Coming into summer…

Aside

As we come fully into the adana of the sun’s journey in the northern hemisphere, bringing us summer in all its glory, its ruling time, we are reminded how the sun can deplete us as it does the earth and we may look forward to the visarga or cooling nature of the moon later in the year. In the meantime, the joys of lush fruits, swimming pools, yes even ice cream keeps us going…organic and non-agave based, of course, as we plumb the depths of what may be another un-natural sweetener as we discover that low glycemic factor does not overrule exceptionally high fructose levels. Consider that apples have a fructose factor of around 5-10% and agave nothing less than 70% and apples are plenty sweet. As a dear and wonderful healer friend of mine says, why has no one ever used the Agave plant for anything other than tequila till now, when it is overharvested as the best organic sweetener, raw (hah!) and pure (after all the machinery it is put through to cause this transformation…well, I for one do not like how it makes me feel and so I neither use it nor recommend it to any of my clients till the air is cleared up…but oh my, how did I get here from talking about summer! I digress and will leave it in for you to digest:)

A reminder: THIS SEPTEMBER! STILL SPACES FOR THE KERALA RETREAT! TEMPLE TOUR IS NOW SOLD OUT!

ImageContact Arun at (310) 435-4197, for more information.

It has been a busy spring. Among trips to Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Grass Valley and Encinitas was a lot of private reflection time. I have been contemplating both yoga and my yoga. As an Ayurvedic Practitioner I will have a particular view of yoga when it comes to healing. And what this view is now showing me is that yoga is the single most powerful healing tool that Ayurveda can offer. Needless to say, yoga based on the principles of Ayurveda. What I am discovering is that it has never been any other way. They are inseparable. They are Vedic knowledge specialized into sister sciences. For some years now, I have been blessed to share the wisdom of Ayurveda with yogin`s and yoga teacher trainees. Most blessed also to share Ayurveda with the awesome Larry Payne’s Yoga Therapy Rx Program at LMU. I continue to do so.

Image

Ayurveda: The Science Of Self-Healing

On July 20/21, I will once again get to do so at Black Dog Yoga in Sherman Oaks. It is open to the public, please come.

Now I find myself wanting to bring yoga to Ayurvedic Practitioners. This is a formidable undertaking, I believe. But I feel I have some truths I have gathered from my teachers that I wish to share as they “realize” within me. The journey goes on:) On August 4/5 there is the Moksha Festival. On the 4th, I will be presenting on “Combining Yoga & Ayurveda For Better Health”. On the 5th, I will join a panel discussion on Yoga Next: Shaping The Future of Yoga.

On the other hand, both yoga and Ayurveda are shortchanged unless their therapeutic message reaches deeper into us than just the physical body. Or even just the mental body. It must reach into the core of us, where our emotions arise.

What I have discovered is that this Emotional Intelligence can be accessed even through just our yoga practice. I am putting this theory to the test coming up soon at the Sivananda Yoga Center, at Anahata Yoga Studio in Encinitas and at the Zen Den in San Clemente.Image All this summer.

Then I take off with a lovely group for the Yogarasayana India Retreat where we will meet up with other lovely yogin-s from India! There is still space if you wish to join us. The more, the merrier. After that, it is Greece once again. And another Retreat with my friends from Greece. This time on a smallish, spectacular island where we will share all of the above including Ayurvedic cooking and tasting:)

And then this November, for Thanksgiving, Jutta Hecht and I will host another Joshua Tree Retreat. The last one was a huge success. This time, once again starting the day after Thanksgiving, we will explore Ayurveda and Food: Raw, Cooked and Vegan! With yoga and a picnic hike. So, if you would like to share some of this year with me, I would love to share any and all of it with you!

Have a wonderful summer and look forward to seeing you on the yogic path!

APRIL EVENTS 2012

This time, more than ever, it has taken me a while to recuperate from the India/Greece adventures of Feb/March. Perhaps I am getting a little old… 🙂 (and that is a wry smile…)
But now April beckons and I am ready:

APRIL 19-22:  NAMA CONFERENCE 2012 in Bellevue, Washington:
I have the honor of presenting:
PRANA, TEJAS & OJAS: THE TIES THAT BIND

 
Arun Deva, Diploma Ayurveda, Yoga Therapist (IAYT), E-RYT/500
The Ties that Bind:  Prana, Tejas & Ojas as the Essence of any Healing Process:  From Personal to Communal

Arun is a CAAM Board Member and practices yoga and Ayurveda in Los Angeles. Having started his studies as a child growing up in India, he has made his home in Los Angeles for the past 30 years. He is the founder of Arunachala Yoga & Ayurveda, teaches Ayurvedic and Yogic lifestyle workshops, writes articles for different publications and offers Ayurvedic consultations and various treatments including panchakarma. http://www.yogarasayana.com
Link Here!

Towards the end of April, I invite you to spend a most rejuvenating few days with me at the Sivananda Yoga Farm in Grass Valley. It is so beautiful up there. There is a sense of timeless peace and it is a place in which to breathe in your essence, pause your active life for a moment, and to let something happen that is just for you. Enjoy the grounds, the lovingly prepared vegetarian, fresh meals, and please join me for the following:

Coming up:
May 2012: Salt Lake City: details to follow…

May-August: Anand Saagar Teacher Training:
SAVE THE DATE!
2012 YOGARASAYANA KERALA, INDIA RETREAT!
YOGA, AYURVEDA, DAILY MASSAGES, AYURVEDIC FOOD, OCEAN AT YOUR FEET, KANYAKUMARI VISIT.
W/ARUN DEVA, MEGAN McCARVER & MNI SHASTRI
END SEPTEMBER: 7  DAYS ~OR~ 14 DAY CHOICE INCLUDES THE EXTENDED TAMIL NADU TEMPLE TOUR!
If you are interested and would like details now, so you can start planning: please write Arun at yogarasayana@gmail.com or call 310-358-9555.

Kerala House

A cottage: yours?

View from your cottage

The pool…best place to have a coconut

From the restaurant overlooking the ocean

Ganesha

At the ocean

Ayurvedic cooking demonstration

Nightsky

Ardha Matsyenandra

Parsvakonasana

At the yoga room

musings on spirit tour of India…

This February I had the pleasure of taking my dear friends Vivi and Eraj from Greece, along with a group of their students form NYSY Yoga Studio, Athens for a Temple Tour of India. We were about 14 altogether and we began our journey together in Chennai. After visiting the Shiva Temple and the Vivekananda House, we got on the road and visited Mahabalipuram’s Shore Temples and Five Chariot Temples. In Pondicherry, we spent a night exploring the town and then the amazing eco-village, Auroville and its Matra Mandir. Onwards we went, to Chidambaram and the Shiva Tandava Temple, Kanchipuram and the Mango Tree Temple and onwards still to Tiruvanamallai, the home of Ramana Maharishi and the Arunachala Hill I have named my seva project of Yoga & Ayurveda offerings…
Once back in Chennai, we were in for a most unusual experience. Supposed to catch a short plane ride to Varanasi to spend Mahashivratri in that most sacred city, we were instead destined to fly to Bangalore, sit on the plane, hop to Delhi, sit on the plane, hop to Lucknow and, it being dark now, get on an old bus and drive 7 hours to end up the next morning in Lucknow! Below is the poem that came out of it:

COMING INTO BENARAS: AN ODE TO SHIVA

Chennai, early morning of Maha Shivratri
An easy ride to the airport with well crafted plans
At the counter, a first hint of what is to come
The unraveling takes place, patiently directing us
To catch up, breathe, hold, plunge, let-go, then:
What is His wish? Because there is little doubt
Who is orchestrating this, the symmetry is uncanny
So then the parts to play: good cop, bad cop
Watching it all as the parts are spontaneously revealed
Phone calls, texts, a stern matriarch who takes no shit
Their turn to play good cop, bad cop, tables turned
They win, so we can let go, relax, surrender
So much arises on this crazy, nonsensical
Plan of theirs, which they truly are convinced
Is the only way, and we are in for a ride.

 Jet Airways to Bangalore is bumpy and sudden
Great finessing by ground crew: easy off, easy on
We sit and watch, this is not a dress rehearsal
Not wishing to be mere spectators, we act out importantly
More phone calls, check the group, where is the promised food?
Then we are on our way to the next stop, my stomping ground
Delhi is approached with peace prayers and chants to Shiva
And it occurs to me: pleas to Brahma take forever to fructify
Pleas to Vishnu are about achieving His abode
But prayers to Shiva are never denied, as He knows
Our secret wants, He panders to the ego’s will
Creates such strength of it that we flounder in desires
Ravana conquered all the worlds, his insane appetite
Is mirrored thousand fold today in our Hitler-s and such like
Shiva gives to those who ask, till they beg for a Rama
To end their ravenous hungers, eating up all other egos, ages
Swallowing smaller fish, minions in millions, even the very
Earth, Water, Sky fall prey, as the demons seek Salvation
Or the Destruction of the very Lord, Who alone can save them,
By fiery astra-s, astral missiles armed with Spirit-s of Devata-s,
Consuming, burning, devouring, even hungrier than us all

 But now we touch Delhi, softly we take off again
Onwards to Lucknow, a city with childhood meaning
We will pass briefly through it onwards to Varanasi
It is another short ride there, ending in dusk,
Knowing little of what lurks in the shadows
Led to an unlit bus, again it is about who is in control
From the airline rep being all business to the world weary
Munni Bhai, straight from Bollywood casting, with bleary eyes,
Reeking of paan and yet he drives us onwards confidently
On crazy Indian nighttime roads filled with truck drivers
Railroad crossings, countless speed bumps on the highway
What is it we can do now but sing to Shiva Himself
On this wedding night of his; he knows where he wants us
And it is not in a hotel room in Varanasi but instead
On an old bus singing his praises all together, each one
With his or her thoughts but willing to let this unfold
The surrender is part exhaustion and part exhilaration
But the witnessing is in each one’s eyes, which are
Trained upon me, looking for signals that can explain
This madness adventure as it is in sense that we seek
Our understandings and acceptances, the unknown
Must remain an enigma, the moment needs rationale

 Varanasi appears gradually, it is now that quiet before dawn
Dogs are awake and there is stirring in the new day, Shiva’s wedding
Now belongs to last night, now the wedding city calls us
To rest, in a hotel I will never again stay in
But for now, it is welcome as the journey ends.

Later, we continued to Delhi and then I begged leave to rest before flying to Greece to teach there before returning home, a much richer man: so much treasured learning had happened on this trip.
Album of photos from the trip: Click Here

At a little off the beaten track Hanuman Temple

ENTERING 2012: SPIRIT TOUR OF INDIA, GREECE WORKSHOPS, MORE…

SPIRIT TOUR OF INDIA: FEB 2012 (Click here for details)

Starting our yatra in Chennai, we will tour the spiritual landscape of Tamil Nadu and its magnificent temple architecture.

A stone carving at a Shiva Temple

Continuing on through Mahabalipuram, we come to the quaint, once French, town of Pondicherry, home of Sri Aurobindo.
And the nearby Eco-Village conceptualized by The MotherAuroville.

Meditating inside the Matra Mandir is to access pure energy.

It is a yearning that draws one to Tiruvannamalai, the pure joy of visiting the home of Ramana Maharishi
and the mountainhe loved so much as the home of Lord Shiva: Arunachala!

The sun sets at Arunachala

We visit the sacred town of Chidambaram, where the Shiva Temple is dedicated to his Yogic form as Nataraja, the Cosmic Dancer.

Thillai Nataraj Temple

Completing our yogic journey of the south, we fly north to Varanasi, perhaps the oldest living city in the world!
While immersing in the sacredness of the Ganges, visiting its ancient Temples and walking its ancient streets, we study Tantra with scholars and listen in the old gharanas to the music of one of its 15th generation classical musician families.

Varanasi, the river Ganges and its ancient temples

Finally, a small group of us will venture on to Rishikesh to visit the Ganges in another of its most sacred homes, Rishikesh:

Where ancient rishis lived once and a bridge now takes us across a river Lord Rama crossed by boat back somewhere in the mists of time

HOWEVER, 2012 begins in January with another Sacred Art of Eating workshop, this one in Malibu as it traverses its way across the culinary landscape of Southern California: perhaps it is time for you to immerse in its aromas, tastes and visual pleasures?
January 29: 1-7 PM at a Private home in Malibu: Space is limited to 12. Please contact Lynn Dolin at lynndolin@aol.com to sign up.

BACK in Greece after the India Retreat, we invite our international friends to join us for a Teacher Training Immersion in Ayurveda for Yogins: March 1-4:
Ayurveda for Yoga Teachers, Level 1: The Path of Healing & Realization
with Arun Devaat NYSY Yoga Studio, Athens
(Click Here For Details)

UPCOMING!

APRIL 2012: PRANA, TEJAS & OJAS: THE TIES THAT BIND: NAMA CONFERENCE 2012
Link Here!

APRIL 2012: SVATANTRA: CERTIFICATION COURSE AT SIVANANDA YOGA FARMS, GRASS VALLEY
Link Here!