“Upon death, we take with us only what we have given.”
Charles Eisenstein

Sacred Economics

Movement after Meditation


Yoga asana (physical postures) practices are very helpful in preparing the body for seated meditations in which the body is usually placed in an unnatural static position in which legs are folded to form a base and the back is held erect. Regardless of preparation, static sitting places certain stresses on the body. Such stresses, especially when meditation is practiced regularly, can accumulate and manifest as discomfort, pains and over time even lead to injury.

Fortunately a few simple movements can go a long way to relieve stresses and help in a transition from stillness to movement. Two postures are all it takes to stretch the arms & legs, bend the back and gradually and safely restore movement. It takes at most a minute or two and is a great gift to the body.

Clicking on an image/animation will lead to more details and guidance on each of the postures.

If you can make the time for it you may wish to explore an extended version of this sequence, your body will be grateful for it.

Posted in Asana, Basic Movement, Meditation, Practice Sequences, Yoga, Yoga & Life | You are welcome to add your comment

Playing Bamboo Leaves


During my first Shakuhachi lesson my teacher moved two fingers through the air in a way that described a shape of a bamboo leaf. He suggested I try to play tones accordingly – starting from silent, growing fuller and stronger and then fading out slowly and gently, almost if the sound never comes to an end. This metaphor touched me deeply and has been at the core of my practice ever since. For me it seems like a never-ending exploration of refinement and subtlety and it has kept me deeply involved with playing.

Here is a short recording I made of practicing just one tone with this idea in mind: playing bamboo leaf shaped tones

When I viewed this recording in a sound editor I could actually see the tone shapes and how they change. Though it can be very challenging to reach a consistent shape and tone the practice is always rewarding. I experience great pleasure every time I experience a soft and effortless fading of a tone, every time I complete a tone just as my breath comes to an end, every time I discover a new potential for refinement (I realized fading in is a very different challenge than fading out). This simple image of a bamboo leaf created a vast space for me to explore.

Finally, here is a recording I made of playing the first 5 breath of Take Shirabe where I try to incorporate this idea of bamboo-leaf shaped tones: 5 breaths of Take Shirabe

Posted in Expanding, inside, Shakuhachi | You are welcome to add your comment

A Yoga Sequence for Everyone


The following images/animations depict a short sequence anyone can do. Repeat each posture 4 times – which should take a few minutes (over time you may want to increase this to 6 or even 8 repetitions of each posture). The postures are accessible and yet each one has much depth to explore. It is a short sequence, requires a very small space and no special accessories (a quiet spot and a small rug) which can be softly introduced even into a busy and hectic daily schedule. If you do practice daily, try to practice regularly – at the same time & the same place.

As with any practice (short or long, soft or intense…) it is beneficial to take a few minutes to settle and arrive before beginning the practice, and a few minutes to settle and absorb at the end. Observing before and after the practice may, over time, give you some indication of it’s effects on you. You can find more ideas on how to approach a practice by reading about taking your first steps in yoga.

Clicking on an image/animation will lead to more details and guidance on each of the postures.

Posted in Asana, Basic Movement, Getting Started, Practice Sequences, Yoga | You are welcome to read 3 comments and to add yours

Yoga Asana: Savasana


Savasana (corpse posture) is a simple looking asana. Lie down on your back, legs straight and released so they fall slightly to the sides, arms alongside the body, palms turned up – and you are physically arranged in Savasana. It is a resting posture that can be visited numerous times during a practice.


Savasana is an opportunity to let the body settle and to observe. It is often introduced at the end of an Asana practice to close the practice by letting the breath and body settle and to observe changes in body, breath, consciousness, energy, feelings… to give the body an opportunity to absorb and communicate.

Savasana may seem like “an easy posture” – and physically it is (though there are therapeutic situations in which it is inaccessible). The challenge Savasana offers is to remain present and attentive – in this sense it is almost a trap. During pratice the mind is reasonably occupied – coordinating movement, keeping balance, breathing, sustaining effort, etc. In Savasana the mind is relieved from it’s responsibilities and left with nothing to do and tends to wander. My teacher often reminds us that Savasana is a “rest from practice, not from life”.

Still, despite it’s seeming simplicity, there are some physical qualities to look for when practicing Savasana:

  • Neck placement – keep your neck long by keeping the chin tucked in.
  • Arm placement – find a position in which your arms and shoulders relaxed. Explore by moving your arms further and closer to your body until you find a restful position.
  • Hand placement – make sure your palms are facing up and that your fingers are relaxed.
  • Lower Back – if the lower back is sensitive or strained (sometimes as a result of the practice itself), releasing the area around it can lead (though actually it’s revealing) discomfort or pain. As a result there can be a tendency to keep the lower back tense. If you encounter discomfort in your lower (or any other area of the body for that matter), place you attention softly on it, keep breathing and try to slowly and gradually sink into relaxation.
  • Legs – remember to release the legs, it’s simple, but also easy to forget.
  • Small Places – let the head weigh down, release your facial muscles, let the eyelids fall & close lightly, release the tongue in your mouth. Let your consciousness explore your body and gently release what can be released.

Remember to also let your breath relax. If it is still demanding and rushed, try to witness as it gradually relaxes. I have found that the breath settles quicker when attention is placed on it, otherwise it can take much longer, the mind wanders until suddenly it finds the breath settled.

Posted in Asana, Basic Movement, Yoga | You are welcome to read 2 comments and to add yours

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-01-24

  • :+) @andreea_hl and I have just received a 1st payment from a user for FEM – our online fertility awareness application http://www.myfem.org #
  • @ililush תודה רבה רבה… אלא אם כן הקבוצה במעלות נראה לי שיהיה קצת להגיע :) האם אוכל לשאול אותך שאלות של מתחילים in reply to ililush #
  • יש סירנה בצפון – תעשו טובה ותיכנסו לי למקלט #
  • a rare and inspiring gem – a must see video "A New Biology": http://bit.ly/7mqy5t #
  • WetCat a new stench by Antonio Banderas !! #
  • this link is your link, this link is my link…. http://bit.ly/17fPC5 #
  • ככה כמו שאתם קוראים אותי – על הקמין (במקום גז) יש סיר עם תבשיל קדירה וקנקנן עם תה צמחים :) #
  • I've been told and experienced that tears are an indication of a meditation practice that has touched peace #
  • שפע מבורך ובלתי נדלה של גשם יורד בצפון… איזו ברכה! #
  • הפתעה מרגשת – מחר הופעת בכורה של האלבום החדש של ארקדי דוכין – התמונות שלי מלוות את המופע! תיאטרון נוגה ביפו – בואו :) http://bit.ly/4O0zNm #
  • don't try "to be" special, you are special so just be yourself! #
  • My photography will be the backdrop at the premier show of Arkadi Duchin's new album (a prominent Israeli musician) http://bit.ly/4O0zNm #
  • סרט התדמית לרכבת החדשה של רכבת ישראל מתחיל עם הנהג "עמי פוני" אוי וויי #
  • the morning after: http://bit.ly/89LJ3h #
  • הפסקת מאימון סריגה – מעבר לערמונים שהתבשלו על הקמין #
  • I just find out there are courses for "Spiritual Coaching". oh boy! #
  • reason is an addictive substance for mind #

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