ClimateYogi: Awareness + Action

ClimateYogi: Awareness + Action

ClimateYogi: Awareness + Action

In the Bhagavad Gita, written long ago in a much different culture, the warrior Arjuna finds himself in a situation that he doesn’t want to be in, but cannot avoid. A great battle is about to begin, and is sure to result in great suffering. His friend and chariot driver Arjuna, who is an incarnation of God, reveals yoga to Arjuna, teaching him about the necessity to fulfill his purpose and to act to the best of his ability without being attached to the results.

As I considered the reality of climate change, Arjuna’s situation and the lessons of the Bhagavad Gita shone with new brilliance and clarity. I also find myself in a situation I would prefer not to be in but I cannot avoid. I am alive at this time when the impacts of human civilization on the environment are inescapable. The earth’s atmosphere and oceans are warming, with a myriad of impacts around the globe. Climate change and its impacts will be the context for the rest of my life. I didn’t choose this situation, and I’d prefer not to have to face it, but, like Arjuna, there is no escape. How do the ancient teachings about yoga apply? How can yoga help?

Yoga can’t directly reduce global warming emissions, but yoga can change people. Yoga can open people up to their relationships and interconnectedness. Yoga can help people be more content with what they have and be more understanding and compassionate toward others. Yoga can help people see the consequences of their actions.  In these ways, yoga can change people’s priorities, change the way they see themselves in the world, and change their actions from ones that harm to ones that nurture. Yoga can create resilience in us as we stay engaged in this lifelong endeavor to deal with climate change.

ClimateYogi sits at the intersection of the inner-world practice of yoga and the outer-world reality of climate change.  Many people know yoga only as the postures, a practice of physical exercise, and I’m often asked, “What does yoga have to do with climate change?”

As a yoga teacher, I love to get this question, because it opens the door to discuss the full scope of yoga: the truth that our actions are important and we are responsible for their consequences; the ethical principles which include non-harming, truthfulness and non-greediness; the stages of meditation; and how the physical practice of postures and breathing support meditation and ethical living.

As a step in raising awareness and taking meaningful action on climate change, ClimateYogi has partnered with Cool Effect and the Sedona Yoga Festival to make it easy for you to offset the climate impact of your travel to Sedona.

SYF provides a link to cooleffect.org from the festival registration page. If you’ve already registered but would like to offset your travel now, go to:

www.cooleffect.org/content/news/sedona-yoga-festival

Galen Tromble

Galen Tromble

Founder | Climate Yogi

’ll be at SYF with information about ClimateYogi and cooleffect.org. I look forward to talking with you about your thoughts on yoga and climate change, and how the yoga community can help create a more life-nurturing and sustainable future.

www.climateyogi.org

Yoga for PTSD Training and Healing Village at SYF2019

Yoga for PTSD Training and Healing Village at SYF2019

Yoga for PTSD Training, a Trauma-Informed Yoga training for everyone

  • Are you or someone you know living with PTSD
  • Do you work or want to work with this population?
  • Are you interested in trauma-aware tools, techniques & practices with proven efficacy in managing PTSD?
  • Each year, the Sedona Yoga Festival hosts an annual Yoga for PTSD training.  Click here to learn more about it…  

Please share this page with someone who may benefit… 

  • PTSD is fast becoming a concern in the First Responder Community, yet how will this ‘can do against all odds’ culture adopt methods to address this emerging health and safety issue? Especially when those methods are often viewed as antithetical to the traditional community norms.  
  • Ancient Science and Technology (i.e Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Gong, Meditation and other down-regulating practices) are fast becoming recognized by present-day medical science as key implementations needed to facilitate healing in the First Responder Community, as they have been adopted recently by the Military, Dept of Defense with tremendous success.
  • Sedona Yoga Festival serves as a bridge between the first responder community and the touchy-feely world of the metaphysical healing arts.  Made possible this year by SYF Founder and ex-Wildland Firefighter Marc Titus and Retired Phoenix PD and Unstoppable Healing Founder, Les Finkel, SYF Gives Back offers resources for First Responders to dip their toes into the healing waters of the sublime and nurturing world of Yoga and Meditation.

SYF GIVES BACK offering FREE Trauma and Stress Relief to Fire, Police and First Responders at inaugural Healing Village in addition to Yoga for PTSD training!

Firefighter Yogini, Essie Titus | Robert Sturman

March 14-17th, 2019 Sedona Yoga Festival unrolls the proverbial mat in Sedona for the 7th year running.  Held at the Red Rock High School and Sedona Performing Arts Center (SPAC), SYF2019 features world-class teachers and students alike presenting and soaking in the high vibes these practices are known for. Sedona, a powerful place, amplifies the experience. 200+ curated workshops, classes and experiences provide ample opportunity for the experienced yogi all the way to a complete beginner unfamiliar with downward dogs to experience Yoga. SYF is a platform that attracts thousands from near and far, an international conference recognized the world over. “SYF Gives Back is our way of supporting service, or Seva in yogic terms, and exists to do just that, be in service and since the start, this program has provided trauma-informed training to over 500 teachers, practitioners, service providers and trauma survivors. Focusing on service providers has amplified our effectiveness, “ says Festival Founder, Marc Titus, “We share proven efficacious tools, techniques and practices, that ameliorate the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress. These folks return to their communities and begin helping those who suffer; by training 100’s we have helped thousands.”  This year Marc aims to train over 200 and will personally ask them to return to their communities to support the Local First Responder Community.

First Responders in this country are here to ‘protect and serve’, and consist of a wide range of professionals who when the call comes, drop everything to manage crisis, and bring order to chaos. As natural disasters and the like, continue to present greater and greater challenges for First Responders, the scope and emotional weight of the work required of them has become more intense than ever.  Serving the very communities affected by natural disasters, these brave men & women push their bodies and minds to the limit, sometimes in the face of their own familial tragedies unfolding.

Stephen Lam | Reuters

In times of catastrophic events, such as the extreme urban interface wildland fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods we have witnessed these past several years, these responses can last for weeks and months at a time.  In the daily battles to save lives and to protect many First Responders can lose the most precious thing a human being can lose. Their will to live. This doesn’t happen overnight, seemingly unforeseen and often long ignored, trauma builds and is stored in the body. Severe depression, PTSD and other high-stress symptoms stemming from chronic endurance environments are still not completely understood, nor properly addressed within the responder communities.

SYF Founder Marc Titus on Assignment circa 2005 | Mount Rainier NP

The solution is not always to run to a therapist who has never worn a bulletproof vest or nomex jacket for years on end. That’s why there is such a gap in treatment as well as a resistance in the community.  SYF wants to help raise awareness around and eventually overcome this bias as it takes its toll on personnel; people… just like you or me. Often they can be the last to know there is a problem lurking within.   “When I finally broke,” Marc shares gazing off into the distance, “I had no clue what was happening… I was completely, ya know, f’ed.  Suffice to say, I was unable to function. I was in a constant state of hyper-arousal and having flashbacks daily. It was ugly. Period. Dark, cold, nasty and alone. Mean and callous; cold and calculating. Did I say it sucked!”

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ON TRAUMA-INFORMED TRAINING AT SYF2019!

Not only is SYF hosting its 6th official training, this year presented by the Mindful Yoga Therapy team from Newington, CT, they are creating a Healing Village that will provide a place for First Responders to explore and experience various healing modalities and educate First Responders by providing  an array of services, providers and educators in an mini- expo type setting for free. Healing sessions are also offered on a limited basis to First Responders at no charge. “SYF intends to ‘bridge the gap’ between the first responder community and an oft confusing world, known as yoga and meditation. We want to make it easy and safe to explore what scientists are now proving incredibly effective at combating the symptoms of PTSD, trauma and the stress of high performance work teams, “ says Festival Director Heather Titus, “by offering a trauma-informed track in the main festival program, we are sure to provide many opportunities to learn and experience the effects these practices provide. They’ve worked for us; we want others to benefit as we have.”

Marc Titus & Les Finkel on a motorcycle adventure

The 2019 Healing Village is the brain child of Marc and retired Phoenix Police IT System Specialist and Founder of Unstoppable Healing, Leslie Finkel, himself, offering healing sessions to First Responders.  With a bond they share in service, both have dedicated themselves to finding alternative solutions to their high-stress careers and are now bringing these healing technologies to their brothers and sisters in the trenches. “We know what it’s like. We’ve been there, healed and come back with the good news. You don’t have to suffer anymore.” Les says. “You wouldn’t walk around all day with a 50 pound dumbell strapped to your thigh, right? The stuff we’ve experienced becomes just that; these practices and techniques facilitate dropping the dumbell, and that feels real nice!” Nothing at all to be ashamed of they both share, in fact at times these practices can be challenging both physically and mentally, no different than other training regimes. “Yoga requires discipline,” says Heather, “So, with all the warrior poses and such, it’s actually an effective and approachable healing modality for First Responders.

SYF2019 provides a unique opportunity for area First Responders to ‘get away’ for the weekend or in the middle of a shift; the village will be open daily during festival hours and the training available to yoga teachers, practitioners, service providers, first responders and more.

Jane Tyska | Digital First Media | Getty Images

Keep calm and do some Yoga

Keep calm and do some Yoga

In a world of extremes, it is high time for a mindful time-out.

How Yoga & Meditation reduces stress in the body.

The current state of affairs in our country is such that the population is constantly bombarded with stress-inducing stimuli, from the harried morning commute to the evening news.  We very rarely, truly relax and it is taking its toll on families, communities, businesses… all relationships. Our lifestyles create tension in the body and without a conscious means of releasing that tension the body begins to falter; the mind and mental health can soon follow with anxiety and depression becoming the new norm. We find ourselves in the sympathetic nervous system, or fight/flight, the place where we can fight off the saber-toothed tiger or lift a car off a baby or run fast enough to catch our dinner.  Spend enough time here and things get worse, i.e. in the case of trauma survivors and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

How do we release this tension? How do we balance it out? We must relax, truly relax which means engage the parasympathetic nervous system; the body’s antidote to fight/flight and the reliever of tension. Relaxing isn’t easy in this day and age; it’s hard to take the break our body’s need so much, but we must or things will eventually break.

Practices that bring awareness to the moment, also known as mindfulness, such as yoga and meditation have now been proven by modern science to ameliorate the effects of stress and tension.  Science also shows that by controlling or shaping the breath, we can consciously engage the parasympathetic nervous system and down regulate at will.  For some this can be a game-changer, providing enormous relief from the anxiety an over reactive nervous system can produce.

Yoga and meditation provide an easy access point for those interested in, or needing to relax and down regulate.  Yoga primarily we see as physical postures, or asanas, shapes the body makes that are often linked together in a flow of movement.  Anybody can do them, especially when we use the breath as our guide, regulating and shaping our breathing patterns and timings to achieve the desired result of entering the parasympathetic nervous system.  Each posture ‘does something different’ for the body; different breathing patterns have the same phenomena!  So, one could design a asana class to support energizing the body, helpful in the case of depression, or down-regulate for anxiety.  Ideally, the practice leaves us in a balanced, or parasympathetic state, so that we can meditation

Here, too, we use the breath and when we combine breath awareness with a seated or supine meditation we are in true relaxation mode!  This is the ‘place’ we must go to truly relax and when we do, we receive the benefits in greater health and vitality, peace and tranquility.  Our lives get easier, the more we practice, not because things out there change, rather because we have conditioned our nervous systems to be less reactive and more resilient. We become more calm and peaceful; wouldn’t it be nice to provide calm and peace in your family’s and relationships, businesses and communities? We think it is… 

Learn more at the 2019 Sedona Yoga Festival, March 14-17, 2019 (sedonayogafestival.com) or try a class at Aumbase Sedona Yoga in West Sedona (AumbaseSedona.com).

Soul-u-tions: Solving the Connection vs Protection Dilemma

Soul-u-tions: Solving the Connection vs Protection Dilemma

Soul-u-tions: Solving the Connection vs Protection Dilemma

As Spiritual Seekers expand their awareness and learn to tap the psychic senses, they automatically become more vulnerable to additional disruptive energies. It opens them up to a whole new level of Limbic Brain distress. That disharmony directly counters the serenity and security benefits that initially come from Yoga, meditation and increased awareness. It can even overwhelm the positive effects of Yoga and spiritual exploration, leaving seekers more stressed and on edge, than at peace. My book, “Access Your Brain’s Joy Center” (avail from www.freesoul.net as a book or Discounted Book+CD+PSST Relief DVD) has specific Brain Science insights and techniques for Self-Triggering NATURAL Mood-elevation Centers in the brain for help countering Limbic Distress AND “Feeling Better Fast” without alcohol, nicotine, drugs, or overeating. The “Yoga of the Soul” Workshop I will be presenting at the Festival will teach separate techniques for enhancing and maintaining your serenity during the most intense of pressures, even when you can not get to a Yoga Class or have the time to do your Yoga at home. Remember, the Limbic Brain originally evolved as a warning mechanism directly tied to the senses. Seeing, hearing, or feeling signs of potential threats were wired to automatically trigger fight or flight physiological reflexes (raising blood pressure, muscle tightness, and an on edge versus relaxed inner state, etc.). Leaving the Psychic Senses open (and/or without shielding) opens a Seeker up to increased vulnerability to Limbic Distress. That vulnerability is even further exacerbated by Social Media. People who use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are opened up to even more wide ranging Limbic Brain triggering. Seeing distressing events (or comments), happening elsewhere, on a phone or computer screen, is the same to the Limbic Brain as sensory input coming from the immediate surroundings. That is why the techniques in my book “You Are Psychic!” (available as in print, as an E-booK, or an Audible book) are such a powerful tools for protection, as well as openness. Knowing that, for sensitivity, you do NOT have to leave the Psychic Senses open, all the time, is a key for psychic safety. Knowing the Psychic Reception Areas and how to tap them, gives you the ability to turn up the volume or shutter the windows, at will, as the circumstances dictate. An further analogy of the problem would be enjoying the fresh air and view of unshuttering and opening a window, but then without a screen in place, letting all the bugs in. Additionally, just opening a window without the ability to close it during inclement weather and extreme temperatures would be more harmful than beneficial. Similarly, opening up spiritually (especially including the Psychic Senses) without an equal focus on Aura Shielding and protection skills is unwise and even potentially harmful. The “Dynamics of Being a Free Soul” 10-Lesson Course (Textbook, CDs, or Discounted Text+CDs option) available thru www.freesoul.net) can help you practice and master three different Aura Cleansing/Strengthening techniques. Remember also to do those technique with a Bi-Level Soul-shifted perspective (versus head area focus that puts you more at a Limbic level). Some people say, “Thinking about Aura Protection is just being negative and giving into fear.” That IS accurate if they do not know the Soul-shift technique (see YouTube Videos viewable thru www.freesoul.net), because then the thoughts would be more from a Limbic level. Doing Bi-Level Aura Cleansing from the Soul level strengthens the Aura with love and from a universal connection rather than from a fearful Limbic Brain level. Pete A. Sanders Jr.

Pete A. Sanders Jr.

Pete A. Sanders Jr. is an Honors Graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology with principal studies in Bio-Medical Chemistry and Brain Science. Accepted to attend Harvard Medical School, he chose instead to pursue independent exploration of Mind/Body/Spirit potentials for developing THE FREE SOUL METHOD, “Inner Technology” Techniques and “Secrets from Science” for Creating YOUR OWN Enlightenment.   www.freesoul.net

Zen Living in Mystical Sedona

Zen Living in Mystical Sedona

Dear Yogis and Yoginis,

Most Yoga Festival attendees sense the sublime energy and beauty of Sedona and many express an interest in having a home in this truly inspiring place. We are profoundly honored to have been asked by Heather and Marc to provide helpful real estate information and assist in any way we can. For starters, here’s a link to our latest Market Update. 

Here’s also a link to all the current listings available in Sedona. 

We’d also like to focus on a few listings we think would appeal to people who are more spiritually-oriented.

53 Pinon Ct. |  $1,367,500 * |  5,115 sq. ft.

While it’s been called, “The Most Romantic Home in Sedona,” it’s also been lauded for its red rock views, profound spiritual qualities, and verdant natural setting. It’s a “feel good” home, thanks, in part, to its marvelous Spanish Colonial architectural design and having been brought into alignment with the principles of Feng Shui & Geo Biology.

www.53PinonCourt.com

20 Shadow Rock Drive | $1,199,000 *  | 4,744 sq. ft.

This luxurious home is blessed with privacy, stunning views, delightful organic gardens and greenery – even a spacious indoor pool. Steps away from the National Forest in a marvelous, upscale West Sedona neighborhood.

www.20ShadowRockDrive.com 

Soul-u-tions: Solving the Connection vs Protection Dilemma

Meditation: Pressing the Reset Button

Meditation: Pressing the Reset Button

by Rebecca Sabine

What’s the first thing you are told to do if electronics don’t work? Unplug it and plug it back in! Here are some “do-it-yourself tips” that will get your energies flowing in a positive direction and make your meditation time something you look forward to every day.

A Beginner’s Mind… Set your intention to approach your meditation without preconceived notions or expectations. Unlike so many things in life, we’re not looking for results or achievements. Just being where you are and quietly sitting in meditation is an accomplishment in itself.

Get Grounded… Begin by taking 3 deep breaths. Sit comfortably with your hands in your lap and your spine straight. You can either sit in a chair or on the floor. (If you are on the floor, sitting on the edge of a cushion to raise your hips will keep you from slumping. This is advice from the top. His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself!)

Photo By: Robby Brown

 Settle in and Relax… Feel your feet where they touch the floor. Give kind attention to each part of your body. Starting with your toes, let go of tension though your feet, legs, hips, abdomen… all the way up to the top of your head. Listen to your body and just accept whatever you feel without judgement. Be as nice to yourself as you would be to someone you dearly love.

Focus on the breath… Notice each breath in detail as you inhale and exhale. The breath is your anchor, your lifeline. Your breath takes you back to your pure essence of peace and clarity. You don’t need to control your breath, just watch it. Thoughts will come, but as soon as you find yourself becoming lost in thought come back to the breath again and again.

The “Not Now” hack… I learned this valuable tip from teacher John Travis at Spirit Rock meditation center while on a 5 day silent retreat. Try gently telling yourself “Not Now”
when you become aware that you’ve gotten lost in thought. No matter how important it seems, it can wait.

Feel Good… I used to have a VHS tape where Kundalini yoga teacher Ravi Singh said “Feel what you feel and let yourself feel good”. Somehow that phrase has stuck with me. Neuroscience tells us that giving yourself permission to feel your emotions, no matter what is coming up for you in the moment, is a key to happiness.

Press GO… Think a thought of gratitude, smile and go about your day refreshed, grounded and reset!

 

Rebecca Sabine

Meditation facilitator & violinist, plays professionally for Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli and the Las Vegas Philharmonic. A Reiki Practitioner and certified Deeksha Giver, she presents her Violin Sound Healing meditations at many luxury spas and wellness centers. Her meditation music streams on Pandora internet radio and is also live on the worldwide meditation app Insight Timer.

www.violinsoundhealings.com

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