WHAT LIVES IN US

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“If you put your hands on this oar with me, they would no longer

lift anything to your
mouth that might wound your precious land-
that sacred earth that is your body.

If you put your soul against this oar with me,
the power that made the universe will enter your sinew
from a source not outside your limbs, but from a holy realm
that lives in us.”

~ RUMI

yoga-circle

Scientific research into how yoga helps us live well is a fascinating subject but for those of us who already know it from the inside, poetry says it best.

Yoga primarily is a sacred practise, we use the body through the asanas to worship life itself flowing through us in every breath.

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The yoga of Growing through pain

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It’s a natural response to want to get away from pain. We all like to feel good, But pain can hold important lessons for us. Your body and mind are a complex interactive operating system for your life. Pain is a warning signal that something isn’t working optimally. If we refuse to truly experience our pain, then we rob ourselves of the healing potential it offers. As the mystical Poet Rumi put it “the cure for the pain is in the pain.”

As a yoga teacher I often hear people telling me that they can’t do yoga because  (insert current issue here) . Be it a painful back, an aching hip, a dodgy knee or a bad mood, there’s not much that a yogic approach can’t work to improve. I’m not saying that you should always attend your fast strong asana class no matter what, I’m saying the practise of yoga goes beyond the fast strong classes and that these issues maybe your invitation into a different approach.

Pain can be physical, emotional or mental, it can be chronic or acute, whatever the case the fear of the pain can be just as bad or worse than the pain itself. Once you’re caught up in the stories and resistance it can be really hard to see things rationally and clearly. In my research I’ve come up with this 3 step strategy to safely navigate my way through any painful experience, maybe it’s helpful to you also.

rumi
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The art of tying yourself in knots.

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I’m not talking about anything too kinky here, once again I’m talking about Yoga. In Yoga we have a practise called binding, basically its using one part of the body to hold on to or intertwine with another. Like this….

Bind

In Sanskrit “yoga” is usually defined as: Yoke, join, unite, …. or my favourite “connect”. It’s pretty straight forward to see how binding (tie, fasten, stick together) might be a relevant concept. When done correctly a bind will deepen our experience of a pose while assisting to maintain structural integrity. It can give support to relax deeper into a certain shape as well as providing a set of restrictions or leverage, to self adjust and explore familiar postures in new and interesting ways.

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Fierce Gods

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I recently came across this image on a late night google meander annotated ‘krishna as Narasimha’, and it struck me as a most interesting contrast to the flute playing/lovestruck/cowherd familiar face of Lord Krishna.

The Ṛg Veda contains an epithet that has been attributed to Narasiṁha.

like some wild beast, dread, prowling, mountain-roaming.

His main claim to fame is as the ‘Great protector’, defending his devotees in times of need. Vishnu/Krishna is said to have taken this form as an avatar to destroy a particularly difficult demon king. But thats a story for another day.
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In beauty

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Whatever it is your doing right now, do it in beauty where you can. 

Eagle Poem

To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you.
And know there is more
That you can’t see, can’t hear;
Can’t know except in moments
Steadily growing, and in languages
That aren’t always sound but other
Circles of motion.
Like eagle that Sunday morning
Over Salt River. Circled in blue sky
In wind, swept our hearts clean
With sacred wings.
We see you, see ourselves and know
That we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.
Breathe in, knowing we are made of
All this, and breathe, knowing
We are truly blessed because we
Were born, and die soon within a
True circle of motion,
Like eagle rounding out the morning
Inside us.
We pray that it will be done
In beauty.
In beauty.

~ Joy Harjo

Yoga-and-sky

Photo by Wari Om Photography

Mindfulness in Motion

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  Less is more; How slower Yoga can be stronger and more satisfying.

“Let’s take it slow because some of the good things in life are worthy of reverence and appreciation. Let’s take it slow because what we have is like a cross-country ride, where all the breathtaking scenes must be breathed in and stared at with wonder. Let’s take it slow because getting to know you is like a trip to a museum where things, both wonderful and gruesome, are waiting to be discovered. Let’s take it slow because some things are best done at a leisurely pace”  ― Nessie Q.Snippets of Imagery

A month ago I did a 1 hour online yoga class in which there was only about 6 basic postures. Afterwards I laughed it off as being very slow and a bit boring, so it was a surprise to me that later that day to discover some muscle soreness, indicating that I’d worked harder than I’d realised in those long slow holds.

Now while I ‘know’ that going slower often means you work harder, knowing and doing are two different things. Changing our default pace is always a challenge, “an object in motion tends to stay in motion”.

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Song

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I am what they did not tell me and I knew.
Oh, I wanted everything to be mine!
I am everything I have already lost.
But everything’s elusive like the wind and the river,
like the golden summer flowers
that die in your hands.
I am everything, but nothing, nothing is mine,
not the pain, nor the joy, nor the terror,
not even the words of my song.

~ Silvina Ocampo

emma hack

 

Art: Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo in Wattle Spiral  © Emma Hack 2009

About Me:

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About Me:

I believe that Yoga is more than just exercise; it uses whats always right here – our body and breath to create a living experience of the power which flows through us as life itself.

I am Shanti Meera and I am a yoga teacher, IYTA* trained with 7 years teaching experience.

I love helping humans from all walks of life experience the inherent joy and wonder of being, through the the time tested practises of Yoga.

My own yoga practise has spanned 20 years and it has been a saving grace to me physically and mentally many times over. Introduced to the practices by my Mother yoga provided me with tools to manage my own highly anxious nature, replacing negative habits with a gentle mindful presence.

On my Journey I was blessed with an opportunity to spend 5 years living and working at a meditation centre in New Zealand. Mediation lies at the heart of a full yogic life and my practise here instilled in me an inner balance beyond the chaotic surface of modern living.

I have always had an insistent calling to understand deeply this world I find myself a part of. It is my life passion to continue this quest into the heart of life and to inspire others that cross my path in whatever ways I can.

My classes provide a safe space to explore the deep fusion of body mind and soul. All are welcome; the curious, inspired or soul hungry dreamers looking for direction; Yet also the tired, anxious, or unwell looking for support. This practise, when approached with sensitivity, is for everyone!

Although I am a teacher I am also always learning, not aligned with any one linage or teaching I am a strong believer in ‘finding what works for you’. Yoga is about unity and although there are many techniques and paths they all lead up the same mountain. Join me, sharing the peace and light of a deeper understanding of truth and a passionate love of life.

Slow Deep & Sweet

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Chakra inspired Yin Flow

Chakras are not physical things and studying them can be quite an esoteric affair. It took me years of my own practise before I made any conclusions about their “reality”. The best way to learn about these energy centres is through a practical experiential  approach but if we move too quickly it’s hard to tune in to the subtle energies below the surface of our everyday distractions.

Wether your a believer or not, using these centres as points of reference to ground your attention, you will discover a rich inner world bursting with the body/minds natural intelligence. It’s good to remember your not necessarily looking for extra-ordinary sensations rather developing sensitivity to what in our busy-ness we overlook as unimportant, or uninteresting; Here the Magic hides!

These poses are taken from Yin Yoga, a slow gentle practise which works more with the connective tissue than the muscles. take your time. Aim to stay still for 3-5 minutes, use any supports you need and adjust if necessary. No pushing or striving necessary,  back off a little from sensations that are too strong to relax within, and intensify if there is not enough sensation to keep you present.

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