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

YOGA i-D Blog featured in Yogas Top 9 Blogs Online

 

'Yoga's Top 9 Blogs Online'

 includes, you guessed it, Yoga i-D!

Yogas Top 9 Blog Clip Anaheart.jpg

Thanks to all of you beauties that have continued to read the blog every week and support its growth, openness and the power to share Yoga and its teachings, from my perspective, online. 

Read the full article here:  https://anaheart.co.uk/blog/top-9-yoga-blogs/

Counting down the days to Donate to the Crowdfunder which, if it is successful in getting me to India to train and learn more for you, guarantees rich content being shared by me to you on the Blog in the New Year: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/lucysyogaid

Big love to you all and special thanks to Anaheart for also seeking me out and sharing the love of the Blog.

Namaste x

Source: https://anaheart.co.uk/blog/top-9-yoga-blo...

Be Golden, be you. Give and Love.

Take the Seat of Isis

seat of isis

So last week, I launched my Crowdfunder http:// www.crowdfunder.co.uk/lucysyogaid and I am sooooo grateful to those of you that have begun to contribute to the fund already! THANK YOU! There is still time to be a part of helping...

Essentially, i need you-R HELP to make this possible AND yet with all the Rewards for donations, let alone how your contributions will be invested in making yoga far more accessible to you, rich and alive with so many more beautiful offerings - I CAN GIVE TO YOU TOO!!!!

That is the reason I am going! The role of the teacher is to bring and continue to bring more and more of their wisdom, knowledge and connectivity to the teachings, directly back to the student and because i LOVE AND VALUE SOOOOOOO MUCH MY COMMUNITY OF STUDENTS, let alone the abundance of global yogis that I am yet to meet face to face, i INTEND TO BRING IT ALL BACK AND OFFER IT DIRECTLY TO YOU ALL TO ENHANCE YOUR PRACTICE AND KNOWLEDGE OF SCRIPTURE, DEVOTION, COMPASSION, MUSIC AND MEDITATION, let alone all the hands on assists, new sequences of asana and the richness of India, my passion and total dedication to serve you. 

Please connect, 'Like' https://www.facebook.com/lucysyogaidcrowdfunder , 'Share' and 'Donate' http:// www.crowdfunder.co.uk/lucysyogaid where you can - do one or all 3.

I know its xmas coming up and we are all skint, but believe you me, even £1 will go a long, long, long, long, way. Sign up for the Rewards and I will make those happen for you!!!!! 

mcyogi
Love is magnetic
love is wise
Love has the power
to open our mind
Deeper than thought
Below this breathe
stronger than time
Untouched by death
My love for you is ancient
My love for you Is blessed, 
my love for you stretches
Into this endless bliss

In class this week, we will explore 'Ahimsa' one of the 5 tenants of Jivamukti Yoga. it is about being kind, compassionate and 'Non-Violent' to the self and to those around you. It requires to 'Think' and to find 'freedom'. It is the universal GOLD towards developing consciousness and a unconditional Love. It requires us to take the seat of Isis, ground and awaken our feet so we can find the golden qualities within. 

YOU ARE GOLDEN! 

As a path to enlightenment through compassion for all beings, Jivamukti Yoga is grounded in the original meaning of the Sanskrit word asana as “seat, connection” – relationship to the Earth. Earth implies all of life. Citing Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, which states that asana should be sthira and sukham, Jivamukti Yoga maintains that one’s relationship to others (asana) should be mutually beneficial and come from a consistent (sthira) place of joy and happiness (sukham). This is a radical idea that, when put into practice, can dismantle our present culture, which is based on the notion that the Earth and all other animals exist for our benefit and to be exploited for our own selfish purposes. So the practice of asana becomes more than mere physical exercise to keep one’s body fit or to increase strength or flexibility; it becomes a way to improve one’s relationship to all others and thus lead to enlightenment – the dissolution of the sense of separateness, the realization of the oneness of being, the discovery of lasting happiness.

Just like Gold itself being the least reactive metal and solid. Aren't these qualities fab to have! It is resistant to most acids. It is capable of dissolving, but not through a chemical reaction. Most wonderfully, Gold is thought to have have been produced in supernova nucleosynthesis, from the collision of neutron stars,[6]and to have been present in the dust from which the Solar System formed. Because the Earth was molten when it was formed, almost all of the gold present in the early Earth probably sank into the planetary core

WOW! I like to look at this as a metaphor to me and you! If you imagine that you are PURE GOLD!!! Think of the wonderful qualities you hold within. Not only are you shiny and delightful to look at, but you radiate and all your assets are so wonderfully Shanti. You are formed from a star and you are a part of this expansiveness we live in, as tiny as dust, as big as the universe, all around you exist inseparable from oneness, you are beautiful.  

As I cycled through the Bristol streets on Sunday I just had this overwhelming sense of wanting to give back to this City that gives so much to me. Its creativity, its open-mindedness, its wonder-filled abundance of dedicated and passionate people, trying their hardest to create positive change in the World, whilst making ends meat and doing their best to be loving beings. Its tough ain't it. But if there is any one place that is doing it well, its Bristol. 

Lets shine like Gold and be kind, give and love.

Namaste. x

 

Purify and Set your Spirit Free.....

HAPPY HALLOWEEN YOGI AND YOGINIS! I wish to celebrate YOU! 

Yoga i-D Halloween.jpg

YES YOU!!! Your Spirit. On the weekend I have been so grateful for my yoga off the mat and that living Yoga brings connection. That off the mat Yoga has been in the form of making time and space to nurture the friendships I have in my life, to nurture the beauty of Bristol, to love and to be loved. This song completely just sums up the feeling that I have awoken with this week. There is this feeling in me to make change so powerfully, always, yet there is also this complete gratitude for this life, the people and the place I choose to live in.

Last weeks practice was a powerful one, one that may have brought up a lot of resistance and emotion of varying kinds for some of you, either while on your mat in class or when you exited. I saw it and I held it and I was really awakened once again and as always by the power of Yoga to do that and watch it in my beautiful students. And why does it do that? Well, it is as you dive in to the true nature of the Self.

If we look at 'Redemption' what does it mean?

Redemption - the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil.

We could say that another word for saving is freeing!!!!

FREEDOM!!!! 

So we don't need saving from all that arises, we could say we just need to find the freedom?! 

It's all you ever have. It is your song. Set your spirit free.

There is a wonderful story of a Monk that is called 'Ah so' ... the summary of it is how whatever occurs you learn to just go with it and accept it. Let it become an addition to your life.... where you just learn to accept whatever occurs. That is beautiful. You learn to have options yet to hold them for yourself at times and be open enough to see and appreciate the views of others, the actions of others, the non judgement of others - that is freedom. 

Lets celebrate your freedom! You have it!!!!!

So we return to asking ourselves - when are we free? How do we experience freedom?

It is said in Yoga that the study of the self involves 'determining where need ends and greed begins'. We can make that determination only by experimenting with our body and mind until we figure out how to remove clutter and confusion. This is known as the Chitta-vritti, or mind fluctuations. 

At the weekend, I had the absolute honour to spend several very poignant minutes standing on the harbourside in Bristol and engaging in conversation with a man that was very clearly on drugs of some kind and potentially had some mental health issues and yet was speaking nothing but the truth, through the chaos of his mind on the drugs, he was articulating his thoughts and these were so wise. He was so passionate and focused in many ways. He had the clarity of knowing the ability we have to understand the mind, he knew how to engage, he was aware of the inseparability of he and I and those others of us around, yet it was almost as if this in itself was slightly bewildering for him. It was as if he didnt know how to experience it, reality, as we see it, without moving away from it by getting totally off his head and out of his mind. This is speculation of course, as I don't know why he made the choice to get high, or if it was no longer a choice but an addiction - but that's the point - it is an option always at some stage, but where that moves to after, who knows. It is an action.

Without space, creation can not take place. If there is no space you can think of nothing and receive nothing. If you are not allowing space, how can you expect to find clarity. It is the space that invites the wisdom and allows you to understand the 'I-am' or the God in you! The higher Self in you and all around. 

So is this Avidya - is this 'Ignorance of the Self', being the thing of what you think you know, being actually false, that becomes the obstacleA Klesha! 

So to take action and make change we begin to connect and look often to a training of the mind, a spiritual practice of some kind. Ask yourself, why did you begin Yoga?

Deep rooted, was it to remove this ignorance and to become more connected?

This beautiful, yet very challenged man (which just autocorrected to 'angel' just then, which made me humbly smile - as that is what we all are!!!),  human too! Underneath everything, what he was saying and doing was rooted in the need for connection and to remove the struggle. And he even stated it many times, inviting us to connect, asking to connect. Wishing to hang out and be more a part of a community!!! It is simple really what many of us Need as opposed to Greed. 

But!!! In order to do that, he needed to potentially (i suggest only) remove some of the obstacles, Avidya being the first. But how do we do that????

It requires discipline, study and devotion!!! This is Kriya!

Because essentially as Stevie Wonder sings in Higher Ground... 'the world keeps on turning - til ya reach your higher ground'. But to reach it - you must take action and find the freedom. 

We perform the Kriyas to reach a higher place, a deeper connection with god (which is not religious but a word used to describe something higher than you) or the realisation of the Self. Patanjali repeats how this is so simple! He created the simple 3 step plan...

1. discipline 2. study 3. devotion!!!

Practicing these three things leads to the attainment of enlightenment - Kriya Yoga.

Kriya comes from the same Sanskrit word as Karma. However the meaning of Kriya is specifically meaning action that is taken specifically for purification purposes. 

We need to purify ourselves through cleansing practices, that are Kriyas in Yoga, to purify our lives towards this realisation. This is the action of Yoga!

There are 3 criteria that Patanjali states which must be met in order to begin:

1. Tapah - to burn

2. Svadhyaya: study of the higher self

3. Ishvara pranidhana: to devote or give up all the actions - thought, word, and deed of your life to God. 

As we know, this as Westerners can not look in a specific way when we lead very normal and active lives. But it can be done in your own way. This is YOUR Sadana (spiritual practice). This can be done by making a fire. The flames you feel inside are the difficulties and the light burns away our selfishness - we burn away the impurities we all create. The fire element in the body is internalised. This main impurity is Avidya - ignorance - so we offer the fire our Ego - our lower self. 

If we stay the same  - if we don't allow those resistances or emotions that arose from last week to rise up, how can we begin to burn them away, how can we begin to generate transformative heat within ourselves. Do you wish to become complacent and stay the same?????

The psychotherapeutic power of the yoga practices have the ability to bring unconscious feelings to the surface. If we direct these to realisation of self and something higher, as opposed to expressing these as selfish emotions/ actions - these can become liberating rather than binding! 

This becomes a Yoga practice that amplifies and directs pranic flow - life force (as emotions are simply a flow of energy moving within the body). 

So as we practice yoga - we might sweat! This is purifying yes, and we may feel good and like we created heat - yes. But simply moving and sweating isn't Kriya. Where is the devotion aspect that is selfless? The Ishvara Pranidhana - the relinquishing of selfish motives?

I went to hot yoga for the first time over the weekend to see what it was that I was missing. Yes it was great - I felt good but I myself had to remind myself to devote my practice as I moved through all the 3 aspects, as without that knowing wisdom, there was no reminder. This of course may not matter or be of any interest to some Yogis or teachers, but is it then Yoga? Is it simply a very well formulated movement practice? In svadhyaya you are at the mercy of the obsessions of the smaller self. 

NEED AND GREED!!!! (Trick or Treat)

Truth is relative in the realm of the senses - tis true. The senses do not lead us to truth. No matter how much we pursue the pleasure aspect of the senses - we can never get enough. That man will never have enough drugs. We can never run away from pain either - no matter how hard we try, the drugs will not let us escape forever! We won't run fast enough.

So we could say that the 2 things that this creates, 'attachment' and 'aversion' bring nothing but disappointment!!!!

"Giving up attachment to the ego and the world of the senses is tapasic, and thus purifying." - Jiva

So as others are greedily running around Trick or Treating and death is upon us in this eve of Halloween....

Can you begin Kriya? Can you find space and freedom. Can you begin to remove Avidya and welcome life?

See you on the mat to explore - oooooooooooooohohhhohoohoohoohhhhhoooooo!!!!!!

I guarantee this isn't a trick and will definitely be a treat!!!! Come set your spirit free.

Namaste x

Classes:

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

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

 

 

 

 

Giving structure to the desire for Yoga... become upright!

"Don't try to get out of this world, get in to it" Bhagavan Das, what is yoga?

GET IN TO IT! Yes!!! This is my mantra this week.

This video evokes this desire in me to get in to the body on a deeper level, to move my body in soooooooo many ways. Yet witness the structure, the formation, the unity in these drummers. The complete understanding of their practice of drumming, the wisdom and the power of it all coming together in this way.

"Yoga is an effortless dance with breath and gravity." - Vanda Scaravelli.

When we begin Yoga - the most important part is understanding that you are working with your own body, to your own limitations and to begin to develop deeper wisdom of the body, this unity of your approach to the bodies potential, this power of transformation in body and in spirit arises. We see overtime that this develops your personal knowledge that only you can acquire and continue to develop each and every moment that you practice. 

The efforting to push, pull and strive stops and the connecting begins. The rhythm flows and the beat goes on. 

This week we are looking at the importance in Yoga to begin by lengthening the spine, creating more eveness in the ribs and the spine itself and how in turn this allows the muscles of the back to release any tension. We are looking to lengthen the spine, against gravitational force.

The vitality of the spine represents the vitality of our whole being.

Working to develop an upright spine, is working to become a being that is thriving in the realm of gravity and not being pulled down by it! 

Yoga is more than a physical exercise.

The breath is key to this! We use the breath to loosen the spine and to prevent injury. As we become aware of the movements of prana (life force) and its expansive potential, it is limitless. The asana clears the subtle pathways which prana flows. 

To practice any asana (posture) or 'seat' means to practice perfecting ones relationship with all aspects of the earth (manifestations of reality) and all beings that inhabit it.

We evolve and this evolution is all part of your practice in Yoga and in your Life!

Start where you are now! 

backevolution.jpg

This picture clearly shows us how the spine itself has changed with evolution!!! Asana encourages awareness of prana, giving us the opportunity to put ourselves in to the ever expanding shapes and patterns of existence and to then experience the wonderfully powerful dynamic force that animates all form. 

I love watching this video above that so simply illustrates how our bodies move and have the potential to move!

If we think of a classic Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) that many of us Yogis have done a million times... this sequence includes a variety of individual movements and demonstrates the various ways we move in Yoga, that is united with the breath and creates balance on both sides of the body. To get an upright spine, we need balance. Not forgetting that Hatha is the the joining of the Sun (Ha) and the Moon (Tha), representing all pairs of opposites in the world.

How do our movements revitalise the spine, create a sense of being upright and grounded at the same time?  

Tadasana.jpg

To find grounding we find our seat. You know this right, as I told ya that already the last couple of weeks? We create a solid foundation, a grounding in physical movement and in the rooted aspects of the s!pirit. Tadasana (mountain pose) above for example, is thought to be an abode to the gods/ divine. It isn't a passive standing pose. It is a meeting place of terrestrial and celestial forces. It is the youngest child of heaven and earth. It conducts the earth energy to heaven and visa versa. Our base is anchored to the earth. Just like a volcano is connected to the core of the earth and spews out the fire of the core. The peak of a mountain stretched towards the sky. It is considered the tree of life. It is rooted. 

To open up we work with backbends, but we must be cautious and teach the muscles in the back to release rather than to tighten, which then allows our hearts to open beautifully and with a softness that comes from the inside out. 

Our wonderful detoxifying twists help to derotate the spine, ensuring that we always be aware to lengthen the spine first before any twist is actioned. 

Forward bends are used in Yoga to deeply release tension in the back and shoulders and these are super effective the longer we continue to fold and use the breath to release deeper and deeper over a longer period of holds.

Inversions create a freedom in your body to experience alignment without the usual distortions caused by gravity. As a result, it is often easier, particularly if you have a scoliosis, to feel what alignment is upside down than while standing on your feet. The inversions also develop strength in the back and arms; increase circulation to the vertebrae, brain, and other organs, and encourage Iymphatic circulation and venous blood return." - Yoga Journal

Relaxation in savasana is by far one of the most important postures for the spine. It allows our body to rest, lengthen and most importantly invites our muscles to relax completely. No need for them to be switched on to bare the weight of the body or the tension we create through the mind. 

The spine has its own wisdom, its own power. If you approach yoga and the movements of your spine with pure grace, awareness and acceptance you will inevitably become more connected, heightened in all aspects of life through the subtle expanse of sensitivity you welcome and embrace.

You become a vital force. 

Let your desires be felt through your yoga practice this week, to awaken the spine, the balance, the openess and your strength in all ways, motions and mind. Feel grounded and full of vitality!

See you in class.

Namaste Yogis in the realms of Bristol and beyond. 

 

Yoga i-D Classes:

TUESDAY PM 19:30-21:00 Matter Wholefoods, Bs5

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

Let's Gaze to find what's not lost.

What you 'looking' for????????

Drishti - Yoga i-D.jpg

What a powerful time it is this week. You only had to look at the sun yesterday to 'see' it in nature.The idea of power, who holds the power and how we use it, is something that has massively inspired, intrigued and has been an investigation of mine this last month. We all hold power, yet are you aware of what that power is and how we are using it, how we can contain it and especially in Yoga? Yoga being a method, that I know, has the ability to help us to understand our power and connect with it - BUT HOW?

I am inspired to think about how we can ensure that we don't overspill and actually learn to contain our power and hold it in a safe container within ourselves. This has crept in to some of the teachings, that I myself have been prevalent to recently and has crossed over in my research of how...

Yoga has this ability to help us hold and develop this self-empowerment.

If we consider that Yoga can be a method to aid us in our search for what's not lost, we could ask ourselves what are we 'looking' for and more importantly, how are we 'seeing'?... Those of us practicing Yoga may know already, that we hold all that we are looking for within. But the question is, how does Yoga have that ability to unite us with our self empowerment and let us 'see' this and then transform our power for good? 

What are the tools that creates this method of finding the Self and maintaining that power... i'll tell ya.

One tool that we have in Yoga is Drishti. Eye Gaze.

I'd like to explore this with you this week. What is Drishti and why is it important and how does it compliment and affect our ability to see and empower us?

Last week, we explored Asana (the seat). Taking your seat on the earth and being offered a throne and once we sit, we begin to 'see' to look all around us. Drishti comes as a natural progression...  

It is the technique of the eye gaze that we develop during practice. We all know that the eyes can move in many directions and in Yoga we may use the gaze in many ways including, up, down, side to side, tip of the nose, navel, third eye, toes, fingers and thumbs. (This is subject to the particular asana or pranayama we are doing at any particular time). Although using these points as a direction to aim the gaze, the eye focus itself however remains contained. It is not fixed, but softer and is simply aiding you to maintain your concentration and focus. Ultimately, this is you making union with the divine. 

Our vision helps us to navigate, but it also hinders our perceptions and ability to stay connected to that which is real. So we use it consciously.

I love the way that this video by Forest Swords, removes vision to send out a message of 'panic'. The eyes are covered or not visible and this in itself translates a very powerful message, that we need the eyes and navigate through our reality using the sense of sight to make sense of the world. We use the eyes to seek, to find, to make us feel stable... 

The video, which Matthew Barnes co-directed with Sam Wiehl, shows strange, unexplained close-ups on bodies frozen in abstract stillness. If we think back to last weeks blog regarding Asana not being restricted to one static unchanging form, we can maybe consider how by closing the eyes or not allowing ourselves to see, we relate this to becoming paralysed to our experience. It could tell us that we rely so heavily upon our vision to stay connected to what we think is real, what the eyes can see.

But what are we focusing on and do the eyes see everything that is real, are they effecting to see, to find???? If we then stay 'fixed' on what we see, what does this create in our direct experience of reality, of ourselves, to others?  How about if we use the eyes, along with our movements, in a much more conscious way and begin to understand that how we use them can break this need to 'see' to believe and make connections and instead, learn to see differently, to 'gaze'.

What does it mean 'to gaze' and how do we stop 'looking' and start gazing? 

The general consensus is that the gaze point is the one which most enhances the movement of the asana you are engaging in. Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana 1) for example, uses the thumbnails as its gaze point because by ensuring you are able to gaze at the thumbnail, ensures that your arms when raised have not moved beyond your ears, that your chest is lifted and that your heart is open. Understanding and choosing a gaze point requires not efforting. It is using your connectivity to naturally move the gaze to where is obvious for the shape of the asana that you are creating. 

We must consider that our vision is multidimensional.

I love the way that this Bjork video just seems to illustrate that idea and that term for me. The adjective of 'multidimensional' being 'of or evolving several dimensions'. 

What is important to really embody, is the subtle difference between gazing and looking.

Looking is 'to glance or gaze in a manner specified' and gazing 'is a steady or intent look.'

If we think about this in a dimensional way, looking implies that the object of vision is in the same dimensional reality as the looker and the act itself is fixed in duality. Whereas gazing, looks beyond the mundane object. It is a metaphor for seeking to find the vision of the divine beyond the limits of the eyes. 

I love the quote used by Ram Dass when he discusses finding our Guru: "Because you have seen me you have believed. Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed." - Jesus.

Likewise, if we think of 'gazing in to each others eyes' it has a softness and we are making a connection. Where in contrast, if you 'look in to each others eyes' it is effort, it is controlled, it is forced and it feels often like it is harder then to connect on a deeper level. 

Of course, the eyes project outward, yet to stay in this state of Yoga, we use the gaze and focus it inward. This contains the vision and keeps the united quality of your practice- the heart essence! This intensifies your concentration, in order to expand it beyond what the eye can see in all aspects of your practice. Just as Pranayama can do in the same way with the breath, by restricting it in order to expand it. 

If you are becoming absent and gazing in to space during practice, focus the eyes and likewise if you are closing them and getting too internal, open the eyes and refocus and see what energy shifts for you to stay in a state of one-pointed concentration that keeps you connected to the unity of your practice. That allows you to see beyond what the eyes can see and unite with something beyond the dimensional reality. 

I went to see the new Blade Runner film at the Watershed last week, and I have to admit that it wasn't quite my kind of film, it didnt captivate me... however, what I loved and have come to see the link with in regards to my thinking and practice of Yoga on and off the mat this week, was the concept of vision! It empowered in me to connect, in my Yoga practice, the potential of multidimensional qualities and to transcend my reality, away from simply 'seeing' life in one way but to be more open to many dimensions. This quote by Sharon Gannon demonstrates this...

"Space is curved, so if you had a telescope that was strong enough, you could gaze through it and see the back of your head in the lens. Indeed, if this telescope were also capable of special X-ray vision, you could see right through the back of your own head into vision itself."

So essentially, normal vision separates, as it is linear and objective, whereas gazing creates the sense of sameness and the inseparable and is open and united. This is Yoga. Oneness.

The eyes are our tools, to translate these qualities and aspects of practice, again and again, they play a part in our method of yoga. An essential part!

When you go about your day to day, when you make connections with people, places, and so on, witness your eye gaze, what is it doing? If you shift it from 'Looking' to 'Gazing', what happens? There is a time for looking, this time isn't during Yoga. 

In yoga, when finding the ability to maintain the appropriate gaze points, united with a steady flow of breath, you can begin to feel how you can detach from any efforting and stay more focused in the mind and your body. That steady sthiram quality arises and you can maintain your dharana.

Just like magic, see this translate off the mat as you also develop the ability to detach from your anger, fear, and all emotional states that prevent you from your Sukham, softness, kindness.

On the mat this week, lets explore gazing, containing and manifesting the qualities of unity and kindness- lets learn to visualise our world in a multidimensional way. 

Be here, now.

Namaste. 

 

CLASSES:

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

5, 4, 3, 2, 1... Bristol Yogis Awaken

BRISTOL YOGIS I'm back with NEW! offerings this week and wow wee, how I have missed you!

I invite you to Come out to play...

KRISHNA bHAGAVAD gITA.jpg

"Mistaking the body/mind for your true identity is the main obstacle to freedom" - Jivamukti.

I really like this little documentary by this unique musician, because it's about discovering identity and acceptance, alongside out actions and the fruits they bear, how we are who we are. I ask you, why, as you, do you do what you do? 

THIS week I OFFER A NEW CLASS TO BRISTOL... Wednesday AM 10:00 - 11:30 at YOGASARA, Picton Street.  

I guess, my music is my Yoga and I write this blog to present to the world the things that I think about and feel passionate about and it's an opportunity to share the deep wisdom that I have found beneficial for the past 18 years. And why do I teach Yoga? Because I love to share it in person, to make connections to my community and mostly, I love to offer something back to this earth in reality and so long as you come and I am still breathing, i'll be there with you.

So come, learn, experience together.

As Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita (as handwritten by me above)... be the creator of your own life and make this promise to yourself! Whatever that is for you. 

In Yoga, the word asana (postures) means 'seat', by taking this seat you establish a 'connection to the earth'. 'Earth' is meaning all things and manifestations of reality. This should be steady 'sthira' and joyful 'sukha'. This allows us to then play with our prana 'life force' and use asana as a method for learning to direct prana and create unity with the divine self - your true identity.

How we treat all things has a bearing on our own experience of life. When we feel our connections, we become confident, serene and peaceful. The most direct way to affect positive change in this lifetime, I believe, is through selfless action and awareness of your actions, being kind to the earth, all things, never taking more than you give back. 

Asana practice clears the subtle pathways through which prana flows. When we become aware of prana, we become aware of our expansive potential and how we are not limited to one static unchanging form. We can look at Surya Namaskar for this as an example of moving through a sequence of asana. As we put ourselves in various shapes, we have the opportunity to experience the dynamic force of prana that animates all form. Our breath is the thing that makes this conscious and by also setting an intention for our practice, gives relevance to this action and determines the end result of the sequence of our actions. 

Experiencing the vitality of life in all forms of life.

Through a single pointed intention our whole self becomes free from fluctuation, this is known as a Vinyasa Krama 'linked process'. When we establish a conscious intention, the process unfolds as it should. The breath becomes a metaphor for the intention and the link, when using the breath in a conscious way. Inhaling and exhaling with intention. In yoga, we are moving from matter in to spirit. This requires cultivating awareness. We awaken! We become liberated. 

Liberation is obtained through a clear intention. Make the choice to answer the questions above and find your way back home to yourself, be kind and compassionate and create a harmonious attitude around you and to the world we all share. 

"Wrapped inside a cocoon made of flesh and bone, doesn't really matter where you come from, we are home. " - Aurora

So we may take our seat in our own lives and acknowledge that who we are and what we do presently, holds the key to our happiness and wellbeing and we may chant the Guru Mantra to acknowledge this... 

OM... Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru devo Maheshwara, Guru sakshat, param Brahma, tasmai shri guravay namah

Our creation is that guru (Brahma-the force of creation); the duration of our lives is that guru (Vishnu-the force of preservation); our trials, tribulations, illnesses, calamities and the death of the body is that guru (devo Maheshwara-the force of destruction or transformation). There is a guru nearby (Guru Sakshat) and a guru that is beyond the beyond (param Brahma). I make my offering (tasmai) to the beautiful (shri) remover of my darkness, my ignorance; (Guru) it is to you I bow and lay down my life (namah).

"Only if we can let go of our self-cherishing, our pride, our need to be recognized and our yearning to be given credit for the things we do, can we ever hope to encounter the guru, that which brings enlightenment to our soul."

See you in class to link, connect and create vitality in you.

TUESDAY PM 19:30-21:00 Matter Wholefoods

AND...

NEW CLASS! WEDNESDAY AM 10:00 - 11:30 Yogasara. 

Namaste x 

Back to Basics, sunflower sutra...

viśokā vā jyotiṣmati

2017 twist.jpg

Concentration on the Divine produces lightness and self-confidence.

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (PYS I.36)

Tuesday PM YOGA i-D - 19:30-21:00 - Matter Wholefoods, BS5

NEW CLASS!!! Starting 11th October 2017 - Wednesday AM YOGA i-D - 10:00 - 11:30 - Yogasara, Picton Street, Bristol

Lets Begin! 

Namaste x

Sit in the seat of the self.

"If we could calm our minds and get to the basis of all these modifications, we would find the unity among everything. That is the real Yogic life." - Patanjali, Book One Sutra 4.

WATCH IT!!!

The film above has inspired me beyond belief this week, as I spent the last 5 days in a field meditating, watching this in a solar cinema and having the privilege to explore the content in a Q & A, immersing myself in music, dance and total connectivity in all things, including discussing mindful communication and ancient stories for modern times.

Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950), a great teacher in the Yogic tradition, used to say that to attain inner freedom one must continuously and sincerely ask the question "Who am I?". Who sees when I see? Who hears when I hear? Who knows that I am aware? Who am i?

It's okay to just accept whatever arises for you in the here and now and realise it's never too late to welcome clarity and give yourself this permission to be who you are! 

This week on the mat, lets explore, get connected and realise the self. Get to know it. Autumn is here - lets find the unity. 

Namaste. x

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramana_Mahar...

Embracing simplicity.... to embrace our wilder selves. 

BOW TO YOU.

This is the theme this week of the beautiful festival that I will be heading off to teach at on New Moon (I will, of course, be in class on Tuesday night THIS WEEK!) and so I thought that i would share my thoughts on it in this weeks blog, as I plan some juicy teachings.

One aspect shines out for me and yet it is simple, in itself, it is simple. That is, all that you need is within you. What?! Yeh yeh. I hear you say. YES! is my response. I repeat, all that you want, you desire, you seek, you wish for... is right here - within you. You see. In yoga, we are practicing, learning each and everyday by embodying the teachings through our three bodies of physical, subtle and bliss and we do this as a pathway towards self realisation. 

What you are looking for, is within, the Self. So why do we run around hoping, wishing, dreaming if it is within? Well the mind is the thing that gets in the way. The chitta, as it is described by Patanjali and we stop trusting that wisdom. When you connect with your wild side you allow yourself to trust your instincts and go more with what arises and the flow of it, but at times we create that conflict within the self of what is our true nature - is it the wild and free, the poised and calm, or is it the devoted, is it the passionate and giving or is it the striving and successful?! The truth is, it is all of those and none of them at all - it is the self. Just as it is.

Yoga is a way of life, slow down and experience the essence and simplicity of life, no matter what is happening.

It is importance to develop the faith and trust in the long-term approach to practice, union with what is. It is in fully inhabiting our bodies and cultivating our subtle feeling capacity that will enable us to address the ecological challenges we face as a global community.  When we gain a level of self mastery are we able to make a positive impact on the world and create the change we desire.

A wonderful talk by  Anand Mehrotra massively inspired me this week and highlights how a yogi is one that is living with unity. yoga is the spiritual heritage of humanity. The purpose of yoga is to bring us to self mastery, which is not the end, but is in fact the beginning of true living and success on all levels of life.

We are interested in living a free life and this unity of cosmic consciousness and free of the fluctuations of circumstantial values. We are less reactionary of what we and others do in the world. We can make a positive impact on the world with self mastery. He suggests,

The two big mistakes are 'not starting' and the other is 'not finishing'. 

The biggest challenge is first to really start and realise what is the purpose of this life and then go all the way. Then there are no obstacles, as all the obstacles that arise are then just seen as part of the way. Even when life is tough, loneliness, emotions or loss creeps in... you see it all as part of the way. Be ready to forgive yourself if you make mistakes, as mistakes are an essential part of evolution. Any creative process needs a level of friction, the negative and positive charge. In self mastery this friction is the process. This is the commitment that we call sankalpa -- you are not giving up - it's your intention.

MAKE A COMMITMENT.

Have patience, sincerity and commitment. Do not get side-tracked. The way then rushes towards you with open arms. Keep expanding and do not become limited. It creates a greater level of love. It is the beginning, the way and the infinite never really arrives. You would never need or wish it to.

Enlightenment is not the end, its the beginning of life - remember. 

The issues that we need to explore as yogis is the limitations that we create. Understand that there is no separation in anything. We live in a global world where we are all connected and you and I are no different. It is a global community!

Yoga is a teaching that is relevant for all beings and welcomes all, which is its beauty, as no forceful conversion is necessary as it is designed for everyone irrespective of anything. It welcomes all. A global sangha. 

The invitation of Yoga is often limited to the level of the body or a yogic understanding on a conceptual level. But lets not forget that... yoga is not an exercise thing. The invitation of Yoga is to remember and connect back to the great meaning of life. To go to a deeper place and begin to revolutionise your whole world. It is available to you, one and all.

If you go deep in your aspects of yoga, the more simple it all becomes. You have access to this understanding if you remain open to it. Truth does not belong to anything in particular or anyone, it belongs to us all, all of humanity. We can also belong to truth. The full spectrum approach in your state of consciousness is this. There is nothing that is not Yoga if you think about it. Culture is a product of time. Yogis do not need to belong to any culture, you are rebels in a sense, revolutionaries that are willing to go deeper and challenge established notions. East or west, north or south. These do not exist in the mind, when you leave earth all there is, is space. No up or down. 

To strive

Rest in to what you are. The industrialised ideology of pursuit and measurable result with everything becoming goal orientated, being and becoming is not the way.

Yoga is about un-becoming. 

You are using the same mind muscle when you strive to be the best yogi even, it creates stress. When the illusion of separation ceases that is Yoga. When you rest in your essential nature - that is yoga. That is creative intelligence. You are running away from that intelligence when you strive and stress and accumulate success. The Yama Satyam (truthfulness)  - is being honest and truthful with yourself. No need for business and competing with each other, so busy trying to become, disconnected from the field of love and intelligence.

The field of silence exists in a Yogi as a direct maturity as a Yogi. Go deeper in the ground of being, as you become more creative naturally. It is souls creating through you. It is not a concept, this is a direct understanding. Everything can then move through you, every moment becomes purposeful. You are experiencing grace and expressing grace. When will you master the final thing, this does not exist.

Chiita Vritti. Incoming - the nothingness lets you see who you truly are. 

"Yogas chitta vritti nirodha" is a line from Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. It refers to stilling the mind in order to experience Ultimate Reality.

We live in an abundant universe that there is no lacking. The becoming is self hatred and concepts without any depths. 

Experience great levels of silence and meditation inside of you, detachment and non pursuit. You will be full of vitality, love joy and feel less 'stressed' as you are now creating from natural creative intelligence - the source of all creation. 

The state of Yoga is who you are - Unity.

YOU PRACTICE YOGA FROM THAT STATE AND YOU EXPERIENCE YOGA FROM THAT STATE. You practice love, you experience love. The whole universe is designed on the love trinity.

The state, The practice and The experience.

The whole state of consciousness you have to observe. From where is this yoga practice arising - who are you?

This movement of consciousness is not happening in space, so it requires no time.

So slow down, simplify. Just be.

Practice arises from the state. The experience evolves and ultimately is never-ending. 

Create a root in you that is strong. The Bhagavad Gita is a demonstration teaching of becoming prepared, ready and willing to take responsibility. Watch a very accessible childrens animation of this story here... 

So with all this in mind...

NEW MOON IS COMING!

Wednesday 20th September is the New moon. A new moon represents the end of one cycle and the beginning of another new 28 day cycle.

Sun conjunct Moon gives an invigorating burst of energy and initiative. This is an excellent time for making a fresh start, turning over a new leaf or starting any new project.

All possibilities are on the table as you put yourself at the center of plans for your future. Old habits, behaviors and beliefs are questioned as you search for new and inventive ways to make progress.

Following that is the Autumn Equinox.

it is wide eye opening newness, transformative, here we go, nature at its best, connectivity on all levels - so be prepared. Eclipses mark the beginning of a six-month phase with certain goals or aims. It is said in astrological terms that the new moon is about subtle minor adjustments in terms of long term change that you may have on the horizon.  

When night and day are roughly equal length. In 2017 this will take place on September 22. The equinox happens when the equator passes the centre of the sun. This is when the north and south poles of the Earth are not tilted towards or away from the sun, as at other times, but are aligned so as to give, theoretically, the same amount of daylight in both of the Earth's hemispheres.

I'll be in a field, on the earth when all this is happening. Where will you be?

Jai MA!

"Let us meditate on the supreme effulgence of Brahman, from whom these three worlds Bhuh(earth), Bhuvah(atmosphere), Suvah (shining heavens) originated and who manifests to our eyes as the shining Sun. May those purifying divine rays enlighten our minds." What is the meaning of gayatri ? The word gayatri is a combination of two Sanskrit words: ganat (what is sung) and trayate (gives deliverance and protection).

"You can put yourself first as the more light you have, the more light you can shine out to others." Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa

See you in class this week, as we breathe, meditate and move through a practice that exposes your truth, simplicity and grace.

Namaste x

TUESDAY PM Yoga i-D - 19:30-21:00 - Matter Wholefoods, BS5.

I will also be teaching early morning Yoga from Thursday - Sunday at Green Earth Awakening