Well, today got off to a groggy start, as I had to meet some people early in the morning, and my body was feeling out-of-alignment and crummy, and there wasn’t time to do any yoga to fix that. I tried to do a small bit of bound lotus sitting in a chair in a group setting without being too exhibitionistic, but it didn’t help much. Finally I went outside and did a couple sun salutations, and surprisingly that helped significantly. There wasn’t time at that point to do much else. Quite a bunch of changes going on in my life; mercury went retrograde today, and I’m actually asking for help from some people in some life changes I’m trying to undertake, which isn’t my usual practice. So I guess I’m “peeling the onion” of my life.
After a meal with friends I had a nice afternoon rehearsal with Brad Byrd, whom I’m playing with tomorrow at Elderberries along with Kevin. Had to do some spur of the moment apt. cleaning to make that happen, and the place feels much better as a result. After he left, I didn’t really have any inclination to do yoga, but my mental commitment and lingering desire to do yesterday’s chosen sets got me started.
I did quite a lot tonight!
I never have been that fond of the “Kundalini Yoga Guidelines for Sadhana (Daily Practice)” manual. Gurushabd gave it to me when we were beginning a new manual, and I suppose part of the problem is that I feel a psychic debt for dropping that project. But the manual itself is poorly bound; I’ve barely used it and it’s falling apart. A lot of the sets in the Teacher’s Training manual were xeroxed from it. I’m not excited about the illustrations in it. But the content is good, so I was attempting to get past those superficial issues when I chose a set from it.
First I did “Kriya for Nerve, Navel, and Lower Spine Strength” (p. 61) After I was underway I remembered one set that Sada Sat Singh had taught once that had a lot of these platform and ramp poses in it, and it left my legs so sore I could barely walk at work the next day. I was hoping it wasn’t this set – or at least that I don’t have a similar reaction. It didn’t seem as strenuous as it claimed it was, but it’s not a snap either.
When I was doing exercise 7, I remembered how I was at an event sitting next to “Skinny Bitch” vegan author Rory Freeman, and the chairs were full, so we were at the side of the room on a stage, and I suddenly had the urge to do nearly the exact same pose, from another set, actually, which you do in celebate pose, between your heels, rather than sitting atop them. She immediately moved to the other side of the room. Don’t blame her, actually… sorta funny to remember; maybe I smelled like dairy. Yes, I’m a crazy yogi.
I listened to Cherdikala Jetta’s “Gobinday Mukunday” for the whole set; nearly all the exercises were 3 minutes long. Anyway, after the set I did my 11 min. “Har” meditation, and then decided to complete the Master’s Touch “Blessings” meditations that I’d only done the first two of.
This is the pose for Part III:
You chant “Har” in this posture for 3-1/2 minutes. Got a little old after 11 minutes of the other “Har” meditation, and James Taylor is across the street at the Hollywood Bowl tonight, so there was a lot of traffic and fire engine noise for some reason, although I didn’t find myself distracted by it. I think the navel exercises helped with focus.
Then the next two parts are supposed to be done with a partner, but I don’t really know anybody who’d be interested in doing them, or “up to the task” – or maybe I’m just committed to solo practice – so I had to follow the suggestion to imagine a partner if doing it alone. First you do another minute of chanting “Har” while looking into the partner’s eyes, and then you close your eyes and do a deep meditation, breathing long and deep for 27-1/2 minutes. I imagined a few people I knew who need support and healing as my partners, and also some people with pretty intense energy who’ve been through some tough challenges lately – for some reason Gurutej came to mind; she lost her daughter last year. Some other friends facing health challenges were my imaginary yogis too, but I won’t name them. I played “Healing the Wounds of Love” again because it was long enough to support the meditation and I don’t have the specified ones in the book.
So I finished the meditation and it had been pretty long with the yoga sets too, so I closed with Long Time Sun, and then realized there were two more pages!! There are eight parts to this meditation! So I resumed and finished things out; the next section used the Ardas Bhaee mantra again which I recently discussed the lack of recordings of. I made something up that sounded a bit silly and like some classical aria. When I’d sung “Long Time Sun” I was a bit disappointed that I felt like I’d lost my melodic sense from so much yoga and meditation or was feeling tired. Ardas Bhaee was only 3 minutes, fortunately.
Then the next section called for a mantra that’s actually in the “Healing the Wounds of Love” mantra I’d just been listening to, so I used it again; the “Aad Such, Jugad Such, Haibay Such, Nanaka Hosay Bhay Such.” (3-1/2 mins)
The final section you’re supposed to join hands with the class, and listen to the “Aquarian March” (which I actually have a recording of), thinking about how you can see healing happen when you hold someone’s hands. The march is incredibly hokey and has these old instrumental samples that sound more like a calliope than anything else, but I liked the message printed in the manual with it: