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Sages, Sadhus, Scientists, & Householders: Yoga, a path for all people.

Where one studies Yoga can make all the difference of whether their practice becomes a meaningful way of life or a momentary fashion.

Traditional Yoga is passed down from teacher to student in communities called ashrams. Through practicing together, with a knowledgeable guide, all the aspects of Yoga from the diet to the mindful awareness, we start to experience a transformation in our health and consciousness. 

Being from a lineage is not about indoctrination. In many traditional schools it is encouraged to express your doubts. None of my teachers call themselves Gurus, even though in a traditional sense, that is exactly what they are.

All of my teachers simply give thanks to their teachers before them who passed down the knowledge. Yogis are the wisdom keepers of the ancient knowledge of Yoga. Being a part of a lineage means we honor the knowledge & the wisdom keepers who have made it their life’s mission to better humanity through passing down the knowledge of Yoga.

A teacher can be a sage (wise person), a sadhu (holy man in India), or a scientist who methodologically studies the effects of Yoga on the mind, body and spiritual evolution. A teacher can be a householder, or a traveler. A teacher can be anyone who shares some insight with you. Teachers range in experience, age, and constitution. Finding the right teacher for you is just as important as the teachings.

In the lineage I have been taught, the sage, the sadhu and the scientist are all present. My teachers are also householders who have been attributed to Yoga’s modern revival in India. To meet them, follow me on this journey through time to the bank of a river in India in the 1800’s.

The lineage begins with a man whose devotion to social service led him to renounce the material world, & follow the path of Yoga. Paramahamsa Madhavadasaji traveled by foot as a sadhu (monk) for 70 years gaining knowledge of practical Yoga for the development of spiritual consciousness before settling at the age of 80 by a river bank in Gujarat. Many followers gathered by the river bank to learn and live in community with this great Yogi.

Paramahamsa Madhavadasaji was said to have mystical powers of healing, but for a young educated, scientific man like Yogendraji (his eventual disciple), the lure of sadhus and mystics singing in the forest came with great skepticism. However, for a lineage to be passed down, there must be a genuine student. Luckily, the spark of curiosity turns even the most skeptic among us into seekers. This spark, and deep inner knowing, brought the Great Yogi and the Scientist to meet, and the relationship of Guru and Disciple formed.

 This is what it means to be a part of a lineage, to know that it is not I alone who walks the path. We have great sages & even scientists to light the way. Yoga is scientific, and scientifically proven to heal certain ailments and bring peace to the mind. Shri Yogendraji, the disciple, would be the first to found an organized school for learning Yoga in India, and deliver the practice with scientific benefits as the primary purpose .

Shri Yogendraji passed his school on to his son Dr. Jayadeva and his wife Hansaji. It was through their devotion to Yoga, India saw a resurgence in the practical uses of Yoga for householders. No longer did we need to roam barefoot to the jungles to receive the knowledge.

This is the story of the effect we have on each other & on humanity, and how the teachings of one man sitting cross legged by the river bank over 200 years ago has lead me to the tropics, to study Yoga under sweeping vines, in an Ashram in Thailand.

Jeenal in the center with her students in 2018

My direct teacher Jeenal Mehta, was taught by Dr. Jayadeva and Hansaji at The Yoga Institute in Mumbai India. She received certifications in Yoga Therapy with medical specifics to aid folks with asthma, obesity, back problems and other ailments, before receiving the blessing from her teachers to open her own school in the north of Thailand.

This is how Wise Living Yoga Academy was born, through a trusted lineage.

Knowing that the Yoga I am practicing has come from a legitimate place, studied with care and devotion, and passed down with the blessings from genuine teachers, helps me to walk forward with ease. I know that my intuition has guided me to a wholesome, authentic place. I know I can trust the knowledge because it is the same knowledge that has stood the test of time.

Before modern science there was Yoga. Modern science & technology offers us increased proof of the benefits and effects Yoga has on our health, & happiness. 

Following the lineage to the present moment, as I sit under a mango tree understanding a journey walked through many lifetimes, I give gratitude for this moment, and all that has transpired to make this moment the gift that it is, full of the essence of Yoga.

Beatrice, Jeenal, our teacher & me at Wise Living Yoga Academy

If you would like to make Yoga your lifestyle and share in a community experience of learning and transformation, I can only recommend Wise Living Yoga Academy. This school has provided me with the foundation for understanding what Yoga really is, and how Yoga is not contained in one place or period of time, but that Yoga is universal and can be the remedy for our modern anxieties. 

Wise Living Yoga Academy offers month long immersion courses to experience a traditional Yoga lifestyle. Imparting Hatha Yoga principles and traditional Yoga philosophy one can experience an inner transformation. All graduates of the program are certified and qualified to teach Yoga globally, accredited by Yoga Alliance in the US, The Board of International Yoga, as well as accredited by The Yoga Institute, the world’s oldest organized Yoga school.

For more information, please Visit 

www.wiselivingyoga.com

Contact me with any questions about this school and my experience and I can help get you registered:  christina.theleelaproject@gmail.com

www.freeyourcreativity.org

sound healing

Journey Through Sound

Journey through sound

Since I can remember, I’ve been a noise maker, always the talkative one in school, singing my afternoons away, & playing with sound naturally, as most children do. Much later, well into my 20’s, I began to capture sound into song & developed an artistic endeavor of song writing. I began to sing my songs in coffee shops, open mic nights, and little street corners in faraway lands, sharing my stories through melodic tones and stringed instruments.

My songs brought to light the hidden aspects of myself that could only be expressed through poetry. The intertwining of my stories and my inner melody made tangible by the friction of air through my vocal chords; the energetic caress bringing the etherial to form.

I noticed, after a while of singing my own songs, that when singing, I felt in total embrace with the moment. It took many years to get over stage fright, and release any thoughts and limiting beliefs which prevented me from sharing my creative expression openly. In those years, walking the Hawaiian Islands with an ukulele and a song in my heart, I did not have any one mentor, or teacher to help me break down those walls. I saw singers around me who inspired me, & I just sort of kept singing until the sound melted the barriers between me and the moment.

This is what singing does for me, brings me into presence. Singing now is a place where no thoughts reside. When in the succor of sound, I simply surrender to the melody. all thoughts become transmuted, and I experience a profound spell of being found in the sound of it all. I am completely, and totally there. My songs became my mantras, a tool for my mind to let go of the chatter and simply be with my expression.

When I realized this, I started singing mantras, ancient sanskrit chants to free the mind from negative afflictions. Mantras, when sung with a devotional spirit, can open your heart to a feeling of unconditional love. I started singing the various names of the divine, words that for me at the time, held no meaning, and yet opened my heart like a seed setting itself free from the soil.

My newest endeavor is to follow the sound back to the seed of creation, and take you all on that journey with me. I’ve been nomadic for 4 years, following the sound. Each land I explore has a song to sing, an energetic melody, and a deeper story rooted in music, in sound, and in creative expression. No matter where I am, or the history or turmoil of the land, if you listen deeply, you can hear the sound of children laughing, the banging of a drum, the effervescent call of the wild, the the sweet whispers of the wind. Many creation stories are rooted in the sound as the force which started it all. THE ALL YA’LL. The mystical realm of this reality and all its seen & unseen forces.

In the upcoming weeks, we will go on a journey through sound together, exploring sound in different contexts, and sharing songs & stories of my travels. If you would like to join me on this journey through sound, you can sign up to My Mailing List. When you do, you’ll also receive my sweet little booklet all about Cacao, a medicine, I use to help open my voice & my heart. Yes, I said it…

RAW CHOCOLATE HELPS ME SING FROM MY HEART.

Sing up to Receive Your

Free Guide To Cacao Ceremony

Lets work together LIVE! I’m giving a Cacao Ceremony in Nevada City, CA May 27th

Copy of Self Love Journey Flyer

More Info Here

 

Not in the area? We can work together via the inter webs!

Have you heard of this thing called the world wide web? Well, it offers us the opportunity to work together even though our physical bodies may be far from one another. We can create a presence, a practice, and intention together, ultimately helping you to feel more vibrant, connected, and free. Free from fear, from shame, and free to love more deeply than you’ve loved before, all with the healing power of your own voice.

Find out how to work with me here

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If you are in the California area, or planning to travel here, I will be giving a workshop in the healing village at Heart & Solstice Gathering, a 4 day music, art, & transformation festival in Angels Camp, California June 22nd-25th. If you would like to purchase tickets to this gathering at a 10% discount, contact me, and I’ll set that up for you.

 

yoga sutras

Yoga: You Are More Than Your Thoughts

Who am I

Who am I? The question of enlightenment.

Ask yourself this enough, and the light will surly shine. We can ponder this question into the depths of eternity, or we can take a look at what Yoga has to say.

The first 4 Sutras of The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, are for the advanced practitioner, for those whom which this question begs to be answered.

I’ve written about the first 3 sutras here:

1. Now begins the study of yoga
2. Yoga is the calming of the fluctuations of the mind
3. Then the seer resides in his own true nature

And here is my examination of Sutra 1.4:

Yoga Sutra 1.4 Vritti sarupym itiratra
Otherwise, the seer takes on thought forms as identity

Who are we if not our identities?

You are the seer, all that you experience in this reality is one vibrating energy, vibrating at different frequencies of density creating forms, matter, thought & emotions. With our senses, we experience trees, & with our senses we experience emotions. We do not call ourselves a tree or a house, and yet we call ourselves depressed, tired, angry, & jealous. We literally say, “I am angry,” or “I am a jealous person.” These claims of “I am’s”, are simply rather, states of being. Like clouds form shapes on the sky, move, picking up the atmosphere and pouring down rain, we are more like clouds, changing shape, collecting and pouring out… but we do not say, “I am a cloud”. So why do we say I am angry?

It is more accurate to say, in this moment, I am feeling the state of anger. And that can be true and fine. It’s not that yoga asks us never to feel angry, but to recognize that a feeling state is there for a moment, it’s not who we are.

Anger, sadness, regret, happiness, joy, & the feeling state of romantic love are impermanent. These states deliver sensations to the body, they deliver a message, but they are not your identity. As I wrote about HERE discussing Sutra 1.3, your true nature is beyond one state of being that easily comes and goes. Who we are under our identifications, is eternal & as my teacher says self illuminate.

Our true nature, is hard to put into words, but my dharma asks me to try. Our true nature is accessible always, we walk within our true nature, when we breathe we are it, and we are always breathing. We are always processing, emitting, and transmuting energy unconsciously. We are vibratory beings immersed in the song of the universe. We do not have to do anything to be this, we are already this. When we lean into this, rest into our own divine nature, the things we struggle to know, appear to us as a deeply satisfying feeling.

When we let go of identifying with all that we think we are, we rest in all that we actually are.

So let’s practice at resting in our divine nature. Allowing the song of life to move through us. This is a medicine song coming from South America. Sit and listen to the beat of the drum, allow the words to wash over you and without attachment or judgement simply allow yourself to deeply listen. Before listening, you may want to take a few deeper breaths to prepare yourself for relaxation. Simply allow, and when the video finishes stay in a quiet place and tune in to how you feel, any shifts taking place, and stay relaxed bringing this sense of wholeness into the rest of your day.

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How to find the balance between a human doing & a human being

The journey has it’s twists and turns, it’s edges and soft meadows for which I can push against or lay my head in rest.

I recently led my first retreat. And then laid down to rest and integrate. This is the flow of life. The bursts of high energy, the doing, the masculine energy of power that drives me to action, which grew a retreat into existence from the ground up.

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Following came a flow into a state of being ness. This is the opposite energy, which allowed me to appreciate the experience fully, and let the lessons unfold which may have been passed by had I pursued the next thing on my bucket list.

Holding this retreat was a dream come true. I definitely made that check mark on the coveted bucket list, if only to recognize that this is my life’s passion and souls purpose. The purpose to dream a bit bigger, travel to faraway lands and hold space for transformational experiences.

 

Transformation comes when we are ready, when we secretly call to it and allow the process to unfold. We are conditioned to push beyond our edges, yet Yoga is the sweet allowance of what is.

My retreat was my creative baby. I was held in deep community and given the opportunity to spread a message of truth and love. A mile above Lake Atitlan, on a Sanctuary in the sky, a group of a precious few, gifted ourselves the experience of retreat, of togetherness & release. Releasing what no longer serves to live from a deeper place of truth & love.

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Following your heart is no fluffly line from my diary. There is a vibration of love that emerges from the heart, if we only bring awareness to it. Integration is part of listening to the heart.

Often when a project finalizes, we can think “what next” and while I definitely did that, I also thought “what now”, what does my body, mind & soul desire right here right now. My heart was asking for rest, to give space for the lessons, like a long shavasana, lying in stillness, focusing only on the now.

When in quiet rest, we discover what feels like a full yes in our bodies, so that we’re not moving into life, dragging one foot behind the other, but prancing, twirling, and sun saluting this life into existence. Each movement a prayer towards our highest truth.

My highest truth had me laying in a king sized bed, listening to birds, and churning up ideas only to let them lay in bed with me. For me, ideas often develop into full projects if I give them the right space and time to blossom.

What is blossoming for you? And how can I be of service to help bring your seeds of inspiration into full fruits of labor? Feel free to reply, or leave a comment.

What is blossoming for me now? I am carrying medicine. I am embracing the call from the wild unkown to step into a place of offering only what makes my heart sing. And my heart is usually singing.

I have adopted these blocks of Cacao from a Guatemalan woman’s collective in San Marcos Guatemala. I am serving the medicine of revival of ritual & of living a ceremonious life, of song & chocolate.

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When we pause for a moment, and give thanks for the abundance of this life, of all that mother earth creates for us, we flow into alignement with the vibration of the nature.

Our cells are craving this. They are calling out please! I want to be in nature, feeling the river flow against my toes, feeling the earth breathe and quake and release. Remember that you are apart of nature’s design.

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When we commune with nature, physiologically, we quickly fall into the relaxation response. We breathe the air our bodies were created to breathe, our senses heighten as they no longer have to dim their brightness to block out the myriad of sensations, sounds, and sights that aren’t serving our soul’s purpose.

Cacao ceremony is about honoring our true selves, our heart centered selves, in connection with nature. Cacao is la corozon de la tierra. The heart of the earth. And she is my inspiration.

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I will continue this path of sharing my hearts song, serving medicines like Yoga, Music, & Ceremony and I will continue to collect it all here in a full ceremonial dose of love through words.

If you would like to join the tribe of concious adventurers of both the inward and outward journey sign up here to receive my biweekly newsletter of offerings, meanderings, poetry & song.

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When you sign up for my mailing list, you receive a free beginners guide to meditation, created by yours truly.

Namaste, Aloha, Ahau,

Lokah Samasta Sukino Bhavantu

“May all Beings Be Happy & Free”

 

 

yoga sutras

Reside in your truest form through Yoga

Reside in your own true nature

तदा द्रष्टुः स्वरूपेऽवस्थानम् 

tadā draṣṭuḥ svarūpe-‘vasthānam 

Translation: Then the seer resides in her own true form

Sutra number 1.3 So auspicious, so deep, translated by many, and now by me.

For who is the seer anyhow?

The first chapter of the Yoga Sutras tell the story of yoga, one leading seamlessly into the other.

1.1 Now begins the study of yoga
1.2 Yoga is the calming of the fluctuations of the mind
1.3 Then the seer resides in his own true nature

We see here, the third sutra is reflecting the affects of this practice we call Yoga. When you practice Yoga, calming the fluctuations of the mind, you will reside in your own true nature.

Yoga is basically practicing at being what you already are. That is not as easy as it sounds. What you truly are vs. what you, and others have built you up to be, are different things. We all have roles, desires and goals and all those things seem to make up a life. Sometimes we attach so deeply to our roles, desires and goals that we distract ourselves from experiencing a state of bliss that is profound and yet simply our natural state of being.

When there is no heavy influence of distraction, of outside noise, or wavering thought forms, all that is left is the still beingness.

When we practice at being still, we glimpse these states of bliss. It’s like the moment upon first awakening from sleep when you are simply there. The world has not shown itself in all its forms, your todos have not yet crept into your mind and you are simply waking. The waking state is a state of consciousness that simply is, and then in comes the flood of remembering that you are human.

Maybe you have an emotion or a driving force that pulls you to your feet, or maybe the dreaded alarm is blaring and you begin your day in alert mode. Our natural selves want to wake with the sun and the sound of the birds. If you wake naturally enough times, and let yourself fully arrive in your body before jerking out of bed, waking to an alarm begins to seem odd.

Meditating gives us a space where we have the opportunity to simply be, and if we do that enough the being becomes more natural than the doing.

It’s hard sometimes to accept that we can do nothing. And I don’t mean the watching TV kind of doing nothing… that is encouraged in our society. I’m talking about the yoga kind of being; residing in the space of you where you are clear and free, a space where the thoughts do not move you, and you let go and rest in a state of being.

In our western society we do not appreciate just being still. We need to let go of the assumption that we are not doing enough. Sometimes I simply sit in the forest and look at a tree. Without judgement of the tree, without wondering about myself in relation to the tree, I simply allow the tree to envelope my visual sense and then -poof- I am just there for a moment residing in my true nature. This doesn’t last for long before I am judging myself that I should be doing something.

I should be writing, planning or creating right? I should be tackling things on my to do list, or molding myself into a better person! But it is in these moments of non doing that I realize that I am creation itself. There is no more to do or not do, and from this place of still beingness, I decide to do some things because life is a great adventure full of cool stuff to do. I desire to bring my personality out into the world, but then my personality, and all that I do come from a different vibe, the vibe of a zest for life, for adventure, & connection. My doing has sprouted from a place of simply being instead of from an outside driving force, what I think is expected of me, or any expectations I put on myself. The world becomes a curious place to play in rather than a set of accomplishments to get done.

The more we practice yoga, the more we experience our true selves. Our true selves do not need labels or roles. Our truest form has nothing to prove or no agenda to ascribe to.

This is the type of yoga we will be practicing at my retreat in Guatemala. Come get a glimpse of your true self. Be as you are, discover your authentic self in a sacred space created for transformation. http://www.junglevibration.com

The transformation is really like a butterfly in his cacoon. The catapiller was always already a butterfly, he just had to rest for a moment, swaddled, lose himself, turn to mush and emerge to fly higher with a new perspective.

Please share to spread this message like the butterfly spreads its wings.