Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Seeds for Spiritual Growth # 21 Post Lunar Eclipse Self Care Tips

SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH # 21 Post Eclipse Self Care
Namaste All and welcome back! I've been off the posts for a few months , enjoying the summer and using daily sadhana practice to connect to what is most nourishing and important.
We just went through an amazing astronomical event on Sunday, the full blood moon plus a full lunar eclipse. It was clear and starry skies here in central MA . to view this celestial dance unfold. Many folks reported in the days leading up to the eclipse and now afterwards feeling energetically unsettled, restless, difficulty sleeping or old unuseful egoic patterns of thoughts arising.
This eclipse ushered in a higher vibrational transmission of what basically is an evolutionary invitation to grow beyond our small self imposed limitations of identity as defined by what we see with our eyes in the material world vs. what we feel and sense in our hearts . It's a call for a deeper integration of the primary pranic currents within us, our inner Divine Masculine energy (fire,male) and our Inner Divine Feminine energy(Water,earth, moon, intuition) . Whatever is imbalanced within us we tend to project outside of us and often onto other people. So seeing faults in others, blaming others for perceived shortcomings, judging others, getting triggered by others. This eclipse cycle is fundamentally inviting  us to turn that mirror around and take a deeper,more honest look inside at our own energetic integrity.
The yogis often said the longest journey we will ever take is from the head to the heart or from the ego to the soul. Physically, that measures in inches but energetically can be measured in lifetimes.
Here is what can support you so these seeds of growth that are germinating now can root, sprout and take hold in the coming weeks:
- Recommit to your daily yoga and meditation practice whether that's 5 min a day or 2 hours a day. The time is not important, the daily consistency is.
- Recommit to carving out time in silence and solitude daily. Silence is honey for your souls journey. It is within the sacred silence we will be guided to whatever needs to be done or not done.We will gain clarity about what we are inviting in and what we are willing to release that no longer serves us.
- Recommit to feeling ok with not needing to know how everything works out. Embrace that sacred mystery exists.Needing to know is an ego agenda and often driven by fear. Your soul is whole and Divinely sourced.If we can trust the sacred life force intelligence that rotates the planets, beats our hearts and lifts birds to fly, surely we can trust that whatever needs to unfold WILL and whatever needs to leave will, in its own divine timing..
-Recommit to honor your vulnerability, those shadow aspects of your psyche that just beg for the embrace of the light of day. The judgements, fears, angers, resentments that keep our sacred soul locked up. On the other side of any shadow (as in the eclipse) is brilliant light just waiting to be released.
- Fall is a powerful time to do a detox or whole food cleanse. Give your body temple what it craves. Organic fruits and veggies, clean proteins, healthy fats, lots of filtered water,soothing herbal teas.
Eliminate for a few weeks inflammatory things like sugar, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, animal proteins, wheat and any processed foods that come out of a box or can. Even a week of clean simple eating can do wonders for your pranic energy. Simple guideline: eat foods that are alive with prana!
-Recommit to honoring your sleep. Unplug from wifi devices at least one hour before bedtime and ayurvedically its advised to get in bed by 10 pm and up by 6am. When we encourage our bodies to return to nature's rhythms, all systems vastly improve.
-Recommit this fall to some inner work, take a yoga class, meditation, reading spiritual texts or inspiring poetry,art or music. This is food for your soul. Even better, let your creative spirit express itself in some art form.
-Recommit to daily detoxification habits: tongue scraping, oil pulling, lemon water, dry brushing, abhyanga self massage, detox baths , cold showers (yes it wakes up and gets all your pranic channels humming!) use of essential oils in your home to clear and harmonize , triphala to support healthy bowel function. If you need some guidance on this, check out our Fall Seasonal detox course beginning Oct. 13 or email me for more specific tips!
- Last but not least- Recommit to a daily dose of gratitude. Be grateful for each and every day .Its blessings, its challenges, its joys, its heartbreaks. Bless it all! The more we can practice (and yes it is a practice!) gratitude the more we open our intuitive heart channels and that's when the real magic begins to happen.
Many blessings to you all. It continues to be my highest privilege and humble honor to teach the amazing gifts of yoga to anyone interested in aligning with the deeper truth of their Beings. We are all Divine Lights here to Shine our unique gifts in this world. Get ready for a beautiful fall season here in New England and wherever you are!

Namaste~ Anne Christine

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH # 20 Keepin' It REAL A Blogpost from Anne Townend-Duffey


I'm all about embracing the dark/shadows, the deep recesses of our psyches and unconscious mind as a path of liberation.  I always felt somewhat repulsed by the happy slogan ,positive thinking,bumper sticker, smiley face, new agey tendency to keep it ' in the light '. Keep in the light like some desperate mantra to avoid one's very truth of your present experience. If just slapping a smiley face on our pain was truly effective... why are opiate addiction rates skyrocketing? Why does the level of violence and abuse in our society continue? Why do we entertain ourselves with violent media?
We've all been conditioned with lessons on social niceties. Smile when you feel lousy. Say 'I'm Fine " ,when folks ask how you are doing and you're not feeling fine. Dismiss, distract or disown as strategies to survive. Most addictions are rooted in distancing one's consciousness from pain. Fear of pain is real. These practices of denial and distraction are non-sustainable and over time very corrosive to our inner sense of truth and well being. You may indeed get some temporary relief from distracting, denying or suppressing your authentic feelings with use of food, TV, sex, drugs, alcohol etc but the underlying pain or fear never goes away. It just gets more potent the longer you avoid it.
What we will do to avoid fear is never ending and one of the slickest tickets is wallpapering our hearts with spiritual sloganisms. (not sure thats a word) I will always admire those that are willing and scared shitless to feel the depths of their souls anyway. So yes, go there. Be real, feel it all, express it all, and miraculously when our former death grip of avoidance relaxes a bit, we realize by embracing that which terrifies us , we open. We open to the light of our divinity that is even more brilliant than any positive thinking slogan could even touch. Why settle for Light lite? Be brilliant and embrace your dark edges. A lot of raw beauty lives and pulses there.
Love to you all.
Namaste & Blessings for Keepin it Real!
Anne Christine

“The ability to hold Light is directly proportional to the courage to see darkness. Choosing to see just one creates distortions and illusions. It amazes me that something so simple and common sense can be so difficult to even discuss with ‘spiritual’ people who insist on remaining ‘positive’. Actually, this avoidance is based on unacknowledged fear that their inner light might be somewhat ‘dispersed’ by seeing darkness and therefore not giving the light much credit at all. I think there’s also fear that they might somehow become ‘tainted’ or the darkness might ‘manifest’ in some form in their lives. But the opposite is true; it is the fear, especially unacknowledged, that has much more chance to manifest than darkness exposed to daylight and investigation. Just like we must be fearless about our own inner shadow, we must also be fearless about seeing this huge shadow of humanity. Or we will have the power to transform precisely nothing, within or without.”
~ Anis Springate

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH- It's Summertime, Slow Down & Take Your Time

A Blog Post by Anne Townend-Duffey
Director of Opening Lotus Yoga


Blessings All. As we enter the Full Capricorn moon today the celestial skies are busy aligning in patterns to invite another layer of balance and integration within us. That ever present task of balancing our inner emotional, self care and our outer responsibilities in the world.
Often this can feel like a ping pong match in which neither focus is optimal. We are either burning out getting all our 'To Dos' done or we might be neglecting our outer responsibilities with procrastination as an excuse to find time to attend to our
innermost needs. How many times do we say " I don't have time to relax".
Here's the problem. Its not an either/ or proposition. Its a joint venture and one that requires us to be guided by our inner truth that speaks to us in our quieter moments of stillness. When we can slow down, tune in and tap into our intuitive energy which is the master of prioritizing what actually needs our attention, we enter the flow state of being in synchrony with the life force. Life then becomes more of a dance than a march.
It can feel like a radical act to actually slow down when in the midsts of many external things that need our decisions or actions, but I have found over and over again, that taking that step inward to connect to your inner wisdom actually results in a sense of expanding time. Its well documented that having a daily meditation practice actually expands your capacity to be more effective and productive with what's at hand as you are not wasting energy by distracting or indecision. Clarity creates efficiency.
You tap into your inner flow and find clarity on what is the most inspired step to take next if any. Sometimes in a very paradoxical way, the most inspired step is to do nothing. Its the 'doing of non-doing', to allow a sacred resting period for all the energies competing for one's attention to settle . Our culture looks askance of the 'doing of non-doing' . It falsely celebrates overextending oneself and exhausting oneself as signs of living a positive or successful life. Being busy, wired and tired is not the same as being fulfilled and often a sign of inner disconnect. Inner Peace matters.
Slowing down is often the powerful gateway to clarity and we can't access it by pushing and demanding. We access this clarity by settling, breathing deeply, feeling and Being present to what is right in front of us without judgement.
Summertime is a perfect season to slow down. Take time. Be still and absorb the energies of your inner and outer domains.Listen to the birds sing in the early morning. Feel the summer sun on your skin or the evening breeze across your face. Bask in the sea water that rushes to meet your feet. Walk in the beauty of the trees, flowers and fields abundant with life. Play with some creative expression, journaling, painting, dance or music. Ask yourself on a regular basis, what needs my attention in this moment and then listen deeply for a sensation through your body that will guide you to exactly what is needed in any given moment.
When I feel aligned with my intuition, I always feel an expanded sense of openness in my heart center, the center of my chest. When I don't feel that, I know my mind is commanding more of my awareness and its a sign for me to slow down, tune in, breathe deeply, inhabit my body more which naturally eases the minds contractions. A tightly wound mind creates a tightly bound heart.
May you find space today and everyday to slow down, breathe deeply, feel the energies within you and around you with an open heart and invite a deeper level of beingness to express itself through you.
Namaste & Blessings for a beautiful full moon !
Anne Christine

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH # 18 The Pranic Power of Summer Solstice

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH # 17 Soul Listening A Blog Post by Anne Townend-Duffey


Hello all on this beautiful late Spring morning. The birds woke me up early at dawn as they begin their morning songs. How beautiful if we humans began each day in song! Lying quietly and really tuning into what I was hearing, I could discern layer upon layer of sounds. The birds of course, the whirring of the wheels of the cars driving by, a dog barking, my dog breathing in deep dreams, my heart beating, my breath breathing.
Listening is the other half of the equation of communicating and deep listening tunes us into the songs of our Souls who whisper to us in waves of intuitive insights through our feelings and sensory body. Within the Yoga subtle body teachings, communication rules the throat chakra, the 5th chakra whose element is ether which is space and subtlety. When we speak too much or are silent too much our throat chakra can be skewed and not balanced. We may find it confusing to really sense what we want to say or when we want to be silent. Clarity of communication begins with stillness.
I have taken a vow for the next 40 days to begin each day in deep listening. I already meditate daily but felt called to bring more attention to this aspect of Soul listening. Really dedicating time in my practice to deeply be still and listen. To send an invitation to my Soul that I am inviting myself into her presence which is already here but I am desiring to engage with her in a deeper more intimate way. To know no separation from my soul is to live in alignment with our Truth of our Beingness. Everything that gets in the way of that is clutter be it mental , emotional, physical, or material.
The Soul love simplicity. The ego loves complexity. If you are consumed with your mental thinking, your Soul doesn't have a space edgewise to be heard. Listening is the simplest of acts yet can be so challenging to truly be present and listen deeply from your heart space. It seems to be that we need to invite this presence into our daily experience and practice it like any other skill we want to strengthen. If we are to be good listeners with others it begins with us and one of the most basic human desires is to be heard and understood. That takes presence. That takes a capacity to listen from the vantage point of your heart.
So that is my intent. To deeply engage in Soul listening . I am looking forward to what she has to say and will share any insights in the next few weeks.
" Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard". -Anne Sexton
Namaste & Blessings for a Deep Listening Day!
Love & Light
Anne Christine.
** Feel free  SHARE if there is someone in your life that would benefit.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH # 16 A Blog Post by Anne Townend- Duffey Director Opening Lotus Yoga Life is Not Just Suffering

SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH # 16 A Blog post by Anne Townend-Duffey Director Opening Lotus Yoga
We Are Not Here To Just Suffer
The Buddhas first teaching on the first Noble Truth was 'Life is Suffering', but that is not to mean we are just here to stagnate in our own psychic messes. It means that the original suffering is when we separated from Source, the Divine. By virtue of taking birth as a human being we separated from our Divine Source.
Suffering means separation from our true identity and that leads to the human dilemma of developing an ego like an operating system of who we think we are in order to navigate this complex human experience we call life. But all along we all have this spark of the Divine within us, a deep memory of who we really are, beckoning us in some way to listen, to go in, to reconnect to our Divine Self and that journey of expanding our consciousness is where all the karma comes in.
Wondering why the Divine just doesn't do her thing and take over.... wake us up from our illusion and whats the purpose of free will anyway if it just sends us on countless detours or dead ends back into our egos? There are these pesky things called karmas we come in with (again from a yogi's perspective) or our programming so to speak and all that karma is camoflaging the Dharma, the truth of why we incarnated anyway. Our Dharmic task while we are here on earth is to release what blocks us from realizing the deeper truth of our Being and awakening to what our sacred purpose unique to us, is. We are all here on purpose with a Divine Dharmic mission that only we can deliver to this earth.
When we connect to a glimmer of Truth, that has the power to burn up some old thought patterns, emotional patterns and all the other stuff that gets in the way.Many of these neural patterns are deeply rooted and have accumulated a lot of momentum over the course of your life (or lives). As we evolve, we literally upgrade our operating system. Its like a PC reboot and the old or former way of operating is just not going to fly anymore .Once you tap into a deeper awareness of who you really are it would feel extremely limiting to try and resume your previous limited ways of perceiving. Who would go back to Windows 7? For Nostalgia reasons? If the system isn't working, it's time for an upgrade.
 When we are hooked into our egos as the sum total of who we believe ourselves to be, it's no more than an outdated PC operating system. This is where free will enters the scene. Only we can make that choice to shift, to invite ourselves to evolve, to grow by releasing what no longer serves us. Only we can make that vital choice. That is the simplest purpose of our free will. We get to choose. Awaken or Not, Evolve or Not, Suffer or Not.
How do you connect to a glimmer of truth that can clean out the trash bin that is our subconscious mind? Meditate daily. Slow down, find time to be still and silent. Move back into your sacred body and inhabit it ! Reclaim your feelings and feel them.  Feed yourself organic whole foods. Reduce stimulants, sugar, and depressants, alcohol. Drink plenty of clean water.  Rest yourself .  Get creative. Dance, paint, sing , write. The Divine has an infinite array of ways of expressing itself through our creativity. Doing any contemplative holistic energy practice like Yoga, Tai Chi or contemplative walks in Nature are powerful tools to shift from suffering to a glimmer of your Divine Light as You, through you. And perhaps one of the most powerful and simplest tools is to affirm I AM THAT! I AM  the Light of my Being.. I AM LOVE, I AM SOURCE. I AM. 
Over time with practice the glimmer becomes an ever present glow, a radiance of your Being through you as you. The ego gets a job transfer from CEO to soul assistant. Life begins to flow. Illnesses and energetic imbalances begin to heal. We open more and more to the creative mystery of each breath, each moment , each day we live . We begin to know on a cellular level that our very Being is LOVE, that SOURCE is LOVE and not the limited human emotional version of love, the grand dame of LOVE, the energy of all that is! Even in the midst of challenges or deep heartache and pain, this deeper truth is right within us, always. Its just waiting for us to invite ourselves in for tea!
Namaste and Blessings for a Beautiful Day.
Anne Christine

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH # 15 A Blog Post by Anne Townend-Duffey Director of Opening Lotus Yoga


Blessings All. Well what a ride with the Spring weather here in central MA. From allergy bombs the last two weeks, to hot, then humid and last night an amazing lightening show in the sky that ushered in very cool temps in 50's. There is a saying here in New England, If you don't like the weather , just wait 10 minutes! So True.
That brings me to today's post. The mind is a lot like the weather. Always shifting , changing, moving but unlike the weather patterns that we cannot hold onto, we do ,as human beings hold on to mind patterns like a steel cage with locks on it.
We are in a 3 week period astrologically called Mercury retrograde that began yesterday in conjunction with this New Moon in Taurus and will continue until June 11. The theme with these energies is it's a time to revisit , reexamine and reflect on issues related to our physical health , our relationship with our physical home including the larger context of this planet earth and most powerfully we are being invited to give our mental habits a scrubbing. A time to uproot old thought and emotional patterns that no longer reflect the person we have evolved to be today but really reflect the conditioned past we have been subjected to.
One of the best ways to give your mind a super scrub is to meditate daily. This process of simply getting still for 10-20 minutes a day, observing your breath and allowing the mind stuff to arise and fall like waves on the ocean , without grasping or avoiding, just being present, this in fact serves to release repetitive patterns from our mind that largely operate from the subconscious realm.
These patterns can have quite a potent momentum built into them depending on how often we engage with them. This includes judgements, all fear based thoughts and emotions, angry reactive thoughts and emotions, worry and anxiety. Any thought pattern that results in you feeling small, contracted and separated from your Higher Self is up for a scrub in the next 3 weeks.
Simple questions: Does this thought pattern serve me? Does it reflect the essence of who and what I truly am? Does it nourish me or drain me? If they answer to any of these inquiries is NO, then practice letting go of this habit. Acknowledge it when it arises, take a breath, pause (this is the practice part to stall the momentum built into our thought habits) and exhale.
Practice being still instead of knee jerk into a reactive thought or emotion. Practice actually sitting with the energetic experience those thoughts and emotions evoke rather than firing them out in forms of words and behaviors. Let the energy of your emotions be the messengers they are meant to be, to reflect , feel and allow what may be blocking you from your own clarity. In this digital age of instant messaging, instagram, messages sent around the world in seconds, we would all benefit from pulling back in our own habits of communicating to take a breath and ask, Is this in alignment with my truth?
This is an amazing New Moon time to really grow into our next level of conscious awareness and alignment with what is truly what we are. LOVE. LIGHT, HONESTY, AUTHENTICITY, TRUTH.
It all begins with a potent pause.....
NAMASTE & BLESSINGS FOR An awakening day!
Anne Christine

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH # 14 Connecting with Infinity By Standing Still

Blog Post from Anne Townend-Duffey :Director Opening Lotus Yoga
Connecting to the Infinite By Standing Still
It's Spring time galore here in central Mass. All of the trees, flowers and grasses are pollinating and blooming at once after a very stalled start. Pollen is literally raining down on all and creating some misery for those with allergies. Fortunately I have only had a slight reaction.
On my walk today a hawk was swooping between trees about 30 feet in front of me and continued to do that for 5 min or so, walking with me in a way. It was quite exciting. At one point she landed on the ground not more than 15 feet in front of my dog and I then quietly took off.
The hawk inspired me to practice OSHO's teaching of stopping every few minutes and just be still for 30 seconds. To just stop and be still and take in what your senses are sensing. To practice flexing your awareness muscle. We are so inundated with information overload that a teaching asking us to just stop and be still can seem ridiculous but try it. Notice what you are missing by buzzing by distracted and focused on anything but the moment at hand.
I noticed when you do stop and just become still and take in what you are sensing, your awareness of your awareness expands. You reconnect with the energetic pulse of consciousness that holds everything in this thing we call life. Very soon you realize that your ideas of who you are compared to the truth of what you are , are very small and contracted.
When we invest in our egos as the total sum of identity, we seal an unconscious deal to live in the contracted realm of 'emotions and commotion , drama and trauma' as my kundalini teacher refers to the egoic version of life. These cycles of conditioned experiences run like a broken record creating significant momentum which becomes the default setting for living a fairly unconscious life that is prone to struggles and suffering. The Buddhist teaching refer to this human condition as being 'caught in mind'.
 It takes a strong commitment to a daily practice to create an alternative energy that can deconstruct the egos head wind and allow a deeper connection to our innate awareness to emerge and be experienced not as theory but as an energetic knowing. In this practice we come to realize that our egos are here to serve our Souls, not the other way around. 
When we exercise an intention to practice expanding our capacity to elevate our consciousness above egoic identity, the whole universe reveals itself through us, AS us. By practicing pausing and being still for 30 seconds, multiple times a day, you open the door to infinity. You open the door to your True Self which is one with Source, the energy of all creation. You open the door to your Soul.
Springtime is such a beautiful time to stop, pause and be still. Look around! Mother Earth is putting on an extravaganza of beauty, color, scent and sights for us to experience. I hope you are present for it.
Namaste & Blessings for many moments of Being still.
Anne Christine

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH # 13 Blog Post from Anne Christine -Director of Opening Lotus Yoga & Center for Spiritual Growth; DEEP LISTENING
Namaste All... What an energetic time this past week has been with this Full Scorpio moon! This is a time of emotional shadows coming into the light of day but the experience is anything but comfy and cozy. If you have felt sleepless, anxious or just a bit on edge the past week, welcome to the the Scorpio Scrub. What has been hidden is now arising for our benefit to release.
Each wednesday when I contemplate what to share in this space I just let my intuition guide me on what wants to be voiced. That process of tuning in and inner listening is the key to tapping into what my Spirit wants to share through me.
Today I felt the topic of DEEP LISTENING. Now I have to make a disclaimer right off the bat here. I have been known to have the Celtic 'gift of gab' and tell a good story and love to socially be verbally active , so this DEEP LISTENING practice is by far nothing I have mastered. Its a daily invite to get still, go in and be present. In fact, one of the most powerful intuitive guidances I received many years ago was from the Bodhisattva called Quan Yin and her name translates into: ' She who hears the tears of the world'. Her love and compassion are so deep and encompassing. Quan Yin and her Sister Goddesses Tara, Mother Mary, all the Divine Feminine Compassion Mothers resonate with this gift. They are the inspiration for why I opened Opening Lotus Yoga ,12 years ago.
As a matter of fact, right now I would say DEEP LISTENING is my most challenging and potent practice I am engaging with. Why? Have we all lost the skill to listen well internally and externally? I would say yes. We live with a tsunami level of information flowing all the time and most folks in my teaching experience do not meditate regularly as a tool to quiet that info overload and access the deep everpresent space of awareness that is always here.
It's just that 'we' ,our consciousness is not here. To sum it up there is a lot of noise generated in both our inner world and the outer. If I cannot regularly cultivate the ability to DEEPLY LISTEN, I miss the portal to my inner Divine . that door might be nailed shut. I miss the subtlety in which Spirit communicates . I miss the chance to know my deeper truths and the saddest consequence is ,I really miss being fully present to my life. This is no small thing.
Listening is the other half of communication. Listening is the capacity to receive, first your own experience and then others. Listening is the sign that we are present in this moment just as it is. We are not reflexively darting off to some story about the past or catapulting out of the here and now into some future 'what if' thread. Either way, going into the past or hurdling to some unknown future scenario results in being hijacked by the ego out of your life in this moment and this moment is really where life is.
Ask yourself.. would your closest family and friends describe you as a good listener or not? Usually in a group of people there are one or two that are naturally good listeners and we love those folks don't we? We love to feel heard and understood without others spinning their story about themselves. How selfless to be a good listener! DEEP LISTENERS listen with their hearts. They use the power of their presence as experienced through their open hearts. At the heart level we are universally all singing the same song. We all want to be seen, heard, understood , accepted and loved.
How do we develop that capacity to be more present to others? As always, these skills always begin on the inside, Begin by listening deeply to yourself. Get still for some time everyday, Meditate or just sit quietly and practice being present.When you deeply attune and nourish your inner life, you naturally radiate that presence out to the outer world. Its a given.
Here is one way to approach this practice of DEEP LISTENING
 L=  Look Within
 I =  Inter-View
S = Stillness is Sacred Space
T = Transformation Territory
 E = Enlighten
 N = No One Ever Complained of Someone Listening Too Much:)
May today inspire you to tap into the other 50% of communication, to listen within and expand that presence to all around you.
" When you talk you are repeating what you already know but when you listen you may learn something new." HH Dalai Lama
Namaste & Blessings for a DEEP LISTENING DAY
Please LIKE & SHARE with those you feel may enjoy.
Light and Love to You!
Anne Christine

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

SEEDS FOR SPIRIUTAL GROWTH # 12 Turning our Attention to Nepal,Tibet and India-Love What Matters

SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH # 12 A Blog Post from Anne Christine
Turn Your Hearts To Nepal , Tibet & India- Love What Matters
Greetings All. By now we have all heard and seen the images of the massive devastation of the Nepal earthquake and resulting loss of life, villages , temples and monasteries. This natural disaster, as all of them do, has impacted me strongly.
My first formal teachings into the practice of mindfulness and heart centered meditation was through teachings of HH Dalai Lama. My first mala (108 prayer beads) were carnelian, the stone of enriched heart, that also of His Holiness (unbeknownst to me decades ago)
All of the meditative motifs within Opening Lotus Yoga are from Nepal or India. The hand hammered singing bowls, the statues of Buddhas including Shakyamuni and Tara ,the Great Mother. The prayer flags and malas,symbols of what I feel is my spiritual ancestry. Symbols of the Divine within us all, the great heart of light and love. 
If a great disaster impacted my genealogical ancestral lands , in my case Ireland and England, I would feel a cellular bond of loss along with those that live there. I feel the same way with this loss in  Nepal and  the northern Himalayan region. I feel my spiritual ancestry lineage has been shaken deeply. The lands that birthed the spiritual teachers and temples and monasteries that have illuminated billions of people for thousands of years has been devastatingly  damaged or destroyed. I feel in my heart the pain and suffering of this disaster.
What is one to do when faced with massive loss of life and in this region a thousand years of temples destroyed. The ego may say turn away. Its not your problem or concern. The ego may get on with its multitude of daily distractions. The Spirit will turn towards the pain and suffering.  As the Buddha taught, 'Suffering is the Path.' Through suffering our hearts open into compassion and love.
 Pema Chodron another beloved teacher of Tibetan Buddhism has asked that we practice Tonglen, or the compassion meditation of exchange. This is a powerful and tangible practice to send healing energy to this region.  Breathe in to your heart center the pain, the anguish , the terror of those affected by this quake,see that energy as dark, smoky or heavy then exhale sending out a rainbow band of light and love. Your spiritual heart center like a diamond , the jewel in the lotus has the power to transform darkness into light. Through our open hearts we have the power to shift energy from pain, to support, from fear to trust, from hopelessness to faith and promise.
In addition to the power of prayer and meditation ,please please contribute to one of the many reputable organizations that are providing relief work in the region . Think of creative ways you can raise some funds to donate . Skip going out to a movie or dinner this week and donate those funds. We have so much materials largess in this country , the contrast can feel ludicrous compared to what the Nepal, and Northern Himalayan regions are suffering with. This is when the energy of financials will really matter to getting assistance on the ground for months and years to come.
Take pause to be grateful for what really matters in your life. Is it your job, your possessions, your latest vacation? Or is it your life, your loved ones, Mother Nature and your connection to your spiritual truth that really matter. Love what matters. This is the deeper lesson we can all benefit from when we witness massive loss. Love what matters.
Namaste & Blessings of Light and Love
Anne Christine

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Seeds for Spiritual Growth : Blog # 11 By Anne Christine of Opening Lotus Yoga- LOVE YO MOMMA!

SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH # 11 a Blog post from Anne Christine of Opening Lotus Yoga
Greetings All. The sun is peeking out today revealing the new green of the grass . The last of our snow piles has melted and  our much awaited Spring is ready to burst forth here in MA. The eternal rhythm of nature pulses on.
Before you glaze over and pass on another Earth Day post, please take a moment right now to sit down on the floor, the earth, the grass  a stone or a tree and bow your head and heart to your Divine Mother, Lady Gaia, Mother Earth. She begs for our hearts to hear her. She holds us from the moment we take our first breath to the moment we release our last breath. She cries for the end to the horrific imbalances impacting the natural world, our waters, air, forests, mountains and all of the animal kingdom, our relatives. There is no separation . That is Divine Truth. To the degree we use and misuse the resources of this planet is to the degree we survive or die. Thriving is only possible when we close the gap of misperception between Mother Earth as some entity separate from us. She is us. We are her. We are one.
Today, pause, breathe your next breath with the gratitude that its available and perhaps even clean where you live. Hold an intention that all have access to clean air and water. Pause, then the next step you take to recognize you walk on the Great Mother's body, you are nourished by her resources, you are supported by her gravitational field.
Take a precious moment and bow your head and heart upon this sacred Earth today and strive deeply to live in alignment that She is You and You are Her. We are One. Live as you are One with the Great Mother. Let every choice you make honor that truth. You are One with the Great Mother.
Namaste and Blessings for recognizing this sacred Truth.
Love and Light
Anne Christine

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH # 10 Breathing In I Nourish~ Breathing Out I Cleanse

SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH # 10 A Blog Post From Anne Christine
Greetings and Namaste All. Spring weather has FINALLY arrived here in central MA after what has been a super demanding and exhaustingly tough winter. The sun is out, the temperatures are rising and we all feel our bones thawing out! I woke up this morning with this deep appreciation for the cool breeze that was coming in my window. YES, I have the windows open, another sure harbinger of Spring!
In the yogic tradition it is said our first meal of the day is Prana. The life force that animates us and is moved through our breathing. The second meal is water & deep hydration, the third meal is sadhana or your daily yogic spiritual practice and your 4th meal is food.
When you begin to connect to the vast power of your breath and the moving of prana in and circulating its animating energy throughout your body, you will never take your breath for granted again!
Ironically most yoga students I teach come in with imbalanced, stress response breath patterns  learned over time, that are the root of many of their challenges from fatigue, insomnia, GI imbalances, aches and pains, stiffness , mood imbalances and more. A stress response breath pattern is breathing high in your upper chest or up in your collar bones. This pattern of shallow breathing only has a 10-15 % breath capacity , consequently when we chronically breathe this way, we are literally suffocating our system. The belly breath is 65 % of your breath capacity!
When we consciously breathe deeply into our belly's our diaphragm muscle ,just beneath our lower ribs, moves down toward your abdomen, thus the belly pushes out. The prana is also being moved in a downward motion to the base of your spine. This is called apana prana or the downward movement. It energetically connects us to our root chakra, the energy center that when balanced gives us a sense of ground, centering, safety and well being.
When we exhale completely ( and I mention completely) as most of us have unconsciously been exhaling incompletely thus not moving toxins out efficiently, when we do exhale completely, the diaphragm muscle moves up into out lower lobes of our lungs and pushes the exhale up and out and moves the prana up and out.
This is called the Prana Vayu or the upward motion of life force. So in once complete conscious breath you oxygenate your system, you expel toxins, you connect prana flow to your central channel along your spine activating your subtle body and you awaken your body~ mind. This is why the yogis call the Breath or Prana flow as your first meal.
So today, take some breathing breaks. Relax , take a deep belly breath in to the count of 4 or 5, and exhale completely to the same count. Do this a few times and notice with each inhale you nourish your system on all levels and on each exhale your cleanse your system on all levels. Notice how you feel after just one minute of conscious diaphragmatic breathing ! 
If you want to go deeper, commit to a daily meditation of breathing fully 5 min, in the morning and 5 minutes at night for one month. You will be surprised at all the benefits!
Happy Spring and please take this practice as your daily self care. Its the simplest and yet one of the most powerful tools we have to shift our health towards our innate wholeness.
Namaste and Blessings for A Beautiful Week!
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Love & Light
Anne Christine

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Seeds for Spiritual Growth #9 Living Your Karmas or Living your Dharma

SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH # 9 : A Blog Post by Anne Christine
Living Your Karmas or Living your Dharma
A clarity point. A yogi Jai Dev Singh whom I follow gave a teaching during the amrit hour of the eclipse last saturday and one line he shared that has just resonated in my awareness was this." Live your Dharma and not your Karmas. "

When we make that powerful step to live in alignment with our truth, our authenticity ,our deepest love, we are living our Dharma. We begin to be an expression of the real reason we incarnated on this planet in the first place to share our unique sacred gift that no one else can deliver.
When we are caught in our minds or emotions or the billions of ways ego can trip us up, we are living our karmas and creating more karma every day by the repetitive patterns, our causality or dualities of separation from Spirit. This is the true source of suffering, believing you are anything less than Divine!
The recent solar and lunar eclipse cycle has really brought this to my attention and last week has been a deep shaking up and out of the shadows, the karmic patterns that have ruled my underworld. They are bubbling up, in some cases exploding up in all forms, energy, hot , cold, physical symptoms , dreams and more. The fact that this powerful eclipse occurred in sync with Passover, the Crucifixtion and Resurrection of Christ Consciousness makes it all the more powerful . We all need to die to what is not serving us as to ascend to the Higher truth of who we are and what the real purpose of our lives is.
April will continue to be a month of shifting, of ups and downs or openings and closings, of progressions and regressions. It's all moving us to be present, let go, stay grounded, allow the old energies to release and open to the new heightened aspect of your true self. As we release our karmas, we align with our Dharma. The butterfly is preparing to emerge from her cocoon!
On Sat. eclipse day the weather finally turned above 50 degrees here for the first time since Dec. I was leaving the grocery store, feeling overheated in my fleece. As I got to my car, I noticed this young guy peeling off a heavy red sweatshirt. I said to him" its so nice we can let go of some layers". He smiled (works for a landscaping company) and said " Yes I started out this morning with 3 sweatshirts on, now I am down to one!" Then he said with a big smile " Have a wonderful day! Isn't that what we are all doing, peeling off one heavy "sweat" shirt at a time,thats no longer needed.
Namaste & Blessings for a Beautiful Week!
Anne Christine

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Seeds for Spiritual Growth # 8 Surrendering Your Spiritual Ego

SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH #8 Blog from Anne Christine
Surrendering your Spiritual Ego. Its for your Higher Good.

This is a really intense time traveling between these two eclipses, the Solar on March 20 and the upcoming Lunar on April 4. The metaphor is that of crossing over a rope bridge high above a canyon, swaying precariously in the wind, holding onto the ropes and wondering how the heck are you going to get over to the other side! If you are feeling wired, tired, and dizzy, the last few weeks, this is the energetic calling card of this time of transformation.
This Eclipse alignment is putting a powerful punch for us to examine our shadows, our unconscious ways of holding onto what does not serve us be it thoughts and beliefs, or actions and relationships. What are we attached to out of fear? This lunar eclipse is magnifying our emotional body so another reason we can feel a bit adrift off course.
We are all being pointed in the direction of crossing this wobbly bridge and it can feel like life and death. Why? Because we are being initiated into a deeper truth of our Being and in order to emerge into that, we have to be willing to let go of the false sense of self ,especially what can show up as the 'spiritual self'. That tendency to band aid all your pain and disharmony with false affirmations of being in the light and love and' keepin' it positive'. There is nothing more painful than  to witness someone wallpapering their pain with false optimism.
This is a time where false actions will be met with individual and collective discomfort... that can mean pain. Pain will point to where we are hiding out behind our beliefs, projections and shadows. Getting real and honest is not always a natural direction we may choose, We may have lived decades with alot of false ideas of who we think we are. At this time, in this super strong ,planetary evolutionary shift, only honesty will do. Nothing less. We must die to our smallness, our fears, our mistrusts, our unconsciousness.
Each step we take over this bridge from that of ego to that of authentic spiritual embodiment, in order to take the next step, something has to drop off . Death and renewal and resurrection. Another potent timing of Passover and Easter coinciding with this eclipse cycle.
The good news is that we are not journeying alone. We are held every step of the way with our Divine Source, whether you call her God, Divine, Consciousness or Roxann! She is here, urging us to release all fears to her and trust she will guide you on what the next inspired step needs to be. Trust. Scary word for many. Are you willing to truly trust in the mystery of your own Being? This profound time we are in calls for nothing less.This is a powerful time to release all your doubts and fears to Source. Prayers of offering are powerful.
Blessings and Peace to you as we navigate inward and forward.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH - Blog # 7 Spring Cleaning Your Body Temple

SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH- # 7 Blog from Anne Christine Spring Cleaning Your Body Temple
Greetings All. The bright sun is helping to continue the snow melt. Some patches of brown earth are peeking out after months of being hidden from view. Signs of Spring are slowly making themselves known. As the snow melts and the water element rises we move into Kapha season of Spring.
Kapha is an ayurvedic ( the medical sister science of yoga) term that means earth and water elements. In the season of Spring , earth and water elements are dominant. If we are imbalanced heading into spring from a demanding winter, a weakened immune system and feeling sluggish and fatigued, our earth and water elements may indeed combine to make mud and result in lethargy, depression, heaviness of body and mind and increase in congestion. Seasonal allergies are often the result. What to do?
Consider a Spring Seasonal Cleanse. Take a few weeks to reduce all inflammatory foods out of your diet including sugar, caffeine, dairy, wheat, nuts and animal protein. Add in lots of spring greens and liver cleansing veggies like beets to your diet.
Drink lots of warm lemon water, move your body in gentle stretching and walks in nature. Get to bed early and help your body get back into the natural rhythm of nature. Unplug and limit your screen time and use that time for practicing meditation daily for 5-10 min. Your body will respond with a natural release of held toxins from your fat tissues, you will feel lighter, brighter, more energized and inspired in sync with the wonderful rising energy of Spring itself. 

Our physical body's are the temples of our souls. One question to ask , am I treating my body like a sacred temple or like a trash can overloading it with a low prana diet, dwelling in patterns of negativity and inactivity ? Everything we take in through our senses and through our mouths either adds to our vibrancy or adds to our dullness. Choose Vibrancy.
If you would like some excellent guidance on this, I will be offering our Spring Seasonal Detox ,4 week course: Clear & Clarify your Life Force Beginning Monday April 6, 7:15-9pm.
There is an early bird $50 savings if you enroll by March 30.
In four weeks you will have some powerful ayurvedic wellness tools to help reclaim your Body Temple and optimize your energy, balance your weight and moods, and activate clarity with your connection to your innate life force intelligence! You also receive passes to attend 3 gentle yoga classes or one private yoga session with me to optimize your success !This is Spring cleaning of the highest order.
You can access the full course details at the
" Live is the dancer and we are the dance!" Eckhart Tolle
Namaste & Blessings for a Beautiful Day !
Anne Christine

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH # 6. This Planet is In Labor & Delivery.. What Are You Ready to Give Birth To?

SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH - # 6 Blog by Anne Christine
This Planet is in Labor & Delivery Right Now ! What Are You Ready to Give Birth To?

Greetings all.! What an off the charts phenomenal, astrological, cosmic week this week! Even if you do not follow the guidance of astrology, you cannot help but notice what is lining up this week in unprecedented fashion. We are moving into an evolutionary leap that we have not witnessed before. This planet is in labor and delivery and something magnificent is pulsating to be born into our collective consciousness and expressed individually by our own unique creative expressions.

Here is the line up. Monday completed the 7th square between the two planets Uranus & Pluto over the past 2 1/2 years. These squares have served to apply pressure to bring awareness to us all what needs to be released in our lives. To become quite clear what is no longer serving us and actually inhibiting us moving into a deeper, more authentic and honest expression of who we really are and what are Dharmic mission is here on earth.
Today we enter a super New Moon phase which is about completions or ending of our current cycle of consciousness and friday we have the vernal equinox paired within an hour of a solar eclipse!

What does this all mean? We literally are being guided to give birth to a higher aspect of our True Self. The best thing we can do over the next few days is go into some seclusion time and meditate as there will be potent opening as this solar eclipse moves in , which will open a channel for all of us to receive deeper guidance on what needs to be expressed through us. The clarity and guidance we may have spent decades searching for in terms of knowing what our deeper purpose is, what our unique path is to bring our gifts into this world, that opportunity to connect to deep wisdom is upon us now! If you want to tap in, you've got to get still and listen in meditation.

What are you still holding on to that is weighing you down? This is a time of birthing . What is ready to be born within you? This is the BEST TIME to get grounded, centered and quiet to tap into this powerful time of wisdom transmission and the best way to be open to this energetic current is to practice gratitude for all you have been through thus far in your life, good , bad or neutral, because it has all served to shape this moment in time when the eternal realm will penetrate the temporal realm we live in of time and space.

 This is a powerful window opening for humanity and this planet. Don't miss it! Create a ritual of release of what is old and ready to go and create the space to receive by clearing out material clutter and  getting quiet and still in the next few days. The best time to set your intentions for the new energy is Sunday to Monday after the eclipse takes place. These intentions will have potency for the next 5-6 months so be clear about them.

Namaste & Blessings to you all as we welcome Spring and we open to a powerful opportunity to embody a deeper level of Light and Love of who we really are.
" Dream it,, See it. Bring it and GIVE IT!"
Anne Christine