Welcome to my Mind Body Helper BlogPosted by: Julie Lusk
Here’s where you’ll find plenty of resources to unify and balance your mind, body and spirit connection with yoga, meditation, guided imagery and real relaxation. Uplifting quotes too!
You’ll benefit from my 30+ years experience and get excerpts from my books and CD’s. I’m the author of Yoga Meditations, 30 Scripts for Relaxation, Imagery and Inner Healing (2 volumes), Desktop Yoga (R), and Mind-Body Mastery. My CD’s include Real Relaxation: Yoga Nidra, Wholesome Relaxation, Power of Presence, Wholesome Energizers & more. Remember to consult your health care provider since this info is not intended to replace medical care. Full disclaimer.
Kick your shoes off and make yourself at home!
Guided Imagery Course at Sivananda ~ BahamasPosted by: Julie Lusk
Are you ready to tune yourself up and get powerful and practical tools and techniques to overcome stress, improve your health, and gain amazing insights to guide you forward?
We will explore several wonderful types of guided imagery within the context of the seven major chakras (energy centers) and the five koshas (sheaths). You will enjoy the experience of relaxing deeply and activating your energy by the stunning ocean, surrounded by beautiful gardens and awesome people. There’s also yoga, meditation, chanting, delicious food, and so much more!
You’re invited, so please come and bring your friends. You will benefit no matter what your level of experience is. It’s perfectly beautiful
The Bahamas are very easy to travel to. Accommodations are comfortable and affordable. English is spoken & USA money is used. Passport is required.
9 CEU’s are offered for nurses, social workers, licensed mental health workers and counselors (NBCC).
What: Guided Imagery and Creative Visualization Course
Presenter: Julie Lusk, M.Ed., NCC. Author of Yoga Meditations, 30 Scripts for Relaxation, Imagery and Inner Healing, Wholesome Relaxation CD, Power of Presence CD, and many others.
Where: Sivananda Yoga Retreat, Paradise Island, Bahamas (easy cab ride from Nassau Airport)
When: May 24-26, 2013
‘Guinness World Records’ Oldest Yoga TeacherPosted by: Julie Lusk
Saying that you’re too stiff or old to do yoga is like saying that you’re too dirty to take a bath.
What an inspiration Tao Porchon-Lynch is. Watch this 2-minute video to see her go. She is the oldest yoga teacher, according to ‘Guinness World Records’. She is 93 and has taught for 61 years. “I’m going to teach yoga until I can’t breathe anymore, then I’ll just fly away to the next planet.” I believe her!
Even a hip replacement hasn’t stopped her. ” I don’t want to know what I won’t be able to do because I don’t believe it,” is what she told her doctor when he told her that she would have to give up. She shocked him by sending a photograph of her in lotus lifting off the ground.
She became interested in yoga at 8 years old when she saw boys doing yoga in Pondicherry, India. She wanted to prove that she could do what the boys were doing. She now lives and teaches yoga outside of NYC in Hartsdale.
What’s your favorite quote or piece of the video? Please let us know in the comments below!
So what are you waiting for?? I encourage you to keep up your home practice and to either take classes in your area or one of mine. Here’s my current yoga schedule including classes and workshops in Cincinnati, OH; Paradise Isle, Bahamas; Kripalu in Lenox, MA and Integral Yoga in Yogaville/Buckingham, VA.
Follow your heart’s desire! ~~ Really?Posted by: Julie Lusk
Follow your heart’s desire! ~~ Really?
Here is what Alan Watts has to say about following your heart’s desire in this 3 minute video. From my own experience, he’s right. He advises against living a miserable life chasing money, doing what’s not fulfilling you and going after “what makes you itch.”
Does his message sound unrealistic? Unworkable for your life circumstances? Too good to be true? It’s not.
This is my story. A little over 10 years ago, I was managing a multimillion dollar budget while driving 300 miles weekly chasing mostly useless meetings. Tomorrow, I am flying to Sivananda in the Bahamas for a 10-day paid trip to teach yoga, meditation, relaxation and guided imagery ~~ my heart’s desire. And I’m going back there May 23-26, 2013.
Yes, it’s true, but it wasn’t necessarily on purpose. Life had a way of closing other doors on me (and it wasn’t pretty) until I was pointed directly toward following my heart’s desire.
What appeared to be a dream job soured. It was even affecting my health. Angie, my mom said,” Julie, you can either have your health or your health insurance.” Not only that, she was diagnosed with metastatic cancer and I desperately wanted and needed time with her. That job worked me endless hours.
So after a 25 year long run of successful careers, I went into business for myself. Ever since my college days, I practiced and taught yoga as a sideline. My day jobs included working for the WV Board of Regents, Director of Special Services at a community college, Assistant Dean of Students at a private college, Director of Health Management at a large medical clinic, Chairperson of the Alive &Well Coalition, and Regional Director of 6 huge hospital-based holistic centers. All this time, I taught weekly yoga classes and wrote my 4 books and numerous CDs on weekends.
This part of my work life had run its course. Finally, I picked up this thread and now my own business is thriving ~ and I am too. My heart is filled with satisfaction and happiness. This is composed of offering 6 weekly classes, several trips per year to offer programs at wonderful places, writing (I am revising my 30 Scripts for Relaxation, Imagery and Inner Healing book) and recording guided relaxation and imagery CDs. Just recently I made a recording of my Native American flute playing called Blue Moon Rising, and it now has a national distributor after only a few months. There’s also plenty of time with my husband, hikes with friends, caring for my pets, music lessons, free time and even more.
Believe me, it was hard and scary at first. I was filled with doubt and didn’t have much work or money, but I kept at it. All those years working for others taught me skills I needed to be successful. And it worked!
What about you? What’s your heart’s desire? What are you building upon? There’s lots you can do to help yourself, after all, your life’s mission and purpose is always calling you and will pave the way for you once you turn in that direction.
You can explore this by delving intuitively into your true self through yoga, meditation, yoga nidra, guided imagery, looking back on your path for clues, day dreaming, career counseling, etc.
Yoga’s wisdom teachings say, “It’s better to do your duty poorly, rather than someone else’s perfectly.”
Come to one of my workshops, or someone else’s, and start learning how to live your life in the manner that speaks to your soul and fills your heart with satisfaction. You won’t be sorry.
And don’t forget the elbow grease and be open to grace.
Cultivate the Positive MeditationPosted by: Julie Lusk
Here are three proven yoga techniques to help with setting a worthwhile intention that will help you overcome frustrations, anxiety and fatigue. You will have clarity of mind, and be calm and courageous too.
1. Pratipaksha Bhavana is a meditation practice based on a teaching from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali that says,
“When disturbed by negative thoughts and feelings, cultivate the positive. ” (Yoga Sutras 2.33)
This meditation teaches us to exchange negative thoughts and feelings for positive ones. This nurtures our capacity to react constructively and mindfully in a levelheaded and calm manner to people and situations, and less likely to react automatically and negatively. It helps us develop qualities like courage, kindness, patience and health improvement. Doing so enables us to enjoy better relationships, benefit from clear thinking, and have the ability to make positive behavior changes.
Although it’s important to get to know all the emotions, even those that seem unpleasant or negative, it’s quite important to nourish, water and feed what we want to grow. This meditation teaches us to exchange negative thoughts and feelings for positive ones. We do this by breathing in and out the positive to counteract the negative. This emphasizes helpful qualities, enabling them to take root quickly and efficiently. This nurtures our capacity to react constructively and mindfully in a levelheaded and calm manner to people and situations, and less likely to react automatically or negatively.
2. The Kubera Mudra is a yoga posture for the hands that brings your intention to life.
- Focuses and concentrates energy for something strongly desired.
- Puts powerful strength behind future plans (goals and what you want fulfilled)
- Confidence, calmness and peacefulness
- It can also be used to find something (lost object, parking spot, etc.)
- Physically, it opens and is a decongestant the frontal sinuses
3. Yoga Nidra is deeply restorative and healing. It will seal your intention in so it will take root and bloom.
Remember, “When disturbed by negative thoughts and feelings, cultivate the positive. ” (Yoga Sutras 2.33)
Yoga Practice Video for the Spine and HipsPosted by: Julie Lusk
I am happy to share with you a yoga video by Christopher Baxter to support you and your home practice.
You will notice that his message and methods are similar to mine. After all, we used to offer yoga teacher trainings together. Luckily, he still does so go to his Inner SKY Yoga website to find out about everything he has to offer.
This yoga video focuses on movements originating from the pelvis using spinal waves, open joints, core awareness, and fluid stability with ease and spacious awareness. It is for great for the spine and focuses on awesome hip openers.
You will get a lot out of this 17 minute yoga video! It will help your flexibility and strength while opening your mind and heart. More of Christopher Baxter’s yoga videos can be found here.
My Anthem: In These Arms ~ A Song for All BeingsPosted by: Julie Lusk
In the midst of personal and global suffering and confusion…
“May all beings be happy, safe and free.”
You can watch Jennifer Berezan sing this metta meditation here. It’s called In These Arms: A Song for All Beings. This is my anthem for this this year.
Stop ~~ Look ~~ ListenPosted by: Julie Lusk
Luckily I came across a quote from Ferris Bueller. He says, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.“ Not only did that become the reading and theme for yoga class, it inspired me to take the afternoon off and enjoy the fall beauty.
Here’s a quote from Nathaniel Hawthorne who said “I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.”
How about you? Have you been buzzing through life and missing out on what’s important? It will do you some real good to take some time out. It doesn’t even have to take much time. Remember, even a 5 minute break really helps.
Here’s a mini-meditation from my Mind-Body Mastery eBook that can be done anytime and anywhere. Your awareness will increase and it will settle your mind down and clear your head.
Stop – Look – Listen Mini-Meditation
- Stop – Notice your posture . . . breath . . . energy level . . . mood . . . mental activity.
- Look – Blink your eyes several times. Look at something far away and discover the details in what you see. Blink again.
Look at something close up. Discover the details.
- Listen – Listen to sounds come and go. Simply observe without judging. No resistance. No clinging. Simply listen.
Get the Mind-Body Mastery eBook here if you like mini-meditations and quick and easy relaxation exercises.
Blue Moon Rising CD has released!!Posted by: Julie Lusk
The Blue Moon of August set the scene for the recording of my newest CD. This one features 16 beautiful tracks played on the native American flute with the sounds of mother nature as the backdrop.
The Blue Moon was the day I got a brand new wooden flute from Joseph Whitefeather and Sage Mato. The flute is beautiful and has the most amazing sound. He promised me that it is a healer. He was right! What a welcome surprise it was when the flute music began pouring out of me like a waterfall, so naturally and easily. It had healed me from the remnants of fear and doubt that had plagued my musicality since I was a kid. I felt so happy.
I played the flute during my yoga classes the first chance I got. Folks really appreciated how relaxing it was and commented on its healing sound. Quite a few encouraged me to make a recording so they could enjoy it whenever and wherever they want. That is what is happening. Marilyn listens to it in her truck, Diana plays it when she gives a massage, Mary listens to it on her daily walk, Susan and her daughter listen on their way to school, several play it before bed, and Kate said that not only does she like it, her dog does too.
To celebrate, Blue Moon Rising is on sale until Nov. 15. Why wait?
Awaken and Embody the Feminine ChakrasPosted by: Julie Lusk
Take your understanding of the chakras to a new and deeper level and experience greater health and well-being.
Are there chakras (energy centers) that are feminine in nature while others are masculine? “Yes,” according to Christine Page, MD. She says that gaining an understanding of the chakras’ spiritual qualities and how they influence our daily lives, makes a real difference to our personal health. With this knowledge, we can begin to appreciate how we relate to the world as well our soul’s potential, allowing us to live life with optimal meaning and purpose. In addition, she says we no longer need to be limited by the idea that there are just seven chakras, primarily associated with the body, but need to return to the ancient teaching to include two other chakras, the earth-child beneath our feet and the star-child chakras above our heads. To augment this understanding, there are sound yoga practices that enable us to embody this awareness quickly and deeply.
You can be one of the first to benefit from this new understanding and put it into practice. Here’s how:
Enjoy this free article on Awakening the Divine Feminine from The Healing Power of the Sacred Woman, Christine’s latest book due out November 2012.
Join us for a special seminar, Embodying the Divine Feminine, being offered by Christine Page, MD, and Julie Lusk, M.Ed., RYT from Dec. 6-9, 2012 in Hilton Head, SC. 21 CEU’s . Learn more & register here. It’s filling fast and space is limited.
Can Yoga increase Mood and Decrease Anxiety?Posted by: Julie Lusk
What one exercise can boost feel-good chemicals in your brain while reducing anxiety and improving your mood?
The answer is yoga.
Why wait? Join a yoga class in your area or come to one of mine.
In a study lead by Chris Streeter, MD he and his colleagues from the Boston University School of Medicine found that yoga reduced anxiety, improved mood, and boosted the anti-anxiety neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) in the brain. The article can be found in The Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
What’s more, to determine the efficacy of yoga compared to walking, they randomly assigned participants to either a yoga group or a walking group. Each group did their respective exercise three times a week for 60 minutes for 12 weeks. Participants’ brains were scanned before and after the 12 week intervention, and anxiety and mood levels were measured throughout the duration of the study.
The results showed that the yoga group experienced significantly greater improvements in mood and anxiety, and higher levels of GABA than the walking group.
What’s special about this study is it’s the first to show that an exercise intervention (yoga) can increase levels of GABA in the brain and also bring about better mood and lower anxiety. It’s encouraging to see brain science validating the therapeutic value of mind-body approaches like yoga.
Anti-anxiety medications work in part by affecting GABA levels in the brain. This study shows we can also do this naturally with yoga.
Yoga is also being used to treat trauma patients at The Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts, which was founded by Bessel van der Kolk, MD.
Why wait? Join a yoga class in your area or come to one of mine.