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Beyond The OM
Taking your Yoga Practice Beyond the OM 

It’s one thing to find a sense of tranquillity in a yoga studio, surrounded by beautiful pictures and statues, relaxing music in the background and the soothing sound of a teacher's voice guiding you through relaxation. But what happens afterwards?
How do we take what we have learned in class and apply it to our life off the mat, or do we fall back into old habits like getting annoyed with fellow drivers, frazzled about deadlines at work, or cranky with coworkers & family?
As yogis, we have the opportunity every time we practice to learn something new about ourselves and the way we move, think, act and breathe. We can have some incredible “ohhhh” moments during class but the real benefits come when we can take those moments with us outside of the studio.
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But 1st I Will Make You Strong 
It is a natural part of being, that our lives sometimes contract before expanding.

Sometimes our lives contract before they expand. We may be working hard on ourselves spiritually, doing good in the world, following our dreams, and wondering why we are still facing constrictions of all kinds -- financial, emotional, physical. Perhaps we even feel as if we've lost our spirituality and are stuck in a dark room with no windows. We may be confused and discouraged by what appears to be a lack of progress. But sometimes this is the way things work. Like a caterpillar that confines itself to a tiny cocoon before it grows wings and flies, we are experiencing the darkness before the dawn.

When things feel tight, it's easy to panic or want to act in some way to ease the feeling of constriction. We might also spin our wheels mentally, trying to understand why things are the way they are. However, there is nothing we need to do at this time other than to be patient and persevering. We can cling to the awareness that we are processing the shift from one stage to another, and the more we surrender to the experience, the more quickly we will move through the tightness into the opening on the other side. Just like a baby making its way down the birth canal, we may feel squeezed and pushed and very uncomfortable, but if we remember that we are on our way to being born into a new reality, we will find the strength to carry on.

Even as we endure the contractions, we can find peace within ourselves if we remember to trust the universe. We can look to the natural world for inspiration as we see that all beings surrender to the process of being born. In that surrender, and in the center of our own hearts, is a willingness to trust in the unknown as we make our way through the opening.


By using your breath and your voice with chanting, you raise the level of your own vibration to a higher spiritual state.

In many cultures and civilizations, chanting, a form of vocal meditation, has endured through the ages. Practiced by many people around the world seeking greater health, a sense of well-being, enlightenment, and a connection to the divine, chanting unites the mind, body, emotions, and breath through vocal sounding. This unification can open and nurture your creativity, lower stress levels, and teach you to become fully alert and in the moment.

Some people are naturally drawn to chant while others feel awkward using their voices in such a way. I was always one of those people.  Singing along with recorded chants before chanting on your own can help dispel any nervousness. However, the chanting that will resonate most deeply and beneficially for you is the chanting you do for yourself. There are many different chants. They can be composed of names, words, sounds, syllables, or even sections of text. What you chant is less important than your willingness to focus fully on the act of chanting itself. To begin, sit comfortably with a straight back and take a series of long, deep breaths to open and flex your lungs. Then, take another breath, and with resonant tones direct your breath outward in the form of sound. Simple syllables like 'oh,' 'ee,' or 'mm' are easy to remember. The universal sound of OM (sounds like AUUUMMM) is a powerful way to start. Take a deep inhale, and as you exhale simply OOOOOMMMM.

Chanting lets you raise the level of your own vibration to a higher spiritual state. You can chant as an invocation or to set intention. Reciting even the simplest chant can bolster a flagging spirit, hone the mind, and produce natural painkillers within the brain. Use the following simple yet powerful seed sound chants to open up your Chakras.
Muladhara/Root - Lam
Swadhistana/Sacral - Vam
Manipura/Solar Plexus - Ram
Anahata/Heart - Yam
Vissudha/Throat - Ham
Ajna/Third Eye - Om
*There is no specific chant for the Crown Chakra, the best connection is simply your breath.

While chanting, you may feel energy surging through your physical body or joy entering your heart. Chanting can liberate and ground you simultaneously because it allows your soul to soar freely while compelling you to focus on the here and now.


Starting from Empty
Live your life as if your glass is half-full rather than half-empty, all you need is a change of thought.

We are all familiar with the metaphorical story of two people looking at the same glass and one perceiving it as half-full while the other sees it as half-empty. As much as we've heard this, it's still a valuable exercise to really observe our minds and notice whether we are engaged in half-full or half-empty thinking. People will refer to themselves as being of one type or the other as if it was a permanent characteristic, but we are all capable of shifting into a half-full consciousness if we simply make the effort.

When we look at our lives with half-empty consciousness, we perceive a lack and think that the other half of what we want is missing. We are coming from a position of expectation and entitlement. On the other hand, when we look at our lives as half-full we perceive fullness. It is as if we recognize that our cup could be fully empty and so we are grateful for what we see as bounty -- not something we expect or believe we are owed, but a gift. In half-full consciousness, we count our blessings. When we look at our lives we see all the elements that are in place and all the things we do have. This doesn't necessarily mean we don't seek more, but we seek from a place of fullness instead of from a place of lack. This fullness draws positive energy into our lives and often attracts more abundance.

If you would like to begin to make the shift into half-full consciousness, try imagining your life as an empty glass. This is your life without all the people you know, the work you do, your home, or your current state of physical wellbeing. This is just an empty, open space waiting to be filled. Once you have that feeling of openness in your mind, begin filling it with all the people, things, and places that make up your life. You may be surprised to find your glass overflowing.

What She Said

Lourdes has the ability/skill to bring peace into any room and convince you the same peace is within you.

Monica S.
Orlando, FL 

Lourdes has the ability to innately spark creativity within you that you didn't even know existed.
Aimee V.
Los Angeles, CA

Lourdes is a beautiful soul whose Love & Light ease you into your own place of peace
Barbara M
New York, NY
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I pray you have eyes that see the best, a mind that forgets the bad, a heart that forgives the worst & a soul that never loses faith in God,
Namaste... YogiLou