Yoga For Beginners: What Is Gyan Mudra?

beginner mudra Aug 28, 2020

by Dr. Ramdesh

What is Gyan Mudra?

Gyan Mudra is a powerful mudra (or hand position) practiced for thousands of years by yogis that brings peace, calm, and spiritual progress.  It relates to the planet Jupiter. Artistic depictions of great spiritual masters such as Guru Nanak, Christ, Buddha, and Mahavir are all shown regularly with this hand position.  In addition to its many spiritual qualities, Gyan Mudra has wide and varied health benefits, making it one of the most practiced mudras of all.

How to do Gyan Mudra:

Connect the thumb and the forefinger (tip to tip, not tip to nail, which is another “active” variation of Gyan Mudra). The other fingers are straight but relaxed. Pressure between the thumb and forefinger is light.

Why do Gyan Mudra?

Gyan Mudra does many things.  Stimulating the root chakra, it eases tension and depression.  It relates to expansion and knowledge.  It is extremely calming and brings the practitioner spiritual openness...

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Yoga for Beginners: Why You Need to Sit Up Straight

beginner Aug 28, 2020

by Sohan Kaur

Simply put it’s all about flow. The flow of the breath, the flow of spinal fluid, and the flow of energy are all affected by posture when we sit down for meditation or to do an exercise. Think of the spine as a hose. When there’s a kink, the water flow is cut off or limited. This is similar to what happens during a meditation or posture when the energy tries to flow, but the effect is diminished.

Breathe Freely

A straight spine allows the lungs and diaphragm to move more smoothly at full range. When the tailbone tilts towards the earth, the shoulders pull back, and the chest rises. The lungs and diaphragm have extra space to move freely while the abdomen can be relaxed.

Give it a try! Hunch your shoulders forward and down. Experiment to see how much air will fill your lungs. Now as you sit up and bring the shoulders back while raising the chest, notice the movement of your diaphragm. Which was easier for you?

The Spine

When the vertebrae are aligned, the...

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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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