Tuesday, 20 September 2016

So when did yoga become dominated by the monkey mind?

A little insight into how far most yoga practiced now days has travelled from the original source and practice.

In a recent conversation someone expressed that they were so stressed they were trying yoga and although they didn't really like bikram yoga they thought they would start there as it only had twenty two asanas and they could have a chance of remembering them.

You can not learn or remember yoga with your mind (among many of the physical benefits the ultimate practice of yoga is to go beyond the domination of the mind) and exist in a quiet, still reflective state.

So when did yoga become dominated by the mind?

Perhaps it began in the 17th century when the Western culture separated the mind from the body and man from nature. Through this dissection we also separated ourselves from the recognition that we are an ecosystem living within one.

You only need to look at current research that has revealed that the earth upon which we walk is teaming with a biome that nourishes our own gut and keeps us healthy and vital. While we poison and pollute the earth we in symbiosis become a sicker and more diseased species.

When the enlightened sages developed the internal practice of yoga it was in recognition of the ego and the need to still the 'monkey mind', they knew it would be needed in this world when they sent their direct disciples to the West.

I met one of these disciples in New Zealand when I was seven years old... I am now fifty four, a significant number in Ayurvedic science.  We are living in a time of great change, both in a rise of consciousness and mass destruction.

If you are seeking internal peace and joy, there are many internal Eastern practices you can turn to. For the happiness you seek cannot be found in the external world, the journey must be inwards. These practices will support and help you with the understanding that it is enough to simply attend a weekly yoga class or go twice a week and relax a little in not needing to remember. For the far greater intelligence of your body through the nervous system will create the imprint within you.

And what were the earlier paths of yoga?
Hatha yoga, Ashtanga yoga and Iyengar yoga, the first form being the original form, from which all the other forms we see nowadays are drawn from.

As always take your time to find a teacher that you can relate to, this is critical.  A teacher of merit will always let you attend one class only to see if it is right for you.

Happy journeying,


Thursday, 15 September 2016

Gifts from the Heart

I was brought to tears the morning with the heartfelt care that Thai women have.
The cleaners clean my room every day here, and this morning on my morning walk I met the angel cleaner on her bicycle who brought me flowers the other day. She was so happy to see me she dropped the bag of freshly picked flowers from her garden, and she said, 'for you'!

As I continued my walk I thought how could I repay this woman's kindness and thoughtfulness. Clearly money is needed yet it somehow felt 'dirty'.

She was giving from her heart and I was receiving from my heart. Is that not the perfect way of being?  Giving and receiving, yin and yang in perfect harmony.

For each time I meet the people here, I joyously say, ‘Khob khun Ka’ with genuine heartfelt love (the virtue of the heart) delighted to see them and exchange this greeting.

How often do we do this in our lives?
How often can we greet people being completely present, with a crystal clear mind, one that allows all the virtues that we have, love, kindness, compassion, gentleness and openness to flow through our senses in how we relate in the world?

Is this not the most important purpose of being, to first recognise this as a premise before relating in this world?

The blogs I write illustrate a way of being, how to get there is a journey unto itself, many paths will support you, I offer several methods through both the mind, body and spirit.

·      Through my book called, A State of Mind - happiness beyond all anxiety.
·      Available on Amazon as a hard copy or ebook
·      Through many you tubes, just type in Megan Ward - yoga 
·      Through this blog and through the blogs on my web site: www.manasayoga.com and face book page: https://www.facebook.com/Megan-Ward-388618664563319/


Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Changes necessary for a sustainable world and all its inhabitants, including us.

This post arose after talking to a friend who was presenting at a Social Innovation Conference in Scotland about how to change the world for the better.

The way the world operates at the moment is unsustainable and leads to widespread unhappiness and depression.  In a monetary focused society it brings fear of never having enough and fear leads to ultimate disease of mind and body, along with lack of individual choice and responsibility.

This can be evidenced by the spiraling rates of depression, anxiety, and stress related diseases such as the rise in auto immune diseases, cancers, endocrine system diseases, digestive, eliminative diseases, all arising from ongoing extreme stress (from the mind not physical) 

A new system would allow people to pause to 'catch their breath' and we would be dealing with an improved mindset, yet we must still address the individual mindset for real peace in this world. 

For a mindset that has not yet recognised we are all one and the same will create separateness and conflict. When we cut a tree down we hurt part of ourselves, when we poison the soil we poison ourselves.

This falsified identity that we humans tend to identify with is, for here I will call it the Ego. The Ego always needs negative energy and separateness to keep it 'alive'.

The Ego thrives in a chaotic mind and leaves no room for the bodily experiences of the sensorial world, our sensing bodies which allow us to begin to connect with the natural world and our inner selves.

If we go beyond the Ego, then the beauty of each and every one of us is revealed. It reveals our life's path and purpose for this lifetime. It leads to harmony and peace between all animals for we recognise we are one and the same. 

For if there is no Ego, then there is nothing I need to defend. One exists in a state of being of peace inner joy and love. And one has access to the much higher universal intelligence to guide us in this lifetime.  This is for each and every one of us in this fragile world.


Sunday, 4 September 2016

The first intimate relationship must be with Yourself

I was talking to a friend the other day, who is having some problems in his relationship of four years, and I asked him:
Are you at least happy together?
He looked at me incredulously and said of course not.

What is the point of life relationships when so many people exist in unhappy relationships. You hurt yourself and your partner and add to the cesspool of unhappiness in the world.

Now can we take a step back to the realisation that if you can't love and respect yourself first than no one else can. If you can't put your needs and desires first than no one else will. And if you haven't found your happiness as a state of being within you, you will never be happy in a relationship because it will be a conditional relationship.

To find your own happiness (not as a emotion, it is a state of being) one needs to focus ones attention inwards, this is the beginning of the journey of questioning and verifying your truth for yourself.

It is not about what your partner does or doesn't do, it is about looking at yourself and your reaction and responses, it is an inward inquiry to peel back your layers of 'maya' to reveal the essence of your self.  It is the beginning of self discovery and it is a particularly beautiful journey.

You will also begin to notice when you are in nature or with certain people you feel 'stronger' i.e. more energy and then you quickly become aware when you are around people who drain you.

If you are in an unhappy relationship it will be draining you, however if you are still enmeshed by always looking outwards with the associated fears then you will not see it.

And what is the purpose of your life?
Your life is a gift, born as a free spirit you are the vehicle for the expression of the full potential of yourself.

Are we solitary in life? It is very easy to be by yourself, you can have some lovely conversations with yourself:) Yet we were never meant to be alone, we become thin and brittle and can never evolve to be all that we are.

Because there is an internal longing to connect, we see this all through nature, it is the yin and yang balance, it is the union and ever evolving spiral of energy we call life. It is the heart energy that is a cauldron of love and fire.

Let us begin to redefine relationships as ecstatic loving powerful unions between two people, where each person contributes to the others individual growth. The dance of moving in and out in an ever spiralling movement of energy that brings each to a heightened state of being and potential.

And with this ever growing awareness one becomes present with each other, not always lost in the chaos of the mind. In being present, how beautiful to be able to feel the thousand gentle kisses on the face, the moments spent together and the gentle caresses of two youthful spirits in harmony.

Relationships not based on Self sacrifice but Self love.


                                             A pair of Brolgas at Te Kapowai Sanctuary.
                                                      These guys have it figured out.

Reference: A State of Mind - happiness beyond all anxiety. Author: Megan Ward
Available on Amazon

The Indefinable Quality of Creativity

We all have creativity, we have a right hemisphere and a left hemisphere. You may in the past have heard that the right hemisphere is used more for creativity and artistic pursuits and the left for logic and reasoning but this is in fact incorrect, they do not operate separately they interact together.

Just like the yin and yang symbol, the creative and intellectual forces are not separate they are intertwined.

The minds 'maya' or ego will always reinforce separateness, division, comparison, conflict and issues of low self worth to uphold its false identity.

The same false identity that needs to identify itself by the role you have in life.

One of the first questions asked upon meeting someone is: What do you do?
This of course is in order for the ego to then position itself against you, you are deemed worthy or not based on your profession.

When we mistakenly identify ourselves with our roles it limits us and creates fear for the ego, for who are we, if we are not our roles?

Try it now, stand in front of a mirror, take away whatever role you are in...be role - less.

How do you feel, did you feel the fear and loss suddenly creep in?

Try saying in response, 'I live life fully'

That will stump most people for they can only communicate with labels.
For it is not what you do in life that defines you, it is who you are.
Humans are more concerned with having then Being.

Writing this has been a creative exercise.
Being creative is a balanced way of being, it is not limited to working with materials such as art or music or design, it is Being creative with life.


Monday, 16 May 2016

Stress – live it, breathe it, embody it and it will slowly devour you.

How can stress in our lives eventually lead to organ collapse and depression?

Let’s looks at the primary change in our bodies when we experience stress, the breath changes. It moves from the parasympathetic state (relaxation) to the sympathetic state (stress).

This then signals to the adrenals to start releasing cortisol in the body.
Now for short spurts our bodies can cope with this and when the stress has passed, our body does its house cleaning and restores us to good order.

However with our ever stressed, fast paced lives, our bodies are pumping out cortisol almost constantly, then when peak stresses occur in our lives our health begins to fall apart with many complex mechanisms in the body leading to specific damage.

You can google the effects of stress in the body - high blood pressure, susceptibility to diabetes, depression, weight fluctuations, inability to absorb nutrients from food, the gut becomes toxic and for women, although it doesn't make the top ten, it is right up there, suffer enough stress and it will take out your beautiful thyroid. More on this soon.

Look at your language to gage your level of stress, what are your repetitive words saying to you? Look at your loved ones language, what state of stress are they in?

And lets begin at the primary shift in our body that signalled things to begin to unravel – recovering the natural breath.

Refer: Book: A State of Mind - happiness beyond all anxiety. Page 47 - Beginning to Quieten the Mind. Check in breath Meditation 

And check out the following youtubes: Begin here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zm0HP6h2ngg


Sunday, 15 May 2016

Relaxation Meditation – Yoga Nidra

Twenty years ago I began teaching relaxation to veterans and others suffering PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).

One of the most effective methods to help them relax, as well as using specific yoga postures was teaching the Yoga Nidra technique.

The method of systematically relaxing certain body parts helps the brain to relax and in doing so allows the entire nervous system to begin to move into the para sympathetic state. This relaxes the diaphragm sufficiently to begin conscious breathing.

Lets begin here:

Find a quiet space to lie on your back (bolster under knees if your back is uncomfortable also small one under neck if necessary).

Let your arms release away from your body, palms turned upwards. Your feet will rest hip width apart, with your toes falling outwards. If they don't, start a small jiggling movement through your entire body to ‘loosen up’.
Gently close your eyes, a eye pillow (with natural fragrance of lavender oil) can be nice to relax the eyes. Check your body is symmetrical, imagine a line running from the crown of your head down through to the centre space between your feet.

This relaxation posture already begins to influence your consciousness and will
allow for relaxation and the energy flow through your body to be restored.

Now we have to give the mind something to engage with!

Bring your attention inwards and become conscious of your breath. Don't let the mind fall into judgement, rather become the observer of the breath. The gentle in breath and the gentle out breath.

As you move through the meditation take as long as you need to at each stage. If you are unable to connect with any body part, simply apply a little tension to that area and then release with the breath.

As we go through the physical body, if you come across a part of your body that you can’t actually feel then just slightly tense it, the release it. Pay a little more attention to this area.

Relax the top of your feet, the underside of your feet.
Relax your ankles, the bones of the feet,
Relax your calves and shin bones
Relax the underside of your knees, the upper knee
Relax the underside of your legs, relax the top of the legs
Relax the sitting bones
Relax the buttocks
Relax the hips
Relax the lower back
Relax the belly
Relax the middle back, the upper back
Relax the chest
Relax the underside of the shoulders, the tops of the shoulders
Relax the underside of the upper arms, the elbows
Relax the underside of the lower arms,
The back of the wrist, the back of your hand, your fingers
Relax the palm of your hand, the front of your wrist
The lower arm, the upper arm
Relax your throat, the back of the head, the skull, the skin on the skull
The forehead, eyebrows, the eye bone, eyes
Relax your cheeks, cheekbones
Relax your nose,
Relax your ears, your lips, your tongue, and your jaw
Allow your entire body to relax
Your entire body to breathe


The recording for this meditation will be uploaded shortly.