A few days ago, I had the great opportunity to train a bunch of teachers from across the globe. They were accomplished teachers of a movement form called The Nia Technique. They aren't yoga teachers exactly, but they know yoga in their bodies. I was asked to teach them traditional aspects of yoga through the lens of the Nia Technique. And so, that's what I did. I realized in the midst of it, that what I was teaching them, so many students and teachers of yoga might also enjoy as a little refreshment… So here are 13 "Pearls of Wisdom" as seen through the lens of Yoga. Enjoy… (and take little bites)!
1. Every sound symbol, every “kara”, is a name of God in Sankrit. There is no way to say anything in Sankrit without praying. Even when you say the word “yoga”, you are praying.
2. There are no R sounds in Sankrit, such as is heard in the name, “Larry” or the words “car” or “rack”. The “R” is always rolled (much like in Spanish), and naturally awakens Manipura Chakra (solar plexus / #3), and is the sound of Shiva’s damaru, the war-cry drum, “RRRRRRRRRRR! RRRRRRRRRRRRRR!”
3. Asana means “seat” but it also means “state of being”. When we take the position of any asana, we are taking on all of the characteristics and personality of that entity: be it a mountain, a tree, a child, a crow. In this way, we are cultivating whatever it is that the entity has mastered in its every bit of being.
4. In Yoga, there is the divine feminine (THA) pronounced with a soft “t”, not “th”: This is the moon, the right brain, the second and fourth chakra in particular, and what we call Ida. Its characteristics are smooth, creamy, juicy, and nurturing. The purpose of the divine feminine is to nourish.
5. In Yoga, there is divine masculine (HA): this is the sun, the left brain, the first and third chakras in particular, and what we call Pingala. Its characteristics are hot, radiant, electric, & sharp. The purpose of the divine masculine is to penetrate.
6. From wholeness all things come to wholeness all things return. Never was there a time, is there a time or will there be a time when wholeness is not present.
7. OM is made up of three karas (sound symbols), AH, OOM, MM. AH – creation, OO – maintenance, and MM – transformation. When we put these three sounds together, the sound is OM. Please note, even this is limited, as the sound has a profound way of traveling up through the body and awakening each chakra as it travels. With proper teaching, you will experience OM like never before. You sometimes hear it as ONG, or AUNG, or AUM – these are all correct and require proper teaching to master.
8. Power and gentleness go hand in hand. Power is no longer power when gentleness is not present.
9. Prana (with a capital P, not to be confused with prana, one of the five winds in the body) moves UP the body on the inhale, and DOWN the body on the exhale.
10. You are the dancer. The dance. The one being danced.
11. You are the one breathing. The breath itself. The one being breathed.
12. Nama(ha) means “not mine” in Sanskrit. Namam(ah) – means” I give it back to the Earth… the Mama of all Mamas.
13. Yoga always asks for: free & easy breath, long neutral spine, & a relaxed body.