August 17- August 23, 2014

Not needing to be special or a particular way is what it means to be free. We all have images of ourselves that we unconsciously carry with us throughout our waking hours. It is these self -images that drive us, mostly to seek approval from those important to us. Much of our lives are spent trying to live out these identities. We are defined by the roles we play. They are the stories we weave about ourselves. Living out these stories becomes self-deceptive and prevents us from living more genuinely. Yoga teaches us to see through the illusions and live more antithetically. Begin to drop your identification with small self through courage and kindness. Break free from being special and wake up to experience your authentic self.

August 10- August 16, 2014

Noticing space: How do we do this? Begin with the room you are in. We feel a sense of calm because all space is the same. The space around you and me is no different. Let go of the objects in the room. They neither excite, repel or attract. Space is always present and unlimited. Begin to develop a spacious view about self including the mind. Make room for everything. Develop a new perspective. Let go of the thinking mind. Investigate the emptiness and focus on the space before and after a thought. Concentrate on the space between. Hear the silence.

July 27- August 2, 2014

Swadhyaya: Self Study or observation without judgment is the highest spiritual practice. It is a skillful and systematic investigation into how things are. Study how you are: functions, habits, relationships, strengths and shortcomings. Look at self with insight, objectivity, and honesty. This is your first step toward self improvement and transformation.

July 20- July 26, 2014

Tapas is the word of the week. It literally means to generate heat, energy, and light. As we practice yoga, we begin to change direction, to ebb and flow as all of creation does. Set a positive intention, commit to it, and effect a positive change in your life. Don’t stay stagnant. It takes heightened awareness, discipline, and effort to move through uncomfortable situations. Feel the sparks of tapas as you work through it.

July 13- July 19, 2014

This week’s meditation is on Sauca.  The first niyama asks us to cultivate a healthy body through diet, exercise and cleanliness. In addition, Sauca cultivates a healthy mind through the company we keep and the things we do. Through the process of purification, we rid the body and mind of toxins (mala) and any impurities. Taking care of our temple is the way to access the divine inner light of awareness. Sauca leads to a balanced, focused and happy life.

July 7- July 12, 2014

Santosa is contentment. It is  joyfully accepting whatever life provides and not wanting more than is at hand. True inner happiness rests upon feeling content with who we are right now, even as things change from moment to moment. Santosa is also about being grateful. When Santosa is present, happiness pervades our being.

June 29- July 6, 2014

Aparigraha – Non-attachment- literally translated means “freedom from obsessive desires that do not serve us well.” Attachment is the cause of our suffering. We cling and resist the flow of life. Yoga teaches us to let go and live in the present moment. When we live life consciously, slow down, and pay attention, we are experiencing things as they are. We can acknowledge abundance and practice gratitude. Yoga invites us to let go of well-worn patterns, attitudes, and old beliefs. Through the practice of aparigraha we recognize that life’s impermanent and always changing. “Cling to nothing, handle anything.”

June 22- June 28, 2014

Our 4th Yama on the path to enlightenment is Brahmacharya. Yoga is concerned with controlling our sensory organs in order to keep balance and harmony. Sensual and sexual impulses are powerful forces that are important for us to moderate. When we are attached to these impulses, they become distracting, hijack our attention, and use up our life force. Brahmacharya reminds us to conserve vital energy. Moving away from indulgence contributes to overall health and vitality. The direction of yoga is moderation, pacing ourselves and maintaining our inner orientation. Enjoy what life has to offer without being attached or addicted to sensations. Channel the energy toward activities that support growth and transformation. Use your energy wisely and responsibly. Don’t let desires control you. Don’t let distractions derail your attention and curtail your progress. Brahmacharya contributes to lasting inner contentment.

June 15-June 21, 2014

Asteya is the 3rd Yama of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras: Living an ethical, virtuous life includes non-stealing. Practice Asteya with Ahimsa (non-harming) and Satya (truthfulness) and your life will be happy. Never taking more than your fair share of what is given has broader psychological and social meanings. Do we steal from each other everyday? Consciously observe self and others. Do we misinform, cheat, exploit, or destroy the environment? Do we steal time or attention? Use less and share more. Live simply with purity of heart. Be kind, honest, and truthful. Practicing Asteya can also shift the way we think about giving and receiving. Can you give without wanting anything in return? Let go, give yourself, and discover love. Receive and open yourself to others. Yoga is about our connections.

June 1- June 7, 2014

Ahimsa: Non-Violence is the very first Yama (part of Patanjali’s 8-limbed path) on your journey to enlightenment. Yamas are skillful ways to relate to the world without adding to suffering. They are moral and ethical codes of behavior, not dogmatic commandments, guiding us for the benefit of all. Our actions toward others are essential to our well being.  Ahimsa is the practice of compassion, loving-kindness,and acceptance. Refrain from causing distress in thought, word or deed to any living creature. Cherish and respect all life.  Neutralize unwholesome thoughts by cultivating the wholesome in our lives. We must not fail to contribute.

May 25- May 31, 2014

Sadhna is practice, not just breathing and postures.  Practice Yama and Niyama. Ethical practice is your foundation.  It goes right to the heart of actions of body, speech and mind. It keeps us kind, sensitive and balanced internally and externally. Practice will increase clarity of thought, perceptions and feelings. This is a way to ground yourself in the world of relationships which include other people, animals, environmental elements and one’s internal state of mind and body. Our very existence depends on it.  Only our morality in our actions can give us beauty and dignity in life. Turn the mind and heart in a new direction with a new understanding, bringing light and peace to the entire ecological web of existence. When we maintain our dignity and act truthfully in the face of ethical challenges, others will follow our brave lead and also behave with a clean conscience.

May 18- May 24, 2014

Think about “Being a Fool.” There is pleasure in being foolish. It comes from letting go of self-consciousness, self importance and social expectations. There is freedom in knowing that you are not responsible for the way things turn out. Lift the burden of that weight off your shoulders.  You don’t have to impress others or strive to be a certain way. You are not controlled or confined by a over-inflated or under-inflated ego. When you become the fool, you relax the rules and goals that run your lives. There is a softening of the beliefs that hold up your world and ideas of who you think you are.

 

Who are you really? Don’t be limited by your occupation, reputation or preferences.  Forget self with reckless abandon.  This wild and new sense of freedom gives you a burst of energy.  Give yourself permission let go of the old self and try on different selves.  Stop trying so hard to accomplish, prove, measure up or cover up whatever we think we lack.  Be unpredictable and transparent and risk losing face.  But you may also be exposing yourself to the possibility of a genuine connection to others.  Who knows who you’ll meet or what door you’ll open.

May 11- May 17, 2014

What is pranayama? It is the art and science of consciously regulating the breath.  It is the most important activity you can engage in! Why do pranayama? Physical well-being, lightness of heart, clarity of mind, inner and outer health and fulfillment, purpose, intention, and direction are all ways that yogic breathing techniques can improve your life. Become the “master of life-force” and you will feel a greater aliveness. It is a doorway to self-expression giving you more confidence, and higher levels of awareness, focus and concentration. Improve your overall health and well-being physically, mentally, and spiritually.   Cleanse and calm, detox and energize.  Take a deep diaphragmatic breath and say, “Ahhh!” Make your breath your mantra!

May 4- May 10, 2014

Moderation or the Middle Way is the corner stone of a Buddhist practice. This is not surprising, when you consider Buddha’s life. He was raised in the “lap of luxury” in his youth, having parents that showered him with all the beauty in life.  He wanted for nothing. Yet as he grew older, he knew something was missing in life.  After having discovered that outside the palace gates there was suffering, Buddha went in search of truth.  He decided that self -denial and deprecation might bring him closer to happiness. It wasn’t until he realized that maintaining balance was the way to enlightenment, that he finally found peace.

 

His teachings remind us that we are all capable of developing equanimity with an equal measure of compassion and wisdom.  He encourages us to open the mind and the heart as we journey through life. Becoming whole requires an arc that swings in both directions, until we find balance.  Life is not a linear path.  It takes courage, steadfastness, self-love, restraint, inner strength and non-attachment.  Practicing moderation prevents us from over- indulgence and/or restriction.  These extremes can take all forms in life. They spill into our relationships, work, even leisure activities. Make friends with time and patience.  Shift into neutral.  Observe without judgement.

 

“Moderation is the silken string running through the pearl chain of all virtues.”- Buddha

April 27- May 3, 2014

Trust The Voice of Intuition:

Many of us are raised to believe that the best way to make a decision is by carefully weighing the pros and cons. We thoughtfully make a list in order to assure a positive outcome.  It all seems so logical.  We believe that we have some control over the situation. But life is illogical.  And sometimes we plan in one direction and it takes us in another.  We are usually coming from a place in our heads, instead of from a place in our guts. The brain operates from experience and sets a course that plays it safe.  The mind is like an encyclopedia, keeping our life experiences at our finger tips ready to draw upon when we need to act.  But it keeps us limited and interferes with our journey.

 

On the other hand, if we listen to the voice in our gut, and quiet the voice in the head, we can navigate into unknown waters. Who knows where it could take us?  Maybe there is something new to discover.  Try it.  Test drive your intuition. Infinite possibilities exist when we stop thinking and feel what our “gut” is nudging us to do.  Listen with a sense of curiosity.  Really listen to your intuition.  You can feel it physically. It is visceral.  It is urging you move.  Trust your intuition and it will be an opportunity to explore parts of self that are hidden. Press pause.  Sit quietly and turn up the volume of your intuition.  Become familiar with it. Create the space of conscious presence by just listening.  Know yourself and connect with something larger than yourself.  Follow it and feel the flow of life.

April 20- April 26, 2014

As the weather warms and we begin to connect with nature, take a closer look at how we can learn some lessons from the natural world around us. Step into your garden and glimpse into how we can work with our environment, and applying what it teaches us, to the struggles in our own lives.


Be mindful of your surroundings. It is inviting us to investigate. Trust that you have the tools you need to handle any weeds that may arise.  You are well equipped to meet the challenges. Trust in yourself.  Begin by clearing out any overgrowth, things do that not serve you well.  Remove any obstructions.
Reveal what is beneath. Be patient.  It is a process and you need time to work on it.  Take breaks and come back to where you are.  Start again.  Navigate with joy.  Let go, relax, and give yourself permission to get dirty.  Life is not perfect.  The garden is messy.  There will be times of growth and passing away.
Dive in and express who you are. Live fully in the moment with what is, having gratitude for all its abundance.

April 13- April 19, 2014

Spring into Freedom- a journey to deepen the sense of abundance peace and joy.


Yogic Freedom is each and every beings birthright to have opportunities to be happy and to have if they choose, opportunities to seek freedom. Everyone and anyone can enjoy bliss.  It come with self-realization. You don’t have to meet certain criteria.  The practice of yoga helps us find a way to stop chasing happiness, to be still and allow the world to come to us.  We are free from trying to create permanence in an ever-changing existence.  We are free from the ego which keeps us from experiencing the world. It tries to protect us, but in doing so separates us from others and something greater than ourselves.  We surrender and let go of attachments and things that do not serve us well.  Then we are free from struggling and from conflict. We have an openness and we are fully present and able to connect with a larger Self. Don’t think, don’t imagine, don’t recall, don’t control.  Just rest comfortably with what is.  Disentangle, unravel.  Practice self-acceptance. Simply be. Cultivate a natural happy state of being.