0 comments on “Happiness is Contagious”

Happiness is Contagious

Guest post by Silvia Mordini

In 1948, scientists and doctors began the most comprehensive study on heart disease ever conducted. Over 60 years later, the Framingham Heart Study still continues. Because the study involves so many people and spans such a long time period, there are many different aspects that scientists continue to study. One of their key findings relates to the happiness theory.

Scientists found that we experience happiness through social connections.  Therefore, the clusters of people around you strongly influence how you feel. In fact, a positive change in one person affects everyone in their friend cluster. Your probability for increased happiness improves 15% if your most immediate friend is happy, 10% if a friend of your friend is happy, and so on until four degrees of separation.

They have discovered and quantified what yogis have known for thousands of years: happiness is contagious.  

Many practice yoga or go for a run because they feel good after. Physical activity releases endorphins into your body, which make you feel good. By feeling better and being happy, you influence others to feel better, too.  What you do to manage your thoughts to create happy cells impacts those around you. In this way, we are creating our world thought by thought. We can influence more people than we ever realized, simply by being happy.

The Yoga Sutras spell out that if we are not balanced mentally, physically, or emotionally, then we are not living our true, naturally happy potential. To remedy this, we are taught to practice Pratipaksha Bhavana (Chapter 2.33) to eliminate negative thoughts by denying them our attention. Instead of wasting energy by engaging or resisting our negative thoughts, we replace them with positive ones. Over time this process of substitution sublimates negative thinking. Engage happy thoughts and try this breath meditation when you need to reframe your outlook.

Inhale: I welcome happiness
Exhale: I am grateful
Inhale:  I welcome inspiration
Exhale:  I am grateful
Inhale:  I welcome love
Exhale:  I am grateful
Inhale: I welcome hope
Exhale: I am grateful

In a world where almost anything can go viral, why not inspire happiness? Knowing that Happiness is contagious means that happiness benefits more than just you: those around you reap the benefits as well. Let’s join together in a happiness movement, where joy, happiness, and peace spread to everyone around us!

Love yourself, love your day, love your life!
Silvia

—————–

_LAB9523Editor’s note:  This is a guest post by Silvia Mordini, CEO, Transformation Leader, and Author. With contagious enthusiasm Silvia encourages everyone she meets to love their life! Her expert passion connects people to their own joyful potential. She has been teaching happiness, global awareness, & mindfulness for 20 years. Silvia, born in Ecuador, proud of her Italian heritage and raised as a world traveler, is a well-loved internationally recognized Motivational Speaker, Love Alchemist, and Mindfulness Teacher at conferences worldwide. Her classes holistically integrate various styles of yoga, primarily Vinyasa, Kundalini, and Anusara. You can’t help but leave her workshops, RYT200 Alchemy of Yoga teacher trainings & Alchemy Tours retreats spiritually uplifted!

Before becoming a serial Entrepreneur, Silvia had a thirteen-year Human Resource career including as Director for an international Fortune 100 professional services company. She founded and owned Total Body Yoga Studio with over 9,000 clients for ten years. In young adulthood she was run over by a car—a life changing accident that led her to discover the “Alchemy” of Yoga and Meditation to heal and transcend. She is the Founder of the fifteen year old world renowned Alchemy of Yoga Teacher Training School with over 29 graduating classes of Alchemist Alumni. In 2009 she founded Alchemy Tours, an International Retreat company specializing in Personal Development. With over 12,000 hours of yoga teaching experience she makes yoga approachable, fun, and inspiring for everyone. She has been inspiring happiness, global awareness, and joyful living in students for more than fifteen years.

Tune into her motivational “Loving Your Day” Podcast. Read her popular blog “Happiness Prescriptions”, and learn to love yourself, love your day, love your life along with enjoying her “Loving Your Day” YouTube channel.

She has written hundreds of lifestyle, travel & wellness articles for publications such as MindBodyGreen (USA), Elephant Journal, DOYOU (Hong Kong), Wanderlust (USA), Mantra Wellness Magazine, Gaia, Yogi Times, Daily Cup of Yoga (USA), and is a wellness expert as seen in HuffPost and Medium.

Most importantly through personal experience she knows it’s possible to transform your trauma to dharma and transmute your drama to dreams.

You can reach her by email at silvia@silviamordini.com

Inspired Yoga, Love, and Travel for a LIFE Inspired
Personal
: https://www.silviamordini.com/  Twitter/Instagram @inspiredyogagal

Yoga: https://alchemyofyoga.com              Twitter/Instagram @alchemyofyoga
Travel  https://alchemytours.com               Twitter/Instagram @alchemytours
Love: http://lovingyourday.com              Twitter/Instagram  @lovingyourday

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4 comments on “How to Get Over a Bad Mood by Cultivating Breath Awareness”

How to Get Over a Bad Mood by Cultivating Breath Awareness

Yoga is the dance of every cell with the music of every breath that creates inner serenity and harmony.”  – Debashish Mirdha, MD., neurosurgeon & philosopher 

So you’re in a mood. 

What do you do? 

What are your go-to ways to get over it? 

Whatever way you choose to work through your moods, here’s one thing to know: 

Moodiness isn’t “good” or “bad.” 

It’s neutral. 

It provides us with clues about what’s going on underneath the surface of our awareness. 

They’re like the tip of the iceberg of our inner world – the world of our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, perceptions, fears, etc.

A particularly bad mood can be like a tape caught on loop and overdrive. 

Except the tape is our mind and we tend to loop hard when we’re bothered/ pissed/ annoyed/ disappointed/ overwhelmed/ irritated… you get the idea. 

So what do we do? 

We start breathing. 

We tune into the breath and use it to help us navigate the waters of mind and emotions.

Yogic sages have known for thousands of years that the breath is the portal through which we can transform stress and anxiety while accessing a state of inner calm and grounded balance.

Our breathing patterns are intimately tied to our emotions.

Influence one, and you also impact the other. 

 They form what’s called the Breath-Emotion Loop:

1- Our emotions, thoughts, and moods influence our breathing patterns. 

Next time you’re in a mood pay attention to your breathing pattern. You’ll probably notice it’s short, shallow, erratic and/or quick. 

Then notice your breathing next time you feel calm, safe, deep in concentration, or at ease. Notice it’ll probably be slower, longer, even-paced, and/or deeper. 

2- Our breathing patterns can influence our mood. 

If you were to start breathing rapidly taking short and shallow breaths you’ll likely start feeling either awake and alert, or anxious and on guard. 

And so, if you begin breathing slowly and deeply you will most probably begin to feel less uneasy and more relaxed.

Paying attention to our breathing patterns can tell us a lot about our mood. 

Often times we’re not even aware we’re in a mood until something or someone on the outside reflects it back to us and it’s only then that we realize. 

We can become more still and present by consciously controlling our inhales and exhales, and that’s how awareness is born. 

And this is also yoga. 

You don’t need to use your body or a mat to practice yoga.

You can use only your breath and this is yogic practice (sadhana) too. 

The Hatha Yoga Pradipika, a 500-year-old authoritative yogic text states that: 

When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life.” 

Cultivating the habit of daily breath awareness is so effective at stilling the ripples of the mind that even Buddha himself taught this practice to monks.

In particular, the Buddhist Anapanasati Sutta, also known as the “Discourse on the Full Awareness of Breathing,” details Buddha’s instructions on how to use the breath to cultivate calm focus and mindfulness (aka Anapana breathing):

“Breathing in, I know I am breathing in. 

Breathing out, I know I am breathing out. 

Breathing in, I am aware of my whole body. 

Breathing out, I am aware of my whole body. 

Breathing in, I calm my whole body. 

Breathing out, I calm my whole body” 

Mindfully paying attention to our breath means noticing and observing it without judging it and without having the need to change it in any way. 

Just noticing the inhales and exhales.

Becoming so awake, aware, and present that we can actually start to feel the inner waves our breath creates.

Bringing full awareness to the sensation and feeling of the breath coming into the nostrils and coming out of the nostrils. 

If a thought comes, (which it will, especially if you’re in a mood!) simply bring your attention back to the breath. 

Each time the mind wanders, just bring it back to the present moment – the moment where you’re breathing just as you are. Right here, right now. 

By cultivating this simple daily habit, we can start to shift the way we feel right now, so we can eventually also shift the way we perceive our reality and our experiences. 

This inevitably creates empowering changes in our mood and temperament. 

This is how we use our breath and our awareness to get over emotional humps and hurdles more quickly, more efficiently, and more productively. 

Want to give it a try? 

Join in on this guided meditation:

Remember:

“When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still.”

You can calm your breath by just starting to pay attention to it. 

This simple practice can have powerful exponential effects if it becomes a daily habit. 

May you find peace and refuge in your breath. 

Sat nam. 

——————-

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Osmara Aryal, MBA, the founder of CalmWithYoga.com, a site dedicated to using yogic philosophy, mindfulness, and meditation to increase inner calm, mental focus, vital energy, and quality rest. She’s a Certified Functional Nutrition Practitioner and a Certified Yoga Teacher, specializing in Yoga Nidra, Yin Yoga, and Meditation. Her work has been featured multiple times on CNN and the Miami Herald.  When she’s not exploring corners of the world with her husband, or when her eyes aren’t glued to the computer researching, you’ll find her concocting gut-healing dishes in her kitchen, or cuddling with fur-babies Yodha and Molly. 


3 comments on “Spiritual Adulting (Means Taking Time Out for Spiritual Maintenance)”

Spiritual Adulting (Means Taking Time Out for Spiritual Maintenance)

affirmation-silvia

Do you invest more time and money taking care of your car than you do for yourself?

Every year your car minimally requires:

  • Oil change every 5,000-7,000 miles
  • Rotate your tires every 7,500 miles
  • Break pads changed every 25,000 miles

These are just a few things responsible adults do to keep their car running smoothly. Can you imagine if you made even half this investment into your personal well-being?

Honestly, is it time for some spiritual maintenance? Here are some ideas for stepping up to the challenge of spiritual adulting.

Maintenance means upkeep, preservation, and care. The opposite of this means neglect. We’ve all ignored the warning signs until we reach that point where we don’t sleep well, feel out of sorts, live with physical aches and pains and get impatient with those around us. Just like the system of warning lights in our cars, advising us to pay attention, our spiritual warning system can send out alarms as well.

Remember, just like we don’t want to run out of gas on the road or blow a head gasket, we shouldn’t let our bodies wear down or our minds wear out either.

All we have to do is notice. Pay attention. Or better yet, before something happens, schedule time for yourself to recharge so you don’t slip backwards, which is one of the nine kinds of obstacles encountered on the Spiritual path of happiness according to Pantanjali’s Yoga Sutra Chapter 1 Verse 30.

Slipping Backwards is known as “anavasthitatva.”

Often after we have worked hard to attain a goal, like losing 10 pounds, getting stronger, sleeping longer, working less, being less distracted, eating healthy, it is often our inability to maintain the progress we’ve achieved that becomes our bigger obstacle. When we stop making time for regular maintenance we can slip backwards into unhealthy patterns like not getting enough sleep, eating unhealthy, or working all weekend.

Other ways to describe this include: Slipping down, backsliding, regressing, relapsing.

It is not enough to achieve our intentions through diligent self-work. Spiritual adulting means to continue to remain focused and maintain progress once achieved. In other words, to keep it going because it is important to our personal development and core integrity. No excuses.

No one can do this for us. It’s up to us to keep our commitment to living our best lives. Even at times when we might “slip backwards” we can renew our commitment and again promise to stay the course to keep going for our good and the good of our contributions to the world.

Game on. Today is an opportunity to make deposits into your health and happiness. What are you going to do to destress, unplug, get strong, quiet your mind, and get your emotions, thoughts, and body back in alignment? What does your ultimate tune-up look like? Am you ready for spiritual adulting?  You bet you are.

Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia

—————–

_LAB9523Editor’s note:  This is a guest post by Silvia Mordini, CEO, Transformation Leader, and Author. With contagious enthusiasm Silvia encourages everyone she meets to love their life! Her expert passion connects people to their own joyful potential. She has been teaching happiness, global awareness, & mindfulness for 20 years. Silvia, born in Ecuador, proud of her Italian heritage and raised as a world traveler, is a well-loved internationally recognized Motivational Speaker, Love Alchemist, and Mindfulness Teacher at conferences worldwide. Her classes holistically integrate various styles of yoga, primarily Vinyasa, Kundalini, and Anusara. You can’t help but leave her workshops, RYT200 Alchemy of Yoga teacher trainings & Alchemy Tours retreats spiritually uplifted!

Before becoming a serial Entrepreneur, Silvia had a thirteen-year Human Resource career including as Director for an international Fortune 100 professional services company. She founded and owned Total Body Yoga Studio with over 9,000 clients for ten years. In young adulthood she was run over by a car—a life changing accident that led her to discover the “Alchemy” of Yoga and Meditation to heal and transcend. She is the Founder of the fifteen year old world renowned Alchemy of Yoga Teacher Training School with over 29 graduating classes of Alchemist Alumni. In 2009 she founded Alchemy Tours, an International Retreat company specializing in Personal Development. With over 12,000 hours of yoga teaching experience she makes yoga approachable, fun, and inspiring for everyone. She has been inspiring happiness, global awareness, and joyful living in students for more than fifteen years.

Tune into her motivational “Loving Your Day” Podcast. Read her popular blog “Happiness Prescriptions”, and learn to love yourself, love your day, love your life along with enjoying her “Loving Your Day” YouTube channel.

She has written hundreds of lifestyle, travel & wellness articles for publications such as MindBodyGreen (USA), Elephant Journal, DOYOU (Hong Kong), Wanderlust (USA), Mantra Wellness Magazine, Gaia, Yogi Times, Daily Cup of Yoga (USA), and is a wellness expert as seen in HuffPost and Medium.

Most importantly through personal experience she knows it’s possible to transform your trauma to dharma and transmute your drama to dreams.

You can reach her by email at silvia@silviamordini.com

Inspired Yoga, Love, and Travel for a LIFE Inspired
Personal: https://www.silviamordini.com/  Twitter/Instagram @inspiredyogagal

Yoga: https://alchemyofyoga.com              Twitter/Instagram @alchemyofyoga
Travel  https://alchemytours.com               Twitter/Instagram @alchemytours
Love: http://lovingyourday.com              Twitter/Instagram  @lovingyourday

1 comment on “4 Simple Ways to Meditate More”

4 Simple Ways to Meditate More

homepage.jpg

To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti

Many of us find meditation incredibly difficult. Sitting, breathing… waiting? What is it all for, anyway? We read articles and watch documentaries on the powerful effects of meditation, however, the commitment to sit and meditate can be daunting. I have found some really simple practices that bring me to a meditative state that can be integrated at any moment in time. Whether you are eating dinner, talking with your family, or driving in your car, here are some simple practices to bring you back into the present moment:

1. Take A Walk

My favorite thing to clear my mind is to take a walk. Whether I am traveling in a new city or walking the streets of my hometown that I have seen a thousand times before, walking gives the experience of feeling fully integrated into the environment. Going for a walk increases endorphins, and most importantly, offers an opportunity to become more aware of your surroundings.

2. Notice Your Five Senses

No matter what you are doing right now, you can stop, and take note of your five senses. What are you seeing? Do you notice colors, shapes, or something else? What do you smell? What are you touching? How does it feel? Are you tasting anything? What can you hear? Can you stop what you are thinking, and simply relax into the experience of the five senses?

By putting our awareness on the world around us, it instantly becomes no longer about “me,” and more about our surroundings. By bringing our awareness to our present experience through the body, we can instantly become grounded in the present moment. As we become more focused we are on our own experience, the less space there is for judgment, comparison, or anything of the like.

3. Listen

I find listening to be the most profound of the five senses. When my thoughts are going haywire, when I listen to the world around me, they instantly become silenced. Where we put our attention, energy follows. By putting our attention on the world outside of our minds, our energy follows.

4. Beware of Your Words

How words hold our creative power. When we learn to be impeccable with our word, we can experience how powerful they really are. When what we say, feel, and do are in alignment, we are in great mental health. When I slow down, and really listen to what I am about to say, I am able to speak my truth freely.

Life can be a living meditation, but it takes consistent awareness to return to the present moment. These are simple practices I have personally discovered which help me regain my grounding. In this space of presence, we have access to our greater intelligence and connection in our lives. We are all already what we are looking for if we could only stop to experience it, right here, and right now. For more tips and tools on yoga, meditation, healing and the arts, head over to The Inside World.

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DSC_86271500px196.jpgEditor’s note: This is a guest post by Lexi Faith. Lexi teaches Sattva Yoga and Yoga Therapy, meditation, reiki and is an artist based in Bali, Indonesia. She is passionate about guiding women to reconnect to their creative, intuitive nature through coaching, yoga, meditation and the arts, and she offers daily drop in classes and retreats around the world. For more information, one on one sessions, and info on her upcoming retreats, head over to The Inside World.