Ashtanga: Eight Limbs of Yoga Practice

Patanjali’s “Ashtanga” or “eight limbs” of yoga are traditional yogic teachings and practices arranged and documented to form his great work, The Yoga Sutras. In his sutras, Patanjali presents an approach to the ancient system of yoga that is built upon a foundation of social and personal ethics and leads to ultimate liberation of the soul.

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and Approach

Patanjali is known as the person who compiled the main axioms of a living yoga tradition. Historically an Ayurvedic doctor, he has also been credited with authoring an Ayurvedic medical text. His systematic approach honors Ayurvedic wisdom in that it presents an empirical path to reaching the highest spiritual goals of yoga, emphasizing healthy social practices as integral to ultimate personal liberation and spiritual freedom.

The system conveys essential teachings and practices of yoga, beginning with the social ethic “Ahimsa” or “not causing harm”. This attitude and lifestyle pillar is an external premise for the deeper yogic practices and higher powers gained through those deeper practices. Considering Ahimsa is a fundamental yogic practice. In order to understand and appreciate the interconnectedness of all things in the universe, an experience of a reduction in harmful practices is required.

An important …

List 100 Things That You Feel Gratitude for

If you can’t list 100 things, then try to come up with 10-20.

  1. I’m grateful for waking up every morning feeling refreshed.
  2. I’m grateful for having good health.
  3. I’m grateful for being able to sleep in a big, cozy bed.
  4. I’m grateful for being able to eat a warm meal every day.
  5. I’m grateful for a shower with running hot water.
  6. I’m grateful for my intuition because it allows me to think and analyze when problems arise.
  7. I’m thankful to God for his divine presence in my life.
  8. I’m thankful for my heart because it lets me feel love once again.
  9. I’m grateful for my cute little ears because they allow me to hear.
  10. I’m grateful for my cute button nose because it allows me to sneeze.
  11. I’m grateful for my sense of smell.
  12. I’m grateful for my teeth because they allow me to chew my food.
  13. I’m thankful for having electricity in my home at all times.
  14. I’m grateful for my almond-shaped eyes with thick lashes because they allow me to see and trap dust from my eyes.
  15. I’m grateful for my taste buds because it allows me to savor all kinds of food.
  16. I’m grateful for my small

Mindfulness What is It?

There are a lot of words that we could use when talking about being mindful. In its essence mindfulness is being aware in the present moment. Much of the time our attention is invested in our passions about the past. This is because our process of growth has given a foot hold on those memories. Our minds give a sense of present reality to feelings that you have at this time about our past and tries to speculate about our futures. Our minds are constantly drifting in and out of awareness.

For example, for those of us who are old enough to remember when most clocks ticked you would notice the sound. If you apply yourself to something like reading a book your attention becomes captivated by the content. When we stop reading we begin to notice things around us and we notice again the sound of the clock. Our reality is closely tied to what we are aware of. There is a part of you that notices everything. It does not judge and does not get distracted. It is the observer.

Deepak Chopra, (www.deepakchopra.com) who teaches mindfulness as a part of a process of spiritual, physical and mental health …

Secrets of the Sun Salutation: Surya Namaskar naturally co-ordinates with normal breath cycles.

Since yoga is so much taken up with breathing, it might seem very obvious, but it can take years for beginners to realize that the essential exercise series called Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) can be perfectly co-ordinated with normal inward and outward cycling of the breath.

Part of the essence of Hatha yoga is to coordinate each movement with controlled breathing. Good breathing can deepen stretches without straining the muscles. It can awaken the body to the demands of more challenging postures, and it can assist the body to relax in resting postures. It can even help the body to cleanse and purify itself.

Normally, in yoga, whenever the body bends forward or twists sideways and the abdomen and chest are compressed, the breath is exhaled. When the body straightens and lengthens, or when the back is bent backwards so the chest opens up, the breath is inhaled.

Surya Namaskar is a series of postures that seamlessly flow from one into another, beginning while standing in prayer position with the hands meeting in front of the heart. In the first movement, the arms are extended upwards, until the whole body is lengthened and the back arches back slightly with the …

Yoga in Dallas

Whether new to yoga or Dallas, the city’s vibrant, open community offers many styles to explore and helps each individual find his or her own yoga path.

It is often said that everything is big in Texas, and that is certainly the case in Dallas, the city nicknamed the Big D. The yoga community is no exception to the rule. While big hair, oil and shopping are more typically what comes to mind when thinking of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, the area is home to a large and vibrant yoga community.

Growth of Yoga in Dallas

Yoga has exploded in Dallas in recent years. According to Ginger Newberg, a 200-hour (HR) Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) who teaches at studios and gyms, the Dallas yoga community has grown tremendously over the past ten years. “We’ve gone from two or three studios in the DFW area to two to three studios within every five square miles in some places,” says Newberg. Part of what’s fueled yoga’s growth is the city’s ability to bring nationally known yoga teachers to Dallas to conduct workshops and other educational programs. The force behind this effort is yoga instructor, Kendall Inman who started Living Yoga Dallas about …

Breathing Exercises to Help Asthmatics

What is Asthma?

 

Asthma, pronounced Azma, is a lung disease associated with difficulty in breathing. This is because of inflammation and constriction of the airways to lungs, which makes it difficult to breath. The onset of this condition is usually, sudden and the sufferer generally is left gasping for breath. That is why onset of Asthmatic symptoms is called an Attack.

 

Symptoms

The symptoms of this condition are wheezing, constriction of the chest, shallow breathing and coughing. Coughing may be accompanied by expulsion of phlegm (thick, stringy mucous).

 

Causes of asthma

Asthma can be caused by:

  1. Genetic factors as this condition is hereditary.
  2. Allergy. Persons allergic to certain substances or smells are likely to have an attack.
  3. Panic.
  4. Pollution.
  5. Lifestyle. (Smoking etc.)

Anyone can get asthma and since this disease is long-term or chronic in nature, it has to be managed carefully. Thankfully, there is effective medication available however as we know, long-term medication has its own problems.

Yoga breathing exercises can be practised as a supplemental therapy. Regular practice can help reduce the frequency of attacks. This should be the aim.

 

How do breathing exercises help?

Firstly, lets consider how a person breathes. The diaphragm …