The ananda maya kosha
I am light
According to traditional yoga writings, in order for true relaxation to take place, the body and mind need to actually take a mini holiday so that the level of peace can be uncovered. This state of peace is covered by five coverings, or bodies, called Maya Koshas. Maya means illusion and Kosha means body or Sheath. They are like wearing different layers of clothing. Just like you remove clothes to take a shower, so we have to relax each of these sheaths to uncover the light of the pure self within.
ananda maya kosha
This particular post is timed with an invitation to come to my group Restorative Yoga Class, it is a great way to systemically relax. The sheath called the Ananda Maya Kosha, means the body of joy. It isn’t like a temporary happy feeling that you get from a sugar rush, or a purchase. It is best described as a stillness or quietude that is content in and of itself, and usually only uncovered when the body is relaxed and the mind is meditative.
Most of us do not take the time to allow and nurture this type of silence and inner stillness. Ironically, when we push ourselves with more and more effort, we are actually often depleting ourselves. Taking the time to uncover your true joy and silent inner core is where the deepest healing takes place.
cultivating spirituality through yoga: Sometimes you need to read spiritual literature and words to go deeper into your Self. this is a positive prayer for the New Year, thought I would share with you.
“May I be at peace. May my heart remain open. May I awaken to the light of my own nature. May I be healed. May I be a source of healing for all beings.” – Buddhist tradition
The English word spirit (from Latin spiritus “breath“) has many differing meanings and connotations, most of them relating to a non-corporeal substance contrasted with the material body. (source) We pretty much are spirit en-clothed in a body. Taking care of the body as a vehicle that carries the spirit is, in part what asana is practiced for. This being said, we are often, during the day, caught up in thinking and doing, to the extent that we forget to breathe, or connect inwardly. That is why simple meditation is good, it reconnects us.
“The highest capacities of the human being to see clearly are rooted in the simple experiences of being seen. We cannot see without having first been seen. We cannot wake up without interacting with a consciousness that is awake. Spiritual practice in the contemplative traditions works with the rudiments of the capacity to see clearly, and then it builds them into all the extraordinary potentials always present in the seed of human being.” ~ Steven Cope
Reading these peaceful quotes for a stressful day will put you in the mood for my upcoming restorative workshop in Jersey City:
“May all beings be peaceful. May all beings be happy. May all beings be safe. May all beings awaken to the light of their true nature. May all beings be free.”
Unless you did not already know, stress can make you sick, or, just plain not in optimum health. Stress creeps in and begins with a physiological response when your nervous system perceives a threat – mental, physical, emotional. This heightened alert triggers the adrenal glands to secrete catecholamine hormones. What this means is that your heart rate, blood pressure, and brain ramp up to prepare for “flight or fight”. Obviously, this is the opposite to the relaxation response, which is pretty much going to shut off, and shut down. Peace? Where did that go? Exactly. This is where restoratives, savasana, pranayama can help. Really. Check out my calendar or book a private ~ cause the “antidote to stress is relaxation” (J. Lasater)
yoga being and becoming are addressed in this lovely quote
“change is the essence of life…be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become”… yoga practice is a strong reminder of change. Someone can to class yesterday with a sore/stiff shoulder. The practices we did proved very therapeutic to her, and when we left she remarked about it. The photo above draws us into movement – from storm to calm. To some degree you have to know where you are and have a idea of where you want to be, even though there is nothing wrong, in the wholeness of the moment, where you are.
BKS Iyengar wrote: ” life inevitably oscillates, moves, and changes between the known and the unknown. So often we are not ready to accept the flow of life. We seek freedom but cling to “bondage”. We do not allow life to “happen” and take on its own shape. Conflicts, opposition, clash of interests and ideas, collision of ego (personal and collective), and limited understanding are all inevitable parts of life. The yogic solution to all these vicissitudes is to study how to adapt and build ourselves up. The key is to control the emotional disturbances and the mental fluctuations”
There are a few practices on my cd, YOGA MIND which will perhaps help you with this process. Starting where you are, just kind of settle into practice and the journey of it. Also check out my workshops for some key peaceful practices
sunrise yoga : Good morning! You did it! You woke up, got dressed, packed your yoga props and converged at this beautiful site in Jersey City. You were able to honour yourselves, and honour all the noises from the traffic, the random musician next to us and the daily drama of the mind in daily life. You started with a calm breath. You focused on learning the skills to work the knees in standing poses without overloading the joints, you gained stability. You allowed yourself to notice where you are off balance and that self-reflection is now helping you make nourishing choices off the mat the rest of the day.
By the end of the class, after our warmups and doing poses, you allowed deeper levels of relaxation through our restorative segment. By the time this photo was taken (as I watched the clock on my iphone, having left my watch home) you were in Savasana. Since we had worked the legs, this ledge worked perfectly to rest the entire back leg from knee to ankle. I folded your mats up under your heads to keep the foreheads higher than your chins. Your back softened, you sighed, you forgot where you were enough to connect with your inner core of peace. You did it this morning at sunrise yoga. See you next time
yoga inner peace quote: I like that this yoga inner peace quote is in black and white (sort of simple, right?). “Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be”. In other words, don’t chase peace, uncover it. if you have stumbled onto my post or website, you will find many such quotes and blogposts. I am the kind of yoga teacher who likes to empower my students and, from the feedback I get, they are able to incorporate the teachings from our yoga classes into their daily life. Work posture, life posture, relationship posture. Work with the now, with what you have. If you want downloadable practices for inner peace, my cd is on ITunes
Your peace: No one Can Steal Your Peace Without Your Permission: Life has packs of drama…and we need to cope. I find much of my work as a yoga therapist is to help people find mindful strategies, especially to work with recurring postural habits. As Aristotle said, “we are what we repeatedly do”. If you commonly droop your shoulders, for example, it will show up in your swimming, golfing, walking, sitting, sleeping. Some habits cause pain.
Yoga practices bring us back to our baseline of peace, like in deep dreamless sleep.You become more in tune with your inner self, and more mindful of when something is chipping away at it. At the end of a day, it is just all around better for us to let go the day, consciously and with gratitude – rather than getting dragged into replaying each moment – but if you are having a hard time, download one of my guided practices, that is what I created my CD for
There are tracks where you can learn how to breathe well, and also tracks which will help you navigate the relaxation process. Learning these tools is where you have access off your mat, during stressful times, to ways that bring you back to your peace.
Private Yoga Class With Your Partner
How are you enjoying your weekend? This couple pictured here kicked off their weekend with a Partner Yoga Class. Want a great way to build inner peace for yourself and with your special someone? Book a semi-private yoga class with your partner. This was a simple savasana, with some under the knee prop support from the soft 3 minute eggs it just eases out the lower back…Now, that doesn’t mean that the two of you require the same things from your yoga practice. The nice thing about a partner yoga class is that it does meet your unique needs. I believe yoga should make sense to each person, and that each person has or may have, a different take-away. How great! You get to feel good and then talk about it and have a kind of special bonding. Basically, the average class is 60 minutes and you can contact me about pricing and so on. It is definitely the best of both worlds, spending time together with your partner, but also, having the personal internal experience that yoga brings us. Why wait for a vacation to do this? It is so accessible on a weekly basis.
yoga: touch peace
Today is a day to touch the peace within using the breath as guide. Breathing softly in and out through the nose, while being aware of your breath, even for a moment or two, can help you access your inner peace.
I teach an array of people from athletic to desk-bound, so many different bodies, unique needs. The common denominator is just carving out some peace for oneself. I call it cultivating the Yoga Mind – yes that is also the title of my CD. There are certainly ways to do yoga poses that open and strengthen, but the softer sides of practice can help with the mind and emotions, perspective and attitude. You can always catch yourself thinking or worrying, and then re-set by returning to your breath. The breath is your tool for cultivating your peaceful inner core.
Just writing a birthday card (Papyrus) and inside is this mini quote…below. It is so sweet that just breathing and reading it, I feel better. Hope this for you too!
“Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy and celebration. Like a hummingbird, we aspire to hover and savor each moment as it passes, embrace all that life has to offer and to celebrate the joy of everyday. The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation” (papyrus)
Yoga For Stillness Amidst Chaos
What is it that makes you feel calm when things are pretty stressful ? I think the point is not to be perfect but to have tips and tools at your fingertips to calm yourself down, find your inner peace (you may lose it again!?). Sometimes your yoga practice has to be almost snuck into a chaotic life. Do it no matter what is going on. This is a beautiful poem by Thich Nhat Hanh:
I establish myself
in the present moment.
I know that this is
a wonderful moment
When you do get to a physical practice, the reason restorative yoga is gaining in popularity is that, in part, speed is sometimes un-grounding. Set a realistic pace that has both lightness and firmness on and off your yoga mat today and see how this translates to your nervous system. True sometimes we need more “energy” but it is more a question of finding balance…
If you like listening to an ipod or other device, there are some breathing and relaxing tips on my Yoga Mind Cd that you can carry with you and hopefully you will “walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet”