Barbra Brady

Posts Tagged ‘Rod Stryker’

Life Practices for the Best of Your Life

In Today's Practice, Truisms on July 5, 2010 at 7:43 pm

From ParaYoga’s tradition, and my teacher, Rod Stryker:

Yogarupa Rod Stryker

The Six Sva Dharmas (life practices for the Best of your Life)

1. Respect the world as beautiful and love it (Life is a web and if we destroy any part of it we are destroying life itself).

2. Love yourself.

3. Respect yourself.

4. Love your physical self (the more you dwell on what you hate about yourself, the more that part expands).

5. Cultivate and have trust in yourself, your will, and your determination.

6. Learn to be a living example to yourself.

(I’m loving #6 at the moment.)


The Truth About Tantra

In On Teaching Yoga, Yoga on June 7, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Tantric Hatha Yoga, that is.

The truth about Tantric Hatha Yoga is, it is not about that. What it is is an extraordinary (and delightful) approach to yoga that is the true “power yoga.” That is, it uncovers the true power of our potential to prosper in every area of life.

My teacher, Yogarupa Rod Stryker, puts it this way:

As described in the various tantric texts, Hatha Yoga includes the following practices: asana, pranayama, bandha, kriya, mudra, mantra, meditation as well as practices pertaining to kundalini awakening, along with a seemingly endless array of other techniques and knowledge.

Tantra, by providing infinite ways to expand the reach and power yoga, is its most complete and sublime approach. Incorporating the wisdom of ayurveda and the whole of brahma vidya (“supreme science”) or knowledge of the underlying reality, tantra provides a direct and accelerated path to achieving life’s ultimate aims.

Tantra’s core principle asserts that through self-knowledge and the cultivation of our innate power, we can unfold our fullest potential and thus achieve both worldly and spiritual prosperity.

If you’d like to hear more about Tantra, listen in on a panel discussion with Rod and others on Tantra at the January 2010 Yoga Journal Conference in San Francisco. Here’s a link.

I would love to share these amazing practices with you. My classes at Yoga Community in Sonoma are Tuesday/Thursday 9:00-10:30 a.m. and Wednesday 5:3-7:00 p.m.

To Free the Spirit, or Free the Mind?

In It's Not About the Asana, Today's Practice on January 18, 2010 at 1:53 pm

For those unfamiliar with the sub-species of skiing, skate skiing is a type of Nordic, or cross-country skiing wherein the heels of the ski boots are not locked onto the skis (unlike Alpine, or downhill skiing where the entire boot is clipped down). The toe is clipped in, the heel is unattached. Free.

We Nordic skiers have a credo: Free the Heel, Free the Mind. Recently I overheard a fellow skier put a slight spin on it, Free the Heel, Free the Spirit. Both sound like a good plan, right? As I pondered the alternative take on cross-country skiing’s rallying cry, it hit me: It’s free the mind. Our spirit (soul) is already free!

Granted, our spirit at times feels locked in, fearful, or broken. The reality is, the soul is always free, unperturbed. The mind misconstrues. Often. It can and does read the world as oppressive, fearful, discombobulated. But our soul (purusha) is inherently whole, and knows no sorrow. The tricky part is, the soul must look through the mind, misguided and muddled as it can be, to see what the world looks like. If we learn (better yet, remember) to free the mind, it and the soul can just ride…seamless…unblemished.

Free the Mind, Free the Soul! If you want to pry this “puzzle” a bit more, and learn more about how ever to free the mind, drop me a line. Better yet (both/and) go straight to my source, my teacher, Rod Stryker. Friend him on Facebook. There, Yogarupa offers daily “dharma pearls” that re-mind my soul everyday.


Rod Stryker's Daily Dharma Pearl

In It's Not About the Asana, On Teaching Yoga on January 14, 2010 at 2:25 pm

The Tantras says the world is inherently beautiful and blissful.

Yogarupa Rod Stryker’s daily Dharma Pearls on his Facebook page are evidence! His few words/grand world view color my day, and as such I want to share them with you…always timely, kind, appropriate, and needed.

January 14 2010

Yogarupa Rod Stryker

Do yogis cry? Yes and laugh too. Their tears and joy however come with no strings attached––part of embracing the knowledge that soul is partnered with a mortal coil for the dance of this lifetime. Yoga is accepting life’s traumas and elation as passing flashes like so many shooting starts; come morning when the sun of Spirit rises you’ll see the stars recede and your soul’s light, the Eternal presence, fill the sky.

Yoga's true power: Shakti

In It's Not About the Asana on January 13, 2010 at 8:32 pm

I’ll not attempt to offer a complete, or even semi-treatise on Shakti.

Simply one of the most meaningful nuggets my teacher has given me, one that returns time and again as a guidepost for me. One that serves as a benchmark when I’m wondering (at times) why the world seems so mucky. Wondering if I’m on my path…or off.

One of the five primary shaktis of Tantra yoga, Chit Shakti, which Yogarupa Rod Stryker has defined exquisitely, thusly:

“Being awake to the infinite, asleep to the finite.”

It’s counter is Maya Shakti, or, being awake to the finite, asleep to the infinite.

When things are bugging you, or worse, can you catch it as it is happening, and ask yourself,

“Am I awake to the infinite, right now? Or only to the finite?”

It’s an easy point to remember. And, with practice, can become more and more your default world view.

Big Sky of Hoarfrost

In It's Not About the Asana, Things I Have Loved on December 29, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Sunday, December 27, 2009.

The drive back from Bozeman, always breath taking, was now spread before me layered, slathered, in hoarfrost. The vast expanse of hoarfrost encrusted-big sky, Wile E. Coyote worthy buttes, and little more than wheat fields, rolling hills, and mountain ranges of all size-persuasions now bound a spell.

My route, Hwy 287 from Three Forks to Helena. Just southeast of Townsend, around 3:00 p.m., it was like I’d been dropped inside a snowglobe…the post-freezing fog crystalized everything. Hoarfrost surrounded me, big sky-wide…

I was in a different universe. At first it was just visual. But as mile after all-alone, awestruck mile rolled away, I found myself (literally…there you are little Purusha!) in a different energetic universe. My teacher, Rod Stryker, tells us that being in nature is prana replenishing, and all important for Pitta balancing.

My energy, soul, and even mind resolute in the knowledge that the world is blissful by nature.

Which is exactly what Tantra is truly about….

The YouTube video was simply a YouTube search…not at all in Montana, and I don’t skate, but still….

in case you had not met the beautiful winter phenomena that occurs in very cold, very dry conditions, after a fog…

How Do You Know if Your Practice is Working?

In It's Not About the Asana, Yoga on August 19, 2008 at 10:23 pm

It has little, if anything, to do with your hamstrings relaxing, or perfecting an arm balance. Not that I don’t love arm balances.

On the night of August 11th, I was standing on my balcony, talking to a beloved friend on the phone. As I began to tell him about the Perseid meteor showers that happen around August 12 every year…
I looked up at the sky, gesturing toward the stars (I always gesture, even when my yoga students eyes are closed in savasana!), and..Lo, and Behold!
It was as if my fingertip traced a falling star across the sky! Whoosh!  




I spoke, and the very thing I was speaking of manifested before my eyes…

My teacher Rod Stryker says (from Swami Rama), you know your practice is working when your life becomes more joyful, more fearless, and the time it takes from when you set your intention and it manifesting gets shorter and shorter.

I believe my practice is working just fine.

Pay attention (if you have to pay something, pay attention).

When you notice this happening for you…comment, please!