Class Notes & Quotes

Shadows & Light; The Yoga of Eclipses

December 7, 2016

The sun is associated with illumination, and therefore enlightenment. The Sun is the king of the sky, the embodiment of righteousness (dharma), and is the most visible and easily recognized of deities. Seeing and being seen (dharshana) by an enlightened deity is auspicious and tends to improve luck.

Spending time near an enlightened being or in a location (like on a sacred mountain, or at the shore of a sacred river, or in a temple) that is auspicious will “rub off” on you and help you to align with the enlightened state of that being, or the auspicious nature of that location. Actions, situations, and locations that obscure your ability to see clearly or be enlightened are generally considered inauspicious and best avoided. Eclipses block the illuminating power of the Sun (Righteousness/Dharma) and the Moon (Nourishment/Intuition). The word for planet in Sanskrit “Graha” means “to seize.” because their influence is said to ‘seize’ our consciousness and cause us to play out our karma in a reactive way.

This can be understood as a kind of possession, a partial possession, in that you are being possessed by an energetic pattern that causes you to act like a puppet. You are still “you” but heavily influenced in an unconscious way. This isn’t “bad,” it’s just normal, but it does imply a lack of freedom. The whole point of spiritual practice is to increase your freedom, self-possession, the ability to discern and choose for yourself what you wish to do and which path you wish to walk. The more directly you view planet, or bathe in its light, and the longer time you soak up the light, the stronger the influence.

As yogins, our path is one of skillful means, choosing the situations and experiences that lead us toward our goal, whether that is stillness, liberation, or union. So it is important for us to be clear about the choices we make that lead toward illumination or toward obscuration. It is to CHOOSE what is appropriate for you at this time, what helps you along your path. In Vedic astrology, solar eclipses are said to accelerate social evolution, often through agitation, which may present as some kind of crisis or confusion. Synchronistic with this view is that the shadow of this eclipse will move across the states from cost to cost, at a time when the U.S. government seems to be teetering on the edge of a breakdown.

Monday’s solar eclipse falls in the area of the sky known as the heart of Leo the lion. The magnanimous Leo is a generous and honorable star that holds the blessings of our ancestors and the powerful bonds of loyalty held within bloodlines. But called the “throne of kings,” because it is also the star of authoritarian power, nationalistic and racial pride—it also happens to be the rising birth star (ascendant) of the current American president, a president who was born during an eclipse. Trump’s astrology shows a unique configuration where all the planets at the time of his birth were in “the belly of the serpent.” They are grouped between the shadow planets known as the north and south node that create the alignment of the eclipse. Traditionally it is recommended that one stay indoors during the eclipse, not to cook food or eat, and to wear lightcolored clothing (that which best reflects light.)

Day After the General Election

November 6, 2016

“The wrecking ball has arrived. Never fear. Never accept the appearance of things. The young king with Alexander the Great’s personality traits appears to have his prize. Hillary the warrior does not yet know the horror she avoided. All this shall pass in this unstable universe of ours. Do not under any circumstances engage in fear. Do what empowers you. Keep your hearts open no matter how hard. Do not engage in martyrdom, resentment or hopelessness. As the old Buddhist monk said when faced with alternating praise and condemnation,”Oh, is that so?” In every seeming impossible situation there is always opportunity…We are beyond ready for major change and as a collective we have chosen our agent. Let us not allow our attachments to stand in the way of the work ahead of us.”

Jose Stevens, Shamanic Healer/Visionary

Shifting Gravity

August 19, 2016

Inversions revitalize the whole system, reversing the effects of gravity – mentally and physically – by bathing the brain with nourishment. Inversions cleanse, nourish, clear the mind, and improve thinking. They improve circulation and assist the lymphatic system.

They relieve strain and fatigue in the legs and feet. Inversions can stimulate sluggish digestion and elimination and practiced with regularity can aid in good sleep. What’s not to like? This workshop takes on many inverted asanas from the most basic to the most challenging. Focus on neck strengthening, shoulder stabilization, core abdominal, and the fears associated with being upside down.

Upward Flying: The Bandhas

August 19, 2016

The Bandhas are essential to yoga and are what distinguish asana practice from other forms of exercise. They constitute the core physical and energetic strength necessary for sustaining rigorous yoga practices, stimulate the awakening of kundalini shakti for Kindalini yoga, and, are the organic result of alignment practiced in Anusara yoga. This workshop focuses on the proper use of bandhas (energetic and muscular locks) as means for sustaining and deepening yoga practice.

Introduction To The Shatkarmas

August 19, 2016

The shatkarmas (shat – six – karmas – actions) consist of six groups of purification practices with the objective of harmonizing the two significant pranic paths of “ida” and “pingala” or lunar and solar energies. They also affect the three humors or “doshas” discussed in Ayurveda of Vata, Pitta, & Kapha. Since these practices should only be studied with a qualified teacher and not through books or fashion, few contemporary yogis have an understanding of these kriyas. This workshop will look at the most basic approaches and cautions of these practices while shedding some light on their importance and the preparation and instruction needed to go deeper.

Ramayana

August 19, 2016

The Ramayana is an epic tale set in India during prehistorical times. It is one of India’s enduring legends, and represents historical fact to the devoted followers of Rama, prince of Ayodhya and incarnation of the God Vishnu.

Although the plot is fairly simple and taken at face value for much of the world, it holds within in esoteric yogic teaching on the energy body and is full of many of yoga’s most loved poses and characters. This text in best studied as a yoga/travel trip through Bali – since the culture is based on this myth, but is also taught as part of teacher trainings or as workshop.

Yoga for Cyclists: Wheel of Yoga

August 19, 2016

This annual workshop was developed for training and rehabbing professional cyclists, through a series of user-friendly and highly practical sets of pre and post-ride hatha yoga practices. Cycling, while it keeps enthusiasts fit and vibrant, also makes demands that over time or through injury can take a toll. The course includes pre-ride exercises and breathing techniques, a short ride, post-ride practices, the latest tips on staying hydrated, and lab time for athletes to work on their particular injuries or challenges. No previous experience in yoga or cycling is required. Participants are responsible for bringing their own cycling gear and ride is weather dependent. Bikes will be held in a secured area during workshop.

This workshop is equally suited for runners.

“I really enjoy your programs. I’m a survivor of a traumatic spine injury with 8 spinal fusions under my belt so far and was told that I would never ride again. I have proved them wrong. I’m doing 500 miles a week, tough miles and I think your programs help me greatly.”

Douglas McFarland — professional cyclists

“I train exclusively for long distance endurance events and found significant benefits from the Pre Ride and Post ride techniques in the Wheel of Yoga workshop. It’s easy to learn, did not over strain my body, and helped me recover from long days of running, cycling and swimming. This DVD and workshop is a must for endurance athletes. I highly recommend adding it to your training program.”


Wayne Kurtz
, Endurance Racing Pro & Founder of Race Twitch USA

“David Moreno has created a visually engaging practice with clear, understandable instructions for the cyclist, at any level of experience with yoga. I strongly endorse his insightful use of dynamic movements to prepare you for a long ride. These sequences are a masterful improvisation on classic yoga for the modern cyclist.”


Dr Baxter Bell
 Yoga Journal contributor/Yoga Instructor/Cyclist

“David Moreno has developed the art of pacing and economy of postural movements so that rhythm and grace pervade the practice. Not coincidentally, this is also the essence of effective cycling – if one is well prepared physically, an overarching aim of Wheel of Yoga for Cyclists…Engaging, simple, yet broad in scope…an affirmation that our practice transcends the mat.”

Julie Deife, Yoga Chicago

Read David’s Common Ground article:
“Minor Adjustments & Fine Tuning: Yoga for Cyclists”

Men and Yoga : From Shiva to Swenson

August 19, 2016

Since yoga’s inception, yoga has been passed down from man to man – father to son, grandfather to grandson, brother to brother. Historically, men often studied yoga in the company of other men frequently learning from, and practicing with, members of their own family. Yet, in today’s world of commercial yoga where men remain a minority, few have experienced the benefits of men in community with other men, and few know much about this particular history of yoga.

This unique retreat includes daily healthcare practices, kriyas, asana, and sadhanas relative to men, plus an inspirational multi media presentation on the overview of men and yoga. If you’re a man who is hooked on yoga – this workshop is designed for you – no matter what your level of practice, what style of yoga you study, nor your sexual orientation.

“The world needs this workshop! Men need this beautiful gathering and connection to our self, one another, and to our forefathers. Women do this instinctively, Western men need to be shown how and why. David does this with grace and insight…”

Geoffrey Gordon, multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, USA

Core Strengthening

August 19, 2016

In the yogic view, abdominal conditioning and strength are encouraged for their aid in digestion, assimilation, and elimination on all levels of being and for the way this area, once toned, supports proper meditation positions. Many of the exercises found in Pilates have their origin in yoga asana. However, for the most part muscle groups go unacknowledged in yogic text and schools because the principle focus is energetic awareness and self-realization.

Yoga and Ayurveda

August 19, 2016

Both yoga and Ayurveda are life sciences that attempt to align practitioners more fully with nature, so that, we can live more harmoniously with ourselves, and our environment. This interactive course introduces the founding principles of Ayurveda including its daily practices, “dosha” awareness, overview of the five elements, the importance of “agni” and how these principles directly relate to all our choices in life; relationships, work, eating, meditation, and asana… Asana sequences for the varies “doshas” and participatory games and exercises for better understanding our “dosha” are all part of this playfully informative lecture and practice course. (5-6 hours or divided into two days of 3 hrs each.)

“I absolutely loved the Ayurveda session with David… I’m totally inspired. I’ve been interested in the principles of Ayurveda for the past five years after studying with Dr. Joshi but David brought it all to life and made sense of what is a pretty complicated subject…”

Nicola Eastwood, Jersey Isle, UK

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