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Friday, February 13, 2015

Meditation for Mental Balance

Balance brings presence. And presence brings infinity. - Luz Emma

No matter how hard we try, or how zen we appear to be, there are times when we have hue-man moments and feel worried, overwhelmed, stressed, consumed. Sometimes, we don't even realize that our minds are burdened but subconsciously it effects us and makes it challeging to be present for ourselves...let alone others. Meditation helps ease our minds so that we can flow and be open to the opportunities and beauty that surround us. This meditation is for mental balance and is one of five meditations given to specifically "to prepare for the gray period of the planet and to bring mental balance." - Yogi Bhajan. From the state of the world today, it is my guess that we are currently in the gray period of the planet. And be-ing the celestial be-ings that we are, how could we not be effected by the cosmos? As above...so below, right?! So lets use this practice to bring mental balance as we create and burn karma and navigate through life.

BEGIN: Sit in EASY POSE, with a light JALANDAR BANDH (elogated spine, lifting behind the head and slightly tucking in the chin). Rub your hands together and bring them to PRAYER POSE with your thumbs against your sternum and your shoulders rolled back and down. Your eyes rolled in and up towards your THIRD EYE. Inhale through the nose and chant ONG NA MO GURU DEV NAMO (I bow to the Divine Teacher within) on two breaths. Listen here for the correct pronunciation and cadence of the ADI MANTRA which is found on my CD URBAN MANTRA: VOL I. Please purchase if you have not already. All proceeds from the album go to Rhythm & Breath's continued effort to bring affordable and accessible mystical tools to urban folk. 

MUDRA: Interlace the fingers with the palms facing up. Hold the inverted Venus Lock at the solar plexus.

EYES: Are one-tenth open.

MANTRA: Gobinday, Mukanday, Udaaray, Apaaray, Hareeang, Kareeang, Nirnaamay, Akaamay

TRANSLATION: These are the eight aspects of God in the Sikh tradition: Sustainer, Liberator, Enlightener, Infinite, Destroyer, Creator, Nameless, Desireless.

TIME: Start with 11 min. and work your way up to 31 min.

TO FINISH: Recite the Warrior Healers Affirmations in Gyan Mudra, your index finger pressed against your thumbs.

TO CLOSE: Rub your hands together, bring them to prayer pose and chant SAT NAM (Truth is my Identity) on one breath 3 times. Bring your hands up to your forehead and bow bringing your hands and head to the floor. This seals the work in your frontal lobe.
So there it is R & B Yogis! Lets get our balance on!

For any questions and further exploration...seek me in the circle. 

Salaam, Shalom, Sat Nam, 
Mama Luz


*If you benefit in any way from Rhythm & Breath, please support us by making a heart donation in the "beggars bowl" at the top of the blog page. All proceeds go to the research, dissemination and production of mystical tools to assist seekers along the Path. Thanks in advance for your support. All assistance is humbly received and appreciated! PLEASE NOTE: Gangsta yogis will be delt with by a Higher authority.*
 

Friday, February 6, 2015

For the Kundalini Curious...

 "Kundalini is the Warrior Healers Yoga. It requires, strength, discipline and faith"
-Luz

If you have never done Kundalini Yoga, but it keeps coming across your radar and it continues to call to you, you would fall under the category of what I call "Kundalini Curious." For starters usually there is something deeper that has drawn you to the practice than just wanting to get in shape. Most people are drawn to Kundalini Yoga because of karma. Your soul is calling to you that you are in need of healing and the science of Kundalini Yoga may be just what your soul is yearning for. It is my suggestion before you delve in to the world that is Kundalini that you do a little research and consider some things before you step foot into a Kundalini Yoga class: 

1) What is my motivation for my practice?
2) What is my understanding of Kundalini energy and Kundalini Yoga? 
3) How do I find a guide and a community?
4) What is the etiquette: Where should I go? What should I wear? What should I do?
3) What should I expect from a Kundalini Yoga class? 

MOTIVATION AND INTENTION
It is vital to know what is your motivation for embarking on any yoga practice, but particularly Kundalini Yoga, because Kundalini Yoga has a very strong spiritual component. Ask yourself...is healing your intention? Have you reached the end of your rope, exhausted all possibilities and are willing to try anything? Are you seeking a life partner, a community and/or social network? Are you wanting to loose weight? Are you wanting to lead a healthier lifestyle? It is best to be brutally honest with yourself and get clear on what it is that you really want. Know your motivation because Kundalini is guaranteed to change your life, and flip the perception of who you think you are on it's head. Meditate on that...are you really ready for all that transformation entails?

KUNDALINI ENERGY AND KUNDALINI YOGA
Kundalini Engery is creative energy that lies at the base of the spine. If this energy remains dormant and stagnant it leads to a life that is mundane, filled with malaise, and without direction. When one raises this energy, one is able to navigate one's life with increased intuition and creativity to create a life that is fulfilled, prosperous and meaningful. 

The generic definition of Kundalini Yoga is: Kundalini Yoga and Meditation as taught by Yogi Bhajan uses Asana (yoga postures), Pranayam (breathing techniques), Mantra (use of sound to alter thought patterns and brain chemistry), Mudra (hand positions to channel energy flow) and Meditation (quieting the mind to promote mental clarity and self-awareness). With this yoga, we break through the blockages in our chakras (energy vortices along the spine), alter our life condition and heal lifetimes of karma. This leads to a more fulfilled, integrated, and prosperous life. It is called the yoga of awareness because it is the quickest way to burn karma and transform your life: Twelve years of Hatha Yoga are equivalent to 1 year of Kundalini Yoga.
 

Although Kundalini Yoga can and will open the path towards your destiny, prosperity and fulfillment...there will be pitfalls, demons and epiphanies before you reach self-actualization. Truth be told, Kundalini Yoga is hard! It is physically and emotionally challenging. Your heart will be ripped open so that you can see your soul as God sees it. Kundalini Yoga is the the Warrior Healer's Yoga. It requires discipline, strength and faith. Sometimes we need to pass through hell to get to Heaven. So be sure to pick a guide that will be attuned to your process and your needs and can show you the way.

THE GUIDE
Do your homework on your teacher because your teacher is the creator of the community and the nucleus of the karmic family. (A karmic family is a group of spiritual beings that gravitate to one another to elevate their own and each other's karma. This is not limited to birth family but can be created families.) Know your teacher's lineage and get to know their story: Who was your teacher's teacher? How did they come to discover Kundalini Yoga? Do they possess what you seek as far as spiritual knowledge and life mastery? Are they nurturing, attuned and compassionate? Observe their character...do not just listen to their words. Because yogis, even in turbans, are human too. Speak to more than one teacher and go to more than one class. The internet is a great resource and will provide a wealth of information on teachers and communities. Most instructors have blogs and YouTube channels very similar to mine. Each with a different flavor and focus. But most importantly, you will know who your guide is when your heart shmelts. Warm fuzzies are a good sign that you have found the right one. Listen to your heart.

THE COMMUNITY
The Kundalini Yoga community can be rather daunting and overwhelming. The sea of white folks in white garb doing yoga can be a bit oxymoronic. Truth be told, the foundation of Kundalini Yoga in America is a slew of ex-hippies that were seeking enlightenment and stumbled upon Yogi Bhajan who was also seeking followers to make into teachers. As in any spiritual tradition, but especially in the Kundalini community, there tends to be some cult-ish behavior and teacher worship. Be sure your teacher and community reflects your culture and worldview and that the teacher has the best interest of your community as it's priority not personal interest. You will discover this as time passes. Use discernment as you get involved. Don't lose sight and focus on your Self and your practice. Ultimately, any yoga practice is a personal one. You want to become proficient enough to be able to sustain and maintain your own practice at h(om). Yoga teachers and studio owners don't want you to know this because it's bad for business, but that is another discussion. Classes initially should provide the boost you need until you can do it on your own. Just make sure that you walking along the right path with individuals that inspire and support you and take you to where you are destined to be.

ETIQUETTE
Because Kundalini is very much tied in to the Sikh spiritual tradition, enter a studio/center as you would any other place of worship: with modesty and humility. Observe what are the rules of the house: Shoes off? Loose fitted clothing? Hair covered? It is not necessary to wear all white the first class nor wear a head covering. As your practice deepens, so will your desire to elevate your spirit and your practice. It is always best to be over dressed than under dressed. So, cover up that beautiful body with loose fitted clothing when in a studio/center. Remember, Kundalini Yoga is an internal process the majority of the time done with eyes closed. You don't want your outer process to interfere with your, or anyone else's, inner process nor deter you from the work that needs to be done. Be sensitive to your surroundings and your practice will deepen.

WHAT TO EXPECT
At the onset of one's Kundalini journey, you may get to foreboding warnings from loved ones, and other yogis, that Kundalini Yoga is dangerous and if you raise your Kundalini you can lose your marbles. Although it is possible to increase ones intuition and clairvoyance through a deep practice, it is vital that you have someone grounded and experienced leading the way so this does not happen. I have seen the irresponsibility in the Kundalini community in this regard. This why I stress the importance of having a skilled teacher as your guide. DO YOUR HOMEWORK! A spiritual emergency (which I will get deeper into at a later juncture) can look very similar to a psychotic break to an untrained professional.

As far as your first Kundalini Yoga class, you may experience shortness of breath, dizziness and nausea. This can be attributed to improper breathing, increased oxygen intake and/or body conditioning. In the beginning, take it easy and go at your own pace. Keep your eyes closed and focus on your body and the emotions that are being evoked. If unexpected uncontrollable tears start flowing, know that it's working! Remember what I said in the beginning of this blog entry? Kundalini Yoga WILL change your life. And it begins at your first contact with it. So, what are you waiting for?! Your dharma, contentment and fulfillment awaits...

Sat Nam!
Mama Luz





Sunday, December 28, 2014

Master & Disciple: The Divine Exchange

 "Never arrive at any gathering empty handed."
-Luz Emma

"There is a toll road in Kundalini Yoga. You pay first, then you enter.  Itarashtam tithar kashtam . If you ever come empty hand­ed, you shall go empty handed. It's a law which should never be broken. You should share freely, but never receive the student empty handed—that's the law. A student must not come to you empty handed. He may bring a leaf, or he may bring a million dollars. But he must not come to a teacher without an offering. If a person shall come empty-handed, he may sit there for six hours and do all kinds of yoga, but the moment he goes out of that door, he'll go empty-handed. That's the only condition, and it's not up to you or me." - Yogi Bhajan 

The relationship between master and disciple is a sacred covenant that is agreed upon in pre-eternity and at the moment the master accepts the novice as a student. There must be an exchange of something of "value" that is symbolic of an offering one gives in exchange of a blessing. It is a conscious acknowledgement, "I need you. I value you. Humbly accept me and my offering." One would never ask a Doctor for a freebie or a discount. The agreement before you even step foot in the Dr.'s office is: You are ill. He gives you a prognosis and/or medicine. You will take your chances on whether his medicine will work or not. And you are prepared to pay for your visit after you are seen knowing this, correct? A spiritual exchange is no different: you need healing from your human condition and the teacher/master provides the tools. The path that lies ahead is unknown but the desire for Self-Realization is so great you proceed anyways. It is a sacred agreement...a Divine exchange.

Money is symbolic of this agreement although the exchange doesn't always have to be in money. It can be mutually agreed upon "barter" exchange. Whatever the agreed method, "payment" is your offering. The point being: it must be discussed, agreed upon and followed through to make the circle of healing complete. When it comes to exchanges of a spiritual nature (instruction, transmission, guidance), this exchange should not cause discomfort, pain, or suffering.  If it does, one should question the intentions of the transmitter and possibly find another teacher. 

For teachers, it is important put a value on your time, your knowledge, your experience. If you do not value what you transmit, how do you expect others to value it. To be fully present, it is necessary to be aware of all of your incarnations, your present life condition and dharma, the investments (both literal and figurative) you have made in your Self and the work that you have put in to arrive at this very moment. All that having been said...it puts things in better perspective when putting a value on one's work, energy and time.

In the past, I struggled with the idea of payment especially when dealing with spiritual work. I did not feel comfortable with charging for the transmission of healing energy or for my counsel. I would accept a donation or symbolic gift in exchange. It worked for me initially but after years of giving to a fault, I found myself, depleted, imbalanced, ill, resentful and homeless. Not a positive place to be in if one has the intention of healing and being of service. But after years of transmitting, tempering, evolving and expanding as a healer and guide, I have come to realize:

1) Not all that arrive are Chosen. 
2) For healing to transpire, one must honor the medicine and the Giver/giver of the medicine. 
3) Although "it" runs through you, it is not of you. 
4) This is the way the Creator provides for you. IT is a gift.
5) Know your worth.
6) Remain humble.

 I pray these words provide you with the validation you need. Carry on!

 <3 Mama Luz