Spanda: Secret of Life

Spanda

Life’s Little Secret

What is Spanda

Spanda is one of the foundational teachings from the ancient tantric philosophies. To be clear, I am referring to the yoga traditions not the modern westernized term for sexual practices. Spanda refers to the pulse of the universe, the essence of life’s natural cycle and rhythm that is always occurring. What that really means is that everything in life is either moving toward expansion or contraction. For example, a seed that drops from a flower at the end of its life lands on the ground in a contracted state of pure potential. If that seed makes its way into the dirt and receives enough water and sunlight, it will move towards its expansion. The seed will begin to grow roots downward and eventually flowers upward. The seed represents limitless potential, while the flower is the manifestation of that potential. At the end of its life, the flower drops several seeds onto the earth and the cycle of potential begins yet again. The teaching is a reminder that all phases of the seed’s life are natural and inevitable. Even in its death, it leaves behind potential.

SEEING SPANDA IN OUR LIFE  

At first, this teaching can be something nice to think about, however, when you really observe your life you will begin to notice that it exists everywhere. Knowing that there is always a cycle of potential and manifestation, perhaps we could be less surprised and shaken when the projects, relationships, and circumstances of our life die and come back to the pure state of potential. The issue most of us face emotionally is that we believe everything that is happening now will continue to happen forever. This causes us tremendous suffering on both sides. Do you agree? Have you ever taken for granted the good things in your life? Have you lost something or someone special and spent far too long not moving forward? Yes, we all have, and this is where the teaching becomes helpful. It reminds us of the natural pulse of the universe, that sometimes we are the seed, eager to attain what we need in order to dig our roots into the earth and grow tall into our fullest manifestation. The eagerness is great, but it usually turns into impatience, forcefulness, or a retraction into the protective state of being where we give up far too soon wishing there was a shortcut. On the other side, there are aspects of our life where we are the flower, manifested and full of beauty. We all love this part of the process because it feels like everything is going the way we want it to. The potential downfall is either taking for granted the beauty of our life or simply lacking the clarity to see what we have created or who we have become. Look at your life. Where is your potential? Can you embrace the process, step into it, and let it unfold with every step? Look at what you have already created. Can you see it clearly without a sense of insecurity and self-doubt and find gratitude for who you have become and what you have built? 

Where can I practice with teachers who talk about spanda?

Chromatic Yoga Teachers around the world are teaching about Spanda in their classes. Find one near you at www.ChromaticYoga.com  

Embrace your potential

Most of our life is spent realizing our potential. To truly love life we must enjoy both the expansion and the contraction. This requires the ability to see the direction of your your actions. If you know where you are going and that you will get there, than you can relax right where you are now.

The Joy of Spanda

At first, the teaching of spanda was hard for me to embrace. I was annoyed at it in the beginning but I could see with great clarity that it was a teaching rooted in truth, not belief. It took some time to stop resisting the truth. I wanted to believe that if I practiced enough yoga and self-awareness I could live a life that is always in that sweet spot of expansion. The essence of what I was wanting was to feel the joy and freedom that I felt in the expanded states of life, and over time I realized that I could feel that regardless of the phase of spanda that my life was in. This is not about avoiding sadness, pain, or the challenges of life. It’s simply about having perspective and recognizing that life is a gift – ALL of it.

To apply this approach to the body,  I recommend you check out Hips: Rock and Unlock ‘Em! This online workshop is a journey through what I call the 4 quadrants of the hips, supporting you on the path toward mastery of the inner thighs, outer hips, posterior chain, and hip flexors. 

Elements of Mastery

The most in-depth online yoga immersion offered by Matt Giordano. This immersion contains several full-length workshops focusing on how the body relates to nature’s elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, & Space. In addition to deepening your physical practice, you will learn anatomy, adjustments, and the approach to Mastery!

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find your seat

3 BEST SEATED MEDITATION POSTURES

Find Your Seat: 3 Ways to Sit without Knee, Hip or Back Pain!

Find Your Seat

Let’s go over the 3 best seated meditation postures and find out which one is right for you. The deep benefits of seated meditation are well known to have been experienced by many. On the other hand, people around the world find the practice to be inaccessible because they can’t sit comfortably for more than a minute. This is true for me, even to this day! No matter how open my hips are, or how strong my core and back are, if I try and sit on the ground for an extended period of time one of my legs will fall asleep or I will at the least just be uncomfortable. If you have the same experience, you will find these particular postures to be very supportive!

THE CHALLENGES

Why is it challenging to sit? There are a host of reasons why we might find it difficult to sit on the ground – perhaps primarily because we just don’t do it. Sitting in a chair does not allow our hips to go through their full range of motion each day and as a result, our back and hip flexors don’t develop the strength needed to keep us upright. Yoga can serve as an amazing practice to redevelop the capacity to sit more efficiently although it won’t happen overnight – which is why it’s necessary to check out the 3 postures in the video and photos below, so you can sit comfortably on the ground while you are working on the long term hip-opening journey.

Trying to re-pattern our body takes repetitive practice. As with any other skill, you can only learn from doing it. That is why I created a 12 class immersion to help you feel better, sit better, and establish a meditation practice. MOVE•BREATHE•RELEASE helps you increase flexibility of the hips, strengthen your back muscles for better posture, teach you breathwork techniques, and gives you the tools for mental and emotional clarity and freedom. Meditation requires guidance just like yoga, and I guide you in all 12 classes so you feel safe, confident, and inspired with each practice.

MOVE•BREATHE•RELEASE

12 Class Package for Yoga, Pranayama, and Meditation

  • Breathe better with pranayama “breathwork” exercises
  • Release Hip Tension with asana practice
  • Increase Flexibility & Strength
  • Increase Focus and Clarity
  • Decrease Stress
  • Unwind physical & Emotional Tension
  • Move more freely
  • Release low back tension through hip opening
  • 12 All Levels Live Asana Classes
  • Lifetime Unlimited Access to All  

Is Meditation Calming?

When Most people begin a meditation practice they expect it to have the results that everyone preaches; calm mind, relaxing, stress reducing. While some people do experience these results right away, others may experience the opposite. In weight lifting you must build a foundation of strength before you can move on to heavy compound movements, and establishing this foundation can at times be challenging and discouraging. Meditation is very much the same, the practice of it might feel like you are lifting heavy weights for your mind and as a result, you might initially only experience the challenge of it. With repetition, your mind will get stronger. You will be able to focus longer and the results will come faster!

On top of it, if you are physically uncomfortable when practicing meditation you are not likely to magically walk away feeling calmer. This is why it’s important to find a seat by selecting from one of the 3 best seated meditation postures.

VIDEO TO FIND YOUR SEAT

CHOOSE FROM THE 3 BEST SEATED MEDITATION POSTURES

Assess your hips

Each of us has our own movement patterns which cause some muscles to be stronger, some weaker, some are tight, some are not, etc. We also have different bone structures that will make some positions easier than others. Finding a comfortable seat is one of the most important aspects of a seated meditation posture. If you are uncomfortable, it is very hard to move the mind beyond the discomfort of the body. This is why I have provided three options for seated meditation postures. Go through each and ask yourself which one is most sustainable. Keep in mind there is no perfect seated posture for meditation, there is only the best one for you and that is the one you feel most comfortable in and that also allows you to stay awake and present.

“3 Best Seated Meditation Postures” Detailed Break Down

best seated meditation posture

Option 1 - Bhadrasana (Hero's Pose)

My personal favorite seated posture for those who have tighter outer hips and inner thighs as it requires little flexibility in these areas. It presents a challenge for those with tight quads and shin muscles. Using blankets and blocks can help alleviate these challenges. I would suggest warming up and stretching the thighs and ankles prior to working on this posture. In the above video, I go over a twisted thigh stretch and a seated posture on heels. If these postures prove to be too challenging after a warm-up, then this posture is likely to cause discomfort during a seated meditation.

best cross legged seated meditation posture

Option 2: Cross Legged

Sukhasana, the so-called “easy seat” – an ironic title, as it can be incredibly misleading. For those with open inner thighs, hip flexors, and outer hips this can be an easy posture indeed, but if that is not the case for you then you’ll definitely want to use props. Using the right amount of blankets and block support can make this posture easier and more accessible.

seated meditation posture on chair with props

Option 3: On Chair with Blocks

In the video I show a seated option call sidasana, however, I wanted to offer one other one here. Sitting in a chair can seem like cheating, as it can be incredibly easy to get too relaxed in it. Here you will notice how I prepare the chair with blocks and a blanket and I sit on the edge of the seat so that I still used my back and hip flexors to keep me upright. Some level of muscle engagement is important to stay awake and present when meditating.

MOVE•BREATHE•RELEASE

12 Class Package for Yoga, Pranayama, and Meditation

  • Breathe better with pranayama “breathwork” exercises
  • Release Hip Tension with asana practice
  • Increase Flexibility & Strength
  • Increase Focus and Clarity
  • Decrease Stress
  • Unwind physical & Emotional Tension
  • Move more freely
  • Release low back tension through hip opening
  • 12 All Levels Live Asana Classes
  • Lifetime Unlimited Access to All  

How to Start Meditation

The best way to practice meditation, like anything else, is to have guidance. When I was younger, I struggled for years to meditate without the support of a teacher and mostly I became frustrated and lost in my thoughts. When I stumbled upon my teacher “Rudrani” she helped provide me with the tools and guidance to make meditation accessible and enjoyable. This is why I created the MOVE•BREATHE•RELEASE  to share with you the techniques that produce the intended results that so many talk about; peace of mind, inner freedom, focus, mental clarity, joy, equanimity, balance, etc.

From Body to Mind

One thing I noticed early on in my meditation practice was the discomfort of my body. I couldn’t focus my mind on anything when I was seated because I was distracted by my back, my knee, my neck, and so on. This realization led me to the physical practice of yoga. Through the yoga practice, I gained a heightened sense of awareness of my body. At first, this was almost a curse because I could feel everything – including my discomfort! Over time and practice, I gained a bit of mastery in my body, in that I could feel the discomfort and choose postures to better accommodate myself and release it. I suggest you choose from one of the 3 best seated meditation postures above and use it for now as your “go-to pose”. I also recommend you get to know the other two poses as well because you will find that on some days your “go-to” is just not the appropriate one for you.

The seated meditation practice became so much more enjoyable for me when I could extend my attention beyond the physical, knowing that I wasn’t causing damage by forcing myself to sit through knee or back pain. While I do believe that some pain in the body can be a result of mental projection, I also know firsthand that placing love and attention on the body can support the health of the mind.  There really isn’t a divide between brain and body – the mind is a collective of all our physical and emotional experiences. For sound mental health to be our primary state of being we must get to know ourselves on all levels and develop our awareness.

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Elements of Mastery Online

Get the immersion that is offered around the world now in the comfort of your own home. Practice on your own time, when you want, and where you want. Re-watch, study, read, take notes, get into your body, free your mind, and advance your practice with this in depth online immersion

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reverse warrior for better back bend flexibility

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REVERSE WARRIOR INCREASE BACK FLEXIBILITY WITH THIS PARTICULAR ALIGNMENTREVERSE WARRIORREVERSE WARRIOR: PREPARE FOR BACKBENDSFull expansion, widespread freedom, release, and openness -- this might describe what we feel as yogis when it comes to the shape of a backbend...

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SIDE CROW: POSE TUTORIAL UNLOCK YOUR ARM BALANCE PRACTICESIDE CROWSIDE CROW: POSE TUTORIALSide Crow is a challenging yoga posture but is more accessible than most people think. There are ways of “cheating” the posture that can make the shape more attainable such as...

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SELF ADJUSTMENT IN SIDE ANGLE POSE  ACTIVATE YOUR GLUTES FOR GREATER GAINSSIDE ANGLESELF ADJUSTMENT IN SIDE ANGLE POSE -- ACTIVATE YOUR GLUTES FOR GREATER GAINS Glute gains! Who doesn’t want those, right? When we think about glute gains though, our minds may go...

read more

THE FREE TECHNIQUE PACK

When You Subscribe You Will Get Instant Access To

  • The Technique Pack: 15 Yoga Pose Breakdowns
  • Exclusive Online Course Discounts
  • Exclusive Blogs and Videos
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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