Prayer of Abundance for the Ashram

Hello all! A warm welcome from The Belize Ashram! We are always so proud of everyone who comes to the ashram and shows a large degree of growth. It’s not everyday that someone new is willing to dedicate their time and energy to a spiritual practice, but here at the ashram we have done ground breaking work with many people.

The fact is most people are not using their vacations to jump start improvements in their daily and spiritual lives. We have had several cancellations recently, but we are undaunted. We keep getting good reviews from visitors, you can read some at our facebook and our new tripadvisor page! We have met some top notch people who have turned into OUR TEACHERS! Many people we continue to see operating in a new paradigm through our ongoing relationships.

Someone reading this might be SCARED to try something new, AFRAID of the changes that could be initiated in their lives. The change is often so dramatic, it happens before our eyes! This is the result of a dedicated spiritual practice! And just of glimpse of this can change your life!

Yoga is a WAY OF LIFE and at our spiritual retreat center you WILL experience fresh new energy moving you to your highest purpose. I think it’s important at this juncture to point out that you get MORE from yoga at our ashram than you would at a small studio, where people are practicing yoga as a fitness exercize, or where the TEACHER IS AFRAID of opening the gates of this spiritual experience.

There have been big changes at the ashram, and we’re changing our image to reflect this. Chaya Garden Ashram is the HOME of Yoga and Healing Arts in Belize. It’s worth the TRIP OUT!

Prayer of Abundance for the Ashram

Prayer of Abundance for the Ashram

IMG_0108

Welcome Mom!

We are excited to welcome my mother Lois and her husband Farley to the ashram for their first visit to Belize!
They are used to pretty glamorous traveling, the arctic, the islands, the mid-west; and it’s with great joy that we welcome them to our humble abode. The wonderful thing is they are letting go- and letting God; they will be enjoying the humble but hearty benefits of ashram life for the next two weeks.
It’s a good thing they will be here to help us eat our bountiful crop of avocados this year.
We have an exciting vegan bar B Q planned for the second weekend in July. Bar B Q’s are a common protocol of family togetherness in Belize, but this will only be the FIRST vegan Bar B Q we’ve planned in the 5 years we’ve been here. Lots of good dishes will be coming, with Mary and Sparkle providing some, Jamal from Roots Wraps and Smoothies providing some, and we’ll provide some as well!
Roasting potatoes with garlic and onions, wrapped in foil in the fire, pineapple skewers, grilled egg plant, casava salad and more!IMG_0108

Snapshot_20150605_2

Water Fasting = Life Extension

Snapshot_20150605_2

I just finished a 5 day water fast and I’m planning a 7-10 day water fast in August! Water fasting is an incredibly simple and easy thing to practice. I recommend getting a book by Paul Bragg or by Arnold Ehret. Paul Bragg’s most direct advice on how to handle a water fast is “Just Grin and Bear”.

I actually started my retreat on Sunday and ended it on Thursday. On Saturday, I made a long drive to the Belize’s capitol, Belmopan. I suffered a bit of heat exhaustion that day, and decided to only rest on Sunday. On Sunday some neighbors called on me to drive them to their family’s residence in Succotz, and I couldn’t say no. So, when I arrived home, exhausted as ever, and trying to fight off a nasty infection, I started my fast.

Drinking nothing but water and consuming nothing seems like a recipe for disaster to anyone who enjoys the Standard American Diet (SAD). But the truth is the opposite! Nothing so extends your life as fasting. The reason fasting is feared is because so much emphasis is put on eating everyday. Most people enjoy large meals, eating at least 3 times a day, and stuffing anything into their face they can get their hands on. If you’ve never fasted before, you might fear the confusion of your mind, because of the cessation of this automatic activity. In truth, fasting will put you into direct communication with your body.

I really enjoyed the first day of my fast. Laine went alone to a picnic, with our Belize Pro-Organic food group to the fabulous Blancaneux Lodge, to tour their organic garden and have a potluck with the members of the group. Even though I missed out the lovely gathering and splendid food, my peace of mind quickly returned to me in the silence of the ashram, and the steady rhythm of bird song, the trickling waterfall and the noise of the crickets.

Day two is the day when I REALLY wanted nothing to do at all. I went to yoga with Laine at the class she teaches at Ka-anna resort first thing in the morning. I felt great, but then my body was giving me instructions to CHILL OUT. My resolve was weak, but I made it through the day without breaking the fast. Laine was by my side giving me encouragement as to how brave I was.

On day three, I noticed that I had stopped playing loud music, stopped drinking tea, and I wasn’t interested in the computer at all. I was getting regular rest, getting to bed at an appropriate hour, and drinking plenty of water. I got approximately half of the chores done that I normally do, but I was still mentally alert.

On day four, I felt fantastic! I woke up with the Sun, and hit the hammock and read more and more about the benefits of fasting. I directed my consciousness, WILLED my body to work and accomplished a great number of tasks!

Day 5 I was feeling just as able, and the possibility of prolonging the fast lingered within my reach! We did a restorative set of yoga from our Kundalini manual, and upon rising from Shivasana, I felt such youth and radiance in my skin, it was hard to stop from smiling! But because the fast was a spontaneous decision, I thought it best to break it now. Laine had prepared a salad so beautiful, I swear I have never in my life seen such a wonderful salad. Lettuce, mint, sprouts, onions, mangoes, bell apples (a small local apple which has the resemblance to rose quartz), and dressed with lime juice. Laine and her friend were enjoying this salad when I came down from checking the email, and I immediately asked her for a small plate. I sat for the rest of lunch, contemplating, teasing myself, enjoying the scent, colors, and texture of the salad, until both ladies were finished lunch. Then I decided, I would break my fast now, but plan a longer fast in August.

I had the bite of salad, but I knew it would not be enough to move my bowels, which is important after a fast; and I boiled up a dish of tomatoes, lightly seasoned with tumeric, anatto, and salt. Although it’s important, it isn’t life or death to have a BM following a fast. I had to wait for the following day.

So that was my first 5 day fast and it was everything I imagined it would be. Visions of food danced in head, recalling in detail flavors, textures, recipes! I was weak; but I was soon full of vitality. Thanks to my yoga practice I have a fair bit of endurance, so physically the fast was not hard. I feel, that if you have adequate rest for the first three days; meaning FULL rest (and this is where a fast supervisor comes in handy; to handle the odd jobs and save you running around when you’re low on energy) then you to should be able to fast for 5 days on water, or longer!

Do try this at home.

Our greatest desire is that everyone give yoga a place in their lives

join us in this practice

Most of our current practices come from this awesome manual, which we acquired with a few others in a most random fashion, you might say an Act of God. This is an original from 1978. We are so thankful to have it.

R-SIZE 7 (640x480)

R-SIZE 2 (640x480) Kundalini yoga starts with this mantra.

ONG NAMO GURU DEV NAMO

Repeat it at least three times. It means and bestows Infinite Creativity and Divine Wisdom. This mantra also creates each one of us as our own teacher, our own guru. Through the chanting of this mantra we each are linked to the Golden Chain, becoming our own teachers in Divine Wisdom, that which comes from the higher self. In Kundalini Yoga, we are self-initiated, directly linked to Divine Wisdom without the need for a middle man.

This is not to say that the guidance of a teacher is not important, but to say that your yoga comes from you, so go ahead and give it a try. This mantra will protect and guide you on your journey.

This stretch, usually done with the toes pointing toward the face, was totally different and really refreshing with the toes pointed away from the body. People in class commented that it was a completely different feeling than the usual sciatic stretch. It’s effect was quite profound in terms of movement of energy within the body.

R-SIZE 3 (640x480)

Bow Pose with Breath of Fire  This one was tough for me. I just moved in and out of the pose as I reached my maximum. Give it your best, and come back to it as you can, resting when needed. It makes for a long two minutes. Breath of Fire is a breath in and out through the nose, activated at the navel point by pumping the navel with each breath rapidly. To get the hang of it, you could start by breathing through your mouth, and “pant like a dog” with your tongue stuck out.R-SIZE (640x480)

IMG_5035

IMG_5037

IMG_5038

Hope you enjoyed the practice! Join us at the ashram by making a donation to our Indiegogo campaign, you can share just by clicking the share button under the video, it’s so easy and we really need to expand our outreach. Give your friends the opportunity to support an excellent cause, the continuation of the ashram under a dry roof, and the unlimited sharing of yoga at a price all can afford.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/10-000-leaves-indie-ashram-needs-new-thatch

If you share or make a donation or both, you will receive a video of the Long Time Sunshine Song, which is the formal end of the practice.

thanks for joining us

Laine and Evan, Directors, Chaya Garden Ashram

 

A Chaya Garden Ashram, Swami Shivananda Giri Collaboration

We’re excited to offer you this reading of Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, a classic yogic text. The message has been enhanced with 10 unique and creative musical backgrounds, for your listening pleasure. Also known as The Yoga of Wonder, Delight, and Astonishment, The Bhairava Tantra is a transcript of a conversation between Shiva and Shakti, on the finer points of achieving absorbtion, disolution, and bliss.

EDIT This mix is now unavailable, because we don’t want to lose even one word of this ancient text to the soundtrack which appears loud in parts. Just a few touch ups and it will be good as new!