Life in an Ashram

As we move to tie up the loose ends of 2010 and to celebrate the holidays and the coming year, I wish that all of you may find a moment for yourselves to reflect on the beauty and joys of life. That we are free to enjoy  holidays and each other is a wonderful blessing.  Friends, Family, Community, and the Planet are good reasons for the season!

I have spent the past weeks at the Sivananda Yoga Farm in Grass Valley, CA. Grass Valley is some 75 miles northeast of Sacramento in the rolling foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The Yoga Farm is an “ashram” , a word which translates from Sanskrit as House of God. In the photos you will see the daily schedule which is full with practice and study as well as work. Thus far my work includes feeding the animals, laundry duty, and assisting in the kitchen.

The master Sivananda was a Hindu teacher who sent his student, Swami Vishnudevananda to the States in 1959. Swami Vishnu was the first asana teacher to arrive in the West. Most early western yoga practice was influenced by Vishnudevananda. As he was a Hindu monk, those classes had a decidedly religious flavor. My first Yoga Teacher Training Course was here at the Yoga Farm in 1980 with Swami Vishnu. After 30 years I have come full circle through the mainstreaming of yoga as fitness, to return to my interest in yoga as an aid in the explanation of life.  This obviously is a personal decision. The use of yoga for fitness and therapy is entirely appropriate. The day to day living in a community dedicated to furthering spiritual development is a 24/7 growth experience for me. I am tremendously grateful for this opportunity.

Here are a few pictures to give you the flavor of the Ashram.  As it has been steadily raining since I arrived, I will plead weather as a determining factor in the sharing of photos. Click back and forth for the full images. To be continued in 2011!!

Happy Happy Holidays!  Love and Blessings in the New Year.

Adios to the Wild West

Wow!  Can you believe it is Thanksgiving week??  After 20 months of traveling I am thankful for the many blessings in my life that have enabled me the time and opportunity for a nomadic lifestyle. Observing life in other countries and in other parts of our great country has allowed me to consider modes of living that are very different from my own  (but certainly no less valid). With better understanding of the “other”, there may be the  possibility of increased communication between seemingly dissimilar points of view.

I have completed my seasonal work in Wyoming and would like to share some of the photos that I will take away as memories. This Wild West country is truly a wonderland of rugged natural beauty and freedom from the crowding of civilization. May everyone of you consider the blessings that make your life the fabulous and unique journey that it is!

Thanks for sharing my journey! Happy Thanksgiving!!

For a fuller view of the photos click back and forth.

Yellowstone !!

Autumn is here.  Happy Birthday month to you Libras and Scorpios!  As the leaves turn to gold and red, I have been secretly praying that global warming will save me from rumored harsh Wyoming weather. Luckily I have been relocated from an elevation of 8,400 feet down to 7,300 feet, and have been blessed with a living space that has electricity, running water, and a toilet. Ahhh, being thankful for the small things!

Here are some of my photographed memories of Yellowstone National Park.  I have always wanted to visit Yellowstone and due to its geographic isolation have never taken the opportunity. When the current job situation arose, the proximity to Yellowstone was a deciding factor in my coming to Wyoming. My wish is that many of you will have the opportunity to travel to Yellowstone and experience the awesome natural wonders it protects. I do recommend that if you make those plans try NOT to arrive during the summer months when traffic through the Park equates to gridlocked rush hour traffic. Buffaloes parked on the road (as you can see) are a serious road block! Still it is nice to know that many persons are traveling to experience the glories of  Nature’s bounty.

As this blog tends to “resize” the photos, please click the back and forth arrows for a better view. I hope to hear from some of you with your thoughts and memories of Yellowstone Park.  Happy Autumn!