From easing low back pain to improving digestion, twists are incredibly beneficial. Here’s how to deepen any twist by using a prop you definitely have at home. When you think of using the wall in your asana practice, it’s probably to help with inversions by kicking or crawling up the wall or to rest your legs in the supremely relaxing legs-up-the-wall-pose. Yet a wall can do so much more, like help deepen many other yogic postures as well as provide feedback on muscle activation that can eventually help you practice those same postures without the support of a wall.
The Gunas are three basic energetic qualities that run through everything in the natural world—including us. They have a powerful effect on your moods, your feelings, and your actions. Once you become conscious of the Gunas, you'll start to notice how everything you experience has the quality of one of these three energies—or, more typically, two of them in combination.
As children, we remember that first painful encounter with separation when our mother initially leaves us. The wailing tantrum ensues and no one else can suffice to soothe our aching hearts. We feel the primal urge for connection. This primordial longing to be held, cuddled, and embraced is universal to all. We search and search to be nourished, mothered, and appreciated on some level. This innate yearning is at the heart of Goddess Parvati’s story. Parvati’s pure determination to reunite with Shiva is not only our longing to merge with a partner, but our desire to reunite with Spirit.
2019 is the year of partnering with Angelic Holy Ones of the Spiritual realm. For lifetimes the collective mind has been perceiving the Spiritual realm as separate. This has caused much suffering for humans and our planet. We are now being guided to connect the dots by partnering up the earth realm with the spirit realm. In reality, these worlds are not and never have been separate, it was just the mind that made them separate.
Despite the growing acceptance, how crystals actually work is a little fuzzy. The basic idea behind crystal healing is that crystals carry certain energies that can positively impact our own. Similar to magnets, crystals and gems use energy to attract or repel. When you place certain stones over certain parts of your body, they interact with your individual energy fields, also known as chakras. Your energy transforms, vibrates, pulses, moves, and shifts in accordance with the properties and energetic signature of the crystal.
Color is felt, interpreted, and experienced. Color is part of our emotional and psychological landscape. Color, along with light, has powerfully healing properties that have been embraced for centuries.vCultures such as the Anasazi of the American Southwest built their great kivas to align the spirit with a single ray of sunlight; the Chinese art known as Feng Shui, utilizes various energies, including color, to harmonize people with their environments. And the Egyptian word for color, “Iwn”, translates into “human character” or “personality.”
During this time of the year, where the days are short, and the darkness reigns, we take time to turn inward and become more introspective. Honoring the natural cycles and rhythm of the earth is innate. Going along with the earth’s natural rhythms is what many creatures this time of year do, as animals fatten up and hibernate during the long winter months, with the deep inner knowing of the return of life and light on the other side of the darkness.
Research is revealing that compassion is so much more than just a kind reaction to others’ suffering. It’s also an essential skill, one that can be improved over time to transform your life and increase your happiness.
How much precious time are you spending on your smart device(s) and why? I asked myself this question recently and it resulted in an answer that raised my eyebrows. Consequently, I have been reassessing my own relationship to technology as well as the collective’s challenge with what I consider as a digital form of escapism. Before we relinquish our presence in order to indulge the impulse of checking, tapping, clicking, scrolling, or posting, we need to start asking ourselves: What is happening right here, right now, inside me and outside me? What’s arising that makes me want to distract myself?
From your belly, place fingertips over your head, a little wider than your shoulders. Keeping your head neutral, lift your elbows towards the sky. Lengthen your side body from hips to armpits. Soften the heart and pull the arm bones into the sockets. Curl shoulder blades down the back and into your heart.
The range of mobility in yoga can be a wide spectrum. From those who have yet to touch their toes to those who innately slip into the splits with great ease. Those who are on the inflexible side of the spectrum tend to be acutely aware of their physical boundaries when engaging in asana: their bodies are constantly speaking to them on a louder volume than most.
It’s often during the busiest times of years that we place ourselves last and routines of self-care fall by the wayside. During the holiday season, the best way to navigate the murky territory of identity, emotion, and stress is to maintain a regular practice, both on and off the mat. And a great place to start is to study the Yamas —the social restraints that ask yogis to avoid violence, lying, stealing, wasting energy, and possessiveness. (The five Niyamas, known as the guidelines for self-discipline, ask us to embrace cleanliness and contentment, purify ourselves through heat, continually study and observe our habits, and surrender to something greater than ourselves.
Yoga practitioners are uniquely prepared for activism. (And non-yogi activists could benefit from the practice, too!) The simple integration of breath and movement for mental, physical, and spiritual health establishes an optimal foundation for moving through political turbulence with hope, peace, and strength. And activism is a natural extension of yoga. Often defined as “union,” yoga is the uniting of body and breath, mind and spirit in asana practice. When we are mindful off the mat, we unite our consciousness with our actions. This is referred to as Karma Yoga.
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.