Wednesday, August 4, 2010

how are you feeling? How can we move toward the sattvic spot

I took Matt Newman’s Anusara-Inspired class last night which was the first class he taught (I believe) since he got back from Wanderlust. He was on fire and the class was full of great presence, pulsation, clarity, passion and some laughter. One thing I especially loved was how he started the class. He had us come to our mats close our eyes and noticed how we feel. He even said (in my ruff translation) that this isn’t the same as when someone asks you how you are doing, and you respond automatically saying good or okay. He asked us to really notice how we are feeling with compassionate non-judgmental awareness. This was a great way to start class, giving us an opportunity to not only tap into the heart but to listen to the authenticity that is there. Thanks Matt, I will be borrowing this approach. Our awareness is so awesome because it is like a huge bowl and can hold whatever we put in it be it anger, jealousy, greed, self pity, love, excitement. When Matt or a teacher encourages us to put into our awareness whatever we may be feeling we can be comforted knowing that our awareness can hold it, and our attention can help shift it, expand it, and learn from it.

It is important to check in and notice how we feel, because if we don’t know how we feel/or where we are we can’t get to how we want to feel/where we want to be going. I like to use this metaphor of being in a canoe or a raft (I did just get back from a rafting trip). We are all in our little individual boats in the middle of this vast ocean called life and we are trying to get to this specific spot. I call this spot the sattvic spot. Sattva is one of the three gunas (qualities of nature) that is a state of harmony, beauty, vitality, ease, joy and intelligence…We are all trying to get our boats toward this place, toward this experience. In our boat we have some paddles. We have the freedom to choose to move our boat toward or away from this sattvic spot. Sometimes we get closer toward this spot passively; it’s the currents and the winds that with a sense of ease move us closer with little effort on our part. It just seems like good things keep happening. Sometimes it is really hard and requires a lot of effort, dedication and we have to row our ass off to move more toward sattvic. Same goes for moving away from this sattvic experience. We can move away passively and sometimes we even pick up our paddles and we put effort into rowing away from this harmonious experience/spot.

In this ocean there are also waves that rock our boat. Patanjali says in his second sutra of The Yoga Sutras "Yoga chitta vrtti nirodah" the traditional dual translates is "Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind." I like to look at this sutra with the non-daul, life affirming point tantric point of view. No matter what we are doing in our boat, what direction we are going, we are going to experience some waves (vrtti). I purpose that instead of trying to stop them, can we instead lean how can we ride these waves? How can we use these waves as an opportunity to move closer toward the heart, toward this sattvic spot/experience? I think one of the ways to do this is by authentically listening to our heart and noticing where we are. This applies on and off your mat. On our mat, ask your self, is taking full expression of ardha chandrasana helping me experience more radiance or will having my hand on my hip allow me to access and express my inner beauty more fully?

How can we allow every breath, every adjustment as a way to align with our heart more fully so we may paddle ourself and ride the currents of grace toward this sattvic spot in the ocean we are floating on 

Theme: listen to your heart and your breath and use what comes up as a map to help you enjoy a more sattvic experience.

Sequence idea:
AMS, UTT, tadasana
Surya A 5x
High runner lunge
Ardha chandrasana, vira 2, ostrich
Prasarita padottanasana

Virrasana (hands on head skull loop, organic extension)
Pinca mayurasana

Anjaneyasana + quad stretch
Pigeon + quad stretch + mermaid
Matsyendrasana/ Setu Bandha
Double pigeon
Upavist konasana
Parvrta upavista konasana
Baddha konasana

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Intention and Testimonials

Testimonials & My Intention

My Intention It is my intention as a yoga teacher to help you bring more health and vibrancy to your body, ease and alertness to your mind...