Category: Yoga Therapy
Regardless of which system/zodiac you use, or what philosophy/tradition you base your interpretations on, the actual movements of the planets are regular and predictable.
On Friday night there’s a exact conjunction of the Moon with Neptune in Pisces. The general public/collective body is in need of spiritual support. In these last hours of the gibbous lunar phase, (the full moon is exact on Saturday just after midnight), the discomfort of previous cycles is felt in our emotional/nervous systems as unresolved tension with no apparent relief. Many will be seduced into their habitual forms of escape/addiction/delusion.
The Virgo/Pisces axis in astrology highlights the concepts of mutability, being flexible, maybe neurotic and concerned with bringing physical health into balance with spiritual health……more on this later. The best practices for gibbous days include anything that aids self-development.
The Sun sits between Venus & Mars, perfect timing for self-study on relationships. To others, to our communities, to ourselves, and to a higher power or whatever you want to call that which is greater than ourselves.
…..to be continued.
Experiential portions of this program include: Asana, pranayama, mudra, yoga nidra, meditation, chant, integrative breathwork (optional, depending on content) art, journaling, expressive movement, dyads & storytelling. Hatha yoga and experience with astrology is not necessary. The practices will be gentle & challenging at the same time. Experiences and insights that stimulate the mind-body-spirit connection can be profoundly transformational. Inner space explorations of outer space can at times stir up the unconscious and help us to see places we don’t often visit consciously.
More information here: http://www.ifcullen.com/inquire-within-sept2019/
So, we’re in the middle of two eclipses and five planets are retrograde. You don’t really need to know much about astrology to get a sense of the epic time cycle we’re living in. It really doesn’t matter where you look there’s change, upheaval, and fluctuating conditions mostly everywhere. You can try to block it out using whatever methods/medicine/magic you have at your disposal. But relief is temporary. There really are some terrible things happening if we are to believe the images and words on our screens. It’s important to check in with the people around you since many are feeling fragmented, confused and hopeless. Anyway, it’s an auspicious time to Inquire Within and the stars will guide us accordingly. It might not read as a “fun, summertime activity” but, for those who understand how transmutation and transformation work, the opportunity provided to you from this upcoming program is priceless.
In 1926, Virginia Woolf wrote about how, when one is ill:
All day, all night the body intervenes; blunts or sharpens, colours or discolours, turns to wax in the warmth of June, hardens to tallow in the murk of February. The creature within can only gaze through the pane – smudged or rosy; it cannot separate off from the body like the sheath of a knife or the pod of a pea for a single instant; it must go through the whole unending procession of changes, heat and cold, comfort and discomfort, hunger and satisfaction, health and illness, until there comes the inevitable catastrophe.
The above quote was taken from a fairly dense but beautifully written article that I found posted to my Yoga Therapy group. Some of you may find it very interesting. The posting yoga therapist referenced the similarity between the neuro/psycho states in the article with our practice of Yoga Nidra.
You don’t need to be ill to practice Yoga Nidra. The process works on healthy bodies too. Enhanced creativity, greater ease under stressors, and increased happiness and joy are all common benefits. On July 11, at the midpoint between two eclipses, we’ll practice Yoga Nidra at The Sanctuary. Lunar aspects to Neptune, Sun & Pluto promise us deep healing, regardless of source event be it trauma, tension, or stress. Join us. Please call ahead to save your place.
2019, SYTAR conference was inspiring, validating, and rejuvenating. I was inspired to be part of this international community of yoga professionals bridging the gap between Western medicine & Yoga. There were 500 of us. Many who attended had completed research projects with hospitals, universities, governmental agencies, non-profits, and large corporations. The results easily confirm, without a shadow of doubt, what all of us who’ve practiced already know, and that is that Yoga works. It works as a stress management tool, a time management tool, and a vault of knowledge stored in our higher chakras that we can access at will……. as long as we practice. …every chance we can.
On the first day I learned about yoga therapy and cancer care. There are many who are working within this community and doing some amazing work with evidence-based results. On the second day I attended a 2-part session on yoga therapy and cardiac care. Nischala Joy Devi was a familiar face at Kripalu over the years of my training, yet I was unable to attend any of her classes. But here in Newport Beach, CA I was grateful to spend time with her.
On the third day I continued to learn more of ayurveda, which is providing me with good info on aging & longevity. The last session I attended, appropriately titled, The Last Breath offered up yoga therapy for dying. It was the second best presentation of the weekend and was exactly what I needed.
The event was well worth my time & effort and I’m grateful to my daughter for providing me with daily transportation to and from the event. It was a wonderful experience overall. I look forward to sharing all I’ve learned in the months to come. Feel free to contact me if you’d like some information on how Personal Yoga Therapy can help you.
Where were you in the Fall of 1982? What was going on in your personal life? What was going on in the world? How old were you?
In November of that year Pluto and Saturn made a conjunction at 27 Libra. Where is 27 Libra in your natal chart? Is anything in your natal chart at 27 degrees? Look at the cusps and angles too.
This is a good place to begin our self-discovery lessons in Saturn and Pluto. We need some data for: discussion, transforming, healing, fixing, and most importantly, understanding and seeing a big picture view. Answering those questions will help as we approach another Pluto/Saturn conjunction/cycle in January, 2020. It’s a big deal and we astrologers have been holding our breath as we watch the state of the world change (again) before our eyes. That’s where yoga helps this astrologer. B R F W A, in Kripalu talk. Breathe. Relax. Feel. Watch. Allow. All is well.
There are lots of articles floating around the internet speaking of this culture-changing time and I encourage you to read them. Every astrologer has their own specialty. The mundane astrologers are doing a great job tracking the economic/political/geographical/cultural shifts that are going on. I can recommend some good ones to read if you’re interested in the mundane.
As for me, I want to know how to live thru these cycles, with peace, serenity and reaping the best possible outcome. It isn’t easy and it’s not always fun, but the rewards are sure and deep. Bringing your chart to life and seeing the symbolism play out in your everyday life is a great way to stay connected to something that is much greater than me.
Yoga teaches us how to be present in the moment. Through practice and study we notice that how we think/feel/act in the world is always connected to some deeper cellular/tissue/muscle memory on the inside. By choosing yoga practices that reflect the symbolism of current transits we get to release, in the moment, any tensions building up unconsciously. In addition, we experience thru yoga nidra, breathwork, and meditation the release of old tensions held in the body from past lives., which is a whole different conversation having to do with spiritual beliefs.
But first, there’s more astrology to look at .
During the ’82 cycle Pluto & Saturn were alone in Libra. In 2020 the south node of the moon, Ketu in the Vedic system, is tracking with them both in Capricorn, adding an entirely different dimension to our experience of this cycle. Anytime the Lunar Nodes are involved in an aspect it increases the likelihood that an individuals karma is activated during this period. I am in my Ketu MahaDasa in the Vedic system and it’s a fascinating time to engage in self-study. More reason to use yoga for processing.
In our dharma/karma workshops we investigate our natal placement of the lunar nodes and try to discern how they show up in our lives and more importantly how to learn from them, isn’t that what it’s *all* about, anyway, to learn, grow, evolve? Otherwise what’s the point of anything? So we investigate how south node holds the information from our past lives and encourages us to take the easy way out of most situations. It feels wickedly ‘comfortable’ ,just like your old slippers.
There is no growth without conscious effort and we will be stuck in our old patterns doomed to repeat the wheel of karma without any progress, until we come to understand how the North Node leads us forward.
Inquire Within – Registration is open for weekend intensive & 5-day immersion.
“Meet this world with neither grasping nor fear. Trust the unfolding of life and you will attain true serenity.”
Another way to think about Yoga is as a neurological cleansing where the effects of past actions are released, not on the basis of meaning, but neurologically dissolved from the inside by the pure bliss consciousness inherent within us. We do this in meditation and yoga nidra. This is not a matter of belief or analysis. It is a mechanical process. It will work for anyone who does the practices, skeptics & atheists alike.
Gurudev Amrit Desai, founder of Kripalu Yoga & Amrit Yoga Institute, says, “Every time you withdraw from your reactions and move beyond your pre-programmed past there is the possibility for the resurrection of that part of you that lies beyond the ego.”
Western psychology likes to analyze, diagnose, and ‘fix’…ie psychoanalysis. Most of the time they stay on the level of the mind and rarely do anything other than talk. This is very helpful but not necessarily healing. IMHO Western psychology is like analyzing the waves coming up on the surface of the ocean. Whereas Yoga Nidra & Meditation especially, are like cleaning the ocean from the bottom up, at levels where analysis is not possible. Amrit explains obstructions as energy, and thinking is energy. Yoga deals with the root issues by going beyond the ‘energy’ to pure bliss consciousness. Meaning is a less fundamental form of neurological energy and it’s found near the surface of the mind. Meaning is the tail on the dog of thought energy. Using the tail to wag the dog is not very effective.
Of course, you don’t need to know any of this to experience the benefits……. Yoga Nidra at The Sanctuary – April 28, 1-4pm
Chiron enters Aries.
This is a big deal. The asteroid named Chiron was discovered in the mid-seventies and I believe he was in Aries at that same time. Some senior astrologers out there might remember quite well what was happening during that time. It was similar to now in ways we are about to find out as Chiron returned to Aries on Feb 19. A Chiron Return is in place.
For a richer *understanding* of what this upcoming cycle might yield I turn to the Sabien Symbols as interpreted by Dane Rudyhar.. I’ve written about them in past posts.
Rudyhar writes: “1° ARIES is the “first of the 360 phases of a universal and multi-level cyclic process which aims at the actualization of a particular set of potentialities.” This 360 phase process is described symbolically thru out the book. Specifically the first degree of Aries is the Sabian Symbol: “A WOMAN JUST RISEN FROM THE SEA. A SEAL IS EMBRACING HER.”
Rudyhar goes on with the keynote: Emergence of new forms and of the potentiality of consciousness.
There’s a lot to unpack there.
Many years ago I had the pleasure of working at the NJ Center for the Healing Arts. A wonderful group of various therapists, psycho-, massage-, art-, and other practitioners of the alternative/complementary arts/sciences all worked under one roof. The founder had a vision for how to treat mental illness in today’s society. She was a beacon of light to many and I applaud her for her accomplishments and the ripple effect of healing & inspiration she provided to the whole community, clients, and the world-at-large. I was honored to offer astrological & feng shui consultations along with some hatha & dancing yoga classes during my early years studying yoga therapy. It was a rich time.
While there, it was clear that much of the physical space was dedicated to art….The walls were filled with paintings painted by past & present clients. Every now and then new ones would appear. I loved peeking into the art room to see them in action. It never occured to me that art or painting or drawing could be therapeutic, or healing, or anything other than a means to an end, a picture upon which lots of opinions/judgements might be heaped. “I like it” I hate it” etc. Of course, I proved myself naive, again, it happens a lot.
Anyway, today it’s nearly two decades later and I’m excited to be working around art again. It’s in a different context, of course, but after such a long time learning & practicing integrative yoga therapy I’m comfortable teaching whever the winds blow me.
Anything can be therapized these days and that’s maybe a good thing? It acknowledges that we all need healing. All of us. Everybody. This is something I know to be true.
And, the kind of healing that occurs when we fully engage in a process that eliminates words can be felt thru and thru. It has to do with how the hemisphere’s of the brain are organized. Healing, though, is not a right-side/left-side experience, but rather what happens naturally when balance is acheived. This is what yoga/meditation teaches us. That amazing blissful state that occurs after one does some focused hatha practice, is the same calm, blissful state that occurs when we’re in the zone of: artistic expression, dance practice,, or musical harmonies & rhythms.
That zone, that particular kind of present moment is a very seductive state of being, and once you’ve experienced it your entire being becomes engaged with trying to have the experience again. The challenge & difficulty is to get there naturally, chemically & substance free. But, I digress. Neptune is one of the astrological significators for spiritual practice, yoga, imagination, fantasy and more. For more keywords of Neptune go here.
On July, I’ll be facilitating a weekend of workshops on yoga & creativity at The Sanctuary. For the *intensive* on Saturday we’ll be at a local art gallery. I’m excited to see what happens! Namaste.
….and I’m still experiencing the joy of learning with every new pattern that I put together. I’ve moved on now to what’s called stitching and weaving. This pattern I focused on stitching. I don’t have the energy right now to explain in words what that means artistically . . Suffice it to say that I fell in love with the technique and choose to continue. Here’s my latest, painted to celebrate grandson(s) and birthday’s.
I’m gonna start an absolute beginners yoga therapy class in June for 6-8 weeks, yoga….for the rest of us.
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