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Monthly Archives: July 2010

Yoga Education Program Information Session

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On Sunday, August 8 from 2:00pm to 3:00pm we will be holding a second information session about our upcoming 200-hour Yoga Education Program. We invite you to come to the Garden to meet Pat, Scott, and program alumni for an informal discussion and question period.

Bring all your questions.

A third information sessions will be held on Wednesday, September 8 from 7:30pm to 8:30pm.

Day 5: The room was filled with so much love.

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Bliss – Anandamaya kosha

Ananda means bliss.  However, it is not bliss as a mere emotion experienced at the level of the sheath of mind. Ananda is a whole different order of reality from that of the mind. It is peace, joy, and love that is underneath, beyond the mind, independent of any reason or stimulus to cause a happy mental reaction. It is simply being, resting in bliss called ananda.

As I looked around today as the week came to an end, I sat with true bliss thinking about one of the best parts of yoga- friends.  As you become an adult you discover it gets more difficult to make new friendships like you did when you were a kid.  You have work acquaintances and colleagues.  You are friendly to the neighbours and you might even have a golf/tennis buddy.  But in yoga you realize that none of us want or need anything from the other.  We are all on our mats on our own.  You see what other students have accomplished by coming to practice on a regular basis as a common thread tying us all together.   Read the rest of this entry

Day Four: Vijnanamaya Kosa (Wisdom day)

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When you do an intensive Wednesday is the day you think, will I get through this week?  But when Thursday is over you are a little sad because you know you only have one more day to go.  Once Friday is over you are set free with the knowledge that you have gained in the Shala pressure cooker.  It is a safe feeling to be insulated in your group and then the doors open, like those animals you see set free into the wild that walk timidly into the great wide open world not really sure if they want to leave the safety of their pens.

It was fitting that today’s Kosa means knowing.  It is the sheath of wisdom that is underneath the processing, thinking aspect of the mind.  It knows, decides, judges, and discriminates between this and that, between useful and not useful. Read the rest of this entry

Deepening My Practice: Questions to Ask Myself

Can I embrace what I do not know? Can I let go of what I think I know?

Can I let internal sensation rather than external image guide me?

Can I give up my ideas of perfection?

Can I observe without judgement, without naming?

Can I listen?

Can I honour discomfort, difference, dissonance?

Can I understand that the ground is solid? Can I accept that the ground is changing?

Can I speak the truth?

Can I sit with my fear and not be afraid?

Can I trust?

Day 3: Manomaya Kosha

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Manomaya is the mind sheath, Mana means the mind.   It is said more truly to approximate to personhood than annamaya kosa and pranamaya kosha.  It is the cause of our diversity, of I and mine.  The indian scholar Sankara likens it to the clouds that are brought in by the wind and again driven away by the same agency.

Through some challenging postures this morning, we challenged our minds.  Our inner dialogue came up with reasons to come out of postures, stay in, complain to ourselves, dislike our teachers, love our teachers for pushing us and rejoice in getting out of the posture.  A good example is, it is like a supervisor in a factory, in that it gives instructions, but is not supposed to be the manager of the factory of life. Because of this, it naturally has doubts, and created illusions. When it receives clear instructions from the deeper level, it functions quite well. However, when it is clouded over by its illusions, the deeper wisdom is clouded over.

We ended the class by dividing the class in two and half went into supported Supta Baddha Konasana.  The other half choose a recipient to support.  We went over and put blocks under their knees to add some ease.  Then we held their hands and sent loving kindness to them.  We closed our eyes and synced our breaths, it was deep and very emotional.  Our minds and hearts created support for a stranger.  Wow.

Day 2: Pranamaya – energy, breath, respiration, circulation

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Prana means energy. It is the vital force that produces the subtle vibrations related to breath, and which are the driving force behind the physical aspect of the senses and the operation of the physical body.

The breath was our focus as we started our breathing exercises this morning.  Then we moved into Surya Namaskar A and chanted OM as we flowed.  We then did a long series of standing poses (remember when they say intensive they mean it).  Someone yesterday said that yesterdays class was easy so today they held nothing back.  Over and over we went through Warrior II to Parsvakonasana to Warrior III to Parsvottanasana to revolved triangle.  Our energy was regulated through our breath we had to keep breathing at a constant steady rate.  It was really tough but we all went deeper than we ever have.  It became a meditation of sorts. Read the rest of this entry

Day 1: Go Deeper with Pat and JP

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Today was the start of the Early Morning Intensive: Go Deeper with Pat and JP.  Pat started the class with a question to the group, “How do you go deeper as it pertains to your practice?”  We all look up sitting on our mats and no one said anything.  Maybe it was the early hour, maybe nervousness because we didn’t know what was coming, but we all froze.

This weeks intensive’s theme is “Go deeper” but how does one do that?  Students can use the Kosas to help.  The Yoga path of Self-realization is one of progressively moving inward, so as to experience the purity at the eternal center of consciousness, while at the same time allowing that purity to animate through our individuality. These five levels are called koshas, which literally means sheaths. Read the rest of this entry