imageDuring the first 6 weeks of the year, yogis practice as many sets of Surya Namaskar as they are able. Beginning with 3-5 rounds per day, working up to 12 rounds per day by the end of week one. Then continue adding rounds as able. 12 rounds daily – every day all year – is a great gift to yourself. There are many variations of Surya Namaskar, and to be honest, I never enjoyed it much until I practiced this version. I’m practicing it daily, in sync with this mantra music . It’s fantastic! It works on all the muscles and joints. I start with 1 minute of twists, which help loosen my low back, (because there are no twists,) and this is the one twist I can do without injuring my back – I start slowly, and only increase my speed gradually as my back loosens up.



Kabadshe Full Moon Meditation

Yogin with six chakras, India, Punjab Hills, K...

Image via Wikipedia

The next Full Moon will be on June 15th. Time for a Full Moon Meditation such as Antar Naad Mudra (Also called Kabadshe Meditation) Click on the link above for photos and details of the meditation practice.

This practice is done to the Antar Naad Mantra, also known as Sa Re Sa Sa. Listen to an audio clip here.

Complete Mantra:

Sa Re Sa Sa, Sa Re Sa Sa, Sa Re Sa Sa, Sa Rung
Har Re Har Har, Har Re Har Har, Har Re Har Har, Har Rung


That Infinite Totality is here, everywhere. That creativity of God is here, everywhere.

More Information:

Here is what my master said about this manta, “Saa is the Infinite, the Totality, God. It is the element of ether. It is the origin, the beginning, and it contains all other effects. It is subtle and beyond. Har is the creativity of the Earth. It is the dense element, the power of manifestation, the tangible, the personal.

These sounds are woven together and then projected through the sound of ung or complete Totality. This is the base mantra of all mantras. Adversity melts before this mantra. It gives you the capacity of effective communication so your words contain mastery and impact. This mantra helps you conquer the wisdom of the past, present, and future. It brings you peace and prosperity even if it wasn’t in your destiny.

This mantra takes away negativity from within oneself awakening the Infinite Creative energy to burn away obstacles to achieving higher consciousness.

This cycle of the music and mudra is a key to opening the flow of Kundalini. The new awareness will give you the authority to make the right choices to conquer the ugliness of life. You will be peaceful and secure.”  – YOGI BHAJAN 2003

I’ll be practicing in Antaar Naad Mantra in Buddhi Mudra – daily leading up to the Full Moon, and then using the Full Moon Meditation version of mudras – Prayer Pose, Lotus, and Reverse Prayer Pose – synchronized with the mantra, on June 15th. I enjoy this meditation and moving the awareness thru the chakras. This is one of several practices which are beneficial to those with Flatback Syndrome, such as myself. One of the basics of Yoga Therapy is to do those practices which move the energy thru the region of discomfort or pain. As I continue this blog,  I hope to categorize the Meditations, Yoga sets and Kriyas which have helped me the most with living with a Harrington Rod. I’ll also detail modifications I have had to make in my yoga practice to not injure myself due to the surgical implants in my back.

Speaking of chakras, I found these pretty Chakra Cards at SundariSatNam – a yoga center in Vermont.

Movers and Ma Rollers

A grasp of fresh air

Image by Bindaas Madhavi via Flickr

I’ved miss a few days logging my progress in my 100 Day Yoga Challenge, and then I missed a few days of the Challenge all together! So, I am going to forget the more distant-recent past, and start with yesterday.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011 – I completed the entire Kundalini Yoga Ultimate Stretch Workout DVD, and wore a pedometer all day at work.

The institution I work for is hosting a fitness initiative  this month, encouraging folks to increase their walking. We’ve had the opportunity to join groups, by department, have been given pedometers, and are tracking our steps daily for four weeks. The idea is to double the distance you walk during the last two weeks.

I joined my department’s team, “The Movers and Rolllers” (I don’t know what that means!) and I must admit I thought this was an interesting activity – partly becasue I thought it kind of discourages folks from walking too much the first two weeks. This notion was reinforeced by my first day of wearing the pedometer.

By the way – It is a relatively cool digital pedometer which will convert my steps into miles, kilometers, and even calories burned. Yesterday, without doing any extra intentional walking, I walked 5.6 miles while at work. However, today I just walked 2.1 miles, so, I am kind of relieved. I don’t think I will be up all night long those last two weeks pacing the floors!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 – I walked up 4 flights of stairs and back down again with a couple members of The Movers and Rollers. I did the “Pituitary Gland Series“, along with the Meditation for Perspective & Emotional Balance this morning and again tonight. I love this set. I think it is a perfect combination for helping my flatback.

Another technique I have been using is lying on top of two tennis balls which are tied inside a tube sock; this is similar to using a Ma Roller.

I place the device on a soft surface and lie down with one ball on either side of the spine. Then I place my feet flat on the surface I am on to help control the amount of pressure exerted onto the device. I don’t practice this on the floor because the floor is just too hard and produces too much pressure on my rod. This technique seems helpful with the constant state of spasm my paraspinal musculature is in.


quan yin

Four days ago I began a 100 Day Yoga Challenge to help me get my back into shape. I have had a consistent yoga practice for over 30 years, but this past year I had a frozen shoulder, so my yoga practice dwindled while all efforts were ‘shoulder’ oriented. I was diagnosed with Scoliosis in 1973, and subsequently had corrective surgery which included deformity correction, spinal fusion and the placement of Harrington rod instrumentation on September 14, 1976. I will be telling my story, but the focus of this blog will be 100 days of yoga to stretch, strengthen and revitalize my back. I have a yoga routine I use every morning which I will detail at a later date. I will be including some video journaling of my additional yoga and meditation practice for this challenge, as well. For now I am increasing my practice with the help of practicing along with yoga DVDs/sets.

Here is what I have used the past few days to support my endeavor:

Day One: Wednesday, May 4, 2011 – The Ultimate Stretch Workout

Day Two: Thursday, May 5, 2011 – The Ultimate Stretch Workout

Day Three: Friday, May 6, 2011 – Kundalini Yoga for Beginners & Beyond
I did both sets on this DVD:
Set 1: Rise and Spine
Set 2: The Five Tibetans
and also the Meditation for Deep Relaxation

Day Four: Saturday, May 7, 2011 – Charan Jap with the mantra HAR HARAY HARI WAHE GURU (2 miles)
Warrior Workout – the warm up, the series, the Meditation Har Har Har Har Gobinde

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