I met LaTron and Rodney at the At-Promise Center, where the Dharma Project offers a group of police officers and teens a weekly meditation and yoga class. At the start of every session, LaTron, to my right, expresses that black boys don't do yoga and he will not participate.
Yesterday I interviewed someone for our upcoming 300HR Yoga Teacher Training program. She was impressed with our use of Sanskrit during classes. She said the teachers don't even use the English terms and students understand!
At All Life is Yoga we teach yoga in its original language, Sanskrit. Sanskrit is not commonly spoken; instead it was used to orally convey thousands of pages of verse from scriptures. It was, and is, the holy language of the scriptures—one of the oldest known sacred writings in human history. Yoga was originally relayed and taught only in Sanskrit. Hearing yoga terms in a foreign, complicated language can sometimes make it difficult to follow along as a new student. However, there are several reasons we feel it's beneficial to use Sanskrit terms:
It's the language of our profession. We expect dentists to know what periodontitis and caries are, an artist to be familiar with stretcher bars, pigments, and gesso, and we trust a carpenter to know the meaning of level and plumb. To understand the language of your profession is part of what makes you a professional.
Sanskrit is a phonetic language—the meaning is in the sounds. Saying words correctly connects students to the word's meaning on a much deeper level than the English translation of the word.
Proper pronunciation teaches you to use your mouth in ways you rarely do. Sanskrit has complicated, unique movements of the tongue, which exercise the mouth and mind, creating new neural pathways and keeping them both fresh and youthful.
Using Sanskrit teaches students to listen and focus more intently during class. You may struggle the first few times and have to look around to stay at the pace of the group, but before you know it, you're in the zone, deeply present and aligned with an energy transmission that has happened for thousands of years.
There is no need to dumb down the yoga. We treat our students like they are intelligent enough to learn a new language, just as their body is learning new movements, and their heart is discovering new potential.
Give Yoga, Get Yoga : Teacher Training Service Exchange
ALIY and Dharma Project are pleased to announce a yoga teacher training program that can be paid with yoga service. Hour for hour. The number of hours you train for are the number of hours you offer to teach in the community and at All Life is Yoga. This was the original vision for the Dharma Project. I got distracted, in all the best ways, by fellowships and am exited to finally launch this initiative. The Dharma Project has partnered with many community based organizations that are doing powerful work to support the wellbeing of ALL Atlanta residents. This program will allow teachers to provide their work in communities that have little to no exposure to yoga.
We are committed to developing a more inclusive yoga community for Atlanta. The current demographic that yoga serves is 75% white women. Many people do not consider yoga as something for them. When people see themselves represented in the leadership, they are more likely to participate. Therefore, this training opportunity will give priority to people of color, men, seniors, those that want to share yoga with varying body sizes and those that have a financial barrier to participating in a teacher training course.
Give Yoga, Get Yoga applies to both our 200-HR and 300-HR Teacher Training programs that begin in spring 2019.
The 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training at All Life is Yoga will provide students with a strong foundation for teaching and practicing yoga. Click here to get more information or to register for the 200hr teacher training
The 300-HR Advanced Yoga Teacher Training at All Life is Yoga is available for anyone who has completed a 200 hour program at ALIY or another school. Click here to get more information or register for the 300hr teacher training.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
This month we celebrated what feels like the one true and sacred holiday we have in this country. Lately, I’ve been preoccupied with hierarchy. I’m grateful for the ways in which Dr. King challenged hierarchy and courageously paved the way for so many of us to challenge it.
There is hierarchy in yoga—of master teachers, of a for profit business, of access...I wonder, what does a beloved community in this context look like? The message of Dr. King and yoga is the same. Yoga compels us to recognize our interconnectedness. There is no essential difference between you and I. Whether we feel it or not, what happens to one impacts all that is and in caring for one, the other experiences healing.
Is yoga beloved, sacred, communal for you?
My brother, Paras, made a promo video about ALIY, TDP and me! I'm grateful to have such a talented, generous and caring peron help spread our message. Check it out!
We're adding more Yoga Walls at our studio! This fundraiser will support our initiatives to expand the impact of yoga and make our work more accessible to diverse communities. Your tax deductible donation to this cause will help us upgrade our studio and install 18 more stations of the Great Yoga Wall. Along with serving our existing community of students at All Life is Yoga, the Dharma Project is developing programs at the studio for three targeted communities:
1. First Responders
3. Nonprofit Organization Staff and Clients
Our goal is to raise $15,000 and we need your help! Learn more about the Campaign, check out the various rewards and Donate:
Using Walls to Build Bridges
Classes Cancelled at All Life is Yoga this Weekend
Saturday, September 30th with Ron cancelled
Sunday, October 1st with Narin cancelled
Sunday, October 1st with Anneliese cancelled
Most of the All Life is Yoga teachers are going to NC this weekend to continue their education with Aadil. The studio will be closed this weekend. Be sure to be in their classes next week. An inspired bunch will return with new yoga tricks and treats!
Police Officers Wanted!
Dharma Project is is offering 10 free mindfulness and yoga classes for police officers. Each session will cover physical movement, breathing techniques and meditation practices to help officers reduces stress and help them be at their mental and physical best.
Please share with police officers you know. RSVP link below.
Save the Date : October 8th, 3-6pm Elevator Factory
Let's use our platform as yoga teachers, leaders and enthusiasts to inform and increase voter turnout. Dharma Project is partnering with Dirty South Yoga Fest to throw a party to make sure you are registered to VOTE. This event will include a yoga class, an interactive, engaging Civics 101 class, food, refreshments, music...Fun! Register to VOTE and shape the future of our city!
Police Officers Wanted!
The Dharma Project is doing a 10 week pilot program for police officers. We are in search of officers to enroll in the pilot. The program includes 10 sessions, one hour each session. The program will cover physical movement, breathing techniques and meditation practices to help officers reduces stress and be at their mental and physical best.
This 10 week program can help demonstrate the opportunity for a year-round program for officers, with a curriculum that can be implemented in their ongoing training.
Our book club starts this Sunday from 12-2pm. Bring your favorite vegetarian, dairy free dish and join us for a discussion on the first chapter of Fire of Love, "Dharma". The first time I read this book was in 2006. I had just committed to the 2,000hr Purna Yoga teacher training. I knew nothing about Aadil and Purna Yoga, but something about the course description inspired me. I had no idea how I would pay for such an expensive training with my modest yoga salary and I had no idea how I could travel to WA for extended periods of time for the two years of the training. All I knew is I wanted it! With commitment comes Providence. This book has been instrumental for my growth as a student , a teacher, and most importantly, a better human being. "Only when we go inside do we really know how to live outside." Aadil from Fire of Love. Hope you'll join us.
We have a full schedule of classes this weekend:
Saturday 10am Ron
Sunday 10am Narin
Sunday 6pm Anneliese
Monday 10am Ashley
Monday 6:45pm class cancelled
Enjoy your holiday!
I love the story about William Wordsworth that Aadil shares in his book, Fire of Love. “William Wordsworth spent most of his life in the beautiful Lake District of Northern England… soon after Wordsworth moved to Dove Cottage, he sent a letter of protest to the local authorities complaining about the constant noise of the horse-drawn buggies on the road near his home. He claimed that it disturbed his concentration and he could not write poetry. He wrote that a wheeled buggy passed by ‘at least once a week.’
Can you imagine that level of concentration and connection! “Getting and spending, getting and spending”... that’s what we do. We have lost the wonder.
It's time to reconnect. Read many other inspirational stories from Fire of Love during our upcoming book club that starts September 10th at 12pm. Register Here.