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The Yoga of Awareness

Self Observation Part Three:   In August 2012, we continued our Yoga of Awareness practice and explored the more subtle aspects of self observation. Our yoga practice continues as we aspire to be ‘yogic’ in daily life.     1. Boundaries ~ Promoting harmony or chaos? Certain boundaries promote harmony and limit chaos ~ like, the dividing line down the middle of the road indicating which side to drive on - though not necessarily true in India. Notice the boundaries we set or don't set ~ do they promote harmony or discord? 2. Self Critical vs. Self Acceptance When we look at ourselves in the mirror and in life's situations, what do we see? Is our self perception influenced by being overly self critical? Notice if/when we are too self critical and mentally repeat, "I accept myself in this moment." Shift self criticism to self acceptance. When we gracefully acknowledge and accept ourselves in those moments of being overly self critical, we open ourselves towards a healthier way [...]

By | 2013-02-15T12:55:39+00:00 August 29th, 2012|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Yoga of Awareness

Self Observation Part Two:   In June 2012, we continued to delve deeper into our practice of the Yoga of Awareness, exploring the more subtle aspects of self observation to heighten self perception. Our yoga practice doesn’t conclude with class, but continues as we aspire to be ‘yogic’ in daily life. We intend to LIVE yoga. We continue our journey with...   1. Awareness of Positive and Negative Attitudes The attitude with which we  approach life (other people, situations, experiences) shapes our outlook. Can we notice those moments of having a positive or negative attitude or outlook? By simply taking notice whether we have a positive or negative attitude towards our actions, other people, situations and even ourselves is a valuable learning tool towards better understanding ourselves and the inner workings of our mind. The more we can understand the inner workings of our mind, the easier it becomes in making healthy change. 2. Awareness of the Mind’s Activity Most of us have a sense of our daily [...]

By | 2013-02-15T12:56:09+00:00 July 2nd, 2012|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Yoga of Awareness

Self Observation Part One: May 2012 was the introduction of one component of the yoga of awareness: Self Observation.   Each week, we explored a particular facet as a tool to heighten perception of ourselves.   1. Awareness of Physical Actions How often are we caught up in thought that our body moves automatically and without our conscious awareness? Choose one physical activity in daily life ~ standing, walking, grocery shopping, etc. and be consciously aware of the physical body in that activity. Notice your posture, how your body moves, how your weight is distributed and be fully aware of your physical actions. 2. Awareness of the Senses Smell, taste, touch, sight and sound. How often are we aware of our senses in the moment? Choose one physical activity in daily life ~ maybe it's brushing your teeth, washing the dishes or cooking a meal and be consciously aware and fully present with your senses in that activity. Make an ordinary experience extraordinary! 3. Awareness of Thoughts "We [...]

By | 2013-01-20T03:19:01+00:00 May 29th, 2012|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Living Yoga: The Niyamas

  In April 2012, the Challenge of the Week - the call to live yoga - was focused on the Niyamas. The niyamas are ethical precepts in the Yoga Sutras based on our personal codes of conduct. The Niyamas relate to our internal attitude. There are five Niyamas, five 'wise characteristics' to imbibe. See and experience the Niyamas as a reminder that our true nature is compassionate, generous, honest and peaceful.     1. Saucha (cleanliness) In Saucha, we keep our life clean and tidy on all levels: personal, living space, environmental, community, food, body, mind, emotions, and psyche. Clutter in our outside environment can contribute to clutter in the mind. Maintain pure thoughts, positive emotions, a friendly mental outlook. Saucha makes us aware of the influence of what we take into our body and mind. The manifestation of Saucha creates cheerfulness, concentration and sense control, bringing clearer perception and a vision of our pure self. 2. Santosha (contentment) In Santosha, we practice contentment with whatever we have [...]

By | 2013-02-15T12:56:49+00:00 May 1st, 2012|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Living Yoga: The Yamas

In March 2012, the Challenge of the Week - the call to live yoga - was focused on the Yamas. The Yamas are ethical precepts in the Yoga Sutras based on our social codes of conduct. The Yamas relate to the attitude we have towards things and people outside of ourselves - how we behave towards others. Their are five Yamas, five 'wise characteristics' to imbibe. Rather than see the Yamas as a list of do's and don'ts, see and experience the Yamas as a reminder that our true nature is compassionate, generous, honest and peaceful.   1. Ahimsa (non-violence, compassion for all living things) Literally, ahimsa means to not injure or show cruelty in any way. Ahimsa reminds us to practice kindness, to have thoughtful consideration towards all people, all things and work cooperatively with others in a manner that is not harmful. We work to manage our expression of negative emotions to avoid emotional harm to others. 2. Satya (commitment to truthfulness and honesty in thought, [...]

By | 2013-02-15T12:57:19+00:00 April 3rd, 2012|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Living Yoga: The 18 “ities”

In September 2011, All Elements began offering a "Challenge of the Week" - a call to live yoga. The Challenge of the Week is an opportunity to bring our yoga practice from the group class setting at All Elements (the learning ground) to daily life (the practice ground). Daily life continually presents us with possibilities to practice maintaining a calm and balanced perspective in all of life's situations. In early February 2012, we completed the "18 Ities" as our yogic challenge. An "Ity" is a positive quality ending in I-T-Y created by Swami Sivananda to develop the whole personality. Each week at All Elements, we explored each of the different "ities." Remember, just because we've completed the challenge of imbibing an "ity" each week doesn't mean you have to leave the ities behind. On the contrary, you can continue practicing the "ities" on your own. The "ities" are practical tools of how we can continue to live yoga in daily life. You can practice an 'ity' for a [...]

By | 2013-02-15T12:57:48+00:00 March 1st, 2012|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Nada Yoga: The Yoga of Sound

Nada is the music without the keys, the sounds without the strings - Nada is the inner music that pervades our whole being. In the same way that the fragrance is in the flower and the reflection is in the mirror, so the Nada (Sound) is within you. Seek it in your own Self... Nada is translated as "sound" and "the flow of consciousness." Yoga is "unity" or "to unite." The practice of Nada Yoga takes us into the realm of the subtle flows of energy within our own being, using the medium of sound. Everything in the universe is composed of energy and wave forms at varying degrees of vibration and levels of subtlety. This vibration exists in atoms, molecules, minerals, plants, animals and within our own body, mind and emotions. It is this vibration which creates movement and sound. Movement and sound exists on obvious and very subtle planes of existence. As our perception becomes more sensitive and heightened, the more subtle planes of existence can [...]

By | 2013-02-15T12:58:19+00:00 January 30th, 2012|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Do you want to reduce stress?

Learn the Art and Science of RELAXATION Art: the application and expression to create and influence the senses, emotions, imagination and intellect. In art class we learn the different tools to create an effect ~ pencil catches detail, charcoal creates contrast, pastel for blending. Science is knowledge attained through study, practice and experimentation. In science class we learn chemistry (the identity and relationship of substances), biology (life and its organisms), physics (nature and properties of matter and energy) What is LARGELY missed is: the Art and Science of RELAXATION ~ the releasing of accumulated tension in the body and in the mind. This is what we learn in YOGA CLASS. RELAXATION IS AN ART: There are several techniques within the Satyananda system of yoga (the tradition of yoga instructed at All Elements) to bring about a state of relaxation. Specific tools and practices are utilized and developed, bringing strength and energy to our total being in a joyful and relaxed way. RELAXATION IS A SCIENCE: It has been [...]

By | 2013-02-15T12:58:38+00:00 November 30th, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Mantra Om/Aum

What is Aum/Om and why do we chant 3? Aum/Om: The universal mantra. Mantra - in its simplest form - is pure sound vibration which helps free the mind from its limitations. What is a limitation of the mind? Thinking the world is flat was once a limitation of the mind. An apple falling from the tree and thinking the sky is falling is a limitation of the mind. 60 years ago, one could not imagine a computer weighing less than 20 tons. Limited thinking indeed! Even those thoughts of "I'm not good enough" or "I could never achieve that" is a limitation of the mind. Don't let yourself get caught in a limited thinking mind! Aum is a core mantra, meaning, it is the vibration of creation manifested as sound. By chanting Aum, we connect from our limitiations to our possibilities, from our current state of  being to our higher potential, from the "I" or "me," to the "us" and "we." From the individual consciousness, feel yourself [...]

By | 2013-02-15T12:58:59+00:00 November 1st, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Why all the SILENCE? And all the NOISE?

Last month, we touched on why we choose not to perform adjustments...this month, we'd like to talk about why we don't play music during our classes. A few students have asked about this, so we thought it would be worth taking time to explain. While yoga class can be a welcome escape from the noise and chaos of daily life, the goal of yoga is being able to take your practice off the mat. Having pleasant and calming music in the background can definitely help you tune out during a yoga class...but here's the thing: we don't want you to tune out. Yoga is about TUNING IN. Yoga is about being comfortable with your surroundings - in the silence and in the noise. The noise of the dog groomers next door, the noise of the landscapers with their mowers and leaf blowers...just as you try to relax in shavasana for Yoga Nidra. The noise and the silence is your yoga. To progress in your yoga practice, it is [...]

By | 2013-02-15T12:59:19+00:00 October 1st, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments