Hollow Easter Eggs, or Solid?

Are Easter Eggs meant to be hollow or solid? Surely those tiny Cadbury chocolate eggs filled with creamy milk chocolate are the reason why we celebrate Easter? Uh-oh!

Well, personally I like cracking those big hollow Easter eggs. I remember that I was  taught to crack it by holding the egg and smacking it on my head. Probably not the best way to crack it open but that certainly made it amusing for kids. I also love the crunch to the hollow egg pieces.

But that’s not the reason why Easter eggs SHOULD BE HOLLOW.

The custom of giving EGGS at Easter celebrates new life. Christians remember that Jesus, after dying in the cross, rose from the dead. By dying on the cross and rising from the dead, Jesus hire our sins and offers those who believe in him and accept him as Saviour, salvation and eternal life.

For Christians the egg is a symbol of Jesus’ resurrection, as when they are cracked open they stand for the EMPTY TOMB.

I’m not sure how many people know this, let alone the real meaning of Easter. So this year, I made it a mission to make it known by making Easter packs with hollow eggs and yummy mini Knopper wafers for my Holy Yoga students!

(Of course, I would commission my favourite person in the world, the world’s best dad to help me with them!)

My students at the seniors school absolutely loved them! I was honoured to bless this way and as usual, their smiles bless me.

 

 

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32 days into Lent | Lent 2016

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During this season of Lent I chose not to just ‘give UP’ coffee (my daily routine and comfort), I chose to ‘give IN’ to Jesus. 32 days it has been and it hasn’t been easy.

  1. What was the goal? To feel a deeper connection with Christ and feel a transformation, helping me learn to replace my ‘willpower’ with a ‘willingness’ to follow.
  2. How have I been feeling in the past 32 days? Oscillating between {frustration and self-righteousness} AND {empowered and needing God’s grace}
  3. How am I feeling now? CHALLENGED but as always, peaceful.
  4. Has it transformed me? Not yet. Not in a way that I had hoped.
  5. Why not? There’s still a voice in my head playing that ‘I’ can do it. Pride is still lingering in me. I am falling short and I want to feel completely humbled.
  6. What am I going do then? Keep praying, holding in faith, keep praying.

Jesus, it is YOU who gives me strength. Not my own doing. Help me and build me to let this Truth sink in over the last 8 days of Lent.

I CAN, I WILL #powerbyGod

 

20160310_I Can, I WillWe now are midway through Lent^.

This year is my first attempt at ‘fasting’.  Well, to be exact “coffee- fasting”.  It has taken me 3 years to even attempt at ‘giving up’ something for this season.

Have you ever been through the motions of ‘giving up’ something?  What was it like?  Did you rely on your willpower alone?  Or did you anchor your reliance to ‘give up’ on something or someone?  In the end, does it matter how you did it or just the fact that you did it?  Is it more about reaching the end or the journey through it?

For me, through this season, it’s the journey and the transformation that matters most.

“I can, I will.” means NOTHING, yes NOTHING, if not anchored in Jesus.  #poweredbyGod

Do you have a story to share for this season?

^Source – Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lent
Lent (Latin: Quadragesima; English: Fortieth) is a solemn religious observance in the liturgical calendar of many Christian denominations that begins on Ash Wednesday and covers a period of approximately six weeks before Easter Sunday. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayer, penance, repentance of sins, almsgiving,atonement, and self-denial.

During Lent, many Christians commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence. Many Christians also add a Lenten spiritual discipline, such as reading a daily devotional, to draw themselves near to God.

Lent is traditionally described as lasting for 40 days, in commemoration of the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert, according to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, before beginning his public ministry, after which he endured temptation by the Devil.[8][9] In most of the West, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. However, various Christian denominationscalculate its length differently

Love Someone You Find Hardest to Love

It’s always easier to love those whom we find loveable. But Jesus teaches us (or dare I say “challenges” us) to not just love those whom you find loveable.

We’ve all heard it. Love thy neighbour as you love yourself. Even when it’s hard.
Challenge yourself and see how your heart, mind and soul grows!

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Isn’t it so easy to love that cute baby who’s cooing and giggling?  But it’s not so easy to love him/her the same way when he/she’s screaming in the middle of the night for ‘who-knows-why’ when you’re already sleep deprived.   Parents out there, give me a ‘yes’?!

And this, was a gentle example.  Need I go in deeper?

You are built with love, to love, for love and in love.  So, it becomes a perpetuating cycle if you hold back on loving someone even if they are hard to love.  In fact, the most liberating thing is to love, even when it’s hardest.

LOVE and FORGIVENESS go hand in hand.  You were created to be able to do both.  Now go ahead and do it.  Make it today.

Yoga for Bulimia | Yoga Therapy

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[Edit: A few readers have been curious as to what inspired this post.  Usually for all my other therapy posts, I have a little blurb to introduce it.  And for this post, I had originally left it blank.  Why?  Because I wasn’t so sure I was comfortable in publicly posting this where it will be forever shared on the Internet.  Because I still carry a shadow of shame for my years suffering from bulimia and body image issues.  So I decided to leave it blank.  I’m not lying if I’m not saying, right?
But with a sigh of relief, I’ve been encouraged to share this.  I did. I was once a sufferer of both anorexia and then, recovering from that, bulimia.  On and off for 10 years.  But God worked His miracles, as He always does and He healed me.  Healing wasn’t easy but if you believe it will happen, it will.
Now that I’ve revealed this.  I can probably conjure up enough courage to share a little more but in another post.  All this post is about is how Holy Yoga CAN actually help in the journey of eating order recovery. And yes, I know how this feels.]
SPECIFIC ISSUE
BulimiaTHE BENEFITS OF YOGA FOR THIS ISSUE (SYMPTOM CONTROL)

Particularly for sufferers of eating disorders, yoga can help relieve and bring healing to the sufferers.  Here we narrow the study into Bulimics – characterised by those who consuming large amounts of foods in a short amount of time, following by ‘purging’ either through self-induced vomiting or the use of laxatives, commonly resulting from an overwhelming sense of guilt and fear of gaining weight after the excessive food intake.  Bulimics are frequently associated with other mental disorders such as anxiety and depression.
A *study carried out in Australia showed that bulimics who engaged in a 12-week yoga program self-reported reductions in binge eating and increased their physical activity, and a small number of them saw reductions in BMI.
Firstly, the spiritual benefits of Holy Yoga for relieving bulimic tendencies is to help the sufferers find peace and comfort in Christ.  Starting from this pivotal change in belief can help bulimics realise or reduce the need to ‘purge’ after a binge-eating session through acceptance.  From there, they may find it easy to start relying on God’s grace and love for comfort in lieu of the need a ‘binge’ for comfort and satisfaction.
Different breathing techniques adapted to individual circumstances can help the sufferer learn to cope with anxiety.  Through deep breathing, which sends signals to the brain for the body to relax, it gives the sufferers an opportunity to reflect and face the root causes of their eating disorder instead of escaping them.  By addressing the deep-seated issues which are causing the disorders does the sufferer stand a chance of healing and recovering in a sustainable way.
Deep stretching and staying in a certain challenging yoga poses can help bulimics understand and deal with managing temptation.  By training the brain and body to find ways of adapting to a challenging situation, a bulimic can learn the techniques and coping mechanisms to manage the next bout of ‘binge’ temptation.

Most importantly, Holy Yoga promotes the importance of handing over the willingness to be healed over to God than the ‘willpower’ of our selves to change the habit, addiction or disorder.  Perhaps that willpower was the very culprit that got the bulimic into the disorder in the first place.  So, trusting the willpower is a risky choice.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

1. If diagnosed by medical practitioner as to having low blood pressure, avoid any reclining positions.
2. If suffering from reflux, avoid any poses that inverts the upper body such as standing forward fold.

3. If BMI is under a healthy range and protruding bones are causing pain in certain poses, seek advice from yoga therapist on how to modify poses or whether it is safe to participate.

15-30 MINUTE FLOW

1. Easy seated (Somatic Method -> Listen to your breath, Watch your belly rise and fall, Lengthen and deepen breaths)
2. Double pigeon -> Fold forward (Left & Right)
3. Easy seated (Somatic Method -> Clench fists/Release, Shrug shoulders/Relax ->  1 set of breath each -> Feel the difference)
4. Seated forward fold (Stay for 5 sets of breaths and resist temptation to ‘get out of the pose’)
5. Seated Open A (Stay for 5 sets of breaths and resist temptation to ‘get out of the pose’)
6. Bow pose (Open up the heart and chest and release any feelings of shame, guilt or anxiety)
7. Extended Childs Pose (Somatic Method -> Don’t ‘try’ just relax -> Imagery on the words ’surrender’ & ‘embracing’)
8. Hero Pose (Somatic Method -> Eyes closed and listen only for 3 sets of breaths)
9. Reclined Hero

10. Final resting in Reclining Supported Bound Angle (rolled up mat underneath the back at the bottom of the ribs but above the lumbar)

SOURCES & RESEARCH

  1. http://www.yogajournal.com/article/eating-disorders/truth-yoga-eating-disorders/
  2. http://www.sonima.com/yoga/yoga-eating-disorders/
  3. http://www.empowher.com/bulimia-nervosa/content/anorexics-bulimics-binge-eaters-yoga-can-help-studies-say
  4. *Study – 2009 School of Health and Social Development, Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing and Behavioural Sciences, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Victoria 3125, Australia- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19632546
  5. http://www.researchgate.net/publication/245537044_A_systematic_review_of_physical_therapy_interventions_for_patients_with_anorexia_and_bulemia_nervosa
  6. http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6070/How-Yoga-Helped-Me-Recover-From-an-Eating-Disorder.html

*Disclaimer:
These suggestions offered in the Holy Yoga With LoveJosephine yoga classes or therapy programs on www.lovejosephine.com are not intended to replace medical recommendations by your medical practitioners. It is highly recommended and, in most cases, essential that you stay compliant to the treatment advice given by a western medical professional.
The suggestions and educational resource offered by Holy Yoga with LoveJosephine on www.lovejosephine.com are meant to be observed and used in conjunction with medical treatment. Neither the therapy programs nor yoga classes are designed nor recommended to replace medical treatment.

The resources offered here are intended to complement and support the medical treatment targeting the specified issue, with the goal of enhancing the well-being of the patient.

Progress or Perfection? Take a vote.

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Are you always waiting for the ‘perfect time’, ‘perfect place’, ‘perfect person’, ‘perfect job’, ‘perfect opportunity’…that “perfect” something? Well, here’s the thing.

Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Celebrate PROGRESS!

As an entrepreneur who has dipped into several ventures, I know first hand how ‘being perfect’ can stand in the way of things. In fact, one of my biggest learnings is to STOP waiting for the “perfects”. Not only that, but not forgetting to rejoice in PROGRESS.

With my first start-up, I had spent more time writing up the perfect business plan and finding holes in the plan than the business’ life span itself!  I thought about all the different scenarios that could happen and made sure I had them covered.  I treated it like I was running a multimillion dollar business when I hadn’t even kicked off!  Low and behold, my favourite Mark Twain quote was the nail on that business’ coffin.

“I am an old man now and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” ~ Mark Twain

That was a perfectly failed business.  To be fair, I also took all of the corporate processes and knowledge and tried to apply it to a little start up.  Most of which were not practical.  But with that learning and experience, it prepped me for the success of my next business venture…and now, my ministry.  All along, progressing..

God has it in His plan EVERY STEP of the way. As long as we seek Him along our journey of whatever we are trying to achieve, we are in good hands. Rejoice in the progress, friends!  Other than God, nothing and no one is perfect.

Now, I’ve got a dear sister Fideliz Cruz to thank here for this post, to remind me of this yesterday. Sometimes, we know all of this but it’s always good to be lifted up and be inspired by friends. Lift a friend up today!