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Journal Post

April is a special time of year. Not only do we celebrate Hanuman’s birthday with the first full moon of April, but April heralds the beginning of spring and even include’s one of my favorite holidays, Earth Day! Spring is characterized by the wood element, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. The wood element is about the energy to take action. This energy is present in all of the beautiful flower buds bursting everywhere. Now is the time to take action, to use the wood energy of spring to plant the seeds for what we hope to recover in the fall.
Understand how yoga teacher training in India could be a transforming experience through a curriculum of interesting activities of yoga and meditation.
“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.
For thousands and thousands of years the Yoga sages have observed and taught their students that the mind is by nature "outward-turning." That is, it tends to flit about from thought to thought capriciously and from subject to subject like a cork bouncing about in the open sea. The trouble with that is some places the mind bounces into are whirlpools of non-constructive thinking. And as you know, many thought patterns bring with them accompanying emotions -- some of which are disturbing and even debilitating.

  Good health and happiness are our birthright. Don’t trade it away.   According to Yoga sages, the three main causes of disease are stress, toxins, and bad eating habits.

Here are some good eating habits advised by the sages:
Let's be sensible about eating and fasting.
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.
Over twenty years ago I walked into my first Ashtanga yoga class, a fairly stressed-out, exhausted, toxic, and depressed individual. An hour and a half later, I walked out, feeling relaxed, energized, happy, and cleansed from the inside out. Ever since that first class I've been fascinated by this transformative power of the practice, what I call the alchemy of Ashtanga yoga.
Welcome to iHanuman: Love Service Devotion Yoga. We are an online community of yoga teachers dedicated to serving our students through new media. We have created a bridge between students, teachers and the ancient teachings of yoga. Please check back often for new information and updates. In the meantime, you may want to browse Our Community of Teachers or listen to audio and video of Our Latest Features or perhaps browse and Download Audio and Video Classes in Our Download Store.
Thanks for helping to build the bridge with iHanuman.
Namaste
Have you been in a class at Willow Street where your teacher set the theme of the class as "change"? In our practice of yoga, we experience change in many ways, from the mat to what we take from the mat into our daily lives. Whether planned or unexpected, change permeates the flow of life. Change is the one thing we can count on.
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?
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.
Life is good. As free, joyful, and creative expressions of the One, we are blessed to be embodied in this life. Life is a magnificent gift of the Divine, not some sort of karmic punishment, nor something we need to transcend. Indeed, it is through our limited physical form that we are able to experience our Unlimited Being.
India! How can one begin to describe the experience of two weeks in this challenging, energetic and sacred land? Eight adventurous students, plus my husband, John, daughter Kate and I, embarked on our second Yoga Pilgrimage to the foothills of the Himalayas in December 2007.
Landing in the New Delhi airport after a 16-hour flight, we were immediately confronted with new and strange sights, sounds and smells. With our large bags stuffed into and on top of the small taxis, we were driven to a Delhi hotel for our first night in India.
As the yoga boom continues to grow and new studios pop up everywhere, the question arises of how to offer classes in order to appeal to both new and experienced students. Yoga studios usually choose one of two options for class registration. One option is class cards, where the student pays for a specific number of classes over a certain time period. This is often seen as most convenient for the student, as they can go to any class on the schedule without committing to any specific class.
Not long ago, I was troubled to read in the Washington Post that local hospitals are having to expand to accommodate increasing numbers of aging, ailing Baby Boomers - a generation of which I and many of Willow Street's students are a part. We're living longer than our parents did, and of course we want to grow older gracefully. Yet even as health care is one of our highest concerns - as it is for people young and old - right now, we're most worried about our pocketbooks and retirement plans!
The latest buzz about Chatt town is Twitter (I had no idea what it was until last week either). One can sign up for free at twitter.com and then collect friends (in this case called followers) to whom you can send short text messages via cell phone. For example yesterday as I was getting ready to go to the studio, I sent a message that I was getting ready to go teach my 10:30 am beginners class and added: Come on down. Maybe as my network grows I can use twitter to encourage people to come to ClearSpring Yoga. But so far I only have 3 followers, hahaha.
I write this from the vantage point of 37,000 feet above our earth, looking both up at the bluest of blue skies and down at cloud patterns of marshmallow fluff, and am seized with a sense of gratitude for the supreme beauty of our planet, and all that is in my life since I embarked on a spiritual path over 30 years ago.
Finding "the deeper pull of what you truly love" is the underbelly of what I teach. A lot of people might think it is self-indulgent to follow our passion, to work when we want to work, to rest when we need rest. But following our heart's deepest desire energizes us to "work tirelessly for the greatest good." Instead of struggling through our days trying to meet a set of ill-defined standards, waiting for things to get better, we can LIVE. But we have to choose to live free. The moment won't demand it. Life won't say to us, "You must be here, you must enjoy yourself, you must take advantage of every opportunity to choose joy." We have to do our part. We have to meet life part way.
OK, everyday is mother's day, please don't get so affected by Hallmark's marketing and propaganda, and if you do cave in and buy something, try to make it a sustainable, conscious, earth-friendly purchase (hint: massage gift certificate! yoga workshop!).
A good friend of mine (and revered yoga master) recently suggested that we adjust our students like they were our mothers, (not friends, siblings, or lovers). This was to encourage a neutrality and gentleness to the hands-on adjustment, so it is never done without awareness.
Warm your heart with the softness of a loving thought for billions of years of peace, prosperity and bliss for our children's children. Praise and bless them as peaceful, loving and evolved beings who live in an enlightened and sustainable society. This loving thought will make it so!
Remember, so much of who we are is conditioning. Media, family, culture all pressure us into conformity and consumerism during this time of year (even some yoga centers with enticing ads like 10% off!). However, being a conscious yogi, you can reduce stress greatly during this time with these reminders:
During the time I write this, it is Thanksgiving, a time of thankfulness. I don't think we stop enough to remember how blessed we are. We (assuming this email goes out to residents of the US) are so privileged, it is really amazing. We have access to clean water, food anytime anywhere, I cannot remember ever knowing someone who truly was hungry, ever! From a yogic standpoint, perhaps we are all souls who chose this time (20th century) and this place (good ole USA) to grow closer to God. How can we remember to do that when abundance is shoved down our throats? We can make small changes in our purchases, our choices, our words.
Breathing In, it's the very first act of life outside of the womb. Breathing Out, it's the very last thing we do before we die. In-between that first in-breath and final out-breath are millions of opportunities to remember this powerful energy. The yogis call it Prana: that which is everywhere, connecting us all; and on a smaller scale - that energy which moves the breath throughout our bodies. But what most people don't realize is the power of breath can increase or decrease energy, improve health and bodily functions, and reduce stress. A quick Google search can show you statistics, but experience is really the only way to go with Pranayama, the practice of breathing.
Samtosha is the Sanskrit term for contentment - it is one of the guidelines of a Yogi seeking union with God. On a daily basis, there are a million opportunities for me to practice this, (enough to eat, enough sleep, enough this, enough that, enough). But there are some bigger feeling events happening that challenge my ability to find contentment as easily as I do when I stop eating when I am full, (instead of cleaning the plate).
This is a question I have been getting more and more of lately, so I think I will write a bit...
Until the age of 45, Bill McKeever had always been in the best of health. A student of Buddhism since the age of 21, a Yale graduate, the former director of Karmê Chöling, the former vice president of Naropa University, a Shambhala meditation teacher, and the father of four sons, Bill was not the type of person you would expect to be diagnosed with the degenerative neurological disorder known as Parkinson Disease (PD).Yet when his right hand began to inexplicably tremble nine years ago, Bill knew that something was amiss.
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.
Learn how to use your personal challenges to find your authentic voice, fortify your teachings, and inspire your students.
By Sara Avant Stover
Amy Ippoliti, a senior certified Anusara Yoga teacher based in Boulder, Colorado, felt vulnerable and fragile as she attempted to pull herself together to teach in New York City following September 11, 2001.
"Despite my own grief, I tried to acknowledge the pain everyone felt and uplift them in the face of such madness," she says.
Greetings from Denver, where life is hot, busy, and good. The city is teeming with visitors from all over the world; and if there is anywhere that needs yoga right now, this is certainly it!
I just finished my third raw chocolate and superfoods truffle here at the Huffington Post Oasis at Denver's National Convention.
As a yogi, the question is no longer, "What advanced pose can I do?", but "Can I walk my talk?"
In other words, can you live your yoga?
This is the challenge and the opportunity. Especially here at the DNC, where wheeling and dealing is the name of the game and the decisions of a few affect many.
Opening the Conversation
At a dinner party two months ago a friend brought a controversial (and important) topic to a table of yogis.
"How is everyone planning on getting involved in the elections this year?" he probed.
Last night I attempted to stay up past my bedtime to attend an Etown event here in Denver, featuring some of my faves like James Taylor and Ani DiFranco.
Unfortunately, after a full day at the DNC I couldn't manage to keep my eyes open past the first third of the concert. On the ride back to Boulder, my boyfriend Peter (bless his heart for agreeing to chauffeur me home early), attempted to boost my spirits by reminding me of yoga's promise.
I could transform my nearly blinding fatigue by shifting my focus, he urged.
"Can you tap into the bigger picture?"
Yoga as Usual in the Oasis
I almost forgot to brush my teeth this morning. Dishes are piling up in my sink; and for the first time in a long while, I didn't make my bed today.
Clearly, despite my best attempts to stay grounded, the DNC frenzy is having its way with me.
While this week has been electrifying, intense, and deeply inspiring, I will be happy to return to real life tomorrow. Simple acts like eating breakfast at home and sitting on my own meditation cushion (rather than the seat of the BX bus) seem like long-lost friends at this point. A lot has happened in four days.
We live in a universe of infinite possibility.
That's why last night, along with 80,000 other enthusiasts, I did the wave in a football stadium and swished an American flag through the air for the first time since the Memorial Day parade in the 3rd grade.
As an American, as a yogini, and as an ordinary person who believes in the immortal goodness of the human spirit, I went to Invesco Field last night to participate in history.
My journey there was indeed a pilgrimage- riddled with doubt, despair, dehydration, blisters, sunburn, resilience, and, of course, some raw truffles that I smuggled with me from the Oasis.
Encourage your students to develop a home practice-and
stick with it.By Sara Avant Stover
I moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand, from New York City when I
was 21. I had been practicing yoga for three years, attending
group classes four times a week. When I moved, though,
things changed. Chiang Mai's yoga scene didn't compare to
the abundant supply of classes I had grown so used to in
New York. If I wanted to keep practicing, I had to do it alone.
Forced by circumstance to foster a home practice, my
relationship with yoga quickly deepened and became more
intimate, more connected. Equipped with a solid foundation
We can all relate to eating from a paper bag in the car during rush-hour traffic or gobbling down a snack bar while running to catch the train. Nowadays, it is easy to neglect the sacredness of our food. But the quality of foods that you eat, and the attention that you give to the act of eating, deeply affect your health and consciousness.
Over time I am realizing that just because I am a yogini doesn't mean that I always have to look, act, or feel happy. Far from it. Rather, to be a yogini means being what is true. Not always easy in a culture where the answer to the question "How are you?" is most always followed by a perfunctory "Fine," even if you may just be having a bad day.
Over time I am realizing that just because I am a yogini doesn't mean that I always have to look, act, or feel happy. Far from it. Rather, to be a yogini means being what is true. Not always easy in a culture where the answer to the question "How are you?" is most always followed by a perfunctory "Fine," even if you may just be having a bad day.
Learn how seeking constructive criticism from more experienced teachers can improve your teaching skills.
By Sara Avant Stover
At one point several years ago, Elena Brower, Anusara Yoga teacher and owner of New York City's Vira Yoga, received letters of constructive, critical feedback from two of her teachers-both on the same day.
While this initially ignited her inner critic and bruised her selfesteem, she soon came to realize how fortunate she was to have received such wise and attentive care from her trusted mentors.
"It ultimately brought more clarity to my teaching and gave me more respect for my teachers and more trust in myself," Brower says.
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?"
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.

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