On taking yoga off our mats, and into the world.

“Earth, may thy summer, and thy rains, and autumn, thy winter, and thy dewy frosts, and spring-time. May thy years, Prithivī! and ordered seasons, and day and night pour out for us abundance.”
// 36, Prthivī Sūkta, Atharva Veda

The word “yoga,” defined simply, is “union.”  Patanjali, the great yoga master, referred to yoga as attaining mastery over the dynamic forces of the mind.  Once the mind has been purified, disciplined, and brought to one-pointed focus, then union occurs between body and mind, consciousness and mind.  We achieve wholeness.  Ultimately, yoga brings us to the understanding of our interconnectedness with everything in the Universe, including this precious planet Earth.

April opens with the celebrations of Easter, rich with the symbolism of rebirth and renewal.  All around us are budding trees and flowers, hillsides carpeted in lush green grass, baby birds hatching, and extra light at the end of the day.  Earth Day also falls on the 22nd of this month.

The Prthivī Sūkta of the Atharva Veda is a poetic description of Earth.  It’s hymns speak of a deep Hindu tradition of reverence for nature and all forms of life.  The earth supports us, sustains us.  Our health is intimately linked to sources of clean air, water, food, and time spent outdoors connecting with Mother Nature.

If yoga is about realizing the interconnectedness of all beings, how then can we take our practice off our individual mats and into the world?  The answers lie in the foundational ethical principles for living found in the Yamas and Niyamas, the first two limbs of Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga.  Asteya (the third Yama) is the concept of non-harming, both towards ourselves and other beings.  Non-harming is practiced in thought (how we speak towards ourselves), word (how we speak to others), and through our actions in the world.

This month, as we practice on our mats together we will observe our thoughts regarding our practice from a place of loving-kindness.  As we step off our mats and into the world, we ask ourselves, “How can I help Earth, and all beings who share this planet with me?”

Here are a few ways we can increase our connection with others, and lessen our environmental impact:

  • Plant a garden.  Whether it’s flowers, herbs, or vegetables, it’s about getting your fingers into the earth and a little dirty!
  • Support your local farmers.  Visit your local farmer’s market one or more times a month.  Fresh, organic produce is healthy for you and supports the farmer!
  • Use re-useable cups and water bottles.  The amount of plastic produced and then thrown away is shocking. https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/07/plastic-produced-recycling-waste-ocean-trash-debris-environment/
  • Park it.  Walk, run, bike, ride Light Rail/BART/CalTrain one or more times a week if possible.
  • Unplug and connect.  Turn off the television, your laptop, your cellphone, and connect with your family or friends around the dinner table, on the beach, or for a walk in the woods.
  • Tune in.  Notice your surroundings, the colors, textures, and sounds, and how your energy responds to it.
  • Breathe.  Practice meditation and pranayam/breath-work.

LOKAH SAMASTAH SUKHINO BHAVANTU

May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my life contribute in some way to that happiness and freedom.

See you on the mat!

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Summer Challenge

Looking for a fun little challenge this summer that will up the peace quotient in your life?  The Breathe Los Gatos 2016 Summer Games begin June 5th!  The Summer Games are a fantastic opportunity to check out yoga classes you’ve never taken, and to help you establish a regular yoga practice.  Full participation includes a chance to win some amazing raffle prizes!

Full details here:  http://breathelosgatos.com/?tribe_events=summer-challenge-2016

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You Are Here! Mapping the Energy Body

I am excited and thrilled to be presenting my very first workshop next month!   Have you ever wondered if there was more to yoga than laying down a sticky mat and moving through a series of poses?  In this workshop we will learn about and explore the Koshas–an ancient system for mapping the energy body.  And, how we can use the Koshas to deepen and transform our yoga practice.

When & Where:  October 11, 2015, 1:30-4:30 pm, $55, Breathe Los Gatos, Los Gatos, CA

For more information:  Kosha Workshophttp://breathelosgatos.com

POSE4APURPOSE.COM

An outdoor yoga festival that benefits cancer patients and their families–it doesn’t get much better than that!  This coming Saturday, September 12th, in Vasona Park, Los Gatos, CA.  You will find collaborative (multiple teachers) yoga, acro yoga, SUP yoga, meditation, walking yoga, sound healing, and much more!  For tickets:  http://www.pose4apurpose.com/registration-tips #yoga #cancercarepoint

Yoga For Nepal Fundraiser

In April-May of last year I was journeying through Nepal with my teacher and a really amazing group of yoginis.  I returned from that trip with a deep respect for how my fellow human beings on this Earth, half-way around the world, live with so little.  I fell in love with the people, the culture, and their deep, spiritual history.  The recent devastating earthquake in Nepal broke my heart.  The Nepalese have a very long road to recovery in front of them.  In service to that hopeful recovery, I will be co-hosting (with Su Wong) a yoga fundraiser later this month.  All proceeds will go to the Yeti Foundation and their recovery and relief efforts.  Please mark your calendars, and join us for two hours of yoga, meditation, and chanting.  Minimum requested donation: $30.

Sunday, June 28th, 1:00-3:00 pm, at Mind Body Zone, Fremont, CA
For more information on the Yeti Foundation: http://www.yetifoundation.org

  

Nepal Earthquake Relief

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If you have been wondering how you can help right now, here is a link to seven different vetted charities including the SEVA Foundation:

http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-04-25/how-help-nepal-7-vetted-charities-doing-relief-work-following-earthquake

Also, in two weeks Breathe Los Gatos will be hosting an evening workshop, from which all funds will be donated to the SEVA Foundation.  The SEVA Foundation works to prevent blindness, and restore eyesight to those who need it most.   Because of the recent earthquake in Nepal, funds will also support those who suffered traumatic eye and head injuries as a result of the earthquake.  Jennifer Prugh will lead a candle-light, closed-eye flow-based moving meditation class.  Joanne Varni will lead a closed-eye restorative and somatic movement class.   It promises to be a beautiful and inspiring evening:

http://breathelosgatos.com/?tribe_events=be-the-change-you-wish-to-see

Yoga for Cancer Survivorship

If you are a yoga teacher, this teacher training is invaluable.  The first weekend is for all yoga teachers who want to know how to include cancer survivors in their classes in a safe way.  The second weekend focuses on how to lead classes specifically for those with cancer.  Teaching yoga for cancer survivorship is Lorien’s passion. Don’t miss this opportunity!

Begins March 27th!  Contact Breathe Los Gatos to register:  www.breathelosgatos.com

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