Happy NY+survey

Namaste community members!

My name is Natasha, and I'm traveling around the world with my husband. Right now we are in India, and we love it !! I have just joined this community.

I hope I can share some helpful/valuable information about our travels and yoga experiences (ok, I'll share some now: if you ever go to South India, don't miss Shivananda Yoga ashram in Neyyar Daam - a truly relaxed and beautiful place!) with you later on, but right now I am writing to ask you guys for a favor.

We are currently conducting a project for the Mayapur Tourism Department (India), and thus we would appreciate it very much if you take a few minutes to fill in this questionnaire.


The questionnaire is mostly about tourism preferences and is fully anonymous. It will take not more than 10 minutes to complete.

Thank you very much in advance!

Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR =) !

yoga, ego and media

I know, I know - haven't posted anything here in a LONG time. But this article on Slate really caught my eye and I felt I should share it. Enjoy!!!

The Hostile New Age Takeover of Yoga:
There's nothing worse than narcissism posing as humility.

By Ron Rosenbaum
Posted Wednesday, March 21, 2007, at 4:37 PM ET

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against yoga—or Eastern disciplines in general. In fact, I've done tai chi exercises for many years.

No, it's the commodification and rhetorical dumbing-down of yoga culture that gets to me. The way something that once was—and still can be—pure and purifying has been larded with mystical schlock. Once a counterweight to our sweaty striving for ego gratification, yoga has become an unctuous adjunct to it.

There is the exploitative and ever-proliferating "yoga media." The advent of yoga fashion (the yoga mat, the yoga-mat carrier, and yoga-class ensembles). And worst of all, the yoga rhetoric, that soothing syrupy "yoga-speak" that we all know and loathe.

It all adds up to what a friend recently called the "hostile New Age takeover of yoga." "New Age" culture being those scented-candle shrines to self-worship, the love-oneself lit of The Secret, the "applied kinesiology"-type medical and metaphysical quackery used to support a vast array of alternative-this or alternative-that magical-thinking workshops and spa weekends. At its best, it's harmless mental self-massage. At its worst, it's the kind of thinking that blames cancer victims for their disease because they didn't "manifest" enough positive vibes.

One "manifestation" of this takeover is the shameless enlistment of yoga and elevated Eastern yogic philosophy for shamelessly material Western goals. Rather than an alternative, it's become an enabler. "Power yoga"! Yoga for success! Yoga for regime change! (Kidding.)

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Wellness Community

I created a place for those with a thirst for wellness and a compassion for all life. It is called the

Life Dynamix Wellness Community

Here you can meet others with similar interests, spread your message of wellness, and have your health questions answered by one of our wellness experts. These services are at no cost to you - this is our way of saying thanks for making Life Dynamix part of your world :)

Click Here
to Join The Circle.

I will be added to your friends network automatically. I hope to see you there :)

To Magic & Possibilities!


(no subject)

Reflection: DIY Awareness

Realizing that there is one energy in the universe and that all of us are part of it is not something that comes easily. It requires effort, commitment, and grace. Let the following practice, adapted from the Vijana Bhairava, guide you on your path to awareness and enlightenment.

Something in you knows that you're alive, that you're breathing, that you're thinking. It's subtle and hidden, but that witnessing part of you is the basis of everything you experience. Sitting quietly, begin to become aware of that part of you that is aware.

Next, bring to mind someone to whom you feel close and think to yourself, "With all of our differences of personality and history, we both share consciousness. At the most fundamental level, the level of awareness, we are one." If that seems too abstract, consider, "Like me, this person seeks happiness. This person too feels pain." The more you can identify yourself with awareness, and recognize the awareness in the other person, the more deeply you will feel kinship.

Bring to mind someone about whom you feel neutral, and have the same recognition: that there is one consciousness in both of you. Bring to mind someone you dislike, perhaps someone you regard as an enemy, or a public figure you hold in low esteem. Remind yourself, "Different as we may be, the same consciousness dwells in that person as in me. On the level of awareness, we are one."

Expand this idea to include the physical world, and allow yourself to contemplate the fact that a single energy underlies everything in the universe. On the level of subatomic particles, everything you see and feel is part of one great energy soup. One energy flows through everything in the universe. With that in mind, look around and say to yourself, "All that I see, all that I touch, all that I imagine, is made of one single conscious energy."

Questions will come up-and they're worth exploring. However, there is great power in simply holding the thought, "All this is one consciousness," as a mantra, and then trying to see the world that way. See how the thought of oneness softens the edges of your judging mind. Find out whether it eases feelings of frustration, anxiety, and fear. Notice how it tends to bring up feelings of peace.

After you've practiced this contemplation a few times, try taking it into your world. As these practices become part of your life, look for different ways to recognize that kinship of consciousness-be recognizing the light in the eyes of an animal, or the living sap in a tree. As you do, keep observing the effect it has on you. When you notice that you're feeling more connected or more open, honor those feelings. Know that you are experiencing some of the qualities of the enlightened state of being.

"Awareness" has caught my attention these past few days, as I've unintentionally had a few blissful moments in which I was relaxed and alert, observing all that surrounded me. Ever feel like that? Its something so fantastic that it deserves cultivating.

Forearm balance

Tolasana (Scale Pose)

tola = literally "poising one's self"; usually rendered as "balance" or "scale"

Tolasana gets its name from the way the head, torso, and legs hang from and balance on the hands like the pans of an old-fashioned scale. Some instructional manuals call this pose Lolasana (lola = dangling), which will be described in the VARIATION section below.

This pose, which gets its name from the way the head, torso, and legs hang from and balance on the hands, is excellent for strengthening the wrists, arms, and abdomen.

Here's how to get into the pose: Perform Padmasana (Lotus Pose) . Place the palms on the floor beside the hips.

Exhale, push the hands against the floor, contract the abdominal muscles, and lift the legs and buttocks away from the floor.

Hold suspended for 10 to 15 seconds. Then lower your legs and buttocks on an exhalation, change the cross of the legs, and repeat for the same length of time.

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Find Courage in Lolasana

Lolasana (Pendant Pose) is a beginning arm balance that presents an experience requiring courage: the courage necessary to literally pull yourself up off the floor. To begin the pose, come down onto your hands and knees with your legs together and the tops of the feet flat. Placing your right shin over the left, cross your shins just above the ankles. Keep your knees close to each other and let your feet turn out. Slowly sit back on your heels and take weight onto your feet as you lift the right knee vertically up off the floor three to four inches. Initially, rest your hands on the knees as you settle into the preliminary part of the pose. Much like Simhasana (Lion Pose), this first stage of Lolasana helps develop flexibility in the lower legs and feet, improving knee and ankle function.
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This Side Up: Building a Forearm Balance

Going upside down makes you stronger and more flexible. Plus it changes your perspective. Use this sequence to build to Forearm Balance and watch your body and mind transform.

By Cyndi Lee

You want progress and you want it now. It's natural to feel impatient when you're itching to lift into Headstand or want to quell the constant worries that arise in your mind. But real change is subtle and requires patience and persistence. Fortunately, doing yoga regularly can help you turn negative habits and fearful thoughts upside down. Challenging poses that may have once seemed preposterous, like inversions, will become possible, even fun.
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(no subject)

Today's Positive Thought: Peace comes from within, not from without.

Today's Positive Affirmation: I AM the peace and joy of the universe that flows
into my life and experience.

Today's Positive Visualization:

As I take a slow and even breath I connect to the presence of peace within me. I affirm that it is
this inner presence of peace that creates the peace I experience in life. I imagine myself wrapped by this energy of peace. I sense this peace going out from me creating harmony all around me. I know that as I stay connected to the peace within me I am contributing to world peace. I combine these images with the feelings of joy and let them go, knowing that they will create the good things I am visualizing and thinking.

Pose of the Week: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose)

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana is a deep backbend that puffs the chest, making a yogi resemble a pigeon.

The full pose, which is suitable for intermediate students, will be described in the Full Pose section below. First we'll practice the leg position only, which should be accessible to most experienced beginners.

(aa-KAH pah-DAH rah-JAH-cop-poh-TAHS-anna)

eka = one
pada = foot or leg
raja = king
kapota = pigeon or dove


* Stretches the thighs, groins and psoas, abdomen, chest and shoulders, and neck
* Stimulates the abdominal organs
* Opens the shoulders and chest

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(no subject)

The Roots of Vegetarianism

Modern yogis who struggle with the question of whether to eat meat can look to ancient wisdom for the answer.

By Jennifer Barrett

Ask any number of yogis to describe their diets and you'll likely get responses as varied as the styles they practice. Many traditionalists see yoga as being inextricably linked with the meatless path, citing numerous ancient Indian texts to prove their conviction. Others put less stock in centuries-old warnings like "the slaughter of animals obstructs the way to heaven" (from the Dharma Sutras) than in what their bodies have to say. If eating flesh begets health and energy, they argue, it must be the right choice for them--and their yoga.

Today's range of dietary habits might seem like a recent development, but delve back into the historical record and you'll find a long tradition of ethical wrangling with respect to animals. Indeed, the different stances yogis now take on vegetarianism reflect just the latest turn in a debate that started thousands of years ago.

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Why Go Veg?

People are drawn to vegetarianism by all sorts of motives. Some of us want to live longer, healthier lives or do our part to reduce pollution. Others have made the switch because we want to preserve Earth’s natural resources or because we’ve always loved animals and are ethically opposed to eating them.

Thanks to an abundance of scientific research that demonstrates the health and environmental benefits of a plant-based diet, even the federal government recommends that we consume most of our calories from grain products, vegetables and fruits. And no wonder: An estimated 70 percent of all diseases, including one-third of all cancers, are related to diet. A vegetarian diet reduces the risk for chronic degenerative diseases such as obesity, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and certain types of cancer including colon, breast, prostate, stomach, lung and esophageal cancer.

Why go veg? Chew on these reasons...
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I know we usually focus on yoga poses here but France left me with food on the brain. What are your favorite fall vegetarian recipes? I have a great chili recipe at home that I'll be sure to share soon...

(Also, please take some time to fill me in on how you've all been doing these last few weeks. Any specific questions, concerns or areas you'd like to see addressed here now that I'm back?)

(no subject)

I am so excited and nervous and anxious about this trip to France that I can hardly sleep! So of course I am starting to feel like crap. Leading to these articles...

Cold Proof:Yoga is a great immune booster, but for extra protection during cold and flu season, try these natural remedies, too. You might never get sick again.

When it comes to fortifying the immune system, mainstream physicians like Fine's rarely give yoga its due, but times are changing. Over the past few years, scientists have traced a plausible connection between meditative practices and good health.

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7 Poses to Relieve Cold & Flu Symptoms

By Angela Pirisi

1. Head Wrap

Before you begin, wrap your forehead to relieve tension in the head. Take a wide ace bandage (about 4 inches) and wrap it snugly around the head, tucking the free end in. You can also wrap it over the eyes, taking care not to wrap the eyes too tightly. The bandage will comfort your congested sinuses while you do the poses that follow.

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What are your favorite poses when traveling long distances? I'm especially concerned about tight hips and shoulders from all that airplane confinement!

(no subject)

A third post? In one day??? Lucky you!!!

Yoga: Not Just an Exercise

Yoga can help you beat depression.
By PsychologyToday.com

In 1990, Jenny Smith was 41 years old. That year, her mental illness became so severe that she could barely walk or speak. After days of feeling wonderful one moment and hallucinating that spiders and bugs were crawling on her skin the next, she landed in the hospital for the second time that year.

Smith is a victim of bipolar disorder, a possibly hereditary illness characterized by oscillating feelings of elation and utter depression. And though she had tried 11 different medications for relief, some in combination, nothing seemed to work. Upon leaving the hospital, Smith was told that she could expect to be in and out of psychiatric hospitals for the rest of her life. Soon after her release, Smith decided to learn hatha yoga, which incorporates specific postures, meditation and pranayamas, deep abdominal breathing techniques that relax the body. As she practiced daily, Smith noticed that her panic attacks—a symptom of panic disorder, a disease that approximately 20% of bipolar disorder sufferers also contend with—were subsiding. She has since become a certified hatha yoga instructor, and with the help of only Paxil, an antidepressant that she'd taken before without effect, Smith's pattern of severe mood swings seems to have ended. She even taught her 11-year-old daughter—who had experienced panic attacks since age 7—the simple breathing technique of inhaling to the count of four and exhaling to the count of eight; as a result, her daughter's panic attacks subsided.

Key to reaping hatha yoga's mental benefits is reducing stress and anxiety. To that end, Jon Cabot-Zinn, Ph.D., of the University of Massachusetts, developed the Stress Reduction and Relaxation Program (SRRP), a system that emphasizes mindfulness, a meditation technique where practitioners observe their own mental process. SRRP has been the focus of several scientific studies in the last 20 years, and has been shown to significantly reduce anxiety and depression, and thus alleviate mental illness.
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