Archive for April, 2011

Note:  This is the second part of the article.  As I shared last week, this article was supposed to be a short piece.  But a nearby tree had something to share.  To read the first part, please go to http://www.kellenbrugman.wordpress.com

Photo by Michael Stern

And so the journey into the eight limbs of yoga and the life of trees continues.  During the past week, the trees in New Mexico have sprouted more leaves.  The neighborhood becomes greener and there are now shady respites along my dog walking route.  As I watch the trees, a sense of new beginnings crescendos with each new leaf.  As I’ve practiced on the mat, through each pose and each breath, I’ve also felt a sense of new beginnings.  Following are observations from the practice of doing yoga and watching trees.

4. Pranayama.  This is control of the breath and the vital life energy -the prana.  Pranayama calms the nervous system, and nourishes the lungs, heart and other vital organs.  It also soothes the mental body by balancing sattva, rajas and tamas in the mind.  From the moment we are born, we breathe non-stop until our death.  And at our death we leave this world escorted by the breath on an exhale.  Like us, trees during their lifetime are constantly breathing.  They inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen.  Their breathing is called photosynthesis.  Photosynthesis means “putting together with light.”  Sunlight is their catalyst for this divine transformation.  This light is the catalyst which ignites the trees agni.  Agni is the transforming energy of the fire element.  The tree’s agni transforms nutrients from the soil, water from rain, light from the sun and carbon dioxide from the air.  This transformation process creates nourishment, strength, growth and vitality in the tree.  It also creates oxygen for the environment.

Pranayama stokes the body and mind’s agni.  In the physical body, agni is the main digestive fire, as well as 39 other important agnis which occur in the 7 dhatus (tissues) all the way down to the cell nucleus.  According to the Vedas, the prana in the human body is a similar force as the sun in Nature.  (Resource: “Yoga and Ayurveda” by Dr. David Frawley).  Just as the sun transforms all life functions on Earth, prana transforms all life functions in the body.  Prana transforms the body and mind, as well as awakens the inner light of the Spirit.  Pranayama creates purification, rejuvenation, growth and expansion of the Spirit.  It helps one to go beyond the limitations and delusions of the body and mind.  The Light of the Divine is the source of all spiritual growth.  (more…)


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Note:  This is a two part article.  It was originally going to be a short piece explaining the eight limbs of yoga.  However, after beginning the article next to a tree in my garden, the tree had something to say too.  Hope you enjoy the piece…maybe even read it next to your favorite tree. 

It is springtime and nearly impossible to not notice the trees.  Being in hibernation the past few months, they are now awakening.  The light and warmth of the sun has called them out of their slumber.  They hear the sun’s call and reply with verdant green displays of life.  The trees and sun share a sacred relationship, one that embodies the power and beauty of agni – the energy of transformation.  Agni in Nature is amazing to observe.  In springtime, agni works as a force of creation.  This force of Nature is felt by all living creatures, as it is the season where flowers emerge from what was once silent ground and butterflies appear from the warm ethers.  During spring, animals mate, bees buzz, ants march, and peoples’ thoughts turn to romance and rejuvenation.  It’s also a wonderful time to experience transformation in ones yoga practice. (more…)

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for the mind.

Dosage:  Daily

Refills:  Each moment for Eternity.

Possible Side Effects:  Clarity, vitality, joy, pleasure, focus, compassion, bliss.

Cost:  Free

Insurance Plan:  Covered by the blessed assurance of the Divine.

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the mind will ruminate
tossing about fears
which the Ego juggles
with great pride.

the heart will illuminate
turning fear to love
which the Soul shines forth
with Divine grace.

ruminate or illuminate?
complicate or radiate?
never mind.
always…all ways…heart.


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