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

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 / 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
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
2
Articles / Yoga Practice
Controlling the Breath to Control the Mind
The mind is tightly fastened to prana like a kite to a string. When the string is held skillfully, the kite, which wants to fly here and there, is controlled and flies in the direction desired. Learn how pranayama, the science of breath, helps us hold the string skillfully to gain control of the mind, which stands between us and reality.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
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
3
Articles / Wisdom
Yoga: Union with What?
Yoga means “union.” But what is being united? Body and soul, or body and consciousness? Pandit Tigunait explains why a more practical meaning of yoga is “mastering the dynamic forces of the mind,” and how we can begin by cultivating a mind that is peaceful and concentrated.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
5
Articles / Yoga Practice
The Flow of Prana: Nadis, Chakras, and Kundalini
Yogis have mapped the flow of prana (life-giving energy) through a network of nadis (energy channels) and chakras (energy hubs) in the human body. Learn how understanding the most important nadis and skillfully directing the flow of prana opens the door to kundalini awakening and higher consciousness.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
5
Articles / Wisdom
Unconditional Gratitude: Finding Our Way in an Era of Fear
How do we retain our feeling of gratitude in the midst of a pandemic? How do we keep our gratitude and sense of interconnectedness from being swallowed up by fear, anger, selfishness, and isolation? Shiva Tigunait shares a Vedic mantra to remind us that we are guided and protected on every level by the divine forces, a mantra that calms our mind and fills us with hope.
Shiva Tigunait, PhD headshot
Shiva Tigunait, PhD
17
Articles / Yoga Practice
Panic Attacks: How Yoga Can Help
Do you suffer from panic attacks? Rolf Sovik explains how to recognize a panic disorder, how to explore its causes and resolve conflicts, and how to calm ourselves with the time-tested, stress-reducing tools taught in yoga: deep, relaxed diaphragmatic breathing and meditation.
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 / Yoga Practice
Pranayama and the Autonomic Nervous System
Can we consciously change our heart rate and other automatic, or involuntary, functions of our body? Swami Rama explains how pranayama—controlling the breath—enables us to bring all the processes regulated by our autonomic nervous system under our voluntary control.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama

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
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
8
Articles / Holistic Health
Jin Shin Jyutsu: The Art of Hands-On Healing
Healing is at your fingertips when you practice Jin Shin Jyutsu®. By placing your hands on specific sites on your body, you can tap into the subtle source of healing power and jump-start the flow of energy to help prevent and heal illness as well as relieve physical and emotional pain and fatigue. But Jin Shin Jyutsu is more than just a hands-on healing system; it is also a philosophy and a practical system of psychology and self-awareness—an art of living.
Nema Nyar headshot
Nema Nyar

Meditation

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
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
3
Articles / Meditation
How to Contain a Roaming Mind
Is it possible to stop the mind from thinking during meditation? Pandit Rajmani Tigunait explains that trying to arrest the mind—to command it to stop thinking—is a self-defeating approach arising from a misinterpretation of the Yoga Sutra. He describes, in contrast, how yoga’s yamas and niyamas (restraints and observances) can help us contain the mind in its home in a gentle, loving way that allows it naturally to become still.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
3
Articles / Meditation
Meditation: Joy in the Heart of Silence
Why practice meditation? What does it give us? Meditation—learning to love the silence within—brings the highest of all joys, says Swami Rama. It leads us to the inner source of peace, happiness, and bliss. He highlights five immense benefits of meditation, including freedom from stress, which we gain if we practice this simple technique with patience.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama

Sacred Texts

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
7
Articles / Sacred Texts
The Gita Unfolds: Wheel of Karma
The wheel of karma propels us through life, as our actions lead to results that motivate us to perform new actions. But what happens when our karma feels overwhelming? Like Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, we may be tempted to run away from what is ours to do. What we need is a spiritual strategy to help us let go of our struggle, and as Rolf Sovik explains, that strategy is the essence of the Gita.
Rolf Sovik, PsyD headshot
Rolf Sovik, PsyD

Tantra

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
4
Articles / Tantra
Four Ageless Birds: The Sages of the Vindhya Mountains
The Sri Vidya sages often work in mysterious ways. In this extraordinary narrative, four small birds born on the battlefield of the Mahabharata War become the source of a celebrated spiritual text. Pandit Rajmani Tigunait reveals who these birds are, the odd circumstances of their birth, and why they impart to the sage Markandeya their secret wisdom in what is now known as the Markandeya Purana—a scripture that includes the renowned tantric text Durga Saptashati.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD

Wisdom

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
3
Articles / Wisdom
Yoga: Union with What?
Yoga means “union.” But what is being united? Body and soul, or body and consciousness? Pandit Tigunait explains why a more practical meaning of yoga is “mastering the dynamic forces of the mind,” and how we can begin by cultivating a mind that is peaceful and concentrated.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
5
Articles / Wisdom
Unconditional Gratitude: Finding Our Way in an Era of Fear
How do we retain our feeling of gratitude in the midst of a pandemic? How do we keep our gratitude and sense of interconnectedness from being swallowed up by fear, anger, selfishness, and isolation? Shiva Tigunait shares a Vedic mantra to remind us that we are guided and protected on every level by the divine forces, a mantra that calms our mind and fills us with hope.
Shiva Tigunait, PhD headshot
Shiva Tigunait, PhD
11
Articles / Wisdom
The Yamas: Creating Harmony in Daily Life
It can be hard to change unproductive habit patterns. Yoga’s yamas (restraints) and niyamas (observances) help us to do just that. Learn how the five yamas alert us when our actions are out of sync with our spiritual aspirations and how they help us understand and manage the emotions driving our actions—allowing us to relate to ourselves and others in a more harmonious and balanced way.
Rolf Sovik, PsyD headshot
Rolf Sovik, PsyD
3
Articles / Wisdom
Three Tips for a More Spiritual Life
What does it mean to be spiritual? How do we begin to bring more spirituality into our daily life in a simple way? Judy Moulton offers three practical tips to help us connect to something bigger than ourselves and expand our limited view of who we are as we create a richer, more meaningful way of living that opens the door for deeper exploration and personal nourishment.
Judy Moulton headshot
Judy Moulton
7
Articles / Wisdom
The Sage from the Valley of Flowers
The Valley of Flowers in the Himalayas is noted for its extraordinary natural beauty and spiritual vibrancy. Swami Rama relates his adventures as a young man traveling through this valley—how the intoxicating fragrance of its wild flowers disoriented his mind, and how he learned a valuable lesson from Gudari Baba, a sage with a mysterious healing blanket, who guided him on the journey.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
4
Articles / Wisdom
How to Cultivate Non-Attachment
Non-attachment is essential for gaining knowledge of our core being. How do we cultivate an attitude of non-attachment, and why is awareness of the transitory nature of worldly objects and achievements so important? Pandit Tigunait explains how the practice of pratyahara (withdrawing the senses) helps us to develop this awareness and bring the mind to joyful stillness, so that the mind can turn inward toward the true source of happiness.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
2
Articles / Wisdom
A Mantra for Happiness
Mantra is a sacred sound, word, or set of words that lead us to a higher state of consciousness. In this delightful story from his youth, Swami Rama tells how he eagerly collected mantras, always hoping for a better one, and how a sage taught him the most important and practical mantra of all—a mantra that can help us in every circumstance of life.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama

Yoga Practice

2
Articles / Yoga Practice
Controlling the Breath to Control the Mind
The mind is tightly fastened to prana like a kite to a string. When the string is held skillfully, the kite, which wants to fly here and there, is controlled and flies in the direction desired. Learn how pranayama, the science of breath, helps us hold the string skillfully to gain control of the mind, which stands between us and reality.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
5
Articles / Yoga Practice
The Flow of Prana: Nadis, Chakras, and Kundalini
Yogis have mapped the flow of prana (life-giving energy) through a network of nadis (energy channels) and chakras (energy hubs) in the human body. Learn how understanding the most important nadis and skillfully directing the flow of prana opens the door to kundalini awakening and higher consciousness.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
17
Articles / Yoga Practice
Panic Attacks: How Yoga Can Help
Do you suffer from panic attacks? Rolf Sovik explains how to recognize a panic disorder, how to explore its causes and resolve conflicts, and how to calm ourselves with the time-tested, stress-reducing tools taught in yoga: deep, relaxed diaphragmatic breathing and meditation.
Rolf Sovik, PsyD headshot
Rolf Sovik, PsyD
4
Articles / Yoga Practice
Pranayama and the Autonomic Nervous System
Can we consciously change our heart rate and other automatic, or involuntary, functions of our body? Swami Rama explains how pranayama—controlling the breath—enables us to bring all the processes regulated by our autonomic nervous system under our voluntary control.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
5
Articles / Yoga Practice
Pranayama: From Breath to Cosmic Energy
When we learn to control prana—cosmic energy—we learn to control all the energies of this universe, as well as our body and mind. We can learn to control prana by controlling the breath. This is the practice of pranayama. A story illustrates how pranayama leads to control of the nervous system, mind, and cosmic energy, and ultimately to freedom—the goal of yoga.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
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Articles / Yoga Practice
Sleeping on the Run
Sleep deprivation can have dire consequences. Whether we’re losing sleep due to a medical disorder or stress, exhaustion clouds our ability to be effective at work, affects the quality of our meditation, and can even put us at increased risk for car accidents. Yoga and ayurveda offer helpful suggestions for when and how to get the best sleep, Rolf Sovik explains, and the practice of yoga nidra provides a healthier solution for the days when we haven’t been able to get a full night’s rest. Learn the secrets of this 10-minute path to profound rest, and find out why “sleeping on the run” is better than coffee!
Rolf Sovik, PsyD headshot
Rolf Sovik, PsyD
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Articles / Yoga Practice
Yoga for the Heart
How can we gain conscious access to our heart center, where the joy and light of pure consciousness dwell in their most concentrated form? Shari Friedrichsen explains how physical impediments and a distracted mind keep us from connecting fully with our heart. She offers practices to increase strength, stability, and ease in the body and heart area, as well as practices to quiet the mind, so that we can turn inward in meditation toward the joy and light that await us deep in our heart.
Shari Friedrichsen headshot
Shari Friedrichsen
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Articles / Yoga Practice
The Stress-Relief Secret of a Crocodile
Need a quick way to relax after a stressful day? Try the crocodile pose (makarasana). When you rest in this posture, you will automatically breathe diaphragmatically, which triggers the body’s relaxation response. This is an easy pose for beginners and a great daily relaxation exercise for anyone. It creates a calming, restorative effect on both body and mind. Enjoy the sense of well-being that comes from breathing like a crocodile!
Bill Ryan, PhD headshot
Bill Ryan, PhD
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Articles / Yoga Practice
Deep Breathing with a Breath Pillow
Feeling stressed? How you breathe has a fundamental impact on the stress response—the deeper and fuller you breathe, the more calm and relaxed you will be. To breathe deeply you need to breathe diaphragmatically. Learn a simple 10-minute technique for strengthening your diaphragm so that you can breathe more fully and deeply, and have more energy, resilience, and patience throughout the day.
Bill Ryan, PhD headshot
Bill Ryan, PhD