February Kunga Theme: Positive Music with Inspirational Messages
This month’s Kunga Yoga classes we honor the great invisible yoga teacher of MUSIC! Music is found in every culture around the world, past and present, and has long been used as a vehicle to express ideas, emotions, and events. For the month of February we are honoring this great invisible uniting force of MUSIC!
At the end of every Kunga Yoga class for the month of March we will offer 10 minutes of guided, seated meditation. This includes one hour yoga classes (45 minutes asana, 5 minutes savasana, 10 minutes meditation).
As we continue to use more of the planets resources, we can look at our yoga practice as a wonderful opportunity to reevaluate our connection with the planet and it’s inhabitants. We are taught through the ancient texts of yoga that is our responsibility and duty to care for our planet and each other very consciously. Our challenge is to wake up and see what is unfolding on our planet, under our very noses.
Aparigraha is the concept of non-attachment, non-possessiveness or non-coveting. The term usually elicits the thought of limiting possessions to what is necessary and important. Aparigraha is the Sanskrit word for greedlessness. It comes from the word parigraha, which means reaching out for something and claiming it for oneself- by adding the “A” it becomes the antonym. Aparigraha means taking what is truly necessary.
Motivation is a powerful tool for creating lasting personal change and for serving others. The extent to which we can sustain our motivation determines whether or not we realize our life goals for ourselves, and our goals for serving our family, our community, our planet, etc.
Controlling the power of the breath is the technique of pranayama. ”Prana” is the Sanskrit word for life force. This is the energy that exists everywhere and is manifested in each of us through the breath, but prana isn’t exactly the same thing as breath or oxygen. Prana exists in all living things. It is pure energy. Every cell in our body is controlled by prana. Prana equals life. “Ayama” means a lengthening or restraining. So, putting the words together gives us “pranayama”, with means to master the life force. Pranayama techniques have been practiced for thousands of years, and you will find prana referenced in the Upanishads, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, and many other yogic texts.
As yoga practitioners in the West, we learn much about asana, the spine, the benefits of the physical practice to our cardiovascular, respiratory, & nervous systems. As we work to learn, integrate and share the benefits of our practice off the mat, from a spiritual heart – one of service – it can be helpful to review these simple “ABC’s” of the practice of yoga. You may wish to choose just one work to focus on in your meditation each week, or perhaps one in particular for the entire month.
September Kunga Theme: The Power of Positive Thinking!
INSPIRATION FOR THIS MONTH’S THEME IS ROOTED IN THE MOTTO OF THE SPECIAL OLYMPICS: “IT’S ALL ABOUT ATTITUDE!”
Over 50 years ago, a book called The Power of Positive Thinking became an immediate best-seller. The author Dr. Normal Vincent Peale, offered a variety of psychological practices to support the individual in developing a daily optimistic mindset for viewing life’s challenges as opportunities.
The Kunga Yoga Inspiration of the month is volunteering. The heart of Kunga Yoga lies in approaching yoga as a path of service, with opportunities to view our personal practice as a time for self-inquiry and growth, so that we are more available to then serve others. All Kunga Yoga programs work to raise awareness for orphanages in developing countries. This year’s Kunga Journey fundraising volunteer service retreat is to the Home of Hope Orphanage, India.
November Kunga Theme: Expressing Gratitude through the NVC Model
The intention of this month’s Kunga theme is to learn to express gratitude using the model for appreciation within the methods of “Nonviolent Communication.” Nonviolent Communication was developed by psychologist Dr. Marshall Rosenberg. The NVC model is a concrete set of tools that help us to manifest mindfulness in our lives. Practicing Nonviolent Communication relates to our Kunga theme of yoga as service because the goal of Nonviolent Communication is to increase understanding, cooperation, and respect in relationships.