Secret One: Top 5 Secrets Successful Living

So… what’s the first secret?

This is one of the biggest and best-kept secrets around! Secret One of a successful life is how you ‘start’ your day. Those first few minutes are crucial to how your day (and therefore your week, and month and year… and even life) unfolds and manifests around you.

In this first secret, let’s explore how you can, very simply and quickly, ‘set’ the energy of your day to help you to get the most out of your life.

meditate-in-bedAbout the technique
Jumping out of bed (or even dragging!) as soon as the alarm goes off and going through the mechanics of getting up and dressed can often feel like a chore, something to ‘get done’ before ‘life’ starts.

This is technique is about pausing for a moment and setting your intention for the day ahead BEFORE you get up. By regularly using this short meditation technique, you’ll be able to perceive a conscious shift in your daily awareness towards that intention you set in the morning.

The Light Appreciation Society
Today, I watched the sun as it rose over the mountain side here at our Dru Centre in North Wales. For what felt like an eternity, I was standing in shadow and waiting – it felt as though I was waiting for the light to bathe my soul – just as water bathes the body… The next moment a sparkle of light peeped above the horizon, swiftly followed by the rest of this wondrous disc of light. My appreciation for that light and what it ‘IS’ took my breath away. Bottom line: without the sun – there would be no planet earth. They’d be no ‘me’ or ‘you’ at all!

As we go through the Light Shower technique below – see if you can hold that sense of appreciation and wonder at the beauty of light, and what that light means to you.

The Light Shower Technique

1. As you wake up – gently move (without opening your eyes) into a comfortable seated position.

2. See if you can begin to visualise sunlight touching the crown of your head, your face, shoulders and body. You could imagine light streaming in through the window and touching your body.

light-shower3. Allow that light to flow down over the crown of your head and down towards the shoulders, chest, abdomen, hips, legs and feet. See if you can ‘feel’ it as it pours over you like a warm, soft, healing, river of light.

4. Have an intention for that light to fill you body internally with light. You can use this affirmation: “My body is filled with light, health and energy.” If you are a visual person you can try to imagine that every cell of your body has a little sparkle of light making you glow with radiance.

5. Now that you are totally filled with light, use these three affirmations from Energy Block Release 4 to set a general intention for the day:

  • Focus your awareness around your head: “May all my thoughts be filled with light and highest purpose”
  • Focus on the area of the hearts and throat: “May all my words be filled with light and compassion.”
  • Focus on the abdomen, hands and legs: “May all my actions be filled with light and be for the benefit of all beings”

6. Spend a few moments in quiet contemplation before gently stretching your body and starting your day.

Advanced option:
Once you’ve been practicing this for a while, and it becomes second nature to wake up in this way, why not start to modify and change the affirmations to suit you and what you are going to do during that day. If you’re ill, you can have an intention for that light to heal you. If you know you get angry, you could hold an intention to have more patience today.

> Go to Secret 2

 

We hope that you’ve enjoyed the first of the 5 Top Secrets to Successful Living. We’ll be posting the other 4 secrets here Dru Online blog so keep posted! Next in this series we’ll be exploring Secret Two – helping you to take the power of the Light Shower Technique and amplify it and turn it into a powerful tool for success!

If you’ve enjoyed this technique you may enjoy attending one of our yoga or meditation retreats in North Wales, or even joining our Online Meditation Course.

Warm Regards,
Anouschka Dack

> Go to Secret 2

Top 5 Secrets Successful Living

Do you wish you could enjoy your week days as much as the weekends? Do you feel as though you don’t have time to enjoy your life to the full? Does your life lack direction and purpose?

We all want to lead a balanced lifestyle, with enough time to enjoy our family and friends as well as pursuing hobbies and taking time to relax and unwind. However, even though most of us would say these are the most important things to us – they are also the easiest ones to throw out the window when times get tough.

So how do we find our perfect balance and live a successful life?

In this series of blog posts we’ll be exploring how to find your perfect life balance through a wide range of techniques and contemplations. Each area has a practical ‘to do’ section so you can put it into action – today – now!!!

Work through these secrets one at a time, see if you can anchor them into your life, making them into your new positive habits!

> Go to Secret One…

Dru Yoga tips to help you deal with Christmas Stress

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Christmas is meant to be a time of peace and joy and giving. For many of us, however, it has become a time which is far from peaceful. Our stress levels rise as we count off the days. Shopping takes over our lives and the ‘giving’ can become obsessive anxiety about whether we have spent enough on our gifts, or got enough food in for the big day. The message of peace and love which is the essence of Christmas can get well and truly lost.

So how can we get back to the essence? How can we bring to Christmas that sense of peace and genuine (rather than commercial) giving that it really represents?

Dru Yoga, of course, has all the answers, as it will always bring us back to that place of stillness within us. Dru Yoga postures and sequences will restore our bodies and minds, releasing blocked energy.

Simply standing in Tadasana (the Mountain Posture) connects us deeply to the earth. Visualise a tree, with its roots firmly anchored into the earth, giving a wonderful sense of stability. Using the breath, lengthen through the legs, keeping the knees soft. Engage the core stability muscles slightly to support the posture. Lift the sternum, relax your shoulders, lengthen the back of your neck. Feel tall and relaxed.

At this time of year the earth is dormant, but a lot is happening under the surface to prepare for the renewed growth of spring. It’s the same with this posture. As we stand on the earth in this focused way, an amazing well of energy can rise up through our spine.

The vertical alignment breath can help this process. Visualise breathing in from the core of the earth, letting the breath flow up your legs and up through the spine to your heart. Then as you breathe out, imagine the breath flowing upwards from your heart, out of the crown of your head and up into the heavens. On the next breath, repeat the process, drawing energy down from above to you heart as you breathe in, letting it flow down from your heart and out of the soles of your feet back down into the earth as you breathe out. Repeat this process for as long as it feels comfortable, as you become a connection between heaven and earth. Finish by drawing energy to your heart from above, then offering it out horizontally to bless the world.

Winter is a time for stillness and reflection, for preparing and making plans for the year to come. Complement your yoga practice with introspection, looking at the direction you want your life to go in, considering how you can best strengthen and help yourself, those around you and the wider world.

For more Dru Yoga poses to keep you calm, visit the Dru Yoga Online Studio or visit the Dru Yoga Centre in Snowdonia for a stress- relieving yoga retreat!

 

 

Dru Meditations for Autumn

jane claphamBy Jane Clapham, Dru Meditation tutor

Yes, Autumn has arrived again. As Brits, we often approach autumn with mixed feelings – it’s a bit like marmite – you either loved it or you hate it. On one hand, it’s the romantic season of ‘mists and mellow fruitfulness’.  On the other hand, it signals the end of the summer and the onset of the colder winter months – and so can be depressing for many of us.

Dru meditation is one of the most effective ways of keeping you feeling cheerful, no matter what the season (or the weather!)  When we move from summer into autumn, the energy changes from being very yang (male, hot, strong, fiery) to become more yin (female, soft, wet, colder).  As the energy changes outside us, we can use meditation to help us adjust internally, so that we can appreciate the gifts that autumn brings, rather than mourn the passing of summer.

Autumn is a time to slow down and literally gather the harvest of the year so far.  This might mean pausing to reflect on the lessons we’ve learned this year.  It might mean taking time out for a retreat in new surroundings and nurturing ourselves with relaxation and therapies. It’s a great time to start a new yoga or meditation class, following the new school term. It can mark a time of change for the positive – and meditation can help us create the right attitude about the changing seasons. If we approach autumn in the right way, it can bring us a sense of fulfilment which we can carry forward into the winter.

Autumn Meditations
During this season, getting enough rest is important, and doing a daily savasana after your yoga, and before your meditation practice will help you easily make the transition from summer to winter.

Lie in the supine position (on your back) and cover yourself with a blanket to ensure that you are warm, as the body temperature does drop during relaxation. Arms should be placed slightly away from the body, palms uppermost. Feet should be shoulder-width apart to ensure a good flow of energy to the legs. Before closing your eyes, raise your head to look towards your toes and check that the body is aligned symmetrically. Lower your head and release any tension around your neck by gently rotating it from side to side before finally allowing it to rest in a central position. Close your eyes. Focus on your breathing, allowing yourself to breathe in accordance with your body’s needs. Give yourself the sanction to be still, to be silent and to relax.

Aim to lie still for at least ten minutes. Try not to move, as it is the stillness which will help your body to relax. After the ten minutes, gently become aware of your body and the ground underneath you, then stretch and open your eyes when you’re ready.

Heart Meditation

Many meditations in the Dru tradition activate the seat of compassion and inner joy, the heart chakra.  With an open heart, embracing the changing seasons becomes easier, and a cause for celebration rather than regret.  On the Dru Meditation training course, I encourage students to always start and finish their meditation practice by bringing their awareness to the heart.  This is very centering and grounding and in my experience helps them to integrate their meditation practice better into their day-to-day life.  Try this 3 minute Dru heart meditation and fully embrace the coming of autumn!

Sitting either on the floor or on an upright chair, extend your back up so that you’re nice and tall.  On the in-breath lengthen your spine, on the out-breath relax slightly.

Bring your awareness to your heart centre at the front of your chest.  As you breathe in, feel the energy in your heart chakra expanding, and as you exhale feel it spreading throughout your body.  Continue to breathe gently, on each exhalation imagining that the energy of your heart is growing, filling every cell of your body.  Imagine yourself being saturated with the energy of compassion, hope and joy, and allow this feeling to settle for a few moments before you bring your awareness to your body once again.

Stretch and open your eyes, ready for another beautiful autumn day.

For details of Dru meditation retreats and training courses, visit druworldwide.com

Healing MS with Dru Yoga and Dru Meditation

Meditation Group“From wheelchair to walking in under a year? Even as a seasoned observer of yoga’s tremendous health benefits,I wouldn’t have thought it likely that someone could use yoga to make such a dramatic change in their health in such a short time.” Andrew Wells, Co-Director Dru Australia; Foreword, A Journey to Peace through Yoga.

Lynnette Dickenson is an inspirational Dru Yoga and Meditation graduate from Australia who’s been visiting the Dru Yoga Centre in Snowdonia for the past few days. Here’s her story.
I first discovered the healing benefits of meditation in 1998, when I was liberated from a lifelong struggle with bronchial asthma during a meditation retreat in Byron Bay, Australia, but without the support of an ongoing program my practice soon lapsed and then disappeared altogether.

Then in 2004 living in Britain and in hospital in excruciating pain, I again discovered the deep peace that can be experienced in the stillness of meditation. I continued my practice after leaving hospital, using it to relieve the angst of a life with Multiple Sclerosis; transforming emotional and physical pain and dysfunction into peace. Although it was still difficult to independently maintain a personal practice.

However, an MS exacerbation in 2006 left me in an electric wheelchair, exhausted and again unable to maintain my practice. I was unable to attend classes and felt isolated, like I had lost my best friend.

At the beginning of 2007 I attended a Dru Meditation weekend and again in excruciating pain, I felt the healing deep peace of meditation. I knew that if I could learn how to live in that place, I could accept and manage the traumas of MS and the rest of my life; and then I could teach the same skill to other people in crisis.

I decided to enrol in the Dru Yoga Teacher Training (DYTT), being promised I could effectively take part in the course by visualising the physical postures. In May 2007 I began the DYTT and rediscovered the peace of Dru practice.

I went home and visualised, meditated and relaxed to experience that peace in my everyday life. The structure of being in a course with a list of practices and homework, supported my home practice in a way I had not experienced in my previous attempts to develop a personal practice.

Within twelve months of visualising, meditating and relaxing, I had returned my wheelchair and was teaching in the local high school. During this time I had begun to shed layers of emotional trauma and rediscover my body and energy system in a way, I had previously not thought possible.

I felt it was now time to systematically approach my meditation practice with the same depth as I had my yoga practice, and enrolled in the Dru Meditation Teacher Training (DMTT). I began DMTT in May 2008. Again the structure of the course supported my daily meditation practice and gave me a direction to directly explore the layers of my being.

By the end of 2010, I had completed both the DYTT and the DMTT, and developed a deep and complete understanding of my kosha system and a full toolbox for managing the flow of energy through my system, and a language to express my understanding.

The structure of the course has supported me to continue my personal practice and I now teach Dru yoga and meditation to a wide range of students around Australia, specialising in students experiencing chronic illness, depression, disability and PTSD. My story is chronicled in A Journey to Peace through Yoga, available at Dru Worldwide.

Sept 2013 – the rotated triangle

Introducing the Dru Rotated Triangle from Dru Team on Vimeo.

rotated-triangle-for-blog

Parivritta Trikonasana (The Rotated Triangle)

Physically this posture aids digestion and with the twisting movement around the abdomen helps to prevent constipation too. Anyone suffering from scoliosis of the spine can also find this posture and the Extended Triangle (Utthita Trikonasana) if you perform a combination of both regularly. This is refreshing and invigorating posture and can help you let go of frustrations and irritations, helping you find creative solutions to life’s challenges. On an energetic level, the energy of the lower centres is raised to the heart, throat and forehead centres with creative expression being a natural outcome.

Contraindications:
Due to the strong stimulation of the lower three chakras this posture is not advisable to do during menstruation, pregnancy and for the first three months after the birth. Anyone with spinal disc problems or hernia should also avoid doing this posture and those suffering from high or low blood pressure should not hold the inverted position for too long. Anyone with back, knee or hip problems must exercise caution in performing and holding this posture as this posture combines a forward bend and spinal twist.

Body preparations:
It is really important when doing this posture that you stretch the hamstrings gently and also the pectoralis muscle across the chest.

How to do this posture:
1. Stand in Tadasana. Separate the legs by two to three feet and turn the right foot 90 degrees to the right, allowing the left heel to lift and move to the left. As this posture makes the body twist as the hips rotate you need to make sure your feet are a good distance apart and you may need the left foot turned more than for the extended triangle. Make sure the left leg is strong and grounded.

2. From the correct standing position breathe in, raising arms sideways to shoulder height.
Breathe out, twist from hips to face the right, lowering the left arm and taking it past the hips and up to shoulder level whilst at the same time drawing the right hand back towards the right hip.

3. Breathe and extend the left hand forwards – try not to lean forwards but just stretch the arm and hand. Breathe out and bend forward, bringing the left hand to the floor by the outer edge of the right foot. If this is too strong you place your left hand next to the inner edge of the right foot or on a block if necessary. Once your balance is ok concentrate on twisting your torso towards the right side, visualising bringing the shoulder blades together at the back and opening the chest at the front.

4. The right arm now unfolds like a wing – shoulder, elbow, wrist and fingers, turning the head and looking upwards towards your right hand. If you wish, if your balance is not too good, you can place your hand on your right hip instead of or before raising it in the air.

5. To come out of the posture, lower the right arm to the floor by your right foot. Visualise picking up a beautiful jewel of light from the earth in both hands, raising the extended arms as you unroll the spine into an upright position. Make sure to bend your knees here if your back is weak. Draw the left arm across the front of the chest, visualising a beam of light spreading across the heart centre. Breathe out and lower the arms to the sides of the body.

Repeat to left side.

Top Tip: 
This is an excellent counter posture to Utthita Trikonasana by counteracting the powerful side bed with a forward bending twist. Two amazing postures to do together, especially first thing in a morning when you’re getting yourself ready for the challenges of the day ahead. Due to the lower chakras being raised make sure you perform some arm raising warm ups first.