I hope this email finds you well and you are having a pleasant summer so far. I'm a little behind getting the July email out—but our schedule is on the website, and is unchanged from June. In-person and online classes continue as usual, and you can see our schedule and sign up for classes here.
Coming up for July and August we have some special events at the temple and online:
1. On July 14th, I will be teaching a special evening pranayama class at 6pm at the temple, followed by a vegan dinner (catered by Divya's Kitchen.) This will be a small class, limited to 15 people, in-person only, and is a small mid-summer fund-raiser for the temple.
You can register here.
2. Looking to spend some time expanding your spiritual practice this summer? Try joining the Om Sadhana class with Harshvardhan Jhaveri on our new Yoga Education Collective platform. This is a nine-day sadhana, just 30 minutes per day, beginning July 14th and ending July 22nd, at 11am EST/5pm CET/8:30pm IST. Sign up here!
(Yoga Education Collective is a platform created by me, Harsh, and Robert Moses, with a vision to strengthen our collective memory of the purpose, practice, and implementation of Yoga and its various disciplines in an increasingly modernized world. We currently have three courses on the platform.)
3. For those taking next steps in pranayama, you can also try Robert Moses's Intermediate and Advanced pranayama intensive here.
4. The full and new moon days for July are the 13th (Guru or Vyaasa Purnima) and 28th (my Dad's 80th!). Guru Purnima is an important celebratory day for Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains, where gratitude for teachers, teachings and spiritual knowledge are given. It is the
birthday of Veda Vyaasa, who separated the Vedas into four parts and authored the Mahabharata; the day of the Buddha's first sermon in Sarnath; and the start of the four month period of study during the rainy season for Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains.
The mystical teachings of Yoga have been passed down through the guru-shisya parampara since the time of the Vedas and Upanishads, and is considered as a continuous transmission of knowledge. The Guru principle, according to Hindu teachings, is an eternal source of knowledge—not a person. However, this
principle flows through people (and in certain instances animals and plants, too.) Electricity can flow through a light bulb, a computer, a toaster oven, or power a car, but the electricity, or potential for electricity, is the same force. The vessel it flows through and the force of the electricity will determine how it is used, and the impact it has. Patanjali says that Ishvara, a special being of undifferentiated consciousness, is the source of knowledge of the ancients, knowledge which has
then been passed down from teacher to student over time. During Guru or Vyaasa Purnima, remembrance of this transmission and towards those who have carried these teachings are given gratitude.
For many of us, we may have teachers, but not spiritual Gurus. That's totally fine. For those who are not part of the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, or Jain culture, but are practicing Yoga or meditative disciplines, on Guru Purnima we can remember the teachers who have shifted the course of our lives. Gratitude is one
of the most important practices we can engage in for our spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing.
The shanti mantra below is an all-inclusive prayer that sums up the teacher-student relationship ever so perfectly: as one of mutual growth, learning, and harmony. You can repeat this mantra every day, but also especially on July 13th, and remember those who have helped you forward.
oṃ sa̱ha nā̍vavatu ।
sa̱ha nau̍ bhunaktu ।
sa̱ha vī̱rya̍ṃ karavāvahai ।
te̱ja̱svinā̱vadhī̍tamastu̱ mā vi̍dviṣā̱vahai̎ ॥
oṃ śānti̱ḥ śānti̱ḥ śānti̍ḥ ॥
May (truth) protect us together.
May it nourish us together.
May we both gain great vitality.
May our learning be brilliant.
May we never argue.
Om peace, peace, peace
The teachings of Yoga that have been passed down for thousands of years are basically karmic rivers or streams of knowledge. It is said that when we step into those streams, it alters the flow of our inner lives, and the blessings of the ancients carry us forward.
Eddie and Jocelyne