We’ve all heard the old adage “warm hands, warm heart”. The hands are a vital link to the body. Moving the fingers and palms in specific ways influences the body, specifically the brain and the nervous system. Mudras are a kind of yoga practice, for the hands. You may already practice mudras without even realizing! The word itself means “seal”, as in ‘a device used to join two things together to prevent them from coming apart’.
Ishvara pranidhana is the Niyama or inner discipline of surrender or devotion to Oneness.
By: Kellie Cline, Miraval Equine Facilitator
The art of riding horses, or simply spending time with them, requires certain elements of ourselves that mirror those elements we hone in our yoga practice. The horse is such a generous companion, forgiving us of many of our human flaws but they are also a companion that asks us to participate fully in our relationship with them. In order to create a deep union with the horse, they ask us to be present, to be self-accountable, and to be authentic. These are promises we make to the horse, and in turn to ourselves. Through simple but imperative practices of breathing and becoming more aligned in our intentions, we unite our mind and our body and as a result, we create unity with our horse or any other living being we choose to connect with.
By Rebecca Wilkinson, MA
Wellness Counselor and Art Therapist
I first learned about “mandalas” in 1991 while I was in graduate school studying art therapy—a mental health field that uses art as a way of healing and a way of learning more about ourselves. Art therapy is based on the idea that just doing art, as we know from the popularity of coloring books, is very soothing and relaxing. Art also gives us a glimpse into parts of ourselves that we can’t access through words alone.
“Mandalas” are a tool often used in art therapy to help people center and ground. In some ways, mandalas are nothing more than a circle shape that either has a design in it or is just a circular outline left empty for artists to fill in their own designs. Although it seems odd that such a simple form could have so much impact, research has shown that when people draw mandalas it helps them focus their attention and it induces the relaxation response.
By Miraval's Alysa Volpe, Yoga & Meditation Specialist
Why do I practice yoga?
From what I have been told…I have always been a mover. Once I figured out how to walk, all I wanted to do was run. Sitting still? Watching TV? Not my thing which is probably why my parents enrolled me in dance at the age of 3 but after suffering a major injury to my ankle at the age of 11, my “Go, Go, Go” mentality was suddenly at a loss.
My mind, like my body had dealt with a lifetime of trauma and stress and I had learned to manage it by always moving and finding distractions so when dance was no longer an outlet for me, I suddenly felt very ungrounded.