Fearless Heart

I became interested in mudras about a year or two ago, when I started my yoga practice.

If you’re wondering…

Mudras are physical hand (and finger or body)  gestures or seals, used in meditation, martial arts, and in yoga, that connect us to the energy pathways of our chakras, our organs, and to our emotional states.

And while all that may sound like a bit of  “woo woo”,  mudras have been used at least since antiquity (1500 BCE) and conceivably even in prehistoric religious practice (70,000 BCE), so we can rest easily that their usefulness has been tested.

Wikipedia has this to say about mudras:

A mudra (Listeni/muˈdrɑː/; Sanskritमुद्रा, “seal”, “mark”, or “gesture”; Tibetan: ཕྱག་རྒྱ་THLchakgya) is a symbolic or ritual gesture in Hinduism and Buddhism.[1] While some mudras involve the entire body, most are performed with the hands and fingers.[2] A mudrā is a spiritual gesture and an energetic seal of authenticity employed in the iconography and spiritual practice of Indian religions.

One hundred and eight mudras are used in regular Tantric rituals.[3]

In yoga, mudras are used in conjunction with pranayama (yogic breathing exercises), generally while seated in Padmasana, Sukhasana or Vajrasana pose, to stimulate different parts of the body involved with breathing and to affect the flow of prana in the body.

Even if you’ve never done yoga, you are probably familiar with the chin mudra…which has become a kind of symbol for “I’m meditating”…but is actually a seal reminding the practitioner of the union of the individual soul with the universal soul.

What really began to fascinate me were the more complex mudras, particularly the ones that involve two hands…there was power, strength, and flexibility in their complexity…I, quite literally, could FEEL IT!

Most you hold for a length of time…anywhere from 5 to 45 minutes, or more…while in meditation or a yoga pose. And while nearly all are indicated for specific physical impairments, the strongest impact I feel is on my emotional state. Mudras have helped me both define and understand certain emotional states that cause discomfort…anxiety…depression. Perhaps it is actually about focus, intense inward focus…and if that’s the case…that’s cool too…all I know is that…MUDRAS WORK…ON CLEARING AND STABILIZING YOUR HEART-MIND SPACE.

And so, with that introduction…I present my first mudra to you here…fellow NymphoBrainiacs. Appropriately, it is the FEARLESS HEART mudra:

The Fearless Heart mudra, or Abhaya Hrdaya Mudra in sanskrit, is meant to engender trust in your own strength and vitality…trust in your Fearless Heart. It should be used anytime you need to tap into your inner truth…your courage, your essence and power. In times when you feel that fear has caused you to curl-in on yourself, to give up your dreams, doubt your own desires and goals…to…shut down…call on your Fearless Heart and its infinite wisdom.

A word, this mudra requires some dexterity, and may take a couple attempts before you get it right…but don’t give up…it’s worth the contortions, trust me!

Here’s the step-by-step breakdown:

  1. Raise hands in front of the chest, palms facing center.
  2. Cross the wrists at the backs of the hands touching, right hand closest to your body, palms facing to the sides.
  3. First interlock  the index, middle, and little fingers, while connecting the tips of the thumb and ring finger on both hands, forming two rings.
  4. Note: Cupcake Pastease are optional, however extremely inspirational when channeling that humor (ego-less) chakra 😉

Find a comfortable seated position, close your eyes, roll your shoulders down and back, root your seat into the floor, and pull your interlocked hands down gently to rest at the base of your sternum (or your heart). Alternately, this mudra can be done laying down, with your head carefully elevated. Take long, deep breaths. If it helps, visualize energetic light flowing in and out through the crown of your head to the base of your spine…light in…light out.

And…indulge in the power of your Fearless Heart.

Dr.NB.

Shine Bright Like a…

VAGINA!
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Yes…that’s right:

SHINE BRIGHT LIKE A VAGINA!

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Last night I shared some time with a woman who I have simultaneously  admired and been inspired by for more than a decade and who, incidentally, took the photo above: NYC Photographer Michelle Wild.

Through the years she’s built quite a reputation in boudoir photography (Shutterbug Boudoir) as a woman who shoots women not as objects, rather as complete, complex, highly individual, sensual beings…GODDESSES, basically.

Yes, I imagine one could chalk this up to angles and lighting…but, my heart tells me it’s more than that…it’s about raising a woman’s awareness of her own deep and personal sensual power…showing her… HER SHINE!

And so, with that…I leave you to your weekend with a funny vid’…and the wish that each and every one of you:

SHINE BRIGHT LIKE A VAGINA!

xxx, Dr. NymphoBrainiac

 

 

A beauty evolution.

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Artist, Aleah Chapin

***

there are some pretty people

on this earth, my goodness.

the sad part is it takes most

people a lifetime to realize

what pretty is

and how to see it.

deathbeds are

revelations of our aesthetic

existence.

one day it will be much too late

and

the burden of beauty unseen

will hit you like a comet to the

chest;

all I ask from you now

is to love what is difficult

to love and

find what is difficult to see.

Christopher Poindexter (emphasis added)

I have been thinking a lot about beauty these days…probably related to the most recent (if exhaustingly derivative) wave of social media obsessions (makeup, bodies, fashion, etc.) which always seem to reflect beauty norms in the most insidious manner…or maybe because as I approach a “certain age” I find…

I am more aware,

more appreciative,

and more accepting of beauty in ALL forms.

Meaning I see beauty in those visions, sounds, textures, tastes that previously I had rejected or quite honestly…hadn’t even noticed

(because these experiences are typically not spoon-fed to us…as beauty).

It’s sad…I mourn the loss, the expanse of beauty, I only now understand.

It is also wonderful.

It’s so new.

It’s so lush…it has a depth and a richness, a confidence I’ve never before known.

I don’t think I could have known it, with my untuned senses…blunted by the heavy weight thrown mostly on the young…weight you don’t even fully perceive until you become “old-enough”…and then, you shed it.

You shed it and you become beauty.

But unlike any you’ve ever known…because it’s source is your heart,

it’s conduit…your soul.

This daily realization, found in the smallest experiences…brings me to tears.

-Dr.NB.

Gender & Sex: Expression and Identity and Orientation…Oh My!

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While the origin of the Gingerbread Person infographic seems to be mired in controversy (more about that here), I find it extremely helpful in navigating the increasingly complex and multi-faceted reality of self-other orientation(s) today. Besides, there is something immediately approachable about a cookie cut-out…must be the food angle.

😉

Dr.NymphoBrainaic

Sex (Still) Sells…Through the Decades

We are all probably overly familiar with the much maligned “sex sells” ads from the 70’s, when it was completely acceptable to, not so covertly, insinuate that stereotypical sex-roles were what we should all be striving for as we puffed on our Newports…

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or sipped our cocktails…

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or opened ketchup…?!?

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They were laughable in their approach and their no-exactly-accurate reflection of culture…

Today, the ads still strive to appeal to our more base desires, perhaps reflecting a little more reality…Still, they are…to put it simply, a hoot.

Enjoy, and happy Hump Day.

Dr. NB.

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Artist AnaMelissa Carrion Exposes Our Desires with #ArtisticBoozem

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Artist AnaMelissa Carrion is no stranger to exploration; her newest endeavor, #ArtisicBoozem builds on her experience as a fine arts painter by adding multidimensional media to her already sensual and bold approach. Her lifelike bust-casts boast embellishments that speak to our deepest and most human desires. In her own words:

I guess you can add I have always been fascinated by the human body and realized that others were very much fascinated with mine. So I said why not share it with the world. That and I started artisticboozem after a breast cancer scare and the thought of loosing what I always considered my “favorite” and “best” physical attribute was tough so I decided to make a permanent mold.

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This Sunday, Carrion’s busty displays will be featured Sunday August 30th 2015 at NYC’s East Village historic hotspot, Webster Hall for their prestigious Quarterly Art Soiree (Q.A.S. info here) where the mission is11951214_10153462781176163_3856670327770229909_n

to exhibit, expose and promote talent in painting, music, graphic design, theatre, sound installation, performance art, installation art, arts and crafts, video art, film, jewelry and fashion while celebrating the rich cultural history of the Webster Hall venue and of New York City’s dynamic East Village. The Q.A.S seeks to showcase art, fashion and music in a vibrant and unassuming manner so that the art form is not held to the traditional pedestals of the “white-cube” gallery, sleek runway, classic stage and the like. Rather, the prospective spectator may witness the creations as an organic part of a communal environment – where not one thing is set apart from another – and where art may fuse with everyday life.

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I am honored to have modeled for one of her busts, which are truly inventive and reflective of the women they represent. It is a gift to be a part of this talented artist’s work, and it’s clear that she is innovative and ambitious enough to make this new work a great success!

11885065_10206881710496901_4862154266123573177_nAdditionally, Carrion is including pregnancy casts in her work as well, which provide an artistically stunning memory for mom’s-to-be.

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Please join us This Sunday where she debuts works from this new project and contact her directly if you are interested in commissioning one of these beautifully crafted “physical memories” of your own! (Connect to AnaMelissa HERE)

For those interested in Carrion’s background, her bio and accomplishments follow:

Born in the capital city of dominican republic, raised by the hudson river on riverside drive in NYC AnaMelissa carrion has the pure essence of a true artistic new yorker. Learning english one year after arriving to the states anamelissa was very clear to her teachers about her interest and demanded special attention be given to her artistic skills. It all started with bulletin boards in elementary school, given permission to paint the hallway walls, the reason why she loves large canvases. At The children’s art carnival,  she picked up her first oils and went on to study painting at the high school or art and design. Here in advanced placement classes she is given the opportunity to do what truly fascinates her; prepare for a show, the rush to put together a fascinating series and have her artwork exposed.  AnaMelissa Carrion has  exhibited in many locations and galleries throughout new york city including  Rush Arts Gallery, Essie Green, galleries for The Alliance of Dominican Artist, and Chase bank. Her most recently exposure was in the famous Webster Hall where she participates in the quarterly arts soiree better known as “the QAS”.

AnaMelissa’s art work is captivating due to the original manner in which she constructs each piece, adding a surprising 3D affect turning the canvas into life . Taking a short hiatus to pursue her second passion law and politics she left ny to earn her bachelors of science in legal studies with a  minor in  philosophy and government. She then returned to her city roots and earned her degree in Fine Art and won the CUNY Presidential Award for painting.

AnaMelissa is on the constant move looking for the next big project. She is currently working for private individuals in search for the perfect painting for their home or family portrait, designing interiors as she works with her mother making handmade area rugs and is diligently working with New creations  to produce a wonderfully artistic future for us all. Keep track of this chick and see what she gets into next.

xxx Dr. NymphoBrainiac

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Sex & Coffee: An Irrefutable Link

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The connection between Sex and Coffee is not just an intuitive one…the two have recently been scientifically linked (See article)! Studies show that coffee boosts the female sex drive, and that up to two cups of coffee a day, “triggers a chemical reaction that increases blood flow to the penis by relaxing muscles.” Well, well, well!

Interestingly, recent work by Korean designer Jang WooSeok seems to reinforce this love affair between coffee and sex. Titled,“Coffee Lid: Take ‘Kiss’ Out,” WooSeok’s work is a disposable coffee cup lid shaped like pursed lips and a nose.

“Sip through this, it seems, and your anthropomorphized cup of Joe (or Jane, we suppose) sips you back.” (The Creators Project)

As the designer explains,

“I love both coffee and kisses…Coffee can be had for some money every day, but kisses can’t. So I created Take ‘Kiss’ Out for my sexual desire—just kidding.”

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And with that…I think I’ll have another…cup!

xxx

Dr. NymphoBrainiac

(images by the artist)