I’ve been doing a lot of shivanata in preparation for my upcoming classes; using my right arm first, trying levels 4-7 and writing out the numbers if I can’t actively practise.
The aim of the practise is to create new pathways in your brain so you can re-wire it. This allows you to de-condition your old habits and make new, healthier patterns. It is a yoga-based movement training for your brain and all I can say is that it works.
“As Shiva is all and omnipresent,
Everywhere is Shiva‘s gracious dance made manifest.
His five-fold dances are temporal and timeless…
…The eight quarters are His eight arms,
The three lights are His three eyes,
Thus becoming, He dances in our body as the congregation…
…Shiva is a destroyer and loves the burning ground. But what does He destroy? Not merely the heavens and earth at the close of a world-cycle, but the fetters that bind each separate soul.”
– Tirumular’s Tirumantram, Ananda K Coomaraswamy.
Thus, I’ve not been far from epiphanies and bing this week; though not all of them pleasant.
As a conditioned being with as mixed a past as anyone, a lot of my patterns are negative and as Shiva Nata helps change them; the negative ones have been the focus of a lot of my practise.
I’ve noticed patterns in my emotional use of speech, how I take things personally instinctively, how I struggle to communicate unless my issues are verified and how part of me is happy I’m not top of the class because then my family will leave me be (which leads to this story I have of how they value people only who are useful to them).
I’ve also noticed more personal things about how I express myself about “old patterns” and how much guilt I feel over my perfectionism.
I even had an epiphany about what’s keeping me stuck in the dance. I’d been unable to get over a hurdle and this week I sat down with the levels 4-7 and worked out the pattern of 2+3 by not changing planes. And ta-da, I can do a bit of level 3 =).
Classes – A Motivator
The best way for me to form a habit is to have some accountability; some negative thing to happen if I fail.
So, having tried to get into a regular practise for about a year now; I’ve decided to teach shivanata classes.. and if I don’t practise often I’ll lose the ability to do it and my students will doubt my ability and I will feel ashamed or guilty.
I’m happy to make mistakes because half-the-point of shivanata is to get it wrong; but to be physically unable to reach the positions or explain the simpler things would make me a failure as a teacher; and I won’t let that happen.
I begin in just over two weeks.
This works both ways, though. Those signing up for classes are asking me to do regular sessions with them in order for them to keep the practise up. And what isn’t better to learn with others; to share your epiphanies with, to question the confusing parts and to find the answers together?
You can set yourself homework and upon our next class; share your insights.
Want some insights?
If you’d like to have a go at the practise, I’m running introductory sessions in Brightonon the 14th,
17 th [cancelled due to a funeral] and 19th May; see my schedule for details and to sign up.
You don’t have to know anything about Dance of Shiva but if you practise and just want some accountability, you’re also welcome.
I’m also running 6-week courses through June to give people the option of regular settings. Similarly, I’m happy to set up individual sessions at whatever interval suits us both. I currently have a student who wants to meet up every 2-3 weekends because this works out best for us both. Send me an email to arrange something similar or use the sign up form via my class page.
If you can’t make my classes; take a look at the starter kit with DVD instead.