More Core

Although I had priorly been cleaning as my work for trade with corepower yoga and had come to love the meditative art of totally just cleaning mirrors, mats, floors and consciousness I have found an even greater love of combining my two passions of art and yoga together.

For one of my murals I painted a of portrait Sri Pattabhi Jois, a student of the grandfather to modern yoga as we know it today , Krishnamacharya. Pattabhi is the father of ashtanga yoga which he began exposing the world to in Mysore India. Ashtanga is a set series of asana which synchronizes breath with movement and has been thus modified into a less fixed structure known as vinyasa yoga and furthermore to the physically toning power yoga practiced at corepower yoga today. Pattabhi Jois mantra was "Practice and all is coming" so I thus wrote this mantra over and over until the smiling portrait of Pattabhi manifested.

Another Mural I painted was that of a Zen parable which I have found to be a fountain of inspiration as pursued with Juicy Zen and my Tiger Berries. The parable reads: A man being chased by a tiger takes refuge on the side of a cliff only to realize there is another tiger below. Death is certain and yet the man takes notice of a strawberry growing on the cliff side and has the tastiest, sweetest, juiciest meal of his entire life.

I then erased the strawberry and in exchange drew a butterfly with a quote saying "Happiness is a Butterfly which when pursued is always beyond grasp but which if you will sit down quietly may alight upon you"

Then erasing the Tiger I painted a brush and included the Patanjali Sutra: An object is only known by a consciousness it has coloured otherwise it is not known. Patanjali is a person or a group of people who were the first to systemize raja Yoga around 250 B.C.E although it should be noted that Patanjali did not create yoga as yoga had been recorded as early as 500 B.C.E The sutras exist for one purpose and that is to aid the practitioner along the spiritual journey of re-connection

Following this piece I painted a number of other bamboo and included the quote "The Taller Bamboo Grow the Lower they Bend" Signifying not only the gaining flexibility of an older bamboo but that of a more humble one as well.

I also did live painting at our franchised Corepower Yoga in Edina in celebration of our 2 year anniversary since our opening. Corepower held donation based classes all day, live music, free spa treatment, discounted merchandise and food which all benefited towards the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Awareness and Research!

I started painting my Sun Buddha during Ella Chisotti's class on realizing the inner guardian angel which was accompanied by a harp.  I then painted a moon over the sun at night with glow in the dark paints while heart-beat yoga played the patio and thus captured the hidden mother to the father.

Yoga means union, to yoke or to join two things together, hatha yoga is meant to join the solar-masculine and acitve energy with the lunar- feminine and receptive energy producing balance and greater power for an individual and by balancing sun and moon one facilitates the awakening and arising of Kundalini, and thus the awakening of a higher consciousness. 

When the polarities of Ida and Pingala in the 6th chakra are aligned and balanced along the cosmic pillar, the dance of life plays out over the dance of shiva in harmony, and a bridge is created between the Sun and Moon of the physical realm. Thus the energy in the central channel (Sushumna) ascends to the 7th chakra making activity in that chakra available to the incarnating Soul. This Merging of the universal Sun and Moon is reflective of the merging of Spirit and Matter, making the divine bliss of the universe available to the Soul through its physical counterpart, the body.

Through kumbhaka*, that is breath techniques, the kundalini sleeping serpant energy is awakened and the sushuma is unblocked of impurities by the chakras and knots splitting for the union of Hatha.

Taking padmasana inhale prana with the moon, the ida or left nostril, hold and exhale slowly with the sun, the pingala or right nostril. Hold... Than inhale with the sun and exhale slowly with the moon. The practitioner who practices in this fashion will have purified the nadis, energy channels. within three months.

Contract the sun and make the kundalini serpentine mother energy move. Where is the  fear of death even for one inside the mouth of death? The serpent is only deadly when coiled. The practitioner should take jalandhara bandha at the end of inhalation and uddiyana bandha at the begining of exhalation to raise the Kundalini upwards towards the brahma nadi where one will meet kali the creator of creation and destruction where neither hunger, thirst, lethargy or old age will appear. Make the comfortably sleeping energy move every day and be rid of disease. Playfully conquer death in the play of shakti.

As the external breath dissolves so does the internal, without a doubt. Breath and mind achieve stillness in the sushuma and the mind dissolves, without a doubt. Drench the body with nectar. It is truly Shiva's beloved, take the khecari bandha by covering the divine sushuma with the tongue at the back opening where the stream flows from the moon. Always reside in a divine place, know the proper opening of the sushuma and make the breath go into the middle restraining in the Brahmarandhra. With eyes half closed take the protected shambhavimudra sight to the nose and gaze through the third eye for even greater results. The Sun and Moon give time the form of day and night, sushuma is the eater of time. To prevent the sun from eating the moons nectar practice inversions and draw the energy upwards. Full release is full freedom, the Yogi in Samadhi is not eaten by time, bound to karma or overpowered by anyone. Samadhi is the destroyer of death and giver to the bliss of Brahman.

Do not worship the Atman by day. Do not worship the Atman at night. Always worship Atman by halting day and night. Take refuge in the non-duality, the changeless, O Rama you shall find peace.

*Kumbhakas: Suryabhedana, Ujjayi(constricted throat), Sitkari, Shitali, Bhastrika (knot/granti spliter), Bhramari(sharp inhale buzz), Murccha (at the end of inhalation take Jalandhara Bandha), Plavini

Akers, Brian Dana Akers (2002) The Hatha Yoga Pradipika (orinal Sanskrit by Svatmarama.  Woodstock, NY. Yogavidya.com

White, David Gordon. Kiss of the Yogini

White, David Gordon.  Tantra in Practice 
Newman, John, Vajrayoga in Kalacakra Tantra
Foot photograph by Andy Richter  http://www.andyrichterphoto.com/


sfauthor said...

Nice posting. Do you know about these yoga books?


Ben said...

Yes! Most of the information in this entry is from the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and some is from David Gordon White's compilation "Tantra in Practice". I'm currently reading the Tibetan Book of the Dead which specifically warns about the dangers of practicing Kundalini Yoga in the western setting as well as the potentiality for premature awakening. The deliberately induced psychotic state can lead to real psychosis in unstable and unready practitioners. Once the normal checks imposed by the conscious mind are abolished by sacrificing the ego, the unlimited scope of unconscious mind comes to play which can appear as a chaotic riot and be very frightening in that the illusory freedom of the Ego is eliminated which reveals our own transubjective reality.