Yogateacher Training – Yoga Retreat online at home

From Saturday to Wednesday next week I have my yoga retreat as part of my yoga teacher training. Because of Corona it will take place online and I will join from home. I am very curious making this experience. We will have 2 hours of meditation and 4 hours of asana and pranayama daily. To get a retreat atmosphere at home I have decided to abstain from coffee, sugar, alcohol, gluten. I also want to spend the days with as little digital media as possible and just switch off.  No Facebook, Instagram, Netflix and Co. I’m really looking forward to these five days and so I’m logging off for now.  Of course I will write a review at the end of the next week on this.

Namaste

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Meditation Series – Personal Review of Meditation Apps

To support my daily meditation practice I tried out several meditation Apps. There are really many in the Play Store, so I tried out a couple of Apps. This is the process I took of choosing them:

  • Impression of the reviews of the App
  • Is there a free version someone can try out?
  • First impression of the design?
  • Are there meditations in my native language?

So with these guidelines I tried out the following Apps from the German Play Store:

  • 7Mind (only German)
  • BamBu
  • Insight Timer
  • Calm
  • Headspace
  • My Chakra Meditation
  • Soulvana

This is a personal review of these Apps. I found following questions quite important for a final chose:

  • Do I like the voice of the person who guides the meditation?
  • Are there various different types of meditations, different topics, lengths etc.?
  • Is it easy to navigate in the App? Do I like the design?
  • Is there a introductory course to meditation?
  • What additional content is provided?
  • What does my intuition say? Yes or no?

Here is my personal opinion on the tested Apps:

7Mind: This app is quite known in Germany because some health insurance companies do offer the premium version for free to their members. It is a very good meditation app overall, nice design and a good introduction course, but doesn’t have that much variety. There is one male and one female voice. Just a few meditations are for free. So a subscription is recommended here. It’s 60 Euros per year. My conclusion: A recommendable App, but I think others offer far more content.

Bambu: This is a App from Europe, very popular in the French Market and Luxembourg. It is a very good meditation app with many different programs, a very good design and usability. The App also offers relaxing sounds. The free meditation, the basics course and many relaxation sounds are for free. But to enjoy this app fully you need a subscription. It’s round about 60 € for a year. My conclusion: A recommendable App, but I think others offer more.

Insight Timer: This meditation App really offers extremely much content (over 35000 titles according to them), by far the most amongst all apps I used and the majority of them is for free. The App is based on a donation basis, but there is also premium content with subscription. The incomes goes partly to the meditation trainers who offer their meditations in the app. You can also do a donation to them in the App. Everyone can find something here from the fresh beginner to the meditation expert. My conclusion: I recommend this App to anyone, but especially for more advanced with meditation. For fresh beginners the extensive program and variety can be overwhelming.

Calm: This App is also very well known. Besides meditation you can find relaxation sounds and music, goodnight stories and a emotion diary. The App is very beautiful designed, the meditations are guided very good, the most important topics are available. There is a free introductory course. Some of the meditations, the relaxation music and goodnight stories are for free, but also a subscription is recommended to enjoy fully. With the premium account you get a daily calm, this is a meditation and short thoughts on specific topics. The costs are round about 60 Euros, but I was lucky and got 50% discount. My conclusion: This App is perfect for those who want to meditate but also like to listen to relaxing music and stories.

Headspace: This is such a lovely and cute designed meditation App. In between the meditations there are such cute little videos which explain the basics of meditation very well. Besides the meditation there are goodnight sounds. Overall it is very easy and clearly arranged. The basics course is for free, so when you finished this you need a subscription, it’s round about 60 Euros per year. My conclusion: I recommend this app especially to beginners.

My Chakra Meditation: This is a little nice app on Chakra meditation. For each chakra you can play specific designed music, very beautiful and relaxing. The app is for free. When you like you can switch off advertisements. My conclusion: Can recommend this app when you are interested in special music for the Chakras.

Soulvana: This meditation App has the focus on group meditation and has a more spiritual approach. There is a great variety of meditations and relaxing sounds. The App is designed very beautifully and is easy to use. A introduction course is for free and quite many of the group immersions, for the programs you need a subscription. It’s 65 Euros per year. My conclusion: For people interested in a more spiritual approach really recommendable.

Which Apps do I use?

I decided to go with Calm in Premium, Insight Timer in the Free and My Chakra Meditation in a ad-free version. These three apps cover my needs. Calm I am using for a daily short meditation in the morning and listen to the stories and music in the evening. Insight Timer and My Chakra Meditation I am using when I want to do more advanced and longer meditations, mostly in the evening, e.g. specific Chakra Meditation or Yoga Nidra.

I invite you to test and try out the Apps to find the right one for you. I hope my review can help you a little bit in the process.

Meditation Series – My new books on meditation

Today some new books on meditation arrived. I am really looking forward reading them and trying out the described meditations. In two of the books there are also CDs with guided meditations.

  • Jon Kabat-Zinn: Full Catastrophe Living
  • Shri Balaji També: Communication with the Self. The SOM Program
  • Kathleen McDonald: How to meditate
  • Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche: Awakening the Luminous Mind

Will write a review on them here on my blog.

Started meditating

I started meditating on a daily basis, now for 1,5 weeks. Already recognize progress. I either go through my body with body scan or repeat a mantra mentally. This one is one of my favorites:

Sat Chit Ananda

Sat: truth, that which is enduring and unchanging
Chit: consciousness, understanding
Ananda: bliss, a state of pure happiness

For shorter meditations I am sitting crossed leg with my hands on my knees or in the lap with a Mudra. I just do this for shorter ones because my legs go asleep. For longer meditation I prefer sitting kneeled with support between my knees, I am using a cushion between my knees and under my buttocks.

Impressions of my Tantric Yoga Course

Our own physical body possesses a wisdom which we who inhabit the body lack. We give it orders which make no sense.

Henry Miller

Yesterday I talked with my classmates in the Tantric Yoga Course about my experiences. I am feeling so energetic and I am dreaming so intense. Mostly I even can not even remember that I dreamed and actually I dream every night and can remember quite well what my dreams were about.

In our course we started beside the Shiva and Shakti Breath and Asanas for each chakra to chant a Bija-Mantra for each chakra.

  1. Mooladhara Chakra: Lam
  2. Swadhisthana Chakra: Vam
  3. Manipura Chakra: Ram
  4. Anahata Chakra: Yam
  5. Vishuddhi Chakra: Ham
  6. Ajna Chakra: Ksham
  7. Sahasrara Chakra: Ah

We sit down in a comfortable position, and put our thumb and index finger together (Gyan Mudra). From Mooladhara until Solarplexuschakra the palms lay on the legs, from Anahata to Sahasrara we switch the palms upwards.

Then we focus our intention on the specific chakra and chant for a minute the according mantra, from Mooladhara up to Sahasrara Chakra. Afterwards we are going downwards from Sahasrara until Mooladhara Chakra.

For the intense dreams my yoga teacher recommended me to chant Gayatri Mantra.

oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ
tát savitúr váreniyaṃ
bhárgo devásya dhīmahi
dhíyo yó naḥ pracodáyāt

First Impressions of my Tantric Yoga Course

She walks in the twilight,

Her steps make no sound

She leaves no footprints

On the dew-covered ground.

Her hand gently beckons,

She whispers your name…

When you find her within you,

You are never the same.

Unknown

This week my Tantric Yoga Course started. Its twice a week and will due until the end of March.

The course is focused on activation of our 7 chakras, connecting with the body, feeling the energy and embrace Shakti, the divine feminine.

The lessons starts with chanting Shakti Mantra. After a short relaxation experience each chakra is activated with asanas, pranayama, mudra and chanting mantras and there is time to feel and connect with the energy of each chakra.

The session ends with Shavasana and chanting Om.

I really felt a good connection already to my Root and Third Eye Chakra. The connection to my Sacral and Heart Chakra also was there but less strong. Solarplexus, Throat and Crownchakra I didn’t feel much. Looking forward how this develops throughout the course.

Tantric Yoga Course on Loving and Connecting with your body

Love is the flight of your consciousness to higher realms, beyond matter and beyond body. Love is a spiritual experience – nothing to do with sexes and nothing to do with bodies, but something to do with the innermost being.

Osho

Today I enrolled in a Tantra Yoga Course in March and I am so excited.


It’s focusing on loving and connecting with your body via dynamic, intensive yoga with chakra activation and chakra meditation, singing and mantras.

Will write about my experiences here on my blog.

Yin & Yang Inspiration Spread dedicated to the Full Moon in Leo

The topic of our Yin & Yang Inspiration is Illumination.

Trust your heart what it feels, listen to your intuition and pay attention to your dreams. Your spiritual life is expanding. As chakras we got Root and Solarplexuschakra.

Yang Side

On the Yang Side it’s about healing pain, perhaps this pain is from your childhood. Take the challenge of laying off a mask that you show to the outer world and reveal your inner self.

Yin Side

The Yin Side is about taking action and a transformational process. Be authentic and embrace imperfections. You made good progress in your transformational process and learned so much. To move forward you now have to connect your rational mind with your heart. When your mind and your heart are focused on the same goal you can succeed.

Mudras

Mudras

As Mudras for a short meditation session I chose today:

  • Abhaya Mudra: Hold your right hand at shoulder height. Your palms are facing outward. Your elbow can fall to your waist.
  • Matangi Mudra: Interlace your fingers with the right over the left thumb. Extend the middle fingers out with the pads touching together. The base of your wrists can relax at the Solarplexus where your ribs meet.

Decks used

  • Gaia Oracle by Toni Carmine Salerno
  • Sacred Destiny Oracle by Denise Linn
  • The Secret Language of Color by Inna Segal
  • Chakra Wisdom Oracle Cards by Tori Hartman
  • Moonology Oracle Cards by Yasmin Boland
  • Inner Compass Oracle by Heather Hoeps
  • Mudras for Awakening the Energy body by Alison DeNicola