Chanting The Heights Of Raja Yoga (Guru Brahma)

The Heights Of Raja Yoga is a traditional chant with origins in Hindu scriptures including The Guru Gita. Personally, I connect with this chant as an expression of gratitude for my teachers and mentors, and in appreciation of daily opportunities for learning and growth. See below for the translation and click HERE for a call and response audio guide to this chant

Sanskrit:

Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu

Gurudevo Maheshwara!

Gurusakshat Pararbrahma

Tasmai Shrii-Gurave Namaha!

English:

Guru is verily Lord Brahma Guru is verily Lord Vishnu Guru is verily Lord Shiva! Guru is indeed the Supreme To him I bow!

New Stuff

Hi friends,

I have some exciting things coming up for the month of September:

1. New YogaWorks Class:

I will be teaching a class at YogaWorks Westwood for the fall semester. The class will be a level 1 class on Wednesdays from 2:15-3:45. It is a limited time class Starting on September 23rd and ending on November 11th. It is a great opportunity for me, and it would really help to be able to show that I can draw students into my class. I know it is in the middle of the workday, but if you ever have a day off, or can take an extended lunch one Wednesday, I would love the support.

2. New Time Slot at the YMCA:

I am now teaching Sunday mornings at 8:30 at the Santa Monica YMCA. If you are thinking about becoming a member of the YMCA, come down and get a guest pass one morning to take my class!

3. Risen Yoga Soon to Return:

I apologize for the very lengthy delay, but I will be working with Trevor to find the best time to bring Risen Yoga back in September. I am assuming we will do it sometime on Saturday afternoon (3:00?). If you go to Risen and you have a time preference, let me know.

4. Recipes and Healthy Living Tab

As I have been cooking so much over the past few months, I have had many questions from friends about the dishes I have been making. In order to share my recipes most effectively I decided to start a recipe and healthy living section on my blog.  I will be adding to the page periodically, especially when some one asks me for a recipe or a suggestion (Tofu dishes coming soon for Ms. Amber Debenning).

That is all for now :) More coming soon!

Namaste,

Beth

ERYT

I just finished my six month 300-hour Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher Certification through YogaWorks here in Santa Monica. It was an amazing experience and I learned so much about many aspects of this wonderful path. The six months included:

•    Six-Month Apprenticeship with Jasmine Lieb
•    28 Weekend Workshops: focused on specialty topics and advanced content
•    10 Philosophy Sessions with teachers Robert Binberg and John Casey
•    9 Teaching Practicums with Lisa Walford
•    14 Pranayama Sessions with Annie Carpenter
•    Bi-weekly Mentor Meetings with Jasmine Lieb
•    Vinyasa Flow and Advanced Asana Workshop with Annie Carpenter

I will miss the community and fellowship I experienced with my fellow trainees, but I know this is another point in our journey. I look forward to using my knowledge to serve others on their personal path toward well being.


Sahana Vavatu Invocation:

Invocation between teacher and student from the Katha Upanishad

Saha na vavatu

Saha nau bhunak-tu

Saha viryam kara-vavahai

Tejasvi-na-vadhita-mastu

Ma vidvisha-vahai

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Translation:

May Brahman (Lord, the Indefinable) protect us (the teacher and the student).

May Brahman enable us to share the benefits of the learning equally.

May we be equally strong to grasp the meaning of the learning.

May the learning be equally fruitful to us

May we never be jealous of each other.

Om Peace (for oneself) Peace (for the environment) Peace (for the rest of the beings)

What’s Your Dosha?

So, I have been pretty obsessed with The Modern Ayurvedic Cookbook that I bought my husband for Valentine’s Day (It’s one of those gifts, that is not really for the person you are getting it for, but he gets to eat what I make for him, so whatever!) 

When selecting which recipes to cook, I have been aiming for ones that are balancing for all three doshas, considering that I am a Vatta-Pitta and my husband is pretty hard core Kapha!

(Que self-righteous, snobby yoga giggling).

Ok, I don’t want to alienate my friends reading this why might have no idea what I am talking about.

In a nutshell, Ayurveda is an ancient Indian science for healing the body and the mind. You can think of it as a yoga practice for the inner body…(ugh, I guess that is an ok definition)

No, here is a better explanation: Ayurveda breaks the universe down as consisting of three main forces: energy, light and matter. It is recognized that these three forces work through The Elements of Air, Fire and Water/Earth in particular. So, broadly, it can be understood that an individual’s constitution is said to be made up of these three elements as well. According to Ayurvedic medicine, these three Doshas (1.Vata/Wind, 2.Pitta/Fire and 3.Kapha/Earth) can be used to describe an individual’s metabolic type. Most people are a combination of types, though usually identify with one predominately.

Ayurvedic tradition believes that what you put in your body and the practices that you chose to subject your mind/body to, have a direct effect on your overall health and well being (well, duh). Depending on your dosha, (TAKE THE DOSHA QUIZ HERE TO FIND YOUR TYPE) certain foods, asana practices, breathing techniques, etc, will bring overall balance and health to your body, where as the same practices might adgitate someone who does not have your dosha.

 

Example: A firery, type A, perfectionist personality might choose to start the day off with a 5:30 am wake up call, unwrap a lo-cal protein bar, and down a Yerba Mate while they zoom off to their 6:15 Power Yoga class, because that is what they are elementally drawn to. Don’t get me wrong, all these can be beneficial practices. HOWEVER, over the long term if continued without rest, break, or tender self care, such practices can lead the PITTA toward injury and anxiety, perhaps contributing to the over-taxation of this type of body/mind type. 

Yet, apply this same morning to a slower, unmotivated person, desperate to inject their life with a little drive, excitement and activity, and the same practices might mean health, weight-loss and over all body/mind vitality.

So, basically it is about choices, and at many times, practicinging contrary action. And, don’t get me wrong, I am definetly just begining to PRACTICE what I am preaching here.

I have found that in order to make the most beneficial choices a great place to start is self-knowledge, and that is what the Yoga practice offers us. I start at the first two branches of Yoga, the Yamas and The Niyamas, and all the wisdom already offered to us when deciding how to treat ourselves:

The Yamas:
           Ahimsa – Non-Violence/Non Harming in word or deed
           Satya – Truthfulness
           Asteya – Non Stealing
           Brahmacharya – Divine conduct in relationships 
           Aparigraha – Non-Greed

Niyamas: 
          Shaucha – Purity.
          Santosha – Contentment.
          Tapas – Self Discipline
          Svādhyāya – Self-Study
          Ishvarapranidhana – Surrender to a Higher Power

As I Practice applying the Yamas and Niyams toward how I treat myself, just like I practice plank pose, I slowly begin to develop the skills and strength I need to make good choices that move me toward mind/body balance and health.

Ok, ok, when you are done meditating on all the juicy Ayurveda and Yama/Niyama connections, let me know if you would like to come over for dinner. I’ll need to know your Dosha ahead of time, of course :)

 

Namaste my tiny whirling forces of nature,

Beth

Service (Seva)

Seva means service, and I am grateful that I have been offered a seva teaching opportunity that will raise funds for the UCLA chapter of a organization called Nourish International. Nourish International mobilizes college students to develop, orginize and raise funds for service projects aimed at empowering impoverished communities. These projects ultimately enable students to be part of the solution toward ending global poverty.

I will be teaching for Nourish this Thursday, February 12th, in the UCLA sculpture garden at 4:30. The class cost is only $5, and all of the proceeds will go to the UCLA Nourish Chapter’s sustainable development project in Latin America.

If you are interested in learning more about yoga inspired Seva (service) opportunities check out the Off The Mat, Into The World website which seeks to help practitioners interested in activism and service.

Free Yoga/Yoga Day USA

Hi Friends,

This Saturday, January 24th, is Yoga Day USA. Besides being a good excuse to breathe, stretch, and reflect, Yoga Day is also a day when studios and teachers all over the country celebrate by offering free classes and workshops.

I will be in my ERYT workshop most of the day, but check out the link below to find some free events in your area. 

http://www.yogadayusa.org/find.php

Clean Plate Club

 

“According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), if just 5 percent of Americans’ food scraps were recovered it would represent one day’s worth of food for 4 million people.”

 

Alright friends. I need your help to keep me accountable. Many of you already know I am a major scavenger and food mooch, but I would like to take my food intake awareness to a new level.

For the remainder of the month, I have decided not to waste any of the food or beverages I purchase. This may sound easy, but I am one of those emotional eaters. What if I have left over salad from yesterday, but I don’t feel like eating a wilty salad today? What if I feel like eating a slice of pizza? 

Yeah, I am a wussy, whiner, spoiled American consumer.

Which is why I am doing this.

HA, this should be interesting!

I am also reading up on articles like these for gratitude and perspective.

Namaste my little dumplings.

Sole Seva

This winter I am working for an AMAZING company called TOMS shoes. For every pair of TOMS shoes you buy TOMS donates a pair to a child in need. This holiday season, for every pair of TOMS shoes that you purchase, TOMS will give a pair to a child at risk of developing a debilitating foot disease in Ethiopia called Podoconiosis. Our goal is to sell 30,000 pairs in the next 30 days so we can send 30,000 pairs to Ethiopia

Come visit me at the TOMS pop-up store weekends from 10:00-7:00
1617 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice

We will also be having art installations, charity events and parties in our back gallery. Check out our Facebook page for more information.