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Mr. Iyengar's latest instruction now available.
Order the full 2005 Estes Park Iyengar Workshop DVD set now.

Photodocumentary

October 10, 2005 by Andrea Kowalski

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See the photodocumentary of the 2005 Estes Park Conference, complete with more than 300 candids of teachers, students, and behind-the-scenes peeks!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/yogajournal2005/ ana.jpg

Bringing Yoga to the Next Generation

October 09, 2005 by Alan Zucker

Yoga for Teens teacher Christy BrockChristy Brock is a Southern California teacher and one of my first yoga teachers.

Lately, her emphasis has been on bringing a specialized yoga practice to teens through workshops, teacher trainings and her dvd Yoga4Teens.

Her experience at the Iyengar workshop has deeply supported her work and invigorated her comittment to teaching a segment of our society that she says is under-served by the yoga community.

I interviewed her after the four day Iyengar intensive... you can see her enthusiasm in this video clip.

Christy teaches at Yoga Works in Laguna Beach and at schools across Southern California.

Light On Life Tour Continues

October 03, 2005 by Alan Zucker

We have had a truly inspiring week with Mr. Iyengar in Colorado.

The Light on Life Tour has continued on to San Francisco where Mr. Iyengar will appear at Davies Hall today at 2pm. Tickets are still available, and they are reasonably priced.

Mr. Iyengar will also appear in Los Angeles, Boston, New York and Washington DC.

Send us email with any thoughts on the tour, and we may post them here.

Behind the scenes: Conference Director and Conference Manager

October 02, 2005 by Alan Zucker

Where would we be without the tireless work of these two dynamic, energetic and compassionate women?

As a team, Elana Maggal and Renee LaRose have put on many Yoga Journal conferences, but none as spectacular and well-done as this year's Colorado Conference. Talk about challenges... the historic participation of BKS Iyengar, the addition of several beginner's conferences and the celebration of Yoga Journal's 30th Anniversary (which culminated in a concert by Ben Taylor).

By all accounts, the Conferences team (which also includes Jenny Andrews and Casey Ruby of Yoga Journal and a number of folks from Horizon Conferences) put on a stellar week-long conference.



Great job you guys!!!

Stay in touch with Yoga Journal

October 01, 2005 by Alan Zucker

Want to know when we launch new initiatives like this blog?

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, My Yoga Journal.

Along with any updates or annoucements, we will send you articles that will help you to deepen your yoga.

Join the My Yoga Journal community. It's Free

Simply Shiva

October 01, 2005 by Andrea Kowalski

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Shiva Rea takes advantage of the Estes beauty and takes her class outside for meditation practice.

See video of Shiva answering the question "How do you keep your practice fresh?"

PrAna helps offset pollution from energy

October 01, 2005 by Alan Zucker

PrAna the climbing and yoga products company is in our marketplace, (If you are here, the word on the campus is that they are having a big sale right now).

I have also learned that they have a program where they are purchasing wind-power credits through a program at Green-e to offset the pollution generated by the electricity used at retailers who sell their product.

This is an awesome expression of compassion in action... yoga.

Learn more at the PrAna website.

Practice Lightly on the Earth

October 01, 2005 by Alan Zucker

The Green Yoga Association is here at the Estes Park conference to offer support and gentle reminders to the yoga
community on ways to green our yoga practice. Green Yoga
Advisory Board member Jessica Brainard is spreading the
word at their outreach booth with information about
Earth-friendly alternatives to toxic PVC yoga mats, an
invitation to join the Green Studio Program, and other
resources to reconnect yoga practitioners to the
ecological roots of yoga.

Continue reading "Practice Lightly on the Earth" »

Krishna Das Live

October 01, 2005 by Andrea Kowalski

Krishna Das.jpgKirtan musician Krishna Das performed to a packed house both Friday and Saturday nights.

Certification questions answered

October 01, 2005 by Alan Zucker

The Yoga Alliance staff and board members are in the marketplace. They say that they have enjoyed
meeting the many Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT), Directors of yoga teacher
training programs and yoga practitioners who are attending
the Estes Park conference.

There are several issues that they have been talking to folks about... including the ending of the RYT200 Independent Study track.

Yoga Journal thanks them for coming and for providing the community with this valuable resource.

morning sadhana

October 01, 2005 by Andrea Kowalski

night sky.jpgThere is always something magical about waking at 3:45 a.m. for morning sadhana. Walking under a starry sky through the early morning stillness feels sacred and peaceful.

I was grateful this morning to see more than 30 yogis from many different yogic traditions come together with the universal intention to connect with the soul. It served as a good reminder that we may choose different paths, but we're all headed in the same direction.

By the time we finished our meditation, yoga, and chanting, the morning sky was dimly lit as the sun started to creep over the mountains. I walked to breakfast, grateful to have met the most challenging task of the day.

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May your day be joyful.

Video: Q & A with Mr. Iyengar and Annette Bening

October 01, 2005 by Alan Zucker

Earlier we wrote a bit about the conversation between Mr. Iyengar and Annette Bening.

We have just added video to that post.

The clips are here...

View a video clip of Mr. Iyengar answering the question, "How important is a sense of humor for a yoga practitioner"

View a video clip of Ms. Bening reading a passage from Light on Life

Gurmukh: Conquering our Imagined Disabilities

September 30, 2005 by Andrea Kowalski

As a teacher of Kundalini yoga, I had been looking forward to Gurmukh's intensive all week. Having taken her classes in the past, I knew it would be a challenging session and inevitably, my entire body would be sore the next day. Yet there was no fear; I felt a familiar sense of calm and homecoming when Gurmukh walked into the room gracefully with her white turban and flowing chuni.gurmukh1.jpg


She spoke of imagined disabilities--areas in which we feel inadequate or things we feel we cannot do, based on programming from multiple sources, including our parents and society. We set the intention in class to release anything, conscious or unconcscious, that keeps us from connecting with our highest potential. Or more simply, from being happy. Gurmukh reminded us of Yogi Bhajan's (the father of Kundalini yoga in the West) favorite teaching, "happiness is our birthright."

Throughout the day we completed two challenging yoga sets. Gurmukh encouraged students to push past perceived barriers in the exercises (for instance, holding the arms up for a full three minutes, rather than giving up due to the discomfort) in order to dissolve mental and emotional blocks in the body. We twisted, we laughed, we walked outside, we hugged and we danced. Even for the least touchy-feely member of the class, there was no denying the shift in energy and lightness of being that happened over the course of the day.


gurmukh2.jpgThe yogini to my right, JoJo Field from Longmont, CO, shared with me at the end of the day. "Her classes are rigorous, both physically and mentally. But I always feel cleaned out and softer on the inside."


Softer on the inside, indeed.

Behind the Scenes: The Fear Barometer

September 30, 2005 by Andrea Kowalski

Which is more angst-inducing?

A dysfunctional network connection while trying to produce a blog

OR

A remote, haunted resort hotel with "r E d r U M" written on mirrors, a hedge maze, a room numbered '217' and a mad novelist?

Most of the blog team would choose the former.

stanley hotel2.jpg However, fellow blogger Kaitlin and I visited the historic Stanley Hotel earlier this week--the site at which Stephen King based his novel, The Shining. You may remember it as The Overlook Hotel.

We headed down the mountain from the conference site into the charming town of Estes Park on Wednesday evening to find an alternate blog spot--a location with wireless. As we were scouting, Kaitlin noticed the Stanley looming in the distance. It beckoned us like Mr. Dark in "Something Wicked This Way Comes." (Does anyone else remember being haunted by this Ray Bradbury story as a child? The film, equally haunting, was brought to us by the Darker Side of Disney. Yet, I digress...)

Even though The Shining was not filmed at the Stanley, King discovered it in 1973 and spent time in it while writing the novel.

My suspension of disbelief was pleased to see the same type of elevator and stairs as depicted in the movie. There was a scary workman on the roof, Kaitlin pointed out. And the hotel staff was kind enough to give us the 15-minute tour of the potentially scariest parts of the hotel. We took a trip to the fourth floor, which is rumored to be haunted, according to (overzealous) bellhop Amiel Yaniv. We paused outside of room 217 and heard noises inside, although Yaniv insisted he thought there were no guests assigned to the room currently.

Take a little time to visit (or stay at) the Stanley the next time you come to the Estes conference--it's actually a historic landmark and quite beautiful! I dare you to stay in room 217. (muahahahaha...)

Gary Kraftsow sums up the wisdom of Patanjali on Self Transformation: "It's Your Journey"

September 30, 2005 by Martin Kupferman

Gary Kraftsow is known by Yoga Journal attendees as being equally adept at quoting and translating the Sutras and other yogic texts, and then proceeding to break down their meaning in terms that are both modern and compelling. His packed class on "The Art of Personal Practice and Self Transformation" according to Sage Patanjali, was no exception.

Through the first part Gary took us through the three key elements of Kriya Yoga: Tapas--the heat which yogis generate to bring about transformation, Svadhyaya--self reflection, and Isvara Pranidhana--which I took to mean the underlying support of one's faith or beliefs. While his explanation seemed at times scholarly and abstract to me as one who struggles with yogic texts, his message was tangible and direct.

"Find out who you are and God will show up" is Gary's translation of Kriya yoga's basic message, which means pursuing elements of practice that embody meaning to each of us. It's an individual search, he emphasized, in which rote and blind dedication have no role. Asana ought not be mechanical, but pursured to find out what each and every posture has to offer. Even chanting, which Gary features in his classes, are best done individually using mantras that have personal meaning and go deep to our own heart. And of course there is meditation, which often plays a perfunctory role in the way yoga is practiced here in the U.S.

One element of Gary's message was very similar to something we've heard a lot from Mr Iyengar this week: "Hurry Up". Mr. Iyengar said that continually to us as he sensed we moved too slowly in class. Gary has a different perspective, as someone who this past year endured a life-threatening brain tumor. Answering the question "Who Am I?" is a prerequisite to transformation, and we really have no idea how long we will be given to answer it.

I look forward to reading Gary's book on this subject: "Yoga for Transformation"

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Q & A with Mr. Iyengar and Annette Bening

September 30, 2005 by Dayna Macy

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I wasn't sure what to expect from a Q&A session between Mr. Iyengar and the actress Annette Bening. She's a movie star, nominated for two Academy Awards. She is also a long time, serious yoga practitioner. She's smart, focused, funny, lovely, and tough.

Mr. Iyengar, known as the "Lion of Pune" because of his silver mane and fantastic eyebrows, entered the stage, his cream colored robes pressed perfectly. They sat angled towards each other on wooden chairs. "How important is a sense of humor for a yoga practioner?" asked Ms. Bening. And with that, the 500 plus audience cracked up, as did Mr. Iyengar. "If there is no sense of humor," he answered, "then life is not worth living".

View a video clip of Mr. Iyengar answering the question, "How important is a sense of humor for a yoga practitioner"

Mr. Iyengar can answer questions quickly, dismissively, or elaborate at great lengths, this last, as evidenced by his next answer. Ms. Bening asked Mr. Iyengar why he developed his approach to yoga based on alignment in asana. "My intelligence did not present itself in any way but in asana," he answered. He then talked at length about working with students who had medical problems, how alignment in asana could cure many illnesses, and how the very advanced practitioner can even learn to extend and contract the cells through focused intelligence.

Yoga can be an esoteric discipline. But Ms. Bening brought it right down to earth with the next two questions. Let's talk about lust, said Ms. Bening. The audience roared and I believe I saw Mr. Iyengar blush. She asked Mr. Iyengar to elaborate on the passage in "Light on Life" where he writes that as a teacher, he was exposed to temptation with his students. He said he developed a fierce demeaner to keep his female students at arms length. "A man faces lots of temptation in life," [women, too]. "I used to have students try to kiss my legs while demonstrating Virabhadrasana III." Everyone laughed loudly at the image of attractive young women kissing Mr. Iyengar's outstretched legs. And then came the lesson."I learned from my teachers not to do what they do. That if I fell prey to temptation, what would happen to my practice? It would die."

For those of us in partnership and with families, the next question and answer was a gift. Ms. Bening asked Mr. Iyengar to comment on a passage in "Light on Life," where he writes that being a householder is a form of spiritual practice. "Is yoga only to be practiced when you cannot face the disturbances of life? There is a frequent misunderstanding of the journey inward, that it's a rejection of the practical. To the contrary, spirituality is not ethereal but palpable, in our body. If we tidy and clean our house enough, we might notice that divinity has been sitting in it all along.

View a video clip of Ms. Bening reading a passage from Light on Life

Ms Bening's last question was, "Is yoga a religion?"

"There are two kinds of religion," Mr. Iyengar replied. "God made and man made. Man made has branches and demarcations. God made has none. And that is Yoga."

Rodney Yee on Home Practice

September 30, 2005 by Andrea Kowalski

YJ staff met with Rodney this week to chat with him about home practice, staying centered, the future of yoga and more. Watch clips of the interview below.47265553_1e81156f87_o.jpg

YJ: "What is your home practice?"
Rodney: Watch video | Download MP3

YJ: "How do you stay centered in your own practice when so many things are going on in your life?"
Rodney: Watch video | Download MP3

YJ: "How do you keep your practice fresh?"
Rodney: Watch video | Download MP3

YJ: "What five tips do you give students to help them build or maintain a home practice?"
Rodney: Watch video | Download MP3

YJ: "How does working with beginning or advanced students differ for you? What are the benefits of each?"
Rodney: Watch video | Download MP3

YJ: "What is your favorite pose?"
Rodney:Watch video | Download MP3

YJ: "What are some things about yourself, as a yogi, that you would like to improve?"
Rodney: Watch video | Download MP3

YJ: "In light of Yoga Journal's 30th Anniversary and our Yoga 2030 survey, where do see yoga in 30 years? Where do you see yourself in 30 years?"
Rodney:Watch video | Download MP3

Yoga Duds review: Be Present

September 30, 2005 by Andrea Kowalski

be present.jpg In case you haven't tried on a pair of agility pants or mobility pants yet: Be Present is present at the conference.

Not only are my Be Present yoga pants the best-fitting, cutest yoga pants I own, the grassroots company has two of the most heartfelt entrepreneurs I've ever met. When you meet them, you get a sense that Denver-based Jon and Amy Dobrin are truly present--not only to the needs of the yoga community, but to global needs, as well.

The Dobrins donated 100 percent of their net proceeds (that's total revenue, not just profit) from the YJ San Francisco conference last January to the Tsunami Relief Effort.

In addition, they drove in boxes of clothing to hurricane victims in Louisiana last month.

Be Present began in 2002 when Amy, 30, designed and produced the first line of clothing. Jon, 33, joined in the family biz soon after. Stop in to the booth to say hi, or visit them online at www.bepresent.com.

Behind the Scenes: Slackline Yoga

September 30, 2005 by Andrea Kowalski

slacklineyoga.jpg I was walking the campus between classes earlier this week when I came upon a delightful sight: Yogis were performing balancing poses on what appreared to be a tightrope, strung up between two trees.

This seemingly peculiar practice is called Slackline Yoga. Co-invented by staff assistant Jason Magness from North Dakota, Slackline is a combination of rock climbing and yoga. Magness said it was invented on a rainy day six months ago, when he and co-inventor Sam Salwei were unable to go climbing. Instead, they strung up their climbing rope and proceeded to practice poses like Warrior I and Lotus upon the rope.

"It trains your nerves," Magness said. "I used to be horrible at balance poses, and this has helped my yoga balance so much. And it's a ton of fun."

Next stop for Magness after Estes Park: Barnum and Bailey.

For more information on Slackline, email Magness at undyoga@yahoo.com.

Pose and Repose

September 30, 2005 by todd jones

In his eloquent and moving keynote speech Thursday evening, Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar charted for us the evolution of his practice, describing how it progressed from the outermost layer (the annamaya kosha, or physical body) to the most inward, subtlest level (the annandamaya kosha, the body of bliss).

Earlier that afternoon, senior Iyengar teachers Mary Dunn and John Schumacher treated about 50 intermediate level students to a master class, "Integrating the Sheaths of Being," designed to help us pursue that same evolution in our practices.

Though Mary and John approach yoga with obvious devotion, they also injected levity that reminded us not to take ourselves too seriously.

"Guruji is a hard act to follow," John noted as he began class. Mary chimed in that John would need to add quite a few tufts to his eyebrows to come near Guruji even in that respect.

(If you aren't familiar with the astounding Iyengar eyebrows, check out the cover of his magnificent new book from Rodale Press, Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom. In fact, check out the book anyway; it just might change your life.)

John and Mary's playful exchange echoed Guruji's message that, though we should work hard on our asanas, we should always keep as a touchstone the lightness and freedom that are meant to be the core and the outcome of yoga practice.

Throughout the class, John and Mary provided precise and powerful directions to help us fully engage in the poses.

In Tadasana (Mountain Pose), for instance, they told us to:

Continue reading "Pose and Repose" »

Jivamukti Yoga: Living Liberation

September 30, 2005 by Alan Zucker

This morning I practiced in class with David Life and Sharon Gannon. As founders of Jivamukti Yoga they are well-known for their unique medthod of practice which focuses on teaching and practicing yoga as a means to enlightenment.

They are very earth-centered and speak of getting and giving energy to the earth through the practice of asana, and they are very outspoken on the importance of vegetarian diets and the need to respect all creatures.

The class opened and ended with chanting which brought us into a place of community and concious intention.

Here are the chants...

Continue reading "Jivamukti Yoga: Living Liberation" »

Elise Miller assisting a student

September 30, 2005 by Lori Neumann

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Ellise Miller, founder of the California Yoga Center assists a student during one of the many classes for all level of students.

BKS Iyengar Keynote Address

September 30, 2005 by Travis Smith

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Mr. Iyengar delivered his keynote address to our main conference.

With his humor and compassion he recounted a history of his life and his work.

He started by saying how delighted he is to see transformation here, in the depth of spirituality as well as our physical beings.

Guruji says...

Yoga is union. The conjunction of the intellect of the head and the intelligence of the heart in the practice of yoga. To do this he needed to bring the elements of the body into unison.
Disturbance in health causes a distubrance in intellegence of the body.

Natasha Rizopoulos assists a student

September 29, 2005 by Andrea Kowalski

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Yoga Journal Beginner's Expert Natasha Rizopoulos assists a student in Downward-Facing Dog.

Baron Baptiste teaches today

September 29, 2005 by Andrea Kowalski

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A Wonderful Performance!

September 29, 2005 by Lori Neumann

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Asana as Ballet

September 29, 2005 by Lori Neumann

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The way the group moved in unison was beautiful - graceful and fluid.

Generosity: Satya Jewlery has a raffle going

September 29, 2005 by Alan Zucker

One of our wonderful sponsors of this conference is running a raffle from their table in the marketplace to benefit youth yoga programs.

Lucky winners will get cool jewelery and teens will be enriched through nonprofit yoga camps and courses.

Groups benefiting are:

Teen Camp at Sivananda Ashram

Omega Teen Camp

Yoga for Youth

If you are here, stop by their booth. If not, stop by the website (you can't get raffle tickets there, but you can see some cool jewelry from a heart-centered jeweler).

Asana as Ballet with Humor

September 29, 2005 by Lori Neumann

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This wonderful group from New York gave a moving performance of beauty and grace as they moved through the asanas and also performed with the horse.

Iyengar on Depression

September 29, 2005 by Timothy McCall

In a nearly three-hour Q & A to end the Iyengar Intensive, BKS Iyengar addressed a number of therapuetic subjects. He demonstrated how he worked with a woman who had hip replacement surgery, a man who had a cancerous kidney removed as well as people with anxiety and depression.

His thoughts on depression were particularly interesting to me in part because my teacher Patricia Walden struggled with the disease as a young woman and credits BKS Iyengar with saving her life. Patricia has made the subject a major focus of her work and she and I have taught yoga for depression workshops at a number of Yoga Journal workshops in the past several years. Even so, in just a few minutes today, I learned a lot.

Continue reading "Iyengar on Depression" »



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