Dallas Yoga Magazine is designed to connect the health-conscious community offering positive inspiration and education on a variety of new age topics. We desire to motivate, inform and benefit readers with information about yoga, holistic and wellness. We are an online and print yoga and holistic magazine representing the Dallas Fort Worth community.
By: Tim Franz, Master Tai Chi Instructor & Yoga Enthusiast
I am a new yogi, about two years now. Yoga has been wonderful for my mind and body. It is amazing what happens to the body after diligent practice. I can do things now that I found difficult when I started. Some of the teachers were very good and others needed some help. So, I thought I would share my thoughts and experiences about yoga teachers.
When I went to my first class ever, I introduced myself to the woman that seemed to be the leader. I told her it was my first class and that I had an artificial knee. She was very nice and said welcome and don’t worry.
So, I laid out my mat and sat down waiting for class to begin. I was surprised to see so many people at a yoga class at 3:30 pm on Saturday! Anyway, at 3:30 she said we’re ready to start, please get into child’s pose. I was like monkey see, monkey do! Simple enough.
Then the recording started and from the speakers came names of poses and the only one I knew was “down dog”. The teacher just walked about the room and would repeat the called-out pose. So, there I am, floundering about like a fish out of water. (I know it’s a tad cliché but true it is.)
I felt like a monkey and all I did was mimic what I saw others doing. Not knowing if I was doing the poses correctly or not.
Not once did the teacher check with me or show me anything.
I went back to that studio two more times and vowed never to return and I haven’t.
Because I was wanting a TEACHER not an instructor or worse, an attendant that did nothing.
My search began and I found a place where there were better instructors but slim on teachers.
Here is what I mean. An instructor says come to a seat, place your left hand on your right knee and place you right hand behind your back and now twist. A teacher says come to a seat and sit with a straight spine while placing you right hand behind your back while placing your left hand on your right knee. Remember to breathe and begin to twist on the exhale, continue to sit straight. Twist more on each exhale. Do not force, respect your body. Let me know if you need a modification.
An instructor will say you can use a block here if you want but a teacher will say I think you could benefit from using a block and then proceeds to show me how!
You see a teacher wants to impart her knowledge to her students. They are there to serve and guide students through the asanas. They see the students as individuals, with differing needs and abilities. They are willing to deviate from their plan to help someone learn.
Instructors instruct. They may as well phone it in.
I will return to a class if I know and FEEL like the teacher is there for me! A teacher wants to be there helping me become better at my practice. And above all, no judgement on my ability should I balk at a pose because of a limitation. A teacher will show an alternative pose. In other words, they know their “stuff.”
I note that many instructors have the necessary certifications and that’s wonderful they put in the time to earn it. However, in my opinion, an instructor only shares one aspect of yoga and describes the pose while a teacher imparts the art of yoga along with the deeper aspects of practicing yoga.
So, if you are wondering where to start, my suggestion is visiting several studios/centers and take a variety of classes before deciding which one fits your needs. Do some research into the various types of yoga because there are many and some may not be appropriate for your body and age.
You will find the perfect fit for you…just keep looking! It’s definitely worth the effort!
By: Marie Williams, Dallas Yoga Magazine Writer & Yoga Enthusiast
In the first part of my article, I introduced the concept of visioneering, defined a vision and discussed how to plan, execute and follow up on it. I also went in-depth about the importance of having a positive mindset and establishing relationships with the right people who believe in a specific vision enough to be great contributors. Finally, I used my personal vision of starting my own online affiliate marketing business as a real-life example of doing something new and different.
This part will focus on criticism an individual may have to face along the way of carrying out his/her vision to completion. I will also go into a detailed discussion about the ethical aspects of a vision along with distractions involved as well. There are specific ways an individual can stand out, according to the book concerning his/her vision. Lastly, I will conclude the second part of my article by talking about some necessary components that should be utilized for any and all visions. These components have to do with internal mindset shifts, growth, transitioning into various types of change and unwavering commitment.
Initially, my hope is that anyone who reads this particular mindset piece will be well informed about what is needed both internally and externally to carry out all visions. I desire for my readers to feel a personal connection to my vision of doing something bold by realizing their own sense of purpose and establishing courage to live out their dreams. Anything is possible in life if we believe, trust in the Universe to help us and have the courage to carry out all actions towards our visions. The power lies within us to see our visions to completion and experience our own sense of greatness.
In all of their abundance, visions do attract criticism from naysayers and those who may not be quite courageous enough to take the plunge into doing something risky. It is at these times that being defensive comes as second nature, even though the very act itself is a negative response. By becoming defensive, we can lose focus on why we established belief behind the vision in the first place. There are two elements that sometimes lead to the death of visions coming from critics, change and gaps. Change is usually associated with positive transitions occurring in life; however, when it concerns visions, it can stir up negative energy, feelings and bad thoughts associated with failure. Change plays on the insecurities of those who have become used to the way things are and have always been. People who are afraid of change or have been resisting it for a long time could possibly see a vision as a potential threat. Sometimes, our visions can remind people of what they are not. In this way, it is not uncommon for these individuals to stir up negative emotions and unleash them as criticism upon the individuals with visions. The more powerful the vision, the harsher the criticism. When individuals with visions seek and attempt to bring about what they feel is necessary change, what they are convinced “should be,” others will perceive the vision as what “should not be.”
These such critics appear to be armed with facts and important information or extensive experience. A vision is about the future, not the past, so it would contain no previous history. The irony here is that both history and experience give birth to a vision, no matter its complexity. Past experience causes a visionary to be unsatisfied with the way things currently are. History and experience can also be used to quickly diminish a vision as well.
“A vision is what could and should be. A plan is a guess as to the best way to accomplish the vision” (156).
It is so easy to lose sight of our vision when our carefully designed plans do not work out because failed plans slap us in the face with all kinds of negative emotions. As a result, we start to think of ourselves as failures, all the while internalizing the negative energy. Our critics who are watching us from the outside may find it difficult to distinguish between our plans and visions, due to seeing them as one in the same.
Another tactic is to revise our plans so that we can better evaluate our progress on our vision but also identify what still needs to be done, including any improvements.
When we feel aligned with something bigger than ourselves in ways that can benefit others, we know no other option but to push towards making our vision a reality. Starting my own online affiliate marketing business is a project I feel aligned with because not only will this adventure yield excellent income, but starting something new and challenging will allow me to grow in ways that far exceed anything I ever learned in the past involving business. I will have opportunities to bless others as they learn from me and eventually, open themselves up to new possibilities as I chose to do. I was encouraged by a dear and close friend to dream big, be more open-minded and take the biggest risk (or leap of faith) I have ever taken in my entire life! I know what could and should be, but I am not clear as to what will happen or how anything will unfold moving forward. What I realize now is that visions come with passion, not instructions. The deeper the vision, the more intense the passion will be about it.
Another aspect of alignment concerns the team of individuals I have met recently that I know are committed to my growth and long-term success as I work towards establishing myself in my business. These individuals are crushing their financial goals while setting new ones. They are also inspiring me to remain optimistic about starting out as a newcomer. The right team of like-minded individuals can help keep one aligned when first starting out in anything new.
Visions should have an ethical aspect included so that once they take flight, others involved within the launching process will feel they have been able to contribute to something with a solid foundation structured around good morale.
Stanley defines moral authority as “…the critical, non-negotiable, can’t-be-without ingredient of sustained influence…” (179). He feels that without it, our influence will be limited and short-lived. To gain and maintain our influence, we must utilize this important component. I honestly feel that great business cannot be done if moral authority is not a factor.
Moral authority is the credibility we earn by being honest, keeping our promises we have made to others and placing high value on the quality of trustworthiness. Simply put, this concept is the basis for relationships others see between what we say and what we do, what we claim to be and who we actually are. People with moral authority stand out. When trying to find discrepancy between what these people say they believe and what they actually do, an individual may come up empty. The alignment between conviction, action, belief and behavior is secured.
Visions are wonderful when they are backed up and built around a solid plan, but when a critic starts asking questions about how specific tasks will be carried out or wants clarification on unknown details, suddenly the water becomes muddied. Newer, more unique visions are susceptible to the damaging, doubtful feelings and negative effects of such a line of questioning.
For the first few months, I experienced a barrage of questioning from people who were skeptical that I knew what I was doing. They did not think I truly had the capacity to start my own online marketing business with no business background or sales experience. It was tough to hear all the time, but my sheer faith in something so different pushed me towards staying on track to start up, anyways.
New believers (visionaries) throw all of their energy into making their visions a reality because they have caught a glimpse of what they feel could and should be for their lives. This very notion reflects poorly on anyone else who is content or satisfied with the way things are; thus, they try to discourage the process by criticizing the overall decision.
Those who are committed to bettering themselves and improving their quality of life educationally and financially are often met with criticism from those closest to them because these individuals with no vision feel threatened by those who have decided to be bold and adventurous. Insecurities, lack, or fear and doubt force people to stop and take a hard look at where they are in life as opposed to where they may desire to be.
A Universal vision always contains more questions than answers. People feel led to question a vision to death because they want the absolute truth about the vision and certainty behind each answer to their question. At the same time, a Universal vision unfolds as a bit of a mystery. No answer is ever truly absolute.
It is human nature to want to defend ourselves and our visions when we are under attack. The process goes something like this: we start a dialogue with our critics. Consequently, we waste precious energy and valuable time attempting to answer questions our critics are often not interested in knowing. Before we realize it, our focus shifts to being critic-centered rather than vision-centered. All criticism strikes emotional cords within us. Every time we reflect it back, we play our critic’s game. The results often leave us hurt and experiencing self-sabotage. Bottling up our emotions can lead to illness, such as depression and ulcers. What is worse is unloading all of our pent-up emotions out on our friends and others in our path, hurting them in the process.
One solution to all of this is praying to the Universe. Every time I have experienced any negativity around my vision, I have talked to the Universe. No matter what is going on or what I am thinking, I always leave prayer time feeling more at ease. The Universe gives me clarity I did not have before. The Universe can handle our venting, emotional outbursts and tempers. Most importantly, the Universe knows that when we come before it, pouring our hearts out is a sure sign of trust in what it will show us.
Prayer helps to put all criticism concerning our visions in their proper context. When any criticism is given to the Universe, it suddenly loses its power and our anxiety level decreases. Our passion is rekindled and we can find the strength to continue pursuing our vision. Stanley feels that people confuse their plans with the visions they are trying to carry out. He believes failed plans should not necessarily be interpreted as failed visions, despite any incessant criticism these plans may be subjected to.
Going back to the subject dealing with moral authority, I need to add that it also encompasses the qualities of both purity and integrity, so it is a fragile thing in and of itself. It takes a lifetime to earn and build up; at the same time, it can be lost in a moment’s notice and once it is lost, it takes a long time to restore. Sometimes, it cannot be restored.
Moral authority is also connected with the aspect of leadership in that once an individual has it, they can eventually become a leader others respect and desire to follow. In regards to my business, once I get going, I definitely desire to establish my presence in the space where others will wish to follow me because they trust me and believe in what I have to offer them. By having a high level of moral authority, I desire to influence people at the deepest level in heart, mind and conscience by those who feel called to follow me. I will be able to maintain consistency in my online business because of these individuals’ trust in me. In this manner, I will develop a great track record with my clients over time.
Moral authority resonates with me because it is a commitment to always do what is right. I believe in doing what is best for others, especially if they have invested time, money or their lives in helping me grow in any aspect of my life. Those who wish to do what is right do not follow the crowd and do not necessarily need to gain influence. Moral authority should be followed at all costs. One way it can be damaged is through ethical compromises in business and relationships.
We must take full responsibility for our actions and the consequences that follow them. Just because we apologize and feel sorry for the hurt we have caused others in our heart does not mean we have gained favor with these individuals. The Universe sees all of our actions, hears our thoughts through our delivered speech and knows our hearts. Gaining our moral authority back after we have lost it usually means restitution with others and some sacrifice on our part. It is never easy to own our mistakes, bad judgment or wrong decisions made, but when we can and choose to, we are one step closer to re-establishing trust in ourselves, our businesses and ideally, our brand and what we stand for.
With any vision comes distractions and the most common are opportunities, criticism and fear. Most people would consider any and all opportunities good things because “opportunities” are usually associated with positive outcomes. In the case with visions, if the end goal is to accomplish something, change the status quo or bless others in a significant capacity, an individual must be comfortable saying no to some good things. Ironically, it is the good things that have the greatest potential to distract us from the necessary things concerning our vision. We must be careful that we do not let all the distractions get in the way of our vision becoming a reality and instead, work diligently to distinguish between the “good stuff” and the main things our vision needs to be realized.
Criticism is another distraction that can have detrimental effects on a vision because the individual delivering the criticism will not often be coming from a negative place. I consider criticism extremely painful on several levels because it hurts the person working hard to carry out his/her vision mentally, emotionally and spiritually. People tend to criticize and put down what they do not understand.
When we hear these criticisms, the negative energy can eventually lead us to feel angry. Anger is distracting and not our natural state from which to work and live. Over time, it can and will literally destroy all we have coming to us, including our vision. During times of frustration and anger, we need to consult the Universe so that we do not allow anger to shift our focus away from our vision.
Misdirected energy comes in many forms, but the most common type is projection, where people with bad motives question everyone else’s. These individuals can be selfish in nature, so they assume others are like them. They examine and process everything through self-serving lenses and usually think the worst.
Anyone who is serious about shaking things up or making radical changes will have to deal with accusations that are pointed. A vision causes a person to stand out and this makes people uncomfortable. The flow of society often always moves in the direction of conformity. I consider myself a non-conformist; therefore, I go against society’s current. What helps to keep me grounded concerning my vision for the online business is the fact that I am only accountable for myself, those I impact within my business space and the Universe.
One last distraction that is unavoidable is fear because every vision involves elements of the unknown. This uncharted territory is breeding ground for fear and anxiety. Those of us who have visions must face and work through “what if” scenarios involving fear. It is also another negative form of focus that can cause us to start evaluating our situations linked with our vision based on anything bad that might happen, rather than anything good we desire to see happen. Everything we could ever desire is on the other side of fear.
Every time I find myself getting distracted, I bear in mind these three things: I am doing great work and do not have time to be bothered with unnecessary issues unaligned with my online business; success will silence my critics; and the significance of being called to start my own online business cancels any option of retreating out of fear.
Since deciding to start my own online affiliate marketing business, I have absolute peace about such a bold decision. By allowing my thoughts, decisions concerning the business and my blog site connected to it, the confidence that should follow continues to build and get stronger, thus exciting me rather than scaring me. Sure, I am a little nervous about the outcome, but the enigma of what it could be keeps me on my toes and desiring to know what could happen next.
Peace is a rarity these days; yet people are willing to spend countless hours and tons of money trying to artificially create it, even though they may not realize this is what they are doing. Genuine peace grabs people’s attention because it pricks their curiosity and always brings up questions. All most individuals desire is to be happy because happiness is one tenet of being at peace. Right now, my days are filled with sheer joy because of the way the Universe has aligned certain things to transpire for me in all aspects of my life.
When those who have been without peace for a while cross paths with others who are living peaceful lives, they take note because the peace they are witnessing brings out the emptiness they may feel. Darkness is exposed, but by seeing peace in someone else’s life, they know peace is achievable. Regarding any vision that has been cast, the presence of peace in our lives is necessary. No matter the outcome, nothing concerning our vision should rob us of our peace.
Visions are awesome when they allow us to establish healthy relationships we would not have made, otherwise. Whether these individuals contribute something tangible or just want to support us, visions can be best at bringing us together with people who teach us more about ourselves and bring out our best qualities, helping us to do good for society and over time, grow into the best version of ourselves. For this reason, we should never sacrifice key relationships on the course of pursuing our vision.
Good character is a quality virtue to possess, but excellent character demands consistency and does not usually lead to any compromise of integrity. There are no short cuts to the latter type of character. Sacrificing our character at others’ expense alerts the Universe because it cannot and will not honor any deceit or short cuts in which the pay off does not benefit us or anyone else involved. Too much compromising of our character will eventually leave us with a bad reputation, and the Universe cannot bless us. At some point, our vision may suffer because compromised character leaves an unforgotten trail of hurt that can completely sink the vision.
I believe it takes more than pure excitement and determination to successfully finish what the Universe had birthed in our hearts to do. Maintaining my vision to transition into becoming an entrepreneur will require an uncompromising commitment to ethical principles and behaviors necessary to thrive in the online business space.
Such a transition will also present a call for extensive change, which will yield to tremendous growth and excellent connections with other online business savvy individuals looking to level up within the online business. This call will seem extremely uncomfortable with those individuals who have adjusted to the status quo. These people do not understand wisdom on the same level as a visionary because visionaries see opportunity in the most obscure and difficult situations. Visionaries are the first who are willing to make bold, unpopular decisions for the sake of what they believe could and should be. They give their vision constant attention and are always fully engaged.
Visioneering requires an internal shift in mindset. The way an individual may currently be thinking about his/her vision usually will not be how they end up viewing it after doing so much work.
I was a hard-core skeptic about starting my own online business. I came up with so many scenarios in my head I thought would play out. I hid behind my negative relationship with money at first because I did not want to do the inner work it was going to take to change my mindset about my finances. Slowly, over the course of those seven months, my mindset shifted, and I viewed such an opportunity as way to learn more about myself and grow. The process was uncomfortable at times and I had some financial disasters occur, but the Universe kept pointing me in the right direction along with encouraging friends giving me positive vibes and sharing their energy, which boosted my confidence to finally commit and go all in!
I know I am on the cusp of something truly extraordinary that is helping me heal, shed old layers of my past self and daily grow. Stanley says that “everyone has a mental picture of what could and should be for his life but not everybody will pay the price to turn that mental image into reality” (271).
I am willing to make the necessary sacrifices to see my vision through. Not only will I be investing time in both myself and my business, but the greatest reward will be helping others say “yes” to a new and abundant lifestyle, while introducing them to creative ways to start their online businesses.
Everyone ends up somewhere in life; the real question is will they have the courage to seize an opportunity presented to them to end up somewhere on purpose, blessing others along the journey.
About the Author:
Marie Williams is a dedicated yoga practitioner who specializes in the genres of both narrative nonfiction writing and profiling. She enjoys taking her yoga experiences and infusing them with vivid imagery and detail to invoke a deeper connection within her readers. Marie’s passion is to focus primarily on both her yoga and meditation journey in her articles, while giving her readers fresh and unique perspectives about life.
Follow her on Facebook and Instagram as littlestblackswan37.
Yoga Therapy: A Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Yoga & Ayurveda for Health & Fitness
By: Bipin Baloni, A passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher & Traveler in India
Summary: This article provides a framework of yoga therapy and aims to educate its readers about the therapeutic use of Yoga and Ayurveda for optimal health and fitness.
Across the globe, millions are healed, transformed, empowered, and inspired by ‘Yoga’, the discipline of wellness. With its three core elements– Asanas, Pranayama, and Meditation, the science of yoga tremendously transfigures the body, mind, and spirit of the practitioners. Thus, manifesting the properties of Chikitsa (Therapy).
Yoga Therapy is a holistic approach that emphasizes the use of physical postures, yogic breathing techniques, meditation, guided imagery, and diet for opposing the diseases and strengthening the body including the heart, the abdominal organs, the nervous system, and the mind as well. The classical texts on Yoga state that Chakras, Nadis, Prana are energetic physiology of Yoga in the context of Therapeutic Yoga. And, the clearing of these subtle energy centers, proper flow of prana empowers the individuals to progress on the path of health and freedom of diseases.
Extending the Yoga Therapy beyond the physical well-being, it is the effective approach to foster greater psychological and spiritual well-being. As the stress is on the rise in the modern world which in turn is linked to a variety of diseases, Yoga is arguably the most potent method of fighting stress. And, consistency with the practice surely guides people out of the ruts they have been stuck in mentally and spiritually.
Tools of Yoga Therapy
Asana: Yoga Asanas serve a greater purpose in addressing the problems of the body and its functioning. The postures involve movement and muscle work to treat the specific diseases.
Pranayama: A method of consciously regulating and focusing on the breath for adding more years to live.
Meditation: A practice of keeping the mind still and focused as a majority of problems start in the brain. The mantra chanting is an important tool in Yoga Therapy. The sacred sounds integrated with asana and meditation can cure several diseases.
Diet: Diet, Lifestyle, and Environment also play a crucial role in healing and wellness. The Ayurveda Therapy details out the significance of these three factors.
Applications of Yoga Therapy:
1. Bronchial Asthma: Asthma is a disease characterized by the narrowing of airways, cough, extra mucus, and breath lessening. Consequently, the ability of the asthmatics to exhale decreases which can be life-threatening. Yoga Therapy systematically uses the diverse tools to treat asthma. The practice of inversions is effective for the patients with asthma. In the inversions like supported shoulder stand, the diaphragm contracts, the lungs expand, and the pressure in them decreases that helps the air to flow in from outside. Asanas like the downward dog are recommended for heavyweight asthmatic patients and diamond pose for elderly people. Kapalbhati pranayama, a technique of forceful exhalations can be useful for the asthmatics as they face difficulty in exhaling. Nadi Shodhana pranayama of short breaths is also helpful in fostering calmness. Repeating sounds like OM is ideal for promoting complete exhalation. Yoga Therapy helps the asthmatic develop a sense of control over their breathing through various tools.
2. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A medical condition that causes pain, numbness, and tingling sensation in the hand and arm. Yoga, as a therapy, focuses on the practice of Prayer Pose with hands in Anjali Mudra, the staff pose variations, a cat-cow stretch that adds to the range of extension of the wrists, and strengthens the flexor muscles of the arm helping you to recover from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
3. Other Diseases: Studies suggest that yoga therapy can lessen the side-effects of Chemotherapy and Radiation in Cancer Patients. The dedicated implementation of Yoga Therapy tools cures high blood pressure, Diabetes type II, etc.
The authoritative classical text on Ayurveda ‘the Sushruta Samhita’ defines health: “Balance of doshas, agni, dhatus, malas with a clear sense of self and mind. The Ayurveda Chikitsa employs eight ways to diagnose the illness: Nadi (pulse), Mootra(Urine), Mala(stool), Jihva( tongue), Shabda (speech), Sparsha(touch), Druk (vision), and Aakruti (appearance). The contemporary Ayurveda Therapy focuses on building health and vitality through the healthy metabolic system, good digestion, excretion and appropriate dincharya (daily routine).
In Ayurveda Therapy, the concepts of diet and lifestyle are important for attaining holistic health. The science of Ayurveda considers these two factors as the causes of various illnesses. If these are not eliminated or mitigated, the efficiency of other measures is compromised.
Examples of Ayurveda Therapy
1. Asthma: According to Ayurveda, Asthma is a disease of Vata and Kapha. The Ayurvedic Therapy recommends consumption of food that balances Vata and Kapha and aversion to delicacies that are cold in Prakriti (such as dairy products) that produce mucus. From the Ayurvedic perspective, lifestyle and environment guidelines: travel, exposure to cold, pollens should be avoided. Asthmatic patients can consider Ayurvedic therapy course India for holistic treatment.
2. Diabetes: Madhumeha (Diabetes) is classified as major rog in Ayurveda, a metabolic disease that affects other vital organs like eyes, kidneys, etc. As a part of diet Therapy, it stresses on the inclusion of whole grains, cheese, garlic, onion, bitter gourd and avoids sweet fruits, potatoes, heavy, oily foods. Some of the home remedies include: Drinking dry mango leaves powder with water to reduce high blood sugar levels, sipping of amla juice with bitter gourd, etc. Go to Ayurveda Panchakarma treatment Kerala to detoxify the organs and balance the Kapha dosha, which when disturbed can be a primary cause of diabetes.
3. Cataract: An eye disease in which the eye lens becomes cloudy and decreases vision. In Ayurveda, the disease is known as linga Nasha. The Sushruta Samhita explains a procedure to be performed with Jabamukhisalakha. Later the eye is soaked with warm butter and then bandaged. Ayurvedic treatment of Cataract also involves strengthening of eye nerves and nourishing of eye tissues. The herb of Triphala is considered effective for eyesight. It suggests food that keeps the cataract patient free from obesity and high blood pressure.
Let Yoga and Ayurveda Therapy drive you towards health and fitness. Adopt these two therapeutic systems for a disease-free and health-bound life.
About the Author:
Bipin Baloni is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India. He organizes Luxury Yoga Retreats. He loves writing and reading books related to yoga, health, nature and the Himalayas.
Real Acupuncture VS Dry Needling: Are You Getting the Care You Think You Are?
By: Nina Watkins, Licensed Acupuncturist, Owner of Oak Cliff Acupunture
Wellness and alternative health choices have become so popular that people are trying new things. When things are new, we can be at a loss for information. People tend to trust a healthcare provider to be qualified and knowledgeable. Unfortunately, not all alternative healthcare training is equal.
This is especially true for acupuncture and herbs in Texas. Acupuncture from a Licensed Acupuncturist is comprehensive and effective. People feel better in 3-5 treatments. It works so well, in fact, that other practitioners are following the hype and using it on their patients too. The problem is they aren’t adequately trained or licensed.
Many people tell me they have had acupuncture or dry needling with a chiropractor or physical therapist, or that they get herb supplements from a chiropractor. They are surprised to learn these practitioners are minimally trained for acupuncture and for herbs.
Here are the differences in training:
Licensed by the Texas Medical Board
Qualifications: Master Degree, 3-4 years of Chinese Medicine school
NCCAOM (National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine), 5 National board exams, including an herb exam
Clean Needle Certification
2 years supervised clinical internship
Over 2 years of Chinese herb training, including western medical pharmacology and a supervised clinical internship
(Chinese herbs help with all conditions, not just pain. We often use herbs to treat high blood pressure, poor digestion, headaches, allergies, poor sleep, the common cold and more. Chinese herbs are dispensed at the acupuncturist and given as a tea or in a pill form. The tea or pill will contain several herbs, known as a formula).
Approved by the Texas Chiropractic Board (not the Texas Medical Board)
Qualifications: 100 hour computer course
No clinical experience
No training in Chinese Medical Theory
1 introductory nutrition course
(Many chiropractors become sales reps for nutraceutical/supplement companies. The herbal products tend to be expensive, long term and unhelpful in treatment of specific conditions))
Practiced by Chiropractors and Physical Therapists
Qualifications: 2 day weekend course
(This is controversial. It is called dry needling because it is not within the scope of practice of these practitioners to do acupuncture. However, they use acupuncture needles and an introductory acupuncture text book for training).
We often hear that imitation is the best compliment. So, it’s no surprise that the ancient medicine of Acupuncture and Herbs is being imitated by untrained practitioners. By misrepresenting their training though, practitioners are falsely representing the safety and the benefits of acupuncture. If you had acupuncture or dry needling from an untrained chiropractor or physical therapist and had a poor experience, know that these acupuncturists have no idea what they are doing. And if you had a good experience, then imagine how great it would be from a trained and licensed acupuncturist!
The good news is that the Texas Medical Board licenses Acupuncturist as both acupuncturists and herbalist too (Yes, it is in the scope of practice). Enjoy trying acupuncture and Chinese herbs. This ancient practice is growing in popularity because it works so well. You deserve the best care! With the right information you can get it.
About the Author:
Nena Watkins, Lac, received her Bachelor Degree in Chemistry from the University of Texas in Austin. She then moved to Seattle, Washington and received her Master Degree in Acupuncture from Bastyr University. Today, Nena practices in the Bishop Art neighborhood of Oak Cliff in Dallas, Texas.
Oak Cliff Acupunture Clinic is located at 208 S. Madison Ave, Dallas 75208
My name is Shari Davis and in July 2016 my sister Debbe Swantick was diagnosed with 3rd stage colon cancer. At the time she was uninsured and was sent to the county hospital for treatment. They started chemo and radiation immediately, and this was all they offered her. The cancer was very aggressive and progressed rapidly. She was experiencing many symptoms from the treatments and medication they were giving her, and we began to use CBD oil and essential oils to help alleviate her nausea and pain. I massaged her with frankincense, sandalwood, vetiver and Melaleuca oils to help with pain and inflammation. We also diffused the Frankincense throughout the day at home. After four months of enduring their treatments the cancer had spread to her liver and abdomen. They wanted to do more chemo to “buy her some time”. At this point she backed away from traditional medicine, as it didn’t seem to be helping her or making her symptoms more tolerable.
We turned to holistic remedies and treatments as an alternative. She felt and appreciated the benefits and relief that the essential oils gave her, and wanted them with her all the time. I began looking for a diffuser necklace, but couldn’t find one that was affordable. I decided to try my hand at making a diffuser necklace for both of us. They were pretty simplistic, but made with healing stones and a locket with a diffuser stone inside. They were durable and they worked great. People started asking about them and wanting one, and I started selling them, calling my business The Healing Charm. By word of mouth I made and sold enough to buy her essential oils, multiple ozone treatments, ozone infusions, lymph massages and many more holistic treatments to ease her pain and anxiety. I was lucky enough to be able to spend the last month of her life (day & night) with her along with her best friend.
Before she passed away on January 29th 2017, she told me that I needed to do something with The Healing Charm, as she thought this was my calling. However, I had to take a break for some time after she passed. Grief is hard to deal with and even harder to understand when you are in the midst of it all. In May 2018, the company I was working for was acquired by an international corporation and the management team was called in and handed a severance package. I was quite shocked and devastated, not knowing where to go from here. I had been a single mom for many years and was now taking care of my elderly mother. As I was going from interview to interview, I kept hearing my sister’s voice saying “pull out that jewelry and bring back The Healing Charm”.
Finally, I succumbed to my sister’s request. Now it is coming up on the 2nd anniversary of Debbe’s passing, I have made my business The Healing Charm official, and I am sharing my charms with all. I design and create unique diffuser bracelets, necklaces and earrings that allow you to diffuse your favorite essential oils all day long. I incorporate healing stones and gems in my pieces, they are all one of a kind, and made with quality materials. I also have extended my line to include some handmade fashion jewelry and unique gifts.
I hope everyone finds as much joy with their diffuser jewelry as my sister did. I miss her so much, but she has been with me every step of the way, and still is!
Note: Dallas Yoga Magazine loves this unique necklace. You can carry the ashes of your loved ones with you in these moisture proof beautiful vessels.
By: Bob Ferry, Tai Chi Instructor & Yoga Enthusiast
I was asked why you should go on a yoga retreat and my first thought was “because they are fun!”. Not to mention educational, relaxing, exciting, uplifting, and a great opportunity to meet like-minded members of your tribe. I have been to several retreats over that past few years and found them all rewarding. I have had the opportunity to discover other cultures and to experience deeply spiritual sites. I walked in the footsteps of my ancestors in Ireland and Scotland while experiencing ancient stone circles and the vibrations that still resonate from the ancient rituals. I have floated down the Ganges River with the Himalayan Mountains standing tall on both sides of me. I have walked through the ruins of Machu Picchu, totally amazed how the Mayans built up with their bare hands what we still can’t do today. I climbed to the top of the Crestone Ziggurat overlooking the mountain of the dragon and the Baca Grande valley. I relaxed at a tropical beach near Cancun and participated in daily yoga classes, not to mention experiencing some amazing and healthy meals. I have attended the annual Texas Yoga Retreat (now in its nineteenth year) several times. Held at an ashram outside of Austin, over a hundred participants experience ashram living and multiple classes with teachers sharing a variety of yoga styles and modalities.
The people that I have met on these journeys have been wonderful and I have made lifelong friends based on our shared experiences.
There are different types of yoga retreats you can find. Some last for many days and involve long airline flights and more travel. Some are much closer and may last just a weekend. What they all have in common is a commitment to providing the participants with an experience that will deepen their experience of yoga and meditation. The leaders of the retreat will try to provide you with all the things that are needed to make for a successful worry-free retreat, such as accommodations, transportation (once you are there), and meals. They also want to give the retreaters an experience that will resonate with them, opening a deeper understanding of the spiritual path that they are following.
Some retreats have specific themes, such as a writing retreat, an Ayurveda and yoga retreat, or a women’s only retreat. You can also find retreat centers where you can experience a solitary retreat in a wonderful area. An internet search of retreat centers around DFW shows several that you might be interested in. A scan of the events section of Facebook shows a few retreats being advertised, including retreats to Greece, Bali, and Thailand. Some of our local yoga studios offer retreats throughout the year.
After attending many retreats, I decided to organize a retreat to the spiritual community around Crestone Colorado. Me and my partner, Rica Potenz, have fallen in love with the beauty of this area and the spiritually charged energy it contains. We will be staying at the Joyful Journey Hot Springs Spa and visiting some of the over two dozen spiritual centers and communities in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains (that some say resemble a reclining dragon). Besides relaxing soaks in the healing hot springs water, we will include yoga,
qi gong, energy work, sound healing, dream interpretation, and hikes in the mountains. Contact me at email@example.com or Rica Potenz at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Whichever retreat you decide to join, your time, energy, and money will be well spent, and the benefits will remain long after you have returned home.
The Ten Bodies of Yoga are such important aspects of the practice and they often are over looked or those practicing yoga are not familiar with them. The more I study, practice and understand about yoga the more my practice grows. By incorporating the Ten Bodies of Yoga into your practice and life, you will find yourself moving forward into a new dimension of yoga. Now, if you are like me this is a slow process and some days I am flowing in a positive direction and other days I’m way off the path. It’s not about perfection…it’s about making mistakes and getting back on the path again. In this article we are going to cover the First Body to the Fifth Body and next month we will discuss the Sixth Body to the Tenth Body and the ultimate Eleventh Body.
“If you understand that you are Ten Bodies and you are aware of those Ten Bodies, and you keep them in balance, the whole Universe will be in balance with you.” Yogi Bhajan
What are the Ten Bodies?
The truth is that the human body is made up of ten bodies: the physical body, three mental bodies and six energy bodies. The eleventh embodiment is when all ten bodies are under your direction producing a pure state of consciousness when you have the ability to see all events as part of God’s plan and see God in everything.
You can visualize your various bodies as layers of clothing, the physical body being an overcoat you wear for a lifetime. We know we have a physical body; we can see it, touch it, and feel it. We also have other bodies that are equally real, if not more so. Here is a list of the Ten Bodies with an overview of the first five following.
First: Soul Body
Second: Negative Mind
Third: Positive Mind
Fourth: Neutral Mind
Fifth: Physical Mind
Sixth: Arc Line
Eighth: Pranic Body
Ninth: Subtle Body
Tenth: Radiant Body
First Body: Soul Body
This is the spark of the Infinite that resides in the core of your being. The qualities of this body include humility and creativity. You realize the eternal nature of your soul, so you naturally embody humility and creativity. Yogi Bhjan would say “Heart over Head” meaning when the head rules, the head and the heart are both wrong; when the heart rules, the head and the heart are both right. A person has mastered this when they come from a place of great humility. When each thought and action effortlessly flows with the natural creativity of the Universe. When we are imbalanced and weak, we are coming from the head instead of the heart. When we don’t nurture this body the tendency is to rely on the intellect instead of the intuition….head over heart. The key to balancing is a spiritual practice that empowers you to raise your consciousness (energy) and to open your heart to the Universe.
Second Body: Negative (Protective) Mind
This identifies with possible dangers or shortcomings in a situation. We express protective caution about the future and see the downside or pitfalls of every situation. The qualities involved are conservative containment, and discipline to the precarious. “Longing to Belong” is the perfect phrase to remember with the second body. Your soul longs to unite with the Infinite. Mastering this body will give form to the creativity of your Soul Body by developing the discernment to identify potential dangers and set protective boundaries. Because of the resulting sense of safety, your soul’s longing is satisfied by connecting deeply to its own God Self. If imbalanced and weak then we make poor choices in relationships and we are easily fooled and often can’t recognize danger. The key to balancing is to strengthen, exercise our discipline and develop relationships of integrity and feel deserving to defend ourselves. Find a person who is successful in their expression of enthusiasm, trust and hope and model yourself after them.
Third Body: Positive (Expansive Mind)
You elevate others through your enthusiastic, trusting and helpful energetic projection. Often people have the habit of flipping from one extreme to the other… “Devil or Devine.” The Master of this body will be effortlessly charismatic yet humble; naturally playful, optimistic and full of humor. These qualities inspire others to be positive about the future. If imbalanced then a person may become overwhelmed with negative thoughts, which can lead to depression, hopelessness, anger and/or intolerance. The key to balancing this body is to be more assertive, use positive affirmations and model the hopeful behaviors of those people with a strong positive projection.
Fourth Body: Neutral (Meditative) Mind
This body is not seduced by the positive or negative mind but stays in neutral territory of tranquility and non-emotional intuition. The Neutral Mind consists of service, compassion, integration, balance and wisdom. A key phrase to associate with the Neutral Mind is “Cup of Prayer.” There is no argument regarding its fullness or emptiness, just an appreciation of the gift of its existence. To master this one has to have a calm and clear perception of the essence of any situation; access to the emotionality, through development of the intuition and meditative mind. If one is weak in this area, then they feel victimized and have contradictory thoughts and emotions while lacking intuition. The key to balancing is learning to meditate and consciously choosing to drop argumentative behaviors and replacing them with the habit of calmness with clear and confident perception that flows from your meditation experiences.
Fifth Body: Physical Body
We all know what our physical body is but let’s take it one step further and look at it as the sacred, living, human form that houses the soul. This is where enlightenment and service to humanity are manifested. When in sync with this body we sacrifice, are balanced, and we have the strength and balance to guide and elevate others. “Balanced and Teach” is what we remember here. To master this body, we become a teacher who can explain anything to anyone. We have the ability to balance all parts of our life without extremes like laziness. Your physical body is the vehicle through which the other bodies find expression. If the Fifth Body is imbalanced, we are weak, angry, jealous, greedy, fatigued and ungrateful. We would show poor verbal expression. If this body is too strong then we are obsessive about our physical appearance, physical abilities and the material world. The key to balance this body is to develop a routine that keeps the body strong and flexible. Extend your energy to elevate others by teaching methods that support the health of the body, mind and spirit.
Summary: This is an overview of Bodies 1-5. Next month we will have Part II and we will discuss Bodies 1-10 and the 11th. Let’s all try to focus on implementing these bodies in our lives. But don’t try it all at once. Practicing one Body at a time is the best way to achieve success.
About the Author:
“AJ” Amy Jo Crowell is the Publisher of Dallas Yoga Magazine and Founder of Cosmic Yogi Movement and Festivals. She has her Masters in Business Administration and has been in advertising, marketing, publishing and large-scale even planning for 20 years. AJ printed a weekly entertainment guide throughout Texas for many years. She also taught inner city high school in Dallas where she implemented Peace Makers classes and taught the importance of acceptance, diversity and giving back to the community. She is a Best Selling Author on Amazon for her book “Loved Back to Life” a book focusing on recovery from addictions. AJ is also a certified Kundalini Yoga instructor and leads workshops and sound meditations with crystal singing bowls.
4 Simple Resolutions to Improve Your Yoga Practice
By: “AJ” Amy Jo Crowell, Publisher Dallas Yoga Magazine, Co-Founder of Cosmic Yogi Movement & Festivals and Certified Kundalini Instructor
Let’s begin this new year off on the right foot and make resolutions and commitments to ourselves to improve our yoga practices. It’s important to keep learning, growing and challenging ourselves as yogis. So here are 4 simple resolutions to help us move forward in a positive direction.
Try a new type of yoga every month.
Often, we get stuck in our comfort zone with the same class style and we don’t venture out to experiment with new styles, poses and breathing techniques. Trying something new expands your practice so you can learn and find new methods to enhance it. There are so many varieties of yogas it may be difficult for you to choose which one, but that’s alright because there are 12 months in 2019 so you can try quite a few new classes!
If you are into an athletic style of yoga that is fast-paced, then try the complete opposite of what you are used to. Yin Yoga is an example of a class that is very slow with long deep stretches and is very relaxing and at the same time increases your flexibility. Here are some other suggestions:
Kundalini Yoga: Intense Breathwork and Techniques
Aerial Yoga: It’s not just for girls! Hang upside down, sideways, and stretch further than you ever thought possible.
Acro Yoga: Bring a friend or your partner. This yoga combines fitness with the play of acrobatics, balance and healing.
Laughter Yoga: It’s just what it says. You laugh and laugh and it’s an incredible workout for your core and sides. It’s also sooooooo much fun!
Wall Yoga: Using straps and belts you hang on the wall in a variety of poses. It combines strength with balance and is a great way to lengthen your back muscles and spine.
Buti: This is a fast-paced asana class incorporating primal movements with loud upbeat music. It will help you get in touch with your feminine side.
Crazy Yoga Classes: Give one of the funky and fun classes a whirl. There are Yoga Classes with Happy Hour and others that glow in the dark. We can’t forget about Goat Yoga and Puppy Pilates. Even though these classes may seem really far fetched to you…it doesn’t matter! They are meant as ways to meet new friends, have fun, laugh and play.
Experience new teachers and studios
Of course, we all have our favorite yoga studio we will always be dedicated to and our favorite teachers but give new places and different teachers a try. Exploring new teachers and places can strengthen your practice. They may offer a different variation to your favorite pose or even a great modification. Each teacher has their own sequences and different sun salutations. You may learn a new breathing technique or tidbit of wisdom you can take back with you to your favorite studio and share. Realize the yoga world is a big place with many possibilities. Don’t get stuck…explore!
Learn or Master a new pose every month
It’s difficult to put a time frame on learning new poses. Some poses may come easy to you while others seem much more difficult. Before you begin to practice new poses learn the proper way. Often people see a pose and they jump into it without finding the safe and correct way of practicing it. After class, ask your teacher for help or take a private lesson. If it’s a difficult pose they will show you ways to learn it in small steps until your reach the full pose. Ask about using blocks, props and straps and study videos if necessary. Remember…practice, practice, practice!
Learn something new about the history of yoga regularly
The history of yoga is not only fascinating, but it will help you understand your practice more. Read books about gurus, swamis and India. They are filled with such wisdom and clarity you are sure to learn from their inspirational stories. One of the all time best selling autobiographies is Yogananda’s “The Autobiography of a Yogi”. It’s interesting, entertaining and insightful. We are fortunate to live in a time where there are many workshops, seminars and speakers about yoga. Find a seminar or even a book on the Eight Limbs of Yoga and start implementing them in your life. All yogis should be familiar with the Eight Limbs. Don’t wait to learn more…fly out of your net and expand your knowledge of yoga.
Most people don’t spend enough time meditating and this year is a great time to implement it more in our lives. Learning to meditate and go within ourselves is an important aspect of yoga and it tends to be left out in many practices. Even if you start with just 5 minutes of quite time a day then you have made a start. Reach out for help with your meditation practice. Once again, there are many classes, seminars and workshops available to assist beginners to the most advanced. Even if you meditate regularly and are a pro, we all can learn new techniques and expand our practice and knowledge. Once you have learned meditation and utilize it in your daily life, your yoga practice will change entirely…for the positive. You will be growing spiritually…the most sacred purpose of yoga.
About the Author:
“AJ” Amy Jo Crowell is the Publisher of Dallas Yoga Magazine and Co-Founder of Cosmic Yogi Movement & Festivals. She has been in advertising, marketing, publishing and large-scale event planning for over 20 years. She was also certified in Kundalini Yoga in Samadhi ashram in Rishikesh, India. AJ leads Kundalini workshops and sound meditations with crystal singing bowls. She is a Magnified Motivation Mentor and has been in recovery from addictions for over 30 years. AJ is also a co-host on Ken Goldberg’s Law and Disorder show on Tuesdays at 6pm (central time) aired on YouTube and Facebook LIVE.
By: Bipin Baloni is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India
Summary: Yoga is for all, and it is gaining popularity across the globe. Yoga has countless benefits and the traditional ancient system of health and wellness is one of the most popular trends across the globe. The holistic practice is the perfect way of finding balance as well as strengthening the body. Even older adults are garnering all its benefits, especially women above 60. Here are five very effective yoga poses for senior women.
Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
This is one of the simplest and easy asanas to practice and does a great job to correct and maintain good posture. The asana has a lot of benefits as it helps to become stronger, tones the lower body, improves digestion, enhances circulation, betters mobility, boosts body energy, reduces stress and tension level and steadies breathing.
Stand straight on the floor with hands placed beside the body and legs slightly apart.
Now strengthen the legs while keeping the spine erect, and then lift the body slowly and stand on your toes.
At the same time look slightly upward, and also raise the hands upward overhead and join them in Anjali Mudra.
Ensure that the body balance and weight are shifted to your toes, and you need to stay in the pose for 15-30 seconds.
Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend Pose)
An amazing pose that combats stress and depression, makes you sleep better, wards off fatigue and prepares the body to deal with the issues of menopause. Paschimotta
nasana provides great stretch to the lower back, spine and hamstring, calms the mind, eases anxiety, ignites a digestive fire and enhances the functioning of the ovaries, uterus, liver and kidneys.
Sit straight on the floor with hands beside the body and legs stretched out in front of you with toes flexed towards you.
Breathe in and raise your arms upward over the head giving a good stretch to the body.
Breathe out and bend forward folding from the hip joint and try to touch the toes with the hands.
Breathe normally and stay in the pose for 30-40 seconds.
Balasana (Child’s Pose)
A restorative relaxing pose, Balasana induces a sense of calmness in the body and mind. The pose helps in handling menopause in a better way, improves digestion, releases tension, alleviates anxiety and stress, improves circulation and strengthens the spine, etc.
Kneel down on the floor with the feet together and hands placed beside the body.
Now spread the knees hip-width apart, and then pull the torso down and sit on your heels placing the hips over it.
Inhale and raise the arms upward over the head, exhale and bend your torso forward folding from the hip joint.
Your abdomen should be placed on the thighs, hands in front of you and forehead touching the floor.
Hold the pose for as long as you can.
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
A great pose that lets you take care of your legs, hands, joints, and back. Baddha Konasana targets the body areas that are more susceptible to aches and pains. Practicing the pose regularly strengthens the lower back, soothes menopausal complaints, improves digestion, eases sciatica, reduces stress and fatigue, etc.
Sit straight on the floor with legs stretched out in front of you and hands placed freely besides the body.
Now fold the knees outward joining the sole of feet and then hold the feet with your hands.
Bring the feet closer to the pelvic region and ensure that the edges of the feet touch the ground.
Stay in the pose for a while and then flip the thighs while inhaling and exhaling for a minute or more.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Another easy yoga asana for women above 60, Cobra pose gives a good stretch to the muscles and strengthens them. The pose releases back stiffness, enhances flexibility, soothes menopausal issues, elevates mood, reduces stress, tones the body and bestows other benefits.
Lie flat on the floor on your stomach with legs together and hands beside the body.
Now slide your hands in front and bring it up to the shoulder level.
Inhale, with the support of your hands lift the torso up off the floor, and slightly raise the head backward.
Do not bend the arms, arch the back, and hold the pose for 30-60 seconds.
End the session with Savasana, the sequel calms and clears the mind, and improves the functioning of the body. If you start a regular practice of these poses will step into a happy and healthy “seniorhood.”
Bipin Baloni is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India. He provides Yoga Teacher Training Nepal. He loves writing and reading books related to yoga, health, nature and the Himalayas.
By: Marie Williams, Writer Dallas Yoga Magazine & Yoga Enthusiast
Everyone desires to be successful in life, but few really understand the process by which to follow to achieve it. Most success involves an eventual destination, somewhere we hope to end up. This destination will include roles we may play along the way, desires we hold close and individuals we meet on our journey to guide us. Our destinations usually start with some sort of vision we have. Since there are so many parts to our journey, it becomes multi-faceted. In retrospect, such a journey requires a multi-faceted vision.
In the book, Visioneering: God’s Blueprint for Developing and Maintaining Vision, author Andy Stanley talks about how visioneering is the path an individual follows to make his/her dreams become a reality. It is a process by which ideas and convictions take an identity. Initially, visioneering is the engineering of a vision.
Within the last seven months, I have had a vision to start my own business involving affiliate online marketing where all my networking and communication is done using my smartphone, tablet and laptop. My grandest desire is to help others discover their gifts and upon doing this, tap into their truest and purest potential to become the best version of themselves. I am also using my blog site as a way to promote both myself and my brand on social media. My blog site content is derived from mindset books I am currently reading or have read in the last year. I am also a magazine subscriber and read Yoga Journal each month to find articles I like that compliment a holistic lifestyle I feel will resonate with my readers and viewers. Through the use of social media and typed up content, I envision myself changing people’s lives on a global level from the inside out, while becoming a social media phenomenon.
Visioneering has many components to it and each one plays a significant part in this process of achieving success. Each part can be thought of as necessary “building blocks” that help an individual complete one part at a time. If visioneering were thought of in the way of a formula, it would look something like this:
Inspiration can start when a single thought pulls at us and stays on our minds. This inspiration starts developing as a belief that we can do whatever it is we have set our minds to and through this belief, we become convicted or moved by such faith in what we can do. This conviction then compels us to act. Our actions, when done consistently, provide the determination needed to work on the vision to see it through. Completion is the final result of all these “blocks” that produce success over time.
Vision also encompasses being able to see where we desire to end up. We should be able to look past what actually “is” and visualize images of what could be or what could be manifested in our lives. However, this vision must be clear because if it is not, we may come to the end of our lives wondering what all we could have or should have done. We may even wonder if our lives mattered at all. One of the good things about a vision is that it gives significance to what would otherwise be meaningless details of our lives. It helps to bring our lives into focus by bringing order to chaos. A clear vision allows us to see everything from a different perspective.
There are four key elements that must be a part of a vision; these factors help to evoke emotion and they are passion, motivation, direction and purpose.
Passion stems from a clear, precise vision that when executed, allows us to experience all the emotions associated with our predicted future outcome. All these emotions reiterate our commitment to the vision based on what we can visualize ourselves doing or where we see ourselves going. These feelings are eventually channeled back into our present reality. Feelings are powerful and compelling, but we must remember they are just a form of energy passing through us that we can either choose to attach or detach from. The clearer the vision, the stronger the emotion coupled with it.
Any vision provides motivation, or the urge to follow through with a specific plan. Vision-driven people stand out because these individuals include all details from the mundane to the most important in the process. They cannot wait to get started and they see the planning aspect as something fun, not actual work. Vision can also serve as motivation to even get things done, such as finishing college, graduate school or acquiring a new job. These are all big milestones in which an individual should be focused. The end goal would hopefully lead to possible jobs and future careers.
Before a vision can take flight, an individual must have a direction they desire to go in, so they can carry out the vision. The direction will then serve as a road map to guide the person with all decision-making concerning the established vision. Anything or anyone who moves us closer to accomplishing the vision gets approval. Anyone or anything that does not help us should be either eliminated or approached with caution.
Vision also helps us to prioritize our values, while helping us determine any distractions that would hold us back. We are able to redefine our lifestyles and adjust our schedules to fit so that everything balances out.
Our vision should give us purpose, a reason to get up and start moving towards progress. If we do not show up, things will not get done and lives cannot be impacted. A good example is my current job at the community college I have been working at for six years now. Four days a week, I am blessed to be able to help students improve their grammar, punctuation, vocabulary and critical thinking skills in the subjects of English Composition I and II, History, Psychology and Government. Being a part of their academic journey inspires me to work just as hard as they do to start up my own online business. I am encouraged when my students tell me I am making a difference in their lives because I helped them improve their writing ability or was a significant factor in their making an A on a paper. My passion for my work further fuels my own vision of becoming an entrepreneur. My work at the college serves the purpose of helping my students become the best versions of themselves in preparation to attend college after graduation.
All visions are born in the souls of men and women who are filled with thoughts of what currently is and what could be. Anyone emotionally involved who fills things could be improved in any way, including in their own lives, is a candidate for a vision. Visions are birthed in the minds and hearts of those dissatisfied with the status quo or desiring to see significant change in their lives. They are a preferred future, a way of life. Visions demand change and push an individual to exceed well beyond his/her perceived limitations, but most importantly, require courage to act on bold ideas.
Just seven months ago, I was financially struggling and growing more frustrated and discouraged by the month. It had become difficult to take care of monthly financial obligations and I felt like everything was overwhelming me involving money.
I talked to a close friend about the difficulty I was having, and she told me about a new business idea she felt aligned with she was excited about starting. Every time my friend talked about the new business concept, her eyes glowed and her passion seemed to be oozing out in her words. I could not help but wonder what she was doing to change the course of her income and how she thought about money.
My friend and I would meet at Starbucks to discuss the questions I had about starting this online marketing business. She would text me tools or ideas she was exploring about new business concepts so foreign to me. With both her persistence and encouragement, I began watching webinars, which broke down the business concepts and provided personal testimonials of people already thriving in this business. She connected me to her personal contacts whom have become some of my closest friends I consistently stay in touch with today. Finally, my friend discussed with me the power of shifting my mindset. I did this before I fully decided to commit to start a new journey to become an entrepreneur and wear a different hat as a businesswoman. Through the mindset shift, my vision of having my own business to live abundantly has never felt more possible! This just goes to show that timing is everything when beginning a new adventure and going down an unexpected path!
Establishing a vision for our lives takes time and can sometimes be a painful and uncomfortable experience. Due to the time needed to be put towards the vision and the manifestation involved, the process itself yields a beautiful product that is worth all the hours, days, weeks, months and years that are worth such a sacrifice.
Timing is everything and at the beginning of a vision, there is a tendency to be so involved and obsessed to the point of moving too soon, instead of waiting for the clarity to make the best decision and allowing things to fall in place naturally. The online affiliate marketing business is my biggest and grandest vision yet! Based on where I am at in my life financially and the fact that my other areas of employment are all encompassed in my business platform, now is the perfect time to take a leap of faith on something I really feel aligned with and watch myself and my life transform into something magnificent!
In order for a vision to truly take flight, it first starts as an idea in our minds we cannot stop thinking about! Time allows us to identify between both good or bad ideas/thoughts linked to the vision. Patience gives us a chance to identify any and all feelings that surface and examine these emotions to see how they will factor into our vision. Then there is society, which can be tough and even cruel towards a vision, especially when these people do not understand the premise behind the vision. Visions involve change and most of the time, change is not welcomed because it serves as an interruption to what is expected or familiar. Visions can only survive if they are mature and healthy before exposure to cynicism, criticism, a stubborn environment and negative energy. These characteristics will quickly damage or possibly wipe out any premature vision.
As our vision matures, we should be maturing as well. This maturity could mean talking with a mentor either professionally licensed in the areas we are desiring to cast the vision or close friends who are already experiencing success and growth within their visions. Finally, we mature from experiences we have from our mistakes that can serve to teach us what we may be missing so that we learn from these mistakes and turn them into positive gains that help us grow.
There is usually some investigation or research needed before implementing parts of the vision. Asking the right questions to gather necessary information, doing independent research online and taking notes, watching webinars and attending lectures on topics of interest are all great ways to dive in and for an individual to start educating his/herself on what he/she might need to carry out his/her vision.
Before a vision can come alive, a person needs to feel assured and confident in what he/she is desiring to undertake. Prayer is a powerful way to connect to the Universe for granted requests as well as clarification about what direction to move in regarding the vision and wisdom concerning decisions needing to be made.
When I truly committed to the reality of starting my own online business, suddenly going into business for myself became larger than life! I knew I needed more wisdom than I currently had about something I had never done that seven months ago, seemed crazy! Each day after I woke up and at night before I fell asleep, I talked to the Universe about my visions (which were actually dreams) I was having about the business. I needed the Universe to reveal to me what these dreams meant. By consistently praying daily, the Universe not only provided me excellent knowledge, but helped me focus on the mindset shift needed to start up the online business.
Prayer is critical to vision development because it allows us to see exactly what we are searching for. It keeps our eyes and hearts in a mode of expectancy because we are certain of the Universe’s divine intervention. Prayer makes us sensitive to subtle changes involving the situations connected to the vision. Once the Universe moves on our behalf, we recognize its presence and at that point, we can rest assured if we remain optimistic and full of positive energy, we will not miss future opportunities centered around the progress of our vision. Therefore, we need to pray for the Universe to grant us more chances to connect on deeper levels with our vision. Lastly, our prayers should be focused on what we determine needs to happen in order to get our vision off the ground. We also need to pray for the individuals involved who have the power, resources and influences to help make our vision a reality.
No successful vision can be accomplished without some type of planning. The type of planning I am referring to is strategical planning, where careful thought is given to what needs to be done in preparation, how the process might be carried out and tactical decisions that may need to be made concerning money, overall time spent and networking to get specific people connected to the vision. The idea here is to develop some sort of plan, even if it fails or does not quite fit. Plans can be adjusted as the vision unfolds and often, they will need to be because it is not easy to have a perfect plan when executing a vision.
Before I knew I would be launching my own online marketing business, I had to seriously think about what my business platforms would be, meaning what services could I offer potential clients?
It did not take me long to figure this out. I immediately wrote out a two-page business platform and met my good friend over tea to discuss it. She liked it and thought it was brilliant! I came up with the platform in a matter of hours, based off of what I am passionate about, which is helping people discover their true gifts and using those gifts to tap into their truest and purest potential. Then, another idea came to me: create my own blog site and use articles from Yoga Journal and mindset books I have read to create blog posts over interesting topics people would want to know about.
I created my own blog site within three days with the help of an e-book I stumbled across on WordPress and set about creating content. That was back in September. Within three months, I had quickly blogged 50 posts over various subjects! The key to great blogging is to keep all the material fresh, interesting and up to date.
I had never done Facebook Lives, but knew I needed to make some kind of visual connection. I was scared to get behind the little screen on my iPhone and talk. Who would want to listen to me? Was my presence worth it? How would I talk without letting my nerves get in the way? All these questions hit me at once, but I also knew that I desired to become a social media phenomenon and someone everyone could connect to in their own way. I gave my first Facebook Live video in August. After getting past the initial shock, I decided to give two Lives at month, each for 30 minutes on one or two topics that were relevant to my life I thought others could relate to. I did not get as many views, but my putting myself out there through a live video, I made my presence known.
My plan came together rapidly and as my creative spark started to ignite all sorts of great ideas, I wrote every one of them down on paper. Afterwards, I reviewed my ideas, often tweaking my notes, usually adding something. My friend and I discussed all my ideas, sometimes through text. I read an e-book in a matter of weeks before designing my blog site in three days, which I had never done before. I designed new content as it came to me. I also searched for and found professional development courses to watch over subjects I never studied in school and did not have a degree or background in: content marketing, advertising, personal branding, business writing/blogging and tax law for small businesses. These are just a series of the things I felt I needed to do in seven months to adequately equip me to go independent in launching a vision I feel aligned with.
There are good ideas and then there are ideas from the Universe. If we are only pursuing a “good idea,” then most of our time will be spent devoting effort trying to figure out how to pull it off. On the contrary, a divine vision is limited only by the Universe’s potential and resources. Anything is possible! This vision keeps us focused because it is a reminder of our depending on the Universe. Those individuals with a vision live with a certain sense of expectancy. They look to the Universe to show up and perform. They lean into that “gap of uncertainty” believing something great will happen. These types of people are referred to as visionaries. Visionaries see themselves contributing to society. They look for every opportunity to move and shake things up! They are not satisfied with the status quo. I consider myself a visionary.
In order to be convincing, we must be able to state any problems associated with our vision along with solutions as well. The problems are usually apparent, but not always easy to address. Solutions usually come later after trial and error has occurred. A vision must also include compelling reasons why the urgency to complete it is important. In my case, I desire to have more income to not only pay my bills, but to travel with and spend on other things I desire, rather than on what I need to have each month. I desire to re-create a luxury lifestyle that fits who I am and live life by my design.
One thing that I bear in mind is that my vision is not my problem; it is actually a solution to a problem I have had for several years now and that is not having enough income to pay my bills and to enjoy later on. The problem should provide a clear context for setting up the vision.
Another solution is that my business can be run and operated from my laptop, smartphone or tablet, all of which would allow me to work from home. My vision of operating my own business allows me to imagine my future in a unique way that will bring about change right now! By sharing my vision with others as I work towards putting it into motion, I am engaging these individuals’ imaginations as well.
The process by which a vision starts in the mind is truly fascinating! My reason behind what could be with this online business moves me to believe that it should be. Having crossed this line, I am committed to jumping in! I am passionate about taking a leap of faith and some risks to acquire something worth the investment in both the business and myself! I find I am getting more energized by the mere thought of a great opportunity sitting before me! This urgency translates into the incentive to live an abundant life and truly thrive in ways I never expected possible! One other factor that is so important is all the inner work I have done over the last seven months to summon up the courage to start something bold and new I believe in!
Stanley feels the majority of the visions we cast will be centered around other people and their futures. He says our “…words can help to point people in a direction because they work to plant mental seeds…” (110). Our words can make or break someone else’s self-image. In turn, every relationship we establish can be grounds for a potential vision-casting opportunity. “The position we hold in other people’s lives determines the weight of our words and our potential to shape their future” (110).
Any vision worth going after will require great sacrifice and risks taken. An individual must be willing to leave the all-too-familiar and comfortable behind so he/she can embrace the unfamiliar and uncomfortable. Of course, there is the nagging thought that the vision itself we are investing so much time and ourselves into may not work out, but this is sort of the point! We will not know whether or not our vision will work unless we are willing to make the honest effort to try! In addition, both the risk and the payoff later far outweigh the present feelings of fear and uncertainty.
In regards to launching out on my own independently, I am nervous about getting involved in business I have no current background in. I do not know what will happen, but I am excited to find out because by starting my own business, I have so many great opportunities to expand the business once it gets going and grow into a new and improved version of myself! I consider myself a confident individual after not having any confidence until the age of 25, but confidence actually comes after we have done something and we see the results of our efforts. Any vision requires a person to venture out into unknown territory as if they were absolutely sure of an outcome. No vision can become a reality until someone is willing to jump in and wholeheartedly commit with everything they have, both internally and externally. The risk factors will be there, but he who shrinks back will never know what could have truly been for fear of failure or worse, never even having had the courage to try.
I have to admit that I have no idea where the money is coming from concerning my online marketing business; I am just continuing to trust I will have what I need to get it going and keep it running efficiently each month so that I can maintain consistency throughout this process of starting up something new.
Apparently, money usually follows vision and the way we handle our money is an indicator of where our hearts are. The success of my latest online business venture depends upon others’ willingness to rally and help me out where and when I need it, serving as mentors and guides as I learn and grow into an entrepreneur. As an employee team leader at work involving collegiate tutoring, I cannot expect to lead people any further than I am willing to go myself; moreover, I cannot cast a vision out to people if I am not courageous enough to take risks and make any sacrifices myself.
Stanley feels it “…it is hypocritical to ask anyone else to take a risk we are not willing to take ourselves…” (134). By moving forward, the vision becomes a part of us and as we carry out these sacrifices we have made, our ability or potential to lead others in our direction increases. Unfortunately, if we sink back into our limiting beliefs, doubts and any negative feelings that surface, we will always be wondering or guessing what could have happened if only we had the courage to face our fear and go for it!
As a visionary, I know this business will impact my life in so many wonderful ways! Although I am a little bit nervous as to what awaits me once I make the transition, I am excited to become a part of an online business community where I can creatively shine, bless others and work with other bright and like-minded individuals. This business is heart-centered and my first apprenticeship. I joyously embrace such an opportunity granted me by the Universe!
About the Author:
Contributing Writer and Advertising Representative of Dallas Yoga Magazine, Marie Williams, is a dedicated yoga practitioner who specializes in the genres of both narrative nonfiction writing and profiling. She enjoys taking her yoga experiences and infusing them with vivid imagery and detail to invoke a deeper connection within her readers. Marie’s passion is to focus primarily on both her yoga and meditation journey in her articles, while giving her readers fresh and unique perspectives about life.
Contact her by e-mail at email@example.com or by cell at 214.215.8120. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram as littlestblackswan37.