Healing Social Injustice like Racism

melanin woman sitting with hands in front of face

We are living in chaotic, yet very transformational times. Old habits, social structures and injustice are being released. This creates room for more balance and equality in its place.

This is clearly visible in the current Black Lives Matter movement. People of all color express their truth and slowly pull down the oppressive system that lasted for so long.

We are being reminded that nothing is permanent. Accepting that everything comes and goes and releasing old beliefs can create deep emotional healing for the whole of humanity.

But the present chaotic times can also be traumatic and trigger deep-seated wounds related to inequality, oppression and social injustice.

Anger and sadness showing up means that these emotions seek expression and are ready to be healed.

We can create balance by diving deep into ourselves and releasing any negativity that hasn’t been addressed. It is very important to get rid of stress factors and negative ways of thinking that feed into more division and separation.

One of the best tools for transformation is our imagination. This allows us to align our body to anything we can envision in our mind.

We created a powerful healing meditation for dealing with racial trauma and other kinds of injustice.

We guide you into deep meditation and use visualization and affirmations to remove energetic blocks and balance the chakras involved. Healing happens when we are completely relaxed and we feel safe.

We fully support Black Lives Matter, but you can use the meditation for any type of harmful experiences. It can lead to the release of stress, anxiety and depression.

Even if you feel you may have been the perpetrator at times, healing and taking responsibility for ourselves is crucial right now.

For the next generation.

Read the Original Article on SoulSouplesse.com

You Might Also Like our Blog on Yoga & Islam

Stay Connected!

Subscribe to our general newsletter to be kept up to date. No spam, we promise.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Soul Souplesse, Parnassiaveld, Duivendrecht, 1115EE. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

5 Similarities Between Yoga and Islam

picture of white mosque

This weekend was the celebration of the end of Ramadan. In the past month Muslims all over the world fasted everyday from sunrise to sunset.

Fasting for a considerably shorter duration is also part of our Healing Yoga Course. And this is not the only similarity between yoga and Islam.

During my yoga teacher training we had the assignment to present parts of the Yoga Sutras in groups. There was one young woman that said it felt as if she was reading the Quran.

The subject of religion came up again, when the use of the word God in the Sutras met with some resistance. Even though yoga goes beyond all religions and some Muslims say yoga is forbidden [haram] in Islam, it got me thinking…

There are some apparent similarities between yogic philosophy and traditions and those of the world’s largest religions.

Now would be the perfect time for us to share the parallels we found between yoga and Islam.

1. Astrology Plays a Silent Role in Both Teachings

Not many people know that the yoga postures [Asanas] are designed to help us align our bodies with the different planets. Hatha Yoga ~ the physical form of yoga ~ actually means Sun (Ha) and Moon (Tha) in Sanskrit.

The philosophy behind Hatha Yoga is that we can connect deeply with the Universe and all of creation. The poses embody the qualities of the important planets and zodiac signs, like the Warriors (Mars), Fish Pose (Pisces), the Sun Salutations (Sun) and Scorpion Pose (Scorpio).

Young Woman Doing Yoga Meditation and Stretching Exercises. Scorpion pose. Stock photo in grey tones. Links to Yogasana Yoga Encyclopedia on amazon.
Learn All Traditional Yoga Poses with Yogasana

Most Muslims discourage the use of Astrology and horoscopes, even though the movements of the Sun and Moon play an important role in Islamic traditions. Ramadan, the prescribed prayers and other religious duties of Islam are all observed at certain times, that depend on the position of the Moon and the Sun.

The Quran points out the purpose of Astrology as means of physical guidance, navigation and determining the time.

“And landmarks. And by the stars, they guide themselves.”

[Al-Qur’an 16:16]

It is even said that both Astronomy and Astrology arose during the Islamic Golden Age [8-14th Century], when Muslims studied the movement of celestial bodies way before the telescope was even invented.

Astrologers made accurate predictions of the direction that Muslims must face while praying [Kaaba] and when the month of Ramadan would begin.

2. Yogis as well as Muslims Attach Great Value to Prayer and Meditation

The second of the five Islamic pillars is prayer [Salat]. Muslims have to pray five times throughout each day in a prescribed manner at given times. There are additional prayers for Fridays, nighttime and during Ramadan.

The purpose of Islamic prayer is complete focus on and surrender to the connection with Allah. Islam is also about deep contemplation and increased charity and generosity to the poor and needy.

All Islamic duties and customs come from the prophet Muhammad, who lived a mindful life and was well-known for his meditation practice. It was during this practice in the cave in Mount Hira that he first received Quranic revelations.

Black and White Photo of Opened Qur'an

These traditions do not differ much from the Eight Limbs of Yoga. The practices of yogic restraint [Yama] and observance [Niyama] are also about deepening one’s spiritual life and dedication to the Lord. These practices include meditation, contemplation, self-discipline, self-reflection and truthfulness.

Yogic philosophy says that prayer should be followed by meditation and not the other way around. One prays to express gratitude and meditates to experience oneness with God [Sri Chinmoy].

3. Islam and Yoga Both Hold Instructions for Proper Diet

Islamic dietary rules define which foods are halal and may be eaten. The criteria include the source, cause of death, method of slaughter and processing of the food.

Pork is the most common example of non-halal food, but there are more foods and beverages that should not be eaten.

Intoxicants, such as alcoholic drinks, are also not allowed. The word alcohol is actually derived from the Arabic word Al-Kuhl, which means ‘Body-Eating Spirit’. It is common belief that the consumption of alcohol extracts our soul essence out of the body.

Following a pure [sattvic] diet is similarly important to most yogis, because of the accumulation of karma. The yogic practice of non-violence [ahimsa] means not causing harm to other living beings, which is why yogis often eat vegetarian.

Sattvic diets are based on the principle of Ayurveda and yogic literature. This system provides guidelines for the best foods to eat based on someone’s body type. It mostly includes food that is pure, natural, honest and clean.

4. Cleansing Rituals Are of Most Importance for each of the Traditions

Cleanliness is a very important part of Islam. Before the five time prayer Muslims need to perform purification every time by washing the face, hands, head and feet [Wudu]. In general Muslims ought to be ritually clean through prayer, washing the body, keeping the environment clean, dietary rules and toilet etiquette. Besides there needs to be silent approval of the prophet Muhammad through words, actions and habits [the Hadith].

Yoga philosophy also speaks of purification before the physical practice of yoga and sitting in meditation. The Niyamas of the Yoga Sutras speak of saucha, which means purity, cleanliness and clearness. It refers to purity of mind, body and speech. Along with daily rituals to cleanse the body, the concept of saucha also suggests clean surroundings and the consumption of clean food [Ayurveda].

Washing Laundry Foot Care Ritual Gilded Free Image Islamic Ritual Wudu before Prayer

5. Both Yoga and Islam Mention Sexual Abstinence

One of the five Yama practices of the Yoga Sutras is sexual restraint. This is one of the most discussed and misunderstood topics in yoga.

Celibacy is only part of the picture and generally meant for harnessing and transmuting life force energy. Sexual abstinence can be a choice when a yogi is working on self-discipline and self-realization.

Modern times ask for a more liberal explanation of the principle, namely that sexual expression should be mindful and not harmful to others. Some traditions, like tantra, see sex as something sacred and a way to directly connect to the Divine.

Islamic attitude towards celibacy is also complex. It condemns premarital and extramarital sex, but emphasizes that marriage enables one to attain the highest form of righteousness within a sacred spiritual bond.

So it seems that both Islam and yoga promote mindful sexual expression and a more relative form of sexual restraint, like remaining moderate and honoring the sacred bond between two people.

You Might Also Like:

Make Sure to Sign Up To Our Newsletter!

Stay Connected!

Subscribe to our general newsletter to be kept up to date. No spam, we promise.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Soul Souplesse, Parnassiaveld, Duivendrecht, 1115EE. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

6 Ways to Stay Positive…

man with face mask and yellow overall meditating

Covid~19 Got Nothing On Us!

poem about staying positive during covid~19

I wrote this poem to encourage people to stay positive during these weird times. I genuinely hope everyone is safe, but also firmly believe that we experience what we – unconsciously – create.

Instead of focusing on the fear and panic, try to see this as a huge wake up call for humanity at large.

When we all make sure to stay healthy, positive and smart; Covid~19 got nothing on us!

man in namaste position wearing face mask and yellow protective overalls

Below you will find 6 ways to change your mindset, uplift yourself and how to stay positive!

Practice Healing Yoga To Keep Your Body Convinced It’s Healthy

Meditate on Perfect Health With Oprah & Deepak

Listen To Healing Frequencies To Keep Your Vibration High

Learn All About Self Healing and Stay Well For the Rest of Your Life

Stay Hydrated By Drinking Pure Water Every Day

Train Your Brain To Stay Positive With These Healing Affirmations

Looking for more inspiration?

You might also like our latest post on SoulSouplesse.com
about the Power of Positivity.

Stay Connected!

Subscribe to our general newsletter to be kept up to date. No spam, we promise.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Soul Souplesse, Parnassiaveld, Duivendrecht, 1115EE. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Why You Should Try Yoga From Home

woman working and meditating from home with tablet in quarantine

One of most delightful and soothing experiences you can do is to practice yoga at home. Unlike attending yoga classes, learning how to do yoga at home is a preferred choice of many.

Those who know how to do yoga at home can attest to the wonderful benefits it brings. Imagine that feeling of comfort and privacy of being able to manage your own regimen – it’s truly astounding!

Below are some of the benefits of doing yoga at home

1. You Can Manage Your Own Time

Instead of re-arranging your schedule for another person, you have the convenience to decide as to when you want to do yoga. Since you know how to do yoga at home, you can simply fit your ‘yoga time’ to when you feel comfortable.

All you need is a mat, a yoga book and / or yoga video’s at your hand. There are no costs other than that!

You can opt to buy a hard copy of a yoga book or simply get one online which you can easily access.

2. You Can Be Your Own Teacher

You can come up with a customized routine that suits your preferences at a particular time. Specifically, you can put together a personalized mix of poses, stretches and other exercises that fits your daily schedule.

It’s up to you if you want to start with a sequence of sun salutations and floor stretches or do some standing and balancing poses. Whether you have 15 minutes or a full hour to spare, you have the power to decide how long and what your routine should be – this is the essence of home-based yoga.

3. You Can Experience Yoga at its Finest

Learning how to do yoga at home is the only way to ensure that you’ll have a true yoga experience. This means that there are things that you can experience at home that you can’t get from being part of any yoga class.

There is a really different atmosphere when it comes to practicing yoga at home and being part of a class. You will feel a certain sense of serenity, sincerity and be more mindful of yourself in the privacy of your own home.

Yoga allows you the flexibility to decide where and when to practice it. Some cannot afford to join yoga classes due to financial reasons. Another obstacle to taking these classes is the fixed schedules which makes it hard for others to squeeze it into their weekly agenda. Whatever your reason is, knowing how to do yoga at home is truly an advantage.

To our believe yoga is truly the best exercise. Many generations of practitioners swear by its extensive, life-prolonging effects. To start enjoying the difference, you can begin your yoga journey with us today.

It will be one the best decisions you’ll ever make!

7 Unexpected Benefits of Yoga

incense in front of man doing yoga in black pants

Most people think the only benefits of yoga are stretching and relaxation. Nothing could be less true. Besides flexibility and releasing tension, there are numerous of scientifically proven benefits connected to yoga.

Yoga enhances vitality, strength, posture, confidence, focus, awareness, peace of mind, endurance and mental health, to name a few. The list of benefits continues with a multitude of health issues yoga can heal and prevent.

But honestly, these advantages are still a little bit too obvious to me. I personally experienced even deeper changes on a physical, mental and spiritual level. I will share seven more unexpected benefits that yoga can bring about. Did you know…

1. Yoga Improves Brain Structure and DNA

“ Just as training the muscles, training the mind can help develop and strengthen certain parts of the brain

Practicing yoga can lead to benefits for the body, brain and even our DNA.

Just as training the muscles, training the mind can help develop and strengthen certain parts of the brain. Yoga entails more than just physical exercise. It also embodies meditation through the focused attention in the different postures. Therefore, yoga is considered a contemplative practice that includes physical, mental and spiritual activity.

Research shows that regular yoga practice develops positive change in the areas of the brain associated with awareness, attention and memory.

As we get older, usually the left prefrontal cortex of the brain gets thinner, which leads to memory loss, cognitive decline and changes in behavior. But forementioned study actually found a greater cortical thickness in a group of elderly yoga practitioners, compared to the control group of healthy non-practitioners.

Besides memory, different studies also conclude that mind-body activities like yoga can actually benefit us on a DNA level.

Our genes regulate the production of inflammatory proteins, that can be enhanced as a result of unhealthy habits and chronic stress. Too much inflammation in the body can lead to serious health issues, like depression and cancer. Yoga and mindfulness have proven to have an opposing effect on the production of inflammatory proteins.

The traditional view on genetics is that we are mere products of our genes. But more recent research shows we actually have control over the self-regulation process of our cells. Our cells are responsive to environmental changes and can in fact alter their own DNA through epigenetics. 

This discovery could mean that the health benefits of yoga can be long-lasting and even heritable to our next generation!

Read More About Epigenetics and Our Genes:

2. Yoga Benefits Personality

“ The more you practice yoga, the more you get in tune with your soul and its positive qualities

In day to day life, most of us operate from the egomind. We are great at planning, analyzing, discussing and solving problems. With the mind being in control most of the time, often comes judgement and attachment. The ego-mind focuses on survival and self-protection. This leaves the majority of people to operate from the negative polarity of the personality.  

Being in this kind of survival mode all the time, makes people insecure, judgmental and divided. Even if we do our best to act friendly, unconsciously our thoughts are often competitive, envious and critical. It can be hard to recognize and admit that our mind is constantly estimating its chances of survival through this negative way of thinking.

Like mentioned before yoga is much more than just physical exercise and relaxation. It also entails getting to know oneself on a deeper level and becoming aware of our deepest thoughts and feelings.

black man with afro meditating with incense in front

Yoga creates space for our awareness to expand, which is necessary for this type of self-examination and transformation. Only through awareness we can change our perspective on life and consciously retrain the mind towards more positive qualities. When we are more at peace with ourselves, this will spontaneously influence our mindset and behavior towards others as well.

Yoga also benefits the connection with our true self, which is not the mind or our personality. Instead of identifying with our ego and thoughts, we can quiet the mind and all its judgement. Through focused attention on the yoga postures and the breath, we can learn to detach from the ego.

Our true self is always loving, compassionate and confident. It is the purest part of our self, that people also often call the higher self or the soul. The more you practice yoga, the more you can get in tune with your soul and its positive qualities. 

3. Yoga Betters Sex Life

“ Even from a spiritual perspective yoga is about sex

So an important benefit of yoga is getting in touch with who we truly are. This definitely enables us to connect better with others as well. And connection is of course the most important reason two people have sex with each other, right?

Another effect of yoga is that we create a deeper connection to our own bodies. Every posture in yoga and the focus it requires allows to feel and explore the body on a more subtle level. This body awareness will have you more attuned with what it is you actually feel, need and want.

Loving and appreciating the body will make it easier to express desires more effectively in the bedroom as well.  

These physical and emotional effects aside, even from a spiritual perspective yoga is about sex.

No matter gender, we all have masculine and feminine energies inside of us. The traditional and true intention of yoga, is to create balance between these energies in order to awaken Kundalini.

Kundalini is the ultimate life force we carry within ourselves and is awakened when masculine and feminine energies unite. Therefore Kundalini is often experienced as sexual energy.

Learn More About Sacred Sexuality:

But before running straight from the yoga studio to your sexual partner, think about the true purpose of sex itself. When man and woman physically unite, new life can be created. So the aim of yoga is indeed to evoke sexual energy, but merely for the reason to then transmute this into creativity and manifestation. It is even said that the greatest inventions were made by the motivation of sexual desire [Napoleon Hill, 2016]. 

4. Yoga Beats Unhealthy Habits and Addictions

“ The more you take care of your body,  the less the urge for self-sabotaging behavior will become

Both the cure and cause of unhealthy habits lie in the connection between body and mind. They both influence our health and state of well-being. The health of the body is determined by our mental processes and vice versa. So when the body is addicted, the mind is also addicted. This makes it almost impossible to completely get rid of an unhealthy habit by willpower alone.  

Abuse of drugs, alcohol, food or overindulgence in other unhealthy behavior, creates toxic energies. To protect its health, the body is able to break down toxins and eliminate them through urine, feces and sweat. But some residual toxicity can remain trapped in the body’s fat tissue and even be reactivated after years. This is why in periods of stress and mental instability, an addiction often reemerges. 

girl lighting and smoking a cigarette

The bright side of the body-mind connection is that we can actually clear our bodies completely from toxins through movement of the body. Purification and control of both body and mind are an important focus of the movements and breathing techniques of yoga. Studies show that besides reducing stress and anxiety – the main causes of addiction – yoga also purifies the body. The different postures of yoga are designed to help the body eliminate impurities and allow oxygenated and nutrient-rich blood to flow better towards our organs.

Addictive behaviors often start as dissociation from the body and intense emotions. They serve as a distraction from the discomforts in life. But any type of addiction causes an even greater disconnection between mind and body. This leaves a person not having to feel the detrimental consequences of the addiction itself.

Like mentioned before, yoga actually restores the connection to the body and who we truly are. This enables someone to take back the control over body and mind and to actually feel what the body needs. Through an enhanced love for the body and oneself, the will to take better care of the body also grows. The more you take care of your body, the less the urge for self-sabotaging behavior will become.

5. Yoga Creates Perfect Health

“ Ever since I started to practice yoga, I haven’t had a single cold

If you watched the documentary Heal on Netflix, you know that every organ in the body can heal itself. The human body is naturally in a constant state of regeneration. This means that every seven years we are made up off completely new cells. The only reason we keep creating the same body and certain ailments, is because we operate from the same old mindset [Deepak Chopra, 1994].

The main cause of most diseases is stress, that causes chronic inflammation when build up in the body. Inflammation is a natural part of the immune system and can help to heal wounds and infections. But chronic inflammation does more harm than good. Like mentioned before, yoga reduces stress, relieves anxiety and reduces inflammation on a cellular level. Various studies show that yoga generally benefits the immune system in such a way that it will prevent illness overall.

On a personal note I have experienced this healing power of yoga in regards to heavy back pain. The pain got so bad that I couldn’t work anymore. With the practice of yoga, not only my back pain disappeared. I also haven’t had a single cold ever since!

The experts in Heal describe this as the beauty of healing. Once you begin to stimulate the immune system, healing goes way faster than the disease process itself.

Watch Heal Online Now:

6. Yoga Boosts Confidence

” True confidence does not mean a display of our egocentric life

The practice of yoga creates a deeper connection to our inner strength and guidance. Aligning daily life with soul purpose helps true confidence to grow and show us the way ahead.

True confidence does not mean a display of our egocentric life [Sri Chinmoy, 1976]. As long as you rely on the external world for validation and acceptance, confidence will not last. True confidence comes from within, and is a display of our inner light. It comes when we are free of fear and self-doubt and dare to show the world who we truly are.

Yoga brings focus, clarity of mind, stress-relief and awareness of body and mind. These benefits all boost self-confidence and diminish self-doubt. Knowing you can be in control of personal growth, automatically increases self-confidence as well.

Another key aspect of yoga is the need to focus on balance, postures and breathing. This minimizes external distractions and the need to compare to others. Inner confidence will grow, since there is simply no time to worry about how we look or what others might think. The clarity of mind that yoga brings, helps to detach from any doubts, discomforts and negative self-talk.

7. Yoga Awakens Spiritual Powers

“ Although people are often born with certain gifts, I believe that anyone can develop a sixth sense

Last but not least, yoga is very close related to the development of actual spiritual powers. Think of visions, astral projection, telepathy and receiving messages from Spirit.

With the development of yoga in the West and the focus on the physical benefits, it is often forgotten that yoga is a spiritual practice. Its aim is to bring about enlightenment and awaken the third eye, which provides perception beyond the ordinary senses.

People often think that these gifts are reserved for psychics and mediums alone. But in the Yoga Sutras it is stated that all spiritual powers come by themselves through a life of purity. This is another of yoga’s benefits that I have experienced in person.

I began to receive visions, messages and prophetic dreams through yoga and the purification of my body. Although people are often born with certain gifts, I believe that anyone can develop a sixth sense. This is because the sixth sense is closely related to intuition, which we all have.

In The Art of Dreaming the development of lucid dreaming – another spiritual power – is defined as perfecting the energy body. This describes perfectly what it entails to connect to our intuition. The energy body is the body of our soul, and intuition the way it communicates.

All You Need To Know About Lucid Dreaming:

It is scientifically proven that we have more than just our mind and body that determine how we function. We actually have a second brain in the region of our abdomen, that operates independently from the central nervous system. It does not produce any conscious thoughts, but enables us to feel and perceive the more subtle inner world. Hence the expression of the gut feeling.

One of the physical benefits of yoga is purification of the mind and body, including the gut. This creates space to connect to the more subtle energies within and to our intuitive abilities.

Another key role is played by the third eye, which is not just a spiritual concept. The pineal gland – located deep in the center of the brain – is responsible for the production of melatonin, serotonin and DMT. Under its influence we are able to have psychic visions, higher consciousness and experiences of bliss and oneness.

Excessive calcification, due to exposure to radiation, chemicals and fluoride, can prevent the pineal gland from functioning properly. This is when we experience insomnia and depression, because we are literally cut off from Source.

So again purification, through yoga, meditation and living a more healthy lifestyle in general, can lead to unimaginable benefits.

photo of the author (naomi) in rown dress with hand on head

About the Author:

Naomi is a certified yoga teacher, healer, writer and founder of The Healing Yoga Course, powered by SoulSouplesse.com.

Start Your Online Yoga Journey Today with Our Partner Brilliant Yoga:

Why Yoga?

The healing of trauma is a natural process that can be accessed through an inner awareness of the body

~ Peter A. Levine

The proven benefits of yoga transcend the common belief that it is just for stretching and relaxation. Yoga is also about knowing yourself on a deeper level, as well as contemplation, concentration, meditation and purification. Through yoga we can remove energetic blocks, re-train our mind and heal the body.

Yoga is a spiritual practise and the benefits can be found on a spiritual as well as a physical and mental level. Through yoga we can feel safe (again) within the body and from this state of being healing can take place. By staying present and aware the conscious mind can transform unconscious wounds and traumatic symptoms.

Yoga literally means union, or balance. Its aim is to assist people in finding balance between the conscious and unconscious mind. From this safe place we can find peace, wellbeing and happiness from within. Yoga also helps to reach the subconscious mind or intuition. In this way we can start to consciously create our own reality, instead of staying stuck in unconscious negative cycles.

Heavy emotions and pain are not just stored in the mind as memories, but also in the body through our nervous system. Yoga promotes body-awareness and restores the connection and balance between body, mind and soul. In this regard yoga is the best way to heal unconscious blocks and overcome them once and for all.

Why Healing?

” Healing is the return of the memory of wholeness

~ Deepak Chopra

Most of us have the desire to find more peace, happiness and fulfillment in our lives. But we often make the mistake to search for this in our external circumstances – like income, other people and the way we look. 

True happiness comes from within – as cliché as it might sound. But before we can reach this as a constant state of being, we have to heal what is blocking us. Healing means creating perfect health, both physically, mentally and spiritually.

Any type of trauma, pain and heavy emotions that we have experienced throughout life can stand in our way of achieving wholeness. This could be physical injury, disease, as well as emotional pain like enduring toxic relationships or a burn-out.

As much as 30-40% of the people in modern society suffers from high levels of stress, anxiety and depression. We often think time heals all wounds, but this is far from true. Did you know we even inherit trauma from past generations – like slavery, war and poverty?

Along the way we decided that it is not cool to express human emotions. This is considered weak. We also seem to have lost the important connection between mind and body, leaving us mostly lost in our heads.  As a result we are not very capable of releasing emotions instinctually, like animals do. Even the smallest event can end up to be traumatic and stick with us for the rest of our lives, if we do not clear it. This can unconsciously influence our behavior, wellbeing and relationships in a negative way.