Integral Yoga® Magazine, Issue No.124 "Expectations"
View this email in your browser


Resentment and anger are probably due to your own expectations. If you can let go of expectations, the negativity will dissolve. Find out the cause when you lose your peace. You’ll come to the same conclusion: You’re simply crying over something you never had.

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

The Essence of the Bhakti Yoga Path
By Swami Satchidananda

Thayumanuvar, a great South Indian saintly poet, was also the prime minister to a king. He was once asked, if a married or unmarried life was better. He answered in the following way. If you realize that you are nothing but a top, spun around and somebody’s playing you, it doesn’t matter where you are. The top doesn’t play by itself; somebody has to play it. And God plays it with the strings. In the same way, you are that top, and the string is your karma. If you have too many karmas, you have a very long string that is wound and wound. God just swings you and lets you swing with your own karma rope. If your life happens one way, it happens, and you accept it. Without your consciously looking for it, all of a sudden you will see a partner, or, all of a sudden you will be alone, renounced. Things will happen. If God thinks you should be in a particular classroom to be educated, you’ll be put there. In one classroom you will be instructed to serve your partner and your children. So that path becomes an education. Sometimes, you may be put in the other classroom. That’s why I happily say that if people want to lead either life, fine, there is nothing wrong in either approach. But whatever you do, ultimately, you should realize this: I am the puppet. And God or the Higher Power is pulling my strings. That is the simplest and easiest way.  MORE

Once upon a time in a long-ago decade, before doctors were recommending meditation to control blood pressure and insomnia, before football teams and tech companies were using it to get better at crushing the competition, I started my career as a meditation teacher. Back then, mainstream folks were generally curious but dubious: Was this some kind of weirdo-hippie-Eastern-mystic-cult thing? So, in every public talk, I included a spiel along the lines of, “You don’t have to wear beads. You don’t have to wear orange robes. You don’t have to shave your head. You don’t have to change your name to Rainbow Blissananda. And you don’t have to go sit in a cave in India.” I still stand by those statements. But … I knew there were stories of yogis and hermits who dwelt in caves for years, and I suspected there was something to it, something deeper and more real than my flip caricature of them. Eventually, I got around to sitting in a couple of caves in India myself—briefly, but long enough to confirm that my suspicion was correct. My first encounter was on Arunachala, the red hill of Lord Shiva above the pilgrimage town of Tiruvanamalai, where sadhus (holy men) have lived in caves for centuries.  MORE  (photo: Swami Satchidananda meditating in Vasishtha Guha)

Does Meditation Affect Cellular Aging?

Nutritional expert, Dr. Michael Greger, takes a look back at the groundbreaking research study done by Dr. Dean Ornish on how diet, Yoga, and other lifestyle changes may affect the aging process. Is the reversal of cellular aging Dr. Ornish demonstrated with lifestyle changes due to the plant-based diet, the exercise, Yoga and stress management, or just to the associated weight loss? Dr. Greger highlights the stunning impact of meditation and other findings of this pioneering study. Also, Dr. Ornish's brand new book, Undo It, is now widely available!

If Dr. Greger's video doesn't have you sold on the benefits of a plant-based diet, consider the global impact. There's an entire industry built around dieting. Most of its products are intended to help people lose weight, gain muscle, or live longer. But as the global human population steadily climbs, scientists are scrambling to devise a diet plan that can feed 10 billion people by 2050. A new report, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, claims to do just that. It recommends a largely plant-based diet, with small, occasional allowances for meat, dairy, and sugar. The report was compiled by a group of 30 scientists from around the world who study nutrition or food policy. For three years, they deliberated with the intent of creating recommendations that could be adopted by governments to meet the challenge of feeding a growing world population. “Even small increases in the consumption of red meat or dairy foods would make this goal difficult or impossible to achieve,” a summary of the report states.  MORE  (Thanks to Rev. Paraman Barsel for contributing this article.)

More than two-and-a-half millennia ago, Mahapajapati Gotami, the Buddha’s aunt, set a precedent for women’s rights. Although the Buddha had female students during the early years of his teaching, there was not a monastic order for women. In India at that time, women were not allowed to participate in the dominant religious framework, where religious leaders were all men. However, five years after his enlightenment, one of the Buddha’s female followers led a group of women in requesting a place for women in the community of home-leaving spiritual seekers. One female student, Mahapajapati Gotami, was also the Buddha’s aunt and the caregiver who had raised him after his mother died. With a motivation to develop spiritually to her fullest capacity, she repeatedly entreated the Buddha to establish an order of nuns, eventually marching, along with five hundred other women, to make this request. This was the first women’s rights march in recorded history.  The Buddha agreed that women were fully capable of fulfilling the path of awakening, and the order of nuns was formed. Thus, the Buddha, together with Mahapajapati Gotami and five hundred other women, set a precedent for the social equality and inclusivity of women.  MORE
Rev. Jaganath, Integral Yoga Minister and Raja Yoga master teacher, has spent a lifetime delving into the deepest layers of meaning in Patanjali’s words within the Yoga Sutras. Our series continues with the 20th sutra of Chapter 1 in which Patanjali further elaborates on asamprajnata samadhi. We should pay close attention to the inclusion of the word “śraddhā—a state resulting from “a heart filled with light or wisdom”—as Rev. Jaganath notes in his unpacking of this sutra.
    Reflecting on matters of faith often bring up questions about free will.... In spirituality, will is wedded to faith and faith is wedded to things eternal and timeless. Such faith is natural and ever-renewing like love. It is like lover and beloved naturally and joyfully giving themselves to each other. In a loving, giving relationship your will, your freedom, is never lost. Paradoxically, you find and enrich yourself. It is the same in a relationship with God and Guru. There is never a sense of loss, only gain, only finding oneself by losing oneself. It is a theme which we have all heard in some form: we have to lose our limited self to find our ultimate freedom in the Self or God. “Thy will be done,” may not feel like a decision, but it is. It is not a one-time decision book-ended by external circumstances, but a loving gift we freely give—out of clear understanding, faith, love and in a quiet, nurturing joy.  MORE
Swami Satchidananda often said, " The entire universe is a university. You can draw lessons from everyone and everything." In this inspiring video, Nalanie Chellaram, Integral Yoga centre (Gibraltar and Sotogrande) director, discusses this theme and how life can teach us more—including the truly important lessons of life and spiritual living—than any university.
A Wakeful Response to a Troubled World
By Snehan Born

Integral Yoga Institute of San Francisco just held a special event, "A Wakeful Response to a Troubled World." Representatives from local Yoga centers (Swami Ramananda, IYI; Swami Sivasankariananda, Sivananda Ashram; and Joy Ravelli, Purusha Yoga Studio) led the discussion. After a short kirtan and meditation, statistics were presented on the state of ecology and society in general, including rates of human consumption, loss of wildlife, plastic production, US military expense, and climate change. Participants split into 3 groups for discussion on these topics—in a way that would empower and inspire rather than lead to depression or despondency. After the larger group reconvened, the group leaders presented salient points from each group. Some of what was shared included: melding our spiritual and daily lives together instead of feeling a separation of the two, righteous indignation/holy anger, efficacy of doing small acts and how these can radiate in ways we may not ever realize, realizing that our happiness need not depend on having solutions to the bigger problems and taking heart in doing small acts as our way of contributing, not feeling overwhelmed by the vastness of the various needs and situations, the realization of our Oneness with the All and how solutions and progress will naturally evolve from this realization. Some participants have already organized a follow-up meeting to brainstorm concrete actions that could be taken together.
Inside Yogaville

Businesses, people and events in Buckingham County (where Yogaville is located) were celebrated, recognized and honored Tuesday night during the Buckingham Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Annual Awards Banquet. Krishna Jo Melendez, Yogaville's IT director, was sworn in as the new President of the Chamber of Commerce during the banquet. The event honored longtime Glenmore Volunteer Fire Chief Pete Agee and celebrated and recognized other Chamber members for their contributions. (photo: Chief Agee and some of the honorees of the evening.)

“Being a member and serving on the Chamber Board has been a wonderful experience,” Melendez said regarding being named Chamber President. “We pride ourselves with our skilled members, informative meetings, good food, and community-building events. I feel privileged to be elected the next president of the Buckingham Chamber of Commerce. I look forward to growing our chamber and serving our community to best of my ability.” (photo: Integral Yoga Academy director Sita Rose, introduces the 2019 Chamber of Commerce Board members; Krishna in rust-colored shirt.)
Inspiring Meme of the Week
Copyright © Integral Yoga International/Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville,Inc. All rights reserved.
Sign up for this free eMagazine on our website: or

Our mailing address is:
Integral Yoga Magazine
108 Yogaville Way, Buckingham, Virginia 23921 USA

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list