Integral Yoga® Magazine, Issue No. 161  Know Your Own Strength
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Know Your Own Strength

If you lose your peace, you won’t be able to help anyone else, let alone yourself. A spiritual seeker is like a tender young tree that needs a fence around it to protect it while it is growing. It is easily disturbed and affected. After it has grown, it becomes a great, strong tree, offering fruits and shade for all and nothing can disturb it. So know your own strength now and avoid disturbances to your peace of mind.

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

Question: I was raised as an atheist. Life would be so much easier if I had faith. In all my years of Yoga, I know I have heart, compassion and spirit, but I can’t connect with faith. Please offer me your guidance.
Swami Satchidananda: Whether you know it or not, you have faith. There is nobody in the world without faith. But faith is placed in different ways, at different times, by different people. First of all, we have faith in ourselves. You have faith you are living. You have faith in your mother’s word. Otherwise, you wouldn’t even know who your father is. Because who knows the real father? So whether we know it or not we all have faith. Faith is not something you have to put in God. As long as you have faith in something, it is enough. Faith works wonders. The Bible says that an ounce of faith can move mountains. We see that in our daily life. For example, somebody I knew had a serious problem with cancer. She just heard me saying, “Your body doesn’t have cancerand she believed it, and now she has no more cancer. The doctors were trying hard to find the cancer, and no cancer was found in her body.  MORE

In this monthly series on the Yamas and Niyamas, Swami Karunananda offers wisdom and reflections on applying these foundational principles of Yoga in daily life. This month’s focus is on aparigraha, non-greed.     
    Aparigraha refers to non-greed, non-coveting, and non-hoarding. It’s one of the five mahavratam, or great vows, that form the spiritual foundation of Yoga and all spiritual traditions. In the 19th century, there lived a famous Polish rabbi named Hafez Hayyim. Once, an American tourist traveled to Poland to visit him and receive his blessings. He went to the rabbi’s home and was very surprised to find that it consisted of just a simple room filled with books. The only furniture was a table and a bench. The tourist looked at the rabbi and said, “Rabbi, where is your furniture?” The rabbi replied, “Where is yours?” The tourist said, “Mine? Rabbi, I’m just a visitor here!” The rabbi looked at him and said, “So am I.” The great Sufi mystic Rumi once said, “Inside the Great Mystery that is, we don’t really own anything. What is this competition we feel then, before we go, one at a time, through the same gate?”  MORE

In 2016, Erich Schiffmann taught a Freedom Yoga Workshop (a 10-hour Yoga and Meditation course) at Yogaville. This is an excerpt from his talk during the Saturday evening public satsang. "Guru Om" by Donna DeLory, featuring Sri Swami Satchidananda.

Living Mindfully and Gratefully
By Brother David Steindl-Rast, OSB

Some people think that monks have these esoteric practices and “What can we poor laypeople do?” But when you really understand what the monastic life is about, you realize that we are only doing—under more favorable circumstances and in an environment that generations have worked on to make more favorable—something that could be practiced anywhere. I’m not talking about long hours of prayer, long hours of meditation, spiritual reading or studying, or anything like that, because the essence of monastic life does not consist in any of those. Those are all means to an end. The end—in all of the monastic traditions, of both East and West—consists in cultivating mindfulness, being mindful. And “mindful” may be a little misleading, because it sounds a bit much like mind-over-body, but it has nothing to do with mind over or against body. I think “wholeheartedness” is the English word that expresses better what mindfulness as a technical term means; that you respond to every situation from your center, from your heart and that you listen with your heart to every situation, and your heart elicits the response.  MORE

I started Yoga, fairly green, at the age of 19. I was not at all athletic or even interested in exercise before. Nor did I take interest in Yoga the first few times it surfaced in my life. In college, I took one class to satisfy a physical education credit, but I didn’t really want to be there, or in the gym at all, and then my sisters took up hot yoga which I always thought sounded awfully tortuous! My interest grew when I fell in love with someone who wanted to try Yoga. I stepped into a studio to learn with the intentions of sharing the practice with that person. Ambitiously, I jumped right into level two classes (the highest level at the studio) without taking a beginner’s class. I relied on watching the teacher and fellow students, slowly learning through repetition and observation. Six months into this new practice, I remember thinking to myself, “I really like this. I am going to become a teacher.” And so I enrolled in the studio’s 200-hour teacher training. A 200-hour training is the foundational training for any Yoga teacher to become certified through the Yoga Alliance®....The time flew by, and to my surprise, I was invited to start teaching directly after the conclusion of this training.  MORE

In this series of short talks, Swami Asokananda (Integral Yoga) shares his insights from years of study and contemplation on the great Indian scripture, the Bhagavad Gita. In Part 21, we stay with this key verse: Chapter 2, verse 7. Let's take a look at times on our spiritual journey when we were the most open to receive spiritual teachings. When was that for you? Have you ever had a "turning point" moment? Arjuna is having one now, so let's see what can we learn about our own path from Arjuna.

New 2020 Calendar: Limited Quantities, Order NOW!

This special collector’s full color calendar is the final year for our wall calendar series. The calendar series began in 2007, with various themes. As most people no longer use paper calendars, we have decided that this will be the final year for the printed calendar. The 2020 calendar—twelve-months of different spectacular photos for each month—features Swami Satchidananda with children and/or animals, highlighting the “Joy of Living” theme. The calendar includes inspirational quotes for each month and the dates noted for holidays/observances for many world faiths, as well as moon phases for each month. The perfect gift for the holidays and New Year! A beautiful hanging wall calendar, on heavy card stock, measures (when open and hanging) 11 inches wide x 16-1/2 inches high. ONLY 20 LEFT, so order yours NOW!

Enjoy a Yoga vacation on the beautiful Greek island of Lesvos in the eastern Aegean sea in June 2020. Lesvos is a ten-minute walk to the sea in the small town of Molyvos. At the retreat center, you will find natural beauty, pleasant accommodations, and a warm and nurturing environment. The center provides a calm and intimate atmosphere for the program, which will be led by Swami Divyananda and Ram Wiener. With a sweeping view of Molyvos and the sea, the three-acre property with its old trees and flower gardens and natural stone buildings create a truly lush and unique environment. The week-long program features daily Yoga and meditation, talks by two of the most senior students of Swami Satchidananda, excursions, and time to relax and rejuvenate. More info here.
Inside Yogaville

Yogaville had an unusual visitor a few weeks ago: A stately blue heron arrived and stood watchfully along one of the banks of the Lotus Lake.  (Photo by Bill Geoghean)

Inspiring Meme of the Week
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