Dancing with Change – Issue 7, 2014

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Dancing with Change Issue 7, 2014
A feeling of aliveness and vibrancy permeates the Ashram this summer. Family Week doubled our size as we welcomed everyone – from babies to grandmothers – with open arms. The Strawberry Social brought together 400 friends and neighbors from our surrounding communities. Support for the Temple pours in as people throughout the world tell us what it symbolizes for them.

Our culture of working together as a community – living, learning, adapting together – encourages us to move gracefully in a divine dance. Wherever you are in our Yasodhara Yoga network, we invite you to join in, embrace change and let the harmony flow.

Upcoming Courses Following is a sample of courses available:

10 Days of Yoga: One of our most popular programs for students of all levels. Give yourself ten days to expand your understanding of who you are and who you want to be.
July 26-August 5, August 21-31, October 16-26

Bhakti Pack: Dance & Movement, Mantra & Meditation
Bhakti Yoga is the yoga of devotion. In this Signature series, you will dedicate five days to dance offerings, chanting, prayer, silence, worship and meditation. Discover what unfolds when you open your heart.
August 3-8

Relationships: Challenge & Choice
Whether you are single or part of a couple, here is the opportunity to look at what it means to be in a relationship. How do you bring out the best in yourself? In your partner? What is love? What challenges are you facing and what choices can you make? How do you bring your spiritual self into a relationship?
August 14-17

Conscious Aging
Give yourself time in the tranquil, natural setting of the Ashram to reflect on your life and your next steps. Allow space to ask yourself questions, such as, What do I want to do with the time that is remaining? What is the purpose of my life now? What is my new perspective and how do my priorities need to change?
August 17-19

Personal Retreats and Artist and Professional Renewal Retreats are available year-round at the Ashram – take time to renew spiritually and creatively.

Visit our 2014 program calendar.

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Light & Vibration
Swami Sivananda Radha

“Through practice of mantra, visualization and personal reflection, your thinking can become truly vibrant.”
(p 95)




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Swami Radhananda:
Evolving Through Life Stages

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Swami Radhananda recently passed on the presidency of Yasodhara Ashram and is now focused on her position as Spiritual Director. She reflects on the recent changes in her life and position.

I think that with different stages of life, there are different responsibilities. At this stage, I feel liberated as if something is taken off my shoulders. I also have a different perspective – my whole life experience can come forward for me. It is a time to give what I know to the people who are running the Ashram and encourage them. I’m not visible; I am not there at every meeting. But what I can give is the “being” part, knowing that there is still a lot to be made available.

I could see it was time for a change with new leadership and the younger generations who have been with us a long time taking on the work and rejoicing in it. The Ashram is resilient. I don’t need to do what I used to do because it’s being done well and with joy.

Even when challenges happen, such as the Temple fire, there is so much hope. We’re learning just how much people love the Temple and how they want to help bring it back together into its newness.

Somehow the Ashram always gives us what we need.


Swami Radhananda, Temple of Divine Light, 2006


In this video Swami Radhananda speaks about the effort and interest it takes to make changes in ourselves. She gives guidance on how to stay with the process of change, cooperating with our own evolution with the help of those around us.

View the video


Temple Rebuild Video Update

We have chosen video to provide up-to-date information on the Temple Rebuild Project. View our first edition for facts about the fire and our core principles that will guide reconstruction.

View the video


A ‘Perfect Fit’

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A bride-to-be and friends found Yasodhara Ashram a “perfect fit” for relaxing time together before the wedding day. “Although unconventional, it was perfect,” said bride Lauren Maluta of the surprise one-day and overnight stay.

Annie Shrieves, maid of honour: “We’re all yoga practitioners so what better way to connect and come together than being at an Ashram!” Because Lauren is from Nelson, Yasodhara Ashram proved a central location for everyone from the coast and the interior of B.C.

“As soon as I walked through the entrance, I relaxed,” commented Lauren’s mother Elizabeth Maluta. “The energy and surroundings here are totally peaceful and renewing.”

Their customized retreat schedule included a tour, personalized Hidden Language Hatha Yoga class, meals, one overnight in a cluster of rooms, Satsang and morning Hatha.

“Hidden Language created space and time to ask the big questions, reflect, spend time together and support Lauren as she sets off on this next part of her life,” agreed her friends. Putting Lauren in the Light was touching for all of them.

The group of eight all plan to return with their families.

Contact us if you’re interested in learning more about personalized group retreats.


Three Generations Connect

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Three generations of the Huston family attended Family Week, July 9-13, and stayed in the newly renovated cottage, Parvati.

Longtime Yasodhara Yoga teacher Barbara Huston of Lethbridge gave Family Week as a gift to her daughter Megan Huston of Victoria and her two children, and to her daughter-in-law Ana Huston of Seattle and her three girls. The children’s aunt, Ruth Campbell from Summerland, rounded out the clan.

“This is all about reconnection,” said Megan who grew up surrounded by Ashram supporters. “It’s connection with my family, the teachings, teachers and with myself.”

“My intention was to bring my family who have been held by the Light forever and have them experience it themselves,” Barbara reflected. This was Ana’s family’s first visit to the Ashram.

They all agreed that Parvati “is a wonderful family space.” Each family had its own bedroom and bathroom. They admired the openness and attention to detail, including the deity family statue of Siva, Parvati and Ganesh in the fireplace’s tiny alcove.

Barbara, Megan and Ruth are Yoga Development Course (YDC) graduates and can’t imagine life without it. “The YDC makes relationships easier, particularly with children,” commented Ruth, whose daughter first visited the Ashram at age five. Ana feels she has “already benefited from the YDC” through her relationship with her incredible relatives.

The women set off to their own homes in four directions, yet with their heart connection stronger than ever.

See our Facebook stream for daily Family Week photo galleries. Families are welcome anytime!

And check out the renewed interior of Parvati, ready for more guests.

Artist & Professional Renewal Retreats:
Inspiration flows

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Benedict Pfeiffer is an astrophysicist from Vancouver. Her life of teaching, parenting, caring for aging parents and writing a book left her exhausted.  She looked to the Ashram’s Artist & Professional Renewal retreat­ to help her re-centre.

My plan was to write a book but my first priority was to recharge.  If there was energy or time left, I would start thinking about the book.

As an astronomer, I am always looking at the sky. Something I missed the most was the connection with the ground.  I found that energy here.  This place is all about Mother Nature.  She’s speaking from every corner.

Everything about the retreat spoke to my book, especially the presence of women here, with strong feminine energies. It’s very empowering and healing. Also the food – so much love in the food. Within 48 hours I was on my feet. I was inspired. In ten days I finished my first draft.

The retreat is a good balance between the body, mind and emotions. When I wrote, my mind was clear.  I could listen to my intuition rather than my logical thinking. That’s why the ideas and writing came so quickly. There was a flow.

I very much believe in what we call “resonance” in physics.  Like a musical instrument, a tiny vibration is amplified because there is a resonance between the frequency of the sound box and the musical note. That’s how I felt – like the sound could flow, slow down, and I could hear even the tiniest vibrations.

Are you interested in an Artist or Professional Retreat? Learn more about Retreats at Yasodhara Ashram.


News at a GlanceTemple Glows in Fairy Garden: A wonderland for fairies created by Breanna, 7 and Isla Jolly, 5 and their grandma, Elizabeth Macleod of Kelowna, makes for an uplifting walk near the Temple site.  View the Facebook photo album here.

Bhajan Blast, Sunday, July 27 from 7 – 8:30 pm PST: Join us live for a Bhajan Blast from the beach. Sacred songs, dance and scenery will get you moving.

Strawberry Social draws 400 neighbours: At this annual community event, we thanked volunteer firefighters and emergency services for their outstanding efforts during the Temple fire. The Ashram gifted the Fire Department a headset that aids communication between firefighters and raised over $900 from the used book sale for the Riondel Ambulance Service. Click here to see the Facebook photo album.

Yasodhara Yoga Outreach:
We bring the Ashram to you! Check our extensive fall tour to Europe (September), Eastern Canada (October) and British Columbia (October/November). View the schedule here.

Personal Practice Guide
Practice Guide PhotoVideo
In this video Swami Radha talks about sacred dance and her experiences of using the body as a spiritual tool.
Link to video

Dance is a central focus of the first chakra mantra in the Kundalini System. In this excerpt, Swami Radha asks: Can you make your way of life a dance? Can you move gracefully around obstacles or leap over them?
Link to audio

Yoga as Dance
Reflection QuestionsThe theme for July is “Yoga as Dance.” What better time to dance for joy than the fullness of summer? How do you become aware of the movement of the Divine in your life, and how do you respond to that dance? Thank you to Yasodhara Yoga Spokane for preparing the following reflections.

  1. “The dance of life consists of steps of fierceness and destruction as well as steps of swiftness, lightness and elegance.” (From the Mating Dance to the Cosmic Dance, p 100). How is your daily life a dance? Where are you in your dance of life?
  1. “What does it take to move naturally with the ebb and flow of breath, to be moved by the waves of life? To be simple like a child means to be free of ego, open to exploration.” (Inner Life of Asanas, p 137-138). Do the Child’s Pose (balasana), reflecting on areas in your life that you want to open and explore. Enter in with an open mind. How does awareness of breath help?
  1. Read the section, “Dance is Yoga, Yoga is Dance.” (Kundalini Yoga for the West, p 90). Reflect on the meaning for you.
  2. Finally, don’t take yourself and the world too seriously.” (from Swami Radha’s “Last Message”) Do something playful. Dance free form. Skip, sing, swing, slide, swim, splash. Practice Fish Pose (matsayasana) in the water. Lie on the earth, watching the clouds or looking for shooting stars. How can you bring playfulness into your spiritual practice?

For more Teaching and Reflection ideas, click here.


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