People think Yoga means always standing on your head or doing some pose. But the aim of yoga is to calm the mind. That's why it's called Integral Yoga, because we integrate everything; mind, body, and spirit.     ~Sri Swami Satchidananda

Archive for March, 2011

Looking Glass

March 25th, 2011by Michelle Muttart

Looking Glass


Yoga Sutra 1.3


Then the Seer abides in its own nature.


The brief moments when we are truly present represent the seer. When we are completely comfortable in our own skin, yet have deepened our awareness pass the skin into the raw layers of who we really are. We no longer identify ourselves with the person reflected back to us in the mirror.

 

Image is Everything


Connecting on this level has always been a challenge for me personally. As I child I sustained substantial burns on my face and hands. Grade school proved to be brutal for a young girl who thought she was just like everyone else until she looked in the mirror. The image reflected back needed work. Little did I know, I was looking in a broken mirror and just wasn’t aware of the cracks.

 

Looking Glass


So, I did what any smart girl would do, the more I realized my differences, the better I learned to cover them up. Make-up became my best friend and we got along great! Before long the image in the mirror blended with pretty ones before my eyes. Though occasionally anxiety and embarrassment flooded when someone stared or a child pointed. Years of insecurity weakened my self-esteem and bliss still proved to be elusive.


All the Kings Horses


No matter how much I blended, the truth of the matter remained, I was different. The image still appeared pieced together, dirty, and distorted. Then one day, God said, “You’re going to be a yoga teacher,” and the flood gates opened. He showed me little by little that indeed it wasn’t me that was broken, it wasn’t me that was pretty or ugly, it wasn’t even me that was burned. I cannot be reflected in a mirror on a wall.

Serenity


At this point self-realization started to happen. This is a process. Can I say I don’t wear make-up now? No. I can say that I have more moments with less and that I am comfortable. Luckily, the people in my life are supportive and enable me to let my guard down. I’m learning to renounce physical beauty and finding that often the make-up, the name brand clothing, and the beautiful blond locks curled into perfection only create a barrier and breed insecurity in someone else.

 

The Performance of my Life


“I have come into the world as light.”~The Holy Bible


When I was that little girl, I shined. I was pure and I knew God. My goal now is to move back. Not back in time or in maturity, but back to pure, back to still, back to light, back to God. I realize the image reflected back to me is not in the mirror, it is in the image of the person before me. It is in the faces of my children, the student in my class, the person on the street, and humanity as a whole. I am encompassed of it all.

 

 

 

 

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Retrain the Brain

March 14th, 2011by Michelle Muttart

 

Yoga Sutra 1.2


YOGAS CITTA VRITTI NIRODHAH

 

The restraint of the modifications of the mind-stuff is yoga.


How can we let go of ideas and beliefs that govern our behavior? Sutra 1.2 gives us guidance.  This is an important sutra.  It is the basic idea of yoga summed up into one sentence.  If you get this, you’re doing good because the rest of the sutras pretty much further the explain this one.

 

Let’s Start with 3


The mind is made of 3 basic parts.

1.       Ahamkara is the ego.

2.       Buddhi is the intellect.

3.       Manas is the part of the mind that desires.

 

Cookie Monster

 

Growing up I loved to watch Sesame Street and loved the Cookie Monster.  As an adult I still act like him, not so much for cookies now, but definitely for chocolate.  The last time I was at Broadway at the Beach I walked past the Fudgery and the sweet scent of chocolate billowed around me.  Manas thought, “Mmmm, do I smell sweetness?”.  Buddhi discriminated with excitement, “What is that?  I think it’s chocolate. Oh my!  It’s fudge! When was the last time we had fudge? I love fudge.”  Lastly ahamkara chimes in, “Definitely having the fudge.” Before I realized it, I was headed towards the door!

 

Heaven or Hell

 

I heard once, that any place you are can be perceived as heaven or hell. As I prepare for a long awaited family trip I am reeling with excitement and ready to relax.  I have high hopes that this will just be a lovely time for us to be together and bond.  I know that taking the whole family will have trying moments.  I realize it’s up to me to decide my experience.  There is a choice in every moment of our lives along these lines.  It’s our approach that determines the quality of our experience.

 

The ‘N’ Word

 

Some of our beliefs are negative but don’t necessarily have to be.   However, many are illusions.  Thoughts such as, “I’m not good enough too…,” “I’ll never be like…,” “I just can’t,” all have one thing in common; not, never, don’t.  More illusion words are no, can’t, and won’t.  Find awareness of how many times you say “N” words in a day and begin the practice of restraint. Practice looking in the mirror and for every negative idea or thought spoken; try saying the opposite out loud. Each positive step we take, takes us one step closer to enlightenment or self realization.

 

 

 

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Week of March 6/ Yoga Sutra 1.1

March 6th, 2011by Michelle Muttart

Update for the week of March 6, 2011

Namo Narayan

Announcements:

1. Monday’s classes at 9:30am & 4:30pm are cancelled.  Also the Thursday at 4:30.  Emily is out of town and there is no sub available for those times.  Sorry for any inconvenience.

 

2. Shivani will arrive Thursday evening.  If you haven’t registered for the upcoming workshops, please take time this week to do that.  Space is limited.

 

3. Look for an article in the Roanoke Times this week about the studio!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoga Sutra 1.1

 

ATHA YOGANUSAMSANAM


Now, the exposition of Yoga is being made.

 

This is the first of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.  Simply put, the beginning of the study of yoga begins now.


Humble Beginnings

 

All of us come to yoga by different means, each completely relevant and true.  Mine started off to regain physical strength and health, others to relax, meditate, create flexibility, or just to learn to breathe.   The important thing is that we each arrived on the mat at some point and a

 

Sparks of Light

 

Remember the first time you felt something open, move, tingle in a pose; if you haven’t yet, no worries, it’s coming.  Your mind swirls with wonder, belief, and anticipation of more.  That is the point we realize there is something to this thing called yoga and we make a decision to open our minds and our hearts to learn more.


Practice Makes Perfect

 

Once we find a teacher we trust, our journey begins.

 

The description of this sutra with Swami Satchidananda’s commentary describes it best:

 

“Anusasanam means exposition or instruction, because it is not mere philosophy that Patanjali is about to expound, but rather direct instruction on how to practice Yoga.  Mere philosophy will not satisfy us.  We cannot reach the goal by mere words alone.  Without practice, nothing can be achieved.”


The Layers of the Self Unfold

 

What you believe will be the experience of your life.  If you think you are alone, lonely you will feel.  If you profess you’re blessed, the blessing begin to fall upon you.

 

“Everything begins in the mind.  If you want to see clearly, you need clear vision.” ~Swami Satchidananda

 

Along with the physical benefits we begin to see that the “mind-stuff” changes as clarity unfolds with a consistent practice.  The witness develops and grows strong enabling a change deeper within.


Let’s Start with 3


  1. 1. Suffering is caused by a faulty perception.  We hold on to the good times and resist change, especially when it makes us uncomfortable.  Learn to go with the flow even in the darker moments of life.
  2. 2. Peace comes in realizing and accepting who we really are.  Loving that person wholly.
  3. 3. The only way to find that true authentic self is to control the mind. “Just as only a clean, undistorted mirror can reflect our face as it truly is, only a one-pointed and tranquil mind can part the veils of ignorance to reveal and reflect the Self.”~Reverend Jaganath Carrera

 

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