26 December 2016

a lovely spiritual secret

Image result for lotus flower drawing


Meditation technique

In our previous post I gave a channelled technique for balancing mind & emotions, sympathetic & parasympathetic nervous systems (which together comprise the Autonomic Nervous System), stimulating the eyebrow centre, brumadhya, which in turn directly affects the 3rd eye, Ajna chakra. And the technique leads one directly into meditation. So, all up, it's a real blessing, & so easy to do.

A secret blessing

But there is another direct effect, too. We have a chakra on the end of our nose, on the nose tip. Previously I had been taught that the nose tip, & the sense of smell, was directly related to Mooladhara chakra, the base chakra, & I even once found a site which gave clear directions as to how the nose tip nerves linked into the brain, the part of the brain that is believed to be the brain site of mooladhara chakra. And I believed all this, too. Because that's what "they", those who "knew it all", were saying.

Now, I am not so sure. I can actually "see" a tiny chakra on the nose tip. I am now more inclined to believe that it is it's own entity. It feels as though it is it's own entity. And the technique that I gave on the last post, stimulates this wee chakra. I am not too sure of the colour of it as yet. But I can tell you that it is to do with exalted states of mind. Bliss. Sublime vibrations.

The Divine scent

And the smell of sandalwood. The smell of the scent which comes from the nose tip chakra, produces a spiritual type of euphoria...and it is in itself, a very balanced, clear, & Divine state. One is completely The Silent witness with this smell. Somehow the nose tip is connected to brumadhya, the eyebrow centre, & also connected to The Silent Witness, Ajna Chakra. So we are talking about a very high state of consciousness & energy, here.

It is not the base chakra

It does not feel as though one is "sitting in" the reptilian brain (where the common site of mooladhara chakra is believed by many, to be, as already mentioned), with the smell of sandalwood emanating from oneself!!! 

The reptilian part of the brain is "one of the 3 major areas of the brain, & is named the reptilian brain because it includes the main structures found in a reptile's brain: the brainstem & cerebellum). This area of the brain controls the body's vital functions, such as heart rate, breathing, body temperature, & balance." (thebrain.mcgill.ca) This area of the brain is still functioning when we have spiritual experiences.

How could it not? But, due to my own experiences, I seriously question whether it is the site of mooladhara chakra. And whether the sense of spiritual smell is mooladhara chakra. I know that the sense of smell has been associated with mooladhara, but I am saying here, most definitely, that this seems to be a different experience, with the nosetip chakra. And I am very open to being proved wrong...or right...whatever.

The smell is faint & fleeting, at first, but then, over time it becomes more & more strong & lasts longer. It will last as long as one is in that state of consciousness & energy!

And this could be why the scent of sandalwood is so prized in incense & oils. In some way, we can get a mild glimpse of a sublime state through the smell.

Beginning technique

Nosetip gazing, whereby the eyes are gently slit, & one gazes at the nose tip, is an excellent beginning technique for this chakra.

You can read someone's experience of a nasal chakra awakening here. They are not my experiences. And I do feel that my experiences differ because I have "worked my way up" the chakras, so I have already had many weird & wonderful experiences.

I have seen the nosetip chakra on Ascension sites & such. It is not a "new" chakra that only special, evolved people have or get.....it is, however, an integral part of the overall chakra system. And, it has not been included much in the scheme of things. I suspect that this is because it doesn't seem to "fit" in with the kundalini/spine ascension. 

And also because one has to go up very high in consciousness & energy for the awakening of this beautiful chakra. In other words, if you don't get up high enough in the spiritual scheme of things, you won't discover the secret of the nosetip chakra.


16 December 2016

A Christmas gift from me to you

Image result for ajna chakra 3rd eye
An offering

I  hope that I have not been too harsh, saying that yoga teachers need to do a bit of practice. It doesn't have to be a lot, but it does need to suit you, your time, & your needs.

And, I would like to offer you all a tidbit, as Christmas gift.

Pranayama precedes meditation

Sometimes it can be quite difficult to still for a few minutes each day & meditate. One's mind can be so restless! A very easy way to rectify this is to do some pranayama before you do meditation...but, when we are time crunched, this can be just another stressor, adding to our "have to do" list. 

A lovely channelled technique that I teach, & also do myself, combines both pranayama & meditation, &, you get results very quickly, so that if you are pushed for time, you can fit in both pranayama & meditation, quite quickly, & effortlessly. 

Here it is:

  • Sit, with palms under your armpits (not in, but under) with thumbs on the front of the torso.
  • Relax your jaw, & around the eyes (reduces tension). 
  • Eyes closed. 
  • Be aware of the breath flowing in & out of both nostrils, evenly. 
  • Then up & down both nostrils, to & from the eyebrow centre. 
  • The next step is to visualise the breath in each nostril as a thread of gold, going in & out, up & down - to & from the eyebrow centre. (This will create an inverted V shape).
  • Add "So" on each inhale, "Ham" (pronounced "hum") ...
  • After a short while, remove your hands, if you wish, into any comfortable position. 
  • Keep going with the golden thread & "So-Ham". 
  • Let any thoughts, any sensations, any sounds, continue in the background, keeping a relaxed focus on the technique. 
  • Be the Silent Witness, the knower, the observer. & allow yourself to just be.


This simple, yet very effective, technique, is so profound. 

  • It will harmonise mindstuff & emotions, & will calm both aspects down. 
  • It will bring you to one-pointedness. 
  • You can do it lying down without the hands under the armpits, for a relaxation. 
  • You can incorporate it into your classes, &, in this case, do it at the end of the class, as pranayama & meditation. 
  • Or, incorporate into relaxation at the end of the class. 
  • The reason for doing this after poses, is that it will harmonise the breath in both nostrils. In other words, both nostrils will flow in unison. 

When they both are flowing evenly, the brain activity changes. Our spiritual energy kicks in. We go onto a lovely altered state. A sublime & very relaxed, yet quietly energised, state. This is not the state that we need for doing poses! We need a more physical energy for vinyasa, sun salutes, etc. And that is a flow of breath in the right nostril, not both together.


For beginners, you can teach this over a few weeks:

  • Just teach a bit at a time, as described above. 
  • Do the 1st bit for a week or 2, up & down nostrils. 
  • Then the next week or 2, add to & from eyebrow centre. 
  • Then So- Ham, 
  • then golden threads. 
  • This could all take 4 - 8 weeks. 
Such an excellent technique for classes of 1 hour or less.

Doing this regularly will have a profound effect on the energy flow in each nostril. The energy will flow there anyway. It just does. 

But, & this is important, we can awaken a higher, stronger energy flow there. At 1st, as it awakens, the flows will move up & down the nostrils in a wobbly motion. They will straighten in time. And, of course, the eyebrow centre, Brumadhya, will become stimulated, indirectly affecting Ajna chakra, the 3rd eye, inside the head.

Something else amazing & lovely, will happen too.....& we shall talk about this on the next post.

9 December 2016

The Sun Never Says

 Another poem by the great Sufi Master & mystic, Hafiz



The Sun Never says:

Even

After

All this time

The sun never says to the earth,


"You owe 

Me".

Look 

What happens

With a love like that,

It lights the 

Whole

Sky




8 December 2016

looking after yourself as a yoga teacher

                   Image result for yoga at home

Yoga at home


I know that I often go on & on about this, but, for ethics sake, if one is teaching something like meditation, or postures...then one should really be doing some practice themselves.


And we all have times when this is difficult to do:


  • such as when we have injuries
  • or a family member is unwell
  • the kids are so little that you are lucky enough to even get a shower
  • or you have been sick, in which case...no poses, etc, is the order of the day.

Difficulties around teaching

Teaching yoga is really easy on one hand..... if, for example:

  • there is no-one with any injuries in your class (which really is rare), 
  • you don't take many classes, 
  • or perhaps you don't have to travel far to teach. 
These are seldom the case, however. I travel far & wide to teach, & I know that others do too. And I teach quite a few classes. These factors are quite tiring. But, we yoga teachers do need to keep our energy up!

Depending on doing our own asanas whilst taking a class, is exhausting. Well, I find it so, so I assume that others do, too. I know that doing everything with the class means that we will give phenomenal classes...bit it's too tiring. We need another way of working out what & how to teach.


The best way to learn how to teach


  • Ultimately it is through our own practice that we learn what works. 
  • How it works, & why it works. 
That, plus watching our students in a class, which teaches us: 

  • about skeletal shapes, 
  • what different proportions of bone structures can do, 
  • & also what is difficult for different types of bodies.
Our own practice is our teacher

And,  it is by gently resuming practice (sadhana) after injury or illness,


  • that we also learn what to do for students who have had injuries or physical difficulties, 
  • & how to adjust things to accommodate these. 
It is by only having a short amount of free time in which to practice, that we learn:

  • what really does work, 
  • for what circumstances, 
  • & why. 
  • What to emphasize. 
  • What is "icing on the cake".

I have always felt that telling students what to do in a class when you never practice yourself, is like telling your child to eat their greens when you don't. And I too have had periods when sadhana was just not happening. I would expect that all yoga teachers have "breaks" also. 

Even just a small practice, is ok


But, overall, our own sadhana is extremely important. If you can only manage 1 round of surya namaskara (sun salute) each morning, & the bridge pose, or 1/2 shoulderstand & a 5 minute "meditation" at night....so be it!


You will end up wanting to add a bit more. Simply because it will all make you feel so much better than how you usually feel. 


And, if you have time & are teaching a lot.....make yourself a 20 minute yoga nidra tape, on your phone, & aim to do it every day if possible, to keep your energy levels up. Even if that is your main sadhana practice.


The easiest and best techniques

Another excellent thing to fit in as a yoga teacher, is to incorporate the yamas/observances & niyamas/codes of conduct. How can one possibly fit all that into an already crowded life? Simply by being a decent, honest person who aims to be kind. That will do it.


There is another practice that one can incorporate. This the practice of mouna, or silence. It means, on a simplified daily level:


  • of not wasting our speech. 
  • not doing unnecessary talking. 
This simple practice gives far more energy than one could imagine. When I take a lot of classes, I am so over the sound of my own voice! But that's not the real reason for mouna. Excessive talking is believed to dissipate our prana, our life-force. Any time that we can hold onto our prana, we are keeping our energy levels up. And this is the easiest way to do it.

2 December 2016

The Constant Yearning

A poem by the great Sufi poet & Master, Hafiz:


The Constant Yearning


We are 


Like lutes


Once held by God.


Being away from His warm body


Fully explains


This


Constant


Yearning