Attachment and Letting Go

Good Afternoon Everyone,

I’m sad to announce, that this is my last week teaching at Village Green Yoga and River Tree Yoga until June. Truly, I will miss teaching and my community. You guys bring such light to my life through your dedication, compassion and humor. But it is only a month and I will be back to my regular schedule very soon. In the interim, I have arranged for some excellent subs. So keep doing your yoga and your practice will grow from the wisdom of others.

As I prepare to spend the next month in Berkeley helping my father downsize to a small apartment in a continuing care community, I reflect on what this might mean for him, as well as for myself.

Moving is difficult for everyone. I have read that it is one of the top five stressors in life. I can’t even begin to imagine what it will be like for my father who is 95 and has lived in his current home for the majority of his adult life. He has not only lived in this house for over 50 years, he also designed it himself. It is perhaps his finest work as an architect and is truly a masterpiece of contemporary architecture. It sits on a wooded lot in the Berkeley hills with sweeping views across the San Francisco Bay. Floor to ceiling windows and doors on all sides, beautifully decorated with antiques from Europe and Asia; it is simultaneously inspiring and comforting. He is deeply attached to his home and the separation will be difficult for him. I think perhaps it is part of his identity, and so the stress of moving will be compounded by the separation from a part of his self.

I must also recognize that this is the home in which I grew up, so I am not only dealing with his loss, but I am also dealing with my own. Once he is moved, I will need to sell most of his/our belongings and let go of the security of having a place to land in the Bay Area; a place to share with family and friends, a place which I have always referred to as home. It is a home that is much loved and will be deeply missed.

And yet I am reminded of the yoga teachings concerning attachment. Our attachment to the past, to things being as they were; our attachment to the desire for things to be different from how they are now; and our attachment to material things in general can all lead to pain and suffering as well as distracting us from our ability to reside in the direct experience of the present moment. At this point I will spare you a full dissertation on all of Patanjali’s Sutras which discuss non-attachment, and only lead you in their direction.

  • Sutras I.12,I.15, I.16 – explains that through non-attachment we consciously realize that attachment can create short and long term negative effects.
  • Sutra II.3 – notes that the causes of suffering include ignorance, egoism, attachment, repulsion and  fear.
  • Sutra II.7, II.8 – suggests that attachment is the consequence of pleasure as aversion is the consequence of pain.
  • Sutra II.39 – reminds us that persevering on the path non-covetousness leads to a deeper understanding of the meaning of life.

So, as I get myself ready for this seemingly Herculean task, I will hold fast to my yoga, the practice and the principles. I will remind myself that this too shall all pass. And that this is simply another step in the trajectory of my life. I am grateful to have lived in such a lovely home, grateful that my father has lived such a long and healthy life, and grateful that I have the flexibility to be able to help him in this difficult time.

I thank you in advance for your support and understanding. I look forward to seeing many of you this week, and send you wishes for a happy May.

Shalom & Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi

February Reboot – Intention Keeping

Happy February,

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

Diana Bonyhadi

 

Holiday Gifts

Good Morning Everyone,

It’s Tuesday.  We celebrated Winter Solstice on Sunday night, we are about to celebrate the last night of Chanukah, and tomorrow night is Christmas Eve.  So many opportunities to spend time with friends and family, eats lots of good food and generally have a good time.

Inga and I are offering a free yoga class tomorrow at River Tree Yoga.  9:15am, come in your jammies if you want.  We will be supplying tea and cookies and other such holiday cheer.

I will be teaching almost all my regular classes, except those that fall on Christmas Day, New Years Eve night and New Years Day. So come take care of your body and nourish your spirit.  Lots of yummy poses and meditations are planned for this week.

I came across this  handy guide to meditation I thought you might like.  Yep, one more plug for meditation; you can do it anywhere, anytime, and you know it is good for you.  It is brought to you by Happify, a sort of brain games site for happiness, with the guidance of Dan Harris, ABC News anchor and author of 10% Happier.

Happy Holidays everyone.  Enjoy life, take care of yourselves, give back, nourish gratitude, smile.

Shalom & Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi

meditation-happify-infographic

Sun Salutation Workshop

Sun Salutation Workshop

Saturday, September 27

1:00 – 4:00pm

River Tree Yoga
Tree House Point
6922 Preston-Fall City Road
Issaquah, WA 98027

Sun Salutation – Surya Namaskar  is nothing less than a prayer to the sun, the earth and all that is in between.  As we move through these poses we nourish the body and spirit in deep and powerful ways.  

This sequence of 8-14 poses can be found in its entirety or separately in almost every yoga class.  If you have ever wondered how to step fully into and through each of these powerful poses, then now is the time to learn to own them, enjoy them and truly benefit from them.

This workshop will focus on the elements of alignment within the poses, techniques for transitioning between the poses and the role of the breath throughout the poses.

The workshop is suitable for all bodies and all levels.  Learn how to modify and adapt the poses to ensure safety, and enhance your practice.

$40

 
Call early to reserve a place for your mat.

425-765-3173

Live Music at Gratitude Workshop

Dear Seattle Yogis,

Are you ready for an amazing workshop, guaranteed to open your heart to the abundance of the Holiday Season?  I can’t wait for this Sunday.  I just got off the phone with our musicians and I am so psyched.  We are going to move and chant and be moved by their incredible voices and rhythms.

See you soon.

Diana Bonyhadi

A Practice of Gratitude
Sunday, November 24th
1:00 – 4:00pm

Welcome the Holidays with this Essential Heart Opening practice featuring live music by Tova Ramer and Steve Grant.

Steve has been singing Kirtan for years and has performed with his Bhakti Bliss Band as well as studied with Jai Uttal and Gina Sala. Tova has been singing for years in Jewish, interfaith and folk rock groups in the Seattle area.  She’s inspired by Snatam Kaur, Gina Sala and Deva Premal.

This workshop features heart-opening asanas such as backbends to help you open more fully to the experience of the holidays and digestive asanas to help with you process the physical and emotional  abundance of the season.

Our flow will be beautiful and deep and enhanced by the sweet sounds of live kirtan.

Open to students of all levels.

River Tree Yoga
6922 Preston-Fall City Road
Issaquah, WA, 98027

$40/student, pre-registration strongly recommended.
Workshop limited to 15 students

Contact Diana Bonyhadi to sign up
425-765-3173
Diana@KharmaBellaYoga.com

 

So Many Yoga Books – How to choose?

Happy Friday Yogis.

 

I hope it has been a good week for you.  Mine has had its share of ups and downs, including a most unfortunate auto accident.  Now I get to practice my own best advice.  Breathe, rest, ice, careful alignment and good posture.  I guess the positive is that as a result of the accident, others around me, are being more careful in their own driving practices.  My husband is convinced that as a result of my accident, he was saved from having one himself, as he was now being more present and cautious at the wheel.

Students in my classes at River Tree Yoga and Village Green Yoga continue to inspire me. This week I was honored by a guest at Tree House Point/River Tree Yoga who said her practice with me on Monday was the best addition to an already perfect vacation.  I figure that is a good thing, seeing as the next part of her vacation was going to need some modification – no she can not go to Mount Rainer.

I just came upon this book list from an article published on YogaJournal.Com.  Many of my students ask me for my recommendations on what to read.  I think this article does a remarkable job of listing and describing some of the best resources in the yoga book world.  This is by no means comprehensive and some of my favorites are not listed, but it is a good start.

One more thing.  Here is a beautiful video of Vladimir Horwitz playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto #23.  It is fun, it is inspiring, and heart warming.  I must say that in many ways this man is a true yogi.  He is so present, skillful, learned, humble and joyful.  Enjoy!

 

Happy Weekend Yogis

Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi

 

Summer Workshop in Cannon Beach

001

Discovering the Heart of Yoga

Dynamic Sequencing for Stability, Strength & Intentional Alignment

Moving from our core not only stabilizes our practice, it also invites us deeper into our selves.  Core strength refers not only to the strengthening and toning of the abdominal muscles which hold us in standing poses and allow us to float gracefully upward in inversions, it also refers to our ability to connect to the emotional essence of who we are, so that we may stand in our essence and act from our heart.

This workshop will help you discover the strength and stamina you need to live and move from the center of your being.  We will explore a  range of asanas, including backbends and inversions, as well as breath work (pranayama) and meditation.

Saturday, August 17th, 1:00 – 4:00pm

Cannon Beach Yoga Arts

$40, pre-registration strongly recommended

Workshop limited to 15 students

Register online at:

Cannonbeachyogaarts.com

(503) 440 – 1649