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Articles / Yoga Practice
Hatha Yoga: Much More Than Asana
Hatha yoga is often equated with asana (physical postures), but it is much more than that. Pandit Tigunait explains why asana by itself does little to engender inner awakening, whereas the complete path of hatha yoga—which also includes breathing and meditative practices—brings spiritual illumination.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
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Articles / Yoga Practice
7 Tips to Recharge Your Asana Practice
Tired of your asana routine? Breathe new life into your practice. What makes any session different from others is the awareness we bring to it. Rolf Sovik offers seven tips to awaken awareness, promote healing and vitality, and recharge your time on the mat.
Rolf Sovik, PsyD headshot
Rolf Sovik, PsyD
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Articles / Yoga Practice
Diaphragmatic Breathing: Foundation for Pranayama
Diaphragmatic breathing is essential for the practice of pranayama, as well as for long-term health. It allows the body, nerves, and mind to relax, whereas using our chest muscles to breathe creates tension and anxiety. Swami Rama offers practices to develop a habit of deep, diaphragmatic breathing and to strengthen the diaphragm.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
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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
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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
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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
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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
2
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