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Autumn Equinox (9/22)- through - Winter Solstice (12/21)

When I first began studying mantra and receiving instruction from my teacher, Mala I was struck by how fortunate I was-- she had spent years traveling the world at the feet of great Teachers and countless hours studying, training and singing. She culled all of these gems of wisdom from this vast ocean, and cupped her hands and offered them up to me.  I was amazed by the way one specific vocal exercise or a comment she made in passing completely transformed my voice and perspective. Mala is one of many teachers who have shared so generously of the body of their life’s work in kindness alone. Teachers & practitioners of yoga, meditation, buddhism, ayurveda, shamanism… and other teachers who appear in less obvious (or not at all subtle) forms. And it’s such a gift, all of it. Yet for me to be able to receive it, I needed to absorb what she offered (what any of them offered) and put it into practice… regularly. Without me putting the time in, the effort in, the energy in - what I was given would merely be a beautiful gift- unwrapped and sitting in a corner.

When I first came to yoga- I came to asana. I came home to my body and began to tap into a spaciousness and peace and an ease, a strength that was transformational. As I came home to myself, I felt compelled to dig deeper into the wisdom of the teachings and I became more curious about the other 7 limbs of this 8 limb practice than I was about learning how to wrap my leg around my neck (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I dug deeper. Understanding and embodying the ethical precepts for living a yogic life (the yamas and niyamas) became a day to day moment to moment practice of awakening to who I was being and how I was moving in the world- tracking them became a key for me to living with greater integrity- one that I value to this day. The dual winged teachings of wisdom and compassion and an understanding of karma and emptiness from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition fundamentally altered how I perceived and interacted with the world- and continues to do so.  Breath and compassion based meditation practices have helped increase my capacity for presence with all that arises, evolves and dissolves along the way. These practices continue to root me.  Ayurveda (the sister life science of yoga) empowered me with a deeper understanding of dietary and lifestyle choices I could make to help me find balance within and with the energies of each season. Acknowledging the lunar cycles continues to inform and serve me- daily. The energetic resonance of mantras and mudras have opened my heart.  I have spent the better part of the past 20 years applying the wisdom of the various traditions I’ve studied- not just on the yoga mat- but in my actual life.

This program is intended to provide you with guidance, tools & resources to help you meditate with consistency, live with integrity & thrive-- to both root & bloom.  In it, I will share what have been the most grounding, healing, insightful and transformational aspects of  practice for me - through the art of sadhana + svadhyaya… sadha what & svadhy huh?

Sadhana  + Svadhyaya

Yoga for Living with Deep Peace, a Clear Mind & an Open Heart

Sādhanā//  साधन

the tools you use to help clarify, achieve and live in alignment with your true purpose  / an ego transcending spiritual practice that facilitates liberation  /  a personalized discipline which roots you in what is most essential

Svādhyāya // स्वाध्याय

self study for Self realization / the fourth of the niyamas (guidelines for living an ethical life) elucidated in Pantanjali’s Yoga Sutras / the essential practice for more consciously participating in the co*creation of your life / the key to all of it

 

This Immersion is designed to serve you in creating and supporting

a home and life based sadhana and as fuel for your svadhyaya.

 

DELIVERED TO YOUR HEART (via your inbox)

At the beginning of the Immersion, you will receive a brief overview with ayurvedic wisdom for balancing the energies of autumn as well as advices to consider as you prepare to establish/deepen your meditation practice.  As part of this experience you will receive:

 

WEEKLY GUIDED MEDITATION

Meditation is the doorway into the sacred space where self meets Self. Showing up for ourselves is the key to showing up fully in life. I love the analogy a beautiful meditation teacher, Sharon Salzberg shared on retreat... that one of the most healing aspects of going to therapy is that we make the appointment and someone shows up to listen and there is healing in that- in making the appointment for ourselves, showing up, and being seen and heard. Meditation is the radically transformational practice of showing up for ourselves- no one else can do it for us. If there was a pill you could take that would give you all of the benefits of meditation (with much better side effects than most conventional medications) we'd all be popping it daily. Meditation can help with anxiety, depression, emotional integration and regulation, insomnia and chronic fatigue- the list goes on- most essentially, for me, this practice helps me send roots down wide and deep that serve me in being able to sway with what arises in life. Each time I sit, the roots go down deeper. It helps me find a spaciousness between trigger and response and serves me in growing patience, compassion and love while connecting me into deep abiding peace that is my essence.  Every week from 9/22-12/21 you will receive a link to an audio file containing a guided meditation practice (intended for your daily or as needed use…).  Each guided meditation will begin with a heart opening mantra, grounding breathwork & essential preliminaries to help ease you into presence. 

>>>You will be DOUBLE DOG DARED to COMMIT to MEDITATING preferably daily- (but you can also choose 5x per week/ 3 x per week) for a minimum time period (eg. a minimum of 20 minutes) for the duration of the immersion... you do not need to use the guided meditation to do so. You will make a PINKY SWEAR with yourself committing to consistently practice and to keep a record of the days/times you meditate.  

 

WEEKLY SELF STUDY :: SOFT FOCUS

"Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed.”- Thich Nhat Hanh  // Moment by moment we are planting seeds. What do you want to see growing in the garden of your heart, your mind, your life? What seeds are you planting? Are you creating the conditions they need to thrive? Are you standing in an orchard of apples angry that there aren't watermelons to pick? Each week for the duration of the season, I will send along a message, containing a soft focus for self study. You will be asked to observe your thoughts, words and actions as they pertain to this focus. As we shine the light of awareness on who we are and how we are being, we begin to see ourselves and the situations we find ourselves in in a new light. In the grace of that light, we are given the opportunity to make better choices and create new neural pathways, new habits and new patterns that serve us and the greater good. This field of awareness is where freedom is found, change is created and we can begin to consciously create our lives from the level of cause- the level of the seed. We will make our way through the ethical precepts of living a yogic life (the yamas & niyamas), karma & emptiness and more...

>>>You will be DOUBLE DOG DARED to pause with what is offered. Again, it is essential that your practice is personalized for you… I will offer up options as to how to approach & ask you to PINKY SWEAR to holding these inquiries in your heart.

 

BI-WEEKLY :: LUNAR RHYTHM REFLECTIONS

We are intimately and inextricably intertwined and interconnected with all that is. Just as we are affected by the shifting seasons, we are affected by the waxing and waning of the moon. Tracking the moon and beginning to live in harmony with it’s cycle changed me. I will share insights on the lunar cycle and the specific energies arising with each new & full moon as well as guidance on how to honor this rhythm in general. 

>>>You will be DOUBLE DOG DARED to COMMIT to HONORING THE NEW & FULL MOON each month with a very simple ritual that I will share and you can customize in anyway that feels right for you- this could be as simple as thinking about it for a few moments, journaling or creating a personalized ceremony. I will offer guidance / suggestions as to how to do so.


ONGOING

>>>OnLine Sangha:: Secret Facebook Page

If you are on the book of faces, you will have the opportunity to share wisdom, insights, inspirations and experiences or simply ask questions along the way with a like minded and open hearted community of participants.  I will share links via this page to various resources as well as recipes, inspirational tid bits and experiences that will help nurture and nourish body, mind and spirit. You’re welcome to lurk, to chime in when you feel inspired, or exist with it in anyway that feels right for you. I'm envisioning many of us sharing that which is inspiring us, grounding us, nourishing us and keeping us sane... For those who are not on FB- that is awesome. I can forward along content I share via email or we’ll figure something out that works better.

>>>Personal Advices

I am here to serve you. I am a click or a phone call away to support you in this process.

 

It is my intention for this Immersion to serve you in returning home to yourself,

breath by breath, moment by moment... to root and to bloom.

 

SIGN ME UP!!!

Join me on this journey with an investment from your heart- of your time, your awareness, your energy and $108.

STEP ONE:: Email me that you're in :: laurie@ittakesanopenheart.com

STEP TWO:: Donation of $108 will be accepted via PayPal (laurie@ittakesanopenheart.com) or VENMO @laurieGyogini. If you would prefer to pay by cash or check, let me know in your email and I can get you my mailing address or we can meet up if you're local. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds-- please email me if this is an issue for you or anyone you know who would benefit from this immersion.