Yoga Blog 24/10/2013

24/10/2013

Yoga blog

 

Lots of high intensity yoga going down at the ashram these days. I would say we are making a collective breakthrough into new territory with our kundalini yoga practice. Yesterday we did the Sexual Energy transformation practice again. We have decided to try and keep this one up at least one time a week. It has become integral very quickly and is wonderfully demanding.

Today in the company of our student Gabby from Australia, we fell back into our first familiar manual, the beloved Physical Wisdom, and did the Lymphatic Stimulation kriya. We faced up to the yoga and did the whole ten minutes of the first exercise. Talk about breakthrough! I am coming to the understanding that the really long and demanding parts of the kriya unleash powerful secretions. If you don’t push it for the first ten minutes, you just don’t have the full power of your own body behind you. This first piece is designed to set up the rest of the practice. I finished the ten minute arm exercise, really picking up speed about halfway through, with the top of my head and upper body filled with energy that tingled and traveled. Throughout the practice, the sensations during the pauses to meditate between kriyas were intense. I became really high.

Each part of the practice had its own amazing results. After working really hard, we lay in baby pose for eleven minutes. I became completely lost, enjoying the feel of my forehead on the mat. I don’t think I have ever experienced that pose so deeply. As we did our final rounds of chanting I felt immaculate.

At the end, I was inspired to share my favorite affirmation by Yogananda. I asked the class to repeat it after me, piece by piece.

 

I think my life to flow. I know my life to flow, from brain to all my body to flow. Streaks of light do shoot through my tissue root. The flood of life in vertebrae doth rush through spine in froth and spray. The little cells all are drinking. Their tiny mouths all are shining. The little cells are drinking. Their tiny mouths are shining.

 

The second round I felt a thrill of healing pass through me, leaving me ecstatic as I leaned back slightly on my sits bones sitting in half lotus. It felt like light shooting up my body. It was a wonderful feeling. We went on to close the kriya, and had an incredible 20 minute savasana that was out of this world.

Yoga blog 16/10/2013

Today a fearless exploration into the kundalini yoga zone!

We did a set specifically for the Transformation of Sexual Energy. This is a vigorous kriya, including some fairly complex pranayama.

We began with Varuyas Kriya. This is similar to a warrior pose, but down on one knee, reaching forward with palms together, invoking the mantra SAT NAM, with a rhythmic use of the root lock, (a tightening of the pelvic floor, anus and sex organs, with an indrawing of the navel). This doesn’t sound too demanding in text, but the manual Kundalini Yoga/Sadhana Guidelines recommends up to 7 1/2 minutes on each side, and we were absolutely satisfied with a minute and a half. This is one that will have to build up gradually!

This one simple exercise opens pituitary secretion, regulates excessive sexual energy, and increases immunity, as well as bringing balance to the magnetic field of the body. Even with only a total of 3 minutes in this kriya, we had worked up a good sweat.

Sex Energy Transformation kriya is quite unique, using exercises and techniques that are not found in a lot of other kriyas. The first exercise alternated between cobra and plank. In the next exercise we alternated cow pose with a belly-down forward stretch on the mat. Both of these kriyas used a mental projection of the mantra ONG SOHUNG, and were done for 26 repetitions. ONG, the Infinite Creative Consciousness, SOHUNG, I am Thou. Basically, a fundamental identification with the Creative, (Creator).

This identification is again reiterated in the eighth exercise, as we lie in sivasana, chanting GOD AND ME, ME AND GOD, ARE ONE from the solar plexus.

Next comes a complex series of varied breaths combined with mantra and visualizations. Sitting in half lotus or cross legged, we began an alternating breath, in through the left nostril and out through the right, with root lock and meditation on the base of the spine. Mentally projecting SAT, Truth, on the inhale, and NAM, Name or Identity on the exhale. (Truth is my Identity, also stating connection with the Higher Self). This escalates to breath of fire after one minute, continuing to use alternate nostril breathing. Several other breathing patterns are utilized in rapid succession culminating in a visualization which begins with SAT NAM sonically spiralling up the spine on a held exhale, SAT travelling down both sides of the spine on the inhale, to enter the base of the spine, and NAM rising up the center of the spine on the next exhale. This visualization sequence is repeated twice.

This leads to the final chant and meditation. EK ONG KAR SAT NAM SAT NAM SIRI WHA GURU. It was during this last phase that I heard one of the internal sounds manifesting as a very high pitched but subtly quiet tone, lasting only a few seconds. This is known as nada, and is really of no consequence in and of itself, but is a marker along the way down the Path of Yoga, the journey toward a state of Union. It is good to notice and take note when this happens, notice what you are doing and what is on your mind at this time.

As we wrapped up and took our final sivasana, the meditation was profound. I didn’t settle down as quickly as I expected, but as those who practice corpse pose know, when you think you should get up, that’s when you must stay down! Soon I began to cascade through layers of consciousness, colours, and bodily sensations of rushing subtle energy. I began to feel as though my breath was somehow outside my body, somewhere above me, leaving the body in absolute peace and rest, not even troubled by the rhythm of the breath. I experienced a distinct tingling sensation opening at the top of my head, the many petals of the crown chakra unfolding…

Then my friend Oscar who is repairing the thatch of our palapa arrived to be paid and I had to rise, or descend? back to the surface world, and take care of business.

My final thoughts are that this kriya needs to be practiced many times before it can be mastered, and that it is well worth the effort to do so.

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Yoga Blog 15/10/2013

Yoga Blog 15/10/2013

At the Chaya Garden Ashram in Cayo District, Belize, you will find very dedicated yogis and yoginis who will help you initiate yourself on the golden chain of teachers known as Kundalini Yoga.

This process will facilitate you in the use of mantra, mudra, and meditation as ways to balance the functioning of the body, and bring higher awareness to your consciousness.

The ashram is a super conductor of yoga energy.   Today the class was so engaging, that from the moment it begun and I sat to tune in with the mantra, to the moment when we sung the good-bye song, I was completely absorbed in the class.   This is a remarkable experience that yoga offers.  Athletes call the being “in the zone”.

I could feel my body working in harmony with my focus, my awareness.   As the class progressed and I explored the different movements of my body, I didn’t worry about anything, my mind didn’t wander.  My body felt great!  Not so much that it was distracting, I was only aware of the benefits of my yoga from a point of reference that I could say was outside myself.

I have experienced the best yoga of my life at Chaya Garden Ashram.  And on a regular basis!

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Yoga blog 11/10/2013

Yoga blog 11/10/2013

 

Today we did kundalini kriyas. We have been doing a lot of Vinyasa Flow lately, and it was with great anticipation that we sat down with friend and yogi Mary Loan to get into some deep kundalini practice.

We began with a kriya to help the heart, and resist disease. This was a gentle and short kriya that we repeated in sequence three times. Some simple chanting, God and me, me and God are one, and some pranayama exersizes, and by the second repetition we were getting really high. We followed with a kriya for circulatory systems and magnetic field of the body. This set was alternately demanding and deeply relaxing. The 8th exercise of 10 was a ten minute sivasana listening to the sound of gongs, bells and Tibetan bowls. We added a mental projection of the mantra Sat Nam in conjunction with the breath, and really took off to a higher place.

A thank you going out to Mary for being able to join in with us on these incredible yoga journeys and metaphysical explorations!

 

 

Evameva Durnishayam Krishna Pakshaagame Chiram|Taimiram Bhavayan Rupam Bhairavam Rupameshyati|| This verse tells us to do dharana or concentrate the mind on the darkness of the night's sky. It is not the darkness of a bright moonlit sky, but the dense and fearsome darkness when the moon approaches a new moon day of the waning phase. Sit alone with the sky for company and look at the terrible darkness of the sky. Meditate upon this thick black dark form of formlessness and Bhairava the aspect of truth assumes thhat very dark form right before your eyes. - SS

The Yoga of Wonder, Delight, and Astonishment

Vijana Bhairava Tantra is a classic yoga text that I would recommend to any serious student of yoga.  If you have often wondered about what goes on in the mind of a fully realized person during meditation, then look no further.

In a way, that’s what yoga is.  This book, Bhairava Tantra, takes it back to basics with a dialog between the feminine and masculine principles of the universe, Shiva and Shakti.

This is a very candid dialog which discusses the finer points of yoga and meditation.  While Patanajali’s Yoga Sutras is much more widely regarded as the staple text of yoga, in my opinion, it is much too terse!  It reads as if it were only an annotation to this lively and exotic teaching on private meditation techniques.

I have tried teaching several of these techniques to our students, with wonderful and often hilarious results!  One need retain their sense of humour to understand some of these teachings.

If you have not already, then listen to our version of Sri Guru Gita, where Shiva and Shakti discuss the delight of worshiping the Guru’s feet.  This will give you the picture if you haven’t gotten it already.  The joy of these discourses between Shiva and Shakti is that you are meant to feel like you are enjoying them firsthand.

So let’s just point out a few of these techniques and how great they are.

Evameva Durnishayam Krishna Pakshaagame Chiram|Taimiram Bhavayan Rupam Bhairavam Rupameshyati|| This verse tells us to do dharana or concentrate the mind on the darkness of the night's sky. It is not the darkness of a bright moonlit sky, but the dense and fearsome darkness when the moon approaches a new moon day of the waning phase. Sit alone with the sky for company and look at the terrible darkness of the sky. Meditate upon this thick black dark form of formlessness and Bhairava the aspect of truth assumes thhat very dark form right before your eyes. - SS

Evameva Durnishayam Krishna Pakshaagame Chiram|Taimiram Bhavayan Rupam Bhairavam Rupameshyati||
This verse tells us to do dharana or concentrate the mind on the darkness of the night’s sky. It is not the darkness of a bright moonlit sky, but the dense and fearsome darkness when the moon approaches a new moon day of the waning phase. Sit alone with the sky for company and look at the terrible darkness of the sky. Meditate upon this thick black dark form of formlessness and Bhairava the aspect of truth assumes that very dark form right before your eyes. – SS

No special equipment or training is needed to perform this epic feat of yoga meditation.  All that’s needed is a dark moonless sky.  If you don’t have one of those, because of the effect known as urban glow, you may have to try to find one, or try a different technique.  Make sure you find the technique that is right for you.  This happens to be the perfect meditation for me tonight.

 

Geetadi Vishayaswada Samasoukhyaikatathmanaha| Yoginasthanmayasthwena Manoroodhesthadathmatha|| ---------------------------- Listening to music and other sensual pleasures, the mind attains a sort of equanimity. The mind of the yogi attains the state of self by riding the crest of the sensual wave. - (Swahilya Shambhavi)

Geetadi Vishayaswada Samasoukhyaikatathmanaha|
Yoginasthanmayasthwena Manoroodhesthadathmatha||
—————————-
Listening to music and other sensual pleasures, the mind attains a sort of equanimity. The mind of the yogi attains the state of self by riding the crest of the sensual wave. – (Swahilya Shambhavi)

It’s wonderful to know that yoga meditation can occur listening to music, from such a high authority on yoga, really!  There is none higher!  Intention is the key here, like for so many of these sutras.  If you are ever a guest at the ashram and you would like to explore the sutras of bhairava tantra, just ask!  As fun as these meditations are to perform yourself, it’s even greater to see another person enjoying the bliss of this delight filled universe.

Ghatadi Bhajane Drishtim Bhittees Tyaktwa Vinikshipeth| Tallayam Tatkshanad Gathwa Tallayath Thanmayo Bhaveth|| In this technique of Tantra, Shiva teaches on meditating upon the empty space within the pot. Space is the first creation of the mind and from space the other four elements emerge. Taking a deep look at the space inside the pot, the mind forgets for a moment the presence of the walls of the pot. By focussing on the space, the realisation that everything is just the same space happens. In that moment of merging with empty space, the mind also becomes that oneness which is its essential self. - Swahilya Shambhavi.

Ghatadi Bhajane Drishtim Bhittees Tyaktwa Vinikshipeth| Tallayam Tatkshanad Gathwa Tallayath Thanmayo Bhaveth|| In this technique of Tantra, Shiva teaches on meditating upon the empty space within the pot. Space is the first creation of the mind and from space the other four elements emerge. Taking a deep look at the space inside the pot, the mind forgets for a moment the presence of the walls of the pot. By focussing on the space, the realisation that everything is just the same space happens. In that moment of merging with empty space, the mind also becomes that oneness which is its essential self. – Swahilya Shambhavi.

There are many great diversion techniques in the Bhairava Tantra.  Look in the pot!  But don’t look AT the pot!  This little jarring feeling quickly gives way to bliss. There is even a technique that involves not understanding… That “DUH!” moment… That’s actually the beginning of true understanding.  Well you get the picture.

See for yourself what technique works for you and let us know.  We would love to hear from you.

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Welcome

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Chaya Garden Yoga Ashram is the place for yoga for any pilgrims visiting the Mayan ruins in Belize. We are dedicated to presenting a beautiful practice in a fun, friendly, and fabulous atmosphere. Belize is a wonderful and vibrant country full of natural beauty and power. Join us on our journey of awakening as we tune our body and spirits to the frequencies of joy and happiness.