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November 2012 * Nirvana Now * Mary Yoga ENews * Issue #83 *

Innocence: Wisdom

I have been struck by the pure beauty of my receivers' faces when they are receiving Thai yoga massage, particularly at session's end, when I'm gazing down at their peaceful faces during head and face massage. At the moment of repose, infant and master meet. Wisdom and innocence co-exist. Like at New Year's Eve with the passage from the old year into the new, represented by the image of the old year as aged Father Time, and the new year as a baby, the human spirit has a timeless quality it accesses in moments of peace.

Yoga brings this gift to us time and again; not only in resting Savasana, but often throughout our dance on the mat. We are timeless in flow; we are eternally new.

Jesus said, “... unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Matt 18:3

I quote Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes: "If you could lay your eyes upon the most fire-hardened, most cruel and unpitying person alive, during sleep and at the moment of waking, you would see in them for a moment the untainted child spirit, the pure innocent...."

"This state of wise innocence is entered by shedding cynicism and protectionism, and by re-entering the state of wonder one sees in most humans who are very young and many who are very old. It is a practice of looking through the eyes of a knowing and loving spirit, instead of through those of ... the angry wounded human. Innocence is a state that is renewed as one sleeps. Unfortunately, many throw it aside with the coverlet as they arise each day. It would be better to take an alert innocence with us and draw it close for warmth....

"To return to an alert innocence is not so much an effort, like moving a pile of bricks from here to there, as it is standing still long enough to let the spirit find you. It is said that all that you are seeking is also seeking you, that if you lie still, sit still, it will find you. It has been waiting for you a long time. Once it is here, don't move away. Rest. See what happens next.

"The word 'innocent' is often used to mean a person of no knowing, or a simpleton. But the roots of the word mean to be free of injury or hurt. In Spanish, the word 'inocente' is understood to mean a person who tries not to harm another, but who ALSO is able to heal any injury or harm to herself."

It is this peaceful timelessness that fascinates me in the spirit-body-mind practice of Yoga and other adventures. It is on this quest that I offer my upcoming workshops, retreat, and teacher training, and indeed all my classes and events, ever!



Three Restoratives Offerings

In keeping with my desire to offer seasonal 2-hour Restorative day retreats, the next two are:

*Valentine's Restorative Feb. 16
*Mother's Day Restorative May 11

Both are at Pure Yoga East on a Saturday afternoon, and open to all, with a special takeaway aromatherapy gift for each guest. These are open for registration now.

The third Restorative offering is my Mother Mary Restorative Teacher Training, a 30-hour module held over two weekends: Feb. 22-24 and March 1-3. Click below for details and pricing.

All three events are now online at Pure Yoga East, with specific links at lower right under Links.



Mouths of Babes

There are two teenage boys I'm going to quote this issue, probably to the one's chagrin and the other's pride, the distinction being who is related to me and who is not.

Erick, my 16-year-old buddy, attended Thanksgiving Restorative Bliss Fest with his mom, my friend Isabell. Teens have plenty of stress that we are happy to forget from our own adolescent years! Erick relaxed so deeply he remembered having one thought: "If the Universe had a voice, it would be Mary's voice now." This indeed is what I aim for in Yoga! To hear the Universe's voice. And if we can channel that voice for each other, as friends, as teachers, as lovers, what a two-way blessing that becomes!

The second wise words from youth came from my teen Raphael. I had injured my foot the day before Hurricane Sandy, walking a 6-foot-high slackline for a commercial shoot. So the week without power or water caused some grumbling on my part. "Why does God or the Universe allow us to have pain, and aging and death?" was my plaintive echo of the old question. And my boy answers, "Well, I figure the only reason we're all here is to learn. And that stuff, well that's here so it can help us learn." Uh, yeah, okay. Got it, teach. From the kid who doesn't do yoga or pick up his socks.

Living with a teenager reminds me time and again how much I still have to learn in humility, in listening; in honoring the other, in human softness. And yes, this is the pleasure, and the lesson, and the journey; I believe that too.



Edge of Zombieland

It is also humbling to live in the middle of New York City, four blocks south of Grand Central, and be just below the shadowland border of Zombieland, blacked out lower Manhattan, for six days. In "the city that never sleeps" where you can get anything you need any time, it felt like an urban bivouac. Bicycles, cars, foot traffic negotiating the dark street intersections, long lines at cafes and diners at the edge of the zone, especially dinner time and breakfast time. People along the sidewalk trundling suitcases, hiking with backpacks. Folks huddling from the wind in the all night lobbies of drugstores and banks, charging their cell phones. We forget quickly. But I am forever grateful for electric light, for warmth, for the power to get to and from and communicate with the outer world. Could we be less dependent on technology? Certainly. It's sobering to reflect on it. And, I offer a sense of thanksgiving grace now every time I use water or power. Every warm bath, every Thanksgiving feast, every piece of toast browned. And the lights twinkling on my tree and window. Grace. Gift granted. Accepted. Received.



Winter Schedule

My Upcoming Events:
12/2 Lululemon Free AcroYoga Class
12/31 AcroYoga New Year's Eve
2/1-2/3 Winter Wonderland Weekend
2/16 Valentine's Restorative
2/22-3/3 Restorative Teacher Training
5/11 Mother's Day Restorative

Weekly Classes~Pure Yoga East/West
and Om Factory Flight School:

M-Slow Flow Meditation 10:30-12
M-AcroYoga Flying Basics 5:30-7
M-Jedi 1: AcroYoga Series 7:15-8:45
T-Restorative 12:30-1:30
Th-YinYang 11-12:30
Th-Vinyasa 5:30-6:30
Fri-Slow Flow Meditation 10:30-12
Fri-Restorative 5:30-6:30



Photo Thank-Yous

Photo thanks this issue go particularly to Wari Om for the Central Park and Dumbo yoga and acroyoga photos.

Thanks to my Dutch acro friends Jim & Det for the NYC blackout shot, which they forwarded me from Amsterdam, as taken by their friends in Brooklyn!

Thanks to Aranka Israni for the New Year's Eve postcard photo with Matt; thanks to Rich Van Avery for the YogaSlackers Ladies calendar cover shot; and to the New York Shakespeare Festival for the photo still from "Giant."

Thanks to my models as well ~ Fall Foliage retreatants for the photo in the woods at at dinner; Wari's park yogis, and Chris Loebsack, Samuel Prestidge & Matt Giordano in the flying pics with me.

Om shanti! May your Advent ~ waiting for the season of lights ~ waiting for the new year ~ waiting for the next chapter's exciting adventure ~ be a joyful one!

See you on the mat or on the line!



In This Issue:

Innocence: Wisdom
Three Restoratives Offerings
Mouths of Babes
Edge of Zombieland
Winter Schedule
Photo Thank-Yous
AcroYoga Events
Winter Wonderland Weekend
Thespian Family Update
YogaSlacker Gals: Calendar
AcroYoga New Year's Eve
Privacy; Forward; Reply

AcroYoga Events

A wealth of AcroYoga events are here this upcoming December, from:

* 3-hour AcroYoga Foundational Playshop with Linda Mittel & Brian Yuen at Om Factory, Dec. 8;

* to Acrobatic 5-day Solar Immersion Dec. 8-12 with Chris Loebsack and co-founder Jason Nemer, AND options for just an Acrobatic Weekend of just Saturday or just Sunday or both ~ at Manhattan Movement & Arts Center, 248 West 60th St. ~ see my links below;

* to the AcroGasm advanced acrobatics weekend Dec. 14-16 with Lux of Seattle Acro and the YogaSlackers, at The Muse Brooklyn ~ sold out but taking waitlist names;

* to my very own AcroYoga New Year's Eve celebration at Om Factory ~ all levels, no partners needed!

To find each of these these events, see my Links section at sidebar, at low right.

Good bets to try locating AcroYoga events also, in New York and worldwide, are, and a local or regional Facebook Group, in our case, AcroYoga New York. There are listings of retreats, workshops, ongoing classes, series, and other events, like jams!

Any events that I am teaching will always be listed on my website as well ~



Winter Wonderland Weekend

I'm thrilled to invite you to my new "favorite thing" ~ yoga getaways with all of my yoga modalities on a single retreat! That means Slow Flow, Restorative, Vinyasa, AcroYoga, Slackline Yoga, & balancing it all with food, friendship, outdoor hikes and playing in the snow, & visiting the animal farm, on our 100-acre land with retreat house & yoga studio & slackline park all in one. Space is restricted to 10 and we have 4 spots left, first come first served, early bird & paired registration discounts apply!

You can go to my link & register right online. Sidebar below has link to our Facebook page too, for photo albums & group comments from the Fall retreat.



Thespian Family Update

Every New Yorker has a story how they came here. I married into New York from Canada; I was a busy regional and off-Broadway actress for 20 years before Yoga took over my time & career. Raul, my actor-director hubby, continues to work onstage. His latest is "Giant" the musical at Joe Papp's refurbished NY Shakespeare Festival. I proudly enclose a review link below, and my favorite paragraph quoted here ~

"What’s strongest about 'Giant' the musical is not its sweep, not its stars, but its sidelights. There are small scenes that are breathtaking; minor characters who are inspiring.

"An astonishing moment opens the show: Polo (Raul Aranas) appears with a guitar in a spotlight behind a scrim on the raised orchestra platform, as if he is floating in the vast blue and beautiful Texan horizon, singing 'Aurelia Dolores,' a LaChiusa composition in Spanish that has the feel of a classic Mexican folk song. It is a perfect melding of music and design. Kenneth Posner’s lighting in particular is spectacular throughout."



YogaSlacker Gals: Calendar

I love the moment in the film "The Help" when Aibileen Clark tells her small girl charge: “You is kind. You is smart. You is important." It is in that spirit that the Ladies of YogaSlackers proudly present our 2013 calendar, telling girls everywhere: "You are capable, you are beautiful, and I believe in you."

Tasteful and artistic, these healthy wholesome photos of YogaSlacker women vibrantly active and enjoying nature, "au naturel" are raising funds for the first ever all-girls' slackline festival in 2013. Support a girl in your life: buy a calendar! Online or from participating YogaSlacker teachers near you!



AcroYoga New Year's Eve

Join me and a community circle of friends in ringing out the old year and ringing in the new year, AcroYoga style!

All levels; no partner needed! Toast the New Year at midnight with chilled bubbly! Option to bring costumes & masks ~ you can test out their flight-worthiness ~ and option to bring special treats & extra bubbly of your own!



Privacy; Forward; Reply

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Hari Om, Om tat sat!

"Immerse yourself in unconditional love, and saturate yourself in unlimited consciousness."

... as my ISHTA yogiraj Al Finger would always bless us upon closing, so I bless you.


New ISHTA Europe Site
Pure Yoga NYC
Om Factory NYC
Winter Wonderland
Valentine Restorative 2/16
Mother Mary's Training
12/2 Lululemon Free Acro
12/8 AcroYoga PlayShop
AcroYoga NY:Facebook
AcroYoga Site
12/8-9 Acrobatics
12/8-12 Solar Immersion
12/14-16 Acrogasm
AcroYoga New Years Eve
Mary Aranas Yoga • 310 Lexington Avenue • NY, NY 10016 *
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