Category Archives: Yoga

Phase One

The current mission statement on the home page of choicetimes is:

“To guide others in the inquiry of yoga, meditation and other meta-physical “maps of the territory” with the objective of discovering, awakening and exploring the mind that seeks The Way.”

Sunday, we will be transitioning into the second of the five phases I have outlined in previous sessions. For purposes of simplicity let’s think of the time from when we first started doing these on-line zoom sessions in late March of 2020 until now The Zero Phase. Ironically, 9 months?

Remember, we are using the Five Phase Process as a map for our inquiry into yoga, meditation and other teachings. It’s only a map. It is not the territory. The move from Phase Zero to Phase One can be compared to the seed transitioning into the root structure.

As we make this move I see an opportunity to change the mission. Everyone who is reading this and will decide to move forward into Phase One has had some discoveries and increased awareness through the yoga or the meditation or the map questing or through interaction with the group; community; Sangha. Therefore, mission accomplished.

The Transition can be seen as an emergence from unconscious awareness to conscious awareness. What happens within the seed is a mystery. We can look at the seed and we can plant the seed and we can water the seed but not until the seed breaks open do we know if the seed was viable.

So, the new mission statement is:

To explore the what and the why of our awakened awareness through the inquiry and practice of yoga, meditation, Dharma study and Sangha. To experience the transformation of awareness into mastery.

In the Kabbalah map the five phases are represented within The Tree of Life. The Zero Phase is represented by the Sefirot of Keter which means crown or corona. Phase One is Chochma which means Wisdom.

Phase 1 exploration will go from Jan 3 to March 20. That is 11 weeks

Anyone who is currently on the mailing list is invited to join in Phase One starting this Sunday. The schedule for Phase One has changed:

SUNDAY 10 AM – YIN YOGA. This is a 60-75 minute session exploring the yin aspect of our physical, energy and mental/emotional Koshas (bodies or sheaths).

MONDAY 6:30 PM – SANGHA SESSION. Sangha is community. It is one of the three “jewels” of buddhist philosophy and teaching. During this session we will explore the state and potential of our group. We will embed a 15 minute meditation session in this session. We will take as much time or as little time as we need for the session. 30-60 minutes.

TUESDAY 4:30 PM – YANG YOGA. Notice I have changed the time to 4:30. I am also going to shorten it up a bit to ensure we are finished by 5:30 at the latest. 45-60 minutes.

THURSDAY 7PM – DHARMA SESSION: Dharma study is another one of the 3 jewels. Dharma means the inherent nature of things. Law or Truth. The Dharma session will replace the mapquesting concept. One of the things that really worked well this past year was to choose a book and read together and discuss during our session. We can do that, however, I want to start with more discussion on the significance of the 5 Phases and an intro to the spiritual technology of Kabbalah.

ONE-ON-ONE SESSIONS with Michael: I decided to offer this because we are in the root structure phase and I believe these one on one sessions can strengthen connection to the mission and vision. 45-60 min.

ONE-ON-ONE SESSIONS with NEDRA: Nedra is currently working on the development of several Chinese herbal soups and broths, specifically to boost immune system and lymph flow, that we want to market at some point in the future. Nedra is an acupuncturist, cranial sacral therapist, massage therapist, Macrobiotic chef and Chinese Herbalist. While most of her work is done in person, I believe she could be a potential assist to members when it comes to diet, herbs and supplements. If you are interested in meeting with Nedra I can set up zoom session for information, questions/and answers or an overall assessment. (Optional)

I know that some of you have been mostly or only interested in the yoga sessions. I understand that. And while I will offer a yoga only option, I ask you to consider becoming a full access member and at least check out both the Sangha meeting and the Dharma session.

Most people in the world “believe” that the physical world is “the 99%.” What can be seen, heard, touched, tasted or smelled makes up reality. We, as a group in inquiry, are consciously turning this perception upside down; The physical world is the 1% and the 99% is the territory is the non physical world of consciousness that we are here to discover and explore and to share with others what we find. In actuality, quantum physics has verified this perspective as being True. Science has proven that the physical world is but 1% of reality. Yet, most people cannot relate to this perspective. Science itself is stuck when it comes to understanding our reality and the workings of the universe. Science has reached its’ limits in understanding the “how” of things but has no idea on the “WHY.” Together, through the study of Dharma, the power of Sangha and the practice of meditation and yoga this group will partake in an exploration of the 99% Reality.

At this point in time, with all of the uncertainty because of the coronavirus pandemic I understand that it is difficult to make commitments. I am asking you for your support as we continue to do the work we have been doing these last nine months. What I have sought to do over the past 9 months is create a safe and comfortable space to do our inquiry and experience the benefits of the practices we engaged in. I strove to be an intuitive, gentle and entertaining guide. I am no expert or polished guru type of guy. I am a passionate seeker of undiscovered wisdom that I know has got to be there for us to find.

My goal is a minimum of 10 of you to become full access members for Phase One Exploration. Although I will continue to offer a yoga only option, at this time, I encourage all of you to consider becoming full access members. As far as a suggested monetary contribution amount I have thought of how I would break down the different sessions and all and it looks like this:

The component parts of the process are: 11 weeks. 2 yoga sessions per week. 1 Dharma session per week. 1 Sangha session per week, One-on-one sessions w Michael and Nedra.

Full Access Membership gives you access to all weekly sessions plus one initial one-on-one with Michael and one initial one-on-one with Nedra. If you wish to do additional one-on-one sessions it would be $50 for a 45-60 minute session………………..$300

If you choose to do Yoga Access Only Membership then I suggest a contribution of $120-$200 for the 11 weeks.

I hope you choose to join us.

Please send your contribution via check to:

Michael Mahanger * 9150 East 82nd Street * Indianapolis, IN * 46256

Or I am set up with Zelle to receive payments online, just use my email address: mpmahanger@yahoo.com.

Also write up a little blurb about your experience and review of your work with this group so far and send with your check or email me.

Thank You.

“The Five Bodies”

This post is designed to be like a yoga session. It will take 30 minutes of your time.

As your guide, I will attempt to describe “right alignment” and then guide you in discovering and exploring your edge. I am looking forward to hearing some feedback as to how you experienced this.

First, make sure you are wearing comfortable clothing that you can move easily in and you are warm. Lay out your yoga mat. If you use cushions to sit then have them available. Have a blanket for Final Shavassanah.

Play the following song while doing a few yoga poses. Open up the hips with dragon or pigeon. Do a few forward bends and backbends. Stretch neck and connect to breathing. It’s only a short 3 minute stretch here.

Now, establish your sitting position. Take a few minutes to make sure you are set up. Feel the energy rise up in the spine. Pull up through the core slightly. Breath-Relax-Feel-Watch-Allow. Lock into your focused awareness and watch this video. It is 12 minutes long.

When finished take 5 cycles of deep breathing. Inhale for 8 seconds getting full. Hold for 13 seconds, exhale in 8 seconds, hold exhale for 5 seconds and repeat. Switch your legs. Put the one that is in front in back. Then click play on the next video. It is 8 minutes long.

When video finishes set up for final Shivassana and play the audio below.

When video finishes then come back slowly and……

Contemplate the following thoughts:

Do you see a comparison between the 5 koshas in the yogic system and the 5 aspects of the soul described by the Rabbi?

Can you invert the order? Bliss to Physical. Highest level of soul to Nefash.

Moving Forward

A House Divided Cannot Stand. Mathew 12:22-2822 

“Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the [a]blind and mute man both spoke and saw. 23 And all the multitudes were amazed and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”24 Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except but by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.”


As your guide in our current inquiry I want to let you know we are firmly in the zero phase.  The zero phase is the seed phase.  What seeds will you choose?  Where will you plant them?  When?  How?  WHY?  In the growth process this phase is called CONFUSION.In the game analogy it is called OBJECTIVE or OBJECT.In the “tree analogy” this is called SEED.In the business cycle this is called DESIRED GOAL.In the Kripalu Yoga Transformation Process this is called BREATHE.In the grief process this is called DENIAL.In the “Four Phases of Creation in Kabbalah” this is called KETER (CROWN)In my personal process of managing my diabetes it is called CONFRONT.


Many different ways from which to view this 5 phase/step process.  What is the value of knowing about and inquiring into this process?  I will attempt to answer that with context and texture over the next several weeks.In my opinion, knowing about and. doing inquiry into this process may be priceless in the upcoming days, weeks and months.


All of you on my current mailing list are invited to all sessions I hold over the next 2 months.  I encourage you to invite guests who you think would receive value.  I anticipate the next few weeks to be tumultuous for a number of reasons.  I am planning a trip down to South Florida to see family.  My intention is to make sure to be able to do Sunday’s class every week.  So, for the next 2 months we will take it week by week.  

 

I am not asking for compensation for the next two months.  I fully realize many may be struggling and unable or unwilling to commit during this time.  However, I will ask that you write me up an assessment or “client review” of the experience you have had with the service I have been providing through the zoom sessions, the emails and the posts on my website.  I would further ask that you grant me permission to publish your review in my website under the category of client reviews.  There are a few client reviews already posted for you to review if you would like.  And while I am not requiring payment for the next two months I will accept  donations to support the work that Nedra and I are doing.  

 Namaste

Emoji


Michael

less is more

“Less is More.”  Have you heard that before?  My first “reaction” to hearing this quote was ….’Sure it is,” ingrained with a sarcastic and dismissing tone.  Then I started to “get it.”  Type 1 diabetes has certainly been a big challenge in my life.  It’s been kinda like a two edged sword, in that, to really get over the hump and take full response-ability for “it” and to “it I had to directly experience the Truth and Lessons of “Less is More.”  The quote personifies a universal Truth of The Reality we find ourselves in this whacky world of ours.  It represents the duality that is weaved in everything and everyone.  The duality of Light and Dark; Positive and Negative; Right and Wrong;  Good and Evil; Up and down;  Hot and Cold;  On and Off.  Yin and Yang.  The Buddha taught that nothing can arise without its polar opposite.  If one is lucky, the wisdom gleaned in inquiring into the nature and law of duality is that, since one cannot exist without the other it is futile to engage in a battle that makes something more good or less evil,  NO!  Perhaps, the objective of the game (an I do believe it is a game) is more about finding balance and equanimity instead of quick and unconscious reactions based on liking, wanting, desiring, not liking, not wanting and not desiring….no matter….what emotion we have attached to our reactions whether it be anger, jealousy, pride, unworthiness or the opponent’s favorite elixir………a sense of entitlement.  

I’ve been “living with” T1D for over 42 years now.  I thought I would have figured out how to cure myself by now or died.  Neither of the two have happened which leaves me in a bit of a pickle because I didn’t plan this far ahead.  However, I have come close and I have not veered from the path to a cure.  About 17 years ago I had an opportunity to put the pedal to the metal, so to speak.  I had some money saved.  I was in between jobs.  My girlfriend and yoga partner was an acupuncturist, cranial sacral therapist, Chinese Herb specialist and Macrobiotic chef.  Talk about hitting the jackpot!  I had been “practicing” Bikram yoga for a few years and running 3.3 miles per day.  I was getting regular “treatments” of acupuncture, massage, cranial therapy.  I had not gone on the pump yet and was getting A1C’s in the 8’s..  For about 3 months we really stepped it up.  I was waking up at 6am,,,going to a 7am Bikram class, coming home and eating a great breakfast, perhaps throw some needles in to balance the yang energy that the Bikram class creates.  Go for the 3.3 mile run.  Sit out by the pool (I was in South Florida),  Get ready for the 4pm Bikram class.  Had to drink lots of water.  Get home at 6pm and make a great dinner with some wine and a beer or two.  Studied some new metaphysical “maps of the territory” that I was being introduced like yoga, meditation, Integral Theory (Ken Wilber), Spiral Dynamics, Kabbalah, and more…..We worked at this pace for about 3 months.  I had reduced my Daily Dose of Insulin by 50% and had many occasions where I could forego an injection that I normally needed.  My A1C dropped to low 6’s.  

I eventually went on the pump and achieved even more flexibility and control.  But life happens and things change and I find myself in upstate NY praying for the sun to shine and the rain to stop and the temperature to get into the 50’s.  I’ve gained a little weight, not working out enough, eating like crap and feeling my agoraphobia kicking into overdrive.  I am ready for another “push.”;; Another “push.”  I am planning an escape from NY back to Florida.  It is complicated because of all the issues that arise in life,…..health insurance, finances, friends, family, obligations, logistics…..

So, you might be asking……Where is the less is more lesson?  Less is more taught me the secret to the path of healing leading to a cure.  The secret in a word is – RESTRICTION.  When I woke up at 6am and was tired and not wanting to go and sweat for 90 minutes in a stinky yoga room I restricted that reaction and the feelings associated with it and got up and went.  When we react blindly without restriction we create what is called in Sanskrit – Sankhara.  When we react we create energy pathways like ruts of least resistance.  Overtime these ruts become deeper and the energy can pass through with more ease and more abundantly.  These ruts create toxicity and dis-ease throughout the physical, mental and emotional bodies.  There is only one way to heal Sankhara.  It is to starve them by restriction of the normal reactions that create and sustain them.  

The three months I engaged in actions that were proactive in nature instead of reactive in nature.  I not only stopped feeding the old “ruts of reactivity” I created new ones that were both different and healthier for someone with T1D.  I know that the three months that I really pushed it changed my life and is one of the reasons I am still here today.  I figure the minimum requirement would be a 21 day push.  There is some research to back that.  

I am looking for a way to get back to Florida and lead others in what I did 17 years ago. I believe this approach and experience to be of value not only to T1D’s but parents and siblings and medical professionals.  I also see it being of tremendous value to those with Type 2 and those who have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic.  What is needed in those cases is, for sure, a change in lifestyle.  A 21 day immersion of yoga, meditation, body treatments like acupuncture, massage, cranial sacral therapy, bio-feedback, running/walking, great food, sunshine, ocean, beach, party, and some metaphysical map study.  

I’ve beta tested the “training” with others.  They were not diabetic.  One was dealing with addiction.  This kind of training is ideal for addiction.  Here is a link to his review of the training.    Namaste….

https://www.choicetimes.com/category/client-reviews/

Dream

I have a dream.

I’m in my 43rd year of living with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).  

My new endo told me that I will get some kind of medal from the Joslin Institute when I reach 50.  Really.  Who cares?  They get a chip after 30 days in AA, NA, GA and SA.

17 years ago I made a “push”. I was 39 yrs old, broke, in debt up the wazoo, out of shape, not taking care of myself…..I figured if I did not make a change I wouldn’t make it to 42.  Over a 2 year period I started inquiring into several “things”, like…… writing, reading, yoga, meditation, running, acupuncture, massage, eating well, cranial sacral therapy, and more.  It was slow at first. Then stuff began happening.  I got a job, I was getting in shape, feeling better about myself.  Life changed.  I got out of debt, started making good money, got in shape, blood sugars starting coming down/better control, I was happier.  

During this time I had a three month period of time where I took off from work and really connected with my current “edge” and began to “push” against it.  I reduced insulin requirement up to 50%, at times.  I mean long period of times (week or so).   Since that time the roller coaster reached the top and started its’ descent.  What goes up is going to come down.  It’s a long story and I will spare the details, for now.  It can be summed up as this. I went from A1C’s in the 9’s, broke, in debt, depressed, feeling hopeless and helpless, not working out, addicted to things I need not be addicted to…..I went from this to In top physical shape; I could run 5 miles under 50 minutes.  I could do 2 Bikram yoga classes in one day.  My weight was ideal.  I felt strong.  I made enough money to buy a cool condo in Boca Raton, Fl within walking distance of my Bikram Yoga Studio.  It was a 5 minute drive to the beach.  I had a lot of free time.  Things were good.  

I got on the pump and I changed my attitude about testing my blood sugars.  I wanted to know.  I tested 10-15 times a day and loved the flexibility of the pump.  With the combination of getting in super physical shape and having the pump, I got my A1C’s in the low 6’s. I ate anything I wanted.  I wanted to eat good.  

I have often compared managing blood sugar as a type 1 to flying a plane.  The physical plane itself is the physical body.  I had transformed my physical body into a stealth fighter jet.  It wanted. It needed good fuel in the food I was eating.  I needed to inject insulin but the insulin seemed to be working better.  I needed less.  I was personally experiencing one of the most profound yoga principles;  “LESS IS MORE.”  I was getting this at so many levels.

My dream is to share this experience with others who are challenged by type 1 diabetes.  Whether that be the person with diabetes, a parent, a sibling, a friend, a healthcare worker (that includes you doctors).

This is how I want to share it.  I want to “host” an intensive retreat like program where I demonstrate and guide others into an inquiry of what I did, how to do it and why.  It is an immersive training which will be based on the principles of yoga and Natural Law Principles.  I have a support “team” in place right now.  It includes a CDE, an acupuncturist and cranial sacral therapist, a Bio-feedback specialist, a massage therapist, a life coach and a few yoga teachers including one who is a Bikram Certified Teacher.  

Each day will consist of:

*2  yoga classes/day

*Meditation

*Walking

*1-2 hours classroom meeting discussing many topics including yoga principles and applying to diabetes management, spiritual     metaphysical “map” inquiries.

*Great     Food.   Will, of course, accommodate for vegetarian.

*Some     form of body/mind work.  Could be acupuncture, light therapy,     massage, cranial sacral therapy, bio-feedback, life coaching….and     a few more.      

*There will also be a few opportunities to do a few other things like go to the beach or an excursion to Captiva or Sanibel Island.

I visualize the retreat being in South Florida around the Fort Myers area.  I want it to happen in November of 2019.  I want to keep this initial one small (8-12 participants).  And my dream doesn’t end there……..

In a way, this is my new five year plan.  I’m turning 57 in 2 weeks. Still here.  No complications (knock on wood).  I think that what I did 17 years ago is a huge factor in why I am still here.  I’ve come to realize that it is best done in “spurts.”  Interval like. And an intensive retreat where we are focusing on where our edge is and working on expanding can be a profound “spurt.”  It’s kinda of like intuitively knowing to do a combo bolus.  The body wants to receive it in spurts some short and some a bit longer. At least, this is my experience.

I want the initial retreat participants to be those who want to not only personally experience pushing their edge but also have a desire to help others with our condition.  T1D is like a yoga pose.  It is like walking on a high wire.  And it is like flying a plane.  So, my dream is that from this initial retreat we plan a second one and then some will qualify to lead their own retreat.  

I have so much more I want to say and if you are interested in it let me know or visit the link to my blog site where I have been writing about all of this for the last 10 years.  

I will write a future post called My Dream 2.  Where I can expand on some of this.  It’s awesome for me as well because I am creating something which provides me an opportunity to do this work more and more.  I have done it with others but not people with diabetes.   I have worked with a few people who were depressed and addicted.  There is a close parallel to these conditions and diabetes.  A few of these people wrote client reviews and I posted them in my blog section as well under Client Reviews.