For many of us, this asana possesses a deep physical and psychological memory of our time as infants. The shape of the pose is useful for many reasons, but in particular, it forces you to confront your attitudes and patterns of breathing, the health of your organs, and your level of awareness in moving from the abdomen. It can be very simple pose physically, yet it requires patience and the ability to surrender to gravity and a state of non-doing.
You've probably heard or experienced that doing full boat pose builds abdomen strength – It’s a muscular intensity that can be felt immediately. But in yoga, the "core" refers to more than just abdominal muscles. This practice of fiery engagement and discipline leads you on an inward journey from the periphery of your body to the core of your being.
Spiritual traditions associate and activate pineal gland by awakening the third eye of inner vision, insight, and wisdom. In Daoist practices, the region of the brain bounded by the pineal, the pituitary, and hypothalamus are referred to as the glands of higher consciousness.
In some people’s minds, the words meaningful and work have little, if any, connection. Our culture has become such that we are encouraged to choose a career based on its ability to provide security and financial stability rather than an opportunity for alignment with our passions and dreams. The prospect of finding fulfilling work is believed to be relegated to the lucky few born with extraordinary talent, wealth or an unusual drive to succeed.
Creating an altar is a sacred way to call spiritual energies into your home. It reinforces your intention to invite more peace, serenity, and love into your space. It can be used for prayer, meditation, chanting, or just a place of sheer beauty and connection to the Divine.
I think the greatest way my yoga has changed over the years is that I put far fewer conditions on what I need to do it. In the beginning, I needed a studio, no less than 60 minutes, heat, a mat, music, a hard surface, water, blah, blah, blah.
Empaths experience the world around them through the precious art of feeling. Because an empath’s experiences are felt at such a high level, there’s a low threshold for various kinds of stimulation. For instance, the necessity for alone time; sensitivity to light, sound, smell, or an aversion to large groups of people for a long period of time.
In nearly every translation of Yoga Sutra II.42, Santosha is interpreted as the greatest happiness, the underlying joy that cannot be shaken by life's tough moments, by injustice, hardship, bad luck. Contentment is really about accepting life as it is, it's not about creating perfection. Life offers whatever it will to you, and you ultimately have little control. Be welcoming of what you get.
There’s no denying it, change can be scary. But employing Tapas can help facilitate growth and deter the resistance that may arise. The reality is, you can’t stop yourself from changing. You are continually transforming, moment to moment, day to day, no matter what you do. Change is inevitable. Once you accept this truth, perhaps the bigger questions are: Why should you change? What should you change? When should you change? And how should you change?
Think of a mantra as a mental instrument that fine-tunes your yoga practice. Incorporating mantras into practice can help to make it sacred and take it out of the realm of the physical and into a higher state of awareness. Cultivating a sonic presence can be liberating in a way, as you experience the numinous nature of the sound. It is said that each chakra has a particular vibration and certain mantras can resonate and harmonize that energy. The incorporation of mantras unites sound, body, and mind in a deeply philosophical experience.
The practice of Drishti is a gazing technique that develops concentration—and teaches you to see the world as it really is. We are predominantly visual Beings and where our eyes are directed, our attention follows. Our attention is the most valuable thing we have, and the visible world can be an addictive, overstimulating, and spiritually debilitating lure.
Negative ions may sound like something unhealthy, but in fact, recent studies suggest breathing in air that is rich in negative ions can have a very positive effect on one’s physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
As sensitive Beings, we must learn how to balance the overloading of the senses. This begins with paying attention to what, when, and where we may feel overwhelmed or agitated. This can involve sensitivity to noise, light, sound, and other’s energies.
From opening the body to stabilizing a pose, there are many ways the wall can assist you in your yoga practice. Discover ways to modify, deepen, and explore various poses with this prop everyone has at home: your wall!
It’s common that yoga practitioners share a specific attitude toward the usage of props – particularly those who are well-seasoned practitioners. There’s a misconception of props being a sign of weakness or the inability to perform the "full pose." But this couldn’t be farther from the truth! Yoga props actually strengthen and progress one’s practice, no matter what level they may be.
Lavender is a popular essential oil because of its many benefits. It may help soothe your symptoms during allergy season thanks to its ability to calm and reduce inflammation. One study concluded that the essential oil prevents allergic inflammation as well as the enlargement of mucous cells.
As signs of springtime—renewal, warmth, and expansion—emerge, you may still feel worn out from battling budding allergies, rather than energized and ready for the new season. But adopting these simple holistic practices for balancing, purifying, and rejuvenating the body and mind can help you fully prepare for and enjoy the dynamism of spring.
You may have chanted Sat Nam, one the most commonly used mantras in Kundalini Yoga, without realizing its profound meaning and transformative properties. Sat means truth and Nam means name. Together, Sat Nam essentially translates into something deeper: “I am truth,” or “Truth is my essence.”
Although the thoracic spine doesn’t get much attention, it’s literally the backbone of your lungs and heart, surrounded by your rib cage, which protects these vital organs. Of the spine’s 70 joints, 50 percent are in the thoracic spine. If you factor in the additional 20 specialty joints (called the costotransverse joints) that help your ribs articulate and move, you’ll quickly understand that your thoracic spine is a workhorse responsible for two-thirds of the movement in your torso—so the odds of something going awry are high.
I’ve reached a point of no return! I have one daughter graduating high school and one graduating eighth grade. My mind has been spinning with these endings and also the new beginnings. It’s a super busy time, but reflecting back I see that every year has been busy.
Finding neutral—or what I call coming home to your body—is a practice of its own. What is your neutral? No matter what part of the body we’re talking about, it’s good to know the answer to this question, so you don’t keep returning to a position that doesn’t serve you or your yoga practice. There are lots of differing opinions about what constitutes a neutral position. Mountain Pose describes a neutral standing position: easily resting upright, stacked up in gravity, and bearing weight on centered, balanced feet. A second neutral position can be easily found in Corpse Pose: lying horizontal, resting out of gravity, and fully supported with your arms open.
Your base emotions can become energy trapped in reactive and protective defensive patterns. Fear, anger, resentment, and all their variations of emotional pain are all base emotions that are reactions to perceived danger, violation or hurt. But within each emotion is a higher emotional state, a non-reactive state, that can respond with love and intelligence to the appropriate circumstances of life.
In the Yoga Sutras, the introduction of Isvara pranidhana: the total surrender to a higher power, no matter what the outcome. The teaching of Isvara pranidhana serves as a remedy for steadying the wavering mind and freeing oneself from agitation and suffering in the face of potential obstacles (for, after all, obstacles are really only obstacles if they agitate you).
In Buddhist and Yogic studies, the concept of non-attachment is a popular one. It is understood that deep attachment to people, outcomes, and objects can cause suffering—as when these things leave, we may experience grief, sorrow, regret, or resentment. So, a common thread woven into the fabric of living a more mindful life is to practice the art of non-attachment. But what about also practicing attachment as well?
Tapas-one of the Niyamas of 8 Limb Path of Yoga—activities that are part of healthy, fulfilling living—is derived from the Sanskrit verb tap, or “to burn.” It refers to the discipline of burning away physical, energetic, or mental impurities.
Named after the moon, the standing balance Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose) invites you to tap into both the calm, balancing the energy of the moon and the fiery force of the sun. In this pose, you discover how the coming together of two opposing energies generates a power that is greater than its separate parts.
In the West, we translate this gesture as a posture of prayer. Because we have grown up with this gesture as part of our culture, each of us probably has our own personal connection to this mudra. The beauty of this gesture, which positions us right at the core of our being, is timeless and universal.
In one sense, generosity is natural: We can no more help giving than we can live without the support of everything we receive. One way to describe the act of generosity is to relate it to the natural elements: the way the earth supports us without ever demanding thanks, the way the sun shines and the rain falls.
There are many reasons why we don't fully receive gifts, favors, and compliments—ranging from feelings of guilt or insecurity ("I don't deserve it") to a sense of entitlement ("I have it coming to me, so what's the big deal?"), a fear that we don't have the wherewithal to reciprocate, or a sneaking suspicion that the gift has hidden strings. Even when we're truly in need, our ego will often resist the discomfort of fully receiving.