Many people have similar transformative experiences in nature after bringing yoga into their lives. One reason for this profound feeling of connection is that we are all made up of the same elements: earth, wind, fire, water, and space. If we pay close enough attention during our yoga practice, we feel these elements in our own body. We feel the moisture in our mouth and eyes; the earthy weight of our skeleton; the wind of our breath moving in, out, and through us; the warm fire of our digestive organs. And finally, when we get quiet enough, we feel the vastness of space within and around us.
Great for beginners, Bridge Pose preps you for bigger backbends and brings you into the present moment. Some days seem to race by without us ever being truly here for them. We dash breathlessly though our jam-packed schedules, and then at night collapse into our beds and wonder where we've been for the past 24 hours. Sure, we may have accomplished a lot, but have we taken even a moment to feel the pleasures of the passing day?
Many of the yamas and niyamas, or ethical guidelines of yoga, seem like no-brainers. We all know we shouldn't try to harm others, lie, or steal. But when it comes to contentment or santosha, I really struggle. I think it's because I was brought up to believe anything is possible if I just work harder, set goals, and never give up. It's an inspirational idea to shoot for the stars, but always striving to accomplish more, have more, and be more can be pretty exhausting and I've noticed it stands in the way of truly appreciating the many blessings I have right now.
You know that moment in yoga class when the world finally seems to slow down and a subtle but palpable inner calm sets in? Distractions fade and worries fall away. The senses heighten, sensation reveals itself, and the breath has room to move and expand. At last—the present moment! You’ve arrived! How nice to have a few moments of calm, yes?
An effective technique to change your relationship to anxiety is to try to cultivate a sense of gratitude for it. Most of the time, anxiety is the result of repressed emotions that need to be released. This can be repressed grief, sadness, anger, or fear (just to name a few) that are now manifesting as anxiety since they have not yet been expressed in their true form.
There’s been a prevalent theme in the year of 2018. And that theme is: The future is female. However, I don't think the future is female. Hear me out... This catchy phrase implies that there's an inherent imbalance between female and male, and such labels and categorizations serve to only further divide us. This is not the answer.
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.