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Y ga

How 4 fearless women changed yoga’s destiny


heart guide
Bust the cholesterol myth
27 yoga and diet tips

Techniques to curb
your emotions

Yoga in the
Middle East
Upward Dog:
Roger Cole
has your back
A little help
from an unusual prop

WINTER 2012-13





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Dance Heidi van der Westhuizen / istockphoto. By Anna Dubrovsky Cover Photo: Yoga teacher Karina Mirsky.CONTENTS WINTER 12-13 YOGA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE . not high cholesterol. Yoga. By Rolf Sovik Yoga as we practice it today would not be possible without the vision and determination of four women who forever altered the yoga landscape for us all. photographed by Jim Filipski/Guy Cali Associates. may cause heart disease. and a diet rich in good fats and antioxidants can help prevent it. D. Bottoms by K. Stylist: Jessica Metcalf. ISSUE 120 ON THE COVER FEATURES 40 A Balancing Act 46 The Heart of the Matter 54 In Loving Gratitude Becoming aware of and regulating our breath helps us achieve a note of harmony between the body and the It now appears that inflammation. Wardrobe: Top by Vyana Yoga. By James Keough . meditation.

we can preserve the world for future generations. By Roger Cole 32 Art of Asana 86 World of Yoga The Journey Inward | By systematically Yoga Comes to Lebanon | Asana and turning inward and tuning out the external world. MD 70 In Practice A Little Help from an Unusual Ally | Improve your balance and alignment with a long wooden dowel. you need the counsel of the wise. By Sandra Anderson 30 Skillful Action There When It Matters | A once-a-week 80 Asana Solutions Raise Your Dog | Elevate your hands in (maybe) practitioner reflects on yoga’s restorative powers. | By Carrie Demers. we can learn to appreciate and participate in our lives much more fully. in season with pomegranates. meditation offer a means of transformation during challenging times. compassion over fear. yoga and the vagus nerve. By Cyndi Lee tackle the Herculean task of spiritual growth. By Cora Wen 74 Living Yoga 24 Conscious Kitchen Eating in Season | Hearty. 96 Contemplation By Pandit Rajmani Tigunait Like Barley Bending | By Sara Teasdale 62 Yoga Sutra 2.26 True Discernment | Translation and commentary by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait . By Lauren Piscopo Thief in the Night | The inability to believe in ourselves can rob us of our true potential. give your kidneys a little love. then gradually bring the asana back to earth. By Irene Petryszak 76 Yoga Basics 28 Points of Practice Dance of the Gunas | The three es- The Company You Keep | In order to sential aspects of nature support and enhance our yoga practice on and off the mat. By Sonya Elliott upward-facing dog pose to protect your lower back. By Moutassem Hammour By Christina Sell 90 Books & Media 38 Inner Quest The End of the World | By choosing The best new releases for lasting inspiration. warming foods will keep your body in balance all winter long. blends yoga and modern medicine.DEPARTMENTS 66 Total Health Cool the Fire of Heartburn | Try these 9 Yoga Threads Timothy McCall. and more 22 Everyday Ayurveda ’Tis the Season | By Kathryn Templeton natural remedies that can soothe and heal acid reflux. MD.

This intraconnection between the breath and our muscles. where they passionately worked to bring the ancient yoga teachings to bear on current environmental and social for winter 2012-13 Linda Sparrowe. The overarching theme of the practice had been connection. and the emotional response we have to it—joy. in both internal and external ways. Susan. recognize their importance.” Connection also happens between our inner and outer worlds.” We internalize our external experience. The conversation stayed with me after we went our separate ways that morning. and Hinduism. Carolyn felt an instant connection with the others in the room and said the “we’re-all-inthis-together” energy enlivened her practice and gave her more IN MEMORIAM Georg Feuerstein The yoga world lost a true friend and tireless champion when Georg Feuerstein died August 25. And Joseph wasn’t so sure he liked the emotions that surfaced so strongly when he relaxed into shavasana. riding the waves of the inhalations and exhalations. we can experience more deeply the interconnectedness with the rest of the world. Georg was an indefatigable writer. The Deeper Dimension of Yoga. and each of us came away with a different understanding of what that meant. and even lessen our risk of heart disease.” and by becoming conscious of the breath in meditation. as everything does in yoga. Yoga is indeed about connection. in their southern Saskatchewan home. As Jim Keough notes in “The Heart of the Matter” (page 46). Generations of teachers—exalted yogis and everyday instructors—made it possible for us to use these techniques to heal our bodies and emotions and to share the profound gifts of yoga with others in creative ways. can temper physiological responses that affect our health. and quieter is the key. with his beloved wife. Our muscles respond. pain. Stylist: Jessica Metcalf. when our breath joins in and encourages them to relax. disentangle from our thoughts. Yoga reminds us that we’re a part of something much larger than ourselves. a restorative practice—which allows the whole body to rest and the breath to be calm and steady—can have a profound effect on our blood pressure. a long-distance runner new to yoga. After more than two decades in the United States. noticed an almost immediate release of her hamstrings when she relaxed into a forward bend instead of straining and pushing. I’d love to know who the elder teachers are in your own life that inform your practice and enrich your life. “In Loving Gratitude” (page 54). Go to traditionalyogastudies . Wardrobe: Top by Prancing Leopard Connecting the Dots Joseph noticed. “The substance and content of worldly life is grounded in us. When we feel balanced within ourselves. After you read it. the word in Sanskrit means “to join” or “to yoke. and slowly quiet them. editor in chief editor@yogainternational.EDITOR’SNOTE I lingered over tea and talked about what we had experienced in that 90-minute session. smoother. e-mail me. Rolf Sovik in “A Balancing Act” (page 40) reminds us that emotional reactions “register in the breath in subtle ways. Working consciously to allow the breath to be more even.” in the sense of consciously directing two apparently disparate things to come together. we can “witness these changes. After all. deeper. and The Path of Yoga: An Essential Guide to Its Principles and Practices. Anna Dubrovsky’s article. at his side. Our emotions surface from their hiding places when our minds. Brenda. Georg moved with Brenda to Canada and set up the Traditional Yoga Studies center. n . As Sovik says. Brenda will continue his work and has set up a scholarship in Georg’s name to support incarcerated practitioners. including Tantra: Path of Ecstasy. penning more than 30 books on yoga philosophy. Photo: Bill Knoepfel / Guy Cali Associates. this happened when the various parts of him coalesced—the mind was no longer caught up in outside pursuits. profiles four such women pioneers. as Susan discovered. and the breath was engaged. She’d had no idea that the way she breathed could affect her muscles. the body came to rest. fear—transforms our breath. As 4 yogainternational. This connection happens. tantra. sorrow. Sovik goes on to show us ways we can awaken the healing power of our breath and restore inner balance. between the breath and our emotions.


PsyD Rod Stryker Pandit Rajmani Tigunait. Kate Hanley. PhD Deborah Willoughby { patrons } Dada Doulatram Boolchand Ramesh Daryanani Harshadbhai Desai Beverly Foit-Albert Indru Malkani Manu Sawilani { business office } managing director Greg Capitolo business manager Stephen Moulton circulation manager Laura Brownell { advertising } Goodfellow Publishers’ Reps. MD. Her feature article. Joe Hancock. studying with T. Lauren explores why eating a mostly vegetarian diet left her with no energy—all winter. 305 YI@gpr4ads. Isabelle Glover. a magazine dedicated to the healing benefits of whole foods and green living. After running the Himalayan Institute branch center in Buffalo. Swami Sivananda Radha. Even with his broad training. Eastern studies. Jack Walshe. and Geeta Iyengar. 570-647-1451 { subscriptions } Phone 800-253-6243. Lauren shares the advice (and recipes) she got from ayurvedic expert John Douillard. winter 2012-13 { editorial board } Rolf Sovik. winter 2012-13 issue 120 founder Swami Rama editor in chief Linda Sparrowe managing editor Sarah Kent { editorial staff } senior editors Sandra Anderson. Rolf describes the Yoga Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita as the core of his practice. honors four women who helped bring yoga to the West: Indra Devi. from top: Emily Davis Photography / emilydavisphotography. ext. and clinical psychology. That very long year of study encompassed academic work in Sanskrit.” says in 2006 and now make my living writing about yoga and other topics that interest me—lucky me!” And she’s busier than ever now. says her yoga practice has deepened and evolved. and a whole lot more. Rolf explores breathing from a physical and emotional perspective. in her hometown of Boulder. “I was hooked at shavasana and became a yoga nut. Andrea Killam from her hectic corporate lifestyle. have recently moved to the headquarters in Honesdale. helping her reconnect with her Buddhist roots.CONTRIBUTORS “Yoga was the catalyst for a complete overhaul of my career. Anna Dubrovsky. In this month’s feature. ■ 6 yogainternational. Irene Petryszak magazine. where each dish was either an aphrodisiac or part of a trendy diet. Elizabeth Emer. She is currently working on the Yoga Bloom Advanced Teacher Training program. Barbara Gerhardt Institute for a year of residential study when he was 28—and never really left. 4 E-mail subscriptions@yogainternational. assistant editor Constance Molleda web editor Dakota Sexton editorial assistants Dulma Altan. Christina Sell { art } visual coordinator Jeanette Robertson creative director Jacqueline Bogdan design associate Darlene Clark design consultants Janet Cerretani. Rusty Moore contributing editors Carrie Demers. Lilias Folan. Pandit Rajmani Tigunait. and Dr. “A Balancing Act” (page 40). she shares some of her innovative techniques in this issue’s In Practice column (page 70). for 21 years.V. Anna has practiced yoga for 10 years. who grew up in China. production coordinator Nita Eckert photo editor Loreda Everett . James Keough.” she says. Keith Belcher. DC. going to thirty-seven yoga workshops in the first year and practicing six hours a day!” Wen. She got that. “In Loving Gratitude” (page 54). Desikachar in India and Erich Schiffmann in LA. having become a new mom at the end of 2011. Lauren Piscopo. Usharbudh Arya. and spiritual work with Swami Rama. Colorado. ext. New York. “I knew I was out of sorts when I craved a burger—I haven’t eaten meat since the ’80s. Pennsylvania. She eventually became editor in chief of Natural Solutions. Rolf and his Nicole Published by the Himalayan Institute Photos. 510-548-1680 Deena E. Mary In this issue’s Conscious Kitchen (page 24).

“Gandhi and the Gita” (Fall 2012). I’ve since incorporated many of the suggestions about diet and lifestyle change. it’s the irresistible urge to drop into feeling my body in a deep way. There is so much that motivates me: the feeling when I’m practicing.Pierre | via e-mail Model Shannon Paige was featured wearing a top and pants from the Om Collection. —Dulma Tara The certainty that it makes me feel good. Honesdale. just another boring model that illustrates the Hollywood version of yoga—a girl in tights photoshopped to perfection. the sheer need to move my body and detox through sweat. Why don’t you choose something that speaks to the heart of yoga? I suppose what I was looking for were photographs of more traditional yoga gurus. and funky yoga pants Not Just Another Pretty Face I AM A LONG-TIME STUDENT of Swami Rama’s and studied with him in 7 . Aubin | via e-mail Oops… SOCIAL MEDIA Today is day 470 of my daily practice. Find them and more online at theomcollection. homeopathic first aid.” The correct date is 1921. there is a photo of a woman in black pants and a small purple top jumping. Other times. she recommended a homeopathic first aid kit. mentally. but I expected there to be more choices in your Fall 2012 cover survey—you know. and spiritually! —Michelle Pietrzak-Wegner Leading my classes keeps me invested in a daily practice. Keep up the good work! We asked our Facebook fans: What motivates you to keep a daily yoga practice? Diana Wolfe | Stockton. She teaches in the Bay Area. although I do understand those types of photos wouldn’t necessarily sell magazines. I ordered the kit. Fully Cleansed The cleanse (Everyday Ayurveda. Where are the pants from. —Korinna Elisabet Bauer Betty A. the safety I feel on my mat. as well as a strong asana practice. states that “by 1821 Gandhi knew that his work in South Africa was complete. Carrie Demer’s Total Health article (Fall 2012). PA 18431. Breathing.MAIL Your reflections on YI covers. Swami Rama had quite a sense of humor and would probably be pleased that you are doing your best to follow traditional yoga ways as much as possible in this or YI Mail. —Diana Shellenberger Like us on Facebook (facebook. winter 2012-13 yogainternational. which turned out to be easy since it gave me everything I needed. alas. I wouldn’t even know how to begin to describe it. ■ We welcome your letters and comments. Follow us on Twitter (@YI_Mag). We may edit for length and clarity. I also teach yoga. some kind of cover photo with real integrity? crazy yoga time. 952 Bethany or injuries. —Dina Stewart My well-being! Embracing health physically. or 30x) are helpful and adequate for acute problems like colds and flus. —Nathalie Dubaud Funky Yoga Pants On your Contents page of the Fall 2012 issue. It’s different every day! Sometimes. What are her recommendations for potency? Dorothy Crosh | via e-mail Richard Cummings Stephen Cope’s article. I think I am an old fogy when it comes to yoga. Thank you! In Dr. Daily practice ensures I move through the poses with the awareness that students have come to depend on. I absolutely loved it and now use yoga in my life on a more regular basis. His teaching has had a major influence on my life. California Homeopathic First Aid Kit to reassure everyone who wrote that our Fall 2012 cover model is no ordinary model. I am a mother who works full-time to support my family. My daily practice is my “me time” and it is so necessary. please? Angelle St. when he first arrived in this country. Send them to yi_mail@yogainternational. the presence during my practice—it’s a commitment and a dedication to myself. Spring 2012) relieved all my digestive issues. The beauty of yoga = its versatility. emotionally. Giselle Mari is a naturally beautiful 41-yearold Jivamukti teacher who has a deep spiritual practice.


he came home from work and had what he considers a life-changing epiphany. “but it may not be coincidental that I had that epiphany and acted on it so quickly. When you cultivate awareness. Once he could no longer spend time getting to know and educate his patients—the greatest joy in his clinical career—he was ready to hang up his stethoscope. he was a doctor long before he was a yoga teacher. and a healthy dose of skepticism. For more than 10 years. scientific inquiry. After all. you start to realize things you might not have realized before. In fact. ‘What if I don’t do this anymore? What if I just write instead?’” Ten minutes later he had made the decision to quit medicine. love.” >> winter 2012-13 yogainternational.” Not one to jump on the yoga-fixes-everything bandwagon. McCall approaches yoga therapy—his chosen field—with respect. Just three years before that kitchen table revelation. McCall practiced medicine as a primary care physician in Boston—until working in corporate health care settings became unbearable. “I’m not saying I quit practicing solely because of yoga. Asoka Narayanan / Courtesy of Timothy McCall The Good Doctor ably heard him answer: “It depends. McCall had taken up yoga and attributes his decision to quit medicine—at least in part—to his yoga practice. “I remember thinking to myself.” he says.YOGATHREADS Deepen your practice + Inspire your life TIMOTHY MCCALL rests outside a small temple founded by Shankaracharya in the state of Karnataka in SW 9 . one night in 1997. and within six months he’d turned his part-time writing into a full-time job.

A SNAPS Assessment
No matter what your physical challenge, a yoga therapist assesses five
categories before offering you an
individual treatment plan.
1 Structural. Your postural habits;
bony alignment, including spinal
curves; patterns of muscular overwork and weakness; asymmetries
2 Nervous System. Your stress
levels, sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, heart rate
variability, breathing patterns, and
prana vayus
3 Ayurveda. Your nature (prakriti)
and current doshic imbalances (vikriti), digestive fire (agni), etc.
4 Psychology. Mood, anxiety,
mental properties (gunas)
5 Spirituality. Equanimity, compassion, joy, discipline, sense of
meaning in life
Your treatment would include asana,
breathing and meditation practices,
and restoratives, as well as diet and
lifestyle suggestions. Even though
your back pain may be structural, a
therapist evaluates all areas because
an ayurvedic imbalance or even
unresolved anger may contribute to
your pain. The more elements we
can address, the greater the chance
for success.

10 winter 2012-13

Yoga principles had actually
entered his life long before 1995, although he didn’t recognize them at the
time. As an 18-year-old up-and-coming
tennis player, McCall read The Inner
Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey, and it radically changed the way
he approached the game. “I started
using yoga techniques to improve my
tennis game, to notice my habits, to
notice the way my mind interfered with
my efforts to achieve certain things on
the tennis court,” McCall says, “and I
started applying those principles to the
rest of my life.”
A year after McCall left medicine,
he began to miss having “one foot in
the real world” and longed to combine
his love for scientific inquiry with his
new passion for yoga. In 2002, he set
out for India to research the medical
benefits of yoga. He wanted to know
what evidence existed to suggest that
yoga could heal chronic and acute
diseases. And if it could, how? That
research—along with scores of interviews with scientists, yoga teachers,
ayurvedic practitioners, and students—became the basis of his book
Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing.

Although McCall continues to teach
a popular yoga-for-depression workshop
with senior Iyengar teacher Patricia
Walden (coauthor of The Woman’s
Book of Yoga and Health), he has also
branched out on his own, using Yoga as
Medicine as the foundation for a series of
well-respected weeklong yoga therapy
intensives. Don’t expect to find advice
on the perfect pose for every ailing back
or the one way to relieve digestive disorders in any McCall class, however.
Remember: “It depends!” The right
yogic “prescription” hinges on all sorts
of factors, he says, and he adamantly
resists cramming yoga therapy into
the “reductionist Western model” of
one-size-fits-all treatment regimens. No
perfect pose exists that fits everyone’s
needs, he reminds his students; no
breathing technique will heal everyone’s
back pain.
His workshops attract doctors, holistic practitioners, yoga teachers and
students, and those simply wanting to
improve their health. Through lecture,
discussion, and supervised hands-on
therapy work in these small-group
practicums, McCall helps his students
look at the whole person—her motivation, stress level, ayurvedic constitution,
and life challenges, as well as any physical complaints—and together they map
out an individualized holistic strategy
for healing.
McCall’s own yoga practice plays a
prominent role in his self-discovery. His
daily routine includes bhakti practices,
such as chanting and mantra meditation, as well as pranayama and asana.
“One of the things about being on this
path and really engaging it sincerely,”
McCall says, “is that with time you
peel away the layers and start seeing so
much more.” —Linda Sparrowe >>

Ana Bartlett


and breathe…

At Kripalu, we invite you to breathe—to intentionally
pause the ongoing demands of life, bring your
attention inward, and rediscover your authentic
nature. Conscious engagement with the breath
connects you with the intelligence and power of the
life force within and around you. Whenever you are
faced with a challenge—on the yoga mat, in a
relationship, at work, or with your health—you can
draw on a deep sense of ease, purpose, and mastery
to create positive change. We call it the yoga of life.
join the conversation

Stockbridge, Massachusetts

Healthy Living programs, R&R retreats, and programs
with world-renowned invited presenters, including:
Sierra Bender
Scott Blossom
Joan Borysenko
Elena Brower
Kofi Busia
Julia Cameron
T. Colin Campbell
Yoganand Michael Carroll
Rajashree Choudhury
Stephen Cope
Joe Dispenza
John Douillard
Charles Eisenstein
Kate and Joel Feldman
Bo Forbes
Anodea Judith
Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa


Tama Kieves
Deborah King
Jack Kornfield
Dharma Mittra
Caroline Myss
Todd Norian
Erich Schiffmann
Bessel van der Kolk
Harshada Wagner
Paul Winter


Keeping Your Kidneys Healthy
Most of us don’t pay much attention to our kidneys until something goes wrong, but behind the scenes these bean-

shaped organs that sit beneath our rib cage play a critical role in keeping our bodies healthy. They flush out toxins, filter blood,
and produce three hormones: one to keep blood pressure in check, one to stimulate red blood cells, and one to maintain strong
bones. Luckily, we can support these renal workhorses by making good diet and lifestyle choices and, of course, doing yoga.


ing the wastes through the urine. Steven Lamm, MD, an internist and a faculty
member at New York University School of Medicine, recommends drinking
enough water “so that the urine is relatively clear, a good indication that you’re
hydrating a sufficient amount.” Don’t overdo your liquid intake—too much water actually forces the kidneys to work overtime to filter the excess.

sounds, responding to your body’s natural urges
is an underestimated but key aspect of good
health. Honoring your body’s desire to sleep,
hydrate, urinate, yawn, or sneeze connects you to
your physical needs. Holly Lucille, ND, RN (aka
Dr. Holly), an expert in the field of natural medicine and author of Creating and Maintaining Balance: A Woman’s Guide to Safe, Natural Hormone
Health, agrees. “Listen to your body,” she says,
“It’s a great communicator. If you feel the urge to
void, do so as soon as possible.”

Did You

Eat kidney-friendly foods.


The kidneys excrete wastes
but they can’t always eliminate all toxins. Too much
protein can increase the burden on the kidneys, so opt for
a low-protein diet and mind
your blood sugar and insulin
levels. Also, says Dr. Lamm,
“anything that causes high
blood pressure—like a high
sodium diet—isn’t good for
the kidneys.”


The kidneys and urinary tract are governed
by the third chakra—
the manipura—located
at the navel region.
Glowing good health,
courage, enthusiasm,
vitality, and self-esteem are hallmarks of
strong kidneys and a
balanced navel chakra.

ursi have anti-inflammatory properties that aid in flushing out the
kidneys and urinary tract. Parsley is a natural diuretic that is
particularly effective when taken as a tea. Simply bring to a
boil 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley in 2 cups of water and
steep for 15 minutes. Strain the parsley and drink the tea. winter 2012-13


NSAIDS, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
drugs, like Advil or Motrin or acetaminophens
like Tylenol or Excedrin on a regular basis can damage
your kidneys. Ideally, it’s best to avoid these drugs, says
Dr. Holly. She recommends turmeric instead, which
she calls “one of the most effective natural pain relievers.” Try Curamin (Terry Naturals) or Turmeric Force
(New Chapter). Anyone who takes pain medication,
says Dr. Holly, “should consider supplementing with
milk thistle, which is a liver-protecting tonic.”

From top: julichka /; Veena Kumbargadde /; Maria Dryfhout /


kidneys govern willpower and motivation. toxic blood. 500-HOUR YOGA TEACHER TRAINING Further explore the path of yoga through three intensives in paradise. • Susceptible to anxiety • Unable to get anything done • Unable to remember things • Burned out and depleted To strengthen your kidneys. Ruslan Dashinsky / istockphoto. It takes just one month to change your life forever. we wring out the kidneys. The Root of Life 6 Chinese Medicine teaches that the kidney meridian (yong 13 .S. Dream. which means “gushing or bubbling spring”) begins on the bottom of your feet. as we release the pose. When we twist.K. with its forced exhales and passive inhales. an acupuncturist and Traditional Chinese Medicine specialist in Boulder. stimulates the kidneys through the pulsating movement of the winter 2012-13 yogainternational. get plenty of rest. and bundle up and take walks in nature as often as possible. According to David Scrimgeour. Kapalabhati breathing. —Dulma Altan >> PavonesYogaCenter. the chi (life force) rises up from the earth and moves up the inside of the leg and into the lower abdomen. Iyengar calls a “squeezing and soaking” action. a fresh supply of oxygenated blood floods the area. Discover. When your kidney chi is weak you may feel: Pavone Yoga CENTER COSTA RICA Join our unique all-inclusive Yoga Alliance registered trainings on the pristine southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica. 200-HOUR>> YOGA TEACHER TRAINING Merge the physical and contemplative practices of yoga while deepening your connection with the earth. Colorado.Explore. journal before bed. From there. getting rid of all the stale. choose activities that nourish and inspire you. Put Your Kidneys in a Twist Twists like janu shirshasana (head to knee pose) help keep your kidneys healthy by using what B. From top: Gabriele Meermann / dieKleinert. Massage warm sesame oil into the yong quan pressure point (the indentation just below the big toe) on the soles of your feet and cover them with your favorite fuzzy slippers! Kidneys do more than flush toxins and regulate metabolism.

Depression. Brown R. Our digestion becomes sluggish. as well as heart rate variability (another marker of resilience). such as ujjayi pranayama. digestive. chronic pain. our heart functions optimally. they found that resistance winter 2012-13 Netter illustration from netterimages. Ciraulo D.L. Chris Streeter. And how does it do that? By increasing vagal tone—the body’s ability to successfully respond to stress. and make sense of our experiences—are all directly related to the vagus nerve.B. used with permission of Elsevier Inc. and ease. But up until recently. Gamma-aminobutyric-acid. and our moods become more unpredictable and difficult to manage. 2012) W e all know that yoga does a body (and a mind) good. and even epilepsy. Gerbarg P. Saper R.A.P.. PhD.” on the other hand. We know when the vagus nerve is toned and functioning properly because we can feel it on different levels: Our digestion improves. process. Studies such as this one begin to reveal how different yogic practices impact human physiology in different ways. we can manage life’s challenges with the right blend of energy. The vagus nerve. We have an easier time moving from the more active and often stressful states of being to the more relaxed ones. And as we get better at doing that... and our moods stabilize.” “Low vagal tone. the researchers investigated practices they believed would increase vagal tone. low vagal tone is correlated with such health conditions as depression. And a pilot study conducted on more experienced yogis showed that chanting Om out loud increased vagal tone and the relaxation response more than chanting it silently to oneself. diabetes. All rights reserved What Is Vagal Tone? . and epilepsy—not coincidentally. our heart rate increases. and digestion—as well as our ability to take in. Vagus Nerve and Its Branches Most of us don’t even know we have a vagus that needs toning. —Angela Wilson 14 yogainternational. and his team hypothesize that yoga works by regulating the nervous system.. increases the relaxation response. the largest cranial nerve in the body. but we most certainly do. the same conditions that show significant improvement with yoga practice. For example. chronic pain. no one could really say with any degree of certainty why—or even how—it improves conditions as varied as depression and anxiety. starts at the base of the skull and wanders throughout the whole body. brings with it a sense of depletion. In an article published in the May 2012 issue of Medical Hypotheses journal under an impossibly long title. When we can consistently maintain this flexible state we are thought to have “high vagal tone. Often thought of as our “air traffic controller. To test their theory. influencing the respiratory. and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. post-traumatic stress disorder. Now a group of researchers at Boston University School of Medicine believe they’ve discovered yoga’s secret.” the vagus nerve helps to regulate all our major bodily functions. Our breath. and nervous engagement. Researchers hypothesize that it is vagal stimulation through yoga that improves these conditions. (Streeter C.YOGATHREADS science The Study The Effects of Yoga on the Autonomic Nervous System. heart rate.. Not surprisingly.C. and Allostasis in Epilepsy.

According to the study conducted at the VA hospital in San Diego. A study published in last year’s Clinical Cancer Research journal found that curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) not only inhibits cancer 15 . You can’t just swallow turmeric tablets. —RMIT University (Melbourne. a group of women military veterans with chronic low back pain benefited from yoga more than their male counterparts. but actually reduces the molecules in your saliva that increase cancer growth. and bigger gains in energy and mental health. you sheeky? winter 2012-13 yogainternational. and stress. >> often cheeky. August 2012 GOOD NEWS for Top: Troels Graugaard / istockphoto. women also had greater decreases in depression and pain. unlike the sedatives usually prescribed. Bottom: Alejandro da Silva Farias / istockphoto. but it also may prevent cancers of the neck and head. A Small Price to Pay Sure. yoga comes without side effects and with an added bonus of reducing anxiety. yoga for at least 25 minutes a day for 12 weeks can help folks over 60 get a good night’s sleep? And.Did You Know that practicing meditative always m in d f u l . Female Vets For reasons researchers don’t fully understand. turmeric tints your teeth and gums an unsightly yellow. however—you need to chew them—because the active ingredients must interact with saliva in order to work. Australia) study.

1 tablespoon each of tamari and rice wine vinegar. This takes ages—probably an hour and a half—but is completely worth it for its versatile awesomeness in savory and sweet dishes alike. (Adapted from an original recipe by Himalayan Institute’s Jen Stout. Pity. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until you’ve got a cup of liquid the consistency of thick syrup. You’ll know you’re done when the kale shrinks and takes on a silky texture. Toss the greens with a decent slug of olive oil and some salt and massage with your hands for a couple minutes or more to break down the fibers. don’t have the slightest idea what else to do with one. the pomegranate proves itself to be a most versatile fruit—served raw in salads and juices or cooked into stews and sauces. Add 1 cup grated carrots. ½-inch peeled ginger. and 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary.YOGATHREADS in season the pomegranate A Treasure Trove of Goodness To me. + No idea how to seed or juice a pomegranate? Find out on yogainternational. the pomegranate contains plenty of antioxidants and vitamins.) Pomegranate Molasses Put 4 cups pomegranate juice. and rebirth. ½ cup sugar. beyond enjoying a handful of the seeds on occasion. In a food processor or blender. and the juice of a small lemon into a big saucepan and turn the burner to medium heat. 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard. The outside may be tough—and the inside a veritable maze of membranes—but once you get in there. ½ cup pomegranate seeds. generosity. Spicy Kale and Pomegranate Salad De-stem one bunch of kale and cut it into thin ribbons. Unfortunately. and even give the libido a bit of a boost. sweet pop of a pomegranate seed has always been worth the effort it takes to remove it from its husk. Pour the sauce over the golden tofu and let it simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. reduce inflammation. most people. This abundance explains its role as a symbol for fertility. a couple minced garlic cloves. until the tofu has absorbed some of the sauce and the rest is reduced to a glaze. and cook until golden—roughly 3 minutes a side. It is said to help delay the onset of osteoarthritis. a whole hidden treasure of seeds awaits you. Pour the dressing over the greens and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cole Vineyard / istockphoto. the cool. Warm up some olive oil in a large skillet. Pomegranate Glazed Tofu Fun Facts: Pomegranates come in more than 760 varieties and date back to 1000 bce. and a clove of garlic. ½. because as these recipes demonstrate. Perhaps even more immediately useful than its religious and art historical significance. 1 tablespoon soy sauce. toss in a cake of tofu cut into 1-inch cubes. 1 teaspoon grated orange zest. The word means “an apple (pomum) with seeds (granatus)” in Stir until the sugar dissolves. Whisk 1 cup pomegranate juice. combine 1 tablespoon sesame ¼-inch piece jalapeño. and ¼ cup chopped toasted This “Jewel of Winter” grows abundantly from September through February. —Sarah Keough >> 16 .

davis.csecenter. CA. California MEDITATION SEMINAR & INITIATION with Roy Eugene Davis. and Europe . With Roy Eugene Davis and special guest presenters Sponsored by Center for Spiritual Enlightenment.Fourth International KRIYA YOGA CONGRESS March 7 – 9 2013 San Tel: 408-283-0221 Read or download it at: or www. Georgia.csa. Christopher Key Chapple: Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra Phillip Goldberg: Author of How Indian Philosophy InÁuenced the West Ellen Grace O’Brian: Kriya Yoga Traditions Hatha Yoga • Chanting • Spiritual Friendship Gitanjali Band • Vegetarian Banquet All Welcome Donation Basis Reservations Required Free Illustrated Kriya Yoga Congress Brochure info@csecenter. direct disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda Cynthia Ambika Copple: Ayurvedic Practices Dr. Center for Spiritual Awareness. San Jose. and their Teachers and Centers in the United States. Lakemont.

March 1896 Lectures at Harvard.YOGATHREADS culture Swami Vivekananda Turns 150 “ All the powers in the universe are already ours. His wisdom continues to live on in the hearts and minds of yoga practitioners. Swami Vivekananda tops the list as one of the most influential sages of the modern yoga movement. and exotic garb rocketed him to celebrity status. meets William James. scholars. 1890 November 1894 Founds the Vedanta Society of New York. While his charisma. Swami Vivekananda: dbimages / Alamy THE FIRST KNOWN YOGI TO VISIT THE WEST.000 attendees to their feet for an unprecedented fourminute standing ovation. 1860 January 12. still the largest philanthropic organization in India. 18 1900 1910 July 4. 1897 Founds the Ramakrishna Order. 1863 Born as Narendra Nath Datta. 1893 Sails to America for the first time. 1893 Addresses the Parliament of Religions at the World’s Fair. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark. —Sarah Kent .” –Swami Vivekananda May 31. and citizens around the world. 1902 Dies at age 39. September 11. In his opening address at the World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago in eloquence. his accessible yet profound teachings touched thousands in his short lifetime. April 1900 Founds the Vedanta Society of San Francisco. Swami Vivekananda brought 7. 1870 1880 January 1887 Takes formal vows of monasticism and changes name to Swami Vivekananda. Background: Jill Kyle / istockphoto.

” A National Holiday Every January 12. More than 5. the Indian government commemorates Swami Vivekananda at the National Youth Festival. which promotes his teachings through a wide array of cultural performances and competitive sporting events. was inspired by a passage from one of Swami Vivekananda’s books that reads. Salinger Gertrude Stein Top: khalus / istockphoto. D.The Swami Inspires Sarah Bernhardt Mahatma Gandhi Aldous Huxley Carl Jung Vivien Leigh Henry Miller Laurence Olivier J.” written by the Beatles’ lead guitarist George Harrison. Bottom: David Ball / Alamy Nikola Tesla Did You Know? The #1 hit single “My Sweet Lord. Calcutta will host the weeklong celebration this time to mark his 150th birthday. we must perceive 19 . And if there is a soul. “If there is a God.000 participants from India and around the world are expected to attend. >> winter 2012-13 yogainternational. we must see him.

Be absorbed in your true aim. The dialogue comprising the 64 mantras of the Mundaka Upanishad opens when Shaunaka. but when we queried our situation. a fully prepared student. which by knowing everything becomes known?” In the chapter containing this mantra. which removes the veil of ignorance obscuring Atman (the indwelling Self).” “must. with a burning question: “Sir. what is that. We like to be needed—and happily respond to the needs of others—but wanting to be needed can become its own mantra. humbly approaches his master. We also have inner mantras of “ought. My husband had a way of life that said “yes” to everything. Scripture is like a GPS.4. Angiras explains how Atman guides the movement of all forces in human life. God is the target of the arrow— your aim. how do we continually slip into this situation? We realized that our targets had been the innumerable activities we undertook. We discovered the intolerable pressure our hidden mantras were causing us—“yes I can” for him and “don’t worry” for me—and from then on vowed to be more vigilant in their presence. We now had a standard to determine whether or not to go along with whatever activity or apparent need came up. a deeper. just as a razor removes the covering of hair from the head of a monk. achieve our intention. surrounded by a mountain of work that needed our attention.2. apramattena veddhavya˜ Àaravattanmayo bhavet COMMENTARY In our frenetic lives we often feel like an arrow being twanged by the many bows shooting us ever onward from morning until night. We are never free from the many imperatives that impel us. I responded with my own mantra: “Don’t worry. we are free to choose those ways that can help us Commentary by Isabelle Glover. we asked ourselves.” This upanishad is named for the higher knowledge (para vidya) imparted here.” as well as “one with a shaven head. Christian Adams / Getty Images WHAT’S IN A NAME? . acting like a bow’s driving winter 2012-13 Mundaka means “razor. As an arrow pierces a target. One of the meanings of the word upanishad is “that which destroys ignorance” from the root sad. so vigilance pierces ignorance. and these shoot us into yet more activity.” One day.YOGATHREADS scripture The mantra is the bow. Sage Angiras. but. I’ll do it. translated by Isabelle Glover pra®avo dhanuÅ Àaro hyŸtmŸ brahma tal-lakŒyam ucyate . n 20 yogainternational. —Mundaka Upanishad 2. Sanskrit scholar and teacher. you yourself are the arrow. Christian.” and “should” playing out in our heads. lighting up the direction we are meant to travel while illuminating the byways. Seeing how overburdened he sometimes became with things undone. quieter aim—much more in accord with the way we wanted to live—emerged. and student of contemplative scripture. if we follow our true aim.

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every day. Remember that your predominant dosha increases during the season it governs. as well as schedule some alone time. hard. hard. and kapha—govern not only our own constitution. unless. and the frenetic. and meditation practices. Vata is the queen of change. from the coldest part of winter into spring. . Warm milk laced with ghee and honey is a perfect nighttime elixir. of course. And stick to three meals a day to avoid overindulging.m. to mud-luscious early spring. that are lighter. This schedule will help you fend off seasonal weight gain. The weather turns cold. neti pot. mobile. rough—maybe even a bit icy. drier. stable. dense. longest days of the year—from late spring into early fall. cool qualities. moist foods—think stews. we were thinking in ayurvedic terms: three doshas. Other daily ayurvedic practices (dinacharya)—including abyhanga. Here’s what you can do: Kapha season extends from frigid winter days. dandelion and other spring greens—which naturally support this time of cleansing. To pacify kapha during the early part of this season: fire or snuggle up with a good book. berries. which includes the hottest. pitta. which ayurveda characterizes as light. or other light aerobic activity—before 10 a. the year breaks into vata season. Understanding the qualities of each of these seasons can help you reduce any adverse effects. wet. your tongue scraper.). pungent.EVERYDAYAYURVEDA By Kathryn Templeton ’Tis the Season ASKED TO NAME THE SEASONS. overwhelmed. unpredictable energy of the “holidaze. Get up before kapha time (6 a. walking. and the first tentative shoots break through the ground. irregular. So instead of winter. and get in some exercise—bike riding. when the ground freezes solid. as well. so take care to choose foods and activities that will pacify and not aggravate it. hardly any of us in the West would stop at three. Eat warm. which goes from late fall into early winter. when the snow melts. restorative yoga. summer. to 10 a.” which can easily leave you depleted. and nasya oil will help with seasonal allergies and keep kapha from building. right? Makes perfect sense if we remember that the doshas—vata. but everything else in the cosmos. three seasons. As soon as they’re available. so you’ll need to watch out for dry skin. Vata Season Kapha Season Leaf-scuttling winds mark the start of vata season. and the earth becomes dry. cool—the very qualities we associate with late fall and early winter. gooey. and fall. Mary Evans Picture Library / Alamy tra care to keep your internal fire (agni) kindled. and warming. and a warm blanket. irregular digestion. winds blow. and distracted by all the excitement. oiling the body with warming sesame oil—will help you stay steady and feel comforted. dry. eat the first bounty of the season— sprouts. kapha season.m. spring. These conditions disturb kapha dosha’s heavy.m. and pitta season. and root veggies—and save the salads and cold snacks for summer. 22 yogainternational. the sap rises. a cup of chai or hot tea. soups. winter 2012-13 up and out of the house—early.

3 Repeat on the other side. Repeat on the other side.m. Tilt your head so your nostrils are parallel to the ceiling. Doing lateral yoga poses like janu shirshasana (head to knee pose) or utthita parshvakonasana (side angle pose) will dissipate the internal heat. and a professor of human development and general 23 . and red. the leaves on the trees turn bright orange. PRACTICAL 1 Put 3 to 5 drops of nasya oil in your left hand. or treat headaches and anxiety.. yellow. do either method twice a day. winter 2012-13 yogainternational. We can enjoy the passion of the season without burning up by following this advice. only slightly moist. an E-500 RYT. at the start of autumn. support your meditation practice. 2 Using your right-hand pinky. and sniff. and focused on their goal of transformation—just like pitta dosha. so add a cooling breathing practice like sheetali pranayama to balance things out.. apply the oil in one nostril. and a rubdown with coconut oil will cool your skin. sharp. hot.m. coconut juice. to 2 p. that your energy may be more easily disturbed during the weeks between the seasons? Detox the buildup of elements from one season before moving into the next. mint. NAMA-registered ayurvedic practitioner. 2 Put 3 to 5 drops of nasya oil in one nostril. These leaves are lighter in nature. Pitta Season TRADITIONAL Nature builds heat all through pitta season until.) helps keep your mental and emotional energy from overheating. ■ Did you know. with a pillow under your head and shoulders. aloe vera juice will douse your internal heat. can become myopic and intense. intense.HOW TO DO NASYA To keep seasonal allergies at bay. teacher in the field of drama therapy. Summer’s bounty offers plenty of ways to keep cool: cucumbers. while pressing the other one shut. press the opposite nostril shut. as if they were living flames on each branch. summer squash. and mangos. ing out of the sun during pitta time (10 a. zucchini. 1 Lie on your back. Rest with your head in this position for 1 minute.

and sugar binges cause blood sugar spikes. But as the seasons changed. warming foods will keep your body in balance all winter long. I felt a shift in energy. I HAVEN’T EATEN MEAT since the mid-1980s when I heard The Smiths cry “Meat Is Murder” and rebelled against my butcher’s-daughter upbringing. DC. mood. an ayurvedic retreat and treatment center in Boulder. Douillard says glucose peaks and valleys like these lead to more cravings and crashes. says the symptoms I’ve described are common among vegetarians who fail to eat enough protein and healthy fats in winter.” Carbs. caffeine. pasta.CONSCIOUSKITCHEN Eating in Season Creamy mung dal and rice soup sprinkled with warming Indian spices takes the chill out of a winter’s evening. leaving the body fatigued and unable to shed weight. “Many vegetarians become addicted to sugar. and chocolate. Colorado. after taking a pass on it for more than 25 years. I’ve drifted back and forth along the vegetarian continuum from pescatarian to vegan. carbs. My achy joints. Douillard advises eating more slow-burning foods in a winter diet that’s 40 percent protein. As fall morphed into winter. and 30 percent carbs— about half the carbs we take in from Cultura RM / Alamy Hearty. your body will start craving the wrong winter 2012-13 By Lauren Piscopo me all through the previous summer. 30 percent fats. No way they could have resulted from giving in to my strong cravings for potatoes. and focus that I immediately attributed to my first bout of seasonal affective disorder. and caffeine for the energy boost they’re not getting from a balanced diet. when their bodies need these nutrients for energy and to keep warm. PhD. I was still eating the same fresh spinach salads that had energized 24 yogainternational. insomnia. John Douillard. . I even started yearning for red meat. Since then. “If you do not get adequate amounts of protein and fat in winter. but I’ve always avoided red meat and felt better for doing so—until recently. which quickly plummet as the body pumps out insulin to meet the sudden demand. because it stops burning fat and runs on glucose instead. and weight gain? I chalked those up to my advancing age.” Douillard says. director of LifeSpa.

and quinoa. winter squash. a cookbook blogger and author of Super Natural Every Day. Here are Douillard’s tips for following a vata diet in winter: • rich foods. and Diana CullumDugan. stressed. and even ® salt to ease winter’s chill. Heidi Swanson. Foods that are heavy. >> winter 2012-13 yogainternational. warming. In this context.” says Douillard. RD. cardamom. such as avocados. nutritionist and certified yoga teacher. For easy ways to add these foods to your diet this winter. making us feel anxious. eggs. a time of drying cold temperatures and winds. or restless. almonds. and beets. • herbal teas to stay hydrated. follow a vata diet. my meat cravings make perfect sense—I needed more protein. which lubricate dry skin and hair and stiff joints—and lift you out of a winter funk with their mood-boosting benefits. moisturizing. nuts and nut butters. no matter your dosha. and flaxseeds. to stimulate digestion. Vata governs the period from late fall through early winter. oily. Ayurveda assigns a dosha to each season. “To counterbalance these effects on your body and mind. check out these recipes from John Douillard’s book The 3-Season Diet. sour. beans. • citrus. or salty are the antidote to a vata imbalance. • black pepper. which I could get as a vegetarian from tofu and tempeh. which can contribute to a vata excess in the body. • choose heavier vegetables like sweet 25 .all those fresh fruits and veggies in the summer.

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26 winter 2012-13

Black Pepper Tempeh
Serves 4
3 tablespoons extra-virgin
coconut or olive oil
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
15 small cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled
and grated
3 tablespoons shoyu, tamari,
or soy sauce
¼ cup natural cane sugar
2 tablespoons water, plus more
as needed
8 ounces tempeh, sliced pencil-thick
12 ounces cauliflower, very finely
chopped (a little bigger than rice)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black
pepper, more if desired

bine the coconut or olive oil, shallots, red
pepper flakes, garlic, and ginger. Cook
slowly, taking care not to brown the ingredients and stirring occasionally, until
the garlic cloves are soft throughout,
about 15 minutes.
together the shoyu, sugar, and water in a
small bowl.
skillet to medium-high and add the
tempeh. Gently stir to get the tempeh
coated. Add the shoyu mixture and stir
again to coat. Cook for a minute or two,
and then add the cauliflower. Stir and
cover. Cook for about 3 minutes.

Heidi Swanson © 2011



Selfless Service

black pepper. Taste, add more pepper, if
you like, and serve immediately.
From Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved
Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen by
Heidi Swanson (Ten Speed Press, a division of
Random House, Inc., 2011). Used with permission.

Perfect Protein Soup
Serves 6 to 8

cup split yellow mung dal beans
cups white basmati rice
tablespoons ghee
inch fresh gingerroot, chopped
teaspoon turmeric
teaspoon coriander
teaspoon cumin powder
teaspoon whole cumin seeds
teaspoon mustard seeds
pinch hing (asafoetida)
to 10 cups water
teaspoon sea salt
small handful cilantro leaves,
washed and diced
Bragg Liquid Aminos (optional)

til the water runs clear.
the ghee and all the spices, stirring for
a few minutes. Add the dal and rice and
stir again.

bring to a boil, then add the farro.
Cook over medium heat (high simmer) until the farro is tender, about
40 minutes.


Study with the
Finest Ayurveda
Faculty in the West

Starting Jan 25
on a large baking sheet with the sage,
1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, pepper,
and pecans.
midway through until the squash
is fork-tender and beginning to
together with the squash. Sprinkle in
the parsley and lightly toss. Garnish
each serving with slices from ¼ of
an avocado. n
Created by Diana Cullum-Dugan. Used with

Lauren Piscopo, a food and health writer living
in Boulder, Colorado, is determined to eat in balance this winter and not give in to comfort-food
cravings—except for a tiny bit of dark chocolate
once in a while.

Priority Application by Dec 14

• Ayurvedic Lifestyle Counselor
• Ayurvedic Practitioner
• Master of Arts - Ayurveda
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Visit us online at:
or call 408.846.4060



From The 3-Season Diet by John Douillard
(Three Rivers Press, a division of Random House,
Inc., 2001). Used with permission.

medium-sized heavy saucepan, sauté
the onion in 1 tablespoon of olive
oil until the onions are translucent,
about 5 minutes.



Season to taste with Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, if desired.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin
olive oil, divided
1 large sweet yellow onion, minced
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup farro
1 medium butternut squash
(yields 4 cups, peeled and cubed)
4–5 fresh sage leaves or
1 teaspoon dried sage
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 avocado, sliced


boil. Boil for 10 minutes, then turn the
heat to low, and cover the pot. Continue
to cook until the rice and beans become
soft (about 30 to 40 minutes).

Roasted Squash
and Farro Pilaf
Serves 4


more, and cook until the cauliflower and
tempeh start to brown a bit. If you need
to add a little more water to the pan,
carefully do so, one tablespoon at a time.

Mount Madonna

College of Ayurveda
Watsonville, California

winter 2012-13



The Company You Keep
In order to tackle the Herculean task of spiritual growth,
you need the counsel of the wise. By Sandra Anderson

the way to attain the absolute good. It
dispels the darkness of ignorance. The
company of the wise yields the most
desirable fruit.”

What made the London Summer Olympics the most watched event in US television history? Very few of us are wrestlers
or archers or even weekend warriors; we
know next to nothing about dressage;
and few of us will ever throw a javelin—
not even in jest. Yet we profoundly enjoy
watching such skill in action. Even if we
have no intention of mastering a back
flip off the balance beam, for one moment we are that perfectly focused body
and mind, full of confidence and courage. A bit of the magic rubs off on us.
In yoga, making use of this effect of
association and our capacity for empathy
is known as satsanga. The word literally
means “a union or meeting (sanga) with

28 winter 2012-13

truth (sat).” Sat also carries the connotation of “being, existence, reality, and
higher truth or wisdom.” So satsanga is
usually translated as the “company of
the wise.” Through satsanga we bask in
the presence of those established in truth
and wisdom, and experience that potential in ourselves.
The famous sage Parashurama set
out on the path to enlightenment after a
chance satsanga with the sage Samvarta.
From there, he made his way to Dattatreya, who taught him the secrets of
sadhana—spiritual practice. “Listen,
Parashurama,” says Dattatreya in the
prominent tantric text Tripura Rahasya,
“satsanga, the company of the wise, is

That most desirable fruit is vichara—
right thinking or discrimination—the
kind of understanding that gives shape to
the highest meaning and purpose in life.
“Those who are devoid of discrimination
are narrow in their thinking, like frogs in
a well,” says Dattatreya. “A frog born in
a well lives without knowing the difference between day and night.” Satsanga
allows us to see beyond the darkness of
our fear, frustrations, hopelessness, and
everyday small-minded concerns.
In traditional satsanga, being in
the company of the wise means sitting
at the feet of a sage or a spiritually accomplished teacher who can unveil
our ignorance and misunderstanding,
reveal the causes of conflict and suffering, and suggest ways to remove them.
This traditional format of discussion
and dialogue plays an important role in
addressing our deepest concerns. But
satsanga can also convey the experience
of embodied wisdom in other more indirect ways. Just as watching the Olympic champions lifts our spirits, merely
being in the presence of wisdom and
self-mastery can be enough to invoke
a new state of awareness—a state of
unconditional happiness, infused with
fearlessness and contentment.

Russell Gillman India Nepal / Alamy

Light the Torch

Senior editor Sandra Anderson is coauthor of Yoga: Mastering the Basics and has taught yoga and meditation for over 25 years. and remembered. Finding Good Company Of however difficult it may be. the grace of satsanga can come in many forms: listening to an inspired lecture on your CD player on the way to work. —The Yoga Vasishtha Satsanga enlarges one’s intelligence Lift Yourself Up The Tripura Rahasya also describes how satsanga acts as the antidote for aparadha vasana—that which pulls us away from our own inherent joy and harms the seat of that joy in every aspect of our being. These are aparadha vasanas—inclinations of mind (vasana) that take away (apa) our intrinsic happiness (radha).The Virtues of Satsanga and destroys one’s ignorance and one’s psychological distress. with the awakening of our own inner Self. wisdom. The cure for aparadha vasana? Satsanga. This could even include the pleasure of sharing Saturday morning bagels after class with fellow yoga students. In the Tripura Rahasya. Whatever be the cost. positive thinking. and inspiration. To some degree. $80. or a teacher or teachers. whatever obstacles may stand in its way. the truly wise are not that easy to find. spending a few minutes every morning with the Bhagavad Gita. This nurtures the creation of a new vasana in us—one that allows for a balanced mind. at one time or another. we have all been plagued by a nagging sense of for excerpts and to order your copy or call us at (505) 291-9698 The Ayurvedic Institute Albuquerque. and discrimination. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name. ignoring the voice of your heart. This silent acknowledgment and quiet nurturing of the tiny tender flame in the cave of the heart is a precious gift—at least as important as practice itself. Announcing Vasant Lad’s New Book The Textbook of Ayurveda General Principles of Management and Treatment Volume Three Provides comprehensive information on the therapeutic modalities of Ayurveda including diet and lifestyle recommendations. n j Listen to Pandit Rajmani Tigunait’s satsanga on dealing with fear at yogainternational. For satsanga alone is one’s light on the path of life. palliative and cleansing therapies. Satsanga draws us into the arena of spiritual training. “Gathered in my name” calls on the presence of wisdom itself and implies an intention to share an inner state of spiritual awareness—a state that is to be invoked. 668 pp. and much more. or knocked down by hopelessness. a distorted perception of yourself—all qualify.00 Visit ayurveda. not trusting yourself. whose happiness is not dependent on achievement or gain. (Matthew 18:20). Self-condemnation. crippled by fear or anger. until finally. Conversations such as these can reflect an unspoken understanding that we share something we may not have in common with our friends. just as a mist refreshes a man overheated by the midday sun.” Jesus promised. herbal remedies.” The company of the wise sustains and encourages us. joining a spiritually minded book club. we experience deep inner peace and happiness. NM winter 2012-13 yogainternational. cultivated. Fortunately. our own families. subtle healing methods. our colleagues at work. or experiencing moments of clarity and grace with a few people gathered with a higher intention. or in many cases. visiting a place of worship. ISBN 978-1-883725-14-3 Hardcover. there I am in the midst of them. In the company of someone established in the inherently joyful inner Self. where we can establish a relationship with the embodied stream of knowledge. satsanga should never be neglected. Parashurama describes his life-changing encounter with the sage Samvarta: “His company gave me immense relief and a sense of abiding peace. we become the silent sage who quietly radiates inner 29 . who can guide us to deepen our spiritual practice.

com winter 2012-13 slowly stretching my body. And yet yoga has helped me survive both mentally and physically. yet when someone asks if I “practice” yoga. most Americans think of yoga as a series of postures and breathing exercises they practice to gain control of their bodies and minds. an author. 30 yogainternational. My butt arcs high in the air. and my heels can only wave to the ground. I’m a mom. and a high school basketball coach. But the dictionary also defines a yogi as someone who practices yoga. . I didn’t understand its relevance to the class or to my life. Why? Because I can’t bend like a pretzel. In fact. my life changed forever. Perhaps I should explain. I played basketball. Sun salu-what? I struggled through every pose except those requiring balance and strength. nor do I roll out my mat every day. I could only imagine how perplexed they’d be when they saw that I lifted my right shoulder a bit too high in chair pose and didn’t quite square my hips in warrior I. a fashion model. I hesitated. I shattered my right arm and my right femur. I couldn’t comprehend the importance of YOGA PRACTICE keeps Sonya Elliott on the basketball court. and I loved intense physical exercise. I was hit by a train. Does the distinction really matter? Not to me. when my agent asked if I wanted to model for a yoga clothing company. What is a yogi anyway? A master of yoga. and when the class ended. Yoga has been a part of my life for more than 20 years. palms splayed out on my purple mat. I can tell you one thing: I am not that. and sweat pours down my back. Now we’re getting closer. I am clearly no yogi. So it’s not so easy for me to slow down and do what I know is good for my body and mind. And then on November 20. My legs ache. fingers spread wide.SKILLFULACTION There When It Matters A once-a-week (maybe) practitioner reflects on yoga’s restorative powers. I easily said good-bye to yoga. a wife. Do I really practice yoga? I first tried yoga in college in my one and only acting class. Just days before my wedding. but my toes squish together on the mat. By Sonya Elliott I ’m holding my trembling body in downward-facing dog. Well. after all. my arms extended in front of me. not to mention quelling my mind. I usually hesitate. 1991. according to dictionary. Traditionally. My heart broke when I awoke in the hospital and learned that my fiancé had been killed in the this ancient philosophy advocated and prescribed a course of physical and mental disciplines for attaining liberation from the material world and uniting the self with the Supreme Being. But nowadays.

but I am happy. when I was able to walk again. I knew it would be nearly impossible to get into most of the poses. I wish I could say I wake up every morning at 5 and practice an hour of yoga and meditation before I start my day. I am no yogi. or union of the self with the Supreme Being. I do manage 10 to 15 minutes of yoga after my workout at the Y. and I may not have attained liberation from the material world. Deep in my heart I must have known that working toward balancing my body would be good for me. And in the end. but yoga keeps me playing basketball and goofing around with my husband and kids. and it allows me a few moments of quiet and peace in this fun and crazy With the help of a good warm-up and a yogainfused stretching routine. But as I began to get stronger physically and move forward with my life—learning to survive each day without Mark—yoga slowly found its way back to me. I try to make yoga class once a week (emphasis on try). and might even help me do the one thing I wanted to do more than anything else—play basketball again. Months after the accident. My body may be a bit lopsided. Now. my yoga got better. Love & Basketball. With the entire right side of my body wracked with injuries. I focused on my breath. I still play basketball competitively in women’s leagues around Seattle—not bad for a 45-year-old. pose by pose. Day by day. I needed an abundance of blankets and props to shift myself in and out of awkward positions. isn’t that what really matters? n A Young Woman’s Triumphant Return to Life. still I felt compelled to try. I stepped into a yoga class. and somehow that focus helped me find peace in a time of stress and heartache. my game got better. 20 years later. winter 2012-13 yogainternational. and I got better.Jason Elliott Yoga didn’t help me recover right 31 . But I don’t. Visit her at sonyaelliott.

we can learn to 32 winter 2012-13 .ART OFASANA The Journey Inward By systematically turning inward and tuning out the external world.

and stand there enjoying the yeasty. all bets are off when your nose catches a whiff of the freshly baked bread on the free sample table. >> winter 2012-13 yogainternational. entertain. malty flavor and the soft. touch. gives us a way to accomplish that end: pratyahara. you reach for the bread. before you know it. smell. By Christina Sell Have you ever gone grocery shopping when you’re really hungry? No matter how committed you are to a healthy eating plan going in. sight. and they exercise more control over our choices than we realize. We interact with the world through our senses all the time. This not-so-far-fetched example demonstrates just how thoroughly taste. you’ve thrown a whole loaf in your basket. completely forgetting that just yesterday you swore off gluten forever. and hearing can govern our lives. chewy texture. Truth be told. the fifth limb of Ashtanga yoga. most of us would prefer to apply the principles and practices of pratyahara in more ordinary ways. If your senses take over. pratyahara entails cultivating our inner life consistently and deliberately— through disciplined practice and periods of retreat—so we can participate with and through our senses more consciously and skillfully. there’s simply no avoiding them. And however much these “superhero” yogic feats may inspire. Patanjali.appreciate and participate in our lives much more fully. and interest us. But most of us need periodic retreats from this sensory onslaught in order to gain enough clarity to live according to our yogic principles—and our dietary plans.” this stage of practice conjures up esoteric images of yogis so absorbed in meditation that they don’t feel the sting of a scorpion or so adept at physical abnegation that they can lie comfortably on a bed of nails. in the Yoga Sutra. And. For 33 . put a piece in your mouth. Often referred to as the “withdrawal of the senses from outside objects. As typical practitioners—who sandwich yoga in between everything else we’ve got going on—we can’t possibly renounce the senses and cease to be aware of what’s happening around us.

shoulders. You may notice that the more you practice withdrawing or going inward. Move your tailbone forward and into your body as you lift and tone your lower abdomen.Pratyahara allows us to pull back from external activity and gather the force and focus we need to dive back into the fray. Iyengar in Light on Yoga. Bend your left knee so that it is directly over your front ankle.K. Make sure that your legs are toned in order to protect your hamstring attachments. To do so.S. 2 . (Downward-Facing Dog Lunge) From prasarita padottanasana (wide angle forward bend). and back to practice the pose safely. Be aware of the rhythm of your breathing and how your body responds to each pose. Maintaining this twist. but you can easily incorporate it into a more active asana practice. If you have any disk problems in your back. which can help tune out external distractions and even internal judgments. “tones the spine. Stretch your hands and arms out to the left the same way you did in adho mukha parshva vajrasana. bend forward and place your hands and your forehead on the floor. set an intention to move your attention away from the external world and focus on your own physical and emotional sensations. I can’t think of a more apt symbol for pratyahara than a turtle withdrawing into its shell. Kurmasana (tortoise pose) is an intense forward fold that shuts out sensory distractions and quiets the nervous system. turn your right foot in slightly and your left foot out 90 degrees. Do your regular practice. lower your right breast more toward the floor to create a lateral stretch along the right side of your back. paying attention to your breath and winter 2012-13 Preparation (Downward-Facing Thunderbolt Twist) Sit in vajrasana (thunderbolt pose).” Additionally. Straighten your arms in front of you to stretch your spine. Repeat on the other side. I would recommend abstaining from the final stages of this deep fold—the rounded shape in the spine can aggravate that condition. “and after completing it one feels refreshed. as though one had woken up from a long undisturbed sleep. In this twisted and forward-bended position. Kurmasana. activates the abdominal organs. rather than reacting unintentionally. Exhale and twist to your left. It helps us choose our responses to sensory stimulation. but incorporate more forward folds (standing or seated). We can smell the bread baking in the store without reaching for it. and appreciate the outside world. In this position your hips and thighs will naturally move back and apart. Most often this limb is experienced through a deeply restorative practice. with your hips on your heels and your feet and knees touching. Draw your tailbone forward and into your body and tone your low belly to protect your spine.” he says. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.” Of course. these great effects are possible only if you have enough flexibility in your hips. according to B. 34 yogainternational. and keeps one energetic and healthy. Notice how you feel as you move through each preparatory pose and be prepared to stop anywhere along the way. Inhale as you squeeze your knees together to tone your inner thighs and lift your chest. Straighten your arms. Place your right hand on the outside of your left knee and place your left hand on your sacrum behind you. This stretch will loosen the muscles along the back of your body and begin to prepare your back for the 1 deep stretch that comes with kurmasana. because pratyahara affords us one or two extra moments during which we can remember our food plan and our health goals. the right side of your back will be higher than your left side. So proceed slowly and deliberately. the more fully you can be present. Lift your right kneecap by engaging your quadriceps fully. With every exhale. the posture “soothes the nerves of the brain. participate in. Move your left sitting bone toward your right inner thigh in order to line your left leg up straight from your hip to your knee and to ensure that your butt is not sticking out.

Inhale. lift your kneecap and push through the ball of your right foot as though you were stepping on a gas pedal. parallel with the floor. Keep your legs strong as you exhale and bend forward over your right leg. return to standing. aim your thumb toward the floor to internally rotate your arm and place your forearm along the back side of your waistline. and clasp your right hand or wrist behind 35 . Place your left hand on the floor on the inside of your left foot so that your torso is along the inside of your left thigh. Keep your right foot straight ahead and turn your left leg out to the left 90 degrees.(Bound Side Angle Pose) Stand in tadasana (mountain pose). These actions will help stabilize your hips. >> winter 2012-13 yogainternational. Repeat on the other side. and then your chin to your shin. or clasped elbows behind the back. exhale. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute. shoulders. your nose. Place your hands behind your back in reverse prayer. bend your left knee until the top of your left thigh is parallel to the floor. bend forward at your hips more and reach your thighs back like you had them in the first stage of the adho mukha shvanasana variation. 4 (Intense Side Stretch Pose) Stand in tadasana. use one of the following variations: hands on the floor. If your shoulders or hips are tight. This will help you move more weight into your back leg and help you avoid hyperextending your front leg. Exhale. Hold the posture for 30 seconds to 1 minute. take your tailbone in. lift your low belly up. Turn your left foot in strongly and turn your right foot out 90 degrees. stay here. and your chest lift. Inhale. Slide the left side of your torso along the inside of your left thigh to move a littler lower toward the floor and to open your hips more. your hips become more square to the front of your mat. Line your right heel up with the arch of your left foot. As you bend forward over your front leg. Place your feet directly underneath your wrists. Step or jump your feet wide. Squeeze your legs together until you feel your inner thighs engage. Step or jump your feet wide. First bring your forehead. Once you have the clasp. and line your front leg up from your hip to your knee. Stretch your right arm up to the ceiling. engage your leg muscles and lift your chest. interlaced hands behind the back. Stretch your arms out to the sides. Line your left heel up with the arch of your right foot. If you cannot make the clasp. Turn your left arm in and wrap it around your left thigh. Make sure you have your arm at your waist and not around your hip to make the clasp less stressful for 3 your shoulder. Engage your leg muscles and lift your kneecaps. bend your right arm at the elbow. Release and repeat on the other side. This is stage one.

lift your low belly up. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute. your nose. Stay on the balls of your feet. bring your lower ribs closer to your hip bones to tone your abdominal muscles. to come into your lumbar spine. Having established this length along the back of your body. Keeping the soles of your feet on the floor. with your exhale. Inhale again and make your spine as long as you can and. The resistance powers the twist away from the bent leg and keeps the adductors toned and the pelvis stable. Create a very strong upper back backbend here and take your arm bones toward the back plane of your body to stabilize your shoulders. Anchor both sitting bones to the floor or a blanket. Bend your right leg and place the inside of your right foot along the inside of your left thigh. turn your left arm in. keep weight into your hands to take pressure out of your knee joint. As you inhale. bend your elbow. Bending forward and placing your hands on either side of your outstretched leg makes for an effective modification. your left hand on the floor or a block behind your back. lower your heels to the floor. Bend your right arm and point your fingers straight up to the ceiling. Once you have closed the knee joint. place a blanket underneath your heels. Bend your right leg and place the inside of your right foot along the inside of your left thigh. Bend your left arm in and place your left forearm along the back of your waistline. place your arms on the floor behind you with your palms facing up. and wrap your right arm around your right leg. Bring your forehead. stretch your right arm up toward the ceiling to stretch your spine. Release and repeat on the other winter 2012-13 With your next inhale. and stretch your spine long. Maintaining the length of your torso. Put some weight in your hands and come up onto the balls of your feet. Bring your knee out to the right slightly like you would in malasana (garland pose). and lower your head toward or to the floor. and clasp your hands or your left wrist behind your back. exhale and place your outer right armpit or shoulder against your inner right knee. Move directly into uttanasana. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute. wrap your forearm around the back of your waistline (not your hips). and bring your hips toward your heels. take your tailbone deeper into your body. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute. turn your right arm in. stretch your arms in front of you and reach your sitting bones back behind you to encourage a small curve PRATYAHARA ALLOWS US TO PULL BACK FROM ALL THE EXTERNAL ACTIVITY AND GATHER THE FORCE AND FOCUS WE NEED TO DIVE BACK INTO THE FRAY. 7 Stand in tadasana with your feet and legs together. Wardrobe: Lululemon 5 . or your chin to the shin of your outstretched leg. clasp in this posture if your shoulders are not ready for such a deep stretch. Model: Elena Brower. If you cannot bring your heels to the floor.(Sage’s Twist Variation) Sit in dandasana (staff pose) with your legs straight out in front of you. and clasp your fingers or your left wrist behind you. Bend forward and place your hands on the floor in front of you. Place 6 Sit in dandasana with your legs straight out in front of you. as low toward the ankle as you can. 36 yogainternational. This may be intense enough for your body right now. Exhaling. Release and repeat on the other side. in. Stylist: Esther Ahn. and clasp your right arm around your right leg. bend your elbow. inhale. bend forward from your hips and reach your right arm out toward your left foot. Photos: Sarah Keough and Bek Andersen.

listen to Sandra Anderson’s audio on yogainternational. Stretch your arms out straight so that your arms and your legs form a 90-degree angle with one another. Kurmasana is given here in three stages. work your arm bones toward the back plane of the body as though you were doing a backbend in your shoulders. take your hands to the backs of your heels making a C shape and pull your belly closer to your thighs as you straighten your legs. Hold for 30 seconds and release. 9b). the more easily you will be able to clasp them. At the midpoint between bent legs and straight legs. 9a). move your arms back behind you with your palms up. Squeeze your legs toward one another and stretch them as straight as you can (Fig. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute and release. keep your belly close to your thighs as you slowly straighten your legs and come into uttanasana. For stage three. Bend your legs slightly less than 90 degrees. sit in dandasana with your legs straight in front of 37 . It is not essential to straighten your legs completely. the same way you had them in malasana (Fig. place your right shoulder underneath your right leg.The Peak Pose 8 8 Forward Bend Pose) From malasana. This posture is the symbol of retreat and drawing in. n and is the author of Yoga from the Inside Out and My Body Is a Temple. so counteract the common misalignment by positioning your shoulders as far under your legs as you can and squeezing your legs together with the strength of your upper inner thighs. The more you stretch your arms away from your body. For stage one. Place your heels on the outside edges of your sticky mat. With your thumb on the back of your right calf muscle. which makes the clasp impos- sible. j To experience a deeply restorative practice. Once you have the clasp. 9c) The tendency in this posture is for the legs to spread too wide. 9a 9b 9c winter 2012-13 yogainternational. Now place your left shoulder underneath your left leg. Choose the one that makes the most sense for your body. and clasp your hands around the back of your waistline. turn your arms in. but do keep your belly on your thighs to support your back in this deep forward flexion. bend your elbows. (Fig. For stage

or a meteor shower in 2014. winter 2012-13 we fail to do anything constructive and instead spend our time discussing apocalyptic calamities. intention. If yogainternational. and nurture the earth. If they become the majority—and those of us with higher values and a brighter vision become a minority—life will become miserable. but the leading candidates seem to be the end of the Mayan calendar in December 2012. the world will certainly come to an end. knowledge. We should concern ourselves with preserving and promoting higher values rather than worrying about the end of the world. we will devolve into a barbaric society with a barbaric mind-set. if we tunnel into mountainsides and move into these dark holes. vitality. Clearly we see that people with a barbaric mind-set already exist in so-called civilized societies. If the sun is collapsing or a band of giant meteors is heading our way. we become violent and dangerous to ourselves. If we lose trust in ourselves and have no faith in a higher reality. rumor. friends. we can preserve the world for A 38 Yes. compassion. the massive solar storms predicted for next year. He is the spiritual head of the Himalayan Institute. Kathryn LeSoine Q There’s been so much talk about the end of the world lately that I’m beginning to take it seriously. wisdom. Damaging selfunderstanding. the world really will come to an end. That is a very big destruction. n . In an attempt to ward off danger. Why? Because belief. We cannot stop the planet from being engulfed in powerful solar storms. and kindness will bring civilization to an end. If we all become so frightened that we start stashing bottled water and hoarding food. no one will be left to protect. There’s no agreement about how the apocalypse will be triggered. If we listen to doomsday discourses and prophecies and live in fear. if we no longer trust our family. Even if we do not actually destroy the planet by such actions. collective consciousness. we have no power to prevent it. That’s what will bring the civilized world to an end. the world may well come to an end. we will destroy much of humanity’s strength. we will make big trouble for our fellow beings and for ourselves. and propaganda have amazing power. teaching yoga philosophy and practice worldwide for the past 30 years. Will the world really end soon? When we are driven by fear we engender calamity. nourish. But we do have the power to create catastrophe. or neighbors. but we can use our power to maintain our values and to strengthen our faith in ourselves and in a higher reality. and tranquility. In that case. peace.INNERQUEST The End of the World By choosing compassion over fear. But only after we’re gone—and not before that—so it’s not a big concern. Fear invites danger.

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and the change is more dramatic. the respiratory system manages to get its job done right. and yet more than 21. sustaining life with little need for attention. Breathing difficulties certainly alarm us when they do occur. though. Take the elevator and breathing is unlikely to change at winter 2012-13 Hands with string: corbisrffancy / Fotolia. our breath flows automatically. of course. The close relationship between physical activity and breathing is familiar to each of us. 40 yogainternational. Climb one flight of stairs and breathing changes slightly. Imagine encountering a snake as you walk along a desert trail. In the process.A Balancing Act F or the most part.000 times a day. Not all breathing is motivated by metabolic needs. we travel the planet with confidence in our ability to Becoming aware of and regulating our . Climb eight flights of stairs.

the information you take in through your senses. Images of repo men driving off in your car suddenly flash through your mind. But in the moments before they do. in your mind. Clearly. Simply seeing the snake has engaged your breath. Meditator: Matthias Clamer / Getty Images By Rolf Sovik You quickly assess the situation: Is it a dangerous snake or a friendly one? Perhaps. or go back the way you came? Do you even have time to ask such questions? These and similar concerns flash through your mind. memories of past experience. all snakes are dangerous. breathing can be fraught with emotion. you worry that it is an overdraft notice. and you momentarily stop breathing altogether! You open the envelope. Suppose. and your imagination all have the potential to change the way you breathe. that a letter has arrived from the bank. your breathing has already become more 41 . serving purposes only distantly related to our basic physiological winter 2012-13 yogainternational. psychological ones. for example. and you are soon pleasantly lost in the remaining stack of mail. With a sigh of relief.breath helps us achieve a note of harmony between the body and the mind. your emo- tional reactions. your breathing returns to normal. It’s an offer for a credit card. Should you stay put. keep moving ahead. Your breathing quickens with anxiety as you slice through the envelope. How could this happen? What sorts of internal mechanisms change your breathing even before you’ve begun to exert yourself? The answer is. It looks official. With little conscious awareness. Short on funds this month. Your vision of the world. it has responded to the threat of the snake by preparing you for action.

Great tidal surges sweep unceasingly through your lungs—emptying and filling. not too slow. Like other muscles of respiration. you can observe the cycling of respiration much as you might observe the slow swinging of a clock’s pendulum. Meditation changes all this. Breathing is fashioned by muscles adjacent to the lungs. Focus on the sensations of your breath—the experience of emptying and filling…cleansing and nourishing. By examining the subtle imbalances affecting your breath during meditation. which allows us to control the breath by holding it. But just as with normal breathing. It is enervated by the phrenic nerve.Modes of Breathing own. 2 3 4 5 6 After a number of minutes have passed. where rhythms of breathing are smoothed out. singing. This will help you let go of the need to control your breathing in some way. it is drawn back up by the elasticity of the lungs. emotions. Let the breath flow at just the right pace for you—not too fast. During periods of meditation. Then. As you sit. Maintain your awareness of breathing and relax your mental effort. as well. Even during periods of significant stress. As you relax. breathing remains in the background—a silent partner to a drama occurring in your mind. and winter 2012-13 Watching YOUR BODY BREATHE Read through the following. 42 yogainternational. where rudimentary patterns of respiration are generated. metabolism slows. moving from breath to breath. when you are ready. doming upward within the rib cage beneath the lungs. bringing a sense of harmony to your body and mind. It is a process that engages every level of your being and adds its own energies to the mix. Nerve impulses originating from these cells produce breathing that is involuntary. you create ideal conditions for simply observing your breath without trying to change it. Traffic along the phrenic nerve is busy. Asana images: Photos: Andrea Killam. Model: Hanan Jaber. and air flows in. When you meditate.” Your body breathes. the respiratory centers in the brain stem could continue to produce basic breathing. and understand the process of respiration with much greater refinement. speaking. observing the gentle and automatic flow of your breath. begin to pay attention to the transitions between breaths. cleansing and nourishing. its upper surface is drawn down. When the diaphragm contracts. your metabolism slows and your breathing becomes deeply rhythmic. Continue for a number of minutes. When the diaphragm relaxes. the diaphragm is a skeletal muscle. and learning to systematically resolve them there. a nerve that forms the final common pathway for nerve central tendon impulses reaching the diaphragm from of diaphragm the brain. Your nervous system will relax. slowly bring your attention outward. analyze. gradually relaxing more deeply. voluntary breathing. If an injury prevented all higher portions of the brain from functioning. you can restore inner balance and quietude to your mind. Breathing is a deeply emotional experience. Wardrobe: Model’s own needs. Then. and in the pons. Gradually begin to sense that “I am not the breather. Weave each breath smoothly and effortlessly into the next. and air flows out. and the breath cycles in and out with unusual constancy. You are merely a witness. makes the largest contribution to breathing efforts. of diaphragm which reflects pain. merging influences from three distinct modes of respiratory functioning: involuntary breathing. As your sitting times lengthen. these emotionally charged respiratory changes occur largely outside our awareness. which satisfies our metabolic needs. your awareness of the breath increases. softening your mental effort and allowing your nervous system to become deeply relaxed. and behavioral breathing. Scientists have known for decades that cells located in the brain stem—the most primitive part of the brain—produce the basic respiratory rhythm. Meditation reveals that breathing is not simply a means of staying alive. The respiratory diaphragm. These cells are found in the medulla oblongata. It becomes possible to see. Your breathing will become increasingly effortless under your quiet observation. and begin to practice.. and yogic muscular portion breath training. when you are ready. Illustration: Roger Hill. either lie down or sit in a comfortable position.effortlessly. . close your eyes. 1 mic flow of your breathing.. satisfying a fundamental yearning to preserve life. Soften the muscles in the abdomen and between the ribs.

Adjusting How we act and how we feel play a role in how we breathe— and conversely. Simply put: how you feel affects how you breathe. and modify your breathing at will. >> YOUR BREATHING Lie comfortably on your back on a firm flat surface. This will relax your nervous system. will have long-term effects. 43 . blow warm air onto cold hands. Practitioners learn to make their breath deep. and without pause. in the process. Yoga uses five criteria to assess the quality of breathing. even. Observe the flow of your breathing. Look especially for tension in the abdomen or in the muscles between the ribs. The following exercise will help you examine these criteria and make adjustments to your own breath— a process called breath training in yoga. Lose your temper in a rage—you’ll breathe out and in sharply. out pauses in your breath that interrupt its unbroken flow. During periods of meditation. a third force governs respiration—one that both complicates and humanizes matters considerably. sing. make adjustments to equalize them. with practice. A deeply discouraged mood may cause you to sigh and. nerve impulses descending from the cerebral cortex can also influence the breath. The rather clumsy phrase used to label this third mode of breathing—behavioral breathing—reminds us that not all breathing styles are directly linked to metabolic needs. and talk. you will begin to acquire a healthy breathing habit. Observe your breathing as a relaxed witness and let your body breathe. you can use voluntary control to make adjustments in your breathing. Support your neck and head with a thin cushion. Your ability to become aware of your breathing. sensing each exhalation and inhalation and making smooth transitions from breath to breath. you can start. How we act and how we feel play a role in how we breathe—and conversely. deepen the contractions of the diaphragm and increase the expansion of the abdomen with each breath. smooth. Reactions like these may also act to protect us from being overwhelmed by a painful experience. This means that. rhythm.Voluntary Control of Breathing impulses reaching the diaphragm from the brain stem. sip through straws. 4 Quiet the breath. gently deepen it. Our behaviors influence the depth. In addition to voluntary and involuntary styles of breathing. breathing affects our actions and feelings. 3 If your breaths are of un- 5 Weave each breath into the next. To do this. You will be able to recognize good breathing—but more importantly. speed. This type of breathing can seem pretty straightforward. Continue for a number of minutes. Voluntary control allows you to swim underwater. communicate your feelings and low energy level to others. and to sustain that awareness as you make adjustments to it. you can replace unproductive breathing habits with productive ones. 6 Finally. smoothing equal lengths. within limits. breathing affects our actions and feelings. Your emotions. or style of breathing in familiar ways. The fact that breathing can be consciously controlled means that. Then begin to shape your breathing in the following way: 1 If your breathing is shallow. allowing your body to rest. silent. stop. Touch a hot burner and you’ll quickly inhale as you pull your hand away. 2 Soften muscle tensions that create jerks or otherwise restrict your breathing. relax your mental effort as you did in exercise 1. Let it flow silently.

com winter 2012-13 to resist the impulse to seize control of your breath and make heavy-handed changes to it. as this example shows. or manifest as minor interruptions in its flow. change speed. J. The substance and content of worldly life is grounded in us. but you leave on the verge of tears. The complexity of the human brain and the difficulty of exploring subtle interconnections within it make research on behavioral breathing technically challenging. Anger. Unfortunately. that you are a sales agent desperately trying to explain to your supervisor why you should keep your job despite declining sales revenues. and you are trying not to let that show in your voice. Cells in this part of the brain are located in proximity to midbrain structures involved in the processing of emotion. and act as if under stress. As the conversation with your boss continues. In particular. They can speed your breath or slow it down. but adds a layer of tension to your breathing that makes matters worse. They pass through us precisely because we witness them and give them room within us. you have a painful cavity in one of your teeth. start and stop. and slowly quiet them. stress. emotions. gradually returning to its natural flow. Breathing as a Healing Tool nize emotional influences on breathing directly and provides a strategy for relieving underlying pain. part of your stress and pain. In carrying out this inner work. the subtle disturbances and imbalances we experience in breathing are simply allowed to be. pain. and pain. One study in 2008 examined an area of the brain called the periaqueductal gray. The process is not unlike the practices you have already tried. and breathing nearly overwhelms you. stress. however. Emotional threads in your life are subtly entwined with your breathing. In addition. Events that spawn our reactions— pain. Grossman and C. and negative emotion in your life. Springer. causing it to deepen. deeper forces of breathing are awakened and breathing acts as a healing power. many layers of emotion. In order to deepen your capacity to witness the breath. however. alter its depth. strong reactions—causing breath holding and major changes in your breathing style. Snakes and lost jobs trigger ena remains one of the truly neglected areas of psychophysiology. however. sadness. In meditation.” P. pain. and the thought of being out of work literally takes your breath away. Behavioral breathing is reactive and frequently involves. you need Accepting disturbances in your breathing implies actively accepting the sources of stress. In meditation. . change its style. Anger is anger. the stress of trying to control your thoughts. Researchers discovered that stimulating various periaqueductal gray regions produced significant changes in the breath. Sorrow is sorrow. but it contains differences as well. anxiety. late nights with a colicky baby have left you irritable. They often occur even before you are aware of the source of your discomfort. accepting disturbances in your breathing implies actively accepting the sources of stress. and neurophysiology. You have recently bought a new house. 2001). Changes in breathing arising from these emotions are real as well. Becoming conscious of your breath allows you to witness these changes. and emotionally charged incidents—enter into the stream of inner life as actual presences. “The investigation of respiration in relation to psychological phenom- 44 yogainternational. a broad range of stress-related respiratory experience appears to be modulated by these cells. frustration. Your presentation is convincing. The strength of your reaction generally indicates something about the level of threat you perceive in your environment. Thus. pushed away by a shift in attention. jealousy.Suppose. The tightness in your abdomen keeps the pain manageable. and depression transform your breath. Getting a window seat instead of an aisle—less so. we do not simply observe thoughts and feelings passing through us like ghostly images. During meditation. and negative emotions in your life. More recent endeavors have shown promise. recognize their importance. you must truly accept it as it is. It is this nonjudgmental openness that transforms breath awareness into an instrument of selfunderstanding and healing. emotional reactions register in the breath in subtle ways. Acceptance is the key to working with emotional dimensions of breathing. Wientjes wrote in “How Breathing Adjusts to Mental and Physical Demands” (Respiration and Emotion. behavioral medicine. When distortions in breathing are witnessed in this way. however. The process of opening to emotional experience and its sources lends gravity to the meditation process. These transformations are not simply reactions—they become part of your emotional experience.

Observe your breathing as a relaxed witness. sense that you can be with discomfort and use your breath to cleanse and nourish yourself. weaving one breath into the next. but fewer ghosts and shadows. as a result. but they are not as dangerous as you might fear. you can explore themes from all three. letting your breath flow freely. you can let breath awareness return breathing to its steady automatic rhythm. your breaths have become shallow. 2 It is not necessary to fully identify or analyze all the sources of your respiratory reactions. Soften the transitions between breaths. headache or no. slowly bring your attention outward. feeling your body breathe. then relax your effort. 5 Gradually. Their causes may lie behind the veil of your awareness. Feel the breath flow out and in. Perhaps your abdominal muscles have tightened. And once this has happened. sensing their very real presence. winter 2012-13 yogainternational. they are considerably more integrated in intent. 7 Finally. Accept them. Then simply rest. Your breath is free to serve. now do the unexpected. With that awareness. Shift your attention to your breathing and soften your abdomen and rib cage. yet working their way through. It generates a willingness to coexist with your headache. and tune your awareness to your breathing. Breath by breath. and slowly let the pain move through. 6 As you continue. You may be left with some realistic challenges. By becoming conscious of your breathing. then soften the rib cage. 1 As you settle into your breath. you can find rest within yourself. Feel the way in which your 45 . let each breath help restore you. The process outlined above can be used with physical pain as well. You will soon find that most of the snakes that bother your breathing are not in the desert. No doubt your pain. be the breather. Approach your breathing with openness. The three practices here will help you. and you will discover that breath awareness is a tool that reveals new ways of being. 3 Having observed these emotional elements in the breath. for now stay with the breath. Three in One that: work with it. make your breaths even. or maybe you have artificially slowed your breathing by overcontrolling it. and let your body rest and breathe. by quietly mending your breath you can transform your inner experience. minus the scuffle. Although they have been presented as distinct exercises. Turn toward your headache as you meditate. is affecting your breathing. not only the needs of your body. rest. They may very well rattle your breathing. stresses. n Institute and the author of Moving Inward: The Journey to Meditation. but those of your mind and spirit as well. even in the midst of your pain or negative emotion. 4 Although there are many approaches to restoring inner balance. when you are ready. But notice any shifts in your breathing. cleansing and nourishing you. Using this approach. It allows you to soften the way in which you unintentionally grip your discomfort. open to its presence. to unwrap the stranglehold you have on your headache. Strengthen the diaphragm. your unconscious reactions can soften. let the steady stream of your breathing wash away the imbalances that have disturbed it. Suppose you have a horrible headache and wish you could make it disappear. lodged for a time there in the rhythms of your respiration. You’ll recover involuntary patterns of breathing. each addressing one aspect of breathing. and. to approach it with a fundamental optimism. sometimes before you’re fully aware of their presence.Healing AWARENESS Lie on a firm flat surface or sit in a meditation posture. combined with your reaction to it. and anchor your awareness in these sensations. and emotional reactions dwell in the streams of your breath. Lie down. They wait on pathways in your mind. In one daily session. Practicing 10 to 15 minutes every day will lead to mastery. Recognize that your distresses are already in your breath. grateful for the experience of relaxed breathing. allow yourself to sense how your emotional life is reflected there. and then be the witness. relax your mental effort as you did in exercises 1 and 2.


may cause heart disease.Heart the of the matter Bull’s Eye / Getty Images It now appears that inflammation. MD) of The Great Cholesterol Myth: Why Lowering Your Cholesterol Won’t Prevent Heart Disease—and the Statin-Free Plan That Will (Fair Winds Press. >> winter 2012-13 yogainternational. first off. Few of us smoke or use tobacco. And for the most part. yoga practitioners are a heart-healthy group. when the American Heart Association declared that the cause of coronary heart disease was “butter. cholesterol levels are practically useless in assessing coronary heart disease risk.” So why should we concern ourselves with heart disease? Well. low cholesterol may actually cause more health problems than it prevents. Mostly plants.” For men over 65 and for women of any age. coauthor (with Stephen Sinatra. As nutritionist Jonny Bowden. Maybe it’s time to reconsider. Yoga provides us with regular exercise for our bodies and stress-reducing techniques for our minds. finally. which means we’ve had our eye on the wrong ball for a long time. we need to know that cholesterol might not even be the primary cause of heart disease (that dubious distinction. no one is immune from health issues. if you step back and look at the big picture. and those of us who imbibe tend to do so moderately. “Trying to prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol is like trying to cut calories from a McDonald’s supersized meal by removing the pickle. B By James Keough y and large. and the excess cholesterol clogged the arteries. This focus on cholesterol began almost 60 years ago. beef. and a diet rich in good fats and antioxidants can help prevent it. the notion is firmly entrenched in the minds of most health practitioners and consumers. And. oddly enough. lard. after half a century of low-fat diets and the staggering proliferation of cholesterollowering medications ($35 billion in sales last year). meditation. belongs to inflammation). not high cholesterol.” Mainstream medicine quickly bought into the idea that the high levels of saturated fat in those foods raised cholesterol levels in the blood. and eggs. And now. And. A combination of yoga. 47 . 2012) says. Not too much. our diets follow Michael Pollan’s straightforward advice in his book In Defense of Food: “Eat food. we all know at least one person whose annual checkup ended with warnings about high cholesterol and a prescription for statin drugs. and heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. researchers now say. Second.

or that goes away and comes back. if you look at all the causes of death in this country. LDL. on the other hand. • ing out in a cold winter 2012-13 What doctors rarely admit is that people with high cholesterol actually live longer. Surprisingly. or lightheadedness. Most people would look at that number—50 percent—and wonder if something other Great Art Productions / Getty Images Getting to Know the Enemy . the intention of which is to drive LDL levels as low as possible. fullness. and make hormones. Women are somewhat more likely than men to experience shortness of breath. and back or jaw pain. it plays a critical role in the production of brain cells.” because researchers in the Framingham Heart Study deemed it a “marginal risk factor” for heart disease. only HDL received that distinction. 48 yogainternational. including those that govern our sex lives. By now we’re all probably familiar with two of those: low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). and at least six studies found that the lower the cholesterol. In fact.Heart Attack Warning Signs Some heart attacks are sudden and intense—the “movie heart attack. your body scales back production until it can deal with the surplus. • without chest discomfort. Seen in this context. and cognitive problems—all of which may explain those higher death rates from accidents and suicides. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure. How Cholesterol Got a Bad Rap Any discussion about cholesterol should begin by acknowledging that the liver makes roughly 800 to 1. deliver cholesterol to the cells on an as-needed basis. people with higher levels of cholesterol have less cancer. aggression. cholesterol can’t dissolve in our waterbased blood and flow directly to the cells. the higher the mortality. it has to hitch a ride on special carriers called lipoproteins. destabilize it) by stealing one of its electrons. the body needs this soft. both HDL and LDL can be called “good” cholesterol. however. Because it’s a fatlike substance. insulate nerves. In the early rounds of the cholesterol-causes-heart-disease discussion. picking up any excess—even scraping it off artery walls—and transporting it back to the liver for processing and elimination. the back. waxy sterol to help digest fats. Often people affected aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help. cerebral hemorrhages. The LDLs. or pain. with mild pain or discomfort. This premise not only overlooks the body’s critical need for low-density lipoproteins—without them the cells can’t get the cholesterol they need—it misses an important fact. nausea or vomiting. and the heavier HDLs act as scavengers. because each performs a critical function in the day-to-day operation of the body. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening: • attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes. It’s hard to imagine that the body would make a mission-critical substance that could also cause death. jaw. Our bodies need cholesterol because.” where no one doubts what’s happening. • Discomfort in other areas of include pain or discomfort in one or both arms. among other things. neck. LDL turns “bad” only when free radicals oxidize it (essentially. But most heart attacks start slowly. the protective role of cholesterol extends even to people with serious heart disease. and studies have linked too low a level (below 160) to depression. but that’s what the label “bad” cholesterol implies. and fewer automobile accidents and suicides. Furthermore. Maybe There’s Something Else Perhaps the most telling disconnect about the high cholesterol theory (called the lipid hypothesis) is the inconvenient truth that fully half of all heart attacks occur in people who have normal cholesterol levels.000 mg of it a day—all that the body needs to maintain good health. Instead. nausea. Studies in the United States and Europe found that heart disease patients with high cholesterol levels live much longer than those with low levels. because it reduced the level of cholesterol in the blood. strengthen and repair cell membranes. squeezing. It can then stick to an artery wall and start an inflammatory cascade that leads to heart-attack-causing blood clots. and it spawned an all-out medical war on LDL cholesterol. or stomach. was labeled “bad. a lower risk of dying from gastrointestinal and respiratory disease. scientists discovered. manufacture vitamin D. But if you get additional cholesterol from the foods you eat (all foods from animal sources contain cholesterol).

or toxins from smoking. the cap critical role in detecting heart disease even before symptoms occur. Something—high blood pressure. fish. according to numerous studies. should you march down to the lab and get tested? Probably not. Why? Researchers believe it had something to do with the antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables and the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids found in fish. both groups had roughly the same cholesterol levels. fibrous cap. mation plays an important role in the development of heart disease and the onset of heart attacks. Sometimes the plaque is stable. the delicate one-cell-thick lining of the arteries. nuts. excess body weight. To find out if you have inflammation-related heart problems. Pattern B is the LDL that lodges in the endothelium. PhD citizens eat rich. even though its Even More Complicated… If you’re a middle-aged man for whom high cholesterol is a significant risk factor—or if you know your LDLs are high—take note. So knowing your A and B counts will help clarify your heart disease risk and may signal a need to reduce your Pattern B LDL. you’ll still need to minimize the other risk factors that lead to LDL oxidation and feed the inflammation that triggers arterial plaque formation. or pesticides—injures the 49 . So what role do antioxidants play in the body? They reduce inflammation. placed one group of heart attack survivors on the low-fat. LDL cholesterol lodges in the holds. Unstable plaque. Of course. on the other hand. and olive oil. and a second group on what’s called the Mediterranean diet. fruits. creating what’s called arterial plaque. How? Let’s take a look at what happens inside the arteries. particularly resveratrol. along with more recent ones. But you should turn the page to see what you can do and what you can eat to keep your heart healthy. any lifestyle choice that promotes inflammation. seem to confirm that inflam- injury—perhaps in an effort to repair the damaged cells—and then becomes oxidized by free radicals in the blood.than cholesterol might account for this apparent contradiction. and the only harm the plaque does is contribute to narrowing the artery. In short. but subjects on the Mediterranean diet had a much lower number of second heart attacks and experienced far less chest pain (unstable angina) and heart disease. >> winter 2012-13 yogainternational. At the end of the study. It turns out that the lipid hypothesis has seriously oversimplified heart disease. fluffy.” —Jonny Bowden. which consists primarily of vegetables. meaning the inflammation calms down. high-cholesterol foods with seemingly reckless abandon and have an average total cholesterol level that hovers around 250. which occurred during the 1990s.” says heart-health expert Jonny Bowden. and has completely discounted the role that antioxidants play in preventing heart problems. Researchers studying this paradox also point to the consumption of fresh vegetables and fruit and to the powerful antioxidants in red wine. dense B is “nasty stuff. but the small. So. pollution. And then there’s the French paradox. These inexpensive tests play a “Trying to prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol is like trying to cut calories from a McDonald’s supersized meal by removing the pickle.” the body covers it with a tough. Case in point: The Lyon Diet Heart Study. and perfectly fine LDL-A poses no risk for heart disease. gets oxidized. The light. researchers have discovered that the “bad” cholesterol comes in two flavors: Pattern A and Pattern B. PhD. And those two studies. blood sugar spikes from a high-glycemic diet. unless you have a number of heart disease risk factors—especially a high-stress lifestyle. the puzzling fact that France has one of the lowest incidences of heart disease in the developed world. can burst and cause blood clots that in turn can block a narrowed artery and cause a heart attack. anti-cholesterol diet then endorsed by the American Heart Association. and leads to arterial plaque. Recently. high-carb. The immune system rushes in to repair the wound and in the process inflames it further—think of the redness surrounding a cut on your finger. your doctor relies on a number of blood tests. or high blood sugar. In an effort to contain this growing “infection.

Jonathan Evans / Getty Images Regular brushing and flossing will do more than protect your teeth and sweeten your breath—numerous studies have found a link between unhealthy gums and heart disease. so the first step is to act on this knowledge and make changes in how we eat (see “What You Should Eat” on page 52) and cut back on the proven risk factors for heart disease. and instant oatmeal. Then consider taking these less well-known steps to give your heart a fighting chance: 1 tors tell us to do this to prevent diabetes. periodontitis. biofeedback. found in virtually all your cells. and even cut down on heart attack fatalities. limit the sugar you eat—nutritionist Bowden calls it a “far more damaging and inflammatory substance than fat ever was”—and avoid high-glycemic carbohydrates like white bread. NAC is a wellresearched form of cysteine. Reduce Your Risk Factors Like many of the chronic diseases that plague our collective health. increase blood pressure. prayer. fatty acids appear to reduce inflammation. and other mind/ body techniques can lower stress levels and reduce heart attack risk. but that shouldn’t stop you from taking action now to protect your heart. yoga. but most of us just need to add the following to our already healthy lifestyles. heart disease develops because we make poor choices about diet. exercise. To lower insulin levels. prevent blood clots. ALAs are also found in flax seeds and flax seed oil. Studies have shown that meditation. The most serious form of gum disease. N-acetyl-L-cysteine. dant itself.WHAT YOU CAN DO Take Your Supplements DOCTORS AND RESEARCHERS may never sort out the complex causes of heart disease. one of the body’s most important antioxidants. You can counteract the heartnegative inflammatory foods and free-radical-inducing environmental toxins and pollutants by adding antioxidant-rich vitamins and other anti-inflammatory supplements like these to your diet. an amino acid that raises glutathione. Most people will say they know this already. and promote clotting in the blood. short-grain rice. 50 yogainternational. powerful antioxidants also reduce arterial stiffness and combat the formation of plaque. and questionable habits like smoking and excessive drinking. speed up our heart rate. but high insulin levels also contribute to heart disease by causing a biochemical chain reaction that leads to inflamed arteries. High insulin levels also encourage the formation of abdominal fat (the all-too-prevalent spare tire). pasta. This and other related hormones cause arterial constriction. potatoes. 2 3 Chronic stress in our bodies causes our adrenal glands to release a steady stream of cortisol as part of our natural fight-or-flight syndrome. For some that might entail major winter 2012-13 . alpha lipoic acid (ALA) helps recycle vitamins C and E and glutathione in the body. Coenzyme Q10 acts as a powerful free radical scavenger and helps prevent LDL oxidation. can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by more than 30 percent.

If you have high blood pressure. Obviously. your blood pressure didn’t rise by itself. yoga experts believe heart disease is more than just the sum of test results. Wardrobe: Top: American Apparel. and his team of researchers proved to the world that emotional stress. More than 20 years ago. all of which contribute to relieving hypertension and calming your heart. however. they see it as a disconnect among our physical. Backbends open the rib cage to improve heart and lung function. 1 Support the head in adho mukha shvanasana (downward dog) 2 Sink into your support in balasana (child’s pose) 3 Use plenty of props for supta baddha konasana (reclining bound angle pose) 4 Elevate your sacrum in viparita karani (legs-up-thewall pose) meditation.Keep Practicing Yoga Studies at Ohio State and Georgia State universities found that yoga reduces levels of the cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6). and spiritual bodies. Here are some ways to do that. Avoid headstand or other unsupported inversions if you have high blood pressure. Dean Ornish. (See the sample restorative practice to the right.) >> winter 2012-13 yogainternational. and group support can reverse the disease. Heart-Healthy Restorative Practice Include any of these five restorative poses in your daily practice to calm your nerves and restore equilibrium. meditation. If you have time for only one pose. both physically and emotionally. Model: Joshua Clemens. hostility. isolation. and twists massage your internal organs and increase circulation throughout the body. Photos: Andrea Killam. And they say that in order to create a healthful environment for the heart. emotional. meditation. And then they surprised the medical profession by demonstrating that lifestyle changes which include yoga. Of course. we must weave together all the elements of practice—asana. and selfless service. a marker for chronic inflammation. choose shavasana (corpse pose) or viparita karani (legs-up-thewall pose) for maximum benefit. forward bends allow you to feel safe and nurtured and help quiet your sympathetic nervous system. and low selfesteem had as much to do with heart disease as high cholesterol. and nicotine. pranayama. MD. do not practice kumbhaka (breath retention). standing poses strengthen your legs and stretch your whole body. oxidized LDLs. triglyceride levels. Bottoms: Prancing Leopard variety of poses that will put your body through its full range of motion. Numerous studies have also shown that yoga reduces blood pressure (another risk factor for heart disease) primarily by lowering cortisol and bringing the central nervous system into balance. shodhanam (alternate nostril breathing) pranayamas into your daily routine to reduce anxiety and 51 .

people in the Mediterranean countries of Spain. too. therefore. MD. and those who live in Asia. What to eat: these foods contain more fiber than their high-glycemic cousins. A further benefit: hemp seed oil also contains gammalinolenic acid (GLA). and Italy. quercetin. walnuts. brussels sprouts. Sinatra. these staples of our hunter-gatherer past also contain phytosterols (plant fats). which help cut back on the dietary cholesterol we absorb. studies report that a 10 g increase in daily fiber intake produces a 29 percent reduction in heart disease risk. The skin covering the nut also contains key phenolic acids. cherries. quinoa. These compounds combat the free radicals that oxidize LDL cholesterol molecules and cause inflammation throughout the body. In fact. help maintain steady blood sugar levels. • • nuts contain heart-healthy monosaturated fats and an especially heart-friendly. protein. and an emphasis on fish and vegetables. contain alpha linolenic acid (ALA). so refrigerate them after opening and consume them in one to three months. Greece. which blocks an enzyme involved in inflammation. bread. Roberts. blackberries. MD. The fish eat the algae and store the omega-3s in their fat. along with ALA. . • Three ways to get your EFAs: Micro-algae contain high levels of DHA and EPA that. pearl barley. coauthors of Reverse Heart Disease Now (John Wiley & Sons. make up the three essential fatty acids in omega-3s. high levels of healthy fats. and vibrant red veggies like beets and red bell peppers pack the highest concentrations of mates / pecans. boast a specific flavonoid. now available in supplement form. but both diets have low levels of saturated and hydrogenated fats. The trick here is to eat your colors. and broccoli. tannins. and flavonoids. propose combining the two in the Pan-Asian Mediterranean (PAM) diet. non-wheat version of vitamin E. reducing the need for dramatic increases in insulin. and fiber. brown or wild rice. They differ in details—you won’t find soy in marinara sauce or olive oil in a wok. as well. and strawberries. so eat it too. SunnyS / Fotolia. Rich in good essential fatty acids. Both oils break down when heated. and James C.WHAT YOU SHOULD EAT Three Ways to Get Your EFAs Vegetarians (or people just worried about mercury contamination and sustainability) can get the essential fatty acids they need from plants alone. red grapes. which blocks the oxidation of LDL. rich green veggies like kale. and sunflower seeds. Brazil nuts. which contains these basic ingredients. which the body converts to the essential fatty acids found in fish oil. Looking for an antioxidant beverage? Try red wine in moderation (it contains resveratrol) or green tea. bulgar. Micro-algae. have had a fraction of the heart disease found in the United States and northern Europe—and they have some of the longest life expectancies. particularly China and Japan. according to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition. 2007). spinach. have the same heart-healthy benefits as fish oil. even though it’s somewhat bitter tasting. and they turn rancid quickly. 52 yogainternational. they take longer to digest and. and it contains the ideal ratio of omega-6 EFAs to omega3s: 3 to 1. The reason? Their traditional diets. steel-cut oats. which reduces inflammation and improves the health of the winter 2012-13 From top: Nikola Bilic / Fotolia. Cardiologists Stephen T. Hemp oil tastes better than flaxseed oil. millet. Raw almonds. and buckwheat. The added fiber also helps cleanse the digestive system and sops up excess cholesterol. HISTORICALLY.

Among other phytonutrients. which boosts good cholesterol levels while lowering LDL. Rhode Island. Greeks thought the olive tree had great healing power. LITTLE. Visit his website at jameskeough. soy milk. What to eat: Use whole or fermented soy. Prominent in both From top: margo555 / Fotolia. even though its citizens eat rich high-cholesterol foods with seemingly reckless flower. unrefined. and low in acidity. tempeh. the puzzling fact that France has one of the lowest incidences of heart disease. which is minimally processed. and avoiding animal foods altogether eliminates the problem. Schlierner / fotolia. Avoid omega-6-rich polyunsaturated vegetable oils and processed Mediterranean and Asian cuisine. Estimates put it at as much as 20 to 1 instead of a healthier 3 to 1. such as edamame (soybeans). and sea vegetables. and. and flax 53 . How to use: Cut up raw garlic and let it sit for 15 minutes to release its healthy compounds. You need to eat the equivalent of about five cloves of garlic a day to gain the most benefit. which promotes damage to the arteries. the ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s in our bodies is way out of whack. and sunflower oils contains excessive amounts of inflammation-causing omega-6 fatty acids. and studies suggest that the monounsaturated oil—high in omega-9 fatty acids—from its fruit can reduce heart attack risk and lower blood n Contributing editor James Keough writes about alternative and complementary medicine from his home in Providence. it contains allicin.And then there’s the French paradox. What to use: Opt for extra-virgin olive oil. winter 2012-13 yogainternational. (See “Three Ways to Get Your EFAs” on page 52 for more vegetarian options. helps raise HDL and lower LDL and blood pressure. BEEF AND DAIRY. HLPhoto / fotolia. IF ANY. and soy-milk yogurt. They’re also high in methionine. as a result of our fondness for these products. garlic has a long medicinal pedigree. a precursor to homocysteine. And it lowers blood pressure and reduces blood platelet stickiness.) GARLIC. and ramp up your omega-3s. you lean protein and a dose of antiinflammatory omega-3s. Despite their central roles in the standard American diet. tamari (wheat-free soy sauce). these two foods contain too much saturated fat for daily consumption.

In Loving gratitude I ND RA D EV I 54 yogainternational. males-only practice and forever altered the yoga landscape for us all. They challenged the misconception that yoga was an winter 2012-13 S W AM I S IV A NAN DA RAD H A .Yoga as we practice it today would not be possible without the vision and determination of these four women.

Charged by their revered teachers in India to spread the word of yoga far and wide. 55 . young and old—what it means to be fully alive and truly at home in our bodies. they reluctantly agreed. LI LI AS FOLA N >> G E ET A I Y ENG A R winter 2012-13 anna dubrovsky Not so long ago. For men…in India. At some point. yoga was an esoteric practice. Fast forward to the mid-20th century: yoga is now global. We bow to them here for kicking the doors of yoga wide open and happily walking on through. and decidedly coed. virtually unheard of in the United States and other Western countries. each woman began to make the teachings her own. And all four of them taught us all—male and female. A powerful vehicle for enlightenment. Few people have had as much to do with that revolution as the four women featured in these pages. no matter their limitations. creating practices anyone could do. But then a curious thing happened.

and Rabindranath Tagore. Indra Devi made an ideal. “A great many people seem to have taken up the study of yoga simply because Gloria Swanson. she sailed to India.” After all. Olivia de Havilland. Jawaharlal Nehru. when Krishnamacharya refused to accept a woman as his student in 1937. ambassador for yoga. It helped to have friends in high places. starring in an Indian movie (the stage name Indra Devi later became her legal name). from left: Courtesy of Indra Devi Foundation. She attracted and welcomed students regardless of their motivation: from slimming down to Self-realization. insisting that she teach yoga. and rubbing shoulders with such notables as Mahatma Gandhi. following the renowned spiritual teacher from city to city. friends urged her to call her teachings anything but “yoga. Greta Garbo. Krishnamacharya. Yoga for Americans. and her warmth and quick wit endeared her to everyone she came into contact with. And yet she was never stern or ceremonious. 56 yogainternational. she made India her home. Mala winter 2012-13 Previous layout. Post-war Americans would have no sooner signed up for yoga than for fire-eating. marrying a Czechoslovakian diplomat. Robert Ryan. it would be at least another 10 years before Richard Hittleman would introduce yoga on television and two decades before B. the 27-year-old actress and dancer attended a gathering of the Theosophical Society in Holland. For 12 years. opened China’s first yoga school. Background: Niels Poulsen mus / Alamy First Lady of Yoga because she wasn’t an Indian man. By the time Devi followed her diplomat husband to Shanghai in 1939. And so she did—for the rest . Elaine Banister. whose writings first sparked her love affair with the country. But Indra Devi remained undeterred. she was every bit a sophisticated Westerner.” she noted in her 1959 best seller. Devi’s own interest in Eastern spirituality began in her teens. She’d cracked a centuries-old glass ceiling by becoming the first woman—and first Westerner—to study with Indian yoga master T. Krishnamacharya had warmed up to his sari-wearing student. Iyengar wrote Light on Yoga. Jennifer Jones. The next year. She also brought her background as a dancer and her deep respect for the nonsectarian teachings of Krishnamurti. Born Eugenie Peterson to a Russian noblewoman and a Swedish bank director. Marilyn Monroe.K. The Latvian-born itinerant felt right at home in uncharted territory.S. Kelly Davidson. albeit unlikely. in part Indra Devi brought a woman’s perspective to what had been a man’s world. Yasodhara Ashram ©1990. It didn’t take long to find a fan base here—and it didn’t hurt that some of her earliest fans were among the glitterati. In 1926. and also the world-famous beautician Elizabeth Arden are known to have been devotees. comfortable traveling the world and mingling with newsmakers and high society. his royal patron intervened on Indra Devi’s behalf. and returned to India to teach yoga to Indians themselves before making her way to America. when she came upon the writings of Bengali poet-philosopher Rabindranath Tagore and the American occultist who wrote under the pseudonym Yogi Ramacharaka.W INDRA DEVI hen Indra Devi moved to California from China in 1947. where she became enthralled with Jiddu Krishnamurti.

her devotion to Sathya Sai Baba. Besides. “Start an ashram or school [in Canada] for the divine teachings of yoga and Vedanta. in the latter third of her life.” she wrote. which she had good reason to question. hoping for insight into the meaning of life. she had witnessed both World Wars and lost two husbands: the first killed by the gestapo for helping Jewish friends leave Germany and the second felled by a stroke. “When you go back to the West. her deep respect for the nonsectarian teachings of Krishnamurti. Three months later. Since there is no risk of any kind involved in holding a potato.” It was a tall order.” and. She still used the breath to move within and between the poses. Argentina. open and close her fists a week after she started playing around with a potato…. or perhaps Devi recognized that rigorous discipline and unquestioning obedience would not sit well with most 57 . Devi died just shy of her 103rd birthday in Buenos Aires.” she insisted. but her characteristic trademark was gentler and more devotional. hear with the ears of love. “It’s not only asana that she tried to teach us. and practically no one had heard of yoga in North America. And. her home since 1985. Born in Berlin in 1911.of her remarkably long life. an affectionate and reverent term for mother. start a new fashion In Yoga for Americans. do not work anymore for money. “The goal of Mataji—the most important thing of her teaching— was to give love to everyone.” she wrote in Yoga for Americans. Devi’s teaching style bore little resemblance to that of Iyengar or Ashtanga yoga maestro K. The year was 1955. Swami Sivananda threw her another curveball. Hellman tried to reason with the former physician. She hadn’t studied the Bhagavad Gita. “I myself have seen a woman. work with the hands of love. you could safely try this experiment…. That could be because Krishnamacharya was gentler with her. And let me know the results. like the best of mothers. She also brought her background as a dancer. “It would be the blind leading the blind. “God will look winter 2012-13 yogainternational.” he told her. “I have taken into account not only the pace to which life in the United States is geared. Devi’s call her Mataji. When he asked her to start an ashram. The section on diet included recipes and sample menus—and a taste of her humor. director of the Indra Devi Foundation in Buenos Aires. “The Indians claim that people afflicted with arthritis should always keep a raw unpeeled winter-crop potato close to their skin.” says David Lifar. and since you may even start a new fashion by wearing one around the neck like a medallion. who also studied with Krishnamacharya in the 1930s. Pattabhi Jois. She had gone to see Swami Sivananda Saraswati. Devi brought a woman’s perspective to what had been a man’s world. While disciples of Iyengar and Jois refer to their teacher as Guruji. the fuzzyhaired holy man who preached. “See with the eyes of love. Sylvia Hellman’s guru made an unexpected request.” Her Sai yoga was not the vinyasa flow she learned from Krishnamacharya.” The Spiritual Emissary J Left: Stringer / Reuters. She certainly recognized the difference in lifestyles between Westerners and Indians. but also the fact that most of you have not had a chance to keep your muscles limber and your joints supple. Right: Yasodhara Ashram ©1995 SWAMI SIVANANDA RADHA ust two months into her stay in India. She pointed out that she didn’t even know Sanskrit or Vedanta. Devi addressed everything from asana to the perils of soft mattresses. Hellman had not gone to India to become a spiritual pioneer. she taught them about unconditional love. who previously had hardly been able to move her fingers.

launch a quarterly journal that would become the international yoga magazine ascent. for example. developing a gentle and meditative style of practice called Hidden Language Hatha Yoga. more and more women found their way to Yasodhara. you can’t go anywhere.” she told Yoga Journal in 1981. and they understand something about themselves in a different way. for example—with those found in modern psychology textbooks. Swami Radha tailored her teachings to Westerners. Also. may become a metaphor for a twist in one person’s life or the way another’s mind twists things. “She understood how the Western mind worked.” Rather than focus on abstract philosophies. ‘When you go into the headstand. her guru handed her a humdinger of an assignment. Within weeks of returning to Montreal.” Hellman. In 1963. drawn by courses like “Women and Spiritual Life” and Swami Radha’s strength of character.” Swami Lalitananda says of the practice she still uses today. a standing meditation that Swami Radha learned during a visionary experience in India. people are not spiritual if this quality is not there in their lives—even if they meditate six hours a day. Swami Radhananda. what does that pose reveal about their lives? A twist. Swami Sivananda Radha. “Nobody would understand if I start living on alms.” Swami Lalitananda says. and discussing her experiences in India on TV. Timeless Books.” says Swami Lalitananda. as Hellman was known after her vows of renunciation. who lived and studied with Swami Radha for more than 20 years. from this perspective. “To me. Swami Lalitananda says. “He said.’” Swami Radha took it from there. which are usually grounded in the earth. “You cannot tell people to live on faith in God alone if you don’t do it yourself. I don’t even know what you’re talking about.” after you. “America and Canada are very moneyconscious. They have stayed and learned so much about themselves and their strengths. lecturing on yoga philosophy. it’s like you’re making a commitment.” Though inspired by her guru and informed by her intense training at his ashram. Two years before she died in 1995. The following year. So what would happen if your world was turned upside down? You’re seeing the world in a completely different way. but they haven’t necessarily passed their lineage to women. as her spiritual successor and decreed that a woman should always remain behind the spiritual wheel at Yasodhara. ‘Gurudev. the newly initiated sannyasi was teaching yoga classes. are now grounded in heaven. they outnumber the men. In the early years.” she told Hinduism Today in 1988. “He said. opened the city’s first metaphysical bookstore.” . she dove right winter 2012-13 dian ashram. “It’s as though she were still here. create a publishing house. In our culture we are not trained to bow down at the feet of our teachers. she guided people toward a better understanding of themselves and an appreciation of their personal strength. and open a string of urban yoga centers.hidden language hatha yoga Shortly before Swami Radha left India. “We called ourselves Snow White and the seven dwarfs. Swami Radha named a woman. And then there are practices found nowhere else.” But Swami Sivananda would not be swayed. “There have been other very strong women leaders. And your feet. “People’s personal experiences come forward. So in this position. it’s like you’re turning your world upside down. In time. We don’t just accept things. wasn’t so sure. “The main thing I try to do is have my students bring quality into their lives. she moved to Vancouver. “It’s like unlocking the secrets in their life that their body’s holding.’ She said. You have to give me an example. Instead of shrinking from her guru’s formidable assignments. such as the Divine Light Invocation. The ashram still runs on the very ideals that Swami Radha wanted. in particular journaling and dream analysis. ‘Now I want you to discover the spiritual and mystical levels of the asanas and report back to me. and founded the first Cana- 58 yogainternational. Students would jot down their observations between asanas and share them at the end of class. who chronicled her six-month stay in Radha: Diary of a Woman’s Search. went on to write more than a dozen books. “She really wanted women to recognize their leadership potential as spiritual leaders. most of Swami Radha’s disciples were men.” says Swami Radhananda. How do they feel as they move into the pose. She would invite students to choose an asana and ask them to notice what its name evokes.” she said. “There are many women who have come and helped. She was more practical. “We question.’” And he gave her the example of the headstand.” Hellman concluded that day’s diary entry with a panicked question: “How can I ever hope to get out of this whole thing?” But she didn’t. a name which it shares with Buddha’s wife and Krishna’s mother.” Courses and retreats at Yasodhara combine practices found in ancient yogic texts—the Hari Om mantra. Today. You can’t walk away. the ashram moved to its present location on the shores of Kootenay Lake in southeastern British Columbia and called itself Yasodhara. Swami Lalitananda recalls.

mentally letting go of the past. Yoga and You brought yoga into living rooms around the country.” the writer marveled) likened her to the beloved “It’s not about the down dog.” To Folan.” He puts her in the company of children’s TV host Fred Rogers and legendary newsman Walter Cronkite. A handful of sta- D uring a tour of India in the 1970s. and gently blow over your left shoulder a few times. “Your instructions were—and are—always the easiest to understand.’” winter 2012-13 yogainternational.” a 62-year-old Michigan man wrote in July.” The remark confounded Folan. thank you. Few have done more to popularize the practice than Folan. take a comfortable seat.” says Jack Dominic. Turn your head comfortably to the left. produced in the late ’80s and early ’90s. A 1974 Time magazine article on the growing interest in yoga (“The Manhattan telephone directory lists 27 yoga instruction centers.” Folan says. With an inhalation.The Julia Child of Yoga LILIAS FOLAN had it right. it helps practitioners focus on the present. heart. thank you. and the comparison stuck. Draw an imaginary line through the center of your body. through your brow. whose 1970s PBS series Lilias. so the person watching the television set really felt that Lilias was talking to that person and that person alone. and sparked a billion-dollar industry in the process. “People felt that they knew her as an individual. and navel. which produced cookbook author and TV personality Julia Child. she gave the impression of teaching to 59 . I am so grateful for this moment now. smile from the center of your heart. Lilias! Yoga Gets Better with Age. and the area over your right shoulder symbolizes letting go of the future. “Lilias had the capacity and talent to be able to play to the camera as an individual. It’s up to you in the United States now to take it and run with it like a football. the comfort and safety of her students was Circe Hamilton resurrection breath These days. the heart center. ‘Thank you. but several decades later. Yoga teachers in the West. To begin. “You know. It’s about answering the question: Who am I? Who am I really?” tions still carry her follow-up series. let the corners of your lips turn up slightly. have put their stamp on the ancient Indian discipline. as if blowing out a candle. “That’s the outer shell of you and me. it seems the monk both series. and the lessons most valuable to me. chin. Though Folan reached millions. Lilias starts and ends most classes with a practice she learned from Goswami Kriyananda of Chicago’s Temple of Kriya Yoga. sensing the moment. as an adviser. The area over your left shoulder symbolizes dying to the past. “Then come back to center once again. “we have taken yoga as far as we can in India. and as you exhale. as a confidante. Lilias Folan struck up a conversation with a Ramakrishna monk. whose earliest yoga teachers took a one-size-fits-all approach. Gently blow over your right shoulder a few times. say. station manager at CET in Cincinnati. Known as resurrection breath. she still receives fan mail. At 76. the now. and particularly in the United States. the present moment. as a friend.” Folan says. and then turn your head to the right. and imagine that you’re letting go of the future. bring your head back to center.” he told the Cincinnati-based yoga teacher. “Breathing in. steering it from fringe to mainstream. “You have been an important part of my entire adult life.

she was discovered by the wife of a CET producer while teaching yoga in a school cafeteria.” Folan says. some really exciting things began to happen in my life. now 94-years strong.” Most notably. Iyengar. and I don’t think I’ve ever received a letter that said. “I was determined to make it normal.” he concluded. She is.K. to make it for the young mother who doesn’t sleep well. She smoked half a pack of cigarettes a day. their grown sons. detailed. the nerve center of Iyengar Yoga.” She went to her doctor. “At that time. “That’s the outer shell of you and me. politicians. two sons. much less teach it to others. founder of Integral Yoga. Her back bothered her. “I have made 500 televised yoga classes. She had a fine husband. “It’s not about the down dog. It’s about answering the question: Who am I? Who am I really?” The Other Iyengar W hen Geeta Iyengar (known as Geetaji) began teaching in the early 1960s. And because she was in the unusual position of teaching to people she couldn’t see—unable to gauge their experience. is history. Before long. when her mother died. strong or pain-stricken. but she couldn’t escape what she describes as a “gloom cloud. It was a reminder that as much as yoga has changed—from the way poses are taught to the way practitioners dress— it’s essentially the same. There was a lot of misunderstanding of what yoga was and what it wasn’t.” Folan was herself a young mother when she turned to yoga in the mid’60s. not all of the mail was flattering. she has been the woman behind the man.” she says. a house with a white picket fence. as well as such international personalities as violin maestro Yehudi Menuhin and philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti. Earlier this year she was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer and had to lay off her asana practice as she recovered from surgery and chemo. after all. She spent a lot of time answering questions like. India was coming to New York. “I remember getting letters signed by the church choir saying that yoga is the work of the devil and does not belong on public television. ‘I have been injured from watching your television show. Since 1973.paramount. “You are suffering from a case of the blahs. She’s focusing on her husband of 53 years.” she says. when I moved to Cincinnati. hoping to “solve it all with pills. who has taught Indian royals. founder of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres. unable to offer corrections— her instructions had to be clear. for the athlete for flexibility—so that it would be Americanized and still keep its heart. to make it useable. and Swami Chidananda of the Divine Life Society. and she tired easily. the eldest daughter of B. Folan is still teaching yoga. but her words carried a lot of weight. She sidesteps praise 60 yogainternational. and even a boat. and run the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune. Geeta Iyengar is hardly a household name. “There were all sorts of wonderful beings—swamis—and I could sit and listen to their discourses. The rest.’” she says. 18 or 80. very few Indians felt that women should practice yoga. “But the truth of the matter is.” It kept the blahs at bay. stiff or bendy.” but instead he prescribed exercise. Folan was more than a little reluctant to move to Cincinnati for her husband’s work. and accommodating of every body: male or female. where she met such notables as Swami Satchidananda. and she wouldn’t have it any other way.S. India. “Will standing on the head prevent a woman from getting pregnant?” Geeta was a mere teen back then. Folan was taking yoga classes at the YWCA near her Connecticut home and making her way to ashrams in New York. though she’s careful not to overextend herself. Swami Vishnudevananda. and celebrities. Not sleeping well wasn’t the worst of her problems. In the early days. as they winter 2012-13 Elaine Banister GEETA IYENGAR . edited his manuscripts. and their seven grandchildren. She has cooked her father’s meals.

“I remember very well how I used to imitate Guruji while he was practicing.” she told an interviewer in 1995. She’s never looked back. was published in 2011. Find her at anywherebutacubicle. and the master consented. peacefully. since yoga gives one a bright outlook on life. At a time when women outnumber men in most yoga classes.” says Patricia Walden. Yoga: A Gem for Women is an encyclopedic reference on asana and pranayama for different stages of a woman’s life.” “She’ll stand up to anybody. “Some people are confused by it. They don’t get that somebody could be screaming and yelling at you. and green living. —from Yoga: A Gem for Women by Geeta Iyengar (Timeless Books.” Walden says. redirecting them to Guruji. which create sadness and sorrow. ‘From tomorrow onwards no more medicines. “She stands in her truth. she was teaching yoga to her schoolmates. Yoga: A Gem for Women. Though she has never married— never had any interest in it. By 15. and don’t we all want to have role models like that?” n A former political journalist. winter 2012-13 yogainternational. her father-slash-guru. She’ll say whatever she feels like saying. such a fierce woman. says Patricia Walden. she was a sickly kid. she has empowered many. “For men it is different. she explains—she is attuned to women’s struggles in balancing family life and other callings. Geeta Iyengar’s yoga training began virtually at birth.” Walden says. directing the institute along with her brother. she was diagnosed with nephritis. Anna Dubrovsky now writes about yoga. if started in old age. and don’t we all want to have role models like that?” Geetaji has distinguished herself by specializing in the specific needs of women.and recognition. Her latest book. and courageously. First published in 1983. She stands in her truth. Moon Pennsylvania. a travel guide. addresses everything from fertility issues to post-delivery flab- biness. is a rebirth that teaches one to face death happily. Her teachings on how women should adjust their practice throughout the menstrual cycle have inspired at least two books. After a flare-up left her unconscious for four days. 1990) They are also known for a sort of allseeing-ness—an ability to spot struggling students in a class of hundreds. nobody is exempted from doing yoga and there are no excuses for not doing yoga. They can be strict with their program…because there is somebody supporting them. dedicating half a century to supporting and furthering his work—first as an apprentice and then as his 61 .” she once said. her father put “the list of medicines aside and said sternly. She lives in Pittsburgh. Iyengar Yoga for Motherhood: Safe Practice for Expectant and New Mothers. are destroyed by yoga as a new life begins. “It was always around me. Her first book. Hence it is never too late to begin. where she also teaches yoga. to “call you on your stuff. some of her father’s students asked if she could teach them while he was away in England. They scold. Like her father. “Studying with them is like being naked. to catch you the moment your attention drifts. In fact. The loneliness and nervousness.” Her greatest gift to women may be the example she sets. Yoga. It’s a trait that’s easily misunderstood. How useful is yoga can only be understood by practicing it. “Because she is such a powerful woman. she is arguably the foremost authority on yoga for women. Either you practice yoga or get prepared to die. a potentially deadly inflammation of the kidneys. and one can look forward to a happier future rather than looking back into the past which has already entered into darkness. or they really care that you’re injured and they want to help you to get well. and they yell. “She’ll stand up to anybody. Prashant. The three Iyengars are famously fierce. Guruji used to make me bend and twist and make me topsy-turvy on his feet when he did headstand and shoulderstand.” never too late Yoga is a gift for old age. But she has long been a yoga master in her own right. You can’t hide.’” she recalls in her seminal book. “The demands on me have made it impossible to be completely regular. Two years later. At 10. but they’re doing it because they really care that you understand the material. One who takes to yoga when old gains not only health and happiness but also freshness of mind. Therefore. Pennsylvania. enduring everything from colds and stomachaches to typhoid and diphtheria.” But her childhood was far from idyllic. a senior Iyengar yoga teacher who has studied with them since the mid-’70s. the matriarch of the Iyengar family has admitted to neglecting her yoga practice. which she cowrote.

and acting out of erroneous understanding is also ignorance. In yogic literature. correct understanding removes erroneous understanding. By using this term. and khyati are used interchangeably to mean “knowledge. expound. The antidote is knowledge or right understanding (vidya). vidya removes avidya. here Patanjali uses the term khyati.26 SUTRA ∕∆∆‰éëæŸ∕™¿∕∆µƒ∆Ÿ “Ÿ≤Ë¥Ÿæ: || viveka-khyŸtir aviplavŸ hŸnopŸyaÅ Uninterrupted discerning knowledge is the means to nullification [of the misery resulting from the avidya-driven union of purusha and prakriti].YOGASUTRA Translation and Commentary by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait 2. explain. In simple language.” Thus khyati refers to the aspect of knowledge that clearly describes the defining characteristics of its object.” Although ◊ana is the most popular of these terms. erroneous understanding of ourselves and others is ignorance (avidya). darshana. ◊ana. the terms vidya. Khyati is derived from the verb khyai. RIGHT UNDERSTANDING IS THE MEANS of destroying erroneous understanding. describe. Embracing or discarding something under the influence of ignorance leads to winter 2012-13 Andrea Killam True Discernment . His selection is highly significant. In other words. so clearly that no ambiguity remains. 62 yogainternational. “to tell.

we j Listen to the Yoga Sutra in Sanskrit at yogainternational. We must not become careless. An immature and feeble power of discernment can succumb to our longcherished avidya at any time. we must make it firm with practice. We must never forget how deceptive and powerful the veils of maya are.26. It sheds such a powerful light on both purusha and prakriti that we realize instantly what we are. and devoid of any practical substance. we know ourselves. how undetectable her ways are of influencing our mind. Fluent in both Vedic and Classical Sanskrit. we regain our faith and trust in ourselves. It becomes living knowledge. liberation the means to liberation tual head of the Himalayan Institute. self-examination. the power of discrimination. this discerning knowledge (aviplava viveka-khyati) sheds its strong. and true freedom from mere escape. PRACTICE AND DISPASSION TOGETHER DISCIPLINE AND PURIFY OUR MIND.Patanjali is telling us that avidya-driven union comes to an end when our knowledge regarding the union of purusha and prakriti is crystal and how important it is to safeguard and further nourish our newly discovered discerning knowledge. Such knowledge is purely intellectual. We attain discerning knowledge with the help of meditation. It sits so high in the domain of our consciousness that it is unwavering (aviplava) and cannot be swept away in translation knowledge that which cannot be flooded again. With practice. 63 . As an observer (drashta). lasting happiness from short-lived pleasure. that which cannot succumb to chaos hŸnopŸyaÅ = hŸna + upŸyaÅ hŸna nullification. This extraordinary knowledge (khyati). In the light of this firm and mature discerning knowledge. and what holds them together despite the misery of their union. We know where and how we became confused. our discerning knowledge eventually becomes firm. avoidance. In the light of khyati. Khyati is totally different. the state free from sorrow. distinguish the real from the unreal. We also know precisely what purusha and prakriti are. At the dawn of this knowledge (khyati). we can clearly see the rising tide of avidya and retreat to higher ground. accompanied by the power of discrimination (viveka). by the waves of avidya. Seated above the floodplain. Merely knowing that prakriti is the material cause of the universe and purusha is pure consciousness does not free us from misery. what caused them to embrace each other blindly and seemingly aimlessly. clear light on the lower terrain of our consciousness. After attaining this knowledge. vague. he is the author of more than a dozen books on yoga philosophy and spiritual practice. the purest means of bringing this avidya-driven union to an end. Making an effort to remain aware of this fact is called practice (abhyasa). This gives us the strength to Patanjali reminds us that this discerning knowledge (viveka-khyati) has to be strong and mature enough to withstand the test of time. and divine grace. here is termed viveka-khyati. This strength is called viveka shakti. Our mind and heart are so well lit that we have no doubt regarding our essential nature. self-inquiry. which still occasionally experiences the effects of avidya.

it eventually becomes one-pointed and begins to flow inward. As this process is repeated.iRest. MFT. As we have seen in sutras 1. Vyasa takes us to chapter one. viveka-khyati . healing and awakening • • • • CEU Professional Contact Hours for YA. 1. which can no longer be swept away.50. It falls in love with the seeing power of the seer and loses interest in the world created by the avidya-driven association of purusha and prakriti.Retreats.47. distracting. It is only discerning knowledge (vivekakhyati). As the mind becomes free from its disturbing.” Here. where Patanjali explains the role of practice (abhyasa) and dispassion (vairagya) in the attainment of samadhi. LCSW & RN www.” Knowledge that can be swept away by the tides of ignorance is not true knowledge and has no power to protect us from getting caught in these tides.3909 yogainternational. we become increasingly established in our true self and less and less affected by the fluctuations (vrittis) of the mind generated under the influence of avidya. Practice and dispassion together discipline and purify our mind. winter 2012-13 Richard Miller. that can bring our association with avidya—and the misery caused by that association—to an 64 415. 1. This is what the sages mean when they say. literally “that which exerts control. the mind regains its innate ability to see everything in its proximity clearly. Elaborating on the vibrant and active nature of discerning knowledge. Yoga Therapy & Mental Health Settings iRest® Yoga Nidra Breathwork Somatic therapy practices Yogic principles of emotionalcognitive healing • Meditation as a path for health. and 1. discerning knowledge is an active state of selfrealization. PhD and Senior Faculty can see what is happening below and thus return to the floodplain only when the tide has receded. Just as avidya is not merely a lack of knowledge. it means discerning knowledge which controls and eventually arrests all the samskaras (subtle impressions) and roaming tendencies of the mind that prevent us from seeing and experiencing the seeing power of the seer. “Live in the world and yet remain above it. 1.15. and stupefying tendencies. Vyasa calls this state vashikara san◊a. PSY. in the context of this sutra. Trainings & Certifcation Programs for use in Yoga.40.16.456.

Alaska at the Shrine of St. as a result.50 The subtle impressions born of that intuitive wisdom cancel all other for updated information.50. The samskara created by this desire blocks all other desires. simultaneously veils the truth and projects what it wishes to see. into an intense and irresistible desire (tiara samvega) to see and experience the absolute independence of consciousness (kaivalyam). it is called vashikara: self-regulating. leading to selfrealization. self-controlling.40 Lack of craving for the objects known by the senses and described in the scriptures is dispassion or non-attachment. When it dawns fully. It grants us complete mastery over the mind and the subtle impressions deposited in the mind—as well as the binding and releasing forces of the mind that cause us WE ATTAIN DISCERNING KNOWLEDGE WITH THE HELP OF MEDITATION.yogafit. Please visit www. India at the Sattva Centre YOGAFIT® IS PROUD TO INTRODUCE: Yoga for the Brain Yoga for the Change 800-HR RYT www. hence. Discerning knowledge destroys our unwillingness to see the truth. the whole range of truth is available in its purity and perfection. a fact described in sutra 1.26. Practically speaking.yogafit. Therese November 17 – 27 65 .COM SPECIAL OFFER Receive 10% off a YogaFit® Mind Body Fitness Conference or a Teacher Training and 15% off your next purchase of YogaFit® Merchandise (excluding books).COM YOGAFITEVENTS.sutra review Sutra 1.16 The highest level of dispassion or non-attachment. SELF-EXAMINATION. and tamasic forces of nature. Viveka-khyati. In other words.24. Thereafter.” including the desires resulting from the interplay of or call 888-786-3111. self-guiding. As described in sutra 2. rajasic. as described here in sutra 2. takes place when the aspirant is free from all forms of “thirst. avidya metamorphoses into an irresistible desire to identify with our deeply rooted habits and. the signs that we have attained them. This level of dispassion enables the yogi to gain a high degree of self-mastery. enter code yogaintl upon checkout and discount will be applied. and what kinds of changes take place in us at each stage is the subject of the next sutra. enter code TTR-yogaintl and Merchandise. 2013 INTENSIVES May 19 – 26 Juneau. a yogi’s mastery stretches from the smallest atom to the biggest objects. The most significant stages of this knowledge. Offer good at www. For Trainings. Questions? Contact cs@yogafit.YOGAFIT. avidya is our unwillingness to see and know anything other than what our habits have trained us to see and know. CONNECT winter 2012-13 yogainternational. Sutra 1.47 From further purification of nirvichara samadhi (meditation that transcends the realm of thought altogether) spiritual illumination ensues. Sutra 1. ■ YogaFit® THE LEADER IN MIND BODY FITNESS EDUCATION SINCE 1994 Join Us AT ONE OF OUR MIND BODY FITNESS CONFRENCES OR OUR WEEK-LONG INTENSIVES AND SEE HOW YOGAFIT® CAN HELP YOU TO ACHEIVE YOUR YOGA AND FITNESS GOALS 2013 MIND BODY FITNESS CONFERENCE SCHEDULE Dates and cities to be confirmed. Sutra 1. AND DIVINE GRACE.15 Sutra 1. It provides the courage to see the truth and gives us the strength and insight to see our deeply rooted habits (samskaras) and replace them with the samskaras of selfrealization (purusha-khyati/atma-khyati). this knowledge contains an unprecedented level of revelation. SELF-INQUIRY. Discerning knowledge metamorphoses to live in the world either miserably or happily. is the complete opposite of avidya and is even more active. (discerning knowledge) is not simply a lack of ignorance.

Greg Ceo / Getty Images I f you’ve ever suffered from acid indigestion. Heartburn doesn’t always show up when you have When you swallow. and eventually resolve them. as well as cigarette WHILE YOUR FIRST INCLINATION IS TO REACH FOR THE TUMS BOTTLE. you know the symptoms well: a searing pain that shoots from your stomach up into your throat after a night of overindulgence (maybe that second helping of lasagna plus a generous slice of tiramisu wasn’t a good idea after all). If the LES doesn’t close all the way—or opens too often—the contents of the stomach can more easily sneak back in (reflux).com winter 2012-13 Heartburn. GERD. MD GERD or acid reflux. acid reflux. and wheezing instead of pain. and sometimes even neck and upper back pain. By Carrie Demers. sometimes you experience coughing. 66 yogainternational. when I tell them that they can reduce their symptoms. So What’s Going On? . which stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease. is caused by stomach acid moving up (refluxing) into the esophagus and irritating its sensitive lining. A valvelike structure. called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). and even cancer. When GERD becomes chronic. hoarseness. it can cause erosions. lasting over a period of months and years. and sometimes surprised. or even heartburn. you may want to rethink your strategy and consider a more holistic approach. YOU MAY WANT TO RETHINK YOUR STRATEGY AND CONSIDER A MORE HOLISTIC APPROACH. with natural medicine. Most of the patients I see with GERD depend on medication to manage their reflux.TOTALHEALTH Cool the Fire of Heartburn Try these natural remedies that can soothe and heal acid reflux. ulcers. a common problem affecting 1 in 10 Americans every day. sits just above the entrance to your stomach and prevents stomach acid from flowing back up into the esophagus. While your first inclination is to reach for the Tums bottle. is often a symptom of a more complex condition known as GERD. and strictures in the esophagus. So they’re relieved. Certain foods and beverages. coupled with an acrid acidic taste in the back of your mouth. nausea. food moves down the esophagus into the stomach.


too much or too little—how can you tell? The next time you have heartburn or acid reflux. starches. Too Much or Too Little? Most people assume that too much stomach acid can cause GERD—and it can. Instead. soda. choose deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL). Alternatively. and nourishing. Take two before meals. two other demulcent herbs that calm inflammation. onions. they often experience rebound hyperacidity. While these can be helpful in the short term—especially when you have an esophageal ulcer or significant inflammation—they don’t address the underlying causes of GERD and can cause problems in the long term. 68 yogainternational. Our bodies count on an increase in acidity to break down fats. can cause the sphincter to relax. and elevated cortisol stimulates acid secretion. and proteins so we can digest them. Eating a quantity of licorice can sometimes elevate blood pressure. Other malefactors include hot spices. an increase The Natural Approach Holistic medicine offers a range of smarter choices. If your symptoms go away. have flexible dosing guidelines. the more reflux we experience. nicotine. iron. including osteoporosis and anemia from lack of absorption of minerals. not smoking. in stomach acid that further aggravates GERD. prolonged use of PPIs is a risk factor for a variety of diseases. ALOE VERA GEL is winter 2012-13 So. The longer our food stays in our stomach. In this condition. trans fats. they treat the underlying causes of GERD so that it doesn’t come back. These suggestions help keep the acid where it belongs: below the LES. and then you can begin to taper your medications. Inadequate stomach acid causes weak digestion. However. try some of the first-aid herbs. too little stomach acid can also cause acid reflux. . calming. and turn to yoga and meditation for stress relief. These chewable (and tasty) tablets don’t contain the chemical constituent that raises blood pressure. But there’s no need to hurry. and vinegar. lining of the GI tract. refined sugar. tomatoes. and chemical sweeteners. These nonpharmaceutical approaches will also mitigate the right-now pain and discomfort. some do trigger acid reflux symptoms by allowing stomach acid to move up into the esophagus more easily. You can blame it on acid-producing foods like oranges and grapefruits. Although most hiatal hernias are asymptomatic. which slows the rate at which the stomach empties. and you can take them as needed with no ill effects. So can pharmaceuticals like progesterone. Drink one ounce of aloe mixed into eight ounces of juice or water one to four times a day. Inflamed tissues take time to heal. Chronic stress also plays a part because it causes the adrenal glands to secrete cortisol. When people stop taking the PPIs. and alcohol. make dietary changes. However. Improve your LES function. take a tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. and nourishes any external or internal membrane that is inflamed. garlic. paradoxically. their doctors too often take that as a signal to increase the dosage and keep them on the drugs longer. and some heart disease medications. cools. even when the LES functions properly. It can prevent heartburn by protecting the mucus membrane in the esophagus. You should notice a difference in your symptoms fairly quickly. though. Healing the irritated tissue. as well as infections of both the GI tract and lungs from overgrowth of bacteria. try slippery elm or marshmallow root. white flour.Take It Easy acid reflux. All the herbs suggested below are safe. anti-inflammatory drugs. moistens. you need more acid. the upper portion of the stomach and the LES squeeze above the diaphragm—a muscle that’s supposed to keep the abdomen separated from the chest. don’t quit cold turkey. and other vitamins. but. calms. Rebound acidity will likely create worse-than-ever symptoms if you do. Sometimes acid reflux really isn’t your fault—it happens because of a stomach abnormality called a hiatal hernia. They all relax the Ivan Kmit / istockphoto. so if you need to take it several times a day. The Conventional Route Conventional doctors most often prescribe proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) to stop the production of stomach acid. equally important.

com 69 . and Natrum phos (NP). bromelain. n Board-certified in internal medicine. While not a long-term solution. These health-promoting foods also minimize GERD symptoms. If you have too little acid. These suggestions will temper digestive juices so they effectively break down food without causing distress. hancing digestion by taking herbal bitters in tincture form. if you find you’ve overeaten.LES. You can also dissolve ten pellets of each cell salt in eight ounces of water and sip it throughout the day. the immediate fix is to take extra enzymes and hydrochloric acid. Practice yoga or tai chi. or any breathing and relaxation practice of your choice. such as chamomile. dandelion. clothing around the waist to ease reflux symptoms. give a weak stomach added digestive power. but not with drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen. Carrie Institute Total Health Center. these supplements will help your body move in a healing direction: enzyme supplements (such as papain. pepsin) quell heartburn caused by inadequate production of digestive enzymes. the LES open. Kali mur (KM). high-quality protein sources to your diet. which will create gastric inflammation. Don’t lie down or bend over for at least 30 minutes after you’ve eaten. which may be able to correct your hiatal hernia. Take this with food. You can take them before a meal or afterward. Place one pellet of each under the tongue four times a day. digestive herbs. making it less effective at preventing acid reflux. stress. Increase acid. Decrease acid. winter 2012-13 yogainternational. and low-fat. Reduce the dose or stop taking HCl if the tablets cause a burning sensation. or fennel. You can take them more often if symptoms recur between doses. both of which are produced in the stomach to aid digestion. visceral manipulation. salts (at 6x potency) to counter excess ing soda in a cup of water and sip it until your symptoms resolve. acidity: Ferrum phos (FP).

that’s because it shows up in pose names like salambana sarvangasana (supported shoulderstand).INPRACTICE A Little Help from an Unusual Ally W e all need a little help from our friends. We can experience the healing effects of a pose in a safe way and explore specific actions. all-limbs pose. and that support often comes in the form of props. Using a prop helps us stay in a pose longer. Patanjali reminds us that asana should be steady and comfortable (sthira sukham asanam). aligning the spine or opening the chest more. Most people think props exist only to help stiffer or less experienced practitioners. advanced students gain invaluable benefit as well. we sometimes need a little alambana—a Sanskrit word meaning “to depend or lean on. Photos: Jim Filipski/Guy Cali Associates. in fact. Wardrobe: Top and shrug: Beckons. which literally means “with support. Bottoms: Lululemon Improve your balance and alignment with a long wooden dowel. but. and props allow us to extend be- yond our physical (and mental) limitations with intelligence and greater ease. Stylist: Jessica Metcalf. To find that ease. The ability to move deeper and smarter often happens when we can slow down enough to notice the subtleties in an asana. The same holds true in our yoga practice. and allows the body to release tension—and the muscles to stretch a little more—without worrying about balance or strength. Model: Karina Mirsky.” Alambana may sound familiar. as the Beatles remind us.” while nirlamba sarvangasana indicates an unsupported version. We all experience challenges on the mat. By Cora Wen . and we all reach out for it from time to time.

Use your dowel to create support and stability in your poses as well as to gather information about your posture. Besides the blocks. and even the wall in any pose you choose. you can use walls. both in the frontback plane and the left-right orientation. poles. Use the dowel as a reminder to unveil the transformative and healing powers of yoga. or twist and lift your spine a little more in revolved poses like parivritta trikonasana (revolved triangle pose) or parivritta parshvakonasana (revolved side angle pose). stairs. >> winter 2012-13 yogainternational. In the great battle against Vishvamitra. or improve body alignment and balance. Vasishtha conquered his own anger and desire and became a guide to impart knowledge to others.A prop can be any object that helps stretch. strengthen. and blankets found in most yoga studios. head. blocks. chairs. substituting it for straps. It can help you get more lift in your chest in standing poses like utthita trikonasana (extended triangle pose). 7-inch circumference). Dowels come in different diameters. I prefer a 5-foot (or longer) dowel. self to the ideas I offer here—use your imagination to discover what can support your body and enhance your own self-awareness. This lifting and opening action prepares you for pranayama and helps you check your alignment. Play with the dowel. It works particularly well for people who have scoliosis or sacroiliac issues because it can help them notice—and work with— spinal or pelvic rotation. the great staff of Vasishtha. doors. practice). it helps me avoid neck strain and compression. and even your kitchen counter: whatever helps you access the parts of your body that need attention. I use it to explore the proper alignment of my torso. relax. and neck. and ahimsa (nonviolence). satya (truth). tables. Don’t limit your- The Magic Dowel Brahmadanda. virabhadrasana I and II (warrior I and II poses). Get a Handle on Things My prop of choice these days is a thick wooden dowel or broom handle. straps. 11/4 to 11/2 inches in diameter (a 71 . represents all of the ascetic’s power and strength. Brahmadanda shows us that true power comes from tapas (discipline. so make sure you choose a size and strength that supports your body weight and fits comfortably in your hands. balls. utthita parshvakonasana (extended side angle pose).

Or you can place the dowel at the top of your shoulders and. This also works well in parivritta trikonasana (revolved triangle pose). and it can give you a sense of stability as you extend out through the side waist. with your palms facing the ceiling. .com winter 2012-13 4 Parivritta Parshvakonasana (Revolved Side Angle Pose) Using the dowel in parivritta parshvakonasana can give you the stability you need to get more opening in the chest. yogainternational. • Supta Padangusthasana Clasp the dowel behind the torso to open the chest and support the head and neck. 72 (reclining big toe pose): Use a dowel instead of a strap to check the alignment of your lifted foot. stretch your arms out along the pole. and twist toward it. • Uttanasana (standing forward bend): Place the dowel under the ball of your foot for a nice calf stretch. place it on the outside of your front leg.1 Utthita Trikonasana EVEN MORE POSES (Extended Triangle Pose) Using a dowel in utthita trikonasana can help align your arms and legs front-toback and side-to-side. • Sukhasana Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II Pose) Try holding the dowel behind you and under your arms to keep your arms and shoulders level. 3 Hold the dowel to extend the arm fully while moving into the pose. (easy seated pose): Place the dowel behind your back and in the crook of each elbow to help lift your chest. To work on proper alignment—and to open the chest further—hold the dowel with both hands.

■ Wrap the belt around the top of your feet and around the dowel and gently pull your torso forward. place the dowel across your neck and underneath your upper arms as you raise your arms teaches yoga throughout the United States and South Asia. winter 2012-13 yogainternational. Transform your 73 . 200 & 500 Hour YOGA For a deeper shoulder-opener.2 Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I Pose) Simply hold the dowel in both hands as you raise them overhead to align the shoulders in one plane. Teacher Certification Perfect your practice. 200 SUMMER 2013 6/21 – 7/14 500 FALL 2012 9/28 – 10/7 SPRING 2013 4/19 – 4/28 SUMMER 2013 8/9 – 8/18 HimalayanInstitute. 5 Pashchimottanasana (Seated Forward Fold) Using a dowel and a belt in pashchimottanasana will help you keep your feet from turning in (pronation) or splaying out (supination). Check out her teaching schedule and follow her blog at corawen.

We worked out a plan. time. it’s okay. jealous. so I told him yes. On the other hand. Every day he would ask. maybe I could help him sneak them out of the reference library at another school. partners. Asteya (non-stealing). Once we got there. We are like that bowl. feeling insecure. for him. the guy I was dating told me over coffee and bagels that he needed some expensive medical books for his courses but couldn’t afford to buy them. the sages tell us. or Years ago. No matter how much milk we pour in. caused by some deep loss or unfulfilled desire. he would go into the reference section in the musty basement of the library. find the books he needed. can leave us lacking. And we attempt to plug these holes by taking things to get attention. By Irene Petryszak resentful of others. or energy—we are trying to fill an inner void. I began to rationalize to myself: perhaps his cultural values are different than mine. At the time. Suddenly I could see the black-robed nuns of my childhood holding the Ten Commandments they had drummed into us kids—the eighth one being Thou Shalt Not Steal—shaking their heads and mouthing no. counsels us not to take (or misuse) what doesn’t belong to us and not to crave or be envious of what others have. They liken this to pouring milk into a bowl with holes in it.LIVINGYOGA Thief in the Night The inability to believe in ourselves can rob us of our true potential. he kept chipping away at my resolve until his persuasive arguments wore me down. or clinging to other people because we are afraid to be alone. every day I would answer no and walk away. when I was in college. He casually mentioned. Undaunted. When we take something from someone 74 yogainternational. The holes in us. I needed his approval more than I cared about the admonishment of the nuns. the bowl stays winter 2012-13 else—possessions. and slip them to me. maybe. My experience of this when I was younger almost led me to commit a crime. I couldn’t say no—what if he got angry and broke up with me and then I’d be alone? I wrestled with my conscience. ideas. I couldn’t steal. the thirdd of the th five yamas (restraints) described in the Yoga Sutra. He was asking me to steal. one by Jeffrey Coolidge / Getty Images Thou Shalt Not Steal .

reminds us to be grateful for what we do have and to be comfortable with who we are—to fully enjoy life as it is happening in the present moment. I immediately way. the less likely you’ll feel the need to take or demand anything from anyone else. riches come to us. Although material wealth may unexpectedly appear when we need it. Suddenly I understood that I had been stealing his energy and his identity in order to make myself feel whole. If you have everything. I felt empty and adrift. my mind and heart in deep inner turmoil. Unfortunately. in the process. to THE DEEPER MEANING OF ASTEYA IS BEYOND NOT STEALING FROM OTHERS. you don’t feel the need to steal from anyone. According to the sages.” It made me think long and hard and deep about why I had almost succumbed to doing something illegal. It speaks to addressing the emptiness we feel inside. Finding My Way In class. we can choose to stop and listen to our inner Self. “is based in remembering that everything comes from As we further incorporate the attitude of asteya in our lives. Terrified but determined. we look for it in the approval and attention of others. I finally ended the relationship. Too alone and scared and vulnerable to be by myself. A great feeling of get attention and to feel good about ourselves. Then I heard him whisper my name. rather than to take from them. and when he left. go to yogainternational. I learned to believe in myself more—to trust my higher Self to guide me toward what is right or wrong for me. if everything is at your disposal. There is no fear of losing we steal from our potential to be the best we can be. What am I doing? I thought. He was furious. looking up at the stars. and refused to speak to me on the twohour drive back home. When I was with him. along with asana practice. the more riches of all kinds—worldly and spiritual—come back to us. they say. n + For more helpful tips on how to practice asteya.” as Alice Christensen writes in Yoga of the Heart. Rather than looking outward to get what we need. like the thieves we were. true spiritual wealth comes when we’re complete and whole within ourselves. By doing this. I began to slowly develop a solid inner core. And the more we give of ourselves. and astonishment. and the study of yoga philosophy. The more you learn that your higher Self can fulfill your needs on a subtler level. Crushed. I now had a choice: I could rush into another relationship and do the same. I found out that he had been unfaithful to me. I felt good about myself.” Practicing asteya helps us to concentrate our distracted minds and have the focus we need to attain our goals. We don’t have to steal objects. instead of immediately reaching for the Häagen-Dazs. he had already made plans to join a spiritual community. do a 10-minute relaxation in shavasana first. Not only had he wanted me to sacrifice my principles for his gain. I quickly got involved with someone else— remembered the “book incident. Everything we have is a divine gift. When we doubt ourselves. Senior editor Irene (Aradhana) Petryszak has been practicing and teaching yoga philosophy for more than 25 years. Under the cover of night. mantra. is beyond not stealing from others. I shook my head no and refused to take the book. delight. IT SPEAKS TO ADDRESSING THE EMPTINESS WE FEEL INSIDE. when you feel lonely. instead of being swayed by the opinions and values of others. or accept that I needed to learn who I was—by myself. From this sense of inner fullness. we begin to see that everything we need is within us. I decided to take a yoga class. we naturally want to give to others. when we don’t have confidence in ourselves. so naturally I wanted to be with him all the time. When she touched on asteya. the teacher reminded us. “I can. through the upper window. he had also robbed me of my dignity. we began our subterfuge. however. never learn to say. Becoming Whole According to the Yoga Sutra (2. Then observe how you feel. my conscience won out.” we don’t even try and. meditation. In the same way. when we perfect the principle of asteya. Reflecting on these truths. and we can observe it all with wonder. winter 2012-13 yogainternational. I stood alone in the crisp autumn night. then. you are never in need. Sometime later. someone who had a more positive influence on me. We can rest in the unconditional love and wisdom that reside within us and experience the wholeness of our true 75 . As he handed me the first heavy medical tome. our teacher wove the yamas and the niyamas among the asanas. The deeper meaning of asteya. to understand how to meet those needs in a deeper peacefulness surrounds a person who knows this. For instance. and I turned to crouch by the library window.” Practicing asteya. I felt humiliated. “The power of non-stealing.37). Resolved to do this no matter how much my inner voice screamed in protest. or people’s time and energy. when we say. “I can’t.

But when I fully realized I was in a serious earthquake. I recognized right away that I was in an earthquake. master.K. I was both tired and wired. DAY IN AND DAY OUT. Iyengar writes that stability is something we can practice and. but my mind remained steady and winter 2012-13 But then something unusual happened. My body continued rocking and rolling.YOGABASICS Dance of the Gunas The three essential aspects of nature support and enhance our yoga practice on and off the mat. even worse. Since that day. Ladida / istockphoto. many people have asked me if I freaked out when I felt the earth moving so dramatically. although I wouldn’t learn until later that it was the biggest earthquake in recorded history. instead of panicking. First I heard a loud sound. which he defines as being present in the here and now. and under me started shaking and rumbling. BRIGHT ACTIVITY (RAJAS). This strange combination of bright mind and dull body is not unusual for me following one of these marathon flights. By Cyndi Lee 76 yogainternational. I felt steady both inside and out. Our FIRM GROUNDING (TAMAS). My face was dry and my hair clung desperately to my head. I became calm and present. the great yoga master B. I felt oddly stable. and then the ceiling itself started to fall down. Light on Life. I couldn’t even imagine trying to do yoga. My whole body was exhausted. into my digestive tract. As the jostling of the ground continued. And in a strange way. The lights hanging from the airport ceiling began swinging wildly. If there were ever a time for losing one’s composure. so I wasn’t too worried. above. one The Path of Stability In his brilliant book. The path to cultivating that stability is through balance. I felt as if Elmer’s glue had seeped into my hip joints and. I leaned against the immigration counter to keep my balance. . AND BASIC GOODNESS (SATTVA) ARE THE THREE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS WE WORK WITH. I knew all these feelings would change in a couple of days when I got through my jet lag. it worked.S. it was then! I had felt physically sluggish and mentally speedy moments before the earth shook so violently. and heavy. panel at a I had just landed in Japan after a grueling 15-hour flight that crossed the international dateline. That sounds easy enough. and then everything around. and yet mentally I was hyper-alert. but we all know we get out of balance on a daily basis. ultimately. sleep-deprived. even though I was standing on moving ground.

That is sattva. There was not much sattva—clarity or intelligence— until my external circumstances woke me up and placed me firmly in the hereand-now.319. of connection and peace with all that | 269.7564 winter 2012-13 yogainternational. fixed or dull energy. I was both in the past and in the future. deep at our core. MI SanghaYoga. Although sattva might often seem unattainable. Luna Ray & Joshua Canter January 26-Februay 2 Vital Health Rainforest Retreat with Chinese Medical Oncologist. This works because the gunas have both positive and negative aspects. we drift off again. the opposite of rajas. Yoga asanas provide a perfect vehicle for this investigation. When we can find balance in our physical setup.0162 Retreats in Costa Rica: Winter 2013 Karma Yoga Ocean Retreat with Kirtan arƟsts. soon enough. Or perhaps you have lain in a beautiful field. The wired feeling in my mind was rajas—lots of percolating thoughts bubbling and bouncing around. and innate intelligence are who we are already. gazed up at the stars. rajas. edgy. and rajas gives us the oomph we need to get things done.910. dynamic or pulsating energy. The Gunas at Play The gunas are always present. The ancient teachings of yoga offer us a map for finding this elusive balance. One reason we Yoga Teacher Training & Retreats with Y. and felt a profound sense of presence. These aspects. at the same time. lethargic stuckness. Now and then we awaken into a sense of clarity. called the gunas. which is attained by harmonizing the three essential aspects of nature.I. The good news is that we can shift this mental pattern by working with our body. manifest as tamas. Cover Girl Karina Ayn Mirsky ParaYoga® Teacher Training 200 Hour & 500 Hour RYT Programs at Sangha Yoga in Kalamazoo. noticed that your leg is bouncing up and down? This would be a case of a tamasic mind and a rajasic body—just the opposite of my guna state when I touched down in Japan. My body remained in New York. but. These examples illustrate the fluid and ever-changing aspects of the gunas. goodness. and they show up in all kinds of combinations. The heavy feeling in my body when I first arrived in Japan was tamas—a feeling of dense. it’s really not. Have you ever felt really bored and. and 77 . On the days that you feel overly rajasic—wired. and maybe a little impatient—you can reestablish balance by notching up tamas. The beneficial quality of tamas offers grounded spaciousness. it naturally leads to balance in the mind.mind cycles through past memories and then into future fantasies and then wanders back to the past again and again. all day long. To begin to establish the balance and stability Iyengar writes about. thick. ClaudeƩe Baker February 8-16 TrueNatureEducaƟon. we must take an honest look at how the gunas manifest in our mind and body right now. clear and intelligent energy—and exist within us as well as in the world around us. but my mind had already raced ahead to what I needed to do to get to my hotel and get organized for the training I was going to start teaching the next | 828. because the qualities of luminosity.

Sit down on your mat and close your eyes. Do the opposite if you are overstimulated: inhale 4 counts and exhale 6 or 8. Model: Jenifer Wanous. it makes sense that the way we consciously create balance through yoga practice also involves connecting directly to the earth. Bottoms: Model’s own Let Breath Change the Tempo . Once you discover which guna currently dominates. you can begin to explore their aspects in your asana practice.viniyoga. This is just the gunas at play. How did you get here today? Did you have to rush? Is your body feeling a little speedy? This rajasic quality may make it hard to settle into your practice. you can use your breath to shift toward balance. to our Dona . • Comprehensive approach including asana.Nurture • your • CalliNg learn to empower “We people to create health for themselves. the Sanskrit word asana—used to indicate a pose or posture—literally translates as “to sit with” or “to sit down. Create a Healthier World Degrees Include: Naturopathic Medicine Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine • Psychology Learn more: winter 2012-13 For more info: www. and once you make friends with them. chanting and meditation • Convenient weekend training dates Two new programs beginning in Jan 2012: Pawtucket. too. Repeat the breathing pattern at least five times. Wardrobe: Top: Beyond Yoga. Photos: Sarah Keough. exhale for 4. Class of 2013 feel so peaceful when we lie on our back in shavasana is that we can directly connect to the earth.studentadvisor@viniyoga. Once you’ve become familiar with the actual feeling of each guna. Let’s start with tadasana (mountain pose) and virabhadrasana II (warrior II pose). As rajas and tamas begin to integrate. Wherever you are is fine and interesting. The tamasic exhalation will help you calm down and feel more stable and grounded. CA More Locations Soon! 78 yogainternational.Bastyr. Emphasizing the inhalation will give you more rajasic energy and perk you right • 855-4-BASTYR Seattle • San Diego Understand teach yoga yoga deeply powerfUlly 200 Hour Viniyoga Wellness Instructor traInIng • Receive the authentic teachings of yoga Gary Kraftsow’s respected yoga teacher training is now ofered in a 200-hour format. In fact. If you feel mentally or physically sluggish. you might experience a sense of equanimity and wellbeing: the arising of sattva.” This means that whatever part of your body is touching the ground is called the “seat” of the pose. Since lying on the earth makes us feel grounded. refresh your posture and begin this energizing breath pattern: inhale for 6 counts. pranayama. ” Heather Sandison. RI & Sebastopol. Or perhaps you had to drag yourself to class today. you can play. your tamasic mind resisting the whole way. Simply notice without 808-572-1414 Let’s take a look at how the gunas are currently dancing within you.

the yoga warrior is also open-hearted and never aggressive. 2013). Iyengar is right. and commit to the journey. but it is up to us to pay attention to the path. Step your left leg back and open it out to a 45-degree angle. tamas gave me stability in my legs. Turn your chest to the side of the mat and extend your arms out at shoulder height. is author of Yoga Body. How can you tell? Notice your breathing. trying to stand up on a violently shifting surface. Don’t hold your breath here. open into virabhadrasana II. Are your toes long and relaxed or grippy? The grounded stability of tamas supports the work of the lower body in standing poses. but. rajas. Buddha Mind and May I Be Happy: A Memoir of Love. I wasn’t a mess. As long as the gunas are talking to each other. Perhaps you have found a firm grounding in your legs through just the right amount of tamas. rajasic breaths) and clearly connected to the downward flow of tamas in your lower body. you will likely begin to feel the bright. The practice worked! When the earthquake stopped.Tadasana (Mountain Pose) Stand with your feet aligned below your hips. and Changing My Mind (Dutton Publications. of course. continue putting one foot in front of the other. turning something fluid and lovely into something hard and dead. relaxed quality of sattva arise in your mind and provide a gentle lift and openness in the upper body. winter 2012-13 yogainternational. Does your breath flow smoothly or does it feel choppy? Can you apply a tiny bit of tamas to soften the breath? Now notice if this easier breath helps your lower body feel more balanced. I was stable and fully able to deal with whatever might meet me as I walked out of the airport. and sattva in constant communication with each other. in that moment. As your tamas and rajas—muscular effort and wind energy—become more equalized. So the quality of sattvic lightness and radiance will give just enough lift to your virabhadrasana II chest. too. Wonderful! But that tamasic energy will be too heavy for your upper body. which will freeze 79 . the directions will be clear. Bend your right leg. and sattva gave me mental clarity and a positive outlook. Firm grounding. acclaimed yoga school. And like any good map. or slip away from it through the laziness of tamas? Virabhadrasana II All the Right Moves (Warrior II Pose) Paying attention to the gunas in asana practice gives us a map that can lead to stability in mind and body. I didn’t know what was going to happen next. Check in to make sure that this uplifted feeling in your torso stays bright and fluid (through gentle. bright activity. so I didn’t get scared. Without me even thinking about it. Can you abide with that. taking a moment to check in with the state of the gunas here. resisting any tendency to grip that state of mind with too much rajas. My many years of asana practice showed up for me when I found myself in the middle of an earthquake. which is governed by rajas. Yoga. and basic goodness are the three essential ingredients we work with. day in and day out. Tune in to the sensations in your feet. intentional energy. Try to keep your tamas. Although a warrior pose implies strong. n From tadasana. This conversation is how we stay present. This is how we practice. rajas kept my breath flowing smoothly. no one guna will become the boss of the others. But the agitated energy of rajas may cause your toes to hold on for dear life or your buttocks to seize up like crazy. to balance my nervous system. Breathe in and out.

ligaments. Elements of Style You can avoid jamming your lower vertebrae together by applying two general principles: put traction on the spine to increase the overall space between the vertebrae. especially if you practice the pose frequently. The same holds true if you practice upward dog fewer times but enter it deeply and hold it longer. Model: Rusty Moore. but they’re not easy to learn during the rapid flow of a vinyasa series.) The pain of lower back compression stems from either jamming the rear part of the vertebral bones forcibly against one another or crushing the soft tissue (cartilage. Entering the pose more gradually and holding it longer affords you more time to get it right. It’s pretty easy to avoid compressing your lower back in urdhva mukha shvanasana if you practice good body mechanics. Pattabhi Jois. powerful breath. and a deep. Wardrobe: Zobha ave you done 50 headstands today? How about 50 triangle poses? That would seem excessive. consider setting aside some time to learn how to coax your body and mind into an upward dog that opens your heart without wrecking your back. it’s usually because you are compressing vertebrae at the base of your spine. especially your lower back. then gradually bring the asana back to earth. or both.ASANASOLUTIONS Raise Your Dog Elevate your hands in upward-facing dog pose to protect your lower back. all that repetition can put a lot of wear and tear on your body. But if you push beyond your capacity or use bad technique. so check with a health professional if you have doubts. open chest. (There could be other causes. For example. . you move through upward-facing dog 50 times in a single session because it’s part of the surya namaskar (sun salutation) sequence that links the other asanas together. especially if you’re unclear about what you’re trying to achieve. Feeling the Squeeze If you feel lower back pain in urdhva mukha shvanasana. Pain sensors in the outer lining of the bones and throughout the soft structures let you know you’re causing tissue damage or are about to. provided you do them properly. wouldn’t it? But doing 50 upward-facing dog poses (urdhva mukha shvanasana) a day can be business as usual if you take a vinyasa winter 2012-13 pose without crunching their back. By Roger Cole H Don’t get me wrong. a supple spine. Some people figure out how to do the 80 yogainternational. a broad. You’ll gain strong arms and legs. but that’s no panacea. and distribute the backbend along the whole Photos: Andrea Killam. in which you often strike the pose during a single inhalation and exit as you exhale. vigorously. Doing lots of upward-facing dogs can be a very good thing. and disks) between the bones. So whether you practice quickly or slowly. in the Ashtanga Vinyasa Primary Series of K. but many others simply choose to tolerate a certain level of pressure and discomfort—a surefire recipe for injury.


These actions will initiate a focused backbend in your upper and mid back. pull your hands backward as if to pull the chair away from the wall. the lower back will bend first and winter 2012-13 Taking It to the Mat You can gradually apply the twin principles of putting traction on the spine and distributing the backbend along the whole back and the hips by first tackling upward dog with your hands on the seat of a chair. To put traction on your spine you need to use an outside force to pull on it along its length. this action should draw the sides of your chest (the part that’s normally obscured by your arms) forward. try to tilt the top rim of your pelvis back toward a more upright position. Every degree of increased backbending range you achieve in your upper back. (If your low back becomes uncomfortable at any point. mid back. using the force of gravity to pull lengthwise on the mid and lower spine. Distributing the backbend along the whole spine and the hips requires making a special effort to focus on your upper back. and lift your breastbone high. Bend your elbows and knees and bring your hips forward until they touch the front edge of the seat. so it covers the seat. As you lunge. practice lunging poses such as virabhadrasana I (warrior I) with your back leg straight and the heel of your back foot off the floor. Start by positioning the front edge of the chair seat just below the base of your neck and then working your way down to the middle of your trunk one or two vertebrae at a time. Place your hands on the chair with your fingers hanging over the left and right edges of the seat. in front of your upper for complete details and information about Webinars or call us at (505) 291-9698 The Ayurvedic Institute Albuquerque. Here’s how. you have more room to bend backward before the vertebrae collide. also roll the tops of your shoulders back and down.Our seminars bring Ayurveda to life. NM 82 yogainternational. To avoid this. or by hanging upside down from a pelvic sling. To prepare your hips. Why? Because the lower back is the easiest part of the body to bend backward. Spring Seminars Spiritual Rituals Ayurvedic Cooking Mantra’s Healing Power Visit Ayurveda. With your elbows still bent.” If you then practice upward dog. and hip joints lessens the amount your lower back will have to bend in urdhva mukha shvanasana and other backbends. and finally moving to the full pose with your hands directly on the floor. Place a chair on the mat with its back legs against the wall and draw the free end of the mat over the chair. . you can prepare the upper and mid back for urdhva mukha shvanasana by arching back over the edge of a block or the seat of a chair. so the base of the spine isn’t forced to do more than its fair share of bending. so if you don’t make a concerted effort to bend from everywhere else. while the other parts may not bend much at all. For example. As you do this. and the junction between your pelvis and thighbones. We invite you to experience this profound wisdom in a seminar setting.) Roll out a sticky mat so it’s perpendicular to and touching a wall. Unfold a deeper understanding in your heart and express it in your practice. folding it twice. then substituting yoga blocks for the chair. This pulls the vertebrae farther apart. you can prepare for upward dog by hanging by your hands from a chin-up bar. Illustration: Linda Nye Experience a Living Tradition spine and the hips. allowing the flexible disks that lie between them to soak up extra water and “plump up. stop and try the troubleshooting tips in “Stopping the Pain” on page 85. mid back. which puts traction on the entire spine.

Now straighten your elbows and move your shoulders down as far away from your ears as you can. Now move your chest and whole upper body closer to the wall. Your pelvis should remain as upright as you can keep it.YOU CAN AVOID JAMMING YOUR LOWER VERTEBRAE IN UPWARD-FACING DOG BY APPLYING TWO GENERAL PRINCIPLES: PUT TRACTION ON THE SPINE. The incline will direct the force of your arms to pull the spine more strongly away from your pelvis. AND DISTRIBUTE THE BACKBEND ALONG THE WHOLE SPINE AND THE HIPS. roll your shoulders farther back and down. and tuck your chin down toward your chest. while your chest continues to reach forward to create a backbend at the base of your neck. so that your legs will be more horizontal and you can create good extension of the hip joints. enhancing the traction. Next. tighten your front thigh muscles to straighten your knees as strongly as you 83 . At the same time. Allow your abdominal and back muscles to go completely soft. and pull back more strongly with your arms to draw your chest forward and up away from your pelvis. so your arms incline forward. you will not flip to the top of your feet in this variation of upward dog. keep your lower front pelvic area soft. both at the surface and deep inside. move your sitting bones toward the chair. lifting your face partway toward the ceiling. Press your heels back away from the chair. initiate a backbend at the hips by keeping your pelvis as close to the chair as you can while you straighten your legs completely. As you straighten your legs. To finish the pose. so your legs move as independently of the pelvis as possi- ble. Keeping your chin down. and let the weight of your pelvis and legs gently pull the vertebrae of your lower back apart. This will lift your entire spine higher and create a strong frame from which your spine can hang. Leave the toes bent back and the heels up. >> winter 2012-13 yogainternational. Be sure to exhale freely as you complete the pose. move your whole head backward.

Moving Deeper When you can do the chair version of upward dog without winter 2012-13 get it as far underneath your shoulders as you can. Fold two blankets to create a rectangle that’s wider than your shoulders and about two inches high. Although your pelvis will not come as far forward as it did when you were on the chair. You will practice urdhva mukha shvanasana with the heels of your hands on the high end of the blocks and your fingers pointing downhill. Recalling what you just did on the chair. . broad side down. start with your elbows and knees bent and your hips as close to the blocks as you can get them. go through the same sequence as you did on the chair. Place two blocks shoulder-width apart. you want to 84 yogainternational. if your back hurts at any point. stop and use the same troubleshooting tips you learned on the chair. so it puts as much traction on the spine as possible. with one end resting on the front fold of the blankets and the other on the floor. you are ready to move to the next stage: hands elevated on slanted blocks. Again. When your hands and feet are in position.

but you can still apply the same principles to keep your lower back uncompressed and pain-free when you go into the pose in a more traditional way. so they don’t pull your pelvis back away from your shoulders. try one or more of these troubleshooting tips. n teaches at Yoga Del Mar near San Diego. in the final pose. winter 2012-13 yogainternational. you are ready to graduate to the final pose on the floor. With your hands on the floor. • Pull your arms back harder to lift your chest up and forward more. drag them forward. • Lean your trunk farther forward. Just remember to put traction on the spine and distribute the backbend. to tilt the pelvis farther upright (this should be abandoned as you become more adept at the pose). but for most people it’s still best if they end up directly over the wrists. you must not allow your shoulders to move behind your wrists at any point in the final pose. and liberation of this frequently practiced but often misaligned 85 . where they join the backs of your thighs. tighten the muscles at the base of your buttocks. exhilaration. The instructions are almost identical. The most important: Unless it is extremely easy for you to bend back with your upper back. not only will your back remain comfortable and safe in upward-facing dog. your shoulders can move back too. you’ll force your body into a position that compresses the spine.The Full Pose Once you’re comfortable with the pose on the blocks. bend your knees. So. with two key differences. start with your shoulders well forward of your wrists. He specializes in anatomy and physiology of yoga and relaxation and has taught yoga as a healing art to the medical community. The second difference: Place the tops of your feet on the floor. if necessary. When you do this successfully. not behind them. as a last resort. At the end of the pose. regardless of how flexible you are. and. introducing them in the following order: • Soften your lower back muscles to let your pel- the key to getting traction on your spine lies in keeping your hips (and pelvis) well forward. We don’t usually enter urdhva mukha shvanasana from the bent-knee position used in these practice poses. • As a next-to-last resort. If you do. vis dangle farther down. Stopping the Pain If your back starts to hurt at any point during urdhva mukha shvanasana (upward-facing dog pose). as you bring your chest forward maximally and your head back. • And. pushing the vertebrae into one another. you will also be free to fully enjoy the strength.

dedicated practitioners continue to share their art. yoga has found a way to not only fit in but also to grow exponentially. the expansion of yoga was slow. On the third floor of a 1930s building. “They would tell me that their priest or imam told them it’s the work of the devil!” His students who had lived abroad and were familiar with yoga helped him persevere. He was in his late 70s. It was the first Indian book on yoga translated into Arabic (Al Yoga by Yogindra). He settled in the Gemmayze neighborhood. in the early 2000s. was a retired professor who practiced meditation. “I picked it up from the shelf and started reading and practicing everything that was described in it. came to yoga through the practice of meditation. By Moutassem Hammour with curly salt and pepper hair. and newcomers were reassured seeing ‘normal’ people like them attending a session. He traveled to Madurai. Many were even suspicious about it. where he took his first yoga certification from the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta center. and I would enjoy spending time with him. Mohammed Al Basha. in southern India. and long-established. a little country in the Middle East. who discovered yoga in New York City where he lived for 15 years before coming back to Lebanon. we were only four or five yoga instructors throughout the country. his studio—with its spacious rooms and high ceilings—has accommodated yoga classes since 2000. From then on. who was 13 years old at the time. as the whole region is being shaken by the Arab Spring. YOGA HAS LONG ADAPTED ITSELF to the needs of the population it serves. discovered yoga at the age of 15—in a book.” he says. reaching one person at a time. new studios are opening every month. at the time a calm residential area.” Aaed was hooked.” he says. this 50-year-old Lebanese opened up one of the first yoga studios in Beirut. They practiced together for seven years. Portraits courtesy of author. he worked on deepening his understanding of yoga philosophy and his practice of asana. Hisham then traveled to India to attend Arid Ocean / fotolia. Even nowadays. “My neighbor. side as Aaed. . In a country torn apart by war and political Lebanon’s capital. 86 well as in the high-end fitness clubs.” says Hisham. is no exception. “They gave me support during the class.” recalls Nabil. “I got pulled toward that book. “Most people were unfamiliar with yoga at first.WORLDOFYOGA Yoga Comes to Lebanon Asana and meditation offer a means of transformation during challenging times. “At the time.” But still. and Lebanon.

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Hisham spends most of his time teaching yoga. in certain relatively safe neighborhoods. Aaed gives the example students ventured out to attend classes. You can keep on practicing yoga. It created a strong bond among us. we were enjoying practicing yoga. Aaed remembers that in the early days of his teaching. Most yoga classes stopped but. some would start to giggle. He also studied therapeutic yoga and went on to become a medical doctor. had to learn to convey their teaching in an acceptable teacher training. “Four or five of my students kept on coming. Today. Lebanon was at war with its neighbor—Israel. One of Pagosa Springs. Nabil bridges the gap between Islam and the philosophical teachings of yoga by focusing on the Sufi winter 2012-13 were to the traditional aspects of it. while a few would stand up and leave. but rather to give them the space to explore more if they wish to. Hisham introduces japa mantra by talking about the zikr (the repetition of sacred prayers) in the Muslim tradition and the orthodox Jesus Prayer. “It was for me a matter of finding the balance between Indian mysticism and the purely physical aspect of the practice of asana. Our three yogis are careful not to impose their beliefs on their students. who is a beloved saint among the Lebanese Christian population.” Aaed notes that some of his students continued practicing at home.taramandala. We could hear the explosions as we were going through the class. who were among the early yoga instructors in Lebanon. as Nabil recalls. Support During Times of Crisis In 2006. “When I would have them chant Om at the beginning of the class.” Aaed and Hisham noticed that the more classes the students attended— and the more they experienced the benefits of yoga—the more open they 2013 of Saint Charles (called Saint Charbel in Lebanon). I learned that you don’t have to incur the outside situation. and Hisham. Sharing the philosophy of yoga required putting it in the perspective of the local belief system. Vast View u Open Heart Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Lama Tsultrim Allione Tulku Sang-ngak Rinpoche Anam Thubten u Sharon Salzberg Noah Levine Anne Klein Group Retreats u Solo Retreat Cabins www. Embracing the Local Culture Nabil. When he shares the eight limbs of yoga with his students. people were not used to chanting. some OUR THREE YOGIS ARE CAREFUL NOT TO IMPOSE THEIR BELIEFS ON THEIR STUDENTS. He . had seen his house and his field destroyed by the bombing.” During this time Nabil developed a better understanding of detachment. Colorado (970) 731 – 3711 88 yogainternational. and love the people you do love. Aaed.” says Hisham. This approach has established trust between them and their students. a man from southern Lebanon. Aaed shows his students how sun salutations resemble Muslim prayers. BUT RATHER TO GIVE THEM THE SPACE TO EXPLORE MORE IF THEY WISH TO. while taking a few shifts per month at the hospital. which offers a mix of tradition and spirituality. a trust that has been helpful during times of turmoil. be a vegetarian. people show less resistance to yoga philosophy. As a result. Senses became heightened. he compares pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses from external objects) to seclusion in Christianity. “As it was mayhem outside.

It also was perceived as a way to better cope with stress and to Wi nne r o f ov e r 4 0 go l d me da l s Spiralbound. I R c a l e n d a r. Iyengar yoga. That made her decide to follow in the footsteps of Aaed and Hisham and travel to India to do teacher training. author of Autobiography of a Yogi An ideal gift for yourself or others! yoga and integrative medicine in Beirut. I’ll start giving yoga classes. also decided to embark on teaching yoga. to tighten up. “It’s about time to bring it to the countryside. His articles can be found at moutassem-hammour. . Nabil and Aaed observed that more of their students wanted to deepen their training and eventually teach yoga.288. who has seen her health drastically improve through the regular practice of asana. Soulful . Duna.95 Also available in Spanish. $13. He bought an old house in the area surrounding Tripoli (northern Lebanon) and wants to turn it into a guesthouse with six rooms. . but they will eventually get it. “Of course.” Nabil is doing his part. Get the Professional Edge! Become a Certified Phoenix Rising Yoga Practitioner. “All yoga studios are still in the capital. For certification details and new programs 800. Phoenix Rising YOGA THERAPY TRAINING “ Beautiful . Italian. a vibrant young woman in her late 20s. and to lose some weight. there was an increased awareness of yoga through its “media-ization” in the West. .9642.told Aaed that thanks to yoga he kept his composure. The Boost from the West In the years following the war. Lebanon. . people began discovering yoga as a means to get back into shape. primarily in the United States. I asked Nabil what’s next for yoga in Lebanon. She traveled to India and specialized in yoga for pregnant woman. That was the case for Mona.” I’m sure they will.6444 or visit writings/home. In his clinical practice.453.S. . Both Mona and Duna believe strongly that yoga can improve the lives of their countrywomen and -men. a Pilates instructor. People over there are very unfamiliar with yoga. o r g winter 2012-13 yogainternational. 54 color photos. he integrates postural rehabilitation.” Breathtaking images from the world’s top nature photographers Inspired insights from the writings of Paramahansa 89 . Group Facilitator or Yoga Teacher. Inspiring . In Lebanon. n Training in Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy offers an opportunity for a fulfilling career that combines age-old yoga wisdom and modern body-mind psychology. 802. . and Canada. We offer certifications for multiple complimentary career paths with trainings in locations across the U. and German w w w.” he said. and meditation.

the Bhagavad Gita. is essentially the message of the Gita itself. Each of the first three pillars is fleshed out with the exemplary bios of a trio of famous Westerners. director of the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living. Mohandas Gandhi—illustrate the fourth. cities.” and pithas. Consistently well-written and getup-and-go inspirational. plains. the “Lord’s Song. Stephen Cope. with anecdotes from the lives of “ordinary” folks. Henry David Thoreau. let go of the fruits. Diana Eck. and Walt Whitman. —Richard Rosen India: A Sacred Geography By Diana L. as we put it nowadays. this valuable book should help you bring the “great work of your own life” into sharper focus. which ground the message in the everyday and remind us that dharma comes in all shapes and sizes. too. Cope sets as the framework for his guide the world-renowned spiritual poem.” I say “fittingly” because a central theme of the poem is the ultimate importance of doing your own thing. Cope weaves together the big-name stories. there was no question about what he was supposed to do in life. rivers. traversed by pilgrims in both ancient and modern times. Four pillars (traditionally a number representing both stability and completion) form the basis of Cope’s dharmasearching strategy: Look to your dharma. First. Fittingly. not surprisingly. describes a multitude of these sites—such as tirthas. India: A Sacred Geography. By referencing the Puranas and other sacred texts. in her comprehensive new book. and turn 90 yogainternational. but we have to wonder if people like scientists. Still. such as Jane Goodall. but if you haven’t already read the Gita. is that the roster seems top-heavy with artists and social activists. there being so much room in our modern world—more than 2. many of whom knew nothing about yoga and yet conducted themselves in very yogic ways.000 years removed from the Gita’s composition—for self-deception. no doubt types close to the author’s heart and not at all bad choices. a caveat: the idea of a self-defined dharma makes me ever-so-slightly nervous. or “seats” of the goddesses—and brings the myths surrounding them alive. I won’t go into the details of Arjuna’s funk and the avatar Krishna’s response. athletes.” Eck writes. or “crossing over places. tackles a subject that would strike fear in the hearts of most writers: personal dharma. and then. These myths tell of “our deepest and most resonant human questions about life and death. a vibrant landscape of mountains. our human experience. . how you would go about realizing it in some appropriate manner.BOOKS +MEDIA The best new releases for lasting inspiration The Great Work of Your Life A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling By Stephen Cope In this. approached and applied with attention and reason. and seacoasts. Eck India’s geography. do it full out.” Yet. however. he explores ways to figure out what your “true calling” (the yogic concept of dharma) actually is. and entrepreneurs have a true winter 2012-13 it over to God—which. especially if you are seriously searching for what Cope calls a “lit-up life. while questions for us abound. created a vast web of sacred sites. The difficulty of using Arjuna as your basic model is that he was born to his dharma. forests. An additional pair—abolitionist Harriet Tubman and the lone Indian representative. What’s gratifying is that Cope spells out his lessons mostly through figures great and small from our own culture. you’ll certainly be moved to do so after reading The Great Work of Your Life. his third book. this book should go right to the top of your reading list. lakes. which serve to demonstrate the full power of harmonizing your life with dharma. and our glimpses of transcendence. A minor gripe.

Vedic texts anticipated the conclusions of Western science. yoga philosophy. I finally had an opportunity to pick it up recently. and their origins is a pilgrim’s gift. To find in one resource such a rich compilation of India’s sacred sites. their stories.822. the traditions of India tend to be rolled under the syncretic blanket of Western Univer- salism: Christ and Krishna are the same. Good for the environment. and encourages us to do the same. and to tuck it away so blithely under the cover of Western Universalism doesn’t do justice to its complexity. and the forest years of the Pandavas of the Mahabharata. everything is equal. and we all live happily ever after. Shakti. —Keith Belcher Lightening Up The Yoga of Self-Acceptance By Tony Wolff I doubt that many people have heard of Tony Wolff. presupposing intellectual familiarity with the difference between Western and dharmic traditions. so the casual reader may find it slow-going.—Madalasa Baum Being Different An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism By Rajiv Malhotra The modern world is shaped by the dominance of Western cultural and philosophical values. the thesis is provocative. the landscapes associated with Shiva.” I’m happy to report that I was wrong. and persuasive. winter 2012-13 yogainternational. and love like you’ve never been hurt. the trail of Rama in the Ramayana. Travelers to India will want this companion to guide them along the way. reminding us all to “laugh too much. and Krishna. As a consequence. I certainly hadn’t when his book Lightening Up: The Yoga of Self-Acceptance landed on my desk. However. It’s an interesting conversation—one that Malhotra explores intelligently. made from natural bioplastic NetiPot. Wolff blends just the right amount of neuroscience. personal eco neti kit Good for you. I must admit that the cartoonish cover gave me pause—I thought it was going to be one of those annoying books of aphorisms. forgive freely.4547 120914 Thirty years in the making. The dharmic tradition has its own cosmology. Vishnu. It’s an academic text. and my only regret is that it took me so long. well 91 . But Being Different challenges these • 800. A Sacred Geography’s myriad chapters cover India’s sacred rivers. offering the dharmic traditions as a counterpoint to the blanched notion of a too-agreeable universalism.

and welcome whatever comes up “without fear. your name in Sanskrit.and 90-minute sequences. he says. Haynes rewrites the popular Hindu legend—in which Ganesha breaks his tusk in order to write the epic poem— as an accessible tale of a young elephant’s love for candy laddoos and his dedication to the poet Vyasa. Added bonus: Wolff is donating all profits from Lightening Up to Spirit Rock Meditation Center and the Yoga Dana winter 2012-13 reflections. and tree pose). For those interested in the therapeutic applications of this technique. and how it seamlessly blends influences from Eastern. This wise and funny book should enjoy a prominent place on everyone’s yoga bookshelf. Jeeva Finds Courage teaches kids five years old and up important lessons about compassion and teamwork. sprinkled with humor and important life lessons. are sincere and understandable. loves. Patel’s illustrations complement the ebullient text. A Pixar animation artist. methodical manner. Bernie Clark guides her readers through the fascinating —Everett Orbit The Global Bhakti Project David Lurey . In Jeeva Finds Courage. a decidedly anti-power yoga practice. teaches 14 classic yoga poses to his friends. and Taoist traditions.” and with a healthy dose of humor. this book is the next best thing to getting personalized instruction from a certified yin yoga instructor. The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga Digital Album by By Bernie Clark The goal of The Global Bhakti Project is both an ambitious and an inspiring one: bring friends together from all over the world to accompany David Lurey’s guitar and kirtan vocals—without anyone leaving In a scientific. And a tad chubby. of course. —Linda Sparrowe canon of yin yoga. judgment. Instrumental Dreamland will usher the entire family into a state of peaceful repose. signed by Nicolai. or justification. Western. and inspires his readers every step of the way. authentic and accurate way. Soothing instrumental renditions of classics like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “Brahms’ Lullaby” are accompanied by restful world music— “Komoriuta” (Japan) and “The Lark” (Ireland). Patel uses bold colors. Putumayo has collected an eclectic selection of both traditional and unexpected tunes. A valuable addition to any Teacher Training www. a playful rendition of the Mahabharata. — 92 yogainternational.” So begins Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth. abstract designs. sanskrit chanting mantra yoga cakra-s ayurveda HOLIDAY GIFT SPECIAL: 20% off 2+ products. and provide the full sequence at the end of the book for everyone to try.E.Gifts for the Little Ones Jeeva Finds Courage Instrumental Dreamland Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth By Edie Fischer and CD by Putumayo World Music  By Sanjay Patel and Emily Haynes Leeanne Robinson Parents looking to instill a sense of tranquility and relaxation in their children before bedtime will find this latest offering from acclaimed recording label Putumayo Kids well suited for the task. encourages. Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth is a beautiful work of art. A courageous young boy embarks on a quest to help his injured canine friend and. The illustrations and instructions. the authors present one pose at each stop on Jeeva’s journey (think downward dog. in the process. to miss Wolff’s point: Trust in your own process. Clark also explains how yin yoga benefits specific physical issues and disorders. She provides detailed asana instruction for a host of yin poses and offers sample 60.sanskritsounds. and anatomy to make me want to whip out my notebook and start jotting things down. Which is. fish. if somewhat plain. He’s very important and powerful. Wolff gently admonishes. —Judy Moulton “Ganesha is a Hindu god. and minuscule details to create endearing scenes and lovable characters. —Elizabeth Emer with Nicolai Bachman books • cds • posters • workshops • webinars Presenting the ancient sciences of India directly from the Sanskrit in a clear. 93 .B. though uniform. The idea behind The Global Bhakti Project is compelling. and Sharon Gannon. Nineteen musicians heeded the call. Pick up a copy and help support The Global Bhakti Project (findbalance. along with many other teachers and students. Relax into Yoga: Finding Ease in Body and Mind.home. but always sweet. at times plaintive. and the music. cancer. David Life. and sincere. low-key. are featured. That heart-wrenching introduction led her on an impressive journey to discover what yoga is all about. Yoga Is A Transformational Journey Documentary film by Suzanne Bryant After the death of her mother. healthy—but sometimes the older folks and the not-sohealthy ones get left behind. users will find the practices easy to customize and the resources a snap to navigate. but Lurey’s digital album manages a consistent tone and sensibility— mellow. filmmaker Suzanne Bryant turned to yoga to help heal her grief. They have designed practices specifically for people who are older or have health challenges. —J. Bryant’s 64-minute documentary chronicles her studies with well-known teachers and even takes her to India in search of the deeper meaning of yoga. Interviews with Alan Finger. you might expect a wide range of styles. —Constance Molleda ■ —K. and the healthy and the not-sowinter 2012-13 yogainternational. is well executed.” Since the project features a disparate collection of world musicians.M. This DVD works perfectly for those wishing to safely add yoga into their overall wellness routine. such as osteo- porosis. Relax into Yoga Finding Ease in Body and Mind DVD with Kimberly Carson and Carol Krucoff Yoga is for everybody: the young and the old. This heartfelt offering is intriguing fare for anyone—beginning students and seasoned practitioners— who wants to delve a little deeper into this practice called yoga. laying down tracks via the Internet to produce seven mantras and two “heart songs. With four main sequences and three skill-building ones to choose from. Yoga teachers Kimberly Carson and Carol Krucoff have rectified this with their new DVD. 500-hour courses. integrative medicine. (510) 548-1680 Ext 301 Liz@gpr4ads.recharge-retreats. www. seniors. 5 for all our programs. 21) Summer 2013: March 1 (on sale May 24) See form on next page for details. exploring! Lynn Matthews. 6 (on sale Feb. Multi-style yoga VINYASA/HATHA TEACHER TRAININGS Month-long residential 200.yoga4life@gmail. and personal transformation lead you through a revitalizing and life-transforming 200 hr YTT in carefully selected international venues. Workshops. lynn. go to your eBookstore or www. bodyworkers. certified ParaYoga teacher. www. Lanita www. yin. Promo: YI-FLY1 www.savannahyoga.embraceyoga4life. Maine. To place an ad contact: Liz Dalbianco Goodfellow Publishers’ Reps. 21 days. 500 or 1. (828) 254-0380. Haida yoga. YA 200/500-hr. affordable. April–Bali. 500-hr Teacher Training Programs. 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and address changes to us at the above address. The offices of Yoga International are located at 952 Bethany Turnpike. Yoga International (ISSN0-71486-02880-2) is published every quarter by the Himalayan Institute. call the number below. Frequency discount 10% for 3 issues. Subscriptions are payable by International Money Order or credit card (MasterCard or Visa). A Free Massage with promo code yogaint for 2013 programs.00 for each additional word. Reproduction or use of editorial or pictorial content in any manner without permission is prohibited. Yoga International cannot be held responsible for loss or damage of unsolicited material. eco-aware venue w/Patricia and Surya. 100-acre retreat center overlooking coastal Maine hills. Dec 2-7. First insertion must be SILENT RETREATS Classical Hatha and yin RETREAT IN TULUM MEXICO March 2-9. the harmony of existing faiths and religions. solitude. Subscriptions are $15 annually in the CATEGORIES: Books & Periodicals. 4 ʺ=$600. a nonprofit organ winter 2012-13 yogainternational. Watch testimonial videos at: www. 31 day money back guarantee. Atlantean for a healthier you! AKUPARA YOGA RETREATS Authentic yoga and vegetarian food in natural settings worldwide.wildquest. © 2013 by the Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy of the USA. simplicity. Health Products. DISPLAY CLASSIFIEDS: 4 Color: 1ʺ=$250. manuscripts. water-based eco-printing. and physical.meditationbangles. Liz@gpr4ads. Yoga International reserves the right to final formatting/positioning. pranayama and Vipassana meditation retreat on Tulum’s spectactular beach at out of the ordinary. or healing modality. (570) 253-4929.SWIMMING WITH WILD DOLPHINS The ultimate Human–Dolphin Connection. (888) 666-6412 www. All rights reserved. Communities. Pennsylvania 18431. 2ʺ=$400. For more information e-mail SMoulton@HimalayanInstitute. Vipassana meditation. Dec 27-Jan 1. REGULAR CLASSIFIEDS: $85 for 20 words + $2. assorted colors. 3 ʺ=$465. using same copy. and art work must be accompanied by a self-addressed. (888) 666-6412 95 . Yoga Jewelry ISSUES SPRING 2013 SUMMER 2013 (February–April) (May–July) DEADLINE ON SALE DATE December 6 March 1 February 21 May 24 Rates and deadlines/dates subject to change. Audio & Video. personalized classes in Sedona. Holistic Tools. 800-326-1618. 20 word minimum. www. healthy food. letters to the editor. photography. Liz Dalbianco (510) 548-1680 CONTACT: Goodfellow Publishers’ Reps. Yoga International is published to promote the authentic teachings and practices of yoga. Manuscripts. Regular Classifieds must be prepaid.rollingmeadowsretreat. For international rates. please call (570) 253-4929 or 800-253-6243 ext. 3 ʺ=$525. (954) 525-7726 www. 2 ʺ=$340. The publication of advertisements in Yoga International is not an endorsement of any specific practitioner. Retreats. Contact for specifications/details. Yoga. mental. short and long sleeve. For subscription orders and information.akuparayoga. Honesdale. Frequency discounts available. and self-discipline for individual growth on three levels: spiritual. and all insertions prepaid at one time. 15% for 4 issues (one year)—must be run in consecutive issues. CLASSIFIED AD ORDER INFORMATION YOGA JEWELRY IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL CLARITY with Ayurvedic Gemstone Bangles. Ayurveda. Email: Yoga Teachers & Yoga Studios Sell Yoga International magazine to your students and receive great wholesale rates.yogawarehouse. The reader should properly investigate any service or product offered in claims made before making a health care APPAREL YOGA SUTRA T-SHIRTS Organic cotton T-shirts. www. healing Caribbean Island Retreats. AZ. 4 ʺ=$540. VISIT shop. stamped envelope. product. Schools & Training. Send all editorial mail. Black/White: 1ʺ=$190. Private. men’s and women’s. Classical Hatha and yin yoga. Printed in the USA.rollingmeadowsretreat.

96 yogainternational. unbroken. So would I softly. n From Flame and Shadow by Sara Teasdale ( winter 2012-13 Nuno Silva / istockphoto.CONTEMPLATION Like Barley Bending By Sara Teasdale Like barley bending In low fields by the sea. . Rise from Like barley bending And rising again. night long. Singing in hard wind Ceaselessly. 1920). Day long. Change my sorrow Into song. So would I.

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