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The Kleshas (part 3 – Pranamaya kosha)…

Prana means energy, maya in this case means body or vehicle. The Chinese call it Chi, the yogis Prana or life force. Prana moves around the body through channels, called nadis. Some 72,000 reportedly, but who counted them, nobody knows. When we pr …

The Kleshas (part 2 – Annamaya kosha)…

Anna means food, maya means appearance (usually illusory). All of the physical aspects of life come and go, and are consumed by another aspect of external reality. Thus, the outermost of the koshas is called the sheath of food, or Annamaya kosha. It li …

The Kleshas (afflictions of the mind)

These 5 Kleshas (afflictions) affect (or color) each of the Koshas (sheaths). Kosha a Sanskrit word usually translated as “sheath”, of which there are also five, each one representing a covering of the Atman (“Self”, according t …

Plant-Based Vs Animal-Based diets – What Does Science Say?

(References in brackets follow)  – US National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health [1]. The number of studies using dietary quality indices to compare restrictive diets with omnivorous diets is limited. One study reports the use of …

Compassion in the Bhagavad Gita…

The energy of Divine love is a specific insight found throughout the Bhagavad Gita. The Divine Self (atma) vibrating throughout the universe is the Divine Master who loves us all equally. Every human person has the ability to hear from within the Divin …

Compassion and Yoga Are One

True compassion manifests as the sacred energy that flows through the heart chakra (Anahata chakra) to each and every living thing in the universe. Whenever it is accessed it enables us to feel a sense of oneness or unity with all. This is the goal and …

Sympathy, Empathy & Compassion – Do You Know the Difference?

Those who practice yoga naturally aspire to living a life of unity. Samadhi (enlightenment) is a common goal, along with “finding” their true self and realizing that Self to be non-separate from all they might ordinarily see as “other …

How the Benefits of Yoga Transcend Conventional Exercise Regimes

Yoga starts by learning how to develop self-awareness and feel good about the physical body. It shapes and tones the body, helps with flexibility and the development of balance and strength, but it doesn’t end there. Additionally, it helps you be …

Yogis, Gurus & Spiritual Teachers – Spot the False Ones…

Because of the outrageous abuses and exploitation by some yogis, gurus, and self-proclaimed masters, many students (especially here in the west) don’t know who to trust. If more than a few of the following descriptions describe your spiritual tea …

Choosing a Qualified Yoga Teacher…

Not at this time and likely not in the near future, will any type of national or international certification program for yoga teachers exist (*see note below for clarification). This is due to the traditional nature of Yoga instruction. Since antiquity …

Problems Athletes May Have on a Vegan Diet and Solutions…

More and more competitive athletes are beginning to try a vegan diet, but for many it’s hard for them stick with it. They start with sincere intentions to improve their health naturally along with benefiting their performance by changing to a pla …

Athletes and Veganism (With / Video)…

Let’s start with a partial list of well known (and successful) vegan athletes: David Carter, 28 year old, 300 pound NFL defensive lineman. John Joseph, 53, Ironman champion and rockstar. Venus and Serena Williams, 35 and 36 respectively, tennis a …

Yoga and Veganism…

Adopting a plant-based (vegan) diet not only makes sense for both our health and the environment, many yogis interpret Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (one of yoga’s primary texts), as indicating veganism as a practice that leads to self-realizatio …

Transitioning from Vegetarian to Vegan…

Most vegans agree, it's more important (and easier) to change your diet one step at a time; if you are currently a vegetarian you probably have already realized that. First you went vegetarian and stayed with that for a while. Plus you learned how …

Are Plants Sentient Beings?

How many times have we vegans heard those who eat animal flesh ask us the following? “You talk about having a diet and lifestyle where you avoid killing any living thing, but what about plants?  Plants are living things and you kill them. …

Violence and Compassion in Veganism…

Compassion is generally defined as the awareness of suffering, and is most often accompanied by a desire to alleviate that suffering. The indisputable fact of biology that non-human animals possess the capacity to suffer is also a matter of pure common …

The Spiritual Aspects of Veganism (Part 2)…

At the onset, let it be known that no one can tell you what is right (or wrong) for you to do  in absolute terms. When it comes to your diet you must follow your own discernment when determining what you need to consume, and under what terms. That …

The Spiritual Aspects of Veganism (Part 1)…

Attracting Negative Energy: So the question arises, why would anyone consciously attract negative energy? Well from a metaphysical standpoint, it’s generally because there is a sort of withdrawal (or contraction) from the delicate world of sensit …

Effects of a Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet on Mental/Emotional States…

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States ages 18 and older (this is 18% of the population). Depression also has a major impact, affecting 9.5 percent of the adult population, acc …

The Ethics of Veganism…

It's easy and highly tempting for most omnivores to believe that the meat they eat is ethical, that these “food animals” have lived full, happy lives and that they have experienced little to no pain or fear at the slaughterhouse. Yet sa …

Snacking – Vegan Style (W/Bonus Recipe)…

Having quick, simple, healthy and vegan-friendly snacks on-hand doesn’t have to be hard by any means. Actually, with a little planning, it can be quite easy. It’s really fun and simple to keep your fridge stocked with plenty of fresh fruit …

Supporting Evidence for Vegans

There's plenty of scientific evidence to justify a transitioning to a plant-based diet, and it seems the stories of personal transformation; curing a host of diseases, losing unwanted weight, manifesting an active lifestyle are the things that make …

Dining Out – A Vegan guide…

If you’re looking for vegan options while travelling or information regarding vegetarian/vegan-friendly restaurants close to where you live, this article will help. Vegan Dining at Local Eateries: At the onset, it’s good to note that as a g …

Vegan Baking – Without Dairy or Eggs (W/Bonus Recipe)

Most of us have a sweet tooth, and especially a weakness for baked goods. The problem is for many vegans, it’s tough working baked sweets into our diet, because dairy and eggs are found in most recipes for cakes, muffins, cupcakes, cookies and ev …

Eliminating Dairy from Your Diet (W/Bonus Recipe)

There are tons of health and ethical reasons to avoid dairy products. Looking at the health side, countless people who’ve quit dairy discovered that their chronic congestion, digestive problems, ear and other upper-respiratory infections, acne an …

Vegan Nutrition – Addressing Your Concerns…

In the last few years, vegetarian diets have rapidly increased in popularity. A sufficient vegetarian diet is directly related with many health benefits because of its higher content of fiber, folic acid, vitamins C and E, potassium, magnesium, and num …

Cauliflower – A Versatile Vegan Delight is In Season…

Enjoyed cooked or raw, cauliflower is a great addition to your Healthiest Way of Eating, and now it's available year-round. While green vegetables may contain more chlorophyll, cauliflower is also rich in nutrients and, like its cousins, cabbage, k …

Stocking Your Vegan Kitchen (A Basic List)

If you’re a newbie to plant-based eating, there are several food items you should take note of and incorporate into a regular part of your diet. These staples will help you to create the bases for meals of all types, from breakfasts to desserts a …

Vegan Substitutes for Animal Products

One of the trickiest aspects of vegan (plant-based) cooking is finding substitutes for animal products and this applies to both the novice vegan cook and someone who has been doing it for a while. The good news is that it can be fun (and quite rewardin …

Veganism – Getting Started

Adding love and compassion to your life with a plant-based diet is not as hard as you might think. Everyone has heard the phrase, “every journey begins with the first step.” And that first step is prompted by desire. There are many reasons …

Sattva, Rajas & Tamas – The 3 Gunas

Within Hindu (including Tantric/Yogic) philosophy, the manner in which the universe manifests itself is described with numerous intersecting and overlapping concepts, explaining how Brahman (as the non-dual consciousness) becomes duality; bringing the …

Your Body’s pH – Is It Acid or Alkaline?

So what exactly is ph? pH stands for “potential hydrogen” which is the measure of hydrogen ion concentration, i.e.; the measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. In our particular case, that “solution” refers to our body’s fluids and tissues. …

Yoga and Muscle Conductivity

Muscle conductivity is simply the ability to conduct impulses, either electrical or chemical, along the muscle membrane. Muscles enable you to move. The muscles in your arms lift and pull. Muscles in your legs help you stand, walk and run. Thumb muscle …

Yoga and Diabetes

The practice of yoga asana and pranayama is effective both as a preventive measure and also a treatment for Type 2 diabetes, where the causes are generally attributed to unhealthy lifestyle choices and stress. Unlike any most other forms of exercise, y …

How to Use Thoughts to Vibrate at a Higher Level

Anyone who’s interested in personal development really needs to learn how to constantly emit higher levels of thought vibration; although we can conveniently call it something else like “happiness”, “peace of mind,” or an “abundance consciousness” for …

How to Raise Your Thought Vibration

First, we need to begin by determining whether a thought we are thinking is empowering or disempowering. We can check in with our thoughts by simply asking ourselves, “Are the thoughts that I am thinking empowering or disempowering?” When we change our …

How to Raise Your Personal Vibration

Modern science has concluded that everything that exists in the universe is made of vibration” – Hiroshi Doi-sensei… Raising our vibration is an extremely effective way to insure we’re living a balanced and happy life It’s also a way to send positive …

The Effects of Spiritual Vibrations in the Home (Vastu Shastra)

Vastu Shastra is an ancient science of architecture and construction derived from texts found on the Indian subcontinent. This science has paved all its way from ancient history of the vedic ages to the present day technology used by architects and bui …

Yogic Techniques for Raising your Vibration and Expanding your Awareness

Operating on a higher frequency makes us happier, stronger, more aware and more creative. By raising our vibrations we’ll make better decisions, we’ll be seeing clearly and with a broader perspective. When we are functioning at a higher vibration our c …

“Vibrational Healing”

Vibrational Healing is the trend of the future for humans to overcome illness and disease and attain/maintain a state of optimal health. Technological advances are now beginning to provide a means that is sure to allow scientific testing to validate th …

Our Vibratory Patterns – What They Mean (pt. 3)

Part 3 will be continuing this series of discussions examining the extensive world of vibrations; how and what they manifest, interact with each other and perhaps most of all, how they affect us as humans. To review Part 1, follow this link: http://rae …

Our Vibratory Patterns – What They Mean (pt. 2)

Part 2 will be continuing this series of discussions examining the extensive world of vibrations; how and what they manifest, interact with each other and perhaps most of all, how they affect us as humans. To review Part 1, follow this link: http://rae …

Our Vibratory Patterns – What They Mean (pt. 1)

This article will be an introduction to a series of discussions examining the extensive world of vibrations; how and what they manifest, interact with each other and perhaps most of all, how they affect us as humans. “Everything in Life is Vibration” – …

The Kleshas (afflictions of the mind)

From the perspective of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras it is important to understand that emotional pain and all its varied expressions, such as depression, stem from the desire, attachment, fear and certain unconscious universal constructs (Kleshas) that exi …

Discovering Your Dharma (your true life path)

  Dharma Wheel Probably one of the most commonly asked questions in life is “why am I here?” This line of questioning originates from our True Self and leads us to look beyond the world of ordinary appearances. It provides us with the opportunity …

God Bless the Child of a Dysfunctional Family

Although this post is a bit of a departure from the norm on my blog, recent circumstances and an increasing awareness of the prevalence of this wide-spread problem have prompted me to speak out. When can a family be called dysfunctional? According to t …

How to Live Like a Yogi

Living the life of a yogi doesn’t mean you have to carry your mat with you and roll it out every chance you get. Neither do you need to live in a cave or wear a loincloth; you don’t even have to be all that flexible. There are many misconceptions about …

Yoga Should Be Fun Too!

Lighten up your practice Most people tend to be little too serious about their yoga asana practice, but adding some fun to their routine (or sequences) helps them to relax and lighten up.  All across the US, yoga teachers and their studios are now reco …

Choose Peace – Embrace Life

  As humans our bodies have preconditioned responses to threats and/or challenges, whether they’re real or perceived, anything from the attack of a tiger to hostile words from a coworker tends to prompt the “fight or flight” reaction. This automat …

Yoga – The Only Exercise You Need!

A common question people ask is “what else do I need to do to get enough exercise other than practice yoga?” The answer to this question is; nothing! Yoga supplies everything a body needs to function at its very best. Here are some reasons why: Yoga is …

Navigating the Roller Coaster of Life

Who doesn’t sometimes feel like they’re up one day and down the next; whether it’s trying to keep your personal and family life on an even keel, dealing with financial issues in a tough economy or even dealing with the current social/political climate, …

Adapt a Plant-Based Diet for Optimal Health

Eating like a king! If you are among those people who are looking for the optimal diet that will make you look and feel younger, lose unwanted pounds, prevent disease and live a happy, healthy and long life, you are not alone. No need for any expensive …

Yoga Counteracts Stress & Anxiety

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) affects 6.8 million adults, (3.1% of the U.S. population), in any given year, with women being twice as likely to be affected; this, according to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA). The exact cause of …

Ayurveda – The Basics

The Sanskrit word Ayurveda comes from two root words which mean life principle and knowledge. It is a tatpurusha word (a compound of two words in the Sanskrit language  “ayus” and “veda”). “Ayus” means life and “Veda” means knowledge or science, so whe …

Finding Peace in Today’s World

Finding peace in today’s world can be a challenge for most of us due to our work schedules, hectic lifestyles and daily responsibilities, so here are a few tips based on yoga science and philosophy that may help… First, try getting back in touch with …

The Importance of the Breath in Yoga

Why is proper breathing stressed so much in yoga? Other than the fact that it keeps us alive, why is the link between yoga and breathing so important? During a typical yoga class, we are instructed to practice pranayama, which means we breathe consciou …

Listening to Your Heart

If we take a moment and look deeply, most of us will realize that in our heart we feel a desire to be more in harmony with our true nature, to recognize the inherent ability to rest in who and what we really are. Plants don’t feel this desire. They can …

Yoga Practice for Improved Lung Function

A recent study has shown yoga practice to be beneficial for patients with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), an incurable, often progressive lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe normally. COPD can include Chronic Bronchitis, Emphy …

How Well is Your Head and Heart Aligned?

One of our greatest strengths as humans lies in our unique ability to operate from either our head or our heart. Both our brain (with the ability to think) and our heart (with the ability to feel) are powerful organs that not only sustain life, but the …

Is Ashtanga Yoga a Religion?

For those who have never practiced Ashtanga Yoga, you may be wondering about this practice since it was the basis of a recent (July 2013) trial about a school yoga program in Encinitas, CA. California Judge Joe Meyer ruled that a public school district …

Meditation on the “Feeling” of Being

A quick Google search of the WWW will quickly reveal just how many types of meditation there are available to practice, each with its own disciplines and techniques. The ultimate goal of each one of them is to go beyond practice and make them “seamless …

More About Vairagya (Non-Attachment)

To continue where the last article (Abhyasa & Vairagya – the Two Pillars) left off… *To review – Patanjali’s definition of non-attachment (vairagya) Sutra 1.15 – drista anushravika vishaya vitrishnasya vashikara sanjna vairagyam – “When the mind …

Abhyasa & Vairagya – the Two Pillars

Patanjali, in his Yoga Sutras, gives us this definition of Yoga: Yoga Sutra 1.2 – Yogash-chitta-vritti-nirodhah – “Yoga is the mastery (or control) of the modifications (fluctuations) of the mind-field.” For practical purposes, this sutra can be transl …

Yoga as Science

The ancient view of where yoga and science meet has been considered “yoga as science,” what does this mean to you? It is common for people when they talk about yoga to speak of it as something to do with the physical body only. But yoga is much more, i …

Jnana or Bhakti – Which Are You?

The term jnani in Sanskrit literally means “one who knows things as they are” (a seer), and most often refers to someone who has pursued spiritual growth through the path of wisdom (or insight). It’ meaning is also twofold since it can be used as a nou …

Five Ancient Yoga Secrets for the ULTIMATE Beauty Treatment

Everyone wants to look and feel their best and this is only natural. The secret yoga has to offer is…You don’t have to spend a lot of time and/or money or subject yourself to painful cosmetic procedures to radiate your inherent, natural beauty. Here …

Mindfulness: Benefits & Cultivation…

Mindfulness benefits… As hinted at by the definitions in the previous post, “Mindfulness – What’s the Buzz”, increasing mindfulness helps one to become more focused, more creative, happier, healthier, more relaxed, and in control, and obviously, it c …

Mindfulness – What’s the Buzz?

  It seems as if the word “mindfulness” is seen and heard just about everywhere today, used to promote everything from weight loss regimes to being more productive at home and on the job. Being the hot topic that it is, mindfulness (like meditatio …

Aids to Discovering Spiritual Truth

It is often said that the ultimate truth cannot be spoken or put into words, so “indicators” are used to get the seeker to look (and experience) that truth directly. Most of us have heard the analogy that a finger pointing at the moon is not the moon i …

The Teachings of Yoga (Part 18: Gaining Knowledge – Higher Truths, cont.)

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – Chapter 1: (Gaining Knowledge of Higher Truths, cont.; Sutras 1.49-1.51) Yoga Sutra (1.49) – shruta anumana prajnabhyam anya-vishaya vishesha-arthatvat. Shrutameans heard or received; Anumana (lit. from the mind), inference, u …

The Teachings of Yoga (Part 17: Gaining Knowledge – Higher Truths)

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – Chapter 1: (Gaining Knowledge of Higher Truths; Sutras 1.47-1.48) Yoga Sutra (1.47) – nirvichara vaisharadye adhyatma prasadah. Nirvichara means beyond reflection or devoid of subtle thoughts (nir = without, vichara = subtle t …

The Teachings of Yoga (Part 16: Types of Engrossments, cont.)

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – Chapter 1: (Types of Engrossments, cont.; Sutras 1.44-1.46) Yoga Sutra (1.44) – etaya eva savichara nirvichara cha sukshma-vishaya vyakhyata. Etaya means by this or by these; Eva is also; savichara means investigation accompan …

The Teachings of Yoga (Part 15: Types of Engrossments)

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – Chapter 1: (Types of Engrossments; Sutras 1.42-1.46) Yoga Sutra (1.42) – tatra shabda artha jnana vikalpah sankirna savitarka samapattih. Tatra means there, among these; Shabda is sound, word or name; Artha means object, form …

The Teachings of Yoga (Part 14: After the Mind is Stable)

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – Chapter 1: (After the Mind is Stable; Sutras 1.40-1.41) Overview of Sutras 1.40-1.41) Once the mind has been reasonably stabilized and clear (see yoga sutras 1.33-1.39), the process of Yoga can begin to deepen further. Once th …

The Teachings of Yoga (Part 13: Stabilizing/Clearing the Mind, cont.)

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – Chapter 1: (Stabilizing/Clearing the Mind cont.; Sutras 1.36-1.39) Overview of Sutras 1.36-1.39) The previous sutras (1.34 – 1.35) were the 1st and 2nd of 5 specific “concentrations” that Patanjali recommended for stabilizing …

The Teachings of Yoga (Part 12: Stabilizing/Clearing the Mind)

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – Chapter 1: (Stabilizing/Clearing the Mind; Sutras 1.33-1.35) Overview of part 12… Many teachers of meditation emphasize one method only, such as concentrating on the breath, some virtue such as compassion, a specific center in …

The Teachings of Yoga (Part 11: Obstacles & Solutions)

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – Chapter 1: (Obstacles & Solutions; Sutras 1.30-1.32) Overview of part 11… As your practice evolves obstacles are to be expected: Yoga sutra 1.30 lists a number of predictable obstacles that arise on your inner journey, a …

The Teachings of Yoga (Part 10: Samadhi Attained by Devotion, cont.)

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – Chapter 1: (Samadhi attained by devotion, cont.; Sutras 1.25-1.29) This practice takes the student on a direct route inward, systematically penetrating each of the levels of consciousness. As we have already reviewed in part 9 …

The Teachings of Yoga (Part 9: Samadhi Attained by Devotion)

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – Chapter 1: (Samadhi attained by devotion; Sutras 1.23-1.24) Patanjali uses the next few sutras to focus on the concept of Ishvara  in the framework of yoga. Early writings often used Ishvara to mean “master.” A yogesvara was t …

The Teachings of Yoga (Part 8: Effort & Commitment – Cont.)

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – Chapter 1: (Effort & Commitment – cont.; Sutras 1.21 – 22) These two sutras (1.21 and 1.22) discuss the levels of intensity applied to actual practice and commitment to the goal. This way each person can progress at their …

The Teachings of Yoga (Part 7: Effort & Commitment)

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – Chapter 1: (Effort & Commitment; Sutras 1.19 – 20) Yoga Sutras 1.19 and 1.20 describe two kinds of aspirants, both of whom can attain the goals of Yoga: 1. Advanced, born with true insight: These aspirants are those who ha …

The Teachings of Yoga (Part 6: Types of Concentration)

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – Chapter 1: (Types of Concentration; Sutras 1.17 – 18) Yoga Sutras 1.17 and 1.18 describe the entire process of samadhi, the higher tool of meditation. Therefore, the whole process of yoga is summarized in these two and the pre …

The Teachings of Yoga (Part 5: Practice & Non-Attachment, cont.)

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – Chapter 1: (Practice & Non-Attachment; Sutras 1.15 – 16) Yoga Sutra (1.15) – drista anushravika vishaya vitrishnasya vashikara sanjna vairagyam. Drista means seen or perceived. Anushravika means revealed, heard (from other …

The Teachings of Yoga (Part 4: Practice & Non-Attachment)

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – Chapter 1: (Practice & Non-Attachment; Sutras 1.12 thru 1.14) Practice (abhyasa) and non-attachment (vairagya) are the two foundational principles on which the entire system of Yoga rests. Through the cultivation of these …

Karma, Self-determination and Free Will

Karma: this frequently heard word has entered most Western languages including English. The word karma comes from the Sanskrit root kri meaning “to do.” Karma translated is action, plain and simple, whether involuntary or voluntary, although as a relig …

The Teachings of Yoga (Part 3: Un-coloring Your Thoughts – Cont.)

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – Chapter 1: (Un-coloring Your Thoughts; Sutras 1.6 thru 1.11) Yoga Sutra (1.6) – pramana viparyaya vikalpa nidra smritayah. The five types of thought patterns to witness are: 1. Correct knowing (pramana) 2. Incorrect knowing (v …

The Teachings of Yoga (Part 2: Un-coloring Your Thoughts)

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – Chapter 1: (Un-coloring Your Thoughts; Sutra 1.5) Part 1 (*link below) in this series ended with the forth Yoga Sutra (1.4) – vritti sarupyam itaratra, which says: “At other times, when one is not in self-realization, the Seer …

The Teachings of Yoga (Part 1 – Yoga Defined)

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – Chapter 1: Defining – What is Yoga? (Concentration/Samadhi Pada; Yoga Sutras 1.1 thru 1.4) The first Yoga Sutra (1.1) – Atha yoga anushasanam. Atha is a most auspicious word. It is generally translated from the Sanskrit as “no …

Yoga Provides Relief for PTSD Sufferers

The number of military and veteran suicides is rising, and experts fear it will continue to increase despite aggressive suicide prevention campaigns by the government and private organizations. Some 8,000 veterans are thought to die by suicide each yea …

Navarasa – the 9 Rasas or Emotional Essences

In Sanskrit Nava means nine and Rasa has many translations in English, and the main ones are: essence, juice, nectar, taste, or sap, but Rasa is commonly used to denote the sense of an “emotional state.” The nine Rasas were (and are) the backbone of In …

Yoga, Sensitivity and Intention

As we fast approach the Holiday Season, it seems as though no matter how much we try to avoid it, stress inevitably will rear its ugly head.  With awareness and sensitivity it will be obvious when it is happening to you.  Once its onset is recognized w …

Using Bandhas to “Lock-In” Your Life-Force

Prana (Life-Force or Energy) flows through us continually, keeping us alive. It is this flow of Prana, which regulates the functions of our body and mind. However, when this flow or pattern becomes irregular it routinely leads to various physical and m …

Yoga and a Grateful Heart

The most natural state of the human heart is that of gratitude. And a grateful, open heart receives everything that impacts it in life, moment by moment, just like the ocean receives raindrops. There’s never any rejection or coveting of any individual …

Is It Important To Be “Spiritual?”

Before we examine whether someone should strive to be “spiritual” or not, we should try to reach an understanding of what is meant by being spiritual. Spirituality (being spiritual) implies different things to different people. For some people it may m …

Meditation – It’s Not What You Think!

It’s also not just something you do. Meditation (Dhyāna) is a process, and may best be described as a continuous, unbroken, conscious awareness of the mind’s activities when in its raw state. Meditation, as a process, involves overcoming the distractio …

Looking for a Guru?

Do you wonder where to start, where to look to find a guru? You’ll find there are all kinds and types of gurus; often “guru” indicates a title for a teacher or a guide in most any subject, such as music, dance, art and sculpture, but especially religio …

Yoga, Ayurveda and Whole-Foods

Both yoga and Ayurveda (the Indian Science of Healing) were inspired and developed by the great sages of ancient India, well over 5000 years ago. They were also both created to keep the body and mind strong, allowing students and practitioners to focus …

Yoga’s Perspective on Fear & Guilt

Like many other things in life, fear and guilt (in themselves) are neither good nor bad, they simply are. In any given instance, they can serve to further our goals and needs or just the opposite, they can push us further away from them. In any event, …

Develop a Positive Attitude with Yoga

The essence of all yoga practice is to remain positive in any situation that we find ourselves in. By remaining positive, our interactions with ourselves, others and the world at large become brighter, more productive and perpetuate a feeling of self-s …

Break the Stranglehold of Thought!

Can you become the master of thought? Thought can become the master of us all, and as we all probably already assume, a good thought can be a good master and a bad thought can be a bad master. Good thoughts uplift us, making our mood brighter, and maki …

The Siddhis – What Are They & How Should We View Them?

Siddhis are the development of super natural powers by a student or aspirant of yoga when they reach the initial level or stage of samadhi called samprajnata samadhi (aka savikalpa samadhi). In this state, we are not fully immersed in the Universal (or …

The Problem of Thoughts & Yoga’s Solution

To quote Eckhart Tolle, “Not to be able to stop thinking is a dreadful affliction, but we don’t realize this because almost everybody is suffering from it, so it’s considered normal. This incessant mental noise prevents you from finding that realm of i …

Locating the Source of Stress & the Way of Yoga

Do you ever wonder why we wake up some days and seem to breeze through the entire day without sensing any stress, frustration or anxiety, when on another day stress and anxiety seem to be inescapable? Is it something we ate or drank? Is it possible we’ …

The Ego According to Yoga Philosophy

Sooner or later everyone asks the question “what is the ego?”, and the general definition is usually something like this: “the ‘I’ or self of any person; a person as thinking, feeling, and willing, and distinguishing itself from the selves of others an …

Principles of Health and Natural Healing

Our health is determined by factors that are created (in part) from our environment. Imagine a spinning wheel in which we are the center or hub; at the outer rim (or periphery) is our natural environment and all its associated energies, e.g.; the sun, …

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and Advaita Vedanta

Basic differences and similarities of the two Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (Raja Yoga) posit the Purusha and Prakriti which basically categorize the sutras as a dualistic philosophy, representing both the manifest (Purusha) and the un-manifest (Prakriti). W …

The Wisdom of Patanjali

Most students of yoga have heard of Patanjali, but if they haven’t, then it’s only a matter of time before they do. Patanjali was an Indian sage who distilled the essence of India’s spiritual/philosophical traditions, which included centuries of philos …

Yoga, Love and “Connection”

Yoga is “Connection” There’s numerous ways to define yoga, but each of the definitions are ultimately all about connection. In Sanskrit, the word ‘yoga’ is literally translated as “to join” or “to unite” and is used to signify any form of connection. S …

Common Household Toxins: Are They In Your Home?

Most people are not aware that there are well over 50 toxic chemicals found in the average home in the US.  Toxins that can, over time, raise havoc with your body! It’s no wonder why more and more people are beginning to suffer from asthma, hormonal pr …

High Blood Pressure – Yoga Lowers the Numbers!

When most people think of yoga asana (poses) flexibility, relaxation and perhaps meditation come to mind. Using yoga practice for a system of healing the body seldom enters the mind of those living in the Western hemisphere. In spite of today’s prevail …

Therapeutic Yoga Asana for Diabetics

There are two major types of Diabetes:. Type 1 Diabetes, (aka juvenile Diabetes or insulin-dependent Diabetes), is a disorder of the body’s immune system where there is no production of insulin, and Type 2 is where the pancreas does not produce enough …

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Yoga Eases the Weariness

Although Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) can be debilitating, people who suffer from it report, first and foremost, that they experience profound fatigue that no amount of sleep or rest can relieve. It causes an assortment of non-specific symptoms inclu …

Obstacles to Spiritual Awakening (Self-realization)

“Now that is the wisdom of a man, in every instance of his labor, to hitch his wagon to a star, and see his chore done by the gods themselves.” is a famous Ralph Waldo Emerson quote urging everyone to aim high and have lofty aspirations. But suppose we …

Measuring Spiritual Growth

Could you be a Saint, a Guru, a Yogi or a Zen Master?  Or maybe you’re just an ordinary decent, moral human being. How would you know for sure? Are there qualifications, or maybe some tests you can take to determine your spiritual growth?  Well, yes th …

Yoga Helps Manage IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

Let’s start with what irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) actually is and what causes it? Contrary to common opinion IBS is not a disease; it is a group of symptoms that occur together. Irritable bowel syndrome is a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder …

Hatha or Ashtanga Yoga? A Beginning Student’s Dilemma

It is often quite confusing for those interested in beginning a regular yoga practice to choose from all the yoga studios online. Which style of yoga would be best suited for them, can be a major concern. Before they figure out which class they’d be mo …

Nooch – Excellent Source of B12 for Vegan’s and Vegetarians

First, what is “Nooch?” Nooch is slang for “good tasting nutritional yeast”, a yeast that is deactivated (meaning it has no fermenting ability). It is produced by culturing pure strains of yeast with a mixture of sugarcane and beet molasses, it’s then …

The Advantages of a Plant-Based Diet (Pt. 3)

Part 3 of this series continues with “Some unexpected benefits of eating a plant-based diet.” First, A lot of people who claim to be vegetarian eat more than simple plant-based foods and a little research will show that there are many different types o …

The Advantages of a Plant-Based Diet (Pt. 2)

Part 2 of this series continues with “Reasons why you should eat plant-based diet.” Ever since the introduction of documentaries such as “Forks Over Knives” (click on – trailer), “Vegucated” (trailer), and “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” (full documentar …

The Advantages of a Plant-Based Diet (Pt. 1)

This post begins a three part series discussing the advantages and benefits of a plant-based diet: Part 1 – The philosophical and ethical reasons to eat a plant-based diet instead of consuming animal products. Part 2 – Reasons why everyone should consi …

Brain Function – Yoga VS Aerobic Exercise…

It’s time to give a little support to the yogis in the age old “yoga versus exercise” debate. A recent study shows 20 minutes of yoga beats out 20 minutes of aerobic exercise for overall positive effect on the brain’s cognitive abilities. Studies condu …

Practicing Self-Enquiry in Daily Life

About Self-Enquiry… The practice of Self-enquiry (“Atma-vichara” in Sanskrit) is the most important meditation practice in the Advaita-Vedanta tradition. It is the primary practice of the yoga of knowledge (Jnana Yoga), which is traditionally regarde …

Are You Happy? If Not, Here’s Some Tips…

Ever wonder what makes life a joyful experience for some, while it’s a sad, often frustration filled journey for others? Is it due to their basic disposition? Is it fate or luck? Could it be Karma?  These somehow seem like excuses. You are supposed to …

Introduction to Blue-Green Algae (an overview)

According to science, this world we live in has existed for about 4.5 billion years; spinning in space while continuously evolving, giving us life as we know it today. Suddenly, almost miraculously, something fascinating happened! Approximately 3 billi …

Summer – The Time for Healthy, Cleansing Foods

Everyone knows summer is the season of the sun, outdoor activities, and vacations. Summer is also the best season for plenty of good healthy, detox foods. All produce is best when we can find and buy it locally grown and in its freshest state, which su …

Restorative Yoga Practice and Its Many Benefits

In addition to regular (active) yoga poses, restorative yoga has its own unique benefits and is quite useful for establishing an overall well balanced yoga practice. There are a variety of static restorative asanas (poses); each one has its own benefit …

Got Belly Fat? Yoga Asana Can Help!

Regular yoga practice can help greatly in the reduction of belly fat (superficial or subcutaneous fat) and fat deposits within in the body (visceral fat). Both these types of fat compromise our ideal appearance, but the visceral fat surrounds our inter …

Overweight? Yoga is for You Too!

Do a Google “Images” search using the word “yoga,” and you’ll notice most of the people in the photos are thin and fit (and most of them are women). You’ll see a thin woman on the beach in warrior pose; there’s a thin woman in front of the sunset in tr …

Positive Thinking, the Power of Thoughts and Patanjali

In Sutra II.33 Patanjali says: “vitarka-badhane pratipaksha-bhavanam” and this means principles that run contrary to yamas and niyamas are to be countered with the knowledge of discrimination. When one has thoughts of violence, untruthfulness, stealing …

Improve Your Posture with Yoga

Would you like to stand straighter or appear taller? Then read on, yoga can help. No matter what your actual height is, by correcting your posture you’ll add the attractiveness of extra elegance and poise. In reality, yoga is not going to make you grow …

Managing Sciatica With Yoga

It is common knowledge that yoga is now a well established (and complementary) approach to managing a wide range of neurological and orthopedic afflictions. And the effectiveness of yoga applies even to the easing of sciatic nerve pain. Along with bein …

Want to Quit Smoking? Yoga Can Help!

According to results of a study published in the Journal of Women’s Health – “Yoga is beneficial for those planning to quit smoking”…And, this is no longer conjecture but a scientifically proven fact. Yoga is a good complementary therapy for cessatio …

Yoga to Improve Breast Appearance

No need to hide your droopy breasts by wearing push up bras any more. If you’re looking for a good solution for saggy breasts, try yoga practice. Yoga asana can give your breasts excellent lift and refined contour. A woman’s breasts are generally taken …

The Main Traditional Indian Yogas

Yoga is viewed in the Vedanta tradition as the path which seeks to unite one’s own soul with Atman (the “True Self,” which is equated with the essential, ultimate, eternal, unchanging, nature of the universe). Most of the Yogas other than Hatha are mos …

Yoga, Aging and Bone Loss

Everyday more and more individuals are finding themselves suffering with ailments related to a weakening of the bones. The ageing process is typically blamed for this loss of bone mass and density, but truthfully, severe bone weakness (or deterioration …

Managing Anxiety with Pratipaksha Bhavana

Soon after we begin to practice yoga we find it offers us many tools and techniques for managing anxiety. One particular yogic technique comes from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and it is called “pratipaksha.”  One translation of Sutra 1.33… “When presente …

Using Yoga to Deal With Those Persistent Samskaras

The term “Samskara” is a Sanskrit word that literally means “impression” and this essentially refers to an individual’s habitual way of thinking, believing and acting. All actions, enjoyments, sorrows and experiences in general leave their mark in the …

The Importance of Meditation to Yoga Practice

Meditation (known as Dhyana in Sanskrit) was part of ancient yoga and remains one of the most essential features of yoga practice. Meditation is basically the most direct way to connect to supreme or essential “Self” (Atman) through developing deeper c …

Meditation Proven to Decrease Stress and Reduce Inflammation

UCLA’s Department of Psychiatry and Bio-behavioral Sciences conducted a recent study that demonstrated once again that even relatively short meditations, when practiced consistently, have numerous significant and positive effects on both the body and t …

The Awesome Benefits of a Yoga Retreat

What is a retreat? It’s a quiet or secluded place where you can rest and relax. What are a YOGA retreats: Quiet and secluded places where you can rest, relax, eat healthy, gain knowledge, insights, personal strength and PRACTICE YOGA. Is your daily rou …

Start Your Day Right with “Wake-Up Yoga”

Do you find yourself waking up begrudgingly after repeatedly pressing the snooze button? Well you can turn this around and make starting your day something you want to do; you may find you’re even excited about getting your day started! The first 5-min …

Sanskrit Will Enrich Your Yoga Practice

Many beginning yoga students ask, “Why should we use Sanskrit terms when learning the asanas? How important is it? Do we have to learn it?” These are common and reasonable questions indeed. Using Sanskrit could be compared to honoring an ancestor? Why? …

Relieve Allergy Symptoms with Yoga

Once again it’s that dreaded time of year we call allergy season, because of the amount of pollen in the air many of us are troubled by watery/itchy eyes, sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, scratchy throat and coughing. Pollen is there to help pla …

Could Yoga Practice Cause Your Skin to Break Out?

Yoga as a therapeutic practice will encourage the process of detoxification. Hot yoga in particular really prompts a release of toxins into the bloodstream for elimination. In the long-run, this is very beneficial for your skin. But in the short-term, …

Mala – Hindu Prayer Beads

Mala beads (or prayer beads) contain quite a bit of mystery, especially for those who are unfamiliar with them or the practice of mantra meditation. Malas are also referred to as mala beads, Buddhist beads or Buddhist prayer beads. Mala beads have been …

Core Strength and Its Importance

If you’ve ever practiced yoga, Pilates or worked with a personal trainer you’ve most likely heard about the importance of engaging or strengthening “the core.” And have you noticed how as soon as you tighten or “firm up” your belly, your posture change …

Try These 12 Tips for a Healthier Life…

Even if you do not practice yoga regularly (or at all), a health promoting lifestyle can still be very simple, inexpensive, and accessible. While you may (or may not) have heard these 12 tips before, you may (or may not) be actually practicing them. Tr …

Attention – It Can Prevent Injury During Yoga Practice

Think about it, practically every yoga injury that happens has been the result of one or more of these three factors…  1. Being in a hurry and moving too fast.  2. Not paying proper attention. 3. Paying attention and knowing you shouldn’t do somethin …

The Importance of Attitude & Yoga Practice

Attitude applies to the way we express or “carry” ourselves. How interesting that it is derived from the Latin word for ‘fit’, and from the French word “attitudine” which means “position” or “posture”. How ‘fitting’ this word is for Yoga practice, beca …

Diet, Hot Yoga and Your Skin…

Never underestimate this amazing organ called the skin as the revealer of many hidden things going on within your body; things you really should pay close attention to. As the largest eliminatory organ in the body, the skin works to assist in the elimi …

You Too Can Apply The Ultimate Beauty Treatment

  Rae Indigo – Welcome The Ultimate Beauty Treatment that boosts your sparkle from within. Rae Indigo will support you to align diet and a powerful yoga sequence, so you cultivate your radiant inner light, anytime, anywhere. The results…  Fit bo …

Yoga Asana to Balance Your Doshas

Yoga and Ayurveda are sister sciences, two interrelated branches of the same great tree of Vedic knowledge that encompasses all of human life and the entire universe. Yoga is a spiritual path, while Ayurveda is therapeutic (and lifestyle-oriented); eve …

The Meaning of Hand Mudras

The Sanskrit word “Mudra” is generally translated as a seal, mark, or gesture. According to custom, Mudras are typically used during meditation and/or pranayama as a way to direct or channel energy flow  throughout the body. According to yoga philosoph …

Yoga for Improved Eyesight (Video)

Due to this technological world in which we currently live, our eyes are routinely being overworked. TV and computer screens, driving, cell phones, fluorescent lights, CCFL, LED, and OLED lighting…all of these have one thing in common?  They are all …

The Importance of Balance in Yoga

Many beginning student/practitioners of yoga find it hard to maintain balance while practicing. Yoga asana is especially good for challenging our balance because we must hold poses still while supporting our own body weight. This forces us to use all t …

The Anti-Aging Benefits of Yoga

Anyone who has been practicing yoga for a time will agree; there’s a strong connection between your body and your mind. So, whenever your mind is under stress, your body reflects it in numerous ways; poor posture, low back pain and tense muscles, are j …

Boost Your Immunity with Yoga Practice

There’s a good chance that you (like most people) spend a lot of your time around large groups of people; in the office, in class, shopping, etc. And, we all know that along with shared experiences and shared conversation come shared colds, viruses and …

Addressing Common Yoga Injuries (Pt. 2 of 2)

This article is a continuation of Addressing Common Yoga Injuries (Pt. 1 of 2) Turn those Ouches into Oms – Some practical suggestions for safe yoga practice. Proper alignment when doing asanas (poses) is key to preventing injuries, but it’s not the on …

Addressing Common Yoga Injuries (Pt. 1 of 2)

Well over 20 million people are currently downward-dogging it across the entire U.S. in an attempt to gain the many health benefits associated with yoga. To name a few of these benefits from yoga practice: *Increased strength *Improved flexibility. *Re …

Yoga Asana, Emotions & Our Internal Organs…

Are you, like many other people, under the impression that the benefits of yoga asana are limited to affecting mostly the muscles and joints? If so, you need to realize also that each and every pose has a specific effect on one or more of the internal …

Jala Neti – De-mystified…(Video)

Millions of people today suffer from sinus infections or nasal congestion of some sort. The overuse of antibiotic and prescription drugs has led to many of them becoming increasingly resistant to the drugs, but there is help available through these uni …

The Basic Mechanisms of Yogic Breathing

There are two main ways in which most people breathe: Chest (or thoracic) breathing and abdominal (or diaphragmatic) breathing. Thoracic breathing is very common in modern people. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that more than 50% of adults are …

An Anatomical Analysis of Yogic Breathing

Most yoga students wonder how a true yogi breathes. Traditional yogic literature claims yogic breathing is the secret to both longevity and a clear mind. The author of Hatha Yoga Pradipika (Swami Svatmarama) states that “When the breath wanders the min …

Asana – Protect Your Joints with Proper Alignment

One of the most important responsibilities of a yoga teacher is to help their students get back in touch with their bodies. As we grow older, most of us gradually “grow out” of our bodies, often decreasing our ability to understand how our bodies reall …

Yoga – as a Solution for Sleep Disorders

According to the National Sleep Foundation 65% of all Americans suffer from a lack of sleep or have trouble getting sufficient sleep on a daily basis. Additionally, more than 40% of adults experience daytime sleepiness that is severe enough to interfer …

Homemade Vegan Facemasks

Our skin is our primary barrier against external attack, insulating and protecting us from being damaged.  If it is compromised, the damaged and/or irritated skin is then even more sensitive and permeable to external attack, and its appearance is also …

The Ethical Standards of a Yoga Teacher

As teachers of Yoga it is important to remember that we forever remain humble students of the science. Yoga truly is a lifelong endeavor. Much more than teaching asana, the responsibilities of a Yoga teacher are many since we are in a position to great …

Do the Yamas and Niyamas Support Veganism?

The Yamas & Niyamas are ethical guidelines and comprise the first two limbs of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras’ “Eight-Fold Path”. They are the very foundation of skillful living according to Yogic philosophy. The Yamas and Niyamas both consist of specific …

Yoga & the 5 Kleshas

Directly following Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra (book II) which describes Kriya Yoga, he explains the five main reasons we are bound, these are known as the Kleshas: [1] 1. Ignorance (Avidya) 2. Ego (Asmita) 3. Attachment to Pleasure (Raga) 4. Aversion to Pa …

Ayurveda & the Three Doshas

Ayurveda is a holistic science of health, focusing on maintaining a physically and emotionally balanced state. Ayurveda began about 5,000 to 6,000 years ago when Indian sages were looking for new ways to be healthy. Revering their bodies like temples, …

Recovering from Antibiotic Use (or over-use?)…

Antibiotics, it seems as if practically everyone is taking them now. Ironically, in developed countries such as the United States and Canada, the average child gets 10 to 20 courses of antibiotics by the time they reach age 18. Furthermore, studies hav …

The Five Principles of Yoga…

The following are the five main general principles of all traditional yoga. As a holistic system, Ayurveda states that each aspect should be done in an individualized manner and according to the season and your current individual constitution (and/or i …

The Five Koshas (Part 5 – Anandamaya Kosha: bliss sheath)

Anandamaya Kosha is the fifth and final of the five Koshas (sheaths) and is comprised of a Sanskrit term “Ananda” (bliss – pure joy), Maya, which means “composed of” and Kosha meaning sheath. So, Anandamaya Kosha is the sheath that is composed of bliss …

The Five Koshas (Part 4 – Vijnanamaya Kosha: wisdom sheath)

Vijnanamaya Kosha is the fourth of the five Koshas (sheaths) and is a Sanskrit terms “jna” (to know), “vi” (apart), together they imply discernment. Maya means composed of, Kosha means sheath. So, Vijnanamaya Kosha is the sheath that is composed of the …

The Five Koshas (Part 3 – Manomaya Kosha: mind sheath)

Manomaya Kosha is the third of the five Koshas (sheaths) and is a Sanskrit term meaning “the sheath of the mind”. Mano or Manas, in Sanskrit, means “mind”, Maya means composed of, Kosha means sheath. So, Manomaya Kosha is the sheath that is composed of …

The Five Koshas (Part 2 – Pranamaya: air sheath)

Pranamaya Kosha is the second of the five Koshas (sheaths). Pranamaya Kosha, is a Sanskrit term meaning “the sheath of energy”. Prana, in Sanskrit, means vital energy, Maya means composed of, Kosha means sheath. So, Pranamaya Kosha is the sheath of vit …

The Five Koshas (Part 1- Annamaya: food sheath)

Annamaya Kosha is the first and outer of the five Koshas (sheaths). Annamaya Kosha, is a Sanskrit term meaning “the sheath of food” (anna), more specifically, the physical (or gross) body, which is made of food. All of the physical aspects of life come …

The Five Koshas (Sheaths)

Kosha a Sanskrit word usually translated as “sheath”, of which there are five, each one representing a covering of the Atman (“Self”, according to Vedantic philosophy). They range from gross to subtle and are often visualized like the layers of an onio …

The Five Niyamas (Part 5 – Ishvara Pranidhana)

This article is the fifth and final part of a five part series based on this post: The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 2 – Niyama) The fifth of the five Niyamas is Ishvara Pranidhana. In its simplest form, the Sanskrit term is a combination of the words; Ish …

The Five Niyamas (Part 4 – Svadhyaya)

This article is the fourth of a five part series based on this post:  The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 2 – Niyama) Svadhyaya The fourth of the five Niyamas is Svadhyaya – a compound Sanskrit word literally translated sva, meaning “one’s own”, and adhyaya, …

The Five Niyamas (Part 3 – Tapas)

This article is the third of a five part series based on this post: The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 2 – Niyama) Tapas (heat) The third of the five Niyamas is Tapas – a Sanskrit term meaning “heat”. In Vedic religion and Hinduism, Tapas is also used figur …

The Five Niyamas (Part 2 – Samtosha)

This article is the second of a five part series based on this post: The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 2 – Niyama) The second of the five Niyamas is Samtosha (also Santosha) – a Sanskrit term meaning contentment or satisfaction. The word Samtosha is derive …

The Five Niyamas (Part 1 – Shaucha)

This article begins a five part series based on this post: The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 2 – Niyama) Shaucha (purity) The first of the five Niyamas is Shaucha – a Sanskrit term meaning purity. The word Shaucha is derived from the Sanskrit root word ‘sh …

The Five Yamas (Part 5 – Aparigraha)

This is the fifth and final article of a five part series based on this post: The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 1 – Yama)     The fifth of the five Yamas is Aparigraha, a Sanksrit word for greedlessness or non-grasping. It comes from the word par …

The Five Yamas (Part 4 – Brahmacharya)

This article is the forth of a five part series based on this post: The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 1 – Yama) The forth of the five Yamas is Brahmacharya – a Sanskrit term that translates into English as “behavior that leads to Brahman”. The word brahmac …

The Five Yamas (Part 3 – Asteya)

This article is the third of a five part series based on this post: The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 1 – Yama) The third of the five Yamas is Asteya – a Sanskrit term that translates into English as “avoidance of stealing” or “non-stealing”. But in princi …

The Five Yamas (Part 2 – Satya)

Satya This article is the second of a five part series based on this post: The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 1 – Yama) The second of the five Yamas is Satya – a Sanskrit term that translates into English as “truth”, “truthfulness” or “honesty”. Satya is al …

The Five Yamas (Part 1 – Ahimsa)

Ahimsa This article begins a five part series based on this post: The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 1 – Yama) The first of the five Yamas is Ahimsa – a Sanskrit term meaning to do no harm (literally: the avoidance of violence – hinsa). The word is derived …

The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 8 – Samadhi)

Samadhi is a Sanskrit word which is the state of consciousness induced by complete meditation, derived from the verbal roots “samā” (the state of total equilibrium) and “dhi” (of a detached intellect). Samadhi is the eighth and final of Patanjali’s “Ei …

The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 7 – Dhyana, W/Video)

Dhyana is a Sanskrit word which means to meditate, derived from the verbal root dhyai, Dhyana  it is the most common designation for both the meditative state of consciousness and the yogic techniques by which it is attained. Dhyana is the seventh of P …

The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 6 –Dharana)

Dharana is a Sanskrit word which means immovable concentration of the mind (or that which gives stability”) from the root Dhar, which means to “bind together”, “to make stable”. Dharanais  the willful act of concentration of the mind. Dharana is the si …

The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 5 –Pratyahara)

Pratyahara is derived from two Sanskrit words: prati and ahara, with ahara meaning anything taken into ourselves, and prati, a preposition meaning away or against. Pratyahara means literally “control of ahara,” or “gaining mastery over external influen …

The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 4 – Pranayama)

Pranayama is a Sanskrit word which means “restraint of the Prana or breath”. The word is actually composed of two words; Pran, meaning life force, or vital energy, particularly referring to the breath, and “ayama”, which means to control, suspend or re …

The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 3 – Asana)

Asana is a Sanskrit word literally translated as “to sit”, although, generally speaking, asana refers to an assumed body position, pose or posture. Asana is the third of Patanjali’s “Eight Limbs” of Raja Yoga (or classical yoga). Yoga asana can be stat …

The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 2 – Niyama)

Niyama – In Sanskrit, means “observance,” or religious observance (aka, the 5 dos of Yoga) Niyama is the second step in the Eightfold Path (the 8 Limbs) of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and contains the five internal practices of Niyama. These observances ou …

The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 1 – Yama)

Yama – Self-restraint, self-control and discipline (aka, the 5 don’ts of Yoga) Yama is the foundation of yoga.  It is the first step in the Eightfold Path (the 8 Limbs) of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Yama tells us what to avoid doing because it would brin …

Patanjali’s Eightfold Path (the 8 Limbs of Yoga)

In his classical yoga treatise, Raja Yoga, Patanjali ordered yama and niyama before asana and pranayama on the eightfold path. But most contemporary students learn asana first, and oftentimes they learn asana outside the context of the other essential …

5 Positive Lifestyle Changes for the New Year (Part 5)

Are you in a rut? Are you feeling like you’re losing your “touch”? Is complacency becoming the norm? Maybe what you need are some basic lifestyle changes. In the coming days we will review five suggestions for the New Year to help improve your health a …

5 Positive Lifestyle Changes for the New Year (Part 4)

Are you in a rut? Are you feeling like you’re losing your “touch”? Is complacency becoming the norm? Maybe what you need are some basic lifestyle changes. In the coming days we will review five suggestions for the New Year to help improve your health a …

5 Positive Lifestyle Changes for the New Year (Part 3)

Are you in a rut? Are you feeling like you’re losing your “touch”? Is complacency becoming the norm? Maybe what you need are some basic lifestyle changes. In the coming days we will review five suggestions for the New Year to help improve your health a …

5 Positive Lifestyle Changes for the New Year (Part 2)

Are you in a rut? Are you feeling like you’re losing your “touch”? Is complacency becoming the norm? Maybe what you need are some basic lifestyle changes. In the coming days we will review five suggestions for the New Year to help improve your health a …

5 Positive Lifestyle Changes for the New Year (part 1)

Are you in a rut? Are you feeling like you’re losing your “touch”? Is complacency becoming the norm? Maybe what you need are some basic lifestyle changes. In the coming days we will review five suggestions for the New Year to help improve your health a …

The Miracle of Oatmeal Water

The “Oatmeal Water” remedy suggested in this article provides you with a great tool for quick relief and healing from from head and chest colds, sinus and ear infections, or practically anything involving your mucous membranes. Oatmeal Water 4 heaping …

How Diabetics Respond to a Vegan/Plant-based Diet

When we look at the basic diets of people from around the world we find certain populations tend to be slim and have very little diabetes. Good examples are Japan and China, whose traditional diets were based primarily on rice and other carbohydrate-ri …

Whey Protein Supplements vs Plant-Based Proteins

Whey protein products are regarded by most fitness enthusiasts as a supplemental staple for athletes and bodybuilders; claiming it’s the ultimate source of protein and they sometimes even go to the extreme of saying it’s the highest quality protein ava …

Yoga & Body Detoxification…

Did you know your body is designed in such a way that it will automatically engage in some form of detoxification every single day? Regular daily yoga practice is one of the best ways to insure that your body remains subtle and as toxin free as possibl …

Third Eye Meditation – Opening the 3rd Eye

Can you imagine what your life would have been like if you had kept your eyelids shut since you were born? Your eyes would have worked perfectly but yet your sense of vision would have gone to waste. Similarly, not opening your 3rd eye is keeping you i …

The Importance of the Feet & Pada Bandha in Yoga

Acquainting yourself with the essential workings of your feet and the pivotal role they play in yoga is literally the foundation of productive and genuine practice. It’s the first step in attaining proper balance and body alignment. Since antiquity dev …

How Inflammatory is Your Diet?

Are you aware that the foods you eat every day may be the cause of chronic inflammation in the body and put you at risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis and even some forms of dementia? Basically there are two types of inflammation that c …

My Hero – Birke Baehr…

An Internationally recognized speaker and youth advocate for sustainable food and agriculture, Birke has visited and volunteered at farms around the United States and recently published his first book, “Birke on The Farm”.  Birke has spent the last fou …

Raw Vegan Holiday Salad Recipes

Rawsome Salads Orange, Avocado, Spinach Salad This salad recipe kind of sounded like an odd combination, but the flavors actually mesh pretty well together. The sweetness from the orange goes nicely with the tanginess of the lime and creaminess of the …

Vegan Holiday Snack Recipes

Olive Tapenade Olive tapenade is a great spread to serve with crackers for an easy gourmet appetizer or hors d’oeuvres. This recipe, which uses two kinds of olives, making a nice color combination, adds to the appeal of the dish. This olive tapenade re …

Vegan Holiday Dessert Recipes

Brownies (egg and dairy free): Brownies are a classic and simple treat and this recipe makes it easy for the lactose intolerant to enjoy them just as much. The recipe comes from a dessert spot in New York City. Mix 1/2 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 …

Healthy Holiday Indulgence

This is the time of year when we get together with family and friends who are probably less aware of, and surely less sensitive to, the dietary choices we’ve made in regards to the impact food has on our overall health. During this time cravings for th …

Veganism & Yoga

Introduction: Yogic philosophy teaches us that food is to be considered a carrier of the life force called “Prana” and is judged by the quality & quantity of the Prana it contains and by the effect it has on our consciousness. “Sattva” is defined a …

Non-GMOs after Prop 37 (Video)

You and your family may be on the wrong side of a bet – there are those who are working hard to see that the odds are not in your favor! When the United States government ignored the repeated warnings of scientists (even its own) and allowed untested G …

Health, Wellbeing & the “Little Known” Bindu Chakra

Most yoga practitioners are familiar with the Seven Major Chakras mentioned in the Vedas. They are…  Sahasrara: The Crown Chakra Ajna: The Brow Chakra Vishuddha: The Throat Chakra Anahata: The Heart Chakra Manipura: The Solar Plexus Chakra Swadhistha …

Yogic Alignment – Body, Mind & Spirit

For thousands of years humans have been practicing a variety of yoga techniques and reaping not only the physical benefits but mental and spiritual benefits as well. Yoga practice brings “alignment” to all aspects of life. Although life can be a beauti …

Serious Health Threat – Autointoxication

A great reason to embark on a regular cleansing or detox program People in North America are now beginning to realize that this is the very foundation for holistic nutrition and medicine which is increasingly being practiced here in the west and has be …

The Basics of Cleansing & Detoxification

As a follow-up to the last blog post “Are You Addicted to Food?”  this article will focus on detoxification as a means to break that vicious cycle and embark on the path to optimal health and wellness. Note: In the following text the words detoxificati …

Are You Addicted to Food – Think Again

The silent epidemic of food addiction has become a worldwide problem, and if you answered the title question “yes” and are indeed addicted to food, (as most of us are, or were at one time), the blame does not rest entirely on your shoulders but there i …

Are You “Sold” on Organics?

Make sure you’re not being “sold-out”! If you are currently one of the growing numbers of those who go to great extremes in order to insure they’re eating healthy, organic food as much as possible (and practical) – BEWARE! You need to read the followin …

Ten-hut – Yoga & the Military

When I work with military personnel I’m dealing with bodies that have been through very specific training, and that training leaves some tell-tale issues such as Collapsed Arches, Lower Back Pain, Tight Hamstrings and Ankle Injury, to name a few that a …

Yoga and Depression

Much of the suffering due to depression can be relieved with simple yoga practice. Nearly everyone experiences depression at some time or another. And when it does occur, there are those rare individuals, who are able to work through it, but for most o …

Combating Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia, a condition which affects more women than men, is characterized by widespread pain in muscles, ligaments and tendons, often causing fatigue and multiple tender points; places throughout the body where even the slightest pressure causes pa …

Welcome To New Rae Indigo Blog

Welcome to the new Rae Indigo Blog everyone… We are excited about all the great things happening in the Yoga community right now and have some wonderful things to share. Stay tuned for more… Rae

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