I can not believe how I am sitting here writing once again, another week passing us by and how quickly we are creeping up towards the end of the year. It is a time to reflect back and yet also an accelerated time for many where work gets busier and our intentions for achieving all our hopes for the end of the year, come to the forefront. I am feeling particularly excited and have the butterfly effect going on within, as I make plans and steps towards the new year and my own personal goals and yet never knowing fully, ever and if they will come to light. I just had a brief conversation with a friend who has been living nomadically for the past year about just this and how important it is to just trust what the Universe presents to us along the way. As essentially, like most things it's important to acknowledge that it is the process of moving towards the thing, the goal, the intention, that holds the juicy bits. This is an art!
This is Art! & this is also, Living!
If we stay too focused on the end result, we could say that we are not actually fully living. A bit like going to a music festival... if you always mark the program and rush from one stage to the next, to the next, always on time to see your fav bands play, that's great of course, because you are doing exactly what you intended to do, but... what about all the rich experiences, creativity, other spontaneous moments along the way to that next stage, that just maybe, might offer you even more deliciousness, transform your motion in to something even more relevant and nourishing.... maybe, by staying too focused on reaching the end goal, you stay blinded to the beauty of the creation of your life, just as it is.
"LOSE YOURSELF, TO FIND YOURSELF"
I am inspired by George Harrison currently and his honestly about how when finding the teachings of Yoga and inspiration from musician Ravi Shankar, his life transformed. "Ravi Shankar is probably the person who has influenced my life the most... he's been a spiritual guide to me. Later I realized Indian music was like a steppingstone to the spiritual path because I also had a great desire to know about the yogic path... it came my way."-London, 1969
For Ravi Shankar, Yoga signifies four things Y for Yuki (reasoning), O for Om (the primordial sacred sound), G for Gnyan (wisdom) and A for Agni (fire or power), also a worshipper of Nada Yoga (discussed in previous blogs) that incorporates music in the attainment of yoga. He believes that with the advancement of technology and the human mind and science one has to preserve traditional art and techniques of music, dance and yoga with a new approach.
This is the intention of a Yoga i-D teachings, to offer the ancient practices, as well as the physical forms through an artistic and modern way of teaching, that I fully hope you embrace. We can not go back to a system of hermitage in the forest or ashram living, but we can define yoga as a beautiful art form, as well as a technical method for attaining liberation. But, it requires dedication, devotion and self study don't forget to get here... but have a light body and approach in doing it. Just see what happens.
I find dancing so enriching at this time of year and invite you to just move. When we do this, we also remind ourselves that when we dance, we don't aim to do a particular thing and end up at a particular place on the dance floor, at a particular time, in a particular way... we just move, flow freely and trust in the moment. Sometimes we move slow, other times we move fast, we connect with the music in various ways, dependent on how you are feeling in the moment and that essentially is what we may do in life too. Check it out...
In Yoga... we can return to the Kriyas. Kriyas can happen at any stage in our life. Kriya refers to the outward physical expression of awakened kundalini and look like spontaneous yoga postures.
Kriyas are spontaneous movements, because you do not voluntarily decide to move that way. A kriya happens unexpectedly. Kriyas happen due to higher-self, orchestrating the movement. Because higher-self does not use thought, it seems it happens spontaneously. kriyas have the purpose to remove energetic blocks out of the body, using the muscles and skeletal positions to help achieve that, by using leverage. The spontaneous movement of the kriya opens larger areas of the body. kriyas are working to separate the spine, cranial bones and all joints connected to the spine. Simultaneously they release the foundation of the personality, which is energy held at the deepest layer in the skeleton. The spine is the cornerstone of the body and must be fully released and remade. they are capable to move us into yoga-like positions while we are awake. Eventually the kriyas become continuous, fluid and non-jerky as higher-self becomes dominant in the new light body."
But, as we move we question What is life and our need to suceed?!
"We try our best to make everything succeed" as George sings...
"Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans" - George Harrison.
I love this video for its spontaneous movement.
I interpret this girl dancing, as her in fact dancing with God. The divine, the higher self in her being. Some of you may want to switch off from reading this when I say G O D. But create your own GOD and understand that in Yoga, that is what you are moving towards as you hold, flow, connect and detach from your sense of reality... you are moving towards a connection to Divinity in you. When we falter, make mistakes and the picture doesn't look perfect, does that mean we have not succeeded. No. It means that we are constantly in flux and that is all we can trust and we are on our way, whether it is in this lifetime or another, in mastering the 'Art of Living'.
Learn how to be a creator, by recreating yourself, guided by your higher-self to learn these things. let go of body control. Take this journey alone because only we can release the energy we are holding in tension as the structure of personality.
When we surrender, higher-self takes over and knows exactly what to do. Our higher-self is intimately connected with universal consciousness, so the wisdom of the universe is at our disposal. No matter where we are in our spiritual journey, the most important thing we can do is surrender and trust we are guided. We can trust that exactly what we need to grow will be given to us and we only need to respond to what is in front of our face. It is like this, that everything in life unfolds.
Kundalini transformation is all about recovering the energy that supported the structure of personality and using that energy to build the new body. No pocket of energy that represents personality in the body will be left untouched. Muscles stretch by vibrating at a micro level or on a larger scale with kriyas, and held energy releases from them and returns to the central nervous system in the spine.
If we return to acknowledging that doing all of this is an Art and there really is no separation between Art and Yoga... we can acknowledge why.
Art is an experience. The word also encompasses the techniques and tools used by the artist to invoke an experience. Art is also a way of life and a way of looking at things - we could say that it is a philosophy.
"Yoga is Art! It is a goal and method of tools and techniques used to achieve it. Art is a celebration of life and materiality; it uses the substance of life to channel a fresh experience from the universal soul. Yoga uses the medium of life to access the ineffable source of being." - Jivamukti, Sharon Gannon and David Life.
Art teaches us how to see aspects of divinity in the world around us, while yoga teaches us how to use the world around us to return to our source. Even the earliest images of asana were illustrated and painted, drawn or carved on temple walls.
The originator of Yoga is the God of Shiva, that we looked at in last weeks Blog post. He is the Lord of the Dance. Make the connection that the arts, dance, sculpture, literature, music, drama, incorporate all yogic forms and stem from the same roots. It all provides us with insight and information, changing our relationship to the world and the artistic and musical harmony with it, others and ourselves within it. It is portable, it uplifts the soul, expands our awareness and consciousness. It requires a sense of adventure, with a willingness to explore the vast qualities of the self!
"Through Yoga, anybody can attain; it's a God realisation; you just practise Yoga and if you really mean it, then you'll do it.". George Harrison.
I invite you to move in a spontaneous way in your practice this week, thinking about your yoga as an art form, creating change in your approach to life and what it means to succeed, as developing new perspectives and beginning to master the Art of Living. Create joy, harmony and let serenity prevail. The reasoning, the unstuck sound, the wisdom and the power become your Yoga.
See you in class.
TUESDAY PM 19:30-21:00 Matter Wholefoods, Bristol BS5
WEDNESDAY AM 10:00-21:00 Yogasara, Bristol BS6