Yoga + Self Healing
with Nicole Lynne Hooley
with Nicole Lynne Hooley
From Ego to Spirit (From Solitude to Unity)
In our culture we use the word ego often. It is used as a way to acknowledge the part of our-self that acts in our own benefit. We can at times demonize the ego as being too big, or a person for being egocentric. However, I would argue that our ego is there for good reason. However, if we let it run the show for too long we can find ourselves out of balance, fearful and harmful to ourselves and the collective good. To physically connect to the "ego" I would direct you attention on a daily basis to the space we call the solar plexus. This is the area between your naval and ribs (the stomach). You can meditate on this space by directing your breath to your belly. I also recommend doing belly down postures to become aware if you have tension in this area.
So here is the thing. Your ego, no matter how much it might distract you from some of the most incredible elements of your experience on earth, is actually there to help keep you alive and safe. Your ego communicates to you via fear (and its many manifestations) and discomfort. It lets you know when shit isn't right. It is there to make sure you know your damn life is precious and to stop you from walking off a cliff accidentally, or stepping into on coming traffic, or protecting yourself from someone or thing who has life threatening or altering intentions for you. However, If we let the ego take over and have no connection to our higher-self/Spirit/Wisdom we find ourselves in a pretty precarious situation. Rather than using our ego to keep us here on planet earth (to keep you relevant, healthy and sustained by the material realm), many of us are using it for just about every situation life presents. And I am just going to say it, If you are only being guided by your ego through life, you are ROYALLY MISSING OUT! You're not BAD, or evil, or selfish, you've just stumbled upon an unfortunate set of circumstances. Lucky for you, it's not to late. You can at any point, at anymoment decide "there must be another way". In this moment you give your ego permission to STFU and allow for your higher-self to take care of you and guide you into a better perspective, clearer understanding and a more balanced and peaceful life.
Your Ego's "Soul Mate"!
No matter who you are, an atheist, a religious believer, a yogi, a buddhist... You have the ability to connect to your higher self. Philosophers have called it things like the Oversoul (Emerson) or the Overman (Nietzsche), religious devotees have called it "God" or "Christ Conciousness", Some Buddhist's & Yogi's call it "Samadhi". This is the act of letting go of your personal egoic (imbalanced solar plexus) dramas and allowing for your instinctual nature to guide you. To tap into the simplicity of life and move out of an anxiety prone perception of the world and into an understanding that we are but a small part of a vast universe, a planet, and human community. If we live our-lives fearing that we will be misunderstood, or that our outfit will look bad, or that we might god forbid do a "Bad Job", with the same degree of intensity as we fear danger of possible death we are definitely missing out on a peace and stillness that is our natural birthright. The ego needs the higher self or connection to Spirit to keep it from overworking and causing the demise of the human life it is trying to protect. The Higher self needs the ego to keep you alive so that you are able to connect to your purpose and passion for this life time and be a balanced and productive addition to the human community. However, if the two are at odds with each other we find a bunch of distracted humans who are suffering needlessly(ego) or having trouble finding a place in the material world(spirit).
Ego, Spirit & the Body
In the Chakra System this way of being is symbolized by the crown chakra. The crown chakra is located at the top and above the crown of your head. It is the part of yourself that knows unity. That can feel on an instinctual level that we are but a part of a massive universe and that our little issues are not so big at all. It is the part of us that secretly knows that everything is okay and actually will provide you with the answers in even the most trying moments. It is the part of of us that when tapped into allows for us to see clearly without an intellectual understanding but instead with a peaceful knowing that requires no evidence. When we are tapped into the energy we are able to find peace in even the most difficult of situations, we are able to see the benefits of even the most tragic experiences and we are able to serve our fellow man. Not out of moral obligation or dogma, but out of an understanding that our lives gain fulfillment from shared moments of intimacy with other beings and our environment. When a person is tapped into both the solar plexus and the crown chakra we find someone with great power.
Let's be real, If we were to leave the ego behind completely, we would longer able to to be among the living (to be without ego, is to be dead, sorry). Although many mystics claim that they are still able to connect with those who are no longer in physical form, it does seems like it would be a good idea (and a hell of a lot easier) to tap into the storehouse of collective truth while you are alive. Rather than hoping to find a medium when you die (joking, but for real, you are alive... explore the many levels of your mind, it is freaking fun and the more you do it the more time you have! For real, expending consciousness does all kinds of awesome stuff to time!) get to work now. With that being said, If you are among the living (which if you are reading this you are) but you are living in a totally egoic state you are not able to truly connect and be with those around you. You are guarded, defensive, you are taking everything personally and the weight of life is so heavy that instead of thriving you are burying the symptoms in whatever ways you have developed (not because your a bad person, but because who wouldn't, life is hard when your doing it all alone).
When we are connected to Spirit (the 7th chakra) & the Ego (the third chakra) we find our-selves more enthralled with the simplicity of life. We feel ourselves whole. We are not trying to fill a void. We are able to trust the process, to let go off attachments and grow within the material realm without shame. We are able to live in a way where although our life might not be aimed at pleasing others, it is still however, nonharming and in someway helps the greater well-being of our planet, society and personal relationships.
So what am I trying to tell you?
If you are living without connection to spirit you are missing out on a whole entire aspect of reality. Its like you went to a show but showed up just to see everyone celebrating the performance. It is like you have an infinite tool box at your reach but you have never opened the door to the closet that the tool box is in. It is like you are cheating yourself... And that is okay, you are allowed to cheat yourself. You will still be a good person, you will still live a life with all the basics met. However, why wait till you are dead to find connection to spirit? What if you could be alive and have it? What if you could live a life with infinite power and beauty in every moment. What if it was all so much easier than you had ever imagine? What if you are already enlightened and cannot see it because you are tragically distracted due to only listening to one aspect of your being? Wouldn't you want to change that? Well, here is a way to start. Consider this your initiation! You are a Spiritual Being having a Human Experience. I cannot tell you how I know this, Why I know this... But this is something I do know for sure. I know it as much as you know that the sound of chimes means the wind is blowing. If you can trust me and explore, maybe, just maybe, we can wake up out of this crazy dream and start living in a reality where we are connected, where we are awake, where we are not damaged but instead we are powerful beings with a purpose (many of them). Step one of awakening to that purpose is acknowledging your WHOLE BEING.
Disclaimer: If you are reading this and you want to argue. Come back later, when the mind is ready, when the body is ready. When you know that you are ready to awaken. Please meet me here. I am not telling you what spirit or truth is, I am just asking you to explore it on your own.
Connecting to Spirit (Crown Chakra Awakening) and Solar Plexus Empowerment Self Initiation Practice:
Start Sitting Tall: Place one palm over Stomach (above navel) and one palm on crown of head. Breathe deeply here. Observing the temperature of your hands, the sensation of these parts of the body. Set an intention to bring balance and peace to the body, mind and spirit. To awaken and acknowledge your higher self (spirit) and to appreciate your ego. Welcome peace and guidance into your life. Bring hands to a prayer, notice the areas of the body where they once were. Breathe 8 long breaths. Chant OM 3 times.
Child's Pose (with knees together or supported by bolster)
Cat Cow (with Eyes Closed)
Rabbit Pose with Head Hovering over floor (keep shoulders away from ears)
High Lunge with hands reaching behind (tilt forward)
Prasarita Padottanasana (with hands interlaced behind you)
Pigeon & Z-Sit twist (with belly rested over front thigh)
Headstand (tripod or forearm)
Wheel Pose (bridge as alternative)
Supported Goddess Pose & Corpse pose (10 minutes)
Closing Meditation with Self Reiki:
Sit tall in supported position: Rub palms together vigorously. Place one palm over forehead and one palm over the crown of the head. Breathe here - 3 breaths. Place one palm over solar plexus and one palm over the heart chakra. Dedicate your practice to being guided by your Highest & Truest Self so that you may be happy, free and live with purpose and inspire others to do the same. Chant OM 1x, Bring hands to prayer, bow head to seal practice.
Other tips to connect with you higher self:
Yoga & Reiki Guide
Brooklyn based Yoga & Reiki Teacher, Cole Hooley, specializes in Personal Empowerment & Self Healing inspired Yoga Classes, Workshops, Retreats & Reiki Trainings. Her Reiki & Intuitive Healing sessions have been called "an hour of unconditional love". Nicole has been highlighted by Huffington Post and YogaCityNYC.
Easy Moon Salutations & Good Mood Yoga: