Tag Archives: Yoga

“Who is Breathing”?

Who Is Breathing

 

 

 

 

 

(Photo Credit: http://all-free-download.com)

Take a deep breath in, now. Take another deep breath in, and exhale. Watch your breath. Then ask yourself – “Who is Breathing?”! ! What is this knowingness in you and me? What is this energy, or who is writing this, who is it in you whom is reading this? Why am I me, and not you?

Who made your bones, and gave you blood; the arteries, veins, muscles and organs that coordinate like a fine orchestra?! 
 There are probably no answers to the questions above. They are not meant to have answers. Even if they did, by the time they become words, the meaning is lost. They are meant for you to enquire deeper into yourself, beyond this body.

As I look back with amusement at my earlier years. Before I turned 20 years old, I was already practicing Nadi Shodana (Alternate nostril breathing method used in Yoga as a technique to relax the body) with Marijuana. And Kapalabti with cocaine. When I told this to my teachers in the ashram, they were tickled helpless. Who would have guessed that somebody with a fierce death wish, addicted to unorthodox ways to numb childhood trauma, now turns the same passion towards knowing myself.

I consider myself a late learner. Only at the age of 28, when most of my peers have gotten married and had kids, that I discovered I could not fall in love. It took an auto immune disorder, Eczema and a string of heart breaking relationships, to make me finally admit – I have a problem and I don’t know what it is. For the first time in my life I realized I have a soul; and I am not my body.

We carry our body wherever we go, and its difficult to remember that it will go one day. We identify so much with what we see and touch, our accomplishments, bank accounts, our children, our bodies and faces and even how many lovers we have had. But all tangible things are subject to change. They are not truths.

Our bodies, no matter now well we take care of it, will cease to serve us at some time. That is for sure. And then, we will have to change to a new piece of garment; just as we would change into new clothing after a shower.

This body is not our truth. Only that which does not change nor decay over time, is the truth. How much love and joy you have brought to the world, the good and the growth you created for people, your legacy – these are more true than the body.

And perhaps most true of all – Your soul, do you know your soul, and upon releasing that last exhale, how quick you can return back to the source. This is more true than your net worth.

If I could encourage you to enquire just a wee bit deeper into your existence today, I am fulfilled. May we all die with as much light in our eyes as we were born with.

(C) Linda Loo

Healing Trauma on Yoga

Yoga-free-vector

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More than a few Yogis and Yoginis have experienced the occasional emotional release during a Yoga class. Sometimes it comes with a warning – you know that an emotion is brewing as you assume a few specific Asana. Sometimes it just hits you – like a sudden downpour of rain in the middle of a sunny day.

When we were first born as a baby, we are mostly flexible. Toddlers are still pretty flexible; as they grow up gradually, the body begins to stiffen. Stuck emotional energy, repressed pain and unresolved trauma can get lodged into various body parts, joints and muscles. By the time we become adult, we are rigid as a stick.

The first 4 limbs of Yoga – Yama (Code of conduct to others), Niyama (Code of conduct to self), Asana (Physical Yoga Posture) and Pranayama (Breathing Control) are what we call external cultivation. This means that we practice them using an outer awareness.

When we assume an Asana, the bending and twisting action exposes some parts of our body that are otherwise inaccessible during the normal position of our body throughout a typical day of standing, sitting or walking. We then breathe into the body part that hurts most, and concentrate the mind onto the stretch or mild pain. In a way, we are bringing light into the dark parts of ourself that we never wanted to face. As the blocked energy begins to release, a variety of symptoms – ranging from intense deeper breathing, sighing, crying and even cartharsis could happen.

While it is not definite that crying or major cartharsis must happen in order for the practioner to achieve healing, such emotional outbursts are not bad things. It is better to be released in class, in a non harmful way, rather than to have it manifest through other imbalances in daily life. Emotional pain for example, if repressed for long, could result in formation of tumors, fibroids and other undesirable health conditions.

Science, no matter how advanced, cannot teach us what is the science of our soul, what is prayer what is god and what is compassion. Science does not answer our fundamental questions about who am I, what is the reason that I am born, and what is our relationship with god.

Yoga, on the other hand, teaches us that to get the answers to these questions, we have to study ourselves as a scientific experiment. We must be the scientist, the laboratory, and at the same time, the subject of our own enquiry.

Then when we get glimpses of these answers, which are absolute truths in their own natures, the process of Yoga releases great physical and emotional tensions. Some of which are accumulated throughout life, some through previous lives of incarnations.

The journey of discovering that these deep desires and tensions which reside in your much deeper personality, is Yoga as a scientific process.

What to do under extreme releases-

  1. If you know what is showing up, commit yourself to observing it without judgement. Do not resist, avoid, fight or be fearful of it. The key word is to observe with a neutral eye as much as possible.
  2. Keep breathing long deep continuous breaths. Don’t let there be any breaks or pauses in the breaths. Try to smooth out the jerks.
  3. Keep the mind focussed as much as you can on the pain – both body and emotional. The mind may temporarily go into comatose to avoid facing the trauma; try to gently bring the mind back to the moment.
  4. If you need to cry or make noises, scream etc, do it with love, compassion and kindness. Look at yourself with kindness; look at the situation, the memory or whatever it is, with as much softness as you can.
  5. Aim to practice consistently with the same teachers – besides leading you through a safe yoga healing process, your teacher is like a ‘space holder’. It makes a huge difference to practice with a teacher who knows you and whom you trust.

(C) Linda Loo

transformationalyoga-lindaloo-3

Transformational Yoga

Transformational Yoga is a revolutionary type of Integral Yoga practiced with the simultaneous engagement of Asanas, Pranayams, Sound Vibrations and Concentration to achieve intense detoxification benefits.

With varying intensity, duration and applied at different intervals, these 4 foundational methods are used altogether to help a person reach specific objectives ranging from weight loss to healing and even increasing concentration power.

SwamijiVidyanand

Originally founded by Sri Swamiji Vidyananda, it has been used by many practitioners and Yoga Masters all over the world to achieve intense cleansing, healing and deepened self practice. http://www.transformationalyoga.org A single practice can bring about quick results.

On the physical level, Transformational Yoga can cleanse a person of food and environment toxins, achieve fat loss, increase metabolism and reverse aging. On deeper levels, it has been known to help many people heal from pain and ailments, as well as regain emotional balance.

Practiced systematically and conscientiously, Transformational Yoga can also bring about a Kundalini awakening. Various Yoga Teachers from different parts of the world experienced enhanced spiritual progress and heightened self practice with the help of Transformational Yoga. Many have also had their Kundalini energy awakened from practicing it.

A basic Transformational class involves integrating 2 fundamental breathing techniques into a set of carefully chosen Asanas. Purification happens on all physical, emotional and mental levels.

Each class flow is designed intelligently to cleanse and activate both phyiscal and energy bodies, in ascending order of the Chakras (energy vortexes).

The most noticeable benefits come from a boost in the body’s metabolic rate, activation of digestive fire and a total-body sense of rejuvenation.

Transformational Yoga can be low intensity, or can be super high intensity. But an easy class does not mean that benefits are lesser. In fact, they are the same as a high intensity class or even more!

More about conventional types of Yoga and Integrative Transformational Yoga here

Get the book and practice at home!

© Copyright 2009-2013, Linda Loo, Light Love Laughter