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Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Mercury Retrograde

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Plus, how your yoga practice can help you deal.

No matter your Sun or Moon sign, whether you care about astrology or not, Mercury Retrograde treats everyone equally.

Mercury Retrograde has quickly become one of the most popular—and feared—events in astrology.

You’ve most likely heard one of your friends or co-workers mention it in conversation, blaming it for some technological breakdown. As one of the few astrological phenomena that affects everyone the same way, Mercury Retrograde attracts the attention of everyone from bankers on Wall Street to yoga teachers in Santa Monica. Where the Full Moon, for instance, may bring one person energy while making another feel like they can’t get out of bed, Mercury retrograde does the same number on all of us. No matter your Sun or Moon sign, whether you care about astrology or not, Mercury Retrograde treats everyone equally.

See also What Your Sign Says About Your Yoga + Fitness Personality

When Does Mercury Retrograde Happen?

Although it seems to always be occurring, Mercury Retrogrades take place three times a year for three weeks at a time. In 2019, Mercury will station retrograde from March 5th-March 28th, July 7th-July 31st, and October 13th-Nov 3rd.

The first step in understanding Mercury Retrograde is to know when it is happening. Mark your calendars and know that there are certain things you’ll want to avoid during this period, but there are also opportunities for growth.

What is a Retrograde?

When planets station retrograde, they appear to move backward in our sky. Mercury is not actually backpedaling though; it is just an optical illusion.

Mercury is the fastest moving planet in the Solar System, circling the Sun every 88 days. Retrogrades occur when Mercury passes Earth. Have you ever been on a train and another train passes you? For a moment it seems the faster moving train is going backward until it finally overtakes the slower one. This is the same effect which occurs in our sky when Mercury passes the Earth.

What Does Mercury rule?

Mercury rules our communication, including all of our technology and systems of information exchange. Mercury affects the part of us that absorbs information and transmits that information to others.

When mercury retrogrades, the normal flow of energy is reversed. Ideas and thoughts seem to get stuck within our mind instead of easily pouring outwards. The same occurs with our digital communication: e-mail servers go down, social media platforms show their bugs, and our normal connections fail to work as expected. It can be a frustrating time when information is lost or misconstrued. Communication seems to get stuck, then like a slingshot, it breaks through in an unorganized way, confusing everyone.

See also 5 Poses to Help You Reconnect With Your Partner After a Miscommunication

Tips for Mercury Retrograde

Below are a few simple practices that can help you navigate Mercury Retrograde without falling prey to its havoc or spending three weeks feeling frustrated over lost emails:

Mercury Retrograde Tip No. 1: Collect your words when speaking. Pause before you speak and take a few breaths to center your thoughts. Also, don’t rush yourself if you’re not ready. Silence is better than mixed messages.

Mercury Retrograde Tip No. 2: Give other people space. In conversation, encourage both parties to take a deep breath during moments of confusion or interruptions. Mercury Retrograde can cause our minds to move very fast, giving way to people talking over one another and not listening. Stay centered in yourself and your grounded energy will help everyone else.

Mercury Retrograde Tip No. 3: Check for typos. Mercury Retrograde is infamous for causing typos, grammar errors and hitting “send” before the message is complete. Again, our mind speeds up during this time, jumbling our thoughts and our fingers. Read your message a few times and even ask someone else to edit your important work during this period.

Mercury Retrograde Tip No. 4: Read the details of contracts. It’s technically best not to sign important agreements during Mercury Retrograde. If you must, read every line three times. Know that Mercury Retrograde “breaks” anything that is not perfectly aligned. So even if you do miss something in the terms, chances are it will fall apart naturally, if it isn’t the right fit for you.

Mercury Retrograde Tip No. 5: Confirm plans. This goes for your own plans, like travel itineraries, and your meetings with others. Double check those dinner plans, so you don’t find yourself eating alone. Also, try to have compassion and understanding for when people do miss calls and meetings.

Mercury Retrograde Tip No. 6: Connect with nature, especially when you are experiencing technological breakdowns. Time with Mother Earth will re-center your energy and get you out of your head for a moment. It will also give you, and your technology, time to reboot.

Mercury Retrograde Tip No. 7: Spend time journaling. One of the benefits of Mercury Retrograde is greater access to your thoughts and feelings. During this time, conversations with yourself are easier and answers effortlessly rise to the surface.

Mercury Retrograde Tip No. 8: Be open to redirection. If Mercury Retrograde breaks something in your world, consider it a good thing. If energies are perfectly aligned, Mercury won’t be able to affect them. See any “destruction” as an opportunity to build something stronger and more aligned with your internal energy.

See also How to Work With Your Thoughts to Manifest a Bright Future

Yoga can help you get through mercury retrogrades a little easier. 

How Can Yoga Help You Handle Mercury Retrogrades?

Yoga is very beneficial during Mercury Retrograde. The key to navigating this period with your sanity intact is to stay centered in your body. Your connection with your breath is vital during this period, as it will slow down your mind and clear away any frustration.

Here are a few poses that will help ground and center your energy. Practice them anytime you feel your nerves become rattled or you need to a reset:

1. Mountain Pose

This pose will leave you feeling strong, centered and capable of persevering any storm MercuryRetrograde may throw at you.

2. Goddess Pose

Feel your inner power with this pose, and then open your body to receive strength from the universe to conquer challenges in front of you.

3. Eagle Pose

It’s impossible to think about computer problems, much less anything else, in this pose. Find your focus, and your confidence, while having a bit of fun too.

4. Standing Forward Bend

When you need a moment to relax your nervous system, take a simple forward bend. You can do this anywhere and at any time. It’s also the perfect energetic reset as you wait for your computer to do the same.

5. Child’s Pose

When all else fails, connect your head to the ground and breath. There are times when you need a bit of comfort, and this pose is the perfect remedy for the anxiety Mercury Retrograde can bring.

The most important thing to remember during Mercury Retrograde is that it will pass. The problems this astrological phenomenon can cause are temporary. Stay centered in your breath and look for the silver linings. There are just as many opportunities during this period as there are frustrations. Keep a positive outlook—and when that’s not possible, give yourself space away from technology and others to re-center yourself.



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One Yoga Teacher's 3 Lessons We Could All Learn About Making Money

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Yoga and abundance don’t always feel like they belong together. One yoga teacher shares the lessons she learned about accepting wealth and tearing down financial barriers that weren’t serving her.

As I watched the snow fall into the hot tub at the retreat center I was visiting, nestled in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, I found myself thinking, How did I get this luxury?! Taking four days off to indulge at a hot springs in the mountains while learning from my yoga mentor seemed like a far cry from my start as a yoga teacher. Being underpaid was a regular occurrence when I first started teaching. Struggling to buy groceries, trips to the gas station hoping that I didn’t go over the twenty dollars I had in my wallet, and not being able to afford health care (gulp) were discomforts I grew strangely accustomed to.

I was extremely passionate about teaching yoga and I loved doing it, but my bank account did not match my passion as an instructor. As much as I would like to blame corporations, point my finger at capitalism, and gnash my teeth at the unfair nature of my soulful work being so undervalued, the truth is that my value as a teacher was already at a deficit before I even stepped foot into a yoga studio.

See also 10 Business Secrets to Starting a Successful Yoga Career

When I followed the thread that led me to being a “poor yoga teacher,” I could trace it all the way back to the old sayings that were instilled in my absorbent young brain as a child: “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” “You have to work hard for money.” Or the most insidious, “Good people don’t need money.”

These seeds grew in my subconscious at a slow and steady rate. Over time, they became my reality, and as my yoga career developed, so did my belief that money meant struggle.

See also A 5-Minute Meditation To Relieve Financial Stress

I said “yes” to unpaid yoga gigs. I constantly bustled across town from one teaching job to the next. And I watched as my own practice fell to the wayside because teaching at a high volume was siphoning all my time and energy.

Finally I hit a bottom. I was fed up with scraping by, and I knew something had to change. I realized that if I wanted abundance, I needed to make a choice. That choice was to start shifting my perspective around money so that that I could not only heal my relationship with money, but also welcome prosperity into my life.

See also A Katonah Yoga Sequence To Live A More Abundant Life

There were three critical things that shifted the tide for me, and I know they can help any teacher looking to give themselves a raise.

1. Realize that spirituality means abundance

When you go into class and speak the word “abundance,” can you honestly say that you are feeling it in all areas of your life? Chaining yourself to the idea that being spiritual means financially struggling can disrupt the abundance that is waiting for you. When you accept that financial abundance and spirituality can have a thriving working relationship, it will reflect in your spirit—and your bank account! Take it from visionary Maya Angelou, who said, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive”.

See also The Yoga of Money: Take Wisdom from the Mat to Your Finances

2. Get crystal clear on your teaching intention

For some people, teaching a full load of 15 classes a week can strain your health and your capacity to serve. As in any other business, it can take time to build a network and establish a presence in the yoga space. Figure out a teaching strategy that will fulfill you and help maintain your sanity—not detract from it. Do you see yourself teaching full time? Does having a full-time job while teaching two to three classes sound fulfilling? Get clear on what is right for YOU. The way I figured this out was by getting support from a business coach and community I trusted so that I could navigate how to market myself and speak effectively about my services.

See also Live + Practice From the Heart: Identify True Intention

3. Seek great mentorship

One of the most pivotal steps you can take to open to financial abundance is to seek guidance from other successful yogis. Learning from others who gained wisdom and experience from walking a path before me allowed me to understand the paths available to me. Just like your daily local teacher, learning from someone who knows the ropes is so much easier than trying to figure it out yourself. I also sought guidance from business mentors and like minded women who were committed to living on purpose that could teach me how to offer my gifts, live my purpose, and get the structure I needed to financially sustain myself. Look for local clubs, meetups, and other networking opportunities in which you’ll be able to make valuable connections in the community.

See also A Yoga Teacher’s Guide to Social Networking

Just like yoga, stretching your financial container can cause some discomfort. Just like the journey of yoga, the path to feeling ease and grace with our money values starts from within. With a clear vision and the right tools and support, knowing and claiming your worth as a yoga teacher is totally possible!



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Advanced Yoga Sequences

8 Poses to Feel Empowered and Sexy

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Try an affirmation practice to create a more satisfying sex life and spiritual life.

“I’ve learned that having sex and feeling sexy can and should come from the purest space.” — Rina Jakubowicz

When I was going through a divorce 10 years ago, I used affirmation practices to try to shift my mindset during the healing process. One phrase I repeated often was “I am beautiful.” 

As silly and simple as this may sound, it really helped me. Failing at a marriage is very painful and I carried a lot of judgments about myself, especially since I had been the first in the family to get a divorce. Walking around each day with this affirming thought, even if I didn’t believe it in the beginning, was life-changing. It helped me realize that my words and thoughts are powerful and that I’m in control of how I feel about myself. I began walking with confidence and maintaining a sense of calm in my communication and interactions. In addition to the affirmation practices, I started studying in the Bhagavad Gita and began to apply some of the teachings to my relationships, including in the bedroom. It took several years, but I began to develop a healthier relationship with myself and my sexuality. I learned how to break down my sexual walls and release judgment and fear to become my gorgeous, badass self from within.

I’ve learned that having sex and feeling sexy can and should come from the purest space. That will create the most euphoric and pleasurable experience for both you and your partner. I now teach “Sattvic and Sexy” workshops and courses because I want to help more women tap into this empowering space where they can stop harshly judging themselves or suppressing their sexuality. 

See also “Three Things Divorce Taught Me About Love”

Sattva is the highest of the three gunas (mental qualities) in Ayurveda. It means pure, poised, or objective. The lower two gunas are tamas and rajas. Tamas is a mental state of inertia, dullness, or laziness. Rajas is associated with mental agitation and hectic activity. We need rajas to move us away from tamas, but our ultimate goal is to move into sattva. If you’re passionate about something or someone but you’re overthinking, emotional, or getting caught in your head, then there’s an attachment and you’re in rajas. If you have passion from a pure place and it doesn’t control you, then you’re sattvic. 

See also How a Sattvic (Pure) Diet Brings You Into Balance + 2 Ayurvedic Recipes

To start feeling more empowered, sexy, and content in your life and relationships, try this 8-pose sequence. Each posture is paired with an affirmation to inspire you to become the best version of yourself, both as a lady and a lover, so you can create the sex life and the spiritual life you deserve.

Then, join me for a free “Sattvic and Sexy” webinar on April 10 at 2:30 EST. I’ll share more tips for developing a healthier relationship with yourself, your sexuality, and your partner. Register today!



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A Mindful Parenting Practice to Help You Be Present—and Enjoy the Daily Moments of Motherhood

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By exploring mindfulness you can learn to be present through the magic (and chaos) of raising kids.

Learn how to be more mindful and present with your children daily. 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could start each day alone, overlooking the ocean with a cup of coffee or meditating quietly in your garden? Or maybe journaling while cozied up in bed with a cup of tea sounds like perfection to you. Whatever your ideal scenario — if it were possible, it might help you have a deeper sense of calm to carry with you throughout the day.

If you’re a mother, your mornings probably don’t start out quite like that. Instead of calm there’s chaos, instead of peace there’s exhaustion, instead of timeliness there’s rushing. And while it might not be feasible to take a few moments alone, you can bring mindfulness into your day and practice the art of being present:

Set a goal to be mindful today and throughout this week. Notice (without judgment) how your body feels upon waking. Are you tired or achy? Are you feeling great? Allow yourself a few deep breaths — in and out — before your feet hit the floor, and remind yourself that today is a new day.

See also The Gift of “I Don’t Know”: How Mary Beth LaRue Is Embracing Life’s Uncertainties

While you explore this concept of being present, what are you recognizing about your child?

No matter how overwhelmed you feel or how long your to-do list is, you can set aside this time to observe your life and your children and to simply notice.

Notice your child’s first facial expression of the morning. Notice the warmth of your first sip of coffee or tea and how the steam feels on your face. Notice the feeling of your child’s body and weight in your arms. Feel the warm water and soap on your skin as you wash your hands for the first time today. While the big firsts in your child’s life play a significant role in making memories and reaching milestones, you’ll discover many other firsts if you allow yourself to be in the moment.

As you shift into mom mode for the day, observe your child through the lens of curiosity. Does she want to be close to you or to play independently? Is he trying something new and waiting for your encouragement?

While you explore this concept of being present, what are you recognizing about your child? Do her facial expressions change when she is really focusing on something? Do his eyes narrow as he scans the pages when you read books together? Does his voice change when he gets really excited?

See also Yoga for Moms: Letting Go of Mom Guilt

Try this meditation for mothers this week. 

As mothers, we need these mindfulness skills to refocus our attention where it is needed most.

We all need those gentle reminders to live in the now. In difficult times, stop and ask yourself, “Am I here?” “Am I experiencing this moment?” Sure, some of these moments will include piles of dishes and unfinished tasks at work, but when you are fully experiencing your life, you see with a new level of depth and awareness.

We invite you this week to take the time to find stillness each morning and create a rhythm of coming back to the present and noticing what’s before you . . . in all its guts and the glory.

Your attention may wander, and you may forget to call upon this practice, but that’s exactly why it’s called practice. At any point in the day, mindfulness can help bring you back to the present and provide a new opportunity to spend beautiful, undistracted moments with your children and your life. It’s these everyday moments that make up our entire lives — may we revel in them together.

Give yourself fifteen minutes to pause and revel in this experience of noticing the wonder that is your life.  

  1. Find somewhere to sit or lie down where you can feel relaxed. Take a second to get settled and then begin by taking three or four deep breaths.
  2. Close your eyes if that feels natural to you. Allow yourself to appreciate the silence. Appreciate how good it feels to be by yourself. Appreciate the space you need away from the day-to-day to be able to honor the beauty of your life.
  3. Now, sort through some memories. Bring yourself back to the very minute you came face-to-face with your child. Allow yourself to feel that wonder again. Remember saying to yourself, “Is this real?”
  4. Recall when you heard your child say “Mama” for the first time. Where were you? What season was it? Let yourself revel in how special that made you feel. These moments will forever be yours.
  5. As you take this time and settle into your meditation, reflect on the wonder and magic of your life and simply breathe. With each inhale, breathe in the beauty of all these sweet memories and hold the inhale for an extra moment while you savor them. With each exhale, smile softly and allow these precious moments to soothe you. Repeat, slowly inhaling and exhaling.

Come back to this meditation any time you feel like you’ve lost the magic of motherhood. Bring back the joy-filled, real memories of your journey and open your eyes up to the small, everyday moments of wonder around you. The magic is always here.

See also 4 Breathing Exercises to Help Kids (and Adults) Manage Their Emotions

ABOUT OUR AUTHOR

Rachel Gorton is the business development director at Motherly, and a contributor to the new book, THIS IS MOTHERHOOD: A Motherly Collection of Reflections + Practices (Sounds True, on sale March 12, 2019) by Jill Koziol and Liz Tenety, edited by Colleen Temple. She lives outside of Boston with her husband and three children. 



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