A Love Letter To Humanity


Friends, if you have a moment, I would like to share what is coming up for me in this strange new time as I sit in lockdown in India. Kamala and I are actually so content here but…we do miss home. And all of you. So, chomp down if you can…perhaps ten minutes. Browse if you wish, I have highlighted bits in each paragraph. It is finally a love letter. Please read it as one!

A LOVE LETTER TO HUMANITY

Or: Dancing With Our Lives 

This do I know. We are quite capable of immense suffering.
We are also quite capable of absolute peace.

As to suffering, as a species we have the uniqueness to suffer consciously. Which means we can do something about it beyond the ability to survive it, to find treasured moments of pleasure despite it, and to lose ourselves in hard work that brings us great satisfaction while we do it. If, in fact, we strive further, we actually have the consciousness necessary to minimize our suffering by serving others, by seeking universal shared truths, and by clearing our addled, clutter-patterned brains full of small and large traumas, so they stop showing us the whole world as a mirror of ourselves but instead turn their gaze inwards, the only place we do not need a mirror.

And as to Absolute Peace, it is supposed to be easiest for us amongst all Earth’s species, to know this truth. Yet only a handful, a drop in the ocean if you will, can actually achieve it. This should, however, never discourage us from seeking it; if we do, eventually we will become that drop in the ocean of bliss. And for every tiny step we take along the path we do relieve just a little bit of our suffering. And that journey, in itself, is a reward we can allow space for.

We can choose how we dance with our lives.  
Let us, for a moment, identify four dances available to us.

The first is to dance with nature. She has a powerful gravitational pull. If we align with her rhythms and pay attention to her behavior, and partake of the feasts she prepares for us in the forests and fields, rivers, lakes and oceans, in her towering mountains and her deep valleys, in her coldest regions and in her heated deserts; and treat her as a Goddess, she teaches us how to live in peace as we are now.

Alternatively, we can dance with our spirit. It resists gravity, rising like an electromagnetic field chasing some heavenly goal, constantly tempting us away from our daily lives. This dance results in renunciation of nature and a seeking of rarefied regions where the default is minimal suffering and maximum joy. At least for a while. As all is temporary till we stop ‘being’, of course.  Where we, like an onion, shed all our layers till what is left behind is nothing, having in fact, ourselves dispersed into everything!

The third dance is when we dance both with nature and our spirit! Let us call this the middle way. It requires immense skill. It is not as simple as tuning a violin. It is more like walking a tightrope. Or riding a bucking horse. For the two, nature and spirit, tend to move away from each other, having diametrically opposite trajectories. It takes great skill to turn our nature humble enough to let spirit lead it in our worldly dance.
So then we dance with matter, the physical world as it manifests; and at the same time with the spirit world from whence we actually arose. Where this and that are both complete. In a rational world it is not cognate but in the world of intuition, it is easily cognized as this is that so of course each is complete! For they are the same once the illusory walls come tumbling down and matter dissolves back into spirit.

The fourth and last dance is with our Mind. Now, I do not mean the Heart-Mind, our place of stillness, which we will come to, but the Ego-Mind. The self-created mind. The lord of the discordant dance. The one with arrogance towards nature and ignorance of spirit! The one that cannot align with either and dances jerkily out of step with all other beings around it, and in its delusion believes itself thus superior! As the Doors would famously say: ‘I’ve been down so long, it looks like up to me’.

This love letter is first to the Heart-Mind then.
It is to say ‘Awaken’. You see, in our human experience, love is pathos. It is an emotional response. We stir up the emotions with tragic love stories like ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘Samson and Delilah’ and ‘Laila Majnu’. Love punishes the human experience here. Or as in fairy tales (Disney and Bollywood have mastered this), where tremendous suffering is done for the sake of love and as soon as the love is ‘gained’, we stop the story. Perhaps we all know what comes next but would like to believe in ‘happily ever after’.

It is due to the Ego-Mind, formed of our various life experiences, including ones in the womb and, as per some, brought forth through both genetic disposition and previous lives of our mind-complex, that we identify with most, that we stop from witnessing our Heart-Mind, the place of still awareness. Perhaps this was not always as true as it is now. Our ancient texts tell us of a purer, more innocent time. But an accumulation of centuries of traumas running rampant like invisible microbes in a too-busy-lest-we-remember-it-all society may have hastened a time when we are incapable of loving innocently any more. And yet we yearn for it with every fiber of our being.

This love letter is also to Nature then and our dance with it, a thing of beauty and joy.

To our Spirit, that dwells secretly within us, never entering into fear (as one author puts it: never interfering, which is to say never entering ‘into-fearing’) and it is to our Heart-Mind which is the gift of our larger spirit to our fractured, conditioned, individualized spirit: a guide if you will on how to navigate this life with love.

What is the Heart-Mind then? Some call it our Original Nature. If it is true, then our original nature is innocent, it is creative and it is joyous. It has no space for fear, for anger, for grief. In fact we may say, over time we lose our connection to it so that our innocence curdles into anger, our creativity dries into fear, and our joy congests into grief and all three move like erratic electric currents within us, causing us to jerk around like puppets in the hands of an inebriated master!

Our Heart-Mind then is the one that travels through life after life seeking authenticity and more often than not, finds artifice and pretense: a mass gathering of negative life experiences based on fear, anger and grief.

This love letter must of course also be to our Ego-Mind. It is not correct to want to destroy it, as we cannot without ourselves disappearing prematurely, rather it is correct to teach it how to dance!  How to dance the body and the spirit to the music of no fear. To abandon the blockages to our inner muse in the forms of lust, of greed, of thievery, of gluttony, of malice and of many other such demons we carry perversely from life to life. How do we abandon them then? We replace moments of lust with admiration. We replace greed with gratitude. We replace theft with anonymous gifts to the downtrodden. We replace gluttony with mindful-joy for a tasty morsel of simple, home cooked food shared with each other. We replace malice with random acts of kindness as some wise one once advised us to. And most importantly of all, we replace fear with love. A love built of kindness, compassion and wisdom.

What then stops us? Stops us from building this healthier Ego-Mind that can humbly seek guidance from the Heart-Mind, seek peace and awe in Nature, seek freedom in recognizing itself ultimately as Spirit?

What stops it is perhaps nothing more than it does not trust itself. We do not trust ourselves. Trust ourselves to be stronger than the imposed-upon-us patterns we carry around like a ball and chain.

The Buddha said that poverty is the greatest crime. For me, I know clearly in my bones, in my marrow, that this is truth.  We are neither animal nor gods. But we can easily sink back into our animal nature. And we can strive to rise to divinity. We have to practice what the yogin call pratipakśa bhāvanam. Replacing negative energy with positive energy. Until we learn how to balance between the two. Right there, where left disappears into right, right into left and both positive and negative charges rest in a soft hum of quietude, where we become engines of love, having left our fears behind. For there is only incomplete love where fear exists.

This is finally, my love letter to you and to me. May we trust each other enough to not be judgmental.  And to trust ourselves eventually, as it is ourselves we truly judge the most when we judge the other.

A NOTE: Healing the Heart workshops are by necessity postponed. None of us know for how long. We are working on an online version. Shorter perhaps. A day spent together. Sharing as we would in a classroom or studio. For those who have signed up for consults when we visit your city, please know we can meet online. All prices will, of course, be adjusted to accommodate our new realities.

The next one we are hoping we can do in person is scheduled for the end of May in Encinitas. I am praying together we can manifest an end to this new reality by then and enter a new reality of closeness that can only truly arise from us having come close to losing it.

The heart is alive. In fact, it brings life to us with each pulsation, sending rivers of prāna flowing through our plasma, blood, muscle, fat, skeleton, marrow and finally, our vital reproductive juices. There it transforms into our very essence itself or leaves us to form a new life with another beautiful heartbeat singing its song!

This heart that is the fiery sun of our own universe, is ever producing our minds through its sensory rays and clear light! Mind as it spreads its venous tentacles to every sense organ so that we can fully experience the world around us. Mind that extends instinctively down into our bellies, so we vicariously feel each perceptive truth as a somatic experience. And mind, like a tree, sends its rising branches upwards to form our brain. Where we think, imagine, reason and occasionally perceive the highest truths.

And yet, we imprison this heart behind gates of arrogance, lust, hatred, greed, jealousy and pride. And we subject it cruelly to fears, unjustly to angers and unmercifully to grieving.

Our hearts are the key to our lives. Heal our heart and we heal our mind. In healing the mind we finally discard the undigested toxins of fear, anger and grief. And spontaneously and oh so creatively, the heart sings its joy and its simple innocent declaration- know me and know peace.

Upcoming Healing the Heart Workshops

February 22-23: Yoga Bungalow, San Juan Capistrano, CA
visit website »


This workshop was the only one that did indeed take place. We had a full room and a lot of aha moments of the heart.

April 17-19: Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, No. CA
visit website »
POSTPONED

May 8-10: Salt Lake City UT: POSTPONED WITH BATED BREATH. WHO KNOWS!
Hosted by Maria Radloff.
Utah friends, USE THIS LINK TO GET 10% OFF THE EARLY BIRD SPECIAL.
Under Teacher, put your favorite teachers’ name so they get credit for it.
Also be sure to book your consults Early as there will not be that many available this time around.
visit Maria’s website »

May 23/24: Save the date! SOLD OUT PENDING AN END TO THE POX UPON US!
Hosted by Jutta Hech and Myriam Machado Baker. In Encinitas, CA
Email adretreats@gmail.com to sign up or learn more.
Space is very limited! And 5 spots already pre-booked!

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION:
In the Vedic tradition, the heart is the seat of emotions, of prāna and of our intrinsic immunity. It is also the origin of the mind and it is from the heart that the mind as emotions moves towards the brain for intellectual understanding and the gut for instinctive behavior. If we free our emotional seat from the siege of its enemies: fear, anger and grief then the rightful emotions of playfulness, innocence and joy rule supreme once again. It is a journey of remembrance. One we should all take together. Yoga and Āyurveda show us the way to do so.

WORKSHOP CURRICULA:
The Heart as Seat of Mind
The Qualities of the Heart: Creativity, Innocence and Joy
Understanding Heart Disease Through Āyurveda: Treating Through Yoga
The Enemies of the Heart: Fear, Anger and Grief
The Allies of the Heart: Resolve, Patience and Faith
Practicum: Emotional Intelligence Yoga Practice: Healing The Heart/Healing The Mind

More Healing the Heart Workshops to come later this year. If you would like to host one or know of a studio in your community that would, please let me know!

 A heart to heart prayer:

May we together be each others protection.
May we together nourish each other.
May we together become each others strength.
May we together become wise.
May we always be friends.
May we support each other in finding peace.

May your breath always be at peace!

INDIA RETREAT 2019

the yogi’s journey to india~
the forest & the river

FALL 2019
October 2nd-16th

The Yogi’s Journey to India

Into the Forest,
By the Sacred River

Week One: The forest retreat
Week Two: The sacred river
$3200 Early Bird. Based on double occupancy.
Single Occupancy +$500
Deposit by June 15th. Complete payment by July 30.
$3500 Regular Price (After June 15)*
Single Occupancy +$500*


The magic of the Corbett National Park is where we begin. Tucked into a luxurious hideaway with delicious, homegrown organic meals, a lodge, a magnificent yoga hall and surrounded by the call of the wild. We spend a week here learning how to personalize our yoga and fit it into an ayurvedic lifestyle.

Ganges. The sacred river. At Rishikesh, one of the most vibrant, colorful stops along this holy river, we find her here as pristine as she can be, having just descended from her source. It is here that the great rsi’s of yore meditated. We will visit the temple where Siva swallowed the poison to save the world, the cave where Sage Vashishta did his meditation and celebrate the river every morning and evening with songs and fire. Here we will find the deeper meanings of yoga, for many say this is its root home and we will see it in all its colors!

Registration and Information: ADRETREATS@GMAIL.COM


RETREAT ITINERARY

Delhi: October 2-3

Arrive in Delhi, the capitol of India. You will be met at the airport. Spend a couple of days getting grounded. Includes a visit to the Lotus Temple for meditation. A drive around town. A lovely dinner at Arun’s family home…

and some good shopping to get you vetted into the ways…

Onwards to Corbett National Park: October 4-8

JJRetreat is a luxurious hideaway in the verdant Corbett National Park. Situated at the foothills of the Himalayas, Corbett is the most prominent wildlife sanctuary in India. Two jeep safaris are included that show you a rich variety of flora and fauna. Although a tiger sighting is rare, many species of deer and birds abound. In the distance you may see a herd of elephant when we pass through shallow grass.

The rustic cottages at JJR specialize in richly decorated tapestries and furnishings and all the comforts of home (except TV:). The cafe and restaurant serve exquisite food. Much of it provided by an organic garden brimming with vegetables. And the local cows, from their own backyards, provide fresh milk daily. The riverbed and adjoining village make for some excellent hiking. Here, in the magnificent yoga hall we will deepen our studies and begin the process of creating personal yoga practices that go from kriyas to asana to pranayama to meditation and contemplation. Practices that we bring home as a forever gift from India.

Rishikesh: October 9-14

Among all the sacred towns along the Ganges, Rishikesh is closest to its wild mountain waters. This holy town straddles both sides of the river, connecting mainly through two suspension bridges. The town is a haven for both tourists and ascetic holy men. Brimming with temples, artisan shops, local vegetarian restaurants, even an Italian pizza house, it will home us for 5 nights.

Here, we will do evening pujas,

hike to a legendary sage’s cave, optionally river raft, but most important of all we will worship the river and bring a deeper dimension to our yoga practice: that of chanting and worship. We will learn the true meaning of surrender is to find the joy of acceptance!

Delhi: October 15/16

Having taken the evening train from Rishikesh on the 14th and settling into our hotel, we wake up to our last day in India. A chance to catch our breath or do last minute shopping before taking a night flight home. Please note, most night flights leave after midnight and thus would officially be the 16!

The Retreat officially ends and India awaits any fearless explorers who wish to do more. YogaRasayana’s trusted travel agents are available to help with this!


Fine Print

The above prices include the following:

  • All group travel as stated. This includes all listed air and land travel during the Retreat. This specifically includes all group road travel to Corbett, Rishikesh and train from Rishikesh to Delhi. Any personally requested additional travel would be at your cost.
  • Airport pick up and drop off in Delhi.
  • Lectures and all yoga sessions. .
  • Visit to Vasishta Gupha in Rishikesh.
  • Visit to Neelkantha Temple in Rishikesh
  • 2 jeep safaris at Corbett.
  • Shared Double Occupancy Cottages at JJR, Corbett. (Single Room Occupancy prices will be significantly higher and subject to availability.)
  • Shared Double Occupancy Rooms in Rishikesh (Single Room Occupancy prices will be significantly higher and subject to availability.)
  • Shared Double Occupancy Rooms in Delhi (Single Room Occupancy prices will be significantly higher and subject to availability.)
  • All meals at JJR. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • Breakfasts only in Delhi and Rishikesh.
  • While at most lodging facilities, WiFi is included, be aware that we cannot guarantee its availability and quality.

What is NOT included:

  • Airfare/travel not specifically included above, including to/from your own starting and ending destinations, whether in the Americas, Europe, India or elsewhere.
  • Optional river boat rafting in Rishikesh.
  • Any additional excursions taken either as a group or individually that are not expressly mentioned above.
  • Massages at JJR (we have arranged special pricing but take no responsibility for quality of same.)
  • Optional additional jeep safaris (two are included)
  • Optional Ayurvedic massages in Rishikesh. We will arrange special prices at an authentic clinic.
  • Additional costs you may incur as a result of taking this trip including but not limited to passports, visas and other incidentals.
  • Additional incidentals you may incur such as laundry, phone calls, internet, alcoholic beverages, any foods or drinks not specifically covered above, or any items of a personal nature that are not expressly mentioned above.
  • All meals not expressly mentioned above.
  • Any transportation not expressly included above.
  • Any additional expenditure not expressly covered above whether of an individual nature or voluntarily as part of a group.
  • Tipping. (We will pool tips for Group Tipping wherever applicable. We estimate this to work out to around $75 total per person)
  • *Double Occupancy rates are based on a shared twin bed room. The Retreat organizers are not responsible for providing you a roommate. If two single people apply separately, the organizers will put each in touch with the other as a courtesy only.
Registration and Information: ADRETREATS@GMAIL.COM

 


 

We will study, practice, sightsee, travel, shop and imbibe yoga.

Registration and Information:


UPCOMING EVENTS/TEACHINGS

May 31-June 2: Yoga Therapy for the Mind
Temecula, CA

WEBINARS AT SEVANTI INSTITUTE!

June 21-23: Ayurvedic Psychology
Online Course/Sevanti Institute

August 16-18: Yoga & Ayurveda Philosophy
Oniine Course/Sevanti Institute

Moksha Festival

June 28-30:
Saturday at 9am: Sattvavajaya Cikitsa: The Conquest Of Truth
Frazier Park, CA Get 25% off by using code YOGARASAYANA

Sept 6-8 2019: Relevance of Yoga Sutra

Salt Lake City

RASA BHĀVA GOES TO INDIA!

RASA BHĀVA IMMERSION

Yoga, Āyurveda, Temples, Palaces, Forts, Taj Mahal…

To learn more about Rasa Bhāva, CLICK HERE

or just keep reading…past the retreat details.

 Rasa Bhāva, the art of rejuvenating the emotional body, is an ongoing practice. Like developing an unused muscle, it takes time, persistence and consistency.

This retreat is to both take it deeper, and to add dimensions to it that cannot be added in a workshop. 

Plus…the flavor of India, its very rasa, adds a delicious secret spice to the recipe!

We begin in Kerala. At a beautiful Ayurvedic Retreat Center. Here we spend 5 full days immersed in the study of the Rasa Bhāva experience. To understand and manage our emotional body. Physically, mentally, psychically and spiritually, we will learn to occupy our own persona and move beyond our life long trainings in fear, anger and grief, and to occupy and remember our own original creativity, innocence and joy. As you will see below, this can be a pretty joyous experience.

And then we will take it out on the road! To see if we can be fully present, alive and positive to our surroundings, the beauty of ancient India: its palaces, forts, temples, colors, sights, sounds, aromas and tastes. We will of course visit the Taj Mahal, but also a magnificent Jain Temple. We will take a camel ride, stay in luxury tents, visit old royal villas, wander through ancient forts and living palaces. Having first nurtured with specific yogic and āyurvedic practices, we should now be ready to have a grand experience indeed!

The retreat is limited in space.

REGISTRATION AND INFO: ADRETREATS@GMAIL.COM



RETREAT ITINERARY:

  Rasa Bhāva & Royal Tour India Retreat 2018!

September 26 – October 10

WE BEGIN AT THE SOMATHEERAM AYURVEDIC BEACH RESORT, KERALA:

Sept 26: Arrive early morning. Settle in and after lunch, orientation and puja, followed by a gentle afternoon practice ending with yoga nidra. Early evening luxuriate in full Āyurvedic treatments and let go of it all!

Sept 27/28/29/30: Early mornings 3-hr Rasa Bhāva practices. Afternoons: Rasa Bhāva lectures. Evenings: Rasa Bhāva Āyurvedic treatments including abhyanga and shirodhara.

The Somatheeram resort is spread lushly over 15 acres of greenery on a hilltop overlooking Chowara Beach, south of Kovalam and a short drive away from Trivandrum. The gently sloping grounds are sprinkled with traditional thatched cottages and Kerala style wooden bungalows, nestled among native medicinal plants and coconut groves. We will stay in the Garden Cottages; independent thatched huts rooming two people.

Climbing up the hill you arrive at the Rejuvenation Center with a full staff of Ayurvedic Doctors, where you will receive your daily treatments…Kerala style!

The resort has a thatched restaurant with a panoramic view of the ocean, and delicious Ayurvedically prepared meals (3 vegetarian, dosha specific meals a day are included).

Oct 1: Morning practice, brunch and then on to our next adventure.

MOVE ON TO NORTH INDIA FOR THE ROYAL TOUR:

Arrive Delhi late evening and layover for the night.

Oct 2: Early morning drive to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort. If you have never seen the Taj, it is spectacular and if you have, each visit is a little more special!

Oct 3/4: Drive to Jaipur, the Pink City. The very heart of this magical land called Rajasthan. A land known for its nobility, its hard desert fortitude and incredible grace. It’s where the homes are often villas of old (we will stay in one) and where the palaces and temples are beautifully colorful and the forts sit on formidable mountain tops, seeming impregnable.


Oct 4: Amber Fort, City Palace, and Jantar Mantar. Amber Fort is magnificently set on the top of a hill. We will take the rampart all the way by elephant (with luck), visit the courtyard and enter the inner palace. City Palace is still active as home to the current Maharaja. It is a spectacular setting with powerful museums and history. Jantar Mantar is the magic of 19 astronomical instruments including precise sun dials from the 1700’s!

Then on to:

Oct 5/6: After our morning practice, drive to Pushkar! Stay in luxury tents. Ride on camels. Visit the famous Brahma Temple and shop around the lake for all kinds of amazing gifts (maybe even some for others).

Oct 7: After a morning practice, drive to Ranakpur. Some say the Jain Temple here is the most incredible of all. I fell in love with it when I was 19! Over 1400 carved pillars inside, none alike!

After a late lunch continue to Udaipur. The Lake City.

Oct 8: Visit our last most amazing Palace. Have a beautiful lunch at the Palace Restaurant! Afterwards, visit a powerful Vishnu Temple.

Oct 9: After our final morning practice, and brunch, take a flight back to Delhi.

Oct 10: Delhi. Our last day is dedicated to shopping. We will sightsee and shop, rest up and late at night (early Oct 11 morning), those who choose, fly home full of memories and also with full bags, to remind us of the magic of India.

The Retreat officially ends and India awaits any fearless explorers who wish to do more. YogaRasayana’s trusted travel agents are available to help with this!


REGISTRATION AND INFO: ADRETREATS@GMAIL.COM


PRICING DETAILS:

Early Bird Special (ends June 15): $3300

Regular Price (after June 15): $3700

Late Registration (after July 30/space available): $4100

Deposit of $500 per person will hold your space and price. Final payments must be completed by July 30 to maintain your Early Bird Price. After July 30 your deposit will continue to apply but will apply to the next tier: Regular Price $3700.  If final payment is not received by August 30, your deposit can only apply to Late Registration Tier and becomes subject to space availability.  Early Bird Deposits are 50% refundable for one month after initial deposit is received. After that they become nonrefundable.

The above prices include the following:

  • All group travel as stated. This includes all listed air and land travel during the Retreat. Any personally requested additional travel would be at your cost.
  • Airport pick up and drop off.
  • Lectures and all yoga sessions. Any personal consultations (with Arun) will be subject to time, availability and additional cost.
  • Shared Double Occupancy Cottages at Somatheeram. (Single Room Occupancy prices will be higher and subject to availability.)
  • Shared Double Occupancy at all hotels and villas we stay at outside of Somatheeram. (Single Room Occupancy prices may be significantly higher and subject to availability.)
  • Morning and afternoon practices at Somatheeram.
  • Morning practices when possible on the road. (Some days have the mornings set aside for this, other days including days of travel and early sightseeing, we may not be practicing.)
  • Sangha sessions on the road when possible.
  • Specific Ayurvedic treatments at Somatheeram. Additional treatments may be available for an extra fee.
  • All meals (at Somatheeram).
  • All breakfasts on the road.
  • While at most lodging facilities, WiFi is included, be aware that we cannot guarantee its availability and quality.

What is NOT included:

  • Airfare/travel not specifically included above, including to/from your own starting and ending destinations, whether in the Americas, Europe, India or elsewhere.
  • Tipping. (We will pool tips for group tipping wherever applicable. We estimate this to work out to around $150 total per person.)
  • Additional costs you may incur as a result of taking this trip including but not limited to passports, visas and other incidentals.
  • Additional incidentals you may incur such as laundry, phone calls, internet, alcoholic beverages, any foods or drinks not specifically covered above, or any items of a personal nature that are not expressly mentioned above.
  • All meals not expressly mentioned above. (Exclusions include lunches and dinners outside of Somatheeram.)
  • Any transportation not expressly included above.
  • Any additional expenditure not expressly covered above whether of an individual nature or voluntarily as part of a group.

REGISTRATION AND INFO: ADRETREATS@GMAIL.COM

WHAT IS RASA BHĀVA?

EMOTIONS: LANGUAGE OF THE HEART


In the ancient vedic sciences, the heart is considered the root of the mind.

While we are quite aware of the power of instinct and its home in the enteric gut and brain stem; and equally aware of the power of rational intelligence and its home in the neocortex; by assigning the home of emotions to the limbic region we may be missing its root source and doing a great disservice to our most important organ.

It is from the heart that the “felt sense” arises and thus mediates between instinct and reason. The connection between wisdom and compassion that gives rise to ethics and sharing is the state of our emotional body.

In trauma, this state is under attack and our emotions of joy, creativity, and innocence curdle into grief, rage and fear. Learning to decouple from trauma is always possible and trauma is not always  clinical. It is not necessarily chronic or even acute. It can be that which simply interferes with compassion and wisdom in our day-to-day life. It forces us to contract into survival, into seeking perverse pleasures and often sinking into bouts of rage and frustration, into irrational cravings for control and domination, into a coldness of heart and even into fear of speaking our truth.

Combining the wisdom of yoga and Ayurveda and linking it with the language of somatic psychotherapies, we find that keys to healing trauma are the same keys that unlock us from fears, irrational tempers and grieving.  They deliver us safely into being grounded: allowing enjoyments, senses of purpose, openings of the heart and the ability to live our truths.

These teachings are clear and practical in the yoga path. Once combined with the basic teachings of Ayurveda, such as diet, lifestyle and the proper use of exercise, they become powerful therapeutic tools.

When we free the heart of its bondage to life trauma, we open to the salve of the higher emotional states and enter into our own lives as warriors of light and love.

When the heart is set free we find courage, fortitude, grace, selflessness and we find the emotions that are our birthright and our pathways to freedom from suffering.

In these ancient sciences, we call this “sattvavajaya cikitsa”: the victory of truth.

In what I have coined rasa bhāva, we learn to cultivate the essence of the heart.

HOW DO WE UNDERSTAND THE EMOTIONAL BODY?

The link between the mind and the different organs/systems of the body is  well researched and documented in Ayurveda. Now the progressive field of psychotherapy has related our instincts to our reptilian stem, our emotional to the limbic, and the rational to our neo-cortex.

In Āyurveda, however, the mind is not restricted to this structure, instead it begins in the heart, reaches downwards into the gut and upwards into the brain. The connections are easy to see as seats of instincts, feelings and sensation/thought. Therefore, all our instincts and our rational thinking revolve around the mediating emotional state.

When our emotional state is one of creativity, innocence and joy, we see beauty, feel compassion and instinctually open to universal waves of loving. However, when our emotions are dominated by fear, anger and grief, we become susceptible to the 6 enemies of the mind: lust, rage, greed, jealousy, envy and delusion. And our thinking and functionality begins to operate from these states. In Ayurveda, it is also said that if you wish to conquer these six enemies, there is no better pathway than that of yoga (sattvavajaya cikitsa).

After years of personal practice, study and teaching on the relationship of the emotional body to our health and our peace of mind, the results I have gained offer clear, succinct information on the use of these yogic tools. We will do actual practices to show their effectiveness in transforming fear, anger and grief into creativity, innocence and joy.

CURRICULUM:

Foundational aspects of Ayurveda and Yoga and where they intersect in therapy. Connecting sattva (clarity) rajas (restlessness) and tamas (inertia) to our individual natures of vāta (neurological/respiratory), pitta  (digestive) and kapha (immune): personalizing our emotional healing.

The Preliminaries: Diet, Lifestyle & Relationships affect every aspect of our lives as key pillars to health. This includes a clear understanding of food, sleep, exercise, and intimacy as part of daily living.

Relating these traditional practices to current western psychosomatic languages and understandings. How such understandings as the doshas, gunas, alternate nostril breathing, therapeutic vinyasas, mindfulness and other such yogic and Buddhist practices are related to advances being made in the field of psychotherapy.

Understanding the tools of yoga & ayurveda in emotional therapy. We will examine the roles of kriya, vinyāsā, āsana, prānāyāma, mudra, bandhā, japā, dhāranā and dhyāna. That is cleansing breathing, sequencing to place in intelligent postures, awareness breathing, external and internal symbolization, internal locks, chanting, becoming aware through breath and body and finally sitting in awareness.

Svatantra Nyāya: Finding that the logic inherent within wisdom and compassion equates with love and intelligence. This is the deeper healing, where we end up when we have learned the logic of the body as correct action, breath as correct speech and mind as superior contemplation.

Practical Sessions that will utilize all the yogic tools we speak about so we can actualize the experience of emotional stability. This practice will vary daily as our circumstances and growth require us to be flexible. Although the practice is designed to be all inclusive to most levels of practitioners, for those who have injuries or special needs, times may come where you may also just observe the practice. It can be just as powerful.

Additional Sessions: In a forest, all trees thrive in each others company. Similarly, whenever possible we will engage in joint sangha meditations and discussions.

May we always be friends in the light,

Arun

EMOTIONS: THE LANGUAGE OF THE HEART

The Rasa Bhāva/Emotional Health Workshops may be coming to your hometown. Or somewhere close by. Arizona, Southern California, Utah, Las Vegas, Northern California.
Please see full schedule below.

Meanwhile, here are some emotional tidbits to stimulate your appetite:
In Sanskrit there is no single corresponding word for emotion, as the context is considered too wide to be encapsulated into one pithy expression. Thus:
Vikāra: Pleasing or distressing state, affection, transforming state.
Bhāva: Mood, state.
Vedanā: Feeling.
Bhāvanā: Cultivating a mood, state.
Rasa: Essence, taste, emotion. As essential states such as love, kindness, friendship.
Rāga: Love, desire, music, art, passion.
All of the above still does not define the indefinable emotion because it predates language, being a part of our primal brain and perhaps even older than that. It may be that emotion is just what first stirred and will eternally vibrate thus.

“Emotion is the chief source of becoming conscious…”
~Carl Jung

SCHEDULE OF UPCOMING RASA BHĀVA WORKSHOPS:

Click on the links below:

PHOENIX: DEC 1/2 2017

CENTERED CITY YOGA, SLC, UT: JAN 13/14, 2018

YOGA BUNGALOW, SJC, CA: JAN 27/28, 2018 

TRU YOGA, LAS VEGAS, NV: FEB 16/17, 2018

SIVANANDA YOGA FARM, GRASS VALLEY, CA: FULL IMMERSION/RETREAT: APRIL 27-29

La Maida Integrative Institute: Los Angeles: INFO COMING SOON. First weekend of May. Write here to pre-register: ADretreats@gmail.com

PLEASE ALSO JOIN US AT THE NAMA CONFERENCE 2018: THIS APRIL IN PLANO, TX.
I will be presenting: Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy to facilitate Healing of the Emotional Body.

ALSO CONSIDER:
SIVANANDA YOGA HEALTH EDUCATOR PROGRAM:YOGA FARM GRASS VALLEY: APRIL 2018: Theories and applications of Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy: April 26/27.

EMOTIONS: LANGUAGE OF THE HEART

In the ancient vedic sciences, the heart is considered the root of the mind.
While we are quite aware of the power of instinct and its home in the enteric gut and brain stem; and equally aware of the power of rational intelligence and its home in the neocortex; by assigning the home of emotions to the limbic region we may be missing its root source and doing a great disservice to our most important organ.
It is from the heart that the “felt sense” arises and thus mediates between instinct and reason. The connection between wisdom and compassion that gives rise to ethics and sharing is the state of our emotional body.
In trauma, this state is under attack and our emotions of joy, creativity, and innocence curdle into grief, rage and fear. Learning to decouple from trauma is always possible and trauma is not always  clinical. It is not necessarily chronic or even acute. It can be that which simply interferes with compassion and wisdom in our day-to-day life. It forces us to contract into survival, into seeking perverse pleasures and often sinking into bouts of rage and frustration, into irrational cravings for control and domination, into a coldness of heart and even into fear of speaking our truth.
Combining the wisdom of yoga and Ayurveda and linking it with the language of somatic psychotherapies, we find that keys to healing trauma are the same keys that unlock us from fears, irrational tempers and grieving.  They deliver us safely into being grounded: allowing enjoyments, senses of purpose, openings of the heart and the ability to live our truths.
These teachings are clear and practical in the yoga path. Once combined with the basic teachings of Ayurveda, such as diet, lifestyle and the proper use of exercise, they become powerful therapeutic tools.
When we free the heart of its bondage to life trauma, we open to the salve of the higher emotional states and enter into our own lives as warriors of light and love.
When the heart is set free we find courage, fortitude, grace, selflessness and we find the emotions that are our birthright and our pathways to freedom from suffering.
In these ancient sciences, we call this “sattvavajaya cikitsa”: the victory of truth.
In what I have coined rasa bhāva, we learn to cultivate the essence of the heart.

RASA BHĀVA CURRICULUM (Subject to change as per location)

CURRICULUM:

SESSION ONE: Foundational aspects of Ayurveda and Yoga and where they intersect in therapy. Connecting sattva (clarity) rajas (restlessness) and tamas (inertia) to our individual natures of vāta, pitta and kapha: personalizing our emotional healing.
SESSION TWO: Understanding the tools of yoga in emotional therapy. We will examine the roles of kriya, vinyāsā, āsana, prānāyāma, mudra, bandhā, japā, dhāranā and dhyāna. That is cleansing breathing, sequencing to place in intelligent postures, awareness breathing, external and internal symbolization, internal locks, chanting, becoming aware through breath and body and finally sitting in awareness.
SESSION THREE: Svatantra Nyāya: Finding that the logic inherent within wisdom and compassion equates with love and intelligence. This is the deeper healing, where we end up when we have learned the logic of the body as correct action, breath as correct speech and mind as superior contemplation.
SESSION FOUR*: The Preliminaries: Diet, Lifestyle & Relationships affect every aspect of our lives as key pillars to health. This includes a clear understanding of sleep, exercise, intimacy as part of daily living. *not included at all locations
SESSION FIVE: Practical Session that will utilize all the yogic tools we speak about on Saturday so we can actualize the experience of emotional stability. A short talk will close out any additional needed explanations at the end. All levels of healthy practitioners are welcome. If you have special injuries or needs you may also observe the practice. It can be just as powerful.

HOW DO WE UNDERSTAND THE EMOTIONAL BODY?
The link between the mind and the different organs/systems of the body is  well researched and documented in Ayurveda. Now the progressive field of psychotherapy has related our instincts to our reptilian stem, our emotional to the limbic, and the rational to our neo-cortex. In Āyurveda, however, the mind is not restricted to this structure, instead it begins in the heart, reaches downwards into the gut and upwards into the brain. The connections are easy to see as seats of instincts, feelings and sensation/thought. Therefore, all our instincts and our rational thinking revolve around the mediating emotional state. When our emotional state is one of creativity, innocence and joy, we see beauty, feel compassion and instinctually open to universal waves of loving. However, when our emotions are dominated by fear, anger and grief, we become susceptible to the 6 enemies of the mind: lust, rage, greed, jealousy, envy and delusion. And our thinking and functionality begins to operate from these states. In Ayurveda, it is also said that if you wish to conquer these six enemies, there is no better pathway than that of yoga (sattvavajaya cikitsa). After years of personal practice, study and teaching on the relationship of the emotional body to our health and our peace of mind, the results I have gained offer clear, succinct information on the use of these yogic tools. We will do an actual practice to show their effectiveness in transforming fear, anger and grief into creativity, innocence and joy.

After 7 years of teaching this at the Sivananda Yoga Farm, Grass Valley; we are pleased to have broughtt it to Encinitas; and now coming to Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Juan Capistrano, and Las Vegas next.  It will continue to happen in Grass Valley for a full Retreat experience at the Sivananda Yoga Farm. If you would like it closer to your own hometown, do reach out! adretreats@gmail.com

TESTIMONIALS:

The first time I attended Arun Deva’s Emotional Intelligence workshop, I was literally blown away.  I could not even take notes as it was so fascinating.  I then decided I needed to hear it again – and this time I managed to take notes.  We all know what note-taking ends up being – another pile of papers that are pushed aside somewhere, never again to be referred to.  Not in this case.  Arun’s material is so totally right on, so very timely – I have referred to it many, many times – not only for students and/or clients, but for me as well.  Thank you Arun for sharing this meaningful knowledge – EI is a gorgeous workshop.  I recommend it highly to one and all. 
A. Abhaya Geyer, C-IAYT; AHE-300, C-IAYT Yoga Therapist/Educator, Yoga Instructor, Ayurvedic Health Educator, Las Vegas, NV

What a wonderful workshop! The energy in the room was strong yet calm. I was so impressed with Arun Devi’s intelligence, compassion and warmth. The pacing was perfect- just enough information and physical practice to feel complete, but not overwhelmed. I judge a workshop successful if I take away one lesson that I can I apply and use immediately in my life. I took away six!
Thank you,
Wendy Williams, yoga practitioner, Encinitas, CA

Recently I was able to attend the Rasa Bhava Workshop offered by Arun Deva. Arun is a gifted teacher who has a storehouse of knowledge and experience that he offers generously and with humility and humor to his students. My experience of the two-day workshop was very powerful for me.The first day consisted of four blocks of lecture. I couldn’t take notes fast enough. The following day we put all that information into practice. This allowed the information imparted the previous day to be incorporated deeply into my mind and body. One workshop is not enough to absorb and master the gift that Rasa Bhava is to my life. I will attend again. As my awareness deepens I hope that my life shares the benefits with others who cross my path.
Meg Long-Eastman, MPS; Temecula, CA

The workshop was a holistic experience, beautifully designed in two day, and for me, it marked the beginning of a much longer journey. Its effect has been continuous as I’m still learning about myself and my emotions. I cannot put into words the depth of my experience when I am thinking of how it has deeply touched upon parts of me and awakened memories (that) remained dormant for years.
Leila Mesbahi, yoga practitioner, Los Angeles, CA

Arun is one of those rare teachers, that has a depth of knowledge, traced back to the ancients ..he knows the language of Wisdom and he can make it understood in this modern day world. He is a strong teacher yet his eyes are full of compassion and love and kindness..So one can ask him questions and not be intimidated ..He has humor and flexibility that he can mingle into the journey of recalling ones souls purpose..He combines the very best qualities of a true teacher…
Diane, Yogini, Encinitas, CA

 

NEW ARTICLE:
INTUITION. EMOTION. INTELLECT.

THE INTUITIVE BODY is often formalized into repetitive patterns that we build increasing familiarity with. These are not always to our benefit. For instance, if our gut tensed up as children when we we faced a certain traumatic situation, we may continue this pattern into our adult lives, perceiving simple disturbing situations as being of similar trauma intensity. Very often this results in a condition commonly referred to as IBS. A simple intuitive reaction has now become a lifelong physical malady, often incurable.

The emotional body too is formed by repetitive patterns. Typically the emotional body is concerned only with things, situations and people we have a reactive relationship with. These reactions can categorize into one of two: liking (desire) and disliking (aversion)
READ MORE…

 

RELATED ADDITIONAL READINGS:

AN INTERVIEW ON LEVITATING MONKEY WITH ANJULA DUGGAL

PSYCHOLOGY OF A SAGE ON AYURVEDA NEXT DOOR

May we always be friends in the light,

Arun Deva