The second delight of 2015 was learning on Facebook of MC Yogi’s new album, “Only Love is Real.” Those who pre-ordered the album, like myself, received the track “Road Home,” featuring Trevor Hall.
MC Yogi is someone who marries hip hop and yoga themes like Hindu mythology, and the importance of breathing, mindfulness and meditation. Trevor Hall is another in the genre, with a little more subtlety on the themes, and a roots–rock–reggae backdrop for his raps. To have the both of them on the same track “blew the top of my head off”. Or to speak in a very 20th century way, sent me into paroxysms of delight. Enjoy!
All this week I am subbing for others at Sangha Yoga Collective in Downtown Lowell. It’s still soon enough after Thanksgiving to do a post–holiday detox flow. So Apāna Vāyu, one of the forms of Prāṇa Vāyu, is an appropriate focus and theme.
But this vital energy is about so much more than elimination, about letting go of what does not serve.
In a subtle but vital sense, the apana vayu has much to do with our power of decisiveness and self- determination, both of which turn upon our power of choice. Choice demands not only the affirmation of one possible good, but also the elimination or exclusion of other competing goods – choosing one good over another. Clarity in defining oneself demands decisiveness in eliminating what doesn’t work for us, what is not needed, or what conflicts with our highest goals. It’s not surprising that the apana vayu is associated with the element of earth, and is the energy of the Muladhara Chakra, which is concerned with having a strong, sure and reliable foundation, especially in fundamental matters of survival. (Hatha Yoga in the Anusara Style, p. 180) [emphasis added]
If you come out to Sangha tonight or Saturday morning, this is what we’ll be working on.
I am pleased to announce that after a long recovery from rotator cuff repair, I will be returning to teaching yoga at Sangha Yoga Collective on September 18. On many levels, my injury has been my teacher. I hope to bring to you an enhanced knowledge of shoulder alignment, and an appreciation of the tools yoga may afford for dealing with life’s little surprises.
I am trying something new this fall, a one-hour noontime class I’m calling “Noontime Nourish,” for nine Thursdays beginning September 25, with a free preview on the 18th. The idea is that we’d practice some yoga at noon, and then whoever was available could hang around with a brown bag lunch to talk about yoga philosophy, Ayurveda, or conscious eating.
Personally, I always find Thursdays to be the most difficult day of the week to get through. It has all of the stress of Friday with none of the relief of looking forward to the weekend. What a great day to offer respite in the middle of the day.
While I am convalescing (four weeks post-op), please enjoy these tips from Christina Sell, with whom I had the pleasure of working in a three-day workshop in Portland last November, and in the Winter Asana Junkies webinar in January and February.
As many of you know, I sustained a shoulder injury in a fall on campus where I teach. This revealed an earlier shoulder injury. I am an admirer of Doug Keller’s work on yoga anatomy and philosophy. I recommend this article to you for good shoulder health in your personal practice.
Neck and shoulder pain is epidemic in our Web-surfing society, and the typical yoga practice may not cure it. Here are three easy poses to keep you pain-free.