Elemental ChromiumMetal as a music genre is identifiable by its attributes of strength and power. These sounds are performed by humans expressing power and strength as technique in their playing styles. There is nothing overly delicate or fragile, nor soft or forgiving in metal music. This characterization of being carries over to Metal Yoga, where the skeletal framework is aligned to positions, over a short interval of time, inducing structural integrity inherent in the biomechanics of the human body. The repeated alignment creates a memory and awareness that translates into the unlocking of potential power and ultimately empowerment through knowledge that contributes to wisdom.

Beginning a session, which I will call an interval, one may feel inflexible and hardened by the situations of modern life that irritate and wear one down. This beginning state of hardness can be called the Chromium state, a state of physical and mental hardness, a general rigidity. One can move through soft metal states like a Lead state, ending an interval in a state of Mercury, a liquid metal, or ultimately in the Gallium state. Elemental gallium does not occur in free form in nature, but as a brittle, solid, silvery metal it will melt in your hand above about 85 °F. Gallium in this sense is a good metaphor for the scarcely real experience among yoga exercisers and poor meditators with actual spirituality, awareness, and enlightenment. The molecular structures of the hardest metals form lattices that combine to exert stability and strength over the span of their surfaces and interiors, while others can be malleable; the combining of different metals with special attributes to achieve specific results has resulted in the most spectacular and most beautiful metal objects the world has seen.

Chrome Engine

To pick up where we left off in the last entry, we work on advancing out of Chromium. Because the majority of individuals move repetitively and cause muscle injuries that require healing through stretching techniques, it is most important to begin by carefully and slowly stretching from the center outward. At the center for these purposes is the spinal structure, and this muscular center spans the entire length of your trunk to the base of your skull; the spine is your power center. When radiating out from a point with an ever increasing radius, the most minuscule radial motion results in greater distances in circumference. These beginning motions should be small and gentle at first at the spine, but can result in appearances to be greater motions at the extremities which when outstretched will trace greater circumference distances. Because it is also paramount to choose at discretion beginning movements that take the spine into movements within all planes, a variety of movements are available at this stage of stretching and lengthening from the core that will lead to greater strength potential to be unleashed in movements of later states during the interval.

Since the first ten minutes of sitting and breathing covered in the last post is also a time to activate and focus on root chakra energy, the beginning spinal movements serve to move that energy up the spine to energize the rest of the body during the interval. Good spinal choices are Cobra, Lord of the Fishes, Bridge and its variations, Cat/Cow, Sphinx, Alligator, Canoe, even Child’s Pose and Sleeping Baby for initial relaxation, as well as poses that can begin by stretching the hamstrings so tightness of the spine is not exacerbated by the back of the legs. Staff Pose is a good opener to these, sitting as tall as possible and seemingly doing nothing while the tiny muscles around each vertebra are brought to action.

Next I will talk about standing strength poses that use an awakened spine throughout the extremities and our Metal state moves from Chromium to softer metals like Iron, Copper, and Bronze.

Bulletproof Yoga

April 21, 2014

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Have you experienced nirvana? If not, I’m sorry to hear that, but the following short entry may help. If you have not, you may find it consoling to hear that it is only entirely your own fault.
Welcome to Bulletproof Yoga. I’m not referring to making you bulletproof in any way. I am describing a method of delivering yoga to others in a way so that nobody leaves feeling that they missed the point. It begins by my unmistakable delivery of yoga to you, through my words, and continues on indefinitely as you deliver these concepts upon yourself through movement, concentration, effortlessness, stillness, and the absence of thought.
Let me begin by stating (once again) that there is nothing in my solitary practice that ever left me looking for more. This means I have no desire to attend a yoga class anywhere, and although I am constantly being asked to teach yoga, I have no desire to teach in a class or group setting. This may change in the future, but only if a situation would arise where ego cannot be found in my intentions.

I’ve just completed a 65 minute sound file that can be used during your full yoga practice if desired, based on the previous 30 minute Theta wave binaural entrainment file that I created for relaxation at any time. You can stream the file here, or download the file for your personal use. The binaural and audible tones move through the frequencies attributed to the chakra points from root to crown over the length of the program material.

Let’s jump right in with the most difficult, the absence of thought. If with your first figurative step and your first actual inhalation you can stop all thought that comes from you, halt the mind, all else will be easy. Even in difficult physical movements under the banner of yoga, the mind will be your biggest obstacle. This leaving behind of all mind activity is the impossible for some, a great challenge for most, but everyone can do it nonetheless. Your mind is your greatest enemy, it is what will be the root of your undoing, and it is also where your idea of who you are is seated. Who you are is nothing. What you think is so high and mighty and amazing about anything you pin on your chest is just another dark spot on your being; any self-describing character trait that shines like the bright lights of vanity in the mirror of morals and virtues is actually the most disgusting thing about you that you could do well to lose quickly. When you are nothing, you are pure beauty. Only then do you become loving, and with that you can radiate unconditionally for all and everything like you did before your mind learned how to be deceptive, conniving, selfish, guarded and emotionless, conceited, and unable to see without the filters of “my world only” through dead eyes.
With these concepts you can breathe slowly in and out, aiming for 4-7 seconds for each. Eyes closed, or open if you are able to ignore visual distraction, with silent privacy or on a busy street, it won’t matter when your mind is appropriately calibrated to stop all inner thought. Here you will stay for a matter of minutes, up to about ten, breathing and not thinking, hopefully learning to be newly amazed and appalled at who you find you were up until just now, losing all identification with the ridiculousness of descriptions like “retailer”, “manager”, “CEO”, “athlete”, “businessman”, “entrepreneur”, “salesman”, “vegan”, “writer”, “creative”, “doctor”, “teacher”, “pilot”, “mother”, “husband”, or any other foolish word that is attached to who or what you may think you are. From here on out, you are nothing.
If you are familiar with yoga sitting poses and use a mat, do this while attempting to be as comfortable and relaxed as possible in what is called Lotus. The reason this is important is because your goal is to become the “lotus floating in the pond”. If you’ve never heard this before, it is a very powerful concept that cannot be overlooked. By beginning here, you still the mind like a lotus flower gently floating atop the stillest pond you can imagine, with a still air, but not a freeze frame like pausing a movie; you are in the living universe that is extremely calm and still, so much so that it may give the illusion that nothing is moving but you are moving with the movement of living and with your slow breathing only. By sitting with your legs apart like longish and slightly full petals in Lotus Position, you resemble that lotus flower, and seated on a flat surface you are floating on that unmoving water that delicately holds you up with its surface tension. Your spine moves gently into a straighter and more erect and comfortable posture with each breath, until eventually little by little you do finally become that lotus, perfectly still, effortless, in one short moment of extreme joy in being that an eternity has just come across you, not from within but by tapping into the “thoughts” of the cosmos beyond the confines of time and space once you got your horrible, petty, worthless mind-thoughts to stop, vacate, and make room for nirvana, where you can know without question that “the jewel is in the lotus”.
Quick enlightenment checklist:
1. Do you feel an overwhelming love and compassion not only for all living beings that you have encountered in your life with a personality you can perceive, but also for all those you have not met as well as every atom and particle that vibrates to the living frequencies of reality in you, around you, and furthest away from you? If the answer is no, I’m sorry to say you are not ready and have missed something very big in your ten minutes of alone time. Work on that.
2. Do you smile so openly and wide with joy deep from within your being that not only is your face clearly smiling, but so is every cell in your body as it functions in its daily living tasks? If the answer is no, then I’m sorry to say you are not ready and seem to have missed something very critical about what it means to be a human on this planet striving to understand the meaning of life. Once again, work on that.
3. Are you still having thoughts that come from your mind, things relating to you, your memories, your experiences from the past, material ambitions, socio-political goals, etc.? Sorry, try again!
4. Have you quieted your mind to the point that you’ve noticed something different and are amazed at what is happening because your mind is being flooded with experiences that are clearly not your own (that your mind can tell) and the grand truths of unknown intelligence have graced you for either a millisecond or a lifetime or more, and you’ve been disassociated from your physical body in any way? If the answer is no, try harder to work on yourself. Only you are standing in your own way, and anyone can do it without any outside assistance. The key is in your pocket, you just have to get it yourself.
5. Are you able to differentiate from your mind that distracts you by having useless conscious thoughts about yourself, your body that is a biomechanical vessel housing your blood, organs, and flesh, and your emotions that have nothing to do with your mind and body unless you mistakenly entangle all three into a knotted mess that sets you up for unlimited suffering and personal turmoil? If the answer is no, try harder next time, but always be effortless!
6. If you state the six words, “The joyful participation in life’s sorrows”, and feel you can answer all of the above 5 questions correctly, then I no longer need to speak or write on the subject.

Next I will continue by going into asanas that will deliver you to your final pose, savasana. But for now you can go and get into Lotus and reread this post while actually doing it. For help with Lotus, feel free to search it on YouTube, there are plenty of extremely fit women eager to explain it in thorough detail, along with just about any other yoga mat acrobatics. Please remember that I am nothing.

Awakening The Serpent Power

December 20, 2011

If you’re going to get involved in Yoga, you’re going to have to do it right. Don’t lose sight of the ultimate goal, which is altogether waiting before you, here now in the present where you show up entirely (without resistance based on fears), and a redefinition of your past which is shed like the skin of a snake. Today’s entry is a basic movement with breath that is also the foundation of the power within all subsequent movements that build upon that power. This is the energy that lies dormant in many of us, ready to be awoken and identified as a process of vibrational spiritual development. The simple yet profound visualization needed for this movement is a coiling, spiraling energy that moves, or rises, up the spine beginning at its base from both the left and right sides. With your breath, you access prana, the vital life-sustaining force in the body, entering a state of pranic awakening. Kundalini in meaning refers to exactly this coiling like a snake.

To continue with stabilization training, Cobra pose activates the core with the intended purpose of strengthening this system. Keep in mind that core stabilization movements are less about sweeping action and more about sustained contractions of very specific muscles. These core muscles are the transverse abdominis, internal obliques, pelvic floor musculature, transverso spinalis, and multifidis. In stabilization exercises, there are other muscles that need to be activated to prepare for them, and this is done by drawing in the navel and activating the gluteals.

The Floor Prone Cobra, as it is called in ordinary gym-related workout terminology, has variations between exercise and yoga, and we will go over both just as we did with the Two-Leg Floor Bridge, or Two-Legged Table. For this exercise, instead of lying supine, you will lie prone on the floor with arms to the side of the body and palms facing toward the ground. Your arms are straight behind you, not bent in front of you.

Start by drawing in the navel, activating the gluteals, and pinching the shoulder blades together. Pinching the shoulder blades together can be done by lifting the straightened arms off the floor and imagining that the tops of your hands are moving toward each other in an effort to touch behind you. Lift the chest off the floor. Hold this position for 1 to 2 seconds. Slowly return the chest and arms to the ground. It is also important to note that keeping the chin tucked throughout this movement will help to keep the cervical spine stabilized.

The yoga pose is called Bhujangasana, or Cobra Pose. It is intended to work the spine, arms, and legs. This seemingly simple pose with little movement actually involves many complex actions which we can explain further in detail below for those interested in the muscular anatomy of what is happening. To combine the movement with the breath, lying prone with palms on the floor and under your shoulders, follow the previous instructions to begin while pushing up with the arms, but only in the slightest amount, allowing the muscles of the spine to do most of the work; inhale on the upward movement, filling the ribcage with a further expansion of the chest. Time the inhalation with the arc of the motion upward and release with an exhalation and come down. The intricate spinal movement starts at the cervical (head) and one vertebrae at a time comes up off the floor. The hips remain grounded and the belly can slightly rise off the floor. The exhale begins with the lumbar (base) region relaxing to the floor one vertebrae at a time until the chin or forehead comes to rest and there is no longer tension in the spine. The breathing pattern can be reversed if belly breathing restricts thoracic extension and rib cage expansion. Concentrate on the serpent energy moving up the spine from the top of the hips to the nostrils, and be the present force of your awakening.

The joint actions involved are sacrum counternutation, hip extension, internal rotation, adduction, knee extension, ankle plantarflexion, scapula neutral, glenohumeral joint external rotation, elbow extension, and forearm pronation along with spine extension.

The entire spinal extensor group of muscles work concentrically to create spine extension. There is a synergistic action in the serratus posterior superior which overlays the erectors, assisting chest expansion. The rectus abdominis and obliques work eccentrically, preventing overmobilization of the lumbar spine. The arms are engaged through various muscles: the infraspinatus, teres minor, serratus anterior, posterior deltoids, triceps, pronator teres, and pronator quadratus. The legs are required through numerous actions to keep the joints in alignment: the hamstrings extend the hips and maintain adduction and internal rotation. External rotation of the legs is a movement that must be avoided, along with abduction. The muscles responsible for extending the hips are the adductor magnus and gluteus maximus while the knees are extended by the vastus lateralis, medialis, and intermedius.

To keep breathing uninhibited, focus must be on the deep back muscles, the underlying core, instead of the larger and more superficial muscles that affect the scapulae and rib cage. Shoulders don’t elevate, but the spine is lifted. Elbows should not flare out and forearms should stay parallel with each other with the push of the arms.

Like Krishna dancing on the serpents’ heads to subdue them, so are you using your ego energy and then releasing it. By grasping your ego energy and releasing it you become the powerful enlightened manifestation of yourself that cannot be trapped or defeated. By awakening the serpent power within you, you free yourself from all suffering of this world and can take the first step of your journey in this life.

I’d like to start by writing that I’m not in the habit of writing long, winding, fragmented posts, and this one will be long, but still to the point, and it will end with a workout routine that is beneficial to anyone who wants to get in shape no matter what your personal beliefs are and what you choose to eat. However, if you want to shed the most fat in the shortest time and you are at a hight body fat percentage, or even can’t figure out how to lose that last five pounds of fat, this will do it. And, no, it doesn’t have anything to do with yoga, because yoga is not exercise, but yoga will enrich this undertaking just as it has mine.

The Rules: No sugar, no white bread, no juices unless watered down significantly, no soda, no sweetened iced teas, no pasta, no white rice, and small, dense meals that contained a combination of proteins, carbohydrates, and grains or vegetables. I’m not a person with a large frame, and even though there are and have been fatter people than I was, I definitely reached critical mass. I looked and felt like a swollen pickle. I went from a 210 pound fat guy to a 150 pound stick in no time. I was losing weight so fast people couldn’t keep up with recognizing me each time they saw me. I did it by exercising intensely in my home and keeping to a strict diet, and it had nothing to do with yoga. Well, almost, except for the fact that coincidentally I discovered yoga at the time that I decided to get in shape the real way, by putting my muscles under great stress and burning calories. I practiced yoga every morning soon after the sun rose, but only for under 30 minutes, which was enough. I wasn’t interested in hanging around and lollygagging, and that meant with my diet, with my exercise protocol, and my yoga experience.

If for some reason I didn’t exercise intensely with weights and my own bodyweight but instead just dieted and did yoga, the results wouldn’t be nearly as quick or dramatic. I lost over 25 pounds in the first month, and in the second month I had to buy a new wardrobe.

I ate only three meals a day, of a certain proportional composition, and drank only water or green tea, unsweetened. I would lift weights at least three times a week in my apartment and work intensely (little or no rest between sets). These simple rules put my body into a fat burning state in which I was burning more calories than I was taking in, and the fat I had stored all over my body was being used as fuel for my workouts. Ironically, I started this because I felt I had no energy. Changing these behavioral aspects actually accessed my fat energy stores and allowed me to break that lethargy barrier. In retrospect, I suspect I was becoming insulin resistant, also called metabolic syndrome, in my overweight and under active state because I felt like I was on the verge of a diabetic coma if I ate any simple carbohydrates as a meal.

To follow what I did exactly, it helps if you are not overly sensitive to caffeine because that allows you to get a sustained alertness and energy boost when you feel you need it, especially if you also suffer from metabolic syndrome. My caffeine intake was limited to the green tea I was drinking, which was subtle to me, and doubles of espresso that worked like magic as soon as I limited my diet and began losing weight. It helped having a home espresso machine, and two shots in the morning and another two in the afternoon did the trick.

The routine: upon waking, the first thing to do was yoga, before eating, even drinking in the morning. This would raise the metabolism and leave me in a very hungry state, ready for breakfast. If on a rare occasion I didn’t break a sweat doing yoga, I would do another 20-30 minute session so that I did.

The meals: this part is easy because it didn’t change. Do you like pizza? Well, if you do, you’re in luck , because this is the pizza diet. There is a pizza place that may be in your area that delivers to your home and you can even order online so they never screw it up. Let’s call it Father Jonathan’s Pizza. I would order the extra-large size because they cut that pie into 12 slices, not 8, so you’re also eating less pizza, which is good. No deep dish or similar crusts, just a regular amount of dough. My special variety of pizza was a veggie pie with cheese, sweet peppers, tomato slices, and black olives. A whole pie would last 4 days since you only ate three slices per day, one per meal(this diet turns out to be economical). But that’s not even close to done. You can’t eat pizza all day. On each slice, I put crushed red pepper(I like spicy foods), something called Hot Pepper Ketchup(to add moistness to the whole affair) and one can of 365 brand Albacore Tuna in spring water and no salt (this is the cheapest highest quality tuna I could find–Bumble Bee and the like are atrocious). That’s it. Slice of pizza, one butter knife’s worth of Hot Pepper Ketchup, crushed red pepper (maybe some dried garlic powder), and one can of high quality tuna. I would have either water or brewed green tea on hand to drink. The meals eventually changed by removing the pizza and switching to wild and brown rice varieties in small quantities to replace the same amount of carbohydrate bulk to balance out the tuna. To prepare the rice I would simply boil one bag for about 50 minutes and it would last me a week. Before eating I would pour a little organic cold-pressed flax oil onto the rice, then crushed red pepper, then a spicy tomato pasta sauce that contained no sugar. Consequently, when I made this change, I was also eating the breakfast meal more as a real breakfast by changing it to two eggs, a 4 oz. cut of wild caught Alaskan salmon, and a piece of whole grain bread with 2% milk fat cottage cheese. If I was hungry between these meals, I’d eat some baby cut carrots, about 5 raw almonds, and a small can of V8 juice.

The fat-burning workout: let’s face it, if you’re serious about getting healthy you have to do the work. If you’re not a wuss, you’ll be able to do this. If you are a wuss, you won’t. Did you hear me? If you try this and decide you can’t do it with that little voice inside your head, then you are a wuss and should probably take a less aggressive and longer route to getting healthy and losing weight. It’s all up to you. Why do I write it like that? Because the things that I do now, five years later, are way more intense and more difficult than this fat burning workout. But if you’re out of shape, it’s what you need and it won’t be easy. These exercises are compound movements. This is your cardio and your anaerobic weight training all at once. It is like putting your body under 2-3 times more
stress than doing one movement focused on one muscle group. This will shred you and sculpt your body like you wouldn’t believe.

Movement 1: Forward Lunge with biceps curl and shoulder shrug.

Grab a pair of dumbbells that you are comfortable with. You will be doing two sets of this exercise. On the second set, I would increase the weight slightly. To start, I grabbed 15-pound dumbbells.

Stand straight up with your feet hip-width apart, looking forward, with the weights hanging at your sides with your arms straight. Lunge forward with your right foot, not too far, and after making contact with the ground, lower into the lunge straight down while curling the weights up toward your chest, ending the motion just above your forward thigh. Reverse the motion of the lunge and the biceps curl until you are back to starting position, then shrug your shoulders with the weight. Repeat all of the above with the left foot lunging forward. Congratulations, you have just performed one rep. Do this 15 times. Breathe, drink water, take a minute or two. This is intense. Then either grab a heavier weight (I used 20-pound dumbbells) or use the same weight and do another set. You’re done with the first exercise.

Movement 2: Shoulder press with triceps extension.

Grab the same dumbbells you started the first set with and stand with your feet hip or shoulder width apart. Lift the weight from your sides into a shoulder press. This is a light weight but you will be doing compound movements and lots of reps, so it will feel difficult later; concentrate on the movement of the weight, don’t rush through it. Immediately at the top of the press, come back down to the tops of your shoulders and position the weights in front of your chest as you bend at the waist only, keeping your back straight. Once your torso is parallel with the ground, extend your hands with the weights behind you by straightening your elbows and contracting your triceps. Bend back up at the waist while positioning the weight back to your shoulders and prepare to repeat the exercise. This is one rep. Do it 15 times. Grab the heavier weight when you’re ready and do another set. Congratulations, you’ve just done the first four sets of the fat-burning workout. The rest is easy, trust me. On all movements, inhale as you prepare for the movement, and exhale as you push the weight through the movement.

Movement 3: Close-grip or shoulder-width chin-ups.

When I was about 210 pounds, I couldn’t even do one chin-up. Remember, this workout was at home, so I had no cable lat-pulldown machines to set at 90 pounds to do these. Instead, I put my 5-foot bar across the top of my stairway so that when I stepped down a few steps the bar was above me and I could grab it and hang on it. I would give myself a slight jump up to assist me with the chin-up, and I would use my weight to come down slowly back to hanging position. I only helped myself enough for my muscles to be able to get my heavy body up there. Do something like this if you have to. If you go to a gym, use the assisted chin-up machine or a cable lat pulldown machine. Do 15 chin-ups and don’t rest in between. Eventually I was able to do 15 on my own, then 20, then 25, and more. Do two sets of 15 chin-ups.

Movement 4: Dumbbell squats.

Grab dumbbells that you can handle holding at your sides while standing, and inhale, drop your hips down behind you while bending at the knees as if you were sitting back into a chair that isn’t there. Exhale while coming back up, keeping the weight at your sides without bending your arms or swinging them forward or back. Do this 15 times. At home, I did this with 40-pound dumbbells to start, then I would put together the weight-adjustable dumbbells with a higher weight. Do what you think you can handle. These days I might try this with 65 to 85 pound dumbbells. Do two sets. Congratulations, you’ve just done 8 sets of the fat-burning workout.

Movement 5: Bench press.

You need a bench and a barbell to do this. Luckily, I had this at home, nothing fancy, and not as heavy-duty as the ones in the gyms. I would do one set with 135 pounds, and another set with 155 pounds. Do however much you think you can do 15 reps of and do it twice. Increase the weight of the second set by 10-20 pounds if you’d like. Congratulations, you’ve just done 10 sets of the fat-burning workout.

Movement 6: Bicycle crunches.

Lie on your back, and do stomach crunches while holding your legs up in front of you and rotating your feet as if you were spinning an imaginary bicycle crankset. Keep your arms up behind your head and rotate your spine slightly with each crunch so you alternate reaching your elbows toward your knees. Do 15 or more crunches, preferably to failure. Do two sets.

Movement 7: The Superman.

I didn’t understand this exercise for a while but did it anyway. I understood eventually that it helps with your posture. Lie on your stomach looking forward with your hands in front of you the same way Superman would fly in the comics and movies. Lift one arm off the ground as well as the opposite leg and hold for five seconds. Then lift the other arm and opposite leg and hold for 5 seconds. Do that 15 times. Do two sets. Congratulations, you just completed the fat-burning workout.

This workout can take anywhere from 40 minutes to one hour. If you’re able to do it quicker, that means you are using lighter weights. Your body will be in delicious pain for at least two days if you did it right. Do yoga on the pain days. Do the workout again on the non-pain days. Watch the fat disappear and the body become a hard, chiseled figure.

I went down to 150 pounds, which I felt was too light for me. Since then, I’ve somehow managed to get back up to 180 pounds and not gain any fat in the process. That means this is not a fad diet, but a lifestyle diet that works in the short run and continues to work in the long run. There it is. You now have the knowledge. Do something with it.

In the search for pleasure of the senses, there are dangers that come with it. In sutra number 1, the Buddha preached Kama Sutra. Kama refers to aesthetic and erotic pleasure. On the list of the “four main goals of life”, Kama comes in third. In order of importance are Dharma (virtuous living), Artha (material prosperity), Kama (aesthetic and erotic pleasure), and Moksha (liberation). So, simply interpreted, first and foremost live virtuous lives. Make all actions fall into this category. Second, while living virtuous lives, earn a living in which you can support yourself. Third, experience the pleasures of the senses. Lastly, release yourself from the cycle of death and rebirth.

The first three are aims of everyday life. Are people running to Yoga for better sex? Are Yoga enthusiasts in the West lacking some kind of fundamental cultural and psychological framework in which the American way, for example, doesn’t work for their lives and Yoga is going to fix it? Or are they just looking for something to do a few times a week because they are barely engaged in any physical activity and have no hobbies, following trends as they come?

Better sex is a selling point for Yoga, and Yoga is an increasing business that can command high prices. People have had emotional, psychological, physical, and other problems before it was cool or an option to introduce Yoga into lives to improve quality of life, so why Yoga, and why now? These days, what isn’t a selling point for Yoga, and why not sex? After all, isn’t the Kama Sutra a book about human sexual behavior describing 64 different sexual acts as practical advice on sexual intercourse? Maybe, but I’ve never read it, and my sex is just fine, thank you. But, today’s Yoga sex books are flying off the shelves and the authors tend to be women. Ellen Barrett, author of Sexy Yoga, says, “Yoga increases flexibility, which helps you be free and just go for it in sex.”

Let’s go over what some of the supposed benefits of Yoga are in the sex department. Some poses increase blood flow to the pelvis. If you live a lifestyle in which you are worried about your blood flow to your pelvis, maybe Yoga has the power to transform your physical sexual experience. Blood rushing to your privates not only makes them hot but causes a swelling sensation, heightening sensitivity and desire. There are other aspects in which the pelvic floor can be strengthened, which can play a crucial role in how sex is experienced. Apparently, women experience more intense orgasms with stronger contractions and releases as a result of a well-conditioned pelvic floor. The relaxation from releasing tension after inducing it through asana can relax the hips of women who otherwise have hip and thigh tightness that can make sex tough for them.

Mentally, or psychologically, Yoga allows one to be more comfortable in vulnerable positions. Sex or the lack of sex can stem purely from a psychological point of interest, and for some, Yoga can be just what the doctor ordered. Yoga practice helps in improving one’s sensitivity; breathing exercises can help overcome anxiety. A person relieved from tension and stress will actively participate in sexual activity, even with refreshed vigor. Ian Kerner, PhD, a New York sex therapist and the author of Sex Detox, says, “You can’t worry about work, money, or unfolded laundry when your frontal lobe is focused on a reenactment of the train scene in Risky Business. To tune in to a sexual experience, you have to first turn off the parts of your brain associated with stress and anxiety, and fantasizing is the most effective way to accomplish that.”

Kundalini Yoga, often called the most powerful type of Yoga and the mother of all Yoga, seeks to awaken a powerful point at the base of the spine called the Muladhara Chakra. The region of the body referred to as the Kundalini region is located in males between the anus and testicles and in women between the vagina and clitoris. Power and equality for both sexes form the elemental source of all energy when united, Siva the masculine and Sakti the feminine. The union doesn’t take place at the genital region, but in the brain. The rise of Kundalini energy up the spine targets the nervous system which is the pathway between the brain and the body, helping to eliminate negative feelings like jealousy, anger, depression, and sorrow.

Overall energy levels can be improved, harnessed, and accumulated through Yoga in general. With more endurance and fortitude, your body will be able to engage in long sexual activity without tiring. A tired person without the desire for sex may only be lacking the energy reserves to deal with sexual activities. With this comes an improved fitness level and an awareness of potential capacity. Posture is greatly improved along with balance, leading to greater muscle tone and a higher response during intercourse, translating to a better sex experience. A stiff and flabby body is limited to what experiences are available when having sex.

Even those who aren’t getting any sex may think yoga can be a good substitute. Classes have an analogous structure to sex: there is an easy, pleasing mood upon entering the room, a building intensity through asanas into poses that may become more difficult, a sweaty, overheated phase, then a nap at the end. The social aspect of yoga classes can be the closest thing to having sex with strangers without actually having it. Then there’s Hot Nude Yoga. I’ll let you use your imagination.

Nobody’s perfect, and nobody has perfect lives; there has to be a challenge. Each morning is a new gift of a new day for each of us to experience, and with proper time and goal management every day can be filled with time periods allocated to living life fully and happily. This means we lead virtuous lives, prosper, enjoy aesthetic and erotic fulfillment, and become liberated. We can all do it. It’s why we’re here.

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.

Purusha

October 15, 2010

On our way to samadhi, as humans, there is one most important thing that needs to be understood, clarified, and therefore lived. There is no separation between ourselves and anything or anyone else. Once this comes into focus as a natural point in the mind, and every waking moment is lived remembering and knowing this, acting in a way that this unity of all is apparent, then the life of a Yogi begins to unfold. What this really means in terms of understanding is that Purusha, the Cosmic Intelligence, is what we are, and it is not something separate and removed from us. What matter we are composed of is the least fine matter, the gross matter, which came after Purusha; we were born, exploded out of Purusha, the finest matter that we are composed of, and the science of Yoga teaches us how to stabilize the fine matter that we are, becoming alive in it the way we are already comfortable being alive in our bodies composed of the less fine matter.

The whole material world is really a field of interplay and interaction of innumerable energies. When they are solidified you call it matter, and when not solidified, you call it energy. Einstein made this famous in the scientific world with E=mc2. When energy is not differentiated, you call it space, and beyond space and emptiness or Akasha remains the fountain, the absolute ground of existence, the Purusha. The Purusha and the Prakriti (the Seer and the Matter) exist in you and me on a tiny scale, and as the scale of the cosmos grows larger out from around us, it exists in an ever-increasing bigger form.

Yoga teaches that the goal of human life, our purpose for living, is to understand the nature of Reality. This means understanding the role of matter, understanding the role of energies, and understanding the essence of Intelligence. We human beings feel we are in bondage, slaves of matter, prisoners of mind and thought. There is no slavery, there is no prison house, it is only ignorance. In shedding that ignorance, dissolving it, you can undergo purification and transformation, beginning at the point of perception, beginning at the sense organ level.

This is the point of Asanas and Pranayama. In purifying the mental is the point of Yama and Niyama. For purifying the extra-sensory is Dharana. For the transformation in the whole content of sensory, extra-sensory, and mental, is Dhyanam, or Meditation. With the culmination of this process of purification into Dhyanam or Meditation descends Samadhi, or the transformed consciousness, the last phase. So your mutation into the transformed consciousness is caused by Meditation, which is the stabilizer of your purification that has ascended you through the gross matter existence of your being as Samadhi descends upon you.

Remember that Meditation is the non-doing, and your purification gets stabilized in relaxation, just as the health of the body stabilizes during sleep. For example, eating the best food, doing the best exercises in the world, if you are unable to sleep then there is no health because all that you had acquired through nutrition, exercise, and even positive mindset, it has to stabilize in sleep; it has to percolate throughout each level of the body, the whole metabolism, for you to feel rejuvenated and refreshed. It is the same in Meditation, it stabilizes, rejuvenates, and revitalizes.

Back to the understanding and awareness, which are the finest possible energies available to us, they have to become stabilized, and this is done through Meditation, and in the fusion of the Purusha element, the element of intelligence contained in the human body and the intelligence contained in the cosmos as a whole, there is no separation. They are fused together, no more differentiated. At this point the differentiation was an idea, all in the human mind. That is the state of “Kaivalyam”, that is the culmination of Yoga.