3k happy joy: ashtanga updates from #yogawithsandi

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3K happy joy (that was the auto spell correct for “Sri K Pattabhi Jois” when speaking his name into my phone here 😂), Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, the great and in some cases controversial guru of the Ashtanga Vinyasa practice, often considered “the original power yoga”, is said to have said that he really did not like to use the term “Power Yoga“ because Power is related to the human ego, where as Yoga is meant to take us beyond the Ego to union with God or the divine, or the supreme energy of the universe – however you understand this to be. It is indeed empowering to cultivate strength and flexibility through yoga practice, and with that, a greater sense of control and deliberation with our bodies, minds, lives, but perhaps there is a further step in this process: to surrender the effort, the fruit, the whole process, to dedicate all one’s experience to that which is greater than one’s self. What does that mean to you? 🙏🔥 Heated power Yoga with me today at Colorado Athletic Club Boulder @cacboulder 🔥✨ #yogawithsandi #cacboulder #3khappyjoy #srikpattabhijois #poweryoga #ashtanga #vinyasa #yoga #strength #flexibility #wellness #liberation #backbends #empowerment #surrender #ishvarapranidhana #8limbs #vegan #plantpowered #gogogobeyond

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Shortly after returning from studying with Sharath Jois in Mysore, India in 2016, I moved from NYC to an area in NJ where there was no Mysore studio within a 45 min drive. 🔹 My time in Mysore, and the years of practice in NYC before that, nevertheless empowered me to continue practicing the sadhana on my own – and to share the practice. 🔹 I’ve maintained a regular self-practice for over 2 years (including intensive Ashtanga workshops and week/weekend classes with Sharath and Saraswathi) and I’ve discovered in this time how valuable it is to have the self-practice/ home-practice that the Ashtanga sadhana empowers us with. 🔹 That said, I’ve also come to see how valuable and of great merit it can be to connect with a community and a teacher to practice with and to continue learning from! 🔹 It can be challenging to show up, whether to oneself or to a group, but ultimately we can only understand so much on our own. And it’s awesome to be a yoga student, especially if we consider ourselves to be yoga teachers too! 🔹 Big thanks to @tylandrumyoga and the @yogaworkshop for the community and learning here in Boulder. 🔹 Just a few days ago in practice I was saying that “it’s impossible for me to go into handstand with straight legs” and thanks to Ty’s encouragement and guidance, I am starting to do so. 🔹 Join me for a taste of this transformative practice tomorrow morning 6am-8am at CAC Boulder @cacboulder 🔹 #mysore #ashtanga #vinyasa #yoga #shanti #yogasadhana #health #wellness #liberation #tictocs #handstands #backbends #vegan #veganflexy #veganstrong #plantpowered #8limbs #yogaworkshop #cacboulder #yogawithsandi

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Rocky Mountain High

Apple

Of my eye…

Why did anyone name

New York City

The Big Apple?

Surely they never saw

The Rocky Mountains

For these juicy peaks  

Appear to be

The biggest apples

That my eyes have ever picked

Rock Steady

Silent witness

Your jagged edges

Pierce the sky

Like a royal crown in sunlight

Rendering beautiful and warm

The cold ugly fact that

Our lives can feel

Broken

Craggy

Irregular

Rugged

Uneven

Barbed

Cleft

And we can still stand strong

(Don’t know where I’m going

Just know that I am

Happy to be 

Here,

Where I am, for

Now

How long does Here & Now last?)

There is no throne on Earth

That can raise anyone

To the level of your majesty

And yet people prostrate

Before petty thrones

Encrusted with jewels

Splintered from your sides

In  a farcical display

Of missing the peak

By magnifying the Human Ego

At the expense of the Environment

Great Mountains:

Dissolve our arrogance

Our ignorance

Our folly

And our greed

Humbled by the persistent creed

Of a presence so lovely and generous

May we realign

With a real source of

Awe

Praise be

Mountain Spirits

~ Sandi H.

Boulder, Colorado

Summer 2018

uneaten cookies

I love

Being by

Mountains

They are like 

So many needed things

Like a gathering

Of tribal chiefs

Of wise, non-attached

Observers

Who remain steadfast in their element 

N’importe quoi qui arrive

They remind me

That even the Earth

Can rise like cookie-dough 

And resist eating 

Its own baking

Mountains are like the cookies

That the Earth saved for us

🙏⛰🍪

~ Sandi H.

Boulder, Colorado

Summer 2018

Stepping Up

There is a Mountain
That I want to climb
And for so many years
I have exhausted myself
Walking in circles around its base
But somehow, today, something is different
Maybe I’m just tired
Of making myself dizzy
Because today I hear a voice that says,
Hey stupid!
Mountains can only be climbed
By stepping up…

~ Sandi H.

Boulder, Colorado

August 2018

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prose: unborn giants

 

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Handstand at sunrise over Wonderland Lake, photo by Diana Shangguan, Boulder, Colorado July 2018

Unborn Giants

Do you ever

Feel

Like you have to look up

Every word you want to use?

Like you no longer know

What a word really

Means

Whether it really fits

The idea in your head?

Or the idea in your

Heart?

In what womb do ideas grow

Before emerging

To take shape

In the world?

Can ideas become

So so so

Big

Before ever being born

That they no longer fit

Any words

Any forms

Any framework

To express them

To dress them

To make them

Presentable?

Perhaps

Naked ideas

Only come to reality

In the realm of

Sheer sound

Where their forms

Matter less than

The Way they form

Music

Might well be

The only vagina

For unborn giants

To enter the world

~ Sandi H.

Boulder, Colorado

August 2018

Which side are you on?

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Handstand in front of mural by Madeleine Tonzi (2017) on Pearl St. Boulder, Colorado. Photo by Sven Stocker. August 1st, 2018

Which side are you on?

The side of the oppressor

Or the side of the oppressed?

Can we see

Beyond our side?

Can we switch sides?

Can the side of the oppressor

Become the side of the oppressed?

And vice versa?

On the side of the oppressor

Do we believe we are entitled

To claim Rightness, to claim Wholeness

While forgetting what we’ve excluded

From the side of the oppressed?

On the side of the oppressor

Do we listen mostly

For consensus, for a chorus

Of Rightness, of Wholeness

Without heeding the voices

On the side of the oppressed?

On the side of the oppressor

Do we seek Pleasure with disdain

For the Pain of Injustice

And pride ourselves on choosing

Compassion?

Is it a choice to be

On the side of the oppressed?

On the side of the oppressor

Do we turn from Darkness to Light

By running from our shadows

The monsters of our own making?

Ignorance is bliss, or

Ignorance is terror,

When we are ignorant of the other

On the side of the oppressed?

On the side of the oppressor

Do we Give Back for not knowing

How to actually take less?

Do we suffer from too much stuff

And too little Connection?

Do drugs numb our conscience

As our mind-bodies cry

For the suffering we’ve been ignoring

On the side of the oppressed?

On the side of the oppressor

Can we Stretch? Dialogue?

Can we lengthen our spines

Open our hearts

Follow our breath

From This Side to That Side?

Like, a side stretch y’all

And in so doing,

Can we Recall

Unity Beyond Oppression?

~ Sandi H.

Boulder, Colorado

August 1st, 2018

Clearwater Hudson River Revival 2018

A Festival for Live Music & Environmental Activism?

On the Hudson River?

Yes!

I’ll be there.

“Inspired by Pete Seeger’s desire to clean up the river over forty years ago, Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival initially helped raise the funds to build the sloop Clearwater, which has since become a world-renowned floating classroom and a symbol of effective grassroots action. Today, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc. is a non-profit organization that sails at the forefront of the nation’s environmental challenges. The revenue raised by the Revival goes to support Clearwater’s numerous educational programs and its work toward environmental and social justice—as well as keeping the sloop Clearwater afloat.” ~ www.clearwaterfestival.org

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