Our YIOM Sangha

Photo: Francis Chung

In Buddhist practice, a sangha is the sacred community of ordained (or pre-ordained) monks and nuns.  Being in a sangha helps members to be supported in their practice, grow their practice through interaction with like-minded others, contribute to the process for other members, and also provide a resource for those outside to the community to gain information about Buddhism.  Similarly, a yoga community or yoga sangha provides for its members informational, social, pragmatic, and emotional support.  It provides practitioners with a “home base” from which they can branch out into yoga in a variety of paths that feel new, always retaining that connection back to the stability of the group.

Yoga sanghas may be created through personal relationships with others who practice, through a shared yoga studio or gym (maybe the most common), through a connection to a guru, etc.  And now, with the vast array of social media available to us, we can more easily create and maintain a sense of community with a wide variety of people around the world.

YIOM arose from a sangha composed of a group of yoga lovers who interacted frequently on Twitter.  As we sought a way to grow our sangha, not only in numbers but in methods of connection, we developed the idea of YIOM.  In the past year, our group has grown almost continually, with new members, consistent communication via Twitter, the addition of a wonderful editor, and a plethora of amazing blog posts.

Over the next year, it will be so interesting to see how things continue to develop in our community.  I feel honored to be a part of it, and am so thankful for my YIOM friends.

~ Lorin

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YIOM Anniversary

Nope, this is no April Fool’s joke – today YIOM turns one year old!

It started as a fabulous brain child of Lorin and has grown to a large community of amazing yogis and yoginis blogging about their spiritual adventures from around the world.

Originally, YIOM was a month long endeavor, hence then name Yogis Inspiring Oneness MONTH. A month where one blogged as often as possible (some blogged everyday!) to raise awareness of the healing powers of yoga.

After a month of bonding and unity, Lorin decided to expand the community to a more permanent status, thus establishing Yogis Inspiring Oneness MOVEMENT. And that is when the YIOM site was born.

Today is a day of celebration and not just because our cozy little site turns One. No, this is a day of celebration for those who have been with us since the beginning. Those who have shared their thoughts, ideas, and hearts to the inter webs. Those who not only found a pull to join YIOM for a month, but decided to continue on this journey together, proudly bearing the YIOM logo on their site.

So let’s give these guys a round of applause. And here’s to another year of yoga, yoga, and more yoga

~Teeg

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Jo from Jo Griffith Yoga

The end of March is upon us. I don’t know about you but I feel like 2012 is going by WAY too fast.

The end of each month we honor one member of YIOM. This month I’d like to present Jo Griffith.

When asked to “discuss a problem you had in the past month and how it pertains to yoga, on or off the mat” Jo graciously answered below.

The longer you practice the more you wonder does life imitate yoga or does yoga imitate life? Once while taking a yoga class, the teacher asked, “what about your life you would like to bring more of into your yoga practice, and what about your yoga practice would you like to bring more of out into this world?” (unfortunately, I don’t remember who the teacher was).  I am on a cusp of change.Not unusual, change is the constant. It’s a dance. Playing with balance as I lift my foot off the ground into tree pose. Trying to root even in the uncertainty. To the places that still feel connected to what I know, and to the areas that feel up into the air. The situation shifts as our foot lifts off of the ground, as our weight moves when we go to to take a step. Even the foot on the ground feels the change reverberate through it. We become proficient in the act of balancing. So how about when something else shifts? Can the balance be maintained? How much before you fall? And is falling in life failure?

I am looking into going back to college. It’s been 14 years since my last degree. I have done this experience. I know this pose. However, no matter how many times you experience an asana, it is never the same asana. Your experience of it changes. Sometimes, you focus working on a particular part of your body or state of the mind. I am interested in studying something entirely different than my previous college experience so long ago. Science instead of music and social science. Physics instead of anthropology and clarinet performance. But every asana prepares us for every other asana. Even the ones that don’t look alike. Backbends feel different after a few hip openers or twists. All that we do sets us up for the next step. The trick is not to become obsessive with the new, to add it into our practice while still maintaining the rest of our practice.

Anything I learn or do is because it is possible for this body, this brain, on this planet to do it. My poses are bound by my body, other bodies can do other poses. But, more than that, the way something feels for one person is different for another. So sometimes you have to play with how you work into a new shape. Side experimentation, pose, repose, pose. And much like learning a new posture, sometimes the first way you approach whatever you are trying to accomplish does not lead to the results you have wished. My next step in life has been manifest in potential in every posture my body has taken since I was born from the first time I used crayons, to studying music theory, to graduating with a degree in anthropology, and, yes learning even in yoga.

I was looking at biomedical engineering and am fortunate to live close to one of the best engineering schools in the country. The downside to this is merely from my current stance. When you practice on a hill, some things become easier and some things become harder. The world is rarely perfectly flat unless man has manipulated it to be so. The College of Engineering and Applied Science are discerning in who they admit. They only count transfer credits for 10 years. I am not the applicant they are looking for. But yoga has taught me to continue to approach the pose. To talk to others, to examine new movements that might lead to acquiring a new expression in my body – but even if I do not get to where I am trying to go. It is still okay. I am getting somewhere. There is playfulness and curiosity and sensation wherever I am. And that’s how I got to looking at physics instead. It’s a step. Will the step take me to biomedical engineering, or to expressions of my form that I do not even know I want to play with yet? Will I get to where my goal is? I don’t know. All I know is I will continue to move and breathe and shift and change.

Thanks for sharing Jo!!! Go check her out on her blog and definitely go follow her on twitter – @mo_jo_shri

~Teeg

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Mar 18th – Mar 23rd

Is it hot in here or what?!? This surprising summer like weather in my neck of the woods has ignited the inner kid in me. Times like these make it hard for me to stay indoors all day – I just want to go outside and play!

YIOM has felt the heat as well with an addition of FOUR more wonderful members. Let’s welcome them!

Emily is a blogger at Big Fat Juicy Love Revolution and tweets at @dreamerablaze

Brandi blogs at Be Your Own Yoga and her twitter handle is @beyourownyoga

Rajni, twitter handle @dancingrealm, blogs at Dancing Realm

Victoria, blogging at her tumblr site Victoria Klein, can be found on twitter using the handle @VictoriaKlein

This week I want to highlight one individual – Mandy from Yoga Addicted. A more recent member of YIOM, her blog posts this month, intentionally or not, focused on nourishment, whether food or self love. I loved this quote from one of her posts

Be sensitive to yourself, treat it as you would your very best friend.  All you
need, is within you at all times.  Sometimes that is covered by trash or
negative thoughts, just keep up the good work. Keep up the friendly approach and
all will start to be free. That is the goal, that is the reason to keep up the
practice.  To become at peace with yourself. Then peace will follow all around.
One love, Unity.

Yoga on, sister!

~Teeg

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Mar 3rd – 17th

As I spoke of last week, I decided rather than a whole review of all the bloggers on YIOM, I am going to select a random number every week. It’s more manageable for me as YIOM grows bigger and bigger.

First I would like to introduce our newest members!!

Grace blogs over at Front Porch Yoga and writes about body mind and spirit.

Lisa, writing at Just Here. Just Now, shares her journey of spirituality, learning to be present on and off the mat.

Wendi sassily writes at Scars and All Yoga about her life adventures.

Mandy is a yoga addict, sharing her opinions at Yoga Addicted.

Go support them! Follow them on twitter, comment on the posts, and welcome them to the YIOM family!

Today I want to highlight two bloggers.

Bee, from Beeyond Yoga, is a fashion yogi blogger with an eye for the lessons of the everyday life. In March she’s posted a handful of great blog posts including how to improve your skin, AND a little giveaway for St. Patrick’s day. Definitely go stop by her post!

The other blogger is as different from Bee as day and night, which I personally find pretty awesome. Two different, unique views of the same path – yoga.

Bram, a yoga teacher and avid liver of life, always has a deep question about the simplest of topics and helps his readers expand their mind and their hearts. You cannot help be drawn to his writing. Thank you Bram for sharing your knowledge and love with us!

Happy St. Patrick’s day!

~Teeg

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Weekly Review Changes

Some of you may have been wondering when the weekly review of last week will be posted and to be honest, so have I. Where on earth would I find the time to do the review? This has been the question on my mind ever since Friday loomed near.

With the addition of four new members, we have over 60 members in YIOM. I want to see this community continue to expand – how about we shoot for over 500? =) However, there is just no way i can continue to dedicate time to the weekly review and still maintain any sort of sanity.

After some further thought, I decided rather than do a review of ALL the bloggers, I am going to randomly select five a week. That way I can give a more in depth blurb about each post and still provide you all a good little selection of blogs to choose from.

I hope this way we can still explore blog posts, further unifying YIOM, but at a more reasonable length of time for me.

I hope you all can forgive me and I am excited to see YIOM continue to grow!

~ Teeg

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Feb 25th – Mar 2nd

Spring came early for us in the mid-Atlantic, hitting highs of 68 degrees on the first day of March. Quite a way to start the month! March is not just about the anticipating of the on coming warm weather. It’s also a time of taking off the layers, peeling off the weight of winter and seeing the light. The work that you’ve been developing all winter is starting to come to fruition and by golly does it feel good to feel the warmth of the sun on my cheeks!

YIOMers this past week blogged about a wide variety of topics from awesome recipes I must try to leap day reflections. It is an honor to introduce you the blog review for the week!

Body Divine Yoga delved deep into tantra yoga and why sexuality matters

The Capricious Yogi reminded us that you don’t have to be flexible to practice yoga and celebrated the coming of spring by highlighting important March dates

The Humble Yogini used leap day as a day of retrospection

Amanda weekly zen-ed her way through a review of The Technologists by Matthew Pearl

Bee beyonded us with her raw kale and blood orange recipe, advised us on how to leap into uncertainty, and gave us an opportunity to enter a giveaway!

The Blissful Yogini broke down tree pose for us and Bram reminded us how to stay sane in a world of crazy politics

Tap into gratitude over at The Curious World of L and learn how to be at ease as the story unfolds

Faern opened us into her world of drawing and did a little reflection on “leap

Go to Flowtation Devices for some lessons in 5Rhythms, laughing, heel clicking, and tai chi

Hari Kirtana Das philosophized about illusions and reality while Michelle at Glow Green Glow posted a delicious quinoa mushroom black bean burger recipe

We certainly missed The Hip Yogini and super glad she came back for a quick update on her life

Learn how to fly in ardha chandrasana over at Five Minute Yoga

Read about learning the truth of your heart at Lineage Yoga

Thais discussed her desire to stop wanting to many things and shared a quote

Mamaste NJ said YES to life

Go to My Creative Fling to check out Lynette’s beautiful new blog look

Nourishing Origins blogged about her kripalu eating experience

The Om Chantress is now going to be teaching at Awaken Wellness in Columbia MD! If you’re in the area definitely check her out!

Kendall wrote about what to do when a yoga class isn’t working for you and how to work on increasing your running speed

Check out some yummy dark leafy greens at Sattva Sutras

Get a quick teacher training update from Sarah here

Reminding us to go back to the basics of yoga, read Think Body Electric’s post here

Zoie shared with us some of her favorite posts of the week

Over at Tree of Yoga, we can read about what it really means to be “healthy”

Go to Ups and Downs of a Yoga Mom to discuss leap day deals, summer camp 4am wake up calls, and staying away from germs

Yoga Betty broke is down for us on yoga self acceptance

Never? Moderation? What’s your take? Read about it at Yogitastic

The Vegan Asana shared a yummy cumin eggplant edamame rice and a discourse on how to treat ourselves a little better

Yoga Geek blogged about men’s yoga fashion and you can read a touching letter to a heartbreaker on Yoga in all Things

Go Hanuman crazy with Jennifer and share a smile with Mr. Potato heads cake pop (for a good cause too!)

And lastly, we have two new members join the community! Please give a warm welcome to Leigh from My BIkram Yoga Life, Ntathu from Yoga Inspires, and Fiona from A Quest for Peace

~ Teeg

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Kat from Kat Saks

We decided last month that at the end of every month, rather than a weekly review we wanted to feature someone in our YIOM community. The question we ask is “discuss an obstacle you faced in the past month and how it relates to your yoga practice, on or off the mat”.

This month we randomly selected Kat from Kat Saks Yoga. Kat is a yoga teacher and practitioner based out of Denver, Colorado and her Yoga Snack newsletters are a great addition to your yoga library.

Here’s her post for us!

Carried on The Tides of Trust

February has been a month of worrying.

In late April, my first child is due. And as the due date nears, my worries have mounted. You name it, I’ve worried about it: How will we change all those diapers? Will we have time to eat? Do we have enough money? What about childcare? Will we be good parents? How will we choose the right books, schools and nasal aspirators? How will we pay for college? What if I’m worrying too much? You get the point.

I’ve always been a worrier and, in the past, whenever I worried, I made a plan (or five). I targeted the source of my worry and did everything in my power to remove the unknowns and proactively address my concerns. I took action and then took a sigh of relief, knowing I had done everything I could to prepare.

This time, though, I have no clue what I’m doing. I’m in uncharted waters. I’ve done what I can to get ready: I’ve stocked the boat, I’ve studied the forecast, and I’ve brought the right gear. But, ultimately, as a new parent, I’m sailing into the unknown with a shaky compass and no map.

The only thing left to do at this point is to trust – to trust that, one way or another, everything will be fine. Trusting in this kind of universal order does not come naturally to me in daily life. But, on my yoga mat, I’m learning how.

Lately, in my personal practice, I find myself entering deeper and deeper into Savasana. I settle into my final pose and wake up twenty minutes later. Never in over ten years of practice have I experienced such deep and daily surrender on my mat. My body gives in completely to the moment and I awake with a profound sense of clarity.

My body is teaching my mind the lesson of trust. In those moments of deep repose, my body invites my mind to let go completely. Slowly, my body is inscribing the lesson into mind: it’s okay to rest in the unknown.

With every practice on my mat, my trust and faith expand. I grow more confident in my ability to sail through the uncharted waters of parenthood. I don’t know what lies ahead on my journey. I don’t know what storms will come. But, the tides will carry me to my destination – wherever that may be.

Thanks Kat for sharing with us!! Definitely go check out her blog and send her some good vibes for a healthy delivery!

~ Teeg

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Feb 11th – 17th

Hello yoginis! The theme I noticed going through the blogroll was not surprising, Valentine’s Day is a great topic to write about! Whether you are “for” it or “against” it, the day of love made a splash in YIOM.

Go to Chakra’s blog to read the sweet story of a beautiful friendship.

Bee, touring NYC for Fashion Week, blogged about forgiveness and how she merged yoga and fashion.

At Capricious Yogi’s blog you can read about how to embrace both the good and bad days, the lesson of loosening the hard gaze, and what she’s learned as a yoga teacher.

Erin from Happy Om Happy Home came back from the dead (ok, not DEAD but very long hiatus) to share with us a beautiful quote

Jennifer shared 14 things she loves in honor of the day of love

Eve asked the fabulous question – Are some yoga poses lemons? She also advised on how to make those poses into lemonade

Thais brought some of her favorite old posts back in her Blast From Past series

Amy asked us to find love after Valentine’s day and shared a video of making love viral.

Over at MamasteNJ we learned why we should say thanks to our exs and making believe

Construction is still going on at My Creative Fling.

On An Inhale blogged about a quinoa recipe, wishing her readers a happy Valentine’s, her wedding plans, and a little tip.

Tree of Yoga found her Tadasana and Sheri connected with her own teaching style.

Zoie shared five things she’s grateful for and how she’s living a life of respect

Lorin wrote the difficulties of practicing ahimsa with our bodies and how to go meatless in an omnivore family

Make your way over to Ups and Downs of a Yoga Mom to drool over heart shaped foods, take a stand against cancer and her views of John Friend’s step down from Anusara.

Rash brought a old newspaper yoga article back from the past.

Betty invited us to a heart to heart and also invited us to a little wiggle wiggle session.

Yogi Crystal wrote a touching letter about dealing with hate through yoga and Yogistastic showed us how to start a healthier path and answers the tough question of “who am I”.

Another delicious Valentine’s Day recipe can be found on Izabela’s blog.

Yoga Geek asks us to keep our heart open on the day of love.

Find out how yoga and muslim go hand in hand over at Yoga in all Things.

Yoga Life Way gave a shout out to Adele.

Read about compassionate listening as well as learning the boundaries of how far you should go at Yoga Flavoured Life.

~ Teeg

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Feb 4th – 10th

A lot of yogic drama has been circulating the web sphere and I don’t know about you but I simply don’t allow myself to get riled up in it. Every community has its share of problems, we are all humans and yogis are just as susceptible to misconduct as the rest of them. But personally, yoga for me is more than just a group of individuals who enjoy the same experience. Yoga is about MY experience. And as I watch life unfold around me, I keep my focus on my breath, my body, and what I can do to become a better individual.

The yogis and yoginis that post for YIOM have dedicated time out of their day each week to share with you their own experiences. Let’s go explore the stories shall we?

Yoga Geek wrote about partner yoga in honor of February, and announced the start of her podcast project. It’s pretty awesome let me tell you so go check it out and support her!

Over at Yoga for the Long Run you can read about setting goals the yogic way.

An endearing post about how to find boundless joy can be read at Yoga Flavored Life as well as what to do when your identity shifts.

If you’re a baker you’ll definitely want to stop by Yogini Self Portrayal and learn how to make carrot chocolate protein cake and you while you’re there definitely catch the cutest picture of a pup.

Yogi Crystal answered some big questions such as “what fulfills you” and “what’s your greatest fear”.

Jennifer from Yoga Life Way makes peace with God via Lieutenant Dan and shares some of the awesome posts she’s been writing for the Elephant Journal.

f you want an excellent personal story about one of the many yoga dramas going around you’ll want to read Tree of Yoga’s Satya and Yoga Scandals blog post.

Zoie wrote a beautiful letter to her kids and shared a post she wrote for the Family Size Blog Carnival.

Over at Think Body Electric you can read about Kripalu’s scandal a few years back and how it made the community stronger than ever.

Sheri blogged about how she took her yoga off the mat while Yoga Betty decided to incorporate the sutras more into her life and taught us how to revolve our hearts.

Catch some inspiring daily affirmations on Andrea’s blog and have a girl’s night out with Beth (not forgetting to send out some valentine’s day card while you’re at it!)

Kendall, busy as ever, blogged about finding her teaching grove, missing her running routine, her thoughts on Madonna, and some tips for the Super Bowl.

Flissy reminded us that you can’t cheat your practice.

I loved this post on grounding in times of uncertainty from Nourishing Origins. This quote really stood out “The only way to truly find the answers we seek is to allow the space to open for them in our minds”.

Heather wrote about yoga prayers and her renewed faith and Faern discussed how to work with the void in our lives

At Everyday Yoga you learn how to be a better person (who doesn’t want that right!)

The Curious World of L is moving!!!

Discover the small but amazing wonders of this life with Grace at Graceful Simplicity.

Dance and drum your way through life with Flowtation Devices.

Thais wrote about her love for physical asana, as long as it doesn’t take away from the true intention of yoga and asked the question of how to become spiritual.

Read Amanda’s review of The Professor’s Assassin by Matthew Pearl and read The Capricious Yogi’s guest post on Yoganonymous about Letting Go.

Catch a short but powerful blurb on breathing over at the Blissful Yogi and Bee shared her love for Juil as well as how to tame the inner critic.

We have three fabulous new additions this week! Please welcome Danielle from Body Divine Yoga, Sarah from The Search of Ananda and Farida over at Yoga in All Things. We currently have 66 members and growing!

One thing last, if you haven’t noticed we’ve been trying to make YIOM more accessible for you. Not only do we have a facebook page and a twitter account, but we also set it up so you can receive our weekly reviews right to your inbox! Just add your email address to our subscribe box on the right and make sure you confirm and voila! YIOM comes to you!

~Teeg

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