Secret Three: Top 5 Secrets Successful Living

After exploring Secrets One and Two – working regularly with the ‘light shower’ and inviting the attitude of gratitude into your life  – you should be feeling pretty good every morning!

How would you like to feel empowered, grateful, expanded, healthy and wise every minute of your day? I most certainly do!!! That’s why Secret Three is so crucial to your total health and wellbeing!

book-now-manTo become a master at anything – even living – we need practice. We need small doses of consistent effort.

We all know that going to the gym once a month and doing a 4 hour workout – is not going to get you far in achieving your ultimate fitness goals. But a small amount on a regular basis is what will get you there. The same applies to living a successful life!

In this third secret we’re going to explore how you can – very simply – bring your awareness into your day – helping to prolong the amazing feeling of light and gratitude from Secrets One and Two (if you haven’t done these yet, please follow the links and spend a few days exploring these concepts – it will make this technique even more powerful and effective!).

GOOD HABITS… BAD HABITS…
Have you noticed that things and times of day can become habits? How we brush our teeth, which shoe we put on first, how we make our tea…. Habits are often given bad press – especially if we think they are not ‘good’ habits. However, habits can also be really, really helpful! If we could get into the habit of taking a walk everyday… of attending a yoga class once a week.. or even of checking the diary before you book the holiday… we would be creating a much healthier lifestyle, and reducing our stress levels!

For Secret Three to work we need to create a positive habit to help us expand our awareness beyond those few minutes after waking up. To do this we need some kind of trigger. Here are some examples of triggers we can use:

> TIME OF DAY: Every day at 7.30pm or 15 mins after you get in from work etc.

> PHYSICAL PLACE: Every time I walk into this room, sit on this cushion, walk past this tree…

> BODY SENSES: Every time I see this picture, hear this bell, listen to this piece of music, smell a rose, light this candle…

CHOOSE WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO…
The second thing we need is an action – a small something we’ll do when triggered by whatever it is we choose. This can be a wide range of things – but keep them small and easily achievable to start with. This action should be tied in with your long term visions, dreams and goals. So if you are actively wanting to work on your health – make your action correspond!

There are 3 main areas of action which can help you get started:

> PRegal-Coby-Runner-300x244HYSICAL MOVEMENT: when you’re working on your physical health think about using a short movement based action for example; a yoga posture or sequence, dancing or a quick run up and down the stairs!

> MEDITATION & PRANAYAMA: if you are looking to focus more on your energy levels and reducing stress, why not have a simple breathing exercise (pranayama) where you focus on your breath for 3 or 4 minutes? This can be done sitting or standing, and is very effective for bringing you back into the present moment and building your inner energy levels.

> AWAREFUL LIVING: when you can’t just ‘stop’ what you are doing, how about choosing to be totally awareful in all your actions for 5 minutes? Every foot step, every word, every mouse click… what does it feel like physically? Then try to feel a sense of gratitude permeating through your body – “Wow! I have hands that can click the mouse!”

Advanced option – a higher purpose

A powerful practice is to dedicate your action to someone/ something else. You can dedicate your action towards a specific person or a group of people. You can also focus on peace between communities and nations and also towards the earth and animals – whatever is close to your heart and needs your energy and love.

How do I hold an intension?
Just before, during and as you complete your action, have an intention that this person/ situation will feel happier, more loved, healthier as a consequence of your action. If you can’t quite ‘get’ an intention simply use words or a feeling of gratitude or giving. You might also be able to visualise the final ‘happy’ or ‘resolved’ situation. This is a very powerful technique in the process of manifestation.

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS!
Start small and get good at doing one small action regularly! Try to choose a trigger that you are not going to be doing ALL the time (for example putting on the kettle, getting into the car). Thinsg we do too regularly are not likely to be good triggers as we often won’t have time/ remember to do the action. By not doing the action associated with you trigger – you will dilute the process, and it will no longer be an active trigger. If you find this happening – choose a different, more unique trigger.

radha-tree-300Once you’ve chosen one action and you do it regularly – try adding in another one! Build an array of good habits so that they soon become integrated, natural and spontaneous!

Remember you need to be committed to doing the action EVERY time you see/ interact with the trigger. For example; sitting on ‘that’ cushion means its time for you to do ‘X’ or every time you get the hoover out you take 3 deep slow breaths and fill your home with light and positive vibes for the benefit of your family.

 

You can also choose to do a certain action for a time period of days or weeks, and then replace it with a different one. This helps you to work with a variety of different actions and can certainly keep you on your toes!!!

This technique is a very powerful way of combining your mind, thoughts, emotions and body. Integration in this way helps us to find a more positive balance in our lives and live a more congruent lifestyle. These small changes on a regular and consistent basis are what will add up to make BIG steps forward in your personal growth.

Good luck in bringing your awareness more fully into your day!

 

Anouschka Dack

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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

August 2013 – the crane

bakasana-for-blogThis posture helps the circulation of the blood to the head as it falls into the inversion set of postures. It helps to strengthen the spine, the pelvic girdle and the legs and it also helps with physical balance.

The actual performing of the posture allows lots of muscles to be in use at the same time – the hamstrings are both stretched and contracted, the forearm flexor muscles are stretched, the gluteus maximus muscle and the core stability muscles are also contracted.

Because it is an inversion posture it helps on the mental / emotional level with releasing stubborn habit patterns. It creates a wonderful flow of energy through the spine activating all the chakras.

Who shouldn’t do this posture:
Although the benefits of this posture are excellent you need to make sure, as with all inversion postures, that if you are suffering from high blood pressure, have a hernia or a detached retina, have spinal disc problems or are pregnant then you should not do this posture.

Body preparations:
It is really important when doing this posture, especially for the first few times, that you do not over extend the raised leg causing the hips to twist. Having a partner to guide you until you become more aware of the flat lower back when in the posture will help you. To prepare for this posture you will need to strengthen the Gluteus Maximus muscles and work on stretching the hamstrings.

How to do this posture:
1. Stand in Tadasana. Place hands flat on thighs, breathe in and as you breathe out slide hands down legs towards the floor making sure you are bending at the hips.
Place both hands on the floor about two hand lengths in front of your feet (bend your knees if you need to).

2. Raise the right leg behind as high as possible but making sure the hips and lower back are flat and trying not to twist the pelvis (get someone to watch and check this for you until you can feel that you are in the correct position). Allow the stretch to extend from the hips to the toes.

3. Slowly lower leg down to original position. If this is uncomfortable you can always bend the knee and then place the foot on the floor.

4. Uncurl spine raising up to Tadasana before completing on left side.

The beauty of this posture is that even if you can’t get your hands down to the floor you can use blocks to assist. You can also use the back of a chair or the seat of a chair. If you use the back of chair you just need to lift the knee, pushing the heel away behind you whilst holding onto the chair. If you use the chair seat for support, lift the knee and push the heel behind you. It is just as important to make sure the pelvis doesn’t tilt when using any of these modifications.

Top Tip:
This is an excellent inverted posture to do, especially if you are not comfortable with shoulder stands as it allows you to fully experience the magical effects of the chakras moving throughout the body whilst you are in total control of the posture. Have fun with this and play around with the modifications too.