One – The Event

The tenth anniversary of the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York is this weekend.  September 11th changed the course of American history.  This was the first time we felt any physical effects of war upon our own soil.  We were struck by surprise; at the hatred and animosity that engendered the attack, and by our own fear and hatred in response.  Thousands of lives were lost in an instant and many thousands more have been lost over the years as we sought to assuage

our pain through war.

But war is not and never has been the answer.

And I am happy to announce that in Seattle this weekend, there will be an historic event of remembrance for September 11th.

This September 11, Choose Love and Unity.

Tens of thousands of people will be joining musicians, speakers, and celebrities, both live and on the web to intentionally send love, compassion and unity to all of humanity. Come to he Memorial Stadium at 3:46 PM Pacific Time on September 11th, and be a part of this monumental transformational event will be happening in Seattle at exactly 10 years and 10 hours after the 9/11 tragedy.

Click on the link in blue and learn more.


ONE with ourselves
ONE with each other
ONE with our planet

This is Karma Yoga, yoga of action.  This is living your yoga.  Make this September 11th truly a day of remembrance – remembering our interconnected with all beings.

Shalom & Namaste,

Diana Bonyhadi

Happy 4th of July

Did you know that if you hit shift -four instead of simply hitting the four, you get a dollar sign?  Thus 4th of July becomes $th of July, and I wonder if there was any significance in that typo?  Has celebrating American Freedom come to mean celebrating our quest for financial freedom?  Or the celebration of the almighty dollar as opposed to the celebration of the spirit of religious and political freedom upon which this country was founded?  I am afraid I am about to get to heavy and cynical here.  This is a yoga blog after all, and my original intention was to write a blog of celebration.

So first a scheduling note.  Sunday Salutation Class is cancelled this Sunday as I will be out of town with my family for the holiday weekend.  Do lift up your arms in celebration and bow to the earth in respect and bring your hands back to your heart in honor of the connection you provide between the heavens and the earth.

Playing at the beach

Second, Yoga for Hope:  Samena Club and I are joining forces to offer an Eastside event for Yoga for Hope on July 16th at 10:00. Yoga for Hope supports the work done at City of Hope for Cancer, AIDS and HIV/AIDS.  Come out and join us.  This is a really good organization, doing some of the most cutting edge research and providing the most nurturing and integrative of care for patients and their families.  You can support me and them by coming out on the 16th and doing some salutation with us and/or by clicking here and making a donation.

And now back to 4th of July.  I spend every 4th with my family in Cannon Beach, OR.  We have a great gathering of the clan.  Meals are shared on porches, bonfires lit on the beach. Old and young share in songs and s’mores around the bonfire.  And yes, we join in the annual parade.  It is truly a small town parade, half  the town is in it and the other half line the street, cheering.  Everyone dresses in red, white and blue.  In these moments, with family and friends surrounding me,  I am reminded of how truly lucky we are to live in this beautiful country.  And I honor the strength and perseverance of our forefathers, who left the confines of religious persecution to come to this country to start a new life.  On the 4th of July, I stop to honor their  strength and vision, and I hope that  our country will try to remember the purity of vision that brought so many of us here.  May we continue to open our hearts to others and support all peoples in their quest for freedom – freedom of religion, freedom from war, freedom from fear and hunger and persecution.  And may we take better care to support those freedoms within our country, so we can truly be a country of light and hope and possibility

So, lift up your arms, and let your heart shine forth.  Breathe in – in Celebration, and Exhale with Joy.  Sparkle!

Shalom & Namaste,

Diana Bonyhadi

Yoga Studies: Iyengar & Sacred Activism

I  have spent the last three days immersed in yoga.  Not that I am not always immersed in yoga, it is just that I amped that up three-fold.  I spent Friday and Saturday studying Iyengar yoga with JinSung, my former teacher from the Bay Area, and today I spent all day with Andrew Harvey and Karuna Erickson studying Heart Yoga,  the yoga of Sacred Activism.

JinSung speaks deeply and clearly about the structural alignment of the body in yoga.  He presents fundamentals of alignment and links them through all poses.  Actions which seems to contradict one another become clear and greater space is found within.  And, he is a master of the use of belts and props.  I definitely learned new ways to strap and wrap the body.  Students beware:  time for more yogi bondage.

Today, I was fortunate enough to be able to join Wisdom University for the first day of a five-day Intensive on Heart Yoga.  Andrew Harvey, one of the our great modern mystics spoke with fire and passion, encouraging us to  examine our own inner obstacles to living vibrantly in the moment.  Karuna, a yogini of deep wisdom, led us in a compassionate and restorative practice, opening our hearts and nurturing our spirits.

So here is a little truth about me:  I consider myself a peacenik.  I hope that every step I place upon this earth is one of creating peace.  In a previous incarnation (e.g. my other professional career) I was a mediator, working to help individuals and groups resolve conflicts and  find opportunities for collaboration.  Living and teaching yoga, while not as”sexy” as  being “international mediation consultant” is also all about resolving conflict and teaching peace.  So maybe I am no longer out there doing dramatic things to negotiate and reduce some of the more public conflicts of our times, but I hope and believe  that by teaching and sharing yoga, I am helping to creating spaces of peace within individuals who will then share that energy with their friends, families and communities.

This is the path of the Sacred Activist.  The path, that given the current state of the world, most of us are treading.  The path to which we must give our hearts fully in order to find the strength to address the grave issues confronting all of us.

So, my fellow yogis, know that in every practice you are creating a better world.  By moving your bodies, removing the stress, finding alignment, and opening your hearts, you are creating peace, not just on your mats, but beyond.  You are all Sacred Activists. Everything thing you do matters.

Thank you,

Shalom & Namaste,

Diana Bonyhadi

Skiing, Sunday Salutatuions and Interfaith

Now there is a title.  Really, I just wanted to let you know that this entry is all about everything, and that everything is connected.

So, I went skiing on Saturday.  Haven’t been in 3 years, and I admit that I was a bit concerned about my ability to stay upright on those skis.  I was afraid of getting hurt (no time for that), and at not being as good as I used to be.  And the good news is, the skiing was wonderful.  It took a couple of runs, but I found my rhythm and I let go into the  joy and beauty of the moment.  I realized that I had let my attachments to the past and my fear of the future keep me from doing something I truly enjoy.  I had also let the business of my life get in the way of my living of life.

On Sunday morning I was back at Village Green Yoga for my Sunday Salutations Class.  This class combines yoga asana with philosophy and spirit.  My day of skiing had left me neither sore nor tired.  In fact, I was stronger and more revitalized than I had expected.  Taking time off from my routine had restored my energy.  I was reminded once again of the importance of staying present and living in the moment.  And I was reminded that our connections to the divine are invigorated by our joyful participation in life.  Class was amazing, and all of us were renewed and inspired by our practice together.

In the afternoon, I attended an Interfaith Gathering called Tending Adam’s Garden.  Jews, Muslims, Christians and Buddhists came together to discuss what we can do together to help repair the world. This is a monthly meeting that brings members of different faith communities together to address the critical issues that are confronting our world today.  At the heart of it, is the understanding that while our faith traditions may be different, our hopes and dreams for a life of full-fill-ment, wholeness and connectedness are shared.  Here are just some of the responses that were given to the question  “What are the essential qualities that are needed to repair the world?”:

  • Open-heartedness, commitment, courage, education, self-awareness, recognition of our interconnectedness, respect for one another and ourselves, compassion, the willingness to listen, patience, belief in our capacity to do good, and a connection to the divine.

As I listened to the group discussion, I was brought back to yoga.  Not only are all of these qualities identified in the 8-fold path, but many of them are also specifically identified in the yamas and the niyamas.  And as I think about our practice of yoga, I am reminded that on the mat we are encouraged to practice with compassion, to study ourselves and the teachings, to listen with an open heart, to practice with ashimsa, and at times we need both courage and patience to find the next pose.  And certainly we must practice with compassion.  If all goes right, and we stay very present, we can’t help but feel our deep and abiding connection to the eternal divine wisdom that lives within all of us.

So, skiing, yoga and interfaith.  It is all connected.  Have a great week.  Do something you love.  Share it with someone who nurtures your spirit.  Practice your yoga with an open hear, both on the mat and beyond.  Look  at the world and pitch in to make a bit better.  And rejoice in our interconnectedness – with each other and the Divine.


Shalom & Namaste,

Diana Bonyhadi

Jean Houston on Public Radio Network

“Tending the gardens of our lives involves a kind of cosmic yoga; we yoke ourselves back to remembering that we are made of the same stuff as the Universe from which we continuously arise second by second”

Jean Houston

Have you ever had a chance to hear or see Jean Houston?j

She is one of those magical women who reminds us of who we really are and all that we can be.  She leads us on a journey of self-discovery and helps us to see our part in the global cosmos. She is also really cool, insightful and very vibrant and funny.

And guess what?  This time you don’t have to cough up any money to hear her.  Which is unusual, as she is the real thing and people all over the world turn to her for leadership on personal, interpersonal and international issues. And usually you do have to pay.

But tomorrow it is free.

So, check it out Friday at 2:00pm PST on PRN (Progressive Radio Network)

Shalom & Namaste,

Diana Bonyhadi

Voices of Wisdom

Check this out.

A radio show dedicated to the voices of wisdom.  It’s sorta like NPR, but its PRN – Progressive Radio Network.  And it is on everyday, all day long.  Cool, now I have a new preset for my radio.  A place that fills the need for something between news, which is mostly depressing and music which allows me to check out.  Without having to buy or download anything, I can hear lectures and dialogues of people who are really looking to see and be with the world at its deepest level.

Imagine spending your morning with; Dr. Helen Caldicott, an afternoon with Bill Thompson, or an evenings commute with Jim Hightower.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the present – moment that is.

Shalom & Namaste,

Diana Bonyhadi

Inspired by Andrew Harvey

Andrew Harvey & Karuna Erikson

Heart Yoga in Seattle

It’s been over twenty years since I had the pleasure to participate in a workshop with Andrew Harvey.  It is no understatement to say that he is a wise man of great proportions.  I remember clearly the sense of wonder at his gentle ways and his immense wisdom.  He is perhaps most famous for his translations of Rumi, and his gentle rendering of other great sufi teachings.  He is in short a modern mystic; a man capable of leading all of us towards the deeper turnings of our souls.

Monday night, as I participated in the live teleconference, a precursor to the Heart Yoga workshop to be held here in Seattle at the end of March, I was again struck by Andrew’s intense intellect and deep commitment to helping us find our path to the sacred through Heart Yoga.  To hear the full content of the teleconference, click on the following link: download the recording here .

If you are interested in deepening your yoga practice, and strengthening your commitment to your life’s work here on earth, I encourage you to consider this fabulous opportunity to spend 5 days with two amazing teachers of yoga and mystical traditions.

Heart Yoga and Sacred Activism                                              Registration:  click here

Syllabus:  click here March 28 – April 1, 2011

Logistics (transport, rooms, meals, map, etc.):      click here

Eight 1-hour prep videos by Andrew & Karuna:      click here (from Daily Om)

From the Syllabus:  “This initiation will open your heart to love, strengthen and infuse your body with light, and deepen and inspire your yoga practice (whatever your level of experience) as well as your commitment to sacred service. You will experience the profound union of the radiant body with the awakened heart, and the love, peace, and sacred passion that is birthed from this marriage.”

A Week of Enlightenment

A Week of Divine Enlightenment

Well no, I can’t say that I have become an enlightened being this week, but I did set the intention for the week to open myself up to the possibility of experiencing the divine fully in each and every moment. And what a great week it has been.

It started as a simple question; “If I were truly an enlightened being, how would my actions in the moment change?”  The first thing I noticed was a shift of awareness.  My internal critical self took a step back.  Enlightened beings are not so judgmental – wow what a relief that was.  In my practice, I found it easier to open more fully to each asana, delighting in the postures for their own sake.  My breath flowed more gently and my meditations were longer and deeper.  In my daily life, I discovered that the traffic was less annoying and chores became vehicles for nurturing my family – not dreaded tasks.  In short, I found myself more open to the positive in every situation and more supportive of everyone around me – even those teenagers with whom I share space.

As a yoga teacher, this has turned into a deep blessing.  Opening each class with an invitation to honor the divine within, allowed all my students to reach deeper into their practices.  As a result the room became a sanctuary, and each student a manifestation of the divine.  Literally, all of us were glowing.  The asanas shimmered and the meditations were nurturing and affirming.

When we invite the divine into our lives, we are making the choice to fully acknowledge the grace, beauty and sacredness of our world. If my experience this week is any indication, creating space for the divine is a pathway for creating greater possibilities for peace in our lives and the world.

Finally, a comment on the numerous articles in the press about the perceived conflict between yoga and religions.  First, yoga is not a religion, it is a philosophy.  It is best viewed as a road map for our intrapersonal and interpersonal interactions.  Yoga – which literally mean yoking or union – strengthens the connections between the individual and their own religious commitments. In my practice this week, I found support and clarification of my Jewish faith, particularly as expressed through the Sh’ma: “Listen Israel, Adonai is holy, Adonai is one.”  By embracing the divine, I embraced the concept of the holiness of all beings and the interconnectedness of everything.  I mean, if I am divine, then you are too, and he is, and she is and he is, and so forth.  What a beautiful sparkling world of divine beings we are.

Shalom & Namaste,

Diana Bonyhadi

108 Sun Salutations

108 Sun Salutations, are you kidding?  All in a row? One right after the other?  Why?

There are a lot of good reasons, and I will give them to you in a minute, but for now, let me give you the details.

Yoga for Hope

Fundraiser for City of Hope

Cancer Research

July 10, 2010

Registration @ 9:00am

Salutations begin @ 10:00am

Memorial Stadium at the foot of the Space Needle

Seattle, WA

Nine of Seattle’s leading yoga instructors will teach an outdoor class focused on the sacred number 108-practicing 108 Sun Salutations underneath the Space Needle at Memorial Stadium in hopes of bringing the spirit of health and community together! The instructors have partnered with City of Hope, a leading biomedical research, treatment and education center, to help raise support and awareness for cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Researchers at City of Hope understand the importance of complementary and integrative therapies like yoga. Their Integrative Medicine Program, by incorporating complementary modalities with state-of-the-art medical care, is seeking to understand the mind-body-spirit connection to assist those battling life-threatening diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and HIV/AIDS.

Click here to register, and support this fine project. It will be a great day, a great practice, a fantastic experience.

Tomorrow I will share with you about the wisdom and history of this amazing practice.

Shalom & Namaste,

Diana Bonyhadi