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Journal Post

Today marks the halfway point between the summer solstice and the fall equinox. It's called Lamas and it signals the beginning of the harvest season. We are about to transition into Late Summer as we move beyond the peak of  summer. Before we do, take with you the lessons learned from your growth this year. Take some time to honor what you have accomplished before you begin to reap what you have sewn.
“Yoga is a science which liberates one's mind from the bondage of the body and leads it towards the soul." – BKS Iyengar, Tree of YogaMany scholars have searched for the date of the first reference to yoga, but BKS Iyengar reminds us in The Tree of Yoga, that Yoga, like Ayurveda, is apauruseya, not given by man. "Brahma is the Founder of Yoga” and also "Lord Siva is the Founder of Yoga, which he first taught to his wife, Parvati." (156). Yoga is one of the six orthodox systems of Indian philosophy, which was organized by Patanjali, in his classical work, the Yoga Sutras.“Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind”
Cool Down, Chill Out and Help Others! Everything feels as if it bursting at the seems right now. This is appropriate for Summer, the peak season for growth and maturity. Anyone having a hard time sitting still? We are knee-deep in our site upgrade and we are so CLOSE! When things are heating up, turn your thoughts to someone you can help. Show love and compassion for another. Take your attention off of yourself and notice the cooling, calming effect this has on your well-being.
We REALLY want to know. What do YOU want? April feels like the culmination of a great deal of work on many levels. We have made it through a long, challenging Winter where we spent time downsizing and taking inventory of what is working and what is not. We have made some hard decisions and have let go of what is no longer serving us. With the return of Spring is the Return of Hope. , the spiritual quality of the spring in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
 "Where women are respected, there god dwells. Where women are disregarded, there all deeds go in vain." - Manusmriti Tomorrow, March 8, is International Women's Day. On this one day we honor the achievements of women around the world. We also recognize the unfathomable violations that women and girls still face to their basic human rights. Please take some time to acknowledge and appreciate the women in your life - mothers, sisters, grandmothers, daughters, yourselves.
Did anyone else feel like they wanted to start this year over? Thank God for the Chinese New Year, the first new moon of the Lunar Year. 2013 is the year of the Water Snake.  The moon takes close to 13 months to travel around the Earth. This New Year speaks more to me than the arbitrary day, December 31, marking the Earth's revolution around the sun. Imbolc, the Return of the Light, has just passed and with it the fact that we made it to the halfway point between the first day of Winter and the first day of Spring.
Happy New Year! It is going to be another fantastic year for Yoga Media and Technology. We have so many new classes to share with you in the coming months. TODAY, Enjoy over 50 new Iyengar Yoga Classes with John Schumacher AND his free quarterly discussion on the question, "Is Yoga A Religion?" Look out for more yoga media coming soon.... Until then, be well. 
Sara Miles Pope Agelasto 
Love. Service. Devotion. Yoga.
We are so grateful for your support! iHanuman is going through many changes as we work to bring our updated media platform online. We look forward to unveiling our new site and all of the great content you have been waiting for. We just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to all of you who have supported us over the years. We are a small company with BIG ideas and we look forward to sharing some big news withyou over the coming weeks. We have also had many requests for more classes from John Schumacher. His latest classes will be available next month, so stay tuned for an update.
Samhain (pronounced Sow Wen) is the Celtic word for Summer's end. And indeed the shift from any hope for more warm weather has settled upon us. We can all feel the change that swept through the air these past several days, reminding us who is really in charge. Tonight we don our masks and costumes to protect us from evil spirits that might be lurking about as it is said that the veils between worlds are thinnest this time of year. Many traditions choose to honor their ancestors and those that have passed during this vulnerable time.
Om Shanti. Shanti. Shanti. Peace. Peace. Peace. We have been a little out of touch with our newsletter subscribers this summer. The firey energy of summer called us to create and continue our work on iHanuman 3.0. Now that the summer is winding down and we transition to fall, we turn our energies toward harvesting the fruits of our efforts. As we put our new website into place, we spent time observing all of YOUR growth and movement during this time. So much has come into being since we launched the first version of iHanuman in the Fall of 2006. We have taken what we have learned and are so excited to offer it up to you all.
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.
When and how can you get your students to commit to one practice- and should you even try?
Walk down the street and witness the shapes and sizes of pedestrians, the colors and makes of passing cars, and the dazzling array of merchandise in shop windows. Abundance bombards us from every angle.
This smorgasbord of options also seeps into yoga. Ashtanga, Anusara, Bikram, Iyengar, Sivananda - the list goes on.
At a certain point you need to make some important decisions. Just as you determined whether of not you would be a vegetarian, how you would earn a living, or in what neighborhood you'd live, must you also settle on one style of yoga?
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.
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 9:00AM 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 Seniors at 9:30AM held at Blue Ridge Yoga Center in Charlottesville, VA
* Thursday Level I/II at 9:00AM held at Rockfish Valley Community Center in Nellysford, VA
* Thursday Level I/II at 6:00PM held at Trinity Episcopal Church Parish Hall in Arrington, VA
After a month's hiatus, we return to the story of Yoga in the US. In the July newsletter we looked at one of the unsung female Yoga pioneers of the 20th century, Sita Devi Yogendra, and I promised you then more about our female trail blazers. So this month we'll visit with a woman whose life spanned the entire 20th century, and whose followers lovingly called her the "First Lady of Yoga."
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.
Do you ever find yourself holding on so tightly to a desired outcome that you are a filled with anxiety, tension or blind ambition? Have you ever wanted to do a yoga posture so badly so that you are literally obsessing about it and can talk of almost nothing else? This is perhaps the definition of unhealthy attachment at its core. Yet at the same time the driven mind directed at a task at hand is one of the most powerful tools we have to change our lives. So the question then becomes not how to rid ourselves of our desires or our drive but instead how to train our mind to work towards our desires without the unnecessary tension of attachment.
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."
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.
John is featured in the Yoga Journal Asana Column
When it came to the fitness benefits yoga can or can't provide, yoga teacher John Schumacher had heard it all. A student of B. K. S. Iyengar for 20 years and founder of the Unity Woods studios in the Washington, D.C. area, Schumacher was convinced yoga provides a complete fitness regime. But many people, even some of his own students, disagreed. Yoga might be good for flexibility or relaxation, they'd say, but to be truly fit, you had to combine it with an activity like running or weight lifting.
Schumacher just didn't buy it.
I have mentioned before that I lost my mother at an young age. It was a devastating time to lose her, but from my perspective, any time is devastating. In an ideal world, your mother is the one who is there to pick you up when you fall and tell you that everything is going to be all right. She is your biggest fan and she is always looking out for what is best for you. I know this is the ideal and even those of you whose mother is alive and well, did not have this experience. But what if we could turn this around and treat each other with the kindness of the archetypal mother?
Happy Spring! Daffodils, Crocus, Forsythia and Peach Blossoms are already in bloom in the mountains of central Virginia! After months recharging our yin energy this winter, nature's feminine side is beginning to show its flowery wiles. Between now and Mother's Day is the time to infuse ourselves with the Feminine. iHanuman started off Women's History month with Women's Yoga Expert, Bobby Clennell. Next week we join Elise Miller for her training on Yoga for Scoliosis at the breathtaking Satchidananda Ashram in Buckingham, Virginia. We will be sharing recordings from both of those inspiring women's workshops very soon!
In my yoga classes this Winter, we have been practicing poses to restore our Kidney Energy. The Kidneys govern the Winter Water Element and when water is out of balance, it can become stagnant. This leads energetically to feelings of depression. Interestingly, the poses we practice for the kidneys are backbends, which also lift and open the heart. This lifting of the heart, energetically, has the same effect. It places the Heart in its true energetic seat, as the Emperor. The Emperor rules what is in the best and highest good for the Kingdom as a whole. When we act from what is our truest and highest good, we are benefiting ourselves, our families, our communities and our entire world. Imagine that!
Credit: Woven - Montauk Beach Finally March has arrived and we can begin to wake ourselves up from our long winter's nap. In March, we clear away the clutter from the windy cold winter to allow the new green sprouts to show their color. We plant seeds for what we want to grow and blossom this spring and summer and prune the last of the dead limbs. What remains? What are we bringing forth into the new year to nourish the seeds and tender green shoots? And who are the people in our lives that will support us on this journey?
GhandiAfter a month of gratitude, it is time to answer the question, What Impact can the practice of Yoga have on the World? In the spirit of giving, we have several Complimentary Pieces of audio for you to help answer this question. Our feature this month is a discussion with Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher, John Schumacher. John tackles the question, " Can Yoga Save the World?"
On day 8 of my cleanse, I was blessed to attend one of two days of a workshop with Judith Hanson Lasater, author of several books including, Relax and Renew: Restful Yoga for Stressful Times,Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life, and her most recent book which I am dying to read, What We
If you need some inspiration to reinvigorate your daily yoga practice, September is a great month to start.
AHHH August! August brings the beginning of my favorite season of the year. The summer months are too hot and the winter months are too cold, but the end of summer and early fall are just right. My emotions are more balanced, my physical body feels more comfortable and everything just seems to flow more easily. Being out of balance can be very uncomfortable and unsettling. There are seasons of the year, cycles of the moon, transits in the sky and just periods in our lives that can bring us slightly out of balance. Two of these periods of life are Adolescence and Menopause.
John SchumacherHappy Summer Solstice! Just as we asked you to invoke the goddess last month, the longest day of year begs us to inspire the fire inside that is masculine energy. Yang energy is strong, aggressive and passionate. It is the fiery energy of summer. Spiritually, we can practice tapas or discipline, austerity and consistency. Burn your internal fire to overcome difficulties and purify yourself to cleanse the toxins and feel your personal best level of health and vitality.
A couple of weekends ago, I attended a workshop with the illustrious Bobby Clennell. Bobby wrote AND illustrated The Woman's Yoga Book: Asana and Pranayama for All Phases of the Menstrual Cycle.
Like many Sanskrit words in the Yoga lexicon, the word guru has both a literal and symbolic meaning. Literally it means "heavy, weighty; heavy in the stomach (as food), difficult to digest; excessive, difficult, hard; important, serious, momentous; valuable, highly prized; venerable, respectable." The guru is the venerable "weighty one," heavy with wisdom, that's both highly prized but at times difficult to digest, often because teaching seems to contradict everything we hold true, or because we're told things about ourselves we don't especially want to hear.
People who have never practiced yoga before often ask me to teach them a yoga pose. The Iyengar student in me cannot help but start by teaching Tadasana. People are often astounded by how much integrity and poise there is when conscious attention is brought to the simple act standing. They are amazed at how much attention can be brought to the four corners of the feet, the inner line of the legs, the lift of the knee caps and the release of the tailbone. Once we build the foundation. we move to the upper body and take a deep inhale to engage the abdomen, lift the sternum and lift and roll the shoulders back.
Sometimes we get carried away with backbends. They tend to be fun and energetic poses, but we also need to remember that it is still wintertime and we are slowly coming out of our caves of hibernation and what we often need is a restorative yoga practice. Most of us need this form of yoga practice much more often than we like to admit. We can become wrapped up in the physicality of yoga poses and how yoga can make us stronger and more flexible and more virile. But yoga also restores us to balance and helps us relax and truly rest our western overactive minds and bodies.
dhanurasana (bow posture) Dhanurasana, or Bow Pose, is a fantastic back-bending pose for opening the chest and shoulders and strengthening the back. This pose is challenging as it reminds how important the legs are in back-bending poses. In addition to the strength in the back required for backbends, there is even more strength required in the legs, particularly the quadriceps.
It is still cold here in Central Virginia. We have had an unusually precipitous Winter. Personally, I enjoy the change of seasons after several years living in a tropical climate in Southeast Asia. This Winter we have been challenged to slow down, go inside, reflect, meditate and truly hibernate. This can be difficult for those of us who prefer the growth of the Spring Season or the Fire of the Summer Season.
Little Altars EverywhereMy husband and I just returned from our honeymoon in Greece. As a novice traveling in Europe, everything was magnificent. I have been fortunate to have traveled extensively in Southeast Asia and Africa over the last decade and always knew I would explore Europe later in life.
Lighten Up Yoga, located at 60 Biltmore Avenue, announces FREE YOGA DAY and Fundraiser for Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project Saturday September 12th Open to all students, the classes are an opportunity to learn about yoga in a safe and supportive environment and support the local farms that nurture and sustain us. In the spirit of community, Lighten Up will be collecting donations for ASAP. Clear your mind and connect with heart at Lighten Up Yoga while helping this great cause.
My thanks to our conference co-coordinators and my dear friends, Patricia Walden and Linda DiCarlo, for their tireless efforts and their deep devotion that made this conference possible. Thanks also to all you workers and volunteers, in front of and behind the scenes for your invaluable and essential assistance. And, of course, thanks to all of you attendees for being here. Without you there wouldn't be any conference.
Colorful TurbinsAhhh August! Summer begins to come to a close; a bittersweet feeling. But this also means the cool winds and vibrant colors of Fall are on their way. iHanuman is busy upgrading our website to offer our teachers and students new web features and communication tools, We hope to roll out our new features next month, September, so please stay tuned.
Don't Forget to PracticeNamaste! As the year comes to a close, we can already feel the potential energy and hope building for the new year. In the spirit of the holidays, iHanuman would like to offer you a few end-of-the-year gifts in hopes of reducing your stress levels!
John Schumacher in Arm BalanceNamaste! Ahhh August! In the Southeastern US its as if the whole earth has given a sigh of relief. Although, it cooled off,�Â�  it has been so dry that we are beginning to lose leaves! A reminder that it has been a fiery hot summer and we need to explore cooling practices and keep hydrated to stay in balance. iHanuman has stayed out the heat this last month to bring you a new home page! Let us know what you think!
Summer SolsticeHappy Summer Solstice! This week marks the longest days of the year. A time to open your heart to the magnificence of the sun and the masculine energies of this heavenly body. In this issue, we share with you a new feature with one of our favorite male teachers, John Schumacher and his thoughts on Yoga today after 35 years in the field and how his chosen method, Iyengar Yoga, benefits the global yoga community.
Spring DahliaSpring is on the way! Breathing deeply feels like the right thing to do. Continuing to stay centered from the internal reflection of winter and beginning to feel the expansion of spring as the days stay lighter longer and the sun feels a little bit warmer each day. Spring is a great time to cleanse the body with natural herbs, teas and water and a great time to renew your commitment to your regular daily practice.
National Heart MonthFebruary is National Heart Month and iHanuman would like to promote heart health through Yoga this month. The heart is a muscle and likes to be exercised. Invigorate your heart through standing poses, like Warrior 1 , 2, and 3 (Virabhadrasana I, II, III). Open your heart with backbends like Camel, Bridge and Wheel (Ustrasana, Setu Bandha, Urdhva Dhanurasana). Practice Loving Kindness Meditation and don't forget to tell someone you love them. We love you!
Thanks for helping to build the bridge with us into 2008.
Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja (BKS) Iyengar was born on December 14, 1918. From the Iyengar Association fo the United States:
You are invited to join the Iyengar Community in the United States in our grandest, most glorious celebration ever! A MALA FOR THE GURU
This Mala, or garland, is our offering
of love and affection, respect and memory
in honor of the 90th Birthday
of Sri B.K.S. Iyengar, our beloved Guruji.
BKS Iyengar, or Guruji, as he is affectionately called, has begun a generous rehabilitation project of his childhood village in Bellur, India. Guruji turns 88 this year and both he and his daughter, Geeta, celebrate birthdays this month, December. In honor of their birthdays and the generous contributions they have made to the development of yoga in both India and the West, they are asking for help with raising funds for their Rehabilitation Project in Bellur. The project consists of four main fundraising areas: Education, Social, Health, and Cultural. You can read more about the specifics of the project and how to get involved on the National Iyengar Yoga Associations Website.
hatha yoga teacher foundation course
chiang mai, thailand
nov 20 - dec 17, 2006
This course will give you an opportunity to acquire the skills and confidence necessary to teach yoga. By the end of the 28 days you will be able to incorporate postures, breath awareness, meditation, chanting, scriptural and self-studies, safe biomechanics and an attitude of service into creative and adaptive teachings. This foundational training will emphasize deepening your personal practice, as getting to know yourself better is the source of inspiring teachings.
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