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Yoga in Daily Life

//Yoga in Daily Life

Why I love yoga in India

India is a special place, and practicing yoga there has been an amazing experience. There are many things that make yoga in India unique and different from the states, but before I get into some of those differences, I want to start by saying that these practices can be cultivated within any culture, in any country you happen to find yourself. You do not need to travel halfway across the world to start practicing yoga everyday. You can do it in your own living room, on your own or with a small group of friends. When we set goals for ourselves that feel unattainable, it gives us an excuse to quit before we even get started. So don’t decide that India in the only real place to practice yoga, because it’s not! But there is a sense of ease and lineage that make yoga in India a thing all of its own. The two places that I have practiced most of my yoga are in India, the birthplace of yoga, and the United States, the birthplace of modern yoga. With our modern twist, we’ve picked out the parts that we like and tossed a lot of other stuff aside, for reasons that I can’t exactly pin down. I want to highlight some of the things that have made my personal experience practicing yoga in India so fulfilling, and show that they can be recreated anywhere with a little motivation and the right group of people. I am going to focus on two parts of yoga that I have found profoundly different in India: the community, and the practice itself. The community aspect of yoga in India is unlike anything I have experienced anywhere else. When [...]

By | December 26th, 2015|Asana, Meditation, Meditative Asanas, Pranayam, Pranayam, Sitting, Total Yogis, Total Yogis on the Road, Yoga, yoga for energy, Yoga in Daily Life|Comments Off on Why I love yoga in India

Ring in the New Year with Sankalpa

As we near the end of 2015 and look forward to new adventures in 2016 a lot of us feeling the following way: While you are going over things past and setting new goals are you subconsciously self-loathing? As you tell yourself that you want to lose 10 pounds are you subconsciously sending yourself a message that you’re fat? As you tell yourself that you want to watch less TV you are subconsciously sending yourself a message that you’re unhealthy. Call Mom and Dad once a week?! (You’re ungrateful.) Yoga helps you trade in your tired (and probably familiar) resolutions for a sankalpa instead. Sankalpa is a Sanskrit word that means “deep resolve”. It is a New Year’s resolution with a yogic twist. The words of my yoga teacher ring in my ears every time I sit on my mat to practice or teach a class. “Sankalpa is a deep resolve, something you wish to accomplish in the near or far future. State it to yourself three times and in your mind see it accomplished, see it done.” And as you ponder on your sankalpa you may find yourself stuck and not really knowing what is your purpose or a deep resolve this year. I go through periods of not knowing which is a wonderful thing that pushes us to search deeper and look harder. If you are in that space, set aside time to write in a journal and meditate. Contemplate how you would like to feel during the coming year. Is there any way you can reframe your results-oriented resolutions into something that will make this year’s journey more joyful and worthwhile? Instead of saying lose 10 pounds how about ‘May I be [...]

By | December 22nd, 2015|Knowledge Articles, Meditation, Pranayam, The Fun side of Yoga!, Total Yogis, Yoga in Daily Life|Comments Off on Ring in the New Year with Sankalpa

My Holiday with Yoga!!

I can’t wait to get to Bali, and just relaxxxxx!! We are spending Christmas and New year’s eve there and we are going to have a blast! I am sure we will indulge in a lot of festive beverages and eats for the two main days of 25th and 31st and why not! As we will be living it large on the festive days, I will try and be reasonably healthy on the other days. I am also eager to try some Balinese cuisine which I am sure will be filled with flavours and aromas. It will be hot so a lot of hydration, fruit, salads and juices will be a must. There is no skimping on the food for me. I am looking forward to doing yoga by the beach to the lulling repetitive sound of the sea. I am also going to try and go for a run and do some swimming when I can as I will have a pool at my door step. Yoga for me will be priority though. Sounds like Paradise. I may never come back! :) Exciting as the holiday is, I intend to keep my yoga practice  on the priority list, albeit with a holiday twist. Half-an hour a day, and using the beautiful locales to my advantage, I plan to be one with the sun and sand and take my practice with me to beautiful and inspiring Bali. Most of  my students ask me for a basic workout plan whenever they are going away on a holiday. A plan that would help them maintain their fitness levels, but wouldn't be too time consuming, and at the same time something basic enough that can be practiced safely on their [...]

By | December 22nd, 2015|The Fun side of Yoga!, Uncategorized, Yoga, Yoga in Daily Life|Comments Off on My Holiday with Yoga!!

Karma Yoga: The art of doing..

With Diwali having just gone and Christmas just around the corner, this year as every other year is drawing to a close with a lot of buying, spending, giving and expectations! Having just returned from time with family for Diwali, (the Indian festival of lights, beautiful bright shining lights), I was reflecting on how much emotion and effort goes into, not just the celebration but also the anticipation of what you are going to receive and how your gifts are going to be received. This lead me to think about Karma Yoga and its role in our society today! Karma Yoga is the yoga of selfless action. Its roots originate from the 'Mahabharata' when Arjuna is in battle with the Kauravas; his cousins who are being led by his guru, Bhishma Pitamaha. Arjuna goes through remorse and sorrow regarding the imminent battle involving his family and friends on both sides. Arjuna does not want to go into battle and Krishna advises him, to do his duty and surrender the results of all his actions to the supreme being (Krishna himself) rather than surrendering the action itself. That was in the mythological era. In today's day and age, a renowned yogi has explained Karma Yoga beautifully. He says if you put great effort in your activity, that activity is just Karma, if you do it joyfully without expectations then it becomes Karma Yoga! He further explains that with the various activities we perform in everyday life, we create impressions and get entangled in the process of life. Some even believe that these impressions are not just part of this life but also of our previous lives, our 'Karmas'. We get bogged down and involved in the [...]

By | November 20th, 2015|Uncategorized, Yoga, Yoga in Daily Life|Comments Off on Karma Yoga: The art of doing..

Yoga for Love & Devotion -Bhakti Yoga

A time for reflection ...I  felt a deep sense of need to reflect on my yoga practice and consider what it is I do, my thoughts led me... where is love ? This is what I found ..... We know yoga is more than just a set of physical postures. Its a philosophy of life and performing the postures is just a tool to maintain that harmony within our bodies.  There is no single yoga philosophy, no one methodology; if  you study all the different types and schools from the most classical to the most modern, you will notice certain underlying similarities in all of them, whether they are physical or not. Among the most classical types of yoga we can find: Karma Yoga (the yoga of action), Jnana Yoga (the yoga of wisdom) and Bhakti Yoga (the yoga of love and devotion). Bhakti Yoga is a beautiful practice, most famously  practised by  Mother Theresa. It requires us to be compassionate, kind and love unconditionally. In this way we can open our hearts and fully live each moment of our lives, finding happiness in service and loving others. By this practice, our responsibilities will stop being recognized as obligations and instead, they will add value and meaning to our lives. As famously said by Mother Theresa, “It is not about how much we do but how much love we invest on each one of our actions”. AND "Best of all, by practising love we stop doing things for the expectation of results only, because love itself will become the best and only reward." How to Practice Bhakti Yoga? Some people chant, pray, or use love based mantras during meditation. Others like to build simple and personal altars containing [...]

By | November 15th, 2015|Knowledge Articles, Yoga in Daily Life|Comments Off on Yoga for Love & Devotion -Bhakti Yoga

A Broken Glass – Does Your Practice take You beyond the Mat ?

An accidental slip of the hand sent the glass tumbler crashing onto the marble floor, shattering into a thousand irregular shapes. I squeezed my eyelids together, then for a minuscule moment, I was aware that my mind became perfectly still, my breath slow and synchronised, I was in Ujjai breath, I know it well now. A thought then flashed, "Arrgh! ..Those kids," then in an instant the thought of blame and anger was gone, lost, hidden, irrelevant... Was this my Yoga practice translating into my everyday life. I could hear the words of wisdom absorbing me, hearing my Guru's voice soft in my ears "this is why we practice Naukasana, your body is in stress, you are irritated, upset, you maybe cursing me, that's fine... 3 more breaths!.. this is what we are training for .. stillness, calm.. but you are in stress..hold a little longer.. you have the willpower.." Looking at the broken glass, I wasn't irritated or upset..I was calm, in the present moment. Then looking deeper into myself , I saw a reflection into my own life ... I know for sure that life is an unexpected journey, along the way there will be broken pieces piercing into life..Those pieces I know can be repaired, the jagged become smooth, shiny, bright and full of life or they remain broken, dull and empty.. Its ultimately the choices we make... Next time, you roll out your mat... ask yourself ..Does your practice take you beyond the mat...? Author:- Jagdeep Dosanjh-Badwal-

By | November 2nd, 2015|Core Strength, Pranayam, Pranayam, Uncategorized, Yoga in Daily Life|Comments Off on A Broken Glass – Does Your Practice take You beyond the Mat ?