January 8, 2019

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 Summer Community Meditations: The 2nd Friday of each Month Dates:  August 8th,  September 13th ~No Fee ~Time: 7pm – 8pm. Door will be open at 6:45. It’s simple.   We just come and “sit” together in the beauty of silence. If you have even the slightest interest, please come and “sit” with us. You can use a chair, or come early and learn to prop for ease in sitting.  You can stay for 5 minutes.  You can stay the hour.  We provide chairs, mats, bolsters and blankets for your support.  
November 30, 2016

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.
November 16, 2016

How to Make Ghee (Clarified Butter)

November 7, 2016

Breath Awareness Practice

February 14, 2012

Essential Oils – Lemon

by Judie Markley Of all of the citrus oils, lemon just seems to have the sunniest disposition with its clean, fresh, yet rather sharp citrus scent.It’s the perfect oil to combat the short, dark dreary winter days. If you are feeling a little down in the dumps,reach for the lemon oil. Lemons, a member of the Rutaceae plant family, grow on somewhat small yet horizontally expansive trees. The lemon tree, native to Asia, has been cultivated in Italy, Australia and the United States. It likes a lot of sunshine, but not a lot of wet soil. The oil is expressed from the peel of the fruit. True to its sunny disposition, lemon oil is antidepressive in nature. It increases one’s sense of humor and feeling of general well being. It dispels feelings of indecisiveness so one might sense greater emotional clarity and direction. It’s also useful to support the attributes of joy, strength and memory. Lemon’s antiseptic properties make it good for disinfecting everything from wooden cutting boards to infected wounds and sore throats. Now I know why my grandfather added lemon to his homemade cough syrup. Add a drop or two to a glass of water and give your liver […]
October 20, 2011

Pranayama – The Fourth Limb

According to the yoga sutras (1.31 – 1.32), irregularities of the breath is one of the obstacles that we seek to overcome throughout yoga practice. By practicing Pranayama (prana= life breath, yama=control) we are able to overcome these irregularities. Breath work brings many valuable benefits to our overall health. A a conscious practice of proper breathing calms the nervous system, reduces blood pressure, relaxes the body, and increases oxygen to the organs. By consciously focusing on the breath we can quiet the mind and improve concentration. There are a multitude of pranayama practices in yoga: Nadi Shodhanam, Bhastrika, Kapalabhati, Ujjayi, etc. Each practice brings it’s own benefit, from quieting the mind for meditation to increasing the heat in the body to cleansing the body of toxins. However, what we want to focus on before moving into any of these practices is the basic step of retraining ourselves to breath properly. Once we can connect to the diaphragmatic breath, we can move onto some of the more advanced breathing exercises. Have you ever watched a newborn baby breathe? When we are born our breath is naturally a diaphragmatic breath. We have not yet experienced the day to day stresses this life […]
September 30, 2011

Asana – The Third Limb

Here in the west, Asana is associated mainly with the graceful movements and postures that we experience in the course of a yoga class. We flow through sun salutations or hold steady in our Warrior or Triangle poses. However, In regards to the eight limbs, asana refers only to a comfortable and steady posture. From this posture a practitioner can be fully at ease in order to achieve higher levels of concentration necessary for moving deeper into their practice. This doesn’t mean that the postures aren’t a necessary element in the eight limbs. In order to release and let go of what is happening in our bodies, we first have to turn our attention to our body. Practicing the postures in any style or level of yoga class is how we are able to access this awareness. And once we realize what our bodies need; where they are tight and where they are limber, where they are strong and where they are weak, we can begin work to strengthen and stretch to achieve that comfortable and steady posture. (note: awareness is not equivalent to judgment, judgment holds you back, awareness moves you forward.)   As a result, sages and yogis, […]
September 15, 2011

The Niyamas

  Shaucha – Purifying body and mind Santosha – Contentment Tapas – Training the senses Svadhyaya – Self-study Ishvara pranidhana – Surrender As we mentioned last week, Niyamas are the counterpart to the Yamas. Niyamas, like all of the 8 limbs, are achieved through careful observation of our actions, and results of those actions, in order to become aware of their benefits or disadvantages. To look at their definitions without any analysis, it looks as though they have the wrappings of a strict religious devotion. However, the devotion that is needed here is not a devotion to an outside entity, it is devotion to our own spiritual growth. Through the Niyamas we can begin to realize that this work we are doing within ourselves is reflected upon those surrounding us. Shaucha This can be compared to the idea of “what you reap, so shall you sow.” If you make the effort to eat healthy foods and exercise, then you will be working towards a healthy body. In the same way, if you feed your mind healthy thoughts and information, then you will be working towards a healthy mind. Of course, this is an oversimplification. We live in a world where […]
September 6, 2011

The Yamas

The first of the 8 limbs of yoga. The Yamas are often discussed along side it’s complimentary counterpart – Niyamas. As the Yama’s are recognized as restraints of action, Niyamas are recognized as observances the practitioner should follow. The Yamas and Niyamas are the moral and ethical codes of conduct meant to direct practitioners to a healthy balanced way of living in order to achieve peace and happiness in our lives. These are not commands for the student to fear punishment for not obeying, these are philosophical ideas for the student to reflect upon in order to discover the benefits of adhering to them and also reflect on the effects of what happens in our lives when we don’t. This week’s blog entry will focus just on the Yamas, next week we will cover Niyamas. According to Pantanjali’s Yoga Sutra there are 5 Yamas. 1. Ahimsa – Non-violence 2. Satya – Truthfulness 3. Asteya – Non-stealing 4. Bramacharya – Abstinance 5. Aparigraha – Non-Attachement To describe the depth of meaning in a single word translation is helpful as an introduction to the topic, however many of the subtleties and details are lost with such simple definition. Ahimsa – Non-violence What […]