If daytime is inhale and nighttime is exhale, then the pause between is Solstice. In Sanskrit it’s called “kumbhaka”; the perfect moment of reflection, retention, meditation or practice.
It’s also Italian downtempo and ethno-psychedelic chill out music available for FREE DOWNLOAD: Release listen & download via http://www.ektoplazm.com, but I digress . . .
So we mimic this pause (kumbhaka) with yoga practice as often as we can. It’s a repetition of a peak moment: awareness, pause, act. Inhale, pause, exhale, pause. This is the progression of Surya Namaskar, the sun salutation that connects our flowing and held poses in Lunar yoga.
The vital power of the sun has been celebrated by our ancestors since before time was time. We pause and reflect upon it every time we practice. I cannot say enough that this class is about the cycling of separation and return, light and dark, masculine and feminine, that IS creation. We have practiced Surya Namaskar A in the Ashtanga tradition (or vinyasa) since September of 2015. On Thursday 16 June 2016, we added Surya Namaskar B.
Thursday was Day 10 of the Lunar cycle of June and presented us with a waxing gibbous moon, three-quarters full. The flower of the first quarter is pollinated in this phase and bears fruit at the upcoming fullness on the 20th. So in this week we creatively communicate the intention of the new moon to others. We build toward clarity of purpose by combining energy with others and we learn to communicate more authentically by sharing what’s ripe and casting off our old, out grown patterns. Fertilization, polarity and process all as a whole; everything is in the act of creation and destruction at once.
The Gemini sun and Sagittarian moon stretch our purpose of illuminating the authentic self across the axis of intellect and truth. We build toward the perfection of our self-observation and contact with who we really are in a smart and seeking way. It gives us the rare view of the individual within the context of the larger whole. Really fortunate, if you can believe in yourself and your purpose through this lens, then you have achieved yoga.
This surprised me, though it should not have. This is the meaning of “namaste” as you know. Many and one, one and many.
The full moon (opposition) on Sunday 20 June brings us to day 15 of the Lunar cycle, and some serious cycling it is! The second full moon in the sign of the archer also brings us to the 3rd iteration of the mutable grand cross with so many amazing transits I had to just give up trying to convey them all. (Dammit, Jim, I’m a yoganaut not a an astrologer!) I think they are better left for the weekly posts, when the “REAL” astrology and astronomy gets researched. Another important lesson I am becoming aware of: play is more important, sometimes. Moving the feelings through the body, especially overwhelm, benefits from a little less exactitude.
In a welcome reversal of new moon process, the days before the full moon are the most potent and I am writing this on a windy, hiding-from-the-world style Tuesday when it is plenty crowded just being alone with 2 dogs!! The purpose of the intention to meet my authentic self arrives in all it’s messiness and weariness and sadness. I need to really know who I am to know how I am going to proceed and today is a sober reckoning. I am not anything more than I was before I asked. I am vulnerable, confused and alone on a violent planet. I am exhausted, I feel allergic. The future is uncertain and it looks like it’s going to require some serious flexibility and hard work to get this train to station. But wait. I know how to do that.
I also know that if I let myself actually feel my crappy feels, instead of trying to push through them, then the crap gets processed and I won’t have the stuck energy gumming up the works. So, you guessed it: naps, yoga and dog walks. Tomorrow is another day and as a matter of fact the day AFTER the full moon is an integration and releasing day anyway. Things start to ramp up quite a bit on Wednesday and start to really roll through day 18 of the Lunar cycle, so it’s good to rest, take an honest survey and get grounded. In the words of Kari Field, “the nature of this world is impermanent and we are meant to find our power by releasing and flowing with it”. I can do that. Tomorrow.
We began class breathing in and out through the heart, coming into practice asking, “What is this wisdom inside that’s ready to be known”?
Then we did too many Surya Namaskar B’s for Angie’s taste, but then she had just run 6 miles!
We did Goddess pose with Surya Prana Mudra, the chalice of solar receptivity. The arms are raised to shoulder height and bent at the elbows, palms open to the sun, chin tilted upward. Radiating and breathing through the heart, “the solar current causes the heart to FLOWER and stokes any weak fire, expanding contracted emotional states” says Shiva Rea (pictured below).
Side Angle and Revolved Side Angle
Dolphin to Dolphin Plank
We practiced Epiphany, Receptivity and Allowing
Side Lunge to Gate
Half Lord of the Fishes
Revolved Head to Knee
Seated Forward Fold
“Meaning of Hridaya
Hridaya is the Sanskrit word for ‘Spiritual Heart’ drawing from ‘hrid’ (centre) and ‘ayam’ (this). It is said to be different from the physical heart that regulates blood circulation and gives the body life. Rather Hridaya is the place where ego and all thoughts dissipate, the seat of Pure Consciousness, our true source and essential nature. Through stillness and self-observation (swadhyaya, remember?~L), connecting with Hridaya provides us guidance and understanding and reveals who we really are.
“When we steady our breath we feel the
steadying of our thoughts. Then the thoughts
turn inward and melt away at a point.
Watching this point, where the thoughts
vanish, will also help us to merge
ourselves in the Hridaya.”
From “Moments Remembered” Compiled by V. Genevan”
Mind your Heart,