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SRF Annual Convocation - 2017

I spent last week immersed in meditation. I came to Los Angeles for the week-long annual convocation of Self Realization Fellowship. SRF is the non profit organization founded by Paramahansa Yogananda (Autobiography of a Yogi) for the continuation of all his teachings.
Thousands of devotees from all over the world gather together in chanting, meditation, and communion, to deepen our practice, to express gratitude for the teachings. Then we go back to our daily lives uplifted and inspired to awaken the qualities of our guru in ourselves and in everyone who crosses our paths.
It is very difficult to find the words to express the many feelings and realizations that come from a week of meditation and silence. Not to mention putting the phone away and taking a break from email and social media. It was kind of astonishing to check the phone at night and notice that I still had 80% battery left.
I would like to share with you some of the realizations of my week, with the hope that some of my ah…

I’m A Yoga Teacher And I Was Depressed

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I stood staring at the tiny white pill in my hand. I was supposed to believe that this pill would alleviate my pain, my fears, my inability to function, my sadness and disconnection from the things I loved, my extreme and disturbing thoughts about life and death.  It took me a few minutes to swallow my pride before I could swallow the pill. I knew I was moving into unknown territory. 
On paper, it didn’t make any sense for me to be experiencing a “major depressive episode,” as the psychiatrist had called it. People like me aren’t supposed to go through depression. Are we?

For over a dozen years I’ve been a successful yoga teacher, devoted to holistic health, to meditation, and to spirituality. I’m thriving in my job, with hundreds of beloved students in New York and Miami, working for a great company, taking people on retreats to beautiful places around the world, leading yoga teacher trainings and workshops, married to the love of my life, with a beautiful apartment and two loving ca…

Your Presence

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By Adrian Molina


Last weekend in NYC flew by so quickly. But I still wanted to share something that stayed with me… 

Many students come to me to share amazing stories of success, triumphs, accomplishments. I love giving high fives to their success stories. But there are also the other ones. The stories about heartbreak or illness or difficulties in life… 

A student came to talk to me at the beginning of one of our workshops. It was the kind of story that, after less than a minute, had me in tears.

There were no words of solace good enough. 

There was no scripted line that I could respond with...

There was nothing to be said. Because no words could possibly diminish the pain.

I hugged my student for the longest time. It’s not always your job to provide answers.

Teachers

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By Adrian Molina


One of the great things about teaching many yoga classes every week in a city like New York is that you get to meet a diverse and wide range of professionals—doctors, lawyers, CEOs, celebrities, Ph.D.’s, scientists, teachers and professors. 

I've been blessed to have in my classes professionals of every possible field. One of my favorites to have in class are teachers. Because they know the importance of learning, and they understand and appreciate the role of the teacher. And I learn a lot from them.

I have pre-K teachers, elementary and high school teachers, NYU professors, published teachers who travel to symposiums and congresses, decorated with awards and recognition. Some of them have newspaper or magazine columns or segments on TV, or even their own TED talks. When I see them in my newsfeed teaching and speaking in such prestigious venues I feel humbled that they choose to share some of their time with me.

Say "Thank You!"

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by Dennis Hunter

There is a moment at the beginning of Wayne Dyer’s film “The Shift,” in which he demonstrates how he would wake up each morning at around 3:30am. Rolling to the side of his bed, placing his feet on the floor, he lifts his gaze slightly, takes in a deep breath, pauses to appreciate the miracle of being alive, and whispers: “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

If you’re anything like me, that’s a far cry from how you usually wake up. You, too, might utter phrases and perhaps even invoke the creator, but it’s not in gratitude for another day lived. It’s probably more like:

“Oh God! I hate getting up this early.”

“Oh God! I wish I didn’t have to go to work today.”

“Oh God! I feel like a truck ran over me.”

“Oh God! I don’t want to go to that meeting / teach that class / cook breakfast / etc…”

“Oh God! My back aches / my head hurts / my allergies / etc…”

The writer Ben Okri once said: “Beware the stories you read or tell; subtly, at night, beneath the waters of consciousness…

Come to Cuba with Us!

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February 6-11, 2016.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore yoga and meditation while immersing yourself in the unique culture of Cuba. This is not your average yoga retreat, and Cuba is unlike any other destination. Organized by Pure Yoga, the retreat will include daily yoga and meditation with Adrian and Dennis while you explore the heart of old Havana and the stunning beauty of the Viñales region of the island.

Spaces on this retreat are limited and it’s expected to fill up very quickly.

Click here for more information and itinerary, and email Laina Jacobs at Pure Yoga (laina.jacobs@pureyoga.com) to arrange your deposit.

Civilization and Its Discontents

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by Dennis Hunter

"People who are really happy with themselves are f***ing boring. The worst word in the world is content." — actor Kevin Spacey, who turned 56 last week

I think maybe I understand what Kevin Spacey meant by that statement. Drive and personal ambition are important American values. Always aiming higher, not settling for less. More, better, stronger, faster. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Spacey plays (so very, very well) one of the most evil, Machiavellian, greedy, power-obsessed characters on television, in the disturbingly good Netflix series “House of Cards,” which provides a devastating and hair-raising glimpse into American national politics.

But I disagree with Spacey’s statement. Because I think it’s actually incredibly, incredibly rare for human beings to experience true contentment. And contentment is one of the secret, neglected keys to spiritual awakening and self-realization.

Most of us live our lives chronically caught up in a pervasive feeling …