Namaste – What does namaste mean

Namaste (pronounced: nah-mahs-tay). What does ‘namaste’ mean?

NamasteThis is a gesture of respect from one person to another and it occurs in all yoga classes, from kid’s yoga to beginner to the highly advanced. It represents the belief that in each of us there is a Divine spark located in the heart centre or the heart chakra. Bowing in namaste is an acknowledgment of the soul in one to the soul in another.

“Nama” means bow, “as” means I, and “te” means you. Therefore, translated directly the Sanskrit word literally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you.” A deeper meaning of namaste is “the divine in me respects the divine in in you.” In other words we are all equal.

To perform namaste, you place your hands together in prayer position at the heart centre, close your eyes, and bow your head. You can also place your hands together in front of the third eye between your brows, bowing your head, and then bringing your hands down to your heart. This is an especially deep form of respect. Although in the West the word “namaste” is usually spoken in conjunction with the gesture; in India, it is understood that the gesture itself signifies namaste, and therefore, it is unnecessary to say the word whilst bowing.

Bringing the hands together at the heart centre increases the flow of loving energy and compassion. Bowing your head and closing your eyes helps the mind to surrender to the divine soul that resides within the heart. You can also make this gesture as a meditation technique. When it’s done with someone else, it is also a beautiful meditation.

I honour the place in you
Where the entire
Universe resides
I honour the place in you
Of love, of light, of peace.
I honour the place within you where
If you are in that place in you
And I am in that place in me
There is only one of us.

Mantra for Kids

Kids MantraUse this with kids, to build confidence and self-esteem.

You can become as creative as you may wish using hand movements to go with the words. Just remember it is all about building confidence in your child and self-esteem. They need to know they are worthy and so very special but most importantly – LOVED.

I am special,
I am loved,
I am a gift from God above,
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful God,
I am special,
I am loved.

Mantra – help ground you and bring you into the present moment.

This mantra will help ground you and bring you into the present moment.

Oxford Dictionary meaning of Mantra:
Mantra Pronunciation: /ˈmantrə/
Definition of mantra: Noun
(Originally in Hinduism and Buddhism) a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation. A statement or slogan repeated frequently.

Find a quite warm space, light a candle and some incense. Find a comfortable seated position either on the floor or using a chair. If you chose to use a chair sit back into the chair, feet firmly fixed on the ground. In either position ensure that your back is upright, chest broad and open. Shoulders relaxing and releasing down your spine, chin parallel with the floor, crown of the head elongating upwards. Place your hands in a Chin or Jnana Mudra or a mudra of your choice. Close your eyes and begin to notice your breathing. Slow down your breath and begin to lengthen your out breath. Allow your belly to expand out like a balloon as you inhale and gently draw your belly button back towards your spine as you exhale. Repeat a number of times before starting your mantra. Then….

Breathe In: (Say to yourself) : I am here
Breathe Out:: (Say to yourself) : I am present
Breathe In:: (Say to yourself) : In the here
Breathe Out:: (Say to yourself) : In the now

Repeat this mantra over and over again. If thoughts interrupt your progress, just gently acknowledge your thoughts and then place them to the side as you gently bring your awareness back to the mantra and your breath, gently begin to repeat it over and over again with conscious awareness of your breath. Enjoy.

Om Shanti
Noreen.

When you lack the belief & confidence in yourself & your abilities

Use when you lack the belief & confidence in yourself & your abilities.

Oxford Dictionary meaning of Mantra:
Mantra Pronunciation: /ˈmantrə/
Definition of mantra: Noun
(Originally in Hinduism and Buddhism) a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation. A statement or slogan repeated frequently.

Find a quite warm space, light a candle and some incense. Find a comfortable seated position either on the floor or using a chair. If you chose to use a chair sit back into the chair, feet firmly fixed on the ground. With either option ensure your back is upright. Shoulders relaxing and releasing down your spine, chin parallel with the floor, crown of the head elongating upwards. Hands in a mudra of your choice e.g. chin or Jnana. Close your eyes and begin to notice your breathing. Slow down your breath and begin to lengthen your out breath. Allow your belly to expand out like a balloon as you inhale and gently draw your belly button back towards your spine as you exhale. Repeat a number of times before starting your mantra. Then ….

Breathe In: (Say to yourself) : I am strong
Breathe Out: (Say to yourself): I am loving
Breathe In: (Say to yourself): I am strong
Breathe Out: (Say to yourself): I am loved
Breathe In: (Say to yourself): I am strong
Breathe Out: (Say to yourself): I’m LOVING it

Repeat this mantra over and over again. If thoughts interrupt your progress, just gently acknowledge your thoughts and then place them to the side as you gently bring your awareness back to the mantra and gently begin to repeat it over and over again with conscious awareness to your breath.

Om Shanti (Peace)
Noreen.

Leek and Potato Soup

Leek & Potato SoupThis is a favourite in our house. It is quick, tasty and a great warmer for those cold winter days. I personally love it served with homemade brown spelt bread with lashings of real Irish butter.

PS!! Just in case you get distracted some day and you “forget” to put in the potatoes, just blend all the other ingredients together, trust me, it tastes equally scrumptious!!

Ingredients:
3 Leeks
2 Celery
1 Onion
1lb of potatoes thinly sliced.
I litre of Water
3 jelly stock cubes (2 chicken & 1 veg)
1 cup of milk
1oz of butter & 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Pinch of red and black pepper.

Method:
Sautee the leeks, onion and celery in butter and oil for approximately 20 minutes.
Add the potatoes, water and jelly stock cubes, bring to boil and them simmer until the potatoes dissolve. Next add a cup of milk, blend all the ingredients together and serve.

I love serving mine with a dollop of fresh cream and croutons.

Enjoy!!!

The Symbol OM in Yoga

OM Symbol“Om” symbolises All that was… All that is… and all that shall be… even into eternity.

“Om” is a sacred word, syllable, sound, mantra, it belongs to no know language and is used in many religions. It stands for Supreme Faith. It is infinite consciousness and bliss. To the yogi no symbol is more powerful than “Om”.

“Om” symbolises the waking, dreaming and sleeping state. It enables us to maintain mental and emotional calmness, overcome obstacles and facilitates understanding.

Repetition of the sound “Om” and meditation on “Om” is valued in Yoga as a potent means of awakening the spiritual centres in a person’s personality. I love the interpretation of OM, so much so that I got it tattooed on my foot and it holds great symbolic meaning to me personally.

Chanting OM

“Om” is made up of three sounds which are combined together: A, U and M. These sounds create a vibration which connects to different parts of your body. I recommend chanting each syllable individually before joining them altogether. Find a quiet warm place where you will not be disturbed. I like to light a candle as I find this adds to the ambience for me personally. Then sit in a comfortable position, Accomplished Pose, Hero’s Pose, Easy Pose or Half Lotus, which ever pose you chose just ensure that you can stay in this position comfortably for a couple of minutes. Keep your spine in an upright position, relax your shoulders and allow your shoulder blades to move down your spine. Allow you head to be in alignment with your spine by allowing your two ears to be positioned just above your shoulders. Allow your chin to be parallel with the floor, crown of your head elevating upwards towards the heavens, and then gently draw your chin a slight fraction towards your chest just to lengthen into the back of your neck, and relax. Just be aware of the fact that you are breathing. Breathe in and out through your nostrils and feel your breath, become aware of it and notice what moves in your body as you breathe in and what moves as you breathe out. Then take a long slow deep breath in relax as you breathe out… then

A. Take a long slow deep breath in and then simply make the sound “aaaaahhhh” as you breathe out completely. Feel this vibration in the area around your abdomen. Bring your focus / awareness to the vibration for the full breath out. Repeat twice more.

U. Take a long slow deep breath in and then make the sound “oooouuuu” as you breathe out completely. Bring your focus / awareness to your upper chest area where you should sense the vibration. Again focus on the vibration for the full breath out. Repeat twice more.

M. Finally, take another long slow deep breath in and then make the sound “mmmmmmm” as you breathe out completely. You should sense the vibration of this sound in your throat area. Some people also feel the vibration in the head area. Bring your focus / awareness to your throat / head area and feel the vibration for the full exhalation out. Repeat twice more.

To combine all three together for the full chant, gently take a couple of natural breaths in and out through your nose, then take a long slow deep breath in and opening your mouth allow the sound of “A” and “U” to blend together into the sound “O”, allow your lips to come together and without stopping sound the vibration of “M”. Allow “M” to vibrate until the end of your out breath. Keep your focus and awareness on the sound and the vibration of what you are chanting, also try to keep lengthening your out breath and try to keep it smooth and flowing. This is YOUR chant and YOUR awareness, so there is no right or wrong way to do this. Just relax! Breathe, feel your vibration, experience the sensation within your body and then simply observe, noting any subtle changes within yourself and enjoy!!