Listening to your inner wisdom ~ Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah  Shivaya

Hello, 

Lately I’ve been working with my teachers, getting into a bit more of the depth of the chant Om Namah Shivaya. 

I’m really getting into it. 

Because, this chant sort of represents to me my life lesson (well one of them). 

To honour, respect, bow to, our inner knowing. The part of us, deep in our bones and tissues, that signals to us the right thing to do. To “…honour my highest”. I really love these words. To bow to, to respect, honour. They are weighty and soft words. They are the words that help me to turn in, to take a moment, a breath, before I decide what the right course of action is, if any. 

After my mum passed away last year, suddenly from Cancer I felt a surge of “shoulds”. They came from every which way, from myself to myself, from my circle. 

Honestly. I got a bit pissed off with all these “shoulds”. Other peoples expectations and visions of what I should or should not be doing. Mostly they expected action, and mostly I wanted inaction. I wanted to retreat in, to listen to what my highest was telling me. 

I can’t say its stopped, because I don’t think that others opinions will always resonate with me and my path. 

But I can sniff a “should” a mile away…well not really but I’m learning. 

So. Beware of should. 

Take your highest path. Honour it, bow to it, respect it. You “should”. Ha! 

Namaste. 

Sara 

8 things I didn’t know about Yoga when I started (many moons ago!)

Hello, 

IMG_2846

Nice bathrobe hey!

When I started Yoga many many years ago, I really thought it was all about Asana. I thought Asana, the physical posture, was ALL the Yoga. 

I didn’t realise till later that it was 1/8th of Yoga. Wow. 1/8th. Its small in comparison with the focus we put on Asana in the West. 

Here’s 8 things I didn’t know about Yoga when I started: 

  • 1. Savasasana, the final resting pose, its vital. Its not optional, nor a spare 5/10 mins to grab a latte when you’ve finished the class. 
  • 2. Pranayama, can help calm and centre me. Yup. Thats right, the breath can and does bring me back and help me to make better choices. 
  • 3. Handstands are fun, and not just for young things in their 20’s! I’m 45 and I love to do handstands, no free balancing yet, but getting there. Practice and all is coming! I’m counting on your Mr BKS Iyengar. 
  • 4. Asana does make me feel better, in my skin, in my mood, in my breath. Its far reaching and I always feel better after some asana. Grab what you can, 5 mins or 30 mins, a class at a studio, a mat in the backyard, a minute before going out. 
  • 5. Mudras are fun, interesting and effective. I love Jnana Mudra at the moment, the thumb and forefinger resting together. Nice. Yummy. Soothing. 
  • 6. Mediation is the nectar. Its the reason we do asana, so we can sit comfortably in our skin. So we can be with ourselves, so we aren’t running all the time; to things, away from things. 
  • 7. The Yoga Sutras are ancient but they have gold in them to help us make good choices. I’m loving studying the sutras with my teacher Kelly Connor-Sunrose. Yum. 
  • 8. Yoga isn’t a small part of my life, its the lens through which I try to remember to see my life. Its practice, a constant ever evolving practice. 

Tell me about your experience of Yoga? 

Happy Oms. 

Sara 

 

Chant ~ Om Dum Dum Dhumavati Svaha

I love to Chant. Thankfully chanting is not singing.

Edo and Jo

After my teacher training in 2010, I did a wonderful on-line Chant Course with Amy Cronise-Mead. It was 12 weeks, each week a new chant. This course opened up a whole new world for me, the world of metaphors, of stories, goddesses, of new ways to think and feel about life and its messages.

It feels so good in my heart and my bones to chant. Edo and Jo are my favourite Kirtan Band (picture above), gorgeous voices, lovely chants and such nice people. And big bonus, my kids love to go with me! My daughter is 12 and my son is 8, they like it. They don’t “LOVE” it, but they like it and it makes them feel good. So, I will keep taking them for as long as I can. Its either Katie Perry, Jlo, or Edo & Jo!

So moving forward. I’m working with this chant at the moment. Its a chant to Dhumavati.

Dhumavati stands for despair, sadness and failure. For waning, loss and disappointment. She’s not beautiful, probably because we think of these qualities as ones we would rather avoid.

I chant this, I sing it and I feel its weight and what it represents in my bones.

How it feels to sit with this!

Well thats another post for another day, because this is big work for me.

Oms.

Sara xx

Stars and Moons

Image

Stars and Moons

Its a huge full moon here in Sydney. I’m feeling the effects of the pull of the moon, all over the place, scatty, can’t think straight. So, tomorrow morning its back to the mat.

Sutra 1.12 Practice and let go. Keeping up with the practice, remembering and coming back. A sort of constant return of sorts, back to my breath, back to my cushion, back to my mat.

Pushing Forward vs Moving Forward

Driving home yesterday I was smiling to myself as I thought about my morning. 

You see, I teach Yoga and I love to Chant.. go to Kirtans. However, it hasn’t always been this way. 

I am/was scared of singing. And yes, I get that chanting is not singing but if your the teacher and your leading a chant or an Om, I think you need to feel comfortable in that space. And I didn’t. Not. At. All.

But through the persistence of some students in my classes, I ended up ….(with a bit of kicking and screaming) …. moving forward to begin to learn to sing. And I am loving it! Its certainly hard work and I have new appreciation for all Voice contestants, and anyone that can dance & sing! You blow my mind people.

Anyway one day during singing lessons with my teacher Rama, we got to talking about the big gap/leap from practising yoga on the mat and going to a Kirtan. Its big. But I feel that there is a place in between, where we as teachers can begin to share the benefit and joy from chanting to music but not a full blown Kirtan, a sort of bridge if you like.

So Rama and I planned for him to come to the last half of a class with his guitar as a surprise. Here’s where I became the bridge. I knew that it was a bit of a gamble and that some may not like it, but we did it because I knew the majority of the class would love it. They love to chant but many won’t come to a Kirtan.

So on Wednesday, half way into the class I collected Rama from the hallway and bought he and his girlfriend into the class and introduced them to the class talking about what we were going to do today. My ladies, or my Om Girls as I now call them were so excited. They were “on high”. 

After I handed out the chant sheet, we broke each one down, discussed it, laughed and chanted: 

Om Namah Shivaya (I bow to my highest) 

Om Tara Tuttare Ture So Hum (I recognise that there is a star, guiding the way for me in life) 

Om – and om and om it went for a minute 

It was so much fun. It was joyous, they were smiling, laughing, clapping and singing their hearts out. They were so happy after, so appreciative and loved their surprise. 

And I’m so happy because of that. 

I’m proud of myself because I truly stepped out of my comfort zone to start singing lessons, that’s me moving forward. I then again stepped out of it to bring this to them, to my regulars that I see each Wednesday at 10am. I am certainly not Deva Premal or Norah Jones, but I am trying and practising. 

And after all, in Sutra 1.12 its the practice without attachment that is part of Yoga. I may not have been able to release the attachment part yet (as I really really wanted them to like it) but I’m practising working on that….. insert laugh here. 

Sutra 1.12 The vritti states of mind are stilled by practice and dispassion (Edwin F Bryant) or The combination of practice and non-attachment leads to becoming an individual who develops his or her capacities to the fullest and who is guided by a clear, selfless mind. 

Happy Oms to you. 

 

 

 

Breathing Om

Image

Hmmmmm, how to start a post on Om thats not too woo woo. 

Because I like things I can take away from class, to work them into my life. Little bites, little nuggets. Bit size pieces of something good that I can use in my day to day life. 

So as a teacher, I think thats what I teach. 

Little discussions on how lengthening our exhale can help …. slow down our breath, center us, encourage us to return to our wholeness. 

I really got into Om when my teacher www.kellyconnorsunrose.com helped me peel back some layers and dig deep getting to know Om. I understand now about vibration and how it affects us on a very surface level to a deeper level that we often can’t article. 

So. 

I’ve been working with Om in my personal practice and in my class.  

I have bought Om off the mat and into my life and sort of fell in love with Om. 

It centers me, quiets me down, it makes me little cells very happy. After I good chant, I do feel renewed.

Om renews us. 

What renews you? Do you use Om on and off your mat? 

Oms.