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Many of us have made new year's resolutions regarding personal qualities that we would like to cultivate in the year ahead.  We can relate this practice of intention-setting to the yogic concept of svadhyaya, often translated as self-study.   Honest, intimate self-reflection is seen as integral to almost any spiritual path.  But yoga asks: can we engage in this process without taking ourselves too seriously?
In these last few days it has felt as though spring is just around the corner.  The snow that has been lingering for several weeks is starting to melt, exposing fertile soils to the encouraging sun.  Because it has been a gradual warming rather than a sudden rise in temperature, the streams and rivers are not strained beyond their capacity, and flooding has been kept to a minimum.
The days are steadily growing longer and warmer, and the      nights are gradually losing their chill.  Coming out of a long,  cold winter, many of us are finding our energy levels rising  and our calendars growing busier.  It seems that every week  there is a different festival or other opportunity to get outside  and enjoy the spring breezes and birdsong.  There are so  many exciting events and projects happening that it can be a  challenge to find enough energy for it all.
For many of us, summer is a time that brings back pleasant memories of the carefree days of our youth.  These were the times before we had to take responsibility for attending to the details, such as paying the bills on time, that keep the utilities turned on and life flowing smoothly.
The Yoga Sutra offers a practical path for achieving the state of yoga--union between mind, body, and spirit. Join Kate Hallahan and the students at Charlottesville Yoga School for a free 90 minute lecture on this seminal text of classical yoga. This talk includes historical background and an overview of concepts contained within the text, as well as practical suggestions for implementing its wisdom in our daily lives.
[audio:http://www.ihanuman.com/media/audio/kate_hallahan/kate_sutra_1.mp3]
Listen to the Introduction to the Yoga Sutras Part 1 with Kate Hallahan
This is a time of year when it is common to find ourselves feeling a sense of overwhelm.  Daylight is dwindling and our energy is on the wane.  At the same time, social and familial obligations for many of us are on the rise.  Whether we enjoy holiday gatherings or not is beside the point.  Either way, we are being asked to dig deeper into our energetic reserves at a time when our bodies--and our minds--might prefer to hibernate.
If you find yourself having a difficult time mustering the enthusiasm to attend yet another holiday function, or feeling particularly averse to going to a party that you do not think you will enjoy, it may be helpful to bear in mind the larger context behind any social gathering:
I was talking with an old friend recently about the wishes of childhood that we have left behind, the deep desires that were once sent out into the universe with the superstitious blowing of a fallen eyelash, but that have faded with the passage of time.  To my surprise, I realized that although countless eyelashes in my younger years had been dedicated to one wish in particular, as an adult that desire no longer holds the same romantic appeal: I no longer wish to live forever.
Now is a time for embracing the Darkness.  In a literal sense, the nights have become longer and colder; in a figurative sense, Hallowmas and the days that follow are the time of year when the veil between our world and the underworld is most transient, and when we are best able to shed light not only on our ancestral spirits, but also on the darkest corners of our own soul.
 
We now find ourselves halfway between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. Earth-based spirituality celebrates the period from February 1st-February 4th by observing a holiday called Candlemas.  One of eight fire rituals in the traditional calendar, it marks an important time of purification and passage.  It is interesting to note its counterpart in the Christian tradition, in which the holiday Candlemas marks the ritual purification ceremony performed at the Temple of Jerusalem for the infant Jesus and his mother Mary.
A couple of newsletters back I wrote about how the Unity Woods logo came into being and what my thinking was in creating it, and the significance of the various components. As there wasn't space then to talk about the three words that appear at the points of the triangle, I said I would do so in subsequent newsletters. In the last newsletter, I discussed the relevance of the first of the three words: health. Now we come to the second: serenity.
NAMASTE,
It's such a cliché to remark on the speedy passage of time. Nonetheless, I have to trot out the "how time flies" line to comment on the arrival this year of Unity Woods' 30th anniversary. To tell you the truth, things are tumbling by so fast and there so much going on that I might have missed noticing it altogether had I not been prompted by the ubiquitous accolades to local (and national) media star, Diane Rehm, on her 30th anniversary. That's when I said to myself, "Hey, Unity Woods has been around for 30 years, too."
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
Last week, Southern Baptist Minister Albert Mohler made headlines when he charged that yoga is incompatible with the Christian faith.  At first my reaction was, perhaps, predictably cynical.  Being from the South, I'm not surprised that a literalist view of the Bible would preclude the teachings of yoga.
After reading his full essay, I think there's definitely food for thought for anyone practicing yoga and especially for anyone teaching yoga. The question is:  do you know what you're doing and why you're doing it when you step onto your mat?
"Sharon
 

28 Day Meditation Challenge
Anyone up for joining me for a challenge?   How about a month-long meditation challenge?  I'll go easy on you, we'll pick the shortest month of the year.
"Love with our whole hearts, even if there is no guarantee."  - Brené Brown.
  ,"If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher."
Sometimes the hardest part is just showing up.
At the end of many of my yoga classes, I remind my students to bow their head in honor of themselves for the, sometimes, Herculean effort of just showing up to class. It's so easy to get derailed. You know, we all have those "best laid plans."
Back in my office monkey life I remember dreading late afternoon phone calls because they were usually about last-minute-have-to-be-done-first-thing-tomorrow projects. And of course our servers only ever crashed at 6pm. On Friday. These days, I'm amazed that I get myself and my toddler out of the house at all, much less on time.
The new and improved Ashtanga Yoga of Charlottesville website is up. Check it out at www.ashtangacharlottesville.com
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
Opened in September 2002, Georgetown Yoga is an "urban oasis" located in the middle of Washington's historic Georgetown neighborhood. The studio offers a wide range of yoga styles for all levels, from those new to yoga to those already practicing. Georgetown Yoga offers a beautiful, relaxing setting to begin, develop or enhance your Washington D.C. yoga experience.
Ashtanga vinyasa yoga has an obvious, linear progression. As you master a posture, you add another posture. The difficulty of postures steadily increases, as does the challenge to your endurance. Adding postures, making the practice longer and smoother, being able to accomplish more and more difficult postures: these are all signs of progress.  
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
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
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
On-Going multi-level Hatha yoga classes at Common Ground Healing Arts in Charlottesville, Virginia:
Mondays 5:30 - 6:45 PM
Thursdays 5:30 - 6:45 PM And at Opal Yoga in Charlottesville:
Sundays 10:30 - 12:00 PM Private sessions in yoga, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, and structural yoga therapy by appointment.
Please email cynthiawoodring@gmail.com for more information.
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
In this 20 minute video, expert teen teacher Koren Palmaan teaches inner city teenagers in a Los Angeles High School.
Koren Palmaan creates a classroom dynamic that is magnetic for teenagers.  Watch and learn from her powerful teaching example where students are challenged, encouraged, and guided to have a profound yet fun yoga experience.
Purchase and Download this Video from Christy.
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
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
Mondays: 7:30-8:30
Big Vanilla All levels A nice and gentle wake up practice
Tuesdays:
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
Hi all!
We had a beautiful class Saturday. Fine yogis moving in and out of 'one legged dogs', working against the wall and some even kicking up towards handstand- it was a wonderful experience. It took lot's of courage and strength and was very inspiring!
The weather, being particularly unstable, warm then cold, steady then windy and still dark, is a sure sign that change is all around. When we practice handstands we mimic that change. And when we pay attention to our practice we see how we are affected by change. Do you welcome the opportunity with creative vision or do you dig in and try and remain stable and steady. Just good information to have.
My journey of yoga is one of Gratitude; for the insights, healing, blessings, and the complete transformation of my life. I cherish every moment, every breath, all the experiences it has taken to get here.
I found my first yoga class at a church in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, where yoga was anything but mainstream. I was unhealthy, worked in a casino, smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day, ate a terrible diet and wore a hard brace on my neck due to an accident. Yoga was a last resort. I was willing to try anything to get out of the pain - even yoga. If I also found flexibility and stress relief, I would take it but I was skeptical. BUT, I wasn't turning off my pager or my phone! The teacher smiled and handed me a yoga mat.
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
In response to my students requests for help in establishing a home practice, I have just released a new CD called Healing Moves Yoga. The 72-minute practice is divided into five sections, so you can do just one section, two, three, four or all five, depending on your time. Two sections are completely restorative: Centering and Breathing (12:24 minutes) Relaxation (13:37 minutes) a guided head-to-toe tension reliever.
Recently I've had several friends who find themselves in dissolving relationships. It can be tough to know how to support them, what to say, what not to say.
My friend Chris has written an article about how to be a supportive friend, I hope that you, like me, find it useful!
Because a little pincha makes anyone's day better!
Pincha dropbacks
Did you ever stop and wonder how you got here? Not here as in this website, but HERE, this spot in your life? How did I end up in this job? This relationship? How did I put on those extra 10 lbs?
In reflection we see that there were a lot of small choices that were made along the way. We may have had bigger dreams , but in the meantime, the groceries have to be bought, the bills need to be paid.....maybe sometime we'll get to those goals......right?
As we step into spring, we move forward out of darkness and into light. Flowers bloom and babies are born. It is a time of renewal.  If you're like me, there are times when your practice has become routine and lackluster. Stale. Even boring.  Use spring as a time to introduce a new sense of play and investigation into your practice.  Take this time to address a pose or series of poses that are challenging to you and approach them without attachment. I particularly like arm balances and inversions(who doesn't love a little handstand at the wall at impromptu moments?) but any remix of your old routine will do.  Always do triangle first? Maybe make a pact not to do it for the next week.
 With so many styles of yoga available the question inevitably rises: what makes this one different than the next? Each lineage seems to claim that they have the answers, that they are the safest, or most informed, or most spiritual. What about the seemingly non-denominational yoga teachers out there, the purely physical practitioners? Are they really practicing yoga or merely acrobatics? And how is a student to choose? 
Transcribed & edited from a talk given by Bo Lozoff in Costa Mesa CA, in March, 2006
Dear Family,
A friend wrote recently that she was in a deep funk and feeling low. I was about to reply with an encouragement for her to realize that these are hard times for most of us on Planet Earth, and it is understandable that she will feel her own share of these hard times, and for her to try not to take those feelings as a personal crisis, but rather as her "portion of the cross" that we are all bearing. I was going to point out that instead of making her feel tight or further separating her from others, her blues can actually soften her heart and expand her compassion and sense of unity.
Dear Family,
In the ancient Hindu epic The Ramayana, there's a passage where Rama, a young prince who is actually God born as a human being, is supposed to be made King the next day, and his people are the happiest people in the world because they love him so much. There's a classic line in this part of the story that I have remembered so many times in my life - "Many things can go wrong in the dark night before a King is made." How true!
Transcribed from a sermon Bo gave at Unity of the Triangle Church in Raleigh, NC.
When I teach meditation, I'm a stickler for keeping the body still. In the Old Testament there is a curious passage that says, "Be still and know that I am God." Isn't that curious? Be still, not "be righteous," not "be busy," not "be productive," not even "be kind," but "be still" to know God. Do we make enough room for stillness in our lives to know God?
A friend of mine got out of prison on the last day of 1997. He was thirty-seven years old and had been in prison since he was nineteen. Because he was on a 90-year sentence, he had spent his whole prison time in one old maximum-security facility in mid-Florida which has a very tough reputation.
In all those years, William (not his real name) was never encouraged to get a G.E.D. or any other education or skills training. There were precious few programs offered at his prison because all the inmates there had such long sentences, the state felt, "Why waste the money? They're never getting out of here."

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