In Conversation With Rosie Acosta: How to Create an Empowered Life

In Conversation With Rosie Acosta: How to Create an Empowered Life

This March I had the pleasure of speaking with Rosia Acosta on her wonderful podcast "Radically Loved with Rosia Acosta" about the importance of having a practice and exactly what it can bring to your life, the truth about meditation (it’s not just sitting upright), authenticity in a time of hustle, and so much more! It's a super candid interview with lots of laughter and even more love.

How to Set Up for Yoga Nidra

How to Set Up for Yoga Nidra

Create a Yoga Nidra Nest - A place where you can lay down and be in maximum comfort. 
Find a quiet spot in your home- free of clutter. Make sure the room is a comfortable temperature.  Turn off all of your devices, cel phone, computers etc. Let others in your home know that you need to remain undisturbed for at least 40 minutes. 

Use a Yoga mat or Thai yoga for your practice. If the floor is not comfortable you can lay on your bed.
Cover your yoga mat with one or two blankets to make sure it is a comfy place to lay down. Always add one more blanket thank you think yo need. The body will get very heavy once it is relaxed. 
Lie down in savasana- legs hips distance. apart, feet open to the sides and palms facing up with arms about 60 degree's from the body.

Cover yourself with a light blanket or rest inside of a sleeping bag liner
Cover your eyes with a very light scarf or light eye pillow. See YogaMoves for the perfect yoga nidra eye pillow. Or you can try this awesome Nite Hood -especially if you have a bald head like me. 
Put on some cozy socks. No one likes to have cold feet!
Place a bolster or rolled blanket under your knees to support your low back
Use a cervical pillow or small rolled blanket to support your neck. 
Allow yourself to feel like you are lying on a throne of relaxation and ready to receive the healing power of Nidra Shakti! 

Photo Courtesy of WMN Space

How Does Yoga Nidra Support a Daily Meditation Practice?

How Does Yoga Nidra Support a Daily Meditation Practice?

It was a must for me to include yoga nidra in my 21-day meditation journey Empowered Wake Up! because in my personal practice yoga nidra is a key support to sustaining a morning meditation practice.

Here's Why:

1. Yoga Nidra is a practice of deep relaxation. It is said that 40 minutes of yoga nidra can be equivalent to 3 hours of sleep. When we utilize practices like yoga nidra that can support us in deeply restoring and relaxing we have more energy to be awake and aware during our meditation practice. We may feel more refreshed upon waking and our morning meditation practice will benefit. 

2. Yoga Nidra practiced with Sankalpa (resolve) can help you commit to your morning meditation. In yoga nidra you can plant the seeds of your sankalpa in the depths of your consciousness, amplifying your ability to manifest. 

3. Swami Rama says " Yoga nidra supports and strengthens meditational techniques...Yoga Nidra has immense benefits and can be used for learning the subtleties of life... The dimensions of life that are not explored during the waking, dreaming and sleeping states can be explored through yoga nidra..." Enlightenment Without God pg. 62-63

4. Swami Rama also tells us that when we are in the state of yoga nidra; meaning that we have learned to go into an involuntary sleep, yet remain fully aware of our environment, our clarity of mind is more profound than in our waking state. The more we practice being in this state it not only builds our capacity for determination and will, but it give us a stable and strong place from which to practice meditation. Enlightenment Without God- Swami Rama - pg 56

This is why I recorded two brand new Yoga Nidra practices for Empowered Wake Up! 

Yoga Nidra is a beneficial practice that can inform the whole of your life from your meditation, creativity, memory, sleep, ability to manifest and spiritual transformation. It is a full and complete practice on it's own but also incredibly supportive for whatever spiritual practice you are undertaking and your life in general. My suggestion is to practice yoga nidra at least 2-3 times a week. If you really want to experience profound shifts, practice it for an entire 21-days. I recorded two brand new yoga nidra practices that I included in Empowered Wake Up! - one is 15 minutes and the other 30 minutes. Adding yoga nidra into this 21 days of meditation is the key to making it a very powerful and transformational experience for you. 

The Power of Ritual and Intention

The Power of Ritual and Intention

The Power of Daily Ritual and Intention - Creating a Sacred Life. 

What are your rituals? How do you consistently invoke a feeling of sacredness and meaning into your life and yoga practice? How can you connect to your intentions and goals in a meaningfuland powerful way?

We have many rituals that we perform daily, from brushing our teeth to drinking our morning tea or coffee. Anything can become a sacred act, even washing the dishes. When we approach daily tasks without intention, reverence, or devotion, they become mundane. That even includes our yoga practice! If we can practice rituals at the same time in the same place and with reverence, we can begin to taste the sweetness of a sacred and intentional life. 

When we marry intention with ritual, it allows us time to pause, reflect, let go, and recreate our destiny.  Rituals are a way to continually propel us toward our highest purpose.  Otherwise, we may never take the opportunity to deeply reflect or set intentions until perhaps the end of the year. But by then, we have continually reinforced so many unhelpful patterns and thoughts that we are bound to stay in the same cycle for yet another year because we have nothing consistent to anchor us to a higher purpose. With intentional ritual, we offer ourselves an opportunity to renew our intentions daily andto connect with something greater than ourselves.

Have you noticed seeing more sacred rituals and ceremonies being shared on your Facebook and Instagram feeds? It seems that we are collectively reclaiming the practice of ritual. This newfound love for ritual has been taking many forms, from participating in traditional puja and Vedic fire ceremonies, to mandalas made of flowers, to altars created from a collective of items gathered from students at the beginning of a retreat. Why is it that now we are being called back to the power of ritual?

The answer is we have lost the connection to our ancestors, to their rituals and rites of passage.  We are no longer connected to the seasons, moon phases, and harvesting in meaningful ways.  We are severed from the rhythms of nature and from our own elemental nature. We have all but forgotten that the elements are alive within us and they need to be nurtured. Maybe we are being called to remember our divine nature by seeing it reflected and honored outside of us to helps us recognize that the earth and all living beings are a part of a beautiful web of resplendence and beauty. 

The sacred practice of ritual informed by intention adds richness to our practice and to our lives. It can lead us into the cave of our heart and connect us to the deepest and most ancient part of ourselves. A place where we can know steadiness and peace. It is a practice for uncertain times. 

Here are a few ideas on how to bring ritual and intention into your daily life:


6 Tips to Activate the Power of Ritual and Intention

1. Create an intention in the form of a prayer, something that leads you closer to fulfilling yourheart’s desire or purpose. Ask yourself to define the highest intention that you can set for yourself.  Remember you are not arriving at your ritual with expectations, but with humility and an open heart. Your prayer might be something like: “Please lead me closer to my heart’s desire.  May everything I do be in alignment for my thriving.”

2. Create an altar or sacred space.Tune into the elements and choose one item to represent each one of the five elements: earth, water, fire, air, and empty space.  On your altar, place framed pictures of your teachers, relatives, or other loved ones who inspire you and whom you would like to honor.  You may even choose to make physical offerings of fresh flowers, water, or incense each day.

Place your altar somewhere where you will see it daily and be inspired to spend time with it.  Make the space comfortable.  It should feel like you have created a welcoming seatthat feels like coming home. 

Make a commitment to visit this altar once a day, offering your love, prayers, gratitude, and blessings. Take this time to connect with your intention and ask for clarity on at least one thing that you can do that day to move you closer to your intention. Notice how you feel each time you sit at your altar. 

3. At least once a month, connect with nature: go outdoors for an extended period of time to renew your commitment to your intention.  Take time to journal about what you have learned in the last thirty days. Connecting with the Full or New Moon is a great time for this practice. Try a Full Moon hike, swimming in the ocean, or sleeping under the stars.

4. Ask others to join you in sharing a practice. Creating a space for ritual is already powerful; when you share this space with others who are likeminded it becomes even more potent. Invite others to share their traditions. Ask the elders in your family about traditions and rituals that might have been lost.  Consider finding a teacherwho is trained intraditional puja or fire ceremonies to lead your group. 

5. Commit to 40 consecutive days of meditation or mantra practice. The power of practice is cumulative. If you miss a day start again from day one. 

6.Listen to and then act on any inspirations you receive. The divine is constantly pointing the way towards a fulfilled life in the form of inspiration. Our job is to act upon it as soon as it is received. Always keep a journal nearby.

Tracee Stanley is the creatrix of the Empowered Life Self-Inquiry Oracle. She teaches yoga, meditation and yoga nidra. Her offerings are informed by the teachings of Yogarupa Rod Stryker and the tradition of the Himalayan Masters. Find her at

Resources In Los Angeles: 

Sivananda Yoga Center  seasonal events

Yogini Ashram  online puja classes

Kali Mandir  home puja course

Laura Amazonne - online puja classes 

Ritual: Perspectives and Dimensions by Catherine Bell

This article originally appeared in @layogamagazine 



How to Thrive

How to Thrive

If you feel like everyone around you is thriving or taking their life to the next level and that you are getting left behind take that as a signal from the universe for you to stop comparing and competing. Leave any jealously and envy behind and use that FIRE to get to work on YOU, your gifts and your passions. 

Here's how: 

1. Ask for Help

Most friends are happy to give you advice or a reference to that amazing assistant or web developer who helped them refine their business or life. Take your friend out for a meal in exchange for their time. 

2. Recognize Your Worth

Understand and honor what your unique gifts. What does the world look like through your lens? What do you see that other's don't? What tools have you used in your life that work? What is the most important thing for you to share with others before you leave this earth? 

3. Create a List of Goals

When you are busy comparing yourself to others your attention is not where it needs to be. Create your own blueprint of thriving. What does it look like to you? For some it might mean getting rid of all of the unnecessary items in life and becoming more minimalistic. For someone else it may be moving out of an apartment and into a home. It might be having the freedom and time to travel. Connect to your personal thrive. 

4. Imagine a Time When You Were Thriving.

Can you remember the last time you were thriving.. I mean really in flow? I remember the first time I did this contemplation with my teacher Yogarupa Rod Stryker in his Four Desires Workshop. I connected to a time in my life when I truly felt superhuman. Find your thrive moment- see what you were doing then, how you were feeling, even what you were eating back then. You still have that fire in you and the power to activate thriving. What did you learn from revisiting that thriving moment?

5. Find Inspiration. Go There Often. 

Write a list of all the people and places that inspire you. Make a point to visit them at least once a month. Not just when you are feeling uninspired but especially when you are feeling energized. You might just get that extra push towards a great idea. Be sure to visit places that are new to you. Get out of your normal routine, drive or hike an extra 30 minutes to a vista or sacred site. 

6. Practice Silence

We have so much energy that is constantly going out all day that we barely have a chance to be with ourselves. Practicing 30 minutes of silence before bed and 30 minutes upon waking is a wonderful way to balance and be with our thoughts and feelings in a way that feels spacious and peaceful. Inspiration often happens in the stillness of silence. 

7. Act On Your Inspiration

The best time to act on Inspiration is as soon as you hear it.  Not acting on your inspiration is a form of carelessness. You are basically ignoring whispers from the Divine. Whispers that are meant to propel you to your greatness. Who cares what anyone else thinks about it. The whisper was meant for you. Let your heart lead the way and allow magic to unfold. 


6 Steps to Building Capacity in an Uncertain 2017

6 Steps to Building Capacity in an Uncertain 2017

How can you find stability and clarity and when everyone around you is in a constant state of reactivity to every tweet, every post, every news article and every friend who has a differing opinion? The answer is that you must build your capacity. Build your capacity to hold everything — all of what you perceive to be good, bad and more. What exactly does that mean? It means remaining stable in the midst of chaos. It means riding the ebbs and flows of life and not getting caught in the undertow. This is not apathy or some form of magical thinking, but seeing things as they are, not how you wish them to be…and being okay.

Build your capacity for discernment, to see what is true and what is not. Build your capacity to know what to do, when to do it and how. If we can see clearly and cultivate stability we will know what actions to take and we can navigate life and it’s obstacles with more ease and grace. But we must have the awareness, strength and steadiness to accept and process what is in front of us.

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Yoga for a Broken Heart- Part One: Committing to Stillness

Yoga for a Broken Heart- Part One: Committing to Stillness

There are many ways that we become heartbroken. It can be from years of failed relationships, a betrayal from a partner,  divorce, the loss of a loved one, abandonment, disappointment, even loneliness. Some of our heartbreaks are so deep that it feels as though we may never recover. We become so disconnected from ourselves that we need something to guide us back to wholeness.

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