In raw nature we are exposed only to purity, harmony and life as creation intended. In darkness or in light, in birth or in death, nature is beautiful, balanced and full of vitality.
There is a time for blossoming with colour, for bearing fruit and for dancing wildly with the spirit of creation. There is a time for pattern, ritual and rhythm, for sustained balance and spreading our wings wisely…..and there is time for restoration, for quiet reflection and regrounding to life’s bare foundations.
Our cycles turn hourly, daily, monthly, seasonally…..even the great eras of time follow such a path. Rooted and wired into our very being, natural cycles and systems must be tuned into – inside to out, mind to body, spirit to place, home to garden, waking to sleep – for our well-being.
The body is a vehicle for the individual soul, enabling the diversity that comes with each unique perspective. The cosmos is the vehicle for the collective, an explosion of potential. We must nourish the body naturally and the mind wisely, to paint the cosmos in all its glory, from the inside out.
I wrote this a few years ago – and really needed to hear it myself this long winter (2017/18) – breathing through the snow, nearly there!
“Here in Bristol winter has finally taken its hold, the cold invites us to withdraw and we are ready for this important season of slowing down, of introspection and reaching out for the primal comfort of nourishing warmth. When the bravado of the summer fruit has been stripped away, we are left with a vulnerability and a confrontation with the facets of ourselves and the world at large, that need work; the burning off of those habitual thought patterns and their subsequent actions, that bring only further chaos, stress and confusion to our lives.
Ironically, though the natural instinct of winter is to slow down, the world around us keeps charging forwards; bills to be paid, pipes to be fixed, mouths to be fed, causes to be fought! We are all in conflict – the body and soul yearn for stillness yet the pressures of material life mount ever higher on the mind. How do we find the balance we need – to remain focused on keeping our lives and the planet in harmony and not spiraling out of control – whilst allowing in the vulnerability of nature, naked in the winter cold, accepting the need for support and for stopping, if even for a moment?
Herein lies the key; moment by moment, little by little, breath by breath. The world will not end if we cannot deliver a demand right now and if we focus all at once on every demand expected (usually by ourselves!), we may seize up in suffocation and cease to function. We need to take a moment between each moment, slip out to backstage to open the window, take a deep, slow breath of cold, fresh air and notice how proudly the trees bare their strong and flexible forms, without the adornment of the transient leaf.
Each breath fuels the subsequent thought and hence the subsequent action; but without an awareness of the quality of that breath, our shallow inhalations – clouded with frustration, anxiety and exhaustion – cannot possibly lead to positive outcome. As we turn our focus inwards and follow the spiral of life towards the core, we see the whole from a quieter perspective, but the whole remains – in the full, dynamic equilibrium of creation. The experience of contraction is to prepare again for a new expansion; rebirth with wisdom gained and sweeter fruit to bare.
We do not stop, we cannot stop, life flows! The structures and frameworks we build will wear and may collapse or be torn down but each time we rebuild with added experience and maturity; then those structures provide more to those they support, the house becomes a home! Within each grand cycle is an infinity of cycles, each experiencing the same journey of death and rebirth, night and day. We cannot contract forever into the warm, protective cocoon – the womb that prepares new life – the cycle is relentless! The body will always snap us back from our meditation – with a pang of hunger, a ringing phone, the baby waking – having taken our moment, clear focus and calm action follow without effort. Life flows; we build up, we break down, we build stronger, we stand firmer, we endure longer….. we forever expand our capacity to give more….. and the beauty of nature’s spiral ensures that our efforts are rewarded with ever richer fulfillment.
Don’t travel alone, we all have our hours of triumph and our periods of despair – the more we share of these as one living family, the brighter our joy and stiller, more reflective our sorrow! Connect, come together, share, listen and feel each others’ journey – our paths may appear different but our inner stories are the same. Be naked, unafraid of the harsh, cold wind, under the surface our roots are all entwined, we hold together as one. Seek warm refuge in togetherness, shelter each other. In solitude there can be no stability, no deep foundation and no mirror to witness our fragile falling leaves, the smooth contours of our bark, our skin….. and the beauty of life that lies within.”
Embodying Yoga…..Union…..Dynamic Equilibrium!!!
Ayurvedic Yoga Massage, Somatic Kriya Flow & Soma Journeying
I see and feel Yoga, as the science of Life, and the art of living!
Science is really, focused study, rational discernment. Union?…..is realisation of oneness, which you only come to as an embodied experience, after passing through the hall of mirrors, where we see in reflections, the infinite diversity of life – the beauty in ‘separation’ in ‘separateness’, in unique offerings and both Self and self identity, I and i!!! But as yogis, seekers, spiritual practitioners, it has been all too easy for too long, to float in realms of lofty transcendence. To integrate all of our knowing, we must act on our own advice – all the advice we would give ourselves when we self-psychoanalyse, which we all have a natural capacity for (some call it the negative ego, a mirror, a catching mechanism) – and on all our intuitions/gut feelings. The word Guru means ‘that which guides us to light’ – Inner Teacher!
When we ‘transcend’ something, we view it from above, we have transitioned through an event horizon and are blessed with more self awareness, higher perspective. We cultivate this practice, we are firmly on the path! But wherever shadow lies (only because light has not been shone there) subconscious behaviour comes through; often automatic, programmed by the karmic conditioning which we all go through, born into this realm – wherever we have come from. This behaviour is woven with these karmic threads, not just from our own life-time but our life-stream, and our greater selves, ancestral twines, societal minds, history’s and archetypal pain. If you’ve seen the beautiful film Kirikou, you’ll know what happens when the thorn (the pain – caused in the past but manifesting in the present) is removed from the base of the sorceress’ spine!!!
The process of embodiment is about finding heaven and weaving it down to root deep into the Earth, where it meets itself. Shining the light of concentrated focus onto areas of shadow that, we can see from our higher perspective, need work – or the universe having its way and catalysing you into the right reflections, facing yourself. Not reacting to the emotions that arise but surrendering to the feeling they invoke, however uncomfortable – this is really hard, really really hard! But sit with feelings we must, til we know them intimately for only then can we release them without residue.
Trapped emotion builds up in the body/mind as tension and manifests as disEase, physiological and mental. The key to releasing emotion (to healing) is recognition of the body/mind as inseparable, two sides of the same coin. In fact we see clearly how this is, because we get that, about the whole of creation…the oneness thing!!! So whatever is going on in the mind is visible in the body and vice versa! Somatics, put simply, is body and mind as one. But the wind and waves of time and the laws/temperance of creation herself have polarised our souls, our Soul, in infinite opposites, the dance of life; Sun-Moon, Yin-Yang, leftbrain-rightbrain. When we are viewing from a place of polarisation, duality rules the dance, and my she loves to dance!
When we drop into the Heart space, we become Whole. The dance continues but this is the only place/space that is free of time – unconditional love, is the only quality that casts no shadow. But when the light shines brightly, we may be blinded to the beauty of the Body, of the Earth and all its muddy glory….. unless we are in it, in remembrance, in present awareness. Meditation that sends you into a ‘higher’ space, disconnected from the body is wonderful – fly free! But like the white dove from the hand of Noah, be sure to bring back the olive leaf, plant it in the heart and tend to the body/mind with care; so the healing waters can subside, having cleansed the energies, and solid new ground can arise – rich and fertile. The elements can realign, in Bounty, Beauty, Bliss!!! Life tends towards natural prosperity!
Kriya, is Soul Action, Soul Culture! Kri is really the body part, in fact Kriya and Soma (body/mind) are very similar expressions of Truth. Words/sounds with profoundly imprinted timeless wisdom, treasure troves of mysterious deep exploration. Ya is the Soul, the quintessential self we don’t necessarily see, but from where we feel. The truer, wiser us, the whole expansion of the mindspace, and the body from where all experience arises and passes through. Kriya is the alchemy, the healing medicine that manifests organically through focused/concentrated integration of all the branches/faculties/fibres/qualities of the Yoga Tree. For alchemy the exact proportions of the elements, the medicine tools, is required. This state arises spontaneously, when the stars align and the winds blow with the spirals of time, healing waters transitioning us (shedding skin – unpeeling layers – lifting veils); we just need to do the work!!! The Philosopher’s Life!
Kriya Yoga and its Kundalini younger sibling, is the way of the householder. Where it once silently embraced the blood wisdom of Ancient Feminine Culture, it now openly expresses her – as we land into the Aquarian Age (some hard, some softly!). The simple, somatic, body/mind pillars and practices of Kriya are of Tantric essence: spinal focus, dynamic/pranayamic meditation, sensual awareness though pratyhara (sense withdrawal), sound/mantra, heart centeredness, recognition of and devotion to lineage and currents that flow from ascended masters, carrying us home – balancing into Non-Duality!…..and RELAXATION, the Master of Masters!!! For it is here we transform, it is here that we find our way to surrender into feeling, however difficult, however painful. It’s from here we can shine a light, direct a torch, a beacon, into the dark, muddy water where life has become stagnant and energy needs to flow.
Ayurveda is the natural, earth medicine arisen from the Indian Continent. Yoga massage takes place on the mat, the ground, the earth – using medicine tools I have gathered, this short life and many before, some of which naturally arise and may not be in my conscious present knowing while I work. I create a space where you can be seen, by me, and by yourself, without judgement. A space to relax into your raw human self, to feel your way into your own body – my hands, feet, body and guidance providing that catalytic connection, for cathartic/healing release. Stillness in motion!!! I smudge you in and we get to work, cellular BodyWork; for the blissful Soma (the Body/Mind oneness) to arise, engagement is required. We drift, we expand, we travel in the mindspace – we return to the Breath! Return to the Heart, return to the Body, listen, let her lead, let her dance, let her feel, She knows!!! She flows!!!
So Somatic Kriya Flow (SKF) is a healing pratice of engaged, intuitive yoga and free movement, working with Asanas (seats) of yogic practice/principle and woven/scattered with Yogic/Sattvic philosophy/artistry/poetry!!! It’s a dance, it’s your dance, your Yoga, arising from within – your unique movement medicine.
Ayurvedic Yoga Massage (AYM), with intuitive pranic healing/ReiKi, is powerfully healing – if you’re coming from the Heart space and open to both receive and give!
Soma Journeying combines SKF and AYM and it’s here the most profound magic occurs, in togetherness, intimacy with a partner, Soul Sis/Bro Star, or select few. Transcend, integrate, embody, connect – feel alive – know your divinity – be the change!
See you in the journey/destination with the Earth underfoot and Stars overhead 🙂