Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wade in the Water

This week in the shala we are working on hip openers which heal and balance the second chakra.  The tattva, or element, which rules the second chakra is water.  Sometimes water forges a path straight through stone and yet water can adapt itself to fit any container.  Water teaches us to be strong and supple at the same time and to know when the situation calls for us to be strong or when it might be best to yield.  Water teaches us about going with the flow- to embrace what life brings our way even when we want to change it because when we first embrace what is we are in a much better position to change it.
Kali is the archetypal deity who embodies the energy of the second chakra and water.  She is considered one of the Dasa Maha Vidyas- the 10 great goddesses of Tantra.  The word vidya means science.  The 10 great goddesses are scientific concepts rather than religious concepts in that with Tantra we have equations where we perform A and B and then C is created.  And the equations are able to be replicated consistently just like in any good scientific experiment.
When we use techniques like mantra we are able to align ourselves with the energy of Kali and therefore water.  Kali is often depicted with her tongue out- she teaches us to taste all the flavors that life has to offer- sometimes what we first consider bad may turn out to be good.
Bob Marley said some people feel the rain and others just get wet.  Kali urges us to stick our tongues out and taste, savor and feel the rain of life- all the ever changing weather patterns of emotions and life circumstance.
To quote my friend Sydney (who just became a big sister!)
Sometimes you get what you get and you don't pitch a fit.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

When is more really more?

If one down dog is good then 10 down dogs would be better, right?  When is more really more in a Yoga practice?

Pranams to Candace Bushnell. (creator of Sex in the City)  I was single and watching Sex in the City years ago- Carrie was a writer and would often start the show trying to write her column which often began with a question.  This was one of the first tv shows that depicted powerful single women really as independant creatures and I identified strongly and cheered them on.  But, I digress......

Back to down dog- I do not practice Yoga nor teach Yoga for physical fitness.  Physical healing and physical fitness are certainly part of the process but in the bigger picture- Yoga is a means toward radical transformation and growth- at the individual level and the global level.  The techniques on the Yoga mat which facilitate transformation most powerfully are those which quiet the mind and/ or raise energy (prana).  Yoga asanas are introductory techniques in order to create a foundation for the practice of the more powerful techniques.  The most powerful techniques on the mat are Pranayama -making different choices regarding breath, Bandha- the physical muscular engagements particularly in the core which raise energy, Sanskrit Chants- which harness the power of sound for healing and balance and Meditation- the observation of the workings of the mind which over time transforms the nature of mind.  More really is more with these techniques.

Memorial Day Holiday Schedule

Memorial Day Holiday Schedule:
Monday, May 28:  9 am Mixed Level Flow with Shri ONLY

Happy Holiday!