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15 03, 2014

Bhakti Shakti

By |March 15th, 2014|Todd Norian, Yoga Philosophy|0 Comments|

This morning in meditation I had the distinct experience of the longing of my heart for freedom. Not that I’m suffering from anything in particular. I just felt a deep inner urge to merge with something bigger; to grow and evolve, to expand beyond previously held limits within myself. This morning my heart was open. It was not a normal practice or normal meditation. I was elevated.

After my practice, I reflected on what happened and why was this meditation different from any others. I realized that it was the quality of my heart. It was my attitude that was different. When I meditate with an open heart, a heart that is on fire with the longing for freedom or longing for anything deeply meaningful, it shifts the potency and my ability to focus in meditation. Not only was I more still inside my head, I was also more open, spacious, and blissed out. I melted into the mantra and the mantra melted into me.

This is what I call Bhakti Shakti. (Bhakti means devotion or heart-centered awareness.) It’s the powerful energy of the uprising aspiration of the heart to become more of who I am. It is nothing less than Shaktipata (the descent of the life force), which can only come when your heart is open and ready. What makes your heart ready? It’s how you live your life, what you do, say, and eat, how you listen to others, how you listen to yourself, what you say to yourself (are you kind or self-critical? can you accept and forgive or do you hold grudges?), and in general, how you are.

When you align with your highest self and strive to do your best and make […]

11 03, 2014

Grace: Music of the Universe

By |March 11th, 2014|Todd Norian, Yoga Off the Mat|0 Comments|

Dear Friends,

Greetings! Spring is just around the corner. The air smells fresh. The bird chirps are beginning to return. The light of the sun is bringing back the promise of warmer weather, new life, creativity, and ease of being. Speaking of fresh, I have a fresh new website. Please check it out and let me know what you think. Thanks to Taylor McFarland of Revive Creative!

I just completed part 3 of 4 of the premier Ashaya Yoga 200-hour Teacher Training. It is a miraculous event on all levels. The students’ dedication and longing for freedom is unparalleled. We practice asanas, kriyas, pranayamas, mantras, and meditations every morning. We study the science and art of teaching yoga and how to create a space where students’ hearts crack open. We explore the amazing teachings of the Bhagavad Gita and reflect on how these teachings show up in our lives. We listen and share. We laugh and cry; tears of deep suffering and joy. Our hearts fill with the light and compassion of the universal as we chant kirtan. It was such a magical time to savor the gift of yoga, community, and life. Thank you to all of the participants and staff who helped create sacred space.

A function of consciousness is the gift of awareness. Grace is always being dispersed. But generally we are unaware of it. When you notice the little things in moments of reflection or deeper contemplation, you begin to see and experience the energetic fabric of life surrounding you. It’s like being wrapped in a cocoon of comfort that always takes care of your needs.

Have you ever become aware of a synchronicity that you know could have only been choreographed by grace? […]