the image on top is "Welcome Home Sweet Sugar" by Kelsey Brooks

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Shiva and the Nagas

"It's hard to explain this process to other people," Shiva said, "you just meditate. with snakes".

For four hours.

Giant boa constrictors giving you the best hug you've ever gotten- and they really do go to the spaces you need the most help with. Wrap around your throat, your lower back. It feels amazing.

You can feel every muscle in their body move. In unison.

You can hear them breathe.

Little baby nagas curl around your wrist, charmed.

Shai Rotem, the snake 'tamer' per say, has such benevolent, loving presence, which he must carry to each animal he comes into contact with (including humans, I think).

I was rapt with enthusiasm at the thought of snakes crawling all over me. The experience was even better.

I want a snake SO bad. They are marvelously grounding- creating such an intense calm. If I had a snake, you know I'd be a better writer. You know I'd be a better student, a better worker.

I will have a snake by September 2011.

Maybe by my birthday ; )

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Shinzen Young

My friend Erin Justensen, a fellow yogi and intuit, brought me to a place called Against The Stream. It's an underground, hidden Buddhist precious gem. Against the Stream was founded by Dharma Punx author Noah Levine, and it's got a punk-like vibe to it (especially the Buddhas with the mohawk statues ; )

But it's a seriously community minded organization- donation-based, socially-active and truly, truly open for all who want to attend.

This is my second time here, and I was lucky enough to catch a talk from Shinzen Young.

I loved Young. He was down to earth, poetic, and, as far as dharma talks go, to the point.

Young also hosts "on-site" retreats- once again, making meditation available to all those who feel that leaving for retreat isn't possible at the moment.

Here are some notes:

The Three Pleasures of Meditation


-Sensual clarity

-Inner equilibrium

What happens when you fully experience a pleasure?

Experience described only through paradox- You feel both extremely fulfilled, and at the same time vacuous.

You derive more satisfaction from being present in pleasure.

Most people think intensity, duration or variety.

What we really want is fulfillment.

Fulfillment(Aka satisfaction)= pleasure times mindfulness

Suffering= Pain divided by mindfulness

The razer's edge of bliss and void

You have an experience so complete that there's no time to fixate it to a thing.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Yoga Video

I'm doing a Yoga VIDEO! With Karma of yogaflix.com. We're shooting next week, and I tried out the sequence I created for it this morning. I was delighted, and completely blissed out, which is the first test. Exciting times 1,000.

My first "business meeting" with the DP involved me taking him through the sequence, and eventually wound up with me with my legs up the wall thinking "all meetings could be conducted from this angle". Upside down.

The DP, Emil Lin, drew these really cute yoga cartoons that I took pictures of and plan on sharing.

This was one of the many joyous, exciting things that came at me during my cleanse last week. I felt AMAZING and powerful, and now I feel sweet just hungrier than ever!

Guest Post by Brooke!

Brooke shared a great summary of yoga health benefits. There's also a plethora of benefits for say, your mind, and your life, but let's check out the doctor's view:

10 Health Benefits of Yoga

by Brooke Stafford

As has been stated many times in this blog before, there are loads of health benefits to yoga.
With thousands of people trying it every day, it might be able to help you too. To get a better
idea, we have gathered just ten health benefits of yoga.

1. Flexibility - Touching your toes may not sound important but not being able to can be
bad. Yoga is an excellent way to improve flexibility and movement.

2. Joints - While some people think yoga is only for the hip set, people of all ages can do it,
even ones with arthritis or other joint issues. The poses and movements in yoga can
help these joints get a low impact workout.

3. Posture - Did you not listen when your mother
told you to sit up straight? Then try yoga to
learn how to do it naturally instead of forcing it.

4. Strength - You don’t need to pump iron to build
muscle. Many of the poses in yoga require
upper and/or lower body strength in order to be
done properly.

5. Back pain - This can be one of the more major
causes of pain in the United States. However,
yoga can provide some relief if done correctly
and on a regular basis.

6. Insomnia - If you have trouble sleeping, yoga may be the cure. It brings about a
peaceful state of mind which can help those who toss and turn.

7. Weight loss - With New Year’s resolutions upon us, why not tackle one of the biggest
with a little yoga? It burns calories as well as discourages from eating unhealthy foods.

8. Heart rate - Yoga has been shown to help with both high blood pressure and heart rates.
It is especially helpful for hyporeactors.

9. Breathing - Because breathing is an important part of yoga, it is also a good workout for the respiratory system. Yoga can help lower the respiratory rate by utilizing controlled

Brooke Stafford is a nursing practitioner student and also writes for Family Nurse Practitioner Degrees. The site helps students find the right nurse practitioner degree to fit their needs.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Roots in the East

So I had the most magical visit to Massachusetts a girl ever could.

I stayed with fellow yogi Pat Banker, and put it this way: when I first arrived, we went straight to sun salutations in a park in Jamaica Plain. It was beautifully sunny, and I had just gotten off a red eye. Coffee in hand, we started jogging just to make sure we caught the sun rise. I don't know why, but my recently tamastic practice turned into 10 rounds of Surya A, then B, then I watched my California identity unravel as I entered pure being.

I got grounded. Grounded in the sense of understanding that certain attractions and connections are a fundamental part of my existence.

In many ways, the love of certain people (such as our most trusting family members and our most loyal friends).

A place that is familiar can be grounding.

But so is anything that brings us back to our truth, reminds us of our position in space and time
(feet gravitated towards the earth, now) is grounding.

The reiki that I received filled me with some earth and fire. 

Gyon mudra strung me to stability, as well as taking Jared Hirsch's last workshop of the year.

But most importantly, seeing my family brought me a better understanding of my life than ever before. Thank you for that.