A Note on Contacts

Some people have wondered if there is a Facebook page – you can search me at Kundalini Yoga San Antonio.  Its hard maintaining all of this online presence, so please be patient if I don’t respond immediately.  I promise I will answer.

Sat Nam!

 

Oh, you can always email at motorcycyleyogi@gmail.com, too!

Attachments and Freedom

Freedom.  As an American, I am schooled to believe that freedom is inherent to all humans.  As a yogi, I believe in freedom as deeply and passionately as Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin did.  I believe in freedom from the bevy of sins that steal the soul as well as the life that we see done with such numbing regularity.

But, I have serious doubts as to what the American idea of freedom is.  We are often claiming freedom and love the taste of freedom to do what we do, even as we don chain after chain of debt, because we have to have the latest and greatest thing.  New cell phone, check.  New car, check.  Hot new threads, check.  Then we have to pay – the car note, the house note, the cell phone bill.  We have to work that job that numbs the mind and soul to keep up with what we want.  Then we tie one on during the weekend, recover the next day, and then make our social appearance at church… the list is endless, and we end up trapped, chained to the same stupid cycle week after week, month after month, and year after year, til we retire, look at the stranger next to us, and wonder what the hell happened.

So, what brought us from being free and loving our freedom down?  Attachment.  We are attached to so many things, each other, our image, our social standing, our fashion sense.  We have to live in the right place, and wear the right clothes, and do what that social status tells us is the right things, even if you hate the activity and have to raise a glass with people you find vacuous and boring.

Attachment.  You suffer through what you hate in order to get what you think you want, which isn’t really what you thought it was in the first place.

Does this mean that you should chuck it all, be homeless and glory in the absolute freedom on living freegan on the world?  Not at all, unless you feel your personal path calls for it.  As a yogi in a householder’s tradition, I believe that you have a duty to your progeny, to yourself, to maintain yourself as you think you need to do.  But, we can take some of the chains we have and remove them.

Our lives were meant to be lived free and in a state of harmony.  Chains clanking do not harmonize well.

So, how do we get out of this?  We minimize our chains to maximize our freedom.  I try my best to live with this credo, so this is what I have come up with:

1.  I buy durable, classic fashion.  I have one suit in my closet that I never wear, a couple of match-everything dress shirts, and one set of dress shoes.  The rest are cargo pants, jeans, and pullovers.  Wash and wear, mix and match, permanent press.  I have one set of brown motorcycle boots, and one set of black ones.  One belt.  My closet fits into one suitcase.

2.  I can do most of the repairs on my own motorcycle.  I have the gear to ride it most days, notwithstanding extreme cold days.  The only thing that keeps me from riding my motorcycle 100% of the time is creature comfort.  On cold, wet days, its nice to ride in my wifes’ Chrysler Pacifica and be warm and dry.

3.  My job is deeply fulfilling and pays ok.  I teach motorcycle safety courses and I substitute teach.  I can walk into any classroom and have good control of the class and get the content taught.  I engage the kids well because I genuinely believe that I am helping them.

4.  I budget and try to stay in there.  Extra gets stashed for days that I need extra.

5. If I don’t have the cash for it, I don’t get it, plain and simple.  I had planned on contacts this month, but my budget did not cover it.  thus, no contacts.

Attachments are things that limit your freedom.  Think of the 20 year old who is paying for an apartment, food, and  a good time. S/he is as free as it gets in American society.  S/he can pick up and go if s/he chooses, or stay and work.  S/he can drink and play, or s/he can be cool and keep to him- or herself.  Either way, s/he is free to move and do as s/he chooses.

The first attachment comes with the would ‘should.’  I should have that new car.  I should make more money.  I should settle down.  I should have this and that or the other… and this goes on and on.

Does this mean you should not care, get married, have kids?  Those are decisions between you and your partner, not me.  I’m just a yogi.  I love and care deeply for my kids.  Each of them is like a precious gem, unique and perfect to me.  I chose to have kids, and I take my commitment to them deeply.

In Star Wars, the Jedi are the ultimate in Justice.  They are superpowered people schooled to emotionless objectivity.   Jedi say that they cannot do their work and be attached, that having emotional attachments leads to the dark side, often with tragic consequences. we saw how well that works out, because hiding attachment adds another chain that weighs down.

I have to disagree with the idea that not having an attachment is ideal – its not the attachment that leads to the dark side, it’s the craven need to protect what is ‘ours’, which is really not, because when phones break, clothes tear, and cars die, we discard them.  They were never ‘ours’ because they pass in and out of our lives with nary another thought than to get another.  If it can be upgraded, traded, or discarded, what was so important about it in the first place?

Be free, take that chains that hold you down and cast them off.  Keep the attachments that mean something and hold them, and let the rest go.  Be mindful of that each time you want something new, upgraded, or updated.

Be at peace.  Sat Nam.

The Original You and Essence of Self

Let’s all tune in and get comfortable.  Are we ready?  Good!  Yoga is the joining of mind and body, higher and lower selves – union, yoking two parts together to make a glorious whole.

But, who is this glorious being that we share every waking moment with?  Our original selves, the being under the various ideas, identities, and illusions that we all have.  We’re moms, dads, bikers, soldiers, and so on.  However, our higher selves don’t have such identities – we are who we are, and we are beautiful and unique.

We will touch on that for this set and kriya.

Meditation – the Original You

1.  In Easy Pose, interlace your fingers in Venus Lock, then turn the mudra so your palms face outward.  Put your arms straight in front, with no bend in the elbow – do not raise or lower the arms once they are out.  Focus on the tip of the nose and breathe in this pattern – inhale for 20 counts, exhale for 20 counts, and hold out for 20 counts.  This should give you a breath a minute.  Continue for 3 minutes.  If you feel like you need to breathe, do so.  You can continue the breathing when you are comfortable again.

2.  Still in same pose, inhale sharply through the nose and forcefully exhale through the mouth with cannon force with your lips in an O shape.  Continue focusing on the tip of the nose.  2 minutes.

3.  Remaining in position, inhale and hold the breath in.  Pump your navel point rhythmically until you need to exhale.  Exhale, then inhale again and hold, pumping the navel point until you need to breathe again.  Continue breathing at your own pace and pumping the navel point vigorously.  Eyes are still focused on the tip of the nose.  3 minutes.

4.  Inhale deeply and push your shoulders and arms forward as far as possible without shifting your back.  Exhale in cannon breath.  Repeat 2 more times.

5.  Extending your Jupiter (index) fingers, lock your thumb atop the other fingers, folded down to the palm.  Move in outward circles vigorously enough to make your body move.  2 minutes, 30 second.  Inhale, exhale, and relax.

Kriya for the Essence of Self

1.  In Easy Pose, extend the arms out and away from you in a V-shape.  Moving in outward circles, start small and gradually increase in size, speed and vigor.  Breath should be deep and long, increasing in power with the power of the circles.  1 to 4 minutes.

2.  Come to Bow Pose.  Rock back and forth rhythmically for one minutes while using Breath of Fire.  Release and rest briefly.

3.  Lie on your back and clasp knees to chest.  Rock rhythmically back and forth along the length of your spine while using Breath of Fire.  One minute.  Release and rest briefly.

Note Bene (Good Note): If you find yourself short of breath, switch to long deep breathing and recover, then rejoin the group.  If you are on your moon cycle, then replace Breath of Fire with long, deep breathing.  BOF will exacerbate symptoms associated with your moon cycle.

4.  Crow Squats.  Stand with hands in Venus Lock atop your head.  Drop in a controlled squat, taking care your knees to do extend past your toes.  Rise back to standing position.  Repeat 26 times.

5.  Repeat Exercise One for 2 minutes.

6.  In Easy Pose, cross hands at heart chakra, palms to chest.  Eyes closed with no particular focus, visualize love and light from your heart chakra lighting your other chakras, flowing up through your crown chakra to connect with the Universe.

7.  Corpse pose for 11 minutes.

The Meditation for the Original You helps you connect with your higher self.  This connection gives you the ability to see things as they really are, to feel and intuit situations and to be able to react with the best intentions.

The Essence of Self moves energy from the body through the heart center, giving you the ability to move from love and with love in your life.  This ability to move from and with love is what allows us to heal our inner scars and wounds and to see and taste the broader reality that is our birthright, not just this narrow world view.  This also releases tension, helps the digestion, and opens the lungs.

A Seed, Needing a Place to Sprout

At some point, we all decide that we have information to give, to teach, to want to share.  I have plenty of knowledge and wisdom to draw from with Kundalini Yoga, and I would love to share it with people.  I have considered the idea of an intensive workshop – a 2 to 4 hour workshop consisting of yoga, some lecture, and a lot of fun and camaraderie.

So I ask you, the yogis that follow me – what would you like to see?  Currently in the works are Meditation and the Mind, and a mini White Tantra course.  Since my home is small, I would only be able to host a small number of people.  A light snack area would be in place to ward off hunger, and to help ground us after our presentation.

What other topics would you like to see?

First New KY Kriya for Bikers!

Vrrooom.... ommmmmmmmmm!

Everyone can get elevated

Come on, admit it.  You ride and you do yoga.  I do – I can’t be the only one who has been seen riding a motorcycle to yoga class.  I know that people must be out there all dressed to ride with a yoga mat on their back or in their saddlebag, ready to get elevated.

Come on… its ok to admit it.  Honest.  I swear.  Look!

See?   Orlando Bloom was caught with a yoga mat and a bike helmet getting ready to do a yoga workout.  Its really just putting the two things we love together, riding and yoga. 

For those of who are not ready to come out of our secretly-granola closet, I’m developing yoga sets based on Kundalini Yoga for bikers.  Your bike will be an integral part of this system, as bikers and machines are often one and the same.  There will be meditations, yoga sets, and mantras you can do on your own at a rest stop, or in your garage, or even during a gas stop.

A little warning – this is not intended to sub for a doctor or any type of medical care.  Don’t hurt yourself.  If it hurts, quit.  If you are unsure of yourself, don’t do that posture.  This is not intended to be used while riding.  Don’t do anything that might entail you falling off your bike and landing on the floor, or doing anything that may cause the bike to fall on you.

Get the idea?  Good.  Let’s be smart.  Its not my fault if you do something and end up falling  – by following these instructions, you are taking your own safety into your hands.  These instructions are for edification only.

That in mind…

This set is based on the Basic Spinal Energy Series.  Bike is parked with side stand down. 

For Beginners:
Anything marked with 108 repetitions can be cut down to 26.
Take a break if you feel the need for it, then continue when you feel ready, especially the breathing portion.
Don’t do the exercise if it starts hurting.
Root lock is like doing a Kegel – squeeze and tighten the anal and genital area and hold it.
Navel point is three fingertips over your belly button.

1.  In Easy Pose (sitting criss-cross) grasp your ankles.  Inhale as you flex your spine forward while pulling on your ankles.  Exhale and flex the spine back.  Use long, deep breathing and find something to gaze at.  The head remains level and does not flip-flop back and forth.  108 repetitions.

2.  Put feet on your pegs/footboards or ground.  Place hands on your thighs and continue as in Part One.  Mentally vibrate “Sat” (sounds like ‘sought’) as you inhale, and “Naam” (like in “nom nom nom” LOL) as you exhale.  Keep your eyes level.  108 repetitions.

3.  With feet on pegs or ground, grasp your shoulders with same-side hand, fingers in front and thumbs in back.  Twist to the left and inhale, twist right and exhale.  Complete 26 twists.

4.  Feet still on pegs or ground.  Grip your hands in bear lock (fingers locked together, thumbs out) and as you inhale, move your left elbow up.  Exhale and lower left elbow as you raise your right elbow.  The motion should be like a seesaw.  Complete 26 times, then raise over head.  Inhale, pull root lock/Mulbanh and hold for 10 seconds.  Exhale and release.

5.  Return to Easy pose on saddle.  Grasp knees and flex spine forward during inhale, and backwards during exhale.  Eyes and head remain level during motion.  Complete 108 times.

6.  In Easy Pose on saddle.  Place hands on knees and raise shoulders as you inhale, and relax during exhale.  To finish, raise shoulders, hold for 15 seconds, then exhale.

7. Still in Easy Pose on saddle.  Roll the head to the right five times, then the left five times.  Inhale as your head rolls to the front, and exhale as it rolls to the back.  Bring head back to a neutral position, inhale and hold for 15 seconds, then exhale.

8.  Still in Easy Pose on your saddle:
A.   Bear grip in front of your throat.  Inhale, and pull root lock, then release.  Exhale and pull root lock again while you hold your breath out. 
B.  Raise bear grip over your head.  Inhale and hold breath while pulling root lock, then release.  Exhale and hold breath out while you pull root lock again.
Repeat A and B for three cycles total.

9.  Put feet back on pegs or ground. Raise your arms up straight over your head.  Interlace fingers and press index fingers together, pointed straight up.  Arms should be next to your ears.  Say “Sat” as you pull your navel point in, and “Naam’ as you release. Continue for 3 minutes.

Notes on this set:
Age is measured by the flexibility of the spine; to stay young, stay flexible. This series works systematically from the base of the spine to the top. All 26 vertebrae receive stimulation and all the chakras receive a burst of energy. 

Many people report greater mental clarity and alacrity after regular practice of this kriya. A contributing factor is the increased circulation of the spinal fluid, which is crucially linked to having a good memory

Cursing, Foul Language, and Negativity

Wisdom comes at times you least expect it.  Yesterday was not a good day for me.  I was supposed to get my eye exam and new contacts.  That didn’t happen.  My wife got her bladder scoped, which led to other complications like pain and misery that I wasn’t aware that she was suffering.  Arguments ensued. 

Then, after a long fun run in the mud with the kidgets, I find my new puppy Fluffy (this puppy is not fluffy, but I offered the kidgets a choice between the names Hondo and Fluffy, and they picked Fluffy) has his tie-out line wrapped around the base of a set of shrubs.  This set of shrubs was supposed to be taken down at a later time, but ended up getting put off since my chainsaw had died and my Jason mask was not to be found.

Fun and games with a chainsaw and a hockey mask

chop chop

So, now I had to get my folks electric chainsaw (gag, retch) in the middle of the night in order to chop down some wood to get Fluffy out of his mess.  So, without my saw (it’s family, you know 🙂  ) and no mask, I was in the dark chainsawing through dense shrubbery to find my puppy.

My foul mood lifted, and not because of the shrub massacre.  I was doing what needed to be done to help a life that I was responsible for.  No one else was there, it was dark, just me and a saw and a little puppy who couldn’t get out.  I was able to shear off the shrubs at the base of the bush to be able to get the shrub out without getting too close to Fluffy.

Fluffy is currently enjoying his Iams puppy food and lounging in the sunshine, safe.  He’s probably wound around something else out there, now, but that is another story for another time.

 The other shrubs went down on general principle. 

So, what does this have to do with cursing, foul language, or negativity?  Let me explain.

In my head, I was cursing at the way things had gone.  They could have been better.  Appending curse words to the players involved in this drama extended the negative feelings, shaping the remaining part of the day.  As things went wrong, the more I used foul language, the worse things got.  I don’t mean the genial foul language that we employ with our friends and in knocking off, I mean the genuine I’m-upset-and-loading-this-with-all-my-anger cursing we do when we are pissed off.

By focusing and giving voice to my negativity, it created within me a negative expectation which in turn brought more negativity.  The more I voiced my negativity, the stronger it became.  It even lingered enough to poison a conversation this morning that should have cleared the air between my wife and I.  This is what happens when you feed the negative, it becomes stronger.

Be mindful, then, of what you say.  “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names with never hurt me.”  is just wrong.  Words can and do hurt – they are intention given energy and direction.   Be mindful of where you send that energy.

Sorry for the Delay

Yes, even yogis have problems maintaining.  In my life, between maintaining my family, work, plus the fact that being Hispanic means seeing the extended family, feeling utterly neglectful of the fact that I don’t see my grands but once a month in town and annually for the one out of town… it gets to be something much.  Add in the holidays, birthdays, Christmas, Twelfth Night… and – yeah.

So… I’m back.  I hate taking these enforced holidays because I have more work then I care to do when I take them.

Forgive me for not posting up over the holidays.  Now that the madness is over I can get back to my yoga.

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