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Spring is Coming! Fly Free on the Tantric Path of Radical Affirmation

bird sitting on a branch with pink flowers

Spring is a time of new beginnings. It’s a time to plant new seeds of intention and new seeds of radical affirmation. A time to set aside the ways you judge yourself, doubt yourself, underestimate yourself, and recommit to self-affirmation. It’s a time to really be FOR yourself.

 

It seems that for my whole life, I’ve been very self-critical. Maybe I got that from my dad who was admittedly judgmental and at times, harshly critical of himself, those around him, life, and me! As a kid, I think I took it personally and even began to emulate those attitudes.


I’ve had to work on myself to soften, open, and let go of my harshness. It’s been a powerful journey for me because being self-critical is just the tip of the iceberg. Underneath the outer belief of judgment is an entire ocean of unworthiness, not-enoughness, and shame. I have my work cut out for me.


iceburg and reflection under the water

 

Ashaya Yoga is the path of the heart with the goal of expanding your consciousness into greater and greater orbits of fullness, health, joy, connection, and bliss.

 

How are you using the time you have left on the planet? How can you deepen your relationships? How can you know yourself more fully?

 

In my last blog I wrote about the three steps to flying free amid the chaos that inevitably colors all of our lives. To feel good when everything goes our way is easy. However, the true Tantric path of the heart is our capacity to stay heart-centered even when life doesn’t go our way, especially when life doesn’t go our way! But that “ain’t” easy.

 


To review, the three steps to flying free are:

1.      Find Your Passion and Do It. Live for It.

2.      Prioritize Your Physical Health 

3.      Speak Your Truth. Get It Off Your Chest.

 


These three steps correlate with heart, body, and mind (voice is an extension of the mind). They also mesh beautifully with the three chakras in the middle of the seven chakra system. In this model, the three middle chakras, or “middle earth” as I referred to them in the previous blog, are the 4th chakra, Anahata (at the level of the heart), the 3rd chakra, Manipura (at the navel), and the 5th chakra, Vishuddha (in the throat area).


body with chakras in front of a mandala

 

In the seven chakra model, there are two chakras above and two chakras below middle earth. The chakras above work with the subtle body – mind and spirit. The two chakras below work with the gross body – our relationship to the world and materiality. 

 

Ashaya Yoga is the integration of heart, body, and mind. Finding your passion is a function of the heart. We all have a purpose or gift, something that we do that is unique to us, that we love to do.


Finding your purpose is such an important part of the spiritual path and it’s the first step in flying free.

 

When I was younger, I thought my purpose was music because I love music. In high school I was known for my music because I was talented and I practiced a lot. I majored in music in college. It was my life and my identity, that is, until my heart blasted open through yoga!

 

During my awakening process, which you can read about in my book, Tantra Yoga: Journey to Unbreakable Wholeness, A Memoir, I found my true purpose. Your purpose doesn’t always reveal itself to you in such a grandiose way like mine did. But we all have a purpose. It’s known in Sanskrit as druva, or pole star. Your pole star indicates your direction in life, what you’re supposed to do in life, what you came here to do.

weathervane with directions

Once you figure out what your life intention is, life gets really good. What is your heart passionate about? This has nothing to do with viability and whether or not you can support yourself financially with your purpose. It has everything to do with what lights you up in life.

 

The heart chakra, Anahata, means unstruck resonance. It’s the silent vibration that is your life-signature, unique only to you. When the Anahata is open, your purpose gets revealed. You can feel it. Your purpose comes alive in you as an inner knowing that’s undeniable. It’s undeniable because you know it in your soul.

 

When your heart is closed, you won’t be able to see the opening. It’s like there’s too many clouds to see the sky. You’re confused, fuzzy, and unclear about your true purpose.

 

The spiritual path includes dealing with the clouds, which are the problems of life. 


You have to work things out enough such that you can take a break from problem solving. To find your purpose, it helps to create some quiet time to reflect and meditate on what your heart most deeply desires.

 

Step two to flying free is to prioritize your physical health.


This relates to the Manipura Chakra. Manipura means lustrous gem and is the center of the individual self. It’s where the ego resides and it deals with self-esteem, self-honor, worthiness, personal power, and our ability to act in the world.


yellow manipura chakra mandala

Manipura is the center of physical activity, vitality, and good health. It’s also the physical location of our core. This is why in the Ashaya Membership I have the Deep Core class. When the third chakra opens, your digestion and assimilation improve. Your vitality glows from within which then shines out. People will notice when your third chakra opens because you’ll exude radiant health.

 

In terms of the body, in Ashaya Yoga, we learn how to care for it and align it anatomically with the natural laws that govern the body. For instance, Ashaya boasts that the healthiest and most beneficial way to stretch is through eccentric contraction which is when you engage your muscles while you stretch. This is different from most yoga methods that only teach you to stretch and relax.

 

Because in Ashaya we follow the Tantric path, we seek to cultivate our individual egoic self. Yoga schools that follow the classical yoga tradition, typically shun the ego and teach us to get rid of it. But in Ashaya, we see the ego is the vital gift of embodiment. The ego is the home of our agency, individual will, and our capacity to choose the life we wish to live.

 

Fate is what’s given to you. Destiny is what you do with it.

Yogic mastery in the Tantric tradition is about aligning the ego with the highest consciousness and to find the balance, the place in the middle, between spirit and matter, the universal and the individual.

 

The experience of good health and vitality is a birthright. When you prioritize your physical health, you feel vital, your pain diminishes, and you gain self-esteem. You’re more able to stand in your center during turbulent times.

 

Manipura is the center of your personal power which gives you the energy and motivation to focus your energy and get things done. You have more agency to manifest the dreams you carry in your heart.


child in a superhero mask and cape

When your Manipura is stuck, you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, not getting anything done. You’re so tired, the best you can do is lie down and rest. On the other hand, if your third chakra is overactive, you can burn out. Overworking becomes your day to day reality which, over time, leaves you completely exhausted and running on fumes.

 

Step three, speaking your truth, is a function of an open 5th chakra, Vishuddha, which means to purify.


When your heart is open, energy flows up from your heart into your throat chakra enabling you to speak from your heart. When your 3rd chakra is open too, then you speak from your heart with power and a commanding authority that inspires others.

 

When your three centers are wide open and finely attuned, you can motivate people to make the changes they’ve been wanting to make in their life.


You effect real change in the individual which has an effect on the planet overall. This type of speaking is transformational. You’re able to transmit the experience of Shakti (life force) that you’re experiencing inside yourself. You speak directly into the heart of the listener and if they are receptive, they can have a huge life-awakening.

 

The three middle chakras inform Ashaya Yoga in a big way, which is why Ashaya is a powerful tool for transformation. As teachers, when you live in alignment with your highest aspirations, while also embracing and loving your younger less-evolved self, you can shift the minds and hearts of those who are open to hearing you.

 

Teaching at this level is so fulfilling for me. To open hearts, to relieve suffering in others, then to empower them to rise up and find their strength, feeds my deeper purpose –to bring more light, to transform pain into beauty, and to bring heaven on earth in a real and tangible way for myself and others.


sunrise on the horizon with clouds

May you find your true passion and follow your heart. May you find your true vitality and achieve radiant health. And may you speak your truth from the depths of your heart with love and compassion.

 

If no one has told you this yet today, let me be the first to tell you that I love you. I adore you. And I believe in you. I believe in your ability to find your passion, prioritize your health, and speak your truth to find the highest joy and love that life can offer!

 

I’ll see you on the mat soon!

 

Namaste,

 

Todd

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