Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Fourth Breath

I am starting to teach yoga and giving professional massages. I have been studying how to set up a business and everything that goes with it.
I have been thinking about names for my business, designs for posters and business cards.
I wanted the name to show something about who I am and what I want to offer. Throwing a few words around, I ended up deciding on calling it The Fourth Breath.

The word breathe has been my focus for this year, and will probably continue to be a word close to my heart for many years to come. Every time I think of, or say the word 'breathe' to myself, I relax. Every time I start to stress about something, tense up, and I feel overwhelmed, I have to remind myself to just breeeeathe.
Pranayama is a yogic practice of extending our vital life force. This is done by using different breathing techniques.
The breath during a yoga asana practice is the key to connecting the body with the mind and spirit. It synchronizes your movements and brings a deeper awareness to your surroundings and inner self. You are able to examine how you feel in each pose, and through extended exhalations you can go deeper into a "difficult" pose.
Thus, I wanted my business name to include something to do with breathing.

There are seven chakras in the subtle body. Chakras are energy centres within the 'psychic' body or the soul. Each chakra governs different areas of the physical body, the mental body, emotional and spiritual. The fourth chakra is the heart centre, anahata chakra. Hence why I called my practice "The Fourth Breath"
The heart chakra governs the chest area; lungs, heart, shoulders, upper back. Its properties are that of love, gentleness, compassion, openness and more. Breathing through the heart brings feelings of warmth, love, healing, peace, light...

'Pranayama' is the fourth limb of Patanjali's eight limbed path of yoga.
There are four different types of breathing: Puraka(inhalation) Rechaka(exhalation) Abhyantara Kumbhaka(retention after inhalation) and Bahya Kumbhaka (retention after exhalation).
Bahya Kumbhaka is referred to as "the empty pause". Retaining the breath outside of the body is taking a pause in life, with no focus except just BEING.
There are also four stages of retention:
Bahya = external; abhyantara = internal; visaya = sphere; aksepi = going beyond; caturthah = the fourth variety of retention.

I have studied various forms of yoga, and have integrated principles, teachings and adaptations of each to my own personal practice. I am now teaching this way. I have no specific "style" such as bikram, ashtanga, hatha, vinyasa, iyengar etc. I encompass all styles. The yoga I have studied is no style, it is purely yoga. Yoga is yoga is yoga. Every style came from one form, the basic form of yoga. Yogic principles come from the Upanishads, the bhagavad gita, and finally from Patanjali's eight fold path.

My style of teaching yoga has an extremely therapeutic view, and is very gentle on the body. Depending on what level the students are that I am teaching, I will adjust my teaching accordingly. I will constantly ask you to asses your own body, making sure that everything feels alright, and giving you the peace to lie down or sit if you feel to. There are no judgements made in my classes. These yoga classes are made for you, to heal your life. I am a healer, and teaching yoga is a way that you can personally heal yourself, with your personal practice.
I can definitely teach you as a personal trainer would, but I am not here to give you a workout. Sometimes I may do a vigorous vinyasa flow, which will seem like an intense workout, which it is, but then I will always let you cool down and relax before moving on. I will give you time to review what you just did and scan your own bodies for signs of discomfort.

I believe that this busy world needs to relax. They need to breathe. They need stress relief. They need healing. They need to learn how to heal themselves.
In my yoga classes I will encompass deep relaxation and pranayama practices, to balance the body mind and spirit.
Things may come up that you didn't know you were there; things that may affect you profoundly, such as making you feel sick, or angry, or even tearful. These are all part of the healing practice, as emotions need to come to the surface first to be freed.
I will always do a deep relaxation at the end of each session in Shavasana. This could be some IRT (Instant Relaxation Technique) which involves tensing and relaxing isolated muscle groups. It could be bringing awareness to different areas of the body and then relaxing them simply with awareness. I will usually do a visualization which is always stress relieving, uplifting and powerful.

My massage is highly intuitive. I adjust my pressure according to your needs and comfortability. I will find those knots and get them out, or I may simply lay my hands on you for a while and give you some healing energy :-)
Don't underestimate my strength. Don't be afraid to yelp if it is too much for you. I encourage deep breathing, as this flushes toxins out of your body and allows your muscles to relax with more oxygenated blood flowing to them; relieving your muscle spasms.

If you want to know more, or are interested in either a yoga class or session, or a massage, feel free to send me an email/message.

Love and Light


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Smokey Mirror

    Three thousand years ago, there was a human just like you and me who lived near a city surrounded by mountains. The human was studying to become a medicine man, to learn the knowledge of his ancestors, but he didn't completely agree with everything he was learning. In his heart, he felt there must be something more. 
    One day, as he slept in a cave, he dreamed that he saw his own body sleeping. He came out of the cave on the night of a new moon. The sky was clear, and he could see millions of stars. Then something happened inside of him that transformed his life forever. He looked at his hands, he felt his body, and he heard his own voice say, "I am made of light; I am made of stars."
   He looked at the stars again, and he realized that it's not the stars that create light, but rather light that create the stars. "Everything is made of light," he said, "and the space in-between isn't empty." And he knew that everything exists is one living being, and that light is the messenger of life, because it is alive and contains all information.
   Then he realized that although he was made of stars, he was not those stars. "I am in-between the stars," he thought. So he called the stars the tonal and the light between the stars nagual, and he knew that what created the harmony and space between the two is Life or Intent. Without Life, the tonal and nagual could not exist. Life is the force of the absolute, the supreme, the Creator who creates everything.
   This is what he discovered: Everything in existence is a manifestation of the one living being we call God. Everything is God. And he came to the conclusion that human perception is merely light perceiving light. He also saw that matter is a mirror - everything is a mirror that reflects light and creates images of that light - and th eworld of illusion, the Dream, is just like smoke which doesn't allow us to see what we really are. "The real us is pure love, pure light." he said.
   This realization changed his life. Once he knew what he really was, he looked around at other humans and the rest of nature, and he was amazed at what he saw. He saw himself in everything - in every human, in every animal, in every tree, in the water, in the rain, in the clouds, in the earth. And he saw that Life mixed the tonal and the nagual in different ways to create billions of manifestations of Life.
   In those few moments he comprehended everything. He was very excited, and his heart was filled with peace. He could hardly wait to tell his people what he had discovered. But there were no words to explain it. He tried to tell the others, but they could not understand. They could see that he had changed, that something beautiful was radiating from his eyes and his voice. They noticed that he no longer had judgement about anything or anyone. He was no longer like anyone else.
   He could understand everyone very well, but no one could understand him. They believed that he was an incarnation of God, and he smiled when he heard this and he said, "It is true. I am God. But you are also God. We are the same, you and I. We are images of light. We are God." But still the people didn't understand him.
   He had discovered that he was a mirror for the rest of the people, a mirror in which he could see himself. "Everyone is a mirror," he said. He saw himself in everyone, but nobody saw him as themselves. And he realized that everyone was dreaming, but without awareness, without knowing what they really are. They couldn't see him as themselves because there was a wall of fog or smoke between the mirrorw. And that wall of fog was made by the interpretation of images of light - the Dream of humans.
   Then he knew that he would soon forget all that he had learned. He wanted to remember all the visions he had had, so he decided to call himself the Smokey Mirror so that he would always know that matter is a mirror and the smoke in-between is what keeps us from knowing what we are. He said, "I am the Smokey Mirror, because I am looking at myself in all of you, but we don't recognize each other because of the smoke in-between us. That smoke is the Dream, and the mirror is you, the dreamer."

** Naguals are masters. The tonals are therefore the tones of the masters (in this case, the stars of the light).

This is an extract from the book THE FOUR AGREEMENTS by Don Miguel Ruiz.
I did not write this extract. It is the introduction chapter to the book.
I hope you read this and understand it. It is one of the simplest ways of explaining to someone what Truly Is. It is a very easy way to understand.. please open your heart and your eyes.

Living is easy with eyes closed,
misunderstanding all you see....
         - John Lennon

Love and Light