2008 - Issue 24
Another 31 days and we're into
a new year! Can you believe it? I hope you take the time each day to
recognize and enjoy the little things in life. Be grateful for each moment
you have, no matter how fast it goes by. My youngest child
turned eighteen this year. It seems as though I just turned around and she
went from newborn to adulthood. I am grateful for the time I spent with my
children. Even, no especially, those times where I had to (no,
drop everything to JUST BE with them. Keep your loved ones close,
and above all, remember to love yourself.
I wish to thank everyone who stopped by our table at the Mompreneur event at the
Roundhouse Community Center on November 22. It was great to see you all! I
hope you enjoyed yourself, there was a lot to see.
The new class schedule for January 2009 is now up on our website. You can
www.intoyoga.ca/classes.htm. Remember to register early to avoid
disappointment of either a full class or a canceled class.
May I wish you an early HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Whether you celebrate Christmas,
Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, some other tradition or none at all, may all things be bright
in your future.
I hope you enjoy reading this month's Newsletter.
this issue you will find the following
2) Yoga - to
Force or to Feel
Try This Pose
Invite Us to Work
Quips and Quotes
Your Contributions Welcom8
Email A Friend
Our winter session begins in January. Most registration will begin
the first week of December. Please register early and make sure
you get your payment in promptly. You will find a registration
form on line for Burnaby and Coquitlam classes only. All other
locations do their own registration. You'll find all locations,
times, registration info etc on our webpage at
www.intoyoga.ca/classes.htm. Please visit us at
Beginning January we will be offering Baby Sign Language at the
Roundhouse Community Center at the corner of Pacific and Drake in
Vancouver on Mondays at 1:45pm. Also new is Yamuna Body
Rolling being offered at Kerrisdale Community Center on
Mondays at 12:00pm.
Our Burnaby and Coquitlam classes will allow you the option to add a
Nutritional Cleanse Package with your Yoga classes.
*Nutritional Cleansing will help your body dispose of the
impurities that are absorbed from the foods we eat, the water we drink,
and the air we breathe. Release unwanted pounds and inches (and keep
them off) easily and quickly using our nutritional cleanse products and
coupling it with Yoga classes. Benefits can include improved strength,
clear complexion, increased energy, reduced stress,
deeper sleep, fat loss, and more. Feel, look and be
healthier and more vibrant. Get the results you want without unwanted
side effects of a traditional cleanse. Products, yoga classes and
unlimited coaching included.
*Nutritional Cleanse products may be purchased
without the Yoga classes at an adjusted cost. Call us at
604-421-9872 for more details.
- to Force or to Feel?
Most of us who do yoga yearn for more from the practice
than just physical benefits--indeed, for more than just benefit to
ourselves. But how can twisting our bodies, opening our hips, and
straightening our legs make a difference in the wider world? How can lifting
our chests help lift up this troubled planet?
Our asana practice can have a positive impact because it
constantly asks us to become more sensitive, more conscious, more aware of
ourselves--not just our bodies but also our minds, feelings, emotions, and
our very nature. The real value of asana practice is that it can teach us to
tune in and truly feel. As our sensitivity increases, life becomes
more rich and enjoyable because we can taste the unique flavor of each
individual moment. More important, we also become more aware of what moves
us toward out dharma and what takes us away from it. This awareness makes us
clearer and more peaceful, more able to elegantly handle life's endless
dilemmas without feeling overwhelmed or fearful. As a result, we become more
effective in all of our actions, and our presence begins to inspire and
bring out the best in people around us.
The opposite of feeling is forcing. When we force, we
cannot feel, and when we feel, we cannot force. The moment we start to
force, we begin to lose awareness of the effect our efforts have on our
nervous system, on the situation itself, and on the other people involved.
Forcing makes us angry, inflexible, and intolerant; raises our blood
pressure; and can eventually create heart problems. Feeling, on the other
hand, makes us calmer, more receptive, more understanding, and healthier.
If we force ourselves into Ardha Matsyendrasana II
(Half Lord of the Fishes Pose II), the spine will twist where it always
has, where it needs the twist the least. In this pose, it is particularly
easy to force the body while attempting to reach around the back and grab
the shin. To the extent that the desire to do this comes from the ego's urge
to satisfy itself--just to prove we can do this pose--it manifests itself as
force. Feeling, on the other hand, allows us to tune in to the habitual
tendencies of the body and sense which vertebrae are twisting and which are
not. Cultivating feeling in Ardha Matsyendrasana II allows movement where
there was stagnation, release where there was stiffness, and freedom where
there was bondage.
Just as force and feeling are opposites, so are violence
and awareness. We often get angry, and sometimes even outwardly violent,
when a situation arises that is not to our ego's liking, rather than using
it as an opportunity to become more aware. But violence inevitably breeds
more violence. The more forceful and violent we are, the further we move
from feeling and awareness; consequently, the more violent we become.
I believe much of the violence in our world comes from
our lack of awareness, which has historically manifested itself as an
unwillingness to see other people's point of view. When we pause and feel,
we become more open and more receptive to the possibility that there are
valid ways of thinking other than our own.
Sensitivity is often portrayed as weakness, yet it
actually gives us the strength to lower our guard and say to an enemy,
"Let's sit down and talk this through. How are you feeling? Why are you
behaving the way you are?" People who have the security that comes with deep
sensitivity and awareness have no desire to be violent; it is insecurity
that contributes to violence. Through feeling, sensitivity, and awareness,
we can bring insecurity and its resulting violence to an end.
What does all of this have to do with our individual
practice of asanas like Ardha Matsyendrasana II? The awareness that we
develop on the yoga mat, though seemingly small, affects all that is. As we
become more aware in our yoga practice and in our lives, as we move away
from force and violence and toward sensitivity, feeling and awareness, we
change our individual consciousness and actions. In turn, these changes
influence the consciousness and actions of everyone we meet. Slowly we shift
the direction the world is taking. As we practice each asana, whether it be
a challenging twist like Ardha Matsyendrasana II or a simple standing pose,
we have the opportunity to become the embodiment of peace and to make our
practice a prayer for harmony in the world.
© 2008 Aadil Palkhivala
Aadil Palkhivala, world-renowned yoga
master, is the founder of Purna Yoga, the owner of the premier
yoga studio in the Pacific Northwest, Yoga Centers, the director
of The College of Purna Yoga teacher training program, and the
author of Fire of Love- For Students of Life, For Teachers of
The College of Purna Yoga, the yoga teacher
training program founded and directed by Aadil Palkhivala and
his wife Mirra, offers training at the 200-hour level, the
500-hour level, and the Purna Yoga Certificate Level. For more
Try this Pose - Half Spinal Twist/Half
Lord of the Fishes (Ardha Matsyendrasana II)
Helping to relieve lower backache and tension in the
shoulders and neck area, this posture also increases
flexibility in these areas as well. The Spinal Twist
has a therapeutic effect on the nervous system while toning
the kidneys, liver, spleen, intestines and pancreas.
The vertebrae is realigned, elimination is improved and fat
on the stomach, hips and waist is reduced.
There are many variations on the Spinal Twist. If you
find this one too challenging, extend the right leg flat on
1. Sit with both legs extended. Be sure to pull
the muscle from the buttocks away from the sitting bones.
2. Bend the right leg and pull the heel up toward the
left hip, allowing the knee to rest on the floor.
3. Step the left leg over the right knee, placing the
foot flat on the floor.
4. Inhale, raising the right arm beside the right ear.
5. Exhaling, twist to the left, bringing the right arm
between the chest and upturned left knee. Inhale.
6. Exhaling, adjust your torso to try to reach the
left ankle with your right hand.
7. Place your left hand on the floor behind your hip,
lengthen through both sides of your torso, extending your
8. Exhaling, turn your head and eyes to look toward the
left. Both sitting bones should carry equal weight,
your left foot should be flat on the floor, your shoulders
should be even, and your spine long.
NOTE: Practice this posture at your own
Invite Us to Work
We want to help create a stress-free environment at work.
We believe that staff who take the time to breathe and realign themselves, work
better and enjoy their jobs more.
Benefits to the
improved memory, focus and concentration
reduced stress and tension
* boosted immune system
lower blood pressure
improved self esteem
more firmed, toned and flexible body
relief of common ailments such as backache and fatigue
Benefits to the
enhanced decision making
better team spirit
lower health care costs
enhanced company/employee relationship
Our rates begin as low as $5 a class. Please call us
today for more information or to set up classes for your work place. Call
604-421-9872 or email
Visit our Corporate page on our website at
Finger points at the moon, but the moon is not at the tip of the finger. Words
point at the truth, but the truth is not in words. To seek illumination through
words is to get lost in the web of words and not see the truth. ~Huineng
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