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Samadhi: Why I work to teach you "Nothing"
On March 12, 2013 in
The only time you really turn inside is if you stub your toe, or you get bellyache, or something like that…suddenly then you turn your senses in. So we are not really designed to know what we are made of. But there are electrical impulses that are running through our system. There is electricity and magnetism that goes through us. A thought is a chemical and electrical exchange, but we can’t really see that. We can’t even really see what’s inside of us. We are not designed to do that at all. The truth is, we are actually pretty ignorant of all that is. To develop our inward perception, our insight, to develop the ability to see within and explore the worlds that we are made of and how these energies function through us, we have to learn to quiet the mind. And when the mind is quiet – this is the catch – you are no longer using senses. There is no language for that, it’s all subtle feeling. The ability to do that only happens when your mind is calm.
The best analogy is a lake. When a lake is calm and still, you can look through and see exactly what is at the bottom. Let’s say someone was not being green and they threw a soda can in the lake, and there at the bottom of the lake is this trash, this can. If that lake is choppy, what happens to the soda can? It looks like a red snapper, a big fish. But it’s really a soda can. Because our minds are not still we go through life making snappers out of soda cans. We need to make our minds calm and still so we can perceive things for what they really are. That is called viveka, or the ability to discern real from unreal. The state of a still mind is called Samadhi. It’s pretty simple. But it’s very hard to get to that state when you are not programmed to sit and do nothing for a period of time. But the tools of Tantra and ISHTA, and yoga are unbelievable. They are tools for how to get us back in, to get back to that place where our consciousness can become whole again and not fragmented by thought. And when your consciousness is whole, that’s when you can start to feel and perceiving things in a different way, the way they truly are.
By Alan Finger
South African Tantric and Kriya Yoga Master Alan Finger began studying yoga at the age of 16 with his father Mani Finger and renowned swamis of the past century. Alan and Mani created ISHTA Yoga. ISHTA is an acronym for The Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda, and also translates to “That which resonates with the individual spirit” in Sanskrit. The ISHTA style integrates breath-based flow yoga with alignment, meditation and healing bodywork. Before creating a home for ISHTA, Alan co-founded Yoga Zone, Be Yoga and Yoga Works. Alan has co-authored several books including
Introduction to Yoga
with Al Bingham, and
with Katrina Repka. Alan travels the world to share his teachings. He currently lives and teaches in New York City where he co-owns ISHTA Yoga with his wife, Sarah Finger. Learn more about Alan and Ishta Yoga Studio at
Try the following YogaDownload classes & meditations to connect to stillness:
Gentle Hatha Yoga 4 - Jackie Casal Mahrou
Embrace Your Inner Calm - Channing Grivas
7 Qualities of the Best Yoga Teachers
While there are many ways to be a powerful yoga teacher, here are some common traits of the truly excellent yoga teachers. A teacher loses their power when they become self-absorbed and the solid teachers know this. As teachers we must get over our selves and show up to serve others. We must truly embody and practice yoga to teach yoga authentically. Here are 7 key traits of the best yoga teachers: 1. Presence To be a powerful yoga teacher, we must be focused and present while teaching. How can we inspire our students to show up to the moment if we are distracted? As teachers of yoga we must breathe for and with our students, we must set the rhythm, the energetic tone, and hold strong in presence. 2. Adaptability
7 Tips for a Strong Yoga Teacher Resume
As yoga continues to become more and more popular worldwide, the demand for teachers increases. Even though it can seem the world is full of yoga teachers, yoga continues to grow in popularity and there are always newcomers to the practice who need help and guidance if they are to improve their yoga practice or begin one. That means there's plenty of opportunities for you to get out there and get work as a yoga teacher! You may be the perfect person for the job, but you might be up against a huge amount of other people who want it too. While some studios hire based on many criteria, which can include an audition class and assessment of your actual teaching, don't underestimate the importance of your yoga teacher resume. Your resume needs to show the reader that you're the person that's worth bringing in. Here are 7 tips on how to craft the best possible yoga teaching resume.
Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Work-Life Balance
Those who practice yoga often know the importance of balance on the mat, be it balance in the body, balance in tree pose, or balance between the breath and the movements. But not many of us transfer this balance into our day to day lives, especially our work-life balance. Yoga can help us practice so much more than the physical movements and poses. It helps us practice things like our breath, calming our minds, pushes us outside our comfort zone and allows us to grow and self reflect. This self-reflection will ultimately help in maintaining a strong work-life balance, as understanding patterns, strengths and weaknesses are essential in setting the boundaries we need to balance our lives. In layman's terms, a work-life balance is how you maintain the time you dedicate to working vs having fun and living your life. Finding a balance that works for you requires work and self-reflection. There are many ways yoga can help you improve your work-life balance.
Yoga Certification Online: Using Technology to Enable Everyone. A conversation with Alanna Kaivalya
One of my core beliefs is that yoga is for everyone. It’s the cornerstone of The Kaivalya Yoga Method. There are a lot of people in the world who are prevented from participating in an in-studio training for many reasons; they live too far away, they have very demanding jobs that don’t let them take an in-studio training at the times they are offered, they’re busy caring for children or relatives. We wanted to be able to bring them a training that would remove the boundaries of distance and scheduling constraints.
Want to be a Traveling Yoga Teacher? Here's How to Mentally Prepare Yourself
Being “Nomadic” - the idea of traveling the world, bouncing from place to place doing as you’d like, exploring culture, exploring untapped parts of the world, and most importantly, better exploring yourself, is quite the popular trend these days. Often I get asked “how do you do it? How do you travel the world so much? What are you doing for work?” When my answer to them is: "I teach yoga", most people question how I do it. After all, teaching yoga isn't a job that is known to make you rich, nor fund you the needs to travel long-term. The short answer in how I travel and teach yoga is Yogatrade, which has allowed me to find teaching jobs all over the world. But to be honest, it takes a lot more than just finding a job to take a risk, leave your friends and family, and move across the world. If you've been playing with the idea of teaching yoga abroad, here are a few small steps to mentally prepare yourself:
Top 5 Tips for Choosing (and Offering) the Best Yoga Teacher Training
Since I sold my Yoga One studios in California back in 2015, I've been focusing more on my personal studies, especially in Dharma, meditation and Ayurveda. In fact, I have not offered a single Tantravaya 200 Hour training in all of 2016, after directing at least a couple each year for nearly a decade. So during this time I have been asked the same question from students around the world: which training should I pick?
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