Thursday, June 17, 2010

Into our hearts

What a lovely morning it is here in Athens, GA. The birdies are busily chatting away and the tremendous storm seemed to blow away some of the heat . . . at least for the moment.
Speaking of tremendous, I am feeling tremendously inspired as of late. Thank God. It is a much welcomed reprieve after many months of feeling disconnected and less than inspired. The lovely Christina Sell graced Athens this past weekend and that just helped to fuel my fire. I learned so much and my body feels challenged and open. Yum.

Lately I have been pondering the glorious possibility that it is through the body that we come to our hearts. Christina has a quote from Douglas Brooks on her blog(May 9, 2010), "If you want to lay claim to your whirling mind you have to lay claim to your body". Coming from a family and, I believe, largely cultural, belief that the body is just to be shaped and controlled to make us more "presentable", more "worthy", I am so heartened to hear talk such as this. It has certainly been my experience that my body and my relationship with it is one of my greatest teachers.

I have been reading this blog, "Out of the Blue". The logger describes the awesome potential for healing and moving more deeply into the heart of who we truly are:

The blogger is speaking of asking Annamalai Swami a question:

"As a young lustful yogi I had the termerity to ask him what remains to be done for realisation. Through his radiant translator, Sundarum, he said simply “Pay attention to your vasanas.” I replied “Duh. What’s a vasana?” “Tendencies of the mind. ” This is the most simple and the most difficult of advice, and has entwined me in a lifetime of sadhana.

So vasanas are tendencies of the personality, what makes me particularly quirky and distinct, is what produces the habitual modes of action, that makes me do what I do in spite of myself. Feuerstein describes them thus, ” If we liken the psyche to soft wax, vasanas are the karmic imprints left behind by our psychic activities. Vasanas are chains of similar karmic activators (samskaras), deposited in the depths of the mind through actions and volition. They must be dissolved before enlightenment can be attained.” (2001:460).

And this leads me onto Anusara yoga, to my little sacroiliac lila of late, kleshas and the pathway into union with the Divine.

A major key that unlocked why yoga is an essential part of sadhana, which took me a long time to understand was seeing how the afflictions or kleshas operate. I have a natal sun square pluto which means I am particularly well endowed with affliction. Thankyou Divine. i.e. Periodic meltdown and radical transformation, like it or not, and let me tell you, mostly I do not. I am brought to my knees regularly and still I do not see.

So to embody the blessings of practice, is to unlock this contracted energy, this resistance to life. In yogic terms the vasanas and its associated trauma penetrates deeper than the organs and tissues. This energy of these vasanas are hanging out in the pranamayakosha, or the subtle energy body. Yoga philosophy speaks of five afflictions that keep us bound to reality. Ignorance, I-ness, craving, aversion, clinging to life and fear of death. The energy of these afflictions collapse in on themselves like a dying star, or a black hole and are embedded in the subtle energy body. They reflect in the mirror of the physical body. Until these energy cysts are treated the structure and function of the tissues will continue to reflect them. Svoboda says vasanas can be inherited from ones ancestors, or perchance a past life. Regardless they seem to be largely there when we are born. Bummer. They clearly show up as my cramp.

Yoga unwinds these patterns. Sadhana unwinds these vasanas. This is why yoga makes me feel so peaceful, so sane. And why Anusara reveals the body of Light, and a possibility greater than myself. How practice dissolves these “subliminal activators” that keeps us having bad hair days. Sadhana then is the path of peace, the path of heart. The only choice …"

“Be strong then and enter into your own body.
There you have a solid place for your feet.
Think about it carefully
Don’t go off somewhere else.
Kabir says this.
just throw away all thoughts of imaginary things.
And stand firm in that which you are.” Kabir

May I accept the offerings of Truth my body offers so generously. Happy weekend!


  1. Bikram yoga has given me new life I found your blog to be greatly interesting,This is very nice blog I am waiting for your next blog post, Yoga is usually taught as a way to achieve physical and mental fitness .