Yoga as Prayer

Today as I was taking my place on my yoga mat at the gym, I asked myself the question, “Why do you do yoga?” The question struck me, and I’ll admit at first I didn’t have an answer. I decided to take this question into my practice today. As I was moving around the mat, breathing, taking in the sounds of the gym, I had a realization was over my heart. Yoga is how I pray. For me, yoga is devotion. When I am on my mat, I am stepping onto sacred ground. I feel my soul come alive. My breath joins my body more deeply, and for a moment all that exists is the flow.

Stepping onto the mat is stepping into trust. We spend much of our day trying to get away from the body, we rush into our expectations, or are bound to the anchors of our past. We hold judgement against ourselves. We eat foods that lack nourishment. We engage in distractions (television, social media, etc). We numb ourselves. When we take a step onto the yoga mat, we are saying to the soul, to God, to the universe I am here, and I am ready. The very act of showing up sets the intention, and brings us into presence.

As I move through the asana, I pause and deepen my breath. Too often in classes we try to rush through the sequences. Each pose is a meditation, the breath the mantra, and when we move slowly we are honoring the sacredness of that union. Sequences do not need to be complex, you don’t need to be fancy with how you breath, just let the body move. Yoga is an act of surrender. I try not to plan too far ahead as to what I want to do on my mat. I ask my body what it feels like doing today. I let each asana guide me to the next. I invite in my emotions, the ambient sounds and colors of whatever space I am in. Yoga is not about escaping, its arriving into to presence.

Yoga is a prayer that is said by the body, on the altar of our soul. Each movement is an intention in action. Each breath is a sacred mantra that whispers through us, taking us deeper into each heartbeat.

Take a moment to honor your path by dropping into the breath. Hold your awareness at the rise and fall of the chest, take your hand and place it over your beating heart. Feel life moving through you. Let this be enough.

Namaste

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Stepping into 2015: Release, Power, and Love

As 2014 draws to a close, I feel the call to set some intentions for 2015.  2014 was a year of release for me.  My intuition and my soul have been taking me deeper into my life, and onto my path.  This has been a year of release.  In order to move forward we often have to let go of the anchors that keep us bound to a past that is no longer ours.  Detoxing the mind, the body, and spirit allow us to have clarity without it being through the lens of our past.  There are still things I am working on releasing, but I’ve learned never to rush this process.  Moving with grace and kindness allows for deeper growth to occur.  When we are able to take ownership and responsibility for our lives in profound ways.  What do you need to release as you move into 2015?  What lens of your past are you filtering your present through?

I realized that by taking responsibility of my past, I am able to stand in power.  Owning my difficult parts as well as my beautiful parts allow me to be whole.  Journaling has really helped me to gain perspective on my life.  If you are not journaling, i would recommend that you set the intention to make journaling a part of 2015.  Journaling is tangible.  The journal becomes the altar deep-breathto our soul.  Write down whatever makes you shine from the inside out.  I love to include quotes, prayers, passages from sacred texts, pictures, and things that inspire me.  By carrying my journal with me, I feed it my life-force.  I give it life.  The journal is a living extension of my being.

Love is powerful.  Learning to love through the chaos of existence has not always been the easiest of tasks.  I’ve had my share of challenges this year.  Relationships and friendships were challenged, some survived, and others did not. I’ve learned to hold the pain and the joy in the space of love.  Even with people leave my life, I’ve never put the out of my heart.  Learning to hold even our enemies in the light of love is powerful. It releases us from the binds they might have over us, and it lets us be whole.  Taking responsibility for our lives is empowering.  This allows us to forgive ourselves.  When we can offer forgiveness to our past, to those that have brought us the lessons, and to the current moment we are able to be liberated.

As I move into 2015, I am setting some clear intentions and goals.  I feel it is time to make a lot of changes.  Making a public declaration of these intentions allows me to hold myself accountable to them.  What intentions are you setting for the new year?  What goals are you going to try to manifest for the upcoming year? Write them down, put them in your journal, and carry them with you, take them out often and look at them, breath them in, and live them.

Here are my 2015 intentions:

  1. Its time to be a raw vegan.  I’ve done this in short spurts, but now it is time to make the transition.  Cleaning up my diet, my life, and my connection to the food I am putting into my body is necessary this year.
  2. 365 days of yoga and meditation.  I need to take my personal practice to a new level. I need to live my yoga this year in a new way.
  3. Finish my book.  I’ve stutter started and stopped this for way to long.  This is the year that the book comes to life.  Stay tuned.
  4. How I do my sessions is changing.  I am expanding and letting go.  Opening to new ways of doing things, and coming back to the reasons why I started this work in the first place.
  5. Im pulling back from social media.  I am making social media outlets a place to expand the soul, and open to deeper consciousness.  Rather than just sharing what others have done, I am going to make a conscious effort to transmit the words and works of my soul.
  6. Travel, travel, travel.  I am looking to make 2015 a year of getting out into the world to meet other seekers.  I want to visit ashrams, spiritual communities, and festivals.  Still planning things out, but as soon as things firm up, I’ll be posting them here.
  7. Youtube, blogtak, and this blog are going to blossoming this year.  I am going to engage my platform in new ways this year.  You’ll want to stay tuned.  I plan on doing weekly videos, weekly posts, and of course the radio show.  This is exciting and I look forward to brining this to all of you.
  8. 365 days of poetry.  The poet in me has been asleep for a while, and now I feel it’s time to process some of the life lessons through poetry.  I hope to release my chap book mid year.  I’ll be posting poems to this blog.

These are just a few of my intentions for the year.  There are others that are more personal, but these are just a few that I felt would be appropriate to share on this blog.  I’ve learned a lot about myself this past year, and I look forward to what 2015 brings.

What are your goals and intentions for 2015?

May you be blessed in light as you move forward.  May the light of your soul radiate like the sun.

You are loved. You are Beautiful. You are Divine.

Mike.

Coming into 2014 alignment

We made it through another year.

2013 has brought a lot of opportunity, and also a lot of change.   Stepping into the new year has brought me a chance to align with deeper parts of my own journey.  This is going to be a year of exploration, growth, and movement.

One thing that I have always wanted to do, but have for one reason or another have not gone all the way is shifting to eating raw.  So, this is the year I plan on going all the way with it.  Making the shift gives me better connection to the foods that are entering my body, my health, and my spiritual practice.  I do feel that what we eat should be part of our spiritual practice.

I’m spending more time writing poetry this year.  I got away from it for a while.  Poetry brings us face to face with the raw elements of our life.  Poetry is alive, it moves, it lasts mere moments–but echos deeply.   So, my goal is going to be to write a poem a day.  I’ll post some of them here.  I am also going to work a bit harder to get some of my work published.  I’ve wanted to do a chapbook for sometime, and now is the perfect year to make that a reality.  So, stay tuned for that.  I am also going to start attending open mics/slams again.  There is something beautiful and sacred about sharing your work in the public space.

I am spending more time with sacred texts, writing my own commentaries, and will be posting some of that here as to open deeper dialogue.  Too often we trust only the templates of others.  It is important for us to explore our personal relationship with spirituality.  2013 was a year of exploration for me.  I had the opportunity to dive into the study of paganism and witchcraft.  I learned a lot about myself, got to attend and meet some wonderful teachers, and saw how the dynamics of magick play a role in the ever-changing landscape of life, but as with all things that change, those are no longer my avenues of study.  I still practice personal forms of ritual, but I am moving those to the deeply personal, and no longer engaging the public sphere in that way.  I closed up the Yogawitch.com blog site, but will leave it up as an archive of my journey into intersecting Magick and Yoga practice.

2014 is going to be my year of placing spirituality in action.  I am diving deeper into soul specific work, working with intuition, and going back to my core spiritual work.  Journaling daily helps to connect to my soul journey.  My core practice has always been rooted in Christianity and the Eastern traditions.  I have a wonderful bible journal that I use to do study, soul dialogue, and daily tune ins.  Each day I take a moment to dialogue with my soul.  Intuition always has a lot to say if we pause and listen deeply.  The next step is capturing this dialogue, referring back to it, and trusting what is coming through.

I am going to start blogging with greater frequency.  Last night at the New Years Eve Psychic Fair at Sacred Circle Books, I kept hearing that I need to finish my book (from other psychics, and a few of my clients).  I am going to bring that through this year as well.

Diving deeper into my yoga practice (both professional and personal) is also on my list. I am going to be posting flow videos, technique study, and taking yoga on the road (big project in the works, stay tuned).

Travel is also on my agenda this year.  I plan to take my life to the road a bit, to do a spiritual adventure of sorts.  I am looking for places to visit, people to engage, and communities to share space with (place your suggestions below, or send them to me via email soulinteraction@gmail.com)

So, this is going to be a very engaging year.   This is the year of action, but also closure.  My mantra is: I am READY.

What are you shifting into this year?

You are loved.   You are Beautiful.  You are Divine.

The Expansion of the Spiritual Self

What are your limitations to living a spiritual life?

Where do you find divinity?   Do you see the divine when you look in the mirror?

What is God/dess?

What inspires you to breathe?

Can you feel the spark in your heart center keeping perfect time with the flow of your life?

Where do you let go?

What does freedom feel like?

How often do you say “I love you” to your own heart center?

How often do you laugh?

How free do you feel right now?

When is the last time you looked at the tops of the trees?

When’s the last time you gave from your soul?

 

Expansion of the spiritual self happens through the space of contemplation.  Sitting with our various “life questions” and letting them sit with us.  We spend so much time looking for answers, but often we don’t remember the question… and well, sometimes the question is the answer.  We have to take time to take account of our many pieces.

Alignment is something we work at.  Where do you feel off-balance?  Take that deeper… do you feel spiritually, emotionally, or energetically off-balance?   What do you need right now to come back to center?  We have to take life in slices of “now”.  What do you need in this moment to expand and let go?

Sit with these questions, ponder your existence, and live not just the answers, but the questions… Don’t be complacent–

Seek and ye shall find….

 

Namaste

Michael A Brazell