Feathered Pipe Blog – Voice Of The Wisdom Holders
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Feathered Pipe Blog: Voice of the Wisdom Holders

The Feathered Pipe has been blessed to host many of the foremost teachers, guides and wisdom holders within the realm of yoga, meditation, spirituality, health and wellness during our four-plus decades of existence. The Feathered Pipe Blog offers you the opportunity to explore more deeply their thoughts and insights for opening to experience a more healthful and fulfilling life.

Salamba Sarvangasana: Supported Shoulderstand – Marla Apt

If you are new to yoga, you may not be ready to perform many of the inverted poses but you can begin enjoying the benefits of practicing inversions through Sarvangasana, which can gradually and safely be learned by beginners.  Once the art of balancing in this pose has been mastered, a yoga practitioner never graduates from practicing this essential yoga asana. READ MORE

Soft Peace and Childlike Wonder – Carie Garrett

Each of us is a prophet on a hope journey, someone who listens to God and points the way for others; each of us is Joseph and Mary on a faith journey, staying the course even though it’s rough and we get tired; each of us is the shepherd, being terrified when we hear messengers of God, yet joyfully following the message; each of us is a magi, someone through whom deep spiritual wisdom flows; and…each of us is the Christ child, a gift from God to help light the world. READ MORE

What is Bhakti? Nurturing Our Divine Connection – Nat Kendall

Often words fall short. Trying to portray the subtleties of our own unique life experience and perspective can be so elusive. Sharing the emotions and feelings that swell up in our own heart – the depths of our tender suffering and the ecstasy of our pure joy – how could this ever be encapsulated into words? And then desperately trying to be heard and experienced by another? READ MORE

Mount Kailasa: The Last Pilgrimage – VJ Supera

There is a mountain in western Tibet that stands alone in all its sacred glory.  The Hindus call it Mount Kailas.  The Tibetans call it Kang Rinpoche, “the precious one of ice.”  This mountain represents The Almighty in concrete form, and man in his impermanence.  Its perpetually snow-clad peak rises 22,028 ft into the air.  People do not climb this mountain for that would show disrespect and anger the gods who dwell there. READ MORE

Therapeutic Healing in Iyengar Yoga – Marla Apt

According to Patañjali’s definition, all practitioners of yoga are undergoing a form of therapy, whether it is for a spiritual ailment, a mental misapprehension or a physical illness. In the practice of Iyengar yoga, the therapeutic and meditative benefits are derived through a progressive system involving the sequencing of the asanas (poses) and pranayama (yogic practice involving breath control), attention to the alignment and technique of the practices and the timing in the practices. READ MORE

The Principles and Practice of Yoga Nidra – Richard Miller, PhD

Yoga Nidra is derived from the ancient Tantric Shastras, and forms a complete program of deep relaxation, intensive Self-inquiry and profound meditation. During Yoga Nidra we carefully and systematically investigate the nature of the structures and beliefs that define our personal identity. These structures include the physical body, the energy body, the sensation, feeling and emotional bodies, the bodies of thought and imagery, and the bodies of bliss and personal ego identity. READ MORE

How Your Breath Affects Your Nervous System – Baxter Bell, MD

It turns out the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) that connects brain to body is a two-way street. If I am anxious and nervous or stressed out by events in my life or simply the thoughts about those events, my brain, via the nerves of the ANS, will likely turn on the Sympathetic part of that system (the Fight or Flight response)...But the cool thing is that the lungs and heart can feed back to the brain and essentially convince the brain that things are calm and peaceful, even when there are still stressful circumstances. READ MORE

Pranayama: The Intersection Between Body, Breath & Mind – Gernot Huber

The part of your nervous system that regulates your breath as well as the other body maintenance functions is called the autonomic nervous system (ANS), because it functions autonomously from the conscious mind. What is interesting about the breath is that you ARE able to influence your breathing consciously without much effort when you do remember your breath. READ MORE

Fatigue Relief: Bolsters, Blankets, Blocks & Belts – Marla Apt

Too tired. For many it’s the default response to every request—even the fun ones. Some of the walking weary are simply too overworked or overstressed to get adequate rest, while others may feel drained by a physical ailment, a psychological condition, or the side effects of medication. Whatever the cause, all can benefit from the respite that a restorative yoga practice provides. READ MORE

Synchronized Swinging and ‘Odd Sympathy’ – Anne Jablonski

A friend recently shared a nugget of advice she’d read online, aimed at those prone to discouragement and despair about the world’s crazy-scary state. For anyone overwhelmed by the contrast between the immensity of the problems and the realistic measure of any one individual’s capacity to influence them. Her counsel? READ MORE

Going Deeper: Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana – Marla Apt

So often in your practice, you’ll feel a craving for deep sensation, like that of a cat luxuriating in its morning stretch. Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana (Revolved Head-of-the-Knee Pose) is one of those asanas that can inspire this desire, and if you practice with a focus on stretching, the pose can definitely provide a great deal of sensation. READ MORE

Moving from Attention to Awareness – Gernot Huber

Our minds have the tendency to be overly reactive, to zero in on what appears to be the most pressing thing at any given moment, to the exclusion of everything else. For survival in prehistoric times, such focused attention was probably a healthy response. But to live mindfully (and thus to maximize happiness), it is best to minimize this tendency, because being attention-driven and overly reactive keeps us in a state of perpetual low-level stress, always mindlessly reacting to the strongest stimulus. READ MORE

All These Years Together – Judith Hanson Lasater

Anyone who has heard about the Feathered Pipe Ranch has heard about what a special place it is. I loved it from the first time I taught there, in 1975. In those days Montana was a lot more “exotic.” And a “yoga workshop” was just plain weird. When we 23 hearty souls gathered that July, we ate our dinners sitting around the kitchen table. The three-week long workshop cost $250. We became a family, a community, whose influence would reach out and touch people around the world over the next 40 years. READ MORE

Asana for the Ages – Marla Apt

Imagine practicing the same sequence for a lifetime. Senior Intermediate level Iyengar Yoga instructor Marla Apt was asked to suggest one set of poses you could do for decades, with modifications to honor the changes in energy and ability you’ll encounter at different times. It is assumed you have a basic knowledge of the poses presented. READ MORE

Cable Cars to India: The Bay Area’s East-West Transmission – Philip Goldberg

San Francisco has always been America’s hinge to the East, serving as both a primary port of embarkation to what we once called the mysterious Orient and as the entry point for immigrants, from the Chinese laborers who helped build the transcontinental railroad to the Indian engineers who helped create Silicon Valley. But far more important than the muscle and the brain power we imported, or the cuisines and the art forms, has been the spiritual wisdom. READ MORE