Category Archives: meditation

Mindfulness for Greater Benefits within Yoga Postures

Mindfulness is a secret ingredient to achieving greater health benefits within yoga and other healing modalities.

To an experienced practitioner we understand that the yoga postures, even with their specific names, are only guides along a certain path. A yoga pose is not a finished product. The benefits are revealed during the process. The only thing we seek to obtain is to be 100% present within our body as we move through the yoga postures, opening, strengthening, lengthening, healing, restructuring. Learning to be present to how our body transforms, this is Mindfulness.  In any posture, there is always something more that can be transitioned through. Each and every yoga posture holds benefits that exceed our expectations.

yoga alignment and proper movement

What it is we are actually doing in “yoga.” What are the yoga postures all about?

yoga is great for skiers!

Think of yoga asanas, or postures, as a ski hill. We all go down the same hill. Some take the bunny slope and others take the steeper trails. The hill is the same.  This is why you see photos of people in Standing Bow Pulling Pose, some with their back stiff and straight and foot  barely over their hip and others with their back nicely curved and leg way up over their head. It’s the same pose just different levels, same beauty. The beauty is that both can have the same amount or lack of mindfulness.

beginners finding the beauty of yoga posturesAdvanced flexibility in yoga postures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The benefits are the same no matter what level one practices at.

Every advanced posture starts with a basic move. Think of it like the ski hill,  learning to stand on your skis is the first step to conquering the hill. Standing on two feet without falling over must be mastered  before we practice standing on one leg. We think of it as mindfulness creating clarity for where we are in our endeavors.

Standing pose can be of great benefit in yoga

Yoga teachers won’t expect you to reach completion, but rather be conscious/ mindful of your movements. This is why all levels of practice benefit the same. Mindfulness keeps us in check.

Hatha Yoga.

In every yoga posture there are two forces at work, hence the meaning of Ha-tha, sun and moon. There is strength and  flexibility, the agonist and antagonist muscle reactions. One muscle contracts while another, or others in a muscle group, relax. Therefore each pose contains two reactive forces.

agonist antagonist muscle in yoga

Within the yoga poses is also the compression or tourniquet effect. Internal organs muscles and tissue are compressed and squeezed in many yoga postures. The idea is like squeezing and flushing as if ringing out a dirty towel. The compression forces fluid out, and on the release, allows fresh blood to come through. I’ve found these compression aspects to be of very high value in my practice.

low back pain releiver

No matter how in-depth or uncomfortable a yoga posture is, they all become the same when you approach them carefully with mindfulness. So think of mindfulness in yoga postures like  driving your car at night around a blind corner.  Going too fast can lead to collision with an unforeseen obstacle. Therefore the approach to each pose should be done with mindfulness.

Douglas King inspirational yoga teacher

The proverbial man in meditation IS the clear depiction of yoga.

One pointed focus is what becomes meditation.  It’s Inner focus and attention in the moment which provides insights leading to transformation.

I’ve taught beginners who are masters at mindfulness. I’ve also witnessed advanced practitioners become frustrated in their practice from expectation. This becomes our challenge. The path of mindfulness is like a blending of two worlds, of doing and not doing.

Any gymnast or dancer can do “poses” easy. Don’t let people with advanced body movements influence you. It is the process of the pose that defines your level of yoga understanding.

It takes practice….lots of it. By the way, that’s why we call it a yoga “practice.” Keep it up.

For a more in-depth look at this process, please attend one of my new ONLINE YOGA CLASSES  beginning in April! For my first students there will be a significant discount for joining.

Aloha

Eyes Open to Prosperity

Discovering prosperity in our lives must be cultivated.

Many people attempt to find prosperity rather than simply becoming open to receive it. Prosperity comes in many shapes and forms, some money others gifts or sudden meetings. Keeping our eyes open to prosperity starts with believing we are always on the path with leads to prosperity.

There is a little trap that humans get themselves into when it comes to the ability to attract prosperity and new events into their lives.

Typically, we make decisions based on our knowledge and experience but if we are seeking something outside of our experience or knowledge, what framework do we use to evaluate our decisions in areas of newness?

In order to see something different, we need to transform the eyes from which we see. For we are only able to see in accordance to the strength of our eyes. Our eyes being not only the physical lenses in our head, but the inner eye.

Visualization techniques will program our energy field to attract what we choose to create.

However, if we continue to make choices based on old knowledge, we might completely miss a doorway that just opened up.  To leave old knowledge one has to use intuition and faith for new decisions.

I have worked with business associates who reached out for new people to assist them in growing their business. Then when the premier candidate came to them, they began to treat them and react to them from old beliefs and pushed the premier person right out of their experience. Why? Because this person’s behavior was unfamiliar and therefore brought a sense of fear. Fear led to mistrust and confusion. The owner wasn’t able to let-go and trust, and lost the support they were seeking. The process of letting go also relies on intuition.

Intuition is strengthened by quieting the mind and forming a sense of silence in which we can hear the inner self speak through deep senses of inner knowing. Inner knowing can also be in the form of little voices in our head answering our questions before we even ask them. Even in unfamiliar territory, one can be gently guided to the right decision and perfect circumstance.

We must strengthen the eyes from which we see to view new horizons.

What is the best exercise for this?     Do you need to ask?

How about a PROSPERITY MEDITATION.

Much love

~Douglas

 

 

 

.

Coming Together for Humanity 2016

Throughout my travels I have been in many situations where people came together to handle a conflict or situation where there was no, police, guard or military to enforce “law and order.”  In every situation people would come together for the sake of humanity and use natural law and self-rule. In other words, people did what was right and seemed to be guided from their wisdom and their heart.

In “modern” society we are led to believe through misleading news stories and other media  that our neighbors are to be feared and we must have policing, cameras and rules to be safe from our terrifying neighbors especially those from other neighborhoods. This has kept us from discovering the beauty in each other and has literally created disharmony against each other. When given a chance to self-rule, people will follow natural order. People understand our human nature and respect humanity. People when called upon to lead and support will do what is fair and just. People do not need fear of prosecution to do what is right.  These blanketed rules and laws linked with prosecution causes more rebellion and dis-harmony against society.

There is a famous quote by Helen Keller which goes “Avoiding danger, in the long run, is no safer than outright exposure. The meek get caught as often as the bold.”

This is a natural law. It is what we speak about in yoga as Dharma, natural law, natural order. Even the safest cars, the toughest laws and the best laid plans will not hold up to what is to be or what could be. It is the same as decriminalizing drugs. When we decriminalize drugs, drugs are used less and society prospers more. Laws and fear of prosecutions only destabilize society.

The best way we can begin to experience harmony with each other is to use more of our intuition and heart. yes it’s true even a handshake with someone we thought we could trust might end up in trouble, but the more we fine-tune our instincts the more we begin to attract and even create harmonious relations. One way to do this is to go back to the original intuitive building exercise, meditation. Meditation connects us with the highest source of intuition and heart, and in the heart is where our future experiences receive light.

There is a wave of intuition and heart space building  within humanity that is growing larger. Like a tsunami, the power behind our growing heart and influence of natural order will overcome.

The media and leaders want us to fear the massive amount of police and military that have been created to keep order to the “laws.” The one thing to remember is that these people who are the police and military are blue-collar people with families and children. It doesn’t take much intelligence to know what is right when it comes to being a good person to our family and friends.  As our prayers and meditations grow, the light will penetrate and reveal itself in the hearts of those employed to do harm to humanity for the sake of laws designed to oppress the people.

Our brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers in the service sector will in the end, be there to protect us, not harm us. Believe in this idea and the idea will blossom.

Start first by self-ruling yourself. Just because someone mistakenly does something out of the norm or law, if it is not harming anyone or anything, be love. If someone swerves into your lane, notify but don’t chastise.  begin to live a life of natural law not “criminal law.” Become a support to the human nature we all fall into. “Thee who has no sin throw the first stone,” I once heard. 🙂

In fact,  follow less rules and life in more harmony with the natural law.  Moral disobedience, let’s break more laws in order to find order and harmony in a natural way!

sent with love

~Douglas

Motocross is Yoga

. Yoga is motocross.

Unlike other sports, motocross requires both balls.

Two wheels at high speed on rough terrain requires a strong commitment to what you wish to achieve and a focus that cannot be swayed. This is motocross.  The one pointed focus and mindfulness of motocross mimics the great teachings of yoga. We balance our passion and courage while open to profound new experiences and unimaginable achievement.

Journey with me into the similarity of yoga and motocross.

All I know is that when I was about eight years old I felt the excitement of speed beyond what my own two feet could go. With a little metal between my legs I could explore a new level of existence. Power, speed, altitude, free-falling and crashing were the new sensations.

Yoga helps prevent injury and speed recovery
It’s all part of it

What I learned quickly was how the physics of my body and a small rocket worked. Once I understood the physics behind it and how to use inertia to turn ideas into matter the fun remained endless. In Motocross it becomes a matter of physical fitness and physicsal fitness. Fitness and physics are WFO for 20 minutes at a time.

As we say on the street “Unlike other sports, motocross requires BOTH balls” … like your first Bikram yoga class.

Team desert moto II

Thought into matter.

Yes. Knowing the time vs speed ratio when traversing over dirt and rock at high-speed requires the ability to think about things before they happen. Knowing what I want to create, using the power, speed and terrain ahead of me, my body would automatically ignite the neuromuscular response to put the idea into form, like a high-speed stunt, jump or acrobatic.

All athletes know how to place the mind before matter. So if you ponder it, one can see how this can become the belief in all areas of life.

In the process of traversing with great speed over rough terrain is the understanding of overcoming obstacles.  I must see it ahead and pick the best course of action at that moment. Then I follow through with the action as I continue to look AHEAD.  Seeing the obstacle ahead and focusing on it as it approaches rather than looking beyond it will lead to the obstacle taking the power. In that lack of foresight comes the consequences of focusing on the problem rather than looking ahead. This usually leads to a crash or unsuitable experience of one kind or another.

team motocross sunsetClassic Team Yamaha MotocrossMotocross carving

Isn’t this everything in life? What we focus on approaches, takes over.  The extraordinary thing about it is to have focus but relax into it, like expecting and letting go at the same time.

Sage wisdom says be in the knowing. Knowing our place intuitively will reveal elements of what we are good at, and if we are in the right place at the right time. In other words, If I know intuitively I marvel when I’m on a motocross bike, it’s likely I will pursue it with passion. Other sports may not prove to be as exciting therefor less intuitive.

For it to become a knowing, there has to understanding from a higher perspective.What it is you came to do. It’s the natural sense one has about themselves, before others taint their view. Once you commit to that which excites your natural sense of wonder, then you can begin to become that, relax into being it, and become mindful of your experiences.

The expectation/relaxation factor plays a big part in motocross. If we expect too much we begin to put values on it. If we expect to win, but focus on the perfect start, then a poor start can put you mentally behind.  So being mentally and physically behind it becomes difficult to keep a winning focus.

Like life and practicing yoga, expectation and force can become detrimental to what should be natural, fun and easy.   Eventually we learn the formula. Know what you desire, be in the knowing of it and let the steps reveal themselves. We learn upon each step, the experience of becoming.

Stay in your foresight. Use your intuition to pick the line and relax into the magic.

WFO.

~Douglas

What is Mindfulness and Meditation?

Today, more than ever before, people are seeking methods to feel stable, balanced and aware of where we are going.

Meditation is the answer and mindfulness leads the way. Mindfulness and meditation go hand in hand. Mindfulness can be used as a type of meditation for everything we do throughout our day. Meditation therefore, builds strong mindfulness muscles.

Meditation is an ancient intelligence by which one can find that sense of peace and balance within. It is a method whereby one can feel the sense of completeness. In that sense of completeness comes a feeling of bliss and comfort. Meditation comes as a big challenge for many people. Sitting still, without thought, might seem like a simple thing to do, but when one is faced with silence, the mind with its prolonged state of thinking – days, weeks, years of thinking – wants to continue. The momentum can be so great that not thinking becomes nearly impossible, even painful.

Meditation is an exercise.

It is a method that needs constant practice to develop. It’s similar to learning a language, one  lesson will not make thee wise.  We say fifteen minutes twice a day is a common time span to begin training in meditation. There are many methods for learning meditation, but the paradox is that thinking about how to meditate defeats the purpose.

Mindfulness is a part of meditation, but more so, it is a process by which one can transition into the deeper aspects of meditation by becoming more focused in the moment. Mindfulness brings you into a state of intelligence because mindfulness is whereby the mind is full of only the current physical undertaking. Think of it like drinking a glass of lemonade. The experience will be of drinking lemonade. If you were to add cranberry juice, oatmeal, beer and french fries, it would become so convoluted that the focus becomes thwarted. There is confusion. This is how many people run their minds on a day to day basis. The body may be on a task, but the mind is elsewhere. This is the most applicative understanding of what mindfulness is.

Mindfulness is knowing “what is” in this moment.

This is not to be confused with how we create ourselves through vision. We say circumstances don’t matter, but rather the state of mind matters. The mind creates the matter. One can be frustrated about a circumstance with all kinds of fruitless or impractical thoughts, or instead, find joyful feelings that will guide to more joyful experiences regardless of the current circumstance.

This does not conflict with mindfulness. Mindfulness is knowing what you are doing – be it making a cup of coffee, sitting in the park, or sitting in jail.  Mindfulness brings a sense of commitment to the moment.  Know what you are doing, or about to do, and participating with full intent. It does not mean you cannot do two things at once. It simply means to understand what it is you are choosing to do. This in itself can help lead you towards meditation.

A mindful person can be quite pleasant to be around because mindfulness brings a sense of peace and bliss. Knowing who you are and owning what you choose in the moment with a state of commitment breeds confidence and honor.

How to practice mindfulness?  Here are a few exercises:

  1. Get yourself a grape, raisin or slice of apple. Spend five minutes eating it. Savor it. Narrate it. Mindful eating is the best way to be sure you are chewing your food enough and can even be combined with healing visualization of the food providing health and vitality to the body.
  2. In the temple, we learn walking meditation. Spend one hour walking. Feel exactly how your foot is placed on the earth. Do this barefoot if you can. Narrate out loud to yourself while walking: right foot, step, left foot, step, right foot, step, left foot, step. Allow each step 5-10 seconds. Do it.
  3.  There are many ways to apply mindfulness exercise. The practice of mindfulness allows you to come up with some of your own.

When mindfulness is present, truth exists. See if you can find it.

~Douglas