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Northern Colorado Spring Class Schedule Inside!

Get in

harmony with spring know your dosha-Ayurvedic Quiz and

enhance your practice with

Spiritual Eating The Hips of Spring! at home practice guide

Published by Local Yoga Junkies

Complimentary Spring 2010 Issue # 2


Celeste Magnuson I-ACT Instructor Level Colon Hydrotherapist Nationally Certified Massage/Bodywork Therapist Living Foods Lifestyle Coach/Instructor Member of the National Board for Colon Hydrotherapy

Colon Hydrotherapy

Massage and Bodywork

Colon Hydrotherapy Training

Living Foods Education


Editor’s Note

Spring is the time of renewal and transformation. It is a fulfillment of the promise of everlasting life and a time of bountiful joy! Jubilation is the feeling of spring, and this issue is part of our contribution to the celebration. The opening of the flowers has inspired this season’s At Home segment, “The Hips of Spring,” where you can learn how to determine your predominant hip orientation and how to restore balance and fluid mobility. We are very excited to have contributing writers this issue. Michael Lloyd-Billington has written an important feature exploring nutrition and its relation to the spiritual life, and Sarada Erickson has graciously contributed two features, “Am I Doing it Right” and “Spring into Balance with Ayurveda”. There are some things happening in the community that did not find their way into the advertisements of this issue that we want to draw your attention to. Old Town Yoga hosts a wide variety of workshops, so check out their website for complete listings. Also worthy of special note are Michael Lloyd-Billington’s satsang (pronounced sat sung) gatherings on the last Friday of each month at Treetop Yoga from 6:30pm to 7:45pm. Satsang is Sanskrit for “true company” and generally is taken to mean spiritual community. It is a great way to meet like-minded people and have meaningful conversations relating to the spiritual life and the practice of yoga.

Awake, thou wintry earth Fling off thy sadness! Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth your ancient gladness! ~Thomas Blackburn

Please enjoy this collection of thoughts and explorations of the vast spiritual science of yoga, and, please get out there and support the local yoga scene. May all of your sittings be still and all chitta chatter be dissolved. Blessings, The Yoga Connection

Welcome to the spring issue of the The Yoga Connection. This is our second installment and we feel blessed to have received so much positive feedback and support from the community. All of you have helped to make this publication happen and we want to say “thank you” for your support and enthusiasm. Our inspiration for this publication was the desire to support the yoga community’s growth locally. We are true believers in the power of yoga and mysticism to affect our lives positively and in their ability to help all of us participate in society as healthy, balanced, wise and compassionate people. We want the yoga community to feel that this publication belongs to it, and that it is accessible for participation. Our goal is to provide a medium of exchange to strengthen our “connection” through our mutual interest in yoga. We would love to hear from you directly: an idea for a feature article, a suggestion for a department, or a spiritual epiphany that you would like to share as a narrative. The point is that you are invited to participate in this publication with us.

THE YOGA CONNECTION MAGAZINE

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.

For advertising and editorial information, contact: Kate Stephens or Gary Pritchard Phone: (970) 482-5920 E-mail: kmskali@hotmail.com

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Printed on Recycle Paper

SPRING 2010


Contents

Features

Departments

Yoga Tidbits

Bits of tid for your enjoyment ............................... pg 8

Connecting to the Earth Journey into nature to deepen your practice .............................................. pg 9

Yogic Diet & Spiritual Nutrition

Handcrafted

How to make a Mala.................................................. pg 11

Proper eating to enhance your practice........... pg 14

At Home Practice

Am I Doing it Right?

Slip into looser hips ...................... pg 19

Learn to be your own best guide ...................................................... pg 12

What’s Your Style Descriptions of many of the class styles available in the community...................................... pg 28

The Process of Yoga & the Eight Limbs Continued explorations of the system of yoga ............................... pg 16

Once Upon a Yogi Time Goswami Kryianada offers insight in his re-telling of the ancient yogi stories through the ages............ pg 38

Spring into Balance Balance yourself with Ayurveda ...................................................... pg 24

The Tao Te Ching & The Bhagavad-Gita

Health & WellBeing Directory.................. pg 31 Northern Colorado Yoga Class Schedules Spring 2010............................ pg 32

Take a Journey with Joe into the wonderments of Eastern Philosophy ...................... pg 37 5

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Contributers Faith Brandt manages The Yoga Center at Raintree Athletic Club. She has been guiding people on the journey of yoga since 2000. She teaches techniques that assist students in developing a clear mind, helping them to stay in the present moment. She specializes in Yin, Partner, Adaptive, Beginning and Intuitive yoga. Mindful and present during each session, Faith offers support and stability to students, balancing serenity and peace with a playful, light heart. Faith is available for small group and private sessions.

Ena Burrud E-RYT has been a yogini for over 13 years. She has been teaching groups for the last 10 years in addition to privates for the last 8. Initially certified in a one-on-one setting, then certified with Erich Schiffmann, she also spent a year in Yoga Studies at UC Irvine and Loyola Marymount in LA. For 5 years she taught with the renowned Yoga Works, and now owns Treetop Studio in Old Town Fort Collins. Though she continually studies with various teachers and yoga therapists, her major influences come from Angela Farmer, Rod Stryker, Erich Schiffman, Gary Kraftsow & Leslie Kaminoff. She weaves into her classes years of professional acting, painting and the sweet insanity of raising two children.

Tonya Dunn is a horticulturist, owner of Garden Thyme and a yoga instructor. From a very young age, the natural world was full of wonder and delight. Every night, she would lie in bed listening to the sound of her breath and the sound of the crickets, not realizing that this was what it meant to be a yogi.

Sarada Erickson began practicing yoga in 1997 and was nationally certified for yoga instruction through the Shambava School of Yoga. She has assisted many yoga teacher trainings in the Shambava School and began leading trainings in Fort Collins in the Spring of 2007. She has an MS in nutrition and is an RD. Sarada deeply enjoys helping people find a more complete sense of Self through nutrition, yoga, meditation and lifestyle. She offers group classes and private instruction in the Fort Collins community.

Michael Lloyd-Billington is a yoga instructor and personal trainer with over 25 years’ experience in the fields of health, fitness and nutrition. In addition to yoga classes and private fitness sessions, Michael is a longtime teacher of Eastern philosophy and offers numerous workshops on the various aspects of the Yogic Path.

Kate Stephens and Gary Pritchard are the publishers of The Yoga Connection Magazine. They have been practicing the spiritual science of yoga for many years and have spent the last decade studying with The Temple of Kriya Yoga under the guidance of Goswami Kriyananda.

Joe Zahn is a local business consultant and self-professed life long “student of everything”. He finds much in ancient Eastern philosophy beneficial to application in our modern world.

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Declaration of Freedom by Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Yoga Tidbits

Whatever may seem to bind or limit you, Declare yourself free from it now. There is nothing in the outer world, No person, no condition, no circumstance That can take away the freedom Which is yours in spirit. Instead of wishing that you were free To live your life differently, Accept the truth that right now You are free. Free to change your thinking, Free to change your outlook on life, Free to be all that you long to be.

Mantra Magic Lokaha Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu Aum Shanti Shanti Shantihi

Make this a day of freedom, Spiritual freedom. Declare yourself free from anxiety and fear, Free from any belief in luck or limitation.

May all beings be happy. And may my thoughts, words and deeds contribute in some way to that happiness.

“In between inhalation and exhalation, in between remembering and forgetting, in between joy and pain, in between knowing who you think you are and reality, there is a place of stillness …. Seek refuge there.”

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God; your playing small doesn’t serve the world”. ~Marianne Williamson

~Goswami Kriyananda

Sign up to receive a little inspiration everyday at:

www.dailyom.com “Yoga does not remove us from the reality or responsibilities of everyday life but rather places our feet firmly and resolutely in the practical ground of experience. We don’t transcend our lives; we return to the life we left behind in the hopes of something better”. ~ Donna Farhi

THE YOGA CONNECTION MAGAZINE

“Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts.” ~Paramahansa Yogananda

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worms coil up to conserve energy and the bees, slow as they may be, continue to search for nectar on the warmest days, to bring nourishment to their queen. Life continues even in the slowest, coldest, shortest days of winter. Many yoga poses are named after animals or elements in nature. Take Ardha Chandrasana, or half (ardha) -moon (chandra) pose for example. The moon has a rich symbolic significance in yoga mythology. In Sanskrit, candra (Chandra) means glittering, shining, having the brilliancy or hue of light (said of the gods); usually translated as moon. In hatha yoga, for example, the sun and the moon

Connecting to the Earth By Tonya Dunn

Last summer I went on a backpacking trip with my family through Rocky Mountain National Park. The soft, mossy earth under foot created comfort and awareness. Each step became meditation in motion. I was moving through a painting of light, sound and scent. I became a keen observer of every pebble that shifted under foot, every leaf that brushed my leg and every insect that landed on me. I felt truly alive. This awareness shift created the same kind of presence that I feel with my asana practice. With this receptive awareness, nature is no longer something that creates a beautiful backdrop or something we are compelled to weed. We view it as a living, breathing organism, full of mystery and sensitivity. We become a part of it and it becomes part of us. In the garden, the mystery and gift of life is in our own back yard. Every autumn, the cat-face spider hides in the well protected corners of my outdoor window sill or under the eves. I

watch as she quietly and patiently waits for the next meal that will provide nourishment and sustenance for her offspring, which won’t hatch until spring. Each day, nature teaches innumerable lessons on living and the cycle of life. So many of us today live in a city of lights; a city that occludes the night sky. Some children are born, raised and will die in a place where they will never see the brilliance and magic of the night sky. The moon and the sun continue to shine upon us, providing a beacon of light on even the cloudiest of days. This cycle by which we created clocks, named seasons, affects the ocean tides, menstrual cycles and plant life. Spring is the visible sign of life. Plants begin to emerge from the thawing soil, birds become more active and the days lengthen. The air smells alive. But what the earth holds in the frozen soil is the hope that spring will come. Roots continue to push their way deeper and broader through this seemingly lifeless soil. Earth-

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represent the two polar energies of the human body. In fact, the word hatha, “ha” and “tha”, are translated as signifying the solar and lunar energies respectively. Nature can intensify our yoga experience. What draws us to being outside is the same thing that inspires us to focusing awareness, breathing deeply, and practicing stillness. In today’s hi-tech world, we find ourselves being ‘plugged in’ more and more. Even computer games have been created to ‘connect’ children to nature. Families connected to the outdoors raise healthier kids and inspire a life-long appreciation of wildlife and nature. By taking ourselves out of the hypnotic state of our daily drive to and from work; our endless stream of emails and text messages; and getting off the treadmill into the natural world around us, a quiet, contemplative sense of wonder begins to grow. So often we complain of the snow, the rain or the heat. The weather cycles of the planet are unpredictable and inconvenient at times. By embracing rather than battling the elements we are reminded that a cool breeze creates an aliveness as ‘goose pimples’ form on our largest organ, the skin; the sun warms our skin and muscles and the after smell of a rainstorm deepens our breathing. → THE YOGA CONNECTION MAGAZINE


Many aspects of yoga are in fact about being in the moment and at one with nature. Manipulating our body into the shape of a tree or a stretching cat, by exploring the graceful wingspan of a bird or the fluidity of the Sun Salute (surya namaskar), by breathing with the same cyclical sense as the tides or with an ocean sound, you evoke a sense of harmony, timelessness, and connection to the natural world. Meditating and breath work outside the studio and off our mats is invaluable. We begin by creating awareness of our own internal rhythms of the breath, such as the rise and fall of the chest or the feeling of air in the back of our throat. Once our attention is collected to the present moment, we can begin to open our senses to another level such as the smells of nature, such as the ocean, pine, grass. Breathe deeply- nature has a lot to offer. Listen- hear the meadowlark’s call and response with its mate as the harbinger of spring. Touch- feel the soft mossy earth, the smooth water etched pebbles of the stream or a ladybug’s arrival on your shoulder. Look- look carefully the interconnectedness of your oneness with the surroundings and that you are part of the painting. The simple act of sitting quietly or walking mindfully among the elements becomes as natural as breathing or as comfortable as a loved ones arms. Take a walking meditation on the prairie. Create awareness of how your body moves through the softly swaying tall grass. Feel the gentle touch of the inflorescence or the prickle of the blades. Move with intention. This is meditation in motion.

Yoga Workshop with Kim Schwartz April 23, 24, 25 - 2010 Fri. evening - Sat. a.m. & p.m. - Sun. morning

Practicing Sun Salutes or a series of postures in nature cultivates a deeper awareness of our own bodies. Uneven, natural surfaces such as sand, grass, or the woodland floor can intensify a yoga posture and its physical benefits. Practicing on uneven surface, like the sand, builds the secondary muscles of your feet, hips, knees, spine, and shoulders. Step off your mat, into your back yard to experience the heart opening and tranquility nature offers.

Enjoy a fun and inspiring weekend with Kim Schwartz, exploring the foundations of asana. With over 35 years of personal practice & 25 years of teaching, Kim is recognized by many well-known instructors as a “master of his art” & a true “teacher’s teacher”. Kim’s approach to yoga is from an internal, pranic model, with yoga philosophy at its core and asana (posture) as the vehicle for its expression. “Yoga from the inside out”. No matter what your level of practice, this is a workshop you won’t want to miss!

Nothing supports the opening of the heart and mind like the beauty, tranquility, and silence of the natural world. Creating a contemplative relationship to nature opens the pathway to be present. Our attention in this state becomes more effortless through continued exposure and mindfulness of the natural world. The natural world is all around you. It can be found in your back yard, on your apartment balcony and down the street at the park. Invite it in. Welcome its presence. Cultivate your relationship. Experience the inspirational healing and-

Location Old Town Yoga - 237 Jefferson St. Fort Collins www.oldtownyoga.com

For Information - Contact Janna - (970)222-8528 janna@tcmclinic.org

nourishment of the natural world.

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Handcrafted

A Handmade Mala Mala beads are Buddhist prayer beads. Traditionally, a string of Mala beads has 108 beads and is wrapped around the left wrist. They are often used as a focus for meditation. In some traditions, the Mala is used to keep track of mantras as they are chanted. This practice is known in Sanskrit as japa.

Materials: 

54 or 108 Beads … choose beads that speak to you



1 Focal Bead of a coordinating color, larger or different in shape



Beading Cord in a coordinating color …. The cord should be as sturdy as possible, but still slender enough to fit through your beads.



Rayon Embroidery Floss for the tassel - Rayon floss will make a beautiful silky tassel, but it is harder to find and comes in fewer colors than standard cotton floss (try a local craft store). One skein will make 2-4 tassels. Because rayon thread does not hold a knot well, you will still need a small piece of cotton thread for the wrapping.



Scissors



Optional Materials include: Spacer beads (if desired) and other beads to decorate the tassel section

6. Using the two cords that are extending from the end of the focal bead, tie the bundle of 10-inch pieces tightly in the middle, so that there are 5 inches on either side. Tie 2x again (making another 3-knot square knot on the underside, away from the mala), it will be hidden by the tassel. 7. Cut one 24-inch piece of cotton embroidery floss. Bend the two sides of the knotted bundle together so that the knot is hidden. Then take the 24-inch piece, and tie it into a 3-knot square knot about 1 inch below the top of the tassel. One end of the floss should be 3 inches long. Lay this shorter end towards the mala. Using the longer piece, wrap the tassel firmly (over the short end) until the knot is invisible and you have at least ½ inch wrapped. Then tie another 3-knot square knot with both ends. Using a large eye tapestry needle, take one end at a time down and under the wrapped-up parts of the tassel. Pull firmly, use pliers to grasp the end of the needle if you can’t pull it through the bundle. The knot should end up invisible and all the strands of floss pointing in the same direction.

Instructions:

So they will blend in, unravel the ends of the beading cord that are hiding inside the tassel. You will notice the tassel doesn’t hang straight yet, it has bends and kinks from the original skein. Wet it down (tassel only, not the entire mala) and straighten the threads with your fingers. Hang it up to dry overnight. Once the tassel is dry you can trim the ends evenly.

1. With your beading cord, string your mantra beads (54 or 108). If you are using spacers, start with one, then alternate regular beads and spacers. 2. Tie both ends of the cord together tightly with a square knot plus one more knot (in other words, tie a knot 3 times.) This is the body of the mala.

8. Consecrate your mala according to your own spiritual tradition.

3. Pass both ends of the cord through the focal bead. 4. Add any extra spacers or beads you wish to decorate the ‘tail’. Knot three times again.

Dedicate your new mala to the cause of peace. Treat it with respect, as a magical tool to manifest your intentions.

5. Take the skein of embroidery floss and divide it into fourths (if you want a fuller tassel, divide it in thirds). Cut the quarter section into 10-inch pieces. This will create a 5-inch finished tassel. An easy way to do this is to wind the floss (loosely) around the long side of a 3x5 index card. If you wish a longer or shorter tassel, adjust accordingly. Save the rest of the floss for your next mala, or to share.

May Peace Prevail on Earth!

ISSUE # 2

Om Shanti! ***Instructions for creating mala found at: www.thepeacebeads.com

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Am I Doing It Right?

By Sarada Erickson There are many sources of knowledge available to us as questions about our practice come up. Sometimes we can go to a book, website, or video. We may have a friend or family member who has more experience with a particular topic. For important topics, it may be beneficial to consult an experienced teacher. A knowledgeable teacher can provide experiential understanding and skill to illuminate our understanding. It is said a teacher lights our light of understanding from his or her own experience. In the yogic tradition, teachers are considered essential to our progress. I am blessed with the grace of many teachers in my life. I have no doubt I would be in a much different place in my sadhana (spiritual practice) and my worldly life if I did not have the guidance and support from my teachers. I see my own role as a teacher change as I grow. The more experience I gain, the more I am able to share that experience and help students. My role as a teacher and a student are continually unfolding. I see how teachers bring us further along the path in a more efficient way. I also see how students facilitate their teacher’s growth. In this way, asking questions is beneficial for everyone. It helps perpetuate the cycle of growth.

As I talk to yoga students, both beginners and experienced practitioners, I often hear some rendition of this question: Am I doing it right? This avenue of thought can take many forms. Is my foot/hip/shoulder in the right position? Am I breathing in and out when I should? Do I look OK? If I keep doing this, will I improve? Perhaps on a deeper level the question is, do I belong here? Generally speaking, we are looking for some source of external knowledge and reassurance. We want to hear the perspective of someone who sees us from the outside. As we know, this can be a very advantageous viewpoint. Teachers probe to see if there is anything specific to answer concerning alignment, breathing, sensations in a pose or other aspects of the yoga class. Regardless of experience level, these questions arise. We are always learning more about ourselves and about our yoga practice as we continue along the path. It is important to ask questions so that we can grow and unfold our understanding more fully. We are all students and teachers. We learn from each other, share experiences, and contribute to our communities. This continual process of offering and accepting brings us closer together and can be very fulfilling.

Ultimately, the yogic tradition teaches us to look inside ourselves for answers. A part of ourselves already knows the answer to the questions we have. This truth may be buried under layers and layers of muck, but it is indeed there. It is possible to clear away the muck and see the answers through the practices of asana (postures), pranayama (breathing techniques), meditation and other spiritual endeavors. When the mind is clear and focused in asana practice, we can hear the body communicating with us. We can feel a slight pain in our shoulder or knee in a certain pose and know that we are misaligned. We can listen to the breath more closely and hear when we are straining. We can listen to the heart

Having a question inside arise is a sign we are engaged in our practice. We care about how we are doing. We want to “do it right.” We may be interested in why we are doing certain movements in a class. We want to know if we can improve ourselves in some way. The desire to learn is very healthy and beneficial. Our desire to grow and go deeper is what fuels our practice. It can enhance our commitment to practice. It may even get us on our mat when we don’t exactly feel like being there, but know we would benefit from practice. Even if we are not sure we are doing it right, we continue to try in order to figure it out. THE YOGA CONNECTION MAGAZINE

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during mediation and know how to handle a situation. Conversely, if we ask a question and are not ready to receive the answer, we will not understand it. We may ask several people and access many sources of knowledge, but still not feel clear on our understanding. In this case, patience and practice are the best tools to use. As we mature in our practice, we gain more depth in our understanding. We become ready to hear more. When we are ready for an answer, the truth resonates inside us upon hearing it. This illustrates how the truth is actually inside of us all along!

the sky. We remain unattached. We simply observe what we see and neither reject nor embrace any thought, pose, or reaction. We form a more harmonious relationship with our body, breath, mind, and Spirit. This reveals our big Self to our little self and we begin to understand the nature of our questions and the answers we receive. This is yoga. Am I doing it right? Absolutely. In the heart of yoga, there is a special place for each of us. We shape, mold, contort and change. We try, give up and try again. Through it all, yoga is there for us. Our connection to the Inner Self is always present. As we clean away the muck, we feel that inner spark. We feel empowered. We feel strong, flexible, and capable of great things. We are inspired. We begin to experience for ourselves, “Yes, I am doing it right!”

I would like to share a rendition of a story that demonstrates this point. It is from a wonderful book by Swami Muktananda called Where are You Going? An earnest student goes to a saint and asks for spiritual instruction. The teacher replies “Everything is the Self. Just as water solidifies and becomes ice, the Self takes form and becomes the universe. There is nothing but the Self. You are that Self. Recognize this and you will know everything.” The student is not satisfied. “Is that all you have to say?” he asks. “I can read that in a book. Can’t you say something else?” “That is all I have to teach,” the saint says. “If you want more instruction, you will have to go elsewhere.” So, the seeker approaches a second teacher and asks for instruction. This teacher is very clever and knows what kind of person the seeker is. “I will instruct you,” he says, “but first you will have to serve me for twelve years. There is only one job open, and that is picking up buffalo dung. Will you do that?” the teacher asks. The student is very sincere and true, so he does not question the nature of the work. He is willing to spend twelve years picking up dung because he considers spiritual instruction to be worth any kind of effort. Day in and day out for twelve years he cleans out dung, sweeps and takes care of things. Then one day, he looks at the calendar and discovers he has worked for twelve years and two days. He goes to the teacher and asks for instruction. The teacher replies, “Everything is the Consciousness. The Self appears as all things in the universe. You are that Self.” Because of his years of sadhana, the student has become very ripe and is immediately absorbed into a state on Samadhi (blissful enlightenment). He experiences the Truth. When he comes out of the blissful state he says, “One thing puzzles me. I already received this teaching. It is the same instruction the other teacher gave me twelve years ago.” “Yes,” says the teacher. “The truth does not change in twelve years.” “Then why did I have to pick up buffalo dung in order to understand it?” His teacher smiles and says, “You were not ready to hear the answer.” This story wonderfully illustrates how we come to many understandings. Sometimes we need to clean out the dung inside us to hear the Truth! Though truth does not change, our clarity does improve through years of commitment and practice. We may be asking about our experience of a yoga pose or breath instead of spiritual instruction. Regardless of the question, our ability to understand the answer has something to do with our level of readiness. Essentially, yoga asks that we form a more conscious relationship with ourselves and learn to trust our innate wisdom. Yoga asks that we listen closely to our bodies and when we feel pain, we adjust accordingly. We must listen to the difference between sensation and pain and learn where our edges are. Yoga asks that we listen to our breath. We observe the depth, the rhythm, length and sound. When our breath is strained, we are likely over-exerting. We are more likely to injure our bodies when we are not paying attention to the breath. Yoga asks that we observe our minds. We observe our thoughts from a distance. We watch our thoughts like we may half-way watch a tv show we are not interested in. We allow our thoughts to come and go like clouds in ISSUE # 2

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Yogic Diet & Spiritual Nutrition By Michael Lloyd-Billington If you were to list your spiritual practices, chances are you’d think of quite a few things before your dietary choices, and yet religious traditions across the globe speak of the link between our food choices and our spirituality -- perhaps none more so than the Yogic tradition. In the following article we’ll take a look at how diet and spirituality interconnect, the basic teachings of Yoga in the area of nutrition, and some practical tips on how you can use these teachings to deepen your own spiritual work.

Is “Spiritual Nutrition” a Contradiction? To begin, spirituality and diet are hardly the “odd bedfellows” we might think. In fact, given all the aspects of life our food selection impacts, you could argue very few areas come close as an opportunity to explore the link between our lifestyle and our beliefs. First, food is survival -- we know that on a very real, biological level, food gives us a sense of security, while concerns about availability can trigger equally strong feelings of vulnerability. Obviously, we’re lucky enough to live in a culture in which, for most of us, actual starvation is never a concern, and yet every time we experience hunger or even uncertainty about our next meal we know a deeply-seated psychological mechanism is being triggered. Further, in this age of conflicting nutritional guidance, many of us experience that lack of security in our uncertainty as to what is truly healthful for us. Beyond sustenance and security, there is far more. We know food deeply influences our energy and our capacity to act -- that is, what we choose to eat directly influences our ability to live our beliefs, including beliefs about serving others or being productive members of our families and our communities. We also know cognitive function is dependent on dietary choices and have all experienced how dramatically our diet can impact our mood -- again, strongly influencing our ability to think clearly about our values or to feel compassion or act kindly toward those around us. Further, food also serves to connect us to our environment, to those who provide it, and to those with whom we share. Finally, food is pleasure -- in fact, neurologists have discovered a unique neurotransmitter that our brains only release when we consume food in the company of others. When we put all these issues together, one could argue there is no single aspect of our lives that combines so many powerful factors. Considered this way, it’s clear why religious traditions worldwide speak of the spiritual aspect of our food choices. In fact, this becomes even more clear when we look at how much time we devote to food. Think of the average day and ask yourself how many hours you spend not only eating, but also procuring, preparing, cleaning up, waiting at restaurants, thinking about what to eat, or even just talking about favorite foods or places to eat. Now, multiply that by all the factors above and it becomes clear diet provides an exceptional opportunity for self-study. If every time we ate, we took a moment to think about our beliefs and goals in life and whether that meal was reinforcing those beliefs, we would have a powerful opportunity to reinforce our ideals and aspirations multiple times a day, seven days a week. Given all this, it’s no surprise a practice-based tradition such as Yoga gave spiritual nutrition the deep consideration that it did. Let’s now take a look at the simple fundamentals of what the yogis observed about food choice.

The Basics of Yogic Diet Classically, Yoga begins its exploration of diet with the concept of the gunas. In looking at the world of matter, the yogis observed three basic types of energy: rajas, tamas, and sattvas. Rajas is fiery energy or agitation, which in its most negative form manifests as anger. Tamas is inertia and in its most negative form manifests as laziness. Sattvas, finally, is light, peacefulness, harmony. The yogis witnessed all three in every aspect of the material world and food of course was no exception. Meat, spicy foods, and stimulants such as caffeine were seen to be rajasic. Fatty foods, fermented foods, and foods that were overcooked or old were seen as tamasic. And fresh foods, especially raw or lightly-cooked fruits and vegetables, grains and legumes were seen as sattvic.

Rajasic

Sattvic

Tamasic

Meats

Raw Fruits and Vegetables

Fermented Foods

Garlic

Lightly Cooked Vegetables

Fried Foods

Spices

Lightly Cooked Grains and Legumes

Cold Foods

Stimulants (coffee, tea, etc.)

Raw Milk

Onions Fatty Foods, Overcooked Foods, Leftovers

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As you can see from this list, the yogis witnessed the importance not only of food selection but also the method of preparation. Further, they observed that the way in which we eat and our mindset when eating are equally significant -- that is, even the most healthful food can have a negative impact if consumed in a state of agitation or depression. This latter point is especially important -- many of us pay great attention to our diet, but are far less aware of our mental state when we eat. The yogis found that eating calmly, mindfully, and in silence greatly enhanced the quality of nutrition as well as the mental state fostered by that meal.

Simple Steps for Putting Spiritual Nutrition Into Practice As you can see, the fundamentals of Yogic diet are actually quite easy to follow. By focusing on natural foods in their natural state we can foster greater health and greater peace of mind, and by consuming foods mindfully and in moderation we can further support that process. Eating this way can give us the best health possible and the best mental focus for living our spiritual values. To further enhance this connection, below are five simple steps we can take each time we eat in order to take full advantage of this link between food and our ideals:

Another aspect of the gunas the yogis observed which is particularly significant is that we often mistake the blending of rajas and tamas with sattvas. In other words, in our typical lifestyle we have a tendency to combine stimulating influences with those that are sedating or numbing and think we are generating balance. Nowhere is this more common than in the area of diet -- consuming spicy foods which stimulate us, for example, with fatty foods or alcohol to “calm us back down.” In fact, we often combine rajasic and tamasic not just in a single meal, but in a single dish. The yogis observed that while it might seem these two factors “balance each other out”, the fact is actually the opposite. To begin, because both rajasic and tamasic foods are less than ideal, they both take great energy to process. Perhaps more importantly, the two types of food are sending conflicting messages to the body and mind. The end result might appear to balance out, but the inner effect is taxing and draining -- much like a child who has one parent telling him to hurry up and the other saying: “Just stay there and be quiet!” The yogis witnessed that combining rajasic and tamasic food is exactly the same, only we are so used to the process, we no longer realize how much it taxes and imbalances us. By contrast, when we eat sattvic foods, we not only better nourish our bodies, but also help our mind remain more calm and clear -- which in turn helps us to make better choices in all areas of our lives….

1. Take a moment to think of your goals -- Every meal is a chance to experience pleasure, but it’s also a chance to foster greater health and build our capacity to serve others. Before each meal, ask yourself what your goals are and how you‘d like this meal to support them -- health, service, and joy -- in a balanced way.

2. Think of connection -- As you prepare your food or simply wait to receive it, use the time to think of the connections between you and your world inherent in that meal. Take a moment to think of the people who grew or prepared it, the plants or animals that are nourishing you, the people with whom you will share, and those whose support of your work has allowed you to afford the nourishment.

3. Express gratitude -- Before actually eating, take a moment to express -- silently or out-loud -- your appreciation of the nourishment and pleasure you are about to receive. Even a moment of silent thanks can greatly enhance our own mindfulness and gratitude.

4. Witness joy -- We all know what it’s like to finish a meal with very little recollection of how it actually tasted. As you eat, allow yourself as much quiet time as possible to truly savor each bite. Ideally consider eating in silence, but if that feels like too big a step, try to allow at least a few moments of calm within the meal, really observing and appreciating the smells, tastes, and textures of your meal.

There are many other aspects of the Yogic diet, but one last element that deserves emphasis is how food selection can influence our world-view. As you may already have noticed, sattvic foods are generally the most simple and readily available while rajasic and tamasic foods require the greatest effort to obtain and prepare. The yogis realized that if our food is easily obtained, if we receive pleasure from it with little need for adornment, and if its consumption leaves us feeling good both physically and mentally, that naturally results in our feeling cared for by our world. If, on the other hand, we must struggle to obtain food and apply great effort and expense to make it pleasurable, this can easily translate into a feeling of being at odds with nature -- that at worst, life is a struggle or, at best, that the world is something we must conquer and overcome in order to survive or enjoy ourselves. In other words, the more we choose sattvic foods, the more we support not only our physical and emotional health, but also our over-all sense of being supported and nourished by the world around us, in turn fostering our desire to care for and support the world.

ISSUE # 2

5. Observe & reflect -- At the end of each meal, take a moment simply to reflect. Did the choices you make feel right? Are there things you want to try to be more aware of or do differently next time? This process of observing and reflecting will help reinforce good choices and allow us to be even more mindful and aware our next meal. By taking just a few minutes to follow these five steps, you can greatly enhance your health while taking full advantage of the many spiritual aspects inherent in our food selection, turning each meal into the communion that it was meant to be….

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THE PROCESS OF YOGA & THE EIGHT LIMBS By Gary Pritchard and Kate Stephens Regardless of how the mind categorizes the vocabulary of the mystical path, the experiences of the psychic states described by that vocabulary are ones that reveal God’s incorruptible presence in everything, including (please forgive the assertion), the human mind and soul. Let’s imagine that mysticism is the method(s) by which one cultivates revelation and realization, and religion is the method(s) by which we celebrate and serve that which is revealed. In this context, the mystical life leads to a religious state of being because it reveals the Omnipresence of God. With that revelation comes the realization of the need to, and a natural proclivity to, serve God’s creation. The religious state comes by way of mystical experience and has a powerful effect on our perceptions, but is not a perception in its self. It is an entirely different class of experience, a type of feeling tone of one’s being. It is akin to knowing hot because one has a scar from being burned by fire. This quality of awareness is not limited to meditative states, but becomes crystallized in everyday life as the meditator repetitively accesses a state of revelation and causes realization. The trick becomes protecting that state (it is very delicate and this delicacy is persistent) so it is not degraded by density or lower states of unawareness and emotionality, while we go about our daily lives. In this respect, two of the practices of the mystical path of yoga, Yamas (restraints) and Niyamas (observances), serve us in a dualistic fashion. They simultaneously help in the cultivation of the mystical life, while also being a way in which we can protect that most gracious of states. If we are choosing to consecrate our lives by means of mysticism, and our lives are to become the temple of God, then the practice of the yamas and niyamas are the foundational sacraments. Within the framework of this analogy, we glimpse meditation as the greater sacrament of the baptism and Samadhi (contemplation) the greatest sacrament of communion with God.

In last season’s issue of The Yoga Connection, we began to discuss the process of yoga as we use it for conscious evolution and enlightenment of the soul. However, what is enlightenment and why is it at all desirable? It can be easy to take phrases and references to self-realization, enlightenment, wisdom, spirituality and a host of other pieces of the mystical nomenclature for granted. We all tend to do this as if there is a common understanding of what these words mean, but what do they mean? What does the word Yoga mean? What is the soul? What is spirituality? Is meditating more spiritual than a fistfight? Is burying a loved one less spiritual than giving birth? (Please forgive my harshness, I only wish to provoke your inquisitiveness.) Can one have an experience that is not spiritual? And, what is wisdom? A very dear friend of mine would say, “Wisdom knows what is happening, when it is happening.” Please do not understand that statement too quickly. It is a profound and deeply complex musing, but is it what is meant by the accomplished sages when they speak of wisdom? My intention here is not to define words, but to introduce the reader to some of the concepts of the mystical life, and try to frame them in a context that preserves the heritage of their efficacy, while making them accessible to the modern mind. Therefore, I will use these words and refer to these concepts from a personal perspective, but do encourage the reader to do further investigation and to develop their own relationship with them. I would suggest that it is less important to have a definitively common understanding of the mystical vocabulary than it is to have a personal, but developed, relationship with such words and concepts. The mystical life, after all, is lived as an art first and a science second. Since I have been, and will be, making references to mysticism and the mystical life, I would like to help to develop this concept for the reader. If we reference the dictionary, we can learn that mysticism is “The doctrine of an immediate spiritual intuition of truths believed to transcend ordinary understanding, or of a direct, intimate union of the soul with God through contemplation or spiritual ecstasy.” There is a great deal implied in that definition. It assumes that you know what the words God, soul, union, spiritual, etc. mean, and furthermore, that your comprehension of those words is similar to the lexicographer’s. God, soul, spiritual - they are each colossal concepts and we should not read them lightly. We should always be careful not to confuse familiarity with understanding. This is why I advocate developing a relationship with a concept rather than trying to foster “understanding”. To gain understanding connotes a condition of completion, whereas, a relationship grows infinitely. This approach allows for the acceptance or our own ignorance as a condition of our learning and growth. It allows us to be less possessive of knowledge and instead realize that knowledge is only the truth of our ignorance. You may have noticed that the definition of mysticism classified it as a “doctrine”, a noun that we can posses, in a way, taking the life from it. Mysticism has a doctrine, but it is not a doctrine, it is a way. It is a way of interfacing the universe and giving expression to our existences. It is a way of being that is non-denominationally religious, cosmically aware, and oriented toward balance and harmony.

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When we left our discussion of the yamas and niyamas in the previous issue, we were discussing the first yama of Ahimsa (nonviolence) and the niyama of Shaucha (purity). If you were not able to read these articles, you may benefit from a brief recap. The yamas and niyamas are two of the eight primary techniques (called the eight limbs of yoga) used by the yogis to invoke and sustain an enlightened awareness. There are five yamas and five niyamas. The five yamas are: Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (celibacy), and Aparigraha (non-greed). The five niyamas are: Shaucha (purity), Santosha (contentment), Tapas (austerity), Svadhyaya (self-study), and Ishvarapranidhana (self-surrender). The remaining six limbs of yoga are: Asana (steadiness of posture), Pranayama (breath control), Pratyahara (sense withdrawal), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation), and Samadhi (contemplation). The last two are not as much a technique as they are the states of awareness that we have been discussing. In last season’s article, we had further divided the yamas and niyamas into three sub-sets: intellectual, verbal and physical. We discussed intellectual, verbal, and physical nonviolence (ahimsa) and got as far as intellectual purity (shaucha). For this season’s discussion we will move onto the yama of truthfulness (satya) and continue on the niyama of purity (shaucha), focusing on the practice of verbal purity.

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We find the foundation of satya in our thoughts because we know that the intent behind our words is just as important as the words themselves. Before you speak satya, ask yourself if you are speaking a truth that is universal or are you clouded by what you think the truth is?

Satya pratishthayam kriya phala shrayatvam When we are firmly established in truthfulness, action accomplishes its desired end.” -Pantanjali Yoga Sutras ii:36

Satya in Speech:

Here, we are introduced to the next yama, Satya or Nonlying. I prefer to use the positive connotation of satya and define it as truthfulness. When we are truthful about ourselves and the world we live in, we move towards a more balanced state of selfawareness. We move from limitation and regret to harmony and liberation.

Practicing right speech means that when we say something, we are sure of its truth. The truth of anything is subjective, so it might be better understood here to suggest that when we speak, we speak with the intention of being truthful. By setting a truthful intention, there is a better chance of not harming others. We accept that nothing can be true if it is harmful to others. When practicing satya, we choose only useful and helpful words. While telling the truth, it is important to speak in a positive way so as not to cause hurt, yet at the same time be as straightforward and sincere as possible. We really start to understand what Thumper was saying in the old Disney film… “if you can’t say something nice, don’t saying nothing at all.”

Satya means “unchangeable” or “that which has no distortion.” Judith Lasater defines satya as “actively expressing and being in harmony with the ultimate truth. When we find this connection to pure truth, it becomes impossible to lie or act in anyway untruthful.” One thing to recognize is that all five yamas work together, just as all the limbs of the tree support each other. We need to be everconscious of practicing satya while not violating the first yama, Ahimsa or non-violence. Satya is about living a truthful life without doing harm to others. To practice satya, one must think before one speaks and consider the consequences of their actions. If the truth could harm others, it might be better to keep silent. You hear people say they are giving you the brutal truth. Practicing satya does not mean practicing brutal honesty. Brutal honesty is just that, brutal, and this is not speaking truth. Truth comes from a place of pure love and compassion. You violate ahimsa when you practice brutal honesty.

Judith Lasater suggests that we get in the practice of asking ourselves three questions before we speak: Is it true, is it necessary and is it non-harming? You’ll start to notice how much less you actually say when you truly get rooted in the practice of satya in speech. So much of our communication is filled with imaginations and exaggerations that are providing no real truth.

Satya in Action: Practicing satya in action can be seen best on the mat. We are honest with ourselves when we engage our body in a truthful way while practicing. We observe our bodies and honor where we are in each moment. We have gifts and strengths, along with limitations and weaknesses. We let go of our physical practice having a goal and instead shift to a recognition of our practice showing us where we are at this moment. We notice our truth in the moment. We are ever evolving, changing day to day. Our practice one day is going to look very different the next day and certainly very different than it did the day before. We practice satya by being with the practice now, not comparing it to the past or looking ahead to the future. Also, we need to be truly honest with ourselves as to what our poses are teaching us about being true to ourselves. This goes both ways. We need to let go of our egos at times and acknowledge that our body may not be ready to get into a specific posture. Conversely, we need to be honest about what we can do. We often find ourselves presented with a pose in class and immediately think, “not a chance!” But, by practicing satya, you need to be honest enough with yourself to say, “ya know what, I’m going to give it a whirl and see where I can go with this posture.” We may get comfortable in a pose and convince ourselves that we cannot go any further. However, it’s important for us to check in and see if we can push to a new edge, go a bit further. We find a balance in our postures in which we creep past fear, but hold ourselves in humility as well. We commit ourselves to the ultimate truth of our practice … finding our perfectly balanced state of self-awareness.

Just as all the yamas, satya exists in thought, word and action. It is more than not telling lies. It is a way of behaving that honors the divine in all of us and in nature as a whole.

Satya in Thought: Being honest with others requires first that we are honest with ourselves, thus satya begins first in our minds and thoughts. We need to be in touch with what our inner truth really is. We look first to our values and beliefs and then examine if we are actually living our truth. This is rather tricky because we have been conditioned by our society to live a certain way that may not actually be what our deepest truth really is. Our culture encourages individualism and materialism. We need to move away from this dualistic thinking, away from the “either/or” extremes that prevent us from discerning truth. In yoga, we learn that we are all connective threads woven together into a beautiful tapestry. What we need to learn is that we are also living a collective truth. With this understanding, we work with one another and experience how our many truths illuminate a way to a greater truth. We need to let go of our egos and accept that we do not know everything. “Not knowing” is a good way to further your understanding of truth. Let go of your thoughts of this being right or wrong, and instead open yourselves up to the myriad of possibilities of what truth is. We look inward and ponder where we need to go on our journey of growth. Then, we need be honest with ourselves and follow that path even if it brings some discomfort along the way. We look at what is essential for growth, individually and collectively, and make choices that move us in that direction. The truth is not always easy to see and it is certainly not always comfortable to accept, but we know we are moving in the right direction when we stay focused on our truth. As Donna Farhi puts it, “one way we know we are living the truth is that while our choices may not be easy, at the end of the day, we feel at peace with ourselves.” ISSUE # 2

“At first, satya is practiced from the outside in. Eventually, we become fully established in the practice of truth – so much that we begin to live satya from the inside out. As the layers of falsehood fall away, an intimacy develops with our own truth. Ultimately, our truth becomes all there is. Truth becomes our essence and our reality, our deepest desire, and the air that we breathe.” Rolf Gates

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Verbal Shaucha (Purity)

words that if used properly, invoke the feeling of God’s presence and therefore have a deep affect on our perceptions and state of being. These particular words are called the names of God, i.e. Adonai, YHVH (Yahweh, the four-fold name of God) or YSHVH (Jesus - the five-fold name of God). These are Hebrew names of God, but all mystical/religious schools have their own names of God and all of them are founded in the alchemy of phonetics. In Yogic culture, they use Aumm (Om), which if seen written in Sanskrit, shows four characters composing the word - another four-fold name of God. When the yogis begin to chant the Om mantra they are either invoking or evoking (depending on either a ceremonial [external/evoking] or a ritual [internal/invoking] emphasis) the presence of God. The use of mystical phonetics is not limited to our relationship with God, but can also be put to more personal and practical use in our lives. We can use it to balance the archetypical forces known as the four elements in our being and lives. We can use it for physical, mental and emotional healing. We can use it to expand our awareness and involvement in our evolution to transform our consciousness.

Shaucha, or purity, should be taken to mean cleanliness. The cleanliness that we are after is as much a practical necessity as it is a mystical one. If our goal is self-realization, then it is necessary to prevent our physical and psychic environments from becoming cluttered. Physically this clutter can take the form of toxins, muscular tension, phlegm, and disease. Psychic clutter takes the form of negative thoughts and attitudes, emotionality and inability to concentrate. With practice, one begins to sense the states of beings, interactions, social settings, foods, habits, etc. that serve to add disorder to the life and prevent one’s lotus of blissfulness from blossoming. Not only does Shaucha practice improve the state of self-awareness, it also cultivates the centered reserve of psychic energy needed to resist entanglements. It allows one to have the foresight to sense when these hindrances are beginning to manifest. One becomes free of the influence of the moment and becomes the wise influencer of the moment. Our exploration of Verbal Shaucha will begin with words. Words are magnificent entities in this universe. They are themselves mystical and magical and are arguably the most powerful tool humankind will ever use. This is not due solely to their effectiveness as an implement of understanding and communication (although these are part of their power), but more so because they are a vital way of wielding the most potent and primordial aspect of existence itself – frequencies. Frequencies are the archetypical manifestation of pure motion - a type of reflection of the first creation of God. The bible offers us this important writing to contemplate - “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God”. This is a very deep and profound mystical teaching, as well as an important religious proclamation. We can glimpse some of the significance of this statement if it is considered that we, ourselves, are self conscious energy (prana) expressing as various octaves, arranged in a symphony of ascending and descending scales of compound densities. Simultaneously, we are the creators and projectors of our own vibrational patterns and harmonies. These composite densities are what is meant when the term multidimensional is used. Multidimensionality is not a spatial relationship; it is one of spectrums or octaves that are simultaneously active in a single “space”. We should take some time to develop a relationship with this idea. Familiarity with this fundamental reality will serve one well when beginning to study the cosmology of the mystical universe.

The intention of this exploration, up to this point, has been to introduce the reader to the idea of the power and usefulness of sound. This is important so that she may be able to give deep consideration to the role of chanting in the mystical life. A big part of the mystical path of yoga is mantra and it will be important for the practitioner’s growth to be comfortable with chanting. I also want to be able to offer a deeper and somewhat more significant discourse on the concept of verbal shaucha. Instead of placing emphasis on our speech and our daily communications as the arena of the work of verbal shaucha, I am opting for exploring how to use vocalizing as the means to effect cleaning or purification. This, I believe, is the true way to practice verbal shaucha. In the tradition of yoga, there are what are known as the chakras. The chakras are trans-dimensional, mass/energy converters that are located along the spinal axis as part of our super-subtle anatomy. They are a principle part of the soul’s anatomy. They are spherical in shape (although many books teach that they are discus in shape) with two hemispheres and various numbers of petals depending on which chakra one is discussing. Each of the chakras has different functions and is responsible for handling different forces. There is not enough space to give a full explanation here, but what is important is that there are seven of these chakras - one for each note and one for each color of the spectrum of white light. The Sanskrit names of the chakras are Muladhara – the root chakra; Svadhisthana- the sacral chakra; Manipura- the solar plexus chakra; Anahata- the heart chakra; Visuddha- the throat chakra; Chandra- the moon chakra and Ajna- the sun chakra. Many schools teach that Sahasrara (mistakenly called the crown chakra) is the seventh chakra, but this is not so. Sahasrara is not a chakra; it is a subtle organ of a different type, one that is evolved beyond the dual nature of a chakra. By the use of meditation and other various techniques, including verbal shaucha by means of mystical phonetics, we are able to make a palpable connection with the chakras. The yogis tell us that the chakras are functioning at a minimal level of their full potential and that this is due to many factors. The most significant factor being that they are in an underenergized condition caused by unconscious neglect. We are simply unaware of their existence and therefore have not learned how to care for them. We typically have no idea that we need to clean, balance and activate them into greater activity. If we are able to make this contact and wake up the chakras, we become more sensitive to and better stewards of, the presence of God within ourselves (and everything else). Subsequently, our emanations, whether they are verbal communications, actions or feelings, will be of a more sanctified nature.

The basic units of our vocalizations are the vowels and consonants. They are the foundation of all the worlds’ alphabets. The alphabets themselves serve as a type of periodic table for the chemistry of the phonetic universe. In the same way that we can take elements from the physical world and combine them into molecular compounds, to serve a purpose, we can take sounds from the phonetic world to compose words (molecules) into sentences, phrases, verse, hymns, etc. (compounds). Some elements of the periodic table will not combine in a meaningful, useful or stable way just as there are incoherent, useless and unstable combinations of the vowels and consonants. When the phonetic elements are bondable, we call them words and they carry a signature or pattern we recognize as having meaning. However, they really are, and do, more than convey meaning. Words are packages of resonances or frequency formulas, which have the ability to interact with and affect the surrounding environment, both internally and externally. When we are conscious of this and intentionally use words as multidimensional change agents, the technique is known, mystically speaking, as invocation/evocation. In a religious context it is called prayer, but for the context of this exploration, I will call it mystical phonetics. With the proper use of the vowels and consonants, we can charge up, and change different aspects of our lives, from our densest physical states to our most subtle and sublime states. For instance, there are

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At Home Practice

The Hips of Spring By Ena Burrud It has been a cold winter, but you know Spring is coming! You feel it. Your hips are craving flexibility and the pelvis wants to swing fluid. The element associated with the hips is water, and like snow, hips take time to melt. There are yoga postures (asanas) and simple sounds (bijas) which entice release throughout the pelvis, lower back and hips. How do you know which postures will be of best benefit therapeutically for you? First, let us determine what tendencies you have within your hips. Take a look down at your feet next time you are standing casually. Do you find yourself turning your toes out away from each other? This can be the result of strong external rotation of the thighbone in the hip socket. Athletes frequently find this in their bodies due to the strength of the outside of the hip in the rotators and strong outer quads with lesser engaged inner quads and inner thighs. Legs which turn out more easily (think of ballerinas) can cause muscle spasms commonly in areas such as the gluteus, piriformis, quatratus lumborum, and iliacus, all of which help stabilize the pelvis in relation to the spine and legs. Potential aches, pains, and nerve issues can arise. Another simple test to see if you fall into this category is to come into Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), and lift one leg into the air behind you. Have a friend or teacher watch you. Does your leg swing a bit to the outside or does the knee turn outward upon lifting? If this is you, working inward rotation of the legs will improve full range of motion of your hips. Postures that help include those that inwardly rotate the thigh and that cross the midline of the body. These include Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana), Lighting Bolt (Vajrasana), Heron (Kraunchasana), Wide-legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottonasana), the back leg in the warriors (Virabhadrasana I and II) and Triangle (Trikonasana), Eagle (Garudasana), Seated Twist (Ardha Matseyendrasana), Plow (Halasana) and Reclined Twist (Jathara Parivartanasana). What about those who tend to turn inwardly? Your tribe is small. Groins can be tight, knees unstable, and ankles and arches become out of alignment causing pain. Balance is key. Energetically, turning in may also be a mechanism which “protects” the sexual center. The clamping closed of the legs can feel safe for someone who has endured sexual abuse. Postures that help loosen the draw inward are Cobbler (Baddha Konasana), Head to Knee Pose and Rotated

ISSUE # 2

Head to Knee (Janu Sirsasana and Parivritta Janu Sirsasana), Garland (Malasana), Pigeon (Ekapada Rajakapotasana) and Happy Baby (Ananda Supta Balasana). Especially helpful with a history of trauma is to move slowly in a safe space with relaxed lengthening of the exhale, eyes open and softly turned upward. Working with both of these groups of asana regularly keeps the hips happy and healthy. Strengthening the integrity of the ball and socket joint, standing balance is important as well. This helps bone density and proprioception. Just try to keep the torso lifted up off the standing leg’s hip. This challenging task engages the core, which stimulates the first through third chakras. When threading together a sequence of poses in your own home practice, remember to warm your muscles gently with some time on all fours, gently pressing the hips over to the right heel, then the left, then down the middle into child’s pose. Stand a bit and flow through a few half or full sun salutations with your focus on feeling your outer hips and inner thighs engaging equally. Keep your pre-hips postures moving forward and back awhile before venturing into hip rotations. A few lateral bends helps to loosen up the muscles supporting the pelvis in the lower torso. When you have finished a hip series, then spend time on the floor cooling down and releasing tension, which may linger. Keep the thighs together to visit the midline of the body and re-integrate alignment. Exhaling fully and feeling your hips widening against the floor in supine poses can sweeten the entry to savasana. The second energy center, Svadhishtana, is associated with the hips. Some systems regard this as the sex chakra so quite appropriate to address in the spring! It is the storehouse and radiant plexus for creativity, power, desire, and personal relationships. Imbalance in these aspects of life can cause imbalance in the hips, so it is wise to ask a few questions of yourself (Svadhyaya). Do I feel stale? Am I trying to control a personal relationship or do I feel controlled? Am I aware of my desires and do I have guilt about feeling them? The seed sound for loosening up the vibration of the hips is Vam (pronounced VUM). Slow or quick successive repetition of this sound, mentally or audibly, soothes the hips and the mind. Opening the hips releases more than just the swing in your step. It is a practice of saying “yes” to your sensuality and humanness. This is one of the season’s most juicy gifts.

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Internal Rotation Poses

1.

3.

2.

1. Virasana (“Hero Pose”)

2. Ardha Matsyendrasana

3. Gomukasana

(“Half Lord of the Fishes Pose”)

(“Cow Face Pose”)

5.

4.

5. Jathara Parivartanasana 4. Prasarita Padottanasana

(“Revolved Stomach Pose”)

(“Wide Leg Forward Bend”) THE YOGA CONNECTION MAGAZINE

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1. Virasana (Hero Pose) distribute your weight through both sitting bones. Your right knee will be nicely stacked on top of your left knee with your feet placed alongside the hips. Roll your shoulders back, down, and lengthen your spine. You should feel the stretch through the outside of the hips. Hold in an upright position for several breaths. To intensify the stretch, slowly and gently come into a forward fold. Take your time and use your breath as a guide to creep into the fold. Remain evenly weighted down through both sitting bones. Stay in this pose about 1 minute. To come out, rise back up from the forward fold and bring your hands to rest of the floor behind you. Uncross the legs, stretch your legs out for a few moments, and repeat with the opposite leg for the same length of time.

Come into a kneeling position on the floor (use a folded blanket under your knees, shins, and feet, if necessary). Spread your feet slightly wider than your hips, with the tops of the feet flat on the floor. Lean slightly forward and reach your hands around to take hold of your calf muscles. Slowly lower yourself back while pushing your calf muscles out to the sides. Then sit down in between your feet. If you cannot sit comfortably down on the floor, rise up on a block or folded blanket so that your sitting bones are evenly supported. Place your hands on your lap, palms placed on your thighs or face up (your choice). Roll your shoulders back and feel your shoulder blades gently come together and the bottom edges of the shoulder blades slide down your back. Broaden across the collarbones and release your shoulders down away from your ears. All four natural curves of the spine are fully supported in Virasana. Let your belly relax and breathe deeply. Stay in the pose anywhere from 1-5 minutes. To release, use your hands and arms to gently press away from the floor. Turn your toes under and counter stretch the toes and ankles.

4. Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide Leg Forward Fold) Stand in Tadasana (Standing Mountain Pose) and face the long edge of your mat. Step your feet wide (a good gauge is to spread your arms wide and then line your heels up with your wrists). Place your hands on your hips and make sure the inner edges of your feet are parallel. Lift the toes to hug the leg muscles in towards the leg bones, engaging the quadriceps. Take a full inhalation and as your exhale, start to hinge from the hips to fold forward. Maintain the length of the spine as you fold. Release your hands from your hips and place your fingertips on the floor in front of you. (Use a block if the floor is a bit too much of a reach at this point) Slowly fold deeper moving with your breath ‌. Inhale to lengthen the spine, exhale to fold forward more deeply. Eventually, your legs and arms will be perpendicular to the floor and parallel to each other. Continue to engage your quadriceps and hug them into towards your thighbones. Draw the inner groins away from each other to widen the base of your pelvis. Breathe deeply. You will feel the inner rotation of the thighbones within the hip sockets. As the inner groins continue to lengthen, place your hands flat on the floor in between your feet. Bend your elbows and lower your torso and head into a full forward bend. If possible, rest the crow on the head on the floor. Keep your shoulder blades moving down your back and your shoulders moving away from your ears. Stay in the pose anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute. To come out, bring your hands back on the floor in front of you and begin to rise the torso up. Take your time and let the blood slowly move out of your head. After a few breaths, place your hands on your hips, pull your tailbone down towards the floor and rise the torso back upright. Walk your feet back together and rest for several breaths in Tadasana.

2. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose) Sit in Dandasana (Staff Pose) with your legs stretched out in front of you. Place your palms down on the floor next to your hips and check in with your lower back. If you have lost the natural lumbar lordosis (spine curving slightly in), then it would be a good idea to place a folded blanket under your sitting bones. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Slide your left foot under your right leg to the outside of your right hip. Rest the outside of the left leg on the floor. Place your right foot over the left leg and stand it on the floor outside your left hip. The right knee should point directly up to the ceiling. Place both hands on the right shin and take a few breaths to root down evenly through both sitting bones and lengthen the spine. Keep your left hand resting on your right shin and place your right hand down behind you. It is OK if you cannot place the entire palm down on the floor behind you. More importantly, maintain the length in your spine. Inhale and lengthen the spine and as you exhale, start to twist to the right. Keep with this breath awareness ‌. Inhale to lengthen, exhale to twist. When working in to a twist, always think of twisting the belly first, then the chest and then turn the neck to gaze towards the right. If you feel comfortable here, cross your left upper arm over the right outer thigh, near the knee. Squeeze the torso and right thigh together. Keep the inner right foot pressing firmly down into the floor and release the right groin. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute and release on an exhalation. Repeat on the opposite side and hold for same length of time.

5. Jathara Parivartanasana (Revolved Stomach Pose) Start from a lying down position with your right leg bent and left leg extended on floor. Draw your arms out to form a T-position on the floor, extending away from shoulders. Place your right foot onto your left thigh. Shift your weight onto your left hip, stacking right hip on top of left hip. Keep your right arm and shoulder extended on the floor to the right. Take your right knee with your left hand and start to draw the right knee towards the floor on the left. Your right shoulder may lift a bit off the floor, but try to keep it relaxing down towards the floor. To bring the cervical spine into the twist, turn your head and gaze to the right. Hold for 1-2 minutes and then slowly release. Rest for a few breaths and then repeat on opposite side.

3. Gomukasana (Cow Face Pose) Start on all fours in a tabletop position (placing a folded blanket under your knees, shins, and feet, if necessary). Draw your right knee forward and cross over your left knee with no space between the legs. Step your left foot over to the right, widening your feet to a bit more than hip width apart. Slowly lower yourself down in between your feet. Use a block or blanket to bridge the gap between you and the floor. On this side, you may notice that more weight rests on your left sitting bone. Take a few moments to evenly

ISSUE # 2

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External Rotation Poses

7.

6. 6. Ananda Balasana (“Happy Baby Pose”)

8. 7. Malasana (“Garland Pose”)

9.

8. Lowered Balanced Squat

10. 9. Baddha Konasana

10. Supta Baddha Konasana

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6. Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby Pose) Start lying down on your back and draw your knees into your chest. Spread your knees wide apart and bring your arms to the inside of your legs. Grip either the big toes or the outside of your feet with your hands. If you can’t reach, loop a yoga strap around each foot and hold onto the straps. Widen your knees slightly wider than your torso and then bring them down towards your armpits. Line up each ankle with its corresponding knee, so that your shins are perpendicular to the floor. Flex your feet and gently press your feet up towards the sky. Try to keep your shoulders and the spine resting flat on the floor. Bring some special awareness to relaxing the lower back and sacrum down on your mat, releasing the tail bone. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute and then release the feet back down to the floor.

End your practice in this restorative pose that will gently stretch the connective tissue in and around the hip joints. 10. Supta Baddha Konasana To practice this posture, you will need the support of several props. When this pose is performed with the body properly supported, you will truly be able to deepen your hip opening practice. However, when the body is not supported, the pose can be quite uncomfortable. This restorative pose can be held anywhere from 2—30 minutes if you take the time, at the beginning, to make yourself comfortable.

7. Malasana (Garland Pose) Come into a squat with your feet a bit wider than hip width apart. Try to keep your heels on the floor or use a folded mat for support. Widen your thighs and draw your arms to the inside of the legs. Reach the arms out in front of you as your establish your balance. Lean your torso forward and hug your inner arms with your thighs. Once balanced, draw your palms together in Anjali Mudra (Salutation Seal) and resist the knees into the elbows. As you breath, inhale to lengthen the spine and exhale to release the siting bones down towards the floor. Hold the position for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Release by sitting down on the floor behind you and come either into a seated forward fold (Paschimottanasana) or a Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

Place a bolster in line with the long edge of your mat. A common source of discomfort in this pose is the lower back. It is usually caused by compression between your lumbar vertebrae from over-arching the lower back. To relieve strain in this area, you can recline the bolster and bring your hips up to the height of the bolter. To make the bolster recline, place a block under the top edge of the bolster. Place a small, folded blanket at the opposite end of the bolster and come to sit on the folded blanket with your lower back up to the bottom edge of the bolster. Place a block on either side of your thighs. Start with your knees bent and then recline over your bolster. Once resting comfortably on your bolster, roll your shoulders back, expand your chest and rest your arms down on either side of the bolster with your palms facing up towards the sky.

8. Lowered Balanced Squat Starting in Tadasana (Standing Mountain Pose), shift your weight onto your left leg. Bend your knees slightly and cross your right ankle over your left thigh. Find your balance and then straighten your legs. Come into a standing forward fold, placing your hands down on the floor in front of you. Slowly lower yourself into a squat, balancing on the left toes. Reposition your hands on either side of your hips. Roll your shoulders back and down and lengthen your spine. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Slowly straighten your legs, coming back into a forward fold. Bend your knees slightly, gently rise back up and release your right foot. Rest in Tadasana for several breaths and repeat on the side.

Bring the soles of your feet together and let your thighs splay out, resting on each block. One source of discomfort is your knees, inner thighs and groins when the leg muscles are tight. Often, we hold more tension in one hip. Having the blocks under your thighs helps to keep the hips even and the thighs releasing evenly down towards the floor. Start with the blocks at the necessary level of the tightest side and then you can adjust as your hips open more. For many, it is difficult to keep the heels positioned closely to the pelvis while in the pose. Use a long strap or long yoga belt as a prop to deal with this problem. Take the strap/belt and attach the clasp at the end to form a wide loop. Sit in the seated form of Baddha Konasana and put the looped strap or belt over your torso. Position the strap so that it is just at the pelvic edge in your lower back. Put the front of the looped strap over your bent knees and then over your two feet when the soles are together. Tighten the belt so it is snug, but not so tight that it will constrict your comfort in the pose. You may need to experiment with the loop’s length by lying back on your bolster and then, if necessary, sitting up and tightening or loosening the strap/belt as needed.

9. Baddha Konasana Sit in Dandasana (Staff Pose) with your legs outstretched in front of you. Place your hands on either side of your hips and establish the length in your spine: Inhale, pressing down into the palms of your hands, rising up through your spine and out through the crown of your head (keep your chin parallel with the earth). As you exhale, maintain the length in your spine and root down through both sitting bones. If you are having any trouble maintaining the natural inward curvature (lordosis) in the lumbar spine, sit on a folded blanket to raise the hips slightly off the floor. Bend your knees and pull your heels into towards your pubic bone, placing the soles of the feet together. Let your knees and thighs slowly release down towards the floor. Place your hands on the front of shins, ankles or grab hold of your toes. You want to maintain the length of the spine, so choose a position accordingly. As you breathe, inhale to roll the shoulders back and down, exhale to release the thighs down towards the floor. Stay in this pose for 1-5 minutes. To release, bring your hands to the outside of the thighs and gently guide the knees back together. Extend the legs out in front of you and, if you like, come into Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Fold) to release.

Stay in this pose for as long as feels comfortable. Cover your eyes with an eye pillow and feel the gentle pressure on your eyes and temples. Allow your facial muscles to relax, your tongue to release away from the roof of your mouth, relax your jaw and find your breath moving into the back your throat. To come out, release the belt around your feet, use your hands to press your thighs back together, then roll over onto one side and push yourself away from the floor.

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Spring into Balance through Ayurveda by Sarada Erickson

I was first introduced to Ayurveda through a book about twelve years ago. I remember this because, out of the blue, I decided to write a paper on Ayurveda while attending college in Florida. I am not even sure how I knew the word Ayurveda and I definitely did not know what it was. Over the years, I have slowly unraveled some understanding and a deep appreciation for the simple and profound Science of Life (Ayur-science, Veda-life). I say simple because many of the recommendations for balancing health have to do with maintaining a regular schedule of eating, sleeping and choosing foods and activities which support our physical, mental and emotional well being. This may not be achieved easily. These simple changes can have a profound effect on our state of health and our interactions with everything around us.

Overview of Ayurveda According to Ayurveda, everything in the universe is made up of five elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether (space). This is similar to the five elements theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which says wood, fire, earth, metal, and water are the basic elements of the material world. In order to have health and vitality, we balance the properties of the five elements within ourselves. There are many factors which weigh in on our state of balance, such as: the foods, spices, herbs and beverages we consume, the climate and season we are living in, the pace and demands of our life and the environment of our work and home. Ayurveda uses an array of methods in helping us live in balance with nature. We start off making some simple changes in diet and lifestyle including foods, beverages, spices, sleeping patterns and exercising patterns. Ayurveda also employs aromas, herbs, gems, colors, yoga, meditation, mantras, and even surgery (when needed) as a means of establishing balance. In the dance of life, Ayurveda is a wellspring of knowledge from which we can realize our own elemental equation and thus, how to live from a balanced space inside ourselves.

History Ayurveda dates back over 5000 years and is considered by many to be the oldest form of medicine. It is believed to have influenced many healing traditions around the world. As the sister science to Yoga, Ayurveda stems from India and was first written down in the Vedas. The Vedas, in particular the Rig Veda, is considered to be the oldest surviving Indo-European (3000 BC) book and forms the foundation of both the Yogic and Ayurvedic traditions. Ayurveda is founded in ancient tradition, but offers modern day suggestions on how to live harmoniously with nature. THE YOGA CONNECTION MAGAZINE

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Doshas

Springtime

There are three main constitutions or doshas in Ayurveda and each is made up of two elements. Every person has a unique combination of all the elements, but typically a dosha or combination of doshas, is more dominant. Physical, mental, and emotional characteristics are taken into account when determining doshic constitution. Some of the physical attributes considered are body frame size, muscular build, facial features, hair and skin type. Mental attributes such as learning style, memory, and patterns of thinking weigh in as well. Emotional attributes including response under stress, personality, and temperament are also important factors. Ayurveda recognizes that some attributes fluctuate throughout our lives, while others remain constant. When considering our constitution we think about how we have been for most of our lives.

Spring is considered the King of Seasons. In the Bhagavad Gita, an important yogic text from around 4th century BC, Lord Krishna says, “ …I am the Eagle among birds, the Lion among animals ..and of the seasons, I am Spring.” In spring, nature comes to life. Buds sprout on trees, bulbs begin to show off their colors, snow melts and gives way to moist fertile ground. Slumbering animals reawaken. The sun begins to rise earlier and the world is alive with the magic of life. In Ayurveda, Spring is the season of Kapha. As the snow and ice begin to melt, accumulated kapha in the body may begin to run too. It is easier for Kapha to become imbalanced in the form of head colds, sinus infections, lung congestion and lethargy. Ayurveda offers many ways to remain or restore balance as needed.

Vata is the principle of movement and change. Air and ether predominate this constitution. Vata individuals tend to move fast, talk fast, love spontaneity and change. Vata’s have a slight frame and a light appetite, often forgetting to eat. In a balanced state, they tend to be creative, enthusiastic and drawn towards spirituality. When unbalanced, they are prone to indecision, anxiety/fear, being nervous and forgetful. Fire and water predominate in the Pitta constitution. Pitta is the principle of transformation (fire element) which includes the digestion of food, ideas, sensory experiences, and emotions. Pittas have a strong appetite and a medium build with well developed muscles. In a balanced state, they tend to be motivated, intellectual, passionate and organized. In an unbalanced state, they tend to be easily aggravated, have a tendency to blame others and make rash decisions. Kapha is the principle of stability and nourishment. Water and earth influence more heavily in this constitution. Kaphas have a larger bone structure with a tendency to gain weight easily. In a balanced state, they are calm, loving, steady and loyal. Out of balance, they tend to be unmotivated, may hold on to things that no longer serve them and are prone to congestion of all types. So, let’s say a Kapha, Pitta and Vata are all going on a 4 week trip. K would want to bring everything including the kitchen sink. P would pack very efficiently while V may forget some things (hopefully nothing too important). K would like to keep a leisurely pace, eating, relaxing and enjoying a laid back way of life. P would feel ambitious to see and do many things and would want to include some type of physical activity. V would really enjoy being spontaneous and going where the wind blows with excitement for new experiences. If a stressful situation arose, K would want to eat, hide or sleep it away. P would be a bit fired up and would likely express this to people. V would wonder, “what did I do wrong?” and have feelings of self-blame. At the end of the trip, K may come back with a few extra pounds while P would likely stay the same weight. V may be a bit thinner, having found it difficult to eat regularly. Keep in mind, we all have aspects of each dosha, but typically have inherent tendencies toward one or another.

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Spring also means it is a great time for spring cleaning! Just as we clean out our homes, we can clean out our bodies and minds through simple detoxification techniques. In Ayurveda, Spring is considered the best time for detoxification as the natural world is also releasing it’s hold on things. Detoxification can come in many forms from gentle to strong. A strong program requires the guidance of an experienced provider. However, a gentle detox can be quite effective for reducing kapha and ‘cleaning house’ inside.

Overall suggestions 

Stay warm! I hear ‘you know you are from Colorado if you go outside with shorts on in the winter’ but keeping warm, especially your head, neck and chest, is a good way to avoid Kapha problems.



Try some tea! o

I love Ginger tea in the winter and spring. If you have symptoms of excess Pitta (such as irritated skin or fiery emotions) this tea may be too heating.

Detox suggestions

*Recipe: Grate 1 tsp fresh ginger root per pint of hot water and steep for two minutes. Alternatively, you can peel and slice the ginger root and simmer for a couple of hours. Add some lemon and honey for added Kapha reducing properties. o

Avoid foods which are heavy, oily, and dairy products. These tend to weigh Kapha down.



Favor foods which are bitter, pungent and astringent, such as legumes (lentils, split peas, beans), radishes, turnips, brussel sprouts, tempeh and leafy greens.

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Sleep at night! Day time shut eye increases Kapha.

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Get moving! Try some sun salutations (see last issue for instructions), a brisk walk or any other activity you enjoy. This will alleviate Kapha tendencies.

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Purify your diet for 5 days or longer. Follow a simple diet of fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Eliminate all processed foods, dairy and meat.



Try fresh fruit and/or vegetable juice. Apple and berry are highly recommended.



Ginger tea helps mobilize toxins, restore balance to the body, stimulates digestion and helps diminish cravings for sweet and salty foods. Recall, Pitta may be aggravated by this tea.

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Drink at least eight glasses of water a day to flush out toxins.



Massage oil into your skin, head to toe, and take a hot bath or steam. Massage helps mobilize stored toxins and the heat helps release toxins through the skin.

Another recommended tea made of digestive spices: *Recipe: Equal parts of fennel, cumin and coriander in seed form slightly ground. This is a nice warming blend that is not as likely to fire up Pitta. This is also great for digestive disturbances.





Intrigued? Learn more.

Take a deep breath and smell warm, stimulating aromas. Try cloves, camphor, cinnamon, eucalyptus, juniper, and marjoram.



A Life in Balance: The Complete Guide to Ayurvedic Nutrition and Body Types with Recipes by Maya Tiwari



The Ayurvedic Cookbook by Amadea Morningstar



Yoga and Ayurveda: Self-healing and Self-realization by David Frawley



Sarada is also available for consultations concerning nutrition, yoga and meditation. Feel free to contact her at saradaerickson@gmail.com or (970)581-8825.

Disclaimer The sole purpose of this article is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention or cure of any disease. If you have any serious, acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively.

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Dosha Discovery Quiz If you are interested in getting a better feel for your unique constitution, try the following test. Also, many versions of doshic assessment questionnaires are available in books and online. Our current state of mind can impact answers, so it is best to answer in the way that has been true for the majority of your life.

1. Is your skin (A) dry, rough, cool or (B) slightly oily and warm or (C) pale, oily, thick and cool? 2. Are your complexion/pores generally (A) dry complexion w/very fine pores or (B) reddish complexion w/ either freckles, moles, whiteheads or reddish inflammation or (C) oily w/ large and open pores prone to blackheads? 3. Is your hair (A) dry, thin and course or (B) soft, reddish, fine, w/ premature graying and balding or (C) thick, dark, and abundant? 4. Are your physical movements (A) quick and energetic (B) precise, efficient or (C) slow and smooth? 5. Do you learn (A) quickly, but forget easily or (B) easily and retain well (C) slowly, but remember things once learned? 6. Do you generally (A) like to learn lots of new things, but fail to follow through or (B) like to initiate, lead, and follow-through on projects or (C) prefer to follow along as a good team-player 7. Is your build (A) delicate and thin w/ a tendency to be underweight or (B) medium and athletic or (C) large, well formed, prone to put on weight 8. Are you sensitive to (A) cold and wind or (B) hot sunny weather or (C) cold damp weather? 9. Under stress are you more prone to (A) indecision and anxiety or (B) impatience and irritability or (C) stagnation and depression? 10. Appetite: (A) low or variable appetite (B) good/sharp hunger w/ irritability if skip meals (C) slow, but steady appetite, OK to skip a meal without feeling too uncomfortable? 11. Stools: (A) hard/dry/constipation (B) loose/several bowel movements in a day (C) pale, slow to move, heavy? 12. Are your senses (A) hypersensitive/overstimulated or (B) sharp and clear or (C) dull/foggy? 13. Is your voice and manner of speaking (A) quick, sometimes scattered or (B) assertive, persuasive, sometimes sharp or (C) slow and melodius, often quiet? 14. Do you you tend to (A) spend money swiftly (B) can save, but tend to be a big spender when you see something you want or (C) like to save 15. Are your dreams generally (A) anxious, about flying or falling (B) fiery, wrathful, sometimes violent (C) watery, emotional 16. Do you sleep (A) lightly and wake often (B) moderately (C) deep and long

If A was your most common answer (10 or more), you are a Vata-type. If B was, then you are predominantly Pitta. If C was, then you are a Kapha type. In many cases there is a dual dosha and in some cases tri-dosha. It all comes down to the elements. If you answered A for 8 questions, B for 5, and C for 3, you are a Vata/Pitta. This means that air and ether predominate in your constitution with fire also having a significant presence and earth and water less so. This means that Vata and Pitta Doshas will be more inclined to ‘accumulate’ and go out of balance, especially when influenced by factors having similar qualities. For example, if you have a lot of Vata in your constitution, ie, a lot of air and ether, then you will want to balance those out with the heavier elements of earth and water. On the other hand, if you are a Kapha/Vata (both lack fire), you will want to keep balanced by staying warm, but not too damp as that can aggravate Kapha. It is a balance and a dance of the elements, the elements in nature exist in us also. The elements in us tend to attract more of the same. Earth will attract earth. A Kapha person will want to do a lot of nothing. Air will attract air. A Vata person will love popcorn and love to jog. Fire will attract fire. A Pitta type will be attracted to competition sports and spicy foods. Ayurveda provides an understanding of the universe and our place in it that allows us to discover our unique elemental equation. It is a vast and fascinating journey. ISSUE # 2

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What’s Your Style

There are many different types of yoga classes available in our community. It can be a difficult task to choose the class most appropriate for you. Each and every person has a different body condition and needs to know which class would fit their individual needs best. Some of the most common types of yoga classes in our community are listed below and briefly explained. This will help serve as a guide for you to choose the best type of class for your specific needs. Anusara™ Inspired Yoga: This unique style of yoga blends John Friend’s eloquent Universal Principles of alignment with a life affirming philosophy of intrinsic goodness. These classes offer each student the opportunity to step into & celebrate their own unique gifts by cultivating an understanding of the outer body & the inner landscape of heart & mind.

Hot Vida Yoga: A class practiced in an 89-degree room for 60 - 70 min. Suitable for all levels, from beginner to advanced. It is a yoga class designed to deepen your Vinyasa yoga practice. This yoga series is very close to the same flow every class, so you will know exactly what to expect and clearly be able to gauge your progress. Lots of modifications and options are encouraged to help you make this class your own.

Ashtanga Yoga: Ashtanga yoga is a vigorous, fast-paced form of yoga that helps to build flexibility, strength, concentration, and stamina. When doing Ashtanga yoga, a person moves quickly through a set of predetermined poses while remaining focused on deep breathing.

Hot Yoga: Hot Yoga is a series of yoga poses done in a heated room. The room is usually maintained at a temperature of 95-100 degrees. As you can imagine, a vigorous yoga session at this temperature promotes profuse sweating which rids the body of toxins. It makes the body very warm, and therefore more flexible.

Beginning Yoga: The beginning yoga class is suitable for students who are curious about yoga and have little or no experience with the practice. In class, students will explore various asana’s (postures) which increase range of motion and flexibility. Asana practice increases self-awareness and provides students with a deeper level of comfort in their physical body. Selfawareness will also be explored through different mindfulness practices, which may include breathing techniques, visualizations and centering.

Integral Yoga: This is an all levels class that focuses on the unique needs of each student. Within the series taught, there will be ample opportunity encouraged for listening to the deeper meaning behind each pose. The series will be simple yet effective. The purpose of the simplicity is to bring the easily memorized sequence home for a personal practice outside the studio as well.

Bikram Yoga: Bikram Yoga is traditionally practiced in a room heated to 105°F (40.5°C) with a humidity of 40%. Classes are guided by specific dialogue including 26 postures and two breathing exercises. Classes last approximately 90 minutes.

Iyengar Yoga: Iyengar yoga is the yoga style that for some 65 years, the yoga master B.K.S.Iyengar researched, developed, and brought to yoga. It is deeply scientific, emphasizing the integration of the body-mind-spirit connection. In addition, it is rooted firmly within the eight limbs of yoga as espoused by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras. Iyengar yoga lays strong emphasis on the accuracy of the postures believing that alignment of the skeletal body brings alignment throughout the whole physical body - and further benefits the emotional and mental bodies as well. Iyengar yoga incorporates the use of props such as blankets, blocks, straps, pillows, chairs, and bolsters. The purpose of the props is to assist the student in attaining ideal alignment, even if the body is not yet open enough.

Core Power Yoga: This is one of the powerfully invigorating yoga styles and was born out of the American interpretation of Ashtanga Yoga. It is a definitively sweat producing, muscle - building, powerful workout. It is not for gentle yoga types and certainly those coming to it from a beginner’s point would be well advised to be cautious about throwing themselves into it without excellent instruction. A good power yoga teacher would be able to cater for such beginners. Unlike other yoga styles, there is little or no pausing between yoga positions (postures) and thus it is an intense aerobic workout routine. Many sports enthusiasts take to Power Yoga as its ability to balance opposing muscle.

Kid’s Yoga (for children 5-11): Kid’s learn to move their bodies improving balance, flexibility, and strength. They also learn how to calm or energize themselves through breath and positive thinking. They love the relaxation period (savasana) at the end!

Ebb & Flow Yoga: Energizing Vinyasa flow postures intermittently connected with relaxing static postures. Designed to significantly improve flexibility, balance & strength, focusing on proper alignment & breath to deepen postures.

Kundalini Yoga - For many centuries, Kundalini Yoga was a well-kept secret known only to initiates and masters within the spiritual confines of oneto-one teaching and closed orders in India and Tibet. The power of raising the Kundalini energy that resides within was considered too powerful and, if misused, too dangerous to be given free access. Kundalini yoga is one of the yoga styles that allow a non-stressful way of working to help promote flexibility, energy, serenity and a sense of greater personal empowerment.

Hatha Yoga: Hatha yoga integrates the first four limbs of yoga, including asanas (postures) and pranayamas (breathing techniques). All classes will include both postures and breathing techniques with variations in style. Most Hatha Yoga classes are accessible to all levels. Designed to increase strength, flexibility and balance while alleviating stress and promoting relaxation.

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Mommy and Me Yoga (6 weeks to walking and their parents): Classes move slowly with emphasis on the needs of a new mom and the developmental needs of baby’s first year.

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Prenatal Yoga: Prenatal Yoga is an excellent way to stay in shape during your pregnancy. It is also a great way to connect to your body during this very special time. This class, taught by certified prenatal instructors will gently guide you through postures specifically designed for women during all stages of pregnancy. No prior yoga experience is needed. Yoga is very beneficial to the body, especially during pregnancy. Some of the benefits include: improving balance, flexibility, strength, and circulation. Yoga helps to bring awareness and acceptance to the body and the changes that are taking place. Regular practice helps to reduce back and leg pain, insomnia and swelling. Breathing techniques help throughout pregnancy, as well as in childbirth and motherhood. Restorative Yoga: Restorative yoga is a passive yoga practice that encourages conscious relaxation. You relax in stillness, breathe with awareness, and practice the art of letting go, of being rather than doing. This state of deep relaxation strengthens the immune system, increases longevity, generates serenity, and brings peace of mind. Mind, body and spirit are deeply nourished by the use of props to support the body, along with gentle breathing.

Yoga Basics: In this class, each pose is explored for its physical, energetic, and mental benefits. Students will have ample time to feel their own breath and ability. Postures will be simple with clear and slower direction. This is an excellent class for beginners and those who want to review a few ideas and techniques that lay at the root of the beauty of yoga. Geared to provide an introduction to newcomers; an ongoing class that focuses on fewer poses, but deeper understanding. It will utilize breathing and stress reduction techniques.

Slow Flow Yoga: Slow down in your day and enjoy it. Feel the strength and fluidity of your body as you strengthen and lengthen your muscles. Slow Flow is a practice that will move you through the entire body gently, slowly and sweetly, building intensity gradually accompanied by soothing music. Suitable for all levels.

Yoga Fusion: Flow series yoga that focuses on deep extended postures. This class will improve flexibility, strength and stamina and promote tranquility; excellent cross-training for all athletes.

Svaroopa Yoga: A deep, mindful and powerful practice in the tradition of Hatha yoga. The asanas unravel the deep-seated layers of tension in your body, starting at the tailbone, to create healing and personal transformation, while opening you to an illuminative, inner experience of your own essence. This is the goal of yoga. It’s effects are long lasting and life changing. Your body becomes supple and feels more alive. Great for the avid practitioner and beginners alike.

Yoga Tots (for walkers to age 3 and their parents): Toddlers join in at their readiness, and are invited to assist mom or dad in their yoga. No yoga experience necessary.

Teen Yoga (for big kids 12-18): This expressive time of life is full of mixed feelings! Well-being is addressed through music, movement, breath, and sounds. Concepts of self-acceptance are cultivated and various techniques of quieting the mind.

Intermediate Yoga Certification May 22nd– June 20th (60 YA hours)

Viniyoga Yoga: A gentle yoga style, Viniyoga encourages the student to practice the posture work so that it follows the appropriate movement for the individual's body and situation. This facilitates the function of the posture over its form. It is a yoga style that allows all aspects of yoga to adapt to the needs of the student integrating movement, breathing, and awareness in order to improve both physical and mental health. It encourages the individual to then move toward stretching their abilities, thus enhancing the state of attention. This develops an ability to become more positively responsive to external situations and acts as therapy to maintain optimum health in body and mind.

Level 1 Yoga Teacher Certification Sept. 4th - Dec. 5th Shambhava School of Yoga trainings are Yoga Alliance registered and contain the depth of over 25 years of experience. Graduate with skill, experience and knowledge to teach and deepen your personal practice.

Vinyasa Yoga: This is a style of yoga that flows from one posture into another to the rhythm of the breath. Vinyasa is a term that covers a broad range of yoga classes. The word Vinyasa means “breath-synchronized movement.” In other words, the teacher will instruct you to move from one pose to the next on an inhale or an exhale. This technique is sometimes called Vinyasa Flow, or just Flow because of the smooth way that the poses run together and become like a dance.

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Private Consultation Yoga, Meditation, Nutrition Sarada leads yoga teacher trainings and meditation in the Shambhava tradition, and has a MS in Nutrition. She offers individual sessions to help you find deeper happiness in your mind, body and spirit. Reasonable rates!

Yin Yoga: Great for beginners & beyond. A more passive & peaceful experience using breath, gravity, straps, blankets, & blocks to disengage & relax into longer postures held one to four minutes. In the yin practice, you explore how the slow, steady stretching of deep connective tissue can increase flexibility and gradually create more depth in poses. You focus on developing sensibility to your body’s subtle cues by quieting the mind and looking inward.

Sarada Erickson, MS RD ERYT-500 970.581.8825, sarada@omanandayoga.com

www.OmAnandaYoga.com ISSUE # 2

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THE YOGA CONNECTION MAGAZINE


A good start will be to do three rounds per chakra. The same process should be used for the remaining chakras. The following is a list of the chakras, their general locations and the resonating mantras.

Now let us get into some “how-to”. As I mentioned earlier, the focus here will be on how to use sound to effect multidimensional cleansing and not how to conduct one’s self through the course of the day. This means that you will have to set some time aside each day to practice. A half hour will probably be good to start. Daily practice will be important and should be continued for a minimum of three months. To begin, assume a meditation posture that is comfortable to you. Close your eyes. Turn your head to the left and exhale twice with audible force. This sounds like ha!, haaaaa. Then take a deep inhalation through the nose. Now, slowly chant the following mantra, “Om-Na-Mo-Bha-GaBa-Te-Va-Su-De-Ba-Ya”. This is the mantra called the “Measure of Man” and is chanted monosyllabically. Chant this slowly and audibly three times for the first month, then add three more repetitions in month two and three more in month three for a total of nine. Then, add one more, per month, stopping at twelve for this technique (even if you use it for years). After chanting, sit in silence, internalize your awareness and notice the condition of the mind, staying here for a few moments. At first, you may still have an overly active mind, but in time, with practice, you will notice that this mantra has a very soothing and overall harmonizing effect, leaving you feeling quite content. It is from this place that we want to begin to develop a relationship with our chakras. Now, move your attention to the area of your perineum at the base of the spine. Imagine/sense/feel that this area is becoming energized. Be careful not to become too involved in this imagining for the time being. You only want to connect to this spot for a moment. After making this connection, begin to chant aloud, “Om Nama Shivaya.” This mantra is the frequency formula used to cleanse and activate the Muladhara (root chakra). Chant this in increments of three while holding your awareness at the perineum. To practice, take a full inhalation and as you exhale, chant the “Om Nama Shivaya”. The next round will begin with another full inhale and a repetition of the entire mantra on your exhale. Now, after three repetitions, sense and feel that the root chakra is being flooded with white light, which is cleansing, balancing and activating. (Really, try to imagine what this cleansing and activation feels like. At first, you will be limited to imagining this sensation, then, in time, you will gain success at feeling physical sensations. This will be because you are becoming more sensitive to the subtler bioelectric currents in the neuromuscular system. Reaching this level is a great accomplishment and is a sure sign that you are making progress. There is still more development to make however, and after a lot of time and experience, the physical sensations will give way to a palpable awareness of the super-subtle physiology of the soul.) Ok, now we have to get back to the technique. So, you have just chanted a round of three mantras and you are concentrating on cleansing the root chakra. Sit with this awareness for a few moments, and allow for it to deepen. After a few moments of this, imagine that the white light has calmed in intensity and feel that the chakra is cleansed and balanced. That will constitute one round.

THE YOGA CONNECTION MAGAZINE



Muladhara – the root chakra, located at the base of the spine at the point of the perineum, Mantra = Om Nama Shivaya



Svadhisthana - the sacral chakra, located approximately four finger widths below the navel in the center of the body (all the chakras are located in the center of the body, not on the spine), Mantra = Om Namo Narayanaya



Manipura - the solar plexus chakra, located at the navel, Mantra = Hai Ram Jai Ram, Jai, Jai Ram



Anahata - the heart chakra, located approximately two finger widths above the bottom of the sternum, Mantra = Om Namo Bhagavate Vasu Devaya



Visuddha - the throat chakra, located in the region of the throat behind the notch where the clavicles and sternum meet, Mantra = Om Sri Hanuman Va Namah



Chandra/Ajna complex - the moon/sun chakra is unique in that it is two independent chakras that function in unison. Each one possesses its own undivided integrity. The ajna chakra is solar/ masculine and the Chandra chakra is lunar/feminine where the preceding chakras are composed of dualistic hemispheres. When beginning to work with the solar/lunar chakra you should imagine that they are connected by a halo of white light circumscribing the head. The lunar chakra is located at the base of the skull where the spinal cord transforms into the medulla oblongata. The solar chakra is located at the pituitary gland but is felt at the point behind the br ows. Mantra = Om Bhur Bhuvah Svah



All the Chakras = Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantih

It is very important to move slowly. The most common mistake (which I have made numerously) is to underestimate the power of these practices and to overestimate our abilities to handle the affects. Be careful and go slowly, think about developing your practice over the course of years, not months. Working with these techniques will give you a grounding in the use of sound as a means to effect cleansing and will allow you to have a strong relationship with the mystical technique of verbal shaucha. Doing this work will have the added benefit of connecting you to subtler levels of your physiology and being, while also expanding your personal universe. If you have any questions regarding this technique, please e-mail me at garypritchard23@comcast.net. Thank you taking the time to read this exploration. I hope it will be beneficial to you in your journeys. Be on the lookout for the summer issue where we will begin physical shaucha and the yama of Asteya (non-stealing). Blessings …

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SPRING 2010


HEALTH & WELL-BEING DIRECTORY Yoga & Pilates Studios Big Toe Studio 3710 Mitchell Drive Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 377-0028 www.bigtoestudio.biz

Bikram Old Town 159 W. Mountain Ave. Fort Collins, CO 80542 (970) 472-5700 www.bikramyoga.com

Breathe Yoga 353 W. Drake Rd. Fort Collins, CO 80526 (970) 223-9642 www.gotoyoga.com

CorePower Yoga 2700 S. College Ave. Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 224-4615 www.corepower.com

Fort Collins Club 1307 E. Prospect Rd. Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 224-2582 www.fortcollinsclub.net

Loveland Yoga & Core Fitness 100 E. 3rd St. Loveland, CO 80537 (970) 292-8313 www.lovelandyogacorefitness.com

Miramont - Central 2211 S. College Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80526 (970) 225-2233 www.miramontlifestyle.com

Miramont - North 1800 Heath Parkway, Fort Collins, CO 80524 (970) 221-5000 www.miramontlifestyle.com

Miramont - South 901 Oakridge Dr. Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 282-1000 www.miramontlifestyle.com

Old Town Athletic Club 351 Linden St. Fort Collins, CO 80524 (970) 493-7222 www.oldtownathletic.com

Old Town Yoga 237 1/2 Jefferson Street Fort Collins, CO 80524 (970) 222-2777 www.oldtownyoga.com

Raintree Athletic Club 2555 S. Shields Street Fort Collins, CO 80526 (970) 490-1300 www.fortcollinspulse.com

Treetop Studio 111 N. College Ave., Upstairs Fort Collins, CO 80524 (970) 484-0828 www.treetopstudioinfo.com

Yoga Center of Fort Collins 210 E. Oak Street Fort Collins, CO 80521 (970) 231-0496 www.cwrightyoga.com

Yoga Works 2530 Abarr Dr. Loveland, CO 80538 (970) 663-2213 www.yogaworksofloveland.com

Yoga Teachers Sarada Erickson Om Ananda Yoga Fort Collins, CO 80526 (970) 581-8825 omanandayoga.com Michael Lloyd-Billington Yoga Instructor and Personal Trainer Fort Collins, CO 80526 Website: http://alternativepersonaltraining.bravehost.com/ michaelmadhavan@hotmail.com Janna Pijoan Yoga Teacher 700 West Mountain Avenue Fort Collins, CO 80521 (970) 222-8528 Jamye Richardson Sacred Healing, LLC 134 Harvard, Suite 6 Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 556-3050

ISSUE # 2

Therapists Colorado Center for Living Arts Celeste Magnuson 409 E. Prospect Road Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 472-0995 www.coloradolivingarts.com

Sharon Greenlee Professional Counselor Consultant Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 224-1810 E-mail: sharongr104@aol.com

Lighthouse Therapeutic Massage Jeannette Benglen C.M.T. Loveland, CO 80537 (970) 689-5527 www.lhmassage.com

Lauri Pointer, HTCP/I 210 E. Oak Street Fort Collins, CO 80524 (970) 484-2211 www.LauriPointer.com

Mountain High Massage 200 East Swallow Road Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 215-8821 E-mail: MHMB@me.com www.mountainhighmassage.com

Traditional Chinese Medical Clinic 700 West Mountain Avenue Fort Collins, CO 80521 (970) 416-0444 www.tcmclinic.org

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THE YOGA CONNECTION MAGAZINE


NORTHERN COLORADO CLASS SCHEDULES

Yoga Center of Fort Collins 210 E. Oak Street, Fort Collins, CO 80521 (970) 231-0496 www.cwrightyoga.com Monday

class schedules are subjecct j to change- please verify class schedules are subjecct to change- please verify before attending before attending

WINTER -2010 SPRING 2010

9:30-11am

Mid-morning Wake-Up

Cathy

12-1pm

Yoga for Neck/Shoulders

Cathy

4-5pm

***Special Issues

Cathy

5:30-7pm

Intermediate Yoga

Cathy

7:15-8:30pm

Beginning Yoga

Cathy

***Please call before attending

Treetop Yoga

Tuesday

111 N. College Ave., Upstairs, Fort Collins, CO 80524 (970) 484-0828 www.treetopstudioinfo.com Monday

5:30-6:30pm

Beginning Yoga

Connie

7-8pm

Viniyoga

Cheryl

Mid-morning Wake Up

Cathy

Wednesday

10:30-11:45am

Spiritual Book Club

Alan

9:30-11am

12:45-2pm

Level 1 Yoga

Ena

12-1pm

Yoga for Strong Backs

Cathy

Continuing Yoga

Cathy

Beginning Yoga

Paige

Beginning Yoga

Paige

Restorative Yoga

Connie

4:15-5:15pm

Kid's Yoga Play

Taylor

6-7:30pm

5:30-6:45pm

Hatha Yoga

Kate

Thurday 5:30-6:30pm

Tuesday 10-11:25am 5:30-6:45pm

Level 1-2 Intuitive Vinyasa

Ena

(with Pukkah Playtime)

Taylor

Dancing from the Heart

Mairi-Jane

Friday 12-1pm Saturday 8:30-10am

(free form dance w/ guidance)

(last Saturday of the month)

*please pre-register at mjfox@gmail.com Wednesday 9:45-10:45am

Yoga Tots

Taylor

11-12pm

Mommy and Me Yoga

Ena

1:30-2:30pm

Preschooler Yoga (3-5)

Ena

4:20-5:20pm

Teen Yoga

Ena

5:30-6:45pm

Prenatal Yoga

Sarada

6:35-7:50pm

Dancing from the Heart

Mairi-Jane

Viniyoga at Pathways to Wellness with Jamye Richardson Sacred Healing, LLC, 134 Harvard, Suite 6 Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 556-3050 Thursday 5:30-6:45pm

(free form dance w/ guidance)

Integrated Viniyoga

Jamye

Therapeutic Viniyoga

Jamye

Saturday

*please pre-register at mjfox@gmail.com

10-11:15am

Thursday 10-11:25am 5:30-6:45pm

Level 1-2 Intuitive Vinyasa

Ena

(with Pukkah Playtime)

Taylor

Beginning Yoga

Christy

Yoga Works 2530 Abarr Dr., Loveland, CO 80538 (970) 663-2213 www.yogaworksofloveland.com

Friday 11-11:45am

Friday Morning Club

Joanne

2:30-3:30pm

Postnatal Yoga

Sarada

Monday 5-7pm

(with Pukkah Playtime) 6:30-7:45pm

Satsung

5-7pm

Michael

Mary Kay

Svaroopa Yoga

Mary Kay

Svaroopa Yoga

Alita

Thursday

(last Friday of each month)

9-10:30am

THE YOGA CONNECTION MAGAZINE

Svaroopa Yoga

Tuesday

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SPRING 2010


Old Town Yoga

Loveland Yoga & Core Fitness

237 1/2 Jefferson Street, Fort Collins, CO 80524 (970) 222-2777 www.oldtownyoga.com

100 E. 3rd St., Loveland, CO 80537 (970) 292-8313 www.lovelandyogacorefitness.com

Monday

Monday

9-10:15am

All Levels Yoga

Sarada

Amy

12-1pm

Viniyoga

Henrietta

Christi

4-5:15pm

Intermediate Hatha

Jake

Beginners Hatha

Samantha

Yin Yoga

Alan

9-10:15am

All Levels Vinyasa

Katelyn

12-1pm

Ashtanga Yoga

Samantha

4-5:15pm

Beginners/All Levels Hatha

Jake

5:30-6:45pm

All Levels Vinyasa

Gwyn

7-8:15pm

Beginners Hatha

Rachael

6-7am

Fusion

Christi

9:15-10:15am

Fitness Fusion

12-1pm

Vinyasa

4:30-5:30pm

Vinyasa

Heather

5:30-6:45pm

6-7pm

Vinyasa

Christi

7-8:15pm

7:30-8:30pm

Candlelight Yoga

Heather

Tuesday

9-10am

Gentle Yoga

Pam

12-1pm

Yoga Pump

Christi

4:30-5:30pm

Vinyasa

Christi

6-7pm

Fusion Flow

Christi

Tuesday

Wednesday 6-7am

Fusion

Christi

Wednesday

9:15-10:15am

Fusion Flow

Christi

7:30-8:30am

Classic Beginners Pilates

Lacey

12-1pm

Vinyasa

Jill

9-10am

Follow the Yogi

Jake

4:30-5:30pm

Detox Flow

Christi

12-1pm

Intro to Anusara Yoga

Stacey

6-7pm

Vinyasa

Kim

7:30-8:30pm

Candlelight Yoga

Heather

4-5:15pm

Thursday

All Levels Hatha (FREE CLASS)

Jake

5:30-6:45pm

Yoga for Strength

Somer

6-7pm

Prenatal Yoga

Samantha

9-10am

Gentle Yoga

Pam

12-1pm

Yoga Pump

Christi

7-8:15pm

All Levels Hatha

Sarada

4:30-5:30pm

Vinyasa

Kim

8-9pm

Yoga for Climbers

Samantha

6-7pm

Fusion Flow

Kim

Thursday

6-7am

Fusion

Christi

9:15-10:15am

Fusion Flow

Marcy

12-1pm

Hatha Yoga

Lila

Detox Flow

Christi

Friday

Saturday 7:45-8:45am Sunday

5:30-6:30am

Baptiste Inpired Power Yoga Clara Macy

9-10:15am

All Levels Vinyasa

Gwyn

12-1pm

Power Hour

Samantha

4-5:15pm

All Levels Hatha

Jake

5:30-6:45pm

Ashtanga All Levels

David

7-8:15pm

Beginners Vinyasa

Jake

10-11am

Vinyasa

Christi

Friday

5:30-6:30pm

Lunar Flow

Christi

5:45-7:45am

Ashtanga Mysore

David

9-10:15am

All Levels Hatha

Jake

12-1pm

Viniyoga

Amy

Yoga Classes with Janna Pijoan

4-5:15pm

Yoga & Meditation

Sarada

5:30-6:45pm

Prenatal Yoga

Sarada

8-8:45am

Meditation

Michael

9-10:15am

All Levels Hatha

Henrietta

12-1:15pm

All Levels Vinyasa

Jake

Ashtanga

Dana

Saturday

700 West Mountain Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80521 (970) 222-8528 Tuesday 3-4:30pm

Beginner Yoga

Janna

Sunday

5:30-7pm

Intermediate Yoga

Janna

9-10:30am

Intermediate Yoga

Janna

Saturday 9-10:30am

ISSUE # 2

33

12-1:15pm

All Levels Hatha

Michael

5:30-6:45pm

All Levels Vinyasa

Teressa

THE YOGA CONNECTION MAGAZINE


Miramont

Raintree Athletic Club

(970) 282-1000 www.miramontlifestyle.com

2555 S. Shields Street Fort Collins, CO 80526 (970) 490-1300 www.raintreeathleticclub.com

Monday

Monday

6-7am

Sunrise Yoga

Kathryn

6:30-7:30am

Yoga Vinyasa Flow

Kimberly North - 2

South-2

10:30-11:45am

Hatha Yoga

Beth

YPC

8-9am

Int. Pilates

Jullie

South - 2

12-1:15pm

Hatha Yoga

Jim

YPC

9:15-10:15am

Vinyasa Yoga

Sam

Central - 1

5-6:15pm

Colleen

S-2

9:15-10:15am

Pilates - Basic Mat

Julie

South - 2

Tai Chi

Ken

S-2

12-1pm

Pilates - Basic Mat

Karyn

Central - 1

5-6:30pm

Guided Yoga

Leah

Central - 1

8:30-9:30am

Pilates

Matt

YPC

6:30-7:30pm

Pilates - Basic Mat

Kadie

South 2

10-11:15am

Yin Yoga

Faith

YPC

6:30-7:30pm

Yoga All Levels

Kendra

North - 2

10:30-11:45am

Gentle Yoga

Marsha

S-2

6:30-7:30pm

Yoga Meditation

Terese

South - 2

12-1:15pm

Vinyasa Flow

Shihomi

S-2

7:30-8:30pm

Yoga Basics

Julie

South - 2

12-1pm

Pilates

Helene

YPC

Tuesday

4:15-5:30pm

Restorative Yoga

Marsha

YPC

5:30-6:30am

Yoga

Clara

South - 2

6-7:15pm

Hatha Yoga

Paige

YPC

8-9am

Int. Pilates

Jenny

North - 2

8-9am

Gentle Anusara

Tomi

Central - 1

Prana Vinyasa Flow

Kimberly YPC

9:15-10:15am

Yoga All Levels

Kim

South - 2

6:30-7:30pm

Yoga for Runners/Hikers/Bikers

Tuesday

Wednesday 6:30-7:45am 8-9:15am

Viniyoga

Kathy

YPC

9:15-10:45am

Anusara Yoga

Stacey

North - 2

9:30-10:45am

Beginning Hatha Yoga

Faith

YPC

9:15-10:15am

Pilates with Props

Karyn

Central - 1

12-1:15pm

Jim

YPC

10:15-11:30am

Anusara Yoga

Tomi

South - 2

Yoga for People Living w/ Cancer

Faith

YPC

5:30-6:30pm

Yoga All Levels

Kate

Central - 1

6-7:15pm

Viniyoga (1st 2 weeks)

Kathy

YPC

6-7:15pm

Guided Yoga

Leah

South - 2

6:30-7:30pm

Pilates

Jenny

S-2

7:30-8:30pm

Yoga - All Levels

Tonya

North - 2

5:30-6:30am

Pilates

Jenny

S-2

5:30-6:45am

Power Yoga

Clara

North - 2

8:30-9:30am

Intermediate Pilates

Lee

YPC

6:30-7:30am

Sunrise Yoga

Kathryn

Central-1

10-11:15am

Hatha Yoga

Jim

YPC

8-9am

Pilates - Basic Mat

Hope

South - 1

12-1:15pm

Yin Yoga

Faith

YPC

9:15-10:15am

Restorative Yoga

Terese

South 2

6-7:15pm

Yin Yoga

Faith

YPC

9:15-10am

Gentle Yoga

Marianne North - 2

6:30-7:45pm

Hatha Yoga

Melissa

S-2

10:15-11:15am

Fluid Power Yoga

Marianne North - 2

10:15-11:45am

Ebb & Flow Yoga

David

1:30-2:45pm

Hatha Yoga

Thursday

Wednesday

Friday

Central - 1

6:30-7:45am

Yoga w/ Weights

Colleen

S-2

12-1pm

SS Yoga

Ariella

Central - 1

8-9:15am

Viniyoga

Kathy

YPC

5:30-6:30pm

Vinyasa Yoga

Betty

Central - 1 North - 2

9-10:15am

Vinyasa Flow

Shihomi

S-2

5:30-6:45pm

Yoga All Levels

Kate

10-11:15am

Hatha Yoga

Jim

YPC

6:30-7:45pm

Vinyasa Flow Yoga

Kimberly South - 2

12-1pm

Pilates

Helene

YPC

6:30-7:30pm

Pilates - Basic Mat

Karyn

Central - 1

4:30-5:45pm

Anusara Yoga

Tomi

S-2

6:30-7:30am

Beginning Yoga

Adriane

South - 2

8:30-9:45am

Hatha Yoga

Faith

YPC

7:30-8:30am

Pilates/Mat

Matthew

Central - 1

9-10:15am

Hatha Yoga

Paige

S-2

9:15-10:45am

Anusara Yoga

Tomi

South - 2

10-11:15am

Yin Yoga

Faith

YPC

9:15-10:15am

Yoga All Levels

Kimberly North - 2

9:15-10:45am

Power Yoga

Clara

Central - 1

9:00-10:15am

Hatha Yoga

Mansing

YPC

6-7pm

Guided Yoga

Carrie

South - 2

10:30-11:45am

Hatha Yoga

Jim

YPC

Saturday

Thursday

Sunday

6:30-7:30pm

Tai Chi

Kristine

North - 2

*YPC: Yoga/Pilates Center

6:30-7:30pm

Yoga for Climbers

Tomi

North - 1

*S-2: Studio 2 (for RAC members only)

7:30-8:30pm

Yoga Vinyasa Flow

Kim

North - 2

7:30-8:30pm

Yoga All Levels

Carrie

Central - 1

THE YOGA CONNECTION MAGAZINE

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SPRING 2010


Friday 8-9am

Pilates Basic Mat

Julie

South - 1

9:15-10:15am

Yoga for Fitness

Terese

South - 2

9:15-10:45am

Anusara Yoga

Tomi

Central - 1

10:15-11:15am

Vinyasa Yoga

Kendra

North - 2

11:45-12:45pm

SS Yoga

Julie

South - 2

4:30-5:40pm

Ebb & Flow Yoga

David

Central - 1

4:30-5:30pm

Beginning Yoga

Adriane

North - 2

8-9:15am

Vinyasa Yoga

Danny

Central - 1

9:15-10:15am

Pilates - Int. Mat

Karyn

Central - 1

Saturday

9-10:15am

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36


The Tao Te Ching and Bhagavad-Gita By Joe Zahn

As a student for 12 years in parochial school, it is perhaps no wonder that the two most seminal books in my personal development came to me late in life.

the notion,”Sometimes ‘tis the nobler deed, left undone”. Which leads me, without benefit of substantial segue to, the second book herein: The Bhagavad Gita.

The first of those two books was introduced to me in the “Back of Beyond” bookstore in Moab, Utah. On a break between mountain bike rides on the other worldly terrain of Moab, a friend and I were perusing the shelves of this outstanding depository of eclectic literature. My cycling companion pulls a copy of the Mitchell translation of the Tao Te Ching from the shelves and thrusts it into my hands with his unqualified and glowing endorsement. I left the bookstore that day with that very copy. That copy is now quite dog-eared and at the present time “incommunicado”, perhaps in the bottom of a backpack or a carry-on. I am not worried as to its’ whereabouts. I’m quite certain it will surface at some time, as it always seems to, usually just when I need it.

The Gita, for me, complements the philosophy of the Tao. I have found it particularly comforting as we grind our way through “The Great Recession”. In fact, I have one particular quote positioned squarely over my work station:

“The wise man lets go of all results, whether good or bad, and is focused on the action alone. Yoga is skills in action.” So much of the economic disarray thrust upon Main Street these last few long months is beyond our control. Hence, in the context of the Gita, it is perhaps wise that we commit ourselves to the yoga of action. Outcomes may be beyond our control, yet we commit ourselves to our Dharma; our own deep personal commitment to do, and be, our best in action. We rest that the outcomes will be what they may, comforted that we have done our best. This does not suggest an abandonment of our goals and ideals. On the contrary, it allows us the passion of our commitments, to what we can control, the Yoga of our actions.

I must admit that at the time, as a stolid “Type A” personality, that my first few readings were a bit of a challenge to my worldview. Yet, this wonderful little book of only 81 chapters and about the same number of pages, kept hearkening me back with its’ irresistible message. In due course, I even began to embrace the logic held therein. In time, slowly, yet inexorably the wisdom of the Tao sufficiently messaged my grey matter and that process of rewiring my neural pathways had begun. The changes from reading this little book have been subtle, but nonetheless profound. Those that know me would in fact, tell you, that perhaps my favorite saying is, “It’s a process, not an event”. To my psyche, conditioned with Western precepts of “I want it now” and our predisposition to the mentality that there exists nothing that we can not overcome through sheer exercise of willpower, the Tao presents a kinder, gentler approach to process.

There is both a great liberation and an intense focus when we place our emphasis on process, on action, on focusing on the task at hand. Our anxieties are lessened, as we are freed from the tyranny of worry. We become more centered and balanced when we place our heart in the doing and are freed from the nebulous “what ifs?” Perhaps the application of these ancient texts to our modern predicament speaks to their timeless wisdom and enduring qualities. There is great value to be found therein. If you are student of these texts, you know I have barely scratched the surface of their sage advice. If you are not a student of them yet, I encourage your exploration. They represent yet another facet of that wonderful, multi-dimensional thing we call Yoga.

One concept which springs forth from the Tao is the concept of WuWei. To strike the concept in quasi mathematical expression might be to state it this way:

Wu-Wei = Effortless action = Go with the flow This formula can be as sweet as honeydew vine water to us “Type A’s”. We all have those days, when we start out quite insistent upon exercising that force of will; to have it as they say at MacDonald’s, “our way”. Except we’re not quite in synch with the flow of the Tao on that day. We might say we’re going against the grain or having a bad hair day. The stubborn universe just refuses to buy into your program of “It’s my world and you’re all just living in it”. On days like that, I like to give myself a Wu-Wei day. Maybe take a step (or five) back, take a breath and ask, what is the flow of this day? And perhaps reflect on ISSUE # 2

In closing I quote the Gita, as Krishna says to Arjuna:

“The man of Yoga is greater than the ascetics, the learned, or those who perform mere ritual; therefore be a man of Yoga my son.”

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THE YOGA CONNECTION MAGAZINE


The yogi continued, “The first thing you must do is order your servants to get out of the water.”

ONCE UPON A YOGI TIME E

“No,” the king said, “Let them continue looking for the crest jewel while you help me find it.” “No, no, get them out of the water! That is a requirement,” said the yogi. “No, no!” responded the king. “Goodbye, your majesty. I can’t help you if you will not listen to me,” said the yogi as he stood up and started walking away. The king pleaded, “Please sit back down and help me!” In desperation, the king decided to remove all of his servants from the pond. At this point, the yogi pulled out a little book from his pouch. At first the king became very excited thinking that it was a book of charms for finding lost objects. But then the king saw it was the Bhagavad Gita, and he asked, “Are you going to read some magic chants?” “No,” said the yogi. Hearing this, the king ordered his servants back into the water.

Once upon a yogi time, there was a powerful king. He was exceedingly wealthy and successful. One day he thought, “Because my life has been so full, I should make a pilgrimage.” Normally his servants carried him on a palanquin, but on this pilgrimage, he was determined to walk. Also, he decided to fast and abstain from water.

Again, the yogi said, “If they go in the water, I leave!” Thus, the king ordered his servants to sit back down and he sat there in desperation. As the yogi read the Gita aloud for awhile, the king become very interested, exclaiming, “That is really fascinating.” After some time, the yogi put the Gita away and said, “Now the crest jewel can be found.”

On the day he began his pilgrimage, it was 100 degrees in the shade. Because he was not accustomed to walking and fasting, he became quite hot in a short time. He kept thinking, “I would really like some water. But if I ask for water, my servants will not admire me.” So he continued walking. At high noon, he came to a bend in the road and saw a pond of water. This was too much! He could not contain himself! He was so thirsty he did not ask his servants for water but immediately ran to the pond and scooped up water with his palms. In his rush to do this, the crest jewel was ripped from his turban and fell into the pond.

They both stood up and walked toward the pond. Because the yogi had been reading for quite some time, the mud in the water, which had been stirred up by the servants looking for the crest jewel, had had time to settle. The water was now clear, and as the yogi looked into the calm pond he could see the fish swimming around. He could also see the footprints the servants had made. And in the clear, still water he could see a little round hump of mud. The yogi said to the king, “Look! You can see all that is in the water. You can even see the contour of the bottom of the pond. And from the mirrored surface of the pond, you can even see the sun above.” He then reached into the water and pulled the hump of mud out of the water. It was the king’s most precious treasure, his crest jewel.

Crest jewels are giant-size jewels, the most perfect of gems. They have immense value. Thus, the king immediately screamed to one of his servants, “I have lost my crest jewel! Come find it!” A servant jumped into the water and started looking for it. The king screamed again and another servant jumped into the pond. When these two servants could not find his precious crest jewel, other servants jumped into the pond to search for the king’s treasure. The king sat down and lamented, “My crest jewel, my most valuable possession. I’ve lost it! I’ve lost it!”

This simple story, like all yoga stories, is didactic. It illustrates, symbolically, that the mind is a pond and that the crest jewel is our selfawareness that we lost. In the thrust to quell our thirst, our desires, we have lost our most precious treasure! Thus, we immediately throw our servants—our thoughts, our emotions, and our will power—into the pond to find it. These servants activate and disturb the mind. Then we throw in more thoughts and more emotions arise, which only muddy the water more.

Then, out of the corner of his eye, the king saw a little yogi walking down the road toward him. The king thought, “This yogi will help me.” He called to the yogi, and the yogi came over and asked, “Your majesty, how might I serve you?” The king replied, “I’ve lost my crest jewel!”

I am not saying, “Don’t think” or “Don’t study.” I am saying that if you wish to find your crest jewel, your self-awareness, you must be able to remove all the thoughts and emotions that muddy up the waters of your mind. Give the waters of emotion time to settle. In time, you will be able to see not only into the pond, but from its mirror-like surface, you will also be able to see what exists above the pond, even if you are looking down.

“Oh, that’s nothing. I can find it for you.” “Will you?” “Yes. It’s no problem.” The king thought that the yogi had given him the power to find his jewel. Therefore, the king jumped up and started to run toward the water. But as the king stood up, the yogi requested, “Please sit down, your majesty.” Thus, the king sat down.

“Once upon a Yogi Time” are stories told by Goswami Kriyananda. This excerpt can be found in his book, The Advanced Guide to Meditation. THE YOGA CONNECTION MAGAZINE

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“When you take care of a tree in its growth, in due time it blossoms into flowers and then gives its natural culmination which is the fruit. Likewise, the practice of yoga has to culminate sooner or later in the spiritual fragrance of freedom and beauty. As the essence of the tree is contained in the fruit, so too the essence of your practice is contained in its fruit of freedom, poise, peace and beauty.� ~B.K.S. Iyengar



The Yoga Connection Volume 1 Issue 2