Category Archives: Yoga

Heart Cartography

I have an Atlas of the World. A heavy tabletop volume. A beautiful but very fragile 1927 Atlas. Two US Road Atlas, bound and spiral additions. A multitude of Forest Service maps. Hiking guides, North America and Europe, two shelves full.

Likewise with the yoga books – student and teacher – two shelves.

I’d love to see the earth, the whole world over. See all her remaining wild places, ancient, and sacred. I’ve turned the pages of these books countless times exploring. Opened and folded the maps many times. My vitality rises with Earth-embrace.

Ancient. Yoga. Eastern tradition. Yoga introduced me to my mind and body, my breath. Leading me like a roadmap, consciously.

Medicine ways. Ceremony. East meets West, if you will, on my journey. These ways have been the passageway to my heart, the ultimate guidance to bring me home. Whole. This requires everything and nothing at the same time. It makes me so glad to be alive. Unlike anything else. My heart is so full the Hummingbirds recognize me!

“In order to change the world, we have to touch your heart.”                    ~LaDonna Tamakawastewin Allard

Envisioning All of Humanity leading with Our Hearts, spiritually awakened, One with All Our Relations… Peace.

All My Relations

 

PM-J

There are Shamanic technologies of “walking” in the mind, heart and body to “see”, to become aware and find understanding.  In yogic, and a multitude of other traditions, visualizations are an accepted practice for seeing into the body, mind and spirit.  Both of these systems are everyday ingredients in my personal practice and in my teachings – whether it be medicine or yoga.   Seeing, knowing, others as light may be a universal belief.  We are after all the energy of the Universe, we come straight or crooked, from the big bang.  Aren’t we both star dust and clay, born from the unknowable that is the Mystery?  Add to the hydrogen, the nitrogen and the oxygen, the carbon of our bodies and we are the Universe, the Center of the Universe is in each of us.

In my yoga practice yesterday morning, as I rested in child’s pose, into my mind/heart appeared a vision of my dear friend PM-J resting just like me, in child’s pose.  I’ve seen her in this asana many times when we have practiced together.  Suddenly,  I wished to see into her body, into the cells gone awry that I might offer the Light into these cells, healing medicine for her.  I asked my Allies for this guidance, overwhelmed with the want of it, my heart so full.

No.  Not until you accept these two things. 

I am taken by surprise.  What do I need to know?

First, know that she is a wild animal, strong and capable of her own healing and highest good.

Of course, ok, I accept this as truth.  I know her to be strong, capable.  I am aware of the power within us.  I know too that we humans despite our civilization, are exactly that – a mammalian species on this planet.  That’s easy enough.  And?

Release attachment to outcome. 

Tears are overflowing my closed eyes.  I squeeze them tight wanting desperately to resist!

“Outwardly it seems like fire and vengeance.  Inwardly, it’s purifying waters.”  Brother Phil

I cried knowing that I know nothing of a greater plan.  I know what I what things to look like, how I want things to be, little me.  I want my friend be healthy, happy and whole.  And I know the cycles of life, death and rebirth.  Gradually I surrender and submit.  I know that I must trust absolutely in her soul path.  In mine.  Without warning, more comes forward – completely unrelated to my friend – that I must sort through and acknowledge, seeing the pain and ugliness, finding my way to forgiveness.  Forgiving perpetrators, forgiving my own judgments.

Forgiveness is good work, they tell me

With these admissions comes the image of my sweet friend, though I see her standing,  no longer in child’s pose.  I can see her clearly in my mind’s eye, she is facing me.  I see the room we have practiced in together, kitchen at her back, encouraging words and happy pictures on the refrigerator.

Now they allow me to see her filled with light.  Light comes in on her right side, my left, top to bottom, bottom to top –  simultaneously as though a big hand waved it into her in one gentle motion until her body is full.  She is luminous, filled with Light.  I ask again.  May I see the cells she so bravely confronts each day?  Will you allow me to now?  Before my mind can fully comprehend the sight of these rogue cells, the Divine encircles them in golden light, wraps them up fully they merge and fuse into Light.  Gratitude wells up in me as I see her flourishing in the Light.  I hold this image a long while.

I rise up from my mat, whipping tears puddled where my face had been.  I stand up straight, grounding into Tadasana, the mountain, standing still going nowhere.  Opening my eyes, I still see her a vision before me.  As always, she is smiling – impeccable, unyielding, capable and strong.

I am deeply grateful for these ways and for the medicine of the Divine Light, for the Mystery.  Grateful for the power of prayers.  Grateful for the love of my brilliant luminous friend PM-J.

Mitakuye Oyasin  ~  All My Relations

 

 

What If I Surrender?

What would that look like?

Allow.

Soften.

Trust.

Yesterday morning before grocery shopping for our camp kitchen, I had a strong need to be on the earth. To be outside and make my prayers.  Early tomorrow morning we meet in ceremony.  Greeting the trees, I am distracted from my purpose. The Star Magnolia (she’s awesome!) is filled with spider webs glistening in the sunlight and buoyant in the breeze, at the center of each a Spider.  As I look over the tree at the many webs I discover a web under construction.  What a marvelous mesmerizing gift watching a Garden Spider weave her home and source of sustenance.  I notice how she adjusts her body to the variances of the arch of her circle.  Her diligence of purpose.  The way she creates.  I see her footing slip in the breeze causing a mistake (?) in the web’s form.  It doesn’t slow her down in the least.  She tacks and returns to the direction she wants to go.  Her medicine teaches me resilience.  To move forward.  Leave the past behind.  Choose where I want to go.  Stay focused.  To be at my center and source within.  And Go! make your ties, get moving, there is much to do!  Indeed. I go sit in the only green place in the yard, shaded by the Monster.  I make my prayers, they feel powerful, witnessed by more tiny spiders crawling all about me, chartreuse and pale yellow-white.  Spider power!  Gratefully, shopping took the rest of the day so I ordered pizza.  The delivery person helped me carry my new cooler (*which doesn’t fit in my trunk! doh!) into the house.  (too big and too heavy!)  Allow for help.  Surrender to a new limitation, another lesson.

In my yoga practice this morning Adho Mukha Svanasana invites me to submit.  I do.  Surrendering.  What am I holding?  Where?  Let go of story.  Come into alignment with my heart.  Release.  Soften.  Mind my mouth, no tension there.  I feel a healing in my throat.  Pilamaya!

Humbly.  I have a burning question.  Why is the human species so violent?  I heard Jerry Jampolsky speak on the Summer of Peace saying, “Why is a victim’s question that keeps us in our suffering.  Surrender, it is happening for a reason.”  Well crap!  If I had a nickel for every time I asked why, why, why.  What if I surrender to this question and just go pack and make ready for camp?  What if I surrender and trust?  Trust = Happy Heart!  That’s what!

Allow.  Soften.  Trust.  A good way to walk into ceremony.  This is my vision quest.

In gratitude for the People who have come before to show us this way, for the patterns and agreements laid down over time.  Pilamaya for this ceremony.  For the Circle coming together in this way.  For all Nations who will greet us on the land, for our Mother Earth.  Our prayers.

I offer prayers for the Salmon Nation who are struggling at this time.  For the Water.  Water is life.

Mitakuye Oyasin  ~  All My Relations

(*thankfully my best friend Scott loaned me his truck!)(allowing)(again!)

 

 

Kurmasana

“Your body is a spiritual tool. Appreciate the miracle that it is.”                     ~  Swami Radha

My body found its way into Kurmasana in this mornings practice, one of my favorite poses.  As I rounded my spine, folding forward to become the tortoise my mind flashed back to my teachers Swami Radhakrishnananda, then Deborah and then Charles.  The beginning of consciousness and spiritual awakening – studying myself through yoga.

Settling into the asana, hips release.  Noticing the depth and ease of my breath.  Lengthening the curve of my spine, soles together, chest nearly touching the floor, forehead rests against heels, arms extending until my hands become flippers.  I am at rest, buoyant on the water of our Mother.  Tears fill my eyes.  Water is life, it courses through me.  I feel deep connection.  No separation.   The wisdom of the tortoise allows me to see myself from above through her eyes – see myself as Light, as Water.  I am both star stuff and from the earth’s molten core.  I am the water.  I send up a blessing for the Water – protection and restored health, for its purity.

I relax even more into the pose.  My breath slows.  I can feel my heart beating, the electromagnetic force of love.  My mind moves gently, tracing the path to this moment.  Eastern philosophy comes full circle to Turtle Island.  Grandmother Turtle, my home.  I am at home within my skin.  My shell (home) a place to pull into and a place to extend out from.  Safe.

I survey my entire body.  Can I relax further?  Can I deepen still?  Can I know myself as the wise tortoise, as the Mother, not only in this moment but into every moment?  I’d like to stay this way forever.  I allow myself a few more minutes – breathing, at peace, mind still knowing I am in the right place.  Precious silence.

Regretfully I must move.  Thankfully I am moving towards medicine crafting.  Buffalo awaits, a client soon to arrive, new rattles are coming forward.  More gifts from our Mother, from our brethren.  I feel incredibly supported, connected and free.  In gratitude.  Om…

Mitakuye Oyasin  ~  All My Relations