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Origins of Yoga
The science of Yoga is a 5,000 thousand-year-old system that leads to physical vitality, peace of mind, and a deepening experience of spiritual connection. Yoga is not a religion, though through its practice some discover faith and some return to their own with renewed enthusiasm.
Pantanjali, the Indian sage who reformulated the teachings of yoga, defines yoga as the control of thought-waves in the mind. To achieve this control, or stilling of the mind, it is important to cultivate a relaxed body and to use energy wisely. When the mind and emotions are still and calm we can more easily remember who we fundamentally are and our place in the world.
Peaceful Presence Yoga (TM)
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead.
We teach hatha yoga (like almost all yoga schools and studios) but have a special emphasis on being a "peaceful presence," teaching this to others, and helping to create more peace in the world. Do you want to learn more? See our core teachings below. Also speak to us, take our classes, and study our material, learn about the eight limbed path of yoga and, if you happen to belong to a peace-loving religious faith, or are following a valid spiritual path, we encourage you to deepen your engagement with it. We definitely encourage the disciplined practice of meditation for all seeking peace and the direct knowledge that comes with it.
While the teaching styles of our teachers may be quite different (influenced by Kripalu, Iyengar, Ashtanga and more), all of the teachers share a commitment to learning to be a "peaceful presence" and teaching this to others. Personally, this emphasis is where I have the most passion and strength along with the greatest ability connect with like-minded others who wish to grow individually and as a larger entity.
Our book and other forms of information are available on this site.
Here are some of the core principles of Peaceful Presence Yoga:
1) An individual can cultivate peace within.
2) As we create peace within ourselves, we cannot help but bring more peace into the world.
3) An individual’s peace is promoted with a healthy, vital body.
4) There is a relationship between inner peace and self-control. When a person is in control of the mind (and passions) his inner flame burns like a candle burning in a place where no wind blows: The person is calm and steady.
5) It has been said that around one who has mastered his senses, a person’s anger subsides.
6) Ultimately all peace comes from God and it is only through harmony with Him and His purposes that an individual becomes an instrument of peace in the world.
Here is a little more background: Aaron (Moses's brother) was known as a peace maker. All descendents of Aaron are known as kohanim. Usually such a person will have the last name like Cohen, Kahn, Katz or the like. As a Kohain I am from this tribe of Aaron and I strive to be a disciple of Aaron: “Loving peace and acting peacefully; loving people and drawing them to Torah." You may be thinking: "What does yoga have to do with Torah, I don't know if I want to be to be drawn toward that, or I am not even Jewish." Let me assure you that the real mission is not exclusive but inclusive of all. Truth goes by many names and there are many valid paths up the mountain. As one great teacher said: "Paths are many but Truth is one." As a group and as individuals we make no claim to have a monopoly on "Truth" or "Reality" or "Peace" or "God." Our practice is meant to draw people toward greater clarity about the true nature of reality and our individual place in the bigger scheme.
While "Peaceful presence Yoga & Massage" is a registered trademark and legally only those "Peaceful Presence Yoga Teachers" specifically certified and authorized to use this title may do so, anyone can learn to become a peaceful presence and teach it to others. We do not want unnecessary barriers to full participation.
More thoughts on being a Peaceful Presence
I am reading a book called Peace of Mind: A Guide for Overcoming Anger and Acquiring Self-Control. It is very simple, clear and, I believe, accurate. Below is a taste of the teachings with some worthwhile quotes and more.
1. A man controlled by anger denies himself happiness in life.
Orchot Zadikim: Gate of Anger
2. "Seek the good in others. Seeking good in others can change a person's own attitude. Positive thoughts arouse positive feelings. Anger and resentment evaporate. In this way, it is possible to cope with even the most difficult people, while retaining peace of mind."
3. Constantly focus on the good qualities of others.
4. Pause and escape,
Hurry and regret,
Delay can protect, while
Haste brings regret.
The one who waits will succeed, while
The one who rushes will stumble.
(Mivchar Peninim-Gate of Restraint)
There is a message of truth that needs to be spoken and needs to be heard. It is a universal message of truth that all of life is sacred. Please help spread the message of truth that helps bring peace.
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Spiritual Benefits of Yoga
By Promoting Self Awareness
Yoga For Health
Some Conditions Which May Respond To Yoga
Mental & Emotional Benefits of Yoga
Using Deep Breathing and Concentration Techniques
Physical Benefits of Yoga
Using Warm-Up Stretches & Postures