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Integral Yoga® Magazine, Issue No. 69 "You Are the Master of Your Destiny"
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You Are the Master of Your Destiny       
 
 “Each person has a unique responsibility; nobody else can take your place. Destiny is not given to you by somebody else. Your past actions form your destiny now. You are the master of your destiny.

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

(photo: Swami Satchidananda, mid-1980s, on the banks of the Ganges River, where his Guru, Sri Swami Sivananda, would often sit and meditate. )
 

It’s not difficult to practice Yoga, even with a very busy lifestyle. What do you think your Yoga practice is? Doing some postures, sitting in meditation and that’s all? No, there is a yogic way of doing everything; not that this is Yoga and that is not Yoga. Even the so-called Yoga practices may not be Yoga at all if you don’t know how to use them properly. We can take the distinction between karma and Karma Yoga as an example. Karma is ordinary action and Karma Yoga is selfless action. If your actions are karma then you have to face the results of those actions. If your actions are selfless, you won’t have any problems at all. It doesn’t matter that you work 40 hours a week and have family responsibilities. Whatever kind of work you do, the work and the other responsibilities become Yoga if you treat them that way. Have the attitude that whatever you are doing, it is being done not for your own personal benefit but as a service to others.  MORE

(Special thanks to Rev. Bharati Gardino for editing this new column dedicated to the essential teachings of Sri Swami Satchidananda)

Inside Yama and Niyama with Swami Karunananda, Part I

In this new 3-part video series, one of Integral Yoga's master Raja Yoga teachers, takes us for a journey inside the foundational teachings of Yoga that form the first two limbs of the 8-limbed Raja Yoga system: Yama and Niyama. With her inimitable way of teaching—weaving stories and insights as she unpacks these classical limbs—you will be sure to discover new ways to understand, be inspired by, and apply Yama and Niyama in your life.

A Celebration of our Spiritual Elders as the New Year Rises to Meet Us
By Jeff Ananda Kamen
 
During my first year at the Ashram, I learned that early disciples of Swami Satchidananda are special treasures for the rest of us who arrived much later. Not only because of their delicious first person stories about life with our Yoga master, but because of who they are as individual seekers and because of the wisdom each of them has acquired over decades on this path. Almost four years ago I arrived in Yogaville physically shattered, emotionally and spiritually wrecked, only to be resurrected by the energy, dedication, and wisdom of the people here. One of my teachers was a day manager named Adharsh. He taught me the value of silence, strongly suggested I study humility, and was joyfully supportive of the transformation I was undergoing. One day, he pointed out a woman with a cane. My health was rapidly returning and with it came some awareness. So even then, I could sense remarkable energy emanating from this woman. Adharsh quietly told me, “That is Prakash. I have called her Auntie Prakash since I was a small child. She was one of our first fire fighters here in Yogaville. She Is a member of our clergy, a fine editor, and a great seeker. You would do well to spend time with her.” I treasure my times listening to Prakash and often marvel at her profound insights. She is kindness personified. If you are ever in need of wisdom—and if she has the time— you will be very well guided.
(Photo: Adharsh and Prakash hours before the dawn of this new year.)

When I first visited the Sivananda Ashram, Bahamas several years ago, I noticed something subtle that had a profound impact on my Yoga practice and the way that I view Western Yoga. It was the simple recitation of “Om” during Satsang and Yoga classes....As I grow in my Yoga practice, I’ve struggled the last year over my place as a teacher and in my own personal practice. I’ve harshly judged myself based on how others might see me. I’ve read many a blog or article criticizing Western Yoga teachers for trying to hijack Yoga. Yoga originated in the East and here we are in in the West trying to make it our own, using the dead language of Sanskrit to show off what we know or trying to be someone we aren’t....But something happened this week to make me view things differently and to begin incorporating it back into my teaching.  MORE


Lessons I Learnt from my Beautiful Master — Part 4
With Nalanie Chellaram

 
In this ongoing video series, Integral Yoga teacher and centre director, Nalanie Chellaram, shares inspiring stories of lessons she learned from personal interactions from her spiritual teacher, Sri Swami Satchidananda. In this video, Nalanie tells the story of the lesson she learned while taking Swami Satchidananda to the airport after his visit to Gibraltar, where she had hosted him.

We’ve all probably experienced times when we felt bounced around by too many stressors and we struggled just to keep our balance. In stressful times, we may be happy just to make it through the day, have something nice to eat and a little entertainment to relax with. But the predominant messages of our culture can influence us to see this as a way of life – one in which making a living and having some pleasurable experiences constitute success and happiness. If we don’t have some clear sense of what we really want to do with this life, it’s easy enough to fill our time with all the sense-stimulating experiences our modern world offers. This is why we chose to practice living with intention as we enter a new year: to clarify the overall purpose we hold for this lifetime and the way we want to carry ourselves through each day.  MORE

 

Teaching Kids to Cope with Emotions Through Yoga
By Erika Lee

Many children have depression or eating disorders due to their anxiety, and the age of onset is getting younger and younger. Suicide has become a real threat for kids as early as middle school. Because of this, it is more important than ever to teach kids the tools they need to cope with emotions in a better way. Wuf Shanti is a dog character that teaches kids to live a yogic lifestyle by sharing Yoga, meditation, and positive thinking with them at a young age so that those tools become an automatic response to stress as they grow-up. Learning to deal with life’s issues in a more productive way will hopefully help kids to be less depressed and anxious teens and happier adults. The effects of living a healthy lifestyle in mind, body, and spirit, including Yoga, meditation, nutrition, positive thinking, and the ability to manage emotions, has been something doctors and therapists have started to look at more in recent years.  MORE


Inspirational Meme of the Week
 

Inside Yogaville

While much of the USA braced for the winter weather dubbed "bomb cyclone," here in Yogaville we were thankfully spared snow and ice storms. As temperatures in Virginia dropped into the single digits, our roving reporter Jeff Ananda Kamen found the littlest fountain at LOTUS still managing to flow! Now that's living with intention!
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