Did you know that postures were not originally included in the practice of Yoga?
Raja Yoga is the oldest form of Yoga and included mindfulness practices. Later, kriya (purification) techniques were added. Later, still, asana was added.
According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika Yoga is the union of prana and mind with the Self. Getting there isn't so easy. For you cannot control the mind with the mind. Thus, Hatha Yoga and the practice of asana is done to initiate the process of physical awareness so we can become better aware of the more subtle aspects of ourselves.
Hatha Yoga is the process of establishing prefect physical, mental, emotional and psychic equilibrium by manipulating the energies of the body.
We don't do Yoga poses to look good. We do them to feel well. The better we become at doing poses with awareness, intention, steadiness, and balance, the better we feel. If we become skilled at moving through poses with grace and they become a part of our daily lives we have developed equilibrium.
Strength can be weakness. I was recently reminded of this as my left trapezius muscle tightened up into a large marble. I had been repeatedly turning my head to the left without rotating the rest of my body. I know better, but wasn't consciously moving. The result was neck pain and an inability to turn left (I was stuck like Zoolander :D). Awareness, rest and heat were the only cures for the damage I had caused. The strength of my muscle had become a weakness.
Every pose has aspects of strength and mobility. We may be steadying ourselves with our legs while attempting to open our arms and chests. In every sequence of postures we should be moving our bodies in all directions so as to awaken areas that have become rigid and engage the parts that are overly mobile. Practice observing your bodies strengths. Where can you become more mobile? Where can you actively engage?
The main objective of Hatha Yoga is to create an absolute balance of the interacting activities and processes of the physical body, mind, and energy. This is perfection.
Nothing is flawless or perfectly symmetrical. All things are always transforming, transmuting, and metamorphizing. We practice Yoga asana to change our bodies, pranayama to shift our breathing, pratyahara to become more aware of our energy and emotions, and mindful focus to develop self control. Continuous practice results in continual change. All of the systems of body, mind, and energy interact and effect each other. They are in a constant state of transformation. Rather than remaining stagnant, still, and stuck, practice Yoga and become perfect at change.
When you have a small light in a room at night, the whole room is illuminated. Sadhana is your practice; your light. Like a seed, you must protect it, feed it, and nurture it.
If you talk about, demonstrate, and boast your attainments it develops your sense of ego or "I-ness." You have probably heard me say, "It's not a Yoga show." When guiding a practice my demonstration of the postures is not to a performance, it is a visual aid intended to help you see the intended result. My personal asana practice is done privately. My sadhana is my lifestyle. The pictures I post of myself in postures are intended to enthuse you to try, to join in, to continue to practice, and to engage in your own sadhana.
Keep practicing; keep shining your light. Allow the seed of Yoga to be protected and nourished so that it, and you, may access equilibrium.
To join a scheduled class or book a private session visit our website. Learn more about the practices of Hatha and Raja Yoga through the other articles on our blog. We look forward to sharing the practice with you.
Should music be played during Yoga? The shift to virtual classes has us questioning the necessity of music as part of the practice.
The Sounds of Silence
Originally, there was no music played during Yoga practices. Search YouTube and you can find videos of B.K.S. Iyengar and Patabhi Jois as well as lesser known practitioners guiding others in silent rooms where the only sound is that of their breath.
Fast forward to 2019 and you would be hard fast to find a class that doesn't have music playing. It had become to so common that a silent practice felt uncomfortable. One of the few lineages that continued to offer classes without music were those who practiced in the Iyengar style.
From Mantra to Hip Hop
I began attending Yoga classes in 1999. I wore street clothes to class. There was no music played. As my interest in the practice grew and I began to explore lineages beyond svarupa (my first), I stepped onto the path and never looked back.
I learned that vinyasa simply means an interconnected series of movements done with grace. These classes almost always included recorded music being played in the background. It was most likely Krisna Das mantra. It wasn't until 2003 that I began hearing popular music played during class. At Gold's Gym, where I was introduced to my teacher, she and others would mix in popular music with the traditional chanting recordings.
Adding to the Distractions?
When I was given the chance to choose the music for my classes, I was excited to begin creating mix CDs that included my favorite combinations of mantra, pop, jam bands, and rock. I had cases of music that I would carry with me to every class I taught. Each mix was curated to shift the energy of the practice intentionally.
The longer I taught, the less excited I was about the music I used. Making mixes became tedious, my Ipod could only hold so many songs, and then streaming channels became available. This made my life so much easier.
Is It Free?
For years I had a collection of channels on my Pandora or Spotify that I could easily select and play knowing that the music playing would be just fine for whatever I chose to teach. The songs themselves became less important. The energy of the music needed to align with the energy of the class. As time passed, though, discussions over the legality of using music and requirements for licensing began to rise in the Yoga community.
Now, Yoga studio owners have to cover the cost of licensing to play music as part of their classes. It is a growing issue and the question of whether we are performing and choreographing to the music is the main reason this new issue has arisen.
Back to the Basics
I began using less music, at lower volumes. In my own practice, I do so in silence. When the pandemic hit and we could no longer practice together in groups my virtual classes naturally shifted to be guided by voice only. No one seemed to mind. Of course, if they want to, anyone can mute themselves and play music in their own home while they practice virtually. However, in many discussions among those who join me, they agree that the silence is quite nice.
Keep the Peace
You'll notice that there is music added to the recorded classes we offer on YouTube and On-Demand. However, when you join a live virtual session it will be in silence unless you choose to play music in your space. If you haven't tried a silent practice, perhaps now is the time. I find that it provides an opportunity to truly connect with your breath, remain aware of your body, and spend time with your thoughts.
Join a Live Virtual Practice with Lake Tahoe Yoga by becoming a member of Bliss Experiences. When you register your account will receive one (1) credit to join any scheduled Monday class.
The practice of Yoga includes one very difficult aspect: give generously and without the expectation of receiving anything in return. How good are you at this practice? I know I can be better.
Break Your Holiday Habits
My family still does the whole Christmas Tree gift giving thing. We live thousands of miles apart and getting together is not easy, especially during the holidays. I think that giving gifts is a way for us to feel close. Unfortunately, it also adds to the feeling of distance. We write our list, send it off to all interested parties and receive exactly what we asked for.
Break out of the habit of holiday gift giving by keeping a list or purchasing items that you think those whom you love would like. Instead of thinking of items for yourself last minutes, keep a list of things that brought you joy throughout the year. When the holiday season comes it might guide you in suggesting gifts your family can give you.
Give Into the Moment
I feel like words are losing their power. Materials items have taken over. To be honest, I struggle with this. I am not the best at remembering to send gifts or cards. I appreciate receiving cards, and know that some people are really good at making them, but can't help but feel like I am wasteful when I toss them in the trash.
Use your words to thank people. Think about how you can best express your appreciation for what they have done, given, or said. Spend some time practicing words of thanks and gratefulness so you have them ready to go when the time comes.
The struggle of the small business owner is real. Those of us dedicated to the pursuit of entrepreneurship can feel like we are on the ocean and the storm never ends. We are doing our best to provide the best service, unique products, and special touches you can't get from Amazon or big box stores.
When you feel the need to give a gift begin with your local shops. Think about the person you wish to buy for and ask the shop owner what they recommend. Consider a piece of locally made jewelry, artwork, a gift certificate for a class or treatment, a kit or a piece of memorabilia from time shared together.
Give What You Like
What's the Golden Rule again? Treat others as you wish to be treated? How about we give to others that which we want? When you see, experience, or feel something that you really like think about who in your life might also like it, or who might need it. Instead of making the purchase for yourself do so for someone else.
A good way to practice getting good at this is to notice what your friends say about your stuff. What do they like? What do they notice? What do they comment about? Step back and look at your life, experiences, and stuff through the eyes of others. It might help you not only identify what to give, but also what you can give up.
Overwhelm, aggravation, annoyance, frustration, irritation, unsettling. . .What other words can you think of to describe our current circumstances? Luckily, there is a cure for all of these feelings. You already know what I am going to say: Yoga.
The world of virtual meetings has expanded and many of us are forgetting to build in time for ourselves between them. Remember when you used to have to commute to work? You had to plan driving time? You got to listen to your favorite music, podcast, radio station, etc. while you traveled to your place of work? Do you remember how that time in the car gave you time to think, to plan, to ponder?
During the practice of Yoga asana we build in moments of stopping. Between postures we pause to breathe. At the end we stop moving and rest our bodies so that we can absorb all the benefits of the practice. When was the last time you just stopped? Maybe you should build in some opportunities to do so from now on.
What Will You Change?
When the pandemic began there was so much uncertainty. We sheltered in place to stay safe. We did our best to sort through the information that was rapidly being provided and did our best to follow the directives that seemed to change daily. Now, we’ve all develop our own practices based upon our understanding of the pandemic and our individual levels of risk aversion.
Throughout this time the weather has been fairly pleasant. During the Springtime many of us were able to go outside and play. During the Summer we took advantage of the outdoors. As we transition into Autumn and Winter what will you do to remain healthy and safe? How will you make sure that you are doing your part to keep others safe? Yoga includes the practice of Ahimsa: non-harming. As the seasons change and we are more likely to be indoors, consider how you can behave in a way that keeps everyone safe and healthy.
Stand Back & Observe
It can be easy to get stuck in our own bubbles. Social media algorithms show us what we want to see. We encircle ourselves with people who agree with us. We go to places that align with our beliefs.
Viprittakarani translates to mean “reverted process.” I often refer to this practice as “shift in perspective.” When practicing Paddle Yoga one of my favorite moments is when everyone moves into downward facing dog and gazes upon the lake with it appearing up-side-down. No photo can capture what you see in that position. It is a moment to enjoy viprittakarani. Consider how you can incorporate opportunities to stand back, observe, and shift your perspective.
By this time of year most of us in the service industry are at our wits end. We have answered the same questions thousands of times. We have been cleaning up after others. Our patience has been tested in every way possible. It can be easy to fall into a state of angry bitterness.
Every practice I teach ends with three statements of aum shanti (ah ooh mm shahn-tee): salutations to peace. I say these words throughout the day, as well. I use them as a reminder that there is peace in me, in you, in everyone and everywhere. Even though the behavior of others may stir up anger or frustration within you, remember that there is peace all around you. Feel free to practice as I do and apply aum shanti to remind yourself.
Let It Go
I am a Summer person. I like warm evenings, hot days, cooling off in the lake, the smell of barbeques, and all the sounds of Summer. One of my good friends is a Winter guy. He gets so excited when the weather begins to shift at the end of Summer he starts waxing his snowboards in anticipation.
In every season there is wonder. Behave as we Yoginis do and attempt to experience each new season with a beginner’s mind. Observe how this season is different from the last. Enjoy the moments as the daylight shifts and the leaves change. Take a deep breath and enjoy the smells of the season. Reflect upon Autumns past and Winters gone. Enjoy this one as another opportunity to shed the past and detach from that which was. Let it all go.
When a pandemic hits the best practice is one of consideration. Learn more about how Lake Tahoe Yoga is adjusting to the changes brought on by Covid-19.
As most of you know one of the best parts of sharing the practice at Lake Tahoe Yoga is receiving physical adjustments. All of the teachers trained at the Lake Tahoe Yoga School learn how to provide supportive and effective adjustments that help you to either deepen or develop awareness during your practice.
Well, we can't be doing that anymore. So, we're adjusting our approach. Rather than provide hands-on support we will be improving our verbal instruction while continuing to demonstrate every posture during the practice. As always, we ask that you ask questions for clarification. If you think you have misunderstood, the teacher misspoke, or you have just become confused feel free to speak up. We are here to teach. Help us to improve by letting us know what you need to know.
Keep It Clean
Yoga studios are notorious for sharing. We share space, tools, products, thoughts, philosophy and conversations. We can continue to share the latter, but spaces and tools have to change.
Now is the time to invest in the tools that you like to use when you practice. Lake Tahoe Yoga has access to wholesale pricing and discounts. Reach out with questions about the best mat for your practice, which blocks will last, the best strap, bolster, or blanket.
We have always used antimicrobial mats and regularly washed all blankets, blocks and straps. If you've ever met Jenay you know that she is just a little intense when it comes to cleanliness and tidiness. You can rest assured that when you practice with LTY everything will be up to the CDC cleanliness standards.
Yes, it is more difficult to breathe when something is covering your nose and mouth. Engaging in physical activity with a mask on is no one's preferred way of doing so. Getting sick is way bigger bummer. I like to breathe. I enjoy being healthy and active. I would rather wear a mask than get or give Covid-19.
Find a mask that is an expression of you, how you feel, what you're thinking, or spreads joy. Make it an additional accessory that expresses who you are. Work on making your eyes sparkle, stretch out your upper face muscles, and express your third eye.
Let's practice together while remaining considerate of the effect we could have on those around us. Stay and keep others safe by wearing a mask while in groups and classes.
Lake Tahoe Yoga remains open for businesses. We have been continuing to offer classes via Zoom. You can purchase access on our website.
We continue to accept and book live sessions for the future. Book now and we can practice together later. There are no cancellation or change fees. We are flexible and ready to adjust to any changes that have to happen.
Paddle Yoga and Beach Yoga plans are in the works. Our scheduled and privately booked sessions will be made available as soon as possible. We look forward to practicing with you, outdoors, safely.
Wishing for individualized treatment to address your specific needs? You can request private therapeutic sessions to be in-person or virtual. Don't put off returning to health, creating harmony and developing wellbeing. Now is the time.
At Lake Tahoe Yoga our motto is "Practice Yoga Everywhere." Yoga is what you do beyond your mat and while out in the world. Join us to learn more.
Yoga is Time with Loved Ones
Attending a scheduled class at a Yoga studio is a great way to be guided in movement and be around others who enjoy the same thing.
If you're looking to connect with family or friends a Private Yoga Session is the best option. It reduces the variety of aspects that make people uncomfortable. The teacher is there for you, there are no strangers to compare to, you get to choose when and where to practice.
1) You all know each other
2) You can share your private jokes, converse and enjoy each other's company
3) The session is catered to your wants and needs
Yoga is Body Fitness
We use the hashtag "more than poses" in just about every social post we create. This is because we know that Yoga is not limited to the postures you see people doing on mats, or on Instagram. Any physical activity that keeps your body fit and allows you to clear you head is Yoga.
Of course, combining the postures described by Yoga Asana practitioners to compliment whatever physical activities you enjoy can make a significant difference. Be sure to stretch before and after aerobic activities to keep your muscles happy and your body moving well.
Yoga is a Long Walk
There is beauty all around you. Give yourself the opportunity to enjoy the space in which you live. The practice of Tantra Yoga includes feeling passionate about all things, including the mundane.
A slow walk around your apartment or home may reveal things to you that you typically ignore. Take a slow walk around your building or neighborhood. Cruise around the edge of your property. Do your best to view these areas as though they are unfamiliar. Enjoy a long walk.
Yoga is Self Care
Spa treatments are nice, but the best way to get to know yourself is to take care of your self. When we wash our hair, trim our own nails, apply a face mask, even brush our teeth we are spending time gazing upon our own bodies. The more we do so, the more familiar they become.
Treat yourself to a deeply moisturizing hair treatment. Soak your feet in essential oils. Apply your own paraffin to soften your hands. Paint your toe and finger nails in crazy colors. Do it for yourself and to get to know your self.
Yoga is Knowing Your Sign
tYou don't need to be an oracle to use cards, crystals, feathers and incense. Maybe you like to collect pretty rocks. Perhaps you're into plants. Some of us look to the stars for guidance.
You already have practices that you enjoy, make your day a little better, and even though they might be considered weird by others, they provide you with some comfort. From making your bed a certain way to having fresh flowers in the house, we all engage in practices that give us peace of mind. Stick with whatever it is that serves you. If you want to explore other practices, we can probably steer you in the right direction.
By Alex founded localfreshies.com® in 2014 to be the #1 website providing the “local scoop” on where to eat, drink & play in mountain towns throughout North America. When he’s not writing and executing marketing strategies for small businesses & agencies, he’s in search of the deepest snow in the winter and tackiest dirt in the summer.
My First Experience Before Lake Tahoe Yoga
Since I’ve been diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis I’ve been on a search to feel better and get healthier. I stopped smoking. I got into the gym doing exercises specifically geared towards my condition. My diet has changed. So, when I first did yoga, I chose to do a free introductory class years ago. It was ok, but it didn’t really help me.
Breaking Down The Barriers
I won’t lie Jenay and I are good friends and for many years she’s been trying to coax me into doing a personal session with her. The first (and only) class I did with someone else left a bad taste in my mouth. I felt like it was mumbo-jumbo. For those free-spirited individuals. I balked at the cost as well. Why the heck would I spend a $100 for one session?!?! With the help of my wife I reluctantly said “yes.”
Not Just Yoga… A Physical Therapy Session
Before we even had our 1st session she read up about my illness, looked at my x-rays, had me ask specific questions to have my doctor answer, and did a bunch of research on what things to do and not do. As we started the hour-long session… the type of yoga moves we began with warmed up the body. She explained each posture and why it was important to me. It felt less like a yoga class and more of a physical therapy session. I began to sweat. My muscles began to quiver.
My First Personal Course – Mind Altering
By the end, I was exhausted physically, mentally, and spiritually. As I woke up the next morning it felts as though every muscle had finally let go. A release of pent up tightness that I didn’t know existed. It was then that I realized what Yoga is. It isn’t just stretching. It is a way for those of us who have disabilities to get better slowly. It was worth EVERY penny and I now budget my life so that I can do it every other week.
The Difference Between Each Type Of Class
Over the course of the past few months there have been times when I couldn’t do the personal session and have done different levels and I’ve finally realized you get what you pay for. For those with physical issues the 1-on-1 is a MUST! You’ll get more than you’ll ever dream, but it isn’t cheap (and rightly so). The virtual 1-on-1 class is the second best, but not even close to as good as the in-person course. Last but not least, a group class with Jenay is a good substitute but it will never give you the results the other two sessions above will.
If you’re in pain, tweaked something in your body, or just feel tight I HIGHLY recommend you scheduling a personal session with Jenay. You won’t regret it.
Simple ways to practice Yoga without the guidance of a teacher.
1. Establish Consistency
When we don’t have the call of the alarm to wake us, or our schedule shifts unexpectedly, it can become difficult to retain a consistent schedule. Many of us take advantage of the lack of responsibility we have on the weekends or during vacation to sleep in, float through the day, and generally feel the freedom to avoid tasks.
Yoga teaches two practices; do not get lost in habit (karma), and remain consistent in your practices (tapas).
When we begin doing something without awareness it has become habit. Do you think about which hand you use to hold your toothbrush? When was the last time you had to think before picking up a pencil to write? When you get in the car do you think about where the key goes? I’m sure you can think of many other habits that you have developed over time.
Consistency requires consideration, awareness and intention. It is the constant practice of thinking about what you are doing and choosing to do that which serves yourself and others. Sometimes it is as simple as choosing to bag your own groceries. It can be the establishment of a time to go outside each day no matter where you are or what you are doing. The practice of consistency requires that you consciously choose to act rather than relying upon that which comes easily.
2. Breathe First
A long, deep inhale and exhale can be the difference between throwing something across the room and walking quietly out the door. Begin a practice of drawing in and releasing one or more deep breaths before entering a room, a conversation, or engaging in a new activity. Not only does a deep breath help to calm your mind and body, it also creates a shift in focus. It can give you to pause and a moment to consider and reflect upon what is happening so that you can address what’s to come next with a more calm and intentional approach.
Get S$!t Done
Creating a list of tasks to complete and checking off, disposing of, deleting, etc. that list as each is completed can be incredibly satisfying. Sometimes, when we feel like we have all the time in the world, we will fill in that time with busy-work or distractions. When a “to-do” list is available, it can help you to focus and address that which needs to get done. Rather than spend a half hour checking out your social feeds, you could be scheduling a dozen posts. Instead of watching videos on Youtube, you could be repairing that hole in your pants.
Enjoy The Little Things
I love that this is one of the Zomblieland rules. From the comfort of your sofa there are countless little things to value. First and foremost is the fact that you have a couch to sit on. I can remember when I moved into my first apartment and we had no couch. I can also recall when we moved into our house and we had no furniture at all. A couch is a wonderful thing!
For those of us who reside in Tahoe South we get to enjoy the magic of living in a forest. City dwellers get to enjoy the majesty of architecture. Whether you enjoy peace and quiet or hustle and bustle, the sounds of silence or the laughter of children, take a moment to enjoy that which you have chosen to have surrounding you.
The time you take to enjoy the things that bring you joy and peace pays off later. When you are in a stressful situation, dealing with negative energy, trying to problem solve, or being a friend when someone is in need you can reflect back upon these things. Recalling them can help you remain more calm and collected by providing your mind with a shift in perspective.
If you are interested in learning more about the philosophies and practices of Yoga as well as how to transition into a Yogic Lifestyle contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the studio at (775)580-7224.
You know, Yoga isn’t just about poses. It also includes practices of mindfulness. The first two limbs; Yama and Niyama describe practices for how to treat others and ourselves. Sometimes we can get so caught up in our own wants we forget that our behaviors have an effect on others. These are few practices to show your love for Lake Tahoe with consideration and mindfulness.
I think that many of us who have chosen to live in Lake Tahoe have done so because we enjoy a little distance between ourselves and others. Some of us have given up the city, large homes or expansive properties in exchange for the wide open lake, mountains and valleys of the basin. When we return to our humble abodes we do so with memories of how wide open the word can be.
While in your home, wherever it may be, try a mindful distancing practice. Imagine yourself in your favorite spot at Lake Tahoe. Envision everything about it from sights to smells and touch to sounds. Spend a little time in your own “Virtual Tahoe.”
Tahoe In Your Home
There are so many things that make Lake Tahoe special. One of my favorite quips is about people who try to bring the various shades of the lake home in jars. One of my least favorite behaviors is people taking Sugar Pine cones home.
Rather than take from Tahoe, create your own Lake Tahoe at home. Use the colors of Tahoe’s water to decorate your living room. When you cut down a tree in your yard have it carved like those in the yards at the lake. Hang photos of your favorite spots in Tahoe on your walls as reminders.
Follow Your Favorites
I think that the best businesses in Tahoe are the ones that are owned by residents. There is something a bit more special about a place that is owned by someone who lives in and loves Tahoe.
You can find many Tahoe small businesses on your favorite social media apps. By following and liking their posts you will not only be “in the know” regarding what is happening, you will also be helping small businesses and owners boost their optimization.
Plan For The Future
You might not be able to get to Lake Tahoe today, but it’s fun to plan on a trip in the future. Create a vision board, list of “want-to’s,” or journal about the places and things you hope to see and do during your next trip.
It doesn’t hurt to reach out to get information and to learn more about the places you hope to visit or the businesses you want to check out. Remember that most of the experience providers and event vendors book early. Contacting them early might just get you an “in.”
We Want To Want You
I grew up visiting Cape Cod, and now that I live in Tahoe, I realize what a challenge it is to live there. There are visitors who are generous, polite, kind, respectful and considerate. These mindful people do everything they can to let others know how much they appreciate where they are. Then, there are those who forget or lose their manners on the way across the bridge, or in our case, over the pass.
Returning to the mindful distancing practice from before, while you enjoy “Virtual Tahoe,” envision how you can make Tahoe a better place now, or during your next visit. Perhaps you’re going to donate to one of the local organizations. Maybe you’ll bring an extra trash bag to clean up as you walk or hike. Imagine yourself pulling over in a safe place, out of the way of traffic, to take in the views. Whatever you choose to do to make Lake Tahoe a better place, we look forward to seeing you during your next visit.
There is a lot of “yoga” out there right now. A boom has occurred and every gym, fitness spot, grassy area, and beach is now offering “yoga.” There are live streams, videos, Youtube channels, memberships, subscriptions and more. Learn to differentiate between those that are Yoga and the rest.
What Is Yoga?
There are 8 specific aspects to the practice of Yoga. When all are included, you are practicing Yoga.
1) Yama: Restraint/Direction/Control
2) Niyama: Observation/Self Control
3) Pranayama: Directed Breathing
4) Asana: Intentional Movement
5) Pratyahara: Sense Withdrawal
6) Dharana: Focused Concentration
7) Dhyana: Meditation
8) Samadhi: Integration
To explain each of these in depth is a much deeper conversation. For those of you seeking a deeper understanding or wishing to learn more about the history and philosophies of Yoga, begin by joining a class. A high quality teacher will incorporate these terms and explain them as they apply to what happens on and off of your mat.
Technique is Important
Asana (Yoga poses) change the way we move. The technique behind each position is important because it forces us to think and focus upon the way in which we are habitually using our bodies. Your teacher should be cueing postures in very specific ways in order to encourage you to redirect your attention and consider your habits. The value lies in understanding how to execute the postures well. Once you have developed this skill, then you can begin to move more quickly and gracefully through them.
Did you know that Yoga has influenced most of the major spiritual practices in the world? Ancient Indians were seeking answers. They wanted to know why the world is the way it is. They were studying the stars, the Earth and human nature. During class you should be learning about the philosophies and history of Yoga as well as how to integrate the practices into your life. Learning about the history of Yoga and the various practices that stemmed from it will help you to develop a deeper understanding and discernment among the various styles that have branched from the roots of the practice.
Yoga is something that we do all of the time. It happens on your mat, in the lobby, in your car and as you travel through the world. Your teacher should be giving you homework. As they teach, they should be offering focus points and concepts to consider. After you complete your mat practice (Asana) you may feel calm, steady and at ease. In your mind, though, there should be something that you carry out with you. Something that you consider beyond the mat. You should feel as though you are ready to make a tiny change or shift in your life that might just make things better. If you leave sweaty, tired and feeling like you got a work out, then you did, but it wasn’t Yoga.