Yoga Category

Soon after I found out I was pregnant, my doctor advised me not to play volleyball as the contact could be dangerous and to stop running because I have exercise induced asthma. I have always led an active lifestyle and was initially discouraged about having to discontinue activities that I love. Thankfully she did not tell me to stop practicing yoga and instead encouraged it as ‘an excellent form of exercise during pregnancy’. And so as my body has expanded over the past eight months, so has my yoga practice.Read More
As a yoga instructor going through a breakup, feeling completely heartbroken, I was preaching poses and pranayama from the deepest depths of “rock bottom”. This is the story of how the aching heart, vulnerability, shame and sadness of losing love, can reveal our most hidden gifts and support systems – how falling into the darkness enables us to pick our head up out of the sand and learn to look inside and access our strengths that we know are there. What is renewal? In our personal lives, many of usRead More
For my entire life, I have been at war. I survived abuse and trauma, beginning in my early childhood. Rather than fighting back, I turned the battle inwards. I figured I deserved what I got, or was simply born “bad” and had to be punished. I tried to destroy myself, plunging head-first into the world of anorexia.  I punished my body by withholding food, and pushed it to its limits through exercise.  As my body shut down, so did my mind. I successfully numbed away all feelings and memories ofRead More

Posted On January 21, 2013By Parvati MagazineIn February 2013 - Wanting, Yoga

Yoga: Yoga and Sexuality, by Parvati Devi

Contrary to a popular misconception, Tantra and sacred sexuality are not the same. In fact, tantra as a whole does not condone the use of sexuality while on the spiritual path. But not everyone is meant to be a hard-core yogi where celibacy is usually considered essential. Most often, people wish to find a more integrated approach to their spirituality and their modern, family life. So where does sex fit into that? If we were deeply honest with ourselves and looked courageously into the recesses of our psyche, we wouldRead More
Home means many things to me. As far as I can remember, I have felt like the world was my home. I speak several languages and feel comfortable in many cultures, with varied people. Perhaps it is no coincidence that my name is Parvati, daughter of the earth. I feel very connected to this planet in a cellular, soulful and spiritual way. I am not much of a homebody, in that I have traveled a lot and lived out of a backpack for much of my adult life. But IRead More
I was asked by a yoga practitioner, who had a background of rigorous, “orthodox” asana practice, about how to know if it is truly the right time for her to change her practice. Anything in our lives can become binding. We can feel joyfully free while jogging, later to find that running feels like a constrictive chore. We can find freedom in the new yoga classes we just adore, to later find that we are bored with the teacher and the routines. We can experience heights of bliss never beforeRead More

Posted On October 17, 2012By Parvati MagazineIn November 2012 - Gratitude, Yoga

Yoga: Alignment with Grace, by Parvati Devi

We tend to think of painful things as mistakes and the good stuff as luck. Or perhaps we think of the stuff we like as grace, a gift from beyond, and things we don’t like as a curse. However we choose to see the moment and understand our life, at some point we ask, what is grace? Do we have control over it? How can we amplify it? Where does it come from? Grace to me is an expression of an alignment between our Nature Body (the physical, emotional, intellectual andRead More
Recently, the scandal swirling around yoga teacher John Friend gave rise to many cynical articles by journalists convinced there was little good in the yoga scene. Scandals in the yoga scene are nothing new. We could cite here pages of stories depicted in ancient yogic texts such as the Mahabharata and Ramayana that illustrate the twisted acts of human folly while on a spiritual path. Yet the media, spearheaded by journalists that are clearly not impartial reporters doing thorough research, seems to proudly point fingers at seeming rot at theRead More

Posted On September 24, 2012By Parvati MagazineIn October 2012 - Masks, Yoga

Yoga: The Light Of Truth, by Parvati Devi

The ancient Sanskrit word “guru” comes from two root words “gu” (darkness) and “ru” (removal of such). The classical Hindu text called the Guru Gita refers to the meaning of the word “guru” as being the one who leads us from the darkness of ignorance to the true light of pure consciousness. How easy it is for our limited ego-mind to project a wish for such liberation upon a human being who is not fully realized, and as such, cannot support our spiritual journey through its perils and promises. BecauseRead More
At the heart of a yogi’s practice, we find a developed sense of “beginner’s mind”. This mental attitude and outlook on life supports the profound and rooted power that comes from humility, receptivity and expansion. Beginner’s mind allows us to be open to possibility, rather than fixed on ideas of what we think this moment should be. It allows us to be in “non-resistance to what is”, rather than projecting our will onto the world. In Hatha Yoga (the physical practice of yoga), an attitude of beginner’s mind is key.Read More