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

7
Articles / Wisdom
Yogic Meal Blessing
Saying grace before meals helps us reconnect with both our inner being and the greater unseen world that nourishes and supports us. Sandra Anderson offers a variety of ways to express our appreciation, including a traditional verse from the Bhagavad Gita used by monks and yogis that allows us to calm our mind and settle it closer to the center of joy and gratitude.
Sandra Anderson headshot
Sandra Anderson
8
Articles / Tantra
The Koshas: Five Layers of Being
Yoga is an inward journey through five koshas, or sheaths—from the outermost, physical layer to the innermost, subtlest layer. These koshas are like shades covering a light. Learn how yoga practices make them more transparent, boosting our energy, clarity, joy, and stillness.
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
4
Articles / Wisdom
The Role of Respect in Spiritual Practice
In the Yoga Sutra, Patanjali says that practice becomes firm when it is done with respect. Respect has four aspects: tapas, discipline; brahmacharya, sensory restraint; vidya, knowledge; and shraddha, faith. Taken together, these principles breathe life into our practice.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
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
9
Articles / Meditation
The Gayatri Mantra: Awakening to the Sun
Illumine your mornings and evenings with quiet joy by practicing the time-honored gayatri mantra. Embodying the collective wisdom of the entire Vedic revelation, the gayatri mantra leads us toward self-realization. Rolf Sovik explains the symbolism of the Vedas, gives a detailed explanation of the mantra, and offers a short practice.
Rolf Sovik, PsyD headshot
Rolf Sovik, PsyD
4
Articles / Wisdom
The Difference Between Religion and Spirituality
What is the difference between religion and spirituality? In comparing the two, Pandit Tigunait explores how the transformative spiritual teachings of enlightened masters that are the source of all religions have become obscured by religious sectarianism and dogma.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
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
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
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

Ayurveda

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

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
5
Articles / Holistic Health
Core Power: The Foundation for Spinal Alignment
What is the key to having a presence that radiates health and confidence? Nema Nyar explores this question by looking at the energetic and physical anatomy of our core, the core’s role in supporting good posture, and the connection between how we stand and how we feel.
Nema Nyar headshot
Nema Nyar
3
Articles / Holistic Health
Why Posture Matters
While it is easy to say “align your head and neck over your trunk,” it is not easy to do, especially for those of us slumped behind the wheel or at the computer. This introduction to a series of posts by Nema Nyar on how to regain good posture discusses the relationship of energy and alignment, and the importance of posture to the health of body and mind.
Nema Nyar headshot
Nema Nyar
15
Articles / Holistic Health
From Chaos to Calm
Juggling our many responsibilities and activities, it’s natural to be stressed, right? According to Dr. Carrie Demers, by no means! In this article, she emphasizes that the choice is ours—to suffer from constant tension or to enjoy a baseline of calm. Reclaim your right to relax: learn three simple techniques to ease out of fight-or-flight mode and melt away the stress.
Carrie Demers, MD headshot
Carrie Demers, MD
7
Articles / Holistic Health
Don’t Just Sit There, Stand Up for Health
Our lifestyle has become increasingly sedentary, putting us at greater risk for diseases such as diabetes, dementia, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Integrative medicine physician Theresa Oswald explains how sitting more than 6–10 hours a day can harm our health, and how we can reduce the risks from prolonged sitting by enjoying “exercise snacks”—frequent bursts of activity throughout the day.
Theresa Oswald, MD headshot
Theresa Oswald, MD
6
Articles / Holistic Health
Movement: The Best Medicine
For most of us, the majority of our day is spent sitting, which has a negative impact on our health. According to the World Health Organization, inactivity is one of the four highest health risks we face today. Dr. Theresa Oswald highlights ways we can get more aerobic activity into our day and explains why it is vitally important to take frequent breaks from sitting to stand up and move.
Theresa Oswald, MD headshot
Theresa Oswald, MD

Meditation

9
Articles / Meditation
The Gayatri Mantra: Awakening to the Sun
Illumine your mornings and evenings with quiet joy by practicing the time-honored gayatri mantra. Embodying the collective wisdom of the entire Vedic revelation, the gayatri mantra leads us toward self-realization. Rolf Sovik explains the symbolism of the Vedas, gives a detailed explanation of the mantra, and offers a short practice.
Rolf Sovik, PsyD headshot
Rolf Sovik, PsyD
9
Articles / Meditation
From Despair to Self-Conquest: Dhruva’s Story
The tale of Dhruva, told in India for thousands of years, gives us a glimpse of the transformative power of meditation. Raised in an extremely dysfunctional family, this young prince battled intense self-doubt, pain, and despair. By practicing the techniques of Vishoka Meditation, he overcame these obstacles and became a legendary ruler whose name is associated with inner stability, indomitable will, courage, clarity, and lasting happiness.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
9
Articles / Meditation
10 Tips for Reducing Distractions in Meditation
Why is it so hard to make the mind one-pointed in meditation? Rolf Sovik explains how the concentration process relates to the five states of mind described in the Yoga Sutra, and he shares his list of meditation’s top 10 distractions, along with practical tips for resolving them.
Rolf Sovik, PsyD headshot
Rolf Sovik, PsyD
3
Articles / Meditation
How to Reach Samadhi
In the state of samadhi, the mind is perfectly still and at peace. How do we allow this state to emerge in us? Pandit Tigunait explains how the first step is to train our mind to concentrate on a single object, and then how concentration leads to meditation and samadhi.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
9
Articles / Meditation
The Real Meaning of Meditation
What is meditation? How does it work? Can meditation help us achieve genuine peace and happiness in today’s hectic, often chaotic world? Swami Rama explains the various aspects of meditation: how to turn inward, how to cultivate stillness, how to pay attention, and how to tell that we are making progress.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
4
Articles / Meditation
Meditation: More Than Mental Concentration
Is meditation simply focusing the mind on an object—a mantra, yantra, or image? Is this what brings lasting transformation? Pandit Tigunait explains that meditation is a complete science of self-knowledge requiring much more than mental concentration, and why we need persistent self-study and a conducive lifestyle to make meditation truly transformative.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
4
Articles / Meditation
Do You Meditate?
Meditation leads to the simple pleasure of knowing one’s self. In this engaging story, Rolf Sovik relates how his teacher, Swami Rama, first inspired him to meditate, and how over the next 30 years taught and guided him, and countless others, the systematic method of meditation that leads to deeper experience of inner life—the highest knowledge.
Rolf Sovik, PsyD headshot
Rolf Sovik, PsyD
3
Articles / Meditation
How Japa Leads to Meditation
Is mantra meditation the same thing as doing japa (mantra repetition) using a mala? Pandit Tigunait explains how they differ and how using a mala builds a foundation for meditation, training our mind to focus without fighting with our mental habit patterns.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
3
Articles / Meditation
How Mindfulness Deepens Meditation
Learn how practicing mindfulness throughout the day can help you deepen your meditation. The mind’s habit of thinking about 30 different things in 5 minutes during the day can make it difficult to concentrate on a single thing—the mantra—in meditation. Pandit Tigunait suggests ways to become more mentally and spiritually focused in our daily life to overcome this problem.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD

Sacred Texts

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
6
Articles / Sacred Texts
The Path of Karma Yoga in the Gita
Acting selflessly, without attachment to the outcome, ultimately frees us from the wheel of karma. “Action is yours, but not the fruits of action,” states Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. This is the path of karma yoga. Rolf Sovik explains how this path—one of four described in the Gita—helps us act with an inner sense of purpose, making life’s actions more meaningful and transformative.
Rolf Sovik, PsyD headshot
Rolf Sovik, PsyD
3
Articles / Sacred Texts
Moksha: Freedom Here and Hereafter
How can we enter the life hereafter fearlessly and joyfully? Yogis call this state of mind moksha (freedom) and others call it heaven. Pandit Rajmani Tigunait explains how gaining knowledge of the reality beyond this physical world frees us from fear and doubt. Learn how prana is key to both birth and death, and how practicing the science of sacred fire, agni vidya, can help us understand all the dimensions of life and be free.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
7
Articles / Sacred Texts
The Gita on the Three Forces of Nature
Like the warrior-prince Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, we may yearn to withdraw from action when life gets difficult. But as the Gita clearly states, we are compelled to perform actions by the three forces of nature. What are these forces? How do they influence us? And how can understanding them help us fashion a smoother ride for ourselves on the wheel of karma?
Rolf Sovik, PsyD headshot
Rolf Sovik, PsyD
2
Articles / Sacred Texts
Paradise Found: Transforming Hell into Heaven
We can create a paradise for ourselves. Heaven and hell are conditions of mind, and which one we create depends on our choices. How can we use our human birth to fill our mind with divine, “heavenly” thoughts instead of making careless choices that reinforce our base emotions and primitive urges?
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD

Tantra

8
Articles / Tantra
The Koshas: Five Layers of Being
Yoga is an inward journey through five koshas, or sheaths—from the outermost, physical layer to the innermost, subtlest layer. These koshas are like shades covering a light. Learn how yoga practices make them more transparent, boosting our energy, clarity, joy, and stillness.
Rolf Sovik, PsyD headshot
Rolf Sovik, PsyD
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

7
Articles / Wisdom
Yogic Meal Blessing
Saying grace before meals helps us reconnect with both our inner being and the greater unseen world that nourishes and supports us. Sandra Anderson offers a variety of ways to express our appreciation, including a traditional verse from the Bhagavad Gita used by monks and yogis that allows us to calm our mind and settle it closer to the center of joy and gratitude.
Sandra Anderson headshot
Sandra Anderson
4
Articles / Wisdom
The Role of Respect in Spiritual Practice
In the Yoga Sutra, Patanjali says that practice becomes firm when it is done with respect. Respect has four aspects: tapas, discipline; brahmacharya, sensory restraint; vidya, knowledge; and shraddha, faith. Taken together, these principles breathe life into our practice.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
4
Articles / Wisdom
The Difference Between Religion and Spirituality
What is the difference between religion and spirituality? In comparing the two, Pandit Tigunait explores how the transformative spiritual teachings of enlightened masters that are the source of all religions have become obscured by religious sectarianism and dogma.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
4
Articles / Wisdom
Sorrow: Its True Cause and Cure
To free ourselves from sorrow, we need to recognize its underlying cause. Learn how our mental habits, beliefs, and tendencies—our acquired nature—isolate us from the bliss of our intrinsic nature, and how yoga can help us reclaim the joy that is our birthright.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
3
Articles / Wisdom
How to Clear a Clouded Mind
Why do we sometimes find it difficult to make decisions, or to follow through on those we have made? And how can yoga help? Learn how yoga practices bring steadiness, clarity, and self-trust to the mind and make the mind one-pointed and decisive.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
5
Articles / Wisdom
Being Humble: Weakness or Strength?
“Be humbler than a blade of grass,” begins a verse of the renowned Chaitanya’s Prayer. What does it mean to be that humble? Does it mean being weak and submissive, without a will or desires of our own? Seeking answers, Irene Petryszak uses the lines of the verse as a guide to discover just what qualities of character it takes to be truly humble and whether being humble is about weakness or strength.
Irene (Aradhana) Petryszak headshot
Irene (Aradhana) Petryszak
12
Articles / Wisdom
The 24 Gurus of Dattatreya
Determined to keep the goal of life firmly fixed in his awareness, the young sage Dattatreya finds a lesson in everything he observes, from the blazing sun to the cheerful bumblebee. He shares what he’s learned from 24 such “gurus” with a visiting king.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
4
Articles / Wisdom
Befriending Your Mind
Do you berate your mind for its roaming tendencies during meditation? Pandit Tigunait explains how we need to befriend our mind, not fight against it. By understanding how the four faculties of the mind work, we can learn to coordinate our thoughts, speech, and action in a harmonious way, so that we can establish a fruitful, productive meditation practice.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
10
Articles / Wisdom
The Niyamas: Keys to Spiritual Progress
Yoga’s five niyamas (observances) are the keys to progress on the spiritual path. Rolf Sovik explains how practicing the niyamas helps us cultivate greater health, contentment, and self-confidence, as well as greater understanding of ourselves and life’s higher purpose.
Rolf Sovik, PsyD headshot
Rolf Sovik, PsyD

Yoga Practice

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
10
Articles / Yoga Practice
Quiet Your Inner Critic
Do you compare yourself to others in yoga class and judge yourself for not being as strong or flexible? How can we quiet old self-critical voices so we can be open to new teachings? Rolf Sovik examines how to deal with our inner critic, so that yoga can be the oasis of safety and self-confidence it is intended to be.
Rolf Sovik, PsyD headshot
Rolf Sovik, PsyD
4
Articles / Yoga Practice
Breath-Connected Movement: Gateway to Fulfillment
What is the key to finding fulfillment in yoga practice? Learn how experiencing prana, or life-force energy, brings a deep sense of peace, joy, and inner nourishment—and how breath-connected movement engenders this experience. Enjoy a simple practice leading from breath-connected movement to a deep, breath-connected stillness.
Judy Moulton headshot
Judy Moulton
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Articles / Yoga Practice
Nadi Shodhana: Equalizing the Flow of Breath
An aim of yogic breathing techniques is to equalize the flow of breath in both nostrils. This leads to the opening of the energy channel called sushumna nadi, which makes the mind flow peacefully inward. Swami Rama explains one of these techniques—nadi shodhana (alternate nostril breathing).
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama