Teacher Blog Posts | iHanuman

iHanuman

Love, Service, Devotion, Yoga

Teacher Blog Posts

Displaying 1 - 50 of 213 » page 1 of 5

Journal Post

Encinitas holds the distinction of being the American birthplace of Ashtanga Yoga. David Williams began teaching here in the early seventies and sponsored Pattabhi Jois and his son Manju to come here for the first time in 1975. Brad Ramsey and Gary Lopedota, two of David's students, opened their own yoga shala, called the Ashtanga Yoga Nilayam, after David moved to Maui.
Over twenty years ago I walked into my first Ashtanga yoga class, a fairly stressed-out, exhausted, toxic, and depressed individual. An hour and a half later, I walked out, feeling relaxed, energized, happy, and cleansed from the inside out. Ever since that first class I've been fascinated by this transformative power of the practice, what I call the alchemy of Ashtanga yoga.
Welcome to iHanuman: Love Service Devotion Yoga. We are an online community of yoga teachers dedicated to serving our students through new media. We have created a bridge between students, teachers and the ancient teachings of yoga. Please check back often for new information and updates. In the meantime, you may want to browse Our Community of Teachers or listen to audio and video of Our Latest Features or perhaps browse and Download Audio and Video Classes in Our Download Store.
Thanks for helping to build the bridge with iHanuman.
Namaste
When I first began teaching yoga in 1981, yoga wasn't exactly entrenched in the mainstream as it is now. I had been meditating for four years and doing asana out of a book daily. There was never a thought about becoming a yoga teacher, as I had four children, ages 7-14, and it was all I could do to stay afloat and meet my commitments as an Air Force wife and mother. My daily meditation practice helped more than anything else to keep me on a fairly even keel during those challenging days.
India! How can one begin to describe the experience of two weeks in this challenging, energetic and sacred land? Eight adventurous students, plus my husband, John, daughter Kate and I, embarked on our second Yoga Pilgrimage to the foothills of the Himalayas in December 2007.
Landing in the New Delhi airport after a 16-hour flight, we were immediately confronted with new and strange sights, sounds and smells. With our large bags stuffed into and on top of the small taxis, we were driven to a Delhi hotel for our first night in India.
As we see and feel the changes that take place in our body/mind from coming to yoga class each week, there's often a gradual stirring to begin to practice on our own. Our yoga evolves beyond a class we look forward to once or twice a week, and into a regular home practice in which the benefits of our yoga only multiply. It's actually in a home practice that we discover the nuances of the Principles of Alignment, and begin to feel what we need more or less of. Both I and my fellow teachers are very often asked: how might I go about developing a well-rounded practice that fits into my already busy life?
Have you been in a class at Willow Street where your teacher set the theme of the class as "change"? In our practice of yoga, we experience change in many ways, from the mat to what we take from the mat into our daily lives. Whether planned or unexpected, change permeates the flow of life. Change is the one thing we can count on.
The latest buzz about Chatt town is Twitter (I had no idea what it was until last week either). One can sign up for free at twitter.com and then collect friends (in this case called followers) to whom you can send short text messages via cell phone. For example yesterday as I was getting ready to go to the studio, I sent a message that I was getting ready to go teach my 10:30 am beginners class and added: Come on down. Maybe as my network grows I can use twitter to encourage people to come to ClearSpring Yoga. But so far I only have 3 followers, hahaha.
Finding "the deeper pull of what you truly love" is the underbelly of what I teach. A lot of people might think it is self-indulgent to follow our passion, to work when we want to work, to rest when we need rest. But following our heart's deepest desire energizes us to "work tirelessly for the greatest good." Instead of struggling through our days trying to meet a set of ill-defined standards, waiting for things to get better, we can LIVE. But we have to choose to live free. The moment won't demand it. Life won't say to us, "You must be here, you must enjoy yourself, you must take advantage of every opportunity to choose joy." We have to do our part. We have to meet life part way.
[media-library-gallery]
This is a question I have been getting more and more of lately, so I think I will write a bit...
OK, everyday is mother's day, please don't get so affected by Hallmark's marketing and propaganda, and if you do cave in and buy something, try to make it a sustainable, conscious, earth-friendly purchase (hint: massage gift certificate! yoga workshop!).
A good friend of mine (and revered yoga master) recently suggested that we adjust our students like they were our mothers, (not friends, siblings, or lovers). This was to encourage a neutrality and gentleness to the hands-on adjustment, so it is never done without awareness.
Breathing In, it's the very first act of life outside of the womb. Breathing Out, it's the very last thing we do before we die. In-between that first in-breath and final out-breath are millions of opportunities to remember this powerful energy. The yogis call it Prana: that which is everywhere, connecting us all; and on a smaller scale - that energy which moves the breath throughout our bodies. But what most people don't realize is the power of breath can increase or decrease energy, improve health and bodily functions, and reduce stress. A quick Google search can show you statistics, but experience is really the only way to go with Pranayama, the practice of breathing.
During the time I write this, it is Thanksgiving, a time of thankfulness. I don't think we stop enough to remember how blessed we are. We (assuming this email goes out to residents of the US) are so privileged, it is really amazing. We have access to clean water, food anytime anywhere, I cannot remember ever knowing someone who truly was hungry, ever! From a yogic standpoint, perhaps we are all souls who chose this time (20th century) and this place (good ole USA) to grow closer to God. How can we remember to do that when abundance is shoved down our throats? We can make small changes in our purchases, our choices, our words.
Remember, so much of who we are is conditioning. Media, family, culture all pressure us into conformity and consumerism during this time of year (even some yoga centers with enticing ads like 10% off!). However, being a conscious yogi, you can reduce stress greatly during this time with these reminders:
If you've been following the news, you know last week's massive, peaceful demonstrations protesting the Burma/Myanmar dictatorship have been followed by severe repression and brutality. Reports of possibly 200 monks being killed in retaliation cannot be verified or confirmed, because of the media blackout and military crackdown. They were heard by a Burmese army major, Major Win, who defected because he did not want to be part of killing civilians and monks. But certainly the death count is higher than the official government count of 9 people.
Warm your heart with the softness of a loving thought for billions of years of peace, prosperity and bliss for our children's children. Praise and bless them as peaceful, loving and evolved beings who live in an enlightened and sustainable society. This loving thought will make it so!
Once upon a time in Mount Kailas, Parvati closed the eyes of Lord Siva with her hands. Thereupon the sun, moon and fire did not shine forth. This caused terrible havoc in the world. All were enveloped by darkness for a long period. Lord Siva opened His third eye a bit. The sun, moon and fire began to shine again and all darkness vanished.
Parvati was frightened. She removed her hands and dropped down the perspiration from her fingers. This perspiration was turned into ten Gangas with countless branches. These rivers did much havoc to the world. Thereupon Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Indra ran to Lord Siva and requested Him to avert this catastrophe.
Introduction
Being optimists, it important to look into our lives and our history with a clear and balanced view. This means seriously considering what is happening around us and what those elements are, that have brought us to the dire consequences that we face today as an entire species. Why are we in the mess we are in? How do we get past this global dilemma?
The word individual means undividable. Therefore we are all in this together, yet, each of us is responsible for our place in the circle of life. It's a wonderful thing to know that we are all contributors to the whole, simply by way of discovering and enlivening our humane values.
May the bees be well and healthy
and continue their magic
pollen dance
Maintaining Grandmother Earth's
Green Kingdom
May their young be well and healthy
and continue their great and ancient tradition
May the bees on earth be as plentiful
as stars in the heavens
A dear friend who has a strong, clear and constant connection with the Central Desert Aboriginals of Australia gave this message to me. I pass it on to you.
They asked us to look into the starry night sky and bring the starlight into your eyes. Feel the light coming through the top of your head and draw the light down through your body and through your feet and root the light into the earth. They say that the earth needs intensified and descending starlight energy very badly and that we can bring it down.
Over time I am realizing that just because I am a yogini doesn't mean that I always have to look, act, or feel happy. Far from it. Rather, to be a yogini means being what is true. Not always easy in a culture where the answer to the question "How are you?" is most always followed by a perfunctory "Fine," even if you may just be having a bad day.
Bitter, dark green vegetables help to cleanse and lighten the body (and the liver) after a long winter. Enjoy!
You will need:
* 2 cups young fresh kale, stemmed, ribbed and shredded into thin strips
* Rock salt or sea salt to taste
* Fresh-ground black pepper to taste
* 1/8 tsp ground turmeric
* 1/8 tsp sweet paprika
* 1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) or olive oil
* the juice of one lemon (to taste)
Place the shredded kale in a steamer above rapidly boiling water and steam, covered, for about 10-12 minutes.
Heat ghee in a pan until clear, add the turmeric, paprika and black pepper and stir briefly to release aroma.
Over time I am realizing that just because I am a yogini doesn't mean that I always have to look, act, or feel happy. Far from it. Rather, to be a yogini means being what is true. Not always easy in a culture where the answer to the question "How are you?" is most always followed by a perfunctory "Fine," even if you may just be having a bad day.
Sandra Pleasants, E.R.Y.T. 500
Certified Junior Intermediate Iyengar Yoga Instructor
Please contact Sandra directly for more information on her classes and class schedule at 434-361-2262 or sandra.pleasants [a] gmail.com
* Monday Level I/II at 9:15 AM held at Rockfish Valley Community Center in Nellysford, VA
* Monday Level II/III at 6:00PM held at Rockfish Valley Community Center in Nellysford, VA
* Wednesday Level I/II at 9:30AM held at Blue Ridge Yoga Center in Charlottesville, VA
* Thursday Level I/II at 6:00PM held at The Nelson Center, JABA room in Lovingston, VA
Classes Monday and Thursday are $15 for dropins and $112 if paying for a session which is 8 weeks.
Welcome to iHanuman: Love Service Devotion Yoga. We are an online community of yoga teachers dedicated to serving our students through new media. We have created a bridge between students, teachers and the ancient teachings of yoga. Please check back often for new information and updates. In the meantime, you may want to browse Our Community of Teachers or listen to audio and video of Our Latest Features or perhaps browse and Download Audio and Video Classes in Our Download Store.
Thanks for helping to build the bridge with iHanuman.
Namaste
I reviewed my first video for Yoga Journal in 1991, and since then I've reviewed at least a couple in every single issue for the last 18 years. Just this year I reviewed my 300th video (though I've probably watched at least half again as many that didn't pass muster), and by some strange alignment of planets or more likely some cosmic comedy of karmas, it was a presentation by our very own Rod Yee.
One thing about PYS that may be a little different from many other yoga schools is the plethora of props. If you're a regular student here you no doubt think all the blocks and blankets and chairs and straps and bags and bolsters are par for the course, but there are a good number of schools around that have only a handful of props or-heaven forbid!-no props at all. In 21st century yoga, the presence of all this stuff is usually a sure sign that the majority of teachers on the staff, including yours truly, grew up yogically in or around the Iyengar system, which is widely known for its innovative use-or in some students' estimation, overuse-of props.
This link to an online Newsweek article, dated May 13, 2010, came from a friend through my email the other day. Titled "The Clash of the Yogis: Do the Hindu Roots of Yoga Matter?," author Lisa Miller, the magazine's religion editor, raises several issues that beg responses, though because of space limits I'll only be able to deal with the question asked in the piece's sub-title.
PRACTICE FOR THE MONTH:
From the Gheranda Samhita (late 17th century CE)
TADAGI MUDRA. Pond Seal
Lie on you back, stretch out through your heels and reach your arms overhead. If you have one, lay a sand bag over your wrists to help the reach of the arms. Continue to press actively and oppositely through the heels and hands. As an energetic response, your belly will hollow slightly, like a "pond," which gives this mudra its distinctive name. This is a good warm-up for asana or pranayama.
It was my great good fortune last Fall to attend a small yoga conference at beautiful Cavallo Point, just on the Marin side of the Golden Gate. One of the speakers there, Anne O'Brien, a local teacher, gave a fascinating talk about state of yoga teacher training here in the US, presenting in the process some innovative ideas about how such a program should be organized. I naturally began to think about the training program here at PYS, which was just beginning its third cycle in September 2009. Our two previous programs together graduated about 40 students, several of whom are now teaching here in one way or another.
No sooner than I heard the words "you already know" then I realized that becoming a yoga teacher would change my life forever. A light bulb immediately went off during my training and the sheer power of this statement resonated so deeply with me that I knew I was exactly where I needed to be. When I am faced with the fluctuations of life, the anxieties of the unknown, and the temperance of ambitions, I stop to breathe and listen, and remind myself that "I already know."
This weekend some of you may consider practicing 108 Sun Salutations to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox or to support the Global Mala Project, but have you ever stopped to think why it must be repeated 108 times? What's so significant about the number 108? Well...a lot of things!
108 is a sacred number found in many different religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, to name a few.  The malas we use when reciting mantra contain 108 beads, much like the Catholic rosary.  We practice 108 Sun Salutations at the Spring and Fall equinox to mark the changing of the seasons. The number 108 is all around us, all of the time.
See only love-a very simple, yet powerful statement. It is easy to see love when we are peaceful and happy. When we are filled with joy, it is natural to open our hearts and express our love to the world.  Love can come very easily, but can also challenge us as well.
Often we fall prey to these challenges and allow ourselves to become angry, frustrated and confused by others.  Whether there's an angry caller on the line, a co-worker is not cooperating, or a loved one is placing blame, in instances like these, we must see only love.
Maybe this post will be a little too forward, but in the interest of learning and growing I felt I had to share an experience from today. I know that as I continue on my journey to do good, live good, and be good, these karmas will continue to work themselves out and I will eventually find myself closer to my dharma. This is me, being the Capricous Yogi that I am.
Atha Yoganusasnam
Yogash Citta Vrtti Nirodhah
Tada Drashtuh Svarupe Avasthanam
-Yoga Sutra-s (1.1-1.3)
The Yoga Sutra-s of Patanjali is handbook for yoga, but you do not have to read much further than first few lines to understand what yoga is all about. Patanjali makes his intentions clear from the very beginning.
1. Atha Yoganusasnam (YS 1.1). Now is the time for Yoga.
With the very first sutra Patanjali sets forth the path of yoga. What follows are complete instructions on what yoga is and how, through practice, we begin to still the mind, reaching Samadhi (bliss). But, you must start now. Now is the time.
I teach because I am inspired to do so. I teach because I feel compelled to share what I've discovered with others. I teach to learn. I teach to serve. I teach because I want to understand. I teach to give back all that has been given to me. I teach because it makes sense. I teach to know my Self better.
We are all student and teacher at the same time. No matter how big or small, we all continuously learn from one another. At the end of each class I thank my student's for their time, but really I thank them for the exchange that has just taken place. I thank them for the opportunity to impart some of this great wisdom to them. I thank them for all that I learn while I am teaching.
"We are here to love each other, serve each other,
and uplift each other" -Anonymous
It is with practice and self-inquiry that we come to understand how yoga is much more than a series of poses and breathing exercises. In fact, we see quite clearly that the practice is about relationships, to one another and most importantly to ourselves. With continued practice we learn to serve others, creating an atmosphere of compassion, acceptance, and tolerance, and a more peaceful way of living.
Stepping on to your mat for the first time can be a daunting experience. The excitement of trying something new, moving your body in ways you've never imagined, and stretching your limits can be exhilarating, if not overwhelming. The same can be said for more practiced students, who with time and experience may feel ready to push beyond their limits, but end up feeling frustrated when they cannot "go beyond."  That being said, whether you're brand new or you've been practicing for many years now, following are a few tips to keep in mind whenever you come to your mat.
Happiness is, and always will be, a beautiful and unique human desire.  Yogi Bhajan stated that it is "our birthright to be happy" and H.H. Dalai Lama has artfully taught us what it means to be happy.  With every breath we take, every intention we make, happiness is the source that drives us.
Happiness can be so many things and what might make one person happy, could absolutely bore the next. It can be as simple as smile or as complex as a long-standing completed project.  Just like life, happiness is what you make it. I say, you must participate in order to understand what true happiness really is.
No matter how long you've been practicing yoga you are sure to be familiar with Anjali mudra (prayer position). By understanding the gesture of bringing "hands to heart center" as more than a physical act, you have the power to change your entire practice.
The old saying "when it rains, it pours" seems ironically fitting for the past few weeks of my life. I've been knocked around by the Universe a lot more than I'd care to admit, and to be honest, I've had a hard time letting go. Of course, the logical part of me knows that these setbacks are only temporary, reminding myself that this too shall pass. However, the emotional side of me has had a hard time releasing and surrendering to the path before me. I've tried just about every meditation, pranayama, and visualization technique in my arsenal and hardly anything has worked to pull me out of my deep despair.
Whether it was a good idea or not, I did something pretty out of character yesterday. Instead of cranking away at the end of my work day, continuing my search for new employment, and/or finishing up my taxes, I chose to stop what I was doing, go outside and sit in the sun. You see, the past few weeks have been very tiring and with the change I can feel coming, I decided to take advantage of an opportunity to enjoy the sunshine and springtime.
Welcome to iHanuman: Love Service Devotion Yoga. We are an online community of yoga teachers dedicated to serving our students through new media. We have created a bridge between students, teachers and the ancient teachings of yoga. Please check back often for new information and updates. In the meantime, you may want to browse Our Community of Teachers or listen to audio and video of Our Latest Features or perhaps browse and Download Audio and Video Classes in Our Download Store.
Thanks for helping to build the bridge with iHanuman.
Namaste
Welcome to iHanuman: Love Service Devotion Yoga. We are an online community of yoga teachers dedicated to serving our students through new media. We have created a bridge between students, teachers and the ancient teachings of yoga. Please check back often for new information and updates. In the meantime, you may want to browse Our Community of Teachers or listen to audio and video of Our Latest Features or perhaps browse and Download Audio and Video Classes in Our Download Store.
Thanks for helping to build the bridge with iHanuman.
Namaste
ONGOING CLASSES Yoga - All Levels, Sundays 10 - 11:30 am at Balance Studio Yoga for Osteoporosis, Wednesdays, 9:30 - 10:45 am ~ contact Kym directly
Gentle Yoga for Health, Wednesdays 11:00 - 12:15
Gentle Yoga for Health, Saturdays 10 - 11:15 am ~ contact Kym directly Moving Forward, a program including yoga and therapeutic exercise for cancer survivors
Mondays 6 - 8pm October 2016, Hope Connections for Cancer Support, Bethesda MD IION, Institute for Integrative Oncology Navigation retreat, Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts
"Yoga as an Integrative Healing Tool"
Welcome to iHanuman: Love Service Devotion Yoga. We are an online community of yoga teachers dedicated to serving our students through new media. We have created a bridge between students, teachers and the ancient teachings of yoga. Please check back often for new information and updates. In the meantime, you may want to browse Our Community of Teachers or listen to audio and video of Our Latest Features or perhaps browse and Download Audio and Video Classes in Our Download Store.
Thanks for helping to build the bridge with iHanuman.
Namaste
What's the deal with Kapotasana???
It's intense, yes. I can only assume that even for a relativity flexy body, there's a good level of intensity. On a not so good day, I struggle one arm at a time to catch, pant out five breaths and barely straighten my arms in version B.  On a great day, I easy drop-in, my inner ear pops so no outside sounds comes in and tension in my spine feels radiant.  Most days are somewhere in between.
While in Mysore last year, Evan and I had the great pleasure of attending this event at the gates of the Mysore Palace. This year, tapas yoga shala will particiapte as one of 114 events in 34 countries worldwide. Here's just a bit of info on this spectacular organization:
* Odanadi Seva Trust is a pioneering anti-trafficking organization based in Mysore, South India, working for the rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of t...rafficked women and children.
* Today Odanadi runs two residential rehabilitation centres in Mysore, housing up to 85 women and young people at any one time.

Pages

Subscribe to Teacher Blog Posts

Receive a Heartfelt, Inspired Newsletter with Special Features, Seasonal Updates, and Coupon Codes for Use with Our Yoga Downloads.