Category Archives: Uncategorized

Video

Anjali Mudra, Prayer Hands

So I just noticed yesterday that over 1500 people have watched a 15 second video I put up on YouTube demonstating to my telecourse participants how to get into Goddess Mudra. I thought it would be fun to share some more. Once upon a time I knew how to read and write.

Laksmi Tantra: 16 Imprints

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New telecourse offering ~

2013 June 10, 17, 24

{{{ includes 2 bonus meditations }}}

7-8.30p EST Listen live or download for future enjoyment

Like phases of the moon and the beauty of summer’s abundant vitality, Laksmi appears in the cycles of life and the plentiful light of summer solstice. Join me for a very special 3 week telecourse as we delve into the 16 imprints of the Goddess Laksmi. We will explore the images, meanings and practices of Shodashi Laksmi. This is a rich, abundant and deeply secret tradition of tantra. 

Together we will explore a vision of Laksmi not as a dutiful housewife but as a warrior goddess, one who welcomes us to rise to the occasion of our own embodiment. I will provide 2 bonus meditation sequences in addition to 3 weeks of tantric teachings. All of the recordings are yours to keep forever and are designed to awaken you to the greatest aspect of yourself, access it, count on it and bring it forward to enrich your day to day life. 

RESISTER HERE.

Gong Bathing

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To study and sit with the gods of yoga is to certainly encounter along the way your ISHTADEVATA, the deity you most desire. As we unpack the gods and encounter their subtle energies, certain ones simply resonate more than others at the deepest fibers of our hearts. For me, that’s Subrahmanya, Shiva’s peacock riding son. He has been the focal point of my meditative sadhana for over a decade. He’s an edgy and wondrous fellow who keeps very close company with the GHANDARVAS and their wives, the APSARAS.

The Ghandarvas are healing energies – they are the physicians to the gods, ecstatic dancers and “celestial bongo players.” Basically these are the sexiest male entities in the Hindu pantheon, sometimes taking form as half-men, half horse centaurians. Sometimes they are bird-men, similar to the APUS, important energies in the energetic healing traditions of Peru. They frolic with the Apsaras who are beguiling musical nymphs, mermaid-like creatures who haunt secret fresh water springs in deep forests. Apsaras are equally just as sexy, musical and magical as their male counterparts. More so. It was the bewitching presence of an Apsara maiden who inspired the birth of the first unicorn. More on that tale another day…

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Having sat with Subrahmanya for so many years, I have encountered these spirits often in subtle worlds of meditation. So how freaking cool was it for me last week to experience them in manifest reality? My friend Lucy Child IS in fact the Queen of the Apsaras. I’m pretty sure. No. I know it. And she’s co-creating a healing soundscape with me at my classes at Virayoga on Thursdays at 10a.  Lucy is a wildly generous, skillful, intuitive sound healer and musician I had the great fortune to get to know a couple years ago in Peru. Together we studied with Celestial Shamans of the Andean Tradition. Ever since then, my yoga has been blending the Peruvian Cosmology with my love of Hindu Tantra. Early on in last week’s class I looked over at Lucy as she was playing chimes and bells and bowls – and time, space and identity became a kaleidoscope (hold it together, Eric, you’re teaching a yoga class.) I was in the enchanted healing forest, right there at 580 Broadway.

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After attending a Gong Bath with Lucy and her colleague Emily last month, I knew Lucy and I needed to collaborate. I went into the Gong Bath with a feeling of Peruvian love in my heart, thinking so fondly of our trip together and all the weird and powerful healing magic we’d experienced. And I was wondering just how and when I might find a way back there. The gong bath itself was like a Shamanic journey, similar to a lot of the meditative experiences I had in Peru. I woke up from the Gong Bath that night feeling that a piece of my heart was back in place that had gone missing, a soul retrieval. It was so visceral, so palpable. And continues to be so weeks later. Just breathing right now and tuning in, I can feel this strong little energetic spot near my physical heart that wasn’t there before. Or was always there but had disappeared for a long time. The sacred gong is a magical healer fer sure. Oh! And the DAY AFTER the gong bath I got an email from Tamandua Expeditions in Peru, looking for me to lead the yoga portion of an Amazon adventure this summer. I’m going back to Peru! To the lungs of the world this time – in the Amazon. I can’t wait. Details on that adventure forthcoming…

It’s so often in the collaborative process that I discover my favorite juju. Come play with Lucy and me on a Thursday morning soon. Or attend our special yoga + gong bath ceremony on April 28.

And I would so love to hear comments from YOU about your own experiences with the healing power of SOUND.

 

New Moon Dance Party

It’s Monday night and another opportunity to Get Your Dance On with me and Natasha. Do it. Atmananda Yoga on Irving Place @ 7.30p!

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Tonight is the New Moon. And so my tantric tradition creates a special energy we can work with in our bodies, minds and hearts in the form of a Moon Goddess (there are 16 of these in total – a different one each night from New to Full Moon) named Kameshwari. Kameshwari’s name means “Empowering Desire.” And whether you’re a dude or a girliegirl, or something in between, this is a brilliant energy to work with because, well, she’s all about empowering desire. The new moon means that there’s no moon out tonight. And so together we’ll enter the fertile darkness of raw possibility. The darkness is the place where everything is possible, where “I don’t know” becomes a resource for meaningful exploration. Tonight we’ll tap those nooks and crannies of consciousness and explore a yoga dance ritual that’s sure to draw down unexpected sursprises.

When a bunch of folks gather to invoke a deity, we create a space where that energy just shows up. Kameshwari is tender in her receptivity. Her soft eyes are a subtle experience of receiving. In her power we can let go of the transactive process – “I want X so I must do Y” – and so we encounter a much more refined vision of desire. Desire without an object. Our bodies and hearts AS expressions of desire – beating and moving because that’s what they love to do.

Among her treasures she carries a cup of liquid gems. Those are the desires in your life you’ve already identified. The stuff you know you want from this gift called YOUR LIFE. So whaddya want? Let’s offer up our expression tonight in honor of those identified desires. Her other hand is outstreched and her palm is open – willing to receive more than what she’s even yet imagined. Are you willing to reach into the depth of darkness and discover more than you thought was there? Of course you are. It happens every time you shake your groove thing in a new way. Her open palm is also a willingness to share the gifts of a meaningful life – one infused with ever-enrivhing value, community and love. That’s what these Mondays have become for me. (((Loving this weekly yogadance ritual!))) Super special vibes await. Natasha and I look forward to seeing you for an ecstatic New Moon ritual THIS evening. 7.30p. Don’t be late. Get Your Dance On. 

Enthusiasm: Get Your Dance On

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“I like enthusiasts of any kind.” – Roald Dahl

I started to wet my feet on the spiritual path of yoga during college. I had this way-too-early-in-the-morning-for-a-sophomore-stoner-course called The Religions of India that I was flunking. My professor was a mild-mannered Buddhist (very accepting) and gave me lots of options for experiential bonus projects to help bolster my grade. Meditation classes, yoga, an extra research paper on tantric art – and a most memorable visit to a central Pennsylvania Hare Krishna farm with him and a van full of blond Kappa Kappa Gammas – brought me up to B+. Yes!

 

So when I met my primary teacher of tantric yoga in my mid twenties, a mad professor and practitioner of another sort named Douglas Brooks, it was a natural evolution for me. I was already at home. Our lineage of Hindu tantric yoga called Rajanaka Tantra is an esoteric, Goddess-centered vision of spirituality – and immersing in this lineage can feel like a very intellectual, collegiate affair. And we get accused of being too heady all the time. Whatever, haters! There’s a yoga for everyone. Truly. And in NYC we have a world of options for yogic engagement. Best advice? Explore. Find your home. And because you’re a complex, diverse and wildly interesting Human Being, I bet you have more than one home. Rajanaka Yogis tend to also be at home in more than one place, so it’s a great path for enthusiasts of life’s diverse flavors.

 

Over the past few months I’ve found a most welcome home in spaces held by Natasha Blank. And I’ve found a new way to unpack my heady yoga with even more heart and soul. Before I ever even met Natasha I read a blog she wrote in which she promised to dance every single day. I was intrigued. I love dancing. My club-ravaged mind was one of the things that brought me to a yoga mat on a regular basis. I used Natasha’s promise as an example in my own asana classes to illustrate a theme I’d been playing with in my classes about the power of our spoken word. At the time I had started doing a lot of work around the integrity of my own word, making promises to myself for the sake of my own evolution and growth – and working with others to catch myself in and out of integrity. In the Indian cosmology a promise or vow is called VRATA. Making meaningful promises, and keeping them, is so very powerful.

 

So when my Monday evenings opened up and I could promise to regularly attend Natasha’s Get Your Dance On: Sessions – a  special hybrid experience of yoga asana, full tilt dance party and restoratives at Atmananda Yoga on Irving Place – well, I knew that was a promise worth keeping. I’ve come to treasure Monday nights and am super thrilled to be co-teaching these sessions with Natasha, Abby Paloma and others on a more regular basis. Join us there sometime soon. Better yet! Come home to one of my homebase’s – Abhaya Yoga – THIS SATURDAY for Get Your Dance On. (We’ll skip the asana and Natasha will facilitate a dance party for yogis and their pals.) I attended several epic raves at #10 Jay Street back in the day. How cool that fearless leader Tara Glazier has the gumption to reclaim a slice of that lineage for us? And hopefully without some staggering drunk puking on your shoe. Cuz you’ll be barefoot. Yesterday when I was teaching there I noticed a new disco ball had been installed. Love it! 


Get Your Dance On is a safe space to let it all hang out. To feel the depth of your humanity through a process of dance, just like you do in asana. Maybe more so. It’s a chance to get out of your head and into your body – intuitively and with wild abandon. And to those of you who say “I can’t let it all hang out on the dance floor without a few pills or a few tokes or a few drinks…” just stop it right now.  Your words! They’re so very important. Let them create worlds, not limits. Get Your Dance On is a real practice. Natasha lays good ground rules. No chatting! And she always has amazing cues to foster individual and group expression. This practice is a chance to act a fool, to feel silly, sad, embarrassed, rageful, ecstatic, nasty, compassionate, proud, expansive, sexy. And more. Abhaya is a fearless home to feel it all. And Natasha starts at Abhaya THIS SATURDAY with a brand new sound system! March 2nd. 7.30p. Get. Your. Dance. On. Make it a regular promise. And feed your enthusiasm for this precious gift of embodied life.

Fire & Water – An Elemental Adventure in the Land of Volcanos

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My BFF, soul sister and Nordic embodiment of magic and mayhem Siri Peterson and I are hosting another outrageous week of surfing and yoga at Buena Vista Surf Club in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. March 17 – 24, 2013.

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Our bohemian retreat center overlooks Playa Maderas, a surfer’s paradise for novices and surf gods alike. Treehouse accomodation at the edge of the world, where the jungle meets the sea, will be the perch from which we explore the wonder and beauty of Nicaragua with an intimate company of fellow seekers.

Together we will create a sublime, fun-filled week of yoga with intoxicating asana, potent meditation and shamanic ritual. Throw in bio-luminescent moonlit dips in the sea, surf boards, active volcanos, lovingly prepared meals, locally grown organic coffee – and a dash of the unexpected. Rejuvenation is the capacity to self-generate: ours is the yoga of more.

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We’re also coordinating a service project with our friends at Communidad Connect. Last time we planted fruit trees and an herb garden for the local elementary school. Our Dutch hosts Marc and Marielle have a beautiful promise to enhance their local community through projects like this. It was such fun to leave a mark of abundance for the schoolchildren of San Juan del Sur that we’re delighted to do it again.

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Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a novice (like Siri & me) you’ll have ample opportunity to ride waves of beauty that will flow in diverse forms of expression all week. Please email me at easnyc@gmail.com to reserve your place.

Investment: $1350 (couples desiring a private room $1650 pp) includes:

Lodging; family style breakfast & dinner (veg/vegan avail upon request)

inexpensive lunches available on the beach!

2 yoga classes daily

Surfboard rental and lesson

Service project

Optional day trip to Nicaragua’s famous Masaya craft market and hike an active volcano, conditions permitting

International airfare, gratuities & ground transportation are not included. We will be happy to help coordinate ride shares to & from MGA airport. $450 deposit secures your space. Balance due March 1, 2013. All payments are non-refundable. Please protect your investment with travel insurance.

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Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight

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I have been so blessed to work this month with a group of lunatics. I mean that in a good way.  These students have gone on a journey with me through a lunation, or moon cycle, of Nitya – the Moon Phase Goddesses. These waxing and waning energies are reflective tools by which one can draw evocative inspiration any given day, or night. They work in sets – and they cycle from New to Full Moon. It’s also fun to work with them backwards, Full to New. Kind of like listening to that old Pink Floyd album backwards. It all syncs up to a Wizard of Oz like adventure in Consciousness. 

Tonight her name is Nitya. [The whole set of 15 are also called Nitya, so this one is like Nitya Nitya.]

Nitya means “Forever.” Or “Always.” So tonight: “Forever and Ever.” 

Her distinctive bling among the others in the set of 15 are her trident and a skull. None of the others carry these particular icons. The skull and trident are typical emblems belonging to Shiva. And here the Goddess has taken them for her own. I’ve been drawing some great juju from these icons today. Here’s a little of what I’ve learned from her as I’ve plugged in to her resonance…

The skull is where we’re all headed. Literally. Death is an eternal promise for all humans. The Indian imagination tends to have a more elastic view of death compared to the finality we are encultured to believe as Westerners. And the eternal moon phase goddesses are part of that cyclical vision. Death is a bigger cycle of life and regeneration – and we get to play a role in that universal pulsation. And like taxes, death is somethin’ you can count on. Forever, we humans can count on death.

The role we play as individuals in the bigger universal cycle is quite elastic. We shape and contour our lives through our dreams, desires and actions. Life is never stuck. It’s always a work in progress. Always unfinished. That’s why her name tonight is Nitya. One might think that the “forever” goddess would land on the climax of the full moon. But no. When you look at the moon tonight, notice how it’s about 2/3 revealed. You can see where it’s been (in the waning cycle) and you know it has somewhere to go (in the waxing cycle.) In other words, “Forever” is moving. “Forever” is a work in progress. “Forever” has been somewhere, and somewhere to go. 

Her trident has loads of interpretation. I’m using it tonight to plug in to the triadic nature of TIME. While lots of Eastern traditions give preferential treatment to the Present, to a “Be Here Now” model of yogic engagement, my lineage of Goddess-centered wisdom prefers to engage time in a more pliable fashion. Life would be too harsh if you were only and forever in the present moment. That would be like squirrel consciousness, you would be only plugged in to one part of your nature. And human consciousness needs to reflect as well as to vision.  I’m not agaisnt the Be Here Now strategies of yoga, they’re super useful. And there’s more.

What is the present moment anyway? We say it’s the future flowing into the past to make this moment. It can work the other way, too. The past is flowing forward to create right now. Past, present, future. A spinning trident of possibilities constantly flowing one into the next. All time is eternally present. Now. In this very breath.

So tonight then is a great night to VISION the future. Forever’s got to start sometime, so why not now? The great teachers of MANIFESTATION all teach that when there’s something we’re wanting in our lives, the best way to draw it in is to hold a feeling and a vision of that future desire NOW as if it’s already here, already fulfilled. To live life backwards. (There are so many resources for these practices if they are new to you. Just google Law of Attraction. A great place to start is here.)

Your life is moving towards her skull. So it is for all of us. The New Age Mystics all say that the solstice on Friday, December 21 marks a kind of cosmic alignment with vibrant energies which will enhance and magnify all of the vibes we’re currently generating.  Tonight would be a great moment to assess our own resonance. Tonight I’m getting really clear about some of the cyclical patterns of thought and reaction that haven’t been serving me so well of late. Im going to let them die. Along with one or two old relationships that are just plain toxic. Forever. Tonight. Bye-bye. NOW is the time!

So what are we wanting? Collectively and as individuals. Tonight I’m holding a vision for UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE for my fellow Americans! I know so many bright and shiny souls who would rather be doing something ELSE with their lives, but feel stuck in a job that provides their health care. What if all those wonderfully creative and inspired folks we all know – or maybe it’s you – could DO what their dreams are calling them to and at the same time feel safely taken care of? That’s a world I want to live in. That’s one biggie on my list for our collective. What’s on yours?

There are dreams you have personally, too, for the New Year and beyond. Forever’s gotta start tonight. Write down your vision. Hold the feeling of the desire already fulfilled. See it, smell it, taste it, hear it and feel it as best you can. Live from the future tonight. Draw the future into the present. It’s all informed by your past. Often it’s the life experience we’ve had that we DONT want that draws us towards the life we DO want. The solstice this year is extra special. It’s the end of the world! And forever can start tonight. 

As ever, would love to hear your thoughts.