Integral Yoga® Magazine, Issue No. 167  Refuse to Obey the Ego
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Refuse to Obey the Ego

Mind creates its own body. The body is the development of the ego. That’s why when the mind changes, the body changes. Every thought creates a change in your face. All body chemistry is affected by your thoughts. We are all born with that beautiful face. Let us regain it by refusing to obey the selfish ego.

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

(photo: Swami Satchidananda holding Kannan Rasiah, Singapore, 1980s.)

Being Thankful to Everyone and Everything
By Sri Swami Satchidananda

On Thanksgiving day, we thank God for providing us with all our needs. Nature and God are one and the same. Nature is another name for God. So sometimes if you don’t feel comfortable with the name “God,” you can say, “Nature provided everything.” We should be thankful to the Nature, is it not so? We should be thankful to the Mother Nature, Mother Earth, Mother Sky, Mother Rain, Mother Wind. We should be thankful always; but if we forget, then at least this one day should be kept aside especially for that. All of the nicest things that we have come from God. God has provided us with everything—even our bodies, our intelligence, the earth on which we live, the plants, seeds, food, and the fruit. God has given us everything. Thanksgiving day is a special day to remember to be thankful always for all the things we have. Not just to God, but to everyone. We always give and take, give and take, give and take; therefore we should be thankful to each other, and every thing in Nature. And, ultimately, to that one great Power, one great Intelligence we call God. It’s not possible for us to return, in-kind, all that we get from Nature. How can we fulfill our obligation? It’s impossible.  MORE

Jai Uttal, the Grammy-nominated sacred music composer recently conducted a workshop in Yogaville and he recently sat down with Avi Gordon (Integral Yoga Teachers Association director) for a podcast. Having traveled extensively in India, where he met his Guru (Neem Karoli Baba), beautiful saints and singers, Bhakti Yoga became his personal path. In this interview, Jai touches on many subjects, including the challenges of Kali Yuga, self-care, and his own spiritual journey. Jai has been leading kirtans around the world for more than 45 years, creating a safe environment for people to open their hearts and voices. recording artist, multi-instrumentalist, and ecstatic vocalist, combines influences from India with influences from American rock and jazz, creating a stimulating and exotic multi-cultural fusion that is truly world spirit music.

Thanksgiving Yoga for Kids
By Alice McGinty

It is almost Thanksgiving here in the United States! Thanksgiving is generally a time for getting together with family and friends to share meals and play games. It can be a busy time of the year with lots of planning and cooking. Another great way to celebrate Thanksgiving is through movement and storytelling. This is a perfect activity to bring calm to your hectic days. Enjoy this Thanksgiving Yoga sequence inspired by the book, Thank You, World where we give thanks to nature. You could start each pose by saying I am grateful for …”.  Feel free to add your own ideas, but notice that the sequence is in a Yoga flow to make it easier to move from one kids Yoga pose to the next.  MORE

In this inspiring video from last year's BhaktiFest, Jai Uttal recounts some thoughts and memories about the kirtan that he first heard when he first met his Guru in 1971 in Vrindaban, India. He then sings one of the chants he heard at that time: the Maha Mantra.

Reducetarianism is about bridging that gap between those who make the leap to entirely plant-based and those who are somewhere on the spectrum of mindful eating.... Since I discovered the Reducetarian Solution, the way I’ve been thinking and especially talking about my choices has changed, and I believe for the better. It’s created a sense of excitement and passion in me about every plant-based choice I make, rather than guilt over the changes I’ve yet (or possibly never) to make. The logic behind reducetarianism says this schism between vegans and non-vegans is doing more harm than good. Recently, The Guardian announced it was no longer going to use the term “climate change.” It now refers only to the “climate crisis” or “climate breakdown” in an effort to wake readers up to the urgency of the situation.... In the same way, reducetarianism hopes to change the way we’re speaking about our dietary choices, bringing people together to tip the global scales toward a more plant-based future, which, given the statistics, seems to be a much more realistically effective solution than veganism or nothing.  MORE
James Twyman has always had a special affinity for St. Francis of Assisi, so much so that the NY Times bestselling author, film producer and internationally famed “Peace Troubadour” recently took orders as a Franciscan Hermit and was inspired to write his most recent book Giovanni and the Camino of St. Francis. But now, Twyman will bring his stirring new musical on St. Francis, "Brother Sun, Sister Moon," to Broadway on February 20-March 1, 2020–and with the beloved saint as his model–will travel a continent penniless, on foot and with whatever food, housing and further transportation that God will provide to get him there. Along the way, Twyman will perform the one-man show as St. Francis in Portland, Santa Barbara, Phoenix, Sedona, Santa Fe, Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, Cleveland and Philadelphia. Committed to the saint’s values of love for all and support for those in need, Twyman will feed the homeless and invite them to the performance for a night of physical and soul nourishment.

Integral Yoga Teacher Spotlight: Michelle Brandt

Michelle Brandt is certified in Integral Levels I and II and Accessible Yoga and teaches at the Integral Yoga Institute of New York. Drawing inspiration and knowledge from a vast background in dance and physical theater, she is passionate about movement as a means of expression and connection.
What is your definition of Yoga? Alignment and harmony between the body, breath, and mind.
What do you love about Yoga? My Yoga and meditation practice offers me a soft reset every day. I had heard Yoga teachers through the years say that the body is different every day, but that lesson didn’t truly land on me until I developed my own daily practice. It gives me an opportunity to peer inward and evaluate how I’m feeling and how I choose to work with it. Yoga taught me to meet myself where I am; to be soft with myself but also to recognize that I am in control of my interior life and how I choose to present to the world. I love Yoga because it enables me to identify the best version of myself and show up as her every day.  MORE

Last month we told you about the "mythic" white deer that is sometimes spotted in Yogaville. Rev. Prakasha Shakti Capen, who shot the video of that deer that we included in that report, captured a clearer video last week. So doubters beware! Here's further proof...
Inspiring Meme of the Week
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