21 11, 2019

A Tribute to Dad

By |November 21st, 2019|Ashaya Yoga|0 Comments|

Dear Friends,

My Dad, Sanford Norian, recently passed away on October 31st, 2019. I wanted to share a tribute to him for the beautiful man he was and for the gift of his heart he gave me.

I really loved my dad. He was a great man and a wonderful father. Behind every great man is a great woman (or another man). My Dad was lucky to have two great women in his life – my Mom Sandra, for the first half of his life, and Celia for the second half.

More than a father to me, he was a mentor, a teacher, and a friend. He gave me the best advice ever, “Whatever you do, follow your heart and everything will be okay.” He taught me how to be disciplined, courageous, how not to let fear stop me, and to live fully, love fully, and laugh fully.

If any of you knew my Dad, you know that he could be prickly. He wasn’t afraid to call it like he saw it. Welcome to Norian’s world. But he was also a cream puff: crusty on the outside, always soft and sweet on the inside.

On one visit to Palm Springs, CA, his home, some years ago, he took me for a ride on his motor scooter. As soon as we were out of Celia’s view, he gunned it. The bike lurched forward at top speed of about 65 mph in a 25 mph zone. We both squealed with excitement, but I was terrified and held on for dear life. Then he turned to me and said, “Make sure you take time to smell the roses, Butch. Don’t work too hard. Enjoy your life.” (Butch was what he called me […]

10 11, 2019

Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude is a Step on the Path Toward Wisdom

By |November 10th, 2019|Ashaya Yoga|0 Comments|

It’s November and talk of gratitude is in the air. We can hardly open our eyes in the morning without being bombarded by seasonal messages about being grateful for the bounty that we enjoy. But what if you’re not feeling all that bounty? Can you still practice gratitude? Yes!

When I contemplate gratitude, I often find myself also contemplating Patanjali’s sutras and the five kleshas (obstacles or afflictions), particularly avidya (ignorance). By now, you might be asking yourself, “What’s Todd talking about? What on earth do obstacles and ignorance have to do with a full practice of gratitude?” Here’s the answer:
When life is easy, so is gratitude. But the wise yogi is able to access feelings of gratitude even when life is hard.
Patanjali tells us that ignorance is mistaking the impermanent for the permanent, the impure for the pure, pleasure for pain, and the non-self for the Self. We are ignorant when we blame ourselves for our pain. We are ignorant when we believe that our misery is immutable – that it will never stop. It will! But it’s not when our circumstances change that our life changes, but rather when our reaction shifts. We can learn to be content and grateful even when circumstances are difficult.
Wisdom is knowing that every experience enriches our lives and helps us get closer to the Divine within.
Sometimes life is hard. Money is tight. Love is scarce. Pain abounds. The yogi knows that it is possible to be grateful for it all.  When we cultivate an attitude of gratitude, even toward the moments and the people who add challenge to our lives, we are able to use those experiences to grow and become the people we are meant to […]