SEASONAL SELF-CARE BLOG
Posted on December 10th, 2018
I took this picture of beautiful Lake George when I was celebrating Thanksgiving with my family. It was one of the first snowfalls of the season and a great quietness and sense of peace spread across the lake. I was happy to have a warm cozy fire and a comfy couch to snuggle up on once inside.
Winter is the time of hibernation and restoration. The stillness and quietness is displayed throughout the natural world. The frozen water on the surface of the earth provides the necessary darkness and quietude for the seeds and roots to tap in with their source and nourish germination. As we too are part of nature, in Winter our beings need to draw inwards to consolidate our essential energy, qi or prana. As we let go of our constant outward activity and take rest, we return to our source and preserve our roots. It is a time to talk less and listen more.
According to Chinese Medicine, Winter is the Season of the Water element and the Kidneys. Known as our root organ, the kidneys generate and store the original material that creates the fundamental basis for all of our other tissues. The Kidneys also govern the ears and hearing. Winter is a very powerful time to work with sound healing. The vibrations penetrate deeply inside your body, traveling in the waters of the body, providing nourishment to your deepest root and essential energy. The kidneys are also known as the Mother organs. As you nourish your kidneys, your entire organ systems will receive benefit.
I encourage you to take some time out this Winter and nourish your ears and kidneys with Sound Healing. I am offering Private Sound Healing Sessions and Gift Certificates for your loved ones for the Holiday. You can get a Holiday package and get one for yourself too! Or join me for one of my Restorative Yoga Sound Baths, this Sat. night (Dec 15, 7-9pm) at Sacred Sounds in the city and weekly on Wed. 8-9:30pm at Narayana Yoga Project in Greenpoint.
Sound Bliss awaits!
Sacred Sounds of Sanskrit
Posted on September 8th, 2015
Through my deep explorations of my body as a yogini and dancer, I have found that actually the delicate intricacies of the subtle body are most eloquently unveiled through sound.
As my yoga practice deepened, I was drawn to study Sanskrit. I had the great fortune of attending a Sanskrit workshop with Jo Brill. I loved exploring how to create the sounds of Sanskrit and thrilled to be able to actually begin to decipher the squiggly script of devanagari in just one weekend! I felt like I was cracking the code and entering a new level in my yoga studies and awareness!
At the time I was also working on a new performance piece, “Traces”, which explored memory, origin, and roots. Since Sanskrit is the mother of all Indo-European languages, it seemed to me to be a perfect way to explore the root of language in my performance piece. I took the Sanskrit alphabet with me into the rehearsal studio and played with the sounds and how they emerged from different places in my mouth. I created a sound score which became a very powerful part of the piece and my favorite part to perform. I loved the sounds and felt intrigued by how they affected me.
As I studied deeper, I learned that there is a vibrational correspondence with each of the sounds of the Sanskrit alphabet and the chakras. There are 50 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet and in total 50 petals on the chakras. Each of the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet is said to open one of the 50 petals of the chakras. Chanting the entire Sanskrit alphabet reverberates through all the petal of the chakras and their related areas in the body! Additionally the sounds of the Sanskrit alphabet offers healing and cleansing in the body by sonic stimulation of particular areas and marma points. Marmas are energy points in the body which connect with your underlying organ systems and energetic channels.
“The subtle body of sound vibration relates to the mental body and to the subtle or astral body in general, the site of the seven chakras. It creates and sustains the physical body, supporting health and well-being within it. Through changing the frequencies of the subtle body of sound, we can bring healing into the physical body and remove negativities from the mind.” David Frawley
The powerful healing offered through sound vibration is an area of deep interest to me. I am excited to share the explorations through our Yoga Sukhavati: ART OF SOUND weekend workshops. Join us Sept 12, 13 for a Sanskrit immersion with Jo Brill, and Oct 2-4 for the Healing Power of Sound.
Waterfall of thoughts
Posted on August 17th, 2015
Rejuvenate your being through mantra, and sonic marma healing. Join us for our second weekend in Yoga Sukhavati, Art of Sound module-HEALING POWER OF SOUND, Oct 3-4.
Our modern lives are filled with excess of every kind. Perhaps central to all of this is our excessive mental chatter. Our minds are constantly spinning with obsessions, worry, fear, anxiety, excessive thoughts and repetitive habitual mind agitations of all sorts. This mind chatter can be so loud, persistent and overwhelming that it is often referred to in meditation as a “waterfall of thoughts”. Not a sweet waterfall, but the roaring, deafening kind! Ekhart Tolle, author of the “The Power of Now” has a wonderful story about this. One day he was walking one day behind this homeless person who was spewing out a non-stop crazy monologue. At first Ekhart was disturbed by the man’s ramblings. Then he had a realization that in some way, he was quite similar to this man-that he too had a constant monologue going on inside his head. He chuckled to himself as he realized that the only difference was that the homeless person was speaking his monologue out loud and Ekhart was just spinning his monologue inside his head.
Scattered, fragmented, obsessive, repetitive thoughts and disjointed rambling speech are signs that our heart-mind is out of balance. I think that would be most of us alot of the time! The wisdom of Chinese Medicine encourages us to nourish our heart and small intestine in the Summer months when these organs & meridians are particularly affected. The heart-mind is said to sprout at the tongue. One of the most powerful ways to nurture and calm the heart-mind is through the power of sound. Mantra practice is a potent sonic healing. The Sanskrit word mantra is derived from “manas”-mind and “tra”- tool. It is a tool for the mind, one of the most powerful means to calm the mind. They are often referred to as mind protection. Mantras power comes not from the meaning of the words but from the energetic effect they have on the physical and subtle body.
“Mantras break-up unhealthy or negative energy patterns stored in the physical and subtle bodies and help create new, positive energy patterns. This “clean” energy animates the body and mind and can act as a magnet for other positive energy to come into your life.”
“Mantra allows the chakras to “switch on” safely and to operate at a higher “wattage.” When we practice Sanskrit mantra, we increase the ability of the chakras to hold a spiritual charge. It is as if a 25-watt bulb becomes able to hold 50 watts, then 100 watts, 500 watts, 1,000 watts. Mantra’s power derives not from any particular meaning that their syllables convey, but from the vibrational effect the create when they are pronounced repeatedly…when we focus the sound vibration of mantra with a consciously held intent, we can even direct its energy (prana) to specific parts of the body.” (Thomas Ashley Farland)
I have worked alot with sound to help me unravel stuck areas in my being that I am not able to reach through asana or other means. The healing power of the sonic vibrations of sound is very potent. This Summer I have been working deeply with a Ganesh mantra. I often open my classes with this chant as well as do it in my personal practice. But this Summer I decided to do the full traditional 40 day practice of 108 recitations per day. My intention was to create groundedness and stability in my life particularly in the financial realm. I am truly amazed at how quickly things started shifting and stabilizing! New opportunities have presented themselves and I’ve been releasing old patterns that create instability in my mind and life.
MAHA GANAPATI MOOL MANTRA
Om srim hrim klim glaum gam ganapataye svaha
“May the abundance-producing, great remover of obstacles, that transcends this apparent reality bring all things that concern me under my control.”
It brings me great joy to share some of these sound practices with you through our second weekend of Yoga Sukhavati: HEALING POWER OF SOUND, Oct 3, 4. Amanda Capobianco will be offering her fabulous workshop-Demystifying Mantra: A Practical Approach to an Ancient Technology. I will be offering workshops on “Awaken the voice of the teacher” and “Sonic Marma Healing.” Join us for for a powerful weekend of sound exploration and healing!