The full moon on Friday at 6:58am will be occupying the Nakshatra called Shatabishak—the “Hundred Physicians” associated with Varuna, the lord of cosmic and celestial waters . Varuna holds a pot of Soma, the ambrosia of the gods, and also some medicinal herb, suggesting the idea of both intoxication and rejuvenation. Shatabhishak promotes healing on all levels of existence through the Divine Waters provided by the Hundred Physicians. The symbol for this asterism is a circle, suggesting both containment and circulation and related to all enclosed bodies of water like lakes and oceans. Shatabhishak falls in the sign Kumbha (Aquarius)—the “Water Pot”—from which Varuna pours his rejuvenating elixir towards the earth, providing us with Bheshaja Shakti, the power of healing.
Friday also marks the final day of this years’ Second Series Training, a two-week immersion in Nadi Shodana—the “Purification of the Little Rivers.” This is only my third time teaching this course and I have been trying to learn a few new things about anatomy, the Yoga Sutras, Vedic Astrology, etc. It’s important for teachers to learn new things to keep their teaching fresh and energized and inspiring to their students. There is no better gift for a teacher than having lots of really good students. For the past two weeks I’ve had the pleasure of hosting 29 wonderful students from all over— 26 women and three men--many of whom I have already known for a number of years. Most of these students have practiced at least five years, and some as much as fifteen. Many of them are teachers and very dedicated to the practice. On top of that they really seem to enjoy the practice and are very enthusiastic about it. I’ve been having fun with them every day, working long hours and coming home exhausted, but happy. I always find in these trainings that I am learning as much as the students are, and that, at times they are teaching me. Today I learned a new adjustment in Mayurasana from Alicia Johnson, who learned it from her teacher, Casey Palmer, in Portland. A couple of the students are taking the course for the third time—I guess they feel like they still have more things to teach me.
It will be nice to finish the course while under the influence of Shatabhishak—the hundred physicians forming a circle of healing—or in our case, a circle of thirty wannabe physicians. All of the students have been around long enough to appreciate the healing potential of yoga and to recognize that there are dimensions of yoga that go way beyond the physical. Every day we do Pranayama and Asana and plod our way methodically through the second series, allotting ample time for stories and bhajans. The last few days are always the most intense as everyone begins to realize it is all coming to an end and a considerable bonding has taken place over the two weeks. We get to experience the joy of completion and the pain of imminent separation. I will be thrilled to be finished and, at the same time, sad to see everyone go. The full moon will heighten all of our emotional bodies and perhaps many “Little Rivers” will flow and we will all experience rejuvenation and healing as Varuna pours his pot of Soma in our direction. I strongly suggest that everyone take the “Healing Waters” in some form on Friday—I’m going body surfing!