March 19, 2011

What does the moon have to do with Yoga? The best way to answer this question is to take the focus off of Yoga and ask it again. What does the moon have to do with anything? Today at 7:43pm we will experience a full moon that will also be 31,000 miles closer to the earth than it usually is at its apogee, or farthest point away from the earth in its elliptical orbit around our planet. Visually, the moon will appear to be 14% larger as well.

With a mass like the moon orbiting our planet, there is a gravitational effect that can be measured by the rising of tides as much as six inches during this perigee, known as perigean tides. Based on local geography, this tide increase can be as little as an inch. We live in a world governed by gravity and its effects on matter. Gravity is best described as a curvature in the fabric of space, causing us to experience it as force, the force of gravity.

The human body happens to be composed of 70% water. Naturally, whatever effects the moon will have on the water on our planet, will encompass those of us living on the planet and affect 70% of our bodies. Practitioners of Yoga are living in greater harmony with the rhythms of nature, more attuned to natural cycles, and more sensitive to the effects of the phases of the moon. The sun also exerts a gravitational pull on the earth, holding our planet in its orbit around the sun.

Yoga is the combination of breath and movement. Breath is prana. The full moon energy corresponds to the end of inhalation, when the force of prana is greatest. Because this force is expansive and upward moving, the corresponding experience is energetic, emotional, and headstrong. Conversely, the new moon energy is the energy of the end of exhalation. This is a contracting, downward moving energy, an experience of being calm and grounded, as well as disinclined towards physical exertion.

The Ashtanga Yoga tradition observes both the full and new moon days as holidays. Even if you are not a Yoga practitioner, the effects of the moon’s position in relation to us on the planet earth are no surprise or secret, and just like breathing, your awareness of the phases of the moon strengthens the link, the harmonia, that you have with your surroundings.


You are your own creator

March 16, 2011

I learned a long time ago that this world was created expressly for me. I mean it was created completely and totally for me to experience and control and live in and enjoy all of its rewards. How does this work exactly? Well, that means you are put here, along with everything else in this world, for me to enjoy and do with as I wish. The beauty of this is that the universe is harmoniously complex and is set up for the very same to be true for you and everyone and everything in it. It’s not a one way street, but rather a balanced sharing of all the gifts of being alive in our present forms, connecting us all and giving limitless potential. The next time you feel this is not true, ask yourself what the limiting thoughts are that got you there and get rid of them. You have all the answers to all of your questions and know everything there is to know. Just ask yourself for anything and you will have it. It is all staring you right in the face.
Searching for happiness? List the things that are making you unhappy and remove them from your life, be happy. Want money? Take steps toward making money by asking yourself why you either don’t have money or aren’t making money, and remove the monetary obstacles or sabotaging behaviors. These are boring, clich√© examples, but people ask for these things as responses to the wants and desires of the material world.
You are not separate from your surroundings. If you live your life thinking you are separate from everything around you, you are destined for a lonely, unhappy existence, with a fearful view of death.
The next time you meditate or close your eyes before sleep, be aware of your nurturing surroundings. They are there to serve you because they are you. Just like you are conditioned to think you are the body you inhabit and no more, extend that conditioning to your goals and environment, and move and use them the way you would move and use your arm or leg. Make yourself as large as the universe and be everything you want to be.

Graceful Anger

March 1, 2011

Anger is an emotion. We all get angry, and as healthy people, we should allow for anger. Anger is a visceral, energetic emotion that sometimes evokes physical involuntary action. It is at this critical juncture where anger can be harnessed and transformed into a healthier, more useful mode of action. The rewards are unlimited amounts of happiness and joy.

The best way to describe this is by attempting to envision a concept called joyful anger. The best ordinary example of this would be in physical sports in which you strategically drive your physical energy toward a goal of winning. In times of anger and related emotions, it’s easy to envision losing, or feeling hopeless because of the fear of losing in the face of anger.

It sounds so simple, it’s difficult, so you will have to meditate on these ideas if they are hard to grasp. I would even suggest bringing up anger that you are harboring below your mask emotions that you put on every day to function in society. It’s ok, we all have them, but we are at our happiest when we can manage them down to zero.

Think of your life as a programmed destination in a GPS device. The moment your life begins, it’s like pressing “Go!” and the destination on the GPS is your death. You are by nature programmed to fulfill your life destiny as long as you follow your true nature and don’t take detours from it. You can think of anger and the situations that bring up anger as consequences of taking a detour from the shortest, truest path. The GPS will automatically recalculate a new route to your destination, but it is at least one step removed from the easiest, original route.

What are the tell-tale signs that you’re doing it wrong? Anger can lead to other emotions ¬†when not transformed into joy. Simply, if your behavior doesn’t outwardly exhibit pure radiant joy and boundless energy, then you’re doing it wrong. Anger will sap your energy before you direct that energy into determined joy. Then it can sap even more energy once you allow it to manifest itself as hopeless depression brought on by self-doubt and a pessimistic view of the presence of anger.

On the contrary, anger is the driving force behind innovation, progressive action, and previously unrealized creativity. Harnessing an emotion that for some is the source of power behind lifting objects and throwing them, punching things, or yelling at the top of one’s voice, is one of the secrets to life few understand. Use this resource and you can open new, unseen modes of action that define who you are.