Yoga, Tarot, & Reiki with Inbal

Integrate Body, Mind, & Soul.

Crystals and Stones - Programming your Stone

Hey there Crystal Lovers!

Once again, I’m so glad that you’re here and you’re open and willing to explore the subtle realms of working with stones. Today we’re going to dive right into programming our stones.

First of all, what does that even mean?

When we program a stone, we’re basically dedicating a specific stone to aid us in manifesting a specific intention.

When I first started working with stones, programming always sounded like this big thing, I expected it to be a complicated process, I was almost disappointed at how simple it was.

The thing is, sometimes, we don’t give things the credit they deserve just because of their simplicity. We don’t realize that even if something is simple, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy.

How do you do it?

STEP 1 - SET YOUR INTENTION

This is the most important step. In general, it’s really beneficial to be crystal clear about what we’re working towards, what we want, what we need. When we’re working with our stones, we really want to work with a sense of clarity. It might be helpful to journal or take a walk and ponder what it is that you want to align yourself with. This step can easily be overlooked when we’re used to living our lives on “autopilot” and just rolling with whatever is going on. Being mindful of our intentions is a pretty big thing so I just want to remind you to be kind with yourself if this step isn’t as easy as it seems.

Here are just a few examples of intentions to get you started:

  • Attracting love
  • Finding a new job
  • Physical, mental or emotional healing
  • Cultivating acceptance/forgiveness/optimism/gratitude/etc.
  • Sticking to a goal
  • Attracting luck or abundance

STEP 2 - CHOOSE YOUR STONE

If you have a few different stones, you’ll want to choose one to work with. Keep in mind, there is no right or wrong here. You can use any stone you want as long as it feels good and right. However, if you’re not sure which stone to chose, here are a few methods you could try:

  • Use your intuition - Simply choose the stone you’re drawn to and trust your choice.
     
  • Make an informed decision - Look up the attributes of your different stones and choose the one that seems most relevant to your intention. For example Rose Quartz could be a great stone to work with when your intention is attracting love.
     
  • Choose by shape or structure of the stone - For example, if your intention is to cultivate acceptance or wholeness, using a sphere shaped stone could be a good idea. Or, if you want to heal a relationship, a heart shaped stone might feel right.
     
  • Choose by color/chakra - If you’re into working with Chakras, choose a stone that corresponds with the color of the chakra your intention is influenced by. For example, if I want a stone to help me express myself more clearly, I could chose a blue stone, as blue corresponds with the throat chakra.

STEP 3 - CLEANSE YOUR STONE

I've covered this topic in a previous post.   

    STEP 4 - PROGRAM YOUR STONE

    Before I get into this step, I'll start by saying once again, that there is no right or wrong here. You could potentially make it all up as you go. If what you do feels right to you - you’re doing it. We can get very attached to there being a”right” way, but, when working with energy, it’s all about the actual practice and not so much about the information. We each have our own personal way of interacting with subtlety.

    Having said that, I’m sharing here what works for me:

    1. Find a comfortable sitting position (either in a chair or on a cushion)
    2. Hold the stone in your left hand. (Our left side corresponds with the feminine and receptive aspect of ourselves.)
    3. Try to feel the energy of the stone. This can be a bit challenging, as it requires us to settle down, get quiet and listen. If you’re not used to meditating and get fidgety very easily try to focus on the feeling of the stone physically resting in the palm of your hand, feel the stone touching your skin. That might be all you’ll feel and that’s perfectly fine!
    4. Say “Hi”. Remember, these stones are our friends we want to treat them with respect.
    5. Move the stone into your right hand. (Masculine outgoing side)
    6. State your intention (either silently or out loud).
    7. Ask your stone to please help and aid in manifesting this intention
    8. Imagine the intention merging with and infusing the stone. Take at least a minute or two (but you could go as long as you like) with the stone in your hand and your intention in your heart. If you are a visual person you could imagine the energy of the intention moving from your heart into your arm and all the way down to your hand and infusing the stone. You could also hold the stone close to your mouth and say your intention over and over and imagine the sound waves resonating with your stone. Again, use your imagination and intuition, there is no right or wrong.
       

    Now your stone is programmed and ready to aid in manifesting your intentions!

    For tomorrow’s new moon, you might want to try this out and program one of your stones to help release something you’re ready to release, or to attract something new and exciting into your life!


    This is where I’m going to stop for now. Next time I’ll share some fun ways we can work with our programmed stones! Until then, have a wonderful day, take the time to sniff a flower and marvel at a stone.

    Thanks for reading and blessings to you and your stones,

    Inbal


    I’d love to hear from you!
    Feel free to drop me a line and share your experience with programming your stones!

    If you have questions or if there any specific topics you’d like me to cover comment below or shoot me an email!






    Crystals and Stones - The Magical Connection

    Hello my crystal lovin’ friends!

     

    Again we meet on this magical journey into the world of crystals!
    I’m so glad that you’re here!

    In last week's post I went over what we have to offer our stone friends, I mentioned that whenever I get a new stone, I like to have a heart to heart chat with it and let it know that I'm here to support its journey just as much as its supporting mine. I tell my stones to let me know what they want, and if I don't get it, to bare with me and tell me again and again until I pick up on its message. I always promise to do the best I can to be of aid.

    One thing that I’ve always found fascinating is how we come to our stones and how they come to us. It’s almost like meeting a new friend or lover. Everything magically aligns and BAM - a connection is made.

    This week I thought I’d share a personal experience I’ve had with giving one of my favorite stones away and receiving one of my most sacred stones.

    Gifting one of my faves

    I had just gotten this beautiful tumbled black tourmaline stone and I loved it. I loved how it felt in my hand, the shape of it and it’s shiny black color, I was really into it!

    A few days after I had purchased the stone, I had a Reiki client come over for a treatment. During the treatment I felt a strong urge to place the stone in her right hand, when I did I felt strong energetic pulses going up her arm. It almost felt like I had just placed a puzzle piece in the exact right spot.  

    After the treatment, my client told me that the stone in her hand felt amazing. I had a hunch that I should give her that stone, but, I didn’t want to give the stone away, so I ignored it. Then she said it felt like a missing piece to her puzzle and the second it touched her hand she felt whole. Right then I knew I had to give it to her. I just knew that the stone was asking to go home with her, so, I gifted it to her.

    A couple weeks later she reached out to me and let me know that she took the stone with her when she went traveling to see her husband’s family. She was very concerned about this trip because she usually doesn’t get along with her father in law, she gets very tense and combative around him. But, this time was different, she felt grounded, safe and calm and it was a good visit!

    It felt great to know that she benefited from the stone, and that the stone got to fulfill it’s purpose.

    Receiving one of my faves

    Last year I went to Burning Man (woo!), my husband and I go with a camp each year and we LOVE it. One night we were out and walking around with a group of friends from our camp and wandered from one art installation to another.

    At one point we came to a pretty simple, no thrills installation. It looked like a tree house on wooden poles. I climbed up and it was a little meditation nook. It had windows in it and on each window was a huge crystal. I of course got really excited, but the gang that I was with wasn’t really into crystals and wanted to move on and keep exploring. As we walked away I started chatting with one of my camp-mates about how much I LOVE crystals and how subtle yet powerful their energies are.

    Two days later, I went back to the little crystal tree house with my tarot cards and some of my crystals and gifted readings to whoever climbed up. It was a magical afternoon and I had so much fun! When I arrived back at my camp, my camp-mate got really excited and told me to stay put and that he has something for me. He came back with an amazing crystal wrapped up in a protective cloth. He gave it to me and said “this is for you!”.

    This is the stone that I was gifted!

    This is the stone that I was gifted!

    I was stunned and he was amused. He told me that the night before he was hanging out with some friends and they were standing around when all of a sudden a guy rides his bike right up to him, stops his bike and hands him the wrapped up crystal. The only thing he said was “This is for you” and then he rode away. When he realized that he was just handed a crystal he immediately knew that he wanted to give it to me. So he did! And let me tell you… it was LOVE at first sight! I was so giddy and couldn’t stop admiring my new crystal!

    I’ve now had this crystal for over a year and I’m still obsessed with it! I use it in almost every Reiki session I have with clients and I meditate with it almost everyday! I feel like it opens a door to whole different dimension and is just so magical!

     

    So, I guess what I’d like to encourage here is to be open and generous with your stones. If you feel like it’s time for a stone to move on, let it!

    Keep you channels open, after all, who knows what stone will magically find its way to you!

    That’s where we’ll stop for now and next week we’ll dive into some ways to meditate with your stones!

     

    Thanks again for being here and blessings to you,

     

    Inbal
     

    I’d love to hear from you, what do you give to your stones? Do you feel like your stones are your allies and friends? Do you have questions? Are there any specific topics you’d like me to cover?

    Feel free to comment below or shoot me an email!

     

    I’m currently participating in an awesome crystal challenge on Instagram take a peek and follow me if you’d like!


    Crystals and Stones - The Give and Take

    Hey there Crystal Keepers!

    I’m glad you’re joining me on this journey into the world of Crystals and Stones.

    If you’re reading this, you’re probably like me, and just can’t get enough of these beauties and want to learn how to work with them, how to use them and how to tap into their magic.

    Last week I wrote about the first steps to take with your new stone and how to welcome it into your world and let it know what you would like to use it for. I also mentioned that you have some things to offer your stone as well.

    Let’s look into that: What do you have to give?

    Our relationships to our stones are like friendships, they’re much better when they’re mutual. In the same way that we wouldn’t just demand things from our friends (hopefully none of us are doing that) we don’t want to just show up with a list of “wants” when we engage with our crystals. I’ll also mention that I don’t see crystals as objects to possess, rather they’re companions, allies, they have an energy to them, it’s almost like they’re alive in a way.

    PURPOSE

    Everything in this world has an essential function, a dharma. Your stone has one as well. The way I see it, the cosmos brought us together with that specific stone so that we can aid each other in aligning with our dharma. The stone has qualities that can aid us as we fulfill our function. By helping us the stone is fulfilling its function, it’s utilizing it’s highest potential.

    LISTEN TO YOUR STONE

    We want to help the stone work with us. Since these stones can’t talk (or can they?) we need to learn to listen and trust our own intuition. If you’re feeling that your stone should be placed in a certain spot, or used for a specific function, go for it, even if that wasn’t your original intention.

    For example, I once bought an Amethyst globe, with the intention of meditating with it. However, it ended up sitting right smack in the middle of my home in a pot of soil with some other crystals and a succulent plant. That’s not what I intended, but I really felt that that’s where that stone needed to be. Many guests that have come to my home, have commented about that stone, I feel like it wanted to be seen, to be a source of inspiration to people who see it.  

    MOBILITY

    I once heard on a talk about stones (I don’t remember who the speaker was) that stones help us access other dimensions and realms that aren’t as straightforward as the consensus reality that we live in. BUT, these stones aren’t mobile. They can’t really get around in this world without our help. So again, we need to listen. If you get the feeling that we should take our stone with us to the park or a camping trip - do it! It might want to recharge its energy or absorb the energy of that location or just need an energetic refresh. Take your stones to different places and move them around in your house. Give them the gift of mobility!

    LOVING YOUR STONE    

    Who doesn’t want to be seen and loved? Put your stones out so that you can see them. Every now and then, they might catch the sunlight from a certain angle and sparkle at you. When you look at your stones they feel it! Love up on them, tell them that they’re beautiful!

    GIFTING YOUR STONE

    This one can be tricky. If you get the feeling that you should give your stone to someone, do it. It can be hard and we might not want to let them go,  but, sometimes it just feels like your stone belongs with someone else. Listen to that feeling. Stones have a way of coming in and out of our lives. We don’t want to treat them as property, they are our allies and friends. If your stone is asking to go home with someone else - let it. Remember, this helping your stone fulfill it’s purpose, it’s essential function.


    I’m going to stop here for now and let you marinate with these thoughts. Next week I’ll share a personal story about gifting a stone and magically receiving a stone!


    Until then, have a wonderful day, take the time to sniff a flower and marvel at a stone.


    Thanks for reading and blessings to you,

    Inbal
     

    I’d love to hear from you, what do you give to your stones? Do you feel like your stones are your allies and friends? Do you have questions? Are there any specific topics you’d like me to cover?

    Feel free to comment below or shoot me an email!



    Crystals and Stones - Let’s Dive In!

    I’ll start off by stating the obvious, any kind of spiritual or mystical practice really is personal. Each person settles into their own way of engaging with the subtle and sacred. It doesn't have to be unique, but it does become personal.

    I truly believe that with this kind of stuff there is no right or wrong (as long as you’re not harming yourself or others). I really want to encourage you to explore, to be creative and most importantly, use your imagination!

    Any technique that any teacher or mentor presents to you is a fruit of their own practice, exploration and imagination. You are also entitled to your own fruit and your own flavor. I invite you to take what I share with you as a suggestion, try it and see how it goes. If you feel like you want to do things a bit differently than how I suggest, that’s great! Please do it! Make your practice your own!

     

    So, now that we got that covered, let's begin!

    Choosing your stone

    My approach is go with the stones you're drawn to, as simple as that. If you’re attracted to it, go for it!

    OR

    If you are looking for a specific attribute of a specific stone and that really hooks you in, try that too. For example, if you’re looking for a stone to help you find ease in situations like public speaking, you could Google it and see which stones come up for that criteria and chose a stone that way.

    To sum this up, you could take an informed and intellectual approach or a straight up intuitive one and both will work out just fine!

    First steps

    Whenever I get a new stone, these are the first two things that I do with them:

    1. Clean it and clear it’s energy field.

    2. Welcome it to my world.


    CLEARING YOUR STONE

    Stones absorb the energies that surround them. When you get a new stone, take a moment and clear it from any energies it might have picked up along the way.

    Just think about the journey that stone has been through. It’s come to you from its home, deep in the earth’s core. It’s been mined, stored, shipped, etc.. who know how many stops it’s been through. Maybe it even had previous owners. In short, it’s probably been through quite the journey and it’d probably really appreciate a quick shower.

    There are many methods out there and again, there is no right or wrong. Here are a few I use:
     

    • Wash the stone in water - Make sure your stone can get wet.(Selenite and Sandstone for example shouldn’t get wet). If you’re feeling it, you could even bring the stone into your shower and cleanse it there. (Talk about getting up close and personal right away!)
      While you wash the stone invite it to release any unwanted energies it picked up along the way.

    • Blow on the stone - This is super easy and you can do it anywhere. Just hold the stone in your hand, using your breath, blow on the stone and again invite it to release.

    • Smudge your stones with Sage or Palo Santo wood - You just light your Sage or wood stick and blow out the flame, then hold your stone in the smoke that comes up. As the smoke surrounds the stone, invite it to release.

    • Use sound vibration - A singing bowl or Tibetan bell chimes work really well for this. All you have to do is let the sound vibrate over the stones and again invite the release of unwanted energies (this is my favorite method).

    Here’s a little tip: When you clear your stone, imagine it unwinding from the energies, imagine it refreshed, clean and ready for a new chapter.

    Bell Chimes and Sage

    Bell Chimes and Sage

    This doesn’t have to be a long process or ceremony, it might only take you a minute or two.

    At first this might seem silly and that’s okay, but over time see how you feel about this ritual. You might even find yourself cleansing other objects that arrive into your world!

     

    WELCOMING YOUR STONE

    This might seem silly, but, have a little conversation with your stone. You got the stone because you connected with it, so it makes sense to take the time to bond with it. Again, this doesn’t have to be a super serious ritual. Just hold the stone close to your heart and welcome it into your home, into your collection and into your heart. If you got the stone for a specific reason, let it know, ask for it’s assistance. But, remember, it’s a two way street, let the stone know that you have what to give it as well.

     

    I’m going to stop here and let you think about that, what do you have to give to your stone?

    Stay tuned for next week’s post, I’ll be going into the give and take, the interaction between us and crystal companions!

    Until then, have a wonderful day, take the time to sniff a flower and marvel at a stone.


    Thanks for reading and blessings to you,

    Inbal


    I’d love to connect with you!

    Let me know if there are certain topics you’d like me to cover.

    If you’re inspired, leave a comment, ask a question or share your experience with all this magical stuff!

     

    Would you like to stay in touch? Sign up for my newsletter here!

    Crystals and Stones For Absolute Beginners

    If you’re anything like me, you just can't get enough of crystals and stones!
    They’re so beautiful and there’s just something about them that draws us in.

    IMG_3989.JPG

    MY HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

    I started collecting crystals and stones when I was a teenager, I would go to the shop and browse all the tumbled stones and buy a few that I liked, but I never knew what to do with them. I felt a special connection when I’d buy them, but then I would take them home and the novelty faded away. Eventually, they would just sit and collect dust and in time, I lost interest.

    REKINDLED PASSION

    Fast forward to about 15 years later, I trained in Reiki (a technique of energetic healing) and became a reiki master. Right after I received my last attunement I found myself drawn to crystals and stones again. I found my old collection and started to add more and more stones to it. However, I still didn’t quite know what to do with them.

    I gathered some information through reading, videos, blogs and such, but, for some reason nothing really clicked. What did happen though is that I started to use the stones intuitively during reiki sessions that I would give my clients. I would place them on my client's body and ask the stones to do what they can for this person. I honestly had no idea what I was doing, but I allowed myself to be guided and just trusted that it’s beneficial whether I understood it or not.

    Over time, from my own exploration, my relationship with the stones grew. I experimented, allowed myself to be guided, trusted and things began to unfold.

    MY INTENTION

    I’m still just a mere student on this journey, no where near a master, but, I do feel like I have some information and tips to share with you all. I like to keep things simple and accessible and my intention for this series is to grow my own relationship with my crystals and stones and provide some insight and practical advice for all of you wonderful seekers!

    I originally wanted to write one post about this, but then realized that I have so much to share. I personally like when blog posts are short and sweet, so, I decided to write a series instead of one big hefty post. And just like that, a series is born!

    I will be posting once a week on Tuesdays starting tomorrow so stay tuned for tomorrow’s post!! I’ll be going over just where to start and how to begin connecting with a new stone.

    Until then, have a wonderful day, take the time to sniff a flower and marvel at a stone.

    Thanks for reading and blessings to you all,
    Inbal


    I’d love to connect with you!

    Let me know if there are certain topics you’d like me to cover.
    If you’re inspired, leave a comment, ask a question or share your experience with all this magical stuff!

    Want to stay in touch?

     

    Would you like to stay in touch? Sign up for my newsletter here!

    Introduction - The Birth of a Daily Practice.

    WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

    For the past two months I’ve been on a journey. It all started with a book I started reading called Mindful Birthing by Nancy Bardacke. I thought it would be a great read to prep for the birth of my baby, turns out it guided me into the birth of my  daily spiritual practice.

    I was inspired to start meditating and for the first time in my life, I found myself consistently practicing with little to no resistance. Over the first few days, I decided to document my practice on social media. I’ve always been hesitant about sharing my spiritual side on social media. I had the notion in my head that it just doesn’t interest anyone, turns out I was wrong about that!

    MY PRACTICE TOOK SHAPE

    What started as just sitting to meditate for 10-15 mins, quickly turned into meditating and then drawing a tarot card for insight and inspiration. Shortly after that, I felt like I wanted to add a daily yoga practice to it all. Then the reiki came along, after yoga and before mediation, giving myself some reiki just seemed to make sense. I even find myself chanting on most days before or after my yoga practice.

    CONSISTENCY IS KEY

    Show up, do the work and magic will happen. I’ve heard this from my teachers and mentors again and again. I’ve understood this on a conceptual level but, this is the first time I’ve came to know this out of my own experience.

    I’ve always loved to learn new things. I’m super curious and a diligent student, but, now I realize that this is the first time I’m really taking the know-how to the next level and making it personal, making my practice my own.

    THE GIFTS

    A delightful surprise is that new and creative ways of working with the tools I love (tarot, reiki, yoga, crystals) are coming into my mind. It’s like a natural process of discovery.

    MY COMMITMENT

    I’ve decided that the time has come to actualize these ideas, to honor the creative inspiration that’s coming my way and to start sharing my inspirations in my blog.

    So here it goes!


    My next post will be about how to work and connect with a new crystal or stone. They’re beautiful and alluring and we want them, so we get them, but then we don’t really know what to do with them. Stay tuned for a simple way to get to know your crystal friends!

     

    I’d love to connect with you all!
    If you’re inspired, leave a comment, ask a question or share your experience with all this magical stuff!


    Thanks for reading and blessings to all of you,

    Inbal

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    Tarot - Where to Start?

    Tarot can have a very magnetic effect; the images are alluring and the messages and interpretations are so interesting. I find myself getting asked: “What deck should I get?” very often.

    When I hear this, I hear somebody that’s intrigued and wants more and more of this awesomeness.

    where does one begin?

    How do you choose a deck?

    There are a LOT of tarot decks out there and you could spend days browsing the different art styles and imagery. However, before you do that, I’d like to point out something about the system of tarot.

    One thing that a lot of people don’t realize when they’re eager to get started is that tarot is a deep and complex system. The images and symbols represent a vast body of knowledge. You could literally spend a whole life time studying it all  from many different angles. Having said that, you could also potentially pick up a deck and work solely with your intuition. The beauty of tarot is that there is no right or wrong. Different people read the cards in different ways and that’s totally fine.

    I would recommend starting first with answering the following question:

    Am I up to hunker down, study and really learn something new? Or, do I just want to flow with it, and see where my intuition takes me?

    There is no right or wrong answer - it's more about knowing yourself and letting that inform your next move.

    If you’re up to study and learn this system I would say you would want to start with the traditional and most common deck: Rider-Waite Tarot Deck. The reason I would recommend this deck is that it is referenced by most modern books about tarot and by most teachers. Also, lots of other tarot decks are actually a spin off of this deck. Often, the themes and imagery are the artists’ interpretation of this deck.

    However, if you know yourself and you’re much more intuitive and not so much into studying, I would recommend that you take the time to browse different decks and see what images pop out at you the most. Look for something that triggers your imagination and intuition. You can browse decks at a metaphysical store or online.

    Note: There are a few different color schemes to the Rider-Waite deck (exact same images, but slightly different coloring). I would recommend that you see which you like best and go for that. Look up the following decks: 

    • Original Rider-Waite Tarot Pack
    • Universal Waite Tarot Deck
    • Rider-Waite Tarot Deck 

     

    Next week I'll be writing about how to actually begin studying the Tarot!

    Good luck and don't forget - have fun!

     

    Opening our Energetic Pathways of Creation: Liberation and Manifestation

    I like to reminisce: thinking back to when I was a little girl, gushing with creativity. I had such a vivid imagination, and was always busy with projects. No setbacks or fears…my mind was free, my heart was big, and I was inspired by everything.

    Looking back, it seems that as I grew older this free-flowing energy of creativity and manifestation really slowed down. I had less creative ideas, and the ones I did have would just float around in my head. For the most part, nothing ever came out of them.

    When I started practicing Yoga, I noticed a lot of changes in myself. I was inspired again! Where I had been feeling stuck and frustrated with life, I started to feel alive, and with that, creative ideas began to flow. However, a new frustration was arising: I was inspired, and ideas were coming, but nothing was happening. I was too afraid to follow through. In the same way that our arteries can get blocked, or clogged from unnecessary substances, so can our energetic channels and hubs: the nadis and the chakras. Boy, was I blocked!

    Our Chakras

    At the base of our spine we have our First chakra that corresponds with the energy of Earth. Our Second chakra is in the area of our hips and reproductive organs, and corresponds with the energy of Water. Our Third chakra is in our core: the center of strength, and corresponds with the energy of Fire. Our Fourth chakra is in our heart center, where we open to receive others and corresponds with the energy of Air. Our Fifth chakra is located at our throat, our center of expression and communication and corresponds with Vibration. Our Sixth chakra is located just above the center of both eyes, known as our third eye, our center of perception and sight, and corresponds with Light. Lastly, our Seventh chakra is located at our crown: it is our center consciousness and is expansive. It corresponds with Space and Ether.

    Liberation and Manifestation

    As the energy moves up our central column, it gets less condensed and more spacious and expansive, from Earth to Space. This current of energy is that of liberation. When our channels and hubs are open, our energy can flow. Instead of being concerned solely about our survival and our needs, we can be open to bigger and more expansive experiences. Our perspective changes, and we feel the vastness of our possibilities and opportunities. Just like a child we can be open and inspired; creative energy can flow through us freely.

    The upward moving energy, the current of liberation, is exciting and inspiring; however, with the downward moving current of energy, there is a quality of manifestation. From very vast and expansive ideas, we begin to have a vision: we define it with our words, we share with others, we find the confidence and strength to birth our ideas, bring them into form, and offer them up in the world. Both currents of energy are vital.

    One of my favorite Tarot card is the Ace of Pentacles. I draw so much inspiration from this image. The pentacle is a coin and it reminds me of a chakra, round and pulsing with energy. It symbolizes the quality of Earth and manifestation: actual things in this world that have form and can be seen. The coin itself is so simple, the star in the middle represents the vastness of our possibilities. It is encompassed by two circles showing that something vast and expansive has been brought into form. The hand that holds the coin is our very own: we all have so much to give, every single one of us!

    So, how do we do it?

    We open ourselves, we clear out the passageways. Through the practice of Yoga, we work hard to open our bodies, hearts and mind. We twist and turn upside down and inside out, in order to detox and cleanse. We cultivate awareness and new perspectives. We become sensitive to ourselves. We begin to sense where a blockages might be.

    In my own experience…the more I opened, the more aware of myself I became. I could see very clearly where I was blocked, and with the same clarity, could see what to do in order to move through the blockages. The beauty of it all is that the smallest change, a shift in our self-awareness, can bring such big change into our lives! These days, I’m so inspired, just like when I was a kid. Only now, I am much more open and able to bring my visions into form and so are you!

     

    Benefits of Restorative Yoga

    Our modern lives can be pretty hectic. I enjoy the intensity and energy of my life, which is why I’m drawn to big cities and buzzing atmospheres. I have many hobbies and am involved with some awesome communities. I prefer to be challenged by work and have an abundance of social interactions. Sound familiar? Many of us lead very busy and full lives, which is why it is so important to create balance through a restorative yoga practice.

    I find that my practice of yoga sometimes mirrors the fast pace of life; I like classes that are dynamic and that make me move and sweat. However, nothing feels as good as Savasana: Corpse pose. Savasana is considered to be one of the most, if not the most important pose in our practice. When we have enough time to be in the pose, we have the opportunity to enter the state of Yoga Nidra or Yogic sleep, the conscious awareness in the deep sleep state, or a state of relaxation much deeper and more profound than traditional sleep.

    I like to think of Restorative Yoga as a practice of different variations of Savasana. The poses are completely supported with props so that we don’t have to strain to be in or stay in them, allowing us to drop into a deep Yogic sleep. When we take an active asana practice, we intentionally put our bodies into intense situations in order to find release. In the practice of restorative yoga we do the opposite; we fully support the body and try to be as passive as possible in order to release. In other words, two different methods of getting to the same goal – entering into a space in which we can let go of all the layers of who we aren’t in order to drop deep into who we are.

    The benefits of an active asana practice are evident, not only do you get to have really profound experiences, but you get a workout as well. So what are the benefits of a passive practice?

    1. Restorative Yoga is healing for the body and mind.
      It engages our Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS), which takes the body into the “rest and digest” state. This state is incredibly healing. This is why after an injury or surgery it’s so important to rest; we heal when we rest, not when we run around. In this state our tissues renew and rejuvenate themselves, our cells and tissues and organs get to live out their purpose and prosper. Our active Yoga practice helps to discipline our Sympathetic Nervous System, in charge of the “fight or flight” response, which is very important for our health, but we need to engage our PNS in order to heal.
    1. Long supported holds of poses allow us to really engage in the benefits of the poses.
      In an active practice we don’t spend much time in each pose. For example, we can only be in a deep backbend for a few breaths before it becomes fatiguing. But in a restorative practice, the body is supported and we can stay in the poses for long periods of time and really let them do their magic. In that way the poses enhance flexibility, nourish fertility, balance our hormonal activity and lymphatic system and aid our immune and digestive systems as well.
    1. Reduce stress.
      In our fast paced lives it’s crucial for us to find time and space to be still. It’s incredibly beneficial to create space to physically let go of the hold of our muscles, release the muscle tonus, and relieve our body from chronic strain. That’s why we use props, to create a base of support that encourages us to let go.
    1. Create space for emotional healing.
      In a way, we hold our emotional issues in our bodies. By physically toning down, deep seeded issues can come up and wash out of our systems. That’s why we may find ourselves experiencing joy, confusion, frustration, or fear during our practice, or even weeping in Savasana. This means feelings are coming up and cycling through.

    These are just a few benefits of a Restorative Yoga practice. Just like any other method of Yoga, when we continually show up and nourish our relationship with our practice and with ourselves, it can be profoundly transformative.