The day that Siva stood still…

Something wonderful about the yogic tradition is its plethora of celebrations. It seems that every week there is a party for any one of the avatars. One of the most important of these is Maha Sivaratri. Celebrated annually, Maha Sivaratri is – according to tradition – when the northern hemisphere of the planet is positioned in such a way that there is a natural upsurge of energy in human beings. It’s a really good time to push toward one’s spiritual peak. To ensure success, the celebration includes chanting the names of Siva and staying awake all night long.

After many millennia in meditation, Siva, in his stillness, became one with Mount Kailash. In the practices of yoga, including asana and meditation, stillness is a crucial component to cultivate. It permits the practitioner to experience oneness not only with his or her own body and mind but also with all of the cosmos.

Sivaratri occurs on the darkest day of the month. We usually correlate darkness with evil, yet it was out of darkness that the entire cosmos was born. The word Siva literally means “that which is not”. Shakti, “that which is” – existence and creation – is all around us. Yet if you take a closer look at the world, we can observe that the majority of existence is emptiness — an unbounded emptiness rife with the potential for creation and out of which creation arises. This is the all-pervading divinity that all religious cultures describe.

Light, then, is not primal. Darkness is. And that is wonderful! Because we are natural manifestations of the divine. We are the light that is born from the potent darkness. And when we can connect to that pervading emptiness, that “dark energy” of the cosmos, we not only connect to the true source of our being, but we connect to all beings everywhere.

May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and each contribute to that happiness and freedom for all. Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu.

Image credit: @jimmynataraj

Aerobic Activity = Cognitive Clarity

How’s that for some alliteration?

Great article on about the benefits associated with long-term aerobic training, such as running, with a few nods to mindfulness and mindlessness. An excerpt:

Other post-run changes have been recorded in the brain’s frontal lobe, with increased activity seen in this region after people adopt a long-term habit of physical activity. This area of the brain — sometimes called the frontal executive network system — is located, obviously enough, at the very front: It’s right behind your forehead. After about 30 to 40 minutes of a vigorous aerobic workout – enough to make you sweat – studies have recorded increased blood flow to this region, which, incidentally, is associated with many of the attributes we associate with “clear thinking”: planning ahead, focus and concentration, goal-setting, time management.

Just a note that the third-eye, or ajna chakra, the center of insight and intuition, is also located right behind your forehead.

New Season, New Class Schedule!

Hello, friends:

Stefan will be teaching at Mussel Beach Health Club’s fitness studio!

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 830AM

Wednesdays, 830AM

Mussel Beach Health Club is @
35 Bradford St., Provincetown, MA 02657

More class times to follow as the 2017 season blossoms!