Weekly Homework

December 2018, January 2019 - Why Ashtanga?

The Heart of Yoga
by T. K. V. Desikachar

What does it mean to you to have a practice?

"Why Hurry?" ~ Guruji

This week observe the little moments of your life; where are you hurrying to the next thing rather than being fully present in the precious moment at hand?

This week observe, how do you create "space" in your mind to choose love, compassion, courage in the moments of your life? Everyday day is filled with hundreds of small and large choices. The "space" opens a door to our internal world; the quality of our thoughts creates our reality and influences the quality of our actions.

July, August, September 2018 - Man's Search for Meaning

Take quiet time after a reading session of "Man's Search for Meaning", reflect on a time in your life when you could not change a situation or a person and instead choose to change your thinking or to change something in yourself.

"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves." ~ Viktor E. Frankl

Please join us for a special meditation this week.
Our book this semester is Man's Search for Meaning. As you read along this week, take time to reflect upon our own life and identify what is most precious and important to you. Your sense of life's purpose can only be defined by you.

Man's Search for Meaning
by Viktor E. Frankl

Please watch Benjamin Zander - The transformative power of classical music

April, May, June 2018 - The Hero's Journey

Watch movie Finding Joe

In the early 20th century while studying world mythology, Joseph Campbell discovered a pattern hidden in every story ever told. He called it "the hero's journey." Finding Joe explores how the hero's journey is relevant and essential in today's world. It provides a narrative for how to live a fully realized life or, as Campbell would simply state, how to "follow your bliss."

June 2018

Watch Morgan Freeman on Nelson Mandela - "I am the master of my fate".

As part of your Svadhyaya (self-study) write a small essay "The Meaning of Life".

Man's Search for Meaning
by Viktor E. Frankl
7 Lessons Learned From Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl (Book Review), by Ben McEvoy

June 10th 2018- One week Joy challenge

Cultivate joy in your life. Every day seek out and do what brings you joy.

May 2018

Spend more time outside, in nature.

Take a Personality Test based on Carl Jung's and Isabel Briggs Myers' personality type theory.

This week look deeper into how your understanding of heroes and archetypes can help you understand your own nature. This will help us grow and expand into our golden, awakened self. We can heal and bring healing to others.

What heroic stories do you identify with? Who are your heroes and heroines?
What archetypes do you identify with? Do you have a deity of choice that inspires you on your path?
Write these in your notebook; include photos or images.

by Caroline Myss
by Ted Andrews

This weeks meditation and practices - I will invite you to identify and connect to your spiritual animal and totem. We will use the Native American Totem as another form of Archetype to guide us on our hero's journey.

I am here

April 2018 - Start a new Journal

In the center of the first page put a red dot "I am here". You will tell your story in this journal, mapping out your life journey.
It will help you understand how you arrived where you are now.
Start by telling a story of your childhood up to the junior high. Think of good and challenging events. What was your "Gold Buddha mud"? How did it change the course of your life?

Diana Heros Journey
Diana and her big beautiful horse Charlie

Settle in with a cup of tea or coffee and look through your old photos. Sink into the feeling of remembering. We are having coffee and I asked you to tell me your story. Allow the images to unfold the telling of the beginning of your Hero's Journey into your, "I am here". Choose a photo that speaks to you and represents the first part of your journey. Make a copy and glue it into your journal.

What heroic stories do you identify with? Who are your heroes and heroines?
What archetypes do you identify with? Do you have a deity of choice that inspires you on your path?
Write these in your notebook; include photos or images.

March 2018

Invitation to the intention for 2018 ~ Be a better lover.

Fill a page with names of those you love, and why you love them.
Fill another page with what you love and the reasons why you love these things and experiences.
Love is our medicine, our true wealth. Go out, share it. Smile at someone. Give a compliment. Hug someone. Kiss. Make someone laugh. Love bigger. Walk into room and make it brighter.

Please listen to Eddie Stern's podcast to learn about Vagus Nerve.
Please watch Dacher Keltner video on the Vagus Nerve.
Ways to Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve:
  1. Cold
  2. Singing or Chanting
  3. Yoga
  4. Meditation
  5. Positive Social Relationships
  6. Breath Deeply and Slowly
  7. Laughter
  8. Prayer
  9.

February 2018

Begin to prepare for the Chinese New Year. Look around your life, from your home, garage, car and office to personal relationships, and your physical body. Where do you have blockages (grantis)? Where do you have an abundance of flowing energy? Begin clearing.

Suggested books: Karen Kingston's Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.

January 2018 - Study of Adventure!

January 14h - Journal

What do you love? What are your passions? List 5 passions, then write what adventures you can have pursuing your passions. Next think of the first step you will need to take. Write down your first step, come up with the plan to follow.

January 7th - Journal

A compass is designed to help you locate yourself in the world. In order to do this, you need at least two landmarks, or points of certainty, to triangulate your position. From there, you can chart a course to where you want to go. It works the same way with your inner compass. What are your points of certainty? Choose a direction, and chart the path of your adventure!

January 1st - Create Personalized Tarot Card

Add a photo of yourself in an asana to the front and a favorite quote on the back to create a personalized yoga tarot card to inspire you in 2018.

Favorite quotes shared by Diana in 2017 are listed on our Quotes page.

See a Sample card in a PDF format.

November 2017

Journal about your Ashtanga practice. How did you fall in love with Ashtanga? Describe how has the story unfolds.

September 2017

"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned." ~ Buddha

New Years Practice: Release knots (Granthis) and the little pieces of coal we hold, move energy, free up space for the magic of new beginnings.
Read Article: The Granthis

Basically Jewish new year is "Rosh Hashanah" which means "Head of the Year". Yom Kippur is 10 days after Rosh Hashanah and this time in between is called the "days of awe". The reason for this is during this time it is custom to ask for forgiveness from others as well as forgive those who may have wronged us. Just as important is to forgive oneself. The power of this process is a letting go and a recognition that we can create change and move into a new year, shedding those things we wish to shed from the year past as well as welcome in and set intention for the year ahead.
Apples and honey are typically eaten to represent a sweet new year.

Happy Dollar
Fill your "dollar" with the hours of your life that make your life rich and beautiful; your true wealth. Place the happy dollar in your wallet to remind you, you are blessed and wealthy.
Pick 5 items from the list below and commit to them for 30 days. 32 Ways to Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve:
  1. Cold
  2. Singing or Chanting
  3. Yoga
  4. Meditation
  5. Positive Social Relationships
  6. Breath Deeply and Slowly
  7. Laughter
  8. Prayer
  9.

Come up with a plan for your 5 items. If you choose "laughter", we have a couple of ideas for you :)

August 2017 - 30 Day Meditation Challenge

July 2017

  • Read page 125-131 Mindlift 9 ways to catch the wind in your sail even the "merest puff".
  • How do you stand in your life? Physically, in connection to the earth, spiritually (emotionally)

June 2017

Please read the article about TRE or Tension/Trauma Releasing Exercises: A Simple, Highly Effective Way To Release Stress And Muscle Tension With Neurogenic Tremors

Feb 2017

The Compass Metaphor – What is your True North?
shala compass

How are you navigating your precious life? Your life is an adventure, so you'll need a compass.
Our Shala geologist Jay explained that with the help of the compass, you will be able to locate yourself (and your current position). After that you can figure out where you're going, and how to get there. To locate yourself, you'll need to find the True North. It's the same in life. If you feel lost, or not sure where you need to go next, stop and find your True North. Your inner wisdom is your inner compass.

True North Meditation
Please get your journal out. On a new page write your name, then write the answers to the following questions:
  1. What is your True North? (What really matters to you?)
  2. How do you locate yourself when in the valleys of life?

October 2016

Begonia - The art, beauty, and miracle of life
Begonia - The art, beauty, and miracle of life
Begonia - The art, beauty, and miracle of life
"The art, beauty and miracle of life, and light running through the veins of the leaf.
Water, give it light and love - it will thrive and grow. The begonia reminds us of our beauty, the life force that runs through our veins into the edges of our being.
Our practice gives us water and just the right amount of sunlight to grow and expand into our full beauty!" ~ Diana

May - December 2016

Please read our semester book "The Heart of Yoga" by T. K. V. Desikachar.

May 16-21 2016

Please read Introduction from our semester book "The Heart of Yoga" by T. K. V. Desikachar.

Rediscover and reconnect to Ashtanga Opening Invocation making it personal to you. "What do you invoke?"

You can listen to the Invocation at the beginning of Pacific Ashtanga Puja Dedication video.

boys and butterfly

April - May 2016

Look out for monarch caterpillars and butterflies. They are the messengers to remind everyone of their own transformation, and that they are the most amazing miracles!!!

To see pictures shared by our students please visit Caterpillars and Butterflies page.

Please get your copy of Monarch Butterfly's Life Cycle letter, lovingly printed by Merry, at the Shala. To learn more and to help to save the monarchs please visit www.saveourmonarchs.org

April 3-9 2016

Write a sequel to Walt Whitman's MIRACLES.
Start with his last line from the poem "What stranger miracles are there?"

You can also share a picture of the spring flowers blooming near your homes or on the hikes... or any other miracle that comes into your life.

Please share your poems and pictures by emailing diana@pacificashtanga.com.

To read Diana's Sequel - Miracles II, and see a collection of our students' poems and pictures please visit Miracles page.