© 2016 Sandra Zuidema

October 17, 2018

Listening to your innate ability to sense could save your life. 

When I was in the Himalayas, not far from the Indian and Nepal borders, I visited ancient Hindu temples that date back ten-thousand years before Christ. That trip was a spiritual pilgrimage leading me back to a life of faith after years of doubt and wandering. After considerable reflection about my solo travels and a plunge into ancient Indian Tantric theories, I started to blend life experiences into a healthy real-world perspective. Even though my mind was calm and confident, my body seemed to be telling me that something was wrong. Because of that intuitive pull, my newfound peacefulness had waves of uneasiness.  

Doubt, especially about oneself, can be like a cancerous cell. It can grow into an unyielding beast that ends in consumption.

But I had faith in myself and knew the doctors were missing something. At first, there were subtle signs — seemingly typical pains associated with being in my late fifties, so I dis...

September 20, 2017

Earlier this year a beloved yoga coach to the stars committed suicide. 

Her name is Psalm Isadora. She was a successful yogi, author, coach, and public speaker. (1)

When I first became familiarized with her work through "Mindbodygreen," a lifestyle media brand committed to wellness, I was both curious and profoundly affected by her charisma and passion. (2)

Psalm had served women from India who coped with their involvement in the sex trades. She brought her programs back to the United States hoping to help others with similar sexuality problems.

Beginning with her blog and articles; I noticed her approach to Tantra was unconventional. Although I considered the treatment to exceed western-style yoga, I kept an open mind.

Looking at her website, I became troubled by the lack of scripture sources. The absence of Tantra's history neglected its connection with the science of consciousness. (3) I also knew that ...

Tantra (Yoga) could be applied to rehabilitation...

April 1, 2017

These six steps dynamically expand your spirit by spreading your abundance to others. 

You can have a beautiful home and open space that welcomes light.

Spring is nature's opportunity for seeking renewal. This spirit of rebirth echoes in many religious and cultural celebrations across the planet, from Easter and Passover to Spring festivals. These influences lead to the individual thinking about the need to be free from attachments. It also calls out for a better connection with the planet and one's being.

With signs of springtime all around us, cleaning and revitalizing appear on our to-do-list. This annual inspiration to bring in daylight and fresh air into our spaces are never again so powerful as they are right now.

Letting it pass by, misses a valuable opportunity. Moreover, the manner and approach in which we work can present an added benefit. For instance, if indifference exists or there is a sense of entitlement or hoarding, negative energy may spread. Eve...

January 31, 2017

To discover what lies behind much of the social outrage we need to look in the mirror. Self-reflection ensures we act from love rather than undigested emotions.

Does the intensity of the protests match the issues? ... 

How many of the protestors can clearly identify what they are angry about?

Lately, many people heedlessly speak out, act out or attack others under the auspices of bringing peace to fellow man. In the name of altruism, they offer a paradoxical rhetoric that contributes to our growing intolerance. Meanwhile, understanding or correcting real problems fall by the wayside. The effect creates more anger and brings less actual change. 

It is too easy to publish fleeting thoughts or emotions without really understanding the complexity of problems and their solutions.

Social media is flush with manifestos, personal judgments, and petty comments. Most of these accounts base their viewpoints solely upon political belief rather than an actual experience. Th...

November 13, 2016

Society is quick to laud success while overlooking the significance of failure. As a result, our noble ideal of self-improvement gets sidetracked as we shift our focus on prizes of recognition, fame or fortune. When we look too far ahead fantasizing about success, we miss opportunities for growth and real wisdom that each failure can give us. 
 

You can drown in a sea of expectations... 

Who do I think I am?    What should I do?  Why am I doing this?    

Where should I focus my attention?

Failure questions our mission and purpose. It forces us to fine-tune our plan and re-energize our calling. These two measures can help solve obstacles and drive stronger commitments for success.

Accepting failure creates an openness for change ~ acceptance does not weaken self image.

When feeling defeated ... take a deep breath ... then

 Check 3 key ways to prime your comeback.

FIRST

Recognition

First, recognize that failure can occur or has occurred. Somewhat obvious; but how often wil...

October 30, 2016

This 2016 Halloween season has many thinking how unloving, divided and back-biting our society functions. Viewing our leader's offensive conduct during the election process has us looking elsewhere for love and stability. 

Turn off the politics, social media, and negative flow of ideas that affect thoughts. These influences block energy, intuition, and love.

 The answers to our most important and personal questions lie within.

Calling upon Eastern philosophy is not out of disrespect toward our religious culture or lineage but adds to our education and experience. It is the most reliable method to understand the inner workings of our minds. India is recognized worldwide as a source for an unbroken succession of God-realized souls. These men and women carry ancient secrets throughout history and continue to guide seekers to self-realization.

Accepting the wisdom of sages or gurus demonstrates openness and does not indicate wrongdoing or conflict with our religious culture.

Unlike...

October 16, 2016

... continued from "Raise the bar" pt. 1, Blog post dated Oct 9, 2016 

Why not coalesce 40 years of practice, three yoga teacher certification courses and years of research and travel into a simple arrangement that people could easily understand ~ just think how much time and money this could save!

Today's Yogi craves yoga based in ancient philosophy and proven by modern science, not gimmicks.

Combining the ancient ways of traditional yoga with modern mindfulness techniques requires education to prepare seekers for spiritual experiences that produce life-changing affects. The basic highlights of what yoga is and is not includes:

Yoga is
The ancient science of body, mind, and universal principles
Techniques which increase self-control, calmness, intuition, inspiration, and motivation 
A system to maintain balance in health and wellness
Tools to  release painful experiences such as PTSD and addiction
Prescribed by medical professionals to support and help h...

October 8, 2016

While I loved the physical poses in yoga class, it wasn’t until I applied ancient Indian philosophy that my practice went beyond the physical. Even so, I struggled to teach these mindfulness practices to my students because yoga teacher training lacked any of this information.

Not only that, what I learned about yoga through years of research, practice, and experience required my students to step out of the comfort zone to learn and try something very different. 

That was not surprising to me because I too had many questions and concerns about traditional yoga. Information about meditation, breath work, spirituality, including the relationships between yoga, religion, and  Buddhism were foreign and seemed odd. It took a lot of research and dedication to understand how yoga related to my religious and cultural beliefs. To that end, I spent thousands of dollars and many hours, researching how yoga works, both from the historical perspective and modern day scientific research....

October 1, 2016

Self-perception begins with the question "Who am I?" and pertains to worldly matters. This material identity defines how we fit into society.

Self-esteem, different from self-perception, judges the analysis. Self-awareness, is the capacity to understand the "I am" in the environment of conscious thoughts and feelings. All are distinct from the Self or Soul.

Five components of self-perception 

ONE

Your core beliefs affect how you judge yourself. The human brain reconstructs images by building on what was previously experienced. Using stored data, our brain attempts to predict an outcome for future events. For example, if your mother tells you to watch your weight and your friends are always dieting, you presume you could get fat. Now the intellectual potential is open to the possibility of getting fat. Therefore, you look for an image being essentially "fat" in the mirror because you predict the outcome of this data set. This example of a normal biological process of cognitive functioning h...

September 18, 2016

Did you ever think ... "there has to be more to yoga,"  or "how much more do I need to read, spend or attend to discover authentic yoga," or "I am not sure what I am doing is getting me anywhere."  Beyond meditation, postures, how yoga works or why yoga works, you desire a personal experience ... a spiritual growth journey that will light up your life.

Well, you are not alone. I spent the last forty years attending yoga classes, workshops, and three distinct yoga teacher certifications looking for clues. I spent thousands of dollars, countless hours of travel and hours reading books on yoga, philosophy, psychology, and medical research.  

The good news is that these questions can be answered. Although rarely taught in modern yoga, ancient Indian systems reveal past, present, and future truths concerning  self-knowledge. This wisdom is available to anyone who is open minded and willing to do the work of a seeker of truth. You don...

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