fitness for the mind, body and soul

Coptic Yogi

" to be clothed in my right mind..."  an old saying reminding us of the importance of setting aside mental chatter to reach our clearest self.


Enjoy daily proverbs, thought provoking posts and so much more!
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Forest of Peace

 Sacciananda (Holy Trinity)

An ashram in India bearing the Cross
Cosmic Revelation
Convert Bhavani Charan Banerjee, also known as Brahmabandhab Upadhyaya (friend of God) fathered the Indian Christian Ashram Movement. This school of thought revolutionized traditions with at least fifty ashrams throughout Nepal, India and Srilanka today remaining. The Catholic Ashrams documents how the birthing of this movement was received; a collection of letters exchanges between Friar Bede and Swami Devananda
Friar Bede, founder of The Sacciananda (Holy Trinity) Ashram also named “forest of peace,” was a monk who spent most of his monastic life in India writing liturgies in Sanskrit, building neighboring ashrams and lecturing from his writings entitled, “The Cosmic Revelation,” key sources of his development of Indian Christian Theology. The legacy of Bede (1960-1993) remains today found on a website dedicated to his memory as follows. 
Founded in 1938,  the Sacciananda Ashram is located on the River Kavia in Central India. 
Pictured to the right are 
Jules Monchanin, Henri le Saux, and Bede Griffith, founders of Indian Christian Theology
Eboni Pearson
 
Prayer Wheels
 In the classic film The Golden Child, Eddie Murphy spins the wheel...
Spinning or Prayer wheels can be found at the entrances of Buddhist temples or strung along Tibetan pathways by which people with the touch of a finger orchestrate a melodious chorus. The sound of the cylindular instrument reverberates, believed to amplify the petitions projected towards the universe. Without utterance, the sound of the wheel is interpreted as mimicking the sounds of creation.

Om mani padme hum is often a  mantra inscribed on its medal surface. Similar to the seven deadly sins, pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth the mantra's sylables are believed to ward off pride, greed, lust, envy, wrath and ignorance, the six realms of existence in suffering. Between both lists, Ignorance and gluttony are its minimal discrepancies; however I would imagine the mantra to ward off the seven deadly sins would be from Romans 6:18. You have been set free from sin and have become  slaves of righteousness. 

From a biblical perspective, spinning wheels brings to mind 1 Corinithians 13:1. "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a sounding gong or a clanging symbol." In other words, I can chant a million mantras, but if I don't have love, my efforts are in vain, my spinning turned to clanging. In an old negro spiritual the lyrics read, my Lord is the wheel in the middle of the wheel and those songs were sung in love enduring through the most hostile of times. Love gains presidence over the most sincere attempts to spirutally progress.

Apps for meditation

Meditation is a powerful; soothing to the soul, it's a mental exercise that prepares us for as Joyce Meyers states, the "Battlefield of the mind", when negative thoughts divert our attention drawing us from the love of God and his intention and purpose for our lives. Learning how to meditate may seem intimidating at first, but here are some tools to start the journey. A great source for apps that can be downloaded. Enjoy!

"Examine yourself to be sure You're in the faith."​​

 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.

2 Corinthians 13:5
3 Assesssments of our Innermost Qualities

go to http://www.5lovelanguages.com/

Gary Chapman

5 Love Languages

If you havene't taken Chapman's Love Language quiz, you don't know what you're missing; It's a great tool for understanding yourself and others around you. Love is a language and with every new dialect comes a new message.

 Can you identify your love languages?

And the Languages of others closest to you?
Another useful tool...
https://my.liveyourtruth.com/dyt/home/

Lastly...

Are You a Lion, an Otter, a Beaver or Golden Retriever?

Another interesting test to take to better identify yourself and your relationships with others, a fun way to self reflect and to test someone else.
Yoga History

Find research on the origins of yoga, the evolution of its practice and biographies of its pioneers.

"Liberate the minds of men and ultimately you will liberate the bodies of men."
                                                                                                                             Marcus Garvey

I wouldn't be a Coptic Yogi if I didn't devote at least one section of Yoga History  to Egypt......
Ancient Egypt

In Season 3 Episode 6,Summari Jack goes to Egypt

Sometimes the simplicity of a cartoon teaches more than a textbook....

Early 2000's cartoon series Sammari Jack writers Bryan Andrews and Brian Larsen get it right, writing with a considerable amount of historical accuracy.

 This episode includes:
  • The wearing of a single section of hair called a Horus Lock grown by Ancient Egyptian youth.
  • The Temples of Luxor and Karnak
  • Khnum headed sphinx statues
  • Egyptian symbols and heiroglyphs such as the scarab, the ankh and Aten's sunrays. 

A stimulating introduction to Egyptology, this clip leads to an exciting adventure, exploring how yoga was practiced in Ancient Egypt. For further research, read my newest release:



 

Yoga in Ancient Egypt

From my research writing The Ethnodramatics of Ancient Egypt, I came across a term, kinaidoi, meaning literally wag tails,that described a troupe of actors performing ritualistic plays as they travel the Nile river. Based on poses such as wheel or  plow, heiroplyphic wall art from Pyramid Tombs depict Ancient Egyptians in Yoga poses. The Kinaidoi also depicted on ancient walls were often accompanied by large palms used as stage props as well as musical instruments such as a harp like instrument and what looks like a guitar. Through dance, these troups reenacted scenes from ancient papyrus preserving the narrative of Egyptian deity. This Ancient Dance was to me the first Vinyasa, a flow of poses. Yet, the yoga of Ancient Egypt wouldn't be practiced as today for fitness and wellness. I believe it was practiced for the purpose of propaganda, selling the ideas of religious sytems native to Ancient Egypt. 

Read Cultic Theatres and Ritual Drama by Inge Nielsen for more on the term "kinaidoi." 

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Trivia: Why were actors or performers called wagtails?
              Answer:  When a dog is excited, he wags his tail. When a dog is sad, he tucks it under. The reason why actors were called wagtails is because like the tail of a dog, they used movement to portray emotion.

The Sutras of Patanjali

​ A collection of writings written by, Patanjali, a pioneer of Yoga, the sutras are divided into four books. Book 1 defines yoga, Book 2 outlines the 8 limbs of yoga (Ashtonga), Book 3 illustrates the benefits of Yoga and Book 4 encourages humililty recognizing the never ending journey of learning. 
In the field of medicine, a sutra is what is used to staple tissue or muscle together in order for the healing process to begin. Just as a sutra binds together what's been damaged or broken apart, so does the sutra in the yoga world bring together all that's beneficial,  binding in words of wisdom for our emotional and spiritual healing. When dissected the term "sutra"means "Su" or Good and "Tra" meaning Tool. Altogether a sutra is a good tool also known as tool to weave.

There are 196 of Patanjali's sutras. I've chosen 6 that speak to the yogi spiritually, that are God centered and endorses living by faith.

God Centered Sutras

2.45

1.25

1.27

Refer to God in a way, most appropriate to the qualities of God. 
Reverence to God promotes the ability to completely undertand any object of choice. 
God knows everything there is to be known.

1.24

1.26

1.28

God is eternal. In fact, he is the ultimate teacher. He is the source of guidance for all teachers: past, present, and future. 
God is the Supreme Being whose actions are never based on misapprehension.
Unlimited by time, God is the teacher of all previous teachers.


Suggested Reading List
 

  • The Bible (The Living Word Translation)
  • Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyers
  • ​Destined To Reign by Joseph Prince
  • ​The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
  • Yoga Anatomy by Amy Matthews and Leslie Kaminoff
  • How We Love by Milan and Kay Yerkovich
  • Stillness Speaks by Eckart Tolle
  • Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield
  • A Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
  • Recapture the Wonder by Ravi Zacharias
  • Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner
  • Pedagogy of the Opressed by Paolo Freire
  • Woman Thou Art Loose by T.D. Jakes

Spiritual Food

There are 31,173 verses in the Bible. Here are six. To meditate on his Word, this is the content of mediation.

Ezekiel 36:26

Zechariah 4:6

1Corinthians 1:27

I will give you a new heart and a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a tender heart. 
Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith The Lord of Hosts.
...but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame that which is strong.

John 15:16

Psalm 94:18-19

Haggai 2:8-9

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit- fruit that will last. 
When I said, "my foot is slipping," your love, O Lord supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.
The silver is mine the gold is mine declares The Lord Almight. The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house, says The Lord Almight. And in this place I will grant peace, declares The Lord Almighty.


A Glossary of Sanskrit Terms
The ABC's of Yoga minus names of  poses. For poses go to the "body" page. 
Acharya- A conduit funneling connectivity
Arda- Half
Asana- Pose
Asmita- Ego
Atman- A person in ther purest state, their unchanging essence
Avyasa- The doing of the practice
Bandhas- An inner valve used to redirect energy
Bhakti Yoga- A branch of Yoga that uses expresses art from an aesthetic of beauty
Bhramari-Bumble Bee Breath
Buddi-Wisdom
Caroona-Sadness, loneliness and disconnection
Chakra- A Wheel of Energy
Chandra- Moon
Chipta- Field of the mind
Chita-Memories
Cikitsa- Treatment or Therapy
Dao-The line between the yin and yang symbol
Darshan- A lens or perspective
Drishti- Focal Point
E
Fasha- covers the body along with muscular and skeletal systems
Ganglia-Small collection of nerves
Granthis- Knots, physical, psychological and emotional
Gunas-Energy
Gurus- meaning heavy or encompassing light a title given.
Hatha- The physical branch of yoga utilizing breath and poses
Ishvara- The teacher of teachers speaking in a whisper
Jhana Yoga- A branch of yoga focusing on knowledge and wisdom
Joppa-Circular movment of energy in a group
Kanda- The energetic home of the Nadis
Katanjali- Teacher
Kavailya-Freedom
Kleshas-Temptations
Kumbhaka- The pause between and inhale and exhale.
Kundalini- A life force flowing through the center of the body
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Mantras- repeated words or sound for someone praying or meditating
Manas-senses, the way we bring in information
Maya-The illusion
Namaste- The God in me honors the God in you
Namaskar- A habitual action
Nerotaha-Putting aside things for clarity
Nidras- Branches throughout the body that carry energy like rivers.
Om- sound that represents the three states of consciousness
Patanjali- Father of Yoga, author of Yoga Sutras
Pranayama- using breath to set the body free.
Pratyahara-Redirecting of the senses, repurposing of the mind
Q
Raga- Attachment to pleasure.
Raja- Royal
Rishis- Priest of the Vedas
Samadhi-a space of balance absent of earthly distractions
Sanga- Tribe or community
Santosha- Being satisfied
Sattva- Balance
Shanti- Peace
Siksha-Fitness
Sitow- A place of joy
Supine- Poses lying on the floor
Surya- Sun
Tantra- braiding together in the effort to expand
Ujjayi Breath- a breathing technique that engages the throat 
Vahita-Flow
Vrittis- Distractions, obstacles in the path
W
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Yamas- Guiding principals
Yoga- Fitness for the body, soul and mind
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