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14 10, 2019

My Bluebirds of Happiness

By |October 14th, 2019|Ashaya Yoga|0 Comments|

For thousands of years – from ancient China and Native American folklore up through 20th century Disney movies and even rock lyrics, bluebirds have been symbols of human happiness. I had been aware of this for years, but always thought of this as no more than a myth. Birds come and go, I thought, flying by my windows. I didn’t take much notice of them.
My own happiness couldn’t possibly be linked to something as small and inconsequential as a bird, could it?
And then a pair of bluebirds built a nest in the bird box I mounted in my backyard. I noticed with great interest, and perhaps a bit of attachment to the territory I had staked out as my own, as the male and female moved in, sharing my home without invitation or permission. Soon though, I backed off my feelings of possession. Our worlds became one as I watched the pair lay eggs in their nest. They sat on the eggs to keep them warm and, soon enough, babies were born. Sadly, the babies died but the parents returned to the nest and tried again.

This time, when the brood hatched, I helped the babies by checking them for blowfly larvae when they were just born and still featherless. I would take the hatchlings one at a time out of the nest and check their tiny bodies for parasites, placing them temporarily in a plastic bowl. They were so identical that, if I put them back in the nest, they all looked the same and I couldn’t tell which baby I’d already checked. I got to know the birds and they came to know me. I checked on the nest every couple of days […]

2 10, 2019

Twist to Tranquility

By |October 2nd, 2019|Ashaya Yoga|0 Comments|

Although underrated, twists are powerful poses and have many benefits. They open the primordial channel of energy along the spine – the Sushumna Nadi (channel of grace), which puts you in touch with the universal energy within you. In addition, twists purify the internal organs and are the “tonic” for the spine. Given that the spinal column is the home of the central nervous system which carries “biologic wires” of communication to every part of the body, twists work with the nerves and emotions. When anxious, twists will calm you down. When exhausted, twists rejuvenate and restore you.

At the recent Love Yoga Festival in Falmouth, I taught a class on spinal twists and I began the class with Tantric teachings. You can hear a recording of this talk below. Tranquility is our true nature and is the goal and driver of all yoga paths. We want to find the calm within the chaos, the eye of the hurricane. Tranquility is one of the qualities of the great Absolute that resides within.

But most of us have forgotten how to access tranquility. In the speed of today’s technological world, we’ve lost the patience and perseverance that it takes to cultivate true serenity. We habitually try to find serenity in all of the wrong places through addiction to substances, food, sex, money, etc. At best, these superficial outlets can only bring temporary peace but often lead to more pain, suffering, complications, and chaos – the opposite of serenity.
Life’s path is full of surprises. It twists and turns. The journey of the heart is never a straight line.
We can’t stop this from happening but we can choose how to respond to it. You can either turn away from […]