Full Moon, Red Moon, Super Close Moon
End of the Summer
Beginning of School
Season of Change
Returning to You
If you haven’t felt it yet, be prepared. This is a time of big transitions. A time in which you may find yourself feeling restless, untethered, slightly at odds. You may have just experienced some major changes in your life (I sure did) or be about to step into a whole new era of your life. Truly this can be unsettling. But the good news is that you are not alone, and you are most likely moving into such wonderful goodness it will make the all the flux worth it. And there is much you can do to weather these transitions more smoothly.
Here are some suggestions to help you sail the seas of transitions with greater equanimity. These come from the scientific/medical limb of yoga known as Ayurveda. You can choose to adopt some or all of these practices. You can even consult with an ayurvedic doctor near you to help you design a program specifically for your doscha. The most important thing to remember is to take care of and nourish your self, and to honor your body’s need to cleanse, and your spirit/mind’s need to reflect.
Recipe for self-care in times of transition:
Get more sleep – go to bed earlier, but don’t sleep in too late.
Take naps – yes a 20 minute nap can make a huge difference in how you feel.
Take warm baths – they warm you up and give you time for reflection.
Walk at least 20 minutes 3-4 times a week (daily is best) – its good for your heart.
Practice yoga – hold poses longer and add restorative poses to your practice.
Meditate – even just 10 minutes a day will make a huge difference.
Drink less caffeine – when you feel tired, try that 5-10 minute meditation.
Reduce or eliminate alcohol.
Reduce or eliminate sugar, dairy.
Drink more warm fluids or soup.
Add Ghee (clarified butter) to your diet – it lubricates the digestive system and helps to rid the body of toxins.
Avoid spicy foods.
Eat your big meal at mid-day.
Get a massage or two.
Give yourself a massage – rubbing your hands, feet arms and legs with massage oil.
I hope you find this helpful. For more information, refer to Guru-Google and search ayurveda, doscha, fall equinox, etc.
Speaking of changes, by now many of you know I have moved to West Seattle. Its a big change and I am incredibly happy. Don’t worry, I will continue to teach all my classes this Fall at Village Green Yoga and at River Tree Yoga. Unfortunately, I no longer have my home studio, but will be happy to offer private sessions to all of my clients in their homes or at a local studio on the east side. And if you want to practice with a view of the water, I welcome you here in my home.
Warm Wishes for a healthy Autumn.
Shalom & Namaste
Actually, we are about half-way through.
How are you doing with those New Year’s Resolutions? Not meaning to nag or anything, but this is just about that time where we are either congratulating ourselves on a job well-done, or kicking ourselves for not having more “stick-with-it-ness.”
So, first off, isn’t nice to know you are not alone in this. Almost all of us set some sort of new intention at the beginning of the year. Some intentions are easy to maintain, others, not so. As we set those intentions we are envisioning a future where we are no longer plagued by this habit or that habit, or we see ourselves having mastered some amazing new accomplishment or skill. Then, after a couple of weeks, the thrill of the challenge has worn off. Now it just seems like just so much hard work. How do we stay present with our intentions? As we work towards fulfilling them, where do we find the support for our resolutions?
Where? Well, why don’t we look to our yoga sages. Way back when, Patanjali (~400 CE) suggested that our practice should be Sthira sukham asanam. (Patanjali Sutra, II.46). In other-words, the posture/practice should be steady and sweet. On our mats we learn about developing a steady (sthira) practice, and a sweet (sukham) practice. We learn not to push ourselves so hard we collapse in a puddle (puddle-of-go-asana) or pull muscles (strain-asana). We also learn that we must put in the appropriate amount of effort so that we can actually hold ourselves in the posture, but gently. Too little effort and we won’t get there, too much and we burn out. We know it can be hard, and if we only focus on the hard (dukha), it is very difficult to maintain the steady (sthira) practice. So, as we do on the mat, so to can we do with our New Years’ Intentions. Honor the sweetness, the daily, moment by moment successes, stay steady, and resist focusing on what is not working. In this manner, our intentions will become manifest. Stira Sukham Asanam is a mantra not just for your mat, but for living your life.
Was one of your intentions to start or deepen your meditation practice?
Last month I gave you that handy-dandy illustrated guide to meditation. This month I have a little video for you. This one is on the scientific benefits of meditation. I’m so glad this came across my desk when it did, as I was just in the middle of writing a review of the recent research on meditation. Now I can just encourage you to watch this short video.
On a different note, I’m off to Hawaii on Friday for 10 days of sun, surf, hiking, and relaxing. Mark and I have even included a side trip to Oahu for some yoga and music at Wanderlust. I have arranged subs for all my classes, they are pretty amazing, so take this opportunity to experience their unique teaching gifts.
Shalom & Namaste
It’s a blustery day in the Seattle Area. Its windy, its wet, and it’s surprisingly warm. And I am still coming to grips with the fact that we are almost half-way through December. Don’t get me wrong, the fact that Winter Solstice is only 10 days away makes me incredibly happy. It’s just that I catch myself wondering…where did the time go?
I know I am not unique in this wondering. All of us at some point or another are struck by the fact that while time may seem to move incredibly slowly at one moment, most of us often have the feeling that time just keeps slipping away. Dates that seemed so far in the offing are suddenly upon us. Babies become children, children become adults, adults become seniors and each of us find ourselves wondering how did we end up here.
The focus of my classes this week have been on Svadhyaya, or self-study. It is the 4th of the Niyamas, or individual practices identified by Pantanjali (400 CE). This is an integral aspect of our yoga practice. Beyond getting the right alignment for a pose, or moving just so with the breath in a pose, there are also so many questions about our everyday practice. Which poses do we like and not like. Which poses do we avoid? Which poses make us feel powerful? Which bring us healing in times of suffering? Which poses make us mad or make us feel like crying or make us feel triumphant?
Svadyaya is also about the deeper stuff. Why do we feel a certain way in a pose? Do we always feel that way in that pose? What else is going on for us in that pose? Are there poses in which we feel nothing? How is it that putting our bodies in an asana can even elicit that emotional/intellectual response? Why do the asanas do that? Are we even aware of our thoughts and emotions while in any given asana? So, not only are we trying to become more aware of our breath and our movements on the mat, but we are also trying to engage more fully in the study of who we are in each moment, and in every breath.
And if you thought this was just about yoga… it’s not… or it is. It is not just about yoga, if yoga is something that only happens for you on a mat, in a studio, for about an 90 minutes a day. On the other hand, it is all about yoga if you have begun to notice that your yoga is moving with you beyond the mat. It kinda has the habit of doing that. Check out this link from Richard Freeman called Yoga Ruins Your Life, in which he talks about the permeability of yoga, as well as showcasing some very nice asanas guaranteed to make you ooo and ah.
Then these questions, this work of self-study really gets deep. On a daily basis, moment by moment, we begin to explore who we are, what makes us think and feel the way we do, and why. This is, I believe what we call the examined life – a life of self-study. This is a life that allows us to answer that question, Wow, how’d we get here? with something along the lines of ” I don’t quite know, but at least I was awake for some of it. ” Through Svadhyaya, we participate in the most important dialogue of all time; the dialogue that begins with ourselves; the dialogue that enables us to be more fully present in each moment.
Happy Holidays everyone. I hope the Season brings you much light and love. May the questions you ask continue to deepen and expand. Don’t let yourself get too attached to the answers, they will probably change (follow this link). Enjoy the journey and stay full of wonder.
Shalom & Namaste
I told you earlier this month that Fall is the Season of Change. And so it is for me.
My server doesn’t like handling my mailing list. Sending out a regular newsletters was becoming oh so very cumbersome. And I was concerned that not everyone actually associated Kharma Bella Yoga with me, Diana Bonyhadi, the yoga teacher at several different studios.
So, I have decided to create a newsletter and an online presences as Diana Bonyhadi Yoga, and I will be using Mail Chimp for distribution. I have done the research and have determined that it is a safe and respectful service and includes easy to opt-in and opt-out features which will allow you and other yogi friends to choose exactly how often you want to hear from me.
The newsletter will be short, keep you informed of upcoming workshops, changes to my teaching schedule, interesting local yoga events, thoughts on yoga, and perhaps some other juicy yoga tidbits on anything from philosophy to fashion (?), to book reviews, asana, music, food, etc.
If you are not on my mailing list you can easily join by completing the form at the bottom.
The Blog/this website will continue as before.
Do let me know how you like the changes. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you on the mat or out and about.
Shalom & Namaste
I keep hearing the same question:
What kind of yoga class should I go to? How do I choose a teacher? How do I choose a studio?
These are really important questions. No doubt about it, good yoga is good for you. But yoga that is not right for your body, your current state of health, or your level of practice can actually cause damage. Don’t take my word for it. I’m sure you know someone who has a story about going to “that” studio or attending “that” teacher’s class, only to walk out 75 minutes later wonder what had just happened to her/him and why they hurt all over.
Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be sharing with you some easy assessment techniques for discovering the right kind of yoga for you, in this moment.
Today’s offering is simple. No matter where you are, or what class you are attending, your best teacher is you. Listen to your body. List to your breath. Pay attention to yourself with compassion and awareness, and in doing so you will avoid injury.
To learn more or to talk with me directly about your yoga needs, I have included a quick form to ensure that we stay in touch.
Namaste & Be Well
P.S. Don’t forget the Sun Salutation Workshop this Saturday
1:00 – 4:00pm
River Tree Yoga at Tree House Point