Sanskrit Word Of The Week: Ananda
- Category: Philosophy & Inspiration
An introduction to the fearless heart mudra.
This one is a little tricker than previous ones to get your hands around but is a great mudra to practice during times of stress or when you're feeling anxious.
An introduction to Hakini Mudra.
It's super simple to do and can help with concentration and memory which is especially useful if you do presentations at school or in meetings, or if you just have trouble remembering things!
It can also help with clarity of thought which in turn helps with decision making.
Check out this video to find out more about how, why, and when to use Hakini Mudra!
We are excited to be adding Chair Yoga to our regular schedule!
This gentle yoga class will be held every Thursday 10-11am at Paradigm Yoga in Jasper.
Check out the video to learn more about what chair yoga is!
Welcome back to our series of videos about the mudras (hand gestures) of yoga. This video introduces Jnana Mudra and Chin Mudra.
Mudra: seal or sign
Check out the video for more information on how, why and when to do these mudras!
Welcome to the first in our series of videos about the mudras (hand gestures) of yoga. This video introduces Anjali Mudra (aka prayer position / salutation seal).
Mudra: seal or sign
How to do it: Simply join your hands, palm to palm, in front of your chest, fingers pointing upwards.
Why practice this gesture? This mudra is calming & centering, it connects you to your heart and evokes feelings of humility, reverence and devotion.
When to practice: This mudra can be practiced at any time you need to take a moment to center yourself.
Begin your yoga asana practice in sukhasana (easy crossed leg pose) taking a moment to hold this mudra while setting an intention for your practice. Explore using the gesture during asana (poses) such as tadasana (mountain), vrksasana (tree) and utkatasana (chair). Experiment using it during any other poses in which you wish to feel centered. Each time you practice the gesture notice the feeling of calm it brings, and come back to the intention you set at the beginning of your practice.
Try practicing this mudra in your next meditation, rooting your thumbs down towards the base of your sternum and holding the gesture for the duration of your meditation.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is a compilation of classical yoga teachings that were passed down orally before Patanjali (also known as the 'father of yoga') recorded them.
Believed to be over 4000 years old, there are 196 sutras (literally meaning 'thread') that describe what yoga is, why it is important, how to practice it and what might come as a result of regular practice. It's teachings include ethics, meditation, physical postures and directions for dealing with obstacles and every day life.
The text is a lot to contemplate in one go! It is intended to be referred to again and again; at different times in your life and yogi journey, different sutras will speak to you.
These eight steps basically act as guidelines on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life. What Patanjali has described as the completion of the yogic path is what, deep down, all human beings aspire to: peace.
How often do you go to bed exhausted but then wake up feeling lethargic and tired? When we climb into bed and just fall asleep, the body shuts down but it is not necessarily relaxed and therefore not really recharging. Yoga Nidra is the practice of bringing awareness to your relaxation so that every part of your body and mind fully relax. It is believed that just thirty minutes to one hour of Yoga Nidra is equivalent to 4 hours of deep sleep.
Yoga Nidra, though it may just look like yogis going to class to nap, is an ancient practice of mental, physical and emotional relaxation, also known as yogic sleep or sleep with awareness. The intention is to experience a sleep-like state and the deepest possible relaxation while still in a deep meditative state of consciousness.
At a time when most of us are living at a fast pace with technology overload and lots of stress, the practice of Yoga Nidra can help transfer you to a state of harmony and encourage an overall feeling of well-being. Yoga Nidra can be a wonderful addition to your yoga practice or can be used by anyone to help with stress and sleep. It can also be the pick-me-up you need during the day; a kind of supernap to get you going again (though I wouldn't recommend practicing Yoga Nidra immediately after a meal or it's likely you'll just be practicing nidra (i.e sleep) without the yoga bit)!
There are many benefits that can be experienced from practicing Yoga Nidra. Among these are:
One of the best things about Yoga Nidra is that you don't need to have been practicing it for 30 years to feel the benefits, you don't need to sit for long periods of time, and you don't need any previous experience or skills. All you need to do is find a comfortable place to lay undisturbed for the duration of the audio. During a class (or audio guidance) the teacher will use techniques such as guided imagery and body scanning to alleviate muscular tension as well as mental and emotional stress.
The following link is to a 30 minute Yoga Nidra audio that I find is a good introduction to the practice as is especially designed for new students
Yoga Nidra - Beginners instructed by Swami Niranjananda Saraswati .
Finally, Yoga Nidra is super relaxing. There's a fine line between the meditative state of conscious relaxation, and being asleep. The relaxing nature of this practice may encourage you to fall asleep before it finishes, especially if you're practicing at night, and that's fine! Don't feel guilty! Just enjoy the super deep sleep you'll slip into.
Free yoga classes for when you can't get into the studio, or to keep you moving in between! Includes gentle, flow, restorative and chair yoga.
Check here for any updates to our schedule or class offerings
Meditation tips and a wide range of guided practices available
A place to learn a little about yogic philosophy, and inspiration for your practice
A collection of articles and videos to help you deepen your understanding of your practice