~~ my other teacher, Jovinna Chan
The ancient Chinese character for Clarity shows a flying bird, and a net to capture it. Birds are messengers; this one represents flashes of insight, the way things can light up and shine out clearly. We weave a net of concepts to grasp the message and hold its meaning in awareness. This is not passive seeing, but a meeting of outer and inner light.
Seeing the truth and holding to it with constancy bears fruit. Then the moment of insight can become lasting awareness, so that we enter into creative communication with the signs and messages around us, and truly see other people.
I Ching, Hexagram 30
Free Online Casting of I Ching Oracle & more information at
~~ from my teacher, Devarshi Steven Hartman
Yoga is a transmission. It always has been and always will be. It happens from person, to person, to person, from teacher, to student. When you think of your “Kripalu Experience” know that it was about a person, or a group of people, who transmitted the very real experience of the Path of Love to you, and through you. Yoga and Love can never be held in bricks and mortar. It is never about a place, a name, an organization, a brand; it is an EXPERIENCE that one must have received in order to embody it and pass it on.
The Kripalu Lineage lives on. It’s light can never be put out. It lives in the heats of every person who has been touched by the transformative power of authentic love from one person to another. This specific lineage began with Bapuji, Swami Kripalu, and has touched YOU! It comes in every form, available for every person. Having studied yoga for forty years now, I find it humorous when someone asks the question, “What kind of yoga do you teach?”
When I started studying yoga, I studied YOGA. When Bapuji and Amrit studied yoga, they studied YOGA. There were no brands, no group classes, no yoga mats, yoga clothes or yoga industry. Only one-on-one transmission. Only when yoga met American business and marketing models did the “branding”, marketing and organization of YOGA seem to happen. But do not be deceived.
Yoga, like Zen, is beyond name, and form, and organization. The moment you name it, it is NOT IT! The moment you claim it, you have lost it. This is why all the early “brands” of yoga were not brands at all, but teachers names; Kripalu, Iyengar, Bikrim, Shivananda. The question back then was not what kind of yoga do you do?, but who is your teacher?
Swami Kripalu, Bapuji, was a student of Santana Dharma – Which means the religion-less religion. That which cannot be named. The truth behind all truths. It is a living experience and transmission of Union/yoga and love. No place or organization can claim control of it.
Names and brands are important. The first thing I had to do when deciding to create my own yoga school and teacher training was to come up with a name. I chose the word Pranotthan – which means the awakening of Prana and the natural intuitive intelligence within us. It is a word and experience that Bapuji spoke of and wrote about. It has meaning. But without the transformative experience provided, it is meaningless. And we encourage each student to find and create their OWN expression of yoga. Once you begin the endless practice of love, truth, awareness, authenticity, health in every moment – you immediately become a teacher and there are always students specifically designed for you.
It seems one of life’s lessons will always be that whenever we put stake in any form, place, or label – we will eventually be disappointed in it – either because it changes or because it doesn’t change in the ways we wish for it to. The good news is that Sanatana Dharma lives on always! The Path of Love is endless, and the practice of YOGA/union is always in the right here and now. You are either present to the infinite wonder of love expressing itself NOW…. Or you’re not! Now? Or not? Now? Or not? Big smiles to all.
Tai chi chuan, a gentle form of martial arts combining deep, diaphragmatic breathing and flowing, dancelike poses, can be a remarkably potent workout for people of many ages. In various recent studies and reviews, tai chi has been found to improve practitioners’ balance, leg strength, cardiovascular endurance, pulse rate, muscular flexibility, immune system response, sleep habits, happiness, sense of self-worth, and ability to concentrate and multitask during cognitive tests.
In one especially impressive study from last year, the brains of older people who had been practicing tai chi for several years were compared with the brains of age-matched sedentary adults. The tai chi participants showed greater connectivity and other measures of health in portions of the brain known to be involved in decision-making and attention than the volunteers who had never done tai chi.
Overall, tai chi “can improve both physical and psychosocial health,” said Dr. Chenchen Wang, the director of the Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.
Scientists haven’t yet determined, though, whether tai chi is substantially better for you than other types of light-to-moderate exercise, such as walking, yoga or weight training, said Fuzhong Li, a principal investigator at the Oregon Research Institute, who has studied tai chi. Comparative effectiveness studies pitting the activities against one another have not been done.
But tai chi is definitely better than no or very light activity. “Our work does suggest that tai ji chuan”— another form of the activity’s name — “produces far better outcomes compared to low-impact activities such as stretching,” Dr. Li said.
Many community centers and Y.M.C.A.’s nationwide offer low-cost classes, Dr. Li said. You can find a program near you by visiting the American Tai Chi and Qigong Association’s website at americantaichi.net.
- Paul Grilley Anatomy ~~
The Real Reason Why People MUST Squat Differently
by Ryan DeBell |
There is absolutely no one size fits all squat position.
The following is a guest post from Ryan DeBell. It originally appeared on his site, the Movement Fix, and is republished here with permission.
This article will help show you why athlete comfort should dictate squat stance width, why some people’s (not EVERYONE) feet point out (no matter how much “mobility” work they do), why some people have a really hard time squatting deep, and why some people are amazing at pistols while others can’t do them at all.
The hip joint is basically made up of a “socket” on the pelvis (called the acetabulum) and a “ball” at the top of your thigh bone (femur), which we call the femoral head. Around the hip joint are a lot of muscles, a joint capsule, and connective tissue. There are many other anatomical considerations when considering a squat, but let’s focus on the hip.
When someone has difficulty squatting, or their feet turn out, or they like a wide stance, we all want to jump on the bandwagon and say “your hips are tight, you need to mobilize them”. If we say that without considering anatomical variations of the hip joint, we can be misled.
I suggest you take refuge in your in-breath, surrender to your in-breath, identify with your in-breath. Don’t take refuge in anything abstract. Take refuge in something very concrete: your in-breath. Taking refuge like that, your fear, anger and restlessness will disappear.
~~ Thich Nhat Hanh
“Did you eat enough today?”
“Are you still hungry?”
“How much sleep did you get last night?”
“I’m worried about you.”
“Is there anything I can do to help?”
“Do you need me to spend the night?”
“My phone will be right by my pillow.”
“Call me, please.”
“Your smile is beautiful.
“Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it for you.”
“I’ve got your back.”
“I appreciate what you do for me.”
“Don’t forget to buckle up.”
“Put the phone away while you’re driving.”
“Call me when you get there.”
HUG ~~ Human Universal Greeting ~~
Istanbul, Turkey ~~