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Yoga

Power Yoga by Rocket Man

There is nothing more satisfying to me as a teacher than to watch the glow with which people arise from Savasana. Often people walk into It’s Yoga with worry, stress and tiredness written all over their faces but when they leave, they show the effects of Ashtanga Yoga: they feel better and look better, lighter, freer, more relaxed and energized. This is why to me, teaching Ashtanga Yoga is a kind of self-realization; every time I lead class I, as a teacher, grow and express the insights of my own yoga. I see people take in the practice from various angles and develop, change and transcend their limitations, realize their possibilities.
—Larry Schultz, YogaDragonden Blog:In Memoriam: Larry Schultz 1950-2011, Feb 19, 2010

I thought Baron Baptiste or his father was the father of Power Yoga but it’s said that late Larry Shultz was one of the founders of Power Yoga with his signature teachings, known as “Rocket” series.  Judging from the name “Rocket”, I am imagining a very powerful, gravity defying, blasting into space -kind of practice. I wish I had taken his training in my 20’s – i.e., young, as he’s no longer with us.  But today,  so many of his students are teaching so in that way, he’s still around:) Love those words.

Age 61 is quite young to rocket up into the heavenly space, especially compared to his master, Shri K Pattabhi Jois passing at 93.  But some may live in the extreme (according to Wikipidea, teaching 9000 yoga classes & performing 63,000 sun salutations)  packing in a lot of LIVING, quality living in shorter duration.  Many believe that yoga is the secret to long life judging from the longevity of great masters like S K Pattabhi,  Krishnamachariya, and BKS Iyengar.  What would be your preference?:  To live a shorter but fully aware and vibrant life where you are conscious and present at every moment; OR live a long life but short on quality of life –  be dull and half or un-conscious most of the later years?

How about long and fully conscious and engaged life by maintaining a solid sense of spiritual path with optimal health. In Asia, it is believed that in order to age gracefully, one must temper one’s passion, rather than setting it aflame on fire as an all consuming life sucking pursuit.  Passion pursued with a slow , steady and deliberate heat like a slowly smoldering coal vs. a bonfire-like flame, set ablaze but at times destructive. Both burning, but one with moderation…so it lasts. Moderation is looked upon as a virtue to emulate.  Larry Shultz was known to be a great teacher and to the very end teaching – in this case, perhaps by demonstrating and contrasting.  It could be that his originally pre-determined mortality was age 33 BUT though determination and practice of yoga, he changed his fate and extended it to almost double.  Had he not done yoga, his life might have been over so pre-maturely at 32 or younger – ,maybe; just a thought to put things in perspective. That’s what I like to think as a great yogi should live a long and happy life, having ignited and stoked the fire in so many of his students…

San Francisco & Silicon Valley areas are blessed with so many local legendary teachers. We are lucky to have such dedicated teachers who try to improve the lives of many through their teachings.  I am lucky to learn from so many teachers from different styles and lineages so that I can re-construct them within myself to concoct a “blend” that works best for that practice at that moment, that day.  Being “in the moment”.

Categories
Beautiful People

9-11

On this anniversary, thousands of people, more eloquent than I, will report and write about that day.  I was lucky not to personally know anyone who died on 9/11 and can provide no words of wisdom, understanding or comfort to those who unimaginably suffered the loss of their husband, wife, child, sister, brother, mother or father.  But that does not mean those of us not personally affected remain untouched.  As Americans, each of us was affected, if not forever changed, that day.  (quoted by Bernard Goldberg).

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Feelings of fear makes you want to just skip over this day…So in an effort to counter dark fears to somehow find light and inspirations, Dalai Lama’s words shared on this day of remembrance:

To the question posed, “why didn’t you fight back (the Chinese government)?”, he answered,

“…war is obsolete, you know. Of course the mind can rationalize fighting back … but the heart, the heart would never understand. Then you would be divided in yourself, the heart and the mind, and the war would be inside you.”

We pray for the victims who are no longer in this world. RIP.  We pray for their families who must be waging a war within at all times. May they find solace and peace.

 

Categories
Beautiful Places Beautiful Rituals Yoga

“YAMA”

“Yama is a ‘moral restraint’ or rule for living virtuously. Ten yamas are codified in numerous scriptures, including the Hatha Yoga Pradeepika compiled by Yogi Swatmarama, while Patanjali lists five yamas and five niyamas (disciplines) in the Yoga Sutra.”

 

Source: Devanand, G.k. Teaching of Yoga

And in Japanese – “Yama” = 山 means “mountain”.  Mountain tops above the clouds into the heavens, mountain base rooted into the earth, existing in both worlds observing the changing weather patterns, being aware.  I use this visualization when there’s a tendency to get wrapped up in turbulence of emotions.  Try it – Down cast eyes, focusing to the drishti point 1-2 meters ahead OR completely close your eyes to find your inner mountain. Breathe – Stand or sit tall and expansive.  Then find your baseline.  BREATHE – Allow your base to root to the inner core of this earth. Let’s get grounded to this Mother Earth like a mountain through the practice of yoga:)