Stealing from Myself by Bev Gray

Last night I taught my usual Tuesday night yoga class, the one I’ve been teaching now for a year and a half. It’s typically a small class, with some regulars and some drop-in’s who attend intermittently. The pace is even and the asanas are mildly challenging.

For the past couple weeks, some of the students attending this class have been teacher trainees from another yoga studio; part of their training encourages them to go to different studios and experience different styles (very cool, I must say).

Last night’s visiting attendees were two women: one instructor and one trainee. Both were young and energetic, the instructor thin and lithe, her upper body overlaid with colorful tattoos. Her asanas were nearly perfect and lovely to watch.

Like most instructors, I’m sure, I always feel a little intimidated when an instructor shows up for my class; feeling not so much that I’m being judged, but watched. Very carefully. I do the same when I attend a fellow teacher’s class. I’m not judging, but always searching. Searching for new ways to explain a pose or inspire students (or myself). I recognize that my style is mine, that theirs is theirs, and that instructors can’t be compared. I have tremendous respect for all teachers. What intimidates me, however, is knowledge.

Yoga is so deep and vast that when I meet other teachers (especially if they practice a different style), I am always overwhelmed at how much I DON’T know. I am suddenly reduced to a student, a child seeking approval, feeling inadequate.

“No, I don’t remember what my dosha is.”

“No, I’ve never practiced ashtanga yoga (at least I don’t think I have).”

“Nope, never heard of the hasta or the pada bandhas.”

“No, I haven’t read the Bhagavad Gita from beginning to end.”

“No, I can’t do a handstand or hold a hip balance with straight arms and legs for more than a few breaths.”

“No, I don’t make a habit of adjusting my students.”

Cerebrally, I know that we are never “done” when it comes to yoga; that the depth of this practice is vast and never-ending. So why do I feel so less-than when I discover something I don’t know? And how do I release the self-judgement for not knowing everything about something which is fundamentally unknowable?

As always, I look to the Yamas and Niyamas for guidance. The Yamas and the Niyamas are the first two limbs of the 8-Fold path of yogic philosophy. Taken from the Yoga Sutras, there are five Yamas, or restraints, and five Niyamas, or observances.

For this particular experience, Astaya, the Yama of non-stealing, spoke to me. According to Deborah Adele, in her book, The Yamas and the Niyamas, “Astaya guides our attempts and tendencies to look outwardly for satisfaction.” In looking outward, we are stealing our joy and ability to look inward. Astaya asks us to shift our awareness of others to ourselves.

So in looking inward, I can appreciate how far I’ve come, without the distraction of comparing myself to others; because comparing either leaves you feeling dejected or superior, and neither is a healthy alternative. And often what we reach for is not necessarily what we want, but what may look good at the time. In our culture, we have much to compete with. There are pretty little baubles, bangles and beads in front of us wherever we go. If we keep reaching out for things just because they are there, we aren’t fulfilling our truth.

I don’t see myself as a teacher, really, but a guide. I share what I know and take in what my students teach me. I don’t feel I will ever be one of those instructors that people seek out, revered as a master in my field. I work full-time, have a family, so my ability (and let’s face it, energy) to study and immerse myself are limited. But I love my class and my students and take the moments I do have very seriously.

No, I am not trained in Ayurveda. No, I can’t twist my 49 year-old body into asanas that a tattooed twenty-something can do. And yes, there is an enormous amount of knowledge yet to be discovered. Astaya encourages me to “be where I am,” appreciate the journey and discover where I really want to go.

Oh, and I don’t have any tattoos. Just sayin’.

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New Movement, Breath & Meditation Class with Cathy Tuttle

beginning March 14th
Thursdays 7:00 – 8:00 pm

In order to get the most out of our practice, we need to be comfortable and focused. This class will
include postures to prepare the body to sit for meditation. We will also practice pranayama, or breath
work to help clear and focus our energy for a 15 minute meditation practice.

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New Hatha I Class with Melissa Gadrix

starts March 6th

6:30 – 7:30 pm

Hatha I is our most popular class! Join us for a well-rounded practice that will keep your joints healthy,
muscles toned and organs working efficiently. Hatha I classes help improve strength, flexibility and
balance. By incorporating breath awareness into the classes, you will also reduce stress, balance the nervous system and leave feeling refreshed and focused.

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Mindfulness and Yoga in Schools – Faculty Training

WHEN: August 5 – 9 (Mon – Fri) from 1-5 pm

WHERE: 300 Beverly Road Pittsburgh, PA 15216 (412) 344-7434

PROGRAM COST: $500

The Himalayan Institute of Pittsburgh is committed to serving schools and educational facilities. We provide support to educators and students by offering yoga and mindfulness training in different modules. This program is designed to help teachers understand how the breathing and relaxation exercises affect physiology and how to teach them to their students.

Students feel better and perform better when they have techniques to manage stress and anxiety. Join us to learn how to bring these techniques into your classroom. This program includes:

  • A framework to understand the objectives of mindfulness and yoga
  • Breath Training – Understand how it brings balance to the system and how to teach it
  • Movement – Learn to lead a class through basic movements
  • Relaxation Techniques – Learn the components and how to teach them


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Monthly Community Meditation

Our Himalayan Institute of Pittsburgh is a peaceful community, welcome to all. In these turbulent times…let us come together, drop within and meditate…or maybe you have never meditated? You could simply sit in silence. Let’s create a positive energy that will promote peace and carry us throughout our world.

Our Winter Community Meditations:

The 2nd Friday of each Month

Dates: January 11, February 8, March 8, April 12

~No Fee

~Time: 7pm – 8pm. Meditate for fifteen minutes or stay the whole hour.

We provide chairs, mats, bolsters, blocks, and blankets for your support.

 

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Costa Rica Yoga Retreat 2019

with Kate Mackin at the Goddess Garden Center
March 30 – April 6, 2019                         

A Spring Retreat focused on Yoga and Ayurveda
Join us to:

CONNECT WITH NATURE– this retreat is designed to help us remember our true nature, our essence. Join us to feel in harmony with nature, practice and learn in a beautiful setting.
EVALUATE YOUR CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCES– Our lives are busy and many times our habits don’t serve us but they are such an entrenched part of our daily lives that we don’t have the distance to even see them. This retreat will help you take a step back and re-evaluate your life situations and give you space and training to respond new ways.
RECEIVE SUPPORT TO CREATE HEALTHY HABITS– We start each day with meditation and asana class. We also spend time learning about Yoga and Ayurveda and how they can help support balance in your life. There will be plenty of time for relaxation, exploration and introspection. Nourish yourself with fresh, healthy meals. Leave the retreat with ideas to incorporate into your daily routines at home.
FIND HEALING-Spring is the perfect time for renewal. Restore your mental, physical and emotional health. Take the time to process and release old patterns that aren’t serving you anymore.



 

 

 

Until March 1, 2019

$1600 Single Occupancy (waiting list)
$1400 Double Occupancy (waiting list)
$1300 Triple Occupancy (waiting list)
$1200 Dorm (waiting list)

* Each participant receives a complimentary Ayurvedic Health Consultation. Includes accommodations and tuition. Does not include Travel.

This retreat’s focus is “Yoga and Ayurveda: Creating Harmony Within and Without”

We all want to feel a little more balanced.  Yoga practices are designed to systematically build strength in our body while increasing our energy and ability to discriminate.  As we progress, we have the steadiness to start looking at how we interact with the world around us. Ayurveda, the “science of life” helps us manage what we are taking in from our diet, lifestyle habits and relationships.  During this retreat we will explore different yoga practices, learning how to do them effectively and why they work.  These practices will provide needed healing and the empowerment to make a lasting change.  We will also take a closer look at ourselves and our lifestyle, finding ways to create more harmony in ourselves and the way we connect with the world around us.

Sample Daily Schedule:

6:30 Meditation
7-8 am Hatha class
Breakfast
Time for Excursions or Relaxation
Lunch
3-5 pm Ayurvedic Health Consultations
Afternoon- Free time to explore or relax
 5-6 pm Yin Yoga
 Dinner
 7-9 pm Lecture and Discussion

Times may change depending on the retreat’s centers meal schedule. More exact times are coming soon!

Kate Mackin, E-RYT 500, Ayurvedic Health Counselor

Kate serves as President on the Board of Directors for the Himalayan Institute of Pittsburgh and is a Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider.  Drawing from the Himalayan Tradition, she blends yogic and Ayurvedic techniques to promote wellness on all levels.  Kate enjoys leading corporate seminars and retreats in and out of the country.  She also works with athletes to optimize peak efficiency and students, teaching them mindfulness and yoga practices that they can carry with them throughout their lives.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Costa Rica Room Selection



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Tuesday Evening Meditation in March

Meditation, Energetic Self-Care & Energy Balancing Session  7:30 – 9 pm

Relax and Renew with Rev. Linda Despines, RN

Each session is $15. Session schedule: March 12 & 26

Discover the lifetime benefits of meditation
Experience a relaxed body and quiet mind
Learn easy, fun techniques to balance and harmonize your being and
energy field
These simple techniques easily bring calmness and relaxation
Each class includes gentle energy movements & techniques, and a guided
meditation. These are all designed to assist you in building positive
energy habits, and wellness!!!
All Levels of Practitioners are Welcome!!!

Please RSVP Linda Despines @ Ldespines@aol.com if you plan to attend
the session by 2pm the day of the session.
I look forward to seeing you!
Please note that the session will be cancelled in the event of inclement weather!!!

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Beginner’s Yoga

Beginners Image

Sunday Evenings  7:30 – 8:45 pm with Jennie Bolas
Ongoing: please come anytime and use your class pass

More and more people are discovering the benefits of yoga.  Whether you are interested in flexibility, strength, stress reduction or balance, it helps to learn the fundamentals of yoga in a systematic, non-threatening way.

This class will cover the basics of breath awareness and different types of yoga postures (asanas).  Throughout the session we will encourage a healthy connection between breath and posture, increasing body awareness, and ease in movement.  The class will also explore relaxation techniques to increase your sense of well being and balance.


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Chyawanprash Cookies

From the Himalayan Institute

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 cups dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 jar of Chyawaprash

5 cups white flour
3 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Ginger root powder

Raw Sugar

Directions: Pre-heat oven at 350

1. In mixer, cream together butter & brown sugar then add eggs (one at a time). Blend well then add chyawanprash. Use a knife to get it out of the jar.

2. Combine flour, baking soda, ginger and salt; gradually add to the wet ingredients until blended well. Use a spoon to scoop into a medium size ball. Dip one side in raw sugar and place on a lined cookie sheet, sugar side up. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

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