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Being and Becoming: The Pulse of Tantra with Elizabeth Rossa

ElizabethRossaIn this 2 day immersion for teachers and dedicated students of yoga, meditation, self-inquiry and philosophy, we will cultivate curiosity as we examine the unknown through the lens of Tantra, in its non-dual form, as presented by The Yoga Spandakarika.

We will learn through key stanzas from this ancient illuminating text how everything and everyone in this manifested reality is a pulsing, creative form of the Divine (Shakti), arising from the Ever-Present Infinite Awareness (Shiva). The Yoga Spandakarika lends itself to exciting contemplations which embrace the world rather than reject it. Elizabeth, who is a skilled yoga, meditation and Self-inquiry teacher, will also present contemplative exercises for a direct and immediate experience of what will be explored within the text. The contemplative exercises will include Pranayama, journaling, mantra, visualization and an experimental approach to some basic Hatha yoga asanas with the intention to use all of the senses to connect to “the holy and hidden heart” of our existence.

This weekend is an invitation to encounter your greatest Self.

Saturday & Sunday, May 2nd & 3rd | 9am – 6pm
$350 Drop In
Sign up today!

Students may also sign up just for the morning Master Classes:

  • Saturday, May 2nd, 9:00-11:00am: Forward Bends and Twisting
  • Sunday, May 3rd, 9:00-11:00am: Backbends & Inverting
  • Both $30 Drop In ($25 for Sonic TT grads)
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Blog Post: Food for Thought by Krishna Dholakia, MS, RD, CDN

IMG_2716The saying goes, healthy mind, healthy body. Eating healthy allows our brain to function at a higher level. Essential nutrients provided by our diet can lead to our brain functioning more efficiently. For example, antioxidants and essential fatty acids like omega 3s help protect brain cells from everyday damage and age-related decline. Tyrosine, a nutrient found in protein-rich foods, helps produce neurotransmitters. Along with vitamin C, they carry signals between brain cells. Nutrients like choline and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) help with brain development in the early stages of life. As we can see, eating healthy can lead to a powerful brain! Here are some tips on how you can improve your brain health:

  • Vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils and legumes are high in antioxidants and phytochemicals. These two properties help prevent disease and oxidative stress in our brain and bodies. Keep your vegetable and fruit intake fresh by adding variety and color to your plate. The nutrient content in fruits and vegetables declines within 4 hours of being picked from the ground. Instead of allowing your fruits and vegetables to sit in the refrigerator for a while, try to use them as soon as you get them.
  • Increase your omega 3 intake by adding fatty fish to your diet twice a week like salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout, herring or sardines. If fish isn’t your thing, try flaxseed, chia seeds, or nuts.
  • Don’t ignore your hunger. Skipping meals can lead to low blood sugar levels and cause your concentration levels to drop. In order to work and think more efficiently, eat small frequent meals during the day and keep them nutritious!
  • Try to keep your energy levels high by getting enough sleep at night. When we are tired, our cravings for sugar, salt and fat increase. Instead of reaching for junk food when you’re feeling tired, try fresh fruit that have a higher water content like melons and oranges. They’re hydrating and invigorating.
  • Limit large meals and foods high in sugar. This can ultimately have a dulling affect to your mental function because overeating and too much sugar can lead to big spikes and drops to your blood sugar levels. Keep your portions reasonable and healthy by eating small frequent meals during the day.
  • Stay hydrated and drink enough water during the day!

Follow these tips and more for better healthy by subscribing to Krishna’s health blog at www.omandspice.com!

 

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Mid-Month Article: Gratefulness

photo2As I write this in the morning quiet of my home, midtown Manhattan buzzes around me. There is construction everywhere.  Drilling, welding, building goes on in what seems like every direction. And sirens now too.  Urban life doesn’t get any thicker than this.

It may not seem the perfect place to witness the unfolding of spring, so far remove from nature, yet the duality of springtime in NYC has a lesson to share. Between the cracks of concrete the vibration of spring is growing more vibrant each day.  You can hear birds chirp through the din. The sound of seagulls as a reminder we’re on an island. The flowers in the flower beds on 34th between 9th and 10th start to push themselves forth, celebrating into the sunlight. I always admire those little flowers. They come up amidst discarded coke cans, and cigarette butts without hesitation, without desire for a better, more perfect setting. They just come up. Where they are, as they are, because the time is now.  They disregard what may seem like an imperfect surrounding and just head toward the light prepared to offer the blossoming of their beauty, without expectation, to anyone who should happen to notice.  We can take that wisdom to heart with a simple practice my 7 year old taught me last week.

“Mama, I need you to do something for me”, he said from the living room. I was in the bathroom collecting myself after I’d let my thoughts travel way too far into the future and so, had gotten totally overwhelmed. It happens. “Okay” I said, pulling it together, “What do you need?”. And I joined him in the living room.He instructed me to sit down, close my eyes, take a deep breath in and let a deep breath out. Then he said “Now open your eyes and notice what’s around you and be grateful for it all.”

photoHis words immediately brought me into the present, and I’ve been practicing this daily with wonder at his great insight. He didn’t ask me look and see what I’m grateful for, he asked me just to look and be grateful for it all, without judgement. The sunlight, the birdsong, the construction, the flower beds and yes, even the coke cans and cigarette butts.  This kind of practice connects us to the vibration deep under the concrete and takes us toward the light, to blossom our beauty as an offering, without expectation, to anyone who should happen to notice.

~By Sarah Ireland

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An Evening Benefit for “Be-a-Light” Solar Lantern Project

ShivaReaJoin Vinyasa pioneer Shiva Rea and beloved NYC DJ Tasha Blank for a rejuvenating evening of meditation, yoga, and tribal house music to tap into the power of abundant renewable energy as we connect to our inner light and solar power.

This evening benefits “Be-a-Light” Solar Lantern Project, empowering youth in the United States and eradicating kerosene lamps in East Africa through yoga energy activism and Solar Aid. The lamps will bring some light to youth who are facing cancer at Comprehensive Center for Wellness Pediatric Oncology, Columbia University Medical Center, as well as lighting the night for school kids in Tanzania.

$20 (support one solar lantern); $35 (support one lantern and take one home)
Register at www.yjevents.com

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Continuing Education: The energetics of seeing, being and enhancing with Johanna Bell

JoJust as yoga encompasses dimensions beyond structure, we teachers have the capacity to support the physical practice with an awareness beyond simple placement of form. Please join Johanna Bell for an afternoon of exploration as we learn to look at beings and bodies from an energetic standpoint and play with new ways to be in the room, enhance posture and deepen presence.

Saturday, April 11th, 2:30 – 4:30 | $40
Sign up here!

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Spring Serenade with Live Sitar

ThomasJoin Lauren and Thomas Wave on Wednesday, April 22nd, at 12:30pm for a special class dedicated to sweet mother earth and her radiant blossoming into Spring!

Lauren will guide us through an expansive Vinyasa Flow class of balancing, heart opening and grounding asana, accompanied by Thomas’ sweet serenade. Together, we will honor both the internal and external experience of growth and expansion that occurs at this magical time of year. Through this practice we will learn to embody our greatest strength & beauty and celebrate our limitless potential!

Followed by a meditation and kirtan dedicated to the Earth — or, as she is affectionately known by all Yogis, Ma!

Sign up here.
Regular class passes apply so no need to register on this page. Please sign up for the regular Wednesday 12:30pm class to participate.

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Kirtan Satsang with Lauren Hanna

LaurenKirtan Satsang Celebration With Lauren Hanna. Join us for a mystical study of the stories of the Hindu Gods & Goddesses and an exploration of Mantra and Harmonium.

This teacher-training module is designed to awaken the mind and the heart of the individual in his/her quest for the deep wisdom of the subtle practices of Yoga. In this weekend of study and celebration, we will explore the language of Yoga through chanting, study and satsang. Together we will enjoy practices and stories of the Hindu Gods & Goddesses and realize the potential of working with the sacred feminine and masculine deities. We will vibrate with the Maha Mantras and their meanings and learn to play the healing instrument of the harmonium.

Open to teachers and curious students. Inspired by the teachings of Sally Kempton.

Saturday and Sunday, April 18th & 19th, 9am to 6pm | $350 ($315 for TT Graduates)

Students may also take just the morning master classes.

Saturday, April 18th, 9:00 – 11:00am: Awakening to Shakti ($30, $25 for TT/Grad)
Sunday, April 19th, 9:00 – 11:00am: Dancing with Shiva ($30, $25 for TT/Grad)
Sign up here!

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Diving Deeper: Pranayama II with Lisa Benner

lungsPranayama is the practice of directing your energy or life giving forces (prana) by controlling your breath. Pranayama is practiced to generate positive feelings, calm, heal, cleanse and vitalize the nerves, lungs and bloodstream. This Hathavidya workshop provides both theory and practice to teach you how to set up an invigorating and healing breathing routine.

While, this is a part 2, part 1 is not a pre-requisite. Participants will leave with a personal pranayama practice. The workshop is aimed toward beginner to intermediate. Come and experience one of the most powerful tools for mental balance, control and stress management.

Saturday, April 4th, 2:30 – 4:30pm
Cost: $30
Sign up now!

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Members Only Class: Sonic Sadhana

Sonic Yoga Photoshoot February 28, 2014The evolution of eastern yoga on western soil has created myriad fusions and personal styles from your local yoga teacher to the national level celebrity yoga teacher.  Going back to the roots of the practice, can be revealing and remind us thatt he real value of yoga is when it is experienced as a transformative spiritual practice or sadhana.

By letting go of the rest of the class, we can gain greater clarity of our practice and how it can serve a higher purpose.   Deeper excavation of  the meaning of yoga and its lineage through a practice of Surya Namaskar and Chandra Namaskar (Sun and Moon Salutations).

This class will be mostly asana, with no tricks or fancy sequences. Refine your technique of foundational poses and learn the sequence so you can always practice anywhere by yourself.

Sunday, April 19th, 3:00 – 4:15 | Sign up today!

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Blog Post: Vishnu

vishnuVishnu is one of the three supreme deities (Trimurti) of Hinduism and is known as “the Preserver or the Protector.” Vishnu is the force responsible for fixing injustice in the world and restoring and maintaining balance. Vishnu is often depicted as reclining on a Sheshanaga – the coiled, many-headed snake floating on cosmic waters, which represents the peaceful Universe. This pose symbolizes the god’s power to maintain calm and order in the face of danger.

Vishnu holds a conch, which stands for the five elements and eternity; a discus, which is the symbol of the mind; a bow that symbolizes power, and a lotus, a symbol of the cosmos. Vishnu has ten avatars that he morphs into when he is called upon to come into the world and restore order.

Yoga is practiced to bring and restore balance between the body, mind, and soul of the individual. Therefore, the energy of Vishnu is inherently tied to the practice of yoga, and the argument can be made that simply by practicing yoga, one is tapping into Vishnu’s powers. If you are feeling particularly out of balance, another way to more specifically invoke the energy of Vishnu is to work with the mantra “om namo narayanaya,” which is dedicated to him. In general, calling upon the energy of Vishnu in your daily practice is a powerful tool to bring and restore balance in your life.

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