Do Yogis Ever Drink Alcohol?

drunk yogaThis is one of those questions that isn’t an easy yes or no answer.

For starters, What is a Yogi?

The term yogi translates to one who practices yoga.  Most agree that this goes beyond attending Hatha yoga classes and practicing asana (postures).  Being a Yogi or Yogini (female), also means understanding and living by the code of conduct of yogic philosophy and striving towards enlightenment or liberation.

The Yamas and Niyamas are two limbs of yoga which set down a moral code. We can explore this question in terms of some of the Yamas and Niyamas.

The first Yama is Ahimsa or non-harming; avoiding things that bring harm to yourself or others.  Yogis need to honestly ask themselves if drinking is harming themselves or others.  Is a hangover not a clear sign of harm to the body?  Have harmful actions taken place while intoxicated?  But what about drinking in moderation? Is one or two drinks harmful?  That’s a question each yogi has to answer for themselves using the second Yama Satya or truthfulness…

The fourth Yama is Brahmacharya, sense control.  This Yama is used in the sense of abstinence, particularly in relation to sexual activity.  It doesn’t always imply celibacy, instead responsible behavior and only using sexual energy to connect deeper to spiritual self and truth.  It probably not necessary to explain how alcohol might make keeping Brahmacharya slightly more difficult for most people.

The first Niyama is Sauca or purity.  Keeping ourselves clean on the inside and the outside.  We practice asanas and pranayama to clean toxins in our body and lungs.  Does it make a whole lot of sense to spend so much time and effort on practices to detox the body then consume toxins on purpose?

Santosa is the second Niyama and it means contentment; having peace within despite life’s difficulties and accepting everything exactly how it is.  If one is truly content, is there need to consume an intoxicant that alters perception of reality?  Drinking to forget life’s problems or de-stress could be seen as a sign of discontent or wanting things to be other than they are.

Yamas and Niyamas set aside, it just made sense to me to quit drinking when I committed myself to the path of yoga.  Dedicating so much time to working on balance, it seemed counterproductive to partake in a consuming a substance that knocked me off my balance.  I don’t want to miss a morning of practice because I am sick, or a night of meditation because I am buzzed.

I officially quit drinking after doing my second Vipassana meditation retreat.  In the discourse Goenka spoke about how the causes of suffering are either craving or aversion; either wanting something that wasn’t there or wishing reality to be other than what it is.  Drinking helped spark craving in me as well a crutch to avert from deeper set insecurities. It was a big transition when I quit drinking because I was so accustomed to having a couple drinks to help me loosen up in new social environments.  Without alcohol in these settings I’ve learned to stare down and observe my insecurities.  Observing them truthfully help me grow more comfortable in myself and I’ve learned how to have a great time without drinking.  More and more frequently, I’ve begun to have little flashes of contentment that are sometimes so strong they give me a natural high.

But that’s just my story.  I know other respectable yoga teachers who drink in moderation and their practices don’t seem affected by it.  I think at the end of the day we all find balance in our lives in different ways.  And besides, nobody’s perfect. I know I still have ways to go before enlightenment and successfully living all the Yamas and Niyamas.  Being a yogi is about walking the path, accepting where we are on it, and doing the best we can with what we have to work with.  Until we reach enlightenment none of us are walking the path perfectly.  The way I see it, the important thing is that we are aiming in the right direction and keep moving.

 

 

Special Focus Class: Yoga Core Friday October 18th 8pm

boatThe core is not only the body’s literal center of strength and balance but it also linked to emotional and spiritual elements of life.  Its the base of our solar plexus chakra, which is our power center and our emotional center.  When its engaged it protects our lower spine and stops our hips from moving forward and over extending as we go into backbends.

On the outside a firm core shifts our body into better posture making us appear slimmer, stronger, and more self confident.  On the inside, a firm core aids digestion, gives us more personal power and creates real self confidence.

In yoga, a strong firm core is not just about contracting the abs and doing thousands of crunches.  The bandhas,  energy locks are engaged in the body that support the core and help direct prana (life-force) throughout the body.

This focus class will explain how to use the bandhas and core to strengthen yourself and yoga practice.

This class is 1 1/2 hours from 8:00-9:30 on October 18th.  Punch cards will be accepted, monthly passes, or for the drop-in fee of $14.

Feeling Good in Flying Backbends!

Just when I think acroyoga can’t get any better, Veronica teaches us flying backbends.  This is by far the best way to do a backbend!  Not only does it look cool but it feels amazing.  These pictures were taken at our Open House on Sunday.

If you’ve never heard of acroyoga, its a blend of yoga with acrobatics and healing arts!

We will be running acroyoga classes every other week starting October 2nd on Wednesday evenings at 8:30.  Pay for the acro and get a free Hatha yoga class beforehand! Drop-ins Welcome :)

Raffle fundraiser for yoga props and more training

During our Open House we will be raffling off some great prizes such as yoga and reiki packages and hand made jewelry and crafts.  Proceeds from the raffle will be split between buying more props for the yoga studio including much needed yoga blankets and the other half will be put towards the fund for Andrea to return to India for more training in yoga therapy.  Both causes will help Andrea help people to heal themselves and be well.

$2 donation will get you one raffle ticket, $5 for 3 raffle tickets, and $10 for 10 raffle tickets.

 

Prizes include:

One month of Unlimited Yoga

2 Private yoga lessons

One hour Reiki Session

One hour Reiki and Aromatouch (therapeutic grade essential oil application) Session

Handmade crystal necklace

Yoga inspiration household items

Handmade soaps with essential oils

$150 Beauty Makeover by Christine.  Go to www.christinefitzpatrick.com to see all the available services for your make-over!

 

You do not have to attend the open house to participate in the raffle.  You can donate via the button below (please send an email with name, phone number, and address plus the amount donated to shantitimeyoga@ gmail.com after donating so we can add you to the drawing and know how to contact you when you win).  People who win yoga packages who live too far to claim them will be sent a surprise gift basket instead.




Yoga silhouette on the beach

We are now offering Yoga Boot Camp!

Yoga Boot Camp!

Stretch, Strengthen, and Burn loads of Calories

Yoga Boot Camp is a combination of yoga, aerobics, and strength training.  It includes more cardio than our regular yoga classes for fat burning results!  Get fit, more flexible, and have fun.  Add more dynamics, strength training and motion to your classical poses.   Time to jump start your metabolism and increase your cardiovascular endurance.

Classes will begin Monday September 23th at 7 am and will run Monday and Thursdays at 7am.  Classes are by reservation only.  Please email or text/call 810-333-2247 before 10pm on the previous day to reserve a spot.  If you text or email, please make sure you receive a confirmation back that your text or email was received.

ID-10021362“Image courtesy of Ambro/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

 

Yoga by Action: Sunday Community Yoga by Donation

bhagavadgitaasitisIn the Bhagavad- Gita, a Sanskrit epic called the`song of God’ there is a  discussion between Krishna and the Indian hero Arjuna on human nature and the purpose of life.

Krishna states, “be intent on action, not the fruits of action.” This is stating that as you do something, concentrate on doing your work, not what you’ll receive from the action.  Imagine how different our world could be if the majority of us tried this.

Following this idea, Shanti Time has decided that Sundays are by donation.  Doing the work and offering the service of yoga to the community is the important thing.   We invite everyone to come out and practice with us on Sundays.  Its not important whether or not anyone donates.  What is important is that we come together to practice and that everyone can take part in our community regardless of finances.

Adult classes are on Sundays at 12pm and Family classes at 1pm.

Reiki sessions are also available by donation.

 

Why we love Acroyoga at Shanti Time Yoga!

My first introduction to Acroyoga was at the Detroit Damned Show last year.  There was a beautiful couple doing a routine that included both Acroyoga and Aerial yoga.  Jaw dropped, I stood watching mesmerized by the act.  I found out later that they were from the Detroit Fly House and I contacted them to set up a trial class with one of their teachers at Shanti Time Yoga.

 

The trial class was an immediate hit.  It didn’t take long until we were flying and performing some really cool moves. It helps you refine your regular yogic practice because the better your alignment in the poses are the easier the moves become. Its a very practical application of yoga for that reason. It was a great workout and loads of fun, but the benefits of Acroyoga would go a lot deeper than that.

 

The thing that makes Acroyoga so unique to other types of yoga is that instead of going inside yourself like you do in a yoga class you have to go outside of yourself for support and strength.  In each session, we partner up in pairs and small groups and work diligently to learn new combinations of moves.  Yet we learn so much more than just the physical aspect of the practice.

 

One big lesson in Acroyoga is learning to coordinate and communicate with your partner or team.  “One, two, down, up” says the base (the person on the bottom) to coordinate the launch of the flyer (person that goes into the air) into position.   Then the team must communicate where to go from there; if the alignment needs to be fixed, or positioning of hands or feet need to be adjusted.  Learning to ask for what I need is a skill that translates into other aspects of my life.

 

Another lesson in Acroyoga is learning trust.  Especially as a flyer you need to trust that your partner is not going to drop you and that your spotters will catch you if there is any sort of slipup.  Sometimes you are partnered with someone you just met you can’t proceed unless you let your guard down and trust them.  It’s a really special sort of bond that you form in these situations and a great base for what often becomes a solid friendship.

 

In American culture we like our personal space.  We shake hands instead of kissing when we meet and save the majority of personal contact for our partners and family.  Often the lack of personal contact can leave people feeling in isolation.  In Acroyoga classes this is not the case.  You easily get comfortable sharing personal space with classmates and a healthy dose of human contact.

 

Acroyoga is amazing enough, but what makes our classes so special is our teacher, Veronica Callan.  She uses a lot of imagination, always giving us fun new warmups and always encourages us to push our boundaries.  Its so inspiring how such a small framed woman can base even the 6 ft tall men in our class.  She proves that with enough knowledge, skill and practice we can do anything we put our minds to!  The video about is Veronica performing with Oliver Donaldson from The Muse in New York, NY.

 

There are still spots open in our next Acroyoga series starting October 2nd .  Veronica will be also be doing a performance with Chalmers McGillivray and demonstration at our Free Open house on September 29th.  To guarantee a spot in our next Acroyoga series and to get early bird pricing (available until Sept 19th) click on the pay now button below.

Early Bird Acroyoga Special (Purchased before September 19th)
$75 for 6 class series



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$25 Private Yoga Lessons September Special!

Private yoga lessons are a great way to expand your practice because of all the additional attention and adjustments you get in a one on one setting.  Even students who come to class regularly gain a lot by being physically adjusted and assisted into positions.  Slight differences in alignment can make a big difference in the long run of your yogic practice.  Also, having an instructor help you stretch deeper and support you during difficult balancing poses can train your body to be able to do it by yourself in the future.

To make private lessons affordable for students, this month we are offering a special $25 for a one hour private yoga lesson at the studio or park (regular prices $45), or $30 for a private lesson in your home (additional travel charges may apply for homes more than 10 miles away from our Madison Heights Studio).  These privates can be shared between two people and additional people can join for $10 each.  Good for private lessons in September or October

This month we are also offering a 4 private lesson pack for $95 which you can use any time between now and the end of 2013.

To Reserve the special pricing on at studio or in park classes purchase now! As a safety precaution Shanti Time reserves the right to request an in person meeting at the studio before scheduling any at home lessons. For at home please use the contact form below or call 810-333-2247

 


Private Lesson September Specials



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