PRACTICE WITH PURPOSE: I am HOPE
The Practice with Purpose series is all about cultivating positive life themes and life forces through the steady practice of yoga. Whether you bring the intentions to your existing practice, or you add a micro-series of asanas and/or meditation to your mornings, your body, mind and soul will benefit from your intention.
This article is about HOPE. I tend to be fearful of the unknown, so I need to manage my thoughts, feelings and actions to stay positive and hopeful. This is one of my best life-hacks. Read on for ways to mindfully invite HOPE into your life. Integrate what you can into your daily practice, notice what you are already doing, and build a solid foundation for HOPE to thrive.
I AM HOPE
Positivity is a choice we make each day. We can choose to be hopeful by exercising daily, meditating, reframing obstacles and practicing asanas and pranayamas (breath) that focus on the Crown Chakra.
Hope resides in the Crown Chakra The Crown Chakra is located at the crown of the head and is associated with the central nervous system and pineal gland. It is the source of inner peace, intuition and connection to life. Physical ailments associated with a Crown Chakra imbalance are depression, worry, stress, isolation and disconnection. When our Crown Chakra is balanced, hope is strong. Our love and light radiates out to others around us.
The Crown Chakra is the highest and most spiritual Chakra. Light foods can be used to nourish this chakra. Consider healthy intermittent fasting which allows us to gain more mental clarity and clear out toxins in the body. Heal your Crown Chakra through diet by drinking lots of water, herbal teas and healthy broths.
Meditation Meditation is a key part of maintaining positivity. It allows us to get in touch with our true nature, purifies and gives us power over our thoughts. It allows us a chance to distance ourselves from situations so we can pause before reacting. If we usually react negatively to a bad situation, we can choose to reframe the situation. Perhaps, your challenges can be viewed from the perspective of learning and growth. When we control our thoughts through meditation, we can give less energy to negative thoughts and more energy to positive ones.
Mantra meditation is an effective way to quiet the mind. Repeat the mantra, “Ke-Sham” (or a mantra of your choice) for 10 minutes. After that time, imagine your energy rising effortlessly from the base of your pelvis out through the crown of your head. Visualize a feeling of the crown of your head opening like a thousand-petal lotus flower.
Hansa Mudra In Sanskrit, the word Mudra translates to “seal” or “gesture”. Through the movements of our hands and fingers, Mudras help to connect our mind and body by activating our energy flow. Each of the different hand gestures are thought to lock in energy and help it flow more efficiently. They can be seen as tools to help the flow of subtle energies in the body and enhance an individual’s yoga practice. Hansa mudra can induce feelings of joy, positivity and hope. To add this mudra to meditation, bring your thumb, forefinger, middle finger and ring finger to touch. Allow your tiny finger to remain long and extended. Practice this mudra with your eyes closed and bring to mind 5-10 things that make you happy.
Asanas Poses that strengthen and poses that create the energy of surrendering and stillness cultivate hope. Your yoga practice likely already includes these poses. Being aware and mindful when you are in these poses, will invite in your purpose.
Strengthening Asanas help to instill positive energy into our bodies:
- Side Plank (Vasisthasana)
- Dolphin (Arda Pincha Mayurasana)
Surrendering Asanas where you are forward bending and the crown of your head is lowered create surrender.
- Downward Facing Dog (Adho Muka Svanasana)
- Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
- Wide-Legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana)
Meditative Asanas invite stillness. Always allow 5-10 minutes of meditation to receive the benefits of your practice.
- Lotus Pose (Padmasana)
- Corpse Pose (Savasana)
You may feel skeptical that these suggestions will make a difference. Stick with it. These gestures are potent when done regularly. You cultivate what you put your energy into. I have been doing this awhile and it has made a difference in my life. I hope it will work for you!