I'd like to quote some Yoga text to begin.
"Yoga works on several levels at once. On the physical level, it makes our bodies strong, balanced and light, and rejuvenates tired limbs. Internal organs are massaged & toned and vital glands like the thyroid and parathyroid are made to function properly. At the psychic level, we become more relaxed and more aware. Through the practice of awareness-in-movement, we become able to observe our minds and bodies, and to become less implicated in our inner turmoil. This growing awareness naturally predsiposes one to meditation. At an emotional level, we are able to release harmful emotional and psychological blocks through purification of the body. Emotional wounds leave traces in the body, in the form of knots, misalignments and tension. In the asanas, we release these physical tensions, and the corresponding emotions are free to rise to the surface and disappear. It is in this sense that yoga is a holistic science, and treats the individual as a psycho-spiritual and physical whole. Yoga works on all the chakras (energy points).
Yoga is not a religion, but it is a powerful technique of self-realization. It teaches us to live in the present without worry, stress or anger. We make peace with ourselves and from this inner harmony, comes peace in our relationships. This makes yoga of immense relevance to our age. It is Yoga's goal that you may find the true meaning of your life, and go on to make the world a better place."
our group went to visit "The Oracle"
Apparently us westerners worry too much. We live faster lives in our post-modern technogocial realities. Rushing here & there. Working too much.
Relaxation & emotional release, as well as physical exercise is SOOOoooo
important, and on a DAILY ROUTINE. This takes great discipline (believe me, i''ve been trying to find daily discipline for many years). But...whether it's yoga,
or swimming, or soccer, whatever....we need to DO our discipline daily.
I say this because i know of many people with depression & other unhappiness
that can be cured partly from doing this practice. They say, "practice makes perfect"! I asked a Tibetan nun doing a teaching at the temple here the other day about the millions of depressed people & how to solve it without pharmaceutical drugs. She said that Tibetan Buddhism says to practice everyday.
For them....it's chanting, meditation, visualizing peace-buddha-heavenly realms.
Only a routine can save us from despair & more suffering.
Not that i've been suffering (except when sick), but i've been trying to find a routine to increase my well being. My stomach ache & cold has
kept me from my previous morning yoga-breathing exercises & volunteering
teaching english, but now i'm recovered and about to get back into the swing of things again!
Instead, the past week i've been attending the amazing 4th annual Indigenous Grandmothers Council here. 13 Grandmothers, including an eskimo, Hopi, Mayan, Tibetan, 2 Ogalala Lakotas, African from Gabon, & a few others have been gathering daily for prayers for peace. Let me tell you...these women are not your average grandmothers. Most are practicing healers/shamans & hold a very strong presence & vitality. For 7 days they have been here, each sharing their own traditional ceremonies with about 150 participants....uniting faith & installing hope in our hearts.
This has been a truly special event. uber-special!
Two nights ago, i attended a Mazatec Huitla grandmothers ceremony
which was absolutely incredible. She brought medicine from her Oaxaca mexico region. truly amazing!
The following day...our group went to visit "The Oracle" of the Tibetans. He has been recognized as the reincarnated oracle who can go into a trance to answer questions for His Holiness Dalai Lama (some of you may have seen this in the movie Kundun). He had the greatest happy wide smile! He is in the photo with 13 Grandmothers.
The next big trip I attended was going to visit the 17th Karmapa at his monastary. This was a special treat as we got a private audience with him which is rare. He is recognized as the 3rd highest lama in Tibetan Buddhism. Dalai Lama being the 1st, & the Panchen Lama the 2nd, who is currently held captive by the Chinese atheists government who are trying to kill Tibetan culture.