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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 and embodied practice of karma yoga (action …

Gems from The Mahabharata - September 2020

"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

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 longer &…

Shiva - the Hindu God of Dance & Yoga

"Shiva is Trilochana, the three-eyed One. The third eye is the eye of wisdom. The other two represent love and justice." (Swami Tejomayananda)
"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 which is not'. Today, science is …

Goa - Reminiscing

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, and h…

The Ajanta Caves in India (a UNESCO heritage site)

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...

All photos copyright Ann Moradian. All rights reserved. 

The Ellora Caves in India (a UNESCO Heritage site)

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

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 - "Patience": Restraining intol…

What is Yoga?

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 views …

Benefits of Yoga - Les Benefices du Yoga

LES BENEFICES DU YOGA (English below) - Réduction du stress 
- Meilleure concentration et faculté d'adaptation 
- Meilleure motivation et créativité 
- Cohésion d'equipe 
- Allègement des douleurs dues aux postures de travail 
- Bien-être dans la vie professionnelle comme personelle 

De façon générale, le yoga est reconnu pour :
- Améliorer le système immunitaire
- Assouplir et renforcer muscles, os et tendons 
- Accroître la mobilité et l'équilibre
- Améliorer l'alignement
- Stimuler l'intellect et ouvrir la réflexion

Les avantages pour yoga pour votre équipe :
- Atmosphère sereine 
- Réduction de l'absentéisme 
- Image positive auprès de l'ensemble des collaborateurs et partenaires
- Implication et fidélité des collaborateurs 
- Meilleure productivité 
Yoga au bureau: Quels bienfaits (une interview d'Ann Moradian sur le sujet)  

- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Improves concentration and adaptability
- Stimulates creativity
- Strengthens motivation
- Relieves a…

Yoga at Work

On-Site Yoga Classes
A regular yoga practice is known to give the best results to overall health and well-being. These classes run from 60 to 90 minutes, as often as you'd like, and are scheduled according to availability.

Cours à vos locaux ou online
Conçus pour s’adapter à vos impératifs horaires, le cours peut durer de 60 à 90 minutes, aussi souvent que vous le souhaitez, en journée ou en soirée.

On-Site or On-line Private & Small Group Classes
Designed specifically for the needs, interests and level of the individual(s).

Cours particuliers & pour les petites groupes à vos locaux ou 'online'
Conçus sur-mesure, selon les besoins, les intérêts et le niveau de le/les individu/s.


Introduction to Yoga
This one-and-a-half hour, on-site workshop is an ideal introduction to yoga, and good way to assess if there is an interest in continuing classes on-site. Elements introduced include breathing exercises, yoga postures, eye exercises, deep relaxation and med…

Three Questions for a Liveable Future

What questions do you have about our living, and our living together for a liveable future? Here are Ann's:
Please let Ann know if you would like to share your questions with each other at a ShinGaia Salon in February 2021 (either in-person or online, or a mix of both, depending on how the covid situation is developing at that time).

New Year Resource - Yoga Retreat January 15-17, 2021

We can accommodate a small group for this retreat as we usher in the coming year. In addition to a sweet escape from computer screens, some of the repetitive patterns of our lives, and our habitual environments, this time together will offer an opportunity for each of us to clear out and release what is no longer needed, to embrace life in the magnificent present moment of living, and to consider and confirm what we most value and wish to conserve and nurture in our living forward. The retreat centre has a 100m2 practice room, with space for 6 people to have their own rooms (most of these with private bathrooms). Vegetarian food is lovingly prepared with homegrown products from our hosts garden, and the venue is set at the edge of the charming historic village of d'Angles sur l'Anglin, 1h30 south of Paris near Châtellerault.

The cost of the retreat is 370€ /person for the weekend (not including sheets & towels).  This covers 2 nights in a private room, including food and fac…