Is Yoga at its Roots Anti-Civ?

I read a great essay by Terra Greenbrier, titled, “Against Civilization For Reconnection to Life!” This essay confronts our attachments to the norms and why we need to break free from the current status quo in order to realize our true nature, which is connection to nature and each other. Science has started to prove that social relationships are just as crucial to health and longevity as exercise. We don’t need to wait for science to catch up to realize the importance of our connection to all of life and to Earth. Here are the highlights from the essay:

“School, work, media, science, medicine, religious institutions, the nation-state and its military, political systems, economies, concepts like Progress, patriarchy, domestication, reason, morality, and politics are institutions that separate us from directly experiencing the diversity and inter-relatedness of the living world. Living within the circle of life, as an integral part of a whole organism, forms a basis for our relationships with other humans.”

How can we free ourselves from our dependence on civilization and all of its destructive distractions from our True Nature?

1: create or participate in catalyzing situations

2: inspire people to question human-centered, control-oriented culture

3: move towards decentralized, anarcho-communist, worker-controlled, ecologically harmonious, classless, international networks of syndicates/affiliations

4: figure out which seeds to scatter that will sprout from the compost of current society and then scatter those seeds. For example, teach people how to grow their own food, compost, mend clothing, fermentation as food preservation, etc.

5: confront the subtle, psychic logic of Civilization within ourselves and reclaim our Self from the false self that we were taught to create and project into the world

6: share, cooperate

7: earthen-building

8: DIY, permaculture, edible landscaping

Yoga teaches us that we are either living in yoga, a spiritual connection, or bhoga, enjoyment of the senses. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna warns that the more we indulge in the senses the further entangled we become with maya, or the material. This inevitably always ends in misery because all material enjoyments are temporary and it hurts when we get separated from our attachments. If we find fulfillment in yoga, or this spiritual connection to the Supreme, which is infinite and unchanging, we find eternal contentment. The Srimad Bhagavatam asks us to turn away from all of maya’s distractions such as movies, politics, even friendships that aren’t based on spiritual connection, so that we might find meditation, which is defined in the Srimad Bhagavatam as an unbroken stream of one thought on the Supreme.

To solve our problems we must turn towards the divine, and with realization that all living entities and the Earth are marginal energies of the divine, then each act of preserving, respecting, connecting with life, becomes a devotional act that liberates us from climate chaos, from the binds of society and civilization, and ultimately from the Maya and its inevitable miseries.

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Yoga Teacher Training

Yoga teacher training isn’t just an opportunity to learn to teach yoga, it’s where you refine all levels of your yoga practice. The yoga teacher trainings I have participated in always felt like stepping into a cocoon to emerge at the end with glistening wings of knowledge and love.

Yoga changes your life, yoga teacher training is the acceleration of your evolution into the best version of yourself.

Join me for an unforgettable 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training at the Institute of Beauty and Wellness (IBW)

Yoga brings the body, mind, and spirit together into one harmonious existence. This 200-hour Yoga Teacher Certification program is centered on both the physical and meditative properties of the practice. You will graduate with a strong understanding of:

Asana and how to sequence and instruct it

Patanjali’s Ashtanga (Eight Limbs of) Yoga

Anatomy

Role of the Yoga Teacher

Pranayama

Meditation

Working with specialty populations such as elderly & pregnant

Ayurveda

We will meet for 9 modules either the 2nd or 3rd weekend per month.

Friday: 5-9pm

Saturday 9am-5pm

Sunday 9am-5pm

This program begins April 13, apply and reserve your spot at IBW.

Spring Equinox Yoga Nidra

At Yama Yoga (231 E. Buffalo St.)

March 23, 2018 7:00-8:30PM

$20 in advance, $25 at the door

The Spring Equinox is a time of balance between light and dark hours of the day.  Times of darkness are times to dream up intentions, and times of light are the times in which we work to manifest these intentions into reality.  Spring is a time of planting seeds, metaphorical and literal, and of nourishing the soil for these seeds to grow.  This equinox yoga nidra practice will provide the opportunity to ceremoniously plant your intention seed and gather and focus your conscious and subconscious powers to nourish this intention seed into its maturity. This hour-long Yoga Nidra, similar to a guided meditation practiced in savasana, will be deeply relaxing and will allow you to access all of the layers of the Self to heal and grow.

Sign up in advance at http://yamayogastudio.com/workshops

Equality and Yoga

The Bhagavad Gita states that when one knows Truth, one sees all living beings as equals with equal vision. One sees oneself, the trees, plants, insects, birds, animals, and all varieties of humans as all children of the same source.

“One who sees Supersoul equally present everywhere, in every living being, does not degrade himself by his mind” (13.29).

If we awaken to this commonality, Earth and all of its waters, forests, wetlands, oceans, creatures, crops, and all humans whether or not we agree with them, deserve equal reverence, protection, rights, and most importantly love.

Because many humans think we’re more important and more deserving than the rest of life is how we got to be in this state of climate catastrophe and social injustice. Like children raised by parents who are more interested in their own selves, nature is beginning to aggressively cry and act out for the attention and love that it had always deserved.

In degrading nature we degrade ourselves. For example, if the water is polluted and we rely on the water to drink, cook, and bathe, we ingest the pollution through our bellies and skin. Same goes with the air, soil, etc.

Yogis: you have the knowledge. You must act on this every moment, embracing all life as your family. It is time to put the rainforests and respect for animals before our taste and diet preferences. It is time to bury consumeristic conveniences in the past by spiritualizing the way you cook, eat, walk, and live. It is time to recognize the sacred in everything, and then turn towards and serve the Supersoul. After all doing so is our True Nature.

Making Peace with Death

According the the Bhagavad Gita, death isn’t the loss of life, but it is the soul’s exchange of one body to it’s next. The soul is infinite and simply acquires and lets go of bodies just as we acquire clothes and let go when they’ve become worn out.

Fear of death is one of the kleshas, or obstacles of Yoga, which is resolved in the Bhagavad Gita, death really is not an issue because the essence of a being is eternal. Sadhguru stated a question that illuminates this point, that I paraphrase: when someone loses weight, have they lost part of themselves? No because they are not the body. When a tree loses its leaves it is still the same tree.

When you love someone are you in love with their body? When parents love their children and after ten years their children have completely different bodies, yet they still love them, so they must be loving something much deeper than the body.

Our thoughts and state of mind at death determines the body and the conditions of our next life, and death could arrive at any time. So, we must tend to the spirit as if today was our last. How do we know the state of mind or what we will think of at the time of our death which could happen at any moment? Look at what you fix your mind on. What are your daily and moment to moment focuses?

Japa Mala Beads

Japa meditation, or the chanting of mantra has changed my life. I have stuck with it for 7 years, because it has been stable ground to stand on to endure an emotionally and physically abusive relationship in 2009-2010, then gave me the strength to leave that situation. Japa combined with asana practice enabled healing from that trauma in a way that I feel safe to say I don’t experience the samskaras from that period.

Japa is the ground from which I offer my teaching. It can be more transformative than silent meditation because we are replacing the observation of endless wandering thoughts with a meditation that is intentional thoughts and vibrations on the Super Soul.

My handmade mala beads are at Yama Yoga, so you can charge up your meditation practice with 108 reputations of transcendental sound. Pick one up or private message me if you’d like me to shop you one! These handmade beauties are $70 a piece.

Horses’ sacred lessons

Hayagriva, the horse-headed incarnation of Vishnu, is the epitome of intelligence and is the guru of Saraswati, the Goddess of wisdom and study. Brahman gave each animal species a secret to teach to humans. Horses are here to teach us the lessons of how to be a yogi: to live a life of service, to yoke ourselves to community without pride, to tolerate and forgive, to protect ourselves from evil, and to listen and observe without judgement are just to name a few.