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
4
Articles / Wisdom
The Role of Prayer in Yoga
Prayer in yoga is quite different from what most of us think of as prayer. Pandit Rajmani Tigunait explains the difference between self-centered and God-centered prayer and describes how prayer in the yoga tradition works to make us bigger and brighter by connecting our awareness with the all-pervading divinity within us—the divinity that is continuously supporting and guiding us without our asking.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
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
5
Articles / Wisdom
How to Live Our Dharma
Why does dharma seem so mysterious, and how can we grasp its profound simplicity? Reasoning and analysis won’t help us, says Swami Rama. He explains why only practice—directing all our resources toward self-realization, and surrendering ego and sectarianism—can help us experience the simple truth of dharma and embrace all of humanity as one family.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
3
Articles / Wisdom
Light Your Own Lamp
How can we create positive change in our community or society? And why does the Yoga Sutra focus on individual self-transformation but say nothing about how to guide or transform others? Pandit Rajmani Tigunait explains why we must light our own lamp before we can light the way for others—why we need a peaceful, discerning, and focused mind, gained through self-transformation, in order to see clearly what to do and how to do it.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
6
Articles / Wisdom
Self-Discipline: The Bedrock of Yoga
What role do Hindu gods and goddesses play in yoga? According to the tantric tradition, gods or goddesses are not individual celestial entities; rather, they are manifestations of consciousness. Pandit Rajmani Tigunait discusses the nature of divine consciousness—and why the yogis believe that gods are the offspring of the sages.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
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
4
Articles / Wisdom
True Dharma: Mystery Solved
Why does dharma seem so mysterious, and how can we grasp its profound simplicity? Reasoning and analysis won’t help us, says Swami Rama. He explains why only practice—directing all our resources toward self-realization, and surrendering ego and sectarianism—can help us experience the simple truth of dharma and embrace all of humanity as one family.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
4
Articles / Wisdom
Tapas: Source of Radiance, Joy & Inspiration
How can you revitalize your practice? Tapas, the third niyama (observance) in the eightfold path of yoga, is often thought of as austerity. But it is more than that. Literally, it means “heat, radiant fire.” It is the fire that motivates us to get on our mat and cushion—and makes us radiant. Shari Friedrichsen explains practical, doable ways to apply tapas in our life, so that we can reap the rich rewards of practice.
Shari Friedrichsen headshot
Shari Friedrichsen
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
3
Articles / Meditation
Effortless Effort: The Key to Meditation
How can we deepen our meditation? When we try hard to focus on our mantra, our effort has the opposite effect. Pandit Rajmani Tigunait explains how effort creates tension, which unsettles the mind, while effortless effort—the relaxed awareness of peacefully flowing breath—draws the mind tranquilly inward and quiets it for meditation.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
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