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

 

Pride Goeth Before a Fall

Posizione del Loto e chakra colorati GuruGayatriMantra
How many games the ego plays. It’s a deep game with many layers. Pride as a mask for fear. Fear and pride are recognized as the domain of the ego. Two sides of the same coin.
Because I’m better than you, I want to help you. Why do I feel this sense of superiority? I think I have more experience, better ways of doing things. I put out extra because in my superiority I can afford to be generous to those who are lesser. I believe for a moment that I can live out my fantasy of bossing everyone around so that things can be done right.
Is this just a knee-jerk reaction to my own failings in the past?Why am I so invested in someone else’s affairs? Is it really ego that demands recognition via commercial success? Can’t you feel that controlling vibe overtaking you until it devours you completely?
Remember what it feels like. Like Anger, like hatred. It sounds like the belittling of others. Sentiments which should never be uttered. The ego is crying out for attention for its drama. The drama of fear covered by the drama of fear of not having enough. The ego grabbing for what it sees before it, like a bratty little child. The child who knows that it is always provided for, and that it does not experience lack.
So why the fear? Why the lashing out? Why the hatred? Taking it personally? Getting hurt feelings?
What the fuck for?
And then a cycle of behavior that serves no one. The ego goes away “hurt”, The pocket goes away empty, and a mishap is tripled by acting out through the ego. Relationships are endangered or destroyed.

So while ego is walking me down the street, my arms full of pride, so much pride that I can’t see over, a hole opens before me and down I go, head over heals, muffin over teakettle, and everyone saw my panties. My muffins were ruined, I did pass go, but I lost both face, and my twenty dollars. Plus another 14 I owed, bringing my grand loss up to $34, causing fear of lack of abundance to also make me lose my cool and act exactly the movie role I always speak out in regards to another asshole who I have now emulated.

And this ultimately incalculable loss in social damage is simply about being insecure. Hitching my value as a person to what I do, what I produce. Forgetting in that moment that my Value is inherent. I would be equally valuable in this universe if I produced nothing, did nothing. Why am I always trying so hard to make everything into my personal vision of perfect?

Everyone must live out their own karma. It is not possible to do it for them. It is not desirable to do it for them, and it is an illusion that you can place yourself above them, as though you could reach down and pull them up with your will.

Ego could come back with the excuse, “This is the curse of being more intelligent/sensitive than everybody else, but is this really true?”

I told the children, your greatest challenge in this world will be patience and compassion for those who are less gifted than you.
So where are we now? Suffering from delusions of greatness fuelled by insecurity? By an inability to accommodate failure as being as meaningless as success? Failure is the reflection of success, and both are an illusion, because all that is comes from God, not from me.

Get ego out of the way and make room for god. God and me, me and God are one.

Is human not also a creator? Certainly to some degree we make our bed and lie in it.
Maybe God/Universe is the random x-factor? The unforseen force which causes adversity or blessing, at times regardless of what human says and does?

I don’t want to know this anymore. I am tired of this lesson, why must I learn it over again? I could contextualize my whole life through this… I want to be free.

Freedom comes through the Yoke. In yoga we can be free.
Is God perfect? Am I perfect in God, as God? God and me, me and God are one.
Today’s yoga practice revealed the rest of the Circle. Creator/Destroyer, two aspects in one Force. The Supreme Being is perfection, and this perfection encompasses all that is. Is the world perfect? Are humans perfect?

Truly there is no perfection but God, but by the nature of All God, we see around us and within us that God provides a lot of room for things to go to hell, for chaos and corruption to be included in the perfection of creation. God seems to have loosed the human race upon the universe, obviously a portion of the Whole is Destruction and Chaos.

As a reflection of the Macrocosm, each one of us is blessed with a portion of these traits also. We cling to order, setting ourselves against what we perceive as the darkness, and yet this battle is illusion, for it is one that can never be won, unless we accept the shadow, and become One.
We are alive/dead. We are full/empty. We are happy/sad. All that we know is polarized, and we internalize duality in the first second of self awareness, the moment when we compare ourselves to what we know around us. Within the same moment we are objectified by our own consciousness, and separated from our Self.

We begin in that moment to almost think of ourselves in the third person, to observe ourselves like a movie. We forget that the watcher and the observed are one entity. We begin to watch ourselves live our life.

The division of I into two parts is the source of all desire. What we really want is oneness. To be back within the guilessness of infancy. The baby does not think of itself as I. It exists in a Now Reality. Complete in breast, milk and the warmth of the mother, or helpless in the void of absence of mother. That is all.

We learn to hate our “imperfection”, to despise our weakness, to loathe our “failure”. But are these aspects not inherent within the human? We learn not to tolerate this pushed down “shadow self” within us. We simultaneously learn to hate it in others, and in the world around us. This is called Integrity.

I begin to see that true integrity encompasses all aspects. That to experience oneness, the judge must be relinquished, destruction, chaos, failure and weakness embraced in equal measure within as are strength, love, happiness, creation, and order.
Laying down judgement has been the pursuit of a lifetime so far. Only through yoga, the yoke, do I experience bliss, unity, Unconditional Love. The yoke is a discipline. In truth nothing else matters.
I must love myself as I fail, in equal measure to how I love myself when I succeed. These measures mean nothing.
Love is all that remains.

Gobinday Sustainer, Mukanday Liberator, Udaaray Illuminator, Apaaray Infinite, Hareeang Destroyer, Kareeang Creator, Nirnamay Without Name, Akaamay Without Desire

Gobinday Mukanday

IMG_4670_renamed_2186

If the above article feels true to you, perhaps you, like me, need this kriya to assist you in balancing your desires with reality.

Things are fucked up, it’s okay. I have to learn to embrace it.
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

for tolerance and humility, let's do it!

for tolerance and humility, let’s do it!

God and me, me and God are one

mindfulllGetting High on Kundalini Yoga
No body, no ecstasy…no glands, no God. Our bodies are the multi-dimensional key to all other states, all other planes. Without this “Truth machine”, as Yogi Bhajan calls it, we are ether with no drive, and no options. Within this incredible vehicle we are limitless. This body is not a boundary laden curse that is our cross to bear, but an amazing opportunity to explore beyond earthbound reality.
We feel. We think. We act. Information comes in through the portals of the senses. Does it come into the brain, or into the body? Perhaps both simultaneously. Thinking and feeling are so closely associated, we can barely separte the two. Our thoughts lead to feelings. Then we think about how we feel. Our thoughts and feelings seem whirled together, spawning each other, and leading to acts about which we think and feel. When we have a “gut feeling”, perhaps it’s really a “gut thinking”, as it turns out that we actually have brain cells in our stomachs. Perhaps we think and feel with much more than our “mind”. And what is mind? A combination of interpretations of “facts”, colored by feelings, distorted by our human spectrum of perception. Is a mind a brain? I think not! Perhaps, as in the idea of the Collective Unconscious, our minds are not even contained by our bodies, but are rather accessed through the physical nature of them.
When it comes to yoga, and more specifically Kundalini Yoga, we are given the power to stear and direct this maelstrom of thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. We are given the ability to direct the glandular secretions through specific practices; an ancient technology of the body. What an incredible gift! A technology so perfect that everything you need to use is exactly what you were born with. Within each human being on this earth, the potential of the Golden Chain.
The Golden Chain, as with many concepts within yoga, has various layers of meaning. In a more external sense, it is the link of knowledge passed from one person to another, creating a chain of linked consciousness that began with the first teacher of Kundalini Yoga, and now terminates in you, as you receive this understanding within your self, untill you pass it on to the next human, and so on etc. But this is of course not all. Through the technology of mantra, specifially the Adi Mantra as prescribed by Yogi Bhajan, (ONG NAMO GURU DEV NAMO), the Golden Chain becomes our connection to the Infinite Creative Force, and Divine Wisdom. And this occurs by the physical connection, within the brain, of the pineal gland (the seat and source of DMT within the brain), to the pituitary gland, or third eye. Could this mean that through the Adi Mantra, and the subsequent practice of Kundalini Yoga activating the secretions of the glands, we experience the release of DMT in the brain?
I am not a scientist, but I am an empiricist. I am willing to come to personal conclusions through the knowledge of my own experience. Through the knowledge of Self. I am willing to say, “Sure seems like it to me.”
“All is Mind” says the Kybalion. All of Nature contains DMT, and as natural organisms, so do we. The sense of Oneness within us may be the flowering of DMT as activated within the pineal gland, as perceived by the third eye. We recognize ourselves as God, and begin to understand all that is as being an expression of that. Perhaps we first know this through psychadelic metabolites. Now we recognize the territory when we enter into this realm. Now we take the reins with the knowledge of the ancients that has been transported into the present. Now we make this connection with the Divine on demand. Now we become Divine.
“God and me, me and God are one”- a mantra given to us through Yogi Bhajan. SAT NAM

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

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.

 

 

Yoga blog 8/20/2013

Yoga blog 8/20/2013

Okay, just laughed our asses off watching the worlds weirdest movie, Dinner for Schmuks. With all that hilarity pulsing through us, we did a Yogi Bajan meditation for prosperity and abundance, very simple, striking first the inside of the sides of both hands together, and flipping the hands to strike the outside of the sides of the hands together, while chanting HAR at each hit.

I felt so abundant already, the joy of the laughter clinging through the meditation, and now I feel it instilled within me, in my cells, infused in my aura. Very positive, very fun.

Dinner-for-Schmucks-Poster2

Yoga blog 06/08/2013

Yoga blog 06/08/2013

It is evening at the ashram. A dog barks down the road. Insects chirp and sing and hum in the night air all around in the stillness after the evening meditation.

From Yogi Bajan’s manual, Physical Wisdom, we did two companion meditations. The first was brief but intense. Entitled Ten Steps to Peace, this meditation is used to clear a specific memory and be relieved of emotional attachments associated with it. Fears, phobias and neuroses can be released through this meditation, as well as past thoughts that surface in the present.

My observation with this meditation is that we must also be truly willing to release the memory by freeing ourselves from identifying with it. We feel that our past experiences have shaped us, thus we drag them into the present to justify ourselves and who we are. We must learn to be who we are without justification, relieving ourselves of the burden of emotions from the past, allowing ourselves to be fully in the present where happiness and unity are attainable. Through this meditation we not only are released, but are willing to be released, forgiving ourselves and all other persons involved.

We next went into a meditation for clearing past emotions and releasing them to infinity. In the notes it says that this meditation is especially useful in clearing family issues. There is a five count breath pattern for this meditation, inhale for five seconds, hold for five seconds, and exhale for five seconds, The tips of the fingers are pressed together at the heart center,palms pressed away from each other, and the gaze directed at the tip of the nose. As I relaxed into the pattern of the breath, I began to notice an increasing pulsation at my fingertips which continued to intensify throughout the eleven minutes of the meditation. Afterwards, I felt a wonderfully encompassing sense of peace and well being, well rooted in the present moment.

boedha1_s_by_dreamlogica-d66e4e4