Tag: meditation

How to Find Peace in an Over-Stimulated World.

eoin finn blissology commit to bliss course

How to find peace in an over stimulated world Do you agree that we are becoming more busy and scrambled with each passing year?

In our Commit to Bliss Course starting Nov 14 we have different Blissology Discussion topics

One of them is: “What is different about the world now then your parent’s generation?”

One obvious answer is that we are always on. We have so much stimulation, data and pressure to respond immediately to an overwhelming number of messages. This is what the Yogis called “Rajasic “ energy. In such an overwhelming, rajasic world, what happens to us if we don’t take the time to find peace?

Obviously, our minds suffer and our bodies can become sick.

You know that meditation is an important tool to counter this. But, as I pose in a question in this video, “how do you truly feel about mediation?” It’s like dieting. We do it because we HAVE TO but it’s not enjoyable. Many of us meditate because it’s something we have to do on our “spiritual to-do” list.

This is hard for me to watch because I feel like meditation is like a “breath massage.” I have found ways to make it enjoyable that I want to share. Have a listen – there are some important ideas here facing our modern era and the world our children and grandchildren will inherit

Let me know your thoughts

Find Peace, Everyone. Commit to Bliss.

#blissology #blissarmy #committobliss

 

Buyer Beware: Not All Breathwork is Relaxing

Eoin Chakra Physiology and Hormones
In a world of extremes we love to push the boundaries of

Commit to Bliss is Unique and Powerful course to learn the tools of Somatic Breathing and Embodied Physiology so we can self regulate back to peace in any life situation.

 

Imagine being brand new to snow-skiing and on your first run you ended up taking the wrong chair lift. Instead of going to the manageable bunny slope, you got thrust off the chair lift straight into a double diamond run. How would you feel looking down that steep pitch? To many experienced skiers, this is the dream. However, to the new skier most likely provokes sheer terror.

I had a blind spot when it came to how I taught yogic breathing techniques. I now see this blind spot everywhere as people quickly jump on the bandwagons of Wim Hof, the “IceMan.”

This is why I want to share this post now as a “Buyer Beware” PSA. I believe that if breathing techniques were packaged goods they should come with a label. “Warning, not all techniques are good for all people.”

With one in five people in US has an anxiety disorder, I see many yogic breathing techniques or Wim Hof Breathing techniques being described as relaxing antidotes to stress and anxiety. I want the word to get out that breathwork is not a “one size fits all shop.”

Let me circle back to the skiing analogy and my blind spot. I had been sharing these techniques in my classes up until 15 years ago. I loved the “double diamond” runs of long breath holds (Kumbhaka) and rapid breathing (Khapalabhati,) the same way I love big waves or double black diamond ski runs.

 

 

I spent many years practicing Kumbaka (long breath holds) and Kapalabhati (Rapid Breathing) by my teacher Gioia Irwin who’s lineage goes back to B.K.S. Iyengar.

As I prepare for an upcoming book and course on the Yoga Sutras, even Patanjali describes the serenity of the breath holds as the pinnacle of the yogic Pranayama experience (Check out Sutra 2.50.) How could people not like these techniques?

However, when I would teach them to students, many of them came to me afterwards saying that they were not experiencing peace at all, but they were going through traumatic experiences.

They were not seeing chakras, angelic auras or the light of divine consciousness. Not at all. What they were describing to me was panic flashbacks. Some described it to the claustrophobic experience of being put into MRI machines after being injected with purple die to check for tumors.

It made me seek feedback from other students on these techniques. What I found was that during these breathing techniques, many of them were secretly feeling claustrophobic, light-headed, dizzy and full of panic.

You may have seen some of my Instagram memes (Eoinisms) like the popular “Less Drama, More Pranayama.” What is fully clear to me now is that for about 1 in 6 people, I was causing “More Drama, through Pranayama!”

It’s no wonder they felt agitated because in these rapid breathing techniques, we are actually hyperventilating. Those rapid exhalations lower carbon dioxide levels which in turn lead to narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood to the brain!

When our blood supply to the brain is decreased, we will experience symptoms like lightheadedness and tingling in the fingers.

It’s actually crazy to consider that people who were already feeling anxious or trauma were now trying to fight off lightheadedness and numb fingers! And they had no tools to deal with this. And they were told this is “stress-reducing response. It wasn’t stress-reducing, it was stress-inducing!

On the other side of the coin, holding your breath too long can lower heart rate from a lack of oxygen. This causes CO₂ buildup in your bloodstream. This is called “nitrogen narcosis,” a dangerous buildup of nitrogen gases in your blood that can make you feel disoriented or inebriated.

Again, for people who are already suffering from stress and anxiety, why would we ever push them off the chair lift into the double diamond run of feeling disoriented or inebriated? Of course, you may have the tools stay grounded in this disorientated state so this may be your cup of tea, and that’s fine. My point is we cannot keep pushing people into these experiences under the label of “reduce stress with pranayama or Wim Hof breathing techniques.

To be fair, what I found is that if I worked one on one with these students, we had a lot of success to make the experience slowly more enjoyable. They gradually learned the somatic tools to stay calm in the experience to not allow the sympathetic nervous system or panic response to overtake them.

However, in large group classes, I couldn’t work one on one with people the way these pranayama breathing techniques should be taught. As a result, I stopped sharing these breathing techniques in my classes for that reason. (Again, it’s not that I don’t think they are great in some circumstances, but we have to walk before we run.)

About 15 years ago, I decided to change tacks altogether.

I set out a mission to explore ways of helping people regulate towards peace. What if we could make a goal of getting people onto the green slopes first before launching them of the chair lift into a double diamond slope that can cause the panic response?

I can’t go into the details of all the techniques here, but I am so overjoyed to share the ones that have evolved in our Blissology school.

I want to share these as a more widely accessible alternative to more stimulating breathing techniques. By analogy, I want people to enjoy the effects of a mellow “Cush” strain of marijuana before they launch into the world of Ayahuasca trip intensity. In a world where many of us with life stresses are already in the extremes of stress, I just don’t think that we need to rush to extremes.

I will be sharing many of these techniques in the upcoming Commit to Bliss course Nov 14 and my new Yoga book due out this winter.

The course is primarily about finding “Embodied Peace.” It’s about learning Somatic regulation and what I called “Embodied Physiology.” My goal is to share tools, conversations and science about how to steer our bodies back to peace when we feel anxious, angry or overly stressed.

 

Eoin Chakra Physiology and Hormones

Commit to Bliss is a coursed designed to teach you Embodied Physiology to help regulate your body and mind back to Peace.

 

In the meantime, here is a small an excerpt from page 156 of the upcoming Commit to Bliss Book under the Embodied Breath section.

The general process is to go slow and feel the breath.
Open your senses and notice the body as you breathe.

Reduce the tendency of the human mind to analyze of rush.
Simply enjoy the feeling of peace that comes when we slow down our breath.

Breathe fully into your belly noticing that when the breath becomes more enjoyable your mind feels more spacious and free.

Even as you read the sentences below, make plenty of space to pause and a savor the experience. Soften your eyes and keep the spine long.  Enjoy the slow.

See your breathing process through the lens of tightness and flow.

Feel a place that’s tight: some common places are the lower back, the upper shoulders, the lower jaw, the forehead and belly. Let them release. Breath that tightness out, as your brain sinks into a hammock with ease.

Feel the fullness and the peace in your breath as we shift into a state of mind, we call flow.

Calm is your superpower. You have the controls. Enjoy each deep and full breath

 

The Skill of Chill: Is your mind pulling you by the leash?

Dog and Boy walking - meditation analogy
Dog and Boy walking - meditation analogy

This is Cloud when Lion was walking him

Last winter our son, Lion took a friend’s dog 🐶 for a walk in Seattle.

The dog, named Cloud, outweighed Lion by about 40 pounds.

Lion loved walking the dog when a squirrel came running by, Cloud chased it. He soon discovered what it’s like to be WALKED BY A DOG rather than the other way around.

When I saw this, it hit me that this is what our emotions do to us. They are big dogs that we should be walking, but instead they are pulling us as they chase squirrels.

Our normal strategy for these out-of-control emotions is denial, ignoring, “stuffing down” or drowning them with distraction many times in the form of red wine.

What we call Chill is usually about unplugging. The yogis call this Tamas.

Most times we don’t realize it, but what we are actually unplugging from is a connection to our Inner Light.

Yoga teaches us that there is a different type of relaxation that is still connected to Light. It’s called Sattva.

It is a calm and peaceful state. It opens the door to the deepest essence of our being.

But finding Sattva in a busy, frenetic world is not easy. Culturally, we are focused on external circumstances like accumulating material things or winning over the approval of others. This makes Sattvic inner peace harder to find and we become like a dog walker getting pulled by the dog. Our minds are pulling us, and it feels like we have no control.

What I’ve learned is that there is a Skill to Chill.

This is what our Commit to Bliss course is all about Nov 14. By strengthening our tools of yoga, meditation, philosophy (perspective,) and embodied physiology, we can step outside of the prison of the mind. We can relax into our greatness.

In case you can’t do the course, my top tip for the SKILL OF CHILL is to focus on the FULLNESS of breath.

Breathing is easy but BREATHING FULLY IS A SKILL. To feel our ribs moving so we can breathe into our potential means that we need to find what is restricting the movement of our breathing muscles.

We breathe fully, we will make peace with thought loops that manifest as holding patterns in our bodies.

Luckily, when we can unblock these places, the breath becomes more enjoyable and we tame the squirrel-chasing dog of our minds.

You’ve got the leash, so guide your mind. 🐕

Breathe out your tightness, breathe into your lightness.

Chill is a Skill.

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Love Transcends All Distance {meditation}

This “Love Transcends all Distance” meditation is my medicine in these anxious times. I am honored and excited to share. My hope is that is will help restore you to a space of calm and centeredness. Space where we can find the eye in the storm.

It is a somatic-based meditation where we bring deep and relaxing, “3 Dimensional” breath into the body to help regulate ourselves towards peace. You will feel your hormone and nervous system switch into the relaxation response. You will let go of fear and worry and reconnect to the light inside our hearts.

Ultimately, my hope is that you will feel that Love is an energy that is accessible to us even in the most challenging of times and it is the force that needs to guide us now more than ever.

You will feel that even though we may have a lot of physical distance between us these days, the Love Transcends All Distance.

We are offering this as a free service but we would graciously accept donations for our EcoKarma Project. If you’d like to donate you can do so here. All proceeds will help us create more blue oceans for the next generation.

Eoin

Compulsively Checking for “Likes”? Eoin has a Meditation for That.

In a world driven by social media likes, in which we consider “friends” to be “followers” and our worth in clicks, it can be tough to cultivate a true sense of self-love and inner peace. Renowned yoga teachers, it turns out, are not immune from the bait of the ego. Eoin Finn, founder of Blissology and regular Wanderlust teacher, was leading a retreat in Bali when he had the revelation.

“In Bali, there are stars, there’s are no walls,” says Eoin. “So I’m sitting under the stars, looking at the light on my phone, when there’s so much beautiful light coming in from all those beautiful stars. And I realized I was plugged into the wrong light.”

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be liked, of course. But for Eoin it was a reminder to cultivate his sense of worth within before he could accept it from outside sources, even if those sources are thousands of followers…

Read the rest of the article by Lisette Cheresson on Wanderlust’s website and see the meditation below.

Presence, Meditation + Love: Three Rivers, One Ocean

I always teach why we need to be in the present before explaining how. I feel this is something that is elusive to people. Simply put, presence opens the door to more intimate engagement in life; life has more meaning and joy in the present.

A simple example is food.

When we are present to the food we eat, we eat slowly, we savor each bite. The conversation in our head is about how the food tastes, we experience slowly the sensations of each morsel in our palette. It is not about what we are going to do next week or typing a message on social media. We taste what is in front of us with intimate engagement. The flavors speak to us and we listen with our body and mind.

Photo: Made Sintya

 

By contrast, when we are not present to our food, we tend to just shovel it in as we watch our television or walk down the street. We are still living in our heads and our food is entering our body without any real awareness. There is no intimacy and no connection to who made our food, where it came from, how it tastes or what it is doing to our body.

The first step is to slow down and hit pause; to shift from doing to feeling. We want to open the door to more reverence to all life.

There is a sense of peace in the body that we seek in yoga + meditation. The lower back is relaxed, the breath is full and deep, the shoulders are relaxed. We need to use this as a barometer for when we are present or not. Often, when we are not present our bodies are tense and our breath is not very deep and only in the upper front chest.

The key to me is to see Presence more as a state of body, than a state of mind.  When our bodies are light, but grounded and relaxed, the door to presence opens easily.

Especially the week of Valentine’s when Love becomes something we focus on more, let’s commit to slowing down and truly being present for the ones who mean something to us. Let’s feel the miracle of each person and the honor to be in this time and this space with another.

Let’s make time for Kindness. Let’s make more time for Love After all, as we say in Blissology: “Love is the Ultimate Renewable Resource.”

Blissology Project: Day 14 – Sunday, February 4th

This is Day 14 of our two weeks to Commit to Bliss. The Blissology Project will run from Monday, January 22nd until Sunday, February 4th 2018.

It is all about making happiness a habit and creating an Upward Spiral of positivity in our lives through the 6 Big Easy Bliss Commitments.

The last day of the Blissology Project 2018 is upon us! You’ve put so much time and energy forth to make happiness a habit in your life. Feel grateful for whatever commitment you were able to put forth and carry the good vibes you’ve cultivated into the rest of your life!

Here’s a list of Blissology Teachers you can connect with or join our Global Blissology Project event on FB.

Today’s Bliss Commitments are:

Yoga poses to be included in today’s practices are:

  1. Double Pigeon (Agnistambhasana)
  2. Flying Pigeon (Eka Pada Galavasana)
  3. Corpse (Savasana)

*Note: We realize these are some challenging poses! Do your best with where your practice is today. If you feel your flexibility and strength just aren’t there today then insert a pose or two that feel good in your body.

*Special Announcement: Eoin will be hosting a Facebook Live Super Soul Sunday yoga class. Tune in on the Blissology Facebook Page at 10am PST on Sunday, February 4th to get the good vibes flowing!

Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtags #blissologyproject + #blissarmy + #upwardspiral

Meditation

You’ve learned so many different meditation techniques and practices from an incredible array of Blissologists. Use your Wise Guide Inside to take 5-minutes to meditate on your own with whatever feels good!

Nature Appreciation

  • Go camping. Even if you can’t go today plan a trip in the near future, even if it’s just for one night. Consider it a celebration of your completion of the Blissology Project!
  • Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtag #blissologyproject + #natureappreciation

Food Awareness

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie:

Tastes like dessert but healthy enough to drink for breakfast, or as a post yoga rejuvenator.

Ingredients:

2 – 3 tbsp raw almond or cashew butter

1 tbsp greens powder. We like pranin organics, or vitamineral greens

4 – 6 oz water//’

4 – 6 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk (store bought or homemade)

¼ of a small sized avocado (like a hass avocado)

1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves

sweeten to taste with raw honey

1 tbsp raw cacao nibs

2 – 4 ice cubes

Method:

  • Add all ingredients except the cacao nibs to a blender.
  • Pulse until smooth and creamy.
  • Then, add the cacao nibs and blend for another 5 – 10 seconds to break up the nibs into little bits.
  • Pour into a glass.
  • Enjoy.

Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtag #blissologyproject + #highpranafood

Gratitude

  • Reflection Meditation. In Savasana position place one hand on your heart and the other on your belly. Allow space for any feelings and emotions of the last two weeks of the Blissology Project to arise. Offer appreciation and gratitude for your commitment to this program in whatever capacity you were able to contribute. You are more than enough!

Wild Card

  • Have a dance party! Either on your own, with family and friends, or with your Bliss Tribe celebrate your commitment to the Blissology Project. Turn on your favourite music and let loose!

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Blissology Project: Day 13 – Saturday, February 3rd

This is Day 13 of our two weeks to Commit to Bliss. The Blissology Project will run from Monday, January 22nd until Sunday, February 4th 2018.

It is all about making happiness a habit and creating an Upward Spiral of positivity in our lives through the 6 Big Easy Bliss Commitments.

Don’t let the 13 sway you, this is a day full of all kinds of luck and blessings. You’ve almost made it to the end of the Blissology Project and you’re feeling embodied in the energy of the Upward Spiral. Let’s carry these good vibes forward today!

Here’s a list of Blissology Teachers you can connect with or join our Global Blissology Project event on FB.

Today’s Bliss Commitments are:

Yoga poses to be included in today’s practices are:

  1. Side Lunge (Skandasana)
  2. Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana)
  3. Eka Pada Koundinyasana II

*Note: We realize these are some challenging poses! Do your best with where your practice is today. If you feel your flexibility and strength just aren’t there today then insert a pose or two that feel good in your body.

Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtags #blissologyproject + #blissarmy + #upwardspiral

Meditation

Deepen into the groove of meditation with this 6-minute Meditation for People Who Don’t Meditate. Enjoy!

Nature Appreciation

  • Eat a meal outside today. Even if it’s cold go for a walk with a warm thermos of soup. If it’s warm where you live savour lying on the grass or beach with the sun beaming down on you while you munch.
  • Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtag #blissologyproject + #natureappreciation 

Food Awareness

Chia Pudding:

This is both breakfast and dessert all in one and it is delicious.

¼ cup chia seeds

½ cup hot water

1 to 1 1/2 cup almond milk (I prefer to use homemade almond milk) but otherwise try to find a creamy unsweetened almond milk

1 – 2 tsp raw honey or maple syrup

½ tsp Vanilla Bean Paste

½ tsp cardamom powder or cardamom seeds ground finely into a powder

1 tsp Coconut butter.

Optional: 1 tsp rose water

 

  1. Pour hot water over chia seeds and mix thoroughly.  Soak in the refrigerator for several hours or even overnight to make a thick gelatinous chia gel.
  2. In a bowl or in a blender, mix in all ingredients.  Blend lightly and taste.  Adjust for sweetness.
  3. To serve, garnish with some cardamom powder, rose petals and mint leaves, or any seasonal fruit.

Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtag #blissologyproject + #highpranafood

Gratitude

  • When you find yourself in a bad situation today do your best to take a few deep breaths before reacting. Ask yourself, “What can I learn?” When you look back at the situation without emotion later what will you be grateful for?

Wild Card

  • Cook a meal for a loved one. You could even make your favourite meal and share the experience of mindful eating together.

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Don’t forget to Share your experience with the 6 Big Easy Bliss Commitments in the Global Blissology Project event page.

“Happiness is Best when Shared.”

Have fun and enjoy the journey to awakening a deep joy within you!

Blissology Project: Day 12 – Friday, February 2nd

This is Day 12 of our two weeks to Commit to Bliss. The Blissology Project will run from Monday, January 22nd until Sunday, February 4th 2018.

It is all about making happiness a habit and creating an Upward Spiral of positivity in our lives through the 6 Big Easy Bliss Commitments.

Can you believe it’s the end of the second week of the Blissology Project. We’ve infused ourselves with so much Bliss and Joy let’s carry this forward into the last few days!

Here’s a list of Blissology Teachers you can connect with or join our Global Blissology Project event on FB.

Today’s Bliss Commitments are:

Yoga poses to be included in today’s practices are:

  1. Dancer Pose (Natarajasana)
  2. Warrior 3 (Virabhadrasana III)
  3. Half Moon (Ardha Chandrasana)

*Note: We realize these are some challenging poses! Do your best with where your practice is today. If you feel your balance and strength just aren’t there today then insert a pose or two that feel good in your body.

Bonus: Explore your body in new ways with this Full Body Opening and Peace Finding Flow with Blissologist Rhyanna Watson!

Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtags #blissologyproject + #blissarmy + #upwardspiral

Meditation

Take a few minutes to relax and centre yourself with Blissologist Leanne Hembrow in her 6-minute Relaxation Meditation. Enjoy the Bliss Vibes!

Nature Appreciation

  • Browse the internet for pictures of the wonders of the world or current environmental issues. Bonus points if you visit one of these wonders or take action to help the environment.
  • Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtag #blissologyproject + #natureappreciation 

Food Awareness

Pineapple + Basil Cooler:

Full of digestive enzymes, pineapple in the warmer months detoxifies and cools the body off excess heat. The lime and cayenne also help to boost a sluggish liver.

Ingredients:

1 pineapple, peeled, and cut into large chunks, discard the hard center.

8 fresh basil leaves

juice from 1 lime

Small pinch of Himalayan pink salt or sea salt

Small pinch of cayenne

Bit of raw honey if you need it.

 

 

  • Blend pineapple with tiny pinch of salt in a high speed blender.
  • Add basil leaves, lightly blend.
  • Drink at room temperature.  

Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtag #blissologyproject + #highpranafood

Gratitude

  • Gratitude requires humility, which the dictionary defines as being “modest and respectful.” Take some time to reflect on how you’re already a humble being and maybe aspects of your life where you could improve.

Wild Card

  • Tell a joke to someone. Really take some time to research and find the perfect one. Then deliver it with skill and flare!

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Don’t forget to Share your experience with the 6 Big Easy Bliss Commitments in the Global Blissology Project event page.

“Happiness is Best when Shared.”

Have fun and enjoy the journey to awakening a deep joy within you!

Blissology Project: Day 11 – Thursday, February 1st

This is Day 11 of our two weeks to Commit to Bliss. The Blissology Project will run from Monday, January 22nd until Sunday, February 4th 2018.

It is all about making happiness a habit and creating an Upward Spiral of positivity in our lives through the 6 Big Easy Bliss Commitments.

It’s the beginning of a new month and we’ve just transitioned from a Full Moon. The energy is potent to continue creating an Upward Spiral in your life!

Here’s a list of Blissology Teachers you can connect with or join our Global Blissology Project event on FB.

Today’s Bliss Commitments are:

Yoga poses to be included in today’s practices are:

  1. Standing Big Toe (Utthita Hasta Padangustasana)
  2. Heron Pose (Krounchasana)
  3. Compass Pose (Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana)

*Note: We realize these are some challenging poses! Do your best with where your practice is today. If you can’t do a pose then insert one that feels good in your body.

Bonus: Enjoy Shineologist Ann Green’s Forest Flow yoga!

Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtags #blissologyproject + #blissarmy + #upwardspiral

Meditation

Infuse peace and joy into your life with this Loving Kindness meditation by Blissologist Lang Charters!

Nature Appreciation

  • Walking meditation. Find a peaceful spot out in the natural world where you can mindfully walk. Focus on each step you take. Feel the subtle sensations in your body. Notice your tendency to walk fast and rush the experience. Slow down and savour!
  • Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtag #blissologyproject + #natureappreciation 

Food Awareness

Vegan Pesto:

1 cup fresh kale (if you have leftover steamed kale, you can also use that, but fresh is better)

1 cup basil leaves (fresh)

1-2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

2/3 cup nuts (pine nuts are traditional, but walnut and cashew nuts are nice for variety)

3-4 tablespoons cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

Sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste

  1. In a high speed blender or food processor, combine the kale, basil, garlic, nutritional yeast, and nuts, pulsing just until coarsely chopped.
  2. Slowly add olive oil, lemon juice and plenty of salt and pepper, blending just until desired consistency is reached.
  3. For a thinner, saucier pesto, add more olive oil or other liquid.

Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtag #blissologyproject + #highpranafood

Gratitude and Wild Card

  • Give to someone less fortunate than you. Is there a homeless person in your community who you could have a five minute conversation with to show you’re grateful for their existence. Get creative in the ways you can give gratitude and see how much you receive back!

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Don’t forget to Share your experience with the 6 Big Easy Bliss Commitments in the Global Blissology Project event page.

“Happiness is Best when Shared.”

Have fun and enjoy the journey to awakening a deep joy within you!