Planting Seeds of Love and Wise Action
Mini Home Retreats
First Sundays of the Month in 2024
Live on Zoom
9:00am-12:00pm pacific time
March 3rd, 2024
spiritual practice with our beloved community
Take refuge and dedicating the day for peace on earth and goodwill to all.
These home retreats include viniyoga asana for strengthening and deepening our breath capacity as preparation for pranayama practices. Plus Sutra study, meditation, chanting and more…
• We keep the practice lively and relevant to the evolution community during the year’s events.
• We move our bodies in preparation for the pranayama technique of the month.
• We incorporate integrated movement with sound, mudras, nyasa.
• We have a mantra, sutra or poems to practice and meditate on for the whole month.
• We include focused time to connect with the community as we start our day, and when we end with the use of small group breakout rooms.
“Dearest Mirka, Thank you so much for Sunday’s retreat and Sangha. It was a very powerful day for me. It was a time of deep opening and a reminder of who I am and what I need. Your leading was masterful. It took me to a very deep place of knowing. I needed that in this time of confusion. I have felt inspired to get on my mat and practice. I love the breathing with the OM visualization at the third eye. I got it!! Wow!!! Such a blessing. Another jewel in my crown. Thank you! Namaste, Kathy.”
March 3rd, April 7th, more TBA
For more information or questions contact Mirka.
Registration for March 3rd, 2024:
9:00am-12:00pm pacific time
Suggested donation for one session: $25-$75 sliding scale
Kriya Yoga: Transformation through Practice
We will contemplate and recite Patanjali’s wisdom teachings – Sutra 1.33 – for the Dec 3rd Sunday Sangha and for the coming weeks. With text study, chanting, mudras, asana and pranayama.
Twenty-four years ago Yoga for Wellness was printed, and twenty-two years ago Yoga for Transformation came in our hands. Since then for many of us they have been inspirations and guides…
Thank you Gary Kraftsow!
Wow yes this was a big important family project …
Together through the coming months we will reopen these pages and be inspired in new ways….
Special guest presenter Erin Dean, Viniyoga teacher and physiotherapist.
Pelvic Health for Yoga Students
Presentation + Q&A.
Followed by four classes on Wednesday and Saturdays: Pelvic exploration integrated with our regular practices.
Shankh Mudra – for balancing throat energy
This month will be a soothing practice with the Ra Ma Da Sa healing mantra, plus Brahmari pranayama and the Shanmukhi, Ganesh and Dhyani hand mudras to balance our heart chakra.
This month we will will focus on pranayama techniques and the recitation of the beautiful and powerful Gayatri Mantra.
Focus on Sutras II.33 and II.34
वितर्कबाधने प्रतिपक्षभावनम् ॥३३॥
vitarka-bādhane pratipakṣa-bhāvanam ||33||
When oppressed by negative deliberation, cultivate the opposite side.
वितर्का हिंसादयः कृतकारितानुमोदिता लोभक्रोधमोहापूर्वका मृदुमध्य अधिमात्रा दुःखाज्ञानानन्तफला इति प्रतिपक्षभावनम् ॥३४॥
vitarkāḥ hiṃsā-ādayaḥ kṛta-kārita-anumoditāḥ lobha-krodha-moha-pūrvakāḥ mṛdu-madhya-adhimātrāḥ duḥkha-ajñāna-ananta-phalāḥ iti pratipakṣa-bhāvanam ||34||
Negative deliberation such as harming and the rest;
may be done, brought about, or by approval;
is preceded by greed, anger or delusion;
may be mild, moderate or excessive;
its endless fruits are suffering and ignorance;
thus cultivate the opposite side.
Koshas Chant: Our Multidimensional Being
In this month’s Sunday Sangha we revisit the timeless Yamas and Niyamas as guidance for our daily lives.
This whole “being human” inspires the desire to support each other in staying strong and trusting in the paths of wisdom of the Yoga Sutras, which guides us in the “eight fold path” focusing on what to cultivate and what to restrain from.
This month we will revisit, with a new heart, the guidance and insight of the Yamas and Niyamas.
Borrowed from Kripalu’s website:
The Yamas and Niyamas are yoga’s ethical guidelines laid out in the first two limbs of Patanjali’s eightfold path. They’re like a map written to guide you on your life’s journey. Simply put, the Yamas are things not to do, or restraints, while the Niyamas are things to do, or observances. Together, they form a moral code of conduct.
The five Yamas, self-regulating behaviors involving our interactions with other people and the world at large, include:
- Ahimsa: nonviolence
- Satya: truthfulness
- Asteya: non-stealing
- Brahmacharya: non-excess
- Aparigraha: non-possessiveness, non-greed
The five Niyamas, personal practices that relate to our inner world, include:
- Saucha: purity
- Santosha: contentment
- Tapas: self-discipline, training your senses
- Svadhyaya: self-study, inner exploration
- Ishvara Pranidhana: surrender
Ganapati Mudra, a Meditation to Remove Fear of the Future, the Mantra Atma Hrdaye, Detoxing our Heart Meditation.
Ayur Mantra Healing Chant
Five Pranas Practice with Hand Mudras
View/Download Practice Packet Here
At many of the Center for Action and Contemplation’s conferences, we read the following call and response with those gathered, both in person and online. We invite you to read it aloud to yourself and feel truly welcomed—all parts of you, especially those that culture or church have denigrated.
We would like to let you know that you belong:
People on all parts of the continuum of gender identity and expression, including those who are gay, bisexual, heterosexual, transgender, cisgender, queer folks, the sexually active, the celibate, and everyone for whom those labels don’t apply. Response: I belong.
People of African descent, of Asian descent, of European descent, of First Nations descent in this land and abroad, and people of mixed and multiple descents and of all the languages spoken here. Response: I belong.
Bodies with all abilities and challenges. Those living with any chronic medical condition, visible or invisible, mental or physical. Response: I belong.
People who identify as activists and those who don’t. Mystics, believers, seekers of all kinds. People of all ages. Those who support you to be here. Response: I belong.
Your emotions: joy, fear, grief, contentment, disappointment, surprise, and all else that flows through you. Response: I belong.
Your families, genetic and otherwise. Those dear to us who have died. Our ancestors and the future ones. The ancestors who lived in this land, in this place, where these buildings are now . . . we honor you through this work that we are undertaking. Response: I belong.
People who feel broken, lost, struggling; who suffer from self-doubt and self-judgment. Response: I belong.
All beings that inhabit this earth: the two-legged, the four-legged, winged and finned, those that walk, fly, and crawl, above the ground and below, in air and water. Response: I belong.
The Great Bell Chant
Read by Thich Nath Hanh, chanted by brother Phap Niem.
“To begin this year anew, we should reflect on these simple questions:
· What have I done during the year?
· Have I been able to produce feelings of joy and happiness during my days?
· Have I been able to take care of the painful feelings during the year?
· Have I been able to handle them, to calm them down, so that I will not be a source of suffering for myself and for other people?
With mindfulness, we can produce a feeling of joy whenever we want, because we are a practitioner. We can produce these feelings for ourselves, and everyone we love. Have we done that this year?
We can learn how to calm down painful feelings, and even transform them into something better, like compassion, friendship and forgiveness. Pain and pleasure are all organic, like love and hate. If we do not know how to handle love, it can turn into hate or anger. If we know how to handle hate and anger, we can turn it back into understanding and love. If we do not know how to handle painful emotions, we are going to repeat that in the new year, and the new year will not be very new.
The value of the year depends on the value of acting, of our way of life. With mindfulness, we can improve the quality of our life, of our days, our months, our years.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
Saha Na Vavatu – A Mantra for Personal Peace and World Peace
Chant along with Mirka!
Chakras for emotional balancing:
Aad Guray Nameh – Mantra of Protection:
Aad Guray Nameh
Jugaad Guray Nameh
Sat Guray Nameh
Sri Guru Devay Nameh
April 2021 Materials
Click an image below to download.
March 2021 PROGRAM
Special focus on the art of pranayama:
Deepening our breath awareness and capacity
• Five Pranas chant
• Function of the pranas in our system
• Integrate simple sound in our movement
• Explore our breath threshold
• 1) Directional flow of breath
• 2) Explore ratio and threshold with our breath
Listen to the 5 Pranas Chant with Mirka (music by Rafael):
Here is the text of the chant:
Pranayama for March 7:
This is a traditional way to focus the mind body on breath awareness practices.
Sraddha Virya Smrti Samadhi Praijna Purvakah Itaresam.
SRADDHA = the place where the heart can rest, place of refuge.
VIRJA = courage,energy strong will.
SMRTI = memory, study.
SAMADHI = contemplation, perfect concentration.
PRAJNA = higher knowledge, true wisdom.
PURVAKAH = preceded by, anterior.
ITARESAM = for others
Commentary from Bernard Bouanchaud
Om Bhur Bhuvaḥ Swaḥ
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
Dhiyo Yonaḥ Prachodayāt
Mirka’s rendition, with beautiful music by Rafael:
Additional Chant for February:
Asato Ma Sadgamaya
Listen to this version by Ravi Shankar and George Harrison!