March 31, 2014

2 years of studio time pre-yoga teacher training recommended

When we love something, some of us get the urge to jump right in. I won't mention any names, but they have been referred to as, "I love you sluts" (film writer reference.)
Other's so delicately observe, taking each step with careful consideration, so deliberate and respectful. Less messy.

Philadelphia was just voted one of the most yoga friendly cities in the country. I'm inclined to agree.
After 15 years with Rodney Yee and my cozy home mat, which often gets lathered with shea butter instead of sweat, we have embarked on a new future with the yoga community in this city- even extending into my work with UPENN. Ivy League Yogi's are a special sort. Yoga is included in the Physical Therapy model in the cancer center.

Each class brings a new awareness of how much I am capable of, how far I have come and how far I have to go.

Teaching my very bendy toddlers, who are now far more advanced yogini's than myself, is an entirely different platform than what I will be embarking on in the future.
A room filled with strong minds, strong bodies and uplifted souls who will be looking for my guidance, my strength, my healing and my adjustments, to bring them deeper will require me to go deeper.

The Yoga Garden, is a few steps away from home. Among their prerequisites for training yoga teachers- two years of yoga classes in a formal studio setting prior to applying to their teacher training.
They also come recommended by the yoga and Advanced medicine community at Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine.

Today I decided I will be taking the advice to train for two years prior to applying to teach. As part of that training, strength training. 
Yoga is something that takes baby steps, "forces you to go slow into each transition" A. Holmes today as I was dripping buckets of sweat onto my mat, the floor, the blocks, the kind man beside me- just wanting to push through into butterfly...
This requires strength, fortitude, persistance, patience, breath, flexibility that elongates over time, all of a physical and spiritual nature. This practice is challenging and takes time to develop.
Among the other trainings out there, a four year school in the Iyenger style and a Mysore style training, which only exists in India.

I'll be embarking into my first Mysore, India Ashtanga class this week.
That is if I can get my ass out of bed with a butt cracking, 6:30 am start time; 
Disciplines of freedom.
You can also come in and out of this class, as you please, which I find inviting.
Mysore practice honors the flux of the moon, with yin yoga practices, which aim target at the ligaments and even fascia.
Considering I function along the patterns of the moon, I'm called to this practice.

For the next two years, I'll be training in order to practice.

March 30, 2014

Dr. Shivago- from temple art to healing art

Photo Credit: Nuad Phaen Boran, 
Physician to Buddha. Surgeon, healer and founder of Thai and ayurvedic medicinal modalities. Dr. Jivaka Kumarbhaccha's spirit and teachings guide us in this work, where we are asking of the greater powers to bring happiness and freedom from illness to the ones we touch. Thai practices are based on Buddhist principals. It's a meditative dance, a prayer with ones breathing we follow a divine master to make it work.

Wai Khru

The following prayer (or puja) is performed in a group setting by the Thai people before Thai massage trainings, and it's personally performed by the practitioner before and after each session. The intention of this prayer is to bring a higher, spiritual awareness to the sessions and to honor the spirit of the founders. Eighty percent of the prayer is written in Sanskrit and twenty percent in Pali. This prayer is chanted or sung to Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha or “Dr. Shivago”, a doctor from Northern India, who was a private physician to the Buddha. Thai massage therapists and instructors show their devotion and respect for Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha by reciting the Wai KhruKhru means “teacher”, and Wai Khru means “honoring the teacher”. His first name is mainly used in references and recitations, and the Thai people pronounce Jivaka as Shivago.

Wai Khru

Said three times:
Om namo Shivago silasa ahang karuniko
Sapasatanang osatha tipa-mantang papaso
Suriya-jantang gomalapato paka-sesi wantami
Bantito sumethasso alokha Sumani Homi
Said once:
Piyo-tewa manussanang piyo-poma namuttamo
Piyo-nakha supananang pinisiang nama-mihang
Namo-puttaya navon-navien nasatit-nasatien
Ehi-mama navien-nawe napai-tang-vien
Navien-mahaku ehi-mama piyong-mama
Said three times:
Na-a-na-wa lokha payati vina-santi

English Translation

We invite the spirit of our founder, the father doctor Shivago, who comes to us through his saintly life. Please bring to us the knowledge of all nature, which this prayer will show as the true medicine of the universe. In the name of this mantra, we respect your help and pray that through our bodies, you will bring wholeness and health to the body of our client. The Goddess of Healing dwells in the heavens high, while humankind dwells in the world below. In the name of the founder may the heavens be reflected in the world below so this healing medicine may encircle the world. We pray for the ones we touch, that they will be happy and illness will be released from them.

Sequence of a traditional thai treatment, 

March 22, 2014

Liver Yang Rising

Photo Credit:
Visit the link above for mantra meditation guidance
It's a part of Spring, but more than that for some who face an imbalance.

At the seat of any health issue is a lack of ease.
An emotional, psychological battle at the helm.
Resentment is a big obstacle for those facing disease. It can lead to the terminal, if not faced down harmoniously.

Issues with ones liver yang rising can lead to self medicating, which only exacerbates the issue facing your health, as well as the resentment.
It can be that your not feeding yourself right(what are you feeding?), or that you are harboring resentment among the many symptoms.

See below a link, for perhaps those Irish catholics that are working towards freedom, or those who just may have a bunch to be angry and resentful about.

With all of our scientific knowledge, our ancient medicinal modalities, our spiritual crusades, meditation remains the key to health, happiness and wholeness. Without it, nothing is possible. With it, everything is possible. It's the one super power that we all have. Now use it.

Diet guidelines for liver yang rising, take control of the heat.

March 20, 2014

Don't forget your daily rub downs!

Photo Credit:

Scoop up a hearty handful of shea butter, coco butter, argan oil a dash of vetiver whatever you like, and rub it everywhere. Be particularly mindful not to forget your digits with intention placed on the areas above for an extra release. 

The most exciting part about learning to teach yoga, for me, are the possibilities it opens. Smudge some sage, or lemongrass during the class, a bit of thai yoga massage for the athletes, ayurveda for the spirits, a few drops of advice on our nutrition- an area we all need gentle reminding about. All of this will assist our ligaments in loosening, our lives in lengthening and our love increasing. I look forward to sending a room full of souls out into the universe brighter than before. Expected Graduation date, Feburary.


March 19, 2014

Loving ourselves more


Shower Yoga- Out of the mind into the body

Out of the body into the soul.

Building up sequences and being sure to release all thought and let the body descend,
can take place in a hot shower. Steam it up and feel it flow. Use the walls around you. It's so good!

Don't put restrictions on how, or when, or why. Be like the steam, float, twist, bend while the hot water flushes out the toxins of your day.

Keep breathing,
stop thinking
Get out of the mind and into the body and just let it go,
and keep going, stretch further now let it fall to the ground

smooth and easy no quick movements,
don't think at all, not even for a second

The ancient Naga Sadhus saw a purity in practicing yoga in the nude. Transform.


March 18, 2014

Tibetan Singing Bowl Meditations to Clear your Chakras and backbends

Relax your jaw, straighten your back, relax your shoulders, take three breaths down to your toes, and meditate for as long as you can until you feel every cell of your body functioning, every fluid moving, your in breath is as long as your out breath, now praise those processes tell your body how beautiful she is, let go of all control and be still

Peruse Youtube for your favorite Tibetan Singing Bowl Meditations to get you in the mood, 

March 16, 2014

Ayurvedic Yoga studies

"Do your practice and all is coming." ~ Patanjali

It all seems so clear now, to do what you love, and everything falls right into place. Allow the flow to go and the path will be clear.
Looking back yoga was always the one constant.
I may be good at many things, but am meant for only some. Dharma.

Sri Swami experienced a similar sensation. After studying agriculture, science and technology he was not satisfied. He made the pursuit of yoga his full time occupation, first with books and then with the help of many greats, until he found his main spiritual teacher.

Ayurveda and Yoga Training begins now with Dhyana Yoga school and other Philadelphia yogi yogini mentors. Thai Yoga Massage training with Sunshine School of Thailand trained, Sara Kaufman and in talks with Kevin Starbard, CranioSacral and Rolfing with Bill Harvey. Meanwhile studies in Anatomy and Physiology continue as I prepare for Acupuncture studies.

Reading List:
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali- Swami Satchidananda 

The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice - T. K. V. Desikachar
 “Yoga Mala” by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
 “Non-Violent Communication” by Marshall Rosenberg
“The Key Muscles of Yoga” by Ray Long, MD
 “Anatomy for Vinyasa Flow and Standing Poses” by Ray Long, MD
“Anatomy for Arm Balances and Inversions” by Ray Long, MD
“Yoga: Discipline of Freedom: The Yoga Sutra Attributed to Patanjali” by Barbara Stoler Miller
Other Reading Suggestions
“Ashtanga Yoga” by David Swenson
“The Bhagavad Gita” by Eknath Easwaran
“The Upanishads” by Eknath Easwaran
“Wheels of Life” by Anodea Judith (Chakras)
“Perfect Health” by Deepak Chopra
“Light on Yoga” by B.K.S. Iyengar

Absorbing the teachings from the Himalayan Masters,

A good feeling mantra:


March 12, 2014

The union ॐ

"Only from the heart can you touch the sky." ~ Rumi
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana/ Bridge Pose
The rising of Spring, in Chinese Medicine, translates as anger, according to one of my great teachers. Spring has sprung, not without a bit of anger. Sometimes we feel like crashing down the bridges we are building.

Allowing the illumination to shine through even the smallest of cracks,
giving the glue time to dry before testing if it stuck,
takes patience and persistence. A delicate nature. Letting go.

Realizing the value of teachers makes all the difference. To teach, is to learn and grow. If we are to teach, we first must allow ourselves to be taught, to be led. Ghandi says it's the only true way to learn. To find a guru (or many they are all around us in so many different forms.)

Our evolution takes place as long as we're relaxed enough to let it flourish.

Destiny shines with such simplicity. If we follow like a baby bird, filled with wonder, instinct and innocence, never letting go- we will fly. The divinity that glows from within us will be happy and bright.
Breathe deeply and remember. Keep the union. Yoga. ॐ

"You've learned the separate actions, but it's time to let go of that focus and allow yourself to open viscerally to the pose. Try to relax in the action. Soften the awareness you' ve put on the individual details competing for your attention and experience the union of intention, action, and grace in your body as it radiates from the inside out. It is this inner transformation that is the state of yoga." Shiva Rea


March 6, 2014

Transformation & more metamorphosis: Clips from the Novel

The room was dimly lit with candles, chakras were all aglow.
Liana lightly touched my shoulder like a fairy, "do you have any health issues" she asked with a smile so bright, if my answer was, 'yes,' she would have melted the disease in that moment. I replied "no," and introduced myself. She reached for me, scooped me up and gave me one of those giggly girly hugs where you can transcend back to your childhood.
Two sisters, or friends hugging and jumping lightly at the same time, feeling each others giggles from the gut, laughing as though you just rolled down a grassy hill together.

Within moments I'm sweating, working on my
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana I, moments later I'm crying after feathering out of Ustrasana. She walks around the room on tippy toes so delicately considering your senses at every moment. Liana is such a gentle guide. She tickles your underarm to get it to move where she thinks you might like it better. Gracefully stands before you demonstrating just how it will feel best. Encouraging with heart and divinity, all the way.
Like a mommy, like a mermaid she is one I will remember and cherish.
The onset of my current direction, Liana was a part of it.
Her lemongrass sealed it with a kiss. She showed me what a teacher is supposed to feel like. She showed me, I would love to do this. Once you find what it is you love, I realized, don't ever let it go.

I've been calling her Caroline, Caroline Grace Ashurst, but her name is clearly Grace. Gracie when I feel like super cozy with her. And she is so cozy even with her sharp needles. Like a lily, petite and present, she places them so precisely, as I feel the steam of qi, like butterfly kisses, along my left foots arch. She has created movement, blood flow and feeling. She asks very intently, "does it hurt here, is it achy, what about here?"
She finds that perfect place to place what will be liberating me.
She touched my pulses, glanced at my tongue and seemed to get my entire health story, leaving no stone unturned.
She understood everything with such depth. My fire constitution, or maybe earth or water. It takes awhile to find sometimes. We're pretty certain, I'm a fire.
We're balancing my metal and my fires, so that we can see more clearly. It's a dance you do together practitioner and the one seeking the healing, in order to see the results.
Punctured to the fullest she smoked the room with incence and mugwort torched my belly as I requested. "This definately looks like you went to China and had this done."
She said at my follow up visit. Some like it hot, I don't think she was pleased.
She told me, as she crouched down closely to my belly whispering to it, almost as seductively as the one who kisses it softly and keeps going, but very differently than that, like it was her belly, one she loved, "How can we talk nicer to this belly." I realized then, I can't tell my belly I may cut her again. I have to thank her for bringing life and try to heal her from deep inside.  I can feel the vibrations changing in me. I'm now putting my fire into my earth. My scars are healing.

Cindy, with her cable TV network show came to interview amidst all of this change. She has Grounded me, all seven of my chakras to be exact, and it sent me to my core. Helped me to silence that chatter, in order to conduct an interview. Airing on 3-11 in NY and Saturday in Manhattan. "Who are you giving your power to, girly?" She asked, shocked. "I instantly felt a ping in my heart and sick to my stomach when I touched your heart and your belly." She told me I'm definately all in my head, but that I'm not reaching from the divine space to deliver what I'm delivering so freely. "You're around really sick people all day. In that line of work, it's important to balance and ground the chakras." I was calmed, finally. I stopped talking too fast, thinking too fast and losing focus on the now. I had confidence and delivered the interview with ease.

Liana opening me to release, Grace guiding me to put my fire in my earth clearing my metals, water and wood, while freeing my qi and Cindy grounding my dreams into reality. Thankful bliss.



March 3, 2014

Moxa recommendation by Bian Que

Bian Que (fl. circa 500 BCE), one of the most famous semi-legendary doctors of Chinese antiquity and the first specialist in moxibustion, discussed the benefits of moxa over acupuncture in his classic work. He asserted that moxa could add new energy to the body and could treat both excess and deficient conditions. On the other hand, he advised against the use of acupuncture in an already deficient (weak) patient, on the grounds that needle manipulation would leak too much energy.

According to the legend recorded in the Records of the Grand Historian (史记·扁鹊仓公列传), he was gifted with clairvoyance from a deity when he was working as a noble hostel staff. The legend states that while being an attendant at the hostel, he encountered an old man who stayed there for many years. The old man was thankful of Bian Que's attentive service and politeness, and gave him a packet of medicine which he told Bian Que to boil in water. After taking this medicine, he gained the ability to see through the human body. He thereby became an excellent diagnostician with his X-ray-like ability. He also excelled in pulse taking andacupuncture therapy. He is ascribed the authorship of Bian Que Neijing (Internal Classic of Bian Que). Han Dynasty physiciansclaimed to have studied his works, which have since been lost. Tales state that he was a doctor of many disciplines, conforming to the local needs wherever he went. For example, in one city he was a children's doctor, and in another a female physician.

Another legend stated that once, while visiting the state of Guo, he saw people mourning on the streets. Upon inquiring what their grievances were, he got the reply that the heir apparent of the lord had died, and the lord was in mourning. Sensing something afoot, he is said to have gone to the palace to inquire about the circumstances of the death. After hearing of how the prince "died", he concluded that the prince had not really died, but was rather in a coma-like state. Using his acupuncture, he was said to have brought the prince back to consciousness. Prescribing the prince with medicine, the prince healed within days.
Bian Que advocated the four-step diagnoses of "Looking (at their tongues and their outside appearances), Listening (to their voice and breathing patterns), Inquiring (about their symptoms), and Taking (their pulse)."
The Daoist Liezi has a legend (tr. Giles 1912:81-83) that Bian Que used anesthesia to perform a double heart transplantation, with the xin 心 "heart; mind" as the seat of consciousness. Gong Hu 公扈 from Lu and Qi Ying 齊嬰 from Zhao had opposite imbalances of qi 氣 "breath; life-force" and zhi 志 "will; intention". Gong had a qi "mental power" deficiency while Qi had a zhi "willpower" deficiency.
Bian Que suggests exchanging the hearts of the two to attain balance. Upon hearing his opinion, the patients agree to the procedure. Bian Que then gives the men an intoxicating wine that makes them "feign death" for three days. While they are under the anesthetic effects of this concoction, Bian Que "cut open their breasts, removed their hearts, exchanged and replaced them, and applied a numinous medicine, and when they awoke they were as good as new." Salguero (2009:203) 

Chinese Meridians 气

Seeing medicine work without destruction. Attraversiamo. Today I felt the steam. 3-3-14

气 Concepts similar to qi can be found in many cultures, for example, prana and cit in Hindu religion, mana in Hawaiian culture, lüngin Tibetan Buddhism, ruah in Hebrew culture. References to concepts analogous to the qi taken to be the life-process or flow of energy that sustains living beings are found in many belief systems, especially in Asia. Philosophical conceptions of qi from the earliest records of Chinese philosophy (5th century BCE) correspond to Western notions of humours and the ancient Hindu yogic concept of prana ("life force" in Sanskrit). The earliest description of "force" in the current sense of vital energy is found in the Vedas of ancient India (circa 1500–1000 BCE), and from the writings of the Chinese philosopher Mencius (4th century BCE). Historically, the Huangdi Neijing/"The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Medicine" (circa 2nd century BCE) is credited with first establishing the pathways through which qi circulates in the human body. The ancient Chinese described it as "life force". They believed qi permeated everything and linked their surroundings together. They likened it to the flow of energy around and through the body, forming a cohesive and functioning unit.By understanding its rhythm and flow they believed they could guide exercises and treatments to provide stability and longevity.

Within the framework of Chinese thought, no notion may attain such a degree of abstraction from empirical data as to correspond perfectly to one of our modern universal concepts. Nevertheless, the term qi comes as close as possible to constituting a generic designation equivalent to our word "energy". When Chinese thinkers are unwilling or unable to fix the quality of an energetic phenomenon, the character qi (氣) inevitably flows from their brushes.
—Manfred Porkert[10]


Spleen-meridian is the site of attention, for now for a full list, 

Abbreviated as SP, described in Chinese as 足太阴睥经穴 or 足太陰脾經.
PointPinyinHan Geul 한글RomajiAlternative names
Sp-1隱白yǐn báieun baek 은백im paku'in paku'[3]
Sp-2大都dà dūdae do 대도dai to
Sp-3太白taì báitae baek 태백tai haku
Sp-4公孫gōng sūngong son 공손kō son
Sp-5商丘shāng qiūsang gu 상구shō kyū
Sp-6三陰交sān yīn jiāosam eum gyo 삼음교san in kō
Sp-7漏谷loù gǔnu gok 루곡rō koku?
Sp-8地機dì jīji gi 지기chi ki
Sp-9陰陵泉yīn líng qúaneum neung cheon 음릉천in ryō sen
Sp-10血海xuè hǎihyeol hae 혈해kek kai
Sp-11箕門jī méngi mun 기문ki mon
Sp-12沖門chōng ménchung mun 충문shō mon
Sp-13府舍fǔ shèbu sa 부사fu sha
Sp-14腹結(?)fù jié(?)bok gyeol 복결fuk ketsu
Sp-15大横dà héng?dae hoeng 대횡dai ō
Sp-16腹哀(?)fù āi(?)bok ae 복애fuku ai
Sp-17食竇(?)shí dòu(?)sik du 식두shoku tō
Sp-18天谿tiān xīcheon gye 천계ten kei
Sp-19胸鄉(?)xiōng xiāng(?)hyung hyang 흉향kyō kyō?
Sp-20周榮(?)zhōu róng(?)ju yeong 주영shū ei
Sp-21大包dà bāodae po 대포tai hō

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