On day two we dove deep into metaphysics first thing in the morning and discussed the Malas. The malas are like impurities. The dust that covers the mirrors of our hearts. It creates confusion and suffering and yoga is then the means to clean the dust , the malas, away and allow the true heart to shine through. We used the following chart to look at how the malas work.
Top 5 Tattvas Malas Elements Dosha
Iccha Anava Water Kapha
Jnana Mayiya Fire Pitta
Kriya Karma Air Vata
When Iccha ( you also can use the term Sat) gets covered by Anava-mala then our sense of fullness becomes impure. We suddenly feel we are lacking; we feel fragmented. The natural outcome of anava-mala is to then to increase the water element and increase Kapha which can cause depression. When Anava-mala is then lifted by polishing the mirror through practice, we feel our natural state of Iccha which is peace. We are full again.
When Jnana ( you can also use Chit) gets covered by Mayiya-mala our sense of connectedness becomes impure. We see difference- we become prejudiced. Mayiya-mala is related to the fire element and when it increases then Pitta increases and we become angry. When Mayiya-mala is lifted we feel love.
When Kriya ( or Ananda) is covered by Karma-mala, then we lose the agency to act- we feel powerless. Kriya is related to Air and when it becomes out of balance then Vata is increased and we experience anxiety. When Karama-mala is lifted we feel joy.
The malas then in some way help move the spanda back and forth between these states of emotions. The yoga practice helps create longer periods in the higher vibrations of peace, love and joy but we all feel the negative emotions sometimes too. It is very natural. What is really amazing about tantra metaphysics is that they have a method to get from the lower, darker, vibrations to the higher ones. We don’t have to stay angry, we don’t have to stay depressed. We can learn to recognize that as part of the spanda and use techniques to help us get back to a more desirable plane of being.
In the afternoon of day two we touched on intention. Intention can be conditional or unconditional . Unconditional is like children at play- why do they do it? Just for the fun of it- it is not dependent on conditions. Conditional is more like ” I do this to be free”: free from pain, free from suffering. A yoga practice can have either of these intentions. In Anusara, we always make our intention the highest- we desire to be free. Sometimes we just like to play though….
John had some encouragement to give us too about being our unique selves. We have to all find our own unique frequency- how can you make music with one note? At least that’s how I looked at it. It is not a free for all- you are all in the same orchestra but we all play different instruments and our notes blend in harmonies. In a room full of very different practitioners, I could truly appreciate that we all had something unique to offer. The Spanda needs these differences to be able to pulsate. I like that I am part of a group yet unique. As John said, “do not diminish yourselves”.
If Spanda is everything, then even the difficult things that happen in our life are Spanda. If we never had difficulties, most of us would not appreciate the blessings in our life. This is a great lesson from many of the Hindu mythologies such as the Ramayana- do not ask the Absolute to take away your problems- ask the Absolute to give you the strength to deal with them. We learn and grow from the difficulties in our life- they can be wonderful gifts that, when we emerge from them, give us greater awareness. The Spanda is greater sometimes in those really intense situations- if we learn to work with the spanda it can bring us openings faster than ordinary situations.
It was a crazy asana day and I got to do a great demo with John- well it was great according to everyone that saw it. It’s weird- John just says do and I do. Total trust and back I went into what I think for me ( aka stiff girl) was a pretty deep standing backbend. Maybe someone in the kula has a pic but of course I have none…
We ended the day with a lovely dinner and gathering of the growing Canadian Anusara teachers. It was a wonderful night to share and chat and feel a little more connected to the Eastern side of Canada. There is some really beautiful, bright, spirits in the group and I was blessed to get to know them better.