The fruitful darkness - my heart, your heart.

The Heart is a subtle organ of wisdom, of that so-called “transcendental intellect.” It has been said that: “The rational mind cannot understand the reasoning of the Heart. ”Because it cannot be understood by the rational mind, the role of the Spiritual Heart is ignored and even denied. In refuting spiritual intuition, which comes from the Heart, to focus only on reason, the illuminating role of the Heart is abolished. Rational thinking is called reflection because it is, in fact, a reflection of the energy of the Heart. Because of this, ancient traditions held reason, rationality, to be just a capacity for mediated, reflected knowledge.

The mind knows through a process of acquiring information. The Heart knows through surrender, trust, and joy.

The knowledge of the mind is sequential; the knowledge of the Heart is instantaneous and undivided. It is revelation. It is holistic. It reveals advaita, non-duality.

The Heart, being the Spiritual Sun, is an image of the Center. It is considered the place of revelation, the vital center of being, and the source of the deepest intuition. The Heart is a “theophanic” organ (theophany is a visible manifestation to humankind of God). It is a sacred symbol par excellence.

The mind is thus an imperfect instrument with an inherent inability to understand and realize atman.

“The truth of Self cannot come from him who has not realized that he is the Self. The intellect cannot reveal the Self beyond its duality of subject and object.” – Ramana Maharshi

my heart your heart.jpg

So here we arrive again... a new week, another day, same heart.. 

The above text articulates so well, all that I am exploring and will be continuing to explore with you this week.

I was slightly anxious and anticipating the weekend just gone by for one reason and another, due to my own matters of the heart. I too had classes to teach, Yoga trainings to partake in and family situations to invest time in to, as well as long anticipated catch ups with old friends booked in. And here we arrive in the week later and I did all these things with my heart still beating. yet change is always a guarantee. What deeper awareness can be cultivate in ourselves to observe those changes, especially within the heart this week?! 

The final day of the weekend, I had one of the best days that I have had in a long while with one very special and aptly named 'Alice' (in wonderland).

After a 'wonder'filled week honouring motherhood during half term and getting out of the city in to nature, with the elements of water, fire, and all others in abundance, I already felt I had gained that incredibly necessary rest and perspective we all need to gift ourselves with now and again. To be in the here and now! By these actions of renouncing my usual weekly responsibilities and being in the moment with my children and every new experience we encountered, I touched in to the hearts of my angels i love more than anything else on the entire planet, my children, and had my heart opened up, filled up and expanded more than ever!!!  

Upon our return to the city, I was gifted to be asked to cover two teachers classes, as they too took well deserved breaks. It became a total blessing to me, as i also then experienced being touched by their students old and new, with such openness and acceptance to all that i offered and the opportunity to hold space for them to connect to their own radiance, was well received. we discussed how simply my role as a teacher is just that. 

To hold space for you to connect back to your heart! To become yourself for that time, without the mind needing to get involved but to switch off and feel with your heart's'. 

As I went onward through the weekend, with more yoga trainings, learning all about the gift that is bringing life in to the world and how to serve these womens bodies, I ended my day ready to relax in the garden with family. And yet...

My heart stopped a few beats.

As a change in health of an older relative changed the evening spent visiting my incredibly close Aunt at her hospital bed side. My nerves became comprised and my heart felt like a big crack had appeared in it. The love was bursting for her and her recovery, and it cracked at the pressure.

We all know that it is the cracks in us that let the light in and i took this knowing finally,  in to the sunset in the garden of my parents house as we reflected upon how we felt, upon all the trials and tribulations we were experiencing and as we shared, we returned to the all important realisation of how incredibly important love is! The love of your family and in relationships of all kinds.  

Some of you may wish to stop reading here, for family dynamics for you may feel far from loving. I hear ya. But... do continue...

For me, family have always been incredibly important, yet at the tender age of 18 I couldn't wait to spread my wings and leave home to explore the world, consciousness and truly begin to experience what this life is all about, without the loving care i had been sheltered with while younger and this wide eyed curiously has continued to this day.

With Italian running through my blood, i'm by nature a pretty feisty, passionate and highly independent soul, yet hypersensitive to all things and very awake and affected by all things.

It both serves me and troubles me at all times. Yet, i always return through it all with the knowing that i am not alone. Sometimes I want to be very alone, sometimes I push people to the other side of the planet for space and to not suffocate this need to explore life, love, people and myself and yet, like a honing pigeon, i always return to those that i consider family, to THE LOVE in my heart.  

Over the years, family has both become smaller through loosing a few that i have loved dearly and its grown ten fold from gathering the most incredible friends and community. We have in Bristol an undeniably blessed community, with treasures from all over the world, humans that continue to blow my subconscious mind. We also in life have those gems that stay with you through all walks of life, you have those that exist only in chapters of life, that feel like you've shared lifetimes together and wise ones that bring teachings that help us grow. 

On sunday, upon waking, I reached out to another older family member and shared with them the importance of supporting eachother with such certainty and peace. After a drive through the fields of somerset, I found myself in Frome catching up with one of my oldest friends and one of my best friends from innocent study days gone by, her name is Alice.

We wear the experiences of life within the cells of our entire body and Alice and i too, in very separate conversations kept coming back, after sharing all the highs and lows of the time since last seeing one another, to the very conclusion that relationships are everything! The relationship with yourself being the number one!  

How when you've shared experiences in your self and with others, whether that be from being blood relatives, old uni mates or lovers, you made a mark and we must give thanks. Those people  somehow affected the heart directly and that power you can never change, no matter how much time passes by, it has no relevance! If you've been hurt, the pain will be there until we face it and find acceptance. That love will always remain if we hold and cherish it. 

Regarding time, not only because time in life can not be defined, how much or how little there is, in an instant we could be gone from this body and the uncertainty of the thing of that, but because whatever has been and gone, has enabled us as individuals to grow. To feel. We don't judge a river by time as it is connected infinitely to the mouth and the ocean, there is no separate as it continues to flow like prana, there is no definition of time. 

My incredibly wonderful yoga teacher Wendy Teasdil, was very simply doing her thing, teaching me effortlessly this weekend and just very simply mentioned the 3 hearts we have in such a casual context and in that moment, mine began beating faster. I felt it come alive. But it was my entire chest and being that awakened to some kind of realisation as she spoke. 

 I asked her to explain it further and she looked at me with that knowing gaze and shared her wisdom.  

She spoke of the 'physical heart' on the left, the 'Anahata' in the centre and our right heart, our 'Hridaya'. 

That wonderful world i had allowed myself to forget from my studies gone by and there it was again, the word i had been seeking and found on my trip in the van last week, that i'd felt, that I'd fallen in love with again.

It all made sense to me just then about my own heart. How when in life you feel love so powerfully, yet you cant articulate why. nothing makes sense. Sometimes you feel it, sometimes you let go of love without rhyme or reason. Other times its unquestionable and you hold on tight... and yet where does this come from? How sometimes another kind of love will feel enlivening and another love will manifest physically and hurt! 

Yet it is the 'right side' that for now feels to be the one i am most focused on connecting back with. 

Hridaya is our 'spiritual heart', our fundamental essence. 

In our times, the connection between our superior intuitive intelligence and the Heart has mostly been forgotten. Even if we generally accept the idea of the existence of a Spiritual Heart, we tend to accept it symbolically.

The Heart, seen as an organ of direct knowledge, can and should be trained constantly in order to increase its purity and capacity to Love, witness, surrender…. 

In this way, the borders of individuality fade away, and through the recognition of its fundamental attribute as a gateway to infinity, the Supreme Self, atman, is revealed.

We talk about breaking hearts and having our hearts broken a lot but what does that mean to us as individuals and how does that relate to yoga?

 The heart is ever changing, yet always constant while we live and breathe, our physical heart beats... 

Yet we have an ego.

Generally, the activity of the mind is governed by intentionality and implicitly is a movement governed by ego; it is activity that wants to grab information and to “conquer,” to keep control over the objects of activity and the process of self-knowing.
When we withdraw the senses (pratyahara) and center ourselves in the chest area, looking for the deepest aspects of our being, we start to search “the interior” to the detriment of “the exterior. In this way, we pass from the usual “conquering” attitude of the mind to a receptive, contemplative disposition. It is a kind of surrender, which implies lucidity, discernment, vigilance. There we can still speak about an action, but it is of a completely different nature. It is more like a radiance of pure presence, not an action of the ego.

these quotesbove SING to me and help me to define what happens in heart break, as we close off or defend the love, the self, the perception of right and wrong doing. 

Give it all away!  

The ignorant one thinks that the Self can be known by the intellect, but the enlightened one knows that he is beyond the duality of the knower and the known.” – Kena Upanishad

 

The unity between Bhakti, Love and Jnana, non-mediate Knowledge


The best way of keeping the awareness of the Spiritual Heart is to love.

 

That’s why jnana, the direct knowledge, is so related with bhakti, which means love, devotion, zeal, fervor, heartiness, ardor, adoration, ecstasy.

The great Sufi mystic and poet Rumi affirmed:

“There is a candle in your heart,
ready to be kindled.
There is a void in your soul,
ready to be filled.
You feel it, don’t you?
You feel the separation
from the Beloved.
Invite Him to fill you up,
embrace the fire.
Remind those who tell you otherwise,
that Love
comes to you of its own accord,
and the yearning for it
cannot be learned in any school.”

In the same manner in which the mind is trained in school through the process of education, our Heart (seen here as the organ of spiritual perception) needs to be cultivated. In the domain of the Heart, most of us are somewhat or entirely illiterate.

Is your mind in your heart or trapped inside your EGO?

 

Of course, the process is different because its attributes are different. Art and contemplation represent some of the way to cultivate our Spiritual Heart, but the best method is through meditation for the revelation of the Spiritual Heart and Love.

MEDITATE ON IT!

Coming back to the Heart, all the vain noise of the world is quieted….

The Heart is a sanctuary of silence.

There, in the most sacred intimacy and solitude of the “cave of the Heart”, the moods of individuality fade away and the consciousness of unity is revealed. There, the world and man are one. So, in a paradoxical way, the solitude and intimacy of the Heart reveals the essential Unity of all existence.

Lets work on existing in the world being aware of our 3 hearts! This week, mediate on your right side ' The Spiritual Heart' and find your centre.

See you on the mats in class to begin finding it.

Namaste x

 

 

 

 

The Vayus and the Moon, breaking patterns and awakening Life-Force.

Welcome to the light of the full moon and all the clarity it shines on to your life in spirit, mind and body related terms. Welcome to the winds of Vayu that carry this life-force within you and change your direction and you continue to live on. 

Full Moon Vayus.jpg

What have you felt upon rising today?

I woke feeling more tired, even having gone to bed early. I felt slightly agitated and very restless, seeking something and wanting to impulsively act to create change. I watched my pattern for managing this arise, as well as the thoughts that it repeatedly brings. I had a desire to increase my heart rate and speed through the day, I watched my thoughts go to thinking of coffee & cacao, people, places, memories and ambitions, I could hear the self criticism and the little man on my shoulder giving me a thumbs up, all at once, changing states arising... and then I thought hold up!

And... I jumped on my mat!

I decided to get out of the mind and in to the body to get in touch with my actual needs, as opposed to the desires and acting from a place of tiredness and then I felt how everything changed. (Yoga is such a gift we have to enable this truth to appear).

 I began with the breath and here I noticed it moving all over the place, in every direction, but with no focus. By lengthening the breath and directing it through Pranayama I began to make a connection with my body, focus my mind and by doing so, I was able to then feel in to what my real or true needs were. I exited any feelings of doubt or guilt (the two that arise in me the most) and I entered a place of calm, of clear direction and with motivation and knowing energy at the source. My body felt like it could go back to bed at first, but through perseverance and devotion with my practice, I began to breathe deeper, move in a way that felt both nourishing and tricky at times, getting in to all those areas of tension and slowly but surely, Yoga gave me more energy and sent me back to an awakened state where I felt energised and ready for the day.

Why and how does Yoga give us more life-force?

In Yoga we have our subtle body. This isn't the body you see with your eyes, but it's the body that is Prana. Prana is life-force and this life force is made up of the Vayus or the 'winds', for which there are 5. It is the energy that determines Life or Death and that travels like the wind in various directions within your body. Moving in all directions, these 5 vayus relate directly to different areas of the body and control and change the vital force that goes there, as well as the outcome of the way you become in both body and mind for good and for not so good in relation to health on a physical and mental level.

This week in class, we will be working with the first, Prana Vaya. This pranic air current refers to a specific current centralised in the thoracic region, from the throat to the diaphragm, responsible for processes of inspiration and absorption, it governs the propulsion and forward momentum. The others are known as Apana, Samana, Udana and Vyana. I have mentioned many of these to you in previous blogs. But in each day, week, month, in every yoga practice we can use these changing winds and focused directions for the benefit of our lives. 

I love to read the 'Hatha Yoga Pradipika' text continuously and its words never fail to bring a smile to my face, as it can be very extreme in describing the transformational qualities that arise from practice. However, it is a vital text for any Yogic practitioner, as it holds some of Yoga's most ancient practices and outlines their importance. A wonderful friend has just arrived from India (watch this space for news of collaborations) and yet he and I were discussing the move away from Yoga being taught in its classic form and in to various trends. It's great it is evolving, but in your practice, are you ensuring you've moved your body, but also breathed consciously?! Found meditation?! Shifted your energy by working with technique of Mudras and Bandhas?  And, have you begun to understand the philosophies in Yoga that take your yoga off the mat?

In Hatha yoga, we become more attentive to prana and through enhancing and directing its flow we can invigorate the body and mind, create a expanded inner awareness and a higher state of consciousness. It isn't just flexibility or strength we cultivate but prana enables the body to move and the mind to think. It is the intelligence that coordinates our senses and the manifestation of the self that is higher than the one we tend to identify with. 

We live in a world that is known as Planet Earth and this moon above our heads, has the power to move the tides. It is transforming our energy in each and every movement by shining its light upon us and are you connecting with what is both deeper inside yourselves and outside of this body of yours?

If Vayu is the 'wind'... can you sense a change in the air occurring now?

Air is all around you, its also within.

The area of the sky that this full moon is in this week, in Vedic astrology terms, is Swati. Vayu is also a vedic God of the wind, animator of life energy he keeps hearts beating and lungs breathing and is related to Swati.

When I related my state this morning, back to being aware of the Full Moon, I had that A Ha moment and could see the connection!

This moon with these winds that conjure up feelings of uncertainty and doubt are hear to blow them away as you recognise habits you form and create, when those wind like feelings of agitation and restlessness arise. 

This is where the light of the moon brings forth inspiration and invites you to begin to brainstorm ideas and recognise habits and begin to imagine new beginnings. They say what you imagine, you create. Working with Prana Vayu will support you within current nature, by igniting inspiration and the momentum to move forward, bowing down the ego and shedding doubt. 


Observing your breath as you bring more awareness to new and old ways, can have a profound effect on the mind, body and soul on this full moon.  Yogic breathing exercises  (pranayama) or simply connecting with the heart chakra through your breath is very beneficial now.

In class, as we explore Prana Vayu and practices that create more life-force in the thoractic and heart space, we will honour the Full Moon and move like the wind, as we let change blossom. 

See you in class this week.

Mon PM 15:45-17:00 Yogasara, BS6 (Cover of Jez, available to drop in or move gb)

Tues PM 19:30-21:00 Matter Wholefoods, BS5

Wed AM 10:00-11:30 Yogasara, BS6

Namaste. x


 

Life throws you the unexpected - Kala!

Dearest Yogis,

When life throws the unexpected at you, how do you respond? Life and death...

Well Life is presenting many things at many times. But I ask you to ask the universe for what you want. As alongside presenting you what you think that you don't want and that you definitely don't need thrown up, it gives back! IT GIVES BACK. And it answers your prayers. I promise you that. Call out to the universe and it will respond, in time. 

"Every body has that chapter of darker, darker, days. Saturn keeps returning and its essence can't be changed. We plan our secret attack and the more you keep pushing, the more it's pushing you back." - Trevor Hall

You really can't rush your healing and darkness has its teachings. So take your time! Let time be nothing.

A beautiful teacher once said to me, it takes a while to arrive at the Island, even a lifetime. But what you can do is use that time as a wonderful gift. 

Time - you are not running out, you are running in!

"Confusion clouds the heart, but it also points the way. Quieten down the mind, the more the song will play."

...sings Trevor hall. The concept of time is a wonderful one that we will explore this week and look at which way the heart is guiding us. 

KALA

'Kala' Kaal or Kālá in sanskrit is a word used to mean time. The Tamil word kaalam refers to duration (an interval) in time. It also means a skilled craft, a performing art such as singing, dance, or drama, as well as being the name of a deity.

kala shiva.jpg

'Bhairava' originates from the word bhīru, which means "fearful". Bhairava means "terribly fearful form". It is also known as one who destroys fear or one who is beyond fear. The right interpretation is that he protects his devotees from dreadful enemies, greed, lust and anger. These enemies are dangerous as they never allow us to seek God within.

Bha means creationra means sustenance and va means destruction. Therefore, Bhairava is the one who creates, sustains and dissolves the three stages of life, he becomes the ultimate or the supreme.

Kala Bhairava is conceptualized as the Guru of the planetary deity, Shani (Saturn). Bhairava is a fierce manifestation of Shiva associated with annihilation, a wandering form of Lord Shiva. Kala Bhairava, who is the supreme ruler of time of this universe as per Hindu scriptures. Bhairavi is the consort of Kala Bhairava. Bhairava is also called upon as protector, as he guards the eight directions of the universe. Bhairava is also described as the protector of women. He is described as the protector of the timid and in general women who are timid in nature.

The idea that healing comes with time, that there is a concept around doing things at the right time/ wrong time,and that things come and go and suprise us when we least expect it, fascinates me. As I always, always, bring everything back to the Heart. Matters of the heart have no logic. Matters of the heart sing loudly and we often attempt to think of time and logic as going hand in hand and yet, they don't! Often in our own travels through life, the heart is guiding you. Take your time, as well as grab the bull by the horns and just go for it, whether time makes sense or not! 

Through receiving a tragic phonecall a couple of nights ago regarding a family member now having had their life turned upside down and close to death, it's been a sad yet total reminder, again and again to trust the heart, to let time be no factor and to act as you will through your truth, through the heart. This becomes a dance of life, an art! It's time to face you, life, moment to moment, tell those that you love how much they mean to you each and every day. Tell yourself how incredible you are! And breathe the beauty of life in to your body. Let it radiate out from within and enjoy living! 

The lyrics from Trevor Halls song Forgive give great direction... 

[Poetry Interlude: Luka Lesson]
Forgive everything that has ever happened
Life is everything we can imagine
Laid out in patterns of pain and passion
You cannot control it
So keep your compassion
There are no accidents
There are no factions
There is no us or them
Nothing to borrow or lend
No enemy or friend
And only forgiveness can make that happen
The only battle worth the fight
From the Rwandan genocide
To the Seven Sisters forgiving Orion for how he chases them across the skies every night
Forgiveness is for giving
So give yourself this gift from time to time
And let all of your mistakes
Become all of your greatest gifts
In disguise

In yoga, we observe our Samskaras. These are our subtle impressions of our past actions.  Actions that we perform with full awareness are the ones that make the greatest impression on our mind. This is where intention applies, as it is that which gives power to the action. Sam means well planned/thought out, and kara means “the action under-taken.” Thus, “samskara” means “the impression of, the impact of, the action we perform with full awareness of its goals.”

When we repeat action, power is enhanced and this is where habit is formed. 

The stronger the habit, the less mastery we have over our mind when we try to execute an action that is contrary to our habit patterns. We all have seen how our habit patterns subtly yet powerfully motivate our thoughts, speech, and actions. When our habit patterns become so ingrained that they alter our body chemistry, it is called “addiction." When they become strong enough to alter our thinking process, it is called “samskara.” At this stage we no longer remember when or how this process started. And without introspection or retentive power we fail to discover the realm of the mind where these samskaras are stored. When our mental world is totally under the influence of these powerful impressions they become the determining factors of our personality, and due to these samskaras we perceive this world in our habitual ways, says Yoga International. Now we have little choice but to see ourselves and the world in accordance with these potent impressions from our past deeds. Samskaras have the force of destiny. To those who lack self-trust and self-confidence, destiny cannot be altered. Samskaras are both good and not great, based on the action itself. 

So quite naturally, lets explore Shiva, both consciousness and Lord of the Dance. Lets use time and observe time and find the annilation of fear and negative Samskaras! Our yoga this week will symbolise the dance of the universe, the fluctuating, changing, ups and downs, and whirlings of life. 

If you wish to be free,
Know you are the Self,
The witness of all these,
The heart of awareness. 
Set your body aside.
Sit in your own awareness.
You will at once be happy,
Forever still, Forever free.
You are everywhere,
Forever free.
If you think you are free, You are free.
If you think you are bound, You are bound.
Meditate on the Self.One without two,
Exalted awareness. 
~ Ashtavakra Gita 1.4–14, Translator: Thomas Byrom

 

Heres a little Mantra for you to repeat in meditation. 

God Shiva - Me-shell Ndegeocello

God Shiva is imminent love and transcendent reality
God Shiva my supreme reality

I am here no longer a vision birthed into my body
I accept praise, blame, joy, sorrow
I realize we are in truth the truth we seek god
Perfect this very moment

God Shiva (my love supreme) is imminent love and transcendent reality
God Shiva my supreme reality
So desire no more what you already possess
You are already free
Your divine nature is to love
My soul identical to god
On a journey to return to my creator
To a peace far beyond passion
A state of bliss
God Shiva is imminent love and transcendent reality
(My love, how sweet the fruits of his love)
God Shiva my supreme reality
You are my mind of the mind
My eye of eye
The life of my life
You are my mind of the mind
My eye of eye
Do you my soul I have realized
Free me from this life
God Shiva is imminent love and transcendent reality
God Shiva my supreme reality
You are truth
The truth you seek
Beyond truth
The truth you
You are in truth
The truth you seek
Free me from this world
Free me from my body
Free me from this world
My supreme reality
Imminent love
Is imminent love
Is imminent love
Transcendent reality
Is imminent love
My supreme reality

 

See you in class!

TUES PM 19:30-21:00 Matter, BS5

WED AM 10:00-11:30 Yogasara, BS6

(THIS WEEK ONLY) WED LUNCH 12.30-1.45 Yogasara, BS6

 

Namaste. x

 

What is Love... Be Here Now.

“You are loved just for Being who you are, just for existing. 

You don’t have to do anything to earn it. Your shortcomings, your lack of self-esteem, physical perfection, or social and economic success- none of that matters. 

No one can take this love away from you, and it will always be here.”
-Ram Dass

Today I wish to talk about LOVE.

Well of course here in the west on Wednesday 14th February, we take this day as one where we tell those that we care for, that we Love them. We do nice things together, we kiss, we hug, we share in good times. We also may well be alone, but does that mean that there is no love? I mean, what is love anyway? Why and how do we feel it and where does it come from? This idea to celebrate on one day, I find to be both brilliant and totally unnecessary. But yet, do you tell those everyday that you love them, do you tell yourself? I raise my kids to say I love you everyday and most of all, I tell them to say it to themselves. They often list and recite to me who they love. It's poetic and joyful, raw and true. There are no inhibitions in the land of a child. they are honest. 

So this week as i pondered Love, I returned to Ram Dass and his incredible words on the Entrance to Oneness. And I include some excerpts here for you that I gained much pleasure from reading... 

If I go into the place in myself that is love and you go into the place in yourself that is love, we are together in love. Then you and I are truly in love, the state of being love. That’s the entrance to Oneness. That’s the space I entered when I met my guru.
This love is like sunshine, a natural force, a completion of what is, a bliss that permeates every particle of existence. In Sanskrit it’s called sat-cit-ananda, “truth-consciousness-bliss,” the bliss of consciousness of existence. That vibrational field of ananda love permeates everything; everything in that vibration is in love. It’s a different state of being beyond the mind.
Unconditional love is so hard to describe, and why the best descriptions come from mystic poets. Most of our descriptions are from the point of view of conditional love, from an interpersonal standpoint that just dissolves in that unconditioned place.

So I welcome to the path of the heart! Believe it or not, this can be your reality, to be loved unconditionally and to begin to become that love. This path of love doesn’t go anywhere. It just brings you more here, into the present moment, into the reality of who you already are. This path takes you out of your mind and into your heart.

Between the love that we seek and the love that is already there. 
 

Take a listen to this lovely track. As it sings, the work is never done. Soon as the moon falls, here comes the sun. Give us a balance on the path, there is no need to ask for more. Let THIS soften our soul and focus our stare. 

"Don't let your soul get lonely Child it's only time, it will go by Don't look for love in faces, places It's in you that's where you will find kindness."

One of my dearest friends said to me, that even those that you think are the most loyal can let you down. You can let yourself down. But don't loose your faith. 

If we look to the Yogic Scriptures of The Upanishads, Tejobindu Upanishad reminds us of the 'beyondness' of reality. It tells us how one must move beyond ordinary experience and ordinary responses to be at one with it; beyond the guidance of texts themselves. This rang true to me in Love. In matters of the heart, there is no right or wrong, there is no way of describing your experience or even normalising it. Your experience is directly what it is. What it helps us to know is how we must transcend scripture itself in search for ones destiny. Do not look at another experience and wish for it, don't look at your own and or follow a way of living that is written in a text. Love is written in the stars and all you have to do is to allow it to manifest just how its meant to in you. You are pure love. The I am 'Atman'

The realization of Atman.

(...) I am of the nature of consciousness.
I am made of consciousness and bliss.
I am nondual, pure in form, absolute knowledge, absolute love.
I am changeless, devoid of desire or anger, I am detached.
I am One Essence, unlimitedness, utter consciousness.
I am boundless Bliss, existence and transcendent Bliss.
I am the Atman, that revels in itself.
I am the Sacchidananda that is eternal, enlightened and pure.

— Tejobindu Upanishad, 3.1-3.12 (Abridged)[33][34]

As the mystic poet Kabir says... 

Love Stories Are Sweet

"Akath Kahani Prem Ki, Kuch Kahi Na Jaye, Goonge Keri Sarkara, Baithe Muskae." Meaning: "Inexpressible is the story of love, no one can fully describe what it feels like, Similar to the dumb guy who has eaten sweet sugar, he can only smile to show his pleasure."

So eat sugar or chocolate is my preference and smile in the face of Love this week. 

In class, let's move in breath and in Asana and feel the heart open up with contentment this night and this week, as we practice Yoga together, we will explore Vishnu, the Lord of Love.

Ananta, a word meaning “unending” or “infinite,” describes what is timeless, beyond birth, growth, death, and all modifications—a limitless state of joy and contentment. This sweet, natural state of ours, beyond the things of the senses, is embodied by the vast mythological serpent, Ananta, whose coils support the universe and who serves as Vishnu's couch when Vishnu rests between avataric incarnations. If you add -asana to Ananta, you have the name of a yoga pose which can help us cultivate this innate sense of contentment, equanimity, and timelessness. 

Yoga i-D anantasana.jpg

Vishnu is the Lord of Love and preservation. The asana Anantasana is used to symbolise Vishnu resting on a cosmic-serpent couch as he dreams the world into existence, he looks calm and effortlessly equanimous.

It should be noted that losing your balance is not a bad thing in this posture; as it brings the edges of extremes to light and shows you where you need more physical or mental support. Lord Vishnu pose stretches the hamstrings, calves, groin and pelvis. It also tones the abdominals and increases hip mobility. 

Anantasana encourages us to drop deep inside. By staying sensitive, clear, and courageous in all of your poses, you can become more aware of the tiny adjustments that you need to make in order to stay stable in Anantasana.

These are the qualities in acton that I believe we need when facing matters of Love. Love doesn't always work out how we hope, it can challenge us and even sustaining self love is hard. What we are doing is learning to create stability on the razors edge in a constant sea of change. That is the love, that is the work that is never done!

Patanjali says in Yoga Sutra 2.47, “By relaxing effort and fixing the mind on the infinite [ananta], asana is perfected.” How does it feel to embody this sutra in your practice?

Lets see as we move, love and let life be here and now.

Namaste all you lovers of mine. Sending you all an abundance of love. x

 

 

GRATITUDE brings boundless radiance...

So when we get ill its an amazing time where the body is actually presenting you a gift to rid the body of what it does not need and to empty out and start again. Becoming ill for me, was a way of the emotional energy to also release, purify and detox the body of the toxins that arose in harder times. It has been really helpful and transformative in knowing how our bodies are here to help. Not only that but at this time we have also been riding off the back of that super moon, eclipse and creeping towards Spring! 

Falling down is happening to many of us and I came down hard last week, but with taking in no food, lots of herbs and home remedies, it shifted just as quick as its come and already I feel lighter and brighter. This is also as the mind itself shifting too and when we allow ourselves to be the witness, we can observe all the ways that our body functions work to serve us on a mental and physical level, each and every day. 

So, this weeks yoga practice is one of gratitude. When i listen to this song it fills me up with joy, reflections of life and its qualities 

mother durga.jpg

LISTEN: https://garthstevenson.bandcamp.com/album/voyage

Gratitude to the flow of nature in ourselves and all around us that carries us through, presents us with new ways to process life experiences and shift energy so we may continue on. Music is emotive and it has too been feeding me whilst overcoming illness and heartache and chanting is one way to call upon the inner strength and power you have within to simply accept and find freedom.

As we chant Jai Ma we are chanting to Goddess Mother Durga - she is one whom symbolises strength and power. The embodiment of knowledge, purity, self-realisation and truth. We are connecting with a supreme consciousness beyond space and time, one that is infinite. She is the divine feminine power that is not defeated by any man or woman. 

In sanskrit Durga translates to 'a place' that is protected. She is the protector to mankind from misery and destroys the forces that bring this to us such as jealousy, prejudice, selfishness, hatred, anger, and ego.

Illusion that underlies our material nature is lifted, anger, desire, greed, intoxication, delusion, arrogance of the ego and jealousy. Her light steers us through struggles we face at a soul level, helping us to work through and move beyond our individual karma. 

By honouring Durga we connect with Mother Nature, Mother Earth, and the Cosmic heavens, recognising her as the Mother of all.

So this week, lets reclaim our own divine nature as one with Her boundless radiance that is all-pervasive. Strength, power, femininity, and freedom. 

See you in class,

Namaste

 

 

Keeping it simple...

This week I wish to keep it simple and share with you one picture, one quote and one song. 

 Ascetic practicing various techniques of yoga and tapas (~1825)

Ascetic practicing various techniques of yoga and tapas (~1825)

 

"Hatha Yoga is a technical system whose purpose is to achieve 'freedom', 'release' or 'salvation' for its practitioners... 'Self Realisation'. Self Realisation is an abbreviated way of saying 'the realisation of one's true identity as the Self, the Self (with a capital initial) being the paramatman (the highest or supreme Self), who, according to Yoga Philosophy is identical to Brahman (the Absolute)." - Mikel Burley, Hatha-Yoga.

See you in class this week to practice Hatha Yoga, as we begin to delve deep this year in to the complete and integral system of spiritual development for body, mind and soul to discover in-depth knowledge about the subtle body and its energy, using not only asana (postures), but also pranayama (breath control), mantra (mind freeing sound) and meditation. 

Can you begin to practice Yoga in its truest form and be open to the transformative qualities that arise? Come back home, create space and trust.

I look forward to exploring this alongside you.

Namaste x

Classes:

TUES PM 19:30-21:00 Matter Wholefoods, BS5

WED AM 10:00-11:30 Yogasara, BS6