Thursday, March 30, 2017

Words of Encouragement.

Anything you fear is teaching you courage to overcome it.
Anything that annoys you is teaching you patience.
Anything that angers you is teaching you forgiveness and compassion.
Anyone that leaves you is teaching you to stand on your own two feet.
Anything that has power over you is teaching you to take that power back.
Anything you can’t control is teaching you to be able to let go.

Sometimes it is helpful to be reminded of these things, every feeling can be a lesson, we are human, we feel, and how wonderful that is, listen to yourself and watch, see what you have to learn and how far you have already come.  Celebrate the wonders of feeling and when the lower or negative emotions come try to observe them, know about them and then move away from them and spend your time like a sunflower, raising its head to the sun and not noticing the shadows below.  Everything can be beautiful with immense wonder if you choose to see it that way.  You are the master of your own destiny Swami Sivananda repeatedly tells us, so make a choice, that is something that all of humanity has, choice, do you want to live joyfully?  Of course you do, and this is essentially what you truly are, joy, but when the thought waves (vrittis) are there, you cannot see yourself.  So sit comfortably, and listen, listen, listen.  When there is a sorrow vritti, you identify with it, but you are not sorrow, when there is a fearful vritti you identify with it, but you are not fear.  Try to put some distance between yourself and your thoughts, look into your mind without identifying with it, when the vrittis change, your opinion also changes.  Sit and watch and let the mud settle, then you will begin to see clearly what you truly are, that of pure love and joy.  When you drive a car you have to have it under control to reach your destination, the same as you have to get your monkey mind under control, what you think so you become, if you think that you are sick, then you will become sick, if you think that you are depressed, then you will become depressed, learn to meditate making one thought positive and then the next thought positive and so on.  Then you can start to bring the mind and the intellect together.  Practice Japa meditation, discipline the monkey mind and rest in your own true nature.  Don’t live sadly, with fear and jealousy, live joyfully and rest in joy, peace and love.

Be beautiful, have beautiful days,
Shanti shanti shanti
Mangala / nicky.

Community Kids Yoga Teacher Training starts in May 2017.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Super Delicious carrot cake Oats!

For those of us who like a little sweet sometimes, this is an easy, wholesome and delicious treat, leave in the fridge all day and have for dinner, or overnight for those of you who have breakfast, or on days when breakfast is calling!!

Add to a jam jar or some kind of jar or glass – leave about 6 hours in the fridge.

½ cup of old fashioned oats
½ cup of unsweetened almond milk (see recipe below)
1 grated carrot
2 tablespoons of unsweetened natural organic yoghurt
1 tablespoon or raisons
1 tablespoon of maple syrup or good organic honey
¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 tablespoon of chopped pecans, or other nuts or fruits
Almond Milk –  Blend all together and sieve out any pulp
140g organic almonds (without skins and chopped)
1 tsp ground cardamom
4 tsp organic good honey or maple syrup
16fl oz water

Benefits of Almonds -  They are rich in good fats, Vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron.  Almonds can be beneficial for those suffering with anemia, constipation, high blood pressure or diabetes and can help benefit the skin and hair.  I love my almonds!!  Every morning whilst practicing intense practices during Sadhana Intensive, we drank almond milk every morning not only is it delicious and with many benefits it was so comforting too!
Oats are incredibly nutritious and rich in antioxidants and are said to be one of the healthiest grains on earth. They contain good sources of iron, magnesium, folates are rich in carbs and B1 and B5, although rich in carbs they are low in fat.  Hmmmm yum,  I’m off to make my overnight, carrot cake oats!!  Although being mostly vegan I leave out the yoghurt and add more almond milk. 
Enjoy yours and chant Hari Rama Hari Rama Rama Rama Hari Hari, whilst you are making it for even more auspiciousness and deliciousness to be added!
Have beautiful days
Om shanti Om
Mangala / Nicky

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Guru

Guru: (Gou-rou) Teacher or preceptor, one who removes the darkness.

This word Guru we hear a lot these days, even in pop music and mainstream cinema.  But what really is a Guru and why should one need one?  I am often mentioning to my students about their own inner Guru, to listen to their bodies, to listen to their hearts and find the Guru within themselves.  During an asana class the teacher may be instructing do this do that, but it is the body that should be King and listened to, this is also hard for people as the mind often takes over and shouts over quiet whispers of the body.  Hence why people can often push themselves too much.  But in truth we all have the Divine knowledge within us, a beautiful light within us, but it is covered and veiled time and again, so although truth lies within it is also far away.  Our life experience gets in the way, past life experience gets in the way, our connection to the outer world through our senses gets in the way of that inner light, so therefore we need a guide, a teacher, a Guru to help us find that inner knowledge, to find the absolute within, it is there in every being, but the path is difficult and with many obstacles, slowly over time and with the correct guidance however the light can be lit and it gets brighter and brighter.  Swami Sivananda says –
“The Guru is God himself manifesting in a personal form to guide the aspirant.  Grace of God takes the form of the Guru.  To see the Guru is to see God.  The Guru is united with God, he or she inspires devotion in others, his or her presence purifies all.
The Guru is a link between the individual and the immortal.  They are a being who has raised themselves from this into that, and thus has free and unhampered access into both realms. Bending down they raise the struggling individual up with one hand and the other lifts them into everlasting joy and infinite truth-consciousness.”
To teach, one must be so dedicated to the origins of truth and have sincere experience that has been passed to them through their own Guru and they must be dedicating their life to the teachings.  Today now the word YOGA seems to be on everybody’s lips without understanding every Tom, Dick and Harry seem to be teaching this and that, lessons in mindfulness etc, you need to really search for a genuine teacher, one that teaches from the heart has been through the appropriate training and continues to purify themselves, how do you know – they tend to shine!
“To be a Guru one must have a command from God.  Mere study of books cannot make one a Guru, one who has direct knowledge of the true self through experience can alone be enrolled as a Guru.”  Swami Sivananda.
“For a beginner on the spiritual path, a Guru is necessary, to light a candle you need a burning candle.  The mind is tricky and it will mislead you and often the Guru will be able to remove obstacles and pitfalls, and put you on the right path towards Moksha – liberation.” Swami Sivananda
So the Guru will put you on the right path, without that help you may want to go to Kathmandu but end up in Timbucktoo.  A sincere Guru will help you from making the wrong turns, if you find a good, truthful teacher, that teaches with dedication and experience they will keep you safe.
So how do we find a teacher of such, there are now so many hundreds and thousands?  Look for one that is selfless, free from greed, anger and lust.  If they are selfless, loving and free of the big I and Me, then this is your teacher.  One that you feel elevated by being in their presence, then God will guide you through them.  Go slowly, maybe you have to try out many, but recognize those that have experience, the correct training and have put long term dedication into not only teaching but into their own practice.  In fact their own practice should be so important for them, as if they are not feeling it, how can they share that with others?
When you find that one that shines for you, then stay with them, Swami Sivananda says –
“Do not dig shallow pits here and there for getting water, the pits will dry up soon enough – dig a deep pit in one place and centralize all your efforts here.”
You may find a teacher that is honest, compassionate and has the qualities but experience is not so great, but they will then lead you to the greater Guru and so on.
Find the one that shines, and shine with them making one gigantic beam for the rest of the world.
Have beautiful days,
I wish you peace peace perfect peace always
Mangala / Nicky.