A Healthy Planet
By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
As a Yoga practitioner, you should be aware of your personal health and that of planet Earth. Why should you care, or take action for a healthier and cleaner planet? With acid rain, toxic waste, mercury, and PCP’s in our backyards, where do we start the clean up?
What can one Yogi do about the planet’s health? We must all take action together, in order to be truly effective. It should be a concerted action.
Eating for a better environment is a reality. If vegetarians were the majority, this would change our environment and feed all the people of the Earth, with grain that is used to fatten livestock.
However, the majority of the world’s population will not be vegetarian any time soon. This will contribute to a rise in the world’s temperature, as forests are cut down for ranchers. All forests serve us as the “world’s lungs.” Tree and plants naturally convert carbon dioxide to oxygen.
Combine this with a sudden increase in fossil fuel emissions, and you have a recipe for increased global warming. The greenhouse effect is a natural way for the Earth to keep itself warm. Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, naturally hold the heat and energy of the sun within our atmosphere.
The world would be a much colder place without the natural greenhouse effect. Some say without the greenhouse effect, our Earth would be an “ice planet.” However, fossil fuel emissions, and deforestation, may tip the balance and cause a “global warming effect.”
What should a Yogi do? We have to write our legislators now and request action. If we keep quiet, all of our governments will stick with business as usual.
Here are a few more actions we can take right now:
1. Buy, or use, organic products, when possible. Yes, it is more expensive, but you are sending a message to the agricultural industry that pesticides in your food, and in the food chain, are not acceptable. The world would be healthier without some of the chemicals we manufacture.
2. Support peaceful environmental activists, as long as they are ethical. Environmentalism is one thing, but violence is quite another. Greenpeace International is the current “front runner” of environmental action. They are not the only group, but this is a good one to start with.
3. We continue practicing Yoga to improve our own lives, but also that of our neighbors, family, and associates. When we clean up the world, this will make our planet, a more tranquil and healthy place.
A Peaceful Planet
By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
Non-practitioners often accuse Yoga practitioners of too much self-indulgence. The common concern is that too much self-awareness will cause the Yogi, or Yogini, to worship the inner being. Before you get too excited – you and I know this is not true, but the world needs some time to adjust to Yogic philosophy.
You are thinking: “How can the world need more time? Yoga has been around for over 5,000 years and that is plenty of time for people to adjust. The answers must be found within, and then projected outward.”
This is true, but warfare, ignorance, and intolerance have been around longer than Yogic philosophy. As a species, we have become much better with systems for the common good of humankind, but we have also become more efficient at suppressing our neighbors and killing each other.
What can a Yogi do to help? Allow friends, family, and associates, their space, and do not speak harshly of any religion or culture. We know that Yoga practitioners are from many religions, and some have no religion at all. It would be fair to say the majority of today’s Hatha Yoga practitioners are not Hindus.
However, all branches of Yoga are perceived as religious insurgency by religious fundamentalists. You cannot stop fundamentalist philosophy. Much like the ego, within us, fundamentalism spends most of its time protecting itself from perceived threats. It does not matter whether the threat is real or pure fantasy.
As a practitioner, you are an ambassador of Yoga training to any non-practitioner. Therefore, try not to judge, look at issues from at least two sides, and listen. Listening with empathy is the beginning of truly understanding your neighbors.
Recognize the right of others to defend themselves. Do not back anyone into a corner with your philosophy, morality, or religion. Instead, it is best to lead by making yourself a good example. Be tolerant and seek diplomatic solutions to problems before recoiling to self-defense mode.
If you push hard enough, even a mouse will bite back. Therefore, do not push your religious or political ideas on others. World peace is not just a catch phrase. It can be attained through knowledge, mutual understanding, respect, courtesy, diplomacy, and tolerance.
Every act of intolerance, no matter how small, sets an equal chain reaction in motion. This is the law of Karma. Look forward to the prospect of world peace today and never stop trying. We desperately need more people like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Anwar Sadat, and Nelson Mandela.
Now, more than ever, is the time to work toward world peace, one person at a time. Tolerance is to become nonjudgmental and the cornerstone to world peace.
The Right Attitudes to Perform Hatha Yoga (Part IV)
By Dario Colombera
(XVI), Do not over estimate Hatha Yoga.
Of certain, with Hatha Yoga you can reach an unusual control on your body and mind, but this is not enough to achieve the final target of all inner searches: to achieve an ontogenetic evolution toward total freedom. Therefore, practice without interruptions and during the whole daytime some dynamic meditation and conscious attention, so as suggested by Raja, Tantra, and Karma yoga.
Personally I practise Hatha Yoga because: (A), it is essential to improve my health, since I am over seventy. (B), it is of great help as a preliminary discipline, when my mind is restless. (C), it helps to harmonize mind and body.
(XVII), Avoid useless risks.
There are some particularly dangerous exercises you should never practise without a competent teacher. I remember here shirshasana that is by no mean necessary for achieving the ultimate target of yoga: to arrest all mental modifications. Do not choose an asana because it is risky, difficult, spectacular and aesthetical. Be cautious and try other less dangerous alternatives.
(XVIII), Verify on your own the effects of your asanas.
The usual, empirical and qualitative evaluation of your results cannot be ultimate. In other words, when you begin to practice Yoga, sooner or later, it will be necessary to plan a scientific search, where you are the “guinea pig” under investigation, in order to verify with certainty the results of your discipline.
I recommend checking the following parameters:
I, The respiratory capacity under normal conditions. It should increase within a few months.
II, The normal electric resistance of the skin. It should increase within a few weeks.
III, The frequencies, the length, and the emotional character of your unconscious thoughts during meditation or attention. If your discipline is efficient, they should be reduced in number and urgency after some weeks, and they should be partially replaced by more ancient thoughts. At last, they will totally disappear.
IV, The conditions of the bowel. In this case, it is important to adopt a suitable diet and suitable thoughts. If you act with a minimum of attention, your intestinal functions should improve (more abundant, daily and soft evacuation) in few days or weeks.
V, Little by little, you will realize again the lost, natural joy of your childhood. At first, these results are fluctuating and not definitive.
VI, Illnesses and recurrent uneasiness as influences, colds, constipations, muscular pains, and so on, should be drastically reduced within few weeks.
VII, Ability of concentration. To verify the improvement of such ability practise the drishtis.
VIII, Elasticity of the joints. Verify the length of your spinal column when stretched in padangustasana.
If nothing happens, increase your efforts. If you worsen, suspend your exercises. If you are not accustomed with the methods of scientific research, look for the help of an expert.
(XIX*), Never talk about your discipline.
Don’t speak of your discipline to others, because you risk becoming debased, even when you think that this discipline might help someone you love. If you want to help others, improve yourself.
At last, I remember that it is never too late to start practising Hatha Yoga, since you can always improve your health and rejuvenate. But, if you want to reach the true target of Yoga, i.e. to bring to a stop whichever mental activity, you should start Yoga as soon as possible after your childhood and hold the mind under control thorough tantra and karma yoga at least during the whole day.
Prof. Dario Colombera
Via Trespole 68
35037 Teolo (Padua) Italy
Tel.: (Italy) 049 9925217
Facts about Yoga Business Coaching Services
By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
There was a time when the use of the words, “Yoga” and “business,” in the same sentence, would have been considered “shameful.” However, when you have a Yoga studio, pay for a lease, advertising, insurance, utilities, and more – you know this is serious business. Whether you own a studio, or are an independent contractor, your money is “on the line,” and possibly your life savings.
Many Yoga teachers, and directors, often ask me the following questions: What is my most effective way to advertise? Who should handle the marketing? What can I do about student retention? Why does a Yoga teacher need a sales letter or business plan?
As the popularity of Yoga teacher training grows, more Yoga teachers are looking for professional advice to “stream line,” market effectively, and make their businesses “recession proof.” For some Yoga instructors, Yogic methodology has evolved from a sideline hobby to a full-time business. Your Yoga students will not be happy to train and learn with you “in a closet.”
As a Yoga instructor, your economic survival is at stake. With a fulltime business, of any kind, a surprising amount of overhead will follow. When you own a studio, you have to “wear many hats.” If you are already an established Yoga teacher, you went into teaching Yoga training sessions to share the gift and practice your own solo routine more often.
Many of the most successful studios, ashrams, and wellness centers, get “insider” Yoga business and marketing advice. The surprising fact is that business coaching doesn’t have to cost as much as you think. Yoga business coaching can be handled on a “per session” basis. Many businesses save, and learn, far more than the session costs.
If this is not the case, it is time to find a different Yoga business coach or consulting service. The objective of business coaching is to help the business owner become self-sufficient. Therefore, consulting is not for dependence, but to teach the typical Yoga studio owner how to fill the gaps and address priorities within a particular business.
What type of Yoga studio should seek business advice? Most businesses, of any size, can use help with a particular issue. Established studios, and Yoga teachers, usually know where they need help, but still need practical solutions. Also, established Yoga studio owners may want to “recession proof” their business or increase their market share right now.
Is this type of service geared toward new Yoga studios, as well? After years of Yoga training, and thousands of dollars, many new teachers need to recover the money they have invested in their new career as soon as possible. Business consulting services will help any new studio get to the next level and put the learning curve behind.
Is Yoga business consulting and technical support service given by phone or Email? Actually, I use a combination of both methods. After a business coaching session by phone, there is a “homework assignment” for my client. Sometimes, this assignment will save my client thousands of dollars or create unforeseen revenue streams.
Sales letters, marketing campaigns, and website development can be handled by your business coach, but it is far less expensive if you learn how to take control of your own marketing campaign. Again, the objective is to have a client who becomes totally self-sufficient.
However, any responsible business coach never refuses complete marketing campaigns for studios. In any economy, coaching programs for marketing and business will save you thousands of dollars, and teach you skills that will last you a lifetime. At this point, it will be much easier for you to help your own students and clients.
If you would like to save on business and marketing advice, we have a number of eBooks and DVDs to choose from. Materials specifically related to marketing and business can also be found in some of our Yoga teacher training courses. For information regarding business, marketing and Yoga instructor training please feel free to visit our online store at: https://www.aurawellnesscenter.com/store/