TheLoneRider
a seeker in search of Easter Eggs

COUNTRY > Thailand > Chiang Mai
DATE > 2022 > Jun
SECTION > Yoga

A CONTINUING WORK-IN-PROGRESS

yoga in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Yoga with Max Jun 6, 2022

Yoga with Max

Location Google Map: Nawa Saraan Healing Space, Chiang Mai, Thailand

From the Breathwork/Icebath @ Alt_Chiangmai
Max had been attending the Wednesday breathwork/icebath at Alt_Chiangmai which I had been conducting for almost 3 months now. The session had a heavy lean on yoga - afterall, yoga is my thing. He inquired about my practice and after sitting down with him over coffee to talk about his objectives, challenges and constraints, he decided it was for him. As a yogi-on-a-mission, I tailor-fitted a 90-min program for him.

YOGA Questions

Since I only teach private one-on-one classes, when someone inquires about a yoga class, I make sure to meet with them first and talk about their needs to design a tailor-fitted program for them. I ask a few questions:

  1. why yoga? why not gym workouts, or calisthenics or sports?
  2. what do you want to accomplish with yoga?
  3. yoga experience? breathing experience? meditation experience?
  4. fitness level? do you like it hard? easy? maintenance mode or level-up mode?
  5. injuries?
  6. digestion issues?
  7. eye sight issues?
  8. what days/week? time slot?

MaxMax USA
Max is fit, young and strong. He carries a pleasantness about him. I was curious what his objectives were. Of all the fitness modalities out there, why yoga? He has 2 motivations.

1) From our coffee talk, he said he wanted to be more flexible with his hips and alleviate discomfort on his back, caused by Sciatica (pain affecting the back, hip, and outer side of the leg, caused by compression of a spinal nerve in the lower back).

2) Moreover, despite being upwardly mobile, he was left wondering if making money was all there was to life. I hear him. Like me and some of my friends, we realized we were being played by the system - like hamsters on a wheel. With that awareness, we got off the grid to pursue our bliss. Inevitably, 3 things happened to all of us:

  1. we never made as much money
  2. we were happier
  3. we'll NEVER go back!

Max was mindful enough to realize all that early on. Most people, despite of material success, never get it. They still fight against life and rebel against a world they never made/ They get entangled with life's cobwebs and remain in drowning clutter. Perhaps it takes another lifetime to finally get it.

Mas has been on-and-off yoga for 4 years now with background in TM (Transcendental Meditation). He's ready to level-up and push some limits. He opted for 2 days/week practice.

My General Approach
Given their situation, this is how I would design the program.

  1. Deadweight Hanging - hanging on body deadweight without pulling up, just hanging, alleviates compression on the back brought on by gravity and constant compaction of daily life - good for those suffering from lower back problems and those suffering from scoliosis. Movement guru, Ido Portal, prescribes hanging 20 minutes/day total to be one of must-do exercises daily for functionality.
  2. On the Edge - given Max's fitness level, the difficulty will be high with about 90% doable and 10% struggling (my philosophy here is that if everything was done 100%, even though it was challenging, still not much was learned - it was being on maintenance-mode. However, if you were fumbling and stumbling 10% of the time, then you're leveling-up). It's a tight-wire act too since the intensity can only be so much that he remains functional the following day. If he feels sore and exhausted the following day, then it was too much. Ideally, he should feel vibrant.
  3. Hip-openers - to be able to sit on Siddhasana, maybe even get to do Padmasana (full lotus)
  4. Pranayama - will play a major role in every session, commanding more time than any average studio would offer. Since Max has been doing yoga for 5 years now, we don't have to start from scratch. We can begin exploring bandhas, kumbhakas, mudras and visualizatons.
  5. Meditation - spiritual grounding through meditation will always be there to close the practice. There are many to take turns on - samata, vipassana, emptiness, chakra-focused, death-rebirth, anapana, etc.
  6. Minor role - postures that develop strength, balance and flexibility will play a minor role
June
Jun 06 (Mon 1-2:30pm)

This is my pilot program with Max.

  1. OM (yoga talk) - explaining what mantra is, what OM is, and how to do it (A-U-M). 1 minute composure then 3 rounds of OM chanting

    Chanting OM
    OM is a pure sound...a mantra. Its meaning and definition is already present in its vibrational frequency as you chant it. It's one of the most powerful sounds that ever existed. It is the only sound you can utter without using your tongue. Terminally ill patients who have already been refused by hospitals have regained their full functionality and lived a full life by taking refuge in OM.

    OM is chanted into 3 but linked sounds - A-U-M.

    A is chanted from the Manipuraka Chakra (navel). Feel it reverberate there and expand throughout the body. As you chant the A, slowly round your mouth and you begin to chant the U. Feel the U in your Anahata Chakra (heart) and resonate with it. Lift your focus up to your Vishudhi Chakra (throat) as you slowly close your mouth, chanting the M. Feel the vibration of the M spread inside your head.


    Homework: do one hour of OM with intention, visualizing the end game and feeling grateful about it - e.g., if you want money to buy a Lamborghini, don't say, "I want money" because that is not a call-to-action. Don't envision a pile of money because what you really want is what your money can buy. Envision driving a Lambo, flooring on the highway, hearing the deafening roar of its exhaust...and being profoundly grateful for it. To be discussed in the next session.
  2. Hang - hanging reverses the compaction of gravity on the spinal discs and can alleviate pain or even cure the ailment itself.
    3 rounds, Max sustained 19 seconds on the first round

  3. Yoga with Max
    Max hanging from the ledge, 19 secs

  4. Breathing - 1 min of Wim Hof, 1 min of Bhastrika, 1 min of kapalabhati, all with maximum holds on the out-breath bahya kumbhaka with bandhas, followed by in-breath hold with full relaxation (no bandhas), but on the exhale, make it tummo-intense
  5. Asana/Stretching - Surya Namaskars for starters, not so much about the asana itself, but focus on the dance between the movement, breath and mindfulness - 3 friends that MUST always stay together.

    We stayed a little longer on knees - rotation, gymnastic squats and point-of-failure hold on the rails. In my parlance, when your knees give up, you're screwed - so best to look after it before it happens
  6. pranayama - 5 mins Ujjayi (as slow as possible), inhaling fully (no holding, no bandhas), intense Tummo-exhale with palms forcefully pressing against each other, on empty lungs, doing 3-tribandha
  7. Meditation - 5 mins on anapana
  8. [an error occurred while processing this directive]
  9. Homework - do one hour of OM chanting with intention, visualization, and gratitude


Comments:

MaxMax USA
(Jun 6, 2022)

Lesson
Thoroughly enjoyed the talk on OM, especially the breakdown of the sounds and where our attention should be for each part of the sound. I felt very at ease. It was also great to reiterate the benefits of gratitude and when manifesting focus on already having that which you’re looking for.

The hanging really loosened my back up and while I was apprehensive about the twists and turns post hang it seemed to help. I think this, in combination with stretching, will be immensely beneficial. I need to build more forearm strength and will beat 19 seconds this week.

Combined with the side bends my back felt incredible for the rest of the day and the following day too.

I observed as the pain of certain positions would build and I would abandon the stance - this is something I would really like to work on. Finding my limit and holding on. This will help growth in other areas of life too.

It would be nice to incorporate a flow into the practice even if only a few warm-up salutes to the sun.

Homework
I put off the hour of meditation as long as I could, my chattering mind sensed it would have to give up control and threw everything at that not happening. Eventually, I set an intention and focused on the gratitude and feeling of already having the shift in behaviours and thus feeling that I have been looking for.

The hour passed very quickly, with only 4 peeks at the clock. The final 10 were the most difficult. I visualised each part of the AH-O-MM sounds resonating with the different chakras. My throat was green, my heart blue and my stomach pink/red. I’ll observe if these colours change. I would continually check in with my set intention too.

Learnings
Next meditation session I’d like to have a gradual process for returning to full consciousness. Focus more on the intention and allow the OM to run on autopilot. Incorporate hanging and the back bends into daily practice. Be diligent about daily yoga and meditation.



Jun 10 (Fri 11:15-12:45pm)

2nd class with Max. Thigh tightness when doing hang. More Flow.

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  1. Hang - 3 rounds, 24 seconds on the first round with twists and full fascia stretching. Introduced finger-strengthening exercises through the 'grip'.
  2. Yoga Talk - comprehensive overview of the 8 limbs of yoga (yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, samadhi). The next session will deal with the nuts-and-bolts, beginning with the first branch of yama: ahimsa.
  3. Asana/Stretching - talk: use various seated poses while working on computer (sukhasana, siddhasana, ardha padmasana, padmasana, vajrasana, soles together with knees sideways on the floor)

    Basic stretching with flow, focusing on hip-openers (Warrior I & II, with repetitive pelvic sinking)
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  5. ABS | HIIT | Wim Hof Rounds:

    1. Russian twist | knee taps | Wim Hof
    2. seated in & out | mountain climbers | Wim Hof

  6. Pranayama/Breathing: Shitali, Lion's Breath - 5 mins: Shitali, inhale hold/tri-bandha/fire, Lion's exhale
  7. Meditation: Vipassana - vipassana, guided body scanning
  8. [an error occurred while processing this directive]
  9. Homework
    1) alarm every 10 minutes while on computer: stand, blink, full fascia movement
    2) try all seated poses while on computer (sukhasana, siddhasana, ardha padmasana, padmasana, vajrasana, soles together with knees sideways on the floor)
    3) bring 1 liter of empty water jar


Comments?



Jun 17 (Fri 1-2:30pm)

3rd class with Max, this time only 1 session/week. Add twists.

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  1. Water structuring and alkalining - pouring water into stones, adding sea salt, stirring, Shamanic Journey at 432Hz, creating vortex, sitting down, connecting with water...drinking it
  2. Nauli kriya - 4 phases to cleanse the digestive system using structured water.
  3. Yoga Talk - yama: ahimsa (nonharmfulness, no violence even in thought, no harm even to animal, nature and the planet)
  4. Hang - timed 3 rounds with twists and full fascia stretching (interspersed with stretching while fingers recover) and compare over time
  5. Asana/Stretching - basic stretching with flow + twist, focusing on hip-openers (????????????downward dog, 3-legged downward dog, high/low lunge, lizard, twisted monkey, pigeon, 1-legged king pigeon, butterfly [seated/lying down], forward bend on seated triangle [double pigeon], squats/malasana, baby pose, frog, glut-stretch, camel, dancer, supported bridge, seated/reclining hero's pose [W])
  6. Pranayama/Breathing: Wim Hof, Bhastrika, Kapalabhati
    1st, Wim Hof, 1:00, exhale hold/relax, inhale hold/relax
    2nd, Bhastrika, 1:15, exhale hold/relax, inhale hold/tri-bandha/fire , exhale tummo
    3rd, Kapalabhati, 1:30, inhale hold/tri-bandha/fire, exhale tummo
  7. ABS | HIIT | Wim Hof Combination:

    1. high plank | shadow boxing | Wim Hof
    2. boat | knee taps | Wim Hof
    3. leg raise | butt kicks | Wim Hof
    4. crunch| jumping jack | Wim Hof
    5. reverse plank| mountain climbers | Wim Hof
    6. seated in & out | fast foot shuffle | Bhastrika
    7. bicycle | rope skipping | Wim Hof

  8. Adhitthana: Navasana (boat) - hold the boat pose for as long as you can, observing the increasing difficulty without reacting to it. The object of this exercise is to strengthen the mind. As an added benefit, the ABS will also be strengthened.
  9. Meditation: Nada - 5 mins, refresher/explanation of Nada Meditation, full Ujjayi inhale, pause 1 sec, exhale and empty the lungs, completely relax, feel the VOID, feel the EMPTINESS, focus inside the head, listen for the most subtle nada sound
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  11. Homework - alarm every hour on the hour to practice awareness


Comments?

MaxMax USA
(Jun 17, 2022) The class on the water I found fascinating, I love being introduced to new ideas and practices. I felt quite weird after the “swishing exercises? and unfortunately consumed alcohol that evening which may have led to getting sick...mental note to not drink after water exercises. I have kept to adding lime and salt to water when I remember but as of yet haven’t collected stones. I’ve also started writing words such as ‘Joy’ and ‘happiness’ on my water bottles.

Jun 27 (Mon 1-2:30pm)

4th class with Max, this session is a make-up class from last Friday (not feeling well). Last session focused on Muladhara. Svadisthana chakra focus for this session.

    NOTES

    1. Max wants flexibility with his hips (Approach: focus on hip openers)
    2. wants to alleviate discomfort on his back caused by Sciatica (pain affecting the back, hip, and outer side of the leg, caused by compression of a spinal nerve in the lower back) (Approach: weighted rag doll hang, strong core, strong back muscles, spinal mobility including spinal twists)
    3. wants to see the big picture of life and how to navigate it (Approach: meditation, yoga dharma discussion)
    4. Max is fit, strong and young. He's been on-and-off yoga for 4 years now with background in TM (Transcendental Meditation). He's ready to level-up and push some limits (Approach: addithana holds, 1-min core, 1-min HIIT)
    5. best sequence for Max is lecture first and everything physical follows (hang, stretch, asana)
    6. Status (done and finished):
      chakras - all
      mudra (hand) - all
      8 limbs - ?
      yama - ahimsa
      niyama - ?

    CHANT (opening)

  1. VAM
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/chant_vam.shtml" -->
    Single-pointed focus on Svadhisthana Chakra (sacral)
    a) to start the class, 1 minute composure then 3 mins of VAM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale focusing on the mudra, then VAM chanting on the exhale, shifting focus on the chakra
    b) to end the class, 1 minute composure then 3 rounds of VAM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale focusing on the mudra, then VAM chanting on the exhale, shifting focus on the chakra
  2. CLASS INTRODUCTION

  3. Class introduction: Svadhisthana chakra (navel)
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/intro_svadhisthana.shtml" -->
    This class revolves on Svadhisthana Chakra. The mudra (Varun Mudra), mantra (VAM), asana (), pranayama () and everything else will revolve around the Svadhisthana.
  4. LECTURE: Chakra

      Svadhisthana
    1. Svadhisthana Chakra / VAM chanting
      <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/c_svadhisthana.shtml" -->
      Explaining Svadhisthana (sacral chakra) together with VAM mantra, including features and related topics:
      1. Statement - "My basic needs are met. I'm now intoxicated with sex, drugs and rock & roll. I am immersed in my pleasure center. I want respect, prestige and admiration."
      2. Who are these people? - any self-indulgent narcissist who has money
      3. Features

        1. represented in the physical body as the reproductory organ
        2. where instinct (lying dormant in the Muladhara) finds expression in day-to-day life
        3. sexual desires are pent-up here and it's difficult for the awakened Kundalini to go past this chakra (because sex is intoxicating)
        4. beyond survival and into self-indulgent pleasure
      4. Mantra - VAM
      5. Sitting Pose - xxxxxxx
      6. Asanas - matsyasana (fish pose)
      7. Pranayama - xxxxxxxxxx
      8. Blockage - guilt (shit happens and you need to forgive yourself...then you can move on)
      9. Activation - chanting VAM on Varun mudra
      10. Element - water
      11. Mudra - varun mudra (index finger + thumb)
      12. Warning - most people are stuck here - make money, acquire power and influence, crave for status and prestige
      13. Body / Physical - genitals
      14. Location - sex organs
      15. Form / Color - lotus flower with 6 vermilion (red orange) petals
      16. Enhanced Human Qualities

        1. reflective nature (santosha)
        2. perfection of relationships
        3. clarity in thinking
        4. eloquence in speech
        5. being unafraid of water
        6. you don't get sick
        7. you don't get tired
        8. charismatic and admirable (even from enemies)
        9. freedom from enemies and violence will disappear
        10. experience deep inner peace
        11. control of the senses resulting in creative ability
      17. Super Human Qualities (Siddhis)

        1. wild animals will not harm you
        2. psychic powers
        3. affinity with astral entities
        4. ability to manifest desires
      18. Svadhisthana perspective vs other chakras

        1. Muladhara: "I need food clothing and shelter to survive"
        2. Svadhisthana: "sex, drugs and rock & roll"
        3. Manipuraka: "I, me, mine - the world is my oyster"
        4. Anahata: "I have love and compassion"
        5. Visuddhi: "Instead of fighting with life, I begin to flow with the current of life. I perform at a high level of competence. People naturally move towards me because I can do things beyond their understanding and abilities."
        6. Ajna: "My intuition is accurate. I have psychic abilities. I see things without the cobwebs and clutter. I see the world in black and white with a very minimal shade of gray (uncertainty, doubt, indecision). Nothing can touch me, nothing can disturb me. But experientially, I still do not feel the spontaneous ecstasy of life."
        7. Sahasrara: "I am the convergence of energy and consciousness. The self, the universe and God become one"

    WARM-UP

  5. Hang
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/hang2.shtml" -->
    Timed 3 rounds with twists and full fascia stretching (interspersed with stretching while fingers recover) and compare over time
  6. Stretching
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/stretching2.shtml" -->
    Basic stretching to neck, shoulders, chest, back, side bends, pelvic roll, thigh stretch, knee roll, calf stretch
  7. Surya namaskar A & B
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/surya2.shtml" -->
    3 rounds of Surya Namaskar A, 3 rounds of Surya Namaskar B
  8. PRANAYAMA

  9. Breathing - explaining the 4 air cavities of the lungs and how to fill them up, nose breathing vs mouth breathing, how to breathe (slow, steady, deep, full, paused).

    1 round: 5 minutes of Ujjayi breathing employing all of the above
  10. ASANA

  11. Surya namaskar A & B
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/surya2.shtml" -->
    3 rounds of Surya Namaskar A, 3 rounds of Surya Namaskar B
  12. Hip Openers: groin stretching
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/a_hip_opener.shtml" -->

      Seated
    1. butterfly (seated/lying down)
    2. diamond butterfly
    3. leg cradle
    4. forward bend on seated triangle [double pigeon]
    5. seated/reclining hero's pose
    6. frog pose

    7. Standing
    8. warrior I, lowering & lifting repeatedly
    9. warrior II, lowering & lifting repeatedly
    10. skandasana
    11. side split
    12. front split (monkey pose, hanumanasana)
    13. Goddess pose
    14. squats/malasana
    15. high/low lunge

    16. Floor
    17. lizard
    18. pigeon
    19. 1-legged king pigeon

    20. Lying Down Facing Up
    21. glut-stretch

  13. *** DONE: all seated, Warrior I, pigeon

    MEDITATION

  14. Meditation: Bhramari - 5 mins, refresher/explanation of Bhramari meditation with covered perception sensory organs
  15. CHANT (closing)

  16. VAM
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/chant_vam.shtml" -->
    Single-pointed focus on Svadhisthana Chakra (sacral)
    a) to start the class, 1 minute composure then 3 mins of VAM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale focusing on the mudra, then VAM chanting on the exhale, shifting focus on the chakra
    b) to end the class, 1 minute composure then 3 rounds of VAM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale focusing on the mudra, then VAM chanting on the exhale, shifting focus on the chakra
  17. HOMEWORK

  18. VAM chanting / Svadhisthana chakra
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/homework_svadhisthana.shtml" -->
    a) do 20 mins of VAM chanting with focus on the Svadhisthana chakra. Before the chant, feel your body, spirit and emotions. Just chant and keep the awareness on the chakra. At some point, you may feel something there...or maybe not. But have that single-pointed focus on the chakra during this 20 mins. After, feel your body, spirit and emotions again. Is there a difference?


Comments?

MaxMax USA
(Jun 27, 2022) This class we focused more on the svadisthana chakra which was perfect as I wouldn't have been up for an intense session. We still did a few flows and a meditation - again perfect for how I was feeling.

Jun 28 (Tue 1-2:30pm)

    NOTES

    1. Max wants flexibility with his hips (Approach: focus on hip openers)
    2. wants to alleviate discomfort on his back caused by Sciatica (pain affecting the back, hip, and outer side of the leg, caused by compression of a spinal nerve in the lower back) (Approach: weighted rag doll hang, strong core, strong back muscles, spinal mobility including spinal twists)
    3. wants to see the big picture of life and how to navigate it (Approach: meditation, yoga dharma discussion)
    4. Max is fit, strong and young. He's been on-and-off yoga for 4 years now with background in TM (Transcendental Meditation). He's ready to level-up and push some limits (Approach: addithana holds, 1-min core, 1-min HIIT)
    5. best sequence for Max is lecture first and everything physical follows (hang, stretch, asana)
    6. Status (done and finished):
      chakras - all
      mudra (hand) - all
      8 limbs - ?
      yama - ahimsa
      niyama - ?
    *** 5th class with Max, this session is a make-up class for this coming Friday (out of town). Last session focused on Svadisthana. Mudra focus for this session.

    CHANT (opening)

  1. OM
    /yoga_class/chant_om.shtml
    Single-pointed focus on Ajna Chakra (third eye) or the Sahasrara Chakra (crown)
    a) to start the class, 1 minute composure then 3 mins of OM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale, then OM chanting on the exhale
    b) to end the class, 1 minute composure then 3 rounds of OM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale, then OM chanting on the exhale
  2. CLASS INTRODUCTION

  3. Class introduction: Hasta Mudra (hands/fingers)
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/m_mudra1.shtml" -->
    This class introduces the various hand mudras and other related features - chakra, affliction, contra-indication
  4. LECTURE: Yoga

  5. Hasta Mudra (hand)
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/lec_mudra1.shtml" -->

    Hasta Mudras are hand/finger gestures designed to balance the energy flow within the body. The 5 fingers represent the 5 elements within the body - fire, air, sky, earth and water. Any imbalance within the 5 cause illness and dis-ease. The many ways fingers touch each other in a mudra help in the following ways:

    Benefits

    1. restoring energy balance to heal the body, mind and spirit
    2. therapy for specific illness
    3. spiritual development
    4. instilling peace of mind
    5. enhances personality development
    6. clears energy blockages

    Characteristics of Mudras

    1. Mudras aid in spiritual development, peace of mind, disease, and personality development.
    2. When done for therapy, some mudras need to be done for 45 minutes regularly until an ailment is gone.
    3. Mudras can be combined with a mantra, performed with asanas, pranayama and meditation.
    4. Mudras are usually done in a comfortable seated position preferably in lotus (padmasana), sit-bones centered, spine vertically aligned.
    5. Mudras are done either at shoulder level or with hands on top of the knees/lap.
    6. With the exception of the Gyani Mudra, mudras are often neglected in meditation classes in favor of bandhas, mantras and the breath.
    7. Some mudras are only done during meditation asanas.
    8. Mudras done with the left hand affect the right body and vice-versa.
    9. Fingers don't need to be pressed against each other. Having them lightly touch each other is optimum and produces great results.

    TYPES OF MUDRAS

    Gyana Gyana Mudra

    Gyana Mudra (aka Gyan, Chin, Jnana)

    <--#include virtual="/2019/sep/mudra_gyana/gyana.shtml" -->

    Finger Position: thumb and index finger touch (concentrate on this point), 3 other fingers are together and straight
    Hand Level: shoulder or on lap
    Activated Elements: fire and air (combustible)
    Benefits: memory retention, increased comprehension and concentration, gaining wisdom
    Chakra Affected: Muladhara to Ajna (root to third eye)
    Affected Body Part: pituitary and pineal glands, brain
    Mantra: Om
    Notes: can be done anywhere, anytime, by anybody



    Akash Akash Mudra

    Akash Mudra

    <--#include virtual="/2019/sep/mudra_akash/akash.shtml" -->

    Finger Position: thumb and middle finger touch (concentrate on this point), 3 other fingers are straightened, then relaxed
    Hand Level: shoulder level with bent elbows
    Activated Elements: fire and sky
    Benefits: heart opener, cures heart and ear and bone problems
    Chakra Affected: Muladhara to Anahata, and Ajna (root to heart, and third eye)
    Affected Body Part: heart, ears
    Mantra: YAM (seed mantra for heart)
    Notes: do this for 15 minutes, 3x/day. Don't do this while walking.

    *** Akash Mudra is a heart opener so it helps in making decisions not based solely on logic (brain) but also on compassion and harmony.

    Prithvi Prithvi Mudra

    Prithvi Mudra (aka Pruthvi)

    <--#include virtual="/2019/sep/mudra_prithvi/prithvi.shtml" -->

    Finger Position: thumb and ring finger touch (concentrate on this point), 3 other fingers are together, straightened, then relaxed
    Hand Level: shoulder
    Activated Elements: earth and fire
    Benefits: enhances the physical health of the body, improves personality, helps gain weight, allows forgive and tolerance
    Affected Body Part: entire physical body
    Mantra: LAM (Muladhara for body hardness)
    Notes: stop if it causes too much weight gain (yes, this mudra helps you gain weight)



    Varun Varun Mudra

    Varun Mudra

    <--#include virtual="/2019/sep/mudra_varun/varun.shtml" -->

    Finger Position: thumb and little finger touch (concentrate on this point), 3 other fingers are together, straightened, then relaxed
    Hand Level: shoulder
    Activated Elements: fire and water
    Benefits: water retention, improving skin conditions, detoxification, retaining youth, blood disorders and Gastroenteritis



    Anjali Anjali Mudra

    Anjali Mudra

    <--#include virtual="/2019/sep/mudra_anjali/anjali.shtml" -->

    Finger Position: palms together with a hollow by the palm center, placed by the heart center with thumbs lightly touching the sternum
    Hand Level: heart center
    Activated Chakra: Anahata chakra
    Activated Elements: all elements - anjali brings union as the five elements converge
    Benefits: 'centering pose' that creates balance and stillness before a practice. Anjali establishes connection between right and left hemipheres of the brain. It also bridges the chasm between yourself and the outside world
    Affected Body Part: heart
    Notes: awareness that the seat of consciousness resides in the heart, and not in the brain



    Prana Prana Mudra

    Prana Mudra (aka Pran)

    <--#include virtual="/2019/sep/mudra_prana/prana.shtml" -->

    Finger Position: thumb, little finger and ring finger touch (concentrate on this point), 2 other fingers are together, straightened, then relaxed
    Hand Level: shoulder
    Activated Elements: fire, water and earth
    Benefits: life giver and life enhancer, energizes mind and body and puts it to balance
    Dosage: up to 45 minutes
    Notes: should only be practised by the virtuous



    Surya Pradarshini Surya Pradarshini Mudra

    Surya Pradarshini Mudra (aka Surya Pradarshani)

    <--#include virtual="/2019/sep/mudra_suryapradarshini/suryapradarshini.shtml" -->

    Finger Position: 4 fingers of the 2 hands are interlaced and the thumbs form a cross (concentrate on this area)
    Hand Level: shoulder
    Benefits: strained, tired eyes are given its glow again. Eyesight improves.
    Affected Body Part: eyes
    Done with: Trataka Kriya and Sambhavi Mudra
    Dosage: 20 minutes



    Matangi Matangi Mudra

    Matangi Mudra

    <--#include virtual="/2019/sep/mudra_matangi/matangi.shtml" -->

    Hand Position: fingers are interlaced at shoulder level, with 2 middle fingers straight and pressed against each other
    Hand Level: shoulder level
    Activated Elements: fire
    Benefits: increased personal power and confidence, mental steadfastness
    Chakra Affected: Manipuraka chakra
    Affected Body Part: navel
    Mantra: RAM
    Dosage: 20 minutes
    Notes: Matangi mudra, RAM mantra, Manipuraka chakra, fire, strength and determination, can be viewed as one bundled package



    Sankalpa Sankalpa Mudra

    Sankalpa Mudra (aka Sankalp)

    <--#include virtual="/2019/sep/mudra_sankalpa/sankalpa.shtml" -->

    Hand Position: left hand (facing up) rests on the right lap, right hand (facing down) clasps the left hand (concentrate on this area)
    Hand Level: resting on the right lap
    Benefits: your intentions manifest
    Dosage: 20 minutes
    Deities: Durga (left hand, power of intention), Lakshmi (right hand, power of the offering), Saraswati (given rise by Durga/Lakshmi, manifestation)
    Notes: when the palms are sealed together, energy stored within our body is released together with the intention



    Apana Apana Mudra

    Apana Mudra (aka Apan)

    <--#include virtual="/2019/sep/mudra_apana/apana.shtml" -->

    Finger Position: thumb touches the tip of the ring and middle fingers (concentrate on this point), 2 other fingers are straightened, then relaxed
    Hand Level: shoulder level while on chair pose (Utkatasana)
    Activated Chakra: Muladhara chakra
    Activated Elements: fire, sky, and earth
    Bandha: Mula bandha
    Benefits: flushes out all toxins that should not be in the body through urination, sweating and defecation. It leaves the body clean and optimized. Great for people who are constipated, and have difficulty urinating.
    Affected Body Part: anus, sexual organ and skin - where toxins come out
    Notes: perform 15 minutes, 3x/day; frequent urination might occur



    Ling Ling Mudra

    Ling Mudra

    <--#include virtual="/2019/oct/mudra_ling/ling.shtml" -->

    Finger Position: fingers are interlaced together with the thumb of one hand extended and pointed up (concentrate on this point)
    Hand Level: shoulder
    Activated Elements: fire
    Activated Chakra: Manipuraka
    Pranayama: Kapalabhati
    Alternative Mudra: Mandukasana
    Mantra: RAM
    Benefits: produces heat in the body, increases metabolic rate, puts passion and fire back into life. Also cures asthma, sinusitis, chronic cold and coughing
    Contra Indications: Ling Mudra should only be done when required. Not suitable for everyday practice. Not suitable to people with peptic ulcers



    Surya Surya Mudra

    Surya Mudra

    <--#include virtual="/2019/sep/mudra_surya/surya.shtml" -->

    Finger Position: index finger touches the base of the thumb and thumb touches the back of the index finger (concentrate on this area), 3 other fingers are straightened, then relaxed
    Hand Level: shoulder
    Activated Elements: fire and earth
    Benefits: weight loss, treats thyroid disorder, peace of mind
    Notes: this is a typical example of the same fingers when done differently produce the opposite effect. In prithvi, the benefit is weight gain. In surya, the benefit is weight loss, but both mudras use the ring and thumb fingers



    Apan Vayu Apan Vayu Mudra

    Apan Vayu Mudra (aka Hearth, Mruta Sanjeevini)

    <--#include virtual="/2019/sep/mudra_apanvayu/apanvayu.shtml" -->

    Finger Position: index finger touches the base of the thumb, thumb touches the tips of the middle and index fingers, little finger remains upright (concentrate on where the fingers touch each other)
    Hand Level: shoulder
    Benefits: stops major cardiac arrest, stabilize blood pressure
    Dosage: 15 mins, 2x/day



  6. *** only Gyana, Akash, Prithvi, Varun and Vayu were taken up

    WARM-UP

  7. Wrists: Mani Bandha
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/str_wrist.shtml" -->
    This rotational wrist exercise is not simply to develop strong wrists, but to lock the prana. This is one of the 9 bandhas - Mani Bandha or energy lock on the wrists.

    a) extend both arms forward, close the palms into a fist with thumbs inside. Keeps the arms straight and begin to rotate the fists in one direction then the other direction. 10 rotations each.
    b) on Table Top, stretch the wrists, palms facing up and down
    c) interlace the fingers and move the hands to an infinity movement...other direction
  8. Hang
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/hang2.shtml" -->
    Timed 3 rounds with twists and full fascia stretching (interspersed with stretching while fingers recover) and compare over time
  9. Stretching
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/stretching2.shtml" -->
    Basic stretching to neck, shoulders, chest, back, side bends, pelvic roll, thigh stretch, knee roll, calf stretch
  10. PRANAYAMA

  11. Pranayama/Breathing: Sitkari, Lion's Breath - 5 mins: Sitkari, inhale hold/tri-bandha/fire, Lion's exhale, feel the void/emptiness...then inhale again
  12. ASANA

  13. Surya namaskar A & B
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/surya2.shtml" -->
    3 rounds of Surya Namaskar A, 3 rounds of Surya Namaskar B
  14. Hip Openers: groin stretching
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/a_hip_opener.shtml" -->

      Seated
    1. butterfly (seated/lying down)
    2. diamond butterfly
    3. leg cradle
    4. forward bend on seated triangle [double pigeon]
    5. seated/reclining hero's pose
    6. frog pose

    7. Standing
    8. warrior I, lowering & lifting repeatedly
    9. warrior II, lowering & lifting repeatedly
    10. skandasana
    11. side split
    12. front split (monkey pose, hanumanasana)
    13. Goddess pose
    14. squats/malasana
    15. high/low lunge

    16. Floor
    17. lizard
    18. pigeon
    19. 1-legged king pigeon

    20. Lying Down Facing Up
    21. glut-stretch

  15. *** DONE: butterfly, frog pose, side split, skandasana.
    NEXT: warrior II, lowering & lifting repeatedly, front split (monkey pose, hanumanasana), Goddess pose, squats/malasana, high/low lunge, lizard, glut-stretch
  16. Adhitthana: Forward Bend on Seated Side Split
    /yoga_class/adh_seated_sidesplit.shtml
    This is a Yin Yoga pose done to point of failure. This is also the fastest way to gain flexibility. Do a seated side split and bend forward. Try to relax and contunue deep breathing. The longer it's held, the more the muscles loosen up and allow the stretch to deepen
  17. Meditation: Emptiness
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/m_emptiness.shtml" -->

    Alone in Total Darkness?
    The concept of emptiness conjures an imagery of being alone in complete, absolute and total darkness. Not exactly a very inviting place or state of being. Thankfully, that is not what emptiness means. But let us dispel the myth first. Is emptiness lonely? Loneliness is something...it's a state of being...it's a feeling. Feelings cannot exist within emptiness. Is emptiness being in complete darkness? Complete darkness is a color. Color cannot exist in emptiness.
    Emptiness means a few things but they are all saying the same thing.

    Emptiness is Impermanence
    Emptiness means impermanence. You can identify with your body, but at some point, the body dies. Does it mean your complete existence die too? Or, is there something left when the body dies? This goes true for all our sensory perception - our memories, our feelings, our thoughts, our ego...everything we thought was "I, me mine". They will all come to pass...like everything else. Relationships will come and go. Marriages will peak to an unbridled bliss and end over a toothpaste cap. FIAT money will flourish and be replaced by crypto. Even science says that our universe will end to a great crunch or dissolve in its accelerated expansion. Even at the quantum level...when we look at the building blocks of our reality...there is no solidity...you see elementary particles arising and passing away. Everything is impermanent.

    Emptiness means No Objective Reality
    Emptiness also means there is no objective reality. Nothing exists independent of anything else. There is only emptiness. Let us take a flower for instance. Yes, you can see its mesmerizing beauty, feel its smooth velvety texture and smell its sweet fragrance. Does that mean that the flower has an objective existence? Does that mean that the flower exists independent of anything else? But without the sun, without the earth, without water...there is no flower. So, a flower, just like everything else, is not objective reality. A flower does not have a separate existense independent of anything and everything around it. Again, it brings us back to emptiness...the emptiness of independent existence.

    Emptiness is a Forced Lesson in Life
    Emptiness is also understood to be forced lesson in life...but an illusion nonetheless. Therefore it remains empty. In life, we hurdle very difficult situations that can either make or break us. These life situations are unique for all of us. Why? Because we need to learn unique lessons to evolve further. I believe that is the reason why we are here.

    No matter how challenging the situation might seem, no matter how real it feels, we can keep the balance of our mind knowing that all this is a test. We can simply observe this difficulty without reaction. We can be aware of this challenge like looking at a chess board. If we are aware and mindful of this difficult situation (mabye you were cheated on by your lover, maybe we were swindled by your best friend, maybe lies were spread about you), mindful of the anger and hate being generated, then instead of reacting in a violent/vengeful fashion, we can choose to remain equanimous and observe the turn of events that led to this situation. We remain calm and equanimous...like that oasis in the eye of the storm. We can then objectively look at how things can be resolved - without the hate and without the anger.

    And by resolving this matter with a calm and balanced mind, we gain wisdom instead of acting on revenge. By gaining wisdom, we learn the lesson that we needed to learn from this human experience, allowing us to evolve and continue with our path to self-realization. If we resort to anger and retribution, then we are doomed to be reborn and go through this process again...until we learn the lessons...until we 'get it'. This is our karmic fate. We cannot escape this fate. Therefore, it's a forced life lesson. But once we learn it, the difficult situation is diffused like it never existed. Therefore, when the purpose of this challenge is met, we realize that this test was only to teach us a powerful lesson that we needed to learn. The problem arises, we learn from it, and it dissolves into emptiness.

    Objects of Hate and Desire
    If we see an object of desire (lots of money, fast cars, big house) or an object of hate (someone who draggeed your name in mud, someone who swindled you), you don't get too affected when you begin to see these things as empty. You don't get attached to these objects of desire, and you don't develop an aversion to these objects of hate.

    Feel It
    The true nature of our consciousness is emptiness. Don't intellectualize, otherwise it only becomes a concept of abstract philosophy. Feel it. Feel the gratitude for realizing it. Feel the emptiness. Feel that this is all perception...all illusion that allows us to have a human experience.

  18. CHANT (closing)

  19. OM
    /yoga_class/chant_om.shtml
    Single-pointed focus on Ajna Chakra (third eye) or the Sahasrara Chakra (crown)
    a) to start the class, 1 minute composure then 3 mins of OM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale, then OM chanting on the exhale
    b) to end the class, 1 minute composure then 3 rounds of OM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale, then OM chanting on the exhale
  20. HOMEWORK

  21. Mudra meditation/chanting
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/homework_mudra1.shtml.shtml" -->
    Pick on one mudra we took up today and meditate/chant on it for 20 minutes. Feel the difference between doing it once only and another for 20 minutes


Comments?

MaxMax USA
(Jun 28, 2022) We covered Mudras. I was surprised at the change internally and in the intensity of meditation simply by changing my hand position. The understanding how the finger positions relate to different elements was fascinating too.

July
Jul 08 (Fri 11am-12:30pm)

    NOTES

    1. Max wants flexibility with his hips (Approach: focus on hip openers)
    2. wants to alleviate discomfort on his back caused by Sciatica (pain affecting the back, hip, and outer side of the leg, caused by compression of a spinal nerve in the lower back) (Approach: weighted rag doll hang, strong core, strong back muscles, spinal mobility including spinal twists)
    3. wants to see the big picture of life and how to navigate it (Approach: meditation, yoga dharma discussion)
    4. Max is fit, strong and young. He's been on-and-off yoga for 4 years now with background in TM (Transcendental Meditation). He's ready to level-up and push some limits (Approach: addithana holds, 1-min core, 1-min HIIT)
    5. best sequence for Max is lecture first and everything physical follows (hang, stretch, asana)
    6. Status (done and finished):
      chakras - all
      mudra (hand) - all
      8 limbs - ?
      yama - ahimsa
      niyama - ?
    *** 6th class with Max. Last chakra session focused on Svadisthana. This session takes up Manipuraka Chakra.

    CHANT (opening)

  1. RAM
    /yoga_class/chant_ram.shtml
    Single-pointed focus on Manipuraka Chakra (navel)
    a) to start the class, 1 minute composure then 3 mins of RAM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale while focus is on Matangi Mudra, then RAM chanting on the exhale while shifting focus from the mudra to the Manipuraka chakra
    b) to end the class, 1 minute composure then 3 rounds of RAM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale while focus is on Matangi Mudra, then RAM chanting on the exhale while shifting focus from the mudra to the Manipuraka chakra
  2. CLASS INTRODUCTION

  3. Class introduction: Manipuraka chakra (navel)
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/intro_manipuraka.shtml" -->
    This class revolves on Manipuraka Chakra. The mudra (mandukasana / matangi mudra), mantra (RAM), asana (mayurasana, hamsasana), pranayama (kapalabhati) and everything else will revolve around the Manipuraka.
  4. LECTURE: Chakra

    Manipuraka
  5. Manipuraka Chakra / RAM chanting
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/c_manipuraka.shtml" -->
    Explaining Manipuraka (navel chakra) together with RAM mantra, including features and related topics:

    1. Statement - "I have a strong body and a strong mind. I don't get sick and I am determined. I am a doer. I make things happen. I will dominate, assert and manipulate to satiate my thirst for power and respect. But is this all there is to life?"
    2. Features

      1. in accordance to the Buddhist concept, kundalini resides in Manipura (not at the Muladhara) - until the level of manipura (not muladhara), because this is where expansion of consciousness begins
      2. the intensity of the pranic energy at the Manipuraka is like the dazzling power of the sun
      3. there is an intelligence in the Manipuraka that guides us, "My gut-feel is...."
      4. in the womb, the Manipuraka connects us to our mother via the umbilical cord. As an individual, the Manipuraka connects us the universe at large
      5. meditating on the Manipuraka (navel chakra) gives us complete knowledge of our body and allows us to diagnose our sickness
      6. activating this chakra cleanses the nadis and allows prana to flow freely throughout the body, eliminating disease and sickness
    3. Famous people - Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos. These are powerful people who will bend reality to their will. But they're not yet spiritual.
    4. Mantra - RAM
    5. Sitting Pose - vajrasana
    6. Asanas - backbends and navel contraction/extension/fortification
    7. Pranayama - kapalabhati
    8. Bandha - Uddiyana bandha
    9. Blockage - shame (what are you shameful of? what in your past causes feelings of shame? Accept as fact of life and move on)
    10. Activation - chanting RAM, Mandukasana, Nabhi Chikitsa (oil on navel), Kapalabhati,
    11. Element - fire (thumb)
    12. Mudra - mandukasana and thumb tip by the base of the little finger, then close the fist / matangi mudra
    13. Warning - a lot of powerful people get stuck here and just amass wealth and power all their lives. The others evolve and realize that the world is not just about them - they explore humanity and discover love and compassion (this is when they move up to the next chakra, anahata)
    14. Body / Physical - navel
    15. Location - navel
    16. Form / Color - lotus flower with ten yellow petals
    17. Enhanced Human Qualities

      1. all organs of the body optimally functional. Strong body and strong mind - no physical or mental afflictions can happen. Cannot get sick
      2. one begins to seriously question his attitude towards life and his place in this universe (as a genesis to his eventual spiritual path)
      3. able to face any disaster or accident with mental fortitude
      4. determined, unwavering, a shaker and doer
    18. Super Human Qualities (Siddhis)

      1. develops divya drishti (divine perception)
      2. you begin to realize that you are not the totality of your human perception (you are not your thoughts, memories, feelings, biases, etc.)
      3. experiences the singularity of time
      4. can enter the body of another
      5. power to create and destroy
    19. Manipuraka perspective vs other chakras

      1. Muladhara: "I need food clothing and shelter to survive"
      2. Svadhisthana: "sex, drugs and rock & roll"
      3. Manipuraka: "I, me, mine - the world is my oyster"
      4. Anahata: "I have love and compassion"
      5. Visuddhi: "Instead of fighting with life, I begin to flow with the current of life. I perform at a high level of competence. People naturally move towards me because I can do things beyond their understanding and abilities."
      6. Ajna: "My intuition is accurate. I have psychic abilities. I see things without the cobwebs and clutter. I see the world in black and white with a very minimal shade of gray (uncertainty, doubt, indecision). Nothing can touch me, nothing can disturb me. But experientially, I still do not feel the spontaneous ecstasy of life."
      7. Sahasrara: "I am the convergence of energy and consciousness. The self, the universe and God become one"

  6. WARM-UP

  7. Hang
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/hang2.shtml" -->
    Timed 3 rounds with twists and full fascia stretching (interspersed with stretching while fingers recover) and compare over time
  8. Stretching
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/stretching2.shtml" -->
    Basic stretching to neck, shoulders, chest, back, side bends, pelvic roll, thigh stretch, knee roll, calf stretch
  9. PRANAYAMA

    NOTE:
    all breath-holds with bandhas will be done on the exhale (bahya kumbhaka)
  10. Pranayama: Manipuraka > Kapalabhati > Surya/Chandra Bhedan
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/p_kapalabhati_suryachandra.shtml" -->

    a) 1st round: do 1 minute of kapalabhati on both nostrils, empty on the last exhale, uddhiyana bandha, mandukasana mudra with mula bandha and stay there with awareness on the navel. Inhale as you rise, and just hold and observe sensation (no bandhas). Visualizing a ball of fire burning hot in the navel. Exhale on uddhiyana bandha visualizing a ball of fire shooting up from the Manipurak all the way to the top of the head, exploding into a radiant white mushroom cloud

    b) 2nd round: do 1 minute of kapalabhati only on the right nostril, empty on the last exhale, uddhiyana bandha, mandukasana mudra and stay there. On the inhale, do the same as above

    c) 3rd round: do 1 minute of kapalabhati only on the left nostril, empty on the last exhale, uddhiyana bandha, mandukasana mudra and stay there. On the inhale, do the same as above

    d) 4th round: do 1 minute of kapalabhati on alternating nostrils, empty on the last exhale, uddhiyana bandha, mandukasana mudra and stay there. On the inhale, do the same as above
  11. ASANA

  12. Surya namaskar A & B
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/surya2.shtml" -->
    3 rounds of Surya Namaskar A, 3 rounds of Surya Namaskar B
  13. ADHITTHANA

  14. Adhitthana: Forward Bend on Seated Side Split
    /yoga_class/adh_seated_sidesplit.shtml
    This is a Yin Yoga pose done to point of failure. This is also the fastest way to gain flexibility. Do a seated side split and bend forward. Try to relax and contunue deep breathing. The longer it's held, the more the muscles loosen up and allow the stretch to deepen
  15. MEDITATION

  16. Meditation: Yoga Nidra - keeping the mind alert, awake and vigilant while the body sleeps. One hour of yoga nidra is the same as 3 or 4 hours of sleep
  17. CHANT (closing)

  18. OM
    /yoga_class/chant_om.shtml
    Single-pointed focus on Ajna Chakra (third eye) or the Sahasrara Chakra (crown)
    a) to start the class, 1 minute composure then 3 mins of OM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale, then OM chanting on the exhale
    b) to end the class, 1 minute composure then 3 rounds of OM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale, then OM chanting on the exhale
  19. HOMEWORK

  20. RAM chanting / Manipuraka chakra
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/homework_manipuraka.shtml" -->
    a) do 20 mins of RAM chanting with focus on the Manipuraka chakra. Before the chant, feel your body, spirit and emotions. Just chant and keep the awareness on the chakra. At some point, you may feel something there...or maybe not. But have that single-pointed focus on the chakra during this 20 mins. After, feel your body, spirit and emotions again. Is there a difference?


Comments?

MaxMax USA
(Jul 08, 2022) xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Jul 16 (Sat 1pm-2:30pm)

    NOTES

    1. Max wants flexibility with his hips (Approach: focus on hip openers)
    2. wants to alleviate discomfort on his back caused by Sciatica (pain affecting the back, hip, and outer side of the leg, caused by compression of a spinal nerve in the lower back) (Approach: weighted rag doll hang, strong core, strong back muscles, spinal mobility including spinal twists)
    3. wants to see the big picture of life and how to navigate it (Approach: meditation, yoga dharma discussion)
    4. Max is fit, strong and young. He's been on-and-off yoga for 4 years now with background in TM (Transcendental Meditation). He's ready to level-up and push some limits (Approach: addithana holds, 1-min core, 1-min HIIT)
    5. best sequence for Max is lecture first and everything physical follows (hang, stretch, asana)
    6. Status (done and finished):
      chakras - all
      mudra (hand) - all
      8 limbs - ?
      yama - ahimsa
      niyama - ?
    *** 7th class with Max. He had to move yesterday, thus the class was moved today but had to end by 2:10pm. Last session talked about Manipuraka. Today, it's Anahata chakra.

    CHANT (opening)

  1. YAM
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/chant_yam.shtml" -->
    Single-pointed focus on the mudra on the Ujjayi inhale. For strengthening the physical heart, use Pran Vayu Mudra. If strengthening the energetic heart, use Anjali Mudra. On the exhale, shift focus on the Anahata Chakra (heart)
    a) to start the class, 1 minute composure then 3-5 mins of YAM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale, then YAM chanting on the exhale
    b) to end the class, 1 minute composure then 3 rounds of YAM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale, then YAM chanting on the exhale
  2. CLASS INTRODUCTION

  3. Class introduction: Anahata chakra
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/intro_anahata.shtml" -->
    This class revolves on Anahata Chakra. The mudra (gyana/akash), mantra (Yam), asana (backbends), pranayama and everything else will revolve around the Anahata.
  4. LECTURE: Chakra

    Anahata <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/c_anahata.shtml" -->
  5. Anahata Chakra / YAM chanting - explaining Anahata (heart chakra) together with YAM mantra, including features and related topics:

    1. Statement - "I have love and compassion. I love myself, everyone and everything. I unconditionally accept everything with no judgement - flaws and merits altogether. I am creative. I am into art, music, poetry and innovation. I am devoted to my God. I feel my connection to the universe. Everything is connected and part of the same singularity. My one leg is grounded on solid granite and the other leg is dancing on Cloud 9."
    2. Features

      1. coming from the narcissistic Manipuraka chakra, Anahata is the mid-point where one begins to expand consciousness....where one begins his spiritual journey
      2. activation in Anahata (like all chakras), is manifested uniquely by every individual
      3. the heart is the seat of consciousness - not the brain. The brain acts like an operating system that ensures functionality of the body. But transformation and manifestation are done from the heart
      4. the heart should be the focus of concentration during meditation. New science points out that the heart has its own share of neurons independent from that of the brain
      5. manifestation results when the mind and the heart become one in its vision - to think from the mind and feel the outcome from the heart
      6. Anahata produces 108 unique sounds. When activated, one starts hearing all these sounds
      7. these sounds are also associated with deities who could look hideously horrifying. One begins to see these entities, which can be a frightening experience
      8. even a slight mental imbalance or emotional disturbance can be amplified. So it takes intellectual discernment and sweetness of emotion to handle an Anahata activation
      9. opening anahata leads to intense feelings of devotion
    3. Famous people - Mandela, Gandhi
    4. Mantra - YAM
    5. Sitting Pose - no standard, but Padmasana is ideal as this can be held for long periods
    6. Asanas - any backbend that opens up the chest: camel, fish, wheel, bridge, reverse table top, reverse plank, dancers, locust, upward dog
    7. Pranayama - nothing standard but Bhastrika activates the chest area more than any other
    8. Blockage - grief (express your grief and get over your grief and move on). Unexpressed grief (like mourning a loved one) makes you sick
    9. Element - air (index finger)
    10. Mudra - akash mudra (fire & ether, heart opener) and anjali mudra (all elements, palms together) and gyana mudra (fire and air elements)
    11. Contra-indication - activation means hearing nada and seeing emanation of deities - any trauma will be amplified. You should not have unresolved psychological issues or emotional disturbances before activation. One must have intellectual discernment and emotional sweetness before activation. Better to spontaneously activate anahata through the strength of your practice rather than rush it through external means
    12. Body / Physical - heart
    13. Form / Color - green lotus with 12 petals, 2 triangles merging, one pointed up and the other pointing down, signifying heaven and earth, consciousness and grounding
    14. concentration on the anahata chakra gives rise to kevala kumbhaka
    15. Enhanced Human Qualities

      1. you are balanced between heaven and earth - on foot on the ground, the other on Cloud 9
      2. develops love for humanity, love of God, love for a cause, etc.
      3. becomes radiant. His presence can light up a room
      4. one accepts and loves all unconditionally for what they are with all its flaws and merits
      5. stuck emotions are energized and begin to flow
      6. one becomes endearing and loved by all. Women are drawn to him, men want to be like him
      7. lives life with high levels of concentration and focus
      8. one can articulate ideas into powerful words
    16. Super Human Qualities (Siddhis)

      1. becomes capable of protection and destruction
      2. can enter other people's bodies at will
      3. awareness of one's karma
      4. knowledge of past, present and future
      5. clairvoyance
      6. levitation
      7. ability to travel all over the world at the speed of thought
      8. seeing God in everything (not a concept but the actual realization) occurs

    17. Anahata perspective vs other chakras

      1. Muladhara: "I need food clothing and shelter to survive"
      2. Svadhisthana: "sex, drugs and rock & roll"
      3. Manipuraka: "I, me, mine - the world is my oyster"
      4. Anahata: "I have love and compassion"
      5. Visuddhi: "Instead of fighting with life, I begin to flow with the current of life. I perform at a high level of competence. People naturally move towards me because I can do things beyond their understanding and abilities."
      6. Ajna: "My intuition is accurate. I see things without the cobwebs and clutter. I see the world in black and white with a very minimal shade of gray (uncertainty, doubt, indecision). Nothing can touch me, nothing can disturb me. But experientially, I still do not feel the spontaneous ecstasy of life. I have psychic abilities."
      7. Sahasrara: "I am the convergence of energy and consciousness. The self, the universe and God become one"

  6. WARM-UP

  7. Hang
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/hang2.shtml" -->
    Timed 3 rounds with twists and full fascia stretching (interspersed with stretching while fingers recover) and compare over time
  8. Stretching
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/stretching2.shtml" -->
    Basic stretching to neck, shoulders, chest, back, side bends, pelvic roll, thigh stretch, knee roll, calf stretch
  9. ASANA

  10. Asanas: Backbends
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/a_backbends.shtml" -->
    Backbends are heart-openers and consistent with activating the anahata chakra. Backbends also activate the manipuraka chakra. Weighted backbends or holds will be done to provide strength to the back muscles supporting the spine.

      Facing Down
    1. Upward dog, sphinx, cobra, swan, locust, bow

    2. Facing Front/Kneeling
    3. Camel

    4. Facing Up
    5. Purvotanasana, inverse tabletop, fish, bridge, wheel, setu bandhasana
  11. *** water jars on backbend, sidebend and forward bend. Forward bend on seated side split. Not much time for anything else.

    CHANT (closing)

  12. OM
    /yoga_class/chant_om.shtml
    Single-pointed focus on Ajna Chakra (third eye) or the Sahasrara Chakra (crown)
    a) to start the class, 1 minute composure then 3 mins of OM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale, then OM chanting on the exhale
    b) to end the class, 1 minute composure then 3 rounds of OM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale, then OM chanting on the exhale
  13. HOMEWORK

    *** included the Wim Hof breathing on the morning routine


Comments?

MaxMax USA
(Jul 16, 2022) xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Jul 22 (Fri 11am-12:30pm)

    NOTES

    1. Max wants flexibility with his hips (Approach: focus on hip openers)
    2. wants to alleviate discomfort on his back caused by Sciatica (pain affecting the back, hip, and outer side of the leg, caused by compression of a spinal nerve in the lower back) (Approach: weighted rag doll hang, strong core, strong back muscles, spinal mobility including spinal twists)
    3. wants to see the big picture of life and how to navigate it (Approach: meditation, yoga dharma discussion)
    4. Max is fit, strong and young. He's been on-and-off yoga for 4 years now with background in TM (Transcendental Meditation). He's ready to level-up and push some limits (Approach: addithana holds, 1-min core, 1-min HIIT)
    5. best sequence for Max is lecture first and everything physical follows (hang, stretch, asana)
    6. Status (done and finished):
      chakras - all
      mudra (hand) - all
      8 limbs - ?
      yama - ahimsa
      niyama - ?
    *** 8th class with Max. Last session talked about Anahata. Today, it's Visuddhi chakra. Chakra talks always take a while so the class went beyond 2 hours after including stretching, asana, chant, pranayama and yoga nidra.

    CHANT (opening)

  1. HAM
    /yoga_class/chant_ham.shtml
    Single-pointed focus on Visuddhi Chakra (throat)
    a) to start the class, 1 minute composure then 3 mins of HAM chanting on Akash mudra - ujjayi breathing on the inhale, then HAM chanting on the exhale as focus is shifted on the chakra (not the mudra)
    b) to end the class, 1 minute composure then 3 rounds of HAM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale, then HAM chanting on the exhale
  2. CLASS INTRODUCTION

  3. Class introduction: Visuddhi chakra (crown)
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/intro_visuddhi.shtml" -->
    This class revolves on Visuddhi Chakra. The mudra (akash), mantra (HAM), asana (throat contraction/extension), pranayama and everything else will revolve around the Visuddhi.
  4. LECTURE: Chakra

    Visuddhi <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/c_visuddhi.shtml" -->
  5. Visuddhi Chakra / HAM chanting - explaining Visuddhi (throat chakra) together with HAM mantra, including features and related topics:

    1. Statement - "Instead of fighting with life, I begin to flow with the current of life. I perform at a different level of competence. People naturally move towards me because I can do things beyond their abilities and I can understand things beyond their comprehension. I remain forever young."
    2. Features

      1. below vishuddhi it is possible to fall and lose one's level of harmony and understanding. But at the level of vishuddhi and above, this falling no longer exists
      2. the divine nectar, amrita (the mystical elixir of immortality) is tasted here, thus one can remain forever young
    3. Famous people - xxxxxxxx
    4. Mantra - HAM
    5. Bandha - jalandhara
    6. Sitting Pose - padmasana
    7. Asanas - any asana that contracts the throat muscles like sarvangasana (shoulder stand with chin tucked-in) or asanas that lengthen the throat muscles like camel (with head tilted back and neck is stretched out)
    8. Pranayama - ujjayi breathing on the inhale, as it constricts air passage in the throat, and HAM chanting on the exhale as it restricts air passage on the throat to create the bee sound on the "M"
    9. Blockage - lies (what are the lies we tell ourselves? that we are always right? what is our true nature that we hide away from?)
    10. Activation - chanting HAM
    11. Vayu (pranic wind) - Udana Vayu
    12. Element - akash or ether, represented by the middle finger in the hand mudra
    13. Mudra - akash mudra (middle finger + thumb, akash + fire)
    14. Warning - xxxxxxxxxxx
    15. Body / Physical - throat
    16. Location - center soft spot (the size of the thumb) between the 2 collar bones at the base of the neck
    17. Form / Color - lotus flower with 16 purple petals, a facing-down triangle and a whitish radiance at the middle, which is the akash or ether
    18. Enhanced Human Qualities

      1. the universe is your home (not just your postal address)
      2. one becomes open to all experiences, whether good or bad - no aversion, no craving, letting things happen in the way that they must. Experiences, good and bad, are neutral and lead to greater understanding
      3. instead of fighting with life, one begins to flow with the current of life
      4. one begins to tune in with other people and feel the connection between all things
      5. one sees the underlying intelligence behind all things, events, people and actions (thus you are no longer reactive to them)
      6. one knows all the scriptures without reading them because his experience and intuition reveals the meaning of the scriptures
      7. he can play with reality however way he chooses and still be in control without being intoxicated by it
      8. optimizes the vocal cords and develops a good voice
      9. optimizes intake of air and food
      10. one articulates complex ideas into a cohesive, elegant and fluid verbal narrative
      11. artistic virtues are enhanced
      12. one follows his bliss even if it means walking away from a lucrative career that no longer excites him
      13. communication, command of speech and mantras are all enhanced
    19. Super Human Qualities (Siddhis)

      1. self-mastery
      2. understanding of dreams
      3. becomes unconscious of the outer world and enjoys the inner realm
      4. transcends to a state of non-judgment
      5. levitation (laghima siddhi)
      6. occult proficiency, so one explores the unworldly dimensions
      7. hidden natural laws are learned
      8. time becomes a singularity (no more past, present and future)
      9. ganas (disembodied beings) are attracted to you but you are not frightened by them
      10. you delay the aging process and become disease-free
      11. saved from danger - the universe intervenes to protect your well-being
    20. Visuddhi perspective vs other chakras

      1. Muladhara: "I need food clothing and shelter to survive"
      2. Svadhisthana: "sex, drugs and rock & roll"
      3. Manipuraka: "I, me, mine - the world is my oyster"
      4. Anahata: "I have love and compassion"
      5. Visuddhi: "Instead of fighting with life, I begin to flow with the current of life. I perform at a high level of competence. People naturally move towards me because I can do things beyond their abilities and I can understand events/situations beyond their comprehension."
      6. Ajna: "My intuition is accurate. I have psychic abilities. I see things without the cobwebs and clutter. I see the world in black and white with a very minimal shade of gray (uncertainty, doubt, indecision). Nothing can touch me, nothing can disturb me. But experientially, I still do not feel the spontaneous ecstasy of life."
      7. Sahasrara: "I am the convergence of energy and consciousness. The self, the universe and God become one"

  6. WARM-UP

  7. Hang
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/hang2.shtml" -->
    Timed 3 rounds with twists and full fascia stretching (interspersed with stretching while fingers recover) and compare over time
  8. Stretching
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/stretching2.shtml" -->
    Basic stretching to neck, shoulders, chest, back, side bends, pelvic roll, thigh stretch, knee roll, calf stretch
  9. Surya namaskar A & B
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/surya2.shtml" -->
    3 rounds of Surya Namaskar A, 3 rounds of Surya Namaskar B
  10. PRANAYAMA

    NOTE:
    all breath-holds with bandhas will be done on the exhale (bahya kumbhaka)

    *** pranayama (Wim Hof) is interspersed with the asanas

    ASANA

  11. Asana: Visuddhi > Throat
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/a_visuddhi.shtml" -->
    (neck contraction/extension)
    1. Sarvangasana
    2. Camel
    3. Purvotanasana
    4. Bridge
    5. Wheel
  12. *** (neck contractions/expansion, interspersing neck expansion with tri-bandha downward dog) purvotanasana, locust, supported bridge, unsupported bridge sarvangasana, plow, wheel

    MEDITATION

  13. Meditation: Yoga Nidra - keeping the mind alert, awake and vigilant while the body sleeps. One hour of yoga nidra is the same as 3 or 4 hours of sleep
  14. CHANT (closing)

  15. HAM
    /yoga_class/chant_ham.shtml
    Single-pointed focus on Visuddhi Chakra (throat)
    a) to start the class, 1 minute composure then 3 mins of HAM chanting on Akash mudra - ujjayi breathing on the inhale, then HAM chanting on the exhale as focus is shifted on the chakra (not the mudra)
    b) to end the class, 1 minute composure then 3 rounds of HAM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale, then HAM chanting on the exhale
  16. HOMEWORK

  17. HAM chanting / Visuddhi chakra
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/homework_visuddhi.shtml" -->
    a) contemplate...are you lying about something to yourself? (e.g. convincing yourself you're someone you are not)
    b) do 20 mins of HAM chanting with focus on the Visuddhi chakra. Just remain aware and focused without changing or creating anything there. Maybe you feel something...or don't


Comments?

MaxMax USA
(Jul 22, 2022) xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Jul 29 (Fri 11am-12:30pm)

    NOTES

    1. Max wants flexibility with his hips (Approach: focus on hip openers)
    2. wants to alleviate discomfort on his back caused by Sciatica (pain affecting the back, hip, and outer side of the leg, caused by compression of a spinal nerve in the lower back) (Approach: weighted rag doll hang, strong core, strong back muscles, spinal mobility including spinal twists)
    3. wants to see the big picture of life and how to navigate it (Approach: meditation, yoga dharma discussion)
    4. Max is fit, strong and young. He's been on-and-off yoga for 4 years now with background in TM (Transcendental Meditation). He's ready to level-up and push some limits (Approach: addithana holds, 1-min core, 1-min HIIT)
    5. best sequence for Max is lecture first and everything physical follows (hang, stretch, asana)
    6. Status (done and finished):
      chakras - all
      mudra (hand) - all
      8 limbs - ?
      yama - ahimsa
      niyama - ?
    *** 9th class with Max. Last session talked about Visuddhi chakra. Today, Ajna Chakra.

    CHANT (opening)

  1. OM
    /yoga_class/chant_om.shtml
    Single-pointed focus on Ajna Chakra (third eye) or the Sahasrara Chakra (crown)
    a) to start the class, 1 minute composure then 3 mins of OM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale, then OM chanting on the exhale
    b) to end the class, 1 minute composure then 3 rounds of OM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale, then OM chanting on the exhale
  2. CLASS INTRODUCTION

  3. Class introduction: Ajna chakra (third eye)
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/intro_ajna.shtml" -->
    This class revolves on Ajna Chakra. The mudra (sambhavi), mantra (OM), asana (inversions/balancing), pranayama and everything else will revolve around the Ajna.
  4. LECTURE: Chakra

    Ajna <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/c_ajna.shtml" -->
  5. Ajna Chakra / OM chanting - explaining Ajna (third eye chakra) together with OM mantra, including features and related topics:

    1. Statement - "I am intellectually realized. I have clarity of vision and thinking. My intuition is accurate. I see things without the cobwebs and clutter. I see the world in black and white with a very minimal shade of gray (uncertainty, doubt, indecision). Nothing can touch me, nothing can disturb me. Ego and separation no longer exist. But experientially, I still do not feel the spontaneous ecstasy of life."
    2. Features

      1. Ajna is where the 3 most powerful nadis converge - ida, pingala and sushumna
      2. the 2 lotus petals represent duality merging into one - the left and right hemispheres of the brain, ida and pingala, moon and sun, male and female
      3. from Muladhara to Ajna, there are established ways to ascend. But from Ajna ascending up, it's only a leap of faith
      4. Ajna is the bridge between man and the infinite
      5. you become the objective, non-reactive observer - observing you and all phenomena
    3. Famous people - at this level, they don't need to be famous and would rather deepen their practice without calling for attention. They could be walking amongst us
    4. Mantra - OM
    5. Sitting Pose - no standard, but Padmasana is ideal
    6. Asanas - Sirsasana takes center stage but as a general rule, any inversion asana (forward bend, headstand, handstand, downward dog) and balancing asana (tree, eagle, hand-to-big-toe, etc.) activates the ajna chakra
    7. Pranayama - nothing standard for ajna, but an Ujjayi inhale with a OM mantra chant on the exhale will do
    8. Blockage - illusion (the biggest illusion is that we are individual and separate. Everything is connected.)
    9. Activation - chanting OM, using neti pot, no more computer 1 hour before sleep, put eye cover when sleeping, meditation on sambhavi mudra, doing eye exercises, trataka kriya,
    10. Element - all elements
    11. Mudra - sambhavi mudra
    12. Warning/Limitation
      1) attachment to psychic powers such as telepathy, clairaudience and other mind phenomena (Rudra granthi) - and therefore cannot move on
      2) cannot feel (yet) the spontaneous ecstasy of life
    13. Body / Physical - third eye, pineal gland
    14. Location - slightly above between the 2 eyebrows. Ajna is where the 3 most important nadis converge into one: ida, pingala and sushumna
    15. Form / Color - 2-petalled silver lotus representing the 2 major nadis, Ida (moon, chandra, female, restoration) and Pingala (sun, surya, male, fight/flight). The 2 petals also represent the left and right hemispheres of the brain
    16. Enhanced Human Qualities

      1. intellectually realized
      2. clarity of vision and thinking
      3. seeing things without the cobwebs and clutter, seeing the world in black & white
      4. strong and accurate intuition
      5. long life
      6. internal and external changes cannot disturb you
      7. one develops a divine lustre
      8. one is able to see the true essence, the soul
    17. Super Human Qualities (Siddhis)

      1. ego and separation no longer exist From the memoirs of Maha Bua, ego is the last thing that leaves consciousness before enightenment is achieve. So, to say that ego and separation no longer exist, may be too soon, too early
      2. destruction of karmic debts (from past lives) My understanding is that karmic debts are never forgiven - they need to be paid back. I can accept that when you pay back all your karmic debts, you can activate your Ajna chakra - but not the other way around, that when you activate your ajna chakra, all your karmic debts are deleted from the books.
      3. psychic abilities - mental telepathy, clairaudience, clairevoyance, telekinesis, etc.
      4. able to see all the events that are occurring around the world without moving from their position
      5. able to be in a continuous state of samadhi (realized non-duality)
      6. time is a singularity
      7. desires manifest
      8. power to control everybody
    18. Ajna perspective vs other chakras

      1. Muladhara: "I need food clothing and shelter to survive"
      2. Svadhisthana: "sex, drugs and rock & roll"
      3. Manipuraka: "I, me, mine - the world is my oyster"
      4. Anahata: "I have love and compassion"
      5. Visuddhi: "Instead of fighting with life, I begin to flow with the current of life. I perform at a high level of competence. People naturally move towards me because I can do things beyond their understanding and abilities."
      6. Ajna: "My intuition is accurate. I have psychic abilities. I see things without the cobwebs and clutter. I see the world in black and white with a very minimal shade of gray (uncertainty, doubt, indecision). Nothing can touch me, nothing can disturb me. But experientially, I still do not feel the spontaneous ecstasy of life."
      7. Sahasrara: "I am the convergence of energy and consciousness. The self, the universe and God become one"

  6. *** The Ajna Chakra lecture took about 45 minutes including the Q&A. This extended the session to 2 hours. Max also requested that the lecture starts first so that the warm up, hang and asana are in one fluid flow. I will do this in this order from here on.

    WARM-UP

  7. Hang
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/hang2.shtml" -->
    Timed 3 rounds with twists and full fascia stretching (interspersed with stretching while fingers recover) and compare over time
  8. Stretching
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/stretching2.shtml" -->
    Basic stretching to neck, shoulders, chest, back, side bends, pelvic roll, thigh stretch, knee roll, calf stretch
  9. Surya namaskar A & B
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/surya2.shtml" -->
    3 rounds of Surya Namaskar A, 3 rounds of Surya Namaskar B
  10. PRANAYAMA

  11. Pranayama/Breathing: Wim Hof SLOW
    /yoga_class/p_wim3slow.shtml
    The regular Wim Hof can be too aggressive for someone who wakes up at 4am to do pranayama, or too fast for anyone with a blocked nostril. Since slow breathing takes a longer time, the time here is likewise lengthened.

    Breath-in and fully inflate the 4 lung cavities, hold for 1 sec, then exhale fully, hold 1 sec, repeat
    1st 1:30, exhale hold/relax, inhale hold/relax
    2nd 2:00, exhale hold/relax, inhale hold/tri-bandha/fire , exhale tummo
    3rd 2:30, inhale hold/tri-bandha/fire, exhale
  12. ASANA

  13. Dynamic Tension| Wim Hof | Vinyasa with slow push-up
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/a_dynamictension_wim.shtml" -->
    1. Clasped Hands pushing Up and Down (L&R)
    2. Pushing Palms Together (Front)
    3. Pushing Palms Apart (Front)
    4. Pushing Palms Apart (Back)
    5. Bent Knees Pushing Out
    6. Bent Knees Pushing In

  14. *** The workout session was a series of dynamic tension / Wim Hof / Vinyasa / slow push-ups. Many sets.

    MEDITATION

  15. Meditation: Savasana Butterfly
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/m_savasana_butterfly.shtml" -->
    Lie down on the mat with feet together close to the groin and let the knees fall down to the sides. This opens up the hips. Let the body fall asleep as the mind remains alert, awake and vigilant.
  16. CHANT (closing)

  17. OM
    /yoga_class/chant_om.shtml
    Single-pointed focus on Ajna Chakra (third eye) or the Sahasrara Chakra (crown)
    a) to start the class, 1 minute composure then 3 mins of OM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale, then OM chanting on the exhale
    b) to end the class, 1 minute composure then 3 rounds of OM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale, then OM chanting on the exhale
  18. NOTES: The Ajna Chakra lecture took about 45 minutes including the Q&A. This extended the session to 2 hours. Max also requested that the lecture starts first so that the warm up, hang and asana are in one fluid flow. I will do this in this order from here on. A few changes were spontaneously done - instead of the one-leg asana / inversions, dyanmic tension was introduced before the Slow Wim Hof, then a Vinyasa with slow push-up to even out one rep. Max is ok with extended lecture even if it results in decrease time for the others.

    NEXT, Sahasrara Chakra


Comments?

MaxMax USA
(Jul 29, 2022) xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

August
Aug 5 (Fri 12:00-1:30pm)

    NOTES

    1. Max wants flexibility with his hips (Approach: focus on hip openers)
    2. wants to alleviate discomfort on his back caused by Sciatica (pain affecting the back, hip, and outer side of the leg, caused by compression of a spinal nerve in the lower back) (Approach: weighted rag doll hang, strong core, strong back muscles, spinal mobility including spinal twists)
    3. wants to see the big picture of life and how to navigate it (Approach: meditation, yoga dharma discussion)
    4. Max is fit, strong and young. He's been on-and-off yoga for 4 years now with background in TM (Transcendental Meditation). He's ready to level-up and push some limits (Approach: addithana holds, 1-min core, 1-min HIIT)
    5. best sequence for Max is lecture first and everything physical follows (hang, stretch, asana)
    6. Status (done and finished):
      chakras - all
      mudra (hand) - all
      8 limbs - ?
      yama - ahimsa
      niyama - ?
    *** 10th class with Max. Last session talked about Ajna Chakra. Today, the last chakra, Sahasrara

    CHANT (opening)

  1. OM
    /yoga_class/chant_om.shtml
    Single-pointed focus on Ajna Chakra (third eye) or the Sahasrara Chakra (crown)
    a) to start the class, 1 minute composure then 3 mins of OM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale, then OM chanting on the exhale
    b) to end the class, 1 minute composure then 3 rounds of OM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale, then OM chanting on the exhale
  2. CLASS INTRODUCTION

  3. Class introduction: Sahasrara chakra (crown)
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/intro_sahasrara.shtml" -->
    This class revolves on Sahasrara Chakra. The mudra (akash), mantra (OM), asana (sirsasana), pranayama and everything else will revolve around the Sahasrara.
  4. LECTURE: Chakra

    Sahasrara
  5. Sahasrara Chakra / OM chanting
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/c_sahasrara.shtml" -->

    Explaining Sahasrara (crown chakra) together with OM mantra, including features and related topics:

    1. Statement - "I am the convergence when energy and consciousness unite, when the self, the universe and god become one - the separation was all an illusion. I am now self-realized."
    2. Features

      1. from Ajna to Sahasrara, there is no established path. You need to draw on your strength, insight, experience and trust to reach sahasrara
      2. the yogi reaches this state when he is in samadhi (trance state of meditative absorption)
      3. this is where all the 72,000 nadis converge, in the same way that streams, creeks and rivers eventually find their way into the ocean
      4. Sahasrara gives rise to pure consciousness
    3. Famous people - out of a global population of 8 billion, perhaps only a handful are at this level - and they are probably obscure arahants who live in caves and meditate for most of the day
    4. Mantra - OM
    5. Sitting Pose - padmasana
    6. Asanas - Sirshasana (headstand) and Mukta Hasta Sirsasana (tripod headstand)
    7. Pranayama - any pranayama that holds the 3 bandhas, visualizing that kundalini (power) rises up to be united with consciousness at the top of the head
    8. Blockage - earthly attachment (if you die tomorrow, what is the most painful thing to leave behind? Let go...and move on). Per Maha Bua, it's ego
    9. Activation - chanting OM, pranayama with kumbhaka and bandha
    10. Element - all elements
    11. Mudra - Gyana
    12. Warning - in this inebriated state, functionality in the physical world cannot be sustained. It is a fuzzy world between the world of the physical and the non-physical. (note: maybe I misunderstand. Buddha is coherent and fully functional in the default world)
    13. Body / Physical - crown
    14. Location - at the crown of the head
    15. Form / Color - lotus flower with 1,000 petals of diamond white color
    16. Enhanced Human Qualities

      1. once Ajna and Sahasrara are bridged, one becomes ecstatic about life requiring no reason
    17. Super Human Qualities (Siddhis)

      1. knowledge, knower and known become one and liberated
      2. feelings, emotions and desires are dissolved into their root cause
      3. union is achieved. Non-dual consciousness occurs
      4. all siddhis are obtained
      5. transcends the desire to use those siddhis or manifest his desires
      6. no separation between the experience and the experiencer (I am that)
    18. Sahasrara perspective vs other chakras

      1. Muladhara: "I need food clothing and shelter to survive"
      2. Svadhisthana: "sex, drugs and rock & roll"
      3. Manipuraka: "I, me, mine - the world is my oyster"
      4. Anahata: "I have love and compassion"
      5. Visuddhi: "Instead of fighting with life, I begin to flow with the current of life. I perform at a high level of competence. People naturally move towards me because I can do things beyond their understanding and abilities."
      6. Ajna: "My intuition is accurate. I have psychic abilities. I see things without the cobwebs and clutter. I see the world in black and white with a very minimal shade of gray (uncertainty, doubt, indecision). Nothing can touch me, nothing can disturb me. But experientially, I still do not feel the spontaneous ecstasy of life."
      7. Sahasrara: "I am the convergence of energy and consciousness. The self, the universe and God become one. It was just me the entire time."


  6. *** The lecture took 1 hour including the Q&A. This concludes the chakra series lecture

    PRANAYAMA

  7. Pranayama: Yantra > 5 Yogas
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/p_yantra_5yogas.shtml" -->

    Tibetan 5 Yogas of the Root Prana - 5 pranayama techniques in Tibetan Tantra Yoga. In-breath should be held on seated poses.

    1. Upward Moving Prana - neck roll, inhale and hold, roll the neck 5X (R&L)

    2. Life Sustaining Prana - 3X, clears the mind, long life, activates Heart Chakra
    close/open fist swings around the head 5X (R&L), shoulders rotate fully going down low to the front and circling up to the back 5X (R&L)

    3. Fire Prana - generates heat, activates Manipuraka Chakra, optimizes digestion
    hands on lap with fingers pointing to feet, vertical rotation of the navel moving low then circling up and back to center, 3X (R&L)

    4. Pervasive Prana - 3X, generates strength in all the limbs
    from lap, hangs meet at navel, arms open up to the sides, then with straight arms meet above the head with clapping. Rub palms and then rub face and the rest of the body. Then Shoots the Arrow, 5X

    5. Downward Clearing Prana - 3X, activates the Svadisthana chakra and retains the Amrita
    Cross legs, knees bent 45 degrees facing up, both palms on right knee and rotate the pelvic area down and circling up 5X (R&L), then hands on each knee and rotating the pelvis in horizontal circular direction, 5X (R&L).

  8. WARM-UP

  9. Stretching
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/stretching2.shtml" -->
    Basic stretching to neck, shoulders, chest, back, side bends, pelvic roll, thigh stretch, knee roll, calf stretch
  10. ASANA

  11. Surya namaskar A & B
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/surya2.shtml" -->
    3 rounds of Surya Namaskar A, 3 rounds of Surya Namaskar B
  12. Asanas: Vinyasa Burpee
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/a_vinyasa_burpee.shtml" -->
    This combines the movements of a vinyasa and the principles of burpee (3-2-1 + jumping). Caution on the landing!!!!

      3 Burpees
    1. do a vinyasa, but after jumping to the front of the mat, instead of standing up to Mountain Pose, you jump up (varying height according to heat generated) and do a soft landing, ending up in a squating position. This finishes round 1. To start round 2, snap back like a spring into High Plank and repeat the process. Do the 3rd round and this completes the Set 1. For Set 2, do 2 rounds and for Set 3, do 1 round.


  13. ADHITTHANA

  14. slow push down while doing vinyasa
  15. MEDITATION

  16. Meditation: Nada - 5 mins, refresher/explanation of Nada Meditation, full Ujjayi inhale, pause 1 sec, exhale while chanting a mantra (e.g. YAM) and empty the lungs, completely relax, feel the void, feel the emptiness, focus inside and listen for the most subtle nada vibration
  17. CHANT (closing)

  18. OM
    /yoga_class/chant_om.shtml
    Single-pointed focus on Ajna Chakra (third eye) or the Sahasrara Chakra (crown)
    a) to start the class, 1 minute composure then 3 mins of OM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale, then OM chanting on the exhale
    b) to end the class, 1 minute composure then 3 rounds of OM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale, then OM chanting on the exhale
  19. NOTES: About an hour was devoted to the lecture on Sahasrara + Q&A. The Vinyasa Burpee was introduced spontaneously, 3 rounds. Nada Meditation was done on individual breath-holds. The session extended overtime, not surprising.

    NEXT calss is Aug 19 due to Max's trip to BKK


Comments?

MaxMax USA
(Aug 5, 2022) xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Aug 19 (Fri 11:00-12:30pm)

    NOTES

    1. Max wants flexibility with his hips (Approach: focus on hip openers)
    2. wants to alleviate discomfort on his back caused by Sciatica (pain affecting the back, hip, and outer side of the leg, caused by compression of a spinal nerve in the lower back) (Approach: weighted rag doll hang, strong core, strong back muscles, spinal mobility including spinal twists)
    3. wants to see the big picture of life and how to navigate it (Approach: meditation, yoga dharma discussion)
    4. Max is fit, strong and young. He's been on-and-off yoga for 4 years now with background in TM (Transcendental Meditation). He's ready to level-up and push some limits (Approach: addithana holds, 1-min core, 1-min HIIT)
    5. best sequence for Max is lecture first and everything physical follows (hang, stretch, asana)
    6. Status (done and finished):
      chakras - all
      mudra (hand) - all
      8 limbs - ?
      yama - ahimsa
      niyama - ?
    *** 11th class with Max. Last session was cancelled due to Max's trip for BKK. Today, yama, core

    CHANT (opening)

  1. 7 Chakra Chant
    LAM (prithvi) | VAM (varun) | RAM (ling) | YAM (anjali) | HAM (akash) | OM (gyana) | OM (gyana)
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/chant_7chakras.shtml" -->
    While on the appropriate mudra, ujjayi breathing on the inhale while focusing on the mudra. Holding the in-breath (no bandha), focusing on the chakra this time. On the exhale, chant the seed mantra while keeping focus on the chakra
  2. *** 3 rounds on each chakra before moving on

    LECTURE: Yama

  3. Yama: ahimsa | satya | asteya | aparigraha | brahmacharya | kshama | dhrthi | daya | arjavam | mitahara
    /yoga_class/y02_satya.shtml
    Speak your truth with good intentions - no clever mind games, no exaggeration, no half-truths, no embellishment to obscure the germ truth, no warping to add personal agenda. Let your truth be honest, not clever
  4. Yama: ahimsa | satya | asteya | aparigraha | brahmacharya | kshama | dhrthi | daya | arjavam | mitahara
    /yoga_class/y03_asteya.shtml
    Do not steal - not just property but time, ideas, etc. You will know if you are using someone's property whether defined by law or not. It's not the legality but the morality
  5. Yama: ahimsa | satya | asteya | aparigraha | brahmacharya | kshama | dhrthi | daya | arjavam | mitahara
    /yoga_class/y04_aparigraha.shtml
    Non-possessiveness, non-greed and non-attachment. To take only what is needed - not more. Be content with what you have...and be grateful for it
  6. *** ahimsa is done. Devote 10 minutes only...time it....maybe it covers only 1

    WARM-UP

  7. Stretching
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/stretching2.shtml" -->
    Basic stretching to neck, shoulders, chest, back, side bends, pelvic roll, thigh stretch, knee roll, calf stretch
  8. Hang
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/hang2.shtml" -->
    Timed 3 rounds with twists and full fascia stretching (interspersed with stretching while fingers recover) and compare over time
  9. ASANA

  10. Surya namaskar A & B
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/surya2.shtml" -->
    3 rounds of Surya Namaskar A, 3 rounds of Surya Namaskar B
  11. ABS| Wim Hof
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/a_abs_wim.shtml" -->
      Facing Up
    1. reverse plank
    2. Russian twist
    3. leg raise
    4. crunch
    5. boat
    6. hip raise
    7. seated in&out
    8. bicycle
    9. flutter kicks

    10. Facing Down
    11. high/dolphin plank
    12. hamsasana
    13. mayurasana
    14. slide the mat

    15. Facing Side
    16. side plank
    17. side hip raise/lower
    18. oblique crunches

    19. Arm Balancing
    20. lolasana
    21. crane
    22. L-sit

    23. Back Muscles
    24. superman F, S, B
    25. half-forwardbend to standing



  12. ADHITTHANA

  13. Adhitthana: Viparita Salabhasana (superman) - hold the superman pose for as long as you can, observing the increasing difficulty without reacting to it. The object of this exercise is to strengthen the mind. As an added benefit, the back muscles will also be strengthened.
  14. PRANAYAMA

  15. Pranayama: Wim Hof, Bhastrika, Kapalabhati
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/wimbhaskap.shtml" -->
    1 Kapalabhati, 0:45 secs
    2 Bhastrika, 1:00 min
    3 Wim Hof, 1:30
  16. MEDITATION

  17. Meditation: Savasana Butterfly
    <--#include virtual="/yoga_class/m_savasana_butterfly.shtml" -->
    Lie down on the mat with feet together close to the groin and let the knees fall down to the sides. This opens up the hips. Let the body fall asleep as the mind remains alert, awake and vigilant.
  18. CHANT (closing)

  19. OM
    /yoga_class/chant_om.shtml
    Single-pointed focus on Ajna Chakra (third eye) or the Sahasrara Chakra (crown)
    a) to start the class, 1 minute composure then 3 mins of OM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale, then OM chanting on the exhale
    b) to end the class, 1 minute composure then 3 rounds of OM chanting - ujjayi breathing on the inhale, then OM chanting on the exhale
  20. HOMEWORK

  21. reflect on satya, asteya and aparigraha...how did you violate that with your clever mind?
  22. NOTES

  23. xxxxxxxxxxx
  24. NEXT

  25. 8 Limbs overview?


Comments?

MaxMax USA
(Aug 19, 2022) xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Ending Thoughts
When the whole program is finished....

--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit Yoga by Gigit | Learn English Learn English | Travel like a Nomad Nomad Travel Buddy | Donation Bank Donation Bank for TheLoneRider



Leave a comment?

(write "two", NOT "2")

Reader Comments:

MaxMax USA
Overall I'm liking the broad classes covering meditation, other aspects of mindfulness (like the water preparation exercises), yoga, theory/history.

Next Yoga story:

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Chiang Mai INFORMATION

Chiang Mai Map
Google Map

Chiang Mai, Thailand

important places in Chiang Mai IMPORTANT PLACES
Chiang Mai Bus Station Bus Station
Chiang Mai Train Station Train Station
Chiang Mai airport Chiang Mai International Airport
Nong Buak Hard Park Nong Buak Hard Park - free yoga classes daily

hotels in Chiang Mai HOTEL
Chiang Mai Arun Dara Villa Arun Dara Villa - 7 exclusive rooms, 1 swimming pool for every room, grand opening
Chiang Mai Nawa Sheeva Hotel Nawa Sheeva Hotel - big rooms, high ceiling, salt-water pool, restaurant, cafe
Chiang Mai Nawa Saraan Hotel Nawa Saraan Hotel - low density (4 spacious rooms), stone garden setting, Koi fish pond, Old City location
Arun Suite, Chiang Mai Arun Suite - 3 bedrooms in a 3-storie guesthouse within Old City, ideal for families

birds nest restaurants in Chiang Mai RESTAURANT
La Pizza Chiang Mai La Pizza Chiang Mai - Italian pizza, pasta, wine, dessert, coffee
Chiang Mai birds nest restaurant Natural Bird Nest by Burapa - authentic bird's nest soup

Thai massage in Chiang Mai WELLNESS
ITM  International Training Massage School ITM - International Training Massage School - Chiang Mai's most prestigious massage school
Float Chiang Mai Float Chiang Mai - sensory deprivation float pod
Chiang Mai, Royal Thai Lanna Massage Zira Spa - upscale authentic Thai massage and spa treatment

motorcycle rental in Chiang Mai MOTORBIKE RENTAL
Chiang Mai birds nest motorcycle Tawan Bike - motorcycle rental | +66 91 635 2863 | Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200



Chiang Mai FYI / Tips
  • crop-burning season in Chiang Mai is between late Feb to early April. But laws change everytime. This year, 2019, there is a 61-day ban on burning so the farmers started burning early. When my plane was approaching Chiang Mai on Jan 24, 2019, there was already a thick blanket of smog covering the entire city (and beyond). But within the city itself, you won't feel it (but that doesn't mean the air is healthy). To monitor air conditions in real time, refer to site: Chiang Mai Air Pollution: Real-time Air Quality Index (AQI)
  • hot season begins March and lasts until June
  • wet season begins July and lasts until September
  • best time to visit Chiang Mai is mid-September to mid-February - after the monsoon and before the burning
  • you have to try Khao Soi, this is north Thailand's culinary staple
  • the tourist area where most of the hotels, restaurants, ticket offices, tour operators are, is located in the Old City
  • to exchange your dollars to Thai Baht, the Super Rich Money Exchange give the best rates. There are many branches scattered around Chiang Mai
  • get a red cab (songthao) outside the train station for Baht 50 (instead of paying B100 if inside the train station) to Old City - if you haggle nicely enough...I did!
  • shared red taxi (songthao) - B30 standard fare plying all over Old City
  • for only B50/day, best to rent a bike to go around the Old City - it's a 2.5km2 with lots to discover
  • FREE daily yoga classes from 9:00am to 10:15am at Nong Buak Hard Park (southwest corner of Old City). Resident and passing-through teachers take turns conducting yoga classes.
Blues/Jazz Bars in Chiang Mai
  1. North Gate Jazz Coop - at Chang Phueg Gate, great Tuesday jam session, Blues on Sundays at 11pm by the Chiang Mai Blues band
  2. Boy Blues Bar - at the Night Bazaar. Mondays at 9:30pm is open mic
  3. My Secret Cafe - near Wat Phra Singh. Tuesdays at 7:30pm for the changing front-act and 9:00pm for the Panic Band
  4. Taphae East - 88 Thapae Rd. (just north of Night Bazaar). Fridays at 9:30pm by Chiang Mai Blues Band
Chiang Mai Cost Index
  • B60 Chiang beer
  • B250 1 hour drop-in yoga session
  • B200 one hour Thai body massage at WAYA Massage (highly recommended)
  • B50 noodle soup with meat
  • B50 coffee
  • B40 pad thai
  • B30/kilo wash-only laundry
  • B50/kilo wash+iron laundry
  • B100-150 dorm bed/night
  • B250 fan room/night
  • B30 internet cafe/hour
  • B170-190 Movies Sat-Sun and public holidays
  • B130-150 Movies weekdays
  • B100 Movies Wednesdays (movie discount day)
  • B750 1/2 day Thai cooking lessons
  • B900-1000 1 full day Thai cooking lessons
  • B400 Muay Thai boxing ticket
  • B2500 starting room rate at the luxury hotel, Nawa Sheeva (highly recommended)

  • Transportation
  • B450 bus, Chiang Mai to Bangkok
  • B160-180 bus, Chiang Mai to Pai
  • B1250 bus, Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang
  • B1650 slow boat, Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang
  • B210 bus, Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, 3-4 hours
  • B360 Green VIP bus, Chiang Mai to Mae Sai (Thai border town for visa run to Tachileik, Myanmar)
  • B50 bicycle rental, 24 hours
  • B200 motorbike rental, 24 hours
  • B273 #51 sleeping train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
  • B638 #7 a/c train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
  • B50 red taxi fare from point to point
  • B100 red taxi fare from train terminal to city

  • Tours
  • B2000 full day elephant sanctuary
  • B750 Chiang Rai one-day tour
  • B1500 mountain biking scenic ride
Chiang Mai Trains by Train36.com
  1. Chiang Mai trains for Bangkok - 2 day trains, 3 night trains, daily schedule
  2. Train 14 to Bangkok - departs 5pm daily, arrives BKK 6:15am, 1st class and 2nd class sleeping accomodation, Special Express
  3. Chiang Mai trains to other destinations -
Chiang Mai to Bangkok Trains source: railway.co.th
  1. Check Train Schedule & Fares
  2. Book Online - direct booking with State Railway of Thailand. Best to register first. If going to BKK from CNX, click "Northern Line".

    note -- big difference between booking direct with the State Railway and booking with an online 3rd party agent. 12GO was charging B1330 for the same trip that only cost me B941 with the State Railway.

    note -- Oct 2022, I took the #10 Train from CNX to BKK, upper berth, 2nd class, a/c, sleeper, B941. The train was clean, fast, comfortable and modern. If you have heavy luggage that will cost more money in flight checkin, I would suggest this train. Otherwise, the flight now is so much cheaper it doesn't even make sense to take the bus or train.
Bangkok to Chiang Mai by Train from Bang Sue Train Station

For more train info: Bangkok to Chiang Mai trains - departing from Hua Lamphong - MRT (Bangkok)

(I'm using Bang Sue as a starting point because I was closer to it, but you may be closer to the Hua Lamphong station)

  1. take the MRT train to Bang Sue Station. Take the #1 Exit to the north provincial trains
  2. Proceed to Counter 2. You will see an information booth, a train schedule chart and the ticket counter. Choose the train and pay at the ticket counter.
  3. daily train schedule:
    • 8:48am - #7 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 7:30pm, not sleeper, B638
    • 2:06pm - #109 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 4:05am, sleeper
    • 6:31pm - #9 Premium Train, arrive Chiang Mai 7:15am, sleeper, B938 upper deck, B1038 lower deck
    • 7:56pm - #13 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 8:40am, sleeper, B768 upper deck, B838 lower deck
    • 10:22pm - #51 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 12:10pm, sleeper, 3rd class B270 (non sleeper), 2nd class B438, B728 upper deck, B798 lower deck
Loei to Chiang Mai by Bus
  1. From Loei town center, take a tuk-tuk ride to the bus station, B30. There is only one bus station.
  2. As of June 28, 2020 (still on Covid schedule), there are only 3 night trips: 8:30pm, 9:30pm and 12 midnight. 9 hours, B470.
  3. The bus makes the following stops at the following times from a 9pm Loei departure: Phu Ruea (9:50pm), Phitsanulok (12:40am), Uttradit (2:20am), Lampang (4:35am)
  4. Final bus stop is at the Red Bus Arcade, Chiang Mai, 9 hour-trip, arriving 6am (from 9pm Loei departure).
  5. Take a red songthaew to Old City, B50. They'll try to charge you B100, but they'll take B50 (just assure the driver you won't tell the other passengers).
Chiangmai Blogs by TheLoneRider
  1. Goodbye Chiang Mai Jan 24, 2019 - Oct 10, 2022
  2. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Oct 10, 2022
  3. Siamaya Chocolates Oct 2, 2022
  4. [an error occurred while processing this directive]
  5. September Snapshots Sep 30, 2022
  6. Carrot Cake Sep 12, 2022
  7. Making Coconut Bread Sep 3, 2022
  8. August Snapshots Aug 31, 2022
  9. Yoga Nidra with Chunyah and Tom Aug 18, 2022
  10. Coconut Pancake Aug 11, 2022
  11. July Snapshots Jul 31, 2022
  12. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Jul 31, 2022
  13. Jason, Max and Elizabeth Pizza Nite Jul 28, 2022
  14. Yakiniku Dinner with Max and Jason Jul 25, 2022
  15. Icebath at Nawa Saraan Jul 6 - Oct 5, 2022
  16. June Snapshots Jun 30, 2022
  17. Tom, Chunyah and Simona Pizza Nite Jun 23, 2022
  18. Yoga Class Pizza Nite Jun 15, 2022
  19. Pranayama with Nicha Jun 14, 2022
  20. May Snapshots May 31, 2022
  21. Lover's Quarrel May 26, 2022
  22. Getting Lost on a Hike May 25, 2022
  23. Biohacker Meetup at 'Living with The Spirit' May 22, 2022
  24. Music and Magic at Paapu House May 5, 2022
  25. Breathwork + Icebath @ Alt_Chiangmai II Apr 20, 2022
  26. April 2022 in a Nugget Apr 30, 2022
  27. Tombstone Epitaph Apr 29, 2022
  28. Kayaking along the Ping River with the BioHackers Apr 24, 2022
  29. [an error occurred while processing this directive]
  30. Pizza Nite with Jerry, Paolo and Abby Apr 9, 2022
  31. Tom Maher's Muay Thai Fight Apr 8, 2022
  32. Breathwork + Icebath @ Alt_Chiangmai Apr 6, 2022
  33. Yoga with Leo Apr 5, 2022
  34. Mar 2022 in a Nugget Mar 31, 2022
  35. Street Photo Mar 31, 2022
  36. Peoplescape Mar 31, 2022
  37. Chiang Mai's Recovering Music Scene Mar 31, 2022
  38. Street Photo Mar 31, 2022
  39. Yoga and Fitness Mar 26, 2022
  40. Friday Bitcoin Meetups Mar 18, 2022
  41. Pizza Nite with Aida and Sophie Mar 14, 2022
  42. Pizza Nite with Kevin, Jamie and Kris Mar 10, 2022
  43. In Search of Genetic Immortality Mar 5, 2022
  44. Feb 2022 in a Nugget Feb 28, 2022
  45. Palm-Feeding Wild Birds Feb 26, 2022
  46. Cuckoo Feb 16, 2022
  47. Tell John Feb 16, 2022
  48. Pizza Nite with Kris, Simona and Mary Feb 15, 2022
  49. Pizza Nite with the Chiang Mai Boyz Feb 6, 2022
  50. Welcoming the New Year Jan 31, 2022
  51. January Snapshots Jan 31, 2022
  52. ABS Fitness Challenge Jan 16 - Apr 16, 2022
  53. Pumpkin Tahini Recipe Jan 3, 2022
  54. 2021: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2021
  55. Pizza Nite with Simona and Lisa Dec 28, 2021
  56. Tahini Salad Dressing Dec 27, 2021
  57. Baba Ganoush Recipe Dec 23, 2021
  58. 7 Universal Laws Dec 20, 2021
  59. Sacred Circuitry Dec 18, 2021
  60. Cave-Living in a Boutique Hotel in Chiang Mai Dec 14, 2021
  61. Tummo Yoga + Wim Hof Breathing + Full-Body Muscle Contraction Dec 13, 2021
  62. Monk Chat Dec 10, 2021
  63. Making Tahini and Hummus Dec 8, 2021
  64. Watering the Plants Hands-Free Dec 2, 2021
  65. Vietnamese Phin Coffee Filter Dec 2, 2021
  66. Tummo Yoga Dec 1, 2021
  67. The Bliss of Inner Fire: Book Summary/Review Dec 1, 2021
  68. The Bliss of Inner Fire: Heart Practice of the Six Yogas of Naropa Dec 1, 2021
  69. 'Must Experience' Cafés of Chiang Mai Nov 30, 2021
  70. British Hobnob Cookies Nov 22, 2021
  71. New York Cheese Cake Nov 22, 2021
  72. Dham's Poetry Nov 14, 2021
  73. Pizza Nite with Simona and Nat Nov 11, 2021
  74. Stepping Forward / Reaching Out Oct 31, 2021
  75. Cancel Culture Attack Oct 31, 2021
  76. Mantra Primer Oct 29, 2021
  77. Spinal Mobility Oct 7, 2021
  78. Swedish Cinnamon Rolls [Kanelbullar] Oct 4, 2021
  79. Just Bring 2 Chinese Oct 3, 2021
  80. Sep Snapshots Sep 31, 2021
  81. One-Leg Yoga Asana Sequences Sep 30, 2021
  82. Pizza Nite with Nut, Monika and Yuki Sep 27, 2021
  83. 23-Minute Ice Bath Sep 27, 2021
  84. Pizza Nite with Nut, Simona and Malee Sep 23, 2021
  85. Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep) Sep 23, 2021
  86. Making Cornbread Sep 15, 2021
  87. Kombucha: 2nd Batch Sep 11, 2021
  88. Making German Stollen Bread Sep 9, 2021
  89. Pizza Nite with Jackson, Goi and Paapu Sep 6, 2021
  90. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Aug 31, 2021
  91. Making Homemade Kombucha Aug 30, 2021
  92. Wrong Question to Ask This Crowd Aug 29, 2021
  93. Pizza Nite with Tom, Chunyah and Goi Aug 20, 2021
  94. Pizza Nite with Moms and Kids Aug 15, 2021
  95. Bahya Kumbhaka (breath-hold on the exhale) Aug 14, 2021
  96. Everybody's Only Friend Aug 13, 2021
  97. Vanillekipferl (German Vanilla Crescent Cookies) Aug 11, 2021
  98. Fighting Infection through Yoga Aug 3, 2021
  99. Too Close for Friendship Aug 2, 2021
  100. Manifesting: Epicurus' Pursuit Jul 31, 2021
  101. Homemade Rum Raisin Ice Cream Jul 30, 2021
  102. Ice Bath at Nawa Saraan Healing Space Jul 25, 2021
  103. Pizza Nite + Slack Line + Hammock Jul 23, 2021
  104. Yin-Yoga & Hypnosis with Christine Thiel Jul 20, 2021
  105. Pizza Nite with James and Nat Jul 19, 2021
  106. Antara Kumbhaka on Nadi Shodan Pranayama: Yogic Breath-Hold on the Inhale Jul 17, 2021
  107. Moving and Cashing-Out Bitcoin Jun 2 - Jul 11, 2021
  108. 'The Bow' Yoga Jul 7, 2021
  109. Yoga Classes with Calum Mar 27 - Jul 4, 2021
  110. Hike to Wat Pa Thammachat Waterfall Jul 2, 2021
  111. Pizza Brunch with the Yogis July 1, 2021
  112. Continuing Friendships in Chiang Mai Jun 30, 2021
  113. On the Brink of Hunger, the ENABLERS Come to Light Jun 21, 2021
  114. Hatha Vinyasa Yoga with Katharine Day Jun 17, 2021
  115. Pranayama Basics II Jun 16, 2021
  116. 36-Hour Love Life Jun 11, 2021
  117. Pranayama Basics I Jun 9, 2021
  118. Biohackers Meetup in Chiang Mai Jun 6, 2021
  119. Learning How to Breathe Jun 2, 2021
  120. Not the Usual Day-to-Day Life May 31, 2021
  121. Morphing Peoplescape of Chiang Mai May 31, 2021
  122. Breathwork & Ice Bath with Jason Ryer of Zen Strength May 23, 2021
  123. It's Raining Bell Peppers May 7, 2021
  124. Yoga Classes with Nana Apr 20, 2021
  125. You Want to be Wonder Woman? Apr 8, 2021
  126. Kunjal Kriya / Vamana Dhauti (induced vomiting) Apr 1, 2021
  127. Coffeemates, Breadmates and Yogamates in Chiang Mai Jan-Mar 2021
  128. Varisara Dhauti (cleansing of the entire digestive tract) Mar 26, 2021
  129. Spiritual Backpacker Interview by Napasorn 'Cherry' Suvarnapradip Mar 23, 2021
  130. Private One-on-One Yoga Classes with Doriana Feb 17 - Mar 14, 2021
  131. Transformational Life Events Mar 13, 2021
  132. Guess Who's Coming to Bread Day? Mar 1, 2021
  133. Mula Shodhana (anal cleansing) Feb 27, 2021
  134. Are You My Queen? Feb 25, 2021
  135. Breaking the 5-Minute Breath-hold Barrier Feb 25, 2021
  136. Kirtan with Chiang Mai's Khun Thai Seekers Feb 7, 2021
  137. Breaking the 4-minute Breath-hold Feb 7, 2021
  138. Pranayama Primer Feb 2, 2021
  139. Heartbreak in every Song Jan 24, 2021
  140. The Silent Killer is Baaack! Jan 12, 2021
  141. Learning the Thai Language Jan 9, 2021
  142. 2020: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2020
  143. Reversing/Slowing Down the Aging Process Dec 30, 2020
  144. Hike to Huay Keaw Waterfall Dec 20, 2020
  145. Yoga Mat Dec 19, 2020
  146. Hiking to Wat Pha Lat along the Monk's Trail Dec 19, 2020
  147. Am I Psycho? Dec 9, 2020
  148. Muffin Man Dec 8, 2020
  149. Polyamory Dec 4, 2020
  150. The Wim Hof Ice Bath Dec 3, 2020
  151. RSVP Nov 25, 2020
  152. High Intensity Interval Yoga (Yoga + HIIT) Nov 14, 2020
  153. Cleansing the Nadis (Energy Pathway) Nov 13, 2020
  154. Yoga for a 360-degree Core Nov 6, 2020
  155. Edward Witten: 'the smartest living physicist' Nov 4, 2020
  156. Srinivasa Ramanujan: Mathematician of the Divine Oct 27, 2020
  157. Bashar as Channeled by Darryl Anka Oct 26, 2020
  158. Vinyasa Krama and Ashtanga Yoga with Aida Yoga Oct 18, 2020
  159. Deepak Chopra: author, lecturer, healer Oct 12, 2020
  160. Facebook Friends Oct 1, 2020
  161. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Aug-Sep 2020 Sep 30, 2020
  162. Siddhis (yogic super powers) Sep 30, 2020
  163. Learning the Import/Export Trade Sep 4, 2020
  164. Music and Magic at Justin's Birthday Bash Sep 3, 2020
  165. Biggest Stone in his Shoe Sep 1, 2020
  166. Abandoned Aug 25, 2020
  167. Intelligent Romantic Break-up Aug 25, 2020
  168. Dad-Zoned Aug 18, 2020
  169. Public Display of Affection Aug 9, 2020
  170. Gabriella's Birthday Bash at Mothership Resort Aug 8-9, 2020
  171. Shifting Peoplescape of Chiang Mai July 31, 2020
  172. Yoga Class for Strength and Muscle Jul 30, 2020
  173. Yoga Class for Optimum Digestion July 29, 2020
  174. Yoga Class for Healthy Eyes Jul 27, 2020
  175. Hippie Night at Nawa Saraan Healing Space July 24, 2020
  176. The Podcast Series: Alan "Heart Math" Strydom Jul 17, 2020
  177. Prana Vayu Adhitthana Yoga Class July 11-12, 2020
  178. Coming Back to Chiang Mai Jun 29, 2020
  179. Goodbye Chiang Mai Jan 23, 2020
  180. Prasnopanishad: Understanding Prana Jan 17, 2020
  181. Hiking the Monk's Trail Jan 15, 2020
  182. Chaturanga Jan 10, 2020
  183. You Spooned Me Jan 3, 2020
  184. 2019: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2019
  185. Friends, Coffeemates and Breadmates (Dec 2019) Dec 31, 2019
  186. Visiting Mae Sot Dec 27-30, 2019
  187. Let's Make it About You - an Epiphany Dec 17, 2019
  188. Shut-Up! Dec 7, 2019
  189. Roasted Red Bell Pepper Puree Dec 3, 2019
  190. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Nov 2019) Nov 30, 2019
  191. Bhujangini Mudra Nov 25, 2019
  192. Mathangini Mudra Nov 24, 2019
  193. Kaka Mudra Nov 23, 2019
  194. Pasini Mudra Nov 20, 2019
  195. Aswini Mudra Nov 18, 2019
  196. Sambhavi Mudra Nov 16, 2019
  197. Manduka Mudra Nov 15, 2019
  198. Tataka Mudra Nov 14, 2019
  199. Sakti Calana Mudra Nov 10, 2019
  200. Vajroli Mudra Nov 9, 2019
  201. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Oct 2019) Oct to Nov 5, 2019
  202. Yoni Mudra Nov 1, 2019
  203. Viparita Karani Mudra Oct 31, 2019
  204. Khecari Mudra Oct 30, 2019
  205. Mahadeva Mudra Oct 28, 2019
  206. Sacred Cacao - Chakra Dance Journey Oct 26, 2019
  207. Partner Healing with Natascha Oct 24, 2019
  208. Maha Bandha Mudra Oct 24, 2019
  209. Point-Of-Failure Birthday Workout Oct 22, 2019
  210. Mula Bandha Mudra Oct 21, 2019
  211. Hugfest at Thapae Gate, Chiang Mai Oct 19, 2019
  212. Anushasan Mudra Oct 18, 2019
  213. Ling Mudra Oct 17, 2019
  214. Jalandhara Bandha Mudra Oct 15, 2019
  215. Learning Thai with Cee Oct 13, 2019
  216. Uddiyana Bandha Mudra Oct 10, 2019
  217. Nabho Mudra Oct 9, 2019
  218. Maha Mudra Oct 7, 2019
  219. 20 Essential Mudras by T. Krishnamacharya Oct. 6, 2019
  220. Mindfulness Gong Bath by Vee (Veerayuth Pongsiri) Oct 3, 2019
  221. Cuddle Party by Abundant Love CM Oct 1, 2019
  222. Vayu Mudra Oct 1, 2019
  223. Visa-Run to Tachileik, Myanmar Sep 28, 2019
  224. Sankalpa Mudra Sep 27, 2019
  225. Surya Pradarshini Mudra Sep 26, 2019
  226. Eye-Gazing at Heart Space Sep 20, 2019
  227. Prana Vayu (Pranic Wind) Sep 20, 2019
  228. 2-Week Yoga Challenge by Agnese Erba Sep 17, 2019
  229. The Mudra Project Sep 13, 2019
  230. Sunday Vinyasa Flow with Marina Forster Sep 8, 2019
  231. Shamanic Breathwork by Rachel Constantino Sep 4, 2019
  232. The Conscious Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Aug 31, 2019
  233. Of Winos and Yogis Aug 26, 2019
  234. The 9 Jhanas of Buddha Aug 22, 2019
  235. Full Moon Ceremony at Heart Space Aug 15, 2019
  236. Yin Yoga - Water Element by Martina Barabas Aug 15, 2019
  237. Hatha Mix Yoga with Christin Aug 13, 2019
  238. Boy Blues Bar Rocks Chiang Mai Aug 5, 2019
  239. Back to my Beloved Chiang Mai Aug 1, 2019
  240. Kaleidoscope of Chiang Mai's Peoplescape July 27, 2019
  241. Secret Sunrise: Nelson Mandela International Day July 17, 2019
  242. Farewell Picnic with Alan and Nicola July 15, 2019
  243. Secret Sunrise: Water July 3, 2019
  244. Hotel Review: Arun Suite June 27, 2019
  245. Bruce Lipton: Epigentics to Transcend Genes June 24, 2019
  246. Optimizing Life thru Heart Math May 8, 15 and 22, 2019
  247. Connective Cacao and Sound Journey June 12, 2019
  248. Chiangmai BLUES June 6, 2019
  249. Hatha Slow Flow with Neil Jefferson June 3, 2019
  250. Meditating with One Million Meditators Movement June 1, 2019
  251. Vinyasa Happy Flow Series by Vaida May 31, 2019
  252. Muay Thai at the Chiang Mai Boxing Stadium May 30, 2019
  253. Yoga Flow Through the 7 Chakras by Sabrina Pilz May 30, 2019
  254. The Outsiders (people you need to push out of your sacred circle) May 31, 2019
  255. Fascinating Peoplescape of Chiang Mai May 22, 2019
  256. World Meditation Day at Heart Space May 21, 2019
  257. Abs Yoga by Gigit May 12, 2019
  258. Kundalini and Vinyasa Yoga with Nicola Symons May 10, 2019
  259. Secret Sunrise Interactive Dance May 9, 2019
  260. Tok Sen Massage from Ying May 8, 2019
  261. Bruschetta: Nawa Saraan Style Apr 22, 2019
  262. Thai Cooking at Pra Nang Thai Cookery School Apr 20, 2019
  263. Bonding with the Elephants in Chiang Mai Apr 11, 2019
  264. Ziplining in Chiang Mai with Eagle Track Zipline Apr 10, 2019
  265. Getting Thai Massage from Chiang Mai's Best (Lar Thanakrit Khamtanong) Mar 21, 2019
  266. Being the Soul of Nawa Saraan Hotel Mar 18, 2019
  267. Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Jan 24 - Mar 13, 2019
  268. Curing Cancer with Yoga? Feb 21, 2019
  269. International Training Massage School (ITM): Level 1 Feb 11-15, 2019
  270. Sandesch Album Launch by Christoph Joerg Feb 13, 2019
  271. Meditation in a Sensory Deprivation Tank at Float Chiang Mai Jan 29, 2019
  272. Reiki Share at the Mastermind Brain Spa Jan 26, 2019
  273. Resuming Life in Chiang Mai Jan 24, 2019
  274. 4 Days in Chiang Mai at Nawa Saraan Hotel Jan 2-6, 2019
  275. Mike Chong Aug 8, 2018
  276. An Intimate Conversation with my Universe in Chiang Mai Aug 8, 2018
  277. Kneaded and Pampered at Zira Spa Aug 4, 2018
  278. Savoring a Baht 3,500 Birds Nest Soup at Natural Bird Nest by Burapa Aug 3, 2018
  279. Yoga Exploration at The Yoga Tree with Gernot Aug 1, 2018
  280. Laughter Yoga with Saffiya Arnous July 31, 2018
  281. Yoga with Adam at Hidden House Yoga, Chiang Mai July 29, 2018
  282. 2 Weeks in Chiang Mai July 25 - Aug 7, 2018
  283. A First Timer in Chiang Mai Apr 9-23, 2016
  284. Chiang Mai's Amazing Peoplescape Apr 9-23, 2016
  285. Dance Mandala in Chiang Mai at The Yoga Tree Apr 19, 2016
  286. Songkran Waterfight Festival in Chiang Mai Apr 13-15, 2016
  287. Border Crossing from Siem Reap (Cambodia) to Bangkok (Thailand) to Chiang Mai April 9-10, 2016

Travel Tips for Thailand

How to Get a 60-Day Thai Tourist Visa and then Extend by another 30 Days

This process is BEFORE Covid 19. Not sure what it is now.

    60-Day Thai Tourist Visa

    NOTE: There is no need to go back to your country to get the Thai tourist visa. Any major city with a Thai Embassy will do. Apparently there is also no need to have an invitation from a Thai establishment to justify the visa.

  1. Bring the following to the Thai embassy:
    a) proof of money (bank statement will suffice)
    b) flight booking to Thailand
    c) onward flight back to your country from Thailand
    d) filled-in tourist visa form
    e) 2 passport pictures
    f) hotel booking in Thailand (they didn't ask me for this but better be safe)
    g) passport with at least 6 months validity
  2. After handing over all the documents, they will ask you to come pick your passport with the visa the following day from 4 to 5pm. That's it!
  3. NOTE: after 2 successful attempts, I was already questioned the 3rd time.

    30-Day Extension

    NOTE: When your 60-day visa is close to expiry and you want to extend your stay. No need to leave Thailand.

  1. bring the following to the Immigration Office:
    a) passport (make sure your Tourist Visa hasn't expired yet)
    b) Baht 1900
    c) photocopy of your passport + visa duration date stamp + TM6 card (white immigration card) and sign all the copies
    d) completed TM7 visa extension form (available at the Immigration Office)
    e) one 4cmx6cm passport picture
  2. submit the above to the Front Desk. They will give you a stub with your number on it. Take a seat and wait for your number to be called
  3. when your number is called, your picture will be taken. Then go back to your seat. They will call you again.
  4. when they call you again, they'll give you your passport with your extended visa. That's it!
  5. when there are no lines, the whole process can take only 10 minutes
Book Train Tickets in Thailand

Book Train Tickets in Thailand Online by Train36.com

General Travel Tips
  1. arrive early - in case there is a snag (visa snag, documentation snag, transport ticket snag, etc.), you will have ample time to troubleshoot the problem if you arrive early (to the airport, to the bus terminal, etc.)
  2. put detailed itinerary on the Calendar apps of your smart-phone according to timelines - this is where you do all your thinking and planning. Once written down, you don't have to think anymore while you are on the journey...you just follow the steps. This frees your mind for something else that might happen while you are already en route
  3. avoiding scams - as a general rule, I ignore the touts or anyone I don't know who call out to me. The calling comes in many forms - "Hi! Where are you from?", "Excuse me! Excuse me!", "Where are you going?". I don't look them in the eye and I remain non-verbal with them. If you reply to them, you just gave them an 'in' to hound you. In order not to look rude, I smile and wave the 'not interested' hand to them, without looking at them.
  4. power bank - hand-carry your power bank. Do not check it in. You can be called in when you are already inside the plane to go all the way to the loading dock so you can personally remove the power bank...and chances are, you'll have to surrender it to them. And you might delay the plane departure!
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