A devotional practice to honour some of the teachings of Prana Vinyasa and delve in to the heart practices that balance our Ida and Pingala rhythms and flow. The dance of Shiva and Shakti.
Yoga i-D is about taking you through the Art of Living and applying a Yoga practice to life that compliments it and connects you directly to your i-D - your true self and flows, not conflicts that. It changes and grows, it expands, yet it loves you back!
This is a dance. Even in conflict we dance back and forth between judgement and blame and self doubt, our needs and feelings. And in love we definitely dance too. At least we should! So in Yoga Shiva is referred to as your Pure Consciousness and masculine and Shakti as your flowing energy, your feminine. The tantric orientation to yoga recognises that the highest place of realisation is not to be found outside of us but within our embodiment amidst daily life. The following poem captured this for me, as it was beautifully sung during an asana practice and during a meditation practice that I was immersed in and I'd like to share this with you.
I, Lalla, entered the jasmine garden,
where Shiva and Shakti were making love.
I dissolved into them,
and what is this
to me, now?
I seem to be here,
but really I’m walking
in the jasmine garden.
But what does it mean? Well.... This poem from a poetic medieval saint and Yogini named Lalla invites us to smell the fragrance of eternal in the meeting place of a Sacred World enjoying the dance of these everchanging forms, transparent to the divine, our own true nature.
The heart can be visualised as a fire alter and if we remember that the rhythms of the earth including the changing seasons, lunar cycles and so on are mirrored in the body, we can bring awareness to the living energy of the heart and honour the fire that lives in the heart. Through offering ourselves the practices of yoga, mantra, meditation and breath awareness, we can journey towards removing stagnation and blockages that come from the suppression of the truth that wants to emerge from our minds and body, impacting in the heart itself. You could say that when someone is vibrant their fire is blazing and when they are feeling down we often hear that their spark has gone, that spark lives in the heart! So what we can do is begin to kindle that fire, not too hot and do not let it burn out, but keep it living, keep it alive.
It's a balance once more. You can tell where you are at each day by drawing attention to how dominant the breath flows through which nostril. Sounds crazy for some but it really works and is a simple way to witness how your fire may be burning that day, that minute, that hour. If your left nostril flow is more dominant we call this Ida Nadi (the lunar current) and you may feel relaxed, inward and reflective... if your right nostril is dominant we call this Pingala Nadi (the solar current) and you may notice you are full of energy and have desires to be stimulated... these two currents integrate in what is known as the sushumna nadi, the central channel around which they wind. (there is so much I could share with you in more detail on this but it is fascinating and yet directly linked to the science of the body, our nervous systems and hemispheres of the brain!).
By being receptive to how you are feeling and where your currents flow helps to inform how you live in your body, your actions and your truth, synchronised. The aim is the union with the sun and moon in the fire of the heart. Our internal rhythms of breath, the inhale and exhale, flowing in balance as we move through our day, our yoga practice, our lives.
So lets dance, using a combination of breath work, mantra and asana, we aim to honour our hearts fire this week and keep our inner fire alive, as we work towards our Summer Solstice practice next week :)
See you in class folks.