Sunday, November 14, 2010

Free Classes for Food Donations

On Saturday, November 13, I taught my first of two free classes to collect food for the Food Bank of The Rockies. The class was a success; ten people showed up and we collected four boxes of food. One of the women that came was on her way down to the Channel 9 News food drive to volunteer and she took the food with her to drop off. I will be hosting one more free class this year on Saturday, December 4 to collect non-perishable food for the food banks. Please spread the word and come and bring a friend.

November is a month when I think of the abundance in my own life. I have a home in the foothills of the majestic Rockies, a wonderful husband, plenty of food to eat, a great family including two four legged family members, and two feathered family members, along with many good friends. There are so many people that are not as fortunate, and I think we must all take a moment to reflect on and help those who are less fortunate in any way we can. Food drives, money collections, clothes donations, and most of all, volunteering your time are some of the ways we can "pay it forward". If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then let's all imitate one another and give back to our community in every way we can.

Practicing Pratyahara

Every since I started teaching yoga I have begun each class with three aums and the Invocation to Patanjali. The invocation is intended to invoke the presence of Patanjali, the Indian deity who codified the writings and teachings of yoga. In classes I take with my teachers, the aums and invocation help me to become centered and to clear my mind so I can be present for yoga, so I assumed that it would have the same effect on all students. I have been teaching since 1999 and have recently decided to stop chanting the invocation and just begin all of my classes with three aums. I stopped the chant because any students find the chant to be in direct conflict with their spiritual practice, and I honor their feelings. 

So, I decided one of my lessons for that day was Pratyahara.  

Statue of Patanjali
Pratyhara means drawing back or retreat. The word ahara means "nourishment"; pratyahara translates as "to withdraw oneself from that which nourishes the senses." In yoga, the term pratyahara implies withdrawal of the senses from attachment to external objects. It can then be seen as the practice of non-attachment to sensorial distractions as we constantly return to the path of self realization and achievement of internal peace. It means our senses stop living off the things that stimulate; the senses no longer depend on these stimulants and are not fed by them any more.