Your Brain on Yoga

adorando el solWe are blessed with brains that are both practical and mysterious. Although science has thoroughly studied this amazing organ, there are numerous discoveries yet to be uncovered. No wonder it is so well protected and sits up so high!

These last few weeks I have been exploring what I will call mind yoga. The concept of which is cultivated through energy alignment, pranayama and meditation.

In order to truly be aligned, energy should be generated at all levels of the chakric system – from the muladhara or root chakra all the way up to the sahasrara or crown chakra.

In yoga, there are several postures to facilitate and balance these energy centers. Since I have covered most of them in past posts, today I will focus on the uppermost level of the chakric chain.

Continue reading “Your Brain on Yoga”

Support A Steady Yoga Practice: Clear the Channels

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“If you want peace and purity, melt away your coverings…let a streaming beauty flow through you.”   – Rumi

This week we continue our quest to support a steady yoga practice by looking at the second limb of the yoga system called niyamas or observances. There are five niyamas and the first is shaucha or purity.

By observing purity, we endeavor to lift ourselves to a higher, clearer and more peaceful state at all levels: intellectual, verbal and physical.

Below are some of the ways I incorporate the idea of purity into my physical yoga practice: Continue reading “Support A Steady Yoga Practice: Clear the Channels”

Establish A Steady Yoga Practice – Open Your Mind

clear your mind yogaposts“Feel the life force flowing from you and drawing into you from the atmosphere: from the rain, from the sky, from the air around you and the stars and the moon and the sun, and everything that exists that represents energy.”  -Rudi

Our “pillar” this week is to do some “mind clearing.”

Each day, take the following steps for Creating a Dedicated Space: Continue reading “Establish A Steady Yoga Practice – Open Your Mind”

Establish A Steady Yoga Practice – Invite Yourself

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Have you tried time and time again to set up a daily yoga practice? Or, are you a current yoga student or teacher that is looking for a weekly incentive to spark your home practice or class sessions?

Establish A Steady Yoga Practice was designed to promote a lifestyle habit that can affect every aspect of your well being. It is a journey toward fulfillment; a quest to expand the horizon of your awareness. I have researched and spent many years compiling specific aspects of yoga that can be used as pillars of health and well being for body, mind and spirit. I know this sounds kind of like an infomercial but I believe these techniques are the building blocks for a steady, habitual yoga practice. They have helped me to be a successful teacher and have provided me with a more well-rounded personal practice. Suffice to say, I think that the practice of yoga is more than following a video on YouTube. Continue reading “Establish A Steady Yoga Practice – Invite Yourself”

Stay in the Center of the Circle

rays-656583__340It feels as though everything is in a state of flux lately. For me, it started with the solar eclipse last month. I found that particular occasion to be the point when the proverbial line was drawn in the sand. Since then, I have had a perspective change in a precise direction, one which I hope will lead me to a positive transformation. 

For thousands of people, the natural disasters that have occurred over the past few weeks have drastically changed their lives; in ways unfathomable for the rest of us. Loss and devastation to property and whole communities has many people turning away from the places they once called home. 

Yoga teaches it is not what happens to us in life, but what we choose to do about it, that reveals our true nature. On the mat, we use our breath to confront any barriers so that we may flow with ease and comfort. Off the mat, the same is true. We must find coping measures to face our limitations and move onward with grace.

In these changing, and, for some, violent times, we can all persevere by connecting with our centers. Here we will find the heart to move through our challenges and the fortitude to proceed with our lives. Our centeredness will become the anchor that weathers the storms.

When complications arise, I turn to this simple quote by Lao-Tzu:

“Stay in the center of the circle and let all things take their course.”

Although we will still be in action, clearing the debris, rearranging our homes, taking care of loved ones and other inevitable duties, it is the act of acceptance, of surrendering into what “is” that allows us to know that we are exactly in the center of our circle – right where we are supposed to be. This is the place where we can locate our peace.

I would like to pass onto you a portion of Yogananda’s text Inner Peace. As you meditate on it, may it help you to find moments of comfort and clarity in these times of disruption and transformation.

Fix your mind inwardly between the eyebrows on the shoreless lake of peace. Watch the eternal circle of rippling peace around you. The more you watch intently, the more you will feel the wavelets of peace spreading from the eyebrows to the forehead, from the forehead to the heart, and on to every cell in your body. Now the waters of peace are overflowing the banks of your body and inundating the vast territory of your mind. The flood of peace flows over the boundaries of your mind and moves on in infinite directions.

May peace bring balance to your existence and vibrate out to those who would benefit.

 

Tools for Detoxifying

yoga twist detoxThis past week, I completed a wonderful detox diet that I discovered in Yoga Journal several years ago. Because the reference is difficult to locate on the web nowadays and I have had so many requests, I will link it here as I address this week’s subject of detoxification.

Tool #1: Diet

Scott Blossom, practitioner of Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine and yoga has developed an effective and balanced cleansing diet that I have tried numerous times over the years. It was originally presented as part of a Fall Detox program. Since summer is officially winding down, now is the perfect opportunity to share some of his recipes with you.

Continue reading “Tools for Detoxifying”

Meditation: Steps to Being Successful

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Have you ever heard someone say, “I meditate for an hour each day”? You may think to yourself, “Wow! I wish I could do that!” or “Hmm, that sounds boring.” But you’re most likely thinking, “How can they do that?”

Emptying the mind isn’t easy. Attaining a true state of meditation Continue reading “Meditation: Steps to Being Successful”