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10 Things to Do After You’ve Completed Your Yoga Teacher Training


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10 things to do after your Yoga Teacher Training:

1) * Establish a Daily Practice. *

Rather than rigidly forcing yourself to carve out a huge block of time for practice, follow the principle, “A little bit each day goes a long way.” Yes, in general, it’s better to stay consistent with your yoga practice, even if that just means less each day, than to do it for awhile, stop, then come back, or use the “weekend warrior” approach. In the Yoga Sutras, we find: 1.14 When that practice is done for a long time, without a break, and with sincere devotion, then the practice becomes a firmly rooted, stable and solid foundation. (sah tu dirgha kala nairantaira satkara asevitah dridha bhumih). Remember also that yoga “practice” does not just mean what you do on the mat, but everything we do in life. Each moment we can be practicing mindfulness, conscious awareness of how the mind works, the attachments we have, and the choices we make. ***

2) * Keep going to class! *

Continue to attend as many different yoga classes as you can, exploring the wide variety of styles and teachers available. You might especially want to try a style of yoga that you have been a bit afraid of trying, for whatever reason. If you are not able to attend classes, there are many helpful videos available online. Websites you might want to explore for this: Myyoga.com. Myfreeyoga.com . DoYogaWithMe.com. Youtube. YogaJournal.com. And create your own videos! (see below)

3) * Keep Teaching! *

After your Yoga Teacher Training program, you might not feel ready quite yet to jump right in and start teaching people you’ve never met. So instead, I recommend teaching at least 2 classes per week to family and friends (more would be better, again, for consistency’s sake). Or even practice teaching in front of a mirror, or to your pet goldfish, but keep practicing! Also, study teachers who particularly inspire you, but always be yourself when you teach.

4) * Seek out other ways of staying motivated, inspired, and educated about yoga. *

For instance, there are Continuing Education opportunities for Yoga beyond just yoga classes, which include workshops, retreats, conferences, festivals, and other gatherings. You might even consider another Teacher Training in a style of yoga that you want to explore more deeply. Find someone in your area who is specificially offering Continuing Ed. for yoga. Perhaps befriend another local Yoga teacher and continue your learning together, or inspire your partner to explore yoga together with you.

5) * Study Yourself *

At least once a month, consider doing a video and/or photo shoot of yourself doing yoga and/or teaching yoga (a video shoot would be better, of course, because you can observe more). Self-study (or in Sanskrit, Swadhyaya, one of the 5 Niyamas of the Yoga Sutras), also involves being understanding your character better, and your place in the world. To learn more about yourself, you might delve more deeply into your astrology, take a personality test like the Enneagram, do “Shadow” work (ways in which we unconsciously sabotage ourselves), share satsang (open, honest communication) with a close friend, or read an insightful book. As for the latter, the various yoga scriptures are a good place to start, and these books include The Vedas, The Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Yoga Sutras; or read many of the fine books on yoga that have been published in the last century, such as “Autobiography of a Yogi” (Yogananda), “Light on Yoga” (Iyengar), “Yoga and Health” (Yesudian and Haich), “The Mirror of Yoga” (Richard Freeman), “Be Love Now” (Ram Dass), “Yoga Beyond Belief” (Ganga White), among many others. [Note: I will be posting a bibliography with a number of recommended titles in the near future.]

6) * Register with Yoga Alliance. *

I didn’t put this and the next recommendation (#7) sooner because these won’t be that essential for everyone to do, especially if you will not be teaching yoga at a yoga studio or fitness center. I have discussed this and #7 below in a previous blog post, which you can read HERE. .

You might also want to consider looking into other possibilities for registration. For example, there is an organization called “The International Yoga Federation” (http://www.internationalyogafederation.net/), that offers an international registration which is less expensive than Yoga Alliance. A friend recently told me about a group called Yoganomics (Yoganomics.net) which describes itself as “Indie Yoga” and questions the authority of Yoga Alliance. I don’t have much of a take on all of this as yet as I have not fully explored the issues. I am just presenting this to you as options to consider and to investigate further yourself.

7) * Consider getting yoga insurance. *

Yoga insurance can be a useful thing to have “just in case,” yet I also feel the best insurance is to practice “ahimsa” (non-harming) in everything we do as much as possible. As we become more loving beings (or rather, tap more into the love within ourselves), then we will not have to be fearful of others harming us. This idea is found in the Yoga Sutras (2.35): “As a Yogi becomes firmly grounded in non-injury (ahimsa), other people who come near will naturally lose any feelings of hostility.”
(ahimsa pratishthayam tat vaira-tyagah)

8) * Develop a personal yoga business plan for yourself. *

Yogi Berra once famously said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might not get there.” So plan things out, and the create concrete, doable action steps. As far as your plan goes, base it on your personal vision for your life, based on your greatest passions, inspirations, & dreams. And dream BIG, knowing that anything & everything is possible with time, patience, perseverance, & practice. As far as your actions steps go, you might want to create a website (WordPress is a great way to do it because it is cheap, user-friendly, and has great Search Engine Optimization), make business cards (Vistaprint is also cheap and effective), write a professional bio, make a portfolio of professional profile pictures, create an email clientele database & start a newsletter (I love Mailchimp), and/or even write your own complete business plan using an online website such as Biztree, Bplan, or Liveplan. There are also organizations out there these days geared specifically toward the financial stability of yoga professionals, such as Zen Business Bootcamp (Zenbusinessbootcamp.com). The truth is that being a new yoga teacher in today’s economy can be a challenge, yet life is abundant and there is no reason why you cannot reach financial independence through your teaching. All it takes is to live your passion, planning, and take those consistent action steps toward fulfilling your dreams, remembering that: “No one plans to fail. We fall to plan.”

9) * Network *

Network with other local yoga teachers, businesses, and also online. Attend local yoga and yoga-related events in your area such as kirtans, yoga studio parties and grand openings, movie nights, spiritual gatherings, etc. Or, host your own event! As far as online networking goes, Facebook is one of the best ways these days to network and market your yoga, especially by creating events and inviting friends to them. Beyond Facebook, there are a number of alternative social networking communities out there, too, such as Evolver (Evolver.net). You might also want to be listed on one or more of the many yoga listing sites out there, such as the Yoga Network (yoganetwork.org), Yoga Finder (yogafinder.com), and Yoga Directory (yogadirectory.com). Finally, consider reading the following Yoga Journal article on the subject of networking for yoga teachers.

10) * Practice random acts of (yoga) kindness. *

Finally, in all the business and “busy-ness” we are doing, let us not forget the deeper message and true Spirit of yoga, which is to find a place of contentment, freedom, pure love, compassion, and stillness. We are here not to be dependent or make others dependent on us, but to give them the tools so that they can free themselves and become more and more independent. This independence will come from releasing our attachments to things, one big one being our attachment to money and the monetary system as it is. So remind yourself of this by giving the great gift of yoga for free, whether it’s by offering a free class each week, teaching a friend or stranger yoga, raising awareness about yoga, or even just giving someone on the street a hug or making them smile. I recently attended a class where the teacher encouraged us all to make 10 people smile that day. I thought that was nice : )

LOVE, Allowah

* This piece is dedicated to all of our recent graduates in Maui, Florida, & Costa Rica. *

Maui Yoga Teacher Training

It Is Truly the Day of the Mother: My Path to the Devine Mother Goddess


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First, Happy Mother’s Day, to all Mothers, including the Devine Feminine that resides in each one of us!

Also, to acknowledge that the time we are in right now is all about the re-empowering & re-surgence/emergence of the Devine Feminine on this planet!

Spiritual wisdom traditions honor the feminine principle first and foremost. Women have seen degradation as a part of Patriarchal systems, yet at the core of these traditions, too, is the understanding that women are spiritually superior, being in general more naturally attuned to spiritual realities than men.

I am often asked when and how I got into yoga. I do my best to tell the story about it, yet know that “half the story has never been told” and could never be told really. My journey has been as complex and unique and frankly, indescribable, as anyone else’s, and I perhaps would do it more justice by remaining silent. Still, because I am asked, I do attempt to say something that might be helpful. And today, because it is Mother’s Day, and because we are about to embark on this amazing yoga journey together, I feel inspired to make another attempt, with the caveat that this all doesn’t begin to touch what really happened (of course)…

I was first introduced to yoga in the summer of 1994 when my mother and I did a yoga series at the local high school. I know it was that summer because the movie “Forrest Gump” had just come out, and I recall the yoga teacher recommending it to all of us as being a film that definitely has the yoga spirit (and it does! one of my all-time favorites!) Although, I enjoyed this particular yogi’s class sessions, which were primarily Hatha Yoga sessions, I was not really very stimulated or inspired by his presentation, at least enough to continue to practice yoga after the sessions concluded.

I also want to mention that two years prior to this, in the summer of 1991, this freaky, semi-emaciated guy came to a garage sale we were holding and strongly recommended that I read “Autobiography of a Yogi,” by Yogananda. I did take his advice and purchased the book at Borders, but read only the first several pages, giving it up for being too weird and not very believable. (Five years later, once I had been exposed to the things I am about to share with you, I read the book hungrily in about a week or so…)

My point is, as we have always heard, “When the student is ready, the teacher (or teaching) will appear.” I was not yet ready…

So when I am asked about how I got into yoga, generally I say that I was on a spiritual quest that led me to the study of philosophy as an undergrad, and ultimately to a deep encounter with my own birth religion, Judaism, after college. I actually studied Judaism in-depth in Israel from late 1991-1994, in the process becoming an Orthodox Jew, and as a result somewhat intolerant of, and intolerable to, people, mainly close family and friends. This never sat too well with me, because i didn’t feel myself to ultimately be a judgmental or intolerant person, and I kind of felt I needed to be that to some degree. Perhaps that was my misunderstanding. I also intuited, correctly I feel, that my path in this lifetime was not to get tied down to anyone religious system, or any system, period, and rather to dive deeper into the quest to understand an experience I had when I was 19…

That experience was an experience of falling in Love for the first time. Without going into details right now, for me this experience was the experience to end all experiences. This experience was nothing other than enlightenment itself. And yet, I wasn’t enlightened, for though it lasted for several months, I ultimately could not hold it and finally returned back down to my far more earthbound, prosaic existence. Yet, as with all such experiences, it was only when it’s over that you realize you had IT, and then the quest/ion becomes: How to get it back?!?!?

And the truth is, you never do — at least not THAT experience. But that was an initiation into the Quest, which leads to gradually, over time, to embodying more and more what you learned from that experience. Until at some point, maybe, you are fully embodying Love all the time, and you never go up or down again, but retain in a state of “samatva” (a Sanskrit word meaning evenness, balance, equilibrium) all the time. I speak here not from mere hearsay or belief, but from knowing based in lived experience.

So after that experience at 19, I was on a constant quest to understand what THAT was all about, and I was searching all the time, though with more or less urgency. To make a long, involved story short & sweet, the quest took me back from Israel, out of being an Orthodox Jew, to the study of Comparative Religion in Grad school, and then into the wide, wild world of yoga. I was introduced to it all through a woman colleague in the Religious Studies Dept. who was an Indologist, meaning a student of all things Indian (East Indian). She saw that I was searching for something and took me under her wing and began to introduce me to people and things I would never have believed existed in this day and age.

Again, to make a long story short, in the Spring and Summer of ’96, I essentially met 4 women teachers from India, all considered “saints” (also, gurus, holy mothers, Goddess incarnate, and so on), who all assisted in turning my world upside down, and not just through standing on my head (I got into Hatha Yoga later). I also met a woman who is considered God incarnate by her many devotees, but which I had much difficulty seeing as such, and which led me to learn to differentiate from spirituality which is truly Universal and applicable to all, and that which is self-serving and cultish.

What I felt and learned at that time in my life was so immense that words will fail me. Let me just say that it felt like a kind of homecoming, truly. I had been searching for something I knew not what nearly all of my adult life, and now here it was — my path, my tribe. The people who had experienced what I had experienced, in their own way, and were on this path of the heart as I was. I never imagined such a thing even existed in this world, partly because I felt so different than everyone — and yet, here it was. I often quote the opening lines of John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High”: “He was born in the summer of his 27th year/coming home to a place he’d never been before/he left yesterday behind him/might say he was born again/ might say he found the key to every door…” That was what happened to me. It was a re-awakening, and a discovery of my true calling in this lifetime. I knew then that I would be on this path for the rest of my life, and indeed, I still am after 16 years, and it looks like I’ll be on it for another 60 (and that’s just a figure of speech, it doesn’t matter to me how long I live, just as long as fulfill my highest dharma in this lifetime).

I also learned that I probably hadn’t gotten into yoga or even had it on my radar before because I needed to be introduced via the Divine Feminine. It had to be my woman friend and mentor in grad school, and then also through these women teachers I met, as well as my first girlfriend and spiritual partner in this lifetime, who interestingly materialized in my life right at this time, too. Ironically, as well, this was all happening while I was staying in the room my maternal Grandmother had lived in all throughout our childhood(!) It was all too cosmic. And I also probably didn’t even truly appreciate it enough!

So you’re probably wondering what all happened with all of this (I am, too!), and who my teachers were, etc. I do want to honor my teachers today by just saying a few words about each, and directing you to their websites. I am still blown away by all of them, and I still wish to learn more from all of them. At the same time, I realize, too, that they will only help to bring out what is already within me, and that there is wisdom in not being attached to the teacher, but rather to thoroughly imbibe and embody the teaching.

The first woman teacher I met was Shree Maa, and her Swami, Swami Satyananda Saraswati, who I actually don’t see as 2 people, but really just one awesome teacher. My friend knew they were coming in to one of the New Jersey airports (forget which one) to visit some devotees, all the way from their ashram in Napa Valley, so we drove together to receive a private airport darshan (audience) with them. My friend and I sang the Hanuman Chalisa (40 Verses to Hanuman — a well-known traditional chant) all the way there, which I so loved! I also loved meeting these 2 holy people, their energy was just so amazing, I was so high from the whole experience. The Swami had me doubled over in laughter almost immediately, and I could tell that Shree Maa was seeing something in me when she asked, “Are you planning to go to India?” (I wasn’t yet, but I did make it there not long thereafter.) Anyway, that began a relationship with these 2 spiritual powerhouses that helped to radically alter my life For more about them, their website is www.shreemaa.org

The next teacher my mentor took me to see was Ammachi, who is often called “The Hugging Saint,” because her darshan consists of hugging people — literally thousands of them a day. Ammachi is perhaps the highest profile living Indian saint today, but back in ’96 when I first met her at a church in New York City, she was nowhere near as famous and celebrated as she is now. In a way, I didn’t as much personal connection with Ammachi as my other teachers, and yet there was a sense in which I found her to be the most inspiring of all. My first darshan with her was just incredibly devine & sublime, and when Ammachi looked at me in the eyes after my hug, I really sensed that she saw me, she really knew who I was, and that I had returned home again in this lifetime. This message came in just a few seconds. I subsequently read all of the Ammachi books, and was also very influenced by the music put out by her group. I received her darshan each summer for the following 5 years after that. For more about Ammachi, her website is www.ammachi.com .

The same week that I went to see Ammachi with my friend, I also received the darshan of Anandi Ma at a private gathering in the home of one of her devotees. Anandi Ma wasn’t as high profile as Ammachi, and clearly didn’t attract the multitudes like her South Indian sister, yet there is a sense in which Anandi Ma played the most central role of all in my spiritual development. Not only did I receive my spiritual name, Jagadish, from Anandi Ma, but I also received Shaktipat Initiation, which is essentially an energy transmission from teacher to student to stimulate the kundalini energy, awaken the chakras, and ultimately lead to liberation. This initiation that I received ultimately led me to perceive certain spiritual realities that I at that point doubted were even possible, let alone something I could actually perceive in my body. A simple example was just feeling my chakras, that they were real, that they existed and would move in response to the practices I was doing. I attribute these experiences to my shaktipat initiation from Anandi Ma, as well as several other experiences, some quite subtle, some more tangible. Being around Anandi Ma’s group, I also saw people having some of the most amazing experiences right before my very eyes, things that my overly critical, academically-trained mind could not deny or reason away. It all radically altered my worldview. In any case, that’s all I will say right now. For more about Anandi Ma and her organization, DYC, please visit www.dyc.org

Finally, and last but certainly not least, that summer my mentor also took me to see another Devine South Indian saint, Sri Karunamayi, and interestingly for me, it was the synagogue in Philadelphia that had been designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Of all of three teachers I have mentioned, it was with Karunamayi that I developed the most personal, Mother-Son relationship, going to visit her ashrams in South India no less than 5 times (5 separate trips to India), and also receiving mantra initiation from her. My heart was opening to greater and greater depths around all of my teachers, and perhaps none moreso than Karunamayi, who as her name says (it means “Compassionate Mother” in Sanskrit), is truly an embodiment of lovingkindness, of compassion for all life. From Karunamayi, I learned to smile even more from the heart, and to live ever more deeply in my true nature, which is blissful, loving union. As with all of my teachers, I don’t feel that I was sufficiently grateful to Karunamayi, nor did I truly recognize the degree of their greatness, as my little ego felt threatened. I write this in acknowledgment of this, and that I am now ready to return to the fold, the rest under the wings of the Great Mother again. For more about Karunamayi, go to www.karunamayi.org .

Well, thank you for reading this, and for hearing a little of my story, which must still remain a mystery both to you and to me. Yet this might have been helpful, I hope it has, and I do welcome your comments about it all.

So 3 Cheers for the Devine Mother in All Her Wonderful WoManifold Forms — in Nature, in SuperNature, in all women, in men, too, everywhere!

3~’ 3~’ 3~’ JAI! JA! JAI! Hooray Hooray Hooray!!!

Mahalo Ma! Mamaste! (Mama Stay in My Heart!:)

Maui Yoga Teacher Training

Yoga Alliance & Yoga Insurance: Frequently Asked Questions


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YOGA ALLIANCE

What is Yoga Alliance?

Yoga Alliance is currently the main organization for yoga education and support in the United States, with a national Yoga Teachers’ Registry that now serves thousands of registered yoga teachers.

Students often ask me about what the difference between being “certified” and being “registered” is, and what you will receive from me once you are finished our yoga training?

Well, first, our program is a 200 Hour Yoga Alliance Registered program. This means that by the end of your 200 Hour training, you will receive a certificate from us that acknowledges your successful completion of the program. You are now certified to teach yoga.

What you will then do is go onto the Yoga Alliance website, create a new account, and then fill out the Registration Application, send it in with a copy of your certificate and the $80 registration fee, and wait for confirmation that you are now an “RYT 200,” meaning a Registered Yoga Teacher at the 200 Hour level. You will also receive a card from Yoga Alliance that affirms you are now a registered member — a card-carrying member of Yoga Alliance, oh my! Jai!

Students also frequently ask whether it’s important to be registered with Yoga Alliance at all? Well, as usual, it depends…Mainly on whether or not you will be teaching at a place that requires official confirmation that you are a registered yoga instructor. In general, in this day and age I would say it is a good thing to be registered because it tells people that you have the credentials to teach, though in reality, as we know, credentials dont necessarily a qualified teacher make! Generally, it takes years of dedicated and devoted study and practice to become a really good yoga teacher. Anyway, here’s Yoga Alliance’s answer to this question:

Why Register with Yoga Alliance?

And here are the standards we follow for our Yoga Teacher Training Programs (back in 2006, I designed a program following these standards that was accepted by Yoga Alliance):

Yoga Alliance Standards for 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Programs

And for those of you who are already registered with Yoga Alliance, here are the Continuing Education Standards:

Continuing Education Standards

3~’

YOGA INSURANCE

One question many new yoga teachers ask is whether they need yoga liability insurance. And the answer is again, as usual, it depends…It depends on whether: 1) You can afford it!; and 2) You really feel you need it — if you’re not working at a yoga studio or other similar establishment, and only teaching part-time, it might not be necessary to get it.

My sense is that if the energy and service you put out as a yoga teacher is high quality, you will not need to be concerned that someone will bring a lawsuit or other legal action against you for some mishap that occurs in your class (group or private). If you have the money, of course (and not all yoga teachers do — we’re going to be working on this!), then sure, you might feel better being able to tell prospective students you are “licensed and insured,” that might inspire more confidence in you as a professional.

Personally, in my 12 years of teaching yoga, I have gone at least a couple of years without insurance, and it didn’t make any difference whatsoever. Yet I was not working at a yoga studio during that time, and most yoga studios these days do require that you have insurance. So, with that said, here are some different sites online where you can purchase your yoga insurance:

Namasta is potentially the cheapest option:
Namasta Insurance

Next least expensive is this one:
Alternative Balance Insurance
Prices Range from $119-$179 per year

More expensive,
but with a lot of great extra perks for signing up,
is Yoga Journal’s provider:
Yoga Journal Benefits Plus Insurance

I’m sure there are at least several other insurance providers online, too, these are just some of the more well-known and visible ones.

So I hope this helps, and I invite your feedback on whether you have found this helpful, and what other specific “Business of Yoga” questions you might have…

To Your Success! Jai!

: ) Allowah ( :

Maui Yoga Teacher Training

Happy Birthday, Buddhafull !


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It is said that soon after his enlightenment the Buddha passed a man on the road who was struck by the Buddha’s extraordinary radiance and peaceful presence. The man stopped and asked,

My friend, what are you?
Are you a celestial being or a god?

No

said the Buddha

Well, then, are you some kind of magician or wizard?

again the Buddha answered

No

Are you a man?

No

Well, my friend, then what are you?

the Buddha replied

I am awake

 

The Buddha

Maui Yoga Teacher Training

Quotes for the Quest


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Some Fave Short Yoga Quotes:

“Cultivate Beginner’s Mind.” (Zen)

“Asana (Posture) will be steady & comfortable.” (Yoga Sutras)

“Spell GURU… Gee You Are You!”

(“God, Guru, and Self are One.”)

“The mouth is made for eating, the nose is made for breathing.”

“Yoga is skill in action” (Bhagavad Gita)

“Yoga is as Yoga does.” (Elvis : )

“Yoga is the harmonization of thought, word, and deed.” (Gandhi)

“Go within, or do without.”

“Seek first the kingdom of God.” “The Kingdom of God is within you.” — There is nothing outside which is not inside… (Gospels)

“As Above, So Below.”

“‘Always’ is always wrong, and ‘Never’ is never right.”

“Hatha Yoga without meditation is blind; meditation without Hatha Yoga is lame.”

Mind Your P’s and Q’s: Practice, Perserverance, Patience — Quest, Question, Quality

“Practice Makes Permanent.” (Ericananda)

“Through repetition the magic is forced to reveal itself.”

“The harder I work, the luckier I seem to get.” (From an Ad I saw in India)

“This thing we seek cannot be found by seeking…and yet, only seekers find It.”

“Yoga helps you to become comfortable in uncomfortable positions.” (Daniel Pinchbeck)

“If you wanna get to It, ya gotta go through it.” — Directly face your fears, don’t avoid.

“Faith –> No Fear…
Fear –> No Faith!” (Yoga Proverb)

“An attitude of gratitude leads to beatitude.”

“Keep up, and you will be kept up.” (Yogi Bhajan)

“Less is More” — “Keep it Simple!” — “Enough is Enough!” — “Easy Does It!”

“Haste Makes Waste,
Waste Makes Worry,
Do Not Be
In a Hurry.”
(Sai Baba)

“If life were perfect, it wouldn’t be.” (Yogi Berra)

“The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not for everyone’s greed.” (Gandhi)

“Love is all you need.” (John Lennon)


“The love you take is equal to the love you make.” (Beatles)


And Some of Mr. Smiley’s Personal Faves:

“Yoga — Get with DeProgram ”

“Yoga shall be your undoing.”

“Your Being is Very Becoming.”

“Truly living in the Here & Now is to live NowHere.”

“Love is the answer…what was the question?”


Please add your favorite short yoga quote or quotes in the comments section below, thank you!


Congratulations on Making the Journey! “Showing up is half the battle!”

LOVE ♥ LOVE ♥ LOVE ♥

Maui Yoga Teacher Training

Yoga of the Sun: Gymnastique Exercises with Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


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As I’ve already mentioned in the first post on this blog, we will be delving into the teachings of Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov together at our yoga immersion (see below).

I was curious as to what Master Omraam’s yoga exercises looked like, so I looked them up on Youtube, and here is what I found…

Here is the information on the Youtube video itself, written in French (Omraam’s second language, after moving to France from Bulgaria):

Exercices de gymnastique dirigés par le Maître Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov au Domaine du Bonfin en août 1982, avec en voix-off, les formules correspondantes. Ces exercices ont pour but de renforcer le corps énergétique, le système nerveux et d’assouplir et tonifier le corps physique.
On peut, en exécutant cette gymnastique, inspirer sur les mouvements ascendants et expirer sur les mouvements descendants afin d’amplifier son effet sur le corps éthérique (énergétique).

Il est également souhaitable de prononcer ces formules doucement afin qu’elles se réalisent par la parole dans le plan physique.

Si vous faites attentivement et consciemment les exercices de gymnastique, vous obtiendrez de grandes améliorations pour votre santé et votre équilibre dans tous les plans. Ce sont des mouvements simples, faciles que tout le monde peut exécuter. Ils ne développeront certainement pas beaucoup vos muscles mais ils renforceront votre système nerveux et vous permettront d’entrer en relation avec les courants cosmiques”

~ Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov

And here is the translation I got from doing a French to English translation online:

“Exercises of gymnastics directed by the Mr. Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov to the Domain of the Bonfin in August 1982, with in voice-off, the corresponding formulas. These exercises have for goal to reinforce the energizing body, the nervous system and to soften and to tone up the physical body. One can, while executing this gymnastics, to inspire on the ascending movements and to expire on the downward movements in order to amplify his/her/its effect on the body éthérique (energizing).”

Here is what is going through my mind when watching this:

This was recorded in 1982, when Omraam was 82, just two years before he departed this plane. My dad is now 82. All I can say is, Omraam looks and moves very well for a man his age!

This is all fascinating to watch, and definitely admirable to see all the members of his group (fraternity) doing all of these movements in sync!   On some level, though, it is unappealing, too, and feels even cultish to my American, post-modern sensitivities (yours, too?)  Yet perhaps this is because we live in such a hyper-individualistic culture where the “group mind” is not always considered to be as important as the individual freedom of choice.  Perhaps we give our egos too free rein/reign?  Perhaps we have denied and rejected the possibility that there are true masters (like Omraam) who can lead us into greater and greater light?

Another thing that I found especially interesting here is that the first set of exercises seem to be almost exactly like ones that I have done before, taught to me by one of my first teachers from India, Sri Anandi Ma, who learned it from her Guruji, Madhusudandasji (aka Dhyanyogi).  These are not so much physical exercises (the word “gymnastic” gives us the wrong impression to us) as spiritual ones, wherein we take in the prana from the earth, sky, and sun, and let it fill and imbue our entire beings.  It’s a beautiful practice, and it does take discipline to really focus on bringing in the light and feeling it pervade your entire body.  In comparison, a lot of yoga today has become just about the workout, desacralized, stripped of its subtlety and beauty.  I take responsibility for this, as I have not always honored these deeper dimensions of the tradition.  This is why I have been placing so much emphasis on exploring Omraam’s teachings in-depth — because I do choose to pay homage to the spirit of yoga in its highest and deepest sense.

I would like to conclude with some further reflections on certain connections I see here. One thing worth noting to me is that since the name “Omraam” was given to Aivanhov by one or several Hindu gurus while he was on pilgrimage to India in the years 1959-60, and it is clearly a name that is of the “Rama” tradition; and my teachers Anandi Ma & Dhyanyogi are of that same tradition, too, perhaps there is some connection between these “gymnastique” exercises and ancient solar yoga exercises passed down through the ages in India? This is certainly a possibility. I was just reading a small pamphelet called “Inner Yajna” today put out by the Sri Aurobindo group in Pondicherry which wanted to make the point that the Vedas have an inner, mystical meaning that most scholars of the Vedas have missed, and that the main God of the Vedas is “Surya,” which is often translated as “Sun” (as in “Surya Namaskar” — the Sun Salutation). So it would make complete sense that Omraam was teaching from this ancient Surya/Solar Yoga tradition, especially as he so emphasized the power of the Sun in his teachings. I have to say, too, that this was perhaps one of the things about Omraam that most drew me toward his teachings, as I, too, recognize the greatness of the sun, and draw upon it every day for sustenance.

Maui Yoga Teacher Training

The Joy of Sanskrit, Part I


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SOME BEAUTIFUL SANSKRIT WORDS & PHRASES

WE WILL LEARN BY USING WHILE WE’RE

TOGETHER:

3~’ AUM (also, OM)

ANANDA – Bliss, Joy, Our True Nature

AMMA/MA – Mother/DEVIne Mother

BABA – Father/Holy Father

AVATAR – Embodiment or Incarnation of the DeVine (You, Me, US!)

DEVI – A Goddess, DEVIne Mother Energy (Kali, Durga, Parvati, You, Me… : )

DEVA – A God (Rama, Shiva, Krishna, You, Me… : )

DHANYAVAD – Thank You!

GURU – The One Who Brings Light to Darkness (we are all each other’s gurus!)

NAMASTE’ – I Honor You As MySelf

SATNAM – Truth (SAT) Is Our Highest Identity (NAM)

SATSANG – True Communion (Come Union); True Communication – COMMUNE-ication

SWAGATAM – Welcome!

SHANTI – Peace (śāntiḥ)

PREMA – DeVine Love

SHANTIPREMA – Peace & Love

SEVA – Selfless Service

LILA (or LEELA) – (The) DeVine Play

SHAKTI – DeVine Energy, Kundalini Energy

SUNDARAM – DeVine Beauty

SADHANA – Our Yoga, Our Spiritual Practice

JAI (also JAYA) – Yay!!! Victory!!!

SWAHA – We Are One/ I Am At One/Yogafication!

TAT TVAM ASI — Thou Art That (You’re IT, Baby!)

LOKA SAMASTA SUKHINOH BHAVANTU –

May Everyone, Everywhere Be Happy!

TATHASTU — SO BE IT!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maui Yoga Teacher Training

Spirit of Aloha Yoga Teacher Training Program, 2012


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Spirit of Aloha Yoga Teacher Training Immersion a 200-hour Yoga Alliance Registered Program in Maui, Hawaii May 25th-June 16th

 

Featuring:

* Vegan Living Food (mostly Raw) * 

* Kirtan and Satsang *

*Flying Yoga * 

* Sacred Hawaiian Wisdom Sharing * 

* Guest Teachers & Speakers * 

* Island Excursions * 

*Sunshine & Bliss : ) *

 

Contacts 

 Naima (808) 344-4922 

naima@cosmicalignment.com

 

Allowah (239) 592-0898

spiritofalohayoga@yahoo.com 

 

                            

  www.allow-ah.com   

 www.TheGardens.org

www.spiritofalohayoga.com

 

 

 

Maui Yoga Teacher Training

The Five Tibetans: A Simple, Everyday Practice for Vibrant Health


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This video is intended for those who might want a nice, simple workout to do any time of the day and anywhere. These five exercises are said to be ancient ones from Tibet (hence the name “The Five Tibetans” or “Five Tibetan Rites”) and are said to promote robust health and longevity. Whether one believes this or not, I find this to be a useful routine, both as a practitioner of yoga for the past 16 years, and also useful as a yoga teacher trainer. Many students like to have a short, structured practice that they can do anytime, anywhere, and this definitely fits the bill. The video itself will explain more how to do them, but do keep in mind that these should be done slowly, coordinating your breath with the movements.

We will be posting more educational “how to” yoga videos like this in the coming months. If you are interested in learning more yoga with us, please feel free to subscribe to this blog, and you might also want to join us for one of our upcoming yoga teacher trainings at beautiful retreat spots around the world. Our next one is at the Spirit of Aloha Botanical Gardens on Maui, from May 25th-June 16th. And we will be back at the Costa Rica Yoga Spa from July 28th-August 18th, 2012. For more information about it, please visit our website: http://www.allow-ah.com. Or email me, Allowah, @ sunshinestateyoga@yahoo.com. Namaste’ & Om Mani Padme Hum! Music by Craig Pruess, “Om Mani Padme Hum,” and Jim Commander, Chakra Tone 4, Heart Chakra. Special thanks to Will Noel for his idea to use the word “SoLiCiTeD” as a mnemonic device. Thanks, Will!

For those of you who are doing the Maui Yoga Teacher Training, we will be learning these when we’re together.

Stay tuned for Master Omraam’s Gymnastic Exercises…