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4:59 pm

Meditations of a Householder by Angela Greenwood

 

Meditation has been a consistent practice for me for many years. I have tried many different techniques with varying degrees of success at quieting my mind. I developed the habit of rising quite early in the morning to practice. I have three sons, and learned early on that I would improve my chances of success if I practiced before they woke up.

 

So it was that I rose at about 5 AM a few days ago. I moved a bit to wake up my body, and then sat on my meditation bench. A few minutes later, one of my cats began to meow. Oh right, I usually feed them before I sit. Feed the cats. Sit. Then noises from the kitchen. My oldest son could not sleep and had decided to make pancakes for himself. Well, at least he’s cooking. Back to the bench. And then very soon a tapping at the door of my meditation space. Seriously? It’s 5 AM! My youngest son had had a nightmare and was frightened . What is a yogini to do? My life would not allow me to renunciate.

 

There are two great movements in yoga, pravritti and nivritti. In very general terms, pravritti means to turn into the movements of the mind and daily life. Nivritti means to turn away from the same. This is the great debate between the path of renunciates and householders. Renunciates are people who renounce familial life. Householders are the rest of us with families and careers.

 

“What debate?” you might ask. We all know that true spiritual aspirants are the renunciates off meditating in some sort of metaphorical cave. Patanjali wrote in the Yoga Sutra 1.2, Yogas citta vrtti nirodhah— Yoga is calming the fluctuations of the mind. This is nivritti thought. It is commonly interpreted as willful control of the mind and detachment from the distractions of daily life. It is a powerful path, and is the path most frequently taught.

 

But is it the only path? The goddess-centered traditions tend to be more for householders. For example, rajanaka yoga teaches that the path of yoga is to engage fully with life. This is pravritti though.

 

So, what is a yogini to do? I chose to feed the cat, say hello to my pancake making son, and snuggle in bed to hear about the nightmare with my youngest son. Then I put in ear plugs and sat for a brief but powerful meditation session. The meditation continued throughout the day. The sky was bluer, the sun brighter, and people more friendly. I felt completely integrated. Love seemed to ooze from my skin.

 

There are times when nivritti yoga is appropriate, and times when we are better served with pravritti practices. Of course, the answer is a balance between the two. After all, this is yoga.

 

Angela teaches weekly Yoga classes, private therapeutic Yoga sessions by appointment, as well as various workshops at Live Well and through RhythmAsana
Tuesday, 5:30p, Flow Yoga level all
Thursday, 5:30p, Flow Yoga level 2
Friday, 8:30a, Flow Yoga level all
Friday, 10a, Gentle Yoga level 1
Saturday, 9a, Flow Yoga level 2
Saturday, 10:30a Flow Yoga level all

View our weekly schedule here.  


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5:05 pm

What does yoga have to do with sustainability? by Victoria Jensen

Victoria Jensen graciously shared her perspective on yoga and sustainability at the Corvallis Sustainability recent annual town hall meeting. We're delighted she's sharing with us as well.

 

Hi, my name if Victoria Jansen and I am a senior at Crescent Valley High School.
    Sustainability is such a vast premise. Over the past four years, I have learned that building a sustainable world, that “going green”, is so much more than just creating environmental solutions and that community plays such an important role achieving a sustainable world.
    This realization came to me in the midst of the chaos of Crescent Valley’s Health Fair last month as I spoke to students about a new program at our school, Yoga at CV. I started Yoga at CV because I wanted to give students hope. Hope that even though life can be rough, there is always a way to pull through. For me, yoga was an escape when I found my mind telling myself I was not perfect, that I needed to change. I wanted people to see that, if you let it, it allows you to think about the world in a different way, have clarity in difficult situations, find solace. But I also wanted to bring people together, break away from the labels of high school, so that students could have an opportunity to identify themselves, and in doing so, be inspired by all the things they have to offer to the world.
    This, in my mind, if the basis of sustainability. “Going green” is about building these communities, these frameworks, so that people can be inspired and so that ideas can be generated. By building these communities, you open doors for creating a healthy environment through social wellbeing.
These interactions are what bring about change. By connecting with other people, you are allowing yourself to experience life and connect with the world around you. Here in Corvallis we strive to create a culture of social well being, to make community connections. By coming here tonight your are doing exactly that. You are demonstrating your willingness to make a difference for the betterment of the planet. And whether or not you change the world, or I change it, is irrelevant compared to the the people you inspire, and to those connections you make.
All the world's environmental problems can, and will solved one day, when we remember the impacts our communities can make, on others, the world and the environment. And when we remember that no change ever begins without the incentive of inspiration.

 

'Learn more about Yoga CV from this Corvallis Gazette Times article.'  

 

 


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