Focus of the Month - April
The Law of Giving & Receiving
by Marlene & Louisa
The month of April we want to dedicate to The Law of Giving and Receiving. Giving and receiving are different expressions of the same flow of energy in the universe. The universe is in constant exchange between contraction & expansion. In order to find balance within we as humans as well need to learn how to give and receive equally. The Law of Giving and Receiving helps us to keep energy moving freely and allow abundance, love, and anything else we wish for in our life flowing to us.
At its most basic level this Principle has to do with our connection with the environment, our home, the planet earth. We are all a fundamental part of the whole and each of us is as critically important as the next, including everything found in nature. If you think about breathing and the exchange of gases this truly explains the Principle of Giving & Receiving. If there were no plants we wouldn’t have the necessary air quality to support our lives, and of course the same is true for plants, as they need us for their use of carbon dioxide. Hence a symbiotic relationship exists. Of course, this is just one example of the hundreds of examples that make up the Web of Life in our Universe.
The essence of this Principle is that when we give, we will receive and vice versa. So, the receiving is just as important as the giving. Here is an area where we might have grown up hearing that it is better to give than to receive, but this Principle insists that both the giving and the receiving are as important as each other in our quest to realize our full potential.
Together with Active Giving we want to apply the Law of Giving and Receiving to our actions this month - and give something back to nature. The Active Giving app gives us the chance to plant trees by simply tracking our yoga activities. For every 30min of yoga the money for one tree to be planted is donated to TREES FOR FUTURE.
TREES FOR FUTURE is a nonprofit organisation with the mission “to improve the livelihoods of impoverished farmers by revitalizing degraded lands”. The organization identifies farmers who need assistance and have a high likelihood of getting through the Forest Garden program. Trees for the Future is currently active in Cameroon, Kenya, Senegal, Uganda, and Tanzania. While the farmers provide land and labor, the training, seeds, and nursery supplies are provided by the nonprofit over four years. For more information visit: https://trees.org
Together with you we would like to support TREES FOR FUTURE’s mission. Our aim is to collect enough money for trees to plant an entire forest in April. Are you in?
HOW TO PARTICIPATE:
Download the active.giving App for free: https://www.activegiving.de
Make a profile in the App
Join our team (Menu -> Teams) by typing in the code: “moveus”
Track all your yoga activities in the active.giving app throughout April
Share it with your friends and tag us if you like
GIVING & RECEIVING OFF THE MAT:
Be part of our Active Giving collaboration & help us to plant trees collectively. GIVE back to nature and appreciate what you RECEIVE from nature.
Offer a gift to anyone you come into contact with, like the gift of a kind word, of a smile, a hug, or a compliment. Also gift yourself with love too, honor yourself and show yourself some love.
Acknowledge any gifts you might be given in the day and accept them graciously. It is important to remember that receiving is the same thing as giving; they are just different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe. Accept any gift with open arms and gratitude. Look at nature and receive all the gifts that surround you. Look at the beautiful sunset, a snow storm, the sound of wind blowing, the rain, or even the birds singing. There are gifts all around us. Be present and notice the beauty that surrounds you.
Accept compliments. Reflecting on the kindnesses and compliments will give us clarity about our authentic purpose which is both helpful to the world as a whole and of course to our own personal fulfillment and success.
Develop the intention of circulating love to everyone around you and then beyond your immediate circle. Imagine your intentions spreading outwards like ripples on a pond spreading wider and wider until they reach the farthest corners of the globe. So, when someone cuts you off in traffic instead of being irritated with the person, attempt to send them good thoughts. If you’ve been wronged, rather than thinking negative thoughts about the person send them a quiet wish of peace or happiness. This brings the positive energy back to you.
GIVING & RECEIVING ON THE MAT:
Practice Heart Openers and combine it with balancing Core or Back Strength
Anahata (Heart) Chakra Flow
Asanas, that open the chest & front body e.g. Camel, Wheel, Locust, Dancer, Tiger, Scorpion Pose
Begin & end the practice by bringing your attention to the heart center, which is our center for love and compassion.
PRANAYAMA BREATHING TECHNIQUES:
On a micro level, a great example of Giving and Receiving is witnessing the breath moving in and out of the body. If you hold your breath in you will notice how uncomfortable it becomes. Even holding the breath out without inhaling becomes uncomfortable too. If you stop the flow of either giving or receiving you interfere with the natural flow of life.
Bring awareness to the rhythm of breath
Choose sattvic breath techniques that bring a state of homeostatic balance into the body & mind.
Sama Vritti Pranayama / Box Breathing
Breath of Joy
Heart centered breathing (i.e. Head-Heart Breathing: Begin with basic heart-centered breathing. After a few breaths, shift focus and imagine inhaling through the top of your head and exhaling through your heart or breastbone.)
Heart Rhythm Meditation
Breathe to the full lung capacity, and concentrate on the heart (both the physical heart and the emotional or poetic heart). Make it rhythmic, through the coordination of the breath and heartbeat. "The Full Breath" technique expands the vital capacity of the lungs with full and deep breathing, while slowing the breath rate to six breaths per minute or slower. This synchronizes breath and heartbeat, creating “entrainment,” a coherent pattern of Heart Rate Variability.
Metta meditation / Loving-kindness
Connect with your breathing and spend a few minutes focusing on the movement of the breath. Notice the physical sensations that accompany this movement, especially at the level of your heart. When ready, imagine someone you care about, someone you’re grateful for, and simply wish them well with these words (you can adapt the phrases), either spoken out loud or in your mind:
May you be safe
May you be happy
May you be healthy
May your mind be at ease.
Some teachers recommend that you begin with yourself:
May I be safe
May I be happy
May I be healthy
May my mind be at ease.
Take time to visualize the object of your meditation and feel the outpouring of goodwill. At this point you might choose to extend your goodwill a bit further, imagining someone you don’t particularly feel one way or the other about. Keeping that person in mind, send them your benevolence.
The next step is to imagine someone you may have problems with and repeat the mantra again. Notice any feelings that arise during the practice but don’t invite or reject them. You might have very strong feelings if you imagine someone you care about who is in distress, or someone you dislike intensely, or a situation you have no personal contact with but which touches your heart. Let the feelings come and go naturally, without clinging to or judging them, or judging yourself for having them. Allow yourself to feel the warm-heartedness that accompanies Metta meditation. Relax into it.
Metta meditation may increase overall well-being, enhance feelings of empathy, build up compassion, improve relationships and resilience.
AFFIRMATIONS & MANTRAS:
Om Vardhanam Namah “I nourish the universe and the universe nourishes me.”
I am the nourisher of the Universe and the Universe nourishes me.
I offer the gift of my smile/my help to nourish others.
I acknowledge and am grateful for the bountiful gifts I receive every day.
I circulate love by being kind, courteous and caring to all whom I encounter.
Visualize, imagine, or feel the color green (the color associated with the heart chakra) illuminating this area, like an emerald. Send love and compassion for yourself and others in all directions. Then, imagine this same green emerald light coming back to you and entering through the back of your heart. Fill up your entire body with this green light, and feel it loving you, protecting you, and healing you.
Visualize giving gifts to those you love; see their reactions and feel their joy and appreciation for the gifts. Then do the same visualization, but now visualize yourself giving gifts to strangers; see their reactions and feel their joy and appreciation for the gifts.
Visualize getting and acknowledging gifts – imagine different types of gifts – use your senses to experience the joy of receiving and acknowledging these gifts.
Visualize circulating love – what does this look and feel like for you? The heart chakra in the center of the chest is responsible for love, compassion and forgiveness. Visualize the circulation of love emitting from the center of your chest – the heart chakra, notice how you feel and how those to whom you are circulating love feel.
We know, at times, it may be very hard to enliven the Principle of Giving and Receiving, but the more we practice the action of love, the more we will personally be rewarded with the same. This is the basic premise of “like attracts like”; or ‘you reap what you sow.’ We all are, of course, human and so there is no way that we will be perfect every moment of every day, but this Principle is foundational to our lives and a very essential concept for our wellbeing, fulfillment and success.
More inspiration & further reading: