Friday, August 27, 2010

When the Daily Yoke is Less Than Daily

To engage in yoga we must come to a visceral understanding of the inherent impermanence of all things.  People, places, mind states.  And at the same time, all we have is this eternal moment.  Now, now, now.  If we fail to make yoga habitual, we will fail in our mission: to remain "yoked" to the eternal moment, to transcend the suffering embedded in impermanent existence. 

Yoga provides us with tools to bring awareness to our life.  When we fail to make yoga habitual, we start slipping into past worries and future plans.  Before we know it, months have passes and we barely felt a thing.  For some, months turn to years .. and well, you get the point.

When the daily work of being present becomes less than daily - we have a chance every moment to renew our commitment and remember the breath.  If we can remain aware of our blunder long enough for one long breath to revitalize, one strong inversion to awaken, or one resounding "om" to levitate - we'll reconnect with the universe and be cast back into the present moment.  But don't be fooled!  The connection won't last on it's own.  The feeling on oneness will only grow with daily work, your daily yoke is your yoga practice.  It'll pay off!  Bring yourself back one breath at a time.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Yoga Journal - Yoga Anatomy - The Anti-Chaturanga Dandasana


An interesting video on how to perform Frog Pose.

There seem to be three different poses for Frog:

Legs spread on knees facing the ground

Fists in stomach, folded over in vajrasana

Butt seated between heels, sitting upright

Build a Sequence

In studying for the big final exam, I came across some good resources for building sequences.  Whether for home or class, it's good to link aasanas logically:

Don't Push It

You can't jump up the mountain and expect to arrive in one piece. Go easy on your body, enjoy the journey, for in the end its all you've got.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Are you a Yukta?

For the sage who desires to ascend in Yoga, action is stated to be the means.  For him who has ascended in Yoga, serenity (shama) is said to be the means. (6.3)

When he does not cling to the sense objects or to the deeds and has renounced all desires, then he is called "one who has ascended in yoga." (6.4)

~ Bhagavad Gita

Commit to your inner-yukta-ness.

Mudras Mean Business

Did you know that han gestures stimulate the same regions of the brain as language?  A study published by the National Academy of Sciences says just that.  Maybe our yogic ancestors were onto something with mudras?  This study infers that mudras may indeed play a role in communication similar to reading a book or listening to your guru.

Viveka Prashnottari, by Swami Sivananda Saraswati

Where can you find eternal happiness?

In your own atman within.

The Dual

Shankaracharya (788-820 CE), great philosopher and promoter of Avaita Vedanta, traveled India in his day winning debates with non-dualist arguments.  He beat great debaters of Sankya and Buddhism - and some even attribute the decline of Buddhism in India to Shankaracharya himself.

However, while Shankaracharya promoted a non-dual approach, one must ask - who was he promoting it to? If we are all, indeed, one - our separate lives a mere allusion - then would it not follow that the knowledge of oneness be self-evident? If our separateness is an illusion, and our senses are merely perceiving themselves, would not all knowledge derived from these senses be false? Proponents of non-dualism must admit that the human being (and our earthly counterparts) rely on some level of dualism to interact in this world, on this plane of existence.

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