….wild is the wind…creative freedom is the seed….
27/9/2021 The joy of Pranayama: I completed and submitted my Pranayama Assigments videos and class plans with youtube links to my teaching of:
9/9/2021 Hours and hours of Anatomy lessons and Cue-ing techniques, quiz, test and short tasks….I am doing a few units a week, this is a marathon not a sprint! I am proud of the fact that I completed a virtual 33km Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. I’ve always wanted to go to see this site. At one point I had the opportunity to go there to do an Artist Residency for 1 month BUT then my work was selected for Edinburgh International Art festival and the Olympics culture show, so my schedule was full and I was unable to accept the Artist Residency! Some day! But in the meantime 33km virtual walk over 10 days, it is a start! I am supporting this Virtual challenge as they plant trees and improve the Sustainability of my chosen area. That is ethical virtual tourism! Great! (10hrs) 🙂
29/8/2021 I submitted the 10 videos explaining Yoga Philosophy on the mat! Yay! It took forever to get all the details together! I must have spent at least 5 hours on each one, when I add that I had to learn how to use the new video editor! But still, it feels good to get that bulk with teaching plan out of the way! There are still more assignments to go, but work /life balance is really important to me and Yoga keeps me sane! (50hrs)
16/8/2021 I began teaching a few individual one on one session on the beach while I was on holiday. It took me hours to crop out the tourists in my Yoga teaching photos! 🙂 I developed a new appreciation for professional yoga photographers! It is hard photographing yoga e.g something always flies up, goes awry or a kid walks or swims into your shots etc! Anyway I submitted my Yoga on the Mat, Mythology teaching session about the Shiva Tandava Dance, so I am please with the results! I only have another teaching session to do on the beach before I am ready to submit my 10 yoga videos teaching the combined effects of Science of Yoga and Yoga philosophies together!
In the beginning on the beach, I was very self conscious of how I photographed but when I actually let go of that and focussed on the Yoga itself, the breathwork an the alignment of the poses, I found that the whole session worked out very well. I wonder what my next teaching session would be like?
Either way I was so happy that I was ”in the zone” finally after half a day of dodging tourists, getting washed out by incoming waves, that I shared it on my instagram! I know I do not look like the super-bendy Yoga Influencers, so I was very surprised when within minutes of me showing this photo, several influencers from Instagram wanted me to send this photo to Influencers photo Hubs like @universal_famx and @fit_model_pro !!! Well, thank you very much but I think it is a long way to go before I am a “fit model yoga pro”!!!! However that was so encouraging! Clearly the focussing on doing yoga instead of doing “yoga” worked! 🙂 Namaste!
29/7/2021 I am working on “Yoga on the Mat” teaching Yamas, Nyimas and Mythology Video links for my teaching project. It has been quite time consuming! I chose to discuss yoga philosophies in terms of the Science behind yoga AND how that relates to Yoga philosophies! Also for Mythologies, I decided to explain the origin of Shiva lingam, which are found all over India and its associated Mudra. I focussed on the mythology behind the dance of Shiva Tadava Dance. This is a gorgeous rendition of it, performed and choreographed by Syani Chakraborty, where certain Yoga Mudras are clearly incorporated in the dance! (30 hours of research etc.)
A month after I submitted my 80 hours of teaching and observation work, I got an email back that it has been approved. Melissa responded with:
Thank you for submitting your Seva project. It has been approved.
Your theme: Stress Alleviation Creative Shiva Mandela Workshop is so needed with everything going on in the world right now. Teaching NHS for Well-being (National Healthcare service) Covid19 IT Response workers is a great way of giving back.
Online, using zoom is good, since that seems to be the direction many studios are taking. It is good practice for you.
Congratulations on your Seva project.
Love and light,
Yoga Trainer Team
3/4/2021-11/6/2021 Finally I completed my 50 hrs of Practice + 15 hours of Practicum Teaching + 15 hours of Praticum Observing!!!! I did more than those hours charted because UK was in a very long lockdown from Dec to June so I had almost 6 months where I taught weekly online Yoga to help workers from the UK National Health Insurance to destress from Dispensing Covid19 Vaccines! So I almost clocked 60hrs of teaching online! Plus some online workshops I did! I ended up Teaching Online Yoga for nearly 1 year during Covid19!!!! I counted 20+hrs of it towards SEVA, but the reality was so much more! 🙂 What an interesting Yoga Adventure Covid19 has been for me! ( 50 hrs of Practice + 30 hrs of Teaching + Observing!)
With UNFCCC COP26 coming up and also because I started my Doctorate in Sustainability, as well as my professional Art and Creative life, I’ve just been so busy! Yoga has been so important for me. Between swimming (now that the pools are opened again) and Yoga, it keeps me sane!
8/3/2021-2/4/2021 I completed my SEVA Project: This means I had to teach as a part of charitable giving at least 10 hrs of Yoga teaching. Given the problems of Covid19, I chose to provide classes to IT workers that are dealing with Vaccine Roll-out nationwide, by teaching via Zoom. I taught a Creative Shiva Mandela Yoga, using a combination of mythologies, mudra, meditation and Asana, then tied the whole thing together with the original Shiva Cosmic Dance of Distruction and Transcendence. It went well. I was shocked that during the reflections and sharing stage, there were those who talked about how fake news discouraged elderly from taking the Vaccine. That’s just terrible! (23hrs of Teaching)
2/3/2021 to 7/3/2021 Anatomy of Yoga: Yoga and Science: I found it interesting that the first conventional Western medical assertions about Yoga were based in the British Colonial mindset. Thus certain ideas espoused by Guru Iyengar were totted as simply untrue and mystical hocus-pocus! It is only when we got away from 17th century Western European “Materialistic and Literalism” thinking, that we realised at the cutting edge of science in 2021, reality has entered the realm of Quantum Consciousness! Certain dimensions were conceptually and theoretically visualised by the ancient mystics of the Far East, then suddenly the world realised, the average western Medical practitioner were often quite stagnate; stuck in the time period they were trained in. By failing to keep up with the latest development in Science, they persisted in arguing that the Mystical Far Eastern views of Medicine were “inferrior” or “Scientifically unsubstantiated”, in order to open the ideas to ridicule!
These are, of course, the same 17th C mindset that refused to deal with anything about the human body unless it is “materially verifiable” according to their ability to cut up, dissect and compartmentalise! Such “Literal Material Fixation” is utterly regressive!
I found this talk by Edgar Mitchell, Deepak Chopra, Marilyn Schlitz, Dean Radin and Cassandra Vieten in an exploration of the Mysteries of Inner Space and Human Consciousness, rather enlightening! (7hrs)
12/2/2021-2/3/2021 The Dsicipline of showing up on the mat everyday: I found it was really important to gain consistency and daily integration of Yoga Asanas by doing a little of yoga each day. I might meditate in the bath, do stretches in between working on different projects or just doing some pranayama during a coffee break etc. I am working hard to integrate yoga into my daily actions, no matter where I find myself. Sometimes just before I fall asleep I remembered a few floor twists etc. It all adds up! (10hrs)
11/2/2021 Vibrations, Energies and the use of Mantras: Visualising the 10th dimension genuinely empowers me in a world where too many wants to reduce life to 2D…try it! 😎 Science is just catching up with the power of “third eye” wisdom in ancient texts. It is very difficult to intellectually conceive of 10th dimension. The 5th-6th is the hardest to “take the conceptual leap”. I think that’s where Mathematicians, Physicists, Philosophers can help or confuse? I am confused by 5th & 6th when I think about it in English…always. lol.BUT as soon as I think in Chinese …5th is a Natural Linguistic JUMP because the chinese language is not “confined by time”…. It assumes leaps into past, present, future….no folding…Just “Choose it”….
If I think of the spiral concept of time in Hindu Mythologies, the 6th and 7th “folding” of time is more like a shape shifting helix….I think that is where the esoteric yoga theory of vibrations, energies and mantras, is an amazing tool to expand our minds and help us stay open to the many dimensions that Western scientists are exploring in 2021!
In Yoga we are exposed to visual representations of Nidra, Tantra and Kudalini, we are familiar with creative representation of 10th dimension : see this useful link: https://ultraculture.org/blog/2014/12/16/heres-visual-guide-10-dimensions-reality/
As an artist, the 10th is easy “energetically perceived” if you know Esoteric Buddhists and Classic Vedic texts…(4hrs)
27/1/2021 Delving deeper into the Mythologies of an Asana: Natarajasana : I love the mythology behind this pose. It is linked to Shiva’s dance of Cosmic Destruction when he lost his first wife Sati. The dance is known as Shiva Tadava dance. The epic poem is Shiva Tadava strotram in Sanskrit. It is probably one of the most famous image of Shiva as a Cosmic Dancer: Nataraja represents Shiva as the ever-present change in the universe of birth and death, construction and destruction, growth and decay etc. I enjoyed studying the basic Sanskrit structure of Shiva Tadava Strotra and watching the classic performance of the Cosmic dance which also incoporated the Natarajasana pose at the heart of it in the Bharathanrithyam tradition. (6hrs)
10/1/2021 Vedic Mythologies and Yoga Asanas: Every Culture in world have different interpretations of Animals and attribute good or bad qualities to them. In the west, Racists use the symbol of “Monkey” to denigrade People of Colour ; implying they are “less than human”. While in the Far East, Monkey King spirit and Monkey God are considered a “Cosmic Maverick” energy that cuts through the stupidity of dogmatic Human adherence to hierachy and caste! I love that! It says something about European culture that in heraldry, the Monkey symbol was considered something that must be chained-up and oppressed. I would argue that, the fear of “the other” is the reason why Europe never attained the same level of non-dualistic academic approach to the world; instead scholarship veered towards ending with Aristotelian duality. In this way, creative and expansive thinking and discourses are denigraded while relegating “transcendental multi-dimensional fluid thinking” to the realms of philosophers, artists and abstract Physicists. It is easy to reduce the world to Black or White. The results are never terribly enduring and it is limiting one’s belief constantly to a “reductionistic lesser world”. What an uncomfortable way to live with Nature’s many paradox!
I think Yoga provides a physical link with our subconcious ability to problem solve through accessing our imagination on a deep level. I got a lot out of doing my Asana with the wider symbols of Vedic Mythologies behind each pose! (2hrs Integrating Animal symbolism in Vedic mythologies with various Asanas postures on the Mat)
7/1/2021 Mythologies of the Mahabharata: I love getting into Indian Yoga mythologies for my 500 hrs YTT Yoga Teacher Training online. I’m so lucky to be exposed to the great works of the Indian, Greek, Persian, Egyptian, Chinese, Aboriginal, Native American, Eskimoes, Russia, Irish, South American, Arabic, Hebrew, Viking and many diverse African mythologies at a young age growing up in Australia and also Hong Kong with my grandparents!
Life would really suck if we were all just left on our own with only our own boring stuff….imagining we are the only one with the Right idea…! We would miss out on many many complex universes on this planet! (2hrs Practice teaching wholistically on the Mat)
6/1/2021 Pranayama and Mudra: I’m more focussed on the use of the two combined. However I am very much a Dzogchen philosophy school when it comes to the abstract form of Mudra and Visualisation practice, so I guess I will just attach this fab quote and see if it resonates with anyone: According to Patrul Rinpoche དཔལ་སྤྲུལ་འཇིགས་མེད་ཆོས་ཀྱི་དབང་པོ། (born1808– died1887) in Words of my Perfect teacher:
The best spiritual friend is one who attacks your hidden faults.
The best instructions are the ones that hit those faults.
The best friends are mindfulness and vigilance.
The best incentives are enemies, obstacles and the sufferings of
The best method is not to fabricate anything
I find this very relevant for our Covid19 Reality today! 3hrs ( 2hrs Philosophy and Contemplation, 1 hr Asana & Pranayama)
4/1/2021 Brahmacharya: Spirituality of Middleway/ Moderation, refraining from Indulgent Excesses. After the last practice session I had a stomach bug so ended up on a 4 days Fast. After that I was given my Flu Vaccine so I have to stay home and rest. Meditation on Brahmacharya, responding to what the body needs and what the body actually needs are different things. 🙂 But I don’t think I am at risk of Indulging in Food, Work etc right now. All I can do is listen to my body and respect what is needed. However I am very grateful for getting the Flu Vaccine for Free and knowing that I will get the Covid19 Vaccine eventually is why I support Universal Healthcare for All! I am grateful for the Free Vaccines! 3hrs: Practice & Observations
26/12/2021 Happy Holidays! I decided to make the most of the next set of Lockdowns and do another 300 hrs of Yoga training to get my 500 hours Yoga teacher training to deepen my personal yoga practice and teacher training. I think rather than share the logs in endless details, it is better that I share each practice session as a whole. So today 3hrs: Practice, Study BKS Iyengar’s teachings from Light on Pranayama + Meditation combining Pranayama instructions.
Observations: I wished I was not locked down again as there is a Covid19 Vaccine in sight and I am waiting for my free vaccine. I wished there was some way of speeding up time so that I can just get the vaccination, get my Covid19 Travel passport and get ont with my travel plans to Dubai, Oman, Nepal and various parts of Africa in the future. The impatience is probably what I bring to my practice this time around. I feeling of being “Sick of the inconvenience”, so of course I know it is time to spend more time on the yoga mat again! 🙂
That’s why I started on Boxing day, instead of going to the shops! 🙂
On Christmas Eve an old friend phoned me from the Great Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu asking about what I thought of Kundalini Yoga. He also asked me what yoga I recommended. So I found myself giving him a short 1hr training and teaching about Yoga theories: difference between Iyengar Yoga and Kundalini Yoga, as well as recommending sources to Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Best practices available to him locally.