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The Only Meditation Proven to Increase Happiness!

Love Yourself Happy! Loving Kindness Meditation is an absolute must-have addition to all the Valentines Day chatter about cards, chocolate and candle light dinners. As yogis, this meditation practice is the essence of what we strive to achieve in our practice whether we are sweating through postures or sitting in contemplation. We learn to forgive, be kind, and compassionate toward ourselves. From this place of self-love, we are then able to extend this practice beyond our sphere of existence into the rest of the world. Many studies have been done on meditation, and while all types of meditation are now known to have numerous types of positive impacts on your physical and psychological well-being, only one kind of meditation has been shown to increase the level of happiness in...

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Five Reasons to Study Yoga Nidra

Twenty five years ago as an undergrad in an Altered States of Consciousness course I watched in fascination as my lab partner swatted an imaginary fly from the hypnosis script I was reading. I remember thinking "This is a big deal!" Yet somehow the significance of this experience faded into the background of degree finishing and other life priorities for almost a decade. Fast forward to me lying on a straw mat in an Indian ashram listening to sounds from the other side of the earth. I am able to do this because my Guru Ji, in his thickly accented yoga nidra instruction voice, had suggested I could. This far eastern experience reignited my undergrad passion for the mystery and power of the subconscious. It...

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3 Sure Fire Yogic Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

Tis the season for some Tapas. And no I don’t mean the appetizers that we have all probably had a few too many of over the holidays. In yoga philosophy tapas is the Sanskrit word meaning self-discipline. In the yoga sutras, the ancient yoga sage Patanjali places such importance on this concept that he lists tapas as one of the three cornerstones of a yoga practice. Tapas is also granted it the status of being one of the all-important 8 limbs of Ashtanga yoga. It has been said that the measure of one’s freedom can be determined by the measure of his self-discipline (or tapas). This never rings more true than at the beginning of the year when we are trying to free ourselves from (or...

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Too Old, Heavy, Stiff for Yoga? No Way!

[caption id="attachment_594" align="alignright" width="356"] My awesome mom in Navasana (Boat Pose).[/caption] Is the Western perception of yoga a barrier for some? The picture to the right is my beautiful mom, Marilyn, whom I called from Tokyo 20 years ago, and asked to meet me in six months at a yoga ashram that was a half-day train ride outside Mumbai. Oh….and to sign up for a yoga class in the meantime so that she would know what yoga was before enrolling in a yoga teacher training course. If you know my mom it might not surprise you that she signed up for an introduction to yoga class at the local YMCA, and was waiting for me at the airport in New Delhi that fall wearing flip flops,...

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Welcome 2021 The Year of the Cow

The Japanese Animal Zodiac and What it Means For You Welcome to the Year of the Cow. As each year-end nears in Japan, you begin to see images of one specific animal popping up in just about every setting imaginable; decorations, cards, advertisements. They vary from year to year and are always an animal of the Japanese zodiac. These animals are thought to be indicators of both individual personality and the nature of the year it represents. There are twelve animals, and they influence our world in twelve-year cycles. Your animal is determined by the year in which you are born. If you are in Japan and being asked what animal you are, that person is probably trying to learn more about your personality (of...

Healing and Appreciating… With a Little Help From the Ancestors

Musings Inspired by Pitru Paksha (The Hindu Period of Ancestor Worship) The view from my late cousin's place of rest. My mom called me today with a camping update. She was excited to have spent the night sleeping next to the grave of an ancestor. It was a whimsical act born of a passing comment from a local that her cousin had been buried in that area a number of generations ago. Upon learning this, my mom immediately rounded up an elderly resident who had been shown the burial area by his grandfather years ago. Together they approximated the burial spot to an overgrown bramble. She felt compelled to camp as close as possible for no obvious reason. As I thought about what might have drawn her to...

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Top TWO Yogic Ways to Thrive in Self Isolation

A Yoga Pathway for Keeping it Real When asked yesterday to write a post on yoga for self isolation I immediately began to compile a list of common yoga wellness techniques. I contemplated the use of breathing practices, asana, journaling, meditation, laughter, music, nature walks, and creative pursuits appropriate for this purpose. As I was organizing my thoughts and ranking activities by relevance, I realized that this was an impossible task. How could I possibly know what any one person in isolation needs right now? Of course, I could not. I remembered however that I do know someone who does know. So instead of creating a list of things to do (or not do) in isolation, I thought I would instead introduce you to the person...

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Eight Reasons to do Yoga Online

The recent need to stay inside due to Covid-19 means that many yoga enthusiasts have had to move from studio to online classes.  While it is true that online classes are not the same as the in-studio experience, they do come with some special perks of their own. If you are wondering whether an online class may be right for you, read on for some of the unexpected joys that my students have shared with me since I transferred to a live streaming option. PJs welcome! Tired from all day at work and wish you could change into your pajamas but it is yoga night? No problem. Yoga at home has no dress code. If you are working from home you may have been in...

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