Featured Events

Living Yoga in Uncertain Times…

Posted by on Apr 20, 2020 in Featured Events | Comments Off on Living Yoga in Uncertain Times…

Living Yoga in Uncertain Times

Greetings world,

I hope this finds you healthy and hunkered down amidst the surge of the novel coronavirus Covid-19 through our world. The word yoga means “union”, and now more than ever our inter-dependence with one another is apparent.  Like the proverbially butterfly’s sneeze, our actions ripple far beyond our immediate sphere.  Our family has been practicing social distancing/ self-quarantining amidst this time of uncertainty, and it is imperative that we all do what we can to preserve our own health, the health of our families and friends, and slow the spread of covid-19 to protect our elders, those who are most vulnerable and the healthcare system itself.

In this time of global uncertainty, stress, fear and other painful states that arise from them are rampant.  This all pervading fear, which causes us to grip tightly to our lives is known to the yogis as Abhinivesha.  Abhinivesha is said to afflict even the wise, so even in this time of extreme social distancing, know that you are in good company:-)  Abhinivesha manifests in us through the stress response known as fight, flight or freeze.  The stress response is the natural intelligence of the body giving us the energy to do what we need to do to keep ourselves safe (ie. prepared adapt)..  However, if the stress response is not regulated, it will cause dis-ease. Stress and fear cause our bodies to tense, our breath to become rapid, shallow or erratic.  They inhibit circulation, digestion and sleep, while causing our bodies to secrete homrmones that compel stress (cortisol, adrenaline) and suppressing the production of neurotransmitters that support our rest and well-bring (serotonin, melatonin, etc). Stress and fear cause tunnel vision, and can lead to excessive worry, anxiety, irritability, obsessiveness, fear of the future, catastrophizing and scarcity mindset.

Maybe you’ve noticed these present in yourself of late?  I have certainly watched them moved through myself and the larger world in waves.  These states of body, mind and energy cause us to act in extreme ways to meet our desire for safety, self-preservation.  We saw it first in the purchasing and preparing of essentials goods, which quickly became hoarding.  Shortly after our preparation, we begin to cling to our limited self-identity and beliefs, creating a sense of “us and them”.  Suddenly, covid-19 became polarizing politically, socially and between those who believed this was a pandemic and those who thought it was overblown.  Now we hear stories about the sales of firearms and ammunition increasing exponentially.

Beyond the very real dangers of covid-19, so much of this is completed by our inability to regulate stress, and the fear of imagining an uncertain future.   SO WHAT DO WE DO NOW?

1) Stay home, Practice vigilant hygiene and heed the advice of scientific experts in social distancing and best practices for mitigating the spread of covid-19.  Even simple things light getting a flu shot can lighten the burden on our community and healthcare system.  Seek out  information from trustworthy, non-partisan sources.

2) Be mindful and moderate in your media consumption.  When urged to stay home, many turn to there devices for connection and dopamine. Yet they also compel our stress.  It is important to stay informed, yet not over consume. Remember what you consume through your senses, especially what you read and listen to is what you are feeding your mind.   Just as excessive or poor diet will create physical illness, excess or unskillful consumption of information will toxify your mind, and compel stress, fear, anger, etc.  This moderation of sensory intake is half of the yogic virtue of pratyahara, turning the mind inward.

3) Utilize yoga and self-care practice to mitigate stress and maintain well-being as best you can.  This includes regular holistic yoga practice, healthy diet and sleep, exercise, time in nature and time for self reflection.  I am happy to share with you four free practices for  your well-being and equanimity during this time:

  1. Hatha Yoga for calming fear and the stress response (30min.)
  2. 61-point guided relaxation (13 min.)
  3. Antahkarana Meditation for establishing mental equanimity and witness awareness (18 min.)
  4. Yoga Nidra for Healing and Rejuvenation (25 min.)
  5. Mini practice with Angela on YouTube

Angela and I will be launching more and more content accessible virtually.  Many yoga studios, including One Yoga, where we teach, are offering streamable on-line classes.  This is a great way to support yourself and the yoga studios offer communities which are primarily small, independent businesses and non-profits.  Your yoga practice is not just about your own well-being.  It is a time tested means to awaken to our interconnectedness, our union (yoga), which in challenging times allows us to respond with courage, clarity, connection and love, rather than reacting with fear and othering.

4) Do (or don’t do) anything you can to support the well-being of the larger whole.  For as many of us as possible, this means staying home.   Find safe ways to check in and stay connected with your loved ones, and those who are most vulnerable to the potentially severe effects of Covid-19.    Many of us also have incredible gifts and talents, materially and non-materially which we can share.  Times of change, challenging as they are, are also opportunities for creativity, for new life to come forth.

As the interdependence of our world becomes increasingly clear, these times will be largely shaped by how we respond our shared challenges. Whether it is Covid-19, climate change, human migration, the violence and vast inequities of our society, etc., the challenges of living in an interconnected world can not be resolved through the worldview of us and them.  It is imperative that as we aspire to establish our own safety and wellbeing, we also think beyond our narrow self-interests.  Are we willing to change our ways of being to be more inclusive and aware of our our lives touch one another? What is your place within and offering to the greater whole?  Are you willing to share what you have, materially or non-materially to allow the greater whole of life to thrive?

Please be vigilant, be responsible, be kind and be inclusive.

 We are in this together and we shall endure.  

With Love, Ben + Angela

Hari Om Tat Sat

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TANTRA: New 9-Month Program Begins in April 2020!

Posted by on Jan 13, 2020 in Featured Events, Retreats, Uncategorized | Comments Off on TANTRA: New 9-Month Program Begins in April 2020!

TANTRA 

April-December 2020

Tantra is an ancient branch of Yogic science for awakening to the sacredness of life.  Greatly misunderstood in the West, Tantra (“to weave, to expand beyond limitation”) is a vast spiritual system of philosophy and practice intended to help humanity realize greater freedom, empowerment and enjoyment in life.  Tantra is rooted in the understanding that there is a singular, all pervading reality which has two primary aspects:                                                                                                               Consciousness (Shiva, the transcendent aspect of the divine, eternal, illimitable consciousness that is the ground of Being)                                                               Creative Power/Energy (Shakti, the immanent force of the divine, from which the entire universe, in all its diversity and multiplicity manifests)

Tantra sees life as a profound gift and human beings as living temples of shakti, composed of the same creative force from which the universe was born.  Our bodies, energies, mind and heart are tremendous tools for awakening and realizing freedom, empowerment and enjoyment in this life.   With ancient roots that have continued to grow, Tantra is very much a living tradition. Its inclusive, life-affirming worldview and powerful practices are said to be the best system of yoga for our modern age.  Much of what we have come to know as Yoga actually has deep roots in Tantra, including: asana, pranayama, cleansing practices, mudra, mantra, chakras, kundalini, yoga nidra, kriya,  many forms of meditation, ritual and more.

This unique nine month program is a deep dive into the living tradition of Tantra – intended for those who have completed yoga studies or comprehensive teacher trainings, study and practice and want to go deeper.  The program will include master classes, guided home study and practice, personal guidance and support, weekend residential retreat, opportunity to receive initiation in the Himalayan Tradition, guest teachers and more.

Master Classes will consist of Dharma talk (teaching), discussion and practice.

Weeknight/ Weekend Program:  The  program will begin in April 2020.  It will be a combination of two Tuesday nights / month (6-8:45p) and one weekend day (Sun. 10-5).  There will also be a full weekend retreat at at the Himalayan Institue in Honesdale, PA Sept 17-20.  Program Dates:                                                                                               April: Sun. 5, Tues, 7, 21                                                                                                      May: Sun. 3, Tues. 5, 19                                                                                                      June:  Sun. 7, Tues. 9, 23                                                                                                      July: Sun. 12, Tues. 21                                                                                                          August: Sun. 9, Tues. 11, 18                                                                                          September: Tues. 1, 15,  Sun. 20                                                                                October: Sun. 18, Tues. 20  (Possibly 4-7 for retreat in Ely)                                November: Sun. 1, Tues. 10, 17                                                                                          December: Sun. 6, Tues. 1, 15                               

                                 Residential Retreat – Pilgrimage to a Living Tradition                                                      Himalayan Institute – Honesdale, PA Sept. 17-20, 2020                       Set amidst the rolling hills and mountains of the Pocnoco Mountains in eastern Pennsylvania, The Himalayan Institute (HI) is an international non-profit whose mission is “To inspire, educate, and empower all who seek to experience their full potential.”  It does this through transmitting the Wisdom of the Himalayan Tradition (Yoga/ Sri Vidya Tantra) and global humanitarian work.   Founded in 1971 by Sri Swami Rama, it is a vibrant yogic community, ashram, publishing, residential and retreat center distinguished by its authentic, living connection to the ancient wisdom tradition of the Himalayan Masters.

 

The Himalayan Institute’s picturesque 400-acre campus offers breathtaking views, scenic hiking trails, and peaceful spaces for reflection and contemplation.  It also home to the PureRejuv wellness center (Ayurvedic Services and Massage), Sri Vidya Shrine (image below), Sacred Grove Cafe, Himalayan Institute Bookstore + Press, Moka Origins bean to bar speciality Coffee and Chocolate (Yum! Tantra…delighting in the senses :-), and Yoga International.

Image result for sri vidya shrine honesdale

Our retreat will focus on the Himalayan Tradition / Sri Vidya Tantra, consisting of:

-Daily group practice + teachings                                                                                          -Personal meditation and chanting in the Sri Vidya Shrine                                             -Living and meals in the Himalayan Institute community                                               -Free time for reflection, hiking, Ayurvedic treatments, massage, etc.                       -The opportunity to receive initiation into the Himalayan Tradition Lineage thru receiving a personal mantra.

3) Guided Home Study and Practice: Readings, journaling, audio recordings and home practice to support your growth. 

Our in-depth study will include:

   Essential Teachings + Practices of Tantra:

  • What is Tantra? How does it relate to the Yogic tradition?
  • History of Tantra: Periods, Types, traditions and its evolution
  • Why is Tantra the appropriate practice for modern yogis
  • The paths of Tantra:  Right and Left Handed, Internal, External and Mixed
  • Study of Traditional Tantric texts, philosophies and chants
  • Essential Tantric Texts of Hatha Yoga: Hatha Yoga Pradipika and Gherand Samhita
  • Sun, Moon, Fire: Hatha Yoga for awakening the forces of prana, mind and kundalini
  • Training in Essential Tantric Practices Including:
    • Asana (posture)
    • Ayurvedic diet + lifestyle
    • Shatkarma (cleansing practices)
    • Pranayama (energetic breathwork)
    • Mudra (Sacred gesture)/ Bandha ( Energetic seals)
    • Tantric Meditation: Kriya (Active forms of meditation), Laya (The yoga of dissolution), Mantra Japa and more
    • Mantra + Chanting (invocation of sacred vibration)
    • Yantra (sacred geometry)
    • Yoga Nidra (awakening through deep rest)
    • Sacred Ritual + pilgrimage
    • Diksha: Initiation into the Himalayan Tradition through receiving a personal Mantra
  • Teachings and practices for the energetic body
    • Chakras: The vortexes of Consciousness and Energy
    • The Heart Lotus – the ultimate place of pilgrimage
    • Swara Yoga, Nadis and Marma: Energetic rives and confluences in the body
    • Kundalini Shakti: Awakening your life to the power of the infinite
    • Granthis + Karma: The obstacle is the way
  • The Tantric Understanding of Divinity and ultimate reality
  • The living mythology of Tantra: Dieties, Gods and Goddesses as Shakti
  • Guest teachers (Indu Arora: Vijnana Bhairav, Chanti Tacoronte Perez: Yantra, Rolf Sovik: Initiation and the Himalayan Tradition)

    Your Investment:  Program Tuition + Payment Option

    Full Price – $2850. (Paid in full by the beginning of the program )

    Early Registration Discount – $2695. (Paid In full by Feb 15)

***Books, retreat travel and accommodations are additional expenses.                             If you are interested in participating in the program, but are unable to attend or afford the retreat at the Himalayan Institute, you may attend the Fall Immersion in Ely, MN Oct 4-7, 2020 as an alternative.    Space is in this program is limited and will be allotted in the order which deposit ($300) is received.  Once accepted, your deposit is non-refundable, and will be applied toward the cost of the program.

Payment plans are available through Paypal Credit.  This option is the cost of tuition + a 4% credit card fee.  You would then have 6 months to pay paypal without interest. Please email ben@vincentyoga.com or visit paypal credit for more information about payment plans.

To register, please submit a $300 deposit via:

Venmo (@ben-vincent-9)                                                                                                   Check or cash in person or via mail to:

Ben Vincent                                                                                                                             5354 40th Ave S.                                                                                                                 Mpls., Mn 55417

Please note there will be a 4% fee for all credit card payments to cover the additional cost of credit card fees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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