Abhinivesha is the last of the five Kleshas which are the mental-emotional afflictions that create persistent distress, pain and suffering in our lives. This particular Klesha is triggering and provoking as it stirs up our fears and makes us react in negative ways. Abhinivesha is the fear of loss, the fear of change and the fear of death. This can be the loss of a job, the change of a relationship status or the death of a loved one. Fear of loss, change and death is a suffering deep within our instinctual subconscious, hard-wired for self preservation as well as to avoid it with all cost. It is imbedded in our autonomic nervous system to protect us from danger. It is in all of us as our biological make-up whether you are wise or naive, educated or not educated, if you approach a cliff edge and peer down 100 meter drop you will have the same reaction to flinch, back away or avoid it, all the same. It is natural to want to stay alive.
So why is death so hard for us to face when it is a part of life? Everything has a beginning, middle and end. We can see this in nature, seasons, in our thoughts, emotions and life situations. Everything changes so why is change such a threat? Well…it’s the Ego…damn Asmita. Why would it want to be evicted from this home, our body? In the status quo it has a mind, opinions, beliefs, views, things to play with, even possessions. It has a personality, reputation and perceived importance in the world. Why would it want to let go of family and friends, a belonging, a reputation, possessions and/or the experience of love?
As long as we are ignorant (Avidya) of the impermanence of things, there will be an ego (Asmita) which is fuelled by attachment (Raga) and aversion (Dvesa). This ignorance will perpetuate the fear of dying (Abhinivesha).
To live and to fear, worry and try to control or resist the inevitable only creates more suffering and unhappiness. As Yogis, the practice is to pause, realise we have no real control when it is our time to die and trust in the process of life and death (Isvara Pranidhana). By practicing Kriya Yoga we can calm the Kleshas and face the unavoidable change.
This practice and exploration offers a deeper relationship to investing in what you are ultimately, SAT CIT ANANDA.
Dvesa is one of the five Kleshas which are the mental-emotional afflictions that create persistent distress, pain and suffering in our lives. This Klesha is the aversion of past experienced pain and suffering. It is natural to avoid things that are scary or may cause harm, however this Klesha draws our attention to what we are resisting to experience and is usually linked to a past experience of pain and suffering. There is a slogan that says “if it is a hysterical reaction, it normally is a historical one.” This insight into how our brains and body saves and stores memories of fear based information is a useful design to keep us safe and protected for future experiences. As we mature though some of these memories and our aversion to them limit us in our lives and our relationships it give us the illusion that we are free from that painful experience if we keep running away from it. There is another slogan, “what we resist, persists.” This resistance is felts as tension in the body and we contract reinforcing the other Kleshas to get involved forming resentments, grudges, dislikes, hatred, hostility, harmful judgement and more negativity. The solution is to start to look at the stories we tell ourselves that keep us stuck in the core false beliefs and if we can start to investigate and to look at the story in a different way. This technique is called Pratipaksha Bhavana, seeing the value and learning how to see the positive and to view our reaction of aversion as a useful opportunity to practice. This builds trust in ourselves to love and care for our past and present self, opening the possibility for healing, finding lasting fulfilment and freeing ourself from Dvesa.
Raga is one of the five Kleshas which are the mental-emotional afflictions that create persistent distress, pain and suffering in our lives. This Klesha is the addictive, craving, chasing, dwelling, feeling and a holding on to and attachment to previously experienced pleasures. Raga means colouring, likened to a stain on the lens of our perception which creates ignorance (Avidya). Raga seduces the ego (Asmita) through sensory and emotional worldly pleasures and identifies with the stain, reinforcing a progressive addiction to seek. It tends to pull consciousness out of the moment’s awareness and creates the illusion, that happiness will be attained if it is fulfilled. If the desire is not fulfilled then the experience of suffering arises – disappointment, let down of the expectation that it will FIX or SOLVE YOU. Desire is fine, just as long as we are not attached to the outcome. Raga gets triggered when we think we won’t be able to experience certain pleasures again, so begins the craving.
We will explore this complex dependency Kleshas with the Drishti technique of gazing and drawing our awareness to unconscious wandering and seeking Raga. The practice will create the desired heat for positive change as it provokes, triggers and awakens our attention to longing for more pleasurable experiences. We will combine mantra and point to point breathing to learn effective skills to self-regulate, sooth and create a pause to reflect, digest and release that which doesn’t serve.
Key questions to focus on during this practice are:
Asmita is one of the five Kleshas which are the mental-emotional afflictions that create persistent distress, pain and suffering in our lives. Asmita is the distorted sense of Self as it mis-identifies with the body, emotions and the thoughts we have. It reduces us to our likes and dislikes, what we can or cannot do, to our job, status, reputation, accomplishments and failures. It is the affliction that reinforces core false beliefs that we are not enough as we are, that you are not smart enough, beautiful enough, flexible enough, successful enough, etc. Whatever the thing is you think you lack or keeps you from seeing your true self is, Asmita.
With this practice we are going to progress and evolve on the first Klesha we worked on last week (the Avidya class). As we were provoked, disrupted and challenged the negative thoughts, emotions and memories that surfaced became our teachers as a result of the Kriya Yoga Practice.
To counter Asmita we need to recognise a healthy ego which is the experience of contentment. This practice will focus on states of change and how threats can arise when we face change and lose sight of the secure feeling of fundamental needs being met. A healthy ego is open, curious and willing to learn. However, most of all, a healthy ego is considerate, kind and compassionate not only to ourselves, but to others. It is said that innately we are SAT CIT ANANDA; existence – consciousness – joy. That essentially we are the experience of the light of awareness embodied that is Joyous. The intention for this practice will be to create the heat and physical discomfort consciously desired to burn through the old beliefs of who we think we are, guided by the light of awareness. Your focus will be to embody what you find as lasting contentment, fulfilment and freedom from your pain and suffering as a result of distinguishing, identifying and separating yourself from your Asmita.
OM asato mā sadgamaya, tamaso mā jyotir gamaya, mṛtyor mā’mṛtaṃ gamaya Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad 1.3.28
Guide me from untruth to truth, Guide me from darkness to light, Guide me from death to immortality.
Zephyr goes deep into the explanation of this particular mantra and hopes you feel the effects of weaving this mantra into your practice. Mantras can be a bit “marmite” for some, but if you haven’t tried a practice with mantra, this is a great one to “give it a go”. Long may the effects of this practice stay with you. You are star dust!
This practice weaves Asana, Pranayama, Mantra, Kriya and Mudra ( I know, a lot! Don’t be scared) into a Meditation experience to direct Prana to your New Year’s Intention. I will share a little secret with you as there is a simple equation to manifest your Resolution more effectively:
Intention of your Desire + Intensity of Prana > or = to your Obstacle
“Earth, Ether, Cosmos let the most Divine Light guide my thoughts, intellect and intuition.”
Working with the teachings from the Yoga Sutra (with a Tantric Twist) you will address the obstacles that you face preventing you from fulfilling your intention. I will help you explore some suggested solutions to remove those obstacles and build more vital Prana to direct it to attaining your hearts Intention.
Using the Deities Ganesha, Lakshmi and Sarawati to add a layer of sound, meaning and energy to the experience, Mantra is a big part of this practice.
This meditation will guide you through kriya (cleansing practice), mudra (sealing practice) & visualisation to embody the meaning of these two essential mantras.
The Gayatri Mantra is to connect to the light of purification and spiritual guidance.
oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ, tat savitur vareṇyaṃ, bhargo devasya dhīmahi, dhiyo yo naḥ pracodayāt
“Earth, Ether, Cosmos let the most Divine Light guide my thoughts, intellect and intuition.”
“I meditate on the most radiant light of the Divine from which issues the triple world, physical, subtle and celestial, the light so bright that it removes all obstacles and impurities, inspiring and enlightening our minds.”
The Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra as a prayer to rejuvenate and heal ourselves while practicing, reinforcing our dedicated intention to practice.
oṃ tryambakaṃ yajāmahe sugandhiṃ puṣṭi-vardhanamurvārukam iva bandhanān mṛtyor mukṣīya mā ‘mṛtāt
“We meditate on the 3 eyed one – Shiva/Rudra which permeates and nourishes like a fragrance. Shelter and bless me with health and immortality. Liberate me from the clutches of death, even as a cucumber is effortlessly separated from the bondage to the creeper.”
This therapeutic session helps us to focus on the fundamental needs in our lives that, for whatever reason, are not being met; feeling safe, loved, belonging to and connected to. Nurturing ourselves back home into our embodiment during practice becomes an act of self-love by holding space for our shadow-side of our humanity and loving us through whatever surfaces. Those negative thoughts, feelings and attachments to our actions are there to teach us and exploring your shadow-side and working through those feelings in your practice can be a transformative experience.
This vinyasa practice will include Mudras which means seal. We will practice throughout a smiling Mudra to shape the breath to be kind, nurturing and patient and hand mudras which will connect us to their unique intention of ‘sealing’ the effects of the gesture within us. Click here to access.
The Union of practice; asana, pranayama and meditation should be grounded in mindful reflection called Vichara. This is how you, as the Adhikara (competent student), to take responsibility and accountability of what comes up in practice and skilfully use the Yoga tools to best move forward in your practice and your life.
The Adhikara is made up of 5 essential ingredients or skilful means called Upayas. These Upayas are 1. Shraddha: Faith, Trust, Serenity. 2. Virya: Strength, Courage, Determination. 3. Smirti: Memory of vital information, what matters most, higher purpose. 4. Samadhi: Absorption, Wholeness, Oneness. 5. Prajna: Illumination, Light of Awareness, Rootless Intuitive Wisdom. We will be exploring these attributes within you through Pranayama (breath work) and Asana (physical practice) moving into strong, strengthening backbends and a lateral practice, mixed with twists and nurturing forward bends. Click here to access.
The practice of Meditation can be used to gain insight through reflection. In Yoga we call this Vichara; to take inventory, study, investigate or uncover the nature of the Self. This practice will challenge you to draw into the field of your awareness. The reflection on difficult and sometimes painful situations are encouraged specifically in order to practice using the Power of YES to self-regulate strong sensations, emotions and thoughts. You as the Yogi/Meditator embody the 5 Upayas (essential ingredients) to be able to skilfully manage the way you react to a triggering memory, detaching with love and responding by using the technique of YES.
The 5 Upayas to refine and develop are: 1. Shraddha: Faith, Trust, Serenity. 2. Virya: Strength, Courage, Vitality. 3. Smirti: Memory, Retentive Power, Reinforcing Intention. 4. Samadhi: Absorption, Unification, Wholeness. 5. Prajna: Illumination, Light of Intelligence, Rootless Wisdom. Vichara can be a great method of making your practice a safe-haven where everything is welcomed, celebrated and honoured. A Vichara practice is an opportunity to practice the path towards serenity, a tool to help you as the Yogi learn from your past and grow to celebrate it as a teacher. Click here to access.
In this practice we explore the question “Who are you?” The practice of realising your true nature, what is behind the story of you and refining your relationship to the one who is perceiving moment by moment awareness. We recognise all sounds, sensations, thoughts and emotions are like the passing weather through the sky of your awareness. This meditation allows you to expand your horizons and help you understand who you are when you are not trying to be somebody but rather building a relationship to this wisdom of awareness and abiding effortlessly in loving wakefulness. Click here to access.
Vipssana is a traditional Buddhist meditation practice developing mindfulness to see clearly or to have insight into the nature of all things. This simple practice works by resting your attention in moment by moment awareness with less and less effort. We will practice wakefully breathing, observing sensation, and passing thoughts and feelings. This practice develops your capacity to recognise when you get lost in the story line, gently drawing your awareness to note and label what it is, then guide your awareness back to moment by moment presence. When you truly surrender to being here now, resting in the illuminated emptiness, you open your innate inner wisdom of knowledge seeing into the nature of everything. Click here to access.
There is much mis-conception about the Chakras. At the most basic level, they are wheels or vortexes within the body that both receive and radiate energy. There are seven of them and they start at the crown of the head and then are strategically found down through the body to the base of the spine. The Bija Mantras are known as the “seed sounds”, or the one-syllable sounds that activate the Chakras. Mantra is said to protect the mind and the use of these mantras is to spark a positive neurological effect within the body, energy and mind. We use the the Bija sounds to open us to the meaning of what these Chakras hold, empowering, motivating and potentially healing us through practice. I am not a singer so pardon the pitch and tone of my Bija Mantras, but I will try to express the sound and vibration of these teachings for you to explore your unique resonance and to harmonise the systems and to leave you with radiance from your practice. Click here to access.
The intention for this practice is to reflect on the past, present and future blessings. by connecting to sincere gratitude for the joys we experience in our lives. We honour our good fortune as well as the challenges, opening to the richness of our human experience. Refocusing on what we have, not what we lack. Join Zephyr in a deep dive into the delight of cultivating gratitude. Click here to access.
Forgiveness cannot be willed. However through practice we can become open and ready to prepare our hearts, mind and body to forgive the hurt that may still be present. This practice focuses on the forgiveness from the harm you may have caused others, the harm you cause yourself and the harm others have caused you. Cultivating a forgiving heart takes practice, so continuing to repeat this practice in and out your meditation space is vital, reminding yourself of the very basic human goodness, the desire to be happy and not to suffer. Click here to access.
This meditation explores the unravelling of the knots that bind us. Working with Pranayama Kriyas, Chanting and Visualisation we use these tools to work through the Physical, Energetic and Mental holding patterns that prevent the light of healing and intelligence of Prana from flowing freely throughout. This practice will clear the pathways to receive and follow our way back home in our embodiment, effortlessly abiding in loving awareness and dissolving back into the mystery of it all! Click here to access.
This practice uses Buddhist slogans and kind touch to inform, nurture and absorb the meaning of the words to inspire you to be held in loving kindness. Zephyr will encourage you to practice R.A.I.N.- as you recognise what surfaces in your practice, allow more breathing room to air out your pain and to take a deeper dive investigating the root of your pain, nurturing it with loving awareness. Prana Dharana is the technique of focusing your concentration on the energy that is behind the breath; the source of boundless energy, inherently healing and inspiring. This technique will guide you deeper to where you feel able to rest peacefully in meditation. Click here to access.
We don’t always recognise all the light we carry, however in this meditation we start living in accordance to this light. Empowering us to connect to the light that lights the whole world, that radiates the fundamental truth of the human heart, love. This light fuels us to attain our hearts desires and shines on the choices we must make to guide us on the path of our journey. Use this meditation to reconnect to this boundless resource of light of creative energy. Click here to access.
This meditation is one that is taught in the Buddhist tradition to connect to loving-kindness. Placing a smile to different parts of our body creates a positive neurological effect on our mind and body, the results being that we feel the warmth of what a smile brings. Love, kindness, belonging and safety. The hopes to this meditation is to bring a smile to your life on and off your mat. Click here to access.
Meditation is said to bring the mind into a state of awakening into pure consciousness absorbed by the oneness of being. There are many techniques to guide students to this state and one is using mantra. Mantra is said to protect the mind by focusing the mind on the sound, vibration and meaning of the words. HUM SA is used with point to point breathing to have this affect of focusing your concentration and leading it to dissolving into the state of wakeful consciousness. HUM SA loosely means “That am I” that being consciousness. Of effortlessly observing without doing, bathing in that enduring calm of mediation. Click here to access.
This mediation offers you self-regulating tools to navigate difficult emotions we all feel. We can’t control all the storms in our lives, however we can learn how to sail them. We use intentions to anchor ourselves and connect to a deep trust as a compass to wait out the storm. In the meantime, we use breathing techniques to manage the swell of feelings, learning to breathe through them until the storm passes and we can calmly experience the sea of serenity as a result of our efforts. Click here to access.
This meditation offers you a way of stilling thoughts, feelings and energy of the mind by focusing them and stilling the mind like an expansive but calm lake. By diving into the depths of your being, the meditation becomes a healing tool for helping with anxiety and issues around control. Click here to access.
There are 5 basic elements of nature; Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space (intergalactic medium that suspends everything in manifested form). Using hand mudras in meditation to connect to these elements with the intention to experience them embodied and around us to balance the inner and outer ecosystem to find harmony and connection. Click here to access.