The universe is inspiring and conspiring.  A nexus is happening within me – of things coming together.  At the end of 2017, it seemed that my life was unraveling, changing at a violent speed.  I trudged on, the fighter that I am. But I knew that being strong was good in the short term but wouldn’t serve me in the long run.  Enter introspection, knowledge and wisdom, and finally expansion. Expansion as wide as the universe.

I make reference to the universe because last night, I attended Deepak Chopra’s talk on Healing.  He began his talk with the Big Bang, dark matter and atoms – the stuff of stars, planets and humans.  We are star stuff. We are made up of the universe.  In all kinds of patterns, configurations – we are part and parcel of this mythical, magical universe.  And we are in constant flux, every changing bodies, minds, emotions, behaviours, beliefs, etc.  From the moment, that you began reading this blog to right now, your body has changed.  It is an activity.  Your thoughts have changed. It is an activity.  With all that in motion, what stays the same?  It is the “I”.  Introspection makes it return here.  There is something constant in all of us. Call it the soul, the atman, divine light, Purusha, or any other name.  It is what makes us an “I”.  We are not our bodies, our minds, our emotions.

And what do we do in our earth lifetime? We push the “I” away and become the body, or our thoughts or our beliefs, and emotions.  And eventually, we ask the question “Who am I?” Everything else is a dream, a lucid reality because it is impermanent. True awareness has no form, no color, no sound.

My personal awareness practice is coinciding with this talk.  My meditation practice can bring me into a place of stillness that I begin to sense of my “I”. It may be fleeting, a second or two but the feeling of peace and joy that I get in those two seconds of stillness, is tantamount to a blissful experience.  You  may not be into the esoteric, transcendental explanations but there are solid, physiological changes that happen at the vagus nerve, which then moves through your physical body for healing and well being. Remember your body is an activity.  I am also deep into reading the Bhagavad Gita and Deepak’s book Quantum Healing.

I feel like it is all coming together, even though many of the elements are coming from gazillions of light years away.  Great things always take time.

Pick up Deepak’s lastest book, The Healing Self.

And finally leaving you with his quote, “There are no extra pieces in the universe. Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill, and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle.”



Bound Angle Pose

Benefits: opens the hips and groin facilitating blood and energy flow to the urinary tract and reproductive organs. Opens the chest and abdomen benefiting breathing problems. 
Props: bolster, 4 blocks (or firm cushions, pillows or rolled-up blankets), 4 blankets and one extra blanket for warmth, strap and eye pillow

Place a block lengthwise under one end of a bolster to prop it up on an incline, add another block under bolster for stability. We used the wall in this week’s class placing the bolster at a higher elevation. Place a double-fold blanket on floor next to low end of bolster and a long rolled blanket on top next to bolster (for sacral support). Sit with your back to the short, low end of the bolster. Place two blocks where your knees will rest (can top with a soft blanket or use other props as necessary for propping knees)  Bring your legs into Bound Angle Pose with the soles of your feet together. Wrap a blanket around your feet to create a feeling of containment.  Lie back on the bolster. Place supports under your arms so that they are not dangling and there is no feeling of stretch in the chest. Stay in the pose for 10  minutes.

*Our class this week included a version of Bound Angle with legs up and feet and ankles resting on two blocks covered with a blanket.  Nice lengthening for the legs and feet.

Revolved Twist

Props: bolster, 3 blankets, 1 extra blanket for warmth and or laying on lower back to ground

Benefits: Gentle twist for the spine (quadratus lumborom) Releases stress on the back muscles and a stretch to the intercostal muscles. As muscles relax, breathing is enhanced.
Set one bolster lengthwise on your mat.  Depending upon your comfort, height can be elevated with blocks under bolster. Lay one blanket on top double-fold and one double-fold at end of bolster where your right hip will go. Sit next to bolster with your right hip touching it, bend knees, left or top ankle can lay in arch of right foot or other comfortable position for feet. For added comfort, place blanket between legs. Lengthen body over bolster, laying bent legs in one directions and upper body facing down on bolster. Arms drape down sides of the bolster.
*This week’s class used a vertical bolster to support the upper body in the twist. Try both and see which feels better for you.

Legs Up the Wall

Props: 1-2 blankets, strap, eye pillow, blanket for warmth, neck roll, a bolster for behind legs
Benefits: increases circulation and helps venous and lymphatic flow from the lower body; relieves swelling and fatigue in the legs; helps relieve muscular skeletal stress in pelvis; quiets the mind and can help promote ease in meditation and sleep.

Begin with using a double-folded blanket to be placed right above sacrum (see photo), setting it approx. distance 6-8″ from wall (adjust in pose). Sit down on the blanket with one hip pressed right up against the wall. As you lower down, swing your legs up the wall. Once in the pose, you can adjust distance to wall, angle of legs to all, blanket and placement of legs all for comfort.  Hips and tailbone will be in space between wall and blanket. Arms rest by your side, palms face up or variation with Goddess arms (photo above).  
Variations: To ground legs, blanket or sandbag to hang from soles of the feet.  Strap can be placed around calves, so you lose the feeling of holding up legs.  Tight hamstrings or really uncomfortable with legs directly up the wall? Try a bolster angled into the wall to rest legs on, add blankets for more support or move hips further from wall.  Another variation is Legs up on a Chair or on a bolster with blankets on top to bring knees into a 90 degree angle.