Guru Purnima ~ Chalisa at Native Yoga

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Tomorrow is July’s full moon which is celebrated in India and elsewhere as Guru Purnima – known as the celebration of the Spiritual Teacher.

As an added bonus to the celebration Pattabhi Jois was also born on Guru Purnima in 1915!  Jai to Tim Miller for keeping this tradition alive stateside!

Join Todd tomorrow at 7am for an extra heartfelt Hanuman Chalisa to celebrate this special occasion. (We also are wishing our son a Happy Birthday as he was born on Guru Purnima in July 2006.)

 

Day 15 – No Shave Yoga Event – Not as Scruffy but Awesome

  
No Shave November is focused on generating discussion about men’s health and raising funds for those diagnosed with cancer. Without the support from the women in our lives we would be left helpless. I am blessed to have the support of these amazing women and encourage everyone, male and female to help support the cause.

Follow these amazing Yogis this November for the No Shave Yoga Event @adampolhemusyoga @brianmilleryoga @davidmiliotis @gregnardi @juankgalan @nativeyoga @willduprey #yogabeardsunite 

Help us raise awareness about men’s health and donate to https://www.no-shave.org/ or join our Fund Raising Team called Yoga Beards Unite at https://www.no-shave.org/team/yogabeardsunite

Why No Shave November? Compassion for Others 

Day 2 – No Shave Yoga Event – #yogabeardsunite – Why No Shave November? Compassion for Others   
A question that may come to mind is, why would we want to not shave during the month of November? We certainly can come up with a ton of reasons why shaving is a good idea i.e., it’s not as itchy, it feels cleaner and smoother and my grandma likes it better when I shave to name only a few. The reason for the campaign of No Shave November is to make a statement, emanating an expression of compassion for others. In yoga philosophy and practice there is an adage (Loka-Samgraha) that encourages us to offer the fruits of our practice such as, good health, positive frame of mind and improved concentration, to the greater good of humanity. This is why I am practicing not shaving for this campaign. It is my hope that our effort to raise money and awareness for others plight may offer the simplest expression of compassion to someone who needs it. Chances are you have had someone close to you diagnosed with cancer at some point in your life. If so then you know how challenging it is when you would like to be able to help but feel like there is nothing that you can do. We cannot guarantee that this campaign will change the course of our life or someone else. Yet by setting the intention that we would like to help, as humble as an intention may be, perhaps together we can make a difference.

Today Greg Nardi explains what Loka-Samgraha means in the video below. 

 
No Shave Yoga Event is a group of yoga teachers who have banded together to help spread the word, grow hairy, raise money and inspire health through the practice of yoga. Our fundraising team is called Yoga Beards Unite and we aim to raise at least $1500 by the end of November. Please help us achieve our goal by donating to our team page at https://www.no-shave.org/team/yogabeardsunite. When you post on social media please tag us to show your support and share your story to help us in our endeavor. Together we can make a difference! @adampolhemusyoga @brianmilleryoga @davidmiliotis @gregnardi @juankgalan @nativeyoga @willduprey

No Shave Yoga Event

rsz_1rsz_nsyeDuring the month of November I am striving to raise awareness about cancer and to help fundraise for the organization www.no-shave.org. I have created two main events to help this process. One is an actual gathering at Native Yoga Center for a donation based yoga class on November 22nd at 12pm. If you live locally in South Florida you can register for the event at the No- Shave Yoga Event registration page. The other event is an online fundraising social media campaign involving male yoga teachers from around the world. We are collectively growing a beard to support the cause and are posting pictures and words of inspiration on our social media channels. Our team is called Yoga Beards Unite and it consists of @adampolhemusyoga @brianmilleryoga @davidmiliotis @gregnardi @juankgalan @nativeyoga @willduprey. Follow us on Instagram and on our favorite social media channels. These events are open for all to participate, male and female. Your support will help those who are working through the challenge of cancer receive financial and moral support. Help show your support by including #yogabeardsunite on your posts as well. Thank you!

Pass it on: Ashtanga was not designed for adolescent boys

The Confluence Countdown

One of the many delightful moments at this month’s Ashtanga Yoga Confluence was when Eddie Stern invited everyone in the audience to pass this message on:

“Ashtanga was not designed for adolescent boys.”

He noted that if all 350 people gathered passed that on — in Los Angeles, in New York, in Florida, in Arizona, in Israel, in Mexico and everywhere else we’d come from — it would go a long way to ending this myth. (One place you’ll find this myth is good old Wikipedia.)

“This is not true,” Eddie said of that myth. Krishnamacharya and eventually Guruji were teaching all types of people at the Mysore palace and Sanskirt University, but when it was time for demonstrations, the boys were the ones on show. But they weren’t the intended students.

Do I have to remind you who were?

Sick people, old people, stiff people… everyone except lazy people.

Pass…

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The Evolution of Our Practice

The Evolution of Our Practice
Anytime we examine the process of evolution it is important to have a clear memory of the past. If we can distinctly recall our history and also take an assessment of where we are now, then it is possible to examine what has occurred and notice if and how we have progressed.

  
At some point, in the realm of yoga practice, we have the opportunity to reflect on how our practice has evolved. Regardless of how long we have been practicing this theory can hold true. The reality is that one would need to have at least two practice sessions complete to be able to observe the progression of the practice. We can notice how our perception has shifted from one repetition to the next. This ability seems to become enhanced the longer we are involved in and with a practice.
Do you remember the first time you encountered yoga? It is important to try to recall the feelings we had regarding our first experience. It is really interesting to try to recollect the reason why we decided to try practicing yoga in the first place. There are multiple reasons why we might find interest in trying yoga. Perhaps it is to try a new form of exercise, lose some weight, increase our flexibility and strength, or even to delve deeper into our understanding of spirituality and self inquiry. Regardless of the reason, if we can first become clear about the “why”, we can begin to see how we have grown since that time.

  
Do you feel like you have progressed since your first encounter with yoga? I feel progression is a lot easier to measure once you establish your self in a practice for a long duration. Exactly how long? That will depend on each person. I remember the first time I tried yoga it was in the form of Mantra yoga and it required chanting words using japan mala(108 beads strung together to serve as a tool to keep focussed on the mantra recitation). I quickly found that it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be but I did notice some positive effects very soon thereafter. I did not stick with it though for any continuation so it is challenging to say how effective it could of been had I made a daily ritual of it. I mention this because progression seems to rely heavily on endurance with dedication to one form of yoga for an extended span of time.
If we were to come to the realization that we do not feel like we have progressed this would probably be due to two factors. One, are we still practicing? The second being, do we have faith the practice will take us to our goal? If the answer to the first question is no, then I think it is probably obvious as to why we don’t see any transformation. If the answer is yes and we still do not feel like there is an unfolding of development then the big question becomes, do we believe in the method of practice to begin with? I say this is the “big question” because believing in what you are doing is one of the golden keys to success. If from the core of your being you feel that your method of practice is sound and true, then a favorable outcome is bound to occur. Faith constitutes a cornerstone in the path to progress.

  
I found myself reflecting on these questions today as we are coming to the close of our Third Series Teacher Training with Tim Miller. I feel like these two weeks have been an incredible opportunity for growth and development. When I first started practicing asana yoga I undoubtedly was attracted to the challenge of the posture practice. I was enthralled with trying to deepen my poses purely in the realm of the physical. To be very honest I am excited about this aspect of the practice more than ever before. Exposing myself to this group of practitioners has inspired me beyond measure. As I probe the question a bit more deeply though I can’t help but feel that my understanding of yoga and its purpose is what is truly evolving. Is it because of the asana I am feeling so much indebtedness? Perhaps it is because Tim has opened me up to a multitude of complimentary practices (asana, pranayama, bhakti, kirtan and mantra) that I am feeling such a deep sense of gratitude? Regardless, I feel that my whole focus has radically shifted from a place of desiring progress through the physical to a place of thankfulness for the transpersonal. That is an appreciation with states or areas of consciousness beyond the limits of personal identity. In some miraculous way I feel that I have been able to shed a few of my inhibitions and the moral support of the gathering of these folks has given me a renewed sense of accomplishment. Thank you for this as I am deeply beholden.