• Balance Your Body and Mind with Calming Fall Yoga
    • Fall Recipes and Health
    • October 27, 2021
    Balance Your Body and Mind with Calming Fall Yoga

    Find balance and tranquility with this gentle yoga sequence. Calming for all three doshas, this sequence incorporates smooth breathing, and gentle, continuous movement.

  • 10 Yoga Poses for Relaxation & Calming
    • Yoga, Meditation & 8 Limbs
    • March 01, 2021
    10 Yoga Poses for Relaxation & Calming

    These ten simple postures can support the parasympathetic nervous system and create a sense of calm. Give them a try the next time you’re feeling out-of-sorts.

  • Pranayama Rediscovered: the Modern Science of Breathing
    • Health and Wellness
    • November 30, 2020
    Pranayama Rediscovered: the Modern Science of Breathing

    The benefits of pranayama are vast, wide, and deep. Different practices offer dosha-specific techniques for cooling pitta, grounding vata, and activating kapha.

  • Finding Inner Stillness and Healing with Ahimsa
    • Emotional Wellness
    • November 13, 2020
    Finding Inner Stillness and Healing with Ahimsa

    The first cosmic law of ahimsa, the practice of non-harm, teaches us that to fulfill our humanity as a person we must strengthen our capacity to gain awareness.

  • Mantra and Meditation for Challenging Times
    • Health and Wellness
    • November 02, 2020
    Mantra and Meditation for Challenging Times

    During these complex times, it is important to have a supportive practice that increases our hopefulness and keeps the mind light and buoyant, rather than grim.

  • Meditation and Mental Health
    • Health and Wellness
    • October 30, 2020
    Meditation and Mental Health

    Meditation's deeper purpose is inner growth and development of consciousness. And this has many keys when it comes to furthering the practice of Ayurveda.

  • Peace in Action with the Power of Prostrations
    • Yoga, Meditation & 8 Limbs
    • September 17, 2020
    Peace in Action with the Power of Prostrations

    You can think of a pranam as a bow to the earth—a simple way to practice returning to a place of respect and reciprocity with the earth which we call home. 

  • A Powerful Pranayama for Keeping Cool
    • Yoga, Meditation & 8 Limbs
    • July 24, 2020
    A Powerful Pranayama for Keeping Cool

    Discover sheetali pranayama, a breathing practice with a powerful cooling effect that is especially helpful during times of excess heat—like summer.

  • Yoga that Kids Will Love
    • Yoga, Meditation & 8 Limbs
    • June 18, 2020
    Yoga that Kids Will Love

    Children are natural yogis with a lot to teach us about yoga, and, perhaps, a lot to teach us about life. Let your yoga space be a story. Let it be fun.

  • How to Have the Perfect Yoga Practice for Vata + 6 Poses
    • Yoga, Meditation & 8 Limbs
    • December 17, 2019
    How to Have the Perfect Yoga Practice for Vata + 6 Poses

    Not all yoga practices are calming to vata. A vata balancing sequence should incorporate warming, grounding, and slow qualities to counteract the dry, rough, mobile qualities of vata. 

  • Feeling Anxious? Try This Calming Pranayama
    • Yoga, Meditation & 8 Limbs
    • November 04, 2019
    Feeling Anxious? Try This Calming Pranayama

    Bhramari pranayama, the Humming Bee Breath, is known to balance vata, release endorphins, put you in a state of upliftment, and create a sense of inner peace.

  • Yoga for When You're Too Busy for Yoga
    • Yoga, Meditation & 8 Limbs
    • September 23, 2019
    Yoga for When You're Too Busy for Yoga

    When push comes to shove, it's easy to forgo our good intentions because the demands of life beckon our attention (and consume our time). Read this article for a simple yet powerful practice for busy days. 

  • Yoga and Meditation for Improved Focus and Awareness
    • Emotional Wellness
    • September 03, 2019
    Yoga and Meditation for Improved Focus and Awareness

    Yoga and meditation can be of great help when it comes to mental clarity and focus. Here are some yoga asanas and a meditation technique to sharpen and improve memory and concentration.

  • 10 Gentle Yoga Stretches You Can Do in Bed
    • Yoga, Meditation & 8 Limbs
    • August 15, 2019
    10 Gentle Yoga Stretches You Can Do in Bed

    Find out which poses you can practice in your very own bed! Whether you’re just beginning your day or unwinding before sleep, these ten easy postures can help to stretch and strengthen your hips, back, and belly, support your nervous system, stimulate digestion, and bring awareness to your breath.

  • Why Including Ayurveda in Your Yoga Game Will Change Everything
    • Yoga, Meditation & 8 Limbs
    • July 05, 2019
    Why Including Ayurveda in Your Yoga Game Will Change Everything

    Ayurveda and Yoga are dubbed sister sciences and like sisters can be, they are inseparable. Imbedded in each system are practices to heal physically, mentally, and spiritually when disharmony arises.

  • 15 Reasons to Start Every Morning with Yoga
    • Routines and Rhythms
    • May 29, 2019
    15 Reasons to Start Every Morning with Yoga

    Are you an early riser? Do you enjoy waking up with the sun? Most people love their sleep, and many people don’t get enough of it. The idea of deliberately rising even just 5 minutes earlier each day can be a painful one. 

  • The Best Yoga Poses for Moving Kapha and Lymph
    • Yoga, Meditation & 8 Limbs
    • April 16, 2019
    The Best Yoga Poses for Moving Kapha and Lymph

    Kapha has a strong association with the lymphatic system. A yoga sequence that moves the lymph should include pranayama, vigorous movement, some inversion poses, and some twisting. Learn which yoga poses you can do at home to get the lymphatic fluid moving and keep kapha balanced.

  • Yoga for the Doshas
    • Ayurveda & Fitness
    • March 29, 2019
    Yoga for the Doshas

    The word “yoga” means union, and the essence of Yoga is to unite with your true nature. The paramount theme of yoga at its core is the same as Ayurveda—to return to your true nature. As Yoga is Ayurveda’s sister science, Yoga and Ayurveda share themes and principles. Yoga is fantastic for everyone because there are a variety of styles and poses that can be selected, adapted, and modified to complement anyone’s mind-body constitution.

  • Ayurvedic Asana: 9 Yoga Poses for Cleansing
    • Yoga, Meditation & 8 Limbs
    • March 22, 2019
    Ayurvedic Asana: 9 Yoga Poses for Cleansing

    The purpose of yoga is to align the mind, body, and breath, creating stability, calmness, clarity, and a sense of inner peace. When we bring together the mind, body, and breath, we access the opportunity to be present in this moment rather than spending time spinning our wheels in the what-ifs of the future and the regrets of the past.

  • Heart Opening Yoga
    • Yoga, Meditation & 8 Limbs
    • February 08, 2019
    Heart Opening Yoga

    "Heart-opening yoga" is a term often associated with images of various back-bending yoga postures. While these chest-forward expressions are helpful in creating space, a student can perform backbends until Armageddon and still have restriction to the heart chakra and the flow of prana, our life force. Being bendy is good but having a truly open heart is vital. Read this article to find out how to implement the other seven limbs of yoga into your practice to truly open your heart space. 

  • Calming Your Mind with Shirodhara
    • Health and Wellness
    • November 01, 2018
    Calming Your Mind with Shirodhara

    Shirodhara as a treatment consists of a stream of warm oil run continuously on the forehead. The purpose of shirodhara is to calm the nervous system. Inherent in this process is choosing an oil that has qualities which support the mind and body to come back to balance.

  • Inversions in Yoga: Shifting Your Perspective
    • Yoga, Meditation & 8 Limbs
    • July 10, 2018
    Inversions in Yoga: Shifting Your Perspective

    When you are stuck in life, a shift in perspective can do wonders. Practicing an inversion may be just what you need to see the world from a different viewpoint.

  • A Breathing Practice for the Next Time You’re Stressed
    • Emotional Wellness
    • June 15, 2018
    A Breathing Practice for the Next Time You’re Stressed

    Stress happens. What we can try to do is recognize it in the early stages and find tools to cope when a stressful situation arises. Stress is usually connected to one or more dosha that is out of balance. One practice I have found helpful in recognizing “the stress buzz” sooner than later, or even when stress crash lands at the front door, is pranayama. Pranayama, an intentional practice of restraining and expanding the breath, is one of the 8 limbs of yoga.

  • A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation
    • Routines and Rhythms
    • May 08, 2018
    A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

    When I think of the challenges to meditation, it seems silly. After all, we just have to sit down in a comortable place and be still, quiet our random thoughts, and breathe. OMG! It may seem simple, but in truth it is the hardest thing for most of us to do. Why? Now that is a great question, and within that answer are my top three tips for folks who are new to meditation.

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Eight Limbs of Yoga

As complimentary Vedic sciences, Ayurveda and Yoga originated from the same source and share a common history, language, and cultural foundation. Often referred to as sister sciences, yoga and Ayurveda weave together perfectly and help to enrich the other’s benefits.

The tradition of yoga is like a wide river with many different streams—over many centuries of evolution it has branched into countless different systems, styles, and schools of thought. One of the most recognized and well-known systems is Patanjali’s Ashtanga yoga, commonly known as the eight limbs of yoga.

Patanjali was a sage in ancient India, known for his contribution to classical yoga and for authoring the Yoga Sutras. This famous and greatly influential text defines yoga as having eight limbs, similar to eight separate branches of the same tree.

In order, these eight limbs include the yamas (abstinences), niyamas (observances), asana (yoga postures), pranayama (breath control), pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi (absorption).

The yamas can be thought of as outer observances, ethical guidelines, or areas of self-restraint. They are focused on how one interacts with the outer world, and include five rules—ahimsa (non-harming), satya (truthfulness), asteya (non-stealing), brahmacharya (right use of sexual energy), and aparigraha (non-possessiveness).

There are also five niyamas, which can be thought of as virtuous habits and relate more to one’s internal state. These include saucha (purity), santosha (contentment), tapas (self-disclipline), svadhyaya (self-reflection), and isvarapranadhana (surrender to the divine).

The third limb of yoga is what we most often think of when speaking of yoga in the West—asana, or postures. While this concept can be interpreted in different ways, even as simply taking a seat or meditation posture, it can also refer the countless yoga poses and positions we see in a modern yoga studio.

Pranayama, or control of the breath, is also gaining popularity in the West and can include any kind of breathing practice such as Alternate Nostril Breathing or Ujjayi Pranayama. The fifth limb, pratyahara, refers to withdrawing the senses from the outer world and turning one’s gaze inward. The idea is that this practice can guide one closer to inner knowledge and inner contentment.

Dharana, the sixth limb, refers to concentration or a holding a single-pointed focus. This point may be the breath, a mantra, or a particular place of focus in the body, and trains the mind to become still, rather than jumping uncontrollably from one thought to another.

This single pointed focus that is developed with a practice of dharana leads naturally into the seventh limb—dhyana, or meditation. It goes a step beyond simple concentration to a place of contemplation, steady awareness, and an uninterrupted stream of consciousness. The concept of dhyana is what we ideally find with consistent meditation practices such as So Hum or Empty Bowl meditation.

Lastly, the eighth limb of yoga is samadhi, or absorption. This refers to a state of being more than an action and can be thought of as an experience of oneness or harmony. A highly evolved state of consciousness invoking profound joy, spiritual bliss, and ecstasy, this is considered the ultimate goal of yoga and the purpose for the previous seven limbs.

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