Articles + Interviews
Articles + Interviews
Mara is a regular contributor to gaia.com and recently collaborated with Saje
Articles for Halfmoon Yoga
Originating in Japan in the 1980’s “Shinrin Yoku” otherwise known as forest bathing literally translates as “taking in the forest atmosphere.” The scientific research done on forest bathing is quite amazing — tree’s (especially coniferous ones) release an organic compound called “phytoncide”. This compound supports our natural killer cells that allow our immune system to fight diseases such as cancer, ward off illnesses and keep our immune system strong.
The concept is quite simple: spend meditative time in nature by walking, sitting, or lying down for at least 1-4 hours. By slowing down, and allowing the forest’s atmosphere to penetrate your whole being, the nervous system will calm and trigger a relaxation and healing response within. This is very different than a trail run, a hike, or any physical activity that gets the heart rate up. Forest Bathing is a deep release of any agenda or exercise, and requires a letting go of external energy output to receive the benefits of Mother Earth’s finest energy.
For a limited time, use code MARA20 for 20% off all yoga + meditation products on Halfmoon’s website!
Drishti for the Holidays
For some of us, the holiday season may be overwhelming as our focus gets pulled in many directions. With never ending to-do lists, the pressure to spend more money, and the overconsumption of most things, the result may be feelings of imbalance, interrupted sleep patterns and being energetically drained. What if we could intentionally direct our attention to improve our energy and focus on what is important? Finding a focus or a “Drishti” can do just that.
For a limited time, use code MARA2018 for 20% off all yoga + meditation products on Halfmoon’s website!
Mama Yoga — How To Have Your Own Yoga Practice With Your Kids
The demands of motherhood are real. Some moments are blissful and profound, others are messy and exhausting. I often think, “how did my mother do this?” Then, I am reminded of her steady, calm, and loving presence and that I too can hold that space. Parenting teaches us about the power of letting go and directing our attention to the present moment. From the demands of daily schedules, to the emotional outbursts from our children, to the organization it takes to care for our families, our personal self care can be overwhelming and the last item on our to-do list.
A Full Moon Ritual: Women Who Gather Under the Light of the Moon
Since the beginning of time, women have been gathering under the light of the moon to share stories and songs. There is something wildly sacred that happens when women attune to the rhythms of mother nature, and bring forward the power of the divine feminine.
Articles for Saje
Cultivate True Self Care
We’ve all wrapped up a busy time of year—the holiday season—and now everybody’s talking about resolutions. Getting fit, cleaning out your closet, and starting a new routine are often where we choose to put our focus. But what about setting a resolution to increase our inner peace and opportunity for growth?
Six Ways to Find Stillness
Mara Branscombe has the kind of radiance that glows from the inside out. Recently, we connected with her about how true self-care starts with getting quiet, reflecting on our innermost desires, and allowing ourselves time to rest. Read Mara’s thoughts on cultivating the life of your dreams, starting with finding stillness.
Articles for Gaia
Your Mind on Pain: Healing Your Pain Through Mindfulness
Living in a state of constant physical pain due to illness or injury can be devastating and intolerable. The constant suffering becomes all-consuming and can bring forth the feeling of absolute despair and attachment to feeling this way forever. Lost in a sea of pain killers, constantly searching for help, depression, anxiety, fatigue, and the feeling of disconnection to self and others can become reality.
Toxic Thoughts Are Holding You Back From Your Mind-Body Connection
How often do you have negative thoughts? Have you ever wondered to what degree your life experiences affect how you think, perceive, feel, react, and respond? Do you notice that your behavior or your defense mechanisms become triggered by certain issues time and time again?
Shamanic Ritual: The Heart of Transformation
Historically, Shamanic ritual lives inside the heart of Indigenous cultures. Rituals, ranging from simple to complex, are a way to step out of the mundane of everyday life, to connect to spiritual life, and to lift the veil between the visible and the invisible realms. Ancient shamanic rituals have been practiced since the beginning of time. At their core, they aim to restore wholeness to individuals and communities, where a genuine reciprocity is formed between humanity, spirit and nature.
How to Hold a Four Directions Ceremony
Throughout history Native American, Peruvian, Mexican, Siberian, Celtic and Nordic people, to name a few, have practiced honoring the four directions as part of their culture’s connection to well-being, nature and spiritual harmony.
Smudging Ceremony: An Invitation
A smudging ceremony is the ritual of burning plant resins and herbs in a shell or a clay bowl while intentions and prayers are called forth. For centuries, Native American and Indigenous cultures have practiced smudging rituals to clear away negative energy, to invite in peace and harmony for individuals or environments.
Radio Interview with HealthHub
Practicing Self Care
Mara talks to Cathy Baise of the HealthHub on practicing self care.
A short dance filmed co-produced and co-created by Mara Branscombe, Katy Harris McLeod and Brian Johnson.