Category: Yoga Therapy

Beginning 11/23 –   11/30, 2010 the North Node of the Moon (Rahu in Jyotish) will be in a conjunction with Pluto at  4 degrees of Capricorn.

(Pluto is not recognized in classical vedic astrology.)

For those of you who are comfortable with the concept of reincarnation and the wheel of karma this time period is  an important one.  Karmic forces are in control.  Not us. Period. Om shanti, peace.

The lunar nodes can be interpreted in a variety of ways.  One perspective is to see them as significators for your personal relationships.   The north node might represent those who take you forward into uncharted territory.  The south node, on the other hand, might represent those in your life who are less challenging and more comfortable to have around.    A piece of data like that can make all the difference between the struggle and/or the peace.

Another way to look at the lunar nodes, in a more spiritual way perhaps, would be to see the south node as the karma you face from your past lives.  The north node would be more representative of the dharma, or purpose of this life…thereby creating new karma for your future lives.   Do you see the wheel turning?

When we add the influence of Pluto to the lunar nodes the impact becomes Absolutely Transformational.

Yoga Therapists:  Deep Process experiences can be both agitating and therapeutic during this time.  Remember to be mindful of your own boundaries and deep issues and do not project your stuff onto your students. Om shanti.

Astrology Yoga Therapy

Ayurveda consciousness Planets and their Cycles Yoga Yoga Therapy

How we perceive the passage of time depends on how define the word time. Consider this. Scientists define time as something that is mathematical and linear, at least before quantum physics began to shake up that definition. When someone asked A. Einstein what is time, he replied, “what a clock reads.” Philosophers and spiritual seekers believe that time is subjective depending on the nature of our experience. Ram Dass writes, “time is the relationship between moments of consciousness”.

Biologists see time passing as a link between the rhythm of internal processes to the regular rhythms of the outside world such as mating seasons, and the cycle of growth/death of most vegetation. Corporate Executives and politicians see time as something to control as Golda Meir exclaimed, “I must govern the clock, not be governed by it. Everyone has their own way to relate to time.

Astrology views time as a cyclical experience rather than the linear view most others have.

The effects of time on the body has been well documented. Aging is easy to see. When we look closely, minute daily changes steadily progress to  larger, physical changes. Small lines become deep wrinkles. Slight aches become crippling joints. Body postures once limber and upright, become hunched, rounded, and appear to carry tremendous weight on the back. All of this becomes visible over the course of time.

Although things like poor diet, lack of exercise, substance abuse, and ignorance can contribute to this apparent deterioration, time also plays a part. Our awareness of time passing becomes translated into the body. If we believe that we are supposed to age , deteriorate, and get sick as we get older, then that is exactly what will happen. In Japan, many insurance companies are paying out large sums of money to the widows of overworked business men. They call it hurry sickness or kashori and it shows up as sudden death in the workplace. Our perception of not enough time certainly adds to this modern day illness. And that’s exactly the point. It’s our perception of time that holds the key to releasing the stress we feel. Sometimes time goes very slowly, as if one minute or even a few seconds feels like years. Have you ever had a car accident? Perhaps spun out on the road in bad weather? The consciousness slows down and you can sometimes witness the loss of control of the car as if it were happening in slow motion. Other times, time passes very quickly. Vacations, weddings, happy occasions tend to ‘speed’ up time so that 1 week can fly by as if it were one hour.

The key to time management is to learn to recognize cycles, phases, and patterns rather than months, days and hours. To develop the ability to flow with the passing time rather than to fight the clock. There is a certain rhythm in the world that supercedes any manmade time telling device and this rhythm remains constant, stable, and secure and is not subject to the whims of man who we know makes mistakes.

Astrology consciousness Miscellaneous Planets and their Cycles Time Management Yoga Yoga Therapy

It’s time for another Yoga Nidra experience.  Who knows what will happen this time?  Surely, not I.  Nevertheless, it’s important to continue the research. Scientific documentation seems to be important to a lot of people, as if that were the absolute truth of any matter.  Those on a yoga journey are learning (or rather unlearning) different perspectives.

I’ve been teaching yoga and yoga therapy for a long time now and it’s interesting to note that insomnia is an increasingly common complaint.  Sleep disorders abound.

Many people self-medicate in order to get a good nights sleep.  Some people die from the medicating substance, whether it be  pharmaceutical, organic, or cooked up in your kitchen by the resident witch/healer.

What needs to be looked at more closely is that all of these cures/methods for inducing sleep are relying on an external something (pill/tea/etc.) to put us to sleep.  Nothing is inherently wrong (or right) with that approach.  Sometimes we need help.  But, here’s an article from Dr. Mercola’s newsletter that certainly deserves some thinking time.   If you do not want to read the whole thing at least scroll thru it and read the headlines, please.

scan0005On August 29 I’ll be facilitating another Yoga Nidra experience in SoCa. I’ve been de-stressing the American population for a long time, or trying to.  I’m learning that SoCa has it’s own unique list of stressor’s, quite different from those on the East Coast….    This past weekend a 6’ bookcase filled with china & glassward toppled over right next to me!  Other people were there too and it was ‘decided’ that it must have been an earthquake.  Yikes!

Stress is everywhere.

If you’ve experienced a yoga nidra before, this one is guaranteed to be different.  It’s built into the ‘system’.  After all,  every moment in time/space is utterly unique and changing at the same time.   Trust that you always get what you need but not necessarily what you want.

Nevertheless, healing happens with yoga nidra practices.

I’ve put together a teacher-training for those who would like to learn more about this pratyahara experience.  Find me if you’re interested.

I’ll be happy to bring this training to your group/studio.

Contact me and we’ll talk about how to do that.

consciousness Yoga yoga nidra Yoga Therapy

chakraman2CASE STUDY

A typical yoga therapy session:

Female, 49 yrs. 5’5″, 180, thining dyed hair, round.  Although I do not have a birth-chart  to refer to, the fact that she is 49  is enough to remind me  which cycles usually dominate our life experiences during the years around 50.

Chiron’s cycle is approximately 50 years.  The wounded healer,  heals.

(Do a search for Chiron over there on the right side of this blog for more posts on Chiron.)

She arrived before me for our session and was eager and willing to fill out intake forms.

We spoke about the program and this session in particular. We agreed to follow the yamas & niyamas for our work together.

She describes herself as exhausted, and can feel some obstruction in the heart & throat area. She recently suffered from pneumonia and continues to be concerned about her health. She felt it was a wake-up call of some sort and wanted to pay closer attention.

She is frustrated with her current career. Although she loves being a teacher, she feels stuck in her current position. It feels like a long, hard struggle and she’s out of energy.

We discussed different yoga practices that can be of benefit to her if she chooses to commit to a ‘practice’ at all.

For the experiential part of our 1st session we spent time doing a seated body scan thru the kosha’s. Periodically, I would ask her to write/draw/record her awarenesses on some paper.

By the time we finished with the kosha’s she had experienced quite an ‘energetic’ shift inside and was quite amazed at what she had discovered. Most notable was that the entire left side of her body was numb when compared to the right. The imbalance was enlightening in and of itself to her in that moment.

We completed our session with savasana, pranayama and meditation.

During meditation, we explored Anjali Mudra in some detail paying attention to the sensations in each fingertip, it’s proximity to the heart chakra, its guiding the energy upward, etc.

I guided her back to the previously blocked throat area and encouraged her to chant om for a short while, and I noticed that each om sounded stronger than the one before it.

She felt like there was more work to be done, and seemed quite at peace and possibly enthusiastic about what might come next.

She left feeling well-balanced, energetic, and relaxed.

I could have taken an entirely different tactic with this women, and spent our time together working more on asana’s and that would have been okay, too. However, in my mind, asana’s and Chiron just don’t go together very well unless you have a committed client who will be returning often. At this point in time she was unable to commit to more than one session at a time. (I usually encourage everyone to commit to 6 sessions, however that can be a financial/economic burden in 2009.)

Chiron and Neptune are closely aligned these days (2009- 2011), so for those clients around 49 yrs of age, their particular crisis in this moment requires spiritual (neptune), healing (chiron).  As yoga therapists we must utilize our skills to activate and integrate the vijnanamayakosha & anandamayakoshas, as well as practices for the physical body.  We can only teach/share what we have learned for ourselves so please do not neglect these more subtle areas in your own training.  Learning a symbolic language such as astrology can help you develop buddhi, and increase your ability to trust the intuitive mind as much as the logical mind.  Yes?   Understanding health is only as good as  your understanding of how ‘all is one’.   Chiron and Neptune traveling together will bring up various types of health crisis for everyone until we get it, that our belief system is as important as vitamins, exercise, or anything else we do for health purposes.

Much of what happens during yoga therapy sessions happens on the subtle & causal layers of the body.  For many, yoga therapy is a safe, non-invasive, and gentle way to address deep-seated obstacles that prevent us from being fully human.

Om shanti.

Astrology Yoga Therapy

the tortoise

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice–

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do–

determined to save

the only life you could save.

Mary Oliver

Pulitzer Prize for poetry

Ancient Wisdom Buddhism consciousness ecstatic poetry Miscellaneous My photos philosophy Yoga Therapy

Recently, I have had many good reasons to delve further into how & why we heal. Because, some of us actually do heal from our physical/mental/emotional/spiritual challenges. And some of us don’t.
It’s a fine line that divides those that do from those that don’t, and it takes a  subtle, intuitive eye to discern. Microscopes are useless if you’re looking for the big picture.
I’ve learned from a 40+ years of raja yoga practices that we are, indeed, more than just our bodies. We are more than our minds and our emotions, too. This is a concept not easily grasped by many. And yet, there are certainly changes to see. Look around. Beginings and Endings are what help us be ‘in time’.
When I began to learn about symbolic languages, brand new neural pathways formed in my brain. Modern day brain science has validated for me, everything that I knew intuitively growing up. And, I am not alone. Many, many, many people, everywhere are waking up to the same realizations about who we are, and who we are not, every day.
The Alphabet vs The Goddess, by Leonard Shlain is a wonderful book that really makes a bold statement about how language has shaped us as a culture, and as individuals. A fascinating read.
Many of my early astrology teachers required us to memorize the meanings of the houses/signs/planets by using KeyWords. Once you had established a growing vocabularly it becomes easy to create interpretations. Whether they are accurate, useful, or necessary is a discussion left for another time. It was clearly understood by many, that you cannot understand and learn astrology from just reading books about astrology; most especially if you were planning on consulting with clients as a practice.
Gotta run.
Om peace.Man's First Breath

Astrology Book Reports Buddhism consciousness Yoga yoga nidra Yoga Therapy

A typical yoga therapy session:

Female, 49 yrs. 5’5″, 180, thining dyed hair, round. Although I do not have a birth-chart to refer to, the fact that she is 49 is enough to remind me which cycles usually dominate our life experiences during the years around 50.

Chiron’s cycle is approximately 50 years. The wounded healer, heals.

She arrived before me for our session and was eager and willing to fill out intake forms.

We spoke about the program and this session in particular. We agreed to follow the yamas & niyamas for our work together.  We did this by practicing co-listening techniques in order to develop a clear channel for communication.

She describes herself as exhausted, and can feel some obstruction in the heart & throat area. She recently suffered from pneumonia and continues to be concerned about her health. She felt it was a wake-up call of some sort and wanted to pay closer attention.

She is frustrated with her current career. Although she loves being a teacher, she feels stuck in her current position. It feels like a long, hard struggle and she’s out of energy.

We discussed different yoga practices that can be of benefit to her if she chooses to commit to a ‘practice’ at all.

For the experiential part of our 1st session we spent time doing a seated body scan thru the kosha’s. Periodically, I would ask her to write/draw/record her awarenesses on some paper.

By the time we finished with the kosha’s she had experienced quite an ‘energetic’ shift inside and was quite amazed at what she had discovered. Most notable was that the entire left side of her body was numb when compared to the right. The imbalance was enlightening in and of itself to her in that moment.

We completed our session with savasana, pranayama and meditation.

During meditation, we explored Anjali Mudra in some detail paying attention to the sensations in each fingertip, it’s proximity to the heart chakra, its guiding the energy upward, etc.

I guided her back to the previously blocked throat area and encouraged her to chant om for a short while, and I noticed that each om sounded stronger than the one before it.

She felt like there was more work to be done, and seemed quite at peace and possibly enthusiastic about what might come next.

She left feeling well-balanced, energetic, and relaxed.

I could have taken an entirely different tactic with this women, and spent our time together working more on asana’s and that would have been okay, too. However, in my mind, asana’s and Chiron just don’t go together very well unless you have a committed client who will be returning often. At this point in time she was unable to commit to more than one session at a time. (I usually encourage everyone to commit to 6 sessions, however that can be a financial/economic burden in 2009.) Chiron and Neptune are closely aligned these days, so for those clients around 49 yrs of age, their particular crisis in this moment requires a spiritual (neptune), healing (chiron) flavor to it. Much of what happens during guided healing/therapy sessions happens on the subtle & causal layers of the body. To some it’s very, very, “woo-woo”. To others, it’s safe, non-invasive, and easy to participate.

Yoga Yoga Therapy

I began facilitating stress management classes around 1989,  but here’s a tidbit of information Ilearned in a recent YTT class on stress-management.

When they did all those studies to determine what is known as the fight or flight reaction they used men. After observation those were the words that were chosen (Fight/flight) to represent  the surges of adrenalin and cortisol as witnessed in a male human body. Fight. Flight. Sounds simple enough , and it’s quite true. Remember, that primal brain is still operational, despite modern evolution.

The tidbit though is about how a woman’s body responds to those same adrenal gland secretions.  Recently they duplicated the same studies and discovered that neither fight or flight were the most common responses for the females.  At All!  What had been observed  was that female bodies tended  more to Freeze during stressful conditions.  Think ‘deer in the headlights’ kind of reaction.

When I took a little survey among  my students, men & women, I discovered that The Freeze feels much more resonate with them than fighting or fleeing….not always, but most of the time.  Nearly all seemed to breathe a sigh of relief by just hearing that alternative F-word. (freeze)

Whatever. Stress is stressful. There’s no doubt about it. Yoga helps. Find a teacher that you resonate with. Go often. Relieve your stress. It’s good for everyone. Yoga Nidra tonite.

Come, The Door is Round and Open. (rumi)

Here’s some information on my studio.

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