Always Be Dancing

The Art of Movement for Every/body & Mindful Book Reviews By Eve


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Meditations for My Next 40 Day Cycle

I just finished a 40 day meditation cycle. I always meditate first thing in the morning for 11-15 minutes…

I just finished the cycle of the Chattr Chakkr meditation kriya.

This mantra helps to move from fear of change to boldness and courage.  It removes feelings of anxiety, depression and phobias, leaving in its place courage and victory.  Just like the snake leaving behind its old skin.

Try this mantra for fear of change:

Chattr chakkr vartee, chattr chakkr bhugatay

Suyumbhav subhang sarab daa sarab jugtay

Dukaalang pranaasee dayaalang saroopay

Sadaa ung sungay abhangang bibhootay

These words bring victory during changing times! Chant along with my favorite version by Nirinjan Kaur or keep it playing in your house! I practiced this every morning for 11 minutes (the length of the recording) and I added this mudra:

Tomorrow, I will start a new 40 day cycle, but I am not sure which meditation I will choose?

Meditation for Developing Your Human Kindness. Also known as Bandhu Dya Kriya, Bandhu means “brother or comrade;” Dya means “kindness;” and Kriya means “action.” Give this kriya a lot of reverence and do it with a lot of love and devotion. Do it very calmly.

Mudra: Rest your elbows alongside your rib cage. Place your hands in front of your chest, palms facing upward, with the two Mercury (pinkie) fingers touching and the outside part of the base of the palms touching. Keep the Sun (ring) fingers and the Jupiter (index) fingers straight and the thumbs pulled back. Touch the tips of the Saturn (middle) fingers so that they form a triangle. The mudra is held before the heart center in a comfortable, prayerful position, but it does not touch the chest.

Posture: Sit in Easy Pose with your spine straight, chin in and chest lifted. Place your hands in the mudra.

Breath & Eye Focus: Inhale through the nose in 8 strokes (break the inhalation into eight equal segments with a slight pause separating each part so that there is a distinct beginning and end to each segment. In other words, you are inhaling in 8 separate “sniffs.” Each stroke is about one “nose length.” You can feel the breath travel the length of the nose from the nostrils to the eyebrows. Each count of a stroke is about one second, so the 8 stroke inhalation takes about 8 seconds).  Eyes are open only 1/10th of the way so you  are gazing at the mudra. Exhale completely and totally with a whistle through the puckered lips. Continue for 11 minutes.

“Sat Narayan” Meditation To Reclaim Your Peaceful Presence.

Mudra: Hands are in Gyan Mudra (thumbs and index fingers touch, resting on knees or in lap).

Posture: Sit with a straight spine.

Breath and Eye Focus: Eyes 1/10th open or gently closed, focused on the Third Eye (between the eyebrows). The breath will adjust itself as you chant. Mantra:

Sat Narayan Wahe Guru (True Supporter, Indescribable Wisdom)

Hari Narayan Sat Nam (Creative Sustenance, True Identity)

Sat Narayan Wahe Guru

Hari Narayan Sat Nam

Directions:

  • Chant along with this recording by Ajeet Kaur, which is my favorite version of the mantra. Put your heart into it!
  • When the meditation has finished, powerfully and deeply inhale while raising arms above your head, and hold for 10-15 seconds. Powerfully and deeply exhale. Repeat inhale-hold-exhale once more with raised arms. Then lower your arms to your lap/knees and sit quietly. Feel the vibrations of the mantra in you and around you.
May you be elevated by this meditation and blessed with its strength always!

Kirtan Kriya/ Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation: A meditation for total balance.

Here is a blog post I wrote about beginner meditations, please check it out.

Kirtan Kriya, often referred to as SA TA NA MA meditation, is the most important meditation in Kundalini Yoga. If you can do only one meditation, this is it. It will readjust and align you to bring balance into your body, mind and spirit and thus your life. It is your teacher. It is your best friend. The bottom line is that this meditation works. All you have to do is do it. You can trust the process and the technology.

Check out this article on how this meditation is becoming scientifically recognized as a powerful tool for preventing or stopping Alzheimer’s disease, increasing all aspects of cognitive function, (perception, thinking, reasoning and remembering) and reducing stress levels while improving short term memory. Here is another article about it’s direct benefit for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Posture: Sit with a straight spine.

Breath and Eye Focus: Eyes 1/10th open or gently closed, focused on the Third Eye (between the eyebrows). The breath will adjust itself as you chant.

Mantra: Chant SA TA NA MA along with this 11 minute recording by Nirinjan Kaur.

While chanting alternately press the thumb with the four fingers on both hands simultaneously. Press hard enough to keep yourself awake and aware of the pressure. Keep repeating in a stable rhythm and keep the hand motion going throughout the whole meditation.

SA press the thumb and the pointer or Jupiter finger together with pressure. The Jupiter/Pointer finger brings in knowledge, expands our field of possibilities and releases us from limitations.

TA press the thumb and the middle or Saturn finger together. The Saturn/Middle finger gives us patience, wisdom and purity

NA press the thumb and the ring or Sun finger together. The Sun/Ring finger gives us vitality and aliveness.

MA press the thumb and the pinky or Mercury finger together. The Mercury/Pinky finger aids clear communication.

Visualize or feel each individual sound come in the crown chakra at the top of the head, down through the middle of the head and out to infinity through the third eye. This is very important and must be done with each sound. It is an essential part of the cleansing process. If this part of the meditation is not done, you may experience a headache.

Whatever you experience is OK. Do not try to avoid or control your experiences. Simply be with what is going on and go through it. It is all part of the balancing process.

11-Minute Variation (The recording does not follow these times exactly-just go with the flow).

  • 2 min out-loud
  • 2 min whisper
  • 4 min in-head , continue with hand movements
  • 2 min whisper
  • 2 min out-loud.


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How To Be and Give Peace

What is the meaning of “BE THE PEACE” to you?  Has it changed since we last met? Be the Peace means that I am peace and people perceive me as peace and I emit peace. I know that even a tiny bit of peace can cause a ripple effect and although I may never see this peace, I have no idea what this ripple will actually do and I can only hope that it will be the change/the peace movement. Like the butterfly effect that a tiny movement of a butterfly wing will cause an avalanche of movement in the future. I do not think the meaning has changed except that it has deepened and widened in perspective.

‘You may never know what results come of your actions but if you do nothing there will be no results’. ~Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi said, “My life is my message.” What does that message bring to mind to you? All I want to do is give people peace through movement. I want my form of yoga/mindful movement to be something that people seek out and they can feel peace through a deeper exploration of their own selves within the yoga. To be truly at peace we must be at peace within ourselves. 

My mind often repeats the lyrics to one of my favorite yoga songs by Wade Imre Morissette (yes, Alanis’s brother) called Om Narayana

Joy on the inside and peace on the outside,
Loving on the inside and laughing on the outside,
Kissing on the inside and healing on the outside,
Flowing on the inside and thriving on the outside,
Clearing on the inside and accepting the outside,
Shining on the inside and shining on the outside.

Are Gandhi’s message and the message of BE THE PEACE aligned in some way for you? Being the peace in my life’s message is given through my yoga and I hope through my writing. I want to be seen as a writer and I want people to read what I write. I want to write books that show that peace is so multi-faceted that it is possible to find the angle of peace that suits you and for you to live that way of being. I imagine that peace is a multi-sided dice cube and you can roll it and whatever word/synonym of peace that pops up will be how you express peace at that moment. Mindfulness and peace are completely intertwined.

Affection
Amicability
Amity
Armistice
Calmness
Caliber
Character
Closeness
Commitment 
Community
Composure
Consciousness 
Contentment 
Cooperation
Courage
Ease
Empathy
Equanimity
Friendliness 
Friendship 
Good Vibes
Good Will
Harmony
Hope
Integrity 
Intimacy
Kindness (Loving Kindness)
Kinship
Love
Neutrality
Pacifism
Patience
Peace
Peacefulness
Quiet
Reconciliation
Respect
Serenity
Self-Possession
Sociability 
Society
Stillness
Sympathy 
Tranquility
Understanding 
Unity 
Zeal
Facets of Peace

Two more words/phrases that mean a lot to me: Ubuntu & MWE

UBUNTU

I am, because you are

The word ubuntu is part of a Zulu phrase which literally means that a person is a person through other people. … Ubuntu is a nebulous concept of common humanity, oneness: humanity, you and me both…MWE. Dan Siegel coined the term “MWE” which I love. It is the me; it is the we; it is the me in we; it is the we in me. It is a sense of a sense of internal consistency about who I am across time and across multiple social identities (e.g., race/ethnicity, profession, culture, gender, religion). This integrated identity serves as an internal framework for making choices and provides a stable base from which one can act in the world. Ubuntu is peace. MWE is peace.

‘Be aware that patience is not the art of waiting. It is the metaphysics of knowing that resting calmly will deliver.’ ~ Guru Singh


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Mindful Book reviews By Eve: Thank You, Crow by Michael Minkovitz

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Thank You, Crow by Michael Minkovitz; Illustrated by Jose D. Medina

I love the sweet green child and the doe-eyed crow. They make a beautiful couple creating art together. The child is kind-hearted and helps the hurt crow, who in turn brings joy and wonderment to the boy. This is a creative page turner that will elicit many giggles and ooh’s and aah’s.

Thank you to Penny Candy Books for sending me this book as part of a giveaway. All opinions expressed are my own.


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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: Roots And Wings: A handbook for parents and educators to promote positive change based on the principles of mindfulness by Alex Koster M.Ed.

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This is a wonderfully helpful book that is passionately written from deep in the soul of the author. Alex Koster openly shares her knowledge on how a mindful approach to life can bring about positive family, community and societal change in this increasingly digital, impersonal, self-absorbed age. The simple but effective strategies and techniques she offers give parents and educators the mindfulness tools they will need to “put their air masks on first” and then be able to help their children become confident, happy, compassionate adults.

The main message I took away from this book is that by living a more aware, kind and joyful life, life itself will be more enjoyable. Therefore, I will be a more loving and lovable person who is then confident, happy, and compassionate enough to help my children and for those who I care for. Sounds like a win-win to me!

I highly recommend this wonderful book. It’s heart centered approach is just what is needed to diffuse the stress of today.

Thank you to the author for sending me this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs by Susan Schaefer Bernardo

Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs by Susan Schaefer Bernardo; Illustrated by Courtenay Fletcher; Inner Child Flower Books.

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As part of Multicultural Children’s Book Da2019 (1/25/19) I am reviewing the wonderful new title Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs by Susan Schaefer Bernardo. The sweet dialogue, encased in calming rhythms, delivers the important message that love is forever. I was immediately drawn to the fact that this story, although seemingly about people who are separated by physical distance, also touches on the reality of a more permanent separation. This book does not make you feel sad; it just allows the embrace of love to be felt, no matter the permanence of the separation. I love this book. It should be in homes, libraries, schools, therapist offices etc. It is not only a beautiful bedtime story for all children, but it also serve an important purpose as a therapeutic book for children coping with grief, anxiety or loss.

The illustrations by Courtenay Fletcher are sweet and connect to the story perfectly. I love the diverse sampling of characters and how they show simple ways that love is always present, even when a person is not present.

¡Olé Namaste! Eve Costarelli

Thank you to Susan Schaefer Bernardo for sending me this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

For more information about accessible mindfulness/yoga/dance, please visit alwaysbedancing.com

#ReadYourWorld hashtag #mindfulbookreviewsbyeve #childrensyoga #childrensbooks #picturebook #mindfulness #yoga #alwaysbedancing #evecostarelli #speedyyogini #speedykundalini

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Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019 (1/25/19) is in its 6th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators. 

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board!

*View our 2019 Medallion Sponsors here: https://wp.me/P5tVud-
*View our 2019 MCBD Author Sponsors here: 
https://wp.me/P5tVud-2eN

Medallion Level Sponsors

Honorary: Children’s Book CouncilThe Junior Library GuildTheConsciousKid.org.

Super Platinum: Make A Way Media

GOLD: Bharat BabiesCandlewick PressChickasaw Press, Juan Guerra and The Little Doctor / El doctorcitoKidLitTV,  Lerner Publishing GroupPlum Street Press,

SILVER: Capstone PublishingCarole P. RomanAuthor Charlotte RiggleHuda EssaThe Pack-n-Go Girls,

BRONZE: Charlesbridge PublishingJudy Dodge CummingsAuthor Gwen JacksonKitaab WorldLanguage Lizard – Bilingual & Multicultural Resources in 50+ LanguagesLee & Low BooksMiranda Paul and Baptiste Paul, RedfinAuthor Gayle H. Swift,  T.A. Debonis-Monkey King’s DaughterTimTimTom BooksLin ThomasSleeping Bear Press/Dow PhumirukVivian Kirkfield,

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Author Sponsors on board

Honorary: Julie FlettMehrdokht Amini,

Author Janet BallettaAuthor Kathleen BurkinshawAuthor Josh FunkChitra SoundarOne Globe Kids – Friendship StoriesSociosights Press and Almost a MinyanKaren LeggettAuthor Eugenia ChuCultureGroove BooksPhelicia Lang and Me On The PageL.L. WaltersAuthor Sarah StevensonAuthor Kimberly Gordon BiddleHayley BarrettSonia PanigrahAuthor Carolyn Wilhelm, Alva Sachs and Dancing DreidelsAuthor Susan BernardoMilind Makwana and A Day in the Life of a Hindu KidTara WilliamsVeronica AppletonAuthor Crystal BoweDr. Claudia MayAuthor/Illustrator Aram KimAuthor Sandra L. RichardsErin DealeyAuthor Sanya Whittaker GraggAuthor Elsa TakaokaEvelyn Sanchez-ToledoAnita BadhwarAuthor Sylvia LiuFeyi Fay AdventuresAuthor Ann MorrisAuthor Jacqueline JulesCeCe & Roxy BooksSandra Neil Wallace and Rich WallaceLEUYEN PHAMPadma VenkatramanPatricia Newman and Lightswitch LearningShoumi SenValerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Traci SorellShereen RahmingBlythe StanfelChristina MatulaJulie RubiniPaula ChaseErin TwamleyAfsaneh MoradianLori DeMonia, Claudia Schwam, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls RevolutionSoulful SydneyQueen Girls Publications, LLC

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty ArabAgatha Rodi BooksAll Done MonkeyBarefoot MommyBiracial Bookworms, Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms ShareColours of UsDiscovering the World Through My Son’s EyesDescendant of Poseidon ReadsEducators Spin on it Growing Book by BookHere Wee Read, Joy Sun Bear/ Shearin LeeJump Into a BookImagination Soup,Jenny Ward’s ClassKid World CitizenKristi’s Book NookThe LogonautsMama SmilesMiss Panda ChineseMulticultural Kid BlogsRaising Race Conscious ChildrenShoumi SenSpanish Playground

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Make A Way Media: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/25/19 at 9:00pm.E.S.T. TONS of prizes and book bundles will be given away during the party. GO HERE for more details.

FREE RESOURCES From MCBD

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.