Your unique dosha determines how your yoga practice should look. Learn about the three doshas, and which backbend is best suited for you personally.
Helena shares the beginning and conceptualization behind these sweet mini murti's known as VediVaahans.
Vedi translates as Altar and Vaahan is a Vehicle
Discover the how and why of this sacred portable charm to bring awareness within and cultivate the inner gaze toward the horizon of your dreams.
The 5 Vayus and Vyana...
In case you wondered about the meaning of Vyana; here is a blurb on the Vayus and where Vyana emanates from.
According to ancient yoga tradition there are 5 major currents of our vital life force that run through the body in different directions and orchestrate physiological functioning.
This is known as the Pancha Vayu Model. Vyana is the 5th Vayu or current.
The 5 Vayus have a part to play to maintain homeostasis and balance. Each current in the physical body have an opposing direction that work separately with their own functions and together.
On a day-to-day basis we take in air, food, water, information and experiences which we then process in some form or another. We absorb and assimilate the nutrients of air, food or knowledge from this processing. We distribute and retain what is needed. We reconstitute and assimilate. We then eliminate what we don’t need. Over a lifetime we learn and grow mentally and physically. These are simple examples of the vayus of prana at work.
Any physiological issue that is experienced, can be understood in terms of vayu function whether it is
inhaling (prana), speaking (udana), digesting our food (samana), taking a poo (apana), or having cold hands and feet (vyana)
1) Prana Vayu is responsible for INTAKE and is the Inhalation.
Its direction is Inward and Down.
This current resides primarily in the head, lungs and heart.
Prana vayu provides our most basic energy of vitality: the breath of life.
2) Udana Vayu is responsible for growth and is the Exhalation.
Udana’s current is upward from the diaphragm and throat then out through the head.
It governs our ability to stand, speak, grow, it is also effort, will and enthusiasm.
3) Apana Vayu is responsible for elimination, reproduction and bone health.
Its current is the gravitational movement of down and out and also of retaining.
Apana is located in the lower abdomen and base of the torso (genitourinary system).
Exhalation is the grounding force of Apana; the opposing and complementary current is prana vayu.
4) Samana Vayu is centered around the navel and its primary purpose is processing things such as food and is associated with our gut instinct.
Its movement is linear as it churns in toward the solar plexus and core.
Samana vayu is the mid-breath and situated between the other vayus..
This current regulates our digestive fire (agni) and is associated with processes of digestion(mind, food), absorption and assimilation
Samana is the drawing in of energy and works together with expansive Vyana vayu.
5) Vyana Vayu moves outward in an expansive circular motion.
It is responsible for the distribution and circulation of all substances in our body.
Vyana is considered the “through breath”.
The pulsating motion of vyana extends from the heart and lungs to the limbs as it nourishes the body and assists in muscular movement.
Vyana allows clear passage for the movement of prana through the nadis/energetic channels and is considered the vayu that facilitates and empowers the other vayus.
NOTE: ( little p-prana is the vayu, capital P-Prana is the Vital Life Force/Vital Energy; if prana is used without vayu it is the Vital Life Force)
I use “current” since the body is an energetic entity, the direct translation of Vayu is direction or movement.
This year's leap year was an extra day for most of us but for me it was the difference between life and death and a day that will always leap into my mind and heart.
My eldest son started a new job so I was in charge of his little red haired morkie. Jax is an adorable 5# puppy and my little pup- Lily’s best friend.
After teaching a beautiful morning yoga class I decided to take these eager puppies out for a walk whenever the weather is nice enough to take them out.
We have a pond next to our home and I sometimes take them around it to do a loop without leases since they stay close to me. When we approached the pond the dogs saw 12 geese and ran to the pond's edge to investigate; but stopped dead in their tracts at the cold water's edge. I laughed because then I knew they knew how cold it was and would stay away. There was a large pancake like block of ice floating in the middle of the pond. I was delighted to see this since it meant that winter was thawing out.
We ran around on the large lawn playing while ignoring the loud geese and tried to avoid the mini mountains of poo everywhere.
I suddenly heard a ruckus and looked up to see that Jax just hauled off on the floating ice deck charging toward the middle of the pond. He somehow jumped at least a foot onto the floating ice to chase them. I was screaming for him to stop while running toward the shore. He ran all the way past the ice and torpedoed in the water on the opposite side.
All I could see were his front two paws and head as I was removing my coat and boots. It was so damn cold and he wouldn't last long. I will never forget the look on his face as he kept trying to get back on the ice to safety.
No time to think- or basically I thought a million things in 5 seconds as I raced barefoot into the freezing water; it's a graduated mucky pond you can walk into but after a few feet it drops off drastically. He was 2/3 across the pond but no time to go around so i was in the water with adrenaline and sheer determination.
I had to break through the ice to get to him. He was getting tired and frantic- then he saw me coming as he went under. Oh my heart. I grabbed him and threw him back on the ice so I could swim back to shore... he jumped off back to me and then I put him on the ice so I could get back to safety faster. After the third time we both made it out.
He was shivering heavily. I was forcefully inhaling and exhaling to release the cold numb fear.
My feet and hands were numb but I held him to my heart with my coat over him carrying him back to the house with little Lily leading the way. I went directly into the steam shower and slowly thawed ourselves out. Finally he was warm and stopped shivering.
He is fine and a happy puppy again without a care in the world!
I- on the other hand am traumatized. I remembered a day long ago when I almost basically drowned at five years old and was resuscitated... this event was a potent trigger and it came back to me in a flood of tears. How interesting that these long lost and hidden memories come back with traumatic events. I don't speak of it often, but now you know that I have always had a deep love, respect and fear of the water. I’m a Pisces and yet it’s true… I do not float but I sink. I never ever thought i could save myself let alone someone else from long ago.
The good news is I saved him… and in the process I saved myself even in the fear of death and those long lost fears.
A past-life karmic debt was paid on leap year.
As I was racing in the pond my thoughts were- I can't let my sons pup die on my watch and if I'm going to die saving him that's what's going to happen.
I was not much good for anything for the rest of the day other than feeling extremely blessed and grateful that we are all alive and well.
I felt as if I had leapt years back to a childhood memory long ago that shockingly resurfaced after all was said and done... I faced that dreadful fear and in the process I had overcome.
I have discovered self-realization and courage in my yoga practice and teachings. The lessons on the mat are a reflection of living life in union of body, mind and spirit. Yoga has provided me with the determination and tools to be present no matter what happens in life. To be present when needed and have a disciplined focus is yoga's gift of perseverance and equanimity. The courage to do what is right and just is the process of living from the heart. I took a leap of faith in frigid murky waters to save this sweet little life.
I'm ever so thankful to be fully ALIVE.
The SYMBOLIZATION of Mantra and Mudra
Mantra MatMudra® Symbolization
The meaning behind our Mantra MatMudra® and how to use the one of choice for your yoga practice or sadhana.
Mudra is a term or Hindu word with many meanings. It can be used to signify a gesture, a mystical position of the hands, a seal, and even a symbol. The term mudra by definition is simply “symbolic gesture” or as a symbol or action or gesture.
Mudra symbolically seals or “stamps” the mark of a divine god or goddess on the practitioner like a signet ring stamps an impression in soft pliable wax signaling complete devotion and self surrender.
Practice... and all is coming.
I enter the room and find my spot on the wooden floor ready to let go of the outside world and delve into yoga - MY yoga; the blissful state ofbreathing meditation within sacred movement. As I unroll my mat I catch a glimpse of this Dedication or Mantra at the top of my magical carpet. This is a mantra to resonate within this practice for the soul of my meditative flow . I stand here ready to practice in this very sacred space and place.
Mantra and Mudra.
Mudra is a symbol of who you are and who I am. But do we know in our hectic lives who we are when we bustle about? Only when I quiet my mind and clear the slate do I get a glimpse of"Who am I' "Who I am". I am in this moment and potent process of becoming. This incredible journey is in the here and now.
As I set the foundation of my sadhana I feel a deep connection with Mother Earth and her qualities. She represents the grounding stability and nurturing resource of nature in all its glory. As i consciously place my hands on my mat in Hasta Bandha and my feet root down through Pada Bandha. I feel a direct vibrational link coursing through my body with the qualities of the earth element. I am home on my mat harmonizing and syncopating within each movement, throughout each pose and within the inhalation and exhalation of the inflow and outflow of breath. Giving and Receiving.
My body is a reflection of a profound dedication to this life force as it transitions in a series of Mudra's within each Vinyasa. Communicating with myself and nature in its purest form of a bodily prayer.
Symbolization links Atman (the true self) with all of consciousness. The physical, emotional and spiritual practice of Yoga is the the union of a deep cosmic awareness void of time and space; its a divine place or Realm between heaven and earth. There exists a manifest glimpse of the divine within each and every breath and movement of supreme consciousness.
Pranayama is the first entity in yoga as the air element with the surrender of our breath to communicate within ourselves and go within the practice.
The entire practice of yoga from dedication to pranayama, asana and repose is a salutation to the divine within. From the purest joy within our being is a dedication to the practice and to a higher realm. Asana(poses)- become a movement in meditation. Within each movement is a particular way to place the body initiated and culminated by breath through awareness, observation and dedication formulating a body mudra or symbol of divine love.
Mudra (mud) joy and (ra) to give- a seal, stamp or hand pose
Mudra's are called energetic seals because they seal – mudranat- the energy of the universe in the body, leading to a higher state of consciousness.
Mudra's are one method to hold prana in the body in a beneficial way of healing, cleansing and activating spiritual and physical release. They are used as rituals, offerings, salutations and a means of meditation
Mudra's express feelings and convey meanings such as clarity, knowledge, courage and more. You can offer a mudra to a god or goddess, nature god, guru, teacher, friend, and stranger…..
Contemplate and observe the offering of mantra from the Mantra MatMudra® as a symbol of a unique reflection and mirror of the higher self. Our practice is about conveying an esteemed dedication and practice to the universe, we are connected to all of life and each other.
Mantra MatMudra: address the given joy that illuminates from your mat to the universe. OM Shanti.