Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Giving and Receiving

Image Source: oneloveorigami
Today, many of us will participate in the exchange of gifts.  As yogis, we may see this as an opportunity for swadyaya or self-study. 

The exercises below were recommended by Ram Dass in 1974 as part of a course on the Bhagavad Gita.  He suggested choosing two and then journaling about them. 

You may already have “done” a couple of them today!  All you need now is a little time for reflection.

 “Paths to God, Living the Bhagavad Gita” by Ram Dass (Harmony, 2004, pages 260-261). 

Giving Exercises:

  1. Give away fruit on the street.   Take enough to last a few hours so that you’ll experience a wide range of responses from people.  Offer it to passersby.  You might try doing it at two locations:  one where many people are hungry (industrial and campus lunchtime) and then one where they’re probably not (middle-class shopping area in mid-afternoon).  Watch the difference in your inner and outer behavior in the two places.  Don’t be attached to the fruits.
  2. Give away some of your possessions.
  3. Give away something you don’t care about and then give away something that is precious to you.
  4. Give something to someone you like and then something to someone you don’t know or are not quite straight with.
  5. Give two gifts – buy one and make the other.
  6. Give something to your parents or your children.
  7. Give away money anonymously.
  8. Give fruit or sweets at an institution – a mental hospital or orphanage or old-age home.
  9. Give something to a child and then something to an adult.
  10. Give time.  Offer an hour or a day in service to a friend or institution.
  11. Give it all away. (Except for your journal.) Because the administrators of the course have not done this particular exercise, we are offering it as useful based on hearsay. 
Receiving Exercises:

  1. For one day eat only what is offered to you by others.  (Don’t tell anyone what you are doing until the day is over.)  Many yogis in India practice this tapasya.  It helps you realize that you are not the Prime Doer and awakens you to the level at which it is being done for you.
  2. Reflect on recent things that have been given to you and your reactions to these gifts.”
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and thank you for the gifts you've given me throughout the year!  I'm so grateful for your time, your friendship, your kindness, your love, your patience, your participation and your offerings of all kinds!  May they come back to you a thousand-fold!

Sunday, 16 December 2012


Winter Solstice

Kundalini Yoga, Gong and Meditation with Satwinder Sran
Kirtan with Tara Woltjen

Friday, December 21 6:00 to 9:00 pm
At Yoga Within: 9014 - 75 Street Edmonton
(780) 450-9642(YOGA)

Come celebrate the time when darkness rules!

This is the time of year the ancients considered the ‘Gateway to God.' The gods of the ancient Babylonians, Egyptians and Greeks were all born at this, the darkest time of the year, to bring light.

In this transition, expand beyond your imaginings to illuminate the Divine Light within!

Embrace this moment in the quiet cycle of life—Winter Solstice—to deepen your intentions.

Ask yourself:
What do I want to leave behind in 2012?
What do I want to bring forward for my Self in 2013?
What do I want to bring forward for the world in 2013?

          Cost $25 before Dec 21st and $35 at door

The Gita, Courage and the Unknown

Yogini Maheshwari
Thank you to all of the Yoga teacher trainees at Yoga Within and Breathe Yoga Studio for your enthusiasm and contributions as we studied the Bhagavad Gita!

It seems to me, that in a sense, we could all relate to Arjuna as we reflected on our own inner battles and concerns about the "Unknown".

I told you about my dear Teacher, Swami Swaroopananda, and then lo and behold, this video in the latest Sivananda Bahamas newsletter. 

I just had to share it with you! 

Thanks and blessings to you all!  I look forward to seeing you again next time!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Prayers for Ravi Shankar

I offer my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Sitar legend Ravi Shankar,who left his body yesterday at the age of 92.

Ravi Shankar has been a immeasurable influence on Indian music and is credited with bringing Indian music to the west.

Well known for teaching Beatle George Harrison to play Sitar, he is also the father of a new Sitar Virtuoso, Anoushka Shankar and Jazz Siren Norah Jones.

I have been loving and listening to his music for nearly twenty years and wish his family and fans fond memories and a continued relationship with him through his musical legacy.

Ravi, of Noble Birth, may you travel swiftly through the transitory states of existence to a harmonious rebirth or to the heavenly realms where the Gandharvas will surely welcome you with open arms and open hearts!