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Journal Post

As we see and feel the changes that take place in our body/mind from coming to yoga class each week, there's often a gradual stirring to begin to practice on our own. Our yoga evolves beyond a class we look forward to once or twice a week, and into a regular home practice in which the benefits of our yoga only multiply. It's actually in a home practice that we discover the nuances of the Principles of Alignment, and begin to feel what we need more or less of. Both I and my fellow teachers are very often asked: how might I go about developing a well-rounded practice that fits into my already busy life?
Find out why gender-specific classes can provide an inspiring teaching experience while attracting an appreciate audence.
As teachers, we can be artists who sculpt experiences for our students through words we use to teach a pose, the music we play during class, or even the ways we decorate our studios. We can also create a more meaningful experience by opting to teach to targe audiences.
This is not a new concept. A glance at any studio's schedule offers us plenty of options: Basics, Level 2/3, Hot Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, Mysore, Meditation. Rarely, however, do we see options such as Women's Yoga or Men's Yoga listed.
Teaching to nonnative English speakers is challenging, but these tips will help you make sure your teaching transcends all language and cultural barriers.
Once, while teaching in Paris with a translator, Nischala Joy Devi, international teacher and author of The Secret Power of Yoga and The Healing Path of Yoga, was asked by an English-speaking student if she would return to teach there again. "There are certainly worse places I could come back to
than Paris," Devi replied, smiling. The translator delivered her response to the group and, upon seeing the ensuing sea of horrified faces, Devi stammered to the translator, "What did you say to them?"
Lull your students into deeper relaxation by integrating singing bowls to your teaching.
I sank into Savasana, wholeheartedly melting into stillness. Eyes closed, the once-distinct boundaries of my skin
dissolved while thoughts evaporated into a sleepy haze. Post-asana energy hummed and whirled through my limbs. My teacher sat in the front of the room, quiet, erect, cross-legged. With a singing bowl in hand, he circled the wooden wand around the bowl's rim, radiating a lullaby to the blissful yoginis in the room.
Those moments always felt like magic to me. Somehow the all-pervading sound of the bowl, like the mysterious
embrace of a whale's song, never failed to seduce me into deeper surrender.
A true artist can sense when he has achieved the perfect balance between tradition and innovation. In the category of "yoga rock stars" and kirtan ( a form of Indian devotional music) leaders, Jai Uttal is such an artist. I had heard his voice many times:bellowing through the speakers of the car stereo as I sped down the highway, whispering through the earphones of my iPod as I jetsetted overseas, buzzing softly in the lobby of yoga studios as I unfurled my mat. But meeting the face and the personality behind his victorious voice and eclectic melodies felt surprisingly like visiting with an old friend.
Maybe this post will be a little too forward, but in the interest of learning and growing I felt I had to share an experience from today. I know that as I continue on my journey to do good, live good, and be good, these karmas will continue to work themselves out and I will eventually find myself closer to my dharma. This is me, being the Capricous Yogi that I am.
Living in North America, we are part of a society that exports the flashy famousness of the newly discovered. We are collectively in a rush to unearth the next hidden secret and produce our very own million-dollar invention. This makes us brilliant innovators, forward thinking dreamers and daringly ambitious artists, and yet simultaneously, history-deprived, beauty-obsessed shopaholics haunting soulless strip malls sipping mass produced lattes. Is it no wonder then that we as nation seem to be in search of spirit? What else is left for America to invent than an authentic self in the midst of such rampant materialism?
Have you every noticed how noisy we all are? In the last twenty years, we have invented and now need iPods, iPhones, CDs, portable DVD players, louder motorcycles, super jet engines, walkie-talkies, reality TV shows, music videos and Starbucks.
Silence is like a dirty word in the modern vocabulary. When you sit with another person there is an almost irresistible urge to speak. Sometimes you converse about important subjects and sometimes you just talk. This meaningless, friendly chit-chat about light-hearted matters is a kind of social sport. Imagine the awkwardness of a first date where you sit together without this lively banter--a boring disaster.
I meet lots of yoga students who want to practice more often but just can't find the time. When I ask if they practice at home the answer is almost always, "No." Starting a home practice isn't really as daunting as you might think. One of the most important benefits is that you can do it when it fits your schedule. Below are some thoughts for how to get started.
Dear Family,
There are times in our lives when our problems seem so overwhelming we don't have any idea what to do next in any significant way - how to change our lives, how to address the biggest problems, how to heal the damage between us and our loved ones, how to motivate ourselves to even get out of bed to tackle each new day. Our prayers may be sincere but we may not be hearing any answers. We don't understand the Big Plan a loving God may have for why our lives are so hard, and we just don't have a clue as to what to do next.
Occasional periods of silence are recommended by every wisdom tradition. Modern life (and prison life) can be extremely noisy, and this constant noise can keep us from experiencing life as honestly or clearly as we may like. Sita and I have found great value in many periods of silence. For several years, each of us spent one day a week in silence. There are two main types of the practice of silence, and they are both very valuable in different ways.
Transcribed from a sermon Bo preached at the Ainsworth United Church of Christ in Portland, Oregon.
On June 17th, 1744, the commissioners from Maryland and Virginia negotiated a treaty with the Indians of the Six Nations at Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The Indians were invited to send their boys to William and Mary College. The next day they declined the offer as follows:
Anusara means "flowing with Grace" or "following your heart." Developed by John Friend, Anusara is a style of hatha yoga that encompasses the physical, mental, and spiritual dimensions of yoga.
Anusara Yoga is an exceptionally therapeutic system because it is founded on Universal Principles of Alignment that bring the body into balance. This specific alignment positions the joint and muscles for maximum stability, flexibility, and safety and optimizes the circulation of blood, vital energy and other internal fluids for the healthiest flow. Anusara also teahes 7 Loops & Spirals that act as fine-tuning dials for the energetic and structural alignment in the body.
I have discovered the secret of a happy life! It came to me again recently while vacuuming. I say "again" because we all know this truth, but most of us overlook it. My husband Dave and I were having friends over for dinner. He was cooking, and I was in charge of cleaning the house, not usually my favorite job. I put the Three Tenors on the CD player and cranked it up. As I vacuumed and listened to the music, I became totally immersed in the job, enjoying seeing the dust bunnies, pet hair, and various other interesting objects disappear into the vacuum cleaner. I continued cleaning for a couple of hours, singing away, marveling at the improvements appearing before my eyes.
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!
It is that time of year again... Time to come back deeply to ourselves. We shed our autumn skin and now is the time to be with what truly is. Winter, the most Yin time of Year, is Dark, Cold, and Emotional. It is also receptive, feminine, and intuitive.Traditionally this is a time for Retreat. Unfortunately, most of us find ourselves torn between gearing up for the holidays and physiologically slowing down. As we move towards the shortest day of the year, we encounter the Water Element of Winter; a time to nourish our deepest essences, gestating for the weeks leading back towards the light; a time of deep contemplation. What will you contemplate this season?
At this solstice time of year, we just wanted to say Thank You! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support over the last 5 years! It has been challenging to navigate the waters of new media and technology, but your support has made it all worth while. We look forward to serving you through another fantastic year in 2012! Please let us know how we can best be of service to you going forward. 
GaneshThe Solar New Year has returned again, not only ringing in a new year, but a new decade! It is a time most of us vow to rid ourselves of the excesses of the holidays in favor of resolutions for our highest expression of ourselves.
Last night we had dinner with our friend and musician, Alex Schein, who is currently recording in our studio. Alex uses his music to promote peace and raise awareness of international issues. He is a very uplifting individual. Inevitably, however, our dinner conversation turned toward current events and Alex introduced us to the increasingly common practice of fracking. Needless to say, we all became a little depressed. Alex, ever the orator, continued to be upbeat and encouraged us to get our stories out there.
My first cleanse was dogmatic, rigid and spartan. I appreciated learning this way because it gave me a reference point. What is the most strict way to cleanse and still survive? I was prepared for it, however. I was expecting it to be strict and I wanted it to be strict. I think it is important to learn the purist view before experimenting with what works for you on an individual basis. The first fast I experienced was under the care and tutelage of Hillary Adrian, Director of the Samui Dharma Healing Center. I traveled to study with her 4 times to cleanse for 8, 7, 10 and 14 days respectively.
We have now come to the midpoint of the year, the hottest time of the year, the longest days of the year, the peak of the summer. During these transitional times of year, is the ideal time to rest, cleanse, and reflect on where we are and where we see ourselves headed. Read this beautiful post written by iHanuman Yoga Teacher, Sara Avant Stover, which helps us to formulate an action plan for our goals, dreams and passions. We are happy to have accomplished three of our big goals this year.
May is the month we celebrate our mothers. It may seem strange to make that a plural reference, but for someone who lost her birth mother just 2 months before turning 13, I have had to learn what it means to be a mother from a community of women; sisters, aunts, teachers, colleagues and girlfriends.
Yoga has an almost addictive quality to it. If you start doing yoga, it starts doing you too. The search for knowledge, wisdom and truth morph into numerous shapes and forms along the inner journey. When you enter the world of yoga sometimes you'll even find a whole Indian performance awaiting you: harmonium, chanting, flowers, pujas, small women demonstrating yoga postures, deities blessing you, henna painting and vegetarians--it's a Bollywood show that draws you in.
I woke up Sunday morning to an email message from my friends who were visiting from California saying, "I am so sorry that your event got rained out...." It did rain for the Yogathon and Blissfest. Hard, torrential rain. In retrospect, I am so glad it did. On event day, at 10:15a.m. Saturday morning I took 3 steps on the field at Thunderbird stadium and my flip flops became 'slip slops'... It was a wet field worthy of a brutal rugby match or for a medieval Excalibur type battle, but hardly the type of weather that would ever inspire people to come practice yoga outdoors and listen to live music.
In quintessential west coast style, fifteen hundred people will gather together in Vancouver, BC to practice Yoga at the 5th Annual Yogathon and Blissfest on Saturday July 21, 2007 to raise money for Camp Moomba, an organization that provides Canadian children impacted by HIV/AIDS with an unforgettable summer camp experience.
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