“Enlighten” Your Garden with Volcanic Stone Statues

May 21st, 2013

buddha statueJust browse the aisles of any local garden center and you are likely to find plenty of stone statues to accent your garden. Depending on where you shop, these “statues” may range from small ducks and frogs to large gargoyles and lions.  As someone who has never been a fan of garden ornaments, I never expected to find a genre of garden sculpture that intrigued me, but that was before I found this unique collection of volcanic stone statuary.  It may be difficult to find these spiritually inspired monuments in your typical garden center, but they are available online at Chopa.com.

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Keep Your Own Rhythm with Mediation Gongs and Chimes

May 5th, 2013

bronze chau gongAs more people embrace the healing benefits of meditation, they learn that some “accessories” are essential to this practice.  While it’s certainly possible to sit on a mat in your living room and meditate, many people find it nearly impossible without a proper cushion and a meditation gong or chime. 

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Astrology Soul Coach – Cosmic Dance for May 2013

May 3rd, 2013

trends in yogaAstrology Soul Coach
Cosmic Dance for May 2013

We start the month with 4 planets and the South Node of the Moon all in the solid, persevering and artistic sign of Taurus. But before you grab the snacks and hunker down in that comfortable easy chair, keep reading. May is not nearly as mellow and uneventful as we might expect.

For one thing, Saturn the disciplinarian is in Scorpio exactly 180 degrees across the zodiac from Taurus. While those planets in peace-loving Taurus might prefer to take a nap following a gourmet lunch, Saturn has others plans. He’s acting more like the principal calling them into his office, one by one, for a review and accounting of their actions and future plans. May is not a month for sloppiness or poor planning. If you want to get ahead, do your homework and research your options. Accuracy and attention to detail counts! Even in the face of what may feel like formidable opposition, have faith and be willing to adjust and refine your plans.

Also keeping us on our toes during May are two eclipses. The first is a New Moon Solar Eclipse in Taurus on the 9th, followed by a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius on the 24th. Both are likely to drop new information, insights or people into our lives. Pay attention, not only on these dates, but during these weeks. Eclipses often bring things to our attention – something that may have been lurking in the recesses of the unconscious or maybe something surprisingly new.

A third thing to pay attention to is a powerful connection between Uranus the awakener and Pluto the transformer on the 20th. This uncomfortable alliance can be swift and even a bit shocking. Even though it’s overall affect can be unsettling, this very sense of discontent can motivate us to make changes we have been avoiding yet know are in our best interest.

During May, we will have the desire, motivation and energy to build for the future. And thanks to the eclipses, discipline of Saturn, and the Uranus Pluto Square we will also have the opportunity to clear the clutter and build on clean and certain foundations. Get to it!

C.A. Brooks is a clairvoyant astrologer, writer, speaker and coach
You can find her at 12Listen.com and read her weekly astrology column in Mark’s Power Peek at 12House.com. She hosts a daily radio show “A Course in Miracles Daily Lessons” on 12Radio.com at 7am Pacific – 10 Eastern. You can also tune into her weekly Astrology radio program, Simpletales, on 12Radio.com every Tuesday 11am Pacific – 2 Eastern.



Celebrate Japanese Floral Design with Ikebana Vases

April 30th, 2013

ikebana vaseOver the centuries, the Japanese art form called Ikebana has grown to become a modern form of expression around the world.  Once limited to Japan, Ikebana is now a category in many international flower shows.  It aims to bring nature and humanity together through an intriguing form of flower arrangement that is thoroughly unique. 

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How to Add “Zen” to Your Home with a Shoji Screen

April 9th, 2013

shoji screen 2013Have you ever tried to describe the word “Zen?” Think about it; is it a noun, a verb or an adjective? Is it an attitude, a discipline, or a trend? When you think about how to “add” Zen to your home, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Hint: if you’re trying to come up with the right answer, there isn’t one. Zen is both subjective and objective simultaneously. When applied to home décor it is one of the hardest styles to define, particularly among Americans who have a hard time grasping its simplicity.

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Spring is here – Time for Silk Scarves and Sun Hats

April 2nd, 2013

wallaroo sun hatDepending on where you live, there may still be snow on the ground, but not for long.  Days are getting longer and temperatures are gradually ticking higher, which can only mean one thing: time to take some time out to bask in the sun.  Spring is also the time to replenish your collection of “sunwear,” and I don’t just mean sunglasses.  Sunny days are the perfect time to accessorize with silk scarves and sun hats.

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Astrology Soul Coach Cosmic Dance for April 2013

April 1st, 2013


Happy New Year! No I’m not behind – I’m talking about the Astrological Year which began on the Vernal Equinox. On March 20th, the Sun was re-born in the courageous, innovative and pioneering sign of Aries. This fire sign is inspirational, spontaneous, fearless, and independent and yes, often unpredictable.

As several of the planets including Venus, Mars, Mercury and Uranus are also refueling in Aries, spring fever is upon us. And ‘spring cleaning’ is the least of it! Aries is undaunted by obstacles and enjoys being the initiator. But the cosmos does not plan to have the youthful and inexperienced Aries making all the decisions this month. A Full Moon Lunar Eclipse on the 25th is one of the first, but unmistakable signs, our best interests are not served by an attitude or approach of ‘full steam ahead’. Not unless we care to emulate the fate of the indomitable but unfortunate Titanic, which by the way, met its misadventure in April a century ago.

When the earth stands between the Sun and Full Moon, it is a harbinger of change – often endings or culmination points. This particular eclipse spotlights issues associated with Taurus – the need to own, accumulate, and collect, and Scorpio – our need to cleanse, purify, heal and release. This is the month to give serious consideration to everything in your life – from relationships to the salt and pepper set on the kitchen counter. How do the people and things in your life reflect you and your values? Be honest with yourself and release what is no longer working and open up to your future. Although you may not be able to replace the loveseat that reminds you of your old boyfriend, do what is possible to recycle and release. Then treat yourself to something within your budget that reflects your dreams for your future. How about a salt lamp? Earthy and practical Taurus will approve both the function and beauty and Scorpio will appreciate the cleansing and spiritual properties. Make all your decisions winning ones this month with a conscious approach.

C.A. Brooks is a clairvoyant astrologer, writer, speaker and coach
You can find her at 12Listen.com and read her weekly astrology column in Mark’s Power Peek at 12House.com. She hosts a daily radio show “A Course in Miracles Daily Lessons” on 12Radio.com at 7am Pacific – 10 Eastern. You can also tune into her weekly Astrology radio program, Simpletales, on 12Radio.com every Tuesday 11am Pacific – 2 Eastern.



How Can Japanese Style Decor Make Your Home Look Larger?

March 26th, 2013
japanese decor

Tatami Zaisu Chair from Chopa.com

Perhaps the Japanese have a natural affinity toward innovative ergonomics, but it’s evident that they value the use of space in design.  Whether it’s the interior of a Japanese automobile or the layout of a meditative space, it is clear that the Japanese aesthetic is a mastery of both function and form.  Still, designers from around the world are often awed by the utter simplicity of Japanese style furniture, the placement of which seems to let a room “breathe” more freely.

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Spring is the Time for Restorative Zen Tea Rituals

March 15th, 2013

zen tea ritualsWe’ve all heard about the ritual practices that surround tea drinking, which seem to arise from various cultures around the world.  In England, tea time has developed into a late day meal with its own etiquette and special traditions.  But tea takes on a more personal meaning in Asian cultures, where it becomes a form of meditation.

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Try Desk Yoga to Improve Your Posture

March 12th, 2013

Most of us spend a lot of time at our desks, both at home and work. Sitting for prolonged periods of time cause our spines to slouch into a C-shape producing poor posture and resulting in back, neck and shoulder pain. A healthy spine has a slight S-shape and our bodies were built to be in motion more than sit in a chair. Our bodies are designed for motion rather than remain sedentary. In addition, improper ergonomics also compound the problem. Leaning too far forward to look at a computer monitor or having your chair above or below the desktop or slouching can cause neck and back aches, stiffness and cartilage compression. Your muscles are constantly working to maintain your spine in alignment. When you are able to stretch your muscles, the tension is released from the spine and is also very energizing.

Maintaining good posture allows you to take fuller breaths as the muscles around the lungs are stretched. This boosts productivity and improves both concentration and focus. For those of us who can’t get to a yoga studio, there are some simple yet effective exercises that can be done when you can’t leave your desk.

1. Seated Spinal Twist.
This pose is helpful in releasing back tension that collects when you’re holding a seated position for several hours. Place your feet on the floor and elongate your spine aligning the crown of your head with your tailbone. Next, cross your right leg over your left while you exhale, twist from the lower belly towards the top leg, allowing the upper body to follow. Hold the pose on each side for 30 seconds to one minute.

2. Forward Bend. Sitting towards the front edge of your chair, place your feet slightly wider than your hips so your shoulders can fit between your knees. For those with less flexibility or a sensitive lower back, lean forward, resting your forearms on your knees and elongate the spine into a half-forward bend. If you can go further, drop your shoulders between your knees, so your head hangs toward the floor. Forward bending brings fresh oxygen to the brain and puts some needed space in the rear section of the spinal disks.

3. Hands Alive. This pose is a variation on the upward facing salute. It stretches your shoulders and armpits, helps relieve mild anxiety and improves circulation in the back and arms. Sit tall, pushing your pelvic bones into the chair. Imagine a string is attached to the top of your head that gently lifts the crown up, putting space between your vertebrate. Inhale and raise your arms towards the ceiling with your palms facing each other. Make sure to relax your shoulders away from your ears. Spread your fingers wide and then close them into fists six times. Keep your spine long and make sure your rib cage isn’t jutting out. Exhale and bring your hands down.

4. “I dream of Genie.” Sit straight in your chair and fold your arms at shoulder height like a genie, keeping your torso stable. Swing your arms from one side to the other in that position, keeping your ribcage and spine stable. Everyone has tight thoracic spinal muscles, rhomboids and para-spinals that run along the spine between the shoulder blades. This pose breaks up tension in these muscles.

~ courtesy of Touchstone Business Advisors, Golden Colorado.

You may also be interested in the following yoga books we offer:

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