Category Archives: Yoga

Yin Yoga

Yin Yoga marries traditional Hatha Yoga postures with Taoist philosophy, and as such is a practice unique in purpose, method, and results. In Taoist thought, there exists a subtle, infinitely creative, and vital force called chi, which animates and pervades the manifest universe. As this force operates in the physical realm, it condenses into two polarities: Yin and Yang. While these terms are contextual and not absolute, Yin and Yang can be said to have specific characteristics and operate in predictable patterns. Yang is used to describing that which is apparent, dynamic, bright, superficial, and upward-moving. Yin, on the other hand, represents qualities of subtlety, depth, solidity, stillness, downward movement, and darkness. In the context of Yin Yoga, Yin describes not the specific shapes/poses themselves, but rather the type of effort and intended results. From a physical perspective, it targets the Yin (inelastic and deep) tissues in the body: the…

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Facts about Yoga

“I was planning to go to yoga tonight, but..” That might sound familiar. In this day and age with busy schedules, it’s understandably hard to keep a commitment to a sustainable yoga practice. Here are a few tips on how to avoid the last-minute change of plans. Plan ahead. Going after work? Don’t go home first if you know it’s hard to motivate out of the house again. Bring your yoga clothes and mat to work. Bring a snack if you are hungry after work. Check-in with who is picking up the kids, walking the dog, etc. Build a support network and community. Your friends and family care about your well-being! Tell them about your fitness goals and what you’ve been working on. They will root you on and support you in your goals. Plan to go to yoga with friends, and hold each other accountable! Sign up ahead of…

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Find Your Own Yoga Amma Nannamal

“We each have to find our own yoga,” Amma Nannamal, the luminous 98-year-old yogini, gently encouraged us.  “One of the greatest joys,” she continued, “is to be unbound by tradition, by teachers, by religion.  No teacher or teaching should inhibit your own path.  Only take away what has nourished part of you.  Find what works for you, what makes you feel good, what makes you feel more like yourself.” A few years back, I was watching Yoga guru Amma Nannamal performing yoga at AIFWSS18. As one of the world-renowned, older generation of yoga teachers, Amma teaches yoga in a way that might surprise and even offend yoga “purists.”  Eschewing specific applications of alignment and technique for intuitive movement guided by one’s personal experience, Amma Nannamal is a unique voice in the yoga world. As Amma Nannamal led us into postures, we began with “snake-dog.”  The pose was a downward-facing dog,…

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practicing yoga

In the modern world, we tend to associate this notion of “progress” with the idea that “more is better” and we get caught up in the idea that if we are doing more it means we are getting better and “progressing.” Contrarily, progress along the path of Yoga doesn’t amount to “more.” We don’t progress by doing “more postures” or “more difficult postures” or “more practices” or “longer practices.” Progress on the path of Yoga is determined by the internal condition of our mind and attitude. When we can be completely satisfied with exactly what we have and who we are at any given moment then we are starting to walk along the path of Santosa (contentment) the second niyama, and that is the sign of real progress. We will be happy to practice less with more awareness, instead of more with less satisfaction. A student practicing yoga basic asanas…

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