Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ayurveda Lifestyle Counselor Training at Yoga on Main!!

"The path of Ayurvedic Sadhana integrates healing Ayurveda, Pranayama, Mantra, Yoga Asana and Meditation into our everyday life; reflecting a transformative well being into our family and community."

Yoga on Main is offering a 500 hour Ayurveda training program starting this summer!!

"The Ayurvedic Healing course will allow you to gain certification as an Ayurvedic Life-Style Counselor and options for further training and study in Ayurveda and Vedic Sciences. This comprehensive course covers Ayurvedic anatomy and physiology, diagnosis, nutrition, herbal therapy, aromas, yoga, Ayurvedic psychology, spiritual methods and much more. It follows the approach of Dr. Frawley's important book, Ayurvedic Healing,


Ed Zadlo D.Ay (Acharya Premanand) is a Certified Ayurveda Practitioner, Integral Yoga-Ayurveda Therapist and Acharya of Yoga/Vedanta, Ayurveda and Vedic Dharma. He has had an Ayurveda practice for over 14 years, and has offered trainings in Ayurveda, Meditation and the Inner Practices of Yoga for over 25 years. He began his study of Ayurvedic Healing with Dr. David Frawley (Pundit Vamadeva Shastri) director of The American Institute of Vedic Studies in 1986, is also a graduate of their Ayurvedic Intensive Training, Yoga and Ayurveda Advanced Course and IYTA Teacher Training and was certified by Dr. Frawley in 2008 as an Ayurveda Yoga Acharya with 1200 hours of advanced Integral Yoga/Ayurveda study.

He graduated from The New England Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine in 1996 where he also became a faculty member. He completed advanced clinical study at the Rishikesh College of Ayurveda in Rishikesh, India in 2000 and 2001. He is a member of the American Ayurvedic Medical Association with status as a Diplomate in Ayurveda (D.Ay). Ed was ordained to teach in the Yogananda Kriya Yoga tradition in 1980 and lives near Sumneytown, PA where he has his full time Integral Ayurveda Yoga practice.

Ed Zadlo (Acharya Premananda) is one of the most experienced teachers of Yoga in its broader and deeper applications that one can find in America today. He can guide his students through classical Yoga and traditional Ayurveda, along with special usages of pranayama, mantra and meditation aimed at self-healing, psychological well-being and Self-realization.

-Dr. David Frawley, Director of the American Institute of Vedic Studies
The hours of this study program are approved for certification by The American Institute of Vedic Studies, Dr. David Frawley, director.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Walking through fear

Once I was lamenting to my teacher that I felt like I was walking a tight rope without a safety net. I was feeling like I needed someone to reassure me that everything was okay and that I wouldn't fall. Instead what he said was: "oh... so you're afraid of falling? It's okay if you fall. I've fallen lots of times. Sometimes it hurts but you just get up and keep moving forward" Not exactly what I wanted to hear but since then I've gone back to that advice many times.

I'm going back to it again now as I prepare to offer a class on a topic that is very near and dear to me. I worry that I might fail. I worry that I'm not good enough. I don't know enough. I tell myself that someone else would do a better job than me. On and on the board of directors in my mind goes.... bringing to the surface all my fears and self-doubt.

I'm again walking the tight rope without a safety net. What if I fall? So what if I do? What if I succeed? Is it my failure that I fear or my success? If I let my fear of falling stop me from even trying how will I ever know if I can walk the tight rope? I would imagine that everyone who's ever tried as fallen at least once. More likely lots of times before they mastered it.

One foot in front of the other I move forward. If something doesn't work I accept it and try something else. Teaching is just as much about learning as it is teaching. For me, the practice of teaching is an opportunity for me to learn flexibility and trust and acceptance.

Flexibility: Even though I may have prepared an elaborate lesson plan when class starts
I may have to scrap it and go with the flow. My experience has been that those classes end up being even better than I imagined.

Trust: Developing trust in myself and in the flow of Divine grace isn't always easy but always necessary. I can say without a doubt that I have the best teachers so it stands to reason that since they are awesome teachers that I've learned a great deal from them. I trust without a doubt in the wisdom they have taught me. That I'm sure of. They have also reminded me often that the wisdom comes from somewhere greater then myself. I am, after all, just a channel. It isn't my business to know how or why it happens. I just need to be open to the flow of grace.

Acceptance: Teaching has ultimately taught me that I must accept the fact that sometimes I will fail. I will not effectively get my message across. It has taught me that (gasp!!) some people may not be open to me as a teacher. In those circumstances I need to examine the role of my ego in my resistance to accepting this fact. I've learned that sometimes the ideas of how I want to teach something sounds perfect in my mind but it doesn't manifest in way I had imagined it. What choice do I have but to accept when things don't work and move on and try something else.

Teaching feels very much like walking a tight rope without a safety net at times. The trick is to keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward. Once you reach the other side you realize it wasn't so scary after-all.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"Nothing changes unless something changes"~SD

I grew up in a row home in the city. We didn't have a sump pump or a yard. Our house was surrounded by cement except for a little tiny patch of grass in front of our house.  That's my excuse for having no idea that the water from the sump pump in my current basement was creating a river of sorts along the side yard.

The interesting thing about water is that even a tiny little trickle over a long period of time will create deep grooves in the earth. It's hard to imagine that a tiny little trickle could be so powerful. It isn't until we notice how deep the grooves are that we see just how powerful it is.

This is how samskaras work. We have these tiny little trickles of belief patterns that may be so small that we never realize how powerful they are until we notice how deep the grooves in our consciousness really are.
Our thought patterns, over time, become so engrained and run so deep that it's hard to imagine that they may have been formed by a tiny little trickle of negative thinking. We repeatedly fall into the same pattern of thinking. The grooves are so deep and have been there for so long that it's hard not to.

Once we noticed the river our sump pump was creating in the side yard we couldn't ignore it. We had to first change the flow of the water. Once we changed the flow of the water we needed to fill in the groove so that the water didn't flow back into it.

Now that I have discovered the grooves in my consciousness caused by the tiny trickles of negative beliefs over a long period of time I can't ignore them. First order of business.....change the flow of the negative beliefs.

When the negative thoughts comes up I treat it like any other thought during meditation. I'll acknowledge it and let it go. Giving my attention to my mantra. Just like the water from the sump pump, the thoughts will come. It's up to me to change the direction in which it will flow. With the help of the mantra I can change the direction. Directing my thoughts always back to my mantra.

Next, is filling in the grooves left behind by the negative belief pattern. If we don't fill it in, the danger of falling back into it will always be there.  But how do we do that? Well, what we did with the yard was fill it in with fresh soil and plant new grass seeds. What will we use to fill in the grooves in our consciousness? It has been suggested that we fill it with love. Perhaps changing the negative thoughts with the opposite, more positive thoughts. Then we can plant the seeds of compassion. Compassion for ourselves as well as others.

Kicking myself for not realizing that the water from the sump pump was causing the deep grooves in the yard wouldn't have changed the flow of the water. The only thing that changed the flow of the water was changing the flow of the water.

The only thing that will change the thought patterns in the mind is changing the thought patterns in the mind....... Om Namah Shivaya!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Understanding the Gayatri mantra

For those of you who expressed an interest in joining me for the 40 day Gayatri mantra sadhana I thought you might be interested in reading some of Dr. David Frawley's material pertaining to the Gayatri.  This information was offered to me by my teacher, Ed Zadlo and comes from Dr. Frawley's web-site.

The Gayatri Mantra, the Essence of the Vedas

This great mantra consists of three parts. The first is the chants to the seven worlds. The second is the mantra proper of twenty-four syllables. The third is a summary of the mantra's energies. The following is a brief explanation of the mantra as presented in the Mahanarayana Upanishad.

The Head of the Gayatri
OM Bhuh!- the physical realm or earth, realm of being or food
OM Bhuvah! - the vital plane or atmosphere, realm of becoming or breath
OM Suvah! - the mental plane, space or heaven, realm of illumination
OM Mahah! - the sphere of cosmic mind, realm of Dharma
OM Janah! - the realm of creation or bliss
OM Tapah! - the realm of consciousness-force
OM Satyam! - the realm of absolute truth

The Body of the Mantra
Bhur - the physical

Bhuvas - the atmospheric
Suvar - the realm of space
Tat - That
Savitur - Of Savitar, the solar Creator
Varenyam - Supreme
Bhargo - Effulgence
Devasya - Of the God
Dhimahi - We meditate
Dhiyo - Intelligences, minds
Yo - Who
Nah - Our
Prachodayat - May direct

"We meditate upon the supreme effulgence of the Divine Solar Creator that he may direct our minds."

The Tail of the Gayatri
Apo - the Cosmic Waters
Jyoti - the Cosmic Light
Rasomritam - the Immortal Essence
Brahma - the Absolute
OM - the four higher realms

"OM, the waters, the light, the immortal essence, Brahman, earth, atmosphere, heaven, OM."

The Gayatri mantra (Rig Veda III.62.10) is perhaps the greatest Vedic mantric chant. It was first cognized by the Rishi Vishwamitra, who himself is a form of the Sun that is the friend (Mitra) of all (Vishwa). Rishi Vishwamitra is the embodiment of tapas or ascetic force and his mantra carries that power of light, energy and transformation. Through it one can be born again (dwija) or twice born in truth, in the heavenly stream of Divine wisdom.

The mantra is chanted at sunrise, noon and sunset. At dawn it is called Gayatri, the youthful form of the Goddess, consort of Lord Brahma, the creator. It is called Savitri, the mature form, at noon, the consort of Lord Shiva. It is called Sarasvati, the elderly form, at sunset, the consort of Lord Vishnu.

The Supreme Self, Paramatman, or Savitar, is the conscious being within the cosmic sun or Light of lights. The mantra is his creative force, the Divine Word. Savitar is the master of all transformations and the director of all higher evolution. He is the Self of Brahman, the pure being of the Absolute. Harnessing the Power of the Inner Sun

This mantra releases the supreme solar power, the power of the inner sun of Self-realization and cosmic creation. Those wishing to bring about a new creation or new dawn for humanity of this dark age, should chant this mantra. Those wishing to transcend this world of Samsara can also use the mantra as a stairway to the infinite. This mantra also grants intelligence, creative vision and healing powers.

Used with the chants to the seven worlds it unfolds all the secrets of the universe outwardly and inwardly.

The Gayatri mantra is central to Yoga, Vedanta, Ayurveda and Vedic astrology. For Yoga it sets in motion the Divine will toward transformation, stimulating the Kundalini force. For Vedanta it grants Self-knowledge, knowledge of the solar Self. For Ayurveda it gives the power of the cosmic prana that is born of the sun. For Jyotish it gives knowledge of the movements of the heavenly bodies ruled by the cosmic sun.

Note: the exact pronunciation and intonation of the mantra requires personal instruction. This mantra is not something to be merely toyed with but requires entering into the stream of transmission of Vedic knowledge.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What do you spend your energy on?

Today I woke up with a question on my mind....."What is it that I put my energy into?"  During one of the classes for the advanced teacher training that I'm taking the instructor asked us to direct our attention to different parts of our body.  She explained that where we direct our attention, prana (vital energy) will go.  Back to my question......What is it that I put my energy into?  What is it that I focus on?

I would love to say that I always focus on the positive but I'd be lying.  I guess my mind just isn't wired that way.  A hundred good times can happen in a day and my mind will obsess over the 1 negative thing.  It's not a conscious choice.  It's just the way my crazy monkey mind works. 

I'm reminded of something that Eknath Easwaran says on one of his tapes on meditation.  He talks about  this tendency of seeing the glass half empty as being a mechanical problem.  He says that you just have to get under the hood and fix it.  (I love Easwaran!)   How do we fix it?  Meditation.

My energy has been very low.  I feel drained.  Again, the questions comes "What is it that I've been putting my energy into?"   Imagine for a moment that energy is like money.  If you have a lot of it you might spend it a little more freely.  When your money is in short supply you start to be more discriminative about how you spend it.  You'll think twice before spending your last few bucks on something frivolous. 

Why do we "spend" our energy more freely then we do our money?   When we notice that our money is running low we waste no time in acquiring more.  Yet, when our energy is running low we keep "spending" it.  We give it away as if it has no value. 

With this question on my mind  "What is it that I put my energy into?"  I also need to consider how do I build energy?  The practice for today is to give some thought to the things that drain your energy.  Consider each one carefully and decide if it were the last ounce of energy you had would you still engage in that activity? 

Once you have established the things in your life that you can let go of, then shift the focus to building energy.
Perhaps you need to ramp up your spiritual practice.  Maybe you need to feed your body with energy building foods.  Maybe you need to spend some time outside in the sunshine.   More likely, all of the above.

Remember that if your car had a mechanical problem you wouldn't kick it.  You would just get under the hood and fix it.   There's no need to kick yourself when your mind has a mechanical problem either.  Just get get under the hood and fix.   40 day Gayatri mantra sadhana anyone??