Articles

Find insight and inspiration in our collection of new essays, book excerpts, and exclusive archival materials from a variety of voices and areas of study.

Latest

4
Articles / Wisdom
Maya: The Cosmic Veil
What is maya and how does it create our reality? In this humorous story, Swami Rama’s master vividly demonstrates the nature of maya, cosmic illusion, and how we become entrapped in it. He then explains how we can break through this veil of illusion to gain ultimate freedom.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
4
Articles / Ayurveda
Looking at Diet Through the Lens of Digestion: An Ayurvedic Perspective
What kind of diet is healthiest for us? According to ayurveda, healthy food is food we are able to digest well. Learn ayurvedic dietary tips to help you strengthen your digestive fire (agni) so that you can start expanding the range of foods you’re able to eat comfortably.
Judy Moulton headshot
Judy Moulton
8
Articles / Yoga Practice
5 Simple Yoga Practices to Bring You Lasting Peace of Mind
Silence is calming, refreshing, and restorative. It cleanses and quiets our mind and heart. Rolf Sovik offers five simple yoga practices to reconnect our body and breath, and center our mind in a peaceful, nurturing silence.
Rolf Sovik, PsyD headshot
Rolf Sovik, PsyD
3
Articles / Wisdom
Fearlessly Facing Our Ghosts
In this charming story from his childhood, Pandit Tigunait describes how he overcame his fear of ghosts, learning to stand and face them with the help of a set of prayers. This story illustrates how, with proper guidance, fear can be transformed into faith and inner strength.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
11
Articles / Wisdom
Meditation Is Not What You Think
Meditation is not thinking. It’s a systematic method of training the mind to go beyond thought, gradually transforming our life into a joyful, peaceful experience. Learn how meditating with patience and the help of a mantra brings fulfillment in life and fearlessness in death.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
17
Articles / Wisdom
Aging Gracefully
The yoga tradition tells us there is a gift waiting for us when we embrace the third stage of life—a stage rich with possibility, becoming more nuanced and rewarding as we move toward fulfillment and perfect freedom.
Deborah Willoughby headshot
Deborah Willoughby
8
Articles / Meditation
Tips to Improve Your Meditation Pose
When your sitting pose is comfortable and steady, it allows your energy to flow more easily and your meditation practice to blossom. Rolf Sovik offers simple tips on how to adjust your alignment, so that your posture becomes a gateway to the quiet, illumined spaces within you.
Rolf Sovik, PsyD headshot
Rolf Sovik, PsyD
5
Articles / Holistic Health
Why Our Brain Needs Sleep
Sleep is critical for brain function and restoration. Dr. Theresa Oswald sheds light on how the brain cleanses itself during sleep, removing wastes and toxins, and she explores sleep’s important role in memory and learning.
Theresa Oswald, MD headshot
Theresa Oswald, MD
5
Articles / Wisdom
Antidote to Fear
According to the Yoga Sutra, fear is one of the five great afflictions affecting our mind and body. What are the true sources of fear, and how can meditation, accompanied by divine grace, help us leave fear behind as our mind and heart open and expand?
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
5
Articles / Wisdom
Guru Purnima: Honoring Our Teachers
On Guru Purnima day, we honor the teachers who have guided us on our spiritual path, and take a moment to reflect on their teachings. Here, Swami Rama reminds us of the deeper meaning of this special day.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
6
Articles / Ayurveda
Agni Sara Variations to Support Digestion
When agni, our digestive fire, is strong and balanced, we experience physical and mental wellbeing. When agni is out of balance, we struggle digestively. Learn how to identify specific agni imbalances and how to apply the practice of agni sara (essence of fire) to address each of them.
Judy Moulton headshot
Judy Moulton
3
Articles / Sacred Texts
A Lesson from the Srimad Bhagavatam
When our lives revolve completely around sensual gratification, trouble and suffering arise. This story from the Srimad Bhagavatam tells us the untrained mind and senses can never be satisfied, and reveals the nature of true contentment.
Sandra Anderson headshot
Sandra Anderson

Ayurveda

4
Articles / Ayurveda
Looking at Diet Through the Lens of Digestion: An Ayurvedic Perspective
What kind of diet is healthiest for us? According to ayurveda, healthy food is food we are able to digest well. Learn ayurvedic dietary tips to help you strengthen your digestive fire (agni) so that you can start expanding the range of foods you’re able to eat comfortably.
Judy Moulton headshot
Judy Moulton
6
Articles / Ayurveda
Agni Sara Variations to Support Digestion
When agni, our digestive fire, is strong and balanced, we experience physical and mental wellbeing. When agni is out of balance, we struggle digestively. Learn how to identify specific agni imbalances and how to apply the practice of agni sara (essence of fire) to address each of them.
Judy Moulton headshot
Judy Moulton
3
Articles / Ayurveda
10 Healthy Habits to Add to Your Daily Routine
Daily ayurvedic habits add up to make us healthy and vibrant! Take 10 minutes each morning to support yourself before you go into the world. Check out these 10 ayurvedic tips by Kathryn Templeton to develop a simple, nourishing, self-care routine that you can do each and every day.
Kathryn Templeton headshot
Kathryn Templeton
8
Articles / Ayurveda
Movement and the Doshas
What’s movement got to do with your dosha—your individual constitution? The type of exercise best for one person may not be helpful to another. Choosing the right kind of exercise for your dosha helps restore balance and health to body and mind.
Theresa Oswald, MD headshot
Theresa Oswald, MD
6
Articles / Ayurveda
What’s Your Dosha—Vata, Pitta, or Kapha?
Ayurveda sees all of creation as being made of five basic elements—earth, water, fire, air, and space—that combine into three doshas, or elemental energies: vata, pitta, and kapha. Each of us has a particular combination of vata, pitta, and kapha that gives us our specific talents, strengths, and vulnerabilities. This unique nature is called our ayurvedic constitution. Understanding our constitution and how to keep it in balance enables us to improve our health and well-being. Dr. Carrie Demers explores the gifts—and the challenges—that each of the doshas brings.
Carrie Demers, MD headshot
Carrie Demers, MD
4
Articles / Ayurveda
Ayurveda 101
What is ayurveda? In Sanskrit, ayurveda means “the science of life.” No matter our age or current level of health, we can all use tips on how to nourish our body and mind and how to increase the vibrant energy that is at our disposal. In this primer on yoga’s “sister science,” you’ll learn 6 easy ways to support balance in your daily life.
Kathryn Templeton headshot
Kathryn Templeton

Holistic Health

5
Articles / Holistic Health
Why Our Brain Needs Sleep
Sleep is critical for brain function and restoration. Dr. Theresa Oswald sheds light on how the brain cleanses itself during sleep, removing wastes and toxins, and she explores sleep’s important role in memory and learning.
Theresa Oswald, MD headshot
Theresa Oswald, MD
5
Articles / Holistic Health
Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
The quality of our sleep affects almost every aspect of our health, yet many of us have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep. Dr. Theresa Oswald offers simple techniques and lifestyle tips for getting a good night’s rest.
Theresa Oswald, MD headshot
Theresa Oswald, MD
9
Articles / Holistic Health
Sitting with Ease
Want a comfortable meditation posture? Nema Nyar explains how the pelvis is the foundation of our sitting posture, how the alignment of the upper body affects the lower body, and how our engagement with prana stabilizes the body and mind.
Nema Nyar headshot
Nema Nyar
8
Articles / Holistic Health
Fasting 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Cleansing
Spring is a time for renewal, so doing a spring cleanse can be a perfect jump-start to revitalize our health and energy. Find out if fasting is right for you, and learn tips on how to make your cleanse safe and rejuvenating.
Carrie Demers, MD headshot
Carrie Demers, MD
7
Articles / Holistic Health
Nature’s Healing Power: The Five Elements
Spending time in nature is good for our health. Modern science is confirming what yoga and ayurveda have long known: connecting ourselves with the five elements of nature—earth, water, fire, air, and space—nourishes us, bringing balance, healing, and a sense of well-being.
Theresa Oswald, MD headshot
Theresa Oswald, MD
6
Articles / Holistic Health
A Powerful Stance: Freeing the Pelvis
How we stand says a lot about how energy moves through us. Nema Nyar describes the structure of the hip joint and how we can improve pelvic alignment and energy flow using the tensional forces of our muscles and fascia.
Nema Nyar headshot
Nema Nyar
6
Articles / Holistic Health
Tips for Improving Your Balance
As we age, balance training can help us prevent injuries and reduce the risk of falling. Learn how a variety of exercises—from standing on one leg while brushing your teeth to yoga balance poses, tai chi, and strengthening exercises—can help you improve your balance safely.
Theresa Oswald, MD headshot
Theresa Oswald, MD
8
Articles / Holistic Health
A Regal Bearing: Centering the Head
Most people complain about neck and shoulder tension. Why? Because most of us carry our head forward, straining the neck, shoulders, and upper back. While a good massage provides short-term relief, the deeper solution is to realign our posture. In this post, Nema Nyar discusses how a forward head impacts the rest of the body, and how to work toward better alignment.
Nema Nyar headshot
Nema Nyar
6
Articles / Holistic Health
Fluid Bones: Unlocking the Upper Spine
The upper spine expresses the state of our heart—if it is slumped forward, it may be hiding feelings or memories that are out of our awareness. In this third post in a series on posture, Nema Nyar explores ways to bring balance and fluidity to the upper spine, increasing our youthfulness and confidence.
Nema Nyar headshot
Nema Nyar

Meditation

8
Articles / Meditation
Tips to Improve Your Meditation Pose
When your sitting pose is comfortable and steady, it allows your energy to flow more easily and your meditation practice to blossom. Rolf Sovik offers simple tips on how to adjust your alignment, so that your posture becomes a gateway to the quiet, illumined spaces within you.
Rolf Sovik, PsyD headshot
Rolf Sovik, PsyD
12
Articles / Meditation
The Science of Mantra
The mantra is like a bridge on which meditators cross the river of life and eventually reach the other shore—the state of highest consciousness. Swami Rama explains how mantras help us to penetrate and fathom the various levels of the mind so we can attain the deepest states of meditation.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
10
Articles / Meditation
Advanced Meditation: How to Do a Purashcharana
Transform your life and transfigure your mind with the practice of purashcharana, a time-honored approach to intensifying your meditation practice. Rolf Sovik explains how to undertake a purashcharana from start to finish, including the prerequisites, how to overcome obstacles, and ways to deepen and enhance your practice.
Rolf Sovik, PsyD headshot
Rolf Sovik, PsyD
3
Articles / Meditation
Svadhyaya: The Power of Self-Study
Practicing svadhyaya (self-study) helps us identify and remove obstacles to our spiritual growth. Learn how the two key aspects of svadhyaya—japa (mantra repetition) and scripture reading—engender inner awareness, a positive outlook, and clarity in setting our priorities.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
9
Articles / Meditation
Purashcharana: Discovering Our Self-Defeating Tendencies
A special meditation practice called a purashcharana (step forward) illuminates the unlit corners of our mind, enabling us to see and conquer self-defeating tendencies, even as these tendencies attempt to hijack our practice. In this engaging story, Swami Rama discovers that when we fully commit ourselves to the practice, it bears the optimal fruit.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
4
Articles / Meditation
Signs of Progress in Meditation
How can we tell if we are making progress in our meditation practice? Pandit Tigunait describes the signs that show we are moving forward and offers suggestions on how we can further deepen our practice.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
15
Articles / Meditation
Four Ways to Improve Your Meditation
Before you begin your daily meditation, befriend your mind and connect with your inner teacher through the process of introspection. Swami Rama explains how the more we know about our mind, the greater the mastery we will have over the world around us.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
5
Articles / Meditation
A New Beginning: Cultivating the Practice of Active Vairagya
“Our problems are not bigger than us. We are bigger than our problems.” How can we make lasting changes? Learn the practice of active vairagya—uncoupling from negativity so we can recouple with our higher self.
Shiva Tigunait, PhD headshot
Shiva Tigunait, PhD
14
Articles / Meditation
The Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra: Heal Yourself, Heal the World
Hailed by the sages as the heart of the Vedas, the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra can help you tune into the healing force that is always at work within you, supporting your growth, lifting you up in times of trouble, and reminding you of the higher aim of life. In this article, Rolf Sovik unveils one of yoga’s most powerful, nourishing mantras.
Rolf Sovik, PsyD headshot
Rolf Sovik, PsyD

Sacred Texts

3
Articles / Sacred Texts
A Lesson from the Srimad Bhagavatam
When our lives revolve completely around sensual gratification, trouble and suffering arise. This story from the Srimad Bhagavatam tells us the untrained mind and senses can never be satisfied, and reveals the nature of true contentment.
Sandra Anderson headshot
Sandra Anderson
6
Articles / Sacred Texts
Brilliance of a Thousand Suns: A Cosmic Vision in the Gita
“The brilliance of a thousand suns” describes the cosmic form of the Divine revealed in the Bhagavad Gita. Learn why this vision was given as a gift of love to a sincere devotee, and what profound truth the vision reveals.
Rolf Sovik, PsyD headshot
Rolf Sovik, PsyD
5
Articles / Sacred Texts
Eternal Knowledge: The Wisdom of the Upanishads
The timeless teachings of the Upanishads guide us to the highest wisdom—the knowledge of our true identity. Swami Rama explains how coming to know ourselves as the Self of all, or Brahman, frees us from self-created misery and infuses our heart with love for all.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
4
Articles / Sacred Texts
Yoga Sutra: Timeless Manual for Inner Unfoldment
Attempting to practice yoga without knowing the Yoga Sutra is like trying to run a country without knowing its constitution. Learn why this timeless text—a manual for experiencing our inner divinity—lies at the heart of yoga.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
3
Articles / Sacred Texts
Unveiling the Mystery of Death: Katha Upanishad
Yearning to attain the goal of life, a young seeker pursues knowledge that only the Lord of Death can give him. This story unfolds in the Katha Upanishad, the most profound articulation of life’s purpose and how to achieve it by unveiling the mystery of death. Ishan Tigunait explains why the knowledge and practices contained in this treasured text are as important and vibrant today as they were thousands of years ago.
Ishan Tigunait headshot
Ishan Tigunait
4
Articles / Sacred Texts
Unveiling the Mystery of Consciousness: Mandukya Upanishad
The wisdom of the Mandukya Upanishad lies at the heart of every yogi’s journey. Condensed into just 12 mantras, this wisdom allows us to unveil the mystery of the four states of consciousness, including the pinnacle—turiya. Ishan Tigunait explains how to approach this sacred text so as to unlock our extraordinary inner potential.
Ishan Tigunait headshot
Ishan Tigunait
9
Articles / Sacred Texts
The Path of Love and Devotion in the Gita
When we learn to cultivate love for the Divine, we find ourselves gradually lifted out of pain and sorrow. This is the path of bhakti yoga, love and devotion—a path that, ultimately, transforms human hearts. But how do we cultivate spiritual love? What can a mortal give the Divine, and what gift do we receive in return?
Rolf Sovik, PsyD headshot
Rolf Sovik, PsyD
7
Articles / Sacred Texts
Tripura Rahasya: Tradition & Text
Tripura Rahasya, a dialogue between the sages Dattatreya and Parashurama, is one of the most significant and helpful scriptures in the tradition of tantra yoga. After telling the story of Parashurama and how he received the knowledge of the Tripura Rahasya from the sage Dattreya, Swami Rama explains the qualities needed by a student for initiation into shakti sadhana, and offers a systematic method of meditation to develop shraddha, faith.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
5
Articles / Sacred Texts
Shakti Sadhana: An Introduction
The tantric scripture Tripura Rahasya teaches the stages of enlightenment in a systematic way, so that an aspirant can attain the highest state of consciousness. Its beauty lies in the fact that it expounds the lofty knowledge of inner truth while systematically offering practical instructions on shakti sadhana. Swami Rama explains the three main schools of shakti sadhana—kaula, mishra, and samaya—and how they awaken the dormant fire within, leading to higher awareness.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama

Tantra

7
Articles / Tantra
The Triune Body in Yoga Practice
According to the yoga tradition, a human being has three interpenetrating bodies—physical, subtle, and causal—each influencing the other. Every aspect of our yoga practice can shape and direct these three bodies to develop a foundation for powerful and lasting healing and awakening.
Sandra Anderson headshot
Sandra Anderson
6
Articles / Tantra
Praising the Devi: Inviting Divine Grace
Reciting or singing praises to the Divine Mother, such as the Sri Sukta or Durga Saptashati, has the power to fill our life with greater richness, grace, and a feeling of being blessed. Shari Friedrichsen tells how her regular recitation of these mantric verses has brightened and nourished her life.
Shari Friedrichsen headshot
Shari Friedrichsen
4
Articles / Tantra
The Role of Fire in Yoga and Rituals
Fire is shakti, the creative energy of the divine. At the core of yoga practice, it enables us to cultivate a radiant body and a brilliant mind. Through fire rituals, it enables us to detoxify and revitalize our air, water, and soil, sustaining life at every level. Pandit Tigunait explains how fire creates transformation and healing within us and around us.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
5
Articles / Tantra
The Kanda: Tantric Anatomy in Practice
Prana shakti, our life force, emanates from a shimmering bluish kanda, a bulb-shaped nexus of vitality and intelligence that is the root of embodied life. The kanda is the key to accessing the pranic body, mastering the mind, and awakening a deeper level of awareness. Sandra Anderson explains the significance of the kanda along with ways we can tap into this source of vitality to fuel our spiritual growth.
Sandra Anderson headshot
Sandra Anderson
5
Articles / Tantra
Mantra: Silence as Sound
How does silence manifest as sound and lead us to the stillness deep within us? Shiva Tigunait explains what mantra is, where it comes from, and how it works with the mind at increasingly subtle levels to help us clear away mental noise and negativity—thus allowing us to experience the perfect tranquility, joy, and silence of our essential nature.
Shiva Tigunait, PhD headshot
Shiva Tigunait, PhD
14
Articles / Tantra
The Awakening of Kundalini
Kundalini shakti—the vast reservoir of energy, intelligence, and power within each of us—is often depicted as a coiled snake resting at the base of the spine. The sages speak of awakening kundalini and systematically guiding it from the lowest to the highest chakra, leading to intense bursts of creativity and transformation along the way. The completion of this journey at the sahasrara chakra, it is said, takes us to the highest peak of human experience—extraordinary power and enlightenment. But what is this mysterious shakti, really, and how can we tap into it? In this previously out-of-print article, Swami Rama explains what kundalini awakening is and is not. He describes the authentic methods of awakening kundalini that the traditions of yoga and tantra have kept alive for millennia, distinguishing these from false ones. As he takes us on a journey through the landscape of the subtle body, he explains the psychobiological vortices and knots (chakras, nadis, and granthis) and describes how unlocking the capacity of each furthers our quest for fulfillment and freedom.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
6
Articles / Tantra
Lotus of the Navel
In a number of spiritual traditions, the lotus flower symbolizes beauty, purity, and even enlightenment. But the lotus also plays a vital role in the Hindu story of creation. As Sandra Anderson explains in this post, this ancient story offers us important lessons about our own inner growth and transformation. Like the lotus stalk emerging from Vishnu’s navel to nourish Brahma, the creator, our connection to our divine source provides us with the nourishment we need to blossom into our highest self.
Sandra Anderson headshot
Sandra Anderson
3
Articles / Tantra
The World According to Tantra
Tantra’s most fundamental principle is that we are all interconnected. How can we bring this awareness into our daily experience? Pandit Tigunait suggests we look for this interconnection in ordinary things, like where our coffee comes from. By honoring our connection to those whose lives support and enrich our own, we will be filled with gratitude and begin to experience divine love and grace manifesting everywhere.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
6
Articles / Tantra
Patanjali: Master of the Masters
Patanjali, well-known as the author of the Yoga Sutra, is also the genius behind the Mahabhashya (The Great Commentary). In this astonishing story, Patanjali attempts to set in writing the oral teachings of the Mahabhashya by dictating them to a thousand students simultaneously—an effort that ends in catastrophe when his instructions are not followed. What ensues, as Pandit Rajmani Tigunait relates, is a dilemma that only Patanjali can solve.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD

Wisdom

4
Articles / Wisdom
Maya: The Cosmic Veil
What is maya and how does it create our reality? In this humorous story, Swami Rama’s master vividly demonstrates the nature of maya, cosmic illusion, and how we become entrapped in it. He then explains how we can break through this veil of illusion to gain ultimate freedom.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
3
Articles / Wisdom
Fearlessly Facing Our Ghosts
In this charming story from his childhood, Pandit Tigunait describes how he overcame his fear of ghosts, learning to stand and face them with the help of a set of prayers. This story illustrates how, with proper guidance, fear can be transformed into faith and inner strength.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
11
Articles / Wisdom
Meditation Is Not What You Think
Meditation is not thinking. It’s a systematic method of training the mind to go beyond thought, gradually transforming our life into a joyful, peaceful experience. Learn how meditating with patience and the help of a mantra brings fulfillment in life and fearlessness in death.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
17
Articles / Wisdom
Aging Gracefully
The yoga tradition tells us there is a gift waiting for us when we embrace the third stage of life—a stage rich with possibility, becoming more nuanced and rewarding as we move toward fulfillment and perfect freedom.
Deborah Willoughby headshot
Deborah Willoughby
5
Articles / Wisdom
Antidote to Fear
According to the Yoga Sutra, fear is one of the five great afflictions affecting our mind and body. What are the true sources of fear, and how can meditation, accompanied by divine grace, help us leave fear behind as our mind and heart open and expand?
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
5
Articles / Wisdom
Guru Purnima: Honoring Our Teachers
On Guru Purnima day, we honor the teachers who have guided us on our spiritual path, and take a moment to reflect on their teachings. Here, Swami Rama reminds us of the deeper meaning of this special day.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
2
Articles / Wisdom
Serving Nature as a Way to Heal
Within us we hold the seeds of disease as well as its cure. In this engaging story, Pandit Tigunait learns how we can pay off our karmic debts and heal ourselves by serving various aspects of nature.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
14
Articles / Wisdom
Freedom on the Field of Action: The Path of Karma Yoga
Through the practice of karma yoga—serving others selflessly and lovingly—we gain the power to transform ourselves and the world around us. This is a path of inner freedom that leads us to the ultimate goal of yoga: the state of self-realization and perfection.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
4
Articles / Wisdom
Healing Past Trauma and Injustice
How do we let go of anger about past trauma or injustice in our life? Learn how recognizing the role of divine providence in life’s events and feeling grateful for life’s gifts can restore balance and joy to our mind.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD

Yoga Practice

8
Articles / Yoga Practice
5 Simple Yoga Practices to Bring You Lasting Peace of Mind
Silence is calming, refreshing, and restorative. It cleanses and quiets our mind and heart. Rolf Sovik offers five simple yoga practices to reconnect our body and breath, and center our mind in a peaceful, nurturing silence.
Rolf Sovik, PsyD headshot
Rolf Sovik, PsyD
11
Articles / Yoga Practice
Beginner’s Guide to Bandhas
The three yogic locks, or bandhas, are fundamental practices of yoga. Learn the importance and benefits of these locks—throat (jalandhara bandha), stomach (uddiyana bandha), and root (mula bandha)—and how to combine them in a simple technique that can easily be integrated into your asana practice.
Rolf Sovik, PsyD headshot
Rolf Sovik, PsyD
11
Articles / Yoga Practice
Seamless Breathing for a Quiet Mind
Just as a skillful musician creates a seamless, flowing melody, we can learn to breathe in a smooth, unbroken way that quiets the mind, opening the door to self-discovery. In these breath-refining practices, Rolf Sovik leads us from simple breathing to awareness of the breath in the nostrils to coordinating the flow of the breath with the sound of the mantra so’ham.
Rolf Sovik, PsyD headshot
Rolf Sovik, PsyD
5
Articles / Yoga Practice
Breath Awareness: Key to Deep Meditation
Without breath awareness, a deep state of meditation is impossible. Learn how breath awareness leads to sushumna, an undisturbed and joyous state of mind, and how breath awareness differs from pranayama exercises.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
3
Articles / Yoga Practice
Different Types of Breath-Connected Movement
Which types of movement invite us to inhale, and which to exhale? In this third article on breath-connected movement, Judy Moulton helps us refine our yoga practice by exploring how movements such as lifting, opening, and expanding share the qualities of inhalation, while the opposite types of movement encourage exhalation.
Judy Moulton headshot
Judy Moulton
6
Articles / Yoga Practice
Steady Posture: Foundation for Breath Awareness
In learning to meditate, breath awareness is even more important than tranquility of mind. But to practice breath awareness, we first need a steady, comfortable, and easy posture. Swami Rama offers several options.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
3
Articles / Yoga Practice
Breath: Transforming Movement into Yoga
Connecting breath with movement transforms simple movement into yoga. It creates an awareness of the subtle aspect of breath—prana, or life-force energy—that is at the heart of yoga and leads to inner stillness. Learn step-by-step how to coordinate movement and breath.
Judy Moulton headshot
Judy Moulton
4
Articles / Yoga Practice
Bandhas and Mudras
To practice pranayama with breath retention, we must apply bandhas (locks). Swami Rama describes the three bandhas and their effects, as well as mudras (seals) used in meditation and pranayama.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
5
Articles / Yoga Practice
Vigorous, Calming, Cooling, and Advanced Pranayamas
Pranayama is a highly developed and complex science. It can be used for cleansing, revitalizing, calming, and cooling, as well as bringing clarity and joy to the mind. Swami Rama describes six practices that can be done without the guidance of a teacher, and three more advanced practices that should be attempted only with expert guidance.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama