Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thoughts for a Thursday

Oh, a very useful philosophical animal, your average tortoise.
Outrunning metaphorical arrows,
beating hares in races...
very handy.

Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Where are we?

What's happening out there? I think some of us have truly lost sight of what yoga is really all about and why it had meaning to us in the first place. I just read an article in the New York Times called A Yoga Manifesto. This article reported on a yoga owner who is offering classes on a donation only basis in New York City. This is a reaction to the ever increasing price tag of yoga. The article mentioned one studio which not only has pricey yoga classes but the participants must pay a membership due before they can even try any of the classes offered! It is recommended you use Internet to reserve space for a specific class. There's also a place to look up studios either in NYC or around the globe. I don't mean to be a buzz kill but there are other things I can get around the globe too, like McDonald's. I can get it anywhere, but who wants that shit? And while were at it, I not only need to bring my Visa but it looks like I have to have a laptop with WiFi if I'm going to get a little peace and asana. Oh what a minute, hold on dude, let me get back to you, my blackberry's going off.
Anyway, as I wrote in an earlier blog I was sad to see two of my own local yoga studios have closed their doors only to be replaced by more expensive commercial, one product type of studios. I was also dismayed to read that the owner of the donation based studio has found it so successful he is opening more studios around the country. I liked a lot of what he had to say but reading about those plans for all those other studios smelled like a business model, which ultimately means profit. The problem I have with this venture is when it doesn't net any longer, doors will close, teachers will be out of work and people who really benefit from a yoga practice will be out of luck. One of my favorite Forest teachers tried a donation based studio. I'm sorry to say he had to close his doors about a year later.
I hate the direction things are heading. I think this is the bubble before the burst. One last greedy inhale before it all comes down like a house of cards.
Yoga is so many wonderful things. Good for mind, body and soul. I personally love a community practice. I love practicing with others. The energy can be fantastic and the people inspirational. I love the disheveled lady who comes in with several bags who I often see in class. The man who needed a chair for six months because his arthritis was so bad he couldn't practice standing, or the folks I read about a few years ago in Alaska who live in an isolated area but get together once a week, put on the one yoga DVD they own and practice. If only we could all see the big picture, the forest from the trees, we wouldn't be headed in this downward trajectory. Oh well, lessons yet to be learned I guess.
Wishing peace love and generosity of heart to everyone.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day 2010

Rainbow Shimmering color arched against grey sky,
Painted by dancing light on air-borne mist.
Wide flung by a sacred hand...
The Hand that formed of dust nothingness
The solid Earth below.
Beauty and promise together blended,
Beauty ethereal, promise divine.
Given to grace the clouds and the rain,
Given to bless the world-weary heart...
Shimmers... fades... brightens...
To vanish in brilliance...
Shines through the dark in my soul
By Red Unicorn (Barbara Mann)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Rite of Spring

The Joffrey Ballet's 1987 production of Vaslav Nijinsky and Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring
As Spring begins to warm the Earth and bring all living creatures out of hibernation its quite common to feel both jubilant and exhausted at the same time. The needs of the body are shifting and an awareness to unload is palpable. Many are affected by Spring time allergies as well, which deplete the system and causes general lethargy. This is a great time to create a personal Springtime ayurvedic program to increase general vitality and assist the body in alleviating allergy symptoms.
Medicinal Herbs
Before deciding to use herbal remedies you must make an appointment with your doctor. Bring the list of herbs to your appointment and how you will be using them. Inquire if these can be incorporated into your diet. Your physician knows your medical history and will inform you if something should not be taken because it is counterproductive to your system or will exasperate a medical condition or counteract the medication you are taking. Do not look this information up on the Internet, you have no idea if the information you are getting is accurate. Don't get cute, go see your doctor. If your doctor tells you there's no harm but these recommendations are worthless and you should continue using your medication.. fabulous! Continue using your medication and incorporate some of these ideas into your daily routine. If they help, great, if they don't, no harm done. Let's be honest if your prescription medication was working 100% you wouldn't be here looking up allergy relief.
Contains three of the most important Ayurvedic herbs for detoxifying and rejuvenating the body.
Take ½ teaspoon or two capsules at night or first thing in the morning. Increase to 1 teaspoon or three capsules after one week. You can use it for up to six months at a time.
This common kitchen herb is effective for drying mucus and soothing irritation associated with allergies.
Take ¼ teaspoon with 1 teaspoon organic honey three times a day, or if your allergies are acting up, once every half hour. Honey is suggested to help digest the turmeric and make it taste better.
Drinking ginger tea with lemon juice and organic honey before meals keeps the digestive fire healthy and your elimination patterns regular.
This herbal formula is great for preventing springtime colds. It's especially good for people who have a history of upper-respiratory-tract infections, weakened immunity, or bronchitis during the winter.
Take ½ teaspoon with organic honey in warm water three times a day before meals.
  • Decrease amount of oil used in cooking ( try cooking with olive oil only for one month)
  • Decrease the amount of fat ( ie French fries, grilled cheese sandwiches, pizza)
  • Increase pungent, bitter and astringent foods ( legumes, dark leafy greens, garlic)
  • Increase your daily intake of water


  • Shoulder stand - Salamba Sarvangasana
    Shoulder stand and other inversions open the nasal passages for improved drainage. Two minutes is more than sufficient.
  • Bridge Pose - Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
    Bridge Pose as well as other back bends help to expand the chest and lungs, giving increased breathing capacity.
  • Garudasana ( eagle pose), Eka Pada Rajakapotasana ( pigeon) Prasarita Padottanasana (wide leg forward bend), Gomukhasana (cow face) These poses help to activate the liver and gallbladder meridian.

Incorporate breath in the form of kapalabhati and nadi sodhana to assist in clearing nasal passages.

Do what you can, keep doing what works and open up to feeling warm, happy and vital as Spring comes rolling in!

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Yup.... This is just about where I'm at.
Check please,
Savasana here I come.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


In one week I have found out two yoga studios in my neighborhood are closing or have closed. It's been a busy year and I haven't had any real chance to step out and explore. My schedule is tight and just keeping to that has been difficult. No opportunity for little visits or new explorations, so I had no idea these changes had occurred. I was shocked by the news. Both studios were community based and offered a wonderful variety of yoga classes. These spaces were a community for yoga enthusiasts at different levels and offered a healing space to relax and unwind. Both opened their doors to different types of yoga and were open to exploration. They were priced moderately and welcomed folks of all levels, ages and income.
There seems to be a change in the air. One studio seemed to be changing ownership but may continue as a small community but offers only one type of yoga so the teachers who taught are no longer needed. The other is a very commercial operation which offers again one type of class at steep prices. Gone are the funky signs, experimental workshops, meditation evenings and yoga dance. In come the advertising, emphasis on class size and no variety.
Very sad..... What's happening out there?

Sunday, April 11, 2010


When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds; your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Hill

What is it that creates the drive in some to make a begrudging trek while others choose something more amicable, serene, perhaps desirable? Freud tells us that each individual has a unique inherent constitution which creates a drive, a self will. Each life drive will self actualize in its own manner. Natural drive state cannot be evaporated. Diminished by pathology or life events perhaps but the essence is always present. A natural state unique to each individual.

When do we decide that peace is not an after 5:00 pm event or weekends only? I'm in the grip of another Spring madness. Deeply personal with a multitude of professional obligations. I think its this way for many, but does it need to be so depleting? It's a puzzle for me and a piece of my karma. How can we be at peace in our soul when life is blasting at 150 miles an hour under our bellies? Is life going that fast or am I? I'm not sure.... I think I haven't figured out anything yet.

Wishing jai bhagwan and deep peace to all.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


“April is a promise that May is bound to keep.”
Hal Borland