|A systematic introduction to the theory and practice of Yoga for beginners or for anyone looking to renew their practice. This 2-week course takes a step by step approach for developing strength, flexibility, good breathing habits, concentration and relaxation through:|
|Courses are taught in small groups and meet four times in a week. The 90 minute classes are mostly practical, with some introduction to Yoga philosophy.|
Monday, June 16, 2014
Saturday, December 19, 2009
|Chakra Point ||Location ||Corresponding Ray ||Color ||Governing Aspect ||Planet Relation |
Mt. Sinai in the Middle East
|8th Ray ||Magenta ||Love and Education ||Jupiter |
the Brazilian Amazon Area
|9th Ray ||Gold and Silver ||Honor and Leadership ||Venus |
Kilimanjaro in Africa
|10th Ray ||Blue and Green ||Hope and Records ||Saturn |
Haleakala (volcano in Maui, Hawaii)
|11th Ray ||Pink and Gold ||Balance and Relations ||Niburi |
Mt. Shasta in Northern California
|12th Ray ||Pale Violet ||Planetary Evolution ||Pluto |
Third Eye Chakra
|13th Ray ||Pale Turqoise ||Harmony and Collaboration ||Mercury |
|Alberta Canada |
Mt. Fujiyama in Japan
|14th Ray ||Opal White ||Co-Creation ||Uranus |
|8th ||Baja Mexico ||15th Ray ||Gold and White ||Visions ||Neptune |
|9th ||Earth Center ||16th Ray ||Orange ||Human Evolution ||Mars |
|10th ||Earth Center ||17th Ray ||Silver and White || Spiritual Leadership || Sun |
|11th || Earth Center ||18th Ray ||White ||Truth ||Maldek |
|12th || Earth Center ||19th Ray ||White ||Solar Bridge ||Sun|
What is The Kundalini?
Kundalini is the Hindu word for the "sacred transformative energy that awakens consciousness", "the coiled," or the "Serpent power". In India there are thousands of books in Sanskrit and other regional languages of the country, dealing with this holy subject. Kundalini has also been known for thousands of years among occultists, hermeticists, alchemists and esoteric mystery cults throughout Europe. Many cultures across the world revere the snake as holy with demonstrative healing powers, thus aptly named "The Serpent Power".
The Kundalini is the Primal Life Force for all Creation that is "stored" and latent at the base of the spine. We are born naturally with this energy in which it awaits activation in later years. The aspirations for many who do chakra meditations along with yoga traditions, is to clear the energy centers to allow the Universal Energy of the Kundalini to flow naturally and unhindered. The energy moves upward from the root chakra along the spinal column to the crown. It then showers up and out within the auric layers in an ovular field and cycles back to the body - the process continues like a huge circuit. It is the foundation and basis in the Cosmic Consciousness that produces various degrees of enlightenment.
For the most part the Kundalini is a result of mental/spiritual progression as in working on the chakras and the body through meditation, prayers, bodywork, breath work or various yoga or sexual practices. The power points are worked with, cleansed and healed. For what good is the Kundalini if the energy is blocked and cannot move upward? Sometimes emotional traumas (death of someone, near death experience) and physical traumas (childbirth, menopause, accidents) may shock the body to allow the Kundalini to be opened. In some people, the Kundalini force can awaken spontaneously for no apparent reason other than it's spiritually time to do so. Spontaneous Kundalini activation seems to increasing in frequency as well. Perhaps this is due to an overall global transformation toward enlightenment. The awareness of the Kundalini is a spiritual step in transforming human consciousness, an emergence to our natural state of Being One with the cosmos. The mystical mind is forever changed by the Kundalini awakening.
Kundalini and The Chakras:
When the chakras are cleansed and emotions have healed one may feel open, clean, wonderful joy and balance. Sometimes this may be mistaken as Kundalini rising, which in fact, is a part of the whole. If you look at the Kundalini as flowing through water dams of the chakras, as the Kundalini rises there is an activation of the properties of that chakra. Many gates are opened at this point so there are numerous symptoms that accompany this transition: emotional, physical, mental, spiritual and increased psychic abilities. Also I might add, when we undergo any spiritual change, or there is a cosmic flux, regardless of the Kundalini, we will experience nearly the same symptoms. So going with the flow of things and being energetically aware is important.
Some report the Kundalini being activated at different chakra points other than the root/base chakra. As in the above mentioned, the Kundalini is part of the whole. So if a chakra is "more clear" the Kundalini energy could be more "prevalent" in that sector and eventually will start spreading to other points, as in the example of the Kundalini coming from the top chakra down to the lower ones. From the "top down" is sometimes referred to as Grace and embraces the concept of a spiritual awakening. Kundalini primarily concerns itself with the root chakra with the energy moving upward along the spine.
The action of the "top down" also coincides with the "descension and ascension" process. In "descension" energy is coming down through the spheres passing into your auric energy, ultimately permeating your body. The Life Force is an amazing "creature" and is a gift from Spirit, no matter the way, form or circumstance it becomes activated.
Ki, Chi and Prana are synonymous as the same Life Force in which some people seem to get confused. You're not alone. Swami Shivom Tirth said that "the difference is not in the nature of the activity but in the consciousness that observes it." Perhaps Ki, Chi and Prana are merely part of the whole making up a common set of experiences that connect them. The Kundalini is hallmarked and documented as dealing with the central channel of the spine directly. Whereas, Ki, Chi and Prana are "more" all pervading, they are your Life Force regardless of the Kundalini rising. However, when the Kundalini is activated is does increase your awareness of Ki, Chi and Prana in all things.
When the Kundalini springs forth, there is a tremendous energy surge. It is likened to a cosmic explosion within a tiny structure, the body. This may be felt throughout the body as a vibration, buzzing, stinging sensation sometimes see as a kaleidoscope of rushing dancing lights in the mind's eye. An inner light, heavenly sounds, mystical chimes, or the cosmic all-pervading Om sound may be heard and felt. There may be a strong overall electrical feeling to your body. This may also make you more sensitive to many vibrations of daily activities: sounds are louder, colors are brighter and clarity of surroundings and thoughts. One may have dreams of spiritual and religious symbols, most notably a snake integrating within your body. The psychic sense of smelling sweet odors, hearing music and singing. The existence and development of the Kundalini will mark the person with the permanently co-existing awareness to God/Tao/Spirit, a feeling of Bliss, Oneness, Ecstasy, Nirvana. Many scholars feel opening the heart chakra is often the key to awakening the Spirit of the Kundalini. Thus an overwhelming love for all things.
The power that is released is (may be) very uncomfortable the first time you feel it. And you will realize that something is drastically different. The surge is incredible, springing like a snake with such force up through your chakras that your awareness is heightened to an insurmountable level. It may "strike" you by surprise the first time. While meditating this may happen and it easily breaks your concentration because of the surge. It breaks concentration from the mere force of it. One cannot stay "there" for long without some practice. Total awareness and concentration is required within this level. One is ultimately propelled through space and time.
Upon doing energy exercises (meditating) you may later feel a very strong but gentle figure-eight motion of the energy coursing through the chakras/body/mind. You may even feel like your body is actually moving like a gyroscope as the vortex of energy circulates. It is an amazing feeling! Don't awaken or lose concentration - it is the Kundalini. At this point there is a symbiosis within your body. Just Be.
Since we are dealing with Universal Energy, the Kundalini energy works on the chakras as well; cleaning any residual by cleansing and heightening the chakra pieces of the energy puzzle. This is why some people may feel so much discomfort at times. But in essence, the discomforts shouldn't last too long. It is a good sign to actively work on the chakras and it's properties, cleaning, clearing, grounding and most of all circulating the energy. The chakras hold memories, feelings and emotions so it's important to regularly clean and clear these points to allow for smooth Kundalini energy to flow. Also, one should get used to the 'new' energy of the whirling open chakras before 'attempting' to 'touch' the Kundalini force. In the dam example mentioned earlier, the water/energy needs to flow. If you recognize it early you can get a good start in dealing with the energies.
The Kundalini can be dangerous in the respect that is can cause terrible headaches, increased body temperature, extreme anxiety along with other numerous symptoms within the body and mind. Sometimes the symptoms become severe if the energy isn't balanced. Prolonged symptoms could lead to mental neurosis and cronic physical pains. We automatically and naturally want to fight what is happening within us, especially since we don't fully understand the process. If we recognize the body as energy, we should be able to tune into any symptoms and help balance the Kundalini energy promptly. The same is for chakra work, which is the starting ground for body-energy awareness. Once the feelings are recognized, we can then deal accordingly with the energies. Recognizing it is half the battle.
In working with the body, mind and spirit, if you suspect the kundalini, or the chakras for that matter, are giving you a tough time. Focus on the chakra and/or root chakra that is uncomfortable, permeating it with white light while diffusing what the "problem" is. Then merely cirulate all the rainbow energy up and out. White light is also healing and helps clean and clear out unwanted energy. There is a suggested chakra meditation that may help in this as well.
If you are feeling any physical problems please consult your physician to make sure you are taking care of the physical. To take care of your spiritual, please see a healer, therapist, guides, or guru. Please use your own best judgment and go with someone you trust. There is a big difference in working with "batteries" versus "power lines" so please be careful and progress as much as you feel comfortable with. It should be a wonderful experience not a traumatic one.
Remember to respect this Universal Energy and enjoy the journey you have embarked upon.
Love and Light!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
- This is the classic lotus pose, in which one has to sit with both legs crossed, and ankles placed on the opposite thigh.
- Keep your back straight, and your hands stretched out in front of you on both knees, without bending them at the ankles.
This pose is excellent for the spine, kidneys, abdomen and pelvis. In fact, it is supposed to be one of the most beneficial yogic poses. It also eases the pain of childbirth, so if you are planning a pregnancy, it makes sense to start doing the padmasan starting from now!
- Sit on the mattress with your legs stretched out in front.
- Bend your legs at the knees and bring them under you.
- Sit on your heels.
- Slowly flatten your feet, parting them slightly at the ankles, till your buttocks are resting on the underside of your feet.
- Sit, keeping your legs stretched out straight in front of you.
- Bend your left knee outward, bringing your left foot inward so it rests against your inner right thigh and groin.
- Bend forward till you touch the toes of your right foot, without bending the right knee.
- Keep stretching till you touch your head to your knees. This may not be possible initially, and would take a few days of practice.
- Repeat with the left foot.
- Once you've done this, you could try touching your head to your knees with both feet stretched out straight in front of you. This is even harder to achieve.
- Stretch gradually. Don't jerk. This will only injure your ligaments defeating the purpose.
We all know that deep breathing doesn't just mean a deep inhalation, but it also means a complete exhalation. Remember to give equal importance to exhaling, and make sure all the breath is completely expelled from your body be able to accept the fresh air drawn in. , because only then will is beneficial. However,
These exercises should not be done immediately after meals. Wait at least three hours after a meal. The best time to do Pranayama is early in the morning, before breakfast.
- Sit in Padmasana (lotus position) or Vajrasana, whatever feels more comfortable. If you cannot manage either, sit cross-legged.
- Be sure you keep your spine straight all the time, or the Pranayama will not be as beneficial.
- Take a deep breath, and as you inhale, expand your stomach as far as is comfortable. (The
- Pull in your stomach while exhaling, expelling all the breath from deep within.
- Breathe silently with your nose, not your mouth.
- Don't overdo it. Take around 15 breaths in this manner.
After you have completed 15 breaths, go on to the next exercise.
In this exercise you will attempt to feel your rib cage expand with each breath.
- Place your hands a little above your waist, on your ribs, with four of your fingers resting on your ribcage facing the fingers of the opposite hand, and the thumb, resting on the sides.
- Contract your stomach muscles, so the air does not escape into the stomach. As you develop more practice you will not need to contract your stomach muscles, but it makes sense to contract them in the initial stages.
- Inhale and feel your rib cage expand to the sides and to the front. Exhale, and feel the cage collapse. Do this exercise 15 times, and try and breathe silently through the exercise. Although you should concentrate on yourbreathing, you should not hear yourself breathe.
This breathing technique involves the raising of the collarbones.
- Place the fingers of each hand on the corresponding shoulder.
- Keep your stomach muscles immobilized or contracted, as you did in the previous exercise.
- Now, take a breath, attempting to raise your collarbones slightly. Do not raise your shoulders, although you may move them slightly backwards with each inhalation.
- This form of breathing essentially comes naturally to most people, and is a shallow form of breathing. On a daily basis, attempt to breathe more deeply. This form of breathing however is good when incorporated in pranayam.
We are aware about the advantages of practicing yoga, pranayama, and meditation to lead healthy life. Sun salutation exercise is beneficial in many ways. Read on to know the health benefits of Surya Namaskar. It is a good exercise to stay in shape.
Ramesh wakes up before the sun rises. He climbs the stairs that take him to the terrace of his building. The gentle morning sunrays make him feel good. He unfolds his yoga mat and start doing Surya Namaskar. His day starts with sun salutation exercise that ends with pranayama and meditation. He feels fresh and enthusiastic throughout the day. Following are the health benefits of practicing Surya Namaskar regularly.
- Surya Namaskar consists of 12 different bodily postures that ought to be performed in particular sequence.
- Practicing Surya Namaskar is beneficial for the health of digestive system. It stretches the abdominal muscles. Regular practice of Surya Namaskar helps to lose excessive belly fat and gives flat stomach.
- Surya Namaskar is the ideal exercise to cope with insomnia and related disorders. Surya Namaskar practice calms the mind, thus helps to get sound sleep.
- Surya Namaskar practice regulates irregular menstrual cycles. Practicing Surya Namaskar ensures the easy childbirth. It helps to decrease the fear of pregnancy and childbirth.
- Surya Namaskar practice boosts blood circulation and helps to prevent hair graying, hair fall, and dandruff. It also improves the growth of hair making it long.
- Regular practice of Surya Namaskar helps to lose extra calories and reduce fat. It helps to stay thin. Practicing Surya Namaskar is the easiest way to be in shape.
- Sun salutation exercise helps to add glow on your face making facial skin radiant and ageless. It is the natural solution to prevent onset of wrinkles.
- Regular practice of sun salutation boosts endurance power. It gives vitality and strength. It also reduces the feeling of restlessness and anxiety.
- Daily practice of Surya Namaskar makes body flexible. It improves flexibility in spine and in limbs.
The 12 mantras for Surya Namaskar
12 mantras for Surya Namaskar are the auspicious mantras (chants). One should recite one mantra after completing one round of Surya Namaskar. Some people prefer to recite Gayantri Mantra after doing sun salutations. Following are the 12 mantras to recite while performing sun salutation.
- Aum mitraya namah
- Aum ravaye namah
- Aum suryaya namah
- Aum bhanave namah
- Aum khagaya namah
- Aum pushne namah
- Aum hiranyagarbhaya namah
- Aum marichaye namah
- Aum adityaya namah
- Aum savitre namah
- Aum arkaya namah
- Aum bhaskaraya namah
Do you want to be fit for life? Yoga is the way to go. Start out by doing the Surya Namaskar every morning.
Yoga has hit the mainstream, and is the next cool thing on the block. Ever since Madonna's started talking about it, the entire world is queuing up for
their first headstand. More and more people all around the world are discovering its health and spiritual benefits. So isn't it about time you gave this fantastic practice a shot?
What you will need
A quiet room, an uncarpeted floor, a towel, sheet, mat or chatai.
When should you do it
The earlier, the better. It's best if you do it the first thing in the morning, after attending to your daily rituals. Do the Surya Namaskar before eating
anything though, or you'll be sorry!!
- Stand at the top of your mat or towel with your feet together and your hands in the Namaste position, in front of your chest.
- Breathing IN, extend your hands straight above your head. Arch your back slightly till you feel the stretch in your spine.
- Breathing OUT, bend down as far as possible. Try to touch your toes without bending your knees.
- Breathe IN. Bend your left knee and keeping your left foot in front, stretch your right leg out behind you. Keep the right kneeon the floor. Lift your head and look straight ahead.
- Hold your breath, straighten your left leg also behind you, so now both legs are stretched behind you. Lower yourself slightly, so you are in a push-up pose, with elbows straight.
- Bend your elbows and lower yourself, keeping your stomach and butt off the floor. You can touch your chest and the rest of your body to the mat.
- Lift yourself up chest-first, straightening your elbows.
- Exhale. Lift yourself up keeping your hands on the floor, forming a V-shape with your body.
- Inhale. Put your right foot in front with your left foot at the back, with the left knee on the floor. Look straight ahead.
- As you exhale, bring your left foot forward in line with the right foot. Stand and bend forward, touching hands to your toes. If you can't touch your toes, don't worry. It's just a matter of time before you will be able to. And if you can touch them easily, try touching your head to your knees.
- Inhale. Keep your feet together and lean back, stretching your arms behind you.
- Exhale. Come back to the center with your arms at your sides.
Repeat the Surya Namskar about 5 to 7 times, and keep alternating your legs.
A few final words
Remember, this is just the beginning - you're only getting warmed up. Keep a look out for our next aasan. We're going to make you have your legs crossed around your head and going 'Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmm' before you know it...