move. smile. release. Uma Spender (previously Jessie Neave) - name in transition - new website coming soon!

Uma Spender (previously Jessie Neave) - name in transition - new website coming soon!

tuning in

A couple of weeks ago I decided to meditate under the full moon’s light. Being mid-winter on the Peninsula it was icy, so I rugged up in every layer I could find, stuck a candle in a jar and wobbled outside. It was a crisp, clear night and the moonlight was tangibly present, penetrating through the freezing night to touch that particular patch of the earth, and be received by little old me. The nightwas still, my little candle held strong, it’s rays of light dwarfed by the overwhelming power of the giant moon above. I was suspended in deep awe at how effortlessly the rays of moonlight were enveloping me - I didn’t know then exactly how far away the earth is from the moon but I did know it was a really big distance to be travelling. Mostly, I, like most of us, take the light of the sun and the moon for granted - how it travels all that way to us - undeniable, bright, full and pulsing with radiant energy and life, but in that moment it seemed incomprehensible. I now know that the moon is 384,400 km away from the earth, and the sun is an unimaginable distance of 149.6 million km away…so far, but so present, so essential to our life’s experience.

In sanskrit the word for light rays is ‘rashvi' - referring specifically to the moment that the light from the sun or the moon touches and interacts with matter and effects how that matter is then experienced; visually and in a felt sense. As is often the case with sanskrit there is another interpretation or meaning for this word; hands, feet, fingers and toes are also referred to as the Rashvi of the body.

It’s easy to become detached from the idea of our energetic, or light body. But it’s not a lofty, hocus-pocus idea - western science is absolutely aligned with Yoga in the certainty that we are made up of energy - there’s just a difference in language and description of these ideas. 
Einstein stated that

         "matter is energy (light), whose vibration has been so lowered as to be
                               perceptible to the senses. There is no matter."

As we go through “normal” life in our 3 dimensional reality, busying ourselves with so much "matter" we are usually pretty anchored in the cranial brain, or what I like to call ‘the dominant thinking mind’, this makes it quite difficult to tune into the subtle or pranic field of energy that is so present in everything that we do, feel and experience. When we are in deep sadhana (practice) we can detach from the thinking mind that is so quick to analyse and observe the experiences from above, and surrender instead to the full force of light interacting with, and in fact being our physical form. Without sadhana it can feel as though we are moving through our daily activities with the energetic body an unimaginable distance away.


And of course it never is - it actually couldn’t be closer.  Keeping hold of that subtle presence requires persistent dropping down from the thinking mind into the feeling experience. Sensing yourself as light in any continual way is a process of discipline, patience and most importantly curiosity. When we tune into the Sushumna nadi (central energetic passage) we can begin to sense three even more subtle channels: Vajra, Chitrini and Brahma nadi - all through which Kundalini moves upwards running up the body from just below Muladhara chakra to Sahasrara chakra, basically, from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. This is happening at our deepest centre, but the light from shushumna is also expanding to all of our physical edges through a vast network of 72,000 passages (nadis), and well beyond those boundaries also. 


Our hands and feet are our furthest most physical edges, the way we interface with the world - how we touch the earth, how we interact with and impact everything around us. How we open to receive, what we offer freely, and, what we take - the places we leave healed, harmed or altered forever. This all happens with the play of the hands and feet, the rashvis of the shushumna nadi...the light rays of our essential being.


We’re in the opposite part of the moon’s cycle now, the perfect time to turn inward and tune into your own centre of light. I rugged up and sat under the dark moon a couple of days ago and tuned in, expanded and connected...and spent a long time exhaling!

 I’ve recorded a short, simple meditation for you to encourage awareness of the shushumna nadi, and how we can expand it’s light through our very own rashvis, how we might be more conscious in the way that we touch the earth with a felt sense of our energetic body. Share it - enjoy!


in light


ps - I'm very excited to be officially sharing my very own creative form of women's Yoga for the first time. Shakti Flow begins next Friday night at Gertrude st, it's a 5 week course butI've decided to open it up for casual attendance as 5 friday evenings in a row is not possible for so many, understandably! I hope you can join me for one or many of these super special sessions.

pps - I'm trying out a new time for Yoga for Deep Healing TONIGHT and there are still a few places left...please help me spread the word to anyone who might benefit from a 2 & a half hour session of connection and truly nourishing rest. 7-9.30pm at Gertrude st Fitzroy.