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Newsletters:
To submit your topics for upcoming issues email: Harriet@BhumiInternational.com

See below for recent issues. Easy request to get past articles emailed to you. See archives link for older articles.

2015:
RELATIONSHIP TIPS
KEFIT PANCAKE RECIPE

2014:
TEFF and WHOLE GRAINS; Teff Cookies & Muffins Recipes;
CONTEST & PRIZES;
FOOD & INTUTION

2014:
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
Issue 7 - A TIME FOR LETTING GO - MENTALLY & PHYSICALLY
Issue 6 - TRANSITIONING INTO AUTUMN: HELPFUL TIPS FOR THE BODY & MIND
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: KNOW YOURSELF.
Issue 1 -  YOGA NIDRA: THE ART OF DEEPER RELAXATION


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 affect others.
Bhumi’s Yoga & Wellness Center helps individuals find peace within themselves through body, mind, and heart techniques and group experiences.

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 schools.

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 behavior.

How can you embrace non-violence more in your thoughts, when you feeling stressed?

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 yourself.

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?

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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 OBSERVANCES (NIYAMA)

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 chocolate-covered anything.

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 drink."


COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

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.

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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 precedence

3. Lead with the heart and strengthen as you hold Warrior I and breathe deeply.

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 EVENTS

HEAD-HEART INTERACTIONS:

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 place.

FACTS:

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 (ECG/EKG).

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 magnetometers.

Source: Institute of HeartMath (heartmath.org/research)

BHUMI'S NEWS:

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 Cleveland schools.

• CBC (Cleveland Business Connects) Magazine featured Harriet Bhumi Russell in the May, 2012 wellness issue. Read it here.

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ISSUE 7 - BHUMI’S ARTICLE and NEWS
CONTENTS: A TIME FOR LETTING GO: MENTALLY & PHYSICALLY

By Harriet Bhumi Russell and Nikki Pawlowski

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 realistic?

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


DIRECTIONS:

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 bowl.

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 Class
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

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 ISSUE 6 - BHUMI’S NEWSLETTER ARTICLE
TRANSITIONING INTO AUTUMN: HELPFUL TIPS FOR THE BODY & MIND

By Harriet Bhumi Russell and Nikki Pawlowski

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 changes.
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 wet noodles!
     • 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.


PROFESSIONAL MASSAGE:

If the body has been telling you a massage would be helpful, respond by making that appointment!

BE MINDFUL:

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 begin with.
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 grocery stores.}

RECIPE: 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 want!

     • 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 RETREATS”:

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.

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Issue 5- BHUMI’S NEWSLETTER ARTICLE
BACK TO SCHOOL TIME:  REMEMBERING OUR TEACHERS
By Harriet Bhumi Russell

Contents:
1.    Article with Reflective Questions
2.    Programs and News


Teacher:
A person who provides education, a means through which any experience can have a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts.

Sensei:
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 mastery. 

Guru: A 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 directi
ng 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 practical world.


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 transitions?

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 differences?

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 university.


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 uniqueness?

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 others.

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 by.
 

Who has helped you see inside yourself?

Everyone has something to offer others. We are all teachers. We are all perpetual students. Enjoy the journey!

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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ISSUE 4- BHUMI'S NEWSLETTER ARTICLE 
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 potential.

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 manifests.

Simplify your life. Beyond house decluttering, workplace organization, or time management, the most important simplification is to clear your mind of unnecessary energy draining thoughts.

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 enthusiasm.

Give back to the world you live in and serve others.  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. See  details.

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 fold.

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ISSUE 3 - BHUMI'S NEWSLETTER ARTICLE
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 to diminish.

“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 all levels.

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ISSUE 2 - BHUMI'S NEWSLETTER ARTICLE - 
CONSCIOUS COMMUNICATIONS: KNOW YOURSELF.

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 your community.

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 your acquaintances?

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 relationships?

Remember: Nothing is wrong or right. It is just a matter of getting to know yourself.

Seeing yourself clearly, requires being objective. Objectivity best happens when we are relaxed and accepting of reality. How objective are you?

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 compromised.

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. Venture From The Heart.

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ISSUE 1-BHUMI'S NEWSLETTER ARTICLE
YOGA NIDRA
: THE ART OF DEEPER RELAXATION

by Harriet Bhumi Russell


YOGA NIDRA

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 ground.
  • I had an awareness of increased energy, yet a deep stillness, a quiet mind.
  • 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 react.

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 your life!

Ways to experience Yoga Nidra and other holistic health practices: (links)
Attend Bhumi's yoga classes
Attend Yoga Restoration & Nidra De-Stress


Check out Bhumi's CDs: (link to Yoga Nidra description)
Yoga Nidra One
Yoga Nidra Two
Yoga Nidra Three
Chakra Yoga
Yoga for Menstruation
Yoga for Menopause
Yoga Live!

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