With thanks to Swami Ramananda of the San Francisco Integral Yoga Institute for permission to edit and share this message.
Spring is a time of transition, when the dark and barren days of winter give way to light, warmth and new growth. With the intention of making space for a fresh perspective and new ways of blooming, consider the tradition of spring cleaning.
From a spiritual perspective, cleanliness applies to all levels of our being, from the environment that we inhabit and our physical bodies, to the inner recesses of our hearts and minds. Spring is an ideal time to de-clutter our homes and cleanse our bodies in preparation for the renewing energies of the season. Spring cleaning may mean ridding both our outer environment and bodies of the unwanted accumulations of the past that encumber our lives and hinder our health. To support our body’s natural ability to heal and grow, we could choose an emotionally suitable physical cleanse to help eliminate the toxins that inhibit vitality and our potential to thrive.
Spring cleaning for our hearts and minds takes place on a much deeper level. Selfish thinking and behaviour leave a psychic residue in the energy body which constricts the heart, and diminishes our ability to experience love. Living with the anxiety of trying to make happiness happen, prove ourselves worthy or win affection, makes for a stressful and dis-eased life. In this deeper context, spring cleaning means recommitting ourselves to practices that calm and quiet our overactive minds and attune us to a natural sense of internal peace that frees us from grasping for happiness. In this stillness, the lake of the heart stretches out in all directions, revealing our connection to all of life. Thus, a regular practice of meditation enables us to realign our actions, and more importantly, the motives behind them, with spiritual values.
For example, instead of trying to win someone’s love or acquire happiness, we can experience great fulfilment from giving and serving others with compassion. We can practice forgiveness toward those that may have harmed us, releasing from our hearts the poisonous feelings of ill-will or bitterness that may otherwise dwell there. We can experience extraordinary moments of wonder by being fully present to the miracles of human life, and profound gratitude for the many blessings we normally take for granted. All of these efforts contribute to shedding the physical, emotional and mental weight that can unnecessarily burden our being. With this intention, we can cultivate awareness of the habits and thought patterns that no longer serve us, and make a conscious choice to release them, opening the door to new ways of living that bring greater peace to the mind and joy to the heart.
Mantras and Meditation Workshop
Saturday 6 October 10:30am Check-In and Welcome Snack, 10:45am-12:30pm Workshop $22/$19 concession or use your class card
The mind is like a kite. Sometimes it flies away or gets tangled! Learn to let go of the string of thoughts in which the mind becomes entangled. Beginners will focus on the basic concepts of a mantra and experienced meditators will learn new skills to refine their practice.
Nurture – Retreat Day with Marie and Shanthi at St Kilda Road
Saturday 20 October, 9:15am Arrival and Check In, 9:30am Opening Session, 5:00pm Departure
Full day $100/$95 concession, Half day $60/$55 concession
Nurture your mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing during this full or half day retreat. Fostering reflection and conscious awareness, this welcoming day includes a nourishing hot lunch catering to your dietary requests.
Saturday 20 October
The church folk will be holding their annual spring fair, and no classes can be held at the hall. Instead, you invited to the ‘Nurture’ retreat day detailed above. “Our life depends on the kind of thoughts we nurture.” Thaddeus of Vitovnica
The Joy of Solitude
Monday 19 November 6:00-7:30pm, usual class fee
The essence of all of the yoga practices is ‘To Know Yourself’. The more comfortable we are with solitude, the more likely it is that we will discover our true selves. We will flow through the basic Integral Yoga sequence with a minimum of instruction, infusing the practices with the natural qualities of calm and silence which accompanying solitude.
Precious baby Georgia Margaret was born on Saturday 22 September. Rebecca’s consistent attendance at class is inspiring. Congratulations Rebecca! Love and cuddles to baby Georgia! Best wishes to dad Chris, big sister Olivia and grandmother Margaret from the International Yoga sangha.
Yoga Study Options 2019
Caroline Giles will host a visit from Swami Asokananda in January. For information please email Caroline at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0407 542 169.
Chitra Stern will offer Living Yoga and Integral Yoga Teacher Training during the year. For details please contact Chitra at email@example.com or phone 03 5427 4895.
Please note that I am not participating in these programs.
Please contact me if you require clarification or further information regarding the items detailed above. May the entire universe be filled with peace and joy, love and light!