Standard Gravity :: Yoga Page

! Special Announcement !

Shadow Yoga with Martin Hunke 24 September - 1 October 2010
The Shadow Yogi will be back in the Bay Area.  You have also heard me talk about Martin and his humor and insights.  Below is his most recent announcement to the yoga community:

Dear Shadow Yoga friends,

I am happy to announce a workshop in California again after two years of absence:

7th Heaven Yoga
2820 Seventh St
Berkeley, CA

7th Heaven handles the registrations. You can call them (+1)510-665-4300 or sign up online at Please note the discount for people signing by Sept 10.

Shadow Yoga Intensive
Building an intense 25 minute Home Practice

DATES: September 24th - October 1st

   Fri, Sept 24th 7:00-9pm Free Demo
   Sat. & Sun, Sept 25th & 26th: 1:30-4pm
   Mon -Fri, Sept. 27th-October1st: 7:00-8:00am

Cost: There are several options

   $165 for 7 day intensive/ $105 early registration by September 10th
   $100 for 5 day intensive/ $60 early registration by Sept. 10th
   $30 per weekend class

This will be an intensive all-level introduction to Shadow Yoga. Rooted in the traditional understanding of Ashtanga, I will teach the “Balakrama” sequence (the name means “stepping into strength”) on the weekend, helping you to overcome weaknesses and to increase sensitivity and confidence. The sequence will include Pranayama, bandhas, and dynamic Asana sequencing. The following week, a practice-oriented intensive is offered to deepen the weekend experience. The full workshop will enable you to do a very effective 25min home practice. See for further info, or for a video on the sequence.

best wishes,
Martin Hunke

Staying grounded in modern life

My office is located in downtown San Francisco, and one question I often hear from my clients is "How do I maintain, or even start, a spiritual practice in my hectic life when I am busy making the world go 'round?"

For beginners, I am not going to prescribe an ashram retreat.  It is an excellent choice if the means are available to take time off from your profession.  But more realistically, I recommend a couple of baby steps that introduce a higher frequency into your day in small doses.

DID YOU KNOW that words, objects, and sounds convey an energy on their own?  Evidence has been laid forth by Masaru Emoto's Messages from Water, or David Hawkins' Power vs. Force, both of which theories are compelling but flawed in scientific design.  But giving credence to such writings is not necessary.  All you have to do is compare the body's response to walking into a heavy-metal boutique to the experience of walking into a Buddhist center.  Or track the economics of a clean, cared-for community compared to one which is poorly planned, neglected, and run down.  The energy of your environment makes a palpable difference.

One easy way to start heightening the energy of your environment:  a couple of books for you to buy – in book form –  to hold in your hands, read, have lying around, in your office or in your home. 

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying resonates a very charismatic energy, like its author, Sogyal Rinpoche.  Whenever I read this book, mostly in my commute or in breaks from work, the world seems to transform around me.  I am approached by an unusual number of curious conversations, or just friendly smiles.  The book is magic.

Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh.  This famously quiet Buddhist monk from Vietnam reminds us of the power of stillness.  Parts of this book draw on the history of his home country, including the war, and can only inspire admiration in his authority on anger, peace, and transformation.

Another question I often hear is "I know I should be meditating.  I know, I know, I know...  But I don't know where to go."  Meditation is closer than you think.  The San Francisco Buddhist Center in the Mission has a regular schedule of donation-based classes and meditation, including on-going unguided meditation 7:30-8:15am every weekday morning. On Wednesdays from 7-9pm there are classes on Buddhism, which include about one hour of guided meditation. 

And if you are looking for a bona fide spiritual guide, I am very particular when it comes to this so please visit Ramanand Patel's site, where you will find not only his schedule but offerings by Pandit Mukesh Desai.  We are fortunate to have them in the Bay Area often, always with love and humor.  I trust these two to provide a pure light that you may be looking for. 

Another treasure trove which has been specifically (and lovingly) designed to be integrated into our techno-philic lives is  This truly forward-thinking organization survives on donation alone, and offers free downloads of thousands of lectures on Buddhism.  They began as a small team in the UK in the 90's distributing lectures on cassettes, and since then have expanded to a record 40,000 free downloads a month in 2010, with over 150,000 individual users worldwide in five languages.  Many different speakers are featured, giving you the luxury of finding a teacher who resonates with you.  Listen to a lecture on your commute to work, during your daily jog, or anytime your ears are available for talks on the Dharma.

Blog posts about Yoga

12 June 2010 When Your Yoga Teacher Has Cancer
Karl Erb is a very dear teacher of mine.  The qualities of a good teacher, someone you can go to with your questions and with your longing to learn, do not stop at being open and positive.  Being a teacher is a responsibility and a gift, it requires the true talent, humility, and intelligence of a spiritual genius.  Karl is these.