Spinal Flex Series

October 17, 2012 § 1 Comment

This spinal series video was requested by a student. Thank you– Please keep them coming!

The spinal series is a quick and easy way to maintain flexibility in our spine, which supports our movement, our structure, and our spinal cord (which allows our bodies to move and our organs to function). A nice, flexible spine also helps prevent or reduce lower back pain and stress on the upper back.
In fact, yoga says that we are only as young as our spine is flexible!
While we would all love to get into a beautiful, full back bend, this is not necessary for increased quality of life. The spinal series is your floor.

Drishti (eye focus): third eye
Mantra (optional): if you would like something to keep you here in the present moment, try mentally chanting Sat on the inhale, Nam on the exhale. Sat means Truth, and Nam means Name. Truth is your name. Truth is your essence. Truth is who you are. It is a bij, or seed, mantra that you can use as a living meditation (while you walk, cook, etc).
Time: 1-3 minutes per exercise. In this video, we practice for approximately 2 minutes each.

Tune In + Closing Mantra

September 18, 2012 § 2 Comments

These two videos are dedicated to students who are starting out in their own personal practice in the privacy of their own home and without the teacher in the studio.

First, congratulations! In this tradition, we like to say, “Wahe Guru!”

Please email me with questions regarding this practice anytime.

Tuning in with the Adi Mantra is important. It calls on, and connects us to, the wisdom of all ages that reside within us. We want this intelligence guiding us in our practice! The Mangala Charan mantra is technically optional, but I think it is very important. It protects us from harm.

Then the close. Ritual is good. It lets our bodies know that we are transitioning from one thing to another, and ritual allows us to pause for a moment, pay attention and be present. This close centers us in our Truth as we step away from our mat, or meditation cushion, and into our busy lives.

Here they are. Enjoy your practice!

Tune in with Adi & Mangala Charan Mantras

Close with Long Sat Nam

Power of Mantra

July 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.”  —Mohandas K. Gandhi

Many years ago when I was in sales, I bought this cassette tape (I said many years ago) on how to be persuasive. It was all about the words we use. Nothing else. Use and instead of but; share what is possible instead of what is not; focus on what works instead of the obstacles. When I found yoga in search for a sense of peace and happiness, I found that, at the end of the day the same principles applied. With the exception that the ultimate goal was not to persuade others but to be happy with myself. Turns out I’m more persuasive being happy. Funny how that works. And when I am not, the world lets me know. A little bit of awareness opens the floodgates to messages all around us with feedback and opportunity to adjust ourselves before we stray too far.

Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. 

How do we do that?

What I found to be the most powerful tool for shifting thought and gaining control over my own thoughts is mantra. Mantra is what you say over and over again, day after day. And the essence of that single phrase repeated gets embedded vibrationally at the cellular level and becomes who we are. Examples of mantra:

Amen

Salaam Shalom

I am sensible and in control of my finances.

I am perfect just the way I am.

I’m not smart enough.

I am too old.

It’s his fault.

I’m an idiot.

I am sexy and I know it

Ek Ong Kar. Sat Nam. Siri. Wahe Guru.

And when we say, think, or feel something over and over again, it enforces the pathway towards like action.

What I like about yoga mantra is that I can stay neutral with them. I don’t have to know what Ek Ong Kar means, and when I don’t know what it means, I am less likely to project my own stuff onto it and sabotage my efforts. I can simply say it over and over again and let it do its work.

Because of its power, mantra as a spiritual practice –spiritual meaning to know oneself- is an excellent way to reduce stress and anxiety and quiet the chattery monkey mind, which can help relieve insomnia or depression. It can open up the mind to see the gifts of life. It can bring a sense of abundance, calm, neutrality, oneness, self-empowerment, connection, and groundedness, as well as enhance creativity, spontaneity and love of life. Try it.

How to do Sat Kriya

June 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

Yes, I’m doing it again. For only 40 days this time…

To those of you who are joining me, I am very excited to be doing this together! This kriya is quite special. I won’t say more. Below are instructions on how. I have taken this directly from the KRI International Teacher Training Manual Level 1 to ensure accuracy:

*Sit in rock pose. The heels are under the sitting bones. The knees are together.
*Stretch the arms over the head with elbows straight, until the arms hug the sides of the head.
*Interlace all the fingers except the index fingers. Men cross the right thumb over the left. Women cross the left thumb over the right.
*Begin to chant “Sat Naam” with a constant rhythm of about 8 times per 10 seconds. As you pull the navel in and up toward the spine, chant “sut” from the Navel Point. Feel it as a pressure from the 3rd Chakra center. With the sound “naam,” relax the belly.

During Sat Kriya we focus on the Navel Point motion. Pull it inward and slightly up as you say “sut.” Release it with “naam.” Continuing rhythmically, the root and diaphragm locks are automatically pulled. The steady waves of effort from the navel gradually enlist the movement of the greater abdomen, just as the small rhythmical ocean waves will gently rock a large boat. The force is through the navel but the two locks come along sympathetically. This natural pull of the two locks as we focus through the navel, creates a physiological balance. Blood pressure is maintained evenly.

Breath regulates itself- no breath focus is necessary.

The spine stays still and straight. The rhythmic contraction and relaxation produces waves of energy that circulate, energize, and heal the body. This is neither a spinal flex nor a pelvic thrust. Remain firmly seated on the heals throughout the motions of the kriya.

Continue for 3 to 31 minutes. [the majority of this group is doing this for 11 to 31 minutes. Know where you are on your journey.]

To end: inhale and gently squeeze the muscles from the buttocks all the way up along the spine. Hold it briefly as you concentrate on the area just above the top of the head. Then exhale completely. Inhale, exhale totally and hold the breath out as you apply a firm mahabandh [all the locks: root, diaphragm, neck]- contract the lower pelvis, lift the diaphragm, lock in the chin, and squeeze all the muscles from the buttocks up to the neck. Hold the breath out for 5 to 20 seconds according to your comfort and capacity. Inhale. Relax. If you practice this as a complete kriya in itself, the relaxation is ideally twice the length of time as you practice the Sat Kriya [at minimum, rest in savasana for equal time given for the kriya].

Any questions, contact me. Enjoy your journey!  Sat Nam.

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