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A Happy Life

April 9, 2014

A Buddhist friend of mine was telling me about Buddhism. He said “It’s very simple, the teaching is: a happy mind, a happy life. You must be happy.”

Easy – right? Just choose that.

The teachings of yoga are the same. The mind is the problem. You need to foster happy thoughts. You need to work at this because the mind is always going other places, like fear. Sometimes this is good. You need to have a certain amount of fear to keep you from walking out in front of a car, or being eaten by a wild animal.

There is a certain area of your mind that is designed to do this. It influences the part of your mind that makes decisions. That part is called buddhi (no coincidence). Buddhi gathers information from the other parts of your mind like where memories are stored, for example: “the last time I did that, I almost got hit by a car.” Or, “I remember that smell, I love that scent, good things happened then.”

There is also the part of your mind that is your ego. That feeds into decisions, “If I do this, I will be important.”

But where we get into trouble is when these other parts of the mind start making the decisions instead of the part that makes wise decisions. We do not want fear, memories or ego running the show.

How do we know? Well, it takes self-study, svadyaya and practice, lots of practice. The thing is, we were never taught how to discern these things. The ancients knew all along. It is our ignorance that keeps the truth from unfolding. Luckily we have many ways to get back to our inner teacher and our true purpose.

Yoga is a great way. Faith, spirituality, love and compassion are the way. And Practice….. So get into your mind and start looking for where your decisions are made. What is making decisions for you? Ego, fear and memory should not do this. Ask yourself where it’s coming from and if it is best for you and the world. Then, make a choice.

You have the power to make yourself happy. “Happy mind, happy life.”

Namasté, René

  Posted on April 9, 2014

When things get in the way

November 14, 2013

“I was practicing everyday. I felt great. Then I got a cold. 3 weeks later I made it back to class. It felt great. I was weaker, but got it back. Then we went on vacation, then it was the Holidays, then taxes, then…” well, you get the picture.

There are a million reasons not to go to class today. “I have to help my sister. I have to go to a meeting at school. My son has a dentist appointment. Work is crazy right now. I feel too fat to go to yoga. I just haven’t had time.” -I hear this all the time!

This is the story of everyday life. The thing is – we feel so much better when we practice. Our lives start flowing better also.

What about if there is a bigger tragedy or strife? What do we fall back on?

It is then that we need the yoga more than ever. Our practice centers us, calms us focuses us, helps with our physical wellbeing, our spiritual wellbeing. In a nutshell: yoga helps us live a better life.

Yoga is about finding happiness in our selves. What better way to face adversity than from a place of calm? With a better understanding of ourselves and how we process and overcome – we can be powerful creatures indeed. When things are busy, not going great, stressful, and we have no time – that’s when we need to get on the mat even more!

But here’s the best part: yoga is always there for you. It doesn’t have to take up your whole day, you can do just a little bit today or you can just do a gentle class. Yoga welcomes you back home, to yourself, whenever you wish to be there.

See you in class.

Namasté, René


Posted on

Are we perfect yogis?

November 13, 2013
If we were the perfect yogis, we would get up before dawn to do our practice.
It would be the same pattern everyday: get up at the same time, do a cleansing, an asana practice (postures), some breath work, kriya and japa meditation – all in our caves with no distractions.
We would eat freshly prepared food made with love according to Ayurvedic principles and have a good long yoga nidra (yoga sleep).
Enlightenment would be within reach, we would work so hard and the benefits would be clarity and inner peace. All our desires for greater good would be realized.
But alas, here we are in the real world, kids and pets climbing on us during meditation and a fast meal. We go off to school and work without the time for practice. Are we supposed to give up that precious time when the kids jump into our beds or intimacy with our partners in the early hours of the morning?
The real world here doesn’t look like what the yogis in the caves are doing.
Life in the ashram seems great, but what about my job? Tantra is yoga for all of us – not just the kings or Brahmins. It is about the practices that we can all access. The meaning of tantra is to weave. It’s about weaving yoga into our everyday lives. Finding the practices that fit your life – that’s perfect yoga. It’s about more than just a class every once in a while. If we create our own personal discipline that helps us to live a happier and fuller life, then we are on the right track.
My teacher says to wrap your life in your practice. Wrap your home and your family in your practice. Live it and enjoy all the benefits.
It starts by coming to class and soon, you will be looking for your own practice at home to live everyday and still get to come enjoy class with all the other yogis who are wrapping their lives in it as well. Before the crazy holidays sweep you away, make the commitment. Start the wonderful practice that allows you stability and comfort with in all the turmoil. Get grounded and clear – the Holidays will be lots more fun, trust me.
See you in class.


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