Monday, April 30, 2018

Repost - The Importance of Water - A Water Sutra

The Importance of Water - A Water Sutra

This is a repost from a blog I wrote in 2011.  Still relevant and I hope you will read.  Send me your thoughts.  This post discusses a bit the devastation from fracking, but is still relevant with the current oil spills that affect many people, animals and environment.

I also wanted to repost as a reminder to myself. We try to be mindful of our consumption of water, electricity, etc. but recently our well has been very low and we have been trying to use very little water.  A great reminder to be even more mindful of the things you chose to consume and how much of it you use.  Just because we have it, doesn't mean we have to use all of it.  What really are our needs?

Some places in the world the people living there get their whole years supply of drinking water during the monsoon season.  They realize how important the collection, conservation and preservation of this precious resource is and learn to use it wisely so it will last until the next season.

Here, at least where I live in North America we can open the taps and have water on demand.  We are not conscious of the amount we even use in a day, never mind a whole year.

So, today I am writing to maybe spark a thought in your mind to consider the amount of water being used and how it is being used.  This idea started a few days ago after reading and re-reading in the book You Are Therefore I Am, by Satish Kumar where he speaks about how for the Jains the wasting of water is a serious matter.  Satish's mother would tell him,
"The monsoon is a great friend of the people and the Earth.  The monsoon comes once a year and brings the gift of water. Our task is to receive the gift with gratitude, to thank the rain god, and make use of water with care and reverence.  Our task is to live in harmony with the monsoon and celebrate it.  God Surya, the sun, and God Indra, the rain, are twin brothers and all life depends on them."
How simple, yet how wise.  Our lives depend on the sun and rain, yet many of us do not even know directly where our water is coming from, what is being put into it or how much we are wasting...daily.

Then being a CBC radio fan it was another connection to hear in the last two days two programs concerning water.
On May 10th, "Your DNTO"(definitely not the opera), had Kevin Freedman on it. He challenged himself to only use 25L of water a day for a certain period of time.  It was interesting to hear how he was able to accomplish this, even carrying the water he would need with him to flush public toilets and shower at the gym.  You can listen to this episode from the CBC website.  Here is the link.

Here is the link to the website for the Water Challenge Kevin takes part in.  The site is full of interesting information regarding water and things we can each do to help reduce our water consumption.

Then, last night on my way home I heard "The Current" where the topic was about Shale Gas and Fracking.  Fracking is a fairly new process where large amounts of highly pressurized water is injected down into shale beds to help release gas.  The water is then pumped back up to the surface to extract the gas, now polluted with the fracking chemicals and other materials.  Andrew Miall was the professor being interviewed and has been monitoring the environmental impacts of fossil fuel development.  He said that in one operation that took place in B.C., they were permitted to use, therefore pollute, the same amount of water the whole city of Victoria uses in a day.  Listen to this if you wish by following the link below.

So, we live in a world where we try to create inventions to save us time.  But, as Satish's mother also said to him, "Is there a shortage of time?", "You are trying to save something which is infinite, and expend things which are finite."

We are depleting our nonrenewable resources at an unprecedented rate.  Creating inventions that exploit the very earth that gives us our life.  Let's bring the conscious awareness we create on our yoga mats to our daily lives, even if only a little and become more consciously aware of what we are using, why we are using it, how we are using it and if we can do something to conserve it a bit more.

Remember, one of the Yamas in the yoga sutras of Patanjali is aparigraha - non-greed, not taking more then one needs.

I will end with the water sutra Satish's mother would tell him:

Waste not water
Nor ever spill it
Water is precious
Water is sacred
The way you use water is the measure of you
Water is the witness
Water is the judge
Your reputation rests on your careful use of water.

We must receive the gift of water with gratitude, and make use of water with care and reverence since ALL LIFE depends on it.

Pamela Nelson

Friday, April 20, 2018

Book Review - The Art of Possibility - By: Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander


The book begins with an invitation to possibility.  Which I think most of us need. 
We need to feel we are invited into something.  I can think back to many times I haven't done something or was nervous to go somewhere because I didn't think I was invited. 
Also, I have used it as an excuse to not do things outside of my comfort zone - "Well, I wasn't invited."
This idea that all things are possible doesn't often seem possible, yet when someone invites you to open your mind and heart to it, well then the impossible can become possible. 

When no one is around though, how do we invite ourselves to be open to possibility?  I think of a story I've heard or maybe read in one of Mr. Iyengar's books where he will say that we need to lift the chest to not get depressed.  To me that lifting, raises and opens the heart. Aligns the mind with the heart so that together they can be open to all sorts of possibilities.

The Art of Possibility explains many ideas and concepts though stories.  I appreciate this as I like stories and also can see that the authors have taken the time to put their ideas into practice in their world and see if it is true for them.  Benjamin does say that life unfolds in the stories we tell.

The book leads the reader through 12 practices. Although many of the ideas were ones I would have read before, how they were delivered in this book was often in a new and interesting way. 

Some of the ones that have stuck with me are "It's all Invented", "Giving an A", "Being a Contribution", "Rule Number 6" and "Giving Way to Passion" are just a few.

In the seventh practice Rosamund and Benjamin write about The Ways Things Are.  Here 2 worlds are described, a downward spiral world or a world of radiating possibilities. One drags you down, the other from a place of being open-hearted and open-minded.  One where when you make a mistake it is not a downward spiral, but a chance to say, "How Fascinating!" 

They give quite an honest encounter and it might have said in the book, but I just watched one of Benjamin's talks.  He is a conductor and teacher and says he used to be a leader in the old style - top down, do as I say, etc. - (downward spiral), until he had a revelation in his 40's. He realized that in his position he doesn't make a sound and depends for his power on his ability to make other people powerful.  He realized he had a great opportunity to awaken a possibility in others. To be able to look into someone's eyes and see them shining!  Mr. Iyengar wrote/talked a lot about the eyes, about having shining, bright eyes. I love when I see the teachings reflected in other areas.  Yoga is union, it is everything, not just on a mat, but in all that we do.

Seeing on paper this job description of awakening the possibility in others resonated with me greatly because I know, even though I do speak in classes, I really am just passing along the ancient teachings the best I can.  I take my role as an yoga teacher seriously and my hope has always been to build students up so they can see their own greatness.
I am not sure I have always been the best at doing this, but will continue to work at it.
I know also I need to go back to Rule Number 6 - which is "don't take yourself to seriously". We tend to get in our own way when we do that. 

This is one of many books that has made an impact on me reminding me that we can all "Lead from any Chair", we can all "Light a Spark" and we can all "Give way to Passion".


Benjamin Zander on YouTube - Below are a few links, but has many other videos.
Inspiring and funny and really sums up the greatness of this book.

Pamela Nelson
Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Extra Early Bird Bonus for Costa Rica Retreat - February 2019

Early Bird Ends May 15th, 2018!
Register soon for added bonuses below!

We would love for you to join us in Costa Rica for a wonderful yoga retreat in February 2019!
We would like to add an extra Early Bird Bonus to the first 5 people to register for the retreat.
Free Classes!
One month of Pam's online Facebook live classes and one free online Irest session with Roxanne. 

This retreat is from February 17-23, 2019 in the beautiful rainforest of Costa Rica! 
Follow the link for all the details. Save $300 U.S. if you register before the Early Bird Deadline.
I hope you will consider joining us in exploring all the possibilities travel and yoga can bring.
Pamela Nelson

Day 3 - 15 100 Days of Celebrating B.K.S. Iyengar Quotes

I am sorry I haven't been posting the 100 Days of Celebrating B.K.S. Iyengar Quotes more regularly.

Here are the last 13 days of quotes. I hope you will continue following these wise words from Guruji.

Pamela Nelson