Karachi Yogini

Yoga for Life!

Love – from the Knowing Heart – Kabir Helminski August 31, 2010

Filed under: inspiring books,Islam/Sufism,spirituality,Uncategorized — yogini786 @ 11:10 pm

Relationship, Humility and interdependence: pp 49-50 .

“We do not reach love completely on our own.  If we are loveless in and of ourselves, it is because we are living with our center of gravity in the false self.  The false self is created from the desires and compulsions of our own separateness.  This false self believes strongly in its own existence as separate from the rest of life, and it recruits the intellect to help defend this illusion at the expense of the whole of the mind.

There is nothing more difficult than to make to two minds one; that is, to help them love each other. If two or more people are in love, there is harmony, unity of purpose without the loss of individuality. When we are thinking only of our own desires and needs, there is disharmony with others and we feel at cross-purposes.  We live in a culture that emphasizes the individual at the expense of relationship. More and more people are alone and lonely.

Can the ego overcome its own separation?  Most probably not, because it will still be playing the ego’s games, trying to become better than others or to attain its own desires and security at the expense of others.  Only Love can tame the ego and bring it into the service of Love.  It is the nature of Love to create relationships.  You might say it is Unity expressing itself.  The lover, the beloved, and the love itself are all one in reality.

In order to really love, our ego structure has to dissolve and re–form on a new basis.  Our hearts may have to be broken, our false pride humbled.  Love then recreates the self.

Sometimes we feel that want to love others but we cannot; we just don’t have the capacity for it. Just as the cause can produce the effect, the effect can also produce the cause.  The tree produces the fruit; and the fruit can produce the tree.  Love has many fruits: kindness, patience, generosity, courage, self-sacrifice. Love will produce these fruits; and these fruits will engender love.  This is a two-way street.  The effect can produce the cause. An apple contains the seed of a tree.

One of the greatest Sufis I have known, a man whose love was so tangible it was barely possible for us to be in his presence without tears, used to say: May my imitation become real. By practicing the fruits of love, by showing kindness, patience and generosity to others especially when it doesn’t come easily, we may summon the cause of these fruits, namely, real love.  The tree bears fruit, and the fruit can also produce the tree.

Love is conscious relationship in presence.  With presence we are in conscious relationship; our essences are present to each other.  If we love without presence, we are merely projecting our neediness, lack of fulfillment, or desire onto another person.  The higher Love is the welcoming of otherness into ourselves as ourselves, recognizing the stranger as a friend.

Love is the absence of defenses; it is emotional nakedness. “Only one whose garment has been stripped by love is free of desire and defect”.  In the presence of love we find acceptance.  Our self-disclosure, our emotional nakedness, helps to open the space for love.  With presence we hold no image of ourselves that separates us from others.  Love accepts imperfection; it loves the actuality and recognizes the potentiality.

Sometimes it is not until we know our helplessness and our failure at love that we can come under the grace of love. This is the great value of the humiliation of sin and failure, because our ego, the shell that keeps love out, has broken open.  Love is not the attribute of the self-righteous and the perfect.  It is the attribute of the humble, who have realized their own nothingness, those who have failed at love.”


A long excerpt I realize – but this Sunday as I sat in a classroom with one of my old students  (I am also a teacher at a University in Karachi) putting a case in front of the student council why there was a need for a literary society I had this book in my hand.  I had just read this chapter in my car ride to this meeting.  And faced with questions about why we need to have a club that supports writing I kept on coming back to this simple realization – that where would my life be without books?  From the start of my spiritual journey it has been books that have come to my rescue – books that articulated the internal state of mind of a broken spirit and then moved on to how to make it whole.  And before that my whole life is scattered with milestones of the books that changed my life, moved me, helped me evolve.

For me each book that has come into my life has come with a message – each book I’m attracted to is for me a divine lesson.  Why should we want people to write?  Because as the above excerpt shows without those words I would not have known that my evolution from a broken heart to becoming a loving kind human being is not such a rare transformation – that many of us go through it and come out of it – failures are part of a larger purpose of breaking the illusion so that the rays of light can shine through.

We are in a universe of love – and I know that its hard to believe when we see all the madness, chaos, anger, destruction and pain around us.  But all this madness is coming from inside of us – if we can just look at our hearts reflection – instead of asking why is this happening ask what is in your heart?  Is there love, peace, patience, faith and kindness?  If not how do you create it?  How do you make it possible for you to be better so that the ripple effects can be felt in the universe…trust in the unseen world that your heart knows best.  Listen to its peaceful message .

“The heart eats a particular food from every companion;

the heart receives a particular nourishment

from every single piece of knowledge.”

– Rumi


Starting Yoga for Life August 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized,Yoga Class,Yoga In Karachi — yogini786 @ 10:46 pm

So here I am shortly after my 29th birthday – when hopefully as my astrologer has said that I have passed my Saturn return and safely reached adulthood (28 years it takes according to the zodiac!)

I’m starting my first business, one that I realize in some ways I was destined to begin. Never totally satisfied working in 9-5 jobs, I always had energy and desire to create positive change in whichever community I occupy.  To be honest, I don’t know how exactly I landed up as a yogini but here I am and starting to understand how the universe set me up for this from before I even knew what yoga was.

My story with yoga is now my story in life.  Every lesson I seem to learn as I move from one asana to another – as I accomplish a challenging pose one day and as I fall the next day.  Every moment, every practice, every class is different.

I’ve come to the place now where i’ve stopped trying to get things to work.  The hard part is trying not to try!!  But i’m living the lesson moment to moment – and with this new adventure – inviting people into my world for a short time 2 times a week – so that they can begin to explore the hidden treasures we all have within – and giving them the key to unlock the deepest mysteries of life:  our breathe.

I go in with the nervous butterflies, no expectations, some hope and a lot of love.  If you want to find out more about the classes reply to this post or join Facebook group Yoga for Life Karachi:)


Ramzan in Karachi August 22, 2010

Filed under: Islam/Sufism,spirituality,Uncategorized — yogini786 @ 10:06 pm

I started a blog with the same title a little over a week ago but wasn’t feeling like it was ready to be a post.  Here I am experiencing what feels like my first Ramzan though my memories of this month stretch like the Arabian sea along the Karachi coast.

As a child my first memory of Ramzan is being in the car with my parents before Iftar, ducking in the backseat while I sipped a can of Vimto (a soda) from a straw.  I also vaguely remember keeping my first roza and getting a barbie doll as a gift 🙂

This is the one month of the year it feels as if everyone in my family is so full of love and peace – and it continues – the patience, the strength, and the love with the countless blessings God has showered on us.  Just today after feasting on iftar I realized how lucky I am to live the life I live.  The comforts, the abundance, and most importantly all the people who love unconditionally.

I read that Ramzan is there for us to learn patience, gratitude, and giving up.  Never in my life have I made a conscious effort to give up anything and here I am 10 days into Ramzan where I spend 14 hours of my day without food and water, praying five times a day to this mysterious beautiful energy.  And I feel like I’m floating, between the demands of my external and internal life.

I spent 20 minutes in reclined bound angle pose today after my yoga practice, with gemstones placed on my sacral, third eye and crown chakra.  I slipped into a different state of mind, where the brain waves are just above what they are when we sleep.  And I had a tiny awareness of random thoughts that floated through my body and mind, and I felt my soul rest in the moment.  Where there was no past or future, and in some ways no present.  I could feel a part of me working with those random thoughts, letting them come and go on their own, with the awareness to release negative thoughts.

I am what I am today only because this beautiful energy protects me, keeps me going and moving towards the straight path.  I feel so grateful that I was guided here and that I chose my soul to have this journey of learning.  Last Ramzan I felt lost from myself, from life, and from everyone.  I didn’t have an anchor within myself and now I feel like I’m putting some roots down from my heart into my life and in the lives around me.

Words of wisdom from Shaikh Zawia Ebrahim’s Millenium Discourses stay with me…”Successful relationship does not require two. In fact, it requires no more than one: a benevolent self. If you want something from someone else, that person’s ability to withhold what you want gives that person power over you. You become manipulable.”  I am trying to embody this beautiful formula of relationships in my life, where all the change I want to see starts from within.

(If you would like to read more http://sites.google.com/site/wwwzawiaebrahim/themilleniumdiscourses)

May God bless you with peace, joy, and love in this beautiful reflective month of Ramzan.  When I sit with my breath and conquer my worldly illusions, the straight path seems clear to me, it is one where I have a relationship with God that is honest, beautiful and whole.


life is beauty August 3, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized,Yoga Class,Yoga In Karachi — yogini786 @ 3:44 pm

and beauty is life

every moment awaits a secret

a treasure for you

to explore…

I started my yoga practice today outside in the garden, that is being redone, so it is mainly mud.  I flowed through 5 Sun Salutations A & B and then did the Yandara Morning Flow…after practicing breathing in my arm balances I moved into the king pigeon.  The king pigeon – I remember last year sitting in yoga class watching another student gracefully enter into it and wondered if I could ever get my toe to my head.

a week ago practicing in the evening in my room I was in my regular pigeon and thought why not just try it – and before i knew it, somehow i found myself in it – and I realized that I had stopped breathing I was so exhilarated with the moment.

and then i get to my favorite part of my yoga practice – inversions…challenging myself into the headstand with both legs moving up at the same time – its amazing how our bodies can learn and move, remember the smallest detail of instruction which makes all the difference.  That’s what a teacher like Alison from Yandara gifted me with.  I can hear her calm voice giving the simplest extra information that suddenly makes the most difficult pose seem accessible…

yet there is always a struggle in personal practice – the forearm stand and I are at odds these days.  I feel so uncomfortable in it and yet I can imagine it in my head.  I can feel myself get caught up in the destination and forget the journey of creating the space and the strength needed to move into it.  So i let go – and spring into the handstand – really a pose that even when you catch it for a second it creates such a feeling of lightness while this taste of fear of falling remains.

the cloudy sky moved with stillness and as time continued to slip by I felt ready to rest in Shavasana (dead pose).  The flies began their earnest interest in now my sticky, sweaty and muddy skin…I put my left hand on my heart and my right hand began its journey of the chakras.

Self-reiki is the first step in cultivating energy and being able to heal ourselves is the most important if we ever hope to heal others.

Root – thanking Mother Earth, Gaia for providing me with all this beauty and bounty, this earth and its abundance

Sacral – thanking all the people who I have and have had relationships with, for all the lessons they have taught me and continue to teach me

Naval – the place where everything seems to happen – our stomach, intestine, our liver, constantly working to digest, detox and cleanse our organs and our blood so that we can feel good, feel healthy and alive.  thanking them for their beautiful work and apologizing for the junk sometimes i give them to process.  Asking for God’s blessing in healing them.

Heart – sigh – just a pure empty yet expansive feeling of love – “i forgive and accept myself and others unconditionally.  where i am in this moment is perfect and whole”

Throat – allowing myself to speak the truth – accepting my feelings and thoughts and expressing them with kindness.  Asking God to speak through me

Third Eye – thank you intuition for being there for me, helping me make decisions in the moment

Crown – my connection to God – feeling his presence fill me up – and then seeing a white light allowing it to spread all over my body

I move my right hand to each chakra as I tell myself those thoughts – and you can tell yourself anything you feel you need to hear – listen to your heart and it begins to give you direction of what you need.  Then at the end I take both hands and move them around my body sending it the energy created from the chakra activation and cleansing.

When i rise to sit, i put on a song by Jaya that I have on my iphone – Tate gate, gate, paragate, para somgate, bodhi svaha – the heart sutra – that has a number of translations but the meaning is difficult to articulate –

Gone, gone, gone beyond altogether beyond, Awakening, fulfilled!

the flies are starting to distract me now…and the moment changes and I feel like going back inside.  opening my eyes to the green plants around me, the sounds of the birds living in the trees, I sigh let go and gently get up…until next time, IA.


a message from beautiful laleh

Filed under: Islam/Sufism,poetry,spirituality,Uncategorized — yogini786 @ 1:13 am

The morning wind spreads its fresh smell

We must get up and take that in

The wind that let’s us live

Breathe it before it’s gone.

Dance, when you’re broken open.

Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off.

Dance in the middle of fighting.

Dance in your blood.

Dance, when you’re perfectly free.

– Rumi (bless him and praise to his inspiration because his words  continue to expand the consciousness of our world every day someone is blessed with a Rumi poem – I’ll never forget the day I discovered his poetry)

This is a verse from one of Rumi’s poems that always moves me:

The garden of love is green without limit

and yields many fruits other than sorrow or joy.

love is beyond either condition:

without spring, without autumn, it is always fresh.