Thoughts from Elena

With great gratitude to our teaching staff, our desk staff and our Manager Kiri, and to each of you for creating this continuing dialogue rich with intelligence, intention and inspiration. “Without knowing its extraordinary power one cannot give THE HEART the preponderant influence it should have.” -I. S. DeLubicz, The Opening of the Way Through [...]

The primary ongoing creative act is the cultivation of your interior space. Your breathing helps you become more sensitive to your interior light; your attention and care for that light will yield ease and sweetness in all you do.

“The pause between stimulus and reaction transforms the quality of any movement or interaction.” Often in our practice, more often in our daily lives, that pause is the key to our ease. That pause might be an invitation to a particular quality that will shift the moment from confusion to clarity; that pause might just [...]

Listening with full acceptance is healing. If and when you find it’s too much to “listen,” breathe instead. Listen from within. “Instead of trying to understand through thought, remain silent. Listen from within, to go beyond the mental vibrations.” I.S.DeLubicz

Your Listening is Your Healing Consider that in order to heal any aspect of our experience, listening is required. Ideally, your practice of yoga refines how you listen in any context. On your mat, in any interaction, under any conditions, how are you listening? The patience and precision with which you listen during your practice [...]

Your yoga practice as scaffolding Consider your yoga practice as a structure that holds space for you, in which you can be as patient and precise as possible with yourself in your poses, as practice for your life. Your patience and precision are your truest creations; providing the conditions for spaciousness internally, manifesting as trust [...]

February 2008 at VIRAYOGA Your yoga practice as scaffolding Consider your yoga practice as a structure that holds space for you, in which you can be as patient and precise as possible with yourself in your poses, as practice for your life. Your patience and precision are your truest creations; providing the conditions for spaciousness [...]

VIRAYOGINS A summary, and an amendment to our most recent messages: three routes toward more ease in your life. Separate your attention [simultaneously take inner "snapshots" of your inner state + your outer experience; you're manifesting the pause between any experience and your internal reaction(s)]. Practice precision in your yoga to reveal expansion in every [...]

VIRAYOGINS In addition to separating your attention [the practice of taking momentary inner "snapshots" of your inner state + your outer experience, thereby manifesting the pause between any experience and your internal reaction], we have another route toward ease. In your practice of yoga, when you remember to employ the Anusara Principles of Alignment toward [...]

VIRAYOGINS Each of us has several habitual internal reactions to external events, which often derail our easeful experience of any moment. There is a way to become aware of these reactions, offering us the potential for more patience, ease, and presence [your yoga mat is a great context for this practice]. Practice separating your attention. [...]

VIRAYOGINS IF YOU’D LIKE TO CONTINUE RECEIVING VIRAYOGA’S MONTHLY EMAIL, PLEASE RE-ENTER YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO THE LEFT OF THIS NOTE. …our entire original mailing list was recently deleted… For this summer, let’s revisit our roots. Anusara Yoga originates with “three A’s”: Attitude, Alignment and Action. The first “A”, ATTITUDE, determines every endeavor. No amount [...]

Greetings VIRAYOGINS If listening is akin to living receptively in your heart, you are cordially invited to a simple practice PRIOR to that listening: sensing your body. In your poses as well as your interactions, pause; sense all of your limbs for moments at a time. This seemingly small practice helps me feel and heal [...]

Greetings VIRAYOGINS This year we celebrate 5 YEARS of VIRAYOGA with great gratitude to each of you. In our winter message, we equated your HEART’S intelligence with the strong and spacious ease accessed via your attention on your breathing, your inner listening. While you practice, create, relate, all day long listen with your whole body [...]

Greetings VIRAYOGINS The Fall message on this page asked you to observe how your practice of breathing enlists your HEART in the acts of opening, receiving, giving and KNOWING. The KNOWING of which we speak is not of an intellectual sort; it’s your heart’s knowing. Your HEART’S intelligence can be defined as the ease accessed [...]

FALL AT VIRAYOGA: Living in Your Heart “Renounce mental curiosity to ‘know’ through the certitude of your heart.” -I. Schwaller de Lubicz This past summer we explored how to observe the connection between your emotional states and your thoughts. When we become emotional in any way, we forget to breathe; then unintentional, speculative thoughts take [...]

SUMMER AT VIRAYOGA: Cultivating Your Intuition “Your thoughts are the children of your emotions.” -Hugo Cory e·mo·tion, n. An intense mental state that arises subjectively rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes. to think, v. To formulate in the mind; To reason about or reflect on; To judge; regard; believe; [...]

May at VIRAYOGA: silent constancy As we’ve established over the past few months, most thoughts literally block access to your heart. Recently we’ve established that your HEART = CONFIDENCE + INTUITION. We’ve also established that these qualities are always present; we’re just being distracted by too much thinking. So, in order to gain access to [...]

THE SILENCE OF YOUR HEART This month, a very useful amendment* toward accessing your inherent CONFIDENCE: 1. SLOW DOWN. 2. LISTEN [stop talking, stop being angry with yourself, stop punishing and doubting yourself and others]. *2A. NOTICE THE THOUGHT(S) obstructing your ability to listen and be comfortable in silence. It is only when you’re silently [...]

*CONFIDENCE* Far from brazen, real confidence is quiet, trusting and trustworthy. Confidence is exactly like your heart as it beats in your body; always there, awaiting a moment of your attention to acknowledge its presence. In your yoga or sitting practice, when you DO take a moment to acknowledge your heart, that dependably consistent, inspirational [...]

*PRESENCE and PATIENCE* Practice these by breathing and listening. Presence and patience offer you the vital pause to match your inner attitude with what your expressing outwardly [think of the discomfort when talking with someone whose inner attitude isn't matching their words]. As a result of your effort to be present and patient, people around [...]

January: back to basics, real time, real practice. Right now, in your seat, move your back away from the back of your chair. i n h a l e as you lengthen the sides of your body up into your armpits, keeping that brightness, e x h a l e and soften your eyes. Again, [...]

*the relevance of your practice* to learn why your yoga is so applicable to your life, right now, stand up, face this screen, then turn your front body to face left & look here again. Fold your hands in prayer, bend your knees into chair pose [utkatasana], then twist your upper body toward this screen, [...]

Your breath is your freedom. To find out why, try this: Next time you’re presented with a situation or an interaction that is daunting, allow your breath to take precedence over your assumptions, projections, words or actions. Literally, BREATHE before making any choice about what to think, how to respond or what to do next. [...]

Your breath is your access to your heart. What does that mean? Instead of exhausting emotional reactions or unnecessary intellectual distractions, in any moment or interaction, LISTEN and BREATHE. Only your breathing can bring you to the quiet of your heart; which is the clarity of your intuition. Instead of rushing, reacting, explaining, excusing, trying [...]

Your BREATHING is the gateway to your PRACTICE; it reflects the way you organize your energy. it exemplifies your approach to anything; everything. It is your primary ACCESS TO PATIENCE in your poses and in your interactions. To verify this: when you wake up in the morning, before getting out of bed, LISTEN as you [...]

the summer of breath observation~ In observing how you’re breathing, you’re making space to witness every nuance of your experiences, silently, reverently, realistically. As a yogin, you work to cultivate confidence and love in your practice, your body, your interactions, your life; whenever you observe your breath, see if confidence and love are present. If [...]

In the past few months, we’ve discussed on this page how to put your attention on your breath before doing anything else. Why the breath? It’s always there, awaiting our attention. Since it is only from a place of absolute candor that confidence and real love can begin [precisely the states you cultivate in your [...]

Your own breath is your own greatest teacher; have you been listening? Listening requires that you put your attention on your breath before doing anything else. In this way you create space to listen, which means not being reactive, not speaking unnecessarily, not judging nor being negative, you’re simply listening. Hearing what’s really happening. Listening [...]

Last month you were invited to open to grace, expand your awareness, increase your sensitivity, through your breath. Let’s simplify it even further: your own breath is your own greatest teacher. Both during and outside of your practice, your breath will show you what is actually happening more accurately than any teacher can; so listen [...]

Virayogis, your quality of breathing, listening, sitting and communicating are all inextricably linked with the pivotal first principle of Anusara Yoga: Open To Grace. Soften your awareness and open to the bigger picture- to the reasons why we practice and teach, create and relate: to enhance and engage life. Breathe to increase your sensitivity to [...]

Fancy February, virayogis. It’s our 3-year anniversary on February 9th and we are ever grateful to each of you. Presenting a brief overview of our recent months’ messages, so we can move into 2005 with a common understanding. Attention: creating a correspondence with ourSELVES predicated on compassion and clarity How to pay attention: breathing slowly [...]

~virayogins~ with great gratitude and respect, happy new year. * the gift of light * If you’re reading this, you already know how readily your body responds when you practice yoga. you give specific attention during your practice and sense a feeling of well-being and stability in your phyiscal body. This attention is the gift [...]

The practice of yoga has one distinctive purpose: to awaken our awareness of the highest goodness inside. this is a universal inherency. We listen to our breath to tap into this source; this is the first small step towards an awakening of our awareness of everything we think, do and say. Our breath is the [...]

Our practice of yoga provides the context in which to watch ourselves move, breathe and think. During the practice, when we listen and observe our breath, we gather important information about our reactions to challenging poses, situations and people. We watch without judgment [exactly how you'd watch your very best friend work through machinations of [...]

We are practicing Yoga to learn how to listen and observe; to align optimally in every sense, every second, with what is truly divine within us. First, listen to your breath. As you read, observe and listen to the quality, the rhythm. Check again during your next interaction with another person. Taking this time is [...]

[about attention] To refine our ability to ascribe appropriate meaning to every experience, (ie. live thoughtfully, productively and more easefully), first we watch how we’ve been defining what is “appropriate” for ourselves, and observing how those assumptions are working for us. Observe in this instant: a thought is manifesting as your facial expression and in [...]

BLESSINGS to Heather Stewart and Eric Stoneberg [our treasured teachers, friends, visionaries, inspirations] on the auspicious occasion of your marriage- may your life together be as fulfilling and sweet as your presences are to so many of us. Last month we spoke of careful observation: the means by which we create a dynamic, supportive, evolving, [...]

Last month we learned that our connection to the KULA, the community at VIRAYOGA, teaches us to keep great company inwardly. How exactly can we create a dynamic, supportive, evolving, resilient ‘community’ within our own bodies and our hearts? Careful observation. Even on days when you cannot find time to practice with others in class, [...]

KULA, the subject of this spring’s immersion at VIRAYOGA, is a Sanskrit word with many definitions: community family heart embodied Self innermost essence. This concept of the kula as our body, our heart, our community, our heritage/lineage is central to the philosophical underpinnings of Anusara Yoga, the study of Rajanaka Tantra. The kula is also [...]

April – the advent of spring. We want to run around outside [if only to delight in wearing just one pair of pants!]- yet we also find ourselves looking inside, cleaning out our homes, reassessing our inner state. So we come to yoga; to breathe and practice among similarly-intentioned others in the community. We leave [...]

Over the past five months on this page, we’ve reviewed the five Anusara Universal Principles of Alignment [developed by John Friend, founder of Anusara]. To bring all of us into a common understanding of how these physical principles fuse with the spiritual vision of Anusara, an excerpt from his “Vision of Anusara:” “The poses in [...]

VIRAYOGA yogins, students, friends, family~ It is our honour and pleasure to announce our 2 year anniversary in February. giant gratitude from Elena and Lynn to Michael Sloan, Heather Stewart, our teachers and our desk goddesses. And thank you thank you all for your practice and your presence. *NAMASTE* Last month we defined OUTER SPIRAL [...]

Last month we defined INNER SPIRAL [the third of the five principles of Anusara Yoga]: Turning in to facilitate expansion. Day to day we practice observing ourselves inwardly and ultimately creating our emotional attitude before we speak or act, as meticulously as we check our foundation and align ourselves before we expand and create an [...]

Last month we defined opening to grace [the first of the five principles of Anusara Yoga] as the invitation to a direct observation of the innermost realm of ourselves in our practice, our lives, each pose, every moment. Opening to grace is an initial ‘opening’ deeper inside, which brings us to the next choice, the [...]

For the next few months, we’ll be considering the five Universal Principles of Alignment in Anusara Yoga. We use these principles all the time. now we can look at the words and discover what they mean for ourselves. To touch on the very first principle of Anusara Yoga, OPENING TO GRACE: it isn’t simply an [...]

September; newness. In August on this page we examined the three aspects of SPANDA, the sacred pulsation inward and outward that comprises all of life, evoking stillness for precious moments at a time. For September, a brief practical explanation of how we can bring the concept of spanda into our lives to be more proactive [...]

August is a great time to slow down, assess and conserve for the “back-to-everything” energy that heralds the fall. Examine the three energies that comprise our Yoga, contractive, expansive and equanimous. These pulsations inward and outward lead us to stillness for moments at a time. This occurs on every level; pose, practice, life. In Sanskrit, [...]

“Love is not something you experience only once, and then that’s it, there’s nothing more to do. love is something you learn again and again.” -Gurumayi In Yoga we experience the love of the practice, and ourselves, again and again. The Universal Principles of Alignment of the Anusara style teach us different shades of our [...]

The word ‘kula’ in Sanskrit is defined as a ‘community of the heart’. The VIRAYOGA community continues to grow as a remarkable kula. our individual qualities blend together to reveal an atmosphere of understanding and appreciation. Our body in itself is likewise a kula, a gathering of forces, wondrous complex systems, each of us. Both [...]

A treasured friend, Dr. Alejandro Junger, medical doctor and true warrior of the spirit, often gives talks in which he elucidates the concept of ATTENTION. The concept relates profoundly to our practice of yoga and our lives. Everything that we are is made of the same building blocks, atoms. Those atoms are made up, ultimately [...]

Namaste all. Welcome to the beginning of spring, hopefully… the month of march. Since we’ve all been freezing, awaiting the obvious change in the weather to initiate a change in our experience, let’s take a slightly different look. To remember ourselves and our roles in the world, let’s pay attention to the details of our [...]

February 9th marks the one year anniversary of VIRAYOGA. G R A T I T U D E * to our teachers, John and Douglas. * to our friends who started with us and helped make it home. * and to you, the students. VIRAYOGA is full of warmth, magic, strength and well-being because of [...]

Happy new year virayogis. With great gratitude and respect, we welcome the prospect of beginning again, seeing with new eyes and honoring ourselves with sincerity. this month we offer two evenings of lectures with Dr. Douglas Brooks, a scholar of Tantric philosophy and our beloved teacher and friend. in translating and sharing ancient texts, Douglas [...]

Blessings to everyone. This is a precious time. The shortest days/longest nights present us with a lush germination period of new beginnings that we can begin to experience right now. This is by no means a dormant time, it is fraught with potential for change. Now is when we allow ourselves more time to turn [...]

Dear friends… it’s almost the holidays, so take a breath, chill out and get this: An epiphany enables you to sense creation not as something completed, But as constantly becoming, evolving, ascending. This transports you from a place where there is nothing new to a place where there is nothing old, where everything renews itself. [...]

Amazing friends. At the heart of the intense transitions this fall has been the passing of an incredible angel, our teacher John Friend’s mother, Ann Friend. Ann is truly the reason that John was inspired to study yoga at such a young age— and eventually come to inspire so many of us. “She was my [...]

Last month on this page we talked about taking risks in your practice and in your life. Fall has descended with a deliciously rainy Labor Day weekend, and we’re all about to step it up in our work and our lives. How can we begin to take such risks and fully connect to what we [...]