Heart Intelligence

Written by Marni Levitt

One of the greatest teachings of Yoga that I learned through my teachers at Sivananda,and have been learning experientially as I live life – is the infinite capacity of the heart’s intelligence. On the first day I learned to meditate, at least 10 years ago, on a Yoga retreat, one of the teachers explained to me the difference between the way the mind and the heart process information. The conscious thinking mind has a certain capacity to think, understand, analyze and process, but that capacity is limited. It can only go so far. For sure, the mind can help us understand and achieve many things – but there is another kind of intelligence that goes way further. WAY further. That is the intelligence of the heart.

I remember my teacher at the retreat drawing a picture on a piece of paper – a circle that represented the intelligence of the mind – then, he drew another far bigger circle around that, encompassing the mind….he said, ‘the bigger circle represents your heart’.

The heart can understand, sense, intuit, and connect with a vast amount of information (in many different forms) that cannot possibly be understood or processed by the conscious mind. The conscious mind naturally has to be selective about what information is taken in, processed and used, in order for us to be able to live our daily lives. The heart, however, can hold, and connect with limitless volumes of material.

Sometimes all we can do is ‘sense’ that it is there, without fully understanding all the bits and pieces. This large capacity allows us to love, to feel compassion, empathy – and to hold another person’s perspective, feelings or experience in the same space that we hold our own. WOW. Incredible.

Time and time again Yoga practise has helped me tap into that larger, intuitive intelligence – as a result I have made connections with information, or with others that I would not have otherwise. I have created magnificent works of art (songs, paintings, poetry), and have been able to come to very useful decisions that I would never have arrived at simply through logical reasoning. The implications of heart intelligence are phenomenal. The Dalai Lama certainly agrees – have a look at this quote – as does the Heart Math Institute.

May your heart open to its potential this summer.

Much love, Marni

 


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Marni Levitt B.A.(Hons.), B.Ed. OCT, RYT
Founder Move-N- Music
Wellness Educator, Animator, Speaker

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SRI SRI Wisdom to Health and Happiness

The 10 Steps To Happiness by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

1) Reduce Your Needs & Increase Your responsibilities
If you sit and make a note of all your responsibilities and all your needs, and if you find that your needs are more than your responsibilities, then life will lead to misery. But if you take more responsibility and have fewer needs, then you will be happy. This is the secret.
When you take more responsibility and your needs are less, everything simply comes to you – enthusiasm, happiness, creativity, etc.

2) Look At People Who Have Bigger Problems Than You
Once a wise man drew a line on a board and told his student to make the line shorter without touching or erasing it. How would you do it? You have to shorten a line without touching it.
The student then drew a much longer line underneath that line. So, the line automatically became shorter. The lesson here is that if your difficulties appear to be very big, lift your eyes because you are only focused on yourself.

If you lift your eyes up and look at those who are in a worse condition than you, you will suddenly feel that your burden is not as bad as you thought it was. If you think you have some big problem, look at people who have a greater problem. Suddenly, you will get a confidence that my problem is much smaller, and I can manage it.

So to be happy is to see those who have greater problems, then your problems will appear smaller. The moment your problems appear smaller, you will get the energy and confidence to deal with it or solve it. In simple words, serve those who are in greater need.

3) Don’t Be Unhappy About Being Unhappy
Never mind if you are unhappy for a little while, so what? If you think I should never be unhappy, then that becomes a cause of unhappiness.

4) Drop Unpleasant Memories Of The Past & Live In The Present Moment
How can you be happy if you’re holding onto unpleasant memories of the past? Unpleasant memories are the biggest hindrance for you to be in the present. The nature of the mind is such, it leaves all the pleasant memories and it grabs onto those few unpleasant events and chews on it. We have advanced in technology but we have not used that technology for our mind. If you are happy now, the past will not torment you and the future will take care of itself.

5) Know That Everything Is Temporary
None of the events are permanent; pleasant or unpleasant, all pass and move away. When you realize that everything is temporary, and it all fades away, then you can be perpetually happy.

6) Dedicate You Life To A Larger Goal
The key to happiness in life is to not stay stuck in ‘Me, me, & mine’. Dedicate your life to some larger goal or to the service of others around you, then you will find that only happiness flows through your life.

7) Take The Decision That ‘I Will Not Allow Any Situation To Bog Down My Happiness’

You Have To Take This Decision, Nobody Else Can Take It For You.
There is nothing great in smiling when everything is normal, and when everything is going the way you want. But if you awaken the valor inside of you, and say, ‘Come what may, I am going to keep smiling’, you will notice tremendous energy rise from within you. Then problems will feel like nothing; they just come and disappear.

Being happy, keeping the environment around you happy, and not losing your smile come what may, is the real sign of enlightenment.

8) At All Costs, Save Your Mind!
In your day to day life, people come and put some negativity in you, and that makes your mind and your determination shaky. Don’t let this happen. Put a filter to your ears and just smile through it.
It is natural and common that people will put out some negativity, but when you are deeply connected with your Self, and when you have intuition, then you will just smile through all such incidents. You will put a filter in your ears.

That is how the world is. There are some pleasant and some unpleasant things. How we manage them and keep our direction, that is what is most important.

9) Have Faith Because Faith By Itself Can Make You So Happy
What you need to remember at all times is this, ‘There is someone who loves me very dearly, and is taking care of me at all times. He cannot be without me and He is capable of removing any lack that I have’.
Knowing this too brings such joy in one’s life.

10) Share Your Happiness With Others & It Will Grow
When you are content; when you are happy, you want to share it.
The nature of joy is to share with others. Joy has the tendency to spread, and whenever a person is genuinely happy and joyful from within, they want to just share it with the whole world.

The Art of Living Happiness Program

Living Life to its Full Potential

The Art of Living Happiness Program integrates ancient yogic practices and wisdom into our lives today. Practicing these techniques enable us to be more in the present moment and live with greater clarity, creativity, peace and joy.

The Happiness Program Features

THE SUDARSHAN KRIYA

Only taught in The Art of Living’s Happiness Program, the Sudarshan Kriya is an approachable, simple yet powerful rhythmic breathing technique. It helps alleviate our physical, mental and emotional stresses, leaving us refreshed, relaxed and rejuvenated and giving us a sense of peace and rest never experienced before.

PRANAYAMAS

Simple breathing exercises that remove toxins accumulated from persistent levels of stress. These techniques bring the mind, body and soul in sync – the prerequisite to being happy and living a balanced life.

YOGA

Gentle and dynamic postures that remove inertia and relax the body. Yoga raises energy levels and calms the mind, complementing meditation and magnifying the benefits of the Sudarshan Kriya.

GUIDED MEDITATIONS

One of the deepest forms of rest for your system, meditation recharges you at the level of the body and mind. Meditation leaves you calm yet alert, while revealing hidden potentials and talents you never knew about!

Gentle and dynamic postures that remove inertia and relax the body. Yoga raises energy levels and calms the mind, complementing meditation and magnifying the benefits of the Sudarshan Kriya.

PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT

Includes processes which enable you to release your inhibitions and give you a greater sense of confidence. Interactive team-building exercises develop your leadership skills to make you more active in your life.

PRACTICAL WISDOM

Applicable wisdom that help you manage daily life situations of work, family and relationships more skillfully. This wisdom can integrate into your life to deal with the challenges of life in a seamless manner.

For more information, click here:

http://www.artofliving.org/ca-en/happiness-program#acol=0

25 Ways to be Kind

From DoYouYoga, by Silvia Mordini

You don’t need a reason to help people. Let’s remember to be kind to one another, as it isn’t always apparent on the outside what the struggles we may be facing are on the inside. After all, when this is all over, all that will really matter is how we treated each other.

When we enter this world, our Kindness IQ is intact. We can keep it that way through our actions. Kindness is like a muscle; it gets stronger the more you use it, or atrophies if you don’t.

You don’t need a reason to be kind to people. Instead, here are 25 suggestions and ideas of ways to be kind.

1. Smile and make someone’s day a little sweeter.

2. Look for ways you can promote peace.

3. Just listen.

4. Offer a hug or embrace.

5. Invite someone new into your friend tribe.

6. Send out a kind email or card.

7. Give someone a genuine compliment.

8. Help clean up, without being asked, help someone out in a practical way.

9. Hold open the door for the person behind you.

10. Encourage a friend or family member when they are uncertain or
 unmotivated.

11. Make peace with someone that has hurt you.

12. Strike up a conversation with a stranger.

13. Let someone into your lane while driving.

14. Pay for the person behind you in line.

15. Give your time to a friend or someone who needs it.

16. Say Thank You and Please everyday without fail.

17. Meditate on loving kindness: “May you be happy, healthy, peaceful, and free from suffering, and may my actions in some way contribute to the happiness, health, peace, and freedom for all.

18. Say “I love you” a little more often to your family and friends.

19. Pause before you speak, and choose words with positive intention.

20. Help someone get some rest (watch their kids, run an errand, bring them dinner, etc).

21. Pick up litter you see thrown about even if its not yours.

22. Remove complaints and curses for one week.

23. Gift something meaningful to someone: loan a book, bring flowers, drop off cookies, whatever suits your fancy.

24. Make a donation.

25. Give up your seat, or for that matter, move your yoga mat in class, with positive intent.

I am dedicating myself to inspire everyone to bring kindness to the forefront. Let’s be more active in our efforts not because we have to, but because we want to. And not even because others have been kind to us but because being nice is the way of the heart.

Kindness is always a choice. The more conditioned we are to respond with kindness, the more natural it becomes. It is on purpose with purpose. Today, join me in starting a kindness movement, and together we can raise our global Kindness IQ!

Which ways do you try to show kindness every day? Share your tips and tricks with us below!

How Yoga Can Get You Through Grief and Sadness

From DoYouYoga, by Kathy Kruger

 

Have you ever cried in a yoga class and felt that rush of relief? I bawled like a baby during Yin yoga training last year in a two and a half hour class that went deep — which it turns out was exactly where I needed to go.

Maybe you’ve shed a few silent tears in the midst of a dynamic flow class, the trickle seeming to flow with the Vinyasa and the breath.

Perhaps you’ve choked back tears in a Child’s Pose or deep into a Forward Bend — afraid of the waterworks releasing, swallowing hard.

Crying During Yoga
Crying during a yoga practice may be all very well at home, but many of us don’t like to allow ourselves to be so vulnerable surrounded by strangers (or friends) in a class situation, even though it may be exactly what we need to do.

We may know that vulnerability is the Yin to the Yang of a strong yoga practice, but it can be kind of embarrassing — that’s if we don’t leave our egos at the classroom door.

If you can suspend your ego, yoga can be a safe place to sit with sadness or move with and through grief, anchored in breath and bringing awareness to the body and away from whatever loss you are experiencing, whatever is causing pain.

You have the choice of “truly, madly, deeply” feeling the sadness and grief in your body, or of transmuting it through breath and awareness into a sense of peace.

Either way, if you can use yoga to help you feel pain more, or to feel it less, you will be on the way to healing.

Here are a few tips on practicing to help you heal.

1. Accept Your Emotional State
It can be easy to talk yourself out of a yoga or meditation practice because you are feeling down, and especially if you are grieving. But yoga doesn’t ask us to be in one mood or another in order to practice.

We can come to yoga sad, stressed, frustrated, even angry and we have the opportunity to re-set. Sure sadness and loss can’t be fixed as easily as a bad mood (and depression is a variable condition often requiring different treatments), but then yoga doesn’t promise a quick fix but a lifelong friendship.

2. Use Breath
Well of course — it is everything in yoga, but especially when we are sad and likely to be feeling sluggish.

Maybe a strong Power yoga class is going to require more energy than you can muster in your depressed state, or maybe it’s exactly what you need (forgetting about things for a while isn’t so bad). Generally a slower sequence of asana with plenty of opportunity for breath focus is going to help you direct your breath towards healing and channel emotional release.

3. Open Your Heart Chakra
Deep back bending postures like Camel open and expose your heart chakra — which can be hard, but also very healing.

While you might feel anger in your gut, or get a hot head, you are most likely to feel sadness around your heart. Metaphorically, I envisage sadness sitting on my shoulders, hunching them, weighing me down. Grief can settle in between the shoulder blades at the back of your heart, stuck there so you literally can’t straighten your shoulders. You may also lock loss and heartache within your rib cage, as though it can protect you from getting hurt again.

A heart-opening Yin yoga class may be perfect (or it may be overwhelming). Try Anahata asana and allow yourself to expose the back of your heart — to be vulnerable. We can’t allow ourselves to be vulnerable if we haven’t accepted that sadness can be the result — and acceptance is always the path to letting go.

4. Dwell in the Present
Yoga always provides this opportunity without being a negative distraction (such as too much shopping to cheer you up, or too much alcohol to numb you).

Grief and sadness are always rooted in the past (and sometimes stuck there through regret, or a lack of forgiveness). If things happened in the past to make you sad, if you have suffered a loss, then reliving these events is never going to allow you to get beyond them. At the same time, if you are depressed about the future, then dwelling there is never going to give you hope.

Time may be the ultimate healer, but yoga enables you to surrender a little more of the past to dwell in the present.

5. Allow Yourself to Cry
If tears come, don’t be afraid. You don’t have to be a Warrior all the time!

If we allow it, yoga can remind us that we are not the events that happen to us, the losses we suffer, the emotions we feel, or the thoughts that swim in our heads.

Sadness sits on the surface. Grief and loss, even when they run deep, still can’t hurt us at the level of our eternal and universal souls.

The tears you shed cannot disturb the stillness deep inside you. Pass the Kleenex.

How To Use Crystals To Manifest Health & Happiness

From MBG, by by Heather Askinosie

crystals

Healing crystals are having a moment. It seems like everyone — from Katy Perry to Miranda Kerr — has recently started dishing on their high-vibe collections. We reached out to a contributor who has years of experience working with feel-good stones to get her advice on how to harness some of their power.

Crystals are often referred to as “stone people” or “wisdom keepers,” because they hold thousands or even millions of years of the Earth’s history within them. Ancient civilizations have worked with the energy of the Earth since the beginning of time, finding guidance from that which lived under their feet.

Today, crystals are infused in beauty products, displayed in homes and yoga studios, and crafted into beautiful jewelry because of their healing energy. From dedicated yogis to those who have never meditated a day in their life, more and more people are crossing over to the crystal side.

I know that some people may think of crystals as being a bit woo-woo, but hear me out. As the co-founder of a healing crystal and jewelry shop, I’ve been studying and using crystals for 28 years and have had countless customers tell me how crystals completely shifted their energy. So before you rule out crystals as a way to heal the mind and body, be open to giving them a try yourself.

If you’re interested in welcoming some more spirituality and positive energy into your life, consider this your beginner’s guide to all things crystal:

Step 1: Pick the right crystal.

Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your Prince Charming, and the same is true for crystals. You may have the “this is it” feeling the minute you lay eyes on a certain crystal, or it may take you a bit longer to connect with one. Even if two crystals might look similar in color, shape, and size, it does not mean that they will have the same energetic effect on you.

Like people, each crystal is unique and has a different story to tell. Selenite brings mental clarity and dispels negative energy from the body, while citrine is perfect for manifesting intentions. Each stone has its own vibrational blueprint, so take the time to shop around for different types before you decide which one is perfect for you.

We always tell our customers to focus on a crystal’s color, shape, and size first rather than its healing properties. More often than not, the crystal they are drawn to visually possesses exactly the energy they need. If you’re able to shop in person rather than on the Internet, be sure to hold the crystal in your hands for a few moments so you can truly feel its energetic effect on you.

Step 2: Recharge its energy.

Once you’ve picked out your crystal, it’s important that you cleanse it to clear away all the energy of the many hands that touched it before you. I like to run a new crystal under clean water and then place it outside under the sun or moon for a few hours. Then, I’ll light some sage or loose frankincense on a charcoal and infuse the crystal in the sacred smoke. Lastly, to clear any lingering or stagnant energy in the crystal, I place it in a room with high-vibrational music playing. I find this simple four-step process of water, sun or moon energy, sacred smoke, and music cleanses the crystals on a multi-vibrational level.

Step 3: Set your intention.

This is the fun part — setting your intention in line with the energy of the crystal. The power in this simple ritual resides in you, not the crystal. It’s important to hold the crystal in your hands or to touch it if it’s a larger stone. Sit quietly and breathe. Connect to your breath, your faith, the Earth that you live on, and the stone that you are touching. For some this is a time for prayer; for others it’s one to clear the mind and simply be. State what you want to manifest in your life. You can say this silently to yourself, but I’ve found that speaking it aloud creates a more powerful energy.

The crystal energy of the Earth is a tool to help you become more centered, grounded, and balanced. When you manifest from this vibration, magical things happen.

Step 4: Work with the crystal daily.

There are dozens of ways you can use crystals, so use your intuition to tell you what works best for you. You can hold them in your hands while meditating, place them under your pillow at night for restful dreams, or put a stone on each of your chakras to become aligned and balanced. The list is endless so be creative, connect, and tap in.