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Excerpt from Beginner’s Instructional Power Yoga with Beryl Bender Birch

BBB-yoga-beginnersPowerYoga-CoverWant to try doing yoga at home but not sure how it would be without a live teacher in the room?  Then check out this transcribed excerpt from "Beginner's Instructional Power Yoga" with Beryl Bender Birch.  Birch takes us through each pose with such precision and clear instruction, it makes doing yoga on at home, on your own or with friends, at your own conveninece, a breeze. 

Position 1: Inhaling, bring the arms straight up over the head with the palms together. Look up. Don’t arch the back. Inhale again.
Position 2: Exhaling, bring the palms to the floor and bend the knees.
Position 3: Inhaling, lift the head try to put the hands flat on the floor.
Position 4: Exhaling, walk your legs back. Make the body like a plank and slowly lower your chest to the floor as in a push-up. Keep breathing here. Elbows are tucked in at the sides. Hold yourself off the floor if possible. Okay, now relax for a minute.
Position 4, 5, and 6 we will do frequently throughout the practice, so let’s get them right.
Position 5: This posture is called Urdhva Mukha Svanasana or upward facing dog. Flatten the tops of your feet on the floor. Now, inhale and lift the body up on the hands and knees. Now straighten the legs and lift the knees. Don’t let the buttocks sag and don’t compress the lower back. The lower back should not bother you here; if it does, keep your knees down. Now turn the toes under and on an exhale push up and back into an upside down V.
This is Position 6. Adho Mukha Svanasana or down facing dog. Take five breaths in this position. Two - inhale and exhale. Three - inhale and exhale. Four - feet and hands should be about ten to twelve inches away from one another and parallel. Five - inhale and exhale. All right.
Position 7: Inhaling, look up. Walk your feet back up to your hands. 
Position 8: Exhale. Tuck your nose into your knees. Bend the knees as much as you need to make the tuck, but don’t squat.
Position 9: Inhaling, come all the way back up to standing arms up over the head, palms together, and exhale back to Samasthitih or attention position.
Okay again: 1 – Inhaling, arms up, buttocks tight, thighs lifting, and palms together. 2 – Exhaling, palms to the floor, tuck your nose into your knees. 3 - Inhaling, look up, lift the back. 4 - Exhaling, legs back, drop into your push-up, use your arms and lower to the floor.

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Excerpt 2 from Richard Rosen's "The Practice of Pranayama"

Rosen-PracticeofPranayama-Cover-BL The following transcribed excerpt from Richard Rosen's The Practice of Pranayama: An In-Depth Guide to the Yoga of Breath shows the extraordinary and deeply helpful detail in which Rosen describes breathing and meditation practices and offers basic instruction on classic pranyama practice.

We will open this practice with “join” breath, the formal version of channel cleaning. Then we will work for a few minutes with “sun piercing” breath followed by the new breath I have been saving for just this occasion. If, as claimed, sun piercing breath heats the body, then it seems reasonable to follow this practice with a breath designed to cool things down. That would be the aptly named cooling breath. Next, we will move to a sun piercing influenced version of contrary breath, which we will call contrary sun piercing breath. “Conquer” will follow using the classic ratio one to four to two to one. That is for every one count of inhale, we will count four for inner attention, two for exhale, and one for outer attention. Finally, we will end with corpse.

Joined practice. Form your hand seal. Bring your hand to your nose and block the right nostril. Inhale left for three counts. At the end of the inhale, gently pinch the nostrils and hold for nine counts as before, less if you find this number to be too great. Then exhale through the open right for six counts. At the end of the exhale, again gently pinch the nostrils and hold the breath out for three. Now open the right nostril and inhale for three. Pinch both nostrils and hold for nine. Open the left and exhale six. Finally pinch both nostrils and hold three. That’s one cycle. Continue on for three more cycles. I’ll be quiet.

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"The Original Be Here Now Talks" with Ram Dass - Excerpt 2

Peter Max cover art for Ram Dass Be Here Now Tapes
We are delighted to offer this transcribed excerpt from another rare lecture from Ram Dass which became the basis of his international best-selling book Be Here Now. The following excerpt is from a talk he gave on March 31, 1969 in New York City as part of the Buck’s County Seminar House series. 


Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven. Ye are the living temples of God. I and my Father are one.There is one alone and there is not a second, and we if we only know are eternally it. 

From a fortune cookie, the wild geese do not intend to cast their reflections. The water has no mind to receive their image.


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Excerpt 1 from "From Bindhu to Ojas" with Ram Dass

From Bindu To Ojas Cover "From Bindhu to Ojas" are talks offered by reknowned teacher Ram Dass in 1969.  We are so delighted to have access to these talks and to be able to share them with you.  Following is a transcribed excerpt from these exciting talks.

Everything up to there describes the western culture and 99.9% or whatever absurd number of the people of the world never have energy available to them at any center higher than those three, except in just moments, rare moments.

Everybody’s got rare moments. It’s like for almost everybody, it’s all available in the first, second, and third chakra. So you meet somebody who is primarily a first chakra person and what you’re doing is you’re really helping them come into the second chakra. And when they are in the second you are helping them get into the third. You are helping a lustful being develop an ego. And that in a sense is what western religions have become about, the super ego, the super third chakra. 

According to the Freudian system, it treats one, the first chakra as id, as uncontrollable animal impulses, the second chakra as sexual desire, and the third chakra as super ego. That’s in that system. I’m just translating systems just for the fun of it, because many people think in these western systems and it is fun to make these translations of them. So Freud talked about religion being perverted sexual energy and the reverse side of that coin is that sexual energy is blocked religion. Pay your money and you pick your chakra. Pick your center that you want to be dominated by. 

Now the critical place is the opening between the third and the fourth chakra in this system that I am presenting to you now. Because the third and the fourth -- and it is interesting that that is the key place like in an octave in doe, ray, mi -- between mi and fa is a half note and all the rest up till then have been whole notes. And there are two critical places between three and four and six and seven on an octave and those are the same things in the chakra system. In fact the whole octave model applies in chemical analysis, in atomic structure, in music --  its like one of the lawful sets of relationships in nature, and Gurdjieff points that out, and this is when you start to get into seeing how it all is in the lawful ways of the universe you see that the octave plays a very key role. The octave is more than a manifestation of man’s rational processes. 

What do you say? Let’s have an octave. Should we have a seven note or a twelve note? You can do rationale innovations and get to the twelve note and so on, but the seven, those seven major distinctions, or at least that three to four and six to seven is all I know at this moment. I don’t know how many breaks there are in between. 

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