Yoga Category

For years, I was religious about my yoga asana practice. I woke up and first thing, practiced every day without fail. I had to. Somehow I felt wonky if I did not. My day would unfold more smoothly when I did, and I loved that feeling. Yoga and meditation provided (and still provide) an unequaled opportunity for centering, inner spaciousness and evolutionary support. But anything we do can turn from expansive to constrictive. Soon I began to feel confined by my yoga and meditation practice. In my highly disciplined HathaRead More
A hatha yoga practice flowers from the inside out. It is never about how it looks from the outside in. Life itself grows from within. We often get caught up into thinking that the source of love we all want to experience is somewhere outside. So we push and pull at the moment, wanting to be somewhere else. All the while, the fullness of love we wish to find has been quietly waiting for our fluttering minds to grow quiet. In stillness, we see that love is like a seedRead More
In a yoga world that is garlanded by the latest yoga fashions and the scandals of a guru’s rise and fall, we must learn to let go of all excess and tune into the essential. Rather than striving for masterful asana (yoga poses), that can feed your ego (“Look at me! Look what I can do!”), keep yoga practice simple. Always listen to your body. Do not push. Ever. Even as you do the same pose over and over, remember that each practice is entirely unique. It is a newRead More
We live in a noisy world. When we want to simplify our lives and shed excess, we learn to learn to tune out outside chatter and turn on within. As we do so, we may find that our inner world has a lot to say. As we go within, we will likely come up the ongoing thoughts from our personality and ego that are like busy little workstations on the go. Once we allow this internal noise to settle, we find the wisdom of the body and our soul thatRead More
Mike (Keval) Brooker is a longtime yoga practitioner who also has Asperger syndrome, a condition that affects social interaction and can often contribute to a feeling of stuckness. We interviewed him to find out how yoga helps him with getting unstuck. The name Keval, by the way, means “whole” or “absolute”. Parvati Magazine: In your own words, what is Asperger’s? Keval Brooker: It’s a form of autism, part of the ASD (autism spectrum disorders). I feel it is like having a major part missing. I feel frustration that I don’tRead More
When I think of love and yoga, one word comes to mind: bhakti. There are four primary yogic paths: karma, bhakti, raja and jnana yoga. All yogic paths lead to the same goal, that is, union with the Divine. However the various paths suit those of different temperaments and those with various life approaches. This diversity offers spiritual aspirants the opportunity to find a natural, fitting spiritual practice. It feels to me, as I attempt to put words to paper, that writing about bhakti yoga would best be done inRead More
We habitually think of tasks on our to-do list as obstacles to our happiness that are to be conquered and cleared, so that we may find freedom and ease. New Year’s resolutions can burden our already bursting-at-the-seams task lists, despite our good intentions to somehow create a happier self. We want change because we are unhappy where we are. We run from our problems to perceived solutions, often not taking time to make friends with the present. In the whirl of lists and the determination to complete them, we canRead More
When beginning a new pattern of behaviour, most of us face resistance and lethargy. We must realize that the thoughts and feelings we have today are based on yesterday’s actions. Yoga is an alchemical process and as such, we can expect base elements to be present in our attitude at the beginning. Be like an awakened mother when dealing with yourself and act with an air of detachment, perspective and long term vision. A gentle command is paramount when dealing with the mind. No undue harshness is to be transmitted,Read More
Whether you practice bendy poses, engage in selfless service or sit in meditation, yoga cultivates a balanced state of being in each moment. We learn to soften and rest in a rooted, vital and expansive state, as part of a much bigger whole. Our sense of separation dissolves and we find a oneness with an immensity beyond our limited sense of self. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika, an ancient Hindu text, encourages yogis to cultivate “sukha” and “stira”, a balanced state of being that is neither too relaxed nor too alert,Read More
In the wash of Lululemon colours and flat abs, it can be easy to lose the plot of why we go to a yoga class. As an externally driven society, it is easy for us to allow our senses to carry our practice over to someone else’s mat and forget to place our focus within. Yet the very practice of Hatha Yoga is geared to create balance while drawing our awareness within. To stay within our practice is to remain rooted in our being, not captivated by someone or somethingRead More