Journal Posts | iHanuman

iHanuman

Love, Service, Devotion, Yoga

Journal Posts

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?
I'm reminded of a teacher from rural Missouri that I met a few years ago.  In order to attract students and stay under the radar of the local spiritual apparatchick, she had to strip out much of the language most of us take for granted.  "Meditation" was renamed "relaxation," "pranayama" became "breathing exercises," and "yoga" itself was called "stretching."  She was notably conflicted about the authenticity of what she was teaching.
Mohler would...

posted: 7 years 5 months ago
posted: 6/11/12
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...
posted: 6/11/12
  ,"If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher." This famous quote by Buddhist nun and teacher, Pema Chödrön, appeared in my Facebook news feed last night like an auspicious sign. Pema's many books and lectures often center around opening the heart to radiate metta, the Buddhist practice of loving-kindness. Metta is part of my regular meditation practice, but it's practical application often still alludes me. As a spouse, mom, and a person blessed with dear friends, my heart sometimes feels so open that I don'...
posted: 6/11/12
"© It's so easy to get caught up in our buy-buy-buy culture this time of year.  Now that "Black Friday" is a de facto holiday, it's no wonder that many decry the loss of the sentiments and traditions behind our winter celebrations.  Instead, 'tis the season to overindulge, blow out our budget, and find ourselves stressed out for months into the new year. Of course the yogis couldn't have foreseen this exact neurosis over our modern-day holidays, but they certainly had human nature pegged perfectly.  Turning to Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, one yama jumps out...
posted: 6/11/12
"Love with our whole hearts, even if there is no guarantee."  - Brené Brown. A couple of months ago I wrote about an experience I had in a local coffee shop that, at the time, tested my limits of compassion.  What I learned from that experience is that in order for us to live more cohesively in our society, we must open our hearts.  We must put ourselves in others' shoes.  We must live by the Golden Rule, even if no one else seems to be playing by the same rules. I think we all instinctively know this, and in fact it's part of the very make-up of our brains.  In her new...
posted: 6/11/12
  "© 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. Meditation luminary Sharon Salzberg has challenged a diverse group of people (including you and me) to meditate for 28 days by following the program she outlines in her new book, "Real Happiness."  According to her website, Sharon hopes the challenge "fosters a real dialogue about the potential of meditation to change one's life." The book begins by describing what...
posted: 6/11/12
"Sharon Last night I had the great pleasure of attending a meditation class by Sharon Salzberg.  She's on tour with her new book, "Real Happiness:  The Power of Meditation."  I was especially excited to kick off my 28-day meditation challenge with her guidance. Like many life-long meditators, Salzberg radiates a sense of calm and compassion, that makes you want to immediately be just like her.  Raised in New York City, she also has an appealing common sense quality.  Best off all her soothing voice always hinted at forgiveness.  As she guided us through a simple breath...

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