New Year, New Beginnings

Happy New Year

I am just back from 3 weeks in Mexico feeling refreshed and ready to embark on the New Year.  I admit to being a sun-aholic.  I love hanging out on the beach, playing in the water and living practically full-time out of doors and being warm the entire time.

I believe it is incredibly important to determine what nourishes you spiritually and physically and to make a commitment to setting aside time to recharge yourself.  Vacationing is certainly one way to do that, but we don’t always have the time or the resources to wander off to the retreat of our choosing.  But we can set aside time each week, and even each day to nourish our bodies and spirit.

Take some time to figure out what makes you feel good.  When do you find yourself smiling, both inside and out?  When do you experience a sense of contentment and well-being?  What gives you joy? Make a list, put it some place you can return to easily.  And then you have your own handy pick-me-up protocol.  Here are some of the things I do regularly that keep me happy, grounded and smiling.

  • Daily yoga & meditation
  • Walks in the woods and along the beach
  • Listening to music and having my own private dance party
  • Sipping tea, wrapped in a warm blanket and reading a book
  • Hanging out with my friends – perhaps with a glass of wine in hand
  • Spending time with my husband and kids
  • Cooking and gardening
  • Teaching and studying yoga

Okay, so there you have it, you know my list of nourishments.  I wonder what you will put on your list.

Good News – I am starting a new Tuesday Evening Slow Flow yoga class in West Seattle at Limber Yoga on February 5th at 4:30pm.

Come Check it out.  I am super excited to finally be teaching in West Seattle, and Limber Yoga has a great open light filled space, fully equipped with all my favorite props.

Happy New Year, may it be a year of joy and blessing and good health for you and all those you hold dear.

Shalom & Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi

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Two Weeks in India – Two Millennia of Indian History & Philosophy

Found this lovely statue lying almost buried on the side of the road.

What do you get when you take a handful of meditators, mix them with three teachers and put them in Northern India on the banks of the Ganga River?

An experience of a life time and a deep exploration of the roots of Eastern wisdom, spirituality, meditation and yoga.

I have been studying yoga for years.  I have been practicing yoga and meditation for years.  I have read the Bhagavad Gita, The Ramayana, the Sutras of Patanjali, and many more texts central to the world of yoga.    In fact, I have even read most of these books several times and always I learn and grow from the experience.  I have even felt familiar with these texts.  But it was not till I traveled to India, that they really came to life for me.

I went to the source of the Ganga River – Devi Ganga and bathed in her waters (brrr).  I joined pilgrims on their trails to shrines and pujas dedicated to Vishnu, Siva, Krishna, Hanuman and others. I sat in the same cave where Arjuna and his brothers rested after their battle in the Marabarata.  I was even served coffee by a Sadu in that same cave as he told us of his practice of meditation and Brahmacharya.  I meditated in the cave of Vishnagupta of the Shankara lineage.  The Ramayana and the Bhagavad Gita are now vibrantly alive for me in so many new ways, it will take months for me to be able to unravel and fully absorb these learnings.

I spent hours meditating and practicing yoga.  I explored the towns of Rishikesh, Uttarkashi and Gongotri, and shared their streets with monks, beggars, holy men and holy cows, scavenging dogs and prankster monkeys.  Yes, of course I drank lots of chai and ate lots of curry.  Oh, and I spent hours on the roads of India – which is, in and of itself, an adventure.

There are so many stories to tell and wisdom to share – give me time and space and it will come.  In the interim, I wanted to let you know I am back, teaching full time, available for privates and will be restarting the Meditation Circle next week.

Meditation Circle:  Thursdays at 7:00,  Village Green Yoga.  Join us every week for an hour of guided meditation, pranayama and community support.

Speaking of meditation, maybe you are wondering if you should try it.  Well, according to several scientific studies, meditation is good for the brain as well as for the heart, body and spirit.  Yoga Journal recently published a review article that has done an excellent job of summarizing the most recent findings, click here to read their article.

 

 

With great gratitude and prayers for peace & well-being for all beings everywhere,
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

 

 
Shalom & Namaste
Diana Bonyhadi
Kharmabellayoga.com

Summer Fun in Seattle Area

Continuing Thoughts on the Joys of Summer

Since writing yesterday’s post, I have been thinking more about all the things I love to do in Seattle.  In fact I moved to Pacific Northwest because I had such fond memories of summers spent up here.  Well actually, I moved up here because we could get jobs and find affordable housing, but Seattle was a contender also because of all that it offers.

So here is a list of some of my favorite summer activities.  Please chime in so we can help each other have a truly amazing, inspiring and nourishing summer. I have included some links,

  • Berry picking at Harvolds Farm
  • Watching Firework Displays
  • Beach combing and tide-pooling
  • Concerts in the park at ZooTunes, Chateau St. Michell, or Marymoore Park
  • Bike Riding on the Burke-Gilman Trail
  • Swimming at Lincoln Park Pool in West Seattle
  • Mountain Biking
  • Kayaking or canoeing in the Mercer Slough or Lake Union
  • Sailing  on Lake Union – Center for Wooden Boats
  • Sailing on the Sound – Shilshoe Marina
  • Watching boating activity – so many beach parks abound on Lakes and the Sound
  • Hiking – So many trails on the I90 corridor you could go to a different one every day of summer and not get bored.
  • Check out local islands – Vashon, Bainbridge, Whidbey
  • Check out further islands – Orcas, San Juan, Shaw, etc
  • Camping – Mt. Baker, Mt. Rainer, Cascade Wilderness, Olympics
  • Hanging out at the beach – Ocean Shores, Olympic Peninsula, Shi Shi, Cannon Beach in Oregon
  • Ferris Wheel on the the Seattle waterfront
  • Yoga for Hope – outdoor yoga at the Seattle Center for City of Hope
  • Wanderlust – Multi-day yoga and music event offered this year in Whistler, BC
  • Meditating while sitting in the dunes by the beach, or next to a river
  • Yoga on the beach

Okay, this is enough to get everyone started.  Off to meditate, work in my garden and study yoga.  Perfect day.

 

Shalom & Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi

The Freedom of Summer is Good for Your Soul

I love summer time!

School is out for almost everyone.  The kids are off to summer jobs or enjoying the luxury of sleeping in.  Mornings are slow and calm.  This parent has a lot less driving to do and a lot less nagging.  No more homework, no more projects, no more school related meetings.  The sun has even popped out once or twice this month, and I went to my second outdoor summer concert this week.

Summer is the time to slow down, refuel and reconnect.  Almost everyone will take some form of vacation, whether it is a weekend of camping, a trip to the beach or maybe even something longer and more adventurous.

Many of us will have a bit more time to be with friends and families enjoying picnics, sightseeing, concerts, camp-outs, barbeques, and bonfires,(with marshmallows and dark chocolate of course).

Taking time off from our regular routine not only allows us respite but it also provides us the opportunity to reconnect with our deeper selves.  We get the extra moment for reflection, we get the extra moment for play, we get the extra moment for love.

I wish we could have summer all year-long.  It’s not that I am lazy (I might be, but that’s not the point), it’s just that I think people would be healthier and happier if we all embraced the value of summer throughout the year.

So, to all my friends and yogis, I wish you a summer full of:

  • rest
  • music
  • dancing
  • sunshine
  • friendship
  • good books
  • fresh berries
  • corn on the cob
  • walks in the moonlight
  • strolling along the beach
  • hiking in the woods
  • family
  • bonfires
  • meditation
  • YOGA

Shalom & Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi

 

Abiding in Gratitude

Everyone once and a while I am called to notice how full my life is, how much I have to be thankful for.  I guess you could call it counting my blessings. Honoring our blessings is indeed a “practice that takes us beyond the mat,” for as we take a moment to express our gratitude, we open our hearts to blessings and are open to the energies of healing.

Last week was Yoga with a Purpose Week.  My classes were full, and we raised some much-needed funds for the African Village Survival Initiative. I am thankful we could all be part of helping others less fortunate develop means for economic sustainability.

This weekend I spent with my book club friends up on the Olympic Peninsula.  Wow, what a gorgeous spot: Snow-capped Mountains in the distance, water lapping at the deck, seals and eagles playing for our amusement, and sun!  Oh, I am so thankful to live near the Puget Sound.  If you haven’t given yourself a 24 vacation, do so soon and visit Kingston, WA, just an hour and a half (including ferry ride) north of Seattle.

No book club retreat could be complete without the book discussion.  This weekend we discussed the Help by Kathryn Stockett.  This book is so worth the read. The author deftly combines history of the 1960’s, race relations in the south, and explorations into the meaning of family and friendship.  This is a book that will keep you laughing and crying and glad to be alive.  I am thankful I can read,and thankful that such great books exist, and that I have a community of friends with whom i can share my love of reading.

Mother’s Day.  Okay, it’s a gimme, but I gotta tell you.  Those hand-made cards and poems from my family rock my world.  Thank you Hallmark for giving me a moment to revel in the love of my family.

I think that is enough for now.  I think I will add my list of thank yous to my daily meditation practice.  Perhaps you will join me.

Namaste,

Diana