pranayama: what is it, why do it?

Shedding light on a Sanskrit word not only helps to make something less mysterious, but also possible as a daily practice. During all Yoga classes at Soul Spark Yoga, some technique of pranayama is practiced. Keep reading and learn a little more about this 4th limb of Yoga….it may encourage you to have a daily practice and feel energized. Pranayama: The Definition …

reasonable resolves for the new year

Sankalpa Sankalpa (Sanskrit: संकल्प) means conception or idea or notion formed in the heart or mind, solemn vow or determination to perform, desire, definite intention, volition or will. In practical terms, the word, Sankalpa, means the one-pointed resolve to do or achieve; and both psychologically and philosophically, it is the first practical step by which the sensitivity and potentiality of …

gunas

In Sanskrit, a guna can best be defined as an operational tendency or principle.  In classical Indian philosophy, there are three major gunas which serve as the universal nature, or prakti.  They are sattva, rajas, and tamas. Without judgment regarding any of these gunas, the following translations have been applied: Sattva means order or purity. Rajas means dynamic, changing. Tamas …

niyamas

Continuing with the Niyamas, the second ethical branch of Yoga, help us to understand the beneficial and thoughtful way to relate to ourselves inwardly (read here if you missed the first). The first Niyama, sauca, is the tenet of cleanliness in both the inner and outer sense.  Beyond physical cleanliness, it extends to one’s actions, thoughts, and intentions so that …

yamas

Rising out Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra are eight limbs which define Yoga.  Two of those limbs are the Yamas and the Niyamas.  Ensconced within them is the ethical foundation of a Yogic lifestyle, principles of guidance and wisdom.  They propel us to aspire to wholesome and moral concern for ourselves and all humanity.  As a practitioner of Yoga, embracing these limbs …

philosophy of yoga

The philosophy of Yoga aims to create a wholesome union between body, mind, and spirit.  This is done through creating equanimity and balance, and connecting purposefully to all of creation.  This art of right living was perfected and practiced in India a few thousand years ago.  The fundamentals of Yoga philosophy were penned by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra between …

hatha yoga: what is it?

Hatha Yoga was developed by Yogi Swatmarama, a Hindu sage of 15th century India.  He compiled a work called Hatha Yoga Pradipika, or Light on Yoga, which is the manual of this particular type of Yoga. Known as the “Yoga of force”, this type of Yoga utilizes asanas, pranayama (breathing practices), pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), mudras, bandhas, chakras, and …

windows into yoga

Yoga is a holistic system of practice that is over thousands of years old.  I discovered Yoga  six and a half years ago and during that time I have come to understand the power of Yoga in the ways that it affects the mind, body, and soul.  I personally have experienced nothing short of life-changing moments by having a Yogic …