30 September 2010

Ajapa japa meditation

Continuous awareness of mantra is the main feature of ajapa japa – mantra repetition with breath awareness. You may use a personal mantra or the universal breath mantra - soham (pronounced so-hum). Become aware of breath flowing in a passage in the front body between the navel and throat, and between the throat and navel. 

As breath moves in let it move down from throat to navel, mentally saying the word so. On exhalation, let breath move out from navel to throat, mentally saying ham. This is a simple explanation of the practice. To read Swami Satyananda's in depth version, click on the title of this post.
Hari Om

20 September 2010

Numpang NYC

Just got back from a quick trip home. Took the ferry from NJ to NY for the day and had an amazing lunch at Numpang on 12th Street. Serious Eats reviewed this and posted this photo of the salt and pepper yam sandwich I had - unbelievable!

Blood orange lemondade, need I say more?

01 September 2010

Ananda Balasana or Happy Baby pose

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. This familiar adage appears in many places and is usually attributed to Buddhist wisdom. Sometimes it works the other way around. When I first saw this photo of me with my baby sister, Jackie, my immediate thought was that she must be imitating me. After all, I was three years old and had hair (and I am the yoga teacher)! On further inspection, it appears that she may actually be showing me something. In either case, it got me thinking about how much I learn from students.

The learning takes many forms. Sometimes I don't understand the lesson until years later. In the 17 years that I've been teaching, I have met hundreds of wonderful people. Some of them are now certified yoga instructors. 

We all have the opportunity to learn from one another. When I lived in Newport, RI, I used to ride my bike all over town. Once I came upon a modest house that had a yard full of topiary - cup & saucer, a caboose, a caterpillar! An elderly genleman was outside trimming it all very carefully. I stopped to comment on his handiwork and tell him how surprised I was that I'd never seen it before. "You learn something new everyday," I said. Without missing a beat, he responded, "Yep, and it's a sad day when you don't!"

I am thankful for my students and my teachers. I'm grateful to all of the people who have shared their wisdom, fears, pain and joy with me. And I'm especially grateful to have such a wise little sister!!