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March 2017
March 2017
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Why Yoga Practitioners Should Learn Qigong

Qigong (pronounced chee-gong), the "yoga" of China, is in many respects where yoga used to be decades ago in the West - a somewhat unknown, "fringe" practice shrouded in mystery and mysticism. This is starting to change as people of all ages look for new ways to promote health and reduce stress.

The blessing of qigong's relative obscurity is that it has not been heavily commercialized - yet. That is probably on the way, however. (I got an email ...


March 2017
March 2017
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Interview with Leslie Kaminoff: "The practice must be adapted to the individual"

Leslie Kaminoff is a yoga educator inspired by the tradition of T.K.V. Desikachar. He is recognized internationally as a specialist in the fields of yoga, breath anatomy and bodywork. For over three decades he has led workshops and developed specialized education for many leading yoga associations, schools and training programs in America and throughout the world. His approach to teaching combines intellectual ...


February 2017
February 2017
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In an age of speed, nothing could be more invigorating than going slow. In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still.
~ Pico Iyer, The Art of Stillness

When I first began practicing yoga, I found that staying in a pose for more than five breaths was near impossible. Anything longer and I would squirm and dance, often posturing as if I were carefully aligning myself deeper into the ...


February 2017
February 2017
Foundations of Yin Yoga

When most of us think of Yoga, we think of dynamic practices.  We imagine lots of movement and challenging yoga postures that demand strength, flexibility, and stamina.  In fact, most yogis, when we are first exploring the practice, are drawn to Yoga’s more physically demanding side.  It gives us good energy and makes us strong, increasing our vitality.  We want our teachers to challenge us, to make us work, and we want to be good and exhausted by the time we take our Savasana!

But, if you ...


February 2017
February 2017
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JANUARY 17, 2017 BY LIZZIE BROOKS
Originally published in Yoga international 1/17/17

Yoga voice. We all know it. That calm, smooth, calculated voice with a predictable cadence that tells us to breathe, forget our troubles, and let yoga sail us into serenity. This way of speaking works for some students, but I confess that it makes me feel disconnected from the instructor—as if we’re not of the same world. It’s definitely not the way I talk when I teach my classes. My unwillingness to auto-zen ...


January 2017
January 2017
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SHARE THE LOVE AT YOGA YOGA
BY JESSICA BAER (YOGA YOGA STUDENT FOR 10 YEARS)

Did you know that you hold a key that could uplift and potentially reboot another person’s life?  February is “Share Yoga Month” at Yoga Yoga.  As a member of one of longest-running studios in Austin, you can bring anyone to Yoga Yoga during the month of February to experience what you already know to be true: Yoga truly is for everyone!

To me, the wonderful thing about Yoga Yoga is its diversity of classes taught ...


January 2017
January 2017
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Meet Your Master by Mehtab

Does your momma tell you what to do? Your boss? Your government?

Who do you allow to be in charge of your life, and who is your master?

For many people, it is their mind that tells them what to do. Their mind is the boss, the mind is the master.

And that’s a mistake. Yogis have said that the mind is a powerful servant but a horrible master. Like all bosses, the mind as its own agenda, and that agenda is usually hidden from us.

We respond to life automatically. ...


January 2017
January 2017
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Samyama: Continued

This is a continuation of last week's post, where Jim Freeman explored samyama and the koshas.

Determining What We Are Not

Determining what we are NOT begins with a simple statement: “If I can be aware of it, then it’s not who I am”. This realization is incredibly simple, and incredibly profound. Here begins the emergence of the “witnessing presence”; that state of consciousness that can witness all of our aspects and qualities. Moving through the koshas brings this to ...


January 2017
January 2017
Yoga For LIfe

Practice with Gary Kraftsow and Transform Your Life!

If we asked 100 different Yoga Yoga students their reasons for practicing Yoga, we would probably get 100 different answers.  Many people come to the practice for some physical reason, like back pain, but even then, there are multiple causes of pain, and every spine is a little different.  Some folks practice for stress relief, and we all know how that is; stress can come at us in so many ways, and we all handle it differently.  Others come ...


January 2017
January 2017
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Samyama

Now let’s consider dharana, dhyana and samadhi. Collectively, they are called samyama. (Part 3 of the Yoga Sutras, sections 3.1 - 3.6)

The concept of samyama resonates with me because, when I am practicing the last 3 limbs, it often feels like I’m constantly moving between concentration, meditation and absorption. A great way to illustrate this process is a mantra practice. Say, you are learning a new mantra, for example, Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha. First, you have to know how to ...


January 2017
January 2017

Last year in the Blog Blog (the Bending Habit You Want to Cultivate) we outlined the proper method for safe bending. Many times we are exposed to new information and wonder whether it applies to us. An explanatory basis can give us the confidence that what we are doing is safe, effective, and healing. for us. In this Blog Blog we explore just that scientific and anatomical basis for the sacral tilt.

Quick summary of the last Blog Blog :

a) Why forward fold this way? strong back core, ...


January 2017
January 2017
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Pratyahara Meditation

Prepare for this meditation by reading last week's post, Crash Course in Pratyahara.

Now we are ready to practice pratyahara. Begin immediately after you complete pranayama.

Return to your meditation posture. Take a deep breath and hold; as you exhale, try to keep your torso in the same inhaling shape, heart rolled forward, shoulder blades down and back, chin tucked slightly. Take several long slow breaths until your mind begins to still. Remember to come back to ...


January 2017
January 2017
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Crash Course in Pratyahara

Pratyahara, the 5th limb, is often defined as “withdrawal of the senses”. But what does that really mean? What exactly do the “senses” consist of, and how does one “withdraw” from them? Before this can be addressed, we need to come to an understanding of what could be considered the “sensory body”.

Anatomy of the Sensory Body
As you know, there are 5 cognitive senses - sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch - jnanendriyas in sanskrit, literally meaning the ...


December 2016
December 2016
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Quick Pranayama Practice

The Prana Body. Retrieved from http://shaktianandayoga.com/teachings/chakras/

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama

“If one wants to lead a spiritual life, this very pranayama is sufficient.
It will steady the way to mediation and samadhi.” -Swami Satyananda

Posture: Sukhasana.
Mudra: Nasagra Mudra - right hand, index and middle finger rests on the eyebrow center; thumb is near the right nostril, ring and pinkie fold next to the left nostril (this is the suggested mudra by the ...


December 2016
December 2016
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The Sage Patanjali compiled a text called the Yoga Sutras, through which we were given a blueprint for practicing yoga. In Section 2.29 of the text, Patanjali lists for us the 8 limbs of yoga:

  • Yama: codes of restraint, abstinences (described in sec. 2.30, 2.31)
  • Niyama: observances, self-training (2.32)
  • Asana: meditation posture and now the plethora of postures used in modern yoga (2.46-2.48)
  • Pranayama: expansion of breath and prana (2.49-2.53)
  • Pratyahara: withdrawal of the senses ...