Category: Yoga

The Sound of Silence: Opus 15

Plenty of people come to my yoga and meditation classes with one question: How do I get the voices in my mind to shut off?

The answer isn’t a simple one, because meditation isn’t about shutting down your cognitive mind. The river of thoughts known as the deductive/cognitive mind practically runs on its own volition. Thoughts move through the mind having many kinds of probable stimulus. You could smell a fragrance and the mind will, on its own volition, follow a thought that reminds you of that smell. You can hear a sound that brings up a recollection of person. Then your mind, again without your help, will move into the neuro-pathway that is connected to that sound. This isn’t of your conscious choosing.

So, the magic to understanding the quieting of the mind is not to stop the thoughts, but to rise above them and observe them. It is in the observation, the human mind and thoughts can be dismissed, like the sound of a young toddler asking a myriad of simple questions you’ve already answered one hundred times. You simply stop paying total attention to them and focus on something else, in this case—the spiritual.

Most meditative practices begin with a focus on the breath. When you make the inhales and exhales 6 counts in and 6 counts out: (1) you let the cognitive mind take control of the reptilian brain and body; (2) you slow down your heart rate; and (3) you lower your blood pressure. All of these things lead to a more relaxed, more empowered you.

The next step you do is to stop the control of the breath after about 3-5 minutes of breath work. When you let your body breathe on its own volition, you begin to learn to watch the inhales and exhales and make your body your own behavior study. You watch your body as if it is someone else. The further you can get from control of the body, the more meditative you’ll become.

Let each limb of your body hang as if it were first being controlled by puppeteer strings, and then cut off completely from the strings. They can’t move because your brain won’t let them. This part of your steering mechanism has been shut down.

Now the last part of a deep meditation is the focus on spiritual movement through the brain and into a positive, compassionate dream. You want to ask your brain to stop telling you what its thinking and begin to express with pictures in an imaginary mirror in front of you or reflecting off of a beautiful lake. Shut down the part of your mind that listens to your thoughts and focus fully on making your thoughts into pictures in front of your. Focusing your attention instead of your eyes as if there is something reflective exactly face to face with you.

When your body quiets enough, the physical eyes will begin to shut down and the mental pictures will begin to appear before you. If you can stay awake during this process, then you are meditating. If you fall asleep, you may have a beautiful dream that can also lead you to spiritual insight, but most yogis would not consider this a meditation.

I hope you have a great practice. Namaste.

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Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-400-2334 or www.bosebastian.com.

I am trying to spread the word about my blog and I need your help. Please let your friends know it exists, if it gives you hope and blesses you each day. If you are looking to enter the RSS or Atom Feed, you have to go to the home page of the blog to get there. Also, I write this Blog as a part of Finding Authentic You Ministries. If you would like to send an offering or a tithe, your donation would greatly be appreciated: 5001 Maywood Drive, Nashville, TN 37211.

And I would be greatly pleased for you to share anything that you read by clicking the share button in Facebook.com/bo.sebastian, or add it to your Twitter at BoSebastian; or LinkedIN at Bosebastian5@gmail.com; or find this blog home at www.FindingAuthenticYou.com. Any of my books can be found on Amazon or Barnes and Nobel, just by typing my name in the search header.

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Your Emotions: Like Herding Cats


I don’t know about you, but my emotions have sometimes gone from a range of 1 to 10 almost every day. Some said I was too sensitive. Some said I was a drama queen. Some said I wasted too much time thinking and obsessing about the past. But, honestly, my emotions were like a frigging herd of cats. They barely obeyed, they ate off of the table, they scratched at any stationary posts, they hissed, they purred, and sometimes they slept softly on your chest.

Emotions are based on the heart center or chakra. When we live in our bodies, we feel; there’s no question. We experience every thing with our human senses and in our deductive minds. But here’s the key: Our range of emotions is dictated by our past data input. The rate of emotional outpouring forming our souls is based on how much time we spend focusing on the connection between our body and mind in a negative way.

In yoga we practice containing and restraining the mind-body connection by persevering through tenuous and sometimes luxurious stretches and strength moves. Each of these moves is dictated by our conscious-deductive mind. By learning to control the body with the mind and to lean into pain, lean into stretches, we begin to understand the mechanics of the mind-body paradigm and can use it for our emotional benefit.

The practice of meditation can even further this process by taking you from your mind and body and into a place called the “observer mind” or the subconscious. This is the place where we dream, watch ourselves from beyond the body with compassion, and, most importantly, create supreme change in our futures by planting seeds for the future deep in our soul.

If you are dealing with a wide range of emotions in a day, there is also a good chance that you may need to be on an antidepressant. This is not a bad thing. Antidepressants limit the extreme ups and downs in our emotions and create balance in our brain. Some people can take hold of this chemical process and learn their big life’s lessons on psychotropic drugs, and others just need to find other ways to diffuse all the confusing ranges of emotions that life brings by doing something organic.

For me, I do a combination of both. (Balance pleases me.) I have been on a low dosage of an antidepressant for almost twenty years. I have tried to come off of it, and what comes of it is a slow movement toward depression. After battling depression my entire life, I’ve decided that I can take a $4-a-month prescription every morning and live almost a normal life. But combined with this chemical “helper,” I also have to aid myself in understanding the mind-body paradigm by doing yoga and meditating daily.

These two practices have opened my heart and mind to a wider range of emotions than the antidepressant hadn’t allowed for many years. But now I feel a fuller range of feelings because I can take deeper breaths (the pranayama), sit with the feelings I may have when something bad happens (meditation), or work with a physical injury by understanding the ever decreasing range of motions that an older body receives (in the asana or movement portion of yoga).

It’s no secret that as you get older you lose range of motion and strength. It happens to all of us at different rates. But I know I have stayed stronger, younger, and more pliable with the practice of yoga in my life.

Emotions are just things to me now. They come and go everyday. I don’t spend as much time feeling them as I do “watching them” in my life. I tend to become an observer of emotions and watch how life can turn on a dime. One moment I can find out something depressing. The next second I can have the love of my life knock at my door. Emotions are fleeting and should be treated as such. They are human and ephemeral, at best.

As a wise Tibetan Buddhist said that emotions are like fish swimming in a river beneath the bridge on which you stand. You can feed the fish. They will pop up and beg for your attention and for food. Or you can simply let them pass by and gaze at the beauty of perpetual life—the ups and the downs of there lovely movement.

I have a Koi pond and I know that those fish that swim freely need to be fed. And they are also subject to snakes that hover around the pond that lunge head first into the water to try to catch them. Then there are also blue herons with long necks and crafty flight patterns that wait for them to sun bathe and will fly down and snatch one faster than you can blink your eye.

Our emotions, too, are subject to that same kind of wily predators. They can catch you and torture you until you are writhing in pain and hoping for death. It is the law of nature. But the smart fish swim deep into the bottom of the pond and wait until the last moment to grab the food, after I have been long gone from watching the smaller fish feed.

I’m not saying bury your emotions. They can swim freely sometimes. Other times they need to be carefully watched. You have to understand the connection of each emotion to your past and see if you are reliving your same patterns over and over again. If that is the case, then it is the time to begin to use the tools you learned in yoga and meditation to sit with yourself and rein in your fears and anxieties. See how much easier it is once you have committed to a practice of understanding that beautiful mind/body/spirit paradigm.

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Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-400-2334 or www.bosebastian.com.

I am trying to spread the word about my blog and I need your help. Please let your friends know it exists, if it gives you hope and blesses you each day. If you are looking to enter the RSS or Atom Feed, you have to go to the home page of the blog to get there. Also, I write this Blog as a part of Finding Authentic You Ministries. If you would like to send an offering or a tithe, your donation would greatly be appreciated: 5001 Maywood Drive, Nashville, TN 37211.

And I would be greatly pleased for you to share anything that you read by clicking the share button in Facebook.com/bo.sebastian, or add it to your Twitter at BoSebastian; or LinkedIN at Bosebastian5@gmail.com; or find this blog home at www.FindingAuthenticYou.com. Any of my books can be found on Amazon or Barnes and Nobel, just by typing my name in the search header.

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Hip, Lower Back and Buttocks Pain

Almost every day someone comes up to me with pain in one or more of the places I sited in the title of this blog. I say to them, “I have been wrestling with arthritic pain in all of these places for twenty years or more. Trust me, if you don’t do something about it now, it will never get better. Almost 22 years ago I started to do yoga because I bent down to pick up the sweeper and couldn’t get back up. This is after 15 years of being a professional dancer.”

This morning I woke up in so much pain, I could barely get out of bed. This is coming from someone who systematically deals with the pain every day with a set of exercises and stretches daily and before I go to bed. Can you imagine if I didn’t? I don’t want to have surgery, but ultimately that would be the next step, as even now I have a friend who is going through the prep stages of having a hip replaced. I wonder daily how it would be to go through such a surgery and if it would make things worse, or if it would actually relieve the pain or cause more.

Pain is a tough thing to deal with in life. When people come to my office in pain, I have a myriad of things I can do to help relieve the pain—including hypnotherapy. I don’t know how to get rid of pain for good, but I certainly am an expert in “living with it.”

These cold and hot changes in the weather, damp and then dry, cause a lot of problems in the joints in general. This also releases histamines in the joints and in the nasal cavity. I know that most of the time when I’m having a bad day, it is usually because of the weather. I might, then, take some kind of medicine to ease the pain. I’m not opposed to taking a medication to lessen pain, trust me. If God made it, I’m all about letting the scientists and doctors help me get through the day.

There is a muscle in the hip joint called the iliopsoas that can help alleviate so many of the problems a great deal of people have in the hip, lower back and buttocks. If you do a simple Google search for this muscle, you’ll see where the muscle insertions are and you can probably find many ways to stretch it as well. I won’t go into all of the ways I can help you personally with private sessions, but this muscle, when stretched properly, I believe, is the key to helping most problems in this key area for walking, sitting, running, and flexing from the hip.

Do yourself a favor, today, and begin to unlock the source of your pain, wherever it is and get to the bottom of it. Hiding it, isn’t helping you are anyone in your life, because it’s probably coming out as anger or frustration somewhere. There is relief of some sort if you let someone help you.

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Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-400-2334 or www.bosebastian.com.

I am trying to spread the word about my blog and I need your help. Please let your friends know it exists, if it gives you hope and blesses you each day. If you are looking to enter the RSS or Atom Feed, you have to go to the home page of the blog to get there. Also, I write this Blog as a part of Finding Authentic You Ministries. If you would like to send an offering or a tithe, your donation would greatly be appreciated: 5001 Maywood Drive, Nashville, TN 37211.

And I would be greatly pleased for you to share anything that you read by clicking the share button in Facebook.com/bo.sebastian, or add it to your Twitter at BoSebastian; or LinkedIN at Bosebastian5@gmail.com; or find this blog home at www.FindingAuthenticYou.com. Any of my books can be found on Amazon or Barnes and Nobel, just by typing my name in the search header.

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