Integral Yoga® Magazine, Issue No. 165  Want to Lose Weight?
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Want to Lose Weight?

Would you like to lose some weight? People are usually so worried about reducing their physical weight. Yet, how much lighter and freer they would be if they reduced their egoistic weight. To weigh the ego, just take a long piece of paper and a pencil and list all that you call yours: your name, your fame, your position, your power, your brain—everything. If your list is long, you really carry a heavy load. The less weight you bear, the freer you are.

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

(Photo: Swami Satchidananda at his desk at the Oliver Cromwell Hotel, New York, 1966.)

Steps on the Spiritual Path

Question: For people who are new on the path of spirituality, what do you recommend for them? Are there steps or procedures?
Swami Satchidananda: You have already taken the first step by wanting to become a spiritual student. That is the most important thing. You want to follow the spiritual path and you want to know your own true spirit. The next thing is to make yourself fit for that, physically and mentally. You can follow the steps given by Sri Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. It is called the eight limbs of Yoga. It begins with yama and niyama – practical guidelines to live by to help keep the mind calm. It continues with asana (physical postures), pranayama ( breathing techniques), pratyahara ( sense-control), dharana (concentration), dhyana ( meditation). The eighth step is the experience of Yoga, or Self-realization. But, most of all, learn to be a fool! A fool is one who is mad after a goal. In a way, everybody is a mad person. Some are mad after money, some are mad after power; everything is a madness. The whole world is filled with mad people! Some are mad after God. For that, learn to be selfless by renouncing your selfishness.  MORE

In this monthly series on the Yamas and Niyamas, senior Integral Yoga teachers offer wisdom and reflections on applying these foundational principles of Yoga in daily life from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. This month's focus is on saucha, purity.   
    When we reach the pinnacle of purity (saucha) we abide eternally in peace and joy, experience God in, or to be more accurate, as everything, ourselves included. How will we know we are established in purity? Sutras 2.40 and 2.41 explain that through the practice of this niyama, a deeper understanding of the human body occurs, and one gains cheerfulness, one-pointedness, mastery over the senses, and fitness to realize the Self. A reflection: 1. Looking at my physical environment, with what regularity do I clean my home, car, and other items that I use? 2. Is my clothing usually clean and neat? 3. In observing saucha, do I avoid rigidity? 4. Do I maintain the same level of cleanliness and order at work as I do at home? 5. If I were to simplify my life, would this make the practice of saucha easier? 6. Do I spend as much time inwardly purifying the mind and heart as I do outwardly cleaning the body and the world around me?  MORE

Sonny Rollins, 89, is an American jazz tenor saxophonist who is widely recognized as one of the most important and influential jazz musicians. In a seven-decade career, he has recorded over sixty albums, including an album with John Coltrane. What many don't know? Rollins has practiced Yoga for over 50 years! In this video interview, he makes the distinction between Hatha Yoga and the other classical branches and it's in those other branches  that his main interest lies. And, this has clearly influenced his music, including his 2014 set of live recordings, Road Shows, Vol. 3. Rollins plays a “mantra-like” song called “Patanjali,” a tribute to the discipline that he says keeps him physically and musically vital.

Veterans Day (November 11th), is the anniversary of the end of World War I. It is a holiday scheduled to honor all veterans of the United States Armed Forces for their patriotism and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good of our country. Yet all too often, this service comes with a cost of unseen wounding. This is why a number of organizations around the country, as well as the military itself, is looking at the benefits of Yoga for veterans. The current statistics are staggering: There are a reported 22 veteran suicides each day, 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans and 30% of Vietnam veterans are diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.... A study funded by the U.S. Defense Department and led by Sat Bir S. Khalsa, PhD, found that a consistent Yoga practice over 10 weeks showed improvement in PTSD symptoms. Yoga techniques in this protocol included postures, breathing techniques, and meditation with an emphasis on grounding awareness in the present moment. Several other studies have shown similar positive results.... On Veterans Day, members of the Yoga community have come together to create several initiatives to increase accessibility and awareness of Yoga for veterans.  MORE

For those of you who are newly certified Yoga instructors and pondering "what’s next’" this article by contains five insights for new Yoga teachers. Tara is an experienced Virginia-based ERYT500, RCYT, YACEP certified Yoga instructor, life coach, self-published author and the founder of greatabidingyoga. 1) Get clear: What message has been given for me to share? Find where your unique personality and strengths can nourish others, remembering that your strengths aren’t necessarily what you’re good at, but rather what makes you feel strong. 2) Be open to opportunity: At first, I resisted the idea of pursuing Yoga as a full-time career but finally, in 2014, I took the leap. 3) See obstacles as opportunities: Yoga instructors don't walk on rainbows for the rest of their lives. Inevitably, there will be hard lessons to learn. 4) Find your tribe: Focus on surrounding yourself with those most aligned with you and your message. 5) Remember: You're part of a bigger plan. Get clear, find your message, open to opportunity, find your tribe and remember you are part of a bigger plan are all parts of the growth process.  MORE  (Note: Tara's next workshop in Yogaville is in April 2020.)
In this video, Nalanie Chellaram (director of Integral Yoga Gibraltar & Sotogrande) talks about how to "be." Ever wished you could just be?  No work, no stress, no worries, just living the moment in peace and joy? It's all in the mind, and in this short video, Nalanie explains how you can help yourself to enter a state of "just being." This inspirational video is part three of a series of short films under the title of "Love of Life, Life of Love." The music in this video is: "Dancing Light," courtesy and kind permission of Terry Oldfield.

While it's not quite award season in the USA yet, it is in Australia. The Australian Film Institute and Australian Academy for Cinema and Television Arts (Australia's counterpart to the Academy Awards) announced the 2019 nominees for their annual awards. Longtime Integral Yogi Peter (Param) McNulty was nominated for best editing of the film, "Hotel Mumbai." As his wife Deepa explained to us, "The ceremony takes place in Sydney because it is an Australian film with an Australian director." The film is a 2018 biographical thriller directed by Anthony Maras inspired by the 2009 documentary "Surviving Mumbai" about the 2008 Mumbai attacks at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in India. The film stars Dev Patel and Armie Hammer, among others. Members of the Synchronicity Foundation community in Virginia were at the hotel at that time and several members of the community lost their lives in the massacre, including Naomi Scherr, a 13-year-old girl and her father, Alan. Kia Scherr, a good friend of the Yogaville community, began One Life Alliance/The Forgiveness Project, a foundation in honor of her late husband and daughter. Congrats Param and best of luck!

"No power, no problem!" That's what resident marketing director and chief photographer Bill Geoghegan reported about last week's first power major power outage of the fall/winter season in Yogaville. This outage was 16 hours but food was not scarce for the guests and community. In the morning, Mandala Cafe managed to open a hot drinks stand outside, employing a camp stove to boil water. A generator powered the kitchen so lunch was served on time, while dinner saw the arrival of 70 weekend program guests who enjoyed a candlelight dinner. Kitchen staff set up little votives on each of the many tables in the dining hall! (photo: Karuna Howeth serves a hot beverage to IYTA director Avi Gordon).
Inspiring Meme of the Week
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