Consider Stillness on the Full Moon Solstice

Here’s a short, sweet post from my yoga teaching blog. Consider chilling out today.

Wholehearted Yoga

This morning we marked a full moon, and tonight, we’ll observe the Summer Solstice. The last time this happened was in 1967, during the “Summer of Love.”

So I do like the advice above from @mysore_sf to rest. The full moon in summer lends enough energy on its own, and the solstice does even more so. Our inclination, observing and sensing these energies, is to expend a lot ourselves. We can really go off the charts with that energy, and should balance it with more resting, cooling practices. Minimize those things that aggravate pitta doshacaffeine, alcohol, activity, and strenuous practices.

Remember that the sol–stice refers to the stillness or stillpoint of the sun.

Cate Stillman says…

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Why You NEED Self-Care – You Are Your Greatest Asset

Lately I have been doing a lot of personal and professional inquiry into mindfulness in higher education. This is not just a hobby. My return to higher education grew up entwined with my journey into yoga. They are somehow inseparable. A great deal of emotional work is required in teaching, especially in an era of scarcity, in which we prepare young people for the fairly formidable challenges left behind by preceding generations, including our own. So the possibility is great for being depleted, or worse, becoming cynical. The world’s headlines alone threaten to overwhelm, not to mention the very concrete facts of those in our care. While depletion may exhaust us and drain our efficacy, to me cynicism is so much more pernicious because it actively corrodes the souls of others. I find the following observations helpful.

I know from experience that when I am not taking care of my own mental health, when I don’t have a place to process the things I hear every day, I start to think differently myself.  I start to believe that everything in the world is as twisted as the things that I hear on a day to day basis.  There are different names for this such as vicarious traumatization or compassion fatigue.

It can be difficult to recognize when these things are happening, because it isn’t some large, life-changing, traumatic event.  It is the day to day build-up of all of the things I hear.  It is like a light, almost foggy rain, it barely gets you wet, but if you stay out in it long enough you still get soaked.  So what is there to do? How do we avoid this as a profession and as people? The answer is simple, it is called self-care.

Source: Why You NEED Self-Care – You Are Your Greatest Asset | Ethical Business in the 21st century

We need practices to maintain ourselves because in work with people, such as teaching, it is ourselves we offer. If we are focused enough on self–care in support of such service, perhaps we can offer these practices to others. Perhaps these practices, once spread, can begin to help transform the very circumstances that overwhelm us, tempting us to depletion or cynicism. I am, indeed, once again, making the argument that personal and social change are inextricably linked.

I have been meaning to write some much longer pieces developing these ideas, and perhaps thinking about self–care in this light is a way back in.

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Deceptively Simple

This morning I was seized by this deceptively simple offering.

The More You Are Motivated By Love The More Fearless & Free Your Action Will Be – Dalai Lama | Spiritual | Forward this Picture

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Night Shift is Here

Last time I reported about the availability on the iOS App Store, of an app that would shift the temperature of one’s iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to warmer temperatures at night, so that one could sleep. Well, I hadn’t realized that at that point the app had been pulled.

But Apple has made TimeShift available as a part of iOS 9.3, available yesterday, with the introduction of an new iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

So have at it, and come in, the water’s fine.



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Apple Approves ‘FlexBright’ iOS App That Adjusts Display Temperature [Update: Pulled] – Mac Rumors



You may recall that back in December 2014, I wrote to you about f.lux, which allows one to change the temperature of your Mac screen, so that its brightness does not keep you up all night, and you can observe dina charya (the Ayurvedic daily rhythm) for better sleep.

While this is available as an app for iOS (for iPhones and iPads), one would have had to “jailbreak” the device, undoing all its security. Until now.

FlexBright, an app that allows the user to manually adjust the display temperature of an iOS device, was recently approved by Apple, marking one of the first third-party apps that’s able to function in a manner similar to the company’s own Night Shift mode, set to be released in iOS 9.3. The only catch is it must be triggered somewhat manually in response to a notification, rather than continuously, like Night Shift or f.lux.

I look forward to trying out this app, until the next point release of iOS becomes available with Night Shift.

via Apple Approves ‘FlexBright’ iOS App That Adjusts Display Temperature [Update: Pulled] – Mac Rumors.

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My very serious and deeply spiritual guide in Bikaner

I know the people who will not give money to the homeless because they will just spend it on booze, or because they see it as prolonging this “lifestyle.” I have no time for absolutes, seeing everything as dependent on context. I think this story is instructive.

Beyond that, I am impressed with the reverence for life even among the poorest people. We should be taught by this.

Essentialyogastudio's Blog

bikaner tour guide (2) (533x800).
Cow Sanctuary
We were talking about the sacred cows of Bikaner and the history behind it.  I told my guide what my friend said in Pune; that once the cows/buffalos got too old to be useful they were sold to Muslims for slaughter.

Maybe that happens in large cities like Pune and Mumbai where people have lost their faith, but that would never happen in Northern India.  Here we have veterinary hospitals and sanctuaries for them.  When they get too old they go to the sanctuaries so they won’t die alone.  Some are blind, deformed, sick, some are dying.  If they can walk, they walk the fields.  If they are blind, we put a male and female together so they can comfort each other.

Each morning I get up my wife makes chapati. The first one goes to a cow.  Every morning a large bull knocks on our door with…

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Open to Grace: Launching the Considered Kula

From the archives. Five years ago today.

The Considered Kula

You have arrived at the inaugural post of “The Considered Kula.” Breathe, and Open to Grace.

From “About” this blog

“Kula” is a Sanskrit word meaning “family” or “intentional community” that has taken on the meaning of “community” within Anusara Yoga™, which I practice. It seems to be a distinctive characteristic of the style, evoking its emphasis on “heart opening.”

The project of this blog, the sense in which kula is “considered,” is that in addition to being an eager student of this style of yoga, I am by training a sociologist. I hope to write creatively about the tension of these apparent opposites, which are both a part of who I am.

I launch this blog now, because it has been about two years since I have been on the path of Anusara Yoga. I had two key struggles in my life at the time. One was…

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A new cycle

I’m happy to report my return to regular yoga teaching! I will write more backstory here, soon.

Wholehearted Yoga

Which way do you run to
Are you coming out or in
When one cycle goes around
Another one begin, begin, begin

This song by Trevor Hall is my “ear worm” right now, because it speaks of change and its cyclical nature. As surely as the seasons, we will pass this way again. A little over two weeks ago we observed the cross–quarter day between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox (Imbolc). We’re more than halfway to astronomical spring. The moon, after having been full on Presidents’ Day, is waxing to fullness.

The most external reason for that has to do starting a new regular class at what is for me a new studio. While I have been subbing since my second shoulder surgery in March 2015, this will be the first time I’ll be on a studio schedule. I’m pleased to report that beginning tonight (Thursdays), at 5:30…

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Sleepless, Night Traveling, and Tejas in the Tamas

From the archives. Some nights, one must simply be “a wakeful candle in a golden dish.”

The Considered Kula

Tonight, for the second night in a row, I am uncharacteristically sleepless. I don’t know what’s up with that. Maybe that’s what I’m supposed to find out. I am certain that being on the threshold of a new year has me reflecting on the past year and the one to come. To the extent that people come together in a special way around this time of year, things may be arising from some essential conversations that I have had.

Particularly since participating in Cate Stillman’s Yogidetox, I have been very attuned to Dina Charya, or the Ayurvedic daily rhythm. This means getting to bed at a decent hour. That time is past, and when that happens, energy rises.

Normally, I might view this as a…

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How creating art helped me.

I know people for whom art is very therapeutic, and it has been suggested by at least one of them that yoga is my art. And now, to that I add the study of bhakti yoga, as I am learning how to play the harmonium and sing kirtan.



 I have always had an interest and appreciation for art. Although I was a very depressed child I recall getting excited for art class. I felt safe. I expressed my darkest feelings. I noticed how calm I felt after I completed a painting. I wasn’t talented but I was passionate. With time and practice I become a better artist.

As an adult, I’ve realized how beneficial art is for the mind. Creating art was a very effective way to stimulate my brain. I developed certain habits of thinking. I managed to cope with life’s challenges. I also started thinking outside the box .

Through personal experience these are some benefits I gained from creating art.

Communication- As a shy child I had a very hard time communicating my feelings. Art made me communicate in a different more personal level. I didn’t have to say much. My art work said it all.

Therapeutic – Art…

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