Archives for posts with tag: beta

I have not been writing for a long time. I do not know but I think this is a process. I have quit writing for some time, calmed my mind down and started writing again. Can I manage to go on writing without any intervals from this day on? I do not know that. I am not thinking about the future. I just wanted to write now and now I am in front of my computer,

Actually there are many things to write. Many experiences I gained in my classes. All physical, emotional and mental but I cannot make up my mind, relax and calm my mind down in order to write. Today is the right time and now I am writing.

A student who is interested in energy came to the class recently. Even though she wants to join every yoga class, she cannot since that class is taking place at an office during lunch time. Therefore sometimes some students can join and sometimes they cannot. When I woke up that morning, I was sure that this student would show up in class. It was the new moon time and I planned to do something related with the new moon. But in fact, I wanted this student who is dealing with healing and energy to do this. We had earlier talked about such plans but did not schedule any time. That morning I woke up and said, “this is the day.” I knew that the student was not always showing up in class but I had the instinct that she would that day. I was not wrong,

When I was about to enter the gym hall we were practicing, that student was getting out of the hall. She said, “teacher, I am coming today. I will join the class.” I said, “I had known that you were coming. I felt it because I would ask you to heal us if every one agrees. It is the new moon, new beginnings and for everything new.” The student could not object us and accepted the offer.

We began with meditation. Every one sat in a comfortable position. We wore socks and put on blankets in order not to be affected by the cold and the mind which could be affected by the cold. We began the healing with “Gayatri Mantra”, which has always been my favorite. I closed my eyes, focused on my breath, began watching my inhales and exhales and I relaxed my body. I leaned on a wall to feel more comfortable. I had been teaching yoga for so long time that I had forgotten to “take.” I was just giving energy but not receiving any. I reallly was in need of “taking” and “receiving.”

The new moon was happening in Taurus and its planet was Venus. So, we would work on “svadhisthana” (sacral) and “anahata” (heart) chakra, the student said. Listening to mantras and guided by the students, our bodies, minds and souls were flowing. My breath was calm and even stopped, I remember. I could not feel my body as if I had no body. There were colors and geometrical shapes in front of my minds. I thanked god, “my brain waves were moving from beta (stress mode) to alpha (meditation and savasana mode). This was the last thing I realized. Then I let myself totally be present with the mantras, the knowledge of my student and the flow. When mantras were following each other, the shapes and colors in front of my eyes changed. First two red lines came from right and left and hit each other in middle. Then colors softened and turned to parliament blue and just blue. I could not keep my head straight and still. It was dropping to right, left, front and back. Then there was no body. I was like flying. Some say that people rise from the floor when practicing yoga and meditation, which I have not witnessed myself, but if you ask if I had been off the floor, yes I would say I had that day. When my eyes were closed and my body was so light and listening to those mantras, I felt so light. As if I was a feet above the floor. That was really what I felt.

We laid down in “savasana” (deep relaxation and resting pose) at the end of the healing. When we were resting, the student came beside us. When she was with me, I felt energy spreading to my entire body from my crown chakra (sahasrara), from the top of my head up to the tips of my toes. I shrank and felt a vibration on my body as if my body was electrified. It was an unbelievable and amazing experience. I had not felt such an energy for a long time. Since I was a person who was always giving energy but forgetting to get, this healing was so fruitful and beneficial to me. I think energy givin people should sometimes remember themselves and join such practices.

I did not want to wake up after “savasana.” Unfortunately it was time to return to the real world and get away from that peaceful world. The student said,” actually it is not the right time to do this healing because the new moon has not been realized yet. It is about to happen one and a half hours and the effects will be better then. Normally I would not do this healing before the new moon happens because you cannot healed enough and benefit from it. But I felt that everybody needed this practice and therefore I did it. I had not thought that the outcome would bso good. Actually the moon has not entered the new moon phase and I could not be so giving and fruitful but I think that this is because you were so willing and in need of this energy and therefore we all benefitted. I am so glad.”

After that day, I made up my mind that I would start “taking” and “receiving” from time to time. In order for the cycle to operate well, we should sometimes take not always give. It was necessary to keep the give-take cycle equal. Neither giving more nor taking more. And one should always get healed, purified, refreshed, renewed and give time to herself/himself for peace and to try different practices.

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We are so used to living in a rush that we try to hurry even in our spare time. Some of us want to read a book, some want to take a walk, some want to dance, some want to go shopping, some want to wander around and some want to practice yoga and meditation in our spare times. Can we really fully live in the present time and benefit totally from our spare times?

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When I show up in yoga classes, I see students who want to make the most benefit from one-hour classes. As we think of yoga as one of physical activities we do in gym clubs, we only think of which muscles are strengthened and how many calories we can spent in that one hour and what we want is to only get the maximum benefit from yoga classes. We forget that yoga is something beyond physical activity but it is something that makes our soul and mind feel relieved. And classes turn into periods of time in which we only focus on our bodies.

As time passes, we come to understand that yoga is something beyond body. Even though how strong the bodies are, we can have difficulties in practicing some “asana”s (poses) and start to think why we cannot do those poses. And at that moment we realize that yoga is beyond physical activity and it is something in which our body should act in harmony with our soul and mind. When that moment comes in group classes, students want to experience “pranayama” (breath liberation)  techniques and “meditation”, which had just happened in two group classes last week.

We prepared our mind to turn inward by forward bends before trying “meditation.” Our mind is always interested in the outside world, not the inside. So we closed our eyes which were always looking outside and tried to see what is inside with the eyes closed. We watched our breath and directed the mind to a single point.

According to yoga master Patanjali’s “ashtanga yoga”, first comes “pranayama” (breathing exercises) and then come “pratyahara” (withdrawal of senses), “dharana” (concentration) and “dhyana” (meditation). After meditation comes “samadhi”, i.e. “bliss”.

We used “shanmukti mudra” (the seal we used for withdrawal of senses) and in order to ensure concentration we needed to focus our attention on a single point. In the evening class, we had candles and lit the candles for “trataka kriya” (mind purifying method by gazing at candle light). In the morning group class, we gazed at a bottle. In fact, the mind was doing the same exercise when it felt tired. Have you ever realized what you do when you look at the monitor for a long time and your vision is blurred? Yes, you are right. You gaze at a wall or some plain place and you empty your mind, don’t you? You look at the sea, lake or a river in order to empty your mind.

The breathing exercise came afterwards. Inhaling and exhaling throught the left nostril only in order to activate the calm side our body. To turn the brain waves from “beta” to “alpha” and prepare the mind for meditation.

Following the breathing exercise, we started medatation without opening the eyes. What was important was to feel comfortable and not to feel cold because the body could not meditate when it did not feel comfortable. Wearing a sweatshirt or using a blanket, leaning on a wall or lying supine. All were welcome in order to feel comfortable. To focus on the breath and concentrate the mind on a single point. Then to only watch the breath and the mind without chasing after the thoughts. Colors, geometric shapes. To think that we were not breathing for a moment but not to be deceieved by the games of the mind. To free the soul and to lay the groundwork for liberation of the soul. To let the soul fly if it wanted to. Then came bliss, “samadhi”, “nirvana”.

Can we really turn inward in our daily lives? Can we close our eyes, turn inside, count to at least five and respond more healthily instead of reacting suddenly when we get angry? Can we stop for a moment? Can we stop and wait instead of running and hurrying? Can we live our spare times happily and without rushing or hurrying? Can we take a deep breath, close our eyes and honor our soul for a moment? Can we enable our mind not to go forward but to act in harmony with our soul and body? Can we live without rushing?