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.
Two important announcements regarding my yoga community were made recently. The first is that the International Association of Yoga Therapists, after years of work, have defined and developed a curriculum with which to certify someone as a Yoga Therapist. This new designation will read as C-IAYT. This achievement comes on the heels of the Yoga Alliance announcing that they will not recognize the term yoga therapy within their certification requirements. Their primary interest is in making sure that anyone who calls themselves a yoga teacher/instructor knows how to keep people safe while guiding asana practice. Using yoga, therapeutically or in any kind of a ‘healing’ way is not what the Yoga Alliance is focused on. Whereas, the IAYT which was founded in 1989 has been solely focused on using yoga therapeutically and they have dedicated all their resources towards that end. Just as my yoga ‘career’ got started (1999) the dialogue on what is yoga therapy began. Over the next few years they discussed just what were the most important aspects of a yoga (therapy) program and should we establish a required curriculum? Much of this discussion occurred before the current explosion of yoga ‘teachers’ hit the scene. My feelings at the time were in line with others who asserted that yoga could not be strictly coded for anything since it’s very foundation was based in energy, spirit, and whatever overriding belief system was operating at any given time. IMHO Yoga can not be quantified…and my personal practice of yoga therapy emphasizes that, which does not mean that I ignore the body during practice. Quite the contrary. But, a holistic practice should cover the whole as understood by the early yogi’s.
Today, all the debating is complete and the organizations have chosen their paths forward and it’s exactly what I feared would happen. They’ve narrowed down yoga therapy to mostly asana & pranayama, and turned the subtle & causal energy-bodies over to Ayurveda….which isn’t awful, just disappointing, for me, personally. But, I have my karma to work thru just like everyone else.
All that said it seems that I do qualify to be grandfathered (or more appropriately) grandmothered in for their official certification of yoga therapy, I guess age does have some rewards. But first I have the daunting task of documenting 15 years of client contact. Nevertheless, those that are wanting to call themselves yoga therapists are faced with a curriculum that would never have appealed to me, or anyone who understands that healing, well-being, and self-fulfillment is more than the body, more than the sum of the parts, more than anything that can be studied, measured, or quantified.
Another piece of yoga news was the announcement that Integrative Yoga Therapy will become a part of the Kripalu Yoga curriculum, officially. This is not a big surprise to me as Joseph LaPage was part of the early Kripalu ashram, but it’s so wonderful to have them together in this form. All of my teacher-trainings have been within this lineage of teachers and I feel so much gratitude to be a part of the community.
I never expected to be a pioneer of anything, but it seems as though I have been blazing a path for sure. Just the fact that I’m posting this to all of you is evidence of that. My studio is 14 years old and continues to be a safe and sacred space for those who seek healing, inspiration, and enlightenment thru yoga. Om Shanti.
Well, I’m back and it was an over-the-top fabulous week and worth the wait. As usual, my well gets filled at Kripalu. I am grateful.
Kripalu is a different place these days and I miss the community feeling that was created by the ashram lifestyle. Volunteers vs Employees creates a totally different environment. Thus, to me, today, it feels like any other 5-star holistic center….ie Omega, Esalen, The Open Center, etc. Many of the best senior teachers are gone, a serious failing since that’s when the wisdom of the yoga practice can really express itself. The emphasis no longer includes any of the off-the-mat practices of Kripalu Yoga. Too bad. It’s so needed as a counterpoint to the body-based exercises that pass for yoga today.
That said, I still love it there. You just can’t not absorb the incredible magical, metaphysical, and spiritual energy that permeates the entire landscape. The mountains, the lake, the fertile land, the trees and the prana in the air all conspire to create feng shui perfection.
The program, Sharing Your Life Story with Ann Randolph was over-the-top amazing and I highly recommend you see her performances or take her workshops. I am so inspired to continue my creative non-fiction projects and hope to post some Kripalu stories here in the near future.
….where I do volunteer work at least three times a year. This trip I worked as a facilitator and hatha yoga teacher. The program was called the Inner Quest Intensive and I have been a part of this amazing ‘production’ since ’99. Here’s a post I wrote after another such trip about 5 years ago.
The world really needs this program. Those of us who facilitate transformation and healing for others know this. I am completely filled with love, gratitude, and kindness once again as I continue to live and teach yoga.
This time I came home inspired to develop and deliver an experiential program with transformational possibilities of my own. My plan is to use the natal chart as a launchpad. We’ll address all the planets of our solar system with the intention of expanding our self-awareness and self-knowledge. Interested ? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Asbury Park, NJ
What happens when you integrate astrology into the yogic practice of self-observation without judgement?
Self-inquiry is a spiritual practice that directs our energy and our attention inward. It’s a particular form of self-discovery that encourages one to first recognize and then drop the social mask (also known as the persona, personality, or ascendant) and practice authenticity in every moment. (rather than productivity or some other external goal). In, The Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield, he describes a Buddhist practice of sitting quietly and repeatedly asking yourself, “Who am I”, over and over until you reach a point where something in the body/mind relaxes (?) and a subtle shift in consciousness happens. It’s one of those things that you have to experience for yourself and hard to describe.
Svadhyaya is one of the niyamas (from Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga) that encourages us to look at ourselves, clearly, without prejudice. It’s a challenging task and requires constant practice. Kripalu Yoga is the methodology that i practice. It brings the physical and energetic bodies into the mix by developing a heightened sense of awareness to sensations, breath, thought patterns, and spontaneous emotional expression.
Astrology attempts to find meaning in the natural order of the cosmos. Everything has it’s own time, it’s own season, and every minute that passes is unique. Astrologers observe both long term & short term trends and relate that information to the present moment. In addition, astrology also adds mythological, archetypal, & psychological dimensions that are extremely personal and relevant.
Natal Astrology looks at an individual (or oneself) thru a lens that has no prejudice. The natal horoscope does not see: gender, race, religion, economic status, socio/cultural differences, sexual orientation, political affiliation or any of the ways in which we categorize ourselves. What the natal chart does describe is our ‘energetic’ makeup and the timing of unfoldment. The ‘how’ is up to us. There are many ways to manifest the potential of our horoscope. It’s the energy pattern and the timing that are pre-determined. All else is free will. When approached with equanimity and non-judgement the natal horoscope becomes an impartial map of possibility with a built-in clock to help one connect to the present moment more intimately.
Yoga & Astrology have co-existed harmoniously in various cultures for eons. Each discipline recognizes the value & contribution of the other. Across the centuries, astrologers have continued to relate the movement of what is above to the movement of what lies below. Whereas, at the same time the yogi’s were discovering what lies without, also exists within. They both agree that here & now is important.
Yoga provides us with the tools to help us be with that moment in peaceful co-existence. Astrology helps us to understand the characteristics of the our particular ego-state and the nature of the obstacles that impede our path towards a higher consciousness. Yoga helps us to smooth out the obstacles, minimize the ego drives and approach life’s challenges in peace. Astrology provides us with the nature of the ever-changing present moment. Yoga practices train us to respond to the ever-changing moment with acceptance. Astrology, when properly understood, can advance us towards spiritual awakening. Yoga does the same.
As a Professional Kripalu Yoga Teacher & Astrologer it’s taken me most of my life to bring these two paths together in a way that goes beyond the mental field or intellect. After 30+ years of study and practice I have now reached a point where I can no longer keep them separate. My personal practice and the programs I offer always include the cosmic point of view in an attempt to teach the hermetic principal, As Above, So Below. For those who are ready for the practice of self-inquiry and seek to approach life multi-dimensionally, astrology & yoga together can be quite enlightening.
Om shanti, shanti, shantihi.
Have you noticed how the outside really does reflect the inside? All the time.
I’ve just returned from Kripalu Center where I was able to take on the role of musician in the Saptah ‘event’ and then facilitator and yoga leader in the IQI.
A lot happened. Nothing happened. The stillpoint that becomes present when I find my center was exquisitly healing for me personally & professionally.
And, just to remind me that the universe supports inward journeying I’ve arrived home during the balsamic phase of the moon; another opportunity to develop relationship with the more causal levels of existence.
I’ll be facilitating another yoga nidra this thursday.
The astrology is perfect.
I feel like I’m doing my part to bring peace to the planet.
I couldn’t do this work without practicing peace for myself.
May we live in peace, no matter what we’re given.
Om nama shivaya.
I’m traveling into the beautiful Berkshire Mountains tomorrow heading to the Kripalu Yoga Teacher’s Conference. Over on the sidebar to the right you’ll find a link for more information.
One of the things I love most about Kripalu yoga is it’s emphasis on community and creating a more peaceful world.
I look forward to re-connecting with my teachers and my peers. After all, there’s just ONE of us here, right?
Om shanti , shanti, shantihi
I’ll be back next week.
Recently at Kripalu, I had the great, good fortune to meet up with
Akim is a wonderful teacher and/or role model for our youth today. He delivers a very important and timely message within his chosen form of Hip-Hop music and Rap style of talking. I am grateful that he is out there helping to create a more peaceful world.
In my wildest dreams, never did I see myself performing the harp in accompainment to one such as he. As some of my closest friends have said,
“You just can’t make this stuff up!”.
Anyway, check him out by clicking on the link above. And if you ever get a chance to see him, do it! Sometimes, you just never know who is going to have an impact on your life. Isn’t that a good reason to practice kindness towards all?