Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What Are You Devoted To? Really.


 Devotion is a word that carries a lot of power. Humans can become devoted to all sorts of things, many of them not life enhancing. In yoga, having a devotional practice conveys the point in your life that you made the commitment to dedicate to practice daily and live yogically, meaning living in a conscious , mind, body, spirit integrated way. That happened for me 20 + years ago. To say yoga has changed my life is an understatement! Yoga IS my life and I am fully devoted to practicing, embodying, evolving and expanding my conscious connection with the unity of all that is. It all starts with getting clear about what you are devoted to.

  Make a quick list and name the first 10 things you did when you got up today and recall the first thought that you thought upon awakening. I 'll share: Woke up at 6am, first thought" I can sleep 10 more minutes" got up and did the following: bathroom duties & scrape tongue, walk and feed dog, clean the ashes from wood stove and reload with wood,(its 8 degrees out) did my dinacharya(ayurvedic daily routine of oil pulling = swishing oil in my mouth for 15 -20 min, neti pot and warm lemon water until I eliminate) , made lunch for the HS son, made oatmeal for the hubby(yes its old school but after 35 years together the man does not eat otherwise and its a form of love:) put a load of laundry in, checked emails and social media, did my two hours of yoga practice including meditation. This is all before 9am. The rest of my day will include 4-5 hours of yoga teaching & tasks associated with running the studio and evening family duties.
So from my list one can gather I am DEVOTED to the following things: 
SLEEP, I need my rest!
My practices to keep my prana clear and flowing (eliminate
My family,
My dog,
Heat in the home,
Clean clothes,
My connections via email and internet communications,
Teaching my students,
Devoted to Opening Lotus Yoga Resources for Vibrant Health & Eco-Living
and again end of the day my family ! 

DEVOTION IS THE COMMITMENT WE MAKE TO WHAT WE VALUE THE MOST, day in and day out . Notice, it starts with taking excellent care of our bodies, minds and spirit. We are of little value if we are exhausted, stressed and negative. Who in their right minds would want to receive our energy if thats the state its in? Even the dog will turn her nose up at me if I am swirling in a cloud of mental debris. Its time to shelve all forms of martyrdom! Trying to care for others when you outright neglect yourself is an exercise in delusion . Give what you want to receive and give from an nourished body, mind and spirit.

In my early life I was devoted to complaining about how I was not happy with numerous ways life was unfolding for me. Complaining in and of itself is not necessarily a negative if we use that energy to motivate us forward. If we stay stuck and devoted to complaining, well that is what we end up living. Not pretty and think of how it is to be around someone that complains all the time, it sucks the life force right out of you so we distance from that kind of exchange. Stop complaining and start taking ownership of your own choices and their consequences. Its call maturity.
So HERE IS THE VIBRANT HEALTH TIP.... Get clear about HOW you are using your daily energy now. What takes up the majority of your time and ask yourself WHAT DO YOU TRULY VALUE? If the answer to that question is reflected in your devotion list than you are in alignment with what you value most. If not... time to make some shifts. Start by resting more, turn off the TV and go to bed early. I stopped watching network and cable news show a year ago. As a potential political junkie I realized this is a big waste of time and energy so its gone. Wow, how no TV opens up your time! The average american watches 6-8 hours of TV daily!! Thats off the charts ill.
   Keep going to bed early until you are not dragging yourself out of bed each morning with a groan. Let your first thought when you awake be one of gratitude! Gratitude that you are gifted another day, you have eyes to see, ears to hear, senses to feel, a job to go to. An attitude of gratitude will flood your system with healing light. Then as you begin your day, start to honor what you value the most by devoting daily attention to it. WHAT YOU GIVE ATTENTION WILL GROW. Putting this to practice is the difference between thinking about making a shift and actually making a shift! For today, invite yourself to get clear on one devotional daily practice you can start that will enhance your well being. Might be as simple as going to bed earlier! Namaste and Blessings for a beautiful day. Anne Townend-Duffey

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Do You Treat Your Body Like a Temple or a Trash Can? Time for a Spring Detox


 Do you treat your body like the temple of your soul or do you treat it like a trash can having to process every low vibrational energy you take in via all your senses? We are exposed to 2.4 BILLION pounds of toxic chemicals each year in our environment ! Thats a B for Billion !This does not include the toxicity of habitually carrying negativity , frustration and chronic fatigue in our minds and bodies.

    The word STRESS is mistakenly lived as a badge of honor. We buy into the false premise that being overly scheduled and exhausted is a measure of modern success. Really? When is the last time you laughed, sang or danced? Chronic stress and the inflammation it creates in our systems is a killer over time. Physically, emotionally and spiritually. Stress is really just how we respond to  the experiences of our lives. If we are in alignment with health and conscious wellness , there is positive stress that appears as motivation for growth and inspiration. If we are out of sync with the natural rhythms of our bodies, minds and nature, then stress is experienced as a huge, ever present burden of what we feel  we haven't yet gotten done and what we still feel we have to do!

Time for a serious shift and reorienting to a more compassionate, sane way of being in these amazing bodies and minds and in this amazing life we have been given. Time to DETOX!
Despite the mountains of snow here in the northeast ( 2 feet in the last week alone) Spring is less than a month away and our internal systems are sensing that. In the medical heritage of Ayurveda, the sister science of Yoga, it is traditional to do a detoxification diet at least twice a year, in the Fall and the Spring.
    Now is the time to simplify what you are ingesting on all levels; food, screen time, busyness of mind and body, distractions with too much TV, sedating with alcohol and overeating or overstimulating with sugar and caffeine, the holy grail of the SAD diet, Standard American Diet. When we consciously take some time to simplify our diets, an interesting thing happens, we begin to reconnect to a more honest picture of how we are engaging in life. Are we moving like an automaton through the daily motions of getting things done , exhausting ourselves with too many commitments, feeling agitated, sleep deprived and soothing our inner emotions with variety of habits that continue the downward spiral of energy? 

  Clarity comes with simplicity . Detoxing creates simplicity long enough for you to get clear about your priorities. What do you value the most and are you living in alignment with that? Detoxing also clears us of some amount of 'victim consciousness'. That habit of blaming or disowning our own behavior on outside circumstances. We cop out saying its  the job, the economy,  the relationship, the kids, the weather that is the cause of our malaise ! Detoxing connects us back to some basic truths . We are what we think and what we think can shift. We are what we eat and what we eat can shift. We are what we feel, and what we feel is always TRUE. Stop , pause, take a breath and FEEL. Time to move back into your body and out of your over thinking mind.

 Most people I meet through their introductions to yoga are carrying 3 basic burdens. They are dehydrated, overfed and undernourished and dead tired. This is the result of treating your body like a trash can . Our bodies do an amazing job at processing all the unnourishing things we expose it to but despite that, over time you will feel and look like a trash heap. You will slowly, over time, lose your vitality, your energy, your inspiration and be so caught up in managing your symptoms of imbalance that you will begin to feel that is what life is about. Hense the slogan 'Life's a! 

   Lets say you want to shift out of that dead end paradigm and reclaim your innate wellness, health and vitality . Where to start? Start with doing a Spring detox. Eliminate from your consumption for at least one week(  2-3 weeks is more optimal) the main culprits of trash can energy; inflammatory foods like meat ,wheat, simple carbohydrates, sugar , alcohol, dairy and caffeine. Replace with plenty of clean filtered water, steamed vegetables and broths, green smoothies to shift your toxic acidity to healing alkalinity, simple to digest basmati rice or non- wheat options like quinoa. In Ayurveda, Kitchari, a soup or stew made with mung beans is the standard diet during a detox. Rest more ,get to bed by 10 pm and up by 6:30 am to align your energy with that of the natural cycle of the day. Meditate to clear the excess from your overloaded mind and connect to spirit, take slow walks, gentle stretching or yoga to facilitate the accumulated toxins moving out. Try changing ONE THING for ONE WEEK, and see how you feel.
If you want some support and guidance, enroll in Opening Lotus Yoga's Spring Seasonal Detox Course which begins one week from today . Wed. Feb. 26,2014 :7:30 pm for 4 weeks. All the info is on the website listed under Vibrant Health Courses.
If we honor our body's basic needs for healthy hydration and elimination, nutrition, breath, healthy movement, rest and meditation we soon discover the Temple that it truly is . The Temple that houses our soul, our light of consciousness, our spirit in all its brightness. Let this Spring be a sacred invitation for you to move back into a Temple relationship with your body! Your soul will thank you eternally! Namaste and Blessings for a beautiful day! Anne Townend-Duffey

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


 If  the quality of your energy field right now was a food, what would it be?  A fresh green smoothie pulsating with life force energy and vitality? Or perhaps you are feeling like day old pizza, stale, heavy, cold and tasteless?
Truth is, we are all energetic beings and our language is vibration. Thoughts, memories, conditioned habits and emotions all hold a vibrational quality. Of the 50-80,000 thoughts we may think daily, the vast majority are redundant habits, conditions, reactions and low vibrational quality, like stale corn chips. You're NOT going to thrive on those! Low vibrational thoughts are not only stale but corrosive and toxic in the long run to our body's health and our minds capacity to stay open.

   Today, make an intention to keep your vibrational field high by tapping into the regenerative energies of  gratitude, love , compassion, forgiveness , joy and LOVE, the creative energy of the universe.The highest truth is Love .At our essence , we are LOVE and all the universe is manifested from Love. These vibrations are SUPER FOOD for the soul! As we learn to recognize we have the power to either nurture and continue low vibrational patterns in thoughts, memories and emotions,ie. keep eating the stale pizza,  or we can tap into our heart center with compassion for ourselves, forgiveness of self and others, gratitude for another day to grow in heart and mind , we open to the potential of an awakened wisdom heart! That's our true nature buried under all the debris of our habits, thoughts, memories and emotions.
  • So.... STOP, Pause, Breathe deeply into the center of your chest when you notice a low vibrational habit arising. Make the powerful, conscious choice to shift into the SUPER HEART HEALER!
  • Instead of getting angry and reactive, shift to gratitude for the opportunity to learn and grow. 
  • Instead of falling into self- judgement or criticism of others, shift into compassion for our self and others as in any given moment we truly are doing the best we know how to do.What we do not afford to ourselves we cannot truly give to others. It all originates within. 
  • Instead of playing the victim card  blaming and complaining our current situation on external circumstances, take an honest look at your own habit of disowning your own capacity to heal and grow beyond perceived limitations! Your soul is infinitely expanded . Why let the perceived limitation of your mind decide on preventing you from your own brilliance?
  • Instead of identifying yourself as the limited, repetitive content of your conditioned mind, step into an awareness that you are in reality the energy of the universe! Yes , I said it!  The universe!
 In nutrition this is call making a lateral shift. Swap out a low quality food for a high quality. Do the same with the diet of your daily thoughts, habits, memories and emotions. This shift not only will expand your awareness into a wider perception it will raise your consciousness and your vibrational field UP,UP, an UP into the realms of heavenly light! When our vibrational field is high we THRIVE on all levels, physically, mentally , emotionally and spiritually. We become a living embodiment of our highest truth, our dharma. We awaken to what the deepest expression of ourselves is and live it !

 Try it today, each time a negative energy arises in you, STOP ,PAUSE , BREATHE DEEPLY into your heart center and make the shift to high vibration! Imagine if you and everyone you know made this practice a reality, how your life would change ! Imagine how the world would change! We'd surely lose our appetite for stale corn chips and pizza!
Blessings for a High Vibrational Day! 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Are Your Fully Digesting Your Life's Experiences?


Most folks perception of digestion is related to nutrition. In truth, we have to digest EVERYTHING we take in from our senses. What we see, hear, feel, smell, taste and think! Strong energies that have not been fully digested and integrated ferment just like overeating a huge meal. We can feel bogged down, exhausted, irritable and uninspired. Long term undigested energies can take up residence in our bodies creating pain and illness. Anger, resentment, regret and sadness are powerful energies that when buried long enough can re-emerge as serious disease. 

The higher vibrations of love, forgiveness, compassion and joy all resonate from the heart center and are the most powerful healing medicine for our well being. The energy and consciousness that radiates from our heart center has the power to transform what was stagnant into vibrancy, what was burning into cooling waters, what was limiting into what is expanded. A pearl begins to form from one grand of sand that creates an irritant and the oyster responds with coating that grain of sand repeatedly until a luminescent pearl forms. Such is the power of the healing heart. It can transform our irritants into luminescent pearls of wisdom. Its an open invitation to be grateful for all of life's experiences no matter how difficult , traumatizing or seemingly annihilating as within that irritant mix lies the potential for awakening to our deepest connection to the truth of our being.

The energy pattern we are entering this month in particular is about empowerment! The Chinese year of the Wood Horse is one of fire , power and propulsion ! It's time to fully digest all of your experiences, keep what is teaching you the path of love and wisdom and make a strong, clear, determined intention to release the rest! Now is the time to move into a bolder expression of who you really are! Break free from bad habits, relationships and memories.
 Awaken your divine destiny! No longer give your power away to fear and doubt! Now is the time to be who you were born to be! Be prepared to stand in your own divine power and SHINE your light! Whats the best way to fully digest your life experiences and the back log of energy? Dial back what you are taking in now (ie step away from the media buffet daily) meditate daily to allow your nervous system to unwind to center. Simplify your daily routine to include regular meals, healthy hydration and  exercise to reinhabit your wisdom body. Honor your deep needs to  rest and play and find time daily for stillness.  Connect to an inspiration deep within your heart that pulses with life force! CHOOSE to spend your energy engaged with things that make you feel ALIVE and VITAL!  CHOOSE  to REFUSE to engage with activities that drain you. Tall order perhaps but all journeys begin with one intention to do one thing differently EACH DAY! That is what shifts us .... back to the truth of our being! Back to the luminescent pearls that we all are!
 Namaste and Blessings for a Beautiful Day! Anne Townend-Duffey
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