No New Year’s Resolutions Here

I rarely make New Year’s Resolutions and I know that I’m not alone. Research indicates that only about half of Americans make a resolution and with an average success rate of 8%, we can see why that is.

Though resolution making is found most in Western cultures now, the custom originated thousands of years ago in ancient Babylon complete with a 12 day rager to honor the new year. Babylonian resolutions were more about repaying debts than the current Western resolutions of organizing the garage, saving money, or losing weight with that 30 day detox cleanse you are absolutely going to start next week.

As a matter of fact, I’ve made only two New Year’s Resolutions in my entire life that ever stuck. The first was the 2009/2010 resolution to take up yoga. The second came two years later when I resolved to end my miserable suckfest of a marriage.

Anyone who does yoga knows that it was successful resolution #1 (yoga) that led to successful resolution #2 (divorce). But, let’s not blame yoga. Yoga is what gave me the clarity to see what needed to be done for everyone involved to achieve happiness and fulfillment and the strength and resolution to finally do it.

And here we all are, happy and fulfilled and I haven’t made a New Year’s Resolution since.

I’m having trouble getting to my point because I’m a little bit drunk right now. So here it is:

  1. If you need to make a change, don’t wait until January 1 or until the moment is just exactly right. Do it now because that exactly perfect moment will never arrive.
  2. If you simply must make a New Year’s Resolution, then make it a realistic resolution. Take the time to get specific about what you hope to achieve, how you are going to do it, and by when.
  3. If you aren’t making New Year’s resolutions, don’t sweat it, the other half of America isn’t either. The 2016 version of you is good enough for 2017.

 

This article originally published on www.groundingup.com

 

 

 

Jesus and 3 Wise Men Do Yoga

In my imagination, Jesus is a white guy with a hipster beard dressed in a toga and sandals. This is the case because that it what I was taught as a child. As an adult, I have come to realize that there is no way that Jesus, a middle easterner, was even a little bit white.

I like to think about all of the things that I don’t know. Unfortunately, that is not the case for so many as evidenced by the fact that the world is, as I type this, tearing itself apart over endless disagreements of absolute truth.

And because this is Jesus’ birthday month, (also not true. He was probably born in a milder season than winter, what with shepherds in the fields and what not, but let’s not fight) I’m reading The Yoga of Jesus, by Paramahansa Yogananda.

Here, I found an idea that was completely in conflict with my well established Lutheran concept of the life of Jesus; the idea that Jesus was a yogi.

There is a very strong tradition in India, authoritatively known amongst high metaphysicians in tales well told and written in ancient manuscripts, that the wise men of the East who made their way to the infant Jesus in Bethlehem were, in fact, great sages of India. Not only did the Indian masters come to Jesus, but he reciprocated their visit. (The Yoga of Jesus, Paramahansa Yogananda, p. 11)

Okay, so I’ll admit that I have never ever wondered who the three wise men were. You know the Christmas carol, “We Three Kings.” That’s what I have been working with for 40 years.

And not only that, Yogananda posits that Jesus went to study with these three wise men in his early adulthood.

During the unaccounted for years of Jesus’ life–the scriptures remains silent about him from approximately age 14 to 30–he journeyed to India, probably traveling the well-established trade route that linked the Mediterranean with China and India. (The Yoga of Jesus, Paramahansa Yogananda, p. 11)

All the New Testament has to say about this time in Jesus’ life is that he “increased in wisdom and years, and in divine and human favor” (Luke 2:52). How can it be that there was nothing noteworthy about Jesus for 16 years of his life?  This is JESUS we are talking about! Where was he? What was he doing? Why doesn’t the bible have anything to say about it?

“At this time his great desire was to achieve full realization of godhead and learn religion at the feet of those who have attained perfection through meditation.” (Journey into Kashmir and Tibet, Cf. Swami Abhedananda’s translation of this verse from the Tibetan)

Yoganada writes of records found in a Tibetan monastery that tell of a Saint Issa from Israel “in whom was manifest the soul of the universe”; who from the age of fourteen to twenty-eight was in India and regions of the Himalayas among the saints, monks, and pundits; who preached his message through that area and then returned to teach in his native land, where he was treated vilely, condemned, and put to death. (The Yoga of Jesus, Paramahansa Yogananda, p. 13)

I really want to believe that this is true, that Jesus was a savior and a guru of the east and the west. There are other theories about the 3 wise men and what Jesus was up to as he was coming of age, but in the  end, it doesn’t really matter and we can’t ever know with absolute certainty. And so Yogananda offers us this advice:

Become identified with Universal Love, expressed in service to all, both materially and spiritually; then you …can say in your soul that we are all one band, all sons of God!

This article originally published on www.groundingup.com.

This Week In Yoga News

Because I do yoga and somehow the internet knows this, every electronic media feed I see is infused with yoga-related news and products–facebook, instagram, google, every web site I visit. Unfortunately, if the Internet has not identified you as a yogi, there is no way you are getting enough yoga news. So, I have compiled a round up of what is trending for those of you so dangerously out of the loop.

Yoga Journal wants us to keep our shit together this holiday season

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“From healthy holiday recipes to yoga-inspired gift ideas and stress-melting asana sequences, YJ has you covered for a calmer holiday season.”

 

 

Goat Yoga Is Trending

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This story about Goat Yoga was in at least 5 major media outlets this week. Looks fun, but I might just go and play with some goats and do yoga some other time.

Photo: Aimee Denise Photography

Cellulite–Let’s Love It! Um okay, if we have to.

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Erin Motz, aka The Bad Yogi, a yoga blogger I follow, started a good conversation about cellulite and why we have it and should love it. Check her out here

News Flash!! Celebrities do yoga

The internet wants to make sure my list of celebrity yogis is ALWAYS current. So here is the latest list and a picture of Adam Levine in tights.

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Coming Soon to a Studio Near You!

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Yoga studios in Denver are submitting for permits to allow weed on premises.  Seems like you could just smoke it before you enter the studio but I see a growing trend toward marijuana asana and yoga marijuana retreats, so here we go!  Photo: The Internet

The Internet will not rest until I own these

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Yogis at Standing Rock

The yoga world had a lot to say about the situation at Standing Rock. Seane Corn is a well known activist and yogi who dedicated her time and resources to Standing Rock.

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Tao Porchon-Lynch is making us all look like pansies

This 98-year-old yoga master  has been in the news for a few months now and she should be; she is a great example for all of us.

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(Photo: Tao Porchon-Lynch)

This article originally published on www.groundingup.com. 

Barley-Stuffed Peppers from ThugKitchen

These Barley-stuffed peppers from ThugKitchen have become a staple at our house. I have wanted to get them up on the blog for a while. So here you go.

A note about this recipe: In our humble opinion, it needs cheese. So, we add 1/4 cup of shredded parmesan to the actual stuffing mix and then we sprinkle shaved parmesan as a garnish. Obviously, doing this makes the recipe “non-vegan” but we are cool with that.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 cup pearled barley
1 tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
4 bell peppers, whatever color you find cool
1 1/2 cups cooked kidney or white beans
1/4 cups chopped fresh parsley

 

 

 

 

 

 

1–In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it starts turning golden, about 3 minutes. Add the celery, carrot, garlic, thyme, and oregano and cook for another 2 minutes. Throw in the barley, tomato, and vinegar and stir. Add the broth, salt, and pepper and let it come to a low simmer. Cook, uncovered, until all the broth is absorbed and the barley is tender, about 15 minutes.

2–While the barley is simmering, heat your oven to 375° F. Cut the tops off the bell peppers and scrape out the seeds. Place them in an oiled pie place or loaf pan, something where their asses won’t be sliding around once they’re stuffed.

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Grease a baking dish and squeeze them in there.
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More cheese!! Then cover them with aluminum foil for baking.

3–When the barley is done, fold in the beans and turn off the heat. (This filling can even be made a day or two ahead of time, no fucking problem.) Fill the bell peppers up to the top with the filling, cover them tightly with foil, and bake until the peppers are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let them rest for 5 minutes after coming out of the oven, ’cause those fuckers are hot. Top with the parsley and serve.

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More cheese, then eat.

Thanks to ThugKithen for the recipe. We didn’t technically ask them for permission to publish their recipe, but those assholes can just fucking get over it.

This article originally published on www.groundingup.com.