Private Yoga Instruction
A REAL LIVE PERSON TWENTY-FOUR HOURS SEVEN DAYS ®
By Howard Earle Halpern, MA (Psychology)
Yoga The "Hottest Mind/Body Pursuit" in AmericaParadoxically, yoga the ancient science from India has earned the dubious distinction of becoming, in the words of Self magazine, the "hottest mind/body pursuit" in America (July 1998, p. 6). Why is this? There are many reasons, among them the fact that many have found their native or pre-existing approaches to religion or spirituality lacking in certain areas.
Whether these native approaches are in fact deficient is a matter of debate. The Hindu tradition from which yoga derives has deep respect for all major religions. Nonetheless, many Canadians and Americans, for whatever reason, are not receiving what they need from traditional Western approaches and are turning to the East for solace.
In fact, since the Self quote appeared in 1998, yoga has gained wider and wider acceptance by the and medico-psychotherapeutic establishment, who are becoming increasingly sensitive to detrimental effects of protracted mental and physical stress upon the human organism.
One of the needs experienced by the boomer population is that for a system of physical culture which is non-violent, emphasizes organic rather than simply muscular development, and is integrated with our non-physical being. Yoga is, in fact, the only spiritual approach of which I am aware that incorporates a physical regimen, and it is often the physical benefits that induce Westerners to consider yoga in the first place.
When I was introduced to yoga in 1969, I was a very tense person. I experienced in yoga a sense of relaxation I had neither achieved nor imagined.
Yoga can be defined in many ways. I think of it as a comprehensive system of self-development incorporating physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual benefits. These include:
I say "earned" because today, self-esteem is often acquired through mere affirmation. But it is only temporary, because there is nothing to back it up with. When it is earned, you know why you deserve it, and nobody can take it away from you.
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Yoga ServicesPrivate yoga instruction is available in North York, Ontario, for individuals, couples and small groups of up to four persons. Lessons in hatha yoga (physical exercise), nutrition (vegetarian diet), and meditation are available. The style of yoga taught is classical East Indian.
In addition, I am available for speaking engagements, media appearances, and seminars relating to the study and practice of yoga. Here are some thought-provoking ideas:
Qualifications of Yoga InstructorNOTE: A colleague remarked that the man in the photograph is not appropriately dressed for this website, and of course, she is correct. But I decided to keep it until I have a chance to acquire one that is less suitable. My experience with yoga spans more than 35 years. I hold a certificate bearing the signature of His Holiness Swami Chidananda Saraswati, successor to the late Swami Sivananda. Chidananda is President of THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY, located in the village of Muni-Ki-Reti, near Rishikesh, India.
The certificate documents the completion of a four-day training program in yoga. It was obtained in 1992 during a period of nearly five months in which I lived and travelled throughout India. I attended numerous lectures, participated in a course of vedantic study, resided at an ashram (yogic monastery), rendered selfless service and made pilgrimage to holy sites.
I have instructed yoga at such institutions as UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO (Department of Physical Education), Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology, Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology, North York Board of Education, York County Board of Education, York Region YMCA. Under my own auspices, I established a course at York University and taught yoga to both staff and students.
In addition, I published several articles dealing in whole or in part with yoga, including paid articles in Miss Chatelaine, (now Flare) and Score, Canada's national golf magazine. My Eastern training is supplemented by a Master of Arts in psychology from the University of Regina.
Fitting the practice of meditation into my busy schedule has not been easy. I struggled with this for many years. However, in April 2004, I had a breakthrough: I was able to arrange my affairs so as to practice meditation daily. Since then, I have averaged approximately 25 minutes per day. It has made a world of difference.
I also practice physical exercises and study the writings of yogic saints, on a daily basis. I practice asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), kriyas (purification exercises), bandhas (locks), and mudras (gestures).
Unless one actually engages in regular spiritual practice, one cannot begin to imagine the benefits; they pervade all facets of life. This is particularly important for a teacher. If teachers can't motivate themselves to practice, how can they motivate their students? If students don't practice, how much can they realistically expect to benefit? For this reason, I consider regular, systematic practice one of the most important qualifications of a spiritual teacher.
Yoga-Related ServicesFurther information is available at the following Websites:
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