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Greetings and Welcome
Thanks for taking the time to read up on Near East Yoga
Please Sign-in for all practices, it helps to keep the studio running smoothly!!
PCC is coming to Near East Yoga!!
Patanjali Now! starts Tuesday September 19th
There’s a total eclipse of the sun happening nearby, on Monday… in case you hadn’t heard.
Sign Up for BBHS retreat soon- October 30th – November 3rd 2017
Please Read the Notes for more info-
Monday August 20th is a New Moon and a rare total solar eclipse. Please note the special schedule during the next few days leading up to and just after the 2017 Eclipse. Look skyward during our regular practice time and witness la luna passing between the earth and sun. Wear authorized protective lenses.
Otherwise Near East Yoga is open for led- classes and will run on the “open practice” method until Wednesday morning. Please see the schedule here to verify the studio hours this week.
Thank you for your participation and support as we bring our attention to a rare celestial intersection that, might stop traffic or open doors that seemed otherwise shut. I believe there is a special drishti automatically invoked when our attention has found a focus beyond our domaine, one we will simply ride-out or collect insights about our souls journey- these and other aspects are natural and what may or may not be changed or otherwise revealed will at least be punctuated by a major celestial event right in Oregons back yard. I am so happy we can share this together.
Near East Yoga will host Patanjali Now! A Yoga Sutra Intensive September 19th-November 19th 2017 this event is non-vinyasa in the classic sense and is open to everyone. If you are a teacher and want to be incorporating Patajali theory into your daily work please read the course info. Click here for those details.
Portland Community College and Near East Yoga are teaming up to bring students closer to ashtanga yoga by hosting them in house on Saturdays at 11am of 11 weeks, with all the classes taught by Melissa Pellitier, who has been teaching at PCC and Near East Yoga of over 4 years. This class might be the perfect one for your friend, or spouse. It includes a number of weekly classes at Near East Yoga besides the one on Saturday. So that also makes it a good deal financially and lets Near East give back to the community. Thanks Mel for bringing together. Make sure to sign up with PCC course number 47691. Its also posted here.
Lastly- check out the fall Mysore and More at Brietenbush Hot Springs, check the info page here
to sign up- go here to sign up. Jacob Handwerker and I are hosting this event together for the 3rd time. BBHS is an ideal setting for yoga as we know, so through daily practice and amble space to reflect renew and rejoice- out group covers the spectrum with a lot of yoga, soaking, and singing. I hope you will join us- the deposit is the cost of your lodging . sign up soon with BBHS.
Have a great Eclipse and see you on the other side!! Casey
Patanjali Now! A Yoga Sutra Intensive – $285 dollars
Tuesday’s and Sunday’s September 19th to November 19th 2017.
Spend an interactive 8 weeks with Patanajli
First Class- Tuesday September 19th- Introductions, Chanting, Philosophy, Discussion
A special rate of $95 dollars extra includes daily Mysore practice for one month.
Tickets can be purchased here
OR, mail a $100 dollar deposit before August 10th to reserve a spot.
Understanding Patanjali, the revered Sage most associated with yoga philosophy cir. 2000 years ago. The information is so old seems to take nearly half that time to digest, a long while anyway, maybe forever. But not without insight along the way. This workshop/seminar is designed to show the basic structures and connections Patanjali makes throughout the YSoP. Without support we can loose our determination. This does not need be the case if we take the time to keep pressing toward understanding and allow the process of introduction reveal a few doorways of interest that lead deeper into the wonder of a wider knowledge of Patanjali.
This is all done via a regular reading and discussion of The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, and adding in supportive textual references along the way, allowing the experience of understanding to reveal itself to us over time.
Having a steady introduction allows a beginning minded person or group a chance to uncover the basics of Patanjali, put them to trial and digest the results then compare notes with other active students. Some of this introduction has already occurred in the form of living life, learning the path of cause and result and learning from our karma which way best suits us and our destiny. Patanjali does less to tell us what to do and more to help us see how we are designed. In a way this is the heart of the yoga sutra- seeing the framework for how we are made and express and developing ourselves as We see fit and as the forces and elements allow.
This course will be four-sections, in 14 classes, over eight-weeks. The classes are held at 11am on Sundays and 7pm on Tuesdays. Each 2 weeks will offer time to learn the structure and format that opens up the YSoP for the next part.The classes will include chanting, theory and discussion.There will be, spaced apart, 2 weeks over the time we won’t meet.Relevant handouts will be offered weekly and an opportunity to write about the experience will be introduced. Every week offers a Friday 9am make up session.
If this workshop is attractive and you have the time please contact Near East Yoga to submit a $100 dollar deposit by September 10th and to receive further instructions and information.
Tickets can be purchased here
Wednesday through Sunday (7/5- 7/9) a few of the Mysore sessions will be “open practice” or without the support of a teacher. If you need help accessing your practice, please come to the led classes offered Monday and Wednesday at 7pm and Friday morning at 7am. If you need help accessing the studio please text me at 503-890-2212 for information. Saturday (7/8) is a full moon and Near East Yoga will be closed.
This Saturdays full moon is a special one being the traditional day in July celebrating the birth of all Gurus. Ashtanga Yoga’s founding guru, Sri K Pattabhi Jois was born on Guru Purnima, July 26th, 1915. He lived 93 years and his life and work became a bridge between the ages, where he left behind a powerful legacy to carry the classical yoga tradition forward, long after his passing.
In the present age, encountering the classical Guru is not an easily revealed reality. While there are many teachers, only a few uphold a classical lineage transmission, where the heart of the ancient guru can be found along with the means to reveal the spirit of “self and things”, through studying and practicing the methods codified and offered during ancient times. Ashtanga Yoga is for sure a transformative and gratifying process for which there is much to be grateful for and a place where the guru lingers. If we take the initiative offered by the karma of process, we gain insight that can aid us as we grow and change through the process.
Like all entities born of “things”, our minds and egos will change as our body changes, leaving the soul as constant and unchanging observer, abiding in svarupe- vasthu or the self-form, in its place. We can witness a new form of our body, individually, simultaneously and collectively, arise in every moment if we have the “bandhas” to pay attention and we do not look away.
In this continuum the long practice of vinyasa, pranayama, drishti reveals the intermediary stillness, silence that lingers, as we go off the mat and about our lives, with the spacious bubble of a self-created environment that cant be bought or taught. Pretty cool stuff if one can get that going.
So, If you are wondering how to celebrate guru purmima, a simple “Thanks Guruji!” is a good place to begin as our thoughts around this time of year turn toward the great teachers we have known, whoever that Guru is for you. It’s part of the process to work for a good and beneficial life, with right action and intention. For our teachers, who help us everyday, we are most grateful.
As a teacher it is imperative that I both hold close the working tradition of Ashtanga Yoga and support the inquiry of foundational, sacred texts and practices, the ones where we find the inspiration of the Guru and connect with and reflect our own inner teacher. This mission of Near East Yoga has always been to hold a space for physical expression, spiritual inquiry and personal revelation. This reveal constantly unfolds and supports us, as a group and as individuals, as we continue our life and karma.
With practice and inquiry we have all we need to “get ripe on the vine”, for the time when the guru we have been moving toward all along arrives in our life. Maybe this ripening will simply be knowing ourselves as a wordless understanding that we can not be taught but only choose to abide. This state is always within us, well within our reach if we know how to see it and take the steps to cultivate it. May there be no limits or hierarchy regarding who achieves this state.
As 15 years opens up to a beautiful future I say; thank you all for bringing your intention and energy to Near East Yoga and supporting the legacy of Pattabhi Jois and those that came before him. We souls are each a part of a long continuum with yoga as the theme- blessings to you everyone this Guru Purnima 2017!!
Casey, July 4th, 2017
Saturday, May 27 at 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Story means “store house”. When a story possesses reminders and meaning needed during challenging times they become wisdom stories, sacred stories or places of treasured remembrance. It is then, when we have lost our way, that we can reach back into the “store house” of our ancestors to remember and revision what it is we burn for and how to awaken.
For all of human history we have been sharing in the oral tradition of storytelling. It was a central vehicle for humans to impart wisdom, entertain, teach and retain information from generation to generation. Only in the past 100 years has this enchanting, educational and heart-warming art been all but lost on modern culture.
Come join us for a mesmerizing evening of wisdom stories and drumming with acclaimed world traveling percussionist, poet and storyteller John de Kadt. This event is oriented towards adults however it is certainly a magical journey for all humans big and small who love to be carried on the wings of adventure, myth and magic.
Breath Ceremony with Chad Charles Berscheid
This isn’t meditation
This doesn’t come from a plant
This is a numinous experience with your breath!
Please call me if you have questions. I want to hear from you!!!
514.296.9217 | email@example.com
For more information on what breathwork is for me, visit my site:
The spots fill up so pre-registration is required! Scroll down to learn how to reserve your spot in the circle. “Going” or “interested” does not count.
The contribution asked is on a sliding scale: $40 – $50
It’s actually your participation that makes it all happen. Please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how to confirm your spot. Or, you may register directly using the “tickets” button on this page, offering a minimum $40 via PayPal (as FRIEND or FAMILY please).
I also accept bitcoin.
I will announce, on this page, if/when the circle is full. Cash is accepted at the time of the session IF there are still spaces.
You will be very happy if you bring:
-mat or mattress (you’ll be laying on your back for one hour)
-blanket(s) or cushion(s)
-loose, cosy clothing
-eye mask (optional)
-journal or sketchbook (optional)
Think ‘nest’ and comfortable!
You are invited to bring any precious objects that accompany you on your journeying.
I hope this change in the lunar year finds you well. Keeping with the theme of my prior post, I’d like to bring up the change in cycle as an opportunity to review and take action/ inaction regarding the fruit available to act upon when spring approaches in March and beyond. The Solar new year six weeks ago came with a very durable snow and for me one of the worst colds I have a had in many years and a lot of time for reflection . Although short, the cold was quite potent and caused my body to really kick into gear and heal. I feel in someway purified in many levels and ready for what happens next. Sort of like what happens when I practice yoga- but way more intense and fast.
Many of my thoughts have been turning toward the energy moving in our culture and the sudden and stark reveal of how the vulnerable people are deeply affected by the change in political landscape. It is not lost on me the beauty and grace of an enhanced space such as Near East Yoga, becoming more of a refuge everyday, offering a safe place to develop stability and grace. I have a firm resolve to support and engender unity and community as an act of rebellion to what I see going on on the Federal stage. As it goes I have been aware of peoples need to grieve as they move toward resiliency and revolution. But also morph into resolve and strength. Yoga, if anything is a confirmation of a personal domaine for the purposes of revealing the divine through anything that comes up. Everyone is entitled to pursue this end as a function of their freedom and happiness. Let’s work of for this as we explore our practice.
Under the effect of the lunar new year, now is a great time to recommit to the channelizing and stabilizing effort found in regular practice. I’ve been watching a new found strength erupt out of people, some affected by the storm, or the state of the population and the spark of late winter sun. There is a lot of joy floating about stemming from steady yoga practice and heart-lightening song-circles. In a way we offer each other a protection that comes from just being present and available- even in the silence of Mysore. You are not alone and there is very little to be said. This is called trust and is the root of who we maintain a sangha. Come be together, strong and clear through practice.
Look for these offerings over the next few weeks and months-
Yoga Sutra of Patanjali 4-5pm Tuesday February 7th
28 Days of Kirtan starts February 25th
Devis Lunch Puja returns for the 28 Days
Wednesdays March 1st, 15th, 22nd and 29th
See you all soon and often- Casey
Friday September 30th is the new moon. There will be no 7am group led class but the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali study is scheduled for 9am as usual. This is the second new moon for September. I’m not aware of any special significance but it seems rare none the less.
Keep in mind we sing 4 times a week and all are welcome to attend these sessions. We make special considerations to incorporate the novice chanter so please feel welcome. These sessions are intended to be a chance to connect to the community and learn about yoga theory while opening up channels in the body only available through song. See the schedule for details. No reservation is required.
On October 15th (the full moon) from 5-7pm, Near East Yoga will host “An Exploration of Grief through Tea Ceremony and Meditation”. Please see the attached flier for information about the session and Leora Gonźalez, the facilitator. Please inquire with me if you’d like to sign up.
Now is the the time to book your accommodations for the Breitenbush Hot Springs hosted by myself and Jacob Handwerker, October 30th through the 4th. We had a great time last year and I look forward to a repeat. Hope you can make it. Here is a link to the Breitenbush Hot Springs website for more info about making a reservation.
See you all soon and often- Casey
Last Tuesday at 6am, roughly approximates the 6 month mark for the current version of the Near East Yoga Hanuman Chalisa sadhana. After a well attended start the practice has dwindled down to the most devoted. we have taken to singing in harmonies and even recored a session. Since its a permanent addition to the schedule and a remaining part of “28 Days of Kirtan” dating near the end of the lunar year 2015, it’s never to late to come join us who hold it dear.
As a personal practice, the song has been in my body, speech and mind for 13 years, coming to prominence as I began my study of the deeper connections of chanting, yoga philosophy and Sanskrit. The Chalisa or 40 verses, a Hindi poem about the auspicious deeds of Hanuman, attracted me, like many others, due to the resonating tones of Krishna Das and the mystery surrounding yoga as a workable philosophy hidden in a foreign language. It is still a work in progress that never fails to reveal itself as I grow with it.
When it finally dawned on me that to learn Hanuman Chalisa would require a lot of effort, I took to chanting it 7 times a day, every day for 7 months until I could sing along unprompted and eventually learn in by heart. In the beginning it was nearly impossible to shape my mouth to make the right sounds but eventually I learned and have been helping others work with it in different incarnations for a decade. Many of you hold it dear as well and it’s a part of how our group practices.
Our tradition of Ashtanga yoga holds it in its heart do to a New York City connection that the folks I learned the method from brought to Portland back in the late 1990s. Krishna Das and the Jivamukti Center in NYC were instrumental in establishing kirtan as a vital part of Ashtanga Yoga. Tim Miller, one of the founding American teachers of Ashtanga Yoga holds the Hanuman ethic in the form of “Service to God” through yoga teaching and support and he has been an inspiring light to many Ashtangis through his unswerving dedication.
For me, in my early service to yogis, the fables of Hanuman, his discovery of his latent abilities though his service and devotion to Rama related in the Hanuman Chalisa became a personal code and a secret mission I continue to this day. Having just completed my college years in the time leading up to the start of Near East Yoga, one of the final classes I took was a seminar on leadership. The resonating feature of this experience was that to lead was to serve. Holding space for Ashtanga Yoga allowed me to serve without really knowing where it was all going. The adage of Sri K Pattabhi Jois “do your practice, all is coming” allowed me to focus on the method and keeping the room clean and open. The rest, Yoga Sutra, Kirtan, Bhagavad Gita, the nature of the sangha and how my life unfolded has developed on it’s own, naturally over time.
The Hanuman Chalisa opened me up to keeping the work pure and simple, to protect the door and support the yogis within. Two verses, 21 and 30 have been like mantra to me as they describe how Hanuman guards the door of Rama and protects Sadhus or holy practitioners against demons- take the later part as metaphor for distraction or dilution and you can understand the effects of 15 years of just a simple practice. I always say thanks Guruji at this point. When it comes to service, his ethic to serve the practice and all is coming continues to reveal his shining face smiling down on us. As it often feels like this whole yoga thing is just getting traction, I look forward to serving anyone who finds benefit in what Near East Yoga has to offer however simple.
Lastly and what inspired me to write this post, relates to the photo below of Hanuman revealing to Sita, imprisoned by Ravana in his luxurious garden in Sri Lanka, Rama’s ring that signified that Rama was searching for her and she should be inspired to be soon found and not give up hope. He appears to her (9th verse) in what the Chalisa states as Shooksma-rupa or “tiny-formed” referring to one of his many powers of manifestation. As a student of the hidden meaning in ancient verses, Hanuman here teaches that sometimes small is the most potent form when a special meaning is being passed among intimates. For me the teachings of of yoga and dharma are so soft and subtle that often we only find them out when we have grown quiet, maybe lonely, waiting in the garden of our own oppression wondering why we have been forgotten, when in that very moment a small gesture from a devoted being saying be not afraid, I come as an emissary from the Beloved who right now is looking for you- which to me says a lot about integrating our inner-self with the moment and being right sized in our expectations of the aggregate of the human condition.
Hanuman, the ultimate shapeshifter, also grows big when the time is right, which we will save for another day-
For now, may we all grow small and be powerful and open to revelation in our own way.