Archives for posts with tag: energy

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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Life is a cycle of taking and giving… The more we give, the more we take. I have always believed that we should first give in order to take. We should give so that we open a space in our lives and then we fill that space with the new one. Just like the movie “Pay it forward”… Do you remember the movie? A boy named Trevor with a problematic family life creates an ideal word in a homework given by his new  teacher. In that ideal world, Trevor conjures the notion of paying a favor not back, but forward–repaying good deeds not with payback, but with new good deeds done to three new people. In the meantime, some changes occur in lives of every one Trevor knows, particularly his teacher. Every favor paid forward is repaid somehow.

When I decided to focus on giving-taking cycle in the yoga classes this week, I remembered this movie. To give before taking and to open a new space for the new comer. To wish to get rid of emotional and physical problems in our lives and to open a new space for something new and better for us. Is it possible to open a space for something new and better without getting rid of the old one?

Therefore, I focused on stretching the chest with backbends in all yoga classes this week. The peak pose was “urdhva dhanurasana” (wheel) which is the most feared but the most desired pose of all students. All students feel so happy when they see they can really get in the pose. I asked the students to try the “asana” (pose) by getting rid of the emotional and physical burden which prevent them from getting in the pose. Who knows what kind of burden we had in our minds and hearts those days that prevented us from getting into this pose? First of all, I asked the students to focus on their minds and emotions. To realize their mental and emotional burden and then to realize that this burden was no useful to them, to get rid of the burden and to rise in the pose. First give, purify and get rid of and then to welcome the new one… Cycle of taking and giving… The law of circulation…

Some of us are just givers. They like to help every one without expecting anything in return. They prefer to make others happy by giving without expecting anything in return. They become happy when others are happy.

Some of us are just takers. They always want to play the leading role in life. They want every one to love them, like them, be kind to them, be appreciated and loved so much. They always want to draw all the interest and attention. They want to attract all love, material and moral everything on themselves. However, they do not think of paying attention to others and making others happy in return.

In my opinion, to be always a giver or always a taker is not a right thing. If life consists of dualities and if there is “yin-yang” (female and male) energy in life, then we should not just be a taker or a giver. We should somethimes take and sometimes give so that we can live the life in full balance.

What was I thinking at the end of the class? We should first give in order to take. We should get rid of things that give us pain and trouble and open a space for the new comers that might be better for us. We could not take if we do not give. If we do not open a space for the new things, nothing could get into our lives. It was this simple. We could not get a new shirt if we do not give the old one to someone in need. The law of circulation was this simple. We could apply the law to moral and material things, i.e. everything in life. We should open a space for the new comers. This was what I was thinking at the end of class, To live without piling up, to first give in order to take and to open a new space for the new comers.

I know that I have not been posting blogs recently I do not want to write these days and I do exactly what I want and I do not write. If I try to write under these circumstances, I know that I will hurt myself and do something that my heart and my soul do not appreciate and thus, I will be unhappy. So, I go in line with yoga philosophy and I do not write until my mind and soul allow me.

Actually, I do like writing a lot. And, so many things happen in my daily life and classes. However, I do not know why but I want to turn inward and live and experience all these events by myself.

So, how have I started to write again? One of my students asked my why hadn’t I been writing for a long time and told me that she expected to see my new posts. When I was asked this question, I was ashamed. Believe me, I am doing a favor to myself when I am writing but I know that people are reading my posts and expecting the new ones. By not writing, I was not meeting their expectations and I was depriving them of my posts. What a big word it is! “Depriving them of my posts.” It is not such a big deal. I am just writing what is going on in my life and how I feel. That’s all!.

Yes, why have I re-started writing? When one of my students asked why I was not writing, the answer was simple. “Because, I do not want to write these days and I do not want to force myself and do something that I do not really want. When I do something by force, I do not think it will be useful to me. Neither to me nor to others.”

The answer of my student put me back to posting new blogs: “Teacher, you are like the moon. As how the moon reflects the light and the energy it gets from the sun to the earth at night, you should reflect the light and energy you get from your training programs, readings and experiences to us, i.e. to your students. I am not saying that you are not doing so, you are doing so. And always doing so particularly in your classes. However, in your blogs, you talk about some other things that you do not talk in the class when you do not have that much time. Your blogs are more detailed and deeper. Therefore, you should go on writing and should reflect the light and energy just “like the moon.”

This was one of the most inspiring comments I have ever heard. I was moved so much that I could not stop crying. That day, I decided again. I should be “like the moon.” I should read more, I should look into resources more, I should learn more and reflect what I learn to my students “like the moon.” I should be the light and energy. Thank you my dear student. I am so glad that you have walked into my life. I am so glad that I have got to know you. And I am so glad that you are in my life. There are a lot of things that I would learn from you. I bow in front of you with respect. Na’maste.

“Teacher, I was undergoing an MRI last week. There was something wrong with the MRI device and I had to stay in the device for about one and a half hours.” “So, how could you endure it?” “Teacher, I only thought about the yoga classes. I told myself that this would not last forever but would end soon. And I closed my eyes and focused on my breath.”

One of the students told me all these things in one of the yoga group classes last week. That day, we were working on “vayu”s (wind/air flow/energy flows in the body). Therefore that class was a bit different and more spiritual than any other yoga classes. We were working on some “asana”s (pose) related to the energy flows and trying to observe towards where the body was moving  and how the body was moving together with the breath.

When we were resting in “balasana” (child pose) in-between the flows, one of the students said, “teacher, I can see the advantages and benefits of yoga classes in my daily life. Yoga has changed my daily life. I have turned into a very different person. A recent incident helped me once more see how yoga is beneficial to me.”

The other students and I wondered what had happened to the student and asked her to tell the whole story. At that point, the student said,”teacher, I was undergoing an MRI last week. There was something wrong with the MRI device and I had to stay in the device for about one and a half hours.” “So, how could you endure it?” “Teacher, I only thought about the yoga classes. I told myself that this would not last forever but would end soon. And I closed my eyes and focused on my breath.”

“I remembered the opening meditation and overviewed what we were doing in that meditation. I remembered that we closed our eyes and focused on the breath. I inhaled and exhaled and started to count my breath. I tried to realize at which part of the body the breath was moving. At first, I panicked and my breath was shallow. Then I closed my eyes and tried to leave my mind aside and shut it down. Then the breath started to calm down. And I started to take longer breath. I could deepen the breath from my chest to the abdomen and even to the pelvic floor. The deeper my breath was, I was calmer. As I kept my eyes closed, I was calmer. I concentrated my mind on my breath. A while later, my breath was so calm that it almost stopped. My body was no more tense but relaxed.”

“At that very moment, I realized your words. Bad news, nothing lasts forever. Good news, nothing last forever. Nothing is permament. Everything changes. We were closing the eyes and focusing on our breath in order to silence the mind in yoga “asana”s in which we really have difficulties. We were trying to connect the body and the breath. This was one of the moments which was really hard for me. And, I told myself that it was not permanent and it would last soon. And I believed in what I was telling myself. I hadn’t realized before how yoga got a part of my daily life. It was the first time I realized that I was applying to yoga in the moments I really felt difficulties and problems in my daiy life.”

I could not explain how happy I was to hear all the story. Yes, I am teaching yoga in gym clubs but this does not mean that yoga should be regarded just like any other physical activities. Of course, our priority is to get a good physical and body shape and look. Even though many people come to group yoga classes at gym clubs for only this goal, they start to “be yoga” in time. “To be yoga”… “To be whole bodily, spiritually and mentally.” Then in time, the goal to have spiritual and mental peace replaces the goal to get a good physical shape and look. I guess this is what yoga is and here we can find the philosophy of yoga. To get loved and adored by people just by being itself and without imposing anything or forcing anything or anyone.

It is the sine qua non aspects of a yin yoga class to inform students about meridians. When students were standing still in poses in a yin yoga group class last week, I was informing them about yin yoga, meridians and emotions as usual. As the students were stimulating their gallbladders in an “asana”, one of the students said she had her gallbladder removed and asked, “so what am I supposed to feel right now? Can’t I feel the emotions you are telling us about right now?” I had nothing to say to the student because I had no idea and I preferred not to comment if I was not well-informed about a subject. I told the student, ” I have not idea about this subject and I do not want to misinform you. Let me look into this subject and give you more information in our next class.”

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Once I got home, I looked into my books but could not find anything about this subject. So I googled. Guess what I had seen? Many teachers were asked this question in their yoga classes.

Even if we had a surgery and had one of our organs removed, the energy of that organ did not vanish. We continued to feel that energy. The gallbladder was related with our courage, action and flow as well as the element wood. The energy of the element wood is clarity and therefore when this energy is in balance, we could see clearly and take action.

The gallbladder and liver are partner organs. The gallbladder is a “yang” organ and the liver is a “yin” organ. “Yang” organs are related with digestion and transmission of nutrients in the body. “Yin” organs are responsible for production, regulation and storage of fundamental substances. The gallbladder produces and releases bile and controls decision-making and planning. It affects our dreams. Emotionally, gallbladder is related with inspiration, passion for life, decisiveness, courage and taking action. If we do not enjoy life and have difficulties in making decisions, it means we may have a problem with the gallbladder energy. If this energy is in balance, we are happy, healthy, decisive and passionate.

The emotion of liver and gallbladder is anger. If we feel anger and we cannot burst it out, then we can have problems in liver and gallbladder meridian. If you are under stress and not eating healthily, you may deteriorate the energy of this meridian. When the meridian is unbalanced, anger shows up and it can have some visible effects on your body. You may have red face and eyes, you may get angry very easily, you may suffer from ringing in the ears and migrane.

Moreover, gallbladder affects sleep. If you have a problem with this organ, you may wake up suddenly in the middle of the night or early in the morning and could not fall asleep again.

According to yin yoga, meridians, acapuncture and Chinese medicine, even if the gallbladder is removed, we continue to feel the energy of this organ. If we go on eating fat and spicy food which is harmful for the gallbladder and do not change our diet, then we go on feeling the damp-heat of the gallbladder. When the gallbladder is removed, we can feel its deficiency in our body since it does not do its duty in the body. Despite everything, we could go on acapuncture treatment on this meridian and benefit from it as if our gallbladder was not removed.

What I learned from my google research was that even if any of our organs was removed, the emotion and effects of it on our body remained. Maybe a little less but the energy was not vanishing. Therefore the energy of the organs and meridians were eternal.

What about trying to observe what you feel inside even if your organ is removed in our next yin yoga session when we focus on meridians? What about laughing if you want to, what about crying if you want to, what about shouting if you want to, what about grumbling if you want to, what about showing your anger if you want to? You and I have altogether learned what will happen if we keep our emotions inside and do not show them. So what about expressing your emotions instead of keeping it to yourself?

What is the difference between yoga and other physical activities? I sometimes find myself asking this question. What is the difference between yoga and “dynamic stretching” or “pilates”? Or any other physical activity?

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Yoga literally means to unite, to yoke. Yoga means the unity of the body, mind and soul. It means the harmony of the body, mind and the soul. If we lose the harmony among body, mind and soul when flowing in a yoga class, we are not in a state of “yoga”. “Yoga” is actually a “state” instead of a physical activity.

What instructors care about the most in yoga classes is the harmony of the body and the breath. Inhaling and getting into one “asana” (pose) and exhaling into another “asana.” Let’s elaborate it. Doing one “asana” as long as we breathe in and doing another “asana” as long as we breathe out and end up in the final position of that “asana.” Surely we cannot ignore the importance of breath in all physical activities however breath has a peculiar place in yoga. Breath is our soul and therefore any obstruction in the breath means making a concession of our soul. For this reason, we practice “pranayama” (breath liberating) exercises at the beginning and end of yoga classes. Sitting in a cross-legged position or on the knees, keeping the spine erect and focusing on the breath. Focusing on the breath and expanding the breath and in time achieving “pranayamic breathing” which means “yoga breath.” A respiration with the lungs, diaphragm and the abdomen. Using the full capacity of the lungs, deep and long breaths with the help of the diaphragm and the abdomen. And when doing the “asana”s throughout the class, expanding the capacity of the lungs and using “pranayamic breathing.” This breathing style and the importance attributed to breath i.e. the soul throughout the class differs yoga from other physical activities.

Using the breath when flowing from one “asana” to another in fact reduces the burden on the body. We helped our body be opened and closed with the help of the breath and continued the flow without making ourselves physically exhaused thanks to our breath. Actually we were generating energy within our bodies. We were focusing the mind on the breath and thus the mind could not think any other thing when trying to harmonize the body and the breath. It was only watching the breath and the body and tried to move the body simultaneously with the breath. Therefore, the mind was just dealing with the body and the breath and was wandering neither in the past nor the future. It stayed right in the moment and the present time. And this was what differed yoga from other physical activities. The breath, i.e. the soul, the mind and the body was in unity and harmony.

Moreover, we were working on a certain part of the body in yoga classes and made a peak pose at the half of the class depending on that certain part we had stretched and strengthened. We could work on a hip opening flow in one yoga class and focus on inversions in another. We could choose to backbend in another yoga class.

Lastly, the most important feature that differs yoga from other activities is to work on a mental relief. To meditate for at least five minutes at the beginning of the class and to direct the attention and mind on the body and breath in order to release all the tension and tiredness of the day. A long “savasana” (deep relaxation and resting pose) at th end of the class in order to overcome the physical tiredness of the class.

You may think why I am writing this post. I am writing it because I talked to one of the students before a group class last week. The student said, “it is not important how tired I am or how it is hard for me to come to class or how a challenging and difficult flow we do throughout the class, I feel energetic after resting in “savasana” and waking up after this pose. It is as if my body is re-charged.” Yes, it was really so. As we deepen our breath in yoga, more fresh oxgyen is pumped to the blood and this boosts our energy, making us feel more healthy, strong and enthusiastic. According to some studies, yoga poses adjusts “cortisol” hormone, which makes us feel energetic. Like in all other physical activities, yoga helps increase “serotonine” and “endorphine” hormones and we end up the class smiling. I think there is no need to talk about how energetic and enthusiastic we may feel with laughter and smile. What differs yoga from other physical activities? And you are still asking me this question? No traces of tiredness after class but instead a body full of energy which may take you to the next class. And haven’t you still tried yoga yet?

I have been waiting for summer to come for almost two months. As I am waiting, it is not coming. I love hot weather, sun, pool, sea and sunbathing. The more I want all these summer-linked things, the longer it takes for summer to come. Moreover, I want to write an article on what type of yoga we can do during the summer. However, I cannot write it as the summer has not arrived yet. I decided to write anyway as today is June 21, the summer solstice. What type of yoga should we do to celebrate the summer solstice?

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Before answering this question, let’s try to explain what summer solstice mean and what happens that day. We experience two solstices a year, including winter solstice on December 21 and summer solstice on June 21. It is the time when the movement of the sun’s path (as seen from Earth) comes to a stop before it reverses direction.

The summer solstice or June 21 is the longest day of the year. It is the completion of the cycle that began at the winter solstice. The sun is at its highest point on this day. After June 21, days start to get shorter and nights grow longer until September 23 — the autumnal equinox. I should remind you that all these things happen in the northern hemisphere. It is just the opposite in the southern hemisphere.
Let’s come back to the solstice after this brief scientific information. The solstice is the best time to let the nature embrace us. Particularly during the summer solstice, we can find ourselves dancing with bare feet on grass or sand with the sun warming our bodies and soul. So far, we have only talked about the effects of the solstice on our souls.

If you ask me what type of yoga we could do to mark the summer solstice, I would just tell you to perform 108 “surya namaskara” (sun salutations). The sun is at its highest point on this day, so it is so meaningful to mark the day with sun salutations. This way we can burn the fire within us. We can expand each time we inhale and imagine that the sun is warming us each time we exhale.
Can we only mark the summer solstice with a flow yoga? Of course not. We can also mark June 21 with yin yoga. We cannot burn the fire within us with this type of yoga but we can extinguish the fire and we can calm ourselves down on this summer solstice. These are types of yoga we may perform on June 21 summer solstice. Now let’s try to find an answer to the question “what type of yoga during summer”.
As you may remember from my previous articles, our bodies are divided into three groups according to Ayurveda (Indian science of living). They were “vata, pitta and kapha”. Only one type was dominant on some bodies. On some bodies, two or three types were active. Also, one of the body types can be dominant over other during different seasons. During cold, dark, severe and harsh winter, the “vata dosha” (air and space) in our bodies was increasing. Therefore, we were giving priority to grounding in our yoga practice. During winter, the “kapha dosha” (earth and water) was dominant and to this end, we were feeling heavy and exhausted.

What happens to our bodies during summer? When summer comes, the “pitta” (fire and water) in our body increases. We may feel ourselves tired due to hot weather. Moreover, as the “pitta dosha” increases in our bodies, we may be aggressive and demanding. For this reason, it will be good for us if we begin our yoga practice by lying supine during summer. Starting with “savasana” (deep relaxation and resting pose) to bring the awareness to our yoga practice, then a lateral stretch and a twist will make us feel well at the beginning of our yoga practice. This way we can balance our internal heat.
Not only at the beginning of our yoga practice but also during the entire practice we may prefer a calmer yoga style than a fast and active yoga style. This way, we can give more priority to relaxation and meditation. But, this does not mean that we should not practice a flow yoga during summer. We can do it in a calmer and more aware way when we practice flow yoga.
Naturally, we can begin the practice with “surya namaskara” (sun salutation) series and go on with all standing asanas such as “trikonasana” (triangle), “ardha chandrasana” (half moon pose), “utthita parsvakonasana” (wide angle pose), “setu bandhasana” (bridge), “urdhva dhanurasana” (wheel), “bharadvajrasana” (sage Bharadvaj pose), “upavista konasana” (seated angle pose), “parivritta janu sirsasana” (twisted head to knee pose), “baddha konasana” (bound angle pose), “paschimottanasana” (east looking forward bend), “halasana” (plow pose), “salamba sarvangasana” (supported shoulderstand), “karnapidasana” (ear pressure pose), “matsyasana” (fish pose). We can focus on forward bends in our yoga classes or own practice in order to calm the mind and body down.
In addition to all these asanas, we can use a “pranayama” technique called “sitali” to cool our bodies down. In short we curl the tongue and protrude it slightly past the lips. We inhale deeply and smoothly through the tongue and mouth and exhale through the nose. This technique calms and cools us. You may feel cooler when you do this pranayama for a few minutes.

Another “pranayama” technique we can use during summer is to close the right nostril and just breathe through the left nostril. Right nostril is the male and solar side of our bodies and named “pingala nadi” (solar energy center). The left nostril is the female and lunar side of our bodies and named “ida nadi” (lunar energy center). When we close the right nostril, we close the male, active and warming side of our bodies and when we inhale and exhale through the left nostril, we use our female, passive and cooling side.

At the end of our yoga practice, we can either rest in “savasana” (deep relaxation and resting pose) or we can reverse the flow of the body and rest in “viparita karani” (legs up to the wall).

Have you noticed that yoga is such a wide world that you may practice different types and use different “pranayama” techniques in every season. It is possible to warm or cool our bodies during winter and summer with these breathing techniques. So you may ask how to breath during spring or autumn? There is a breathing technique to equalize the right and left energies in our bodies, which can be used especially during spring and autumn. That is, yoga offers us many different things.
This or that way, summer or winter. Or spring or autumn. Not important. What is important is to love yoga and have yoga in our daily lives during all seasons maybe only by asanas; or by asanas, pranayama and meditation; or by asanas, pranayama, meditation and philosophy.

There is only terrorism around us in recent days. Not only in our country but also in the world. Terrorism causes fear, anger, worry and sarrow. Some people show their reaction through anger whereas some of them try to stay home and in their own internal world due to growing fear. You can read unhappiness and sorrow from the face of some people. However life goes on. Despite all these negative developments, we are trying to go on with our own daily lives. And so did I. I went on teaching yoga as usual.

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All students were saying the same thing in my classes. “Teacher, we are so afraid. We are worried. We are sorrowful. Can we do something to relieve us?” I love to teach “yin yoga” in such cases. To work on the meridians that pass through our bodies, to focus on emotional effects of the meridians and to get rid of negative emotions by relieving and relaxing the body…

Fear was the emotion of kidneys as well as the urinary bladder. Anger was that of the liver and gall bladder. Worry was the emotion of stomach and spleen. Sorrow was living in the lungs and large intestines whereas hatred was the emotion of heart and small intestines. When we remove all these negative emotions, we could reach love, understanding, empathy and compassion. The target areas that we should deal with were obvious. The class would focus on kidneys, liver, stomach, lungs and heart meridians. I also planned to touch on the gall bladder.

Kidney and urinary bladder meridian was where the life force existed and should be in balance in order for other organs to operate well. The life force we called “prana” or “chi” was staying in the kidneys. This meant that “chi” in the kidneys was responsible for our vitality. In order to get rid of fear, we practiced “sphinx” and “seal.”

The liver and gall bladder meridian was responsible for balancing emotions. When the liver energy was unbalanced, we could be angry and be ready to explode at any moment. The gall bladder energy was responsible for our judgment. It was related with our re-establishing our balance after a shock or a change in plans. In order to re-balance our emotions after terror shocks, we used “frog” and “sleeping swan” poses.

The stomach and spleen meridian was related with digestion. Could we digest what we were going through? Were the body, mind and soul in balance? Were we in connection with the outside world? Were we in harmony? In order to realize all these things, we closed our eyes in “dragon” and “half saddle” and worked on our body-mind-soul harmony.

The lung and large intestine meridian was related with courage and respect. It was also related with knowing the value of the moment we were living. The heart energy was depending on our life force and soul. When these two energies were in harmony, we were happy, accept life as it was and lived a happy life. In order to stimulate these meridians, we used “melting heart” pose. In each exhale, we tried to bring the chest closer to the ground and focused on loving more.

We ended the sequence by relieving the spine and stimulating all the meridians in the body with the “cat tail” twist. The class ended with a long “savasana” (deep relaxation and resting pose) that followed the twist.

How should I close the class? I should focus on our emotions. If I overcame anger, I could be compassionate and had good-will. If I defeated hatred, I could reach love. If I got rid of my worries, I could be compassionate, honest and frank. If I could alleviate sorrow, I could self-respect and be a dignified graceful person. Moreover if I overcame all these negative emotions, I could turn into a loving, understanding and compassionate person. I could first love myself and then everyone around me. Who knows? Maybe one day I could look at the entire world with more loving and sympathetic eyes.

Days, months and years go by. And again International Women’s Day comes. Before posting a blog on this special day, I take a look at my previous posts. Actually I have something in my mind but I want to remember what I wrote in the previous years. Guess what? I posted blogs on violence against women and women being hurt and oppressed. What has changed in a year? Could we make a difference? Unfortunately I could not keep myself from thinking that everything had been worse in my country.

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March 8 International Women’s Day. How did March 8 become the international women’s day? Let’s first remember this. On March 8, 1857, garment workers in New York City marched and picketed, demanding improved working conditions, a ten hour day, and equal rights for women. Their ranks were broken up by the police. 129 women died and at least 10,000 people attended their funeral.

On August 26-27, 1910 at the Second International, a world wide socialist party congress, German socialist Clara Zetkin proposed that March 8th be proclaimed International Women’s Day, to commemorate the US demonstrations and honor working women the world over. On March 16, 1977 United Nations General Assembly decided to celebrate March 8 as the “International Women’s Day.”

How could we, the women, accept losing all these rights we have gained with so many difficulties? I cannot understand it. Particularly if we take into consideration the violence against women, the rapes and women killings in our country, shouldn’t we respect women’s right more than ever and try to protect them? Isn’t this an imposition of male-energy societies? Have we returned back to old patriarchal days? I really think so.

If we go back to old ages, just remember King Hattusili III of the Hittite Empire, who made the first peace treaty in the world. The treaty was also sealed with Hittite Queen Puduhepa, which meant that the queen also had a word to speak in the name of the empire. Moreover, in the Yazilikaya Open Air Sanctuary, God of  Sky and Storm Teshub was decorated together with his spouse Hebat. The “mother earth” belief system in Anatolia goes back to 7,000 BC. The belief system reflected by fat women figurines which emphasize the women aspects of a body in agricultural settlements like Catalhoyuk and Hacilar had developed in thousands of years and was the basis of the Kybele/Cybele mother earth belief in the Phrygian world. An agricultural society, the Phrygs converted “the Great Mother” into a goddess of nature and believed this goddess symbolized the fertility in the nature. This mother earth cult of the Phrygian world was later adopted by the Greek and Roman world. The Greek called this goddess as “Meter Megale” and the Romans as “Magna Matar.”

In ancient Turkish societies, Umai was the “goddess of birth” and “the goddess who protected the family, marriage and the generations.” Umai was a spirit who was worshipped to make women more fertile. Known as a mythological deity, Umai was referred in the ancient Turkish “Orhun” monuments, “Turfan” monuments and Mahmud al-Kashgari’s “Diwan ul-Lugat al-Turk.” In the Orhun moruments, Umai was mentioned together with the God of Sky Ulgen and it was written that Kul Tigin was born with the help of Umai. Moreover, Turkish is actually one of the most democratic languages that when we say “O” we mention both all female and male creatures.

The matriarchal societies were replaced with partriarchal societies as agriculture developed and animals were domesticated. When animals were domesticated, men stopped hunting and settled down. Thus, men pushed the women to the second place at home and in the society and became the leader at home and in the society.

These are only the social reasons of transformation from matriarchal to patriarchal societies. There were also psychologic reasons of this transformation. According to yoga master Osho, men have an inferiority complex for they are not as creative as women. Osho thinks women are more creative than men because of their capability of giving birth and says that men are aware that women are superior than themselves. He also states that men tend to supress women, usurp women’s rights and push them to a second place in society in all societies in order to overcome their inferiority complex. Moreover, men do not want women to work and earn their own living, make them give birth to as many children as they can, make them stay at home and make them financially-dominant in order to keep women stay beside them.

As matriarchal societies were demolished and replaced with partriarchal ones, the world started to be ruled with male energy. Female energy was annihilated. Let me explain female and male energy with yoga. According to yoga belief, human body sets up of two energies. Feminine and masculine energies. Masculine energy starts from the coccyx and ends in the right nostril, whereas feminine energy also begins at the coccyx but ends in the left nostril. The male part is hot and active while the female energy is cold and passive. The male side is solar energy but the female side is lunar energy. This is how hatha yoga came out. Simply, ha means sun and tha means moon. Body is formed with the unification of these two dual energies. The aim is to balance the masculine and feminine energies, awake the divine force believed to live in the root chakra (muladhara chakra), help rise this divine force through the seven chakras, join the female and male energies in the third eye chakra (ajna chakra) and get enlightened.

Male-dominant societies are unfortunately aggressive and warrior. Since the birth of humanity, men hunt and they try to be strong by ignoring their emotions in order to hunt. Unfortunately, for we are living in a male-dominant world, we use this energy just to produce weapons and to fight. Because of this energy, the world is gradually getting more aggressive and cruel.

“Yang” is trying to change the world. To change ourselves, to change our life and the world. To struggle to make this change. To do something to make this change. Sometimes to push hard the life and ourselves. However “yin” is accepting. To accept everything as it is and to surrender. To accept life and ourselves as we are. Actually when we accept ourselves and do not push life hard, maybe everything will go in the right track but however we are so much “motivated by being the doer, being the active side” that we cannot surrender to life.

Being a woman? Bending, stretching, creating, accepting and surrendering… Moving with the flow of life… Accepting everything as it comes to you and just the same as something leaves you… Being one with the life, flowing with life.. Melting and eradicating the stiffness of masculine energy in the compassion of the feminine energy…

Awakening the female energy? March 8 International Women’s Day… Women! Let this magnificent energy flow out of you! What is my suggestion? Of course, yoga and particularly yin yoga. A yoga class or practice which awakens your second chakra, swadisthana chakra (sacral chakra). That is, a yoga practice focusing on hip openers. The second chakra, including our sexual organs, is associated with sweetness and creativeness, which is not something that can be ignored. In order to be creative, we should leave aside anger and disappointment and we should forgive ourselves if we feel guity. Sharing is related with the energy of the second chakra. Creativity intermingles us with other people.  A chakra associated with the element water. Water is soft and flexible. As Lao Tzu said, “The best of man is like water,  Water is good; it benefits all things and does not compete with them. It dwells in (lowly) places that all disdain.That is why it is so near to Tao… Bend and be straight; Empty and be full; Wear out and be new; Have little and gain.” Hoping that feminine energy can get the place it deserves in the world again, aggression is replaced with understanding and empathy, war is replaced with peace, and that we can accept and surrender more…

A special day comes again. February 14 Valentine’s Day is being celebrated all around the world as well as Turkey. Unfortunately we have become such consuming societies that these days are just be regarded as days to earn more and lose the real intention behind. Do we love our spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, mother, father or friends only one day? Why is this day different from other days? Isn’t love the real meaning of our lives? Isn’t love the life itself?

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Love is such an energy that people grow and progress with love. Love is the most special and important of all emotions. Only love can challenge hatred in the world. Only love joins everyone all around, progresses and enhances people. Just imagine what happens in case of lack of love in your life? How do you feel? How do you live? When you are deprived of love, don’t you feel as if you are dry up like a leaf? I myself feel so. As if I lack water and food. I dry up and fade away. In just one second, I start seeing negative emotions all around me. Particularly fear and hatred. When I am deprived of love, I fear everything. Fear of losing, fear of falling and fear of not being able to stand up after I fall down.
What about hatred? We always talk about duality of life. Hatred is also the opposite emotion of love. When we lack love in our lives, hatred comes and settles. When we lose the emotion of love, we start to hate everything, life, people, our surrounding, environment, world, animals and everything you may think of.
It is so easy to lose love… When you hesitate for a moment, when you fear for a moment, when you hate for a moment… You can lose love and be surrendered by negative emotions.
So can we say that we can avoid hatred and fear by multiplying energy of love in the world as love is the antidote of fear and hatred? Of course. When love increases in the world and universe and it is spread, hatred and fear will diminish.
How can we achieve this? First by loving ourselves, understanding ourselves and forgiving ourselves. As we forgive and love ourselves, love in our hearts will start to grow up, our hearts will be opened up more, and as we open up our heart more, we will feel ourselves freer, our perspective on the world will broaden and change. That is, we will change our own life by first loving ourselves. Then what? By loving and sympathizing a person who treats us badly. By forgiving them, leaving everything in the past, putting a blanket on all negative thoughts, feelings and energies, only living in the moment, loving everything around us, and showing sympathy to everyone.
We, humans, come to life innocent and full of love. There is no hatred or fear when we are child. We are just “pure love” when we are a child. All these emotions show up as we grow up and become polluted with the rules of the society. After the society puts rules and asks us to obey them, we start to pretend and become someone we are not. We lose our innocence and freedom and become more and more polluted.
When we do not lose our childhood and protect our innocence, when we behave just as we are and we live freely, we try to apply all these criteria in our relations. When we are free and when we feed our souls with love instead of hatred and anger, there will be no fears and expectations in our lives. We set free and respect our boyfriend, girlfriend, friend or parents. We love that person just the way s/he is and without trying to change him/her.
Just imagine children. I taught kids yoga for some time. In those classes, I had the opportunity to see the difference between kids and the grown-up. Children were not wearing masks. They were behaving just the way they were. Sincerely… They was not thinking of shames. They could tell you, “teacher you look so ugly today” or “teacher you look so old today”. Things that we may not like to hear. But they were saying them abruptly. As a person with short hair-cut, one of the kids once asked me, “teacher are you a boy?” They do not think of “shames” or “sin.” We are implanting all these emotions and thoughts in their minds in time and we are polluting them. “Kid, you should not say so, it’s a shame” or “kid, you should not say so, it’s a sin.” And the society turns individuals who are once “love” into individuals of “fear” and “hatred.”
Therefore, we should be just like kids. Fearless, without expectations and we should love just the way someone is. When we love someone, we should respect at the same time. Whoever we are facing, we should be aware that a relationship consists of at least two people and both people are equally responsible. Everyone is responsible for his/herself in love. First we should love and accept ourselves and then we should love and accept the other person just the way s/he is and without trying to change. We should first open our hearts and give our love to that person generously. We should love our spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, mothers, fathers and friends unconditionally and without waiting for a response. We should love without any expectations. We should love just for ourselves, not because the person we love loves us in return.
Love, Valentine’s Day. Everyday is love and valentine’s day for me. Love is an indispensable part of us because we are all “love.” The biggest energy in the world is “pure love.” If we can live more from the heart instead of minds, and if we let our heart speak instead of our minds, if we can show and make our love be felt by everyone, there will be no need to add meaning to days and remember the loved ones only on one day. If we leave aside emotions lived as we grow up like aggression, fear, selfishness, we can spread the energy of love to the entire world. If we can leave aside all the negative emotions we are made to learn, we can see how much we are full of love. The only thing we should do is to love and be able to love everyday. Wishing every day to be full of love, compassion, understanding and sympathy… Wishing you to be “love” every day. Wishing that you can feel and make someone feel “pure love”…