Thursday, August 23, 2007

Yoga for Breakfast

We practice every morning at 6:15 a.m. Except Sundays which is an 8:00 a.m. class.

Arun (my teacher) says that you should learn to have yoga for breakfast. That if your practice in the morning the yoga will nourish you. Nice thought!

I'm on the last stretch of my most recent trip to India. It's Friday morning here and I fly back on Sunday. So many wonderful classes I can't even begin to describe them all. I fell asleep in class this morning it was so comfortable. We were holding a reclining backbend over a bolster and it was just heaven.

I trust you're all practicing.


9:15 a.m. IST
Friday - 8/24/07

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The DEEPEST forward folds!

Yes - today we did some of the deepest forward folds I've ever experienced. As I was driving home from class tonight, I realized that it's so hard to share the "experience" of the class - that just describing the poses and the sequences really doesn't give you - the reader - the experience. Therefore, I recommend you just come to my classes when I get back and I can share some of this with you.

Regardless - here are the poses we did in class today:

Uttanasana - Adho Muka Svasana - Padotadasana (then back and forth between those three about three to four times). Then Parsvotanasana. Then Ekapada Pascimotanasana (with one leg in Virasana and one leg forward). Then Krounchasana (three different times and variations - each variation getting deeper). Then Paschimotanasana with a block at the feet holding the block. Then Urdhva Paschimotanasa (on your back). Then Supta Padangusthasana II. Then a few seated twists - and all done!

Lovely class. Great forward folds - very deep. You'll have to experience it.

I'm back on 8/27 - Monday - and I'll be at the 7:15 p.m. class.

Namaste -

Bangalore, India
8/22 - Wednesday - 9:30 a.m. IST.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Calmness of Mind - Safety - and Leopards

I've been practicing calmness of mind in every pose these last few days. Arun says you have to feel as if you're going to sleep in every pose - that you're that relaxed - yet still active. I know that it's hard to understand that unless you've experienced it. Yet, you can start to feel it in supported poses like Sarvangasana and Setubhandasana. Get comfortable in the pose, relax - extend - stay active - yet soften your breathing, then soften your mind - let your body be firm, yet still your mind. Let your mind be aware yet not active. This is moving towards perfection in asana. Feeling this feeling in Headstand, triangle - every pose - it's great.

A side note - Safety First! A woman broke her fingers (I think two - defintely one) in class yesterday. We were doing down-dog hanging from ropes and straps. She didn't buckle her strap right. She was a beginner. She fell on the marble floor with a crash and when she got up her fingers were snapped. Arun's wife took her to the clinic. Morale of the story: "Pay Attention to what you're doing - if you don't know how to do something - ASK!"

Leopards on the loose! A leopard (250-pound leopard) wandered into town on Friday from the local jungle. It was apparently hunting Bangalore's numerous wild dogs for food. When it was spotted in town during daylight hours the local people and authorities tried to trap it. One woman and a police officer were badly mauled. They finally called in experts from the National Game preserve to tranquilize it. The cat was re-released into the jungle. WOW!

Never a dull moment in India - that's for sure!

Namaste -

Jim -
8/20/07 - 8:30 p.m. IST

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Arun has returned to Bangalore

Pretty exciting stuff!

Arun arrived back in Bangalore yesterday morning and he taught both the 6:15 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. class this morning. I attended both. Full classes of 25-30 students. All his "regulars" were so excited to see him back as he's been gone over a month.

The precision and certainty with which Arun teaches is inspiring and refreshing. He notices everything. He encourages to "lift" "stretch" "move forward" "extend" "rotate" in ways that just make you expand beyond what you've ever done before. Very good vibe in class today.

Nothing fancy - here was the sequence:

Supta Padangusthasana, Upavista Konasana, Trikonasana, Parsvakonasana, Virabhadrasana I, Sirsasana (or Padotadasana), Sarvangasana and Setubandasana. Did each pose at least twice - several variations of "triko" and "parsva" - lots of spiraling of the arms and hands in triangle and parsvakonasana.

I trust you're all practicing.


8/16/07 - Thursday
10:32 a.m.
Bangalore, India

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Jai Hind

Salutations to India!

Today is India's 60th birthday. I feel a unique difference between how India celebrates Independence and how we celebrate the 4th of July. While the feeling of "pride and patriotism" are strong for me as an American during July 4th celebrations - the feeling of "hope and joy" is strong in India today. It's like a child's birthday celebration - with balloons and streamers - only the child is 60. There's a playful, freeing, innocence about it all.

Jai Hind translates as "Salutations India!" - and when you greet anyone in India today with that term they beam like the sun shines right out their mouth. Unlike the "average" American during the 4th of July - the India people I met with today have a personal experience of feeling free. They relish it, are proud of it, and they're excited about it. It is the one day in India where rank, caste and class make no difference - they're all Indian and they're free. It's a pretty cool thing to be here and see it firsthand.

Soon I'll write something about yoga. No class today - even yogi's get a day off. Yet, yesterday I attended two classes with lots of twists, twists, twists. Think about this...can you be in "tadasana" in every twist? Can your shoulders be broad and even? Can your chest be lifted? Can your sides be long and tall in every twist? Try that and let me know what you think. You may be suprised to feel "freedom" and a sense of "independence" in the twist.

Namaste - Jim
Banagalore, India
9:15 a.m. IST - 8/15/07

Monday, August 13, 2007

India and the U.S. - kindred spirits

So Indian and the U.S. have something in comon. We both kicked the British out of our respective countries. Only India was able to do it without firing a single shot.

On August 15, 1947 Lord Mountbatten handed over the Indian Subcontinent to the new Prime Minister - J Nehru. Tomorrow marks India's 60 year celebration of Independence.

Now remember, they didn't fire a single shot to achieve their independence - so they don't shoot off fireworks like we do on the 4th of July. Instead they have flag raising ceremonies and hand out sweets (because the victory was so sweet).

In 1947 - 400 million people recognized their freedom. 60 years later the population in India has tripled to 1.2 billion souls. That makes India the LARGEST DEMOCRACY IN THE WORLD!!!

More than 1/4 of the population - over 300 million people - are considered middle class. That's larger than the ENTIRE population of the United States of America.

It's hard to believe until you see it and live with it and interact with it on a daily basis.

India is free and they love it.

Namaste - Jim

Saturday, August 11, 2007

India and Yoga

I'm well into my second week here now. I realize why Yoga and India have so much in common. Because once you're just about fed up with both - they find their way back into your heart. Last week I was fed up with India - with it's population problems, pollution and poverty, etc. Yet, yesterday I fell back in love with the colors and the people and the vibrancy of the place. There's really nothing like it. It makes the U.S. look like a black and white movie in comparision (Pleasantville?)

The practice of Yoga is like that too. Just when you think you can't do another down-dog or triangle pose again something changes and it becomes brand new again. You find undiscovered country within your own body and psyche.

I took 3 classes over the last two days with Arun's wife Srimatha. Lots of twists, headstands with variations, forward folds (janusirsasana), handstands and backbends (not all in the same class of course). Too much to write about so you'll just have to wait until I come home on the 27th and I'll teach you some.

I broke through a few fears for myself in handstand today. We were practicing backbends in handstands - working towards "scorpion" pose - where your feet are on your head while standing on your hands. Needless to say I'm no where near expressing the full extent of that pose - yet - I could feel the dynamic nature of the pose and how to move towards it.

I trust you're all practicing. It's what will keep you young, healthy, vibrant, new and sane.

Namaste -
Bangalore 08/12/07 - 10:50 a.m.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Tapas - the power of heat

Tapas - burning zeal, heat, is one of the 5 niyamas of yoga.

The yamas (ahimsa, satya, asteya, bramacharya and aparigraha) teach us how to relate harmoniously in society.

The Niyamas (saucha, santosa, tapas, svadyaya and Ishvara Pranidana) teach us how to grow in a balanced and harmonious way as individuals.

I have first hand experience of the power of tapas -burning heat - fire.

The two early gods in Hindu mythology are the god of fire (Agni) and the god of wind (Vayu). Fire and Wind.

I couldn't breathe a few days back. Vayu - the god of wind - was weak in me. I needed fire (Agni) - heat - expresed in the act of tapas - sweat - to burn the bug out of my system to be able to breathe again. The transforming power of heat can heal and destroy - that is why it must be respected.

Balancing the pairs of opposites is what yoga is all about. Fire and Wind may or may not be considered opposites - but they do have a relation to one another. Fire cannot burn without wind (air). And if a person can't breathe - the heat leaves their body.

How strongly does the fire burn in you?

Namaste -


Monday, August 6, 2007

Air Pollution

This is going to be a different entry from the others.

Bangalore is polluted - very polluted. The air is barely breathable. I'm not exagerrating. Imagine driving up a mountain road and you get stuck behind a diesel truck and you can't escape the fumes. It's like that every day here everywhere you go - most days it's worse - much worse. You see the gray smoke and blue exhaust and when you're stopped at traffic light with the windows rolled up you wonder if you're going to succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning and just pass out. I would put all my money on the fact that less that 50% of the motor vehicles in Bangalore would pass a California Emission test. In fact, you know when California has those "spare the air" days - and they tell the elderly and children to stay inside because it's a bit smoggy out? That would be an unbelievably clear day in Bangalore.

The reason I'm writing about this is that I've succumbed to the health hazards of the air again. I've tried to deny that it affects me - but here I am again - choked up, coughing and feeling like I smoked two packs of Marlboro's before lunch (and I used to smoke cigarettes prior to 1987 so I know what that feels like).

A human respiratory tract can only take so much and I think mine's telling me in it's own special way..."HOMEY DON'T LIKE BREATHING THIS AIR!"

When I leave the hotel room - or my office - and go outside, I have to wrap a cloth or shirt around my nose and mouth in a make-shift surgical mask so I don't gag on the fumes. My lungs can't handle the tightness that comes from breathing the air and my throat has been coughed raw by trying to expel the diesel waste products from my chest. I have no energy and it makes me mad and scared at the same time. It makes me mad because I can't believe how fricken STUPID an entire culture would be to the health hazards of this crap! And it makes me scared because I feel like I'm going to choke to death here. It's horrible.

Mind you all I've been coming back and forth here for the better part of two years. But little by little I'm seeing that this has a cummulative effect that can't be denied. I don't think its psycho-somatic on my part. Nor do I think I'm a hypocondriac. I've always prided myself on being a pretty darn healthy guy. I think if I could bottle this air up and bring it back to Califorina, you would barely be able to shine a light though it.

So - what does one do?

Get still
Let it go
Practice Equanimity
Practice Inversions (like Sarvangasana) to get the junk out of my lungs
Stay inside as much as possible
Slow down
Get rest -

- and try to make it 20 more days so I can get home on the 27th of August and smell that clean, fresh, vibrant, sea-charged air of the San Francisco Bay.

You guys don't know how lucky we are to live where we do!

Namaste -


Sunday, August 5, 2007

Srimatha's class - Sirsasana - Sarvangasana

Monday - 8/6 - Srimatha - Arun's wife - is back in town. Class with her this morning was challenging and wonderful. You can read about her background here -

Class was basically 5 poses.

Adho Muka Svanasana (downward facing dog) - hanging from the hips on ropes - hold 15 minutes. Finish with Uttanasana (forward fold)- 5 minutes

Sirsasana (headstand) - 10 minutes - then Sirsasana variations including: badhakonasana, upavistakonasana and padmasana - all in headstand - 20 minutes total.

Paddotadasana (wide-leg forward fold) - 5 minutes with head on the ground

Sarvangasana (shoulderstand) - 10 minutes in chair - then variations including: nirlamba sarvangasana, padmasana (or swastikasana) in sarvangasana - then, with legs folded - bringing knees to the forehead - hold - then back up in padmasana sarvangasana (several times). 20 minutes total

Setubandasana (bridge pose)- sacrum on the chair - shoulders and head on the bolster (the long way). 15 minutes.

Then Savasana -for 5-10 minutes

She's a tough teacher - but a very good teacher. She demands "honesty" in your poses. She really asks you to work and extend and stretch and to do everything you can to get into your best possible pose - then - when you think you're done - she says "ok - now that you're in it - hold it." And thus, that's where the work starts.

All the best

Namaste - Jim

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Pavritta Janu Sirsasana

I arrived at the yoga studio at 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning (8/4). I was the first student to arrive. I knocked on the door of Arun's house and his mother-in-law greeted me with great warmth. I gave her Arun's bag which he sent with me, and she handed me the key to the studio. I walked up the stairs to the third floor and unlocked the door.

One by one Arun's "regular's" - his students - came walking in. They all recognized me, but this time it was a sincere acknowlegement that we (the Downtown Yoga Community) had been a generous host to their beloved master. People came up to me and thanked me for taking care of Arun. They asked how his teaching was received. They all loved the fact that the United States was getting a real experience of the teacher they call "Sri Arunji"

Most of class was seated twists - starting with twisting in swastikasana. Then we stayed in swastikasana and placed our head on a chair in front and slowly moved the chair away (thus extending the spine). Next was several variations of Janu Sirsasana using the chair as support (head on chair). Then, we began twisting (or more accurately revolving - pavritta) the pose.

Pavritta Janu Sirsasna (2-3 times - several variations)
Pavritta Upavista Konasana (2-3 times - with variations)
Trikonasana & Pavitta Trikonasana (standing of course)

Ending with:

Supta Baddhakonasana
Adho Muka Baddakonasna (downward facing with legs tied in strap)
Setu Bandhasana

After class as I went to pay my 300 Rupees for classes for the month (equivalent of $7.50 for the MONTH!) I was whisked down to the house again and invited in to have tea with Arun's son. He's 21 years of age and finishing his senior year in college -studying Computer Science. The living room is adorned with statues of Ganesha, pictures of the Hindu trinity (Brahama, Vishnu, Shiva), Pictures of Arun and Srimatha (his wife).

When we finished tea I excused myself and hopped in my cab back to my apartment. I had been up since arriving in Bangalore the night before. When I arrived back I had breakfast, showered and slept the entire day and half the night (16 hours). No class on Sunday as Srimatha (Arun's wife) usually teaches then and she's on her way back from the north of India. Next class - Monday morning.

All the best.

Namaste -


Friday, August 3, 2007

The Longest Commute in the World!

I'll never complain about commuting to San Francisco again. My commute today was 36 hours door-to-door. I left my house in Pleasanton 9:00 p.m. on Wed 8/1 and arrived at my office in Bangalore, India at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight time Friday 8/3.

It's early Saturday morning 8/4 now. I'm working with our team of recruiters that works through the night since they work on US hours. We have 42 people here. Nice people - young people - India's up and coming people. NONE of them practice yoga. I just think that's so funny.

I'll head out at 5:30 a.m. to Arun's house on the other side of town. 6:15 a.m. class and a 7:45 a.m. class. So I'll be practing 6 days a week from 6:15 to 9:00a.m. Class on Sunday is 8:00 to 10:00.

Arun's still in Mendocino until 8/16. That's odd too when you think about it. I'm in India and he's in California.

Arun's wife left last night for a one-month stay in the Himalayas. So Reika will be teaching classes. Reika is one of Arun's teachers. A nice young woman and very good yogini.

I'm here until the 26th of August (three-weeks) so I'll use this blog to keep a journal of my trip and yoga practice.

Hope you're all well.

Namaste - Jim

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Living in two worlds

Yoga literature speaks often of opposing pairs. In an asana practice you always consider equal and opposing forces. I suppose it's the Newtonian way of looking at Yoga in the U.S. Every action has an equal and opposite re-action. Push your right (back) heel down in Trikonasana and extend your right hand into the air.

Living in India and working for a U.S. company is about as close to balancing opposing pairs as I can imagine. I'm literally half way around the world. I work nights (U.S. Daytime hours) and sleep during the day. They speak english here but it sounds like another language. They drive on the opposite side of the road. Pedestrians do NOT have the right of way. It's a different world.

I read an editorial in the Times of India yesterday about the challenge of balancing the Spiritual with the Material in today's India. Now there's an editorial you won't see very often in U.S. papers. Talk about living in two worlds. Do I live the Spiritual life or the pursuit of Material possessions? The article stated how "Ishvara Pranidhana" (dedicating all efforts to God) is deeply imbued in the Indian psyche. Yet, today's YUCIs (Young Up and Coming Indians) are more interested in the latest cell phones, ipods, automobiles, motorcycles and clothes.

The practice of yoga removes duality in the mind (which, is where all opposites reside). When duality dissolves Reality is perceived. There is only one Reality - not two. We are in the world, but not of it. We are a part of the one globe - no matter what our longitude or latitude.

The practice of meditation (dharana, dhyana, samadhi)is the means by which the real world is perceived - the one place where we all live - within our mind.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Pleasanton to Bangalore - via Singapore

March 19, 2007 - 00:45 a.m. India Standard Time.

I'm in Bangalore, India on a Sunday night. Last night the 70's rock band IRON MAIDEN performed to a packed crowd of "YUCI's" - Young Up-and-Coming Indian's. Men and women in their 20's and 30's who are reaping the economic benefits from the influx of global businesses to Bangalore.

Travel time from SFO to Bangalore Airport was 32 hours. SFO to Hong Kong (13-hour flight with a 2-hour layover) Hong Kong to Singapore (4-hour flight with an 9-hour layover), Singapore to Bangalore (4-hour flight). Total airtime is 21 hours.

Bangalore is 12-and-a-half-hours ahead of Bay Area time. No one really knows where that 1/2-hour comes from. The location for the most part is pretty much half way around the world.

My yoga teacher - Arun H.S. was delighted to see me and I gave him a gift of a Nike Yoga shirt I picked up in Singapore (custom dictates you give your teacher a gift). We had a two-hour restorative back-bend class this morning. After class he invited me into his house for tea and to discuss his upcoming visit to Downtown Yoga, and other parts of the U.S. We're still dealing with getting Arunji's Visa approval. There is a chance we'll need to delay his workshop on 4/7 & 4/8. We'll keep you posted.

There is a partial solar eclipse scheduled for tomorrow in India from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. - about 5 hours from now. New moons bring new beginnings. I plan on watching it (with appropriate eye-protection of course!)

This is summer in Bangalore. By June it will be too hot during the days. Currently it's 70's at night and in the low 90's during the day with clear blue skies. The air in India has a unique smell - a mix of Sandalwood, Incense, Curry, Smoke from cooking fires and Diesel pollution. A bittersweet smell to say the least.


Thursday, March 1, 2007

Kaivalya - the ultimate goal

It seems odd to think of the practice of yoga as having a "goal" - but, it does.

Kaivalya is defined as "ultimate freedom - complete detachment."

Yoga frees us. Most importantly yoga frees us from the prision of the mind. This is the place were all suffering originates.

When the mind is free of worry, doubt and indecision, free of fear, anger, depression and envy, free of greed, lust, sloth and false pride, then the true Self of our being has a chance to shine through.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Autobiography of a Yogi

I'm reading "Autobiography of a Yogi" - by Parmahansa Yogananda. I've glanced at it in the past but never truly read it cover to cover. I'm almost finished.

First published in 1946, it tells the story of a man who dedicated his life to getting close to his personal understanding of God through the science and practice of yoga (specificially "Kriya Yoga").

The story speaks to me in many ways and on many levels. Yoganada's dedication, diligent practice, human-ness, and vulnerabilities all come through the pages.

The practice of yoga can change anyone's life for the better - I am totally convinced - no further proof is required.

I envision the day when we all look back on our life as yogis.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Prana - the life force

It's called by many names - prana, qi, energy, the force, quantum - but it's all the same. The original cause. The primordial and invisible building block and essence of all life.

Control, regulation and mastery of the breath (prana-yama) is a key step on the yogic path. Yoga literature does not distinguish between "breath-substance," "mind-substance," or "LIFE" substance (prana) The three are so closely linked that there only exists a differentiation in the untrained mind. In reality, breath, thought and life are all the same - physical manifestations of pranic consciousness.

Slowing and controlling the breath will slow and control the random "thought waves" of the mind.

Until the human mind can be mastered, there is no peace of mind. Master the breath and the mind follows. Master the mind and peace will follow.

Om shanti shanti shanti

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Klesas - Afflictions

Have you ever tripped over your own feet? Isn't that embarassing? You look around quickly to see if anyone saw you.

Stumbling blocks are all around us. The Yoga Sutras tell us of 5 main stumbling blocks or "afflictions" (the sanskrit word is KLESAS), which inhibit our spiritual growth. They are:

Avidya - is best defined as ignorance. But it really relates to "spiritual" ignorance - thinking the real is false, and the false is real.

Asmita - Ego. Enough said?

Raga - Desire. "I WANT" is the root of all selfishness

Dvesa - Aversion. "Get that away from me" is the opposite pole of desire.

Abhinivesa - Clinging to life and an unrealistic fear of death.

So - if you just don't trip over those 5 stumbling blocks, then you will be on your way to a fulfilling life.

Practice. That's all it takes. Practice.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Precise Alignment

What would the pyramids in Giza look like if they weren't precisely constructed? Would they even exist today?

Would any building in San Francisco withstand even a moderate earthquake if it wasn't precisely constructed to exact designs?

Why then - do people let their "body structures" fall about it random patterns? We see this all the time in yoga class. We ask you to put your feet together yet they are a several inches apart and stuck outward like a duck!

When the body is structurally intact - and in a biomechanical balance - you feel better. You feel better because there is no longer a struggle with gravity. You're not "pulled down by the weight of the world" to speak.

Balance, integration, freedom of movement, lightness, integrity and stamina are all a result of precise alignment in the body.

Practicing yoga will help you "straighten up" in more ways than one!

Friday, February 9, 2007

Teaching yoga for 70 years!

B.K.S. Iyengar of Pune, India was born in December 1918. He is 88 years old and practices yoga every day. He has been teaching yoga since he was 18 years old.

There will be a festival honoring Mr. Iyengar and his 70 years of teaching at the Santa Clara Convention Center - July 13-15, 2007.

For more information visit

One of the presenters will be Arun H.S. from Bangalore, India. Arun will also be at Downtown Yoga on April 7th and 8th.

70 years of teaching yoga! Wow!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Extend and Expand

Can you reach "beyond" your fingertips? Can you expand your lungs fuller than you ever have in your life? The ability to EXTEND and EXPAND is at the root of a yogasana practice.

In life - all things either EXTEND and EXPAND - or - they CONTRACT and DIE. The entire universe is expanding outwards and extending itself in a forward motion.

It hurts for a new yoga student to extend and expand. They feel the tightness in their muscles and skin, and they want to stop. They don't want to feel discomfort.

But we must move through discomfort to feel comfort - we must extend and expand or we will contract and die. There is no middle ground. Their is no resting place.

When we extend and expand we feel vibrant, alive and confident as we're moving in the same direction as all of life. When we stop extending and expanding - we contract and die and feel as if life is a struggle.

Extend and expand and feel life move through you fully.


Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Royal Poses (Raja-asanas)

Raja means ROYAL in Sanskrit - Asana means poses. The "Rajasanas" of yoga are Sirsasana (headstand) and Sarvangasana (shoulderstand).

Sirsasana is known as the "King" of all asanas, while Sarvangasana is known as the "Queen" of poses.

Sarvangasana should ALWAYS follow Sirsasana in practice. You can have poses in-between headstand and shoulderstand. Yet, shoulderstand should always be done when a headstand is done.

Sarvangasana can be performed without doing Sirsasana in a practice.

Think of it like this. A King doesn't rule well without his Queen. But a Queen has no problem ruling on her own.

Enjoy the poses.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Let the wind of change move through you.

Vayu is the Hindu god of wind. Agni is the Hindu god of fire. Both Fire and Wind have transformative attributes. Yet, most people in the West only think of using FIRE (Agni) to make changes within themselves.

What I mean by this is that most people think that they will only see a change in their bodies if they work "harder" in their yoga practice. They think they need a "good workout" - they need to "sweat" - they need to "feel the burn" - Fire - Agni.

However, the changing power of "moving air" - breathing - accessing Vayu - can change the body just as dramatically. In fact, the practice of consciously breathing while performing asanas will calm the mind - thus enabling the brain to emit "relaxation" neuro-peptides throughout the nervous system. This will allow the muscles to relax and open and stretch further than you could by using the burning power of force.

I encourage you to get to know VAYU - the Hindu God of Wind - during your next practice.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

The Art of Sequencing

Kate is doing a workshop this weekend - Saturday & Sunday - February 10th & 11th on "The Art of Sequencing" The times are 1:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. both days. You can come on Saturday or Sunday or both. Saturday will focus on the physical attributes of sequencing poses. For example - why you would do shoulderstand AFTER headstand. Sunday will focus on the "energetic" sequencing of poses. For example - why you would do forward folds to relieve anxiety and why you would do a backbend sequence to alieviate depression.

Please call Kate if you'd like to attend. She'll reserve a spot for you.


Friday, February 2, 2007

We made the papers!

Today's Valley Times - 2/2/07.

Article entitled: "There's no excuse not to exercise"

Read it here -

Constantly Practicing Detachment

Yoga Sutra 1:12 says - "Abhyasa vairagyabhyam tan nirodhah"

So what does that mean? Abhyasa means constant practice. Vairagyabhyam means detachment from desires. Nirodhah means to extinguish (nirodhah and nirvana have the same meaning). Thus, this sutra says that by practicing detachment we can extinguish the thoughts in our mind that keep us from experiencing peace.

Are our WANTS every satisified? Aren't our NEEDS always met? Craving, desire and wanting more only leads to suffering (dukkha) Practicing detachment from our wants brings peace of mind.

This is a hard pill to swallow for many people. But just try practicing it for today. See what happens. You may just feel better by the end of the day.

Om shanti shanti shanti

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Do no harm

Ahimsa - non-violence - is the first of the five Yamas (moral restraints) outlined in the eightfold path of Yoga by Patanjali.

None of us think that we're violent. Yet, often we harbor "non-kind" thoughts towards ourselves and others. How many times have we said to ourselves ..."I hate him...I hate that....I hate myself for doing that?"

Do no harm in word, thought or deed. Loving kindness is what the world needs and what we all desire. We each have to be the wellspring from which this expression comes forth in order to experience it in our individual and collective worlds.

Practicing ahimsa is practicing yoga - and - just like practicing asanas (poses) - practicing ahimsa will HEAL your body!

Namaste -

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Why practice yoga?

So do we really need a good reason for EVERYTHING we do? Can't we do things just BECAUSE?

Many people who write us are interested in practicing yoga for the first time. They seem to feel obligated to tell us WHY they are looking to begin...."...I need to get more flexible....I need to lose weight....I have to do something!"

Yoga is one of those beautiful/joyous acts in life that we can perform without needing a reason.

Why do I practice yoga? Just Because!