Yoga & Pranayama

  • 10 Gentle Yoga Stretches You Can Do in Bed
    • Yoga & Pranayama
    • November 29, 2018
    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.

  • Gifts for Yoga Lovers
    • Yoga & Pranayama
    • November 14, 2018
    Gifts for Yoga Lovers

    Read this article to find the perfect gift selections for yogis in particular. Here you will find helpful suggestions from our Banyan inventory of items that make for great gifts for yoga teachers and enthusiasts alike.

  • Yoga that Kids Will Love
    • Yoga & Pranayama
    • August 02, 2018
    Yoga that Kids Will Love

    Yoga with children may, at first, seem like a bit of an oxymoron. And yet, they are natural yogis with a lot to teach us about yoga, and, perhaps, a lot to teach us about life. Children love to “imitate” animals and nature. They know how to BE a Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). They also make really good Cats (Marjaryasana) and Cows (Bitilasana), “meows” and “moos” included. They make beautiful Trees (Vrksasana) and growing flowers and bamboo blowing in the wind. Let your yoga space be a barnyard. Let it be a story. Let it be fun.

  • Inversions in Yoga: Shifting Your Perspective
    • Yoga & Pranayama
    • 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
    • Yoga & Pranayama
    • 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.

  • Samadhi: Connecting with Your Source
    • Yoga & Pranayama
    • April 27, 2018
    Samadhi: Connecting with Your Source

    We have reached the pinnacle of our journey through the eight limbs of yoga according to Patanjali—the author of The Yoga Sutras. The final limb on our journey is samadhi, and the literal definition of this Sanskrit word is “to bring everything together.”

  • Going Deeper with Dhyana & Meditation
    • Yoga & Pranayama
    • April 16, 2018
    Going Deeper with Dhyana & Meditation

    As we climb to the seventh limb of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, we come to meditation, and ultimately dhyana, the state of total awareness.

  • Ayurvedic Asana: 9 Yoga Poses for Cleansing
    • Yoga & Pranayama
    • March 23, 2018
    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.

  • Eliminating Distractions with the Practice of Pratyahara
    • Yoga & Pranayama
    • March 16, 2018
    Eliminating Distractions with the Practice of Pratyahara

    Our journey moves from outward to inward as we dive into the topic of pratyahara, the fifth limb of yoga. Often quickly glazed over or ignored completely, pratyahara is the gateway to what we are looking for. After all the attention and effort applied to the previous four limbs, limb five opens the door to where the magic resides. It is within. 

  • Pranayama & the Power of Yogic Breathing
    • Yoga & Pranayama
    • February 27, 2018
    Pranayama & the Power of Yogic Breathing

    Pranayama is the fourth of the eight limbs of yoga, according to the ancient sage Patanjali. In the second book of The Yoga Sutras we find the description of pranayama as “regulation of breath or the stoppage of inhalation and exhalation, which follows after securing steadiness of the posture or seat, asana.”

  • How Yoga Asana Prepares the Body for Meditation
    • Yoga & Pranayama
    • February 09, 2018
    How Yoga Asana Prepares the Body for Meditation

    Ahhhhh, asana. Those bendy stretchy poses are typically the first images that come to mind when we hear the word yoga. Asana is the third in our exploration of the eight limbs of yoga. Let me rephrase that: Asana is 1/8 of yoga. Yes, time on the mat is a grand total of 12.5% of our yoga practice.

  • Yoga of the Heart: A Journey Beyond the Mat
    • Yoga & Pranayama
    • February 01, 2018
    Yoga of the Heart: A Journey Beyond the Mat

    Yoga literally means union, the union of the spiritual and material, the cosmic dance of spirit and matter. For me it is a discipline that applies to every aspect of my life. It is a path for weaving spirit more deeply into the material, transforming and evolving my body, mind, and heart.

  • Yoga's Ancient Code of Conduct—the Yamas & Niyamas
    • Yoga & Pranayama
    • January 25, 2018
    Yoga's Ancient Code of Conduct—the Yamas & Niyamas

    The great yogi, Sir Isaac Newton, taught in his third law of motion, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The same can be said for the law of karma and its effects on both body and mind. Patanjali, author of the ancient text, The Yoga Sutras, clearly points out the karma or good action that comes to us when we apply the first and second of the eight limbs of yoga to our lives. 

  • Pose of the Day: Warrior III
    • Yoga & Pranayama
    • January 16, 2018
    Pose of the Day: Warrior III

    Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III) gets its name from its strong energy and the resilience it develops through practice.

    It challenges our balance and perspective as we stand on one leg and gaze straight down to the earth beneath. This posture embodies the warrior energy, to stand steady and stable we must also be soft and still in our mind and body.

  • Applying the 8 Limbs of Yoga to Modern Day
    • Yoga & Pranayama
    • January 15, 2018
    Applying the 8 Limbs of Yoga to Modern Day

    Many years ago, an Indian sage named Patanjali wrote a now famous treatise called The Yoga Sutras. This document offers a blueprint for living a life filled with joy, peace, and satisfaction. Who doesn’t want more of these in their life?

  • Yoga Sequence to Burn Fat and Balance Kapha
    • Yoga & Pranayama
    • January 05, 2018
    Yoga Sequence to Burn Fat and Balance Kapha

    Let me be clear, I hate that fat has a bad reputation. Fat isn’t bad. Fatty tissues help protect our organs, lubricate our joints, and store hormones so we can carry babies and breastfeed our little ones. Fat helps us stay satiated after a meal. Fat fuels our brains. Fat is wonderful. Now that we’re clear on the goodness fat offers us, let’s address the concern with having too much fat.

  • Pose of the Day: Cobra Pose
    • Yoga & Pranayama
    • December 26, 2017
    Pose of the Day: Cobra Pose

    Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana) is the antidote to our device operating, chair bound, societal ways. It is a back-bending asana where the majority of the movement comes from the thoracic spine, a place where our culture has become limited in motion. With its expansiveness across the chest, it earns its merit as a “heart opener,” but its name “cobra” comes from its shape, which is reflective of a serpent. 

  • Sacred Yoga to Draw Your Energy Inward
    • Yoga & Pranayama
    • December 20, 2017
    Sacred Yoga to Draw Your Energy Inward

    I live in New York City— the city that never sleeps. I first learned yoga here 36 years ago, but unlike many of today’s New Yorkers that I see on the street and the subway, I am not carrying my yoga mat bag and heading off to a daily class. I practice yoga at home.

  • Pose of the Day: Child’s Pose
    • Yoga & Pranayama
    • December 12, 2017
    Pose of the Day: Child’s Pose

    The relaxing Child’s Pose (Balasana) is a profoundly restorative posture for the body, mind, and heart.

  • Pose of the Day: Cat-Cow
    • Yoga & Pranayama
    • December 02, 2017
    Pose of the Day: Cat-Cow

    Cat-Cow is actually two poses that combine together to create the common mini-sequence known as Cat-Cow. This sequence is designed to help lubricate and warm the spine. We use both flexion and extension to restore the space between each vertebra and support the supple nature of the spine.

  • Pose of the Day: Cow Face Pose
    • Yoga & Pranayama
    • November 27, 2017
    Pose of the Day: Cow Face Pose

    Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana) derives its name from the shape that the body makes. Just imagine, the arms are the ears and the legs are the mouth of the cow. The meaning of the Sanskrit name Gomukhasana breaks down as go (cow), and mukha (face).
     

  • Pose of the Day: Downward-Facing Dog
    • Yoga & Pranayama
    • November 15, 2017
    Pose of the Day: Downward-Facing Dog

    If we asked a dog how it felt to be in this asana, their answer might be like ours. We feel a stretch through the back of our legs, along our spinal muscles, and around our shoulders. It feels amazing after sitting for long periods of time and is a superb way to prep the body for more movement. 

  • Pose of the Day: Standing Forward Fold
    • Yoga & Pranayama
    • November 06, 2017
    Pose of the Day: Standing Forward Fold

    Welcome to the first article in our new series, Pose of the Day! In this series, we will explore common yoga postures and their effects on the doshas, bodily systems, and energy pathways.

  • Why Including Ayurveda in Your Yoga Game Will Change Everything
    • Yoga & Pranayama
    • September 28, 2017
    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.

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