Purpose of Duality ? There must be a reason we feel separate right ?? Why , what is the value ?

Purpose of duality ?? What is it ? There must be a purpose for us to all feel separate right ?? Why ??
The subject-object relationship is an important concept in yoga and tantra. Most people live in accordance with the subject-object perspective of duality without ever realizing that there is any other way of viewing life. However, in yoga we are very careful about making this distinction, because the ability is there to perceive the unity behind the diversity. Although the yogi understands the absolute truth, he also accepts the relative truth of the subject-object relationship and the purpose for this awareness. If the awareness of duality is common to everybody, it must have some definite purpose; it cannot exist by accident or coincidence. The perception of duality is a stage of evolution, which every individual must pass through on his journey to enlightenment. Of course, this subject-object awareness of duality is also the cause of division, disharmony, unhappiness and sorrow. We are born to experience unity, not separation. That is our birthright and the sooner we realize it the better. For this reason, one has to be very alert about how he views life and interacts with the world. Although yogis understand the mundane experiences in relation to duality, at the same time the transcendental reality is seen and one is never identified or confused with the events of life. In this way, one lives in the world but remains untouched by it. Although people think human birth is for achieving things in the material world, the real purpose of birth as human is to rise above the perception of duality and experience unity. …. or so I believe ✌️

What’s this all about ??

When we begin to see ourselves as a soul having a human experience we can begin to accept all earthly things and experiences without needing for them to be any different than they are . Knowing for a reason, unseen by us at the time, that all is exactly as it should be for us to achieve this growth . We are on this earth to simply experience and grow within .All while greatly respecting The Whole (= that ) When we meet someone and recognize them as an “old soul” what we are saying is that they have wisdom beyond their years . They have somehow learned certain things which have to be experienced in order to learn and we wonder at how they know this. We can clearly see that they “know” it through experience , not through a book, but as though they have had life experiences which are beyond their years ,Our goal as a human is to grow and evolve as a soul . Each circumstance handed to us in our lives has a deeper purpose , each one is an opportunity for soul growth . The pleasant and not so pleasant . All of it is to be experienced with the same “enthusiasm” . There is a lesson and growth to be had in all of it …. and when we get past THIS particular experience there will be another one and another one …. each soul is on its own unique journey, yet we are all connected . Just as we are connected with all else on this earth . What we do affects all the rest . Our actions , our words , our use of the resources provided . It all affects the whole . On an energy level. Our energy blends with all the energy of the matter around us and creates a universal being , universal consciousness , universal love . We are “That ” . We are not separate from “That” but an integral and beautifully unique part of “That” , the whole . We are part of what makes up this divine love, this divine consciousness, we are not separate from that , we are a part of “that” .We are THAT . All matter is made of energy , which all blends together and creates this enormous vibration . All the vibrations, of all the different frequencies , blending together creating the whole . That universal vibration makes the sound OM . Those that are very empathetic experience this universal consciousness , this universal vibration much more deeply and personally than some others do.. Feeling the emotion , pain , joy and general vibration of all the parts with much more awareness . It can be very difficult to navigate this , but as we begin to lift the veils and reveal our true self , it becomes navigable, we begin to see this truth, the whole , in all we do . We recognize “the whole” and how we are affected by it and how we are affecting it . We begin to smile back at human selves when we see our ego and human side leading the dance of life . We most often choose to shift to a better vibration… yet sometimes we choose to stay in it and suffer until we surrender and learn what we need to learn to advance to the next level in our growth . Sometimes we become stuck and it takes great sadness and “ stuckness” to propel ourselves forward . Forward to where we will once again realize and Know , with a capital k , that all this earth stuff is meant to be experienced and not to be attached to .Then we once again progress forward in experiencing the beauty of our existence on earth . Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Hatha Yoga – What is it ?

Hatha Yoga – What is it ???

Something I wrote on the bigger picture of Hatha Yoga . As usual I wrote it without intention of sharing so disregard any typo, grammatical errors .etc…Thought some of you may like to see my viewpoint on the bigger picture of the practice of Hatha Yoga.

Hatha yoga = Physical yoga – Covers all things about our physical life – prepares our bodies and mind for life .

We have built many conveniences in life . These things allow us to live with more physical ease . These are good to have , but attachment to them is not . We have warm water , warm homes, air conditioning, cars, convenient stores, big comfortable beds , etc.. We use these to make life easier and more comfortable , but need to be able to be content without them . Without intention and practice in doing so , we leave our peace and contentment in the power of outside circumstances . Hatha yoga makes our bodies strong, our breath controlled, our minds focused and always aware of the truth. In our practice we condition our bodies and minds for life without suffering . In our asana practice ( physical postures ) we strengthen our bodies and make them more flexible with better mobility . When we practice asana we strive to take our bodies to our edge . Taking as much discomfort as we can handle is where we want to be in our practice to prime our bodies and minds for life without suffering . The mind is weaker than the body . With the practice of handling the physical discomforts in our asana practice we condition the mind as well as the body . Then when life becomes uncomfortable we are prepared and can mentally and physically peacefully experience whatever comes our way . We instinctually know what to do to soothe ourselves and are most often times unaffected . We soon begin ” playing” with the situation and peacefully see it all as a test and challenge of our desire to remain content or even peaceful in adversity . This comes through constant and absolute awareness of our higher self ( soul) and absolute devotion of connecting our soul to God (as we relate to “him”) ( Bhakti Yoga) . Many people cannot find contentment unless things are a “certain way” . The home , the food , the bed , the temperature or the entire situation itself etc… must be a certain way or suffering occurs . Yoga assists in removing this attachment from our lives . Only when these attachments are gone can we experience true peace and contentment . Until then our peace, happiness and contentment are very circumstantial, which is not peace at all . In Hatha yoga we are provided the tools to live peacefully with or without our earthly desires being met . Through asana we make our bodies strong , through pranayama we can control the temperature of the body, the energy in the body and irritations of the mind , through concentration and meditation we can overcome all mental disturbances and learn to be focused and completely present in all that we do . When on this path we will naturally begin to self monitor our behavior to keep our bodies and mind well . For example we will not eat heavily because it will cause us physical and emotional suffering which will in turn affect our ” good work ” meaning our commitments to others , our ability to do our paying job , we will be unwell and cannot care for our children , we cannot walk as needed , etc… This will negatively affect our practice of Karma Yoga ( karma yoga = Yoga of action , I’ll get into that a different time ) Meaning we cannot physically perform the actions and deeds we are here to do Hatha yoga is 85% asana and 15 % pranayama and mediation . With these 3 things we can handle any physical situation . Hatha yoga is all things physical in life . Suppose we have to walk 5 miles to the market , we would prepare for the trip . We are mindful and do not take this trip unprepared. Our minds focus on what we need to buy, we make one trip with intention . Our bodies and our minds are prepared for it . We take care of our bodies properly knowing that if we do not we cannot walk the 5 miles to the market and therefore cannot provide for ourselves and others. When we only have to travel 2 miles in a car we are careless with both condition of the body and mind. Unfocused not acting with intention. Our minds jump around and are unfocused due to the fact that the consequences of such mental fluttering , fluctuations and lack of focus are very small. Or are they ??? Attachment to the luxuries in life make for weakness of the mind, carelessness in our care for our bodies and carelessness in our actions . Physical discomfort makes our minds stronger. In most cases our bodies can already handle the discomfort , especially if we keep our bodies strong and otherwise healthy. It is our minds that cannot . Spending time in physical discomfort will make a mind controlled and focused . We learn to acknowledge the discomfort , analyze whether a change must happen and then either change it or use our breath and meditation to detach from said discomfort . This practice will naturally create the desire and discipline needed to live life without suffering . Our perceived needs and desires will naturally begin to lessen due to our successes in new life experiences and our ongoing practice of non attachment (One of the Yamas = I’ll get into that another time ) . We will develop the disciple to avoid the things that cause our bodies to suffer. A simple example would be overeating and eating heavy foods. A heavy body causes us to sleep more , we lack the energy and the strength to move ourselves around with ease. This then leads to depression , joint pain , irritability , anger , etc… . A controlled, experienced , focused mind will do the ” work” to avoid such suffering in life . Our deep desire to do “good work” ( karma yoga) will make us choose not to do the things that cause us pain , therefore becoming a burden to our families, etc. and can no longer do our work for them , ourselves and others. The practice of Hatha yoga is all encompassing . Though it must follow the steps of understanding Bhakti ( the yoga of devotion ) Jnana Yoga ( yoga of known) and Karma Yoga ( the yoga of action ) to be complete .

The Intellect- What is it ? Something I wrote when thinking about our intellectual minds …


In our culture the intellect is everything
Doctors, lawyers, businessmen – we seem to push the intellect in the direction of a fat paycheck .
In reality our intellect reaches far beyond getting a degree . It is our creative tool. If used correctly this intellect takes the ambition of the soul and brings it to fruition in this world .
Everything we have created that exists in this world exists first as a thought . A building exists in the mind of the builder , our food begins in the mind of a farmer . This is true of the government, a business, a song, a painting , a book , a golf shot, a dance ….
Every action began as a thought . These thoughts create actions that move us through our life toward the fulfillment of our being .

The most important thing to know on about our intellect is that YOU CONTROL YOUR THOUGHTS.
We not only create “things” , we create the view we have of the world around us . We have the incredible gift of the mind to create our reality both in a material aspect as well as our perception of life in general .

Go for a walk someday ( how about today ) just watch your thoughts . Where does your mind wander ?? Is it too hot or too cold outside ? Do you analyze the landscape as you go ? Do you criticize the people you pass ? Do you mentally leave the walk and leap ahead on to what you are going to do in the next hour or next week?
In meditation we are not taught so much to empty our minds but instead to watch our thoughts without passion or judgment just simply observe them . Staying in the moment not allowing the thoughts to take us away from the present moment .

We must practice being fully present with all our attention on whatever it is we are doing . No matter how big or how small . Be fully aware and fully present in this moment

We become our thoughts . Our minds create our view of the world around us . 
Everyday when you roll out of bed you get to choose what you are going to think about today . No matter how rainy it is outside , no matter how rude people are to you , no matter how much work you have ahead of you , no matter how poor you are today , no matter what barriers lie before you , you get to choose how you are going to think about every step of it . 

The secret of happiness depends far less on what you have or what happens to you ,then on how you think about it . 

The quality of our lives equals the quality of our thoughts . This is the true power of the intellect . It expands so far beyond storing and processing useful information . We see the world through our mind. How powerful is that ?

In preparation to reopen

Hello all ! Gosh I’ve missed our studio time . In preparing to reopen I am asking those of you who are interested in classes and other studio info to email me your email address . If you have already done so , then you are already on the email list and do not need to do anything . If you are signed up to receive the blogs you are not necessarily on the master email list , so I will need your email address I will be sending out the plan to register for classes in anticipation of there being limited participants and a temporarily modified schedule . There is no way for me to make this temporary change “ideal” and will do my best to accommodate those that are ready to return to studio time . Please email your email info to omsweetomyogaandfitness@gmail.com . Thank you and hope to see you soon – 💚Nicole

Thoughts for today 💚 Hari Om

When we are in the darkest of our days, we open our hearts and might feel emotions like fear anxiety or pain. But we opened … and this is the moment where love and grace enters you. Allow yourself to open, and feel the fear and emotions this global situation might bring to you. When we dig for gold, we first have to go through a lot of layers of mud and dirt. But in the end we can see it is all so beautiful.
When you feel fearful and disconnected: quiet your mind, cease activities, pull yourself out of the illusion of the day and the world. Go back in and feel. Feel how nothing can harm the real you. Things are happening in the outside world, but your true nature will always remain eternal and the same.
Things can seem fearful or feel different at first, but not to your heart and to your soul. We’ve heard these kind of words already so many times. Just hearing them didn’t bring us anywhere. Now it is time to experience them.
Try to see the one loving energy all around you. Feel how you are living in her womb, forever safe. See the loving one all around you, in every person’s eyes, even in your enemies. Try to feel the suffering that person has to go through and find that place inside that person where you can find yourself; love. Let’s take care of each other in this global situation and spread our inner lights.
Hari Om Tat Sat
🌸

The courage to seek the truth – a short but sweet writing

If you are brave enough to leave behind the things that are familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself… then truth will not be hidden from you. Or so I’ve come to believe.

“The Mind” – something I wrote quickly last evening before falling asleep .

Those that are afraid of silence and stillness are minds that are filled with chaos – they become addicted to the emotions , the fluctuations and the distractions to avoid the discomfort of the stillness. This is a common place for many -Though I would think all of us are here at different times in life . In our current society our senses are on overload all the time – we never truly rest our minds , even during sleep . To rest the mind we must direct it , give it somewhere to go . Without direction it will flutter all over the place . If truly immersed in the present moment your mind will not flutter . Roping and bringing in the mind is the key to a peaceful mind . In order to begin to calm the mind we must first notice it’s tendencies , begin to become aware of the mind . Observe it as if you are a voyuer . . Observe your mind without judging what you are noticing . Not labeling any thoughts or fluctuations as good or bad , just notice them . Notice how you feel . Do your thoughts bring on feelings of joy or does that thought bring on anxiety and restlessness . Notice the triggers for each reaction. Realize our goal is not to only feel joy or the “higher vibration” happy emotions , but to experience each of them for what they are – a small ripple in the mind which does not change “the whole” . It’s fascinating to observe from an “outsider stand point “ and very entertaining as well ! To observe our own mind without attachment to the emotions, without “becoming” them provides us extreme freedom . Randomly throughout your day consciously observe your mind much as you would watch a movie . Practice this daily . Once this awareness becomes a natural state, the mind becomes more restful , peaceful and is no longer in control of you . Once we become acutely aware of the fluctuations of our minds we can begin to build a healthy relationship with it and begin to “adjust” it . This ability will allow us a feeling of calm and peace regardless of the chaos or disappointments around us . When we recognize we have the choice and the ability to remain in a state of contentment and that this state of contentment is NOT externally dependent, we are on the path of yoga . ✌️💚- Hari Om Nicole Depauw