Archive for the ‘Yoga’ Category

“Slowing Down with the Two-Step and Yoga”

A dear friend, the one who meets me in the smile space and manages to give me karmic kicks in the butt without ever leaving a boot print, wants me to teach him how to two-step. It’s an odd request, as folks typically ask for yoga lessons or Ayurvedic consults. However there was a time in my life when I used to regularly do the two-step, tripping the cowboy lights fantastic at a western bar named Lucille’s. (more…)


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Off the Grid and On the Mat

Last week a dear one was away for the week surfing in Mexico. It wasn’t until a few days after he left when I texted him, and did not receive a reply that I realized he was off the grid. Being accustomed to exchanging texts almost daily, it felt weird to suddenly be unable to connect with him.

At first glance, I found myself dancing the twist and shout with the Ego mind (imagine the Elaine Benes dance on Seinfeld) because I felt disconnected from my friend. As the Santa Ana winds blew through Santa Barbara, I watched my vata dosha get all wonky (one of the haha gunas) and the next thing I knew, I was feeling lonely and insecure about being out of touch with this dear one. It only lasted a few minutes, but the feeling got my attention. Where the attention goes, prana goes…and the desire to understand such a sudden and irrational feeling. So I asked myself, “why does this feel like such a big deal and what is there to learn from this situation?” (more…)

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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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dharmic collisions

Require karmic revisions

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