At this time and age when people are so intensely and often exclusively focused on physical reality including their own physical bodies it can be quite a challenge for yoga teachers to get across the idea that yogic anatomy is far more concerned with the subtle energetic body than with the physical body.
To the casual student of yoga, it may seem that teaching yoga merely means demonstrating how to correctly perform asanas. The advanced student, or yoga teacher in training, knows better. In addition to the spiritual aspects of yoga practice, there are so many other technical pieces involved. One of the most important is sequencing. You can think of sequences at three different levels. There is, of course, the order in which asanas are performed. But good sequencing involves giving thought to the mini-sequences needed to attain a given pose, as well as the big picture of how to sequence moving between different pose categories (standing poses to floor poses, for example). While understanding the principles of sequencing is crucial to creating a great yoga class, it can seem daunting to new teachers. In our 200 hour teacher training, we teach the 66 basic yoga postures and some 100 variations. It’s […]
We’ve all experienced the sensation of being moved by powerful music. Maybe a certain sad song always makes your eyes fill with tears, a piece of classical music makes your spine tingle, or a bright, happy song forces you to dance. These experiences give you just a taste of the powerful effect mantra and mantra chanting can have on your life. Whereas a song can transform your mood, mantra chanting can transform your very existence. What is mantra? Mantra, simply defined, is a sacred Sanskrit syllable or phrase which is repeated to powerful effect. While mantras are used in many spiritual traditions, they originated in the Tantric lore and ancient scriptures known as Vedas. They are used up to this day in India. The source of all mantras (known as the pranava mantra) is Aum (or Om). This root syllable represents the fundamental unity of existence and symbolizes four states […]
Science is Catching up With Thousands of Years of Meditation Wisdom It’s believed that meditation has been around for 5,000 years, originating in India. According to the latest research and oral history, the yogic tradition of meditation can be traced back to Shiva, a great spiritual master who systematized both yoga and tantra about 7000 years ago. Around 400-100 B.C.E. Patanjali documented some of those teachings in the Yoga Sutras. Millions of people have felt the many benefits of a regular meditation practice in one of its many forms (mindfulness awareness, transcendental, vipassana, yogic, and others). While scholars in the West first learned of ancient meditation teachings in the 18th century, it wasn’t until the 1960s and 70s that the practice of meditation became more popular with westerners. Today, for many people meditation has become decoupled from its roots in the religious traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism, allowing it to […]
Go Ahead Roll Your Eyes! It is said that the devil is in the detail – and it’s true. It is those little things, the ones you think they barely matter that can make a huge impact and a huge difference in the effect they have on your body and mind. Here is one such detail which is largely misunderstood in yoga circles. However these details are given great importance in the Rajadhiraja system of performing asanas. Rolling eyes up towards the sky Rolling your eyes upward as much as possible in certain yoga postures, for example in the Cobra, the Bow and the Upward Facing Dog – they lend themselves particularly well to this little eye exercise – has a deeply beneficial physiological and psychological effect. It’s not about getting lost somewhere up there – it’s about exercising your eye muscles AND producing a far reaching psychological effect to […]
Written by Ganga Devi Today I am going to share with you an amazing, little known exercize which you can do after your home yoga practice. How to maintain healthy and glowing skin has always been a hot topic and has become even more so in today’s world where our skin is increasingly exposed to free radicals due to heavy pollution, processed foods and sedentary lifestyles. Among the many practices of yoga, the one presented here is taught on our yoga teacher training courses and yoga retreats. Today I discuss the benefits and science of this tool but watch out for our future newsletters, where I will provide you with a complete step-by-step description on how to practice this massage. Busting the ‘Sweat = Detox’ Myth Have you noticed that people who regularly practice yoga and meditation often have a radiance about them which is quite unique and compelling? Glowing skin […]