Friday, September 26, 2014

Navaratri - Celebrating Female Energy.

Navaratri celebrates 9 nights of the forms of Devi or we can say female energy.  This is considered an important junction of climatic and solar influences and is a wonderful opportunity to worship the Divine Mother.  This can evoke every aspect of the universal consciousness in the form of Mother, the one who removes all our miseries, the one full of unconditional love and compassion the one who protects.
This morning as I chanted Kali Ma with my group of kirtan singers I really felt the aspect of femininity and love rise within me and the word namaste came to my mind.  This word has such deep and profound meaning it is not simply a greeting it is a way to honour all universal consciousness that resides within each of us.  So in light of this I will leave you with these words and I hope that you feel this too.
My soul honours your soul
I honour the place in you
Where the entire universe resides.
I honour the light , love, truth
Beauty and peace within you.
Because it is also within me.
In sharing these things
We are united we are the same
We are one.

Namaste to one and all
Love from my heart and wishing you all find the beautiful light within you and allow that light to shine outward into the world.
Happy Navaratri!
Mangala / Nicky.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

3 Tips for a life of Balance

“Hope is nature’s way of enabling us to survive so that we can discover nature itself.” Swami Dayananda Saraswati

Yoga is the practice of union, union with the universal consciousness and Ayurveda is the practice of living in balance with nature.  Yoga means to yolk, Ayur means life and Veda means knowledge.  Therefore we can take it that ayurveda is the practice of knowing how to live life, the knowledge of life and yoga is that which binds it all together.  Both Yoga and Ayurveda are lifestyles that interweave together like hand in glove they fit so well together.  When I first discovered yoga it was as if a light had been lit within me, and then later in discovering ayurveda a second light was lit, and one doesn’t seem to be far from the other.  Ayurveda speaks to every element and facet of human existence and is applicable to each individual’s existence.  To those of us who seek a greater harmony and a move away from technology back to nature ayurveda is there and has been tried, tested and refined over the centuries to bring greater peace and longevity.  I see so many people these days constantly attached to screens and ‘instant’ information that then leads to aspects of ill health possibly without even realising it.  All this overload of machines and technology can lead to unsocial behaviour, a tendency to be withdrawn, low attention spans and lack of concentration, obesity and lack of enthusiasm, anxiety and stress.  Do we really need this?  What yoga and ayurveda provide us with is a journey back to reality, that which connects us back to the very nature of what we are, those eight elements of earth, water, fire, air, space, individuality, mind and intellect.  When I am practicing my sun salutations I really do feel that beautiful flow of energy, which is that universal rhythm, how the sun rises and fall and we as human beings are part of that same rhythm and if we want to remain as healthy as we can it is best that we don’t forget it.  This universal rhythm is not only what is surrounding us in the aspect of the elements but also it is what makes our very being, if you think that you are more than mud then think again.  If you think you are more than a blade of grass growing out of that mud then think again.  The key is to watch nature that surrounds us and learn from her, she is our greatest teacher.  Separating ourselves from nature is a huge mistake and will only lead to disease of one sort or another.  The practice of yoga and ayurveda takes us back to the source, back to simplicity and back to health.  You can start with these three simple ayurvedic tips to start to bring you back to balance and at one with the very essence of life that which you are. 
1.Keep a regular routine of waking, eating and sleeping.
If we look at how the sun and moon rise and fall each day there is regularity, if we get up constantly at different times, go to bed and different times, eat at different times, the body becomes confused.  A regular routine maintains balance in the bodies functions.  Digestion, elimination, a better quality of sleep and mentality will be improved by a daily routine.
2. Lunch should be your biggest meal.  If you think about it, it is very logical; we eat for our energy and why eat a big meal not so long before you go to bed when the body needs limited energy?  Ayurveda advises that when the sun is highest in the sky is when we should eat our largest meal of the day, this is when our digestive fire is at its highest.  Dinner should be very light and easy to digest, soups or porridge are ideal. 
3.Stop drinking iced drinks.  Ice or chilled drinks make digestion very difficult, if you imagine all your internals are not chilled, they are body temperature, imagine the shock as something so cold goes into the body and the effect that has on the organs.  Like a rock that has been in the sun and is hot, if put in very cold water what would happen to it?  It could easily crack.  So let us be gently on our bodies, drinks that are room temperature are better. 

We need to embrace who we are not move away from that, look at nature and follow her lead, see when the plants are more active and when they are at rest.  Eat with the seasons.  Fighting against the natural rhythms of the universe means fighting against you very own nature, this is going to lead to problems.  Learn to live gently, love yourself and the earth around you.  The nature around you is the nature within you, there should be no separation, through yoga and ayurveda you can shine like the very beautiful light that you are.
Shinning like the sun and moon
Om shanti shanti shanti
Mangala / Nicky

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Celebrating Ganesha Chaturhi with a little story!

In honour of Ganesha Chaturhi, the time when we celebrate the Elephant headed God; Lord Ganesha, here is a little story of when he as a small boy learnt lessons on kindness and ahimsa; non-violence. 
“One day the elephant-headed little boy-god named Ganesha went off to play in the woods of Mount Kailasa where he lived.  He was a mischievous little boy and he especially loved to run and play and sometimes pretend he was a warrior.
One day he took out his play bow and arrows, ‘what can I hunt?’ he thought.  He spotted his little white cat and immediately pursued it.  He shot his play arrows at the cat, and the cat run off terrified.  But Ganesha thought that the cat was having fun.  So Ganesha searched for it and found the little cat shaking in fear behind a tree.
‘Aha! I found you,’ he cried, and again shot arrows at the cat.  But the little cat ran off.  Once again Ganesha found the cat under a log and this time he pounced on the cat, rolled with it in the mud and tossed her up into the air.  But the cat ran away and Ganesha couldn’t find her again and so went back home.  When he got there he saw his mother, the Goddess Parvati.  He stopped in his tracks when he saw that she had mud stains on her face and hands and scratches on her arms.  ‘Mother what happened to you?’ he asked.  Parvati looked at herself and said: ‘I don’t know, did you do this to me?’ 
‘ME? Why NO!’ Ganesha exclaimed, but then looked down at his feet and thought ‘but I was a bit rough playing with our cat today.’
‘Oh,’ said his mother as she gathered him up into her arms.  ‘Now I understand.  You know Ganesha I am this whole world.  My body is this whole earth.  Anytime you do anything to it you also do it to me.  You see I am that little cat too, so anything you did to it, you also did to me.’
‘I understand now mother, my actions really do matter.’
‘Yes,’ answered Parvati, ‘it is impossible not to do any harm to everything, but we can be very aware of out actions, so that we do as little harm as possible.’
Ganesha thanked his mother for his lesson and went off again to make peace with the cat and play gently this time!

It’s nice to hear stories no matter how old we are, to remind us and to make us smile. They are a way to link ourself with the story and through the story with the wider world, I hope it brought a smile for you too and it’s a story you will share with your family. 
JAI GANESHA JAI  to the one full of wisdom and strength, to the one we honour before all to help us to remove all the obstacles that we face.
Have wonderful days let us increase our compassion, strength, wisdom and focus.
Om Shantih
Mangala / Nicky.