Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training Level 1 Café Ceylon, Sri Lanka

About the Venue? 

Café Ceylon and Jasmin cottage are our beautiful beach cottage and wild sea food restaurant by Kabalana Beach. Jasmin cottage is homely, cosy and colourful. Beds are covered with Indian kanta work, brightly coloured bedspreads and lots of art adorn the walls. Café Ceylon has a huge, tropical garden full of ancient coconut palms, organic papaya, passion, bananas and flowers. We slept between the 2 cottages, had our classes looking out on to the luscious garden and ate special veggie food cooked by my master chef husband German Dimaano. After an intense day of classes, we went off to Kabalana beach and got thrown about in the dramatic waves. Some of us went body boarding but it was an intense experience for all as we faced our fears and did it anyway. The star lit night was filled with the sweet sound of singing and playing of spiritual mantras, before an early night for a 5am start.

About the Retreat? 

We began the final week of Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training Level 1 with our joyful teacher Ronit Vardi who flew to us from Israel just for this course. It was a 7 day intensive. With 5am starts for morning Sadhana, then full 13-14 hour days, filled with teachings that included, the science of Chakras, humanology, the relationship and differences between male and females, Yogic diet, ethics, spiritual path and development, western anatomy, etc. All the student teachers got to a chance to teach in front of their peers, handling the Kriya’s, presentations and teaching asana, pranayama and meditation. The final day ended with a beautiful ceremony where we shared our thoughts for the future and how transformational the course had been for everyone including the teachers.

About the Food? 

German is a brilliant chef, he was artistically creative with our food as well as it being delicious. We started the day with homemade muesli, fresh seasonal fruits and buffalo yoghurt or curd.   Lunch was roast veggie quinoa salad with hummus, roast pumpkin risotto with shavings of parmesan, etc. Dinner was a light, healthy veggie soup and coconut roti.

Find out more about all Sanasuma’s events and classes taking place in Colombo and outside. Watch out of our International teachers coming to Sri Lanka. Join our blog and facebook following as we grow our Kundalini Community in Sri Lanka.

bloghttps://sanasumainsrilanka.wordpress.com. Just for your info our website address is http://www.sanasuma.co.uk/index.php And our facebook name is https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sanasuma/203581616391361 (please become our friend and press the like button).

 

Spiritual Discipline – A commitment to Self – 1 May 6.15-7.30pm 9 Greenlands Lane, Col 5

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Last week we relaxed into trust and found peace when we reached deep inside to connect with our true self, our soul. This week we work on how you keep up this new found trust and peace, off the mat in our ever hectic lives. This is where the commitment to self and self-discipline comes in.

I generally disliked discipline, being a naturally lazy sort of person, I thought. But over the years I have realised that it is not the laziness that stopped me being disciplined but it is that I am not truly committed to MYSELF and my personal, physically, mentally and spiritually growth.

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What does it mean to have a spiritual discipline and why do we need it? Well the ancient yogis found out that by relating to symbols and sacred geometry we make a friend out of our mind instead of the ever contradictory flow of our word and thoughts. That is why, kriya, asana, pranayama, mudra (hand positions) and mantra work. In this practice, we start to relate to ourselves on an ever deeper level, beyond logic and the meaning of words. As we relate to these symbols we create with our bodies, finger and mouth (mantra) we move beyond the mind to the stillness we find in mind, body, soul connection i.e. yoga, the sweet point where relaxation is deep and rejuvenative.

We start to change the neurochemistry of our mind, which has been set in stone from our 8.4 million incarnations which influences our cosmology and genealogy which is present in our DNA which spans 7 generations of our ancestors. If we do not want to be tugged by the winds of fate based on these two factors we need to set the intention to change this and that is where your spiritual discipline, sadhana, daily practice, however you want to name it comes in. Because change needs a little effort. That does not mean you need to dedicate an hour every day, this for most people other than yoga teacher is difficult. But how about 3 mins. Can you give yourself 3 mins every day to sit, stretch, be, breathe, exist, chant, sing etc.?   If you cannot you need to ask yourself why? If you can start small and aim a little higher every few months, but keep up, so you will be kept up.

Sat nam Fi x sanasumainsrilanka.wordpress.com read our weekly blogs and brain candy updatesraymond.fiona@gmail.com www.sanasuma.co.uk 0778011984

This week’s classes:

Mon 1 May 6.15-7.30   Kundalini Yoga@ 9 Greenlands Lane, Col 5 (Holiday class as Prana is closed)

Tues 2 May 6-7pm       Meditation @ The Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road, Col 5

Wed 3 May 5- 7.30am        Sadhana @ 9 Greenlands Lane, Col 5 (FREE)

Wed 3 May 3-3.45pm    Radiant kids yoga @ the Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road, Col 5

Wed 3 May 7.15-8.15pm   Kundalini Yoga @ the Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road, Col 5

Fri     5 May 6.30-7.30pm   Acro Jam@ the Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road, Col 5(FREE

Sat  6 May 5-7.30am       Sadhana@ the Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road, Col 5 (FREE)

Sat 6 May 9.30-10.30am     Hatha General @ the Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road, Col 5

Sun 7 May 10-11am          Hatha General @ the Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road, Col 5

Sun 7 May 5.30-7.00pm     Gong Bath@ Prana Lounge, 60 Horton Pl, Colombo 7

 

Relxation,the Art of Happiness – Kundalini Yoga 6.15-7.30pm Mon 24 April @ Prana Lounge

“Just Relax”. It seems such an easy thing to say and do, but in reality, on a deeper level, relaxation is difficult for most people to achieve because of the subliminal level of emotional conflict or duality we exit in. We tend to live life through a mask or persona. This persona is created through the unconscious habits and patterns or maps in our mind which then triggers a secondary level of projected emotions. Even as we go about the normal day to day routine, there is an inner emotive dialogue that generates patterns of anxiety, anger, hopelessness or self-defeating emotions.

I first notice this when I left my high stress job, as a lawyer working on a high profile Public Inquiry into a disaster in London and moved to peaceful Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Suddenly there was no longer a logical reason to feel stressed but that underlying feeling starting to creep up from under my skin. I was happy, newly married, financially very well off and enjoying a new beginning in South America a long-term dream fulfilled, yet here I was feeling anxious! It was not until I started Kundalini Yoga and a deep meditation practice that I came to understand that this anxiety was not logical or as a result of circumstances, but a deep-seated feeling of duality we all experience at some level.

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In Kundalini yoga, what I described above as my life is called commotional living. It drains the reserve energy of your nervous system and creates defences and armoring against discomfort.

The key to release this is through deep relaxation. But this is not simply better or more sleep, a massage or time off. To truly, deeply relax we need to change the distribution of prana, the vital lifeforce energy and relax the nervous system to allow reorganisation of patterns of being and doing.

On a more subtle level we need to relax into our core self by letting go and trusting that we are not solely the doer. If you can relax about the unknown, the infinite or generator, organise or destroyer (GOD) 75% of your tension will go away. With this realisation, we can be relaxed under the most stressful situations, as we remember our identity or Real self, the soul in the most unreal situations.

As yogi Bhajan says, “Total harmonious relaxation cures the body. To achieve this there must be a coordination between the 3 facets of ourselves: body, mind and soul”.

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The Benefits of Deep Relaxation

  • Rejuvenating the parasympathetic nervous system.
  • Redistribution of prana.
  • Releasing rigid patterns in the muscles and promoting blood flow.
  • Learning how to let go of stress in the emotions and body
  • “Memorising” the relaxation response.

Sat nam Fi x sanasumainsrilanka.wordpress.com read our weekly blogs and brain candy updatesraymond.fiona@gmail.com www.sanasuma.co.uk 0778011984

This week’s classes:

Mon 24 April 6.15-7.30   Kundalini Yoga@ Prana Lounge, 60 Horton Place, Col 5

Tues 25 April 6-7pm       Meditation @ The Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road, Col 5

Wed 26 April 5- 7.30am   Sadhana @ 9 Greenlands Lane, Col 5 (FREE)

Wed 26 April 3-3.45pm    Radiant kids yoga @ the Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road,

Wed 26 April 7.15-8.15pm   Kundalini Yoga @ the Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road,

Balance your Elements or Tattvas – Kundalini yoga 6-7pm 18 April @ the Om Space, Col 5

Happy Sinhala and Tamil yogies. Lets start this new year off with understanding some yogic anatomy and how this can bring us into balance. Western philosophy only recognises matter which can be anaylitical studied and believes that the only way to effect reality is through the laws of physics. Eastern philosophy acknowledges the material realm but also understands that we are much more than matter. Yogies experience to perceive reality beyond what is known through the 5 senses and understands that when you change something in the subtle realm it can create great change with minimal effort in the material realm. Therefore by working with the energy of your elements or tattvas and bringing them into balance you can shape your experience of the Universe.

There are 31 tattvas in yogic anatomy and a bit like a drop of ink in water, they move from the most concentrated form of infinity, in varying degrees to the atom. We will concerntrate on the last 5 most gross tattvas which make up the human, ether, air, fire, water and earth. Each of us has a dominant element which expresses itself most strongly in our constitution and personality. The behaviour or qualities of these tattvas are a result of the combination of gunas that predominate them, sattvic (graceful, peaceful, disciplined, intuitive, connected to soul), rajas (positive, active, emotional, demanding) and tamas (inertia, solid, persistent, lazy).

Earth Tattva – Pritvi – wellbeing of all v greed

The Earth tattva is dense, dry, cold, and smelly. When this stabilizing tattva is healthy, it brings plumpness, heaviness, compactness, and steadiness to your body, your emotions, and to your life. But an unbalanced earth element can lead to insecurity and greed.

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To Balance – We can balance this element by stabilising your lifestyle i.e. your diet, exercise, etc. Earth foods are warming and heavy. Your earthy diet should focus on meals that are nourishing, easy to digest, filling, substantial, moistening, and strengthening. You might do better with small frequent regular meals, and you definitely will want to include mild warming spices. Bear in mind that staying calm and concentrating while you consume and digest your meal will help to stabilize your grounding tattva.

Sweet fruits, cooked vegetables, cooked grains, nuts, natural sweeteners, mild warming spices, and warm milk products in moderation, make up the pillars of the yogic diet to develop a strong Earth tattva. On the flip side, dry fruits, dry grains (think rice cakes), and raw vegetables bring more air tattva into your body. The cabbage family, including broccoli, also abounds in air, and contradicts your efforts to get grounded. Beans can also be a problem, like any other food that creates gas, which is pure air tattva. Barley and oats are nutritious, grounding grains. For the ‘spaced out after sadhana’ yogi, a piping hot breakfast of these foods, with some warming cinnamon or cumin, sets the tone for a grounded, solid day.

Try daily connecting with mother earth and nature. Walk barefoot on the grass, do a handstand in the garden (one of my favourites) or just lie on the grass and look up at the sky feeling grounded and secure.

Apas Tattva -Water -Lust for breath and consciousness v exploitation

This tattva is linked to your conscious and subconscious emotions. Like water emotions flow through us, but when we get stuck on one, i.e., “ I should not feel jealous, angry, upset”, etc. this is when the flow stops and the balance goes.

To Balance- The key is not to stop the emotion but to make the energy of the emotion serve you. Channel it, jealously can be inspiration, anger can be channelled into determination. When you are overly emotional try drinking more water to bring yourself back to balance. Also try this meditation when you feel over whelmed or stuck with a particular emotion that you cannot shift. Turn that commotion into devotion.

Tuck your elbows into you’re rib cage, hands in gyan mudra, arms are at 60 degrees from the body. On one deep breath through the nose chant, Sat Narayan, hari Narayan, hari Narayan, hari, hari. After 11 mins put your hands in your lap and chant Wahe guru to balance the Rajas and Tamas gunas.

I also throw myself into the swimming pool, sea (preferable) or shower after an emotional time.

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Agni Tattva – Fire – Anger/Blame v Discipline/Will power over ourselves

Agni tattva is the fire of the Kundalini energy. It is increased with the practice of Kundalini Yoga. It aids in the digestion and absorption of food in order to provide the whole body with the vital energy needed for survival. Agni tattva burns our karmas, our blocks, and our fears. It gives us the strength of commitment, discipline, will-power, and the ability to carry out our intentions. It is the power to digest, absorb, and assimilate both physically and emotionally. Through the proper use of this element, we learn to fully digest the experiences that we get from life.

“You all want to get rid of your anger,” Yogi Bhajan would say. “Get rid of your anger and you won’t be able to digest your food.” The same capacity that causes us to get hot under the collar is what enables us to process food into energy. You can use this capacity to burn others, or to purify yourself. It can manifest as burnout, or as the radiance experienced in the purifying fire of Kundalini Yoga.

To Balance –Breath of Fire. Regularly monitoring yourself to make sure you are not supressing your anger thereby becoming passive aggressive. Use kriyas and exercise to sweat out the inner anger, use your determination for your Sadhana (daily personal practice).

 Vayu Tattva – Air – Attachment personal benefit v Wellbeing of All

The air element is seen as the teacher or Guru. It gives us life as we can only exist for a few minutes without it. It also gives us our purpose. It carries the sound current and you can still feel its light touch. How this element works in us determines how we engage with life. Was our first breath of ease or fear, that there would not be another. Monitor your breath, are you rushing to greedily grab a breath or can you exhale deeply to evenly breath in?

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Balance – 16 stroke breath in and out through the nose, with your hands in Venus lock with the thumbs on top next to each other at the heart area. Try and make it a continuous breath so there is no break between the inhale and exhale. End by holding the inhale, squeezing the locks for 15 sec x 3. Then just breath normally feeling the air in your spine and the spaciousness of this element.

Akasha Tattva – Ether/Spirit – Pride/Ego v Focus on Soul or Infinite

Ether is the subtlest of these 5 tattvas. It is the ability to see the subtle, beyond the obvious. It is understanding the drop of sea water contains the elements of the entire ocean. You can understand through wisdom without needing the details of how and why?

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Balance – We can meditate on the Trikutee mantra which understands that we are our own guru or teacher. Bringing ourselves from the darkness of unconsciousness to the light of consciousness. When we recite this with devotion to ourselves it builds trust, triggers our destiny and releases fear. Meditate on Wahe guru – 11mins.  Sat nam Fi x sanasumainsrilanka.wordpress.com read our weekly blogs and brain candy updatesraymond.fiona@gmail.com www.sanasuma.co.uk 0778011984

This week’s classes:

Tues 18 April 6-7pm             Meditation @ The Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road, Col 5

Wed 19 April 5- 7.30am        Sadhana @ 9 Greenlands Lane, Col 5 (FREE)

Wed 19 April 3-3.45pm         Radiant kids yoga @ the Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road,

Wed 19 April 7.15-8.15pm   Kundalini Yoga @ the Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road, Co

Sat 22 April 5am-8pm          Sadhana then TT Level 1 @ 9 Greenlands Lane, Col 5

Sun 23 April 5am-6pm         Sadhana then TT Level 1 @ 9 Greenlands Lane, Col 5

Sadhana students can attend for free, if you want to stay for Teacher Training Level 1 – Half day is 3000Rs full day 5000Rs. Please let me know in advance. Full day includes 2 meals, half day 1 meal.

Detox & Cleanse before Avurdu – 6.15-7.30pm Kundalini yoga@ Prana Lounge, Col 7

We detoxify continuously throughout life. We process food, thoughts, and all forms of energy. The trouble is that we accumulate more than we process. On a physical form if our body is not eliminating all our metabolic waste we become highly acidic, which compromises our health. We can also become weighed down under the remnants of old emotions and thought patterns. When we want to cleanse and clean ourselves out on a deep level, we go on a fast and do detoxification kriyas and pranayamas.

So how do you know if you need to detox? If you live in a city, eat processed food and do not regularly exercise and meditate the chances are you need to detox at least once a year. Here are other signs to look for:

  • Feeling tired all the time, fatigue
  • Dark cycles under your eyes
  • Cysts, fibrosis, kidney stones or clots
  • Eczema, acne, headaches, joint pain
  • Bad breath, foul smelling stools and perspiration
  • Constipation (for women is defined if we do not pass a stool within 18 hours of eating and men 24 hrs)
  • Yellow skin, purple lips, coated tongue
  • Yellow or brown in the whites of the eyes
  • Gout

 

How can a cleansing diet, detox Kriyas and Pranayama help? When the body does not get the level of calories it is use to per day, it goes into detoxifying mode. The aerobic detox kriyas and breath of fire increases circulation and your metabolic rate thereby stimulating the exit of toxins. Ayurveda and Kundalini yoga does not advocate water fasts, as the drastic lack of food makes the body think it is starving and the body attempts to preserve resources which is the opposite of the detoxification and elimination process.

Practical  A detox is a powerful tool for healing, strengthening the body and restoring vitality as we grow older. However, before doing a detox you need to check with your doctor or naturopath, especially if you are on meditation. Sticking to detox is only half the challenge. Physical detoxification is accompanied by emotional and mental cleansing. Anger and negative thought patterns can be released especially if you use food to numb yourself. Use your meditative mind and meditation practice to help you watch your mind and emotions.

My detox day

My program was as follows:

  1. Wake up mindfully becoming conscious of the moment and my mood.
  2. Cold shower and dry body brushing, tongue scraping and cleaning the monkey glands.
  3. Started with chanting Japji, meditation and mindfulness practice 1 hour
  4. Sipping plenty of alkaline water (ie over ph7) throughout the day.
  5. Followed by a Tbsp. of virgin, organic coconut oil and acidophilus based mango, strawberry smoothie.
  6. I notice immediately how quick I felt angry today and allowed myself to feel the emotion and attempted not get taken away by it.
  7. Physical exercise, 20mins aerobic walking and running, plus stretching, yoga asana’s and rolling on a dowel to stretch the fascia.
  8. 2 full glasses of green smoothie, a mixture of king coconut water,organic kale, parsley, moringa powder, cucumber, green apple, green banana, ½ avocado, ½ an orange. I chewed my smoothie to get the most nutrients out of it.
  9. Getting on with my day and work, feeling super energetic.
  10. Tea time drink of freshly ground turmeric, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of manuka honey.
  11. Pranayama
  12. Teaching Kundalini yoga followed by delicious organic, beet and pumpkin soup.
  13. An early night to get enough rest which is essential.

Pranayama – Breath of Fire purifies and detoxes your blood & increases your vital energy. Detoxification Kriya – Vatskar Dhouti Kriya to master the digestive system: This is a very secret kundalini yoga kriya that has been used for centuries. It must be done on an empty stomach and it great to get the bowl moving in the mornings.

Sit in any comfortable posture. Make your lips round in an “O” shape. Start inhaling through your mouth as if you are sipping in air. Sip until your stomach is full and hold the breath. Now rotate and churn your belly with your breath held in until you need to exhale. Exhale through your nose in a steady stream. Only repeat this process a maximum of 3 times in total. It is prohibited to do this more times in a day. Do this for 40 days without missing a day to heal your digestive system.

Sat nam Fi x sanasumainsrilanka.wordpress.com read our weekly blogs and brain candy updates

raymond.fiona@gmail.com www.sanasuma.co.uk 0778011984

This week’s classes:

Mon 3 April 6.15-7.30pm   Kundalini Yoga @ Prana Lounge, 60 Horton Place, Col 7

Tues 4 April 6-7pm             Meditation @ The Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road, Col 5

Wed 5 April 4.45- 7am        Sadhana @ 9 Greenlands Lane, Col 5 (FREE)

Wed 5 April 7.15-8.15pm   Kundalini Yoga @ the Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road

Sat   8 April 6-7.30pm       Gong Bath @ the Sri Yoga Shala, Thalpe, Galle

No Mon class next week but all the other classes at Om Space until new year.

Authentic Living Retreat – Negambo 25&26 March 2017

About the Venue

Villa Araylia is hotel where love is in the detail, set just a few minutes’ walk from the Negambo Beach. We stayed in a very spacious comfortable room, and the practice space was just next door. Each room and bathroom has a bespoke design in the polished concrete, together with beautiful bathrooms and upstairs balconies looking out on to the garden.

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About the Retreat

The Retreat was about understanding what being authentic was then looking at practical ways to put ourselves in the picture and bring that authentic self into our relationships and life. We worked on opening the heart, forgiveness and creating more self-love and conscious communication. We also connected through our intuition to our higher selves and did some work communicating with animals.

The days had a relaxed pace, we had time for jumping into the sea, plus gong bath relaxations after lunch.

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We concluded by doing a deep practice to consolidate the weekends works, which left us feeing, completely connected and joyful.

One of the Kriya’s from Day 1:

Part 1

This exercise is called Reverse Adi Shakti Kriya. Here you are mentally and hypnoti­cally blessing yourself. This self-blessing is to affect and correct the magnetic field. It is said that doing this exercise will hurt if you have a lot of anger. Self-help is very difficult for those who are angry. After doing this exercise for 5 minutes your muscles may start hurting if your diet is improper. The taste in your mouth will change if you are breathing correctly.

Posture: Sit in Easy Pose with a straight spine and hold your right palm six to nine inches above the top center of your head. The right palm faces down, blessing you. This self-blessing corrects the aura. The left elbow is bent with the upper arm near the rib cage. The forearm and hand point upward. The left palm faces forward and blesses the world.

Eyes: The eyes are closed and focus at the lunar center in the middle of the chin.

Breath: Breathe long, slow, and deep with a feeling of self-affection. Try to bring the breath to one breath per minute: Inhale for 20 seconds, hold for 20 seconds, exhale for 20 seconds.[1]

Time: Continue for 11 minutes. Then inhale deeply and move slowly and directly into position for Exercise 2.

Part 2

This exercise will benefit everything between the neck and navel. It will strength to the heart and will open up the heart center.


Posture:
 Extend your arms straight out in front, parallel to the ground, palms facing down. Stretch out to your maximum.

Eyes: The eyes are closed and focused at the lunar center in the center of the chin.

Breath: The breath is long, slow, and deep.

Time: Continue for 3 minutes. Then inhale deeply and move slowly and directly into position for Exercise 3.

Part 3

Posture: Stretch your arms straight up with the palms facing forward. There is no bend in the elbows.

Eyes: The eyes are closed and focused at the lunar center.

Breath: The breath continues to be long, slow, and deep.

Time: Continue for 3minutes.

To finish: Inhale, hold your breath for 10 seconds while you stretch your arms upward (try to stretch so much that your buttocks are lifted) and tighten all the muscles of your body. Exhale. Repeat this sequence two more times.

This set can be found in Self-Knowledge compiled by Harijot Kaur, p. 11, available from KRI.

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About the Food

The food was a highlight, with fresh fruit salads and homemade muesli for breakfast, cool avocado, miso, kale rice, with fresh green salads for lunch. Sara made a special vegan bake with coconut milk, almond milk and cashew butter béchamel sauce. We also had a few yummy curries and thosa to keep it traditional as well. Here is the recipe for:

Miso and sesame brown rice

300g short grain brown rice

1 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce)

Salt

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons miso paste

Directions

Cook the rice and leave to cool.

Mix the other ingredients and add to the rice when cooled. Then place in an airtight container and put in the fridge.

Sesame Marinated Kale

100g Kale

1.5 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon tahini

1 teaspoon tamari (or soy sauce)

Juice half a lime

Handful of sesame and sunflower seeds

Directions

Tear the kale leaves from the stalks and place leaves in a bowl.

Pour the sesame oil, vinegar, olive oil, tahini, tamari and lime juice over the kale and firmly massage everything into the leaves for 1 minute or so, until they wilt and soften.

Use scissors to chop the leaves into really small pieces.

Sprinkle the seeds over the salad to serve

For afternoon tea with had home baked short bread cookies with a Sri Lankan twist of using Atta flour and Kurakan flour.

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bloghttps://sanasumainsrilanka.wordpress.com. Just for your info our website address is http://www.sanasuma.co.uk/index.php And our facebook name is https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sanasuma/203581616391361 (please become our friend and press the like button).

Helpful websites:

www.gurusingh.com

www.3ho.org

music go to www.spiritvoyage.com

 

Joy- Give yourself to Permission – Kundalini, Gong and Meditation Classes

Melissa

My intention this week had been to write about the emotion of shame, but events of the last few days completely changed my focus.

Last week at the end of a very intensive weekend of Kundalini Level 1 Teacher Training, I was asked by my dear friend and colleague Annoushka to give myself a break and come away with her to attend a yoga retreat for 2 days at Ulpotha. Not only is Ulpotha one of my favourite places in the world but also one of my favourite teachers Melissa Smith was teaching.

I learnt so much, by giving myself time out, permission to dive into the depth of myself and feel joy. I first had to first process guilt and worry about cancelling a class, but all these emotions melted away as I smelt and heard the rain hitting the dry red earth, listened to the birds at dusk, heard the rustle of the wind in the trees as it picks up tempo before a storm. The sounds of the frogs and insects in our tropical paradise of Sri lanka. The feeling of water on my skin, weirdly hot and cold in the lake in Ulpotha. To the sound of my heart and breath during asana, meditation and relaxation.

All these things reminded me that I was not here on earth just to survive. I was also divinity, a co-creator of my reality. Survival was the old way, governed by our worries and intellect, linked with our fear of existence. With it comes judgment, blame, shame and guilt. When we separate from our innate nature of love and joy, our psyche splits into the polarity of good/bad, right/wrong, a two-dimensional world where life is a burden, a struggle. When we give ourselves permission to work with our heart brain, at a higher mental and physical frequency and do everything in the name of joy, even the boring or difficult things become effortless, effort. We act/do or work towards what we want, use the pause between the effort and surrender to be fully present to the reality of what IS. Then you can surrender yourself to the flow of life and receive the outcome with ease. Fulfillment, contentment and joy reside in the heart brain. Give up your worry of survival, do something inspiring that puts joy in your heart every day, even if it is just a beautiful affirmation, poem, deep breath, kiss, singing, chanting, the feel of the air on your skin, anything that connects you with the joy that always resides in your heart. This will allow you to access the deep well that resides in all of us, that will allow you to relax, trust and know all your dreams will be fulfilled.

With thanks to everyone in my life, to all the lessons I learn daily and the opportunity to experience existence.

Sat nam Fi x sanasumainsrilanka.wordpress.com read our weekly blogs and brain candy updates raymond.fiona@gmail.com www.sanasuma.co.uk 0778011984.

Tues 14 Mar  6-7pm Kundalini Meditation @ The Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road, Col 5

Wed 15 Mar   5- 7.30am   Sadhana @ 9 Greenlands Lane, Col 5 (FREE CLASS)

Wed 15 Mar   3-3.45pm    Radiant Kids Class@ The Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road, Col 5

Wed 15 Mar  7.15-8.15pm   Kundalini Yoga @ the Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road Col 5

Fri     16 Mar  3- 5pm Teachers Class and Meeting@ The Om Space, 185/9 Havelock

Sat 17 Mar 9.30-10.30am Hatha General @ The Om Space, 185/9 Havelock, Col 5

Sun 18 Mar 10-11am Hatha General@ The Om Space, 185/9 Havelock, Col 5

Sun 19 Mar 5.30-7pm Healing Gong Bath@ Prana Lounge, 60 Horton Pl, Col 7

Healing the Nervous System

imageszur59m7kLiving our daily lives especially in the age of Aquarius, juggling, work, family, friends and finances can be difficult at the best of times, but when challenges or crisis hits we can feel overwhelmed by pressure which can literally derail us and end up as a physical or emotional illness.

How we respond consciously or unconsciously to our environment, people and situations all depends on the strength of our nervous system. The nervous system consists of three parts: Central Nervous System (sensation & motor control), Peripheral Nervous System (connects nerves to organs and limbs) and Autonomic Nervous System (emergency response: Sympathetic- “gas pedal” & Parasympathetic- “brake pedal”). Nerve impulses from these 3 different systems communicate with our glands, muscles and organs via electrical and chemical signals to sense and respond, or sense and react.

Some of the benefits to having a strong nervous system are that you can manage stress, respond less automatically and process sensations and emotions so they do not create patterns/habits in our sub and unconscious mind.

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Have you ever looked away during a scary movie or if you see something painful? It feels like you cannot bare to watch what is about to happen, anticipating something bad? This is what a weak nervous system is like. A person cannot contain the reality of an event and therefore avoids it altogether. It is as if your container, the nervous system, does not have the depth or inner resources to deal with the painful or difficult events and this governs the limit of the amount of stress or pain that can be withstood. Your nerves get frayed and the thalamus (an area at the back of your brain) filters sensations and decides which thoughts and sensations make it to the conscious mind or which go unnoticed and are pushed into the unconscious mind. These thoughts left unprocessed end up in nervous disorders.

When you develop a strong nervous system, it allows you to experience an event no matter how painful. You cannot control what is happening, but you can control whether you allow yourself to experience reality.

A strong nervous system is like a deep well, it gives you the ability to hold whatever situation comes into your life. A strong nervous system can allow you to experience and process painful events faster, as you can ALLOW the experience without avoiding it, process the feelings and not get attached. It can also reflect in your depth in meditation. With a strong nervous system you can meditate for hours without distracting pain. When the nervous system develops the capacity to hold pain, then your mind can bring awareness to it and then release it.

We have become a society that seeks pleasure and avoids pain at all costs. I am not saying that we should seek out pain, but the reality of life is that there are good times and bad times, this is just the polarity of existence. By consciously avoiding the tough times you are running away from reality. We all do it on some level, but the truth is that avoiding pain causes neurosis. It is important to have a strong nervous system to be graceful during tough times.

Practical tips – What does this all mean?

Practice soothing the nervous system, through yoga and meditation. Yoga increases the energy moving through particular nerve pathways. Breath of fire is great for this. This is why sometimes you feel light headed when practicing this breath, because it has moved a block, now energy can flow along that nerve pathway releasing toxins and giving you renewed vitality, which creates that sensation of dizziness.

Yoga also works on stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, your brake pedal in life, by increasing the parasympathetic response, so you do not get the feeling of being overwhelmed. You can ALLOW yourself to see the thought, or feel the emotion, bring conscious awareness to it and release it.

The neural pathways in people with chronic pain become hypersensitive so they feel pain much faster. Yoga decreased the pain sensation by increasing the amount of information travelling down a shared neural pathway, effectively diluting the pain information. This means you withstand more pain, once again bring conscious awareness to that area and heal it.

Meditation including mantra and eye focus actively stimulates the thalamus and changes how it deals with sensory information, once again allowing us to be in the moment without rejecting it.

Try meditation to “To Stabilize the State.” This meditation works with the armpits which Yogi Bhajan said, if the brain is the engine the armpits are the exhaust. By working the armpits, the connection to our central nervous system, we strengthen the whole nervous system.

Sat nam Fi x sanasumainsrilanka.wordpress.com read our weekly blogs and brain candy updates raymond.fiona@gmail.com www.sanasuma.co.uk 0778011984.

Mon 20 Feb 6.15-7.30pm   Kundalini Yoga @ Prana Lounge, 60 Horton Place, Col 7

Tues 21 Feb 6-7pm     Kundalini Meditation @ The Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road, Col 5

Wed 22 Feb   5- 7.30am    Sadhana @ 9 Greenlands Lane, Col 5 (FREE CLASS)

Wed 22 Feb   3-3.45pm    Radiant Kids Class@ The Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road, Col 5

Wed 22 Feb 7.15-8.15pm   Kundalini Yoga @ the Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road Col 5

Sat 25 Feb 6-7.30pm         Gong Bath @ Sri Yoga Shala, Thalpe, Galle

The Beauty of Being YOU

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A dear friend asked me a great question this weekend while we were on a blissful Kundalini Retreat in Guava House. He started to talk about the backlash against navel gazing, positive thinking and self-help discussed by the Scandi psychologist Svend Brinkmann. In an increasing pressurised world where everything is being accelerated, people are feeling the pressure to change not only to be physically healthier but also mentally. Svend states we should be asserting we are happy as we are. So how do we understand ourselves and face the challenges of life from a Yogic perspective.

The answer as usual is not black and white. The Universe is a subtle system and what we look for is not what perspective is the right or wrong but to dance on the knife edge between these concepts to get to the truth.

We are born perfect; the most beautiful soul incarnates into a human existence and the soul does not change throughout our lifetime. However, the consciousness that we are a spirit living in a human body soon disappears, as our personality and ego are shaped by our experiences, culture and genetic imprints. These imprints dull the light of this perfect soul, forcing us to create great illusions about ourselves and the world around us, to cope with life.

The starting point is neither to deny change which is a natures process nor believe we are innately imperfect and only through striving to change can this be altered. The reality is that most of us are longing for something. We may fill that longing with food, sex, shopping or being overly entertained but that dissatisfaction keeps us searching and what we are really searching for is to reconnect with our perfect soul.

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  1. Firstly, we need to accept who we are and where we are. If we do not go within and do this, we are in denial. If you do not start from the correct starting point you can never get to where you want to go. If you refuse to accept you have an illness how can it ever get better? This is a subtle internal process of simple acknowledgement, it does not need to be fuelled by self-hate or judgment.
  2. Once you see your real self, all the great bits and the all the shadows, now is the time to start the work of processing all those hidden emotions you did not acknowledge, which have now been transferred into your body, subconscious and unconscious mind. This shadow self which exists in all of us needs to be brought into the light of our consciousness and only through conscious acceptance will the energies that created the shadow be released, to eventually leave the clarity and purity of the real you, (SAT NAM) which you were born to be.9745201a-84ce-4eb6-821a-84f802f68457-767x1032Then you can face life from the reality of YOU. There are no more moments wasted on wishing it to be different . . . it is what it is. Life will always appear slightly greater than you think in order for growth. Not only do you grow in ability — you grow in your outlook; you grow in your courage; you increase your willingness to meet the ever-increasing challenges and obstacles placed before you.

    As if engaged in a total immersion video game experience, life constantly re-ups the game-skill requirements as your skillset increases. This is the nature of life everything is alive everything must change everything must grow. When you view your circumstances through this lens, you access all the abilities to accomplish each moment; you welcome each moment as a measure of your ability.

    So, both perspectives are correct we need to accept where we are but also, we need to be ready to work with ourselves to reach our true potential, our birth right to be a healthy, happy and whole human being.

    Sat nam Fi x sanasumainsrilanka.wordpress.com read our weekly blogs and brain candy updates raymond.fiona@gmail.com www.sanasuma.co.uk 0778011984.

    Mon 13 Feb 6.15-7.30pm   Kundalini Yoga @ Prana Lounge, 60 Horton Place, Col 7

    Tues 14 Feb 6-7pm  Kundalini Meditation @ The Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road,

    Wed 15 Feb   5- 7.30am    Sadhana @ 9 Greenlands Lane, Col 5 (FREE CLASS) Shaungh Teaching

    Wed 15 Feb   3-3.45pm  Radiant Kids Class@ The Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road

    Wed 15 Feb 7.15-8.15pm Kundalini Yoga @the Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road,Col5

Sadhana – Invest in your Wellbeing

kundalini-yoga-sadhana-flickr-sharing-218170There is no gain without effort, therefore creating the habit of Sadhana (spiritual disciplined practice) in your life is a worthy investment in your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

Sadhana can be defined as, whatever you do consistently to awaken your consciousness so that you can relate your higher self. To cover all aspects, it will include some form of yoga or exercise and meditation. You can do it on your own or in the group. The best time to practice is in the Amrit Vela which is 2 hours before sunrise or sunset 4-7am or 4-7pm daily.

When I thought about writing about Sadhana, I wanted to give you an idea of what my motivation is to do a daily spiritual practice as well as group Sadhana.

On many fronts, I would say that before I began practicing Kundalini Yoga and doing a daily practice, I found it very hard to motivate myself, especially when it came to physical exercise and meditation. I am one of those soft people, who loves comfort, cosiness and really lazing around. I had not really nurtured discipline in my life, especially the physical or emotional sort. I was very self-absorbed and believed my internal mental dialog. I had quite a shock when I realised that I was indeed not my mind or emotions and that the clarity of the real me, was buried deep down under a ton of pre-conceived ideas most of which were not even my own.

Sadhana began as a chore for me. I got bored by my practice, used it to daydream about other things but keep on just doing it. Very slowly it started to work, very subtly without even my conscious knowledge.

When you start a consistent Sadhana practice be prepared for many subconscious blocks to challenge you and prevent you from keeping up a daily practice. Whether it be, not being able to sleep the night before, feeling sick, running late, family problems or just your alarm not going off. But as you build up your will power to overcome your mental and physical excuses it becomes easier to become more committed to yourself. Your mind becomes clearer as subconscious fears and unhealthy patterns that normally hold you in their grip are released. Doubt is released and your mind becomes sure. You become clear and start feeling more joy, being able to deal neutrally with fears and anxieties as they arise, as you have started the day by tuning your body, mind instrument to start reflecting that inner radiance in you.

This is my motivation for doing a daily and group Sadhana, I feel the benefits of having greater mental clarity to see what is real and what is just an illusion created by my mind. I am able to see my emotional patterns especially the unhealthy ones. This manifests in my new-found ability not to automatically speak my mind, which may create drama or karma, instead watch my mind and not react to its internal dialog.

I know I have a long way to go but by keeping up almost an uninterrupted practice for the last 14 years, I really see the benefits in my life. So, my challenge to you is, try it, keep going for 1 year and if you see no benefits stop. If you do feel better continue. Keep your motivation in mind when you feel tired, or angry you have to do your practice last thing at night. Remember sadhana clears the subconscious shadows, the automatic patterns of behaviour that make you feel bad or guilty after reacting to a situation. Try coming to a group Sadhana, I lead one once a week every Wed 5-7.30am 9 Greenlands Lane, Col 5, just sms to confirm you are coming or attend the first Saturday of the month at The Om Space.

Sat nam Fi x sanasumainsrilanka.wordpress.com read our weekly blogs and brain candy updates raymond.fiona@gmail.com www.sanasuma.co.uk 0778011984.

Mon 6 Feb 6.15-7.30pm   Kundalini Yoga @ Prana Lounge, 60 Horton Place, Col 7

Tues 7 Feb 6-7pm      Kundalini Meditation @ The Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road, Col 5

Wed 8 Feb   5- 7.30am    Sadhana @ 9 Greenlands Lane, Col 5 (FREE CLASS)

Wed 8 Feb   3-3.45pm      Radiant Kids Class@ The Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road, Col 5

Wed 8 Feb 7.15-8.15pm   Kundalini Yoga @ the Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road Col 5

Fri   10 Feb 4pm    Kundalini Yoga Retreat@ Guava House, Mawanella

Sat   11 Feb 5.30am-8pm Kundalini Yoga Retreat@ Guava House, Mawanella

Sun 12 Feb   5.30am-4pm Kundalini Yoga Retreat@ Guava House, Mawanella