Energized by Breath, Shiva Shares the Teachings of Yoga, Shiva Series, Yoga with Melissa 152

by Melissa West on November 17, 2012

Props Needed for Today’s Class: Yoga Block, Meditation Cushion, cushion or blanket for sitting

Yoga Postures: sucirandhrasana (thread the needle, keyhole or figure four stretch), jathara parivartanasana (reclined twist), sharira mudra series (hand/body mudra series), marjaryasana (cat pose), Parivṛtta marjaryasana (thread the needle), parsvakonasana (side angle pose), parivrtta utkatasana (revolved chair pose), parivrtta prasarita padottanasana (revolved wide legged forward bend), parivrtta  bhujangasana (revolved sphinx), ardha matsyendrasana (Lord of the Fishes), savasana
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Yoga with Melissa 152 Shiva Shares the Teachings of Yoga

We left off our story last week with the reuniting of Shiva and Parvati. When they were re-united, Parvati had some requests of Shiva. Firstly she asked that Kama be brought back to life, forgetting all that happened, so that he could resume his purpose of igniting passion in people’s lives.

Since Shiva was prone to long periods of introverted meditation Parvati asked Shiva to teach her the mysteries of yoga so that she may pass on the knowledge to others. Parvati had a desire to teach those who were dedicated to knowing and serving the truth and so she pleaded to Shiva to instruct her in in the teachings in yoga.

Shiva knew that Parvati had very quickly taken on the teachings with him when she sat with him in meditation only a short time before.

From the Radiance Sutras:

“One day the Goddess sang to her lover,
Beloved and radiant Lord of the space before birth,
Revealer of essence,
Slayer of the ignorance that binds us,

You who in play have created this universe
And permeated all forms in it with never-ending truth.
I have been wondering…

I have been listening to the hymns of creating,
Enchanted by the verses,
Yet still I am curious,

What is this delight-filled universe
Into which we find ourselves born?
What is this mysterious awareness shimmering
Everywhere within it?

I have been listening to the love songs of
Form longing for formless.

What are these energies
Undulating through our bodies,
Pulsing us into action?

And this “matter” out of which our forms are made –
What are these dancing particles of condensed radiance?

The Goddess then asks,

What is this power we call Life,
Appearing as the play of flesh and breath?
How may I know this mystery and enter it more deeply?

Beloved, my attention is ensnared by a myriad of forms,
Innumerable individual entities everywhere.
Lead me into the wholeness beyond all these parts

You who hold the mysteries in your hand –
Of will, knowledge, and action
Reveal to me the path of illumined knowing

Lead me into joyous union
With the life of the universe
Teach me that I may know it fully
Realize it deeply,
And breathe in the luminous truth of it

The One Who is Intimate to All Beings replies,

Beloved, your questions require the answers that come
Through direct living experience

The way of experience begins with a breath
Such as the breath you are breathing now.
Awakening into luminous reality
May dawn in the momentary throb
Between any two breaths
The breath flow in and just as it turns
To the low out, there is a flash of pure joy –
Life is renewed
Awaken into that

As the breath is released and lows out,
There is a pulse as it turns to flow in.
In that turn, you are empty.
Enter that emptiness as the source of all life…..”

Taken from the first 2 verses of Lorin Roche’s translation of the Radiance Sutras.
Today’s Yoga with Melissa will focus on the magic of our breath and releasing the spine and the hips for the beautiful Lord of the Fishes twist, matsyendrasana.

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