Transformation and Regeneration from the Inside Out

Enjoy this interview by Sandra Guy Malhortra, Ph.D. of W Cubed on VoiceAmerica Internet Radio with Shanti Medina, Founder of Body Current®, and Lisa Wimberger, Founder of the Neurosculpting® Institute as they share how their modalities support people in resolving trauma and chronic pain whiling mitigating daily stress.

Summary: Transformation and Regeneration from the Inside Out features 2 innovative holistic healers: Shanti Medina and Lisa Wimberger. Shanti created the Body Current® modality that combines yoga therapy, neuromuscular exercises, and mindfulness. In other words, Body Current® works with the body to transform the mind to resolve issues like trauma and pain. Lisa founded the Neurosculpting® Institute, and teaches a patented fusion of neuroscience and meditation that helps individual control how they perceive situations and therefore better manage stress and trauma. Neurosculpting®, then, focuses on noticing and transforming our thoughts and integrating that into the body and brain. These modalities are quite complementary, and we will describe each in detail and how Shanti and Lisa work together to help their clients overcome physical and emotional trauma and challenges. If you are unfamiliar with these powerful modalities, then join me to learn more with their amazing creators!

Bios:

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Shanti Medina, CYT CPT CNSF is the founder of Energize training systems and Body Current® therapeutics and assists her clients in resolving trauma, pain and dysfunction through neuroplasticity and neuromuscular conditioning. She empowers her clients and students in discovering their innate mind/body intelligence through an integration of somatic therapy, sensory perception and yoga therapy techniques. She is the Marketing Director for Give Back Yoga Foundation and is on the teaching faculty at the Neurosculpting® Institute as well as the 500-hour Yoga Teacher Training program at Samadhi Center for Yoga in Denver, CO. Shanti facilitates women’s authentic leadership retreats and co-creates devotional music events with her husband. They recently released their double-CD of music, mantra and meditations entitled “SoMAntra”. She offers private Body Current® consultations in person at her home studio, Prajna, in Boulder, CO or via Skype or phone. Learn more at EnergizeShanti.com

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Lisa Wimberger is the founder of the Neurosculpting® Institute and author of New Beliefs, New Brain; Neurosculpting®: A Whole-Brain Approach to Heal Trauma, Rewrite Limiting Beliefs, and Find Wholeness; Neurosculpting® for Stress Relief; and Neurosculpting® to Change Your Brain and Transform Your Life. Lisa earned her MA in education from the University of Stony Brook, and holds certificates in NeuroLeadership, Medical Neuroscience, Neurobiology, and the Study of Neurons, Synapses and Brains. She is a member of the National Center for Crisis Management and other care associations. Lisa has a private practice in Denver, CO, specializing in helping clients with stress management and disorders. She works closely with the law enforcement community. For more, visit neurosculptinginstitute.com

Breathe into Embodied Self-Realization

The more complex a dysfunction or intense the pain a person is experiencing, the more I’m finding the simplicity and accessibility of the breath being the one practice that has a lasting impact.  Depending on the individual needs, some may focus on lengthening the exhale, some on receiving a full inhale and others on creating a balance between the two.  Since the breath is one constant that is with us each moment of everyday, it is not only a highly accessible tool but also one that can easily be applied throughout our day for self-realization.

The breath is often the missing link in resolving chronic pain, mitigating daily stress and unraveling dysfunction.  We often hold our breath or reverse our natural breathing during painful moments of trauma and strife. These moments create imprints, or stories, in our body’s memory often times wreaking havoc on our nervous system.  Our breath is a portal through which we can down-regulate our limbic system gently shifting out of limiting conditioning and into the space of potential and possibility . Each conscious breath is an opportunity for transformation and embodied self-realization.

Practice: Breathe Into Embodied Self-Realization:

You can enjoy this conscious breathing practice standing, sitting or laying down anytime of day for an unlimited period of time.  It’s not the quantity of time you put into the practice but rather the quality of earnestness to which you bring to this practice.  Do not underestimate the potency of this simple, conscious breathing practice in mitigating stress and unraveling dysfunction, pain, and trauma.


 – Place one hand on your naval and one hand on your heart.  Take a few moments to simply notice your breath as it flows in and flows out.  Heighten your awareness around your breath without judgement or an effort to change anything.  Is it shallow? Is it fast or is it slow?

-Allow your self-directed awareness to feel the stable ground beneath you as your body continues to be breathed all on it’s own.  Perhaps this provides you with an overall sense of safety and security in knowing you are on stable ground and your body breathes without your effort.  This feeling of safety allows you to choose to use the breath as a tool.  

-Begin to draw your next inhale through your nose and down the back of your throat making a soft ocean-like sound.  Follow your slow and smooth inhale as it fills the bowl of your pelvis slowing expanding your naval as your lower hand lifts with the expansion of your breath.

-Allow the breath to rise from the lower naval up through your mid-body and upper body slowly sipping in the top of your inhale as the breath lifts the hand on your heart. Relax any tension you may feel in your jaw or neck.  You can direct your inhale to any part of your body that is feeling the sensations of constriction or pain.  Simply allow the inhale to softly expand into those spaces and places in your body that hold tension and pain. Perhaps you choose to deepen this experience by creating an intention of what you are embodying with each inhale.  

-As you exhale, make a circle with your lips and slowly release the breath like you are blowing out a candle through rounded lips.  Allow the breath to slowly leave the upper body, then mid-body, before squeezing out the bottom of the exhale bringing the naval to the spine upon the conclusion of the exhale. You will feel your lower hand move inward at the end of your exhale. Perhaps you wish to choose to envision what you are releasing with each exhale.  

-Repeat slow, smooth and deep breathing without creating tension or strain. You can choose to balance the duration of the inhale and exhale by inhaling for a count of 8 and exhaling for a count of 8.  Notice how sensation rises and falls with each breath.  You may even notice how the sensation of pain rises and falls like a wave with each breath.  

-Continue to lean into experiencing any and all sensations that arise with the breath through the frame of the present moment. As you continue to self-direct your nervous system, allow for an experience of self-realization to unfold with each and every breath.  

image credit: www.mydeepmeditation.com

 

Yawn on to Get your Brain on!

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Yawn On!  Self-induced yawning is one of the best practices we can do to stimulate our brain releasing a cocktail of neuro-chemicals including dopamine, which activates oxytocin production in your hypothalamus and hippocampus (areas essential for memory recall, voluntary control, and temperature regulation), acetylcholine, GABA, serotonin and sexual hormones. In fact, it’s hard to find another activity that positively influences so many functions of the brain.

According to researchers at the Institute of Neurology in London, the precuneus, a tiny structure hidden within the folds of the parietal lobe, plays a central role in our ability to experience sefl-reflection, empathy, social awareness, and consciousness. Functional MRI studies have even shown that yawning evokes unique neural activity in this area of our brain, evoking the feeling of connection not only within ourselves but also with others. This is why yawning is contagious. We naturally want to entrain with those around us, so yawn on!

Not only does self-induced yawning help to stimulate your brain, but it also supports balancing your autonomic nervous system by regulating your vagal tone which entrains your innate Body Current® wisdom with the current of the present moment.

Body Current® Practice: Try self-induced yawning today. It only takes 10-20 seconds to stimulate this amazing practice for your brain. Simply begin by opening your mouth wide to simulate a natural yawn. After a few times, your natural yawn will come through lighting up your precuneus and releasing a wealth of healthy neuro-chemicals and hormones into your body. So when you are feeling disconnected and forgetful or if you are preparing for a presentation or high-level meeting, yawn on to bring your game on!

 

Happy New Year FREE Gifts and Goodies

Happy New Year.  As my gratitude gift to you, please enjoy this newsletter filled with FREE gifts and goodies to take you into 2015.   Shanti’s 2015 Happy New Year Gifts and Goodies 

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February 14th – Denver Chant Fest

We are honored to be offering a SoMAntra kirtan workshop at the 3rd Annual Denver Chant Fest on Saturday afternoon.  Come dive deep into the mantra with us during this incredible kirtan festival!

Saturday – Sunday, January 24-25, 2015: SoMAntra Kirtan and Workshop

3 Simple Practices to Train your Brain, Mitigate Stress and Be in the WOW!

Neuroscience has shown that we can train our brain to create a new mind/body map with the choices we make on how we mitigate stress and subsequently grow a new brain. In order to make such choices and shifts in our neurology, we need to feel safe and empowered to down-regulate and re-calibrate our nervous system to build new neural grooves in our mind/body map based on present moment experiences. A mind/body map is like a network or a road map navigating neural grooves created, mainly unconsciously, each time our awareness centers are heightened. Donald Hebb, a Canadian neuropsychologist who in 1949 wrote Hebb’s Law coining the phrase,

Neurons that fire together wire together.

 

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In essence, this means that every experience we have is embedded into our brain and body through a network of neurons. With heightened awareness, the neurons fire together to wire that experience. Through repeated experiences, these neurons create neural grooves that reinforce our perception of the experience and strengthen the network or map of that experience. This is how we learn a new activity like riding a bike by recalling the memory from the day before to program our mind/body map to remember how to ride the bike. And this is also how we learn to remember a perceived threat like almost getting bit by a rattle snake when walking on a hiking trail and subsequently looking for a rattle snake on every trail on which we are hiking after that moment. In both situations, our awareness centers are heightened, hormones of action and attention have been released, and our neurons are primed to map to a new experience.

When we  choose to map to fear by, sometimes unconsciously, calling up the memory stored in our hippocampus, we engage our limbic system and continue to look for the rattle snake on each hiking trail. When we choose to map to novelty by remaining in the WOW (Wide Open Wonder) of the moment, we engage the prefrontal cortex by illuminating our awareness centers in the wonder which releases hormones and neurotransmitters to prime our neural pathways for learning a new experience. We may even reflect on: “I wonder how this experience will unfold?”

These 3 empowering practices can be experienced anytime, anywhere to down-regulate your limbic system and train your brain to simply let go of the know and be in the WOW! (Wide Open Wonder).

 

WOW

1)Down-Regulate the Limbic System:

We need to feel safe in order to remember we can choose to respond rather than react to an experience. When we are running from a predator or a stress-filled situation, it is challenging for us to remember we have any other option other than continuing to run for our life. When we begin to self-regulate our internal pressure by down-regulating our limbic system, we turn on our inner compass of innate intelligence from which to navigate our life.

Just like a barometer detecting the change in atmospheric pressure, our bodies detect change in both our internal and external pressure. Often times this pressure goes undetected until we get triggered and an old experience is uploaded to respond to a present moment situation. This accumulated, unresolved internal pressure spikes a response from the limbic system which often results in distress in the mind and disease in the body.

Practice #1:

Slow Down:  Slowing down heightens our awareness centers into the experience of the moment to detect sensations of tension, constriction or pressure in and around us. Simply by noticing our inner environment, we begin to down-regulate our nervous system and navigate from our inner compass of awareness. Take several slow effortless breaths right now and perhaps you will notice an awareness that is unfolding as you begin to soften into the frame of present moment awareness. What do you sense in your lungs as you slow your breath? What is your body, as a barometer, detecting as far as pressure in your system? How does this internal pressure respond to slowing down? What do you notice about the speed at which your thoughts are moving as you slow down your breathing? When we consciously slow down our breath, our movements or our thoughts, our whole system begins to slow down. As I like to share with my clients, slow motion cuts through commotion. Try walking slowly through your office space with an an efficiently laid back attitude rather than one of self-inflicted urgency. What do you notice to your inner barometer? As we slow down throughout our day, we begin to respond rather than react to each moment. In slowing down, the nervous system realizes there is nothing urgent in the moment to flee from or fight against. This self-realization takes us out of the flight/fight/freeze pattern reducing resources being sent to the limbic system and re-routing them to the prefrontal cortex area of higher executive functioning like empathy, compassion, patience, and awareness. We then begin to allow life to happen through us rather than to us.

2) Recalibrate into the Moment:

Once we down-regulate our limbic system, we can recalibrate into the present moment experience by shaking off any residue from the spike of our limbic system. As we know, the limbic system responds to the seemingly life-threatening situation of self-inflicted urgency or resistance by releasing stress and flight/fight hormones of adrenaline (epinephrine), norepinephrine and cortisol into the body. These hormones are released due to the activation of our alarm centers which begins the process of stinting blood flow from our vital organs and midline and directing it to our extremities and large muscle groups to prepare us to flee or fight. If we do not actively release this residue, it can take anywhere from hours to days to years to fully release these unused hormones from our system. Just as you have seen wild animals in nature, or even your favorite pet after an altercation, shake it off, this simple practice helps to release any residue and re-set the nervous system.

Practice #2:

Shake it Off! : This simple practice can be done in the moment of a stress-filled situation by flicking your fingertips and shaking off your hands as you are experiencing stress or a perceived threat. This practice can also be done in the privacy of your car or home to really shake off wildly your entire body from trilling your lips (like a horse) to shaking every part of your body while feeling the stress and residue flying off and out of your body. After experiencing this practice several times, you may even notice your body automatically and sometimes uncontrollably shaking on it’s own to release trauma and stress once your limbic system is down-regulated and your parasympathetic nervous system of rest and digest comes back online. This energy can be allowed to move through you like a wave that rises and falls without having to know what you are releasing or why you are shaking. Stay in the present moment of what you are experiencing without judgement or filters. Feel your body softening and surrendering to the release.

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When we learn to release internal pressure and let go of residue from past-experiences as it arises, we recalibrate in the moment and begin navigating our life from a place of present moment awareness rather re-charging a past experience through prediction and projection. We are now choosing to create a mind/body map based on present moment experience.

3) Install and Integrate:

We can begin shifting our neurobiology in each moment by integrating these practices and installing them into our daily life. Simply by shifting your awareness through your Body Current, the abiding circuit or pulse of innate wisdom and learned higher intelligence between the mind/body/spirit, new neural pathways are formed. The language of communication of the Body Current is through the experience of sensation and practice of self-realization. Both of which stimulate our prefrontal cortex. During times when we are processing the present moment exclusively through our cognitive field of thought as the master of the moment determining what we know will happen, based in prediction or projection, our limbic system is activated and our abiding Body Current® intelligence becomes momentarily “clouded” in a fog. When we choose to navigate and translate the present moment through this field of Wide Open Wonder, we integrate our experience of the present moment through our body wisdom and into our neurobiology creating new neurons of WOW to fire and wire together.

It’s important to remember that the innate intelligence of your Body Current® does not need to be learned or attained, we gain access and insight to this abiding intelligence simply by expanding our awareness, acceptance and allowing of the present moment through the field of sensation and self-reflection. 

Practice #3:

Body Current® Practices of Integration & Empowerment:

*Awareness: What are you AWARE of in this moment through the field of sensation within your body (interoception), your thought world (introspection), and your physical space and surroundings (proprioception)?

*Acceptance: Can you unconditionally ACCEPT all that is showing up and moving through your field of attention and awareness? If not, what can you let go of in the moment to self-regulate?

*Allowing: Are you ALLOWING for the experience to happen through you with Wide Open Wonder (WOW) as the witness ? Perhaps wondering, “Wow, isn’t this interesting? I wonder how this will turn out?”

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Why this works:

For those of you who enjoy the left brain candy of reasoning and research as to why this works continue reading. For those of you who feel safe in not needing to know the whys and hows, but are simply willing to try something new expanding beyond the patterns and conditioning of your comfort zone, you are invited to stop reading here and continue these practices to gather your own personal experiences through your Body Current intelligence.

We have two hippocampi, one in the left and one in the right hemispheres of our brain. This part of our brain plays an important role in converting short-term memories to long-term memories as well as spatial navigation. When the mind perceives or predicts a threat or stress-filled situation, the hippocampus uploads a memory which triggers a familiar mind/body map from a past real “life threatening” experience or it predicts a future anxiety-producing possible experience of gloom and doom.

Our awareness centers are lit up due to this perceived threat despite it not being real. Our amygdala, the part of our limbic system that is linked to emotions, anger and aggression, functions to secrete threat hormones, control fear responses and create emotional memories by communicating with the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands to release the stress and flight/fight hormones of adrenaline (epinephrine), norepinephrine and cortisol into the body. In this perceived threat, our alarm centers are activated and the blood is stinted from our vital organs and midline to our extremities and large muscle groups. Our body is preparing to flee the perceived or predicted stressful situation despite it not being real.

Simply by slowing down and shifting our focus from the commentary of our mind telling us how it’s going to unfold to the expression of our body’s experience of how the moment is actually unfolding, we begin to down-regulate our limbic system and empower the body’s wisdom to navigate from our inner compass detecting internal pressure similar to a barometer detecting external atmospheric pressure.

With these simple and potent practices, we learn to resolve stress in the moment rather than reacting to the moment based on fear and allowing stress to build up. That is why these tools are applicable to life.  We use life’s happenings to resolve old conditioning and grow a new brain, literally.  The moment begins to unfold through us like a wave rather than the focus being on what we know has happened to us or is going to happen to us. As we consciously down-regulate our limbic system, recalibrate into the moment through opening our awareness centers which heightens our attention releasing neurotransmitters primed for neuroplasticity, we light up and bring online our prefrontal cortex, the grey matter of our brain where new mind/body maps of higher functioning (empathy, compassion, fairness, presence freedom) can form to create a new neural groove. Over time, old conditioned patterns that are not reinforced literally get pruned away in the brain while other branches form new neural networks together to grow a new map in the brain.

Don’t over think this! These practices are simple and highly effective. Integrate them with compassion into your daily life.  Enjoy the ride.

 

Shanti Medina Body Current

Shanti Medina, RYT CNSF CPT created the Body Current® modality after over 15 years designing personalized therapeutic, fitness and integrated mind/body programs for her clients. This revolutionary system of self-realization and transformation simply and gently releases trauma, suffering and conditioned patterns embedded in the mind/body map and cellular intelligence. These highly effective practices of self-directed neuroplasticity support the practitioner in taking responsibility to somatically let go of their past or future fears by self-reguating their nervous system and literally growing new neural pathways to engage and map to their innate wisdom through radical present moment experience. Shanti guides Body Current® and Neurosculpting® classes and retreats and instructs 500HR yoga therapy certifications. She and her husband, Scott Medina, created SoMAntra®, an embodied kirtan experience combining their love of Bhakti yoga, the neuroscience of mantra and the somatic neuromuscular Body Current® practices. Their very popular sacred sound workshops, ecstatic community kirtans, and inspiring retreats offer a sweet and deep dive into the vibration where the soma, or body, and mantra are one. Shanti is also the Marketing Director of the national non-profit, Give Back Yoga Foundation. She lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in Boulder, CO. To find out more about Shanti and her Body Current® modality visit: EnergizeShanti.com

Join Shanti on 9/9/14  for AWAKENING THE BODY CURRENT:Priming the Neural Pathways CLASS live in Denver at the Neurosculpting Institute  or LIVE STREAM from your home anywhere around the globe! Click HERE to register.

Join Shanti Medina, Lisa Wimberger, and Una Viggiani for a transformational 7 night immersion.

EMBODIED WARRIOR ~ PATH TO PERSONAL EMPOWERMENT RETREAT

This September in beautiful Santa Fe New Mexico!

Click Here for Details

Women's Starhouse Solstice 2012

Body Current® Intelligence

Cellular Living from the Inside Out

Did you know slow motion cuts through commotion? Simply by slowing our breathing, our movements or our thoughts, we slow down our brain waves, fuel the Prefrontal Cortex of the brain and regulate the flight, fight and freeze center of the limbic system creating a fertile ground for neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity, also known as brain plasticity, refers to changes in neural pathways and brain synapses which result from changes in our behavior, our environment and our neural processes, as well as neuromuscular changes resulting from physical or traumatic brain injuries.

 At a time not too long ago, the medical community believed the adult brain was a static organ with change occurring only in the reduction of brain cells as we age. It has now been proven that our brain is “plastic” and we can grow and train our brain by the choices we make.  We can actually prune back old conditioning and trauma patterns simply by slowing down in the present moment to pay focused attention to our thoughts and actions rather than reacting to past conditioning or predicting a specific outcome.

With open awareness, child-like wonder and acceptance of what is showing up in the moment, we influence the neural activity of our brain by stimulating new neural excitement to form new pathways.  This allows for a shift in our conditioning within the innate current of mind/body intelligence.

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The Body Current® modality is a revolutionary empowering system of body-centered awareness that goes deep to release stress and trauma quickly. It infuses simple and transformative yoga therapy and nueuromuscular exercises along with scientifically proven mindfulness practices of awareness, acceptance and allowing through the field of sensory perception.  These highly accessible and transformative practices have proven to mitigate stress, eliminate chronic pain, heal systemic disorders and align the mind, body, and spirit by engaging in the current of innate, somatic wisdom.

Try this exercise below to experience your Body Current® intelligence and begin shifting your neurology.

Body Current® Intelligence Exercise:

 Give yourself permission to fully experience this exercise. This is profoundly simple, yet the most important aspect of turning on and listening to your Body Current® intelligence. With earnestness and intention, you give yourself permission to shift conditioning and perceived limitations.

 Awareness: What are you aware of in this moment through the field of sensory perception?  What do you taste, see and feel? What smells are you aware of in the moment? Slow down your breathing to more fully take in this awareness.  Choose one sensation at a time to fully experience with child-like wonder and notice how your field of awareness expands.

Acceptance: Without judgement, resistance or predicting, can you fully accept all that is showing up in each moment?  If thoughts come, notice them and accept them but do not follow them or go into the story behind the thoughts.  If the sensation of pain shows up, accept that sensation without labeling it or attaching it to a past event or experience.  Become aware of how the sensations and thoughts are impermanent simply showing up like a wave in the frame of the present moment.  Meet each thought and sensation with a field of open awareness and acceptance. Notice what remains as the sensations and thoughts come through the frame of the present moment awareness. Continue to take slow, deep breaths as you accept all that comes through your awareness.

Allowing:  Allow for a shift to occur as you experience this moment for the very first time with fresh eyes and open, accepting awareness.  Often times this allowing is very subtle.  Notice any thoughts and actions that come up that are not allowing.  Can you find some gratitude in what you are experiencing?  Practice self-compassion and continue slow breathing as you notice any perceived limitations arising. Continue to practice acceptance and deep awareness with all that is expressing through the moment.

This empowering exercise can also be done by slowing down our movements along with our breathing. Try this practice while walking in nature, washing dishes, standing in line at the grocery store or even when you find yourself being triggered by a life event.  

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A moment of awareness occurs in a split second leading to our innate Body Current® intelligence coming online. With this activation, we begin to reprogram old conditioning and lay down new neural grooves or pathways.  With a daily practice of deep awareness, acceptance and allowing, we begin to invite the innate Body Current® intelligence to guide our actions and choices leading to neuroplasticity and an overall sense of well-being and sustaining health. 

 Enjoy and let me know how it goes!

Shanti 

 Shanti Medina Body Current
Shanti Medina, RYT CNSF CPT created the Body Current® modality after over 15 years designing personal therapy and transformation programs for clients infusing simple and highly effective yoga therapy and nueuromuscular exercises with the mindfulness practices of awareness, acceptance and allowing.  These highly accessible and transformative practices have proven to mitigate stress, eliminate chronic pain, heal systemic disorders and align the mind, body, and spirit by engaging in the current of innate, somatic wisdom. To find out more about Shanti and the Body Current® modality visit: http://www.EnergizeShanti.com

Hum Into Health

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It’s no surprise that recent psychological studies and neuroscience research have shown that humming a happy tune can impact our health and well-being. Take 30-60 seconds right now to hum your favorite tune or simply hum any sound that naturally comes through you.  Hum loud our soft with your lips closed and jaw relaxed.  Notice where you are feeling this vibration in your body.  Relax into the sensations you are experiencing. When you finish, take a few moments to become aware of the vibration that resonates within you even after the humming sound has stopped.

How do you feel?  You may notice a sense of calm coming over you.  You may even begin to yawn as your parasympathetic nervous system comes online with a relaxation response.

Good, good, good vibrations for depression

The International Journal of Yoga has reported from a recent study of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) with ‘OM’ chanting, which ends on a long vibrating humming sound, a significant deactivation of activity in certain areas of the brain associated with depression.

The researchers found that the vibrations from ‘OM’ chanting stimulate the vagus nerve, which then sends out neurotransmitters and electrical signals that reduce activity to key areas of the brain like the amygdala, associated with our flight/fight/freeze response.  In addition, the increased oxygenation of the blood from the vibration facilitates feelings of relaxation and release in the muscles and structure of the body.  In my private work, I have experienced clients reducing and even eliminating chronic pain due to humming along with their daily Body Current®  routine.

Humming has also been shown to reduce hypertension

One study that involved participants humming “O-U-Mmma” for only 5 minutes experienced a significant drop in blood pressure, particularly the diastolic pressure as well as a slight decrease in heart rate.  The activity in this study was part of a yogic breathing exercise called Bhramari Pranayam.

Buzzing Bee Breathing Practice (Bhramari Pranayam):

This is a potent humming breathing practice that relaxes the autonomic nervous system.  This can be practice daily or only several times a week.

● Sit in a chair with your spine aligned or lay on the earth with a pillow under your knees or in Constructive Rest with your knees bent and resting in toward one another.   Allow your eyes to close. Relax any tension in your body.  You can choose to put your thumbs in your ears and fingers across your eyes, if you wish.  Keep your shoulders relaxed.  

● Keep your lips gently closed throughout the practice, but allow your tongue to rest gently behind your top row of teeth. Open and relax the jaw and back of the throat.

● Simply make a sound like a buzzing bee, as you exhale through the nostrils, allowing your belly button to come into your spine.  Extend the hum with the exhale as long as possible without strain.

● Notice the vibration in your throat, your cranium, your cheeks, and your heart. You will hear the sound from within.  What sensations are you feeling?

● Slowly inhale through the nose leaving the lips closed, and allowing the lower ribs to flare out slightly as you expand with your breath. Inhale as deeply as you can without creating strain.  Keep your shoulders relaxed.  Again, be aware of the sensations you feel and listen to the sound you hear.

Enjoy! Repeat for as little as 30 seconds and up to two minutes.  Take a few moments to notice how you feel after each practice and see if you can still hear the vibration resounding within you.  Let me know what you experience!

Happy Humming!

Shanti 

Shanti Medina

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attitude of Embodied Gratitude

HeartofGratitudeWhat is your body grateful for in this moment?  Do you see or sense a color or symbol associated with your gratitude? Perhaps there is a particular taste of your gratitude coming through the tip of your tongue or the back of your throat?  

 Embodying our gratitude takes slowing down and tuning in to fully be present giving permission to experience the moment through the body as a barometer mapping out our gratitude one sensation at a time. This is very different than having a thought or reflection of gratitude.  This is BEing your gratitude.  A thought can be very powerful and even trigger sensations in the body, but shifting our focus to receiving gratitude through our sensory perception invites us to fully embody in the moment that for which we are grateful.

 Below you will find a quick and simple practice you can do anytime anywhere to invite an attitude of embodied gratitude into your moment.  I developed this personal practice of embodied gratitude when a family member was recently struggling with a life-threatening illness. It helped me to authentically embody gratitude even when life situations and the commentary of my mind couldn’t find any “thing” to be gratitude for in the moment.  It was very powerful for me and I hope it serves you.   

 Embodied Gratitude Practice:

 It’s important to remember there is nothing to attain here or anything to achieve or gain.  You are simply noticing what is already naturally happening as you experience gratitude in present moment time through the communication of sensation in your Body Current®, the wave-like abiding intelligence unique to you.  You can do this practice anywhere at anytime.

 1) Begin to slow down and expand each breath without counting or predicting the length of your breath.  Simply feel a slowing down and expansion of your breathing.  Perhaps you notice a softening into the moment as your explore the sensations of your breath. Take a few moments to rest your awareness here.

 2) Notice your inhale filling your heart center perhaps feeling the expansion as the breath is embodied or hearing the breath slowly fill your heart.  Notice any sensation of ease, peace or gratitude arising in the heart.  You can even ask your heart, “What are you grateful for in this moment?” remembering the body communicates in the language of sensation.  What do you see, taste, hear, smell or feel as you inhale the sense of gratitude into your heart?

3) Exhale gently notice any tension, stress or resistance around your heart center. Slowly expand your exhale letting the sensations of tightness and constriction release out of your heart, down your arms and out your fingertips as you complete your exhale.  What do you see, taste, hear, smell or feel as you release and let go of stress and tension with the exhale? You can even flick your fingertips for extra release if you wish.  Follow with the embodied inhale detailed in #2.

 4) Repeat this practice as long as you wish. You may want to journal afterward to remember your experience of embodied gratitude.  This is a nice practice to begin and end your day.  Enjoy!