Class Notes: Mind Blowing Stuff
Those of you who come regularly to class probably have a good idea already of my interest in Neuroscience, Molecular Biology and Philosophy as well as Yoga and of course my corporate-driven interest in Technology. What's exciting now is that these fields are converging with scientific interest peaking in the field of conciousness research. This is leading to significant advances in the modern day understanding of ancient Yogic practices of pranayama and meditaiton in particular.
The purpose of our brain is to keep us alive. There are far too many inputs to process and so the brain will predict based on inputs we are programmed to be sensitive to - perhaps best described as controlled hallucination. Classical experiments you can google like the Rubber Hand Illusion show how easily the brain is fooled. We are fallible and malleable creatures and yet we don't realise this...
Axiety is at an all time high; 'not good enough' seems to be the default feeling for most people much of the time. Simply put we don't understand how we work. We take our physical being totally for granted and we think the baseline content of our brains is who we are. It only takes a couple of hours of reading to see how mistaken this approach to life is and how we end up in this disempowered state.
Check out the following podcasts:
Science Talk: Your Brain is So Easily Fooled
Waking Up with Sam Harris: Episode #113 Consciousness and the Self
TEDTalks Science and Medicine: Your Brain Hallucinates Your Conscious Reality
Put this all in the context of the 8 limbs of yoga and consider the first - Ahimsa - non violence. One of my favourite passages of the amazing J Krishnamurti - Freedom from the Known, pp 51-52:
Violence is not merely killing another.
It is violence when we use a sharp word, when we make a gesture to brush away a person, when we obey because there is fear.
So violence isn’t merely organized butchery in the name of God, in the name of society or country.
Violence is much more subtle, much deeper, and we are inquiring into the very depths of violence.
When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent.
Do you know why it is violent?
Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind.
When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence.
So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.
👀 The key points to take away from all this information is that YOU are the creator of your day to day reality - so be kind to yourself and make your experience good - the key to this is taking the radical stance of Self-Love.
🌟 Stop beating yourself up - stopping violence in the world starts with your relationship with you 🌟
🌟 Really ☺️ 🌟
🌟 Be your own best friend 🌟
It really is the best thing for everyone around you as well as you ☺️🌟💛🌟
New Weekend Workshops Coming Soon!
This is such a rich topic to explore, I've been pulling together what is now a series of workshops - mini urban retreats - to explore these toipics and share with you the tools and techniques that can free us from the misunderstandings about ourselves that hold us back.
I'm just finalising dates and venues and will be releaseing details soon - let me know if you're interested and also if there are any specific topics you'd like covered. Handstand drills anyone?!
New Meditation Taster Series - Thursday Nights!
Running on Thursdays - approximately fortnightly - we are offering a series of free meditation and gentle yoga classes. Meditation is another word for Brain Training and using these very simple techniques as part of a regular practice is - in my experience - the key to unlocking a better life, happier, with much less suffering (yours and those around you).
I'm partnering with two amazing meditation teachers that I have the pleasure to know. Between the three of us we have very different styles of meditation practice that are all equally effective, depending you your mind and / or the situation. I love the Tibetan practices of meditation, Sven is classically Buddhist trained but offers a range of interesting meditations and Esme is a truly remarkable lady who's energy work and meditations are life changing.
Keep an eye on our website for details!
Lastly but not least.....Home Practice Tips!
I've been greatly encouraged by one of you lovely yogis with whom I've been working 1-2-1 who has taken up a daily practice.
The trick is to keep it simple and commit to doing it pretty much every day:
Aim to practice for 15 mins a day - you can do more if/when you feel inspired
Remember to breath - this is the most powerful aspect of the practice - synchronise your breath and your movement
Below is a reminder of the simple warm up routine we use to start many of our classes which also serves a perfect, self contained 15 min practice:
Wind removing pose: Lie on your back, legs straight, pull one leg up to your armpit and clasp with both hands, breath deeply into your belly for 5 * optionally add a twist * swap and do the other side
Rock and roll along the length of your spine and transition to all fours
Cat - Cow *slowly*, take your time, add in s shapes, move your hips back and forward, looking to the sides, threading the needle, opening to the side, doing whatever you need to to move your entire back, every vertebrae, all the muslces, the entirety of the facscia, think about your wrists, hips and feet too
Do 3 rounds of sun salutations: there's a nice reminder here if you need one yogajournal.com/poses/ray-of-light
End with Savasana for a minimum of 1 minute, ideally 5 - set a timer and simply observe the breath, letting go of thoughts as they arise, focussing on the sensations in your body.
We'll add to this routine over the coming months ✌️if you have favourite poses you'd like featured, let me know!
Namaste - om lokah samasta sukinho bahvantu 🌟
Recognising you - may all beings everywhere be fulfilled, happy, healthy and free 💛