Welcome friends! OM Shanti!

People come together in all kinds of ways, what matters is that they get together.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


10/30/11 ~ Backbends and Kleshas
Starseed Yoga and Wellness of Montclair, NJ

Breath awareness and 3 OM's to open. 

Backbends are heart openers and for some may feel like opening pandora's box, unleasing confusion, attachment, aversion, and even fear.  The existential suffering we expereince in backbends is an undercurrent in our lives.  This discomfort is linked to the kleshas, or mental afflictions.  The five kleshas are... 

1. avidya - ignorance - lack of awareness of the Self, one identifies with only the body-mind
2. asmita - ego - controlling each situation because "I" know best, mind is restless                     
3. raga - attachment - seeking happiness through external objects/ideas
4. dvesha - aversion - avoiding things we believe bring pain/suffering
5. abhinivesha - fear of death, clinging to the body (the body is the medium through our mind experiences pleasure)

The five kleshas prevent us from making real progress on our spiritual journey.  They begin with ignorance and then act out in a chain reaction.  With attachments controlling our every move, "I need coffee to work better..." etc, we fail to realize the true peace and joy we already are.  You are perfect just the way you are.  All the joys and pains you have are there acting as your teachers and guides, all pointing you inwards.  You already have all the answers you are looking for.  The peace we seek is within us, in our hearts, which is the heart of all hearts. 

Sequence:  Restorative backbend over a bolster, Urdhva Baddhanguliyasana (upwards bound hands), Gomukasana prep, tabletop, cat/cow, Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog) - plank 3x, Balasana (child's pose) - Ashtangasana (eight-pointed pose) 3x, child - table - dog 3x, Adho Mukha Svanasana - plank - Ashtangasana - Bhujangasana (cobra pose), Uttanasana (standing foward bend), Tadasana (mountain pose), Surya Namaskara (sun salutations - tadasana, urdhva hastasana with a slight backbend, uttanasana, ardha utttanasana, plank, urdhva mukha svanasana, adho mukha svanasana, lunge, uttanasana, urdhva hastasana, tadasana), three legged dog - three legged plank - pigeon, Adho Mukha Svanasana - plank - Ashtangasana - Bhujangasana, Balasana.  Bhujangasana 3x, Bekasana (frog pose), Ardha Dhanurasana (halfway bow pose), Dhanurasana (bow pose), Apanasana (yogahug), Setubhandha Sarvangasana (bridge pose), Urdhva Dhanurasana (upward bow pose - full wheel), Ardha Adho Mukha Vrksasana (halfway hand-stand "L" shape at the wall).

Viparita Karani (legs up the wall) for....

Friends and Strangers - A Word Game, A Book of Games: a course in spiritual play, Hugh Prather, p.52

"How much of the world do you react to and how much do you see?  Whatever you react to is from your past and is not in the present situation.  Therefore, you do not see it, you only remember it.  Whatever you react to, you are controlled by, and to be controlled by anything is to not be free.  To react to everything is to be in pain continually.  To love is to free all you see from how you remember it. 
Now and love are the same." 

Friends and Strangers - A Word Game
"You are going to do something for your friends today that they will love.  You are going to see them as strangers.  Nor will strangers themselves be left out of your kindness, for they will become old friends.  Simply see every friend as a stranger and every stranger as a friend.
"Pretend that you have heard that this friend has undergone a complete personality transplant.  Or pretend that he has been possessed by an angel.  He looks familiar, but don't you be fooled.  See how many new things you can recognize about him.  Just click them off in your mind and notice your delight at each new discovery.  For, remember, he is totally different within.  This is a game, but what you are seeing is not self-delusion.
"And with each stranger you meet today, say to yourself, "There walks my lifelong friend.  I know everything there is to know about him."  Remember his birth, his childhood, the pains and disappointments he has had, and also the momentary highs and cresting victories.  And then recall that underlying all these turnings of fate has been the steady emergence of his lovely Self, a Mind precisely like your own.  This stranger has indeed gone through everything you have.  You do in fact know him.  All that is true of you is true of him.  You can love him without hesitation.
"By exercising your ability to remember this instant, you will see clearly that all there is real is now, and all that is now is new, and all that is new is forever aned forever."

Savasana (final relaxation pose) and practice of Sitali Pranayama (cooling breath).

Ending Peace Chants
Asaato Maa Sad Gamaya
Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya
Mrityor Maa Amritam Gamaya
Lead us from unreal to Real.
Lead us from darkness to the Light.
Lead us from the fear of death to the knowledge of Immortality.
OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
Lokaah Samastaah Sukhino Bhavantu
May the entire universe be filled with Peace and Joy, Love and Light

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