Top 7 Ways to Deepen your Practice

1. Turn Down the Music
2. Lengthen your Exhale
3. Listen to your Heart Beat
4. Slow your Heart Rate
5. Steady your Breath
6. Strive for Ease in your Body
7. Be Mindful of Symmetry

  1. Turn Down the Music
    Reduce external stimulation through auditory sensation, hear your breath, heartbeat, and internal landscape.
  2. Lengthen your Exhale
    Lengthen your exhale to slow down your respiration. This clears toxins from the body and lets go of excess tension.
  3. Listen to your Heart Beat
    Hearing the most important rhythm in your life will sooth the mind and soul while also healing the heart.
  4. Slow your Heart Rate
    A rapid heartbeat increases fear and anger, robbing the brain of blood and the mind of intelligence and awareness. The wise act slowly and deliberately.
  5. Steady your Breath
    Loud, erratic, and forgetful breathing leads to stress in the upper lungs, heart, and brain. Be conscious of your breath and gain subtle control, steady breathing promotes a steady mind and soul.
  6. Strive for Ease in your Body
    Perfect form and function in nature follow the path of least resistance. With each passing day use less effort to complete your practice.
  7. Be Mindful of Symmetry
    Though it is impossible to achieve perfect symmetry in the body, striving for the ideal can drastically improve your form.

Three bonus ideas!

  1. Close Your Eyes
    Close your eyes and allow your mind to turn inward. Learn the internal landscape of your body and develop the spaces in yourself that you cannot see.
  2. Be Still
    When still without any strain in your body, we can sustain poses longer, thus achieving symmetry and equilibrium in the body.
  3. Be Silent
    The complexity and subtlety within your body and in your life can only be observed when you are quiet enough to get out of your own way.

Transcendence of Materialism: Deepening Vinyasa Practice
I think everyone can agree that transcending beyond materialism is a prerequisite for enlightenment and wisdom. By accepting this, it would seem that poverty, though not an absolute prerequisite, can be an expedient path towards transcending materialism and one step closer to the sublime wisdom and ability humanity can achieve. When resources are scarce, one has the choice to either dwell on the scarcity or transcend desire.

For example, instead of desiring objects that satisfy the emotions, and dwelling on the fact that I don’t have the money to go out and obtain them, maybe I should be grateful that I have this beautiful vessel of being, called a body and life. Maybe I should realize that everything I need is within me. In this example we can see the practicality of these lofty ideas. Changing, your perspective is a critical first step toward enlightenment, wisdom, and serenity.

Yoga, Reiki, Qi Gong, and Shamanism, study Prana, Ki, Qi, and Bayuali. These words describe life force and energy that is central to those disciplines as they are pathways to wisdom. Studying energy is essential for gaining wisdom, and proficiency in these Arts.

Having the awareness to feel the ethereal energy which is always around us, in us, and at our disposal for use can be challenging. Our reality includes many distractions such as rush hour traffic and iPhones.

Chatter in the mind, and restlessness in the body are two major barriers to feeling and using the energy around us. To overcome restlessness in the body we must condition ourselves to sit and exist in stillness. Seated meditation practices can be challenging at first as mental chatter and restlessness creep into your body and mind.

First, make sure to enter the practice with as few roadblocks as possible.  Insure that your posture, clothing, and props do not cut-off circulation, cause muscle tension anywhere in the body, obstruct your breathing, or your spines straightness. Second implement the 7 Ways to Deepen your Practice. After this, the method for overcoming this is simply to endure the physical agitation and upset, demanding stillness from your body, but just for a moment at first.  Be patient and start slow.  Do not despair, refocus and keep going. You’ll be surprised how quickly you see progress.

It’s important to experience stillness. Start with 30 – 60 seconds for your initial practice. Slowly increase the intervals over a period of time. Your body will learn through training and conditioning to be still without upset. Finding a posture that can be held without muscle tension can relieve discomfort. Do this over a 28 – period and you’ll be able to introduce a new behavior into your life and plant the seeds of continued practice deeply within the sub-conscious mind.

Through meditation, we can learn to quiet the chatter of the mind or at least see it for what it is, useless and stifling.  Meditation requires us to bring our attention to one focal point. Meditation is focusing on one thing. Practice and pick one object to focus on. I’ve found that using a spiritual object or image to focus works great.

Focus on the breath, slowly inhaling and exhaling slowly and deeply shifts mind from thought to feeling. Over time, observing and feeling your breath, you’ll gain the ability to quiet the chatter of the mind indirectly by shifting the awareness gradually back to your breathing. I also find that wordless, soothing music can be effective. Again we are focusing on sound not thought quieting the chatter of the mind indirectly. There are a variety of objects (meditation aids) that you can use.

  1. The flame of a single candle
  2. Your own visage in a mirror
  3. The sound of running water
  4. The setting sun
  5. A sacred symbol or mandala

This list is endless. Feel free to experiment with different aids and pick the one you like the most.

When practicing meditation, you will experience the mind wandering, continuing to generate thoughts. When this happens, it’s important to remain free of self-judgment. Train yourself to gently refocus the mind back to the object of meditation.

Conditioning and training your body and mind in this way will foster internal tranquility and stillness. Four weeks is generally long enough to initiate a new habit into your life, if you practice daily at the same time slowly increasing the amount of time you meditate.

As your training progresses, you will experience sensations such as, but not limited to, (heat, cold, static, prickliness, pressure changes, sound frequencies, vibrations colors, smells) . These are the sensations of subtle energy entering our conscious awareness.

The more you sit in stillness and quiet, the more you’ll feel energy throughout your body, mind, and spirit.

Thank you for your attention.

Namaste

Reiki Master Ivor Edmonds MHA, RYT
ibsahu@gmail.com
fb: Ivor Edmonds Wellness

Qi Gong

What is Qi?  Can people really heal themselves and prevent illness? Through Qi Gong training can we really attain strength, that is several times the average person. Can we really absorb and emit Qi to heal others? …

Qi Gong is the study of using or working with energy. The word qi roughly translates to energy. The word gong roughly translates to work. In this class, you will learn to identify and manipulate energy both within their bodies and in their environment. Through movement, visualization, mantras, stillness, and through performing exercises with wood, fire, earth, metal, water,  and breath, you will gain mastery over your own body, mind, spirit. Qi Gong can be used for self-defense, for healing, and for spiritual growth.

There are five stages to learning and mastering Qigong. As you make progress in class and in and in your own personal daily practice, you will be brought through the stages learning advanced techniques and philosophies.

  1. Memorization of exercises and technical skills.
  2. Qi moves through the blood. Qi activates while you are perform these exercises.  You will learn to observe yourself, and how to enhance the flow of Qi through your body during practice.
  3. Qi and the Mind.  Learn how to move, settle, and manipulate Qi with Intention.
  4. Transcendence and Teaching.  In time, you will transcends the need for individual exercises. Your body, mind, and spirit have synthesized the discipline the Qi Gong somatically, giving you influence over energy within your body and in the environment, at will, and with effortless ease. At this stage, the distinction between practice time and time away from practice disappears. After reaching this stage in your development you will learn to guide others properly though the stages.
  5. Mastery.  Masters manifest extraordinary powers: immunity to poison, longevity, telekinesis, the ability to see the future and past, and an endless list of extraordinary magical powers. They also the wisdom of the ancients and radiate a healing presence wherever they are. This last and final stage of Qi Gong is rarely seen on Earth.

Qi Gong is the a powerful practice for maintaining health and vitality into old age. There is no other practice that will empower you to heal yourself more effectively than Qi gong. Qi gong is also extremely effective for healing pain and grief. If you are suffering from bad health, if you are a spiritual seeker, if you are looking to extend your lifespan, if you are experiencing the echoes of pain from your past, Qi Gong is for you.

Qi Gong is a martial art used for self-defense, healing, and spiritual growth. Over 2000 years ago the Yellow Emperor wrote his classic on internal medicine which has become the foundation of Medical Qi Gong as it is practiced today in hospitals throughout the world.

By synchronizing your breath, body movement, and voice with specific mental exercises. it is possible to locate and exercise each of the bodies 12 major internal organs in a fashion similar to isometrics. Rather than treat a singular disease and its symptoms, Qi Gong works by strengthening and tonifying each internal organ helping it to function optimally through a precise series of steps.

Qi Going is used to heal major illnesses in clinical settings and with daily practice can improve the quality of your life and increase your longevity.

Each Qi Gong session is customized based upon the students needs and health issues. You will be guided through a unique series of exercises designed to heal and empower you. This unique series will then become the foundation of your personal practice as you as you increase your vitality in a way that is most natural for your body type and circumstances. It is rare to find access to these exercises outside of clinical trials and Asian hospitals.

Come experience a one-on-one Qi Gong session firsthand. We have over a decade of experience providing this high-quality service to increase your health and longevity.

Qi Gong & Ancient Egypt: Links in Spirituality

Pan Gu

After speaking with Herpw Bikdeni about his interest in other indigenous and non-western philosophies, particularly the Law of Five Elements from the Taoist Tradition, I decided to focus my efforts on exposing some of the commonalities between Qi Gong (Energy Work) and Ka’at Ibi (Assessing the Heart and Mind), hoping to bridge the gap between Kemetic Spirituality and Taoist Wisdom. I have been formally studying Ka’at Ibi since January 2007. I am now in a process of learning to teach Ka’at Ibi. I have been studying Qi Gong since 1999 and received my teaching certifications in July of 2006. Personally I have found there are many similarities between the physical movements and exercises conducted in each system. To gain additional perspective I researched the history of Qi Gong and below is a passage that is fairly representative of the consensus of the history of Qi Gong:

“Five thousand years ago, a tribal people settled along the shores of the Yellow River in Northern China. … But they would also talk about how their chiefs pursued the wild animals and fought back the floods. These chieftains possessed unusual power: they had mastery over the elements, the rivers bent to their will, plants and animals yielded their secrets to them, they talked with invisible powers, and traveled across the sky and beneath the earth to gather knowledge that would help the tribe.” (Wong, pg. 11)

Upon studying closely the traditional kingships of Merita (Africa), we find that stories of the Kings are almost identical to the passage above. This is even occurring in the present day:

“The traditional chiefs and priests of the Gulf prefecture organised on Tuesday to avert the harm caused by flooding in recent weeks. Water mixed with wheat flour, and a ram were sacrificed after incantations. This ceremony that is simple but loaded with a deep sense, that these actions have been made to ask forgiveness from a God, but at the same time to ward off the bad luck that the prefecture has known.”

“Never has the prefecture, much less the country, experienced a disaster of this magnitude, it behooves us to act and ensure that the spirit of evil goes away from Togo,” explains Djidjolé III.

“The traditional chiefs and priests are convinced that this tragedy which has caused so much damage and loss of life is not by chance.

“Thus, beyond the physical actions which are to bring relief and arrange materials to prevent such tragedy, it is also important to take action spiritually.

“They intend to campaign throughout the territory to insure that Togo ‘never again falls within the ambit of evil spirits.’ ”

This article was published on August 20, 2008 on the Republic of Togo’s website and is just one modern day example of the vibrancy of Kemetic Spirituality. It is reproduced here translated from its original French to illustrate the unmistakable link between the roots of Qi Gong and traditional culture in Merita.

Qi Gong has its roots in traditional spiritual practice (inappropriately called Shamanism) and has a 5,000 year history, but what we understand as traditional spirituality in the modern day has been slightly distorted. In the indigenous world, it is readily understood that different Neteroo (Gods) exist in different locations on Earth. Each of these Neteroo has specific qualities, and much of the diversity seen throughout different indigenous cultures is based upon the different preferences of the Neter (God) in each location. This diversity can/called also be seen in the countless Qi Gong schools that exist throughout the world today, each practicing different exercises but all belonging to the same body of knowledge.

There is, however, culture that, with respect to the differences of the Neteroo, honors them all, and this is Kemetic Culture. This is why there is such cooperation and community between different indigenous groups that live on opposite sides of the world. Ka’at Ibi is the original meditation system taught in the initiation camps in Merita that has a history of over 75,000 years. Ka’at Ibi is part of a larger school of Kemetic Wisdom and Spirituality known as M’TAM. It is this system that is now known as Shamanism, which is the original model upon which modern forms of martial arts, internal arts, meditation, and spirituality are based.

It is important that links and bridges are built between the histories of different peoples and traditions because such bridges expose the truth that we are all one people with a shared past. The separations and divisions that appear insurmountable in the present day are artificial when the facts are exposed.

At the M’TAM Schools, we teach that there is a universal dialogue of energies called the Bayuali and Yenu. It is a celestial dialogue in which the energies of planets, suns, and other heavenly bodies radiate out into the universe and interact with each other. The dialogue is central to life because it is this dialogue that determines the quality of existence for everything on the surface of the planet.

The Bayuali is the energy of the Earth which radiates up from the ground through humans into the universe. It is when this energy flow is obstructed that humans exhibit self-destructive behaviour, get sick, and eventually die unless they can re-harmonize and open their Bayuali channel again. The doctrines of modern Qi Gong are almost identical in this regard. Wenwei Ou, a prominent Master in the field of Qi Gong writes that Qi Gong “involves absorbing the essence of the sun and the moon and the positive energy of the universe, then using them to suppress evil and to raise the good in everyone, and to cure illness and save patients.” (Ou p. 13)

From this example and many others, we can see that modern philosophies of Qi Gong are rooted in the most ancient traditions of Merita (Africa). Other examples of this can be seen in the I Ching, a Taoist divination system which has its origins in the Bayuali Readings (the Kemetic divination system) or the doctrine of the Yin/Yang which has its origin in the Heru/Set principle.

Constant exposition of these similarities is needed to break through the generations of conditioning that has divided humanity. Alliances between the sacred traditions of humanity must be strengthened to insure the survival and prosperity of humanity.

References

Ou, Wenwei, Pan Gu Mystical Qi Gong, (Hollywood: Unique Publications, 2008).

Wong, Eva, The Shambala Guide to Taoism, (Boston: Shambala Publishers, 1997).

Fine Tuning Our Lunges: Regaining Balance on Ice

Typically were taught to do lunges in yoga with the front leg bent at a 90° angle, the knee placed directly over the center of the foot, and the back leg straight, foot at a 45° angle or toes curled under under heals reaching towards the back of your mat. The majority of the weight is on the front leg. Typically we are told to square our hips and place the pinky toe edge of my back foot on the ground preserving our arches.

I found myself walking home one evening when I slipped on a patch of ice. My left leg slid forward, my right leg slid back.

In Vinyasa Foundations class, we’re taught that in lunges we can engage the backs of our thighs and pull our feet toward each other in the center Of the mat to gain more stability and strength in the legs. When slipping, my muscle memory from class kicked in, and my legs slid back into place directly underneath my center of gravity. (Injury averted)

It’s a good thing I went to class that day. So, to review in lunges and warrior poses, pull the legs in towards the center of the mat having the feeling of the feet moving towards each other gripping the mat, as opposed to just sinking deeper into the front knee. Maybe this will help you to regain your balance on the ice.

The Benefits of 5 Element Vinyasa Yoga

I have been requested to keep a record of positive changes I see in students after attending my 5 Element Vinyasa Yoga class at Acorn Yoga Studio.

1. Women visibly lost weight in their abdomen, torso, legs, and hips.

2. Students regained proper alignment adding an inch to their height through poses that lengthen and stretch the spine.

3. Students increased fluidity, grace, and ease of motion in their movements.

4. Their breathing slowed down and a sense of calm came over them.

5. They also expressed that they now felt they could meet the challenges of the day, Friday June 13th on a full moon, after practicing Yoga.

Namaste

Deep Breathing Exercise

Deep Breathing Exercise
Preparation
1. Sit up with your back straight, feet flat on the floor, shoulder width apart.
2. Empty your hands and close your eyes.
3. Exhale fully, clearing your lungs.

4. Extend your right arm to the front of your body.

5. Inhale, slowly lifting your right arm up above your head.

6. Exhale, slowly lowering your right arm down to your right knee.

7. Extend your left arm to the front of your body.

8. Inhale, slowly lifting your left arm up above your head.

9. Exhale, slowly lowering your left arm down to your left knee.

10. Extend both arms to the front of your body.

11. Inhale lifting your arms above your head.

12. Exhale, bringing them down to your knees.

13. Inhale slowly and deep.

14. Bring your hands together in front of your heart (prayer position). Inhale deeply, then exhale clearing your lungs.

15. Inhale slowly and deeply while lifting your hands above your head, maintaining the prayer position.

16. Exhale slowly lowering your hands together in front of your heart.

17. Inhale, extending your arms to the front, maintaining the prayer position.

18. Exhale, returning your hands to your heart (prayer position).

19. Inhale slowly, opening the right arm to the right.

20. Exhale slowly, returning the right arm to the prayer position in front of your heart.

21. Inhale, opening the left arm to the left.

22. Exhale slowly, returning the left arm to the prayer position in front of your heart.

23. Inhale, opening both arms to their respective side.

24. Exhale returning them to the prayer position in front of your heart.

25. Place your hands on your knees.

26. Exhale fully and relax.
27. Return to normal breathing and sit for a few moments in stillness and silence.
End

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