Wednesday, June 4, 2008

future yoga class update & recap

dear friends of yoga,

thank you all for your support w/ the yoga classes i've been teaching / sharing over the past few weeks...

classes will resume again on tuesday june 24th. same time same place. 5:45 @ The Caretakers House - 848 Divisadero - thanks so much to them for hosting. the classes will probably be every other week at that point, but i will let you know the schedule for sure when the time nears. (and i'll of course post it here)

i encourage you all to continue your yoga practice throughout the weeks, either by going to other classes or by practicing at home -- let me know if you want some suggestions of some poses or sequences to do. also is an excellent resource - go to "poses" and "build a sequence" to get help in building a sequence that works for you, or go to "practice" and "home practice" to get more ideas on how to support your personal practice.

if you have time to read on, here's a recap of some things we've gone over in class, for your reference and contemplation:

**some health benefits of yoga:
-increases circulation and efficiency of the heart
-slows respiratory rate
-improves fitness
-lowers blood pressure
-promotes relaxation
-reduces stress (the negative kind that causes ailments)
-allays anxiety
-improves coordination, posture, flexibility, range of motion, concentration, sleep, & digestion
-can be used as supplementary therapy for cancer, diabetes, arthritis, asthma, migraines, etc.
-helps to combat addictions such as smoking by allowing practitioners to become more aware of thought patterns
-and much much more!

**the 8 limbs of yoga:
-yama (discipline/restraint/abstinence)
-niyama (observance)
-asana (pose)
-pranayama (breathing techniques)
-pratyahara (sense withdrawal)
-dharana (concentration)
-dhyana (meditation)
-samadhi (super-conscious)

*hatha yoga is comprised of 3 of the 8 limbs: asana, pranayama, and dhyana.

wheels of spinning energy-light, bridging the physical and spiritual world (oh yeah). there are 7 major chakras, going from the tailbone to the crown of the head, listed w/ some characteristics below. you can chant the bija mantras (seed sound) to activate that chakra.

1. muladhara or root chakra - red - security center - relates to physical will to be & patience - earth - bija mantra is lam ("lam" as in "llama", all the "a"s are pronounced "ah")

2. svadisthana or orange chakra - sacral - sensation center - relates to creative reproduction of being & purity - water - bija mantra is vam

3. manipura or yellow chakra - solar plexus - power center - relates to shaping of being & radiance - fire - bija mantra is ram

4. anahata or green chakra - heart - love center - relates to devotion & contentment - air - bija mantra is yam

5. visuddha or blue chakra - throat - communication center - relates to resonance of being & unity - ether - bija mantra is ham

6. ajna or indigo chakra - third eye - inner conscious center - relates to knowledge of being - bija mantra is om

7. violet / white / many-colored / golden (you choose) - crown - universal conscious center - sahasrara - relates to our connectedness to the universe - bija mantra is aum

**and, last but least, a few quotes (thanks mom, for passing these on):

What is before you is it, utterly whole, complete and perfect. To seek outside is to miss it totally: This is a place you can't get to by going anywhere.

When we let go of all our battles and open our heart to whatever is present, we come to rest fully in the here and now. This is the beginning and end of spiritual practice.

- Jack Kornfield

To action alone are you entitled, never to its fruit.
Let not the fruit of action be your motive.
Neither let there be any attachment to inaction.

Abiding in Yoga, so your work without attachment
and with being balanced in success or failure.
Balance is called Yoga.

Bhagavad Gita

Yearning is a part of the beginning of anybody's practice. You have to yearn to grow. You can't want it one day, but not the next, and expect to make any real progress. You have to begin with some steady, inner hunger.

- Swami Chetanananda




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