In cases of chronic illness, persistent fatigue, overwhelming difficulties or due to grief, a cycle of depression may set in. When hopelessness becomes chronic and long term, doctors call it “Clinical Depression”. When our energy stalls and in frustration we feel blinded, confused and stuck, when no corrective plan that we sense we can trust unfolds, when we wait and ask and no miracle appears, anxiety make take over. Anxiety and depression are interlinked. How can we steer clear of depression and anxiety and counter balance the stresses? Modern life is complex. What routes are likely to increase our enjoyment of life to the max? Mental decompression refers to allowing pent up energies to release in a controlled stream, like steam escaping from a pressure cooker controlled by a pressure gauge.
My Aim in Sharing
My aim in sharing my writings is to cause discoveries in myself plus offer a fresh perspective to others. I have written reports called DramaticDetox™ which detail a practical, dynamic and fun approach toward body/mind vitality. If you find this blog valuable you can visit my main website at Taurox4Vitality (.com) and check out the Newsletters. Through visiting with each other via our writings, the shadings of our unique perspective can open, shift and evolve daily. In the drama of this one moment, the possibility exists to upgrade to a higher level of understanding so we can improve biological functioning immediately, like magic. This process of integration is detailed in the ancient texts of Yoga of which I am a student and a teacher. More on my philosophy plus radio interviews can be accessed through my yoga website at WaveDancz (.com).
Personally I believe that happy, healthy, harmonious being is our birth right. I see life as a cosmic learning game where we play to learn and can choose or not choose to allow our well-being to flower each day. Each day we have a new shot to start over! We are free to invent new ways to play or to follow recipes provided by others to remove common stumbling blocks such as depression or anxiety. In order to enlist the full cooperation of the child within, the creative power, it helps me to keep my enjoyment level high! This is my approach to detoxify dramatically, steadily and beautifully. Based on my observations the ability to grow ever more adaptable is supported by happiness.
The Cosmic Learning Game
From the human perspective, life on earth can be a quite challenging, even treacherous. There are many dangers in our modern world and these pressures, such as our fragile eco system, appear to be increasing. From a broader perspective, perhaps we are participating in this cosmic learning game where as the challenges increase we match the environment by becoming more capable and able to adapt, thus evolving the human race. I found a reasonable road map to help me navigate this life trip and decompress mentally through the step outlined in what is traditionally called The Eight Fold Path of Yoga.
The Galactic Level Ice Skater
Let us begin by imagining being a Galactic Level Ice Skater. The tip of our skating blade is the point of our attention in the immediate now. Our ice rink is our personal arena, our life situation, where our attention is focused. In our vibrational dream world as a galactic skater we are creating here, we have attained a degree of physical and mental mastery, we have near perfect timing; we are super strong and toned. Our body and mind act as coordinated, obedient, marvelous instruments. Through time, hard work, skill and focus, we can now swirl, dance, twirl, leap and perform amazing feats all in time with the music. We can also skate in tandem with a partner while the world is watching and never miss a beat! The world is a stage as Shakespeare said. Yes, in this dream world, we are flying high in the zone of joy, dancing upon the wave of now.....Yippeeee!......so long as our attention does not wander…..
The Dancz of Presence on The Wave of Now
The Galactic Skater is a good analogy for what I call The Dancz of Presence. (misspelling intended) This zone of awareness, our personal ice rink, refers to the immediate moment and evidential circumstances at hand. When our attention is riveted upon the point of our blade, in this precious present moment and no where else, we can then access the ability to pivot on The Wave of Now. Just like a surfer on an oceanic wave so long as we control the dancz of our presence. All matter and subtle energy is composed of vibrational waves and these waves oscillate according to certain cosmically derived scientific principles. I saw an illustration in The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking where the relationship between space and time is laid out as vertical and horizontal lines that intersect, a graph, forming a type of tapestry upon which objects, like planets and all forms of matter - rock, roll, spin and vibrate – dance! This is how I see the tapestry of The Wave of Now. Some might also call this the matrix.
Adaptability and Decompression
This knack of adapting, of being able to let off steam, to decompress mentally, to empty enough to respond, to remain awake and ready to shift, to pivot in any direction as needed, leads to freedom. Adaptability is a trait found in people who live to be over a hundred years old. I read this in Quantum Healing by Deepak Chopra. To be highly adaptable requires dropping the resistance habit. We can learn to operate in a manner that integrates fresh perspectives into what we have acquired via memorization, thus using and incorporating the brain’s creative functions. By not depending on memory alone, new sensitivity builds up in our five perceptive openings, ears, eyes, nose, tongue and skin.
I came upon a deeper understanding of this by reading a book called the Tree of Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar. The tradition of yoga explains that overuse of memory causes the five perceptive facilities to become less sensitive. When we operate in the immediate moment, with intelligence yet without undue interference, pressure and preferences based mainly on memory, vitality can rebuild. What is the memory function seeking to do? - repeat past pleasures and avoid traumas. Memory of course is essential, however overuse leads to addictive behaviors and stasis in our sojourn towards liberation.
The Balance of Expansion and Contraction
The ego or individual aspect of our being seeks to express itself and that is what makes the world go round yet at the same time we have to give equal time to allow our attention to reconnect with our universal identity. The continuum causes expansion out from the center of being and contraction from the peripheral of self (personality) towards the less finite inside where calmness presides. Getting quiet, meditating, taking time to walk in nature or whatever works to relax spastic beta brain waves, is how we reboot and return to the less complex, clear seeing aspect of self. If we keep doing what we do while in a state of confusion we tend to spiral out discordant notes that strike flat or sharp, causing undue internal friction. The goal is act in harmony with the same cosmic principles that cause the planets and all matter to rock, roll, spin and vibrate.
If we seek to capture moments in time, to hold onto good times or painful, if we congeal around things and try to control circumstances in a way that inhibits the natural movement of life – we BLOCK the flow of energy, in our own body/mind. Energy that moves too fast or too slow can inhibit flow. Stagnant subtle energy inhibits central nervous system function and the body begins, ever so slightly at first, to cramp, shrivel and degrade. We instigate our own descent into chaos. The rivers of blood, lymph, cranial fluid and so respond to emotional moods. Addictive behavior and failure to adapt build up slowly as frustrations mount until one morning we wake up and declare we are beaten by life, hopeless and depressed. The truth is that when we hold onto resistance to how our life is - the factors of current circumstances - we seat our self in the driver’s seat pointed towards exhaustion. Sure, we are all moving in the direction of physical death, the end of our personal life cycle, but the question is, death of what?
The Time Space Webbing of Now
As a galactic skater on the ice rink of wave of now, the time/space webbing, what are the properties of this medium or matrix upon which we dance? In our make up story, the quality of the rink is formed by the sea of thought and actions, the vibrations that humanity generates, as perceived or modulated by our unique self. This webbing is laid upon the framework of the organic natural kingdom of earth and this is back lit and imprinted by the universal energy which is moving and spinning the entire cosmos. The ice we skate upon is therefore not smooth. Everyday we come upon interesting curves and grooves to navigate. If we are engaged in the excitement of the adaptive cosmic game of life and enjoying the dancz of presence, we may be more ready for the curves and respond appropriately so we don’t fall down. Then we can shift, or pivot and change our course as needed. This helps us want to keep playing at the 100% max level.
The Path of Integration or Disintegration
To me there are only two main directions in life. One leads to integration of our soul into our mind/body with satisfying, peace permeating accomplishments while the other path leads to disintegration of our mind/body by squeezing the life force away from matter resulting in low energy and frustration. I think that for everybody, there comes a time when the light goes on and we realize that we do indeed wish to penetrate the matter of our mind/body with the light of the greater self – that atom of being that is the one whom is perceiving – call it the soul – or the watcher, or whatever. – This begins the journey to skillfully decompress the mind so we can operate more easily. At this point in our journey we have to consider other factors such as our speed of growth. From this position in our life, provided we are adaptable enough to pivot and shift towards integration at least in our intention, what then is our speed of movement or vector of growth based on our current emotional load?
THREE SPEEDS – How We Dance Upon The Wave of Now
There are 3 basic speeds of operation of our galactic skater:
1. NOW SPEED – Spinning on the tip of the blade with full attention, ready to rock, roll, spin, twirl, vibrate and dance to whatever the music of life is playing!
2. FAST FORWARD – Spinning too fast, skimming over the ice out of control and frequently crashing – Anxiety is common, the pressure which tends to lead to…
3. LETHARGIC MODE– Spinning too slow with the emergency brake on, loosing momentum, falling over and not wanting to even get up again which = depression or getting stuck in safe mode.
In Yoga these 3 speeds are called the 3 expressions or qualities of the “Gunas”
1. Now Speed – Sattva – clear, transparent, appropriately timed speed
2. Fast Forward – Rajas – agitated, overly dynamic, burning too fast
3. Lethargic Mode – Tamas – fixed, immobile, heavy, ineffective movement
A dysfunction pattern often occurs of bouncing between Rajas to Tamas to counterbalance energy flow. This does not lead to relief! The process of mental decompression begins once we learn to remain poised in Sattva speed.
I am currently studying to be a Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher in a year long program with Lillah Schwartz at Lighten Up Yoga in Asheville NC. I am learning from a gifted teacher and I am excited yet to attain requires commitment, focus and hard work. My aim is to maintain the same degree of enthusiasm that I had at the beginning of the course until I reach completion. Therefore I must be clear that I am heading towards graduating with excellence. I must enable myself to do the work with equal or increased vigor everyday in order to sustain my speed and remain in Sattva mode. One definition of yoga is the ability to direct the mind towards an object and sustain that direction without any distractions. Seems simple enough!
The Three Doshas and Stress Relief
These three speeds or gunas express through the five basic elements of the manifest universe. A complete study of the elements as they affect humans, were detailed in Ayurvedic Medicine some 5000 years ago. They are categorized as the three doshas. The science of the doshas explains how the 5 basic elements affect our personal health and reality.
1. VATA DOSHA– Air/Space – lightest and faster to move
2. PITTA DOSHA – Fire/Water – moderate weight and moderate movement
3. KAPHA DOSHA – Earth/Water – heaviest and slowest to move
The science of Ayurveda and the path of yoga, if rightly understood, teach us methodologies to use the five natural elements and their qualities (in attitudes, foods, exercise, lifestyle etc) in order to balance our interaction with the wave of now by understanding the principles of direction and speed. Since there is nothing static in the entire universe, energy dances through us whether we participate or not. However, when we resist, energy stagnates and problems persist! Resistance and clutching to past memories or worries about the future causes excessive tamas or rajas quality of mind. Stress and worry activates the fight or flight function of our nervous system causing the body/mind to go into chronic overdrive. Peace of mind is lost and situations tend to worsen because now the mind is burdened and perception is clouded.
To learn more about relieving stress through modulation of the Autonomic Nervous System and what you can do to encourage bountiful balance, please see my Fall 2008 Issue of the 100% Vitality Newsletter at
The Eight Limbed Path of Yoga
The art and science of the eight limbed path of yoga as guided by the authoritative text, The Yoga Sutras by Patanjali, thought to be 2500 years old, details how the mind/body operates. Upon the path of disintegration the mind entrap the spark of life, the essence of being in this life. We get play getting trapped in order to learn how to become non-trapped. Upon the path of integration, the mind can be subdued and trained in order to harmonize biological functioning and assist the greater aim.
The body is naturally lazy and therefore must be brought up to the level of the vibrant mind, (through physical training) for only then can the sight and light of the soul be glimpsed. I am paraphrasing B.K.S. Iyengar, another gem from The Tree of Yoga. I know this to be true for me. The physical training aspect is why the path of yoga includes postures, called asana in Sanskrit. The practice of asana is an integral part of the eight limbed path of yoga. In asana we watch how energy dances or not through the physical body and are able to trace blockages back to their roots in our thought and emotional body.
What are the mental factors that cause us, the galactic skater in our story, to harbor energy, to become imbalanced and to veer away from NOW TIME, Sattva into FAST FORWARD, Rajas or LETHARGIC MODE, Tamas?
Interference is Caused by the Nine Obstacles of the Mind
A Subset of the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali
Extracted from The Heart of Yoga by T.K.V. Desikachar
9 Obstacles of the Mind as described by Patanjali
Haste or Impatience
Resignation or Fatigue
Ignorance or Arrogance
Inability to take a new step
Loss of Confidence
2.10 – When the obstacles do not seem present it is important to be vigilant
2.11 - Advance towards a state of reflection to reduce their impact and prevent them from taking over
2.12 - Our actions and their consequences are influenced by these obstacles. The consequences may or may not be evident at the time of the action
2.13 – As long as the obstacles prevail they will affect action in every respect: in its duration, and its consequences
2.14 – The consequences of an action will be painful or beneficial depending on whether the obstacles were present in the concept or implementation of the action.
2.15 Painful effects from any object or situation can be a result of one or more of the following: changes in the perceived object, the desire to repeat pleasurable experiences, and the strong effect of conditioning from the past. In addition, changes within the individual can be contributing factors
2.16 – Painful effects that are likely to occur & should be anticipated and avoided
2.17 – The cause of actions that produce painful effects is the inability to distinguish what is perceived from what perceives.
Ahhhh – to Pivot Freely as the Perceiver! Ahhhhaaaaa – to Identify as The Perceiver!
What we learn is that when we PIVOT as the Perceiver or create a SHIFT in our life towards integration of soul/mind/body….we are identifying with our soul, the one who perceives and not the by-products of our mind – that which is perceived. This shift feels good and freeing. Our cells can twinkle and charge up! Success and accomplishments are better established in the manifest world. Yet if our action is tainted by negative mental states, the results or fruits of our labor will be tainted. So once again consider the effects of acting while under the influence of: Illness – Lethargy – Doubt - Haste or Impatience - Resignation or Fatigue – Distraction - Ignorance or Arrogance - Inability to take a new step - Loss of Confidence
If troubles come in a day - a pop-up in our brain might say - Stop and reboot now! Return to zero, to silence. Decompress now! Please meditate before proceeding.
In a Pickle
Patanjali’s sutras state that acting while the mind is under the influence of the negative mental obstacles will increase suffering - sooner or later. Even if initially everything looks great. Now, what can we do if we have already gotten into a pickle so to speak?
The eight limbs of yoga explain how to release the mind from compression and obsession. The eight components and sub-components join as one liberating force, a map to navigate towards freedom, each limb or tool compliments the other.
For simplicity I will illustrate just the 5 Niyama's which comprise Limb #2.
(English & Sanskrit names)
• Cleanliness of body/mind - Sauca
• Contentment - Santosha
• Enthusiastic commitment to practices – Tapas
• Study of the Self – Svadhyaya
• Surrender to the ORIGINAL CREATIVE FORCE – Isvarapranidhana
(some call this force God – which requires belief)
Taking a Personal Inventory
If we wish to loosen the grip of mental obsession and help the mind to decompress we can take a mental inventory of how we do our life in relation to the 5 Niyama’s.
• How is our practice of cleanliness, contentment, commitment, self-study and surrender to the Creative Force?
• Which Niyama is strongest in our practice and which is weakest?
• What shift in emphasis upon these 5 practices would compliment our life?
• What actions could be leading edge choices to produce major changes?
• Are we willing to take the time and contemplate these questions deeply?
• What are the voices in our head saying and where do those voices come from?
The Death of Anger via Forgiveness
For instance, if we find overt or repressed signs of anger coming from within which destroys contentment, as maybe the case in chronic depression or low energy states, then naturally the second Niyama, is not achievable. The roots of anger, I believe, usually begin in early life as we became increasingly disheartened when we perceived that our parents or caretakers did not meet our exact needs. We may have gotten mad and may be still imprinting that anger on every authority or family figure in our life. How can we back out of that pickle? Forgiveness of one’s parents is a great place to begin on the road to contentment. So, yes, we are all proceeding towards completing this life cycle, toward so called death, yet this death can be the end of confusion and its red flag, anger.
Watery Imagery of Forgiveness
Forgiveness is like a hot spring of warmth which harnesses the river of love to melt hardened ridges in our mind and allow the sweet waters of delight to flow. Joy is then effortless and effervescent. Our family is the womb of our beginning. I suspect that many of the problems of this world are caused by our inability to forgive our parents or other family members. Here is where the water hardens and freezes. It is easy to get stuck in the rut of always crying out and wanting more, demanding more than the situation delivers, feeling overly entitled while skidding out of the control on the ice or flopping repeatedly on one’s face or butt. When we flail against life we are actually rejecting our self and this does not lead to contentment. It is logical to think this must begin early on, in infancy. Some parents fall short terribly and that is sad. Many “good” parents fall short; they could only give to their capacity. I am one of them, I was basically a good mom yet I ask my three sons to forgive me all the time! Forgiveness however need not follow the path of logic. Forgiveness exercises our ability to love unconditionally. Forgive, ask for forgiveness and be forgiven.
Forgive our Parents for Starters
In the 10 Commandments the principle is clear - respect and honor your mother and father. This is crucial because the universe is a hologram. Our factual mother and father represent Mother and Father Cosmic Creator, that which continue to give life to the body, mind and spirit. When we harbor grievances against our parents it limits our own access to renewing abundance because that anger pollutes our connection with Mother/Father Creator or source of goodness. Our physical parents gave us life therefore it is advised to forgive them completely and to do our best to take care of them, asking as little as possible in return. This attitude of forgiveness and giving love to our parents paves the way to increasing generosity, good relations and success in life. The Oriental people understand this. The light of consciousness can then align our actions. Forgiveness helps us release the compression, the log jam and fill up with energy! The emotion of anger is often submerged and hidden, we may have to dig to find and uproot it. Ask for help in the stillness of your soul…..
For me, once I slowed down enough, I began to realize the full extent of many of my actions had been tainted with fear and mental obstacles. This helped me become more compassionate towards myself, other and awaken deeper responsibility. Little stuff counts. I asked within so I might release my sense of entitlement to have more than I have right now. Once my attitude shifted towards how lucky I am where I am, despite myself, I became happier with everything, as if by magic! I felt freed from yet another shackle of projection that pulled me off my blade. I can now skate on the ice rink of the wave of now with a little more ease…..so long as I continue to pay attention, HA! I can catch my breath and prepare myself to prance into the next day, to dancz the presence into the cosmic game of life. This requires I that I remain mindful of my direction towards integration and watch my speed so I don’t skim off the edge or bottom out. Conserve! All the while I take note of how my body moves and groove or not. In Sattva speed the brain can recharge, the five perceptive organs, our senses, become more sensitive and this helps us to have fun with a simple life. Yes, having a sweet day and taking delight in little things is a good measure of mental decompression.
Adaptable and Ready – The Love Song of My Soul
I am slowing down my life so I have time to recharge my battery every day and every night. Healthy eating, outdoor exercise, relinquishing negative patterns, time for asana (yoga exercises) and meditation plus a decent night’s sleep form my foundational approach to keep my skater’s blade of attention sharp. Santosha or contentment is my gauge with ease of physical movement my proof. Joy is the gleam of contentment I watch for. When I vital there is radiation to spare! I watch out for any signs of depression, anxiety or self judging, those nagging self critical voices in my head. I counter them by jokingly asking, “Hey, who it talking here! Excuse me please… I am having a good time, so hush.” I know I have to go within and reboot regularly to stay tuned in. I am the Dancz of Presence on The Wave of Now whenever I stay on my course and modulate my pace. Play to learn in the Cosmic Game of Life! Yes, in Sattva style, I want to be ready right now to twirl and soar and leap with pure delight, in harmonic balance, as the Now howls and calls my name…..Hey, you, Char Tara, its your turn to skate, now go for it girl! This is the love song of my soul.