Tag Archive: yoga inspiration

Yogawoman playing this Saturday at the Pickford

Okay, this movie is even MORE appropriate for yogis! And is actually the one sponsored by Susan at 8Petals!



Narrated by yoga devotee Annette Bening, this documentary traces the explosion of growth of the ancient art of yoga, and how women worldwide are using the practice to not only get toned, but to also change outlooks, communities, lives and–perhaps–the world.

Yoga was brought to the west from India by a lineage of male teachers. Now there’s a generation of women who are leading the way and they’re radically changing people’s lives. From the busy streets of Manhattan to the dusty slums of Kenya, from the golden beaches of Australia Yogawoman uncovers a global phenomenon that has changed the face of yoga forever.

Showing at 6:45 on Saturday, October 20th. For tickets, go here.

5 years, 25 countries, and shot on 70mm film, Samsara illuminates the world and invites audiences to be both moved and awed by it. Deceptively complex and wholly compelling–not to mention easily the most visually stunning film you’ll see this year. From the makers of Baraka.

Samsara is a Sanskrit word that means “the ever turning wheel of life” and the themes of the movie will be of interest to yogis. For all info, see Elizabeth’s Facebook book here.


Master Sergeant Chris Eder, USAF: There is a huge stigma in the military about men practicing yoga, an even bigger stigma on getting treatment for PTSD. So you can only imagine how difficult it is to get a guy with PTSD onto a mat!…I remember teaching yoga in Baghdad in a room where all four walls had everyone’s M16s standing upright. That is a standout moment for sure. In the same place, another time, we were attacked during the class and several of the Marines popped up, grabbed their rifles and took off. That was another.

Read the rest of the article here


Matthew Sanford, paraplegic yogi, on NPR

Elizabeth has mentioned Mathew Sanford and his writing before, a book called “Waking.” He is the subject of a piece on NPR which they describe as: “An unusual take on the mind-body connection with author and yoga teacher Matthew Sanford. He’s been a paraplegic since the age of 13. He shares his wisdom for us all on knowing the strength and grace of our bodies even in the face of illness, aging, and death.”


In the Words of Mr. Iyengar

Yoga In Everyday Life

My friend and yoga student John passed along this link today, which essentially invites each of us to make ethical choices through how we spend our money; have a look if you like! The foundation of yoga is in the Yamas, the Great Vow of yoga, which has the essential teaching of nonharming; we all know that we can practice yoga in our lives through our everyday choices, but information and guidance along these lines is not always clear. See if this is a useful tool for you.


BETTER WORLD SHOPPER is a site dedicated to providing people with a 
comprehensive, up-to-date, reliable account of the social and 
environmental responsibility of every company on the planet AND making 
it available in practical forms that individuals can use in their 
everyday lives. Coming out of more than 5 years of intensive research, 
this work is based on a comprehensive database of over 1000 companies 
and utilizes 25+ reliable sources of data to cover everything from the 
environment to human rights, community development to animal protection.

Obstacles to Practice

Last week, I focused on the classical version from the Yoga Sutras of what constitutes the obstacles to practice. This Sutra can provide a framework for our individual explorations of what seems to impede our progress in practice. Here is one translation of the Sutra from Swami Satchidananda:

Sutra 1:30
Source: Sanskrit transliteration from The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Sri Swami Satchidananda)

Source: English translation from The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Sri Swami Satchidananda)
Disease, dullness, doubt, carelessness, laziness, sensuality, false perception, failure to reach firm ground and slipping from the ground gained — these distractions of the mind-stuff are the obstacles of yoga.

A Steady Place

If you desire a practice, it will become yours; yoga practice on one’s own comes to those with deep desire for its many gifts. But to find that place of steady commitment, a steady place of practice will assist you tremendously in practicing regularly. While there are certainly examples of practitioners with luxurious surroundings for practice who still manage to avoid the mat, and those who practice diligently in the midst of a hallway or kitchen for lack of a seemingly more graceful place, the point really is to establish a place that ultimately by association calls you towards your practice. The more you return to that very place, modest or fancy, the more you build connection with the inner practice space. If you toss your mat down haphazardly, you have less of a chance of finding a rhythmical and steady relationship with practicing. If you have a place which can store your props, perhaps have an altar (if that calls to you), and become your sanctuary for practice, you will find that the physical space itself supports your solo practice. Hopefully when you walk into the studio where you take a class, there is a “groove” internally you notice awakening as you move into that space. And hopefully that grrove reminds you of things positive and inviting, even if sometimes challenging! Find a place at home, and be with yourself in your practice there consistently, and observe the connection that invites firmer ground for your practice.

Make An Offering of Your Practice

There is a practice in yoga of “making an offering”, meaning that instead of simply applying ourselves, and gaining the fruits of our labor for ourselves, we imagine the efforts as a kind of gift or prayer dedicated to something besides ourselves. This might mean that as we begin our practice, and perhaps light a candle, we hold in our hearts and minds a situation or a being where there is suffering, and see our energy and efforts dedicated towards healing in relation to the distress. We can be metaphysical or not in relation to this idea. Perhaps our dedication, and the energy of our intention DOES truly and actually cause some change and bring relief. If we think not, is there still some good that comes from our compassionate thoughts and loving hearts? We might even just practice physically and dedicate our efforts to our own bodies that serve us so many times all day long, performing unsung miracles of beating hearts, breathing, thinking, and intricate physical exertion! If we lift our efforts of practice into the realm of seeing them as an “offering” perhaps we could feel inspired to practice with a different zeal and inner sense of purpose. Try working in this way in your practice, and witness the effects.

Pleasure in Practice

Perennial joy or passing pleasure? This is the choice one is to make always. The wise recognize these two, but not the ignorant. The first welcome what leads to abiding joy, though painful at the time. The latter run, goaded by their senses, after what seems immediate pleasure.

– Katha Upanishad

It is clear that in order to have a practice of yoga, we must at times encounter difficulty, and embrace it as part of the journey; we can be humbled by our limitations, we may be aware of thoughts and feelings while in the depths of yoga’s inwardness, that we were attempting to bury. Of course there is the joy and sense of accomplishment as well, as we become more awake and whole in ourselves and our bodies. But my main point for the week, related to practice, is that we need to find a balance of pleasure and effort in our practices. If we attempt only what is difficult in our home practices, we will find ourselves resisting rather than embracing yoga. Simple acts, like lighting a candle and incense, having an inspirational reading or even music during our practice time can call us into a nourishing relationship with ourselves and yoga. Try including whatever other prayer or meditation practice you may have as part of your time with your yoga practice, and see what helps each to flourish.