International Peace Day

Krishan Singh No Comments

I was recently introduced to the fact that their is an International Peace Day, on September 21st.

Upon reflecting on the subject I thought to myself, what a great concept! It turns our that International Peace Day was formed by a resolution of the United Nations. What a great idea, here is a whole day that is dedicated towards placing energy on peace.

Now the opportunity with this information lies in the fact that this was the first time I was made aware of this concept. I consider myself to be a pretty peaceful dude, and this is the first time I heard about it. That’s a challenge to be addressed now and in the future. We need wider distribution of this message in order to focus our planet’s collective energy on peace instead of the alternative.

I came across the following quote in a while browsing through the International Peace website on a pdf doc:
“The souls of people, on their way to Earth-life, pass through a room full of lights; each takes a taper – often only a spark – to guide it in the dim country of this world. But some souls, by rare fortune, are detained longer – have time to grasp a handful of tapers, which they weave into a torch. These are the torch-bearers of humanity – its poets, seers and saints, who lead and lift the race out of darkness, toward the light. They are the law-givers and saviours, the light-bringers, way-showers, and truthtellers, and without them humanity would lose its way in the dark.” Plato

I was rather moved by this statement. I suspect that the light-bringers are in the process of getting the message out. It’s only a matter of time until the world knows, (I’d say 2012.)
So in order to participate in this International Peace Day, I intend to share with people I know the fact of International Peace Day. I encourage you to do the same!

I thought I would follow this up by listing some of my favorite peaceful organizations.

  1. The Red Cross
  2. The Carter Center- they actually wage peace here, and are doing great things to help mental health
  3. Sustain Dane- this local non profit focuses on Green and sustainable activities, and I believe Green is peaceful living

I also thought I would add the Great Invocation to this site to help spread the Word.
From the point of Light within the Mind of God
Let light stream forth into the minds of men.
Let Light descend on Earth.
From the point of Love within the Heart of God
Let love stream forth into the hearts of men.
May Christ return to Earth.
From the centre where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide the little wills of men –
The purpose which the Masters know and serve.
From the centre which we call the race of men
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out
And may it seal the door where evil dwells.
Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.

In yoga practice today, dwell in peace.

Stress Reducers: Yoga and a Balanced Diet

Eat Healthy, Science of Yoga 5 Comments

I believe stress reducers are key to sanity in this day and age.

I recently wrote about Kundalini Yoga as a stress reducer. I can honestly say that without my regular practice I would be completely stressed out.

A few ways yoga reduces stress:

  1. Exercise, a physical workout is good for your body
  2. Breath control (pranayama) managing ones breath helps to control the flight or fight response mechanism, which has been necessary for a time for survival, but is a stress mechanism
  3. Stretching one of the best self massages available to us
  4. Meditation, the benefits of meditation are vast, to come under greater control over the thought forms within ones mind allows control over stress creators

It has become clear to me that people need more stress reducers in their lives, because it seems as though all throughout ones day things are adding to the stress levels. I decided to ask my friend Suzanne Monroe, who authors Online Nutrition Counseling about stress and eating.  I got back a great response packed with great info on how we can reduce stress through diet.

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Stress in the body comes from emotional stress or physical stress that we put on the body through our activity, our environment (toxins) or the food we eat.
With the food we are eating, if it is highly processed, full of sugar and artificial ingredients, etc. our body has to do a lot of work to process it.  Take sugar for example, our body has to pull on our own reserves to process it because it has been stripped of all of its fiber, minerals and nutrients.  So we pull from our own mineral reserves and this is taxing. Especially day after day when this is the bulk of what we eat.  By cutting out the sugar, including processed, refined grains (white pastas, baked goods, crackers etc.), you will experience an increase in energy that will allow you to more easily cope with other stressors, like emotional stress from work, relationships, being stuck in traffic.

Stress eating:  you eat to get through an emotional stressor like a bad day:   stress, anxiety, etc.  This is when we may eat and keep eating and end up in a food coma – its numbing.   I relate this to a storm,  you come into the kitchen and begin eating as much as you can, and then the storm dies down.  You are using food to cope with whatever is going on in your life at that moment.

To end stress eating, the first step is to recognize that you are not physically hungry, rather emotionally hungry.

Cravings are a signal to you.  They are your body’s way of talking to you.  They are sending you a message that something is out of balance, either with your food or your emotions.   And it’s not just what you are feeling intense emotions about when it comes to food, it’s what’s causing those intense emotions in you. 

So your emotional eating is really not about the food, its about what’s behind your cravings.    

The question then is “What is your food covering up?”

If we eat emotionally, whether it the stress eating, boredom eating, unconscious eating or fear eating, we have to shut down our present awareness, our consciousness, for a time period so that we can binge on what we are eating.   We do this so we don’t have to be conscious or present with our emotions. 

Stress Reducers
  1. Becoming present with your emotions:  Do not choose to just eat through them.   One way to start doing this is journaling.  Keep a journal and write in it in the morning or at night.  Find a quiet place for a few minutes and just write down whatever comes to mind.   If this activity is difficult for you, just start out by writing one thing that went well in the day and one thing that didn’t go well and how it could have been better.
  2. Eating for Energy:  Emotions that are stressful or full of anxiety, fear, worry cause stress in the body.  Stress depletes our energetic stores, so we go looking for more energy usually in the form of sugar and quick energy.  But what we want to do is begin eating for energy.
  3. Water: is going to keep us hydrated.  This is very important because the signal sent to the brain that tell us we are hungry is almost identical to the signal for dehydration.  We sometimes mix these signals up because we are too busy (stressed) to pay attention.  Staying hydrated will help reduce our cravings.
  4. Whole Grains: help balance our blood sugar, unlike refined sugary carbohydrates, which affect our mood.  They are also  high in magnesium which helps relax our muscles, (or reduce stress.)

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Suzanne, this is some great info!  I believe that a consistent yoga practice along side with a mindful diet can really pump up the volume on stress reduction.  Yoga supports the ability for one to get more in tune with themselves and as such I propose that they would be more likely to be able to identify that they are emotionally hungry, rather than physically hungry.  (Yogi Bhajan used to say…”hungry for love.”)  I am going to suggest another means to leverage drinking water to reduce stress.  Today a large proportion of individuals are hunched over a computer desk all day long and rarely get up for breaks.  This causes repetitive stress and is not good for the minds balance.  I suggest regularly drinking water, which reduces hunger er dehydration symptoms to the brain, and over time will cause you to need to get up a relieve yourself.  This mixes up the pattern you are plugged into and helps with sanity as well.

Another means of alleviating stress is with herbal remedies. Yogi Tea provides an excellent blend for stress reduction in their calming tea.

Do you have any suggestions on how to reduce stress?  Please share!

Lower Back Pain Exercises in Yoga

Kundalini Yoga Kriyas, Spirits Awaken Class 4 Comments

Basic Spinal Energy Series

Begins: Thu, 06 Sep 2007 at 11:30 AM

Ends: Wed, 05 Sep 2007 at 12:30 PM

Location:

2820 Walton Commons

Madison, WI 53703

USA

Okay, I admit the class will focus on more than just lower back pain exercises. In fact the entire spinal column will get a good workout through this yoga set (kriya.)

Lower back pain tends to be an item that many people deal with, from office workers to construction workers, we could all use some exercises to work with our lower back pain.

I realize that this is called a basic spinal series, but there is nothing basic about this class. It provides a scientific exercise approach to the lower back and more. The yogis say that age can be measured based on the flexibility of ones spine. At first this may come off as rather off the wall. But let’s think deeper on this. Our spinal column is the encasement for our central nerve channel. This means that the balance of the bodies messages, in the nervous system, are carried throughout this channel. What is age, other than a slowing down of system processes, the nervous system being of primary importance.

So in this class we will be focusing on the lower back and working our way up our spine.

I’ve recently read that many people experience greater mental clarity after stepping through this kriya.

I do hope you can join me or find a class near you sometime!

Sat Nam

Note- yoga class Kriya provided by Kundalini Yoga, Guidelines for Sadhana (Daily Practice) Exercise & Meditation Manual, published by the KRI as taught by Yogi Bhajan

Tags: lower back pain, madison wi, Kundalini Yoga