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Why I'm at the Studio Every Morning at 4 a.m.

January 20, 2014
BY NANCY MCCAOCHAN "Have you really been here since 4 a.m.?"  a student asked. I'd just finished teaching the 7 a.m. Short Form Ashtanga class and was standing in the lobby, saying good-bye to the students who'd practiced with me and greeting those who were coming for the next class. "Yes," I answered, matter-of-factly. "I was checking the schedule and saw a 4 a.m. class listed and thought surely it was a typo," she added.  "What do you DO at 4 in the morning?" This wasn't the first time I'd heard the question in the week since I'd been offering an early morning traditional Kundalini Sadhana...

Pulling Out The Deep Emotional Crud

January 16, 2014
You can feel it trying to come on…… that telltale sign; a soreness that starts in the back of your throat.  You try to ignore it and even think you can beat it.  No, I can't be sick.  I don't have the time.  It's the age-old joke:  "We make plans, and God laughs." I packed up my clothes in my hotel room, rather tired and at the same time exhilaratingly high from a week at a yoga gathering.  I could feel that I was "off" as soon as I woke up.  Not quite sure what was going on as I hadn't been sick in more than four years. As I drove down the Florida turnpike on my way to my...

It's Curiosity, Not Determination, That Gets

January 15, 2014
BY BETSY COHN For most of my life, stubborn determination has gotten me from point A to point B. I spent a grade-school beach vacation using a barbecue fork to yank from a conch shell its dead inhabitant so my mom could boil the shell for me to save as a souvenir. I overcame test anxiety that led to a humiliating 6 out of 21 (that's 28%--I calculated it!) on my first high school chemistry test and eventually earned a Bachelor of Science degree. Every day, I manage my nerves to walk into a classroom and do what I love: teach. Through it all, here's what I discovered: it's not stubborn determination...

Just In Time

January 13, 2014
By Allison Stuart Kaplan Every Sunday evening, I ask myself, what will the theme for my classes be this week? What knowledge or wisdom will I offer my students to help bring love, light, and joy to their day, and into their hearts? Will I even have a theme, or fly by the seat of my pants? I'm quite comfortable flying these days, though it's taken a long while.  I will wait and see what comes up, or to my inbox in the morning. Always optimistic,  I trust that I will have what I need to inspire my students –  just in the knick of time. Epiphany/Tangent… Just yesterday while walking...

What Does It Really Mean "To Be In Shape?"

January 11, 2014
"Do you do anything else besides yoga?" Several times a month, someone new will walk in for information about our yoga classes and ask me this question.  They don't believe yoga can keep you in shape. Then they ask: "Will I lose weight?" I say, "You bet you will!"  More than you'll ever imagine. In my 20s to early 30s, I was working out at the gym 6 days a week, lifting weights, practically looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger in a sundress.  Then that wasn't enough, so I taught aerobics, spin, step and sculpt and ran 6 miles a few times a week until I was 35. Then I found yoga.  In my mid-30s,...

Intimacy 101

January 9, 2014
Two friends and I arrived in Florida on a balmy Monday, sunshine everywhere; a great relief from icy Detroit.  Per our usual yoga immersions, we headed right to Whole Foods to first get the necessary energy supports: food, coconut water, and more, to help our physical vehicles maintain a strong, healthy space. We were about to embark on a new journey of yoga we'd never experienced before, the winter solstice gathering in the Kundalini community.  Two of us had been to many Kundalini immersions however the third gal hadn't.  I was so proud of her courage to jump right in. The first two days...

Go With Love And Backbends This Year

January 8, 2014
"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." — Albert Einstein 2014, it's a new year and I'm so happy and grateful to be here. For me, January 1 always marks the start of another exciting journey into the unknown. Optimism for the inevitable road ahead, giving and receiving love with a compassionate and wide-open heart is by far the best medicine I know of for true happiness and healing. Guidance for creating your joy A healthy backbend practice encourages an open heart and will naturally help relieve a stiff achey back; returning you to that youthful loving...

Winter Solstice Sadhana: A Celebration of the

January 6, 2014
BY BETSY COHN Imagine a sea of ambulatory, crisp, white figures further brightened by the Florida sunshine and their contrast against the green expanse of grass, with more white sprinkled throughout, this time stationary tents named for the five elements or tattvas: earth, fire, water, air, and ether. Imagine amidst those five constants, hundreds of fluid selves shifting in unexpected ways, paradoxically more personal and certainly more amplified by being one united in so many. Imagine a week of pure kindness and brave, deep connections between friends and between strangers, eye to eye and defenseless...

I Kept Christmas Simple and It Kept Me Simply

January 2, 2014
It wasn't the usual run-myself-ragged, spend-too-much, wrap-too-much, decorate-too-much kind of year. Not the usual guilt, like I'm not good enough if I don't bake a ton of cookies, hold holiday parties or send Xmas cards. In fact, the older and more peaceful I get, the less interested I am in the outside of Christmas and dare I say it, Christmas in general. I've never really been into all that work.  It's not that I was humbug in attitude; it was like it all didn't connect for me.  It always seemed so over the top.  I'm pretty sure that I spent a few past lives in different faiths. That...

40 Day New Year's Heart Shield Meditation

January 1, 2014
Tune in first with Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo 3x; chant or just speak it Sat Narayan/Music by Ajeet Kaur   Set a 40 day Intention to do this meditation; 7 min a day maximum  MEDITATION--HEART SHIELD MEDITATION (The Mind, by Yogi Bhajan, Ph.D. and Gurucharan Singh Khalsa, Ph.D., p. 173. Another version located in Transitions to a Heart-Centered World, by Gururattan Kaur Khalsa, Ph.D., p. 125.) Posture: Sit in Easy Pose with a straight spine. Focus: Eyes are closed, looking down at the nose. Breath: (From Transitions to a Heart-Centered World: To begin, inhale deeply and exhale completely....
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