I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore (well I’m mildly perturbed…haha)

Most of the time when I search for yoga sites for someone to follow because there is a resonance with their approach to the yoga practice: that, it is true and unencumbered, I can’t find any. Pages upon pages are full of people doing ‘stunt’ yoga like that’s where it’s at or all about.

I’m getting really tired of it. You’re just a bunch of showoffs. Really. Big deal, you can bend over backward and kiss your own ass. Big deal that you can put your leg behind your head. Big deal that you can do a handstand! Any circus freak can do what you are constantly bombarding us with on your websites and your blogs. And I don’t think they’re (the circus freaks) doing “yoga”. They’re creating a spectacle that is the circus.

Yes, I can do most of it. There are still things I struggle with daily. But that’s what teaches me.

Yes – it looks pretty. BIG DEAL. Do you even know what yoga is? I don’t think you get it. Yeah yeah, you’re so impressive, that you can do that. Whoop! But that’s what it’s really all about for you isn’t it? You crave for attention. For people out in the world to look at you and say, oh, I want to follow you. You’re gorgeous or remarkable (because they are saying to themselves, I can’t do that – so you must be great.) And stop blogging the perfect beautiful photo of yoga. Take a picture of yourself doing a pose. Yeah! That’s part of the teaching. Would you dare to show yourself in a not so perfect pretty pose? Would you? The real learning of yoga is to get over that…as a individual, as a business, and as a culture.

Show me you’re not perfect. If you want to keep showing those pristine shots on your website, then that’s fine just don’t call it YOGA! It’s not yoga.  For crying out loud. Enough already! It’s fooling around with what looks like yoga postures. And please don’t write me about how a yogini wouldn’t get mad. I am channeling ‘Kali”. You know Kali – the hindu goddess of creation and destruction! Sometimes things must be destroyed to create something new. And it’s about time!

Please send me your not-so-perfect-yoga-asana-pic, I’d love to see it!

The True Magic of Yoga…

Throughout the centuries of Yoga practice, not only in our age, but since the dawn of Yoga, practitioners have been caught up with some idea or another of what yoga can do to help them “make friends and influence people”. And one of them is that meditation, the practice of asana, etc., can give you powers (siddhis). I’ve always been quite skeptical of that notion and have been vocal on occasion. Through my years of dedicated practice, I have never come across anyone who could actually do what they said they could (levitate for instance) or have never experienced it myself. What I did experience is a shift in the visceral feeling of my body which is probably the burgeoning connection of body-mind; a leveling out of my emotional body, a form of contentment, where now sadness is really sadness, happiness really happiness, anger is really anger, hurt is hurt; and a shift in body-mind consciousness, a taste of non-duality.

This became apparent slowly through years upon years of practice. My practice of either asana, meditation, and pure present-centeredness did not come without struggles, disillusionment, frustration and in some instances, real joy. It was a quiet unfolding which after years of arduous practice, on a retreat (my last at this particular place) something was revealed to me which altered everything and life has never been the same. The practices of Yoga can transform you and draw you in to catch a glimpse of Non-Dualistic reality, our true condition.

Yoga is not Magic; it’s Alchemy. It will not give you powers. You’re not about to bi-locate (although that would be fun), turn someone into a toad, or make the one you love yours just because you did an hour of asana, and some meditation. In fact, it won’t happen at all (but only for those who are to be true adepts). And if someone claims to be a great yogi because they can do such things, turn around and run! Yoga unfolds and unravels you slowly without a tremendous amount of hoopla!

Yoga is Alchemy where, like the quest to transmute lead into gold, your practice is the flame which transforms the raw material of – your body, emotions, and thinking mind into the Diamond body. To fan the flame of your practice, you immerse yourself into no-mind which together with the breath is the fuel for the flame. As Georg Feuerstein says: the traditional purpose is the radical one, not the one for the pursuit of a good looking body and becoming forever young, but rather, where the use of asana is to assist the development of the transubstantiated body – the Diamond Body (…no it doesn’t have “yoga butt”). But, he says, there are very few of us who have the determination and stamina to develop this mastery of the practice. Because of this – Are we left with what he calls “garden variety yoga”? No luckily we’re not. Through asana practice, one can “taste” the existence of non-duality, which is essentially like Samadhi. We can flow in and out of this state . It’ll happen, whenever it is to happen. You have no control over it, can’t predict it or plan it. Although, if in fact you do have expectations of developing some extraordinary powers, they will surely be shattered or dissolved – depending on the strength of the expectation. With sincere and constant practice, self-evaluation and observation; engaging in alchemy with the breath and no-mind, one can achieve this state and experience our true condition, the Non-Dualistic Nature of Reality. This is the true Magic of Yoga.

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Let’s talk about yoga!

My Experience w/ the Spiritual Journey

I owned and directed the Shama-Bhakti Yoga Centre for 5 years.
I’ve been teaching yoga for at least 13. (mostly Ashtanga and stylized Vinyasa)
I’ve been practicing for over 30.
I’ve been teaching mediation for 7 years and practicing…all my life.
I’ve trained in Thai Yoga Massage.
I am a Transpersonal Therapist.
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This is the breadth of my Yoga experience. I have developed my life of yoga to include all the above and I teach and practice accordingly.
As a student and teacher of yoga for a few decades now, I have experienced many things. I have watched my students grow and change. I’ve watched them come and go.
I have changed myself, in leaps and bounds with the guidance of my teacher(s) and my own practice of Yoga which includes: asana, meditation, journey of the heart process, pranayama, etc., and of course, I have grown as a teacher because of my students.
I have watched yoga practices change in the west and have commented on how it has been appropriated and reshaped into something that is accessible to the general public (those who do not seek spiritual work). Although to some, this may be the order of the day, I don’t feel that the practice of yoga especially the asana practice (Hatha) is the be-all-end-all. And I teach accordingly. (I will write about this and other things in my blog soon.)
It is my intention to share with you my ongoing commitment to my spiritual practice; share some of the insight I have gained through the years.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and ask any question about meditation, asana, the heart process, breathing, psychology, etc.
If you directly comment to anyone plz be mindful. If you need to vent or complain do so with grace. If you want to let anyone know how much you appreciate them say it with gusto.:-))
Oh and one more thing…if you do use any of the content you find here in my pages including images and text graphics or otherwise, PLZ be mindful and give credit where credit is due! Thx…
Peace!
Christine
Founder of the Shama-Bhakti Yoga Centre