Thursday, September 18, 2008

It all counts

Kira Ryder, a really exciting yoga teacher I know from California, had her recent group of yoga teacher trainees start a blog as one of their assignments. It was meant to both help them learn to communicate more clearly about yoga and to develop community.

So that leads me to the topic of this post. Kira is doing an Ayurvedic cleansing diet. So she has a blog where she posts her food intake each day...not so much for us to read, as for her to actually see what it is she is ingesting each day. It helps her stay on track.

One of Kira's yoga teacher trainees decided that she would do the same for any moment during the day that she did some yoga. So instead of spending her time beating herself up for not having this big 90 minute yoga practice every day...she decided that everything would count. I thought that was a lovely and supportive way to view things. Check out what she has to say...and whether or not you decide to write it all down on a piece of paper or in a all counts.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Meditations for Happiness

I recently received the WiseBrain email newsletter from Rick Hanson, PhD. He has put together an offering through Sounds True called

He says about the audio project...

"It's a downloadable audio program with over three hours of fascinating and practical information about how your brain makes you happy or unhappy, and how to use that understanding to promote the happiness of yourself and others. (There are) 14 guided meditations that directly train your brain into happier states of mind! It's solid, straightforward, accessible to anyone - and really inexpensive. It's an excellent introduction to the emerging science of happiness for someone new to the field, while also being deeply grounded in the profound wisdom of the contemplative traditions. Both for yourself, and for anyone whose happiness you want to support, I can honestly say that this program is full of interesting, fun, and tremendously useful material. It makes you happy just listening to it! "

I haven't heard these guided meditations yet But Dr. Hanson and his partner at Wise Brain, Dr. Rick Mendius, M.D. are doing some really interesting work exploring the "fertile common ground of psychology, neurology, and contemplative practice". So check it out.

Yoga on Public Radio

Public radio program "Speaking of Faith" has an interview with Yoga teacher Sean Corne called Yoga: Meditation in Action.
Host Krista Tippet has started her own yoga journey at the urging of a staff member.
Here's what Krista had to say about yoga...

"I believe that the spiritual aspect and essence of yoga — the relationship of the spiritual to the physical experience, the vocabulary by which we understand and process that relationship — will vary substantially from person to person. Like meditation, this ancient spiritual technology lends itself to interpretation and incorporation with many spiritual sensibilities and religious traditions — just as its range of practices are adaptable to any type of body at any stage of vitality or disability. I also see this yoga phenomenon as part of a larger move that we've variously explored towards rooting — or rather, reintegrating — the body into spiritual and religious traditions, from Judaism to Pentecostal Christianity. There is some wonderful, fundamental insight here that many of us are reclaiming from wildly different directions. And as Matthew Sanford still so memorably put it to me, the more completely we inhabit our own bodies with both their strengths and their flaws, the more compassionate we become towards all of life. That's the kind of earthy, reality-based mystery I love."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Namaste Yogis!

I've just returned from a weekend workshop with one of my favorite yogis, Erich Schiffmann. I think this is his 7th workshop in Yellow Springs, Ohio. I've been to all of them except one. For several reasons, it felt like the best one ever. I think it was Sunday morning when, after speaking for awhile, he said that he hoped this stuff was interesting and that we'd do some yoga in a minute or two. Someone in the room said told him that we could open a book and do a yoga practice anytime, but that we were here to hear him speak. The whole room burst into applause. So thanks to that yogini who said outloud what, dare I say, most of us were thinking.
Here's a photo of the room mostly without yogis...

Here's a photo of the room WITH yogis...doing some freeform yoga on Sunday just before the end of the workshop. Imagine some cool music happening and everyone just doing what they are drawn to do.

And here's a place where love is coming through!