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Posts Tagged ‘Life Coaching’

Weekend Workshop at Yogaville – Upgrade Your Story!

Kamala Yoga Workshops

Stacy Kamala Waltman’s Weekend Workshop at
Integral Yoga’s – Yogaville in Buckingham, VA

June 22 – 24, 2012

Click here for more info:
Upgrade Your Story: Life Coaching and Yoga

To register:
Life Coaching and Yoga – Upgrade Your Story,
engage your inner alchemist ~
with
Stacy Kamala Waltman

~

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AN OPPORTUNITY TO POUNCE!

“Our senses enable us to perceive only a minute portion of the
outside world.” ~ Nicola Tesla

The title of my blog post was Is Yoga a Religion or Cult?  The body of the article answered this question yet in the approximately 20 places I posted; only one person actually read the message and responded within the context of the missive.

On the other hand, eleven people replied to the question, Is Yoga a Religion or Cult without reading the content of the blog’s message.  Their answers lead the conversation over to their preferred arena; a particular website or educating me about yoga.

While I am always open to new information, it was clear from their remarks that they did not know the extent of my 30+ year yoga training.  It was simply an opportunity for them to “teach” and apparently they “needed” to teach.  Some call it pontificating, I call it pouncing.  The ancient’s called these reactionary tendencies to blindly respond, samskaras.

Kamala Yoga

Samskaras are simply a reaction waiting to happen; an auto-pilot.  Samskaras are our tendency to interpret information in a certain way or look at a particular view of the whole while the ego locks on to a small facet and launches a reaction.  Unchecked these behavioral loops of bias repeat and behaviors become more entrenched.  Oh, and by the way, we all have samskaras and most are hidden from view; blind spots.

Sometimes, after much thrashing about, Stress Management Programs like yoga catch our eye and we begin to consider what it would be like to perceive the world with a new lens and respond in a different, non-habitual way.

Yogic Stress Management tools of cultivating awareness, breathing practices, and self-reflection help us de-magnetize the power of our samskaras/tendencies.

The first step in pulling away from samskaras is gaining awareness of these habitual responses.  This in my opinion is nothing short of a miracle.  Often people get to this place after they have tried over and over again to see their blind spots but they miss what they can’t see.  They are able to consider the edges of their periphery but their blind spots are…blind.

Yogic practices to cultivate awareness include but are not limited to: Meditation, Yoga Nidra, Pranayama, and Life Alignment Coaching.  Each of these programs teaches you how to slow down, take pause and become more aware.

When you take a moment to pause and notice the desire to pounce, check in with yourself and ask, “Have I missed, skipped or ignored something?” or “Am I looking at this situation, person or event with fresh new eyes or dull biased ones?” and “It may be or feel unfamiliar, but I am going to do my best to respond differently to this situation, right now.”

Please enjoy one of my favorite quotes:
“Thoughts can create such a barrier that even if you are standing before a beautiful flower, you will not be able to see it. Your eyes are covered with layers of thought. To experience the beauty of the flower you have to be in a state of meditation, not in a state of ‘mentation’. You have to be silent, utterly silent, not even a flicker of thought – and the beauty explodes, reaches to you from all directions. You are drowned in the beauty of a sunrise, of a starry night, of beautiful trees.” ~ Yogic Wisdom

My thanks to the eleven people who “needed” to teach me about yoga as a result of my previous blog.  It provided us with a worthy topic for discussion.  For those of you who missed the original article, here it is:  Is Yoga a Religion or Cult?

Please share your thoughts on this topic.  It is so lovely when people respond from their own experience in a conscious way.

Here’s my Twitter info if you’d like to join:  YogiKamala

Blessings ~

~ Copyright © 2012 (Stacy Kamala Waltman)

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~

 

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YOGA, is it a religion or cult?

Q. Is Yoga a religion or cult?

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Stacy Kamala Waltman answers:

    “Yoga is a holistic approach to health and balance. It is not associated with any religion although it is spiritual; the practice connects us with our highest and most lighthearted state.

Meditation techniques have been used in many religious traditions: Catholic, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, etc. The tools used in a yoga practice include every area of one’s life including healthy food choices, reverence for the Divine, flexibility in mind and body and deep connection to the breath. When all areas of our lives are in balance we tend to be truly happy, healthy and more loving to ourselves and others.” ~ SKW

“I have learned so much from God that I can no longer call myself a
Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist or a Jew.

The truth has shared so much of Itself with me that I can no longer
call myself a man, a woman, and angel or even pure Soul.

Love has befriended Hafiz so completely. It has turned to ash
and freed me of every concept and image my mind has ever known.” ~ Hafiz

 

Kamala Yoga:  www.kamalayoga.com

~

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STACY KAMALA WALTMAN’S WORKSHOP AT YOGAVILLE ~

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Professional Life Coach and advanced Yoga teacher Stacy Kamala Waltman will lead you on this journey, using visualization, asana, various concentration and meditation techniques, and her expert insights and skilled guidance.

Kamala has been studying yoga for over 30 years and is RYT500 certified.  For more information and to register, please visit:  Yogaville Workshops.

~

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The Naked Saint by Shernaz Wadia

When scantily clad women of the 21st century are frowned upon, she dared to go around naked in the 12th century!! Who was this dauntless woman? This was the young, defiant, vibrant, one and only “Akka” – respected elder sister of the world – Akka Mahadevi of Karnataka.
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She was liberated by her unstinting devotion to and love for her Cenna Mallikarjuna, Lord, white as jasmine, Lord Shiva. Staying nude was a common practice among male ascetics in those days, but for a woman it was considered nothing less than sacrilegious and shameless. Legend has it though, that her nudity was totally protected by her beautiful, long hair. Her statue too, installed in her birthplace, stands thus today.

People,

male and female,

blush when a cloth covering their shame

comes loose

When the lord of lives

lives drowned without a face

in the world, how can you be modest?

When all the world is the eye of the lord,

looking everywhere, what can you

cover and conceal?

Akka Mahadevi lived during the 1100s in Karnataka, a region on the southwest coast of India. She was born in Udatadi of Banavasi, in a pious Shaiva family. According to Shaiva literature her parents were Nirmala and Sumati, themselves steadfast devotees of Lord Shiva.

That was the time of liberal Veera Shaivism, a reform movement. Its leaders – political and spiritual radicals ¬¬ aimed at direct communion with the divine, rather than through meddlesome mediators. The satsangs of the Veera Shaivites had no room for the caste system. At their gatherings all were required to work, eat, study and practice together. Rituals were reduced to the barest minimum. Their community thrived outside of society and developed a strong spirituality alive till today. Outstandingly, in their households, daughters were taught to read and write and were allowed to study scriptures, putting them on par with the men in these respects. Theirs was a direct spiritual and political rebellion against the orthodoxy and religious sway of the Brahmin priests.

Akkadevi grew up under this progressive influence, with the framework of Shaivism as her paradigm. Little is known about her childhood, except that she studied under Shivagamacharya and started writing vachanas from a very early age. She is said to have written about 350 extant free verse lyrics in the Kannada language, known as vachanas (literally, “sayings”), in praise of the Lord, whom she had accepted as her mystical husband and lover. Like that of other bhakti saints, the imagery of her verses too is based in the everyday, familiar language of ordinary people.

She had wanted to remain an unmarried devotee of Shiva, but her family forced her to marry the ruler of her land, King Kaushik, who having fallen in love with her beauty, sent her a proposal and threatened her family when she rejected him. But she still kept him at a distance asserting that Shiva, was her only lover and husband.

“Listen, oh, Mother! I love Him,

He is the one, the only one.

He knows no birth and death.

He is unchained by caste or clime.

He is boundless, changeless, formless;

He is beautiful beyond comparison,

All others fade away and die at last.

I will have none of them.

My Lord shall forever be

One day, when the constrictions of household life became too claustrophobic, she ran away rather dramatically from her husband’s house. With the rejection of family life and worldly belongings, she shed her clothes too as a symbol of her asceticism. She roamed free throughout South India, singing her songs and worshipping her Lord, eating and sleeping as and when the mercy of strangers permitted it. Her act was considered a defiance of the varnashrama dharma which suppressed the shudras and women. She proved that a woman has every right and has all the means to pursue a life exclusively engaged in the exploration of the divine. She is even believed to be a major figure in the social empowerment of women. one of the first feminists and to date she inspires those fighting for women’s emancipation.

Other men are thorn

under the smooth leaf.

I cannot touch them,

go near them, nor trust them,

nor speak to them confidences.

Mother,

because they all have thorns

in their chests,

I cannot take

any man in my arms but my lord

white as jasmine.

~*~

I love the Handsome One:

he has no death

decay or form

no place or side

no end nor birthmarks.

I love him O mother. Listen.

I love the Beautiful One

with no bond nor fear

no clan no land

no landmarks

for his beauty.

So my lord, white as jasmine, is my husband.

Take these husbands who die,

decay, and feed them

to your kitchen fires! [Ramanujan, p.134]

~*~

Later she wished to join a community of Veerashaivas (a new and radically democratic group of Shiva devotees), and many of her poems are from the report of her successful attempt to prove to the male Veerashaiva leaders gathered in the city of Kalyan that she was worthy to be part of their community.

Why do I need this dummy

of a dying world?

illusion’s chamberpot,

hasty passions’ whorehouse,

this crackpot

and leaky basement?

Finger may squeeze the fig

to feel it, yet not choose

to eat it.

Take me, flaws and all,

O lord white as jasmine.

At the ashram here she met the famous Veera Shaivite Guru, Basava. He doubted her sincerity as a serious spiritual seeker. Her nudity covered by her hair was questionable to him, but when she argued that she did it to spare him embarrassment, he recognized her genius and she entered his ashram as his disciple.

“It’s only when the fruit is ripe within

That the outside doth lose colour.

If I covered the symbol of sex,

It’s lest it hurt your eyes.

Why does it needle you, O Brothers?

Spare this poor maid

Who has surrendered herself to Cenna Mallikarjuna.”

She attended many gatherings of the learned at the Anubhavamantapa in Kudala sangama to debate about philosophy and attainment of spiritualism

“Seeing the feet of the master,

O lord white as jasmine,

I was made

worthwhile.”

She is believed to have died in her 20s, supposedly disappearing in the banana groves at Shreeshaila, in Andhra Pradesh while in ecstasy entering mahasamadhi (divine union) with a flash of light. This merging of hers into her Lord white as jasmine is thus described by Vasanti Mataji –

“The bee that was engaged all along in drinking the nectar from the white jasmine is consumed totally in that very process. Not even the symbol remained” ~ Vasanti Mataji

www.kamalayoga.com

~

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Happy Spring!

There is so much abundance around; such beauty. I hope you are all getting outside and surrendering into life!

Many people misunderstand the concept of surrender. Surrender is not inaction or giving up or even accepting defeat or being codependent. Surrender is giving up our expectations of how things should be. When we expect or demand a certain result we are operating from a standpoint of control rather than deep surrender. Bargaining with the Divine is not surrender; “I’ll do this, God… if you do, that.” Surrender is making plans, utilizing our intelligence and capacities but not being attached to the fruits of those actions.

In one of my favorite books, the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna tells the warrior Arjuna that making plans, taking action, even painful action, is not only necessary it is the only way we fulfill our destiny (dharma).  A more contemporary version of this theme is by baseball legend, Yogi Berra. He said, “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is.”

We often get stuck in intellectualizing about how things “should be” rather than how things actually are. Clarity comes when we practice and apply what we know rather than theorizing.

Are you more comfortable imagining, conjecturing or instructing others rather than taking your own inspired action?

This week I invite you to take one specific action step each day. Then, give up your ideas of how things should turn out. Cultivate the art of noticing and being watchful. It is an enlivened and stress-free response to living life to its fullest.

Join me on www.kamalayoga.com ~

To your great health and happiness!

Stacy

~

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So much information in the world focuses on lack.  What we don’t have and how we should improve ourselves can take center stage.  Often making New Year’s Resolutions focuses on our dissatisfaction’s with our current state of being and we can feel discouraged rather than empowered.

This year, in 2009, I invite you to make New Year’s Appreciations for what has been before launching into the future.  Make a list of all you have accomplished in 2008.  If your mind starts to inject a , “Yes, but……” decide to redirect your thoughts back to your magnificence.  It is your choice and within your power to chose the thoughts which are capturing your attention.  Allow your head to quiet and your heart to speak of your strengths.

Empower yourself to take pleasure in the grandeur of what you have experienced this past year.  Write down every LITTLE and big thing that you have done out of the ordinary in 2008.  Fill yourselves up with that fullness.  Turn off outside sources which are focusing on scarcity, lack and fear.  Fill yourselves up with how magnificent you are – this is your place of strength.

Every single one of you has done something outstanding this year.  Write these events down. Keep a journal.  Reflect on your greatness.  When your spiritual state is healthy, the future will unfold gracefully.

Now is the time to reconnect to prayer and meditation.  Allow 2009 to be the year when you  expand your spiritual path.

After you have fully grounded yourself into your past accomplishments in 2008, then go ahead and put your dreams for 2009 down onto paper.  Launch into 2009 grounded, from a place of fullness and gratitude.

With great love and respect,
Stacy Kamala Waltman

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