Sunday, December 19, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Just this week I attended a beautiful funeral service for a friend's mother. My friend had a very close relationship with her mother and did an amazing job at the service making us laugh and cry with stories of her mother. We love and cherish our friends and family knowing that we are guaranteed to lose them at some point. Either we leave first or them, but the loss is going to happen. The Universe gives us the gift of family, friends and even beautiful objects. It is a shame to not fully appreciate those gifts and to let the gratitude and appreciation be inhibited with fear of loss. Resolve to practice gratitude with enthusiasm: from en theos- to be with God. I am firm believer that the Divine rewards passion and enthusiasm. The Universe delights in our joy. Gratitude and love have the highest positive biofeedback effect on the body. When we feel grateful it is physically healing.
There is a cute parable about a Yogini who goes to her kitchen and smells poop. She investigates, but the poop smell remains a mystery. She goes to her bedroom, it also smells like poop. She goes to work, her office smells like poop. She goes to Publix, the store smells like poop. Finally she goes to the bathroom and looks in the mirror. There is poop on the end of her nose! We often try to look for fixes outside of ourselves when the problem, and the solution, begins with us.
Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.
This famous line from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali defines the goal of Yoga and the path to that goal. Yoga is that state of a quiet, peaceful and powerful mind- no thoughts. That state where we are no longer a victim to negative self chatter. Until we reach that exalted state, we are seeing reality through the distorted lens of our thoughts- we see reality as we are. If we feel poopy then the world looks poopy. If we are angry, then the world seems like a violent place. If we are peaceful, then our world is peaceful. Practicing gratitude with enthusiasm changes our world view and alters our perception of reality.
I cant get too excited about say, Columbus Day, but Thanksgiving, on the other hand, is a beautiful tradition. Carry the spirit of the day with you throughout the year.
PS: I am so very grateful to all the amazing Yogis and Yoginis at Bliss Yoga Shala!! We all grow together and small communities like ours are changing the world. We are the ones we have been waiting for.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Chogyam Trungpa from Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
The polarity of the Earth actually changes during storms. It is as if the Earth is inviting the lightning to come down and work its magic.
Humans have a force like lightning, in seed form, lying dormant in the pelvic floor. The dormant force, Kundalini Shakti, is a mechanism of change, creativity and transformation and when activated, it is possible for humans to reach their greatest potential. The archetype Ganesh governs the pelvic floor and He has a relationship with the energy in seed form. Ganesh energy works specifically to remove obstacles- obstacles that block the path to healing and empowerment.
In the same way that the Earth invites lightning down during storms, Yogis invite the energies of the pelvic floor to awaken and to work their magic in our bodies and in our lives. Working with the pelvic floor, using the Moola Bandha method in particular, is the means of invitation. The seeds of the dormant, creative force begin to germinate, grow and flourish and obstacles are removed.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Please join us!
- Shri will be teaching a FREE class at Lululemon in St. Johns Town Center every Sunday in October at 9:30 am. Our theme all month will be Learning the Lessons of the Archetypal Deities Ganesh, Kali, Ram, Krishna and Shiva.
- 30 Hour Introductory or Supplemental Vinyasa Teacher Training with Shri: Nov. 8-12, Mon thru Fri, 9 am to 3 pm each day. Tuition: $600
- Workshop/ Asana Intensive with Rob Hefele: Sunday, Dec. 5: Lift Off Practice and Yin Practice
- Free YogaWorks Level 2 Class and 200 Hour TT info session with Sarah Bell: Sat., Dec. 4, 12 noon to 2 pm
- YogaWorks 200 Hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training 30 Day Intensive held at Bliss Yoga Shala: Jan- Feb, 2011
- Please go to our website http://www.blissyogashala.com/ for more information about any of these events.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Master Patanjali and Classical Yoga give us a recipe for controlling the senses...... We are to practice Pratyahara, the conscious withdrawal of the senses away from the outer world. With pratyahara, we make a choice to tune into the inner experience, the inner landscape. This is one reason why many Yoga studios are sparsely decorated and why many Yoga teachers choose not to use music for asana practice. We are encouraging you to go inside, even if only momentarily. We spend so much of our lives with external world focus. Let your Yoga practice be a time for internal awareness and dwelling. Practically in class, we cultivate pratyahara by focusing on our breathing patterns and scanning the physical body for sensations. The pelvic floor technique moola bandha is well suited to develop pratyahara as well because the muscle group is located deep inside the body and we almost always lose the technique if we shift awareness to the outside world by looking outside the window or looking across the room at other Yogis.
When the senses withdraw themselves from the objects and imitate, as it were, the nature of the mind-stuff, this is pratyahara.
Yoga Sutra 2.54
Then follows mastery over the senses.
Yoga Sutra 2.55
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
When we call ourselves "teacher", we choose to no longer be ordinary people. Karmic consequence becomes greater for teachers. Teachers' words and actions need to be thoughtful and for the greater good, to the very best of our ability. Great teachers see their students as children who are to be cared for and instructed with loving respect.
We cannot give away that which we do not possess. As teachers, we need to be constantly culitvating light so that we are able to illuminate the path for others even a little. Muktananda Stiles says that teachers need to make sure that they are able to meditate peacefully for at least 20 minutes, otherwise we are passing on our stress and tension to our students.
No one said that teaching is easy, but not enough people are saying that teaching is hard and a great responsibility that not everyone is up for. Will you honor your role as teacher with the full commitment to be of service or will you use the role selfishly for personal gain?
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Eat: Week One
"Yogis eat for energy, not flavor."
"Energy = Power"
"Let food be your medicine and let medicine be your food."
Clinically and literally, the way we (Americans) are eating is making us fatter, sicker and dumber. I am not one to get on the soap box, but this is go time, the 11th hour as it were, something needs to change. Americans are the fattest citizens of the world and we use up more of the world's resources than the rest of the world COMBINED. "They", groups that are blindly driven by greed, are growing our food in completely irresponsible and nonsustainable ways and adding potently harmful additives to our food. The cancer rate 30 years ago was 1 in 16, now it is 1 in 2. Because of growth hormones added to our food, young girls now are reaching puberty at an alarmingly early age. We would need several more planets like Earth to perpetually sustain the voracious American diet and I don't see any extra planets around.....
What we have been "fed" about food is shakey at best and criminal and malicious at worst. Many of the sources we have looked to for food, diet and health guidance are guided primarily by profit.
Yogis begin to think outside of the box and for themselves. Here are some resources:
http://www.nymedicalnutrition.com/ for a list of "frankenfoods", foods to be avoided, and a new look at the economics of the traditional food pyramid.
http://www.gerson.org/ for great documentaries about food growing and the power of foods to heal, even for cancer treatment. In this country, doctors are prohibited, by law, to offer any other treatment for cancer other than surgery, chemo and radiation. In other countries, however, many other more holistic courses of treatment are offered with similar or better success rates and minimal side effects. (Netflix has many of the Gerson films)
http://www.rajpatel.com/ is the website of an activist is this area
The documentaries Food, Inc. and The 11th Hour are both very informative as well.
Very easy guidelines for, in my opinion, the healthiest and most Earth friendly diet:
- Eat less. We need so much less food than we think and than we have been taught and told. Monks traditionally eat only what can fit into the palms of both hands. Many people (myself included) eat only 1 or 2 meals per day and find that they have even more energy and stamina with less food. There is a great deal of research in this area to be found under RC diet (reduced calorie) and RC diet plus a long fasting duration http://www.fast-5.com/
- Buy and Eat Local and Organic.
- Make eating fresh fruits and vegetables a daily event.
- Practice Yoga regularly to build up the internal fire which will help to flush out old and new toxins. With a strong fire, we can throw in some green wood from time to time.
Food for Yogis means energy and nourishment. Eating includes all the ways in which we nourish ourselves. The Yogic scriptures tell us that Yogis who know breath as food, know the purest food available. Uplifting music and chanting the divine sounds is food for Yogis. Time spent in nature and time spent with friends and family may also be nourishment. Sleep and rest feed the living matrix. The numerology for the studio address is a 4 and 4 symbolizes stability and rest. I love the idea of Yogis finding rest, stability and rejuvenation with each practice. The artist in me is extremely nourished by creative endeavor. The mystic in me is nourished by meditation and ritual. The point is, find out what feeds you and eat regularly.
In the human body, food is turned into energy by metabolic fire. Yogis build their fire with each practice and digestive fire matures into the fire of transformation. From the ashes of this fire, the Phoenix emerges, the new creation that is now possible.
"Each one of us, regardless of our situation, is looking for the same treasure in the ashes. We are in search of our most authentic, vital, generous, and wise self. What stands between that self and us is what burns in the fire. Our illusions, our rigidity, our fear, our blame, our lack of faith, and our sense of separation: All of these- in varying strengths and combinations- are what must die in order for a more true self to arise. If we want to turn a painful event into a Phoenix Process, we must name what needs to burn in the fire."
PS: A word about intoxicants-In Yoga, we are attempting to cultivate self-sufficiency. We are much stronger and have more clarity of vision when we choose not to ingest intoxicants. Intoxicants create tamasic energy- the energy of dullness and stuckness. It is very hard to manifest creative urges in that energy of stuckness. Some masters endorse the use of hallucinogenic drugs used ritually to let us know what is possible, but drugs are a crutch to creating that expansive state of mind and the goal is to learn how to get there without the drug. If you use an intoxicant every day, you are an addict. Freedom does not equal running away or checking out and getting to the doorway is one thing- walking through it is entirely another.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Leslie Wilbur- 15 years of Yoga Practice
I had practiced yoga inconsistently for about 15 years, although I was a regular exerciser (cardio and weights). Beginning around December, while in teacher training, I began practicing 6 days a week and meditating 7 days a week (without fail). What a difference! In the last 8 months, I have experienced the following improvements: my digestive system has been restored to complete health, I sleep like a baby, my "normal aches and pains of aging" are gone, my allergies are gone, my moods are very stable. And these are only the physical changes.
The other changes are more subtle and yet more profound. I feel more grounded. I feel more connected to everyone and everything. I feel more inner peace. I feel more deeply, and at the same time I am not swept away by feelings. I have more coincidences and synchronicities in my daily life. I feel more contentment and gratitude with things the way they are.
Overall, the changes I've experienced over such a short time are amazing!
I first started coming to yoga class eight years ago, to "decompress" from the daily stresses of a high powered job in financial services industry, the challenges of raising three teenagers and to find an escape from the day-to-day grind. In the course of those eight years, I have happily abandoned the high powered stressful job. The three teenagers have grown up to be wonderful caring productive adults and I no longer feel I'm living in a day-to-day grind.
There are actually two quotes that seem to best sum up what yoga has done for me. The first, by Denis Waitley "Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude." Yoga is teaching me how to live life with love, grace and gratitude, thus bringing me a happiness that was in the past, elusive.
Yoga has brought more profound changes in my life on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. While the change has been profound, I wouldn't say it has been dramatic. Meaning, I feel I am the same person I have always been, just a much better version. This brings me to my second quote by Sting "The deeper you get into yoga you realize it is a spiritual practice. It's a journey I'm making. I'm heading that way."
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Growing up, my brother Gary loved mechanical things. He loved them so much, he wanted to know how they worked so he would often take things apart and try to put them back together with mixed success. My father gave him an old, broken down VW Bug and Gary cut off the top and got the engine working so he could have a homemade dune buggy of sorts. Whoever rode in the passenger seat had to hold the "gas tank", which was a used gallon milk container, seriously. Ah, the joys of growing up in the country....
100 years ago, the idea that all matter was made up of atoms was just a theory. Later, when more powerful means of actually seeing these small particles were invented, atomic theory became truth. Then scientists did what my brother Gary did, and began to look inside atoms to figure out how they work. For the most part, what is inside an atom is empty space. The "stuff" of an atom is at the nucleus and the nucleus takes up the same space that the head of a pin does inside a football field.
With this new knowledge came inconsistencies. If matter is made of particles and is mostly empty space, what holds the particles together and why do objects appear to have mass??
A group of scientists offered a theory of a substance that is all pervasive throughout the material world- the glue of universe- and this theorized substance is called the Higgs Boson. The discovery of the Higgs would resolve the mysteries and inconsistencies in current theoretical physics. What was needed to prove the existence of the Higgs was an LHC- a Large Hadron Collider- that could accelerate particles up to massive speeds and then record and study the collisions. Only two LHCs in the world were powerful enough to run the experiments- one at Firmalab in Chicago and one at Cern, in Geneva, Switzerland. The race was on! As soon as Cern fired up their LHC, the colossal piece of equipment promptly broke down. So Chicago was the first to start observing collisions and both labs predicted it might take years. Unfortunately, Chicago found out that their LHC is probably not powerful enough to be successful. Recently, in November of 2009, Cern's LHC came back online and is now running experiments as we speak in search of the Higgs, which has been nicknamed the Genesis or God particle.
I share this because it is so exciting that modern science is now looking to prove the existence of Prana Shakti or what some believe to be the Holy Spirit. According to Yogic cosmology, Prana is that which animates all of the material world. Yogis work with Prana Shakti in every Yoga practice for practical results- it changes the way we think and feel.
Just because you can't see something, doesn't mean it isn't real or that you can't use it to your advantage.
Now the Earth was formless and empty. Darkness was on the surface of the deep. God's Spirit was hovering above the surface of the waters.
Friday, August 13, 2010
The path of Yoga is Agni Vidya, the science of fire. With each practice, we cultivate the desirable qualities of fire. Fire produces light. Experienced Yogis light up a room when they enter. Fire also produces heat. An emotional warmth and tenderness begins to develop in the heart. Our emotions become more vibrant and our capacity for compassion and empathy for others expands. We find that we are more tuned in to the suffering of others, so much that we feel as though we are walking around with a broken heart much of the time. Some seekers find themselves paralyzed at this point, overwhelmed by the depth of emotion that is experienced by seeing the suffering of others with so much clarity. Becoming paralyzed in the face of suffering is not the answer, nor does it bring anything positive to the table, for you or for the person who is suffering.
Life is suffering. So what is to be done about that? Doing is exactly what is required- action is required. The path of Hatha Yoga- Asana, Pranayama and Meditation- is a life plan. It is a method for learning how to navigate through this world of suffering without becoming paralyzed or dying of a broken heart. We learn to cultivate a reliable happiness that is not affected by outside circumstance.
Friday, August 6, 2010
This is the world of Christian mystics, Kabbalists, Sufis, Yogis and Tantrikas- the unseen world. With the discovery of dark matter, electromagnetism and the infrared, ultraviolet and ultrasound frequencies, we know now that what humans are able to perceive in the world is only less than one percent of all that there is. Less than one percent! The world of the unseen is much greater than the world of normal human perception. This is the realm of prana, angels, ghosts, fairies, archetypal deities, Naguals, synchronicity, signs, symbols and the hall of Akashic records. Even modern physics theorizes about this realm with the possibility of countless alternate universes- spheres within spheres. The path of all Mystery Schools is access to this realm of the unseen. The first step on the path is getting comfortable with the sound of our own breathing.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Actions performed in service are not bound by the laws of karma. Hanuman's lesson to us is the joy of living a life in service to humanity and the possibility of merging with That through service. Union with the divine is a concept that is also taught in the Catholic tradition of Christianity, but the techniques are only taught to monks and nuns, not to lay people. In Tantra, this path is open even to householders.
Just this morning, my stepdaughter and I went to a bookstore and on the way there, we stopped at Starbucks for a coffee. We ran into Delores Morford, a longtime teacher of astrology in Jacksonville. Delores spoke to me of what I had been feeling recently. She said in May, we all entered into a time of cosmic weather patterns where those of us who are called to a life of service will feel a sense of urgency in this calling. Now is the time to make manifest our dearest desires. Now is the time to discover your gifts and to use them in service. It is a time to let go of anything and anyone barring the path to growth, expansion and service. Basically, #&*@ , or get off the pot. Be discriminating in your choice of friends and draw from the strength of your sangha. If you are dabbling with a practice, devote yourself with a full heart. If you are practicing, take your practice to the next level.
"There is a river flowing now, very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart and suffer greatly. Know that the river has its destination. The elders say we must push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open and our heads above the water. See who is in there with you and celebrate. At this time in history we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves, for the moment we do that, our spiritual growth comes to a halt. The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves, banish the word struggle from your attitude and vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred way and in celebration. We are the ones we've been waiting for."
Saturday, July 24, 2010
9:05 am Warrior with Shri, 6 pm Warrior with Shri
Tuesdays and Thursdays:
6 am Sunrise Warrior with Shri, 9:05 am Peaceful with Pam, 5:30 pm Peaceful with Shri
9:05 am Mixed Level with Tru, 5:30 pm Warrior with Ken
8 am Warrior with Shri, 9:45 am Peaceful with Shri
9 am Warrior with Sherri, 11 am Peaceful with Sherri
The first Thursday of each month at 5:30 pm is Long, Slow and Deep practice with Shri
Tuesday and Thursday nights at 7:15 pm is now a Workshop Series with Sherri:
You may pay for 6 weeks in advance and get one week free: $100
or drop in per class for $10
(This class is now a workshop series, so it is now paid for separately from monthly unlimited and from Bliss class packages)
Monday, July 19, 2010
When we encounter difficulty in life, it makes us thirsty for inner work, the search for answers inside, when the answers in the outside world are insufficient. Inner work, like meditation, is highly efficient problem solving methodology.
Einstein said the Theory of Relativity came to him in a meditative state. When I tell students that answers come in meditation, I am not being poetic. I mean this literally. Ask for help, guidance and answers in each meditation.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
This is Sri Brahmananda Saraswati's (SBS) favorite mantra. Joseph Campbell did not say follow someone else's bliss (or drama), he said follow your own bliss. The path of following one's bliss, or dharma, is not easy. You don't have time to mind other people's business, your plate is full.
The path of following your bliss has been widely misunderstood to mean the path of moving away from pain and moving toward pleasure. This is not the case at all. Following bliss means to discover what is yours to do right now, dharma, and then to stay on point until that mission is accomplished, no matter how arduous that path might be. Early civil rights workers told the racists that opposed them- you may threaten our children, burn down our homes, beat us, even kill us, but we are not going away. This is following bliss.
Do not yield to weakness, it does not suit you.
Krishna to Arjuna, in the Bhagavad Gita
Friday, July 16, 2010
Our work on the mat with asanas and pranayama is the warm air going out- we build up fire in the belly and get body fluids moving to release that which no longer serves us. The meditation at the end of practice is the cool air moving in- we consciously relax body and mind and a deep peace settles in and nourishes the living matrix. Stress out- peace in, stress out- peace in. Over time, the scales begin to tip and we find that peace is the predominant feeling. We begin to feel good most of the time. Most importantly, we begin to recognize when we are out of balance and choose not to act from a state of imbalance. We have tools and techniques to bring us back to our new default state.
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
Om Peace, Peace, Peace.
With this statement, in the vibrational language of Sanskrit, the Yogi cultivates and imparts Peace.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Monday and Wednesday: 9:05 am Warrior with Shri, 6 pm Warrior with Shri
Tuesday and Thursday: 6 am Warrior with Shri, 9:05 am Peaceful with Pam, 5:30 pm Peaceful with Shri
Friday: 9:05 am Mixed Level Flow with Pam, 5:30 pm Warrior with Ken
Saturday: 8 am Warrior with Shri, 9:45 am Peaceful with Rachel
Sunday: 9 am Warrior with Sherri, 11 am Peaceful with Sherri
First Thursday of each month at 5:30 pm is Long, Slow and Deep Practice with Shri
Meditation with Stan each Tuesday at 7:15 pm Downstairs
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Sunday: 9 am Warrior Flow with Tru
11 am Peaceful Flow with Sherri
5 pm Long Slow and Deep with Ken
Monday: 9 am Warrior Flow with Shri
4:30 pm Mixed Level Flow with Erica
6 pm Warrior Flow with Shri
Monday, June 28, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
"When someone says they need only five hours of sleep, I tell them they're delusional," says Thomas Roth, Ph.D., of the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. "It's very important to differentiate between how much people sleep and how much sleep they need."
Because of the invention of electricity, we get on average 90 minutes less sleep per night than our ancestors. Add to that overworking and overplaying, and what we end up with is a sleep restricted and/or sleep deprived modern society. For many, sleep is simply not a priority. Sleep, however, is just as integral to the building and maintaining of health as exercise, diet and stress management. The body rejuvenates itself each night when we sleep and sends its resources to nonessential tasks like cellular repair, antiaging, enhancing the immune system and healing itself. Charles Czeisler, Ph.D., M.D., professor of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School and one of the country's leading sleep experts, calls lack of sleep "a huge, pervasive problem, the elephant in the room."
I teach a Yoga class at 6 am two days a week and need to get up those mornings at 430 am. 10 years ago, this simply would not have been possible. In fact, back then getting somewhere at 9 am seemed arduous. Even 7 or 8 years ago, my preference for Yoga asana practice time was in the afternoon or early evening. Practicing asana first thing in the morning seemed foreign to my body. Over the years, naturally and gradually, my rising time and my choice for asana practice time has grown earlier and earlier. I love getting up early now and my body really enjoys physical activity around the time that the sun rises. This is the traditional time for Yoga practice. That time right before the sun rises is auspicious, it is special, because it is one of the tween times- not quite day but not quite night either. The energy then is quite balanced and perfect for the task of creating balance physically, mentally and energetically. Universally, all of the ancient medical texts from all of the ancient medical systems, teach us that getting to bed early and rising early is what is most healthy for us. The body, mind, energy complex, the living matrix, likes to be in harmony with the sun. The more we can rise when the sun rises and go to bed when the sun goes to bed, the better we feel. Many Yogis traditionally, have risen before the sun rises and the morning practice ends with a puja to greet the morning sun and a prayer of gratitude for one more day with the precious gift of a human body is offered.
"Yogis get up early."
Yogarupa Rod Stryker
The intention of getting up early begins with the necessary intention of also going to bed early. This part of the plan is what requires discipline and regularity. The body begins to know what is expected of it if we go to bed around the same time each night. In the pranic system, there are 5 major currents of energy in the human body- the 5 prana vayus. One of these currents, is called pran vayu- names often overlap and mean different things in Yoga. Pran vayu is located in the head and heart region and its main job is to create vitality in the living matrix. It governs the sense organs in the body and is depleted when we overstimulate the senses. Stimulation of an electronic nature is the most devastating on the senses and watching tv and spending too time on the computer and cell phone are recipes for depletion of energy. Deep sleep is the time when we revitalize the living matrix and counter the damage done from so much time spent exposing the senses to electronics.
The newest sleep studies show a link now with sleep deprivation and health problems as varied as diabetes, heart disease, miscarriage, preterm birth, ADHD in children, clinical depression and obesity. If you chart how sleep has declined over the past 50 years, it exactly parallels the increase in our waistlines. Lack of sleep alters our metabolism so that we crave carbs and eat more. The brain sends us signals when we are tired that make us think we are hungry. Some of the first symptoms from lack of sleep are declining mental moods and a slowing of cognitive functioning (cranky and foggy- sound familiar?). We make 10 times more mistakes when we are tired and 1 in 5 of all workplace accidents are caused by lack of sleep. Patients with clinical depression are 5 times more likely to suffer from a temporary bout of depression when they are tired. There is a 50% increase in irregular insulin production by the pancreas when we are sleep deprived.
Yoga is a science that facilitates change. Physical change, mental/emotional change, energetic change, change in life and ultimately, change in the world. As Yoga teacher, my goal is to create as much change as possible in each student in each class. Modern psychology tells us that if we want to change a person, then we must change that person's awareness of themselves. Yoga wholeheartedly agrees- introspection will create change most effectively. Swami Kripalananda writes, "If a seeker can relax the body and mind at will, then introspection is cultivated." The Yogic Sleep Meditation, Yoga Nidra, is a beautiful way for seekers to learn and practice to relax the body and mind at will. My goal with the practice of an extended Yoga Nidra at the end of each practice is to save Yogis time- to create change as quickly as possible. The scriptures tell us that Yoga Nidra is incredibly nourishing to the living matrix as well. Yogic Sleep is 4 times more revitalizing than regular sleep so at the end of each practice, Yogis catch up on some much needed sleep time too. Yoga Nidra is a window of healing opportunity- your job is to say yes.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
of Cultivation of sensation at the level of the skin is beneficial because:
- The skin is the largest organ of elimination in the body and working with the skin promotes the removal of waste product from the body.
- The skin is a metabolic organ as well- it aids in the metabolism of fat.
- The skin helps to regulate blood pressure: the opening and closing of capillaries helps to promote the healthy flow of blood.
- The skin is an integral part of the immune system by way of the large network of lymph vessels.
- The skin is part of the respiration process- there is some gas exchange at the level of skin.
- There is a strong connection in the way we feel emotionally and what we feel at the level of skin: we blush when we are embarrassed, we get goosebumps when we are scared or excited. When we work with the skin, we affect and benefit the nervous system.
Massaging the skin is an incredibly healing technique, whether we have a therapist massage us or we practice Ayurvedic self massage. Yogis are picky about what we put on the open barrier of the skin- it is best to use culinary grade oils. Working at the level of skin reminds us about appropriate barriers in life- be picky about who you spend time with, which foods and/or drugs you take in and the environments that you choose to spend time in.
In class, we work with the skin practically by stretching and squeezing the skin through muscular contraction and expansion and by promoting the exchange of fluids through perspiration.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Working with the core prepares us for the advanced techniques of Moola Bandha and Uddiyana Bandha- the root lock and belly lock respectively. These techniques were kept top secret for thousands of years. One would need to travel to remote locations on the globe and study with a master in order to receive these teachings. Yet now, both of these techniques are commonly taught in many traditions of Yoga to even brand new students. There are no mistakes, obviously the world is now ready for moola bandha, but I think it is necessary to impart these teachings with a warning statement. Both of these techniques are absolutely empowering because they initiate the Yogic growth spurt- the awakening of Kundalini Shakti. In the same way that one would not dam a river without first knowing what to do with the energy created, it is necessary to make sure we are prepared for the energy awakened by these techniques and to be very mindful of the actions we perform. Tantra does not have a concept of sin in the way most westerners are familiar with, rather there is the concept of karma- cause and effect. There are actions that create beneficial results and there are actions that create suffering. If we practice moola bandha and we are a liar, we become a very good liar. If we practice moola bandha and we are a thief, we become a very good thief. Techniques this powerful need to be practiced with reverence.
For kundalini to rise, the body must be able to cope with its force and the nervous system must be made strong, healthy and mature. This is attained through Yogic practice. When preparations are complete, kundalini will rise spontaneously of its own accord, liberating and expanding the consciousness. When you awakened your kundalini you stand of the threshold of infinity
Moola Bandha The Master Key
This mechanism, known as kundalini, is the real cause of all genuine spiritual phenomena, the biological basis of evolution and development of personality, the secret origin of all esoteric and occult doctrines, the master key to the unsolved mystery of creation, the inexhaustible source of philosophy, art and science and the fountainhead of all religions past, present and future.
Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
So tell me what you want, what you really, really want.....
world famous rishis, the Spice Girls