On New Years Day I saw Slumdog Millionaire for the second time . If you haven't seen Slumdog, go see it! Here's the trailer:
Some of the scenes might be hard to watch -- my friend covered her eyes more than a few times. The movie shows the India that the package tourists never see. Many "spiritual travelers" think that India is all about yoga, incense, and spirituality, but I can assure you that your rose-colored glasses will fall off very quickly if you read an Indian newspaper everyday. Read this blog for all my India adventures since 2005.
As for my "yoga resolutions" for 2009....
1. Meditate, meditate, meditate.
2. Try to live up to my dharma name of Sama which in Pali and Sanskrit means the same, equal, corresponding, balance, or equipose. It refers to that state of consciousness which reflects neither attachment or repulsion.
3. Always give it up to something that is greater outside myself.
4. Become my own best friend and know that no one is responsible for my happiness.
5. Know that I am not responsible for anyone's happiness.
6. Finish Dancing With Life by Phillip Moffitt for my last retreat for Spirit Rocks's Mindfulness Yoga and Meditation training.
7. Devise a "Stress Management 101" 8-week program that includes yoga and meditation and shop it around to local corporations.
8. March: reconnect with my yogini friend from Tanzania, Africa. She is coming to America for the first time to visit her son in Washington DC, then flying to Chicago to spend four days with me. We became friends in 2005 when we studied for one month at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram and we've kept in touch ever since. She is 10 years older than me so she is in her 60s and decided to become a yoga teacher after our time together in India. So you see? It's never too late for your dreams!
9. March: attend Sarah Powers' weekend at the Chicago Yoga Center.
10. April: last 10 day retreat for the Spirit Rock training and stay in California an extra 5 days with my yogini "sister" and India compatriot for an early birthday celebration on the ocean. Also start planning for the Kumbh Mela 2010 because this is the friend I'm going with.
11. May: two days at the Midwest Yoga Conference for workshops with Mark Whitwell (whom I always wanted to experience) and Max Strom. I did one workshop with Max a few years ago and knew I had to do more.
12. June: Level 2 Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Training in Vermont for 7 days.
13. July: possibly attend the week-long summer retreat of Gelek Rimpoche. I just love that "fat old Tibetan" (as he calls himself!)
14. September: spend a weekend with the teacher who inspired me to study in India, Srivatsa Ramaswami, studying "YOGA—The Many Facets of Krishnamacharya’s Teachings and Yoga for the Internal Organs."
15. November: possible teacher training with Paulie Zink, Paul Grilley's teacher.
16. December: leave for India to study yoga therapy for two months under the guidance of Swami Tureyananda.
17. Stay in India until the Kumbh Mela in March-April 2010, returning May 2010.
18. Don't give yoga advice unless someone asks me.
At this stage in my yoga life and teaching I am past the stage of caring what "type" of yoga someone does. To me, yoga is yoga, it all comes from the same source. I know what I like and what resonates with me and that came from exploration and not buying into dogma. my karma ran over your dogma, and y'all can take "my" yoga or leave it. I don't care. I know that some of the things I say in this blog may upset some yoga virgins or newbie yoga teachers, but that's what learning is all about, and sometimes somebody comes along to kill those yoga sacred cows. hey, somebody has to do it. now where is my attorney's number? I think I'm going to copyright "my" yoga and put my name on it.
19. Meditate, meditate, meditate.
20. Let it go...just this, just here, just now.
All that being said, life can change in an instant and nothing is permanent. I give everything up to the Universe. I go with the flow, I am not attached.
Sri Dharma Mittra’s Recommendations For The New Year 2009:
1. Spend time Meditating. Meditation is unbroken concentration and the most effective type is self-reflection. Spend at least 15 minutes meditating every morning.
2. Get serious about your practice! One must get serious and simply attending class is not enough. Spend at least 15 minutes each morning doing Asana and focus on the main ones: Headstand, Shoulderstand, Plow, Fish and Cobra, etc.
3. Drink lots of green juices and remember the first Yama, Ahimsa. As long as you are involved with violence, your meditation will go no-where.
4. Understand the five subtle bodies or sheathes so that you can commence negating them at once.
5. How you begin something is of great significance. If you begin the New Year with a big mug of coffee, it sets the wrong tone for the entire year to come. Begin 2009 committed to the attainment of Self-Knowledge.
6. Outside of the three main texts, The Bhagavad Gita, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and Yoga Pradipika, read and study Swami Sivananda’s Self-Knowledge as it contains all the answers.
7. Dedicate the fruit of all action and be nice to everyone.
OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.