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This week’s meditation comes from my teacher Rod Stryker and can be found (along with the Unconditional Healing Meditation posted on May 14) on his CD “Meditations for Inner and Outer Peace” in its entirety. Sit tall, top of your head directly over the base of your spine. Begin to watch the flow of breath through your nostrils. Balance the flow by focusing on the weaker side for until they feel even. Bring your attention to the brain. See it as the surface of a still lake. Watch the stillness of the lake. If a thought arises, watch the ripples…

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I blogged a few weeks ago about M(ay) is for Meditation, the idea for which came from a commitment our Managing Director, Ashley Dahl, made to do 30 days of yoga. We challenged everyone to commit to daily meditation for the month for the month of May, as Ashley had experienced such wonderful benefits (see the glowing smile in this photo!) from sticking with her commitment. Well, tomorrow she hits 60 days of practice and will join me in my Thursday 10am class at 8 Limbs Capitol Hill to complete what ended up being a double commitment. She said that…

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By now all of you know about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. And most of you also know that I grew up in New Orleans, just across the bayou from the Gulf. This disaster has been really hard for me to stomach. It frankly breaks my heart. The Gulf of Mexico may not be pristine, but it is a vital body of water that is home to hundreds of species (including a hardy breed of humans called Cajuns) who have already experienced great distress from the gradual erosion of the coastline and the pummeling of Katrina. Read…

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My wife and I recently had our first kid, a baby boy named Octavian. While I am brand new to being a parent, one thing that struck me immediately was how similar in some ways being a parent is to meditation. Both require you to stay with the moment, to simply be present with what is happening, and both require a certain balance of effort and surrender. While I’ve had a meditation practice for a while now, I will admit that at times, it’s been hard for me to see concrete examples of how I’ve grown through that practice. I…

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Open Meditation Hours in May Capitol Hill Mondays: 10:45am-11:45am, 1:15pm-1:30pm, 3:30-3:45pm Tuesdays: 9:30am-9:45am, 11:15-:11:45am, 3:30-3:45pm Wednesdays: 10:45am-11:45am, 1:15pm-1:30pm, 3:30-3:45pm Thursdays: 9:30am-9:45am, 11:30-:11:45am, 3:30-3:45pm Fridays: 10:45am-11:45am, 1:15pm-1:30pm, 3:30-3:45pm Sundays: 12:00pm-1:00pm Open Meditation Hours in May Phinney Ridge Mondays: 5:30-7:00pm Tuesdays: 1-2pm, 4:45-5:45pm Wednesdays: 11:15-11:45am Fridays: 10:15-11:15am Saturdays: 8:30-10:30am Sundays: 8:30-10:30am Open Meditation Hours in May Wedgwood Mondays 3:30 – 4:00 pm 5:15 – 5:45 pm Tuesdays 7:45 – 8:00 am Wednesdays 7:45 – 8:00 am Thursdays 7:45 – 8:00 am Fridays 9:15 – 9:30 am Saturdays 8:45 – 9:00 am Sundays 8:45 – 9:00 am Open Meditation Hours in May West…

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Though I am a big fan of people coming to things in their own time, being challenged can have a potent effect. Eight years ago I started to practice pranayama because of a dare from a teacher while on retreat. He told our group that there would be no contraindications with pranayama practice (see below for the scoop about safety in pranayama) because we wouldn’t do it with regularity. That was enough to get me practicing breath awareness 10 minutes a day as soon as I returned, which changed my nervous system, and my life. Last month our Managing Director…

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Spring has sprung! The flowers are blooming and there are cherry blossoms everywhere on the streets of Seattle. With spring, however, comes allergy season. I have had students coming to class and asking if there are any poses they can do for allergies. My first answer is always Jala Neti. Jala Neti is an ancient yogic cleansing technique, which involves the use of a neti pot filled with warm saltwater. I have used a neti pot for the past few years on almost a daily basis. Not only has it been hugely effective in treating my seasonal allergies, but also…

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Ever wonder what 8 Limbs instructors do other than study and teach yoga? Jen Yaros, who teaches at 8 Limbs Capitol Hill, Wedgwood, and West Seattle, is also an artist. First Thursday in April you have an opportunity to see her next show at Shift Collaborative Studios, 306 S. Washington, Ste, 105. Yaros searches for meaning by exploring the existence of the self according to Buddhist, Yogic and Taoist philosophies in this large-scale print installation. Inspired by her work as a yoga instructor and her study of classical eastern texts such as The Yoga Sutras, The Dhammapada and The Bhagavad…

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I know the weather can really be hit or miss these days, but there is enough proof around in nature to confirm that spring is here, and it is time to consider shifting your yoga practice to compliment the season. Over the winter we have been doing yoga classes that emphasize Sun Salutations to promote circulation, extra twists to strengthen metabolic fire, and dynamic forward and backbends to tonify the kidneys and urinary bladder, which are the organs that regulate water in the body as well as our emotions. Now that the winter has passed and spring is near, it’s…

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I recently returned from Bhubaneswar, India where I was studying and performing Odissi dance and teaching yoga to mostly dancers and musicians. Odissi is a classical dance that has its roots in the yogic temple rites of the tantrik priestesses of ancient Orissa or Kalinga. The dance was nearly lost during British rule because the sensual nature of the dance made the English uncomfortable. Odissi has been reconstructed from existing traditions, the study of ancient texts like the Natya Shastra and from the study of temple sculptures. The Natya Shastra could be from 1500-3000 years old or even older according…

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