Men’s Yoga – November Update

Some Housekeeping and Good News!

First, I’ve mentioned this after some classes, but it bares repeating. This year marks the first summer where classes haven’t dropped off. There is now a large enough group of guys that even if the most regular can’t make it, we’ll still have 4-5 guys on Mondays. Senior Men has a smaller group, but is very committed. I appreciate all of you, those who’ve been with me since the beginning and those who have joined recently.

Second, we will have class Monday evening on Veterans Day, FOF is open. And, we will have class as usual the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. If you haven’t been for a while, we’d love to see you! Men’s Yoga – Mondays at 5:30pm and Senior Men’s Yoga – Wednesdays at 2:30pm.

The Gospel of the ToltecsToltec Traditions

As you know, I’ve been reading deeper into Totlec traditions. I enjoyed Don Miguel Ruiz’s popular book The Four Agreements and am familiar with the authors related to Carlos Castaneda. But I wanted more background on the origin of the Toltec concept of intent.

One of the books I tracked down and have been reading from in class is The Gospel of the Toltecs. I’ve reviewed it here.

I find that the Toltec philosophy of intent parallels the Yogic focus of concentration. One of my favorite passages from the book: “Do not allow the scattered ashes and the crossroads to give you orders.” In other words, do not allow a past failure or the simple presence of a new choice to distract you. We clear away the clutter to attain the correct perspective. It’s often easier to talk about these concepts than to effect change. But that is why we practice!

Paul Grilley

Paul Grilley with friend.

Paul Grilley on Anatomy

I first came across Paul Grilley at Kripalu, where I got my certification. They used a section from his video Anatomy for Yoga during our training. Grilley is committed to helping people understand how their body works and why forcing the body into an “ideal” of the pose can cause injury. His contention is that we don’t often allow for skeletal variation and misunderstand tension and compression as expressed in poses.

Grilley recently responded to an article written by William Broad who has been examining injuries from Yoga both to Men and Women for several years. Broad has been criticized for generalizations and inaccuracies. However, I like how Grilley drills down simply in his response.

As Yoga instructors, we often say “listen to your body” or “back off as needed.” But this explains why pushing will actually do more harm than good, if we’re working against what the body can do.

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The Gospel of the Toltecs

bk_gospeltoltecThe Gospel of the Toltecs
The Life and Teachings of Quetzalcoatl
by Frank Diaz, Bear & Company, 2002

Ce Acatl Toplatzin is the human incarnation of the Toltec deity Quetzalcoatl.  His story contains many familiar themes: he’s chosen for leadership at an early age; he trains for and fulfills his duties becoming the leader he is destined to be.  He becomes careless, leaving room for his adversaries to undermine his authority, eventually contributing to his downfall.

In his fall from grace he leaves the Toltec homeland, Tula and wanders.  Eventually he finds a new home, and a new people; disciples hear his words and practice his teachings, until the time where he makes the choice to leave his human form.  He descends first to the underworld before rising to the heavens.  After four years he returns in human form.   This is the story of Quetzalcoatl laid out in the “The Gospel of the Toltecs, The Life and Teachings of Quetzalcoatl,” by Frank Diaz. Continue reading