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iHanuman

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Yoga Philosophy

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Journal Post

For thousands and thousands of years the Yoga sages have observed and taught their students that the mind is by nature "outward-turning." That is, it tends to flit about from thought to thought capriciously and from subject to subject like a cork bouncing about in the open sea. The trouble with that is some places the mind bounces into are whirlpools of non-constructive thinking. And as you know, many thought patterns bring with them accompanying emotions -- some of which are disturbing and even debilitating.

I write this from the vantage point of 37,000 feet above our earth, looking both up at the bluest of blue skies and down at cloud patterns of marshmallow fluff, and am seized with a sense of gratitude for the supreme beauty of our planet, and all that is in my life since I embarked on a spiritual path over 30 years ago.
In keeping with the four-word theme of the amazing iHanuman community, I thought it appropriate to write a few quick words for each as my first post. Love: We have a Thought Board at my office. It's a simple dry-erase board at the entry that everyone writes on. Some days there are random thoughts but most days there are questions. The other day the question was: Which is more powerful, love or hate? A seemingly simple question but, in reality, more thought provoking and discussion sparking than everyone was prepared for that day. It was amazing to witness. My answer: Love is infinitely more powerful than hate and love in numbers cannot be broken or challenged.
There is an aspect of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga practice called tristana. Like "yoga" it is both a practice and the state achieved through the repetition of that practice. I'm hoping to get up a few blogs that will look at tristanafrom a few viewpoints, all of which have emerged organically from practice and teaching. First of all, though, let's lay the groundwork with some definitions and background.
A Guru is a person whose very presence imparts truth and awakening in the disciple. When I traveled to Mysore for the first time at the age of 22 I asked Sri K. Pattabhi Jois where I could find the illusive state of inner peace that all yoga practice seeks to instill. Known as Guruji to his students, he said "You take it practice many years, then Shantih is coming... no problem" and my heart opened to the grace of his teaching. It is my great fortune to consider this amazing man my teacher and I attribute the depth of my personal practice and teaching to the light that Guruji's fire ignited within me.
Annie Carpenter shares her wisdom on APARIGRAHA the fifth of the five yamas, or disciplines, set out by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras.
Many of us can get caught up in the idea that we have to be in a relationship to enjoy Valentine's Day. And many people become depressed or lonely on Valentine's Day. Everyone around us is receiving flowers, candy and invitations to fancy dinners. Even those of us in relationships build up expectations about what we are supposed to receive or perhaps compare our relationships to those of others. We are lead to desire more instead of being content with who we are or what we already have. Instead, perhaps we can see Valentine's Day as an opportunity to practice some of the philosophy of yoga.
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