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KEFIT PANCAKE RECIPE
TEFF and WHOLE GRAINS; Teff Cookies & Muffins Recipes;
CONTEST & PRIZES;
FOOD & INTUTION
MAKE YOUR RESOLUTIONS REALLY WORK!
CLIENT SUCCESS STORY: I am now a non-smoker after 38 years by just using
the Yoga Nidra Relaxation Technique for just a few months;
WORLD POSITIVE THINKERS Radio Interview with Harriet Russell (Bhumi)
Issue 10 - PEACE AROUND THE WORLD
Issue 9 - RIGHT ATTITUDES and TRUTHFULNESS
Issue 8 - FOLLOW YOUR HEART FOR BETTER HEALTH
7 - A TIME FOR LETTING GO - MENTALLY & PHYSICALLY
Issue 6 - TRANSITIONING INTO AUTUMN: HELPFUL TIPS FOR THE BODY &
Issue 5 - BACK TO SCHOOL TIME: REMEMBERING OUR TEACHERS
Issue 4 - ENERGY IS LIFE FORCE: ENERGY GAINS and ENERGY DRAINS
Issue 3 - AYURVEDA and YOGA - SISTER SCIENCES
Issue 2 - CONSCIOUS COMMUNICATIONS:
Issue 1 -
YOGA NIDRA: THE ART OF
ISSUE 10- BHUMI’S ARTICLE and NEWS
PEACE EDUCATION AROUND THE WORLD
By Harriet Bhumi Russell
Everyday can become a day of peace….just
take a quiet moment to close your eyes, breathe deeply, and reflect upon
what you are grateful for in your life. Then, in your own way, pray for
peace in your heart and peace in the world. These thoughts energetically
Bhumi’s Yoga & Wellness Center helps individuals find peace within
themselves through body, mind, and heart techniques and group
WORLD PEACE DAY
Each year Bhumi’s has a free community
yoga class for the public on September 21, International Peace Day. We
set our intention to create peace in community to reverberate out to the
world. Children as well as 30 adults participated this year. One person
can make a difference. And, children are the future.
World Peace Day in 2013 is dedicated to Peace Education “in an effort to
refocus minds and financing to bring about a culture of peace. ”
WHAT IS PEACE EDUCATION?
“Peace education is the process of
acquiring the values and knowledge and developing the attitudes, skills,
and behaviors to live in harmony with oneself, with others, and with the
natural environment.” (Wikipedia.org)
And that is the holistic practice of yoga!
TWO PRINCIPLES: AHIMSA (NON-VIOLENCE) and DHARMA (NATURAL ORDER)
Ahimsa, a Sanskrit word, is often
translated as “non-violence”. This means to cause no injury in one’s
deeds, words and thoughts.
Peace Day is not just about a reduction of violence in areas of war and
conflict; it's also about reducing violence in our homes, communities
And, that starts with the individual self. Thoughts of hatred, anger,
jealousy, blame and judgment harm the individual who harbors these
feelings. This causes stress, misaligned energy, and often reactive
How can you embrace non-violence more in your thoughts, when you
Dharma, another Sanskrit word, designates those behaviors
considered necessary for the maintenance of the natural order of things.
And when natural order is maintained, there is an integral harmony.
Taking care of the body, balancing between: focusing and de-stressing
the mind, creating conscious lifestyle and food choices, and clear
communications, all contribute to our personal harmony.
Furthermore, when we align with who we really are and what our personal
path of action is meant to be, then our vibration establishes a
connection to universal energy and opportunity. When we are not in
alignment, life is a struggle and negativity sets in.
Reaching our highest potential comes from inner peace and
attunement…knowing and accepting oneself. From this we draw strength,
feel less fearful, and become more open to the differences in others.
And so the circle of peace expands.
Are you creating natural order and balance in your life?
Are you aligned with your unique personal path?
THE WORLD IS ONE FAMILY
In Hindi, there is a phrase, Vasudhaiva Kutumbaha, which means “The
world is one family”.
How do you connect to “family” of your local
community or the larger “family” of the world?
It may be through just a moment of
internal quiet, a word of compassion, or a gesture in exchange. It need
not be a grandiose action, nor do you need to travel anywhere outside
Bhumi’s International’s Director Harriet Russell does speaking
engagements, coaching, and trainings around the world. Currently she’s
in Spain, where she lived 40 years ago, aligning with her linguistic and
world self. Yet, it is always a journey within.
“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign.”
Robert Louis Stevenson
Do you reconnect with yourself wherever you are and wherever you go?
Back to Top
ISSUE 9- BHUMI'S
ARTICLE and NEWS
CONTENTS: RIGHT ATTITUDE and TRUTHFULNESS
By Jessica McKeown & Harriet Bhumi Russell
1. Basic Tenets: Right Attitudes and
Right Observances: Yama & Niyama
2. Article: Truthfulness (Satya) by Jessica McKeown
3. Hot or Cold Beverages in Hot Weather?
4. Community Involvement
5. Freebies and New Summer Classes
6. Fall Programs
7. Look Ahead to 2014: Teacher Training and Mexico Retreat
BASIC TENETS: RIGHT ATTITUDES (YAMA) and RIGHT
The foundation of yoga is not the physical
postures, but rather the awareness of the mind as we follow move through
life's experiences. The Right Observances and Right Attitudes (in
Sanskrit language Yama and Niyama) are ten guidelines for conscious
living. They help us choose right action.
Truthfulness or Satya is one observance. It is truthfulness of speech,
thought, deeds. Practice honesty, owning feelings, loving
communications, assertiveness, giving constructive feedback,
forgiveness, non-judging, and letting go of masks.
Recently the Yoga Teachers in Training were given an assignment about
Yama and Niyama and the relationship to their living yoga off the mat.
Following is what one student wrote.
SATYA (TRUTHFULNESS) by Jessica McKeown
I don't own my feelings, I eat them. When I start
to "think" too much and create stories, the only way I know how to stop
them is to eat. Meals were one of the few joyful times for me growing up
as both of my parents loved to cook gourmet food from scratch. When we
were eating, we were at peace, we were together as a family, and the
sensations were wonderful. The soft feel of freshly baked bread in my
mouth, the creamy kiss of home-churned apricot ice cream, the zesty tang
of homemade mayonnaise with rosemary from the garden--I could taste the
love in every bite.
Whenever things got rough--and they did--I went back to the place where
I felt safe and loved. When I was eating, I could block out all those
other emotions that tried to get in, and the more I ate, the longer I
could keep them at bay. "I'm sorry, FEAR, you can't come in right now
because I am eating an entire block of cheddar cheese and box of Wheat
Thins." "Excuse me, GUILT, you'll have to come back another time as I am
enjoying all four servings of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie
Dough." Slowly but surely, I built an entire fortress around myself that
weighed 276.3 pounds. But you know what? Emotions are relentless, and
they still tried to get in.
Right before I stepped on stage to accept my college diploma, a photo
was taken of me in my cap and XXL gown. I received the photo in the mail
a few weeks later and when I looked at the round, smiling face, I said,
"Who is this?" Beneath the fortress, I could see the person I really
was, struggling to get out, and I could see that I was hiding from just
feeling the feelings of rejection and abandonment and unworthiness. I
was so afraid that feeling them would be the worst pain ever, but being
this heavy was just as painful. Instead of hiding, I was showing the
world just how afraid I was.
Even today, food is my comfort, though having taken down a good portion
of the fortress (and putting some of it back up again) I am changing my
relationship with food to be less of a comfort and more a source of
energy and nourishment to build my temple. I use the practice of
Satya (Truthfulness) to own my feelings, to stand in my truth, and
to speak up with love when I feel something instead of suffocate it with
When I feel the urge to eat instead of feel, I take deep breaths--these
are my new buffers on the bumpy road of life. I allow the feelings to
ride on the breath, and instead of internalizing them, I free them. I
realized that these emotions are not here to stay, but rather, they are
just passing through. Instead of leaving them outside of my fortress, I
invite them into my temple, a place that is so peaceful and full of love
that when FEAR and GUILT come in, they leave transformed. And in doing
so, I, too, am transformed.
HOT OR COLD BEVERAGES IN HOT WEATHER?
From Asia to the Middle East to Africa, most of
the hottest countries in the world have drunk hot tea for centuries.
Before cold soft drinks, there was ancient wisdom!
Here are some tips:
1) Drink a cup of warm water upon waking to stimulate digestion. (Add
some lemon to it)
2) Cold beverages inhibit digestion. Ask for water without ice when you
are in a restaurant.
3) If a beverage must stay chilled in order to keep, make sure you pour
a glass, then wait until it has become room temperature before drinking.
4) Do not drink during a meal, or only in sips, so that you chew more
and let saliva break down your food. This will also keep healthy enzymes
from being diluted and flushed out too soon.
Experiment and try if for yourself!
Why is hot more cooling? Macrobiotic Consultant Patricia Murray writes:
"I remember as a child being given very hot tea whenever I complained of
summer heat…the delicious relief lasted some hours. I felt cooler from
having my body temperature raised. If you drink a hot liquid, the
difference between your body temperature and the air around you is
minimized so you feel cooler. If you take a cold drink you may feel
cooler for a while, but soon you'll be hot again. Your body will heat
itself up trying to warm up the internal temperature caused by the ice
1) The local Biggest Loser Challenge participants
were all offered a yoga class at Bhumi's new studio.
2) the International Coach Federation of Cleveland held a coaches
retreat day at Bhumi's Training and Retreat facility on July 12. The
topic was "Resilience", led by four member presenters.
3) The Council of International Programs (CIP USA) hosted a delegation
of Physical Education government and school professionals from
Volgograd, Cleveland's sister city in Russia. Bhumi's International
Director, Harriet Russell was invited to meet with them to discuss
future Cross Cultural Holistic Health Education in Russia.
4) NASA Glenn Research has renewed the contract for Bhumi's Yoga classes
at the NASA Cleveland fitness center.
Back to Top
ISSUE 8 = BHUMI'S
ARTICLE and NEWS
CONTENTS: FOLLOW YOUR HEART FOR BETTER HEALTH
By Harriet Bhumi Russell and Nikki Pawlowski
1. Follow Your Heart For Better Health Intro: From
"Doing" to "Feeling"
2. The Science Behind Following Your Heart: Heart Rhythm Coherance
3. 6 Ways to Build and Access Your Heart's Energy With Yoga
4. The Color Green and Mother Earth: Heal the Heart, Body and Mind
5. Open Your Heart Through Music and Sharing Food at Upcoming Events
• May 26 - Mark Kelso Keyboards Concert
• June 14 - Indian Music and Dance Performance
• June 28 & 29 - Sanskrit Workshop with Bhumi
6. Head-Heart Interactions in Stress Management
7. Heart Facts
FOLLOW YOUR HEART FOR BETTER HEALTH
"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen
or even touched. They must be felt with the heart." -Helen Keller
There is a tangible intelligence of the Heart and you can access it by
moving from "doing" to "feeling".
THE SCIENCE BEHIND FOLLOWING YOUR HEART:
The Institute of HeartMath defines heart intelligence as
"...the flow of awareness, understanding and intuition we experience
when the mind and emotions are brought into coherent alignment with the
heart." The more we practice awareness of what we feel and "hear" how
our heart is guiding us, the greater our ability to access this
intelligence more often.
Research has shown that through intentionally choosing positive
feelings, we can achieve heart-rhythm coherence. In contrast, when we
experience negative attitudes, results show heart-rhythm incoherence.
What is heart-rhythm coherence? Heart rhythm coherence is smooth,
ordered heart-rhythm patterns. Heart-rhythm coherence can be felt or
experienced as calmness, good energy levels, clear thinking and proper
immune-system function. In contrast, heart-rhythm incoherence is the
result of anger, anxiety and fear.
Choose what's good for your heart, and the heart of others and feel for
yourself the strength of the heart's electromagnetic field. (See
Head-Heart Interactions at end of article for scientific data.)
WAYS TO BUILD AND ACCESS YOUR HEART'S ENERGY THROUGH YOGA:
1. Lift your heart. Notice how it feels to walk into a
room with a slouched posture vs. sternum lifted and shoulders relaxed.
2. Quiet the mind and surrender with Standing Yoga Mudra ("symbol of
yoga"). Drop the head below the heart and allow the heart to take
3. Lead with the heart and strengthen as you hold Warrior I and breathe
4. Open up and let go with the Camel Pose. Let the head hang and the
heart be open to the heavens.
5. Use three part heart-opening deep breathing techniques. Breathe into
the belly, lower lungs and then heart center and visualize the breath
moving in and out of the heart. You may also place your hand on your
heart while breathe.
6. Visualize white healing light coming from your belly center and
mentally expand this focus of light into the heart center, uniting the
centers of "gut" will power and love together.
THE COLOR GREEN and MOTHER EARTH HEAL THE HEART, BODY, and MIND:
Enjoy Bhumi's beautiful outdoor setting, with green
grass and wooded trails. Mother Earth's energy is healing. In color
therapy, green is the color for healing, and green is the color of the
heart center in the yoga chakra system.
OPEN YOUR HEARTH THROUGH MUSIC and SHARING FOOD at BHUMI's SUMMER
Traditionally, the scientific study of communication
between the "head" and heart was a one-sided perspective, focusing
primarily on the heart's responses to the brain's commands. However, we
now know that communication between the heart and brain is actually a
dynamic, ongoing, two-way dialogue, with each organ continuously
influencing the other's function.
The heart communicates with the brain and body in four ways:
• Neurological communication (nervous system)
• Biophysical communication (pulse wave)
• Biochemical communication (hormones)
• Energetic communication (electromagnetic fields)
In Yoga and Stress Management techniques, all four communications take
The heart is the most powerful generator of
electromagnetic energy in the human body, producing the largest rhythmic
electromagnetic field of any of the body's organs.
The heart's electrical field is about 60 times greater in amplitude than
the electrical activity generated by the brain. This field can be
detected anywhere on the surface of the body, using an electrocardiogram
The heart's magnetic field is more than 5,000 times greater in strength
than the magnetic field generated by the brain. It can be detected a
number of feet away from the body, in all directions, using SQUID-based
Source: Institute of HeartMath (heartmath.org/research)
• Congratulations to 15 teachers who graduated in April
from the 100 hour Amrit Yoga Nidra Facilitators Training sponsored by
Bhumi's Teacher Trainings.
• Harriet Russell, Director, was a recent key note speaker on Stress
Management at Wellness Day for 177 teachers and staff from the Columbia
School District. Twenty years ago, Harriet launched the first yoga
program at Magnificat High School for Juniors for Phys Ed credit and
through the years she has implemented programs in other Greater
• CBC (Cleveland Business Connects) Magazine featured Harriet Bhumi
Russell in the May, 2012 wellness issue.
Read it here.
Back to Top
7 - BHUMI’S ARTICLE and NEWS
CONTENTS: A TIME FOR LETTING GO: MENTALLY & PHYSICALLY
By Harriet Bhumi Russell and Nikki
1. What is it Time for You to Let Go of?
2. How to Keep the Holidays Sweet without Creating Imbalance in the Body
3. Recipe for Healthy Almond Cookies (without sugar)
4. It's Time for You to Release:
Let Go of Stress
Let Go of Busy-ness
Let Go of Weight
5. Holiday Gift Sale: Give the Gift of Health & Wellness
6. Looking Ahead to 2013
A TIME FOR LETTING GO…
As the season of harvest slowly
winds down, our external surroundings continue to let go of what was. We
see a natural clearing on the outside and know that this time is
necessary to allow for growth within, as well as the opportunity to
plant a different seed.
This can be understood quite literally, but also a consideration for our
intentions and what we create in life.
What is it time for you to let go of?
Letting go of the familiar allows for the laying of “new grounds”. This
allows for change that perhaps the ego self is not comfortable with
because it cannot see, in order to believe. Yet, you exist beyond, and
without, those “things” the ego clings onto. All the while the universe
is nudging you to trust.
Let go and trust what is going on “behind the scenes”. Know that
releasing your mental grip allows for physical release, and creates
space for the new.
A word to the wise: Once you have chosen to let go of something,
continue to be aware. Are you “letting go, but not really”, or “letting
go with a clenched fist”? Notice if you are still “holding on” by
continuing to think or talk about whatever you intended to let go.
How to keep the holidays sweet without creating imbalance in the body:
1. Be aware of how white sugar,
cane sugar and artificial sweeteners can create imbalance within the
different systems of the body. For example; mood swings due to blood
sugar fluctuations, weight gain due to excessive intake of calorie-dense
foods, candida, joint inflammation, decreased immune function and
greater susceptibility to colds.
2. Consider alternatives such as, maple syrup, rice syrup, and barley
malt (see recipe below). This can be a gradual change, if your taste
buds require some time to adjust.
Approximate measurements for sugar substitution in baked goods:
½ cup barley malt = ½-1 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you prefer)
1/3 cup rice syrup = ½-1 cup sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup = ½-1cup sugar
3. Once you have made the decision to make a change:
· Recognize your starting point, and adjust from there. Depending on
your current sugar intake, start with a change(s) that feels very doable
to you. If it feels like a stretch, how can you make the change more
4. Insight: It’s all about your habits the majority of the time. This
creates your baseline health. Your taste buds will change and cravings
will stop. Then the desire to over consume will not be there, and you
can enjoy the occasional treat with a smile, guilt free! After all, it
is the holidays!
RECIPE FOR ALMOND COOKIES - About 20-25 cookies
2½ cups organic whole wheat pastry
flour (or 1¼ cups pastry flour & 1¼ cups rice flour)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup organic almonds, ground into 1 1/2 cups almond meal
(Can use clean coffee grinder to grind or by hand with mortar and pestal)
¼ teaspoon organic vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons almond extract (or some almond butter)
½ cup pure maple syrup
½ cup coconut oil – heat to liquid
Whole organic almonds
In summer: substitute 1 ½ teaspoon orange extract instead of almond
extract. And, change vanilla to 1 teaspoon.
Glaze: 2 T. Pure maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together and combine with almond
meal. In a separate bowl, whip together extracts, syrup and coconut oil.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well, kneading as necessary
to form a heavy, sticky dough that pulls away from the sides of the
Form dough into balls and press into circles 1 ½” in diameter. Press an
almond into the center of each cookie and brush (or pat) with glaze.
Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F. Cool before serving.
It is time for you to release.
LET GO of STRESS – Attend a Yoga
LET GO of BUSY-NESS – Restorative Yoga & Nidra Relaxation
LET GO of WEIGHT – Special Program in 2013.
What are you “weighting” for
HOLIDAY GIFT SALE – Give the gift of health and wellness
Back to Top
BHUMI’S NEWSLETTER ARTICLE
TRANSITIONING INTO AUTUMN: HELPFUL TIPS FOR THE BODY & MIND
By Harriet Bhumi Russell and
As the days transition from warm
and sunny to cool and cloudy, our bodies also begin to draw inward from
the expansion of summer. This brings physical, mental and emotional
In this season, the kidney band mid-back area begins to tighten. If you
have noticed that this area of your body has been asking for some
attention lately, the following suggestions may be just the response to
put that body at ease.
RELEASING MID-BACK TENSION with STRETCHING or YOGA:
This will begin to stimulate the
kidneys, adrenals, (ovaries in women), and muscles in the mid-back
region. It increases the immune system functioning and creates hormonal
balance, reducing stress.
• Upon waking, stretch gently. Place hands on back
above the waist and do a slight backbend. Keep feet parallel or toes
turned slightly in to avoid crunching the lower back. Then, while still
standing, gently swing the body side to side, with your arms loose like
• If you practice yoga postures, allow ample time for
the back to warm-up before going into any extreme yoga twists.
• When the back is warmed up, move into a series of
twists starting with easy, simple twists and progress from there,
interspersing with other postures.
• Here is the order of twists : Simple Twist (Bharadvajasana
I), Sage Twist (Marichyasana III), Half Spinal Twist (Ardha
Matsyendrasana I), Noose Pose (Pasasana).
• Backbends while lying on the belly are also helpful .
You may be familiar with poses such as the Boat, Sphinx, Cobra, and Half
or Full Bow postures.
• Follow backbends with a gentle forward bend or
twist to realign the tailbone.
If the body has been telling you a
massage would be helpful, respond by making that appointment!
Continue the practice of
mindfulness. Be patient and gentle with your approach. Release will not
occur with the same mentality that perhaps put us in a tense knot to
Remember. What we resist will persist. Give your body the priority it
requires to keep you well-suited for this existence.
NATURAL WAYS TO TAKE CARE DURING COLD AND FLU SEASON:
Perhaps you are feeling an autumn
“cleanse”. Think positively. Consider a cold or flu as a “cleanse”.
• Drink fresh ginger tea. (Ginger tea bags are not a
potent and may be old. Fresh ginger can be found at even mainstream
The amount of ginger, water and time can vary to your taste. Grate about
2-3 T of ginger. Put in a pan of water. Bring up to a boil and then
immediately lower flame. Simmer for 10 minutes more or less. Do not boil
or it will reduce the potency of the ginger. Fill up a thermos with it
and drink throughout the day. We like it plain, but if you want it
sweet, use a little honey.
You will be amazed at how your sniffles will go away and your throat
will feel better!
Ginger tea contains lots of vitamin C, which can help to ward off and/or
minimize the effects of cold and flu viruses . In addition, the heat of
the tea stimulates the throat, which can aid in elimination of lingering
infection. Ginger also cuts through the mucous in your system. The body
will discharge (not absorb) any excess vitamin C. So, drink all you
• Practice Lion’s Pose. Sit in a chair with feet wide
or on your heels. Place your hands on your knees and
stretch all your fingers out . Open your eyes wide. Take in a deep
breath, then lean forward while you stick out your tongue and exhale
loudly (really roar!) This will stimulate your throat.
• Gargle with sea salt water.
• Use a neti pot, sea salt and water to clear nostrils.
• Try a Eucalyptus steam.
• Get enough sleep. Reduce stress.
• Eat pure healthy foods. Avoid excessive sugar,
caffeine, and dairy intake. Sugar and caffeine weaken the immune system.
Dairy is mucous forming.
“TRANSFORM YOUR ENERGY, TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE”: ONE DAY ENERGY PRACTICES
It’s all about energy. We are all
moved by energy, driven by energy and affected by energy. Energies that
affect us on a daily basis include: internal source energy, energy of
mental and emotional stirrings, relationships, community/organization,
collective consciousness, as well as the energy of nature.
Come experience and learn a variety of energy practices that you can
integrate into your life in order to better process, utilize and build
your source energy.
Back to Top
BACK TO SCHOOL TIME: REMEMBERING OUR TEACHERS
By Harriet Bhumi Russell
1. Article with Reflective Questions
2. Programs and News
A person who provides education,
a means through which any experience can have a formative effect on the
way one thinks, feels, or acts.
Japanese word that is literally translated as "person born before
another". In general usage, it means "master" or "teacher". The word is
also used to show respect to someone who has achieved a certain level of
Sanskrit term for
"teacher" or "master". It means "the imparter of knowledge". The
syllables gu and ru stand for darkness and
light, respectively. The guru is seen as the one who "dispels the
darkness of ignorance."
Who are the teachers who have most influenced you?
September has always been an
exciting time for me. While I enjoyed summer activities, I really looked
forward to the opportunity to go back to school. I loved and still do
love, to learn. Going back to school is a time when I could start over
with clean notebooks, fresh labels, and a new calendar to organize. It
was a time of re-creation for me.
We were honored, my first teacher of yoga, Dr. Amrit Desai, came to the
new Bhumi’s Yoga and Wellness Center Sept. 28. (He will come again April
12, 2013.) I reflect upon the 30 years of my teaching and
training programs and remember with gratitude my yoga experiences in
life, off the mat.
Yogi Amrit Desai always told us that your first Guru is your mother. As
I highlight a few of the teachers who have helped me shaped my views on
life and to grow, I hope my experience will inspire you to reflect
upon your teachers and guides as well.
How were you greeted in
life by your mother/father?
My mother, although not on
this physical plane anymore, is always with me in my head and my heart.
Whether I’m cooking, gardening or driving a car or wondering what to do
at a crossroads of decision making, I draw upon her wisdom and love.
My father taught me to value being responsible for my commitments,
personal finances, and education, to be grounded and rooted in the
Who made you
feel safe, loved and supported in your childhood years?
My mother often responded to my
searching questions with “The most important thing is that you are happy
and healthy.” While there are many things I can appreciate about my
mother, this stands out right now: her complete acceptance and
unconditional support for her children and their different paths in life
comes down to this.
So when I question what direction to take in a major crossroads, I
ask myself, “Will this make me happy and will this keep me healthy?”
And then I ask myself, “Is it responsible financially and can I carry
through with this commitment? “, as my father taught me.
What is a basic guide for your decision-making in life
In high school, I had an English
teacher who always challenged our suburban belief systems.
Once I wrote a paper saying that people in more deprived circumstances
have a stronger ability to tolerate bad situations because they are used
to it. An “A” student, I was surprised when this teacher put a long
question mark through the front page of my composition. She took the
time after class to make sure that I knew that no human being should be
less privileged just because they are used to it.
Mrs. Walter helped me think outside of the box, and she lived her life
that way. She was the breadwinner and her husband knit her
dresses. After that I started to tutor children in the inner city
where my mother worked as a counselor, in order to expand my horizons
and help others.
What action have you taken as a result of a teacher’s challenge
to your known world?
Dr. Nancy Lopez-Balboa was my
Spanish professor at Boston University. She was so engaging and her
stories of leaving Cuba opened my eyes further to the world. We
beginner students of Spanish were so interested in her stories we would
ask questions and she would slip into English to tell her stories.
Our hearts and minds were so inspired with seeing that the world is far
larger and diverse than our young lives could imagine at this time.
After that I went to live and study in Spain for two years.
Who helped you see the similarities in people, and to accept the
When I was in Spain I met
professor and author Sensei Reiji Nagakawa, the only Asian person in
Sevilla! He happened to ask directions in English to a Spanish
friend of mine and from then on a group of us spent evenings at his
house eating sushi, playing “mahjong” (Chinese chess) and
learning Japanese songs. I was fascinated that he had translated
Shakespeare and James Joyce into Japanese!
From this student teacher relationship came one of the most unusual and
eye opening journeys to the outer world.
After two years preparation, Sensei, two young Spanish students, and my
young twenty four year old self traveled over land for six months on a
dollar a day budget following Marco Polo’s silk route from Spain to
Nepal, through Iran and Afghanistan in 1975.
When I arrived in Japan, I had twenty dollars in my pocket, a
prearranged English teaching job, and a room to live in. I never
imagined I would stay 5 years in total immersion. I left Japan with
professional experience as ABC news translator for the Tokyo Economic
Summit, author of How to Teach
English to the Japanese published by Encyclopaedia Britannica,
and a Masters degree in Linguistics from a top notch Japanese
Where has your outer journey taken you?
After eight years abroad,
I questioned who I was. Was I doing business in Japan Japanese- style,
American-style or just Harriet Russell-style? I decided to “discover
myself” back in the USA, and by age 30 I entered corporate life in NYC.
While working as manager of the
PR Dept of Sony Corporation, I was making a career change and unclear.
One Japanese gentleman said to me, “You are a shining star; you need to
spread your wings and see the uniqueness in yourself.”
Who inspired you to step out of the norm to find your
During my four years in NYC, I
changed jobs three times and ended up further away from my core
direction. I started to meditate and take yoga and this helped me deal
with the stresses of a busy city and competitive environment.
Then one day a friend handed me a catalog for a yoga center in
Massachusetts. “Nice photos, good quality paper, excellent writing. Must
be a professional place,” I thought.
And this is where I met my second guru, Yogi Amrit Desai, and changed my
direction and career.
Who has helped you explore the journey inward?
I honor all my teachers,
and am grateful for their guidance, which comes from love.
I never thought I would be a teacher or coach, but my mother knew. She
just patiently waited until I found that out for myself. And I find it
brings me far more happiness and health and opens my heart to share with
What is the single most important quality for you to find in a
teacher or guide on the path of life?
Everyone has something to teach
us. Every relationship can be a mirror unto ourself. Sometimes it’s the
one who we are irritated by. Sometimes it is the one who we are inspired
Who has helped you see inside yourself?
Everyone has something to offer
others. We are all teachers. We are all perpetual students. Enjoy the
How do you support others in their personal development?
It’s back to school time right
here in Cleveland, Ohio at Bhumi’s!
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ENERGY IS LIFE FORCE: ENERGY GAINS and ENERGY DRAINS
by Harriet Bhumi Russell
Energy is our life force. Scientifically it is called an
electromagnetic field, in Asia it is chi or prana, and others see it as
divine energy, spirit. Energy is what we are made of. Energy is
neutral, not good or bad. It is merely balanced or unbalanced, which
means we can change it and bring it back into a state of wholeness.
There are various levels of energy. At a minimum, we are using energy
for mere survival, or just making it through the day or the work week.
This is our human potential. We can go beyond taking care of the body
and daily duties, however, which allows us energy to grow, create, and
act in accordance with our life purpose to evolve. This is our spiritual
Ways to increase your energy and keep it balanced:
Recognize your energy gains and energy
drains. My short term energy gains include massage, yoga and
“yoga nidra” relaxation and meditation, being with nature (gardening,
walking in the woods, just breathing fresh air), eating organic whole
foods and only when I am hungry, balance between work and play, and
having both solo time and social time.
When I am feeling unbalanced, I catch it early so that I do not become
ill (Disease = dis-ease.) If I am inside too much at the computer, I
take a break outside. If I have many days at meetings or consultations,
I balance out with a day in the office for paperwork. If I have a
training to direct, I keep space in my schedule before and after it. I
am constantly monitoring my energy gains and drains, so I can be more
aware and therefore be able to make changes if I chose to.
Do one thing nice for yourself each day.
What is the best way you nurture yourself? I have a daily yoga and
relaxation practice. Then whatever happens during the day, I can handle
it with less stress because I know I have done this one thing for
myself. This way, as the days and weeks roll by, no matter what I have
or have not accomplished on my “to do” list, I can always say, I did one
thing nice for myself each day.
De-stress. Statistics show that
stress is the underlying cause for 90% of doctor’s visits. When we
discover how to work with stress, we can stop reacting to life, people
and situations, and begin to embrace life fully, no matter how it
Simplify your life.
decluttering, workplace organization, or time management, the most
important simplification is to clear your mind of unnecessary energy
Be positive and when you are not, accept yourself. Thoughts hold energy
too. A seed thought manifests into words and then actions. We attract
into our lives what we think and say.
Focus on what you have and do not worry about what you do not have.
Drop guilt, self judgment, regret, comparison, and desire. These are all
mental drains. Merely acknowledge these thoughts and then move on.
Observe what is, what you are doing, and your current reality. Pat
yourself on the back and cultivate an “attitude of gratitude”.
Stay fully present in the moment.
This is a great energy gain. What does “being present” mean anyway? It
is learning to recognize mental distractions....worry, fear, remembering
the past, etc. Be a witness with non-judgmental awareness and just
watch the thoughts go by without trying to change anything. Just notice
your breath, your body tensions and use this body awareness to anchor
the mind. Watch without suppression or reaction.
Interpretation of the past and projection of the future are the natural
states of the waking mind, but they are not reality. Being in the moment
is a body-mind integration which brings focus, clarity, creativity, and
relaxation. We need to give the mind a true rest. Just be. Yoga nidra
relaxation and meditation are ways to change our consciousness, and that
same frame of mind can be used throughout the day.
Shift from constantly thinking and doing and drop into a state of
feeling and being. Your energy resources will grow.
Follow your own unique path, your
passion and make your life what you dream it to be.
This is a
long term energy gain! It begins to create energy with just the thought
and idea. Be and keep becoming who you are meant to be. And this begins
with knowing yourself.
I keep creating the changes in my life and work that keep me following
my own unique calling. That gives me mental energy to keep going with
Give back to the world you live in and
Energy keeps moving. After taking care of
yourself, you have extra energy to give to others, and by serving open
heartedly, you then receive more energy back again. Serve without
seeking reward, and not from just a sense of duty, which is an energy
drain. You might do volunteer work, share or teach your expertise, or
just take a moment to acknowledge someone with a kind word. I took time
off of work to volunteer teach in Kyrgyzstan for three months.
Love is the greatest energy gain. Open your heart without conditions
attached. And the energy of an open heart will come back to you many
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AYURVEDA and YOGA - SISTER SCIENCES
by Harriet Bhumi Russell
Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word meaning "knowledge of life"
comprised of Ayur (life) and Veda (science or knowledge). It is an
ancient medical system which incorporates natural ways of healing.
All healing occurs at the deepest level of our being. The foundation of
health is consciousness. There is an inseparable, intimate relationship
between consciousness, which is invisible, and physiology, which is
visible. This natural form of healing from our core is designed to
dismantle the hidden cause of chronic stress-producing, self-destructive
behaviors and habitual patterns. We have the power to change from within
and manifest vibrant health and balance!
Tension and stress are different. We constantly regulate tension and
relaxation internally, like breathing in and breathing out. However,
when the amount of tension is more than what can be balanced by
relaxation, that unresolved tension is called stress.
Our physical body is an extension of our energy body. When we focus by
going within, we can identify and release, allowing all surface symptoms
“Most people want to be relaxed, and they rely on secondary resources
that provide a temporary sense of balance. But, they do not resolve the
cause of the stress hidden in the unconscious.” Yogi Amrit Desai
Ayurveda is a holistic health system and sister science of yoga.
Ayurveda works from outside in; yoga works from inside out. Yoga is an
unfolding of the spirit for self-transformation. Ayurveda transforms us
through in-depth purification of the body and mind.
Ayurvedic treatments are tailored to the individual depending upon the
physical constitution, metabolism, mental state, personality, lifestyle,
age, and ailments.
Ayuveda and Yoga are the combined power of body and soul. Ayurveda gives
wings to your practice of Yoga and enhances your experience of life on
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by Harriet Bhumi Russell
People learn and take in information in different ways. We speak
depending upon who we are addressing, what situation we are in
(environment, atmosphere), who’s within hearing range, and what the
subject matter is.
Unless you grew up in the same family (and even this is not a
given), you probably have a different communication style.
We are all unique. Remember and embrace our differences.
When I know myself, then I am able to better see these differences, and
therefore communicate and listen more effectively.
Here is an intercultural example of how to relate to people who
communicate differently. It is a look at what we call high context and
low context cultures. Have some fun noticing these different styles in
your own friends, family, and professional relationships, even within
Low Context cultures send unambiguous messages. You see
what you get, time is of the essence, they are more straightforward, and
have transaction oriented business meetings. The USA, Canada, Germany,
Switzerland, and Scandinavian countries are of this orientation. They
think that High Context countries do not respect deadlines. How about
Think about management in the USA. How fast can you do it, what’s the
profit margin, and hopefully, is it legal?
High Context cultures rely more on non verbal
communication, indirect verbal signals, and implicit meanings.
Developing trust is critical before any business can be done. China,
Japan, Korea, Spain, Greece, Turkey, the entire Arab world, Latin
American and Africa have this orientation. This a lot of places to write
off business from If you do not understand. They think that Low context
countries are too brash and impatient. How are you perceived?
High context is more foreign to us. It is not the average business style
in American culture. However, we use it a lot in personal relationships.
Ask yourself: How direct are you in your requests? Expressing your
needs? Do you use a different context in your business and personal
Remember: Nothing is wrong or right. It is just a matter of getting to
Seeing yourself clearly, requires being objective. Objectivity best
happens when we are relaxed and accepting of reality. How objective are
Some cultures are more defined in appropriateness. In Japanese, there
are 107 ways to say “you” but in Spanish and French there are only two
(formal and informal). In modern English, we use “you” for everyone
regardless of their position, age, sex, or socio-economic standing.
One way I have worked with communications is to access the body-mind
field. For example, when I feel stress, my mind is like a filter
distorting reality, and then doubts and little fears crop up. I
imagine that what’s not working and the way I respond to it
will “never” change and what I do want will be
When I am relaxed and at peace with myself and the world around me, I
can “cross over” my mind into a place of being, totally present and “in
the moment”. I listen better and I communicate more clearly and
joyfully. Awareness brings relaxation. The practice of yoga is to look
within and to uncover the light within. When the body and mind are in
complete synergy, it brings out the spirit, the heart, the joy.
Know yourself. Which way do you communicate? Is this your preference?
How do you like others to communicate with you?
When I know myself, I am more open to others. When I am relaxed, I am
more attuned. This helps me to relate better to others who communicate
differently, honoring each other in our diversity.
I continue to learn how to bridge communication style differences. I
check in on myself: How am I feeling right now in my body-mind field? Am
I under stress, apprehensive, locked into a narrow frame of mind,
focused on only my needs and wants?
Respectful communications require open mindedness and an open heart. And
that begins within ourselves.
Reach out across the world:
Volunteer work with Kyrgyzstan.
From The Heart.
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: THE ART OF
by Harriet Bhumi Russell
Lie down and relax. This is what the novice to yoga
"sleep", called "yoga nidra" may think they are receiving…a
relaxation. The benefits of yoga nidra are so much more that they
can truly be termed "transformational", that is, you can change your
life patterns through this practice.
In today's newsletter, I am returning back to my "beginner's mind"
to let you know of the immediate benefits I felt when I first
started yoga nidra thirty years ago.
- I felt deeply relaxed physically. I felt a sense of
timelessness, not consciously aware of how much time had passed by
and also a freedom from space-boundaries as if I had melted into the
- I had an awareness of increased energy, yet a deep stillness, a
- I understood the phrase "no where to go, nothing to do" because
I was experiencing that.
- I stopped reacting to my emotions and thoughts because I was so
relaxed. I began to "witness" and "watch" without defining,
analyzing or controlling my thoughts and emotions.
- I was able to see and notice what was there all the time. Unlike
when I am too active physically or mentally, I was slowed down
enough to see and feel more.
- I found in my daily active life I became more relaxed inside and
could make more conscious choices, overcoming the tendency to just
Yoga Nidra provides a very deep relaxation in the
physical body and stills the mind. This allows the practitioner to
reach deeper levels in other areas of the body-mind connection to
heal chronic illness, resolve emotional trauma, change behavior
patterns, integrate life's ups and downs.
Question: What is the difference between Yoga Nidra
and normal nighttime sleep?
Short Answer: In sleep, you enter the delta brain
waves. In yoga nidra, you enter the alpha and theta brain waves.
This means your conscious mind is there but at the same time you can
access the subconscious mind, which is where change takes place.
By practicing yoga nidra, your practice becomes what yoga truly is:
a 5,000 year old science of personal growth and development. And it
all starts with self awareness.
So take a break. Lie down. Relax. And let guided yoga nidra change
Ways to experience Yoga Nidra and other
holistic health practices: (links)
Bhumi's yoga classes
Attend Yoga Restoration &
out Bhumi's CDs:
Yoga Nidra description)
Yoga Nidra One
Yoga Nidra Two
Yoga Nidra Three
Yoga for Menstruation
Yoga for Menopause
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