So much is written about yoga these days. People describe how it helped them through a crisis, healed an injury, made them stronger. Many are inspired to become teachers. Doctors write about yoga’s health benefits and teachers write about its philosophy, anatomical mechanics, or energetics. I am one more fan, student, and teacher, and I want to add my say.
Mantras are powerful—so powerful and potentially destructive, in fact, that it makes sense to notice which ones we’ve embedded in our psyches. A lot of mantras are so ingrained that we don’t even realize they’re there, replaying themselves over and over in our heads, creating a rut and defining who we are. I’m talking about mantras like “I am not enough,” or “Nothing ever works out for me,” or “She is smarter,” or even, “I can’t do yoga because my mind is all over the place and I am not flexible and I don’t have time.”
Yoga students often wonder, “Why do we use Sanskrit terms when learning the poses? Is it important? Do we have to learn it?” I can relate because I once asked similar questions.
The first time I took a live yoga class, at age 12 or 13, I remember hearing some strange, prayer-like, exotic word come out of my teacher’s mouth. Everyone echoed it back, and it made me uncomfortable. It didn’t stop me from going back, but I did kind of feel “left out,” as I didn’t know what they were saying, what it meant, or if it was the name of a god or other deity. Frankly, it sounded kind of religious, and I was definitely not into god-stuff at that point in my ’tweendom.
When my teacher told me what Namaste meant (“I bow to the god within you”) and how to pronounce it (Nah- Mah-Stay), it didn’t necessarily make the phrase any easier for me to embrace. But the social pressure of “call and response” soon won me over. I attended very small classes in Santa Fe, and any non-compliant Namaste’ers would be very obvious to the teacher and other students. At first it barely rolled out of my lips, a garbled rumble of vowels with slight hiss in the middle. I had no way of knowing that a decade later, I would be the one at the front of the room offering the same salutation to my classes.
Ever felt yourself going through the motions of a yoga pose without focus or purpose? I think most yogis who’ve been practicing for a while have this experience, at least sometimes.
Several years ago, I found myself rushing through the Sun Salutation, praying for the series to end so I could move on to asanas I enjoyed more. I hated the way the pose strained my wrist and left me breathless, and it seemed to take forever to get through five or six of them. But since appreciating whatever you’re doing is a key spiritual teaching, I knew I had to do something to change my perspective.
Let me begin by saying, you are a powerful manifestor!
Every single person on this planet has, at the core of their being, the power to create a life of grace, ease and abundance. Think about it: There are people, including Oprah Winfrey, who had difficult beginnings and yet have created lives that amaze us all. In the last year I have been experiencing a series of miraculous experiences in my life. I want you to know that I believe that this is our natural state of being. Miracles are occurring every day, and when we recognize that truth, we begin to understand the power of co-creation with the Universe.
If you’ve been interested in the law of attraction and The Secret but don’t know much about runes, Kaedrich Olsen has something to tell you: Runes may be the tool you’re looking for to help you change your life.
We talked with Kaedrich, author of the new book Runes for Transformation, about how you can use the ancient runes in practical ways today. Here’s our Q&A:
I’m back from a vacation in Egypt — with new energy and inspiration. Now that I’m back at the gym, thinking about the challenges workers faced to build those magnificent monuments brings to mind one of my favorite mantras, “I can” … and how this simple statement can motivate you to try new things, like the hot workout buzz that was all around me when I returned from my trip: kettle bells!