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Hell has three gates: lust, anger, and greed”

Bhagavad Gita

yoga moment Doctor Lynn Anderson

Monday, April 02, 2012

Celibacy

The month of April brings us to a study of the fourth abstention or the practice of celibacy. Celibacy means control over the sensual self in all respects. According to yoga our life is divided into four parts. The first quarter is referred to as studentship and requires celibacy because it is the time we study and learn. The second quarter is the time of the householder or a time when one marries and begins a family. The celibacy practiced here is that of provider and teacher. One should be devoted to one’s family. The third quarter is mid life where there is a return to a stricter focus on control of the senses, and then finally a person enters the fourth quarter where celibacy is reestablished. It is a misnomer that celibacy means to abstain from sexuality.(although one may abstain through spiritual practice) Celibacy according to yoga means that the concept of sexuality should be linked to a healthy attitude physically, mentally and spiritually, in all circumstance and at all times.

Posted on 04/02 at 04:45 PM


Friday, March 02, 2012

The Third Yama

This Month we will study the third yama – non-stealing. Most people think of stealing as taking something that is not theirs. In yoga it means not committing theft physically and/or not permitting any one else to do so – in thoughts, words or action.  Remember thoughts are powerful, words can hurt or heal and actions create Karma. Think before you speak and/or act or react upon something. Remember there are many truths. Reflect upon the circumstances, do no harm and do what is the greatest good for the greatest many. What is the greatest good? Reflect upon it and then choose wisely.

Posted on 03/02 at 06:16 AM


Thursday, February 02, 2012

Truth

This month we are studying truth. It is the second yama or abstention. Truth means to conduct our thoughts, words and action in harmony with each other. Words that harm are not truthful. They should not be spoken. Examine your words before you speak and only utter them if they are useful and good. In other words if you don’t have something good to say be quiet. Remember that truth is not fixed. Truth can take on different meanings within different cultures.

When it comes to the truth remember these two things;

Speak only with no intention to harm; look at truth as it exist within you and how your truth relates to the whole of life.
The practice of truthfulness produces a steady mind, truthful words and harmonious actions. Be true to yourself and live a harmonious life.

Doctor Lynn

Posted on 02/02 at 05:39 AM


Monday, January 02, 2012

A Beginners Mind

Remember the first time you did something? The challenge, the fun and the lift of energy that comes from something new and exciting. Beginner’s mind in yoga means to come back to the present moment. It’s the jolt that lifts us from our wanderings and brings us into newness. It is in that split second we realize that everything is new and fresh and we can begin again with a beginner’s point of view which becomes shaped in the moment. We often times lose precious moments and opportunities to refresh and gain another point of view because we are lodged in the past or fearful of the future. Try to arrive at the moments in your life with a sense of adventure; open to the infinite possibilities that exist in the precious moments of now.

Doctor Lynn

Wishing you a happy, healthy and Peaceful New Year.

Posted on 01/02 at 05:56 AM


Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Happiness

According to yoga( and my own belief) is that happiness or the lack of, is at the root of most people’s problems. Fulfillment and purpose fill the soul with such joy that happiness is a natural by-product. According to yoga tradition we come to this earth with four distinct desires. These desires lead us to a realization of the purpose set forth by our soul. The first is to become what you were meant to become; to fulfill your purpose. The second is to acquire the means so that you are able to live out your purpose. This means to have the security, money and health necessary to carry out the task of realizing your purpose. The third is to receive pleasure from all your earthy activities. Be mindful here; the pleasure must be to serve your higher purpose. The fourth is to reach a state where we transcend the everyday burdens of the world while fully participating in it. According to yoga if you use these desires mindfully you will live a balanced and happy life.

This all sounds very good intellectually but how do you apply it to your life and realize your highest potential? The soul knows but we must get out of our own way to hear that voice within that will always direct us to our highest potential. Fear is what holds us back. We are all caught up in three basic fears; the fear of not being loved, the fear of rejection and the fear of dying. All other forms of fear spring forth from these basic three. Until we can rise above the three fears we stay caught up in the perpetual cycle of our karma. Realize this; you have nothing to fear. You are, at the spiritual level, energy that is loved, accepted and eternal by the nature of your birth. Quiet the body-mind through some mindful meditation. Listen deep inside and walk towards that which makes you happy and gives you fulfillment. Never mind what anyone says or how foolish it may seem. If you keep your focus while supporting your health, establishing security and prioritizing your spending you will find all that you need to realize a dream. Thirty-three years ago I started a book and a dream. Through careful planning and continual focus I am now realizing this dream. Keep your eye on the prize!

Doctor Lynn

Posted on 11/01 at 03:37 PM


Monday, October 03, 2011

Namaste

Each time I teach yoga I close with the traditional saying of Namaste. This Sanskrit word can be interrupted to state different ways of relating the same meaning. It was taught to me as a way of saying, at the end of my class,” I celebrate the place within where we have met.” Meaning that hopefully we connected on a deeper spiritual level somewhere throughout the class and this was a place of celebration. Literally Namaste means to honor you or not mine, but thine-yours, the Divine. Whatever our interpretation the celebration is the same. When we take a quiet moment to appreciate the nature of balance, flexibility, strength and peace there is a celebration from within that rises above every day concerns and recognizes that at the fundamental level we are all one simply seeking the connection with that divine energy known as bliss. It is subtle. Never demanding or imposing but always present waiting for the moment when we open and let peace and serenity arrive. You don’t need to repeat Namaste to experience these moments of bliss. Simply recognize that we are all humans, subjected to the same laws of nature and at the fundamental level we all seek a reconnection where balance, flexibility, strength and peace become a moment of bliss.

Doctor Lynn

Posted on 10/03 at 05:07 AM


Friday, September 02, 2011

Yoga Moment

When we are going through a difficult time life can seem like a struggle. It can seem like no matter how hard we try we can’t change things. Often it is criticism and judgment that comes in, playing a major role in the daily debate within our head. We can feel impatient and dissatisfied with life. This is exactly the moment we need to practice yoga. One of the many lessons of yoga is learning to step back from the judgmental critical self and simply observe life.

When we observe life from an uncritical and non-judgmental place we have the opportunity to get clarity. Removing emotions and opinions creates a quiet and objective state of being. From this state of being we can let go of frustration and begin to see things in a different light. Remember it is how you see things that creates the struggle.

Here is a way to practice yoga by stilling that inner critical judgmental voice. Sit comfortably, close your eyes and take in a few deep breathes. Now let your mind settle in on one person or one thing that has made you critical and judgmental. As you breathe deep acknowledge the situation or person “as is” and then try to look at the situation from a positive point of view. Develop objectivity by realizing that we are all one with the same emotions, fears and imperfections. Each person and each situation in your life is there to teach you a valuable lesson. When you focus on the lesson and not on the critical, judgmental nature of things you will begin to feel a sense of relief and this will bring you closer to understanding why we practice yoga.

Doctor Lynn  

Posted on 09/02 at 05:06 AM


Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The Ego

The ego is a storage bank that interprets particular experiences according to how “I” perceive “me”. However this perception of reality is unreal from the standpoint that perceptions are transitory and ever changing. When you shut down the senses all that is left is memory and memory also changes with time. The ego is not a negative thing nor is it meant to be destroyed. The ego is the vehicle by which we evolve. The problem is in believing that the ego’s point of view is the final reality. When this happens we stop processing and cease to evolve. The yoga term of this is ignorance. The only way to transcend this ignorance is to connect with the true self which is the essence of your being and therefore the essence of all beings. “I” can perceive “me” in a variety of ways but that is only my interpretation and not necessarily the way others perceive “me”.  Realizing that your own perception of reality is not the only reality; the path of yoga teaches you to strive ever deeper into an understanding of life so that you might find your true self; the observer who reserves judgment.

Posted on 08/03 at 04:24 PM


Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Karma - You can’t avoid it

Try as you may, you can never avoid karma. That’s because karma means action and reaction, and every bit of existence involves action and reaction. Life is a series of causes and effects right down to the very first breath you take and the very last breath you take. In between our karma is about the work we are here to do in this life time.

When we speak of good karma and bad karma we are engaging the ego. The ego likes to judge, protect and fill itself with self importance. The real nature of karma is working to transcend the ego and connect with the true self. We cannot escape from the effects of our actions. Even when completely passive, we still must breath and breathing is a form of karma, which according to Hindu text is an action that has an effect. We breathe and we live.

Our only escape from the continual circle of karma is to cease judging by changing the way we relate to our actions. It is in and through the mind (our inner attitudes) that we have the ability to shift from ego identity to self identity.  Our actions cease to be binding and our minds cease to be judgmental when we act unselfishly by surrendering the self in all our deeds. The best example would be love. When we love unselfishly and unconditionally without wanting something in return we transcend the need to judge.

By habitually referring everything to it, the ego piles up karmic baggage. Freedom from this excess baggage only comes when we deflate the ego of its importance and let life flow freely without stress, anxiety, anguish and fear. Our actions then will become more spontaneous and truly creative.

Be conscious of your need to judge. Be aware of your actions and how those actions affect your life. Release yourself from the controlling and ever so important ego. To remove the so called “bad” karma from your life; get busy and do something unselfishly to serve to others.  Give of yourself; if only with a smile, a hug and a few words of encouragement.

Doctor Lynn

Posted on 07/05 at 05:29 PM


Monday, April 04, 2011

When good and pleasure collide

In yoga terms it is always best to seek that which is good over that which is pleasurable. Pleasure is seen as temporary and of the physical world, where seeking the good raises the body-mind to a higher level of existence. For example; we may get pleasure in eating a chocolate Sunday but it is far better to feed the body-mind nutritious foods that enhance health and well being.

But the problem with strict adherence to the good is that it can leave us with cravings and resentment and those cravings and resentments can distract us from finding balance and peace. Human life and its physical and mental design is made for seeking and enjoying pleasure as well as needing the elements of good for health and well being.

We are hardwired in our brains to seek pleasure. The pleasure center of the brain releases dopamine in response to certain stimuli. As humans we crave this release and even get addicted to the stimuli that cause us to experience the pleasure sensation of the release of dopamine. The problem comes in when we get addicted to substances that rob the body-mind of balance causing us to seek pleasure at the expense of good. What we need is balance.  Kriya Yoga (seeking balance) teaches us to be moderate in all things and we will find the balance or that thin line that separates extreme good and extreme pleasure.

Life is best lived in a state of balance. One glass of wine has been shown to be good for you and at the same time gives us pleasure. It can enhance the food we eat and relax us. Wine has been shown to be good for memory, circulation and anti-aging. However take it a step farther and drink more than two glasses of wine and the opposite effect happens. We undermine all the good of a moderate consumption of wine.

Sometimes this dilemma is referred to as walking on the razors edge. If you lean to one side you will get cut. It is a sharp fine line between extremes. In the center is the place life is meant to be lived. It is a constant balance of self awareness that keeps us from slipping and cutting ourselves. This is the balanced path of yoga. Approach all things with a sense of moderation. This way you will never feel the sense of denial and craving that comes from living too strictly or slip and fall from over indulgence in too much pleasure. 

Doctor Lynn

Posted on 04/04 at 11:09 AM


Thursday, March 03, 2011

Balance

Balance is the ultimate in achievement, for when the body, mind and soul are in perfect balance we have perfect health. We are at peace. Moderation is the key element in bringing balance to your life.

Some branches of yoga see a contradiction between seeking good and indulging in pleasure. A text of Vendantic yoga says; “Both the good and the pleasurable approach a person. The wise choose the good over the pleasurable.” Many yoga practitioners have taken this to means we should deny ourselves any pleasure in the pursuit of the good. However if something is good without pleasure, is it not difficult to stay with the good? Can’t something that is good for you also be pleasurable? Let’s take sex for example. It is both good for your health and pleasurable. Some branches of yoga deny sexual pleasure in favor of total abstinence. Somehow the pleasure of loving someone (physical) is seen as not seeking the good (spiritual). It is a pleasure to be denied.
From a mystical point of view, pleasure is found in the spiritual and not necessarily in the physical world. But from a brain science point of view you are wired for pleasure. The pleasure centers in our brains are wired so as to insure the survival of the species. Food, alcohol, some drugs, sex, exercise and more, stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain. A balanced individual chooses pleasures that are good for survival and an unbalanced individual chooses destruction and over indulges in pleasure. What is needed is moderation or an ability to walk the middle road.

Everything in moderation brings balance to the body, the mind and the soul. The problem is when we let emotions take over and we overindulge to the point of destruction. However, the body’s natural tendency is to treat pleasure as if we are on the right track; even when destructive pleasure feels good and leads to destruction of the body, the mind and the soul. The secret is moderation.

Do what is good and what brings you pleasure with a careful eye towards balance. Balance is the center point where we lean towards neither side but remain steadfast and upright stable, strong and centered. It is here that good and pleasure meet, bringing ultimate joy to the body, the mind and the soul.
Doctor Lynn

Posted on 03/03 at 07:18 AM


Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Love

Loving is a process in which we bring forth another soul towards illumination. Through the physical act of sexuality combined with spiritual love we take the physical and the mental experience to another level. This level is known as ecstasy. When you make love to another person you are opening a doorway to the person’s soul. Love is a way of directing large amounts of energy out through your body, mind and soul into the body, mind and soul of another.

In yoga this is known as physical celibacy which means that we practice restraint from random acts of sex and love with the realization that when we tap into the sexual and sensual loving energy of another we are connecting at the soul level. Connecting should be done with respect and honor. It is the difference between making love and raw sex.
For most individuals making love is the closest they will come to fully connecting with another human being or for that matter to anything in the universe. If one is truly touching; the body, the mind and the soul will recognize the touch. People who have truly loved understand.
Posted on 02/02 at 06:24 AM


Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Purity

It is the start of a new year. What should we try and observe? In the practice of yoga purity is the first observance. Purity has two levels, internal and external. The body is purified by water, the mind is purified by truthfulness and the soul is purified by knowledge and austerity.

Let’s focus on physical purity. Eating a healthy diet that gives life force back to the body as well as hydrating it with life replenishing water is said to bring the light from the temple (the body) to an intense place where energy is uplifted and health is restored. This is not too difficult to understand. When we eat healthy we are supplying the body with the nutrients it needs to function at its optimal level. When the body is healthy, energetic and strong we are able to achieve more. This sense of achievement is not about achieving through competition but rather the kind of achievement that comes about when we feel good and have more energy to absorb and appreciate the fundamental aspects of life.

In today’s world it is not always easy to live a purely healthy lifestyle. However with a little awareness we can make choices that will enhance the functionality of the body, in such a way, that we actually can observe.

Namaste
Doctor Lynn
Posted on 01/04 at 02:04 PM


Thursday, December 02, 2010

Non-violence

There is a prescribed order in the study of yoga. The first step is the abstentions and the first abstention is to practice non-violence. Non-violence begins in the mind or with our intellect. Our mind produces either harmonious or inharmonious thoughts, and these thoughts produce verbal and physical acts of non-violence or violence. Therefore in yoga we practice to quiet the mind so that thoughts are harmonious and non-violence is practiced.

The practice of nonviolence brings about three things:
1. It brings good karma into your life
2. It brings about non-agitation of the mind so that concentration is possible. When we concentrate we are able to meditate and when we are able to meditate illumination is possible.
3. Non-violence automatically draws non-violent people and events into your life. Your social exchange becomes filled with happiness and effortless intellectual exchange.

From our thoughts spring our words. To practice non-violence in speech;
1. Speak softly
2. Speak gently
3. Speak wisely

When thoughts and words are kind, gentle and harmonious with life there is no need for the physical expression of violence. In yoga it is believed that if we could master the practice of non-violence we would not need to master the other steps.

This holiday season practice non-violence. Make it your gift to your family, friends and the world. Take time to relax. Meditate and find the peace within.

Namaste

May you always go with health, happiness and peace.

Doctor Lynn

Posted on 12/02 at 02:07 PM


Friday, November 05, 2010

Moods

Ever woken up in a “bad” mood? You create your own universe whether you are aware of it or not. Your moods set up a pattern that eventually manifest into your external world. Your moods create the nature of your day. How do we change these so called “bad” moods?

We can master a bad mood but not without first mastering ourselves. It takes a little work and a little self reflection. It is easy to get caught in the illusion and blame circumstances or other people for our moods but in fact our moods are simply by-products of the internal universe within. The enemy is not something or someone out there but rather inside our own minds, moods and attitudes.

The practice of yoga is a wonderful way to master our moods. Your moods reflect first in your body language. Your posture and gestures reflect a lack of balance. Drooping shoulders, a scowling face and sunken eyes reveal your inner mood. Using yoga poses we bring balance to the body by stretching it, flexing it, strengthening it and releasing it from its tense and drooping stature. This release then moves within and releases the mind from its “bad” mood grip. In a balanced state a being is steady, stable and strong. This in turns reflects out physically through the posture and the stature. You are a reflection of the universe that exists within. Be aware.

Doctor Lynn

Posted on 11/05 at 04:19 AM


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