• Yoga’s Good, True & Beautiful, Elephant Journal, May 28, 2015

    Posted in Articles, Blog by Eric Shaw

    Yoga’s Good, True & Beautiful Via Eric Shaw on May 28, 2015 Yoga gets us out of bed in the morning because it teaches us the “Transcendentals”—the Good, The True and the Beautiful through the body. In the formula for transformation modern yoga provides, the poses open us to the sweet flood of awareness that […]

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  • The Difference Between Power and Morality in Yoga

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    The Difference Between Power and Morality in Yoga “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.” –Rumi “The basic rule of yama and niyama are . . . very difficult for the average person. Those rules are really for those who have exhausted most of their samskaras […]

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  • God will Catch You, A Sermon Given in the City of Denmark, Australia

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    God Will Catch You A Sermon Integrating the Yoga Tradition at St. Leonard’s Anglican Church, Denmark, Australia, 3 May, 2015 To listen to the sermon. please download from this Link: 01 Track 1 This week’s reading from John gives us agricultural metaphors familiar to the people of the time and place of the gospel writing.  […]

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  • Yoga’s Science of Sound and Listening

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

      Yoga’s Science of Sound and Listening These statements about listening–or more appropriately, hearing speech and sound–are, of course, epistemological–they are about “how we know”–and on those grounds–especially if someone privileges subjectivity–they are often credible. But in the truest sense, these statements are ontological–they say something about “what we know” and the nature of the […]

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  • Krishna’s Beer-Drinking Bro, Balarama, and the First Appearance of Warrior Pose in India

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

      Indian artists were very serious about this how they chose to position Indian gods and goddesss in painting and sculpture. They went into states of meditation[i]  and saw familiar bodily patterns in their visions.  These are now stock “power poses” called pratimas in the tradition.[ii] Many of these poses are also yoga asanas. Because […]

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  • Vishnu: Secret Badass Warrior, Mantra: Yoga + Health Magazine, Jan. 2015

    Posted in Articles, Blog by Eric Shaw

      Read it on Mantra’s Site, Here. Vishnu: Secret Badass Warrior, Mantra: Yoga + Health Magazine, Jan. 2015 By Eric Shaw        I always thought Shiva was the cool one—hanging out in Burning Man grunge, playa dust all over his bod, a snake bejeweling his neck, and unshaken by Shakti’s seductress dance.        That said, […]

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  • Ancient Days with the Hatha Yoga Pradipika

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    Ancient Days with the Hatha Yoga Pradipika   I’d like to give my community something meaty—something that connects us to the longer record of practice—six centuries back and into India. Can we talk about the 14th century Hatha Yoga Pradipika (HYP)?  Can we talk about a paper-bound yoga companion that’s been a true guide to […]

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  • How to Meditate if you Are a Hatha Yogi

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    It’s my experience that people who are tied to movement need unmoving mediation even more than others. We all have strengths and weaknesses, and commonly our strengths and weaknesses are two sides of the same coin. If you are very strong in movement, it is wise to exploit that, but it is also wise to […]

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  • Krishnamacharya’s Business Card and the Place of Marketing in Yoga

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

         Krishnamacharya had a business card and advertised his work with posters.  He had photographers shoot pics of his most athletic yoga poses with glamorous lighting.  He took “propaganda tours” to advertise the benefits of yoga to the youth of India.      It is not wrong for yogis to embrace the market and the world.  […]

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  • Heat, Wealth and Wonder: Yoga’s California-India Connection, at the Asian Art Museum, 3/2014

    Posted in Blog, Lectures by Eric Shaw

    California’s fightin’ female namesake (Queen Califa), and the state’s long yoga dance with India through the ages, was the subject of my talk at SF’s Asian Art Museum on March 6th, 2014.   Reporting on-site from the Eureka State, this is how the story goes . . ——————————————————————————————- A diamond-shaped land protected by oceans and […]

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  • The Goddess Power of Display: Marilyn Monroe, Beauty and Yoga, 5/2013

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    A short while ago I published a blog with all the known photos of Marilyn Monroe in yoga poses, and the tidal wave of responses took my server down. I was pleased, but surprised! It revives my wonder as to how beauty–and Marilyn Monroe!– works. Art was my former career, and over the decades I’ve […]

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  • Marilyn Monroe — The Complete Yoga Poses, 4/2013

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    Arguably, no movie star past or present is as enchanting as Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jean Mortenson, 1926 – 1962). Her beauty, projection of joy and innocence, knockout measurements, marriages to two of the greatest men of her time, acting skills, and consummate control of her career arc (including its dramatic end) all make her […]

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  • RICHARD HITTLEMAN: THE 1960’S ONE-MAN YOGA MOVEMENT

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    Before there was Rod Stryker or Rusty Wells or Shiva Rea, there was Richard Hittleman (1927 – 1991). At age 22, he studied with Ramana Maharshi after learning some yoga  basics from a Hindu maintenance man who helped his parents at a Catskill retreat called “Utopia.” In 1961, he had the first yoga TV show, Yoga […]

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  • Lakshmi — The Wealth Goddess — Her meaning in Yoga and Tantra

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    Lakshmi is the Goddess of Wealth, hence her name “She of the Hundred Thousands.”  (A “lak” is a unique Indian term meaning “100,000.”). We may compare lak with the word  sahasra, which means “1000.” From sahasra we get sahasrara–the name of the thousand-petaled lotus (or chakra) at the top of the head in the subtle body. […]

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  • EARLY POSES OF KRISHNAMACHARYA, I

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    . . . There are a number of image-sets of Krishnamacharya doing poses, as well as a short film that shows him in yogic movement. These images here are from a digital edition of his 1941 composition,  Yoganasalu. —– Another rather full set from a later period can be found in both his biography, published […]

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  • MAKING SUKHA (GOOD SPACE) BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    MAKING SUKHA (GOOD SPACE) BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE BODY   In yoga we open up our body at many levels, not least at the subtle level, where yoga anatomy explains that the body is made of successively more subtle “bodies.” These bodies (including our physical body) are called koshas and yoga leads us through […]

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  • THE HISTORICAL ARRIVAL OF TANTRA

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    Pancatyatana-puja (the is the worship the five deities) includes Surya (the Sun God), Ganesha, Vishnu, Shiva and Deva (the Goddess).   It co-arose with an advancing theism (focus on Gods) in the later half of the first millennium BCE, and took the form of individualized devotional practice. This Bhakti Yoga was the householder counterpart to the […]

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  • THE CONSTANCY OF PROTEST: A TALK AT UNITY CHURCH, 1/29/12

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

      With yesterdays big protests in Berkeley, the continuing unrest in Syria and Egypt, and big new gatherings in Russia, it seems that the world is now fully perinatal:  something new is coming from the womb. The self-immolation of a 26-year-old Tunisian    fruit seller named Mohamed Bouazizi on Dec. 17th, 2010, set off a wave […]

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  • THE BHAGAVAD GITA AND THE YOGA SUTRAS COMPARED

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

      In comparing the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras, the first general distinction we make is that the Gita offers prescriptions amenable to householders (grhasthas) and the YS offers prescriptions suited for renunciants (sramanas, sanyasis, viras).  Indeed, local commentators have suggested that the Gita was written partly to curtail the loss of male social […]

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  • FURTHER RESOURCES ON SURYA NAMASKAR: THE SUN SALUTATION

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    I teach a workshop called Secrets of the Sun Salutation.  Here are more resources. Books: Jois, Sri Krishna Pattabhi, 2005, Suryanamaskara, NY: Ashtanga Yoga New York. This is an excellent little book with very cool pictures of Jois doing the practice as a young man. It provides a welter of information that gives rarely found […]

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  • HOW DO HATHA YOGA (PHYSICAL YOGA) AND THE YOGA OF THE YOGA SUTRAS DIFFER?

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    The Yoga Sutras describe Raja Yoga–a mind-focussed yoga practice from around the year 200 CE. It was consistent with the Buddhist methods of the time.  It granted profound states of concentration won through consistent practice. In these states, the true nature of Reality (vidya) was evident. Later, around 1300 CE, Hatha Yoga was developed in […]

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  • CHRIST, KRISHNA AND CHRISTMAS

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    I was in Bangalore at the time of Krishna’s birthday last year. Called Krishnashtami, It’s a variable holiday, and it fell on August 21 in 2010. By then, I’d been in town for four months and had established sweet friendships. A student invited me to her parent’s home for the holiday, and it felt like […]

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  • Gary Kissiah’s Illustrated Yoga Sutras

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    There are many beautiful books out there on the spiritual life and yoga. I think  of Kathy Phillip’s The Spirit of Yoga and Huston Smith’s The Illustrated World’s Religions. John Friend and I are also at work on such a book–an illustrated history of yoga.  But Gary Kissiah has joined this esteemed club quicker than […]

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  • The Shared Origins of Modern Yoga and Unity Church

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    A (slightly changed) transcription of  speech given at Unity Church, Berkeley, Sunday, August 29, 2011   You’ve asked me to speak on the common roots of the Unity Church and Yoga. This puts me in front of a church congregation and it’s comfortable for me.  Like one of your founders, Myrtle Fillmore, I was the […]

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  • Yoga’s Root Tradition: India’s Sacred Books called The Vedas

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    This is an out-take from a lecture called The Sacred Upanishads at the Yoga Garden, San Francisco, 16 July, 2011.  We began with the Vedas–the Holy Books that precede the yogic and philosophical Upanishads. Please click on the picture or here to go to the video. Cheers!  -Eric Tags: Yoga History, History of Yoga, Yoga […]

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  • HIGHLIGHT VIDEO: WHAT’S BEHIND YOGA’S STYLES?

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    PLEASE CLICK THE PIC FOR THIS VIDEO   Some Notes and Corrections:   This is an out-take from a yoga history lecture given at LuluBhanda’s in Ojai, California on May 29, 2011. The lecture (on Swami Vivekananda) began by giving background on today’s yoga styles. Camera duty credits to Kira Ryder. In the midst of […]

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  • A POEM FROM SOUTH INDIA BY THE FEMALE BHAKTA, MAHADEVI

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    One  Short Bhakti Poem I have been reading, The Hindus, An Alternative History by Wendy Doniger.  In the chapter on Bhakti, she translates this poem:   People Male and Female, blush when a cloth covering their shame comes loose. When all the world is the eye of the lord, onlooking everywhere, what can you cover […]

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  • CREATION MYTHS AND STORIES FROM THE VEDA

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    In the ancient Vedic creation myths, we see an easy understanding of mystic paradoxes that are so much a part of the later tradition.  They communicate a sense of play and delight at absurdity.   They recognize that logic only explains so much. These lines are from the Rig Veda, composed c. 1200 BCE   From […]

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  • HOW TO USE THE INDIAN UNDERSTANDING OF VIBRATION TO MAKE A YOGA WORKOUT

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    This is a bit on yoga class sequencing I wrote for a yoga manual today. Most people know that the Tao symbol of Ultimate Power (the Tai Ji Tu, seen here) represents the duality of Yin and Yang.  Indian culture has a similar concept called the Gunas, but it has three vibrational patterns. It uses […]

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  • ALPHA-I: A NEW MEDITATION METHOD

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    A couple friends, Eric Knouse and Patty Klauer, have been deeply involved in I.T. business their whole careers, designing webwork systems and mapping systems.  Eric, however, retreated from the world to pursue meditation for awhile and through some intervention that looks like divine from the outside, discovered a slew of concentration technologies that are new […]

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