Updated: May 2
Aloha Yoga Kaua'i O'hana,
I imagine this letter finds many of you, like myself, in quarantine, or what I prefer to call “on retreat”. My initial response to being grounded from further travel was to think how productive I would be during this time. Finally, I would be able to make serious headway on my manuscript! I soon realized that the responsibility of guiding my son Nikola in his education would be incredibly exhausting and time consuming. Having a student who would literally rather be chasing butterflies, who lives in the NOW and in a constant state of distraction was the antithesis of working with all of you who always come with open hearts and minds hungry to learn and experience what I am sharing.
No Where to Run
On Saturday, Niko packed his bag and informed me he was leaving home. He would find a new family, new friends and new pets. The struggle of trying to get him to sit through lessons and his defiance at being tied once again to his mother's apron strings was unbearable. I realized that less important than maintaining first grade curriculum was to tend to his heart and release the tendency to superimpose my inherited burden of power struggle and the confused familial ideal that knowledge and being high-functioning is superior to emotional intimacy. In this time in which we are being stripped of all worldly doings, my Yoga is to truly loosen and release. Rather than focus on pushing my agenda, it is a time to slacken efforts and care for our tender hearts. I rededicate myself in embracing the power of Now and the unique opportunity for connection that this time affords. One thing is for sure, I appreciate my Yoga Sadhana and the wisdom of the Sutra now, more than ever!
Hanalei Sunset; time stands still
Yoga Now, More than Ever
In our current culture that focuses on threat, we are called to create sanctuary and to solace our tender hearts and nervous systems. It is natural that we have instinctual fears around being isolated and most certainly of death. As yogi, we know that to succumb to fear may paralyze us in a constant state of contraction. True security comes from within and we are so blessed to have the technology of Yoga to access our clarity and adaptability. Yoga practice provides a ritual of movement and change in body position, along with chanting and its effect on our breath to activate the parasympathetic nervous system to create a more welcoming state. Yoga offers us strategies to release neuroceptive contraction through a process of conscious dilation. It is exciting to reflect on how many people finally have the spaciousness in their own lives to explore meta-physical techniques of release and expanded consciousness. An opportunity in disguise, perhaps we are in fact ushering in the new Yuga, or golden Age of Enlightenment!
"I never break my appointment with God."
- Paramahansa Yogananda
I have at long last finished updates on my website to offer numerous means of online learning. Please take a moment to visit bhavanimaki.com and check out the asana practice videos I filmed for yogadownload as well as my Yoga Sutra videos from my live online course and audios from past workshops and trainings. I am also in the process of doing an audio recording of my book The Yogi's Roadmap.
Free sutra class video link below.....
from my heart to yours
Timely as ever, this Sutra popped up on the horizon of our consciousness at the initial phase of quarantine. Please enjoy this class as a gift. Visit the above link for free viewing, and enjoy the sage advice and timeless tools that Patanjali offers!
In closing, may Spring inspire you
to explore new growth into tenderness and
take pleasure in the simple
little ways that nature unfolds!
SO much love..... Bhavani
excerpt from Bhavani's book The Yogi's Roadmap
II:47 Prayatna shaithilyānanta samāpatti bhyām Slacken the tension born of your effort, and fuse yourself with the current of life force within. Reconcile yourself with the fact that it is an endless process. Trust, relax, redouble your efforts, and keep going. Ānanta refers to the snake Ādiṣesha, the support of Viṣnu, and the sustainer of all the universes. Samā means “to put together with”, pattimeans “to fall”, andbhyām means “fusion”. If we can let go of being the doer, and put ahamkāra,ego, in the backseat, we experience ānantasamāpatti bhyām, fusing the self with the life force that sustains all the universes. Isn’t it ironic that we work so hard to breathe, even though it comes naturally, especially when we are at rest or at ease? When we remove the impediments to our breath, including anxiety about the future, we discover that the breath is breathing us, and drop intosamāpatti bhyām’s state of utter release. When we labor unnecessarily, we allow the ahamkāra to take the driver’s seat, and are compelled by an insatiable desire to achieve perfection, that pushes us into strain and duress. If we become preoccupied with achieving physical perfection, it only engages the eternal critic within, and our Yoga practice reinforces the ego, rather than developing inner intelligence.