Posts Tagged ‘hatha yoga’

hi friend,

please check out my latest update to “We Are ONE” on the “page” side of my blog, to the right. every week i’ll upload a few more pages of this picture book for you.

wow, the “brains” behind wordpress have really messed me up! somehow they’ve changed the editing format and i can’t see what i’m typing, so bear with me if things are…weird. i’ll do my best, and shoot them an e-mail to tell them of their well-intentioned, but mis-placed latest updates!

i wanted to share today, the joy of stretching. simple hatha yoga changed my life, literally. yesterday i had the pleasure of introducing a new friend to sun salutes, and today i am with you, too. if you haven’t already tried this easy-to-do, yet life-changing method of stretching-along-with-breathing, i’m encouraging you, right here, right now, to try it.

this drawing is my version of a sun salute. i drew it to illustrate how one must imagine their own “private sun” above them, because i was teaching at the time to girls in prison. even if you’re in a cell, you can bow and honor the source of all life on Earth…the sun. here’s the 12 steps (poses, called “asanas”) of a sun salute, surya namaskar, a yoga vinyasa (series of flowing poses).

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a series of poses called the sun salute, "surya namaskar"

and here are simple, step-by-step directions, and PLEASE, enjoy yourself!

1. go very slowly. you will increase speed as you loosen up. first poses is standing with hands folded at your heart, breathe in and out, and steady your busy mind by focusing your eyes on one spot. thank you says your body, your heart, and your mind.  end on an exhale.

2. inhale and lift your arms overhead, either to the side, like opening wings, or just up and over your head. keep your legs straight and only bend over backwards if you feel like it. that can come later. on this first round of the sun salute it’s good to stay in each of the 12 poses for several breaths. up to you, but don’t rush. eventually, you will coordinate the poses with your in and out breathing, but for now…just enjoy the stretch and stay with what your body tells you (huh?) it needs, like how many breaths do you want to stretch this particular way.

3. exhale and slowly arch your back and bend forward. let your head and neck completely relax. Hang there. Hang hang hang. let gravity do some work for a change. when you’re ready to go into the next pose, engage your abs so you protect your back.

4. inhale and take your right leg backwards into a full lunge. MOST IMPORTANT here is to make sure your left knee is directly over your left ankle. place fingertips of floor, torso goes downward, as your back gently bends upward. again, enjoy the stretch for several breaths at the beginning of your practice.

5. exhale and bring your left leg back along your right and make a high arch with your butt way up in the sky, into a “downward dog” pose. let your head go completely loose. don’t worry if your feet don’t completely go flat, that will happen eventually. point here is to PUSH away from the floor with your hands (shoulder-width apart) and up with your strong legs (hip-width apart) with your hands energetically engaged with the floor, the index fingers pointing straight ahead. enjoy your breath.

6. here you have a choice! ahhhh, choices. that which makes or breaks our lives. beginnings sink to your knees now, and slowly come forward onto your belly, not moving your arms, into a “small cobra.” more seasoned stretchers, you can, with your elbows CLOSE TO YOUR BODY 9otherwise you’ll compromise your rotator cuff, in shoulder joint), “swoop” your body in an arcing motion, from a bent-knee half-bow to… a beautiful, graceful “big cobra”…with arms more fully extended, but with your pelvic bones still on or nearly on the floor. enjoy your breath. eventually, this will all be accomplished on a single exhale. really.

7. inhale and enjoy the snake pose, bhujangasana, “the cobra.” keep your pelvic bones as close or on the floor as you can, while streching the lower back muscles, gentle!  

8. exhale and push yourself back into the downward dog position. check your alignment (arms shoulder-width; feet hips-width, arms pushing, butt upward…so much to remember, but hey! you’re your OWN TEACHER!!!) EMPOWERMENT…it’s YOU! right within your own self.

9.  inhale and bring your right leg forward into a lunge on the oother side. you may have to “help” your leg get up there at first, so just hop it along, but make sure your right knee is directly over that right ankle. thank you.

10. exhale and push yourself into a forward bend, and fell the difference. ommygod!! you are probably fainting from sheer pleasure at this point. i know i am with each first sun salute of the day. yummmmm.

11. inhale and please engage your abs before you stretch up and over your head with your arms straight, and palms eventually touching, into a small backbend, if you wish only. with ab muscles still engaged …

12. bring yourself from the little standing backbend into your original pose, the moutain, “tadasana.” With hands at your heart give great thanks to the sun (still above you, even if only in your mind!) and the life it shines upon this gorgeous blue garden planet of ours, which grows such delicious things as you, and all the food we need to sustain ourselves.

Repeat the above with your LEFT leg back, and bringing your left leg forward at end of the vinyasa.

By learning to empower your own self, using your body to strengthen your life, center your stormy emotions, and uplift your small-things centered mental faculties, your life will automatically expand. the teacher is within you. your body is a gift. keep it strong, clean, and agile, and you will be honoring the most important teacher–YOU!!–you’ll ever have. the Great Spirit lives within us all! really!

I hope you enjoy this little yoga lesson i’m sharing with you. occasionally i’ll give some tips. lordflea does love hatha yoga, the physical poses, so very much, that i want the entire world to know these ancient, but very effective moves that keep us fit, grateful, and calm (thanks to the breathing, the key to inner peace).

in the Light, lord flea singing our song of ONE

hi friend,

today i’ve started uploading my picture book, “We are ONE” as a gift for you, the reader of my blog. You’ll find it, each day a few segments added, over on the right, on the “page” column.

here’s a sneak preview of the artwork:

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the only hint i’m giving is…yes, that IS a titty-lotus.

Meanwhile, life is pretty busy for me and mine. we had 16 friends from all walks of life here at gobble-gobble time: yoga friends, artists, musicians, a carpenter, a businessman or two, healers, sailors, and of course, my mom, Eve, who turned up with three tasty pies. not too shabby for someone who nearly checked out with a minor stroke just a few short months ago. ahhhh, the wonders of modern medicine, and a lot of acupuncture treatments.

mom’s hearth is also due and many thanks to dori bozung our local, incredibly talented, and very intuitive healer, a great doctor of acupuncture i highly recommend. i’ll give you her phone number by writing me: dearlordflea@gmail.com

gary, the plant man, brought delectable sweet potato pies for the meal and a baby neem tree the day after, which i will cherish and raise as one of my own.

ann and didier, offered our meal yummy organic coffee and drinks, and a pie their son won in a race thanksgiving day. paul and joseph as always, are so well behaved and fun kids to have around.

mridula, brought clean and wholesome grains and simple fixings of her special vegetarian diet. she didn’t take carter up on arm-wrestling, however.

dave and amy, the sailors, brought the good-news breeze, and healthy broccoli besides their good cheer and extreme-laugher.

brian, with his sweet angel grandson Michael, brought delicious pumpkin cheesecake.

kate, ben, and kumari brought a remarkable vegetarian dish, a mexican delight, and something else, a sweet dish with lots of whipped frothy cream and apple-stuffing. yum.

dori blew in at the last moment (whew! after a day of getting healed herself, instead of giving it) with an outtasite pear and greens salad, some outrageous cranberry mixture to die for, a bottle of wine (yes! there was festive vino at our spread), and her big gorgeous smile.

at ann’s urging (thanks, ann!) we went around the table and each of us shared what we were particularly grateful for. yes yes, there were plenty of “good friends, health, love, peace, barack’s victory, etc. etc.” but when it came to my turn, i just had to say how grateful i was to be HERE … at this particular place, at this particular time. it’s heaven on earth for me, these days. but then, i’ve worked hard for what i’ve got. un huh.

but… all that may change any given moment, i know, i know.

cully and fonya and kurt, our kids, were out in montana, while we were here in florida. that’s just the way life is sometimes, apart, but together in Spirit.

so check out the “We are ONE” page, and i’ll see you later!

next time i write i want to share about how i had the opportunity i had yesterday to help a friend of mine who has just heard some really bad news. the understanding i have of how to accept life whether its joys, or sorrows, when life becomes sheer heaven, or when it can–as it does– suddenly change to a challenge beyond measure, is based upon my own experiences. my views represent no particular path, or ideology. just singing the song of lord flea!

breathing in, and breathing out, with you.

pose for the week: how about the side crow. took me years to master, and now it’s like three visits to the chiropractor all in one sustained effort. ahhh, hatha yoga, i love thee and your vigorous energy, which i give to my life through practicing the poses, meditating, chanting…and–most importantly–being in GOOD COMPANY.

in the Light, lord flea

dear One,

yesterday we met on St. Augustine beach and formed a human mala; a rosary bead of intent.  the focus of our 108 sun salutes, followed by 108 chants of Om was global peace.  sending out our prayers as action (hatha yoga asanas) and sound (the seed mantra, Om) was a glorious way to be active, to participate in being part of the solution, instead of remaining part of the problem.

the sound of peace, the sound of God consciousness … the sound of Om:

visualizing the power of Om as its vibrations resonate throughout the atmosphere

visualizing the power of Om as its vibrations resonate throughout the atmosphere

 

try it yourself.  why not now?  or soon.  find a quiet place, all by yourself or with a like-minded friend.  get quiet.  breathe deeply.  set your intention that this sound of Om, this ancient sound that the sages say was the sound of creation that was first heard by those who sought answers to such things, intend to send out your tone with this ancient note.  send it out to the world.  help heal the world with your sound.  forget politics for this moment.  forget the strife.  forget the confusion.  focus on sending out the positive vibrations that are here, for all of us, at any given moment.  all we have to do is listen, and then join in with our voices.

breathe out long.  breathe in long … now make this beautiful sound with your own tone.  make this sound over and over until you feel you have sounded and become One with Truth It-Self.

what an expansive, rewarding feeling.  enjoy!  over and over!  whenever you can.

i send you my loving sound also, Om with me, lordflea

hi friend,

today i’m going to the second day of my hatha yoga workshop here in st. augustine. can’t write much, but wanted to say, as i say so often inside how much i love doing yoga, being with yoga people, learning the depths of what yoga has to offer. yoga, the poses, the philosophy, the “tribe” is the best thing that’s happened to me. wherever i go i meet the most interesting, open-minded, big-hearted people, and best thing of all, we get to be physical together in a non-competitive way. praying with our bodies, respecting our Iner Self, shutting off the noise, the racket, the double-deal of living in a tumultuous time, a conflictual world. in the inner world there is no doubt that love is the past, present, and future president.

focus on …

the sound of om

the sound of om

see you tomorrow, i hope (unless i kill myself doing one more backbend).

in the Light,

lord flea

hi friend,

in honor of nancy’s request: here’s how to make ghee (taught to me by ayurvedic friends fresh back from years-long stay, studying in India).

start off with frozen (this is my method at least, as i never have time to defrost!) UN-SALTED good-quality butter. please remember that the time you invest in making ghee is returned to you a thousand-fold if you get into the habit of using ghee, instead of butter. (ghee is the exact same stuff they serve with lobsters, by the way, “clarified butter.”)

put small saucepan on high flame as you unwrap the quarters of an entire (frozen or not) pound package. by the time you finish this task, it’s time to turn down the heat. 

when the melted butter starts to bubble, put heat down to a simmer, making sure you don’t leave the room. EVER!!! if you want to ruin the ghee, then leave. otherwise, use the next 15 minutes (or less sometimes) as a meditation. you have to catch the cooked ghee at precisely the exact moment, otherwise it … well, may not burn, but it can get plenty toasty, and it changes the taste from mellow to something nuttier.

as ghee cooks it make a “popping” noise. when the noise finishes, you know you’re close (anywhere from 10-20 minutes, depending on altitude, humidity, quality of butter). from then on it’s a matter of watching the bottom of the pan, seeing that the milk solids have dropped to the bottom (they appear as … you got it, CRUSTY SHIT!! at the bottom). this is the solid stuff you do not want clogging your veins, ever! when the noise stops, and the color turns a glorious golden brown — but before the crust residue on the bottom burns (it can take on a “burnt umber glow”) then you know your ghee is properly cooked.

pour through a simple tea strainer (ghee washes out easily) into a clean glass jar. allow to cool on your steel, porcelain, wood, or ceramic counter. put top on in a few minutes.

you never have to refrigerate ghee. try to put a tiny bit in your food every day. use on toast, in place of butter (but don’t bake or make cookies with it, it won’t work). the nutritional qualities are magnificent. check out www.ayurveda-foryou.com for more into. lord flea sings the glories of ghee. have made it lovingly for my family for over 15 years!

gotta go! off to a hatha yoga workshop for the entire weekend).

more later. here’s your little visual treat for the day, my beloveds.

in the Light, lord flea

a healthy, balanced person, gives Self the best nutrition, for body-soul-mind, everyday in everyway

a healthy, balanced person, gives Self the best nutrition, for body-soul-mind, everyday in everyway