Page 1

Thank you to all our teachers and their teachers and their teachers’ teachers and their teachers’ teachers and all the teachers yet to come. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

A continual work in progress. Original Front Cover Art By: Heinko Windisch, Germany.

Table of Contents Prayer for Higher Learning The Point Beginning Questions

Seeing Anatomy

6 7 8

Record Your Impressions From the East From the West

12 14 21

About Maps and Models Some Subtle Anatomy Language Sushumna, Ida and Pingala The Chakra Model A Few Rumors about the Chakras The Bandhas Marma Points The Koshas The Vayus Dermatone Chart Taoist Cycle of Creativity Nervous System Overview Stress, Breath and the Vagus Nerve Nerve Roots of War and Peace Flight, Flight, Freeze or Fold Vagus Nerve Muscles of the Breath How the Practices of Yoga Help What Inspires Us? Phrenic Nerve Muscles of Respiration Topography of Lungs Aviloli Exchange Schema According to the Sages Exposed Heart Nerves of the Heart Innervation of the Heart Schema Flow of Blood Through the Heart Twisting My Heart

34 36 38 39 42 44 46 48 50 51 52 54 56 58 59 60 61 62 64 66 67 68 70 72 73 74 75 76 77

From the Visible to the Invisible Mind and Heart Health From Patanjali Sutra 1.33 Sutra 1.33 Field Notes The Kleshas The Vrittis

78 80 82 84 86 88

Architecture of the Brain Trauma Fear Paralysis Shame, Blame and Immobility Cycle Map of the Psychophysiological The Emotional Nervous System Information Molecules


Inner Workings


100 107 122 136 137

Table of Contents Memory How Memory Stores and Shapes Love The Limbic System

Color the Amygdala

139 160


Bony and Squishy Landmarks

The Spine 164 Pelvic Viewing 165 Hip Joint 166 Rotators of the Hip 167 Sciattic Nerve 168 Nerves of the LumbarSacral 169 La Psoas 170 Little Muscles of the Spine 171 Pelvic Floor Maps 172 Pelvic Floor Mudras 173 Shoulder Joint 174 Your Beautiful Neck 176

Into the Practice

Gentle Kindness Takes Practice 180 Abhyasa and Vairagya 181 Becoming a Learner 182 The Effort Effect 184 What do we tell our Kids? 193 Is Love an Art? 194 Self Love is the Opposite of Selfish 200 Turn on and Tune In Your Senses 206 The Nose 208 Sniff it Out, Sniff it In 210 Smell Data Record 212 How the Nose Works 214 Fragrance of Memories 216 The Tongue 217 Taste Your Food, Taste Your Life 218 The Eyes 220 See More Clearly 221 The Hands 222 Touch Yourself 224 Touch Others 226 The Ears 228 Listen Closely 229 Establish a Safe Base 230 Protection Practice Notes 234 Eight Limbs of Yoga 236 Yamas and Niyamas 237 Get to Know Yourself 238 From Krishnamurti 239 Track the Consequences 240 Replacement Words 242 Create New Memories 244 Possible Reading List 247 L L


Prayer for Higher Learning

The Point of this Course Our time together is meant to be practical. We have three main objectives:

om saha nāvavatu saha nau bhunaktu saha vīryaṃ karavāvahai tejasvināvadhītamastu mā vidviṣāvahai om śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ


We must become intimate with and taste the existing fact of Self Love in order to be able to cooperate with Self Love again and again. Much of our time together will be spent in practice to establish the ground in which new learning can occur.


Generally, the Western mind loves facts and scientific proof. By understanding some of the neurological and chemical inner-workings of the body, we help remove some of the mystery and perhaps move more towards mastery.


Together we will play with different practices to help form new memories, gain confidence, increase capacity, and align us with Self.

May we be protected together. May we be nourished together. May we create strength among one another. May our study be filled with brilliance and light. May there be no hostility between us. Om peace, peace, peace. L L


May Saraswati open the channels for higher learning to occur and remove our lethargy and laziness. 7

Beginning Questions 1. What has your attention right now?

6. What drew you to this course?

2. What is the opposite of Self Love? 7. What are you hoping to learn?

3. How might you define/describe Self Love? (Your words might be Imagined or Experienced).

8. Do you have worries about the course? If yes, write out.

4. Do you spend more time in Self Love or its opposite? Do you know how or why?

9. Do you have any questions right now?

5. Do you know anyone who seems to have Self Love or be pretty close? Write their names down.





Don’t go outside your house to see flowers. My friend, don’t bother with that excursion. Inside your body there are flowers. One flower has a thousand petals. That will do for a place to sit. Sitting there you will have a glimpse of beauty inside the body and out of it, before gardens and after gardens.

Seeing Anatomy




Record Your Impressions Please look at the sample images of the body from the East and West. Please record your observations (thoughts and feelings) noting the differences and similarities. Please be aware of which viewpoints feel most accurate to you.





From the East

Prana Study The text surrounding the image is mixed Sanskrit and Old Gujarati and mainly describes the mystical body of tantric meditation and the flow of the life force (prana) throughout the body. The image shows the combination of both Unani (based on Greek) and Indian anatomical knowledge.

Ayurvedic Study

Text from the Bhāvaprakāśaḥ, written between 1550 and 1590 by Bhāvamiśra. Pen and Watercolor, 1800 Image and Information Source: Wellcome Library.

Image and Information Source: Wellcome Library, London





Reproduction of Tibetan medical tangka painted by the Nepalese tangka artist Romio Shrestha and his Tibetan, Nepalese, and Bhutanese students in Kathmandu during seven years in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.

Tibetan Medical Thangkas Three human bodies showing different organs. Separate figures show the vertebral column, the solar plexus, and the system of channels connected with the five senses and with consciousness. Along the top, twelve great teachers of medicine. The painting is one in a set of eighty commissioned by Sangye Gyamtso (Regent of the fifth Dalai Lama) in 1687 and completed by 1703, as part of his treatise “The blue beryl”, a commentary on the Four tantras (Rgyud bzhi) of the Medicine Buddha (Bhaiṣajyaguru). L L


Image and Information Source: Wellcome Library, London 17

Modern Meridian Chart, China. Source:

Nadi Chart, India Source: Google Image Search L L




From the West

Diagram of the Subtle Body, mapping the Inner Alchemy. Rubbing dated 1886, Ch’ing Dynasty. Source: Book of Internal Exercises, Chang.



Paris, 1546. Woodcut. 21

Rome, 1559. Copperplate engraving. Juan Valverde de Amusco



Venice, 1627. Copperplate engraving. Giulio Casserio



Frederik Ruysch {1638-1731} Source: Wellcome Library, London



Coloured engraving 1823-1833 Paolo Mascagni Sourcce: Wellcome Library Catalogue



Das Leben des Menschen by Fritz Kahn 1926. Relief halftone. The nervous system here is visually compared to an electronic signaling system; the brain is an office where messages are sorted.



Fritz Kahn, 1939. Relief halftone. This manipulated photo shows the effects of sunlight on the health of the body.



Der Mensch als Industriepalast (Man as Industrial Palace) Fritz Kahn, 1926. Chromolithograph. 28

The hand of Mrs. Wilhelm Roentgen: the first X-ray image, 1895. The announcement of Roentgen’s discovery, illustrated with an X-ray photograph of his wife’s hand, “was hailed as one of mankind’s greatest technological accomplishments, an invention that would revolutionize every aspect of human existence.” L L


Red Blood Cells Under A Microscope

Buddhist Monk in Meditation. Hooked up to Brain Scanner.

Baseline Brain



Brain in Meditation



Are you looking for me? I am in the next seat. My shoulder is against yours. You will not find me in stupas, not in Indian shrine rooms, nor in synagogues, nor in cathedrals: not in masses, nor kirtans, not in legs winding around your own neck, nor in eating nothing but vegetables. When you really look for me, you will see me instantly you will find me in the tiniest house of time. Kabir says: Student, tell me, what is God? He is the breath inside the breath.

Inner Workings




About Maps and Models At times we will be leaning in on maps and models to help us create containers of understanding. We will do this often especially when looking at gross anatomy, subtle anatomy, methods of teaching, sequences, and alignment ideas. Understanding some of the benefits and constraints will help us create a feeling of spaciousness. 1. They Need You Maps are designed to guide us and they can just as easily mislead if not approached cooperatively. Maps need your intuition to come alive and be of use. 2. They Shrink the Information Models simplify and shrink information so we can approach it. When different models contradict, it can be tempting to judge one as correct and another as false, or try to make them match. Play with allowing the different models to reveal and tease out new insights waiting to be discovered within you. 3. They Are Often Unspecified Rarely can a map give you details of your specific unique journey. Nor will it assure you of a good time once you reach a destination. 4. They Can Blind If we become too enamored with a map or model it will be more difficult to see clearly what is actually in front of us. Have you ever found yourself looking at a map instead of where you are going? When the nice woman in the GPS is telling us where to go we pay less attention. Let them help guide, and be diligent with your awareness. 5. They Can Warn Sometimes a map will indicate that a road can only be traveled during a certain time of year or requires special vehicle features. And sometimes, by looking at a model, we get a new perspective that otherwise would have remained hidden.



6. They Can Help Determine Vehicle Sometimes a map will confirm that you need to travel by air, sea or land. 7. They Can Reveal New Terrain Maps can guide towards places we might not have otherwise found, and models can provide new contexts of thinking. If we bring ourselves to the map and models, the directions and symbolism will resonate more clearly. 8. They have a Fresh Stamp Models and maps that were once useful, will sometimes have an end. 9. We are like a Model and a Map According to a study published in the Nov. 18, 2010 issue of the journal Neuron, ‘The human mind is very much like a traveler — when it needs to reach a desired destination, it uses a map.’ The brain uses different types of “maps” in order to perform different motor functions. The previous scientific view was that all actions involved the use of a visual map, but the study found that the brain uses a visual map when dealing with external objects and a body map when dealing with self-referential motions. (Source:

Our materials for this course, Pantajali’s Yoga Sutras, Physical Anatomy Diagrams, Subtle Anatomy Systems, and our Toolkits are all models and maps. All are to be approached with keen open awareness of their usefulness and shortcomings.

When water flows everywhere there is little role for the water in the well. In this same way, after realizing Divine there is little use for the knowledge of the Vedas. 2.46, Bhagavad Gita



Some Subtle Anatomy Language Prana is our vital life force. Nadis are the interior rivers through which the prana flows. The three primary nadis are Sushumna, Ida, and Pingala. The seven Chakras are vortices of the nadis. They are Muladhara, Svadhishthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddi, Ajna and Sahasrara. The Bandhas are the locks or seals. The three primary bandhas are Mula Bandha, Uddiyana Bandha and Jalandhara Bandha. The Granthis are the psychic knots of spiritual energy. The three granthis are Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra. They are located at the Muladhara, Anahata and the Ajna Chakra respectively. The bandhas assist in the directing of the prana through the nadis towards the chakras to assist in loosening the granthis so that prana may flow more freely in the Shushumna and the yogini may connect to the physical, astral and causal planes of Herself. The Marma Points are specific locations on the 14 recognized nadis in the Ayurvedic System of Healing. There are 107 Classic Marma Points. The 5 Koshas are sheaths, or vibrations of our Self, varying in degrees of subtley. The 5 Koshas are annamaya, pranamaya, manomaya, vijnanamaya and anandamaya.

“When the bird and the book disagree, always believe the bird.� James Audubon (1785-1851)

The 5 Vayus are the winds of prana in the body handling different functions. They are apana vayu, prana vayu, samana vayu, udana vayu, and vyana vayu. L L



Sushumna, Ida, and Pingala

The Chakra model Chakra means “wheel” or “circle”. The chakras are dynamic vortices of prana where the nadis converge. Attention to these centers is believed to assist in awakening our consciousness to deeper and more subtle dimensions within ourselves and the cosmos. Specifically, the chakras are believed to assist in moving the prana between the physical, astral and causal realms. Just as our collective hip joints differ slightly in their shape, flexibility and strength, so do our chakras. And just as our hip joints perform basically the same function, so do our chakras. And just as we have a choice to allow our hips to tighten and close or open and move, so we also have the choice to ignore or connect and develop a relationship with our chakras. Allow the information about the chakras to be there when you need it. Filling our minds with facts about the chakras does not draw us any closer. In fact, knowing the data can create an illusion of intimacy. Like reading books about swimming, nothing compares to diving in.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. Source: Bihar School of India

Oliver Wendell Holmes





Approximate Chakra Locations

Source: Bihar School of India

Source: Bihar School of India





A Few Chakra Rumors Muladhara Chakra

Root Chakra Element: Earth Motor Organ: Anus Sense Organ: Nose Meaning: Root place or base Root Location: Tailbone Flower Location: Perineum Seed Sound: LAM Yama: Ahimsa

Svadhisthana Chakra

Sacral Chakra Element: Water Motor Organ: Uro-genital organs Sense Organ: Tongue Meaning: That which cannot be controlled Root Location: Lower Sacrum Flower Location: Lower Belly Seed Sound: VAM Yama: Bramacharya

Manipura Chakra

Navel Chakra Element: Fire Motor Organ: Feet Sense Organ: Eyes Meaning: City of jewels Root Location: Upper Lumbar Spine (L2) Flower Location: Navel Center Seed Sound: RAM Yama: Asteya

Anahata Chakra

Heart Chakra Element: Air Motor Organ: Hands Sense Organ: Skin Meaning: Unstruck sound or unbeaten, unbroken Root Location: Between Shoulderblades (T7/T8) Flower Location: Breastbone Seed Sound : YAM Yama: Aparigraha

Vishudda Chakra

Throat Chakra Element: Ether Motor Organ: Vocal Cords Sense Organ: Ears Meaning: To purify, center of nectar Root Location: C7 Flower Location: Teardrop of the throat Seed Sound: HAM Yama: Satya

Ajna Chakra

Third Eye Chakra Meaning: Command center, seat of wisdom and intuition Root Location: Occiput Flower Location: Between Eyebrows Seed Sound: OM

Sahasrara Chakra

Crown Chakra Meaning: Thousand petal lotus Location: Crown of Head Seed Sound: OM L L




The Bandhas

Artist Rendering of Mula Bandha Local

Artist Rendering of Jalandhara Bandha Variation

Bandha means “lock”. “Lock” is a farming term and refers to the creation of “dams” to assist in the flow and retention of prana through the nadis for the purposes of irrigation.

Artist Rendering of Uddiyana Bandha L L




Marma Points ‘Marma’ is a Sanskrit term for sensitive or vulnerable points on the body. Marma Points serve as ‘pranic control points’ on the body, where the energy of prana can be treated, controlled, directed or manipulated in various ways. Marmas are integral to all Ayurvedic therapies. Injury to marmas quickly affects the health and vitality of a person and in the case of some marmas can even prove fatal. Another term used for marma points is ‘varma’ points. Varma refers to protective material or armor. Marmas are regions of the body that were protected in battle in order to safeguard the life of the warrior. There are 107 prime classical marmas according to the Sushruta Samhita, one of the oldest Ayurvedic texts, which also mentions marmas relative to the practice of surgery. Arms and Hands, 11 Regions, 22 Points Legs and Feet, 11 Regions, 22 Points Abdomen and Chest, 8 Regions, 12 Points Back and Hips, 7 Regions, 14 Points Head and Neck, 14 Regions, 37 Points However, besides these primary marmas are many other marmas, up to 360 according to some healers. To some extent, any sensitive point on the body of a person is a kind of marma or vulnerable location. The skin itself can be regarded as a greater marma zone in which all the other marmas are contained.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” C.S. Lewis

Marmas are also locations in which the doshas of vata, pitta and kapha can be held, along with their subtle essences of prana, tejas and ojas. As sensitive zones, marmas can hold various emotions like fear (vata), anger (pitta) or attachment (kapha), as well as the gunas or primary qualities of sattva (calm), rajas (aggression) and tamas (inertia). In this regard the concept of marmas goes beyond modern medicine and its purely physical definitions to the main principles of mind-body medicine. Text Source: David Frawley L L




The Koshas Annamaya Kosha food-apparent-sheath, physical body Pranamaya Kosha air-apparent-sheath, vital energy Manomaya Kosha mind-stuff-apparent-sheath Vijnanamaya Kosha wisdom-apparent-sheath Anandamaya Kosha bliss-apparent-sheath

Circumstances are nothing but ourselves. John Daido Loori

Please note: The Sanskrit is not properly marked on this page.





The Vayus

dermatone chart

Source: Image from Theory of the Chakras, Dr. Motoyama.

Image Source: Netter’s Atlas of Human Anatomy L L




The Toaist Cycle of Creativity


Source: L L




The Nervous System An Overview The nervous system is composed of all nerve tissues in the body. The functions of nerve tissue are to receive stimuli, transmit stimuli to nervous centers, and to initiate response. The central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord and serves as the collection point of nerve impulses. The peripheral nervous system includes all nerves not in the brain or spinal cord and connects all parts of the body to the central nervous system. The peripheral (sensory) nervous system receives stimuli, the central nervous system interprets them, and then the peripheral (motor) nervous system initiates responses. The somatic nervous system controls functions that are under conscious voluntary control such as skeletal muscles and sensory neurons of the skin. The autonomic nervous system, mostly motor nerves, controls functions of involuntary smooth muscles, cardiac muscles, and glands. The autonomic nervous system provides almost every organ with a double set of nerves - the sympathetic and parasympathetic. These systems generally but not always work in opposition to each other.

In the peripheral nervous system, a chemical neurotransmitter carries the nerve impulses from neuron to neuron across a synapse (space between neurons). The neurotransmitters are acetylcholine, norephinephrine, dopamine, histamine, glycine, GABA and serotonin. Nerves that release acetylcholine are called cholinergic nerves. Cholinergic nerves are part of the parasympathetic system, somatic motor nerves, preganglionic sympathetic nerves* and central nervous system. (* The nerve that carries the message from the central nervous system to a ganglion - junction for a group of nerve cells - is a preganglionic nerve.) Nerves that release norepinephrine are called adrenergic nerves. Adrenergic nerves are part of the postganglionic sympathetic nerve system** and parts of the central nervous system. (**A nerve that carries the impulse from the ganglion to the effecter cell is a postganglionic nerve.)

The sympathetic system activates and prepares the body for vigorous muscular activity, stress, and emergencies. While the parasympathetic system lowers activity, operates during normal situations, permits digestion, and conservation of energy. The two systems generally act in opposition to each other. For example, a stimulation by the sympathetic system on the heart would increase contractions, while a stimulation by the parasympathetic system would decrease heart contractions. Where dual control of an organ exists, both systems operate simultaneously although one may be operating at a higher level of activity than the other. The operation is similar to the operation of a car with both the accelerator and brake pedals depressed. 54


Stress, Breath and the Vagus Nerve Am I Safe?

The Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) is continually sending out the question “Am I safe?” As long as it gets back the answer “Yes,” then the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) runs the show, optimistically keeping everything working. When the SNS gets the response, “No,” the “Flight or Fight Syndrome” kicks in, launching a campaign of action. Adrenaline is released into the blood stream, increasing the heart rate and blood pressure. Simultaneously, the bronchi of the lungs relax to deepen the breath and increase screaming ability. Insulin is released, increasing the blood sugar levels for a quick burst of energy. Concentrations in the plasma of the protein fibrinogen are increased, to encourage blood coagulation (blood clotting) in anticipation of getting wounded. And the immune system gets a 30 minutes boost. Simultaneously, long term optimistic projects within the body are suspended. The digestion system cleans itself out and then shuts down. The reproductive organs also shut down. The Flight or Fight Syndrome is incredibly effective for getting us though or out of physical dangerous situations quickly. Once safe, the SNS is supposed to relax and the PNS (known as the “Rest and Digest” system) is allowed to take over again. In the modern western world we respond to psychological stresses in the same way as physical danger. Infact, there is very little discrimination between the two. Simultaneouly, many of us in the modern western world have forgotten how to relax. “I’ll relax once I get all that stuff done,” is a common phrase. This “go go go” mentality combined with the continual barrage of information and demands that we perceive as stress, has resulted in a large number of people stuck in the “No-I-am-not-safe-mode”. When the body gets caught in a stress cycle, the “rest levels” of the heart rate and blood sugar adapt and rise. The higher blood pressure combined with increase of the clotting hormone combined with the chest breathing increase the chances of a heart attack significantly. L L


The rise in blood sugar combined with a debilitated digestive system can result in diseases like Type II diabetes. The weakened immune system results in chronic illness. The lack of attention paid to the reproduction system will eventually cause it to break down. Many women who are trying to have children while balancing stressful careers are surprised to find themselves unable to conceive.


Cortisol, is the hormone of chronic stress. Below are the well documented effects of chronic cortisol elevations on your mind and body: * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Increased appetite and food cravings Cortisol stimulates fat storage esp. around the abdomen Increased body fat - obesity Decreased muscle mass Insulin resistance and eventually diabetes Heart disease Increased blood pressure – high blood pressure Decreased bone density – osteoporosis Reduced synthesis of neurotransmitters Increased anxiety Increased depression Reduced concentration Mood swings (anger and irritability) Reduced levels of estrogen and testosterone – decreased sex drive Impaired immune response – frequent colds, flus, infections and cancer Memory and learning impairment Physical atrophy of brain cells – Alzheimer’s disease Increased symptoms of PMS Increased menopausal side effects



The Nerve Roots of War and Peace

Fight, Flight, Freeze or Fold

The Nerves of the SNS emanate from the T1 to L2. The Nerves of the PNS emanate from the medulla oblongata (just above the C1) and the sacrum (S2 - S4). Stimulation of the Parasympathetic Nerves will result in a reduction of stress. The quickest most direct way to stimulate the PNS is through the breath.




The Vagus Nerve

The Muscles of the Breath Many people are stuck in the habit of breathing from their secondary muscles of respiration of the chest and neck, increasing the risk of heart disease and tension headaches. The practice of learning how to breath with the diaphragm, intercostals and abdominals -- the primary muscles of respiration -- is and effective and powerful tool in the reduction of stress.

Image Source: Donna Fahari’s, The Breathing Book

Image Source: Netter’s Human Anatomy

The Vagus Nerve, also known as the tenth Cranial Nerve, originates from the medulla oblongata and touches most of the internal organ: the lungs, the heart, the stomach, the liver, the pancreas, the kidneys, the small and large intestines. The Vagus Nerve runs through the diaphragm. Deep diaphragmatic breathing stimulates the Vagus Nerve and communicates that everything is going to be alright. This in turn has the effect of slowing down the heart, relaxing the bronchi of the lungs, lowering the blood sugar and increasing digestion. 60

The Mind

The main purpose of the Inhalation is to stimulate the Exhalation. Beacuse while the inhalation brings fresh oxygen in, the exhale is the breath that releases the toxicity of the body and is more vital to our ultimate survival. Whena yogini drowns, she does not die of lack of oxygen, but rather the build up of toxins. The number one cause of toxicity in the body is our mental and emotional state. Negative thinking creates toxins. And so while we use deep breathing to help clear the toxicity and calm the body, eventually a quiet mind results in a quiet even almost breathless state. 61

Wild Geese How The Practices of Yoga Help

In the practices of yoga, we deliberately try to stretch and open the chest, back and belly to increase breathing room. We deliberately practice deepening and lengthening the breath. Many of the poses are intentionally stressful, offering the opportunity to “counter-pose” through deep breathing and reset the nervous system’s bar. Many of the movements are designed to stimulate the PNS nerves around the sacrum area. Simultaneously, we practice relaxing and releasing the negative thought patterns. We chant to tune the mind to a more harmonous state. Different people respond to different practices. Some need a more active practice to feel met. Some find a more restorative passive practice to be the most effective. There is no one route for anyone. One of the most beautiful characteristics of the yoga practice is that it morphs to meet each of us where we are and gently draw us in deeper.

You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clear blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, not matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting over and over announcing your place in the family of things. Image Source: Donna Fahari’s, The Breathing Book 62

Mary Oliver 63

What Inspires Us? According to the scientist sages, our need to exhale - to release the toxic build up, motivates the inhale.

After careful and quiet observation, please record your experiences.

What Motivates Inhalation When the CO2 levels are too high in the blood, the respiratory center in the medulla of the brain sends a signal through the phrenic nerve (which emanates from C4 ) to the diaphragm to contract and motivate the inhale which will then stimulate an exhale.

1. How do you describe the feeling tone or quality of the exhale? Is there an image that you see?

CO2 acts as an acid and lowers the pH of the brain. The bodies responsible for the detection of CO2 are the peripheral chemoreceptors such as the carotid bodies and the central chemoreceptors (located in the brain).

2. How do you describe or picture the feeling tone or quality at the bottom of the exhale?

How Rest Breathing Works Breathing In 1. Diaphragm contracts and flattens. The diaphragm only descends about 1cm then it comes to rest on the contents of the abdomen like the stomach, spleen and liver. At this point it doesn’t descend any further but instead “acts upwards” on the ribs, pulling them upwards and outwards, further increasing the volume of the chest. 2. External intercostals contract lifting and widening ribs. The external intercostals are located between the ribs and they pull the top 6 ribs outwards and upwards, while the lower six are just pulled outwards.

3. How do you feel on the rise of the inhalation? Are you more pesent at the first moment, middle or towards the end?

3. These two motions increase the thoracic cavity space. 4. This expansion of space reduces pressure in the pleural cavity (a sac that surrounds the lungs) which allows the lungs to expand. 5. As the lungs expand, there is a reduction of pressure in the pulmonary cavity relative to the atmosphere and air is drawn in towards the alveoli.

4. How does it feel to be at the top of the inhalation? What are some of the sensations or thoughts or images?

Breathing Out 1. The diaphragm relaxes and the buildup of pressure in the abdominal cavity pushes back up on the diaphragm which then reduces the thoracic cavity space and increases pressure in the pleural cavity and pulmonary cavity causing air to leave. 64


Phrenic Nerve

Muscles of Respiration

Image Source: Atlas of Human Anatomy, Frank H. Netter, M.D.

Image Source: Atlas of Human Anatomy, Frank H. Netter, M.D.



Topography of Lungs: Front

Topography of Lungs: Back

Image Source: Atlas of Human Anatomy, Frank H. Netter, M.D.

Image Source: Atlas of Human Anatomy, Frank H. Netter, M.D.



Avioli Exchange Schema Only Breath Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu Buddhist, sufi, or zen. Not any religion or cultural system. I am not from the East or the West, not out of the ocean or up from the ground, not natural or ethereal, not composed of elements at all. I do not exist, am not an entity in this world or in the next, did not descend from Adam and Eve or any origin story. My place is placeless, a trace of the traceless. Neither body or soul. I belong to the beloved, have seen the two worlds as one and that one call to and know, first, last, outer, inner, only that breath breathing human being. ~ Rumi

Image Source: Atlas of Human Anatomy, Frank H. Netter, M.D. 70


Exposed Heart According to Our Yogi Sages • It is the desires in our heart that motivate the inhalation. • Our deepest desire is the desire to be connected. • Our heart is always thinking about connection and motivating the movements of the mind. • If we could just see clearly enough, we would see that we are already connected and our breath and mind could rest. • Nothing happens without desire. Desire is the motivating force of the universe. • Our instructions, our dharma - our responsibility towards the maintenance of cosmic order, sits in our heart. • The happiest yogi is the one with the fewest desires. • The sage does nothing but nothing gets left undone. Some Questions • Is Love is the ordering force? • Is our sense of separation necessary to perform our dharma? • Do we need to have a sense of moving towards what we love to compel us? • Have you ever tried to accomplish something you did not want to do? • Does the inhalation represent our movement towards and exhalation represent our surrender?

Image Source: Atlas of Human Anatomy, Frank H. Netter, M.D. 72


Nerves of the Heart

Innervation of the Heart: Schema

Image Source: Atlas of Human Anatomy, Frank H. Netter, M.D.

Image Source: Atlas of Human Anatomy, Frank H. Netter, M.D.



Flow of Blood Through the Heart

Twisting My Heart

Deoxygenated blood enters the upper right chamber (atrium) of the heart via two veins: the superior and inferior vena cavas. The superiner is returning blood from above the heart, the inferior from below.

When we feel our own pulse pressing upward to our skin, we tend to picture the heart beating like a drum, pushing outward on each beat.

From the atrium, this blood pours into the lower right chamber (ventrical) and once enough pressure has built, the tricuspid valve closes, creating the “LUB” sound. The blood is then pushed up through the right and left pulmonary arteries to the right and left lungs respectively to pick up fresh oxygen at the alveoli. This oxygenated blood then comes back to the heart from the lungs via the pulmonary veins and pours into the left upper atrium. This blood then flows into the left lower ventricle and again, once pressure has built up enough, the aortic valve closes, creating the “DUB” sound. The blood is then pushed up through the aorta and flows into the rest of the body.

But the heartbeat is more like a squeezing or twisting than a thumping. It begins like this: Electricity from special cells (called pacemaker cells)-starting at the top of the heart and moving down-stimulates the heart muscle to squeeze the blood out through the aortic valve. It’s like wringing a wet towel to squeeze out the liquid. As the heart muscle becomes tightly wound, the blood is squeezed out until there is virtually no space between the individual muscle cells. The blood is then pushed through the valves. The wave of blood that has been squeezed out of the heart is ejected into the aorta itself, the body’s largest artery, which carries oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body. Once that happens, the heart relaxes-as if your hands had just let go of the towel. As it does, the coronary vessels, which lie on the surface of the heart, also relax. Then the space between the tight muscle cells opens up, and the rich, oxygenated blood that was just ejected from the heart fills the arteries on the heart’s surface and slips down between those cells and feeds them. Most of the ejected blood goes on to fuel the rest of the body-but not before the heart puts its own tax on it, taking its first cut of the life-sustaining fluid. After the process of towel-wringing-squeezing blood into the aorta followed by muscle relaxation and the heart feeding itself-then, 60 or more times a minute, the pacemakers send out their next signal, beginning the process all over again.

Image Source: Atlas of Human Anatomy, Frank H. Netter, M.D. 76


From the Visible to the Invisble As the breath is referred to the grossest form of prana, perhaps we can look at the wonderful and magnificent web of the nervous and circulatory system as the grossest representation of the nadis. This does not mean that these elements are the nadis, rather, they are the densest physical expressions of the currents of prana. The earliest westerners to reference the existence of the rumored 350,000 nadis assumed that the yogis were referring to nerves and veins in addition to subtler currents. In 1918, Arthur Avalon (aka Sir John Woodroffe) in, “The Serpent Power: The Secrets of Tantric and Shaktic Yoga,” offers a detailed account of the correspondence between the known nerve pathways of the times and the locations of the nadis and chakras according to the yogis. This is of course useful and problematic as the effort to make systems match can result in blindness. We are proposing that the channels of these more obvious rivers of miracles like the visible nerves and circulatory system pathways can be played with as beginning points or treasure maps to dive into deeper and subtler depths. Wherever there is a nerve, a branch of the brain, there is usually an artery, vein or capillary, a branch of the heart dancing together through what we label as the body. The heart and mind and body are not separate. The yogis have known this for a long time. Please in no way assume that this approach means the more surface or gross forms are lesser than the subtle. Hardly. We are so lucky to have the opportunity to exist in this magical temporary expression of the Awesome. Most of the sages agree that a human birth is an immense blessing. And we have discovered that the pain that comes from the total identification with this realm, where suffering and illness and death are invetible, beckons us to look more closely and deeply.


Prayer for Light and Truth asato mā sadgamaya tamaso mā jyotirgamaya mṛytor mā amṛitaṁ gamaya Lead us from unreal to real. Lead us from darkness to light. Lead us from death to life. (Brhadaranyaka Upanishad I.3.2)

From the Vijñānabhairava Verse 54 Svadehe jagato vā pi sūkṣmasūkṣmatarāṇi ca Tattvani yā ni nilayaṃ dhyātvānte vyajyate parā If the yogi thinks deeply that the subtle and subtler constitutive principles of one’s own body or the world are being absorbed in their own respective causes, than at the end parā devī or the supreme goddess is revealed. Verse 55 Pinām ca durbalāṃ śaktiṃ dhyāyvā dvādaśgocare Praviśya hṛdaye dhyāyanmuktaḥ svātantryam āpnuyāt If prāṇaśakti which is gross and thick, is made frail and subtle (by yogic discipline, particularly prāṇāyāma) and if a yogi meditates on such śakti either in dvādaśānta or in the heart (i.e. the centre of the body) by entering mentally into it, he is liberated and he gains his (natural) sovereign power. 79

Mind and Heart Health from Patanjali 1.2

Yoga is the mastery over the fluctuations of the mind.

yogaś chitta vṛtti nirodhaḥ

1.33 A clear and tranquil mind results from cultivating friendliness towards those who are happy, compassion towards those who suffer, joy towards the virtuous, and impartiality towards wrong-doers.

1.38 Or by depending upon insights obtained in the states of greater awakening called svapna and nidra. svapna nidrā jñāna ālambanaṃ vā 1.38 Or by meditation on the longing of the heart.

yathā abhimata dhyānād vā

maitrī karuṇā muditā upekṣānāṃ sukha duḥka puṇya apuṇya viṣāyaṇāṃ bhāvanātaś chitta prāsadanam

1.34 Or from attention to the outward and inward flow of breath (prana).

prachchhardana vidhāraṇābhyāṃ vā prāṇasya

1.35 Or from steady attention to the subtler levels of sensation

viṣaya vatī vā pravṛttir utpannā manasaḥ sthiti nibandhanī

1.36 Or by experiencing inner radiance free from sorrow.

viśokā vā jyotiṣmatī

1.37 Or by turning to those things which do not incite attachment.

MeYou, Robyn Dalby, 2012

vīta rāga viṣayaṃ vā chittam 80


Sutra 1.33 A clear and tranquil mind results from cultivating friendliness towards those who are happy, compassion towards those who suffer, joy towards the virtuous and impartiality towards wrong-doers.

Perhaps practice writing the sanskrit and english words of sutra 1.33 here to help you memorize them. Practice sharing with others in teaching and conversation.

maitrī karuṇā muditā upekṣānāṃ sukha duḥka puṇya apuṇya viṣāyaṇāṃ bhāvanātaś chitta prāsadanam maitrī - friendliness, pleasantness karuṇā - compassion, mercy muditā - goodwill, gladness, sympathetic joy upekṣānāṃ - equanitmity, impartiality, neutrality sukha - happy, joyous duḥka - suffering, pain puṇya - virtuous, meritorious apuṇya - non-virtuous, wicked viṣāyaṇāṃ - regarding those subjects, in relation to those objects bhāvanātaś - by cultivating habits, by constant reflection, impressing on oneself chitta - mind field, consciousness prāsadanam - purified, clear, serene, calm, pacified



Sutra 1.33 Field Notes 1. What did you notice when you made an effort to be in the feeling tone of friendliness? Describe the physiological effects if available.

2. What did you notice when you made an effort to be in the feeling tone of compassion? Describe the physiological effects if available.

3. Do friendliness and compassion feel different to you? If so, can you please describe how they differ or feel the same.


4. Who is someone that allows you to practice mudita (sympathetic joy)? Can you describe the feeling? What seems to happen in your body?

5. What do you notice in your body when you slip into equanimity? If equanimity is not available, what do you experience instead?

6. Allow yourself to sit with a disharmonious relationship. What happens when you play with one of the emotions suggested by Sutra 1.33? Is one more effective for you than another?


The Kleshas In attempting to understand how the mind works, it is popular to use the analogy of a computer. While perhaps helpful for a moment, this inclination shrinks our minds down to something humans have created. This limiting self referencing feeds the concept of the body as a machine with parts and serves the rational gods. Within this analogy, the vrttis (the fluctuations or movements) are described as the “software” that runs off the “firmware” or the “operating system” of the kleshas. The kleśāḥs, described in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, are the “colorings of” or “hindrances to” seeing clearly. The writings from over 2000 years ago and from a much older oral tradition correspond to what neuroscientists are just starting to “prove.” As biological beings, with seemingly temporary physical encasings, we are designed to avoid danger and survive. These tendencies create pattens that without observation can concretize and feel like truth. The yogi aims to see these limiting beliefs and allow them to dissolve into greater perceived Truths.

2.1 The practice of yoga consists of self discipline (tapas), self-study (svadhyaya), and dedication to Ishvara.

2.5 Avidya is seeing the transient as eternal, the impure as pure, dissatisfaction as pleasure, the non-Self as Self. 2.6 Asmita is the misidentification of the power of seeing with what is seen. 2.7 Raga arises from dwelling on pleasant experiences. 2.8 Dvesha arises from clinging to unpleasant experiences. 2.9 Abhinivesha is the automatic tendency for continuity; it overwhelms even the wise. 2.10 These subtle kleshas can be overcome by reversing the natural flow (pratiparasava) and returning towards the source. 2.11 Their effects can be reduced by mediation (dhyana).

2.2 Yoga is for cultivating samadhi and for weakening the hindrances (kleshas).

2.12 Past actions, rooted in kleshas, give rise to experiences in present or future births.

2.3 The kleshas are ignorance (avidya), the sense of a separate self (asmita), attraction (raga), aversion (dvesha), and clinging to the status quo (abhinivesha).

2.13 As long as the root exists, the effects will be experienced as birth and in the quality and duration of life.

avidyā asmitā rāga dveṣa abhiniveśāḥ kleśāḥ

2.14 Joy is the result of right action, sorrow of wrong action.

2.4 Avidya is the cause of all the others, whether dormant, attenuated, intermittent, or fully active.



The Vrittis There is a funny temptation to blame our difficulties of attention on the latest technological distractions. These three sutras remind us that the distractions and results have been similar for a long long time. Pointing towards a cause outside of ourselves is rarely helpful. The solution is to vigilantly engage in self study and knows these temptations and intimate aspects of ourselves.

1.30 Sickness, apathy, doubt, carelessness, laziness, indulgence, confusion, unsteadiness, and feeling stuck are the interruptions which cause dispersion of attention.

vyādhi styāna samśaya pramāda ālasya avirati bhrānti darśana alabdha bhūmikatva anavasthitatvāni chitta vikṣepāste’ntarāyāḥ vyādhi - sickness, illness, disease styāna - apathy, dullness, mental laziness, rigidity samśaya - doubt, indecision pramāda - carelessness, negligence ālasya - laziness, sloth avirati - indulgence, want of non-attachment, sensuality, craving, desire bhrānti darśana - confusion, false views of perception, blindness alabdha bhūmikatva - failing to attain stages of practice (alabdha - not obtaining, bhūmikatva firm ground, state) anavasthitatvāni - inability to maintain, inconsistency chitta vikṣepā - distractions of the mind antarāya - obstacle


1.31 Dissatisfaction, despair, nervousness and irregular breathing accompany this dispersion.

duḥkha daurmanasya aṅgam ejayatva śvāsa praśvāsā vikṣepasahabhvaḥ

duḥkha - pain (mental or physical) daurmanasya - despair, sadness aṅgam ejayatva - nervousness, shakiness śvāsa - irregular inhalation praśvāsā - irregular exhalation vikṣepa - distractions sahabhvaḥ - correlates, accompaniments, companions

1.32 Dispersion is prevented by the practice of focusing on one truth.

tat-pratiṣedha artham eka tattva abhyāsaḥ


Architecture of the Brain From ‘Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation,’ by Daniel J Siegel, M.D.









Does Free will Exist?

Image by Jonothan Rosen.

Please respond to the question. Site examples from your life.



Trauma In these pages from ‘In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness,’ Peter Levine , PhD, suggests we update our understanding of Flight or Flight to understand how the trauma occurs.

“Trauma occurs when we are intensely frightened and are either physically retrained or perceive that we are trapped. We freeze in paralysis and or collapse in overwhelming helplessness.”








Shame, Blame and Immobility Spiral

In this next section, Dr. Levine explains how the physical sensations of immobility by themselves can evoke fear resulting in a downward spiral loop. He looks to soldiers, rape survivors and molested children as examples of beings trapped in this. The material is sensitive. Towards the end of this section, Levine speaks of how to uncouple fear and immobility.























Map of the Psychophysiological













I talk to my inner lover, and I say, why such rush? We sense that there is some sort of spirit that loves birds and animals and the ants perhaps the same one who gave a radiance to you in your mother’s womb. Is it logical you would be walking around entirely orphaned now? The truth is you turned away from yourself, and decided to go into the dark alone. Now you are tangled up in others, and have for gotten what you once knew, and that’s why everything you do has some weird failure in it. Kabir



The Emotional Nervous System With the discovery of receptors, peptides and ligands, which are now called information molecules, in 1972, neuroscience began to understand that information in the body travels chemically through the bloodstream, not just electrically through the nerves. In 1984, because of breakthroughs in understanding immunity, a biochemical basis for emotions was presented. Candice B. Pert, PhD confirmed the opiate receptors existence on October 25, 1972. Her book, ‘Molecules of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine,’ outlines her discovery and how the molecules work.

Best Known Information Molecules Information Molecule

Influence On

Related To





Fight or Fligt Reposnse, Nervousness


Cortical Releasing Factor

Depression and Sadness






Fear, Alertness

Cocaine, Clozapine


Joy, Love, Sadness, Pain

Opium, Heroin, Sugar


Joy, Love, Depression, Paranoia

Chocolate, Falling in Love





Nervousness, Sleep

Melatonin Drug


Agressiion, Fear, Depression, Cheerfulnes

Amphetamine, Cocaine, Caffeine


Love, Satisfaction



Inner peace and Love Pregancy

Source: The Yoga of Nine Emotions, Peter Marchand





How Memory Stores and Shapes Love Memory defines, relates and holds a person’s mental world together.” ‘General Theory of Love’, Lewis MD

“That during contemplative prayer all created things and their works must be buried beneath the cloud of forgetting.” ~ The Cloud of Unknowing, 14th century























The Limbic System



Color the amygdala



The flute of interior time is played whether we hear it or not What we mean by “love� is its sound coming in. When love hits the farthest edge of excess, it reaches wisdom. And the fragrance of that knowledge! It penetrates our thick bodies, it goes thought walls. Its network of notes has a structure as if a million suns were arranged inside. This tune has a truth in it. Where else have you heard a sound like this?

Boney and Squishy Landmarks




The Spine

Pelvic Viewing

Image Source: Netter’s Atlas of Human Anatomy

Image Source: Netter’s Atlas of Human Anatomy




External Rotators of Hip

Hip Joint

Gemellus superior, Gemellus inferior, Obturator internus, Obturator externus, Quadratus femoris, Piriformis, Gluteus maximus, Sartorius, Gluteus medius, posterior fibers

Internal Rotators of Hip

Gluteus Minimus

Gluteus Medius Image Source: Netter’s Atlas of Human Anatomy

Tensor Fasciae Latae L



The Sciattic Nerve

Nerves of Lumbarsacral

Images from Image Source: Netter’s Atlas of Human Anatomy L L




La Psoas

Little Muscles of the Spine

Rotatores Thoracis Muscles

Interspinalis Muscles

Image copied from Netter’s Atlas of Human Anatomy with no permission.

Images from




Pelvic Floor Maps

Pelvic Floor Mudras





The Shoulder Joint

Images from L L




Images from

Your Beautiful Neck

“Only those who are unwise and selfloving can believe that above them are only hymns...the higher it is, the more tense.� ~ from Heart Agni Yoga Society

Image Source:




Friend, please tell me what i can do about this world I hold to, and keep spinning out! I gave up sewnclothes, and wore a robe, but I noticed one day the cloth was well woven. So i bought some burlap, but i still throw it elegantly over my left shoulder.

Into Practice

I pulled back my sexual longings and now I discover that I’m angry a lot. I gave up rage, and now I notice that I am greedy all day. I worked hard at dissolving freed, and now I am proud of myself. When the mind wants to break its link with the world it still hold onto one thing. Kabir says: listen my friend, there are very few that find the path! Kabir



Gentle Kindness Takes Practice

Abhyasa and Vairagya

In his book, ‘Outliers’, Malcom Gladwell put forth data and research revealing that to be come good at anything takes at least 10,000 of practice.


Stillness develops through practice (abhyasa) and non-identification (vairagya).

abhyāsa vairāgyābhyāṃ tan nirodhaḥ


Abhyasa is the effort of remaining present.

tatra sthitau yatno’ bhyāsaḥ

As a culture, we seem to know this about our sports and arts, but somehow its more difficult to apply to our relationship with ourselves. I hear all the time, “I’m too tight to stretch,” and “My mind is too busy to meditate,” as if the identity is fixed. And so as long as we think it is, it will be. But as you may have started to notice, everything changes when you bring your attention to it. The texts present a paradox. They are filled with practices and the simultaneous suggestion that there is nothing to do, everything is fine the way it is. The cosmic joke is that it takes massive capacity to have room for everything as it is, including ourselves. Self Love will occur spontaneously as a result of your diligent effort towards it. You will be amazed and delighted and also frightened and full of doubt. As yogis we are increasing our tolerances for the opposites and magically we find ourselves in the center. Go forth with vigilant optimism. Sutras 1.12 – 1.16 address the continual effort towards effortlessness. This translation and commentary is from Ravi Ravindras, “The Wisdom of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras: A New Translation and Guide,” 2009.

1.14 Continuous care and attention for a long time establishes this practice. sa tu dīrgha kāla nairantaira satkāra āsevito dṛḍha bhūmiḥ

1.15 1.16

Vairagya is the mastery over the craving for what has been seen or heard. dṛṣta ānuśravika viṣaya vitṛṣnasya vaśīkāra saṃjña vairāgyam

The higher vairagya arises from a vision of the Transcendent being (Purusha) and leads to the cessation of craving for the things of the world. tat paraṃ puruṣa khyāter guṇa vaitṛṣṇyam




Becoming a Learner

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle If we are only rewarded by our achievements, we slowly become non-learners. We begin to avoid the activities that we are not good at and slowly start to shrink our lives. If we can feel rewarded by our efforts, then challenges and new things become exciting as they offer an opportunity to grow and stretch and live a richer life. Key ingredients of a yogi are wonderment and willingness. If we approach ourselves with curiosity and amazement, we increase our capacity to hold the opposites.





The Effort Effect According to a Stanford psychologist, you’ll reach new heights if you learn to embrace the occasional tumble. By Marina Krakovsky ONE DAY LAST NOVEMBER, psychology professor Carol Dweck welcomed a pair of visitors from the Blackburn Rovers, a soccer team in the United Kingdom’s Premier League. The Rovers’ training academy is ranked in England’s top three, yet performance director Tony Faulkner had long suspected that many promising players weren’t reaching their potential. Ignoring the team’s century-old motto—arte et labore, or “skill and hard work”—the most talented individuals disdained serious training. On some level, Faulkner knew the source of the trouble: British soccer culture held that star players are born, not made. If you buy into that view, and are told you’ve got immense talent, what’s the point of practice? If anything, training hard would tell you and others that you’re merely good, not great. Faulkner had identified the problem; but to fix it, he needed Dweck’s help. A 60-year-old academic psychologist might seem an unlikely sports motivation guru. But Dweck’s expertise—and her recent book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success—bear directly on the sort of problem facing the Rovers. Through more than three decades of systematic research, she has been figuring out answers to why some people achieve their potential while equally talented others don’t—why some become Muhammad Ali and others Mike Tyson. The key, she found, isn’t ability; it’s whether you look at ability as something inherent that needs to be demonstrated or as something that can be developed. What’s more, Dweck has shown that people can learn to adopt the latter belief and make dramatic strides in performance. These days, she’s sought out wherever motivation and achievement matter, from education and parenting to business management and personal development. AS A GRADUATE STUDENT AT YALE, Dweck started off studying animal motivation. In the late 1960s, a hot topic in animal research was “learned helplessness”: lab animals sometimes didn’t do what they were capable of because they’d given up from repeat failures. Dweck wondered how humans coped with that. “I asked, ‘What makes a

really capable child give up in the face of failure, where other children may be motivated by the failure?’” she recalls. At the time, the suggested cure for learned helplessness was a long string of successes. Dweck posited that the difference between the helpless response and its opposite—the determination to master new things and surmount challenges—lay in people’s beliefs about why they had failed. People who attributed their failures to lack of ability, Dweck thought, would become discouraged even in areas where they were capable. Those who thought they simply hadn’t tried hard enough, on the other hand, would be fueled by setbacks. This became the topic of her PhD dissertation. Dweck and her assistants ran an experiment on elementary school children whom school personnel had identified as helpless. These kids fit the definition perfectly: if they came across a few math problems they couldn’t solve, for example, they no longer could do problems they had solved before—and some didn’t recover that ability for days. Through a series of exercises, the experimenters trained half the students to chalk up their errors to insufficient effort, and encouraged them to keep going. Those children learned to persist in the face of failure—and to succeed. The control group showed no improvement at all, continuing to fall apart quickly and to recover slowly. These findings, says Dweck, “really supported the idea that the attributions were a key ingredient driving the helpless and mastery-oriented patterns.” Her 1975 article on the topic has become one of the most widely cited in contemporary psychology. Attribution theory, concerned with people’s judgments about the causes of events and behavior, already was an active area of psychological research. But the focus at the time was on how we make attributions, explains Stanford psychology professor Lee Ross, who coined the term “fundamental attribution error” for our tendency to explain other people’s actions by their character traits, overlooking the power of circumstances. Dweck, he says, helped “shift the emphasis from attributional errors and biases to the consequences of attributions—why it matters what attributions people make.” Dweck had put attribution theory to practical use.




She continued to do so as an assistant professor at the University of Illinois, collaborating with then-graduate student Carol Diener to have children “think out loud” as they faced problem-solving tasks, some too difficult for them. The big surprise: some of the children who put forth lots of effort didn’t make attributions at all. These children didn’t think they were failing. Diener puts it this way: “Failure is information—we label it failure, but it’s more like, ‘This didn’t work, I’m a problem solver, and I’ll try something else.’” During one unforgettable moment, one boy—something of a poster child for the mastery-oriented type—faced his first stumper by pulling up his chair, rubbing his hands together, smacking his lips and announcing, “I love a challenge.” Such zest for challenge helped explain why other capable students thought they lacked ability just because they’d hit a setback. Common sense suggests that ability inspires self-confidence. And it does for a while—so long as the going is easy. But setbacks change everything. Dweck realized—and, with colleague Elaine Elliott soon demonstrated—that the difference lay in the kids’ goals. “The mastery-oriented children are really hell-bent on learning something,” Dweck says, and “learning goals” inspire a different chain of thoughts and behaviors than “performance goals.” Students for whom performance is paramount want to look smart even if it means not learning a thing in the process. For them, each task is a challenge to their self-image, and each setback becomes a personal threat. So they pursue only activities at which they’re sure to shine—and avoid the sorts of experiences necessary to grow and flourish in any endeavor. Students with learning goals, on the other hand, take necessary risks and don’t worry about failure because each mistake becomes a chance to learn. Dweck’s insight launched a new field of educational psychology—achievement goal theory.



Dweck’s next question: what makes students focus on different goals in the first place? During a sabbatical at Harvard, she was discussing this with doctoral student Mary Bandura (daughter of legendary Stanford psychologist Albert Bandura), and the answer hit them: if some students want to show off their ability, while others want to increase their ability, “ability” means different things to the two groups. “If you want to demonstrate something over and over, it feels like something static that lives inside of you—whereas if you want to increase your ability, it feels dynamic and malleable,” Dweck explains. 187

GROWING UP IN BROOKLYN in the ’50s, Dweck did well in elementary school, earning a spot in a sixth-grade class of other high achievers. Not just any spot, it turned out. Their teacher, Mrs. Wilson, seated the students in IQ order and even used IQ scores to dole out classroom responsibilities. Whether Mrs. Wilson meant to or not, she was conveying her belief in fixed intelligence. Dweck, who was in row 1, seat 1, believes Mrs. Wilson’s intentions were good. The experience didn’t scar her—Dweck says she already had some of the growth mind-set—but she has shown that many students pegged as bright, especially girls, don’t fare as well. Tests, Dweck notes, are notoriously poor at measuring potential. Take a group of adults and ask them to draw a self-portrait. Most Americans think of drawing as a gift they don’t have, and their portraits look no better than a child’s scribbles. But put them in a well-designed class—as Betty Edwards, the author of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, has—and the resulting portraits look so skilled it’s hard to believe they’re the work of the same “talentless” individuals. The belief that you can’t improve stunts achievement.

Students for whom performance is paramount want to look smart even if it means not learning a thing in the process. People with performance goals, she reasoned, think intelligence is fixed from birth. People with learning goals have a growth mindset about intelligence, believing it can be developed. (Among themselves, psychologists call the growth mind-set an “incremental theory,” and use the term “entity theory” for the fixed mindset.) The model was nearly complete (see previous diagram).

Culture can play a large role in shaping our beliefs, Dweck says. A college physics teacher recently wrote to Dweck that in India, where she was educated, there was no notion that you had to be a genius or even particularly smart to learn physics. “The assumption was that everyone could do it, and, for the most part, they did.” But what if you’re raised with a fixed mind-set about physics—or foreign languages or music? Not to worry: Dweck has shown that you can change the mind-set itself. The most dramatic proof comes from a recent study by Dweck and Lisa Sorich Blackwell of low-achieving seventh graders. All students participated in sessions on study skills, the brain and the like; in addition, one group attended a neutral session on memory while the other learned that intelligence, like a muscle, grows stronger through exercise. Training students to adopt a growth mind-set about intelligence had a catalytic effect on motivation and math grades; students in the control group showed no improvement despite all the other interventions. “Study skills and learning skills are inert until they’re powered by an active ingredient,” Dweck explains. Students may know how to study, but won’t want to if they believe their efforts are futile. “If you target that belief, you can see more benefit than you have any reason to hope for.”




‘What makes a really capable child give up in the face of failure, where other children may be motivated by the failure?’ The classroom workshop isn’t feasible on a large scale; for one thing, it’s too costly. So Dweck and Blackwell have designed a computer-based training module to simulate the live intervention. Their hip multimedia software, called Brainology, is still in development, but thanks to early buzz from a Time magazine article and Dweck’s recent book, teachers have begun clamoring for it, one even asking to become a distributor. Unlike much that passes for wisdom about education and performance, Dweck’s conclusions are grounded in solid research. She’s no rah-rah motivational coach proclaiming the sky’s the limit and attitude is everything; that’s too facile. But the evidence shows that if we hold a fixed mind-set, we’re bound not to reach as high as we might. ALTHOUGH MUCH OF DWECK’S RESEARCH on mind-sets has taken place in school settings, it’s applicable to sports, business, interpersonal relationships and so on. “Lots and lots of people are interested in her work; it touches on so many different areas of psychology and areas outside of psychology,” says Stanford psychology professor Mark Lepper, ’66, who as department chair in 2004 lured Dweck away from Columbia, where she’d been for 15 years. “The social psychologists like to say she’s a social psychologist; the personality psychologists say she’s a personality psychologist; and the developmental psychologists say she’s a developmental psychologist,” Lepper adds. By all rights, her appeal should transcend academia, says New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell, who is well known for making psychological research accessible to the general public. “One of the most popular pieces I ever did relied very heavily on work done by Carol Dweck,” he said in a December interview in theJournal of Management Inquiry. “Carol Dweck deserves a big audience. It is criminal if she does not get that audience.” Perhaps Mindset will help; it was written for lay readers.

It certainly cemented Tony Faulkner’s belief that Dweck could help the Blackburn Rovers soccer team. Unlike the disadvantaged kids in Dweck’s middle-school study, the Rovers didn’t think they lacked what it took to succeed. Quite the opposite: they thought their talent should take them all the way. Yet both groups’ fixed mind-set about ability explains their aversion to effort. But aren’t there plenty of people who believe in innate ability and in the notion that nothing comes without effort? Logically, the two ideas are compatible. But psychologically, explains Dweck, many people who believe in fixed intelligence also think you shouldn’t need hard work to do well. This belief isn’t entirely irrational, she says. A student who finishes a problem set in 10 minutes is indeed better at math than someone who takes four hours to solve the problems. And a soccer player who scores effortlessly probably is more talented than someone who’s always practicing. “The fallacy comes when people generalize it to the belief that effort on any task, even very hard ones, implies low ability,” Dweck says. Her advice for the Rovers rings true for anyone stuck in a fixed mind-set. “Changing mind-sets is not like surgery,” she says. “You can’t simply remove the fixed mind-set and replace it with the growth mind-set.” The Rovers are starting their workshops with recent recruits—their youngest, most malleable players. (Faulkner realizes that players who’ve already earned millions from being “naturals” have little incentive to reshape their brains.) The team’s talent scouts will be asking about new players’ views on talent and training—not to screen out those with a fixed mind-set, but to target them for special training. In his 2002 essay that relied on Dweck’s work, Gladwell cited one of her best-known experiments to argue that Enron may have collapsed precisely because of the company’s talent-obsessed culture, not despite it. Dweck’s study showed that praising children for intelligence, rather than for effort, sapped their motivation (see sidebar). But more disturbingly, 40 percent of those whose intelligence was praised overstated their scores to peers. “We took ordinary children and made them into liars,” Dweck says. Similarly, Enron executives who’d been celebrated for their innate talent would sooner lie than fess up to problems and work to fix them.




Business School professor Jeffrey Pfeffer says Dweck’s research has implications for the more workaday problem of performance management. He faults businesses for spending too much time in rank-and-yank mode, grading and evaluating people instead of developing their skills. “It’s like the Santa Claus theory of management: who’s naughty and who’s nice.” Leaders, too, can benefit from Dweck’s work, says Robert Sternberg, PhD ’75, Tufts University’s dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. Sternberg, a past president of the American Psychological Association, says that excessive concern with looking smart keeps you from making bold, visionary moves. “If you’re afraid of making mistakes, you’ll never learn on the job, and your whole approach becomes defensive: ‘I have to make sure I don’t screw up.’”

What Do We Tell Our Kids? YOU HAVE A BRIGHT CHILD, and you want her to succeed. You should tell her how smart she is, right? That’s what 85 percent of the parents Dweck surveyed said. Her research on fifth graders shows otherwise. Labels, even though positive, can be harmful. They may instill a fixed mind-set and all the baggage that goes with it, from performance anxiety to a tendency to give up quickly. Well-meaning words can sap children’s motivation and enjoyment of learning and undermine their performance. While Dweck’s study focused on intelligence praise, she says her conclusions hold true for all talents and abilities. Here are Dweck’s tips from Mindset: Listen to what you say to your kids, with an ear toward the messages you’re sending about mind-set. Instead of praising children’s intelligence or talent, focus on the processes they used. Example: “That homework was so long and involved. I really admire the way you concentrated and finished it.” Example: “That picture has so many beautiful colors. Tell me about them.” Example: “You put so much thought into that essay. It really makes me think about Shakespeare in a new way.” When your child messes up, give constructive criticism—feedback that helps the child understand how to fix the problem, rather than labeling or excusing the child.

Source: New Yorker

Pay attention to the goals you set for your children; having innate talent is not a goal, but expanding skills and knowledge is. Don’t worry about praising your children for their inherent goodness, though. It’s important for children to learn they’re basically good and that their parents love them unconditionally, Dweck says. “The problem arises when parents praise children in a way that makes them feel that they’re good and love-worthy only when they behave in particular ways that please the parents.”




Is Love an Art?





Erich Fromm (1900 - 1980) was a renowned psychologist and social philosopher who emigrated in 1934 to the United States, where he held a private practice and taught at Columbia, Yale, and New York University. These excerpts are from The Art of Loving. His other books include Escape from Freedom, Man for Himself, The Heart of Man and The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness.




Self Love is the Opposite of Selfish







Turn on and Tune In your Senses

To be a yogi is to be a professional of the internal landscape. And to be a professional of the internal landscape is to become an expert conservationist of prana, our vital and precious life force. Our senses are one of the primary avenues through which we expend our prana. Most of us give ourselves away to what we are looking at, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting. We are wired to bond to an object or experience with which we are engaging in a positive or negative way, creating an attachment in the direction of pleasure or suffering. Pratyahara (prut-ee-uh-hara), the fourth limb of Patanjali’s Eight Limb path, is usually defined as “withdrawal of the senses”. The practice is derived from two Sanskrit words: “prati”, a preposition meaning away or against, and “ahara”, meaning food or anything taken into ourselves. Together, they create the definition of “weaning away from food.” The suggestion is that one might restrain the external senses from the sources of attachment with the result of reducing the leak of prana. At first introduction, the suggestion can seem like a recipe for a dull life. Why would anyone want to reduce the engagement with the joys of soft kittens, good food, fresh cut roses, glorious sunsets and tender songbirds? Instead of focusing on the reduction of sensual engagement, we prefer to define the practice of Pratyahara as a turning of the senses inward and allowing these same magical skills of sight, touch, taste, hearing and smell to be employed for connection with the richness within. As we develop a more satisfying relationship inside, employing the natural tendency of attachment in a new direction, we allow the external more room to be as it is. We are less drained away from ourselves. We no longer need things to be a certain way to be pleased. This creates immense freedom and ultimately peace. 206

Each of the senses is believed to be linked to a chakra and corresponding sense organ. Chakras are understood to be vortices or hubs of nadis, the channels of the prana. While there are varying accounts of the number and location of the chakras, most maps show a total of seven with five of them connecting to our five senses. Our sense of smell is linked to the nose and the root chakra, muladhara. Our sense of taste is weaved with the tongue and our sacral chakra, svadhisthana. Our ability to see is connected with our eyes and our navel chakra, manipura. Our skin is the sense organ and our hands are the motor organ of touch. Both are extensions of our heart chakra, anahata. Our sense of hearing relies on our ears and is governed by our throat chakra, vishuddha. The sense organs -- the nose, tongue, eyes, skin, ears -- and the motor organ of the hands can act like doorways into the interior realm and practice of pratyahara. Sense



Sense Organ

Motor Organ







Svadishtana Sacral

















Vocal Cords

Here are a few ideas and techniques how we might get started with engaging our sense organs in the external and internal realm. When learning any new skill, we set ourselves up for greater success if we start with broad strokes and obvious exercises that will provide concrete feedback. We do this with an understanding that we will eventually be refining and honing more subtle details and perhaps even letting go of the same techniques that first drew us in. Again, these are beginning practices in the direction of Pratyahara. Start here and notice what arises. Developing our internal sensitivity with our organs of perceptions is a step towards increasing our capacity to withstand the magnificence that awaits. L L


The Nose For most of us, smell is our dominant and most primal sense. The direct connection between the olfactory nerves and limbic brain bind smell with both our implicit and explicit memories and corresponding emotions. Directly connected to our root chakra, our nose is a key way in which we sense our safety. Consciously and unconsciously, we make decisions to come closer, pause or back off simply because of smell. The ida and the pingala, two of our three primary nadis, are believed to originate from the root chakra, flow up the left and right sides of the spine, touching six of the seven chakras and descending into the left and right nostrils respectively. Maintaining sensitively to the quality, balance and smoothness of the breath in the nostrils will connect you to the flow of prana within these two channels. To establish this connection, try this: 1. Find a comfortable seat on the floor or in a chair, or lie on the ground supine.

5. Eventually allow the attention to return to both nostrils. 6. Gently move your awareness over to your right nostril. You might notice that the breath seems to follow. You might notice that your right nostril feels more or less open than your left. You might notice nothing. Simply record the data. 7. Eventually bring your attention back to both nostrils. Repeat one more full round. If you did notice a movement of the breath with your attention between your nostrils, you just found the connection between your mind, prana and breath. Amazing, huh? You can use this new relationship to start to become more fascinated with the subtle realm, which is a sweet beginning to creating desire and attachment to the pleasures within. Once the connection in the nostrils is established, play with connecting the sensations in your nostrils to your root chakra. The root of our muladhara is said to reside at the tailbone and the chakra is believed to flower at the perineum, between the genitals and anus.

2. Allow for a few deep breaths, releasing with audible sighs to help yourself land. 3. Begin to attend to the movement of breath in your nostrils. Do not breath with your nostrils, rather, allow the breath to be from the diaphragm or belly and simply feel the flow of the inhale and exhale through the nostrils. 4. Gently move your awareness to your left nostril. As you move your attention to your left nostril, sometimes the breath will follow. If this occurs, stay with it, holding your consciousness on the left nostril as you experience the sensation of primarily breathing in and out of your left nostril. Stay for least 5 breaths.





Sniff it Out, Sniff it In

Practice Smelling Below is a list of possible subjects of study. Please feel welcome to discover your own. Step 1: Relax before smelling Step 2: Take several deep whiffs. Relaxing after each inhale and exhale slowly. Step 3: Pause and notice if any emotion or memory arises. Step 4: Smell the object again and do your best to describe the smell (at least 3 adjectives) and the feelings and memories it evoked in you if any. Fresh Cut Orange


Fresh Cut Grass


Fresh Ground Coffee


First Steps into a Bakery

A Wild Rose

Your Own Cooking

Wild Sage

We have our noses in each other’s business all the time. Thank goodness, it doesn’t look quiet like it does at the dog park, but the general purpose is the same.

Spoiled Milk

Inside Your Shoes

Under Your Arms

Your Soap

Dogs have two anal glands in their rectums, which emit a strong scent. Dogs sniff each other’s butts in order to get a whiff of this. The aroma they smell gives them detailed information about the other dog. The aroma emitted from a dog’s butt tells other dogs vital information about him/her. It tells his/her sex, health status and temperament. Therefore, on a first meeting, two unacquainted dogs know if they want to befriend each other or not. (Source:

Under Your Lover’s Arm

Your Yoga Mat

Your Pet’s Fur

Your Body Lotion

A Public Restroom

Your child or children

Your Fingers


Your Toes

Late Night

Just Cleaned Laundry

Oak Trees

Our sense of smell is connected to our root chakra, muladhara, which is concerned about our safety.





Smelling Data Record



Smelling Data Record



How the Nose Works

The Sense of Smell and the Limbic System The olfactory bulb is one of the structures of the limbic system and a very ancient part of the brain. As mentioned in the previous description of the olfactory process, the information captured by the sense of smell goes from the olfactory bulb to other structures of the limbic system. The limbic system is a network of connected structures near the middle of the brain linked within the central nervous system. These structures “work together to affect a wide range of behaviors including emotions, motivation, and memory” (Athabasca University-Advance Biological Psychology Tutorials). This system deals with instinctive or automatic behaviors, and has little, if anything, to do with conscious thought or will.

The process of smelling goes more or less like this: 1. Vaporized odor molecules (chemicals) floating in the air reach the nostrils and dissolve in the mucus (which is on the roof of each nostril). 2. Underneath the mucus, in the olfactory epithelium, specialized receptor cells called olfactory receptor neurons detect the odor. These neurons are capable of detecting thousands of different odors. 3. The olfactory receptor neurons transmit the information to the olfactory bulbs, which are located at the back of the nose. 4. The olfactory bulbs has sensory receptors that are actually part of the brain which send messages directly to: * The most primitive brain centers where they influence emotions and memories (limbic system structures), and * “Higher” centers where they modify conscious thought (neo-cortex). 5. These brain centers perceive odors and access memories to remind us about people, places, or events associated with these olfactory sensations.



The limbic system is also concerned with translating sensory data from the neo-cortex (the thinking brain) into motivational forces for behavior. The limbic system is centrally involved in the mediation between a person’s recognition of an event, their perception of it as stressful, and the resulting physiological reaction to it, mediated via the endocrine system: Stimuli are processed conceptually in the cortex, and passed to the limbic system where they are evaluated and a motivational response is formulated.

Source: 215

Fragrance of memories

The Tongue

Have you ever had a memory cued by a smell? Make a list of the strongest ones.

Ease is an acquired taste. Becoming more intimate with this ever present nectar will help draw you under the surface to swim in the realm from which the poetry of the mystics emerges. Try this: Within a quiet point of your practice, perhaps while sitting for meditation, standing in tadasana, mountain pose, or while sinking into an easy passive seated stretch, draw your awareness to the region of the sacral chakra. The root of our svadhisthana is said to rest in our lower sacrum, the flower opens to our lower belly, below the navel. Try letting your lower belly to soften. Sometimes this will create a corresponding opening and easing in the sacrum. The element of this chakra is said to be water. Connect to a feeling of fluidity, allowing an image of an ocean or lake to help. If you have never softened your lower belly, the relaxation might feel counter-intuitive at first. Continue with the effort. Now, allow your jaw to soften and even slightly open. Begin to focus on your tongue. Feel the tongue fluffier. Cooperate with the alignment that starts to be revealed through the neck and head. You will know you are in your Alignment, as the base of your skull begins to feel gooier and your lips feel more sensual. Practice tasting this sensation. Your time spent here will strengthen your hunger for the subtle energies.





Taste Your Food, Taste your Life In the small town of Ojai in Southern California, we give massive amounts of attention to the food we eat right down to the personality of the farmer who’s growing our food. Labels like organic, local, free-range, farm-raised are mating calls. Camps are divided between those that cook their food and those that do not, and within those groups the treatment of honey ignites deep passions.

1. Make a list of your most favorite foods.

But we are truly eating all day long are our thoughts. The very common expressions like “Let me chew on that,” or “I need to digest this” or “What’s eating you?” are indicative of this truth. And because it is ourselves we are thinking about most of the time, we eat our opinions and fantasies of ourselves more than anything else. The chart below outlines the six recognized tastes in Ayurveda. ‘Umami’ is a culnary taste for savory. Do you know your taste preferences? Do you put Tobassco® on everything? Is salt a food? Do you like your coffee black or with crème and sugar? Is there a taste you avoid? By noticing your taste preferences, you might find a parallel with your thoughts or that your eating is an effort counter-pose your thinking. Sweet



Spicey (Pungent/Hot)


Dry (Astringent)










Chili Peppers

Leafy Greens

Pop Corn





Soy Sauce



Potato Chips



2. Make a list of foods you do not like and/or do not seem to like you.




3. Do you notice preferences within certain taste groups?






See More Clearly

The anatomist Gil Hedley suggests that our blood flow passes through our eyes every 2 hours. Possibly this means that our mood as we look outside of ourselves flows back through us. Does it make sense that the judgment, criticism and fixing we offer with our eyes externally, is also how we are seen internally?

We are practicing yoga to see more clearly. Patanjali calls our blindness “avidya”, or ignorance. The literal translation of avidya is “not seeing clearly.”

During your daily life, play with gazing more lovingly upon your visual surroundings. If helpful, deliberately soften your focus. The eyes will actually feel softer. The tension in your temples will dissolve and your forehead will smooth out. Try this now with your hands. As you first look, the temptation is to list what is wrong. Allow for a few deep breaths to create some space and look again. Appreciate all that your hands allow you to do. Writing, cooking, gardening, eating and caressing would all be much more difficult without your hands. Practice seeing your hands more clearly.

The eyes are also tied into the limbic system and slowly over time, if no effort is made, we can only see what we have already seen. “The superior colliculus in the midbrain, another nodal point of neuropeptide receptors controls the muscles that direct the eyeball, and affects which images are permitted to fall on the retina and hence to be seen.” (Pert, 147) Or as Umberto Eco said, “All things appear to us as they appear to us and it is impossible for them to appear otherwise.”

The eyes are the sense organ of the Will. Perhaps if we strengthen the agni, fire, and align the Will with the Heart, we will be able to see with our Hearts. Everyone spoke of how beautiful Ramakrishna’s Eyes were. His soft open eyes were beautiful because of Who he was allowing to see through them. With whom do you feel most clearly seen? What does it feel like to be seen?




The Hands While technically, according to the yogis, the skin is the sense organ of the heart chakra, the hands are how we do our hearts work in the world. The rumor is that thirty percent of our brain neurons run into our hands, so the potency in this region is a useful starting point on the way to feeling the entire surface area of our skin.

Take a photo of one of your hands, print and paste here. Or, if inclined, draw one of your hands here.

1. Sitting at a desk or table, place your hands, palms down on the surface in front of you. 2. Close your eyes, allow your breath to slow and notice the feeling tone in the hands. Spend at least 5 breaths here. 3. Now, turn the palms up. Notice the feeling tone of the hands in this position. Often, palms down has a focused sense of doing, action, survival. Palms up will often feel more receptive, offering, vulnerable. Was this your experience? If so, allow these qualities of palms up to travel back to your heart center. This will encourage a sensitivity and openness. Play with this in your yoga practice. In standing poses like tadasana and warrior 2, allow palms to be open and heaven facing. In seated forward folds, if you usually have palms down, try turning them up. Notice the effect. Try this while in conversation with others. Try this if you are in an argument. Begin to map the shifts you can create with simple changes.





Touch Yourself 1. Mark on the image where you have pain. Describe as clearly as possible.

2. If you can reach the area of pain, allow your hands to rest on the area for 5 minutes with your attention held steady to the point of contact. Record your experience.



Touch Others 1. Listen to your partner describe his/her pain. Mark it on the figure. 2. Agree on an appropriate hold.


3. Hold your partner for 5 minutes. 4. Record your experience.


The Ears

Listen Closely

We are generally the center of our universe. We are who we are thinking about, talking to and talking back to most of the day.

As you come into more intimate relationship with your body and mind, how are you speaking to yourself? Can you hear? Are you aware of your words and tone?

Start to hear this continual chatter. Start to record what you are saying all day long. Use these pages to begin this process during this course.

For example, if every time you begin to stretch your hamstrings, your internal chorus is, “dumb stupid, tight hamstrings...” a particular response in the body is elicited. Usually, that which is tightest in us and around us is in the greatest support. So, for experimentation purposes, try offering some gratitude and maybe even tender kind speech like, “Oh, poor sweetheart.” As the voices, both negative and positive, begin to quiet, you might begin to hear what these parts of you are actually saying. We are usually better listeners if we have less advice to offer. Practice letting your jaw slacken as you lean in as if listening to a dear friend. Hear what the rest of you has to offer. Begin to record what you are hearing.

Poetry is the shimmering, quivering, loving fusion of your neo-cortex with your mammal and reptile brains. Your tongue is the flowering of your spinal chord. Peter Lach-Newinsky L L




Establish A Safe Base We need a place inside where we can duck and cover. A safe place that holds us. Sometimes it will feel like we are clinging and sometimes it will feel like we are being held.

If you played tag as a child, there was usually a tree, a phone pole or a hydrant or some object that protected you from being tagged. As long as you were touching it, you were safe. Do you have any memories of this? Do you remember running for the safety and the thrill of leaving it?

The Tortoise Both the Bhagavad Gita and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika use the analogy of a tortoise to invoke the imagery of a safe protective covering in which we can pull in our limbs and retreat. From the Bhagavad Gita 105. Like a tortoise withdrawing its limbs from all directions, a man who has attained equanimity is capable of withdrawing his sense from objects of pleasure at will. 2.58 From the Hatha Yoga Pradipika Chapter 1, Verse 10 For those continually tempered by the heat of tapa (the three types of pain – spiritual, environmental and physical) hatha is like the hermitage giving protection from the heat. For those always united in yoga, hatha is the basis for acting like a tortoise.





Safe Object

Safe Place

Perhaps when you were a child you had an object of safety like a blanket or stuffed animal. If you remember such an object, please write about it below. Include any memories you have or stories you were told. Do you recall ever losing and finding it?

Perhaps there was a particular place of retreat for you. Maybe a friend’s house, or your room, or a spot in the woods. Recall where you felt safe as a child and write about it in as much detail as you can remember.

Homework 1. Identify a safe object. Something small that you can carry in your pocket. Bring object with you to class. 2. Identify a safe place. Some place easy to get to daily.





Protection Practices As you discover practices during this course that provide a safe place, record them and make them a part of your toolkit.





The Eight limbs

Yamas and Niyamas

yama: self-restraint

2.30 The yamas are non-violation, truthfulness, non stealing, containment, and non-grasping. ahiṃsā satya asteya brahmacharya aparigrahā yamāḥ

niyama: right observance āsana: right alignment or posture prāṇāyāma: regulation of breath pratyāhara: turning of the senses inward or withdrawl of the senses dhāraṇā: steady attention or concentration dhyāna: wide open awareness or meditation samadhi: absorbtion or free attention

2.31 These restraints are not limited by birth, time or circumstance, they constitute the great vow everywhere. jāti deśa kāla samaya anavachchhinnāḥ sārva bhaumā mahā vratam 2.32 The niymas are purity, contentment, self disciplines, self-study, and dedication to Ishwara. śaucha saṁtoṣa tapaḥ svādhyāya īśvara praṇidhānāni niyamāḥ 2.33 When negative thoughts and feelings arise, the opposite should be cultivated. vitarka bādhane pratipakṣa bhāvanam 2.34 Cultivating the opposite is realizing that negative feelings, such as that of violence, result in endless suffering and ignorance - whether these feelings are acted out, instigated or condoned, whether motivated by greed, anger or delusion, whether these are mild, medium or extreme.

vitarkā hiṃsā ādayaḥ kṛta kārita anumoditā lobha krodha moha pūrvakā mṛdu madhya adhimātrā

duḥkha ajñāna ananta phalā iti pratipakṣa bhāvanam




Get to Know YourSelf

From Krishnamurti

Self Love can more easily occur when we start to actively engage with more parts of yourself. Be like a Yogi Scientist and simply record the data. The point here is not to be good. The point is to become AWARE. And as we become aware, there is naturally transformation.

If you find it difficult to be aware, then experiment with writing down every thought and feeling that arises throughout the day; write down your reactions of jealousy, envy, vanity, sensuality, the intentions behind your words, and so on.

1. Record Your Actions

At the end of the day, reflect back and write down what you did. Begin to create a relationship with your actions. This will start to allow you to become more mindful of what you are actually giving your time to.

2. Record Your Speech

More subtle than the actions, can you become more aware of how you are speaking and what you are speaking about. At the end of the day, recall conversations. Remember the topics and tones.

3. Record Your Thoughts and Emotions

Even more subtle, can you begin to be tuned into what is occupying your thoughts and emotions. These are so weaved together, it is easier to begin with them as dance partners.

4. Engage With Your Dreams

You might not dream, but when and if you do, start to write them down. The more attention you pay to your dreams, the more likely they are to pay attention back. When the conscious rests, the unconscious can come to the surface. You will meet parts of yourself you were unaware of. This is an easy and relatively safe place to begin to make friends with the range within you. We cannot really interpret our own dreams as we will see them through the smallness of our conscious mind. If you do not already work with a Jungian Therapist, we suggest picking up a copy of Robert Johnson’s Inner Work: Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth.

Spend some time before breakfast in writing them down— which may necessitate going to bed earlier and putting aside some social affair. If you write these things down whenever you can, and in the evening before sleeping look over all that you have written during the day, study and examine it without judgment, without condemnation, you will begin to discover the hidden causes of your thoughts and feelings, desires and words.... Now, the important thing in this is to study with free intelligence what you have written down, and in studying it you will become aware of your own state. In the flame of self-awareness, of self-knowledge, the causes of conflict are discovered and consumed. You should continue to write down your thoughts and feelings, intentions and reactions, not once or twice, but for a considerable number of days until you are able to be aware of them instantly.... Meditation is not only constant self-awareness, but constant abandonment of the self. Out of right thinking there is meditation, from which there comes the tranquility of wisdom; and in that serenity the highest is realized. Writing down what one thinks and feels, one’s desires and reactions, brings about an inward awareness, the cooperation of the unconscious with the conscious, and this in turn leads to integration and understanding.

5. Learn A New Skill

There is something that you have always wanted to do but don’t know how. Take that pottery, painting, writing, surfing, or blacksmith class. Practice being a beginner and learning. Observe closely.




Track the Consequences Until the prefrontal cortex forms, we do not have a firm grip in the consequences of our actions. This is one of the roles parents play while we are children. Jail, hospitals and institutions play the role for us as adults. There is less external correction for our speech and thoughts. These require more self-restraint on our part. Increasing our sensitivity to the relationship of cause and effect (karma) in all three areas, helps us align with our Correct Course. The closer aligned you are with your Center, the faster the cycle of cause and effect. This is part of becoming Self Responsible. You can’t get away with deviant behavior. Allow these questions to help you identify what you are actually nourishing. All can be answered with “It depends.” They will be more useful if you can recall specific memories and play with experimenting from scratch. Add your own questions to answer. Action Action is our most obvious feedback loop and the consequences are usually readily available.

Speech Our thoughts are given a denser vibration when we speak them. Perhaps even more concrete when we write them. 1. How does it feel to sing?

2. How does it feel to tell someone you love that you love him or her?

3. How does it feel to prove that you’re right?

4. How does it feel to send a clever email?

5. How does it feel to teach a yoga class?

1. How does it feel to sit in front of a computer all day? 6. How does it feel to fib a little? 2. How does it feel to take a walk or run? 3. How do you feel after a yoga practice?

7. How does it feel to gossip?

4. How do you feel after headstand or other challenging posture?

8. How does it feel to restrain cruel words?

5. How does it feel to retain your inhale for 6 counts? 6. How does it feel to focus your attention on your heart center? 240

9. How does it feel to yell at the driver in front of you?



Replacement Words Thoughts Thoughts are the most sublte of the three to track. They can seem so private and harmless. 1. What does worry feel like? 2. What does an insight feel like? 3. How does it feel to tell yourself you need to lose weight?

How we speak of our life matters. Here are some replacements that we have found helpful. Replace Replace Replace Replace Replace

‘but’ with ‘and’. ‘random’ with ‘magic’. ‘coincidence’ with ‘synchronicity’. ‘I had a thought’ with ‘A thought came in’. ‘I am angry’ with ‘I feel angry’.

Do you have any that you have found useful?

4. How does it feel to fantasize about a new job? 5. How does it feel to pray for someone else? 6. How does it feel to think about stopping smoking? 7. What does intuition feel like? 8. When you go over a past coversation in your mind, how are you feeling? 9. When you practice a planned future conversation, how are you feeling?





Create New Memories “The stability of an individual’s mind – what we know as identity – exists only because some neural pathways endure. The plasticity of the mind, its capacity to adapt and learn, is possible only beauces neuronal connections can change. The physiology of memory determines the fate of those malleable nodes. It lies at the heart of who we are and who we can become.” (GToL) “Perception activates the same brain areas as imagination. Perhaps for this reason, the brain cannot reliably distinguish between recorded experience and internal fantasy.” (GToL) “A problem cannot be solved from the same level at which it orginated.” -- Einstein Record your insights and fresh understandings during our time together here.





Possible Reading List Kundalini Tantra, Swami Satyananda Saraswati, 1984. Moola Bandha: The Matster Key, Swami Buddhananda, 1978. Molecules of Emotion, Candace B. Pert, Ph.D., 1997. A General Theory of Love, Thomas Lewis, MD, Fari Armini, MD, Richard Lannon, MD, 2000. In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness, Peter A. Levine, PhD, 2009. The Yoga of the Nine Emotions, Peter Marchand, 2006. Ayurveda and Marma Therapy, Dr. David Frawley, Dr. Subhas Ranade, Dr. Avinash Lele, 2003. The Wisdom of Pantajali’s Yoga Sutras: A New Translation and Guide, Ravi Ravindra. Ecstasy: Understanding the Psychology of Joy, Robert A. Johnson, 1989. Mirrors of Transformation: The Self in Relationships, 1995. Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation, Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., 2011. Incognito, David Eaglemen, 2011. The Art of Loving, Erich Fromm, 1956. Kabir: Ectastic Poems. Translated by Robert Bly, 2004. New and Selected Poems, Volume 1, Mary Oliver, 1992. The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Quest for What Makes us Human, V.S. Ramachandran, 2011.



Cultivating Stillness: A Taoist Manual for Transforming Body and Mind. Translated by Eva Wong, 1992. 247


Anatomy of Self Love: A Handbook  
Anatomy of Self Love: A Handbook  

This workbook is designed as resource material to support the Anatomy of Self Love Workshop. It is for educational purposes only.