Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Living as an Ocean, Remembering we are the Sky

International Yoga Day was on June 21st and I got to enjoy some amazing talks from some amazing teachers put online and available for free by all through that weekend by The Shift Network's Yoga Day Summit.  I felt so blessed to receive the energy of the teachings via the online talks and even more blessed and excited to share the jewels of the teachings in class.  Here is one from Sadvi Bhagawati Saraswati:

She said our lives aren't as small, heavy, or boxed in as we think they are.  What happens to us in our work lives, home, relationships, and politics becomes our entire world view.  So when these areas have conflict or difficulty, we feel like our whole world is falling apart.  Yoga gives us an expansion around that.  It doesn't change our circumstances but creates expansion around them.

She said, imagine a rock being dropped into a glass of water (and how disruptive that would be). (Think of the rock representing difficulties or challenges).  Now imagine that same rock dropping into a bathtub of water.  Now imagine that same rock dropping into a lake. And next imagine that same rock dropping into an ocean.  (See if you can feel what that feels like viscerally in your own being.  Maybe even close your eyes and imagine it for a moment.)  The ocean represents the expansion of your consciousness.  Yoga can take us there.

The problem isn't the rock, it's that we're living like a glass of water instead of an ocean.  We can't change our circumstances, what we can change is our perspective, what we know about who we truly are, as expansive as an ocean.  Capable of holding all the conflicts in our lives without complete destruction as well as holding the glory and blessings in our lives from our great capacity of space, light, and love.



Pema Chodron uses another image to remind us of our true nature.  She says, "You are the sky.  Everything else is the weather."  Again we are reminded of the expansiveness of our true being, the part of us that isn't identified by our name, occupation, family role, hair color, habit energies (good or bad), just our purity and essence of being.  So expansive are we, capable of holding it all, the good glorious, beautiful weather as well as the worst storms imaginable.

This holding is within us and around us.  Think of nature, Mother Earth, Divine Spirit, God.  Yoga gives us the experience of this when we do our asana practice, sit in meditation, create a mudra with our hands, chant mantra of sacred sound.  So many tools at our fingertips to tap into this energy that is within and around us.

Currently, I have been practicing and using some beautiful mantras that remind us of this teaching at the beginning of class, throughout my day, and as I prepare a beautiful array of mantras and dharma for my next kirtan this fall (keep your eyes out for a September date):

Ang Sang Wahe Guru (shared in a recent blog)
"the dynamic loving energy of the infinite is dancing in every limb and every cell of our being."  This mantra "eliminates loneliness from our hearts and fills every cell of our bodies up with the awareness and the presence of Love."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9BhAbaLym0



Om Hreem Ham Sah So Hum Swaha, There is a Light, It never goes out, There is a Light
Hreem as the seed sound and light of the heart.  Ham sah So Hum: I am that, that I am.  I am divine consciousness, the expansiveness of the ocean, the expansiveness of the sky, the light of God.



Purnamadah Purnamidam
Purnat Purnam Udachyate
Purnasya Purnamadaya
Purnam Eva Vashishyate
That invisible absolute, origin of all things is complete, whole, perfect, and infinite.
This entire creation (including me) is made from that which means all of this phenomenal world (including me) is complete, whole, perfect, and infinite.
Both the absolute and the entire creation remain complete, whole, perfect, and infinite even though This was created, taken from That.


I've been asked what helps us come out when we get caught in a moment of stuckness, difficulty, darkness.  We need a lifeline.  Our breath is the simplest most direct one.  Many teachers in the Yoga Day Summit referenced it as the one tool they would offer to listeners.

A four part breath (pranayama) was mentioned by two different teachers as a practice to use.
Breathe in for a count of 4,
Hold the in breath for a count of 4,
Breathe out for a count of 4, and
Hold the out breath for a count of 4.
Try it for a few rounds and see how you feel.
Try it for 2, 5, or 10 minutes a day, Maybe twice a day, Maybe even during a glorious or difficult moment of the day and see how you feel.  A repetitive practice like this accumulates over time and days and months and years to create a stronger wider pathway to return to our ocean or sky nature a bit more quickly when we need to.

Using the above mantras is a beautiful and helpful lifeline to me.  To be reminded and awaken the energy of each or any of the above three is so helpful.  Listen to a recording of it or say it to yourself quietly, or sing along with the recording, or learn it so well and let your heart sing and sing it out loud to change your vibration.

We are here together to help with the holding and the reminding.  We can be each others life lines by living with authenticity as we feel safe enough to be with those in our lives who are doing the work right along with us.  Anand Mehrotra (in one of his amazing Yoga Summit Talks) said, We are all walking each other to self-realization.  I've heard Ram Dass cited as saying, We are all here just walking each other back home.  It may not always be that sweet in our relationships.  However, going to self-realization and going back home to Living as and Ocean and Remembering we are the Sky is not always a comfortable process.  It is often our difficulties and challenges that break us open and drive us to the necessity of these practices and expand us even further because of the discomfort into our expansiveness.  And, sometimes it is that sweet and it is a loving moment, a beautiful serene moment in nature that brings us to immediate realization.  Stay open to the process.  Written with and sending along to you so much love and wishes for freedom and joy for you!

Join me for a yoga class, workshop, or private session to go deeper into these practices with support and community.  Click the "follow" button on my blogsite to stay informed with dharma sharing and workshop, yoga class, and subbing schedules.  My WEEKLY classes are at Naturally Yoga in Glen Rock on Wednesdays at 1pm; Highland Yoga in Butler on Tuesdays at 9am and Saturdays at 9:45; CRUNCH in Midland Park on Wednesdays at 6am. I will be SUBBING at Naturally Yoga THIS Sunday, July 15th, 8am and NEXT Thursday, July 19th, 9:30am.



Monday, June 11, 2018

Summer teaching schedule

I LOVE TEACHING YOGA! Come join me for a class or workshop!
Stay tuned for upcoming workshops in EFT (Tapping), Kirtan (chanting mantra), Partner Yoga, Moving Beyond Fear, and more...

Weekly schedule:

Tuesdays, 9am

Wednesdays, 6am

Wednesdays, 1pm (continuing all summer!)

Saturdays, 9:45am


Upcoming Subbing dates:

Sunday, June 17th, 7:45am

Tuesdays, June 19, 26, and July 3rd, 6pm

Thursday, June 21, 7pm

Sundays, June 24 and July 1, 9am


Friday, June 8, 2018

Partner Yoga Playshop THIS Sunday, June 10th! Come out and play!!



Partner Yoga Playshop
NATURALLY YOGA in GLEN ROCK, NJ
THIS Sunday, June 10th, 4-6pm
Investment $30 per person
Email jen@naturallyyoga.com to preregister or just come!

Come with a friend, spouse, partner, or teen/adult child to connect in this fun and deep way through partner yoga! This practice is beautiful for both the experienced and new yoga student!

We all want to have fun, to be loved, and to feel deeply connected to each other and ourselves. Come to connect in the spirit of fun, love, light and compassion. All good medicine for this lifetime. Together we can achieve and experience so much more - not just in our asana, also in our hearts and in our lives. 

We will explore active and meditative partner poses together which will deepen our stretch and experience.





Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Partner Yoga Playshop THIS Sunday, June 10th

Who’s coming to my next Partner Yoga Playshop at NATURALLY YOGA in GLEN ROCK, NJ, Sunday, June 10th, 4-6pm?  Investment $30 per person. Email jen@naturallyyoga.com to register.

Come with a friend, spouse, partner, or teen/adult child to connect in this fun and deep way through partner yoga! This practice is beautiful for both the experienced and new yoga student!

We all want to have fun, to be loved, and to feel deeply connected to each other and ourselves. Come to connect in the spirit of fun, love, light and compassion. All good medicine for this lifetime. Together we can achieve and experience so much more - not just in our asana, also in our hearts and in our lives. We will explore active and meditative partner poses together which will deepen our stretch and experience.

"Relationship is not performance art and neither is Contact Yoga, even though the poses can be quite beautiful. Let go of the preconceived notions about performing- doing the poses perfectly or being the perfect partner. Don't worry if you aren't flexible enough, strong enough, or do not have a perfect body. These postures are more about connection than perfection, more about exploration than expectation." - Tara Lynda Guber, Contact Yoga


Sunday, May 20, 2018

Open to the Infinite within and around you, Honor your true innocence, and Surround yourself with love

In class yesterday, we continued hearing from Matt Kahn's book, Whatever Arises Love That.  Which basically means whatever arises within you, based on what shows up in your life, hold yourself in LOVE and/or let yourself be held by LOVE (if you are not feeling it within yourself to be able to do the holding).

We talked about slowing the breath as a tool to expand our physical, emotional, and mental bodies to be able to hold whatever is going on within and around us so we can choose a more skillful or helpful response to ourselves or the one in front of us who may be stuck in their own shadow.  As we slow the breath and remember the large, expansive container of energy and light that we are, we can more easefully, hold whatever challenge or shadow we are faced with.  And while first holding and validating what is so, honoring whatever feeling or circumstance arises, also remember the greater holding of Mother Earth, Spirit, the Divine, God.

3HO is doing a beautiful 40 day sadhana which is a wonderful tool to remind us of the holding of the divine around and especially within us.  This is a Meditation for Elevation, Connection & Joy.
Translation of the mantra, Ang Sang Wahe Guru:  "the dynamic loving energy of the infinite is dancing in every limb and every cell of our being."  This mantra "eliminates loneliness from our hearts and fills every cell of our bodies up with the awareness and the presence of Love."

Practice along with video below.  Option to read more info about the practice by clicking on this link:  https://www.3ho.org/global-solstice-sadhana-2018




We practiced our asana to the beautiful music from Jai Jagdeesh's new album, Down Come the Walls.  Click the link below to listen to the album on You Tube:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_fe6u9tsQt3yE6eta69ycIzY3dWfPwxa

Options to purchase her album through this link, or via Amazon, or iTunes: https://www.spiritvoyage.com/mp3download/down-come-the-walls/jai-jagdeesh/alb-004843.aspx

We also did some EFT Tapping from an audio by Jessica Ortner.  While I couldn't find the Morning Affirmation audio/video, I did find the first half of her Morning Practice, which is the Morning Clearing video:


Additional tapping videos/audios are available here:
https://www.thetappingsolution.com/free-tapping-meditations/
Topics include:  Overcoming Exhaustion, Releasing Resentment, and more.

Sending all love and light to you!

May we all be happy, healthy, and free from suffering.
May we all be fed, may we all be healed, may we all know we are loved.
May we know peace in our hearts, peace in our homes, and peace in the world.

Namaste,
Angela


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Partner Yoga Playshop


Join us at my next Partner Yoga Playshop!
Sunday, May 6th
4:00pm - 6:00pm
Highland Yoga, Butler, NJ



We all want to have fun, to be loved, and to feel deeply connected to each other and ourselves. Come to connect in the spirit of fun, love, light, and compassion. All good medicine for this lifetime. Come to be yourself and see yourself in the other. Together we can achieve and experience so much more - not just in our asana, also in our hearts and in our life. We will explore active and meditative partner poses, deepening of poses with guided partner adjustments, and group balancing.


"Relationship is not performance art and neither is Contact Yoga, even though the poses can be quite beautiful. Let go of the preconceived notions about performing- doing the poses perfectly or being the perfect partner. Don't worry if you aren't flexible enough, strong enough, or do not have a perfect body. These postures are more about connection than perfection, more about exploration than expectation." - Tara Lynda Guber, Contact Yoga

Bring one of your sweethearts: your spouse, partner, friend, sibling, or teen/ adult child. 

Investment: $25 per person if you preregister by April 29th, $30 thereafter
You can pre-register online at www.highlandyoga.com or at the studio.


Here is a link to a lovely article on the practice: 
Five Benefits of Partner Yoga by Elysabeth Williamson


Finally, below is a beautiful video of the practice:  (My husband and I were so blessed to take a weekend workshop with Elysabeth Williamson this past Labor Day.  I was so inspired by her and excited to share with you the fruits of my studies and experiences!)


Beyond Fear, Into Freedom: A Kirtan

I’m excited to announce my next Kirtan at Naturally Yoga in Glen Rock, NJ, Sunday, April 29th, 4-6pm


We experience freedom, our true nature which is eternal, powerful, radiating energy and light, when we practice mantra, mudra, asana, meditation. To move through and beyond fear, we need to remember, call upon, take refuge in, and utilize this divine energy and light in order to embrace and thereby transform our limiting beliefs and our stuck emotions which can manifest as physical pain and dis-ease. When we are able to care for and resolve these conditions back to pure universal energy, we ultimately feel sustained and protected, and we are able to project our light and power to make a beautiful contribution to the collective consciousness through this lifetime. 

To embody and feel this energy and power of love, devotion, and service, our mantas for the afternoon will include The Hanuman Chalisa. In addition to chanting mantra with the accompaniment of harmonium, we will utilize mudras and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) tapping, and readings from Danna Fauld’s Breath of Joy, Matt Kahn’s Whatever Arises Love That and Krishna Das’ Flow of Grace, to create meditative, healing and blissful states.

Please email jen@naturallyyoga.com to register today!

Investment: $30

We will be chanting Girish's version of the Hanuman Chalisa from his CD Daily Chants for a Radiant Spirit.  If you want to try chanting the whole thing along with me, start practicing now.  You can find lyrics at online link or in many books on The Hanuman Chalisa.