Tag Archives: November 2016

08
November

Soham: I am that. Słucham: I am listening.

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Newsletter, Off-the-Wall Musings
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You’ve probably figured out by now that I am very Polish! My parents were born there and my husband’s grandparents were born there too. I have always been extremely proud of my heritage.

Hearing any Slavic language pulls on my heart strings, especially Polish. This beautiful language enveloped me in my youth. Even though my parents did not teach me how to speak fluent Polish, I totally knew certain orders: Eat! Sleep! Come here! And I’ve always joked that I knew when to duck for cover. They spoke their native language frequently, especially when they didn’t want us to know what they were saying.

I was the youngest of five, so my parents had been in the United States ten years by the time I was born. Yet, to this day, I can still distinguish a Slavic accent even with those who have been in the States for a very long time. You never forget your mother’s voice. In fact, “new research suggests that babies begin to absorb language when they are inside the womb during the last 10 weeks of pregnancy—which is earlier than previously held. Newborns can actually tell the difference between their mother’s native tongue and foreign languages just hours after they are born.”

As a yoga teacher, I’ve also picked up various Sanskrit words. Sanskrit is said to induce a sound therapy. The pronunciation of Sanskrit affects the meridians of the tongue and stimulates the roof of the mouth where the hypothalamus resides—very important to major bodily functions such as body temperature, appetite, thirst, metabolism, circadian rhythms, physiological responses to stress, etc. The science of mantra repetition creates sound currents and the vibratory effects create a sound therapy manifesting health and healing. It is considered a sacred science.

Imagine my delight when I discovered that Slavic languages, such as Polish, are believed to have common ancestry with the Sanskrit language! Perhaps it’s just me, but I find comfort and more than a little joy in the similarities. “Joga” in Polish is pronounced as “yoga” in Sanskrit, but it doesn’t stop there. The Polish word, “mówisz”, for example, means “you speak” in English and sounds close to our English word “movie”. Doesn’t it make you smile that “a movie with a sound track” is our definition of “talkies”?

Similarities such as, Soham—which means “I am That” or “I am He” in Sanskrit—sounds very similar to  S?ucham in Polish—which means “I am listening”. The word “Koham” in Sanskrit—which means “Who am I?” is also very similar to the word “Kocham” in Polish means “I love”. We are love, aren’t we?

“When Soham applies to a person’s name, according to Vedic philosophy (ancient Indian scripture) it means identifying oneself with the universe or ultimate reality. Some say that when a child is born it cries Koham-Koham which means Who am I? That is when the universe replies back Soham. You are the same as I am.”
Source: 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soham_%28Sanskrit%29

Substituting the similarly pronounced Polish words and their meanings into the quote above translates to a beautiful message:

When “I’m listening” applies to a person’s name, it means identifying oneself with the universe or ultimate reality. When a child is born it cries “I love-I love” to which the universe replies “I am listening.”

We are meant to come into this world to love. When we do things with love, the Universe responds in kind. When we pursue a dream for the sole purpose of benefitting mankind in some way, the Universe listens.

When I discovered the common ancestry of the two languages and realized the similarly pronounced words, my heart just melted. I knew there was a reason I was so enamored with Sanskrit. Its similarity to Polish is undeniable. It seemed to be a sacred kind of kismet—my two loves colliding: the love of my Polish ancestry and the love of all things yoga. It was as if the Universe was saying my two loves have the same roots in my DNA: “You are the same as I am”.

Isn’t Language beautiful?  / Nie jest j?zyk jest pi?kny?

i-love-poland-2007Koham, Kocham,
(“Who am I?”, “I love.”)

Sandy Krzyzanowski
Better Day Yoga LLC

I used to share a blog with a colleague a couple of years ago. She has since removed that web page so I am “rescuing” some of my favorite stories here. Enjoy!

03
November

Magical protection from the envious or evil eye….

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Crystals, Talismans and Other Good Juju
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Feeling a little vulnerable lately? Or maybe someone is giving you the evil eye, sometimes referred to as “stink eye”. Sometimes you just want a little guaranteed luck, mojo and/or protection, right? You’re not the only one!

Amulets that are used for protection go back thousands of years. The open hand as a symbol of protection is universal. Symbols of divine protection based upon the open hand go by many names: Hamsa, Hand of Rachel, Hand of Mirium, and Hand of Venus/Aphrodite, among others. Hamsa literally means “five”. It predates Christianity as well as Islam. The Hand of Mary was used to protect women from the evil eye, boost fertility and lactation, promote healthy pregnancies, and strengthen the weak.

Some cultures adopted the eye as an amulet for protection while others favored the Hamsa (hand). Over time the two symbols were married and thus the Hand of Fatima was born.

This symbol is commonly seen hung at the threshold of homes where it is believed to guard the household and all who dwell there from the influence of negativity. The talisman is purported to offer special protection against fires making it a prominent fixture in many businesses.

Worn on the person as an amulet, the Hand of Fatima offers not only protection, but blessing. The wearer will be granted abundance, luck, vitality and will find the favor of benevolent forces.

The open hand symbol, especially the right hand, represents blessings, power, and strength. “Used to protect against evil eye, a malicious stare believed to be able to cause illness, death, or just general unluckiness, hamsas often contain an eye symbol.”

The “eye-in-hand” icon is said to represent both the act of observation (the eye) and the action of doing (the hand). “See and do.” It combines the sense of sight and touch, combining the sensory input with intentional output through the hands.

There are others, but need I go on?

My first hamsa came to me at a yoga conference where there was a display of symbolic hand-made jewelry. I was immediately drawn to one beaded necklace containing the hamsa. I remembered it was a protective amulet which the artist also confirmed.

I eagerly donned the hamsa necklace and didn’t think much more about it as I went off to a yoga therapy class working with the energy fields of the body/chakras. One exercise involved using a pendulum to check the health of your chakras.

We partnered up with another student. One was to lie down on their back to be tested and the other was to hold the pendulum between their thumb and forefinger above each chakra of their partner. As the pendulum started to move, we’d note the direction and speed, etc. (For a great article on how to use a pendulum to check your chakras, click here.

As I recall, my chakras were all spinning clockwise and fairly “normal”/equal to each other as we started with the root chakra at the base of the spine. My solar plexus chakra had some issues, so we noted that. But the real fun started when my partner got to my throat chakra. The pendulum wouldn’t go in a circle at all. It was all over the place!

Suddenly I remembered the hamsa necklace I was wearing and removed it. Upon retest, my throat chakra was perfectly “normal”/equal to the others! I joked that I could just imagine the energy of the hamsa with boxing gloves on, batting away at the pendulum, affecting the energy of the pendulum’s circle. THAT exercise was enough for me to really put some stock into the protective energy of the hamsa. I mean something was definitely going on there. No doubt in my mind.

How about you? Still not sure about wearing an amulet for protection? Perhaps try the hand mudra for courage and releasing fear that uses the open palm of the right hand facing forward. The right hand asks for help and is also the one used to give blessing.  This mudra is often seen as a Buddha hand gesture called Abhaya Mudra translated from Sanskrit as fearlessness. It can also be interpreted to mean “fear not”.

Some say, with this mudra, you are asking for protection from whomever you put your faith in, which will vary according to your faith tradition. Likewise, the hamsa is worn by people of all religions. Knowing that the symbol of the open hand is recognized as a sign of protection across many societies, I believe its energy to be universal. How about you? Needing a little assurance? It’s only an open hand away.

(Here are two more hamsas I purchased on State Street in Madison—one this past weekend—from one of my favorite jewelers—“Wearable Archeologies”. I googled her name just now to find this synchronistic youtube where she talks about the hamsa being one of her most popular pieces. Enjoy!)

hamsa

Here’s to keeping the bad juju away!
Sandy Krzyzanowski
Better Day Yoga LLC

I used to share a blog with a colleague a couple of years ago. She has since removed that web page so I am “rescuing” some of my favorite stories here. Enjoy!

02
November

Medicine Dreams

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Crystals, Talismans and Other Good Juju
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Have you had a dream that intrigued you lately? Did you record it anywhere? I don’t analyze every dream I have, but when I have a similar theme two nights in a row, I tend to sit up and take notice. A few nights ago I dreamt I used a Sunstone to “listen” to what other stone’s messages were. I would put my ear up to the sunstone and “hear” the message. It was as though the dream message was instructing me to use the Sunstone for this purpose. In the same dream I used a flat agate stone—similar to one displayed in my bathroom—and put it up against the right side of my chest. In the dream as soon as I did this, there was a discernible and undeniable “jump” in my body. There was no mistaking a cause and effect from laying the agate against my chest.

I woke up just after this dream which, to me, meant it was calling out to be remembered. The dreams you awake from are easiest to recall, aren’t they?

The very next night I had another dream about stones. Throughout this dream I was seeing a particular kind of agate native to South Dakota called a “teepee canyon agate”. It kept appearing in my hands and I’d investigate it closer and closer, sinking my face toward the stone and noticing the distinctive yellow/orange/red colors. It was almost as if I was awake inside the dream and I wanted to remember this stone. I kept saying to myself—“remember teepee agate, remember teepee agate”. I own a small teepee canyon agate from South Dakota near the Black Hills. My teepee canyon agate has a sparkly druse cluster of crystals on one end. In my humble opinion, druse clusters are like antennae to a magical realm. My husband and I love the Black Hills and this native stone serves as a touch base or talisman to our memories of this sacred land.

teepee-agate-for-10-16-update-to-tl-blog

Indigenous tribes consider dream messages of great importance. Their messages and meanings are discussed during fireside gatherings. They are not to be taken lightly. Aborigines in Australia consider dreams integral to their spirituality. Native Americans consider their dream messages as being vital information pertaining to their destiny. Messages from the Universe come via your dreams. They appear in the “magic ‘tween times” happening between sleep and awake.

When was the last time you had a dream that seemed to stand out and call for attention? THOSE are the dreams trying to tell you something! I believe it was the “stone theme” two nights in a row that was the Universe’s way of saying “Hey! This one’s important!” The Universe has a way of pointing things out.

Metaphysically, Sunstone is said to be a “joyful stone” restoring life’s sweetness and helping you to value and nurture yourself. It encourages optimism, enthusiasm, motivation and positive action. Sunstone helps you develop your own originality, encouraging independence and alleviating fearfulness. It has a powerful connection to the light and power of the sun, bringing light to all situations. Carrying a piece around with you can help your personal power to shine. Sunstone brings good fortune and abundance making it a strong manifestation stone. It’s also useful in removing energy draining ties or “hooks” into your energy by other people.

Sources: http://www.healingcrystals.com/Sunstone_Articles_41.html

Using Sunstone as the “filter through which I perceive and amplify messages” is an amazing dream message, don’t you think? My interpretation is that you should view everything through the veil of optimism and self empowerment. Celebrate your own achievements. Be yourself; be original; be independent. Let your personal power shine through. Lighten your thinking to improve your state of mind which will improve your ability to manifest your desires.

I’m wearing the only Sunstone I own—earrings wrapped in brass wire. Appropriate they are worn near my ears, yes? The dream suggested listening through Sunstone.

The Teepee Canyon Agate being red, orange, and yellow in color immediately brings to mind the base chakras—root, sacral, and solar plexus. I have always considered my Teepee Canyon Agate as a special talisman. Read this great article on how to personalize your own talisman or amulet. The dream telling me to “remember Teepee Agate” on the heels of using Sunstone as the filter through which to receive messages makes me think increasing the energetic pathway through the first three chakras will be enhanced with Sunstone’s positive influence. Strengthening the first three chakras is in order.

Agates are known as the “stone of balance and well-being”. It balances yin/yang energy and enhances courage and protection. It has a healing, calming energy. Agate is a stone of strength and was used by ancient warriors on their breastplate of armor to give them strength and make them victorious in battle.
Source: http://meanings.crystalsandjewelry.com/agate/

Remember my dream message to put the Agate to my chest for a noticeable shift? How cool is that?

Energetically, Agates have similar qualities to Sunstone in that it increases self-confidence and strength—both emotionally and physically—and it dispels fears. It is a grounding stone allowing for bursts of energy as needed, similar to Sunstone’s ability to let your personal power shine through. Agate also transforms negative energy similar to Sunstone.

So are you ready to work more closely with your dream messages? I thought so! In Dick Stuphen’s book, Oracle Within, he suggests that right before you go to sleep ask for dreams that will assist you in understanding what is holding you back. And here’s the part I like—it suggests asking that the dreams be received literally, not symbolically. (I remembered thinking, “I can ask that?! Why didn’t I think of that?! Well why wouldn’t you be able to ask for a clear answer? The Universe is, after all, an aspect of your Higher Self.)  Ask that you remember them immediately upon awakening and keep a pen and paper by the bedside for recording. (For more on my experience with asking questions and dreams, see my April 2013 newsletter as well as how Better Day Yoga got it’s a name.

Your dreams speak to you in profound ways if you but take the time to interpret them to your personal experiences. It’s my opinion that you know what your dreams mean. Your first inclination as to the meaning is usually the correct one. Trust your intuition. Listen to your dreams. Start a journal and keep it by your bedside to record dreams that call for attention. Your dreams are talking to you and have vital information pertaining to your destiny.

Happy Dreaming!

Sandy Krzyzanowski
Better Day Yoga LLC

I used to share a blog with a colleague a couple of years ago. She has since removed that web page so I am “rescuing” some of my favorite stories here. Enjoy!

01
November

The Crucifix candelabra and the wooden boy

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Off-the-Wall Musings
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One of my yoga students is preparing to move after having lived in her beautiful home for, I believe she said, almost 45 years. She and her husband are preparing for their next amazing adventure together! Isn’t that how moving should feel? It’s been a joy to watch her meticulously organize and pack in preparation week by week. Five other amazing ladies, who have stolen my heart, make up the balance of the yogis in this weekly class held in the basement of her home.

In the process of cleaning out and packing, she accumulated an assortment of treasures in her three-season porch and invited us all to peruse her “Free Garage Sale”, as she worded it. This lady is one of the most generous, big-hearted human beings on the planet. I am truly blessed to have her and this whole amazing tribe of loving souls in my life. Did I mention I adore them?

Given her decorating style and taste, I knew that I would most likely find some pieces I had to have, but I had no idea of the treasures waiting to surprise me! She used to own a gift basket business so there were many items relating to that production, as well as gardening and floral décor.

And then it happened. There in the midst of a couple vases and a candle holder was a gorgeous, antique, standing Crucifix candelabra with silver-plate and a holy water font! She had picked up this stunning gem in France! I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. It literally oozed good energy like a magnet drawing me in. It was immediate attraction.

Here you see it as the centerpiece of our “mini-altar”. Its energy permeates the room.

Here you see it as the centerpiece of our “mini-altar”. Its energy permeates the room.

I knew I wanted it but thought I should ask my sweet husband’s opinion. I casually browsed the rest of her collection.

Then another animated treasure literally stopped me in my tracks. Sitting on the ledge in front of some silk flowers and an index card holder was a sweet, sweet wooden boy she lovingly referred to as “Geppetto”. She quickly added that she knows the story goes that Geppetto was the woodworker and Pinocchio was the wooden boy come to life, but Geppetto just seemed to fit for her. She found him in Germany and he pulled her heart strings too. I was completely smitten. Geppetto is decorated in red and green hand-painted attire. Now, anyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE Christmas!

I immediately pictured Geppetto exactly where I have placed him here. (Yes we started Christmas decorating this past weekend in the basement! We have to start early in time for our party, right?)

I immediately pictured Geppetto exactly where I have placed him here. (Yes we started Christmas decorating this past weekend in the basement! We have to start early in time for our party, right?)

I swear I heard the spirit of this sweet wooden boy whisper, “Look at me! Look at me!” It was a done deal, no turning back. Sure I would ask my husband’s opinion, but we’ve been married over 33 years. This man knows me. We are on the same page energetically. He’ll pick something up in a retail store and two seconds later, without knowing he’d touched it, I’ll always pick it up too. It’s freaky cool. We are often attracted to the same things. He loved it too, but I knew he would! Geppetto jumped into my arms (okay so maybe I picked him up), and that was all she wrote!

My sweet host was enjoying our extended visit after yoga class so much she asked if I wanted a cup of coffee as I “shopped”. You always feel like an honored guest at their house. She embraces you with her warm smile and genuine appreciation, making you feel like you’ve just been hugged—which, of course, she gifts freely at least a couple of times each visit.

There were a couple of other pieces that made their way home with me that day, but these two absolutely made my heart sing. I could barely contain myself! “My Tuesday gals”, as I often refer to them, threw a birthday party for me earlier that month—one of several precious moments we’ve shared that I will always hold close to my heart. It felt like my birthday all over again that day! I remember feeling a warm, fuzzy glow of contentment the rest of the day because of her hospitality. I treasure the memory. These gorgeous works of art from their home to ours will be a constant connection to a wonderful couple I am humbled and honored to call friend.

I think they both look quite content in their new places in our home. Don’t you?

Life is so very precious,

Sandy Krzyzanowski
BetterDayYoga.com