Raja / Laya Yoga
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Advocacy for Overcoming Difficulty
~Chan Master Cheng Yen

  • Face It.
    Look difficulties in the face instead of deceiving yourself by burying your head in the sand.
  • Accept It.
    Accept the facts of difficulties instead of blaming fate or other people.
  • Deal With It.
    Handle things with wisdom, and treat people with kindness and compassion.
  • Let It Go.
    As long as you have done your best it is not necessary to worry about gain or loss, success or failure.
3 Hour Workshop
Sunday 11/13/22
9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Vestavia Hills Library - Treehouse
1221 Mtgy Hwy, 35216
Fee: $30.00 per
Preregister: 205-307-9490

Yoga Asks: Who Am I? (Koham?)
Swami Vishnu Devananda once began a lecture by asking the question Who am I? This is the timeless question of Jnana Yoga pursued in the practice of Atma Vichara ... Self Inquiry. A common method used in Self Inquiry is neti-neti ... "Not this, not that." On the surface neti-neti appears to be a process of negation, but it is a positive inquiry re: the nature of the unconditioned Self (Atman).

I am That. (Ahamsa.)
This workshop pursues a peek at the unconditioned Self using a simple, direct, immediately-accessible exercise. Before settling into its analytical exercise we will use natural movement and coordinated breathing to remove unwanted tensions and prepare for the breathing and relaxation exercises which follow. After thus preparing body and mind we will pursue the Self using neti-neti.

I am who I am. I am what I am.
I will become what I choose to become.
Before closing we will look ahead to possible futures ... training ... who we want to be. Focusing on health and energy cultivation we will use natural methods of Chinese/Tibetan Qigong (coiling, twisting, rocking, range-of-motion, and walking exercises), and Kundalini Tantra … following the formula of Patanjali's yoga. Emphasis on Samyama: Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation), and Samadhi (advanced meditation).
Yoga is meditation. ~Swami Satchidananda

Schedule  Activity
AM 09:30  Physical Culture (Waidan Qigong)
10:00  Break
10:10  Energy Culture (Pranayama / Qigong)
10:30  Silent Break
10:40  Mind/Body Culture (Pratyahara / Fang Song Gong)
11:10  Silent Break
11:20  Mind Culture: Self Inquiry (Atma Vichara / Neti-Neti)
12:00  Q&A
PM 12:20  Future Training Opportunities
12:30  Closure

You are what you is. ~Frank Zappa

4 week course excerpt
Days: 2020 March, Thursdays
Time: TBD
Fees: Free (OLLI)
Self-management is a cultivated skill. It is the foundation of self mastery and peak performance. Pursuing the self-managed lifestyle we leverage strategies which combined enable us to achieve more in life. By applying these strategies we improve our resolve and capacity in coping with the (di)stresses of life. We can improve our ability to manage stress using simple, consistently-applied self management strategies. It's a be all that you can be thing.

The goals of this training are practical and measurable. Positive motivation and positive action are integral to all of its strategies. The strategies are simple, easy behaviors which you can include in managing your self for the sake of general health. Regular practice can increase your resilience to contemporary stressors and decrease your susceptibility to stress-related disorders. With positive motivation it becomes the pursuit of peak performance.

Promote a self-managed lifestyle based on 'normalizing techniques' integrated from classic Indian, Chinese, Tibetan, and Western biobehavioral science. Your training will include a foundation of simple graduated breathing and relaxation practices to calm and steady body and mind and to support your success in applying higher-order methods. Each week’s practice builds progressively on the previous. Practice daily to take full advantage of natural mind/body mechanisms for learning and conditioning. Discipline pays. Note: This course also prepares you for success in the rest of our Classic Meditation curriculum.

Topics and methods include ... The Mechanics of Self Management
  • Nature of (di)stress, its causes, effects, and effective management
  • Relationships between stress, emotion, motivation, behavior, and health outcomes
  • Stress-management as self management for peak performance
  • Promoting and maintaining effective self management
  • Graduated breathing and relaxation training
  • Manage time; nutrition; exercise and recreation; rest and relaxation; sleep
  • Communication and relationships
  • Cultivating rational thought; Reduce irrational worry
6 week course
Days: TBA
Time: TBA
Fee: $60.00
Qigong (Chee-Gong) in simple translation means Energy Work. Qigong typically involves relaxed coordination of attention, breathing, and focussed movement. There are many types of qigong exercise. This is Chinese-Tibetan qigong for general health and qigong for joint health.

Learn simple relaxed natural coiling/twisting, rotating, bending, stretching, rocking, undulating (wavelike), and walking exercises (walking from Taiji Qigong) … all performed in an unhurried pace. All sessions include Standing Contemplation and the mind/body practices of Inner Strength and Inner Smile. Later sessions will include use of the 4 foot staff.

Note: Excessive stress adversely impacts health causing increased anxiety, mood disorders, and impairments in every organ system. Qigong can reduce perceived stress and anxiety. Also, many adults with chronic arthritis who practice qigong can expect to reduce pain and depression and improve their quality of life (NIH Research). Practice daily. Discipline pays. Note: This course is a supportive ‘elective’ for those entering our Classic Meditation curriculum.

Topics and methods include ...
  • Posture and alignment
  • Diaphragmatic breathing
  • Relaxation (Song; Fang Song Gong)
  • Vital energy experience and cultivation
  • Standing contemplation and warmup
  • 3D spatial organization (planes, quadrants, sectors)
  • Intention, attention and effects
  • Tao  Samkhya Yoga


Promoting positive coping, health, self mastery, and peak performance. Available only at the Vestavia Hills Civic Center. The most comprehensive training of its type in this region. Follow the plan . . .

The Mechanics of Self Management

Jivana Vidhana (Core)

This is the foundation core course, also presented as Stress Management. Includes advice re: nutrition, exercise, rest, coping, etc.

Six 90 minute sessions

The Mechanics of Concentration & Motivation

Dharana (Core)

A simple, direct progression of exercises using natural cognitive mechanisms to familiarize, steady, and exercise the mind.

Six 90 minute sessions

The Mechanics of Meditation 1: Composure (Calm, Tranquility)

Shamatha (Core)

This is concentrative meditation leading to calming of the mind and body. It can be pursued to completion or as preparation.

Four 90 minute sessions

The Mechanics of Meditation 2: Contemplation (Clear, Insight)

Vipashyana (Elective)

This is contemplative meditation leading to insight into primal facts of reality. Uses four universal themes for contemplation.

Four 90 minute sessions

Energy Cultivation

Energy/kundalini cultivation is elective. Except for Health Qigong the 3 core courses are prerequisites for all of these practices.


Other electives may provide further enrichment, e.g., structured work on critical thinking, emotions, and positive motivation.

Individualized Training

Due to individual differences, some studies are best approached and paced as solo training, e.g., complete autogenic training.


Documenting (tracking) progress provides subjective and/or objective measures of development. It is also a basis for research.


Member Photo
Swami Kālánāthá (Kaal)

aka Amitabha Lokeshvara
(Losel Shedrup Ling)


The product of 50 years of training, study, practice, and teaching experience, this curriculum presents classic disciplines tempered by modern science ... it is structured and straightforward in pursuing specific, measurable results. In addition to doctoral studies in medical, biobehavioral, and other disciplines (computer and information science), influences include direct instruction and advising from these notable and accomplished masters...
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Primary Instructor

Whatever you doing,
you being business.

Lin Wai-Li (Willy Lin) Shih-Fu
Great-Grandmaster, Tian Shan Pai
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Guru Diksha, Shaktipat

This is the business plane.

Swami Vishnudevananda
Classic Yoga Vedanta
Integral Yoga Ashtanga
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Swami Satchidananda
Classic Yoga Vedanta
Integral Yoga Ashtanga
Member Photo

Your development is sahaaj,
natural, like a wave.

Swami Veda Bharati
Classic Himalayan Yoga
(Swami Rama)
  • Knowing that insight arises from tranquility and clears the [distortions] of the mind, one should first achieve tranquility.
  • Without tranquility, insight distracts [the] mind toward objects, rendering it unstable ... and hindering it from attaining a clear perception of original awareness. One should therefore work toward attaining a balance of the two.
  • Failing to prepare ... is preparing to fail.
    Benjamin Franklin
    Founding Fathers of the United States
  • The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic who would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.
    Kong Fuzi
    Master Kong (Confucius)
  • Good luck is when preparation meets opportunity.
    Bad luck is when lack of preparation meets adversity.
    Ignatius Piazza
    Front Sight Founder and Director
  • If your heads are not on straight
    you can neither record nor playback correctly.
    Swami Satchidananda
    Himalayan Master
  • To learn and to practice what is learned time and again is pleasure,
    is it not?
    Kong Fuzi
    Master Kong (Confucius)
  • You really do not need to know many things,
    but you definitely need to practice what you know.
    Swami Rama
    Himalayan Master
  • It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.
    Kong Fuzi
    Master Kong (Confucius)
  • Have a definite purpose. Be determined. Be sincere. Be serious. Understand clearly and definitely what you are really aspiring for.
    Swami Sivananda
    Himalayan Master
  • We can evade reality,
    but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality.
    Ayn Rand
    Russian-American novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and philosopher
  • When resting in safety, do not forget that danger may come.
    When in a state of security, do not forget the possibility of ruin.
    When all is orderly, do not forget that disorder may come.
    Thus [your] person is not endangered,
    and [your] States and all their families are preserved.
    Kong Fuzi
    Master Kong (Confucius)
  • By three methods we may learn wisdom ...
    First, by reflection, which is noblest;
    Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and
    Third, by experience, which is the bitterest.
    Kong Fuzi
    Master Kong (Confucius)
  • The enlightened ruler is heedful, and the good general full of caution.
    Master Sun (Sun Tze)
  • Sometimes it is just as easy to make a friend as it is to make an enemy.
    Master Kong (Kong Fuzi ["Confucius"])
  • If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more,
    do more and become more, you are a leader.
    John Quincy Adams
    Founding Fathers of America