Life does not consist mainly of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the the storm of thoughts that is forever blowing through one's minds.~Mark Twain
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omaha yoga path | Wanderlust: Yoga Camp Retreat

Omaha Yoga Path Post

Wanderlust: Yoga Camp Retreat

Pony Creek Yoga Lodge

Friday June 28 to Saturday June 29

4:00 pm Friday – 3:00 pm Saturday

A curiosity arises in abandoning ourselves into just wandering. Wandering leads to surprise encounters with people, places, and events leading to momentary discoveries of unexpected things that didn’t even know a few steps prior. In Wandering on the Way, the Taoist master Chuang Tzu wrote, “Great understanding is broad and unhurried while little understanding is cramped and busy. The Way has never known boundaries.” To wander is to move outside the familiar, into territory on the cusp of continuous change.

At this early summer yoga camp, we will make wandering part of day long practice. We will take one day to wander unhurried, step outside the routine we usually follow,  and move into the wide open air. Move without schedule, aim, or intention. Let things unfold before your eyes, one by one. Learn to attend to things and move on. Let each thing arise in its own unique way and cling to nothing. By this, we take a walk in the path of this world.

“I can only meditate when I am walking. When I stop I cease to think, my mind only works with my legs.”

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Pony Creek Nature Park is located 30 minutes from Omaha, near Glenwood Iowa. If you choose to sign up for this one day Yoga retreat you will practice yoga taught by Mark Watson, meditation, hiking, sharing meals and stories, along with wandering. There are two large cabins available which sleep 10 people each, as well as kitchens for cooking potluck meals. (More details and schedule will be provided when you have registered.) Since the distance is not far, a commuter option is available as well.

The Pony Creek Yoga Lodge is just over the hill from the cabins. This is a precious opportunity to immerse yourself in the practice of yoga in conditions that lend themselves to a very rich and deep practice, beautiful nature, wonderful people, and aimless wandering.

The cost is $50, but financial assistance is available.

 

Register here or sign up at the Yoga Path

$ 0.00

Sound Healing Workshop

Sound Healing Workshop with Lifang Huang

Sound Healing allows one to go deeper into meditative states through subtle, yet complex harmonic frequencies. While listeners rest comfortably, the sound helps to soothe pain, reduce stress and anxiety, and opens the body to receptive healing. The music that emanates from the bowls helps balance the five elements.

At the Yoga Path

Saturday November 4, 1:00 – 3:00 pm.

Presented by Lifang Huang shamanic teacher and healer

Lifang Huang is shaman, healer, teacher blessed with a mystical understanding of healing sound vibrations. She has traveled extensively through Nepal, India, Southeast Asia, and now the United States sharing her gifts as a sound energy healer. 

Lifang Huang has a unique understanding of sound vibrations. Over the years she has created her own therapy styles combining various techniques she has learned during her many years of practice with Tibetan Sound Bowls along with other instruments to share this very therapeutic practice.

Save this date and time. Register early as space will be limited to preserve the intimacy of this workshop. 

Cost is $25.00

Register below

 

Save this date and time. Register early as space will be limited to preserve the intimacy of this workshop.
Price: $ 25.00

STORYTIME YIN WORKSHOP

Storytime Yin Yoga with Kim

First Sunday of the Month, 2-4pm Storytime Yin

IN THESE WORKSHOPS, KIM READS A SHORT STORY TO YOU WHILE YOU ENJOY RESTORATIVE YIN POSES, FOLLOWED BY TEA AND A GUIDED BOOK CLUB-STYLE DISCUSSION OF THE TEXT.

Next workshop: March 1, 2020,
2-4PM
Cost: $25
Sign up for the workshop here
for more information go to Kim’s website or email at ktschwab@gmail.com

Kim holds her BA in English and Classical Greek, her MA in English, and her 500 hour yoga certification through Prajna Yoga.

Yoga Concepts

In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, the eightfold path is called ashtanga, which literally means “eight limbs” (ashta=eight, anga=limb). These eight steps basically act as guidelines on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life. They serve as a prescription for moral and ethical conduct and self-discipline; they direct attention toward one’s health; and they help us to acknowledge the spiritual aspects of our nature.

Yamas – Restraints
Ahimsa -non-harming
Satya – non-falsehood
Asteya – non-stealing
Brahmacharya – non-indulgence
Aparigraha – non-possessiveness

Niyama – Observances
Saucha – purity/cleaniness
Santosa – contentment
Tapas – discipline/heat
Svadhyaya – study/reflection
Isvara pranidhana – devotion to the lord(aspirations)

Asana – Posture
Pranayama – Breath Control
Pratyahara – Sense Control
Dharana – Awareness
Dhyana – Attention
Samadhi – Communion/Absorption/ Stillness

Sun Salute 1

Here is a PDF of  Suryanamaskar taught at the Omaha Yoga Path

Sun Salute 1

Standing Poses

Here is a sheet displaying most of the common standing poses practiced in yoga. Working standing poses is one of the best ways to build and enhance your practice. When you can be stable and strong in these positions all other poses will be accessible to you.

Standing poses

Benefits to Mindfulness

Benefits of Mindfulness Practice & Meditation
by Shinzen Young

Home Practice


Increased Appreciation of Life

A person with high base-line attentiveness finds, in general, all life activities to be more fulfilling. Intrinsically pleasant experiences (food, music, sexuality, etc.) are vastly more intense and satisfying simply because one is more fully “in the moment.” Furthermore, ordinary, banal experiences (washing dishes, driving to work, social conversation, etc.) take on a quality of extraordinary vibrancy and fascination. Boredom becomes a thing of the past.

Reduced Suffering
Physical Pain

Dealing with pain from illness or injury becomes a major issue for most people sometime in their lives. Indeed for millions of chronic pain victims, it is the issue of every moment of their lives. When analgesics and medical treatment cannot mitigate the pain, what option is left? Must one be subject to meaningless, abject suffering? Absolutely not. It has been clinically demonstrated that in states of sufficiently high concentration, pain, even very acute pain, can be dissolved into a kind of moving energy. This greatly diminishes ones suffering in the moment.

More importantly, when one learns to experience pain in this way, one actually gets a sense of being empowered and even nurtured by it. Thus, meditation skills provide not merely a mode of pain management, but allow one to experience pain as deeply meaningful in the sense of contributing to personal growth and empowerment.

Emotional Pain, Compulsions and Addictions

What is true for physical pain is also true for emotional pain such as fear, grief, anger, jealousy, shame, etc.

Using mindfulness skills, one can clearly detect and discriminate the mental images, internal words and body sensations that constitute the negative emotion as they arise moment by moment. By “deconstructing” the emotion in this way, one becomes less caught up while at the same time allowing the emotion to flow without suppression.

The same skills can be applied to overcoming negative habits and compulsive behaviors such as alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse, eating disorders and so forth, “staying with” the unwholesome urge until it weakens and passes.

Furthermore, the mindfulness itself produces a kind of “intrinsic high” which can replace the unhealthy high of substance and alcohol addiction.

Elevated Performance Levels

Any task is performed more effectively (and joyously!) if one is mindful and focused. These include:

1. More efficient studying for students
2. Increased ability in intellectual pursuits and problem solving
3. Acquisition of skills (languages, performing arts, fine arts, martial arts, etc.)
4. Sports – In sports, heightened attentiveness affects performance in two ways. First, the better you focus, the better your game. Some athletes occasionally spontaneously enter into unusually focused states. The locker room term for this is “being in the zone.” With systematic training in focusing skills, athletes can learn to consistently perform “in the zone.”
Second, focus and equanimity affects sports in the area of endurance. As explained above in the Physical Pain section, high focus imparts the ability to experience pain with reduced suffering. The ability to “break up” the subjective discomfort of fatigue leads to an increase in objective energy which could potentially give a winning edge. Acquiring such an edge through mental concentration represents an attractive alternative for the temptation to gain that edge through drugs.
5. Work – Japanese corporations have long recognized that focused workers are not only more effective, but are happier and more fulfilled because there is an intrinsic pleasure associated with any task done in a highly focused state, even seemingly boring and repetitive tasks. To this end, it is not unusual for big companies to send an entire section of workers to a Zen temple for a week of monastic training.

Effects on Health

1. States of high attentiveness and deep relaxation involve not only the mind but also affect the body and therefore impact one’s health. Brain alpha waves increase, skin conductivity decreases and the metabolism becomes more efficient.
2. Mindfulness helps people be more in contact with and hence more responsive to their bodies.
3. Heightened attentiveness also greatly increases the “high” associated with running and other forms of health-promoting exercises, thus making exercise easier and more appealing.

Improved Interpersonal Relationships At Work And Home

Mindfulness skills impact this arena in two ways. First, they allow one to be more “present” with people, more engaged and less drawn into fantasy and projection moment by moment. Second, they provide a tool to reduce the effects of negative emotions which often get in the way of successful interpersonal communication.

Catalyzing Inner Growth

Most people participate in some form of inner growth process. These include introspection, psychotherapy, body work, self-improvement and motivational seminars, yoga, tai chi, 12-step programs, prayer life, etc. In general all such personal growth processes are vastly more effective when done in a state of heightened mindfulness and equanimity. Attention skill is to personal growth as a catalyst is to a chemical reaction; it dramatically speeds up the rate of the process.

More on Blue

IMG_0293

Entitled: Blue dot on pillowcase

The recent assignment to notice the color blue wherever you see it, has been very interesting at the Yoga Path. It went well for the first week when many put a blue dot on their hand and wrist to be reminded to watch for it. We did this with permanent mark from a blue sharpie. I myself refreshed it daily with each class. Unfortunately the permanent marker was not so permanent, so it would soon wash off in a few days with frequent hand-washing. The blue could also transfer to you pillowcase and bed sheets, where it proved to be much more permanent than on human skin.

Nevertheless, the task of noticing blue yielded a few insights and some appreciation for this remarkable ability to see and distinguish the subtleties of color. But blue has mystery all it’s own. As the last Radiolab story revealed, blue is the last color the human consciousness notices. But Rebecca Solnit in A Field Guide to Getting Lost, examines our relationship to this color in life:

The world is blue at its edges and in its depths. This blue is the light that got lost. Light at the blue end of the spectrum does not travel the whole distance from the sun to us. It disperses among the molecules of the air, it scatters in water. Water is colorless, shallow water appears to be the color of whatever lies underneath it, but deep water is full of this scattered light, the purer the water the deeper the blue. The sky is blue for the same reason, but the blue at the horizon, the blue of land that seems to be dissolving into the sky, is a deeper, dreamier, melancholy blue, the blue at the farthest reaches of the places where you see for miles, the blue of distance. This light that does not touch us, does not travel the whole distance, the light that gets lost, gives us the beauty of the world, so much of which is in the color blue.

Big_sky_boats12_9682For many years, I have been moved by the blue at the far edge of what can be seen, that color of horizons, of remote mountain ranges, of anything far away. The color of that distance is the color of an emotion, the color of solitude and of desire, the color of there seen from here, the color of where you are not. And the color of where you can never go. For the blue is not in the place those miles away at the horizon, but in the atmospheric distance between you and the mountains.”

  • September 14th, 2018
  • Posted in Blue
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Seeing Blue

Right now in classes we’re practicing see the color blue in our everyday life. Just when you see blue, notice that you’re seeing blue.  I have to admit that I’ve borrowed this idea from the book: How to Train a Wild Elephant: And Other Adventures in Mindfulness by Jan Chozen Bays, MD.

But blue is a unique color, it’s the last color we notice in our development consciousness and the least seen in nature. Some ancient and primitive cultures don’t even have the word in their lexicon.

The following is a very interesting story from RadioLab that talks about this enchanting color color. Listen, and look for blue:

https://youtu.be/um6j_WRDggs

Right now in classes we’re practicing see the color blue in our everyday life. Just when you see blue, notice that you’re seeing blue.  I have to admit that I’ve borrowed this idea from the book: How to Train a Wild Elephant: And Other Adventures in Mindfulness by Jan Chozen Bays, MD.

But blue is a unique color, it’s the last color we notice in our development consciousness and the least seen in nature. Some ancient and primitive cultures don’t even have the word in their lexicon.

The following is a very interesting story from RadioLab that talks about this enchanting color color. Listen, and look for blue:

https://youtu.be/um6j_WRDggs

  • September 5th, 2018
  • Posted in Blue
  • No Comments

Deep Relaxation

Deep Relaxation Practice

At the Yoga Path we are practicing being with the body. One of the ways to best do this to take time to rest and intentionally making a time to rest, and totally relax. Here are three links to help you do this. Please set aside a time to lie down and devote yourself to this practice. Turn off everything and make certain you give you time to taking care of yourself

  1. This is a 46 minute total relaxation narrated by Sr. Chau Nghiem
  2. This is a 35 minute total relaxation narrated by Sr. Dan Nghiem
  3. This is an 11 minute total relaxation narrated by Sr. Chan Khong

They are from the Plum Village tradition. Enjoy!

 

Why do this?images
Resting is a precondition for healing. When animals in the forest get wounded, they find a place to lie down, and they rest completely for many days. They don’t think about food or anything else. They just rest and they get the healing they need. When we humans become overcome with stress, we may go to the pharmacy and get drugs, but we don’t stop. We don’t know how to help ourselves.

Stress accumulates in our body. The way we eat, drink, and live takes its toll on our well-being. The practice of deep relaxation provides an opportunity for our body to rest, to heal, and to be restored. We relax our body, give our attention to each part in turn, and send our love and care to every cell.

If you have trouble sleeping enough, the deep relaxation practice can compensate. Lying awake on your bred, you may like to practice total relaxation and follow your breathing in and breathing out. Sometimes it can help you to get some sleep. But even if you don’t sleep, the deep relaxation practice can help because it can nourish you and allow you to rest.

Mindful breathing, total relaxation of the body can be done at home at least once a day. It may last twenty minutes or longer. We can practice it either with a group, with our family or alone. When we do deep relaxation in a group, one person can guide the exercise using the guide below or some variation of it. When you do deep relaxation on your own, you may like to record an exercise to follow as you practice. One member of the family can lead the session for the whole family, perhaps in the living room.