Friday, October 25, 2013

The gift of Yoga

My journey to the heart began in my very first yoga class, although I didn’t know it then.  I knew that the class made me feel wonderful, but at the same time was unaware then of further discoveries, it was more a physical experience.  But I was aware after some time of some sort of connection going on somewhere but I couldn’t explain it.  It was only over time and practice that I knew that my journey was only just beginning and I had so much to develop and discover.  Throughout the history of man there have been the great explorers, those that have set sail across the seas, those that have ridden across the deserts on camels and those that have flapped their arms in search of flight.  There have always been people searching, but it is the discovery of the self that is the greatest journey of all and the biggest adventure you will ever have.  Full of light and darkness, pain and elation, full of surprises.  We can be the most amazing philosophers or speakers, but if we don’t feel it, why?  We can put our bodies into the most amazing yogic postures and look so pretty, but if we don’t feel it, why?  There is so much importance put on the physical body these days that we have forgotten our hearts, we need to develop our hearts.  When it comes to that point when our physical bodies die off, we will wonder what all that time working on it was for, when it is what is in our hearts that stays with us, this is what we need to work on.  In your heart lies the eternal truth, a blooming lotus, an everlasting light, all cognition of memory is in the heart, like a jewel waiting for you.  Through our effort with our practice we can start to remove the layers that hide this jewel to us, and dive deeply into an internal ocean.  Develop your hearts, remember your oneness and wholeness with the rest of humanity, with animals and birds, with plants and the oceans.  There is no separation so be compassionate to your brothers and sisters.  I would like to share this poem with you by Swami Sivananda- I have a message.
I have turned away
From the wealth of the world
I have a mission
A great task before me
In my heart there is a mighty flame
I dive into that flame
And find brotherhood, peace and love
I spread
Brotherhood, peace and love.

You too have mighty flames in your hearts, so let go of all this meaningful consumerism, let go of your attachments they only cause more pain to you at the end of the day, and find that ocean of deep peace that lies within you.  Develop your heart, open your heart and learn to love yourself and all those that surround you.
Om Shanti, I am so grateful to the beautiful lady called Mala that gave me my first ever yoga class, what a wonderful gift.  I hope you all find that gift too.
Mangala – Nicky.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Raise your heart to the Sun and receive a ray of light.

Suryia Namaskar; the sun salutation, is a vital technique of our yogic repertoire of practice and has been practiced ever since yoga was.  The sun rises and falls around us every day bringing light into lives; illuminating the world unconditionally.  Without light there is nothing.  The sun known as Suryia in Sanskrit allows us to grow, to nourish and to develop, it gives us the vital energy we need as human beings, all plants need to grow and in turn nurture us within the food we eat and allows us to lead a meaningful life.
Without the sun there is no creation, no seed can grow and no fruit can flourish.
Practicing Suryia namaskar should become part of our daily routine like brushing our teeth, and practiced with sincerity, effort and dedication will bring so many benefits to us completely recharging our batteries.
It should become a form of self-expression where you can feel creation itself not practiced just merely as an exercise to maintain physical health.  It allows you to tune into the rhythms of the 24 hours in the day, the 12 zodiac phases of the year, each posture representing one of these phases, and the rhythms of your own body. 
For me there are four forms to Suryia Namaskar
  1. A physical form; improving circulation, flexibility, providing lubrication for the joints and stimulating all the internal organs and ensuring their proper working condition.  It allows us to live dynamically and bring back physical balance, which is vital for mental balance.
  2. A mental form; improving focus and concentration, allows us to begin to let go of our stresses and anxieties, allows us to let go of irrelevant thoughts thus enabling us to live more joyfully.  Suryia Namaskar can be the most powerful tool for mental wellbeing, which is essential for spiritual growth.
  3. A spiritual form; allowing us to sublimate our ego and lower emotions and thoughts and turn to a higher level of thinking.  We can begin to slay the demons of greed, selfishness and anger and have time to be gracious, humble and thankful to this giver of life.
  4. A pranic form; allowing us to receive the solar energy itself and in turn become that energy; shinning like a ray of light both inwardly and outwardly.  The practice has a direct effect on the solar energies of the body bringing totally wellbeing and long life.
Practicing Suryia Namaskar can really make a huge difference to your life slaying all woes and worries and making you a more confident and happy person.  It doesn’t take long to finish a few rounds each day which I’m sure we can all find time for even in our busy lives, taking care of ourselves is imperative that we then can take care of the rest of our duties and commitments.  Without our own health and peace of mind we can’t make a good job of what else is going on around us.  So take time each day to honour yourself with Suryia Namaskar, feel stronger and more contented and give thanks to this beautiful shinning light in your life. 
Join me for 108 Sun Salutations on Saturday the 26th October at Pranamaya Yoga Studio, Moksh, Patan, Kathmandu, Nepal, @ 2.30-4.30pm.  Come and experience the sun in a collective energy, this is not a time to count how many rounds you complete or compete with others, this is a time of reflection and to come and join a physical meditation, know when to rest and when to energise yourself, feel refreshed and cleansed and float out of the studio ready for the rest of your day!  Learn about the which chakras are activated during the practice and why 108 is relevant.  Also enjoy the beautiful mantra of the Sun whilst you move.
wishing you all joyfull and peaceful days
Om shanti
Mangala  -  Nicky

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Art of Complete Relaxation - Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra is the art of complete relaxation; it is a state of deep sleep for the body whilst keeping the mind aware and conscious.  In today’s world when we take time to relax, often we are creating more stimulation to the body and mind system, putting more pressure on this delicate system of ours instead of real rejuvenation.  Sitting in front of the TV or watching movies creates all kinds of vibrations depending on what you are watching but there are many reflections and lights keeping the eyes and ears stimulated.  Drinking a cup of coffee puts more stress on the body than any relaxation should do.  Going out for food and drinks creates all kinds of stimulations not only internally from what it is you are ingesting but also from noise of others, music etc etc.  Reading books creates all sorts of thought waves not what we want to do to allow the mind to have space.  These kinds of relaxations are just sensory diversions.
What Yoga Nidra gives to us is a place to really relax and allow the body and mind to re-balance and harmonise itself.  Often when we sleep at night, the body is still tense and never fully relaxes as it hasn’t been instructed to do so, the mind is still busy from the day or thoughts of what is necessary for the next day are coming and going.  But with the practice of Yoga Nidra we can leave all our stresses and anxieties behind and allow our cells and the whole body mind system to simply be and breathe.  It is a gift from the Universe to allow us to live gently again and in this busy world it is imperative for the health of our whole being.  Anxiety, stress and depression are our three main illnesses today and by practicing the art of relaxation we can start to relieve these symptoms.  The body and the mind cannot keep being pushed in all directions without something finally snapping, we have to take care of ourselves, then we can take care of all our other duties and the beings and environment around us.  At the end of the day, what is more important, a big fat pay cheque and sickness or having less but a happy heart?
The practice of Yoga Nidra is so simple; you don’t need any equipment or any special clothes, just a quiet place and the ability to turn your phone off for a while.  It will provide you with complete physical, mental and emotional rest, and within a short space of time of doing the practice you will begin to feel the benefits  You can find many CD’s and MP3’s of the practice and once you know it you don’t even need that, you can just mentally take yourself through the process, even whilst you are lying in your bed!
My CD Yoga Nidra with Nicky is a 17 minute long practice, not too short, and not too long so that you haven’t got time for it and is available and ready to go.  If you are living in Kathmandu please drop by to any of my classes to pick up a copy, the suggested donation is RPS150, and if you are outside of Nepal we will have to work out a way of getting a copy to you.
For now take time to relax and relax properly.
Om Lokha Somasta Sukhino Bhavantu
May you all find peace, balance and harmony
OM Shanti
Nicky / Mangala