Saturday, February 28, 2015

Bhuvaneshwari, Amma and my mother

Bhuvaneshwari is a goddess I had more problems relating to than the other goddesses I have studied so far.  She seems so perfect and kind it was hard for me to identify with her.  The idea of the nuturing mother who is spaciously there for you is one that I don't visualize so well because I had a difficult relationship with my mother where I often felt forgotten.

My mother was a career woman always busy with work.  She always moving, always doing many things at the same time, over committed, working until exhaustion until she just collapsed in the bed and then asked us children to lie beside her as she slept.  I am very much like her, the joke of the gods/goddesses, is turning us into what we didn't want to be and hated as children.

When Amma was mentioned in the lecture I began to understand Bhuvaneshwari in a much fuller and more positive way.  I have seen Amma and felt her embrace.  I write about my experience being hugged by Amma is 2013 on my blog if anyone wants to look at it.

Spaciousness is something I need.  I pack up everyday with a million activities as if I am afraid of the breath, afraid to take a pause (just like my mother).  What scares me about expansiveness and spaciousness I am not sure.  I just know it is hard for me. I often laugh at myself calling myself a "Bisy Backson" as so wonderfully described in the Tao of Pooh coming from a note that really meant to say but was misspelled "Busy Back Soon"

Yesterday I was very angry from a week of work with people I have been finding quite difficult. I knew I needed to do some yoga but I wasn't sure what or where.

 I ended up going to the 4pm class at the Iyengar studio I sometimes visit.  I always promise myself I will do more Iyengar because Iyengar is good for the body, but I hate all their rules with specificity of the folding the blankets and the intricacies of tieing the ropes (isn't life hard enough without being under the microscope in yoga class because you folded the blanket the wrong way or have the fringe facing in the wrong direction)? So usually I tell myself I am going to go to Iyengar and end up at my sloppy hot yoga class and sweat and move as I wish with out the alignment cues I'd love to have.

But this 4pm Iyengar class was really great.  We started hanging upside down on the rope wall for ten minutes and I felt like my vertebrae were getting more room and my neck was elongating.

 Everything was becoming more expansive and spacious as in Bhuvaneshwari was inhabitating my body and opening it up,

just making incredible amount of room like when you open all the doors and windows of your house on a mild summer day the delicious breeze flows through.

I am interested in the idea of Shoonya  not being the same as Spaciousness

 I can never quite understand what Shoonya is.  Although Swami Satyananda talks of it in the blue book on Yoga Nidra and most Buddhist texts talk about.  Maybe I can't grasp it because I haven't experienced it.  Spaciousness I have felt, experienced, tasted.  I think it is something that usual comes for me in Savanasa, or looking at the moon,  although yesterday I touched it hanging on the rope wall.

And I do want to make more room!

 I do want to give some things up. experience down time, and float.  It is just for me extremely difficult to do.  Bhuvaneshwari please guide me towards expansion and spaciousness. Help me make some room.  Help me breathe.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bagalamukhi - The Power of Silence.

Bagalamukhi is the "Great Paralyzer" and asks where are we hiding from ourselves and where are we deceiving ourselves?

 I really need to look at that.  I think sometimes I use words and language to hide, over-analyzing and over-intellectualizing when I should just trust my instincts and intuition.

I was also very interested in speech pairing with silence and the power of silence, which I often have a hard time being quiet. I listen to myself talking sometimes and I think what am I talking about and why am I talking?

Sometimes I hear the way I am taking about myself (as if it weren't even me doing it) and I hear how cruel and negative it is.

I say things about myself that I wouldn't say to my worst enemy.  These are all things I need to work on.  I very much want to do a long silent retreat somewhere and it is a top priority for me but I haven't realized it yet.  I think being in silence for a extended period of time could be very profound for me.

I also am very interested in the concepts of being both detached and engaged. Hmmmmmmmmm... how do you do that??? I think this pairs well with stilling the mind and cultivating attention.

Bagalamukhi is a bird goddess associated with the crane. I am really curious about Bird Goddesses in history and the various incarnations.  I have been writing a story for a long time where one of the characters shifts between woman and eagle.  Are there any goddesses like this in the Hindu cannon? My character's bird nature makes her very free and independent.

We honor  Bagalamukhi with hatha yoga postures by doing longer holds.  When I practice and teach yin yoga I observe a real power and release in long mindful holds. I love vinyasa too but it seems to tap into a different kind of energy. More exploration of pranayama is also one of my goals.

I am also interested in using the estoric tools to know myself better. Sometimes even when I pick a goddess card at a gathering it seems to say exactly what I need to hear.I picked the card Eireen on Saturday at a New Moon Goddess women's circle - the card said "Peace - there is no need to worry, as everything is working out beautifully."

And I have had a lot of worries lately and the card made my feel more at ease.

In sum,  Bagalamukhi reminds me of the me I want to be by practicing pranayama, hatha yoga, silence, meditation, right speech and right action.  I love that she inspires me to do this with out giving up my femininity, sexuality or fun. One of her names was lover of wine another was she who laughs.

 I have been studying Buddhism with Chris Chapple for about 13 months now and what repels me is all the restrictions.  The whole thing just seems like no fun.  It is nice to have a completely different spiritual alternative that embraces sexuality, laughter and joy.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Exploring Love - A Valentine's Day Yin Yoga Class


I taught a special Yin Yoga class on Valentine's Day focusing on the Heart Chakra.  I teach Yin Yoga Saturdays at 5pm at The Yogi Tree Center for Growth.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tan-zhong/17 RM is the center of emotion. It is located at the sternum and is related to the heart, circulatory system, lungs and thymus. The thymus is the gland that controls the immune system and is associated with longevity.

Yoga poses that target the Heart Chakra/17 RM open the chest/sternum and draw energy into the heart. The Heart Chakra is located between the three lower chakras and the three upper chakras. The three lower chakras express the physical body and sensations, while the three upper chakras represent intuition and interconnection between mind and spirit.

The Heart Chakra is the point of balance between the mind, body, and spirit and thus symbolically between Heaven and Earth.

The heart meridian starts in the heart and consists of three branches. One goes to the small intestines.
Another runs upward past the tongue toward the eyes. The third branch crosses the chest to travel down the arm, ending at the inside top of the little finger, where it connects with the small intestine meridian

The heart governs the blood and the pulse, as well as, the mind and the spirit.

It is said that the enlightened can hear the sound of the universe within the Anahata chakra
Symbol is two super imposed triangles with in one circle make a six pointed star
Sound is Yam. Color Green. Element Air. Carrier is the Antelope. Planet is Venus.

In Qigong, the middle Dantian (one of the three furnaces which transform energy in the body) is in this region. The middle Dantian transforms qi energy into shen (spiritual energy).

 In Anahata one makes decisions ("follows one's heart") based on one's higher self, not the unfulfilled emotions and desires of lower nature. As such, it is known as the heart chakra.[4] It is also associated with love and compassion, charity to others and psychic healing. Meditation on this chakra is said to bring about the following siddhis: he becomes a lord of speech; he is dear to women; his presence controls the senses of others, and he can leave and enter the body at will.

Who am I.  I am not an expert on love. I have been married 15 years.  I had many relationships in my twenties.  I had my heart broken a billion times and maybe broke someone else heart once.  I have made this series to elaborate on my philosophy of love.

(0) CHILD POSE'S (baby yourself, take care of yourself)

(1) MELTING HEART (about being open to love)

(2) SPHINX (keeping your strength)

(2a) SEAL (being comfortable in your own skin and being beautiful when you get put in the right environment)

(3) RECLINED THUNDERBOLT (the chemistry that can be felt.  It is electric.

(4) CAMEL  (being prepared and ready for love)

(5) SUPINE BUTTERFLY (the butterfly lover, the one who is so charming but you can't trust)

(6) CROSS LEGGED FROG WITH COW FACE ARMS (kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince– sometimes you don’t recognize a prince because he looks like a frog - sometimes you have a great prospect you are not attracted to them because they look like a frog)


(8) CATERPILLAR (potential of new relationship, taking it slow, being prepared)

(9)BANANA (sometimes you have to bend)

(10)FISH (there are other fish in the sea)

(11) STUMP (stand your ground)

(12) EYE OF THE NEEDLE (sometimes you need to mend a relationship sometimes give to salvation army, get rid of it)/


(13) SWAN (ugly duc(kling can become a swan



(15) DRAGON (courage and strength to try again/

(19) ½ GENIE/ GENIE (look for the magic



1)Settling - as normal
2)Sankalpa - as normal
3) Body rotation - as normal
4)Breath Awareness – Breath at the Heart – counting down from 18
5)Opposites –  Pain and Pleasure
6)Visualization Images – Red Rose, Green Grass, Candle Flame,  gray smoke, waterlilly, a six pointed star, a lotus with twelve deep red petals, a hearty laugh, Summer Day, a ripe plumb,  A Lover’s Smile
7)Sankalpa - as normal
8) Externalization - as normal