Into Yoga Newsletter
August 2009 - Issue 32
you read this, I am likely sitting on a sandy beach or coming face
to face with a dolphin or gorilla. Yes, I am in beautiful
California visiting all the zoos and park life and soakin' up the
didn't want you to forget about me though, so I'm sending a (very
short) newsletter to keep you up to date.
We have a few classes that will run in August, and some that started
in July but can be prorated for August. It's hard to get back
into the swing of things when you take a break, so I hope you'll
continue classes with us throughout the rest of the summer.
Find all our classes at
www.intoyoga.ca/classes.htm. You'll see locations, dates,
times, costs, etc. Please remember to check often. When
registering for a class, just call the number of the location
listed. (Note: As I will not be available to take
registration for Greentree, you may bring your payment to class and
pay the instructor).
Here's what you'll find in this newsletter.
In this issue you will find the following topics:
Yoga, Longevity and Quality of Life
Yoga at a Discount
Promote Your Business
Recipe - Peaches and Cream Pie
Find us on Twitter and Facebook
Quips and Quotes
Your Contributions Welcome
Email A Friend
Yoga, Longevity and
Quality of Life
By Octavian Sarbatoare
Length and quality
The issues of longevity and quality of life as related to Yoga, seem
to be important reasons why people start Yoga practices in the first
instance. In day to day life, the desire to live a longer life is
the reason behind many of our activities as we pay attention to
health and good life in many forms, all having more or less a hidden
agenda that of living longer. However, longevity and quality of life
are much related to one another as two aspects of the same desire,
the quality of life (as intensity of life experience) being a
qualitative progression of longevity.
In normal circumstances, people
pay more attention to longevity, not being much aware on the issue
of quality. It is not so in Yoga, for here the main issue is the
quality of life experience that attracts also the longevity as a
component of quality of life. Yoga sees longevity as a component, or
more exactly a result of Yoga practices. The fact that the yogic
discipline allows the body to function better and the mind to be
under one's own control (that is a balanced way of life without any
doubt), has to lead to a longer span of life of a practitioner. But,
Yoga is primarily about the quality of life, an issue that is
outlined by the Yoga philosophy in its very authoritative book known
as Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
Quality of life
From the yogic perspective, the issue of quality of life has to be
seen from both material and spiritual angles. Yet, the material
angle of quality of life can be simplified by considering it as an
expression of the spiritual perspective. Indeed, the spiritual side
of quality of life takes credit for the material side that becomes
just a matter of a right attitude towards material things. In own
turn, the spiritual side of quality of life has to be seen from body
and mind perspectives. The body issue is essential, as the
harmonization of the body is a solid foundation for addressing the
issues of the mind that becomes a the tool of extension, the organ
and function through which we experience the world.
In practical terms Yoga recommends
the body has to be cleansed of impurities, i.e. toxins, etc., for
this reason a multitude of Yoga techniques being used. The
motivation behind it is the fact that the toxins within the body do
corrupt the perception to certain degrees. It is primarily the
quality of perception that gives in fact the quality of life, is so
Yoga pays a great attention towards the body as a vehicle of sense
experience and host of mind experiences. Yet, here, the issue of the
mind is far more complex because it requires a certain degree of
abstraction to understand the mind experiences. However, we cannot
miss the point to mention that body experiences, as sense
experience, do end up ultimately as mental experience. From the
point of view of Yoga, what is essential is that the experience of
awareness known as Samadhi, is the focus and end point of the entire
practice. It can be said in simple terms that in Yoga philosophy and
practice, the quality of life is determined by the level of
awareness that leads to yogic liberation known as Kaivalya.
The end achievement of Yoga practice is in some form or another
described by people who have experienced it, as the experience of
awareness or the experience of being alert. A person possessing such
an awareness is known in Yoga as Drashta ("witness"), as is
mentioned in Yoga Sutras. Here. the question we might ask is: "Who
is a witness and what the witness witnesses?" The relevant yogic
literature does mention that awareness is a gradual process, as Yoga
practices become more refined and the practitioner becomes more
alert towards the environment and towards one's own person.
There is a wide spread idea in the
Yoga literature about awareness being a transcendent experience in
the sense that somehow the one who does experience it gets out of
this material world, but this is not true. Yoga awareness has to be
seen as an immanent experience for the fact that conscious states
are mental states therefore brain states. It will be more
appropriate to see consciousness, as qualia of mental
activities, that step ahead from animal to human species. As such,
Yoga does assume that the present Homo Sapiens has the capacity to
graduate into the Yoga consciousness as qualia, but
this ability is not a common feature of all of us. It appears, as
the yogic literature points out that only after practicing advanced
forms of Yoga, somebody is capable to acquire such an awareness as a
day to day feature of human activities.
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, talk
about Drashta ("seer or witness") from the beginning (Ch.I-3). The
issue seems to be of an utmost importance, as the practitioner (as
Drashta) has to be now on the same site with the the one who is the
witness of all, i.e. the God (more often named in Yoga tradition as
Ishvara). According to Yoga, the object a witness witnesses is the
material nature, as manifestation of Shakti principle. Yet most
important is the fact that the witness does witness himself/
herself, as every witness is part of the material nature. Yet, this
process of witnessing is not the ordinary way of seeing actions and
things within the world of nature (Prakriti). According to Yoga,
this kind of witnessing has a high quality of perception.
Yoga claims that this the enhanced
quality of perception does not lead to a simple passive
contemplation of things or to a one-pointed directional
concentration, but a multilevel degree of perception. Naturally we
might ask the question of what is a multilevel degree of perception?
Yoga explains in simple words as being the capacity to be aware of
more than one thing at a time. Yet, this capacity appears to be
beyond the human capacity, but Yoga has proved that some people can
do it. Such an experience might be called a three-dimensional
awareness, for the fact that attention is directed now in the entire
surrounding space. Such a remarkable ability has to be seen to be
indeed a high degree of expressing the qualia of human
How to increase awareness
The Yoga practices normally do increase awareness to a certain
extent depending on the kind of practice. The preliminary stages of
Yoga that are related to body optimization, start with a gradual
elimination of body toxins and renunciation to various addictions.
At this stage, gradually the perception of the senses increase in
quality. By other practices like the use of Pranayama ("control of
the breath") Yoga says that there is a sensation of awareness of the
lightness of the body (called Laghima), i.e. the heavy barden that
hanged on the body appears to be removed. Yet, as far as the tantric
practices are concerned, awareness can be obtained by elimination of
sexual ejaculation during sexual intercourse. Therefore, according
to Tantra Yoga, the real sexual pleasure can be experienced, in so
such a practice known as Maithuna Tantra becomes a training towards
obtaining awareness. Overall, it can be said that it is only by a
personal experience that somebody can discover an inclination
towards specific practices leading to the increase of awareness by a
proper training. However, the tradition stipulates that a more
refined awareness comes from advanced practices, and at this
spiritual stage an aspirant has to consider having a Guru (spiritual
preceptor) as a guide to help overcoming the obstacles towards a
refined experience of Yoga.
Siddhis as powers of awareness
and expression of quality
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali talks in Chapter III about various
Siddhis ("powers resulting from Yoga' or 'supernormal abilities').
It is an exposition of what a Drashta can do with his/ her
abilities. Many people take the descriptions of Siddhis ad literam,
but the fact is that all the Siddhis are products of the mind. It is
the mind which assumes the form of that particular action or thing
by being empowered to do so. This is where most of aspirants get
confused to believe that the Siddhis are powers of creation or
destruction that can be acquired by somebody and the role of God can
be obtained by confronting the laws of nature. It has to be clearly
understood that all Siddhis are powers of awareness, the one
possessing them has to be seen an out of ordinary person that is
able to extend one's own mind beyond unimaginable realms surpassing
the ordinary imagination. Yoga believed that one necessary quality
for such a person has to be what is known as Amritapurna ("filled
with nectar"), that is an advanced state of purity of mind as a
result of body and mind purification. A Drashta, according to Yoga
has to be considered having the Amritapurna quality.
The ability to experience
awareness has to be seen as a remarkable quality of expressing the
human life. Such a powerful is the experience that by an encounter
with a Drashta most people will feel that there is something special
about such a person, but are unable to know what could be. It will
be easy to observe the quality of experience of life in such a
person, but will be heard to know details like how intense his/ her
experiences of perception of life are. It is at this point where we
have to draw attention to the issue of longevity. The real longevity
is not given by the span of life, but by the quality of mental
experiences. The awareness of life, as is normally experienced, is
like a photographic shot, i.e. a slice at a time. Every now and
then, normally we have a slice of conscious experience, that is a
brief experience. It is not so for a Drashta, according to Yoga, for
the fact that the slices of time are united in a continuous flow of
awareness. Yet, some people having this extraordinary ability that
could hold on awareness for hours or even during sleep.
Considering all of the above, it
can be certainly said that longevity in Yoga is a matter of quality
of experience. By deduction, it can be also said that a Drashta has
lived the equivalent of hundreds of years because of the ability to
have a higher level of awareness.
at a Discount
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We want to help create a stress-free environment at work. We
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Ask us about our Pilates Classes and Yamuna Body Rolling Classes.
Benefits to the Participant
* improved memory, focus and concentration
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* relief of common ailments such as backache and
Benefits to the Employer
* less absenteeism
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Peaches and Cream Pie
I love this recipe because it's so easy to make. After all,
who feels like cooking in the summer time!
1 large carton cool whip softened
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 large can peaches
1 graham cracker crust
1. Cut peaches into bite sized and drain well.
2. Mix condensed milk, lemon juice and cool whip until smooth.
3. Fold in peaches.
4. Fold mixture into graham cracker crust.
5. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
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Quips and Quotes
This is the beauty of life,
that it goes on growing, and it knows no end; that it goes on living
and knows no death -- that it is eternity... And it is time we
should have a look inside our own beings, because within our own
being is all that we are looking for outside. We will not find it on
the outside, it is not there. It is here. Osho İİ Osho International
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