Atha is an auspicious beginning. Yoga is union. Be now. Experience the divine present moment through yoga asanas (movement), pranayama (breathwork), meditation, massage, and energy work. Balance and strengthen the body and mind in a contemplative, joyful practice. Atha Yoga is offered by Kristie Dahlia Home in San Francisco, California.
Thai Yoga Massage Workshops
September 8, October 20 at the Integral Yoga Institute
Thai massage is a sweet, powerful, approachable form of body work. Based on yogic movements, energetic awareness, and Buddhist loving-kindness practices, this healing art is performed fully clothed on the ground. Pressure, percussion, and assisted asanas combine in a dreamy, delicious form. Pressure can be created with many parts of the body (palms, thumbs, elbows, knees) each to different effect; this allows many ways to vary for best comfort for the giver and receiver. This modality is renowned for leaving both participants bright and energized as it liberates energetic flow within the body.
In this monthly workshop you will be led through the movements of the bodywork just as you would be led through a yoga practice; no special knowledge or advance skill is required. You can come with a friend or come solo and make a friend at class.
Why and How We Practice
Once a psychiatrist asked Suzuki Roshi about consciousness.
"I know nothing about it," Suzuki said. "I just try to teach my students how to hear the birds sing."
- Zen Mondo
On Meditation and Time
I've heard about the magic of 20 minutes of meditating a day several times - most memorably from a middle-aged woman in a hotel gym bathroom who said that she and her husband were promised by a guru that meditating 20 minutes a day would change their lives, and bingo, five years later and they own their own strip mall! No judgement - each has our own idea of enlightenment...
My question: what can be accomplished if you only have 10 minutes a day?
Sweet love, I am not a guru and I make no promises other than to tell you the truth as I know it, but I will say some things about practice and about time. This little question, is, you might be surprised to hear, the hardest one I have been asked in this Meditation Course thus far -- because the answer is along the guru lines. Guru literally means "dispeller of darkness." In America, we use guru to mean teacher. In India, a guru is an enlightened being who is standing on the rim between states of awareness shouting COME ON IN THE WATER IS FANTASTIC.
How We Change - On Pratipaksha Bhavana
One of my students is concerned for the health of their child and asked me for advice about how they could go about compartmentalizing those feelings in the presence of the child. My advice about this is an elucidation of the yogic principle of pratipaksha bhavana which I thought might be useful to share.
The mind has a thing it is concerned about. That is what is happening. The brain's fear/safety center, the amygdala, gets first dibs on responding to thoughts; this keeps us safe and alive. So the tendency is for fearful thoughts about the thing the mind is concerned about to arise. That's natural, and that's fine. What comes next, that's where we practice. In yoga, we use pratipaksha bhavana to shift mental tendencies that are not useful; a common translation is "cultivation of the opposite thought."