Starting Over With The Fundamentals Of Kundalini Yoga

lifestyle practice Aug 28, 2020

by Liz McCollum Lord

The last few months I’ve been feeling a lot of challenging emotions.  I’ve done enough yoga and meditation to know that the best course of action is to honestly acknowledge my feelings and process them so that they don’t become “stuck” in my body somehow.  Instead I chose to bottle it all up and force myself to keep trudging forward.

Of course this didn’t change anything about how I felt, and my feelings of frustration and anger began to bubble to the surface more and more.  My yoga practice diminished more and more during this time as well. One evening, in a fit of anger, I took apart my meditation altar, threw everything in a cabinet, and shut the door.  I stopped doing my personal sadhana, which I’d been practicing for over 2 years.  I was basically throwing up my hands to the Universe and saying “What’s the point of all this??”

As is often the case, the Universe will give us...

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Yoga For Children? Yes!

lifestyle Aug 28, 2020

Yoga for Children? Yes!

By Shakta Khalsa, Founder and Director of Radiant Child Yoga
Reprinted with permission

Why yoga for children? Twenty years ago, that question was most likely asked about martial arts. Now there are classes for children at martial arts studios around every corner. And, like martial arts, yoga develops many wonderful qualities in children. Beside the obvious benefits of exercising the physical body, yoga sharpens the child’s ability to calm down and focus. It cultivates confidence and self­-discipline. Many find that yoga, when practiced regularly, helps children become more aware of their thoughts and feelings. From this awareness, changes and growth in new and positive directions can blossom.

More and more professionals who work with Sensory Integration dysfunction, such as autism, learning disabilities, and ADD/ADHD are being trained in children’s yoga with great results. There is a natural affinity...

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The How and Why of Yoga for Children

lifestyle yoga Aug 28, 2020

by Shakta Khalsa

Knowing how much good yoga does for you, you can imagine what wonderful gifts it has in store for your children! When I teach people how to share children’s yoga, it might not always look exactly like adult yoga, but the benefits are the same.

Here are just a few of the great benefits of using yoga with children:

1. Emotional Heath:

Your child becomes more aware of how they feel. Through the yoga, breath, and relaxation, they discover how they can work through feelings into a more positive space.

2. Physical health and wellbeing:

Your child gets up off the couch, away from the desk and moves his or her body instead of moving fingers over a keyboard or phone!

3. Brain Tune-up:

Kundalini yoga has so many brain-balancing exercises that activate meridian points to wake up the brain for a more whole brain effect. This translates into clarity, ability to learn and understand academics, good physical and mental coordination.

And the biggest benefit of...

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How Is Yoga Beneficial to People on a Path of Recovery From Addiction?

addiction lifestyle Aug 28, 2020

by Tommy Rosen

I come from a background of severe drug addiction (alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, freebase, heroin) and now have over 23 years of continuous recovery. My entry point for the profound shift in thinking that has taken place within me was Hazelden in Minnesota where I spent 40 days or so back in 1989. I went on to embrace the 12 Steps and they worked for me… to the point they are meant to work. The 12 Steps are really the first step to successful sustainable recovery, and they are immediately rendered more powerful when viewed in this manner rather than as a be-all end-all solution to anything that life throws your way.

I tell people that my story is really a story of recovery within recovery. I first got sober and began a “one day at a time” approach to abstinence from drugs and alcohol. I worked with a sponsor to go through the 12 Steps and my life got significantly better. Yet, I would spend the next 10 years of my recovery still mired in addictive...

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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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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: 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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5 Ways To Thrive During Mercury Retrograde

by Haridev Clarke

Expect to see numerous articles in your Facebook and Twitter feeds during the next few weeks about the perils, frustrations and annoyances of mercury retrograde. This is not one of those articles.
As a space policy wonk and reluctant astrology reader, I am likely the last person you would expect to write about mercury retrograde. But I am writing this as a Kundalini yoga teacher, recognizing how holding stress in our current time can impact our whole selves.
What is mercury retrograde? Japa Kaur, the amazing weekly Spirit Voyage astrologer, describes it best:

“The planet of the mind appears to be moving backward in the sky. As a result, it feels as if our own minds are moving backward as well! We lose our car keys, drop our phone, addresses and directions get confused, traffic is muddled, and interpersonal communication is unclear. This is not a time to buy anything with mechanical or electrical parts, and furthermore, you should...

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