Book 1, Sutra 4: At other times [the Self appears to] assume the forms of the mental modifications. Book 1, Sutra 30: Disease, dullness, doubt, carelessness, laziness, sensuality, false perception, failure to reach firm ground and slipping from the ground gained – these distractions of the mind-stuff are the obstacles. I’ve been thinking about obstacles. [...]
Guest post by Christa Avampato “As a man adorns worn-out clothes and acquires new ones, so when the body is worn out a new one is acquired by the Self, who lives within.” ~ 2:22 On Labor Day weekend in 2009, my apartment building caught fire. I was almost trapped inside and only by following [...]
Yoga teacher training is opening up my eyes to a whole new world. As part of my yoga teacher training, we attend Kirtans, a lovely, free-form mash-up of music, call and response, and chanting. I’d never been to one before, and to be honest had never even heard of them. Now I wish I had [...]
“If you make a rule [or tell yourself a story], be prepared to stand by it with conviction. Also be prepared to change it at any moment.” ~ Will Duprey My brain is growing exponentially. I’ve been practicing yoga, mostly at home, for 11 years. I read about it, write about it, talk about it, [...]
I began my vinyasa yoga teacher training last Saturday. My head’s been swimming with Sanskrit, ancient Hindu texts, and physiology. I had a moment, or rather many moments, of panic. Maybe I’m in over my head. Maybe this process was a very bad idea given the vertical learning curve I’m clearly on, with no end in sight. It was all a bit overwhelming until one of my instructors, Johanna, made a very simple statement that put the entire teacher training process in perspective for me. “As you are in the mat so you are in the world.” And for that matter, vice versa.
In Yoga Journal last month, there was an article about three Olympic athletes are use yoga as a serious component of their training: Chandra Crawford (cross-country skier), Emily Brydon (alpine skier), and Shannon Deanne Bahrke (freestyle skier). As someone who is considering how to build a love of yoga into a career, this is another [...]
On Saturday, I took a break from all the screens, cursors, and endless tidbits of information that filter through to our various in-boxes. I was exhausted and worn out, and my creativity was taking a serious nose dive. I closed my Mac, turned off my phone, and collapsed in a heap on my yoga mat. My brain was so full that I couldn’t even think clearly. Everything around me seemed fuzzy.
At the suggestion of a friend, I’ve been reading a lot of Joseph Campbell lately. I recently watched his DVD interviews with Bill Moyers around the idea of myth and the hero’s journey. A piece of the interviews that really caught my attention is their discussion about the importance of having a sacred place in our lives.
Every time I practice yoga, I set an intention before I begin the asanas. Sometimes it’s for a friend or family member who needs help. Sometimes it’s for a cause I believe in or an organization doing good work. For the past week I’ve been dedicating my practice to the people of Haiti.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on clearing my mind more often during the day. The natural tendency for a busy mind is to work ever harder to crack a problem or find an innovative solution. The yogic belief is that a clear, unburdened, relaxed mind is actually a more creative, efficient problem solver. And now that belief has a boost from hardcore science.