innerlight

Yoga blog 9/27/2013

Yoga blog 9/27/2013

 

Lots of students have been finding the Chaya Garden Ashram for yoga lately. We have been joined by Micalagh, Alex and Joel a few times. Tom has found his way back to yoga this week after being in France, and Mary continues to be a devoted yogi, joining us regularly two or three times a week. We have been doing lots of Vinyasa Flow at the request of our new students. Yesterday’s Vinyasa class put me into a deep and healing sivasana. I opened my eyes to find my students quietly and patiently waiting for my return. Boy did that ever feel great. A very complete sivasana is possible after a vigorous class like our Vinyasa Flow. When it really happens for you, there is nothing like it. The deepest, most refreshing relaxation along with a deep journey to the source of the Self.

Today we did a Kundalini practice with above mentioned star student, Mary Loan. Mary really knows how to get down and do the Kundalini practice, a practice which can be demanding in very different ways from what we might think of as “mainstream yoga”. In her sixties, Mary is one of the strongest women I have ever known.

In our practice this morning we began with a kriya for elimination, also known as Apana Exercises, this referring to the energies of the lower body. To that we added a kriya entitled Strengtheniing the Inner Light. This was a very good combination. The “inner light” practice is a short series that is meant to be repeated several times. We did two repetitions in light of the fact that we had already completed the apana set.

The first part of “inner light” is a breathing exercise. By the second round through the whole series, each breath of 12 deep inhale and exhales felt like diving into the ocean. The acute discomfort I had experienced in the second exercise, in which the right foot is drawn up to rest on the left thigh, the left foot is grasped, and the chest pulled forward toward the left foot, abated drastically in the second round. From first feeling it very much in the right ankle, it then shifted into the knee and then dissipated. I was surprised as I had not been looking forward to a second set in that position. Once again, deep breaths were drawn in through the tip of the nose while holding the posture. As we entered the meditation for the last piece of the second set of “inner light”, I experienced a feeling like a ball of energy at the base of my spine, and gentle waves of electricity rising from the base of my spine to the medula oblongata, at the base of the skull, and culminating in a feeling of pressure at my third eye. My subsequent sivasana was equally amazing. Incredible energy just kept on flowing. I stayed down a long time, enjoying the gift of my body, riding the energy deep within the cosmos of myself.

Thanks to the Primordial Master for providing me this body which is a key, a gateway, to the entirety of the universe and beyond. All this we each hold within us. Our cells, our DNA, such great gifts from the creator of all, and so few awake to experience it. May every human awaken to their infinite nature while on this earth. SAT NAM

innerlight

celtic_knot_small

Yoga Blog 17/09/2013

Today we did Massage for the Lymphatic system.  We did a late yoga, after having a nice green drink, preparing kombuchas, and making a nice mix for yoga.  The conditions were perfect; it seemed, for a very beautiful yoga class.  The rain was coming down pretty heavy (indicating we are in the rainy season) and all the plants around us were having a big drink.  My concentration was very good today for all the above reasons.  I found myself working up a good sweat.  At first the exercise we were doing reminded me of what the Tibetan yogis were doing to prepare themselves for yogic flying in the film Yogis Of Tibet. Pushing the arms straight out and them striking them against the sides.  I did it for the full 10 minutes as feeling very confident.  My meditations took on a flavor of their own.  I was thinking about how sometimes there is healing for us, or we could heal ourselves and yet we aren’t ready to.  So I was thinking “You know, you could be better if you wanted to… This is all an act… You really are Shiva!”

The chant today was Ram Ma Das Sa…Sa Say So Hung!!  I kept very centered.  Which reminds me of the mantra I was practicing in my meditation before.  It isn’t so much a mantra as a checklist…P.A.C.E… Positive…Active…Centered…Energetic… I was just making sure I was all of those while I was doing my yoga.  Well after the chant, when I pulled my root lock and held my breath, I saw something like this.

celtic_knot_small

 

Follow that was a lot of quiet time to remain restful and aware.  To keep myself present, I imagined that I was circling like a wheel through my third eye point. feet first.  I had been working on the connection to the Sat Guru throughout my yoga today.  I think of the Sat Guru as the Thumb, Brahman as the pointer, Shiva as the middle, Vishnu as the ring and Pravati as the little finger.  I was thinking about the connection a baby has with Sat Guru, just like these Gods, through Guru’s grace.  That’s where my baby pose took me!  So from that I was able to imagine connecting feet to forehead, and just turning and staying present enough to hear Laine chanting the Long Time Sun Shine song softly.

ten steps to destresss

Yoga blog 05/09/2013

Yoga blog 05/09/2013

I just watched a TED talk from 2009 by a young Nigerian author, Chimamanda Adichie. The theme of her dissertation was stories. She spoke about how stories, novels, articles, create a particular view, a certain impression in the reader. For instance, being from Nigeria, stories from America gave her a certain impression of life in the United States. When she travelled to the U.S. to attend university, she was continually confronted by the impressions that the people she met had of Africa, because of the stories they had read about how life was there. In Nigeria, there was a single “story” of America, reiterated from all sources to some degree. In America, there was a single story of Africa as it had been presented in the context of American literature and media.

Of course these “single stories” were simplified representations. The single story of America being “the land of the free”.  The single story of Africa being “the horrors of war, famine and dictatorship”. Not to mention that Africa is a continent of many nations of many diverse peoples, and how absurd it is that that huge continent is viewed as having a “single story”. How truly impossible that actually is.

Chimamanda Adichie is involved in opening up the many stories of Nigeria by encouraging those diverse stories to be written, published, and sold planetwide. This is how we break out of stereotypes involving ourselves and others on a global scale, not to mention the person to person power of the internet.

As I watched this lecture, I began to realize that as individuals, we often do the exact opposite. As adults, we begin to define ourselves and our reality through a single story, which we make into the pivotal moment of our life. As we focus more and more on this single story, it becomes the reason for who we are, it becomes the story that happened in the past, but that has shaped the present. Soon, we become blind to everything around us, as we can only see our “single story” to the exclusion of everything else that has happened to us, or that we have done. Many happy stories of love and joy are left to fade and wither within the memory, as the “single story”, usually a negative one, envelopes our consciousness, and becomes the scapegoat for all that we dislike about ourselves and the world.

I have survived the “single story” of my own life, and gone from being obsessed with unresolved negativity from the past, to being the ecstatic owner of Now, the blessed enjoyer of the fullness of the present. The Present is a Gift. All we must do is receive it. And yet how can this be done with the terrible story of the Past looming over us, defining who we will be in the future, as well as who we are in this moment? How are we to overcome all the power we have invested in this single story? This story in which we begin as the helpless victim, and grow to become the victim of the story by which we have defined ourselves, limited ourselves, excused ourselves?

Here is one way that we can again take responsibility, quit making excuses, and redefine our past, present, and future. Within the context of the practice of yoga, this is possible. Take up all the divisions you have created within yourself, detach from them by forgiving yourself, and come into the Union which is Yoga. Here is a meditation from Yogi Bhajan to do this in under a minute.

ten steps to destresss

You may at first read feel skeptical, but just give it a try, you may be surprised and delighted by the result. I have used the first meditation to successfully rewrite some of my worst stories, and now when they creep up, I get the rewrite, and it leaves me filled with love and joyful release, rather than bringing the suffering of the past into the present. This selected text comes from Yogi Bhajan’s teachings in the Kundalini yoga manual Physical Wisdom.