Yoga is not a problematic discipline.
Practice, and all is coming is a fair description and mantra of what it is. However, sometimes there are disconnects between what it is and what it is made out to be. Bikram Yoga is emblematic of some of those problems.
1. Bikram Teacher Training Guide: “Do not wear green.”
According to Bikram Choudhury, green is an unlucky color and is banned from all his studios. “Please try to avoid the color green. Don’t ask, just try.”
Problem: Green signifies rebirth and growth. The Green Man of pre-Christianity was a symbol of fertility. Among Muslims, it is a holy color. In Ireland, it is a lucky color. However, circus and traveling showmen in Australia do consider green to be bad luck.
2. “How many Rolls Royces do I own? I don’t know. 35?” said Bikram Choudhury.
Bikram Choudhury owns many Rolls...
When we begin to practice self-love in our lives, we slowly become aware of how we talk to ourselves, and rather than being judgmental, we can bring both kindness and compassion into that internal dialogue.
Yet it was clear as the dawn after a storm. As she linked her breath with these therapeutic movements, this kind voice stayed with her more and more consistently, and rather than question the whys or the hows just yet, she decided to do what it took for this voice to speak up more.
My teen years were hellish and I received messages on a regular basis of how I wasn't good enough. Like anything that is played over and over again, a groove became imprinted in my psyche that put me in a loop of that feeling. Moving myself out seemed a task that couldn't be accomplished, and then my spiritual journey went into full force and I found my way.
Can we stop embracing this pseudo-new stereotype of a woman whose focus is her looks, her softness, her ability to not make waves? How can we encourage all of the bad-asses to stand up off of their Yoga mats and be heard and trust that they are still yogis?
When we feel internally tired from life's fluctuations, the defenses of the ego are down. We no longer think about being that rock-star Yoga teacher with perfect clothes, precise wording, and majorly inspiring sequences. We are simply here, human and vulnerable.
Yoga will hold up a mirror while you thrash and kick at the reflection until you bleed on every last shred of glass and then let you pick out the shards, piece by piece, forcing you to have intimate contact with your wounds and see who you really are over and over.
I knew because of the way I felt and the emotions I was receiving, I had harnessed something special. The spirit called me and I knew I had to learn more about Yoga. I wanted to learn about Pranayama, chakras, divine callings, asanas, heart openers, tradition and mantras. I didn't know if I wanted to be a Yoga teacher but I knew I wanted to delve deep into the practice; I just wanted to live life, experience life, live the journey, not worry about the destination. This is really what living is about, right?
It's easy to cultivate our own honey. And, who wouldn't want to make themselves sweeter? All you've gotta do is place the hand on your heart while in a deep, heart opening backbend and the honey will start flowing. But be careful, the bees will gather.
Thank you to my ten ten heroes, one manager, She and Angel -- the profundity of your presence and the gifts as a result of your actions: all quiet, loving and frightful have had a ripple effect on how things can be better in our world -- because of your courage in being who you are and nothing more. The messy, beautiful you. And I know it will continue to do so.
Learning to listen to the messages of our emotional, mental and physical body helps us to stay in better contact with our intuition. This makes us see and choose only what keeps us healthy, happy and vital.
When the education of self fails, people turn to religion. When religion fails, we turn to law. Through one we turn humans into criminals, and the other into sinners. The evidence that both are archaic, and ineffectual, is in the fact that neither one seeks to reform, but rather punish. Religion and law give us a sense of safety and knowing. They offer inflexible morals, ethics, and rituals that control through the guise of liberation. Religion is the champion of fear and reason, but the enemy of logic. In fact, it renounces logic as counterproductive to the process of faith and devotion. Religion asks of us a devotion to a deity, a duty to ritual, and a blind trust in the accuracy and experience of someone else's story. Self-inquiry requires no such convention. You sit. You see. You learn. I theorize, if it were proven that there was no afterlife whatsoever, and all humans accepted this, there would be no use for god or religion at all. What purpose would either serve if they were not there to provide some sense of future knowing, emotional comfort, or moral imperative? People would simply understand and accept that they have a very limited time in which to live. The promise of reward, and or punishment, would no longer be a useful tool for social control. In fact, people might even live with more urgency towards love and kindness, knowing that there are no second chances.
My badge at the facility has been pulled for practicing certain Yoga poses. After all, there is a very real resistance in the world that operates in opposition to light. Its energy is much stronger in the prison environment.
Each organ has a sound associated with it, and the sound for releasing excess energy, or grief, from the lungs is a sustained sssssssssss. This sound has many functions. Physiologically, it releases excess CO2 from the blood by slowing down and aspirating the exhale. It also calms the nervous system by limiting the amount of air being released and contracting the diaphragm.
Looking around now, all I see are yogis and yoginis perfectly flawed. It’s so refreshing to finally allow myself to be part of something where everyone fits in. Yoga is not an exclusive club, but for everyone who wants to gain from any aspect of this mystical discipline.
That week I walked into Yoga, unrolled my mat in the same place I'd been unrolling my mat all summer, and there beside me on the wall was the same tapestry I had been weeping beneath all summer, a tapestry of an elephant with a small mouse at his feet -- Ganesh.
Even if they are not going to grasp all the subtleties of the practice, it's still important not to talk down to people. This woman really needs to be in a Yoga class. It's our honor and privilege as Yoga teachers to help and serve everyone -- from beginners to advanced levels.
You are balanced, I live with you. You are me, you are my chakras. You are a work of art. It's not easy but you do it. You live true to who you are and know it. When you are open, chakras, in my Yoga practice, I don't question it.
Ahhhh is the sound that we tone this magnificent muscle with and its element is Air. Although Pink is the universal color of love, the Heart chakra glows a brilliant emerald green. The same Green associated with Archangel Raphael -- the Archangel in charge of healing and health.
Western culture at the moment is physical, mostly external, and most people have an awareness that their health is connected to movement. I met Yoga from the level of asana. I call it the great bait and switch. It's easier to get most people to agree to attend a Yoga class than, say, a meditation class. That is because what is gross, tactile, undeniably real is easier to participate in than what is more abstract and less tangible.
That's why I keep going back.
When the world tells me
that the home I live in and breathe in
that it's scarred,
fleshy existence should be shaped,
contoured and covered up.
Here I'm taught that life goes on.
It saved me.
Kino landed buoyantly in a flawless Hanumanasana like a golden champagne bubble. She turned toward the stunned onlookers and, with grace and equanimity, displayed her phosphorescent Cheshire cat grin. The blinding ivory radiance of her Kinosmile conveyed a strong and confident: "Told ya so. I'm Kino. Booyah!"
Perhaps men still perceive Yoga as some hokey practice in which we roll around on the floor in candlelight, listening to bad new age music. Or they fear they'll suck at it, which challenges their male pride. But guys will be more inclined to do it when they learn, for example, that the German soccer team does Yoga. It's getting better. I see a slow shift. Guys, get your ass on a mat! We need you.
"Drawn by the stories of yogis and saints with magical powers, I wondered if I could learn to levitate, endure ice cold caves, eat almost nothing (today still the one I find most mystical!) or heal wounds to the body, mind or heart." That is how Soham Johansen began Yoga back in his early teenage years in a small town of Denmark.
Excuse my French, but bitch is the best word I can use to describe this person. You know what I’m talking about. Everyone knows what a bitch is. Let’s not cut corners and just call a spade a spade. A bitch a bitch.
Listen to your body. All the information you need to know about how to practice while pregnant is there, in your intelligent system. Drop the expectations, definitely of the physical acquisition and retention of poses. Enjoy your state.
“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.”
I see the popular hashtag #yogaeverydamnday that always accompanies a twenty-year-old stick insect doing some amazing Crow/Cobra hybrid on a beach somewhere. Yoga every damn day? If I get Yoga one damn time between trainings the last few months, I'm doing great.
You are duality in walking expression, and the addition of your practice to your life balances you; it completes you and creates a place of unity. The practice of Yoga is tightly wound with duality as we are working with the subtle nature of Ha and Tha, or sun and moon.
The pain that might have been associated with the situation dissipates because I tap into my higher self through my word. Everyone has a word that resonates with him or her. Words are art, and just like Bob Dylan so eloquently stated, they each inspire.
Instead of letting it all (me!) flow, I was controlled. And how I needed that control. Coming back to Drishti while swimming around in Dharma to learn the balance of flow and ebb tides, about yin and yang.
I do yoga, I teach yoga, I love yoga. It’s more or less my life, but sometimes I just wanna smoke and listen to black metal. The love and light people are offering tons of energy and inspiration but I was offering something for people to relate to.