Non-Coveting

asteya

As we have seen in our discussion of truthfulness and honesty, the mind has the ability to mold itself into the shape of that which it beholds. Especially in our many moments of lack of self-awareness, human consciousness has the tendency to turn its aspect outwards towards the material world. On an animalistic level, this makes complete sense. How could we survive as a species if we went around being unconcerned with the world around us? Many of the fundamental drives hard-wired into our genes that enable us to live on as humans keep us tied to our pre-sentient past and prevent us from transcending that side of our nature and becoming truly free. Read More...
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Truth

The primary cause of the suffering that Pata˝jali’s yoga seeks to end is the fundamental misunderstanding each of us has about our own true nature.

I.2
Yoga is the process of restriction of the fluctuations of consciousness.
I.3
Then the observer can know its own true nature.
I.4
Otherwise, the observer identifies with the fluctuations of consciousness.


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Non-Harming

Ahimsa
I would hope that not causing harm is an idea that requires no justification. The harm that we cause others and to the world around us, as individuals, as a community, as a nation and as a species is a significant factor contributing to the general level of sorrow we experience as part of simple existence. Pata˝jali, in the Yoga Sutra, is quite clear about his feelings regarding sorrow and what must be our attitude towards it.

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The Great Vow of Yoga

Yama
In the Yoga Sutra, Pata˝jali calls the yamas, the observances towards others, “The Great Vow of Yoga”:

II.31
These are universal, and apply regardless of birth, place, time or circumstance.

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Yoga in Action

I thought we might spend some time looking at ways in which to take our yoga practice into daily life. Asana, or posture, is only the third limb of Pata˝jali’s eight-limbed Ashtanga Yoga. Before we even get to what we think of as our formal practice—which, back in Pata˝jali’s time most likely consisted of seated meditation—we are told to see to the way we interact with the world around us and the way in which be behave towards ourselves.


More after the jump.


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Multi-Level Core Practice

Matsyasana (Fish Pose) - 2 min each side
• simple variation with the legs in Sukhasana (Comfortable Pose) and the arms overhead
• do both leg crossings

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Lunge
• back leg straight
• press inner thigh of back leg up and back
• soften lower abdomen and send inner thighs away from each other

Parivrtta Parshvakonasana (Revolved Side Angle Pose) Read More...
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5 Simple Criteria for Reading the Body

More notes and thoughts from the Tom Myers "Body Reading 101" seminar.

1. Primary Rotation


Assess the most substantial rotation in the thoraco-lumbar spine.


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A Vocabulary for Anatomical Assessment

More notes and thoughts from the Tom Myers "Body Reading 101" seminar.

Conventions


As a convention, position and direction of a structure are referred to from the top and from the front. For example, a posterior tilt of the pelvis always means that the top of the pelvis is tilting towards the back of the body. If you are looking from the front, the top of the pelvis will be tilting away from you, from the back it will be tilting towards you, but the language expressing the position does not change. Read More...
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5 Stages of Creating Change in the Body

More notes and thoughts from the Tom Myers "Body Reading 101" seminar.

These 5 stages work equally well if you are applying them to yourself or to a student/client. In some ways, this process is easier when working with someone else, as you will have greater perspective than when working on yourself.

1. Skeletal Geometry

Assess the position of the body. Determine the imbalances and holding patterns that need to be worked with. If working on yourself, use a combination of internal and external self-assessment, being aware of your poses from the inside as well as analyzing yourself in a mirror. Read More...
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5 Steps to Successful Bodywork

I'm in the middle of a wonderful workshop on body reading with Tom Myers. He gave us his 5-step approach to any form of bodywork, be it on a client, or on yourself:

1. Energy


How much energy does you or your client have? Match the energy of the solution to the energy of client. If the approach requires a lot of effort and vitality to maintain beyond the session and you or the client doesn't have it, the effects won't last for long. 108 suns salutations every day are not going to do you much good if you don't do them. If all you can realistically manage is something simple or restorative, then that should be the approach taken.
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Site Update: Reclined Poses

Vishnu's couch pose
Check out the Reclined Poses section for 4 new poses:

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)
Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)
Supta Padangusthasana 3 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 3)
Anantasana (Vishnu's Couch Pose)

(And somewhere along the line I'm going to remember to get a picture of me lying back in Supta Tadasana. It's always the simple things that get neglected.)
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Time Magazine: "When Yoga Hurts" by Pamela Paul

Yoga has hit the national media once again in an article in Time Magazine. Ms. Paul's article makes some extremely good points.

There are, however, some serious flaws in the underlying assumptions of the article that are indicative of the common approach of the media and the public to yoga.

More editorializing after the jump.


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Intermediate Pranayama Cycle: The Full Series

ChakrasNadis2
Please Here's a breakdown of the full Intermediate Pranayama Series.






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Intermediate Pranayama Cycle: Day 28

ChakrasNadis2
Please remember that pranayama is very subtle and powerful. It’s best not to practice pranayama without some in-person instruction beforehand. NEVER FORCE THE BREATH.





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Intermediate Pranayama Cycle: Day 27

ChakrasNadis2
Please remember that pranayama is very subtle and powerful. It’s best not to practice pranayama without some in-person instruction beforehand. NEVER FORCE THE BREATH.





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Intermediate Pranayama Cycle: Day 26

ChakrasNadis2
Please remember that pranayama is very subtle and powerful. It’s best not to practice pranayama without some in-person instruction beforehand. NEVER FORCE THE BREATH.





Read More...
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Intermediate Pranayama Cycle: Day 25

ChakrasNadis2
Please remember that pranayama is very subtle and powerful. It’s best not to practice pranayama without some in-person instruction beforehand. NEVER FORCE THE BREATH.





Read More...
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Intermediate Pranayama Cycle: Day 24

ChakrasNadis2
Please remember that pranayama is very subtle and powerful. It’s best not to practice pranayama without some in-person instruction beforehand. NEVER FORCE THE BREATH.





Read More...
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