The National Football League (NFL) is not the usual fodder for Yogi In Ya blogs, but on this occasion, the league is wholly symbolic of the Yogi In Ya. The League has both ostracized and embraced an element of its ‘self’; that element, a single individual, now stands for it, outside of it, and embraced by it. The League is now the ego, taking a stand for the ego, to legitimately step aside, or take a knee, in order to honor truth.

“Believe in something. Even it means sacrificing everything.”

You may find that the sacrifice removes all obstacles to your belief manifesting.

The NFL represents and honors the power of self-determination and the strength of the collective will.

As do all athletics at this level.

As a culture we honor the best in the best in our Soldiers- the military elite, in our Artists, in our Students and Intellectuals, Scientists and Servants of the Common Good. In the NFL, in top level professional athletics in the United States, we honor our athletes, not just their bodies, but their wills, their intellects, their drive, conviction, and commitment to excellence.

Colin Kaepernick is the embodiment of the power of self-determination and the strength of the collective will.

Nike may be able to glean some operational lessons from its campaign model and the future he represents for culture in our global world.

Yogi In Ya applauds Nike’s choice to honor Colin Kaepernick as this iconic symbol of the potential locked into the power of self-determination and the strength of  the collective will.

Nike 30th Anniversary Ad: Dream Crazy

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Yogic Path

Self-Discipline: Dharna

Moral Observation: Yama

Devotion: Niyamapast present future

Meditation: Dhyana

Sensory Inhibition: Pratyahara

Breath Control: Prana

Posture: Asana

Ecstasy: Samadhi

 

The path is iterative, not linear, the steps are your own and are not in a sequential order, through of significant, random, and non-random content. My Teacher says, one must have a Teacher; not everything can be self-taught, but each is her or his own first student.

 

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“Yoga & World Peace” The 10th Annual Yoga Research Society Conference, Philadelphia October 19, 20, 21, 1984

Patch Adams at the Yoga Research Society Conference, 1984

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Treasure in South Florida

Going forward into a new year, I strengthen my commitment to ya, Yogi.

yogiinya

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When one door is closed many more are opened…

full profileFor many, the road to healing and personal empowerment, is arduously wrought with habits which bind us to a self who is restrained from fulfillment.

In order for us to break those habits and acquire new skills and tools for negotiating happiness in our universe, we need to recognize the two fold process of letting go and being open; closing one door so that another opens.

This is not the easiest of combinations to realize, but it is a strong behavioral opportunity for self-assessment, self-evaluation, personal growth, and change. Whenever we are letting go, whether of a food, a drug, a behavior, or attachment, it is supportive to identify the healthy alternative, or positive choice, with which you will replace the unwanted choice.

For example, a former tobacco smoker had realized that a 3 lb. bag of apples cost the same price as a pack of cigarettes; yet the return in health was vastly different. Switching from one hand to mouth habit (smoking) to another, more positive, hand to mouth behavior (eating apples) supported the individual’s choice to initiate a positive change. The diabetic who made a daily trip to the vending machine for a diet soda each afternoon, has switched to a daily trip to the juice bar for a fruit smoothie- achieving a 20 minute exercise activity and selecting a healthy food choice will support the desired change of eliminating diet soda from the diet.

When switching to a vegetarian lifestyle, I took a cooking class with two macrobiotic chefs. They made an impression that has lasted a lifetime and supported my good health for over twenty years now. Nutritionists, doctors, and health coaches say things like ‘eat healthy’, ‘don’t smoke’, ‘eliminate sugar’, ‘don’t drink’, etc. Life does not always support those statements in the everyday reality, making such efforts ‘easier said than done’. Budgets, time, and most importantly, knowledge, among other factors, impact our health choices, even when we hear the healthy messages. Equipping one’s self with the knowledge of the replacement behavior, or the positive choice, is essential to success in health. The macrobiotic chefs entered their clients’ homes and told them to empty their cabinets. They began to remove everything that would not make a positive health contribution to the person’s life. Often they were left with little or nothing of the original stock. They didn’t leave at this point and say, ‘Okay now get healthy’. This elimination process was only the first step: identifying what you can, want, and need to eliminate.

This was followed by a shopping trip and to re-stock the cabinets with health positive choices –  whole, real, non-processed food items and supplies that would support a healthy lifestyle. One cannot expect good health if the only choices you offer yourself in your home are unhealthy ones- you buy what is in your kitchen. The refined sugars, hydrogenated fats and oils, artificial ingredients – they just aren’t welcome in your home if you want good health.

What you can welcome into your kitchen, your home, and your life are organic choices, healthy oils and fats (nuts, avocados, flax, hemp and chia seeds, coconut oil, olive oil), dried beans and legumes for sprouting and cooking, fresh and dried herbs for seasoning foods and promoting health, dried fruits, local preserves, and value added products from local farmer’s markets or your own garden. All of these ‘supplies’ are there to enhance your meals and food experiences; the primary, essential, ‘supply’ for your good health habits however, is, and always will be fresh produce. We are urged to ‘eat the rainbow everyday’ or to select foods of a variety of vibrant colors. Your chakras will thank you for it, as each chakra has an affinity for the foods that correspond to its color, vibration, and energy.

When I make wraps or burritos, for example, instead of a processed flour tortilla wrap, I use a fresh collard leaf with the thick part of the stem removed; lightly steam it to make it more pliable, fill it with all of the prize ingredients, fold the bottom edge over, turn in the sides, roll it, and enjoy! Try a salad everyday to replace your daily doughnut, a fruit cup each morning with hemp or flax seeds in place of a processed cereal, or a serving of mixed raw nuts with dates in place of the heavily creamed and sugared coffee. These switches are small when completed one at a time- try adding a new switch each week until you have realigned your habits with your desire to be well and experience health. This gradual realignment, one switch, or step, at a time will support the long term sustainability of your positive changes and healthy choices, because it will not be as demanding or stressful as trying to change everything all at once. Going step by step will allow you the chance to see where your strengths and challenges are with each choice or switch you choose to make. If the change for a particular week is not manifesting as you’d like, go for a second week of working on just that change. Don’t be afraid to enlist your buddies or support network, but if there are naysayers in your circle, turn here for encouragement and if necessary, keep the process to yourself and enjoy your rewards without them!

Knowing what we don’t want is important but, exploring good choices and the never ending possibilities of good health, can provide us with a variety of alternatives that support long term changes and positive health. Consult with the yogi in you today, and see what kinds of switches you are ready to make in order to give yourself the best possible options in making and supporting good health decisions.

Need some extra help? – please email yogiinya@gmail.com or complete the contact form below.

Namaste’

 

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Yoga Research Society 40 years

Born outside of Philadelphia in 1970, this video is an outline of the Yogic influences of my time (and place). I became a student of Dr. Pratap’s through Sky Yoga at Temple University in 1994 and studied at the Garland of Letters until moving to Florida, where I now practice and reside.

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Give Voice: “Your voice is the breath of your soul” (Yogi Tea teabag tag)

“Your voice is the breath of your soul” (Yogi Tea teabag tag), as I read this, I was reminded not to keep silent when I have something to express; that I do not serve my self or the Universal self with my silence when it is my turn to speak and I do not. The things unsaid can leave a trail of fear and uncertainty where love and wisdom expressed would light the way. Caring expressed, no matter how small the gesture, can move mountains with the faith it provides. Silence too is a powerful tool, as is listening; however, right action, right thoughts, right deeds, and right words guide the righteous. It is necessary to become practiced in discerning the right time and place for each practice to derive peace from the ‘rightness’ of practice.

It is sung, “I know that I must rise and fill my hearts with praise”, and, “I will lift my voice, lift my voice in praise, and give thanks for all my days” (LucianoSweep Over My Soul”, 1999). Muscles, skills, practices, tools, all can be lost if not exercised; use it or loose it. The voice, pulled up from through the chakras and directed toward vibrating a clear message, can and will do so. Left to wilt and dwindle, grow flaccid, weak, and potentially ineffective, the voice too, will do so. Yogi, use it, don’t loose it.

Creation, the Universe, wants to hear your song. All things have ‘a speak’ and in nature, there is a natural expectation that each will tell its story; none would sit silent and hold its own tongue. Expression of emotions liberates them and the courage of the individuals who free them from containment. The internalization of that which has a natural propensity to be expressed is problematic and disruptive to the container; it will manifest as physical disruptions of the body.

The voice is not the only expressive tool of the yogi in you, but it is a very powerful tool when harnessed for the purpose of bhakti, the yoga of devotion.

Just as Kahlil Gibran tells us in The Prophet, “And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair”(1923); the Creator, your creator, wants to hear your expressions, to know your joy and gratitude.

I recognize, during the chanting of Om specifically, when my voice reflects negative energy and feelings. As I chant, I raise those negative energies and feelings through my chakras and out of my system into the Universe with the intention that they transform to raw energy fit for karma. It is the same with all energies stored within. Often, as a feeling or negative perception passes up from my root to my crown it dissipates to irrelevance in the face of the powerful energy within each chakra. When chanting I am in transformation. I change as my voice is raised, as it grows in its ‘ringing radiance’*, and transforms the energies of the Universe in its interaction. I hear the change in my voice, the clarity of its vibration; as a smile creeps over my face, I feel the difference in my countenance; finishing with gratitude, no matter the starting point, is a natural, progressive result.

The yogi in you wants to experience its own ringing radiance, the vibration within as the voice is lifted through the Personal Self to the Universal Self.

Daily chanting of Om, the sacred and original vibration, can promote significant changes in breathing and thinking. It is a powerful meditation, certain to promote an individualized yogic experience. It is a great way to begin and /or end a practice, by chanting Om a number of times, I like 12, but sometimes there is only time for three, and then chant Shanti (peace), three times.

However, there a many ways to raise the voice. A few months ago I went to a kirtan, a yoga sing-a-long. It was fun, I learned, found fellowship, and had never been to one before. I love to sing, to chant, and find it to be a very powerful, grounding, healing human experience… even when we relieve stress by singing in our cars on the way home from work, or in church, or with kids.

Below are two of the songs I learned, they are both from a song sheet I was given. The first song was written inside of a hand drawn picture of a tee pee. The second song was written in the wavy, flowing fashion of a river:

Kuwake

Leno-Leno

Mayote

Hi-A-No

Hi-A-No

Hi-A-No

I am one

With the infinite

Sun

Forever, Forever, Forever

(Phonetic translation:

Koo Wha Kay

Lane O Lane O

Ma Ho Tay

Hi-A-No

Hi-A-No

Hi-A-No)

The English words are the language translation and should also be sung; simple enough message. We repeated it several times and it got faster as we went on with it.

This second song was referred to as an ‘old American spiritual’; the Mama and Papa phrases being interchanged through the repetitions and when they are sung the voice gets raised louder and stronger on the first sound of each Maaaa Ma or Paaaa Pa…..

The river is flowing, flowing and growing, the river is flowing down to the sea.

Mama, carry me

Your child I will always be

Mama carry me

Down to the sea.

The river is flowing, flowing and growing, the river is flowing down to the sea.

Papa, carry me

Your child I will always be

Papa carry me

Down to the sea.

The river is flowing, flowing and growing, the river is flowing down to the sea.

Mama, carry me

Your child I will always be

Papa carry me

Down to the sea.

The river is flowing, flowing and growing, the river is flowing down to the sea.

Papa, carry me

Your child I will always be

Mama carry me

Down to the sea.

Consider adding your voice to your practice; you may find a new strength and awareness.

Family singing time can also be very healthy and therapeutic.

The yogi in you will learn and grow with each vibrating breath.

namaste’

Yogiinya

*’Ringing radiance’ is a term used by  Sir Colin Garbett in his 1968 work of the same title; chant to understand what it feels like, start with Om, it’s simple and all humanity started there.

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