ALOHA: being in harmony with the world

At the heart of Huna, an ancient Hawaiian system for living in harmony and developing our inner power, is ALOHA.

ALOHA  is a word that has various meanings, and it is more than just a greeting. It means love, affection, compassion, sympathy, kindness. All different expressions of love. Ancient Hawaiians realized that ALOHA works better than anything else to get positive results in everything we do. Being in the spirit of ALOHA means being in harmony with yourself firstly and then with your family, the people in your community and the world.

Love is a very powerful force, we have all felt it, therefore when we apply this force into our lives, it will increase the energy or intensity of what we do, but in a positive way.

In the Hawaiian language, the root ALO means “to be with” and also “to be present”, and the root OHA means “joy”. When we combine both, it becomes ALOHA and means: “to be happy with someone or something in the present moment”. ALO also means ” to share” and HA refers to ” breath, life-force, spirit”. In this way ALOHA also means “to be joyful together and filled with the breath of life” or ” the divine breath is with us now”. Therefore if we use ALOHA  as a greeting we are raising our vibrations to manifest love, positive energy and healing between us and others.

In old Hawaii, the Kahuna(masters) of healing and prayer, were taught to live according to the “secret” or the esoteric meaning of ALOHA. . This meaning included:

  • A: ALA : watchful alertness
  • L: LOKAHI : working with unity
  • O: OIA’I’O : truthful honesty
  • H: HA’AHA’A : humility
  • A:  AHONUI : patient perseverance

In this way, living in the Spirit of Aloha involves being observant of our lives and being aware of the way we relate to others and to the world around us, and this includes those closest to us as well as the larger world community. It encourages us to live in harmony with everyone and everything, respecting other individuals, the animal and plant worlds and earth, and this also means trying our best to work as a unity for the best outcome for everyone and everything. If we apply ALOHA in our lives we need to be honest with ourselves and with others, as well as living with humility. And lastly it relates to being patient and tolerant with ourselves and others and with  those times in our lives when things may not be going as smoothly as we would want, it is then when we need to focus on “the great breath of patience”, ALOHA.

Living in the spirit of ALOHA  is the greatest gift we can give to each other and to the world, it allow us to be strong, nurturing, unselfish while radiating peace, love, joy. May the spirit of ALOHA guide your path.

ALOHA: ” I greet all the light that is within you with all the light that is within me”.

Advertisements

The power of breathing

” health is like the flowing water of a river always fresh and pure, and in constant state of flux” B.K.S Iyengar

In Hawaiian Huna philosophy health is a state of harmony and peace. The Hawaiian concept of health and healing is based on the word OLA which translates to LIFE as well as ATTAINMENT OF PEACE. In Traditional Chinese Medicine health is also linked to the concept of harmony, balance and vitality. It is related to the abundance of healthy Qi or Life force one individual has and according to TCM there are three sources of Qi in the body: from food, from our kidney essence and from the air we breathe. Therefore breathing exercises are included in as part of a TCM treatment. Breathing into the lower Dantien or Solar plexus area is beneficial to build QI in our bodies. Deep breathing not only helps the body to vitalize and detoxify, but it calms and relaxes the mind the as we connect our body with our mind. Meditation, exercise and breathing exercises help us to clear obstructions and maximize the flow of Qi. When Qi is not flowing properly it stagnates and causes obstructions resulting in health problems.

Contrary to what many people think the greatest amount of Qi is taken via our breath, secondly through the food and water we consume. However this depends on the way we breath. A lot of us are not aware of our breathing and less so of the benefits of the practice of focused breathing.

Part of Yoga practice includes Pranayama where the body and the mind are united with breath. Prana means Life Force and Ayana means the distribution of Prana. Therefore the practice of Pranayama refers to specific breathing exercises and techniques to extract the greatest amount of Life force, Prana, Qi, from each breath. By this it does not refer only to the oxygen we breath with each inhalation, but to the finer more subtle energy. This means that we breath in oxygen for our body’s needs and we breath in Prana or Qi for our vitality. Conscious or focused breathing increases the amount of Life force in our etheric system, this way we can gain greater vitality, energy and Mana(power).

Proper breathing is from the diaphragm(muscle under ribcage). We breathe by pushing the diaphragm down, away from the ribcage creating a vacuum in the lung area. The air then comes in and fills our lungs, firstly the bottom area, then the middle and finally the top area. As we exhale the bottom of the lungs are emptied first, then the middle and then the bottom. This is how we used to breathe when we were babies. As we grow and start to experience tension and stress, we start to breathe from our chests.

The following is a simple exercise that we can do anytime during our day. When we focus on the natural rhythm of our breath we will find our mind relaxes which will add another benefit to our breathing exercise. By focusing on our natural breath for 5 to 10 minutes, we will feel refreshed, grounded and with more vitality. Breath is Life.

Lie on your back, close your eyes and place your hands on your abdomen, just below your rib cage. By placing your hands on your abdomen helps to  focus on the rise and fall of your belly as it synchronizes with the rise and fall of your breath. With each inhalation you can focus on the way your ribcage expands as it fills with breath, and with each exhalation you can further relax as you observe the way your belly recedes into your back. It is important to relax the body as much as you can and to allow the breath its natural rhythm instead of trying to manipulate the breath, this will only cause tension. This simple exercise will reconnect you with your body and give you a sense of being one with your mind and body.

BENEFITS:

  • brings lightness to the body
  • invigorates the nervous system
  • decreases stress, tension, tiredness, anxiety, nervousness
  • improves sleep and boosts immunity
  • it makes your lymphatic system work better therefore it helps to detox
  • it makes you feel energised, grounded, refreshed
  • helps to become emotionally stronger by releasing “up-tight” area around diaphragm
  • it can help you achieve a state of Peace, Harmony and Balance
  • IT ALLOWS BETTER FLOW OF PRANA, QI, LIFE FORCE THROUGH WHOLE SYSTEM WHICH BRINGS MORE CLARITY SO THAT WE CAN MAKE BETTER DECISIONS AND RELEASE LATENT ABILITIES.

SUGGESTIONS:

  • go for a walk in nature, the beach, a park, the bush and practice the breath awareness exercise. It is a great way to breathe in healthier, cleaner air as well as to connect with the beautiful energy of nature which is also energizing
  • stop each working hour and do 3 conscious full breaths, gradually increasing to 7 to get the greatest benefits during your day
  • use your imagination and with each inhalation imagine that your cells are opening their doors with the incoming breath and receiving purifying energy in the form of light. With each exhalation imagine that your cells are letting go all impurities and released into the air.
  • can also imagine that with each inhalation you are receiving love, health, abundance, joy,peace, all the things you want to manifest in your life, and with each exhalation you are releasing all the things that no longer serve you such as worries, problems, ill-health, stress, fear.

Remember that there is a lot of power in our breath, with each breath we are drawing in Life Force! Inhalation is the art of receiving cosmic energy into our bodies and with each exhalation we are removing toxins from our bodies.

” at any time, returning your mind to the sound and feeling of your breath can help center you back to the present moment”  B.K.S Iyengar

 

Suggestions: B.K.S Iyengar “Yoga. The path to holistic health”

Food as medicine: we are what we eat

As I pointed out in my previous post, food is a major source to keep our Qi/Life force in a healthy, balanced state. Our bodies are magnificent in many more ways that we choose to acknowledge and one of the best ways to look after these precious gifts is by choosing to eat as healthy as possible.

Both Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine, include food as medicine as a way for the individual to prevent disease and to improve vitality in general. These systems advocate the use of food as part of their treatment plan which also includes bodywork, an exercise plan, herbal medicine, energy work, breathing exercises.  The Traditional Chinese Medicine system encourages us to eat high quality foods, to learn how to combine and how to prepare these foods by taking into account the seasons, our particular health needs and body constitutions and the different properties of foods. It is based on the belief that once we start to  make improvements in our diets, our bodies will follow to make appropriate changes. In this way once we combine diet with other treatments such as bodywork or herbal medicine , for example, we will achieve much better results.

In  Traditional Chinese Medicine the dietary treatment is based on the concepts of Yin and Yang as well as the Five Elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, these being related to different organs of the body. A Traditional Chinese medicine practitioner makes an appropriate diagnosis and then based on his/her findings he/she  designs a specific treatment plan which includes a dietary plan as well as acupuncture and/or herbal treatments.

In our day-to-day living we can include some of the simple rules based on the Traditional Chinese Medicine system:

  • Eat whole foods from a variety of whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Whole foods are rich in minerals and vitamins
  • Avoid large amounts of extreme foods such as meat, eggs, highly refined foods, foods containing chemicals
  • Best not to overeat, if we eat small amounts of food our digestive systems can be more efficient
  • Avoid extreme dietary regimes
  • Drink purified/filtered water and adjust the amount according to your body’s needs which can be different from day-to-day
  • Exercise regularly since it builds the digestive fire
  • Whenever possible eat organic food and eat foods which are seasonal and from local growers
  • Avoid eating when stressed, over-tired and/or over-emotional since our digestive systems do not work as well under these conditions
  • Whenever possible set aside a special time and place to eat meals
  • Whenever possible breathe pure air in areas close to nature, deep breathing and pure air also helps us to build Qi
  • Most importantly respect your body and learn to eat according to your unique needs
  • Thank Mother earth for her gifts which come in the forms of all the foods we can find

“positive nutrition enhances the well-being of the mind in general….., and if our mind is clear and self-reflective, it will help us choose ideal food, activity, and all other life patterns.” Paul Pithford, Healing with whole foods.

 

 

 

Most importantly respect your body, learn to listen to your body and enjoy the gifts of mother nature

mana-life force-energia vital-qi

“health is a state of peace and harmony, while sickness is a state of war and conflict” Serge Kahili King

We are energy. Everything in the Universe is made up of electromagnetic energy vibrating at different frequencies.

In the Hawaiian philosophy of Huna, it is referred to as Mana. The concept of Universal force which is part of everything, connects everything and which flows through our bodies. It is referred to as Qi in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The energy flow which sustains living beings. Qi is Life Force, and by understanding its rhythm, its flow we are able to maintain our health state in harmony.

Life Force, Mana, Qi, Prana, KI, Energia Vital has been studied for thousands of years in China, Japan, India, Hawaii, Latin America and is the foundation of many major health and fitness practices such as Ayurvedic Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Huna practices, Martial Arts, massage therapies, Yoga practices. It is the vital essence found in all things, therefore it is a way to measure the vitality of our bodies, the quality of the food we eat, the quality of the air we breath. In its most subtle form, Life Force is breath.

A healthy person has abundant healthy Qi and it is reflected in the way they speak(clearly and with confidence), the way they move(with grace and purpose), the way they think(with clarity), the way they live(they accomplish things). According to traditional Chinese Medicine, there are three sources of Qi in the body: from the food we consume, from the air we breath and from our Kidney essence(some of it connected to our genes). The Key to maintaining our health in the most harmonious way possible then will be linked to the way we eat(with joy and in peace) and the quality of food we eat, how often we exercise and which type of exercise we choose to practice, how often we escape to connect with nature, being aware of the way we breath and the quality of air we breath, how often we laugh(it definitely moves Qi), connecting to our inner Mana through breathing exercises, receiving full body massages for nurturing, detoxifying and finding inner peace.

“honour your body as if you have been given an impeccable jewel, and act as if you own the most valuable creation in the universe. Honour Earth first and foremost”Barbara Marcinack, EARTH.