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.

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.

More Yoga Muscles

November 10, 2010

Do you, or have you ever gone to a health club? Whether you belong to a gym or not, it can be an intimidating place because of the way most health clubs are run. You enter through the front door and have to pass the front desk by either signing in or swiping a card across a laser, or having an employee enter a number into a computer for you. Now you enter the facility and it’s all up to you. Everyone is there for varying reasons, working toward different goals, and at different stages of attaining those goals. How do you know what to do once you join a health club? You’ve paid your money, you’ve shown up in your workout duds, and you’re in a sea of people off doing their own things. Some people may be coupled with personal trainers, guiding them through focused plans with supervision. The truth is, if you don’t feel confident that you know enough about your body and what brings results without hurting yourself or pushing you along that edge that will promote changes that you want, hiring a personal trainer is a good idea. And this brings me to Yoga.

No matter who you are, what level of fitness you are at, or what your physical fitness goals are, a personal trainer will tell you, among other things, that the suggested place to start is stabilization training. This doesn’t mean benching, or squatting, or curling, or pressing anything that comes near your maximal strength ability. Think of putting your fast twitch muscles on a temporary vacation so you can concentrate on your slow twitch muscles, the ones that require oxygen to work and can endure longer durations of use. These are the muscles that stabilize your body when you think you’re not doing anything, like standing straight, sitting upright, bending over, or moving your body to change positions for any reason. This is one of the reasons Yoga has become so popular here in the US as a fitness trend. As a whole, Americans do less from day to day because more of their work and home activities are becoming more automated, causing a deterioration in the conditioning of the stabilization muscles of the body. Yoga happens to condition exactly those muscle groups through the asanas, preparing the body for movements that can be built upon a strong core.

Of course, there are many different kinds of Yoga that one may choose to practice, and all or some of the above may not apply to your practice. Also, in order to build a solid stabilization base, very specific core adaptation variables have to be chosen for the possible goals of any individual. A general fact is that Yoga produces a stronger body, and is much larger in scope than stabilization exercise. Yoga goes beyond the body and tunes what can be referred to as the psychology, awareness, and spiritual aspects of living, something that is absent from all forms of conventional fitness training that deal only with the body, its systems, biomechanics, motor control, and flexibility. Yoga is not flexibility. If it is any one thing, it is steadiness. It is important to understand that while most people will be drawn to Yoga for fitness or social reasons, the goal is to move past all physical connotations and attachments, as these are only inroads to the destination. In the gym, the destination is just another road, and this is perfectly fine if you understand it.

Destiny

November 9, 2010

We are each like a flashbulb going off for an instant in the field of time. We each experience our own personal drawn out perspective of time ever so slowly moving forward, equally quickly slipping away. Who says life is short? Who says it’s excruciatingly long? We can imagine both scenarios and both would be right. Even the light of the stars we are familiar with that make up constellations are but flashbulbs while we flash repeatedly over the earth, illuminating as brightly as we can for shorter instances. Therefore life is an incredibly magical place in which time is slowed down to such a crawl for us that we can become masters of our own destinies. This allows us to breathe deeply and slowly instead of quickly and shallowly, and we can think deeply on all that we have in and around our lives to fulfill destinies of our choosing, or the only one that feels right laying before us. This shifts focus to a determined view of time as something coming in to our lives as we anticipate it, without grasping the past and being distracted in our forward motion. If the past contains elements that repeatedly pull you away from now and have you repeating in loops like a movie you’ve already seen, it is an indicator that you have to let go, or you may miss your destiny. Also, if you are the progenitor of forward motion based on the past that needs to be released, you are still caught in a loop but it’s so big in circumference you cannot see it as anything but a line or an arc.
Consider time the next occasion you have in savasana as you breathe deeply, intent on the sun and other stars that do not warm us but fill the sky at night, and see your entire life as you would a day in your life where the sun is clear, the weather is comfortably warm, and light clouds sweep the blue above without interfering with the sun. When the day is over, your life that you know is over and after a short night, the day begins again with a new life and you are back again, a new person, completely new possibilities, new family, new friends, a life you haven’t experienced yet. Imagine the sun still strong and clear and the clouds sweep by quickly, as you are greeted kindly into this world. Night comes, and with it the bright stars that also greet you, and they are just as you remember them. Then a new day comes and yet another new life. Watch the cycle progress quicker and quicker as the sun and stars remain bright and you are still there as well. Try then to imagine these familiar stars and sun slowly go dark and fade as new ones come into being, and you are still there, observing, breathing deeply not with your body but with your energy while this body you have uses its lungs to take in that energy and exhale energy. Know that we are still here, there is no running away, there is no abandonment, and that eternity is not a measurement of time but a place we all know where we are not bound by time. When you open your eyes, experience the magic of your life as you are suspended in time the way we all share it together, one second at a time, new masters of our destinies, each new day reminding us of whole new lives.

When talking strictly asana, you are moving your body from starting positions, or neutral positions into very specific destination poses and holding them. You don’t have to hold them still unless you are advanced, but that is what asanas are, with the combination of integrating the breath the whole time, and also specifically to inhalation and exhalation throughout the movements. The breath is the source of your energy, so it is vital that you understand it and do not obstruct or limit your breathing. Even if breathing is compromised due to lung disease, simply keeping a smooth even breath is the goal. The beauty of Yoga asanas is that it is compounded threefold compared to what it looks like on the surface, a dynamic stretching exercise. With breathing and postures we also practice concentration of the mind. So, one hour of practice will give one hour of exercise, one hour of deep relaxation, and one hour of meditation, through developing the concentration powers within the pose.

The asanas will not only strengthen certain major muscle groups, but will awaken and enliven your core muscle groups. For example, if I were to attempt to dead-lift 315 pounds repeatedly, or even just once, the next time I went to the health club, I would most certainly hurt myself if my core muscles were not strong enough to stabilize my skeletal system under that force; it wouldn’t matter if my major muscle groups were indeed strong enough to lift the weight, and even if they did, I could walk away with an injury. Yoga allows me to lift 315 pounds repeatedly in a dead-lift with no injury. It is the whole-body armor, Metal Yoga, that one needs to perform great feats. It is no wonder that when personal fitness trainers suggest dynamic stretching postures to stabilize your core, they look almost like Yoga Asanas, with names like bridge and cobra.

My asanas are filled with the breath of lightning, filling my entire body from marrow to skin with electric white radiance, enveloping everyone around me with the oneness of compassion. I am not a solid form, but mostly empty space, and every movement of this body brushes through the finest of all matter that permeates all that is. As my arms grow heavy or my legs lose strength, I smile with the sight of the grace and beauty of nature resting on them for me to uphold. As I concentrate and still the mind, the sun is still, pouring its love and warmth over the spinning and rotating earth that we walk on, and at the same time, the earth is still and the sun passes countless times from east to west over the sky, quickly, with rushes of clouds sweeping across, between us, and I watch the fire of life, burning, and consuming, dying to be reborn, the eye opening and closing, the breath in, the breath out, the great wall Maya before me that I walk through as I get a glimpse of transcendence.

Suffering is directly linked to wrong identifications. Let us take for example the well known figure, Jesus Christ. It is important for all to understand that based on what Jesus Christ represents, if he were crucified, nailed to a wooden cross and left there to die, he did not suffer. The phrase “suffering Christ” does not make any sense to someone who truly understands the story of Christ. A figure like Christ knows exactly who he is, and has no wrong identifications or attachments, no fear of dying and death, and therefore no suffering.

Attachment is a source of suffering, a cause of suffering, and even an expression of suffering. The source of attachment is the desire for repetition of pleasure. This does not mean to put a negative connotation on pleasure and to restrict it. Avoiding pleasure, inviting pain, mortifying and torturing the body, these are all wrong identifications. In worshipping Life, loving Life, we use our beautiful senses and experience pleasure always, maybe for a moment, maybe for a fraction of a second. To seek these pleasures to be repeated, to want to capture the individual or object that has caused the pleasure in order to own it, possess it, dominate over it, exploit it, him or her, then we suffer.

There is pain in life, and it is unavoidable. You don’t go inviting it either. Pleasure is also unavoidable. If you run away from pleasure , afraid that it will excite, run away from pain, afraid it will create a permanent imbalance, you are destined for suffering.

Lastly, we are all conditioned to take care of our bodies so that we may continue living, clinging to the body, obsessing with the body, because we identify with this body as ourselves, who we are. Such a desire to cling to the physical body brings the fear of dying or death. The body becomes the center of all your attention, bringing no openness, no receptivity to open out to life, isolation from overprotectiveness. This is a kind of suffering that is the result of this inhibition of being infatuated with the body, obsessed.

To be more specific, it does not allow you to mix with people, to be with them, an inhibition in the movement of relationships, always being on your guard. Your image of yourself always has to be protected. This keeps you in a shell, weaving around you a nest of your knowledge, inheritance, ideologies, unable to receive anything new. This causes a clinging to the old, an inability to live creatively, to meet death as a culmination of the act of living, a fear of everything.

It may even be that alone and free to act on our own we do not display any of these characteristics, but in the presence of certain members of our family or acquaintances we are somehow forced to act along the paths of suffering, as a conditioned form of respect, or a difficulty to escape the suffocating grasp of a personality that dominates all attention like a black hole. A respect for old, obsolete ways of being that no longer have a place in the world of progress and enlightenment is disrespectful to all parties present, creating another dimension of tension and suffering the longer we allow ourselves to give in to it.

Once we are aware of all the paths leading us to suffering, and luckily they are few and easy to understand, we can see clear as day the habits and characters of others that create suffering manifesting before our eyes, and then we can also see them in ourselves. The obligations, distractions, and pace of our modern world is not enough to cloud this awareness, and the whole of life for everyone is waiting to be enriched by our wiser actions.

The End Of Suffering

June 10, 2010

Humans go through suffering, and this is fact. But what is suffering? Before that is answered, let us dwell on one very important fact just as strong as the one previously stated: suffering is not warranted. When we suffer, we walk in the light that illuminates a life, routines, movements, experiences being experienced from a perspective of weakness caused by a confusion about who and what we are.

Physical pain and hurt is not suffering. Let’s be clear on this. It is my understanding that those who have studied and specialize in Hatha Yoga can avoid to a very great extent physical pain and sickness, adding longevity to the body. Even so, physical pain and hurt is just a way of life because we have these biological bodies as our vehicles to experience life itself fully.

So, what does suffering have to do with how well you know yourself? This is getting to the root of the issue and once you understand it, it is simple and freeing. Suffering is directly related to ignorance about one’s own nature, about the existential existence, about one’s own being. In this way of seeing reality, if I do not understand what life is, then I identify with things that are smaller, compartmental, fragmentary. On this level, the inner substance of my being is  not perceived. My body is not me, and if I were to say “I am sick”, or “I am dying”, it is a wrong identification. If I were to instead equate my knowledge and thoughts with the essence of my being instead of my biological structure, equating my views and memories with who I am, saying “I am hurt”, to go on identifying with the experiences, then suffering begins. Both manners of equation lead to suffering, identifying with the physical and identifying with the psychological. If this identification doesn’t take place, not the identification with the body and not the identification with the inner workings of the mind connected to Egotism, then the essence of life is something additional, something qualitatively different, there is no suffering.


Shaucha is one of the Niyamas. It is purification. Purity is the result of purification, or the by-product of the process of purification. A student of Yoga will have to spend some part of the day practicing tapah, which encompasses the yama, the niyama, the asanas, pranayama, and some part of the day in study and observation – kriya yoga.

Observation comes after the studying, observing directly in one’s own life, because knowledge doesn’t become understanding unless verified by personal observation. It is the direct, immediate, intimate contact with the fact that you have with study, therefore a communion with the fact. This is Swadhayaya, both study and observation. Kriya Yoga is the yoga through activity and action together, so kriya yoga includes Tapah and Swadhayaya. The study purifies the brain, cleansing the intellect of all ignorance, of all imbalances, all impurities. After the brain is cleansed through study, the observation purifies.

Now, we can discern from clarity. When what is seen, perceived and communed becomes the substance of your life, then there is no possibility of forgetting, it is no more part of memory. It is a dimension of purity that is incorruptible, undamageable, inaccessible to confusion. When you have clarity you know it because there is no such thing as no longer having clarity at a later time. If you feel this happens, then you never had clarity to begin with.

Start with what you call every day, normal thoughts, actions, perceptions. This is an idea filled with things we can all generally agree upon because we have all learned the names of things, definitions of surroundings, basically all that man has created for us in consciousness to refer to so that we may function in society as civilizations and cultures. Our modern way of living ignores the dimension of Silence or motionlessness. Meditation is a silence and an aloneness, a necessary self-education. If you were to still the body on the outside, stillness from walking, standing, running, sitting, you still must go deeper and still the internal movements. So, you put the body in a posture which is convenient, agreeable, enjoyable to the body and persuade it to be steady for half an hour.

Then you close your eyes so that the eyes make no contact with any matter outside the body. As soon as the eyes see an object, then your learned memory will turn up the name of the object, your attachment to the object, your likes, dislikes, prejudices, judgements, and so the movement begins, so closing the eyes is a help.

You abstain from speaking, something taught in order to function at school, at a job, communicating in public. When speaking is silenced, we do it internally, chattering to ourselves, trained to think, to acquire and organize information, comparing and evaluating, making judgements. The brain is always busy. We have become addicted to the movement of knowledge within us.

Sitting in silence, we are educating the brain to be free of that incessant movement of knowing, experiencing, accepting, and rejecting. Once you have tasted the nectar of Silence, then it does not matter whether you are sitting in a room or walking on a street, talking to people; the quality of aloneness, the quality of motionlessness, the freeness of thought does not get affected by physical or verbal movement.

Before you are living in harmony with non-knowing, stillness, silence, it may help to acknowledge who you are in this cosmos. Outside of the perspective of knowing, the man-made definitions of the cosmic life, there is no death. There is not Life, creation, and destruction. There is only emergence of creative energies and merging back, a cyclic movement. Remember that you are a newborn baby that does not yet know any of the ideas that man has put into your brain to fool you into knowing a false reality. You experienced this when you were born and it is still with you now as you strip away all of the things that keep you moving and addicted to moving. Not knowing is where Truth lies. The rivers and oceans and sky and land were here long before man came into existence, long before man gave these things their names, before there was knowing, and here lies the Truth. When you still your mind and body the Truth remains and in the Silence is Everything.


Discernment in Yoga

May 5, 2010

There is at the core of Yoga, discrimination. One key thing to remember about yoga for yourself is that it is only about you and no one else, until you make decisions to include others into what may be your practice. Just as you may decide to include people into your life as friends or acquaintances, there is a process that each of us has that is a personal acceptance strategy. We all have our own reasons for acceptance or non-acceptance, and yoga should be no different, lest we prepare for distractions in our practice. Although the actions related to yoga lifestyle exude acceptance of everyone and love for all, it does not mean the inclusion of a level of comfort that invites lax behavior leading to a slowing or halting of growth. Through my personal yoga practice, I have attained everything I owe to yoga without the inclusion of another, by discriminating to keep all possibility of distraction in my power away from my practice. I am not convinced that a class setting can be as beneficial to a practitioner as this kind of practice where there is nothing to distract the mind, both conscious and unconscious. But this is my perspective, and others may vehemently disagree, and that is their path to take. The single most important step in discrimination I urge all to take is not to follow another’s move but instead to read and meditate and practice from a place within that is true and take the first moves forward from there. Yoga in the western world is being filtered through our culture and understanding of experiences that may or may not ordinarily exist without yoga. That sets up a lot of individuals for a misunderstanding of what yoga is, and it is very easy to have a class full of people utterly confused and in the dark. A common phrase these days is “to take yoga”, and is at the crux of this kind of misunderstanding, whether it is meant to be misleading or not, listeners are always interpreting and misinterpreting. I can go my entire life without taking yoga, because that is something I have no interest in. I must discriminate, however, in order to live and be yoga.