Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Three Things

Last week my Darlin'Man toured Lear Khekwaii on the Kenai Penninsula (where Seward is; next week will be the Seward Penninsula, where Nome is).  They went, among other places to Homer, where the road ends at the sea, and volcanoes rise above the shore, and people make Alaskan wines and meads.  I've never been, and would dearly love to spend a few weeks camping down there.

Coming home he brought me gifts:  Three Things.

1- a sea shell from the shore
2- Coffee beans from a local roaster
3- a set of 7 notecards, each an image of a chakra.  The cards were drawn by inmate in an arts-in-the-prisons program, and the proceeds of their sale go to supporting said program.  I like to think that he (the artist's name was male) found some solace in attuning to these vibrant and transformational energies in his own body while he was dealing with everything that comes along with a prison term.  Maybe he found some healing for what ever wound led him to commit whatever act landed him in jail.

My Darlin'Man knows me well.  I cherish all three of these.

(This post crossposted to www.bunchberryfarm.blogspot.com)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

“Love is the only path, love is the only god, and love is the only scripture. Impress this verse upon your memory and chant it constantly if you want to realize your dreams of growth.”—Swami Kripalu

Saturday, April 20, 2013

TOMORROW! Heart and Throat Chakra

Tomorrow at HeartStream, we will be exploring the Heart Chakra, Home of Unconditional Love  and the Throat Chakra, home of Truth and self -Expression through yoga Asana, mantra, aromatherapy, and guided meditation.  Come join us!  If you have them, bring a pendulum, a peice of rose quartz, and peice of lapis lazuli. 

The Heart Chakra or "Anahata"  is located at the physical heart, itself the endocrine gland associated with this energy center (research shows that the Heart is not only regulated by the hormones in the bloods stream as other organs are, but actually secretes hormones to help regulate the rest of the body as well, making it function as an endocrine gland).  The Heart is made up 60% neurological cells and creates a measurable electro-magnetic field that extends 6-8 feet outside of the body.  The Heart Meridian begins at the Heart and extends out through arms and into hands, allowing us to physically hold the world or eachother in our heart energy.

We will use the sanskrit mantra "Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu" to practice extending our heart energy through compassion, and practice a series of heart opening asana. 

The Throat Chakra or "Vishuddha" is the home of Truth and is associated with our ability to express ourselves.   Verbal expression of course resides in the throat, but the chakra is also associated with our ablility to artistically express ourselves through any medium, our physical self expresssion, and our connection to our own beliefs and opinions.  The Throat Chakra is associated with the thyroid and parathyroid endocrine glands.

We will explore yoga poses that provide compression and release through the neck and throat, and also to release the neck and shoulders of the habitual tension and strain we carry that constrict the full functioning of our voice.  Then we will chant our way throug the Bija or Seed mantras that are associated with the first 5 chakras. 

"Did You Know: To produce a single phrase of speech - about 100 muscles of the chest, neck, jaw, face, tongue and lips must collaborate. Each muscle is a bundle made of hundreds or thousands of fibers. For the coordination of these muscles much more neurons than necessary are required for contracting the muscles from an athlete's feet. Just one motor neuron can trigger movement in the 2,000 muscular fibers existent on a calf muscle. But the neurons controlling the vocal cords or the larynx can be bound just one to two-three muscle cells" From AnatomyinMotion via Gracesanatomy.com

Check it out some more!



Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thankful Thursdays: A gratitude Practice

Today I am thankful for spring! Spring, spring, spring! It really is in the air folks! There was - get this - LIQUID water... puddles of it! melting on the side of the road as I drove to the studio today!

I am grateful for two nights with my most darlin' man between his travels to the far ends of the state this month. I'm grateful he gets to experience small Alaskan communities we've neither of us ever been to. (He is touring with Lear Khekwaii - Fairbanks folks, there's another weekend of shows at the Empress May 11th. It is a PHENOMENAL show!)

I am thankful for sun on snow, and still stars at night.

I'm thankful for light in the sky past 10 pm.

I am thankful for my practice, for my teachers, for my students, and most especially for the students who teach me things about myself.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sunday Workshop: The Seat of the Self and the Core of your Being

This Sunday's workshop in the Chakra series moves into the Svadisthana and Manipurna chakras located at the Sacrum and at the Solar Plexus. 

Join us to explore these vital energy centers that help form the very basis of who we are!  We will meet from 3:30-5:30 at Heartstream Yoga.  If you have a pendulum, a peice of cornelian and a peice of citrine, please bring these with you for the guided meditation.  They are also available for purchase.  We welcome all levels of experience in this workshop. 

Svadisthana translates from the Sanskrit as "The sweetness of being" or "One's own place."   It is the seat of creativity and sexuality.  This chakra can hold emotional memories and is one of the body's places for storing intense experiences and/or traumas.  The svadisthana is associated with the element of water and the color orange.  This Chakra corresponds with the DanTian of Tai Chi and Qigong practices.

Our Yoga practice for the Svadisthana will be one of deep hip openers and nourishing restorative poses for the hips. 

The Manipurna chakra is the seat of our will power and joins with the Manipurna to form the core of our being.  This chakra is associated with fire: the agni fire of digestion and metabolism, the rajas fire of discipline, and the shining center of our being. 

Our Yoga Practice for the Manipurna chakra will be an exploration of the warrior poses, and how we can use internal core support to find the ease within the joyful fire of the manipurna.  To stoke this fire, we will explore kapalabhati pranayama.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thankful Thursdays

Today I am grateful for clarity and space. 

I am so very grateful for the opportunity and the ability to hold space for inner work and transformation, to share a practice that has been (and still is) so incredibly supportive and life affirming for me. 

I am grateful for feeling adept and productive.

I am grateful for tears and for laughter.  For old old hands that put a live yarn into mine and taught me the act of creation and about myself.  

I am thankful that my Darlin'Man made it safely south through snowy mountains.  I am thankful his show is being received well.

I am thankful for the forced quiet brought by the recent snow and cold, cold temperatures.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thankful Thursdays

Today I am thankful for the sun. For melting snow. For Dry Roads on the way home!

I am thankful for my health, and the vibrancy of those around me.

I am thankful for my practice.

I am thankful for my students and for my teachers.

In memoriam: MLK

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”  -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today marks the forty fifth anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.  He was many things, and I could speak at length about his vision of equality, about the parallels between the grand struggle he helped to lead and inspire and the struggles of so many around the globe today.  But the vast scope of such a discusssion bears too much potential for distancing oneself from the reality, too much potential for a beautiful vision to become merely a rhetorical exercise or an analytical construct.  Too much potential for apathy and dispair.

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality."   This belief however, is one that we can bring into our lives on a daily basis.  It speaks to an approach to life that asks to be affirmed and re-affirmed on a moment to moment basis.  MLK led by example.  To embody his teachings is one of the highest honors we can pay him.  To ourselves lead by example in our daily interactions is to "be the change you wish to see in the world,"  (itself a teaching from Ghandi, who was one of MLK's own inspirations).

How can we walk into the world rooted in unarmed truth and practicing unconditional love?  How can we face hate with pure and honest love?  How can we hold the pain of others, pain that breeds hate, with compassion? 

It has to begin at home.  It begins with you.  It begins with me.  I know I become defensive when I hear truths about myself or see my actions reflected back to me in a way that shows how I am not living my from highest self.   When I become defensive, I am arming myself.  Perhaps I even go on the offensive, attacking my family or my husband with words and jabs at their percieved flaws.  This is a natural reaction.  It is easy to spiral into this pattern, begining a blame game against myself and my loved ones in order to blind myself to the entirety of my truth.  This is inherently violent, it cuts at me and it cuts at my loved ones.  So how can I disarm?  I remember to practice unconditional love.  By holding myself in compassion, I honor my own reactions and recognize that they come from a place of pain.  I breathe deeply, and know that as I inhale, I inhale love.  As I exhale I exhale peace.  By inhaling love, I soothe and heal the hurt parts of myself.  And so as I exhale, I am engaging with the world from a place of compassion rather than pain.  When I practice this with myself, I am more able to practice it with others.  I realize that I do not need to force my truths upon others, arming them to take over the minds and hearts of all who come.  All I need to to do is meet the world- hurt and healing, sorrowful and joyous - with unconditional love.  All I need to do is breathe and walk and speak from a place of compassion. 

This practice is so perfectly simple, and one of the hardest things I've ever done.  When I am defeated in my intention of living from a place of compassion, from living in unarmed truth and unconditional love, I react humanly, from a place of pain or of fear.  But with each breath I can choose again.  And again.  So many fresh starts in each day.  One for each breath. 

"This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant," (as proved by every quest fantasy novel, ever). 

Jai Bhagwan,