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Integral Yoga® Magazine, Issue No. 111 "Stay Present"
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Stay Present 
 
 “The whole day isn’t in our hands right now—just this minute. The next minute is the future. The past minute is the past. There’s nothing to worry about in the past; it’s gone. The future is not in our hands. What is it that’s in our hands? The golden present. So, stay present.

“God bless you. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.”  —Sri Swami Satchidananda

With the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, we wanted to share Swami Satchidananda's views on Yoga and political involvement. Even from the earliest days of his arrival in America, he encouraged his students to be responsible citizens and to vote. For example, one new student asked him, “How should Yoga practice relate to political actions? He answered, “You know, in the name of spirituality, we need not ignore the world or run away from the world. But on the other hand, with the real knowledge of the Self, we understand the world better and we handle the world much more easily, in a safe way without getting entangled in that. Such a person can deal with everything in the world in a better way. He was also asked about effecting social change: “We have to educate the people, work towards changing the law. That’s how a yogi should deal with politics. We call our country a democracy, but it is not truly a democracy unless our elected representatives represent all of the people. We have to carefully consider and cast our vote for the right person.”  MORE

Father Thomas Keating, cofounder of the Centering Prayer movement, passed away on October 25th. Fr. Keating was ordained a priest in 1949. He was invited to Rome in 1971, following the Second Vatican Council where Pope Paul VI encouraged priests, bishops and religious scholars to renew the Christian contemplative tradition. As an answer to this call, Fr. Thomas, along with William Meninger and Basil Pennington, drew on the ancient practice of Lectio Divina and its movement into contemplative prayer, or resting in God, to develop the practice of Centering Prayer. The initial idea was to bring the contemplative practices of the monastery out into the larger Christian community. After 20 years as abbot of St. Joseph's Abbey, Fr. Thomas resigned and became more fully immersed in bringing the contemplative dimension of the Gospel to the public by co-founding Contemplative Outreach in 1984.  MORE  (photo L-R: Swami Satchidananda, Dr. Karan Singh, Fr. Keating, Dr. Robert Muller, UN Assistant Secretary-General, at a Temple of Understanding meeting, early-1980s)

In this video, Dr. Mala Cunningham, an Integral Yoga teacher and Yoga therapist, looks at the history of Yoga and how it was brought to, and had an impact on, Western culture. She also looks to the future and how Yoga is able to help with medical conditions, most notably heart conditions. Dr. Cunningham is a leading speaker, author, and educator in the field of Mind-Body Medicine and Health Psychology. She is the President of Positive Health Solutions and is the Founder and Director of the renowned training program Cardiac Medical Yoga, an Integral Yoga Inspired program. This lecture was filmed at The George Harilela Hall, Sotogrande, Spain in April 2018. (Special thanks to Les Anand Roberts for producing this video, which is an excellent teaching tool for Yoga teachers & therapists.)

How a Yogi Responds to Divisiveness
An Open Letter from Swami Ramananda

Om dear friends,
Ever since the polarization we witnessed during the Senate hearings on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, I have been thinking about how a yogi should respond to the divisive culture we dwell in here. Then the newest report on the imminent dangers of climate change came out and again provoked reflections—how do I respond to this? There’s no one answer, but I think it is the responsibility of all of us who are capable of rising above the “us vs. them” mentality to do what we can to take action toward healing our planet and our communities: to be emissaries of peace and compassion instead sustaining divisions, to reach out to those in need, to vote, to pray, to make a daily effort to awaken fully to our oneness and bring that truth into our conversations and our choices. In conversation, I found others searching their hearts in much the same ways. Some friends found some very meaningful actions to take by searching a little online. There are so many sources of information out there—I encourage you to form your own vision of ways to make a difference, instead of falling into hopelessness or apathy.

With the recent assassination of respected journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia has been front and center in the news. A few days prior to Mr. Khashoggi's disappearance, an article in the World Tribune put a spotlight on Yoga in Saudi Arabia. The article reported that "Yoga studios are springing up in Saudi Arabia amid Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s call for an 'open, moderate Islam.' Until recently, Yoga was not officially permitted in Saudi Arabia as it was perceived to be a Hindu spiritual practice. Just a year ago, Yoga practitioners in the kingdom could have been hit with criminal charges. Nouf Marwaai, head of the Arab Yoga Foundation, is leading the effort dispel the notion that Yoga is incompatible with Islam. The foundation has trained hundreds of Yoga instructors in the kingdom. 'Five years ago, this (teaching Yoga) would have been impossible,' Marwaai said. 'The prince’s outreach to other religions is apparent in the interfaith gatherings and the new enthusiasm for Saudi Arabia’s pre-Islamic heritage,' said Kristin Diwan, of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. Could it be the right time for the spirit of Yoga to flow through this kingdom?

Pratyahara is a practice designed to help us limit external influences. [Listen to Swami Satchidananda give a teaching on this here.] Instead of allowing our senses to be constantly directed outward, pratyahara is a discipline that allows us to control our senses and direct the mind inward....Yogic and Ayurvedic philosophy described four types of pratyahara: Karma patyahara, the control of our actions; Indriya pratyahara, the control of the senses; Mano pratyahara, the control of the mind; and Prana pratyahara, the control of the breath. Karma pratyahara is the practice of performing action without attachment, without a need for a reward or return on investment. In chapter two, verse 48, the Bhagavad Gita describes this as, “Establishing being (inner silence) and then performing action.” These actions can come from inspiration gained from a deep meditation, restorative Yoga class, or some forest bathing. These actions typically involve some aspects of loving, giving, or caring through the window of compassion, understanding, joy, and happiness.  MORE


Cop To Yoga Peace Force


Tiffany Seybert founded Cop To Yoga Peace Force as a community-based peace initiative. Seybert’s program unites volunteer Yoga teachers with their local Chicago Police districts to provide evidence-based breath work meditation tools as a way to neutralize stress in real time. The result is officers and the community joining together to create relationships, with the understanding that we are all connected and working together to create peaceful interactions in our city. Seybert leads a class called Roll Call, which is seven minutes of Yoga breath work meditation given in the roll calls as officers start their shift. Officers are seated and in uniform, and practice the work Monday through Friday. This format provides repetition and depth to ensure the work becomes embedded in their daily wellness practices. In addition to this video interview with Seybert, you can read about the project in this Yoga Chicago article.
Swami Asokananda at
Athens Yoga Fest!

Swami Asokananda recently traveled to Athens, Georgia, for the annual Athens Yoga Fest. He led the audience in 108 Sun Salutations in a beautiful venue that was half indoors, half outdoors. The Athens Yoga Fest is a UN recognized event for peace.
 



Integral Yoga teacher and minister Rev. Manjula Spears is one of the organizers of the event.  Every year, Swami Asokananda is invited to open and close the gathering, which attracts several hundred people. See more photos here.

This special collector’s full color calendar is a commemorative tribute to the 50th anniversary of the famed Woodstock Festival (August 1969), during which Swami Satchidananda gave the opening address and went on to affectionately become known as, “The Woodstock Guru.” The twelve-month calendar with different spectacular photos each month, features the 1960s pop art of Peter Max. The calendar includes inspirational quotes, vintage posters and other art of Swami Satchidananda from the ‘60s, and the dates noted for holidays/observances for many world faiths and full moon dates for each month. A beautiful hanging wall calendar on heavy card stock, measures (when hanging) 11 inches wide x 16-1/2 inches high. VERY limited quantities. Perfect holiday gift! Order now!

By the end of 2018, the Light Of Truth Universal Shrine (LOTUS) will be powered by the sun. Phase II of Yogaville's changeover to solar is now focused on the LOTUS and the fountains in front of it, thanks to a generous donation that covered half the cost. Other donations came in and now this solar array is totally paid for, saving Yogaville more than $600 per month on electricity costs. Read more about the dedicated service and environmental activism of Yogaville Environmental Solutions (YES) in their Fall 2018 newsletter.
Inspirational Meme of the Week
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