Vivaksham: Intended Meaning

So often, we take ourselves and others so literally.  And too frequently this results in misunderstandings and hurt feelings.  In Yoga, there is a practice, as summed up in on word "vivaksham" that help us avoid such misfortune, and keep the heart door open.

Vivaksham is a Sanskrit word that means "intended meaning".  Vaktum is the infinite purpose and means to speak or communicate through words.  Icchaa is desire.  Therefore, the word Vivaksaa is a word implying desire, and gives the listener the sense or desire to tease through words, and assert what is wanting to be said -- the meaning behind the words.  The light behind the fire, as it may be.

As my teacher says, this is soooooooooooo important!  For this we need to connect through heart, breath, and eyes, and to share a pact with one another (or you with the divine in the other if their humanness cannot access).  The pact is to agree to always say in all exchanges and sharing of personal perspective, "I could be wrong... I may be wrong... this is MY perception."

If we cannot say " I may be wrong" then we are  being strictly subjective, and nothing the other person says can be seen objectively.  When this happens, we use others words to fit into our perception of reality and there is no actual connection.  No dialogue.  Only me taking your words and twisting them to fit into my world.  Communication -- heartfelt communication -- is lost.

So for example, the get the vivaksaa of a speaker, try this:  Let's say you and another have just arrived home.  You walk up to your front door, and your arms are full, and so you simply say, "Door".  What does that mean?  What is the vivaksaa of the speaker?  The vivaksaa  is seeing the light behind it all, in and through it all, and the receiver hears, "Please open the door.  My arms are full and I cannot do so myself."

Another example, is similar, but with different vivaksaa.  You and another have just pulled into your driveway and you say, "Door."  This time, the vivakssa is "Please press the garage door opener hanging on your visor."  Same word.  Different vivakssa.

Daily we communicate in a thousand subtle ways like this ....

As longing lovers, and seekers of truth, we need only to get the Vivaksaa of the speaker!   Then words only create light and not heat!  

And as my teacher also says, "THEN Devi Saraswati will abide on our tounges and in and as our hearts  and keep blessing us with enlightening Language skills and open hearts!"

For the words we say are only a very small part of our communication.  The way we say it, the heart space from which we speak, and receive the words and actions of others makes all the difference.  

So, let us open some windows, and let the LIGHT in. 




Asana… with a message from our sponsor.

My teacher, bless his Guruji heart, shares teachings with me via Skype and WeTransfer and email.  Being that I am in the midst of the Deva Daaru School of Yoga & Integral Studies YTT200, he shared this with me to share with my YTT students.  For those of you who are also teachers, and/or serious students…. Ponder this throughout your asana practice -- especially when you are in a challenging place, sensing anxiety, comparison, weakness, or any other seemingly "unwelcome" emotion.

A Traditional definition of the word Asanam.

Anayasena yena syat ajasram brahmacintanam.

Asanam tadvijaniyat yoginam sukhadayakam.

Through whichever (posture) one remains effortlessly relaxed (essentially posture-less) and resolved in devotion to the Lord. (Relaxed out of offence-defense posturing, in total trust and helplessness as a newborn babe in mother’s arms). Let this be known as asanam, which is the giver/opening of grace/felicity to the Yogi’s. (Those who are committed to emotional maturity and cognizing realities.)

Translation from the original Sanskrit By Swami Vagishananda Saraswati. 


See, Yogi Baby… This practice is SO much more than what you see on the cover of the latest yoga magazine.



Yoga: Embody Creation

There are thousands of religions on the planet.  But a religion, yoga is not.  Instead yoga is a container that holds space for all religions and lack thereof, all beliefs.  It is a place for all uncertainties to be welcomed and honored, exactly as they are, as one is, in any moment with no agenda to be anything other than what Is. Here and Now.

Further, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of ways yoga is taught, shared, and believed to be potent.  The highest practice of yoga is that which allows divine oneness to come through everything that is.  The advanced yogi/ni recognizes everything as whole.

From 'The Wisdom of India', written in 1942, "The most curious, most distinctive and at the same time probably the most widely known aspect of Hindu mysticism is the philosophy and practice of yoga.  If the sum of Brahmanism (*scroll to the very bottom for definition of Brahmanism) may be defined as teaching the mystic union of man's true self with the world soul (brahman, God, etc.)  Yoga represents the most direct and well-formulated method for achieving union, and as such constitutes a method for achieving inner stability and depths of the human soul.

Yoga (meaning yoke) represents a form of personal discipline, with the object of "yoking" the body to the soul, and the individual soul to the universal soul." 

When we come to the mat... what is it we seek to create?  What creation, or manifestation of all of the universal energies and all of what is available to us on the planet, do we want to bring into form through our bodies, and through our intentions?  How is it that we set up our mat practice awaken individual creative genius within each of us and our collective creative power as a class, a community, a town or city, a country, and as a planet?


* Brahmanism is the spiritual perspective or practice considered to predate Hinduism and to follow the Vedas, or four spiritual texts, from which we have received all of yoga, ayurveda, and a contextual understanding of our wholeness as creations of Brahman, the creative process of Brahman, and the creators (as Brahma) ourselves. 



Empty to Fill.

As a yoga teacher, parent, artist, serious student, or train conductor (whatever, right?)

Point is:  When you come to the mat.... having  a clear vision of what you have come to the mat to receive.... is one of the greatest and most powerful tools you can wield.

Be a vessel.  

I remember back in the day when I taught aerobic classes... Nia...even hardcore fitness classes... I remember thinking, "I wonder if these people know that if they COME to class already with a vision in their minds of what the heck they are aiming to receive in being here, their time will be THAT much more impactful, juicy, and fruitful."  

Now, nearly 20 years later... I stand before my students and remind them that they are empty vessels... The practice EMPTIES them. So they might be FILLED with divine light.   

What the heck is divine light?  It is JUICE.  ENERGY.  JOY. INSPIRATION.  EXPANDED VISION.  You name it, it is THAT. 

We call this divine "vesselness", in Sankrit,  Patra.  (remember there is no 'r' sound in Sanskrit such as in the word, rose... the 'r' is always rolled... the damaru drrrrrrrum of Shiva is sounded with each roll of your tongue :) -- the call to battle your inner demons with each recognition that you, I, WE, are each a Patra.

So look into your students eyes, or if you are the student, look into your teacher's eyes... and share this vital, sacred intention.  Open your heart, your breath, your relaxed body... and what you will receive.... what your students receive will blow your mind.


Om. B


The Four Goals in Life

There are four goals in life.  And when we come to the mat, we can focus in on any one of them, or start at the core of our practice and see what blossoms forth as a result.

The four goals are: 

Dharma:  Dharma is purpose or the alignment of one's individual nature with the flow of nature as a whole.

Artha:  Artha is the means required to avoid getting caught up in barriers.  Artha is necessary funds, food, security, shelter, health, and other energetic resources. 

Kama:  Kama is enjoyment or pleasure.

Moksha:  Liberation or freedom. 

What is so beautiful about this is that we can come to the mat and focus on our purpose of this breath, this asana, this two hour practice.... or we can focus on the purpose of this life.  We can explore what carries related to means (such as a shoulder injury that needs healing, or the funds to study with a favorite teacher). We can always find a little bit of pleasure -- looking, longing, seeking, and always and eventually finding it... if even in watching the sun begin to rise or the way a pillow feels beneath one's head after a long day.  And then, ALL of this opens us to liberation... When we feel connected to our purpose, able to manifest or tap into the necessary (not the "I want I want I want" in my nature, but the necessary) means, filled with the joy for living... then ALL of these open us entirely and undoubtedly to Moksha:  Freedom.  

It's who we are.