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Journal Post

Halloween has always been a favorite celebration of mine. I love coming up with a costume and actually creating something beautiful or scary to wear. I teach yoga this Halloween so I have had a lot of fun turning my creativity towards designing a sequence of poses that are in the Halloween theme. My sequence includes poses like Skeleton Pose, Full Moon Pose, Zombie Pose, Rabid Dog Pose, Headless Headstand Pose, Frankenstein Pose, Swarming Locusts Pose, Dead Bug Pose and of course Corpse Pose. You can see a link to the traditional names of these yoga poses here.
We have entered my most favorite time of year. Earth is the name that the Chinese give to the energy of late summer. Earth is the time of harvest and gathering. It is the midpoint in the cycle of life. The time when we raise a family, create a body of work, settle down, and begin to reap the rewards of our labors. Our thoughts turn to nurturing, parenting, mentoring and mothering.  Earth governs our bodies, our flesh and our ability to nourish ourselves through the foods that we eat. Earth governs our cycles - sleeping, eating and breathing. Earth energy also helps us on a mental level to digest ideas, process experiences and form thoughts. Out of balance Earth can be obsessive, obstinate and stubborn. 
Most of you know, if you have been subscribed to the iHanuman Newsletter for some time, that we pay a lot of attention to the changes and transitions of the natural world. Every year, we are prompted by traditional healing philosophy to reinvigorate pranayama practice in the fall. The fall is the season of letting go and releasing as well as the organs of the Lungs and Large Intestines.
Dear Friends, As the sun shifts into Virgo and the late summer's earth element, we are enjoying the fruits of our labors along with the slowing & cooling down of summer. The earth element brings us stability and a space to pause and collect ourselves between the seasons. The calm and steadiness of earth helps prepare us for the shifting unsteadiness of the air element which visits us in the fall. I love this time of year! The weather is a perfect mix of warm days and cool nights.  AND September is National Yoga Month! This is a wonderful time of year to get the word out about the benefits of yoga. Reference our resources below on the benefits of yoga as a place to start your conversation with new students.
Today marks the halfway point between the summer solstice and the fall equinox. It's called Lamas and it signals the beginning of the harvest season. We are about to transition into Late Summer as we move beyond the peak of  summer. Before we do, take with you the lessons learned from your growth this year. Take some time to honor what you have accomplished before you begin to reap what you have sewn.
Memorial Day marked the unofficial start of the summer season. Summer ignites the fire element. The warmth of fire has the power to bring us out of the contraction of the cold dark winter into a state of expansion and joy. We have more energy to accomplish our tasks and more hours of light within which to accomplish them. Fire is known for its dynamism, transformation and passion, but also gives us the capacity to feel joy, compassion, empathy as well as deep sadness, because only a strong heart can truly feel deep sadness.
April is a special time of year. Not only do we celebrate Hanuman’s birthday with the first full moon of April, but April heralds the beginning of spring and even include’s one of my favorite holidays, Earth Day! Spring is characterized by the wood element, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. The wood element is about the energy to take action. This energy is present in all of the beautiful flower buds bursting everywhere. Now is the time to take action, to use the wood energy of spring to plant the seeds for what we hope to recover in the fall.
I taught a restorative yoga retreat last month where we contemplated the energy of the Ayurvedic constitution made up of Earth and Water, Kapha. We contemplated stability, density, structure, boundaries and flow. We discussed ways to antidote the excess and deficiencies that arise with these elements, which are predominant in the winter and early spring.  One of my favorite topics to discuss as a remedy for Winter stagnation is the creation of clear un-obstructed space. This time of year is ideal for space clearing of any kind. As a Virgo and a Pitta Kapha, this brings me joy. 
It's Officially Summer! AND the International Day of Yoga! In honor of these two special events, we are offering some sequences for you to enjoy on International Yoga Day, as well as a discount in our download store from today until the end of June!
I made it through another Mother’s Day, but this year was different.  I have been inspired by women around the world who are sharing about their struggles with Mother’s Day; mothers who have lost children, women who have lost mothers and women who are not able to be mothers. Mother’s day has always been difficult for me, since I lost my mother, tragically, 28 years ago, just months before my thirteenth birthday. Once I recovered from the shock of the loss, which actually took about 5 years, I finally started to grieve. That grief, for me, has taken the better part of the last two decades. Thankfully, however, for about the last ten years, I have been deeply committed to healing that pain.
Dear Friends, It has been an exhausting couple of weeks here in the United States. In addition to everything we normally have going on in our lives, we are being tormented by misinformation, lies and deceit in the executive office of our government. It is hard to keep up with it all and this is leading to frustration, hopelessness and overwhelm. What can we do?
Happy Spring! Daffodils, Crocus, Forsythia and Peach Blossoms are already in bloom in the mountains of central Virginia! After months recharging our yin energy this winter, nature's feminine side is beginning to show its flowery wiles. Between now and Mother's Day is the time to infuse ourselves with the Feminine. iHanuman started off Women's History month with Women's Yoga Expert, Bobby Clennell. Next week we join Elise Miller for her training on Yoga for Scoliosis at the breathtaking Satchidananda Ashram in Buckingham, Virginia. We will be sharing recordings from both of those inspiring women's workshops very soon!
In my yoga classes this Winter, we have been practicing poses to restore our Kidney Energy. The Kidneys govern the Winter Water Element and when water is out of balance, it can become stagnant. This leads energetically to feelings of depression. Interestingly, the poses we practice for the kidneys are backbends, which also lift and open the heart. This lifting of the heart, energetically, has the same effect. It places the Heart in its true energetic seat, as the Emperor. The Emperor rules what is in the best and highest good for the Kingdom as a whole. When we act from what is our truest and highest good, we are benefiting ourselves, our families, our communities and our entire world. Imagine that!
It's not too late to start over! Did you rise on January 1, 2012! with the best of intentions and then life just started to take over and you lost some steam? This is just a reminder that you can start your new year over anytime you want! In fact, it may feel more authentic to you to take this time now between the full moon and the upcoming new moon to reset your intentions. This is when the Chinese New Year is celebrated on the first new moon of the year.
Credit: Woven - Montauk Beach Finally March has arrived and we can begin to wake ourselves up from our long winter's nap. In March, we clear away the clutter from the windy cold winter to allow the new green sprouts to show their color. We plant seeds for what we want to grow and blossom this spring and summer and prune the last of the dead limbs. What remains? What are we bringing forth into the new year to nourish the seeds and tender green shoots? And who are the people in our lives that will support us on this journey?
Credit: Lululemon Athletica Love is in the air this month. And if it's not, we need to ask ourselves, 'Why not?" There have been many a February in my life where I did not have a significant other and often felt lacking and inferior in the days leading up to Valentine's Day. What I discovered is that sense of lack was usually due to missing self love. I had not learned to love myself, so how could I expect to someone else to love me?
GaneshThe Solar New Year has returned again, not only ringing in a new year, but a new decade! It is a time most of us vow to rid ourselves of the excesses of the holidays in favor of resolutions for our highest expression of ourselves.
GhandiAfter a month of gratitude, it is time to answer the question, What Impact can the practice of Yoga have on the World? In the spirit of giving, we have several Complimentary Pieces of audio for you to help answer this question. Our feature this month is a discussion with Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher, John Schumacher. John tackles the question, " Can Yoga Save the World?"
Attitude of GratitudeNovember is Gratitude Month at iHanuman. Our intention is to make gratitude a daily practice, and in an effort to set that practice in motion we are encouraging you to join us by posting something that you are grateful for every day during the month of November.
, we were taught how to lead a ceremony. This particular ceremony's intention was to let go of grief from this past year; this could be the loss of a loved one, a job, or anything else which you chose to let go. Three days later on the autumnal equinox our cat died and I found myself holding ceremony for 24 hours which concluded with a full moon circle.
As much as we all hate to admit it, summer has wound down. However, as I mentioned last month, the late summer season into Fall are my favorite seasons. I say seasons because Ayurveda, the science of Life or sister science to Yoga, claims there are six seasons. The additional seasons are the late summer/early fall and the late winter/early spring.
AHHH August! August brings the beginning of my favorite season of the year. The summer months are too hot and the winter months are too cold, but the end of summer and early fall are just right. My emotions are more balanced, my physical body feels more comfortable and everything just seems to flow more easily. Being out of balance can be very uncomfortable and unsettling. There are seasons of the year, cycles of the moon, transits in the sky and just periods in our lives that can bring us slightly out of balance. Two of these periods of life are Adolescence and Menopause.
We have now come to the midpoint of the year, the hottest time of the year, the longest days of the year, the peak of the summer. During these transitional times of year, is the ideal time to rest, cleanse, and reflect on where we are and where we see ourselves headed. Read this beautiful post written by iHanuman Yoga Teacher, Sara Avant Stover, which helps us to formulate an action plan for our goals, dreams and passions. We are happy to have accomplished three of our big goals this year.
John SchumacherHappy Summer Solstice! Just as we asked you to invoke the goddess last month, the longest day of year begs us to inspire the fire inside that is masculine energy. Yang energy is strong, aggressive and passionate. It is the fiery energy of summer. Spiritually, we can practice tapas or discipline, austerity and consistency. Burn your internal fire to overcome difficulties and purify yourself to cleanse the toxins and feel your personal best level of health and vitality.
May is the month we celebrate our mothers. It may seem strange to make that a plural reference, but for someone who lost her birth mother just 2 months before turning 13, I have had to learn what it means to be a mother from a community of women; sisters, aunts, teachers, colleagues and girlfriends.
In looking for some inspiration for writing this newsletter, I did not have to do much more than walk outside. It is amazing how beautiful and wonderful the world is, especially in the springtime after a long cold winter. It was not that long ago when people depended on new shoots and leaves of spring as the first fresh food since at least the Winter Solstice. IMAGINE if you HAD TO wait until the middle of March to eat fresh greens!
Although some are talking about another 40 inches of snow this month, March is the month of the spring equinox and therefore heralds the beginning of spring. Until then, we are still in the water element and the end of the winter.
It is still cold here in Central Virginia. We have had an unusually precipitous Winter. Personally, I enjoy the change of seasons after several years living in a tropical climate in Southeast Asia. This Winter we have been challenged to slow down, go inside, reflect, meditate and truly hibernate. This can be difficult for those of us who prefer the growth of the Spring Season or the Fire of the Summer Season.
We are busy bees around here putting the final touches on the new iHanuman.com website. We will keep you posted with progress.
We wanted to share with you our latest podcast, a discussion of the Upanishads with Neil Bhatt. This lecture is brought to you live from the Charlottesville Yoga School. Make sure you have subscribed to our podcasts, so you can be the first to receive them when they go out. Simply visit the iHanuman.com Podcasts Page to learn more about podcasts and how to subscribe.
BRRR! It sure is cold out. Winter has finally arrived and looks like it is here to stay. Wintertime is a time when we are asked to be particularly smart and intelligent. Why? Because if you are not, you can freeze to death! Now, thankfully, most of us are not likely in a position to freeze to death but we do run the risk of leaking heat into the cold outside and therefore losing precious energy. Our immune systems can be easily taxed so we must preserve our energy to sustain us through the cold months ahead. We are no longer graced by the bounty of the summer harvest, so we must dig into our root cellars and preserved foods to carry us through.
Little Altars EverywhereMy husband and I just returned from our honeymoon in Greece. As a novice traveling in Europe, everything was magnificent. I have been fortunate to have traveled extensively in Southeast Asia and Africa over the last decade and always knew I would explore Europe later in life.
Fall LeavesSeptember has arrived and is nearing time to put away our summer clothes in preparation for the chillier days and nights of Fall. The change of seasons from summer to fall is the ideal time to "Take Stock" for the Wintertime: assess how we have grown over the summer months, put aside what no longer serves us and begin to save some of our energy for the long winter months ahead.
Colorful TurbinsAhhh August! Summer begins to come to a close; a bittersweet feeling. But this also means the cool winds and vibrant colors of Fall are on their way. iHanuman is busy upgrading our website to offer our teachers and students new web features and communication tools, We hope to roll out our new features next month, September, so please stay tuned.
Lord ShivaHappy July Friends! iHanuman has been busy this month working on upgrading our website to offer our teachers and students new web features and communication tools, so we do not have a new feature this month, but we do have 6 new video classes with Anusara Yoga Teachers Betsey Downing, Ph.D and Jaye Martin.
This month we offer you a special interview with California Yogini, Heather Tiddens. Listening to her Interview and viewing photographs of Heather reminds us of the goddess energy present within all beings. And with Mother's Day just passing, Heather's gentle spirit is reminiscent of the nurturing energy provided by women, mothers and Earth sisters. She helps us remember the importance of being kind to ourselves, to our friends and family, and to the Earth, the ultimate nurturer.
Spring Cherry BlossomsJoyful Spring to You! The season of Spring represents the Wood Element and we are reminded with each new conscious breath; each inhalation brings a new earthy scent. If you pause, you can literally feel the earth moving beneath your feet and all around you. Buds and shoots push themselves from the ground in anticipation of the warmth and sunlight to come.
Valentine's DayNamaste and Happy New Year Friends! The New Year brings the opportunity for shedding the old aspects of ourselves and our lives that no longer serve us. This allows us to make room for the new growth that comes with the warmer winds and longer days of Spring. iHanuman has been in hibernation this Winter to develop our media platform which will be released later this summer. Stay Tuned!
Don't Forget to PracticeNamaste! As the year comes to a close, we can already feel the potential energy and hope building for the new year. In the spirit of the holidays, iHanuman would like to offer you a few end-of-the-year gifts in hopes of reducing your stress levels!
Political MessNamaste! During the last month we've encountered many yogis, including several of us here at iHanuman, getting actively involved in the upcoming presidential election. From volunteering at non-partisan voter registration drives to community canvassing for our preferred candidates, we get to experience the incredible opportunities for growth as well as the many pitfalls of trying to join spiritual aspirations and ideals with personally invested political activism.
Yoga As MedicineNamaste! Happy Yoga Month! September is National Yoga Month.The ideal month to establish or re-establish your daily yoga practice. Find a reputable teacher in your area or visit our download store and practice with one of our world-renowned teachers.
John Schumacher in Arm BalanceNamaste! Ahhh August! In the Southeastern US its as if the whole earth has given a sigh of relief. Although, it cooled off,�Â�  it has been so dry that we are beginning to lose leaves! A reminder that it has been a fiery hot summer and we need to explore cooling practices and keep hydrated to stay in balance. iHanuman has stayed out the heat this last month to bring you a new home page! Let us know what you think!
Eagle PoseNamaste! Our Yoga Community in Central Virginia holds an Annual Summer Yoga Immersion. This seems to be what the height of summer in July portends: Immersing yourself in something you love, like yoga, so you can come into your full bloom like a stunning sunflower. Harness the fire and heat of summer to express yourself to the fullest.
Summer SolsticeHappy Summer Solstice! This week marks the longest days of the year. A time to open your heart to the magnificence of the sun and the masculine energies of this heavenly body. In this issue, we share with you a new feature with one of our favorite male teachers, John Schumacher and his thoughts on Yoga today after 35 years in the field and how his chosen method, Iyengar Yoga, benefits the global yoga community.
National Institutes of HealthMay Day! May Day! Sorry to sound alarmist, just trying to get your attention! It seems to be what the earth is trying to tell us this month. Wake up and bloom, flowers! Wake up and smell the flowers, people. Just wake up! There is much to celebrate in May.
First DaffodilsNamaste!
Spring is here and feels great as it invigorates our joints, hearts and minds. We begin to move out of hibernation to feel the sun on our skin. Relationships are renewed and it is a great time to set an intention or sankalpa for our practice as we move into the woody growth phase of spring.
By now, given yoga's broad popularity, many people know that the word yoga means to unite or yoke together. When one moves past the common notion that yoga is mostly about exercise, flexibility, and relaxation and begins to delve into the underlying philosophy of yoga, one begins to encounter conceptually and experientially what this business of unity is really about. From the moment you stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and ground through your feet, you become aware that the actions of your feet have a direct and palpable effect on your ankles, your legs, your spine, indeed, your entire body. In other words, all the parts of your body are connected to one another. Well, duh!
Spring DahliaSpring is on the way! Breathing deeply feels like the right thing to do. Continuing to stay centered from the internal reflection of winter and beginning to feel the expansion of spring as the days stay lighter longer and the sun feels a little bit warmer each day. Spring is a great time to cleanse the body with natural herbs, teas and water and a great time to renew your commitment to your regular daily practice.
National Heart MonthFebruary is National Heart Month and iHanuman would like to promote heart health through Yoga this month. The heart is a muscle and likes to be exercised. Invigorate your heart through standing poses, like Warrior 1 , 2, and 3 (Virabhadrasana I, II, III). Open your heart with backbends like Camel, Bridge and Wheel (Ustrasana, Setu Bandha, Urdhva Dhanurasana). Practice Loving Kindness Meditation and don't forget to tell someone you love them. We love you!
Thanks for helping to build the bridge with us into 2008.

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