Archive for September, 2012

What a bunch of pretentious BS. I don’t understand the bloggers premise that people should comform or adhere to a formal belief system and embrace a dogma that isn’t comfortable for them.

Formal systems of spiritual belief are useful. They bring together people into a community, which the yogis call sangha, and the community is a support system, especially when people are celebrating the stages in life that we all go through, life, death, marriage, and other celebrations. Most people that I know that adhere to a formal system, don’t necessarily embrace or approve of all of it’s tenets and I would think most faith leaders acknowledge and understand that. It is part of their job, to pull their flocks together and preach the word of their ‘God’.

For many of us, the formal systems have broke down for us at some period in our lives and we are not able to comform to the faith we grew up with. For me it is the Catholic church, and for whatever reason I don’t practice the faith I grew up with, there are still many of the doctrines of the faith I have held on to, while also finding, through study of other systems, a way I can be faithful, without feeling guilty, for example, if I don’t attend church on Sunday morning.

The picture on this article shows a young man, with dreads, sitting and practicing some sort of meditation. The implication is that he is some sort of lazy loser who doesn’t have the structure in his life or discipline to adhere to one system.

I know people also who have floated faith to faith and then come back to their own initial church.

The system of yoga is a system of finding oneness with the head of their faith system, whatever it is. Most faiths have that some goal of unification and joining together. There are more similarities between our many global systems of faith than there are differecnes and everyone should respect that.

CNN Belief Blog

By Alan Miller, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Alan Miller is Director of The New York Salon and Co-Founder of London’s Old Truman Brewery. He is speaking at The Battle of Ideas at London’s Barbican in October.

By Alan Miller, Special to CNN

The increasingly common refrain that “I’m spiritual, but not religious,” represents some of the most retrogressive aspects of contemporary society. The spiritual but not religious “movement” — an inappropriate term as that would suggest some collective, organizational aspect — highlights the implosion of belief that has struck at the heart of Western society.

Spiritual but not religious people are especially prevalent in the younger population in the United States, although a recent study has argued that it is not so much that people have stopped believing in God, but rather have drifted from formal institutions.

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Kali Yuga is not a new hot flowing vinyasa style class with smoke and screens and a hot playlist. Sorry. Kali Yuga, according to my friend Wikipedia, is “the last of the four stages the world goes through as part of the cycle of yugas described in the Indian scriptures.”

You can google or check out Wiki yourself for more information, but basically it is a period marked by man’s distance from God. And we are currently living in that stage.

Next month I am attending some workshops with Timji, Tim Miller, and I always enjoy reading his blog. I love his humility and simplicity in transforming complex ideas into accessible and relatable concepts. His recent post was more profound in what it DIDN’T say. At least to me, it drew a parallel between our current political process and why there is so much DIVISION in how our country is run and so much POLARITY in the way people read into what our democratic system is about.

For example, last week, I was in up north Wisconsin and there is no doubt which side MOST people up there seem to be on. It was everywhere, including retail establishments AND local radio shows. Or vehicles parked along the road:

At any rate, Tim’s recent post on Vairagya, detachment from the outcomes, relates a story from Bhagavatam Purana, where a young woman called Bhakti laments to the sage Narada that “the Kali Yuga, Narada, which crippled me in all my parts, like a terrible disease. Somehow I crawled here to Vrindavan with my sons, and instantly I was young again, and beautiful as you see me. But look at my sons; they did not recover, but grew worse. Now I, their mother, look like their granddaughter. I am ashamed of this, Muni. I beg you, tell me how this has happened to us three.” The outsides do not match her insides and what people see is not a true reflection of her innermost being and experience.

Narada tells her “This is indeed the Kali Yuga, when the good suffer endlessly and the evil are exhilarant. The Earth is so full of sin that Anantasesha can hardly bear the weight of her anymore. Nothing auspicious remains in the world, and men turn avidly to greed and lust, to thievery and murder. All that is sacred disappears from the world of men; no one cares, Devi, to even glance in your direction, or towards your sons. Your sons’ stupor is because no one regards them anymore. The Kali Yuga lacks every other virtue; in this age all things lose their innate grace. Yet, this is the only yuga in which the very name of the Lord can set a man free.” There is hope! And don’t worry about what you think people SEE, because they aren’t really looking. They are ENGROSSED in their own experience.

Narada also laments that “Everywhere men are only concerned about filling their bellies, and hoarding wealth. They lie and cheat one another. They have lost their discrimination and become dull and foolish.” So true. And Amen.

According to the Hindus thought his period only lasts 10,000 years and will end 3102. Whew. Just a blip in our history.

Amen and in my parallel world I relate it to what we value as a society politically and economically as far as to what we regard as wealth. We are all questioning the values of our politicians and leaders and are trying to hope they conform somewhat to our own insides.

This week we were absorbed in the story of Lady Gaga gaining 25 pounds. How dare she. Her message, the insides didn’t change.

On and on with all of that. Anyway that is where I went with that story.


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I am going on a vacation with a lot of yoga for week and I like a challenge pose to work on. Here it is:

It is going to be a long vacation. Ida showed me a pic of this guy on facebook. He only does arm balances on one arm. He makes Ana Forrest look soft. I am impressed with his flexibility with the large amount of muscle tissue he has.

I don’t even know what this pose is. Anybody?

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John Friend is Back from Hiatus & Ready to Teach!.

Collective groan. Oh no. GO AWAY.

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I like Kino because she tells it the way it is and doesn’t make excuses or tell you what it isn’t. This is what the yogis teach. It is what it is.

This year has been extremely busy for me so I am making my plans for trainings for next year. I have a couple of things I am trying to firm up for next year and both are big. I have a few small trainings in November for weekends but I need a bigger plan.

I wonder what Joan is planning

Do you know?

Hmmmm, not sure, I will have to stay tuned.

I do have a pranayama/bandha workshop coming up and next week I am on vacation so will finish that project up. I hope it is useful and people show up and I can do it again and again. Vacation for me is always an opportunity to refine my practice and not be distracted by laundry, work, tv, and whatever.

Grimmly has been puttting a lot of info on his blog about home practice. I know it is not for everybody, but it is useful and can be simple.

Just start with tapes. I have a LIBRARY of great tapes and could go a good month with plenty of variety in style, length, focus, and difficulty. If you like variety, make the investment in some good tapes. I have all of the Freeman and Swenson tapes, but Rodney Yee has some of the best. He has a lot of them too. I think he is accesible to everyone and very likeable and knowledgeable.

Another idea is to join an online site that has a variety of teachers such as Yogisanonymous or Yogaglo. You will never be able to do all of the classes they offer. Both have a lot.

I do agree just figuring it out on your own is difficult, so start with tapes or join something online.

I actually think I practice TOO much at home and when I get back am going to try to go at least twice a week. Besides someone in town is FINALLY offering Mysore again so hope it sticks and people attend so they keep it on the schedule.

I have three classes to teach before I leave for a week, so am working on some good sequences hopefully.

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Yes, another Equinox yoga ad with Briohny Smyth. I did not know that Dice Iida-Klein was her husband! He is one of my favorites at Yoga Glo when I need some fresh idea for sequencing!

When I show my husband this stuff he calls it gymnastics. I know her background is dance/gymastics but not sure about Dice. He looks good here. He used to be a little scruffier, which was cute, but he cleaned up nicely.

I would like to follow them around for a day and see what their nutrition/practice is like. I am guessing strict almost raw/vegan with a three hour practice with Core work for a good hour. She is a mom too. I think I will look up her nutrition plan.

My practice won’t look like that, but even if it feels like that and still looks like this I am fine:

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