity toward us. This meditation strengthens your energy field so that you become a magnet for miracles. Practicing this meditation will make you shine bright and deepen your connection to the universe.

In the video I break down the meditation and guide you along with the music. For further clarification, please see the instructions below. If you have a shoulder issue and cannot lift your arms overhead, simply envision yourself doing the exercise and you’ll receive the same benefit from the meditation. Feel free to leave questions or remarks in the comments below.
Mudra: Sitting in easy pose (cross-legged) with a straight spine, place the arms down by the sides, backs of the palms on the ground next to the sides of the body.

Movement: As you inhale, raise the arms over the head, until the two palms overlap a few inches above the your head (known as the tenth gate). The right hand will be a few inches above the head. The left palm will lie flat on top of the back of the right hand. The thumbs do NOT touch. (Note: Yogi Bhajan very specifically keeps the thumbs separated when the hands overlap over the top of the head.)

Breath: Make your mouth into an “O.” Inhale through the “O” as you raise the arms over the head, and exhale through the “O” as you lower the hands back down to the ground.

Chant: The “Tantric Har” music, which is played in the video. On the first “Har” raise your arms up. On the second “Har” your arms go down. Continue in this rhythmic movement. Pull in on the navel and the diaphragm as you do the movement.

Time: If you’re new to Kundalini meditation, begin with three minutes. If you want to go big, then practice this meditation for 11 minutes a day.

End: Inhale deeply. Immediately interlace the hands over the head, elbows straight, and begin to deeply stretch the body right to left, and left to right, without letting go of the hands.

Continue as you hold the breath for 15 seconds. Exhale. Repeat three times total. Relax.

Gabrielle Bernstein: A Meditation for Manifesting.

 

Dr. Andrew Weil: Breathwalking: A Meditative Exercise

For many in the modern world, carving out time for both traditional seated meditation and exercise has become close to impossible. I’ve also known many people who are, by nature, movers. For them, sitting still to meditate — or do anything else for that matter — just isn’t going to happen, no matter how much they may yearn for the benefit of a meditator’s focused, peaceful mind.

For both types of people, walking meditation can be extraordinarily effective.

Meditating while walking has a long, noble history in ancient spiritual disciplines. One example is the Zen Buddhism practice of kinhin, which is often performed in groups, single file, to the sound of a clapper or bell. Other spiritual traditions have different forms of contemplative walking, but all share a similar purpose: to focus on synchronized breathing and stride in order to develop mindfulness of the present moment.

Even if you are an experienced seated meditator, you may find value in enlarging your repertoire with a walking practice. You may discover that uniting three rhythms — stepping, breathing and mental counting — is the most effective way to calm and redirect a chattering mind and pull your focus from obsessing on there and then to a new appreciation of here and now.

If you want to give breathwalking a try, here’s a method that my friend and colleague, Jim Nicolai, M.D., adapted from a Kundalini yoga technique explained in the book Breathwalk by Yogi Bhajan, Ph.D., and Gurchan Singh Khalsa:

Remember that breathwalking — as with any meditation technique — should not be pursued with a grim determination to “get it right.” The point is to cultivate openness, relaxation and awareness, which can include awareness of your undisciplined, wandering mind. Be patient and gentle with yourself as you persist in the practice, and you will soon enjoy the twin blessings of a more peaceful mind and a more fit physique. Happy breathwalking!

Orthaheel and Weil Integrative Footwear are calling for participants! On April 3, 2013, coinciding with National Walking Day, Weilbeing.com and Orthaheel will kick off the second annual Walkabout, a 28-Day Quest For Good Health. Beginners are encouraged to commit to walking just 30 minutes a day to attain physical and emotional health and well-being. The nationwide Walkabout campaign is open to the public — contributors will serve as champions of putting one foot in front of the other, and will invite a public spotlight on walking for physical and emotional health. Walkabout participants will receive daily healthy living tips and have the opportunity to engage in an online community of walkers encouraging all Americans to get out and walk. Andrew Weil, M.D., donates all of his after-tax profits from royalties from the sale of Dr. Weil Integrative Footwear directly to the Weil Foundation.

For more by Dr. Andrew Weil, click here.

For more on meditation, click here.

Video via Dr. Andrew Weil: Breathwalking: A Meditative Exercise.

 

Meditation Is the New Yoga: Bringing Mindfulness Into the Workplace | Amped | Big Think

This embrace of meditation is being driven by vocal proponents who claim that regular meditation can improve the immune system, cure depression, boost memory, regulate emotions, and even change the structure of the brain.

Hari Kaur is an internationally renowned Kundalini teacher and author of two books on meditation and yoga (as well as a member of our Influencer Advisory Board). She explains why meditation is blossoming in popularity at this moment in time:

“Meditation is both a conscious act and a refinement of what is possible with our brains and our minds and bodies. We have figured out about every possible way to exercise; the next frontier is our minds. There will be a movement towards meditation that will include the simplest to the most complex ways of ‘getting the most’ from our brains. The way we might get the most from our brains so we can handle the technological era is to meditate to become still – to dump our subconscious burden, to learn to light up the happy hormones and experience the balance to this existence.”

Far from being a fringe pastime, meditation is being used by a large cross section of society. The United States Marines have introduced a program called Mindfulness-based Mind Fitness Training (or “M-Fit”), which trains soldiers in mindfulness and meditation in order to improve mental performance and emotional health during combat situations. “Mindful Leadership” is an initiative at General Mills that mixes sitting meditation, yoga and mindfulness practices to settle and focus the mind. Google, Target and Aetna all have similar programs. Surprisingly, Aetna discovered that an hour a week of this type of practice decreased stress levels in employees by a third, slashing healthcare costs per employee by around $2,000 per year.

At sparks & honey, we’ve also taken this idea to heart, regularly practicing in-office yoga and encouraging meditative breaks in our “digital detox zone.”

How can you take baby steps into the world of meditation and integrate it into the hectic environment of the modern workplace? Here are two ideas:

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Walking Meditation: One of the simplest ways to relax your mind and become more mindful is to take a break and go for a short walk. Whether around the office or around the block, simply walking, breathing and staying mindful and focused on the present moment can have a lasting effect.

Breathing: Taking five minutes out of your day and quietly focusing on your breath while letting go of mental and physical stress can help to improve focus, aid in relaxation and clear your mind of clutter.

Hari suggests that if you truly want to reap the benefits of meditation, you’ll need to treat it as an essential part of your life:

“Set aside time daily and make it a priority to meditate. Just as you would attend to your appearance, develop a commitment to attend to your inner world. Schedule your meditation practice as if you were scheduling any other appointment or client. Add it to your calendar [and] keep the appointment with yourself. Find techniques that match your lifestyle and personality type. Techniques that inspire you to continue. There are many different styles and techniques of meditation. If you feel the call to meditate and grow and heal, search for the right teacher, the right technique and don’t give up.”

To learn more about the explosion of Conscious Media and the mindset of the new conscious consumer, please download our white paper or our Deep Dive Report on Oneness.

If you would like to go deeper and understand how your company can sync with the Conscious Consumer market, please get in touch with us at info@sparksandhoney.com.

via Meditation Is the New Yoga: Bringing Mindfulness Into the Workplace | Amped | Big Think.