In very simple terms, the purpose of life is to move through it with ease, love, and abundance. Living in faith and minimizing fear is arguably the most important foundation for a peaceful and happy life. This, however, can be quite a challenge as we’re constantly bombarded with options and challenges that make us question every moment and decision of our lives, leaving us riddled with fear and anxiety on a daily basis.
The human experience is inherently worrying. Whether its concern for our planet, our children, or our own personal ambitions, it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed by life itself.
Finding a calmness of spirit and faith in our journey aligns us with our true nature and equips us with an unshakable mindset. Those who are firm in their mindset stride forth into life without letting the unknown get them down. This unwavering strength in pursuit of their goals comes from the cultivation of a deep inner trust.
For some people, this mindset may appear God-given. They seem to have been born with an innate fearlessness, and a positive and buoyant disposition, while others grow up insecure and worrisome. For those who are not naturally buoyant, moving towards a fearless mindset can seem like an almost impossible task. This mindset is available to us all, as a strong and unwavering mindset comes from moving out of our heads and into our hearts.
While trying to use the mind to change the mind is often futile, we can actively move towards living in faith and through our hearts by strengthening the physical core.
The key in all of this is to have patience with the process. To actively and consciously work towards the goal on a daily basis, to be gentle on ourselves, and to know that we are in complete control of our own experience here on earth. Ways to achieve this include detoxifying physical movement, practicing conscious thought, and right eating.
In Kundalini yoga, the core is three fingers below the belly button. This is where a plethora of nerve endings, hormones, and emotions live. By creating a strong core and a harmonious inner system, we re-connect with our intuition and are able to live as our true selves, out of the way of fear and from our highest truth. It is possible to do this through physical movement, breath work, and nourishing food.
The following practices strengthen our core, inside and out, and let us unfold into our true brilliance.
- Twisting asanas
Doing twisting poses helps to wring out toxins that contribute to physical discomforts and emotional stress. They push us to our limits physically which provides us with a good opportunity to recalibrate our responses to stress, asking us to breathe through the challenge while maintaining calmness and peace within. Try twisting crescent, twisting chair, and twisting half moon. Lead with your heart, holding for three to six deep breaths and remember to draw your breath slowly and deeply into your stomach during the poses.
- Leg lift crunches
Slow, deliberate movements create a strong awareness of our core. These crunches let us draw energy from the fingertips to toes to activate and strengthen the core. Lie on your back, arms by your sides. Life your right leg and reach forward with your fingertips, then reach your arms overheard, keeping your shoulder blades off the ground while activating your core as your lower your leg. Lift your left leg while reaching forward again, and alternate between legs taking a moment with your arms overhead and legs straight out in between sides. Do this slowly and with mindfulness of your core, remaining aware of your naval to spine connection.
- Fibrous foods
It’s critical that we allow our bodies the space and energy for effective maintenance. Fibrous foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are the best for this as they bind to toxins and escort them out of our systems. Digestion is the most energy intensive process of our bodies, and fiber assists with this, energizing our systems. When our digestive systems and clear and properly eliminating, the core is strong and the mind at ease.
There is a delicate yet incredibly powerful balance of microflora in our stomachs that serves as our internal apothecary. Here also resides many hormones that regulate our emotions, energy and physical cycles. The standard American diet, lifestyle, and practice of taking antibiotics for every ailment disrupts this critical balance. When we have discord in this area, it affects our immune systems our ability to effectively absorb nutrients from our food, and contributes to emotional issues like anxiety. Probiotics restore the intestinal balance and promote growth of healthy and nourishing bacteria, contributing to a harmonious inner environment that supports a calm and stable equilibrium.
- Breath of fire
This cleansing and energizing breath connects you to your core and charges the nervous system, powered by abdominal contractions. Breath of fire creates and builds a cosmic change that brightens the body and clears the mind, creating radiance and light throughout our entire system. It helps release the need to control and enables us to surrender to the higher power of the cosmos that is always working to support and enhance our lives.
To do: Sit relaxed, eyes closed and focused on the point in between the eyebrows. Allow your breath to move in and out through the nose, mouth closed. Breathe rapidly in through your nostrils letting your stomach fill and expand with air.The time is equal on the inhale and the exhale, with no pause in between. Starting out do for 1-3 minutes. It will make you light headed at first, so be aware of how you feel, and remember to stay strong and know that its simply blocked energy coming to the surface to be released. As time goes on, you’ll be able to do it for longer. This ancient and powerful breath work pumps fresh air deep into your lungs and stomach, gives your body a great aliveness and connection with the divine.
Having a fortified core through these practices enables us to live through our hearts and in our own strength. It empowers our intuition, and gives us the courage we need to pursue our goals, our true love, and rise towards our higher selves. It enables us to call forth our divinity and to feel truly alive and vibrant. Choose one or two of the things above to begin to cultivate a strong core, and feel the power move into other areas of your life.
Photo by Anton Repponen