Namaste from Pondicherry, India

Beautiful Ripple Yoga Community!

Happy New Year!  I hope that everyone has a happy and prosperous 2016 filled with joy, serenity and peace.  We started the New Year off with the 22nd Annual International Yoga Festival sponsored by the Pondicherry Board of Tourism.  All of the students from the ashram were given a speech to make at the Festival!!  Some of us were pretty nervous, but I was OK – I have a lot of experience speaking in front of people!  My talk was on Yoga for Stress Management and I hope to make the video available to the community soon.  We need to upload it to Youtube.

The primary cause of stress in our lives can be found by looking in the mirror.  Harsh lesson right?  But it is reality, or Satya.  For those who are interested in the anatomy, it works like this.  We perceive things in our lives through our senses which is then filtered into the brain through any ignorance that we have and our ego.  Again, ignorance does not mean stupid, it means we have yet to gain knowledge.  This signal of perception goes into our brain into the emotional center, which is the limbic system.  This system surrounds the hypothalamus gland.  If we perceive an external factor as stressful, such as our job, our boss, our kids, etc. the emotional part of the brain bombards the hypothalamus with this message.  That gland then releases hormones into the body causes the physical, or psycho-somatic reactions to stress in the body.

Once we understand that stress and the results of it are self-induced by our misperception of the world, we can overcome stress and anxiety by overcoming self.  We have to recognize that we are responsible for our lives, which means we are responsible for our thoughts, emotions and actions.  There is never anyone to blame for anything.  Here at the ashram we call Patanjali Ashtanga Yoga the “No Excuse Yoga”.  To overcome perception is to overcome self, and THIS is exactly what Yoga does for us.  Probably not the type of Yoga that you have ever practiced, but it is now the Yoga that we teach at Ripple.  Real Yoga, Authentic Yoga.  This is what I am bringing back to all of you in the lovely community and what has already begun integrating into the teaching through the current teaching team.  Check out the Foundation Classes, my friends.

On a side note, I am an example of stress and anxiety gone amok.  In my 30s, I was so stressed out from work that I was hospitalized with heart palpitations, sweats and shortness of breath from hyper ventilation.  I was prescribed Paxil and Xanax, rather than treating the underlying cause.  I wasted 5 years taking those drugs and countless hours in counseling when all I needed was self-realization and the practice of Yama and Niyama, which I have been practicing now for 7 happy years.

Many of you have asked, especially new students, why I look so happy in all the photos.  It is because I am happy, and it is because I practice Yama and Niyama!!

Yoga is Unity, We are One, see you in less than 80 days!!!!

Enjoy, keep practicing, continue evolving and so much more to come!!  As always if you have any questions, you can email me directly at gary@rippleyoga.com.  I answer all emails!!!!

In Unity and Love,

Gary