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Journal Post

Can we finally begin to breathe a sigh of relief? July was unbearably hot. August invites a cooling down period or at least tells us there is an end in sight! We kept visions of cool ponds, pools, rivers and oceans everywhere we went. In southwestern Virginia, we were lucky to receive plenty of rain in the spring and early summer, but now everything is dry and hot!
Wow Friends! We are almost halfway through the year and there is so much to celebrate! The summer solstice is right around the corner and with it the peak growth and full blooms of all of our hard work this year. The first official day of summer is also the day that the United Nations chose to celebrate International Yoga Day! There are events happening globally. It is an opportune time to be with your community to celebrate the gifts of yoga and share those benefits with others.
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.
Memorial Day marked the unofficial start of the summer season. Summer ignites the fire element. The warmth of fire has the power to bring us out of the contraction of the cold dark winter into a state of expansion and joy. We have more energy to accomplish our tasks and more hours of light within which to accomplish them. Fire is known for its dynamism, transformation and passion, but also gives us the capacity to feel joy, compassion, empathy as well as deep sadness, because only a strong heart can truly feel deep sadness.
It's Officially Summer! AND the International Day of Yoga! In honor of these two special events, we are offering some sequences for you to enjoy on International Yoga Day, as well as a discount in our download store from today until the end of June!
Are we finally on the downswing from the peak of a very firey and fiesty summer heat wave? As tensions and frustrations flair, we are truly called upon to utilize our yoga practice to cool us down. Two of the primary ways you choose to counterbalance the heat depend on your personal temperament. You can sit calmly and quietly, practicing slow deep breathing or pranayamas specific to cooling you down, like Sitali (sheet - ah - lee) pranayama or practice a quieting asana practice focused on forward bends and other cooling poses. The alternative is to get active, move and raise your internal heat .
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.
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.
Encinitas holds the distinction of being the American birthplace of Ashtanga Yoga. David Williams began teaching here in the early seventies and sponsored Pattabhi Jois and his son Manju to come here for the first time in 1975. Brad Ramsey and Gary Lopedota, two of David's students, opened their own yoga shala, called the Ashtanga Yoga Nilayam, after David moved to Maui.
Here's a delicious and refreshing summer treat. While it's dairy and sugarfree, it's certainly high in the yum factor.
Peel and freeze very ripe bananas in a plastic freezer bag. (Very ripe banana skins have no green, they have black or brown marks all over, and the stem is brown or snaps back effortessly.) Freeze a minimum of 8 hours. Depending upon your freezer, it may take at least 12 hours.
Place in a food processor, Champion Juicer or Green Star Juicer, using the blank plate. 1 to 2 bananas is a normal serving. If you using a blender or processor, use a little fruit or berry juice.
The summer after I graduated from college I headed off to fulfill a dream -- I traveled solo through Europe for two months. Sauntering on Parisian streets; sipping vino in Italy; snuggling under down comforters in Switzerland and Austria; and noshing on pastries in Belgium, and Prague -- I was finally free of all the obligations that my schooling had entailed and was embarking on the path of my adult life.
At least that's how things seemed on the outside.
The last day of school used to mark my favorite day of the year (second to my birthday, of course). On a humid mid-June afternoon, with the shrill ring of the final dismissal bell, my daily regime of studies would dissolve like a Popsicle on hot pavement. The expanse of summer vacation stretched out in front of me, beckoning with promises of suntans, starry nights, bare feet, lazy mornings, and, if I was lucky, summer loves.
As an adult, estranged from the rhythms of a school calendar, responsibilities last year-round. Now my own five senses, rather than a school bell, cue me to break out the flip-flops.
During the dog days of summer we're familiar with the usual methods of cooling off: AC, dips in cool lakes, watermelon, and tall glasses of iced tea or lemonade often do the trick.
Yogis, however, use yet another way; and it's one that we doesn't require paying an electricity bill or going on vacation.
We can cool down through our very own breath. That's right, one particular form of yogic breathing, called sitali (pronounced sheet-ah-lee) in Sanskrit, cools down the body when it's feeling overheated, as well as the mind and heart, when fiery emotions like anger and jealousy arise.
Here's how to do it:
To ensure both peace of mind and a strong immune system through the winter months, find ways to connect and harmonize with your surroundings now. One of the best ways to do this is by eating foods that are in season. Every single food that exists-from a coffee bean to an ear of corn-has a precise medicinal effect to assist the body's equilibrium as we pass from season to season.
Hanging in my office's south-facing window is a prism, a flat plate of glass about four inches in diameter. For half the year, in the spring and summer, the Sun is high in the sky and the angle of its rays too steep to filter through the glass and into my room. Effectively out of sight then, as the old adage has it, it's also usually out of mind, though occasionally, when nudged by a breeze blowing through the open window, it taps against the pane ... clack, clack, clack ... and reminds me it's still hanging around. This morning though when I opened the slatted blinds that cover the window, a hint of rainbow sprawled across my floor, not nearly the full spectrum, just a long uneven smudge of red.
For many of us, summer is a time that brings back pleasant memories of the carefree days of our youth.  These were the times before we had to take responsibility for attending to the details, such as paying the bills on time, that keep the utilities turned on and life flowing smoothly.
Now is a time for embracing the Darkness.  In a literal sense, the nights have become longer and colder; in a figurative sense, Hallowmas and the days that follow are the time of year when the veil between our world and the underworld is most transient, and when we are best able to shed light not only on our ancestral spirits, but also on the darkest corners of our own soul.
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."
Monday & Friday, 6:30am-7:30am, July 28-August 29
This past summer I turned 60 years old, a milestone age, I feel. Ten years ago, when I turned 50 a friend gave me a button that said,
"Youth is a Gift of Nature;
Age is a Work of Art".
I still have the button on my bulletin board as a reminder of that bit of wisdom. Since we are all getting older it's something worth considering. As we move along in years, I think the pertinent question to ask ourselves, is not how many years have we lived, but what are we making of our lives? And how can we make our lives a work of art? How can we turn our lives into a masterpiece?
Most people know yoga as a physical exercise system that increases flexibility and teaches them how to relax. However, yoga is a comprehensive discipline that encompasses principles for living in the world and practices to deepen spiritual life, in addition to achieving physical well-being. Yoga is a nourishing practice on all levels!
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's not too late to start over! Did you rise on January 1, 2012! with the best of intentions and then life just started to take over and you lost some steam? This is just a reminder that you can start your new year over anytime you want! In fact, it may feel more authentic to you to take this time now between the full moon and the upcoming new moon to reset your intentions. This is when the Chinese New Year is celebrated on the first new moon of the year.
We Are Under the Hood of the NEW iHanuman Website. We have a little more work to do, but we have DEFINITELY been Out and About recording new Yoga Media! This summer we Dreamed and Grew. Now it's Time to Reap, Harvest and Let Go! The Autumn season reminds us that we CANNOT do EVERYTHING and We CAN let go of our own timeline to open to something BIGGER. We need a little more time to unveil our NEW site, but we hope you will PRACTICE PATIENCE with us.
Summer is the Pitta or Fire Season of the Year. The time to fully blossom and express ourselves. The time when everything seems to be happening at once! Those of us who tend to run hot need to slow down and cool off. Others may use this time of year to purify by heating the body up to perspire and cool down.  Luckily the practice of Yoga Asana (poses) and Pranayama (breath awareness) offer us ample practices to chill. 

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?
Today we shifted our life around literally and figuratively. Literally because we are moving spring and summer clothes up to the attic in favor of the warmer variety.�Â�  We did so just in time for our first heavy frost last night of 25 degrees! And I am just about to receive many boxes from my childhood which were waiting for us to create space. In some senses it feels like a grandiose task. Figuratively because this is what happens when you move things around.
Attitude of GratitudeNovember is Gratitude Month at iHanuman. Our intention is to make gratitude a daily practice, and in an effort to set that practice in motion we are encouraging you to join us by posting something that you are grateful for every day during the month of November.
"Good things come to those who wait, but often as a result of those who hustle."
~ A Taste of China Fortune Cookie
As much as we all hate to admit it, summer has wound down. However, as I mentioned last month, the late summer season into Fall are my favorite seasons. I say seasons because Ayurveda, the science of Life or sister science to Yoga, claims there are six seasons. The additional seasons are the late summer/early fall and the late winter/early spring.
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.
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.
PeppermintWe have had a heat wave here in Central Virginia and it is peak growing season, so there is little time for rest during the daylight hours. All of a sudden, everything is growing with gusto ( including the weeds ) so you have to stay on top of your garden or July is overwhelming. We took some advice from a local herb farmer, who suggests harvesting your first herb crop now.
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.
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.
BRRR! It sure is cold out. Winter has finally arrived and looks like it is here to stay. Wintertime is a time when we are asked to be particularly smart and intelligent. Why? Because if you are not, you can freeze to death! Now, thankfully, most of us are not likely in a position to freeze to death but we do run the risk of leaking heat into the cold outside and therefore losing precious energy. Our immune systems can be easily taxed so we must preserve our energy to sustain us through the cold months ahead. We are no longer graced by the bounty of the summer harvest, so we must dig into our root cellars and preserved foods to carry us through.
John Schumacher is making headlines in the Washington, DC metropolitan area for his pioneering efforts to bring Yoga to the area 30 years ago this year! Watch a short News Clip of John on Washington Business Tonight and then go visit him at his Bethesda, Maryland Studio. If you do not reside in the area, remember you can Practice Yoga Daily with John Schumacher by downloading his classes. His Spring 2009 class recordings are now available through our download store and Summer 2009 will be available in December.
Fall LeavesSeptember has arrived and is nearing time to put away our summer clothes in preparation for the chillier days and nights of Fall. The change of seasons from summer to fall is the ideal time to "Take Stock" for the Wintertime: assess how we have grown over the summer months, put aside what no longer serves us and begin to save some of our energy for the long winter months ahead.
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.
Lord ShivaHappy July Friends! iHanuman has been busy this month working on upgrading our website to offer our teachers and students new web features and communication tools, so we do not have a new feature this month, but we do have 6 new video classes with Anusara Yoga Teachers Betsey Downing, Ph.D and Jaye Martin.
Come immerse yourself in the practice of Ashtanga Yoga with David Garriques and the Charlottesville Ashtanga community !
The 6th Annual Ashtanga Summer Immersion is divided into three parts, held at Belmont and The Barn at Split Rock Farm:
Part 1: Daily Practice
Sunday, July 13 - Sunday, July 27:
Mondays - Fridays: Mysore Practice, 6:30-8:30am, at Belmont
Sundays: Led Primary Series, 9:30-11:30am, at The Barn
Part 2: In-Depth Study and Teacher Training
Monday, July 14 - Friday, July 25; 11:00am-4:00pm, at The Barn
Valentine's DayNamaste and Happy New Year Friends! The New Year brings the opportunity for shedding the old aspects of ourselves and our lives that no longer serve us. This allows us to make room for the new growth that comes with the warmer winds and longer days of Spring. iHanuman has been in hibernation this Winter to develop our media platform which will be released later this summer. Stay Tuned!
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!
Eagle PoseNamaste! Our Yoga Community in Central Virginia holds an Annual Summer Yoga Immersion. This seems to be what the height of summer in July portends: Immersing yourself in something you love, like yoga, so you can come into your full bloom like a stunning sunflower. Harness the fire and heat of summer to express yourself to the fullest.
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.
National Institutes of HealthMay Day! May Day! Sorry to sound alarmist, just trying to get your attention! It seems to be what the earth is trying to tell us this month. Wake up and bloom, flowers! Wake up and smell the flowers, people. Just wake up! There is much to celebrate in May.
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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