Enjoy the third video from our Blissology Yoga Sutras course. This is when we are still introducing key concepts and themes in the text. To find out more about this incredible course and the ancient teaching of yoga, check out our online course on teachable.
Many children have probably asked you questions like: “Where was I before I was born?” or “After you die, where do “you” go?”
The yogis are asking these questions of the Universe itself. We know about the Big Bang 13.8 Billion years ago. But what existed before that? Was there time or anything that existed before the Big Bang?
These answers are beyond my pay scale and probably yours, as well. However, the Yoga Sutras had an answer to that question.
The yogis solved it not through physics equations. They solved it not through sending up NASA space shuttles to measure cosmic microwaves in the background. How did they come to this conclusion? Through an advanced technology.
What is the name of that technology?
That’s right, when you sit down to meditate in the process of YOGA, you are connecting to a source that existed before the Big Bang, you are connected to a “universal consciousness” that existed before you were born of which you are now a vehicle.
What we get in touch with in meditation is a Universal Consciousness. This is what I mean by the blanket term “Spirit”.
Now the Matter Part: Matter is “everything that doesn’t last.” But this Universal Spirit/ Consciousness always lasts. So, there is the “Source of Creation” and “the created.” The Samkhya Yoga terms for this are PURUSHA and PRAKRITI.
Purusha is Spirit/ Universal Consciousness/Source of Creation.
Prakriti is the created, the material + matter.
In a way, God is what we are getting at with the word Purusha but this really is loaded.
“God” in many dictionaries is still defined like: “The creator of the universe, usually male, who judges right and wrong.” This is NOT what they are talking about in the Yoga Sutras when they refer to Purusha.
We tend to put a personality on God like omnipotent, omnipresent and benevolent and judges right and wrong. This takes us in the wrong direction from the meaning of Purusha.
We don’t have a word called Purusha in English. All of these translations I am offering that you will hear in this video are clunky.
Purusha is a source that is “peacefully indifferent.” It is an indifferent force and an energy.
Is electricity benevolent or male or female? In the same way, there is this source from which things come and go and it is indifferent to “you.” That is called Purusha.
As you will see through the text, you have to choose. It’s Spirit or Purusha VERSUS matter or Prakriti. With this stage set, let’s take a deeper dive into this in the coming videos.
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Enjoy this fun and creative flow from the Hear Here Superflow Routine
We want to share this flow so when you do the routine you understand it plus how to modify it if you need to. As well, we want to share little tips to help you get the most out of this routine emphasizing mobility, fluid fitness and flexibility.
If there is one question I’ve been trying to answer my whole life it’s, “what happens mentally, physically and spiritually when we get quiet in the beauty of nature?”
If I have any superpowers at all, it’s because I make the time to absorb and channel the energy of the sky, the ocean and the forest in everything I do.
This is why I’m thrilled to be offering a course in May called “Yogic By Nature,” a course uniting the teachings of Yoga and Nature If you want to go deep into both yoga philosophy, meditation and asana plus explore how we can make reverence for the nature the heart of our yoga practice, check out the link in my bio.
Even though it’s part of our 500 hour certification process, it’s open to anyone and everyone who wants to learn, share and go deep.
If you are interested in full-length routines, we have over 65 on Vimeo on-demand
We all can play our cards better to get five minutes of self-care out of our day. This routine is meant to help you feel more relaxed but also focused and alert. Why live with tight muscles and a constricted body.
It’s like wearing jeans one size too small. Loosen up, get focused for your day or evening with this free Blissology Yoga Routine with Eoin. Share this with anyone who could use a quick yoga tune-up for maximum well-being.
If you are interested in full-length routines, we have over 65 on Vimeo on-demand
In a, “sometimes you’ve gotta be careful what you wish for way,” this era of online trainings wasn’t a complete pivot for me. In December 2019 I sent an email to everyone who worked with me. The email was called the “Blissology State of the Union.”
Long before I had ever heard of Coronovirus, I outlined a strategy to bring our Blissology Yoga School trainings online by April 2020.
Why? My prime motivator was that I wanted to lower my eco footprint, but still make our trainings accessible. I had finally reached a point where, getting myself on a flight every second weekend to teach in yet another city had lost the joy and curiosity that it originally used to offer me. I knew I would miss seeing students in person, but I knew that I needed to come up with a way of sharing yoga teachings that was more sustainable both for my mental health, my quality of life and also to make the trainings more accessible financially by more.
I had no idea of course that things would SHIFT so quickly and how…
Can Yoga Trainings be Taught Effectively Online?
Back then I wondered if Yoga trainings could be taught online effectively? Have you ever wondered that?
At that point, I was looking down a dark tunnel. I couldn’t foresee the future. I have to admit, I had my doubts. However, now that we have 10 online courses behind us, I am a total believer in this new format of teaching yoga.
… The Answer is A Resounding YES!
As far as the quality of the trainings, I am continuously blown away by the power of online learning as a tool to effectively transfer knowledge.
For one, if I say something in person that a student doesn’t “get” in that moment, they cannot “rewind” me. In the digital world, however, they do.
I can also subtitle the videos and make important ideas POP. And this way, everyone, including you, yes you who like to hang out at the back of class, you too have a front row seat in class. 🙂
A few other technical strategies that I have now honed since the first training is that I can use the text in the manuals and in the video lecture notes to pinpoint exact time codes of important ideas to discuss.
Finally, something that didn’t occur to me until this year is that much of the knowledge I am sharing is progressive. This means in any course I am teaching there are always people who have done the previous course and ones that haven’t. I can simply add the previous lectures to the current course so students can get caught up or get a refresher if they need to or they can also choose to skip that video if they feel confident. This allows the courses to really align with where students are at.
Connection is Our Currency
And how about the connection? If there was one thing I had reservations about, it wasn’t the quality of the teachings, it was the glue that holds Blissology together called connection. What really makes Blissology Trainings powerful is our focus on breaking down barriers to authentic and deep human connection so we become incredible friends for life.
We often repeat this Mantra, connection is our currency.
However, I can tell you that some of my greatest joys from 2020 are for the incredible friendships that I made with students online who I have still never met in person to this day.
We share and respond to each other‘s comments on our teachable platform, on our private Facebook groups and on our zoom calls. Is it as powerful as real, in person connection? No. But it is way deeper than I ever thought possible.
This is why I can finally say without reservation that while we are busy planning for in person trainings as soon as we are able to, we are thrilled to bring our 100 and 200 hour trainings online. If you are looking for a flexible way to complete your 200 hr YTT; and want guidance and support within a community yet the ability to work at your own pace, drop us a line, we’d love to chat about your goals and discover if this training format is ideal for you.
One of them is: “What is different about the world now then your parent’s generation?”
One obvious answer is that we are always on. We have so much stimulation, data and pressure to respond immediately to an overwhelming number of messages. This is what the Yogis called “Rajasic “ energy. In such an overwhelming, rajasic world, what happens to us if we don’t take the time to find peace?
Obviously, our minds suffer and our bodies can become sick.
You know that meditation is an important tool to counter this. But, as I pose in a question in this video, “how do you truly feel about mediation?” It’s like dieting. We do it because we HAVE TO but it’s not enjoyable. Many of us meditate because it’s something we have to do on our “spiritual to-do” list.
This is hard for me to watch because I feel like meditation is like a “breath massage.” I have found ways to make it enjoyable that I want to share. Have a listen – there are some important ideas here facing our modern era and the world our children and grandchildren will inherit
Commit to Bliss is Unique and Powerful course to learn the tools of Somatic Breathing and Embodied Physiology so we can self regulate back to peace in any life situation.
Imagine being brand new to snow-skiing and on your first run you ended up taking the wrong chair lift. Instead of going to the manageable bunny slope, you got thrust off the chair lift straight into a double diamond run. How would you feel looking down that steep pitch? To many experienced skiers, this is the dream. However, to the new skier most likely provokes sheer terror.
I had a blind spot when it came to how I taught yogic breathing techniques. I now see this blind spot everywhere as people quickly jump on the bandwagons of Wim Hof, the “IceMan.”
This is why I want to share this post now as a “Buyer Beware” PSA. I believe that if breathing techniques were packaged goods they should come with a label. “Warning, not all techniques are good for all people.”
With one in five people in US has an anxiety disorder, I see many yogic breathing techniques or Wim Hof Breathing techniques being described as relaxing antidotes to stress and anxiety. I want the word to get out that breathwork is not a “one size fits all shop.”
Let me circle back to the skiing analogy and my blind spot. I had been sharing these techniques in my classes up until 15 years ago. I loved the “double diamond” runs of long breath holds (Kumbhaka) and rapid breathing (Khapalabhati,) the same way I love big waves or double black diamond ski runs.
I spent many years practicing Kumbaka (long breath holds) and Kapalabhati (Rapid Breathing) by my teacher Gioia Irwin who’s lineage goes back to B.K.S. Iyengar.
As I prepare for an upcoming book and course on the Yoga Sutras, even Patanjali describes the serenity of the breath holds as the pinnacle of the yogic Pranayama experience (Check out Sutra 2.50.) How could people not like these techniques?
However, when I would teach them to students, many of them came to me afterwards saying that they were not experiencing peace at all, but they were going through traumatic experiences.
They were not seeing chakras, angelic auras or the light of divine consciousness. Not at all. What they were describing to me was panic flashbacks. Some described it to the claustrophobic experience of being put into MRI machines after being injected with purple die to check for tumors.
It made me seek feedback from other students on these techniques. What I found was that during these breathing techniques, many of them were secretly feeling claustrophobic, light-headed, dizzy and full of panic.
You may have seen some of my Instagram memes (Eoinisms) like the popular “Less Drama, More Pranayama.” What is fully clear to me now is that for about 1 in 6 people, I was causing “More Drama, through Pranayama!”
It’s no wonder they felt agitated because in these rapid breathing techniques, we are actually hyperventilating. Those rapid exhalations lower carbon dioxide levels which in turn lead to narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood to the brain!
When our blood supply to the brain is decreased, we will experience symptoms like lightheadedness and tingling in the fingers.
It’s actually crazy to consider that people who were already feeling anxious or trauma were now trying to fight off lightheadedness and numb fingers! And they had no tools to deal with this. And they were told this is “stress-reducing response. It wasn’t stress-reducing, it was stress-inducing!
On the other side of the coin, holding your breath too long can lower heart rate from a lack of oxygen. This causes CO₂ buildup in your bloodstream. This is called “nitrogen narcosis,” a dangerous buildup of nitrogen gases in your blood that can make you feel disoriented or inebriated.
Again, for people who are already suffering from stress and anxiety, why would we ever push them off the chair lift into the double diamond run of feeling disoriented or inebriated? Of course, you may have the tools stay grounded in this disorientated state so this may be your cup of tea, and that’s fine. My point is we cannot keep pushing people into these experiences under the label of “reduce stress with pranayama or Wim Hof breathing techniques.”
To be fair, what I found is that if I worked one on one with these students, we had a lot of success to make the experience slowly more enjoyable. They gradually learned the somatic tools to stay calm in the experience to not allow the sympathetic nervous system or panic response to overtake them.
However, in large group classes, I couldn’t work one on one with people the way these pranayama breathing techniques should be taught. As a result, I stopped sharing these breathing techniques in my classes for that reason. (Again, it’s not that I don’t think they are great in some circumstances, but we have to walk before we run.)
About 15 years ago, I decided to change tacks altogether.
I set out a mission to explore ways of helping people regulate towards peace. What if we could make a goal of getting people onto the green slopes first before launching them of the chair lift into a double diamond slope that can cause the panic response?
I can’t go into the details of all the techniques here, but I am so overjoyed to share the ones that have evolved in our Blissology school.
I want to share these as a more widely accessible alternative to more stimulating breathing techniques. By analogy, I want people to enjoy the effects of a mellow “Cush” strain of marijuana before they launch into the world of Ayahuasca trip intensity. In a world where many of us with life stresses are already in the extremes of stress, I just don’t think that we need to rush to extremes.
The course is primarily about finding “Embodied Peace.” It’s about learning Somatic regulation and what I called “Embodied Physiology.” My goal is to share tools, conversations and science about how to steer our bodies back to peace when we feel anxious, angry or overly stressed.
Commit to Bliss is a coursed designed to teach you Embodied Physiology to help regulate your body and mind back to Peace.
In the meantime, here is a small an excerpt from page 156 of the upcoming Commit to Bliss Book under the Embodied Breath section.
“The general process is to go slow and feel the breath.
Open your senses and notice the body as you breathe.
Reduce the tendency of the human mind to analyze of rush. Simply enjoy the feeling of peace that comes when we slow down our breath.
Breathe fully into your belly noticing that when the breath becomes more enjoyable your mind feels more spacious and free.
Even as you read the sentences below, make plenty of space to pause and a savor the experience. Soften your eyes and keep the spine long. Enjoy the slow.
See your breathing process through the lens of tightness and flow.
Feel a place that’s tight: some common places are the lower back, the upper shoulders, the lower jaw, the forehead and belly. Let them release. Breath that tightness out, as your brain sinks into a hammock with ease.
Feel the fullness and the peace in your breath as we shift into a state of mind, we call flow.
Calm is your superpower. You have the controls. Enjoy each deep and full breath”
Notes from Eoin’s personal interpretation of the YAMAS. This is the second post in a series. If you find that this information offers you guidance, please leave a comment. We will soon share more.
NAMASTE + ALOHA.
Asteya is much more subtle than sticking items in your backpack without paying for them at the grocery store.
In this modern era, because it’s easy to copy the intellectual property of another, does it make it right?
When I moved to Santa Cruz in 2015, I started to meet people in the yoga community.
I wanted to find a good yoga class. While having lunch with a new teacher I met, I asked her, “Do you have any recommendations for a good yoga class I should go to here in town?”
Her answer was, “I mostly do a home practice but I try and get out to a class once a month to find fresh ideas to steal.”
It was said in a very joking way with a smile, but it affected me.
Oddly, the next day I met another yoga teacher in town. We had coffee and I asked the same question. I was shocked that I got exactly the same answer. Except this time the teacher I met said they like to go to other people’s classes once a month not to steal ideas but to “borrow” ideas.
Does yoga belong to everyone truly? Does music belong to everyone? How about science? Should we credit the discoveries of others or just say that science belongs to everyone?
What the yama of Asteya is saying to me is to dive deep inside and listen to my internal moral compass.
In my case, I look at some influential teachers I had in my life and I always try and credit them.
I could easily “borrow” their ideas and pass them off as my own, just as easily as I can download a movie or song and not pay the artist.
I can justify my actions and say, “oh music belongs to everyone, there is no original music, it’s all just the same notes but people just rearrange it differently so why should I pay them?”
But we need to step into the shoes of another person. I work often with my friend Taz who makes music and I could easily use his songs in my yoga videos.
But I know he is a new dad with many bills to pay and it doesn’t sit right with me to simply borrow his music. He offers it to me for free but I always try him pay him what I can. He jas told me how much he appreciates this.
In the same way, is all yoga truly the same as other progressions and innovations?
When I studied yoga with a teacher named Gioia Irwin a few decades ago, it was different than other approaches and her specific way in which she presented techniques worked.
Now when I am teaching, I have a choice: I can justify not crediting her for her work because “yoga belongs to everyone.” However, my internal compass tells me this is Steya, or stealing.
So I painstakingly mention her name to my students almost daily. This feels right to me.
Likewise, I have worked hard to re-vision how we do yoga and come up with different tools, techniques and innovations.
I used to pretend I was an “open-source” dude, meaning these ideas don’t belong to anyone so let them go.
But the fact is, when I would see my students sharing the same ideas i worked on for years of my life without crediting me, I realized that a part of me did feel hurt.
It was exactly the same feeling you have when someone steals a material possession. Exactly. I couldn’t lie to myself.
Fresh ideas in this industry are currency.
By contrast, my friend Bernie Clark emailed me when he was writing a book to check about a quote that I had said. He wanted to credit this quote to the right person. It felt right to me that he acknowledges where the quote came from.
In the same way, I have often quoted Bernie in my work for things that I am borrowing or sharing from his work with others. To me this is my interpretation of non-stealing, Asteya.
I want to credit any teaching I share to the people who came up with this knowledge.
If you read a scientific textbook, there is a painstaking effort to footnote where the information cited comes from.
Contrast this with my friends I met at the café in Santa Cruz who go to class once a month to steal fresh ideas for their classes.
Relating back to music, it’s easy to download movies and songs. But can you put yourself in the shoes of another? If you were trying to feed your family by making music and people downloaded it without paying, how would you feel?
Tune into your moral compass, see things from the perspective of the person you are “borrowing” from and live accordingly.