Big news on its way!

Ok, so… things have been a little wild and crazy lately, but a lot of different projects have been in the works, and it’s been a process of getting everything in line. First off, I want to announce that I will no longer be teaching the Tuesday 6:30pm class at Bergamot. I want to thank Lauren Duke for the opportunity to share space there (and it really is an amazing space, if you haven’t checked it out before, I highly recommend it), but it wasn’t working out with my schedule.

Secondly, I have a few big announcements in the works that will be coming very soon. To give a little taste, minus specific details and dates, I’ll be offering a tele-seminar called “Why the World Needs You In It” which will be a two hour offering on the Bhagavad Gita. I’ll be teaching a 200 hour yoga teacher training through Black Sheep Yoga Studio, with the first 100-hour module, an immersive training designed for anyone wishing to deepen their practice, slated to begin at the beginning of March. My online Intro to Tantric Philosophy course will begin sometime shortly there after and will take us deep into the stories of Hanuman and Viveka. The Virajati Yoga School teacher training starts in May, and while I won’t be there physically this year, I will be teaching the philosophy components of the course via video.

So lots of great things coming up! Stay tuned for more info soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

–Ashton

Gratitude

Guest House

by MJ Rumi

(translation by Coleman Barks)

 

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

 

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

As an unexpected visitor.

 

Welcome and entertain them all.

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

Still treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

 

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

 

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

Teaching a FREE class at Lululemon Carlsbad this Saturday (11/17)!

Hey Everyone!

 

I’ll be teaching a FREE class at Lululemon Carlsbad (at the Forum!) this Saturday, November 17th, from 9-10am. I’m super excited and I have a great class planned, so I hope you can make it!

The doors open at 8:45am! I hear it can get pretty packed, so be on time if you want to ensure a spot!

Location:
Lululemon Carlsbad
1923 Calle Barcelona
Carlsbad, CA 92009
760.479.0183
http://www.lululemon.com/carlsbad/carlsbadforum

 

(And sorry I haven’t posted much in the past few weeks! I’ve been working hard on putting together a few new exciting projects, as well as teaching my regular class load. LOTS of exciting stuff coming up that I’ll announce soon) ๐Ÿ™‚

View my latest newsletter!

 

–Ashton Szabo

Shamanic Yoga!

Ok everyone! This Thursday, November 1st will be the last Shamanic Yoga I will be offering in 2012. In the glow of the waning full moon, we’ll gather to explore the shamanic realms as we journey to the Underworld to connect with our power animals! This is an amazing experience that you won’t want to miss ๐Ÿ™‚

Where: the Nest in Solana Beach

When: Thursday, November 1st 2012 7:15pm to 9:45pm

Cost: Donation

All New Tracks

Hey Everyone! Here are some new tracks I created as per requests from many of you. The background sounds are created from a mix of stock sounds from NP3, free source audio files, and/or ambient-mixer.com. If you haven’t signed up for my mailing list yet, please do and stay in touch with all my latest offerings. And PLEASE, email me at ashton@virajati.com or post on my facebook page to tell me what you think about these tracks. I’ve been loving the feedback!

As always, these tracks are free for you to use, but they are not to be resold, reedited, etc. And do not drive or operate heavy machinery while listening to any of these tracks. They are best listened to with your eyes closed, but you can still have them on in the background while doing other things (Especially the anxiety/stress and healing tracks). Headphones are great, but not necessary as the tracks use isochronic beats.

Hope you enjoy!

 

Reduce Stress and Anxiety (1 hour)

A track to help reduce stress and anxiety. The background music comes from layering in some ambient sounds to a jungle track I created on ambient-mixer.com. This track tends to stay in the Alpha and Theta ranges.

Right Click to Download (and Save As): AnxietyReduction.mp3

Healing and Recovery (1 hour)

An hour long track that can be listened to as you go to sleep, put on repeat to play while you sleep throughout the night, or just used as a nice long healing session. This track has music from the jungle track I created on ambient-mixer.com, and takes you on a slowly progressing downward journey to deep levels of Delta.

Right Click to Download (and Save As): HourLongHealing.mp3

Beach Meditation (1 hour)

As many of you know… I spent almost seven years living on a tropical island in south east Thailand. I also grew up surfing in Southern California… this relaxing beach track brings the beach to you, when you can’t bring yourself to the beach. This track also doesn’t go as deep into delta as some of the other meditation tracks I’ve made. It instead stays closer to the 7hz frequencies experienced by Zen meditators (although it doesn’t solely stay in that range).

Right Click to Download (and Save As): HourLongBeachMeditation.mp3

Beach Meditation (1/2 hour)

This is simply a half hour version of the same track. It moves through the same progression of brain waves, but it is all scaled for half the time.

Right Click to Download (and Save As): 30minBeachMeditation.mp3

Concentration Assistance…

So, I’ve made a brain wave entrainment (BWE) track that will help with your concentration and focus when doing activities like reading, studying, etc. The track never goes into high beta waves, so that you don’t finish your session feeling mentally drained. The thirty minute track ends in alpha to help you end your session feeling refreshed.

Again, I’m offering all of this for free, but I’d really love your feedback! So please, if you try out the tracks, email me at ashton@virajati.com and tell me what you think. And if you like the track, please join my mailing list and stay up to date with everything I’m up to!

This track was made with Neuroprogrammer 3 and using a sound file from .

Here’s the track:

30 Minute Concentration Track

This track will work on speakers or headphones.

Enjoy! And don’t forget to tell me what you think! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

–Ashton Szabo

Two Week Meditation Invitation

I’ve been seeing lots of 30 day yoga “challenges” all over the place since moving back to the states, and it got me thinking about a meditation “challenge”. Challenge doesn’t seem like the appropriate word though, so I opted for invitation. So what I am proposing is a Two Week Meditation Invitation. I have lots of students that tell me three things 1) they don’t have time to meditate. To which I reply, “Just practice for five minutes every day, that’s it.” After which I usually get 2) will five minutes a day REALLY help at all? The answer is yes! Studies show that even just a few minutes a day spent in meditation is enough to start to feel its beneficial effects. And lastly I hear 3) I don’t know how to meditate. Well, here’s the thing, there are countless meditation techniques out there. Some might help you more than others. But let’s walk before we run. If you’re starting out, all you’re going to be doing is focusing on your breath. Focusing on your inhale, focusing on your exhale. Every time your mind wanders, that’s ok. No internal dialog. No “Doh, I’m supposed to be focusing on my breath.” Just instantly bring your attention back to your breath. Repeatedly, over and over again. Eventually, you’ll find that your mind stays more easily focused and will wander less. For right now anyway, it really is that simple.

So Here’s the plan. Week One, you take 5 minutes out of your day. Every day. For one week. No cell phones. No computer. No interruptions. No thinking about your day and everything you have to do. Just five minutes. You and your breath. Just five minutes of focusing on your in breath and out breath. Then, week two, you take 10 minutes out of your day for meditation. Every day. For one more week. That’s it! At the end of it all, if you want to talk to me about your experience, or start to develop a deeper meditation practice and learn some new meditations, then send me an email at ashton@virajati.com. I’d love to hear your story, and share my own experiences in meditation and the practices that I have learned over the years.

If you’ve never had a consistent meditation practice before, I’d really love for you to be able to experience it’s effects. And all it will take is five minutes a day, then by the end of week one you’ll be happy to move onto ten minutes. For those that don’t have a regular meditation practice already and/or who are living a hectic life style, 5-10 minutes is a totally realistic goal. I find that people often start off their meditation with lots of enthusiasm, but they think that to have a “good” meditation session that must be doing it for at least a half hour, hour, or more. And yes, the longer you do it, the more wonderful it can become, but it’s ok to start slow. On day’s that we are motivated, a half hour might be easy…. but on a day when we’re busy, stressed, and don’t feel like we have any time, a half hour can feel quite daunting. So stick with the five and ten minutes plan. Just to prove to yourself that you can do it and STICK TO IT!

I’ve got one more thing to help you in all of this. It’s actually what got me thinking to do this invitation in the first place. As many of you know, I’ve finally gotten around to creating lots of Brain Wave Entrainment tracks for savasana, meditation, etc. Making my own tracks and posting a few, I noticed how many people here interested in this as something to supplement their practice. I know that BWE stuff has really helped me over the years, and using it in my lead shamanic journeys and on workshops over the years, students have always really seemed to like it as well. So, I’ve decided to create some tracks to help assist you with your meditation practice.

You’ll have two options, the first option is a track that I mixed together from different chant and instrumental sounds that I got via the creative commons license, and it’s all been layered into a track that quickly takes you down to 7hz (mid/high theta), which is the brain wave frequency produced by experienced zen meditators. The second track is mixed from a recording I made a few years ago while in a big storm in Bangkok, Thailand. This track progressively takes you from alpha, down through theta and into the mid delta range. Delta is where our body does the mostย  healing and regeneration. About half way through, you’ll begin the climb back up to Alpha so you end your meditation feeling refreshed and not groggy. Try one, try both. Email me and let me know what you think!

For those that already have a meditation practice and would like to start off using more time, I will also post two thirty minute versions as well. But I really only suggest these for those who already have an established practice. Again, we are looking for consistency here. So stick with a manageable time so you can do it every day!

If you have any questions, feel free to email me any time at ashton@virajati.com.

All of this is for free. I’m not asking anything other than perhaps sharing your story with me… and I just would love to see more people meditating. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here is the link to start your journey!

Two Week Meditation Invitation with Ashton Szabo

–Ashton

And for those that have no desire to do a two week meditation invitation, but you want to check out the tracks anyway, go for it! These files are free for your personal use.ย  Click on the same link to find the downloads. And please, still email me to tell me what you think! ๐Ÿ™‚

Brain Wave Entrainment Enhanced Savasana!

Brain Wave Entrainment Enhanced Savasana

 

About six years ago, while diving deeper into my shamanic practices and studies, I found something explained in physics called entrainment. The idea actually started back in the 1600s, when a Dutch physicist by the name of Christian Huygens invented the pendulum clock. He noticed that if he connected two pendulum clocks on the same base board, that the two pendulums would synchronize. Not long after Alpha Brain waves were “discovered” in the 1930s by Hans Berger (the same man that invented the EEG machine), the phenomenon of brainwave entrainment was discovered. Scientists noticed that they could alter the strength of the brain wave by the use of flickering lights.

Scientists later discovered that the brain will synchronize it’s wave frequency to other external stimuli like vibration (sound). So the brain picks up signals from, let’s say, a drum or a rattle, and it will start to synchronize the pulses of it’s waves to the pulses of the vibration (sound and touch) put out by the instrument. This is obviously a technique that has been used for countless thousands of years by shamans all over the world to induce altered states of consciousness in themselves and other people.

Three different types of beats were discovered: binaural, monaural, and isochronic. And all three have been used in our modern culture to alter brain wave frequencies. Binaural beats only work with headphones, but any sound will do with a mononaural or isochronic (although not ANY sound, as it has to be appropriately altered to attain the desired brain frequency).

There are five primary brain waves that scientists know about, but only four that they really know much about: beta, alpha, theta and delta. Beta is a very externalized, concentrated state, but also holds with it lots of stress (we naturally produce more beta and less alpha as we age). Alpha is the beginning state of relaxation where one might still be engaged in the external world, but one’s focus is starting to draw inward. They call this being in the “zone” in sports, or we might relate it to “day dreaming” during an activity we are doing. The next waves are the theta waves. These are the waves of dreams and dream states of consciousness. These states are typically produced during sleep or deep meditation (and very active during shamanic journeys). The next down from these are delta waves. Delta waves are typically only produced in deep sleep or states of relaxation and when they are produced is when our body does most of it’s best healing and regeneration. The fifth wave, called Gamma (it’s on the higher end of Beta) is little understood, but they link it to certain ecstatic states.

When I found out about all this stuff, I was introduced to Tom Kenyon, who was the only guy I knew at the time that was releasing audio tracks that made use of this technology. I started using them in my meditations all the time and absolutely loved them. A few years ago I found out about a program called Neuro-programmer that actually allows you to customize your own audio tracks for any sort of brain wave alteration you want. I purchased the program and began experimenting with different frequencies for myself. As I started to learn more about brain waves, I began to expand how, why and when I would use these audio tracks. I started to layer them into dance music that I would play while exploring ecstatic movement and dance on my own. Living on a tropical island in Thailand, we’d have lots of dance parties all the time and I started to play those tracks with other people joining in as well. I started to play the frequencies on loud speakers while I beat the drum during shamanic journeys. I started to notice people were having deeper, more profound experiences when I layered in the isochronic and/or monaural beats during the journeys.ย  I also began layering the beats into music that I would play during savasana at the end of yoga classes. Instantly, I noticed people were fidgeting less and seeming to have much deeper, relaxed experiences.

Since being back in the states, I’ve noticed that the fast passed, high stressed life style here in the west means a lot of people have a hard time relaxing in savasana. In some classes, people even leave when it’s time for savasana cause, well, there’s just so much to do, who has time to lie around on the floor and relax? It’s those people you see fidgeting the most before they get up. While I am totally sympathetic to people having bodily discomfort in savasana (but if we do, hopefully we’ve started to use props to help with that!) that makes it challenging to stay in the pose, for the vast majority of people it seems to be a restless mind keeps them moving in both mind and body, not allowing them to relax. (And hey, I get that sometimes people just have somewhere to be, too)

Just in the last few weeks of including these beats into classes, I’ve noticed people have been going much deeper into their savasanas at the end of class. Without the beats, students often start to fidget after 5-10 minutes (let alone a good proper 15 minute savasana), but with them, I’ve been doing lots more 15 minute savasanas and I don’t even get a peep or a wiggle out of anyone! It’s been super awesome and people really seem to be enjoying it.

So… it totally inspired me to get really down and into making some awesome new tracks for my yoga classes and meditations. I’m experimenting with adding alpha wave beats into sitar music and other music to drop people into “the zone” during our flows and sun salutes, as well as explored other types of journeys for savasana. When I’ve posted about it on Facebook, a lot of people have asked me about it, so I wanted to not only write a blog, but also offer a few tracks online that people could download for free. Whether you are a student or a teacher, you can use these for your savasana or a meditation.

The two tracks that you can access here are both for deep relaxation and take you all the way from the high alpha, down through theta and into delta, eventually leading back up through to a low alpha state by the end. Taking you into deep states of relaxation and healing, but bringing you back up to alpha concentrated and refreshed. I plan on posting more free tracks later, some for healing chronic pain, insomnia, concentration, creativity, and more. Some for meditation, some for savasana, and some just to play while doing something that requires concentration or creativity. But I just wanted to offer these and get them up now so people can explore and play with them

All you have to do is fill out the form at the bottom of this blog, enter yourย  name and email, and whether or not you’d like to be added to my mailing list; then you will be directed to a page where you can download them. If you sign up for my mailing list, you’ll be notified when I post new tracks on the website as well as get information about the latest stuff I’m up to with yoga offerings, classes, workshops and events, shamanic journeys, and more.

For more information on brain waves and brain wave entrainment follow these links below:

http://www.transparentcorp.com/products/np/?c=3553684

http://web-us.com/thescience.htm

http://www.mindpowernews.com/RetrainYourBrain.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainwave_entrainment

 

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Shamanic Yoga!

Hey everyone! This week we will NOT be having our Shamanic Yoga, BUT the first thursday of November (the day AFTERย  Halloween) we are going to rock it out at the Nest is Solana Beach. It will be the last Shamanic Yoga practice offered in San Diego in 2012, so if you’ve been wanting to get to one, THIS WILL BE IT! Mark your calendar! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Oh… Apple Cider Vinegar…

Two years ago I found out I had kidney stones. Trying to find an alternative to a surgical procedure, I found that Apple Cider Vinegar is a great way to help dissolve kidney stones (something the western doctor I had seen at the time said was impossible). Well, after a few months of massive amounts of ACV every day, I dissolved the VERY large kidney stone in my left kidney down to a much more manageable size and passed it. But,, as the scans had shown, I still had two more smaller stones in my right kidney. So I’ve continued with a light regime of ACV since then.

I also use ACV for immune system support. Any time I notice a cold coming, I down some ACV and I wake up the next day feeling fine.

The stuff is awesome. It has all sorts of different uses. I’ve also recently been exploring new ways to cook with it, so I don’t just have to down nasty shots of it.

That being said… the reason I’m writing about ACV is for a different reason. I eat pretty well. I’m a healthy guy. Over the past two years I’ve noticed that when I catch my own odor, that it really has not been a pleasant smell. Strange to me because typically, even when “stinky” before, I never really minded my own smell. But recently… man. It’s come to a peak here since moving back to the states and I would notice that while teaching and practicing yoga that I STUNK in a way that I did not like. It wasn’t a normal stink. Like I said, normally, I don’t mind my stink, even when it’s stinky… But PHEW, this recent stink has smelled awful to me!

So I started to wonder what was causing it… it didn’t take to long to point towards ACV. Even the first day not drinking ACV I could notice a difference. Now, having taken five days off from taking it I notice a HUGE difference. The stuff was literally coming out of my pores before because I was drinking it so much!

I’m curious what other people’s experience is with this stuff and if anyone has noticed anything similar.

I still plan on drinking it when I get sick, and any time I get kidney stone pain, I’ll drink it for relief, but I think the days of me drinking it every day may have come to and end :\

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