Monday, April 30, 2012

More Gratitude

This second month of Spring presents fullness and abundance. It is very obvious to me when I look outside my window and see dozens and dozens of roses in full bloom. My belly is full because I have incredible food to eat. Even my broken heart is abundantly overflowing with feeling and tears.

“What we focus on expands.” You've heard that one before. It is key that you expand the goodness in your life by focusing through the lens of goodness. Writing a daily gratitude list is a great way to set the tone for abundance in your life. Make a list of ten things you are grateful for. Three of them can be about your body. You can also check out my Gratitude Playlist for songs that inspire thankfulness.

Here goes:

1. That I can breathe deeply

2. That I have been in love in my life

3. That I knew all of my grandparents

4. My father practicing yoga around me all through my childhood

5. My grandmother is still alive

6. That I am able to have feelings, even heartbreak

7. Hope that lives in my heart

8. Green tea with honey

9. My pets Winkie and Felix from childhood

10. My ability to exercise, and my desire to do so daily

Now you do one!

Monday, April 23, 2012

From Co-dependent to Co-Abundant

Becoming a young woman in the early '90's brought with it the awareness of  co-dependence: relationships that seemed draining or isolating and unequal. I have a tendency to be co-dependent. The usual feed-back I get when I share this confession with others who have been in long-term relationships is: who isn't? Whilst day-dreaming and fantasizing about that perfect partnership, a new term has come to me: Co-abundant. I was absolutely delighted when this term dropped into my head. What if, in fact, the better I do personally, the more I benefit my relationships in a very tangible and personal way? I can focus on doing well myself and directly benefit my partner in co-operation. This is the type of relationship I wish to cultivate in business, friendships, marriage, my community and even with the Earth itself. Now you may have been onto this from the start, but this is an independent woman's epiphany. Instead of the flip-flop of dependence, the commitment to abundance.

Feeling less-than or better-than is epidemic in our culture. The old bell-curve education system has created a sense that there is not enough room for all of us at the top, or that in order to survive we either have to sacrifice ourselves or compete. But what if it were the opposite? What if the better I do, the better you do? The old way of relating simply doesn't work anymore. I don't mean the false-cheerleader-types who batter you with a positive attitude, even though you sense that they are chronically addicted to manifestation in the name of "spirituality". The problem remains: once we get what we want, we rarely know what to do with it. It feels isolating without partnerships and shared experience. It is much more fun to be co-abundant!

Certainly finding ways to work together is the essence of this type of living. Knowing what you love to do, and finding ways to pool resources in order to magnify individual success is the key. It comes down to knowing the self - "what are my needs?" Appreciating the abundant resources and the limitless nature of our Earth is essential. Nature is unlimited, it is humans who are in danger of eliminating themselves. Whatever shape this cosmos may take, it is only creation and re-creation. When I get in alignment and attuned with nature, I stop fearing the not-enough-ness, and delight in the pleasures that abound. There is enough for me and you.

How to release the competition?
  • Know that what you have to offer is enough.
  • Trust the Earth. There are unlimited resources. The Earth is constantly regenerating itself. Life is providing you with all that you need.
  • Understand that when your friends and family and partners do well, that you too are doing well.

After I gave up my former career as an actress, I felt embarrassed when I ran into old co-workers. I felt unseen and over looked when I met new people who did not know my past accomplishments.  I felt stuck every time I told a story of my past. Eventually, I had to relinquish outdated expectations. It turns out that when I became present to what is in front of me today, and did the next designated thing, all of my friends' victories quite literally became mine. So I plan on doing very well for myself. I am set on being co-abundant with all of you.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Ab-Flattening Yoga Workout

We are all looking for those ever-elusive, perfectly taut "Jennifer Aniston" abs. Abdominal exercises give you more than just a flat tummy. They can provide something much deeper and longer lasting: a connection to who you really are and how to get what you want in life. The point just below the belly button within an inch is the area that many Taoist yoga masters claim that all of our excess energy that we cultivate is stored. It is called the lower tan dien and is the original cell of your body. It is where you were connected to your mommy when you were in the womb, and it has been the seed of the body you inhabit today. It is also related to the third chakra, which is directly related to the powers of desire, knowing who you are and what you truly want.

This area is activated by the color yellow and is supported by certain abdominal exercises and the core work that we will do in this ab-flattening yoga routine. I have also incorporated some heat-generating movements to increase the heart rate and speed up the metabolism.

When you do this workout, keep in mind that you are building much more than abdominal strength in the end, and it will be incredibly motivating. After all, every single goal you have begins today. In your body. Exactly as it is now!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Training Tips

These are my tips for Spring. When we enter this season, it is a time of breaking free from the old, and allowing what no longer serves to pass naturally. This also entails initiating action for the future. Here are some actions you can take to initiate yourself into a new you!
  • Visualize your dreams coming true: Make a Vision Mat! The eyes love to have images that are inspiring and appealing. Literally seeing images of what you want will activate that energy within and around you.
  • Exercise: Here's a quick routine I did with SELF Magazine to help get you into great shape fast. It was the seed of my YOGALOSOPHY DVD.
  • Intent will give you a focus for the day. Follow me all week to get intention-setting mantras Twitter @msmandyingber.
  • Be a Warrior: To reach your goals, assume the position. The Way of the Peaceful Warrior is one of my favorite books by Dan Millman.
  • Do a quick cleanse: I recently did a great 3-day juice fast with Kreation.
  • Free Yourself! Butterflies can help you feel free while you start your exercise program. Check out my awesome butterfly necklace at my store! 
  • Quick headache cure: Ardha Kurmasana Pose.
  • Contact with your angels: Angel Cards. Pick one and see the world through that lens.
  • Identify your goals in a fun way: The Game of You!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Envision Your Goals

Any goal I have ever reached began with me visualizing it. It began in my mind before it became tangible. Spring is the time for new beginnings, and contains a potency for planting seeds for the entire year. The eyes need a visual image to connect us subliminally to our goals and desires. That is why each year, I create a vision board that depicts my goals and dreams.

I find images through magazines and personal pictures to cover all areas of my life: my identity, how I look, finances, values, communication, family, home, children, creativity, play, service, health, diet, relationship, the dark side, mysticism, transformation, education, spirituality, career, friends, humanity, and the unknown... and then I let it go. Looking back, my last couple of years are right there on that visual map. Instead of hiding it in the closet, or barley glancing at it on the way to the fridge, I have found the best place to put mine: on my yoga mat! Vision Mat is a place where I can keep my vision board, and the images permeate my subconscious while I am practicing yoga. Its a great subliminal way to see and focus my goals and dreams.

Naming and declaring what we want is extremely powerful. Beginning a class with an intention brings meaning to my practice that is deeper than just getting a great workout (even though that matters too!). Just as seeing your dreams through images is essential, naming it is an important part of the goal-setting process. Some of us have adopted a superstitious attitude regarding saying what we want, or we feel a guilt because we think it may be selfish. Having a desire and going after our goals is completely okay. It's just important to stay detached from the outcome; once you get what you want, there will be another thing you want! It's perpetual motion. I think that desire is God-given and following that impulse using our intuition will lead us to our correct place. Be a leader. Be an inspiration, and declare it. What do you want?