Active and Passive Meditation

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Pictured: Shivaprem on top of the world after attending the February Intensive yoga teacher training course at Ohui Retreat.

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Active and passive are the two basic types of meditation and both are very important and yield profound results. Sometime people spend decades doing a passive style of meditation and then intuitively feel the need for an active style. For others it is the opposite and for many they stick to one approach their whole life. It all boils down to your temperament and what your body, mind and soul needs.

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Passive Meditation

Passive styles of meditation like Vipassana develop detachment and the ability to simply allow thoughts and sensations to arise without reacting to them. It is training yourself to innocently notice what is happening without getting caught up in it. The end result of this practice is deep peace and unshakable presence.

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Active Meditation

Active styles of meditation work with energy and are more enlivening and creative. They may include visualisations, mantras, breath-work and physical actions ranging from gentle mudras (energetic gestures) right through to cathartic movements. Active meditations create vitality and flowing energy.

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These two approaches are two sides of the same coin. They are Shiva and Shakti and there is a lot of crossover. It is a yogic secret that when you gain the fullness of one then you automatically get the other. For example, through active meditations you can find great peace and with passive meditations you can develop genuine vitality. We recommend and teach both approaches.

If you would like to experience the passive approach and gain its calming, restorative and insightful benefits then we recommend the 5-day Silent Meditation Retreat. (We are offering a $100 discount on the 5-day Silent Meditation Retreat for those who have already done our 3-day Silent Retreat.) If you would like to learn how to move energy through the body and develop vitality, then try the Kriya Yoga Retreat. Also, check out the Meditation Course at the Parnell studio which includes both approaches.

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New Studio Manager

X200This is Tara’s last month as studio manager. She has a bun in the oven and will be delivering soon. Thank you Tara for all your hard work and vivacious presence around the Parnell studio – we will miss you!

Taking her place is Xinia (pictured) who graduated in 2010 with a Bachelors degree in Dance from AUT University. She has performed and choreographed in many productions and festivals for the AUT Dance Company, individual artists, and under her own dance collective; Trip Stumble Fall Productions.

Xinia has had a steady Yoga practice since 2006 and began teaching in 2010 and is continuously studying the practice. She believes in a regular practice taken at your own pace and intensity. She regularly visits India to study in Mysore with Ashtanga Guru Sharath Rangaswarmy, grandson of Sri K Pattabhi Jois, founder of the Ashtanga Yoga Institute.

In 2014 Xinia completed her Diploma in Yoga at Wellpark Collage. Throughout the year she also taught Ashtanga yoga, Pilates, and personal trained many clients including the NZ Warriors Rugby League Team. From December 2014 Xinia lived in Fiji and taught yoga up in the Yasawa Islands. She is now in Auckland teaching, dancing, and loving it!.

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Yoga and Psychology

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Pictured: A statue of the great sage Patanjali – one of yoga’s most influential teachers on the mind and how to master it.
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Yoga Teacher Training – Level 2 Part-time

The teachings of the great yogis extend far beyond physical postures. They go deeply into the nature of the mind, meditation and energy. On Level 2 we introduce the psychology of yoga found in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and its very practical message about removing suffering and developing the highest levels of human functioning. We also teach intermediate to advanced postures, pranayama breathing techniques and a variety of energy based meditations. Read more about Level 2 yoga teacher training starting on 3 June.

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Pictured: Sadajyoti (aka Trudy)

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Interview with Sadajyoti About Level 2

“The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali did a lot to shift my mindset. You don’t really realise until you start practising yoga just how much you’ve adopted everybody else’s ways of living and thinking. Sometimes we fall into old patterns of negativity – but with yoga training you are quicker to notice  these thought-processes arising and not get lost in them. That created a really big shift in me.

“[Level 2] was very much a turning point. It’s like an anchor. It taught me how to stay grounded when things come up. And the course did bring things up in me. Some of it was hard – but that was part of what we were learning. When you come out the other end, it’s absolutely life-changing.” Read more

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Graduate Support Programme

Yoga teacher training doesn’t just finish at the end of the course – it is an ongoing process – and we want to help you succeed as a yogi and a yoga teacher. This new programme enables you to continue learning and growing through yoga. Graduate Support gives you the opportunity to repeat courses that you have already taken at Ashram Yoga for no extra charge. Read more.

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Studio News

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Pictured: Ashram Yoga-trained teacher Vanessa Wood performing Karma Yoga (selfless service) at Ohui Retreat. Congratulations to her and her husband Ra who recently married.

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Cleaner Wanted

If you are interested in cleaning at the Parnell studio in exchange for classes, please let us know. Cleaning duties are straightforward and include vacuuming, dusting, tidying and maintaining the kitchen and bathrooms. Hours are flexible. Please email or call Tara if you are interested.

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Cook Wanted

We are looking for a cook for Ohui Retreat. Must be experienced in cooking delicious vegetarian whole food. Contact Ohui Retreat if you are interested.

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Gardener Wanted

Ashram Yoga has an opportunity for someone who is interested in organising a large produce garden at Ohui Retreat. It would be started virtually from scratch. The intention is to make it commercial and whoever is running it to get percentage of the profit. If anyone is interested, please get in touch with us to discuss further.

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New Pregnancy DVD

We all know that yoga can be a great tool for pregnant women to prepare physically and mentally for birthing, as well as to deepen their relationship with themselves and the baby. Ashram Yoga has recently produced a DVD on Yoga for Pregnancy. In this DVD, our senior instructor Swami Shantimurti guides you through asana (postures), pranayama (breath work) and meditation. Read more

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Studio Hire

If you have an event, class or workshop the Parnell studio is available for hire. Read more

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Bolsters

We now have bolsters for sale at the Parnell studio for only $55. This is really good value and we have lots in stock – some with the Ashram Yoga logo on the end and plenty without. If you need bolsters for your home or studio, then come in a check them out. We also have blocks, cushions, neti pots, books, incense and more.

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Concession Card Competition

Congratulations to Jens Classen who is the winner of the March draw. If you want to enter the next draw, just put your completed 8-class yoga concession card or one-month pass in the box at the front desk.

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Firewood for Sale

At Ohui Retreat we have tons of firewood available. If you would like to purchase some then please let us know. We can deliver loads of up to 5 cubic metres.

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New Class

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We welcome back Caroline Fergus (pictured). She has been traveling the world and is now starting a new Hatha Yoga class on Thursday mornings at 7:15am – 8:15am. Classes start on 7 April. All welcome. See timetable

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New Computer

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The computer at the Parnell studio is reaching the end of its useful life and we are hoping that you may have a spare computer lying around that you would like to donate to us. Anything running Windows 7 or newer would be very much appreciated. Thank you!

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Visiting Ohui Retreat

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Pictured: Guests walk to Opoutere Beach

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Rates for April

Join us at Ohui Retreat for all forms of traditional yoga including postures, breathing, meditation, chanting mantras and more. Take some time to relax on the beach, read a book, go for a swim in the surf, or just hang out and enjoy like-minded company. Read more

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Parking at Parnell Studio

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Since the closure of the railway parking we have found some reliable places to park – highlighted on the map above. Thank you for adjusting to the new parking situation – we appreciate your flexibility! Read more

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Upcoming Events

Parnell Studio

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Ohui Retreat

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Missing Bits

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Helma Schipper is highly trained in clearing blockages from the subtle body that can cause a wide range of inexplicable and difficult conditions. In previous newsletters she has explained entities, cords and now she discusses missing bits.

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Common symptoms due to a missing bit are fatigue, lack of energy, lack of stamina, lack of motivation, lack of purpose, lack of “inner flame”, lack of drive, lack of self-confidence and courage, lack of joy – a lot of lack! Clients have the feeling of living an empty life, of walking through their various activities like zombies. Apart from these central symptoms, various psychological and physical disorders may develop, according to the dispositions of the clients and their life circumstances. For instance, certain obstinate skin disorders, such as psoriasis, that resist virtually any conventional forms of treatment. Of course only a few  skin diseases are due to a missing bit, and many missing bits never create any physical ailment. Read more

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Astrology: Ascendant Pluto

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On 6 December 2014 the New Horizons space probe flew past Pluto. Some say this is what it actually found.
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The New Moon chart on the 7th for New Zealand has Capricorn rising and Pluto on the Ascendant in square aspect to the Sun, Moon and Uranus in Aries in the 4th house of family, home and land. This indicates the potential for sudden and disruptive events in these areas. There is an increased possibility of power struggles between family members, feelings of intense restlessness and being forced to face changes caused by external circumstances. Some things may come to an abrupt end requiring an adjustment to new conditions and the need to make meaningful changes and reforms. Read more

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Book Review

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 12.52.57 PMIn the last edition of the NZ Yoga Scene magazine the editors reviewed Lectures from Yoga Teacher Training by our senior director Swami Shantimurti Saraswati. Here is the review in full, reprinted with permission. Visit NZ Yoga Scene’s Facebook page.

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“This wonderful volume is full of wisdom. Do not let its slim size mislead you – for while it may be read in a sitting – its lessons will take a lifetime to be known. Take this paragraph on meditation as an example;

‘Spiritual development is measured in inches not miles, so if you learnt meditation last week don’t expect to get enlightened next week. It takes time, patience and effort to mature. And don’t be quick to judge how you are doing – it is very difficult to assess what is going on in the unconscious mind and subtle body. Some people have a lot of wonderful experiences in meditation but for others it is relatively uneventful. It is like getting a window seat or an aisle seat on a plane – the view is different but the progress to the destination is the same.’ Read more

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Like Our Facebook Page

social_facebook_box_blue-150x150Our Facebook page has been steadily growing, but we would like to put some gas on it and get many more people on board. Facebook is a great way for us to let you know what is going on. Please like us.

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Ayurveda: Aloe Vera

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Aloe vera has been one of the most important plants used in folk medicine. The Egyptians referred to aloe as the “plant of immortality” and included it among the funerary gifts buried with the pharaohs. The healing benefits of aloe were recognized in the ancient Indian, Chinese, Greek, and Roman civilizations. It is traditionally used to heal wounds, relieve itching and swelling, and is known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

When taken internally, aloe vera juice aids the digestion and absorption of nutrients, helps control blood sugar, increases energy production, promotes cardiovascular health, improves liver function, and boosts the immune system. Read more

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Video: 10 Reasons Yoga is Modern Torture

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Yoga is torture? You know it’s true. Maybe this video will tickle your funny bone.

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New Book by Swami Shantimurti Saraswati

SM 6 250We are very pleased to announce the publication of a new book by our senior director Swami Shantimurti Saraswati (pictured). It is called Lectures from Yoga Teacher Training and it comprises a series of lectures presented to students on our Level 1 yoga teacher training course in Auckland earlier this year.

The book dives deeply in the esoteric aspects of yoga including energy (prana), energy centres (chakras), breathing techniques (pranayama), mantra, energy channels (nadi), kriya yoga, tantra yoga, yogic philosophy and a whole lot more. If you are keen to know what lies beneath the surface of yoga, then this book is for you. It includes insights and stories that you won’t find anywhere else.

Shantimurti has been practising and teaching yoga since 1976 when he was initiated into sannyasa. He is highly experienced with the inner and outer aspects of yoga and has a gift for sharing his wisdom in an amiable way. Read more about the book.

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Ashram Yoga eBook

Download Ashram Yoga’s free Introduction to Yoga ebook. Simply subscribe to our newsletter. This ebook introduces a very simple yoga series. These practices include ankle, wrist and hip rotations which are essential for both beginner and advanced yogis. These exercises are so simple that they are easy to overlook, yet their effect is profound.

Shantimurti has many remarkable stories of people who have healed themselves from serious afflictions with these basic exercises.

Introduction to Yoga is the first chapter of a larger, more comprehensive ebook. The larger ebook with additional exercises including breathing techniques (pranayama) and meditation may be purchased here.

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