mozartkugel [mozart kulor]
ginger, sesame & apricot-chocolate
saffron & orange biscotti
mulled-wine [glögg] boiled raisins in dark chocolate with a hint of clementine
and our slightly changed spiced tea blend "buddha spa christmas chai"
already we are out of almost half, and it looks quit nice and gives a "soon to be holiday" atmoshere aswell.
as usual I have a tendency to think about things, and realizing how "confusing" yoga sometimes can feel.. or rather how deep this philosphy can be and how different it can be explained form different individuals..
the way I see it yoga as it is today is very much depending on how some persons have interpreted old scriptures from sanskrit and from there translated them into the modern world. wich is very different from person to person.. and it can be very diffenrent end result when translated from person to person using different words with basicly the same meaning. and since sanskrit is a very difficult laguage to translate aswell it seams..
for example what is Yoga?
Yoga it self as a word is often translated to "union",
and in this case of this tradition a union of what?
many says a union of jiva atman [the individual self] with brahman [universal energy/ cosmos/can mean God if you are religious].
a Union you can get to in different ways for example in your sadhana [spiritual practice] using deep meditiation you can come to a state called samadhi,
and the highest form of samadhi you get "self-realisation" or some say "God-realisation" [you are one with all/God/universal energy] a state also called in some traditions "Nirvana", and if in this state you will get Moksha [freedom/ liberation]..
but also when reading one of the most importent scriptures "Yoga Sutras" by the sage Patanjali,
there is a phrase "Yogas Chitta Vritti Nirodha".
most commonly said to mean: Yoga is controll of the modifications of the mind.. or something like how to controll the waves in your mind.
of course we need to understand that the Yogasutras is about RajaYoga wich is mainly based on inner understandnings and meditation, not as modern yoga with a lot of asanas for our health.
this is also something to have in mind when talking about asanas,
asana from the 8 limbs "ashtanga" also from same scripture is of course the posture of meditation.
but this also can work as a general way of our "physical yogic practice" today.
we say asanas, and all our postures have asana within it "halasana, padmasana, sirsasana, sethu bandhasana" etc
the 46th sutra [string of words] in the second chapter of YogaSutras says: "Sthira Sukham Asanam"
wich is often translated as: steady comfortable posture.
but just by searching on a search engine online you will find many translations similar but that can be interpreded differently just by using other words in the english knowledge.
Sthira: steady but some say strong
Sukham: comfortable but some say pleasingly
Asanam: seated/sitting and some say posture
so lets say: strong pleasingly posture
and then: steady comfortable seated
can be totally different..
if to think about this for a meditation posture, then of course it seams natural to sit steady & comfortable in your posture.
when I teach and the way it is now in the modern world I prefer to use "steady comfortable posture/position" in mainly all asanas we do, and to strive towards that state.
this is something I try to explain during classes aswell, how to challenge in a humble way to open up not to strain the physical body.
anyway, my point is somewhere that yoga is a huge life philosophy with small differences that has developed with time, and now a days it has been very simplified to be able to suit us normal everday west life city folks ha ha
wich is great! otherwise yoga would still be more of a sacred practice tought only from the guru to the disciple.. and we had never probably being able to practice yoga as we do today.
in many of the old scriptures it is said "this knowledge is secret"
so in yoga breathing is major part, in my tradition "proper breathing" is one of 5 main points of yoga.
in yoga we call it pranayama wich is the different tecniques of conscious breathing and also breath retentions.
prana is the so called life force, or the vital energy, wich is basicly equal to qi in chinese, ki in japanese, the force in star wars etc.
it is said that pranayama is to things if translating
- prana yama: prana controll
we learn how to control this vital energy by breathing with awarness in different ways
- prana ayama: expanding the prana
so by breathing properly we expand the lifeforce within us and we are more healthy and aware.
so these are the effects in our energy body
and of course you have the effects in the physical body with the oxygen boosting, the stress reducing, learning how to use the 3rd lower part of your loungs etc.
but in your breath is very much a help aswell in your challenge when doing asana practice,
by breathing conscious when in a physical challenge you will be calmer and starting to relax rather then stressing up, wich leads to that you can be more gentle but still challenge your unbalances especially when you learn to do a proper length of your exhalation.
in between the asanas mpst people have a tendency to let the mind go and come up to the surface from the dept.
if remembering to breath also in between the asanas you will stay focused, and the less amount of times you let your mind wonder away, the more mentally recovered you will feel after the class.
and when breathing with awarness you will calm down, you will be more aware of your inner feelings and sensations, so this will also help you inthe way that you can change and correct smaller details within your asanas without to big movement since then your physical body will react again and "defend it self" by contracting and stiffen up.
without your breath you would not function, to often do we take our breath for granted, maybe sometimes you should give your total focus on just your breath, your vital lifeforce..
let the breath be your guide to your inner self..
this friday to sunday I arranged a short intensive yoga weekend at my studio.
they had one 2h class friday evening and a 15minute meditation before we treated them with a orient inspired rew red rice and chickpea salad.
then half past eight next day we started with a 45min pranayama session including first uddiyana bandha then kapalbhati, anuloma viloma with a special chakra focus to clean nadis before we did the powerful Bhastrika.
then a small tea break before a 90 minute Yoga class [asana] again.
before that class we als dod a few rounds of what is often called hummin bee breath [bhramari pranayam], that was nice,
it is a bit special so a few smiles will arrive, but also the vibrations feels really nice in the body.
then we made a nice breakfast with eco juice and a fiber-oatmeal/figs/ayurvedic spices-porridge that is our own blend with some topping of fresh banana and coconut flakes.
in the afternoon they arrived again for a 2h class that ended with a 20min yogaNidra by a danish Swami that I have on my iPod.
on sunday again 07.30am a 2h HathaYoga class [as allways since that is my tradition], then again breakfast this time with our gluten free "detox porridge" with quinoa etc.
in the afternoon we met again for a 20min pranayama before ended the weekend with a 90min calm yoga class and a slightly longer rest in hte end of the deep relaxation I guided. this class I let them try doing the surya namaskar [sun salutations] with surya namaskar mantras,
so I chanted the 12 mantras and they did one asana for each mantra in a flow, I really like that feeling of flowint in surya namaskar following the mantras
we did that quit a lot when I was in the ashram in germany this summer.
anyway, this turned ut to be a great weekend, even if I was a bit tired after last class after long days and early mornings I really enjoyed it.
it would actually be a weekend I myself would have liked to attend for my own purpose.
and the group was very dedikated and focused, for example saturday morning we had silent morning, so no talking when arriving before class, wich for anyway gives a extra touch to the spiritual feeling.
silence is underestimated I think : )
so thank you all that participated this weekend!
there will be more similar next term I think..
AUM Bolo satguru Swami Sivananda mahari ki - JAI!
today is November 9th, that is the day when 17 years ago Swami Vishnu-Devananda attended mahaSamadhi and left this earth life.
it is said that one who is enlightened [as many also refered to as the state of Nirvana] you can in your sadhana [spiritual practice] choose to leave your body and when your spirit leaves the physical body dies, this is called MahaSamadhi, consiously leaving the body in Samadhi.
so Samadhi you can attain many times, it is the last step in the wellknown Ashtanga [8 limbs] of RajaYoga in the scripture YogaSutras.
but mahaSamadhi can only be done once.
so when it is time to leave a great master takes mahaSamadhi to go on in his life circle/ samsara until sometime when he can go inte Moksha wich is the liberation of rebirth. [I would say that this is actually what is called Nirvana].
Swami Vishnu-Devananda was a close disciple to the great Swami Sivananda, "Swami Vishnu" was the one starting the yoga school/tradition that we now call Sivananda Yoga wich is one of the biggest schools, especially in India and also around the world but not to much here in northern Europe.
He was often called the flying Yogi as he flew a plane over troubled places and places of war and let out flowers and notes with peace mantra "Om Namo Narayanaya" since he was deeply wooried about the state of the world.
today there is over 20.000 individuals who has attanded the teacher training of Sivananda Yoga, and their TTC is known for giving a wide yogic knowledge, and most of their courses are done aswell at their ashrams around the world wich gives a chance to understand easier the path of not being in need of all materalistic things..
sleep on simple beds, cold showers, sitting on the floor eating with your right hand, selflessly helping others in KarmaYoga, spiritual practice in a place made for this with a lot of positive energy etc
so today we give a extra thankfull thougth to Swamiji for spreading the knowledge to west since he already 1957 was sent over here to spread his knowledge by his Guru Swami Sivananda.
Om Namo Narayanaya
"Hur Shamaner helar" - med Jeanette Mantel
Välkommen till en introkväll om shamansk healing baserad på traditioner av energimedicin från Peru. en kväll med berättelser om hur shamaner helar och övningar för att uppleva ljusenergikroppen och världen av energi.
Shamaner vet att livet skapar sig i 4 olika nivåer av medvetande; ande, själ, mind och kropp. I dessa healing sessioner jobbar vi i alla nivåer för att åstakomma den önskade förändring vi drömmer om i våra liv.
Ett ljusenergifält omger vår fysiska kropp, den håller alla minnen av vår emotionella, fysiska och spirituella historia. Dessa präglingar gör oss mottagliga för, och är våra anlag för, hur vi åldras, hur vi helas, och hur vi dör. När dessa präglingar suddas ut kan vi lättare förändra negativa mönster, känslor, & beteenden. När vi helar vårt ljusenergifält, helas ochså vårt känsloliv och fysiska kropp. Det här är medicin som förlitar sig på våra inre resurser, på instinkten i kroppen att finna hälsan och att upprätthålla välmående.
Jeanette jobbar som huvudlärare i Europa for Healing the light body school och Alberto Villoldo sedan 5 år. En utbildning som utbildar shamaner. Hon håller även spirituella resor till Peru och Mexico. Se www.jeanette-mantel.com
a funny thing is that we put [or many of us do] a lot of effort in cleansing and training our physical body, but almost never do this for your inner self your mind
during a yoga class [asana practice] the more time you spend within your body, even if it feels like many things to handle with positions and breath..
the more time with less activity in your mind of all other thoughts in life you think about all day, the more mentally recovered you will be after class.
so that is also a reason why all things should be done with awarness:
your deep breathing both in and out,
your details and alignment of your body in your asana, and your awarness within to be able to "controll" these things and to know what you are actually doing.
it is also like you are occupying your mind to not have time to think about all other things, but you are occupied also within yourself isntead of spread out everywhere like so many of us often are in the state of "monkey mind" where our thoughts jump from one to another and back again etc
meditation is good for many reasons really. but especially a mental practice.
so without needing to go to deep into yogic or other tradtitions you will still benefit a lot from meditation.
we need to collect our mind, so not as many think shut of our mind ha ha
meditiation is more to collect and to in the end have a one-pointed focus.
most practitioners in the beginning and for a long time never even comes to the actual state of meditiation - "Dhyana"
but never the less it is still very good for you even in the states before actual meditation.
in the early states there will often be a frustration, since to be able to meditate correctly you need a straight long spine, and for most people to sit with an errect spine will only work a very short time, maybe less then a few minutes.
this is also why yogis do "yoga" or asanas to strengthen their bodies, to balance their bodies and to clean the body to be able to sit in a meditiation postures for longer periods, since that is where they can go on to higher states of mind.
anyway so meditiation will actually gradually also affect your general posture.
in the start there is a lot of awarness on the physical body since it will take a big amount of your focus as you cant sit for a long time without felling stiffness and getting uncomfortable,
this is normal, so in the start maybe more a physical thing to practice to sit correctly.
then after a while if doing it regularly it will be easier and you can start with next steps like more conssious breathing end then withdrawal of the senses etc.
but.. with time you will slowly be more aware of your thoughts and your inner self,
that can also be frustrating, and some people feel sad or even angry after meditiation. this is not that unusual, so dont give up.
in time you will be more cleansed and then the more peaceful feelings come and then also in life in general.
a Swami I took a course with explained in her blog [parts of it]:
"Meditation works to purify your mind.
We all have thoughts that we don't want to have and emotions that we don't want to express, etc, so we suppressed those, like sweeping dirt under the carpet.
But, meditation is like an intense spring cleaning:
you pick up the carpets and give them a good shake and all of the hidden 'dirt" come out.
I think it is a necessary part of the purification process.
However try to learn to witness your own thoughts (and emotions), observe the negative thoughts, but do not act on them."
the key for succes in meditation is regularity better to do 5-10 minutes everyday then one longer session just once a week.
and if possible same place & same time everyday
[but to do it all everyday is importent even if not able to do sam time & place so tat shouldn NOT be a reason to not do it ha ha]
and go slowly step by step, meditation is like sleeping, if you want it to much and search for that state of mind you get the opposit reaction..
follow the steps and let all naturally come, no stress!
so lately during classes I have tried to use the metaphor of our bodies being the vehicle for our mind, a common expresson within yoga.
but I try to get them to understand for example in the surya namaskar [sunsalutations] that as any driver of his car if going in a okey speed doing different movements you need to be calm and focused as a driver to make it thru safely.
equally in surya namaskar you need to strive to be calm in your mind even if your physical body starts to feel slightly more tired or so.
to be able to be calm with awarness within our challenges as for example our asanas, and to be able to help the body instead of competing against it, then you need to learn how to breath more correctly.
with a stressed mind & a fast irregular breath you will mainly end up with a more forceful & perhaps straining effect to your physical body where you tense up even more since the muscles are going in to protection mood and contracting.
you will use mostly your big explosive outer muscles and quickly you get lacto acids aswell since these muscles have less endurance.
most people dont have a to good connection with inner smaller stabilizing mucles, so when you wnat to much you send all signals to the outer parts and then mostly just block yourself from getting deeper into a asana, and instead competing with your bodies unbalances and your limits.
instead if you went only as far into the position where you start to feel challenges, and stay there and start to breath deeply and slowly get your inner awarness and calmness then you will be able to start opening your body, you can feel where the tensions are and try to release them at the same time you are still in the same position.
you tell your body to relax instead of "cramping" as it does instincivly when you pull or push forcefully.
with experience later on you realize how much you can affect your body and regulate it just with our mind and inner awarness.
and suddenly with less effort you will be able to come deeper inta a position and stay for longer time, wich means more time to open up the stretches, more time for all inner effects wich is also a very importent part of your yoga asana practice.
asana is the general name for the positions in yoga,
but translation from sanskrit asana means "steady comfortable position"
once on a small talk at an satsang in a ashram i visited some great yogi said something like this:
asanas should be done with good technique, inner awarness & with a humble attitude.
so please, remember we do yoga to feel & become better,
we dont do yoga to wear out our bodies..
it is quit scary to hear more and more how so called yogis need to go therapy to rebuild their bodies after overstraning in their far to much competetive yoga practice.
remember to breath, that is your link into inner awarness