yoga connection Uniting Health, Awareness and Conscious Living
Feel Free! Summer 2012 online
TYC www.the-yoga-connection.com re
Level 1 Yoga Teacher Trainings
u eI O n ~ Bliss
Sliding Scale Yoga Classes!
Intermediate/Advanced Teacher Trainings
Daily Yoga and Meditation Classes for all levels
Prenatal Certification Meditation Certification
Events and Workshops
A non-profit organization
Call or go online today for class and training dates:
OmAnandaYoga.com 970.581.8825 the
115 N. College Ave. Ste 200 Fort Collins CO 80524 info@OmAnandaYoga.com yoga connection www.the-yoga-connection.com 2
Classes for all levels, every day of the week.
Discover Yoga. You’re Ready.
• Heated & Non-heated Flow • Cross and TRX® • Restorative and Yin
Graphic design by danalynnstudio.com, website design by breezeinteractive.com.
Mindstream Yoga is located at Front Range Village. 2733 Council Tree Ave, Suite 129, Fort Collins, CO 80525 970-266-YOGA (9642) firstname.lastname@example.org ©2012 Mindstream Yoga, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Membership, punch cards, workshops, and programs.
Scan to see the latest Mindstream Yoga News.
Introductory Offer: Purchase 5 classes for $20 (valid 20 days from purchase date)
editor’s note summer
ntensity seems to be the watchword of this Summer’s unfolding. With barely a remnant of spring left as I write this, life on the Front Range is besieged by inferno. Drought is laying itself across the lands as if to claim territory on behalf of the Sun, inflicting its barren sunburnt crusting upon the highlands. This dynamic duo of a demon, let loose on life, has reared its head to announce this summer’s bane – conflagration.
Being a spiritually oriented publication, I feel no reservation in mentioning prayer as a viable and potent way to help, and it is definitely a way that anyone can. As these events unfold and as life seeks to rebalance itself after this, let us be the hosts of life’s angels. Let us rise to the call, and we will set them loose on these lands and the glory of life will sing the praise of our greatness unto the heavens.
The weakness and inadequacy of the word tragedy to be a worthy communicator of the magnitude of this intensity is only eclipsed by the depth of spirit that allows life to persevere in spite of the circumstances that would lay creation itself to ruin. That perseverance is going to be expressed through the magnanimous qualities of living - the angels of life, being fortitude, community, compassion, revitalization, healing, and renewal.
To understand the best ways to help and volunteer, please go to www.helpcoloradonow.org And, to give call again to the angels of life for yet another cause. As many of you are aware, one of our community’s great teachers has been waging peace with cancer and needs support from the community. Tomi Simpson began her relationship with a brain tumor in Autumn of 2011 and continues to recover from the encounter. On July 8th, Kimberlea Smarr of Be Well Yoga, will be leading a fund raising event to benefit Tomi and her family. The details of the event can be found on page 20 in this issue. Please come out and help support Tomi’s recovery. Life is calling - will you answer?
Each of us should feel called upon to contribute as emissaries on behalf of those angels of life. Everyone can do something. Everyone has some way to contribute to the relief of suffering and can help to soothe this eruption of intensity. Material and volunteer support are the obvious ways, but for some, they are not always viable options.
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. Blessings, The Yoga Connection
For advertising and editorial information, contact: Kate Stephens or Gary Pritchard Phone: (970) 214-6921 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.the-yoga-connection.com 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.
Printed on Recycle Paper
Features Feeling Liberated
Why I Practice Yoga
Barb Gibson shares how connection to each other helps our own spiritual evolution ............... pg 26
Emily Wilson helps us feel our infinite connection to the universe .......... pg 9
Train Your Mind
Honoring the Planets
Jillene Moore introduces us to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction ................ pg 16
Kerry Shamblin explores how we get to know the planets through the varas ............ pg 28
The Character of Dosha
Shivaji and Sarada Erickson help us express spirituality in our lives ...... pg 18
Ena Burrud explores the personality traits of each dosha ........... pg 31
Method Over Mind
Chandra Sally Waggoner shares a spiritual approach to atheism .................... pg 34
Joe Aiken helps us to see with new eyes .... pg 21
Enduring to the End
Embracing the Shadow
Taylor Isaacson helps us embrace the ebbs and flows of life .............. pg 22
Alan Starner helps us to come to terms with our shadow ............................. pg 36
Self-Awareness, Reiki, and Healing the Creative Parts of Ourselves
Getting Down to Busyness
Join Katrina Pfannkuch as she weaves together these vast concepts ................... pg 24
Chuck Hancock reminds us how to stay in touch with ourselves .............................. pg 38
ISSUE # 11
Departments Journaling Corner Lauri Pointer teaches us the journaling technique of the Color Collage......................... pg 10
Health and Well-Being Directory Lessons from the Mat
.... pg 48
Northern Colorado Yoga Class Schedules Summer 2012 .......................................................... pg 50
Beth O’Brien expounds on yoga and your competitive mind .................... pg 11
Common Injuries in Yoga Somer King shares techniques to help with Hamstring Strain ........... pg 12
Summer 2012 Workshops .....
Summer Highlights Spiritual Breathing
Paddleboard Yoga and Wanderlust Festival ...................... pg 56
Learn how to cool down this summer with the “sipping breath” ...................... pg 15
The Sound of One Hand
The newest yoga studio in Fort Collins, Mindstream Yoga .... pg 40
Reflect on this short story from the classic book, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones ....... pg 58
At Home Practice
There’s No Place Like “Om”
Alexzandra Carlson-Tooker leads us through a Sunrise Salutation ....... pg 42
Stephanie Bennet captures the spirit of several local yogis .................. pg 59
May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness. May all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering. May all beings never be parted from freedomâ€™s true joy. May all beings dwell in equanimity, free from attachment and aversion. *photographed by DeFiore Photography ISSUE # 11
ALL UNDER ONE ROOF:
YOGA • PERSONAL TRAINING • MASSAGE THERAPY • PHYSICAL THERAPY • REIKI
1227 Riverside Ave Fort Collins www.theotherclubfitness.com Hillary Beck-Gifford
ACE Cert. Personal Trainer Cert. Viniyoga Instructor Cancer Exercise Specialist PWR! Moves Instructor Cert. Rossiter Coach firstname.lastname@example.org 970-484-1724
Valerie W. Potter
Cathy S. Brown-Berry
Doctorate in Physical Therapy Masters in Exercise Physiology Manual Therapist Cert. Yoga & Pilates Instructor www.vwptherapy.com 970-988-9229
Certified Personal Trainer Certified Yoga Instructor Certified Rossiter Coach email@example.com 970-481-4518
Cert. Massage Therapist (MT-571) Cert. Neuromuscular Therapist Trauma Release Therapy Specialist Level II Reiki Practitioner www.rockymountainmassage.com 970-484-9514
Why I Practice Yoga by Emily Wilson
hat did the moment look like in your life when you felt absolutely alive? Whether the sensation came from giving birth to a child, standing on top of a mountain, free-falling in a sky dive, or being at the best concert of your life, the sensations all remind us of the reason for living. Our bodies connect us to the universe. Those moments in life when we feel alive remind us that we are deeply connected to this world. As my practice has evolved, the reason why I come back to my mat time and time again has not changed. Certainly, the benefits of yoga are numerous however, the reason I return to my mat is that the sensations I experience in my body remind me … I AM ALIVE! There are many times in my life where it has felt monotonous. Daily predictable routines can bring this girl down. As humans, we are designed to grow and seek new luscious experiences. In yoga, there is always a new posture to master or a new creative flow to imagine making it never feel monotonous. Yoga awakens not only my physical structure, but also the mental and spiritual. When this powerful trinity unites, I feel more alive than ever! Through the human body, we experience sensations of being alive. Our body is the gateway into the infinite universe. It is what connects us to all things through the rhythm of life. Our days are filled with moments that connect us with the universe if you only stop and notice. When you share an ear-to-ear grin with a friend, when you snuggle up next to your dog, when you offer your help to someone, when you walk upon the earth, all of these things remind me that I am profoundly connected to the universe. No one can make it through this life alone and no one has to either. We all share cords of connections that tie us to people and places for life. If you have ever chanted OM in class, this is what it means. As the vibration of Ooo-UHH—MMmmm bounces around the room, it symbolizes the movements and vibrations of the earth: the ebb and flow of the tides, the setting sun, and the rising moon, the flow from crescent lunge to Dancing Shiva. We all need to be reminded we are more alive and connected than ever to the infinite universe.
Emily Wilson is a yoga teacher at Raintree Athletic Club and Om Ananda Yoga. She specializes in vinyasa ﬂow. Her educational background is in environmental sustainability through Colorada State University. Emily receives immense joy in seeing her students soak up the abundant beneﬁts yoga has to offer.
ISSUE # 11
conscious living summer
Journaling Corner Tools to Discover Your Authentic Self! by Lauri Pointer
ournal writing is a bit like carrying a therapist around in your book bag. Only this “therapist” is free, always available, and serves as a fabulous listener and sounding board. This Journaling Corner is dedicated to offering tools to more deeply discover your authentic self, process feelings and emotions, inspire greater wellness, develop your intuition, and stimulate your creative muse. I suggest dedicating a notebook or journal just for journal writing. My preference is unlined so it is like a blank canvas for your soul to pour forth onto the pages with writing, collage, doodling, etc. There are no rules for journaling, only basic suggestions.
Color Collage For this journaling exercise, you will need your journal, an old magazine that you don’t mind cutting out of, a glue stick, scissors, and a pen. As you may know, color has a vibrational frequency. We have seven major energy centers in our body called chakras and each of these chakras has a specific vibration and a specific color associated with it. After you have read through to the end of this column, close your eyes and invite into your mind’s eye a color that would most nourish your energy system right now in this moment. When a color comes to mind, notice the specific shade you are seeing of that color. When you feel like you have a good sense of the color, open your eyes and begin to flip through your magazine and tear out everything you see in that specific color you observed in your mind’s eye. Now using your glue stick and scissors, create a single color collage on one page of your journal. On the next page, write your reflections on the following questions: Do I notice any physical or energy sensations in any part of my body when I look at this color? How does this color make me feel? Why do I think this specific color is what my energy system needs right now? A journal is a great way to ﬁne-tune the subtle awareness of your energy system. The more we know about our own energy, the easier it is to stay healthy and vibrant. For more information about the energy system, go to www.LauriPointer.com and click on, “What is Healing Touch?”
Lauri Pointer, HTCP/I is a Healing Touch Certiﬁed Practitioner/Instructor and a Certiﬁed Journal to the Self Instructor with a private practice in Fort Collins, Colorado. She teaches Healing Touch and Journaling classes around the country and in northern Colorado. To receive her monthly Healing Touch & Journaling Newsletter, go to www.LauriPointer.com or contact Lauri at 970-484-2211. the
lessons from the mat summer
Yoga and Your Competitive Mind By Beth O’Brien
Yoga is the opposite of separation and competition. Yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning unite. But, is yoga truly non-competitive? I have a secret to share with you: I have felt competitive in yoga classes several times. In our Western society, with emphasis on individual achievement, competitive feelings are natural and even encouraged.
Competing with Others
At my first yoga class, the teacher asked us to move into Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog), which felt unnatural to me. As I struggled, I noticed the heels of several class participants touched the mat. My heels were far above the floor. “This won’t do,” I thought. At the end of class, I asked the instructor how many inches my heels were from touching the mat and how long she thought it would take for me to bring my heels to the floor. She smiled and said that perhaps in a few months my legs would be more flexible and I could place my heels on the floor.
There is a drawback when you make comparisons: one person wins, the other person loses; one person is better than, the other person is less than. I am uncomfortable with this black and white, reductionist view. When I find myself making comparisons with other yogis, I think of a stop sign and quietly say, “No need to go there, Beth.” Taking three relaxing breaths, I let go and refocus. Amy Ippoliti, a yoga teacher in Boulder, deals with competitive feelings by focusing on the gifts the other person brings to yoga as well as the gifts she brings. Ultimately, there is room for both. Ms. Ippoliti suggests that when feeling envious or competitive you may find it helpful to shift your perspective and remind yourself of how yoga brings you joy in the first place.
About a year into my yoga practice, still being more attuned to perfect posturing than bodily comfort, I attended a large yoga conference in Albuquerque. My plan was to dive in and savor the many classes being offered. Feeling overly ambitious and not having a realistic appraisal of my abilities, I attended a twohour intermediate Ashtanga yoga class. There were at least 100 students in the gym-like setting, our mats pressed tightly together. High energy permeated the room. Attendees warmed up like ballet students about to perform. Half way through the class, the teacher asked an experienced Ashtanga practitioner to demonstrate Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock pose), a forearm balance pose where you place your elbows on the floor and extend your legs up toward the sky. She executed this pose beautifully. Then, to my surprise, she exited the pose by jumping up into the air and while airborne, she changed her hand position and landed on the floor in Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose). She moved easily, with the teacher lightly assisting her.
Competing with Yourself For me, this is the bigger challenge and has to do with self-talk that occurs while practicing yoga. My inner critic can be obnoxious at times. “What do you mean you’re chickening out of trying that pose?” or “I bet yoginis with stronger arms/more flexible back/ flatter abs could master this pose,” says the perfectionist within. With time, I’ve learned that listening to these thoughts backfires. Instead of being patient, I will push myself harder and the pose becomes even more difficult because my body is tense. These days I silence my inner critic by laughing, then embracing my imperfection and humanity. Then difficult poses are approached with a child-like sense of awe and fun. This is one way to accept yourself while on the mat.
My body began sweating, not from the practice, but more from the anticipation of what would be asked of me. I kept watching the other students in the class, comparing my level of practice to theirs, seeing if beads of worry polished their forehead as well. At this point, the teacher loudly proclaimed to the entire class: “Stop looking at the person in front of you! They know even less than you do.” We burst into laughter. The laughter helped me relax and I was able to finish the class, grateful for surviving the challenge.
Ravi Dykema, yoga teacher and author of Yoga for Fitness and Wellness, suggests we neither strive nor pursue goal-driven yoga. Instead, he favors doing poses with less effort: “Do the pose in such a way that you would get a C grade for effort if someone could feel inside and grade you.” Trying yogi Dykema’s approach, I moved with full effort into Downward Dog pose, and then reduced my effort. Yes, there was a change! I breathed easier and my muscles were less constricted as I reached my arms toward the mat, hips lifting, back stretching. The faultfinding chatter stopped.
So, knowing that competitive thoughts can and do arise in yoga, the tricky part is what to do with them.
Recognizing competitive feelings and then letting them go can bring new joy and ease to your yoga practice. That makes for “good enough” yoga that can continue to evolve, and Downward Dog poses where your heels can hover happily above the floor.
Beth O’Brien, Ph.D., is a certiﬁed Hatha Yoga Instructor and licensed Psychologist. She teaches vinyasa yoga classes at the Yoga Center of Fort Collins. Your comments are welcome! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.bethobrienyoga.com. ISSUE # 11
common injuries in yoga summer
Hamstring Strain by Somer King
ver strained a hamstring doing yoga? Rest assured that you are among a crowd of many. This can be a nagging injury, especially when the steps aren’t known to allow it to heal. Yogis commonly have over-lengthened and weaker hamstrings due to some styles of yoga that incorporate much more forward bending. Hamstring strains can cause many yoga practitioners to avoid specific poses because of pain or fear of re-injuring the area. Although you can strain the muscle belly of the hamstring, this article is about the most common injury that yogis experience. This injury happens at the attachment point of the three hamstrings (semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris) at the ischial tuberosity (sitting bone).
What is a hamstring strain? This is an injury that occurs from over stretching. A strain happens when the muscle fibers tear at the muscle or tendon. A strain can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the percentage of fibers torn. The worse the strain, the more time it needs to heal before stretching it again, and the longer you have to be extra mindful of this area during your practice. A mild strain may take two to three weeks and a moderate strain three to six weeks to heal and able to withstand stronger forces.
What causes a hamstring to strain? There are different reasons people can strain their hamstrings during a yoga practice. 1.
Tilting the pelvis too far forward (anterior) during forward bending. Causes the lower back to over arch and raises the sitting bones (where the hamstrings attach). In Anusara Yoga, this could be classified as too much “Inner Spiral”, which also includes separating the sitting bones away from each other. a.
The counterbalance to this requires more of a posterior pelvic tilt, which is a downward movement of the tailbone. You will need more pelvic floor and abdominal work to lift the pubic bone toward the ribs and anchor the sitting bones.
Side note: It is vital to know your body and your limits going into a yoga class. Often times, students listen so intently to the teacher, ignore how their own body is feeling, and push past their limits. Also, many classes may be emphasizing a certain action or alignment cue that is good for the average person, but may not apply to your body as much. Remember that balanced action is the key.
Not enough muscle engagement. Allows you to hang on or overstretch your tendons, ligaments, and joints. Let’s take Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) for example. The tendency is for the front leg to get lazy and often teachers will cue to lift the kneecap with the quadriceps. This is an important action, but it’s also just as important to drag the front heel toward your center to keep the hamstring contracted and avoid overstretching it. Those of you who hyperextend at the knees need to be extra aware of this!
Scar tissue from a previous injury: Makes the area more vulnerable to restraining. When you’ve strained the hamstring before, your body will typically form too much scar tissue to heal the area. The scar tissue, which connects itself to the fascia (connective tissue) around the hamstrings, can pull at the attachment point quicker than normal when stretching it. Basically, you will feel the stretch much quicker than before. a.
Side note: You should feel the stretch in the muscle bellies of the hamstrings and not at the attachment point near the sitting bones. If you ever feel the stretch up high, that’s your cue to change something about your form, foundation, and/or actions because this is a warning sign. Try backing off and contracting the quadriceps more.
What makes a hamstring injury worse? Stretching it too early makes those little micro-tears worse. Allow three to five days for a mild strain and five to seven days for a moderate strain before stretching it again. Also, be mindful about irritating it during your normal daily activities, such as bending over to pick something up, putting shoes on and sleeping on your side with your knee toward your chest. All of these things will keep re-aggravating the strain during its acute stage (first week after injury).
What can help heal a hamstring strain? Once you have strained a hamstring, you will have to be very aware of keeping the area toned while it’s still healing, especially during standing poses and forward bends.
• Myofascial tightness can show up in the hip flexors, adductors, hip rotators, IT band, and other areas.
Tips for your yoga practice: 1.
Draw your sitting bones toward one another, especially with standing or seated forward bends
Drag the heel back (for the front leg) in standing poses, i.e.: Parsvakonasana and Trikonasana
Press the heel into the floor during seated poses, i.e.: Janu Sirsasana and Upavista Konasana
Root the heel through the ground in single leg standing poses, i.e.: Virabhadrasana III and Ardha Chandrasana
Root and drag front heel back during standing and seated twists that stretch the other hip, i.e.: Revolved Parsvakonasana and Ardha Matsyandrasana
Other tips for full recovery: 1.
Focused and consistent training (at least 3x/week) to enhance the strength and endurance of the hamstrings.
Address compensatory patterns for long-term recovery.
• Dealing with these will help avoid future re-injury to the area and dysfunctional movement patterns. • The severity of these patterns will depend on the person’s mechanism of injury, extent of injury and previous injuries. • Can be evaluated and treated by a good manual physical therapist.
The “Common Injuries in Yoga Series” appear in each issue of Yoga Connection magazine. The article is created by Somer King at Evolve Physical Therapy and Yoga. Evolve is located in South Ft. Collins, CO and offers many holistic solutions: Yoga, Physical Therapy, Massage, Reiki, CranioSacral Therapy and Intuitive Healing. Visit www. evolveptandyoga.com for more information on yoga classes, workshops and retreats.
• Utkatasana (Chair Pose) • All Warrior poses • Single leg standing poses • Goddess pose • Add in core strengthening, so your abdominals help root the tailbone and tone the tops of the hamstrings. 2.
You can use a tennis ball for a butt massage, as your hip rotators and gluteals will tighten with this injury.
Be sure to stretch your hip flexors and quadriceps more if you know this is part of your imbalance.
Bodywork will be essential to work out the myofascial restrictions in your hamstrings and hip rotators from the strain itself. This may include deep tissue massage (from an advanced massage therapist), myofascial release, Rolfing, or other forms of manual therapy.
ISSUE # 11
Counseling & Psychotherapy Maggie Tibbetts, LCSW
Combining traditional therapy approaches with mindful and meditative techniques Work with issues of: depression, anxiety, relationships, grief & loss, and life transitions
970-988-4173 maggieStibbetts@gmail.com 218 Peterson Street, Ft. Collins, CO 80524
ny f a ge f 2 o sa 1/ mas r o d f $45 a r is th ge o n a tio ck en a p a M g yo $25 Unl One M for imited onth New Yo Stu ga den ts
Dedicated to your Devoted Transformation Through Love www.risinglotusfoco.com âˆž 970-372-9992 Offering variety of Vinyasa, Restorative, Viniyoga and Prenatal classes throughout the week. Visit our website for schedule, massage and nutrition information!
Located at 4201 S. College inside Pivotal Wellness Chiropractic the
spiritual breathing summer
The Sipping Breath P
ranayama reduces mental tension, focuses the mind, and increases the bodyâ€™s energy level by oxygenating the blood stream. Pranayama is the control of your life force (prana), it is not the control of your breath. It is also your mind and body, thoughts, emotions, and actions. This begins with your breath, but the control of it needs to quickly become the conscious release of all creative forces of your being. This technique is similar to sipping air through a straw. To begin the technique, perform the resurrection breath. Take a full deep breath and forcibly expel the air through the open mouth to your left. Pucker your lips as tightly as possible, leaving only a small opening through which to sip air. The inhalation should be an unending stream without any break in the breath. Inhale as long and slowly as you can. Sip strongly enough to produce a sound, but not a whistle. A whistling sound is an indication that you are sipping too strongly. The slower the inhale, the better. However, there should not be a break in the breath. You want to draw out the inhalation as long as possible without strain. A long strained breath is meaningless. When the lungs are filled (full chalice), hold the breath as long as you comfortably can. Before there is even the slightest strain, forcibly empty the lungs through the open mouth, without turning your head to the left. Repeat this process of inhalation through pursed lips and exhalation through the open mouth as long as you feel comfortable. In the early stages of your training, practice for three to five minutes each day. The sipping breath reduces phlegm in the body and prepares you for meditation. The effectiveness of your meditation is directly proportional to how free your physical body is of excessive phlegm and how clear your mind is of excessive emotion. This is measured by how effortlessly you can hold your mind and body motionless while practicing. There must be stillness, but with comfort and stability. Your body and mind need to be at full attention, yet without tension.
This pranayama technique is adapted from Goswami Kriyanandaâ€™s Kriya Sadhana. ISSUE # 11
Train Your Mind Know Your Body by Jillene Moore
ou probably know that yoga comes from the same root word as yoke. It’s about joining; bringing body and mind together. Union. Sometimes we include meditation or pranayama breathing with our yoga to facilitate this union. But, how often do we engage, day after day, in a program to help us train our minds to pay close attention, to both the contents of the mind and the body itself? Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) does exactly that. We begin by turning our attention to the body, engaging our deep curiosity about how each part of the body is doing. We live in a culture which tends to either ignore the body altogether or push it hard, so this can be interesting business!
What is MBSR? Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction was created by Jon KabatZinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School more than 30 years ago. The initial Stress Management Program became the Center for Mindfulness (CFM), which has grown to be the largest and oldest academic medical center-based stress reduction program in the world. MBSR teaches structured mindfulness practices that focus one’s attention. Few of us have ever turned toward our bodies or minds in such a way, so this can be a powerfully healing and unifying practice in itself. In addition to the body scan, participants practice sitting meditation, walking meditation, and contemplative yoga. It might be the slowest yoga you’ve ever done; again, it invites precise and sustained attention. In addition, assignments are given each week to help participants integrate mindfulness into daily life. One of the best parts of the experience is that you’re practicing with others who are as keen on training their minds as you!
Through the eight weeks of any MBSR program, we are focused on practice, practice, practice. And beyond the formal practice, we begin noticing how the responsiveness of being mindful can decrease a great deal of the stress in our lives. It also brings us deeper and deeper into experience of the body—actually knowing oneself as being embodied. Union.
meditation The curriculum for MBSR is the same around the world. Tens of thousands of physicians and other health care professionals, educators, and corporate trainers have received training to teach MBSR. The 8-week program consists of weekly classes (2.5 hours), plus a full-day silent retreat in week six. Nearly 20,000 people have taken the program at the Center for Mindfulness alone. Many more have taken the program around the world.
summer 201 The claims for what a participant can expect are well founded. Researchers have been tracking the efficacy of MBSR since its inception. This spring the Center hosted its 10th Annual Scientific Conference where clinicians, researchers and educators gathered to share scientific findings, clinical approaches, teaching experiences and ideas. (www.umassmed.edu/cfm)
Not for Sissies
MBSR in Northern Colorado
Jon Kabat-Zinn says this often, “MBSR is not for sissies!” What does he mean? The 8-week program requires not only class attendance, but also 40-60 minutes of practice at least 6 days a week. Most of us are not accustomed to paying close attention to our experiences for this much time each day, and what we find when we begin to look can be disconcerting. But, the continual act of turning toward what’s alive in us—in any given moment—is, as Kabat-Zinn says, a radical act of love.
Presently, the only MBSR classes offered in Fort Collins are taught by Jillene Moore, M.Ed. and Mike Towbin, MD. Dr. Towbin took the first MBSR course that Jillene taught in January 2007, and he has just completed the MBSR Professional Training offered by the Center for Mindfulness. Jillene owns Attend 2 Life, Ltd., and offers classes in northern Colorado. She is very happy to be partnering with Dr. Towbin as she continues to offer MBSR courses.
In addition, carving out time and creating discipline to simply show up for and with oneself day after day can be daunting. While the practices are simple, they are not always easy to step into day after day. But, the fearless person who is willing to take on the task of attending to the contents of the mind and the experience of the body learns a powerful tool for also attending to life as it occurs. It’s the very definition of stress reduction: a deepening capacity to “be with what’s happening, as it’s happening, without judgment.” And, this way of training the brain provides proven, positive effects on the brain’s functions. Brain chemistry, the endocrine system, and immunity are all improved when stress is reduced.
ISSUE # 11
Would you like to learn more? New 8-week MBSR classes will start in August and run through September, and obligation-free preview classes are always offered in the weeks before the course begins. Visit www.Attend2Life.com for dates and registration information. Jillene Moore is in her 5th year of teaching MBSR, and at age 50, she completed Prana Yoga’s 265-hour teacher training in Contemplative Classical Hatha Yoga. She loves most to practice turning toward what is happening with herself and others, ﬁnding that focused attention makes all of life more interesting!
Integrating Inspiration Expressing Spirituality in Our Lives by Shivaji and Sarada Erickson
“You are not far from the state of pure truth, pure consciousness, and pure bliss that you are seeking. Even when you are in your darkest hour, it is very close to you.” ~Sri Shambhavananda
nspiration is a feeling of joy and creativity flowing through us. The feeling of lightness and expansiveness we feel in moments of inspiration connects us to something greater than our mundane, limited selves. We seek to illicit the feeling through experiences and activities associated with evoking it in the past. Often we experience inspiration through the natural beauty of the wilderness. We can also feel uplifted and inspired through physical activities like yoga, rock climbing, running, swimming, cycling, weight lifting, the creative mediums of music and art, or the pursuit of knowledge to name just a few. It’s likely that many of us coordinate much of our life around the activities that bring us some joy and inspiration in our life, and often make significant sacrifices in order to do so. It is the inherently rewarding nature of the inspirational feeling that drives us to repeat these activities.
Sometimes we can feel the extraordinary fulfillment of inspiration sparked by what we do. Often, though, as we become accustomed to these things, we may have more difficulty sparking the feeling of joy and inspiration by these external means. This is natural. A central tenet of yogic philosophy is that the experience of inspiration, joy, peace, and creativity has its ultimate source within us, as one pure state of being. Holding a happy baby or reuniting with an old friend are examples of potent experiences that can evoke our inner light of joy. Yogic philosophy and practices are designed to tap into this natural state being. Through the various techniques of yoga, we can transcend our normal level of consciousness, self-definitions, beliefs, and conditioning. This transformation ultimately immerses us in the deepest and most pure level of being, Satchitananda - pure truth, pure consciousness, and pure bliss. We learn to access this dimension within by finding stillness in meditation.
After finding your seat in meditation, immerse your awareness in the natural flow of your breath. Allow your mind to quiet by breathing consciously. The mind is like an ocean; our thoughts are likened to the waves at its surface, always fluctuating and sometimes turbulent. However, our awareness need not dwell at that level entirely. Our awareness can move into deeper levels of consciousness, like sinking below the waves and currents into profound stillness. As you meditate upon this imagery, feel with each breath that you are also connecting with your naval. Focusing on the naval is very centering and grounding. And, as you continue with this practice, you will find stillness within.
This practice can be done at any time. You may start practicing more formally when sitting for meditation, but with experience, you will be able to use this in any moment tensions arise. Begin by practicing simple breath awareness. Breathe deeply into the heart center, experiencing a sense of lightness and connection to inner stillness. By focusing deeper within, we are connecting to a state of awareness that transcends, or rises above, the level where our tensions exist. With each inhale, feel your awareness move deeper into the heart, bringing more stillness, energy, and light. With each exhale relax, letting go of tension, and feeling the light in your heart expand. Repeat with each breath until you feel lighter and free of tension. At your center, you are connected to stillness, peace, joy, and creativity - inspiration! Practicing surrender, you are integrating your inspiration. ~Namaste~
Once you experience it, fixate your focus into the stillness, imagining that you are sinking deeper into the ocean of the mind until you reside at the ocean floor. With the growing stillness, you are tapping into extraordinary reserves of energy manifesting as peace, joyfulness, and creativity - Satchitananda! You can, by your own intention, tap into inspiration!
Shivaji and Sarada Erickson are the founders of Om Ananda Yoga and are Acharyas in the Shambhava School of Yoga. This recognition is given to individuals who have dedicated their lives to the spiritual path and helping others along the way. They lead yoga and meditation classes and a variety of teacher trainings. Shivaji holds a MS in Biological Science with an emphasis in anatomy and physiology and is a Adjunct Professor at FRCC. Sarada holds a MS in Human Nutrition and works with nutrition education for low-income families. Both deeply enjoy walking and sharing the yogic path.
After you find inspiration within, the real trick is incorporating it into your life. This involves deeply letting go of our tensions, limitations, and definitions through surrender. Not surrender in the sense of just giving up, but surrender in the willingness and capacity to let go, finding detachment and compassion. The benchmark of progress is the ability to practice surrender in our lives and not just on the yoga mat or meditation cushion. Expanding that state off the mat or cushion into the full arena of our lives is the goal. Through this spiritual practice of surrender, we are able to integrate inspiration and our life becomes an expression of spirituality.
ISSUE # 11
Directed at creating the highest level of energy, vitality and freedom. www.LovelandYogaCoreFitness.com Christi Sullivan 100 E 3rd Street Loveland
Join in this dynamic asana sequence of 12 postures performed as one continuous flow. Please RSVP to email@example.com as space is limited. $20 suggested donation, payable to Tomi Simpson. At Raintree Athletic Club, Ft. Collins, CO 80526 Questions: Becky Litton 303-888-6997
Come in for a free week!
life l essons summer
by Joe Aiken
A slight mist was rising off the shallow pond. On the far shore,
marsh grasses and cattails quickly gave way to a light-green springtime forest. Scanning the shoreline with my binoculars, I came upon a spectacular sight; a Great Blue Heron. I was in a college bird identification class at the time and it was very exciting to see the large grayish-blue bird. I had never seen such a bird; it stood about 4 feet tall and was somewhat prehistoric. In the days and weeks that followed this first encounter, something strange occurred. I started seeing Great Blue Herons all over the place. It turns out that they are quite common, and I wondered why I had never seen one before, wondered what had clouded my perception. That was many years ago, but the story came up recently while thinking about how we generate thoughts and habits that prevent us from being fully present, prevent us from opening our hearts, and prevent our creativity from flourishing. It dawned on me that perhaps three of the lessons from that long ago birding class might be useful. The first birding lesson was that the birds do not often show up in your backyard, you need to go where the birds are. In our own lives, we need to go inside ourselves and explore our own nature. Mindfulness, yoga, prayer, and other vehicles can carry you there, but you have to go there - practice. The second birding lesson was to appreciate what nature gives us, to be open to what the habitat has to offer on a given day. Some days the birds will be plentiful, varied, and colorful; other days just a bunch of little brown jobs (LBJs). If you are looking into your heart, be prepared to encounter the joy and sadness that comes along with love and compassion and the lifetime of memories that are stored there. Accept what is offered on that day and appreciate it. The third birding lesson is to beware of illusions; many a laugh was had as one of my birding friends would shout out â€œeagle!â€? while what we were all looking at was a sea gull! We can all be misled by the illusions that are around us, illusions that we create ourselves. Be aware of the illusions that hold you down, that inhibit your creativity, and try to see things as they are. Your focus, like the focus of the binoculars, will help you see more clearly and will help you to laugh at yourself. My perception of the world changed when that first heron came into my field of view and I am still working on it. The simple ideas discussed above can help us find birds, and they may help us to practice being present. These ideas can help us to get out and appreciate nature, as well as what we find in our heart, including the Great Blue Herons, the sea gulls, and the LBJs. And, finally, these ideas can help us to know illusion when it flies before us, so that we can be capable of seeing the Oyster Catcher skim along the breakers at last light, the Swallow-Tailed Kite float above the palms amid late afternoon clouds, and be aware enough to catch the ephemeral visit of the avocets and other beauties as they briefly migrate through our town each spring.
ISSUE # 11
Joe Aiken is currently working on his Yoga practice and on his pottery-making skills. He enjoys making people happy by cooking a good meal and he is a very slow runner. While he occasionally dabbles with the written word, he spends most of his time being a husband, a father to two college students, and an environmental scientist.
Enduring to the End Embrace the Ebbs and Flows by Taylor Isaacson “Stress only serves to strengthen our strengths. Enduring increases our endurance. These tests provide us with the power for greater and longer ﬂights.” ~ George Sheehan
was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.” His words are like a shot of espresso. I get another boost of energy and keep moving. I feel every ebb and flow. So, I endure to the end.
uthor and runner, Dr. George Sheehan, said that you’re a hero if you try your best in a race; it doesn’t matter if you’re the first or last to cross the finish line. The marathon is a breeding ground for heroes. Every racer running 26.2 miles goes head to head with fatigue, pain, and self-doubt. So how is the playing field leveled? For the seasoned veterans, the race is over in less than four hours. While they’re resting, there are people still at mile 20. “Back of the pack” runners endure the challenges longer.
There are times, however, when giving up is the best thing to do. My friend blogged about the first and only time she went skiing. Within a minute of putting on her skis, she fell. She tried but couldn’t get the hang of it. Frustrated and embarrassed, she realized that she never really wanted to ski. The only reason she went was because her friends had asked her to. She was wasting her energy on something that wasn’t truly important to her. So, she gave up and she was okay with that.
With this perspective of heroism, I won’t be discouraged if I’m in the back of the pack when I run my first marathon. What scares me most is putting in the time and energy to train. I thrive on 100-meter dash moments, like snowboarding in the Austrian Alps and doing a headstand without the wall. They’re moments bursting with anticipation, fear, and joy. As a self-proclaimed Wanderer and Risk-Taker, I think this is the ideal lifestyle. However, I’m testing my endurance by pursuing a more stable goal.
Her story is a reminder that each of us should pursue a goal for the right reasons. A good starting point is to give meaning and presence to our movements. Otherwise, why are we moving? If you’re anything like me, you fidget to distract yourself. We scratch our nose in meditation even though it doesn’t itch. We talk when we have nothing to say. And, the quickest way to bring our attention back to the now is by focusing on our breath.
We should give ourselves the time and space to experience the ebbs and flows of a marathon-like goal. Don’t know where to start? Look no further than your yoga mat. All it takes is one minute in Pigeon Pose and your attention shifts from what you’re having for lunch to your burning thigh. It got your attention - good! Then your brain says the feeling is unpleasant, certainly not as pleasant as the thought of a veggie burger! Okay, that’s enough! No. More. Pigeon. Pose! Your mind wants to give up, but that’s when the pose and its benefits truly begin. Linger with the pose, just as you would linger over a cup of chai with your friend. Each breath builds strength and endurance.
Please, live wildly. Sky dive, zipline in British Columbia, tell that person how you feel - whatever is on your bucket list. You know you’re on the right track when your Grandma always asks, “Now are you sure that’s a good idea?” These 100-meter dash moments will add up to a marathon - when your endurance is put to the test, when you are your own hero. Be present for each step, stumble, and fall. Remember, you don’t always have to sprint. You can walk, or, as Kerouac says, roll.
Running also builds endurance. During the first few minutes of a run, I look more like an elephant than a light and graceful antelope. But, I put one foot in front of the other until my body relaxes into its natural rhythm. My breath is smooth and even. My mind wanders freely. I soak up the sunshine and view of the ... BAM! Fatigue hits me. I’ve had enough. Beat poet Jack Kerouac said, “There the
Taylor Isaacson is an English teacher in the Czech Republic. Her yoga practice is helping her physically and mentally adapt to life abroad. Comments and questions are welcomed! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ISSUE # 11
Self-Awareness, Reiki, and Healing the Creative Parts of Ourselves by Katrina Pfannkuch
alternative healing summer
rather than looking at emotional or spiritual elements. You may have had an interaction with someone that caused you pain, and you buried it. Perhaps there is a current long-standing relationship in your life draining a lot of your energy, but you continue to “just deal with it.” Another possible explanation is that you are not doing enough of the things that bring you joy, the simple, heart-felt inspiring things that could help reopen your sacral chakra, which is your creativity generator and power house.
hat makes alternative healing modalities so powerful is the fact they take into consideration the mind, body, and spirit elements of the healing process. When these three things are all in balance, you feel clear, motivated, healthy, energetic, and whole. It’s what most people are really striving for when they say they want “life balance.” But part of the human experience is understanding what it’s like to be out of alignment, allowing us to work with the parts of ourselves that need love, attention, and healing so we can evolve into a new perspective. Walking this path is common yet unique in that we all have to walk it, but need to do it in our own way. And, as we evolve, we may come to realize the old way of doing things no longer works, and that feeling of inner wholeness seems elusive.
This is just one illustration of how an imbalance can really throw off an important part of daily joy and creative expression. Reiki is such a helpful modality because it gets all the chakras working together again as a system, which is how they are designed to work in the first place. Then you are able to create from a place of wholeness instead of lack or imbalance.
If you are feeling “off”, in pain, or not yourself for more than a day or so (and you aren’t actually sick), you have some fun investigative work to do. Getting to the root cause of discomfort is how you will discover what’s next to release and heal, and will help you evolve physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Reiki and Chakra Balance as a Way of Thinking and Being One of the best things about being a Reiki Master is the variety of ways I use it in my everyday life. I’m better at understanding myself and clearing my own blocks. I’m also able to look at a challenge from a variety of viewpoints based on my state of inner balance. When you can use the idea of chakra balance as a good barometer for self-assessment, you see old patterns ready for release or effective solutions to problems. There are seven main chakras that govern the body and are associated with the body, mind spirit elements of your well-being. Learning about them is easy, and there are many books or online resources that can provide additional information.
The Obvious and Subtle Signs and What they Mean Physical pain is one way mental, emotional, and spiritual disconnect can manifest outside of the obvious (injury). Sickness or injury can also be a way for the body to create an opportunity to rest because of overexertion or too much focus in the mental space. However, sometimes symptoms can be a bit more vague. Fatigue, confusion, anxiety, trouble concentrating, feeling lost, or creatively barren are some very common examples, but not very insightful ones on their own because of the variety of potential causes.
I’ve also found that Reiki is helpful for entrepreneurs, creatives, and business owners because they spend so much time in their mental space. Their energy flow can easily be constricted or closed down, because they are completely disconnected from their creative fire.
When you start to notice these kinds of symptoms, it’s time to ask questions that dig deeper, but the key is in how you ask. The mind creates questions that are cemented in the “mental body” perspective and don’t always really consider all the possibilities – especially ideas or concepts that might bring up past hurts or current fears. Our mind wants to avoid pain of any kind, so it can be tricky in how it deflects inquiries by giving you “safe” answers.
Once you know some potential areas where energy might be out of balance, you can then bring in some practices to help improve the energetic flow and keep things moving. Yoga is a very useful tool for chakra balancing (if done regularly) as well as working with crystals and meditations that focus on a specific chakra. Affirmations work for some, but be sure to get really clear on what you want to reinforce before writing them for yourself.
Reiki as Creative Healing Support That’s why working with a Reiki practitioner who can look at your energy centers (chakras) and other “non-physical” elements of your being to see what else might be going on can be really enlightening, as well as objective. When our chakras are closed or out of balance, it affects many aspects of our mental, spiritual, and physical wellbeing, making us feel anything but whole.
The most important thing to remember along your spiritual path is that a quality life is not always hiding somewhere outside of you. If you can look at how to keep your chakras balanced daily as best you can, you’ll find that you can move through life with a lightness and awareness that is supportive, healthy and offers insights and growth beyond what you were ever thinking could be possible.
With an energy healing modality such as Reiki, a practitioner can actively look at your chakras, in addition to the physical causes for pain, and give you a much more expanded perspective and insight on your challenges. They can also be helpful in asking insightful questions to dig deeper in a way that’s hard to do for yourself.
Katrina Pfannkuch is a creative business consultant, entrepreneur, teacher, intuitive and Reiki Master passionate about helping others explore creative boundaries and shine their unique light. Her blog CreativeKatrina (www.creativekatrina. com) is about how to dig in deep and ignite your own creative ﬁre, and also provides tools and perspectives that help people “come home” to their naturally creative state.
For example, maybe you’re not feeling as creative as you used to or have had a tough time connecting with creative ideas or inspirations. Meditation or other basic practices haven’t helped, and you are feeling discouraged and stuck. There could be many reasons why this is happening, but you keep trying to think your way through it ISSUE # 11
spiritual philosophy summer
How connection to each other helps our own spiritual evolution
“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together” ~Aboriginal, Queensland.
Sutra 1.33 exemplifies our relationships to others: “the mind becomes quiet when it cultivates friendliness in the presence of happiness, active compassion in the presence of unhappiness, joy in the presence of virtue, and indifference of error.” These words encourage us to actively engage with others and be part of their experience in a positive way, such as being happy for someone who has come into abundance rather than being jealous, feeling empathy for someone who has a negative experience, or appreciating the positive ways people deal with moral or ethical dilemmas with a calm mind. In other words, we see the whole picture including others instead of only seeing life from our own narrow lens. If we believe we are a part of a whole, then the effects from our actions on others affect us. Therefore, we are helping our own evolution when we engage with others in a positive way. It’s a closed loop system where positivity begets positivity and conversely, negativity begets negativity.
he idea of liberation can conjure many different images, but I imagine being set free from the confines of something. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali explain liberation or moksha as one of the main goals of yoga. Sutra 1.13 says through persevering effort, we gradually attain and maintain mental peace, and 2.2 says as the causes of suffering (kleshas) decrease and fall away, our ability to reach a contemplative state is unhindered. Therefore, we could say we become free from our past and future mental and emotional baggage. We could also say as we end our suffering we see clearly and become one with the divine pure consciousness. One Buddhist definition of moksha is attaining the highest happiness. Whichever definition you choose, it’s important to understand we all have the potential to evolve towards a liberated state, but is this achieved independent of others, or in bonding with others? It may be a challenging concept to grasp for it’s hard enough for many of us to focus on nurturing and supporting our own personal liberation, so how can we also provide and be responsible for the liberation of others?
Let’s clarify all the dimensions of this concept with a real life example. What better environment to captivate and practice the effort of positivity than in a modern airport? One morning last November, I was traveling from Boston back to Colorado. It was an unusually busy morning even by the airport’s standards and so people were anxious to catch planes, frustrated by long lines and inexperienced travelers taking “too” much time in the security lines. Even though I hope I am moving (or most days bumbling) along in my practice towards liberation, I could not walk through security with the clearest and calmest mind so that the tension of others and the environment had no effect. However, what I could do was to keep my attitude of positivity while being part of the chaos. But, maybe that is what these practices teach us - to feel the reality of the whole, but still act consciously towards a positive outcome from a personal perspective. That was the easy part.
The answers to these questions lie in all of us. I invite you to think about the last time the actions of others did not affect you, or when your actions did not affect another. It’s like the six degrees of separation idea where people you know are affected by your actions, their actions (influenced by yours) in turn affect others, and so on through a web of relationships. Many of us think of ourselves as the lone ranger, but in reality, we are at the mercy of others and they us, so it makes sense how our liberation is tied into others. If we can let the individual ego fall away and see the world as a web of interactive play, moving along with our evolution, as we evolve in positive ways we can affect others in a positive way. Gandhi said this nicely with, “be the change you want to see in the world.”
I stopped in a Dunkin Donuts to investigate the menu when I heard something groggy and unintelligible coming from a man as he moved brusquely past me, pushing me as he went. No eye contact, no apology, seemingly no awareness of his forceful interaction with me. Then I understood what he had said to me: “move.” My heart started racing as my fiery nature came into form, and I felt the heat on my face and body rise. I had to muster up the ability to stay “calm” until it passed because I was trying to stay positive, even though I was mad at this person who was also really a reflection to me of a part of humanity that is selfish, diminishing the positivity of the whole. I got in line behind a woman with two children who were exclaiming how hungry they were, as she apologized for not feeding them before they left. I approached the counter where the cashier was lamenting about her stolen cell phone from a bathroom, and I empathized with her loss and frustration. As I left the store and found a seat, I realized my anger had subsided, and the plight of others had softened my heart and mind. I even tried to envision the situation of the man who angered me, who may have been in a hurry due to a lot of stress. I was experiencing how my liberation from my anger was bound to others. By empathizing with others’ experiences in the airport, I was connecting to them, and I was able to remove my focus from my self-geared, subjective experience and direct it towards a more objective whole. As I was mad about my plight, someone else was experiencing anger or frustration about their plight. We are not different; we just have different experiences that lead us to the same states. Thus, we can have positive experiences that can lead us to the same positive states thereby shifting the whole towards liberation. Compassion for others will bring compassion for oneself. Thus, we are all bound together as we move towards liberation. Gandhi said, “The yogi is not one who sits down to practice breathing exercises. He is one who looks upon all with an equal eye, sees all creatures in himself. Such a one obtains moksha.” This is what enables me to see that I am like the people in the airport line. I am like the people in the coffee shop. I am all of them and they are one of me. So, the next time I suffer from feeling angry, sad, frustrated, or confused, I can soften my heart, understand that this is the common human condition, and move towards my positive evolution and liberation, which is not separate from the whole. Knowing that I am not alone in this journey is liberating in itself.
Barb Gibson, E-RYT 500, has been studying yoga for 21 years and teaching for 13 years most recently in the Viniyoga lineage. She is currently a yoga therapist in training through the American Viniyoga Institute and specializes in musculoskeletal and emotional therapeutic work in private and small group settings incorporating her knowledge of asana, pranayama, meditation, chanting, philosophy, and contemplative practices to specialize practices for individual needs and goals. She can be reached at email@example.com
ISSUE # 11
he sequence of weekdays that we follow is an ancient tradition, with each day of the week being associated with one of the seven visible planets. In jyotish, the science of light that we call Vedic astrology, these days are known as varas. Vara means turn, as in, each planet has a turn in the progression of days that make up a week. Getting to know the planets through the varas provides a way to harmonize the energies of the planets, a great tool on the evolutionary path. While an astrological reading may help us identify the dominant planetary type in the personality or which planets may be more or less influential during different periods of life, this information remains inert until we start interacting and relating with the planetary energies using clear intention. Choices about which actions to take on which days should be weighed in combination with a variety of other factors that come into play when making an astrologically-based decision. The most commonly consulted factors are known in jyotish as panchanga, the five attributes of each day. The first four attributes of panchanga have to do with the position and phase of the Moon, with the fifth being vara, day of the week. There are general indications for actions that are supported on each day based on the nature of the planetary ruler of the day. It should be noted that the beginning of a day is marked at sunrise. For example, “Sunday at 2am” is still considered Saturday in this practice. Each one of us carries the archetypes of each planet in our astrological chart, but they are revealed or hidden, supported or obstructed, expressed or ignored in different combinations and measures for every individual. This is what makes us the same and unique at the same time. Using the days of the week to create simple rituals for propitiation of the planets can be a fulfilling way to begin a relationship with our universal currency. Here are the five attributes of each day of the week to help you build your own personal practice.
Each one of us carries the archetypes of each planet
The Sun, as the center of our planetary system, represents the Self, the father, the expression of the soul and the central purpose of life. When we honor our individuality and exercise balanced expression of the ego, we build healthy self-esteem and become a light to ourselves and others. Planet: Sun Sanskrit Name: Surya Guna: Sattwa Seed Syllable: Om Sum (also Om Ram) Mantra: Om Suryaya Namah Gem: Ruby, garnet Colors: Bright clear red, warm colors, golds, oranges Activities: Individual pursuits, connection with father/fatherhood, actions that require courage, leadership, outdoor activities in the Sun, Surya Namaskar (Sun salutation)
The Moon shows the capacity for receiving and reflecting the light that emanates from the Sun. The Moon is an agent of the divine feminine principle and shows the strength of receptivity and vulnerability. It is sensitive and changeable in nature, connected with consciousness and emotions.
Mars is the planet of drive and power. Its main concern is acquisition and management of resources that provide life support for the self. Without Mars, it would be difficult to provide ourselves with the basic necessities of life: food, fuel, and shelter.
Sanskrit Name: Chandra
Sanskrit Name: Mangala
Seed Syllable: Om Cham (also Om Som)
Seed Syllable: Om Kum
Mantra: Om Chandraya Namah
Mantra: Om Kujaya Namaha
Gem: Pearl, moonstone
Gem: Red coral
Colors: White, opalescent, pastels
Colors: Deep red, jet black
Activities: Family and community, connection with mother, motherhood or women, devotional activities, service work, food shopping, intuitive decision-making, marriage, nurture others and self
Activities: Hard work, action that requires aggression, building, design, exercise, training, farming, mining, research
Mercury governs communication and exchange. It is known for quick motion, adaptability, diplomacy, and objectivity and rules the mind’s capacity for intellectual thought and analysis. Without Mercury, we would not be using our mind’s (or body’s) ability to apprehend and interpret information.
Jupiter is the planet of expansion and evolution. Jupiter inspires us to reach higher and grow toward the light of truth. Its traits are optimism, abundance, wisdom, joy, and fortune. It’s a positive force that propels us toward becoming more than we think we are.
Sanskrit Name: Budha
Sanskrit Name: Brihaspati
Seed Syllable: Om Bum
Seed Syllable: Om Brahm
Mantra: Om Budhaya Namah
Mantra: Om Brihaspataye Namah
Gem: Emerald, peridot, jade
Gem: Yellow sapphire, citrine
Colors: Greens, earth tones, neutral
Colors: Yellow, orange, gold
Activities: Communication, shopping, sales, information technology, media, business, writing, reading, studying, detail work, networking, travel
Activities: Connection with spiritual teachers, rituals, spiritual practices, higher education, banking and finance, large purchases, generosity, charitable acts, celebration, marriage, journey
ISSUE # 11
Friday/Shukravar Venus is the planet of love, relationship, and beauty. With Venus, the focus moves from the self toward the other, and allows us to feel the connection between all beings and the state of oneness that underlies the illusion of separation. Venus connections come in many forms, including sensual appreciation of the environment, social interaction, and intimacy. Planet: Venus Sanskrit Name: Shukra Guna: Rajas Seed Syllable: Om Shum Mantra: Om Shukraya Namah Gem: Diamond, clear zircon, quartz crystal Colors: Pink, pastels, rainbow, variegated Activities: Devotional chanting, dance, acquisition or creation and appreciation of beautiful things such as art, flowers, clothing and accessories; socializing, pleasure seeking, date night, enjoyment of sweets
Saturday/Shanivar Saturn rules contraction, limitation, and detachment. It helps us to consolidate our needs and resources and to see through the illusion of worldly existence. We are offered tough lessons by Saturn, who provides obstacles that lead us toward humility, surrender, service, and truth. Planet: Saturn Sanskrit Name: Shani Guna: Tamas Seed Syllable: Om Sham Mantra: Om Shanaye Namaha / Om Namah Shivaya / Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Gem: Blue sapphire, amethyst, lapis lazuli Colors: Dark blue, grays, muted colors Activities: Rest, seclusion, meditation, yoga, work with the earth, limit activity and travel, self-care, spend time in nature
Kerry Shamblin practices jyotish, Vedic astrology, offering readings and astrological counsel with the aim of promoting evolutionary life choices. To learn more about how to interact with the planets, including a monthly planetary forecast, please visit www.planetaryinďŹ‚uence.com
The Character of Dosha by Ena Burrud
t was a crazy quiet, summer evening in LA years ago. Traipsing to an audition at a studio lot, I was bubbly with anticipation. After entering a marble-floored atrium, I felt stomach-churning energy of competition rise to my throat. A beautiful young woman exited a door in front of me and I entered. Within seconds, my field of vision soaked in the pantheon of some sixty actresses. All of us had been sent based on the call, “…21-26 year old female, brunette, medium build…cheerful disposition…” We were assimilated into industry culture, all slightly tanned, whitened teeth, and moderately talented. Eerily reproduced, each of us was vying for the chance to be unique. The scene is indelible in my memory, the paradox, timeless. The dramatic irony of yoga is that we seek to identify with ourselves knowing ultimately, this path leads to letting it all go. We yearn to express our uniqueness. Yet, difference is baffling. For example, your sister is giggly, but your brother is serious. Your wife is dynamic and your son is quite shy. So, our approach to how we connect with each personality must vary to be effective. That’s why you may choose to rehearse an upcoming conversation with your boss, but wing your presentation to a colleague. Ayurvedic texts like Charaka and Shoshruta Samhitas flesh out three qualities of energy in our constitutions that differ like characters in a play. Each type corresponds to the elements (mahabhutas) of yoga philosophy. Termed the doshas, they are Vata (V)/air and ether, Pitta (P)/fire and water, and Kapha (K)/earth and water. Though we have a bit of all three doshas, we either display a predominance of one, a combination of two (VP, PK, VK), or a balance of all three. These combos comprise our prakriti, or physical selves. When imbalanced, one dosha upstages the others and becomes a vikriti. Calming down the excessive dosha will balance the body and mind back to its personal blueprint. Each dosha has best food choices, types of physical and mental exercises and lifestyle. But, this article focuses on the emotional temperament of each dosha and how to recognize our own loved ones through this system. Dosha tests are used in Ayurveda, and in some ways are similar to personality tests used in corporate hiring, management seminars, and psychology magazines. As a yoga therapist, I utilize varying approaches based in part on my client’s dosha. The test I use with clients is posted on my website, www.TreetopYogaTherapy.com. See if you recognize yourself and your loved one.
ISSUE # 11
The Artist, The Philosopher
The Politician, The Organizer
Primary traits: Dry, etheric, cold
Primary Traits: Oily, intense, hot
Your loved one’s Vata airy nature presents in a shorter or taller than average frame. They love to move and may be athletic. Vata’s camera-interesting face is typically irregular, defined, with darker skin or eyes compared to others of the same racial heritage.Their eyes may be dark blue, or brown and small. Their hair is often curly and coarse, their skin rougher with a tendency towards dryness.
Your Pitta loved one may have yellowish or pink freckled skin, reddish tint to the hair, and intense light blue, green, or hazel eyes. Their voice and speaking style is clear, sometimes loud, and often talkative. They are known for leading and motivating others and skillfully implementing plans into action. Pitta’s build is average and develops muscles easily. Born leaders, Pitta can also be intolerant with those not focused and driven and can easily burn themselves out.
Vata is artistic, intuitive, and may even be clairvoyant. Their conversational style is usually pleasant, easily moving from one topic to another. Though empathetic, they can struggle with boundaries. Vata has wonderful ideas, but in vikriti, has a difficulty achieving goals. Sensitive and introspective, Vata is also prone to worry, racing thoughts, weight loss, and constipation. When imbalanced, the world seems hard to manage and trust. The windy, gusty aspect of this dosha may create self-doubt and trouble with memory. Vata’s emotional state veers toward anxiety when over stimulated or stressed. Vata time of life is approximately 50 + and its season is Autumn.
Pitta energy sorts and transforms what has been collected, acting as a problem solver. They are helpful, especially if it suits a personal agenda. Count on Pitta to whip a closet into shape or help you organize your thoughts. An excellent manager, imbalance makes them edge towards anger and irritability. They require proof with new information and can be impatient with those who aren’t properly prepared. Pitta time of life is 25-50 when career is important and the season is Summer. Your Best Approach: Help your Pitta take a break occasionally. Make a meal with raw and light foods, cooling spices like fennel and sweet flavors. Calmed by wide-open spaces, cool air, and meandering conversations; these things help break their laserlike focus. When trying to persuade them, be pragmatic and anecdotal. Pitta loves directness and stays on point. When they explode with anger, they typically feel better, but they can burn others around them. Pitta stays balanced with cool baths and sandalwood or rose essence. They are fabulous debaters and love with a passion.
Your Best Approach: With your Vata loved one, you may notice worry and fidgety tendencies. They need encouragement and touch to feel grounded. Vata is comforted by warm, cooked meals with sauces, with sour, sweet, and salty flavors. They can be fearful of the dark, so brighten the room. Speak calmly and assuringly. Though adaptable, Vata can lack direction. They love many points of view, but sometimes don’t know which to make their own. Remind your Vata of their positive patterns of behavior to help them develop faith and see continuity. Cedar and pine essences evoke the earth. Feeling, rather than avoiding their emotions, grounds them.
Each dosha has speciﬁc yogic practices to help them stay balanced as well: Asana Vata loves yoga, but needs slower vinyasa and/or longer holds to discharge anxiety and balance scattered minds. Pitta needs cooler practices, and quieter flowing practices to elicit freedom. Pitta should avoid hot yoga. Restorative classes balance Vata and Pitta. Kapha needs vigorous asana like Ashtanga Vinyasa and Surya Namaskar (sun salutation) with movement and heat.
Pranayam Vata and Kapha benefit from Ujjai, Kapala Bhati, and Bhastrika for warmth. In colder climates, the former are OK seasonally for Pitta. For cooling off anger or excess physical heat, Pittas do well with Sitali/sitkari, especially in summer. Universally, 3-part yogic breath and Nadi Shodhana are balancing. Vatas may also be prone to panic attacks; longer exhales help acutely.
The Queen, The Confidant
Vatas are comforted with object meditation such as a feeling/ visual (bhavana) and mantra like the Gayatri (to the sun). Pitta benefits from spacious forms like insight meditation (vipassana) and peace mantras. Kapha is stirred by all forms of meditation as they evoke clarity, concentration, and vibration.
Primary Traits: Soft, supportive, cold
Your Kapha loved one is typically larger boned with big eyes of light brown or blue. They have wavy, lustrous hair, and lighter skin, and are sturdy with great endurance, though not really interested in movement. Kapha attracts children and animals and can be a gifted gardener or cook. They are level headed and diplomatic with steady faith in themselves and others. Kaphas make trustworthy judges, counselors, and teachers, and are also very supportive friends.
Oils Oils permeate the tissues (dhatus) becoming a vehicle for smoother ingestion, digestion, assimilation, and elimination on all levels. Oils also coat the nerves helping to insulate against stress. They can be used topically or ingested. Vata needs warming oils like sesame. Pitta needs cooling oils like coconut or neutral oil like almond. Kapha needs less oil and works well with warmer types like sesame. Ingesting ghee and EFA’s is quintessential.
When imbalanced, Kapha gains weight and becomes depressed. They suffer excess mucous, colds, and weight gain. Sometimes stubborn, they have trouble shifting out of old patterns, beliefs, and ideologies. Their trademark, however, is regularity. They are reliable and predictable. The Kapha time of life is childhood and the season is Spring. Your Best Approach: Kapha enjoys intimate, animated talks that get to the heart of the issue. Not necessarily interested in problem solving, they would rather process emotions as they can feel stuck in their lives. They need prodding to exercise and get plenty of sunshine. Take Kapha for a walk on a bright day and maybe a trip to the sauna at the gym. Provide essences of mandarin or black pepper. They need to know they are structural to your life. They tend towards blue moods, so prepare lowfat, spicy foods. Kapha crave salty and sweet flavors, but need healthy alternatives.
Like an actress, a yogi’s journey is to embody character while letting her true nature shine through. Knowing these basic Ayurvedic traits helps us understand ourselves and our loved ones more deeply. I walked off that studio lot years ago praying for the call back. I got three of them. Each time, I had to be more of myself to be seen. A Lancome model got the part. But, a few years later, I went to my first yoga class. No audition necessary and it’s one of my best roles yet.
Ena Burrud, E-RYT is owner of Treetop Yoga Therapy, a private practice A yogi since 1997, she received her ﬁrst certiﬁcation in 2000. Others include Erich Schiffmann, Yoga Studies at UCI and LMU in LA, Yoga Nidra and Rocky Mountain Institute of Yoga and Ayurveda. She is on the faculty at RMIYA where she will be teaching in the 200 and 500 hr. programs early 2012. Her teachers are Sarasvati Buhrman PhD, Douglas Brooks PhD, and Ed and Deb Shapiro. Ena is on the board of Open Stage Theater, bringing her love of the arts to her approach as a teacher. She is mother to three kids and two dogs. www.TreetopYogaTherapy.com ISSUE # 11
spiritual philosophy summer
Method Over Mind A Spiritual Approach to Atheism by Chandra Sally Waggoner
here is no denying that in the last century, our society - our global society in general - and American society in particular - has undergone changes so radical we are just beginning to understand their implications. One of these changes is the trend toward secularization, which has left us with many disparate systems of belief with no solid unifying element among them. Belief without this element narrows the potential of human consciousness and development and creates chaos. If we are to find a unifying principle for society, people from all groups need to shift focus from belief to actual practice. Most traditional religions are so steeped in belief that this shift seems unthinkable to their followers. There are two groups, however, uniquely positioned to facilitate this shift: Atheism because it is based in reason rather than belief, and Buddhism because it is based in method. The tenets of Atheism are culturally more familiar to Americans; many Westerners who are not avowedly Atheist state reason and responsibility as primary values. But, I would argue, without a methodology for understanding the mind and fostering real rationality liberated from the cloying rhetoric of the ego, “reason” and “responsibility” become mere concepts rather than genuine aspects of being.
means you have to convince yourself that any human person sprang fully formed from a lotus blossom. What most Atheist intellectuals miss about Buddhist imagery is just that: it’s imagery. The Buddhist discourse provides us with symbols that help us describe and express the experience of deep meditation. But, when we first begin our exploration, there’s no need to convince ourselves to think in terms of those symbols. Indeed, if we are too enthusiastic about laying those symbols over our minds, they become like thick curtains over the illuminated windows of experience; we cannot come to a clear understanding of the mind, or the self (or the lack thereof!). Instead, we just stare at the curtains, imagining what might be beyond them.
Buddhism offers just such a methodology, but the most common attitude toward Buddhism I’ve found among Atheists is that Buddhism is so culturally “other” and render it more or less irrelevant. In some cases, there are notes of real condescension, as when Sam Harris, a popular Atheist writer, mentions in an article that many Buddhists of a particular sect “actually believe” their teacher was “born from a lotus.” Such writers seem to view Buddhism as intellectually stunted, superstitious, and intangible. Buddhism as a whole is none of these. But, regardless of how one values the rituals of Buddhism, or its basic cosmology, one can apply the historically Buddhist methods of exploring and training the mind to incredible benefit.
For advanced practitioners, and particularly for those born into traditionally Buddhist cultures, the symbols, their associated myths and the reality posited by modern science can coexist as equally true and equally real, which is difficult—if not impossible—to explain adequately. Suffice it to say, that to take Harris’ example once more, the idea that a teacher was born out of a lotus does not refute science in the way that, say, a dogmatic belief in Creationism does. The latter is a belief based on a literal interpretation of a non-literal symbol (the story of creation), while the former is a non-literal description of a real experience (what some would call spiritual birth, or, more simply, awakening).
I call these methods for personal exploration Buddhist because Buddhism is the historical system that discovered, explored, and honed them, but there is nothing inherently Buddhist about quietly observing one’s thoughts and emotional reactions, or, in other words, about sitting in meditation. And, meditating in no way
respective“isms”. The basic experience accessed in meditation is essentially non-dualistic, a single-pointed, radiating stillness utterly removed from personal conviction. If we are too attached to one label or another, the label begins to define and condition us and we lose our access to pure experience. This is known in Sanskrit as avidya (in Tibetan, ma rigpa), or ignorance, in the sense of mistaking the false for the true, or mistaking all the labels and conditioning we accumulate as inherently belonging to us, defining us as selves. If we stop allowing beliefs to obscure the richness of pure experience, spirituality can be recognized as a vast field of exploration and experimentation rather than a superstitious constriction of consciousness.
In our culture we tend not to make this distinction between literal and real, so symbols are often more burdensome than enlightening. In meditation, we must start from the ground up, and Atheist practitioners may have an advantage in doing this. Without the mental clutter of symbols and the weight of tradition, the meditator can truly open to the experience of watching the mind unfold without analyzing and comparing the experience to a particular ideal. The meditator, however, must actually be willing to open. Developing a sitting practice takes immense dedication, and if you sit with a stubbornly skeptical attitude, like a scientist performing an experiment she already “knows” will fail, and then try sitting two or three times before getting up and saying you didn’t “feel anything,” you will have missed the experience entirely. The sneering skepticism and rationalistic machismo encouraged by popular Atheist writers limit consciousness, in a period when we should be doing everything we can to expand it. That said, for most lay Westerners, “becoming Buddhist” in the most literal sense—that is, taking on the cultural, ritual and mythic aspects of the tradition as well as the basic practices and, perhaps, philosophies—is not a practical or appealing way to explore and expand the mind. Nor, really, should it be. We don’t have to concern ourselves with pretending to be what we think a Buddhist looks like. Instead, we can begin with the simple act of meditation.
Chandra Sally Waggoner lives, loves, writes and teaches yoga in Fort Collins. She can usually be found reading or playing outdoors with her wonderful man and dog companions. She received degrees in journalism and religion from Syracuse University in 2009.
This is not by any means to say that we should just take what we like from the grand grab bag of Buddhism and throw the rest away. We who meditate can—and, I would say, should— educate ourselves thoroughly about the ancient and exquisite traditions that generated practices like meditation and encourage independence, inquisitiveness and limitless, transformative compassion. And, this education should not discourage Atheists just because it deals with religion.
神道 Shen Dao ~ “The Way of Spirit”
Traditional Buddhism and modern Atheism can inform each other in ways that Atheism and theistic religions simply cannot. With Buddhism, belief in God is not even on the table. The Buddhist tradition is rich with intellectually rigorous philosophy based in reason—but the reason and scrutiny are turned inward, which can make Atheists uncomfortable. They usually see meditation as “mystical” and then interpret mystical to mean something ethereal, non-physical, and, therefore, ridiculous.
TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICAL CLINIC, INC.
Many Buddhist authors, on the other hand, stress that mysticism as they interpret it simply refers to the practice of exploring the inner landscape, of delving beneath the most superficial layers of the mind and observing what’s there. Most Buddhist texts stress that meditative practices can be done by anyone, and the kind of critical questioning often discouraged by normative Christianity is celebrated in Buddhism. Atheism’s focus on the tangible can further ground the meditator, preventing fancifully contrived, rather than genuine, experience. Alternately, the traditionally Buddhist concept of anatma, or non-self, prevents one from fetishizing the concept of the individual personality, a very Western tendency that creates disunity, alienation, and large-scale cultural egotism.
Licensed Acupuncturist (CO, NM) Doctor of Oriental Medicine (NM)
Licensed Acupuncturist (CO, CA, NY)
700 West Mountain Avenue, Fort Collins, Colorado (N.W. Corner of Mountain & Loomis)
(970) 416-0444 • www.tcmclinic.org Hours: Mon, Tues, Fri & Sat
8:00 am ~5:00 pm
Acupuncture • Chinese Herbology
In order for these two frameworks—the avowedly spiritual and non-spiritual—to influence each other, the seekers, and meditators, in both camps must release their attachments to their
ISSUE # 11
spiritual philosophy summer
Embracing the Shadow by Alan Starner
I don’t know if most writers are the same way, but I don’t write from a position of authority or mastery. I write about what I’ve been thinking about, and as a way to teach myself what I want to learn. For the past couple of years, I’ve been dealing with lots of shadows; mine as well as the shadows of others. It’s been both fascinating and confusing.
Here is an extreme example of the shadow aspect of personality. In the film American Beauty, actor Chris Cooper portrays Frank Fits, a retired US Marine Colonel, with homophobia covering his latent homosexual desires. Frank falsely suspects his son Ricky is having a homosexual relationship with their next-door neighbor Lester, the main character in the movie. Frank then beats his son and kicks him out of the house. Later, thinking Lester is homosexual, Frank tries to kiss Lester and is rebuffed, only to come back later and put a bullet in Lester’s head. Why does he rail against homosexuals? Because he is attracted to men, a disowned part of himself.
The concept of the “shadow” was first introduced by psychologist Sigmund Freud and later explored by Carl Jung, and others. We can define our shadow as the disowned parts of ourselves. Why would we disown a part of who we are? At our core, we are complex multifaceted beings. We are not just one thing, but the ego wants to present as just one thing; the face that we show the world. The parts that do not fit the ego’s idea of who we are (or should be) are disowned and placed into the shadow, where the light of our awareness does not easily shine. the
Embracing the Shadow to Become Whole Childhood is a time of great vulnerability, when our minds are unformed and our hearts are unprotected. It’s a fertile time for shadow formation, and these shadows can stay with us for the rest of our lives. We were either held too much (smothered), or held too little (abandoned). We formed our ideas of which parts of ourselves were OK and “loveable”, and which parts should be hidden away. By digging through the rich soil of our childhood and adult relationships, we can get some clear information as to which parts of ourselves have been disowned, and begin to reclaim and heal them.
The word yoga means to “yoke together.” In order to be whole beings, we must reclaim our shadow side, the parts we are unable to see in ourselves. Others may be able to see our shadow more easily then we ourselves can see it. Embracing one’s shadow takes maturity, self-honesty, and strength of character. It also takes something that the yoga sutra’s call Svadyaya, which means both scriptural study and self-observation. In other words, to “take the truth and put it inside.” When practicing Svadyaya, one thing to look for is what disturbs us in other people. There is a tendency to want to push away, or even attack, others who display our shadow qualities. That needy woman that you just can’t stand? Ask yourself if you have fully owned your own needs. That man you think is selfish? Ask yourself if you can admit your own self-interest. Does that sad man drive you crazy? Ask yourself if you have disowned your own sadness or grief. For the man in American Beauty, it was shame about his own homosexuality that drove him to act so drastically.
The Sufi’s have a saying: “The only way around is through.” To be spiritual means to be authentic; to embrace our humanness. Our disowned parts have been neglected and are in need of our attention, compassion, and love. The more that we can embrace our shadow parts, the more whole we become. If we have the courage to embrace our shadow and let others see it too, then we give others permission to do the same. If you are ready to take on shadow work, I have a word of caution; you can befriend your own shadow, but be careful about befriending the shadow of another. No one can force another to look at his or her own shadow. To befriend someone else’s disowned parts puts us in opposition to the demon protecting it. Here is a saying I created and live by in my personal shadow work, “The friend of my enemy is my enemy.” In other words, if you befriend another’s shadow (their enemy), you might become that person’s enemy, even if you mean well. You cannot sleigh another’s demons because it is their job to do it for themselves. The demon cannot be vanquished from the outside. Once the disowned parts become nurtured and cared for internally, then the demon will turn into a friend.
The things that drive us crazy in others could be the external signposts pointing toward our disowned parts. Psychologists call the process of seeing our shadow in others “projection.” If we refuse to see our needs, we will instead see them in others, and it will drive us crazy. This process energizes the split in our consciousness; activating the separation between our shadow and non-shadow selves. It can take years before we are really ready to face our own shadow. It’s so much easier to put the blame outside of ourselves. One way to start digging into your own shadow is to look for patterns in your relationships, especially intimate ones. If you have a pattern of being with emotionally unavailable partners, maybe it has something to do with you, rather than with all men/women, being emotionally unavailable. Maybe you are not emotionally available for yourself.
The Shadow in Relationship I’ve come to believe that in order to have true intimacy in a relationship, both people need to embrace their shadow. Both people need to have the humility to acknowledge all their parts, pretty or not. If the shadow is disowned, then there are really four actors in the relationship – two conscious selves and two shadow selves. Many relationships change at the point where the couple can no longer keep their shadow selves hidden from their partner. If we want to be loved fully for who we are, we must embrace fully who we are - shadows and all.
And, we don’t just project our shadow selves onto others. We also actively look for good screens for our projection. It’s not because we like suffering, but actually, because we want to be whole, and in order to be whole, we need to be able to see our disowned parts. We bring them into view by drawing those people into our lives that represent our shadow. Throughout our life, most of us need to go through our patterns multiple times in order to stop blaming others and to start looking inside for the truth.
Author Debbie Ford describes the effort to keep the shadow repressed as like trying to keep a beach ball under the water. All of one’s energy will be used to keep it under the water, and we will ultimately fail. When we let go and allow the disowned parts of ourselves to meet the light of awareness, it can be a huge relief. This may mean accepting truths about ourselves, which we have been trying to avoid seeing our whole lives. Yet this is the only way we can have true peace inside. Our “flawed” wholeness may not be pretty, but it is fantastically beautiful.
Getting to the Real You Once we disown a part of ourselves, we often create a demon to keep this part hidden away in the “dungeon.” The demon’s sole purpose is to prevent anyone from seeing the prisoner held in the dungeon, including the person them self. Demons often will parade as the opposite of what is locked in the dungeon, over compensating for their perceived lack. For Frank Fits, it was to parade as the tough macho man. For someone who secretly thinks they are not smart enough, it would be to parade as the smartest person in the room. Shakespeare captured this overcompensation dynamic well when he said, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
ISSUE # 11
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.
spiritual philosophy summer
Getting Down to Busyness
by Chuck Hancock
“You can out-distance that which is running after you, but not what is running inside you.” ~Rwandan proverb
here is a saying I often ponder – “busyness is a form of laziness.” I know it’s true for me. There is a never-ending stream of “things to do.” Email, chores, family duties, email, paying bills, keeping in touch with people, articles to both read and write, shopping, books to read, videos to watch, Facebook. If I spelled it all out, the list would be endless, like my email. When I’m caught up in “git-r-done” mode (sorry, I’m originally from the south), it feels like I’m on an endless treadmill of doing. I’m someone who advocates for mindfulness and self-awareness, and I do my best to walk the walk, too. Each night I sit for at least 15 minutes to “do nothing.” To just sit and let my mind slow down and check in to see where I’m at on this day. But, I notice when I’m caught up in my periods of busyness, it is so much harder to actually drop in. My mind wants to just keep going, “don’t stop now,” it says, “you’ve got much more to do on your list.” It’s like my system wants to stay in motion. As Newton taught us, “an object in motion tends to stay in motion.” I guess the laws of physics apply to us too! It feels that when I’m in the “git-r-done” mode I have momentum on my side, which helps propel me through my tasks and I accomplish more. I’ve also noticed that staying in this mode of busyness comes at a price. I lose a level of quality, precision, and depth. The focus is more on the checking things off the list than it is on doing things well. I tend to cut corners. I sometimes put off things that matter more like calling a friend. And, I don’t really give myself into the richness of each moment that I have with the people that are involved in my interactions.
I just wanted to get this article finished! I had momentum! Luckily, I am writing about this exact thing at the moment, so I was able to close the computer and play with her until she was done playing. We laugh together, I laugh at myself, I learn. It is a constant practice.
But, here is the most important consequence; by staying in motion, it’s like we are on a hydroplane. We are skimming along the surface not really sinking into the water. We lose touch with ourselves. I know when I’m in busyness, I’m less available to my feelings, empathy, and intuition, and less available to connect with other people. I lose touch with HOW “I’m doing” and just “doing.” I start to feel like the cog in the wheel. I’m less available to myself and to the people in my life that matter most. Any of these sound familiar?
It helps to check in with ourselves from time to time throughout the day. Take a pause and a few deep breaths whenever switching tasks. Get outside and take a slow walk over lunch trying to notice as much as you can about your internal and external environment. At each red light, take a few deep breaths, check in with yourself, and see how many beautiful things you can identify. Or, maybe even do a quick 2-5 minute meditation once or twice in the middle of the day. I always sit for at least one minute, breathe, and settle myself before starting a session with a client. These things ensure we don’t get carried too far away from ourselves on the “git-r-done” train that we become distant from ourselves and what is really important to us. This is especially important to be aware of because when we get too carried away, if often takes a huge leap, an expensive ride, or a crisis to get back on track.
Losing touch with ourselves and our close relationships is a big problem. It remids me of the Rwandan proverb: “You can outdistance that which is running after you, but not what is running inside you.” Eventually there comes a time when we can’t ignore what is inside of us any longer. In our culture, because we ignore it for so long, it builds like a volcano and comes out in the form of a crisis – in our relationships, jobs, or mental and physical health. And, the problem with this is we are then doing crisis work rather than health and growth work. We have less of our resources available to healing and being able to really change because we are too busy trying to put out the fire.
I realize that even these suggestions on how to stay in touch with ourselves are more things to do, and can easily be viewed as one more task to add to the list. If we look at our practice as another task in our busyness, we will still only slow the boat down, never really resting back in the water. So, let’s try to remember that staying in touch with ourselves and the people in our lives is our primary job. All the rest is extra credit. Let’s not be lazy by doing so much that we lose touch with our real work. Will you help remind me too?
By staying in busyness all the time, we are really being lazy and neglectful in tending to our humanness. It causes problems in our personal lives and creates a disconnect not only within ourselves, but also in our close relationships. Further, it decreases our availability to each other and the quality of our work when our focus is on just getting things done, rather than getting things done well and learning from the experience. So how do we change this? Well, it requires a shift in values and change in our expectations. Is our priority our humanness or our busyness? There is the cliché, “No one on their deathbed ever said, ‘I wish I spent more time at work,’” so I know where we say our values are, but we don’t actually do it. We need to slow down and give ourselves permission to not get as much done in this moment. We need to re-prioritize and put our relationships with ourselves and the people in our life first.
Chuck Hancock, M.Ed is a National Certiﬁed Counselor and a Registered Psychotherapist in the state of CO. He has completed comprehensive training in the Hakomi Method of Experiential Psychotherapy, a mindfulness mind-body centered approach. Chuck guides individuals and groups in self-exploration providing them with insight and tools for change. He also incorporates nature as a therapy tool to help shift perspective and inspire new thought patterns. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.innerlifeadventures.com.
Ironically, as I write this, my two-year-old daughter climbs on my lap. At first, it was easy for me to set the computer aside and play with her. I’d let her climb on me, flip her upside down, give her some tickles, we laugh and I put her down and pick the computer back up and keep writing. Then she climbs up again, we repeat. After the third time, I realized I was starting to get a little annoyed, because
Pam Werner-Salsbury , NCTMB, RYTÊÊUÊÊCertified Massage Therapist
412 West Olive Fort Collins, CO 80521
email@example.com www.studioblissmassage.com Relaxation, Deep Tissue & Thai Yoga Massage ÊÊUÊÊ Private Yoga Instruction
ISSUE # 11
reviewed by Erin Nickel
n theory, the practice of yoga offers open arms to those stricken by physical or emotional distress. Yoga studios stand as sanctuaries wherein people from all walks of life can be curious and playful as they seek to better understand the enigma of their authentic selves. This ideal, coupled with the myriad of health benefits offered by and through yoga, are compelling. Why then, does yoga still create a sense of fear and intimidation? While this feeling remains prevalent, one local yoga studio is valiantly attempting to dispel this illusion. Mindstream Yoga opened in February of 2011, by owners Lindsay and Darla Roselle. The dynamic stepmother and daughter duo aspired to create a studio that embraced the community of health and wellness, but lacked the “intimidation” factor. Both women recognized that not all bodies are crafted to bend and morphlike those featured in Yoga Journal, and that not all people come to yoga with such aspirations. At the same time, they feel that yoga is innately intricate and can heal in so many unique ways. Lindsay and Darla wanted to create a space where everyone could experience yoga in an authentic and accessible way. The result of their vision was Mindstream Yoga; a studio where all people can “discover yoga” in a way that looks and feels authentic for them. In many ways, the inventive Mindstream Yoga Studio is successfully communicating this vision of accessibility. Perhaps the most overt aspect one will notice upon arrival is the physical space. The wood floors, fresh flowers, and earthy décor are immediately inviting. The studio itself is quaint, with a single space for classes, workshops, and community gatherings. As an avid yogi, I immediately felt a level of intimacy in the studio, stemming partially from the sacred space and partially from the warm welcome of the teacher behind the counter. the
studio profile summer
While the sacred space sets the initial stage, Mindstream strengthens its commitment to accessibility through its diversity of class options and teachers. For those novice students seeking an introduction to this healing enigma deemed yoga, Mindstream offers the Mindstream class. Mindstream is the studio’s signature class and taught in a Power Vinyasa Flow style. Both Power and Sage Stream classes are taught from a similar philosophy, but vary in their levels of intensity. For those seeking the sweetness of the yoga philosophies and of meditation, the studio offers OmStream. And, for those students who find themselves intrigued by the Eight Limbs of yoga, but craving the intensity of lunges, squats, and cross fit, Mindstream offers both Cross and TRX Stream classes. In addition to these options, the studio offers their unique versions of Yin, Hot Yoga, and Fusion Flow classes. Regardless of individual fitness level or spiritual intentions, Mindstream Yoga seeks to welcome all into the yoga community. Beginning a yoga practice requires the cultivation of curiosity and of discipline, so it is always helpful to be guided by a mentor. Having practiced and taught yoga for several years, I understand all too well the importance of building relationships within a class and within a community. Not only do students need to feel physically and emotionally safe, but also inspired. This inspiration begins with the teacher. As innovative spirits, both Lindsay and Darla deeply understand this notion, and have selected teachers for Mindstream that represent a diverse spectrum of philosophies and personal experiences. While all teachers are trained in the Vinyasa style, they represent a wide spectrum of the yoga practice. Some fell in love with the language of yoga early on and others were welcomed into the community later in life. It is this diversity of teaching styles and personalities that will ensure they offer something that resonates for all students in all walks of life. Even though Mindstream Yoga is relatively new, Lindsay and Darla are diligently offering a variety of workshops and continuing educational experiences. This fall, naturopathic doctor Jason Barker will be leading a program on Detox. This ten-day detox program is aimed to ease the transition from summer to fall and to break down the detox process into manageable steps. In addition, Mindstream studio will also offer a teacher training program. The 200-hour training will provide a firm foundation for understanding of the eight limbs of yoga, anatomy, pranayama, and sequencing. Within an intimate community, students of yoga will have the opportunity to cultivate their authentic teaching voices. Other weekend workshops focus on special topics such as prenatal yoga, yoga for teens, as well as children’s story time yoga. Despite the apparent diversity of workshops offered by Mindstream, the common theme is that of yoga as a healing tool, accessible to all. ISSUE # 11
In a world plagued by stress, disease, and criticism, yoga continues to cultivate a sense of peace. It begins with the mustering of time and energy to come to our mats and then requires our commitment to begin the conversation with our bodies and with our hearts. While we all seek this “happy place” found by and through yoga, it is sometimes easier to let fear and intimation dictate our actions. In the spirit of creativity and innovation, take a moment to explore Mindstream Yoga and all it has to offer. For details regarding class times and prices, please visit the studio website: www.mindstreamyoga.com
Erin Nickel currently teaches yoga and creative writing in Loveland. She is passionate about inspiring others to explore, honor, and celebrate their authentic selves. Through writing and through teaching, Erin continuously ﬁnds creative ways to integrate her passion for yoga with her passion for engaging meaningfully with the world. Outside of a yoga studio or coffee shop, one can ﬁnd Erin trail running, back country skiing, or purusing at the nearest book store.
at home practice summer
Sunrise Salutation by Alexzandra Carlson-Tooker
“To be truly awake is to be alive.” ~Henry David Thoreau
carrying groceries to and from the car, slinging a sledgehammer or simply picking up your kids, you will have established lubrication of the joints and flexibility of the muscles. Some of the most common injuries to the physical body can be caused due to stiffness and immobility. By taking these few extra moments in the morning to draw attention to the various areas of the body, you are better prepared to prevent strain or irritation.
o often, we find ourselves moving from dream state to this rushed moment when we have to spring out of bed and “get ready”. However, do we ever really take the time needed to draw in the proper amount of awareness to the body in order to be able to be truly present? Through the fluidity and connection of body and breath movement we have the opportunity to not only become more mindful on how the body might be physically feeling, but we allow ourselves to bask in that moment of rejuvenation, absorb the gift of rest and gather enough energy to carry on.
Your physical body will not be the only beneficiary of this flow. When you take a few extra moments to allow yourself to transfer slowly from sleep to awake, you give yourself extra time to set your intention for the day. You take time to pause for yourself before you run off to give to everyone else around you.
Taking your time to plant your feet firmly beneath you allows you to feel grounded and helps create a solid foundation. You set the tone for your own consciousness and this moment gives you the opportunity to stay present and mindful for whatever your day brings.
Feeling the controlled breath flow through the nose, filling the lungs, expanding the diaphragm, and slowly allowing it to release in a controlled manner will help calm and quite the mind. When you match the breath with body movements, you suddenly channel that energy and create a light meditation. In turn, bringing clarity.
This at home practice/sequence will help awaken the physical body as well as increase a heightened awareness of the mind. This is something you can do as you first step out of bed and welcome your day. Breathing life and fresh oxygen into the lungs while elongating the spine, opening the muscles and incorporating light movement to prepare for whatever the remainder of your day holds.
It is important to be present and mindful throughout our days. We are given so many great gifts each time we rise in the morning and, unfortunately, if we feel deprived or depleted (even after a good night’s rest) we can struggle to find room for others. Give yourself the opportunity to start your day off right. Awaken with grace and ease.
The extension of the spine and elongation of your muscles helps you prepare for any sort of physical movements. Whether you’re
To start, allow yourself to slowly emerge from bed. Planting your feet firmly on the ground. Spread your toes apart so you can feel all edges of the feet pressing down. Allow your arms to rest by your side as you send your shoulders down the back. Feel the crown of the head elongate and take one deep inhale, followed by an open mouth exhalation.
Tadasana (Standing Mountain Pose)
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold Pose)
Padangustasana (Big Toe Pose)
Keeping your shoulders relaxed and feet firmly on the ground, allow your arms to swoop up by your sides, and extend the fingertips towards the sky. Feel the pinky fingers start to rotate towards one another and notice how each breath draws the crown of the head up, elongating the spine, and each exhale allows your feet to continue to ground down and the shoulders to relax.
Swan dive arms down by your sides in a forward fold. Allow your gaze to come directly beneath you. Hands can be on the ground or on the shins. If you notice that the backs of the legs are tight, you can add a slight bend to your knees. This will help take pressure out of the hamstrings and lower back. Repeat, sweeping up into Tadasana with your inhale and moving back into Uttanasana with your exhale. This is meant to be a fluid connection with body and breath. Try not to rush your movements. Repeat as many times as you like.
After flowing through your Mountain and Forward Fold, pause at the end of your exhale, spread feet hips-width apart and wrap your â€œPeace Fingersâ€? (index and middle fingers) around your big toes. Inhale and extend your spine and then pull your body down with your arms. Again, remember if the backs of the legs are still tight, bend your knees as much as you need to. Hold here for several deep breaths (67) and allow your internal movements to match your breathing. Imagine the spine growing with each inhale and the arms pulling the body down with each exhale.
ISSUE # 11
IT Band Stretch
Return to your Mountain Pose. Step your right foot over the left, send your left arm down your side body and your right arm reaches up and over to the left. Keep shoulders relaxed and in alignment with hips. Gaze is above you and slightly behind. Feel your heart space open. Hold here for several breaths (5-6), feeling your body stretch with the inhale and relax into the pose with each exhale. Repeat on the other side.
Supported Back Bend
Swooping the arms back up through Tadasana, send the hands, fingers facing up, to the sacrum (lower back). Relax your shoulders and slowly start to press your hands into the lower back as you send your gaze towards the sky in a slight back bend. If this feels good and you have more mobility, continue to arch back further. Keep your hands on your lower back until youâ€™ve completely released up to Mountain Pose.
Phalakasana (High Plank Pose)
Flow into forward fold and plant your hands firmly on the ground, directly under your shoulders. Step your feet back in Plank Pose. Try not to allow your hips to droop. If they do, feel free to modify by dropping the knees to the floor and holding your Table Top position. Keep your elbows directly under your shoulders, wrists under the elbows. As you hold here, breathe into the body. Tighten the belly and feel the space between your shoulder blades start to rise. Hold here for several breaths (6-7).
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Moving from your High Plank, keep hands and feet right where they are and send your hips towards the sky. Press the entirety of each palm down. Hug your outer arms in and roll them out towards the front of the mat. Lengthen the backs of the legs by pressing the heels towards the ground and tilting the sit bones up towards the sky. Gradually move from Downward Dog to High Plank. As you breath in, hinge into High Plank, as you breath out you press back into Downward Dog. Try not to rush your movements and match them to your breath. Repeat as many times as necessary (5-6).
Makarasana (Dolphin Pose)
Press back into your Downward Facing Down and drop down onto your Forearms. Pull your shoulders up the back so they donâ€™t scrunch by the ears. Walk your feet up towards your body until you feel you are getting a good stretch in the shoulders. Breathe here for several breaths (6-7). To release, lower to your knees. ISSUE # 11
Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I Pose)
Starting in Downward Dog, step your right foot forward into a low lunge (front knee should never come over the front ankle), swivel the back foot down to a 45* angle, and lift your torso. Work towards internal rotation in the hips, still pressing down and back through your left leg. Keeps your belly hugging in and shoulders relaxed. Breathe here for several breathes (5-6).
Humble Warrior Pose
Moving from Warrior I, start to slowly fold the torso forward. Send your arms down by your sides, palms facing towards the ground. Stand strong in the legs and send your shoulders down your spine, squeezing the scapulas (shoulder blades) together. Breathe here for 4-5 breaths. Each inhale lowering the front knee and the torso, each exhale relaxing the shoulders.
Watch the video of Alex leading the Sunrise Salutation at www.the-yoga-connection.com
Alexzandra Carlson-Tooker discovered yoga eight years ago. She’s a certiﬁed Vinyasa Yoga instructor and ﬁnds a passion not only in the practice itself, but in sharing her knowledge with her students. It is her desire to continue to grow and learn more about various yoga practices, movements of the physical body, and philosophies. She teaches classes and is currently the supervisor of the Yoga and Pilates department at the Raintree Athletic Club. She also teaches Beach Yoga class at Horsetooth Reservoir.
RAINTREE ATHLETIC CLUB
Continue your ÒAt-Home Practice,Ó featured on page 42, with RAC Instructor Alexzandra Carlson-Tooker. Alex and our amazing team of Yoga & Pilates instructors offer a wide variety of classes for all levels.
Your First Class Free Punchcards available!
2555 S. Shields St. | Fort Collins, CO 80526 970.490.1300 | www.raintreeathleticclub.com
ISSUE # 11
HEALTH & WELL-BEING DIRECTORY Yoga & Pilates Studios Bikram Yoga 5112 S. College Avenue, Suite C Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 472-5700 www.bikramyogafc.com
Rising Lotus Yoga 4201 S. College Avenue Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 372-9992 www.risinglotusfoco.com
Elan Yoga 353 W. Drake Rd., Suite 140 Fort Collins, CO 80526 (970) 223-YOGA (9642) www.elanyoga.com
The Yoga & Pilates Center at the RAC 2555 S. Shields Street Fort Collins, CO 80526 (970) 490-1300 www.raintreeathleticclub.com
Evolve PT & Yoga 925 East Harmony Road, #450 Fort Collins (970) 672-1106 www.evolveptandyoga.com
Yoga Adobe Vickie McLane Berthoud, CO (970) 498-0490 www.yogaadobe.com
Loveland Yoga & Core Fitness 100 E. 3rd St. Loveland, CO 80537 (970) 292-8313 www.lovelandyogacorefitness.com
Yoga Center of Fort Collins 210 E. Oak Street Fort Collins, CO 80521 (970) 231-0496 www.yogacenterfortcollins.com
Mindstream Yoga 2733 Council Tree Avenue, Ste. 129 Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 266-YOGA (9642) www.mindstreamyoga.com
Yoga Works of Loveland 2530 Abarr Drive Loveland, CO 80538 (970) 663-2213 www.yogaworksofloveland.com
Monk Yoga 202 East 4th Street Loveland, CO 80537 (970) 231-4683 www.monkyoga.net
Yoga Teachers Beth O’Brien Yoga Instructor Fort Collins, CO (970) 491-9689 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Old Town Yoga 237 1/2 Jefferson Street Fort Collins, CO 80524 (970) 222-2777 www.oldtownyoga.com
Nicole Murphy Grace Yoga, LLC Fort Collins and Loveland (970) 646-2022 E-mail: email@example.com
Om Ananda Yoga 115 N. College Ave., Ste 200 Fort Collins, CO 80524 (970) 581-8825 firstname.lastname@example.org www.omanandayoga.com
Shirley Smithson, EdD, ERYT, CYT, IAYT Yoga Instructor/Children’s Yoga Teacher Trainer, Enrichment/Therapeutic (970) 353-1708 email@example.com www.childrenimagineyogarts.com
Om Mountain Yoga 119 W. Second Street Loveland, CO (970) 667-8116 www.ommountain.com
The Yogi Way Brandi Nelson, RYT, Reiki MT, HTPA Energy ,medicine combined w/ Yogic Practices Fort Collins (970) 237-9771 www.theyogiway.com
The Other Club Fitness Center 1227 Riverside Avenue Fort Collins, CO 80524 970-221-4348 www.theotherclubfitness.com the
Yoga Schools Maggie Tibbetts, LCSW Counseling & Pschotherapy 218 Peterson Street Fort Collins, CO 80524 (970) 988-4173 maggieStibbetts@gmail.com
Holistic Yoga School, International Krista Allen, BSc, ERYT (970) 222-6355 E-mail: HolisticYogaSchool@gmail.com www.HolisticYogaSchool.com
Certiﬁed Yoga Therapists
Sharon Greenlee Professional Counselor Consultant Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 224-1810 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ena Burrud, E-RYT 500, Certiﬁed Yoga Therapist Treetop Yoga Therapy 19 Old Town Sq., Ste. 238 Fort Collins, CO 80524 (970) 488-0828 www.treetopyogatherapy.com
Soaring Spirit Yoga Faith Brandt Fort Collins, CO (970) 308-4378 www.soaringspirityoga.com email@example.com
Therapists Attend 2 Life Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Jillene Moore (970) 231-3040 firstname.lastname@example.org www.attend2life.com
Studio Bliss Massage Pam Werner-Salisbury, CMT, RYT 412 W. Olive Street Fort Collins, CO 80521 (970) 372-7265 email@example.com www.studioblissmassage.com
Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists 210 W. Magnolia, Suite 110 (North) 115 E. Harmony, Suite 160 (South) Fort Collins, CO (970) 221-1201 www.copts.com
Susan Guio, LCSW Spiritual Psychotherapy Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 232-9232 www.spiritualpsyche.com
CommUnity Acupuncture Robert Evans Fort Collins, CO 80526 (970) 689-7281 www.CommunityAcu.org
Traditional Chinese Medical Clinic 700 West Mountain Avenue Fort Collins, CO 80521 (970) 416-0444 www.tcmclinic.org
Hugh’s Acupuncture Clinic Hugh Castor Fort Collins, CO (970) 215-7419 www.hughsacupuncture.com
Inner Life Adventures Mindfulness Based Counseling/Coaching/Psychotherapy Chuck Hancock, M.Ed., NCC Kathy Williams-Tolstrup, M.Ed., NCC, EMDR (970) 566-4095 www.innerlifeadventures.com
Planetary Inﬂuence Kerry Shamblin Vedic Astrology (970) 207-4088 www.planetaryinfluence.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Lauri Pointer, HTCP/I 210 E. Oak Street Fort Collins, CO 80524 (970) 484-2211 www.LauriPointer.com ISSUE # 11
Insights Gary Pritchard Spiritual Counseling and Astrology Readings (970) 488-0950 email@example.com
Rising Lotus Yoga
NORTHERN COLORADO CLASS SCHEDULES
4201 S. College Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 372-9992 www.risinglotusfoco.com Monday 6-7am 9:30-10:30am 11-12pm 5:45-6:45pm Tuesday 12-1pm 4:45-5:45pm 6-7pm 7:15-8:15pm Wednesday 6-7am 9:30-10:30am 4:30-5:30pm 5:45-6:45pm Thursday 10-11am 12-1pm 6-7pm Friday 6-7am 9:30-10:30am 5:30-6:30pm
Summer 2012 class schedules are subject to change- please verify before attending
Yoga Classes w/ Janna Pijoan 700 W. Mountain Ave., Ft. Collins, CO 80521 (970) 222-8528 Tuesday 5:30-7pm Wednesday 5:30-7pm Saturday 9-10:30am
Saturday 8-9am 11:15-12:15pm Sunday 8:45-9:45am 10-11am
The Other Club Fitness Center
Gentle Yoga Pilates Plus Yoga All Levels Pilates for Seniors Yoga All Levels Gentle Yoga
Monday 9:30-11am 12-1pm 4-5pm 5:30-7pm 7:15-8:30pm Tuesday 12:15-12:45pm 5-6pm 6:15-7:15pm Wednesday 9:30-11am 12-1pm 6-7:30pm Saturday 9:30-11am Sunday 7-8:30pm
Cathy Valerie Cathy Cathy/Hillary Valerie Cathy
Yoga All Levels
All Yoga classes are Viniyoga based in their approach. First class is always free!
Mid Day Bloom Yoga Lotus Flow Yoga Form and Function Rest and Restore Yoga
Hannah Adrienne Adrienne Kris
Arise and Flow Emerge Vinyasa Yoga Rest and Restore Yoga Lotus Flow Yoga
Jordon/Kris Kristen Adrienne Amanda
Lotus Mama Yoga Mid Day Bloom Yoga Lotus Flow Yoga
Pam Pam Jordon
Arise and Flow Emerge Vini Yoga Charity Flow Yoga (See website for dates)
Laura Rowan Staff
Emerge Vinyasa Yoga Mid Day Bloom Yoga
Emerge Vinyasa Yoga Rest and Restore Yoga
210 E. Oak Street, Fort Collins, CO 80521 (970) 231-0496 www.yogacenterfortcollins.com
Intermediate Pilates Yoga All Levels
Jordan Jordan Pam Amanda/Hannah
Yoga Center of Fort Collins
1227 Riverside Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80524 (970) 221-4348 www.theotherclubfitness.com Monday 11-12pm 4:30-5:30pm Tuesday 6-7am 9-10am 10-11:15am Wednesday 11-12pm Thursday 6-7am 10-11:15am Friday 10:15-11:30am Saturday 8:45-9:45am
Arise and Flow Emerge Vinyasa Yoga Lotus Mama Yoga Lotus Flow Yoga
Level 2 Iyengar Yoga Basics for Neck Gentle Yoga(call Cathy) Level 3 Iyengar Yoga Level 1-2 Iyengar Yoga
Cathy Cathy Cathy Cathy Cathy
Zen Meditation Vinyasa Yoga Flow Anusara Yoga
Cathy Beth Tomi
Level 2-3 Iyengar Yoga Yoga for Strong Backs Level 1-2 Iyengar Yoga
Cathy Cathy Cathy
Dances of Universal Peace
* One Saturday each month, check website
Loveland Yoga & Core Fitness
Om Ananda Yoga
100 E. 3rd St., Loveland, CO 80537 (970) 292-8313 www.lovelandyogacorefitness.com
Monday 9:15-10:15am 12-1pm 4:30-5:30pm 6-7pm 7:30-8:30pm Tuesday 9-10am 12-1pm 4:30-5:30pm 6-7pm Wednesday 9:15-10:15am 12-1pm 4:30-5:30pm 6-7pm 7:30-8:30pm Thursday 9-10am 12-1pm 4:30-5:30pm 6-7:30pm Friday 9:15-10:15am 12-1pm Saturday 7:45-8:45am 9-10am Sunday 10-11:15am 5:30-6:30pm
Fitness Fusion Vinyasa Strength Yoga Gentle Yoga Candlelight Yoga
Amy Jasmine Christi Kristen Kristen
Abs/Glutes Class Strength Yoga w/ Weights Vinyasa Vinyasa
Christi Christi Kristen Jennifer
Fitness Fusion Vinyasa Flow Detox Flow Strength Yoga Level 1 Candlelight Yoga
Amy Kim Christi Christi Jennifer
Abs/Glutes Class Strength Yoga w/ weights Vinyasa Yoga Level 1 Kundalini Yoga
Christi Christi Erin Kevin
Vinyasa Abs/Glutes Class
Fusion Flow Vinyasa
Strength Yoga Lunar Flow
115 N. College Ave., Suite 200, Fort Collins, CO 80524 (970) 581-8825 www.omanandayoga.com Monday 9-10:15am 11:30-12:50pm 4-5:15pm 5:30-6:45pm 7:00-8:15pm Tuesday 6:30-7:30am 9-10am 12-1pm 4:15-5pm 5:15-6:15pm 7-8:15pm Wednesday 7:30-8:30am 11-12pm 2-3pm 5:30-6:45pm 7-8:15pm Thursday 9-10:15am 12:15-1pm 5:15-6:15pm 5:30-6:45pm 7-8:15pm Friday 7:30-8:30am 9-10:15am 12-1pm 5:30-6:30pm 7-9pm Saturday 8:30-10am 10:30-11:45am Sunday 7:45-9:15am 9:30-10:45am 4:30-5:30pm 5:45-6:45pm 7-7:45pm
Yoga Works of Loveland 2530 Abarr Drive, Loveland, CO 80538 (970) 663-2213 www.yogaworksofloveland.com Monday 9-10am 4:45-6:15pm Tuesday 8:30-10am 5:30-7pm Thurday 9-10am
Hatha Yoga Svaroopa Yoga
Angela Mary Kay
Svaroopa Yoga Svaroopa Yoga
Mary Kay Mary Kay
Mike Ena Jasmine Kate Alisa
Power Flow Yoga Tots* (ages 2-5) Yoga Flow Kids Series (*pre-register) Prental Yoga Yoga and Meditation
Adrienne Rebecca Christine
Yoga Flow Mom-n-Me (*pre-register) Yoga en Espanol Yoga Basics Hatha Yoga
Sam Ena Cheyenne Rachael Sarada
Level 1 Yoga Yoga Flow Prenatal Yoga Hatha Yoga Yoga & Meditation
Mike Sam Sarada Lila Nicole
Power Flow Yoga Flow Yoga Flow Yoga Flow (2nd & 4th Fridays) Kirtan (*see website for dates) Kundalini Yoga Yoga Flow
Adrienne Sam Laurie Cheyenne
Guru Gita 2nd & 4th Sundays Hatha Yoga Prenatal Yoga Yoga Flow Meditation
Staff Aramati Rebecca Rebecca Staff
*Specialty classes: $10 Drop-in, 5-pack $45
Print Your Class Schedule or AdvertiseYour Upcoming Workshop! Contact TYC for more information (970) 214-6921 or firstname.lastname@example.org
*Private classes available / Embodyment Therapy
ISSUE # 11
Yoga Flow Level 1 Yoga Power Flow Hatha Yoga Gentle Yoga
Saturday 7:30-8:30am 9-10am 10:30-11:30am 12-1:15pm 5:30-6:30pm Sunday 8:30-10am 10:30-11:30am 12-1pm 5:30-6:30pm 7-8pm
2733 Council Tree Ave., Ste. 129, Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 266-YOGA (9642) www.mindstreamyoga.com Monday 5:30-6:30am 7-8am 9:15-10:15 am 10:30-11:30am 12-1pm 1:30-2:30pm 4-5pm 5:30-6:30pm 7-8pm 8:15-9:15pm Tuesday 5:30-6:30am 7-8am 9:15-10:15am 10:30-11:30am 12-1pm 1:30-2:30pm 4-5pm 5:30-6:30pm 7-8pm 8:15-9:15pm Wednesday 5:30-6:30am 7-8am 9:15-10:15am 10:30-11:30am 12-1pm 1:30-2:30pm 4-5pm 5:30-6:30pm 7-8pm 8:15-9:15pm Thursday 5:30-6:30am 7-8am 9:15-10:15am 10:30-11:30am 12-1pm 1:30-2:30pm 4-5pm 5:30-6:30pm 7-8pm 8:15-9:15pm Friday 5:30-6:30am 7-8am 9:15-10:15am 10:30-11:30am 12-1pm 1:30-2:30pm 4-5pm 5:30-6:30pm the
MainStream SageStream PowerStream YinStream PowerStream CrossStream FusionStream PowerStream CrossStream MainStream
Jill V Joanna Heather Daniel Teressa Darla Fay Stephanie Toni Toni
CrossStream PowerStream TRXStream MainStream SageStream PowerStream CrossStream PowerStream FusionStream MainStream
Heather Kristen Heather Chrissy Cara Cara Darla Julia Kati Lauren
MainStream HotStream SageStream FusionStream PowerStream TRXStream HotStream SageStream CrossStream YinStream
Jill V Daniel Joanna Joanna Chrissy Theresa Daniel Fay Stephanie Ali/Jill M
CrossStream HotStream (90 min.) CrossStream MainStream YinStream PowerStream SageStream PowerStream FusionStream MainStream
Heather Daniel Julia Darla Jill M Jill M Joanna Stephanie Fay Lauren
MainStream FusionStream PowerStream SageStream PowerStream TRXStream FusionStream PowerStream
Kati Kristen Cara Cara Fay Theresa Kristen Kristen
MainStream CrossStream SageStream PowerStream-XTD MainStream
Ali Stephanie Jack Jack Darla
HotStream (90 min) PowerStream SageStream MainStream YinStream
Ali Chrissy Jack Chrissy Ali
Raintree Athletic Club
2555 S. Shields Street, Fort Collins, CO 80526 (970) 490-1300 www.raintreeathleticclub.com Monday 8-9am 9:15-10:15am 10:30-11:45am 12-1:15pm 5-6:15pm 6:30-7:30pm Tuesday 5:30-6:30am 8:30-9:45am 9-10:15am 10-11:15am 10:30-11:45am 12-1pm 4:30-5:45pm 6-7:15pm Wednesday 9:15-10:15am 9:30-10:45am 12-1:15pm 5-6pm 6:30-7:30pm Thursday 5:30-6:30am 8:30-9:30am 10-11:15am 12-1:15pm 6-7pm 6-7:15pm Friday 8:30-9:45am 9-10:15am 10:30-11:45am Saturday 8:30-9:45am 9-10am 10-11:15am Sunday 9:00-10:15am 10:30-11:30am 4:30-5:30pm
Pilates with Props Heated Power Yoga Breathing into Yoga Hatha Yoga Yoga for Runners Tai Chi
Mariah Stephanie Kathy Jennifer Colleen Ken
YPC S-2 YPC YPC S-2 S-2
Heated Power Yoga Yin Yoga Prana Vinyasa Flow Pranayama Flow Gentle Yoga Pilates Gentle/Restorative Yoga Hatha Yoga
Alex Faith Kimberly Alex Marsha Helene Marsha Paige
S-2 YPC S-2 YPC S-2 YPC YPC YPC
Heated Power Yoga Hatha Yoga Hatha Yoga Yin Yoga Pilates
Stephanie Andrea Jennifer Jill Mariah
S-2 YPC YPC YPC YPC
Heated Power Pilates w/ Props Pranayama Flow Yin Yoga Heated Power Yoga Hatha Yoga
Alex Lee Alex Faith Alex Emily
S-2 YPC YPC YPC S-2 YPC
Pilates Prana Vinyasa Flow Hatha Yoga
Jenny Kimberly Tamara
S-2 S-2 YPC
Hatha Yoga Heated Power Yoga Yin Yoga
Kate Emily Faith
YPC S-2 YPC
Intro to Vinyasa Yoga Emily Hatha Yoga Paige Community Class (Vinyasa) Emily
YPC YPC YPC
353 W. Drake Rd., Suite 140, Fort Collins, CO 80526 (970) 223-YOGA (9642) www.elanyoga.com Monday 6-7am 9-10:10am 12-1pm 4:30-5:40pm 5:30-6:40pm 6-7:10pm 7-8:10pm 7:30-8:30pm Tuesday 5:30-6:30am 6-7am 10-11:10am 12-1pm 2-3pm 4:30-5:40pm 5:30-6:40pm 6-7:10pm 7:30-8:30pm Wednesday 6-7am 9-10:10am 12-1pm 4:30-5:40pm 5:30-6:40pm 6-7:10pm 7-8:10pm 7:30-8:30pm Thursday 5:30-6:30am 6-7am 10-11:10am 12-1pm 2-3pm 4:30-5:40pm 5:30-6:40pm 6-7:10pm 7:30-8:30pm Friday 6-7am 9-10:10am 12-1:10pm 12-1pm 4:30-6pm 5:30-6:40pm Saturday 7:30-9am 9-10:10am 9:30-10:30am 11-12pm 4:30-6pm Sunday 9-10:30am 4:30-5:40pm 5:30-6:40pm
ISSUE # 11
Hot 60 Hot 70 Hot 60 Hot 70 Ashtanga Hot 70 Ashtanga Hot 60 music
Libby Libby Jill Daniel Brad Adrienne Brad Adrienne
Ashtanga Yoga Hot 60 Agni Flow Anusara Donation Vinyasa Hot 70 Prana Flow Hot 70 Mix Yin & Meditation
Chelsie Gretchen Daniel Stacey Rotating Teacher Kristen Libby Kristen Alice
Hot 60 music Prana Flow Yin Yoga Hot 70 Ashtanga Hot 70 Ashtanga Hot 60 music
Brad Brad Jill Libby Brad Libby Jason Adrienne
Ashtanga Hot 60 Vida Flow Anusara Donation Vinyasa Hot 70 Prana Flow Hot 70 mix Yin & Meditation
Brad Gretchen Laramie Stacey Rotating Teacher Jill Libby Jill Chelsie
Hot 60 music Hot 70 Yin Prana Flow Hot 90 Prana Flow
Brad Daniel Jill Libby Daniel Brad
Ashtanga Primary Hot 70 Prenatal Yoga Prana Flow Hot 90
Brad Libby Alissa Kristen Jason
Hot 90 Hot 70 Prana Flow
Brad Daniel Kristen
202 E. Fourth St., Suite J, Loveland, CO (720) 226-1431 www.monkyoga.net Monday 9:30-10:30am 5:30-7pm 7-8:15pm Tuesday 12-1pm 6:45-8pm Wednesday 12-1pm 5:30-6:45pm Thursday 6:30-7:45pm Friday 7-8am 12-1:15pm 5:30-6:30pm Saturday 8-9am
Mommieâ€™s Yoga - bring kids! *pre-registration required Dharma Yoga Beginners Dharma Yoga
Chantal Liz Liz
Dharma Yoga Restorative Yoga
Vinyasa Flow Vinyasa Flow
Vinyasa Level 1
Awakening Flow Hatha Flow Prenatal Yoga *pre-registration required
Chantal Maria Chantal
*Pre-registration at YogawithChantal@gmail.com GRAND OPENING July 9-14: See website for specials
“Just Imagine!! Each Child is Perfect and Whole” - Children’s Yoga Teacher Training Workshops and Yoga Alliance Children’s Yoga Certiﬁcation Course: Introductory experience, July 21st. Full training workshops and certification courses beginning in October. All who are interested in bringing movement into their relationships with children are welcome as a variety of levels and opportunities are offered. The course includes: personal practice, teaching from the heart, child development, physical and energetic anatomy, children’s yoga techniques, methods and application, creative movement and improvisation, therapeutic applications, SEVA, and individualized practicum development. For more information go to: www.childrenimagineyogarts.com or contact Shirley Smithson at email@example.com
Yoga in the Park with Mike Birchette. Mike will lead several free yoga classes in Washington Park and Buckingham Park this summer. The classes will be held as long as it is comfortable to go outside barefoot. Call The Old Town Athletic Club for dates and times, 970-493-7222 Chair Yoga with Ellen Richey at Om Ananda Yoga. Thursdays, 10:3011:15am in June/July (call for dates). Practice gentle yoga poses and breathing exercises in a safe, conducive, and beautiful environment. Improve mobility, increase strength and gain inner focus. Only $28 for four classes. Call Om Ananda Yoga for more information (970) 581-8825 Kid’s Yoga Summer Program with Claire Heywood at Mindstream Yoga. Beginning June 18th – Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:453:30pm. Cost is $65 for 4 weeks (8 classes total), $110 for 8 weeks (16 classes total), and $9 drop in for any individual class.
Beyond Fight or Flight: A Workshop to Relieve Anxiety, Stress, and Hyperactivity with Daphnye Rupp-Zimmerman at Om Ananda Yoga. July 28 from 1:00-3:30pm.This workshop will provide an overview on the mind’s attention states and their effects on the body, emotions, and the mind itself. Emphasis on awareness, focus, and concentration. Techniques will cover diet recommendations, daily activities, yoga postures, guided imaginary, yoga nidra, and mindfulness. The intent of the workshop is to give each participant something to go home with for self-practice and exploration. Call Om Ananda Yoga for more information (970) 581-8825
Yin Yoga Workshop w/ Jill Mollenhauer at MindstreamYoga. Saturday, June 23rd from 2-4:30pm. Cost is $25. Visit www.mindstreamyoga.com to register! Yoga and the Crystal Element with Kristen Rasmussen at Rising Lotus Yoga. Saturday, June 30th from 3-5pm. Join us as we combine yoga and the elements by infusing beautiful crystals into a vinyasa flow. The mineral to be highlighted is Amethyst. Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz with a connection to the crown chakra and works with the mind to help better the body by creating a calming and peaceful energy to help boost your mood and vibration. Register: www.risinglotusfoco.com.
An Introduction to Yogic Diet with Michael Lloyd-Billington at Old Town Yoga. Tuesday, August 7th from 5:45-7:45pm. $20 Early Bird / $25 Day of. In this special workshop, explore the classic Yogic teachings on how diet affects mood, concentration, and our world-view. Explore simple actions we can take to increase our mindfulness and support our spiritual development through both what and how we eat. Contact OTY for more info or to register: 970-222-2777
108 Sun Salutations to honor our friend and teacher Tomi Simpson at The Raintree Athletic Club. Sunday, July 8th at 8am. This is a dynamic asana sequence performed as one continuous flow. The practice will be approx. 2 hours, but you are not required to complete the entire practice. To be led by Kimberlea Smarr of Be Well Yoga. A donation of $20 is suggested. Make any checks to Tomi Simpson. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-888-6997
“Avoiding Injury in the Practice of Asana” Workshop with Kim Schwartz at Yoga Center of Fort Collins. August 17-19th. The workshop will cover a diverse selection of asanas along with use of breath and techniques to control and direct life force. Teachers and students of all levels welcome. $160 before July 15th / $175 after. Dropin sessions $50. To register, contact Janna Pijoan at 970-222-8528 or email@example.com
From Pose to Peace: An Introduction to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali with Michael Lloyd-Billington at Old Town Yoga. Tuesday, July 10th from 5:45-7pm. $20 Early Bird / $25 Day of. The Yoga Sutras has long been considered the single greatest expression of Yoga philosophy. In this special introductory workshop, explore the fundamentals of the Sutras, including basic goals of yoga and the foundations of practice. Contact OTY for more info or to register: 970-222-2777
Yoga Nidra Unpluged: The movie in your mind with Ena Burrud at Om Ananda Yoga. Saturday, August 18, 1-5pm (two 15 minute breaks). Unearth the hidden pictures in your mind whose impact on your daily life goes largely unnoticed. Yoga Nidra deeply relaxes the physical body then digs deep, but not forcefully, into the recesses of memory and psyche. Most of your time in this workshop will be lying down and experiencing. Ena is a certified Yoga Therapist and adjunct faculty for the Rocky Mountain Institute of Yoga and Ayurveda. Please call Om Ananda Yoga to register. (970) 581-8825 Space fills quickly.
Yoga Boot Camp at Rising Lotus Yoga. July 16th-July 28th. Choose between a 6, 8, or 12 class option. Shape, tone, and train your body during a two-week Yoga Boot Camp. Through exercises, including weight training, plyometrics, core training, cardio, and yoga, transform not only your body, but your yoga practice as well. All levels are welcome for this fun-filled, revved up class that will get your heart pumping and muscles shakin’! See website for details … www.risinglotusfoco.com. the
on the board and paddle more fluidly. This is because they have turned on their core stabilizing muscles and have developed a better sense of their center from the practice.
Paddleboard yoga is an ideal full-body workout, especially for those who love being on the water anyway. If you love the peacefulness of the water, the fun of water sports, and are a yogi, you will probably want your own board after the first class. Just close your eyes and imagine a Savasana where you can feel the warmth of the sun on your body with your hands floating in the water; it’s heavenly. See you on the water! Paddleboard Yoga classes every other Saturday taught by Somer King. Paddleboard Fitness classes, every other Monday and every other Saturday, taught by Jeannie Davis.
Visit www.evolveptandyoga.com, select ‘Paddleboard Classes’ for details.
by Somer King
f you are a water enthusiast, you have probably heard of Standup Paddleboarding by now. It is one of the best overall workouts and makes exercising ridiculously fun! The sport demands that your core works harder and enhances your balancing skills. Using the paddleboard is very versatile, as you can stand, kneel, or sit while working different parts of the body. You can train for flat water endurance paddling, go paddle-surfing, or take an inflatable paddleboard down a river to really test your skills. It is such an awesome activity to learn that combines balance training, core stabilization, and upper body strengthening; all while you get to enjoy the water!
previewed by Abbey Ley
aking place July 5-8 at beautiful Copper Mountain, Wanderlust Colorado boasts a star-studded line-up of festival veterans like Seane Corn and Shiva Rea topping the yoga lineup, and main stage performances by world-renowned musical artists Ziggy Marley, Beats Antique, Gramatik, Krishna Das, and more. Wanderlust’s core purpose is to create community around shared values and has built a central gathering point, bringing together our large community, growing around the pillars of mindful living - yoga, the arts, personal spirituality, environmentalism, organics, and conscious consumerism.
Now, let me clarify something that might allow Paddleboard Yoga to make more sense to you: we anchor the boards together! We have a ten-foot rope tied to each board, with an eight pound mushroom anchor that holds the boards in place for the class. I’ve seen the light bulbs go off in people’s heads once I tell them this. This way we are not paddling, posing, paddling, posing, paddling, etc. We set the boards up how we’d like the students to be positioned. Don’t worry; you’ll still have the instability of the water to challenge your practice throughout the class. In fact, taking your yoga practice on the water will totally enhance your regular practice, especially making balance poses much easier on dry land.
In addition to some of the best yoga and music on the planet, this year’s festival will also feature the brand new Wanderlust Expeditions outdoor activities program, the Kula Village vending area, Wanderlust Farm to Table Dinner, Soulful Cinema, Winederlust wine tasting, Speakeasy talks, AcroYoga, hooping, and everything else that makes Wanderlust Festival the most epic yoga event of the year. Yoga, music, nature, and a whole lot more. Wanderlust 2012 will be bigger and better than ever. We hope you can come take advantage of all of it, but don’t plan too hard. Always let yourself wander, because life’s most beautiful moments come in the spaces. Festivalgoer’s spend their mornings being centered in one of many yoga or meditation classes, chilling at a spa or in the pool, or engaging in outdoor activities from hiking to biking. A series of fascinating talks, acoustic music and food and wine tastings unfold in the afternoon, while nights are dedicated to musical discovery and a full-tilt dance party.
When adding yoga to the paddleboard, a properly designed sequence can provide a great balance of strengthening, stabilization, stretching, and balance training. Newbies to paddleboarding sometimes struggle slightly at first to find their balance and some will start off kneeling and paddling, which is recommended. When students go to paddle after the yoga practice, it is obvious how much easier it becomes to balance
Get your tickets now | www.colorado.wanderlustfestival.com/tickets/ yoga-music-tickets
JULY 5 - 8, 2012 | COPPER MOUNTAIN , CO A 4 - D AY Y O G A & M U S I C E X P E R I E N C E YOGA BY
SEANE CORN • SHIVA REA MUSIC BY
ZIGGY MARLEY • BEATS ANTIQUE KRISHNA DAS • GRAMATIK • ELEPHANT REVIVAL TALKS BY
ARON RALSTON • REP. TIM RYAN & MANY MORE
FESTIVALS OUR OTHER 2012
ile s » 1, 981 m
ONT V ER M -2 4 , 2 012
JUN E 21
R N IA C A LI FO -2 9, 2012 JULY 26
W H IS
A U G 2 3 -2T L E R 6 , 2012
OFFICIAL GREENING PARTNER
T IC K E T S & I NFO R M AT I O N AT W W W.WAN D E R L U S T F E S T IVA L .COM
» 1,0 08 mil es
» 1, 49 8 mi les
OFFICIAL AUTO PARTNER
The Sound of One Hand
he master of Kennin temple was Mokurai, Silent Thunder. He had a little protégé named Toyo who was only twelve years old. Toyo saw the older disciples visit the master’s room each morning and evening to receive instruction in sanzen or personal guidance in which they were given koans to stop mind-wandering. Toyo wished to do sanzen also. “Wait a while,” said Mokurai. “You are too young.” But, the child insisted, so the teacher finally consented. In the evening little Toyo went at the proper time to the threshold of Mokurai’s sanzen room. He struck the gong to announce his presence, bowed respectfully three times outside the door, and went to sit before the master in respectful silence. “You can hear the sound of two hands when they clap together,” said Mokurai. “Now show me the sound of one hand.” Toyo bowed and went to his room to consider this problem. From his window, he could hear the music of the geishas. “Ah, I have it!” he proclaimed. The next evening, when his teacher asked him to illustrate the sound of one hand, Toyo began to play the music of the geishas.
“No, no,” said Mokurai. “That will never do. That is not the sound of one hand. You’ve not got it at all.” Thinking that such music might interrupt, Toyo moved his abode to a quiet place. He meditated again. “What can the sound of one hand be?” He happened to hear some water dripping. “I have it,” imagined Toyo. When he next appeared before his teacher, he imitated dripping water. “What is that?” asked Mokurai. “That is the sound of dripping water, but not the sound of one hand. Try again.” In vain, Toyo meditated to hear the sound of one hand. He heard the sighing of the wind. However, the sound was rejected. He heard the cry of an owl. This was also refused. The sound of one hand was not the locusts. For more than ten times Toyo visited Mokurai with different sounds. All were wrong. For almost a year, he pondered what the sound of one hand might be. At last, Toyo entered true meditation and transcended all sounds. “I could collect no more,” he explained later, “so I reached the soundless sound.” Toyo had realized the sound of one hand. From Zen Flesh Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings, Compiled by Paul Reps the
ISSUE # 11