Do you ever hear a song that evokes a strong urge toward a particular path in life?
Do these sounds connect somehow with your inner knowing?
Last year, I came across Karunesh when I was searching for songs to play for my ancient India yoga sequence. After a life-changing accident and journey to India, Bruno Reuter changed his name to Karunesh, meaning compassion in Sanskrit. His music has strong Indian, African, Australian, Native American/Aboriginal music of Canada, and Middle Eastern influences prevalent throughout the use of Indian instruments such as the sitar along with violin, didgeridoo, bouzuki, Native American flute, Chinese temple flutes, tamboura, bamboo flute, and various world percussion instruments.
The song, Calling Wisdom, was so powerful that it almost floored me. It was calling me to India. It confirmed what I already knew, that I needed to make a pilgrimage to this motherland of yoga, so I decided to attend the 32nd Annual International Yoga Festival in Rishikesh (the yoga capital of the world) this March, 2017.
Along the Holy Ganges River, on May 1st, as 1,000 yogis from around the world (100 countries) were flowing into a Downward Facing Dog…the sounds of Calling Wisdom vibrated into my heart. I began to weep tears of joy. At that moment, I knew for sure that this is where I was meant to be. I had never heard this song being played anywhere except on the Spotify Playlist that I created. Hearing this song here in at the International Yoga Festival in India was a symbol, a message to me from the Universe.
Surprisingly, the word wisdom means the soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience. I connected with the sounds of this song throughout my planning (decision) and taking action (experiencing yoga in India). Further, it has been said, “It is good to be clever but better to be wise for wisdom is the core essence of the Universe.”
Almost 6 weeks later, at the International Yoga Convention in Amorgos Greece, I was practicing Shiatzu in Andy Butterfield’s workshop when again Calling Wisdom permeated into my being. Once again I was filled with a sense of knowing. I felt a deep warmth and joy knowing that I was living up to my purpose.
I’ve been home for three weeks now and in effort to stay connected with that wisdom and core essence, I play the song every morning at the end of my meditation practice and hold an inversion for the whole 5 minutes and 33 seconds.
An inversion is any pose where the heart is above the head. This position encourages blood flow throughout the entire body, boosting the immune system and circulating energy. It also changes our perspective of the world. The added blood flow to the face, combined with intense focus, adds a youthful afterglow to our complexion as well as a calmer overall demeaner.
Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward Facing Dog is my “go to” inversion and what I believe to be the most well-rounded yoga posture for strength, stretching, and resetting the nervous system. This pose targets your upper and lower body at the same time, so you’ll feel it in your hands, arms, shoulders, back, calves, hamstrings and even the arches of your feet. It is also one of the safest and most accessible ways to practice being upside down.
To get into the pose, start in a table top position, knees aligned under hips and wrists under shoulders. Spread your fingers wide and point the index fingers forward. Press all areas of your hand into your mat or the earth- fingertips, knuckles, and palms. Then, tuck your toes and lift your hips. Reach your inner thighs up to the sky and send your heart back towards your thighs. Descend through your heels only if you can keep a long spine. Wrap your outer armpits towards the ground and relax your head. Start with one minute, then build up to 5 or more. Play your favorite peaceful song and focus on the vibrations of the sounds. Don’t forget to breathe slow inhales and equally slow exhales.
Twisting Downward-Facing Dog at the Red Fort, Agra, India
On average, individuals who use inversions as part of a daily yoga practice find that they have an easier ability of staying positive and light hearted throughout the day. I highly recommend joining me in a long Downward Facing Dog or other inversion of you choice to feel for yourself the overwhelming joy and soundness (connectivity) that comes from applying this experience of wisdom.
Hannah seeks to find relationships between nature, cultures, yoga, and art through her writing.
Fun Yoga On the Bay
Travel the world with me through yoga!
These themed lessons are fun for all ages and levels at Mission Bay Park.
See the page, Park Yoga, for more information!
Lessons from Abroad