Mantras and the Breath of Life

The lungs are an ideal container for the breath and the production of sound. Breathing takes a unique combination of strength and relaxation. As you breath in, the alveoli—clusters of tiny “balloons” at the end of the branches of your airways—are filled and expanded. As you breathe out, the “balloons” relax. The capacity of the lungs can be increased in several ways, including the singing of mantras and singing in general. The diaphragm (below the lungs) and the intercostal muscles (between the ribs) play a key role in singing and breathing. As you expand your lungs to breathe deeply for … Continue reading

Thyroid, Chanting and Mantras

When I first began chanting, I had been on thyroid medication for over twenty years. The thyroid is the largest organ associated directly with the throat. The women in my extended family have struggled with thyroid issues for generations. My genetics for this particular organ are probably not ideal. Why Choose Chanting? Chanting is a fantastic tool for creating a healthy, balanced thyroid because the vibrations of singing pass directly through the thyroid gland. According to esoteric teachings, the throat is the seat of power, a place where emotions, intentions, praise, and criticism are all expressed. Energetically speaking, the throat … Continue reading

This Painting Healed My Back

My back had been hurting for over a year. I had started doing yoga, but I didn’t remember injuring myself during yoga. I didn’t remember injuring myself at all. One day I just discovered that I had pain in my lower back every time I bent over. Little did I know that an abstract painting would be my cure. I ignored the pain as best I could. My back didn’t hurt all the time, but enough to limit my movement and exercise regime. I tried gentle stretching and gave myself some time to heal. Weeks went by. Then months. There … Continue reading

Workout Lingo

I think I’m starting to catch on to the workout lingo for weight lifting. I’ve learned about supersets (two or more exercises performed in a row without a break between them) and bench presses and back hack squats and lateral raises…. Sometimes the name of an exercise does a pretty good job describing the movement. These pics are a Concentration Curl. I think of this as a very physical moving meditation! … Continue reading

Boundless Health

I wasn’t super strong as a kid. In fact, I got sick a LOT. I wore special shoes because one foot turned out. When I was only three years old, I had drops put in my right eye every day to paralyze it and make the other eye work harder. That was the cure for having a “lazy” left eye. I stuttered a bit and had terrible allergies. I had pneumonia in grade school and five years of allergy shots. I was ill so often that my tonsils were removed in hopes that I’d get strep throat less often. As a … Continue reading

Essential Oils for the Chakras

chakras

There are essential oils that are associated with each of the major chakras. These oils can be used for balancing and healing the chakras. Essential oils have an ancient history of use in religious rituals as well as for medicinal purposes. What I personally appreciate about essential oils is that they operate on many levels: physical, emotional and spiritual. They are volatile, meaning they evaporate easily. They also tie into the sense of smell, which is part of the limbic system. This is where memories and emotions are often stored in the brain. Although recommendations vary, the following essential oils are … Continue reading

Face Yoga Challenge

I’ve just signed up for a 30 Day Face Yoga challenge with Fumiko Takatsu. I rarely sign up for that kind of stuff because. I’m usually motivated to create my own programs and schedules for everything: my work and exercise and my ongoing experiments with health food diets and meditation and all of the other things I am trying to pursue simultaneously. So I haven’t always felt that I needed someone else’s program or challenge to get me going. But something has changed. I’ve heard that you are either basically and introvert or an extrovert for life. I was clearly … Continue reading

The Positive Effects of Chanting

kirtan chanting

The effects of chanting can be a positive influence on the body and mind. When vowels and consonants are put together, chanting emphasizing certain sounds can be constructed to have unique effects on the singer. Mantras that may actually be formulated to influence various body systems. For example, the combination “aha” (A HA!) stimulates the hormonal system to improve the functioning of the body. Interestingly, this ejaculation is used in English when a sudden solution or insight is gained: Indeed! I got it! Certainly! Definitely! That’s it! The effect of using “a ha!” is similar to laughter therapy and relieves stress and depression. The … Continue reading

Color Therapy

color harmony

Color therapy is the use of specific colors to heal the mind and body. There are many systems that suggest particular colors as supportive for the functioning of processes and organs within the human body. These include color acupuncture (shining colored lights on acupuncture points and meridians), color breathing (color visualization combined with breathing exercises), color bathing and many other approaches. Color has a wide range of applications in interior design, clothing, artwork, and the wider environment. Color psychology and color science have come to the fore in philosophies such as feng shui and in the competitive world of marketing and design. The … Continue reading

The Spiritual Power of Hair

Rumors are that during the Vietnam War, American Indian scouts known for their incredible tracking abilities were recruited by the US military. Once they were sent through boot camp, their abilities were critically diminished. In an effort to discover why they could no longer sense the enemy or prepare for danger, investigators eventually narrowed their research down to their need for long hair as a sensing device. Apparently hair is not just for endless primping and fashion. Human hair may function similarly to cat whiskers, a type of feeler or antennae that transmits information to the limbic system, brainstem and … Continue reading