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Journal Post

It's not what is poured into a student that counts, but what is planted.
- Linda Conway It is awe-inspiring to watch how a sequence of poses can infuse students with energy, or calm them down, or engage their full attention, or invoke a deep relaxation response. The way we teach asana (postures) is important and I love to discover what works with teenagers and share it with you. However, many teachers are encountering road blocks in making their classes appealing and wondering why their classes are not retaining students.The answer is complex but there is a fundamental principal to teaching yoga to teens worth discussing and well-timed with the approach of Valentine's Day. Simply put, it's love.
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
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
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
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
My journey of yoga is one of Gratitude; for the insights, healing, blessings, and the complete transformation of my life. I cherish every moment, every breath, all the experiences it has taken to get here.
I found my first yoga class at a church in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, where yoga was anything but mainstream. I was unhealthy, worked in a casino, smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day, ate a terrible diet and wore a hard brace on my neck due to an accident. Yoga was a last resort. I was willing to try anything to get out of the pain - even yoga. If I also found flexibility and stress relief, I would take it but I was skeptical. BUT, I wasn't turning off my pager or my phone! The teacher smiled and handed me a yoga mat.
"May the Lord bestow upon us the Divine way to obtain Ahimsa" Of all the virtues involved in the science of yoga, there is none higher than ahimsa. Ahimsa is the golden thread that runs through all yoga practice and is the foundation on which all Yogis build the inner spiritual life. The one message of all saints and sages is the message of unconditional love. Practice of ahimsa develops this pure, unconditional and universal love, and is the highest of all traits found in the mind, speech and actions of all perfected souls. There is only one religion—the religion of love, of peace. There is only one message, the message of unconditional and universal love.
Beloved Family, Om Namah Shivaya! Salutations to the Supreme Being who is the indweller in all hearts. It is with great joy I send this note to you. The Lord has blessed us again and again.
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
For over 40 years, legendary and humble yoga Master Sri Dharma Mittra has been promoting a live food diet to students around the world. A Disciple of Sri Swami Kailashananda, Dharma Mittra has spent his life in service to humanity, and has been personally responsible for the advancement of healthy living through a live diet as taught to him by his own Guru, Yogi Gupta. From his days in the Ashram, preparing live food and juices for the Guru and Ashram residents, to his earliest days in the 1970’s as a celebrated teacher in NYC, sprouting almonds and juicing vegetables and fruits for his students, this saintly Yogi has been living and spreading the knowledge of a live diet long before it gained the popularity of today.
Presented by Chandra Om to her Guru, Dharma Mittra, at the Guru Purnima Celebration, 2007
Discipleship of an enlightened sage is an amazing journey. Dharma Mittra is such a being.
Saucha is perfect purity in body, thought and action—internal and external cleanliness. Internally, saucha allows the mind and body to be free of all impurities so that they may reflect the highest spiritual truth.
Tapas is the individual process of intense, self imposed purification. Tapas is a burning desire for spiritual development—an intense faith that cultivates endurance, willpower and fortitude.
One of the literal translations of tapas is heat or fire. There is no greater purifier than fire. Fire removes the impurities and allows the golden radiance of what is true to remain, unclouded and unmasked.
The foundation of yoga is Yama and Niyama. These are the moral and ethical guidelines of yoga; the first and second stages. The ethical and disciplinary precepts that serve as the Sadhaka's guidelines for right conduct in life. Applying these principles helps to purify the Sadhaka's actions and thoughts by removing Rajas and Tamas, so Sattva may prevail. The Yamas and Niyamas Click on any Yama or Niyama to read more. Yama Ahimsa (non-violence)Satya (truthfulness)Asteya (non-stealing)Aparigraha (non-hoarding)Brahmacharya (continence/celibacy) Niyama
From the Preface His Holiness Sri Yogi Dharma Mittra is a precious gem and a jewel among the highest and most exalted Yogis of time immemorial. For decades, seekers who wish to awaken to the Supreme Self through the Holy science of Yoga have turned to Dharma. In Sri Dharma, all aspirants find a remarkable simplicity and complete humility—a true friend to all and the most shining example of living Yoga.
Read more: http://ncschoolofyoga.com/library/new-year-message-2011#ixzz1Qm2UKvgc
North Carolina School of Yoga
 
Hari Om! At this auspicious time of the new year I send to you all my sincere heartfelt wishes for a bright and successful year ahead. May God bless you with spiritual aspiration, unfoldment and divine peace, bringing to you spiritual light and illumination.
Svadhyaya is often translated as scriptural study, the actual reading of and reflecting upon the sacred books, as in the Vedas, Upanishads, Yoga Sutras, the Bible and other holy texts. This is preliminary Svadhyaya.
When done with concentration and faith, this form of Svadhyaya helps the student to maintain a psychic connection with the Masters who have authored these holy texts as well as the living link of the Gurus. These writings continually show the yogi the goal of yoga, and the practical steps that will lead them from the borrowed world of mortals and into the exalted spiritual state of God communion.
A great sage has withdrawn from this physical realm to go back to the Infinite Source, but his spiritual presence will now be everywhere and will continue to help, guide and inspire all. On May 6, 2011 on Manikoot mountain, deep within the Himalyas, beloved Master and the parapara Guru of our school and lineage, Sri Swami Kailashananda Maharaji entered Maha Samadhi.
Brahmacharya is not merely the life of celibacy and spiritual study, but the purification of all the senses. The practice of brahmacharya is the vow of abstinence for all sense objects, in particular mentally. Overeating, oversleeping, overtalking and dwelling on, or longing for sense objects are all breaks in brahmacharya. Purity and freedom from lust in thought, word and deed is an essential part of the vow, however. It is freedom from sexual thoughts and sexual urges.
Of all the virtues involved in the science of yoga, there is none higher than ahimsa. Ahimsa is the golden thread that runs through all Yoga practice and is the foundation on which all Yogis build the Divine life. Practice of Ahimsa develops pure, unconditional and universal love. The one message of all saints and sages is the message of love. Ahimsa is the highest of all traits found in the mind, speech and actions of all perfected souls. There is only one religion—the religion of love, of peace. There is only one message—the message of unconditional and universal love. Ahimsa is the supreme duty of a Yogi. If you are established in Ahimsa, you have attained all virtues. All virtues spring forth from Ahimsa.
All branches of yoga are in essence very similar. They are each suited for various temperaments. Their goal is the same, Self-realization. The inner silence of God communion is the goal of all the various paths. When identity with God is achieved, all distinctions cease. The Forms of Yoga
Ishvara Pranidhana is the essence of Yoga and the goal of spiritual aspirants. There is no higher practice. Devotion to God is renunciation of all actions and ego to the Lord. Lose all sense of “I”-ness, “me,” “the do-er”—all separateness. Renunciation and surrender of the ego is Ishvara Pranidhana.
Arise, Awake, approach the teachers and know the Truth. The person who is blessed with a Guru knows the Highest. He whose devotion to the Lord is great, and who has as much devotion to the Guru as to the Lord, Unto him, that high-souled one, the meanings of the sacred texts stand revealed.
In response to my students requests for help in establishing a home practice, I have just released a new CD called Healing Moves Yoga. The 72-minute practice is divided into five sections, so you can do just one section, two, three, four or all five, depending on your time. Two sections are completely restorative: Centering and Breathing (12:24 minutes) Relaxation (13:37 minutes) a guided head-to-toe tension reliever.
You can tell alot about a person through the food they eat. The choices we make about food begins to show what a person thinks about herself, her environment, her body, even her beliefs. For instance, Yoga Teacher = Vegetarian. Right?  It turns out, not as often as you'd think. I for one,  did not become a vegetarian for "yogic" reasons, nor because of PETA ads, nor did I harbor a particularly large sentiment for the animals we eat (that all came later).
 With so many styles of yoga available the question inevitably rises: what makes this one different than the next? Each lineage seems to claim that they have the answers, that they are the safest, or most informed, or most spiritual. What about the seemingly non-denominational yoga teachers out there, the purely physical practitioners? Are they really practicing yoga or merely acrobatics? And how is a student to choose? 
Did you ever stop and wonder how you got here? Not here as in this website, but HERE, this spot in your life? How did I end up in this job? This relationship? How did I put on those extra 10 lbs?
In reflection we see that there were a lot of small choices that were made along the way. We may have had bigger dreams , but in the meantime, the groceries have to be bought, the bills need to be paid.....maybe sometime we'll get to those goals......right?
Many of us complain about how hard it is to start doing daily meditation or yoga, or to quit smoking or lying or biting our nails or masturbating or any number of things connected to "turning over a new leaf." We may make solemn resolutions, but within a short time we often find everything is back to the way it was. Then we gradually become cynical and conclude that we may as well give up; that "we'll never change."
Vow practice is more formal than making verbal resolutions. Most of us at Human Kindness Foundation work with vow practice and we have found it extremely helpful for making real and lasting changes.
This idea of being at home wherever we are, like virtually every other part of our spiritual journey, has a lot to do with faith. It's easy to say "I'm a person of faith." But what does it mean to us in a practical way? How does it affect our experiences and our state of mind all through the day? Are we just using empty words when we talk about faith? Do we put any time into it? We may believe in food, but we still have to take the time to eat!
From a talk given by Bo Lozoff at a meditation center in Tallahassee, FL, December 11, 2005.
There are several characteristics about a good yoga class that produce the magical experience of yoga. The instructor facilitates a space for students to do three things in particular:
- to slow down
- to pay attention
- to listen in
Just walking into the yoga center begins the process of calming down. After a few visits walking through the doorway becomes an automatic trigger to take a deep breath and allow the spinning wheels of the mind to start slowing down. Ahh ... we're here! We've come to an oasis. We can give ourselves a respite from our hectic lives. We can finally relax and be totally present with ourselves.
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.
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.
At a recent yoga retreat I was presented with a unique opportunity to fly on a trapeze! I remembered that people at the end of their lives most regretted not taking more risks... So, on the appointed day, 11 other yogis and I headed out for our adventure. After a short practice on a trapeze only 5 feet above ground we graduated to the real experience.
Peter, the trapeze artist in charge, emphasized that we could come down at any time. One woman burst into tears on reaching the platform and another decided to come down after starting the first swing. When my turn came I climbed the narrow ladder and found myself standing on a platform the size of a sticky mat, 30 feet above the ground.
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.
A friend and delighted owner of a new puppy sent me this story that explains all about pets.The Institute for Biblical Archaeology today announced the discovery of an early version of the Book of Genesis in the Dead Sea Scrolls. If authentic, it would shed significant light on the question, "Where do pets come from?"
... And Adam said, "Lord, when I was in the Garden, you walked with me everyday. Now, I do not see you anymore. I am lonesome here and it is difficult for me to remember how much you love me."
...God responded, "I will create a companion for you that will be with you forever and will be a
Yoga offers us a fascinating lens through which to view our lives. Yoga philosophy tells us that the core of our being is conscious pulsating energy. This reality is hidden from us by five layers, or sheaths, called koshas, that are made up of increasingly finer grades of energy. The outer layer is the densest and is made up of matter. The other sheaths are energy states, invisible to the physical eye, although as we develop greater sensitivity we can become aware of their presence. To live a fully balanced and healthy life, yoga urges us to keep each layer strong and healthy through various yoga practices. From the yoga perspective the game of life is to penetrate these cloaks, so that our true nature can be revealed.
Renew thyself completely each day; do it again, and again, and forever again. Chinese inscription cited by Thoreau in Walden
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 a teacher training application recently, the participant stated that she had expressed concern to her first yoga teacher about the time and money involved in taking yoga, saying that she didn't think she could afford to do it. Her teacher responded, "You can't afford NOT to!" After more than 5 years of yoga she wholeheartedly agrees!
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.
Six Years ago I attended an Intermediate/Advanced Yoga Workshop taught by John Friend in Utah. We practiced all kinds of challenging and unusual poses, as well as the more typical postures. One day John had me demonstrate Adho Mukha Vrksasana, the Handstand Pose. I love this pose and have practiced it for years. However, he had me demonstrate in the middle of the room. He caught my legs as I kicked up and helped me find my balance and maintain it for about a minute in the middle of the room.
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.
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.
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.
Desire is not typically a very welcome concept in spiritual circles. In fact, most Eastern spiritual disciplines regard desire as the root cause of all suffering, observing that desire causes mental agitation as we think about what we want that we don't have. Desire therefore causes people to lose the peacefulness that they are searching for. Followers are taught to reject, suppress, or sublimate desire, and to take a more ascetic approach toward anything connected with the senses, because the senses pull us away from our inward focus toward oneness and peace.
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.
One of the lesser-known benefits of establishing a regular yoga practice is that we complain less. It's probably a surprising and an unintended result ... most students don't come to yoga to stop complaining! But it happens almost automatically ... and surreptitiously.
We are in challenging times with the most significant economic downturn since the Great Depression, 2 wars, international terrorism, and global climate change. People are worried about their finances, keeping their jobs and homes, and the bleaker future that may face their children and grandchildren. Research has shown that stress is a major risk factor in just about every disease and physical condition. One of the most intelligent choices you can make in these stressful times is to invest in your most precious resource: your health and well-being. Making that investment through yoga benefits all aspects of your being: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
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.

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