Always Be Dancing

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


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Groove & Flow w/ Eve 10-5-2020

Playlist: 

Groove: All songs/ Roy LobbFlow:
Saudade
Sentimentos
It’s Just The Wind
Tango Improvisado
Tomorrow Today
Everything Remains
The Sky Below
Past Perfect
Either/Or
Fade To Black
Puerto Oscura
En El palacio Del Sultan by Juan Martin
Tiferet by Juan Pascual
Tangos De Mi Novia
by Son De La Frontera
Villanesca By Devin Ulibarri
Sat Narayan Wahe Guru
by Ajeet Kaur  (see below for meditation)
Groove & Flow Playlist 10-5-2020
Breathing exercise for calmness and stillness 
4 Part Cycle:
1. In and out with the nose.
2. In and out with the mouth (with a gentle rounded mouth).
3. In with the nose; Out with the mouth.
4. In with the mouth; Out with the nose.
5. Start at segment #1. Repeat.
Relax into a rhythm. Mentally use the mantra Sa Ta Na Ma to keep all breath segments equal length. Concentrate on the mantra. If you lose track, start at segment #1 again. Relax.

“Sat Narayan” Meditation To Reclaim Your Peaceful Presence.

Go with the flow. Allow the currents of your thoughts ebb and flow with your breath. Feel your love flow. Fill every nook and cranny of your being with your inhale and then on the exhale, relax into your inner peace. You can go back again and again to that place inside you that showers you with love, your inner “love shack”. That place inside you that is safe and peaceful. That space inside from which  your whole life flows sweetly. 

The more you are able to relax into a state of inner calmness and stillness, the more you can project outwardly: peace, love, and happiness. 

Mudra: Hands are resting on knees or lap. Thumbs and index fingers touch.

Posture: Sit with a straight spine.

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

Mantra (included all 4 lines as one repetition):

Sat Narayan, Wahe Guru (Sut Na-Rye-Yan, Waaa-Hey Garooo) Meaning: Support & Wisdom

Hari Narayan Sat Nam (Ha-Ree Na-Rye-Yan, Sut-uh naaamm) Meaning: Creativity & Genuineness 

Sat Narayan Wahe Guru

Hari Narayan Sat Nam

Directions:

  • Vocalize along with this recording by Ajeet Kaur, which is my favorite version of the mantra. Put your heart into it! You will find yourself singing it all through the day. 
  • 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.
  • Meditate 1-11 minutes.

May you be bolstered by the vibration of this meditation and granted its strength always!


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Groove & Flow with Eve Costarelli 9-28-2020

About Sa Ta Na Ma:

https://agelessartsyoga.com/instructor-group-yoga/sa-ta-na-ma-meditation/
https://alzheimersprevention.org/research/kirtan-kriya-yoga-exercise/
https://www.kundaliniyoga.org/lesson_15

Two 11-minute versions of Sa Ta Na Ma (Kirtan Kriya):
Nirinjan Kaur https://youtu.be/Zg9NOOM2neA
Gurunam Singh https://youtu.be/UbKpBPYGQ1


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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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Purpose, Intention & Patience

Living with a sense of purpose is so important. Wake each day with a drive and will to do. Find things that interest you and a determination to learn, even when it is hard. Learn to figure things out-ask questions-make mistakes. Experience the inner sensations of your passion.

Life is to be lived with gusto-zest-zeal. You must live in and for the moment. Your goals and desires and hopes and dreams have many paths that lead to them. Allow yourself the freedom to travel many paths. They will lead you to experiences that will help you on your way. Do not be disappointed if your path is different than you thought it would be; instead be flexible. Learn along the way. Find joy in your travels. Be inspired to live.

Experience the moments within a larger context. Everything you do will cause an effect. Whether the desired one, or not, or possibly one that is not immediately noticeable…maybe not even in your lifetime. Above all be patient Know that patience is not just the ability to wait for it to happen. Rather, it is the absolute knowing that it will happen. Just. Know. It. Will. Happen.

You can effect change.

Alwasy keep your vibration high.

Have a positive outlook.

Look at your heart.

Have hope.

With peace,

Eve

If you are local to Natick, MA, please join me today. I will be leading a short Grove & Flow associated with the fire element and summer. Come get grounded!

Grounding In Community

Natick Common 1:30-3:00PM

Grounding In Community is an outdoor, in-person, and safe way to grow our hope and support each other. Every last Sunday afternoon, from 1:30 – 3:00, we meet under the shade of a giant tree on the Natick Common for a time of spiritual practice, artistic expression, and truth-telling. We lie on the grass, sit on blankets and chairs, sing, explore movement, and speak words of truth that give us greater strength and freedom.

We are living in times that are heavy with foreboding in terms of health, economics, and politics. And so we gather in community to affirm that we are not alone in being afraid and in needing support. Together we create a space where we find the courage to face all this…and to find a way of being well and of keeping hope alive within.

For everyone’s safety, we will wear masks and maintain six feet of distance. If you want, please also bring a blanket, yoga mat, or chair to sit on. It is also recommended to bring a water bottle.

If you are inspired to share a poem, story, song, or reading–something that grounds you in truth and gives you hope–there is a time of open sharing in the structure of the gathering where this will be welcome.


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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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Mini Yoga Sequence: Creating Inner Peace

1. Child’s pose make sure your big toes are touching, and your knees are slightly apart, so you stomach can rest on your legs. If you cannot touch your head to the floor, then put a book or a block under your head so you can rest it in something. You can make the book as big or small as needed. You could also put a large pillow  or bolster under your stomach to really relax. If you cannot get into this position due to physical restraints, try sitting on a block or on a chair.
2. Legs up the wall: can be done on the floor with legs together or comfortably separated or you can even put a folded blanket under your hips.
The main thing is to breathe in and out through your nose. Take a breath in slowly though your nose, it does not have to be huge and then try to elongate the breath out. If you have trouble breathing out though your nose at first, you can purse your lips, like you are trying to gently blow out a candle and then let the air slowly escape your mouth.
** The reason we emphasize nostril breathing is that the in-breath particularly reshapes our attention and insight by activating our brain through our senses, such as smell and the action of slow, deep breathing, whether the inhalation or exhalation, is beneficial for our nervous system when we wish to be more still. In fact, mindful breathing emphasizes not only the breathing component, but also the mental component of paying attention and becoming aware of mind, body and breath together.


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Kundalini Woman’s Set

Quiet meditation in rock pose 3min

Life Nerve Stretch L-D-B; L/R 3min

Camel var./ Camel pose 3min

Shoulder Stand L-D-B 3min

Archer L/R 5min

Baby 3min

Bow L-D-B 3min

Locust 3min

Cow L-D-B 3min

Cat L-D-B 3min

Stretch B-O-F 3min

Corpse 8-10min

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#flamenco #yoga #kundalini #dance #speedyyogini #inclusive #alwaysbedancing #alwaysbedancingflamenco #olenamaste #evecostarelli #natickma #smallbusiness #kundalinifusion #peacemoji #iameve #innerpeas #todayskriya


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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: It’s Always There; A children’s meditation book for mindfulness, calm and happiness by Lou Lou Rose

It’s Always There A children’s meditation book for mindfulness, calm and happiness by Lou Lou Rose (including Magic Word cards)

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This is truly one of the best children’s mindfulness books that I have come across. The book is full of thoughts that pique the interest and understanding the art of mindfulness is easily accessible for children and is written into lovely, flowing rhyming sequences. The artwork is adorable. I love the textured painting juxtaposed onto photographic backgrounds and sprinkled with computer-generated flowers. It’s completely endearing! The additional Magic Word cards are beautiful affirmations for calm, clear thinking, positive feelings of self love and are perfect addition to this wonderful book. I really enjoyed this book and I know I will use it in my kids classes. It is fun, educational and practical. I highly recommend it! 

Please check out https://www.louiseshanagher.com/loulourose : Lou Lou Rose is the creative partnership of children’s therapist Louise Shanagher and visual artist Rose Finerty. Lou Lou Rose aim to nurture and promote positive mental health for children through a series of books, videos, affirmation cards and by holding creative workshops in preschools, schools, festivals and community groups.


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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: Watkins Publishing Round-Up

  • How To Teach Meditation to Children:Help kids deal with shyness and anxiety and be more focused, creative and self-confident by David Fontana & Ingrid Slack
  • The Calm Buddha At Bedtime: Tales of wisdom, compassion and mindfulness to read with your child by Dharmachari Nagaraja
  • The Mindful Mandala Coloring Book by Lisa Tenzin-Dolma

IMG_1092How To Teach Meditation to Children:Help kids deal with shyness and anxiety and be more focused, creative and self-confident by David Fontana & Ingrid Slack

This is a great one-stop-book to learn how and why to bring meditation to children, whether they be your own or your students. This book very clearly lays out meditations for different age groups from 5-8 year old children to 15+, late adolescents and for different needs, such as creativity, relaxation and body awareness. The author has come up with fun and creative, and easy to follow, meditations with follow up exercises for home, daily life and school. One of the ones that immediately caught my eye was exercise #4 in the chapter about meditations for mindfulness. The exercise is about taking a familiar object and showing it upside down and having the kids draw it from this odd angle. The exercise is about perspective and focus and creativity. I use this exercise in my yoga class-which is just meditation in motion, and we turn yoga poses on their heels or backs or bellies and then recreate the poses from a different perspective. We can rename them and bring new qualities of them to light when they are taken from a different angle or a chair or are holding onto a cane. Our attention becomes more focused, our minds more creative as we experience gravity from another angle.

I really enjoyed this book and recommend it for it’s unique and creative meditation ideas. I highly recommend this accessible book and strongly agree with the author about having a practice of your own as a necessary element in the desire to bring this to children.

The Calm Buddha At Bedtime: Tales of wisdom, compassion and mindfulness to read with your child by Dharmachari Nagaraja

IMG_1091This is a lovely collection of read aloud stories on instilling wisdom, compassion and mindfulness into ours and our children’s lives and by using the age old art of story telling, these stories make it very easy to bring these qualities to children. The short tale with morals empower children to take these teachings into the world by learning about patience, honesty and trust.

At the back of the book, there is a section of very sweet and simple mindful meditation scripts that can be used to enhance the teachings of the stories. The index makes it very easy to find themes that work in with what you are teaching.

This is a wonderful book that opens the hearts and minds of all who share them. I highly recommend these calming and enlightening stories.

The Mindful Mandala Coloring Book by Lisa Tenzin-Dolma

IMG_1090This is a lovely coloring book with beautifully detailed and delicately drawn mandalas. The book is separated into three sections: Buddhist mandalas, Celtic mandalas and Healing mandalas and at the beginning of each section, a few colored examples are given. Included with each mandala are a description of that specific mandala, simple step-by-step instructions for its contemplation, a recommended color palette and a meaningful quote. Also, for added creativity and self-reflection, at the end of each section are blank mandala templates for you to create your own, personalized mandalas.

This is a wonderful book that is packed with information for contemplation and quiet-time self- reflection. It it the first coloring book that I have seen with all the elements of a mindful practice included in one place. Coloring is a great way to bring about contemplation, meditation and healing. This book is beautifully laid out. I am looking forward to choosing a mandala to color and contemplate! Namaste!

Thank you to Watkins Publishing for these books. All opinions expressed are my own.


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(Coloring) Book Review by Eve: Angry Octopus: Color Me Happy, Color Me Calm: A Self-Help Kid’s Coloring Book for Overcoming Anxiety, Anger, Worry and Stress by Lori Lite

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This coloring book is full of positive affirmations and fun pictures to color.

Each 2-page layout has a great advice bubble and an accompanying picture to color. The pictures are all very emotive and capture the essence of the affirmations perfectly. The pictures are simple, allowing each one to be finished in a sitting, which is very satisfying. The flow of the lines is very pleasant and they add to the overall calming effect of the book.

Each page of this delightful book offers a mini-mindful moment including a progressive muscle relaxation script, yoga, visualization, a bubble thought exercise and gratitude pages along with a variety of other ways to connect mindfulness to your senses, functions, emotions, and activities such as dance, listening to music and exercise.

The book itself allows for lots of space to breathe and to express yourself creatively. I love how it touches on so many ways to experience mindfulness. This book offers both young and old coping skills to help calm anxiety and bring about peace of mind. Coloring is proven to be a great calming activity and is a great way for families to enjoy some quiet together time. I highly recommend this book for families, therapists, yoga classes (which is what I will be using it for) and for anyone else who wants to access their creativity and share calming strategies with children.

How I will use this book:

IMG_7627In my yoga/mindful movement classes, I love to offer many avenues to my students to absorb coping skills. This book will come in super handy when I need an activity that passively activates the still quiet place inside where peace abides and anxiety is dissipated.