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ABOUT US...

version français en dessous ShinGaia  merges the Japanese word for heart/mind/core with the ancient concept of  earth as a living system .  We delve beneath surface and appearance to reconnect body-mind-heart-soul, at all levels.  Our practice is based on active engagement in and with the world.  We dedicate our practice to a healthy, thriving planet.  We recognise that not only are we affected  by  our world and our cultural inheritance, we also influence and affect  them , contributing to the creation of the 'reality' we experience.  We call on all tools available to us -- including the wisdom of the body, the intelligence of the intellect, our capacity to care and connect -- to help us navigate our lives, even in the midst of paradox and contradiction.  As we establish healthy patterns and embrace our power of conscious choice-making, we embrace our lives  as  living works of Art .   Based on traditional Integral Yoga,  ShinGaia Yoga  is an integrated

Workshop for the New Year (online)

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This workshop offers a beautiful moment to come together and unite our energies in honour of, and on behalf of the world we wish to live in. We'll  continue to explore the theme of releasing what is no longer needed, useful or constructive ( aparigraha  or "non-hoarding"), and take time to acknowledge and clear emotional residue and mental clutter from this past (most unusual) year, as we vision forward into 2021 and our shared future.  Saturday, January 2nd 2020 18h-20h30 Paris time / 9:00-11:30am Pacific time / 12:00-2:30pm Eastern time Pre-registration required. Contact Ann at shingaiayoga(at)gmail.com.  Suggested donation €25, but pay as much as you wish, or can. This online workshop is open to everyone, and will include guided meditation, breathing practices, gentle physical yoga postures, deep relaxation, chanting, and time for visioning forward. We will feel and ponder, clarify and reflect, move, breathe and relax into our deepest being and knowing.  Photo © Ann Mo

Deeply Engrained Patterns...

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Our patterns of relation seem to be a blend of habits, conscious choices, and deeply engrained patterns that can, for many and for the most part, remain largely unconscious. We can imagine ourselves as creatures with an inner universe – full of tissue, breath and bone; feeling and sensation; emotions and ideas, images and memories. This inner universe comes to life through the rich interweaving of relationships, exchanges, actions, and interactions with the world around us. This outer world includes, of course, the living creatures we meet, whether they are similar to us, or not. This outer space includes all of the natural world that we can observe, and all of the natural world that we cannot see, sense or measure. In this day and age, in pockets of concrete and metal, silicone and plastic, it can be easy to forget that we are a part of this natural world – that all of this is, in fact, the ‘natural’ world. It can be easy to forget just how dynamic it all is. And it can be easy to ass

Yoga Retreat in the French Alps (Savoie)

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The Hills Are Alive... April 23-26, 2021 Sainte-Pierre  d'Entremont (about 40 minutes from Chambery) € 380  ( early bird),  €450  (regular rate) private room with bath €330 (early bird), €380 (regular rate), double room     Sainte Pierre d'Entremont, France,  photo Alain Devisme, via WikiCommons. This four-day retreat, co-led with my friend from my dance studies program at Université de Lille, is nested in a mountain village about 40 minutes outside of Chambery not too far from the Chartreuse natural park. We'll have plenty of space to practice in, and time to explore the mountains all around. If any of you have families you would like to bring along over this school vacation period, I am pretty sure we could work something out.  Early bird registration is now open. Contact Ann for more information.  

Winter Solstice Workshop, December 21, 2020 from 19h-21h CET

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"When you are fully in the body, the soul appears" (BKS Iyengar) December 21st is the winter solstice this year -- the longest night of the year. In this deep, dark night as the season turns, we have the opportunity to reflect on all that has passed (and it has been a lot this year), and to release what is no longer called for, needed, or constructive. And this year, exceptionally, the planets align on the solstice in a way that many astrologers say supports our growth into deeper and higher levels of consciousness, serving as a portal of entry into the "Age of Aquarius." This offers a beautiful moment to come together and unite our energies in honour of, and on behalf of the world we wish to live in. This online workshop is open to everyone, and will include guided meditation, breathing practices, physical yoga postures, deep relaxation, chanting, and time for visioning forward. We will feel and ponder, clarify and reflect, move, breathe and relax into our deepest

Gems from The Mahabharata - September 2020

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Photo (c) Alex Vanagas 2013. Ann Moradian nesting in the Bois de Bologne.    "Now the world is born, In an instant it dies, In a breath it is renewed. From the slowness of our eyes And the quickness of God's hand We believe in the world." (From William Buck's rendition of  The Mahabharata )

The Perils of Yoga

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William J. Broad  raises an important discussion around the topic of Yoga and injury, which I am grateful for. His article called  Wounded Warrior Pose  in The New York Times (in 2012) is worth bringing to our awareness today -- though I know those of you who study with me regularly already know this, and I am grateful to each of you for making your practice safe and constructive for your selves.  There is and has been a tendency in the West to utilize yoga as "fitness" training rather than the wholistic and integrative practice it was originally designed to be. This sort of experiential transliteration is a normal part of taking in influences from cultures, practices and customs different from our own. And so, this discussion that William Broad continues to thrust upon the Western Yoga community is an important one.  What he describes as " competitive Yoga" is an oxymoron (a contradiction in terms). When Yoga practices are used in a competitive manner it is no long

Shiva - the Hindu God of Dance & Yoga

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"Shiva is Trilochana, the three-eyed One.  The third eye is the eye of wisdom.  The other two represent love and justice."  (Swami Tejomayananda) Photo from Hubble spacecraft "Every subatomic particle is an energy dance; pulsating process of creation and destruction... without end... For the modern physicists, then Shiva's dance is the dance of subatomic matter." (Fritjof Capra) "Shiva is the ultimate outlaw. You can't worship him, but you are welcome to join the gang... "Shiva has such an impossible character; all contradictions included. In acceptance of this character one will have no issue with anyone in the world including oneself. The idea is to show divinity as all inclusive, no one against the other, as in identifying good and bad we also divide the world and make the ultimate union unattainable...   When we say 'Shiva', there are two fundamental aspects that we are referring to. The word 'Shiva' literally means 'that wh

Goa - Reminiscing

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Surely I am feeling the call to travel, but in these human-shifting moments, I am having to learn new ways of moving in and around the world that are less impactful on the planet instead. So Atma, Ganga and I will be organising a week-long Chakra Intensive in Europe in April 2021. All of you practicing yoga for at least one year are welcome -- so please let me know if this is something you'd like to learn more about. In the meantime, it is lovely to reminisce on the lovely stay we had in Goa.  The entry into India through Mumbai is via their very modern and beautiful international airport: The city flashes by in an overstimulating bombardment of lights at night. If you look closer you will see all sorts of things that astonish and often shock... On your first visit, you may prefer to just let the beauty of the lights wash over you and keep your eyes on the surfaces, which are either shiny and bright, or challenging enough in and of themselves...  Or give Mumbai a miss altogether, a

The Ajanta Caves in India (a UNESCO heritage site)

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These caves are known for their beautiful paintings, while the Ellora caves are known for the carvings -- although the stonework is impressive at both sites. Both sites comprise numerous Hindu, Buddhist and Jain caves carved into these mountainsides between the 2nd century BCE and the 6th century AD. So, when we can travel again one day... The Death of Budhha All photos copyright Ann Moradian. All rights reserved. 

The Ellora Caves in India (a UNESCO Heritage site)

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I hope that we might journey together one day to both the Ellora and Ajanta Caves in India. These UNESCO world heritage sites are an extraordinary attestation of the human spirit at work: From extraordinarily ornate and elaborate Hindu temples…. With private spaces, like this quiet and hidden temple to Shiva... As well as Buddhist temples where you can hear sound, not echo but pour through the arc of the space like a living stream... Quiet and simple spaces for the Buddhist monks to sleep To study, to chant and to eat A place to root and grow... All photos © Ann Moradian. All rights reserved.

Yoga's Ancient Ethical Framework - the Yamas & Niyamas

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 The  yamas  and  niyamas  are the ethical foundation of Yoga. In Patanjali's  Yogasutras  (which is an important study for many a yoga teacher), the list has 5 of each (see the bottom of this page), but in the much older  Varuha Upanishads , Gorakshanatha's  Hatha Yoga Pradipika  and Tirumular's  Tirumantiram  there are 10 of each referred to. I thought I would share this older version of the Yamas-Niyamas with you -- I was happy to see included compassion, faith, patience and generosity.  The 10 Yamas - ethical restraints 1)  Ahimsa  - "Non-injury": Not harming others by thought word or deed. 2)  Satya  - "Truthfulness": Refraining from lying and betraying promises. 3)  Asteya  - "Nonstealing": Neither stealing, nor coveting, nor entering into debt. 4)  Brahmacharya  - "Divine conduct": Controlling lust by remaining celibate when single, leading to faithfulness in marriage. The proper use of sexual energy. 5)  Kshama  - "Patien

What is Yoga?

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When we hear the word yoga, what comes to mind for some of us (particularly those of us in the West) might be a type of exercise that involves contortionistic postures geared toward improving health, well being, flexibility and strength. To limit our understanding of yoga to these postures, or asanas, is not only a misconception but also an oversimplification of what  Georg Feuerstein  in The Yoga Tradition describes as an "enormous body of spiritual values, attitudes, precepts, and techniques that have been developed in India over at least five millennia and that may be regarded as the very foundation of the ancient Indian civilization."(1) Even if we add to our understanding of this equation the somewhat lesser known practice of pranayama, the regulation of vital energy through the breath, we have still only skimmed the surface, despite having multiplied our depth a hundred-fold. BKS Iyengar practicing hatha yoga 'scorpion' posture (Vrschikasana). There are many vi