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Integral Yoga® Magazine, Issue No. 105 "Difficulties Make Us Strong"
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Difficulties Make Us Strong   
 
 “All your feelings and experiences in life are a result of your outlook, your attitude in life. Difficulties should come and make you strong. That is nature’s way of strengthening you and bringing out your inner capabilities.

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

Questions & Answers with Swami Satchidananda:
What Does It Mean to Be a Witness and How to Cultivate that Awareness?

We all have a witness in our own system. That’s what you call the Self. It is a constant witness. What is it witnessing? It witnesses the play of the mind. The mind constantly creates drama. When you go to a movie theater, what do you do? You sit and watch, that’s all. You don’t go and fight in a fighting scene.... You don’t have to become a witness. You already are a witness; you just have to know that. You think that you are part of the mind when you say, “My mind is disturbed.” What do you mean when you say that? Analyze that sentence. If you are the mind, then how would you know that you are disturbed? To say, “my mind,” you must be different from your mind. You possess the mind. When you say, “my car, my home,” you don’t become the car or the home. You are the owner of the car and of the home. You say, “My mind is very disturbed, so I’m unhappy.” There is a contradiction in that statement. Do you say, my car has a dent so I am suffering? If that’s what you say, then that means you identify yourself with the dent. The dent is in the car, not in the “I.” But you i-dent-ify.  MORE


I did a double-take the first time my Yoga teacher mentioned "patriarchy." We're in a Yoga class, not in Gender Politics 101. As he continued speaking, I realized he was using “patriarchy,” “misogyny,” and “masculine and feminine” in expansive ways to refer to the domination of the masculine principle over the feminine. “Yoga,” he explained, “Brings the two into the perfect harmony in which they already exist in nature—from within an atom to in a flower.” And to my surprise, I realized it showed the separate boxes we tend to put life into: the personal or the political, the “spiritual” or the worldly, the internal or the interpersonal, self-care or activism. As our training continued, I saw that my teacher, Mark Whitwell, had had the courage to transform his own gender-programming as a New Zealand male into something gentle, positive, receptive, and beautiful: the masculine and feminine in tangible harmony, as it is in nature.  MORE
 
Earlier this year, Integral Yoga Centre head Nalanie Chellaram was  invited to give a "GibTalk," which is a TEDx-type talk hosted by GBC-TV, Gibraltar's public service broadcaster. An Integral Yoga master teacher, Nalanie is always an inspiring presenter and this short talk is no exception!

The International Day of Peace ("Peace Day") is observed around the world each year on 21 September. Established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace. This year's theme is "The Right to Peace," and it was chosen in honor of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.The Universal Declaration – the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages - is as relevant today as it was on the day that it was adopted.

Watch this video of US First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and others reading from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — in various languages, from different cultures — a document that embodies the spirit of unity in diversity that was championed by Integral Yoga founder Swami Satchidananda and his interfaith colleagues.
Jewish High Holy Days Inspiration

Our knowledge of the practice of Brahmari Pranayama was initially inspired by Swami Satchidananda’s translation of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. In particular, in sutra 1.27, Gurudev talks about the original sound of creation being pranava, the humming of prana, which ultimately was given a name and that name was “Om.” Gurudev’s teachings have deeply influenced many of our different practices and teachings. We’ve discovered that many people confuse sacred and healing sounds with music. While music can certainly be both sacred and healing, it is not necessary for anyone to have any sort of proficiency in creating music or singing in order to experience the extraordinary benefits of vibratory resonances. With the power of Brahmari Pranayama, the practice of “Vowels as Mantras,” and the utterance of “The Divine Name” (a universal sound that has the ability to resonate both the physical body and subtle energy fields of anyone who intones it), we learn that sounds  have the power to usher in a new era of human consciousness, uniting us in healing, peace, and oneness.  MORE
 
It was in 2005, that Mini Shakti first took Integral Teacher Training with Integral Yoga Barcelona center head, Kirana Stover. Mini Shakti and her husband Kalilu (originally from Gambia who came to Spain after a long arduous journey as a refugee) were inspired by Swami Satchidananda’s teachings and the spirit of Karma Yoga. They have started charitable projects in Gambia, one of them being a small school with two classrooms. One of the classrooms is named “Aula Satchidananda” (Satchidananda Classroom.) Mini took this video of the students learning to say “Satchidananda,” after she explained who Swami Satchidananda was and the meaning of Sat-Chid-Ananda (truth-knowledge-bliss). The students had never been to school before and were very excited about learning all the subjects. Thank you Mini Shakti, Kalilu, and Kirana for sharing this inspiration!
December 28 – January 6
 
Thiruvannamalai is where Sri Ramana Maharshi settled to do his sadhana and the ashram he founded was where Sri Swami Satchidananda sat at the holy feet of this great sage in the 1940s. In Thiruvannamalai, mantras vibrate subliminally in the air, and the spiritual energy of the Holy Mountain Arunachala is ever present. For the first time, Integral Yoga will hold the "Inner Worlds" Yoga and meditation retreat—conducted by Swami Divyananda and Tarek Ghaney—at this blessed site. The program also includes lectures by Sri Nochur Venkataraman, an Indian scholar disciple of Sri Ramana Maharshi. More info here.

Integral Yoga India — New Website!

Integral Yoga India has a beautiful, newly revised and designed website. With it's web address of yogaindia.org, the new website features the wonderful programs and facilities of the Integral Yoga Institute of Coimbatore (South India). Photos on the homepage gallery showcase some of the recent programs held there, including Integral Yoga International's Teachers Training programs and Integral Yoga Inspired Programs (Yoga for the Special Child, Cardiac Yoga, and others). Congratulations to the web development team overseen by Institute director, Dr. O.S. Balasubramaniam!

Recently, musician and Hatha Yoga teacher, Yvette Om visited Yogaville, during which she led a joyful kirtan. She shared that her favorite readings include: The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda, The Upanishads, The Bhagavad Gita, Siddhartha, and Who Am I by Ramana Maharshi. Yvette has released several albums and her latest "Divine," comes out next week. Prior to that release, she's offering our readers this free download of a track from her last album, "We Are One." Thank you Yvette!
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