Integral Yoga® Magazine, Issue No. 176  The Guru Within
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“The Guru Within”

If you think you can get the answer and directions from within, fine, do that. Your own mind acts as a Guru if it’s clean enough. Ultimately, the Guru is within. But until you are able to get clear answers from within, you can ask somebody who already knows the way. And remember, it’s not the physical body that is the Guru; it’s the divine aspect that vibrates in the body.

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

(Photo: Peter Max original art)

All the knowledge and wisdom is available to us in this world. The world is a university without walls. If you become a good student, any time you feel a need to know something, the answer will appear. In the early days when I would give talks, I used to wonder, Where did that answer I just gave come from? I never studied about the problem nor have I ever heard these answers. So from where did they come? They came from the universal mind, which is waiting there for you to tap into it. When you need something, it comes to you in a whisper. That means that everything is there already. Of course, until you are able to keep the mind clear, you have to learn everything, one piece of information at a time. This is what is meant by the well-known biblical teaching: “Seek the kingdom of God first.” Then what happens? “Everything else will be added unto you.” That everything else includes psychology, physiology, gemology and all other “ologies”—whatever they are, they will be added unto you. To keep the mind clean and clear is the most difficult thing because the mind is like a kind of sensitive film. It constantly picks things up.  MORE

A Passion for Change
By Brother David Steindl-Rast, OSB

In his annual Christmas/New Year's letter, Benedictine monk and interfaith activist Br. David Steindl-Rast offers us a message of hope for 2020.
    “Never ever depend on governments or institutions to solve any major problems,” says Margaret Mead. “All social change comes from the passion of individuals.” Passion for change — that’s what i wish each one of you for 2020. We can overcome our sense of helplessness by turning it into passion for change. Only two things are needed: 1) Inform yourself; 2) Resist lazy excuses. Both have helped me. I’m a slow learner, but now i am ashamed of the excuses i used to find. The Rule of St. Benedict strictly forbids monks to eat meat. Yet, many of us who solemnly vow to keep that Rule, still find excuses. Kind people, whose kindness i strive to imitate, act, nevertheless, like sleepwalkers in the face of the world’s crisis. Our current catastrophe has not been caused by monsters, but by sleepwalkers. “Wake up, wake up from sleep!” The sacred songs of this season keep repeating this wake-up call.  MORE

In this Integral Yoga podcast, Integral Yoga Teachers Association director, Avi Gordon, talks with Letícia Padmasri about asana and its relationship with prana, how triggers can help us go deeper in our personal growth, among other subjects. Padmasri is an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant and one of Integral Yoga's leading Teacher Trainers.

Why I Hate Meditation
By Emily Lloyd

I have a friend who has told me, on multiple occasions, that she cannot meditate. Up to this point, I have failed miserably to convince her otherwise. I have used all the best quotes, like the old Zen saying, “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day, unless you are too busy, then you should sit for an hour.” What I have failed to do is listen to her. Really listen to her. She is telling me her mind is busy. She is telling me she can’t sit still that long. She is telling me she’s hopeless. But, here’s what she’s really trying to tell me: She’s scared. She’s afraid. And guess what—she’s not alone. Perhaps it is time for me to put down my inspirational quotes and wellness statistics, and tell my friend the truth: I hate meditation. This morning, I woke up and prepared to meditate, mindfully noticing my holey pajama shorts, wishing a good morning to the wobbly cellulite on my thighs, and my astonishing bedhead. I took a deep breath, settled into a cross-legged, seated position, and prepared for a miniature nervous breakdown. This has been my story for 10. Freaking. Years! There are mornings when even three minutes of meditation feels impossible.  MORE

Ahimsa and Environmentalism
By Kṛtajña Kerby

Iana Sundari Malcolm, a Yoga Instructor, birth doula, and Integral Yoga Teacher Trainer, is a breathtaking example of how to truly live Yoga, practicing ahimsa in her personal as well as her professional life. Currently, Iana is traveling across the country with her husband John, and their dog Ana-Mae in a renovated school bus equipped with solar panels. Additionally, Iana and John have a long term plan to build a freshwater system on the bus. Eventually, this system will be able to harvest rainwater out on the road. Another way in which Iana practices ahimsa is with her company, Bliss Out Retreats, which takes clients on luxury mindfulness and meditation retreats around the world. She explains the huge change she made in her company recently: “We, as a company with Bliss Out Retreats, took our retreats from 10 per year to 1 per year because of the negative effect of taking so many flights. We brought that number down by offering our clients something called Stay Cations, which allows them to have a guided retreat, but at home.” During Stay Cations, meditation sessions and Yoga classes are facilitated for clients over the internet, without ever having to leave their homes.  MORE

Last year, Swami Asokananda (president of the Integral Yoga Institute of New York) began a short vlog on the Bhagavad Gita, which we posted weekly via Integral Yoga Magazine. That vlog can now be found on the YouTube channel specially created for this series, which you can view here. We hope you will continue to enjoy and be inspired by "The Bhagavad Gita in Daily Life" series!

With the incredible support of Shanti Das, and the guidance provided by Swami Asokananda and Parvathi Faini (Integral Yoga Milan), Integral Yoga is growing and thriving in China. Asokanandaji and Parvathi have conducted several teacher trainings already and the enthusiasm is wonderful! Recently, one of the new teachers shared this message. "At the beginning of our company's (Shanti Das owns the I Love Sports chain of sports clubs in China) annual party, Shanti Das introduced our great Guru, Swami Satchidananda to all the staff, and asked Raju to lead us to chant three Oms to feel the powerful energy. We believe that, under the guidance of the Guru and the leadership of Swami Asokananda, Parvathi, and Shanti Das, Integral Yoga will definitely develop better and better in China."

Inside Yogaville

This past fall, during an Integral Yoga Teacher Training, the trainees enjoyed a walking meditation on the steps to Kailash, site of the Lord Nataraja Shrine. This was a beautiful contemplative and meditative journey that was enjoyed by trainees and staff.
Inspiring Post of the Week
(Reality TV just got real! Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice
posted this on Instagram this week. Let's hope some of her 1.8 million followers read it! Teresa is featured in a Sabra hummus commercial during the Super Bowl. Sneak preview here. )
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