Category Archives: Spiritual

Yoga: Finding Ultimate Expression to Life – The Isha Blog

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We are best at creating a meditative quality through our Yogic Practices...read and listen to Sadhguru explain more about this....

We are best at creating a meditative quality through our Yogic Practices…read and listen to Sadhguru explain more about this….

Thanks to Sadhguru and The Isha Foundation for sharing this wisdom….please click the link below to read the text and also watch the video…..and remember to share…..Namaskaram…OM

 

Sadhguru reminds us that far beyond merely bending the body, the science of yoga provides the ultimate tool for enhancing human capabilities and functioning at the highest peak of body and mind.

Source: Yoga: Finding Ultimate Expression to Life – The Isha Blog

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Look out…..the Yoga Police are looking for your Selfies!

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Yoga = Stirring the ingredients

Today I saw a post on FaceBook by “Uplift/Connect” an article by Brian DeGregory entitled “Is the essence of yoga being lost in the self-obsessed Instagram age?” In the section about “Please stop Yoga Selfies” he writes….”I don’t think this helps bring this beautiful and ancient practice to those who need it most.  In fact, I think it sends intimidating messages to those who might feel their bodies are not flexible or that they don’t have the perfect “yoga body” (like the way social media images portray).  It’s a big call, but I will even go as far as comparing the aspect of posting such images with the fashion companies who only use size 0 models.  It’s just not what yoga is supposed to be about.”…Yoga is for spiritual development, not for show.”

Thank you Brian DeGregory for having the understanding about real authentic Yoga and the courage to publish your views.  Many in the west are so unconnected and do not know the ancient Indian lineage or that it is one of the best gifts one culture has given to All of mankind.  As well, most are not learning authentic practices for if they would know it, they surely would be inherently bound to respect it.  I teach yoga in a variety of settings one is a New York State public college, my courses are for college credit in a liberal arts degree setting.  My young and energetic students are confused when they begin the semester arriving in what looks like beach apparel or sexy fitness outfits.  I know its not their fault as those who have commercialized Yoga to become “Americanized” have set this tone.  Oftentimes students drop my course as they cannot bare to wear modest clothing as they prefer their sexy garb.  (Don’t worry, these slots are filled in days by the other eager students on waitlists!)  What I try to get across is that this is a highly intimate and revolutionary process they are journeying on and it should not be denigrated by peering voyoueristic eyes of their classmates or passerbys.  The process is highly internal using the body as an external tool to balance the many energetic patterns within the physicality, the mental and emotional realms so they can find momentary stillness and harmony.  I have the privilege to witness this amazing process and am in awe every time and am most humbled by it! So, of course I am shocked when I see my FaceBook Friends who are students and fellow yoga practitioners posting Yoga Asana Selfies! This just pollutes and devalues their power by sharing these images.  I would so much rather they posted in text how their yoga sadhana has helped them cope with their hectic schedules, to complete their degrees with high grades, reduced their need for asthma meds, or other meds for depression, anxiety, or prevented surgery for scoliosis or back pains, or prevented them for causing bodily harm to their boss and avoided being arrested when asked to work another shift after having worked the entire weekend missing their child’s T-ball game for not even a cent more in wages!  Many are limited in their yoga journey by poorly trained yoga teachers who earn “certificates” in a couple of 16 hour workshops, or Teachers who feel their Egocentric experience supersedes that of The AdiYogi – Shiva, and Shri Patanjali, (do you think they even know who these Greats were?)  I have been fortunate to have studied in many sacred and esteemed schools and ashrams in India.  I was afforded these experiences by my private students and one super /yoga practitioner/ patron and my family.   This may be out of reach economically for yoga teachers across the board but The Isha Foundation has an Ashram/Campus in Tennessee in the USA.  At Isha, one is afforded a truly authentic classical Indian yoga immersion.  Please do check out their website: http://www.ishafoundation.org and join their mailing lists and like their Facebook pages to get daily inspirational offerings, event announcements, newsletters than have wonderful informative articles about authentic yoga.  I remain indebted to all my teachers, Gurus and especially to Sadhguru and The Isha Foundation for creating such an accessible many layered platform to spread the yogic knowledge globally.

The images above show above: The AdiYogi (Shiva) being consecrated in India by Sadhguru and the Isha Volunteers. Shiva is the Founding Father of All Yoga.  The next images are here to try to show a tiny glimmer of what may happen when we balance our energies in a conscious manner along with and becoming apart and no longer separate from nature.

Watch the ‘Yoga for Change’ Film at: http://www.upliftconnect.com/yoga-for-change-video.com  once on their site look for article, “Practicing Real Yoga in the Age of Selfies” you will find the video at end of the article….please share and thanks to Uplift/Connect for sharing these important views.  Namaskaram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Indian Temples Were Created – The Isha Blog

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How Indian Temples Were Created – The Isha Blog

Happy New Year! There are many different ways folks celebrate the marking of a new year: some party, some clean their homes and invite family and friends to celebrate together, some attend religious programs in churches, synagogues,temples and mosques.  In this video post offered by Sadhguru and The Isha Foundation one can gain a little glimpse of the type of energy used to create Indian Temples.  India is a favorite destination for thousands of years for many of its riches.  Even today tourists flock to see the many World Heritage Sites which include Temples.  The Indian Temple is a Super Charging Station whereby one may go and sit to receive the tremendous waves of vibrations to wash over and into all aspects.  There are many Indian Temples in locales around the globe.  I keep a bucket list of Temple locations I hope to visit locally, and when traveling.  This year I hope to get back to Tennessee, where the newly installed AdiYogi Shrine/Temple has been inaugurated in 2015.  I also want to get to New Jersey where the BAPS Temple is in progress, I have visited the Akshadham BAPS Temple in Delhi, India and it would be great to have such a Temple, even if 1/100th of its original Indian parent-site.  I have previously mentioned my Temple Sister/Buddy-Nandini who always gets me to tag along for the Sai Baba Mandir(temple) in Flushing, Queens.  We always visit the Ganesh Temple two blocks away for blessings and canteen food!

If you are a yoga practitioner and have never had the experience of receiving blessings in an Indian Temple I encourage you to do so soon.  You will never be ostracized due to your ethnicity, gender, age, in fact you may be welcomed with a friendly curiosity and make some new friends easily.  Just wear clean, modest clothing and leave your shoes in the designated spaces.  OM, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti OM

 

 

 

Sadhguru explains how a temple is a tool to make the divine more manifestly experience-able.

Source: Why & How Indian Temples Were Created – The Isha Blog

OM Guru Pournami OM – Free downloads from Isha Foundation

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Basking in the Blessings of Gratitude for All my Teachers, Gurus and loved Ones…..Do click on the link below to add Free Applications for your Phone/Devices….useful to keep your yogic vibrations ever-present daily…Many thanks to Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and his Amazing Team of Volunteers for sharing so many ways for us to use our technology for our inner well being! Namaskaram OM

Sadhguru & Isha Mobile Apps.

Namaskar – Yoga for All

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idy_logo_aboutNamaskar – Yoga for All.

June 21st, 2015, First International Day of Yoga will be this Sunday.  There are FREE yoga programs in many venues from Times Square, New York City, to the Washington Mall, Washington DC, France, India….do take a few minutes to view some of the wonderful videos the Isha Foundation and Sadhguru have created to share with us All! Just click the link below the image and please do share with friends and family, Namaste

The Significance of 108 – Why Is It So Important?

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IMG_0588The Significance of 108 – Why Is It So Important?.

Do click the link above to read and listen to Sadhguru explain all the science behind number 108 and its connection to you, the planet, the universe and your yoga.  Thanks to Sadhguru for keeping us informed about the Ancient Science of Classical Indian Hatha Yoga. Namaste

Here’s a Darshan by Ashwin Mohan about one of the secrets of Nath Yoga

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IMG_0524▶ Nagayama – YouTube.

There are several types of Classical Yoga and Nath Yoga is one that still keeps to the traditional ways.  Thanks to the Graces of Ashwin Mohan who shares with us a Prescription for Inner Strength and Vital Living via activating Naga Vayu.  Naga Yama is a powerful visualization in which we begin to plant the seeds for our future growth, well being and successes.  These seeds are our thoughts which become our activities and actions that play out our Vision.  We come to understand that these seeds are our valuable energy source for expansion and fuels our goals and Vision, moving forward in our real life timeline.  By re-visiting our Vision often as Affirmation we continue to project ourselves positively within our Vision in space in time as a protective shield for inner and outer benefits.  I love when he shares that just by sitting back and accepting the status quo and being numb is for rats!  We can choose to just maintain or grow!  Checking in with our Vision and supporting it with Affirmations helps us to know where we are which determines where we can go. Thanks to Ashwin Mohan in Bangalore, India for sharing these secrets with us, he has given permission for All to share….so please spread this post with all who you care about, especially children and young adults….and most importantly do give him a “thumbs UP” on the Youtube link….of course he would love to hear your comments too!  Adesa Adesa…..Namaskaram OM!

Listen to – Devdutt Pattanaik on The Nataraja – YouTube

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Shiva as NatarajThe Dance of Shiva – Devdutt Pattanaik on The Nataraja – YouTube.

In January, in Jaipur, India there has been for many years now an amazing Literature Festival.  The Jaipur Literature Festival presents many authors of numerous genres in a variety of forums.  I have always wanted to be in attendance but being a Professor in a New York college requires me to be present as we begin the semester at this time.  Thank goodness for the internet and more so, YouTube, as I can watch almost all the hours of the 4 or 5 days long Festival.  So I take my time listening and listing all the authors and their titles that are new and interesting.  Presented are authors who write in English, and a variety of languages, a majority of the authors are from or writing about the southeast asian experience.  However, there are many authors from different countries, who are invited and involved in panels wherein they explore similar and different approaches to ideas which is so fascinating.  I know just one author Mridula Garg, who has attended often and presented as well, sometimes we touch base and she fills me in about what I have missed.  Today I listened to this video and was quite blown away by Devdutt Pattanaik, he is a master of many intellectual and scientific disciplines.  His presentation and perspective is quite direct, powerful, inclusive and so much more, I intend to listen to as many of his videos….but this short one about two minutes is such an excellent explanation of this iconic sculpture The Dance of Shiva, Nataraja.  We learn and practice the asana Natarajasana in hatha yoga, the image is plastered on yoga tee shirts, yoga bags, posters and more here in western yoga studios, but how much do we really understand about the significance.  Studying classical Indian hatha yoga and staying connected to authentic Indian Yogic organizations that support and protect the ancient teachings is very important to me as a yoga practitioner and teacher.  I think this is what differentiates my practice from commercial American yoga, I know just from the experience of the sadhana/practice, that it is not really about the physical body.  In the classical tradition the body is useful to a small degree to activate the experience to higher realms of awareness so that I begin to understand how small and insignificant I am, it helps me to tame my ego….as Mr. Pattanaik states…..”our minds forget the fundamentals of life that nature is spectacular,”….Also, I learn through experience in my yoga that I am a part of nature and it is limitless the restrictions are just in my little insignificant mind, but yes this mind is useful to learn, to teach, to write this to you, but in the scope of the universe….not so important….in the solitude and quietness of my practice I feel settled calming my crazy mind to be okay with this all and to feel the pulse of my breath as an echo of the universe and that is spectacular!

And, yes there are many different interpretations, different stories about Shiva as Nataraj, this is just one, but very well stated by Mr. Pattanaik.  (When I visited the Temple at Chidambaram, in Tamil Nadu, India, (with Vinodhini and the Late Radha Kant Jha, I was told that all the images carved on the temple pillars were the thousands of asanas that Shiva assumed when he was upset with his Consort, (Parvati or also known as Shakti – the Supreme Goddess),  so instead of verbally lashing out or physically lashing her he used his anger and upset to create a dance or choreography of the upset experiences…..compassion at its best?  What could she say to that!….what an Art form….Yogasanas the Art of Living Well.   And we all have benefitted from the energy of the misunderstanding in just one “time” during this relationship, superb creativity dances for thoughts, excellent documentation temple pillars that have stood for thousands of years.  Thanks be to Parvati for motivating Shiva to respond with such creativity and to Mr. Devdutt Pattanaik for sharing his knowledge with us all. Thanks to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York City for allowing visitors like me to take pictures of a Nataraj sculpture.

Please do yourself a favor and click the link just under the picture to have a listen….do share this with others….stay open and receptive to ideas…..Namaskaram…..OM

The Science Behind Temple Bells

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In most western sacred spaces such as churches visitors and members are required to show their reverence by remaining silent.  However, in Indian Temples one will see everyone from the smallest babies being held by their families to frail elders and of course the healthy and robust visitor, Ringing the Temple bells loudly, maybe even several times….so imagine during a procession of a family of large or small numbers to pilgrimages with hundreds the constant bell ringing.  Why is this done?  Well, some say it sends a message stating that “I am here and ready to receive the benefits.” My Facebook friend Narasimha Swamy shared the science behind the ringing of temple bells………….

“Most of the old temples have large bells at the entrance of the temple and you need to ring them before you enter the temple.  Temple bells have a scientific phenomena; it is not just your ordinary metal.  It is made of various metals including: cadmium, lead, copper, zinc, nickel, chromium, and manganese.  The proportion at which each one of them are mixed is a real science behind the bell.  Each of these bells is made to produce such a distinct sound that it can create unity for your left and right brain.  The moment the bell is sounded, it produces a sharp but lasting sound which lasts for a minimum of seven seconds in an echo mode good enough to touch your seven healing centers or chakras in your body.  Also while ringing the bell the sound helps your brain to empty all thoughts.  Invariably you will enter the state where you are very receptive.  This state allows you to be ONE with Awareness.  Your mind is often so pre-occupied that the only way to awaken it is with a shock of some sort.  The Bell ringing works as an anti-dote for the brain/mind.  Before one enters the temple do ring the Bell to awaken and prepare for a taste of Divine Awareness, this is the scientific reasoning behind the ancient tradition of Ringing Temple Bells….next time don’t miss your chance to wake up and be Blessed!  Thanks again to Narasimha Swamy for sharing this valuable explanation.  Namaskaram OMUnknown Unknown-1