Monday, June 26, 2017

Adho Merudanda Mudra

"“Adho” means downward and “Merudanda” is the axis of energy. In this mudra, the thumbs, which
represent the fire element, are extended, but they are turned downward. As a general principle, mudras that are turned downward represent the lunar principle, which is cooling, while those that are
turned upward represent the solar element, which is heating. This mudra is therefore a combination of heating and cooling elements, which stimulates the abdominal and navel areas as well as the second chakra. Its physiological focus is on the reproductive and digestive systems." - Joseph Le Page


I practiced Adho Merudanda Mudra for 10 –20 breaths as a tool to bring awareness to the lower abdominal and navel segment of my body.  I noticed the lack of tone in my stomach that is making my back work to hard.  I also noticed my tendency to lean forward and that I have a hard time sitting up straight.  My stomach felt empty and healthy besides the lack of strength.  Maybe this strength - a solar plexus issue - extends beyond my stomach to all avenues in my life where I need to develop my strength.  I have a tendency not too chew food enough and eat to fast which is hard on my stomach.  I think my stomach is asking for strength, support and care as we age together.  I have been doing some barre classes to work on this area.  Yoga Barre really shows me how weak I am in my core.  I will also go back to LaGree when I start working next week.  I promise to take care of my stomach and not ignore it like I have more so many years.



Adhi Mudra

"“Adhi” means foundation, which refers to its focus at the base of the body. It also means primordial, which refers to the source energy lying dormant in the base of the body and represents our latent potential for spiritual evolution. In Adhi Mudra, the thumbs, which represent the fire element, are held into the hands by the fingers, showing that the creative force is still held at the very base of the
body. Adhi Mudra, therefore, brings awareness and opening to the lower pelvis and the first two chakras. Its physiological focus is on the eliminatory system." - Joseph Le Page


I practiced Adhi Mudra for 10 – 20 breaths, bringing awareness to this lowest energetic segment of your body. I noticed the stillness and grounding of my body.  I also notice a soreness and tightness in my anus and the slight pain in the right side of my knee.  These are issues I have been experiencing lately some constipation and dehydration and some knee injury I triggered in yoga a couple of weeks ago.  I am working on my eliminatory system and strengthening the knee.  Today I am going to try to rest it because I think I have been pushing on it too hard.



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Dirgha Pranayama using Purna Svara Mudra.

Here is my exploration of Dirgha Pranayama using Purna Svara Mudra.


My experience:

My breathing feels strong and heavy in the belly.  It feels like breathing is moving from the chest to the belly with the weight in the belly. The breath almost seems to be asking for a pause in the belly. Feels like a curved breathing

Visualizations and Imagery:

I see a strong waterfall as I hold the mudra
I also see:
Strong waves of the Atlantic Ocean

Newport Avenue in Ventnor, New Jersey and the Bagel Place



Other Sensations:

The smell of the Ocean

My left tremor is activated and I am shaking in the Mudra



Here is what Joseph Le Page says about the mudra

"CORE QUALITY
Complete Breathing

ESPECIALLY HELPFUL FOR
• Facilitating Full Yogic Breathing, which may be helpful for respiratory conditions.
• Releasing tension from the entire torso.
• Supporting health and healing in all systems of the body.
• Integrating body, mind and spirit.

INSTRUCTIONS
1.       Touch the tip of the little finger of each hand to the base joint of the thumb.
2.       Touch the tip of the ring finger to the middle joint of the thumb.
3.       Touch the tip of the middle finger to the tip of the thumb.
4.       Rest the backs of the hands on the thighs or knees.
5.       Relax the shoulders back and down, with the spine naturally aligned.

Purna means "full" or "whole," and svara means "breath." Purna Svara refers to Dirgha Pranayama, Full Yogic Breathing. Purna Svara mudra naturally cultivates Full Yogic Breathing, which we experience as a wave of energy flowing throughout our entire torso. This complete breathing integrates the three areas of the torso (base, middle and top) and the three portions of the lungs (lower, middle and upper). This gesture releases tension from the abdomen, diaphragm, rib cage and the auxiliary muscles of respiration in the shoulders and neck, permitting freer breathing and enhanced lung capacity. The Full Yogic Breathing facilitated by Purna Svara mudra supports the health of all of the systems of the body.

Purna Svara mudra instills a sense of integration and harmony throughout our entire being. This integration is activated by the placement of the fingers along the thumb. The little fingertip pressed into the base of the thumb activates the breath in the lower body and the base of the lungs, and is associated with the Sthula sharira, the physical body. The ring fingertip pressed into the middle joint of the thumb activates the breath in the middle body and middle portion of the lungs, and is associated with the Sukshma sharira, the energy body. The middle fingertip, which touches the top of the thumb, activates the breath in the upper body and top of the lungs, and is associated with the Karana sharira, the causal body. The position of the fingers pressed against the thumb integrates the three bodies simultaneously while the extended index finger serves as a pointer to our true being, which encompasses and transcends all of them."

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Dirgha Pranayama without a mudra

I just completed 5 minutes of Dirga Pranayama with no mudra. I concentrated a lot on the breath moving from the belly to the ribs and then up to the collar bones.  It felt very good.  My wander a little but not terribly.  When I focused on visually the breath I really felt at one with the meditation.

Joseph Le Page on Dirgha Pranayama

In Sanskrit, dirgha means “to lengthen.” Dirgha pranayama is a basic preparatory practice that forms the foundation of healthy breathing. The three-part breath is actually a family of breaths. Depending on how the breath is performed, it will become more cooling (langhana) or energizing (brahmana).
These basic breath awareness practices should be mastered before moving on to the other pranayamas.

The first step in working with three-part breath is to develop awareness in each of the
main breathing areas.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Poisonous Playmates - Artist's Way/Week 2 – Recovering a Sense of Identity

What are Poisonous Playmates? 

"Not surprisingly, the most poisonous playmates for us as recovering creatives are people whose creativity is still blocked. Our recovery threatens them. As long as we were blocked, we often felt that it was arrogance and self-will to speak of ourselves as creative artists. . . . Your blocked friends may still be indulging in all these comforting self-delusions. If they are having trouble with your recovery, they are still getting a payoff from remaining blocked. Perhaps they still get an anorectic high from the martyrdom of being blocked or they still collect sympathy and wallow in self-pity. Perhaps they still feel smug thinking about how much more creative they could be than those who are out there doing it. These are toxic behaviors for you now. Do not expect your blocked friends to applaud your recovery. That’s like expecting your best friends from the bar to celebrate your sobriety. How can they when their own drinking.



Blocked friends may find your recovery disturbing. Your getting unblocked raises the unsettling possibility that they, too, could become unblocked and move into authentic creative risks rather than bench-sitting cynicism. Be alert to subtle sabotage from friends. 

You cannot afford their well-meaning doubts right now. Their doubts will reactivate your own. Be particularly alert to any suggestion that you have become selfish or different. (These are red-alert words for us. They are attempts to leverage us back into our old ways for the sake of someone else’s comfort, not our own.) 

Blocked creatives are easily manipulated by guilt. Our friends, feeling abandoned by our departure from the ranks of the blocked, may unconsciously try to guilt-trip us into giving up our newly healthy habits. It is very important to understand that the time given to morning pages is time between you and God. You best know your answers. You will be led to new sources of support as you begin to support yourself. Be very careful to safeguard your newly recovering artist. 



Often, creativity is blocked by our falling in with other people’s plans for us. We want to set aside time for our creative work, but we feel we should do something else instead. As blocked creatives, we focus not on our responsibilities to ourselves, but on our responsibilities to others. We tend to think such behavior makes us good people. It doesn’t. It makes us frustrated people. The essential element in nurturing our creativity lies in nurturing ourselves. 

Through self-nurturance we nurture our inner connection to the Great Creator. Through this connection our creativity will unfold. Paths will appear for us. We need to trust the Great Creator and move out in faith. Repeat: the Great Creator has gifted us with creativity. Our gift back is our use of it. Do not let friends squander your time. Be gentle but firm, and hang tough. 

The best thing you can do for your friends is to be an example through your own recovery. Do not let their fears and second thoughts derail you. Soon enough, the techniques you learn will enable you to teach others. Soon enough, you will be a bridge that will allow others to cross over from self-doubt into self-expression. 

For right now, protect your artist by refusing to show your morning pages to interested bystanders or to share your artist date with friends. Draw a sacred circle around your recovery. Give yourself the gift of faith. Trust that you are on the right track. You are. As your recovery progresses, you will come to experience a more comfortable faith in your creator and your creator within. You will learn will that it is actually easier to write than not write, paint than not paint, and so forth. You will learn to enjoy the process of being a creative channel and to surrender your need to control the result. You will discover the joy of practicing your creativity. The process, not the product, will become your focus. Your own healing is the greatest message of hope for others.

(Excerpt from Cameron, Julia. The Artist's Way (Kindle Locations 1092-1095). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition)


Do you have friends who are jealous of your creative work? Do you avoid them?

Right now I can't think of anyone like that but for many years I had people in my life like that especially other decorators who were very jealous of my career.
- How did you get that job.
- I am jealous of you.
- You are so lucky

I had a best friend how was jealous of my career, looks and age.  She was even jealous of my other friends and husband.  And somehow I felt like I needed her and felt lost without her.  But I feel like I have moved past that part of my life.

Attention - The Artist's Way - Week 2

"Very often, a creative block manifests itself as an addiction to fantasy. Rather than working or living the now, we spin our wheels and indulge in daydreams of could have, would have, should have. One of the great misconceptions about the artistic life is that it entails great swathes of aimlessness. The truth is that a creative life involves great swathes of attention. Attention is a way to connect and survive."

". . . The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight. The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention."

"The reward for attention is always healing. It may begin as the healing of a particular pain—the lost lover, the sickly child, the shattered dream. But what is healed, finally, is the pain that underlies all pain: the pain that we are all, as Rilke phrases it, “unutterably alone.” More than anything else, attention is an act of connection."

(Excerpts from  Cameron, Julia. The Artist's Way (Kindle Locations 1261-1262). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. )

Skepticism

The inner enemy we harbor in ourselves is skepticism. "ourselves. Perhaps the greatest barrier for any of us as we look for an expanded life is our own deeply held skepticism. This might be called the secret doubt. It does not seem to matter whether we are officially believers or agnostics. We have our doubts about all of this creator/creativity stuff, and those doubts are very powerful. Unless we air them, they can sabotage us. Many times, in trying to be good sports we stuff our feelings of doubt. We need to stop doing that and explore them instead."

The reason we think it’s weird to imagine an unseen helping hand is that we still doubt that it’s okay for us to be creative. With this attitude firmly entrenched, we not only look all gift horses in the mouth but also swat them on the rump to get them out of our lives as fast as possible."

"Now that we are in creative recovery, there is another approach we need to try. To do this, we gently set aside our skepticism—for later use, if we need it—and when a weird idea or coincidence whizzes by, we gently nudge the door a little further open.

Setting skepticism aside, even briefly, can make for very interesting explorations. In creative recovery, it is not necessary that we change any of our beliefs. It is necessary that we examine them.

More than anything else, creative recovery is an exercise in open-mindedness. Again, picture your mind as that room with the door slightly ajar. Nudging the door open a bit more is what makes for open-mindedness. Begin, this week, to consciously practice opening your mind."

(Excerpt from Cameron, Julia. The Artist's Way (Kindle Location 1208). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. )

CRAZYMAKERS

"Crazymakers are those personalities that create storm centers. They are often charismatic, frequently charming, highly inventive, and powerfully persuasive. And, for the creative person in their vicinity, they are enormously destructive. You know the type: charismatic but out of control, long on problems and short on solutions. Crazymakers are the kind of people who can take over your whole life. To fixer-uppers, they are irresistible: so much to change, so many distractions....

If you are involved with a crazymaker, you probably know it already, and you certainly recognize the thumbnail description in the paragraph above. Crazymakers like drama. If they can swing it, they are the star. Everyone around them functions as supporting cast, picking up their cues, their entrances and exits, from the crazymaker’s (crazy) whims.

Some of the most profoundly destructive crazymakers I have ever encountered are themselves famous artists. They are the kind of artists that give the rest of us bad names. Often larger than life, they acquire that status by feeding on the life energies of those around them. For this reason, many of the most crazy artists in America are found surrounded by a cadre of supporters as talented as they are but determined to subvert their own talent in the service of the Crazymaking King. Learn to get in touch with the silence within

Crazymakers break deals and destroy schedules. They show up two days early for your wedding and expect to be waited on hand and foot. They rent a vacation cabin larger and more expensive than the one agreed upon, and then they expect you to foot the bill.

Crazymakers expect special treatment. They suffer a wide panoply of mysterious ailments that require care and attention whenever you have a deadline looming—or anything else that draws your attention from the crazymaker’s demands.

The crazymaker cooks her own special meal in a house full of hungry children—and does nothing to feed the kids. The crazymaker is too upset to drive right after he has vented enormous verbal abuse on the heads of those around him. “I am afraid Daddy will have a heart attack,” the victim starts thinking, instead of, “How do I get this monster out of my house?”

Crazymakers discount your reality. No matter how important your deadline or how critical your work trajectory at the moment, crazymakers will violate your needs. They may act as though they hear your boundaries and will respect them, but in practice act is the operative word. Crazymakers are the people who call you at midnight or 6:00 A.M. saying, “I know you asked me not to call you at this time, but ...”

Crazymakers are the people who drop by unexpectedly to borrow something you can’t find or don’t want to lend them. Even better, they call and ask you to locate something they need, then
fail to pick it up. “I know you’re on a deadline,” they say, “but this will only take a minute.” Your minute.

Crazymakers spend your time and money. If they borrow your car, they return it late, with an empty tank. Their travel arrangements always cost you time or money. They demand to be met in the middle of your workday at an airport miles from town. “I didn’t bring taxi money,” they say when confronted with, “But I’m working.”

Crazymakers triangulate those they deal with. Because crazymakers thrive on energy (your energy),energy), they set people against one another in order to maintain their own power position dead center. (That’s where they can feed most directly on the negative energies they stir up.) “So-and-so was telling me you didn’t get to work on time today,” a crazymaker may relay. You obligingly get mad at so-and-so and miss the fact that the crazymaker has used hearsay to set you off kilter emotionally.

Crazymakers are expert blamers. Nothing that goes wrong is ever their fault, and to hear them tell it, the fault is usually yours. “If you hadn’t cashed that child-support check it would never have bounced,” one crazymaking ex-husband told his struggling-for-serenity former spouse.

Crazymakers create dramas—but seldom where they belong.

Crazymakers are often blocked creatives themselves. Afraid to effectively tap their own creativity, they are loath to allow that same creativity in others. It makes them jealous. It makes them threatened. It makes them dramatic—at your expense.

Devoted to their own agendas, crazymakers impose these agendas on others. In dealing with a crazymaker, you are dealing always with the famous issue of figure and ground. In other words, whatever matters to you becomes trivialized into mere backdrop for the crazymaker’s personal plight. “Do you think he/she loves me?” they call you to ask when you are trying to pass the bar exam or get your husband home from the hospital.

Crazymakers hate schedules—except their own. In the hands of a crazymaker, time is a primary tool for abuse. If you claim a certain block of time as your own, your crazymaker will find a way to fight you for that time, to mysteriously need things (meaning you) just when you need to be alone and focused on the task at hand. “I stayed up until three last night. I can’t drive the kids to school,” the crazymaker will spring on you the morning you yourself must leave early for a business breakfast with your boss.

Crazymakers hate order. Chaos serves their purposes. When you begin to establish a place that serves you and your creativity, your crazymaker will abruptly invade that space with projects of his/her own. “What are all these papers, all this laundry on top of my work table?” you ask. “I decided to sort my college papers ... to start looking for the matches for my socks...”

Crazymakers deny that they are crazymakers. They go for the jugular. “I am not what’s making you crazy,” your crazymaker may say when you point out a broken promise or a piece of sabotage. “It’s just that we have such a rotten sex life.”

If crazymakers are that destructive, what are we doing involved with them? The answer, to be brief but brutal, is that we’re that crazy ourselves and we are that self-destructive. Really? Yes. As blocked creatives, we are willing to go to almost any lengths to remain blocked.

As frightening and abusive as life with a crazymaker is, we find it far less threatening than the challenge of a creative life of our own. What would happen then? What would we be like? Very often, we fear that if we let ourselves be creative, we will become crazymakers ourselves and abuse those around us. Using this fear as our excuse, we continue to allow others to abuse us.

If you are involved now with a crazymaker, it is very important that you admit this fact. Admit that you are being used—and admit that you are using your own abuser. Your crazymaker is a block you chose yourself, to deter you from your own trajectory. As much as you are being exploited by your crazymaker, you, too, are using that person to block your creative flow.

If you are involved in a tortured tango with a crazymaker, stop dancing to his/her tune. Pick up a book on codependency or get yourself to a twelve-step program for relationship addiction. (Al-Anon and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous are two excellent programs for stopping the crazymaker’s dance.) The next time you catch yourself saying or thinking, “He/ she is driving me crazy!” ask yourself what creative work you are trying to block by your involvement.

(excerpt from Cameron, Julia. The Artist's Way (Kindle Locations 1187-1192). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Exploration of 5 Hasta Mudras

I did one Hasta Mudra at a time.  I didn't have an transcendental experiences or visualizations like usually just feeling of parts of the body.

ASCENT

1) Pinky fingers touching  - KANISTHA MUDRA
- feel in my belly

What is is supposed to activate:
• Deepening our sense of embodiment and connection to the earth.
• The health of the skeletal system.
• Reducing stress and high blood pressure.
• Supporting balanced elimination.


2) Ring Fingers -  ANAMIKA MUDRA
- feel in my chest

What is is supposed to activate:
• Cultivating self-healing.
• Supporting the health of the reproductive and urinary systems.
• Developing healthy intimate relationships.
• Overcoming addictions and codependency.

3) Middle Finger - MADHYAMA MUDRA
- feel in my chest and my throat

What it is supposed to activate:
• Stabilizing our level of energy.
• Supporting optimal digestion.
• Releasing tension from the mid back.
• Balancing giving and receiving.
• Unfolding all of our potential.


4) Index Finger - TARJANI MUDRA
- feel in my shoulders and my left back

What it supposed to activate:
• Opening the subtle heart.
 • Releasing constriction from the chest.
• Expanding breath capacity.
• Enhancing enthusiasm, which may be helpful for depression.

5) Thumbs - ANGUSTHA MUDRA
- left middle back and upper left arm

What it is supposed to activate:
• Receiving inner guidance and expressing it clearly in the world.
• Releasing tension from the shoulders, throat and neck.
• Aligning the cervical spine.
• Supporting the health of the thyroid.
• Enhancing speaking and singing.

DESCENT
4) Index Fingers - TARJANI MUDRA
- Stomach
- Left middle back and chest

What it supposed to activate:
• Opening the subtle heart.
 • Releasing constriction from the chest.
• Expanding breath capacity.
• Enhancing enthusiasm, which may be helpful for depression.


3) Middle Fingers - MADHYAMA MUDRA
- feel in my chest and left middle back

What it is supposed to activate:
• Stabilizing our level of energy.
• Supporting optimal digestion.
• Releasing tension from the mid back.
• Balancing giving and receiving.
• Unfolding all of our potential.

2) Ring Finger - ANAMIKA MUDRA
- Feel in my chest stomach and left middle back

What is is supposed to activate:
• Cultivating self-healing.
• Supporting the health of the reproductive and urinary systems.
• Developing healthy intimate relationships.
• Overcoming addictions and codependency.


1)Pinky Fingers - KANISTHA MUDRA
- Feel in my heart

What is is supposed to activate:
• Deepening our sense of embodiment and connection to the earth.
• The health of the skeletal system.
• Reducing stress and high blood pressure.
• Supporting balanced elimination.

Thumbs Interlaced - Angustha Mudra Variation

In this Angustha mudra meditation my thumbs are interlocked.

THOUGHTS/VISUALIZATIONS IN THE MEDITATION (I record myself meditation and speak aloud as images and thoughts come to me)
- Putting pressure on interlocked thumbs
- Mind was on the breathwork
-  Whale with a spout it is out of a comic book it is not a real whale.


- It is not in water it is more in the sky and there is smoke coming out of its blow hole.




- My mind won't quiet down.
- I see some grass moving in the wind


- I see a smoking pipe


- Rooftop in Calcutta with the guy cleaning the pictures and the smells of gasoline

WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN TO ME

This whale that is in the clouds blowing smoke out of its blow hole is really interesting.  Initially,  it felt like an expansion of the crown chakra.


But with more thought and research I think it is about the 6th chakra, the nose and the breath.   According to wikipedia, "In cetology, a blowhole is the hole at the top of a Cetacean's head through which the animal breathes air. It is homologous with the nostril of other mammals. As whales reach the water surface to breathe, they will forcefully expel air through the blowhole. The exhalation is released into the comparably lower-pressure, colder atmosphere, and any water vapor condenses. This spray, known as the blow, is often visible from far away as a white splash, which can also be caused by water resting on top of the blowhole.

Air sacs just below the blowhole allow whales to produce sounds for communication and (for those species capable of it) echolocation. These air sacs are filled with air, which is then released again to produce sound in a similar fashion to releasing air from a balloon. When whales dive under water their nasal plug covers the nasal passage to the blowhole. The muscles controlling the nasal plug are relaxed during this time, but when the whale comes up for air these muscles contract and allow for the blowhole to be opened and the process of exhalation and inhalation to occur.[1]"

In the meditation I was focused on the breathing, I saw a smoking pipe, and the whale and the blow hole.  All of these things seem to connect to the breath and the nose.

WHALE SYMBOLISM
http://www.pure-spirit.com/more-animal-symbolism/509-whale-symbolism

"Whales are creatures that were honored and worshiped by some peoples, like the South American Nasca and the Native American peoples of the Pacific Coast.  Others relentlessly hunted the whales, some nearly to extinction.  Inupiaq legend from the Arctic region recounts how the Great Spirit created the most perfect animal, the bow whale.  In their culture, the whale was treated with great respect and hunters had to go through initiation rites just to be able to hunt them.  In these rites, the hunter had to touch the whale all over and assimilate its spirit, medicine, and pain.  Europeans also had great respect for whales, because they considered them to be symbols of the world, the body, and the grave.  Whales were symbolic of the ocean, a foreign environment that was vital, and what’s more, fatal to men.

Whales seen swimming are a sign of good luck for many peoples, while a beached whale meant ill tidings for the entire community, even disease, since a decaying corpse could spread sickness.

Whales are associated with compassion and solitude, and knowledge of both life and death.  They are also associated with unbridled creativity.  The exhalation through the blowhole symbolizes the freeing of one’s own creative energies.  Sound is also a creative force of life.  Whales use sonar and echo-location, linking them to the tutelage of direction and response to feedback.  Though whales are symbolic of free use of creativity, they are also teachers of how to use creative energies more conservatively."

WHAT THE SYMBOLISM MEANS TO ME
- I feel like I am finding my voice in my present solitude.  I am moving away from everyone else's teachings and expectations and piecing together who I am.


WHAT THE MUDRA IS ABOUT ACCORDING TO JOSEPH LE PAGE

CORE QUALITY
Inner Listening 

ESPECIALLY HELPFUL FOR
• Receiving inner guidance and expressing it clearly in the world.
• Releasing tension from the shoulders, throat and neck.
• Aligning the cervical spine.
• Supporting the health of the thyroid.
• Enhancing speaking and singing.

Angushtha is the "thumb," and Angushtha mudra joins the tips of the thumbs together to direct breath, awareness and energy into the uppermost parts of the chest, collarbones, throat and neck. The enhanced breathing and awareness in these areas helps release tension from the shoulders, throat and neck. As tension is released, this gesture supports correct alignment of the cervical spine, alleviating one of the possible causes of neck pain. Angushtha mudra activates the uppermost current of Udana vayu, nourishing the nervous and endocrine systems, as well as the senses. As this gesture enhances the flow of breath and energy to the neck, circulation is increased to the area of the thyroid gland, supporting balanced metabolism.

Angushtha mudra activates the space element, Akasha, whose qualities include expansion, limitlessness and an opening to the subtle energies of our being. Opening to our subtle dimension supports us in cultivating the qualities of non-attachment, spiritual purification and clear communication. As this gesture releases tension from the throat and neck, energetic blockages are released, allowing Vishuddha chakra, our center of spiritual purification, to open naturally. This opening enhances our power of inner listening, allowing us to receive the messages that guide our life journey. Angushtha mudra also supports the awakening of our inner voice,"


Although for Joseph Le Page this mudra is for the 5th Chakra for me it is more for the 6th chakra.  I did feel connected to many things this mudra is supposed to do like Inner Listening, Flow of Breath, the Space element, and opening of subtle energies.  The gasoline that the guy used to clean the pictures from the lineage feels very much like it could link to spiritual purification.  And the releasing of smoke from the whale to energetic blockages being released.

The fact that the whale is in the sky and blowing smoke not water is very much connection to the space element. Akasha is sometimes translated as sky.

"Ākāśa (आकाश, “ether”):—One of the five gross elements assigned as a zone (or sphere) to the human body (bhūtamaṇḍala), according the Yogatattva-upaniṣad. The element ether is seated between the eyebrows and the crown of the head. Ether is represented by a circle (vṛtta), a smoky or grey colour (dhūmra) and the syllable ha (ह). The deity presiding over this region is Sadāśiva."https://www.wisdomlib.org/definition/ākāśa


LAST TIME I DID THIS MEDITATION BUT WITH THUMBS TOUCHING NOT INTERLACED

I saw:

They Jersey Shore

Old Italian Man who used to sit on Newport Avenue and tell me stories about the diving show

I have tears in my eyes

My grandmother's gray hair

The boardwalk 

Him in the bathroom

Stain on the sheets

Camels

Southern Tip of Africa

Tall tall sails

Long Beach-Naples Canals at Christmas

Spaghetti

Daki Miao's hair

Walking streets of Paris with Benedikt

Lying on the bed sick in Greece

So many lies

Insight LA on Sunday morning

My brother

My brother playing monopoly and throwing up the board

I can only say this time was very different much more abstract.

Variation Tarjani Mudra - Fingers Interlaced

I worked in meditation with the index finger interlaced with resistance in this variation of a Tarjani mudra. This picture shows the index fingers pointing at each other so just imagine them interlaced.  I will try to put up a picture later.



MY THOUGHTS DURING MEDITATION
- Most comfortable with it positioned between the heart and the sternum with shoulders winging in.
- I see a Monarch butterfly making all kinds of spiraling movements


- It's hard for me to get comfortable using this mudra
- A brown bear with a fish in it's mouth.  The fish is a silver and the bear is on a stony landscape next to water.




- A ballet dancer spinning on her toes in a studio that looks like a Degas painting


- A brown bear again - grizzly bear - walking and walking with the fish in it's mouth


This is what the Mudra is supposed to be about according to the book Mudras for Transformation and Healing:

"Tarjani is the "index finger," and Tarjani mudra brings the tips of the index fingers together to direct breath, awareness and energy to the chest, heart and lungs, instilling a sense of expansion and openness. This gesture expands the rib cage on all four sides, optimizing breath capacity and releasing muscular tension from the thoracic area. The opening of the chest facilitated by this gesture supports the optimal functioning of the cardio-respiratory system. This mudra also creates a massaging effect in the area of the thymus gland, supporting the health of the immune system. Tarjani mudra activates the air element, Vayu, cultivating the qualities of lightness, gracefulness, ease and sensitivity.

This gesture also activates the upward moving current of Prana vayu, instilling a sense of enthusiasm and uplifting energy. Tarjani mudra supports the awakening of Anahata chakra, releasing energetic blockages from the chest, side ribs and upper back. This release enhances our ability to welcome feelings more easily, creating an open space in which our heart's essential qualities unfold naturally. These qualities include self-acceptance, gratitude, compassion and communion with all beings. As these qualities unfold, they naturally lead to the awakening of unconditional love, which unites all of them into a harmonious symphony."

CORE QUALITY
Opening the Heart

ESPECIALLY HELPFUL FOR
• Opening the subtle heart.
• Releasing constriction from the chest.
• Expanding breath capacity.
• Enhancing enthusiasm, which may be helpful for depression."


HOW DOES THIS INFORMATION RELATE TO WHAT I FELT

Air element seems like it relates to the monarch butterfly swirling, the dancer spinning and the grizzly bear walking.  The swirling and the spinning seem like a kind of freedom or release.

This is where the Thymus Gland is on a human it seems close to wear the fish was hanging on the bear. As if the fish was pointing to the Thymus Gland.



I am not sure why the bear is walking with the fish? Where is the bear going? Here is an answer from
http://animal-symbols.com/bear-symbol.html

"The bear is a symbol for strength, courage and tenacity. . . . Being a unique animal and off wide rage, bear symbol is extremely popular in legends of many cultures around the world including those of Asian myths, North American and European. The animal is an omnivorous creature like human beings because it eats roots, nuts, honey, berries, bird’s eggs and grasses. The bear hunts for fish and both small and large game. The bear occupies the same ecological niche with man and competed for shelter in caves making the bear similar with the early man. The similarity also comes because the bears tend to stand on their hind legs like man when aggressive or when threatened.

The early man started identifying with the bear for several reasons because from the early times when men were hunters and gatherers, they respected and feared the bear and at times even worshiped it because despite being a predator, it had power, strength and was furious. In many indigenous stories, the animal was seen as a transformed human that was a close intimate of humans. The Shamans and animist believe that bear is a powerful totem or spirit and when seen in people’s dreams, the animals are seen to be the guides from the spirits. People tend to emulate the virtue of the female bear because it is admirable seeing her protect her cub and their claws and teeth are used as amulets, decorations and talismans so as to stir up the powers of the bear. Bear symbols and tattoos also tend to serve similar functions.

In addition to this, bear is a symbol of wisdom for the Lakota Sioux, spirit keeper for the Chippewa and introspection and strength. The bear has been associated with ferocity, diplomacy and healing powers. The Haida associate bear to an elder kinsman and when killed it is believed to be a high ranking guest. Many believe that as a wise creature, it gains wisdom through its winter incubation and it bears a symbol of maternal protection. It is still seen as a great warrior and the male is associated with King Arthur, it symbolizes great power under control, with claws significantly displayed on crests or on shields."

Reading this may mean to me I have taken a lot of time off of work to do all this yoga training and now I am ready to come out of the cave an eat.  I also want to share my knowledge.  Maybe that's why the bear is walking with the fish. S/he is taking it to someone.

MONARCH BUTTERFLY SYMBOLISM



http://www.wildspeak.com/animalenergies/monarchbutterfly.html

"Keywords: Life is short. Fleeting moments. Transformation. Internal and external change. Personal change. Looking for sweetness. Herb magic. Flower magic. Celebrating beauty. Travel and migration. Moving to new places. Enjoying the journey. Outside of harmful or negative influence. Rhythm. Reincarnation. 

General Description: . . .  It is a toxic insect, notable for its bright orange, black and white colouration. . . . The monarch butterfly experiences metamorphosis, giving birth to eggs which then hatch to reveal caterpillars, which grow and weave a silk chrysalis which - over time - opens to reveal the mature butterfly. Monarchs are strong fliers and will often cluster in colder seasons in the thousands on a single branch. In Australia they are not considered a pest, though they are feral. 

Lessons and Challenges: The monarch butterfly teaches us that life is short, and that it must be valued. Assuming that we have decades of our lives left (or at the very least, years) is all well and good for things like economic planning, but it is through recognising the fleetingness of human existence that we come to value every day, even those which get us down or which are hard to appreciate. 

Monarch butterfly asks you to consciously look at what you have gained that is valuable in each day, and even to write the things that you are grateful for down. If you are in a position where you can think of nothing to be grateful for, monarch butterfly is a guide willing to open your eyes to the beauty and gift of life once more. It is through this that monarch butterfly teaches us how to look for sweetness and light in our lives. 

Have you ever had one of those moments that felt perfect? Where, despite what was going on in your life, everything seemed to come together in one fleeting moment of contentment, happiness and perfection? Monarch butterfly teaches us that all of life is made up of striving for and increasing the number of these moments that we experience, and shows us how to better value and focus on these fleeting moments. Do you remember the last time you had one? Where you were when it happened? If you can't remember one, it might be time to seek one out again through looking for enjoyable experiences. 

It is time to enjoy the journey and put aside the destination. It's not about where you will be 'tomorrow' or in a year's time, it is about valuing where you are now, even if you haven't reached your destination yet. Remember that there is as much wisdom and joy to gain on the way to an imagined or real destination, as there is at the destination itself.

.  . . Monarch butterfly indicates themes of travel and migration, even as much as moving to new places. In Australia, short-term travel is indicated, such as journeys to new places, or even taking new commutes to work or back to your home. In other parts of the world the presence of monarch butterfly asks you to genuinely consider whether you are living in the best place right now, or alternatively, if it's worth a change of scenery to get you back in touch with nature and the rhythms of the earth. 

. . . Themes of reincarnation may be present. The monarch butterfly introduces us to concepts of reincarnation and, if we are believers, asks us to invest some more time into thinking about our beliefs regarding rebirth and spiritual transformation across lifetimes. 

. . . All butterflies (and moths) teach the power of transformation, and their presence in your life can be extremely empowering. They teach people how to proactively seize their own individual opportunities for growth and metamorphosis. At this time, you have great opportunity for phenomenal internal and external changes and transformations. Monarch butterfly particularly signals a time for personal change and internal change, emphasising changes of perspective and how we perceive our place in the world and our contentment within it. 

The Shadow Aspects: Those who dislike or even fear monarch butterfly may find that they are unable to appreciate the simple things in life. They may feel that life passes them by too quickly, or they may be too cynical or unfocused to truly appreciate the small joys that find us everyday - no matter what is happening around us or to us. Monarch butterfly comes into your life to challenge you to take the time to find joy and thankfulness in your life, no matter if your health is shot, or you're so busy you rarely feel you have time to do anything at all. Make the time, or find small moments to do nothing and appreciate simply existing. Life is short, value it. 

Monarch butterfly challenges you to accept that journeys are necessary in your life. These might be literal or spiritual journeys, but they are needful. It is important that you find enjoyment in your day to day, and lifelong journeys. The fact is, life will always throw difficulty at us, but monarch butterfly tells us to take a step back from that and enjoy life. We are protected from harmful influence if we choose to accept monarch butterfly's energy. Accept travel, migration, journeying and change, they are beautiful parts of your life. 

Communion: 

Like all animal helpers, this animal will only appear when right and appropriate, and cannot be forced to visit you, commune with you, or share messages with you. Butterflies, due to their very nature, tend to have quite fleeting energy and are more common as short-term guides. That said, their presence in the short-term remains profound and presents a potential for transformation, joy and growth. 

Butterfly is a gentle teacher, and will try to transmit significant lessons simply through its quiet, unassuming presence in gardens, or even if you simply happen to see one while walking somewhere or going about your business. Butterfly is not highly communicative, letting its lifestyle and way of life speak for itself. Offerings of flowers, bundles of herbs and colourful ornaments are appreciated by butterfly, but the best way to honour Monarch butterfly, I feel, is to find and seek out more joyful, perfect moments within your life."

I think I will interpret the monarch butterfly spiraling as me spiraling and sometimes regretting or question my decision to become a Yoga Therapist. Right now I am planning to go back to work instead of going to Kripalu and finish my training.  I feel burned out and disappointed. I don't know how yet to make this Yoga Therapy thing work.  I have transformed yet I cannot find my place and am ready to take a break and regroup before trying again.

WHAT DID I SEE LAST TIME I USED THIS MUDRA?

Gentle raindrops
The heart beat
The color green
Green grass
Sun and wind
Easter Eggs, bunnies
Feel the earth like an egg
See the cross and the fish
A salty wind at the ocean
A black muscle with a beard
Footprints in the sand
deer, antelope and gazelle
Plains of Africa
A locket
Pushkar in India
The tube that was mailed to me with the art work inside
Figure drawing
Him

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THIS TIME AND LAST TIME

I think the similarities between fingers touching and fingers interlocked is the fish.  Last time it was the Easter fish and this time it is a fish in the jaws of a bear.

http://dreammoods.com/cgibin/dreamdictionarysearch.pl?method=exact&header=dreamsymbol&search=fish

"To see a dead fish signifies disappointment and loss of power/wealth."

This makes sense to me because I feel disappointed I can't make a living in yoga. I also feel disappointed that IYT was bought by Kripalu and I have to do all the rest of the training there.  I was also disappointed in my trip to India.  I am disappointed to myself that I was a little foolish about the Yoga Therapy.


Core Negative Beliefs About Creativity - The Artist's Way

Question – The author lists various core negative beliefs about creativity. Which are yours?



I can’t be a successful, prolific, creative artist because:

1. Everyone will hate me.
2. I will hurt my friends and family.
3. I will go crazy.
4. I will abandon my friends and family.
5. I can’t spell.
6. I don’t have good enough ideas.
7. It will upset my mother and/or father.
8. I will have to be alone.
9. I will find out I am gay (if straight).
10. I will be struck straight (if gay).
11. I will do bad work and not know it and look like a fool.
12. I will feel too angry.
13. I will never have any real money.
14. I will get self-destructive and drink, drug, or sex myself to death.
15. I will get cancer, AIDS—or a heart attack or the plague.
16. My lover will leave me. 17. I will die.
18. I will feel bad because I don’t deserve to be successful.
19. I will have only one good piece of work in me.
20. It’s too late. If I haven’t become a fully functioning artist yet, I never will.

I think the ones I relate to the most are 13) I will never have enough money and 20) It's  is too late.  I am too old.

PERMISSION TO BE A BEGINNER - ARTIST"S WAY

QUESTION – The author talks about giving yourself permission to be a beginner. Do you grant yourself that permission? 


"Remember, your artist is a child. Find and protect that child. Learning to let yourself create is like learning to walk. The artist child must begin by crawling. Baby steps will follow and there will be falls—yecchy first paintings, beginning films that look like unedited home movies, first poems that would shame a greeting card.


 . . Judging your early artistic efforts is artist abuse. This happens in any number of ways: beginning work is measured against the masterworks of other artists; beginning work is exposed to premature criticism, shown to overly critical friends. In short, the fledgling artist behaves with well-practiced masochism. Masochism is an art form long ago mastered, perfected during the years of self-reproach.


 . .(it is) necessary to go gently and slowly. What we are after here is the healing of old wounds—not the creation of new ones. No high jumping, please! Mistakes are necessary! Stumbles are normal. These are baby steps. Progress, not perfection, is what we should be asking of ourselves. . .Too far, too fast, and we can undo ourselves. Creative recovery is like marathon training. We want to log ten slow miles for every one fast mile. This can go against the ego’s grain. We want to be great—immediately great—but that is not how recovery works. It is an awkward, tentative, even embarrassing process. There will be many times when we won’t look good—to ourselves or anyone else. We need to stop demanding that we do. It is impossible to get better and look good at the same time."


Shadow Artists - The Artist's Way

p. 27 – The author discusses people who abandon their creativity and become “shadow artists.” Can you describe the characteristics of shadow artists? Would you be able to recognize one if you saw these characteristics in a client ? 



":Too intimidated to become artists themselves, very often too low in self-worth to even recognize that they have an artistic dream, these people become shadow artists instead. Artists themselves but ignorant of their true identity, shadow artists are to be found shadowing declared artists. Unable to recognize that they themselves may possess the creativity they so admire, they often date or marry people who actively pursue the art career they themselves secretly long for. . . Artists love other artists. Shadow artists are gravitating to their rightful tribe but cannot yet claim their birthright. Very often audacity, not talent, makes one person an artist and another a shadow artist—hiding in the shadows, afraid to step out and expose the dream to the light, fearful that it will disintegrate to the touch. 

Shadow artists often choose shadow careers—those close to the desired art, even parallel to it, but not the art itself. Noting their venom, François Truffaut contended that critics were themselves blocked directors, as he had been when he was a critic. He may be right. Intended fiction writers often go into newspapering or advertising, where they can use their gift without taking the plunge into their dreamed-of fiction-writing career. Intended artists may become artist managers and derive a great deal of secondary pleasure from serving their dream even at one remove."

I would be able to recognize a shadow artist - they say things like - I wish I were you and - you are so creative - and I could never - when I was young I wanted to do that. 

I would notice is they were an artist manager or an AD or married to an artist. All those things would tip me off to a person being a Shadow Artist.

"It takes a great deal of ego strength to say to a well-meaning but domineering parent or a just plain domineering one, “Wait a minute! I am too an artist!” The dreaded response may come back, “How do you know?” And, of course, the fledgling artist does not know. There is just this dream, this feeling, this urge, this desire. There is seldom any real proof, but the dream lives on. As a rule of thumb, shadow artists judge themselves harshly, beating themselves for years over the fact that they have not acted on their dreams. This cruelty only reinforces their status as shadow artists. Remember, it takes nurturing to make an artist. Shadow artists did not receive sufficient nurturing. They blame themselves for not acting fearlessly anyhow. 
     In a twisted version of Darwinian determinism, we tell ourselves that real artists can survive the most hostile environments and yet find their true calling like homing pigeons. That’s hogwash. Many real artists bear children too early or have too many, are too poor or too far removed culturally or monetarily from artistic opportunity to become the artists they really are. These artists, shadow artists through no fault of their own, hear the distant piping of the dream but are unable to make their way through the cultural maze to find it."

And here is the problem with being a Shadow Artist?

"For all shadow artists, life may be a discontented experience, filled with a sense of missed purpose and unfulfilled promise. They want to write. They want to paint. They want to act, make music, dance ... but they are afraid to take themselves seriously."

What can we do and how can we help them? or ourselves?

"In order to move from the realm of shadows into the light of creativity, shadow artists must learn to take themselves seriously. With gentle, deliberate effort, they must nurture their artist child. Creativity is play, but for shadow artists, learning to allow themselves to play is hard work."

I remember a few times when I felt like a shadow artist.  I was in my early 20s working for the National Theater of the Deaf.  I was a manager of actors and I felt like I too was creative.  I was washing the costumes when I felt like I could equally have designed the costumes.  People reminded me that it wasn't my place, maybe I was too young, maybe I needed to wait my turn.  Any of these things but I didn't feel satisfied.  I, infact , felt jealous and resentful.

I remember having the same experience when I was working as a Shopper-Buyer.  I felt like I had more talent, ideas and energy than my boss.  I looked at her and became more and more angry. One day I wanted to push her down the stairs.  I realized then I needed to either quit and become the boss or go to jail for killing someone.  I decided to quit and that's when I started by career as a Decorator.

Art You Creatively Blocked? - The Artist's Way

Question – The author gives some clues to knowing if you are creatively blocked. Are you? How might you use these with a client

Julia Cameron writes "Many of us wish we were more creative. Many of us sense we are more creative, but unable to effectively tap that creativity. Our dreams elude us. Our lives feel somehow flat. Often, we have great ideas, wonderful dreams, but are unable to actualize them for ourselves. Sometimes we have specific creative longings we would love to be able to fulfill—learning to play the piano, painting, taking an acting class, or writing. Sometimes our goal is more diffuse. We hunger for what might be called creative living—an expanded expanded sense of creativity in our business lives, in sharing with our children, our spouse, our friends. . . . Many of us find that we have squandered our own creative energies by investing disproportionately in the lives, hopes, dreams, and plans of others. Their lives have obscured and detoured our own. As we consolidate a core through our withdrawal process, we becomem ore able to articulate our own boundaries, dreams, and authentic goals. Our personal flexibility increases while our malleability to the whims of others decreases. We experience a heightened sense of autonomy and possibility.. . How do you know if you are creatively blocked? Jealousy is an excellent clue. Are there artists whom you resent? Do you tell yourself, “I could do that, if only...” Do you tell yourself that if only you took your creative potential seriously, you might: 


• Stop telling yourself, “It’s too late.” 
• Stop waiting until you make enough money to do something you’d really love.
• Stop telling yourself, “It’s just my ego” whenever you yearn for a more creative life. 
• Stop telling yourself that dreams don’t matter, that they are only dreams and that you should be more sensible. 
• Stop fearing that your family and friends would think you crazy.
Stop telling yourself that creativity is a luxury and that you should be grateful for what you’ve got.


I find myself to be a very creative power.  My career is creative, my hobbies are creative and my world view is creative. I really feel that I am connected to a waterfall of creativity.

When I worked with clients using yoga, meditation and breathwork I try to see what really turns them on - where is their joy and bliss and that becomes what creativity means to me.  You don't need to have a paint brush to be creative, you can be a singer, a gardner, a comedian, a cook, a scrap booker any of these things.  You can live your life as creativity.  Just be open to trying.

I think it is important we take responsibility for our own creative and not let other people control it.  I see this a lot with actors.  Make your own pieces! Find other ways to get that creative feeling.  Don't stop being creative just because you aren't cast.


“Leap and the net will appear.” Julia Cameron

Julia Cameron writes "As you work with the tools in this book, as you undertake the weekly tasks, many changes will be set in motion. Chief among these changes will be the triggering of synchronicity: we change and the universe furthers and expands that change. I have an irreverent shorthand for this that I keep taped to my writing desk: “Leap, and the net will appear.” It is my experience both as an artist and as a teacher that when we move out on faith into the act of creation, the universe is able to advance. It is a little like opening the gate at the top of a field irrigation system. Once we remove the blocks,"

I do agree that if you leap the net will appear when you come from a place of integrity and authenticity.  I don't believe whatever you do you are protected and it will work out.  But I do believe when you are aligned with your higher purpose everything will work out as it should and that has happened to me many times.

.

Being A Suffering Artist - The Artist Way

Question -- The author talks about being a suffering artist. Have you experienced this? What might you say to a client who seems to be a suffering artist? 

I have bought into the idea you have to suffer to be an artist: Van Gogh not selling and cutting off his ear.  But right now I am not in that space.  I want to do well.  I want to succeed.  I want to travel and have friends and do what I want and have fun.

I would tell a client they don't have to suffer to be an artist  Making art can be a extremely creative beautiful experience leading to our wholeness and fulfillment. Let as celebrate with art!  Let's use the art to connect with our True Nature and the Divine. Let's use art and creativity as a spiritual experience one of ecstatic union.




"Creativity is an experience—to my eye, a spiritual experience. It does not matter which way you think of it: creativity leading to spirituality or spirituality leading to creativity. In fact, I do not make a distinction between the two. In the face of such experience, the whole question of belief is rendered obsolete. As Carl Jung answered the question of belief late in his life, “I don’t believe; I know.”

Cameron, Julia. The Artist's Way (Kindle Locations 346-347). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. 

Artist's Way - The Great Creator

Question  – The author presents the concept of the Great Creator. What is your view of this concept? Would you be willing to discuss this with a client?  



Julia Cameron writes in The Artist' Way" about the Great Creator:

"While using, teaching, and sharing tools I have found, devised, divined, and been handed, I have seen blocks dissolved and lives transformed by the simple process of engaging the Great Creator in discovering and recovering our creative powers. “The Great Creator? 

That sounds like some Native American god. That sounds too Christian, too New Age, too...” Stupid? Simple-minded? Threatening? ... I know. Think of it as an exercise in open-mindedness. Just think, “Okay, Great Creator, whatever that is,” and keep reading. Allow yourself to experiment with the idea there might be a Great Creator and you might get some kind of use from it in freeing your own creativity. Because The Artist’s Way is, in essence, a spiritual path, initiated and practiced through creativity, this book uses the word God. This may be volatile for some of you—conjuring old, unworkable, unpleasant, or simply unbelievable ideas about God as you were raised to understand “him.” Please be open-minded."

I believe in a higher power.  I don't think he is a white man in the sky with a beard but I do think the universe has a Life Force or Qi or Prana.  I believe in the Divine.  I often see this as the Mother.  Ma. Kali is very important to me right now but other times she has been Matangi, Saraswati or Tara.  I have done a lot of work with the moon goddesses, the lunar nityas and I believe there is an divine energy in the earth, sun and stars.  This divinity can also be found in us. Sometimes I call it Source.  I find the goddess a way to connect to the aspects of myself. My true nature or true self.



I would be able to discuss this with a client if I felt they were open to it.  But I don't think I would push it on them.  I was raised by atheists. So I know there is sensitivity about religion.  But if there was an opening I would ask people to look for the Divine or Source and I would say they can find that inside themselves, they don't need to look outside.  Sometimes it is hard to live life without the Divine because we found ourselves alone and often purposeless and lonely.

Julia Cameron Writes:

"Remind yourself that to succeed in this course, no god concept is necessary. In fact, many of our commonly held god concepts get in the way. Do not allow semantics to become one more block for you. When the word God is used in these pages, you may substitute the thought good orderly direction or flow. What we are talking about is a creative energy. God is useful shorthand for many of us, but so is Goddess, Mind, Universe, Source, and Higher Power.... The point is not what you name it. The point is that you try using it. For many of us, thinking of it as a form of spiritual electricity has been a very useful jumping-off place. . . Do not call it God unless that is comfortable for you. There seems to be no need to name it unless that name is a useful shorthand for what you experience. Do not pretend to believe when you do not. If you remain forever an atheist, agnostic—so be it. You will still be able to experience an altered life through working with these principles."

Monday, June 5, 2017

Madhyama Mudra - 3rd Fingers Interlaced

I worked with my 3rd finger interlaced with the hasta mudra.  This is a variation of  Madhyama Mudra.  It is used is Life Force Yoga for activation of the 3rd Chakra.

When I did the 5 minute variation of Madhyama Mudra with the finger interlaced I saw:

A Polar Bear walking on ice with a blue blue sky.


Swan on a blue lake



Bright directional white sunlight.


All these images had blues playing against white.  They were very beautiful and had a purity about them. Previously, when my fingers were pointing together in Madhyama Mudra my mediation had more stream of conscious thoughts. But  I saw many of the same if not similar things.  The finger interlaced seemed to have more of a specificity where when the fingers were pointing at each the visualizations were more general.

I saw snow when the fingers are interlaced which is similar to the ice I saw when the fingers touched each other.  I saw birds with wings flapping with the fingers pointing at each other and a swan when the fingers were interlaced.

In contrast, when the fingers pointed to each other, I saw twilight but with fingers interlaced I saw bright white sunlight.When the fingers pointed each other I saw a cool desert with the fingers interlaced I saw more variations of water with ice and snow.  I was more melancholy when the fingers were pointed at each other with thoughts of missed opportunities and disappointments.  I was closed to samadhi when the fingers were interlaced.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Yoga Postures and TMJ


The Temporomandibular Joint is ball and socket structure on either side of your head

The TMJ attaches the mandible and temporal bones to the skull and facilitates the opening and closing of the mouth, and lateral and rotation movements of the lower jaw.

TMJ disorders present as dental problems, teeth grinding, jaw injuries, whiplash, emotional stress and bad posture. These cause other pains and it gets difficult to diagnosis and treat.

Probable cause are: bad posture, especially while sleep or sitting, teeth grinding, arthritis, minor or major jaw trauma and misaligned teeth.

Prevention/Solution:
Massage, regular yoga practice,  Downward Facing Dog, bite guards


Medical System Recommendations: painkillers, corticosteroids, muscle relaxants, surgery as last resort

ACL vs PCL?

The ACL – One of the 4 major ligaments that provides stability to the knee joint.  It originates from deep within the notch of the distal femur.


The PCL is a front of the knee.



ACL injuries are common in people who play sports with changes in direction.  There is a twisting where knees end up going on way and feet another way. Examples: Football, Soccer.  The injury can range from partial to complete tears.



PCL injuries occur usually with direct impact that drives the tibia backward on upper thighbone (femur).  It can also happen with a sudden twist like in ACL injuries.


Recommended Therapeutic Yoga Poses for ACL injuries are:
Bridge, Bridge with Leg Lift, Warrior 2, Tree, Dandasana, Child’s Pose

ACL Treatment:
A) Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation
b) Anti-Inflammatories
C) Physical Therapy
D) Orthoscopic Surgery


PCL Treatment
A) R.I.C.E.
B) Anti-inflammatories
C) Physical Therapy
D) Quadriceps Exercises
E) Brace
F) Surgery

Difference between Sciatic and Piriformis Syndrome. What are the treatments of choice?

Sciatic and Piriformis Syndrome have different origin points.


Sciatic Nerve’s origin point is the top of the gluteal muscle.



Piriformis originates at the base of the spine and inserts at the top of the femur.




Different Places of Pain

Both Sciatic and Piriformis Syndromes are Inflammations.  Inflammation in Sciatica compresses sciatic nerve and sends radiating pain down the back of the leg either ending at the knee or the calf. Piriformis is an inflammation of the Piriformis muscle that presses on the sciatic nerve. Piriformis Syndrome pain is more localized in the hip and buttock compare to the Sciatica whose pain radiates down the leg.


Causes
Sciatic is caused by lower back pain, bulge in L-4 or L-5, pregnancy, and or inflammation of the hips and glutes.


Piriformis is caused by repetitive motion like that of a distance runner.


Treatment
Sciatica – gentle back bends, bridge pose, cobra pose, cobbler pose, strengthening the core especially the transverse abdominals, strengthening the lower back, opening the hamstrings and developing flexibility in the outer hips.

Piriformis Syndrome – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Stretching the Piriformis in Classical Sun and Moon Salutations, Gentle practice of Warrior 2, Extended Side Angle, Triangle, Half Moon, Supported Pigeon, Supported Dragonfly and Supported Cow Face