Everything is Spirit.

Anusara Yoga is based on a philosophy that teaches that everything is spirit. You, me, people, animals, plants, inanimate objects, planets, stars; everything is spirit. How is this possible? If everything is spirit, how do we account for multiplicity and diversity? Spirit chooses to divide and subdivide and separate and take on different forms. My favorite comparison is water. Water can be found in almost every living being, in oceans, lakes, rivers, buckets, bottles, houses, steam, clouds, icebergs, ice cubes, etc. It is all water, 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom (H2O), just in different volumes, shapes, and densities. On a bigger scale, Spirit can take on all of the different forms in the Universe, including our bodies, minds, and hearts. Every aspect of our being is simply a different form of spirit. Anusara Yoga is the practice of exploring spirit through physical yoga poses, breathing exercises, meditation, and the study of yoga philosophy.

How do you think of spirit?

May Spirit be with us
Keric

Mantra

"I am one with the Force and the Force is with me."
Chirrut Imwe

Every day, many of the same thoughts run through our minds.  And many of the thoughts are negative because we tend to be hard on ourselves.  The yoga practice of reciting a "mantra" can help to break the cycle of negative thoughts, clear our minds, and help us focus on something positive.  A mantra is a sound, word, or phrase that is repeated silently or out loud to help one focus, concentrate, and/or clear the mind.

A common yoga mantra is "Om Namah Shivaya".  It has been recited by millions of yoga practitioners for hundreds of years.  I like to translate it as "I bow to Spirit" or "I honor Spirit".  I like to recite this mantra when I am stuck on the 5 Freeway in rush hour.

Another mantra that I have been reciting recently is from the recent Star Wars movie, Rogue One.  Chirrut Imwe is the blind Force-sensitive bad-ass rebel.  When he needs to focus his power, he recites the mantra, "I am one with the Force and the Force is with me".  To me, this means that I am connected to the one big Spirit and that same Spirit is within me.  I like to recite this mantra when I get overwhelmed by the craziness of my schedule and when I feel very small or disconnected.

May the Force be with us.
Keric

Aim High

"A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at."
Bruce Lee

 

I find it odd that New Year's Resolutions seem to get a bum rap in our achievement-oriented American culture.  Yoga also tends to downplay the importance of 'goals' and rebrands them as 'intentions'.  But setting clear goals can point us in the right direction, focus our awareness, and drive our efforts toward a specific target.  And even if the we never hit the mark, we will benefit from all the work that we do in our attempt to reach the goal.  So this year, I am setting some high goals for my All Levels Classes.  My students may not achieve them all, but that's beside the point.  Along the way, we will work hard, learn about ourselves and the world, and create joy for ourselves and others.  

Here are a few of my 2017 goals for my Urth Yoga students:

1) Inversions (headstand and handstand) without the wall.
2) A variety of arm balances beyond the basic crow pose.
3) Drop-back to upward facing bow pose with the help of a partner.
4) Full splits and/or put your foot behind your head.
5) Have fun in every class!
 

This does not mean that every single student at Urth Yoga will achieve these poses in 2017.  These poses will serve simply as something aim at.    The goals are extremely high.  We are going to learn and grow and have ton of fun striving for these 'goals'!

May the Force be with us.
Keric