Thursday, April 10, 2014

4 ways to deepen your practice with Satya

सत्यप्रतिष्थायं क्रियाफलाश्रयत्वम् ॥३६॥
satya-pratiṣthāyaṁ kriyā-phala-āśrayatvam ||Yoga Sutra 2:36||

Once a state of truth (satya) has been permanently established, each statement will form the basis for a truthful result. ||Yoga Sutra 2:36||

“When one is firmly established in speaking truth, the fruits of action become subservient to him."

The 2nd Yama (morale observance) as highlighted by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras is Satya, translated as truthfulness or living with highest integrity.   Patanjali explains how when the yogi bases their actions in truth, the results will always be truthful.  Truth is sometimes referred to as supreme consciousness, that which prevades the universe, without distortion, and equal to love.  The obvious expectation is to refrain from telling lies of any degree and speak, act, thing with integrity and compassion.  We see truth in all the Universe, and as a Yogi it is important to be example of this concept of divine truth.  Our truth can be seen in our words, and Patanjali highlights it as a Yama (restraint) to point out what we should refrain from doing, highlighting how we place a filter on our words so that we maintain harmony with the first yama of ahimsa (non-harming).  This interpretation of a filter is refraining from judgement.  Whenever we judge, we impose our perception on the world, and as explored in the calming of the monkey mind, seeing and speaking with "satya" is silencing our perceptions.

The Yogi should always acknowledge the difference between judgement and observation.  Judgement will create limiting beliefs while observation in the moment will allow for freedom of growth and flexibility of mind.  Our biggest truth is when we acknowledge that no person or situation is the creator of our suffering, but rather it is our interpretation/perception that makes us the creator of our journey.

The amazing reality is when these Yamas are applied in every area of our universe, the monkey mind becomes quiet, the ripple effect is the truthful result.  Words that are rooted in Satya have the ability to inspire virtue in others, every soul feels at home, and harmony is the successful result.

“Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it kind, is it true, is it necessary, does it improve upon the silence?”

4 simple ways to implement Satya to your practice include:

  1. Be True to yourself - On the mat be in the moment embracing the fact that you are partaking in a yoga "practice", therefore if you cannot do a pose today, or it causes pain, be good to your body, it is something to work towards with practice.  Off the mat, if someone or a situation disturbs your inner peace, rather than allowing it to disturb your inner peace, walk away with compassion.  We can never control someone's actions, but we can always control our reaction.  If this is someone in your immediate family or work environment, look with compassion (ahimsa) before allowing judgement to formulate into anger or gossip.
  2. Speak your truth - Words are powerful enough to harm or heal.  Perhaps in your journal or meditation reflect on areas of your life where you can be more truthful.  Often we cannot be true to ourselves till we acknowledge the areas where we refrain from being truthful due to consequences we have created or fears we have built up in our own mind.  Whatever truth we speak, while it is great to be direct, always abide by ahimsa (non harming) when we choose our words.  On the mat, be a witness to your internal dialogue, judgements, expectations, blame, excuses and remind yourself to bring focus back to your breath, replacing negative self talk with gratitude & love.
  3. Be True with Love - There is no need to please or deceive people when we speak with truthfulness.  We can stay true to our convictions, goals and love of nature always in a loving way.   Communicate with love so to avoid misunderstandings.  Therefore rather than assume the yoga teacher is ignorant, take a childs pose in class (love yourself), and ask the teacher afterwards if you have concerns.  Respect another persons point of view, we do not always need to be right.  The moment we take a current life situation with the emotional reaction that places us in the victim role, we need to dig deeper and acknowledge that the scenario is bringing up unresolved feelings from a previous situation. 
  4. Be your best truth - For yoga teachers acknowledge your time is value, and you deserve compensation, studio owners should always compensate their teachers, money is an exchange of energy and a yoga teacher should always be compensated for their time.  While there is Karma Yoga in many ashrams and yoga centers, be mindful of not taking advantage.  Yoga students remember to recognize the teacher is your guide and your classmates are there for an experience too so refrain from chatter and distracting or disrespectful behavior in class.  On the mat if your body is tight, or you have limitations embrace that moment, rather than push and strain muscles.  Off the mat, always strive to do your best for yourself and your self development.  Truth has a beautiful way of allowing us to be vulnerable, expose our ego, and find liberation past limiting beliefs. 

Truth is a foundation of our yoga practice, our relationships, our business ventures, our families, and ourself.  When our foundation is cracked it will affect everything.  While many people get caught up in living a lie, or profiting from a lie, the laws of karma always come into play, and liars & cheaters never seem to go too far.  Take some time to re-evaluate your life with truth, and eliminate things that need to be let go, so you can maintain your truth. Re-evaluate your yoga practice with truth, and recognize if this practice has inspired you to better relationships with yourself and others. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Yoga meets London Dowsers Group

While yoga is an amazing practice that can be practiced anywhere and by any age, I was so grateful for the chance to share the practice with the people in the London Dowsers, who are part of the Canadian Society of Dowsers. Dowsing is technique using a pendulum, that acts as a visual tool for our subconscious mind.  Having a clear mind with meditation & pranayama is an excellent way to begin for dowsing.

We explored one of the 8 Limbs of yoga, Pranayama or regulation of breath.  This group of amazing ladies that gather to meet were very receptive to the guided meditation, alternate nostril breathing, meditation chakra journey, and various other yogic breathing techniques I shared.  The group was incredibly receptive to the techniques.  Most traditional hatha yoga ashrams in India place emphasis on pranayama, because breath is king.  We are all made of prana (life force energy).  More than learning any yoga pose, we need breath, we need oxygenated cells.  In a world where we tend to have short breath, stress, and lack of balance, taking the time to breath deep, and balance both female and male energy with alternate nostril techniques is something everyone can benefit from.  Pranayama is one of the 8 Limbs of yoga, though simple techniques is something everyone can incorporate into their daily life, advanced exercises should always be practiced under the guidance of a teacher.   Many of the members found how simple our breath can lead us to healing, one woman shared how these simple exercises helped her heal her pain just in this 90 minutes, many found tears, laughter, joy, and a new awareness of the importance of our breath.  All of us raised our EMF fields just with the simple techniques of pranayama. 

Alternate nostril breathing technique has many benefits, primarily restoring balance.  Yogis believe that we naturally alternate the side we breathe on every 90 minutes, however, when prolonged use of one nostril for breathing occurs, it can result in an adverse effect on our health.  Those who breath through the right side more will tend to suffer from nervousness and mental disturbance, while those who breathe through the left side more than required will tend to have chronic fatigue, memory loss and reduced brain function.   Alternate Nostril Breathing or Nadi Sodhana, brings balance, clears the nasal cavity, helps for those with asthma, helps with those with vertigo, increases pancreatic secretions to burn off toxins/fats/fluids, and especially beneficial for those with diabetes.  Yoga is an ancient science, and yogis discovered long ago most people with diabetes tend to breathe out of the right nostril more, which is the masculine/more aggressive channel of energy.  This simple technique can help restore balance to the entire body by bringing balance to masculine and feminine energy.

Nadi Sodhana

  1. Using your right hand in Vishnu Mudra, sitting tall and keeping your left hand in gyana mudra.  Close the right nostril with your right thumb and inhale through the left nostril. Do this to the count of four seconds.
  2. Immediately close the left nostril with your right ring finger and little finger, and at the same time remove your thumb from the right nostril, and exhale through this nostril. Do this to the count of eight seconds. This completes a half round.
  3. Inhale through the right nostril to the count of four seconds. Close the right nostril with your right thumb and exhale through the left nostril to the count of eight seconds. This completes one full round.
Beginners can start with a round of 3, build up to 12.

Jo-Anne Eadie
This chance was made possible by the founder of London Dowsers & Brantford Dowsers, Joanne Eadie.  Joanne is incredibly gifted and highly respected NGH certified Master hypnotist who runs her own center (Power of Freedom), and hosts the Canadian Hypnosis Conference, where I will be teaching later this year.

For those who understand yoga as an 8 Limb practice, and that the purpose is to quiet the mind noise, they will understand the natural association of hypnosis as an additional method to achieve success of the second sutra (Yogas Chitta Vritti Nirodaha - stilling the movement of the mind) .   The mind noise, patterns of belief, perceptions, monkey mind, is a result of our unconscious constant state of hypnosis.  I myself and a friend from New York who traveled to Canada twice to take a session with Joanne can both attest to her expertise.  Thank you to the London Dowsers for being receptive to the practice of yoga, and thank you Joanne for inviting me to share with this lovely group.