expanding your yoga practice

Expanding Your Yoga Practice Expanding Growing Improving Chopra

Yoga is the union of the body, mind and spirit – the union of your individuality with the divine intelligence that orchestrates the universe. These practices awaken poise, grace and strength in the midst of chaos and turmoil. Our planet is in need of healing and transformation. At times, the challenges of our age can seem overwhelming and beyond the influence of individual intention. Here we hope to provide you with a path to expand your awareness of the relationship between your individuality and your world. Each of us has an opportunity to contribute to a better world through the very personal choices we make on a daily basis, on and off the mat. On the Mat Our relationship with yoga spans more than three decades. We learned early in our spiritual journey the tremendous value of alternating asanas (yoga poses), pranayama (breathing exercises), and meditation to stabilize awareness while spending extended time in silence.  Off the Mat Success in yoga provides a template for success in life. With this in mind, we will explore one of the seven spiritual laws for success: the Law of Detachment. The principles that underlie yoga support a life of balance, flexibility, and vitality.

The Law of Detachment Yoga is not a competitive sport. You will not achieve integration of body, mind and spirit through force and effort. The Law of Detachment reveals a great paradox of life:  In order to acquire something in this world, you have to relinquish your attachment to it. Attachment is based on fear and insecurity. According to the principles of yoga, the only true security comes from your willingness to embrace the unknown, the realm of uncertainty. By detaching, and thus embracing uncertainty, you relinquish your need to hold on to the past. Yoga is a system of mindful surrender. The practice of yoga accomplishes its goal of union through attention and intention – through the conscious release of conflict and struggle. This is the essence of the Law of Detachment. Yoga Asana Body Awareness: As you are reading these words, bring your attention into your body. Without moving, notice your posture. How are you sitting? Are your legs crossed? Are you in a comfortable position? Is there a part of you that is straining? Now – make any adjustments in your position to enhance your comfort level. This is yoga. Pranayama Breathing exercise: take in a deep breath and hold it. Feel the increasing discomfort that builds as you resist the natural impulse to let go. When it becomes too uncomfortable, release your breath and notice the immediate relief that you feel. Holding on to anything when it is time to let go creates distress in your body and mind. Now take a breath, fully emptying your lungs, and hold your breath. Become aware of the increasing discomfort that develops when you resist something from entering your life that you are meant to accept. Notice the relief that you feel as you take your next breath. Ingesting, absorbing, releasing, and eliminating – these are the key components of a healthy life and of natural, balanced breathing. Law of Detachment Practice detachment: The goal of yoga is flexibility, for which detachment is an essential feature. Detachment and flexibility go hand in hand, as attachment breeds rigidity. Allow yourself and those around you the freedom to be natural. Remind yourself to engage in everything with detached involvement, and notice the peace and harmony that crops up all around you – on and off the mat. If you are looking for a way to start or deepen your daily meditation – take a look at this program by MindValley: bit.ly/YOGIMeditation and the Mindfulness Based Stressed Reduction online course by Sounds True: – The YOGI TIMES team

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