Northern Colorado Summer Class Schedule Inside!
Happiness Exploring concepts of
The Mystical Life
Ayurvedic tips for the summer
Honoring the Sun Learn the benefits of
Spiritual Journaling Published by Local Yoga Junkies
Complimentary Summer 2010 Volume 1, Issue # 3
Having said that, this issue is loaded with great reading! We have everything from a movie review to one of the local yoga “super heroes” doing an “At Home” guided practice. We have also started a few new regular features and departments. One of them being a page of original recipes put together by a local crafter of the culinary arts - Chris Feuille. Another regular feature is the addition of a workshops schedule located near the back of the magazine. Also, I have started a new series of articles which I hope will be as helpful and insightful to you as they will be to me in writing them. “The Mystical Life” is what I have titled it, so give that a look and let me know what you think. Each article deserves special mention so glance over to the contents page. Now let me say, those are great writings by your neighbors - so check ‘em out!
Summer is the time when one sheds one’s tensions with one’s clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered soul. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all’s right with the world.
This summer, let us all bask in the abundance of energy and live with all of our might. Let the grasses of our souls take hold steadfast, their way being weakened only by overexposure. Let the tree of our life, in all of its patience, take deeper root and push upward and outward, as if to unite with the sun. May our souls rejoice and burst open as the fireworks of our freedom. May the heat not languid us to forget to do the weeding - for there is work still to be done! And so I say, charge forth thou sons of the sun and give life your full attention. Live each moment enlivened with the enthusiasm that is alone the domain of summer. Laugh as loud as you can, as if joy had stolen your reservations and play as hard as the children play.
~Ada Louise Huxtable
Please enjoy this collection of thoughts and explorations of the vast spiritual science that yoga is, and, please get out there and support the local yoga scene. May all of your sittings be still and any chitta chatter be dissolved.
Welcome to the summer issue of the Yoga Connection. We are so glad to join you in this jubilant season of enlightenment. Summer is obviously the season of fire and it is a time of great energy and illumination. Symbolically speaking, it represents a period in our lives where we become stabilized in continuous growth. Not mechanistic growth, but growth full of joy and awareness. It is the type of brilliant, joyful awareness supported by the radiance of the Sun and is reflected by your smile. Speaking of your smile, may I say that all of you out there are amazing! I had a sense that there was a great group of people in our local yoga community, but all of you are proving it more on a daily basis. We appreciate all of your support and participation. We cannot celebrate you enough!
The Yoga Connection
The Yoga Connection is a quarterly publication. The information provided in this publication is intended for personal, non-commercial, informational and entertainment purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement with respect to any company, product, procedure or activity.
In this issue, the level of community participation will be selfevident. There were so many people willing to participate that we have suspended a running article that we were authoring. The article series we are calling “The Process of Yoga & the Eight Limbs” has been temporarily suspended in order to have more space for all of the diverse voices eager for expression. We apologize to any fans of that series, and we ask for your patience as we intend to pick up with it this autumn. THE YOGA CONNECTION MAGAZINE
For advertising and editorial information, contact: Kate Stephens or Gary Pritchard Phone: (970) 482-5920 E-mail: email@example.com
Printed on Recycle Paper
Keeping a Spiritual Journal
Discover the importance of a spiritual journal for tracking your progress...................................... pg 8
Lori Krauss introduces the basics of Kundalini Yoga................... pg 21
The Mystical Life
Alan Starner shares his wisdom and insights on happiness................ pg 12
Explore the various concepts of mysticism ............................... pg 30
Teaching Yoga Full-Time From a Movie, to a Dream, and to Reality
What does it take to teach Yoga full-time?............... pg 13
Julie Bleau gives us her review of one of Americaâ€™s favorite films .............................................. pg 45
Season of Love Taylor Isaacson shares her personal journey of Yoga ........................... pg 14
Not Ideas About the Thing But the Thing Itself Joe Zahn explores the finer side of eastern thought and distills wisdom from Caddy Shack............... pg 16
Meet Your Mood with Yoga How the philosophy and practice of Yoga can help you to understand your moods better and give you tools for improving their quality ............................................. pg 18
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Chrisâ€™s Culinary Corner
Adrianne Ehmann, a local Yoga instructor and visionary, begins the first phase of her project to interview as many Yogis as she can and compile them into a web site .................... pg 34
Great recipes from a local culinary craftsman ........................................ pg 7
At Home Practice
Michael Loyd-Billington guides us on a tour of the foundational asana series of Integral Yoga ................ pg 23
Bits of tid for your enjoyment ..................... pg 17
Honoring the Sun
Whatâ€™s Your Style
Balance yourself with Ayurveda............. pg 27
Descriptions of many of the class styles available in the community.................................... pg 36
Health & WellBeing Directory.......... pg 39 Northern Colorado Yoga Class Schedules Summer 2010.................................. pg 40 Summer Workshops 2010......................................... pg 43 Once Upon a Yogi Time The re-telling of the ancient yogi stories through the ages............ pg 46
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Chrisâ€™ Culinary Corner A
ccording to Ayurveda, summer season is Grishma rutu. It is very common for people to have less of an appetite during Grishma. In addition, the sun shines bright and the heat is often severe. To combat this heat and possible lack of appetite one should eat raw or cooler foods, as well as smaller portions. And donâ€™t forget to keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water, especially when playing outside. Below are a few options to help beat the heat this Grishma (Summer Season).
Dijon-Cilantro Tuna Salad 1/2 Cup Plain Non-Fat Yogurt 6 Tbsp Sweet Pickle Relish 2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard 2 Tbsp Whole Grain Mustard 2 - 6oz Cans of Tuna (Drained) 1 Cup Celery (Medium Dice) 1/2 Cup Red Onion (Medium Dice) 1/4 Cup Carrot (Small Dice) 1/2 Cup Fresh Cilantro Arugula Tomato Salt Pepper -Mix first four ingredients in large bowl -Add in tuna -Add celery, onion, carrot , and cilantro and mix thoroughly -Season with salt and pepper -Cool in fridge for 30 minutes -Serve on whole grain bread with arugula and tomato
Lemon-Dill Green Beans
1 Lb Green Beans (Trimmed) 6 Tbsp Fresh Dill (Chopped) 1 Tbsp Minced Shallot 1 Tbsp White Truffle Oil 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice (Fresh) T Tbsp Whole Grain Mustard Salt Pepper
-Mix all ingredients in bowl, except green beans -Cook beans in 1.5 inches of water for 2.5 minutes -Put mixture over strained beans and mix well -Season with salt and pepper -Let sit for 10 minutes and serve
Raw Vegetable Salad with Lemon Herb Dressing
1 Cup Carrots (Medium Dice) 1 Yellow Pepper (Medium Dice) 1/2 Cup Yellow Onion (Small Dice) 1 Yellow Squash (Medium Dice) 1 Zucchini (Medium Dice) 1 Cup Green Beans (1 inch pieces) 1 Cup Grape Tomatoes (Halved) * Lemon-Herb Dressing
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice (Fresh) 1 Tbsp Fresh Herbs (Parsley, Basil, Dill, Mint, Tarragon, or Oregano) 1 Clove Garlic (Minced) 1/4 Tsp Salt 1/4 Tsp Dijon Mustard Dash of Black Pepper 1/2 Cup Olive Oil -Put vegetables in a large bowl -Separate bowl add all ingredients for dressing except oil, mix well -Whisk in oil -Add Dressing to Vegetables, mix well -Chill and serve
Keeping a Spiritual Journal: A Powerful Tool for Self-Exploration Written by Michael Lloyd-Billington
If you’ve ever kept a journal, you know it can be a great means for selfstudy -- whether looking back on the day or simply expressing emotions we may have held inside. Given its usefulness, it’s no wonder many spiritual luminaries have kept journals, from St. Augustine to Gandhi. The great Yoga sage Swami Sivananda was no exception, not only keeping a journal himself but strongly recommending it for all of his students. In this article I’d like to share his approach, including how it differs from a conventional diary and how you can use it as a powerful tool for your own spiritual work.
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The Four Components To begin, most of us who keep diaries use them rather casually -- perhaps relying on them heavily at some stages while allowing them to lay dormant when things are going smoothly in our lives. Swami Sivananda was actually much more systematic in his approach, for reasons we‘ll explore. In fact, he encouraged students to use their journals on a daily basis and to strive to always include four basic components in each of their daily entries:
1. Recording Practices 2. Reinforcing Values & Goals 3. Reflecting on Progress 4. Revising Our Approach Let’s look at each of these in more detail….
2. Reinforcing Values & Goals
1. Recording Practices The first purpose of a spiritual journal is to record our daily practices. Swami Sivananda felt this was particularly important. Just as an athlete carefully tracks his or her training in order to constantly improve in his or her activity, so we as spiritual aspirants can record both our efforts and whether or not they are moving us toward our spiritual goals. This record can include both external practices -- like study or asana -- as well as internal efforts -- such as watching mental patterns like fear or attachment.
This leads to the second component of a spiritual journal, which is reinforcing what we are working on and why. This is especially important given the numerous distractions of contemporary life. In this modern world, we are constantly surrounded by difficulties and distractions. Some of these -- issues at work or challenges at home -- are important and necessary parts of life, while others -- such as the media which surrounds us -- aren’t necessary, but can be hard to control. Both, however, can dissipate our energy if we’re unfocused. The yogis realized we are best able to minimize these distractions and honor our obligations when we are centered in our beliefs. A daily journal gives us a chance to reinforce these on a daily basis, asking ourselves: “How do I want to approach today? What are my priorities in terms of how I think? How I treat people? Where I put my focus…?” By reminding ourselves of our values, we are better able to stay on track amidst the challenges and distractions of our busy lives.
In yoga, we refer to these spiritual practices as sadhana, which traditionally includes such activity as meditation, scriptural study, prayer, asana, pranayama, service, worship, etc. Just like an athlete, we can use our journal to record not only our current practices but also the amount, and even the quality, of our efforts from day to day. This portion of a spiritual journal can be quite simple -- for example, beginning each day’s entry with a simple list of our activities and a check system for recording what we‘ve done or, if we prefer, the time spent in each endeavor. This gives us a simple, but easily reviewed, record we can look back on over the days to see how we are doing in terms of the practices to which we have committed ourselves. This record can be helpful for a number of reasons. First, Swami Sivananda realized that most of us have far-from-perfect memories when it comes to our efforts -- especially when we are working on multiple things at once. In fact, we tend to have a distorted sense both of our strengths and the areas where we could be stronger. We might think, for example, we are very diligent in our meditation, but not so good at service, when in fact, it is the other way around. A journal can help us see whether we are truly applying the practices we think we are and, in turn, better evaluate our overall program.
3. Reflecting on Progress Of course setting goals is only half the process. Again, just as an athlete or chemist records the results of his or her efforts, we can use our spiritual journal to do the same with our inner work. Again, this is especially important when we are using a variety of techniques and/or working on a variety of goals. For example, if we are working on an ethical principle such as santosha (contentment), we can use our journal to look back on our day and ask how we did in observing that goal. “When did I maintain my sense of contentment? When did I lose it? What were the situations that seemed to challenge me?” This can give us a concrete sense of where we are improving and where we can still use work. This, in turn, leads us to the final component of a spiritual journal: Revising Our Approach….
In addition, if we happen to be working on several practices at the same time, it can often be hard to know what techniques are helping and what are hindering. In turn, just like a chef records the different ingredients he or she is varying in a recipe, we can use our journal to evaluate what we have been doing against the results we are experiencing, allowing us to distinguish what is truly serving us and what can be changed for the better.
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4. Revising Our Approach
Once we‘ve identified areas in which we still have room for improvement, a journal can be a powerful tool for re-evaluating and shifting our efforts. We can look back on our practices, see what we have tried and with what impact, and then tailor our approach accordingly. Again, just like the scientist or athlete, this can give us a concrete means for steadily moving forward. An extension of this idea, and yet another way a journal can serve us in our growth, is by using it to shift patterns. We all have situations in our lives which can trigger feelings that can overwhelm us, in turn leading us to patterned responses that don‘t truly serve. A journal can be a powerful tool for shifting these patterns. By taking the time to reflect on these situations and to envision healthier responses, we can teach ourselves, over time, to respond to them in more constructive ways. To illustrate, imagine a pattern we’d like to change -- for example, a tendency to get frustrated by a co-worker who is often late or absent. We can use our journal to reinforce a more positive way of thinking about and responding to the situation. To begin, we can ask: “What assumptions am I making about him -- about his situation or his thoughts? Maybe he’s dealing with a situation at home I don’t know about. Perhaps he feels guilty about his pattern, but masks it out of shame. Maybe as a child he wasn’t taught the same values I was….” Often this alone can be enough to diffuse the negative, distracting emotions around the situation. We can further shift our patterns by then taking the time to think through a healthier way to respond. “If things were reversed, what would help me? Is there a way to respond that would feel better for everyone involved? If the Dalai Lama were in such a situation, how would he respond?” By using our journal this way, in the future we can greatly increase our ability to stay in touch with our values and respond in a way that is healthy for everyone rather than falling into unconscious patterns that don’t serve us.
Taken together, these four components provide a wonderful opportunity. By tracking our efforts, reinforcing our principles, evaluating our results, and adjusting our practices, we can greatly improve our growth on all levels, moving even more strongly toward fully living our beliefs. So, if you’ve always assumed a journal was merely a place for recording feelings or experiences from the day, I warmly encourage you to try this approach -- I think you’ll find it an invaluable tool for self-exploration and progress on your path.
Michael Lloyd-Billington is a yoga instructor, counselor & personal trainer in Fort Collins, CO. To learn more, please visit his website at: http://alternativepersonaltraining.bravehost.com
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sion in the present moment, and does not depend on current conditions, but rather attitude and awareness. When I satisfy a desire, I temporarily have no focus on future results, allowing me to be in the present moment, and I can thus experience moments of happiness this way. But, the happiness actually comes from the suspension of my attachment to the future, not from the satisfaction of desire. Satisfaction feels good, but it’s not the same thing as happiness, and Yogananda warns us not to confuse the two. Happiness for me is a warm feeling of contentment with things just as they are, while satisfaction is the quenching of a desire. If I confuse the two, then I try to fill my life with one satisfaction after another in an attempt to feel happiness.
by Alan Starner
According to the US Declaration of Independence, one of our rights is the pursuit of happiness. But, what is happiness, how do we get it, and how do we keep it? I have often found myself saying, “I’ll be happy when X happens.” Then when X happens, I think to myself “It’s great that X happened; now all I need is Y and then I’ll be happy.” And when Y comes along, I’ll add on Z. My mind seems to conceive of a never-ending stream of needed improvements to my life. When I achieve one, more flow in to fill the space. I’ve taken to rewording the “I’ll be happy when” statement to “I’ll be unhappy until”. By reframing it in this way, I make it clear to myself that I’m actually choosing to be unhappy.
Perhaps the most inspirational source for me is the Prayer of Serenity by theologian Reinhold Niebuhr: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” It seems clear in my own life that I create suffering when I’m not content with how things are right now. At the same time, I don’t want to let life toss me this way and that with no clear direction. The key seems to be learning how to accept life just as it is right now, and at the same time to work appropriately toward future goals. I’ve learned that any unhappiness I feel is a clue that points to my attachments. Most of the time the present is OK just as it is, and all I need is to change my attitude (which is under my control) and let go of my attachment. Other times I need to take some action to come into harmony ... like clean my house!
Many of the spiritual traditions have great things to say that relate to happiness, so I collected some references that resonated with me. In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra’s, verse 2:7 & 2:8, it discusses how attachment (clinging) and aversion lead to suffering. They are these two great emotional categories: Wanting to draw something toward me (attachment), and wanting to push something away from me (aversion). These feelings lead me to become attached to a future that contains the result I want, or a future without the result I want to avoid. Once I attach to this imagined future, then I am no longer in the present moment, and it causes me anxiety as I attempt to manipulate life into providing me with the future I seek.
I’ve found that to stay in the present and work toward my goals, it helps if I am aware of what is under my control, and what is not. The only things under my control are my attitude and awareness, which are two very powerful things. But, I cannot control just about anything else, including other people, the economy, politics and the weather. I’ve come to think of this like a sailing ship. All I can control is my rudder (attitude) and sails (awareness). These two things can allow me to “tack” forward toward my goals even if the wind is against me. Trying to control the wind or water (outer circumstances) is futile, and often backfires, pulling me further from what I wanted in the first place, and always causing great anxiety.
When I look deeper into my clinging and aversion, I see that they create a feeling of being anxious about the future and wanting to control it. Behind the anxiousness is a belief that life will not bring me the best experiences and I thus need to “add to the intelligence” of life (subtract really) by trying to manipulate events to get the results I want. Behind my anxiousness is a lack of trust in life (Spirit/ God). If I observe with uncolored eyes, I see that it is the areas of my life where I am most anxious that I have had the most trouble. I wonder if my samskaras (negative patterns) are really just the places in my life where I have a pattern of not trusting and being anxious. I think it is the anxious attitude that actually creates the problems, rather than the problems causing me to be anxious. “In God we Trust”, I had no idea such deep wisdom was printed on our dollar bills!
Life is perfectly imperfect. In the absolute sense, it is perfect and cannot be improved upon. In the relative human sense, it is imperfect and is meant to be this way. If I demand that life be perfect before I can be happy, then I guarantee my unhappiness. I find it auspicious that life will face me with this “imperfection” (frustrate my desire for specific results) in that it disrupts the way I try to use results to gain happiness. As my friend Michael Lloyd-Billington often says, “The universe is an enlightenment machine”.
The Bhagavad Gita also says we should not have anxiety about future results. In Chapter 4, sloka 19 and 20, it states, “The awakened sages call a person wise when all his undertakings are free from anxiety about results; all his selfish desires have been consumed in the fire of knowledge. The wise, ever satisfied, have abandoned all external supports. Their security is unaffected by the results of their action; even while acting, they really do nothing at all.” (Eknath Easwaran translation). This brings to mind an athlete getting into “the zone”. All his or her attention is focused on the present moment, doing what they have been trained to do. The attention is not on the result, it’s on the actions being performed. The focus is on kicking the ball perfectly into the goal, not the glory received from scoring.
Working toward goals keeps life interesting, focused and passionate. Tying our happiness to the achievement of those goals, or to life being “perfect”, leads only to suffering. To be happy, we must learn to bathe in the present at all times, even while achieving, or not achieving, our desired results.
Paramahansa Yogananda in part 1 of his book “The Science of Religion” talks about how we confuse happiness with satisfaction. Satisfaction comes from achieving a desired end (results), and is temporary; it comes from satisfying a desire. Happiness is immer-
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Alan Starner has been studying Eastern and Western spiritual teachings for over 30 years, and teaching yoga for the past 8 years. He is currently focused on yoga philosophy with an emphasis on Rajanaka.
Recently, a question was asked about what it takes to be a full-time teacher and what it takes to open a yoga studio. Being that I have some experience in these subjects, I felt I could offer some insight. As I was answering the questions, I realized that the answers were something that I wish to share with my students and fellow yogis. Points were made that could remind all who practice yoga, not just the aspiring yoga teacher or yoga studio owner. My main goal has always been to “bring yoga” while I was a studio owner and as a teacher. By bring yoga, I mean pass on knowledge to help open hearts and spread compassion. I feel that I am very successful. I feel that I remain truthful and shine my integrity and hope that whether a teacher remains teaching or a studio owner remains a studio owner, they will say the same each day of their practice. The following is the answer I wish to share with you. Feel free to take what you wish and disregard what does not serve you.
What does it take to teach Yoga full-time? by Jennifer Monk And one last thing. Let go of fear. You create your own reality. If you are worried about the business aspect of running a studio and fearful of making mistakes, you will not fair well. You must realize that you can run your business any way you wish and you can follow your intuition and tap into the wisdom that is, has and always will be. You do not have to reinvent the wheel. Look at many studios that you know are thriving and use them as your model, cultivating what you like about each. This world is an illusion of what we have collectively decided is reality. Let go of fear, dogma, any negative energies and go for it.
Discipline, passion, an open mind and a pure heart is all it takes to be a yoga teacher full-time. I know this is not as helpful as actual data, but this is “what it is”. A compassionate and generous teacher who has a practice outside of their teaching will be able to teach full-time. Maybe not at one studio; you may have to spread your self around. Also, how much is full-time? Full-time varies and is an individual decision. Some teachers can give only one or two classes per week while being able to keep up their own practice. Some teachers can give three to four classes and still have their practice. When you enter in travel time, preparation and energy, you must realize that even a yoga teacher can get burned out. More than 5 classes a week and you start to shut out the rest of your life. If this is what you wish, go for it. If not, and you have other factors in your life which give you pleasure, let go of the idea that you can practice all day, every day.
These are not easy things to strive for and many times I hit a road block, per say. But this is what brought growth and awareness into my life. It will not always be a bed of roses and yoga does not the perfect business make. However, the studio I ran brought me into a much deeper part of my practice and knowledge of my self. My yoga practice has given me a tool to help others and participate in charity, which has been my favorite part of having started a yoga studio. Also important, if you are in it for the money or have to be in it for monetary gain, this should not be your primary goal. The money will come only if you put hearts first. I hope that I have been of service to you and not added to your confusion. I hope that you feel our oneness in this reply and that you are happy and well.
What does it take to open a studio. It takes a person who will live knowing Buddhism’s Three Poisons, which are greed, anger and ignorance. Let go of greed and be generous. Try to say yes to your students and teachers as much as possible. Let go of anger and realize each time you feel it you must look at it, see where it comes from, and then let it go. For anger is a useless emotion. Let go of ignorance and seek knowledge. Remember that it is impossible for you to know everything and that you and those around you are at many levels of your own self-evolution.
“You must give to get.” “What is your desire and is it from compassion?” “Who am I, What do I want, How may I serve?”
Strive to have a pure heart and a clear mind. You have little chance of succeeding if you do not have a meditation practice.
ISSUE # 3
Jennifer Monk is a yoga teacher sharing her yoga in Loveland, CO at www.satchitanandayoga.weebly.com.
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Season of Self-Love
By Taylor Isaacson
This is a true story about love. It’s not your typical girlmeets-boy love story, but a story about self-love. Rumi, a 13th-century mystic poet, couldn’t have said it better:
off balance, and I suffered an emotional breakdown. Even with my family and friends around, I had never felt so alone. I relied on Jon to hold my hand through the ups and downs of life. When he let go, I didn’t know who I was without him.
“I travel hundreds of miles beyond reason I go past good and bad deeds both There are so many breathtaking beauties To be found beyond this veil O foolish ones If you want to find me Fall in love with who you are”
Desperate for a way to keep busy, I signed up for yoga teacher training at Ethos Center for Yoga and Therapeutic Arts--a yoga studio near my home in Michigan. After a few months of training, I left with my certificate in hand and a huge sense of accomplishment. What’s more, I deepened my own yoga practice, twisting my body into postures I thought were impossible and sitting in Vipassana Meditation. My yoga practice naturally moved off my mat and into my daily life; I became a vegan and a more environmentally conscious human being. Refreshed and rejuvenated, I regained my confidence that was lost since the breakup. In the beginning, yoga was nothing more than a distraction--a way for me to escape my shattered heart. But, as my heart grew stronger, so did my love for yoga.
Summer is a season of love, and with an open heart, a season full of possibilities. There’s no better time than now to fall in love with who you are. But just who am I? It’s a question I contemplate every single day. On my journey of self-discovery, yoga has been with me every step of the way.
During that time, I practiced Ashtanga Yoga regularly. In Ashtanga the series of postures are the same every class. I knew what poses to expect before I unrolled my mat and felt a lot of comfort with the predictability. Intuitively, I knew I needed a sense of grounding in my life, and like a dear friend, Ashtanga gave me just that.
My love story begins when my boyfriend of three years (I’ll call him Jon), the guy whom I wanted to share my life with, broke up with me. One minute I was happily in love, and the next minute my world was turned upside down and sideways with the words, “I just can’t do this anymore.” The shock threw me THE YOGA CONNECTION MAGAZINE
Soon after I finished teacher training, I packed my bags and moved 1,200 miles west to my dream state--Colorado. Mov-
new path, no matter how many uncertainties there are in my life, the only thing I have control over is my attitude.
ing from the known to the unknown was the most exciting and scariest thing I’ve ever done. My tender heart was heavy as I said goodbye to my family, but it was light and bursting with hope of finding a life of my own.
Yoga has been helping me deal with the uncertainty. When my thighs are burning in Chair Pose (Utkatasana), I try breathing through the discomfort rather than resisting it. When I lose focus and start wondering what’s going to happen next--is the teacher going to challenge the class by cueing us into a twist or releasing us into the surrender of a forward fold?--I guide my attention back to my breath and to the present moment. When I start worrying about where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing next year, mindful breathing and a flexible attitude take me out of my head and into the Now.
Since living in Colorado, my yoga practice has changed and grown with me. I’ve let go of Ashtanga and have lunged into Vinyasa Yoga. In Vinyasa, every class is different. The newness and unpredictability keeps it exciting. The poses flow together, creating a moving meditation. As I move and groove from moment to moment on my mat, focusing on my breath (Pranayama) helps keep me calm and centered. The transition from a pose like High Lunge to Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III) can be awkward or tricky, but a steady breath makes the transition smoother.
Summer romances are short and sweet. But, as the seasons change, as life as I know it changes, I will stay committed to who I am. I’ll continue on my journey, writing the chapters of my crazy and beautiful love story. This summer, find your yoga and fall in love with who you are.
During yoga, it’s important to check in with the physical body and the breath. If my breath is short and choppy, I take Child’s Pose (Balasana) and rest. If I am in pain, then I know I need to back off. What my body can do one day may be completely different another day. Checking in to see what my body is telling me, what my heart is asking for, requires constant consciousness.
Maybe self-love is the fairytale ending we’ve always dreamed about.
So what is my heart asking for? I recently noticed that I was feeling stagnant. When I began to explore where this feeling of stagnation was coming from, one of the first places I looked to was my dream journal. I started a dream journal as a way to get to know and to remember everyone whose paths have crossed with mine. One of my favorite questions to ask people is, “If you had one wish, what would it be?” I want to get to the heart and soul of a person; I want to know what they are passionate about. When someone opens up and shares their answer with me, I record it in my journal. Flipping through the pages of my journal one day, I realized I had forgotten to ask myself what my one wish would be. After listening to what made my heart sing, I wrote in my journal, “Travel and volunteer around the world.” Part of falling in love with who I am is following my heart and not only dreaming big dreams, but doing those big dreams.
Taylor Isaacson is a yoga instructor, nanny, and writer. She loves practicing yoga before the sun rises, looking at the world map, dreaming of traveling, and playing in the mountains. On her journey, she has learned that living authentically is the only way to live and that self-love is the loveliest feeling.
There are several opportunities to volunteer abroad. I remember how excited I was the first time I read about the Alpine Fund, a small non-profit organization in Kyrgyzstan. Teaching English classes and taking at-risk kids on hiking trips in the mountains would be a perfect fit for me. I began planning my volunteer trip and soon gave Kyrgyzstan the nickname “Loveistan.” Ironically, as I write this now, Kyrgyzstan is making headlines in the news for violent protests against the government. “Loveistan” needs love more than ever. Logic can be a dreamer’s worst enemy, but going to Kyrgyzstan while there’s turmoil wouldn’t be the safest decision. Even though I had my heart set on going abroad this summer, it will be a long-term goal to look forward to. I truly think everything happens for a reason. This sudden unanticipated obstacle is now forcing me to take a few steps back and redirecting me in another direction. I hope staying in Colorado will bring opportunities into my life that wouldn’t have come about had I been worlds away. So what about right here, right now, in this moment? Traveling and volunteering abroad was a way to share my talents and love with the world, but I know I can step right outside my apartment and find ways--big and small--to make a difference. I have also been reevaluating other areas of my life, particularly my work/school and personal life. No matter how many times I have to take a
NOT IDEAS ABOUT THE THING, BUT THE
THING ITSELF by Joe Zahn
After sitting under the Bodhi tree for those seven days in Samadhi, he emerged to contemplate the concept of dependent origination or dependent arising.
Apologies and thanks to Wallace Stevens for the title of my article. Wallace was a modernist American poet of the early 20th century. He authored a poem by that name. (Appropriately enough for us in Colorado, it’s a verse waxing on the prospect of dawning, incipient spring).
After his enlightenment and some period of contemplation, the Buddha emerged and summarized the idea of dependent origination as follows:
I came across a reference to the poem recently. The title got caught in my craw and given my propensity for rumination, I couldn’t quite leave the idea(s) it suggested alone. Before long, I was contemplating the title in the context of “Maya”, the Sanskrit word most typically use to mean “illusion”. How often do we create our own illusions and suffer under their influence? How often do we approach an issue on the basis of our own ideas of the thing and not in the more proper context of the thing itself? It is a natural human tendency to see and understand things as we wish they were instead of how they actually are. Or worse yet, how many times do we accept a version of reality tendered to us by “experts” without a more personal contemplation of the objective reality of what “is”. The tale of “The Emperors New Clothes” comes to mind.
“When this is, that comes to be;
With the arising of this; that arises.
When this is not, that does not come to be;
With the cessation of this, that ceases.”
So goes the idea of dependent origination. In my view, it succinctly postulates the formula of the interconnectedness of all things. One of my favorite expressions of the positive potential manifestation of such thinking is from Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.
The physical and mental disciplines provided by Yoga give us the tools of contemplation to seek out the transcendent truth. Those disciplines and practices have abundant opportunity for application in day-to-day living.
Ty Webb, played by Chevy Chase in the movie Caddyshack, explained it to Danny Noonan another way, “Danny, there is a force in the universe that makes things happen, all you have to do is get in touch with it. Be. Be the ball”.
This last weekend, I read the excellent Book, “The Big Short”, by financial author Michael Lewis. (As my day job keeps me involved in the vagaries of the world of finance; and its recently weird and inexplicable gyrations, I am often compelled to read such fare). Lewis explores the world of illusion (Maya) that affected an entire industry, much to the detriment of the entire world economy. Hundreds of Billions, if not Trillions of dollars were wagered on a persistent illusion, propagated by groupthink. The “heroes” of the book are a small group of free thinkers that dared to think of things as they were and not as they appeared to be. This small group of contrarians, with a firm sense of the interconnectedness of all things, saw the emperor in his somewhat less than resplendent nakedness, i.e. the truth. This in opposition to an entire industry; the wall-streeters, the entire body of regulatory agencies, the bond rating agencies and supposedly sophisticated financial types who saw nothing but an illusion they cooperatively (perhaps unconsciously in some cases) maintained for short-term personal gain.
And if dependent origination is part of our human predicament, why not apply such to our lives as suggested by Blake: “To see the world in a grain of sand And Heaven in a wildflower. Hold infinity in the palm of your hand And eternity in an hour”. And with the rising of that, comes arising from our consciousness, such a vast, infinite, transcendent manner of being that perhaps we become transcendent beings and enjoy, as Wallace Stevens suggested, the thing itself. Be! Be the ball. Be the change!
In western economic jargon, we call this a “house of cards”. Now that the house of cards has collapsed, trillions of dollars lost, millions of jobs lost, millions of homes foreclosed upon, we seek regulatory reform.
Well, the Buddha might well offer some suggestions for such reform. Let’s imagine, for fun, a new federal agency, The Office of the Buddha and Right Thinking. What just a little right thinking might do for our world today!
Joe Zahn is a local business consultant and self-professed life long “student of everything”. He finds much in ancient Eastern philosophy beneficial to application in our modern world.
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” THE YOGA CONNECTION MAGAZINE
Mantra Magic LAAVARTA DHYANA MANTRA
Om laye sombhodayeth chittam vikshiptham shamayeth punaha sakaashaayam vijaneeyat samapraptam na chalayet Om shantih shantih shantihi Stimulate the dull mind Calm down the excited mind Repeat stimulation and relaxation till you experience the Bliss Keep enjoying the bliss. OM, Peace, Peace, Peace
“In the absence of knowing the infinite source of energy and creativity, life’s miseries come into being. Getting close to God through true knowledge heals the fear of death, confirms the existence of the soul, and gives ultimate meaning to life.” ~Deepak Chopra
“The mind is no more in the body than the music is in the flute.” ~Robert Anton Wilson
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
“We are to think of ourselves as immortals, dwelling in the light, encompassed and sustained by spiritual powers. The steady effort to hold this thought will awaken dormant and unrealized powers, which will unveil to us the nearness of the eternal.” ~Charles Johnston
“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it.” ~Tagore
“By your stumbling, the world is perfected.” ~Sri Aurobindo
“We show up, burn brightly in the moment, live passionately, and when the moment is over, when our work is done, we step back and let go.” ~Rolf Gates
“Know thyself” ~Thales
We asked the community what yoga means to them. Here are a few responses:
“Yoga means focusing in on myself, my breath ... what is going on within my body and mind, slowing down and relaxing.” ~E.T. “Yoga is that place between where I try to mold life (often unsuccessfully), and where life molds me.” ~A.S. “Yoga stills my outer critic; yoga stills my inner critic. Yoga is the place where I am me.” ~K.D.
Meet Your Mood with Yoga By Ena Burrud, E-RYT Today I conquered my bathroom with a bucket of soapy water and a mood. Though the cleaning doesn’t happen often enough, the obsessive cleaning mood does. Fortunately, wisdom whispers, “Go sit with the kids”. Lately, I don’t get to spend enough time with them since I am now sharing custody with my ex. I do know, however, that the crud in the grout will stick around longer than my kids. Grout crud doesn’t grow up, move out and make its own life. When I remember that, I wrestle free of my mind’s petulant need for clean and relax with my children. I have yoga to thank for breaking such spells. Yoga is a soapy scrub unto itself. The tools presented to us in the Yoga Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita and other quintessential texts beckon us to feel the difference between the impermanent (our moods and natures) and the immutable (the wise witness). When our lives are buffeted about by emotions, thoughts and circumstances, it pays to learn a few millennia-tested techniques that help us with our moods. What is a mood? Technically, a mood is an emotional and mental state that lasts a certain amount of time. That’s key. They are impermanent, like childhood. Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga, describes three basic personality/body types, or doshas. These conditions have within each of them, three qualities of mind, called gunas. These categories help us understand ourselves and the reasons why we lean toward certain behaviors and moods. First, let’s talk doshas. Though one type may resonate as your dominant characteristic, we have combos of all three playing roles in our being. One is Pitta, the fiery sort who makes a great leader. Some are physically muscular, some are strong in persuasion, and some are both. Vata is the thinker, the airy, thinner body type with the analytic mind, whose convictions may be tousled with the wind. Vata may make an excellent artist, writer or philosopher. Kapha is the rounder body type with less need to convince or lead. Judith Hansen Lasater speaks of this earthy type,”Kapha is content sitting on the couch and just being. Children love them”. Kapha can be sensual and calming. Chapter 14 in the Gita explains that within each of us are three psychological qualities called the gunas. They are Rajas, Tamas and Sattva. These three ingredients make up our embodied experience, as a clay vessel is formed from the earth, water and the hands of a potter. Rajas manifests as energetic, ambitious, passionate and very reactive. Tamas feels inert, dark, confused, fearful. Sattva is that clever spot we find ourselves in when we are collected and joyous. We can feel Rajas and Tamas at different times, but decide to stay calm and clear. That is Sattva, the delicate midline between the two other moods. Great. You have a mood. What next? Maybe you are feeling despondent and powerless. You may be predisposed if you are Kapha with a Tamas state of mind. Knowing this helps you understand yourself, which eases self-judgement. But, how do we move from this Tamas state into Sattva? Bring in the more energetic breath and asana. Moving more dynamically in your postures, like a smooth vinyasa, or a hatha class with less time in holding can help elevate your energy. Keeping eyes open throughout class, choosing to look up periodically for your focal spot (drishti) and light chanting are very effective. Backbends, standing poses, and balance can lift your spirits while twists help stabilize the new, lighter feelings you are experiencing. Sahaja (organic, spontaneous) movements like yoga dance can help scrub away some of the stickiness of depression, as well. Pranayama like breath of fire (kapala bhati), bellows (bhastrika), and alternate nostril (nadi sodhana) all blow away the dust for more clarity and brightness. Certain breath retentions at the top of the inhale (antara kumbhaka) are helpful provided you have worked with a trained teacher and are not suffering from high blood pressure. Meditation with no object allows the mind to expand. This can create a physical experience of expansion. Or, try using an image of the sun, your heart or a deity whose personality radiates in you. This can cultivate those characteristics within yourself. At your meals, eat some spice; try a little pepper in your salad and ginger in your belly. THE YOGA CONNECTION MAGAZINE
What if the mood is snappy, angry, with feelings of uncertainty or anxiety? This can be a Vata or Pitta imbalance with Rajas rattling your nerves. This is the one that finally caused me to move into the bathroom with the bucket. Gita might say should I have gone in moved by natural timing, with faith, my relaxed state would have met effectively with the mildew. I might have finished the task calmly, even knowing that both mildew and I would meet again. That is the karmic relationship between me and the bathroom. This would have been Sattva in its sweetness. But, I was repulsed. In that moment, though innocuous an incident and yielding a pleasant result, I was moved by Rajas, and I was slightly agitated with the vision I had in my racing mind of the next time I would need to go in for the battle. So, what practice for this? Well, BEFORE you clean the bathroom, ideally, some nice longer holds in your practice. If your condition is chronic, consider adding to your weekly routine Yin, Restorative, and slower paced classes. Some chronic low-level tension-like job related stress, however, needs to be discharged. This can be beautifully done through a steady, familiar vinyasa. Forward folds and laying prone help draw energy inward and quell physical and mental fire. It may be best to avoid hot yoga and too much effort in an acute state. Amy Weintraub suggests that keeping eyes closed occasionally in your practice can calm the sympathetic nervous system. When eyes are open, gaze downward at the Earth to help ground the airy, fidgety aspects of anxiety. Excellent choices for Pranayama are 3-part yogic breath, alternate nostril, and ratio breathing. For the latter, extend the exhale longer than the inhale by a few seconds or as directed by the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, double the length. Also, breathing in through a curled tongue (sitali) and breathing out through the nostrils cools the physical body and the nerves. Meditation with an object such as water or earth can help you feel grounded, or choose an image or deity whose characteristics embody these elements. Tara the protector or Mother Mary is soothing and inspiring, so might be your dog, unless you have a high-strung Blue Healer named Vini. In your diet, cucumbers work wonders and skip the jalape単o on your jackfruit tacos. In defense of Rajas, while scrubbing, I did regale the tale in my manic mind that would be written as this article. But, when finished, I walked into my bedroom and glared at the carpet in need of vacuuming. I have the kids this weekend. I sat and breathed deeply, letting my exhale fall away and linger outside my mind state. My bathroom was clean. It felt good. I took off my rubber gloves so my hands could tickle my daughter. Moods and mildew are clever foils. But, the heart can conquer their trickery. I have kids that want to play Scrabble. Ena Burrud has been practicing and teaching yoga for over ten years. In 2000, she was privately certified in a White Lotus style and then went on to her second certification with Erich Schiffman. She has also earned a certificate in Yoga Studies from UC Irvine and Loyola Marymount in LA. She spent 5 years teaching for the renowned Yoga Works studios originating classes in Mommy and Me, Teen Yoga and Yin. She has studied with diverse luminaries including Kaustub Desikachar, Rod Stryker, Angela Farmer, Sharon Gannon, Ana Forest, Gary Kraftskow, and many others. She specializes in customizing a therapeutic practice for small groups and invididuals.
Kundalini Yoga: Awakening the Soul …unlike any Yoga you will ever experience By Lori Krauss Yogi Bhajan, the Master of Kundalini Yoga, came over to the States from India in the late 60’s. He saw an incredible need for the physical, emotional, and spiritual gifts of Kundalini Yoga and began to teach all who would come. He had a tremendous following over the years and always asked that people devote themselves to the teachings and not to the teacher. A humble and beautiful soul, he affected and saved thousands of lives. Kundalini Yoga is unlike anything else I have ever experienced. While traveling to India, and visiting Rishikesh during the Yoga Festival, I innately was drawn to Kundalini Yoga. After 3 days, I experienced a profound opening in my heart energy, tears flowed, and I heard the voice within me say, “You must take this all the way through.” With synchronicity, I found out that Gurmukh and Golden Bridge Yoga in Los Angeles were beginning their first Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training in Boulder that fall. After a profound year of teaching, I have begun the Level 2 training. One of my favorite quotes from Yogi Bhajan is, “If you can’t see God in all, you can’t see God at all.” Kundalini Yoga is the technology of balancing the glandular system, nervous system, clearing the chakras, aligning the 10 bodies (one physical, three mental, and six energetic), and bringing each of us to our Destiny and greater connectedness to our Divinity. It is about knowing our Infinite, within our finite bodies. It changes lives! Each class of kriyas and meditations is unique. Each consists of different exercises or movements, mudras or hand positions, chanting with mantra or specific sound currents, breath or pranayama, and specific eye gaze. Classes are created by the teacher for a particular purpose. Some are focused on the glandular and nervous system that run the body, some are focused on increasing vitality, some are to open the heart energy, or work on a particular chakra or group of chakras. Yet all affect your body, mind, and soul. All affect your deeper connection to the Divine. All have huge impact on you from the inside. Kundalini Yoga is experienced with the eyes closed, focused at the third eye or 9/10th open focused at the tip of the nose or chin. The positioning of the eyes has a specific purpose, like a hand position or mudra redirects energy. The angle of the arms and legs are also important. Some sets are more vigorous, while others are calmer. All are encouraged to listen to their bodies and do their 100% in that moment. If you are drawn to experience Kundalini Yoga, classes are provided at Old Town Yoga with Marianne Monteleone and at Breathe Yoga Studio with Lori Krauss. You do not have to be flexible to do Kundalini Yoga. Whether it is your first time or 100th, all are welcome. To register for classes with Lori Krauss, please call 224 – 5006. To register for classes with Marianne Monteleone, please go to www.oldtownyoga.com.
Dr. Lori Krauss, chiropractor of 28 years, practices gentle Network Care, Kundalini Yoga teacher (as taught by Yogi Bhajan) for the past year, mother of 3 amazing boys and grandmother of one adorable, baby boy. She lives life passionately, from her innate guidance, and teaches others to honor the wisdom within. She loves to travel and has served on several international mission trips.
ISSUE # 3
THE YOGA CONNECTION MAGAZINE
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At Home Practice
The Integral Yoga Hatha Series by Michael Lloyd-Billington
We all know the physical postures of yoga are just one part of a tradition that addresses not only our bodies, but our minds, our social self, and our sense of spirit. In India, the term for this approach is Raja or “Royal” Yoga. When the great Raja Yogi Swami Satchidananda came to the US in the sixties, he chose the term “Integral Yoga” to describe this approach, first because it integrates the various parts of our being and because ultimately yoga is about witnessing the Divine Self that is integral to all of us. For over 30 years, Swami Satchidananda shared the teachings of Integral Yoga, encouraging his students to be “Peaceful, Easeful, and Useful.” To help them toward this goal, he shared the primary practices of yoga, including scriptural study, meditation, service, and of course the physical postures or asana. An accomplished asana practitioner himself, Swami Satchidananda taught that a simple practice is all we need to keep the body healthy and mind clear. He encouraged his students to approach their asana practice with gentleness and to remember that the form of each pose is far less important than our primary purpose which is to become more aware of the link between our physical state and the state of our thoughts and emotions. In the basic Integral Yoga sequence, the body is taken through its full range of motion, including the seven types of movement: standing, balancing, backbends, forward bends, inversion, arm-balancing, and twists. We emphasize simplicity and consistency in order to go deeper into the poses, while at the same time allowing ourselves to find the form of each movement that fits our bodies and temperaments. The following represents a basic practice that can be tailored to our bodies. Throughout, our emphasis is on mind-body connection, asking ourselves how each pose can help us experience greater peace of mind and ease of body so we may, in turn, be more useful to those around us. ISSUE # 3
THE YOGA CONNECTION MAGAZINE
12. Ardha Matsyendrasana We continue with a twist to promote health of the spine and organs of the abdomen. Remember the crown is lifting, chest open, and back hand light. As we develop in the pose, we can use the front arm to draw the leg to the body, but remember to keep the torso open. We then finish with at least a few minutes in Savasana or Corpse pose to allow the body to absorb the benefits of our practice.
11. Mayurasana Arm balances build core stability and upper-body strength. Again, we rotate poses but consider Peacock to be the most beneficial due to its effect on the organs of digestion and elimination. The key to Peacock is learning in stages: 1. Set base, elbows pressing against solar plexus; 2. Place head on mat and extend legs back; 3. Lift head so the body is straight; 4. Walk the feet forward until the legs become light. As with all things, practice is the key.
10. Matsyasana Fish is an essential counter-stretch to Shoulderstand. Again, the pose is active, quadriceps engaged, pelvis rotating, chest lifting, and shoulders relaxed. Once comfortable, we can lift the arms and explore deeper variations to further open the chest and shoulders. 9. Chakrasana Wheel is excellent for opening the shoulders and rib-cage. As you deepen in the pose, remember we are straightening the arms and engaging the quadriceps, pressing the body toward the wall we are facing to further open the shoulders. 8. Sarvangasana
Shoulderstand is excellent for immune function and health of the neck and shoulders. Remember it is an active pose, core engaged, pelvis and soles of the feet lifting. 7. Halasana Our inversions begin with Plow which sets a strong base for Shoulderstand. Remember the core should be engaged, lifting the pelvis high, and the legs are straight to deepen the stretch to the hamstrings.
Yoga 1. 1. Utthita Parsvakonasana After warming up with sun salutations, we continue with a standing pose, varying day to day. Extended Angle opens the hips and sides while building strength & stamina in the legs. The spine should be long, torso open & breath deep.
2. Virabhadrasana III Next is balancing, again alternating poses each session. Warrior III integrates balance with strengthening of the lower back. The chest is open & breath full. 3. Bhujangasana Next are backbends, starting with Cobra to open the upper chest. Even as the arms straighten, the shoulders are drawn back and down, opening the rib-cage.
4. Salabhasana Locust strengthens the lower back and legs. The legs are straight to maximize benefits and the engagement even throughout the length of the body. 5. Dhanurasana Bow further opens the chest and shoulders and adds a deep massage to the abdomen, promoting health of the organs. Expanding the abdomen enhances these benefits while promoting a healthier arch to the back.
6. Janusirsasana Next are forward bends. Because the hamstrings are one of the stronger muscle-groups, beginning one leg at a time is more easeful. Remember to keep the hips square, hinging forward as if both legs were extended. Keep the spine long, lifting through the crown and again breathing deep.
Honoring the Sun Ayurveda for the Summer by Sarada Erickson
Internally, the element of fire represents many attributes and functions. The digestive fire sits in the navel center and is the power to digest and assimilate food. Our food must be broken down into its essential components in order to nourish our cells, tissues, organs, and muscles. The element of fire then allows us to transform the food we eat into fuel for our bodies. Similarly, we also digest the myriad of impressions we come across in our lives. We are continually in contact with sights, sounds, information, and experiences we need to process. The fire element allows us to transform these experiences into fuel for our growth. As a fire burns, it consumes its object, eventually turning it into ash. Some objects need a hotter flame to disintegrate. The same is true about our inner fire. Some foods need a stronger digestive fire to be consumed and some impressions need a stronger flame to be cleared from us.
The Sun has been worshipped as a powerful presence since the beginning of time. Some cultures refer to the Sun as masculine and the Moon as feminine, although there are Sun Goddesses accounted for in history as well. The Egyptians called the Sun God Ra (or Re) and also Annu. He was considered self-created and the creator of all. The Greeks honored Helios and then Apollo as the bringer of life-giving heat and light to Earth. The Japanese honored the Sun in a female form, Amaterasu. In the Yogic tradition, the Sun God is known as Surya, the bringer of light/wisdom and the destroyer of darkness/ignorance. The magnificent fiery ball of energy, the Sun, completely transforms the world we live in. It brings us light, warmth, and happiness. It literally fuels the growth of all plant life through photosynthesis, producing sugar for plants to grow. Plants, in turn, nourish the entire animal kingdom, including us home sapiens. Essentially, the Sun provides all life on Earth with the energy needed for growth and transformation. In the Ayurvedic tradition, the element of fire plays this same role in our bodies and our lives.
Everyone has fire, Pitta, in his or her constitution though the amount varies. Pitta, in balance, is the motivation to achieve goals and to do our best. Pitta makes for great competitors, sharp intellect, and the energy to maintain and organize several activities in life. However, when the fire burns too hot, it can consume everything in its path. Relationships may suffer and people may be burned by a flaring temper or irritation. An out-of-balance fire element may be over controlling and have no desire to slow down and enjoy life. Physically, large quantities of acidic digestive juices may lead to pain or even ulcers. Any illness in which inflammation plays a role is an indication the inner fire is out of balance.
As the radiant Sun rises higher in the sky during the season of summer, so does our internal element of fire, our Pitta dosha (constitution). As discussed in the previous issue of TYC, according to the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, we are each made of a unique combination of elements: earth, water, fire, air, and ether. The elements translate to a wide variety of attributes and determine what dosha, or combination of doshas, is primary in our constitution. The Kapha dosha is composed of water and earth. Vata is made of air and ether. Fire and water predominate the Pitta constitution. As you can see, the element of fire is only present in the Pitta dosha. Keeping this inner flame strong, yet under control, can be very valuable to our health and may be a bit more challenging during the summer when Pitta naturally increases.
For those of us with a tendency to burn too hot, summer time may be a more challenging time to stay in balance. If you find yourself becoming easily irritated or overheated, try some cooling remedies. Pittas also have the tendency to sunburn easily so take precautions when outside.
For those of us with an enjoyable, moderate fire element, Summer may be a time when you enjoy a greater energy level and productivity. However, eating spicy fried food, basking in the Sun and then going for a noon time competitive run, may be a bit overheating for just about anyone! What is most important is to listen to the experience of your body, mind, and emotions. They will tell you how much heat (in the form of food, activities, sunshine, etc.) your constitution can manage while still staying balanced, calm and centered. Many yogis and yoginis practice Sun salutations (Surya Namaskar) during asana practice. You may find slower versions of Sun Salutations feel more balancing during the Summer to keep from overbuilding Pitta. Physically, Sun Salutations are heating to the body and can be a good way to work up a sweat, build strength, endurance, and energy. As we build these attributes in ourselves, we are also honoring these characteristics of the Sun. As with many yogic practices, the external and internal practice come together to form a powerful healing practice. Another yogic practice honoring the Sun is the Gayatri Mantra. The mantra is a prayer to the Sun (Savitur), the giver of light and life. Below is a transliteration from Sanskrit. There are always many translations of ancient languages and two are provided following the Sanskrit mantra.
Om bhoor-bhuvah-svaha tat savitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi dhiyo yo nah prachodayat.
“May the Almighty God illuminate our intellect to lead us along the righteous path.” “Thou art the Giver of Life, Remover of pain and sorrow, The Bestower of happiness, Creator of the Universe, May we receive thy supreme sin-destroying light, May Thou guide our intellect in the right direction.” The Gayatri mantra is well known and practiced widely. You may have even heard it during a yoga class. If you would like to try chanting the mantra, it is most powerful during Sunrise and Sunset. The transliteration is pronounced the same way it looks. As you chant, feel the resonance of your inner Sun coming into harmony. THE YOGA CONNECTION MAGAZINE
Simple suggestions to cool the flames of Summer •
Hot, spicy food aggravates pitta. Try some cooling options instead. o Mint Try fresh mint in your garden salads and grain dishes Fresh or dried mint make a wonderful refreshing tea o Cucumber Add it to your sandwiches and salads Make a delightful cucumber salad with fresh cilantro and yogurt o Coconut Drink refreshing, electrolyte-rich coconut water Add coconut milk to smoothies, sauces or veggie dishes o Fennel: perfect for pacifying Pitta and Vata and balancing digestion. Tea: 1 tsp slightly ground fennel seed, 1 cup boiling water, a little unrefined sugar (optional) and a pinch of cardamom Lightly sauté fennel seed and add to rice or steamed vegetables
Essential Oil o Make a spritzer for your face or body with cooling essential oils diluted in water. Try peppermint or lavender. Spritz on the bottom of your feet for a super-cooling effect. o My favorite oil is sandalwood, which is balancing for Pitta and Vata. This typically comes already in a base oil and can be directly applied to your skin, just like perfume.
When the Sun is highest in the sky, pitta is strongest. To keep pitta in check, seek shade and relaxation during this time.
Spend time in the Moonlight! The cooling energy of the Moon naturally balances the heat of the Sun. This is one of my favorite remedies.
There are many ways to honor the Sun, both the internal and external. Many belief systems recognize the relationship between the macrocosm and microcosm. I recall coming across a quote quite a while ago which had a big impact on me.
“As within, so without.” Hermessianex, a Greek poet, who lived about 400 years before the birth of Christ is credited with this quote. It comes to mind again writing this article. As the macrocosmic Sun shines and illuminates our Earth, the microcosmic sun energizes and transforms our bodies and lives. Tending to the flames, we honor the energy to fuel life, the Sun.
Sarada Erickson began practicing yoga in 1997 and was nationally certified for yoga instruction through the Shambava School of Yoga. She has assisted many yoga teacher trainings in the Shambava School and began leading trainings in Fort Collins in the Spring of 2007. She has an MS in nutrition and is an RD. Sarada deeply enjoys helping people find a more complete sense of Self through nutrition, yoga, meditation and lifestyle. She offers group classes and private instruction in the Fort Collins community.
THE YOGA CONNECTION MAGAZINE
The Mystical Life Explorations of the Mysticism of Yoga...
The Soul by Gary Pritchard * Indicate future topics to be explored in-depth. The concept of the Soul is indispensable to the mystical life. Indeed, mysticism might be better understood as Soul craft - a means to make conscious changes within consciousness. The symbolism of Oroboros (the snake eating its own tail) gives us a clue as to the nature of this fundamental reality; mystically speaking we are using the apparatus of our consciousness to affect or transform the quality and magnitude of our consciousness. Alternatively, for the more Eastern-oriented seekers, there is the Zen parable of the man who is riding throughout the village on the back of a jackass searching for a mule. But, let us back up a bit, because I may have gotten ahead of myself. I do not wish to imply that consciousness is the soul, which would be putting the cart before the horse. Now, before we go any further, and if you will please excuse the digression, one idea that we should consider, from a mystical point of view, is that physicality is quite the accomplishment for Spirit. It has gone to no end of trouble to produce it. Pure, unconditional awareness (Atma or Spirit, the Father) variegates by means of potential into descending and ascending scales of both conditional consciousness (Purusha, the Son) and forces/matter (Prakriti, the Holy Ghost). The problem is that pure awareness becomes so thoroughly entrenched in the lower octave of the purusha/prakriti dynamic of existence that it (Atma) is masked by its own manifestations. We (as purusha) become confusedly disconnected from the source or God. We (as purusha) fall into a trance the yogis call “Avidya”- forgetfulness, and all too often, we search for God outside of ourselves. We ride the back of God looking for God! Absurdus Maximus, right? Of course, all of this has been overly simplified, but bear in mind as we proceed, that we are pure, undifferentiated spirit without qualities. What I am really suggesting is that we are not souls, but that we have souls.
During the course of writing an introduction to the “Process of Yoga and The Eight Limbs” series of articles for the spring 2010 issue of TYC, it occurred to me that what I had started really warranted its own series of articles. In that introduction, I began to explore the concepts of mysticism and the mystical life- hence the title of this collection of thoughts. The collective body of the mysticism we are exploring here is termed “Yoga”. Yoga is not an exclusive form of mysticism; there are many others including Taoism, Kabbalah, Gnosticism, Esseneism and Zen, to name a few. Even math, natural science, philosophy and art, in the right light, are considered mystical paths by which we can cultivate a deep and profound relationship with life. All forms of mysticism or religion have value and are relevant to the alleviation of our common predicament… spiritual unawareness and forgetfulness. In the spring issue, I began to distinguish mysticism from religion as being the processes or technologies by which we can cause spiritual realization while suggesting that religion is the serving and celebration of that which is revealed. My intention is to explore these dimensions, of our common efforts to have a meaningful relationship with life and God, without religious segregation or alienation. I believe that a solid foundation in mysticism will help to expand and refine everyone’s understanding of his or her particular religious life. In fact, a great deal of the world’s religious iconography and symbolism is rooted in the technologies of mysticism. Many of the various religious allegories and stories are arcane depictions of the same mystical processes given esoteric, culturally diverse and artistic expression. Unfortunately, there is not enough space here to give proper exploration to these relationships, but my hope is that these reflections will inspire the reader to research further into, and feel comfortable experimenting with, various mystical techniques. This round of exploration will surely be a very ambitious one (if not pure folly), because if there is one single concept that people should have a relationship with, it is that of the Soul! Now, there is no way that I can do justice to such a lofty reality as the Soul in the small space this article allows (perhaps not even at all), but I will try. Furthermore, this exploration will make use of nomenclature that its self may be obscure to the reader. I will try to frame the language in such a way as to minimize confusion, but as the Latin saying goes “Ignotum per ignotius, obscurum per obscurius” (The unknown through the more unknown, the obscure through the more obscure).
Perhaps it would be helpful to take a more structured approach and look at a definition of the word soul. This will surely give us a launching pad. The first definition I found is unintentionally misleading; it says the soul is, “The complex of human attributes that manifests as consciousness, thought, feeling, and will, regarded as distinct from the physical body”. Now, I do not want to be pretentious, and so I should tread lightly, because trying to define the soul in a single sentence is impossible. The lexicographer has done a decent job of it, although there are fundamental errors in the definition. If I were to give a single sentence definition to the soul, it would be something like … “The trans-dimensional anatomy of subtle organs (organizations) and force/field complexes, of various scales and intensities that give shape, quality, condition and function to consciousness.” Now I am not sure that this definition is any more meaningful to the reader, but I think that it is more accurate and so let us build upon it for added clarity.
Let us start with the concept of “trans-dimensional anatomy”. Before we can shed direct light on the Soul, we will need to explore some supporting concepts. And so, let the obscurity begin! The mysticism of yoga, when put into western terms, divides the universe of existence into planes. These “planes” represent ranges of manifestation. The Mystical Planes, in ascending order are: Physical, Etheric*, Astral* (lower/upper), Mental*, Causal* (Archetypical), Buddhi Chit* and the Monadic*. The planes are distinct and complete arenas of activity, but they are not necessarily independent from each other. Simultaneously, and rather paradoxically, there is a type of causal (sequential) and non-causal (transcending cause and effect) interdependency between them. There could not be a physical plane if there were never any Causal plane, and similarly, the causal plane would not have a purpose if the physical plane were not intended to manifest. I would normally like to use the “ascending and descending scales of music as densities” analogy (see Spring issue of TYC) to try to contain these imaginings and impart meaning. However, the analogy would have a limited range of applicability, and would be inaccurate in reference to the “Higher” planes of the Causal, Buddhi Chit and Monadic planes. The music as scales of density analogy is really appropriate to describe the nature of the multi-dimensionality of the physical plane. Its real value here is in its ability to guide the mind* to the imagination of various vibratory patterns simultaneously existing in a single medium without corrupting the integrity of harmony between them - while still effecting each other. This is very close to the way that the planes work with each other, except for one very profound difference. Each plane is simultaneously the medium of conduction for each of the others from the Causal Plane on down. Because of this relationship, we (Purusha) experience the planes as singular or homogenous and we call it reality*. As you sit there and read these words, you are experiencing all the planes but are unable to feel, sense or otherwise distinguish their boundaries as a normal condition of physically embodied consciousness. This is because their interrelations are our state of consciousness*. (We will deal with the various states of consciousness in a future exploration.) Now, each of the planes is a complex composite of interrelating forces, laws and/or potentials (especially when considering the lower planes: Physical, Etheric and Astral) that we will call the “dimensions” of that plane. Therefore, each plane is “multidimensional”. It will also be appropriate to consider each of the planes to be its own sovereign dimension. So, we are dealing with two levels of dimensions - the division of existence into primary dimensions (planes) and then the sub-division of the planes into secondary dimensions. It may also be helpful to envision that the planes decrease in complexity as they ascend. The physical plane having the most complex expression and the Monadic plane being of such potent simplicity that words cannot give it description, nor can thoughts or imaginings reveal it. Only absorption of the various conditions of consciousness by it - and into it - can reveal it. Then, I am told, you have met yourself as that. Hallelujah! Therefore, from here we will say that “trans-dimensional” will mean, “That which has validity of existence in, and the ability to act upon, more than one of the planes of existence”. The mind* is a good example. It is trans-dimensional, i.e., being able to have presence
in the physical, etheric, astral and mental planes, while also being composited of elements from each of these. Similarly, the Soul is trans-dimensional and is also a compound of multi-dimensional components. There is one more idea about the planes we should connect to, which is that the planes are not existential, nor are they solipsist. There is intrinsic purpose to them and they exist whether we are aware of, or believe in them or not. In fact, they host any disbelief or lack of awareness of them. We would be in full use of all of them to imagine that they do not exist. They are not a figment of the imagination, but the imagination is a fragment of them. The yogis teach that they can be empirically validated by means of meditation. All of this is bringing to mind a quote … “Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself”. ~ Morpheus from the movie The Matrix The yogis have done extensive exploration of these planes by means of meditation, and they have given us descriptions of their workings. They have revealed that the human being is a composite of these planes and furthermore, that we have “bodies” which are operationally relative to the planes; i.e. the physical body is relative to the physical plane. The bodies of man, as they are known in western terms, are called the Physical Body, Astral Body and Causal Body. These bodies are similar to the planes in their co-relations in that there is a sequential unfolding of them. For instance, the astral body is an extension and diversified unfolding of the relative components of the mental plane as they project into, or are given expression by, the astral plane. The physical body is the outcome of the mental, astral and etheric planes projection into density, but there is a non-causal relationship of these bodies as well. As you sit there, you are using all of your “bodies” with a natural emphasis of focus, through the apparatus of the physical body, into the physical plane as the arena of sentience. Remember that physicality is the goal - at least in the framework of this paradigm. In yogic mysticism, the planar bodies are named Sthula-Sharira (Physical Body), Sukshma-Sharira (Astral Body) and KaranaSharira (Causal Body). These bodies are each composed of organs and systems - an anatomy that is specific to that body. This planar anatomy is somewhat obvious in the physical body, but it is lost to the obscurity of subtlety in the other two - due to them being beyond the threshold of our senses. That is unless you can change your primary locality/state of consciousness. Because this is still an attempt to explore the reality of the soul, we will not delve into the details of these planes, their dimensions, the bodies and their specific anatomies just yet. Instead, we will keep the discourse constrained to the general, and in future articles in the series we can examine the specifics.
A final round of ideas should help to give us an idea of what these trans-dimensional anatomies are, at least generally. The first idea to connect to is that of the “Koshas”. Kosha, in Sanskrit, means vessel or container. Mystically speaking, the term refers to a concept more akin to that of a sheath. In yogic terms, the bodies of man are composed of these koshas. The koshas can be thought of as the grouping of the various systems that comprise the “bodies”. The Koshas themselves are composed of various organs (physical or subtle) and/or forces, complexes, laws and potentials. The types of anatomical contributors that compose a kosha are relative to a particular body and plane.
There are five of these sheaths that constitute our being and in Sanskrit they are called Anna Maya Kosha, Prana* Maya Kosha, Mano Maya Kosha, Vijnana Maya Kosha, and the Ananda Maya Kosha.
again the outcome of Chit passing through the Causal Plane to become multitudinous consciousness. This sheath is still hosted by the Astral Plane and is therefore considered a part of the Astral Body. The reality of the Astral body’s ability to extend so deeply into the super subtlety of the Causal Plane is what makes enlightenment possible.
The Anna Maya Kosha* is the physical sheath. It is formed by the interactions of all the planes and its expression is the Physical Body. At the subtlest end of its expression spectrum, it is also composed of elements from the etheric plane, i.e. the bio-electromagnetic force lines and fields (aura*). The Anna Maya Kosha has its function on the physical plane. It is the outcome of all possible interactions intended to manifest the highest levels of consciousness on the physical plane.
The Ananda Maya Kosha* is the bliss* sheath. It is formed by the interactions of the Causal and Buddhi Chit Planes as an extension of the Monadic Plane. This single Kosha is considered to be the Causal Body. Further exploration of the Causal Plane will help provide context. The Causal plane arises as the projector of pure potential and is the will of God. This potential is a derivative of Atma (pure awareness - the Monadic Plane) beholding itself, which gives it condition (0=2), making it now something new - Buddhi Chit- super subtle, self-awareness with no history (Time* does not exist at this level). The pure, creative potential of this happening is responsible for all of existence and figuratively is due to Spirit trying to know what it is. In this way, we are truly made in God’s image and God’s imagination is the Causal Plane. Remember that the planes become less complicated as they ascend and this next statement may be less confusing. The Causal plane and the Causal Body are really the same. It is a plane when it is the projector of existence in a descending fashion and it is a body when purusha is ascending to the Buddhi-Chit Plane for absorption or union (Yoga) with the Monad, Spirit or God.
The Prana Maya Kosha* is the sheath composed of prana* (life-force) and its organizations. It is formed by the interactions of all the planes from the Buddhi Chit to the Astral. At its densest level of expression, it is on the threshold of the etheric. At its subtlest level of expression, it is composed of elements from the Upper Astral Plane* and is on the threshold of the mental plane. It is a constituent sheath of the Astral Body. Some of the organizations of the Prana Maya Kosha include the five primary Vayus*, the Nadis* and the Chakras*. The Mano Maya Kosha* is the Mind* sheath. The yogis would say that it is the seat of Chitta (lower mind or mind stuff), with Chitta being sub-divided into Tanmatras* (sense impressions/ forces), Manas* (receiver of sense impressions - also psychic energy/libido*), Kama* (desire/aversion or positive/negative charges in the psyche as distinct from libido by having an associated object) and Ahamkara* (the Ego* maker). The Mano Maya Kosha is the outcome of the physical, etheric and lower astral planes ascending to meet the descending activity of the Mental, Causal and Buddhi Chit Planes in the arena of the Upper Astral Plane. The Monadic plane is beyond ideas like ascending/ descending and so does not fit into Kosha configurations. These interactions give rise to our psychic faculties of instinct*, intelligence*, memory recall*, imagination*, intellect*, cognizance* and realization*, to name a few of the more important ones. The Mano Maya Kosha is still principally astral* in its constituents and expressions. The majority of its composition is formed of elements that are constituted of the Upper Astral Plane, such as the imagination. Some of its lower expressions are deep into the lower astral plane, such as the emotions* and desire*. At the higher end of this kosha’s arrangement are elements that are still distinctly hosted by the astral plane, but are derived or reflected from the mental plane, such as thought forms and realization. The movements and forms of the Mano Maya Kosha are what we call emoting, remembering, thinking, imagining and realizing. It is a constituent sheath of the Astral Body. The Vijnana Maya Kosha* is the Knowledge sheath. This is not factoid and tidbit knowledge; it is much more subtle and can be better understood if it is conceived of as being partially comprised of perception/sentience, intuition* and feeling*. It is formed by the interrelations of the planes from the Buddhi Chit to the Astral. The Buddhi Chit plane’s contribution to the Vijnana Maya Kosha is a reflection of Buddhi* (super-subtle awareness having one condition - a beholding of itself or pure comprehension) and would be more meaningfully conceived of as wisdom* in comparison to Buddhi. This type of wisdom/comprehension is different from that of realization. Realization is what occurs within, and to, the Chitta complex as lower mind, where as the Buddhi is the first and purest (pre-causal plane) expression of comprehension and is what is left after dissolving the Chitta chatter of realization and even wisdom. The Buddhi Chit Plane also contributes a reflected version of Chit* (pre-eminent consciousness). This “reflected” version of Chit is
If you will revisit the definition I gave for the soul, you will notice that it has two parts. The first part addresses a way to say what a soul is and the second alludes to what a soul does. For this article we will be limited to the “is” and will have to get into the “does” in the future. I think we have reached a point where we can satisfy the first half of the definition of the Soul and safely say that the Soul is, according to the mystics of Yoga, the Prana Maya, Mano Maya and Vijnana Maya Koshas. They work in concert and have functional relativity on the planes from the Buddhi Chit, all the way down to the Physical plane. So, if we take some time to distill and absorb all of this, we (purusha/conditional consciousness) can arrive at two conclusions - the good news and the bad news. The good news is that you are eternal. The bad news is that you are not who you think you are! Thank you taking the time to read this exploration. I hope it will be beneficial to you in your journeys. Be on the lookout for the autumn issue where we will begin to explore the finer concepts of what a Soul does and how it does it. Blessings …
Gary Pritchard is an unexpected (and unsuspected) esotericist and practitioner of the mystical arts of Kriya and Laya Yoga. He has been participating in all types of cosmic schmuckery for many moons - expanding this, contracting that - twisting here, stretching there. He has made more mistakes than one should care to admit. He has fallen, battered and bruised from the path, but never once has not swiftly returned with more determination. He is unqualified to teach but hopes that he is heard. On his worst days, he is completely and utterly human, and on his best days, he is even more human!
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Interview with Adrianne Ehmann After 7 years of inconsistent practice, I decided to step up and do a teacher training, so that I could lead others into the deeper realm of yoga. I wanted to help others see the incredible possibilities that I had experienced with yoga. So, I stepped behind the doors of what yoga looked like and discovered that the world of yoga is very similar to a world without yoga. Sometimes it is petty, it hoards and has greed, it has its lies, and it has its downfalls and drama. But, mainly because we are all human and this is part of our psyche, yoga offers us a gateway to begin to see these patterns so that we can shift to a higher activation of self. Yoga helps us to be aware of our “humanness”. In my experience of finding yoga, I started to see a dream unfoId. I wish to see the yoga world come together to really support the growth of others as well as other studios. I would love to see capitalism taken out of yoga and watch it shift to a place where, as teachers, we really just want to offer students the very best for where they are at. This is how my idea was born. It came into fruition after a series of events and this is what it looks like: I dream of a website that has yoga instructors from all over being interviewed about their personal experience of yoga. On top of these interviews, there would be clips of the type of class that they teach and the studios in which they teach. Like a yoga database, this would offer students or potential students a place to log in and seek out an instructor that they feel drawn too. I have had deceptive experiences along the lines of class descriptions and teacher bios, and though they have been great emotional growth experiences for me, they have been painful on my physical body, in an unhealthy way.
To yoke, or to unite … the translation for the word Yoga. This makes perfect sense as to why so many people are attracted to it. I was drawn in to the practice after a short period, as I slowly began to feel more like I belonged to the world; like I had my own place here.
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I also dream that to have access to this website will show so many other people out there that yoga comes from all walks of life and reaches many different people for different reasons; opening up gateways and comfort zones for people to walk into. Sometimes what builds community is likeness, and common stories or characteristics can help new or long time students to feel more comfortable with their practice and their exploration into classes. So, here is the beginning of this project… My name is Adriane Ehmann and I began yoga at 18 years old when I was modeling and they expressed that yoga would help me to lose weight. Lose weight!!! I was on it. I practiced 1 hour a day, 7 days a week, determined to lose weight…. and found so much more. At the time, I was involved in an abusive relationship. I smoked a pack of cigarettes a day and drank heavily 3 to 4 times per week. The results crept up on me and I am unsure of how long it took before I had the full realization. SUMMER 2010
One day I woke up and noticed that I didn’t smoke first thing, and then I noticed that when my partner was mean, I just let it go and was able to relieve it through a steady breath, and then I didn’t want to go drinking…. These things, these habits, began to decrease in strength and before I knew it, I barely smoked, and if I drank, it was a single glass of wine. I was calmer and the fear of returning home was less and less because somewhere deep inside me I knew that this relationship did not define me. I lost weight, too, but I mainly contribute that to the 12 diet pills that I took a day. Then, one day, I got the phone call of a lifetime and was invited by Elite Model Management of Milan, Italy to model for them. It was exactly what I had been working for. However, with the exit from the Unites States, my yoga practice ceased to exist.
comfort and exploration. It helps me to tap into myself at a level that may remain untouched otherwise. I create an opportunity to listen to my body and witness my breath as they dance together in perfect creation of the divine. When I come to my mat, I find a sense of compassion for myself and for those around me. I am able to take accountability for my life and see what I am happy with and what I would like to change. Yoga, to me, is school. It is consistently around to teach me about the world and to link me to those that are far and near. It has changed my diet from heavy emotional foods to vegetarian and raw. It has led me into deeper practices such as meditation and breath work, unlocking unknown memories and motivations. I would call it a form of religion I use to connect to that which I remained ignorant from for many years of my life.
The relationship naturally ended when I returned from Italy, and I fell into a heavy drinking stage upon where I was drunk pretty much 70% – 80% of the time for 6 months. There was no time for yoga as I wallowed away in the “failure” of modeling and the “failure” of a relationship. I fell into many destructive habits at this point in life: the drinking soon led me to cocaine, which ultimately led me to another 6-month binge of being coked out probably 75% of the time. It was my priority to be disconnected and nothing was going to change that. After a night of partying, (skipping the details), I should have been dead, but for some reason I survived. I was up for 4 days with the shakes and anxiety like no one’s business and with the help of dear friends, I made the decision to step out of my self-destruction. My roommates encouraged me to start going to the gym, where I took a yoga class within those first couple of sober days. That class helped me to begin my own home practice with the videos of Suzanne Deason and Rodney Yee. Yoga again became a nightly ritual and with how extensive I was diving into drugs and alcohol, where I should have experienced withdrawal, I experienced peace. This I attribute to the practice of yoga, as it is the only thing that I had seen such incredible results with before. I practiced yoga for another 5 or 6 years on and off at home with the comfort of my videos that had nurtured me through so much torment. I stayed clean from drugs and would find myself making better decisions when I would practice. A feeling of wholeness was there when my practice was consistent. During this time, I took a series of guided yoga classes through the Recreator in which I cried for hours after each practice. After the 7 years of hiding at home, I joined a place that was both a gym and a studio. I practiced once a week and even taught a few classes a week at another place where I had been trained to do a specific sequence. I was happy, but I also wanted to be certified so I pursued it and went from practicing once a week to 7 days a week for months and months. I have been a certified instructor for over a year now and I love it. I have taught consistently and practiced inconsistently at times and regularly at other times. Nevertheless, my dedication has always just been there. I find myself always committed to yoga and try to revisit what my journey has been often, as the practice is something that I can always revisit and go to when I need ISSUE # 3
I teach at Old Town Yoga, Miramont, and do private sessions as well. I have my basic 200hr certification and am currently working on a second 200hr certification for a style called Viniyoga. My journey with Yoga ebbs and flows as all things do. What has remained consistent is its ability to draw me back into myself. This is why it is the one thing that I have remained dedicated to over the past eight and a half years; as well as why I choose to teach others. As this journey progresses I would love to have you come along… whether you are a yoga teacher that is led to participate or a student that would like to share your story, please contact me. This is a project of community and I am very excited to see it unfold. In each consecutive issue of The Yoga Connection, there will be an interview of a different local yoga teacher and, soon to come, there will be a website to promote all who wish to be involved … studios, teachers, and students alike! Namaste! You can email me at email@example.com or call me at 970-776-6731.
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What’s Your Style
There are many different types of yoga classes available in our community. It can be a difficult task to choose the class most appropriate for you. Each and every person has a different body condition and needs to know which class would fit their individual needs best. Some of the most common types of yoga classes in our community are listed below and briefly explained. This will help serve as a guide for you to choose the best type of class for your specific needs. Anusara™ Inspired Yoga: This unique style of yoga blends John Friend’s eloquent Universal Principles of alignment with a life affirming philosophy of intrinsic goodness. These classes offer each student the opportunity to step into & celebrate their own unique gifts by cultivating an understanding of the outer body & the inner landscape of heart & mind.
Hot Vida Yoga: A class practiced in an 89-degree room for 60 - 70 min. Suitable for all levels, from beginner to advanced. It is a yoga class designed to deepen your Vinyasa yoga practice. This yoga series is very close to the same flow every class, so you will know exactly what to expect and clearly be able to gauge your progress. Lots of modifications and options are encouraged to help you make this class your own.
Ashtanga Yoga: Ashtanga yoga is a vigorous, fast-paced form of yoga that helps to build flexibility, strength, concentration, and stamina. When doing Ashtanga yoga, a person moves quickly through a set of predetermined poses while remaining focused on deep breathing.
Hot Yoga: Hot Yoga is a series of yoga poses done in a heated room. The room is usually maintained at a temperature of 95-100 degrees. As you can imagine, a vigorous yoga session at this temperature promotes profuse sweating which rids the body of toxins. It makes the body very warm, and therefore more flexible.
Beginning Yoga: The beginning yoga class is suitable for students who are curious about yoga and have little or no experience with the practice. In class, students will explore various asana’s (postures) which increase range of motion and flexibility. Asana practice increases self-awareness and provides students with a deeper level of comfort in their physical body. Selfawareness will also be explored through different mindfulness practices, which may include breathing techniques, visualizations and centering.
Integral Yoga: This is an all levels class that focuses on the unique needs of each student. Within the series taught, there will be ample opportunity encouraged for listening to the deeper meaning behind each pose. The series will be simple yet effective. The purpose of the simplicity is to bring the easily memorized sequence home for a personal practice outside the studio as well.
Bikram Yoga: Bikram Yoga is traditionally practiced in a room heated to 105°F (40.5°C) with a humidity of 40%. Classes are guided by specific dialogue including 26 postures and two breathing exercises. Classes last approximately 90 minutes.
Iyengar Yoga: Iyengar yoga is the yoga style that for some 65 years, the yoga master B.K.S.Iyengar researched, developed, and brought to yoga. It is deeply scientific, emphasizing the integration of the body-mind-spirit connection. In addition, it is rooted firmly within the eight limbs of yoga as espoused by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras. Iyengar yoga lays strong emphasis on the accuracy of the postures believing that alignment of the skeletal body brings alignment throughout the whole physical body - and further benefits the emotional and mental bodies as well. Iyengar yoga incorporates the use of props such as blankets, blocks, straps, pillows, chairs, and bolsters. The purpose of the props is to assist the student in attaining ideal alignment, even if the body is not yet open enough.
Core Power Yoga: This is one of the powerfully invigorating yoga styles and was born out of the American interpretation of Ashtanga Yoga. It is a definitively sweat producing, muscle - building, powerful workout. It is not for gentle yoga types and certainly those coming to it from a beginner’s point would be well advised to be cautious about throwing themselves into it without excellent instruction. A good power yoga teacher would be able to cater for such beginners. Unlike other yoga styles, there is little or no pausing between yoga positions (postures) and thus it is an intense aerobic workout routine. Many sports enthusiasts take to Power Yoga as its ability to balance opposing muscle.
Kid’s Yoga (for children 5-11): Kid’s learn to move their bodies improving balance, flexibility, and strength. They also learn how to calm or energize themselves through breath and positive thinking. They love the relaxation period (savasana) at the end!
Ebb & Flow Yoga: Energizing Vinyasa flow postures intermittently connected with relaxing static postures. Designed to significantly improve flexibility, balance & strength, focusing on proper alignment & breath to deepen postures.
Kundalini Yoga - For many centuries, Kundalini Yoga was a well-kept secret known only to initiates and masters within the spiritual confines of oneto-one teaching and closed orders in India and Tibet. The power of raising the Kundalini energy that resides within was considered too powerful and, if misused, too dangerous to be given free access. Kundalini yoga is one of the yoga styles that allow a non-stressful way of working to help promote flexibility, energy, serenity and a sense of greater personal empowerment.
Hatha Yoga: Hatha yoga integrates the first four limbs of yoga, including asanas (postures) and pranayamas (breathing techniques). All classes will include both postures and breathing techniques with variations in style. Most Hatha Yoga classes are accessible to all levels. Designed to increase strength, flexibility and balance while alleviating stress and promoting relaxation.
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Mommy and Me Yoga (6 weeks to walking and their parents): Classes move slowly with emphasis on the needs of a new mom and the developmental needs of baby’s first year.
Prenatal Yoga: Prenatal Yoga is an excellent way to stay in shape during your pregnancy. It is also a great way to connect to your body during this very special time. This class, taught by certified prenatal instructors will gently guide you through postures specifically designed for women during all stages of pregnancy. No prior yoga experience is needed. Yoga is very beneficial to the body, especially during pregnancy. Some of the benefits include: improving balance, flexibility, strength, and circulation. Yoga helps to bring awareness and acceptance to the body and the changes that are taking place. Regular practice helps to reduce back and leg pain, insomnia and swelling. Breathing techniques help throughout pregnancy, as well as in childbirth and motherhood. Restorative Yoga: Restorative yoga is a passive yoga practice that encourages conscious relaxation. You relax in stillness, breathe with awareness, and practice the art of letting go, of being rather than doing. This state of deep relaxation strengthens the immune system, increases longevity, generates serenity, and brings peace of mind. Mind, body and spirit are deeply nourished by the use of props to support the body, along with gentle breathing.
Yoga Basics: In this class, each pose is explored for its physical, energetic, and mental benefits. Students will have ample time to feel their own breath and ability. Postures will be simple with clear and slower direction. This is an excellent class for beginners and those who want to review a few ideas and techniques that lay at the root of the beauty of yoga. Geared to provide an introduction to newcomers; an ongoing class that focuses on fewer poses, but deeper understanding. It will utilize breathing and stress reduction techniques.
Slow Flow Yoga: Slow down in your day and enjoy it. Feel the strength and fluidity of your body as you strengthen and lengthen your muscles. Slow Flow is a practice that will move you through the entire body gently, slowly and sweetly, building intensity gradually accompanied by soothing music. Suitable for all levels.
Yoga Fusion: Flow series yoga that focuses on deep extended postures. This class will improve flexibility, strength and stamina and promote tranquility; excellent cross-training for all athletes.
Svaroopa Yoga: A deep, mindful and powerful practice in the tradition of Hatha yoga. The asanas unravel the deep-seated layers of tension in your body, starting at the tailbone, to create healing and personal transformation, while opening you to an illuminative, inner experience of your own essence. This is the goal of yoga. It’s effects are long lasting and life changing. Your body becomes supple and feels more alive. Great for the avid practitioner and beginners alike.
Yoga Tots (for walkers to age 3 and their parents): Toddlers join in at their readiness, and are invited to assist mom or dad in their yoga. No yoga experience necessary.
Teen Yoga (for big kids 12-18): This expressive time of life is full of mixed feelings! Well-being is addressed through music, movement, breath, and sounds. Concepts of self-acceptance are cultivated and various techniques of quieting the mind. Viniyoga Yoga: A gentle yoga style, Viniyoga encourages the student to practice the posture work so that it follows the appropriate movement for the individual's body and situation. This facilitates the function of the posture over its form. It is a yoga style that allows all aspects of yoga to adapt to the needs of the student integrating movement, breathing, and awareness in order to improve both physical and mental health. It encourages the individual to then move toward stretching their abilities, thus enhancing the state of attention. This develops an ability to become more positively responsive to external situations and acts as therapy to maintain optimum health in body and mind. Vinyasa Yoga: This is a style of yoga that flows from one posture into another to the rhythm of the breath. Vinyasa is a term that covers a broad range of yoga classes. The word Vinyasa means “breath-synchronized movement.” In other words, the teacher will instruct you to move from one pose to the next on an inhale or an exhale. This technique is sometimes called Vinyasa Flow, or just Flow because of the smooth way that the poses run together and become like a dance. Yin Yoga: Great for beginners & beyond. A more passive & peaceful experience using breath, gravity, straps, blankets, & blocks to disengage & relax into longer postures held one to four minutes. In the yin practice, you explore how the slow, steady stretching of deep connective tissue can increase flexibility and gradually create more depth in poses. You focus on developing sensibility to your body’s subtle cues by quieting the mind and looking inward.
Gentle Network Chiropractic
Chiropractic Wellness Center
In need of help and ready to take action? We can help! So many in our community struggle with: Depression & Anxiety Fatigue & Poor Sleep Hormonal Imbalances Asthma & Allergies Neck, Head & Back Pain
Dr. Lori Krauss 970.224.5006
ADD & ADHD
1302 South Shields
HEALTH & WELL-BEING DIRECTORY Yoga & Pilates Studios Big Toe Studio 3710 Mitchell Drive Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 377-0028 www.bigtoestudio.biz
Bikram Old Town 159 W. Mountain Ave. Fort Collins, CO 80542 (970) 472-5700 www.bikramyoga.com
Breathe Yoga 353 W. Drake Rd. Fort Collins, CO 80526 (970) 223-9642 www.gotoyoga.com
CorePower Yoga 2700 S. College Ave. Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 224-4615 www.corepower.com
Fort Collins Club 1307 E. Prospect Rd. Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 224-2582 www.fortcollinsclub.net
Loveland Yoga & Core Fitness 100 E. 3rd St. Loveland, CO 80537 (970) 292-8313 www.lovelandyogacorefitness.com
Miramont - Central 2211 S. College Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80526 (970) 225-2233 www.miramontlifestyle.com
Miramont - North 1800 Heath Parkway, Fort Collins, CO 80524 (970) 221-5000 www.miramontlifestyle.com
Miramont - South 901 Oakridge Dr. Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 282-1000 www.miramontlifestyle.com
Old Town Athletic Club 351 Linden St. Fort Collins, CO 80524 (970) 493-7222 www.oldtownathletic.com
Old Town Yoga 237 1/2 Jefferson Street Fort Collins, CO 80524 (970) 222-2777 www.oldtownyoga.com
Raintree Athletic Club 2555 S. Shields Street Fort Collins, CO 80526 (970) 490-1300 www.fortcollinspulse.com
Treetop Studio 111 N. College Ave., Upstairs Fort Collins, CO 80524 (970) 484-0828 www.treetopstudioinfo.com
Yoga Center of Fort Collins 210 E. Oak Street Fort Collins, CO 80521 (970) 231-0496 www.cwrightyoga.com
Yoga Works w/ Mary Kay Koldeway 2530 Abarr Dr. Loveland, CO 80538 (970) 663-2213 www.yogaworksofloveland.com
Yoga Teachers Sarada Erickson Om Ananda Yoga Fort Collins, CO 80526 (970) 581-8825 omanandayoga.com
Chiropractic Wellness Center Dr. Lori Krauss 1302 South Shields Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 224-5006 www.vitality-bodymindsoul.com
Michael Lloyd-Billington Yoga Instructor and Personal Trainer Fort Collins, CO 80526 Website: http://alternativepersonaltraining.bravehost.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Evolve Rolfing & Wellness Erika Olsen, Certified Rolfer 633 S. College Ave., Ste. G Fort Collins, CO 80524 (970) 402-3988 www.evolverolfing.com
Om Counseling and Yoga Gwyn Tash 706 East Stuart Street Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 690-1045 www.omcounselingandyoga.com
Janna Pijoan Yoga Teacher 700 West Mountain Avenue Fort Collins, CO 80521 (970) 222-8528
Lighthouse Therapeutic Massage Jeannette Benglen C.M.T. Loveland, CO 80537 (970) 689-5527 www.lhmassage.com
Lauri Pointer, HTCP/I 210 E. Oak Street Fort Collins, CO 80524 (970) 484-2211 www.LauriPointer.com
Jamye Richardson Sacred Healing, LLC 134 Harvard, Suite 6 Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 556-3050
Mountain High Massage 200 East Swallow Road Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 215-8821 E-mail: MHMB@me.com www.mountainhighmassage.com
Traditional Chinese Medical Clinic 700 West Mountain Avenue Fort Collins, CO 80521 (970) 416-0444 www.tcmclinic.org
ISSUE # 3
Old Town Massage 237 Jefferson Fort Collins, CO 80524 Studio: 970-222-2777 Cell: 307-690-4607
THE YOGA CONNECTION MAGAZINE
Yoga Center of Fort Collins
NORTHERN COLORADO CLASS SCHEDULES
Teaching Yoga in the Iyengar Method 210 E. Oak Street, Fort Collins, CO 80521 (970) 231-0496 www.cwrightyoga.com Monday
class schedules are subjecct to change- please verify before attending
Summer 2010 Treetop Yoga
All Levels Yoga
Yoga for Neck/Shoulders
***Please call before attending Tuesday
111 N. College Ave., Upstairs, Fort Collins, CO 80524 (970) 484-0828 www.treetopyogastudio.com Monday 9:45-10:45am
All Levels Yoga ($6)
Level 1 Yoga
Kidâ€™s Yoga Play
Basics: 6 week course
(June 22nd-July 27th, pre-register)
All Levels Yoga
Yoga for Strong Backs
Level 1-2 Intuitive Vinyasa Ena
(with Pukkah Playtime)
Lunch Yoga ($6)
Eye of the Tiger
Young Mens Teen Yoga
Level 1-2 Vinyasa
Mommy and Me Yoga
Preschooler Yoga (3-5)
Young Womens Teen Yoga Ena
Dancing from the Heart
(free form dance w/ guidance)
*please pre-register at email@example.com
Level 1-2 Intuitive Vinyasa Ena
(with Pukkah Playtime)
Friday Morning Club
Level 1-2 Vinyasa
(last Friday of each month)
(Anusara Inspired Practice - 1st Friday of the Month)
(June 26th, July 24th, August 28th)
Viniyoga at Pathways to Wellness Sacred Healing, LLC, 134 Harvard, Suite 6 Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 556-3050 Tuesday 8:30-9:45am
Beginner/Intermediate Yoga Jamye (held at Troutman Park by the ponds)
Yoga Classes with Janna Pijoan
700 W. Mountain Ave, Ft. Collins, CO 80521 (970) 222-8528 Tuesday
Saturday THE YOGA CONNECTION MAGAZINE
Old Town Yoga
Loveland Yoga & Core Fitness
237 1/2 Jefferson Street, Fort Collins, CO 80524 (970) 222-2777 www.oldtownyoga.com
100 E. 3rd St., Loveland, CO 80537 (970) 292-8313 www.lovelandyogacorefitness.com
Yoga & Full Body Fitness
Power Hour - Upper Body/Core Jake
All Levels Vinyasa
All Levels Hatha
Yoga for Cyclists
Wednesday Sunrise Yoga
Pilates Mat Class
Yoga Works 2530 Abarr Dr., Loveland, CO 80538 (970) 663-2213 www.yogaworksofloveland.com Svaroopa Yoga
Meditation - Donation Only
Yoga for Strength
All Levels Hatha
All Levels Vinyasa
Yoga in your 50’s & Beyond Nina
Yoga & Meditation
All Levels Hatha
Yoga in your 50’s & Beyond Nina
Raintree Athletic Club
SHARE YOUR CREATIVITY , ENERGY AND LOVE AT
2555 S. Shields Street, Fort Collins, CO 80526 (970) 490-1300 www.raintreeathleticclub.com
Yoga for Runners/Hikers/Bikers
FREE YOGA AND MUSIC CELEBRATION (BRING YOUR OWN MAT)
6:00 PM Gwyn Tash offers an energetic, fluid, vinyasa flow intended to enliven your own inner creative energy, immerse with breath, and explore divine expression. Designed for experienced Beginners through Intermediate students.
Beginning Hatha Yoga
Yoga for People Living w/ Cancer
Yoga w/ Weights
Anusara Inspiredâ„˘ Yoga
OLD TOWN SQURE FORT COLLINS
6:50 PM David Moats & Kathryn Visser offer Ebb and Flow yoga, an energizing vinyasa class in which upbeat flows are intermittently mixed with strengthening, static postures.
7:40 PM Marianne Monteleone Polish your body & shine your soul with Kundalini Yoga & Meditation, as taught by Yogi Bhajan. In this experience you will do a kriya Kundalini yoga set, explore the sound current with mantra, focus on breath and delve into the depths of your being....all are welcome...
8:30 PM Community Kirtan with Lila Experience the power of sound vibrations through an ancient practice from the yoga tradition called kirtan. Lila is an ensemble playing mantras and original spiritual songs to reflect and accompany yoga and meditation.
*YPC: Yoga/Pilates Center *S-2: Studio 2 Classes in BLUE are included in a Yoga & Pilates Center membership Classes in BLACK are included in your RAC membership
CONTACT KENNY WORKMAN AT firstname.lastname@example.org
SUMMER WORKSHOPS YOGAAAH Immersion w/ Gwyn Tash - Saturday, July 24th, 9am to 3pm at The Atrium Health
Restorative Yoga Mini Workshop w/ Gwyn Tash - Saturday,
June 19th & July 17th, 2:00 to 4:30pm. Experience relaxation and rejuvenation as you chant, breathe, meditate, and rest in supported asanas (poses) while listening to healing, inspirational music and receiving Healing Touch. $25.00/person; Bring a friend receive $5.00 OFF! Contact Gwyn for more info: (970) 690-1045
Spa. Enjoy a full day of Yoga (Vinyasa and Restorative) while experiencing chanting, pranayama, meditation and a dharma circle. Lunch included. $125.00 per person. Prepay 1 week in advance and get $20.00 OFF! Bring a friend and receive an extra $5.00 OFF Contact Gwyn for more info: (970) 690-1045
Ayurveda for Athletes with Night Wind, Sunday, June 20th, 3:00
YogaFest in Old Town Square on the evening of Friday, August 6,
to 4:30pm at Old Town Yoga. This workshop will look at athletics from an Ayurvedic point of view, seeing each athlete as an individual. Focus on running, biking, climbing, swimming, and walking. $5 at the door. www. oldtownyoga.com
6:00pm to 9:00 pm. Music will be provided by Lila, an ensemble inspired to reflect and accompany yoga, and everyone is invited to share great vibes and yoga, led by Northern Colorado’s wealth of wonderful yoga instructors.
YOGAAAH Immersion with Gwyn Tash - Saturday, June 26th,
Partners Massage Therapy Workshop with Steven Navarro
9am to 3pm at The Atrium Health Spa. Enjoy a full day of Yoga (Vinyasa and Restorative) while experiencing chanting, pranayama, meditation and a dharma circle. Lunch included. $125.00 per person. Pre-pay 1 week in advance and get $20.00 OFF! Bring a friend and receive an extra $5.00 OFF Contact Gwyn for more info: (970) 690-1045
- Saturday, August 7th, 3pm to 6pm at Old Town Yoga. Imagine if your partner gave you 10 minutes of massage every evening, and really knew what they were doing. That is what this workshop will bring you. Regardless of your goals, whether they’re to learn to connect with each other in a new way or the desire to learn how to give a really good back-rub, this workshop is where you start. $100 per couple. www.oldtownyoga.com
Yoga for Scoliosis with Jamye Richardson – Thursday, July 8th, 5:30 to 6:30pm; $12 at Pathways to Wellness … Contact Jamye for more info: (970) 556-3050
Restorative Yoga Mini Workshop with Gwyn Tash - Saturday,
August 14th, 2pm to 4:30pm. Experience relaxation and rejuvenation as you chant, breathe, meditate and rest in supported asanas (poses) while listening to healing inspirational music and receiving Healing Touch. $25.00/person Bring a friend receive $5.00 OFF! Contact Gwyn for more info: (970) 690-1045
Partner Yoga with Chris and Anna Feuille – Saturday, July 10th,
10am to 12 noon, at Treetop Yoga. Partner yoga is an opportunity to build trust and deepen intimacy between two individuals. No experience is necessary, only an open mind, and a willingness to participate. $38 per couple, $20 single. Contact Chris or Anna for more details: (970) 215-8821
Introduction to Vedic Chant with Sonia Nelson, Saturday, August 14th, 8:45am to 11:45am & 1:30pm to 3:30pm at Old Town Yoga. Experience and learn the art of Vedic Chant. Explore listening and chanting as an integrating experience for body, mind and breath. Instruction will be given for using the breath to support the voice, the reading of standard transliteration and Sanskrit pronunciation. Simple movement and breathing will be taught to enhance the experience of sitting and chanting. $100 if paid by August 1st - $125 after. www.oldtownyoga.com
Soaring Spirit Yin Hike – Saturday, July 17th from 5:00 to 7:30pm;
$25. If you love hiking and yoga, you will love this workshop! We’ll hike for an hour and then practice yin yoga for 1-1/2 hours. Contact Faith for more info: (970) 308-4378
Restorative Yoga with Connie Brown, Saturday, July 17th, 1pm to 2:45pm at Yoga Center of Fort Collins Restorative Yoga in the Iyengar Method can help to counter chronic stress. Each session encourages balance in the nervous system, soothes, & stimulates internal organs & tissue, reverses the effects of gravity, promotes extension in the breath, stretches the body’s soft tissues, and can provide deep rest. $12 per session. Questions, call Connie at 970-692-1057
Honoring Nature & Spirit with Sonia Nelson, Sunday, August 15th, 9:30am to 12:30pm & 2:30pm to 4:30pm at Old Town Yoga. Using Chant, Mantra Recitation, Gesture, Mudra, Pranayama, and Visualization, you will be guided through simple, yet traditional, meditation procedures enabling you to effectively practice on your own. $100 if paid by August 1st - $125 after. www.oldtownyoga.com Healing through Yoga with Adriane Ehmann - Sunday, August 15th, 1:30 to 4:30pm at Old Town Yoga, This class will help you to explore your body and provide you with take-home tools to continue your healing process. Contact Adriane at email@example.com for more information
From Pose to Peace: An Introduction to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali with Michael Lloyd-Billington, Saturday, July 18th, 2pm
to 4pm at Old Town Yoga. In this special introductory workshop, we’ll explore the fundamentals of the Sutras, including the basic goals and techniques of Yoga. We’ll look at how these teachings apply to the challenges of daily life and how we can benefit from them both on and off the mat. Cost of the workshop is $20 pre-paid, $25 on the day of event. www.oldtownyoga.com
Yoga for Anxiety with Ena Burrud - Saturday, September 18th,
10am to 12 noon at Treetop Yoga. This class will provide a few techniques from yoga therapy to help panic attacks, reduce chronic anxiety and provide insight into softening anxiety in the future. Included will be yoga nidra, breathing techniques, sound therapy, asana, light philosophy and take home worksheets. $25. www.treetopyogastudio.com
Anusara Yoga Weekend Workshop with Bruce Bowditch,
July 30th, 31st & August 1st at Yoga Center of Fort Collins; Early sign-up $140 - whole workshop (Late registration - $ 144), Drop-ins - $45 per session, Teacher Practice - $20. Call Tomi at 970-227-3325 or Stacey at 970-226-4358 for more details.
Special Classes, Events, and Workshops Summer Calendar June June June June June June June June June
14th - Forrest Yoga: Strengthen & Heal w/Molly 6-7:30pm 18th - Vinyasa & Vino w/Clara 7-9pm 19th - Intro to Natural Therapies: Healing Touch w/Sue Walker 11-12pm FREE! 19-20th - FREE Yoga Weekend See online for schedule 19th - Yoga in your 50’s & Beyond! 4-class series w/Nina 10:30-11:45am 20th - Ayurveda for Athletes w/Niight 3-4:30pm 21st - Forrest Yoga: Strengthen & Heal w/Molly Mondays, 6-7:30pm 26th - Yoga in your 50’s & Beyond w/Nina 10:30-11:45 28th - Forrest Yoga: Strengthen & Heal W/Molly 6-7:30pm
July July July July July July July July July
1st - Pilates for Climbers 4-week series w/Marissa 6-7pm 2nd - 1st Friday Art Walk Event Live music, food & Art! 6pm 3rd - Rock & Roll Vinyasa w/Teressa 5:30-6:45pm 10th - Yoga in your 50’s & Beyond! w/Nina 10:30-11:45am 13th - Introduction to Yoga - begin. 6-Week series w/Michael 6-7:15pm 17th - Yoga in your 50’s & Beyond! w/Nina 10:30-11:45am 17th - Detox w/Lymph Drainage w/CJ McDaniel 11am FREE! 17th-18th - FREE Yoga Weekend See online for schedule 18th - Introduction to the Yoga Sutras w/Michael 2-4pm
July 24th - Yoga for Athletes w/Sammie 7:30-8:45am July 31st - Yoga in the Round w/Mira Gale 1:30-3:30pm July 31st - Summertime Kundalini w/Marianne 4-6pm _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________
August August August August August August August August
August August August August
5th - Restorative Yoga 4-Class Series w/Amy Thursdays, 6-7:15pm 7th - Anatomy for Yoga: Neck & Shoulders w/Somer 10-12:30pm 7th - Couples Massage Therapy Workshop w/Steven Navarro 3-6pm 8th - Meditation to enhance your intuition w/Ann Bibbey 10-4pm 8th - Emotional Healing through Creative Flow w/Gwyn 7-8:30pm 13-15th - Weekend Workshop w/Sonia Nelson See website for details 14th - Introduction to Marma Points w/Niight 2-4pm 15th - Healing through Yoga w/Adriane 1:30-3:30pm
21st - Yoga for your Dosha w/Clara 1:30-3:30pm 21st - Summertime Kundalini w/Marianne 4-6pm 21-22nd - FREE Yoga Weekend - See online for schedule 22nd - Introduction to Pranayama w/Michael 2-4pm
August 28th - Reiki Attunement: Workshop for the Yogi w/Nick 1:30-5:30pm _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________
See www.oldtownyoga.com for detailed class descriptions 970-222-2777 / firstname.lastname@example.org
From a Movie, to a Dream, and to Reality Written by Julie Bleau I bet a lot of you have seen, or at least heard of, James Cameron latest movie “Avatar”. In this installment, Cameron explored the connection with nature, with the energy and the unseen, present within and around each of us. Let me summarize the movie a little bit for you, and bring further thoughts to reflect upon. It all started in Kansas with an ex-marine named Jake Sully living now in a wheel chair. Jake’s twin brother was a scientist who died just before getting ready to explore Pandora and the Nabu (Pandora’s natives). The blue character that looks like the natives is called an Avatar. Jake’s brother was trained to become the “Avatar Driver”. Because of his genes, Jake was the best match to “drive” the Avatar after his brother’s death. While embarking in this adventure, Jake knew nothing of what was awaiting him on Pandora. After only having read the instruction manual for the “Avatar Driver” simulator, Jake steps into the lab and begins his journey inward and outward into the world. Basically, the “Avatar Driver” lies down on his back in the simulator (looks like a tube), relaxes, closes his eyes, and lets his mind go blank. This results in the connection of his nervous system to the Avatar body. By doing so, the Avatar is being “driven”, in our case, by Jake Sully. The first thing Jake realizes is its ability to move the two legs of the Avatar. What a great feeling for him! He jumps off the bed, and he starts running around, exploring his “new body”. After exploring the surroundings, the Avatar falls asleep, and Jake wakes up. Jake is doing a lot of work as the “Avatar Driver”. He goes on a mission and tries to be accepted by the indigenous tribe. He meets the Princess of Nabu’s tribe. She teaches him all he needs to know to become one of their own. Jake learns everything about their culture, their language and what it is to be a part of the Pandoran people. Because the Nabu people think about all life as sacred, Jake also learns how to connect with nature, with the animals, with the members of the tribe, and with Eywa: the Ultimate Source of Life. After spending so much time in the simulator driving his Avatar, at some point, Jake is feeling more connected to his Avatar than to his “human” body… as the Avatar world seems to become more his real life. Becoming the “Avatar driver” is like being aware of where we are, and what we are doing during our sleep. Lucid dreaming happens when someone is conscious that he is dreaming a dream. At that time in a dream, the dreamer acts simultaneously as the director and as the hero of his own movie. In a dream, when we can consciously direct the hero to do anything we want, and see the hero succeeding; it is said to be a lucid dream; like a movie playing every night when someone goes to sleep. Jake reaches the dream state every time he enters the simulator. He enters in another world filled with amazing people, resources, and great experiences. Jake is conscious of what is happening during his journey as an Avatar. When he comes out of the simulator, he keeps a diary. The video log is the place where he can tell all, express his opinion, feelings, and findings of his last “dream adventure” as an “Avatar driver”. Even though there is violence in the movie, I sadly think it is representative of today’s world we live in. Always wanting what others have and doing everything to have it…even fighting to preserve what we have, and fighting to acquire what we desire. “Eywa does not take sides, Jake. She keeps balance”, says the Nabu’s Princess about the Ultimate Source of Life when Jake is resting by Eywa. ISSUE # 3
We hear about global warming, shifting of the planet…and what do we do to change and to modify our future on Earth? Do we, the humans, think about what we do to our land, to the all the living beings and to ourselves? We experience strange weather patterns, earthquakes, tsunamis, freezing and melting. Are those ways for mother Earth to shake us and to bring balance back on our planet? Even though “Avatar” is just the latest movie by James Cameron, it made me think differently about our world, the world of dreams, our connection with all living things, and with the energy fields that surround us. In the movie, when the people use their ponytail to connect and to bond with the animals, each other and to the Tree of Life…I found that amazing. It reminded me of the connection we have with the divine. This contact we can reach during our meditation and the energy that we can experience as we ground ourselves to mother Earth. I am sure that not everyone who saw “Avatar” connected the same way as I did. James Cameron’s movie reached me at a special level, and I too can say now: “I see You”. James Cameron’s “Avatar” : 20 Century Fox and Lightstorm Entertainment, 2009. Julie Bleau holds a B.Ed and taught kids and teenagers with special needs in Montreal, Canada. Certified as HathaYoga and Aqua Kriya Yoga Teacher, Reiki and Crystal Healing Practitioner and recently received her Bachelor Degree in Metaphysical Sciences. Now completing her Master Degree at the University of Metaphysical Sciences. She is a loving, caring, dynamic, social and joyful person. She loves nature, photography and traveling. THE YOGA CONNECTION MAGAZINE
Once Upon a Yogi Time
The Cracked Pot Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some.
A water bearer in India had two large pots, one hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.
The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”
After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.” Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?” “I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.
Moral: Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You’ve just got to take each person for what they are, and look for the good in them. There is a lot of good out there. There is a lot of good in us! Remember to appreciate all the different people in your life! Thank you to the cracked pots in my life. You have made life more interesting and beautiful.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”
THE YOGA CONNECTION MAGAZINE
â€œWhen you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds; your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person, by far, than you ever dreamed to be.â€? ~Patanjali