Archive for the ‘Philosophy of Yoga’ Category

What do you stand for?

Posted on: May 30th, 2013
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Whether you practice yoga once in a while or you’re a full time yogi living in the mountains, your life is filled with choices and challenges that test you to choose what matters most. We choose where we work, where we live, what we give, it may not always seem like it, but that is what yoga teaches us.

Sanctuary Yoga isn’t about one right way. It’s about finding your way. Finding your balance. When you fall out of a posture, how do you respond? When life gives you choices, challenges and knocks you down, what inspires you to get back up?

What do you stand for?


Trees Are Sanctuaries

Posted on: May 23rd, 2013
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“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”
― Hermann Hesse, Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte

Student Blog: Death and Rebirth

Posted on: May 15th, 2013
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New Moon

As you may or may not know, there was a new moon in Taurus along with a solar eclipse on Thursday, May 9th.  What does that mean about yoga and your yoga practice?

New moons symbolize a reminder of the always present void that at any and every moment we can let go of energy that is detrimental to our well being and plant new seeds of positive intention. Additionally, solar eclipses mark times of redirecting and shifts of cosmic energy, more specifically a Taurus solar eclipse brings up issues of self-worth and values. In other words, it is a period of death and rebirth, which is something that has always been prevalent in my life being that I was born on October 30th, the day of death & rebirth.

So what are my energy patterns that I am releasing and what seeds of intention am I planting? First of all, I am slowing down drastically on my consumption of marijuana. It’s been 3 days now, YAY me! I know that there are yogis in India and all over the world that use the plant for sacramental and mind altering/opening purposes, but for me, I have been smoking it regularly for 5 years and it’s no longer beneficial to my path and I now realize that practicing yoga and meditation gives me a much more clarified state of consciousness. As far as the seeds that I am planting and will see come to fruition, I want to get past my mental block of doing a hand stand. I am also working on introducing myself to more people. Being a channel of energy that is able to connect with people of all walks of life is my way of being the change that I want to see in the world. That is my new moon cycle, death & rebirth workings, what are yours? Until we read again, Namaste.

–Craig Jackson is a student of Sanctuary Yoga

What is Yoga?

Posted on: May 9th, 2013
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“Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.” ~ Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Have you ever asked yourself, ‘What is Yoga?’ The word yoga (sanskrit for union) first appeared in writing over 5000 years ago to describe an experience of enlightenment through spiritual practice. How exactly this is done has been codified and evolved over the years into what we now know of as yoga. Interestingly, the oldest texts included no mention of the asanas (postures) so commonly associated with modern yoga. There has always been something more, beyond the physical forms, that yoga is a path towards. So what were these original seekers and yogis doing, how did it evolve, and why are their practices still relevant today?

These are timeless questions that will come up again and again throughout this blog as we explore the question, ‘What is Yoga?’ The purpose of the Amala Foundation, the Sanctuary, and the many spiritual traditions represented in our community. For now, I invite you to take a few deep breaths and explore these questions in self-inquiry:

What is your spiritual practice?
How has it evolved?
Why is it relevant to your life?

Jeremy Devens current teaches at Sanctuary Yoga Thursdays at 6:30am and Fridays at 4pm