Friday, December 28, 2007

Warrior - Healer - Shaman - Mystic - Sage

Warrior – Healer – Shaman – Mystic – Sage

At this moment in time we are less than five years from the winter solstice of 2012. Whatever your beliefs on the manner in which this Great Cycle comes to an end, it is safe to say that change is upon us. And while many would say that the shadows are growing darker, an optimist would answer that is because the light that casts them is growing brighter. A Taoist sage would smile and breathe in the present moment…for absolute reality is vastly different from what is real. And, of course, we have learned to obfuscate reality so well through technology and the media that it is no longer possible to definitively determine what is real anyway.

In the real world of business, politics, and sports 2008 is not looking too good. In the Mayan Cycle of 13 tuns that began in 1999, this year we reach the midnight hour or 5th night.

These times are like dynamite in a head-on with history, some fool’s gonna burn it all down, don’t care about you ‘n me. --- Alanah Myles

In times like these, wise men and women band together. It is not new. Along any journey it is useful to band together with like-minded people when traveling through difficult terrain. Sharing knowledge and skills is vital for survival. But now it is even more important. We are beginning to remember what we have always known…we are inseparable from the laws of nature and the laws of the cosmos…and what goes around, comes all the way back around.

In banding together each person imparts their wisdom like a piece of a great puzzle, which, when completed, creates a map showing the path forward. It is time for those who understand the difference between; knowing the path and walking the path, to walk it together.

This Earth is not much longer going to be content as humanity’s captive. It is time for us to vibrate on a higher level, to connect with the divine that exists within us all. It is time for the warriors, the healers, the shaman, the mystics, and the sages to recognize and accept their role in the present moment.

In peace,
Aaron Hoopes

Zen Yoga
Breathe - Move - Relax

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I Asked for Strength

I asked for strength, I was given difficulties to make me strong.

I asked for wisdom, I was given problems to solve.

I asked for courage, I was given obstacles to overcome.

I asked for favors, I was given opportunities.

I asked for love, I was given people who need love.

I received nothing I thought I wanted and everything I needed.

Live each moment without fear.

Confront the difficulties, problems and obstacles before you and you will overcome them.

Recognize opportunities and you shall learn to learn from everything.

Love yourself, and others will love you.

And always…remember to breathe.

---Aaron Hoopes

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Desiderada

I think it is a good time to post this. The author is unknown, however the wisdom of these words is timeless. -zin

The Desiderada

"Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant;
They too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
It is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
Many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the council of the years,
Gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a healthy discipline,
Be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here,
and whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God,
Whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy."

Monday, December 3, 2007

Peaceful Holiday

I hope this holiday season finds you happy, healthy and peaceful.

However, more often than not the holidays can stir up quite a lot of stress. When we combine this with the general unease that seems to pervade the world at the moment, it breeds difficulty and uncertainty into our daily life. And while many are caught up in the distractions that appear to be growing louder and more insistent, a lot of people are truly ready for some sort of shift in awareness that will change the dynamics of this situation.

In truth there is no other place to look than within ourselves. We are only going to find the way forward by turning inwards and getting our own house in order.

This holiday season let’s all try to be a little more forgiving and humble in our thoughts and actions. We always have a choice as to how we react in any given situation. Everyone has felt the energy change when an angry person walks into a room. Everyone gets a little on edge. Remember…this dynamic works both ways. If we can find a calm center within ourselves then we give others a reference point to find calmness within themselves. The holidays really need to be about cultivating peace and harmony in the world. Finding faults in others or laying blame for things elsewhere simply creates friction and unease.

I wish you happiness, health and peace for this holiday season.

and as always…Remember to Breathe!

Aaron Hoopes – 12/03/07

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Zen Yoga tour continues...

It was great to meet everyone at the Zen Yoga workshop at the headquarters of the World Traditional Karate Organization (WTKO) in New York City. Chief Instructor Richard Amos has really put together a great space for training.

After the workshop we moved on to the East West Bookstore in Manhattan for a lecture and book signing. Thanks to all who attended.

Next up is Odyssey Books in South Hadley, MA on November 29th and then Barrington Books in Barrington, RI on December 1st.

All details are on the website -

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

5 Tips to De-stress for the Holidays

At the risk of sounding a little simplistic I wanted to put together these five tips to de-stress for the holidays. The holiday season can always be a little stressful. However, this year there seems to be even more uncertainty in the general outlook for the future of our world.

Sometimes it is good to have some basic reminders that can help to keep us grounded. They give us the opportunity to stay present in the moment and enjoy the good feelings the holidays bring. Then we can bring those good feeling with us when we meet others and spread the positive energy.

Tip One:
Remember to Breathe~!

Deep breathing is the simplest thing we can do to help ourselves feel better immediately. It brings more oxygen into the body, energizes the blood stream, helps the muscles grow stronger, and clears the mind. When things get stressful...breathe!

Tip Two:
Shrug your Shoulders

The holidays can bring lots of physical tension to your body. Shrugging the shoulders loosens the tightness that builds up in the upper body. The muscles of the shoulder need to be stimulated to help the circulation bring fresh energy through the area. Besides, it just feels good.

Tip Three:
Circle your Hips

The hips are the center of our being. Keeping things loose and moving in that area allows blood and energy to flow smoothly up to the head and down to the feet. Circling the hips breaks down calcium deposits on the bones and eases tension in the lower back. And while circling your hips may make you feel will definitely make you feel good.

Tip Four:
Shake your Arms and Legs

Tension from stress gets trapped all over the body. Shaking loosens things up. Shaking the legs out and then shake the hands. Feel as if you are covered in water and you want to shake the drops off. Really allow things to be loose and relaxed. Shaking stimulates the circulatory system and assists with energy movement through the body.

Tip Five:
Find a little Peace and Quiet

The holidays are going to be hectic, noisy and stressful. We all know this. If you can give yourself a few moments each day to sit in silence and breathe, you will ground yourself and be able to keep your center when things get crazy. Be smart, give yourself a little time to relax and your holidays will be wonderful!

Have a safe and peaceful holiday season.

Aaron Hoopes
Breathe - Move - Relax

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Breathing Energy

The human body's natural state is one of health. If you have the ability able to give your body what it requires to remains healthy…it remains healthy. At the most basic level, your body requires water, food, and oxygen. These three provide the energy the body needs to be alive. This energy is called chi in Chinese healing traditions. Chi is the prime moving force both within the human body and in the universe as a whole. Chi is in the essence of the water and food we consume. It is also the power that makes it possible for us to breathe. Chi is not simply "energy," it is what gives energy the power to be energy. Chi is the power behind movement and thought. It is everywhere. It is in the oxygen we breathe and the blood that flows through us.
The ancient Chinese believed chi flowed through the body along sacred channels called "meridians," just as blood flows through arteries and veins. Traditional Chinese medicine considers blockage of chi, or even the incorrect movement of chi through the body, as the cause of both mental and physical disease. People with strong chi have a healthy and youthful appearance, a strong immune system, and are full of energy, while people with weak chi appear frail and haggard, tire quickly, and fall ill often.
When we breathe we take in oxygen but we also take in chi energy. The more energy within the body, the better it feels. The smoother the energy flows around inside the body, the less difficulty the body encounters. If we can learn to breathe the way the body was designed to breathe then we are able to provide the body with all the chi it needs to be healthy. The better we are breathing, the better we feel. Deep breathing brings chi and oxygen into the body, increasing blood flow, and thus chi flow, within the body.
Breathing energy is a Zen Yoga technique, but it is not new. In Chinese it is known as Qigong (chi kung). In India it is called Pranayama. And while the techniques may differ, the process is the same…it is the practice of breathing with the whole body, of circulating energy within and trading old energy for new.
To breathe energy the breathing is done through the nose. The mouth is closed and the tongue is at the top palate. There are many other methods of breathing. However, with energy breathing we are concerned with retaining the energy and circulating it through the body. Breathing in through the nose takes the energy directly down to the dan tien (just below the navel). The energy flows down, around and up the spine to the crown of the head. By keeping the tongue connected to the roof of the mouth when you exhale the energy is circulated back down to the dan tien as the carbon dioxide is released. If you open your mouth to breathe out the connection is broken and the energy dissipates back to the universe. The next inhalation brings more energy in and you can gradually build up your reserves.
Energy breathing brings awareness to your breathing. When you are aware of your breathing your body processed the energy much more effectively. Most of the time our physical behavior is unconscious, we walk around all day, everyday rarely noticing how our body feels unless there is some obvious pain. Seldom do we consciously think of the body as feeling good. Feeling good shouldn't be just an absence of pain. It should be an invigorated, energetic state where you are comfortable and happy in your body.
Energy breathing is a way to reach that feeling. With practice, your breathing skills with become much better and you will be able to extend that feeling.

Want to learn more?
*new book - Zen Yoga: A Path to Enlightenment through Breathing, Movement and Meditation is now available -

peace always…

Thursday, September 27, 2007


The art of naturopathy is thousands of years old. The ancient Chinese practiced it. Ayurvedic Medicine of India is based on it. There have always been people who understand that healing will occur naturally in the human body, if it is given what it truly needs, the proper diet, pure water, fresh air, sunlight, exercise and rest.

In naturopathy the emphasis is not on finding a disease and killing it, but rather on helping the body establish its own state of good health.

Of course we must recognize that allopathic medical care is, at times, necessary, we need to realize that many accepted allopathic treatments can be harmful.

Allopathic philosophy holds that disease is caused by external agents, chiefly by bacteria and viruses. According to this belief system, a cure will result when these offending agents are eliminated. Also, the allopathic belief also tends to look at the symptom and the disease as one and the same, so that when the symptom has been eliminated, it is presumed that the disease is cured. The Naturopath, however, sees the symptom as nothing more than a signal that something is wrong. In naturopathy, when a symptom alone is eliminated, it is most likely being suppressed. Unless the original cause has been eliminated, the symptom may return later in a chronic form.
Basic Naturopathic Principles:
Do no harm. Naturopaths do not use harmful substances, such as drugs and pharmaceuticals, and do not rely on dangerous procedures, such as surgery.
Recognize the healing power of nature. Naturopaths understand that the body has an innate capacity for self-healing. They are equipped to educate their clients in setting up a proper external and internal environment so that healing will take place.
Find and eliminate the cause of poor health. Naturopaths help their clients evaluate their lifestyles, identify the cause of their health problems, and take corrective action.
Teach Health. Naturopaths teach their clients how to achieve and maintain good health. This empowers their clients and enables them to participate in the process of staying well.
Honor the total person. A person is never simply a headache, or a back ache, or a sore throat. Unless there has been an injury, seldom does any problems occur in isolation. Naturopaths understand that people are physical, mental, and spiritual beings, and that one "dis-ease" affects all areas of life.
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