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Surya Namaskar, sun salutation, is a vinyasa sequency in yoga that most yogis and yoginis are very familiar with. A vinyasa means that the postures are following eachother in a flow that awakens the prana and that doesn’t let you rest in between.

Last night, I was contemplatingchange and how life actually is a vinyasa sequency. A sequency where we sometimes rise up, go backward, bend over. We get scared and jump back, we hold our breath and endure, we come down on our knees and we rise up again… Sometimes, we’re cobras spitting poison to protect ourselves when we’re intimidated and sometimes we are dogs, following someone else’s lead.  Other times we are brave warriors, fighting for what we want life to be, and other time we are pigeons, ready to fly off in a blink of an eye, or equestrians riding the waves of opportunity…

Life is ever changing – the only constant thing is the fact that things will change by law of nature because everything is movement going forward and everything that doesn’t serve you anymore is being left behind. Stopping the flow of life is like asking mother Ganga to stop flow for a second, so that you will have time to think things out… She wouldn’t! She would say: ”Sorry child, but I’m moving… are you flowing with me? Swimming in me or drowning in me?”.

My favourite animal is the cat. Cats are in my eyes beautiful, independent, smooth creatures here to teach us dignity, self-respect and love. My friend claims they are unfaithful, but they are not – you just have to learn to read them and realize that cats don’t ever accept what a dog would… A cat can never be forced into submission. You have to earn the cat’s respect and trust and then only will it purr and be your best friend. You also need to see the subtle signs of the cats mood changes to predict when it will pull out its claws. A dog is a simple and obvious creature; barking, gnarling, showing its teeth, whining, waving it’s tail in quite apparent ways. While a cat’s mood changes can be seen in its eyes and a slight flattening of the ears as it starts to lose patience with you.

Have you ever seen a cat fall and how elegantly it lands on its feet, even from high heights? It manages to do this because it’s flipping around in the air, while falling. It ”rolls with the punch”, so to speak. I believe we can learn a lot from that; when life brings us changes, whether anticipated or not, we need to roll with it, flip our mind around in the air, land on our feet and get ready for the next challenge… the next asana.

Yesterday, my friend and I were discussing opportunities. What is opportunity? They say that luck is merely the ability to see an opportunity coming your way and have the wits to catch it. Perhaps that’s true! But I believe that there is no such thing as an objective opportunity. All opportunities are subjective, because unless the offer sparks something in your heart that you desire – it is not an opportunity but an offer and offers come and go every day. ”Chai? No thanks, not today…”, ”Mangos? No… not really in the mood right now, maybe tomorrow!”, ”30 camels for your daughters hand in marriage? No, have no real use for 30 camels, sir…”… those are all offers, not opportunities, unless you would die for a cup of chai, a sweet mango or suddenly find yourself in immediate need of 30 camels. It is only an opportunity if you desire what you’re being offered.

With practice, the asanas included in Surya Namaskar are being stretched by your discipline and ability and you gradually find out your own boundaries. You find out how low you can go in Downward Facing Dog without losing your touch with the floor, which is symbolically important for staying grounded in this world. If you’re going to have your head in the sky, you need your feet firmly placed on the earth, right?

In the Equestrian you may take the chance to find out how open your chest can get. To which extent are you willing to reveal your heart and keep it open? Can that position be held or do you slam the door to your heart shut again, at the first sign of danger or disappointment? How far back can you bend for someone else before it gets painful? May the Warrior teach you how to stay focused and balanced in life, with your eyes on your dream and may Headstand make you look at life from another angle.

The point I’m trying to make is that to cope with the constant changes of life, we need a well practised life vinyasa to master the changes successfully, roll with the punches and spin around like cats in the air. We need to be chess players, ready to reposition when our opponent is blocking our way in life and get ready to choose a different path, but always make sure that your heart’s in it. Without the support of the heart, nothing works and all opportunities are mereley offers!

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I just left my part time job in finance to work fulltime with my own business in yoga, energy and clinical nutrition. In the world of finance, AUM means something entirely different than in the yogic world. It means Assets Under Management, which is defined as the market value of all the funds being managed by a financial institution.

My morning ritual (which is on the verge of sacred to me!) consists of a cup of tea and a short meditation including my sankalpah/affirmation and during that meditation I ask myself the following questions:

Where is my energy invested today? How can I invest it to make it more profitable? Where am I leaking energy? To whom? To what?

And then I pull back my energy… my sacred human energy…  from the investments that don’t pay off.

After a good night’s rest we all are given new divine energy, which we may think of as a new paycheck in our bank account. Assume we are every day given 100 USD in energy currency. How do you invest them? Do you let 20 dollars go to the relationship that didn’t work out and that you’re still not over? Another 20 dollars worrying about the future? 40 dollars to people in your life that consistently drain you of energy and who certainly not deserve your energy dollars?

It doesn’t take a genious to figure out that we are then left with less than we should and that we may not have enough to make profitable investments for ourselves, for sustaining good health and give something back to the world. Who in the world would have energy left for that?!

Being cheap with your energy dollars is not about being selfish… quite the opposite! As we are all part of the whole, when we are drained of energy… we drain the whole and become a burden instead. Withdraw your energy from the energy-vampires in your life, from the things you’re doing that you don’t want to do, from religious or cultural decrees that is not in accordance with your inner truth, from family expectations of who you should be… Lose those investments!

I work with nutrition and supplements, but many times my clients problems are not mineral- or vitamin deficiency, but the fact that people unconsciously make unwise energy investments. My best tip to them is not a vitamin B-complex (even though that can be useful too…), but to hire a cheap energy accountant; a guide or an angel sitting on your shoulder asking you to invest your energy in relationships, thoughts and actions that increases the energetic value of your fund.

Be a smart energy investor and pamper your assets under management! 😉

 

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Today a friend asked me about asanas and what it is? Much to my surprise I heard myself answering:

“It’s a physical form of prayer”. What?! I have no idea where that came from, but as I walked back to my desk I contemplated it. A physical form of prayer…? Yes, perhaps it is… to me at least! But what do I pray for in asanas then? Normally a prayer is associated with a sense of “ask and it is given”, an expression of wanting something that can only be provided by the will of the Divine. But what is the Divine and where is it? To me, our collective human consciousness is the source energy that we call “divinity”. It is everywhere and is only as limited by space and time as our thoughts are. Wherever our thoughts are, we are. Whatever we can imagine, we can become. This is not a New Age hippie idea, but a sacred, universal truth – at least that is my personal experience of it.

But most of the time, the soundtrack of our lives, that we insist on playing over and over again is the one oflimitations and insufficiency. Instead of focusing on what we want, we focus on what we don’t have and we keep repeating that mantra to ourselves over and over again, until it manifests into physical form in our lives and then we shrug and say with bitterness that we knew it was going turn out that way or we act with surprise and feel the world is an unjust place.

Most of the time my mind is spinning, tirelessly sixteen hours a day ; analyzing , planning, recalling, pondering, visualizing and refusing to shut up. I always ask my mum:

“What are you thinking about?” when she’s silent and it drives her crazy. “Honey, I’m not thinking about anything… you’re stressing me when you ask that.. I just am…” and I stare at her with amazement. Because I can’t imagine not thinking about anything.. or rather I couldn’t imagine that until I was introduced to asanas. It wasn’t love at first sight, but from the first class I knew that I would some day be crazy about it… now that day has come.

When the alarm rings at 4.45 each morning I can’t help but wonder what it is about asanas that is so magic? What keeps me coming back even the days when I would rather cuddle up in bed with a cup of tea and enjoy “dolce far niente”, with lit candles and cats purring to the sound of the rain pouring outside? Still I roll out my mat, rub my feet and palms with some liquid chalk (can truly recommend that btw!) and start my practice. I close my eyes and let my mind wander to the people who taught me yoga; from the friendly people at Satyananda Yoga School in Sweden to the people at Rishikesh Yog Peeth and to all the people yet to come, who will add more wisdom to my practice and push me further, even my muscles are complaining and my legs are shaking. I wish they knew how thankful I am for all they have given me and for all they will give me.

In the west, not much is sacred. I don’t think my generation (and certainly not the ones to come) even understand the meaning of sacredness. It’s in our collective mind to turn every stone, question everything, demand proof of every statement… I am like that too, in a way. I genuinely think that we as a culture somehow despise the idea of sacredness and associate it with medieval religion, superstition or general lack of wits. Sometimes I wonder what we in the west would honor… truly honor… without the expectation of receiving something back? Our mantra is rather “never give more than you are getting” and with that attitude; are we capable of being devoted? I don’t know. But I do know that it is impossible to practice yoga wholeheartedly without being aware of the sacredness in it and in your relationship to your body and attitudes during the asanas.

That is one of the reasons I chose to do my TTC in India, because I wanted to somehow touch the source and go to a place where there is still sacredness.  Awesomeness.

Tonight my asana praying will be for remaining in the present, here in Stockholm. In a month it is once again time to get on the flight to Delhi and into a cab towards northern India, with a paan chewing taxi driver and the perfume of India lingering in the warm breeze…

But now I am here, in beautiful Sweden where the air is fresh and cool… getting my fortune told by a Persian woman in a cup of Turkish coffee… asking about the future… so much for staying in the present! 😉

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