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The Yoga Train You Don't Want to Miss
On March 26, 2013 in
If I can open just one person's eyes to the possibility of yoga through this writing, then I will consider my success as a yoga teacher achieved for today ...
Myth #1: I'm not flexible or thin or young enough to do yoga.
Yoga is a practice, not a sport. The beauty of yoga as a physical exercise is that the practice itself will gently and eventually lull your body into becoming more flexible and healthy. No matter how old we are, we all start yoga as stiff, tight, un-flexible people. But the practice itself is what eventually creates space and fluidity between our cells, muscles, and bones - no matter what our body type or age. When we practice over and over, we start to become the limber person we never knew we could be, and moving through life becomes a more supple, graceful experience, even if we're 500 pounds and 100 years old. Most of us start yoga as stiff, unhealthy individuals; it's the practice itself that eventually makes us limber and radiant.
Myth #2: Yoga is a new age religious practice or it contradicts my religion.
Yoga can deeply impact a person's spiritual experience if that's what they are hoping for, but yoga actually requires no religion, no God, no holy book, no prayer, no moral contradictions to any of the world's major religions. It can be practiced as a physical exercise that happens to leave you feeling incredibly serene and grounded, and intimately connected to your self in a new way; it can be practiced as a purely spiritual ritual; or it can be practiced as all three. The misperception that yoga contradicts some religions may stem from the fact that it was invented by and originally practiced by Hindus. The first practitioners happened to be Hindu, and while yoga is an element of Hinduism, that does not make it a Hindu practice. So, the incredible sense of peacefulness you might experience when you practice yoga can spark a deeper connection to your religious or spiritual beliefs, whatever they may be ... and if you don't have a spiritual belief sy stem, it can simply leave you feeling really good, no religion attached.
Myth #3: Yoga is for Girls.
The inventors of yoga were men. The original students of yoga were men. The folks who brought Yoga to the U.S. were men. And the greatest athletes of today, more than half of whom are men, do yoga because it helps their physical performance and mental concentration.
Yoga is a practice with so many branches and different ways to do it. There are forms of yoga that are more westernized and body-focused (Power Yoga, for example), forms of yoga that are fast-moving but spiritually-focused (Vinyasa Yoga, for example), or schools of yoga that are gentle and introspective (Kripalu Yoga, for example). And like anything in the world, there are great yoga classes and instructors, and not-so-good ones. So, if you've had the unfortunate experience of being in a yoga class that was unpleasant, chalk it up to having found the wrong class for you, and try out a different type.
Yoga can save your life, change your life, and improve your life ... no matter your size, physical ability, gender, or spiritual beliefs.
By Anitra Lahiri
Anitra Lahiri is an avid Yogi, Yoga Instructor, mother, and writer who strives (and often fails!) to infuse all aspects of her life with Yoga philosophy and practice. Her Yoga blog, Under the Lotus Tree, is for anyone who simply wants to live a healthier, more meaningful life. Read more from Anitra at her blog -
Try the following YogaDownload classes to begin to feel the power of yoga:
The Place in the Middle - Roger Martin Pressman
The Fearless Heart - Michelle Marchildon
Firefly Flow -Jackie Casal Mahrou
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.
3 Common Myths about Ganja Yoga
Cannabis-enhanced yoga is a thing. Whether popping up in classes across the country, being mentioned alongside other forms of athleticism in articles about CBD-fuelled fitness, or made into fashion with weed-themed yoga leggings, the pairing of the ancient practice and healing plant has become quite the conversation topic in yoga studios across the country. Many people are enjoying the anti-inflammatory, relaxation, and creative benefits of cannabis on yoga. As the first moderner to offer public enhanced-yoga practice, I am so happy to see the marriage of humanity’s oldest methods for relaxation and spiritual insight gain momentum and increased acceptance. Ten years ago, when I started offering a yogic setting for people to get high and do yoga, I googled and found no other mention of the two, other than Chris Bennett’s insightful writing on the history of yoga and cannabis in ancient spiritual practice in India. We’ve come a long way baby! (five thousand years or more, to be exact...).
Pros and Cons of Yoga Teacher Training
Yoga teachers don't really make a living off teaching yoga classes anymore. Many rely upon conducting yoga teacher training. But contrary to popular belief, this trend may have less to do with the business or marketing inclinations of yoga teachers and more to do with the purchasing and study habits of the yoga-going public.
Combining Yoga & Different Styles of Music to Create a Flow State
When we are considering different things to pair together, it is always a subjective matter. For instance, there might be people who love salted chocolate, while others want salt nowhere near their chocolate! The same can be said about adding music to your yoga practice. Some people love vibration support and melodic inspirations when they are flowing from one pose to another and find it improves their practice. Others revel in the silent internal waves of just their breath and prefer yoga without any music. There’s no right or wrong answer here, it’s simply a matter of preference. Regardless, music has become increasingly popular to complement a yoga practice and seems here to stay for those who like this combination. Because of this, there are people who are always looking for new excellent music choices for their yoga sessions. If you’ve been moved by music during a yoga class, you can appreciate the beauty of this combination. Music can add another layer to a deep, rigorous flow and can support you in the challenging moments of a class, or keep your mind from wandering. Many have opened to new music artists and styles of music from tracks they discovered that moved them during yoga. What Is Yoga?
Yoga for Crossfit: Why it Improves Performance & 3 Poses
Yoga is not only a good way to relax your mind and body, it is also being praised for improving Crossfit performance. Yoga creates more flexibility and creates more mobility, which are beneficial for the rigors of Crossfit as well as reducing the risk of injury. While the practices are different in many ways, Crossfit and yoga actually have a lot in common, so if you practice yoga, it’s can be easier to learn to practice Crossfit, and vice versa. Benefits of Yoga for Crossfit: Here are a few reasons why you should consider using yoga as a part of your crossfit training regime. Yoga has many gentle poses that develop your core which is an important part to Crossfit. Being capable of balancing and holding the body with the core is essential. When you regularly practice yoga, you promote strength, endurance, and flexibility and have a greater awareness of how to use your core effectively. You also find your inner strength which is important in Crossfit training. You practice cultivating calm, in challenging moments in yoga, and that can really help during Crossfit. Yoga can help us have more fun in Crossfit. Studies have found that yoga allows you to become more self-aware and improves your energy levels, helping you to enjoy life more fully. Sometimes in Crossfit, training and progress becomes such a focus point that we forget to be light and have fun. Yoga can help here.
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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