Oct 23, 2022
Oct 4, 2022
SUBTLE HIGHER REALITIES
Fleeting glimpses? Or forgotten altogether?
"Humanity has a clear opportunity and mandate to recognise the nature of reality, and to play in the world in a way that awakens the intuitive and psychic faculties. It is a play that results in harmony, ecstatic experience, deep empathy, and greater influence over one’s own fate.
As a culture, we have imposed on ourselves for a long time a sense of limitation, an ingrained amnesia of higher and subtler realities. Sometimes a fleeting glimpse is
noticed - while sleeping, or out of the corner of the eye - but only half-remembered or forgotten altogether.
The process of remembering all of our forgotten or repressed parts requires an eerie kind of courage. It can be terribly exciting, like standing at the edge of the water and aching to jump in, but feeling unprepared.
It is this precise feeling of an exciting threshold that we must notice, even revere, to grow in a naturally joyful manner. It is the sign that we are standing near the edge of our abilities, peeking out into a greater understanding, a bigger future, ready to learn something new.
This era is a call to action. In this particular life, in this particular age of humankind, we can experience and live the realities that have been heretofore hidden from view. (My emphasis).
We have everything we need. Let’s go."
The above exerpt is from a book by Josh Pryor, Yoga teacher in Newcastle, called "The Spirit of the Matter". It conveys the feeling of focus, excitement, combined with trepidation, of setting my Intention on enriching my connection to the inner self, of tuning in to my Higher Power. Here's another quote I love which inspired me to try to paint the 'the inner'. Back in 2008, three Yoga teachers offered a workshop on 'Yoga and Creativity'. We were Ursula Huber, Nandhini Nagaratnam and I - the workshop and the sales of paintings were both wildly successful! I wonder where my painting of 'the inner' is now?
Ah, not to be cut off, not through the slightest partition
shut out from the law of the stars.
The inner - what is it?
if not intensified sky,
hurled through with birds and deep
with the winds of homecoming.
- Rainer Maria Rilke
SETTING AN INTENTION, A SANKALPA
Durng this block of classes we will attune our practice to the sutra:
Tapas, svadhyaya, ishvara pranidhana kriya yoga
Kriya yoga centres around three practices, tapas - discipline and effort, svadhyaya( self-study), and ishvara pranidhana (surrender to a Higher Power). with these underpinning our practice we can change the ingrained samskaras, our conditioned habits, and forge improved mastery over body, mind and senses, decrease pain and find more mental clarity. We will listen and feel into the subtle changes, and open our awareness to the showers of grace, the open sky of light and wisdom above.
THE LANDMINES OR NEGATIVE THINKING
What are the challenges that sabotage your intention to practise? Not the asanas or movements you find difficult, but the underlying issues, the negative self-talk, the stumbling blocks to a regular home Yoga practice. Identify the issue, or seek help to identify it, and then come up with creative solutions.
What excuses arise? What makes it difficult to do your practice? When you are practising, why is it hard? Then come up with a creative solution for each challenge.
Writing about this in your journal will be a big help. And then remind yourself of the support your have - people & relationships, friendships, community that help you.
REGULARITY MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE
A consistent regular Yoga practice is a sustainable one. You will quickly make gains in the right direction, whether that’s towards mobility, strength, decreased stress, peace of mind and/or connecting to your deepest self, (all of the above?) if you practise regularly. Be realistic about how long you plan to practice each day/each week. Set an achievable goal and stick to it.
The key is regularity, rather than duration.
Set a reminder, start the stop watch, just do it!
PRANAYAMA AND MEDITATION
Allow time for these powerful aspects of Yoga. There are many possibilities: Practice as we do in class, focus on the flow of your breath, find a meditation App that suits you, or ask Pam to devise a personal Home Practice for your needs. Don’t skimp here! And of course the final relaxation to integrate the benefits.
DILIGENT EFFORT – TAPAS AND KINDNESS FOR YOURSELF – AHIMSA
The time and effort you invest in your home practice = the benefits received. It’s a Win/Win outcome. When your home practice is tailored to suit your own needs on that day, over longer term you will build well-being and a steady responsive nervous system. You will be able to maintain strength through the years, decrease pain, and your mental resilience will grow. Your inner smile will spread!
'We are standing near the edge of our abilities, peeking out into a greater understanding, a bigger future, ready to learn something new. '
I care about your wellbeing, and welcome you to vitalyoga.
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Chifley, ACT 2606
Aug 22, 2022
My copy of Diggers Garden Club catalogue for Spring planting arrived in the post today. I will drool a little, then calm down and choose carefully as planting space is at a premuim. I do have a seedling Gingko biloba tree sheltered through our frosts. Memo to self: time to prepare the site with compost! And do more sneaky guerrilla gardening in our local reserve!
ABC TV urged us all to vote for Australia's favourite tree, and after some thought I voted for Eucalyptus regnans, tall majestic Mountain Ash. A drive through forrests in the cool mountainous parts of Victoria brings back memories of being in an ancient Gothic cathedral. Uplifting, overwhelming grandeur, beauty and stillness - all in a forest. And according to Wikiepedia,' Mature forests dominated by E. regnans have been found to store more carbon than any other forest known'. Allround wonder of Nature!
It takes time to realize the depth of asana practice. Years sometimes...
Just like growing a tree.
When we start, it's just scratching the surface: we place the feet just so, lengthen the spine, turn the head, inhale into the pose, and exhale, release. A conative action that is a direct physical movement achieved after an impulse of the mind. Then we start to feel - in the skin, the ears, eyes, nose and tongue and our joints - all our organs of perception. Instantly the mind links to flesh and the perception of the sense organs and our recollection says 'What is this that I feel now which I did not feel before?' The bridge to the the intellect lights up. Every part of us participates in self-study. The innerself contemplates and observes and learns, and we have reached the highest state of reflection in the asana.
It becomes a spiritual practice, the stage of reflection How does this make me feel?
The Ancient Texts tell us that the body is comprised of three tiers, which themselves are composed of several dimensions. The gross body corresponds to our physical sheath, the solid structure.
The subtle body is made up of the phsiological sheath, the organs and systems, called pranamaya kosa, plus the mental sheath - manomaya kosa, and the intellectual sheath vijnanamaya kosa. We discern and analyse and plan with the mind, and learn, judge and choose with the intellect.
The subtle body is not visible to us, but we certainly experience its effect.
The innermost body, the most subtle dimension on which all the others depend, is known as the causal body, The bliss layer - anandamaya kosa or the innate spiritual dimension of joy.
When all these dimensions come together in harmony, we are one. We are Integrated. A unity of the self in each and every cell, my breath, my spirit, when all the layers and aspects merge together in harmony, A sense that our flow of awareness is not interruped, that we are in unity - our cells, our mind, our spirits as one with all existence.
I still remember 25 years ago, a new electric sensation, a sense of wonder in a long held Trikonasana. I was participating in a class after work in the Blue Room In ANU Sport & Rec. I want more of this Yoga!
'When every cell sings the song of the soul! That is Yoga ."
'As the essence of th tree is contained in the fruit, so too the essence of your Yoga practice is contained in its fruit of freedom, poise, peace and beatitude.'
So we keep practising!
This Block of classes runs until15th September, follwed by a one week break.
At present there is a vacant spot in the Tuesday Gentle Yoga for Recovery class 4.15 - 5.30pm. Please contact me if you're interested.
Private classes by individual arrangement. Contact me re any special requirements. E: firstname.lastname@example.org