The science of yoga as a practice for health and wellness. Public and Private Classes Yoga for Well-being Meditation Yoga Teacher Training
This interview/article is a bit long, but so wonderful. Mt Sinai Hospital created re-charging stations for the healthcare workers. So yogic - engaging all of the senses as in yoga's 4th limb, pratyahara. Ayurveda guidelines say that we ingest and then digest everything - not just food. Included is what we see,hear, smell, everything which comes in through our senses.
A good way to create your own recharging station is a by making a small meditation/yoga area even with a small altar. You can always go there then and be uplifted, seek guidance, meditate, receive grace.
mountsinai.org Listen to David Putrino, PhD, Director of Rehabilitation Innovation, talk about recharge rooms and the connection between nature and stress-reduction.
It's hay season on the farm and still "stay" season for yoga. Yoga classes willl continue on Zoom July 28 - August 27
Tuesday 9-10 am, Mixed Level Hatha
Thursday 9-10 am, Yoga Aging with Grace and Strength
Purple Haze Walking Meditation: Farm Fields in Summer
Heartbreaking but I understand. I am missing this place and my swami friends.
Livestream Yoga Students: Here are your flash cards! Keep practicing. More to come next week!
And those of you who have been attending "in-person" yoga classes with me will see/hear this livestream after I send you a zoom meeting link this week.
Carole Karuna (compassion) King, an early Integral Yoga student sings a new version of "So Far Away"
Where do you take refuge? In the garden, the sight of my soil covered hands. A moment of refuge for my sanitized, germ-laden, sometimes latex covered, "don't touch your face, don't touch anyone or anything HANDS. I take refuge in touching the earth.
In Person Yoga Classes are temporarily suspended. Stay well, Practice!
Our classes conclude with 20 minutes of yoga nidra, reclined pranayama practices and guided meditation which turn on the parasympathetic nervous system. Unwinding happens!
“All the Yoga practices are just undoing, unwinding, loosening up again, and relaxing. Until you unwind, you will be swinging like the pendulum from excited mind to depressed mind, back and forth again and again. Once you begin to loosen up again, the swinging becomes less and less. At a certain point you are totally unwound. Then you simply find your neutrality, your center of gravity, and rest." – Sri Swami Satchidananda
Yoga! And also balance! And if you attend classes I teach, all phones must be turned off and put away.
blog.uvahealth.com Don’t stress over fad diets, new exercise programs or what the scale says. Instead, make one simple change at a time to improve your health.
Every time I do this I find at least one of these places holding tension.
I took this photo on a perfect warm summer day in Virginia. The Greek god Hermes looking like a variation of the yoga Dancer or Nataraj pose. And is he carrying a cadeucus or Kundalini symbol?
Hippie Peace Freaks
Mindful Christianity Today
It's called kintsugi and Emily McDowell Studios is the creator of this beautiful saying.
Just Jill Bauer
One of my favorite passages from Ralph Waldo Emerson. A good read anytime.❤️
At this time of year when we gather with our friends and families, remember to press the "pause" button before acting and speaking. Take a deep breath and ask yourself, "Do I really want to say/do this?"
Grateful for all the wonderful yogis I've enjoyed getting to know through the years.
Stilling the boiling water. And in yoga sutras, Sutra 2, "Yoga is the resolution of the mind into stillness."
Mindful Christianity Today
As a dedicated student and teacher of yoga for many years, the breath is THE most effective way to manage emotions, anxiety, depression and more...
psychologytoday.com Use these five principles to calm your nervous system.
"Awakening the Spine" by Vanda Scaravelli was one of the first yoga books I purchased at Yogaville during teacher training in 1992. I still refer to it when I need inspiration. Then saw this tribute/ post to Scaravelli and was reminded and what to do when challenges show up.
If you feel bereft or sick with loss and despair, try not to forget to attend to your basic needs. Sometimes, searing pain engenders a paralysis from which we think we may never recover. And we may not. But we still need to try to look after ourselves in whatever small ways we can manage.
Find the earth. Stand on it. Do this barefooted if possible. Don't worry about looking odd or what others may say about you. The current rules and regulations are all culturally specific and often come from a place of ignorance anyway, so why pay any heed to them? In the long run, who really cares what you do? In any case, people will grow accustomed to your weird ways over time - they may even begin to emulate them.
Don't forget to lie down. And lie down on a hard surface - the body likes the certainty and definite structural support of a hard, firm surface. Put weights on your body if they help. And when you lie down, resist the temptation of constructing some kind of agenda for the session of lying down. You don't need one. Your sole job here is to lie down, get a sense of your body's weight and place in space and then find the breath. Finding the breath just means paying it some attention. Don't observe it too maniacally though or you'll freak it out and it will leave - just sidle up alongside it in a casual way; reassure it.
Be tender with the breath, be tender with yourself. And if the heart comes into focus, don't be scared of feeling its movement or allowing it to break again; to crack open.
Forget instructions - most will be of absolutely no use to us in times of extremis. In any case, instructions are by their nature partial and following them will only give us the illusion of being in some kind of control.
Eat something. Anything. And don't berate yourself if it's crap food. But do eat. If swallowing is hard, then whizz up some bananas with nuts, oats and milk or something. But please eat. Take magnesium - or whatever other supplements have helped you in the past. Set a timer to remind you to take them if necessary.
Lie in water. Fill your bath with magnesium flakes. Lie in the dark. Go into steam rooms/saunas. And if you can afford massages, book one.
Go where others go when they're desperate - places of worship, galleries, nature. Sit in silence even if it scares you. The mind must be afforded the opportunity and time to rest. And even if its galloping madness is unwelcome, just sit through it. Wait for the reel to end. The mind will get bored. It will tire. Just wait it out. Just watch and wait. Watch and wait. A certain amount of resignation can be helpful in such a situation.
Avoid listening to too much bad news or watching upsetting or violent films. Avoid agitating the mind at all costs. Listening to certain music may help - classical stuff if you like it.
And remember, help, inspiration and support can come from the most unexpected of sources. Be open to other people, even those you don't know well. Look also to nature and art. Beauty is all around us even when we inhabit a devastated landscape.
Know that in some very important sense you are not alone, and just as you felt good in the past and don't now, at some point in the future the opposite may be true.
Finally, even if you don't believe in things like angels, act for a week or two as if you did.
Looking for a yoga pose to practice?
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Some years I've planted and tended a garden with a large variety of vegetables, and at other times, just a few favorites. This year, along with the favorites, I dug and planted a couple of vigorous squash and tomato plants which had sprouted in the compost bin.
And so this has been the year of mystery garden.... the squash plants began in a humble way and then went wild, taking over the parsley, a couple of green bean plants and the catnip. The cat was ok and actually got the most benefit, spending many a happy afternoon sleeping under the shade of the giant squash leaves - conveniently where she could wake up and take a few bites of the hidden and re-discovered catnip leaves.
I checked a few times a week for the type of squash and then one day (think of the overnight "monster" zucchini squash), I pulled back the leaves, and big identity reveal - butternut squash! They are growing and ripening to orange now, something to harvest and cook this fall and into the winter.
I've enjoyed giving the compost upstarts a place to grow, and mystery garden rewarded me, not only with food, but a chance to be curious, uncertain, and without expectation. We may think we know what is going to happen most of the time, but it's worth it to hold the space for being surprised.
Oh and the tomatoes were brilliant red cherry tomatoes.
Give plants a chance....
NOTHING changes every aspect of your life - sleep, digestion, managing stress and emotions , like accessing the power of the breath and its underlying force, - prana. Pranayama 2 Hour Introductory Course coming in November 2019. Stay tuned for details.
Swami Ramananda was one of the lead trainers for the teacher training I attended at Yogaville in 1992. The observance of tapasya always benefits from further understanding - re-framing pain as a wake up call, teacher. An enlightening perspective....
Those of us in the northern hemisphere are experiencing the predominance of the fire element this summer. The physical heat of summer generally promotes growth and fruition (plants and trees), but many people are suffering from its intensity this year. On a subtler, spiritual level, there is an internal fire that promotes spiritual growth by burning off the psychic toxins that diminish our clarity and awareness of the truth. For this reason and season, we choose to practice the Yoga principle of Tapas.
Tapas literally means to burn and is often translated either as austerity or acceptance of pain. This teaching implies that when we accept pain in any form, we can learn and grow in important ways, but let’s look at some examples to clarify what this means for us.
There are many examples of the cleansing and healing effects of heat, like the use of saunas and hot compresses; even a fever is the body’s way of fighting infection. But physical pain that comes to us uninvited can be a very difficult teacher, showing us the limitations of the physical body as a dependable source of happiness.
Physical pain forces us to pay attention, teaches us how to care for the body, and expands our ability to be at peace with the inevitable challenges of life. Chronic pain can ultimately inspire us to search for and dwell in the unchanging awareness behind such experiences.
Emotional pain has much the same effect, compelling us to look deeply into the cause of our disturbance instead of ignoring or repressing the grief or anxiety we feel. If we accept painful emotions and allow the energy they generate to release, we can often find the unhealthy desire or expectation that gave rise to it. For example, we all like compliments and it can be insightful to see how easily we become angry or hurt when we are criticized.
Yet another form of pain is the mental discomfort of self-discipline, helping us build will power, focus and the ability to override our habits to choose healthier behavior and positive thoughts. Self-discipline requires making mindful goals that build will power gradually without undue force.
For example, we can make a commitment to daily morning meditation which requires exercising the will to get to bed on time, get up as planned and make a steady effort to focus the mind. Fasting, whether it is for 3 days or skipping a meal, is another form of self-discipline that strengthens the mind and exposes our attachment to eating. Self-discipline can take many other forms such as practicing silence, giving up some little pleasure, or committing ourselves to regular spiritual study, all of which can be painful initially but will bring great benefit over time.
The spiritual teachers from many traditions cite pain as a necessary element for spiritual development. It is how we purge karma from the past and learn which behaviors are not in harmony with our true nature. It is often how our unconscious egoism is exposed, giving us the opportunity to choose love and compassion, and be free of the prison of selfish desire. It’s a hard truth to swallow, but if we are sincere about our spiritual growth, we should welcome pain for the opportunity it presents.
For many years, I have enjoyed and recommended Pema's works, because of her insight, honesty, and wit. The books mentioned in this articlle are excellent and also another - The Places that Scare You. Happy birthday, Pema. May great teachers come into our lives, may they stay with us and teach us.
lionsroar.com Andrea Miller on the life and spiritual journey of one Deirdre Blomfield-Brown.
The place where yoga naturally guides us to....
Wednesday's Pearl of Wisdom from Reverend Jaganath Carrera. OM shanti, shanti, shanti.
Please note the emphasis on deep controlled breathing, yoga as neurological training and that yoga trains the mind and the nervous system to withstand anything by teaching breathing techniques and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Coming up in late July, early August - "Pranayama: Getting the Breath Inside".
goodnewsnetwork.org Yoga is not just good for stretching – it is saving police officers and firefighters from depression and anxiety in cities across America.
Mindful Christianity Today
"The Tao of Pooh" by Benjamin Hoff
Thousands of yoga poses.... I'll focus on downward dog and upward dog and all the variations - loyalty, friendliness, playfulness, etc.
Kundalini awakening?! Lol.
Mindful Christianity Today
The Garden Of Pensiveness
Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.
~ Edward Abbey
~ Image by Dae Wook Kim
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