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iHanuman

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garden of the heart

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Journal Post

See God in yourself and see God in others". When I heard this from meditation teacher Swami Muktananda in the 70's it was a revolutionary concept to me. However, something deep inside resonated with this teaching and I felt especially uplifted. It felt like a way to connect with the best in myself and with the best in others.
Most students report that they come to yoga because of strees; and certainly yoga can bring relief. However, yoga offers many more benefits in addition to relaxation, such as flexibility, strength, increased circulation to organs and glands (often resulting in enhanced health), better sleep, improved digestion, and a quieter and more centered mind. Over several years, this practice can add up to the true essence of yoga: living life with a joyful spirit and a peaceful mind in a relaxed and healthy body. Although these benefits are tremendous (and I have found as I get older they are truly priceless!), they cannot occur if students don't come to class.
People often come to yoga looking for a way to feel less stressed and more relaxed, and the practice of yoga can certainly make a significant difference. So much so, that I often wonder how people who don't know yoga and relaxation can manage when life gets bumpy! However, the potential benefits from yoga and relaxation training go far beyond just immediate stress relief. They change the lens through which we view our stressful life events, and thereby eliminate many stressful feelings at the source.
The Tantric Philosophy that underlies Anusara Yoga is a philosophy of intrinsic Goodness. The absolute essence of everything is Supreme Consciousness that pulsates with pure Goodness. Out of its infinite freedom, Supreme Consciousness chooses to limit itself by becoming embodied as the material universe in order that it may enjoy the experience of diversity.
My major feeling about Virabhadrasana 3 (Warrior 3 pose) used to be relief when it was over! Recently I have been exploring poses I haven't previously enjoyed and Warrior 3 made the list! Its particular combination of strength, flexibility, and balance are difficult to master with grace and ease. I have discovered that this pose is transformed by my choice of focus. Instead of just trying to stay up (and endure the pose till it is over!), I can direct my energy on lengthening from my low belly in two directions: out through my legs all the way to my toes and from my low belly forward through my torso, arms, and into my fingertips.
Sometimes it's nice to site back and reflect on where we have been and where we are now...My husband and I moved to Florida from Virginia five and a half years ago, after he retired. Initially I kept my yoga center in Virginia and went back regularly to run it, so I did not start teaching in Florida right away. However after comparing winter up north with winter down here, I sold my yoga center and decided to focus on Florida! In August of 2000 an opportunity came up to teach in the community where we live. We initially offered two morning classes, with my husband Dave teaching one class and me the other; we had a total of 18 students.
I recently attended the Anusara Certified Teachers Gathering in Denver, CO. A group of 150 certified teachers came together for 5 days of inspiring practices led by Anusara founder John Friend and transformational presentations by Paul Muller, an internationally recognized scholar in the field of Tantric philosophy. One of the major emphases in Anusara is to take our yoga off the mat and into the world, so that we are living our philosophy that we are all part of One Big Spirit. To that end, John invited the Karma Krew to come to our gathering. Karma Krew is a yoga-inspired non-profit organization created by two like-hearted yoga teachers in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
The perspective of Tantric philosophy is to use everything in life as a means for awakening. Events in our lives can be catalysts to open us to our True Nature of consciousness and bliss. It is especially useful to view life's most powerful events through the Tantric lens.
July 20, 1969 was an historic day for our country and for the world. It was the day that we landed a man on the moon, and Neil Armstrong uttered his oft-quoted phrase, "One small step for man, one giant step for mankind".
We take space travel for granted now, but back then it was an awesome achievement. When President Kennedy set the vision in 1963 that we were going to the moon by the end of the decade, it was an almost unbelievable proposition. At the time the technology had not been developed to support the vision, but Kennedy had faith in the ingenuity and creativity of our NASA scientists and engineers. He trusted that they would be able to figure it out. He set the vision and the rest is history.
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