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Articles / Wisdom
Shaucha (Part 2): Purifying Mind & Heart
We are used to practicing physical cleanliness, but how often do we think about cleaning our mind? Yoga practices for purifying the mind and heart help clear away old self-limiting thoughts and emotions that hold us back in life and in our spiritual quest. Irene Petryszak explains the deeper aspects of cleansing in this second post on saucha (cleanliness, purification), the first of the Yoga Sutra’s five niyamas (observances).
Irene (Aradhana) Petryszak headshot
Irene (Aradhana) Petryszak
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Articles / Wisdom
Yoga on Death & Dying
Yogis greet death joyfully. For them, leaving the body voluntarily at the time of death is like taking off a suit of clothes. Most of us haven’t learned how to die at will, but as Swami Rama explains, even if we just meditate regularly and sincerely, we will find that our mantra is an eternal friend during the time of transition—the leader that guides us from this world to the next.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
3
Articles / Wisdom
The Infinite Joy of Self-Transformation
Do yoga and the self-transformation we achieve from it ever end? Establishing physical well-being and a mind free of negativity and distractions is just the beginning. Learn how going deeper, to find ourselves in union with the deepest aspects of our being, takes us on a never-ending journey of self-discovery, transformation, and infinite joy.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
5
Articles / Wisdom
Shaktipata: Bestowing Bliss
Can we become enlightened through grace alone? In this engaging tale from his youth, Swami Rama learns that shaktipata—the grace of the divine flowing through a master to bestow bliss and enlightenment—is possible only when a seeker has sincerely and faithfully undertaken a long period of discipline and spiritual practice.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
4
Articles / Wisdom
Yoga and Your Religious Faith
Will the practice of yoga disturb your religious faith? Swami Rama explains in a clear, straightforward manner why there is no need to abandon your faith in order to benefit from the systematic, practical teachings of yoga. He describes how yoga leads to a healthy body and focused mind that help you become a better practitioner of Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, or Buddhism.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
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Articles / Wisdom
How to Attain the Purpose of Life
How can we attain the purpose of life, which is to know ourselves at every level—body, breath, and mind? Swami Rama describes how we can work with ourselves at each of these levels through a holistic lifestyle and time-tested yogic practices, thus overcoming obstacles and freeing the mind from conditionings and disturbances that obscure our true nature—the pure, eternal self beyond birth and death.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
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 / 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
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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
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