The very first yoga class I ever attended was Iyengar-based. This was some fifteen years ago, when I was totally into Tai Bo, Spin and Step Aerobics. Kind of an unusual transition, really. Truth be told, I hated it. I could hear the clock ticking, I did not sweat, and there was no music. It felt like such a waste of time to me. It took me a good month to go back. Honestly, it was like pulling teeth, but something kept me going back once a week.
What if I told you I could show you the value of your ego in your spiritual development? If I said that following your ego will help you to discover your own sacredness, would you believe me?
The ego has become misunderstood in recent years. Harkening back to the Freudian concept, the ego is the part of your mind that balances your desires with what is reasonably attainable. It is the part of your mind that can truly be called “the self.” It is within this self that the deepest and most important of the sacred mysteries wait.
I often say to students that you cannot stay the same when you practice Kundalini yoga. The very nature of what we do is to awaken the energy of consciousness, to practice in a way that sheds light on our self-imposed limitations, and invites us to think out of the box and develop our intuitive mind. Being able to live from our intuitive mind is one of the main goals of a Kundalini practitioner.
I practice and teach both Hatha and Kundalini yoga. I see my Hatha practice as daily maintenance — a great way to work out kinks in my body, get grounded and calm. My Kundalini practice is a place of transformation.
Few things outrage me more than bad posture. I get really bent out of shape when I see people who are literally bent out of shape. It is so simple to improve your posture, and it is totally free and requires no gym membership.
Here are some Don’ts:
1. Don’t lean into one hip and cock it off to one side.
2. Don’t slump your spine like a willow tree.
3. Don’t emulate the posture of Paris Hilton.
Here are some Do’s:
1. Stand up straight.
2. Point your toes forward.
3. Have some respect for your own structure.
Okay, good, glad I got that off my chest.
I have been teaching yoga for 17 years, and one of the most frequent complaints I hear from students and yogaphobes alike is that they don’t have enough time for practice, so they avoid it altogether.
Avoiding a regular practice of stretching will never get you the healing benefits that come with the work. Even if you only do one pose a day, you will make a huge difference in your body, brain and well-being.
Nothing can stop a perfectly good yoga practice (or day, for that matter) in its tracks like a hurting back. And sometimes, the poses you might think would help your aching body could actually be making it worse.
Yes, yoga is known for its healing powers and ability to transform your body and mind into a lean — yet much less mean — you.
Mountain Pose is about learning to stand on your feet and connect to Mother Earth. It is about finding the alignment of your skeleton and subtly moving in and out of a fluid center.