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Monday
Aug112014

Kosha Doodles

INTRODUCING THE KOSHAS

4. The Five Koshas are both the source of our well-being during life and the vehicles we travel in after death.

5. Yoga devotes an entire class of practices called pranayama to replenishing the pranamaya kosha. Our initial hot yoga Pranayama, as well as the final kaphalbhatti breath are designed to awaken, expand and cleanse the body with the vital force. There are many other yogic pranaya practices - alternate nostril breathing is a popular Sivananda breath practice. All pranayama is designed to enhance the proper functioning of your second sheath.

6. In addition, getting plenty of fresh air and sunlight is essential for maintaining the health of the vital force. Yoga texts explain that the sun is the ultimate source of prana; some advanced yogis go for years without eating food, instead they simply absorb prana radiated by the sun. For most of us, however, fresh whole foods are the major source of prana.

II YOUR SECOND BODY: PRANAMAYA KOSHA


III YOUR THIRD BODY: MANOMAYA KOSHA

7. A harmonious environment, passion for your work, fun and play in your life,  supportive relationships - these all offer an ideal diet for the mind. A daily session of pratyahara, or sensory withdrawal, leading into meditation provides an excellent inner tune-up.

IV YOUR FOURTH BODY: VJNANAMAYA KOSHA

5. Yoga sages considered the vijnanamaya kosha so important they placed the exercises for it at the very beginning of the yoga system: these are the yamas and niyamas, commitments not to harm, lie, steal, overindulge, or hoard; instead, to be content, pure, self-disciplined, studious, and devoted.

V YOUR FIFTH BODY: ANANDAMAYA KOSHA

2. Saints, sages, and mystics do the inner work necessary to make anandamaya kosha a living part of their experience. They purify their minds so that they can have this experience throughout life, not just for a fleeting moment at death. During life, most people are hardly even aware that this level of consciousness exists within them.

Monday
Aug042014

What is Yoga? Limbs 7 and 8: Dyana and Samadhi

Since I dont know if, and doubt if I have ever truly been in a state of meditation, I decided to begin with the 6th limb. I figured that would be the best path to the 7th Dyana and ultimately the 8th Samadhi. Attempting these stages in three classes for the week I see that I dont have an inkling or even a word to say about it until trying it 3 times. By the third class I am having what I think is an experience regarding my efforts! What happened for me is I have trouble at the onset of class focusing on one thing. Pranayama is settling me down but I cant grab just ONE thought, or ONE chakra. Suddenly I am glued to my own eyes. Well, one eye at a time. No thoughts or revelations, just a wholesome lock. Possibly into my soul!!!  The standing balancing series happens seemingly without my attention to it. I completely lost this 'connection' from Dandayamana Bipaktapada Paschimottanasana through Dandayamana Bipaktapada Janushirasana. So the physical completely takes over for me so I see that as a goal. To stay in that state of mind throughout the most physically challenging part of my practice will be growth indeed!

First long Savasana and I am back in my eyes. Only now I dont have a mirror, and I'm going in. Yes, in my body. Snaking through my brain and sinus areas, seeing them clear and healthy. Down my throat, chest cavity, heart, organs below all good. I tried not to stop and analyze this journey into myself. I did not plan it and did not try to control it. Looking back it reminds me of fiction I have read about medically intuitive people. Hmmm.

Pavanamuktasana pulled me out of myself and I found myself unable to get back to any sort of 'place' like I had just been. My mind was doing my script along with my body. In hindsight, I think I couldve tried again, but had no inclination whatsoever to go there again for that class. Could it be that that was enough for me for one day? Not  sure if that makes sense but its the best I can describe my perception of these Limbs for me. I'm certain I did not get to 8, maybe not even 7, but a sincere attempt felt pretty wild! 

Sunday
Jul272014

What is Yoga? Limbs 5 and 6- Pratyhara and Dyana

To practice Pratyhara, the 5th limb of yoga, I set my intention at the start of class to pull my senses inward while staying tuned in to the teachers instruction. To attempt a journey within I started out just staring into my own eyes. Soon I did feel 'centered' (?) , I tried to exist in each moment as if there was only me. It seemed to require a lot more letting go than I was giving. So I let go some more.  After a bit, I noticed that the poses feel easier, not so much noticing the usual 'resistance' (?)  Once I felt that I was 'in the zone', I moved forward.

To practice Dyana, the 6th limb of yoga I centered my attention to my Chakras. I bounced around them a bit, but I knew from our reading that this limb is practiced by focusing ones attention on a single mental object. So I landed on Ajna, The Third Eye. It was easier than usual to spin that indigo vortex and I imagined it growing and the color becoming more intense. 

How it affected me is hard to explain. To say that I am calm, content, peaceful etc. would be true but its an understatement. Centered. Thats a good word, but its more than that. I suspect that this feeling will linger and maybe grow. 

This is a great meditation tool. How perfect to be given the information and then to take it to the hot room to try it out! Now using this moving forward without being given it for an assignment would be giving myself yet another gift. 

Saturday
Jul262014

Final Project

I think it would be interesting, and great practice to do a BIG sort of Remember it Forward to present at graduation. It would be a 'story' of my journey starting after TT graduation into the next couple or few years, depending on how the story evolves. In other words if I am on a roll, I will keep it moving forward past a 2 year point. 

Sunday
Jul202014

Asana and Pranayama - Limbs 3 and 4

Focusing on these 2 limbs of yoga during 3 classes this week. First of all, right away I was in a deeper meditation by focusing the inhale and exhale with the movements. Usually in class I have to keep bringing my attention back to the breath. By purposefully combining Asana and Pranayama I was able to keep the attention there for much longer stretches . Maybe this simply has to do with being further along in my practice since starting TT? In any event it was also quickly apparent that USING the exhale to deepen the pose was really more of a surrender. For example I saw that IF MY FOCUS IS ON, I can rely on the breath to take me through coming up slowly from the third part of Utkatasana. Which is a challenge for me, especially the second set.  In Dandayamana Janushirasana, sometimes locking my right leg likes to wake up my bitchy hamstrings. Focusing on Pranayama really allowed me to let my body do what it could. In other words, the breath took me past the point of where I sometimes feel discomfort, without discomfort. Knowing that it was due to where my focus was and how intent that focus really was. It was definitely a surrender to the yoga. I noticed that in the second and third classes of practicing this, it became more obvious. More of a knowing that if I breath through it, it will be better. And it will feel better.