Balance Your Life with Yoga Sadhna: A Guest Post by Chinmay Yoga

I read this great article by Chinmay Yoga and I thought it would be interesting to repost. Enjoy!

Photo by  Alex Adams

Photo by Alex Adams

Describing the concept of Sadhana can be a little tricky as every person experiences it differently. However, one could define Sadhana as “a means to achieve the goal of life.” The “means” may include incorporating practices of Buddhism, Jainism or Sikhism in the routine or even the philosophy preached in these disciplines which will then help in changing the nature from human to divine. In order to achieve this transition, one must embrace things that are Satvik, like food, surroundings, thoughts and even conversations.




We tend to become a reflection of our thoughts. Our actions are led by our thoughts which then become a part of our routine in the form of a habit. The nature establishes itself in the subconscious mind first, then in actions. However, meditation can help in changing our subconscious mind, which in turn helps in changing our nature. Many people who have lived in ashrams or embraced a certain path of spirituality have thought of Sadhana at least once a day as a daily ritual and incorporated it as a daily practice. It has helped bring a clarity in what matters and what they expect out of their life. Through this practice, many people have unravelled their dharma and also have found the courage to walk the path that is led by it.




Though Sadhana may have a set of daily practices, its scope is much broader than that. It is also a practice that includes the application of awareness and insights during the daily routine. It surely helps when one has a set routine or a practice prescribed by an experienced instructor until one is able to understand the nuances themselves and is committed to the practice. Once the commitment to the practice is established, it is easy to understand what is going to work better in order to accomplish spiritual and material goals in life. Nevertheless, it is always advised to be totally well-versed with the set routine, practice for a minimum of three months to understand its benefits entirely and then modify it.




Sadhana, however, is not something that one does, but it is engaged with. It is more like a process. It will be more beneficial if you actually engage with it instead of doing it only for the sake of it or accomplishing something. One must be present fully to experience it perfectly while appreciating every moment. While it is possible to engage in Sadhana with a completely self-designed routine, it is advisable to seek help from an experienced teacher. Regardless, while in the process, it is important to appreciate every moment and experience it rather than focusing on the practice. This practice has transformed and changed many lives in various ways by doing yoga courses.



An example of the practice routine maybe as follows:



1. Waking up the body: After waking up early, wash the face and exercise, moving the body will awaken every muscle in the body, too.

2. Sync the movements of the body with the process of breathing: This helps in pumping more blood and following every movement with more energy. An exercise routine, like neck stretches, jumping jacks, rotating of the arms and body twists, while paying attention to the breathing, should be followed.

3. Engaging with self: Post the work out, walk up to a quiet and serene location and engage with yourself. Relax with the eyes closed and inhale deeply. Ask questions and pause, let the body answer instead of your mind. Once the distractions fade out, the mind clears itself and it gets easier to listen to the body. 4. Practicing Yoga along with meditation: Choose from the various asana of yoga and create a sequence. It is even more beneficial if meditation accompanies the practice of the asana. Once well-versed with this practice, one can realise their capacity to transform their lives.

5. Breathing and meditating: Once done with the sequence of yoga, it is ideal to sit quietly and meditate for a period of 10-15 minutes. Paying attention to the breathing and observing every moment without actively participating can help in focusing and being aware of the present. Sometimes, one may experience the state of profound wisdom when they are actually open to experiencing it.

6. Introspection: Reflect upon the practice and the observations made about the body and yourself. Think about the intentions and steps that can lead to manifestations. Think about the day ahead.

7. Make a commitment: Ask the body about how it wishes to be today and commit to the answer received.

Chinmay Yoga - BIO Chinmay Yoga is a Yoga School in India which conduct yoga teacher training in Dharamsala, Rishikesh and Gokarna. Chinmay Yoga works to spread yoga knowledge by provide free drop-in classes, conducting YTTC Courses in India (Yoga Alliance) for 799 USD with amazing homemade food, great accommodation with air conditioning and very knowledgeable yoga teachers from India. Chinmay Yoga also works for the nature and surroundings around it by planting trees and installing dustbins in the city.

Learn more about Chinmay Yoga:

www.chinmayyoga.com

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Author – BIO

Katherine Austin is a professional yoga teacher trainer with 10 years of experience in Yoga. She is certified yoga teacher trainer. She practiced in Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Surya Namaskar. Katherine has worked with Chinmay Yoga School for 6 years. She is one of the favourite teachers of Chinmay’s students. Katherine loves to travel, reading books, spend quality time with new people.

Yoga Nidra and the Trinity: Your Both/And Nature

Online Yoga Nidra Classes

About a year ago, I hosted a special evening of Yoga Nidra exploring the theme of the sacred trinity of Self. We gathered at a friend’s house and discussed the idea of expanding your consciousness to its fullest by understanding the concept of your own sacred trinity.

During this event, I recounted some Hindu stories about Shiva, Shakti, and their marriage and subsequent creation of Ganesh, the elephant-headed god. We talked about other symbols of the Trinity, like in Christianity, eastern and Pagan spiritual traditions, etc.

We discussed the practical elements of this concept like experiencing different cycles in your life of birth, life, death, and rebirth, for the opening up of your eyes to the beauty of life and being born anew as something else entirely. We even discussed the dark night of the soul that accompanies some deep experiences of awakening. I told several very personal stories that illustrated the concepts as well.

Photo by Scott Moore—Hindu Monastery Kauai

Photo by Scott Moore—Hindu Monastery Kauai

The discussion was interesting and heart-felt. I recorded the entire event and I’ve been re-listening to the recordings of this evening. Doing so has been very inspiring for me and has taught me so much more about the subject the second go around. I believe we often learn in cycles instead of linearly and each revolution around a lesson helps me to learn it better and deeper. Maybe this is why some lessons in my life feel like they are on repeat. Can you relate? Groundhog’s Day, anyone?!

Anyway, I really want to share these recordings with you so I’m offering them to you for free. Treat it kind of like a podcast with a Yoga Nidra practice attached. We even do some yoga poses together, so wear your stretchy pants. Keep in mind that in the discussion I mention some breathing exercises that we did but they ended up being pretty intense so I would feel better sharing those with you only with some in-person guidance therefore I did not include these. Click the button on top to listen to entire discussion (1h 32 min) then check out the Yoga Nidra practice which is like another 30 minutes. Invite your bestie over and make it a date. Better than Netflix!

I love this idea of the Trinity so much that I’ll be expanding upon this theme THIS WEEK in my live, online Yoga Nidra class. This is a new class happening every Sunday at 9 am MST. I’d love for you to join me. It's live but since it's online, you can do it from the comfort of your own home using your smartphone, tablet, or computer. I will also record each of these classes, both audio/video and audio only, so you can either catch the recording of class later if you can’t make the live version and/or keep the recording for your Yoga Nidra library for future use and for your own cyclical learning and personal evolution.

This past Sunday was the first of these classes and it went smashingly well! I am giddy with the outcome of this past class and can’t wait to do it again this week. Please join me. Class costs $12. Register and I'll send you the link to join the class on Sunday.

Photo by David Newkirk

Photo by David Newkirk

So many of you responded about the news of my book. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your support really means so much to me. If you haven't already and have the mind to, please preorder my book from amazon. These early sales make a big difference to the success of any writer. I'm really proud of the book and I think you'll love it. I can't wait to share it with you. Click the picture of the book below to preorder your copy. Remember that if you send me a screenshot of your purchase, I’ll say thank you with a free online YN class that you can either access live, or get the recording after or both.

I'm in the process of making Yoga Nidra with Scott Moore Volume 1. I'll let you know when that's done. Plus, I’ve had some orders for private Yoga Nidra recordings so if you’d like me to make YOU your private Yoga Nidra recording based on something you’re working on in your life, or if you’d prefer to have a private live session online, please reach out to me at scott@scottmooreyoga.com to arrange a time.

Luxury Bordeaux Yoga Retreat

June 13–19, 2019. Just a few spots left!

Last but not least I’ve got just a few spots left for my luxury retreat in Bordeaux June 13–19, 2020. I’d really love to share France with you and do yoga and Yoga Nidra with you for 6 days, not to mention visiting some world-renowned vineyards for some wine tastings. The theme for these 6 days will be learning to savor your life with presence.


Synopsis of Yoga Nidra and the Trinity: Your Both/And Nature

Click the link at the top of this post to hear the entire discussion and Yoga Nidra practice.


History is replete with different forms of sacred trinities. How many different forms of the trinity can you think of? Off hand a few that come to mind are: body, mind, and spirit; earth, wind, and fire; Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva; Shiva, Shakti, and Ganesh; Buddha, Sangha, Dharma; peanut butter, jelly, and bread . . . the list is eternal.

The concept of the Trinity speaks to understanding our True Nature. A singular object in the Universe is in isolation, adding a second creates a binary, but when you can understand or experience these in what I call their Both/And Nature, your eyes open up to experience a truer, more expanded concept of beingness. I believe this is what is meant by seeing with your 3rd eye. In fact, by expanding beyond the singularity or duality of your own nature brings you into the full knowing of your truest Self.

Stay with me…

We come from Source, that which is everything. We are born into a human experience and our conscious is one of simple singularity—everything that exists in this form of consciousness is what can see or feel and that’s all I know. Then an infant experiences the entire world as an extension of herself. Natural differentiation happens between 6–18 months old and suddenly a duality is created. Now, the consciousness experiences a “this” and “that” which exist as two separate things. Many of us will live the rest of our lives in this sense of duality. Many different philosophies, including Yoga Nidra philosophy—rooted in Tantra, a school of eastern thought—suggest that to truly understand the essence of the Universe and ultimately your own essence, you must see beyond this dualist thinking into an expanded view, that of the Both/And nature, the trinity.

The Hindu god Ganesh is a perfect example of a trinity: He is the child of Shakti who represents form, and Shiva who represents consciousness. Half spirit, half physical being, he exists as something entirely new and completely necessary than his parents. It’s only through creating this new thing, that the trinity is born and through it all things can come into being. Otherwise all things in the Universe would have been locked into a state of duality or simple singularity. But as the symbol of Ganesh suggests, the entire world opens up to something bigger and more expansive thanks to the marriage of two things and the creation of another. Many people celebrate Ganesh for his hybrid nature which lends itself to great compassion, understanding, and direction.

Both/And Nature and the Trinity

Many practices such as yoga, meditation, and Yoga Nidra, expand the practitioner’s consciousness beyond a binary and help them to come to know themselves as part of a larger Singularity, Source, built as the Both/And consciousness. Through a lifetime (or lifetimes, I don’t know) of practice you might come back to experience yourself as Singularity, but not in any innocent way like the infant but rather one of wisdom and expansiveness. You are now birthed as a new being. This is what it means to open to the sacred trinity within you to reveal your True Nature.

Exploring the Trinity with Yoga Nidra

My favorite way to explore, and even better to experience, this unity of the Trinity, and allow it to open our consciousness into a unity of all things, is through Yoga Nidra. Yoga Nidra is a form of relaxing guided meditation, or guided awareness, where the practitioner is lead through deepening layers of awareness to come to know themselves as Awareness itself. One does this through practicing recognizing then letting go of objects of the ego, like the body, energy, mind, thoughts, etc.


I Wrote a Book! Practical Yoga Nidra: A 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit

Photo by  Alex Adams

Photo by Alex Adams

I’ve been so tight-lipped about some exciting news that I’ve almost given myself TMJ. Fortunately I’ve now been given the green light to open my mouth and tell you all about it.

Drum roll please…

I’ve written a book!

This spring, I was contacted by a publishing company who was curious if I might be the right person to write a book for them about Yoga Nidra. After a few phone interviews and me sending them a writing sample, we decided that we were a good fit for each other and we decided to push go on this project: Practical Yoga Nidra: A 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit

What it’s about

Pre-order or Purchase your copy by clicking the above

Pre-order or Purchase your copy by clicking the above

This book is an easy-to-follow guide that gives you 10 steps to help you find wellness in body, mind, and spirit by developing an effective personal Yoga Nidra practice which you can start practicing from day 1. It’s written for both the total newbie as well as those in the know. In it, I break down each step, how it’s useful, and how to build a Yoga Nidra practice. I offer more than 20 Yoga Nidra meditation scripts that are each tailored to one of the 10 steps. You can read, record, and play back your own recordings for a relaxing and transformative Yoga Nidra meditation experience. At the end of the book, I put all the 10 steps together and give you a deeper, more integrated Yoga Nidra practice script to record. When all is said and done, you’ll have an impressive library of Yoga Nidra recordings.

I also share my own stories and experiences about life, Yoga Nidra, and mindfulness. Hopefully you will feel my nerdy personality come out through my writing. I wrote this book to put a very human face to an important but sometimes esoteric subject in order to help you create a simple practice that can transform your life. My deep desire is that this book teaches you more about yourself and through the process of reading about and practicing Yoga Nidra, you feel more alive, at peace, and excited about your life.

More about writing the book

Once my publisher and I ironed out the details, I had just about a month to write the thing, roughly three chapters a week. I spent many hours in outdoor cafes, holed up at the library, or at the kitchen table late at night pounding it out. For some authors, the writing process is easy—words flow from their minds onto the page in nice, coherent, and organized lines. Not me. For me, writing is hard work. I just don’t write good. But this book was different. It seemed to slide right out of my fingers onto the page. I felt a magical sense of flow while writing it.

Some mind-blowing things happened for me during my process of writing. Ignoring the fact that I wrote the entire thing in little over a month, one of the most profound things that happened was that I received some seriously prophetic and profound cosmic downloads about Yoga Nidra and the purpose of life during my writing process. I’m thrilled that those bolts of insight made their way into this book. I also often found myself writing this book in sense of timelessness. It’s very common to feel time dissolve during Awareness practices like Yoga Nidra, and writing this book was itself another deep practice of Awareness. It wasn’t so surprising that it had the same effect. It wasn’t until I was done writing that I realized the song I’d been listening to on repeat to put me into my writing trance was a jazz song called Timeless, by John Abercrombie. Obvious.That song must have repeated a thousand times and I’m sure I’ll always think of this book when I hear it.

It was a great pleasure to work with several editors and designers throughout this project. They were pleasant and professional and truly did stellar work with my book. I got misty-eyed the day that the graphic department sent me a visual copy of the book. They did a SMASH job and I feel that they made this book look as beautiful on the outside as the ideas and concepts within. I’m copiously proud of it and I hope you’ll love it, too.

Can I ask for your support?


So, I’m asking for your support. Pre-orders, early sales, and reviews make or break the success of a book in a publishers eyes. A physical book will be available December 10th, just in time for the holidays, BUT my book is available NOW to pre-order through Amazon. It only costs $12.99 and will look great in your library. Well worth it, in my humble opinion.

Would you mind showing me your support by taking a few seconds to click here and pre-purchase your copy of my book on Amazon? Maybe consider buying some as gifts for anybody you can think of who could use a dose of calm for the holidays.


As a way of saying thank you, if you send me a copy or screenshot of your purchase(s), I’ll give you a giant hug AND one free session to a live, virtual Yoga Nidra class. I’ll be starting these classes this Sunday, November 3rd at 9 am MST and they will be held online via Zoom at the same time each week. If it’s not this Sunday, let me know which one works for you. I’ll send you the nitty-gritty details when you let me know if you want to join. I’ll be recording each session so if the timing doesn’t work for you, I can still send you the recording of the class. These live, online classes will be a great opportunity to have a live Yoga Nidra practice with me. You can even ask questions about the book, if you want. This Sunday in class we’re exploring the theme Relaxed Alertness.

Thank You

Also, thank you for the great responses from the last email about which topics you’d like to see in the forthcoming volume of Yoga Nidra recordings. This is a completely different project than my book. Expect to see that available soon as a digital download.

Practical Yoga Nidra

Seriously, thank you for your unyielding support. Thank you for showing up for me as students, peers, and friends during my career of teaching yoga and mindfulness. It has truly been an illuminating and humbling process of coming to know myself and the Universe. One of the greatest things I’ve learned in this process is that we are all in this together.

Thank you and I love you.


And, I’ve already started writing my next book!

Online Yoga Nidra: The Practice That Makes You Whole

Yoga Nidra Training

More than a decade ago, I took a Yoga Nidra training. If you’ve never done it, Yoga Nidra acts like a guided meditation where you lay down, become very relaxed, and listen to a facilitator guide you through deepening layers of Awareness. During my training, though I hadn’t done very much Yoga Nidra at all, I nonetheless experienced a session that led me through one of the most profound experiences of my life. It was cosmic. It was expansive. It was healing. It was pure happiness. The effect was like someone pulling back the curtain in Oz to reveal... ME. The TRUE me.

This was one of the experiences that told me that I’d be practicing, studying, and teaching Yoga Nidra for the rest of my life. Yoga Nidra has become a veritable passion of mine.

One of the things I love about Yoga Nidra is that you don’t need to “earn” you way to having a profound experience. Not that a dedicated practice of Yoga Nidra or any discipline isn’t very beneficial. It’s just that Yoga Nidra, maybe even on your first session ever, has the power to to remind you, by way of first-hand experience, of who you are.

Online Yoga Nidra Training

Like it says over the gates at the Oracle of Delphi, “KNOW THYSELF.” Yoga Nidra acts like an oracle who tells you who you really are, whispers to you your destiny. Knowing who you are makes you whole. It puts you into a right perspective of your world, your problems, and your priorities. It shows you your heart’s gift to the world.

Yoga Nidra is an ancient practice that has found a renaissance today. It’s just as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago because no matter when you live on this planet, one of humanity’s biggest problems has always been the simple but pervasive misapprehension that you are anything other than what you came from. In other words, Yoga Nidra’s superpower is to show you by direct experience that what you are is Source—call that whatever you want, a child of the Universe, a child of God, a child of Krusty The Clown—whatever.
With this sure knowledge of your True Being, you see your purpose and your life with immense clarity, beauty, and gratitude. With this sure knowledge, your entire life feels different. You don’t react to problems in the same way. You see a connectedness in everything. You begin to see everything as love.

And while not every person emerges from every Yoga Nidra session with a “hallelujah” on their lips, it’s nonetheless quite often a profound experience.

Yoga is defined classically as the “yoking” of all things to Oneness. Nidra literally means sleep but Yoga Nidra is more about waking up to your True Self than it is falling into a stupor. Nidra more appropriately means that hypnagogic state between dreaming and consciousness. When you are led into this relaxed state, you open yourself into a keener state of Awareness. Indeed you arrive to a place of deeply relaxed Awareness, the natural state of your True Self. In this state you can gain clarity, and find peace. You can heal physically, spiritually, mentally. Yoga Nidra is one practice that can help you feel yourself as Source, and as Source there’s nothing you can’t do, be, or love.


I’ve seen hundreds of people receive profound benefits from Yoga Nidra. Most of the time when I conduct a Yoga Nidra class, instead of telling students the benefits of Yoga Nidra, I ask those who have done it in the past to share what they’ve experienced by practicing it. My students have told me that Yoga Nidra has helped them with:

Scott Moore Yoga
  • Stress

  • Sleep

  • Productivity

  • Relaxation

  • Anger

  • High blood pressure

  • Depression

  • Creativity

  • Spirituality (whatever denomination or non-denomination you are)

  • Performance

  • Confidence

  • Self-worth

  • Trauma

  • Happiness

  • Love

  • Forgiveness

So how does it work? How does lying down, getting relaxed, and listening to someone talk you through a meditation help you achieve these things? In Yoga Nidra, you practice heightened Awareness. This aligns you with your True Self because according to its ancient philosophy, at the end of the day, what you are is Awareness. Yoga Nidra differs from other forms of meditation in part because of its emphasis to identify the practitioner as Awareness itself. It can work these wonderful benefits through your life because when you experience yourself as Source, there’s nothing you lack. You can know that you are whole. Whole is another way of saying healed.

Practicing Yoga Nidra is easy. You simply lie down, become relaxed, and listen to a facilitator lead you into deepening layers of Awareness. It sounds crazy but it still works even if you fall asleep. The part of you that I’m speaking to in a Yoga Nidra meditation is still paying attention, even if your waking mind is sleeping. You don’t need to have ever practiced yoga or meditation to practice Yoga Nidra.

While practicing it is easy, teaching it effectively can be quite complicated. That’s why I’ve spent the last decade learning to teach this practice well, and have taught thousands of hours of Yoga Nidra in the process. I’ve even created an Online Yoga Nidra Teacher Training that has trained people around the world to teach this practice in their own voice to benefit the lives of their students.

One thing that my students have asked for regularly is to curate a Yoga Nidra experience that focuses on a particular benefit, like stress, forgiveness, or sleep. I’ve taught many private sessions to individuals where we go into depth on a personal issue and use Yoga Nidra to help them find their own solace, calm, and peace. Yoga Nidra helps people heal themselves.

With the idea that there are many people who need something particular from a Yoga Nidra experience, I’ve decided to create a volume of Yoga Nidra recordings that can be accessed anytime. These recordings will vary in length from 15–35 minutes, and will be curated around an intent or goal. One session for managing anxiety, another to manage anger, another to practice compassion, etc.

This will be a volume of around 15 Yoga Nidra recordings that can be downloaded to a phone, computer, or tablet. It will also come with a nice and neat booklet that gives information and helpful tips on getting the most out of your Yoga Nidra practice, and some supplemental breathing and mindfulness practices.


I’m currently building this project and I’m taking suggestions for subjects. If there’s a Yoga Nidra practice you’d like to have access to regularly, please let me know what you want. Say you want a Yoga Nidra practice to help you relax at the end of the day. Maybe you want a Yoga Nidra practice to help you have focus and clarity at the beginning of the day. Maybe you work with insomnia and would love something to help you sleep better. I’m open to suggestions, so please let me know what you’d like.

I’m also going to start holding a regular, live Yoga Nidra class online at the same time each week. This is open to anyone, no matter where you live in the world, and will start with each person registering for each class as a drop-in. Class will cost $12. This online Yoga Nidra class will be starting Sunday, November 3rd at 9 am MST. You can do this class from the comfort of your own home, wherever you live in the world. Each class will have a brief discussion about Yoga Nidra, will be centered on a theme, and will include some mindfulness and breathwork practices. There will be a 30–40 minute Yoga Nidra practice with each online session. The entire session will last 60–75 minutes. These live sessions will give you the chance to share your experiences with Yoga Nidra with others and ask any questions.

I will be recording these classes so if you love the topic of the class but can’t make it, you can still register and have the recording after. Everyone who purchases the class will have access to the recording.

Also, if you think you could benefit from a private, one-one-one Yoga Nidra session with me, we can arrange a live, virtual session. Or maybe you have a very specific need for a Yoga Nidra recording. I can make you your own personal Yoga Nidra recording tailored to meet your specific needs.

If you love Yoga Nidra or are interested in any of these offerings please:

Email me at scott@scottmooreyoga.com and let me know if there’s a practice you’d like to see on this first volume of recordings.

Register for the live Yoga Nidra class on Sunday, November 3rd at 9:00 am MST

Contact me to book your own private Yoga Nidra session.




Fill out this form to request your own private Yoga Nidra recording tailored to your specific needs ($100)

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Please enjoy this Free Yoga Nidra recording I made about connecting to the heart. This is powerful





The Poison That Makes Us Holy

Happy Monday! I hope your week is starting off marvelously.

Scott Moore Yoga

This morning I dropped Elio off from school and then decided to walk around a bit to record the audio of this post. Ultimately, I decided not to use that recording because there was too much traffic and it was too distracting so I re-recorded this and I think that is better.

Elio is getting used to his new school and is still having a little bit of a problem using the bathroom by himself so some mornings, like this morning, I drop him off at school, go to the gym or do some work at a cafe, then head back to school to encourage him to use the bathroom.

As I was walking around this morning, not far from Elio’s school, there is a beautiful, modern cathedral here in Nice. It’s got a very unique, rounded architecture and it’s gleaming while. This cathedral is dedicated to the Saint of Joan of Arc.

Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc Cathedral

If you don’t remember the story of Joan of Arc, she was a peasant girl in the 1400s who as a teenager received a revelation from God that she was supposed to lead the French army against the English and the Burgundians, a French dynasty who were at the time in league with the English and who today produce lovely wines— but that’s neither here nor there.

So against all rationale, the prince Charles of Valois agreed to allow Joan of Arc to lead the army. She did. They won. She was lauded and revered. Unfortunately, about a year later, she was captured by the English and the Burgundians and was burned at the stake as a heretic. She’s been held as someone very special to the spirit of France and it wasn’t until the 1920s that she was actually canonized and considered a saint and this church is dedicated to her.

I’m so happy that I walked by this church because it relates to the myth I want to tell today:

Today, I want to tell my rendition of the ancient Hindu myth about the Asuras and the Devas.

Long ago, in time out of mind, there were two groups of beings, the Asuras and the Devas. There couldn’t be a different sort of people. The asuras were earthly people, thought mostly of themselves, were a bit selfish. They probably loved Nascar, ate pork rinds, and didn’t recycle. The Devas on the other hand were beings that were very heavenly and always thinking of their inner divine nature. I imagine them dressed in gossamer white clothing, subsisting on tofu and vegetable broth, meditating for several hours a day, and leaving behind a faint smell of patchouli or incense whenever they left a room.

Well, those two kinds of being were about as opposite as you could imagine but they both wanted one thing and that was Soma. Soma was the elixur of eternal life. The Asuras wanted it because it felt so good to be eternal and the Devas wanted it so they could further devote themselves to the Divine. Now, the only way to get Soma was to ask Vishnu and if on the off chance that he granted you to have it, he would allow Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune and gifts to bestow it upon you.

So united in this common desire, the Asuras and the Devas got together and timidly asked Vishnu if they could have some Soma. He agreed but told them what they must do to get it. He was going to lend them his Sesha, Vishnu’s giant snake. They were to wrap this snake around a mountain which was to rest atop the giant tortoise Korma. If you’ve ever done Kormasana in yoga class, this is where that gets its name. Once the snake was wrapped around the mountain and placed on top of the Korma’s shell, they were to pull back and forth and oscillate it enough that they should somehow get the Soma. Grateful, the Asuras and the Devas agreed and began their task.

Joan of Arc Cathedral

The Devas being smarter than the Asuras opted to take the relatively benign tail of the snake, which had but four ends which some Sanskrit scholars say relate to the 4 bases of DNA structure, something that the ancients discovered long before Watson, Crick, both of whom studied the work of their colleague Franklin. The Asuras therefore received the head end of the sesha and were blasted by countless heads of a snake, each one shooting fiery blasts like a dragon.

The Asuras and the Devas began to pull on the sesha with all of their might and in their lust for Soma, they started to pull so hard that the sesha, as strong and divine as a character as he may be, became nonetheless very ill and began to vomit venomous bile which started to cover and poison the entire earth. Seeing the problem, the Asuras and Devas stopped their movement and decided that something must be done before the entire earth is engulfed with this poison.

They weren’t about to go back to Vishnu. He was kind enough to let them have the chance to get Soma in the first place. They didn’t want to return to Vishnu and tell him how in their blind lust for Soma, they made his snake sick and now the entire earth was starting to be covered in poisonous puke. Instead, they importuned Shiva. They asked him if he could help them out.

Mahadev Shiva

Siva surveyed the situation and gathered up all of the bile and drank it, neither swallowing it to digest it nor spitting it back up. Siva held it in his throat and sanctified it, turning his throat blue.

Saved, the Asuras and the Devas continued their task, this time taking great care to have a balance between steadiness and ease. After they developed a good rhythm, eventually the sea began to boil and riches started popping up out of the ocean. Soma was about to come at any minute.

Vishnu decided to give them one last temptation to see if they were worthy of the Soma and he sent a temptations out to see if the Asuras and Devas really had purity in their hearts to receive the Soma. I imagine Vishnu sending onto the beach a bunch of speedo and bikini-clad partiers, barbecues wafting the smell of rib-eye steaks, not to mention volleyball nets, beers, and music. To the Devas he sent over all the unicorn amulets, treasure troves of yoga pants, sensible shoes, and all organic produce that a healthy, spiritual person could ever want.

Well, despite all of their efforts to get to that moment, the Asuras caved and headed to the beach for beers and babes. The Devas stayed and soon Lakshmi gave them each a single drop of Soma which turned them into immortal beings like angels.

I love myths like that because we can interpret them in many ways. They speak to a truth that is large enough mean something different fo whomever hears it, regardless of spiritual orientation, practice, discipline, or period of life.

I love the idea in this myth about the balance of steadiness and ease. In the Yoga Sutras, the book where we get a lot of the philosophy of yoga from, there are really very few instructions for how we are to practice yoga, the physical practice. It does say, however that no matter what, you’ve got to find the balance between steadiness and ease. Whatever your physical, spiritual, and I would even say political practice might be, this story illustrations the value of balance. What’s more is how when you’re trying to improve your situation but approach your improvement with a fundamental lack of balance, how that can make things worse off than they were before.

And when things are bad, and even when they seem like they are going to poison the entire world, like the snake’s venomous puke, that somehow the Divine can help you hold that in such a way as to sanctify it

You’ve probably heard me mention this more times than you can count but it is a truth that has become imperative to my own personal spiritual evolution, and that is Leonard Cohen’s lyric from his song Anthem that says, Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything and that’s how the light gets in. This says that just like the poison of whatever may befall us, we become sanctified, the light gets in, when we learn to hold our imperfections. That it’s because of these faults, this brokenness, this poison, that we are rendered holy.

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It makes me think of our situation with Elio, learning to use the bathroom by himself at school. How he is struggling being the only kid at school who doesn’t speak French and how he is learning to have more independence and things and how we are the unique family at school because we don’t quite understand exactly how things work yet, at least not like the other French families. But how me going back to school is strengthening him and teaching him and how it gives me an opportunity to build a rapport with the directorice of the school and talk with his teachers regularly. This is building a special relationship between our family and the school.

It also makes me think about Joan of Arc and how she was killed for fundamentally backward, misogynist, and in my mind evil reasons, but how her spirit has endured and how she’s given hope and courage to countless French people and how she was like the original Wonder Woman in some ways and that she’s become a divine symbol which celebrates a woman’s power, intuition, and spirit and which is so strong that it’s still celebrated 600 years later.

I hope you enjoyed the myth. I’d love to hear about what you heard in this myth.

I hope that you can find ways in your life to celebrate balance in all of your practices. I hope that you’ll be able to find the divinity in the challenges that beset you and see how that all of our challenges are making us into the greater angels of our True Nature.

I hope you have a great week. Please stay tuned for some Yoga Nidra offerings I am going to announce coming up.


Whatever You Believe In, Practice It Every Day.

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So, you may have heard me tell this story before but several years ago, I was leading myself through a deep Yoga Nidra meditation. My aim for this meditation was to channel the wise person that resides within my own heart to see what kind of message my own inner wise person would give me. I got very relaxed and went deep. Really deep.

30-day Meditation Challenge

I tried to think of the wisest person I knew immediately an image of one of my favorite professors from college jumped into my mind. In this vision, completely of my own imagination, I was sitting in his office and asking him for some guidance. In my mind, I could see the tawny grain of the wood of his desk. I could hear the soft buzz of the fluorescent lights above muted slightly by the plaintive squeak of his office chair as leaned back to think to survey the ceiling. He stroked his beard as he thought about what to say to me. Then, he looked at me slyly with a sideways glance and said something I’ll never forget. He said, “Whatever you believe in, practice it every day,” and then simply nodded.

“Whatever you believe in, practice it every day!” That revelation hit me like a ton of Norton Anthology of Poetry books. It was my own inner-wisdom reminding me of the importance of a daily practice

30-Day Meditation Challenge

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If the wise person inside of you also values a daily practice, if meditation is something you believe in or are at least curious about, and if you want to explore what happens when you make meditation a daily practice, I invite you to register for my 30-Day Meditation challenge. It begins September 1st and runs for 30 days. It’s going to be fun and easy. All you do is meditate for 15 minutes a day, every day for 30 days. You’ll start to notice right away how you become more mindful, more calm, less provoked, and less reactive. Everyone you live with and work with will wonder what has happened to you.

Once you register for the challenge, you’ll start to receive emails that will support you with information, guidance, and encouragement about making meditation a regular practice for the month of September. You can do this challenge wherever you live in the world. You can meditate at any time of day that works best for you, and choose any style of meditation that suits you. I’ll give you several options that you can choose from if you’re newer to meditation

This costs $30 and if you complete all 30 days you can even have the option to receive your tuition back.

Tell your friends that you’ll be doing this to help keep you accountable and even invite them to join you because there’s nothing like mindfulness to bind a friendship together.

This thing starts Sunday, September 1st so sign up now and start your meditation practice now.

If you’re in NYC, I’ll be coming to town the first week of September and offering two amazing workshops. The first will be a Yoga Nidra for Happiness workshop at Pure Yoga West on Wednesday, September 4th from 6:30–9 pm. We will explore through poses, discussion, and Yoga Nidra the happiness that exists always within you despite events and circumstances. I’m really excited to offering a workshop at my old studio and hope you join me if you live in NYC. Also, I’ll be co-hosting a Yoga Nidra and Freeing breathwork workshop with an amazing teacher Tiffany Curren at Nirvana Yoga and Wellness in Wayne, New Jersey the next day on Thursday, September 5th from 6:30–9 pm. I’m really excited to work with Tiffany and this will be an incredible offering. If you live in the area, I’d love to see you at one or both of these events. I’m not sure when I’ll be back to this area.

Thanks for considering all of these offerings. Please forward this email by pressing the share link either below in the email or the Facebook share and like button near the top of the page if you’re listening to this email via my blog.

Hey, thanks again for being you and everything you do

And most of all, thanks for pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down.


My Heart Was Full

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Yoga Nidra

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Yoga Nidra is better than drugs. If you don’t know, it’s a guided meditation where you lie down and get extremely relaxed, and drift into that in-between state of consciousness to actually become very aware. As you listen to me lead you through the practice, you gain a beautiful and broad perspective about life, problems, and the simple joy of being awake to the beauties of this world. I’ve been studying and practicing Yoga Nidra for over a decade and anymore when I do Yoga Nidra I am led through the very same process of keen awareness as I am facilitating for my students.

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So, one evening when I lived in New York, I had just finished a particularly beautiful and heart opening Yoga Nidra practice. I was teaching at Pure Yoga in Manhattan and as I was walking down Amsterdam Avenue to go and catch the red line back home to Brooklyn. And because of this Yoga Nidra practice that I’d just taught and simultaneously experienced, my entire being felt an absolute surge of well-being and love— I was absolutely brimming with joy. At that moment, it felt as if my eyes suddenly had a super-human focus, like I could see more than 77 blocks down Amsterdam Ave, all the way to the Hudson and that they could see every detail, from the birds landing on the light posts to the dirt in the gutter and all of it felt somehow like an expression of love. I floated down the street with a smile on my face feeling like nothing could ever be so perfect. As I passed people on the street, everyone from the homeless guy to the stressed out business guy, it felt like I could feel into everyone’s heart and could feel everyone’s inherent goodness. Experiences like this are not rare in Yoga Nidra and they are one of the simple reasons that I love this practice so much.

My Heart Was Full


It reminds me of a story that one of my favorite profs in college told me. His name was Leslie Norris and he was an old, wise, and brilliant poet. He knew the Romantic poets so well he could talk about them like they were his neighbors. By the way, if you’re curious what an English major does for a living, this is it. So, in this real-life story, poet William Wordsworth is feeling a lot of pressure from his guardians. His parents have died, as he is emerging into adulthood, he will soon be in charge of taking care of himself and his sister. All he wants to do in life is to write poetry but that doesn’t pay the bills so he’s receiving a lot of pressure to join the clergy instead. Well, one morning he’s walking home in the early twilight through the hills and grasslands near the sea. The landscape is blowing his mind, totally gorgeous, and his senses are completely alive. He’s about ready to burst from joy. And in that moment of intense beauty he gets a revelation from the powers that be that poetry was what he is meant to do in life. He clearly understood that the Universe was telling him loud and clear that poetry was his path. And from that moment forward never looked back. He went on to be, well, William Wordsworth, the Michael Jordan of the Romantic poets. The poem goes like this, it’s from his magnum opus The Prelude.

Leslie Norris

Leslie Norris

Magnificent

William Wordsworth

The morning was, a memorable pomp,

More glorious than I ever had beheld.

The sea was laughing at a distance; all

The solid mountains were as bright as clouds,

Grain-tinctured, drenched in empyrean light;

And in the meadows and the lower grounds

Was all sweetness of a common dawn –

Dews, vapours, and the melody of birds,

And labourers going forth into the fields.

Ah, need I say, dear friend, that to the brim

My heart was full? I made no vows, but vows

Were then made for me: bond unknown to me

Was given, that I should be – else sinning greatly –

A dedicated spirit. On I walked

In blessedness, which even yet remains.



Expert from Prelude by William Wordsworth


All that to say, that on that day after teaching Yoga Nidra, as I was walking down Amsterdam Ave totally brimming with life’s fullness, I had a Wordsworth moment. I felt that this practice of sharing Yoga Nidra with the world is the way in which the Universe has blessed me to feel Universal love and the way in which I get to share it back to the Universe and that it was a responsibility to share it lest I be “sinning greatly.”

Yoga Nidra Training

So I have the privilege, and frankly the responsibility, to share Yoga Nidra. It’s totally my jam and I love it. I’ll be sharing it tonight at a Yoga Nidra class at 21st Yoga and for those who want to really go deep, I’m so thrilled to be spending 20 hours teaching Yoga Nidra in a teacher training/immersion—This. Weekend.

Yoga Nidra Teacher Training

About the training, if you’re a yoga teacher, awesome—Yoga Nidra is an essential tool to add to your teaching tool belt. If you’re just interested in the practice, there’s no better way to understand it than diving deep. If you’re a parent, teacher, or therapist, this could be an essential tool to help you help the people you are privileged to guide and nurture. The last time I did this training someone joined so they could learn to help their therapy clients better deal with stress. Someone else joined because they wanted to lower the teen-suicide rates in their school district. Another person joined because she was a family law attorney and wanted something to help her clients meet the challenge of divorce as mindfully as possible.

So how does it work, how does this relaxing guided meditation have such a powerful effect on people? It’s so powerful because this practice very skillfully leads you experience your True Nature, the part of you that feels wholeness and Universal love. When you are in conversation with the part of you that is fundamentally whole, everything heals.


This weekend is going to be life-changing. I’m not over selling this. There will be a lot of Yoga Nidra practice, chances to practice teaching to each other. You’ll learn how to lead yourself through this practice. You’ll receive a really solid PDF manual with Yoga Nidra scripts that you can start using on day 1 and which will serve as a foundation from which you can learn to personalize and build your own practices. Also, I’m offering this either virtually or in-person if you’re in Salt Lake City. People from all over the world will be joining us. I’ll be recording the entire thing, both audio and video, so if the timing doesn’t work you can always watch it later. This recording will also give you an incredible Yoga Nidra library.


I really hope you can make it this weekend. Regardless, I’d love to offer this Yoga Nidra practice as a chance to experience Yoga Nidra’s power to open your heart, cuz hey all the love songs are right and all you need is love.

So as I’m wrapping this up, I want to let you know that Aug. 29–Sept.1 I’m hosting a Writing + Yoga + Nature Retreat in Harriman State Park with the one and only Nan Seymour. We’ve invited special guest, poet Maya Stein to blow our socks off with her incredible poetry. We are going to explore what happens when we open to deep awareness through Yoga Nidra and then put pen to paper and see what comes out. This is the 4th year we’ve done it and it’s been amazing every year. We have only 1 spot left and we’d love for that spot to be filled by you.

 
30-day meditation challenge

There’s no better way to practice Yoga Nidra or any other form of mindfulness than with my 30-Day Meditation challenge. It’s happening the entire month of September. The challenge is to simply meditate every day for 15 minutes or more using this great app called Insight Timer. All month I’ll be sending you instructions and encouragement. The challenge costs $30 and if you complete the challenge you can choose to either receive a full refund of your tuition or roll that into other cool meditation products that I have.

No matter what you do or don’t do with mindfulness, I just want to say thank you for picking up what I’m puttin’ down. I love doing this and it’s so nice to be on this journey with you.

May the Source be with you.

Namaste.

Please Listen to this heart-centered Yoga Nidra practice


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The Art of Yoga

What is the marriage between inner and outer beauty? What is the Art of Yoga

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Yoga is many things. It’s a science, a philosophy, a mode of spirituality, and a method of therapy to name a few. Sometimes I forget that yoga is also an art. Yoga is an art, beautiful, pure and simple. It’s beautiful to watch and to experience. Yoga, like many other disciplines, explores and celebrates what it means to be human. Through the form of our poses we understand our inner-realm and celebrate being alive. We celebrate being.

Yoga as Art

It’s true that it’s not what’s on the outside that counts; you don’t win when you’ve accomplished a pose. Yet, there is something sublimely beautiful in the simplest form, the humblest yoga posture. When I teach yoga, I am privileged to witness the beauty of all different body types, ages, and walks of life practice being human. I see lines, curves, and angles come alive and flow. I see the magical bleed between effort and ease dancing before me. I see the embodiment of bliss and understanding as well as struggle and frustration. I can feel what’s happening on the inside of my students because it’s manifesting on the outside right before me like a living poem, like sculpture that moves, like a painting that comes alive, or a boisterous Rock Opera turned up to 11. Sure, it’s not about how the pose looks but rather how it feels that is important. Regardless, your inner beauty manifests outwardly. It is still true that the poses are beautiful. We are living art.

And yet this being human, this living art, is like a sand painting that even as we speak is withering to its demise to become part of the elements from whence we came. This notion reminds me that art (human or otherwise) is just as much if not more expressed in its becoming than in its arrival. It shows me that the entire process of our lives is like one long, beautiful play full of tragedies, joys, doldrums, and loves.

Understanding the art of becoming rather than arriving emphasizes presence, the sublime of right now. And perhaps that is the intersection between inner and outer beauty, the place where inner presence and outer form meet. In this sacred marriage, our form helps us to understand that numinous realm within and our presence helps us to live outwardly with heath, clarity, and yes, beauty.

You are an artist whether you think of yourself as an artist or not. An artist, whether dancer, painter, musician, sculptor, or liver of life, must practice presence to honestly and bravely witness this world. The unconscious or the busy mind would pass by such beauty. The artist doesn’t only celebrate sunrises and rainbows. The artist finds beauty also in dark lines and shadow. Landscapes that don’t make sense or that paint a picture that is tragic, disturbing, and poignant, are nonetheless beautifully human. Indeed, that’s why we love tragedies and the dark side because this beautiful tapestry of life isn’t limited by only sunrises and rainbows. With presence, we can truly see the beauty in all things, especially ourselves.

Live and Online Yoga Nidra Training

I invite you to celebrate the full beauty of your life this week through yoga and mindfulness. Celebrate what it means to be human.

You are beautiful.

You are art.



Poem of the One World

This morning

the beautiful white heron

was floating along above the water

and then into the sky of this

the one world

we all belong to

where everything

sooner or later

is a part of everything else


which thought made me feel

for a little while

quite, beautiful, myself.

~Mary Oliver


THREE IN TRANSITION

(FOR WCW)

I wish I understood the beauty

in leaves falling. To whom

are we beautiful

as we go?

I lie in the field

still, absorbing the stars

Guided Meditations for Sleep

and silently throwing off

their presence. Silently

I breathe and die

by turns.

He was ripe

and fell to the ground

from a bough

out where the wind

is free

of the branches

~David Ignatow

Human Doing vs. Human Being

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Your identity is your foundation of existence. Too often we tend to identify with things that don’t support the truth of what we are, our beingness. Too often we get caught up as human doings rather than human beings. Too often we equate our value on what we can do rather than the fact that we simply are. 

Scott Moore Yoga

 

Tantra is a school of eastern thought. One of the many facets to Tantra is its emphasis on non-dualism or all things belonging to a larger whole. When you can expand your Awareness from being either this or that, you tap into what I call your Both And Nature. This Both And Nature speaks to your higher beingness and embraces all the elements of you for optimal expression. 

 

Ironically, the person who doesn’t know their Both And Nature, identifies only as body or with their actions, equates their existence with only what they can do. Ability and doing is by nature volatile and changeable so their sense of identity lacks a real foundation. This lack of existential foundation invariably affects performance because each act becomes a desperate grope for identity when there’s none to be had merely by performing an action. 

 

During my career, I’ve taught yoga and meditation to dozens of world-class athletes and performers. Often when these performers retire, still quite young, they sometimes go into an existential crisis if their entire identity was wrapped up in solely what they could do. Now that they can no longer perform at the level they felt defined them, they have no idea who they are. 

 

By contrast, the person who is identified as a Being rather than a doer knows their Both And Nature and can act invincibly from that place because they realize that they and each of their actions are an expression of their Being, of Source. The person connected to their Being through practices like the Yoga Nidra, graduate from a level of merely doing an action to Being it. 

 

Yoga Nidra is a form of Tantric guided meditation that is both relaxing and very useful to reinforce your sense of your own Being. The aim in Yoga Nidra is to disidentify from anything in the realm of the changeable, like body or thoughts, and learn to identify as Awareness itself. Typically, a Yoga Nidra session will last anywhere from 15–40 minutes where you simply lie down, close your eyes, and listen to a facilitator (or recording) lead you through paying attention to things like your body, your breath, energy, thoughts, etc. This process leads you deeper and deeper both into relaxation as well as into Awareness. 

 

Since it’s also true that while you cannot identify solely as body, your body is an important (though changeable) part of who you are. It also exists as one of the greatest tools you possess to open yourself to the experience of Awareness. As you learn to inhabit your body with deeper Awareness, you tune into your Both And Nature and from that place of embodied Awareness, you can go out and perform at your best. 

 

Click here to hear a free Yoga Nidra recording and experience for yourself the transformative of your own Both And Nature.


Guided Meditations for Sleep

 

Be The Shit

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“What does the mighty oak care if the warthog scratches its rump against its bark?

“What does the mighty oak care if the warthog scratches its rump against its bark?

Right before I moved from Salt Lake City, I had my last session with a wonderful private client, and friend. She began our session with a comment about how difficult she found it to be around people who are constantly bragging about who they are or what they own. This comment sparked a wonderful discussion and subsequent Yoga Nidra practice dedicated to the differences between a human being and a human doing. We discussed the idea of aiming to be so secure in our being that we didn’t need to try to prove anything to anyone else. We could just be.

I said to her, “When you’re The Shit, you don’t have to go around town bragging about it. You just go be The Shit.”

It reminds me of something I heard poet and writer David Whyte say, “Constantly explaining who you are is a gospel of despair.” Why does it seem that when we are the least secure in who we are, we tend to brag about ourselves the most? Probably because when we equate our value based on what we can do rather than a sure sense of our own beingness, we’re constantly trying to affirm something that really doesn’t exist. By contrast, we as human beings are valuable simply because we exist. We don’t need to prove anything because we simply are. If we're identified as something as fragile as our action or a title, then we're constantly fearing not being that thing anymore, we fear annihilation.

It’s also true that when we can be secure in our own being, other people don’t ruffle our feathers. The best antidote in response to the braggart is to be so solid in our own beingness that another person could say or do whatever they wish and it wouldn’t bend us one way or the other. Like the fantastic German quote, “What does the mighty oak care if the warthog scratches its rump against its bark?”

This is what we are doing in our yoga and meditation practices: we are affirming our beingness, and steeling ourselves against anything that could arise in our lives by simply learning to pay attention, to have Awareness. Here’s the kicker: our beingness is somehow wrapped around our ability to pay attention to the world, to listen and be. Not to do. The doing comes as the response to the being. The ancient teaching says that consciousness precedes form.

That day, my client and I had a great session. I led her through a personalized Yoga Nidra practice that helped her to feel solid in her own being to go out and be the mighty oak so that others could say or do whatever and she didn’t have to worry about it one way or the other. I recorded the practice and left it with her so she could continue to practice this concept.

After the session, as I was rushing out to go home and pack for France, I was half-way out the door, when I heard her shout after me, “Hey Scott!” I turned back to see her with a wide smile on her face. “Be The Shit,” she said as wise parting advice.

So, may I also extend this invitation to you: Be The Shit.

Yoga Nidra: An Online Certification

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Learn About The Training Program (5 min)

I Invite You on a Yoga Nidra Journey with My Online Yoga Nidra Teacher Training

The world needs more Yoga Nidra and it needs more Yoga Nidra teachers. I’ve developed an online Yoga Nidra training that can be done completely online, on your timeline, and will certify you to be an effective Yoga Nidra teacher. At the same time that you are learning to teach Yoga Nidra, you’ll also learn more about your own True Nature and deepen your relationship with Source. Yoga Nidra is perhaps one of the most powerful forms of meditation that I know.

Upon completion of this training you’ll be ready to teach Yoga Nidra in a way that is authentic to your voice and in the way that only you can teach it. This way, you’ll be most effective to your students. You’ll get a certificate of completion when you’re done. Plus, if you’re looking for continuing education credit with Yoga Alliance, this will count as 20 non-contact hours.

People love the fact that this training is interesting, affordable, and such good quality.

This 20-hour Yoga Nidra intensive is perfect both for teachers as well as students who simply want to deepen their practice of Yoga Nidra.

 

My teaching style uses tools like knowledge of the koshas, a skillful counterpoint of opposites, and evoking deep relaxation to illuminate one’s True Self. This knowledge and experience you gain from practicing and teaching Yoga Nidra will help you live your life more fully, with greater compassion, and with deep purpose.

 

Some of the topics we will cover in the Yoga Nidra training

  • Philosophy of Yoga Nidra

  • Myths and Chants

  • Yoga Nidra for Healing/Trauma/Stress

  • Yoga Nidra for Performance

  • The Power of Visualizations

  • Subtle Body Study and Practice

  • Chakras

  • Koshas

  • Pranayama

  • Incorporating Yoga Nidra into Asana Classes and Restore Yoga

  • Mindfulness

  • Effective Teaching Methods

  • Role as Teacher

  • Self Practice

  • Group Teaching

  • One-on-one Teaching

Upon completion of this Yoga Nidra Training you’ll receive:

Yoga Nidra
  • A deeper understanding of Self through Yoga Nidra

  • A course full of profound relaxation

  • A full audio/video recording of the training to accomplish whenever you wish

  • Several Yoga Nidra scripts to use

  • A library of dozens of Yoga Nidra recordings

  • Yoga Immersion PDF workbook

  • A certificate of completion (upon completion)

  • Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Credit (if needed) You’ll get 20 non-contact hours.

 

This training is the full audio/video recording of a live training I taught. You’ll hear comments, questions, and discussion as if you were in class— probably similar questions you might ask. Along the way, if you have your own questions, feel free to reach out to me and I’ll answer them as soon as possible.

As soon as you register, you’ll receive immediate access to all the content: the audio and video recordings as well as a very helpful 23-page PDF manual that includes Yoga Nidra word scripts, hyperlinks to other resources, chants, etc.

Thank you for your interest in this training. I loved putting it together and I hope you love it as much as I do.

I offer a money-back guarantee. If this isn’t what you hoped it would be, I’ll return your money without questions.

Once you register and purchase this course, you’ll receive the link to download the information. You will need to be able to access Dropbox.

Scott’s Yoga Nidra Teacher Training was an excellent blend of information, inspiration, and application. I love his way of organizing and presenting of the abundance of material. Scott is very authentic and has a way of connecting and empowering his student to feel confident to utilize the tools he provides. I am so thankful to have the Yoga Nidra as part of my toolbox of offerings!
— Jackie Wheeler, Yoga Studio Owner/Teacher
I have studied with Scott for years and his compassion, engagement, and base of knowledge makes him one of my favorite teachers. He was one of the first teachers to teach me Yoga Nidra. So when he offered a Nidra immersion and training I jumped on it. Only ... I wasn’t in the area. I did the immersion, training. It worked flawlessly, and the experience was wonderful. If you are interested in any classes he offers, but can’t physically attend, do not hesitate to attend remotely. You will still be a full participant and receive the full impact of Scott’s clarity and teaching skills.
— Lesley DuTemple

What is Yoga Nidra?

Yoga Nidra is the relaxing and mystical journey deep into the inner-realms of consciousness where through a guided meditation, you get to experience your True Nature, something that feels one with all things, infinite, and whole. Such wholeness leads naturally to profound healing, boundless equanimity, and and understanding of your life, unparalleled by every-day thinking. Stress, trauma, and scarcity seem insignificant after you've experienced the part of you that is infinitely larger than any of these smaller experiences. Truly, through Yoga Nidra you see into the vastness of the Universe that is within you.

One of the things that differentiates Yoga Nidra from other forms of mindfulness is its emphasis on getting relaxed as the gateway to experiencing your True Nature, that of Awareness itself.

The effects of Yoga Nidra are as profound as they are relaxing. Through practicing awareness, you experience yourself, your REAL self, without boundaries, fears, or limitations. You open up to astounding and beautiful clarity about who you are. It opens you to feel at one with all things, increases your capacity for love, and helps you to be more compassionate. It shows you your gifts for the world, shows you your strength and power, and helps you feel as though someone has turned up all the colors of your life. Yoga Nidra is perhaps the most effective way I know to manage and eliminate trauma and stress.

Indeed, Yoga Nidra has been one of the most profound and spiritual practices I’ve ever encountered. And I’m not alone. Millions of people love this practice. One of the reasons why is because people often receive expansive insight, nurturing relaxation, and deep healing from just one session.

Personally, I discovered Yoga Nidra in 2004 and have had the privilege of learning this important practice from some of the worlds leading Yoga Nidra experts. I’ve spent the last 10 years mastering the art of teaching of Yoga Nidra and I’ve been privileged to work with literally 20s of thousands of students worldwide through live classes, recordings, workshops, webinars, lectures, and online courses.

The world desperately needs more Yoga Nidra and more qualified Yoga Nidra instructors. Practicing Yoga Nidra is easy but teaching it effectively can be complex. I’d love to share my knowledge of teaching Yoga Nidra with you.


Yoga Nidra: Yoga for Anxiety

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Online Yoga Nidra Meditation

Yoga Nidra is a relaxing form of guided meditation that helps you feel amazing. Better than amazing, Yoga Nidra helps you feel like your True Self, the qualities of which can only be described as invincible, expansive, and limitless-calm. Yoga Nidra helps us to see correctly again, in part by using things like emotions, even anxiety, as catalysts to experience our True Selves. We’re hardwired to feel this way all the time, except somehow we all allow things like thoughts, sensations, and emotions to cloud our vision of our True Self. For anyone who is interested in learning to become a certified Yoga Nidra teacher, please read to the end.

To catch the mind and keep it still,

Is no small problem for my porous will;

As many times as I shut it down,
Unceasing thoughts on me rebound

In youth I tried through alcohol,
To ease my stress and cool my gall;
In later years I turned to grass
The effects were good – but did not last.

At last with fading hopes I turned,
To Eastern paths, and my soul yearned
To scale the mystic heights of bliss.
Alas, no easy method this.

And now with age and turmoil weary,
All that’s left me is this query;
Will heart break or mind implode,
Before my vrittis do nirode.
— Swami Shankarananda

Yoga is defined in the Yoga Sutras as the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind, or to come into complete stillness and unperturbed by disruptions of thoughts, sensations, and emotions. Nidra is a state of mind. It’s that interesting liminal, hypnagogic state between waking and dreaming consciousness. Yoga Nidra, therefore is the practice of coming into the Awareness of our True Self through achieving this Nidra state in deep relaxation.

What is Yoga Nidra?

Yoga Nidra is a deep form of self-discovery, like meditation, where you experience your utmost nature of being. It's a very relaxing way of attuning your awareness to all things. Indeed it is the practice of experiencing yourself as Awareness itself.

Yoga Nidra does this by training us to relax and practice deep awareness. In fact, it helps us actually experience ourselves as Awareness itself. According to Yoga Nidra philosophy, our True Nature is Awareness. We feel into our True Nature by learning to relax and simply observe whatever presents itself to us at the moment, be that a thought, a sound, or an emotion or anything else. When you learn to merely observe something rather than react to it, you gain a universal perspective about it and it doesn’t have the power to control you because you’re not identified as it. This is particularly useful for emotions.


Yoga Nidra For Anxiety

Modern psychology helps us to understand how this works, particularly vis-à-vis our emotions. In the late 1950's, Joseph Wolpe, a leading behavior therapist at Stanford University, added to Pavlov's previous ground-breaking work on conditioning by helping those with anxiety using counter-conditioning. Wolpe demonstrated that the symptoms of anxiety were greatly reduced or eradicated when things that would otherwise stress people were presented systematically, bit by bit and paired with a relaxation response.* He showed that anxiety and relaxation cannot be present simultaneously. Therefore, if you can achieve deep relaxation and practice Awareness, then slowly and gradually present to your Awareness what triggers your emotions, you you experience yourself and identify as Awareness that is momentarily experiencing emotion, not emotion itself.

Ego vs. True Self

In our quest to understand ourselves, we tend to identify with anything that seems real. To our rational consciousness, what we can feel, see, smell, etc. seems real. However, all these things are inevitably locked in the realm of the changeable, the Ego. A misapprehension of what I think I am, a definition I learned from Eckhart Tolle in his book A New Earth


Anything you identify with tends to perpetuate. After all, we are hardwired to stay alive and if in someway we misunderstand our being as an emotion, even though it may not be our favorite emotion, we keep wrapping it around ourselves metaphorically, subconsciously afraid to let it go for fear that we will no longer exist without it.

But Yoga Nidra helps you experience and identify as Awareness that is momentarily experiencing emotion, not emotion itself. Then when emotion arises, it doesn’t have the power to overtake you. You see it as just one of the other things in the Universe that has an orbit.

It’s just like everything else in this Universe, making a drive-by along its own orbit.

I invite you to experience your own True Being with Yoga Nidra. I created a free learning module that uses Yoga Nidra to help you with stress. I loved putting it together and I hope it helps if you are working with anxiety.

Online Yoga Nidra Teacher Training

If you are interested in learning how to lead yourself and others through this transformational practice, please consider registering for my Online Yoga Nidra Teacher Training program. By the end of this training you’ll be prepared to teach Yoga Nidra to help countless students discover their True Selves and see beyond momentary emotions like stress and anxiety.

If you know someone who is working with stress or anxiety or who is interested in Yoga Nidra, please forward this. Thank you!


* Wolpe, J. (1958). Psychotherapy by reciprocal inhibition. Stanford. Stanford University Press.

Guided meditation for relaxation

Can We All Just Calm Down?? Cannabis for Anxiety

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I’m passionate about helping people learn to manage stress and anxiety. There are several ways to help with anxiety including Yoga Nidra and other forms of guided meditation, yoga, and getting out into nature.

One Natural way of helping alleviate anxiety is by the use of cannabis, including CBD oil.

I think we can all just chill out about the use of cannabis. It’s common knowledge that the health benefits are wide and plentiful. I know so many people who use it responsibly and who receive immense health benefits from it.

One of the best uses for cannabis is stress reduction. I think cannabis is such a better alternative than what big phat pharma offers.

Have you ever tried CBD oil? Here’s an article that I think is very worthy of review.


Photo by  Michael Fischer  from  Pexels

Photo by Michael Fischer from Pexels

Emotions are part of human life and throughout the course of our lives, we will go through the entire spectrum of feelings. There are some emotions that are directly related to events such as post-traumatic stress disorder and others that seem to pop up from nowhere. Anger and stress are two of the most powerful feelings that we can experience and if one is present, the other will be too.

Stress and anger are often accompanied by underlying anxiety and this is what makes it difficult to find an appropriate treatment. When these three emotions are all present in someone’s life, things can get out of control rather quickly and your quality of life is in jeopardy, especially if you don’t seek treatment. It is easy to overlook the fact that your anger could be a side effect of anxiety, especially if you haven’t been eating or sleeping properly and you may find that even the smallest of issues will suddenly seem like the end of the world is nigh.

Stress shouldn’t be taken lightly as, in severe cases, it can kill you. It causes hypertension, affects your nervous system, and can lead to depression. Furthermore, as there is still a stigma attached to those who seek medical treatment for seemingly minor emotional issues, many people choose to ignore the symptoms of stress and anger and hope that they will go away on their own.


The Effect of Pharmaceuticals on Mental Health Issues

Instant calm with this free Beach Paradise Guided Meditation

Guided meditations for stress

When we feel like we are under a high level of stress or anxiety, there will likely come a point where a friend or colleague will point us in the direction of a physician to help us address our issues. It could be caused by a social anxiety disorder, increased stress levels through work, Post-traumatic stress (PTSD), or even because of chronic pain. And one of the most commonly prescribed treatments for anxiety is a benzodiazepine like Xanax. These pills will treat your symptoms almost immediately, but they are accompanied by a long list of harmful side effects—especially when used for long periods of time. Benzodiazepines are highly addictive and they can cause the following symptoms:

  • Nausea

  • Depression

  • Dry Mouth

  • Incontinence

  • Headaches

  • Shaking

  • Paranoia

  • Loss of appetite

  • Acne

How CBD Works for Anger and Stress

Photo by  Nathan Cowley  from  Pexels

Photo by Nathan Cowley from Pexels

The past couple of years have seen the rise of alternative medicines such as CBD products like hemp seed oil, cannabis oil, and medical cannabis becoming increasingly popular. Medical marijuana and hemp oil (and all their derivatives) have been proven for use as an efficient and effective natural treatment for disorders like anxiety, depression, and stress and it is currently a hot topic in the medical industry. This has led to more studies being performed on cannabinoids and its potential therapeutic uses, as well as much more research scheduled to take place in 2019. While CBD oil is relatively new to the medical market, it has been used in ancient traditions for thousands of years to cure illness and provide relief from emotional issues like anger, stress, and anxiety.


Here are some of the ways that CBD is thought to alleviate the symptoms of anger and stress:

  • CBD is thought to cause pleasure hormones in the body to be released. These particular hormones are incredibly powerful, as they are responsible for inducing feelings of calm, reducing stress, and eliminating underlying anxiety.

  • Research has shown us that CBD positively affects the basolateral amygdala receptors that we naturally have in our bodies in order to process most of our sensory information.

  • The hippocampus is the part of our brain that is basically an emotional control center. CBD interacts with receptors in the hippocampus to stimulate positive emotions and the necessary chemicals to provide us with therapeutic comfort.

  • A daily dose of CBD oil has been found to reduce cognitive impairment.

  • CBD has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help eliminate the effects that stress can have on our heart and arteries.


Another major factor to take into account, when looking at CBD as a viable treatment for emotional disorders, is the effect that CBD has on Serotonin levels in the brain. Science and anecdotal evidence have both demonstrated the positive effect that CBD has on the mood-enhancing chemicals in our brain. It triggers the release of these necessary chemicals and works to ensure that they are balanced in an entirely natural way. As an added bonus, it is not accompanied by any nasty side effects.

Photo by  Andre Furtado  from  Pexels

Photo by Andre Furtado from Pexels

CBD Is not Addictive

CBD oil is a cumulative substance, meaning that it builds up in our body and works away behind the scenes. This is why it should be taken as a routine supplement each day, instead of when you are right in the clutches of a panic attack. Good quality CBD oil is extracted and processed in a way that allows it to override the psychoactive effects of THC (another important compound in the cannabis plant—the one that gets you high) this means that you won’t be walking around like a zombie and CBD oil is perfectly safe to take at work and it won’t impair your ability to drive or be productive. One of the primary risks of treating anxiety with traditional pharmaceuticals is an addiction and this, in turn, contributes to even more stress! CBD is completely non-addictive and you can take as much or as little as you like, without experiencing withdrawal symptoms.


Final Thoughts

While CBD oil is an incredibly powerful natural substance, not all oils are created equal. Before making a purchase, always check that the oil you are looking at is full spectrum and extracted in a chemical-free process. One of the biggest appeals of using CBD oil is the fact that it is completely non-toxic, so making sure that it is as pure as possible is going to be the key to success. It is also not a quick fix and should ideally be taken as part of a balanced diet and combined with exercise, which is also another incredibly effective way of eliminating stress from our lives. Finally, know that it is completely safe to experiment with dosage. What works for one person, might not be effective for another. Therefore, always start by taking a lower dose and increase it until you notice a positive change with regards to your anger and stress.

This article by Madeleine Taylor is originally published at SundayScaries.


Spring Cleaning with Yoga

We are well into spring and for many of us it’s time for some deep cleansing. In Ayurveda, you must first cleanse before you can add strength and power. Here’s a few yoga poses that will help you do just that by heating the system, twisting the torso, and inverting the body. These poses are great to help cleanse the system by moving lymph fluid. They also help with spinal decompression and organ cleansing.


Before cleansing, it’s necessary to add Tapas to the system. Tapas is both a word meaning  tasty Spanish dishes served on little plates as well as a Sanskrit word described in the Yoga Sutras as the heat necessary for transformation. Getting the body to heat up with poses that warm up the body (without overly challenging it) is very useful before cleansing the body. These poses include standing poses like Warrior I, II, and III, Side Angle Pose, and Chatarunga. Once the body heats up, it’s ready for cleansing.

Twists: Cleansing Poses

Photo by Dan Morris

Photo by Dan Morris

Twists are the best poses for cleansing. One of the reasons we want things twisting is to circulate our lymph. Sort of like nymphs, the spritely libido-rich fairies so abundant in enchanted forests, this kind of  "ymph" are like the body’s fairies that flutter around the forest of your body's fluids systems and with their rich source of white blood cells, put magical spells on bacteria and other disease-causing microorganisms, spells that send these unwanted guests into your eliminatory systems. The problem with the lymph system is that unlike our circulatory system, lymph depends on movements. Therefore, poses like twists help to get your lymph moving to do their work. Some yoga postures that help with this are seated and standing twists like Ardhamatsyandrasana and Twisting Crescent Lunge Pose. is one of  the best ways of keeping the lymph moving and thus keeping you healthy.

Twists are really excellent for the overall health of your back. They keep the body healthy by rotating the vertebral bodies of your spine and building strength and flexibility in the deep and superficial spinal and abdominal muscles. Twists maintain elasticity in the disks between the vertebrae as well as the ligaments of the back. Twists alternately compress and stretch the hemispheres of the chest, stimulating respiratory function. They also give a healthy massage to other vital organs, like the stomach, liver, intestines, and kidneys. Plus, twisting can help restore symmetry between the shoulders and pelvis which can be the problem of some kinds of back pain.  

Your nervous system literally revolves around your spinal cord so doing twisting poses helps wring out the nervous system. Your nervous system is one of the interesting junctures of mind and body. Twists and other tension-relieving poses do wonders to help relieve emotional tension that gets trapped in the body in the form of tight muscles.




Inversions


Handstand

Inversions are poses that turn you upside-down. Common inversions are Headstand, Handstand, and Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose. Just like twists, inversions are great to help you cleanse your system. Our digestive system sometimes get compacted and turning things upside-down helps to get things moving again. Inversions are also excellent for decompressing your spine, strengthening your arms and shoulders, and strengthening both the deep and superficial core muscles.

Getting upside-down is perhaps the best way of moving lymph through the bod and cleaning house. Inversions also build muscles in the neck and shoulders. They tone vital organs and stimulate glands. Like twists, inversions build strength and flexibility in the superficial and deep muscles and connective tissue along the spine and rib cage, most notably in the diaphragm and abdominal muscles. With all this muscular toning along our spine and ribs, our posture shapes up. When done properly, inversions can lengthen our spine. Inversions also help out your digestion, respiration, and circulation systems. Last, inversions can maybe help you look at this sludge in the air in a different way, when you see it from upside-down.

Consider some gently-heating poses, twists, and inversions as you’re mindfully planning how to spring clean your body, mind, and spirit.


Guided Meditations for Sleep





Yoga Nidra

Online Yoga Nidra Teacher Training

Become a qualified Yoga Nidra teacher

Yoga Nidra is form of Self-inquiry where we come to know our deepest, truest selves as Awareness. We do this through conscious relaxation and through a vivid exploration of the ego to understand our “Both And” nature which is truly the Divine essence of the Universe as it seeks to know itself through and as us, a beautiful and localized version of this divine Source.

As you experience your True Nature you feel one with all things—infinite, and whole. Such wholeness leads naturally to profound healing, boundless equanimity, and and understanding of your life, unparalleled by every-day thinking. Stress, trauma, and scarcity seem insignificant after you've experienced the part of you that is infinitely larger than any of these smaller experiences. Truly, through Yoga Nidra you see into the vastness of the Universe that is within you.

Yoga Nidra vs Other Meditation

What’s the difference between Yoga Nidra and guided meditation? I often describe Yoga Nidra as a guided meditation. However, one of the main differences between Yoga Nidra and other forms of mindfulness is that in this form of mindfulness you try to get relaxed as possible. Unlike other forms of meditation, it’s ok if you fall asleep—the part of you that we are working with, your deep Awareness, is still paying attention, even if your waking mind is asleep. In fact, Nidra means sleep. More appropriately, Nidra means that liminal realm of consciousness that lies between waking and dreaming, between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. Sometimes the deep conscious work that is going on in Yoga Nidra requires that the rational, thinking mind fall asleep and become anesthetized, as if there were a surgery that needed to occur on the soul and the rational mind simply would be best to check out for a while.

Yoga Nidra is Identifying as Awareness

Another main difference between Yoga Nidra and other forms of meditation is that one of your primary goals is to identify as Awareness itself. A Yoga Nidra practice is one where you lie down and are led through a layering of deeper and deeper awareness. You’ll first become aware of your immediate surroundings and then you’ll start to notice the many different things that filter through your attention in any given moment. Soon you start to notice that the changing things you’re aware of all point to a constant Awareness. Then, as you begin to feel and experience yourself as Awareness, you move into a more profound experience of Self. You feel yourself as Awareness, coming to know itself as whatever you’re aware of in that moment, like different costumes you can wear to practice knowing yourself.

Yoga Nidra

Therefore, the effects of Yoga Nidra are as profound as they are relaxing. Through practicing this deep awareness, you experience yourself, your REAL self, without boundaries, fears, or limitations. You open up to astounding and beautiful clarity about who you are. It opens you to feel at one with all things, increases your capacity for love, and helps you to be more compassionate. It shows you your gifts for the world, shows you your strength and power, and helps you feel as though someone has turned up all the colors of your life. Yoga Nidra is perhaps the most effective way I know to manage and eliminate trauma and stress.

The world desperately needs more Yoga Nidra and more qualified Yoga Nidra instructors. Practicing Yoga Nidra is easy but teaching it effectively can be complex. I’d love to share my knowledge of teaching Yoga Nidra with you.

If you are interested in learning more about this profound and illuminating practice, please take a look at either my Online Yoga Nidra Teacher Training or my Online Yoga Nidra Course: Sourcing Your True Power.


Enjoy this Yoga Nidra recording!


Guided Meditations for Sleep

Online Yoga Nidra Meditation Training: The Magic of Maya Working Through Illusion

Photo by David Newkirk

Photo by David Newkirk

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We're well into the new year and I hope the sun is smiling on you, even if you live in a place where the sun doesn't raise the temp above freezing.

This year has been already so rich for me and every day I practice staying present to everything that arises, in part thanks to my 31-Day Meditation Challenge.

One thing I've learned is that meditation doesn't prevent things like emotions such as fear or anxiety from arising in me, but trains me to be cool with what does arise. It teaches me to welcome whatever comes my way, recognize it for what it is—no more no less. Ultimately it trains me to be merely the witness of that thing. Then, from that place of observation, I may choose to respond to the information rather than react. Strange how emotions like fear and anxiety seem to come around less and less when I stop resisting them and let them be what they are, mere bits of information.

I'm still human, though, and once in a while I might still lose my $#1€, but the more I meditate, the less it happens.

So today, I want to share two things with you that are related to this idea of learning to observe emotions. I think you'll love them: My Yoga Nidra series coming up, and a fun story I wrote called Lessons in Fear…

First, I want to tell you how excited I am about my 6-week virtual Yoga Nidra series starting Jan. 20th called, The Magic of Maya: Working Through Illusion.

Yoga Nidra is a relaxing and profound guided meditation aimed to help you experience your True Nature. The most essential premise of Yoga Nidra is that your True Nature is whole and perfect, a being of limitless power, boundless equanimity, with a cosmic perspective that has no need for worry. Anything in contrast to that is an illusion. But rather than trying to transcend illusion, what if you could actually use it to discover and experience your True Self?

One of the questions we'll explore in this course is, "What if emotions aren't 'real,' but just an illusion of reality and how do we actually use these illusions to uncover what is true and experience our True Self?"

This understanding is one of the things that Yoga Nidra has taught me and countless other people and what I want to offer to you through this this Yoga Nidra series.

This series will be 6 sessions, each around 75 min. During each session, I'll lead you through a verrrry relaxing Yoga Nidra practice (guided meditation), offer an engaging and thought-provoking teaching, and open the conversation to all for comments and questions.

I'll be recording each session and will be offering the recording and a transcript of it for review, or in case you have to miss a session you can watch or read it later.

One of the best features of this series is that you'll be in the comfort of your own home but joined virtually with me and other students all over the world.

In addition to access to the live classes you’ll also receive a Yoga Nidra digital library which includes:

Online Yoga Nidra Teacher Training

Become a qualified Yoga Nidra Teacher

  • Audio/Video recording of each of the sessions

  • A transcript of each of the sessions

  • Access to dozens of other Yoga Nidra recordings

  • Helpful tips and links to videos, recordings, books, and articles to expand your Yoga Nidra education

  • Clarinet Lullaby, a high-quality audio recording of me playing the clarinet set to ocean waves and a background drone for the purpose of deep relaxation and meditation.

You'll end the each session and the entire series with a deeper experience and understanding of the profound nature of your Self. Plus you'll have lifetime access to all the practices and materials.

In addition, Yoga Nidra also helps with:

  • Reduction or elimination of stress

  • Profound relaxation

  • A deeper, richer, and more present life

  • Spiritual growth and understanding

  • Greater presence in relationships, work, and the community

  • Greater mental clarity

  • Clear sense of purpose

  • Better sleep


It's like napping your way to enlightenment!

One of the things I love about Yoga Nidra is that ANYONE can do it.

Registration is now open! I can't wait for this to start. I'd love for you to join me. This really is a must-attend series that you can do from the comfort of your own home.

California Love

Sen and I have spent most of our lives living in Utah. In 2017, we were looking for something new. We wanted a challenge.

Right about April of 2017, Sen was offered a job to work in NYC. That seemed to fit the bill perfectly for a challenge and the we decided to move, despite the fact that we’d just moved into a new house (new for us, and the first one we’d bought together), we decided to say goodbye to Salt Lake City and head east.

This decision was very deliberate. I mean, I would be giving up my 15-year career teaching yoga in Salt Lake City, a place where I’ve been rewarded with scores of friends, loyal clients, and more teaching opportunities than I can accept. Regardless, I was hungry to know if what I did in Salt Lake City could translate to New York.

It did. But it was more complicated than that . . .

NYC was much more challenging than we thought. After about 9 months, Seneca was starting to wonder if we’d made the right decision. I’m the kinda guy who will stick out even a bad sitch long enough to play it all the way out to the end, for better or worse. I wanted to stick it out for a while, mostly because I was just starting to get some traction in the yoga world.

Kula Yoga Nikki vilella.jpg

One of the studios I practiced at and audition for was Kula. Their commitment to a solid yoga practice with good, smart alignment added to a solid structure but dedicated to fun, creative sequencing was perfect for my personal style of practice and teaching. I particularly loved going to Nikki Vilella’s classes. She offered a no-bullshit, solid class that showcased her expert teaching, great assists, but without any showboating or diva vibes.

I asked to if I could possible get onto their sub list. Nikki arranged an audition for me and after gave me some really solid feedback. I’ve been teaching for so many years, and even giving feedback to other teachers regularly with my Teacher Mentor Program but it had been a while since I’d received good feedback about my own teaching from someone who is an expert teacher. Nikki said that while I was a great teacher, that my assists were very strong, but that I simply needed to learn the “Kula Way.” She suggested that I take the 30-hour “Kula Way” training they offer periodically, simply to understand the branded way in which the studio likes to their teachers to format classes.

Not long after this I went to Costa Rica for a retreat and had an incredible revelation that if NYC wasn’t happening for my woman, it just wasn’t happening. Don’t get so attached to NYC and try something new. I’d have to put the Kula training on hold.

Wanderlust hollywood schuyler grant.jpg
Wanderlust Hollywood Matt Phippen.jpg

Once we decided that New York wasn’t the right fit for us, we took a trip to L.A. Seneca spent a good part of her childhood in L. A. and has always considered herself a Californian at heart. We found that L. A. really fit us well—it seemed exciting and available to us. As per Nikki’s suggestion I found the sister-studio to Kula called Wanderlust in Hollywood and fell in love with it, not surprisingly because it was opened with, Schuyler Grant, the woman who opened Kula. I took class from Matt Phippen who was again right up my alley. I introduced myself to him and said there’s a good chance I’d be coming to L. A. He suggested I do the Wanderlust equivalent to the “Kula Way” training, a 75-hour, week-long training that shows how it’s done at Wanderlust.

So we liked L. A. And especially due to the fact that Seneca’s job dried up, the purpose for us moving to NYC in the first place, and that it’s just SOOOOOOO damn expensive there, we decided to forgo the obligatory 2 years of ass-kicking by “the system,” the NYC hazing period, and just move to L. A. And why not stop off in Salt Lake City for a while to have a summer with family, to reconnect to my old studio, and to offer some classes, workshops, and retreats.

Well after a great summer in Salt Lake City, we made the move. While in SLC, people would ask me repeatedly, “Now why are you moving to L. A.?” and when I told them simply because it’s on our adventure map, they would simply stare at me blankly. That’s fine, I don’t need people to understand my life for it to make sense to me.

I decided to take the Wanderlust training and was frankly thrilled to be doing a training again as a student instead of the teacher. I was hungry to get more of that fantastic feedback like I received from Nikki at Kula. I was eager to change things up and learn instead of teach— to sharpen the axe. And I knew that I wanted to do this as Wanderlust.

Plus, one great way to teach at a studio you like is to show up and pick up what they are puttin’ down. If it so happens that I can get onto the sub list at Wanderlust and someday be on the schedule, I’d be thrilled. But it’s good enough just to be learning the stuff.

So, with the training in mind, we moved to L. A., rented and Air B&B, and drove out.

The training started today and I’m so thrilled to be doing it. It’s exactly what I was hoping for and more. I’ll tell you more about the training tomorrow!



Why I Wake Early

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Sun Salutations

I awake today and sit enjoying the silence of a beautiful morning. Even as I sit, I'm watching the bright morning sun dance its procession around my front room. It is playing with the crystal hung in my eastern window and splattering rainbow prisms across each wall.

Even as I look, the color changes and fades, showing me that the earth is revolving around this sun. Things are changing. As I look out the window the sun is celebrating these early autumn trees with its light, making the yellow leaves explode with color against a cloudless and pale-blue sky. I see a small bird sitting in a shadow who decides to leap up higher and rest in the bright sun's warmth. And then it begins to sing.

Aren't we all like this bird, eager for the creature comforts of warmth on our skin, eager to leave the shadows for the sun and the opportunity to feel life pulsing through our veins, eager to feel how we may reflect that same brightness and joy through our song?

And perhaps this is why in yoga we practice celebrating the sun with Surya Namaskar, or sun salutations. Surya means "sun" and Namaskar means "a deep honoring." You might notice the same root word Namas as the base of the word Namaste, another Sanskrit word meaning to honor the True Nature or heart of hearts, the most sacred element and potential of another. Surya Namaskar is like offering a Namaste to our source, the sun, as it brings life to us and everything on this planet and we're dependent on it for all aspects of our well-being. Sun salutations are also a physical practice, a ritual, for acknowledging and honoring anything else you feel is your source (God, Creation, the Universe, Buddha nature, or whatever). But just as important, this practice reveals that we are part of that source and reflect a bit of that same light within ourselves. By acknowledging this similarity between ourselves and our source we empower ourselves with the memory of our True Nature. We are not dark creatures in a dark world, and where there is shadow, we can choose to leave it for the sun or shine light into it. We are beings of light, filled with life and love. And we are here to celebrate that, to learn from it, and to shine our light everywhere.

Mary Oliver.jpg

Uinta Mountain Yoga Retreat October 5–7, 2018

Mary Oliver says in her poem Why I Wake Early:

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who made the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety -

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light -
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

Please join me this week as we practice Surya Namaskar and other poses to remind ourselves of this bigger picture. We show gratitude, rekindle our fire, and celebrate our own light.

Scott

Yoga Hawaii.jpeg

Women Protecting Women Online

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I’ve been getting my hair cut from the same woman for something like 25 years. It had been a while since I’d had a cut and recently while she was snipping away at my curls, I asked her if she were dating anyone. She proceeded to tell me a story of the horrors of online dating, specifically the D-bags she was encountering through the online dating world, actions that amount to nothing less than abuse.

Best Yoga Blogs

A while ago, even before the #MeToo Movement, I wrote an article entitled, “What It Means to Be A Man.” I wrote this article because I felt that one of the most important lessons of yoga is to find balance. Despite many advancements in our social culture, there’s still a stark inequality between the rights and abuses of men and women. As a man, I see the need for men to have better role models, better ideals for women and humanity as a whole, and a better and more complete concept of Self, one that is in alignment with the balance of the Universe.

Recently, I was made aware of a great article entitled, “The Empowering Internet Safety Guide for Women,” written by women for women that makes everyone aware of the abuses of women on the internet and gives helpful and actionable steps to protect one’s self from these abuses. It tackles everything from harassment on social media, namely Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and SnapChat, to harassment at work, online dating sexual harassment and more.

I’m including a bit of the article below and hope you’ll click to read the rest of it. I’m an advocate for all people’s equality, including and especially equality for women. Please pass this along. I feel it’s crucial information for today.


Namaste



The Empowering Internet Safety Guide for Women

Have you ever been harassed in the street? Received a crass message on a dating app? Had a coworker make a comment about your appearance that just didn’t sit right?

You’re not alone.

With the #MeToo movement, it’s easy to log onto Twitter or Facebook and see just how many women are victims of sexual harassment. Whether in person or online, women everywhere have experienced it in one way or another. And with all the new ways the internet has opened avenues of communication, online harassment is more prevalent than ever.

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, most online abuse takes place on social media. Although men are also subject to online harassment – which includes name calling, derision, and physical threats – the study found that online, women are more than twice as likely as men to experience sexual harassment.

In addition, more than half of women ages 18-29 report having been sent sexually explicit images without their consent.

This number is only growing, and while 70% of women believe online harassment to be a major problem, not many know how to prevent it.

Women are often targeted simply because they are women. Attacks are often sexualized or misogynistic, and rhetoric tends to focus on their bodies and sexual violence. This is both physically and emotionally damaging, and women are often intimidated into silence, preferring to disengage rather than put themselves at risk.

However, there are ways we can protect ourselves.

This guide was written with the intention of empowering women to navigate the internet without fear. We discuss common occurrences in which women are subject to harassment in their daily lives – on social media, at work, while dating, and more – and give tips and advice on how women can take control.

It is important for us to note that some of the advice given here encourages anonymity, rather than risking being targeted. While this may seem to run counter to the idea of encouraging self-expression, we believe that every woman should be empowered to make that choice for herself.

Our job is to give you the tools you need to do that.

We hope this guide encourages women everywhere to defend and protect themselves, and to stand up to sexual harassment, both on and off the web.

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20-Hr. Yoga Nidra Immersion

Online or in-person. September 28–30 2018

visualization beach

I Don't Know The Name of This Bird

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White Eyes

White-Eyes
by Mary Oliver
 
In winter
    all the singing is in
         the tops of the trees
              where the wind-bird
 
with its white eyes
    shoves and pushes
         among the branches.
              Like any of us
 
he wants to go to sleep,
    but he's restless-
         he has an idea,
              and slowly it unfolds
 
from under his beating wings
    as long as he stays awake
         But his big, round music, after all,
             is too breathy to last.
 
So, it's over.
    In the pine-crown
         he makes his nest,
              he's done all he can.
 
I don't know the name of this bird,
    I only imagine his glittering beak
         tucked in a white wing
              while the clouds-
 
which he has summoned
    from the north-
         which he has taught
              to be mild, and silent-
 
thicken, and begin to fall
    into the world below
         like stars, or the feathers
              of some unimaginable bird
that loves us,
    that is asleep now, and silent-
         that has turned itself
              into snow.
 
I read this poem and imagine this Spirit-Bird wrestling with its ideas in the tops of the trees manifesting as the brilliant winter storms we sometimes experience in winter.

I think of this Spirit-Bird as something large and definitive, a creator or director, or maybe simply a grand observer, who puffs and blows the turbulence we all sense in the storms of the sky, and the storms of our lives. I imagine this Spirit-Bird as blustery at times, yes, but also as a being who ultimately touches me with Divine love, a real touch, by sending gentle, delicate, and cold kisses floating through the air in the form of snowflakes, landing silently on my face and shoulders and eyes.

Like Mary Oliver says, I don't know the name of this bird. But I can feel it whatever it is. Sometimes, it stops me in my tracks along this tempestuous journey of life, ankle-deep in dark and cold, my brow furrowed and mind brimming with business, and lifts my gaze for a moment to watch its dazzling spectacle of fat, silent flakes filter through the streetlight or moonlight.

The beauty of it all!

I don't know the name of this bird, but I can feel its breath move through me in yoga. It makes my body move and sway, undulate and reach. It arrests my busy mind and opens my eyes.

Come out of the cold, both physically and spiritually, and warm up with a yoga practice. Watch as The Spirit-Bird, or whatever name you give it, slowly unfolds its ideas and gives you divine kisses through breath and movement. Then you'll feel it too outside in the form of snow or rain or cold, anything, but nevertheless touches everything around you.