saṃhāra / dissolution and reabsorption
Helming a sailing vessel is very much a meditative practice. In sailing we tune our physical and mental awareness to the flow of the sea, to the whimsy of the wind, to the sensations within the body arising from contact with the sailing vessel herself. We reach a unity point—sea, wind, mind, body, vessel—and then the state of flow arises.
We develop the elegant ability to be with what is, to respond in alignment with our essence nature. And when we are in this state of flow, of unity, we viscerally experience subtle signs from nature, gracefully adjusting our course, to remain in flow, to be with what is.
For me, this is yoga.
Before I traveled to the foothills of the Indian Himalayas, the memory of my first haṭha yoga class as a teenaged college student came to the fore—the lightly-incensed gymnasium made smaller with dimmed lights and glimmering candles—a half-dressed, elderly professor sat in lotus pose—hands to heart center—he seemed to hover in his white pants—Oṃ—Oṃ—Oṃ—the breath—breath—breathe out—in—the body opening—discomfort—palms skyward—expansion—a wave of calm—I am experiencing.
I knew then that this was good. In my particular case, it was exceptionally so. Science is beginning to catch up with the positive impact of yoga for Aspies (those with Asperger’s Syndrome) and others on the spectrum. In the beginning stages, āsana—haṭha and vinyāsa—and prāṇāyāma helped to improve proprioception and access to an energetic state beyond anxiety. These early yogic experiences led me to enroll in university courses in yoga and sacred Indian texts.
In later years, I began to experience the potential of a more holistic and less fragmented yogic process, experimenting with more advanced prāṇāyāma and meditative practices, including Transcendental Meditation. But it wasn’t until I traveled to India, the source of yoga and where my kriyā guru granted me initiation, that a profound shift in inner expansion and deeper healing began to occur.
I work with dedicated students to share the spiritual path together and to co-create a sattvic sādhanā, one that is hopefully more balanced and which incorporates conscious rituals in support of organically connecting to our innate being. We are interested in thriving and experiencing our unbounded nature, not merely in managing stress, although this naturally occurs by consistently showing up to the practice.
Privately and in small groups, I offer kriyā, tantrik, and meditation initiations and teachings. Publicly, in larger groups and drop-in classes, I offer Sattva Yoga journeys that are an homage to krīḍā (क्रीडा), the divine, cosmic game or artful play of self-exploration and self-expression. Journeys engage the entire body-mind apparatus in such a way as to allow for the unimpeded flow of energy, weaving together several aspects of yoga, including kriyā-kuṇḍalinī, haṭha-vinyāsa, prāṇāyāma, laya, mantra, partner work, and meditation. Wisdom is the thread that links all aspects of a journey together, and every journey is welcoming, inclusive, and without judgment.
My beloved teachers and gurus (in alphabetical order) include James French (Haṭha Yoga), Susan Marrufo (Jñāna Yoga, Haṭha Yoga, and Meditation), Anand Mehrotra (Kriyā Yoga, Sattva Yoga, Meditation, and Yog-Vedantic Philosophy), Lilla Németh (Transcendental Meditation), Daniel Pal (Transcendental Meditation), Antonia Ruppel (Sanskrit), Alexey Vyazovov (Classical Yoga and Philosophy), and Hareesh Wallis (Tantrik Philosophy). ॐ
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