PURPLE FLAME MEDITATION

This meditation practice creates a progressive sensory withdrawal (pratyahara) by inviting the awareness to turn inward. It then anchors the awareness on a single point of focus (dharana) in order to bring you into a deeply meditative state.

This allows you to purify your energy and reconnect with your true self.

LENGTH: 13 minutes

You can download with Dropbox here.

YOGA FOR ENERGY CLEARING

LENGTH: 13 minutes

BENEFITS: 
moves prana through the body, grounding, energizing, empowering

ABOUT THIS CLASS:
This class uses breath work and gentle seated poses to move energy through the body to create a sense of being fully grounded in one's own energy.

PROPS FOR THIS CLASS:
Folded blanket (optional)

POSES IN THIS SEQUENCE:

x breath of joy (modified)
x parsva sukhasana - seated side body stretch
x paschimottanasana - seated forward fold
x baddha konasana - bound angle pose 
x seated meditation

ARE YOU AN EMPATH?

Today we are going to talk about the extrasensory gift of empathy. And I think a lot of us in this community and in the chronic illness community in general are highly empathic people. We’re highly sensitive, compassionate, and tend to take on the burdens of the people around us. We’re natural-born healers and nurturers. We care about people so deeply. But whenever we are unconscious of this gift, whenever we don’t know how to use it properly, it can become a detriment to us.


You can also download this lecture here.


AUDIO TRANSCRIPT:

Today we are going to talk about the extrasensory gift of empathy. And I think a lot of us in this community and in the chronic illness community in general are highly empathic people. We’re highly sensitive, compassionate, and tend to take on the burdens of the people around us. We’re natural-born healers and nurturers. We care about people so deeply. But whenever we are unconscious of this gift, whenever we don’t know how to use it properly, it can become a detriment to us.

So here are some signs you might be an empath:

People have called you “highly sensitive” or “too sensitive”

You experience emotions deeply and intensely, perhaps even more so than others

You cry easily

When you walk into a room, you can feel the energy of the room - you can sense if there’s tension even if no one is saying anything

You can feel the emotions of others as if they were your own happening inside your own body

If someone you love is sick, you might start experiencing the same symptoms

You dislike crowded places and loud noises and are prone to sensory overwhelm

You have sensitive skin and prefer to wear soft fabrics

You’re very particular about your home environment and the feng shui of the room you are in. 

You can’t watch the news or watch violent movies.

You have strong intuition and sometimes just “know” things

You’re good at reading people

You may be a trauma or abuse survivor

Everyone is a little different, so you might not have all of these traits, but if you found yourself nodding to most of them, chances are, you’re an empath.

Many empaths also have poor ego-boundaries, which we talked about in the last lecture. If you haven’t listened to that lecture, please go back and check it out.

When empaths have poor ego-boundaries it becomes a huge drain on our energy because we’re walking around without any protection.

Everything in this universe vibrates at a unique frequency, including humans, animals, plants, inanimate objects, food, music, everything. Empaths are highly sensitive to energetic frequencies. A lot of people will describe being an empath as though we’re absorbing the energy of other people like a sponge. But that’s not quite accurate. What’s really happening is that when we have poor boundaries, when we aren’t firmly anchored in who we are, what happens is that we will unconsciously tune our own frequency to match the frequency of what is surrounding us at the moment. And this can be a detriment when those frequencies are lower vibrational frequencies like fear, illness, powerlessness and lack.

Empaths are highly susceptible to fatigue and illness because we’re being constantly bombarded by all of this energy and it can become overwhelming for our bodies. Instead of vibrating firmly in our own frequency, things become disorganized and chaotic. And it feels like we’re taking the weight of the world on our shoulders.

So it’s really important for us to be conscious about the people we’re spending time with. The foods we put in our bodies, the music we listen to and the media we consume.

Our high sensitivity can make us vulnerable, but it can also become a superpower when we learn how to use it consciously. And that’s what we’re going to be talking about a little bit more in the next lecture.

CHAIR YOGA FOR SELF EMPOWERMENT

LENGTH: 20 minutes

BENEFITS: 
grounding, strength building, stimulates manipura chakra, boosts mood, boosts confidence

ABOUT THIS CLASS:
This chair yoga class is designed to boost confidence, connect you to your personal power, and it also strengthens the whole body.

PROPS FOR THIS CLASS:
Chair and (optional) two yoga blocks.


POSES IN THIS SEQUENCE:

x tadasana - mountain pose
x seated movement meditation
x uttanasana - seated forward fold
x alanasana - high lunge
x utkata konasana - goddess pose
x navasana - boat pose
x ustrasana - camel pose
x seated twist
x savasana - corpse pose

All poses are done seated in a chair



BOUNDARIES FOR BEGINNERS

In this lecture, I’ll be discussing what boundaries are, why it’s so difficult to set them, and how to know if/when you should be setting them. This lecture ties in with the Foundations of Yoga lecture about the Ego, so you might want to watch that video first.

Mentioned in this lecture:
Healing Body Betrayal Program
Foundations of Yoga

You can also download this lecture here.

AUDIO TRANSCRIPT

I can pretty much guarantee than anyone with a chronic illness has a problem with setting personal boundaries.

I talked about this a little bit in the journaling exercises that go along with the Healing Body Betrayal Program. You can find that on the Tribe Downloads page, and I’d highly recommend you working through those journaling prompts if you haven’t already.

So let me tell you why I’m so sure that anyone with a chronic illness will also have boundary problems.

Most of what we experience in our physical daily lives is a manifestation of the subconscious mind. Allow me to repeat that. Most of what we experience in our physical daily lives is a manifestation of the subconscious mind. This includes physical illness. And like I said, it isn’t something consciously manifested. That means it isn’t really our fault, so I hope that you won’t take what I’m about to tell you as a personal accusation or blame. Because that’s not my intention. My intention is to share this information so that it can shine the light of awareness on what’s going on so that ultimately you can feel more empowered to take control of your life. As with everything I share through Sleepy Santosha, keep in mind that we are all unique. So just take what resonates for you and leave what doesn’t.

So what happens is a lot of us grow up in families where we quickly learn that it isn’t okay for us to say no to things. It isn’t okay for us to want the things we want. It isn’t okay for us to feel the way that we feel. We have to adhere to the family narrative. We have to do what pleases our parents even if they’re things we don’t want to do. So we internalize these messages and we grow up believing that doing what everyone else wants us to do, unconditionally serving other people, is what makes us a good person.

We become self-sacrificing adults who can’t ever say no to anyone without feeling guilty. We have no sense of self-preservation. And really we have no sense of self. Because we’ve given all of our power away to other people.

But our bodies always have our backs. That’s really important to understand. So our illnesses become a subconscious manifestation of the part of us that feels like it’s not okay for us to say no to things. But we’re slowly losing ourselves by not saying no. So the body takes over. The body manifests symptoms that give us a legitimate reason to say no to the things we don’t want to do.

But then a lot of times we bulldoze ourselves into doing things we don’t want to do anyway because we still don’t think it’s okay for us to say no even if we’re so exhausted and symptomatic that it feels like we’re dying in slow motion. So the symptoms just keep getting worse and worse and worse.

I’d encourage you to pay attention to your symptoms the next time you’re faced with a commitment that you aren’t excited about committing to. Notice if the symptoms flare up. Notice what the body is trying to communicate with you.

This isn’t to say that our illnesses aren’t real or that they’re purely psychosomatic. But for every physical illness, there are always physical, mental and energetic components contributing to it. We need to address the illness from every possible angle in order to experience healing.

And I can say with complete confidence that if you’re not setting boundaries, it is making your chronic illness worse. Because you’re saying yes to other people and saying no to yourself. You’re not taking care of yourself in the way that you deserve to be taken care of.

And the body is so so wise. So your body is stepping in and taking over and screaming at you to start making yourself a priority. And those screams are going to keep getting louder and louder until you start paying attention.

Setting boundaries can be a difficult thing for us to learn to do, but in reality, it’s really quite simple.

The word no in and of itself can be a boundary.

But it isn’t just about saying no to other people. It isn’t about pushing other people away. It isn’t vindictive or cruel. 

Boundaries are simply the things that define us as separate sovereign individuals. 

This can be as simple as saying “I like rock and roll music” or “I’m really into yoga and spirituality”

That’s a boundary because it clearly defines what you like. And expressing these kinds of boundaries, this kind of authenticity can actually bring you into closer connection with other people who share your common interests and life goals.

It could also be something like “I like getting enough rest so I can feel energized.” 

This boundary is going to dictate your behavior. So you might decide not to go to a work party late at night. You might say no to helping a friend move house. You might not answer the phone when your overbearing relative calls. Because instead you’re saying yes to rest. You’re saying yes to yourself

Boundaries are unique to everyone. And they can be flexible. They can change overtime because we as individuals change over time. 

In our foundations of yoga series, we talked about the ego and how the ego is our separate sense of self. That it’s main concern is survival. 

Boundaries are a tool that defines the ego, or the self. If you remember from that lecture video, we aren’t seeking to eradicate the ego, but rather to purify it. 

And setting boundaries, getting clear on who you are, what you like, what you don’t like is really a first step to purifying the ego and figuring out who you are, what you want in life and what your highest soul’s purpose is.

Without an ego. Without personal boundaries, we die. We literally die. Because we don’t have that healthy sense of self that feels worthy of life. Without that, we lose the ability to protect and defend ourselves. And ultimately, we lose the will to live.

If we wanna make this extreme, we can think about a life or death situation. Or an abusive situation. A person with really weak personal boundaries, with no sense of self or self preservation, someone who feels like their emotions aren’t valid someone who is always prioritizing the needs of other people over themselves, They’re going to develop a sort of learned helplessness. If they get into a situation where someone else is threatening them, threatening their wellbeing, they might just roll over and feel like they have no right to defend themselves. Like they have no power.

Another scenario would be that the person will end up developing a chronic illness that feels like slow torture because the body is still fighting for survival even when they aren’t.

If you’re constantly giving your power away to other people, there won’t be anything left for you.

You came into this life for yourself. Your life belongs to you. And you get to decide what is and isn’t right for your life. You are the captain of this ship. You are the author of your story. 

I want to reiterate that if this is you, it’s not your fault. Whenever we develop patterns like this, it’s always rooted in some kind of trauma, usually trauma that happened in childhood. I know many of you have reached out to me and told me that you’re abuse survivors, trauma survivors. And I want you to know that I’m right here with you. Changing these patterns is hard work, but awareness is the first step. Once we become aware of them, it gives us the power to change them. So it’s not your fault, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay powerless to it.

So you may be wondering how do I know when and if I should be setting a boundary?

And I think the best way for you to learn how to answer this question for yourself is to get really in touch with your emotions. 

Self sacrifice bending over backward for other people at the expense of ourselves requires us to disconnect from our emotions. So as we’re growing up, learning that it isn’t okay to want what we want, it isn’t okay to say no, we have to disassociate from how we feel in order to do that. We learn that how we feel is wrong and maybe even dangerous because expressing how we feel might get us in trouble.

But your emotions are actually your soul’s built in GPS. Your internal guidance system. They’re there to tell you when you are on the right path or when something in your life isn’t right for you. They’re there to help you get aligned with your highest soul’s purpose.

For me, the first indication that I need to reinforce my boundaries is usually the presence of anger. That feeling of indignation that sort of rises up when something in the external environment isn’t right, and it’s that internal feeling of wanting to say no.

So it’s about learning to honor that feeling. Being able to set boundaries gets a whole lot easier when you learn to validate your emotions.  

If you’re looking for a practice that supports this, check out the guided meditation in the Tribe library called Using Physical Sensations to Connect with Emotions. It’s also in the Healing Body Betrayal program.

So I hope this was helpful for you. I’d love to hear how you’re feeling about what I discussed here, even if you hated it. So head over to the private Facebook group now to chat about it.

And I will talk to you again soon.