Monthly Archives: November 2016

Schedule: Week of November 28, 2016

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What better week to delve into tapas, or self-discipline, than the week after Thanksgiving? Join me to cleanse the body and mind. Here’s where and when you can do that:

Monday

Wednesday

Thursday

Saturday

Sunday

Peace,

Debra

#MindfulMonday: Sauca

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Sauca

The second of Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga is the niyama, or personal standards and individual behaviors for living soulfully. Like the yama, there are five principles that make up the niyama. The first of these is sauca, or purity.

Purity, or cleanliness, of the body means not only keeping the body externally clean through bathing but also internally through actions like eating clean, whole foods and the use of neti pots. Keeping the body pure also involves our yoga practices of asana (physical movement) and pranayama (regulation of life force through breath).

Our asana and pranayama practices not only work to purify the body but also help to purify the mind, helping us move toward stillness. Meditation takes us further along this journey by cleansing the mind of disturbing thoughts and emotions like hatred, passion, anger, lust, and greed. By stilling and purifying the mind, we are able to see that we are more than our vacillating emotions and transitory thoughts. We are able to direct our energy to positivity and the higher Self.

Best,

Debra

 

 

Schedule: Week of November 21, 2016

 

My calendar for the rest of 2016 is here.

 

choosing-to-be-happy1Happy Thanksgiving week!

Classes this week will focus on santosha, or contentment.

Monday

Wednesday

Sunday

May you have a peaceful and contented Thanksgiving!

Debra

Schedule for the Week of November 14, 2016

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About last week. I didn’t stick to my plan. I didn’t talk about my theme. It didn’t seem that important. Instead, I tried to give folks a safe, quiet place to practice breath and movement. It’s what I wanted and what I needed. This week, I’m getting back on track. This week we will visit the niyama and look at sauca in particular. Come join me if you can.

Monday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Peace,

Debra

Introduction to the Niyama

004Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga

Over the past five weeks, we’ve started a trip through the eight limbs of yoga. As a reminder of where we’ve been and where we’re going, in his Yoga Sutras the sage Patanjali detailed the eight limbs of yoga.

  1. Yama: ethical restraints for social harmony
  2. Niyama: personal standards
    • Sauca: purity
    • Santosha: contentment
    • Tapas: self-discipline
    • Svadhyaya: self-study
    • Isvara Pranidhana: union with the Divine
  3. Asana: physical practice
  4. Pranayama: regulation of life force
  5. Pratyahara: withdrawal of the senses
  6. Dharana: single-pointed concentration
  7. Dhyana: meditation
  8. Samadhi: enlightenment

The Niyama

With the niyama, we begin to turn to shine the spotlight inward and take a look at our more personal standards. The niyama are our individual behaviors, our code for living soulfully. Like the yama, the niyama are broken down into five principles as outlined above. Stay tune for a closer look at the first of these, sauca, later this week.

Peace,

Debra

 

Schedule for Week of November 7, 2016

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I love teaching but I’m thankful to have a little lighter schedule than normal this week.

We’ll be continuing our look at Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga by delving into the niyama. Check back Monday for an overview and on Tuesday for a closer look at the first of the niyama, sauca.

Monday

Wednesday

Thursday

Saturday

Sunday

Come see me!

Debra

 

#ThoughtfulThursday: Aparigraha

We’re wrapping up our exploration of the yamas this week with a look at aparigraha (you can see an overview of Patanjali’s the eight limbs of yoga here). The yama, ethical behaviors for social harmony, allow us to contribute to the health and happiness of the world in which we live.

The yamas are broken down into five principles: ahimsa (non-harming), satya (truth)asteya (non-stealing), brahmacharya (right use of energy), and aparigraha (freedom from greed).

Aparigraha

Aparigraha is the concept of non-hoarding, non-possessiveness, and often as non-attachment. How many times do we let our desire for and accumulation of “things” get in the way of what matters most in our lives? Whether by “things” we mean material possessions or more ephermal emotions, the pursuit of outside sources of happiness often get in the way of our realizing our true and best potential. When we have faith that all we need is already within us, we can enjoy the freedom that aparigraha brings. We can take what we need, keep what serves us in the moment, and let go when the time is right with gratitude and grace.

When I was in college and took a philosophy course, I misunderstood non-attachment as a negative concept. I thought embracing it meant being cold and uncaring. As I get older, I see more clearly that our odd emotional attachments bring about so much divisiveness. We need only look at the current political environment in the U.S. as an example. We are so interested in reinforcing our own belief systems and tearing each other down that we have forgotten that we are stronger when building each other up.

In peace and unity,

Debra

#TimeOutTuesday: Brahmacharya

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We’re wrapping up our exploration of the yamas this week with a look at brahmacharya and aparigraha (you can see an overview of Patanjali’s the eight limbs of yoga here). The yama, ethical behaviors for social harmony, allow us to contribute to the health and happiness of the world in which we live.

The yamas are broken down into five principles: ahimsa (non-harming), satya (truth)asteya (non-stealing), brahmacharya (right use of energy), and aparigraha (freedom from greed).

Brahmacharya

Brahmacharya is most traditionally translated to mean abstinence or celibacy. But let’s face it, that’s not very practical for most of use practicing yoga today. The intent behind the original translation is self-restraint in the face of pursuing physical pleasures. By doing so, by practicing the right use of energy, we can pursue the essential truth.

We can start to tune in to this wise us of energy on the mat.Do we need an active, powerful practice or a more meditative one? Do we need to modify a pose or test our limits? Rather than taking the actions we always take without thinking, explore what happens when we tune in to the body. By learning to recognize our own energy levels, we can begin to understand that peace and happiness reside within us.

Peace,

Debra

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