I gave up drinking within about a year of starting to do yoga. It wasn’t a moral issue. But with regular asana practice, I simply began to see more clearly what the alcohol was doing to my body. And it wasn’t pretty. Read More »»Tweet This Post
Posts Tagged ‘Hatha’
Leslie Howard is a Bay Area-based yoga teacher who runs workshops nationally that teach women about the muscles and potential dysfunctions of the pelvic floor. She talked to The Sacred Cow this month about misconceptions and realities of the pelvic floor and whether or not modern yogis should be practicing mula bandha at all. Read More »»Tweet This Post
I spent this past weekend again at the incredible Bhakti Fest in Joshua Tree: Four days of chanting, yoga-ing, and dancing in the desert. It was an amazing, loving, exuberant, and healthy atmosphere. But it was also, like many large yoga events these days, a bit of a fashion show. Read More »»Tweet This Post
Over the years, as I have become more deeply steeped in my practice, my circle of friends has grown to include amazing, wonderful human beings who are engaged in a process of self-knowledge and self-care. And I, too, have been on this journey. Whether I am on or off the mat, I am often considering every subtle aspect of my life and existence. Read More »»Tweet This Post
A well-respected senior teacher that I’ve studied with says that Hatha yoga shouldn’t be practiced in a group setting. He teaches elements of the practice to groups of students, but believes the real practice should happen at home, when students practice on their own. (He’s actually called practicing with friends a “yoga gang bang”—some of you reading this will know who he is!)Tweet This Post
Nischala Joy Devi is a master yoga teacher and healer. She has developed many yoga programs that serve those with life-challenging illnesses, and her teachings emphasize the practice of compassion. She authored two books: The Healing Path of Yoga (on yoga therapy) and The Secret Power of Yoga (a female-centered interpretation of the Yoga Sutras, also made into a CD). She talked to The Sacred Cow about the importance of including a heart-centered—and female—perspective in one’s yoga studies. Read More »»Tweet This Post
It’s often said that the best time for practice is just before dawn. This is because the mind and the body are fresh, and because the planet (and the home) is still calm and quiet. Some believe that the electromagnetic waves of the sun create obstacles to practice by raising the energetic currents in the environment, and that this is also a good reason to practice before the sun comes up. One of my teachers, Jamie Lindsay, used to say that practicing yoga in the morning is more like preventative medicine, whereas practicing in the evening is more curative. (I loved that way of thinking.) The Kundalini, Ashtanga, and Shadow Yoga communities all deem early morning asana as an important element of a complete practice.
But getting up before dawn can be hard to do. The large majority of yoga practitioners that I know do not practice early in the morning on a regular basis either because their schedules or lack of discipline get in the way. Not everyone has a lifestyle in which they can get to bed early enough to rise with the sun. And even if you do, it can be easy to hit the snooze button in your sleepy haze and convince your still-dreamy brain that another half hour of sleep will be much better for you than getting up to practice yoga.
But is early morning practice really better for everyone? I do enjoy it, but also find that I am a lot more open (and even more clear-minded) in the evenings. Others I know have said they prefer evening practice because they are stiff or tired in the morning, or worried about the things they need to do that day. Of course, it’s also been said that sunset is a beneficial time to practice, but because our work schedules don’t change (for most of us) with the seasons, practicing consistently at sunset is tricky for most people. And evening practice takes a different kind of discipline: You might be tired from a full day’s work or simply tempted to socialize with friends.
Do you have a favorite time to practice? Do you practice the same time every day? What feels different to you about morning, afternoon, and evening practice? Write in and tell us what you think!
I recently wrote an article for a yoga magazine where I inadvertently used a Buddhist term to describe what I thought was a yogic concept. The editor pointed this out to me (and said we couldn’t use the word or the concept in the article). At first, I was a bit embarrassed: How could I have gotten my traditions confused? But it also got me thinking about how often Buddhist terms do find their way into yoga classrooms these days, and how much our yoga path has become influenced by Buddhism. Read More »»Tweet This Post
I began to consider becoming a yoga teacher after I had been practicing seriously for about seven years—though I still had doubt whether or not I’d been practicing long enough to start teaching. When I started looking at Teacher Training Courses (TTCs) in 2007, however, I was surprised to find that six months of practice was (and still is) a common requirement for the majority of the Yoga Alliance certified trainings. That means that people are often learning to teach yoga before they really know the practice. Read More »»Tweet This Post