This past weekend was my annual September women’s retreat at Camp Friendship just outside Prince George. Nineteen powerful, inspiring and radiant women came together in nature to laugh, practice, breathe, dance, eat, meditate, ceremony, explore and connect deeply into the Divine Feminine. We kept our hearts soft and open, we honoured our bodies, we revered each women’s unique gifts, and held sacred the wisdom of each other and the great mother Earth.
I feel beyond blessed to be able to share sacred Shakti teachings within such an incredible community ~ I am so grateful for the power of sisterhood!
One of the many practices we explored was a very simple and divinely delicious self massage. The Ayurvedic system calls this Abyhanga. The first practice of the day, self massage is a devoted expression of self-love. It is also a way to detoxify the body’s largest organ (the skin), stimulate your body’s energetic channels so your energy flows freely, and revitalizes the mind preparing you for your day. And it feels amazing!
Here are the basics – remember to breathe deeply throughout:
- Begin at the head. Massage the scalp and do a little hair pulling to release the fascia around the skull and face
- Sweep your fingers across the face, from the midline outwards with your first 2 finger. Move from the hairline to the lower jaw
- Gentle rub the throat and hum a couple of times
- Massage the back of the neck, the shoulders and as far as you can reach on your upper back
- Knead the arms. Use softer circular motions at the elbows and wrists. Massage the entire hand right to the finger tip. Repeat on other side
- With flat palms, make circular motions across the front of the body including the breasts. Large clockwise circles around the abdominal area
- Rub the side ribs, waist and hips
- Rub the kidney area getting it nice and warm
- Make a loose fist and pound the buttocks and thighs, or rub briskly with your hand if you prefer
- Massage & knead the legs. Soft circular motions around the knees. Press into the back midline of the calves.
- Massage the feet – linger here, it feels so good! Lots of acupressure and reflexology points here. Repeat on other side
- When complete, shake out the hands, close your eyes and take several deep breaths savouring the experience and the feeling of energy running freely in your body.
To see how I do my morning self massage, check out this video.
Why not make this a part of your morning routine? Try it for a few days and send me a note to tell me about your experience and how this practice changes your day.
love & pranams,
PS. Would you like to join me on a 3 day women’s retreat outside of Prince George? 2019 dates are March 28-31, 2019 and Sept 12-15, 2019. Reserve your spot early, these retreats almost always sell out!
Tonight we will experience a Full Moon in Pisces. The Dakota Sioux people call this the “moon when all things ripen”.
As the last sign on the zodiac wheel, Pisces is about endings and transitions. It’s time to surrender, symbolically wave the white flag, and accept the things we cannot change. As Pisces is also a dual sign, it means we will experience some of life’s paradoxs, like being a Spirit being in this very human and physical world.
When the full moon arrives, it’s time to create space to take stock of what has and has yet come to fruition. A full moon ritual is a time to get quiet, reflect, and celebrate. Unlike the new moon, the full moon represents fruitfulness and completeness and brings with it a lot of energy.
I’ll be celebrating tonight and you might want to as well. Here’s a Full Moon Ritual you can use to ground your heightened states, revel in your successes and strongly release that which is no longer serving you.
PISCES FULL MOON RITUAL
What you’ll need:
- Altar Space
- Pen & Paper
- Smudge: palo santo, sage, ceremonial tobacco
- Crystal or semi-precious stone (one you feel comfortable releasing)
- Water in a bowl, if inspired, throw in a few flowers
Cleanse yourself, your altar/space, and chosen crystal with sage, palo santo, or ceremonial tobacco along with lighting candles and incense. Have your paper and pen ready to write. If there is a prayer or chant that you would like to use, have it available to recite.
On a piece of paper, acknowledge all of the blessings that have manifested in your reality since the New Moon or even in the past month. Muse about the amazing opportunities, love, experiences, and people you are grateful for.
Next, take your crystal and while holding it, allow everything you are ready to release from your life currently (such as old negative beliefs, people, or experiences) to be absorbed into the crystal.
Once finished, take this crystal outside and giving the energy and thanks to Mama Gaia, bury the crystal in the ground and ask Gaia to take this energy you no longer need from your life. Ruled by Neptune, god of the seas, Pisces is the zodiac’s mermaid as it is ruled by Neptune, god of the seas. Wash your hands and feet in the bowl of water. Or even pour the water over your head and allow yourself to be completely cleansed.
Release any expectations and place your trust in your moon magic ritual that your invocations have been heard.
love & pranams,
Can you imagine what this world would be like if everyone practiced some form of mindfulness or meditation? I believe this is possible. Every time we create the space to be present with our breath and intentions, we create a shift within the collective – a shift that ripples out and inspires others, even at a subconscious level, to make that same space within themselves.
Today I’d like to share a simple and beautiful practice of healing, forgiveness and inner peace that always leaves me feeling amazing.
THE 5 MINUTE LOVE SHOWER MEDITATION
In this practice, you shower yourself with acknowledgement, self-respect and love. It can be done anytime, maybe after your yoga practice, a quiet moment at home or on a walk outside enjoying nature. This is simply a time to reflect on how beautifully you’ve turned out, right now, exactly as you are! If you feel some resistance to this, that’s ok. With practice you will notice that resistance beginning to fade and the capacity to fully receive being celebrated starting to grow.
As you inhale, feel yourself taking in praise, love, and pride from the Universe – and on your exhale allow this shower of love to sink into your cells, enlivening and rejuvenating them.
Feel the love of all creation being washed over you, and give yourself permission to soak it all in. Allow that inner love to wash away feelings of doubt or fear.
Remember, your challenges, your wounding, your pain, and your lessons are what have created the amazing, loving, and inspiring human you are today. All of you is worth celebrating.
“I am blooming from the wound where I once bled.” – Rune Lazuli
love & pranams,
Moon rituals are an ancient and sacred practice that have been celebrated for millennia in India, China, Babylonia, and Egypt where moon worship was an integral part of the culture. The ancients observed that the phases of the moon influenced the growth of plants, the tides and the behaviour of animals and human life. Savouring moonlight throughout the month was seen as both a sacred and necessary part of the cycle of life.
Our modern world tends to be dismissive of the power and effect of the moon, but many still realize and celebrate the internal and psychic connection of this cosmic body in our lives. A moon ritual enjoyed today has just as much sacredness as in years past and brings a beautifully ancient and quiet practice into our never-stop contemporary world.
One complete cycle of the moon takes exactly 28 days to complete, ebbing and flowing just as our menstrual cycles do. Rituals related to the moon invite us to go inward and get quiet, free from distractions. We have the opportunity to be one with the energy of our environment and mindfully plant seeds of intention.
When you begin syncing your ritual and manifestation practices with the moon, you are aligning your energy to the potent energies already existing around you, magnifying your abilities to attract what you desire and release what you don’t.
OVERVIEW OF THE MOON CYCLES
New Moon: A New Moon happens when the sun (yang energy) aligns, or conjoins, with the moon (yin essence). This is a time to get still, breathe new life into areas that might be stuck and invite new intentions. This new cycle of energy heralds fresh opportunities, visions and dreams.
Waxing Moon: The moon is growing, which also signifies the growing of your intentions. Be open to continued inspiration, guidance, and vision to result in direct action of your dreams. My advice is to focus on one intention and spend time visualizing and creating space for manifestation daily.
Full Moon: The moon is now in her full feminine splendor. This is the culmination of power, peak creative energy and incredibly powerful intuitive breakthroughs. It is the time to celebrate embodiment and what has come to fruition. At the Full Moon, the energy is potent, all consuming and and intense. This energy gives you the impulse to take action, especially regarding the intentions you set during the New Moon. This can also be a powerful time to release emotions, beliefs, people, experiences from your life, or anything you have outgrown.
Waning Moon: As the light disseminates, we begin to draw ourselves back in. We can reflect on the past lunar cycle – what happened, what we have learned and what lessons we can bring forward. Re-read your intention and evaluate how you have changed since it was written. Consider how you want to move forward during the next lunar cycle.
On August 26th we will welcome the Full Moon. And I’ll be sharing more in my next email on a special ritual you can weave into your Full Moon practice.
love & pranams,
Jung believed that we each associate with things differently. This means that our unique symbolism is unique to us given our past history and associations. A tamborine for you might make you think of the Beatles, and for me it makes me think of the chaos of a child and their toy.
Symbols are also very powerful in mood associations. When I drive past familiar land marks on my way to a childhood favourite place, I get excited and all those old memories return. When I drive to my parents place, I see familiar signs and corners in the road that make me return to my teenage years. If my kids could just tell you about the stories I tell them in these moments!
In this way, symbols can be used to help us return to our zen spot as we journey throughout our days, to return to those spots we may have achieved while on the mat during our Asana practice.
Can you pick out any symbols I have used in this photograph to prepare our alter for ceremony?
Do you have some symbols that you regularly use that are powerful for you in creating that zen place we all crave and require to be emotionally stable humans??
“You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state. What you can do are yoga exercises, which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state.” ~ Sharon Gannon
Asanas are known as the physical practice of yoga. Yoga itself is almost entirely a mental practice, the physical practice being a tool used to get deeper.
That being said, a physical practice of yoga is very powerful for the body and mind, as well!