YOGA & ASTROLOGY – THE CONNECTION

YOGA & ASTROLOGY – THE CONNECTION

While Yoga & Astrology are both different subjects of study and practice, yet they have many similarities as they work on common principles of elements, chakras and energy. Astrology is like the sister discipline of yoga They are both useful tools in daily life, which are also very ancient and have stood the test of time as are still very relevant up to this day and age. Both astrology and yoga help to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves, others and the world around us. Through our personal agency, we can use the science of astrology to move through life with consciousness – awake, not asleep.

It is worth a brief mention that besides astrology, there are other divination methods are such as the Tarot (layouts of cards mirroring a certain situation) and the I Ching (a Taoist approach depicting the fluctuations between yin and yang [hyperlink yin yang blog] through 64 stages) which we can study to help us navigate through life too. But for now we will focus on the connection between yoga and astrology.

Astronomy gave rise to astrology, around the 6th century BCE – a time during which mystics and philosophers would gather to study astronomy and its effect on our human lives, which led to the emergence of the science of astrology and its spreading across the world. Star signs have ancient origins and still are relevant today. Zodiac signs are archetypal images which show our innate potential, as well as the areas in life where we tend to have difficulties in, which are often those aspects of ourselves we deny or reject

ZODIAC SIGNS & ASANA
The practice of Hatha (Sun-Moon) yoga cultivates a synchronization with the celestial cycles, it is a natural practice that aligns our being with the Sun, Moon, stars and cosmos! “Ancient yogis knew that Ida and Pingala align our bodies with the Sun and Moon and attune us — if we’re willing — with all of creation. That explains the term hatha. Ha-tha yoga in actuality means Sun and Moon in Sanskrit. Ha = Sun. Tha = Moon.” -Diane Booth Gilliam

As planets influence areas of your life, you can practice asanas to strengthen certain parts of your physical body related with planets which have an effect on your emotional body. This way, you can go through a beautiful process of transformation through which you alchemically transmute energies and turn weaknesses into strengths. Each astrological sign corresponds to a part of the body, carrying with it a universal resonance which highlights the dominant qualities of the zodiac signs. This way, we can make the most of these qualities by developing them further (and attuning to some we may feel we lack – I personally like to learn from all the zodiac signs and try to practice embodying all of their beneficial qualities!) Although some appear to have gotten lost in tradition, there are corresponding asanas for each zodiac sign:

Aries – warrior 1 (fighter)
Taurus – bullpose (grounding)
Gemini – downward dog – (quiets inner chatter)
Cancer – cobra – (works on the heart area)
Leo – Simhasana, lion pose (what more to say!)
Virgo – nabhyasana, nauli kriya (gut feeling)
Libra – balancing asanas – trikonasana, natarajasana. (weighing/balancing out)
Scorpio – scorpio pose (obvious one!)
Sagittarius – the archer – the adventurer, hips & thighs (warrior arms up)
Capricorn – the gate – (works on the knees & skeletal structure)
Aquarius –eagle pose – (steady gaze, steady mind)
Pisces –fish pose – (another obvious one, also works on the feet)

There is a lot to be said and studied about astrology. For example, the Sun signs depicting ways to discover yourself and others and your main tendencies; moon signs represent the hidden power of your emotions. Then there are the houses, each of which is home to each sign of the zodiac. Houses break up the sky in chunks; and they represent areas of your life. Moreover, you will often hear astrologers speak about conjunction (planets in relation to each other) and transits (the constant movement of planets in relation to their position at the time you were born).

Creating a comprehensive interpretation of an astrological chart requires some basic knowledge and understanding of astronomy (the planets and their qualities), the ability to create connections, and intuition. As a sidenote, this is why in a way, reading astrological charts can be considered an ajna (third-eye chakra – about vision and understanding) – vishhuddha (throat chakra- about intuition, aesthetic intelligence and intuition) practice.

There are features of astrology that are similar to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, which mention yoga citta-vritti-nirodha – the cessation of the turnings of the mind, to open oneself up to union with the Higher Self and perceive the divine within (kaivalya).Yoga helps to bring our impulses under control. It helps us to bring more awareness about our structural behavior so that we can redefine happiness – the search for which defines much of human life!

ASTROLOGY AS A MAP
We, like cellphones trying to connect to WiFi, are searching for a connection that is more permanent rather than temporary. As much as Yoga teaches us how to tame the mind, this is practically impossible to do without reorienting it towards something higher. Yoga is not about negation or regimen, but rather about a better alternative: connecting to a higher signal that lives in the heart. So, what’s the link with astrology? Coming back to citta-vritti-nirodha, and the idea of the turnings of the mind: the Sanskrit word vritti is shared in common with the Greek language, and in Greek it refers to the turnings of the planets in the sky. The planets are always moving, the mind is always moving. With Yoga leading to the cessation of the churnings of the mind, it is not meant to be the same as astrology – it is more like astrology helps us to understand our mind better, not to get caught up in the dramas of our lives.

Astrology gives us like a map of the psyche and the soul, showing what we are experiencing in this particular body, it can go as far as depicting your dharma, your gifts, your challenges.

The planets follow predictable cycles, just as all of the ecology on this planet does, following the principle of the resonance between the microcosm and the macrocosm: as above, so below. When we look at how the planets are positioned and moving through the sky, we are seeing something a mirroring of where we are at. An astrological chart is basically an artificial photo of the sky, as if frozen in time, showing where all the planets are at a given moment (e.g. your birth date), showing us a unique point in time and space in which we find ourselves in, and a sense of where our lives are heading.

As astrological charts present us with a symbolic mirroring of where we are at, it is important to also have a symbolic attitude towards astrology rather than a deterministic one. Astrology helps us to see and understand our karmic tendencies so that we can live our lives with a little bit more wisdom. All too often, people identify themselves with what they look like and other material matters pertaining to maya (the illusion). This false identification is part of our tendency to, metaphorically speaking, fall asleep, instead of awakening to the true essence of who we are: Spirit. The karmic drama is not who we are, yet we do need to deal with it, and it is easier to move through a terrain if we have a basic understanding of the map. The point is not to get lost in it, but to be able to navigate through it in a way that promotes our spiritual evolution and act in a way that is both meaningful and effective.

It all comes down to attitude and stepping into our power (which we so often underestimate!). Having said this, I would like to conclude with a quote by Dane Rudhyar:

“The Essential Purpose of Astrology is not so much to tell us what we will meet on the road, as it is to suggest how we meet it.”

Thanks for tuning in, and until we meet next time in yet another version of the now,

Aldona

SEE YOURSELF WITH RENEWED UNDERSTANDING

SEE YOURSELF WITH RENEWED UNDERSTANDING

SEE YOURSELF WITH RENEWED UNDERSTANDING
7 Days Retreat and Yoga Foundation Training

Sat 22 Feb – Sun 1 March 

Seeing yourself with renewed understanding

EXPLORING YOURSELF IN PRESENT… AND CREATE A NEW UNDERSTANDING OF YOURSELF!

Join this 7-day retreat with Savitri Sattoe in the beautiful Bali at Samyama Mindfulness Retreat Centre

This retreat includes a 6 days Yoga Foundation training and is also a profound way to rest from the busyness of modern living, to slow down, relax and experience what is truly within.

It’s an invitation to stop running away from yourself and life, to turn inward and see yourself with new understanding of the inner programming. Finding a new sense of joy and bliss. Seeing your pain and your sorrow in new perspective. It’s a chance to dive deeply into the teachings of yoga, starting with the Yoga Sutra’s of Patanjali, mainly the Yamas and Niyamas.
You’ll be supported by peaceful surroundings and a safe and nurturing environment with like-minded friends.

Through lectures, yoga practice, talks, guided yoga nidra, Savitri will help you stay present and connected with yourself no matter what life throws at you.

Come join us and discover yourself behind the addictions of a lifetime, finding the real you.

For more details, please download the information document.

We look forward to seeing you at this Yoga Foundation retreat in BALI!

Behind our self-image created by our upbringing and society lies the true source, the foundation of yourself. Let’s explore through the teachings of yoga, look deep within ourselves and unravel all the layers covering you.

Testimonials:

“Thanks to the training I feel much better equipped to enjoy and deal with what life has in store for me.  ~ L. Huijsman

 “ A big difference now is that I feel a lot lighter, happier, grounded, more energetic, more grateful for everything than before I started this training. It really feels like a transformation” – S. Mehagnoul.  

“I have never seen a psychologist and this course became my therapy which proves once again the power of Yoga to improve emotional health. It was a journey of uncovering personal traumas and learning to let go, finding strength to move forward with my personal goals, learning how to include necessary steps of progress into busy daily routine. It was my stepping stone to a more conscious way of living, another step of evolution in my personal growth. In fact, I see it as only the beginning of my journey, the path that is supported by the beautiful practice called yoga. ~ J. Keslere

“I am so happy that I gave myself this trip as a gift. I have benefited from this all my life. Glad I started transforming instead of choosing the easy way. It has opened my heart to myself.” R. Geelhoed

Yoga Foundation 50-hour training (SYT-50)

23 Feb-1 Mar 2020 | Samyama Meditation Centre | Ubud, Bali 

  • Get to know yourself better and become the playwriter of your own life. 
  • Lay a solid foundation for your practice and deepen your understanding of yoga. 
  • Set yourself up for success: create the conditions in your life to be healthy and happy by learning how to live a yogic life

Being brought to you in Ubud, Bali for the first time, this 6-day yoga foundation training has been successfully taught in The Netherlands for years. In this training, you will: 

  • Learn essential hatha yoga techniques: asana, pranayama & meditation
  • Become familiar with the sun salutations and its benefits
  • Dive into yoga philosophy, focus on the first two limbs (yamas & niyamas) of the 8-fold path of yoga
  • Practice and root in the three pointers of yoga; prana, bandha, drishti
  • Build your own steady self-practice
  • Deepen your understanding of yoga and its working in daily life

About the teacher Savitri Sattoe: Savitri is founder, director and yoga teacher at saktiisha academy. Practising yoga and meditation for many years with a lot of love and joy, she is grateful to be able to channel the wisdom, value and beauty of yoga  to you and all those willing to receive it through her teachings.

saktiisha academy provides a safe environment to explore deeper layers of yourself and a solid base to continue the self-practice in daily life.

Prices (packages available)

For accomodation >> more info will follow ASAP

Yoga Foundation € 600

>> Prices are excluding travel expenses and stay before 22nd  Feb and after 1st March <<

SVADHYAYA – STUDY OF THE SELF

SVADHYAYA – STUDY OF THE SELF

SVADHYAYA 

Today we return to the theme topic of the niyamas of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, specifically addressing the fourth: svadhyaya. As a context reminder,  the yamas in Yoga are the “do nots” -things we are advised to constrain from doing; while the niyamas are like the “”do’s”- the “do-not constraints,” things we are encouraged to do. The niyamas are essentially comprised of actions of self-love that support a happy, harmonious and spiritual life.

The breakdown of the Sanskrit word svadhyaya goes as follows: sva, means “self,” and adhyaya, means “lesson/lecture/reading.” Another interpretation could be derived from dyhai, which means “meditate/contemplate.” So svadhyaya basically means the study of the self.

The study of the self in the yogic sense of the word goes beyond the Western approach of psychoanalysis. It is more about the study of our Higher Self, our eternal self. It is about realizing the true nature of our being – who we really are. Creating space for introspection definitely supports this process!

YOUR ESSENCE IS DIVINE

To quote Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra: “Study thy self, discover the divine” II.44

Self-realization is the aim of most spiritual practice. And our Self is divine. I personally love svadhyaya because it helps me to be in a constant state of mindful awareness and self-inquiry. Asking myself where my actions are coming from has opened up my eyes about many layers of my being – shedding light on many aspects to be worked on. Seeing how I can recognize the essential divinity in myself and everything around me has added such profound spiritual value to my life, as has recognizing this essence in others too. 

RECOMMENDED READING

Studying and reading anything about the Self, or anything that will help you to connect with and understand your (Highest) self will present you with a great opportunity to observe svadhyaya. Find any books which support you in deepening your practice. While this blog is not meant to market literature, there are a few recommendations we can refer you to. Books I have been studying recently and would definitely recommend are: Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda (1946), The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer (2007), The Undivided Self by The Swami Venkatesananda (1977), and Eastern Body, Western Mind by Anodea Judith (1996). Swami Satchidananda, an Indian spiritual teacher and yoga adept, who became famous in the West and wrote several philosophical and spiritual books, speaks of svadhyaya as the “study that concerns the true Self, not merely analyzing the emotions and mind as the psychologists and psychiatrists do. Anything that will elevate your mind and remind you of your true Self should be studied: the Bhagavad Gita, the Bible, the Koran, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, or any uplifting scripture. Study.”

Remember that it is not only about reading, but also about understanding what you have learnt – integrating and living it.

WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO?

There are many other activities you can take upon yourself to deepen your observance of svadhyaya. You can practice svadhyaya in more ways than might initially meet the eye by embracing it as a yogic attitude, a modality of being so to say.

1. Examine yourself. Question your actions. Question your beliefs. Practice self-inquiry in general (The Work of Byron Katie is a great tool to support you in this).

2. Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness does not require any action from you in particular, it is all about simply paying attention. For example, observe yourself on your mat – what kind of thoughts and emotions bubble up? what is your breath like? where are you tense, and possibly challenged? what do you enjoy? Take nothing for granted, see it all as a lesson to take you further…deeper…closer to yourself.

Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the Self” – The Bhagavad Gita

3. By becoming conscious of all that which you are not, you can come closer to yourself. Some of the things which you are not are for example your ego, your emotions, and your thoughts. Discern that which is not you in essence, but rather a part, or layer of your being by asking yourself questions such as: who is the voice in your head that limits you from living out your best potential? Then zoom out, and try to get to the real core of your true and essential Self by witnessing the witness: who is the one experiencing your life? Who is feeling saddened by a wave of a painful emotion? Who is enjoying the cup of tea? Who is the one reading all of this? Do not judge. Just observe.

4. Explore both inner worlds and outer worlds. As much as we can learn about ourselves by studying ourselves, we can also come to know ourselves better by seeking to understand others (rather than judging). Others function as mirrors in our lives. And in our process of getting to know them (and the world around us) better, we end up getting to know ourselves better too. Like a loop. This is because everything is connected. That universal connection is the reason Yoga means union.

5. Still your mind, so that your Self can be revealed. See the divine in yourself. As Swami Vivekananda said: “Where can we go to find God if we cannot see Him in our own hearts and in every living being?”

A note I would like to add on the topic of Self-Realization is that the Self is ultimately whole. So, seek for wholeness by seeing the big picture of it all, and living a holistic life.The more you practice yoga, the more you will see the unfolding of your daily life merging with yoga philosophy. Your individual consciousness is deeply connected to universal consciousness. It is a part of it, never separate. To realize this, is the goal of svadhyaya. As we come to know ourselves better, we begin to understand that we are like drops of the ocean, and, as the buddhist song goes, the only way from stopping a drop of water from ever drying up, is by throwing it back into the ocean.

Sat Chit Ananda (Truth-Consciousness-Bliss).
Aldona from saktiisha yoga centre

Sauca – Purity

Sauca – Purity

Blokje

If you think of people in your life who you perceive as pure, what qualities do they have that make you see them in this way? Isn’t it usually the case that you consider someone pure when you feel they are transparent, having no hidden agenda, healthy, and  genuinely well-intentioned? Perhaps you came up with some different things. Like being clean, for instance. Sauca, which means purity in Sanskrit, is an essential part of Yoga practice, and ultimately of life.

Currently finding myself immersed in the wondrous pages of Paramahansa Yoganada’s Autobiography of a Yogi, the topic lies relevantly close to my heart these days. In this post, I would like to share some insights about why that is, and the ways in which we can speak about purity in relation to many aspects of life from a yogic perspective.

SAUCA

If you’re sincere about being a yogi, you know of the yamas and niyamas in Yoga, and you do your best effort to  live by them. In case you are new to Yoga, the yamas refer to “restraints,” or rules for harmonizing the relationship between yourself and others; and the niyamas refer to “non-restraints,” or ways to cultivate inner discipline and organize your inner life. Sauca, or purity/cleanliness in Sanskrit, is the first of five niyamas according to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The other four are: santosa (contentment), tapas (austerity), svadhyaya (spiritual study), and isvarapranidhana (surrender to the Divine).

Living a pure lifestyle creates the ideal conditions within our being to come into resonance with the beneficial energies of the universe, and more importantly, to truly come to see the reflection of the divine nature of our own being. This may sound like a mouthful, but it’s true!

There are different types and processes of purification that can occur at various levels. Purification can be physical, mental, or emotional, and even causal in terms of burning karma. Although outer cleanliness is considered important, it is nowhere near as important for spiritual evolution as our emotional and mental purity. The idea is to be pure inside out. Why? It all comes down to resonance. Remember- ‘As above, so below.’ Every single energy in the universe at a microcosmic level corresponds to an energy at the macrocosmic level. In Yoga, we are trying to attune our microcosm with the macrocosm. In order for us to be able to attune to the energies which are beneficial, our own energy needs to resonate with them! By purifying, we can take more responsibility in our lives and empower ourselves. When we attract negative energy into our life, it is mostly a result of our own impure structure at a given time.

Look at it this way. The more impurities you have, the harder you will have to fight in life. As you eliminate impurities, you will see obstacles disappear. The less impurities, the less obstacles. Hatha Yoga is very purifying. When you are in an asana, you are flushing energy through your being. This purifies. It clears the path.

KRIYA YOGA


There is a type of Yoga that particularly aims to purify all the levels of your being. Paramahansa Yogananda brought Kriya Yoga to the West in the 1920s after it had been refound by some yogis of the nineteenth century. The sat karma kriya (six actions of purification) make up a complex system of internal and external cleansing methods. These are: neti, dhauti, nauli, basti, kapalbhati, and trataka. The Kriya Yoga methods as presented by Paramahansa Yogananda carve a path to meditation. The practice of Kriya Yoga smooths the path for evolution. It can be a path to liberation! You can also add some of the techniques to your practice and daily life. Kriya Yoga improves your health, clears your mind, and makes your body youthful.

I’d like to make a small parenthesis about the terms karma and kriya. Both of these words mean “action” in Sanskrit. Kriya refers more to actions that purify (Kriya Yoga as a path of purification), and karma refers to the notion of all actions having a cause and effect (Karma Yoga as a path of selfless service). Ultimately, all types of Yoga  are meant to lead to samadhi (oneness).

In essence, we are already pure. The very essence of our being is pure. And that is the Beauty of Purity. Our sight is merely clouded by filters. By getting rid of any layers and obstacles

blocking our experience of the true nature of reality we come in touch with the true nature of our being. Just as we can only see our reflection in the water if the water is still and not murky, in the same way, we can only come to see the reflection of who we truly are within ourselves (the Atman) if we are pure. Essentially, we are reflections of something greater, and the idea of individuality is but an illusion limited by the confinements of our egoes.

With all this being said, I hope to have inspired you to have a look at your life, and address those aspects which are standing in the way of you getting in touch with your pure and beautiful Self.

With Love,

Aldona from Saktiisha

Vullend of vervullend, ego of hart?

Vullend of vervullend, ego of hart?

Veel dingen weten we al, het is niet dat je het voor het eerst hoort, leest, ziet. Maar de kracht zit in horen, lezen, het steeds weer zien!
Felicia (van BeingFelicia) deelde een recept voor een veganistische kom. Ik ga dit recept vandaag uitproberen 🙂

Dit deed me denken aan iets dat ik voor en onderweg beoefende, geabsorbeerd worden door de drukte van het leven en alle geweldige activiteiten die ik graag doe (ja zelfs de yogadocenten behandelen dit), de aandacht en intentie verslapt.

De praktijk om bewust je eten te kiezen en bewust te eten. Voedsel is iets dat we kunnen gebruiken als dagelijkse praktijk om bewust te leven en bij te dragen aan een verbonden en harmonieuze gemeenschap. Enkele jaren geleden las ik het boek ‘Waar heb je honger naar’ geschreven door Deepak Chopra. Het heeft absoluut mijn kijk op mijn eetgewoonten veranderd. Ik at vroeger bewust, maar stelde nooit de vraag: vul ik mijn maag of voed en voed ik mijn lichaam en geest?
Hier is nog een Sankalpa (intentie) voor deze 40 dagen: – Ik koos en bereidde mijn eten bewust en vroeg mezelf af: “Ben ik aan het eten of aan het eten?” “Draag ik bij aan een gezonde samenleving?”

Ik vond de tips van Mireille van Hilten van JadOrLife ook leuk. Ik zou haar ‘de gelukscoach’ willen noemen. Ze heeft zulke praktische manieren om te gaan met de zo krachtige geest die neigt naar negatief denken. Je kunt hier meer lezen over haar tips. Tip nummer 3 resoneert nu het meest bij mij “wanneer een negatieve gedachte opkomt Doe eerst niets! Het is ok om ze te denken! Gedachten die misschien negatief lijken, kunnen ons waarschuwen of ze kunnen ons gewoon tegenhouden omdat ze alleen op angst zijn gebaseerd. ”Lees meer Vaak wanneer we emoties hebben zoals droefheid, ons afgewezen voelen, angstig enz., Hebben we de neiging deze te projecteren op een externe bron. Als we de aandacht op de externe bron houden, zullen we niet leren hoe deze energieën op te lossen en te transformeren en blijven we ons niet bewust van de wortels van deze emoties en gedachten. bijv. wanneer iemand je gevoelens niet ‘begrijpt’, zou je in eerste instantie kunnen denken dat de andere persoon ‘niet bereid’ is om het te begrijpen of dat er iets ‘mis’ is met de andere persoon. Dit is natuurlijk meestal niet gebaseerd op de realiteit. Deze eerste gedachte en dit gevoel vertelt me ​​iets over mij. Onze gevoelens gaan niet over de mogelijkheden van anderen, het gaat over onze mogelijkheden. Hoe we omgaan met onze emoties en gevoelens is een individuele verantwoordelijkheid (reactievermogen)
Dit brengt me bij een andere Sankalpa (intentie) die ik neem: – wanneer een gevoel van ongemak zich voordoet, stop, blijf bij het gevoel, vind de gedachte (s) achter dit gevoel, blijf bij de gedachten, wat zijn deze gedachten en gevoelens die vertellen jij over JOU?

Een brief aan jezelf

Een brief aan jezelf

You are the creator of your story!

Vanaf dit jaar heb ik mezelf een brief geschreven. Een brief met het verhaal dat ik graag over mij zou willen horen. Ik weet zelfs niet meer wat ik heb geschreven 🙂 Ik word verondersteld de brief voor mij te openen op 31 december 2016 … Je kunt je soms mijn ongeduld voorstellen, omdat ik me niet herinner wat ik heb geschreven. Hier zijn enkele regels voor het schrijven van de brief aan jezelf en laat Sankalpa’s hun magie doen: de brief is in het huidige eenvoudig geschreven. bijvoorbeeld:

“Ik ben … / Ik doe … / Ik heb”

in plaats van

Ik zal … / Ik ben van plan …”

Laten we een brief schrijven over het 40-daagse Spring Yoga-evenement! We hebben nog 34 dagen te gaan tot 10 mei. Schrijf op over jou en je prestaties van deze 40 dagen in het huidige eenvoudig. Verzegel de brief en berg hem op.

Open de brief op 10 mei voor jezelf. Ontdek hoe intenties (Sankalpa’s) werken en waar je bent aangekomen. Uit eigen ervaring kan ik zien dat het verbazingwekkend is hoe krachtig onze geest en geest is als we ons concentreren.

Hier is mijn volgende Sankalpa: een brief aan mezelf schrijven over mijn reis en prestaties tijdens het 40 Days Spring Yoga Event

Hoe je sankalpa’s kunt maken, lees meer.

Love to share and connect with you all. Om Ganeshaya Namaha


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