You are a microcosmic expression of the Universe.

You are a microcosmic expression of the Universe.

“The Head Balance is the dad, the Shoulder Stand is the mom, and the Fish is the son!” — Sri Dharma Mittra

Tantra Philosophy takes a closer look at the perfect balance between masculine and feminine.

What happens when masculine and feminine come together in perfect balance?

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I talked a lot about cleansing on our yoga retreat this past week.

I talked a lot about cleansing on our yoga retreat this past week.

I talked a lot about cleansing on our yoga retreat this past week. This is such a big part of our yoga practice. Bringing our stuff to the surface, looking at it, and letting it go. 
What are you holding onto right now that isn't serving you? What are you ready to let go of? What pattern, or old habit, do you want to leave behind? One of the excursions we did this past week on the retreat took us to a temple in Ubud, where we got to participate in a cleansing ritual. At each statue in the pool, we were instructed to stop and make an offering. Then we splashed water on our face three times, over our head three times, and were encouraged to go under the water and let it run over our head and body. It was a really great experience. We often use symbols and rituals in yoga to help us draw a connection between the microcosm and the macrocosm and sometimes to help us bring together our inner and outer world. This cleansing ritual, in which we are literally cleansing the body, can help us to connect to the deeper cleansing we need to do in order to go inward and connect with the deepest part of ourselves. In Tantra, you are the individual wave, embodied consciousness, and you are simply the water in the ocean, connected to the entire Universe.

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Are you practicing yoga or just making an asana of yourself?

Are you practicing yoga or just making an asana of yourself?

The past few days I've been talking a lot in classes about the microcosm and the macrocosm.  The way you do anything is the way you do everything.  If you change your relationship to stress on your yoga mat and during your meditation practice you can change your relationship to stress off of your yoga mat.  The yoga mirror is always there.  You have to look at it.  This is the beginning of svadhyaya--Self Study.  Before we are able to get to the stillness and study the most subtle element of ourselves that is only revealed when the mind is quiet we have to understand the pattern of distraction that is keeping us from getting to that stillness.  We replace negative patterns with patterns that will lead us to a more positive outcome and then eventually we let those patterns drop away as well.  What is being revealed to you on your yoga mat?  What are your patterns?  What is coming up for you in the fire of your practice?  What are the ways your mind distracts you when you are trying to concentrate?  Do you fidget your body instead of confronting the intensity of the fire?  Do you let your mind wander somewhere else?  Where does it go?  Does it go to the future?  Does it focus on something from the past?  Do you judge yourself?  Do you judge other people?  When negative emotions rise to the surface do you blame others?  Who do you blame?  Your teacher?  The students around you?  The temperature of the room?  People from your past?  Whose voice is in your head commenting on everything you're doing?  Mom?  Dad?  What pattern are you stuck in?  This is the deeper work of yoga?  Are you looking at the yoga mirror?  What is being revealed?  Are you practicing yoga or just making an asana of yourself? ;)  Happy Friday, yoga tribe!

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Hold two opposites together and let your consciousness expand!

Hold two opposites together and let your consciousness expand!

Yogis!  One of the things we talked a lot about on our recent retreat in Tulum was the idea of holding two opposites together in our yoga practice and what happens when we hold these two opposites long enough.  This concept is told in so many different ways and in so many different yoga traditions and practices.  Patanjali talks about tapas and surrender.  Go into the fire and while in the fire practice surrendering.  When you close off and contract you create suffering.  When you open up and expand you increase your awareness.  Karma Yoga from the Bhagavad Gita tells us to move with skill in action.  This is like saying bring movement and stillness together.  Yoga is an active practice.  You have to show up. 

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