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.

Taking Control of Eternity

December 29, 2011

Time meant nothing to me, except that I was stuck in it. The concept of what one second was had to be altered and then forgotten, dissipated into nothingness. I knew civilization was always going to operate on grids of delineated beginnings and endings and these were drawn with hard, merciless lines that spilled onto pages of personal histories like unstoppable disembowelings, until the entrails of every dream ever dreamt by every innocent child that ever lived composed the unimaginable description of time’s arrow flung with immeasurable emotion from time’s dawn for us to keep watching, witnessing in horror, unable to look away while writhing in agony to somehow wrench our flush faces and blood-filled eyes to some scene of immaculate beauty and serenity where we can feel showered with the golden warmth of being smothered with love until our hearts can agree to beat no longer.

I decided to breathe. Breathing helped. A lot. I realized that by not breathing, the heart kept beating and it started to leave like a train that I had just missed at the station. The only way to get on that train was to breathe, but it had to be the right kind of breathing, otherwise it would just be a pathetic uncoordinated and jagged tumbling forward, like tripping with each step and just watching hopelessly as the gap between me and my heartbeat widened. I took a steady and deep breath. This was the answer, the only answer, and it liberated me from the constraints of my memory, my conditioning, my thinking of what time is and was, and it narrowed the gap, synchronizing with my heartbeat, and the extreme pain that I felt in the arc of the breath lessened as soon as it became greater than I ever imagined it would be. Once the relief came I pushed on by straightening my legs more and lengthening them from the hips to the heels and I took another deeper breath and there. It was gone. All of the pain and difficulty and torturous inescapability seemed to have vanished and I had the strength to stay right where I was forever. Forever until the heart would agree to beat no longer. I did it, I found the serenity and immaculate beauty, not to look upon, but to be a component of, experiencing it directly.

This was my private practice today. I didn’t look at any clocks until it was complete, and about an hour had elapsed. There were no sounds, no speaking, no interruptions, no distractions. There were instead the very unavoidable sounds, words, interventions, and adjustments of being fully alive.

Of the Niyamas, “Tapah” is one that can easily be misunderstood, either by improper translation or improper interpretation, both leading to misapplication of otherwise strong efforts. What it is not, is a torture, as in to make the body fast, or deny its demands, suppressing and repressing. It is an austerity. This is to live the truth you understand. Tapas is to educate the body through experience – Asanas, Pranayama, Pratyahara, etc., so that it can set itself free of the clutches of conditionings. Conditionings cannot be destroyed but you can release yourself from their hold, their domination, their clutches.

Austerity is required to live the truth you have perceived. Without perceiving the truth there can be no tapah because that is passive repetition of certain codes of conduct. If you understand the truth about diet then you do not move an inch away from your understanding about diet. If you understand something about sleep, such things as how much sleep is necessary, when to give the body sleep, what kind of bed should be given, then you live that truth. What kind of exercises to be given, what clothes to be worn, how to use sound, how to use the mind, and movement of thought, once you are acquainted with, observe, and understand it, then you live the understanding. That is Tapah.

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.

Vernal Equinox 2010

March 18, 2010

Lucifer, most beautiful conductor of music in all the universe.

We on this planet earth with all of our unique differences have a myriad of things in common. As we approach this year’s vernal equinox for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, a notable change is about to take place on March 20 at 1:32pm like the node of a sine wave whose frequency is one orbit around the sun.
The change of the seasons is a rhythm that we adhere to and is inescapable. Curiously, we have four distinct seasons that when related to the passing of time are like the beats of the time signature of the music of our solar system on one side of the Milky Way Galaxy. Is it a coincidence that the most common and popular time signatures in written music today are divisible by or multiples of four? If our grand musical time signature is 4/4 with one measure lasting a year, we can fit any time signature variations we would like and synchronize with our given larger framework.
As individuals with different rhythms that have begun at the moments of our creation, we are given the opportunity to become aware together and adjust our tempos to accent as one this beat in the symphony that we write and perform. Like an orchestra comprised of every living thing on the planet, our celestial sheet music calls for every instrument to play a note in the key of life.

Your Chakras, Your Music

February 19, 2010

Music is in all of us. We are all musicians. Only in the last 500 years has music become a spectator sport. Before then, music existed as something entire families and communities participated freely in without judgement. When the mathematics of music were uncovered and exploited and rules were placed upon what is and isn’t music, humanity in general started to move toward the consensus of what is considered music now, which is based upon whether you do or don’t follow those rules, whether or not you are good enough to be considered a musician.

Of course, if you have a goal to perform music to a football stadium full of people, it helps if you follow or cleverly circumvent the rules in place that allow that to happen. Apart from this relatively new perspective on validating music, you can still greatly enjoy making music and participate in it, just as humans have since the beginning of its creation.

Music, and sound in general, is waves vibrating the air and all forms of matter around us. Physicists have come to an understanding that all of our known universe is comprised of vibrations. The seven major chakras from top to bottom can be associated with a color spectrum just like that of visible light from violet to red. Notes can be assigned to these chakras, with the note C being the lowest, or root chakra, and each successive note with each higher chakra. There are even notes in between like F# and C# associated with chakras in between. If you have an instrument or can sing these individual notes while envisioning the respective colors and chakras you will be joining two forms of energy with the energy that your body and spirit are capable of radiating, tuning yourself, an instrument with a purpose.

Silence Is A State Of Mind

February 18, 2010

Have you ever heard the phrase, “the silence was deafening”? AUM is the verbal equivalent of the four states of consciousness and their fields of experience. A is the waking consciousness, U is the dream consciousness, M is the dreamless sleep, and the silence around the sacred syllable is the Unmanifest Transcendent. The dance posture of the God Siva may be visualized as the symbolic syllable, also commonly written as Om.

But what is the correct note to voice this syllable? There are musical notes associated with each of the seven main chakras, and our root chakra is associated with the note C. The note middle C is a good reference point for the sound AUM, and there are Om singing bowls specifically tuned for this purpose.

Anthropomorphic idols, like Siva, exist to make the point that the God is within the worshiper. Long sermons are unnecessary among idol-worshipers, and the devotee mimics the god with the same meaning the god has, infused into local custom and the details of life. The whole of life can be made into a support for meditation, and one lives in the midst of a silent sermon all the time. Yoga is the same. One mustn’t think of the asanas as representative of what yoga is. It is better to think of them as a vehicle to the goal and comprising only a small fraction of all that is yoga. When your yoga practice comes to a close and you are introspective and alone with the Self, listening to what is usually being blocked out from your awareness, this is yoga, your state of mind after the asanas have been practiced to help you get there. Yoga is for everyone.


Use What You Already Know

February 12, 2010

Unless you are a newborn baby, your hearing is biased by what you have learned over the years to be your hearing. Your hearing is your brain, combined with your ears picking up vibrations that your brain then interprets. You have learned over the course of your life what sounds are and what they aren’t, alongside a certain grey area of what you believe them to be, leaving more room for constant learning to continue to take place. If you were to ask yourself what sounds you consider pleasing, strengthening, soothing, comforting, etc., you will come up with a list that is pretty unique to you, although there can be an average mean where most people within a similar society with similar upbringing can agree with very similar lists. Thinking globally, this average mean cannot apply. Yoga being a philosophy and method developed in a very specific part of the world during a specific time in the history of man, the music considered traditional to yoga practice will also be just that, traditional. In this modern world accepting the principles of yoga, we have a choice to follow tradition or not, and music is one. If the traditional sounds or lack of sound of yoga will stop someone from experiencing yoga, the principles of meditation concerning the isolation of the senses supercede the choices of external aural stimuli. Use what you know, what your ear-brain has already been trained to interpret as desirable, motivational, inspirational, empowering, calming, soothing, whatever you need to enhance your yoga experience. Only you can say whether a certain sound is beneficial to you or distracting. Even in silence we have a baseline noise floor of the blood pumping past our ears up and down our necks or a ringing that won’t go away. Even silence must be isolated from the senses to still the mind.

When sound hits the ear canal and vibrates the eardrum and the inner ear, a complex combination of bio-electrical impulses are sent to the brain where sound must then be interpreted. Sound is always open to interpretation. To say anything more distinct and certain about how one might react to a sound or collection of sounds entering the transducer that is the inner, middle, and outer ear, would be to begin making assumptions. If we zoom out as far as we can to make the safest of assumptions and still be guilty of them, we can say that we all know what rainfall sounds like, what thunder sounds like, or what the ocean sounds like. Although most of that may be true, you still cannot say with certainty anyone’s interpretation of these sounds but your own. I am making a bigger assumption right now by not considering that people may not have their hearing and therefore excluding all deaf and hearing impaired people. If I can say with certainty that I know what rainfall sounds like, and another person says the same, we can both agree that in our minds we each have a distinctly different concept of that sound that overlaps in a common area where we both share a similar memory of experience. But maybe my memory is the sound of rain on concrete and asphalt, or hitting a wood-shingled roof, or how it sounds from the inside of a car, while another person’s memory is that of rain hitting a tin roof, falling on bare earth, tree leaves and grass, echoing through a forest instead of off the sides of buildings. These are minor differences if our focus is the rainfall itself, but make all the difference if we are concerned with the way the rain falls, what it hits, and basically the reason that we hear it.

When sounds enter our ears, it is up to us where we have our focus while at the same time involuntarily drawing on past experiences to identify first where our choices of focus are. These are examples of not only why a silent yoga class can be a more focused yoga class, but also examples of how a properly constructed introduction of sound can benefit any experience, compliment it, or take it to a level previously unforeseen.