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Below are four sneaky addictions I have noticed forming in modern life and in the yoga world. When in balance, none of these ideas are harmful nor would they interrupt or delay healing. But when they become compulsive, when we feel restless without them, when they begin to define us, then it’s time to take a look and see what’s going on. This is the path to freedom that so many contemplative traditions discuss. When we see how something we are doing is hindering our growth and hampering a peaceful mind, we have begun the path to true contentment and joy.

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A short poem from this morning's reflections.

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what is truly inspiring about yoga. I’m still evolving a lot on this, but was considering the things about yoga that help us find lasting happiness. It is very easy, if not insatiably seductive, to believe that asana are the source of inspiration and happiness in yoga. Asana is the predominant method of communicating modern western yoga in the world, and achievement in asana feels at times like the way to inspiration and lasting happiness. But this is not the case. Asana serves incredible functions in our lives on many levels, but the source of inspiration is far beyond these select contortions of the human body. The true inspiration that yoga offers is about something more intangible yet far more powerful.

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Ahimsa “non-harming” is the first of the Yamas to be listed in the Yoga Sutras and is probably the most universally known and discussed of these precepts. I would also say that this Yama is the most misunderstood. It’s a great word to toss around in yoga class, but putting it into practice requires all of our courage, strength, powers of mind, and humility.

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Yoga teaching, as a profession, is quite amazing. To make it work, either full or part time, we have to acknowledge some basic and practical truths about teaching. We have to talk about money, worth, motives, karma, feeling good enough, how we teach poses, and a whole host of other issues. I listed my top 4 below but there are many more. Facing the practicalities of teaching helps us grow personally and professionally and allows us to be more relaxed and better informed teachers for our students.

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