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21-day Yoga Challenge, Aug 4-24

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Virabhadrasana (Warrior2)

I am pleased to announce the next 21-day Yoga Challenge program. The past programs have been very well received by all the participants. For most of them, it has been truly a life-transforming experience. I invite you to join me on this exciting and deeply rewarding 21-day yoga journey. Here are the particulars:

[Please download the flier here]

  • When: Monday, August 4 – Sunday, August 24, 2014
  • Time: 6:00 AM – 7:30 AM
  • Where: 4000 Bear Cat Way, Suite 102, Morrisville, NC 27560
  • Cost: $125
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Anantasana (Reclining Vishnu Pose)

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Anantasana (Reclining Vishnu)

Anantasana (अनन्तासन), also called the Reclining Vishnu pose, is a beginner to intermediate level pose. It provides a nice stretch for the legs and also is a balancing pose in the reclining position.

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Lord Vishnu

The word "ananta" which literally means endless or infinite, is one of the nicknames for Lord Vishnu. It is also the name of the 1000-hooded serpent that Vishnu is depicted resting on. Other names for the multi-hooded Ananta are Sheshanaga, Adishesha, and Ananta-shesha. In the Bhagavadgita (Chapter 10, verse 29), Sri Krishna, while describing 75 of his common manifestations, declares, "anantaś ca asmi nāgānāṁ": Of the nagas (multi-hooded serpents), I am Ananta. Sage Patanjali, the author of the famous Yoga Sutras, is also known to be an avatara (reincarnation) of the great Ananta-Shesha.

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Introduction to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – 4-part series

I invite you to join me for a discussion on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali wherein I will introduce some of the key concepts of the sutras. We will also discuss how an understanding of the sutras can profoundly impact our day-to-day life in a positive way.

An Introduction to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

(A four-part series)

  • WHEN: First Saturday of the month
  • Next Session: Saturday, July 5, 2014 (part 3)
  • Focus: The eight limbs of Yoga (Ashtanga Yoga – aka Raja Yoga)
  • TIME: 2:30 – 4:30 PM
  • LOCATION: Integral Yoga Studio, 4000 Bearcat Way, Suite 104, Morrisville, NC 27560
  • FEE: by voluntary donation

Plenty of parking is available.

No previous exposure to yoga or Yoga Sutras is required.

Why study the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (YSP)?

Because, YSP is not just a manual on yoga philosophy, it is a manual on "life". A study of this manual will help us understand:

  • How to live a life full of peace, harmony and fulfillment
  • What is stress, what causes stress and how to manage stress
  • How to achieve your maximum potential in life
  • What is mind and how to understand its functioning
  • What causes suffering and how can we prevent suffering
  • How to keep the mind calm and peaceful in the face of adversity
  • What is the goal of life and how to achieve that goal
  • Does the practice of yoga only involves the practice of asana (physical postures) or is there more to this practice?
  • What is self-realization
  • … and much more …

Come join me for these introductory talks on the Yoga Sutras and see how its study can help us in all aspects of life listed above.

Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to register.

Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

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Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

When you see pictures of ancient yogis, most of them are shown meditating in Padmasana – पद्मासन

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(Lotus Pose). This is one of the most commonly mentioned asanas as a meditative posture. Some of the other asanas that are commonly listed among meditative postures are Sukhasana (Easy Pose), Siddhasana (Adept Pose), Swastikasana and Vajrasana (Diamond Pose). These are the asanas in which you sit either for meditation or pranayama.

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Goddess Lakshmi

In the Hatha Yoga Pradipika (HYP), Padmasana is one of the two meditative postures described, the other being Siddhasana.

After explaining what Padmasana is, HYP (chapter 1, sutra 47) states, "This is called Padmasana, the destroyer of all diseases. Ordinary people cannot achieve this posture, only the few wise ones on earth can". I find the statement rather intriguing as I don’t quite understand how or why wisdom has been tied to flexibility!

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12-day Pranayama/Meditation Intensive, July 7-18

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Vishnu Mudra

I am pleased to announce the next 12-day pranayama/meditation intensive.

Come and join me for this life-transforming experience where you will learn two of the most important aspects of a complete, integrated yoga practice – pranayama (breathing techniques) and meditation. In this program I will introduce you to many of the breathing techniques that are mentioned in our ancient yogic texts. I will also introduce the concepts and techniques of meditation.

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So-hum Mantra Meditation

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Padmasana

The word "soham" (pronounced so-hum) is a composite of two separate sounds – "so" and "ham". The corresponding Sanskrit words are "sah" (meaning ‘that’)  and "aham" (meaning ‘I’). When we join these two words together using the rules of Sanskrit grammar, we get the word "soham". The literal meaning of the word soham is "I am that". This is based on a concept which has been stated in some of the Upanishadic texts. ‘I’ here refers to the individual soul and ‘that’ refers to the universal consciousness. The essential meaning of the phrase is that at the deepest level, I am the same as the universal consciousness.

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Introduction to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – 4-part series

I invite you to join me for a discussion on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali wherein I will introduce some of the key concepts of the sutras. We will also discuss how an understanding of the sutras can profoundly impact our day-to-day life in a positive way.

An Introduction to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

(A four-part series)

  • WHEN: First Saturday of the month
  • Next Session: Saturday, June 7, 2014 (part 2)
  • Focus: What is stress, causes of stress and how to manage it
  • TIME: 2:30 – 4:30 PM
  • LOCATION: Integral Yoga Studio, 4000 Bearcat Way, Suite 104, Morrisville, NC 27560
  • FEE: by voluntary donation

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Patanjali’s Approach to Social Behavior

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Reactions and Responses

At a recently held meeting of the Yoga Teachers of the Triangle (yttonline.org), Ramani Ayakannu made an excellent presentation where he discussed the guidelines presented by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras on social behavior patterns. Ramani has very kindly agreed to share the presentation with all of you through this blog. Below is a brief summary of the presentation. I am also attaching the powerpoint presentation as well as the audio recording of his talk. Please review this highly informative and useful material and provide your valuable feedback.

Introduction by Ramani Ayakannu

The following is a brief summary of the presentation titled “Patanjali’s Approach to social behavior”. The topic of discussion is based on sutra I.33 of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (YSP).

Sutra 1.33

मैत्रीकरुणामुदितोपेक्षणां सुखदुःखपुण्यापुण्यविषयाणां भावनातश्चित्तप्रसादनम्॥३३॥

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maitrIkaruNaamuditopekShaNaam sukhaduHkhapuNyaapuNyaviShayaaNaaM bhaavanaatachittaprasaadanam

"By cultivating attitudes of friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and disregard toward the wicked, the mind-stuff retains its undisturbed calmness." (Translation by Swami Satchidananda)

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Therapeutic Fundamental Yoga – a two-part Series

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Yoga Props

I am pleased to announce the following 2-part workshop.

Therapeutic Fundamental Yoga

(A 2-part series)

  • When: Saturday, May 31 (Part 1), Saturday, June 7 (Part 2)
  • Time: 12:30 – 2:00 PM
  • Where: 4000 Bearcat Way, Suite 102, Morrisville, NC 27560
  • Fee: $30 (for both sessions)

    • Pre-registration strongly recommended
    • Attendance at both the sessions is recommended. Please contact us if you can attend only one of the two sessions

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Udgitha (OM Chanting) Pranayama

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OM Symbol

If you have attended a yoga class, it is more than likely that the mantra OM was chanted at the beginning and/or the end of the yoga class. In the classes that I teach, we start the class by chanting OM three times. At the end of the class, we again chant OM once. In a previous blog post, I had written about the meaning and significance of OM.

Today I’ll be talking about another aspect of OM chanting – pranayama. When we chant OM, we take a deep breath in and while breathing out slowly, we chant the OM sound. In essence, then, OM chanting becomes a form of pranayama with a deep breathing pattern. We create the OM sound by constricting the passage of the outgoing breath. As a result of this constriction, we are able to prolong the duration of each exhalation. We can thus maintain the OM chant for a duration much longer than the natural breathing rhythm.

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