Category Archives: Yoga

Bikram Documentary | Netflix

Netflix has taken aim at Bikram. Seems like they figured out a formula for monetizing controversial subject matter by restoring the pot which has simmered down. If your familiar with Bikram then this may be old news to you. There has been many documented cases of “guru” taking advantage of their students whether it be monetarily or physically. When you look up to someone you can become vulnerable to a degree. Me personally I practice yoga by myself and for myself so I won’t be letting a yogi/yoga instructor rub my crotch while in downward dog to activate my kundalini. Ain’t happening captain. Unfortunately there are students that let things of this nature slide for the sake of “respect” of the gurus knowledge. On the flip side I’m sure some people are comfortable with being compromised and fully accept what they are signing up for.

Thee 8 Limbs Of Yoga

Patanjali’s eight-fold path offers guidelines for a meaningful and purposeful life. Delve into this prescription for moral and ethical conduct and self-discipline.

In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, the eightfold path is called ashtanga, which literally means “eight limbs” (ashta=eight, anga=limb). These eight steps basically act as guidelines on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life. They serve as a prescription for moral and ethical conduct and self-discipline; they direct attention toward one’s health; and they help us to acknowledge the spiritual aspects of our nature.

1. Yama

The first limb, yama, deals with one’s ethical standards and sense of integrity, focusing on our behavior and how we conduct ourselves in life. Yamas are universal practices that relate best to what we know as the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

The five yamas are:

Ahimsa: nonviolence

Satya: truthfulness

Asteya: nonstealing

Brahmacharya: continence

Aparigraha: noncovetousness

2. Niyama

Niyama, the second limb, has to do with self-discipline and spiritual observances. Regularly attending temple or church services, saying grace before meals, developing your own personal meditationpractices, or making a habit of taking contemplative walks alone are all examples of niyamas in practice.

The five niyamas are:

Saucha: cleanliness

Samtosa: contentment

Tapas: heat; spiritual austerities

Svadhyaya: study of the sacred scriptures and of one’s self

Isvara pranidhana: surrender to God

Also see Tap Your Higher Power

3. Asana

Asanas, the postures practiced in yoga, comprise the third limb. In the yogic view, the body is a temple of spirit, the care of which is an important stage of our spiritual growth. Through the practice of asanas, we develop the habit of discipline and the ability to concentrate, both of which are necessary for meditation.

EXPLORE Yoga Poses A–Z

4. Pranayama

Generally translated as breath control, this fourth stage consists of techniques designed to gain mastery over the respiratory process while recognizing the connection between the breath, the mind, and the emotions. As implied by the literal translation of pranayama, “life force extension,” yogis believe that it not only rejuvenates the body but actually extends life itself. You can practice pranayama as an isolated technique (i.e., simply sitting and performing a number of breathing exercises), or integrate it into your daily hatha yoga routine.

These first four stages of Patanjali’s ashtanga yoga concentrate on refining our personalities, gaining mastery over the body, and developing an energetic awareness of ourselves, all of which prepares us for the second half of this journey, which deals with the senses, the mind, and attaining a higher state of consciousness.

5. Pratyahara

Pratyahara, the fifth limb, means withdrawal or sensory transcendence. It is during this stage that we make the conscious effort to draw our awareness away from the external world and outside stimuli. Keenly aware of, yet cultivating a detachment from, our senses, we direct our attention internally. The practice of pratyahara provides us with an opportunity to step back and take a look at ourselves. This withdrawal allows us to objectively observe our cravings: habits that are perhaps detrimental to our health and which likely interfere with our inner growth.

6. Dharana

As each stage prepares us for the next, the practice of pratyahara creates the setting for dharana, or concentration. Having relieved ourselves of outside distractions, we can now deal with the distractions of the mind itself. No easy task! In the practice of concentration, which precedes meditation, we learn how to slow down the thinking process by concentrating on a single mental object: a specific energetic center in the body, an image of a deity, or the silent repetition of a sound. We, of course, have already begun to develop our powers of concentration in the previous three stages of posture, breath control, and withdrawal of the senses. In asana and pranayama, although we pay attention to our actions, our attention travels. Our focus constantly shifts as we fine-tune the many nuances of any particular posture or breathing technique. In pratyahara we become self-observant; now, in dharana, we focus our attention on a single point. Extended periods of concentration naturally lead to meditation.

7. Dhyana

Meditation or contemplation, the seventh stage of ashtanga, is the uninterrupted flow of concentration. Although concentration (dharana) and meditation (dhyana) may appear to be one and the same, a fine line of distinction exists between these two stages. Where dharana practices one-pointed attention, dhyana is ultimately a state of being keenly aware without focus. At this stage, the mind has been quieted, and in the stillness it produces few or no thoughts at all. The strength and stamina it takes to reach this state of stillness is quite impressive. But don’t give up. While this may seem a difficult if not impossible task, remember that yoga is a process. Even though we may not attain the “picture perfect” pose, or the ideal state of consciousness, we benefit at every stage of our progress.

8. Samadhi

Patanjali describes this eighth and final stage of ashtanga, samadhi, as a state of ecstasy. At this stage, the meditator merges with his or her point of focus and transcends the Self altogether. The meditator comes to realize a profound connection to the Divine, an interconnectedness with all living things. With this realization comes the “peace that passeth all understanding”; the experience of bliss and being at one with the Universe. On the surface, this may seem to be a rather lofty, “holier than thou” kind of goal. However, if we pause to examine what we really want to get out of life, would not joy, fulfillment, and freedom somehow find their way onto our list of hopes, wishes, and desires? What Patanjali has described as the completion of the yogic path is what, deep down, all human beings aspire to: peace. We also might give some thought to the fact that this ultimate stage of yoga—enlightenment—can neither be bought nor possessed. It can only be experienced, the price of which is the continual devotion of the aspirant

Source – yogajournal.com

Bandhas for Beginners

In Sanskrit bandha means to lock, to hold, or to tighten. It also refers to a lock in and of itself.There are 3 principle bandhas in the body, and a fourth that ties them all together. The ancient yogi philosophers said, and I concur, that when you master the locks, your master the yoga practice, the practice on the outside — floating in and out of asanas, holding for long periods of time, and managing new positions – and the practice on the inside – consistent single pointed concentration, steady and long breath, and a calm, clear mind. And in a straight-up modern, western sense, the bandhas help you regulate and control all your internal systems, hormonal, sexual, metabolic, digestive, and more. Whether you care about the east, the west, or both, the bandhas are a critical factor to a killer you, and to yoga. Note, bandhas should not be practiced while pregnant.

Mula Bandha: In a way Mula Bandha is the easiest bandha to explain. Just imagine you are in the middle of a 3 hour traffic jam to the airport, the highway has turned into a parking lot, and you have to pee. Or, ladies, you are in white short shorts walking through the park and you get your period a day early. The muscles you instinctually contract to pull up and hold in what is dying to flood out can be generally considered Mula Bandha, or at least the Mula Bandha region.

In Sanskrit mula means root, and thus Mula Bandha is the root lock. To find it, sit, stand, or even be in an asana, and if you are a man, contract the area between the anus and the testes. If you are a woman, contract the muscles at the bottom of the pelvic floor, behind the cervix. Initially the anal sphincter will also contract, but with time and practice you will be able to hone in on the Mula Bandha region and leave the rest aside.

Mula Bandha should be held throughout your entire yoga practice. That’s right — the whole hour or hour and a half. There are countless reasons, but quite simply think of it as the lock that allows your energy to flow up, not down and out. If your energy is forced to flow up, and stay inside you, for that matter, it will grow exponentially, leaving you with that amazing feeling of ‘floating’ as you walk out of out of class. It will also allow you to float IN class, as an engaged Mula Bandha allows you to be lighter on your limbs, and thus lighter on your mat. This lightness prevents you from becoming fatigued when that teacher, aka me, makes you hold something for what seems like forever and a day, or do the umpteenth Chatarunga. In a more physiological sense, Mula Bandha stimulates the pelvic nerves, the genital system, the endocrine system, and the excretory system. It has also been shown to relieve constipation and depression.

Uddiyana Bandha: Moving up from mula bandha we have the second bandha, Uddiyana. In Sanskrit uddiyana means to fly up, or to rise up. This ‘flying up lock’ is thus all about your insides flying upwards, intangibly meaning your energy, tangibly meaning your diaphragm, stomach, and abdominal organs.

To find Uddiyana Bandha start standing up tall, feet about a meter apart. Inhale through your nose and reach your arms up alongside your ears. Exhale out of your mouth and fold forward placing your hands just above your knees. Without inhaling close your lips, straighten your elbows, and feel your abdominal wall and organs push up and back towards your back. It should feel somewhat like a suctioning back and up of everything on the inside. If you are doing it correctly and happen to glance at your profile in a mirror, you should see your waist Marilyn Monroe-style tiny winy, with the ribs noticeably protruding over and in front of your abdomen or belly button. Retain as such for as long as possible, and exit the bandha via inhaling through your nose and standing up straight, raising your arms up along side your ears, then exhaling through your nose again as you move your arms down.

Uddiyana Bandha can be one of the most transformative aspects of your yoga practice, especially as you get more advanced. It moves the energy upwards with much more force than Mula Bandha, thus allowing you to invert and jump more easily, as well as float forward and back more lightly, and twist more deeply. Because the abdominal wall is pressing the organs and tissues of the abdominal cavity backwards, Uddiyana Bandha creates a soft massage for the deeper internal muscles of the lower back.

In a more day-to-day sense, Uddiyana Bandha is the ultimate remedy for abdominal and stomach ailments, from constipation to indigestion. It stimulates your digestive juices, thus increasing your metabolism, and tones your overworked abdominal organs. It also balances the adrenal system, relieving stress, lethargy and tension. And best of all, it is the sure fire way to get flat washboard abs without ever doing any crunches.

Jalandhara Bandha: Jalandhara Bandha is pretty much the only double chin you will want, and try, to have. In Sanskrit jal means throat, jalan means net, and dharan means stream or flow. Thus in the most basic sense, Jalandhara Bandha can be considered the throat lock that controls the flow of energy in the nerves and blood vessels of the neck.

To find Jalandhara Bandha sit up tall, either in a comfortable cross legged position or on your shins with your butt on your heals. Place the palm of your hands on your knees. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, then bring your chin towards your neck and lift your sternum ever so slightly. Press down on your hands and straighten your elbows, pull your chin back further, and retain as long as possible. To exit lift your chin, inhale the remainder of capacity into your lungs, and exhale. If you felt a nasty double chin or were stressing about someone taking a picture of your profile, you did it right!

Unlike the first two, Jalandhara Bandha is normally performed in combination with specific breathing practices, and rarely done on its own. That said, it is immensely powerful, as it compresses the sinuses on the main arteries of the neck and in doing so helps regulate the circulatory and respiratory systems. The pressure on the throat helps to balance the thyroid and metabolism. And if no one is looking at you at work, engage Jalandhara Bandha as an instant trigger for mental relaxation as well as stress and anger relief.

Maha Bandha: This the big Kahuna. Maha in Sanskrit means great, and Maha Bandha is the combination of all three aforementioned bandhas.

Sit in a comfortable seat, on your shins or cross legged, palms of the hands on the thighs or knees. Inhale fully through your nose, and exhale completely through your nose. Squeeze squeeze squeeze until every last drop is out. Without inhaling engage Mula Bandha, then find Uddiyana Bandha. Inhale a tiny bit and lift your chest, and from there engage Jalandhara Bandha. Retain, pressing your palms down, as long as possible. When you have had enough, lift your head, inhale fully, and release all the bandhas.

Maha Bandha gives the benefits of all three bandhas and regulates the entire endocrine system.

Source – MBG 

Ancestral Hair Retreat

The Hair Retreat brought together by @AncestralHairStrands was very informal. Methods of relaxation were presented and everyone shared their personal experiences growing up and living with natural hair. Yoga presented by andYoga.  To learn more about the hair movement go to Ancestral Hair Strands. 

 

Informative panel discussion w.
@dianecbailey
@dr_afiya
@hadiiyabarbel
@sandiyogini
@rebekahlove_
@embracerawliving
Yoga by @sandiyogini
CBD Mocktail Drinks by @herbalhairbar
Raw Vegan Pizza Made by @embracerawliving
Yoga Space @andyogastudios

Delicious Raw Jackfruit BBQ Vegan Pizza by @EmbraceRawLiving

Yoga Alliance, A Peaceful Hustle

Yoga Alliance Has Received
$7,445,600 in Application Fees + Charges Teachers & Trainers an Additional $7,509,840 Every Year

In September 2019, Yoga Alliance had 7,748 registered yoga schools.

  • At $400 per school, Yoga Alliance has charged teacher trainers $3,099,200 for paper processing.
  • At $240 per year, Yoga Alliance receives $1,859,520 annually from teacher trainers.

Yoga Alliance has 86,928 registered yoga teachers.

  • Yoga Alliance charges teachers $50 in application fees and $50 in “upgrade” fees. Therefore, many teachers will have paid more than $50 in paper processing fees over their lifetime. But at only one charge of $50 each, that’s $4,346,400 paid by teachers for paper processing.
  • Yoga Alliance charges teachers $65 annual dues resulting in an additinal $5,650,320 in annual revenue from teachers.

Yoga Alliance has received $7,445,600 in application fees and charges teachers and trainers $7,509,840 every year. This does not includeany other ways the organization may make money off its list of teachers and trainers.

The following screenshots are from the Yoga Alliance web site search results for registered yoga schools and teachers, September 27th, 2019.

Basic Facts

  1. Yoga Alliance does not certify yoga teachers nor does it provide accreditation of trainers or training schools. Yoga Alliance does not assess or certify teaching competency. It provides a registry, which is a list.
  2. Neither teachers nor trainers are required to be registered with Yoga Alliance or any other organization.
  3. Teaching and studio insurance may be obtained without Yoga Alliance (or any other) registration.

Registration is Not Accreditation or Certification

Definitions

  • Accreditation = the action of officially recognizing someone as having a particular status or being qualified to perform a particular activity, or the acknowledgement of a  person’s responsibility for or achievement of something
  • Certified = officially recognized as possessing certain qualifications or meeting certain standards
  • Registered = entered or recorded on an official list or directory

Yoga Alliance is a Registry

Yoga Alliance does not certify yoga teachers nor does it provide accreditation of trainers or training schools.

The YA registry amounts to a digital rubber stamp or paid advertising. – J. Brown

  • Yoga Alliance is a registration service.
  • A registration is an “official list or directory.” Registration does not mean “approved,” “certified” or “accredited.”
  • In the case of RYS (registered yoga school), a trainer completes an application and submits a fee. If the application is accepted, the trainer may use a YA logo, receive group discounts on some purchases, and access video workshops.
  • Trainers are required to pay $240 annually and re-apply every three years.

Problem

  1. Yoga Alliance has come to be known in the public eye as a standard bearer for yoga teachers in the United States – in effect, a stamp of legitimacy.
  2. However, from 1999 to 2019, Yoga Alliance registered teachers without actually requiring knowledge or competency standards.
  3. The new standards announced to take effect February 2020 will not be measured or enforced by Yoga Alliance. Rather, Yoga Alliance charges trainers with responsibility for teacher competency while offering little in the way of resources or support to do so. Instead, they require a burdensome application process with demanding documentation requirements, fees and processing time.

Outcomes

  1. It’s a verifiable fact that being on the Yoga Alliance registry has no relationship to teaching competency. Any value provided by the list must therefore be in perceived legitimacy and market value. We must presume that legitimacy and market value is based on a misperception that Yoga Alliance “certifies” teachers and that Yoga Alliance recognition has some relationship to teaching competency or professionalism.
  2. The Yoga Alliance registry categorizes all teachers by a few “levels” based entirely on hours accounted through Yoga Alliance bureaucracy. This hours-based model is a shameful misrepresentation of actual teaching competency which is unrelated to the bureaucratic requirements. As such, teachers with few skills are represented in the Yoga Alliance registry as being on par with far more capable, even elite, teachers.
  3. The knowledge of highly qualified teachers is unrecognized within the Yoga Alliance system. These teachers are instead burdened with an hours-based bureaucracy that depletes their time and finances that presumably could be used in legitimate pursuits of study and teaching.
  4. Teachers and continuing ed providers who have received such “credentials” as RYT and E-RYT have been less impacted by the Yoga Alliance burdens than those who apply to be on the trainer registry (RYS) which incurs much greater fees and paperwork requirements.

Moving Forward: Your Options

  1. Consider whether you wish to perpetuate the false narrative that Yoga Alliance registry is in any way related to competency or legitimacy. In other words, every time an organization states that they or their teachers are “certified by,” “accredited with” or “approved by” Yoga Alliance, they are perpetuating a myth.
  2. Be aware that you are not required to register with Yoga Alliance and that you have alternatives.

Alternatives to Yoga Alliance registration include:

  1. Participate in existing certification programs such as Iyengar, Ashtanga or International Association of Yoga Therapists.
  2. Highlight your roots and education such as the Krishnamacharya lineage, Kripalu or Para Yoga-trained and so on.
  3. Create your own certification process. In other words, if you teach ABC Method, you can certify that your teachers are qualified to teach the ABC Method.
  4. Develop or choose alternative registration services.
  5. A volunteer board is discussing ideas for moving forward. If you would like to participate, please email Coleman.
  6. Due to the advisement and request of trainers, Yoga Teacher Central will launch an accreditation service  on Nov 1st as one option for trainers to choose from.

For more information on Yoga Alliance alternatives, see:

Registration, Certification, Accreditation: Why You Don’t Need to Pay the Yoga Alliance Fees

Source – BYTA FB Group

Yogi Selects – Niara.zai

Every so often a brave yogi steps up and shares a little bit about their practice. Sometimes they give us a spoonful other times a buffet of experience. Either way the pleasure is ours to read below! Yogi SelectorNiara.zai

Toe stands are my weakness, What can you learn from the things that you are not strong or good at? 

 

Through my journey of seeking self love and learning more about myself I learned that I normally wouldn’t try things that I didn’t think I would be good at. Realizing this opened my eyes to so many things I was missing out on because I was simply afraid to fail or look stupid. So I now look at those difficult things that I before didn’t think I would be good at and now think “what is the first step to getting there” or “what are some variations that can help build my strength and confidence before going there?” For instancespending time in figure four pose and its many variations will eventually give you what you’re looking for with toe stands and you probably won’t even realize it. 

 

If the human body was a garden which plant would you place near your heart? 

 

Probably daffodils. Daffodils are perennials meaning once they bloom they can survive in many seasons. Although daffodils can survive in many seasons they also thrive in sunlight just like myself. 

 

What difference are there doing yoga with people in comparison to doing yoga by yourself?

Yoga with people brings a community feeling, everyone focusing on their own personal goals but confident enough to share their practice with their peers. I’ve also notice that when I practice with people and in a studio I’m more confident with trying the more difficult poses than when I’m practicing alone

Have you had any meditative like experiences that are hard to explain?

Yes my first time meditating with crystal I felt as if I entered a different world in my mind. If that makes senses 

Share one of your most profound/wise thoughts

This is something my dad always told me and my sister growing up “when you are thirsty you drink water” of course I took me until my adult age when I actually stopped drinking juice that I understood what he meant literally. As of lately I’ve been thinking of this phrase not so literally. We often indulge in all the things we want and not necessarily the things our body and mind may need. The things that bring us only temporary satisfaction when we should indulge more into the things that my heal us.

What fascinates you most about yoga currently and do you have any goals in mind mentally or physically?

What fascinates me most is How something that can be very physical is still calming for the mind, and how yoga is literally built for all ages and body types. I’m almost finished with 200hr YTT so one of my goals is finishing of course and sharing yoga with the world. My ultimate goal is bring yoga to more youth communities.

If you could teach a yoga class underwater what would be the dress requirements for the mermaid yogis?

Considering that I’m always naked I’d probably encourage my students to come in just their skin. Our body’s are temples, art, and so much more. Body positivity and feeling comfortable in your body is very important to me.

 

What was your first memory?

Not sure if it’s my first memory but I always have flashbacks of walking down the hallway on the first day of Pre-K. Not sure why.

 

Has yoga made an impact on your diet or do yoga eat what you normally find tasty? 

Yoga has definitely made an impact on my diet because it has allowed me to love my body so now I try really hard to take care of body.

Is there anything you would like to share with the readers of infocus247.com 

 

Self love is the best love! Namaste. 

 

 

Yogi Selects – Catherine Dawn Yoga

When I put up the call for Yogi Selects I had a feeling I would get some good feedback! The summer time always opens people up to share a little more about themselves. @Catherine_Dawn_Yoga reached out and after much delay on my end I delivered a questionnaire she sent it back with everything we could ask for!  
If you could form thoughts solely on anything other than words what would it be and why?
If I could form thought solely on anything other than words it would be sensation. It is actually my current meditation practice. All thought stems from emotion; emotion stems from sensation; sensation a result of chemical reaction. If we could witness the thought that is attached to the sensation we can undo past patterns and create new ones.
We are overstimulated and have too much external input. People have lost the ability to use a lot of our senses because we are so disconnected from the natural world and stillness. It’s time to reclaim the lost knowledge.
What is your first memory?
When I was about 3 or 4 I used to sit in my mother’s room in Brooklyn. I could hear the church bells ringing because we lived across the street from the church. I would sit in her mirror with my face pressed close and examine how my pupils and iris’ opened and closed. I used to think about how I got here and who made me and if someone made me who made them.
How can one distinguish the difference between intelligence and intuition?
I suppose this question is similar to the question of  knowledge and wisdom.
Intelligence: We can learn something from books or from a teacher and rationalize things based on information and perhaps similar experience which would allow for inference.
Intuition: For some it comes more naturally than others. Intuition is a result of being fully present and paying attention to sensation. The sensation you receive contains the wisdom which one might describe as intuition. It may be the case that some can really harness/sharpen intuition that might come naturally with intentional focus allowing it to be less of a phenomena and more of a tool.
I’ve never been on a silent retreat? Can you share an experience that you may never forget from the 12 day Vipassana course
Vipassana is like a science experiment with your own psyche. 12 days. 9.5 days you cannot talk , gesture or look at another person except your teacher during set times to ask questions about the method and emergencies to the program manager. 2 vegetarian meals a day (last one at 11:30am) and 10 hours of meditation per day. There are breaks in between.
After the 9.5 days of silence with no external input all the participants were very excited to talk and connect. It was really beautiful but people became a bit overwhelmed. Schedules were forgotten and food went uneaten. Some could not sleep that night, others had headaches and I myself experienced spasms in my stomach muscles that evening. It was interested to observe how external input manifests in our bodies and our behaviors.
At one point during the Vipassana we saw a bear within 3 feet of us. We were all quite calm after days of 10 hours of meditation.I managed to communicate with the other attendees to move back into their cabins by signing and the bear passed without getting agitated. He was really just curious but if we had screamed the situation might have manifested quite differently.
Have you had any lucid yoga related dreams while sleeping?

I have had lucid dreams related to my path and intertwined with people who I have met along my yogic path. I have found lucid dreaming a powerful tool in gaining messages from the subconscious. Yogic meditation is not that far off from lucid dreaming when you tap into different practices.

Does life have a way of putting you in the right place at the right time? If so how can you realize that in the moment versus retrospectively?

 

I think it does. There are little details we can begin to notice as time goes on, some people call them synchronicities or messages from higher self. If you begin to follow them and trust it is like cracking the code but it is harder than it sounds. We often have self limiting beliefs that interfere. But that is why practices like yoga are key.
If there was one question you can have answered about the mysteries of life what would the question be?
How can we create harmony without disrupting the beauty of natural chaos and unpredictability?
I am always dancing with this question.
Has yoga help improve your running routine? If so how?
I don’t run as often as I used to but it certainly helped to improve my running. I started practicing yoga during a time where I was running in races and doing bootcamp like workouts. It helped me to better control my breath and also my focus during longer runs. On long runs the monkey mind starts to kick in and you sometime will hear yourself telling you to give up but you have to override it and keep going. Yoga give you specific ways to do that. Mantra, picking a focal point, imagining an object etc.
In which ways can poetry help translate the feelings yoga can provide?
Yoga and poetry are not different to me. Whether I am practicing yoga or writing I am connecting with a higher source. The ego gets lost in both practices. I sometimes use poetry to translate the revelations I receive in the yogic practices; It’s connecting to spirit and creating word.
So many blessing and good things ! Keep creating godly things!
Best,
Catherine

You can follow Catherine on her journey via Instagram 

Kemetic Ka Ba Ra System

Kemetic Ka Ba Ra System

“Mastery of Passion allows divine thought and action.”

This chapter is about the Sefer Ba Ra (seven souls of Ra), also known as the Arats or Cows, through which the life-force energy (Sekhem or Chi) flows from the Self and sustains consciousness and ones being. The Life-force moves through the Sefer Ba Ra with the intention, direction, and focus of Consciousness itself.

Without the Sefer Ba Ra there would be no multiplicity, levels, or nature to existence: there would be only singular non-dual existence with no expression. It allows for the expression of individual existence and spiritual energy to be used for sexual energy to allow beings to interact with one another through a individual mind and body. Consciousness is the tool which the Self uses to create and interact with itself in the form of Creation.

Already you can see from this small paragraph that there is much more to an individual being then what is normally known; most people understand life to be about acquiring possessions, relationships, having children, etc, without knowing why, how, or who “I Am”. This is part of how creation operates. When there is a shift in the individuals intention through introspection or insight into Self, the direction and focus of consciousness shifts, sexual energy transforms back into spiritual energy and the individual is lead to self-realization and yogic union with the NTR / Ntru.

The Sefer Ba Ra are seven energy centers through which consciousness operates and exists in time and space. This is also represented by the Seven Cows of HetHeru through which the Single Bull of Amun reproduces life. The first three steps (1-3) are the most readily understood by the average person.

For example, the first step represents the idea of being an individual person who must eats, drinks, thinks, and acts, to survive and enjoy life. The second step represents the idea of being an individual person who must have sexual experiences, sensory pleasures, relationships, and desires in order to enjoy life. The third step represents the idea of being an individual person who must assert their will-power, assert their individual identity (ego), and act as an individual in the world to enjoy life. These three levels are the ordinary levels of an earthly being and many people do not grow past these levels of consciousness.

The steps show consciousness centers, and each carries with it a level of experience and development in which the consciousness interacts with creation as an individual being. This means for example that a persons second step (sensory consciousness) may have developed an experience of pleasure derived for a specific sensory pleasure (example: chocolate), and when the consciousness desires pleasure the second step might exert energy on the individual to pursue chocolate.

To acknowledge that one who cleanses the first three Cows understands, I will now give a new way of looking at the normal consciousness levels as they operate through an enlightened mind.

The first level becomes; “I am not an individual, I am the eternal The NTR and I am provided by self, even if I don’t eat or drink and my body decays, I will not die, thus I do not need to fight to survive.” The second level becomes; “sexual energy is only a manifestation of the spiritual life-force coming from my true self, thus I do not have to pursue sexual experiences, relationships, desires, or actions, in order to survive and enjoy life.” Third level becomes; “I am not the body or mind, thus I am selfless, thus I act selflessly and do not have to assert my individual will or interest, or act as an individual, in order to live and enjoy life.”

In order to experience the higher levels(4-7) one must, through Smai Tawi (spiritual yogic practices) and Shedi (spiritual intelligence through study), begin to understand themselves to be more than an individual human who experiences only birth, disease, old age, and death. The pressure of individuality makes it impossible for a person to realize their higher consciousness levels. For that reason they cannot be broken down in the same way as the first three were above, because the average person would not be able to understand that level of consciousness intellectually. This book is designed to show one how to heal, open, and harmonize, which leads to attaining above average physical and mental health as well as spiritual enlightenment.

Over-View Of: The Kemetic Life-Force Energy Teachings

At a number of temples The Ntr Khnum is seen creating seven Ka for the Per Ahh (Pharaoh). These seven aspects of the personality (Ka) represent the seven chakras, the seven endocrine glands, the seven aspects and instincts of creation existing within an individual and creation itself.

These are: survival (adrenals), Generation (Gonads), nourishment (the spleen), nurturing (the thymus), conscious development (the thyroid), creativity (the pituitary), and aspiration for unconditioned experience (the pineal).

Sefer Ba Ra- Cows – and Glands are three different ways to describe the same thing. The glands are the most important aspect of the body and are largely misunderstood. The glandular system is responsible for secreting hormones that regulate the body’s development (Youth, Puberty, and Old Age), that trigger sexual energy fertility and reproduction.

If these glands are working properly the body is healthy or if there is an obstruction then there is illness. The glands if obstructed, are blocked by pus or mucus, known in ancient Kemet as Ukhudu. It must be understood that this obstruction arises due to an even more subtle mental obstruction in consciousness, these obstructions are related to what are called “fetters” “sins” or “negative yoke”, and are related to intense greed, lust, anger, hate, resentment, etc.

Obstruction of these glands can result in subtle or gross (physical) disease and mental imbalances. If the glands are balanced one will have Life, Vitality, and Health, and if they are obstructed one will be susceptible to mental or physical disease.

egypt book of the dead | Egyptian Hieroglyphics Book of ...The purification of the glands opens new levels of consciousness, heighten the senses, and enable physical and mental expansion. This allows a person to turn disease into health, lethargy into vitality, and confusion and agitation into clarity and lucidity.

When a gland is imbalanced through blockage or impurity, it [causes] less energy (Sekhem) to flow through the body, this causes physical and mental impairment, which limits expansion in consciousness in the mental-physical chakra consciousness which is impaired. To understand this you can look at it as a lamp. If the wire has an obstruction anywhere in it, this can weaken the light from the bulb or causes no electricity to pass from the socket to the bulb. The socket is the Self (the source of energy), the mental- physical consciousness which exists in the spine is the wire (conduit for electricity), and the bulb is the light and activation of the mind.

Those whose centers are unopened or impure, generally move in life toward physical and mental ignorance and negativity, get themselves into negative situations they could have avoided or prevented; feel, think, and act ignorantly and carelessly, and live a self-destructive or unfulfilling life.

A person whose centers are opened and they are pure, generally are moving in life toward physical and mental knowledge and mindfulness, get themselves into liberating situations in life, and feeling think and act in an enlightened and healthy manner. This showcases how the energy of the supreme being works to support the pure and destroy the impure, without judgement, through each individuals own Sefer Ba Ra and Sekhem, according to that individuals actions in this lifetime.

Actions can either purify a person of negative karma and work to open the centers, or actions can strengthen bad karma and work to imbalance them. This chapter will show you how to work with your  Sefech Ba Ra and open them to experience the highest vibration of consciousness, which creates life, vitality, and health within an individual. Each Sefer Ba Rais a Consciousness unto itself. This means that as the consciousness shifts from the different levels through the day and through life, the consciousness level at that stage results in different levels of feeling, thought, and action, inspired by different aspects of consciousness.

The purpose of life is not to gain desired mental or physical experiences, but to reach a higher consciousness in order to experience unlimited oneness, expansion, fulfillment, inner peace, and happiness.

Positive Development

Each of the Sefer relates to aspects of life and consciousness which are to be mastered through Self. The manifestations of particular levels in life require you to experience, so as to master the experience. This brings a return to ones whole basis and nature and this occurs through the activation of harmonizing of the 7 Ba Ra with Ma’at (Truth and Harmony.) This is the positive and correct movement of purifying the Sefer. One should gain a greater oneness with the 42 precepts and the teachings of Ma’at and practice of MaaKheru.

Negative Development

Disease occurs when energy does not move freely and purely up the spine to the crown or from the physical world back to the causal realm (Self). First what occurs is physical disease or dis-ease which blocks the energy through either a dormant or active disease, or disharmonious feelings thoughts and actions (toxic character, personality, or lifestyle). This causes Sekhem to be blocked at particular levels as it moves up the spine. It is blocked by dormant or active mental disease due to impure mental impressions, conditioning, and attachments. This movement effectively blocks pure connection with the self. One should cease practice until they can redirect themselves to a higher pursuit and endeavor and resolve to overcome their ignorant conditioning, impressions, and attachments.

The Sefer — The Consciousness – The Realms of Existence

The Sefer are consciousness centers or conduits and realms of existence through which consciousness moves. They represent all of the consciousness levels as well as the levels of the Ta, Duat, and Pet Realm. Thus the Sefer and the consciousness encompass the path and attainment of Self-Realization and Self-Mastery, enlightenment, and ascension.

Sefer 7 – unconscious mind – Pet Realm
Sefer 6-4 — Subconscious – Duat Realm
Sefer 3-1 – Conscious – Ta Realm

 

Read the full article here at SevenWorlds 

Yoga, Rosa Parks and Mental Health Awareness

Rosa Parks practicing yoga at an event.” 1973 March. Image courtesy of Library of Congress, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Visual Materials from the Rosa Parks Papers, [LC-DIG-ppmsca-58369]. Photo used with permission of the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development.
In the 2015 Library of Congress exhibit, “Beyond the Bus: Rosa Parks’ Lifelong Struggle for Justice,” photographs include documentation of Parks supporting Shirley Chisholm’s 1972 presidential campaign. This exhibit also reveals that “the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement” was an advocate for mental and public health. When I recently discovered the previously unpublished 1973 picture of “Rosa Parks practicing yoga at an event” in the LOC digital archive, I recognized it is a poignant illustration of how Black women’s healing traditions are historical, spiritual, creative, and political. Revealing the Rosa Parks yoga picture publicly for the first time  underscores the ability of Black women’s historians to inform national efforts like Minority Mental Health Awareness Month (July) while also bolstering vital community health work of organizations such as the Black Yoga Teachers Alliance.

At a similar time as the LOC exhibit, twenty of Rosa Parks’ nieces and nephews released a book honoring her life and commemorating what would have been her 100th birthday. In the collection, Our Auntie Rosa: The Family of Rosa Parks Remembers her Life and Lessons, both a niece (Sheila McCauley Keys) and nephew (Asheber Macharia) recount Parks accompanying them to yoga class as well as cultivating her own private practice. They wrote,

I came to realize Auntie Rosa had interests that not too many people knew about. Her receptiveness always left me pleasantly surprised. This was especially true when she decided to join us at yoga classes. She really enjoyed it. … (Macharia)

Well into her senior years she has only recently begun practicing yoga. Splendid silver hair gives her away as the oldest student in most of the classes she occasionally attends with family, but she doesn’t care. She’s reached a point when she considers herself a student of life. … Eventually, she learns the movements and yogic principles well enough to practice alone in her home. She’ll answer the door wearing yoga pants…. (McCauley Keys)

Yoga’s popularity in the United States increased exponentially in the 1970s and ample research links yoga practice to decreased anxiety and depression. African American women, disproportionality impacted by social stressors, also have a long history of yoga awareness and practice.

In her appeal to Congress for mental health support, Henson noted that religious communities often suggest we “pray away” problems. Rosa Parks, a Deaconess at the AME Church in Detroit, personifies the possibility of incorporating a holistic health approach to personal and community health in Black spaces. Yoga was incorporated into programming at the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development, founded in 1987, and is still taught there in several forums. Fittingly, yoga is also a routine activity at the Rosa Parks Elementary School in San Francisco, California. As health professionals begin to prioritize restorative and preventative public policy that includes practices like yoga, they can turn to historical examples for support and proof of efficacy.

Mental health-centered practices include and extend beyond self-care routines. Angela Davis, who wrote about her yoga and meditation practice while imprisoned for her political activism the 1970s, is one of many voices that rightly cautions against “individual” conceptions of self-care. Long-time advocates like Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI) founder Byllye Avery clearly state the need for community building around self-care discussions as a form of consciousness raising. For over forty years, public health educators like BWHI in Washington, D. C. and Center for Black Women’s Wellness in Atlanta, GA have trumpeted education about self-care practices as crucial tools for mental health and advocacy groups like No More Martyrs and Black Ladies in Public Health continue to push in that direction forward.

Source – Truth.AbwH

Why We Do Yoga 2

In this chapter of Why we do Yoga, I travel to a few new places to find out the reasons and ways people do yoga. Familiar faces and new encounters lead me through a slew of changes plans but graceful adjustments. Watch as one connection leads to another from Martinique all the way back to Atlanta and a few places in between. Luck and coincidence carried me through this one. Look forward to the next soon enough. Peace 

The list of Yogis keeps growing but you can find most of the people seen in this one on Instagram

@EyeFocus
@SlyviaDESROSES Yogi / Translator 
@TheMartinicianWayOfLife
@PintsizeNurse Yogi
@NakeeshaSmith Yogi 
@MaatPetrova Fitness Wellness Coach 
@Allthingscoyia Yogi Mommy
@ReignGlobal Artist 
@HadiiyaBarbel Lifestyle Empowerment
@Theiridescentgoddess Yogi 
@LittleMsDaisha Yogi 
@Yirser Yogi 
@Quoom Drummer
@Doomzday_1 Drummer 
@Raine.Supreme Yogi 
@BluetreasurePhotography Yogi / Photo
@Yoga_Bay Yogi 
@KindredSpiritCR Equine Therapist / Yogi
Corrine Aulakh Equine Therapist / Yogi
@MovingArtExperience
@TheOmBrunch
@LifeisArt_Films Yogi 

@Aminabina
@By_Elr Yogi
@IamReneeWatkins Yogi  
@YogaPlayground Yogi 
@Dade2Shelby Yogi 
@Bri.Simpson Artist 
Cristian Taxi Costa Rica 

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