Welcome friends! OM Shanti!

People come together in all kinds of ways, what matters is that they get together.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring Yoga Hike 2011 #1

4.2.11 Sunrise Mountain, Stokes State Forest, Branchville, NJ
Ironically enough the hike was scheduled on the second day that this look-out re-opened to the public for the spring season.  I swear I did not know, and let it be a lesson to always check with park opening and closing times.  April, my student from Starseed Yoga and Wellness, was the first to arrive.  Then Dan and Rachel, followed by Beth and Melissa.  The six of us journeyed on a downhill hike leading to a beautiful look-out where we took a group shot.  Next a discussion on the theory of yoga and the five yamas.  Our time together ended with a vinyasa styled asana portion followed by a restorative and restful final relaxation pose.  Due to the cold weather and freezing toes, we skipped the meditation portion and made up the time by taking an extra long hike in the beginning.  All in all, a wonderful day with great friends in the beautiful outdoors.

Theory of Yoga
 Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 1.2 Yoga chitta vritti nirodha: Yoga calms the mind-stuff.

Yoga = goal of union of consciousness to Divine Consciousness which is the essential and ever-present union of individual with the Self or Spirit, Chitta = individual mind, Vritti = whirlpool of mental modifications or shaking of the mind, Nirodha = change direction

Yoga at its core is meditation, unwavering mindfulness, the stilling of the mind. A mind that is peaceful, clear, and one-pointed brings knowledge, wisdom and peace.

Through practice and non-attachment we overcome vrittis. Firmly grounded practice is attended to for a long time, without break, and with enthusiasm.

Raja Yoga (or Royal Yoga), is based on eight limbs. The eight limbs are:

1. Yama - Abstinence
2. Niyama - Observance
3. Asana - Posture
4. Pranayama - Breath control
5. Pratyahara - Sensory withdrawal
6. Dharana - Concentration
7. Dhyana - Meditation
8. Samadhi - Absorption or super-consciousness

“All practices of yoga - postures, breathing techniques, deep relaxation, meditation, self analysis, study, devotion, and selfless service - are designed to bring the mind to a stillness so clear and steady that it transforms individual consciousness.”  - Guruji Reverend Jaganath Carrera

Yama - Universal Abstinences
1. Ahimsa - non-violence, harmlessness, the supreme of all yama. Do No Harm.  Applies to word, thought and deed, intention and action with all human beings, animals, and inanimate objects. Listen more, say less.

“Over time, compassion gives birth to a love and understanding so pure that it lifts the mind to a place of peace beyond any tranquility we had imagined.” -Guruji Reverend Jaganath Carrera

2. Satya - truthfulness in word, thought, and deed. Become united with truth and test against non-violence - what are your motives? “A vow of absolute honesty means we can no longer tell white lies either. If by being honest we will cause trouble, difficulty, or harm to anyone, we should keep quiet.” - Sri Swami Satchidananda

3. Asteya - non-stealing, including not improperly benefiting from others thoughts or ideas. Do Good, Be Good. Do I take things or use things that are not mine without asking?

4. Brahmacharya - continence or abstinence. “Be efficient.” -Sri Swami Satchidananda
Moderation, the middle way, not too much nor too little (eating, sleeping, working, etc.) Conserve energy in thought, word, and deed.

5. Aparigraha - non-greed. Greed comes from cravings (unsatisfied state of mind). Free from greed we can see how our desires affect our life. If you want to keep something, let it go.

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