Bringing Yoga to Underserved Communities

lifestyle service Aug 28, 2020

by Julie Eisenberg

Are you looking for a way to expand your yoga practice outside of the confines of a yoga studio or gym?   Consider starting a yoga class with an underserved community.  An underserved community may be any population that does not have full access to much of what most of us living in the United States and other developed countries take for granted: financial stability, health care, jobs, social services, or even a home or transportation to get to work. You might find an underserved community living in an isolated rural town with few or no services available, or in a marginalized section of a city that’s plagued by poverty and violence.  Underserved communities also include populations such as the homeless, veterans, people living with disabilities, the mentally ill, and immigrants. Whatever the population, yoga is a way to bring a few minutes of peace, calm, and healing into the lives of people who need it most but have very little...

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Chair Yoga For Every Body

lifestyle Aug 28, 2020

by Julie Eisenberg

What happens if Easy Pose isn’t easy for you? Easy Pose, or Sukhasana, is a posture practiced seated cross-legged on the floor or on a yoga mat. Yogic breathing exercises, kriyas, and meditations are often suggested in Easy Pose. For many, sitting on a meditation cushion or blanket helps to straighten the spine and find a comfortable seat. But some people struggle to sit in a cross-legged position, even with a cushion. For these practitioners, chair yoga opens the door to an equally beautiful and transformational experience.

Sitting cross-legged requires flexibility in the back of the thighs, back of the pelvis, and inner thighs, as well as external rotation of the hip joints. It can take many months of practice to develop this flexibility. Since everyone has a different anatomical structure in their hips, it’s possible that sitting cross-legged may never happen. People with limited mobility may have trouble getting down onto the floor and...

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Can’t Meditate? Listen to Your Heartbeat

meditation practice Aug 28, 2020

by Dr. Ramdesh

You say you can’t meditate.  Perhaps you don’t know how, or you’ve tried to sit down and quiet your mind. Instead, all you heard was your thoughts pounding on the inside of your skull so loudly they could have been snare drums. You avoid it…it’s not for you.  You’ve heard it’s good for your health, you know it would be nice to relax, but you know for SURE that you can’t meditate.  Meditation is for people who live peaceful lives without stress.  (Ha! If only you could see me laughing!)  You’re certainly not alone in your trepidation, but you don’t have to feel skittish around meditation.  You can meditate.  Everyone can, with practice.

Meditation is a form of concentration.  It is a paradox in being both a deliberate action, and often the practice of non-action, simultaneously.  It can be learned, and it can most definitely be learned better.  Just as you get...

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Achieving Equilibrium: Balancing the Vayus

kriya practice Aug 28, 2020

by Puranjot Kaur

There is a radiant energy that moves through the world and flows in each and every one of us. This energy, known in the yogic tradition as prana, is carried throughout our bodies through something called a vayu. Vayu translates to “wind,” and our vayus are responsible for transferring this energy throughout the body.

Although vayus are subtle, they have a huge impact on how our bodies feel, so learning to move with their natural rhythms and find balance is absolutely vital for our health.

There are five principal Vayus:

  1. Prana Vayu – moves in the chest/heart area and is associated with the Air Tattva. It governs respiration, immunity, vitality and the heart. When it is weak, fatigue, as well as lung, immune, heart and boundary issues can manifest. When it is strong, there is sufficient energy and immune response in the body.
  2. Udana Vayu – moves in the throat and head area and is associated with the Ether Tattva. It governs growth,...
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Healing the Second Chakra and Connecting with the Water Element

by Puranjot Kaur

“As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my Soul longs for you.” – Psalm 42:1

“When it rains, there is happiness. Water is the key to all life.” – Guru Nanak

“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” – Rumi

Communing with the sacred has been likened to drinking water from a fresh stream, being cleansed by a cooling rain or submerging into a body of water since time immemorial. And although each person’s experience of connecting with the sacred (and even what that word means to them!) can be extremely varied and nuanced, I believe there is a reason for this – beyond the realm of metaphor. Tuning into the sacredness of the water element – through words, through a practice, through time spent in nature, ushers in healing. There is flow, a tapping into of Spirit. Call it what you like. The Spirit of the Divine. The Spirit of Nature. Even the...

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Teacher Spotlight: Karena Virginia

teacher Aug 27, 2020

Becoming Boundless is a 40-Day online course offered by Nesoteric – taught by Karena Virginia. This course will provide you with the daily practices, inspiration, and renewed enthusiasm that can be used to awaken dramatic shifts in the core of your being. Karena offers simple, accessible, yet profound tools, based on years of her personal dedication to loving and living from the heart. Karena’s blend of Kundalini Yoga, meditation, and elevating lessons will allow your heart to remember what it already knows: that underneath all of the perceived stress and upheaval in our world, everything is at your fingertips – waiting in divine alignment. Waiting for you to energize that powerful voice inside of you that is crying out to shine. You are encouraged to work through the course at your own pace, with support from Karena and your fellow students.

What do you feel is the overarching topic of this course?

Karena: Recognizing the power of the new...

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The Gifts Of Having A Personal Practice

by Jenni Sells

"Discipline doesn't have to be a hard & strict thing. It can be soft & comforting & cozy. There doesn't have to be any stress behind it. You can just sit down & do it, knowing it is like a hug from your soul, & from the Creator. Something safe to rely on, something trustworthy to turn to, no matter how you are feeling." - Nirinjan Kaur

Some people find it easy to keep up with a 40 day practice. I'm not one of those people. (Any Gemini Rising's out there that can relate?) I grew up in a very disciplined house - so naturally I grew to rebel against anything I "had" to do. I wanted to find a freer, more natural way of being in the world. The quest for a balance between "freedom" and "discipline" continues to this day.

As fate would have it, I found myself as the curator of the 40 day Global Sadhanas during my time at Spirit Voyage. Of course, I always TRIED to do the meditations every day - but it would be difficult to describe the challenges I had...

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Yoga For Beginners: Modifying Your Practice

beginner yoga Aug 26, 2020

by Julie Eisenberg

For yoga beginners, you may find that some of the asanas (postures) that are taught in your yoga class may be much more challenging than you had expected.  Over time, a consistent yoga practice provides many benefits, including reducing tension, lowering blood pressure, heightening relaxation, and more. However, as you begin your yoga practice, the classes may be confusing or even stressful as you do your best to keep up. 

One of the great things about yoga is that the practice can always be modified to help you benefit as much as possible, even if you can’t twist your body into a pretzel.  For yoga beginners or for anyone who is dealing with a physical challenge or limitation, there are many ways to make your yoga class more accessible by modifying postures to meet your needs.

Here are a few basic ground rules for modifications.

1.  Be proactive. In many cases, the teacher will ask the class before it starts if...

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Yoga For Beginners: What is Meditation?

by Sohan Kaur

Many yoga beginners believe that they must stop all thoughts in order to meditate effectively. Sometimes they hear about the blissful meditations of friends and acquaintances and wonder why theirs isn’t so. The mind releases one thousand thoughts per second, and we are conscious of only a few, sometimes only one. When we sit still and quiet the body and breath, the mind begins to release the thoughts it has stored in the subconscious. These thoughts can overwhelm and control you, or you can let them pass to release them out of the subconscious.

The laundry list is not important, the letter you have to type for your boss can wait, the mortgage will get paid; this is your time. As you notice the distractions, simply return to your point of focus, whether that is a mantra, a candle flame, or your breath. Consistent practice allows you to empty the subconscious on a regular basis so that you can sit for longer periods of time. The time you spend in meditation...

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Yoga Tips For People Who Work From Home

lifestyle Aug 26, 2020

by Julie Eisenberg

Are you one of the millions of people who work from home?  With 2020 being, well...2020, it's much more common than it was several years ago.  But for some of us, working at home can not only be somewhat isolating; it can also make it challenging to stick to a daily routine.  Days start early, end late, and activities, such as our yoga practice, tend to fall by the wayside.  But with a little planning and discipline, this doesn’t have to be the case.  Here are some tips to keep up with your yoga practice when you work from home. 

 1. Start the day with yoga. Set your yoga mat out the night before so that you don’t have any distractions.  If you are not in the midst of a 40-day sadhana, it’s a good idea to decide the night before what you will be doing in your morning practice—a kriya, some sun salutations, a meditation, or a mixture of all of these.  You can stream a...

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