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A Gita Retreat: The Power of Purpose and Practice Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 2

Day 1: Dance of Dharma

60 min - Practice


Dharma is a way to honor the essence, the uniqueness of every living creature as it is.. Like Arjuna, the warrior prince in The Bhagavad Gita, we are called upon in this life to discover our Dharma, our unique “essence” or truth, our purpose, and to live an authentic life according to that Dharma. In Day 1, Jasmine leads a dynamic Warrior Flow to sharpen our focus, challenge balance, offer up the Ego, and cultivate the courage to be who we are. We sit in a 10-minute meditation with the Dharma Chakra mudra, and Jasmine closes our time together with some journaling prompts, and chanting the mantra Om namah shivaya.

In Day 1, Jasmine references the Eknath Easwaran version of The Bhagavad Gita.

What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket, Block (2)


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Welcome everyone. I'm so excited to start this journey with you through the Gita and especially through discussing and really unpacking some of these concepts of yoga that have been so life-changing for me, especially through exploring these teachings of the Gita and how Krishna as we discussed earlier is you know really so heartfully like a best friend. Arjuna's good friend calling on Arjuna you and I to rise up and be who we are and live an authentic life and do what we need to do. So dharma, what does that mean? Some of these concepts can seem a little bit alien or something that we read but truly embodying and manifesting them in our lives and tapping into them on our practice can really you know it's meant to be a way to transform our lives. So the word dharma means to support so it comes from the suffix dhri and it means to support, to uphold but it really talks about something that's within. So what's the essence of a thing? What is the essence of something that makes it what it is? And so there's this allegory or little story that's told about a sage and he's walking through the forest and the young man sees him and he sees a scorpion drowning so he keeps taking the scorpion out of the water and he keeps getting stung, falls down and the young man sees him doing the same thing saving the scorpion getting stung. One day he walks up to him and he says holy one why do you keep doing this? Why do you keep trying to save this you know wretched scorpion and you keep getting stung and getting sick and the sage simply says you know it is the dharma of a scorpion to sting and it is the dharma of a human to save. So in this way you can really honor the essence, the uniqueness of every living creature as it is. So much of the time we have you know our biases of what's good and what's bad and we can when we can begin to see this is the essence this is what makes this person as they are and this is what makes this person as they are and then well who even am I right what is my essence? We can begin to live with a lot more freedom and this recognition that we're not going to be able to change the world or other people like the scorpion couldn't become a sage even if we tried to make it that way and so I think we would for myself I found that I've struggled a lot less by truly coming back to who I am and allowing other people to be who they are while of course continuing to evolve. So another way that we can look at dharma because sometimes we can think of dharma and especially in the West saying like well what's my purpose what am I here that's meant to do just for myself I think this is just a very Western way to think it's very self-concerned but in the concept of the Gita where it comes from in India it's how we fit into the big picture so by me not being myself it would be it's described as if the Sun decided one day not to rise if the Sun decided one day I want to be the moon takes on those qualities we would not have life here on earth so the importance and the urgency to discover who we are so that we can participate in the whole is at the heart of why we want to recognize discover own and then live who we are so before we begin our practice to tap in to begin to discover who we are these are just some wonderful words one of the my favorite translations of the Gita is by Eknott Eshwaran and he describes it this way in a larger scale dharma means the essential order of things and integrity and harmony in the universe and the affairs of life that cannot be disturbed without courting chaos thus it means righteousness justice goodness purpose rather than just chance an ancient Sanskrit epigram states a hymns a paramo dharma the highest dharma is a hymns non-violence universal love for all living creatures for every kind of violence is a violation of dharma the fundamental law of the unity of all life with that is this idea of oneness and how every action and every being has this magnificent influence on the rest of the world so now we can understand why Krishna is demanding Arjuna to rise up to be the warrior that he was called on to be because he was born into the cast of being a warrior back in India and in the days that this was that the Gita was written so in the same way right now I believe that the world is calling on each and every one of us with that same bravery that same urgency to rise up as Krishna keeps saying and fight Arjuna fight so in today's practice you know I would love for us to be able to set up the space to be able to discover who this is and we can begin by simply listening to our body seeing which variation of oppose is an alignment with who we are we're all so different in our bodies in our minds whatever we're going through even day to day we change so that's why every time we come onto our mats if we can begin to see our practice of a way of returning back of discovering who we are can begin to lead us to a way of discovering our own personal Dharma and our authentic purpose and what we're meant to do in this lifetime and who we're meant to be another way is to listen to the breath and make sure that we're aligning our movements with our breathing and choose this listening practice rather than the mental chatter or our ego that's telling us what to do that if we lose our breath then we lose the connection with who we truly are so get your mat get a couple blocks blanket and meet me on your mat


let's go ahead and get started in Virasana so you can come up onto your hands and your knees and point your toes and then the best way to explore the shape for yourself is to take your hands to the crease between your thigh and your calf right behind your knee and draw the calf muscle down a little bit roll the heels out to the side on either side of your hips and you'll be able to sense when when it's enough and so you want to make sure you have a blanket or something a pillow or a block nearby so that you can adjust it to best suit your body so today's class especially we're exploring how we can adapt our practice to honor who we are each one of us is so unique so we can start right here on the mat through our physical practice and really listen to our body and what feels the most honest so once you're settled down you can take a couple moments to arrive and allow the sitting bones to really ground down the tops of the feet to ground down Virasana translates into heroes heroes pose or a heroine so we really want to embody what that means to be a hero to be a heroine and really face the obstacles in our world and especially that we face individually so as you arrive there we'll start by just taking a couple moments to shift the gaze within you can close your eyes completely or have it or have your gaze towards the earth a couple feet in front of you and then we're going to come right into our ujjayi breath which translates into victorious so you want to gently close off the back of your throat by drawing your chin in and your throat back a little bit and with your lips closed breathing in and out through the nose so that you can really hear the breath becomes oceanic this in itself provides the space to overcome the monkey mind all of our fears whatever that gets in our path so take a few breaths and for the focus of the class it's to return especially whenever we notice we've strayed it's to return back to this essence like dharma means the essence of ourselves our truth so take one more deep full breath in a complete breath out and then begin to make your way into downward facing dog so come on out onto your hands and your knees you can outline your hands directly underneath your shoulders spread your palms really wide and then find your you know fingertips really rooted into the earth that's what makes you so unique that print and then roll the shoulders away from the ears even as you ground down through the thumb index fingers take a deep breath in you can let the belly soften down and the gaze turn up and then tuck your toes under and begin to lift your knees and lengthen your legs it should feel pretty nice after Virasana to let those channels or naughty streams of the body open up with breath so you can pedal out through your feet here for your first downward dog really listening to what your body's telling you today our bodies are sending us messages all the time it's really are we here to listen on your next breath in roll out into a plank pose nice and long stretch back through the heels forward through the chest but do find a little lift up through the low belly see if you can still soften your face and your jaw take another big breath in and then soften your knees to the ground bend your elbows so your chest and chin kiss the earth and opening up the throat leave this center for your truth from here drop down onto your bellies and stretch the arms forward in a gesture of surrender as you inhale walk your hands back on either side of your chest point your toes roll your shoulders back at the elbows in towards the ribs and as you breathe in lift the chest look up towards the third eye and then exhale bow your head right back and down again like that inhale and lift up spinal undulations from the earth and then exhale bow right back down to your path you've got one more like that breathing in and then come on to your hands and your knees you can walk your shins forward a little bit even open up your knees to send your hips back to your heels into child's pose you can rock your hips a little from side to side and during the practice if you ever need to return here to find your breath absolutely come back and then join whenever you're called to on your next breath then rise up onto your hands and your knees and then you're gonna plant your left hand center breathe in and lift the right arm up and then release the right shoulder to the earth threading the needle with your ear towards the ground you can extend your left arm forward maybe rock the hips a little bit from side to side even if you feel called you can begin to snake your left arm behind you opening up the chest but it's a real listening to the body and then plant your left hand right back where you got it from from here beginning to open up seal the left shin to the earth stretch the right leg back and open up the right arm extend the right arm up and over your head for a supported side plank breathing in arch all the way back and then if you exhale plant the right hand back down underneath your right shoulder exhale the right knee in towards the nose pick up the left elbow and give it a little tap so you're moving in from your center and then expressing the pose left arm back right leg long again exhale and pull in towards your center pause and then extend the left arm back right leg back one more time like that draw all the way in towards your center and then find plank pose from there both legs out long take a deep breath in and then lower yourself down again knees chest and chin drop your belly point your toes roll the shoulders back for cobra right from here breathing in looking up and then rise up onto your hands in your knees and into child's pose as you exhale breathe in to rise up onto your shins again right hand center left arm up and then snake the left shoulder to the ground in your ear to the earth again a couple of moments here to explore the pose for you right arm can extend forward and again it can maybe snake back behind you and then plant the right hand back down seal the right shin to the earth stretch the left leg back and then peel open with your left arm reach your left arm up and over your head take a deep breath in and then circle the left hand down left knee to the nose and tap the right elbow to the left knee breathe in and extend outward and then climb on in again it's as deep full expression of who you are from inside and then climb right back in you've got plank pose right from there take a deep full breath in fill up and then lower yourselves down again so it can be in one piece this time or knees chest and chin one more time point your toes rise up cobra it can be a little higher if you're ready and shimmy the shoulders a little bit whatever feels good and then come back into child's pose with the bow of your head to the earth and to you from here you're gonna begin to rise on up so these are like little mini sun salutations a real celebration of your spirit as you exhale it's a hug around yourself as you bow down and you're coordinating your movements with your breath like a dance moving like yourself or getting to know and discover who that is one more time to take a deep full breath in and then this time pause at the height of the inhale reach up allow the low back to lengthen and then you're gonna see if you can step the right foot right out and in front of you if you need some padding under the left knee it's there for you you can hook the thumbs reach backwards and then interlace your hands behind your nape the back of the neck open up through the elbows so that the chest can begin to open allow the pelvis to sink down and then you can press your palms up but keep the back of the neck long and support it arch back even little side movements and then circle your hands down frame the right foot with your two hands you can reach for your blocks from here again adapting the pose to meet you where you are today and then you can begin to lengthen out through the right leg so flexing through the right leg you can flex through the left toes like a runner's lunge but really pouring over in this half split or half Hanuman Arda Hanuman bowing down rebend through the right knee and then plant the left hand down you can take your blocks out to the side or even use one underneath the left hand pick up the left knee and roll open through the right arm for a twist you can stretch the right arm up and over your head arch backwards as you breathe in and then circle the right hand down and step back into downward facing dog inhale roll forward into a plank pose smoothing out the breath if you're ready for chaturanga bend the elbows and hover over the earth cobra again or upward facing dog if you'd like to lengthen through the arms lift the thighs shoulders back breathing in and then you'll return into child's pose as you breathe out a few more of these rising up with the breath in the movements can get as ecstatic or as slow as you'd like depending on what's going on inside of you so that you're aligning your actions with who you truly are take one more like that big breath in and pause and then from here step the left foot forward so you can allow the pelvis to drop down interlace the hands behind your neck roll open through the chest and then press the palms up giving yourself what you need circle your hands down tuck both toes or flex through both toes as you lengthen out through the left leg reaching for your blocks if you need them and then rebend into the left knee plant the right hand down and roll open through your chest lifting up through the left arm kind of this unveiling of the self reach your left arm forward and again any arching that you'd like to take before circling your left hand down and this time you'll step forward with the right foot to meet the left in Uttanasana or standing forward band you can lengthen the spine and breathe and look up halfway and exhale to fold deeper into your legs grab a hold of your elbows and sway a little bit from side to side and then drop your hands soften your knees really root down into your feet so that you can slowly begin to rise up like from your roots drawing up all of the minerals from the earth from your life that allow you to stand up in who you are you can take a couple moments at the top of the mat in Tadasana roll your shoulders back so your heart is nice and wide and open this incredible courage it takes to be who we are and this authenticity this fight for our authenticity that we're faced with daily take one more deep breath in and a complete exhale from here you're gonna begin to bend your knees deeply and reach your arms up and into the sky into katasana so fierce pose really calling on the energy of katasana you can draw the tailbone down a little bit to flick the navel in and up for this inner strength and centeredness in the midst of anything and everything change you may be going through one more big breath in then it's you exhale pray your palms forward touching the earth as you exhale from here you can begin to bend your knees you can walk your feet back a little bit to plant your hands down and then we're gonna make our way through a vinyasa and it can be in your own way you can step back into a plank pose and lower if you're ready to jump the belly parachutes up as you lower down into chaturanga cobra or upward facing dog as you breathe in and downward facing dog as you breathe out so we're gonna make our way through a warrior pose flow a dance of Dharma can lift the right leg up as you breathe in draw the right knee in towards your nose plant your foot between your hands steer the back heel down and see if you can draw the right hip back to really root the left heel into the earth press deeply into the right foot and then rise up for warrior one you can let your hands even drop back behind your head so finding that length in the back of the neck and then begin to reach your arms forward we're gonna come through archers pose so you can take the right thumb up and then begin to pull all the way back really embodying the spirit of the warrior and Arjuna with this great focus from there you can begin to tip backwards into peaceful warrior arching all the way back keep the left leg pressing back into your left hand so that you can begin to lightly release your right forearm to the top of the thigh and swing the left arm up and over your ear into extended side angle draw the right knee backwards you can even press your right forearm into the knee and then even if you'd like to explore touching the earth with the right hand you can touch the earth big breath in wherever you are and then circle the hands down to frame the right foot you're gonna come on over to the outer edge of the left foot turn the right toes out press into the right foot and pick up the right arm so it is this lunge twist but it's to set you up and prepare for your side plank so you can keep the right foot here and if you're ready to stack the feet on top of each other you're welcome to twisting the chest open and even if you'd like to take the right foot behind you you can press and open up into rock star circle the right hand down plank pose to breathe in and lower down or anytime make your way back into downward facing dog breathing in together and exhale all the way back as you breathe and extend the left leg up and high exhale the left knee into the nose to really hollow out through the belly drop the left foot between your hands and seal the right heel down press into the left foot and then rise up into warrior one there's courage to be who you are let the hands drop behind the neck again and then begin to take aim reach your hands forward you can stick out your thumbs pull all the way back into a warrior to archer pose and then go ahead tip it backwards for peaceful big inhale before circling the left forearm just lightly on top of your left thigh and circling the right arm up and over your ear you do want to see if you can integrate the ribs the front of the body into the back so that the front and the back are meeting as you breathe in maybe touching the earth exploring the pose for you and then circle the right hand down come on to the outer edge of the right foot turn the left toes out so you can really press into the left foot and open up through your left arm and either staying here or stacking the feet for your side incline plank and even exploring rock star as you breathe in circle the left hand down and lower down or any time leaving it out we'll meet on back and downward facing dog we've got a few more warrior poses to do you got to breathe the right leg high step forward and rise back up into your warrior one rising up again and again from here interlace your hands behind you lift and open the chest and then exhale for humble warrior this offering up of your ego press into the right foot this time come on to the ball of the left toes drop the hips underneath you reach up for a high lunge and then we're going to transition on to warrior three so you can release your arms by your side shift the weight forward you may want to even reach for some blocks for a supported warrior three again it's really listening to the body at the top of the mat and then you can begin to transition into your Virabhadrasana of three this courage that we can begin to cultivate to be who we are flex through those left toes maybe you'll reach your arms by your side and then begin to draw the left knee in towards your chest coming up to stand to balance draw the shoulders back lift and open the chest and you're welcome to interlace your hands underneath the left leg to extend it out or for those of you that want to reach for your big left toe and yogi toe lock extend it out there you can always stick your thumb out to take a breath or two can fall out of the pose of course come right back up see if you can keep the leg there just for a moment and then drop down into katasana allow your hips to draw back as you allow the spine to lengthen and then slide your hands into a prayer at your heart and take a twist over to the right side so you can move your hips a little bit from side to side to draw the knees towards each other and then twist right from the guts that transformative fire at your belly once you're stabilized you can play with picking up the left foot balancing again if you need to find your blocks or the ground and then stretch your left leg back behind you into a revolved extended side angle your back knee can find the earth if you need more stability to twist open through the chest and then the variations include opening up of the arms reaching the right arm over your head and maybe lifting up through that back leg one more time a big breath in and when you're ready to release stepping back into plank pose lowering down rising up for cobra and exhaling back into downward facing dog left side when you're ready extend the left leg up in high and step on through seal the back heel down root down into that left foot so you can rise up for Virabhadrasana one interlace your hands behind you a big breath in to lift and open the chest and an exhale to bow down this great humility that we want to encourage in our lives as you rise up press back into the left foot this time come on to the ball of those right toes internally rotate the right thigh and reach your arms up preparing for warrior 3 shift the weight forward finding the blocks giving yourself what you need here flex through those back toes maybe even a little bit of a bend through the left knee to create stability in the back of the leg arms can reach back behind you before you hug the right knee in towards your chest you can interlace your hands underneath the right leg or you've got your yogi toe lock we teach the Asta Parangustasana your left arm up when you're ready falling out if you're ready letting the leg go and back into your fierce pose prayer at your heart to twist on over to the left and again you're gonna see the right knee wanting to come forward just gently encourage it back especially with the right hip and twist open shift the weight into the left foot check out as you exhale pluck up that right foot and send it back behind you and again exploring the pose to what would best express you like Krishna saying you know the body is just like a suit you take on and off to express who you are each one of these shapes or like that mirror you can pick up the back leg you can open up through your arms and then slide on into a plank pose lowering down anytime meeting in downward dog or a child's pose let's take a big breath in together and exhale to stay shake out your hips come back to your breath especially your ujjayi breath that victorious breath okay as you breathe in extend the right leg up and high and then you're gonna come forward into a plank pose but drag your right knee and see if you can tap it high up to the back of your elbow from here you're gonna see if you can shoot your leg all the way towards the front left corner of your mat seal the back heel down into kind of a warrior leg and then you're gonna see if you can pick up your left arm for a fallen triangle as you breathe in open up through the chest and then here we go you want to see if you can really climb in towards your center and then maybe lift up through the right foot a big breath in lengthen the left arm up and over your head and then see if you can take one more step forward with the right foot and pick up the right arm breathing here to lift and expand through the chest and then take your right thumb and draw it into that crease of the right hip draw it back and extend the left arm forward for a moment we're gonna transition towards our revolved Ardha Chandrasana which is for me one of the most challenging poses that we get to face here in our practice along with everything it brings up all of those special parts of our personalities that we get to face head on and make peace with so you can soften here through the right leg find your left hand like that warrior three any height of the block and then you're gonna see if you can take one more twist breathing in here and then as you release the right hand can find a block or the ground and we're gonna come into a standing split a vertical split keeping the inner thighs as internally rotated as possible you can walk your hands and find one more balance and then as your hands find the earth can begin to tuck the left knee behind the right ankle and slowly spiral down into yourself and the seated within the self extend the left arm high with your right hand tented behind you and hug the right shin in and look back again all of this spiraling around our center more that we can yoke inward and have our actions and lives be a reflection an expression of that truth one more big breath in sitting up tall let the exhale be what can rain you out clearing and cleansing any blockages you can take a counter twist over to the other side allowing your third eye to come towards the earth and then hands behind you feet in front of you to lift up into an altar pose you can stick out the tongue and breathe out through the mouth for a lion's breath and then soften the sitting bones to the ground to hug of both of your knees in towards your chest you can keep this Navasana supported with your hands underneath the knees to lift the heart and then the variations would include arms forward maybe legs long this one you'll start to shake for sure in your aliveness another big breath in here and then you can either rock a little bit forwards and backwards if it feels comfortable on your spine this can kind of feel like a massage sometimes and if it doesn't you just begin to cross your ankles we'll all walk forward again and meet in downward dog again move your hips a little bit from side to side flutter through your lips you can feel the great heat of your own practice and then begin to extend the left leg up and high as you exhale draw the knee all the way in towards the nose and then pass towards the right elbow shoot the leg out to the side seal the back heel to the earth lift the right arm up and then maybe that left leg circle the right hand down step forward between your hands drop the hips and unveil yourself with the left arm up and then from here taking your left hip crease back to extend the right arm forward and find your block to transition to your revolved Ardha Chandraasana dropping the inner right hip down soften through your face as we approach whatever obstacles are there and then opening up with the left arm when you're ready to release it not a second too soon on that one you can let the head go find your ankle with one hand maybe the other and then release your hands to come back in towards yourself your left hand behind you reach your right arm high and then hug your shin in towards your chest as you sit up tall and look back you can close your eyes and come back to that sound of your breath that victorious breath I can dissolve all self-doubt one more breath in to live through the chest and then counter pose over to the other side allowing your heads to release down one more tabletop breathing in hands behind you feet in front of you lift the chest breathe in lion's breath as you breathe out so all of it stimulating the center of our truth and personal expression Navasana explore the variations for you again a couple of rocks and rolls on the spine and this time as you come forward onto your hands and knees we're going to prepare for Shalabhasana so a blanket is generally nice to place out in front of you and you can keep your blocks out and in front of you for our last pose but go ahead and lie down onto your bellies you can move your blocks a little forward maybe make a pillow with your hands and shake out through the hips and with your forehead center and your arms by your side roll your shoulders up and back and then we're going to use that fire in the belly to begin to lift up lifting up through the shoulders your heart wide lift the right leg lift the left leg and then let your hips release and shake them out your head over to the other side and then a couple variations here for the next one you can interlace your hands to lift and open through the chest and lift the legs lift the arms taking it a little deeper and lower down and then for the last one when you're ready you can bend through the knees reach back for your ankles for this bow pose again bringing back this metaphor of the archer and flex through your feet and then begin to breathe in to lift open through the hearts of any little rocks they're forwards and backwards maybe let go for a moment arms forward legs back and then lower on down begin to rise on up for cobra and then child's pose as you breathe out from here will end like we started you'll rise up on a breath in step the right foot forward for anjana asana can interlace the hands behind you open up through the chest and then reach for your blocks for art a Hanuman or this half split as you bow down and then with all of that great work we did on the legs you can begin to explore your movement towards full Hanuman this is a journey in itself as we approach these shapes every day this open heart roll the shoulders back keep in or spiraling those thighs welcome to take a block underneath your right leg and breathe the arms up and then creatively you can begin to make your way back towards child's pose or downward facing dog rocking your hips a little bit from side to side rise up one more time and step the left foot forward on Janae this is like a the image of a horse in battle as you breathe in with that wide open heart palms to your blocks as you lengthen out towards Hanuman all right a Hanuman first and then lengthening your legs away another great warrior monkey warrior in Hindu mythology fighting for justice breathe open through the chest as you inhale and again exploring the variations as you begin to make your way back this is kind of one of my favorite things to do using blocks you can reach back into your heels and look forward even come up onto your tippy toes and then the aim is to see if you can shoot your legs all the way through so it's sometimes successful sometimes not take a deep breath in big breath out maybe the legs lift and then lower down so we'll end in a nice long Pachimottanasana to bow in again towards our true selves so your knees can be bent you can sit at the edge of a blanket and then begin to dive forward so you can even start by taking a big hug of both of your legs as an affirmation come back to the sound of your breath in a deep listening be reaching for your toes for the last couple breaths as you come forward drawing all of the senses in towards the self that charioteer with five horses as you breathe in reach the arms back up and into the sky content them back behind you point your toes dig your heels into the ground lift up with a breath in and exhale through the mouth then release your hips down to set up for Shavasana rolled up blanket is really nice underneath the knees so that you can really be cradled and then begin to slowly lower yourself down this gesture of surrender the warrior's greatest and most profound action take a few moments again find the sound of your breath that victorious breath as we let go all attachments to who we are externally find the essence of who we are unchanging you can just slowly deepen the rhythm of your breath this reminder to rein ourselves back in and move your fingers and toes coming back into all of your senses to connect to your world just not as attached perhaps stretch your arms up and over your head and give a big hug of your knees in towards your chest roll over onto your right side into a fetal position and then begin to rise on up to sit it's meant to be that we were all born to honor our particular purpose that there aren't two people in the world just like us only one so we keep coming back into the seat to discover to remember our true nature so let's go ahead and end our practice you can take your hands to your heart and prayer bow your head to what's sacred within you this way we're honoring the sacred and the uniqueness that exists within one another preciousness that's in the world that's worthy of this just war let's breathe in together with a big bow forward as we prepare for our meditation go ahead and grab your journal if you have


one nearby we'll sit together for a little bit and then I'll give you some journaling prompts for some self-reflection on our practice today let's go ahead and take our seat you can sit up nice and tall make sure you have something to sit on the posture of meditation of course is so important so that we can have this nice alert seat sitting up nice and tall this is our commitment to becoming awake and more conscious so like this I get sleepy myself so sitting up nice and tall is our dedication to becoming more awake and even sitting up tall in who we are as we're getting to know our personal calling and Dharma and then the other side is to balance it with what's called sukam or ease and even a gentleness to what we face to what we were alert to so the back of the body is nice and steady the front of the body is nice and gentle and soft another tool I love to use for meditation or mudras or hand gestures which really give meditation intention so the one we're going to explore today it's called dharma chakra mudra and I love just even the journey into the mudra so you can start with joining your thumb and index fingers together of both hands creating a wheel or chakra symbolism behind mudras is so profound because it's so subtle and even bringing our awareness towards how even the simplest of gestures and thoughts and words can have so much meaning so this is to unite the small self the large self this real connecting to who we are within and this is even within the forces of nature so these three extended fingers symbolize the three gunas the forces of nature that are always like a tornado taking us out so it's our resolve or our vow to stay connected to who we are so with your left hand you'll consciously turn inward it can be the point between the throat and the heart this journey in word through pratyahara through our practices through meditation that we commit to turning inward towards the self the other three fingers can kind of extend outward and then with the right hand you'll gently touch the middle finger Saturn finger to extend outwards so this is how we can live our lives as an expression of who we are within because the Gita's main question is how do I live how do I live in a way that's in alignment with who I am as the Gita continues to express that the way we suffer most is not following who we truly are you know we become sick we suffer intensely when we're not who we are so let's take a couple moments and draw the chin in again nice and settled and bringing your awareness back to your intention with your chin in towards the throat you can even come back to that ujjayi breathing that listening turning our senses inward that are usually pooling us out we rein them in heart nice and lifted you'll just notice if your thoughts or your mind wavers see if you can again this feeling of raining back in with the breath especially that exhale continue to hold this mudra and listen to your breath and as you continue to sit I'm gonna read you a few of my favorite verses on honoring our Dharma our truth even the verses on meditation one of the chapters on meditation talks about the practice of meditation as befriending ourselves it's Krishna continues to say that we can be ourselves greatest friend or our cruelest foe so spending this time every day in meditation in our practices is a way of this befriending take a couple more breaths and as we get closer to this essence of ourselves this Dharma who we are in Eknott Eshwaran's translation of the Bhagavad Gita chapter 2 verse 23 he translates the thing that the self cannot be pierced by weapons or burned by fire water cannot wet it nor can the wind dry it the self cannot be pierced or burned made wet or dry it's everlasting and infinite standing on the motionless foundation of eternity the self is unmanifest beyond all thought beyond all change knowing this you should not grieve powerful verses and tell us no matter what we go through in our lives the self is always free and then chapter 18 continues to sing this love song to the self and I love these two verses 45 and 46 it says one of the ways we can actually even worship the divine is by being who we are by devotion to one's particular duty everyone can attain perfection let me tell you how by performing their own work one worships the Creator who dwells within every creature such worship brings that person to fulfillment it's better to perform one's own duties imperfectly than to master the duties of another by fulfilling the obligations one is born with a person never comes to grief take a few more breaths better to in my words be who we are and let it be all messy and we can even suck at what we do then to be someone else perfectly which is meant to be what leads to the greatest suffering take a couple more breaths and you're welcome to release the mudra or you can keep your hands there if it helps to define your intention with your palms open it is this receiving even bring your awareness and to a time you have abandoned yourself your truth and see if you can take yourself back there for a moment and perhaps it was when you were a young child when the split happens and reconnect with that essence so take a couple more moments here and if you're moved you can go ahead and pick up your journal and if anything really struck you through the meditation you're welcome to start writing it's freeform whatever comes to your mind or you can start by asking a few questions as we begin to realign our lives in the simplest ways with who we are so you can start to perhaps ask the question you know does your job or your home really reflect who you are now you know I know I have things you know I've moved five different times in the past couple months and I still have things that have nothing to do with who I am now we can begin to see how to make space to even have our homes our clothes whatever it is that's in our lives reflects this honesty of who we are times it takes take some bravery to do that you can keep going with your relationships do those relationships continue to be what feeds you on a deep level continue with what would feed your soul right now what are a few things or maybe even let's start with one with one thing one change something you can begin that would honor your deepest self and then you can sit with that for a few more moments and it's taking this time to have this contemplative conversation with yourself is a profound act you can put your pens down you can pick this up throughout the week whenever you're called on but let's go ahead and you can take your hands to your heart in a prayer the dharma chakra mudra again called on you these symbols to express who we are from inside out and we'll end by singing the mantra om nama shivaya so that can translate I bow down and I honor my true self the more we can begin to serenade this essence of who we are the more we can begin to rise up like that warrior Krishna is urging our Juna to be like rise up rise up warrior and fight these inner and outer battles that were called on daily and so you can repeat after me once we'll take it word by word and then sing it together it's a celebration of who we truly are oh nama shivaya oh nama shivaya oh nama shy payments hi oh nama shivaya oh nama shivaya oh nama see ah oh nama shivaya oh nama she And then take another deep breath in and a deep breath out. Thank you so much for joining me on day one on Dharma and taking this first step towards stepping onto that battlefield and getting to know who you truly are. So enjoy this the next few days of contemplating these powerful verses, practices, and I can't wait for the next episode together.


Kate M
2 people like this.
Blissed out, Jasmine. Such a beautiful embodied exploration of the wisdom of the Gītā. Your sequencing is so lovely. And your cueing - it comes from such deep embodied wisdom and such an open compassionate heart. Thank you for sharing these teachings. Your dharma! Love.
3 people like this.
I loved the imagery you used in this sequence. It helped me return to my inner strength. I have the imprint of Arjuna drawing his bow, riding his chariot of 5 horses as I go into my day.
Kate M Thank you so much! It brings me such joy to hear your enthusiasm for the teachings. 
Ali I love how the imagery helped recover your strength and served you throughout the day. I hope it can continue to serve you as we enter this new unpredictable year!
Renee R
Gosh Jasmine, thank you so much for sharing your gift and holding space for me to learn of my true self!
Renee R Oh my goodness, I'm so thrilled you enjoyed the retreat and that it lead you back to YOU!! 
Brenda S
Jasmine, such a lovely practice. Thank you for leading us through this getting to look at and know and free our beautiful self. So enjoyed the meditation. Namaste, B
This was absolutely magical! I loved the depth of this practice, beautiful weaving of the bhagavad gita, yoga philosophy and wonderful flowy practice. One of my favorites for sure
Laura M
I’m so glad I found this practice! It’s so good! Thank you!!
Brenda S Thank you and So happy you enjoyed the practice and found your beautiful self!! 
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