"If you think education is expensive, try ignorance" B. Franklin
Yoga has become one of the most prolific businesses of the 21st century. Numerous offers to become certified Yoga teachers flood the market. The "Teacher trainings" are everywhere. In a world where sects and gurus abound, it is important to have a notion about what we can expect from a good Yoga teacher.
1- Yoga is not just a physical practice:
A good Yoga teacher should know and take into account other less tangible aspects from Yoga, such as Pranayama or breathing exercises. Also its philosophy and history, ethical precepts (Yamas and Niyamas), its main precursors and, without doubt, a he must know about anatomy as well. Yoga is vast and has evolved infini...
" The Higher Self is whispering to you softly in the silence between your thoughts" Deepak Chopra
It is very common to hear or read the word namaste in the Yoga field.
In Sanskrit, the oficial language in India, the word namasté means: “I bow to you” (I bow my greetings, salutations or prostration to you).
It also means: "I honour you and recognize the higher self in you and in me and I establish a connection with you from our higher selves and not from our egos". So it has a spiritual significance of negating or reducing one's ego in the presence of another.
When we say that word at the beginning or at the end of a class we are accepting the belief that life force, the "divinity", the "Self" or the...
"There where your mind is, there you are" Conny Mendez
Can I have your attention for a few minutes? Your complete attention, as if nothing else is existing, without opening Facebook, email or Twitter? I know it's a lot to ask, but it would be interesting that apart from informing you, you can also take advantage of the moment to exercise your concentration and increase your level of consciousness about the present moment. Do we try?
Mindfulness, translated to English as "mental completeness", is a practice that has burst with great force in the west for 20 years, in the therapeutic, educational and even business world but actually, it is the new name that has been given to Vipassana Buddhist meditation, which has existed for about...
"Why do you stay in jail when the door is wide open?" Rumi
When we hear the word Yoga we get different images of possible physical postures (some really extreme), breathing exercises, relaxation and meditation, mental calm, gurus sitting for hours in lotus posture, Sanskrit mantras and other things. It is likely that these images have been archived in our memory, generating a very confused picture.
Is Yoga a relaxing technique, a spiritual path or an extreme sport? Is it a method for concentration and to learn to focus the mind or, not much less, is simply respiratory techniques that increase our levels of energy? In order to practice it, do we have to make a vow of renunciation and sacrifice, or is it enough to be a bit disciplin...
Today and as promised, I would like to share with you the rest of of the groups of Asanas or positions that exist in the Hatha Yoga Tree. If we take in consideration that there are more than 200 positions that we can combine and that each group has totally different effects and benefits than others, then we figure out that the possibilities are huge!
Welcome and God lesing!
- Hip Opener:
They belong mostly to the category of floor asanas, but there are some other standing positions in which we open the hips as well. They stretch the adductors and the external hip rotators, an action that releases tension in the lower back, the knees and the sciatic nerve. As the muscles and the ligaments open up the ci...
"Those who have displaced the mountain began by removing small stones" Chinese Proverb
Any regular Hatha Yoga class will consist of the practice of Asanas or postures, emphasis on breathing, final relaxation and perhaps some chanting, mantra or guided meditation. Once you have decided which style you want to practice and where to go, take into account the following recommendations:
1- Wear comfortable clothes. Have bare food or wear anti-slip socks at least during the first part of the class until you get to the postures sitting or lying down. It is also advisable to bring a jacket or socks to keep you warm during the final relaxation or Savasana, when the temperature of the body descends.
"In life there are no things to fear, but things to understand" Marie Curie
Within the extensive tree of Yoga, in which we can find different subdivisions based on different approaches and practices, such as Jnana Yoga, Raja Yoga, Laya Yoga, Karma Yoga or Nidra Yoga, among others, we find the Hatha Yoga, which corresponds to the best known form in the West, both for its undeniable "physical" and "tangible" dye as well as for its practicality. The word Hatha is formed by Ha, which means sun and Tha, which means moon, both in Sanskrit, the classical language of India that rules Yoga.
Be aware to the fact that I will not mention here all the schools, only the most known ones and those that have to do with me in one or anot...
As we said in the post called Groups of Asanas - Stillinger (Part I) the Hatha Yoga branche is composed by many groups of postures, of different categories, which provide different effects and benefits.
In this post we will talk about the Balancing Postures, the Twist, and the Inversions.
- Balancing Postures:
Balancing Postures are part of the group of Standing Postures, but differ dramatically due to the fact that only one food is on the ground while the other is up. As regular Standing Postures, they demand firm grounding, muscular action and inner calm to be built with slowness, attention and consciousness. Through learning to root and ground the supporting leg we gain poise and balance Taken away from the stability and famil...
"Learning how to read is the most important thing that has happened to me in my life" Mario Vargas Llosa
When we enter the vast world of Yoga, as teachers or simply as practitioners, it is specially important to reinforce our understanding by reading and exploring the classic texts that accompany it from its beginning to our days.
Definitely, Yoga is much more than making certain postures with the body, therefore, knowing its philosophy and ethical precepts, its history and the rolls of its precursors, gives us an expanded and more complete perspective of it. This becomes essential, for example, when completing a teacher training program. The more we know about this millennial technique, the more and better results we wi...
"Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory" K. Pattabhis Jois
Every Hatha Yoga class ends in a final relaxation called Savasana (corpse posture in sanskrit) that lasts approximately from 5 to 15 minutes or more, depending on the time spent in the previous practice.
Lying on our backs, arms next to our trunk and palms facing towards the ceiling, we let our feet drop sideways and close our eyes. We can exhale through the mouth or simply release the jaw, letting the breath slow down or deepen.
Simple, easy for some and difficult for others, Savasana is nothing more than lying down, motionless, relaxing the body and mind while still keeping a certain form of consciousness in a state of special intimacy with ourselves....