As a yoga teacher, there may come times where you would use Sanskrit terms during class, whether you like it or not. This is because it is often the case where most Sanskrit words don’t have an English equivalent that fully explains the meaning of the terms.
Affirmations are phrases you repeat to yourself over and over again. Repeating these words reminds you of their meaning and the importance of the words. You can use these positive phrases to stay motivated and inspired.
Affirmations can be repeated silently inside your head, said out loud, or written down and hung somewhere visible.
Yama Niyama Asana Pranayama Pratyahara Dharana Dhyana Samadhi.
In English (my translation): Be a good person, take care of your Self, be aware of your posture, control your energy, withdraw from your external senses, concentrate, meditate, allow total integration.
These are the steps on the path, outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, to enlightenment.
I have talked about the Yamas and Niyamas a little bit, the whole world is obsessed with posture, albeit not always healthy posture, meditation is gaining popularity, and the other steps are pretty much forgotten.
There are many reasons for this. It’s hard to teach the Yamas and Niyamas unless you’re ready for a self-help course with a philosophy book as a reading requirement. Sense withdrawal is the nicer way of saying sensory deprivation and that is being sold the same way tanning is sold these days. Concentration sounds boring, even though we all know it’s necessary and we could probably use it more then ever what with all the distractions of the internet. Total integration is admittedly optimistic, unrealistic, and metaphysical sounding all at the same time, so I get why people stay away.
We’ve got something new for you this month. In the interest of exposing you to a broad range of yoga, we’re excited to roll out new Kundalini classes and practices with Guru Jagat from the Rama Institute for Applied Yogic Science and Technology.
If you aren’t familiar with Kundalini, you aren’t alone. More mysticism surrounds this style of yoga than most others. Do you have to wear white? No. Is it a religion? No. And, what’s this about coiled serpents? How can this ancient practice apply to me in this modern age where I’m just seeking to find a mind-body connection?
Do you ever get confused with all the labels attached to yoga practices today? There is hatha yoga, kundalini yoga, power yoga, yin yoga, vinyasa yoga, flow yoga, hot yoga— and the list seems to keep growing. For starters, classic hatha yoga is often referred to as the umbrella under which any practice that includes physical postures resides. 'Ha-' is Sanskrit for sun and '-tha' means moon. Thus, hatha yoga is based on creating balance between our masculine qualities—active, hot, sun—and feminine ones—receptive, cool, moon.
I thought I was getting okay at being uncomfortable.
The universe decided otherwise.
As I sit here writing this post, listening to the music of the chimes produced by a gentle breeze, serenaded by chirping birds and the rustle of squirrels playing in the bamboo, I look upon the back of my house.
Every living thing has energy...plants, animals, humans, etc. In the yogic tradition we have energy centers that house particular qualities that affect our overall physical and psychological well being.