• Sutras, Translated, A Review of Bhavani Maki’s “The Yogi’s Roadmap,” Yoga Journal, 5/2014

    Posted in Articles, Blog by Eric Shaw

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . Here’s a theory guaranteed to raise hackles:  modern yoga has failed to bring practitioners the peace it’s meant to provide.  . This idea serves as the premise of The Yogi’s Roadmap, Ashtanga Yoga teacher Bhavani Silvia Maki’s first book.  . Maki contends […]

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  • Food is the First Yoga, The Wisdom of Krishnamacharya, Common Ground Magazine, 4/2014

    Posted in Articles, Blog by Eric Shaw

    . READ IT AT THE COMMON GROUND SITE . Food is the First Yoga Eric Shaw, MA.RS, MA.SE, MA.AS, E-RYT – 500   The father of modern yoga, Sri Krishnamacharya—the guru of B. K. S. Iyengar and K. Pattabhi Jois—famously said, “The first yoga is food.” [i] . From age 15 to 18, B. K. […]

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

    Posted in Blog, Lectures by Eric Shaw

    I gave an illustrated lecture at the SF Asian Art Museum on  yoga and California, March 6th. I talked about India and California’s consanguinity as cultural islands in world history.   Bordered by mountains and oceans, India was always secured from too much cross-migration, and everyone knows California is weirdly unique. Native California’s formed an […]

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  • The Maw of the Moment & The Yoga of Family, Mantra Yoga Magazine, 2/2014

    Posted in Articles, Blog by Eric Shaw

      The Maw of the Moment & The Yoga of Family | By Eric Shaw Read it at Mantra Yoga + Health We constantly hear: “Life is lived in the moment.” Time is infinite there. We hear, too, that yoga brings us to the moment. Holding poses and feeling their discomfort trains our attention not to jump the rails—not […]

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  • Don’t Fool Yourself: This is Real Yoga, Mantra Yoga Magazine, 12/2013

    Posted in Articles, Blog by Eric Shaw

                      Read it at Mantra Yoga + Health Magazine Full Text:    Don’t Fool Yourself. This is Real Yoga. Know who you are. Know who you’re not   By Eric Shaw, MA.RS, MA.SE, MA.AS, E-RYT 500 . . I have spent 28 years in alternative religious communities […]

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  • Sound Creates the Body, Elephant Journal, 7/2013

    Posted in Articles, Blog by Eric Shaw

    A Tantrik Message: Sound Creates the Body Via Eric Shaw on Jul 30, 2013 Read it at Elephant:  http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/07/a-tantrik-message-sound-creates-the-body/ In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. ~ John 1:1 Kirtan is the rage, and sound healing is a hip health modality. Many of us chant Sanskrit daily in […]

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  • Hatha Yoga Makes You God, Elephant Journal, 6/2013

    Posted in Articles, Blog by Eric Shaw

      Published in Elephant Journal, 18 June, 2013.  Read it There. Hatha Yoga Makes You God Via Eric Shaw on Jun 18, 2013 Bodily yoga (Hatha Yoga) was meant to operate subtly; it understands the body as a fungible technological apparatus. Hatha Yoga is designed to unfold latent possibilities in the technological platform we call […]

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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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  • HINDUISM: ALWAYS ROCK AND ROLL VALUES

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    I’m writing this 2 minutes past midnight nestled in leafy, brainy Berkeley.  I just hopped off my motorcycle after another adrenaline-downloading blast across the SF Bay Bridge. I’d been at the San Francisco “Yoga Rave” (PR’d with posters of a hyper-mod purple Ganesh, the easy-to-love god of learning, the arts, and the wealth of this […]

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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 by Jois with very cool pictures of him doing the practice as a young man. It provides a welter of information that gives […]

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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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  • THE AGNIS (THE FIRES) OF THE SUBTLE BODY

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    The agnis or “fires” of the energetic layers of the body (the koshas) are guided by our will and can serve desire or love. In turning them toward love, we ignite the subtle body, burn off our attachments and shine with the fire of letting go. Tags:  Eric Shaw Yoga, History of Yoga, Yoga Philosophy, […]

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  • Yoga: A Living History

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    Seven years of investigation and two years of writing . . . have produced 300 pages of carefully researched material on the East-West yoga conversation . . . revealing . . . its strange Asian origins, its conveyance to the West via the Greeks, its discussion by stray travelers in Europe’s Middle Ages, it’s day-to-day […]

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  • Kali the Trickster

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    Kali, I know that you know how to play tricks. You let anyone call you by any name they choose: The Magas call you Pharatara, Europeans call you God; Mughals and Pathans, Saiyids and Qazis all call you Khoda. Shaktas say you are their Shakti, Shaivas call you Shiva. Sauryas think you’re the sun, and […]

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