Here are several thoughts from yogis, teachers, and students on the power of yoga to shift the pathways of our entire being.
You may have heard the saying when you enter a yoga class, you should leave your ego at the door. It may sound like a cliche, but there is a lot of truth to the idea behind it. There are numerous obstacles to progress in yoga that ego plays a role in maintaining. Let’s take a look at how the ego interacts with yoga.
The senses play an important part of our yoga practice. Beyond the five senses that everyone knows, there are two more senses, lesser known, that play an important role in yoga. These are proprioception and interoception.
The mention of yoga brings to mind a set of physical exercises with a flavor of India. However, yoga can be much more than a regular workout routine. Yoga may also involve mental and spiritual disciplines to encourage an overall sense of wellbeing.
Yoga affects our body, mind, breath and spirit and each of these affects how we practice yoga. Studying asanas thoroughly brings unity to yoga.
Consciously or not, we each have many tricks for not staying present in the moment. Even at times when we try to be present, such as during yoga class, the mind creates or looks for distractions.
Experienced yogis also know how to cultivate ease; they work with the mind, body and breath to bring about tranquility, even in challenging situations.
Was Sir Isaac Newton a yogi? Maybe not, but Newton’s third law of motion can be a useful concept to apply on your yoga mat.
Many people begin a yoga practice to improve their physical health only to find, after time, that their lives have been enriched in many other ways.
The fifth yoga sutra describes five different modifications of our mental state. All movements of consciousness can be divided into these five fluctuations of the mind. They are correct knowledge, illusion, delusion, sleep and memory.
It becomes necessary to learn how to clear the mind of all clouds, to free it of all useless ballast and debris by dismissing the burden of too much concern with material things.
Instead of searching for information from the outside world, in yoga, we strive to turn our senses inward, even when we are doing active, vigorous poses.
Through yoga, we have the means to explore and awaken our backs, sensing and viewing them from the inside.
Do you use props when you practice yoga? If so, do you think about why you are using them?
It is fine to have a goal in yoga. Almost everyone starts yoga for a specific reason such as losing weight, gaining flexibility or relieving back pain. Being too goal oriented, however, can cause you to miss out on everything else yoga has to offer along the way.
It is easy to think that asanas - yoga poses - belong in specific categories: energizing, strengthening, calming, etc. Practiced the right way, though, an asana can become whatever we need it to be on that particular day.
Listen to your body and learn when to stop. Just be sure that it is actually your body talking, not the false fears and attachments of the mind that create obstacles to progress.
Though most of us know how to correctly spell “asana,” we still have trouble keeping the “I” out of yoga poses – if we can let go of the “I,” and they will also be closer to true, actual yoga.
Regard yoga selfies and the like as a fun thing to do, but remember your best yoga selfie is the one you take from within each time you practice Yoga.
While yoga has many benefits for the body and physical health, calming and quieting the mind is one of the most important things yoga has to offer.
Practiced with mindfulness, yoga becomes a sort of moving meditation.
You may overhear the word Namaste spoken in your yoga studio, around your city, or in some countries you visit around the world. But what exactly does it mean, and where does the word come from?
Many yogis prefer to have music playing in the background. At the same time, some yoga teachers are adamantly opposed to the use of music during yoga. What are the reasons for each approach?
The word ‘yoga’ is derived from ‘yuj’, a Sanskrit verb that means ‘to unite’ (in fact, yoga shares an Indo-European root with the English verb ‘to yoke’). While the practice of yoga today is widely concerned with attaining physical fitness, its original purpose was far higher.
Through yoga, we come to understand and accept our own imbalances and internal contradictions. We merge the body and mind, develop both strength and flexibility, and, though we live in the Western world, we are able to achieve this because of our connection to the East.
Selecting the right yoga props will do much to help you practice at home safely and effectively. Here is an overview of the most useful yoga props.
One of the most thought provoking aspects of yoga is the idea that we can prevent or lessen future pain and suffering.
The effects are incremental, often subtle, but after several months of regular yoga, pausing to take stock might lead to some interesting conclusions.
A look at the origins and history of hatha yoga may be helpful in understanding the variety of ways it is currently used.
How do you keep your mind and body united when doing triangle pose for the thousandth time?