What’s A Daily Yoga Vitamin?

photo-1534322989717-f57e38ba9120Do you take vitamins each day to keep yourself healthy?

A daily yoga practice can also serve to keep you in tip top shape. Think of it as your Daily Yoga Vitamin – a group of components essential to maintaining your body, mind and spirit. The dosage doesn’t need to be a large one but to be effective it should consist of these six essential ingredients. Continue reading “What’s A Daily Yoga Vitamin?”

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”

What’s Missing from Your Yoga Practice?

Most yoga students begin the practice of yoga to learn and benefit from its physical postures or asana.

It’s the way that I got started. As a former dancer, I was drawn to the slow movements and deep sense of alignment that the poses provided. At that time, I didn’t realize that I was simultaneously tuning into my breath. My first teacher would gently remind the class to inhale and exhale as we stretched and contracted. It felt fluid and natural and my body felt aligned and peaceful at the end of each session. But we didn’t call it pranayama. At the end of class, we took time to close our eyes and sit quietly. We were encouraged to focus on the simple pattern of our breath, the sounds within the space or a specific intention for ourselves. But we didn’t call it meditation. Continue reading “What’s Missing from Your Yoga Practice?”

Balancing Summer’s Heat Through Yoga

Young woman practicing morning meditation in nature at the park. Health lifestyle concept.Any activity in the summer can get strenuous. These are the months when our bodies generate the most heat. To combat the warmer temperatures, we eat refreshing fruits, seek the shadiest spots and relax near the water with a good book. Inherently, we are searching to balance summer’s intensity.

The practice of yoga and ayurveda can also help to alleviate any excess heat that we experience in these months. Continue reading “Balancing Summer’s Heat Through Yoga”

Tips to Stay Disciplined

photo-1510894347713-fc3ed6fdf539As you bring more self-discipline into your practice, you will increase your level of confidence. This “I can do it” attitude leads to greater contentment. Ultimately you will find that when you persevere in your practice (and your life), you feel more balanced, purposeful and joyful. A little work will release your attachments and free up your consciousness for higher realizations.

Just like the daily practice of yoga, the process of writing requires discipline.  As I continue to edit my book, I have found some crucial ways to keep focused. Here are my tips: Continue reading “Tips to Stay Disciplined”

Making a Schedule to Stay On Track

wood-3157395__340“In the beginning, you will have to make room for yoga in your daily life and give it the place it deserves. But after some time, yoga itself will pull you up by the hair and make you do it.” ~ Vanda Scaravelli

The best method I have found for making room for yoga in my life is to reserve specific days for specific tasks. In previous posts, I have remarked on how effective it has been for me to label my yoga days in order to remain faithful to the practice. Since then I have slightly altered the way I incorporate yoga into my schedule as you will see below.  Continue reading “Making a Schedule to Stay On Track”

Creating Space to Be Present at Home

Young woman exercising at home, stretching arms.

To be in this surrounding is to have permission to grow.  I find myself or at least find time for myself here – unbothered, unchallenged and uninhibited.

Whether you are practicing yoga or constructing a piece of writing, establishing a space to hone your craft is essential. The actual location you utilize is insignificant. It could be a formal studio or office, a smaller section within a certain room or even a chair or place on the floor. What is important is that your mind has clear purposeful space for the energy that you will be employing.

My typical day begins here – at my desk.

It sits in my living room with plenty of light and a nice bookshelf behind to access my resources. Normally, Chloé, my Chihuahua, is napping nearby; otherwise I pretty much have the place to myself. Continue reading “Creating Space to Be Present at Home”

How I Became Part of the Whole

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“When I first began to study yoga I thought that samadhi was a trancelike state which would take the practitioner away from everyday consciousness to a better state of being. Over the years, my understanding has changed. Now I think of samadhi as exactly the opposite of a trance. Samadhi is a state of being intensely present without a point of view. In other words, in samadhi you perceive all points of view of reality at once, without focusing on any particular one.” – Judith Lasater

Samadhi is often defined as enlightenment or the highest state of consciousness. In its illusiveness, it is the 8th and final limb of the yogic system. There are many variations and explanations of its meaning – a state of bliss, communion with God, union with the ultimate reality… In the end, I have concluded that it is a most personal experience. You receive your samadhi based on what it is that you most seek…

Here is the story of my enlightenment:

Continue reading “How I Became Part of the Whole”

Migrate Home with Meditation

birds-216827__340“…No matter how far the wild gander flies, at some point it remembers, and migrates back to its home, always at the proper season. In the same way, we as spiritual beings following a spiritual principle must, like the wild gander, remember, and migrate back to our spiritual home…” – Goswami Kriyananda

When I began exploring a meditation practice some years ago, I found it difficult to remain present at first.  Who hasn’t?  Luckily there are a myriad of techniques available for generating awareness. And, through trial and error, it’s possible to discover a method that speaks to you. In the end, a meditation practice should give you energy, enthusiasm, peace and joy.

Today I am introducing what may be the most effective concentration/meditation technique that I have encountered in my training and practice. It frequently helps to remove the attachments and fluctuations from my mind so that I can focus on my breath and generate positive energy.

What is it? Continue reading “Migrate Home with Meditation”