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12 05, 2015

The Third Vitamin: Education and Study

By |May 12th, 2015|Todd Norian, Yoga Off the Mat|0 Comments|

I’m delighted to continue the topic of the 13 basic “vitamins” in life that we need to give ourselves on a regular basis in order to sustain and maintain our joy. These 13 categories generate a well-rounded, well-adjusted connection to life and are the seeds that, when nourished, lead to happiness, permanent joy, and the fulfillment of your life-destiny path in the world. Last time I wrote about the importance of spiritual practices. Click here to review.

Study group at 200-Hour YTT in Portland

The third vitamin is education and study. As a yogi, it’s important to continue the learning process. Education is a life-long endeavor and should never end. In general, as the aging process progresses, it’s easy to fall into routines and avoid challenging our minds to think. But thinking is necessary in order to maintain a sharp mind. “Use it or lose it” as the phrase goes. If you don’t regularly challenge your mind, you will lose it. Whatever interests you, do that. Follow your passion and explore the wealth of information available to everyone today. We live in the information age. Well, actually it’s the digital age. But information is so easy to obtain. There are no excuses.

On a regular basis I attend trainings and spiritual retreats to sharpen my practices and refine my understandings. Boredom is essentially non-existent for me. When you follow your heart, you will never be bored. I’m currently studying with two Tantric scholars, Paul Muller-Ortega and Professor Douglas Brooks. Their teachings have been invaluable to stimulating my mind and contributing to my education. There will be two workshops with Paul coming up in October.

Paul Muller-Ortega and Professor Douglas Brooks

Education also includes spiritual study and self-study, Swadhyaya (one of the […]

8 04, 2015

The Renewal of Spring

By |April 8th, 2015|Ashaya Yoga, Yoga Philosophy|0 Comments|

Spring Greetings! I hope you are enjoying a delightful spring renewal! I’m so excited for the warmth. We had a beautiful weekend with lots of sunny weather. I just had my bike totally tuned up and parts replaced. It’s been hanging up in my garage waiting for me to take it out for a spin. I feel like an eager 10-year-old going out on his bike for the first time! So far I haven’t lost the thrill of that first ride. Thank God for spring!

Last month I mentioned the 13 basic “vitamins” in life that we need to give ourselves on a regular basis in order to sustain and maintain our joy. These vitamins might seem obvious, but it’s rare that we ever give ourselves this level of nourishment. These 13 categories generate a well-rounded, well-adjusted connection to life and are the seeds that, when nourished, lead to happiness, permanent joy, and the fulfillment of your life-destiny path in the world.

These vitamins make up the core of my life. They are what guide my thinking, activity, and service in my life off the mat. In a way, these vitamins comprise my yoga both on and off the mat. They keep me aligned with the highest and support me to offer my best self on a consistent basis. If your yoga doesn’t do this for you, and if it doesn’t bring about true and lasting satisfaction, fulfillment and joy, then you might need to get a new yoga!

I mentioned last time that the first vitamin is having an empowering philosophy of life. Click here for review. The second vitamin is spiritual practices. In order to create and empower joy in your life, you absolutely need a […]

6 03, 2015

The Empowering Philosophy of Life

By |March 6th, 2015|Todd Norian, Yoga Philosophy|0 Comments|

Greetings! Can you feel the promise of spring? I can. Even though there’s still snow on the ground and it’s still cold out, the sun is higher in the sky and the bird songs are getting louder.

I want to share with you an insight I had while teaching at Esalen Institute last month. The insight has to do with how yoga is about getting healthy. In addition to gaining physical health–which is the foundation for living in joy-mental and emotional health is vitally important.

Tantra tells us that our true nature is freedom and that the true nature of freedom is bliss. Whenever pain stops or diminishes and you become free from pain, bliss is what follows. Bliss, in the most basic sense, is the experience of moving from pain to no pain. Any amount of release from suffering is always accompanied by a release of tension, which is characterized by some form of increased happiness or bliss.

When I was cross-country skiing during the frigid weather a few weeks ago, I began to experience numbness in my fingers and toes after only being out for 15 minutes. When the numbness began to spread to my arms and legs, I realized I needed to sprint back to the lodge to warm up. I’ll never forget the relief I felt when I made it back to the lodge and began to thaw out. I went from suffering to non-suffering. Bliss was the resultant emotion.

You need to nurture joy in order to experience it. Joy is natural. But due to fear and other self-limiting beliefs, joy is buried under a pile of suffering. This suffering can take the form of self-doubt, self-hatred, confusion, judgment, hopelessness, loneliness, anger, resentment, or […]

7 02, 2015

Five Elements of Thinking

By |February 7th, 2015|Ashaya Yoga, Todd Norian, Yoga Off the Mat|0 Comments|

Dear Friends,

Happy February! It’s cold here in New England! We have over two feet of snow. It’s beautiful in its own kind of way. But then you need to be a skier and/or enjoy shoveling to be able to say that! Lucky for me I enjoy both, which is why I don’t mind the winter.

But recently I went on a teaching tour out west where I found some warmer weather. I taught a weekend workshop in San Antonio, TX, hosted by Jane Goldstein, an Ashaya Yoga™ Apprentice. Her students were so enthusiastic and very receptive. They brought out the best in me. On the last day, I began my session with an insight I received in my meditation practice that morning. I can’t wait to share that with you at the end of this newsletter!

In San Antonio the temperature was around 65º and sunny. Then on Sunday, I continued flying west to visit my mom in Mission Viejo, CA. There it was 70-75º! The purpose of this visit, in addition to spending time with family, was to write. I completed 16 hours of writing. I was well taken care, well loved, and very well fed, which contributed to a great environment in which to concentrate. Thanks Mom.

On Friday I was off to Big Sur, CA, to teach a weekend and a 5-day course at Esalen Institute. Esalen is amazing! It was like entering another world. The beauty of the cliffs overlooking the ocean was exsquisite. Temperatures were 75-80º!!! We saw whales, sea otters, seals, hawks, a snake, and condors (largest birds in the Western Hemisphere). Esalen reminded me of my early days at Kripalu because of the feeling of sacred community. Esalen was created […]

7 11, 2014

Healing for Your Back

By |November 7th, 2014|Ashaya Yoga, Todd Norian, Yoga Practices|0 Comments|

Greetings!

I’ve been teaching yoga therapy workshops recently and am super inspired by the amazing healing power of the Ashaya Yoga™ method. I’ve seen many people get out of pain using yoga therapeutics, and I thought it would be wonderful to share some tips over the next few months that can help heal the lower back. Today I will focus on the psoas (so-as) muscle.

Pain-free living is our birthright. Our factory setting is joy. Whenever you move towards better alignment, your body will shift from pain towards greater freedom. Good alignment is good therapy. Pain is a teacher and we need to listen to it. Physical pain can point to something out of alignment in the body. It can also carry the message that we need to change something in life or in our mental or emotional landscape. Your body is not separate from your life. The body is the microcosm of how you are living. Carolyn Myss says, “Your biography becomes your biology.”

It’s easier than you think to heal your body. I’ve had many injuries over the years and I’ve healed through refined alignment in yoga. I’m not opposed to using the medical model to heal. But I am a firm believer in the efficacy of yoga to bring integration, wholeness and healing. I recorded a short video for stretching the psoas muscle that focuses on the physical actions in the body. This video shows you how to do Lunge Pose, (2.5 minutes). By learning a few simple techniques and actions in the body, you will be able to align and stretch the psoas muscle to relieve and perhaps eliminate back problems.
Fun Facts About the Psoas Muscle

It’s the muscle in the middle. It […]