Fun Shiva Power class this morning at Baja Soul Yoga! Nice to see everyone.

Fun Shiva Power class this morning at Baja Soul Yoga! Nice to see everyone.

Fun Shiva Power class this morning at Baja Soul Yoga! Nice to see everyone.
Yoga philosophy teaches us that yoga is the stopping of the movements of the fluctuating mind. When the mind is quiet — in stillness, we experience the true nature of our Self. When the mind is constantly moving and distracting us, we never really get to see who we are because we are caught up in all the movements, and all the distractions. It’s like things are upside down. The senses are leading the mind, and the mind is dragging us along for the ride. Yoga is the practice of taking charge again. You are directing your mind to control your senses, and focus on the things you want to focus on. Every time you concentrate on something and hold your focus — you increase your willpower. Every time your mind wanders off and fidgets, distracting you — the pattern of distraction gets stronger. The greatest battle you will ever fight is the one with your mind. Concentrate! Without concentration there is no yoga.

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Movement and Stillness.

Movement and Stillness.

I love listening to the sound of a group of students flowing together, breathing together, moving as one. One of the great things about a led class is being able to surrender to the group energy. Move, and then pause and feel it. Move, and then pause and feel it. The dance between movement and stillness. Feel this moment. Now — it’s gone. Feel this moment. Now — it’s gone. Moment to moment. Be here now. Be. Here. Now. Training ourselves to be more present. We open and we close. We open and we close — over and over again. Inhale and exhale. Inhale and exhale. Inhale. Pause. Exhale. Pause.

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So many distractions.

So many distractions.

A deep Shavasana in one of our Shiva Power® classes here in Cabo in my Shiva Yoga 200hr Teacher Training program. I love supporting these students on this journey. It’s wonderful to hold space and witness their transformation. I can’t believe how fast the time is going, though. I was talking yesterday before class in my Dharma talk about how fast we are moving and how much we are running — always so busy, so many distractions. We are making our lives so complicated. People often tell you proudly when you ask how they are doing, “I’m busy! Really busy!” I don’t know if this is such a good thing? Slow down. Find more balance. Make some space. Find stillness. Everything is passing by so fast. Make sure you don’t miss it because you were so busy.

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Walk to the center of your wheel.

Walk to the center of your wheel.

Walk to the center of your wheel. Do you remember when you were a kid? There were those wheels you could get on at the park and your parents would spin them and you’d fly around and it was so fun and so exciting? You were hanging on out at the edge and everything was moving so fast.

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Take a journey to the center of your Self!

Take a journey to the center of your Self!

Take a journey to the center of your Self! Walk to the center of your wheel. Yoga is a shift of perspective. The ego says, ‘I want the world to change for me!’ Yoga says, ‘change yourself and your relationship to the world will change too.’ What’s left over when you peel off the layers and let go of your body, mind, thoughts, ego, and emotions? What’s left over in the stillness, in the silence? What does at feel like to sit at the center of the wheel? Look at all the drama, all the noise, all the thoughts, way out at the outer edges. What’s left over in the stillness and the silence? You. The most subtle aspect of who you are. Sit in the center of your Self. Look at your thoughts. Look at your mind. Experience the true nature of your Self.

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I surrender to this moment, right here, and right now.

I surrender to this moment, right here, and right now.

The last day I spent in Bali, I returned to one of the temple’s we had visited and toured earlier in the week, on my recent yoga retreat. I was so grateful to be able to take some extra time and soak up this beautiful place. Sometimes you have to sit in a place for a while to experience it, take a few deep breaths, do a little yoga practice. Whenever I am shooting yoga pictures I always think of my teacher, Dharma Mittra, shooting the pics for the 908 Asanas poster. Dharma shot so many pics for the poster and he only used the ones where he felt like he wasn’t attached to the results. That’s hard to do when you know you are being photographed. Forget the photographer. Forget about the pose. Settle into stillness. Find peace. Breathe into it. Try to find that perfect balance, where the light is moving through you. I offer my practice. No me and no you. No expectations. I breathe into this moment. I surrender to this moment, right here and right now.

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The Vibration of the Universe

The Vibration of the Universe

There is a place where the inhale and exhale meet, where time stops, where there is stillness. In this place, if you listen closely, sometimes you can hear the vibration of the whole Universe. And in this moment, you feel a feeling of connection to everyone and everything, and your heart bursts open. In the stillness, when the breath stops moving, listen. 

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Slow Down. Find Stillness. Turn Inward.

Slow Down.  Find Stillness.  Turn Inward.

You’re on your motorcycle. You’re flying along. You’ve got no lights, though. You can’t see where you’re going. And, you’ve got not brakes. You can’t slow down and you can’t stop.

You’re flying down the mountain on a winding path and it’s starting to get dark. You’ve got no lights. You’ve got no brakes. You can’t slow down.

Up ahead, on the path, is a yogi. He’s slowly walking down the mountain. He’s got a light. He’s using his light to see where he’s going. He hears this commotion coming down the path behind him. He stops walking, turns, and sees you, out of control, flying down the mountain, on your motorcycle.

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The Journey is into the Fire and Through the Fire!

The Journey is into the Fire and Through the Fire!

The journey is into the fire, and through the fire.

Yoga is not about rainbows and unicorns! It's supposed to be challenging. It involves looking at darkness and the darker parts of ourselves on our journey towards the light. You can't by-pass this work. This work is your yoga practice!

Take your journey into the fire and look at yourself. It's going to get hot. It's going to get uncomfortable. It's supposed to be uncomfortable!

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The Journey from darkness into the light.

The Journey from darkness into the light.

The Peacock is a symbol in yoga of Sattva, which means light, clarity, illumination. The reason the Peacock is a symbol for Sattva is because of its feathers. When the peacock opens its feathers it looks like a thousand eyes are looking at you. These eyes symbolize the light moving through you from within and your awakening. The Peacock pose is a great example of how hard it is to achieve this state of Sattva too. It requires a tremendous amount of strength and flexibility, and a tremendous amount of balance.

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Take a Journey to the Center of Your Self

Take a Journey to the Center of Your Self

This past week I've been talking a lot in class about taking the journey to the center of your Self. This is really the journey we are taking in our yoga practice.

Do you know those wheels on the playground, or in a park? The ones for kids to play on, or that you used to play on when you were a kid? You get on the wheel and someone spins it and you are flying around on the wheel with the other kids. It's fun! It's exciting. There's lots of drama. Sometimes it's scary. You're out of your comfort zone.

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Yoga Is the Journey to the Center of Your Wheel

Yoga Is the Journey to the Center of Your Wheel

Yoga Is the Journey to the Center of Your Wheel

So much of our practice is about getting to a place where there is more peace and calm, a place where we can be of service to others, a place where we can hold space for others, a place where we can support each other, a place where we can empathize and have compassion for each other and a place where we can love each other.

I’ve been talking a lot in class about how the practice is like one of those children’s wheels in the park that spins around.  The children laugh and scream, holding on tightly, as the wheel spins faster and faster.  

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You know who you are.

You know who you are.

You know who you are.  Who forgot?  The mind.  You know you are pure consciousness.  Who forgot?  The mind.  It is in the stillness where we experience the reflection of who we are.   There’s no distractions.  There’s nothing else there.  No ego.  No mind.  No thoughts.  No body.  There’s just you.  The witness.  Pure consciousness.   The thousand petalled lotus.   You are the thousand petalled lotus.  

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The Journey is Om!

The Journey is Om!

Yogis! The journey of yoga is the Om! First there is nothing. Heaviness. Stillness. Ignorance. Tamas. Then vibration, movement, activity, leading us into the fire. Rajas. Mmmmmmmmm. Sound. Movement. The roar of Joy! Ooooooooooooooooo! Now we're in it. Into the fire we go! Don't fight it. Don't close off. Don't contract. Surrender. Surrender into the fire! Ooooooooooooooo! Open your heart. Let it flow through you. Feel the expansion. You are in perfect balance. You are embodied consciousness. Move with skill in action. The power of the Universe is moving through you. Oooooooooooooo!!! Surrender. Let go. Go inward. Surrender into the fire. Oooommmmmmmmmmmmm! Stillness. Silence. Listen to the sound of the silence. Peace. Calm. Light. Illumination. Sattva. Stillness but with awareness. Pure consciousness. Who am I? What's my purpose? What's the true nature of the Self? All of the answers. In the stillness. The journey to the other side of the Om. Self realization. The realization of the Self. The experience of the Self. In the stillness what's left? No ego. No mind. No thoughts. No body. No world. Just awareness. The awareness of awareness. Pure awareness. In the stillness are all of your answers. You have to take the journey, though. The journey of the Om. You have to take YOUR journey. No one else can take it for you. You can't use someone else's map to find your destination. You have to go into your OWN fire. You have to create your OWN map. Surrender. Go inward. Find stillness. Listen. And reconnect with your Self. It's not a journey to connect with your Self. You're going home. Oooommmmmmmmmm! You've already been there. There actually is no there. There's nowhere to go. You're already there. You're already HERE. The destination is the journey. The journey is Om!

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