Mar 30, 2013

Weekend Edition #7 Videos

One can't learn yoga from youtube videos, but if you are going to watch videos, watch these ones :)

Mini documentary on London's Stillpoint Yoga capturing the warmth of practicing together:

Kino MacGregor describes the stories we tell ourselves in "Strength of Body and Mind in Yoga - Stay Up for the Full Ten Counts in Utpluthih":

Guy Donahaye shares footage from the old shala in 1999:

An interview with Saraswathi Jois & Sharmila Mahesh:

Yuko's Story - Cancer Recovery and Yoga | URBAN YOGIS Episode 2:

Mysore clip from the film Enlighten Up:

Mr Ramesh - La peur (the fear):

Mar 27, 2013

Santosha & The Family Scooter

Since this is the last weekend of the Mysore season, we dedicate this comic to those of you who are still in Mysore, packing up your trunks, visiting the Temple one more time, having your last Mysore dosa and practice in the Shala. We hope you enjoy this comic. Say goodbye to that amazing place for us too. Until next time…

Title: Mysore ride on family scooter.

Story: My kids' favorite part about living in India was getting to ride on the "family scooter".  Sometimes we would drive to the swimming pool across town and pile on the scooter with all of our floaties, swimsuits, picnic basket, and change of clothes, and we would all manage to fit. What's more, sometimes we could drive across town, beeping and swerving around vehicles and animals, without stopping once! It was pure freedom.

Wealth cannot be measured by the size and power of the 'Family Wagon'. It can be measured by the size and magnitude of the smiles on the passengers.

Santosha (contentment) is one of the niyamas. It means the knowing the peace that is already inside, and, at the same time, feeling unity with something much greater than ourselves.

via The Yoga Comics and Ashtanga Illustrations by Boonchu

Mar 23, 2013

Weekend Edition #6 Spring Cleaning

Spring is a lovely time to shift gears, shed tired habits, and start fresh from the inside out...

The quote above is from "Yoga and Vegetarianism" by Sharon Gannon.  It is a quick and inspirational read that navigates food choices using basic yoga philosophy.  I definitely recommend it.

While most Albuquerque growers' markets won't start until late April/May, the Corrales Growers' Market is open once per month in the off season with the next chance to get some super fresh food coming up on April 7th.  In the meantime, here is a list of what's in season.

For life and space organizing check out "Organizing from the Inside Out" by Julie Morgenstern.  Much more than a quick tips guide, the book gets you to do some reflecting on what is important to you in life and moves from there.  Super helpful.

So how do you clean a yoga mat?  It all depends on the mat you have...

And while we are on the subject of mats and feet...  Foot warts happen.  Take care of them nowAthlete's foot too.  And if you find yourself slipping on your mat a bit more than usual try this tip from Yoga Journal:

To avoid slipping around on your mat, brew two black tea bags in one pint of boiled water for 15 minutes. Add two quarts of cool water and soak your feet for 20 to 30 minutes. The tannic acid in the brewed tea will change your skin's pH level and help prevent unwanted odor-causing bacteria.
Lastly, an article by Sally Kempton on the art of mindful speaking.
"You can change the world, or at least your experience of it, by becoming conscious of the words coming out of your mouth."

Spring forward!

Mar 18, 2013

Satya (The Yoga Comics)

Many times on our walks, complete strangers will come up to us, scoop up Maple, and kiss her on the mouth... Maple will lick their lips and they love it! I think it is so gross because I know exactly where her mouth has been... her privates, cat poop, garbage, dead birds. I don't encourage the kissing and I think about stopping them, but they are just so happy sharing the love.

Satya -- speak the truth but only if it is sweet.

Satya means "to speak the truth," yet it is not always desirable to speak the truth if it harms someone unnecessarily. If speaking the truth has negative consequences for another, then it is better to say nothing. The Mahabharata says: "Speak the truth which is pleasant."

Story by: Elise Espat
Edited by: Jessica Walden
Cartoonist: Boonchu Tanti, Ashtanga Illustrations by Boonchu

Mar 10, 2013

Bondage or liberation are in your own mind

As the mind, so the man; bondage or liberation are in your own mind. (Mana eva manushyanam karanam bandha mokshayoho)

Santosha: "At some point we all think to ourselves 'I'd be happy if...' or 'I could practice if...' The truth is that there will always be something that we think is in our way and that if wait for that 'perfect' moment, chances are that it will never come.

The Niyama, Santosha , is about contentment. Seeing things with equanimity and finding the grace in our daily lives. In this way, each moment is a chance for yoga, a chance for liberation, whether we are on a beautiful mountain top or in a teensy cubicle. 'As the mind, so the man; bondage or liberation are in your own mind.'"

Description: Elise Espat , Albuquerque Ashtanga Yoga Shala

Editors: Jessica Walden and Elise Espat
Cartoon guy: Boonchu Tanti, Ashtanga Illustrations by Boonchu

All comics here:

Mar 9, 2013

Weekend Edition #5

Yoga Stops Traffick 2013 was a great success.  You can still donate online here.

Here in Albuquerque we chanted "Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu" 108 times.  Some people counted with their own japa malas, others counted with their fingers, and we all followed the count of 108 New Mexico pinto beans dropping into a jar.

Before we began chanting, I gave a short talk on "ahimsa".  Often defined as "non-harm", an easy way to practice ahimsa is to avoid violent or harmful situations.  As we deepen our practice the definition grows to not only avoiding painful actions but actively working to end suffering.  Perhaps it could even evolve to healing.

People sometimes wonder how can we say that we practice every day when we take so many days off (moon days, Saturdays, ladies' holiday).  The answer is simple: asana is only one component of Ashtanga Yoga.  While we practice asanas for just a short while on most days, opportunities to practice ahimsa are always available, both on and off the mat...

Here is a lovely video from the 2013 Ashtanga Yoga Confluence with Dena Kingsberg discussing ahimsa:

Mar 8, 2013

Be Steadfast in Yoga

karmaṇy evādhikāras te mā phaleṣu kadācana
mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr mā te saṅgo 'stv akarmaṇi

yoga-sthaḥ kuru karmani sanyugam tyaktvā dhananjaya
siddhy-asiddhyoḥ samo bhutvā samatvam yoga ucyate

कर्मण्य् एवाधिकारस् ते मा फलेषु कदाचन
मा कर्मफलहेतुर् भूर् मा ते सङ्गो ऽस्त्व् अकर्मणि
योगस्थः कुरु कर्मनि सन्युगम् त्यक्त्वा धनन्जय
सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्योः समो भुत्वा समत्वम् योग उच्यते
"Your right is to work only, but never with its fruits; let not the fruits of action be your motive, nor let your attachment be to inaction.  Perform action, O Arjuna, being steadfast in Yoga, abandoning attachment and balanced in success and failure.  Evenness of mind is called Yoga."
~2.47-48 Bhagavad Gītā

Mar 7, 2013

Yoga Stops Traffick: The Comic

One meaning of Yoga is "to come together", "to unite" and one of the 8 limbs of yoga is Yama, or our relationships with the outside world. Within Yama is Ahimsa, which means non-violence towards others, including working to end violence. Ahimsa means kindness, compassion and thoughtful consideration of others. It also includes our duties and responsibilities. 

As yoga practitioners (or even those of us who are new to the asana practice), we can practice the true concept of yoga by coming together and practicing Ahimsa just by getting on the mat and supporting Odanadi's amazing work.

Over the past 20 years Odanadi Seva Trust has rescued and rehabilitated more than 1850 children, carried out 57 brothel raids and brought 137 traffickers to justice. With your help, compassion and cooperation, Odanadi will continue to provide a place of sanctuary for the survivors of human trafficking and offer them a chance to rebuild their lives.

Closing chant meaning by Sharon Gannon from here:

By Boonchu Tanti via The Yoga Comics

Mar 6, 2013

Yoga Stops Traffick ABQ

Saturday, March 9th at 9am
at the Albuquerque Ashtanga Yoga Shala
Fundraiser and fruit of our tapas to benefit Odanadi Seva Trust. We'll be chanting a mantra for peace 108 times to take a stand against human trafficking in India.
$20 suggested donation (cash only). All are welcome.

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
"May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all."

Mar 2, 2013

Weekend Edition #4

Shining light on some basic questions on how to get started with practice:
How do I get started with Mysore practice?
Should I go to Mysore or Led class?
What's the etiquette?
How do I pick a yoga mat?
What is a rug for and where can I get one?
Where do I find a teacher?

Next Saturday, March 9th is the worldwide 2013 Yoga Stops Traffick event which aims to raise awareness and funds to fight human trafficking in India. 
Find an event near you. 
Here's the info for our event in Albuquerque.

For all you new vegans, vegetarians, and veg-curious out there, here are some food blogs that inspire:
The Post Punk Kitchen
Happy. Healthy. Life
Yum Universe

Lastly, be sure to like The Yoga Comics on Facebook.  Word on the street is a new comic is coming out shortly...

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu 
"May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all."

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