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yin yoga teacher trainings

ON KARMA: A STRICT ACCOUNTANT

ON KARMA: A STRICT ACCOUNTANT

Generally, we perceive Karma as a designation of the impact of our actions. In accordance with a lifestyle aware of or engaged in the limbs of Yoga, one’s Karma is the conscious, intended actions a person performs through the social, physical, environmental, and vocal and emotional realms.

It’s less the law of cause and effect and more the actual imprint on our energetic symptoms that these intended actions make. Karma is like the recorded layers of the subconscious mind- it is very likely that how we are in this moment will feed the context of how we are in the next moment. Karma has been called the“strict accountant”, in that one’s deeds and thoughts  become the very storehouse or basis for future experience.As such, our accumulated tendencies build so that our present and future decisions and actions are informed by the residual imprints of our past movements- this is called the Karma Resultants: residual impression of all our past karmic activity.

photo by: jeffreythomasball.com

photo by: jeffreythomasball.com

 In a way, it acknowledges the plasticity of our beingness – we are carving cultivating and conditioning ourselves to experience the world in a way we define for ourselves. To feel, crave, desire, know- from our own experiential understanding.

As I said, Karma means that it is highly likely that the way we are now, will be the way we are next. Karma is a nod towards our tendency to become enmeshed and rooted in strong habit patterns of bodily actions, verbal speech, and thinking- and thereby the way in which the world relates back to us. But this is not a sentencing. We have the agency to awaken in any one moment to cut the roots of habit.  

EACH PERSON WEAVES HIS OWN WEB OF FATE. WE ARE THE ARCHITECTS OF OUR OWN FUTURE.

photo by: jeffreythomasball.com

photo by: jeffreythomasball.com

Karma reminds us of our own divine agency, our ability to mold our future circumstance to accommodate our own physio-mental vibrations. If the mind is one with hate, lust, greed- then accordingly it will attract and manifest the condition in which it will satisfy itself in those pursuits. 

From the Buddha Dhamma:

“All beings are the owners of their deeds

They are the heirs of their deeds;

Their deeds are the womb from which they spring…

…just as the wheel of the cart follows the hook of the ox that pulls it” 

Kali Basman

Kali-Basman-Bio-Photo-june-2019.jpg

International yoga teacher Kali Basman enriches the paradigm of Yin Yoga to integrate distinct aspects of Self into an innate wisdom practice to awaken a rich inner life and radiate with ritual.  Her offering honors Yin Yoga as a tool to surrender to our intrinsic wholeness.

On the textured path of mindful healing,  Kali is celebrated for her integration of the 5 Elements and Chinese Meridian Theory with self-inquiry, embodied Anatomy, Buddhist Philosophy of Equanimity, and sharp intellect. 



Skeletal & Energetic Articulations of Sphnix

Skeletal & Energetic Articulations of Sphnix

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Tops of feet on the floor: lengthen front of ankle joint and energetic release in soles of feet

Upper inner thighs engage: slight energetic engagement of the inseam of the thighs will stabilize base of spine

Pubic bone as the anchor point: press pubis into mat to create the stable anchor point the spine will lift off from

Navel lifts away from pubis: this will lengthen the lower abdomen

Navel glides toward the spine: this will engage the corset of the middle abdomen and protect lower back

Middle ribcage slides forward: picture yourself opening a drawer as you slide the ribs forward to compress thoracic spine

Sternums lifts away from spine to complete the arch

Sternum spreads widening through the distal ends of the collarbones

Base of skull pulls back and wide to prevent jutting forward of the chin and stressing the neck

Crown of head lifts to refine your relationship to the upper realms

YOU ARE ONLY AS HEALTHY

AS YOUR SPINE IS SUPPLE


Copy of Kali Basman Bio.JPG

ABOUT KALI: 

International yoga teacher Kali Basman  (kalidurgayoga.com) enriches the paradigm of Yin Yoga to integrate distinct aspects of Self into an innate wisdom practice to awaken a rich inner life and radiate with ritual. Her offering honors Yin Yoga as a tool to surrender to our intrinsic wholeness. On the textured path of mindful healing, Kali is celebrated for her integration of the 5 Elements and Chinese Meridian Theory with self-inquiry, embodied Anatomy, Buddhist Philosophy of Equanimity, and sharp intellect. 

WANT TO PRACTICE WITH KALI?  Learn more about her upcoming 5 Elements Yin  & Restorative Yoga Teacher Trainings.

Unraveling Anahatasana

Unraveling Anahatasana

ON YIN & THE GREAT WITHDRAWAL FROM THE EVER SHIFTING SENSORY REALM.

Yin is a helpful container to practice PRATYAHARA: Withdrawal of the Senses, or as I like to call it ‘The Great Withdrawal’.

Teaching in Los Angeles, I see studentship enter the studio with a flurry of externalities, a contingency of chaos, and filtering through the debris of life in constant motion. The goal of a Yin practice is to allow the system to settle into stillness so true cellular regeneration and deep tissue restoration can occur. However, modernity implies that the availability of stillness and spaciousness is intermittent at best. The city sweeps you through its streets, the to-do list mounts, and in the midst of progression and productivity there is rarely time for the dust of the subtle realm to settle.

With that in mind, my objective in offering Yin Yoga as a daily foundational practice is not to demand that the practitioner set aside the perfect amount of space and time with complete clarity of mind. The objective is this: to train the nervous system to become comfortable with the ever-shifting state.

There may be space between the thoughts and between the breath in some moments, and in others we may succumb to the normative patterning of clinging and cluttering the foreground of our mentality. Either perspective is part of the process. We might inquire - How do I extricate myself from the onerous paradigms of an involved and often overwrought life? Where and how is stillness accessible to me, even in the midst of movement?

- Kali Durga Yoga


Unraveling Anahatasna: An Energetically Intimate Examination of Melting Heart Pose

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I use Anahatasana (Melting Heart) as a way to observe the threading of breath along the length of the spine, supported by a still and stable base of skeletal alignment of pelvis and femur bones. This shape encourages us to seek stability and spaciousness even in the midst of a turbulent breath. In terms of Yin Asanas, this one has quite a Yang elemental texture to it – there is activity, there is muscular engagement, and yet – there is the propensity to experience a subtle sweep of deep, still, quietude – if even for a brief and fleeting moment.

Note: There are many resources online which point towards the proper cueing, entering and exiting the shape, contraindications and modifications. I encourage you to explore those on your own accord – the thrust of this post is not to cookie-cutter the shape for you, but rather to offer some of the underlying energetic repercussions a refined relationship to this posture will provide.

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SETTLE

As the name implies, the structure of this shape allows for an energetic pooling at the locus of the heart as it  melts off the spine, drips from the sternum, pools and puddles on the earth below you. What a delectable manner to settle! Arms outstretched allows you to lengthen the Heart & Lung Channels of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Meridians, stretches the lobes of the lungs long so that breath becomes more accessible in the backbody.

COMPRESS

This is a backbend for the upper thoracic spine, which tends to be the most inflexible region of the vertebral column. Repercussions of inflexibility here include rotator cuff rigidity and neck pain. The more mobility you have here, the greater flow and flush of prana and cerebrospinal fluids you have. I see a lot of hypermobile yogis electing the lumbar spine to bend deeply in mid and lower back. The lumbar spine should serve to stabilize here, so you can encourage a deep and therapeutic compression in thoracic.

ENGAGE

The weight of the pelvis should be balanced over the knees: another way of thinking of this is ensuring the length of the femur bones are directly perpendicular to the mat. This will allow even gravitational force to be distributed down the thighs, maintaining a foundation of stability. Slight engagement of the quadriceps along the inseam of the femur bones (think isometric magnetizing of the inner thighs towards the midline) will support stability… so that you may sink into stillness, even for a moment!

SURRENDER

Once stability has been realized, there is a way in which the YANG element of this shape dissolves into the somatic wisdom of YIN. You can unravel here, allowing the shoulder blades to soften and descend off the spine, the glutes melt off the backpoint of the sitting bones, and the expression of the face unfolds into a subdued state.

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MAY THE MELTING OF YOUR HEART

INVITE ELOQUENCE OF MIND

& STILLNESS DESPITE CHAOS


Copy of Kali Basman Bio.JPG

About Kali:

International yoga teacher Kali Basman enriches the paradigm of Yin Yoga to integrate distinct aspects of Self into an innate wisdom practice to awaken a rich inner life and radiate with ritual. Her offering honors Yin Yoga as a tool to surrender to our intrinsic wholeness. On the textured path of mindful healing, Kali is celebrated for her integration of the 5 Elements and Chinese Meridian Theory with self-inquiry, embodied Anatomy, Buddhist Philosophy of Equanimity, and sharp intellect. 


WANT TO PRACTICE WITH KALI?  

Learn more about her upcoming 5 Elements Yin  & Restorative Yoga Teacher Trainings.

A Voyage Through Virasana

A Voyage Through Virasana

THE OBJECTIVE OF YIN.

A still, intentional embodiment practice helps to soothe the fluctuations of a cluttered mentality and release the binding grip of muscular stress. Yin is the format we may use to withdraw from normative patterning of stimulation and let all the energetic build-up of the daily debris find a way to percolate through the system and be effectively released.

Certain implications of stress emerge around the tops of the thighs and the bottom of the hip flexor – a critical fight or flight response when the system is in stress – and so a shape which lengthens the quadriceps and compresses the bottom insertion of the psoas is paramount to softening and widening the legs so we might settle into groundedness.

-Kali Durga Yoga


The Subtle Systems of Saddle

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I offer Virasana (Heros/Saddle) as a way to internally rotate the femur bones and lengthen the quadriceps to slough off mounting tension from thighs and lower hips. You can choose to keep the spine erect or enter into a more intense embellishment of the shape with the spine on the ground.  

This is an intense, acute shape: as such, within the immediacy of sensation there is the availability to observe somatic wisdom. Enter quietude to hear the wisdom – sometimes it speaks to you in a mere whisper.

Note: there are many resources online which point towards the proper cueing, entering and exiting the shape, contraindications and modifications. I encourage you to explore those on your own accord – the thrust of this post is not to cookie-cutter the shape for you, but rather to offer some of the underlying energetic repercussions a refined relationship to this posture will provide.

kula-blog-virasana.jpg

Settle The skeletal set up of the foundation for this shape is an internal rotation of the thigh bones and a compression of the front of the ankles as you settle the hips above the heels.  The Kidney & Stomach Channels of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Meridians are engaged.

Spread Generally speaking, an internal rotation of the thighs allows for a spreading of the sacrum. Thus, a stable base of spine allows for a therapeutic foundation to compress lumbar if you choose to move into a backbend.

Arch  If you enter the backbend by bringing the back to the ground behind you, you’ll experience a deep opening in sacral-lumbar region of the spinal column.  Remember you are only as healthy as your spine is supple!

kula-blog-hero.jpg

MAY THE SPINNING OF THE THIGHS

INVITE SPACIOUSNESS IN SPINE

& GROUNDEDNESS OF PRESENCE


Copy of Kali Basman Bio.JPG

About Kali:

International yoga teacher Kali Basman enriches the paradigm of Yin Yoga to integrate distinct aspects of Self into an innate wisdom practice to awaken a rich inner life and radiate with ritual. Her offering honors Yin Yoga as a tool to surrender to our intrinsic wholeness. On the textured path of mindful healing, Kali is celebrated for her integration of the 5 Elements and Chinese Meridian Theory with self-inquiry, embodied Anatomy, Buddhist Philosophy of Equanimity, and sharp intellect. 

WANT TO PRACTICE WITH KALI?  Learn more about her upcoming 5 Elements Yin  & Restorative Yoga Teacher Trainings.

5 Elements Yin Yoga: Earth Element

5 Elements Yin Yoga: Earth Element

Yin Yoga is a practice which encourages a softening or surrendering of activity and an observation of present moment awareness. Integrating the Chinese Five Elements into the practice enriches the paradigm of Yin Yoga as a healing modality, as we are each an embodiment of Earth, Fire, Water, Metal & Wood.

During circumstances of imbalance, we can utilize the wisdom tradition of Yoga Asana to organize the skeleton and relax the musculature in specific ways which awaken and enliven gentle self-inquiry and a lubrication of the connective tissues and pathways for immunity, longevity, and vitality.

In a world that’s ever shifting, may you use this practice to find stillness.

In thought patterns which engender suffering, may this practice allow you to see the unity of all things, from the shifting of the seasons to the suppleness of the spine.

Xoxo,
Kali Durga


Earth Element & the Stomach Meridian: Finding Nourishment and Groundedness

“When we are connected to the Earth there is a palpable sense of groundedness, a connection to the center of ourselves and the center of all things”

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When we are connected to the Earth there is a palpable sense of groundedness, a connection to the center of ourselves and the center of all things. A coming home. We call her “Mother Earth” for she is continuously nourishing and supporting us. She is the foundation of our physical well-being and our direct connection to universe.

Ask Yourself: How do I nourish myself?  Earth element therapeutics include connecting with nature, walking barefoot on the earth, eating slowly and consciously, and taking time for things that delight and nourish you.

Seasons. Each element is most dominant in a particular season. The earth element, however, shows up between every season. The energy of the earth element is a gathering back and centering yourself, a downwards, grounding energetic.


Organ Functionality. The stomach sits beneath the spleen, below the left side of the rib cage. 
The stomach’s primary function is digestion, to mix the nourishment we uptake with acidics from the stomach to pass substance to the intestines. Mounting evidence suggests the essentiality of the ‘belly brain’, in which emotions substantially affect the digestive and immune response process.

Constitutional Personality Types:
Imbalanced Earth types typically do not nurture and nourish themselves. They can experience a Sense of emptiness and neediness, an insatiable desire to fill a void. Imbalanced earth types are often looking for something to fill them- relationships, food, alcohol/drugs, TV, shopping, work.

Physical symptoms of imbalance: Eating patterns can be dysfunctional, as earth types tend to have issues which center around food and relationships. Sugar/sweet cravings, overeating, bloated belly, Candida are all symptomatic of earth element imbalance.  

Emotional symptoms of imbalance: Anxiety, Clinginess, Possessive in relationships, craving of sympathy. 

Balanced Earth types are grounded, present, and connected. When they walk into a room, you can sense the way in which they are inhabiting their bodies fully.

Balanced types understanding which activities and experiences are nourishing, as opposed to which ones temporarily fill a desire. They are nurturers, but balance giving with receiving. 

The stomach meridian begins at the cheekbones, traces along the jawbone, and spans across the collarbones. It then descends the front line of the abdomen, through the groin creases, and all the way down front of the thighs and kneecaps across the top of the foot, where it ends at the second toe. A Yin Yoga practice to support and balance earth energy in the system would incorporate aspects of the meridian to lengthen and lubricate the connective tissue among those regions of the body.

Earth element postures can include:
Butterfly  (Baddha Konasana)
Frog  (Mandukasana or Bhekasana)
Sleeping Swan (Rajakapotasana)
Saddle (Supta Vajrasana or Supta Virasana)

Copy of Kali Basman Bio.JPG

About Kali:

International yoga teacher Kali Basman  (kalidurgayoga.com) enriches the paradigm of Yin Yoga to integrate distinct aspects of Self into an innate wisdom practice to awaken a rich inner life and radiate with ritual. Her offering honors Yin Yoga as a tool to surrender to our intrinsic wholeness. On the textured path of mindful healing, Kali is celebrated for her integration of the 5 Elements and Chinese Meridian Theory with self-inquiry, embodied Anatomy, Buddhist Philosophy of Equanimity, and sharp intellect. 


WANT TO PRACTICE WITH KALI? Learn more about her upcoming 5 Element Yin & Restorative Yoga Teacher Trainings.

5 Elements Yin Yoga: The Fire Element

Yin Yoga is a practice that seeks to mindfully lengthen and lubricate the connective tissues and approach Equanimity in the subtle and emotional body. Practicing the methods of stillness, mindfulness, and loving kindness, Yin Yoga empowers practitioners to coax Prana into particular healing and rejuvenate pathways.

In a world that’s ever shifting, may you use this practice to find stillness.

In thought patterns which engender suffering, may this practice allow you to see the unity of all things, from the shifting of the seasons to the suppleness of the spine.

Xoxo,
Kali Durga


Fire Element & the Heart Meridian: Illuminating Bhakti, Devotion

“If fire energy is balanced, disappointments and disillusionments in relationships are able to be part of our maturing and learning, and in their conscious reflections continue to open our heart”

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The yin meridians of the fire element run from the chest down the arms and into the hands. They relate strongly to touch, intimacy and connection. Its through touch that we affirm friendship, warmth, communicate our live, give and receive, share. An inner pathway penetrates the tongue and extends down through the diaphragm to connect heart center with lower energy centers that empower sexual responsiveness.

Emotional harmony from the heart results from opening from heart center and acceptance. If fire energy is balanced, disappointments and disillusionments in relationships are able to be part of our maturing and learning, and in their conscious reflections continue to open our heart

Ask Yourself: What engenders an authentic feeling of expansive joy in my heart? How do I deal with disappointments and disillusionments in relationships – do they help me to mature, or do I shut down? 

Season: Upwards energy, stimulation/excitement, full moon, midday, heat of summer

Organ Functionality: Oxygenation- Dark red blood low in oxygen enters the right atrium of the heart and pumped outward into the lungs. Bright red oxygenated, pranic blood then returns from the lungs into the left atrium of the heart and distributed to the entire body. Heart is the gateway to pranic distribution of the entire system. Notice how you feel when you breathe from the heart, with compassion and love, versus non-integrated breathing that may feel staggered and poorly distributed.

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Constitutional Personality Types

Imbalanced Fire: Imbalanced fire types can experience lack of self-compassion, self-love, manifesting in a need to ensure they are loved and have someone to love.  They often feel lonely, or socially/sexually overactive (yin/yang). Often feels lonely, unloved. Inability to authentically connect but always searching to fill that 

Physical symptoms of imbalance:
Heart palpitations, chronic stiffness or tension in chest, excessive thirst, poor circulation, BP problems (low/high) hardening of arteries, neck/shoulder pain, Anemia

Emotional symptoms of imbalance:

  • Lack of self-love, poor self-esteem

  • Emotionally oversensitive – easily hurt

  • Withdrawn and shy or overly communicative

  • Difficulty integrating sociall

When fire is in balance, fire types are loving, spontaneous and joyful. Life is full of laughter, fun and creativity. Feeling of being in sync with the self and others. Emotional warmth and radiance.

Fire element postures can include:

Melting Heart (Anahatasana)    
Dragonfly (Upavistakonasana)    
Supported Backbend-Chest/Heart Openers 
Sphinx/Seal  (Bhujangasana)

Copy of Kali Basman Bio.JPG

About Kali:

International yoga teacher Kali Basman  (kalidurgayoga.com) enriches the paradigm of Yin Yoga to integrate distinct aspects of Self into an innate wisdom practice to awaken a rich inner life and radiate with ritual. Her offering honors Yin Yoga as a tool to surrender to our intrinsic wholeness. On the textured path of mindful healing, Kali is celebrated for her integration of the 5 Elements and Chinese Meridian Theory with self-inquiry, embodied Anatomy, Buddhist Philosophy of Equanimity, and sharp intellect. 


WANT TO PRACTICE WITH KALI? Learn more about her upcoming 5 Element Yin & Restorative Yoga Teacher Trainings.

5 Elements Yin Yoga: The Metal Element

5 Elements Yin Yoga: The Metal Element

Yin Yoga is a practice which encourages a softening or surrendering of activity and an observation of present moment awareness. Integrating the Chinese Five Elements into the practice enriches the paradigm of Yin Yoga as a healing modality, as we are each an embodiment of Earth, Fire, Water, Metal & Wood.

During circumstances of imbalance, we can utilize the wisdom tradition of Yoga Asana to organize the skeleton and relax the musculature in specific ways which awaken and enliven gentle self-inquiry and a lubrication of the connective tissues and pathways for immunity, longevity, and vitality.

In a world that’s ever shifting, may you use this practice to find stillness.

In thought patterns which engender suffering, may this practice allow you to see the unity of all things, from the shifting of the seasons to the suppleness of the spine.

xoxo,
Kali Durga


Metal Element & the Lung Meridian: Creating Spaciousness for Transformation 

“The metal element governs our ability to take in life, absorb what is good for us and let go of the rest, making space for the new.”

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Metal Element. The metal element governs our ability to take in life, absorb what is good for us and let go of the rest, making space for the new. The Lungs support our capacity for transitioning and surrendering for true transformation

Area of body: Outer legs, Ribcage

Meridian Organ: Lungs.

Much of the freedom we experience hinges upon the openness of the lung meridian- easy breathing as the chest rises and falls, spread proud openness across the collarbones, space to move around with the arms and also how much is within arms reach, what type of support can we find if we ask for someone to lend a hand.

Through the lungs, we distribute oxygen to every cell of the body, and remove CO2 from blood to expel it. The lungs are designed to move things through the body: inhales beckon the kinetics of the system to gather back into itself, consolidate. The exhales support a letting go and a clearing out. Resisting change by trying to hold on to something, or clinginess, is tension forming. Tension blocks the flow of energy through the body and the flow of feeling through the psyche.

Full chest breathing stimulates sympathetic nervous system supplying the body with energy for action. Deep, slow abdominal breathing activates para-sympathetic to relax body and mind. Often to suppress emotion we hold breath, tighten the throat, clench jaw and belly-all to prevent feelings from arising.

Season: Fall (in the spirit of letting go & clearing, like leaves falling off a tree, all which is peripheral falls away as the Prana is reserved in this season for the central channel or trunk of the tree. The central trunk organizes its nutrients so that it’s ready to distribute them and flourish in the spring. Autumn is the turning point from the yang of summer, back toward the yin of winter.

Everything begins to slow down, dry up and draw inward. Autumn is the time of release and decay. Trees drop their leaves, flowers wither, and all of the dried up plant byproducts are absorbed by the earth to become minerals and nutrients that will be used for future growth. It is the time for letting go of what is no longer essential, slowing down, drawing awareness inward and storing up what is needed for winter.

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Imbalanced Constitution
Metal element out of balance is blocked from fully expressing oneself. Instead of being proud we have unrealistic unbending rigid expectations of ourselves and others- a perfectionist paradigm. Metal types can have a difficult type discerning what is of value and of service, and what to let go of. Sometimes this is demonstrated in difficulty in letting go of emotional pain and dealing with grief..

Physical symptoms of imbalance: sighing, shallow breathing, respiratory issues. Slumped shoulders (widows hump- the somatic demonstration of grief)

Emotional symptoms hopelessness, pessimism, prolonged grief, isolation, remote distant behavior, inability to let go, hoarding.

Balanced Constitution
A balanced metal element constitution allows the process of grief and letting go of the past in order to gain wisdom. They release attachments and form new bonds without fear of loss.

The key lesson for metal is to let go of seeking and attachment, forgiving oneself and others and releasing the past. Becoming present and grateful for what’s arriving here and now.

Affirmation: I am at peace with impermanence. 

Metal Element Yin Yoga

A metal element practice is one to support the lungs in its optimal functioning. As the energetics are a clearing and transformation, releasing the older, we can use twists as a cleansing technique which helps us approach the center line more aptly, arm and heart openers to lengthen and lubricate the metal element meridian and spread wide the ribcage, and side body lengtheners to make more space for the lungs.

Metal element postures can include:

Supine twist  (Jatharaparivartanasana)
Cow Pose with Archer arms (Gomukhasana)         
Supported Bridge with Cactus arms (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)


Copy of Kali Basman Bio.JPG

About Kali:

International yoga teacher Kali Basman enriches the paradigm of Yin Yoga to integrate distinct aspects of Self into an innate wisdom practice to awaken a rich inner life and radiate with ritual. Her offering honors Yin Yoga as a tool to surrender to our intrinsic wholeness. On the textured path of mindful healing, Kali is celebrated for her integration of the 5 Elements and Chinese Meridian Theory with self-inquiry, embodied Anatomy, Buddhist Philosophy of Equanimity, and sharp intellect. 


WANT TO PRACTICE WITH KALI? Learn more about her upcoming 5 Element Yin & Restorative Yoga Teacher Trainings.

5 Elements Yin Yoga: Wood Element

5 Elements Yin Yoga: Wood Element

Yin Yoga is a practice which encourages a softening or surrendering of activity and an observation of present moment awareness. Integrating the Chinese Five Elements into the practice enriches the paradigm of Yin Yoga as a healing modality, as we are each an embodiment of Earth, Fire, Water, Metal & Wood. During circumstances of imbalance, we can utilize the wisdom tradition of Yoga Asana to organize the skeleton and relax the musculature in specific ways which awaken and enliven gentle self-inquiry and a lubrication of the connective tissues and pathways for immunity, longevity, and vitality.

In a world that’s ever shifting, may you use this practice to find stillness.

In thought patterns which engender suffering, may this practice allow you to see the unity of all things, from the shifting of the seasons to the suppleness of the spine.

Xoxo,
Kali Durga


Wood Element & the Liver Meridian: Finding Nourishment and Grounded-ness

“Wood element is a delicate balance of asserting and expressing our truths and preferences while accepting other points of views and processes without judgement.”

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The wood element governs our relationship to order, planning, and control. Feelings of frustration may be the penalty for not growing into and asserting out whole self. Wood energy also involves our physical and mental flexibility. If a constitution finds imbalance in the wood element, the result is stubbornness, and narrow-mindedness like a rigid branch that cannot bend but will break instead. Wood element is a delicate balance of asserting and expressing our truths and preferences while accepting other points of views and processes without judgement.


ORGAN FUNCTIONALITY

A wood element practice is one to support the liver in its optimal functioning. The liver is the largest organ in the body, weighing between 3-4 pounds. 2.5 Pints of blood flow through the liver each minute, freshly oxygenated blood from the heart and nutrient rich blood from the stomach, spleen, and pancreas. The liver secretes various substances required by the body including glucose, proteins, vitamins and fats. There are more than 500 known functions carried out by the liver, including conversion of carbohydrates, processing of protein, storage of iron, assembly of amino acids, destructions of toxins such as nicotine and alcohol.

The liver is one of the most congested of all organs in modern day - excess fats, chemicals intoxicants, and denatured foods must all be processed by and through the liver, which need to be in prime working order to filter and detoxify our bodies.

A branch of the liver meridian extends into the eyes and governs our physical and psychological vision, being in tune with a vision for our life's purpose. Wood energy is responsible for seeing this vision clearly and ordering and planning the steps to make our visions a reality.

Emotion: anger/frustration [this is often the emotion that gets cleared in a wood practice] 

One of the first signs of disharmony in liver occurs on emotional level- anger, frustration, impatience, resentment, and explosive behavior. If these emotions not processed, it can lead to disharmony or disease in the system.

Learning to deal with frustration and anger is an essential part of learning to assert and express oneself. Without self-awareness, assertion can become aggressive, or assertion can dwindle to be non-existent as we shrink from aspects of self we are not entirely comfortable with. Often a wood imbalance manifests as being “nice”, masking our true feelings, stifling our truth. 

Season: Each element is felt most strongly during a particular season. The wood element is most potently alive in Spring; think of the detoxification processes of the liver akin to a ‘spring cleaning’ where the kinetics of the meridian assume the movement and shifting of stagnation, the clearing out of accumulated debris and tension.

Constitutional Personality Types:
Imbalanced Wood types tend to suppress emotions, staying quietly rigid and unflexible in their views and behavior.  Likely to have episodes of explosive reactivity, stubbornness, irritability after suppressing for so long. 

Wood imbalanced type can be timid and lack courage to express oneself fully, or on the opposite side of the spectrum can be overassertive in their opinion and the attempt to obtain what they want. Anger and resentment can result from both patterns.

Physical symptoms of imbalance:  yellow eyes + skin, stiffness, arthritis, tired eyes/weak/blurred vision/light sensitivity, migraines, weak nails. 

Emotional symptoms of imbalance:  

  • angry, impatient, emotional repression

  • aggression, shouting

  • lack of direction/purpose

  • rigid attitude, always right

  • nervous tension

Balanced Wood: Confident and intuitive, patient and able to express emotions as they arise. Able to express their personality instead of assert themselves, smooth and relaxed.

The key lesson for wood is to express oneself and allow growth with patience and compassion and fully accepting themselves exactly as they are.

Wood Element Yoga
A wood element practice is one to support the liver in its optimal functioning. As the energetics are a moving, shifting stagnant energy, we can use twists as a cleansing technique which helps us approach the center line more aptly, and hip openers to clear the debris.

Wood element postures can include:

Supine twist  (Jatharaparivartanasana)
Cow Pose (Gomukhasana)         
Squat (Malasana)

Copy of Kali Basman Bio.JPG

International yoga teacher Kali Basman (kalidurgayoga.com) enriches the paradigm of Yin Yoga to integrate distinct aspects of Self into an innate wisdom practice to awaken a rich inner life and radiate with ritual.  Her offering honors Yin Yoga as a tool to surrender to our intrinsic wholeness.

On the textured path of mindful healing, Kali is celebrated for her integration of the 5 Elements and Chinese Meridian Theory with self-inquiry, embodied Anatomy, Buddhist Philosophy of Equanimity, and sharp intellect.

Want to practice with Kali? Learn more about her upcoming Yin & Restorative Trainings.