Integral Yoga® Magazine, Issue No. 164  Know Who You Are
View this email in your browser

Know Who You Are

Why worry what others say of you? You should know who you are. If someone says you are always a wonderful person, will that make it so? If another says you are a horrible person, will you be that? Should somebody else tell you who you are? No. Don’t worry what others say. If you know yourself, you are free from this botheration.

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

(Photo: Swami Satchidananda leading meditation at Integral Yoga Retreat, California, 1970s.)

Where Raja Yoga Meets the Bible
By Sri Swami Satchidananda

There is a beautiful connection between Raja Yoga and the Bible. Both scriptures talk about the heart. One of the Beatitudes is, “Blessed are the Pure in Heart; they shall see God.” That is the heart of Yoga. At the very beginning of the Yoga Sutras, sage Patanjali talks about that sutra 1.2: “Yoga chitta vritti nirodha.” We can loosely translate that as: blessed are the pure in heart. The actual translation is saying that you will experience Yoga when the mind is without any problems—an unblemished, pure mind. The second part of the biblical beatitude is, “Then they shall see God.” Patanjali gives that same teaching in sutra 1.3. He didn’t use the word “God.” Instead he says, “Then a person can experience his or her True Self (or true nature) which is the image of God. I don’t know who copied who, but they both said the same thing! Unless you have a clear, pure heart, a well-balanced mind, you won’t be able to see yourself as God. The teachings of all the scriptures of the world, and the essential purpose of any spiritual pursuit, is this: to keep the heart pure and then you will know yourself as the image of God. Know thyself, or soham, is another related teaching.  MORE

Integral Yoga teacher Bhuvaneswari Pipitone was inspired to share how asanas can be made more accessible (even in the kitchen & wearing jeans!). "I needed a gentle practice and it needed to be short," she noted. You can also use a chair or anything available in the house with a height close to the hands.
Adapted Sequence: Pos. 1: Palms Together. Pos. 2: Arms Alongside Ears. Pos. 3: “Forward Fold” (hands grasped onto edge of counter [or chair], hips aligned over ankles, head aligned laterally with hips). Pos. 4: Lunge (use wall to stabilize your front foot against). Pos. 5: “Downdog” (same as pos. 3). Pos. 6: Chaturanga (step slightly forward, lift heels, elbows tucked, abdomen slightly engaged as you lower toward counter in one plane, close to a 45 degree angle). Pos. 7: Cobra (straighten arms, don’t let your head drop back. The backbend comes from just beneath the shoulder blades, not the neck. Also in this position, option to lift heels or keep them on floor). Pos. 8: “Downdog” (same as Pos. 3 and 5). Pos. 9: Lunge (with opp. foot forward as pos. 4). Pos. 10: “Forward Fold” (same as pos. 3,5,8). Pos. 11: Arms Alongside Ears (step slightly forward). Pos. 12: Palms Together. Tip: Keep breathing steadily. You can explore starting pos. 1, with an exhale and alternating with each position until the end, so you are inhaling with backbends and exhaling with forwardbends.

In the northern hemisphere, autumn is a season known for harvesting all that one has grown and for giving thanks for the abundance of the earth. Celebrating the fruits of our labors with gratitude is a beautiful practice. But as spiritual aspirants, we want to take a further step and explore how we can make good use of all the blessings we receive to make a difference in the world. The most fundamental use of the abundance we have received is to focus our energies on our own spiritual growth. Some of us have our basic needs fulfilled, and both the time for spiritual practice and access to a tremendous wealth of spiritual teachings. It is our responsibility to apply these gifts to free our hearts and minds from selfishness and learn to see the spiritual oneness behind all names and forms. This requires committing ourselves to some regular, sustained spiritual practice. That practice may take many forms, all of which enable us to shift from a "me-centered" to a "we-centered" way of living. As we make peace in our own hearts, they will naturally open with compassion for others, and we can become a presence of peace and compassion wherever we go.  MORE

The documentary "The Portal" explores the power of meditation and the positive outcomes that emerge from committing to a mindfulness practice, such as inner stillness and interconnectivity between individuals and all living beings. The film offers up the possibility that mass meditation carries the potential to shift humanity and our planet into the next stage of our evolutionary development. Human stories come to life through the inner minds and experiences of six characters. Their experiences are flawlessly interwoven with behavioral science and the theories of futurists and philosophers. Each character shares a highly compelling life story and circumstance; each uses meditation to regain a love for and appreciation of life and themselves. The result is powerful and honest. The film evokes unwavering compassion and interest for our characters accompanied by potent commentary on the effects of meditation on the individual and the collective. "The Portal" opened in Laemmle Santa Monica on November 1st and will be showing in theaters across the U.S.

The Age of Insta-Yoga
By Katherine Jones

This is something that I've been wanting to write about for years. But I’ve always been stuck on how to express myself in a way that does not convey superiority. I became a Yoga teacher right before Yoga became mainstream. It was on the cusp of its explosion, at least in the part of the world where I live. When I was growing up, my mother did Yoga, and I was embarrassed to tell my friends because I thought it was weird. By the time I started on my own Yoga journey, people had heard of it but it was still made fun of. Shortly after I became certified as a teacher, Instagram launched, and the Insta-yogi craze hit with full force. It troubled me enormously, and I struggled to navigate this daunting and formidable territory. I had gone through a pretty traditional Yoga teacher training and felt a deep sense of belonging in the gentle flow of the practice. It had never occurred to me that my Yoga practice was something that should be shared online. I wanted to teach real people—not a mystery audience with whom the majority of interaction would be with likes and faceless comments. It soon became apparent that if I didn’t keep up with this trend, I would fail as a self-employed Yoga teacher...  MORE

In this series of short talks, Swami Asokananda shares his insights from years of study of, and contemplation on, the great Indian scripture, the Bhagavad Gita. In part 22 of this series, Asokanandaji continues with his analysis of Chapter 2, verse 7. He focuses in on the concept of sreyas, the Sanskrit term for one's highest good or ultimate benefit, which is what Arjuna is seeking guidance about from Sri Krishna.

In the middle of a prescription painkiller overdose crisis in the United States, a San Diego VA study finds that veterans with chronic pain would be well-served to put down the pills and pick up a Yoga mat. After six months of twice-a-week Yoga sessions, San Diego veterans reported a significant drop in back pain — one of the signature complaints of a demographic that suffers higher rates of chronic pain than the general population. Also, the number of patients in the study on opiate-based pain pills dropped from 20 percent to 8 percent. It’s a potentially important finding, as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs weans its members off of long-term addictive painkillers such as hydrocodone and fentanyl. One of the study participants was Joe Sturdivant, a 52-year-old retired Marine. After 22 years in uniform, and miles and miles of patrols carrying heavy packs, Sturdivant’s back was a mess. “In the Marine Corps, you learn to suck stuff up. So I just dealt with it,” he said. “I thought it would go away. But I guess it was more severe than I expected.” One day, his back flared up and Sturdivant had to drive himself to the emergency room — unable to even crawl out of his truck once he arrived. Orderlies had to come collect him on a stretcher.  MORE

"Welcome to autumn," proclaims this tree! Though there were some stormy skies rolling into the area, this tree on the quad was brightly shining today. The wondrous changing colors of the leaves always reminds us of the ephemeral nature of life and nature herself. A life lesson as Swami Satchidananda always taught: "Clouds come and go, yet the sun is always shining." (photo by Jeff Ananda Kamen)
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