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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Seekali Pranayama (Way to Reduce Blood Pressure)

Aloha Everyone,

Seekali Pranayama is one of the best breath control or prana control techniques in lowering blood pressure.  This pranayama is closely related to Sheetali Pranayama as they even sound alike.  Both of these pranayama helps in reducing stress, calming your mind and body so that you can enjoy calm, peace and tranquility. 

      1. Sit in a comfortable seated position
      2.  Close your eyes, hands in drona mudra
      3.  Elongate your spine, lengthen your neck, and place a slight chin lock
      4.  Inhale 5 long, deep breaths through the nose
      5.  Bring your teeth together; gently pull the lips back exposing your teeth
      6.  Slowly inhale deeply let the air pass through your teeth
      7.  Be mindful and notice the air passing through the teeth making a hissing sound
      8.  Close your mouth and exhale slowly and completely through the nose.
Note:  Each inhalation and exhalation is counted as one round.  Do 10 rounds and build it up to 25 then to 50.

The main difference between Seekari and Seetali is how you breathe in the air. 
Seekari – air passes through your teeth.
Seetali – air passes through your curled tongue.


  • Helps reduce blood pressure
  • Cools the mental, physical and emotional systems
  • Reduces stress, anger and irritation
  • Helps you enjoy calm, peace and tranquility
  • Reduces fever
  • Helps induce sleep


Do not practice if you have cold or respiratory related condition

Namaste -- Cathi

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sheetali Pranayama (Cooling Breath)

Aloha Everyone,

Sheetali or Seetali means the cooling breath. Sheetali Pranayama helps balance heat within your body and restores equilibrium. This pranayama is widely used in the schools of Hatha Yoga as well as breathing techniques to combat Ayurveda’s Pitta (heat) related conditions including heat rash and acidity.

      1. Sit in a comfortable seated position
      2.  Close your eyes
      3.  Elongate your spine, lengthen your neck, and place a slight chin lock
      4.  Stick your tongue out, curl the sides of your tongue and form a tunnel
            If this is not possible, just place the tongue between your lips
      5.  Inhale slowly through your mouth allowing the air to pass over the tongue
      6.  Bring the tongue backing, and then exhale through the nose
      7.  Repeat inhalation through your mouth, exhalation through the nose
      8.  Breathing should be nice, easy and even, repeat 10 times
      9.  Count a breath cycle of inhalation and exhalation as one.


  • Cools the mental, physical and emotional systems
  • Reduces stress, anger and irritation
  • Helps you enjoy calm, peace and tranquility
  • Reduces fever
  • Helps induce sleep


Do not practice if you have cold or respiratory related condition

Namaste -- Cathi

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Carl Jung Quotations on life, happiness, patience, acceptance, wisdom, ego, understanding and equanimity.

Aloha Everyone,

Carl Gustav Jung (26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961), was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology. His work has been influential in psychiatry and in the study of religion, philosophy, archeology, anthropology, literature, and related fields.

Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.
- Carl Jung

Great talents are the most lovely and often the most dangerous fruits on the tree of humanity. They hang upon the most slender twigs that are easily snapped off.
- Carl Jung

We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.
- Carl Jung

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to a better understanding of ourselves.
- Carl Jung

We deem those happy who from the experience of life have learnt to bear its ills without being overcome by them.
- Carl Jung

Understanding does not cure evil, but it is a definite help, inasmuch as one can cope with a comprehensible darkness.
- Carl Jung

An inflated consciousness is always egocentric and conscious of nothing but its own existence. It is incapable of learning from the past, incapable of understanding contemporary events, and incapable of drawing right conclusions about the future. It is hypnotized by itself and therefore cannot be argued with. It inevitably dooms itself to calamities that must strike it dead.
- Carl Jung

Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment, and especially on their children, than the unlived lives of the parents.
- Carl Jung

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is a vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.
- Carl Jung

We are born at a given moment, in a given place and, like vintage years of wine, we have the qualities of the year and of the season of which we are born. Astrology does not lay claim to anything more.
- Carl Jung

The greatest and most important problems of life are all fundamentally insoluble. They can never be solved but only outgrown.
- Carl Jung

If one does not understand a person, one tends to regard him as a fool.
- Carl Jung

Caution has its place, no doubt, but we cannot refuse our support to a serious venture which challenges the whole of the personality. If we oppose it, we are trying to suppress what is best in man --his daring and his aspirations. And should we succeed, we should only have stood in the way of that invaluable experience which might have given a meaning to life. What would have happened if Paul had allowed himself to be talked out of his journey to Damascus?
- Carl Jung

The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.
- Carl Jung

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Aloha Everyone,

Here are phrases and meanings of some of the mantra (chants) we use in our Kundalini Yoga class.
ONG NAMO GURUDEV NAMO – mantra to tune-in, repeated three times.


I bow to the subtle divine wisdom
I bow to the divine teacher within

When the entire 90 minutes is devoted to Kundalini Yoga, Ong Namo Gurudev Namo is followed by this best mantra for protection - also repeated three times.



I bow to the primal wisdom
I bow to the wisdom through the ages
I bow to the true wisdom
I bow to the great transparent wisdom within

At the end of our practice, we usually end with one or three long


We sometime chant one long SAT and short NAM to close our practice.


SAT means Truth
Nam or NAAM means name
Popular Western translation is Truth is my identity.


This is a Hindu salutation meaning "I honor the divine in you".

Yoga translation of Namaste is
"The divine light in me salutes the divine light in you."

Be well, be content, be kind to yourself and others and live a joyful and compassionate life.

Namaste -- Cathi

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Inspirational Quotes from Rumi (Jalal-Uddin Rumi)

Aloha Everyone,

I wanted to share with you some inspirational quotes from Rumi.  Jalal-Uddin Rumi (1207-1273) or known simply as Persian Rumi was a 13th century poet and philosopher who influenced both eastern and western poetry. Among intellectuals, Rumi is considered the most talented poet Persia has given to the world.

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened.
Don't open the door to the study and begin reading.
Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
- Jalal-Uddin Rumi

Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.
- Jalal-Uddin Rumi

Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.
-- Jalal-Uddin Rumi

It may be that the satisfaction I need depends on my going away, so that when I've gone and come back, I'll find it at home.
- Jalal-Uddin Rumi

Don't grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.
- Jalal-Uddin Rumi

All your anxiety is because of your desire for harmony.
Seek disharmony, then you will gain peace.
- Jalal-Uddin Rumi

Travelers, it is late.  Life's sun is going to set.
During these brief days that you have strength, 
be quick and spare no effort of your wings.
- Jalal-Uddin Rumi

You suppose you are the trouble But you are the cure
You suppose that you are the lock on the door. But you are the key that opens it
- Jalal-Uddin Rumi

It's too bad that you want to be someone else
You don't see your own face, your own beauty
- Jalal-Uddin Rumi

This being human is a guest house.  Every morning a new arrival,
A joy, a depression, meanness.
Some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain all!  Even if they're a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

- Jalal-Uddin Rumi

Namaste -- Cathi

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The 3 Most Important Guidelines for Yoga Practice

Aloha Everyone,

As we make progress in our yoga practice, it is important to remember and remind ourselves the 3 Most Important Guidelines for our Yoga Practice.

1 - Yoga is one of the body meditation techniques.  Therefore it is important to practice yoga with mindfulness and awareness. From the start to finish, we must be completely focused and pay full attention to your body, breath and mind.  When practicing Kundalini kriyas where you combine asanas, pranayama, mudra and mantra, your mind may focus on one and not the other.  When that happens, always bring your full attention back to the breath and then to the pose.

2 - Breath is the most important thing we need to live.  Without our breath, we will not be alive.  When practicing any type of yoga, correct breathing is essential in doing asanas.  Breathing also help us focus and quiet our mind.  When you are doing Kundalini Kriyas or Pranayamas, we employ different breathing techniques based on the result we are seeking. We always begin and end our practice with long deep breaths.

3 - Do not over do, yoga is not a competition, it is your practice.  Listen to your body, be mindful, and use your common sense and never over strain. 

Keep up with your practice and enjoy many mental and physical benefits of yoga.

Namaste -- Cathi

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Four Immeasurables: Love, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy and Equanimity

Aloha Everyone,

Today I would like to give you an introduction and definition of Love, Compassion, Joy or Sympathetic Joy and Equanimity.  They are often known to as THE FOUR IMMEASURABLES or as THE HEART OF ENLIGHTENMENT.

Below is a beautiful prayer of THE FOUR IMMEASURABLES in English translation.

    May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes,
    May all sentient beings be free of suffering and its causes,
    May all sentient beings never be separated from bliss without suffering,
    May all sentient beings be in equanimity, free of bias, attachment and anger.

In our meditation class, we will study the Buddhism definition of THE FOUR IMMEASURABLES as taught by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama.  His Holiness, said, "All sentient beings are exactly the same in that every one desires happiness and seeks to avoid misery. We are not isolated entities disconnected from each other. The happiness and suffering of other beings affect us. This mutual relation is obvious. Sentient beings have been kind and have benefited us directly and indirectly throughout beginning of time. These beings are intrinsically the same as us in their pursuit of happiness and effort to avoid suffering. Thus, it is essentially logical for us to train in cultivating an impartial attitude wishing for the happiness of all beings.

1)  LOVE

a)  This love is: wanting others to be happy.
b)  This love is unconditional; we do not choose who we love or who can love us.
c)  This love requires courage and complete acceptance including acceptance of you.


a)  This compassion wants others to be free from suffering.
b)  This compassion takes place when one feels the pain and suffering with someone,.
c)  This compassion is an unselfish, detached emotion and sense of regency to help.


a)  This sympathetic joy is being genuinely happy with someone else's happiness.
b)  This sympathetic joy is an unselfish and very positive mental attitude.


a)  This equanimity means to have a clear, tranquil state of mind.
b)  This equanimity means not being overpowered by delusions or mental agitation.
c)  This equanimity does not distinguish between friend, enemy or stranger.  Every sentient being are regarded as equal.

So let's begin our practice of Four Immeasurable right this moment.  Hope you will learn them and apply them in your daily lives.

Namaste -- Cathi

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

How to Treat Back Pains with Yoga and Meditation

Aloha Everyone,

What is pain?

  • Pain is a message from your body telling you that something is wrong
  • You feel pain both in the mind and in the body
 What happens when you take pain killer drugs?

  • By taking pain killer drugs, you artificially block the body’s normal pain response mechanism
What is the natural way to combat pain?

  • Endorphins and encephalin are powerful natural occurring chemicals your body produces to help reduce the level of pain you experience
  • Exercises, laughter, relaxation and meditations are known to stimulate the production of endorphins and encephalin
 Why do you get severe back pain?

  • Majority of back pain begin with muscular problems.
  • Exception would be broken bones, fractured or dislocated spinal column
  • Muscle imbalance can also cause severe back pain.  Usually one side of your body has stronger muscles than the other side simply because you use these muscles more.
  • The nervous system of your body that includes the brain sends messages that influence the health of your back.
 Steps to take towards healthy back

  • Good sitting, standing and lying on the floor postures
  • Find out the cause of your pains and accept them.
  • Be aware of referral pains
  • Don’t worry, relax about your pain
  • Deal with your pain in small dosages
Exercises to help to reduce and in some cases become pain free

  • Total body stretches
  • Develop flexibility
  • Balancing
  • Strengthening abdominal muscles
  • Strengthening muscles in your buttocks
  • Stretching and strengthening leg muscles
  • Stretching and strengthening muscles on your sides
  • Stretching and strengthening shoulder, neck and arm muscles
  • Relaxation
Namaste -- Cathi

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Yin and Yang Yoga Asanas

Aloha Everyone,

Yin and yang symbolizes the duality, interconnectedness and interdependency of the natural world.  They are complimentary and not opposite but rather two major aspects of a whole.  The concept is based on many branches of classical Chinese science and philosophy including different forms of Chinese martial arts and exercise such as t'ai chi and Qigong.   

Often you may notice that we practice yin and yang yoga asanas in the same session.  Doing only Yang yoga is like doing only 1/2 of your asana practice. 

YIN YOGA - gentle yoga where each poses is held longer sometime for several minutes.  In order to do yin yoga properly, your muscles must be relaxed including connective tissues of the hips, pelvis and lower spine.

OBJECTIVE - to stretch the connective tissues including the ligaments, bones and joints of the body

MOVEMENTS - slow, still, stable, unmoving, calm, meditative


  • improve the strength and flexibility of joints
  • helps you be more mindful and relaxed
  • helps with our physical and emotional balance
  • relief from everyday stress
  • increase energy and stamina
  • prepare your body for practice of Yang Yoga

SYMBOL- the black side with the white dot on it

CHALLENGE – requires high level of focus and determination, calming your mind can be challenging for beginners; students must learn to surrender into a pose as duration of the poses are extended and held for several minutes to as long as 20 minutes

TECHNIQUES - seated asanas and meditation

YANG YOGA - dynamic and active emphasize the lengthening and contracting of muscles 

OBJECTIVE - combination of breath, asana (pose) and movement to stretch and lengthening and contracting of muscles. 

MOVEMENTS - fast, hard, solid, focused, aggressive, moving, changing and vigorous


  • help with physical and emotional health
  • cleanses and release impurities from your body
  • strengthens your body
  • help focus and calm the mind
  • tones your body and get rid of unwanted fat cells
  • lithe and flexible yoga body
  • fights insomnia

SYMBOL- Yang is the white side with the black dot on it

CHALLENGE – Movements are vigorous and powerful and challenges one’s physical, mental and spiritual disciplines  Some poses are complicated and physically challenging and even if you are able to do them, may take months and years perfecting them. 

TECHNIQUES - Sun salutation and progressive series of poses using breath and movement (vinyasa).

Namaste -- Cathi

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Profound Benefits of Meditation

Aloha Everyone,

The regular practice of meditation benefits you spiritually, mentally and physically.  If you are new to meditation practice, sit down at least 10 minutes in the morning just before the sunrise and 10 minutes in the evening just before the sunset.  These are considered the “preferred” meditation times.
Health benefits

  1. Reduce stress, leads to a deeper level of relaxation
  2. Bring blood pressure to normal level, reduce anxiety attacks
  3. Enhances immune health
  4. Helps in chronic conditions such as arthritis, allergies
  5. Increases serotonin production associated with obesity, insomnia & depression
  6. Improve your intelligence, awareness, concentration and performance
  7. Slow down aging process
  8. Lowers cholesterol level
  9. Improve lung capacity
  10. Lowers heart rate
  11. Decreases muscle tension, headaches
  12. Helps in post-operative healing

Psychological Benefits

1.    Decreases anxiety and depression
2.    Improves creativity
3.    Experience of joy and happiness
4.    Wisdom
5.    Peace & tranquility
6.    Love & compassion
7.    Improves brain function
8.    Feelings of vitality
9.    Improves emotional stability
10. Improves memory and learning
11. Builds up self-confidence
12. Decreases irritability & moodiness

Spiritual Benefits
       1. Enlightenment
       2.  Self-awareness, self-acceptance
       3.  Discover your true talent, your purpose of life
Here are some of my thoughts on those who meditate and those who do not.

Those who meditate are calm, peaceful, relaxed, focused, mindful, tranquil, trusting of others.  You are comfortable with who you are.  You are happy and feel that you and your life are perfect.  You do not need anything.  You do not want anything.  You truly have everything you need and you are truly content and satisfied.  You are loving and compassionate.  You are honest and you are courageous. You are kind and gentle to yourself and to those who you know and to every living thing and your surroundings. You are truly grateful to everyone and everything.

Non meditators become angry, irritable and small incidents can make them blow up.  Non meditators suffer from jealousy, mental, emotional and physical stress and anxiety, insecurity and restlessness.  They are unsatisfied and suspicious.  They feel that their lives have no real meaning.  Non meditators feel others have things which they are lacking.  Whatever that is not working in their lives are someone else's fault.  They are missing the joy of fully living this moment.

So begin and end your day by sitting down to meditate. 

Sat Nam – Cathi