Thursday, June 27, 2013

As We Think So We Become.

Thought is an object, thought is an energy, it has shape, power and travels like a bullet.  Negative thought goes in a negative direction, positive in a positive direction.  How we use our thoughts is in our hands, whether we allow ourselves to go along with these thoughts or not.  All thoughts have a really powerful energy and they can come at us from all directions, so we think so we become.  If we believe we are sick then we get sick, if we believe we are healthy we stay healthy, thought power is incredible.  Observing your thoughts mindfully is so interesting, watching our reactions to situations and people and once you can learn how to watch your thoughts then you can start to control them and change the reactions from what may have been negative into a positive.  It is easy to become carried away by our thoughts and then situations can escalate from something that really was nothing into huge mountains, by watching our thoughts we can at least try to keep them as mole hills!
You also attract thoughts with your own thought waves, for example love attracts love, hate attracts hate, so what you are thinking is so important as to what you want to surround yourself with.  Become angels and not monsters, as we think so we become.
I will be off on my travels again for the next 6 or 7 weeks, some time for family, some time for introspection and time to watch my thoughts!  I will also be taking an Ayurvedic course which I'm very excited about and hope to share my learnings with you when I'm back and connected again.
For now I would like to thank you all for allowing me to share this wonderful thing called yoga with you and wish you all have wonderful summers full of peace and love.
Looking forward to connecting with you all again in mid August,
for now shine brightly like the lights that you are and keep up the practice,
Om Om Shanti Om
mangala / nicky :-)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Kakasana; Crow Pose - Learning how to Fly!

Learning how to fly may seem like an impossibility as we try and try again to lift up our feet from the mat, trust ourselves to let go of the security of the connection between the soles of the feet and that trusted mat underneath you and lift up onto the wrists.  Kakasana may seem like one of the more challenging postures but like all postures with practice it will come, it just takes time and that will be different for each individual, for some it may come quickly and for others the light at the end of the tunnel may seem a distant speck.  But like all the postures it is the process that matters, it is the journey of the posture where we learn.  All postures were designed to be mental exercises as well as physical, improving strength in the mind as well as in the body, but it is the balancing postures that give the most notable improvement in the powers of concentration and prepare us for meditation.  Kakasana brings mental tranquillity and although we may fall to begin with, practiced in the proper way with the proper approach it is much easier than it may first appear.
Here is how;
  1. Sit in a squatting position with feet and knees wide apart.  Place the hands on the mat in front of you, spreading the fingers nice and wide to make a firm foundation.  Keep the hands slightly rotating inward.  Make sure the hands are beneath the shoulders.
  2. Bend the elbows a little outward, making shelves for the knees, placing the knees into the armpits, or on the respective upper arms.
  3. Focus the eyes on a point several feet in front of the body, this will help you balance, if you look down it will be much more difficult.  Shift the weight forward onto the hands and hold the position there with the big toes still resting on the mat for support.
  4. Begin to pull the belly into the spine and slowly lift the feet up, one at a time to begin with.
  5. Breathe there and enjoy this flying sensation!  Even if you can’t bring the feet up to begin with you will still gain much benefit from bringing the weight onto the wrists.
  6. Slowly lower the feet back down to the mat and gently shake out your wrists.
  7. Remember never to jump into this position, you should always move slowly and gracefully and only go into full posture when the strength and flexibility is there.
Kakasans will bring much strength to the wrists, arms and shoulders.  It increases breathing capacity by expanding the chest, and increases the powers to concentrate helping to remove lethargy.  It is an excellent pose for people in jobs who are in danger of getting repetitive strain injury. 
So join me on the mat and lets learn how to fly together,
Have beautiful days
Om Om shanti Om
Mangala / nicky.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Exploration to Transcend.

So we have said that the cause of our ignorance and suffering are our senses, that they bind us to the sensual world and limit our being.  We become involved with satisfying our sense of taste, touch, sound, smell and sight.  We like to eat what we consider to be beautiful food, we like to look at beautiful things, hear beautiful things etc, and when it’s not that way we become disturbed.  Our mind is but a limited thing, actually it is not really much more than an organiser of information much like a computer, the knowledge is not there in the computer before we put it there, much like the knowledge is not there in the mind but somewhere else.  So how do we transcend this limited mind and the senses to a higher level?  How do we find this knowledge to overcome our ignorance, we are told the knowledge is there within us, all possibilities are within us, all joy, bliss and peace are there within us, but how do we get there? 
Is there a direct route that some Rishi somewhere is keeping a secret?  No, we get there through an exploration of practice, an exploration of this body and mind until we can transcend this limited being and find the true self.  That is where the knowledge is, that is where the unlimited ocean of peace is and that is where the magic happens.  But we are so full of memories and bad habits, impressions from past experience both in this life and past, we are full of impurities of our likes and dislikes.  The mind tosses back and forth and because of this tossing it prevents us from deeper self-enquiry and creates emotions that are difficult to keep under control.  But by making a leap forward into an exploration of practice we can make progress.  We can transcend these likes and dislikes by practicing the act of Karma yoga, the act of selfless service.  By embarking on any work where you can give up the fruits of your action, do something for somebody without expecting anything back, be able to take on any task no matter what it is with a smile and just do it, without hating or loving it but just doing it.  We can prevent this tossing of the mind by practicing Raja yoga; the eight fold path, which incorporates our observances and restraints, withdrawing the senses, the practice of asanas and pranayama, concentration and meditation to reach the blissful state.  Then we can transcend the emotions by the practice of Bhakti yoga, the yoga of devotion, by making all you do an act of devotion, by chanting the mantras and devotional songs we can sublimate these emotions that cause us so much trouble!  Then we can transcend our whole being by Jnana yoga, the practice of deep self-enquiry to reach the truth, through the practice of meditation.  These four paths lead to the same destination, and that is one of oneness, of union, which path is more suited to you well you will have to explore all of them to know that, but by practicing all four paths the destination may just come into sight, and what a journey!
Sounds easy, of course it’s not, but as Christopher Columbus set sail across the oceans on a journey of exploration of the globe, set sail across the oceans of yoga on the biggest exploration of all, an exploration of the self. 
So looking forward to seeing you on the mat and setting sail.
Om Om Shanti Om
Mangala / nicky

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dancing in the light of Saraswati

I open my heart 
as the lotus blooms in the moonlight
let go let go let go
surrendering myself to that pure light
it pulsates within me
around me 
all is energy
feeling that pulse of the vast unseen
truth reveals itself
under the silver light.

enjoy every breath of this beautiful existence
Om Om shanti Om
mangala / nicky