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Yogagaia tells the story of the universe

Summer 2006

by Tresca Weinstein

How did the universe begin? There are many answers to that question. The Big Bang theory. The Chinese diety Pan Ku, who hatched from a cosmic egg. The Judeo-Christian God, who in the beginning created the heavens and the earth.

With a practice she calls Yogagaia, KYTA member Hasita Agathe Nadai fuses movement and music with the story of how the universe came into being—a story told by science and informed by spirit. Drawing on her background as a biologist, geologist, and yoga teacher and practitioner, Hasita has developed a series of slow movements, a form of yogic meditation, that are carefully coordinated with her text. She will lead a community session on Yogagaia during the KYTA Conference, October 19 to 22.

"It's almost like a shamanic or healing ritual," she says of the practice. "It wakes up memories in ourselves of our ancestors and of our wholeness. The message is: It is a miracle that we are here."

For Hasita, that's true in more ways than one. Born in Vienna, Austria, she fled to Italy with her family as World War II approached; she also lived in Croatia, Yugoslavia, and Hungary. At age 21, she came to the United States, where she studied cell physiology at Columbia University and later married and raised a family. At age 50, she went back to school for a master's degree in geology, and in 1994 earned her Kripalu Yoga teacher certification.

"Yoga is a wonderful avenue because yoga's intention is to bring us to inner emptiness, to let go of our old stories and embrace the new ones through our body, because the body remembers," she says. Yogagaia, she explains, encourages us to tune in at the cellular level to our deep connection to the earth and the universe—and when we truly experience that oneness, we find ourselves living the principles of ahimsa.

"We have reached a point where we can choose to inflict irreversible damage to this planet, or we can choose to live in harmony with it and respect the rights of all the other beings that live here," Hasita says. "When we become aware that the story is ours, that the trees, the galaxies, the stars, and our bodies are all made of the same stuff, we realize we are not simply a collection of objects. We are a community, a sangha."

For more information about Hasita and Yogagaia, visit

Complete list of articles by this author:

The 1999 KYTA Conference Fosters Excitement and Growth

KYTA's Teaching for Diversity Program

Scenes from a Conference: More than 300 teachers attend KYTA Conference 2000

Snapshots from KYTA Conference 2001

Bindu Source Johnson shares her experience

Coverage of the 2002 KYTA Conference, Oct. 24-27

Tides Foundation awards KYTA $50,000 for yoga teachers serving diverse populations

Yoga on Tape: Reviews of yoga products created by KYTA members

Yoga on Disc and Tape

KYTA Conference 2003 in words and pictures

KYTA Conference 2004

Yoga on Disc

Kripalu implements new approach to program assisting

Complete guide to Kripalu Yoga hits the shelves

Coverage of KYTA Conference 2005

Enhancing your teaching with yoga's sister science: Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist training begins in January

A sneak peek at KYTA's 2006 Yoga Teachers Conference

Yoga on Disc

Green warriors: Laura Cornell's Green Yoga Association blends yoga and ecology

Yogagaia tells the story of the universe

The yoga of laughter: Keni Fine's Sleeping Swami brings giggles and guidance to the world

Yoga on Disc: Reviews of new yoga products created by KYTA members

Changing the world in memory of a daughter: The Rachel Greene Memorial Fund

Yoga on Disc: Reviews of new yoga CDs from our members

Yoga on Disc: Reviews of CDs by KYTA Conference 2007 presenters and entertainers

Reigniting the flame: KYTA Conference 2007

New member discounts are here! Save every time you visit Kripalu

Flow states: Questions for Ed Harrold

Yoga on Disc

Yoga on Disc, Tape, and Paper

Yoga Ed. trainer awarded $150,000 grant to bring yoga to Pittsburgh public schools

Yoga Everywhere: Spotlighting our Teaching for Diversity grant recipients

Yoga on Disc and on the Page

Green Yoga Association takes new form

Yoga on Disc and on the Page: Reviews of recently released products

Yoga and the Imagination: A Q&A with Randal Williams

Yoga on Disc and on the Page

How we got to the KYTA Conference, and what we found there

Yoga Everywhere: A column spotlighting our Teaching for Diversity grant recipients

Yoga on Disc

Profile of a Cross Trainer

Seva CD 2008: The Soundtrack of Kripalu

Restorative Yoga: The Yoga of Meditation

News from the Professional Trainings Office

Deep Green Yoga

Yoga on Disc and on the Page

The State of the Training

Yoga + Ayurveda: The Perfect Formula for Balance

Edi Pasalis and the Institute for Extraordinary Living pioneer a standardized Kripalu curriculum.

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