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Yoga Magic - Falling into Place
On January 22, 2013 in
The word yoga is derived from a word meaning 'to yoke' or 'to unite'. One encompassing way to conceptualize this is to think of uniting the self with All - to connect with the source of all possibilities. The true magic of yoga can happen with the sincere realization of the concept,"Namaste" - "the light in me recognizes and honors the light within you." When this is realized, there is a great surrender, defences are dropped, and prejudices fall. All things become you, and you become all things. Of course, this too is no sudden switch, but is learned slowly over time - the concept, like yoga, is endless and ever deepening.
In the beginning, yoga with all the Sanskrit words and postures alluded me. The intricate curves of the ancient writing looked more elusive than Korean. Sitting upright in a cross-legged position was physical torture, and holding tree pose for more than five seconds seemed like an impossible feat. Still, there was still a deep resonance within me. As I continued to practice and study yoga, I sensed a truth which is now growing and intertwining with everything in my life, both on and off the mat.
Similar to things you may have read in books like, The Secret, or or in articles about the law of attraction, once you begin this path of yoga –or your own effort to seek wellness and clarity- things in life effortlessly fall into place. There is work, and of course some difficulties as you are faced with the task of clearing out the muck. Once the path clears, it is still your choice to follow, to listen, and to take the openings or not. If you do choose to step forward it is rewarding.
In a magical way yoga has brought many opportunities into my life. Just a month before graduating yoga teacher training, a job fell into my lap. A fellow yoga school graduate sent out an email asking for people to take over her classes. Responding to the email, I figured it was a long-shot. But, I got the job, and beyond that it came with a teaching mentor, and the opportunity to lead a teens’ class. Both perks were things I had been silently dreaming of.
Beyond the yoga front - other jobs have seemingly fallen into my lap. I wanted a way out of my dead-end job so that I could nanny and teach yoga. Out of the blue, the sister of a family I had babysat for once a year before, called me and asked me take care of her daughter a couple times a week. I found out that she had been training to teach Bikram yoga before becoming pregnant. Our friendship grew and we continued to find similarities in each other. Through her, I have been put in touch with four other families that I now work with. The families I work for on a regular basis all needed me on opposing days that work together in perfect synchronicity.
Here, a deeper meaning of the word yoga comes to fruition. Everything becomes untangled, and one can see how each strand connects seamlessly. It doesn’t matter if you understand the words and concepts of yoga consciously, can perfectly do an headstand, or can practice patience in every situation – this is a journey, and what matters only is that you begin.
By Chelsea Cunningham
Chelsea truly came home to yoga after college, finding that her practice accentuated her interest in the ways people derive and make meaning. Whether sweating on her mat or breathing in everyday situations, Chelsea found that yoga could always be her safe place for reflection, action and balance. As a kids and adult yoga teacher, she encourages her students to let the yoga meet them where they are and enjoy the journey. Read more about Chelsea at her
Try the following classes to help you discover the magic of your yoga practice:
The Fearless Heart - Michelle Marchildon
Align and Flow - Jeanie Manchester
Twisting out Negativity and Doubt- Nancy Nielsen
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...).
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?
7 Epic Outdoor Yoga Destinations
Yoga is a practice that can be done anywhere, as long as you have a mat and a quiet space. It’s super easy to take your yoga practice outside, but have you considered taking your yoga practice overseas and somewhere international? There are plenty of beautiful outdoor spots all around the world for you to roll your mat out, where the nature and scenery is part of the yoga experience. Yoga is deeply symbolic of nature, from the names of many postures (Tree, Mountain, and poses named after animals), to the corresponding elements of certain poses (Earth, Air, Water, and Fire). The yoga community is widespread around the globe, so there are special places for you to treat yourself to a purposeful and beneficial yoga travel adventure, and also bring your yoga practice into the open air.
The Magic of Yoga
Do you believe in magic? Not necessarily the kind of tricks you might see at a Las Vegas show, but more the type of magic that manifests as an intangible feeling that can’t be measured with logic or science. Whatever your initial reason for beginning yoga, you probably know you don’t keep returning simply because your hamstrings are more supple–– there is something more. Let’s call that subtle quality the magic of yoga. Perhaps you felt happy for ten minutes, ten hours, ten days, or even ten years after yoga class and you can’t pinpoint why. We often discuss the tangible physical benefits of a consistent yoga practice, like strength, flexibility, and balance. These qualities are wonderful, but not everything about yoga can be quantified. This week we’re focusing more on what is percolating beneath the surface in the subtle body. Our subtle body is said to contain more than 72,000 Nadis or energy channels and prana encompasses more than the muscles and the ligaments. It impacts our nervous system, our circulatory system, and our organs, whether we are aware of it or not. When we practice yoga, whatever the style, we are shifting and moving around our prana or life force energy. The magic of yoga impacts us on a cellular level. How? Why?
5 Powerful Fusion Yoga Hybrid Workouts to Try
You can get into your best shape by combining yoga with other fitness workouts and routines. Yoga hybrid workouts have become all the range as of late, as an active lifestyle is becoming more and more popular. As it’s becoming more apparent the benefits a regular yoga practice can give you, there’s more ways to incorporate it into your regular workout. Here are some ways you can combine yoga poses with other fitness methods, to get into the best shape you can and move in more ways! If you’re adding a few moves to your regular workout, or adding some weights or dance moves into your yoga practice, there’s a yoga hybrid out there for you. Mixing it up can increase your endurance, strength, and most of all make your practice fun. Here are five unique fusion yoga forms, that are worth giving a try! Anti Gravity Yoga If you’ve ever fancied yourself a bit of an acrobat, aerial yoga is the hybrid for you.
The Ritual of Yoga Asana: Making Our Bodies a Temple
Fifteen million Americans practice yoga today. They set foot inside yoga studios, roll out their mats and move to their breath in a ritualized action that lasts usually between 60 - 90 minutes. Whether they practice Ashtanga yoga, Bikram yoga, Kundalini yoga or another variant of hatha yoga, these students are all participating in a modernized physical form of a millenia-old philosophical technology, which originated in India. Within the last 100 years, yoga’s face has changed dramatically as it has migrated and settled into the west with its modern day practitioners. Its evolution has led to a focus on the physical practice, known as asana, and for many who practice today’s version of yoga, the asana practice has become a powerful ritual in their lives. They honor their practice by carrying around yoga mats, drinking out of water bottles with their favorite studio name on it and wearing yoga pants from the studio out to their social events. The hallmark of the modern day yoga practitioner is that we commonly see the trappings of their practice extending into their lives, but there is a deeper and more elevated result of their practice that also extends its way into their lives, which is that yoga practitioners will commonly achieve an elevated state of mind that allows their ritual to manifest itself as a view of themselves and their life-experience as sacred.
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