Are You Ready to Harness the Energy of the Sun?

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Happy Solstice Day!

This is the ideal time to honor all of the light we have accumulated!

And, the perfect occasion to announce my next journey.

Over two years ago, I started this blog to stay connected with my students. My initial intention was to provide information to supplement our classes and create new challenges for building a steadier practice for myself and fellow yogis. This effort has lead to nearly 170 blog posts.

Now I am beginning a new adventure and a personal goal – to accumulate and condense all of the information I have created for this blog and turn it into a book. A book I hope students and teachers will use as a planning resource and a guide for building stimulating personal practices and classes. And because it is being generated from this blog, its title is “Yoga Posts: Building a Steady Practice One Week at a Time.”

As of today, I have finished assembling all of the research, experience and words of inspiration I have held near and dear to my heart over the past 25 years of practicing and teaching yoga. I have decided to format the book into a year of challenges based on the eight limbs of yoga – each limb being a “post” that will support a steady yoga practice. Therefore, the book will be comprehensive but digestible, practical but philosophical – a tool for many users.

What’s Next?

Continue reading “Are You Ready to Harness the Energy of the Sun?”

Stay in the Center of the Circle

rays-656583__340It feels as though everything is in a state of flux lately. For me, it started with the solar eclipse last month. I found that particular occasion to be the point when the proverbial line was drawn in the sand. Since then, I have had a perspective change in a precise direction, one which I hope will lead me to a positive transformation. 

For thousands of people, the natural disasters that have occurred over the past few weeks have drastically changed their lives; in ways unfathomable for the rest of us. Loss and devastation to property and whole communities has many people turning away from the places they once called home. 

Yoga teaches it is not what happens to us in life, but what we choose to do about it, that reveals our true nature. On the mat, we use our breath to confront any barriers so that we may flow with ease and comfort. Off the mat, the same is true. We must find coping measures to face our limitations and move onward with grace.

In these changing, and, for some, violent times, we can all persevere by connecting with our centers. Here we will find the heart to move through our challenges and the fortitude to proceed with our lives. Our centeredness will become the anchor that weathers the storms.

When complications arise, I turn to this simple quote by Lao-Tzu:

“Stay in the center of the circle and let all things take their course.”

Although we will still be in action, clearing the debris, rearranging our homes, taking care of loved ones and other inevitable duties, it is the act of acceptance, of surrendering into what “is” that allows us to know that we are exactly in the center of our circle – right where we are supposed to be. This is the place where we can locate our peace.

I would like to pass onto you a portion of Yogananda’s text Inner Peace. As you meditate on it, may it help you to find moments of comfort and clarity in these times of disruption and transformation.

Fix your mind inwardly between the eyebrows on the shoreless lake of peace. Watch the eternal circle of rippling peace around you. The more you watch intently, the more you will feel the wavelets of peace spreading from the eyebrows to the forehead, from the forehead to the heart, and on to every cell in your body. Now the waters of peace are overflowing the banks of your body and inundating the vast territory of your mind. The flood of peace flows over the boundaries of your mind and moves on in infinite directions.

May peace bring balance to your existence and vibrate out to those who would benefit.

 

YOLY Challenge #46: Balancing Energies

Balance is a deep subject. There are so many levels to consider. We may look to balance ourselves through yoga but in reality what we are actually striving to balance is our energies. The basic nature of ourselves. We want to be calm yet alert, active but stable, open and centered, lifted and grounded, receptive yet detached… the list can go on and on.

There is a sanskrit term that labels the idea of balance. It’s called Samana. Samana is defined as “equal”, “like”, “staying in the middle” or “straight”.

Samana also describes one of the five vayus or winds. A vayu is an energetic component with a distinct flow or function. The samana type of energy moves from the periphery to the core and unifies (or balances) the upward energy called prana and the downward energy named apana. cascade-1845987__340Since samana vayu is the meeting point between the upward and downward energies, it is called the “balancing air.”

The samana vayu also governs the digestive fire which burns brightly when prana and apana unite. Twists are the yoga postures that most relate to this blend of upward and downward energies. When we rotate the spine, we essentially energize our digestive systems.

Another connection to samana is the practice of samavritti or “same wave” breathing. It is a simple method of matching the length of the inhalations to the length of the exhalations. A nice time to practice samavritti is upon waking as it provides an energetic effect. It’s the perfect preparation for an early morning meditation!

This week, strive to cultivate your samana vayu by bringing your sense of alertness into balance with your ability to remain calm.  As you lengthen, ground and as you stabilize, find ease. Take in what you need and release what no longer serves you.  Incorporate twists and samavritti into your daily routine.

You can also apply this practice to the various segments of your “life wheel.” Look closely at the amount of energy you spend on your job, your health, your hobbies, your family or any other areas in your life. Reflect on how these energies can be more balanced.

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