Tag Archives: peace

Writing and Yoga

author03Writing and Yoga

It takes courage, discipline, and perseverance to write. As I write, there is a duplicitous, imaginary critic peering over my shoulder chastising me for using the wrong grammar, not rewriting immediately, and any number of other things. We are encouraged to block out that inner critic, but to no avail. That inner critic hates that I stifle it and summon it whimsically.

Yesterday, I read an article by  Jen Grisanti entitled Writing and Yoga. When I first read this article I was floored because I am a Yoga fanatic. After I thought about it, since I’ve been practicing and teaching Yoga, I haven’t fought with my inner critic. I don’t beat the critic away with a stick to concentrate. That critic is tucked away until I summon it. And I cannot pinpoint the day that I took control over my inner critic instead of my inner critic controlling me, but I know that Yoga was an accomplice.

Tree Pose

Yoga helps me in so many ways that I cannot list them all. Yoga and writing go hand-in-hand. When I practice Yoga, I focus, concentrate, and center. Yoga is a mental exercise in self and body awareness and balance. Through breathing (prayana), the body and mind connect, and this state-of-mind does not go away after my practice is complete. Sun Salutations stimulate and warm the body (among other things) and balancing poses, such as Eagle, Warrior III, and Tree Poses, help you to balance, focus, and be in the moment. Balance is very important in Yoga. For every pose (asana) there is a counter pose. If you do something on the right, you must do it on the left too. Focusing and balancing help me to grab one thought at a time, deal with it, and move on to the next thought. I reach inside of myself and literally pull my creativity out, mentally, as I am meditating after Yoga.

So when I sit down to write, my creativity is stimulated, alive, and vibrant,100_2534 (2) coaxing confidence. I can focus on one thought at a time, I’m peaceful and calm, and my mind is lucid. I accept where I am at the moment and embrace my limitations. I am patient with myself. This focusing, balance, acceptance, and patience blankets me as I sit at my keyboard and escape into my plot, allowing my characters to live and breath through my fingers.

If you are a writer, embracing Yoga can enhance your  creativity and writing as well as your mental, physical, and emotional dexterity. I would love a Yoga/Writer retreat.

Namaste & Happy Writing,
Trina

© 2009 KaTrina Love Abram

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Daily Inspiration 09/04/09

Your Appointed Time

“For the vision is yet for an appointed time…though it tarry, wait for it”
(Habakkuk 2:3 KJV)

from Joel and Victoria

God has an appointed time to fulfill the visions, dreams, and desires in your heart. Just because it has taken a long time or because you’ve tried and failed, doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen. Don’t give up on those dreams! Don’t be complacent about pursuing what God has placed in your heart. Our God is a faithful God. No matter how long it’s been, no matter how impossible things looks, if you’ll stay in faith, your appointed time is coming.

Remember, every dream that’s in your heart, every promise that has taken root, God put it in there. And not only that, but He has every intention of bringing it to pass. Hold on to that vision today by declaring, “My time is coming. God is working behind the scenes on my behalf. I will fulfill my destiny!” As you continue to hold on to that vision and speak life over your dreams, you’ll see them begin to take shape. You’ll see your faith grow, you’ll see your hope strengthen, and you’ll see yourself step into the destiny God has prepared for you!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

“Father in heaven, I receive Your truth today. I receive Your promises today. I ask that You ignite my heart with Your holy fire so that I can pursue Your perfect plan for my life. Make my thoughts and words agreeable to Your will. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

Daily Inspiration 09/02/09

Determining Your Day in the Morning Part 2PraisingGod

Yesterday, we talked about how to think positive thoughts, say positive affirmations, and praise God first thing in the morning to start your day right. But how do you keep your day going right with pressures of work, business of chauffering kids around, helping your spouse, walking the dog, running errands, and dealing with others whose day might have started out bad, and they are taking it out on the world?

The answer is Self-control! We cannot allow other people to dictate our state of mind and the direction of our day. You can control your reactions to others, but you cannot control them. You can control how others’ actions and words affect you, but you cannot control what others say or do.

readingbibleIn addition to praising God first thing in the morning, thinking good thoughts, and saying affirmations, I also pray and read encouraging verses in the Bible that I repeat throughout the day. I read the passages that tell me how to deal with others and treat others. If you don’t have time to sit down and actually read, write or type the passages, print them out, and put them up where you can see them. I have passages on the bathroom and bedroom mirrors, on my computer monitor, and on my bulletin board. Every where I turn, God’s word is staring at me, reminding me.

I also stretch, do some Yoga, and take some quiet time for myself before the house awakens and needs me. Some of you might have kids and leave your home for work. You can get up an hour earlier than everyone else to take some time for yourself, or as you drive to work, listen to the Bible on CD or tape, listen to a message from the many tapes and CDs that are available to order, and pray as you drive to work. Instead of listening to the news, traffic, or the local radio announcer every morning or all morning during your drive, carve out sometime to spend with God, and you two map out your successful day.

balancedlife02It might seem like you don’t have the time or energy to insert some of these actions into your life, but everything is about balance. Regardless of your responsibilities and tasks, you still have to care for yourself, which includes spending time with God and exercising.

Many Blessings,
Trina

Daily Inspiration: Lifebook 2009

A friend of mine forwarded these tips to me in an e-mail, and I wanted to pass it on to you as well.

Many Blessings,
Trina

LIFEBOOK 2009

Health:

1. Drink plenty of water
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants, and eat less food that is
manufactured in plants
4. Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy
5. Make time for prayer
6. Play more games
7. Read more books than you did in 2008
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9. Sleep for 7 hours
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk every day —- and while you walk, smile

Personality:

11. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about
12. Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control; instead, invest yourenergy in the positive present moment.
13. Don’t over do; keep your limits
14. Don’t take yourself so seriously; no one else does
15. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip
16. Dream more while you are awake
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need
18. Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the  past. That will ruin your present happiness
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others
20. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime
23. Smile and laugh more
24. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree

Community:

25. Call your family often
26. Each day give something good to others
27. Forgive everyone for everything
28. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day
30. What other people think of you is none of your business
31. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your family and friends will. Stay in touch

Life:

32. Do the right things
33. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful
34. GOD heals everything
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up
37. The best is yet to come
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy

Last but not the least :

40. Do forward this link to everyone you care about.

Daily Inspiration 08/28/09

Lately, I’ve listened to Gloria Copeland a lot, and I like what she’s saying. Things could certainly be much better in our lives today,  but I know that God is in control of everything. He has the power to change circumstances in an instant. And while we are in our trials, which we all have at some time or another, the enemy will tell lots of lies about what God can and cannot do. But the enemy is a liar. We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength! We are victorious in the Lord! God already overcame the World. Thanks be to God who always leads us into triumphal procession. So chin up folks. It may look like you are in an ocean with no land in sight, but God is sending your help from the sky…not the Earth.

Not of this World
By Gloria Copeland

“Whatever is born of God is victorious over the world; and this is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith.”
(1 John 5:4)

Years ago the devil started a rumor. He told a few Christians that as long as they lived in the world, they had to suffer as the world did. He told them they had to share the diseases and the defeat, the poverty and the failure of those around them.

It was a crafty lie–and it worked. Believers accepted it and began to spread it among themselves. You may have even heard it yourself. If so, I want to help you put that rumor to rest today. I want to help you get the facts straight once and for all.

You see, despite what you may have heard, health, prosperity and victorious living aren’t concepts some comfort-hungry believer selfishly dreamed up. They are God’s ideas.

You may say, “That sounds good, Gloria, but we’ve got to be realistic. We live in a world that’s full of problems. And as long as we live in this world, it seems to me we’re going to have our share.”

Yes, that’s true. Even Jesus said, “In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration.” But notice, He didn’t stop there! He went on to say, “But be of good cheer– take courage, be confident, certain, undaunted–for I have overcome the world.– I have deprived it of power to harm, have conquered it [for you]” (John 16:33, The Amplified Bible).

Most believers don’t have any trouble believing the first part of that verse. They know all too well how many tribulations, trials, distresses, and frustrations surround them. But they’re less certain about the last part. They haven’t yet experienced for themselves exactly what Jesus meant when He said He had deprived those things of power to harm them.

Why not?

Because they’re still living as though they’re part of the world.

But, listen. Jesus said you and I are to be “sanctified,” or separated from the evils of this world. How? Through the Word of God! (John 17:17).

The Word of God will separate you from the world. His Word will set His dream for victory into motion in your life. If you’ll receive it and believe it, speak it and act on it, that Word will set you apart from those around you. It will take you from trouble to triumph again and again.

Scripture Study:  John 17:1-17

Writing and Yoga

author03When I first read this article I was floored because I am an avid writer and fanatic yogi. Yoga helps me in so many ways that it’s hard to list them all. Yoga and writing go hand-in-hand. While I’m doing my Yoga practice, I am focusing, concentrating, and centering, and this state-of-mind does not go away after my practice is complete. So when I sit down to write, my thoughts are clear, I can focus on one thought at a time, and I’m peaceful and calm. If you are a writer, embracing Yoga can only enhance your  creativity and writing. I’m going to be looking for a Yoga/Writer retreat. Jen, the author of the following article, had one last weekend.

Writing and Yoga

By Jen Grisanti

Do these two practices mix? I believe that they do. As a Career Strategist for Writers and a Story Consultant, my belief is that the stronger you are inside and the more access you have to your story, the stronger you are on the page. Writers who do the emotional and spiritual work are often stronger in their creative endeavors. Of course, there is a stereotype that the best writers have addictions to drugs and alcohol. After 17 years of working in the entertainment business, I have found the opposite to be true. The writers I enjoyed working with the most and who showed the strongest talent on the page lived normal lives and were committed to having healthy lifestyles. Writing takes courage. Clarity is an important ingredient in being able to feel free to express yourself. If you do theexercise emotional work that is needed to process the events in your life, expression becomes more accessible and strengthens your value on the page.

What is the best way to gain clarity? Yoga is one way to do this work. Doing yoga allows you to go inside yourself and be an observer of your emotions. Just as with writing, with yoga you have your days when you’re completely on and feel like you can do anything and you have your days when your balance is all off. It reflects what life is. The beauty of yoga is that the more that you do it, the better you get. This is the same with writing. The more scripts you write, the deeper you go with your craft. As you become more self aware, your confidence grows and your connection to your emotions surfaces, giving you more to draw from in your writing.

SidePlankIn one of my favorite movies, The Lives of Others, they explore the idea of loyalty in depth. Do we owe more loyalty to our significant other or to ourself? Is our love for what we do more important than the love we feel for each other? Another movie that goes to powerful emotional levels is Frost/Nixon. The film questions how we can recover when we’ve fallen from the pedestal. How do you get success back? I applaud both movies for not just exploring the surface of life but for fleshing out and dissecting the choices that we make and the repercussions that follow. It is the willingness to explore story without fear that truly connects the audience.

I encourage writers to do yoga or any other routine that gives them the time and the means to connect with their self.

As a way to support her belief, Jen had her first Writer/Yoga Retreat and one day Storywise Seminar in Oahu August 18th – 23. Although the dates passed, you can still check out her podcasts and interviews with authors at the site http://www.jengrisanticonsultancy.com, and look under Events and Seminars.

Yoga: Sun Salutations Part 1

SunSalGrupThis week, I want to give you a variety of Sun Salutation vinyasas. You can adapt Sun Salutations to suit your mood, energy level, or available time, and let your practice shine. This first series is from Richard Rosen at Yoga Journal.

Sun Salutation is a series of postures that warms, strengthens, and aligns the entire body. It’s serves as an all-purpose yoga tool, kind of like a hammer that’s also a saw and a screwdriver, if you can imagine such a thing.

This sequence might be considered the classic one, but there are so many variations that many modern schools would dispute this. You can alter this particular Sun Salutation by playing with its pace. If you move through the sequence rapidly (by transitioning into the next pose each time you inhale or exhale), you’ll warm up fairly quickly. Start with 5 or 6 repetitions and gradually build to 12 or more or set a timer starting with 3 minutes and gradually increase to 10 or more.

Alternately, try moving slowly and deliberately, and you’ll feel how the sequence becomes a sort of moving meditation. As you practice this way, center your awareness at some point in your body (such as your third eye or your heart) and challenge yourself to keep focusing there for the duration of the practice.

Moving quickly is more stimulating, while moving slowly is more calming. Whichever way you do it, the sequence can serve as either a self-contained minipractice on days when your practice time is short or a warm-up for a longer session.

Before You Begin

*Disclaimer: As with any exercise regimen, consult your doctor or physician before you start. Injuries can occur if you do not  have a licensed instructor present when you do these poses, especially for the first time. Leisure Living, it’s contributors, or listed resources are not responsible for any injuries. Remember to always listen to your body. Yoga isn’t about straining or pain. Also, match your breath with the poses to get the maximum effect.

The following information is taken from an article at www.yogajournal.com
WARM UP
Stand in Mountain Pose with your palms pressed together in Salutation Seal. Focus for a few minutes on the inner sun at your heart, which is the microcosmic equivalent of the outer sun at the heart of our solar system. Your inner sun represents the light of consciousness, without which nothing would exist—just as our physical world wouldn’t exist without the sun. This inner sun is often compared with the embodied Self, the jivatman or “liberated being.” You might dedicate your practice to this light.

If Sun Salutations are your warm-up for a general practice, move slowly and consciously, gradually building heat. If Sun Salutations are your whole practice, do a 2- to 5-minute Downward Dog as a warm-up.

1. Mountain Pose:  Stand with your feet slightly apart and parallel to each other. Stretch your arms (but not rigidly) down alongside your torso, palms turned out, shoulders released.
2. Upward Salute:  Inhale and sweep your arms overhead in wide arcs. If your shoulders are tight, keep your hands apart and gaze straight ahead. Otherwise, bring your palms together, drop your head back, and gaze up at your thumbs.
3. Standing Forward Bend:   Exhaling, release your arms in wide arcs as you fold forward. Bend your knees if you feel pressure on your lower back and support your hands on blocks if they don’t reach the floor. Release your neck so that your head hangs heavily from your upper spine. 
4. Half Standing Forward Bend:  Inhale and push your fingertips down into the floor, straighten your elbows, then lift your front torso away from your thighs. Lengthen the front of your torso as you arch evenly along the entire length of your spine.
5. High Lunge:  Exhale and step your right foot back into a lunge. Center your left knee over the heel so that your shin is perpendicular to the floor, and bring your left thigh parallel to the floor. Firm your tailbone against your pelvis and press your right thigh up against the resistance. Inhale, reach back through your right heel. Lengthen the torso along the front of the left thigh. Look forward without strain.
6. Downward-Facing Dog Pose:  Exhale and step your left foot to Down Dog. Spread your palms and soles. Press the front of your thighs back as you press your inner hands firmly against the floor. Imagine that your torso is being stretched like a rubber band between the arms and legs.
7. Plank Pose:  Inhale and bring your torso forward until your shoulders are over your wrists. Your arms will be perpendicular to the floor. Try not to let your upper back collapse between the shoulder blades: press your outer arms inward, and then—against this resistance—spread your shoulder blades apart. Firm your tailbone against your pelvis and press your thighs up.
8. Four-Limbed Staff Pose:  Exhale as you bend your elbows and lower down to Chaturanga with your torso and legs parallel to the floor. Keep your shoulders lifted up, away from the floor, and down, away from your ears. Lift the thighs away from the floor, lengthen your tailbone toward your heels, and draw the lower ribs away from the floor to avoid collapsing your lower back. Look down at the floor or slightly forward. If you can’t maintain your alignment, place your knees on the floor until you have built more strength.
9. Upward-Facing Dog Pose:Inhale, straighten your arms, and sweep your chest forward into Up Dog. Keep your legs active, firm your tailbone toward your heels, and press your front thighs upward. Draw your shoulders away from your ears. Look straight ahead or look slightly upward.
10. Exhale back to Down Dog:  To finish the Sun Salutation, step the right foot forward into a Lunge, then inhale into Ardha Uttanasana and exhale into Uttanasana. Inhale into Urdhva Hastasana and exhale to Tadasana. Observe your body and breath. 
After You Finish

REST DEEPLY End by devoting at least 20 to 25 percent of your total practice time to Corpse Pose.

By Richard Rosen
www.yogajournal.com

*Disclaimer: As with any exercise regimen, consult your doctor or physician before you start. Make sure that you have adequate instructions about how to do these poses before you do them. Leisure Living, it’s contributors, or listed resources are not responsible for any injuries.