When the tough gets going…

Life is a gift, but we need to make the best out of it and when the tough gets going the strong will work harder to meet the challenge.

Remember if you already survive your challenging delivery and arrival experience the day you were born, then look at yourself in the mirror and repeat “I am resilient.” In other words that you are born with the gift of facing life’s chances and adversities with its required surviving skills.

Decision making is the process of making choices by identifying a decision, gathering information, and assessing alternative resolutions.

TIPS FOR MAKING DECISIONS

• Never make a decision when you are emotionally charged whether happy or sad.

Never make a decision when you are hungry.

Take at least 24 hours to make any big decision.

Never agree to something when you are not sure if it’s the right thing for you.

Do not allow yourself to be pressured into a decision.

Never make a decision based only on one factor.

Last but not least;

“Life is a ten percent what happens to us and ninety percent of how we respond to it.” -Charles Swindoll

Author:
Glenda Lee Santos; Humble Military and Yoga Warrior; Criminal Justice, BA; Holistic Practitioner with Foundation in Yoga and Ayurveda; Reiki Master; Spirit Guide Coach; Master Resilience Trainer.

How to hear during silence.

“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” -Ram Dass

What was meditation and Buddhist guru Ram Dass really implying?

The general goal of mindfulness and self-discovery is to quiet the endless parade of thoughts that march through our minds almost incessantly.

Self-discovery is extremely important when there is lack of grounding due to several events that during our lives, we have to face and react unexpectedly.

Also self-discovery provides support to develop resilience skills in order to deal with emotional trauma (when applicable) sometimes caused during childhood. Unfortunately it remains in the subconscious until another trauma or stressful routine triggers the mind and hence its resistance to deal with it.

Most of our errant thoughts are rooted in the past and future – thoughts of fear, fantasy, frustration, envy and regret.

Rarely are we completely rooted in the present moment. So when we learn how to control a phantom mind, through at least 15 minutes daily doing meditation, there will be multiple benefits that extend from the crown of our head all the way to our feet.

We connect with our breath and learn how to use it as a resource to pace the mind. People have gotten used to constantly talking, listening to television or music, or making noise in other ways. Creating noise just for the sake of noise will never let us understand the beauty of silence or appreciate the world around us.

Take 2 minutes and do nothing but listen, without talking or having any background noise, and you may be amazed at what you hear.

The sound of birds singing, insects buzzing, and all of the other noises that are going on are often overlooked because they are not clearly heard.

If you go into nature and you are silent you will find that nature can be quite noisy in a natural and appealing way.

The importance of silence is also a factor in relationships, because if you are always talking then you are not hearing what your partner is saying.

It is better to be silent and practice situational awareness, only speaking when this is necessary, so that you can truly hear what others are trying to tell you. Instead of standing in front of the person talking and instead of being present the mind is wondering somewhere else.

Last but not least;

“Meditate and let the light of the heart engulf you “ -G.C

Author:
Glenda Lee Santos; Humble Military and Yoga Warrior; Criminal Justice, BA; RYT-200 hrs; Holistic Practitioner with Foundation in Yoga and Ayurveda; Reiki Master; Spirit Guide Coach; Master Resilience Trainer.

How to be mentally strong.

In order to be mentally strong people, we need to recognize our tendency to develop certain patterns of self-sabotage thinking and behavior due to a belief” programming” we absorb from those around us during past experiences.

If this mental state stimulates unwanted anxiety and hurt (depending on the circumstances) we need to start doing something about it.

If we recognize that these old patterns of behavior are not working for us in our present we have the power to stop them from causing more harm than good.

Also accept that if we keep doing what we are always doing we will not be able to let go and move on towards a better state of positive thinking.

Below are some recommendations to improve mental strength:

• Don’t fear alone time.

• Don’t dwell on the past.

• Don’t feel the world owes you.

• Don’t expect immediate results.

• Don’t fear taking calculated risks.

• Don’t give up after the first failure.

• Don’t shy away from responsibilities.

• Don’t worry about pleasing everyone.

• Don’t resent on other people’s success.

• Don’t let others influence emotions

• Don’t waste time feeling sorry for yourself.

• Don’t waste energy on things you can’t control.

Last but not least;

“Your mind is a powerful weapon if you fill it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change in a positive way.”

Author:

Glenda Lee Santos; Humble Military and Yoga Warrior; Criminal Justice, BA; RYT-200 hrs; Holistic Practitioner with Foundation in Yoga and Ayurveda; Reiki Master; Spirit Guide Coach; Master Resilience Trainer.

How to improve your “Emotional Intelligence.”

Emotional intelligence is our capability to recognize our own emotions and those of others. This encourages the development of discernment between different feelings so we can label them appropriately. If we become able to structure our emotional information it will guide our thinking and behavior, towards easier transition into different type of environments facilitating us to achieve our goals.

While emotions are associated with bodily reactions that are activated through neurotransmitters and hormones released by the brain, feelings are the conscious experience of emotional reactions.

Feelings are sparked by emotions and shaped by personal experiences, beliefs, memories, and thoughts linked to that particular emotion.

Strictly speaking, a feeling is the side product of your brain perceiving an emotion and assigning a certain meaning to it.

In summary the difference between emotions and feelings are as described bellow…

Emotions are neuro-physiological reactions unleashed by an external or internal stimulus (emotions are physical). This explains why not being able to decompress trapped emotions as response to environmental stress can erode our cells tissue eventually creating physical and mental struggles.

Feelings are a self-perception of specific emotions, being a  subjective expression of emotions (feelings are mental).

Here are some tips to improve your emotional intelligence:

1. Reflect on your emotions.

2. Assertive communication, but still respectful.

3. Ask for others perspectives.

4. Accept criticism. Ask what you can learn rather than resist.

5. Press the “Pause” button. Allow your attention to your breath, press your tongue towards the roof of your mouth (behind the front teeth) inhale deeply through your nose and when you exhale allow yourself to let go of any resistant feelings that clouds your critical thinking (the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment) process.

6. Practice maintaining your positive attitude regardless of others.

7. Respond rather than reacting to conflict. (Review tip #5).

8. Practice self awareness. Keeping attention into the present moments protects from triggers rooted from unrelated past experiences that might unconsciously boost behavior projections.

9. Explore and understand the “why.”

10. Empathize, Empathize, Empathize.

11. Be observant.

12. Hunt for the good stuff (make inventory of each emotion, looking forward to find something good or a lesson out of each life’s event).

Example:

If a job interview was suddenly cancelled and rescheduled, focus your energy thinking that the Universe is giving you more time to prepare or that it could be heavenly protection from driving on the road that specific day.

13. Allow yourself to embrace yoga. The practice of yoga helps achieve a balance within the internal and external environment, thereby seeking to attain mental, spiritual and physical well-being.

14. Practice always. If you practice at least *21 days how to improve your emotional intelligence you will see the difference making it part of your daily routine.

Last but not least;

” See thru the eyes of compassion. Listen with ears of tolerance. Speak with the language of love.” -Rumi

Author:

Glenda Lee Santos; Humble Military and Yoga Warrior; Criminal Justice, BA; RYT-200 hrs; Holistic Practitioner with Foundation in Yoga and Ayurveda; Reiki Master; Spirit Guide Coach; Master Resilience Trainer.

* Scientific research has shown that 21 is the required amount of days to develop cellular memory in order to create a good habit.

Spread Your Wings And Fly – SEMPERLEE YOGA

Until you spread your wings, you’ll have no idea how far you can fly. When the stormy winds of life threaten to knock you down, may you have the courage to spread your wings and fly! No bird can fly without opening its wings, and no one can love without exposing their hearts. You’ve to…
— Read on semperleeyoga.org/2020/09/03/spread/

Spread Your Wings And Fly

Until you spread your wings, you’ll have no idea how far you can fly. When the stormy winds of life threaten to knock you down, may you have the courage to spread your wings and fly!

No bird can fly without opening its wings, and no one can love without exposing their hearts.

You’ve to spread your wings if you really want to fly. Take risks, try new things, go places you haven’t gone, be willing to not know, be okay with making mistakes.

Death and love are the two wings that bear the good man to heaven. Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall.

No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings. Imagine what will happen to a child who’s not provided the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.

How to let go of what weighs you down?

Begin by learning to control your breath. Allowing yourself that awareness will provide you better physiological responses of relaxation in the midst of challenges.

Begin to meditate “To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrender.”

Embrace mindfulness, keeping yourself at the present will decrease unnecessary worries about what will happen tomorrow.

Embrace into the practice of yoga, it will help you to let go and release from mental and physical blockages that creates a sensation of carrying the world on your shoulders.

Becoming able to master both skills, is to surrender and winning at the same time. Because once you control the turbulence of you thoughts, you are able to let go anything that weighs you down. Hence you will go further than you could ever dreamed possible.

God will only push you off a cliff if He’s going to give you wings to fly.

Spread your wings of love, and let your mind fly to a distant land where love is the air of life.

Last but not least;

It was pride that changed angels into devils, it is humility that makes men as angels.

Namaste

Author:

Glenda Lee Santos; Humble Military and Yoga Warrior; Criminal Justice, BA; RYT-200 hrs; Holistic Practitioner with Foundation in Yoga and Ayurveda; Reiki Master; Spirit Guide Coach; Master Resilience Trainer.

How to embrace “The Hero’s Journey” in order to rebirth.

There are moments in life when we feel that we need to step out of from something or someone that instead of nurturing our evolution towards a higher self, is dragging us back. Here is the thing, there is a gift we all have which is called discernment. We are energy and there is lots of scientific search and research that sustains it, you just have to navigate on the web in order to find it. So, I will not begin giving a class about that subject.

Being that said, when I took a course about Christ healing I learned about the existence of this precious gift we all have and I would like to share some of that.

Discernment works through our inner voice/intuition, awareness on this because sometimes our ego (representing our inner shadow struggles) https://wp.me/p7G3QF-qv, posted in mindfulness, yoga), begins to operate from our inner vulnerabilities to confuse us within a back and forth loop generating energy of self guilt and drama. That way this hold us back from letting go and move on towards a better version of ourselves finding a state of wellness anywhere else.

When you feel that something or someone brings to your life enlightenment, self-grow, self-love and even encourages any spiritual or religious practice that contributes to your resilience in a positive way; that… is an energy of high vibration which is closer to our “Higher Power” or “God”.

However, if it happens creating you disorientation, anxiety, guilt with self punishment orientation, constant isolation then is an energy that has roots from a low vibration which is obviously dragging you away from your “Higher Power” and source of inner and external love which as result ends up driving you into sorrow and unhappiness.

From my military background I learned about personal courage as an army value, that does not states there is absence of fear, instead teaches us to transmute that fear into a positive energy that will remind us to stay alert if engaged into combat during the darkness (looking forward to survive until dawn) by taking unfamiliar routes in order to succeed until the sun rises.

In summary do not be afraid to take an unfamiliar path. Sometimes they are the ones that take you to the best places. Allow yourself to embrace your inner Hero’s Journey.

Joseph Campbell developed a narratology to guide us into this journey, named “The Hero’s Journey” which is the common template of stories that involve a hero who goes on an adventure, is victorious in a decisive crisis and comes home changed or transformed.

Campbell who was influenced by Carl Jung’s analytical psychology, used the monomyth to deconstruct and compare religions. In his famous book The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), he describes the narrative pattern as follows:

“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”

Below is an illustration of this template and a breakdown of the steps.

1. Ordinary World:

This is where our Hero’s exists before our present story begins, oblivious of the adventures to come. It’s our comfort zone. Our everyday life where we learn crucial details about our true nature, capabilities and outlook on life. This anchors our Hero as a human, just like you and me, and makes it easier for us to identify with him and hence later, empathize with his plight.

2. Call To Adventure

Our adventure begins when we receive a call to action, such as a direct threat to our safety, our family, our way of life or to the peace of the community in which we live. It may not be as dramatic as a gunshot, but simply a phone call or conversation but whatever the call is, and however it manifests itself, it ultimately disrupts the comfort of our Ordinary World and presents a challenge or quest that must be undertaken.

3. Refusal Of The Call

Although we may be eager to accept the quest, at this stage we will have fears that need overcoming. Second thoughts or even deep personal doubts as to whether or not our Hero is up to the challenge. When this happens, we will refuse the call and as a result may suffer somehow. The problem we face may seem to much to handle and the comfort of home far more attractive than the perilous road ahead. This would also be our own response and once again helps us bond further with our reluctant Hero.

4. Meeting The Mentor “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”

At this crucial turning point we desperately need guidance and in serendipity the Universe (God) bring us a mentor figure who gives us something we need. Therefore we could be given an object of great importance, insight into the dilemma we face, wise advice, practical training or even self-confidence. Whatever the mentor provides us with it serves to dispel our doubts and fears encouraging the strength and courage we need to begin our quest. This is when our fears begin to transmute into personal courage, as I mentioned during my introduction.

5. Crossing The Threshold (the doorway)

Our Hero is now ready to act upon the call to adventure and truly begin the quest, whether it be physical, spiritual or emotional. We may go willingly or may be pushed, but either way we finally cross the threshold between the comfort zone and the challenge we are not familiar with, but represents the light or fulfillment into this quest. It may be leaving home for the first time in our life or just doing something we have always been scared to do. However the threshold presents itself, this action signifies our commitment to this journey.

6. Tests, Allies, Enemies

Now finally out of our comfort zone our Hero is confronted with an ever more difficult series of challenges that test us in a variety of ways. Obstacles are thrown across our path; whether they be physical hurdles or people sabotaging our progress, our Hero must overcome each challenge is presented along the journey towards the ultimate goal.

We need to find out who can be trusted and who can’t. Our Hero may earn allies and meet enemies who will, each in their own way, help prepare us for the greater ordeals yet to come. They will become our teachers as well. This is the stage where our skills and/or powers are tested and every obstacle that we face helps us gain a deeper insight into our character and ultimately identify with our Hero even more.

7. Approach To The Inmost Cave

The inmost cave may represent many things in our story such as an actual location in which lies a terrible danger or an inner conflict which up until now we have not had to face. As our Hero approaches the cave (solitude) we must make final preparations before taking that final leap into the great unknown.

At the threshold to the inmost cave we may once again face some of the doubts and fears that first surfaced upon the call to adventure. This means that we may need some time to reflect upon our journey and the treacherous road ahead in order to find the courage to continue. This brief respite helps the people around us to understand the magnitude of the ordeal that awaits us and escalates the tension in anticipation of our ultimate test.

8. Ordeal

The Supreme Ordeal may be a dangerous physical test or a deep inner crisis that we must face in order to survive or for the world in which we live to continue to exist. Whether it be facing our greatest fear or most deadly foe, we must draw upon all of our skills and experiences gathered upon the path to the inmost cave in order to overcome our most difficult challenge.

Only through some form of “death” we can be reborn, experiencing a metaphorical resurrection that somehow grants us greater power or insight necessary in order to fulfill our destiny. This is the high-point of our story and where everything we hold dear (emotional baggage) is put on the line. If our Hero fails, he will either die or live as he knows it will never be the same again.

9. Reward (Seizing The Sword)

After defeating the enemy, surviving death and finally overcoming our greatest personal challenge, we are ultimately transformed into a new state, emerging from battle as a stronger person and often with a prize.

The Reward may come in many forms:

An object of great importance or power, a secret, greater knowledge or insight, or even reconciliation with a loved one or ally.

Whatever the treasure, which may well facilitate our return to the Ordinary World, that when we must quickly put celebrations aside and prepare for the last leg of his journey.

10. The Road Back

This stage represents a reverse echo of the Call to Adventure in which we had to cross the first threshold. Now we must return home with our reward but this time the anticipation of danger is replaced with that of acclaim and perhaps vindication, absolution or even exoneration.

But our Hero’s journey is not yet over and we may still need one last push back into the Ordinary World. The moment before we finally commit to the last stage of our journey may be a moment in which we must choose between our own personal objective and that of a Higher Cause.

11. Resurrection

This is the climax in which our Hero must have the final and most dangerous encounter with the metaphorical death. The final battle also represents something far greater than our own existence with its outcome having far-reaching consequences to our Ordinary World and the lives of those we left behind.

If we fail, others will suffer and this not only places more weight upon our shoulders but in a movie, grips the audience so that they too feel part of the conflict and share our Hero’s hopes, fears and trepidation. Ultimately our Hero will succeed, destroy the (inner) enemy and emerge from battle cleansed and reborn.

12. Return With The Elixir

This is the final stage of our journey in which we return home to our Ordinary World a changed human being. We will have grown as a person, learned many things, faced many terrible dangers and even death but now looks forward to the start of a new life.

Our return may bring fresh hope to those we left behind, a direct solution to their problems or perhaps a new perspective for everyone to consider.

The final reward that we obtains may be literal or metaphoric.

It could be a cause for celebration, self-realization or an end to strife, but whatever it is it represents three things:

• Change

• Success

• Proof of our journey.

The return home also signals the need for resolution for the story’s other key players.

Our doubters or enemies will be ostracized, and our allies rewarded.

Ultimately we will return to where we started with a better version of ourselves and things will clearly never be the same again.

Last but not least;

“Hard times don’t create heroes. It is when the “hero” within us is revealed.”

Author:

Glenda Lee Santos; Humble Military and Yoga Warrior; Criminal Justice, BA; RYT-200 hrs; Holistic Practitioner with Foundation in Yoga and Ayurveda; Reiki Master; Spirit Guide Coach; Master Resilience Trainer.

References;

1. https://innerpeaceouterjoy.com/the-heros-journey-an-archetypal-blueprint-for-our-lives/

2. Owning Your Shadow ( Robert A. Johnson) First edition.

To heal a wound, you need to stop touching it.

The best thing you can do today is to enjoy what is here in your life. Bringing yourself to the present is one of the best gifts you can do to yourself, if you want to love yourself embracing a journey to heal a wound from your past… Focus on your blessings and if there is a thought that is not in alignment to your blessings, visualize that you are holding a helium ballon with that uncomfortable thought that will erode your cells tissue (if you keep holding on to it) and allow yourself to let it go inside the helium ballon to the Universe in order to transmute into something positive.

Gently close your eyes and repite:

“I have so many blessings in front of me that are waiting to be enjoyed. I am free from everything that used to weigh me down and cause me stress. This chapter of my life is the greatest one yet.”

When a past event or trauma affects our lives to a point that it makes it hard to bring us back to the present moment with enough resilience to empower us to keep hunting for the good stuff out of our past experiences and it affects our physical health we might consider to approach a professional mental health or even a Life coach as complementary support.

Remember if God sent a woman to partner the first person he created, the message is that there are moments in life when we will need help from someone. The military calls that “The Buddy System”.

Keep in mind that when we nurture and keep a grateful heart we attract more to be grateful for.

You can monitor yourself with the following signs in order to see your progress when you decide to heal from a past experience and begin to feel ready to move on:

1. You become more observing even to the existence of birds hovering around when you are walking, because you inner peace will allow you to do so.

2. You become less judging.

3. You become more responding positively and less reacting.

4. You develop more self love.

5. You learn progressively how to stop self sabotage.

6. You learn how to set healthy boundaries.

7. You learn to forgive yourself another without resentments.

8. You develop progressively inner peace.

9. You become careful and protect yourself from inner and outer chaos caused by negative or toxic people.

10. You develop more clarity and less confusion.

11. You develop more faith and less fear.

Last but not least;

“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.” ― Caroline Myss

Author:

Glenda Lee Santos; Humble Military and Yoga Warrior; Criminal Justice, BA; RYT-200 hrs; Holistic Practitioner with Foundation in Yoga and Ayurveda; Reiki Master; Spirit Guide Coach; Master Resilience Trainer.

Learn About Your Five Layers of Being.

Have you participated in a yoga class, and your teacher guides you (during the integration process) to scan yourself seated in sukhasana pose?

During my teacher’s training I could not understand this. I even felt some kind of reactivity to the subject; what I didn’t know (back then) about, was the kind of amazing inner tool for self-transformation and empowerment I had been introduced.

First ask yourself the following two questions:

   Have you exercised your subtle body yet? Or your causal body?

The great Spiritual Masters throughout the ages have taught that we are not just what we see reflected in the mirror.

The enlightened teachers from all ages and cultures have taught us that we are much more than just our physical body and that our Being is composed of multiple layers or dimensions.

We posses as human beings the potential to have experiences outside of the known physical layer of reality.

Although these experiences are not always easy to prove, there is a mounting preponderance of evidence that we do in fact have an astral or energetic body, and furthermore that all humans are interconnected in a complex field of Consciousness outside the bounds of space-time.

Hence, this wouldn’t be a better explanation to the physical lightness sensation of someone extremely relaxed while in savasana (final part of a yoga class) or during a reiki therapy (which targets the overall wellness and balance of our energetic body).

According to the yoga tradition, every one of us has five bodies, each made of increasingly finer grades of energy. And if we intend to live a fully balanced, healthy life, it tells us, all our bodies need to be kept in good condition.

Yoga teaches us, that every one of us has five bodies, each made of increasingly finer grades of energy.

Exactly and indeed, energy.

The five progressively subtler bodies that compose our personality are described in a yoga classic called the Taittiriya Upanishad:

Human beings consist of a material body built from the food they eat.

Those who care for this body are nourished by the universe itself.


Also inside there is another body made of life energy. It fills the physical body and takes its shape. 

Those who treat this vital force as divine experience excellent health and longevity because this energy is the source of physical life.


Within the vital force is yet another body, this one made of thought energy. 

It fills the two denser bodies and has the same shape. 

Those who understand and control the mental body become able to fully control their fears.


Deeper still lies another body comprised of intellect. 

It permeates the three denser bodies and assumes the same form. 

Those who establish their awarenes on their intellect,  free themselves from unhealthy thoughts and actions, and develop the self-control necessary to achieve their goals.


Hidden inside it is yet a subtler body, composed of pure joy.

 It pervades the other bodies and shares the same shape. 

It is experienced as happiness, delight, and bliss.


In other words it’s a Samadhi Yoga experience.

Samadhi is blissful.

The above structure is called koshas, or “sheaths,” in Sanskrit, because each fits in the next like a sword in a scabbard. 

Only the densest is made of matter as we know it; the other four are energy states invisible to the physical eye, though we can easily sense their presence inside us when we pay close attention. 

Since the inner bodies are the source of our well-being during life and are the vehicles we travel in after death, India’s ancient yogis developed specific exercises to strengthen and tone each one in turn.


Your First Body is your physical.

 Annamaya kosha in yoga,
maya means “made of” 

anna means “food” or “physical matter

 Your Second Body is the organizing field that holds your material body together. 

This is the life energy that governs your biological processes, from breathing to digestion to the circulation of your blood. 

It’s called chi in Chinese medicine and prana in yoga. 

Acupuncture and homeopathy don’t directly affect your physical body; they work on the vital force that activates and sustains it.

Orthodox physicians in the West recognized the importance of the vital force up till the 19th century, but with the development of sulfa drugs and antibiotics, their attention shifted from the energy states underlying human biology to focus exclusively on the physical body itself.

The second, and energy body is called the prana-maya kosha in yoga. 

When it ceases to function your physical body can no longer operate. 

Your heart and lungs stop working and your cells begin to disintegrate. 

In Western culture we strongly identify with our material body, yet without prana supporting and directing it, it can’t survive more than a few minutes.


Yoga devotes an entire class of practices called pranayama to replenishing the vitality of the pranamaya kosha.

Breathing Exercises like:

Diaphragmatic

Complete yogic breath Ujjayi

Alternate nostril breathing

JUST BREATHE!

Are specifically designed to enhance the proper functioning of your second sheath.

In addition, getting plenty of fresh air and sunlight is essential for maintaining the health of the vital force. 

Yoga texts explain that the sun is the ultimate source of prana.

Furthermore, is also explained that fresh whole foods are a major source of prana.

 Your Third Body

Manomaya kosha which is body made of thought processes.

Hence your mental body, which responsible for our sensory and motor activities and our day-to-day awareness when we’re functioning “on automatic.

It processes input from our five senses and responds reflexively. 

When we move through life passively, reacting to our environment rather than actively shaping it, our awareness is focused here. 

Many people, and most animals, routinely operate at this level.

In the West we associate our routine mental state with the brain, but according to yoga the entire nervous system (including the brain) merely mediates the activity of the manomaya kosha, expressing the commands of this higher energy state through the physical body.

Visualize a patient in a coma, and you will be able to have a clear sense of what the mental body. 

Their second sheath is still operating so their heart continues to pump and their lungs expand and contract.

 But the person has no awareness of the external world and no ability to take action because the activity of the mental body has shut down. 

The pranamaya kohsa operates from the moment of our first breath to our last.

Manomaya kosha shuts down temporarily on a daily basis, regenerating itself during the state of deep sleep.


The health of the manomaya kosha is tremendously enhanced through the practice of mantra meditation. 

This soothes and balances this inner body, and helps release “knots” of energy tied up in mental complexes and obsessive thoughts. 

Yogis who spend a great deal of time in meditation often have very little need for sleep, in part because their mental vehicles are functioning optimally, like a car that’s just had a tune-up.

The mental body “feeds” on the sense impressions we offer it.

If we supply our third sheath with a continual stream of violent TV shows and video games, for example, it begins to crave increasingly aggressive forms of stimulation, and may become more agitated and less sensitive to the suffering of others.

If we “stuff” it with too much work or too much play we may experience a form of mental “indigestion,” leaving us feeling exhausted. A harmonious environment, interesting professional challenges, and fun and supportive relationships offer an ideal diet for the mind.

A daily session of pratyahara, or sensory withdrawal, leading into meditation provides an excellent inner tune-up.

The practice of blindfolded yoga also provides a great inner tune-up to manomaya kosha.

Your Fourth Body

Subtler still is the vijnanamaya kosha (vijnana means “the power of judgment or discernment”).

It’s often translated as “intellect,” but the real meaning is broader, encompassing all the functions of the higher mind, including conscience and will.

This is the part during the integration of the class when I guide the student to evolve in wisdom throughout their higher state of consciousness by setting their class intention. Which ultimately is the reason that brings them to their yoga mat at least twice or three times a week, embracing their journey for a higher self.

It may be easier to understand the distinction between the third sheath or mental body and the fourth sheath or intellectual body by taking a look at those in whom the vijnanamaya kosha is underdeveloped.


One such type is someone who doesn’t seem to be in control of her (his) life, who is constantly reacting to circumstances rather than making a decision and responding proactively.

This kind of person has a hard time making up her or his mind, thinking genuinely or being creative. Hence there is very little willpower and is continually the victim of her or his own poor judgment.

Another example of a deficient fourth sheath is someone without strong personal ethics.

He may attend religious services and speak piously about moral values, but when the opportunity arises to benefit himself at the expense of others, he doesn’t hesitate to act.

His ability to discern between right and wrong is weak; conscience is a platitude rather than a living experience for him.

An activated fourth sheath is what distinguishes human beings from animals.

Only humans have the ability to direct their own lives, free from the promptings of instinct, and to make moral choices.

The sages considered the development of a healthy vijnanamaya kosha so important that they placed the exercises for it at the very beginning of the yoga system.

These are the yamas and niyamas, commitments every yoga student is asked to make:

Not to

• harm

• lie

• steal

• overindulge or desire more than you actually need; instead you are asked to be content, pure, self-disciplined, studious, and devoted.

Jnana yoga also works with this kosha.

This is the path of the intellect in which you are advised to study spiritual truths, contemplate them deeply, and finally incorporate them into the very core of your personality.

On this path your spiritual understanding becomes the “food” with which you nourish your intellect.

As your meditation practice deepens over the months and years, your ability to connect with inner guidance is enhanced.

You begin to experience the events in your life, even the painful ones, in a calm and objective manner.

Your yogic lifestyle, contemplation, and meditation lead to clarity of judgment, greater intuitive insight, and increased willpower as your vijnanamaya kosha grows stronger and more balanced.


Your Fifth Body

In the vast majority of humans, the fifth sheath is totally underdeveloped.

This is the anandamaya kosha, the subtlemost body which is experienced as ananda (spiritual bliss).

Generally only saints, sages, and genuine mystics have done the inner work necessary to make ananda a living part of their daily experience, and most people are hardly even aware that this level of consciousness exists within themselves.

The anandamaya kosha is extremely important in yoga because it’s the final and thinnest veil standing between our ordinary awareness and our higher Self.

Many individuals who’ve had near-death experiences (NDE) have reported experiencing a brilliant white light radiating all-embracing wisdom and unconditional love. A peaceful feeling from that white light that could make the way back to a grounding state hard to embrace. It’s the utmost connection to the Divine.

This is the experience of the anandamaya kosha.

Saints and mystics purify their minds so that they can have this experience throughout life, not just for a fleeting moment at death.

Another example from the tantric tradition, spirit is often symbolized as Shiva, the transcendent Lord who is ever immersed in divine consciousness.

Matter/energy is called Shakti, the Supreme Goddess whose divine body is this entire universe.

It’s said that they love each other with unspeakable intensity.

Their supreme love is experienced in the anandamaya kosha, where spirit and matter passionately embrace.

We can awaken our bliss sheath through three practices:

1. Seva, selfless service.

This opens our heart to our innate unity with other beings.

2. Bhakti yoga, devotion to God.

This opens our heart to our unity with the all-pervading Divine Being.

3. Samadhi, intensely focused meditation, which opens our heart to our own divine being.

I was certified as a yoga teacher from Samadhi Yoga Institute (Samadhi’s Method) which provides a flexible and creative yoga teaching somatic format.

As result the magical transformation that takes place into a human being when opening the heart to his or her divine being is an experience that stimulates a lot of inner resilience, and as previously explained it is a structured subtle work as result of body scanning our Five Layers Of Being.


Always remember that you are a multidimensional creature. Your awareness manifests on many different planes.

Yoga introduces you to yourself and trains you to live fully and gracefully at every level of your being.

From the hatha postures that strengthen and tone your physical body to the breathing exercises that balance and vitalize your life force, from the meditation practice that quiets and clears your mind to the self-study and selfless love that open up an inner world of knowledge and unity, yoga is a holistic system that develops and integrates every part of your personality.

By getting to know your five bodies and the inner Self (whose awareness illumines them all), you can experience the health and fulfillment of an enlightened life.

If you still find hard to resonate with the above description of the koshas, see yourself as an onion with only five layers, having each layer a different and important ingredient that will improve your cooking with a much better taste (your higher self).

Experiencing Your Five Sheaths

The five sheaths are not theoretical constructs. They are real parts of your being that you can actually experience.

The following eight-step exercise will help you get a fuller sense of these inner dimensions of your personality.


Sit comfortably with your head, neck, and trunk in a straight line.

Sit upright softening your face.

You’ll feel both alert and relaxed.

Close your eyes, withdrawing your awareness from the sights and sounds around you.

Bring your full attention to your physical body.

Be aware of your head and shoulders, chest and waist, back and abdomen, arms and legs.

This is your annamaya kosha.

Bring your full attention to the point between your nostrils and feel yourself breathe.

Gradually your breath will flow more slowly, smoothly, and quietly.

Be aware of the energy pulsing through your body. It’s making your heart beat, your lungs expand and contract, the blood course through your veins, your stomach gurgle.

The force orchestrating this movement—not your physical body itself—is your prana-maya kosha.

Allow your awareness into your brain. Pay attention to the part of your awareness that’s regulating your sensory input and motor output.

This is the part of you that notices your nose is itching and orders your hand to scratch it.

It notes that you’re uncomfortable sitting in one position for so long and wants you to move your legs.

It generates the reflexive mental chatter that continually fires through your mind.

This is your manomaya kosha.

Lift your awareness higher inside your skull.

Sense the part of your awareness that consciously made the decision to participate in this exercise and right now is commanding you to sit still and complete it.

It recognizes the value of expanding your self-awareness and compels you to get up early in the morning to do your yoga postures and meditation, even though lazing in bed might be more pleasant.

This is your vijnanamaya kosha.

Center your awareness in your heart. Relax deeply; keep breathing smoothly and evenly.

Now, taking as much time as you need, allow yourself to settle into a state of complete tranquility.

Buried deep in that inner peace is a sense of purest happiness.

This is not an emotional euphoria, though as you leave this state it may pour out of you as a sense of great joy and gratitude.

It is a space of perfect contentment, perfect attunement, and abiding stillness.

There is no sense of lack, or fear, or desire.

This is your anandamaya kosha.

Now simply be aware of your own awareness. The pure consciousness that is having this experience lies beyond this experience.

It is your true inner Self, your immortal being.

Rest in your own being for as long as you can hold your attention there.

Allow your attention to your breath.

Breathe slowly, smoothly, and evenly. Open your eyes.

Take a moment to relax and absorb this experience before you get up.

From Death to Birth—and Beyond

In many yoga texts you’ll find the five sheaths grouped into three.

The physical body and vital force are called the sthula sharira, the “gross body.”

The mental body and intellect are called the sukshma sharira, the “subtle” or “astral body.”

The bliss sheath is called the karana sharira, the “causal body.”

These are recognized in many different spiritual traditions.

We’re all spiritual beings with a spiritual support system on the Other Side that oversees and helps guide our lives from the moment we’re born to the moment we leave our physical bodies and return to Spirit.

Not knowing this fact is a severe handicap, as the Universe is designed to care for and nurture all its creatures and help make our life’s journey easier and more successful.

When we learn how to connect with our angelic guides, our lives naturally fall into a pattern of ease and flow during which we grow our souls, fulfill our life’s purpose, and make our time on Earth endlessly entertaining. 

Namaste

Author:

Glenda Lee Santos; Humble Military and Yoga Warrior; Criminal Justice, BA; RYT-200 hrs; Holistic Practitioner with Foundation in Yoga and Ayurveda; Reiki Master; Spirit Guide Coach; Master Resilience Trainer.

The Language of Your Shoulders.

Each time you lift your arms, your shoulder muscles (big and small), initiate a flowing movement of subtle nuances. Because of the complex interaction of those muscles, coupled with the unique structure of the shoulder joint, gives our arms a wide range of motion. You might want to keep awareness that, the shoulder is one of the loosest joints in the body.

That flowing freedom increases the vulnerability of the shoulders to injury; both from sudden falls and from repetitive action such as playing golf or simply throwing a baseball. The muscles of the rotator cuff, the most delicate movers of the shoulders, are particularly susceptible.

However, a regular targeted asana practice can help you maintain healthy rotator cuffs by bringing awareness to your alignment, strengthening your shoulders muscles, and opening your chest.

Let’s take a look at the special nature of the shoulder joint and, in particular, its relationship to the shoulder blade.

Though it is considered a type of ball-and-socket joint, the shoulder is unusual because the rounded “ball” or head of the humerus (i.e., the arm bone) doesn’t have a corresponding socket.

Rather, the ends of the collarbone and shoulder blade come together to form a shelf under which the humerus hangs.

This shelf is know as the acromion process.

Beneath it there is rounded depression that is part of the shoulder blade.

This is as close as the shoulder gets to having a “socket”; the head of the arm bone glides against this surface as it rotates, and the steady contraction of the rotator cuff helps to hold together.

The rotator cuff actually comprises four separate muscles-the supraspinatus, the infraspinatus, the teres minor, and the subscapularis-which wrap over, in front of, and behind the head of the humerus and stabilize the joint. These deeper muscles are layered over by larger, stronger muscles that attach directly to the acromion process.

The muscles of the rotator cuff guide the actions of the arm bone itself, while other larger muscles control the actions of the shoulder as a whole, with both arm bone and shoulder blade functioning as a unit.

How Injuries Occur

The most common rotator cuff injury occurs at the outermost corner of the shoulder, beneath the deltoid (the large muscle you use to lift your arm). The injury is to the supraspinatus, a small muscle that attaches directly to the head of the humerus and assists the deltoid in lifting the arm overhead. The very strength of the deltoid is often the cause of injury to the supraspinatus.

When you take your arms overhead, the deltoid is able to raise the arm to 80 degrees from the body. At this point, the deltoid can’t do much more lifting on its own: the arm bone is almost level with the shoulder, and from this angle the deltoid can only pull the arm bone into the joint rather than lift it higher.

As the arm continues to rise, the deltoid relaxes somewhat and the supraspinatus jumps in to help: it raises the arm for the next 30 to 40 degrees, after which the deltoid can resume its work.

It is within this range of 80 to 120 degrees that the supraspinatus can get hurt. The tendon of the supraspinatus, which is about the size of a large rubber band, is the part of the muscle most often injured, though the muscle itself can also tear.

This could happen in aggressive (downward facing dog) poses, as well as (side plank pose), and in advanced arm balances such as firefly pose.

Simple accidents can also injure the supraspinatus tendon.

For example, if you slip in an icy parking lot and use your arm to break the fall, the humerus gets jammed in the socket, pinching the supraspinatus against the acromion process or even tearing the tendon.

The simple repetitive action or raising your arm can also be at fault.

When you reach for something on a shelf above you, the deltoid can pull the arm bone up too hard, pressing it against the acromion process, thus punching the supraspinatus. Over time, these little injuries add up to a more serious problem.

The shoulder is built to avoid this pinching, but our patterns of use and everyday life leas to imbalance, pain, or lack of mobility. The problem starts with postural habits: many of us overuse the muscles of the shoulders to support the weight of our arms. The muscles closest to the neck (the rhomboids) and those running from the top of the shoulder blades up into the neck itself (the levator scapulae) take the brunt of the weight. This is especially problematic during arm-intensive activities such as typing, when your shoulders become set in a perpetual shrug. Chronic tension builds up, pulling the inner corners of your shoulder blades up toward your ears, causing your back to round and your shoulders to hunch.

This is the beginning of a vicious cycle; the more your shoulder blades creep up the back from the pull of these muscles, the more your muscles tense and shorten, pulling your shoulder blades up even higher. As a result of this tension and the postural misalignment that ensues, the deltoid is far less likely to relax when it’s supposed to. If your shoulders roll forward and the deltoid remains fully engaged as you lift the arm from 80 to 120 degrees, it can cause the humerus to press against the acromion process, pinching the rotator cuff tendon.

There are a variety of poses that can help break the cycle and restore strength and balance to the shoulder muscles-from simple standing poses in which you hold your arms a loft in various positions to those in which your arms directly support the weight of the body. Standing poses can help you reestablish the healthy mobility of the shoulder blades as you lift your arms; they will also enable you to activate other muscles to ease the burden on the rhomboids and levator scapulae.

The inversions, particularly the headstand, strengthen the shoulder muscles, keeping them more open and stress-free.

Last but not least;

“Allow yoga to wash the weight of the world from your shoulders.”

Namaste

Author:

Glenda Lee Santos; Humble Military and Yoga Warrior; Criminal Justice, BA; RYT-200 hrs; Holistic Practitioner with Foundation in Yoga and Ayurveda; Reiki Master; Spirit Guide Coach; Master Resilience Trainer.

A cleaver way from yoga to short circuit the mental patterns that cause anxiety.

How do we short circuit that anxiety?

Above image shows a simplified view of the subtle body of Indian philosophy, showing the three major nadis or channels, the Ida (B), Sushumna (C), and Pingala (D), which run vertically in the body.

Let’s begin with what is a Nadi?

A nerve, blood vessel, also is a term (in yoga) for the channels through which, in traditional Indian medicine and spiritual knowledge, the energies such as prana of the physical body, the subtle body and the causal body are said to flow. Within this philosophical framework, the nadis are said to connect at special points of intensity, the chakras.

A simplified view of the subtle body of Indian philosophy, showing the three major nadis or channels, the Ida (B), Sushumna (C), and Pingala (D), which run vertically in the body.

The three principal nadis run from the base of the spine to the head, and are the ida on the left, the sushumna in the centre, and the pingala on the right.

Yoga philosophy states that is possible to restrain the involuntary alternations of ida and pingala and to unite these two separate streams of energy.

This is literally the meaning of Hatha yoga. Which is the yoga in which ha (the right breath) and tha (the left breath) are joined.

When these streams are united, prana is freed to ascend through the central channel of the spinal cord to its ultimate goal at the crown of the head (the sahasrara chakra). The initial stage of this is called the awakening of sushuma, which from my experience as yoga teacher and Reiki Master is the channel energetic clearing and connection to the Divine.

As mentioned above we can realize how effective our breath can become as a resiliency tool within our body.

To enlist the body as a tool for the development of self-awareness various locks were described by tantric masters and later adapted by hatha yogis.

Three of these locks or bandhas:

The throat, stomach and root lock are fundamental practices of yoga that can be easily learned and eventually refined over a long period of practice.

The throat and root locks function in some respects to seal the upper and lower end of the spinal column.

According to adepts, the throat lock temporary prevents prana (acquisition of energy) from moving upward and restricts the flow of energy through ida and pingala.

The root lock blocks the downward movement of apana (elimination of energy)pulling this energy back toward the navel region.

When the upward and downward moving forces are thus blocked and forced into proximity with each other, then it is said that they function like two sticks being rubbed together: they produce heat. And this heat is magnified by the application of the stomach lock (uddiyana bandha).

The concentration of energy increases with practice, and it is said that a striking phenomenon eventually takes place: in very advanced practitioners the intense heat created by the locks, coupled with retention of the breath, awakens awareness and leads it upward along the central path of the spine. It moves from the base of the spine toward its upper pole, from fear and instinctively craving to illuminated self-awareness (samadhi), which is the goal of yoga.

The following three images will help you practice these locks while the above illustration demonstrates how during a variation (with a bind) of revolved side angle pose the three bandhas are engaged.

Mula Bandha is stabilizing and calming. It also enhances the energy of concentration.

This energetic bonding accompanies both pranayama and meditation, and it provides continuity when breathing practices are completed and meditation begins.

Let’s look at the system of energy that supports the body and mind in order to give perspective to Svatmarama, author of the authoritative Hatha Yoga Pradipika (Light on Hatha Yoga), when he stated “There is no doubt that by practicing mula bandha total perfection is attained.”

The command center of prana is the spinal column, which rises from the perineum to the base of the skull. Within this axis is said to be a central channel of energy (nadi) called sushumna.

Two other passages of energy, known as ida and pingala (as showed in the above image of a seated person) are described as twining upward along the spine from its base, ending in the left and right nostrils respectively.

In ordinary life these two nadis dominate a complex even hierarchical network of energy pathways. Just like our nervous system where both sides are interdependently connected.

For example:

In yogic physiology, left nostril breathing is associated with the parasympathetic nervous system which is active when one is calm and relaxed.

It releases a chemical called acetylcholine which induces a state of well being, pleasure, etc.

Activation of the parasympathetic nervous system tends to slow the heart beat and cause blood vessels to dilate and relax (with the exception of the coronary vessels where it causes constriction).

It causes the pupils of the eyes to constrict. It causes salivary secretions as well as secretions of sweat and gastric juices.

Most interesting of all, parasympathetic activation is associated with an increased degree of sensitivity to telepathy.

Researchers found repeatedly that pranayama, apart from inducing a more healthy feeling in the individual, actually increases telepathic and other higher mental functions.

They have also shown that if you practice concentration or meditation you will have greater success if you precede it with pranayama.

The sympathetic nervous system is particularly active when we experience strong emotions or when we are engaged in some physical work.

It is the other part of the autonomic nervous system, activated by adrenaline secretions in the body. Its functions are generally opposite but complementary to those of the parasympathetic nervous system.

The sympathetic accelerates the heart, causes blood vessels to constrict, the coronary vessels and the pupils to dilate.

It inhibits secretions of the salivary glands, sweat glands and gastric juices. It also causes inhibition of the gastrointestinal tract.

These functions are precisely those which occur with right nostril breathing.

It has also been demonstrated that oxygen ions (02) slow respiration, lower blood pressure, increase mental alertness and feelings of well being, and also increase the action of cilia (hairs) in the respiratory passages.

These correspond to activation of the parasympathetic nervous system whereas ions of carbon dioxide (C02) induce activation of the sympathetic nervous system.

There is a direct correspondence between the states associated with the activation of ida, pingala and sushumna nadis and the parasympathetic, sympathetic and central nervous systems respectively.

When we breathe in through the left nostril, ida nadi or the parasympathetic nervous system as well as the right hemisphere of the brain are stimulated.

When we breathe in through the right nostril, pingala nadi or the sympathetic nervous system as well as the left hemisphere of the brain are stimulated.

When the breath is equalized through both nostrils, the brain and the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems are balanced.

Keep in mind to always approach your physician before practicing any of these bandhas. In particular the practice of these locks should not be done if you have:

• your menstrual period

• high or low blood pressure

• a hernia

• an ulcer in your stomach or intestine

• or recently had any other abdominal illness or trauma

• glaucoma

• heart disease

Last but not least;

When we find ourselves in balance our emotions and actions synchronize in harmony bringing us to the present moment. Allowing us to look towards the past in gratitude for the lessons learned and embrace an uncertain future with confidence and self-love.

Namaste

Author:

Glenda Lee Santos; Humble Military and Yoga Warrior; Criminal Justice, BA; RYT-200 hrs; Holistic Practitioner with Foundation in Yoga and Ayurveda; Reiki Master; Spirit Guide Coach; Master Resilience Trainer.