***image1***ALIGNMENT & THE CHAKRAS – PART 4Just as no chakra stands alone, neither can any one body part be in alignment without the support of the whole. When tension is felt in one area of the body it surely means support is lacking somewhere below. An open heart center absolutely relies on a strong Navel Center. Once we have that in place then we can look at strenghtening our back muscles for further support.You may find yourself slumping when you are depressed or self esteem is low. Self protection is a deep human instinct and we all tend to cave our shoulders in and armor ourselves against feeling pain of any sort. Ironically, when feeling unlovable and in need of the most love, we in effect, close off our hearts. In this way we sabotage any chance of love – receiving or giving! The Heart Center represents our ability to give and receive love. The lungs also reside in this area and relate to expansion or grief. When we can accept that grief and love are both a beautiful part of the human experience we can let ourselves be open to more a greater expanse of possibliities and increase our level of joy. The Anahata Chakra is associated with air. It’s important to open our chests and take in deep breaths, increase our prana, and let our Heart Chakra energies circulate.We often say we take on the qualities of the poses we assume. Simply working on keeping the spine long, the sternum lifted, the solar plexus relaxed, and the shoulder blades down the back (lightly sqeeze them together) while doing a pose will give us confidence and attractability and the strength to risk loving and being loved.You should never sacrifice a broad chest for the sake of a pose. We often see this when students are stretching the backs of the legs. They hunch to get their heads to their knees. When this happens the breath is cut off, the stretch is transferred to the lower back (ouch!) and away from the legs and we have taken the heart out of our practice!One of the best exercises for opening up the Heart Center is Camel Pose. We often do a warm-up for Camel Pose which can be done on its own or just before it:CAMEL POSE WARM-UPSit on heels. Interlace the fingers behind the back. Hands are at the base of the spine. Inhale as you rise onto the knees. Press the pelvis forward and look up as you open the chest and slide the shoulder blades down the back. Exhale and sit back on the heels before bringing your forehead to, or towards, the ground pulling your arms slightly down and off the back.CAMEL POSECome into a kneeling position. Pull the navel in and up towards the spine. Press the hips forward. Relax the tailbone down. Lift the chest and let the throat soften as you drop your head back and reach for your heels. Begin the Breath of Fire (Bhastrika). Keep relaxing the throat and diaphragm area throughout the exercise. To modify: Have the toes curled under or interlace the hands behind the back.Camel Pose balances the chakras and strengthens the nervous system. It is good for a woman to do everyday for the glands. It’s also said to be good formen for the nerves and to help against armoring. According to yoga, Camel Pose is good for any compulsive behavior around food. It also helps against de pression. This exercise can turn a negative mindset into a positive one quickly. Try it the next time you are feeling low and see what happens!***image2***MEDITATION OF THE MONTH – LAYA YOGA MEDITATIONLaya Yoga combines rhythm and sound to raise one’s consciousness very quickly. To raise one’s consciousness means to deliver oneself to a place of overview and inner refinement. From this vantage one can make positive decisions with an eye on forever.The mantra for this technique is: Ek Ong Kar Sat Nam Siri Wahay Guru, which means: There is One Underlying Cause for All Causation, Your True Identity, Indescribable is This Wisdom.Sit comfortably with the spine straight and hips square. Your eyes are 1/10 open looking down and in towards the nosetip.Chant Ek Ong Kar-uh (the uh sound is made as you contract rootlock: squeezing the rectum and sex organ muscles while pulling the navel in).Maintain rootlock and chant Sat-a-Nam-uh (the uh sound is made as you pull the diaphragm up and in). Maintain rootlock and diaphragm lock and chant Siri Wha-uh (the uh sound is created as you pull your neck back like a soldier at attention.Chant Hay Guru as you relax all the locks and let the energy spin out the top of the head. As you chant this rhythmically, at a good pace, feel the sounds like the double helix of a DNA molecule spinning up the spine. The time is open for this. 11 min. is good. 31 is better. After practicing inhale, stretch your arms overhead, then relax the breath and shake your hands. Then sit in silence for a a few minutes. Listen to the ehco of the sound within.Laya Yoga was an exclusive practice only made available to a select few. Techniques such as this are perfect methodolgies to help us claim the inner experience of joy and vastness which is our birthright. This meditation, according to yoga, can assist one in clearing negative karma and the propensity for self-induced suffering. It’s said that where there’s Dharma there is no karma. Dharma, The Eternal Way, is a living consciously on a path with heart and whatever methodologies assist one in that endeavor. Karma is the price exacted by time and space when we live out of balance. This priceless meditation can help restore balance in our lives and give sustenance to our souls. It could be said that Laya Yoga is a gift to humanity from the Infinite, to help us unite with Itself. Keep this jewel bright and pass it on.MORE NEWSComing Soon: An article on Live Food and Yoga by Ana on the Live Food Page at www.raviana.comAs you consider your summer plans remember that we’ll be doing a 6 day retreat at the Feathered Pipe Ranch in Montanna this August. That event will be worth 40 hrs. towards our Teacher Training Certification. New products on www.raviana.com: Sound & Spirit: A tour de force of Kundalini Yoga Mantras sung by Wah! Ong Sohung Mantra Groove – Ancient/Modern mantra music. Great to meditate with or do yoga to. Shashara by Sada Sat K aru: A powerful and beautiful Kundalini Yoga mantra CD.All Best to You,Ravi & Ana1.800.243.9642 / www.raviana.com
by Ravi Singh and Ana Brett
Ravi and Ana been featured presenters at the Midwest Yoga Conference, The Toronto Yoga Show, and the Six Days on Freedom Retreat. Their clients have included Olympic Athletes and celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna, Lou Reed, Carrie-Anne Moss, Donna Karan, and The Red Hot Chile Peppers. They’ve taught in many diverse contexts: from Iceland to Maui, Canada to Costa Rica, from boardrooms and Park Avenue Penthouses, to scientists at Bell Labs, from Opera Singers at the Aspen Music Festival and street kids in Los Angeles to backstage at Broadway plays. They are Authors of the Fat Free Yoga DVD series and the forthcoming book Fat Free Yoga.