Hrdaye cittasamvit

Patanjali’s yoga Sutra 34, Book III states in Sanskrit:

Hrdaye cittasamvit

One translation is, “ Perfect concentration on the heart reveals the contents of the mind.”

As a generalization, we probably don’t spend a lot of time concentrating on our hearts unless there is a concern about its health or we happen to be in the throes of new love. To quote Joe Dispenza, “Where we place our attention is where we place our energy”.  Since the heart is literally the driver of our physical life and the seat of our spiritual self, giving it attention can reveal much about our state of mind and the state of our energy.

Feeling and sensing are associated with the heart whereas thought is considered the domain of the head.  Our feeling and emotional states are intimately connected to how we are breathing. Qi gong master Lee Holden observed that anger is associated with resistance to inhaling or taking in another’s perspective.  Angry people tend to sputter and huff a lot.  Sadness, on the other hand is closer to resistance to exhaling.  One may feel choked up, and emote with ragged exhalation or crying.  In either case, even slow deep breathing is the key to restoring emotional balance and energy to the heart.

Love is a felt sense, a state of Being, that is whole.  As we breath slowly and smoothly with attention on the heart, we begin to feel its unique quality of wholeness, its desire for our well-being.  The healthy heart does not oppose or hate or fear anything.  It recognizes that fear and hate are not the opposite of love but are the separation from love.  When we place our attention on the heart and breathe deeply, we clearly see how the mind has created a mistaken identity of duality where insecurity, lack and fear can abide.  By coming back to the heart breath again and again, we move our state of being (mind and heart) from duality to unity.  We overcome our limitations and little by little begin to feel more whole, healthy and joyful.

A simple practice for the next time you are feeling afraid, anxious, nervous.  Recognize where you are and where you would like to be in the moment.  Place one hand over your heart and breathe into it.  Breathe deeply 4-5 seconds in and 4-5 seconds out.  Stay with it for a minimum of 3 minutes.  Feel and sense, don’t try to think about, what is happening.  You may notice the thoughts settling down, the brain and autonomic nervous system switching from stress to ease.   The effects of this simple practice get stronger, swifter and more powerful with repetition.  The insights and fulfillment gained with practice will far outweigh the small effort required to undertake it.   You are literally aligning with love.

Photo by Cathal Mac an Bheatha on Unsplash

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Being Energy Matters


Patanjali Yoga Sutra

  • II. 20 The Seer is pure consciousness.  It witnesses Nature without becoming reliant on it.
  • II. 24 Ignorance is the cause of false identification of the Seer with the Seen.

“Because of our subconscious programming, the body has become the mind.   As a result, we rely on our known past to create a predictable future with no real change.”

“It is no longer the time to just know, it is time to know how.” (to create real change).
– Quotes paraphrased from Dr. Joe Dispenza

Dear Friends,

Lately I have been immersed in studies of how epigenetics, quantum field theory, and brainwave frequency are validating the practices of pranayama and meditation in their ability to raise our consciousness from a place of survival and separation to a place of unity and creativity.  Dr. Joe Dispenza quoted above, has been a leader in taking thousands of people worldwide out of the ignorance of identification with matter alone (the seen) and teaching them to identify as energy, more specifically, as creative energy (the Seer).

Subjects are taught meditative and breath work while connected to EEGs that are measuring electrical activity in all parts of the brain.  A subject’s mind slows down from Beta frequency (waking active mind state) with the help of breathing techniques and a meditative focus.  The analytical mind becomes quieter.  I was intrigued to hear that scientists referred to the calming of the analytical mind as penetrating a veil.  The yoga sutras say that ” the veil then becomes thin” when we practice pranayama.  In both cases this is the veil between the conscious and the subconscious minds.

With practice, and often after only one session, the mental waves slow to the alpha state where imagination is prominent and eventually to the theta state, where the mind is in a hypnotic or highly suggestible state.  This is where real life change can occur as this is where our subconscious beliefs about our abilities are stored.  Now we are connected to a field of all possibilities, the quantum field.  Here we can make the subconscious conscious, discard the old programs, write and install new ones.

As energy we can affect matter for healing, to evolve and to create.  The results and testimonials of intentional practitioners are revelations of our potential as creators.  We not victims of our environment, not even of our genes as epigenetics tell us. The abundant data show how after as little as one week of practice, novice meditators upgrade their metabolites, upregulate genes associated with health and healing and downgrade genes associated with disease.  The healing miracles we relegated to charlatans and the superpowers we read about in Book Three of the yoga sutras are becoming skills that we can measure and master with dedication and practice.  There are no limits!

Actually, the good news is that there are a few limits.  The frequencies in the field, like radio stations, are tuned to unity, connectedness and Love.  One cannot be in fight or flight, survival mode and enter the unified field. Our stressful lifestyles and agitated minds are what keep us in a perception of separation from the field.

Fortunately we have the tools to open our perception, most readily through the gateway of the heart/brain connection.

In 1991 it was discovered that the heart has its’ own neural network of over 40,000 sensory neurites.  It processes information including thought, feelings and memories independently of the cranial brain.  Heart/brain coherence is a field of study that is being applied to heal trauma among other things. The heart “thinks” not as a polarity organ like the brain that thinks in right/wrong, good/bad, happy/sad, etc.  The heart is a unified organ that does not “hear” criticism or dispense judgment.  Slowing down the breath, focusing on the heart and generating a feeling of gratitude, for anything that has happened or that you would like to see happen is a sure -fire way to increase heart/brain coherence. This in turn resets the vagus nerve, increases resiliency as measured by heart rate variability, and enhances whole body immunity.

I have never doubted that gratitude and love were two of the greatest powers to raise consciousness but it is kind of cool that it is now measurable, repeatable scientific fact!

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Fall Newsletter – JOY is a state of Being

Dear Friends,

A friend sent me this card a while back saying that the picture reminded her of me, more specifically of how she feels when we are together, alive, joyful, flowing, happy!  I am grateful for those thoughts and I must admit, that I do feel this way much of the time.

So many of us experienced these states of being as children.  Joy was not dependent on outer circumstances.  I have seen children in Cambodia playing joyfully who literally had nothing to wear, and only sticks and mud as toys to play with.  Gradually, however, there is a tendency to build up preferences, judgments, and guilt about those judgments in our minds.  They create layers of dross over the natural joy that is ever present.

Joy is a state of BEING not an emotion like happiness or sadness.  Emotions are reactions to thoughts or circumstances that are temporary, although we are free to hold onto them for as long as we like.

BKS Iyengar’s translation in Light on the Yoga Sutra’s of Patanjali Book II. Sutra 41 states that joyful awareness is needed for Self Realization.  I would add that joyful awareness in its full expression IS Self Realization because the Self IS Joyful.   A favorite recent quote that I have taken as a mantra is,

“To lead an effortless life, abandon resistance to what Love requires in the moment.”  

It all comes down to the choice we make in our minds’ moment to moment.   Is it easy? Uh, NO! Is it worth the effort?  Only if we want to truly be the change we want to see in the world.   We have to change OUR minds first.  What is Present in us is Present in Every One.  If we are waiting for THEM to change first, well, good luck with that.  Our judgment may be the very resistance that keeps THEM from changing.  However, when we make the choice for Love, for peace, for joy, others feel it and want to play too.  If you can’t imagine a world like this, may I suggest, in some small way, begin to abandon resistance to the thought of such a world. What Love requires of you will be revealed along with the effortless effort to do it.





Monday and Wednesday  10-11:30 AM PST  (9-10:30 AM ALASKA TIME)

Monday is Gentle yoga

Wednesday is Beginner/Advanced beginner with more standing postures and basic inversion options

COST:  $12 drop in,  $10 each for 3 or more classes

Pay on Paypal via, or mail a check to me at 5961 Everson Goshen Road, Bellingham, WA 98226

I hope to see you on Zoom soon!



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Spring 2022!

Spring has a way of lifting spirits.  The reawakening of nature and the extension of daylight revitalizes my mind and heart.  The emerging life all around is a reminder of our connection to all of life and of how precious it is.  It is only the belief that we are not connected that creates the conditions that breed mistrust and conflict that causes much suffering.

I wanted to use this post to remind us of the joy of feeling connection to life.  Recognizing that we are adding to either the joy of connection or the pain of separation by every thought and action we take is a lifelong undertaking of mindfulness and understanding.

One of the joyful sounds that announce spring in the Pacific NW is the awakening of the frogs in the evening.

Listen to the frogs here

This mid-March morning, the woods around our home were alive with an influx of newly arrived migratory birds.  I heard, and then saw, redwing blackbirds, and many robins adding their voices to the new dawn chorus.

Listen to the birds here

Please click here for my next Zoom class offerings.  They will be my last set for awhile.  Then let yoga convert and influencer, Margaret Hoolihan bring a smile to your face with the following clip.

Click here to watch

Lynne in Frog Pose at Frog Pond


There will be three more weeks of Zoom Yoga after which I will be taking an extended break for Spring/Summer projects and travel.

If you are planning to zoom in and are not currently on the Zoom email list (not the same as this mailchimp list) please email me to let me know so that I can send you more information and announcements as they arise.

Gentle Yoga:
Monday   10- 11:30  AM  PST  (9-10:30 Alaska time)
March 21, 28 and April 4
Details here

Level I/II Yoga 
Wednesdays  10- 11:30  AM  PST  (9-10:30 Alaska time)
March 23, 30 and April 6
Details here

Cost:   $12 drop in,  $30 for 3 or more classes.   Payment may be by Paypal or check written to me and mailed to 5961 Everson Goshen Rd.  Bellingham, WA 98226

50% of all proceeds will be donated to  World Central Kitchen  #chefs for Ukraine

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Support Ukraine

If you are looking for ways to help support Ukraine please open this link that was sent to me from a friend in Moscow, Idaho.  It came to her directly from a friend in Kiev.

At the time of this writing I have not opened every tab but felt it best to get this information out to as many people as possible as quickly as possible.   The tab “read info from the source” under media has links to local and national print media in Ukraine.  Here is a link for a crowdsource fundraiser for the ” Kiev Independent” newspaper.


Reading the articles brings you to the front line horror and humanity taking place now.

Some items in the support link are beyond my scope and I’m not inclined  to join the foreign legion, but perhaps this will spark an idea or inspire you to help in an out of the box way.

And please join me and millions of others in daily mediation for Peace. Mediation alone will not save lives, but it will inspire action from a peaceful place rather than from the chaotic, confused state of mind that drives the actions of desperate despots.  Just because the majority of people on the planet do not YET believe that we are all connected through ONE MIND, doesn’t mean it is not true.  Science and humanity as a whole, are not yet sophisticated enough to pick up on the finer energies of thought that drive us all, but it is making inroads everyday..  As we put our minds on Peace, we strengthen and contribute to its ability to access all seemingly separate minds.

Love and Peace,

Here is a copy of an email sent via another local friend from Energy Medicine Yoga for a daily world meditation.  

Like so many people around the world, we cannot just go forward as if everything is the same.  Everything is not the same.

We cannot just get up, brush our teeth, drink our coffee, go about our days, when we know our brothers and sisters in Ukraine are fearing for their lives.

We must do something.

Some of you will donate money, or resources, to help support Ukraine. Others will write letters of protest.  Others will withdraw participation in events that are sponsored by or promoted by Russia.

Remember, the Russian people are also our brothers and sisters.

It is the fearful, despotic dictator who, instead of dealing with his own inner demons, has decided to thrust the world onto the brink of war.

We need to strengthen the field of resolve, peace, and reconciliation, so we do not descend any further into madness.

We are taking a cue from our Mother Ship, The Eden Method, and promoting the work of peaceful prayer with Lynne McTaggart. She is holding global intention groups each day.  She is encouraging people around the world to hold the same intention at the same time for 10 minutes every day: 9 am PST, 12 noon EST, 5 pm UK, 6pm Europe.

‘Our intention is that peace be immediately, completely and permanently restored in the Ukraine with no further loss of life and that the country maintain its sovereignty as an independent, democratic nation.’

May we all rid ourselves of our demons.

May we all find peace within

So we may all find peace everywhere…

In deep, prayerful hope,
Lauren and the entire EMYoga team


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Communing with Community

I.26-I.28  (paraphrased)   Isvara (the indwelling Spirit, God) is totally free of conflict, the unexcelled seed of knowledge, unconditioned by time.

Dearest Friends,

Lately I’ve been contemplating the distinction between intelligence and knowledge,  perception and vision.  Intelligence relies on perception, is wavering, changing, expanding and contracting.  It utilizes the 5 senses and methods that are measurable in the world of matter.  Knowledge, or knowing, relies on vision which is what we “see” with our eyes closed. It is stable and doesn’t waver with circumstances.

A former student and friend wrote to me recently mentioning how much she appreciated the community that my former yoga studio brought together.   She remarked “…So many wonderful people that shared the space together.  I still yearn for that feeling.”   I believe that feeling is the knowledge of oneness that we open ourselves up to through the silence we share.  After a really good savasana, no words are needed.   Communion, (union with the community) is the most natural outcome, with no seeming effort required.

In that moment, we feel free of conflict, we “know” we are one.  In that moment we are more identified with Spirit than ego in ourselves and we can en ‘Vision” the same in others.  The kicker seems to be to sustain that knowledge in time and space.  We, or speaking for myself, I know that I, have a pile of conditioning to undo.  But I’m up to the task.  I mean really, Savasana every day, how hard can it be? (Surprisingly hard at times!) I hope you’ll join me and that we will commune once again.

Love and Namaste,


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The 21 Day Restorative Challenge

Dearest Friends,

As we all begin the tentative journey back to “normalcy” I’m reflecting on the highlights that brought joy into my Covid staycation life. My top four were: learning to play “Here Comes the Sun” on my ukulele, adopting two furry and neurotic four legged friends (our cats Lilah and Tony) connecting with friends and family via zoom and taking the 21 day restorative yoga challenge.

The 21 day challenge was one that several yoga communities promoted and practiced to help assuage the stress of the Covid shut in. The effects were so helpful and profound for me that when my high school girlfriends reconnected via Zoom to support each other through some major losses and health concerns they agreed to give it a try. Since the group (the 6-pack 😉 had varying degrees of yoga experience we practiced the simple but deep practice of Chair Savasana (see photo) with slow deep breathing for 20 minutes each day. I wanted to add some extra encouragement so I sent a text each day with a benefit that one can receive from doing the practice. My hope is that you will feel inspired to try this. The benefits are truly unlimited since the deeper we go, the broader is our capacity to experience them. There doesn’t have to be a crisis or pandemic in order to take this challenge. Can you really ever have too much joy or peace of mind?

The description of the posture and the 21 benefits and inspirations are shown below. I hope that it will encourage you to take the challenge.

It was such a thrill to see many of you from around the country, and a few from outside the country, in Zoom classes this past year. I have been contemplating what to offer in the fall and would love to hear some feedback from you. If there is interest, I would like to offer zoom classes one or two mornings a week, probably in 6 week sessions with some breaks in between. One morning would be a gentle level class and another morning would be a mixed level 1-2 with more active options. Being Zoom, the classes are more follow the leader than hands on so they are best for those who already have some in-classroom yoga experience.

I do not intend to travel beyond driving radius for weekend workshops going forward. I will be offering some intensive classes through other venues on Zoom as well as some teacher training and will have more details in coming newsletters. I will continue the winter Yoga In Paradise retreats for the foreseeable future most likely at Mar De Jade. The February 2022 retreat is currently full with a short wait list. Please let me know if you would like to be added. I continue to look for a local option for retreats and hope to be able to offer some in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

I am deeply grateful for our encounters. Whether we have shared one class or many decades of them, they have left an imprint on my mind and heart.

With much love,


Download the 21 Day Restorative Challenge as a PDF here.

Chair Savasana
Lie on your back on the floor with your lower legs resting on a folding or other chair and raise your head a couple of inches on a pillow, folded blankets, or thin yoga block.  Optional, but wonderful is to put some weight on the shins, heavy blankets or a bolster will do. Place a soft cover the eyes.

Practice deep full breathing.  Work up to a count of 6-2-6-2, Inhale 6, pause 2, Exhale 6, pause 2. Stay with it for at least 5 minutes or as long as you can without strain. Then let go of the breath and relax deeply.


21. Elevating the legs slows the heart rate

20. Elevating the legs rests the heart.
Elevated legs and weight on calves assists venous return blood from the legs to the heart, easing the heart’s work of pumping the blood back to it from the lower extremities

19. Raises HRV (heart rate variability – variation in the time between consecutive heartbeats) which is associated with “rest and digest” (not fight or flight), and improved sense of well-being.

18. Establishes parasympathetic nervous system dominance or the Relaxation Response.
Creates parasympathetic dominance in the nervous system. The combination of the breathing and the posture as mentioned in 19, trains the nervous system to readily return to a relaxed state, even after stressful events.

17. Provides optimum oxygenation of cells.
From the book Breath by James Nestor who recommends the technique of breathing to the count of 5.5 seconds in and out as the most optimally efficient breath. (Lynne rounds to 6 for ease of counting) “breathing slow, less and through the nose balances the levels of respiratory gases in the body and sends the maximum amount of oxygen to the maximum amount of tissues so that our cells have the maximum amount of electron reactivity”. He cites case studies of cancer not being able to thrive in a high oxygen environment.

16. Regulates/balances blood pressure,
Elevated legs is the first asana in a sequence for balancing blood pressure. It subtly raises BP so, in addition to being good for low blood pressure, it also starts an inner reaction with the baroreceptors. They inform the body that BP is rising and to send out the chemicals to lower it. Along with slow deep breathing this can reset high blood pressure to lower BP over time.

15. Two benefits! A warm moist eye pillow or cloth will help with dry eyes.
The slow massage of the diaphragm on the abdominal organs enhances optimum digestion, assimilation and elimination.

14. This is a quote from my inspiring teacher, Judith Lasater. “Over the last years I have realized that taking time to do nothing is not a luxury, it is a necessity for me to be able to do the work I love, to feed my closest relationships by offering them my best self, and simply to stay physically healthy.”


13. Recognize and master the four mind states. Although slightly different in yoga philosophy, western science recognizes four brainwave frequencies with various functions. Yoga by definition is “calming the whirlpool of the mind.” This practice begins the slowing down and observation of these states. We will break them down over the next four days.

12. Brain waves slow down from the Beta or arousal state of engaged mental activity with the outer world and senses, to the Alpha State of non-arousal, reflection or meditation. This is akin to Dharana or mindfulness meditation.

11. Samkhya Yoga calls the quieting of the 5 senses Pratyahara. Literally it means opposite attraction. The outward attraction of sensory gratification begins to gradually turn toward the attraction for peace of mind as we relax into the alpha mind state.

10. With deep rest and practice, we can consciously discern the transition from Alpha to the next slower brainwave Theta. This is akin to what Yoga calls Dhyana, contemplation. It is a very imaginative and positive state of mind and is like the feeling when one has just before falling asleep.

9. From a Scientific American article entitled, What is the function of the various brainwaves? “The ideation that can take place during the theta state is often free flow and occurs without censorship or guilt. It is a very positive state of mind. To stay in the state of theta for an extended periods of say, 5 to 15 minutes can be extremely productive and a period of very meaningful and creative mental activity.”


To me, spiritual benefits are those that brings us peace of mind and a sense of kindness and love toward others and ourselves.

8. The slowest brain waves are called Delta and are experienced in deep dreamless sleep. With practice (like this chair Savasana) even this state can become more available consciously. It is the most deeply healing state of mind and body. In this state we experience deep peace, and it is the state where yogis say we are indeed one. Here we do not perceive our differences, only our connectedness in peace and as peace.

One of my favorite quotes is from Swami Sri Yukteswar (Indian yoga master in the late 1800s) “In shallow minds, schools of restless thoughts are greatly disturbing. In oceanic minds a whale of inspiration creates hardly a ripple.”

7. Mastery of the mind comes as we learn to make the locus of control of our actions the calm deep (spiritual) level rather than the agitated superficial level. Simply put, pause and take a deep breath! Another favorite quote from the Buddha: “Stop stirring yourself up.”

6. Moments of stillness between breaths stretch into moments of silence. A quote from Mother Teresa: “God cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. Notice how nature, trees, flowers, grass grow in silence, see the stars and sun and moon, how they move in silence. We need silence to touch souls.”

5. Develops qualities of compassion and understanding toward others and self. There have been some very cool studies on meditation and the neuroscience of compassion. When we focus on those in need of healing while practicing, areas of the brain that are related to compassion light up and become more robust. A great article from UW-Madison “Brain can be trained in compassion” (go to and search for article)

4. My yoga teacher, Father Joe Pereira describes an aspect of this practice as “developing the disposition of dispossession” or the ability to let go of negative attachments, resentments and grudges. Hand in hand with the development of compassion, is the ability to forgive without which it’s difficult to really let go.

3. The practice of Savasana is ultimately to help us release our fears, the most universal of which yoga calls Abhinivesa, the fear of annihilation of our existence. By relaxing deeply we gradually experience the feeling of letting go of tensions and attachments on the physical, sensory, mental, and emotional planes. We may even experience moments without breathing yet feel very comfortable. This practice asks “what is it that still exists beyond all of these layers?”

2. There is a beautiful Buddhist practice called the loving kindness meditation. Traditionally, you would say this affirmation for yourself first, then for a friend, then for a stranger, and then for a difficult person. It is both a healing and a forgiveness practice. You can read it aloud or repeat it mentally at the end of the session.

May (I, you, all) be filled with loving kindness
May you be well.
May you be peaceful and at ease.
May you be happy.

1.  CONGRATULATIONS ON GETTING TO DAY ONE! This is the completion of the 21 day challenge and potentially the starting day one of an ongoing love affair with this practice of Self discovery. Here is a highlight of the benefits:

Physically: Deep breathing and relaxation reduce inflammation;
Mentally: Deep slow breathing and restorative posture reduces anxiety and depression;
Spiritually: the protocol brings resilience, hope and strong connection to the Atman (the indwelling Spirit)

With deep love and gratitude for each and every one of you. – Lynne

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Book I Sutra 28:  The mantra AUM is to be repeated constantly, with feeling, realizing its full significance.

This sutra, along with a quote from Paramahansa Yogananda whose meditation lessons I studied for many years, had me flummoxed for some time.  Yogananda would say, “if you are going to read for one hour, then write for two hours, and meditate all the time.”  I thought, well that’s just impossible, until slowly over time, the practices of Iyengar Yoga, meditation, and music among others, began to work their magic on body and mind.  The significance of AUM or slowing down the mind (brain waves) is gradually realized.

From a scientific standpoint, brain waves are measured in 4 states going from the most active state to the most relaxed and then unconscious state.  (Yoga masters claim to remain conscious in every state.)  “Lives lived in quiet desperation” are those where minds barely stray from Beta, the highest frequency state of mind.  The locus of control of the mind comes from outside stimulus which can be anxiety and stress inducing if not tempered by other slower mind states.  Oscillating between high mental activity Beta and dropping from exhaustion into the slowest brain wave, Delta or dreamless sleep, is a cycle that many repeat day after day.  It’s hard to feel the wonder of life when bouncing between these two poles.

Whenever I visit India, I am amazed that amid the chaos, crowding and cacophony there is much generosity of spirit.  Children call me Auntie and invite me to their homes for tea.  People ask, with the characteristic Indian head bobble, “Where you are from?” and inquire after your needs.  Ritual, meditative practices and chanting are part of lifes’ daily rhythm and evident everywhere.  These practices coax the mind into the slower states of Alpha and Theta.  Among overwhelming obstacles there is mystery and peace.

One magical mystery happened in 2005 while visiting Rishikesh in Northern India, known as “the yoga capital of the world”.   The ashram of Maharshi Mahesh Yogi which was made famous by the Beatles studying there in the late 60’, is walking distance from the heart of town.  My traveling companions and I decided to make the pilgrimage.  The center had long been closed and was fenced in with only caretakers, squatters, and monkeys living on the grounds.  We were disappointed that on arrival, there was no apparent way to enter.  Suddenly, out of nowhere, a small beguiling sadhu walked up and, not speaking English seemed to be offering his assistance.  With a combination of gestures and our singing of Beatles tunes (of which he showed no familiarity) he got the idea that we wanted to enter the Ashram.

He led us to an opening where the fencing had been pushed up to create a space large enough to crawl through.  The overgrown grounds still held the allure of the past.  Meditation buildings with domed individual chambers above sleeping quarters were built of river stone from the nearby Ganges and surrounding area.  Everything was beautifully arranged to encourage the journey to inner spaces and peace of mind.

Our gentle sadhu guide stayed with us and quickly endeared himself with his sweet smile and innocent demeanor.  At one point, we decided to practice some yoga on the rooftop platform of one of the meditation huts.  To our surprise, our guide stripped down to his dhoti cloth and started to do asana alongside us.  His natural simplicity and purity shone through the practice.  It was a joyful moment!

We ended our day with some silent meditation overlooking the Mother Ganges.  Then our guide led us back to the opening in the fence.  As my friends and I huddled to gather some rupees for him, he slipped away, as quietly as he appeared.

My hope is that we never lose the feeling of wonder and the magical mysterious experiences that occur when we least expect them.  Slow down, stay open and receptive to the little joys and inspirations that arise from a receptive mind and heart.

Namaste and much love,


For an excellent synopsis of brain waves read, “What is the Function of the various Brainwaves” linked here.


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A Thrill of Hope

If ever the world was weary, this is the time. Universally there has been pain, frustration, fear and grief wearing us down in 2020. Alongside this is the universal message of peace and good will that is celebrated in numerous traditions worldwide at this time of year. Many great teachers, saints and sages perpetuate the important lesson that without inner peace or peace of mind, world peace will always be elusive.

One of the upsides of the “stay and safer at home” mandates has been a surge of downloads of meditation apps.

 “According to a new report from app store intelligence firm Sensor Tower, the world’s 10 largest English-language mental wellness apps saw a combined 2 million more downloads during the month of April 2020 compared with January, reaching close to 10 million total downloads for the month.”

This brings a great thrill of hope to my mind and heart. From my experience, if one sincerely practices meditation, one cannot help but to experience less internal conflict, more peace of mind and the desire to extend that into the world. A question arose in my mind one day during a particularly peaceful practice.  “Does Peace have a cause?” Or is it an underlying universal state that is revealed when we settle down and calm our minds? To me, it feels like an inherent gift of the Divine, perhaps it is our original nature. It is never imposed upon us because, well it is PEACE and would never be inflicted against one’s will. We are free to cover it over with all of the world’s distractions for as long as we choose.

A very simple and time tested meditation practice is repetition of a word. One with meaning to you is the most helpful when training the mind. Repeating it mentally one time while inhaling, and twice while exhaling has been shown to benefit higher heart rate variability (HRV). According to Harvard Health Publishing, “ Over the past few decades, research has shown a relationship between low HRV and worsening depression or anxiety. A low HRV is even associated with an increased risk of death and cardiovascular disease. People who have a high HRV may have greater cardiovascular fitness and be more resilient to stress.”

I use the mantra “Hari OM” (the divine word) on inhale and “Shanti, Shanti” (Peace) on exhale. A word or phrase from your faith tradition or simply the word One in a sincere practice will garner the many benefits of meditation. There are many paths to peace of mind and from the many the great hope is that we will find our common good.

Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All,
Namaste and Love,


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Father Joe Revisited

Greetings Friends of Yoga,

As summer wanes and the saga of 2020 continues, strategies for coping with the shorter days and more time indoors are more important than ever.   I recently took an 8 day online pranayama and meditation course with Fr. Joe Pereira from his lockdown position in Vasai, India.  The sequence has been a godsend for these times and has become a daily must for me!  The daily program is one hour but taking any one or two of the practices in the sequence daily will provide much needed peace and courage of heart.

(Photo: Fr. Joe and Lynne at KRIPA headquarters in Mumbai, India,  1998)

Many of you are familiar with his work as we were fortunate to have him facilitate several yoga workshops in Anchorage in the 90’s and early 2000’s.  For those unfamiliar,  here is a brief synopsis of his work.

Fr. Joe is an Indian Jesuit priest who began taking yoga classes with BKS Iyengar in 1968 after becoming intrigued by a remark by the violin virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin that he was, “his best next violin instructor”.   Fr. Joe’s calling as a priest working closely with Mother Teresa melded with his yoga training in developing a ministry for alcoholics, drug addicts, sex workers and people living with HIV/AIDS.  In 1981, he and a recovering addict in his parish started the KRIPA (Grace) Foundation.  It has since developed into one of the largest NGOs in India with 30+ centers throughout the country and offices in Germany and Canada.

Jim and I were fortunate to have stayed for several weeks in two of the centers in 1998.  After one of Fr. Joe’s visits to our home, he and Jim cooked up the idea of installing a solar powered water pump for one the center’s that was running out of stored water due to loss of power to the pumps.  That is another story, but our time staying at the centers was so rich in experience and the palpable power of yoga and love to heal, “the poorest of the poor” (M. Teresa) and the “poorest of the poor in health” (Fr. Joe) that it left an indelible imprint on both of us.

You can join Fr. Joe LIVE later this month via Zoom.  Here is the information.

Courage of the heart
Offering with Fr. Joe Pereira
hosted by Leigh Anne Milne  Senior KFIY teacher, British Columbia, Canada

Join Fr Joe from your own home as he guides us with yoga and love.  Fr. Joe has a way of weaving spiritual teachings into practice, drawing the listener into a meditative mind.

A recording of this workshop will be made available for seven days following this event for those who are registered participants.

September 25th, 26th, 27th (Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
6 AM to 8 AM PDT
$105 Canadian

Register here:

I am assuming that it will be a condensed version of the 8 day program, but don’t quote me!

Here is the link to the 8 day recorded program and a pdf of my class notes. This class is being offered free of charge although  I do not know how long it will be accessible.

If you decide to take this RECORDED class, please consider making a donation to KRIPA Foundation:

My notes on the sequences are included below.   Fr. Joe’s rapid delivery, accent, and use of Sanskrit may be challenging for some.  There are a few phrases I did not catch and some that I’m not confident I got right.  I have interpreted and translated from my understanding of the concepts in the hope of adding to your understanding.





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