Archive for June, 2013


Monday, June 10th, 2013

Slow down and surrender to the joy of the present moment

Restorative yoga, longer held poses supported with blankets, belts, and blocks, provides the perfect opportunity to rejuvenate and refresh from the summer heat.  Holding poses longer in restorative yoga activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which slows the heart rate, dilates the blood vessels, which increases the flow of fresh oxygenated blood, and relaxes the overall nervous system. The practice is slow and cooling and it is appropriate for almost everyone.  Don’t fight the heat. Lie down and enjoy it.

Here are 3 poses to open the body and to relax in the heat that surrounds you.

Supta Baddha Konasana/Supported Bound-Angle Pose

This pose allows for a deep opening in the chest, abdomen and pelvis. Soles of the feet press together and are held with blanket. Stay here for 15 minutes.


Seated Forward Bend

This pose stretches the lower back while relieving tension in neck and shoulders. But best of all, it quiets the mind. Stay in this pose for 5 minutes-switch the feet-remain for another 5 minutes.


Stonehenge Savasana

This is a Savasana appropriate for all. It is a wonderful tonic for a day in the garden. Relax in the pose for 20 minutes.

Eileen Daneri teaches the restorative class at Karuna on Friday nights. She also frequently offers wise assists in Eileen’s classes and greets us all as we check in for class. Her beautiful smile is always a nice start to practice.

Like Clouds Passing

Monday, June 10th, 2013

A peaceful mind stems from understanding and experiencing who you are, and who you are not. For me developing this understanding is what life is.

By Willie Crosby

Like clouds passing by a deep blue sky

Or sticks floating down a springtime stream

My life drifts by as if a dream.

An active role or just an observer

Who am I?

Past the mind I must look further

Not body or mind contains my soul

Death of the ego the only toll

On the road to truth.

Come with me

We can discover what it means to be free

Of pain and pleasure and worry and want

Excepting the moment and seeing your not

The silly little person your mind believes

But the vast unknown buried beneath the leaves

WIllie Crosby is a local farmer, current participant in Karuna’s 200hr Teacher Training, and a lovely guy to set up your mat next to.

“My Body is a Temple, My Asanas are My Prayers”

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

The following is an extended exerpt from a documentary on B.K.S. Iyengar that is now in post-production. Currently the producers of the film are raising funds in order to release the full 90 minute documentary. Donations can be made at this website:

Development Screener1 from Lindsey Clennell on Vimeo.


Sunday, June 9th, 2013

Recently Gretchen Roberts, an  ex-Karuna teacher, stopped by for a visit. She had her beautiful baby Clementine with her and we were lucky enough to get her to sing for us. She sang a Russian folk song that she would frequently sing in Eileen’s and her own classes before she moved to Arizona.We recorded the first verse of the song so we could share her beautiful voice with you. The sound of her voice with the Tibetian singing bowl reverberating though the studio brought tears to our eyes and chills to our limbs. Gretchen learned the song when she was traveling in Siberia many many years ago. She told us it was a love song between the singer and God, who are at once separate and united.

Razluka*- The Separation

razluka ty, razluka
chuzhaya storona
nikto nas ne razluchit
lish’ mat’-syra zemlya

vse ptashki kanareyki
tak zhalobno poyut
i nas s toboyu milyy
razluke predayut

zachem nam razluchat’sya
zachem v razluke zhit’
ne luchshe l’ obvenchat’sya
i drug druga lyubit’

*The song is a bit obscure but we managed to find the lyrics transcribed from the original cyrillic  script. The poetry of the song is no doubt lost in translation so we will resist the urge to translate it to English with our modern tools. One attempt using an online translation tool generated the lyric “mother-land of cheese”


Monday, June 3rd, 2013
As a part of the 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training at Karuna, students spend a great deal of time developing their practice of Svadhyaya, or self reflection, by reading various scripture and writings. The primary text used throughout the course is The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The following is based on a meditation on the second sutra of this text submitted by Kitty Troger, a current trainee in the program.
Given the definitions of Yoga as chitti-vritti-nirodhah in Patanjali’s Sutra 1.2, how does the way you do yoga challenge the way you think and feel? How does the way you thinkand feel challenge the way you do yoga? Discuss and be succinct.
Yoga challenges us to calm the mental noise that results from sensory
stimulation. We often confuse this mental noise with who we are, but it is only a
reflection of the perceptions, thoughts, and feelings that we have gathered over
the course of our human experience. Yoga is a way of being, a way of quieting all
of the preconceptions that we have developed, thus allowing us to see the world
with new and unfiltered eyes.
This is difficult for us because, like all creatures, we rely on sensory input and
experience to develop our view of the world. However, all of these accumulated
“truths” actually blind us to the underlying reality of the world and the natural
essence that is our selves. If we could only maintain the inquisitive senses of a
child, untainted by society, culture, and other learned behavioral modifiers. The
art of yoga is regaining our connection with the pure essence from which we
arose from the ether into being.
Once we realize our connectivity to this pure essence, the truth we were
searching for becomes self-evident. Yoga is the process of removing the
experiential programming from our minds, inevitably bringing us into unity with
the ultimate reality. At the end we emerge, as if from a chrysalis, fresh and
renewed, no longer searching and instead simply being. At that point we realize
the perfect bliss of living, living in the moments that have surrounded us all along.
This is the power of Yoga.