Yoga Numerology: a Brief Explanation

For this blog, let’s explore a less popular affiliate of the yoga practice.  That is numerology, or the knowledge and occult significance of numbers. Numerology has various interpretations throughout different cultures, and the depth and allegiance to the interpretations. 

In my practice I can appreciate numerology in a way that I also appreciate tarot, or other practices that offer us perspective, feedback, and self reflection (or anticipation).  For me, these interpretations are not defining, but thought provoking in my self reflection. Yoga numerology explores the 10 yogic bodies (11th is mastery) and 7 chakras. If we think of those bodies like a musical instrument, we realise that they can fall out of tune, or balance, even without being touched.  Like an instrument, our environments and atmospheres affect our balance. Reflecting on this helps us start to learn how to keep ourselves in tune. 

Read on to learn  about your numerology!

 

Calculating your numbers: 

Your numerology code consists of 5 unique numbers. 

We’ll add digits of your birth dates to come up with the unique numbers, but will never condense the numbers 10 or 11 by adding them together. 11 will stay as an 11 and a 10 will be a 1+. Numbers higher than 11 are added together to give you a single digit to work with; for instance, 12 becomes 3 (1+2=3).

Let’s take may birthdate for example: 03/08/1989 (mm/dd/yyyy)

Karma Position (The month you were born… eg. 03) = 3

Soul Position (Day of birth… eg. 08) = 8

Gift (Last two digits of the year you were born… eg. 8 +9 = 17 >>>> 1 + 7 = 8) = 8

Destiny (The year of your birth… eg. 1 + 9 + 8 + 9 = 27 >>>> 2 + 7= 9) = 9

Path (The sum of adding all of the digits of your birth date… eg.  3 + 0 + 8 + 1 + 9 + 8 + 9 = 38 >>>> 3 + 8 = 11) = 11

As you read on, remember that each number can manifest a positive and negative quality.  These things are also fluid; how the qualities show up and at what times may depend on how you are managing, balancing, and cleansing  your 10 bodies and chakras. This is feedback for your own reflection. Yoga, meditation, pranayama all help to keep in balance and work through this.   Also keep in mind that what may come across confusing or negative is really just constructive feedback for yourself. 

Karma Number: How you relate to the external world and to relationships with others.  Opportunity to create harmony between your internal and external worlds

Soul Number: How you relate to yourself; your soul, your consciousness, the spiritual and creative essence in you.  If you are able to consciously connect with your soul self, you are more self loving and have less separation and alienation.

Gift Number: Reveals a positive quality you have been given in this lifetime. The body and chakra associated with this number indicate natural talents which can support you through challenges presented by your Soul and Karma numbers, as well as get you through times of stress and pressure.

Use it or lose it.  It’s important to strengthen your gifts as much as possible.

Destiny Number:  This number resonates with your deep personal history, uses your skills and many lifetimes of talents to support you through the challenges and weak areas in your chart. Similar to the use-it-or-lose-it philosophy mentioned before, if we are not using the talents we have mastered over lifetimes, they can show up as negative attributes of the body and chakra associated with the number in this position.   Use your relationship with this number to develop your inner mastery and use it as a platform for balance and personal strength.

Path Number: This number represents what to build in this lifetime in order to feel complete.  It behaves as a compass so you can serve and teach others how to do the same. When you have mastered this number you are thriving and doing what you are supposed to be doing!  Mastery of the body and chakra of this number means you are inspiring others and fulfilling your own path.

Yoga with Adolescents

Since its early roots, the demographic of “who-is-yoga-for” has evolved significantly.   We might imagine anything from a yogi monk to a HIIT yoga guru, sporting the latest trend  legging style. Today there are hundreds of styles and classes, specific to market groups and populations for whom the practice is tailored.  The beautiful thing is that in the 21st century, yoga has extended far from the once exclusive practice, to now being accessible and relevant to almost any population.

In this blog  we will explore practicing yoga with adolescents, and why the practice is beneficial for physical, but mostly for  mental health in our youth. The mind of an adolescent is incredible; the way the neurons are firing, the connections in the brain developing. The ability to build self-compassion and awareness is developing, but is also very vulnerable.

 As a teacher in a prestigious international school, we see students who are in an environment of ever increasing academic benchmarks and an expectation to be the best.  While there is positive intent in these goal driven environments, the community has also witnessed adverse effects on the well being of students. In some instances, we see tragic ends and responses to the societal and academic bar. 

The prescription for how to cope with stress has evolved as well.   While it is true that prescription medications are still quite prevalent as a “fix” in our society, we also see more pathways toward self-compassion, therapy, and meditation.  Studies are revealing that yoga and related practices in schools or communities are also contributing to a cultivation of self-compassion and overcoming inadequacies in positive ways.  Yoga practices the holistic development of students in all age groups, and the range of mind-body-soul practices has deep rooted effects in well being. 

There is a lot  of research out there to support the positive effects of incorporating yoga into school programs and with youth; 

As mentioned above, it can contribute to a more positive learning environment.  It helps students with anger management, stress, body image… more than can be described in a simple blog.  The research is out there.

 However, a  few points to highlight are:  

-Yoga practices aim to bring about solace among students who are unable to manage uncontrollable influxes of self-demeaning and self critical ideas when they’re unable to meet their set ideals.

-Physical and meditation practice help to shape more realistic and grounded beings.  The practice helps students to withdraw from the idea of an inflated self, or idea of being somebody they are not. 

-The emotional uplift and support needs to be initiated by school teachers, support, mentors, and authorities.  Adolescents need the support and vision of their mentors to guide them on this journey, and through other trials and tribulations.  If you as a practitioner bring yoga to your youth, you have the potential to make really positive impacts on their lives. But they need you to initiate. 

In short, yoga +  mentorship can instill humbleness, self compassion, and perspective to our younger generations.

Here are some helpful things to remember when practicing yoga with youth:

-Say yes (& often).  Don’t get caught up telling your students what not to do.  Tell them what to do, and tell them what they’re doing well.   Saying yes is empowering, especially to youth who are often told “no” all day long.

-Create a soothing environment. Many students struggle with being overstimulated, and are often medicated or punished for it. Try to tone down the visual and aural distractions.  Create an atmosphere for calmness. Remember, most adolescents are far far away from a state of dharana. 

-Give structure, but offer choices.   Meet your students where they are. What do they need from their practice? How do they feel capable? What is success to them? Give them the gift of individuality and permission to be who they are. Allow them to take from their practice what it is that they need. 

Lastly, when working with adolescents (or any population really), take a moment to reconnect with your own purpose for teaching. Being present and aware of your own intention will allow you to meet your students right where they are.  Kids are smart, and they’ll either see right through you, or truly appreciate the energy and support you bring to them.

 

Being Yogic in Challenging Times

In light of the current CoVID-19 pandemic, I thought it appropriate to reflect on how to lead yoga and and a holistic life practice in the face of challenge, adversity, and fear.   Our yoga journeys have led us to this class, this place in our practice, for many reasons. Among them and perhaps mostly obviously, it to be yoga teachers. As the global environment evolves, it calls for us to evolve our practice to not only be teachers, but also to be self leaders, and leaders in our yoga and extended communities. 

In the past two months, we in Singapore have had a particular perspective of how the virus has grown, and how the world has responded to it.   First it spread here, in Asia. Then of course to farther banks and European nations, to where it is now. Everywhere, borderless. The virus does not have a border or a culture, and perhaps that is something we can explore in our yogic practice.  That our practice is beyond culture and borders. That our practice is shifting with the times.

An attribute most leaders carry is that they can learn from adversity. They can take suffering and frustration and turn it into a learning opportunity.  Leaders have a growth mindset, instead of being fixed in a particular practice. Let’s bring this into our yoga practice.

Perhaps we learn that our own practices can shed a mold of lineage, tradition.  

Our practices can continue to evolve in the most modern version of the world.  

Our own practices should adopt compassion and service first, and should learn from communities outside of our own.  

If we approach our teaching as a unifying force and connection to each other, then we radiate and make the connections our global community needs in times of uncertainty.  We learn from each other. We rise to the occasion of community, much as our health care leaders, service workers, and members of the community are rising for the global fight now. Creating divisions, accusing others, xenophobia, and fear, is not the message of our practice.  And our world will not survive in such an environment.

As the globe goes into lockdown, we as people and practitioners are called to respect the needs of our communities.  It can be challenging, as most yoga students these days practice in studios with many people, in a physical, tangible, way.  But what the world needs right now, is for people to stay home, and to find creative ways to connect beyond the restrictions put in place by our global leadership.

As we suffer on a global scale, we are also privileged with the opportunity to connect virtually, to exercise online platforms, to practice in solidarity, or in intimate settings.   While social distancing makes yoga practice challenging for some students, the refuge we can instill in ourselves in our community is still as strong as ever. 

If you’re feeling down about your practice, about the isolation and discomfort this global shift is taking, I encourage you to reflect on some of these thoughts:

  • This time offers us the opportunity to reflect on the roots of our own practice. 
  • This time offers us ways to evolve yoga into a modern practice, beyond what it has become in its most recent version
  • This time offers us to realize our suffering and find the light in between
  • This time offers us space for self reflection
  • This time offers us a place of sharing information and selfless, country-less, unity
  • This time offers us the reminder that our own practice is always with us, wherever we go. 

And remember, this too shall pass. 

 

My journey to yoga

I am a person who resonates deeply with the outdoors.  I hear the ocean in our breath, feel the swell in the currents of life.  Some days I wake up dry and achy as an old tree, and need soft winds to encourage the movement in my limb.  Sometimes I feel as strong as a mountain, or as vast as a valley carved out by the brute strength of a glacier. The sound of a hummingbird’s wings make me giddy as a child.  There are moments when I look up a granite wall, seemingly impossible to ascend, but with every move, every crack, every smudge, hold, and pinch, I make my way towards the place I hope to reach.

My most honest journey to yoga began in one of these places (although I’d been to studios and classes many times before).   On the shores of Bahia de Conception, Baja California Sur. I can close my eyes and see it. Feel it. The place is not a memory to me, but almost like a singing bowl; silent in place, then awakened by a vibration, a movement, a resonance within.   It was there that I began to realize things about myself, to make an agreement with myself. My yogic journey is a piece of that, and so that is where my journey to yoga began.

I started visiting Baja to work hiking and sea kayaking expeditions in the southern part of the state.  As I drove down the single highway for three days to reach the campus from which I was based, I saw a lot of desert. Dry vast spaces, the landscape only broken up by giant cardon and cholla cactus, old fences, brittle and falling. I had not spent any significant time in the desert before. I couldn’t realize what I was seeing.

The ocean of course looked more inviting.  As I drove down the west coast the Pacific thrashed upon rocky shores, smashing rocks into pebbles, into sand, into dust.  On the east the sea was much calmer, a deep blue contrasted by the dry mountains. The tension of wind lines clear from far away, but from a distance only a ripple on the water.

But still, I was just seeing the superficial.

My journey to yoga began when I started to realize that everything  has an adaptation, a way to be, a reason to be, and an unconscious perfection in this world.  That the leaves on the trees rotate with the sun, to harvest its energy, but also to protect is physical self.  That the cholla clings to movement because it is wise, and it wants to expand its space. The mesquite root drives deep into the earth to pull its water and life source, while the cardon fans its roots to catch water as the sky releases it back to Earth.  That the bat ray jumps to impress its mate, and the whale jumps for perhaps no reason at all..

 My journey began when I started spending time (a lot of time) in the outdoors. Not days, but months on end in natural and wild places.  When I started paying better attention to the moon and the stars. When I started to cycle with the moon and be honestly more connected to nature.  As I started to pay attention to what was going on around me, my consciousness was stirred. I began reflecting on pain-body, presence, non-attachment.  Although, as I said, I had been to many yoga classes at the gym, I can now look back and realize that the beginning of my practice manifested in a more spiritual than physical way.

My life has been quite privileged in the way that I get to spend so much time in nature.  However, my life in the past two years has moved me away from the wilderness in which I once lived.   Sitting here in Singapore, I realize and reflect on the distance that I’ve put between myself and these environments which are so important to me.  By environments I mean not only nature, but the internal environment where I once cultivated self love, awareness of life, and compassion and curiosity  toward all entities and beings.

It is with most humility that I can admit I feel a loss of that in myself these days.  And so, coming full circle, my current journey in a yoga practice is to find a vehicle to move once again  to the place I was before. Physical practice is an opportunity to realize my body and mind as a path toward spirituality and awareness because my physical, natural environment cannot always exist.

Maybe what I’ve learned most of all,

Is that no amount of money, career, or prestige is worth what I feel in nature.

A holistic practice is what I journey towards now; a plan to return to the wilderness with increased philosophical and physical practice. And soon enough, I’ll reflect again.  And we’ll see where my journey goes from there.