Category: Yoga

 

 

 

 

The tropical charts above represent the ‘curriculum for our weekend at the Gurukulam.

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/

Astrology Yoga Yoga Therapy

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.

 

more later.

Asbury Park Astrology Blogging Holistic Health Yoga Yoga Therapy

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.

Yoga Yoga Therapy

….feeling the need to re-post this today.   Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi. 

 

Within the city of Brahman,

which is the body,

there is the heart,

and within the heart

there is a little house.

 

This house has the shape of a lotus,

and within it dwells that which is to be

sought after,

inquired about,

and realized.

 

Even so large as the universe outside,

is the universe within the lotus of the heart.

Within it are heaven and earth,

the sun, moon,

the lightning

and all the stars.

 

Whatever is in the macrocosm is in this microcosm also.

Ancient Wisdom Astrology Dharma Doodles StudioIFC Yoga

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 best presentation of the weekend for me was Keynote speaker Dr. Margaret Chesney  She and Larry Payne, were the speakers who touched me the most.

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.

Blogging Yoga Yoga Therapy

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.

 

 

 

 

Astrology Kripalu Pluto Saturn The Lunar Cycle Yoga Yoga Therapy

“Meet this world with neither grasping nor fear.  Trust the unfolding of life and you will attain true serenity.” 

~Bhagavad Gita

 

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

Geometric Art Yoga yoga nidra Yoga Therapy

 

According to Indian Mythology, Lord Visnu had decided to make the Deities (the seven planets) immortal.  Visnu had churned up the sea in order to extract a sacred nectar called amrita, with the intention of making the planetary Gods immortal. Visnu had all of the planetary deities lined up in order to receive the nectar potion. However, a demon called Rakshasha, who was dragon-like in appearance had sneaked in and disguised itself as a deity, in order to become immortal. Once Visnu had realised that he had been fooled into giving the nectar to the demon he took out his sword and chopped the demon in half. The head of the dragon became Rahu and the tail became Ketu, but now they could not be killed, as they had received the nectar. When the nodes, Rahu and Ketu saw how angry they had made Visnu, they did penance to him and were eventually given planetary status.  The symbol of Rahu represents the dragon’s head and Ketu represents its tail.

 

….to be continued.

 

 

Yoga

Last year I stumbled upon an online course teaching the basics of Islamic Geometry as an art form.  With joy I dug into the box that held my old drafting tools from college. I found my compass, triangles, and even some old architectural drawings from my classes.

I’ve been fascinated with the Sri Yantra  for years.  During some of our  yoga workshops we spent some time coloring it in, being mindful and present and watching our thoughts/feelings/sensations during the practice. Everyone enjoyed it.  It is a good way to practice dharana and dhyana, concentration and absorption.

 

The Sri Yantra, is considered the Mother of all Yantras, and there are many of them.  Together they, and many other geometric forms and patterns make up the library of sacred geometry, a science that has fascinated me since my teens.  As I attempted to recreate this ancient pattern I was reminded of the rich symbolism that permeates all  the Vedic sciences, including geometry & mathematics.   As I painted it. layer by layer, I once again recognized impatience., my yearning for perfection, and my struggle with ‘is it enough?’.

Sri Yantra is composed of 9 interlocking triangles, four point up representing the masculine principle and 5 point down representing the feminine.  Everything begins at the Bindu point  The circle represents cosmic rhythms.  The 8 and 16 lotus petals represent on-going creation and expansion.  The four gates representing the directions within a square representing earth, manifestation, and stability.

The Sri Yantra is sacred geometry, meaning that meditation upon it leads to expanded consciousness, enlightenment, or, as some report, extremely good fortune.

All that said, it has been amazingly pleasant to paint the Sri Yantra and I’m on my 4th one.  My patience is growing and I feel serene at completion.   Spiritual practice and meditation can come in many forms.

 

Geometric Art Meditation Yoga

I was running late to class and hobbling still on my sore ankle.  I’ll remember Mars turning retrograde at 4 degrees Aquarius (ruling  zodiac sign of ankles) for a long time!  As soon as I got to the top stair and turned the corner to the studio I saw it, a large white shopping bag with a big pink post-it to Ida…and a heart drawn with red markers.  It was sitting on the chair in the hall by the door to The Sanctuary.  I looked in the bag and saw a bunch of books with a piece of paper on top.  There was no note or card or any clue at all as to the giver of this gift.  I grabbed the bag and hobbled some more into the studio.

 

My curiosity was stoked!  The bag held a delightful assortment of astrology books, most very old, but well kept and well read with pages dogeared and jacket covers marking pages.  I already had a few of them but some I’d never seen before.

In addition to the books was a piece of paper with what might be a natal chart but there’s no name or birthday or birthplace or any personal data at all.  It didn’t look like any other natal chart or chart form I’d ever seen before, and I’ve been seeing charts since 1970 something.

The other item in the bag was an aspectarian, and that item lit me up like a firecracker!  But, that’s another story.

Students began to arrive and I put the books away holding aside Dane Rudyhar’s, An Astrological Mandala – 360 Symbolic Phases.  I have a yellowed paperback held together with a rubber band at home.  I can use this hardcover one for sure.  Usefulness is important when you have Mars and Saturn in Virgo like I.

Another Solar Eclipse was due on Aug 11 at 19 degrees of Leo.  I look up that degree in Rudyhar’s book thinking it would be a good reading for the class and might offer some timely discourse.

Class begins.  It’s a struggle, at first, to pull my mind away from the mysterious gift.  But, by the time we got to “OM”, we were all centered, grounded, and ready for our yoga practices.

After class, we chatted some and I remembered how I wanted to share the page on 19 degrees of Leo,   Instead, I opened the book to the page that was marked with the book cover.  I looked and it read Phase 279, 9 degrees Capricorn. An Angel Carrying a Harp.   Stunned, I looked from the page to the beige nubby carpet up to the creamy tan wall and over to the small, Wm Reese, fully levered, maple lapharp perched on her stand in front of me.

Was that page marked for me?  Even the remaining students in the room were curiously mystified.

After they left I considered what to do with the bag.  I pulled out the piece of paper and the aspectarian, packed the books up, and left it at the studio.

Later that night, I looked at what I brought home, and it does appear like a natal chart of someone born in the 40’s or perhaps early 50’s.  Sun in Sag, Moon in Taurus (?) the symbols here are unclear, Capricorn is rising.  I can’t think of anyone offhand that has that astrological signature.    But, Scorpio’s love mysteries.   Sometimes.

Is this a gift from a peer, an admirer, or a stalker, or someone who has found me on the internet and chooses to remain anonymous for nefarious reasons, or what?

I am well acquainted to what an imaginative monkey-mind can do.  Yet, the bag was left anonymously, on purpose?

Anyway, if you’re still reading this and you know who left it, would you please let me know.

Meanwhile, the solar eclipse has passed and we can now try to make sense of all this summer has revealed…….so far.

Om Shanti….

 

Astrology Blogging Creative Non-Fiction Yoga