Archive for the ‘News’ Category

FREE YOGA CLASS – First Time Visit – Bodhisattva Yoga’s 11!

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Eternal Knot - Design by JulieFREE ClassFirst Time Visit – Bodhisattva Yoga’s 11!

Bodhisattva Yoga is celebrating its 11-year anniversary! Newcomers get a free class – now through the end of March 2015. 

Click here to choose your class, create your account and select:Free Class – First Time Visit – Bodhisattva Yoga’s 11!

Invite your friends, their first class is free too! See our other 11-year anniversary offer: get a Free Class for referring a friend(s).

For more information, email: info@bodhisattvayoga.com.

Healthy Yogi Diet Tips: Cauliflower Mash

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

 CAULIFLOWER MASH 

Dietary information touting the nutritional benefits of Cauliflower set me on a quest to discover interesting and delicious ways of preparing the cruciferous vegetable as a side dish or key ingredient in breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

 

Head of cauliflower

 

Most of us only know cauliflower in its uncooked floret form. Usually the vegetable is served with a fatty cream dip alongside raw carrots, celery sticks and broccoli florets. Not only is the latter presentation of cauliflower a bit boring to say the least, most people enjoy and digest the vegetable better in its cooked form.

 

Cauliflower Mash

 

Cauliflower Mash is particularly cool because it’s a tasty and healthier alternative to serving mashed potatoes. This dish provides the same comfort food feel as the classic American side, but without all of the insulin-spiking carbohydrates. Plus, this Cauliflower Mash preparation provides lean protein (from zero fat Greek yogurt), antioxidants, minerals and moist dietary fiber.

 

Ingredients:

Cauliflower

One head

Greek yogurt

Half cup (4oz)

Extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp

Ghee butter

3 tbsp

Garlic

2 cloves

Sea salt

1 tsp (or to taste)

Crushed black pepper

1/2 tsp (or to taste)

Thyme

2 pinches

Water

About 1” depth in pot

Tools:

Large boiling pot

Ramekin (oven proof)

Serving/ mixing bowl

Spoon or baking spatula

Large chopping knife

Cutting surface

Tools and ingredients

Tools and ingredients

 

Replacements:

In place of zero fat Greek yogurt, use your choice of no-sugar-added yogurt. Butter, olive oil or a butter substitute can be used in place of the Ghee. The garlic tastes better and may be more easily digested after roasting, but crushed raw garlic along with the powdered form can also be used. Sea salt is recommended, but nearly any type of salt—or even a sodium-free seasoning, can act as a substitute. Water can also be replaced by a vegetable broth or chicken stock. Be creative and honor your preferences.

Getting started with your Cauliflower Mash

 

Roasting garlic

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place whole, unpeeled garlic cloves in an ovenproof ramekin. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow cooling (be careful with hot oil).

Preparing cauliflower

Place about 1” of water (about the depth to first bend of a finger above the nail) in a large pot. Cover and heat to boil. Chop and wash cauliflower. Drain and add to food processor to blend. Add ghee and Greek yogurt to smooth and salt and pepper to taste.

Garlic cloves can be pressed out of their skins once cool enough to handle and added to blend. Repeat process if necessary (especially if using a smaller blender or food processor). Add ghee and yogurt until desired texture is reached. Top with thyme for extra flavor. Bon appétit!

William W. Mejia, CSCS & CYT

William W. Mejia, CSCS & CYT

Bill Mejia is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and a Certified Yoga Teacher through Bodhisattva Yoga.

 

 

 

Recipe and food photos courtesy F. Jacquot

Free Yoga Class – March is Bodhisattva Yoga’s Anniversary!

Friday, February 13th, 2015

Vivekan in half spinal twist

Vivekan in half spinal twist

This March Bodhisattva Yoga is 11-years old!

Get a FREE class by referring a friend that’s new to Bodhisattva Yoga – get a free class per friend!

How do you get a free class?

– Have your friend(s) enroll online into any class, create their account and select: “Free Class – First Time Visit – Bodhisattva Yoga’s 11!

– When they come into class have them tell the teacher that you referred them. If you are new to the studio create an account – with your email – so, we can send you the free class.

– You will then receive an email with details on how to redeem your free class(es). It’s that easy!

If you have any questions, email: Info@BodhisattvaYoga.com. Good through the end of March 2015.

February 2015

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

Good people are rare. Be one. ~Vivekan

Vivekan’s Bit: I Stand Accused

Sunday, December 8th, 2013
Image of Vivekan

Vivekan

This is a post from Bodhisattva Yoga’s founder/director offering weekly bits of research findings, suggestions, and musings on all things directly & indirectly related to the broad Path of Yoga.

I stand accused.

Yesterday, in one of my classes, I led my “advanced” practitioners into the frog pose. This is not an especially easy pose, even for the well-seasoned yogasana practitioner. (I use “advanced” for convention, designating the tier of my Bodhisattva Yoga instruction. As truly “advanced” yogins possess a tremendous level of mental & emotional development, as well as insight – whether or not they can do fancy poses.)

As there were lamentations in the ranks of my practitioners bemoaning the rigour of the pose, I used the opportunity to draw attention to the reality that, worldwide, frog populations are plummeting – to imagine the difficulties and plight these beings are facing. (FYI, right now, frog populations are crashing; and, frogs are a marker of ecological health.)

Frogs. The combination of the herbicide atrazine and a fungal disease is particularly deadly to frogs. (Credit: © philip kinsey / Fotolia)

Frogs. The combination of the herbicide atrazine and a fungal disease is particularly deadly to frogs. (Credit: © philip kinsey / Fotolia)

Sure enough you can’t have a crowd, and keep it real, without at least one stone-throwing character. One of these dear practitioners playfully accused me of using whatever window of chance I get to “plug” ecological/environmental concerns. (Mind you, this was a class whereby more than half of those in attendance have taken Bodhisattva vows in their wish to benefit ALL beings.)

Now, the accusation was head on. I will and do use every platform I have to inform otherwise “blissfully” ignorant adults of the perils confronting us, and other life, in our solar system’s only living planet. (Yes, astronomers are finding what are likely to be habitable exo-planets in our galactic neighborhood; but, I have no interest in leaving Mother Earth in some dystopian state to travel light-years – that’s right, light-years – in hopes of successfully landing on a habitable planet with welcoming inhabitants.)

An artist’s depiction of Kepler-62e, a super-Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of a star smaller and cooler than the sun, located about 1,200 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lyra. Its discovery signals another step closer to finding a world similar to Earth. (Credit: Image is courtesy of NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech)

An artist’s depiction of Kepler-62e, a super-Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of a star smaller and cooler than the sun, located about 1,200 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lyra. Its discovery signals another step closer to finding a world similar to Earth. (Credit: Image is courtesy of NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech)

Yet, part of the tragedy of today is that otherwise well-positioned individuals are too caught up in their self-absorption to give a damn. Then, when death and/or natural disasters occur, these same folks are slapped out of their comfortable slumber and fall into despair when they are forced to sit with the reality they formerly chose to ignore, dismiss &/or deny.

Therefore, I will gladly stand accused of giving a damn for all of you, our living planet Earth and its inhabitants. I cannot think of a better accusation, charge and responsibility. As when all is said and done, and it’s time for me to die, this truth will never be a bane to my conscience. To the contrary.

Join me then in giving a damn and doing the work necessary to become aware and self-assured enough to actively plug our planet Earth and the life it sustains – even in the face of accusation.

Your champion,
Vivekan :)

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Vivekan’s Weekly Bit: Let’s Go Nuts!

Friday, July 19th, 2013
Image of Vivekan

Vivekan

This is a weekly post from Bodhisattva Yoga’s founder/director offering weekly bits of research findings, suggestions, and musings on all things directly & indirectly related to the broad Path of Yoga.

Ozzy and Prince sang, “Let’s go crazy!” I did too; but now, my call to action is, “Let’s go nuts!”

A recent nutritional study in Spain indicates that eating nuts more than three times a week does wonders in reducing cancer and cardiovascular diseases. The study followed over 7,000 people aged 55 – 90 that were randomized to a Mediterranean Diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil or nuts. The control group followed a low fat diet.

Eat Nuts to Reduce Disease

Those on a diet consisting of nuts, i.e., eating more than 3 servings (1 serving — 28 g) a week had a 39% lower mortality risk. While those consuming more walnuts had a 45% lower risk — meaning that they were less likely to die than the non-nut eaters. This level of nut intake reduced risk of death due to cardiovascular disease by 55% and cancer by 40%. “. Walnuts produced a similar effect.

Also notable, there were fewer people with type 2 diabetes or people taking medicine for hypertension amongst those who ate the most nuts.

“Prof Jordi Salas-Salvadó, from the Universitat Rovira i Virgili who led this study explained, ‘Quite how nuts are able prevent premature mortality is not entirely clear, nor why walnut should be better for you than other nuts. Walnuts have particularly high content of alpha-linoleic acid and phytochemicals, especially in their ‘skin’ both of which, along with fibre and minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, may contribute to their healthy effect.’”

Live Long Time – The Mediterranean Diet & Nuts

In general, in Mediterranean regions, nut consumption is relatively high compared to other countries. People who eat nuts tend to have a lower BMI (body mass index) and smaller waist. They are also less likely to smoke and tend to be more physically active than those who rarely or never eat nuts, as nut eating is associated with a better diet in general – containing more vegetables, fruit and fish.

So join me in getting nutty – and healthy!

In health,
Vivekan :)

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Vivekan’s Weekly Bit: Coping with Loss & Fierce Compassion

Thursday, April 18th, 2013
Image of Vivekan

Vivekan

This is a weekly post from Bodhisattva Yoga’s founder/director offering weekly bits of research findings, suggestions, and musings on all things directly & indirectly related to the broad Path of Yoga.

The morning after I learned of the tragedy that took place at the Boston Marathon I posted my thoughts and suggestions (16.4.2013) on how to move forward constructively, after such events. As the tendency, for many, is to fall paralyzed to the TV and allow ourselves to enter a passive state whereby we are fed a host of speculations and incriminations – by “all-knowing” pundits. Somehow, after all the media feed, you’re only left with contempt for mankind, along with suspicion and paranoia of your neighbor.

Yet, it is imperative to remember that despite terribly tormented individuals (and groups of them) committing heinous acts – and, more unsettlingly, the possibility of shadowy, international leagues of powerful people, corporations and groups masterminding &/or benefitting from such horrific, distracting tragedies – the vast majority of people (yes, even unenlightened people) would not side with what they know to be wrong, unless they are afraid. So, please do not allow yourself to become fearful or suspect of your fellow (wo)man. Alert, yes, but not fearful.

Meanwhile, when we do inevitably experience fear, loss or anguish, the best thing to do is to stay composed and positive – even if situations require you to be fierce. This may seem in contradiction, which brings me to sharing a dialogue that ensued after my posting the forthcoming coping with loss suggestion on facebook (16.4.2013) – after the Boston Marathon:

I am very sad to learn about the tragedy in Boston. However, please be constructive in mourning the loss of our fellows… Harboring emotions like anger, hate and vindictiveness surely led the perpetrator(s) to commit the tragedy. We need to avoid falling into the same destructive states of demonic tendencies whereby, as a society, we seek revenge. That’s never brought loved ones back, and it doesn’t help their mindstreams when leaving this life.

The Medicine Buddha (Skt., Buddha Baidurya; Tib., Sangye Menla), is a very powerful archetype of the enlightened mind – and, is perfect for the purposes of managing the suffering of loss of life &/or health.

Medicine Buddha with 7-Healing Buddhas

Medicine Buddha, with 7-Healing Buddhas, by Peter Islie

(I SHARE’d this, on FB, with the preceding quote – as posted by FPMT on facebook, 16.4.2013:)

Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of the senseless tragedy that occurred today at the Boston Marathon.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche always advises to make strong prayers to Medicine Buddha for anyone who is dying, sick, injured, or who has

already died from the violence that occurred today in Boston and elsewhere.

The mantra of Medicine Buddha is:

TADYATA OM BHEKHANDZYE BHEKHANDZYE MAHA BHEKHANDZYE (BHEKHANDZYE) RAJA SAMUDGATE SVAHA

After the above posting (which included the above share from FPMT) a FB reader inquired (edited):

“I read your post and I wholeheartedly agree but how do I do that when I’m sworn to protect and in my job violence is usually met with violence. There have been times when I’ve almost had to shoot people. There were times when I had to use force just to survive situations. How do I reconcile the need for force as someone on the front lines?”

My reply:

“As one who’s taken an oath to serve, you must act for the greater good. It is possible to handle difficult, volatile, even violent scenarios with a sense of: ‘This is what needs to be done.’

“The trick, as an evolving being, is not allowing our frustrations, our squad, a violent suspect &/or our prejudices to cloud our clarity of mind and purpose. How can we act – even forcefully – because a situation requires it, out of responsibility, and yet, not allow ourselves to be overcome by hate, rage or anger?

“Although difficult, and on the surface it seems contradictory, it is not only going to help you be at your best in a moment of crisis, it is in keeping with the path of the advancing individual. Even if you have to shoot someone… How can that be done because the scenario left no choice, and not because you’re enraged?

“The great kung fu masters and samurai warriors were often noted for their lethality, while still maintaining a calm mind in the midst of battle. They were even trained to maintain a calm, compassionate mind. This is the avenue I’d suggest: Letting compassion – the wish to see others free of suffering – be your motivation. It will keep you poised, sharp and ready to take whatever action is required, in any situation, without succumbing to blind rage.

“I hope this helps in your reflections.”

The whole reason I share all of this is to: A., Give you tools, i.e., Medicine Buddha’s holy mantra, to help you cope with loss, injury, illness and death; and, B., To remind you that you can be strong, fierce, even lethal, if the protection/betterment of beings is at issue. However, my invitation is for you to be guided by compassionate activity – not hateful anger &/or blind rage. This is in accord with the Bodhisattva path.

If this speaks to your sensibilities, join me in any of BY’s offerings and begin/continue your training in compassionate activity.

In maitri,
Vivekan :)

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Vivekan’s Weekly Bit: Your “Sheerly” Sensational Ass

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
Image of Vivekan

Vivekan

This is a weekly post from Bodhisattva Yoga’s founder/director offering weekly bits of research findings, suggestions, and musings on all things directly & indirectly related to the broad Path of Yoga.

I am not a spokesperson for Lululemon (if they had any sense, they’d reach out to me); but I am so saddened by the current sensationalism about their “sheer” clothing.

I teach all the time; and the only time I have ever seen “sheer” bottoms was when practitioners wore some generic tights. (…And, I never caught anyone staring in a disrespectful manner.) Also, pray tell, why wear form-fitting clothing if you’re so concerned about your stinky, sweaty ass showing through? Plus, some deliberately choose to wear diaphanous attire. Are they to be ridiculed, now? Lastly, people are inordinately self-aware of their bodies (in unhealthy ways). So, now we’re going to foster greater self-preoccupation in a setting whereby we’re supposed to be practicing self-acceptance? Ahem!

Get over it! It’s called the human body. If you hate it, there are many fundamentalists waiting to receive you with open arms. What’s your choice: We’ve got Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, even some Buddhists! There are even schools of yoga that insist you appear pure by wearing white, loose, flowing clothing. They’ll take you too!

The planet is cooking and showing climate change. …And this is what calls people’s attention? It’s even sadder when “yoga practitioners” jump on the wagon! This is “sheerly” sensational! If you’re going to flatter yourself in the conviction that others are just waiting to see your butt, then please, cover yourself up! …But, don’t petulantly complain about the heat!

Remember: at best, one out of 10,000 people who “do” yoga, are really practicing YOGA. That “one” could care less if you’re dressed or nude. If you aspire to nothing more than that of ordinary beings, you’re still a bag of pus and shit to a real practitioner. (Thank you, Arya Shantideva!)

If you too are tired of sensationalism and you feel that are ready for some real yogic practices, join me. Although good hygiene is essential, at BY we foster body acceptance while seeking to optimize health and longevity – no matter what you wear, or don’t.

Finally, my wish is your happiness… So, if it makes your day, and it inspires you to practice, go ahead and look at my ass! I work hard for it.  :)

In healthy view of the body,
Vivekan :)

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Vivekan & Jess’ Top 10 Island Bliss: Bodhisattva Yoga Retreat Moments

Monday, February 18th, 2013

There are far too many warm and fuzzy memories to count, so here are just a few favorites in no particular order…

1. Dancing the night away under the stars with Georges.

bodhisattva yoga retreat photo

Photo via: Susanna Schrobsdorff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. The morning session where Vivekan spontaneously felt inclined to give the group the Generation of the Mind of Enlightenment. It was profound, beautiful and inspiring.

bodhisattva yoga retreat photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Inviting our fabulous retreat group over to our room for after-dinner drinks on Saturday. Great company, red wine, and warm ocean breezes.

bodhisattva yoga retreat photo

Photo via: Bill Mejia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. The green anol who attended the majority of the retreat’s teaching from a lamp above Steve’s head in the practice room. If we were a green anol, we would’ve camped there too!

5. How quiet all the noisy Dominican beach vendors became when they realized we were doing a pranayama/meditation session.

bodhisattva yoga retreat photo

Our workshop’s postcard-perfect backdrop. Photo via: Beth Jones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. The poolside hang-out sesh, complete with good company, laughter and fresh coconuts sliced open for all.

bodhisattva yoga retreat photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Pina coladas and plenty of playtime at las playas (beaches). :)

bodhisattva yoga retreat photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Vivekan’s secret beach. After going MIA, he returned to us, led us through a wooded path, and we ended up here…

bodhisattva yoga retreat photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. How much everyone loved and respected eachother. So many bonds were made and reinforced.

bodhisattva yoga retreat photo

Photo via: Bill Mejia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. The romantic apagons. That’s Dominican for, the electricity is out. Enjoy the Caribbean natural luminescence: moon, stars and candlelight. You’re on retreat! :)

Vivekan’s Weekly Bit: Spirituality versus Religiousness

Monday, January 28th, 2013
Image of Vivekan

Vivekan

This is a weekly post from Bodhisattva Yoga’s founder/director offering weekly bits of research findings, suggestions, and musings on all things directly & indirectly related to the broad Path of Yoga.

Many of my practitioners are moms, many more are moms soon to be, and others yet would like to one day have a child. Yet, there are important considerations when raising a child. For example, as H.H., the Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa Rinpoche & Thay Thich Nhat Hanh repeatedly mention, when it comes to children, we need to do more than just give them the traditional course through academia. Today’s education system is far more about memorizing facts, and developing the intellect, rather than also championing the development of secular ethics and a good heart.

This societal norm increases the odds of having a child that, although may be very bright on test scores, lacks a sense of empathy for others as well as a constructive sense of purpose in life. Attempting to correct this, many parents are turning to the very religions that they themselves found questionable, basically repeating the cycle.

All is not lost

A recent study affirms what I’ve suspected and have been encouraging my practitioners to do all along. That is, dispense with obliging the child with religiousness (i.e., institutional religious rituals, practices and beliefs), and incorporate more of a spiritual tone in the home (i.e., an inner belief system that a person relies on for strength and comfort).

Although both religion and spirituality have been linked to increased happiness in adolescents and adults, up to now, little study had been done on younger children.

In an effort to identify methods to increase children’s happiness, Dr. Mark Holder along with his colleagues Dr. Ben Coleman and Judi Wallace, from the University of British Columbia in Canada, set out to better understand the dynamic between spirituality, religiousness and happiness in children between the ages 8 to 12.

The researchers found that children who said they were spiritual were happier. “In particular, the personal (i.e. meaning and value in one’s own life) and communal (i.e. quality and depth of inter-personal relationships) aspects of spirituality were strong predictors of children’s happiness. Spirituality explained up to 27 percent of the differences in happiness levels amongst children. However, counter intuitively, religious practices – including attending church, praying and meditating – had little effect on a child’s happiness.”

In concordance with H.H., the Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa Rinpoche & Thay Thich Nhat Hanh’s exhortations, the authors concluded, “enhancing personal meaning may be a key factor in the relation between spirituality and happiness.” In order to help raise happy children, the investigators suggest strategies directed at increasing personal meaning in children – for example, expressing kindness towards others, as well engendering acts of altruism and volunteering.

The reflections built into Bodhisattva Yoga’s presentation lend to us adults cultivating spiritual qualities. As we get better at embodying these qualities ourselves, it will be easier to raise a child with a sense of purpose too. Join me!

In health,
Vivekan :)

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