Please leave your shoes at the door. The world outside that receives the pounding from your shoes is different from the world inside the yoga room.
Please switch your cellphone off or on silent (without vibrate).
Please leave your bag, if your cellphone is on silent, in the front of the class. Here’s why!
Please wear comfortable clothing. If your clothing needs constant adjusting it is going to be distracting you (possibly others) from your practice.
Keep your awareness on your own mat. Your progression happens with intimate awareness of what is happening in your own body. We share in Silence, communicate in smiles.
Please don’t wear strong perfume or deodrant.
If the sun is too harsh for your practice, please tell the instructor so curtains can be closed.
Please listen to your body! If you need to come out of a posture before the rest of the class, please do. If your body requires a different posture/variation, go ahead. If unsure, ask your instructor for advice. Be kind to your body, practice ahimsa.
Please respect & be curteous to your fellow yogi’s & yogini’s.
If you arrive late, please don’t enter the class while everyone is relaxing. Please don’t leave at the end of the class while everyone is relaxing.
Anantam Yoga classes are open to anyone of any religion, sexual orientation, race & species.
Every night you journey through mystical lands abundant in adventure, strangeness, seeming impossibility and empowerment. Your subconscious talks to you through your dreaming, advising you on issues you need to resolve, your health, even rehearsing for the future. Sometimes it’s just a rehashing of the late movie you watched. Occasionally, you have a prophetic dream.
Many people complain that they don’t remember their dreams at all. Most only remember a fraction of a dream, like holding onto a postcard as the only thing left from an adventurous holiday. But everyone dreams, whether one remembers them or not. Remembering dreams begins with intention and a little ritual when going to sleep.
First of all, sorry to say, if you get trashed or even slightly tipsy, stoned or high on stationery, it is very unlikely you’ll remember anything, hopefully, the fun from the evening before. If you go to bed completely exhausted, there is also little chance you’ll be aware of any dreaming.
Here is a little ritual that has worked for many:
Have a light supper, a meal that won’t burden your digestive system.
Aim to go to bed at a reasonable hour, when you are slightly tired but not completely exhausted.
You might want to do a couple of restorative, gentle postures like paschimottanasana (seated forward bend), balasana (child’s pose), sarvangasana (shoulderstand), and, of course, savasana.
If you are open to doing a little bit of pranayama, do a very gentle practice to calm your mind from any agitation. You certainly don’t want to do kapalabhati or bhastrika (these are too stimulating to the nervous system); rhythmic breath should be done without the puraka kumbhaka (holding the in-breath). Anuloma viloma (alternate nostril breath) would be the best (but, again, without the puraka kumbhaka).
Read some inspirational material in bed, a book about dreaming, or simply, literature aiming to expand your awareness of self.
Set your intention to remember your dreams by saying to yourself “I’m going to remember my dreams tomorrow morning when I wake up.” Place a notebook and pencil next to your bed. If there is a particular issue your are dealing with in your daily life, an issue that is overwhelming the rest of your life; formulate a question to your higher self/subconscious, write it on a piece of paper and place it under your pillow. You’ll be amazed how your dreaming will hint at solutions to your problem, but be prepared that it won’t necessarily be what you want.
Whenever you wake up, even if is is in the middle of the night, before you get out of bed, write down whatever you can remember. It might only be a fragment, a face, one scene; whatever vague imagery that might be lurking in your consciousness.
Continue with this little ritual, adapt it and make it personal, and soon you will be writing novella every morning. If you’re a writer you will collect volumes of material for your next bestseller.
BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD
Speak With Integrity. Say Only What You Mean. Avoid Using the Word to
Speak Against Yourself or to Gossip About Others. Use the Power of Your
Word in the Direction of Truth and Love.
DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY
Nothing Others Do Is Because of You. What Others Say and Do Is a
Projection of Their Own Reality, Their Own Dream. When You Are Immune
to the Opinions and Actions of Others, You Wouldn’t Be the Victim of
DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS
Find the Courage to Ask Questions and to Express What You Really Want.
Communicate With Others As Clearly As You Can to Avoid
Misunderstandings, Sadness and Drama. With Just This One Agreement
You Can Completely Transform Your Life.
ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST
Your Best Is Going to Change From Moment; It Will Be Different When You
Are Healthy As Opposed to Sick. Under Any Circumstance, Simply Do
Your Best, and You Will Avoid Self-judgement, Self-abuse, and Regret
Don’t believe yourself, and don’t believe anyone else. Be skeptical of our own
lies and be in truth at all times. Listen with the heart… and common sense.
These are some amazing principles to live by! Don Miguel Ruiz has written many wonderful books, but certainly his most famous are ‘The Four Agreements’, followed recently by ‘The Fifth Agreement’.
Here is some inspiration about the potential of lucid dreaming by Charlie Morley from the Tibetan Buddhism tradition. If you would like to begin your journey how about attending the Yoga & Dreaming Workshop in November. Unfortunately, we all missed his workshop in Cape Town a couple of months back.
Imagine experiencing direct communication with your subconscious. A source of self-reflection that lies deep in your psyche and knows you intimately and honestly. We experience that opportunity every night when we lay down our heads on the pillow, but mostly we forget our dreams upon opening oour eyes in the morning, perhaps a few fragments of a detailed message from a personal aspect desperate for change.
Imagine having a conversation with yourself like you do with your best friend, but there are no metaphors, no ‘beating around the bush’ trying to preserve pleasantries or being tactful. Our dreaming creates the perfect environment to explore our selves, the issues we need to deal with, and even the ones that are approaching from the future.
We will explore the nature of dreams, dream interpretation, lucid/conscious dreaming, and how yoga can enhance your dreaming ability.
Tuesday evening, 12th November 2013, 7:15pm to 9pm
Yoga is suitable for everyone. Everybody can benefit from yoga, whether you’re inherently lazy and looking for some exercise that is gentle to keep you healthy; a professional athelete wanting to crosstrain to prevent injuries, improve reaction times and mental clarity; or a seeker intent on discovering the mysteries of the Universe.
If you’ve never done yoga before and would like to start with fellow beginners, this course is for you. It doesn’t matter your body-type, sex, religion or subculture, as long as you have a body and consciousness, you can benefit from yoga.
During the course you will:
learn the basics of yoga practice
learn how to reduce stress
practice yoga postures to revitalize the body
practice yoga breathing to promote health & mindfulness
become stronger, more flexible & more comfortable in your body
experience deep relaxation
learn basic yoga philosophy
The course is held over eight classes, starting on 4th November 2013, running twice a week on Monday and Thursday evenings, 7:15pm to 8:30pm.
By the power and truth of this practice:
May all beings have happiness, and the causes of happiness;
May all be free from sorrow, and the causes of sorrow;
May all never be separated from the sacred happiness which is sorrowless;
And may all live in equanimity, without too much attachment and too much aversion,
And live believing in the equality of all that lives.
If you go on holiday or out of town on business and would still like to keep your yoga practice progressing, you can take me with you. It won’t cost you a plane ticket, or packets full of organic food, just R40 in the form of a podcast/audio class in a mp3 format. So download it, transfer onto your phone/mp3 player/CD and practice in your own space at your leisure. I’ve done my best to edit out private dialogues, doors, plumbing vibrations, barking dogs and planes landing. There might still be a bird or two.
If your reaction to the title is along the lines of ‘if it isn’t easy enough’ you obviously haven’t been to a yoga class! And if your reaction is ‘yes please’, you need to practice more yoga, which leads into the first point.
practice regularly – the more yoga you do the easier it becomes. Obvious point, but it needs to be taken in consideration with all the other points, but it is a good start. The more often you practice the more comfortable you will be in your body. The connection between your mind and your mat will be strengthened. So that just by arriving at yoga, rolling out your mat and placing your bare feet in the firm foundation of the present moment will change the chemistry in your body in anticipation of all the energy releasing feelings and amazing benefits of all the poses on your path.
breathe consciously – always remember the breath. Follow the flow of energy in and out of your body. While prana isn’t the breath, it is its constant companion and the easiest way to feel prana, to feel its subtlety is to feel the effects of your breath. Inhalations energize the body and mind, while exhalations relax and calm the body. Regular practice of yoga will strengthen this connection so it can be utilized in daily life.
spread your effort – you will discover that you can still maintain a pose and exert a little less effort. Physical effort becomes entangled with anxiety, need to impress others, underestimating your strength. If the mind can be released from the pose and the energy allowed to flow with the breath, everything becomes easier.
ahimsa – non-harming – be kind to yourself. Feel that your muscles are strengthening and stretching, experience the discomfort of the unknown, be okay with it, but it isn’t necessary to push past into pain.
eat light – don’t do your practice with a heavy tummy (and eat sunlight). If you’re hungry on your way to yoga, eat an apple or a banana, something that is going to give you energy, but not weigh you down. A vegetarian diet will enhance your yoga practice, providing more energy, a sense of lightness and some have even experienced increased flexibility. If you do change to a vegetarian diet, be conscious about it and make sure you’re ingesting protein, omega-3′s and vitamin B12. Eating sunlight means eating food closest to our main energy source, the Sun (Surya). Then there is always sun-gazing!
let go of your thoughts – let go of the external world intruding into your practice. Emotions have a physical manifestation, creating tension and inflammation in your muscles depending on their intensity. The world is not going away because you are not thinking about it. It will be there when you walk out of your yoga studio. Emotions and thoughts arise constantly, but don’t dwell on them, let them come and go, but always returning your attention to the breath. Eventually the amount of thoughts will dissipate and you will experience the present moment in all its vibrancy.
practice outside the studio (meditate) – bust out yoga moves in front of the TV in the comfort of your home, at a party (warning – your balance might not be that great), fly with your yoga partner in the park on a picnic blanket, interrupt your sunset/sunrise walk with some pranayama or sun salutations, and most of important, meditate in the intimacy of your soul.
Kundalini Yoga series – Jan 2014
If you've never experienced Kundalini Yoga, you are missing out on a really powerful yoga practice! Not as much 'posturing' as with most styles of yoga, it is wonderfully energizing and transforming on many different levels.