Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Yoga, Ashrams, and a Used Book Store

Sunday was filled with discoveries. Around 11 I walked up to the Avenue to stop at breathe books and Inspired Serenity. breathe didn't open until 12, so I visited Sherry and replenished my supply of Lemon Chiffon Rooibos tea leaves (it makes wonderful iced tea!). I was happy to have the chance to talk more with Sherry about Yasodhara Ashram Yoga Study & Retreat Centre in British Columbia. It sounds like a dream. There is even a Karma Yoga class that invites young adults to live and participate in meditation and yoga for free, in exchange for working at the ashram. Now I have to figure out how to fit it in...

Learning about this opportunity led me to look for centers like Yosadhara closer to Baltimore. I stumbled upon Yogaville. The Yogaville Welcome Weekend Program sounds like the perfect opportunity to get a taste of life at an Ashram. After researching Yogaville, I found somewhere even closer to home called Yoga Village. Although it is not an Ashram, Yoga Village has a lot to offer and is only a mile from my house and my office. I am meeting with one of the owners tomorrow after work to discuss the possibility of a work exchange. Helping out and practicing yoga in a peaceful place filled with people who strive to live consciously sounds good to me.

Back to Sunday's adventures. After visiting Sherry, I stopped at breathe books to pick up a few CDs. Susan helped me select
Guided Mindfulness Meditations by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Seven Metals: Singing Bowls of Tibet by Benjamin Iobst, and Deepak Choprah's new book Buddha: A Story of Enlightment. Choprah's book on CD should be perfect for the ride to Burlington for the Healing Touch Level 1 class next Friday. I've been listening to the Seven Metals CD multiple times each day since I bought it. It is soothing and helps me stay in a positive mind frame. I've listened to two of the four CDs in Iobst's Guided Mindfulness Meditations. Both CDs are very effective, but also challenging. I am working up to finishing an entire 45 minute meditation. The other two CDs are Yoga Instruction, but I haven't tried them yet.

On the subject of meditation, I heard about the Baltimore Shambala Center a few months ago and have been meaning to attend their open house on Thursday nights. I actually just looked up Shambala on Wikipedia and found out that it is a Sanskrit
term meaning "place of peace/tranquility/happiness". Wikipedia also explains that "Sanskrit is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. It has the same status in Nepal as well.". Good to know. I guess there is an Ashram in Baltimore. Which leads me to one of the books I found at Salamander Books on The Avenue.

After lunch today at Soup's On, I ventured into the used bookstore across the street. I was pleasantly surprised to find a decent selection of books on homeopathy and spirituality. I picked up: Essential Oils: A Basic Guide by Julia Lawless, Aromatherapy by Vivan Lunny M.D., Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual In Everyday Life by Judith Lasater, Ph. D., P.T., and Shambhala:The Sacred Path of the Warrior by Chogyam Trungpa. I've skimmed all of the books and I am most excited about starting Living Your Yoga.

Although I haven't even started practicing yoga on a regular basis, I was intrigued to learn about the yogic diet on Yoga Village's website. Yoga Village describes the diet as a "lacto-vegetarian diet, rich in proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. The yogi carefully discriminates between qualities of food items by using the categories of the three gunas: Sattva (clean/pure), Rajas (stimulating, disturbing, active), and Tamas (sluggish).". The Sivananda Yoga Website notes that: "One who seriously takes to the path of Yoga would avoid ingesting meats, fish, eggs, onions, garlic, coffee, tea (except herbal), alcohol and drugs.". The only two things that would be difficult for me to part with are chicken and coffee. I hope to learn more about this diet first-hand at the Yoga Village.

Thats all for now. I am brewing a huge pot of peppermint and green iced tea right now and looking forward to settling in with one of my books. I'll be back tomorrow to write about my experience at Yoga Village and whatever else I stumble upon on the way.



1 comment:

camilyn said...

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