QUIETNESS

Dear friend,

It has been a while since I have written. There is so much being written and shared out there anyway, so the ability to just listen for a while got to me.

Also, there was not much to share in terms of events in the life of Yogarasayana, my alter ego. Or rather, my teacher and practitioner persona.

It is not that there has not been a lot going on. We finished the Yogarasayana India 2016: Forest Sage Retreat auspiciously. A lovely group of students and friends sharing some yoga sutra of Patanjali, some jungle time, some Ganges time and some all around good times.

On coming back, I headed to Phoenix to spend time with the students of the lovely Mary Bruce and Lorilee Gilmore, my hosts. The topic was Psychology of a Sage. So you can see where my head is these days…On coming back, I headed to Phoenix to spend time with the students of the lovely Mary Bruce and Lorilee Gilmore, my hosts. The topic was Psychology of a Sage. So you can see where my head is these days…
Read the related article Psychology of a Sage: Activating Higher Functional States here.

And of course the LA Ayurveda and Yoga Therapy Clinic has been in session and has kept me busier than ever.

Then of course there has been all the other stuff that we all shared. The uncertain becoming even more uncertain, definitely a disturbed vata trend. And I believe to some extent, we are all a little shell shocked and a little worn out by events not just here in the USA, but all around the world.

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Perhaps some quiet is called for. Some time to turtle up, huddle into a shell and examine who we are in there. I feel fortunate that in these difficult times, I have these ancient yogic teachings that I can fall back on. Those that talk about who I am when I move past who I am sure I am: because I know I am flesh and blood, lifeforce, a mind, some intelligence and even some happiness when I allow it. When I say to myself, yes indeed this is me. But it is not lasting. This is the mortal me. It changes just like my world changes. And it is best not to get too attached to this me nor to the world it lives in.

Best to go looking for the me that is not mortal. The one that does not suffer. The one that is also you. It is there we fall in love with each other and everything else mortal. In fact, that is the simplest description I can give of Tantra, of Buddhism, and of the Upanishadic Vedanta. And it is from that place that I continue to grow this love that trumps all the hate I may exude, share, witness when I do not allow myself to be. Just. Quiet.

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Even in this conversation we are having. To encourage you to join me in this quiet. Where we are a shared Being. Not separate except in our mortal lives. And that is as it should be. Where we can enjoy each other, admire each other, help each other and give each other space when we get under each others skins.

But this is getting long in the tooth. So I will stop here.

I have a quieter year planned for 2017. We shall see how that plays out. Perhaps I will still come to your hometown. However, I do encourage you to join me in any of the below and meet each other too.

There are three teaching Retreats planned:

April: Yoga Practices for Emotional Intelligence: CLICK HERE
Sivananda Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, CA. April 7-9, 2017


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This time around, it is less theory and almost all practicum. So, you actually get a taste for why I keep teaching this stuff. This Emotional Intelligence Stuff. The stuff that when functioning clearly, innocently, joyously leads to clear, innocent, joyous thinking and thus actions. Those that support us instead of bushwhacking us. Every. Single. Time.
REGISTER HERE FOR GRASS VALLEY RETREAT

June/July: The Art and Practice of Vinyasa Krama Yoga with Ayurveda: Zen Rocks, Mani, Greece. REGISTRATION COMING SOON! INFO: ADRETREATS@GMAIL.COM

Ever since I started studying with Ramaswami Sir, back in 2004/5, I knew I would need to teach this miraculous way of practicing. But I also knew I had to wait till it came in my voice. Obviously Ayurveda infused. Here we go. Serious Practitioners and all Yoga Teachers. This is for you.

Sept/October: Yogarasayana India Retreat 2017! Into the Stories.

This Retreat is in the Planning Stage but this is how it is shaping up:
Two sections:
A Southern India portion that includes Somatheeram Ayurveda Beach Resort, Kerala, for a week of pampering and Ayurvedic treatments and then a week of travel around some of my favorite places down south. Such as Mahabalipuram, Pondicherry, Arunachala.
A Northern India portion that starts with the birthplace of Lord Krishna; continues to the Taj Mahal and then wanders into Rajasthan, and into some legendary temple, wildlife and archeological sites. Along the way we will talk about the teachings of Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, the meaning of Tantra which in itself can be quite evasive to pin down and stories from India’s mythological past.
A total of two weeks in Southern India. And one week in the North. Do just two weeks or do it all.

If you are interested in this Retreat, please write to adretreats@gmail.com and you will be put on an Early Announcement Letter with a Special Price Offer.

Meanwhile, I bask in your friendship,

Arun Deva

ANNOUNCING INDIA 2016!

Dear friend,

Greetings from the forests of India. It has been a long time wish of mine to teach the yoga sutra’s. In their own environment. The forests of India. This year, yogarasayana does just that. We are very excited to announce the “Forest Sage India Retreat 2016!”

We will locate ourselves in a very remote but amazingly beautiful, fully equipped, rustically luxurious Retreat Centre deep in the heart of India’s most beloved Tiger Conservancy National Park.

Run by people as in love with the forest as I am. We will visit its animals by jeep safari, by elephant safari and by foot. We will eat sumptuous locally grown organic meals put together by our hostess, who I must confess, understands Ayurvedic cooking better than many who have trained years in it 🙂

But most of all, we will practice the yoga sutra’s.

Yes, practice them. They are not meant for armchair reading. They must have deeper meaning that touches our own lives intimately. That is what I have yearned to teach. Please come join Jutta Hecht, Anjali Deva and me for this. Oh, and you will obviously get an Ayurvedic spin for all of it too!

We will also travel to the very abode of the sages: Rishikesh. Where we will visit the sacred Nìlakanțha Śiva Temple, perhaps river raft, do evening Puja’s on the banks of the Ganges and um, visit the Beatles Ashram:)

Details:
Dates: Oct 14-27.

Locations: Corbett National Park & Rishikesh, India.
Space is limited.

Further details to follow shortly. If you would like advance notice (and a special offer) please write to yogarasayana@gmail.com and tell us why you are interested!
Click Here for More Pictures

MEANWHILE:
Soon as I am back Stateside (and have seen Bruce Springsteen play just one more time J) I am off to Phoenix, hosted by the lovely Mary Bruce and Lorilee Gilmore for: The Wise Day It sold out some time ago, but if you are in Phoenix, please do contact Mary to see if we can fit you in.

April is a month I really am looking forward to.
First, I get to present the Saturday Practicum at the NAMA Conference.

My topic is Satvavajaya Cikitsa: The Conquest of Truth as a Therapeutic Tool.
I am really looking forward to meeting old friends. And making new ones.

April 22-26th I am so very happy to be back at the Sivananda Yoga Farm in Grass
Valley to teach the fourth year of Emotional Intelligence Studies through Yoga and Ayurveda.

This year, we have an additional two days of advanced training for those who may have done this before, have studied emotional intelligence elsewhere, are yoga therapists, Ayurveda practitioners…oh darn it, anybody who wants to and feels they can go further, please come!

Later in May, I will be in Salt Lake again. With Jennifer Ellen and In Body Academy as my hosts once more. We are planning a very special weekend Immersion. And of course there will be some days set aside for consults and follow up’s. Details to follow shortly!

June and July are teaching, practicing and being home in Southern California. I will teach for LMU’s Yoga Teacher Training Course. My own teacher, Srivatsa Ramaswami has requested some of his older students to teach part of his training this year and I am honored to teach the Yoga Sutra Chanting and Subtle Body Anatomy.

There is much more to come, including a long weekend teaching in the Lake Arrowhead area with my dear friend, Amy Wheeler Yoga.

As she puts it, a few days of yoga, Ayurveda and fun!

I will also be back in Temecula with TYC and Dana Point with Tam’s Yoga Bungalow.

For now, I leave you with some thoughts on the division coming up between Yoga Teacher Training and Yoga Therapist Training. These are my personal thoughts and not endorsed by any organization or person. There has been much written already and it is all very well thought out and stated. This will not come from the same intent to be rational. Rather this comes from the felt sense. Where we may acknowledge something like this: This does not make me feel good. It is from this place I write.

Yoga is nothing if not therapeutic. Yoga is many things. It is union. It is stillness. It is completion and the journey to completion. It is sacred, it is mundane, it is time consuming, it is one hour of asana per week.
What it is not, is a system of exercise in a classroom or gym setting with designer clothes, mats and gossip about our latest smoothie recipes. It is not in competition to other forms of exercise. Tight butts and longer hamstrings are only side benefits and certainly not the goal. Or at least they should not be.
But it can fast become reduced to that. If we let it. Yoga is us. And we cannot be divided and still call ourselves yogi’s. Is a Yoga Therapist different from a Yoga Teacher? No. Just more specialty-trained: in its therapeutic application. They are still only yogi’s. Like you, me and the new person in class.
There are many realities. One is that yoga is by nature, a therapeutic tool. I beseech Yoga Alliance, who has taken on the responsibility of governing this powerful medicine as it transitions into the West, to live up to this responsibility: to keep yoga sthiram-sukham, keep it as authentic as possible. Certainly not declaw it, denature it and create an impotent yoga. When something comes into contact with a hostile environment it can either be strong enough to survive or it mutates to survive. If yoga mutates into nothing but a magazine style set of physical exercises, albeit posing as asana, it will be a great loss for a lot of seekers who will not know how to find its authentic core. Make no mistake, no matter what we do, this authentic core will survive. But let it not come to that. Where the real yoga needs to be once again sought in rare places. It came West to heal us. Let us not allow it to tear itself, and us, apart. ”


Meanwhile, I continue to work hard to bring yoga and Ayurveda together. I believe it is time. Not as an aberration needing correction but as an evolving of sister sciences that end up converging for the betterment of humanity. This work continues officially through NAMA, where our Committee is creating a new Category of Practitioners: Ayurvedic Yoga Therapists. Powerful stuff.

May we find stillness,
Arun Deva

Welcoming a New Year

What does it mean to be a yogin? I have always wanted this to be stated crystal clear. And this is what I can say now:

I believe a yogin is one who is skilled in action. With a mind gaining noticeable clarity day-by-hard-working-day. This clarity can only come if the mind is not disturbed and that, in itself, implies a still mind.

If you practice yoga, you must have constant proof that you are moving in that direction. There must be tangible evidence within yourself and within your relationships.

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There must be a strengthening of character, a diminishing of doubt and a growing certitude that you are beginning to align with your dharma, your path as it is within the framework of the whole fabric that is this living organism called “uni-verse”. A singular song of pure intelligence, pure love and pure awareness. By pure I mean unconditioned. And unconditional.

A yogin acknowledges the ties that bind us to each other and that the real ties are to this higher principle of love, intelligence and understandings.

There is a lot that separates us from this yoga. But they are all distractions. They are of an ever changing reality that is loaded with doubt, arrogance, division and fear.
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A yogin feels great sorrow for their own part in this. A part that arises just from being born into this reality. The greatest goal of an aspirant is to achieve “kaivalya” a state in which there is neither this nor that. Aloneness means not even you as object exist and then there is nothing to condition your awareness and nothing to not love, not understand, not be at peace with. If there is no objective you, then there is no need for a rebirth. The work is done.

But what about for the rest of us? Who may practice yoga for better health, for a better way to live our lives here and now? For healing our traumas and licking our wounds. And then to enter into the fray of the battle once again. Determined to master the art of living this life. And for creating the karma that gives us a superior life next time around, if there is another next time around?
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It is from this place of teaching this yoga, which here intersects Ayurveda, the science of life, that I dedicate this year of 2016.
To teach whomever wishes to learn, this:
What it means to live such that the sleep at night is nourishing and not disturbed with heaviness.
What it means to eat a food that brings you delight, is digested with joy and becomes the fuel that nourishes you.
What it means to practice daily living in such a way that each morning is a new life line and every night is a review and affirmation of that progress that yoga promises.
What it means to practice that yoga and how to bring that yoga home; home to your own personal space.

What it means to find that the strength of the mind depends on the strength of your willpower, your clarity and your hard earned wisdom. And that it is authentic to say no when the sense organs crave that which weakens you.
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In 2016, I shall try and curtail my travel so I can write my book. If I am not coming to your town once again, reach out and we will find a way to meet!
Meanwhile, here in So Cal and then in Utah, and perhaps one or two other home away from home towns, my hope is to bring you the practice of the above. In a 3-5 day Immersion which I am calling “Dancing The Life of Yoga & Ayurveda”
And in October this year, for the first time the India Retreat will be dedicated to studying the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali. As I work on the final aspects of putting this together, please if you wish, save your October to travel with me to India and study this miraculous text in its original environment.
Details will follow.

Upcoming Offerings:

Satvajaya Cikitsa at the NAMA Conference: April 16th.

Sattvajaya Cikitsa: The Conquest of Truth as Therapeutic Tool

Sattvajaya punar ahitebhyo arthebhyo manonigraha: Regarding techniques for controlling or restraining the mind from desires for unwholesome objects, to be achieved by increasing sattva.
This is the solitary reference to sattvajaya in the Caraka Samhita, but it magnificently explains what all yogin know: Pratyahara is the single greatest tool for controlling the sensory mind.
Since ahara means food, Ayurveda teaches us to identify the food for each of the 11 senses and also how to control our relationship to them. The mind is functional in four ways. The senses are the key in this approach. It is the senses that are most in need of healing in our overly sensory world today. We will explore the role of Ayurveda in treating psychological trauma and addictions along with the sister science of yoga.

Arun Deva is a yogin, practitioner of Ayurvedic medicines, yoga cikitsa provider and a world traveler, looking for the Buddha in every face he sees. He has presented on Ayurveda worldwide and also has been practicing Ayurveda at his clinic in L.A. since 2004. Arun has also lectured extensively on Ayurveda at conferences, is faculty at LMU, and chairs NAMA’s Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy Subcommittee. Find more information about Arun at www.yogarasayana.com.

Followed by my annual Emotional Intelligence Weekend at the Sivananda Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, CA. This time with an additional 2 day advanced training highly recommended for professionals:
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Taught by Arun Deva DASc, AYT, RYT
Friday, April 22 – Sunday, April 24, 2016
Tuition: $200.00 plus Accommodations
Monday/Tuesday April 25/26 –
Advanced Optional Module : Supplemental Tuition: $75.00

Current Projects:

I am most excited about three projects that I am working on at the moment:
ONE: Since 2010 I have been working in a NAMA (National Ayurvedic Medical Association) Committee for creating Standards of Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy (AYT) as a separate Category.
In 2013 I became Chair of this Committee. We now have an approved Scope Of Practice and preliminary Competencies. We are now working on Educational Guidelines.
TWO: The next Project: Bhāvané Technique.This Emotional Rebalancing Practice combines the power of yoga and Ayurveda for emotional body therapeutics. We are in the experimental stage and if you are drawn to volunteer for a session (at a substantial savings) please reach out. This will be a thoroughly researched practice you can participate in. Already those who have experienced it have had extremely positive results. Email me at yogarasayana@gmail.com if you are interested. Include your health history and what you may be struggling with emotionally or even physically where you suspect an emotional causation.
THREE: And finally, I am working with a dear colleague on a book. I will let you guess what it will be about 🙂
Namaste (in recognition, love and respect),
Arun Deva
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There is nothing more important and powerful than family.
May we all become each others.

Greece Saga. Indian Beginnings. SLC.

Greece.  Elections were held while I was there. There was an air of resignation. Sadness perhaps. They voted for their leader who had been battered down by a bigger foe. Yes, they had met the Too Big To Fall. They are weary. But they are Greeks. They go to the Plaka. They feed you. They drink ouzo with you. And behind their tired eyes I see something. They have dignity. They are not down because they are wise. And I think to myself. The Too Big To Fall miscalculated. The world now knows what the Too Big are made of. We bear witness. Clearly, I miss my Greek friends. They have taught me how to be resilient no matter what. No wonder. They have a history of standing up again and again.

 

And now I am in India. Here too there is history. Ancient. And new. And here there is always confusion between the two. But I got to visit the ancient. The sources of painstaking research into the ancient texts of yoga. And walked out with a bagful of books:)

It is good to be with family as I prepare for India 2015! On Oct 9th, my co-leader Jutta will arrive with the Group and I pray Ganapati Bapa will let me have everything ready for them.

You can follow this journey here on Facebook:

Then it is on to Delhi to teach at Om Yoga Studios.

This is a topic that is making the telepathic waves. I am seeing it on other well respected Ayurvedic teachers pages. Almost identical. It is clairvoyance, telepathy, unified field…I do not know, but it all appears in print around the same time and we all know it takes months to get it out there:) I think it means we have borne witness here too. The answers have always been there. Lets not be fooled again.

Jai Hanuman, the breath of the Divine. Serendipity is your play.

November sees me in Salt Lake, my twice a year home. And so happy to work again with my dear long time supporter and lifelong friend, Jennifer Ellen. Hosted by Centered City Yoga. I look forward to seeing all my Utah friends. And making new ones.

To sign up for a Consult, Follow Up or Bliss Treatment: https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/home?studioid=24504

Next year is turning out to be quite exciting too.

Perhaps I will get to catch you in Dallas at Castle Hill Yoga.
Grass Valley at Sivananda Yoga Farm for Emotional Intelligence Through Yoga & Ayurveda with special extended workshop for therapists, practitioners and teachers.  
NAMA Conference in Rhode Island (Presenting the Practicum)
Las Vegas
Temecula
Hemet
San Juan Capistrano…
France perhaps?
Or Gokarna, India to study Patanjali’s Yoga Darshana & then visit Hanuman’s birthplace?
Greece of course:)
And of course in my hometown: Los Angeles.

Two major projects in hand. A book
(There, I have said it. Now I will have to write it:)
And perhaps, just perhaps, a dream come true: a School of Yoga & Ayurveda Integration for Therapeutic Purposes.

As I said before: Jai Hanuman! 

Om Gana Ganapataye Namaha.
With love & light,
Arun Deva