Friday, May 21, 2010

Go Pooja

So in Basse Normandie, in the spring and summer, a beautiful thing happens - lots of lots of little farm animals are born. When you drive through the countryside, you see these little ones; all spindly-legged and wide-eyed, next to their protective mamas who are standing stoic and proud. They are grazing in grass pastures, with hectares and hectares of space; having been born into the most charmed scenario for domestic farm animals, ie, free-range and well-loved.

The baby goats are adorable and mysterious with their horizontal eyes. The lambs, while also adorable, are a bit goofy looking. But the ones who touch into the soft spot in my heart are the calves, les petite vaches.

Before this spring, I'd never really noticed the calves. I mean, I always thought they were cute, but I had never really looked deep into the huge, gorgeous, innocent eyes of a calf and felt so connected to something so very big.

There's a particular pair of twin calves in a pasture just down the way, who have touched me deeply. They are of the Limousin variety, possibly the oldest breed of cow in all of Europe. 20,000 year-old cave drawings found near Montignac, France, bare an uncanny resemblance to today's breed.

I have named them Ram and Lam, the energetic sounds of the Mulandhara Chakra, represented by the color red, the color of their fur...

In Hindu and yoga philosophy, cows are sacred. Their sanskrit name is "Go" and honoring a cow is "Go Pooja". It is believed that "...a cow is so spiritually pure that millions and millions of deities take residence in and around a cow. Thus the very space occupied by a cow is holy ground. Only very pure souls can take birth as cows. Humankind should realize the spiritual significance of cows and learn how these docile animals can contribute to our spiritual upliftment."

Everything from their dung to the dust stirred up from the ground on which they walk, is considered sacred.

I love folklore and as the story goes, when Krishna (often also referred to as "Govinda" protector of cows, and "Gopala" finder of cows) played his flute in the pasture, first all of the cows would flock to him. Then, all the cow-tenders/cowgirls, ie, the Gopis, would flock to him as well. The music was transcendent. They would all dance the dance of Bhakti, playfully and lovingly, infusing the Universal life-force with pure love and devotion.

Apparently, Krishna loved butter and milk. He loved it so much that as a child he would steal the homemade butter and stuff it in his mouth, hiding it from others. One day his mother caught him and demanded he open his mouth. When she gazed in the mouth of this son of Brahman, she was overwhelmed with what she saw; the entire Universe unfolding as if like a song.

At times I have wondered why I, a one-time vegan, ended up here, in this sort of obscure part of Basse Normandie/Pays de la Loire, surrounded by cows and so much butter and cheese. As of this spring, I'm starting to understand.

Shri Govinda.

Summer Schedule in Paris

Le mois de juin est déjà là! Incroyable...
Voici mon planning d'été au Centre de Yoga du Marais pour la période du 1er juin au 1er septembre. Mes cartes de cours couvrent cette période.

Juin ~
Yoga doux (tous niveaux), vendredi, 20h15-21h45*
Bhakti Flow (niveaux 1 / 2), samedi 12h30-14h
Retraite/atelier yoga** du 13 au 20 juin (des professeurs de remplacement assureront mes cours).

Juillet ~
Yoga doux (tous niveaux), vendredi, 18h30-20h*
Bhakti Flow (niveaux 1 / 2), samedi 12h30-14h
Je serai en congés du 25 juillet au 1er août. Aucun cours de remplacement n'est prévu car le centre sera fermé pour travaux de peinture.

Août ~
Yoga doux (tous niveaux), vendredi, 18h30-20h*
Bhakti Flow (niveaux 1 / 2), samedi 12h30-14h
Je serai en congés du 8 au 15 août (pas de cours de remplacement).

* Merci de bien noter que mon cours du vendredi soir ne sera à 18h30 qu'à partir de juillet.

** Il y a encore 1 place disponible pour le week-end « yoga et terroir » à l'occasion du solstice d'été, du 18 au 20 juin, en Basse- Normandie. Vous passerez un très bon moment, je vous le garantis ;) et pourrez profiter de longues journées ensoleillées, de la rivière proche, de la campagne environnante, d'une excellente nourriture et bien sûr de nombreuses sessions de yoga... N'hésitez pas à vous offrir ce plaisir!

Les cartes de cours pour cette période sont déjà disponibles:
Carte illimitée (soit 7€/cours): 155€
Carte de 12 cours (soit 10€/cours): 120€
Carte de 6 cours (soit 13€/cours): 78€
Cours à l'unité: 15€

Je suis également disponible tout l'été pour des cours particuliers. Ces cours constituent une formidable occasion d'approfondir votre pratique, de poser tout type de question, de travailler les variantes des positions, etc.

Cet été, je ne pourrai malheureusement pas donner de cours le mercredi soir au centre YogaHUM. Mes emplois du temps professionnel et personnel ne me le permettent pas encore, mais j'étudie la question pour septembre. En attendant, je vais y donner des ateliers ponctuels, dont je vous communiquerai les dates ultérieurement.

Voilà les nouvelles...
En tout cas, c'est le moment de profiter de l'été, de son côté magique, de l'énergie et l'amour qu'il dégage! C'est la période de Sri Krishna !
Je vous envoie à tous mes pensées positives!!

Hari Rama!


Wow. June is almost here!

My summer schedule is a little longer than the traditional French schedule ~
1 June - 1 September.
My class cards are for that window of time.

My public class schedule at Centre de Yoga du Marais is as follows:

June ~
Slow Flow (All levels), Friday 20h15 - 21h45
Bhakti Flow (Levels I/II), Saturday 12h30 - 14h
On Retreat** - 13 June - 20 June (will have subs covering the classes)

July ~
Slow Flow (All Levels), Friday 18h30 - 20h*
Bhakti Flow (Levels I/II), Saturday 12h30 - 14h
On Vacation - 25 July - 1 August (no sub coverage, the centre will be closed for painting)

August ~

Slow Flow (All Levels), Friday 18h30 - 20h*
Bhakti Flow (Levels I/II), Saturday 12h30 - 14h
On Vacation - 8 August - 15 August (no sub coverage)

*Please take note that my Friday night class will not switch to the early time slot until July.
**There is still one more spot left on the Summer Solstice Yoga and Terroir Weekend Celebration in Basse Normandie, 18 - 20 June. It is going to be good, I promise ;-) Big sky, long sunny days, flowing river, pretty cows, amazing food, and lots of yoga...Give yourself this treat!

Class cards are available for purchase now!

Unlimited (€7/class) = €155
12 Class Card (€10/class) = €120
6 Class Card (€13/class) = €78
Drop in classes = €15

I will be available for private sessions throughout the summer. One-on-one sessions are a great way to deepen your practice, ask specific questions, focus on modifications, etc. Through the summer all private sessions will be scheduled for Thursday - Saturday.

Unfortunately, I will not be teaching a Wednesday evening class at YogaHUM this summer. My schedule and life circumstances just did not make it possible. I will be exploring evening teaching opportunities at YogaHUM upon rentree. However, I will be hosting summer and fall seasonal workshops at YogaHUM. The times and dates are forthcoming.

Okay, open yourselves to the magic of the season; the spaciousness, energy, and LOVE! This is Sri Krishna time!

Hari Rama!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

DogaYoga Spring iTunes Playlist

I've been breathing new life into my Spring practice with this playlist.

(P.s - There are two additional - and beautiful songs on this list, by Damien Rose, who uses the magic of the Tibetan Singing Bowls to create his sound. Unfortunately, his album is not available on iTunes so if you're interested, check out his website. I like "Awakening" and "Renewal".