Monthly Archives: September 2011

AWAKENING TO YOUR REAL SELF

 

I used the word ” awakening” in the title  because your Real Self is always present and it is a matter of awareness, self-observation and developing your “witness” aspect,  so that you may discover that which has always been present. Who you really are is an ever-present stream of Divinity, Source…. Love!

The Real Self is beyond all concepts, you are the great encompassing Vastness, which is unborn and undying, within which all phenomena arises perfectly, including the self.
You certainly have ideas and definitions of who you are. Most people define themselves from the limited finite aspect of the self or the little mind. It’s our story…who we think and believe we are. As an example one might say:
I’m a woman and my name is Susan. I’m 5′ 4″ tall and weight 125 lbs. I have brown hair and blue eyes. I’m married and have 3 children. I live in California and am a lawyer. etc…etc…
Even though you may define yourself in this way you can go beyond this limited concept of self. You are so much more than that small limited separate self. You have a physical body, with thoughts and emotions but you are so much more than just your body and physical sensations. They are not the totality of your being. So start your journey to discovering who you really are by asking yourself this very important question: “Who am I?”
Ken Wilber’s article    “So Who Are You?”   is excellent!

As one looks inward and practices self-reflection, the Real Self or the ground of your being can be known. This great vastness is ever-present. Once you can develop the “witness” aspect  and accept all the other varying aspects of self that you have labeled good or bad, you can then come to terms with the little egoic self and all your inner voices. As your compassion grows you can accept your humanness and know what it means to be a Divine being having a human experience. Gempo Roshi teaches a process called Big Mind that quickly takes you to your non-dual self, the ground of your being. You can listen to his videos on You Tube. There are many.
All it takes is that you are prepared and ready to open up to this awareness.
I did workshops with Gempo Roshi and they were wonderful. I have taught his “Big Mind” process to several of my clients and it have been extremely useful for them. It brings one to mindfulness and gives you the taste of your Real Self.

AWAKENING TO YOUR REAL SELF

 

I used the word ” awakening” in the title  because your Real Self is always present and it is a matter of awareness, self-observation and developing your “witness” aspect,  so that you may discover that which has always been present. Who you really are is an ever-present stream of Divinity, Source…. Love!

The Real Self is beyond all concepts, you are the great encompassing Vastness, which is unborn and undying, within which all phenomena arises perfectly, including the self.
You certainly have ideas and definitions of who you are. Most people define themselves from the limited finite aspect of the self or the little mind. It’s our story…who we think and believe we are. As an example one might say:
I’m a woman and my name is Susan. I’m 5′ 4″ tall and weight 125 lbs. I have brown hair and blue eyes. I’m married and have 3 children. I live in California and am a lawyer. etc…etc…
Even though you may define yourself in this way you can go beyond this limited concept of self. You are so much more than that small limited separate self. You have a physical body, with thoughts and emotions but you are so much more than just your body and physical sensations. They are not the totality of your being. So start your journey to discovering who you really are by asking yourself this very important question: “Who am I?”
Ken Wilber’s article    “So Who Are You?”   is excellent!

As one looks inward and practices self-reflection, the Real Self or the ground of your being can be known. This great vastness is ever-present. Once you can develop the “witness” aspect  and accept all the other varying aspects of self that you have labeled good or bad, you can then come to terms with the little egoic self and all your inner voices. As your compassion grows you can accept your humanness and know what it means to be a Divine being having a human experience. Gempo Roshi teaches a process called Big Mind that quickly takes you to your non-dual self, the ground of your being. You can listen to his videos on You Tube. There are many.
All it takes is that you are prepared and ready to open up to this awareness.
I did workshops with Gempo Roshi and they were wonderful. I have taught his “Big Mind” process to several of my clients and it have been extremely useful for them. It brings one to mindfulness and gives you the taste of your Real Self.

Change

Change can be scary.  Think outside of the confines of a black and white box.  Imagine that the impossible is possible and do not let fear control your life.  Remove the programming that keeps us all stuck…stagnent.  "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it." Albert Einstein

Let go of limiting beliefs and share your inspired ideas.  Believe that change is possible.

Today’s Featured Yoga Blog By Claudia Azula Altucher: 32 Unusual Ways To Love Ourselves

 

By Claudia Azula Altucher, ClaudiaYoga.com 

I happen to think that loving ourselves is the very first principle for anything in life.  Without self love it is difficult to love others, or to give.  Although it sounds selfish and counter intuitive self love is the only way in which we can learn how to love another one.  Seeing what is good in us is the fundamental principle behind seeing what is good in everyone, in recognizing our own divinity, and hence others' divinities.

 

Warning, this might lead to better self esteem at worst and the realization that we are all divine beings at best. 

  1. Learning to say "thank you but I think I will skip" when we do not want to do something
  2. Taking responsibility for how we feel
  3. Using only positive and glorious words when talking about ourselves
  4. Before eating asking "what is the healthiest most nutritious thing I can eat now"?, then trusting what we hear, really trusting. May be ice-cream today, might be spinach tomorrow, if we trust.
  5. Taking a media fast once in a while
  6. Taking a "me" day off, for real
  7. Praying at home, in the train, in the car, during laundry, after yoga, on the street, in the shower…
  8. Taking a long walk, with only ourselves
  9. Remembering our priorities
  10. Honoring those whom we love
  11. Using place mats and the art of conversation during meals
  12. The kitchen sink is always empty and clean
  13. Making the bed every morning
  14. Taking a Saturday afternoon for a beauty treatment (can be done at home very afford-ably)
  15. Writing down ten things we would like to experience in this lifetime
  16. Looking at the list often
  17. Reaching out to someone we know needs it
  18. Giving something away
  19. Speaking half the times we think we need to
  20. Organizing the closet
  21. Buying clothes only if they fit 2 criteria: 1-comfortable and 2-makes me feel fabulous
  22. Avoiding drama at all costs
  23. But 22 does not mean we avoid dealing with issues we know we need to deal with
  24. Speaking up when is necessary
  25. Learning to be compassionate towards others but also and most importantly to ourselves
  26. Going to bed at around the same time every night
  27. Making sure we go to the bathroom for 1 and 2 every day
  28. Looking at our reflection and going "Wow you are hot"
  29. Appreciating that it really does not need to be perfect, it just needs to be
  30. Using our energy efficiently
  31. Sending love towards the Earth
  32. Playing, often.

What are your unusual ways of loving yourself?

 

 

Claudia Azula Altucher has studied yoga for many years in the tradition of Ashtanga and visits Mysore in India yearly to study with the Jois family.  She is the author of the book 21 Things to Know Before Starting an Ashtanga Yoga Practice, (which you can get for free at her blog) and writes daily at ClaudiaYoga.com

 

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / 

 lululemon athletica

 

awake

Negative emotion does not serve you.  Be selfish only to cultivate gifts that benefit the world.  Don’t fret or gloat over winning or losing, in any arena in life…always rejoice in the happiness of others even if you think that you are left out.  Stop being so human.  Let go of ego associated with a victim mentality.  Serve others out of love.  There IS enough to go around.  If something or someone leaves your life, you can not and should not attempt to control it or force it back to you.  It means that it was time for something or someone to go because it did not serve you for you to be your best…the energy pattern no longer aligned.  Don’t ever fret….and if you do, observe it quickly and let it go.  Always try to find happiness within….external factors have no bearing on true happiness.

Today’s Featured Yoga Interview: Q&A With Derik Mills, Founder Of YogaGlo.com

 

Today's featured yoga interview is with Derik Mills, founder of YogaGlo.com. YogaGlo is the new online yoga experience in HD video that gives you the feeling of being in an actual yoga class while practicing your poses at home or on the go. For students who wish to enroll in YogaGlo studio classes in real-time with experienced and certified yoga instructors, YogaGlo is located in Santa Monica, California. To learn more about watching YogaGlo videos, enrolling in YogaGlo studio classes and signing up for a free 15-day trial with limited access to videos, visit website here

Derik Mills shares his experiences and insights on how he got into yoga, his inspiration for starting YogaGlo, and YogaGlo's widespread impact on yoga students worldwide. 

How did you first get into yoga? What were some of the health benefits that you noticed from taking up the practice?

Looking back I think it has been since my mid teenage years that I’ve had a strong curiosity about the human condition. But it wasn’t until I was finishing my undergraduate degree in Chemistry in 1996 when I took a course on some of the early yoga texts that I discovered a fascinating, universal wisdom tradition that deeply resonated with me. I have found that yoga, meditation, contemplative practices essentially invite us to engage with the process of our optimal living, to live the authentic possibilities of our potential.

Through practice I find that as my awareness increases I begin to see what works for me and what doesn’t work for me. I become more aware of my behaviors, of why I do what I do so that I can begin to transform my unskillful habits and belief patterns. The health benefits, in my experience, seem limitless along a variety of dimensions – psychologically/emotionally, physically, interpersonally, etc. I see that at every moment there is an opportunity to practice wisdom.

As CEO of two companies it is sometimes difficult for me to carve out 60 or 90 minutes for a full class. I try to meditate every day for 30 minutes, often together with my wife and I find that meditation has been so helpful in allowing me to be more patient, compassionate and less impulsively reactive. Sometimes before a challenging phone call or meeting I’ll do a little warm up of sun salutations, maybe a few handstands or backbends to clear my mind, to remind me that I am part of something much larger than myself. What is learned “on the mat” translates to how I behave “off the mat” in both obvious and very subtle ways.

What was your inspiration for starting YogaGlo?

Since my introduction to those yoga texts I’ve wondered a lot about the unifying power of the realization that regardless of religion, culture, age, political views, etc., something we all have in common is the human condition. The yoga process is simply the lifelong process of investing the quality of our condition. I wanted to participate in spreading the tools of this process around the world. But I didn’t know how.

Then the idea for YogaGlo came to me when I was yet again about to be late to one of my favorite yoga asana classes and, sitting in my car in a moment of frustration, I wished there was a camera at the back of the studio that could beam me into my favorite class whenever I wanted. And what if that website, streaming directly into my living room, could also offer me a spectrum of yoga teachings and practices, in an accessible and non-dogmatic way, from a variety of great teachers? My mind spun with possibilities.

How did you go about turning your idea into a reality? What were some of the big challenges you faced along the way?

The short answer is pure passion. It requires a creative urgency and unwavering conviction in the vision to overcome the constant flow of challenges and obstacles. Also, an idea like YogaGlo can’t become a reality without a strong team behind it with the collective competency, shared values and passion to make it viable. The YogaGlo team of yoga teachers, employees, advisors and consultants are such an amazing group of people who are smart, visionary, experienced, intuitive, fun…I could go on and on. YogaGlo wouldn’t exist without them.

What are some of the testimonials you've received from students, especially the ones who are able to take advantage of doing yoga classes at home through the video recordings?

We receive testimonials from all over the world from people telling us how grateful they are for being able to experience world-class yoga teachers whenever they want in the comfort of their home or while traveling. Some of the testimonials that are especially dear to me are the ones from people telling us how YogaGlo has helped them maintain their yoga practice when they weren’t able to leave their home due to debilitating depression, illness, or while watching over new born babies, or from beginners who were afraid to go to a yoga studio but after taking classes on YogaGlo gathered the courage to go to a yoga studio regularly, to people thanking us for playing a role in improving their relationships with significant others, or after moving homes to help them feel less isolated, to people who have realized that they can do what they previously thought they were incapable of doing both physically and emotionally, to people learning to appreciate their bodies as they are, to people who have thanked us for helping them take the time out for themselves that they need, to teachers for thanking us for helping them become better teachers, and so on. As a result we at YogaGlo truly feel that YogaGlo is playing a small part in helping to improve the collective human experience.

YogaGlo is the first website with our unique filming perspective to create the experience of being in a real class at home or on the go so we get a lot of comments of how people from around the world feel like they are actually joining in on a real class with real students. They see other students in our videos who like them may also loose balance in a pose or who can’t touch their toes, etc. That YogaGlo helps create this sense of resonance with others virtually, and therefore encourages commitment to practice, regardless of one’s perceived ability, is something I’m very proud of.

What advice do you have for people who want to do a similar venture as yours (i.e. start their own yoga studio or gym, start their own innovative health community, but don't know where to start)?

One of my favorite passages from the Bhagavad-Gita says “Your own duty done imperfectly is better than another’s man’s done well.” I discovered that the magic happens at the point when I bring into confluence the various dimensions of myself that want to be exercised and challenged while directed towards a purpose thoroughly meaningful to me and larger than myself. In my experience it is true, if you are doing what is natural to you, what is true to you, all the rest will follow. Simply trust in that, always. And most importantly, embark on the journey only with a team that has the expertise, experience, vision, passion, mutual respect and capacity to have fun.

To learn more about YogaGlo, visit www.yogaglo.com 

 

Today’s Featured Yoga Blog By Lo Of Y Is For Yogini: The Yellow Brick Road of Intentions

 

By Lo, yisforyogini.com

You, my friend, are Dorothy — or Toto, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, or the Lion formerly known as Cowardly. Your yellow brick road to freedom is paved with many thoughtful intentions. On parallel, the Science of Yoga is deeply rooted in a path-based practice known as the Eight Limbs. Patanjali, perhaps our Wizard of Oz/Om, developed this all-encompassing growth roadmap.

Deeply influential in all practices, the directing of energy is often seen and heard at the opening of physical practice. Slide off your ruby red slippers, sit upon your mat, and your yoga class will begin with setting an intention. Energy contained and energy created; where will it be directed? Why give direction? Why not roam free and wicked like the Witch of the West?

Osho has said, "You can go on moving in many ways, but unless you have a direction, you are moving uselessly. Life energy is limited, if you go on using it in absurd, undirected ways, you will not reach anywhere." With bhavana, with intention, we begin to consciously lay a pathway of gold bricks, like bullion. We move from crowd to individual. We have created a center from which we are empowered to artfully direct our lives.

Lay your first brick and continue to do so each and every day. Watch closely, as standing still becomes conscious movement forward. Witness the move from unknowing to knowing, the brilliant shift from darkness into light.

Lo is a writer, amongst other colorful descriptives and slash titlings. She can be found at yisforyogini.com, elegantly haunting Los Angeles, and looking pensive on a yoga mat near you.

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / airdiogo

 

 

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