Lesson 19 – Book Announcement

Namaste from Pondicherry, India

Beautiful Ripple Yoga Community!

Time is flying by here in India and I am so looking forward to being back in Seattle and reuniting with the community.  Know that I am there in spirit and energy and that my teachings are flowing through the wonderful teaching team at the studio.

I have some wonderful and exciting news to share with all of you.  As part of my Sadhana here in India, I squeezed in the time to write a book.  This book will be released in the next 30-60 days in electronic format and then in paperback sometime over the summer.  It is the story of my spiritual journey.  As some of you know, 7 years ago next Wednesday is the date that I quit drinking.  It is also the time that I was so close to death that I am very lucky to be alive.  I decided at that point, with the help from my higher self that my life was for some reason worth living, only I didn’t really believe it, because I had been trying to kill myself for about 2 years.  But I had a tiny belief and stayed alive long enough not only to recover from severe alcoholism, but to figure out my purpose in life, which is to teach yoga and to share my story in the hope that others may benefit.

But the story is not just about alcoholism and recovery.  It is about the spirit going from empty to full, it is about yoga and how yoga found me, how yoga teaching found me and how I built the studio.  It is about mending relationships and overcoming life’s difficulties.  It is about the lessons of two spiritual programs, recovery and Yoga, and how they are oh-so similar.  And it is about the 6 month journey I have been blessed to have here in India.  I am very excited to share it with the world, and of course all of you dear students at Ripple Yoga.

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,

Yogi Gary

Lesson 18 – Yantra

Namaste from Pondicherry, India

Beautiful Ripple Yoga Community!

We began the 2 week course in Yantra this week.  Yantra is the study of number, shapes and forms and the energy of them and how they work in the universe.  It is a fascinating topic and we will be doing Yantra workshops and courses at Ripple Yoga when I return in just over 30 days!!!

We calculate our Yantra numbers from our birth date, and the primary Yantra number is our Dharma or responsibilities in this lifetime.  We are in our lives to learn the lessons of the Universe and to burn Karma.  This balance, and sometimes friction, between Dharma and Karma is always with us.  We cannot escape it!

We then have Yantra numbers that are secondary based on the different stages of our life and annual Karma cycles with a different number.  So for example, I am an 8 birth path.  The numbers go from one to nine.  As an 8 birth path, my Dharma is to be successful.  That does not have to mean material success, although it is often associated with materiality.  So to put it another way, my responsibility is to learn the lessons associated with success in this lifetime and to try to succeed at whatever it is I do.  Dharma works in reverse, so in my last lifetime I was a 9 and in the next I will be a 7.  We are given every opportunity to learn all the lessons throughout our life down to the #1 at which point if we have learned all the lessons, we are released from the disease of constant rebirth and granted Moksha, reuniting with the divine!  It is a fascinating topic and belief system, and I look forward to sharing it with everyone in the wonderful Ripple Yoga community.

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,

Yogi Gary

Lesson 17 – The Higher Limbs

Namaste from Pondicherry, India

Beautiful Ripple Yoga Community!

We are beginning to get into the higher level of practices here at the ashram including Pratyahara (withdrawal and control of the senses), Dharana (Concentration) and Dyana (Meditation).  I thought in this week’s lesson an overview of the meaning of these concepts would be helpful.

It is really important that we understand that without Pranayama these practices are not effective.  We must have the ability to control our breath, and in order to do that, we must have awareness of the respiratory system and a regular Pranayama practice.  Often we hear of people offering “meditation” classes.  This is actually a misnomer as they are teaching “Concentration”.  But offering a concentration class doesn’t sound very interesting to most people and is insulting to others because they don’t think they need help concentrating.  If we are honest with ourselves and practice Satya, we will agree that actual concentration is one of the most difficult disciplines there is, especially in today’s overstimulated society.

Pratyahara practice allows us to withdrawal the senses inward and then we go beyond the withdrawal of the senses to the actual control of them.  Our senses are always reaching out and looking for sensory inputs, not the other way around.  We don’t see something per se; our eyes go out and find it.

Dharana in taking the mind and bringing it to one point of concentration and then staying on that one point in a laser-like focus.  If we stay in Dharana long enough we reach a state of Dyana, which is a meditative state in the higher part of the mind.  We cannot consciously reach Dyana which is why it is impossible to teach meditation.  We can only come into a state of meditation from concentration.  This is very important to realize because when we understand this it opens one of the doors necessary to access the practice, and that is the door of awareness.

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,

Yogi Gary