The Yoga Path • Omaha, NE

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{ Practicing Physical, Mental & Spiritual Health }

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This is why we do yoga. This is why we meditate. This is why we attempt to mindfully walk on this earth.

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Filed under: Education

Iyengar’s Legacy

This is very simple video the shows the impact of BKS Iyengar’s teaching.  Wait to watch it when you have 24 minutes to devote yourself to it.

“>Sadhaka: the yoga of B.K.S. Iyengar

Filed under: Education

BKS Iyengar communal yoga practice

Communal Remembrance – Tuesday, Aug 26 7:30pm CDT

Guruji2

BKS Iyengar December 14, 1918 to August 20, 2014

Dear yoga practitioners everywhere,

We invite you to a moment of communal dedication to the memory of Guruji B. K. S. Iyengar for all IYNAUS members and any others who would like to join us.

We know that many of you have already been attending or planning commemorative gatherings, but we have also heard from members that they would like for there to be an event that brings us together as practitioners across the continent.

We suggest that on next Tuesday, August 26, 2014, at 8:30 pm EDT (7:30 pm Central, 6:30 p.m Mountain, 5:30 p.m. Pacific) as many of us as possible, in our own practice spaces or at our yoga schools and institutes, practice the following sequence of asanas (except for Tadasana, we leave the timings to your best judgment):

Tadasana – 3 minutes (mountain pose)
Uttanasana (forward bend)
Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward-facing dog)
Utthita Trikonasana to the right and to the left (triangle pose)
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Uttanasana
Tadasana – 3 minutes

5 minutes seated quietly

We ask that you hold Guruji in your hearts as you do this.

Whether or not a gathering is possible, please, wherever you are, consider joining with us and other practitioners next Tuesday in this collective expression of gratitude to B.K.S Iyengar for what he brought to our lives and the lives of others. As Geetaji said yesterday, “Like rain, he touched all of us equally.”

May we call your attention to something Guruji said about Tadasana? It is from a remembrance by the cricket player Sachin Tendulkar:
“It is essential to master the art of standing correctly. One thousand things that apply to Tadasana apply to every other pose. See how much your intelligence has to peep in, has to go in, even to understand tadasana? When truly in tadasana, one feels light in body and the mind acquires agility.”

In loving memory of Guruji,

Janet Lilly, President of the IYNAUS Board of DirectorsMichael Lucey, Vice President and President Elect

Filed under: Education

Spring Mindfulness Retreat

Here is the announcement about Spring Mindfulness Retreat 2014 sponsored by the Honey Locust Sangha / Omaha Community of Mindful Living.

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Study of “Suchness”

shutterstock_94124290At the Yoga Path this Winter session, we have been studying and practicing the concept of “Suchness.” There is no easy explanation as to the definition of this concept, other then saying that it is touching reality in the present moment without any judgements or preconceived notions about what you are perceiving. We look at something we have seen before, like a flower or a sunrise or a child, as though we were seeing these things again for the first time.  So our experience of all things in the world around us, is fresh and new, not dictated by habitual minds and responses. We see each moment as new and unique.

But recently a student has shared with me an article that makes me see this idea of suchness in a different light. I needed to share it with  you to get your insights.

Anxiety: Startling Suchness

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Discipline of Rewiring the Brain

In June of this year, a 21 day Mindfulness retreat was hosted at Plum Village in France for scientists throughout the world, taught by the Vietnamese  Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh.  At this retreat Thay explained the connection between the five mental formations and the neural pathways in the brain. He describes how, with the practice of mindfulness, we can erase the neural pathways that lead to suffering and open new paths that lead understanding and happiness.

From this came an article by Paul Tingen call Using Mindfulness to Rewire the Brain.We’re reading this article at the end of classes at the Yoga Path to foster a practice of tapa/discipline (the third niyama),. We are striving to do things in our lives that strengthen well-being and thus allowing us to be strong enough to mindfully embrace and transform the suffering in our life.  The link to this article is below.

Rewiring the Brain

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Ujjayi breathing

Enclosed is a excellent demonstration of ujjayi breath done by B.K.S Iyengar at the 1984 yoga convention in San Francisco. He talks about the beautiful sound of the breath.

Filed under: Education

Fifty-one Mental Formations

Mental Formations

Currently in class we’ve been studying the Four Establishment of Mindfulness as taught by Buddha in the Satipatthana Sutta. We’ve come to the third establishment, which is observing “the mind in the mind”. In our readings and discussion we’ve run across reference to the 51 mental formations. This list of 51 is from the  Abhidharma teaching in the Pali Canon. Thich Nhat Hanh talks about these often when referring to manifestations of the mind or “mental formations”, but he seldom lists them. Jokingly he tells how as a novice he was made to memorize them, but in teaching he doesn’t go into detail about them.

However,  western students seem drawn to know what the list of 51 is. I guess we’re always looking for 12 steps or 7 effective habits to help us itemize and plan the changes in our lives. So as requested by many student of the Yoga Path and all other curious oblates here is the list of 51 mental formations.  It would be worthwhile to hear what insights come of reading and absorbing this list. Please comment.

5 Universals
contact
attention
feeling
perception
volition

5 Particulars
intention
determination
mindfulness
concentration
insight

11 Wholesome
faith
inner shame
shame before others
absence of craving
absence of hatred
absence of ignorance
diligence, energy
tranquility, ease
vigilance, energy
equanimity
non-harming

6 Primary Unwholesome
craving, covetousness
hatred
ignorance/confusion
Arrogance
doubt, suspicion
wrong view

20 Secondary Unwholesome
10 Minor Secondary Unwholesome
anger
resentment, enmity
concealment
maliciousness
jealousy
selfishness, parsimony
deceitful, fraud
guile
desire to harm
pride

2 Middle Secondary unwholesome
lack of inner shame
lack of shame before others

8 Greater Secondary Unwholesome
restlessness
drowsiness
lack of faith, unbelief
laziness
negligence
forgetfulness
distraction
lack of discernment

4 Indeterminate
regret, repentance
sleepiness
initial thought
sustained thought

10 Wholesome
(added by Thich Nhat Hanh)
non-fear
absence of anxiety
stability, solidity
loving kindness
compassion
joy
humility
happiness
feverlessness
freedom/sovereignty

3 Unwholesome
(added by Thich Nhat Hanh)
fear
anxiety
despair

Filed under: Education

Meditating Zombie

Meditating Zombie

One of the things that happens when practicing yoga is we calm the mind. I know that if I give myself to the practice, whether it be the poses or breathing or meditation, what starts to happen is that I can slow down enough that I can then stop thinking. Or at least thinking so much. But the operative phrase there is “stop thinking” . For many of us, this “stopping”  is the sticking point. The thought of not thinking How could we do such a thing? Many of us, myself included, have the notion that if we stop thinking, we would, by default, be thoughtless. Or to put it another way, stupid! We’d be unthinking louts walking around without discrimination or judgement. This thought is almost unconscious. Yet our intellect, our memories, our judgments is even more important to us then our faces and the bodies that carry them around. So if we stop thinking, we’d be nothing but some ambling zombie void of personality. So in the back of our meditating minds, being a successful meditator is equivalent to joining the cast of extras in Night of the Living Dead.
And this belief undercuts many of our best efforts to slow the mind down. Or even noticing the quality of our mind in the present moment. Yet sometimes this thinking isn’t all that lofty. Sometime it’s obsessing, worrying, remembering how your brother bullied you 25 years ago, reviewing a grocery list for the 17th time, wishing you had said what you really meant to say last week in that meeting, regretting your past, longing for a better future, wanting a different color car; the list goes on. The thinking mind is often like cable TV with 175 channels and nothing to watch. Wouldn’t it be nice at times to turn it off and rest?
I ran across this statement In Thich Nhat Hanh book: Breathe, You Are Alive!, ask yourself if you believe it? “When we think to much, the quality of our being is reduced. If we can stop thinking, we increase the quality of our being.”  When you read this, do you buy it? I know my busy, obsessive, thinking mind won’t allow such notion of stop thinking, but then when I practice my yoga, I find it’s true every time.

Filed under: Education

What to Practice while Mark is gone

Home Practice

Intro Yoga Poses

Above is a link to file that lists most asanas that students at the Yoga Path would know. People have asked for a handout for these poses through the years, so in my teaching absence until July 1st, I’ve finally relented and am sharing them with you.

Remember the best way to set out to practice yoga is to only do 15 minutes a day, everyday. Sometimes these 15 minute practices turn into 30 minute or possibility an hour. Sometimes not. Doing your yoga everyday though, will bring a lot of health, joy, and peace! This is certain. So why would you deny yourself something that precious?

Remember the Five Friend of Practice:
Faith\Effort\Awareness\Concentration\Insight

Filed under: Education

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