Lesson Two from Pondicherry, India

Namaste from Pondicherry, India

Beautiful Ripple Yoga Community!

It has now been two weeks since I departed Seattle for Sadhana in India.  Life at the Ashram here in Pondicherry is demanding.  We are fully immersed in the yogic lifestyle, living by our principals (Yamas and Niyamas, the first two of the 8 limbs of the Ashtanga Yoga system.  These include a strict vegetarian diet, celibacy, and regular rhythm in our practice and daily routines.  We continually practice Karma Yoga, service to others, as it is one path to enlightenment.

I am reminded that as a human being we have responsibilities, and these responsibilities are to serve others.  The service of self is a path to self-destruction and unhappiness.  People often remark to me on my happiness, and the answer is simple, I find as many ways as I can each day to help another human being, to be of service, including teaching yoga to the beautiful Ripple Community.  Even in Sadhana 10,000 miles away.

In this week’s lesson, we discuss the importance of Pranayama.  “Prana” means “energy or breath” and “Yama” is ”to control.”  Therefore Pranayama is to control energy or breath.  This is the fourth limb of yoga, and it is vital to any yoga practice.  Here at the Ashram, we practice Pranayama at least 5 hours a day.  Did you know that most people breathe just enough to stay alive?  Including you?  Shocking, isn’t it.  Shallow breathing is the cause of a litany of medical issues in the physical body including blood pressure, heart rate, digestion and many more!  It is also the cause of mental stress because shallow breathing tells the mind to get up and go, rather than relax.

Get to the studio 5 minutes before class.  You can also do this in the morning.  Sit on your mat in Vajrasana, or thunderbolt posture.  This is sitting with the hips to heels and the spine erect.  The hands can be placed face down on the thighs, fingers together.  Close the eyes, inhale exhale, and silently chant “Om” to yourself 3 times on the exhale.  From there, breath into the full lungs, belly, mid-section and top, for a minimum of 4 seconds.  Exhale for the same 4 seconds, squeezing all the air out.  You can do this for up to 8 seconds depending on your lung capacity.  Do this for at least 5 minutes, if not longer, and on your final 3 breaths exhale “Om” to yourself.  You will notice that you are more relaxed and more at ease, and ready for practice!  You can do this in the morning, mid-day and at night before bed in addition to before your practice.  Enjoy and as always if you have any questions, you can email me at gary@rippleyoga.com.

Namaste friends

Gary

Lesson One from Pondicherry, India

Beautiful Ripple Yoga Community Namaste from Pondicherry, India.

I have arrived in Pondicherry and Friday begin the exploration and leveling of self that is yoga.  For after all, this is the true nature of yoga, to discover self.  If we peel the layers of awareness we as we discover them, we find that we explore the physical first, then the conscious mental, the subconscious mental and finally the awareness of our own awareness, which is referred to as cosmic consciousness.

Yoga cannot be achieved with the 3 R’s, and they are not reading, writing and arithmetic!!!  We are talking about Repetition, Rhythm, Regularity.  Sometimes we make excuses to ourselves as to why we cannot practice, telling ourselves that other external factors in our life are more important.  Ask yourself with honesty, what is more important than your own personal growth and awareness?  If indeed you were to commit to expanding your own personal growth and awareness, wouldn’t this then improve the external factors that were “preventing” you from practice in the first place?  Apply the principals of Repetition, Rhythm and Regularity and soar!!!

Each week you will have the opportunity to read and absorb a practical lesson from me that can be utilized and incorporated into your practice.  Sometimes these lessons will be very mental in nature and it may seem to you that it has nothing to do with your tight shoulders or hamstrings!!  Take heart, by reading and taking these lessons seriously, and incorporating them into your practice, you are agreeing to either step on or continue your yogic path!!

Today’s lesson is a brief synopsis of the first and second sutras from the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali, the basis of the Raja System of Ashtanga Yoga, what I am studying here in India.  These two sutras are the what and why of yoga.  In short, what it is and why we practice, and the foundation for the remaining 190+ sutras.  Sutras are simply short thoughts, and the translation means “strings”.

Yoga Sutra One:  Atha Yoganusasanam – Now the exposition (instruction) of yoga is being made.  This means that the practice of yoga is based on instruction and not mere words and philosophy.  Without practice, nothing can be achieved.  As the student, we must always take action, and that action is the practice.

Yoga Sutra Two:  Yogas Citta Vrtti Nirodhah – The restraint and modifications of the mind stuff is Yoga.  If you are keen in study, this sutra explains yoga as the rest of the sutras go on to expound upon this one.  If we can restrain the mind of mental modifications, then the goal of yoga is reached.  Our practice, in its many forms, is what allows us to achieve this.

I ask that you ponder these thoughts as you continue with your practice.  They have very deep and effective meaning to any one that is truthfully seeking an actively self-aware life.  As you apply these thoughts in your practice and in your life, continue to soar – you inspire by the actions that you take!!

I will leave you with this thought – Mana eva manusyanam karanam bandha moksayoh.  This means “As the mind, so the person; bondage or liberation are in your own mind.”

Namaste friends

Gary

Welcome to Laura

Let’s all welcome Laura to the Ripple Yoga teaching team!!!  About Laura:

Laura has been able to incorporate yoga throughout most of her life. As an adolescent, Laura found that her mat was a place to feel grounded in her changing body. As a boundary pushing teen, yoga asana was a way to find curiosity and exploration within herself. During college, Laura’s practice intensified as a way to focus and heal. When she began her studies to become a marriage, couple, and family therapist, she became increasingly interested in the body/mind connection in terms of bio-psych-social healing. Having taught yoga to children, adults, seniors, couples, and families, Laura enjoys tailoring classes to meet and challenge students where they are on any given day, on any given year. Above all else, Laura sees yoga as a way to highlight instinctive reactions. When option is brought to instinct, empowerment may grow from within.

South Lake Union Yoga Seattle Yoga Yoga Every Day PNW Yoga Vinyasa Yoga Hatha Yoga Yin Yoga Restorative Yoga 

Yoga Surprise Was Huge!

Our first Yoga Surprise practice was so much fun!  We were so happy to see so many of you wonderful yogis in our community show up.  In our practice, we found the fire inside and practiced the Ha Kriya to light the fire inside, played with some fun partner yoga, danced to the beats all inspired from the Manipura Chakra!  See you at the next Yoga Surprise practice which is scheduled for May 16th, Saturday, at 1:30 pm!

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Welcome to Kelly

We are thrilled to welcome Kelly to the Ripple Yoga teaching team!  Come check out her classes which are fun and enthusiastic!!  In her words:

“Kelly is an outdoor nut, Seattle native and adventurer. She is a Speech Pathologist by day working with stroke, brain injured and geriatric patients. She has been a yoga student since 2007 and became a RYT-200 vinyasa yoga teacher in 2014. Kelly brings an understanding of the body and what ails it to her teaching. She also brings accessible spirituality to the class, very much rooted in real life –she speaks with honesty about life’s little and big frustrations, and how the practice on the mat is practice for real life. Kelly’s aim is to teach “real yoga” and invoke higher vibration living. In addition to the physical practice Kelly hopes to promote a deeper relationship with the heart and true self through alignment, breath, understanding of your unique body, HUMOR, and a sense of love and community. Kelly’s motto, “We are all in this together!”
A class with Kelly will be versatile for all levels of learners; the flows will be energetic and challenging, but pleasantly cathartic. You can expect the classes to be social and fun, a safe place for all shapes, sizes, athletic abilities and personalities.”

Welcome to the Ripple teaching team!!!

Check out our next live music event!

Live music at Ripple Yoga! Thursday October 30th at 7:30 pm with acoustic guitarist Brad Shepard. Come experience the sound, energy, frequency and vibration of live music inter-twined with a revitalizing yoga practice.  If you have never experienced a live music practice, treat your mind and body to the frequencies of and magic of live instrumentation.  We are a living ecosystem on our own with different organs and body parts that all vibrate at their own frequency and can be tuned just like any other fine collection of instruments. Come get in tune!

Come experience the sound, energy, frequency and vibration of live music inter-twined with a revitalizing yoga practice.  If you have never experienced a live music practice, treat your mind and body to the frequencies of and magic of live instrumentation.  We are a living ecosystem on our own with different organs and body parts that all vibrate at their own frequency and can be tuned just like any other fine collection of instruments.
Come get in tune!

 

New Schedule

The new Fall schedule started on Monday September 28th!  Check out our 6:00 am Vinyasa and new 4:30 practices.  Thanks for being a part of the most amazing community in Seattle!!

 

 

We are on Instagram!

Don’t forget, you can find us on Instagram at www.instagram.com/rippleyoga

 

Rooftop Yoga Round Two

Ripple Yoga hosted month two of the rooftop yoga series at The Cairns on Thursday June 26th at 5:30 PM, and then at the Stackhouse and Acylone apartments on Saturday at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm respectively.  Although the weather wasnt as great as we would have liked it, it was an amazing set of practices.  We look forward to seeing everyone next month.

Cairns – last Thursday of each month at 5:30 pm through September.

Stackhouse – last Saturday of each month at 10:30 am through September.

Acylone – last Saturday of each month at 2:00 pm through September.

Namaste!

Gary

Live Music Part Two – What a Great Event!!!

The live music event on Friday night with Gretchen Yanover was an amazing experience.  I was so thrilled to be able to teach a class on love and the heart chakra with the beautiful music of the cello filling the practice room.  Thanks so much to all of you that came out to support Gretchen and her music!!!

Gary