I am so blessed to have been invited back to offer Big Yoga at the
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat! It will be a magical week of a variety of practices:
- Asana–adapted for your body
- Bhakti Yoga– chanting and puja
- Journaling– Jnana Yoga
- Sacred Geometry
- Yoga Nidra
- Aqua Yoga
- Restorative Practice
Won’t you join me?
Big Yoga is noted for it’s adapted yoga postures. We provide adaptations for anyone challenged by extra weight, stiffness, injury or even just plain couch-potato-ism. If you’ve felt left out of the yoga loop because of physical (and mental!) challenges, Big Yoga is for you.
As one of my students recently wrote, “Yoga is a fabulous form of exercise to obtain an overall sense of well being. I have enjoyed my time with Meera. She is a wonderful instructor, with years of experience”
Another student wrote “I’ve been doing yoga for about 35 years and I love the new Aqua Yoga class Meera is teaching. I can do lots in the water that I can’t do on land. It’s really great!”
Most recently, I’ve begun to teach a Restorative Yoga class, using bolsters, blocks, blankets and other props to make the body completely comfortable in the poses, so we can hold them longer for an effortless opening of the body. It’s an extremely meditative form of yoga, great for anyone with a figgity mind.
There will be lots of opportunity or chanting, with our own group, and with the whloe ashram in their morning Satsang. The peaceful vibration of the ashram is something you can feel the minute you arrive. Don’t delay! Sign up today!
I was hoping to come to Yogaville over the weekend, but things came up and my workshop was cancelled. There are lots of other wonderful things happening in Yogaville, so if you’re within driving distance, I highly recommend you take a trip so visit an authentic Yoga Ashram, complete with monks and a monestary, sublime meditations at the all faiths temple they call LOTUS, delicious vegatarian meals, yoga classes for all body types, and the scenic fall colors as you walk in the woods surrounding the campus.
This year is the 50th anniversary of Integral Yoga ®, the legacy of our dear teacher, Sri Swami Satchidananda. Though he is no longer with us in the body, his teachings–and vibrations– are ever present at the Ashram, and are embodied in the thousands of Integral Yoga instructors who promote his message of peace in their world-wide classes.
In these days of “gym yoga” where the emphasis is mostly on the body, Integral Yoga is an alternative for folks who want a more meditative approach. HATHA YOGA (the physical postures) may be the cornerstone of American yoga practice, but Integral Yoga provides so much more–meditation, pranayama, devotion, service, and self-inquiry. As our teacher often said, Yoga is less about standing on your head and more about standing on your own two feet! Thanks to you, Swamiji, for bringing these teachings to us, and thanks to the Integral Yoga organization for keeping the flame of these teachings alive and well.
Not too long ago my friend Chad Oba suggested I enter the 6th Yamadera Basho Memorial Museum English Haiku Contest. So I did. She just told me I was accepted–she didn’t actually say I won, but these 2 poems made it into their collection.
The orange on the glass
Has layer upon layer
Of round empty holes
Or, here is another one I lke even better–
Hand blown glass goblet
Resting unassuming here
Half full of nectar
Have you ever written a haiku? It’s easy, and inspiring too. I felt it made me look at things with more awareness–a meditation. The pattern is 5 syllables, 7 syllables, then 5 syllables. Let’s have a contest! Submit your haiku before Thanksgiving and I’ll choose a winner–probably by just pulling a name out of a hat, because I don’t think i’d be a good judge of the poems!
The winner will receive a free copy of my CD, Omniscient OM
Here’s what she said that I had to write down: The people who have the most trouble navigating the change on the outside are the people who are not grounded in the changeless”. chat with Marianne Williamson
She went on to say that the spiritual life grounds us, psychologically and emotionally, in that which does not change. So, get a life! Get a spiritual life–meditate, do yoga, find a faith, take tai chi, whatever it takes to get you to start looking within to the source of all that is changeless. You will become a beacon of peace in a changing world.
Swami Satchidananda, who came to the US in the early 60’s under the protection of artist Peter Max, has something to say about that feeling in meditation when you feel you’re losing yourself, like you’re slipping away. He says “Don’t be frightened; it’s wonderful, fantastic. Why? If it happens to you, it means your system is ready. Your breath may even stop for a few minutes. That is what you call samadhi–you just become still.”
Have you ever had that experience? The more you practice Yoga–either the physical practices like asana and pranayama–or the more mental disciplines of meditation and svadhyaya, the more you’ll feel this stillness. You might even feel it at an unexpected moment, like driving in your car, or waiting in line at the post office. Or when gazing at a beautiful sunset. Then you’re really getting somewhere. Or nowhere!
Another door into stillness is through mantra repetition, using music, in the practice of kirtan. As my son once said after a long chanting session–he was only about 8 years old–he said “Mom, sometimes when we were chanting I couldn’t think of anything at all”. That’s the stillness. It’s a beautiful thing.
I’d love to hear about your experiences with these celestial moments. Please leave your comments, share your bliss.
If you follow me, you may have figured out that I’m not using this blog so much anymore. I decided to put everything in one place, so from now on, you can find my blog posts on BigYoga.Net.
But for a quick update, I am spending the winter in Yogaville, where I just had a wonderful visit from my son David, who is now off to Europe. This has been a good year for hanging out with him–he came to visit me in Michigan, took me to see our Irish ancestral home in the fall, and then came for Christmas! Thanks Dave!
We had a very successful Big Yoga weekend here at Yogaville where we adapted tradtional yoga poses for LESS STRESS! It was based on my new book, Big Yoga for Less Stress, which I expect to be in stores next month.
If you like chanting, stayed tuned for a new project I’m working on with Kamala Waltman, recording some of the older chants that were taught to us old-timers by Sri Swami Satchidananda. Other projects are emerging, including a new DVD, and companion book. Isn’t yoga fun?