Yoga Beyond Asana

The Vedic Fire Ceremony

by Gwen Burdick Fire, or Agni in Sanskrit, is one of the five basic elements of creation. It dominates the Pitta dosha of Ayurveda. Agni allows for heat, light, color and vision and is essential for combustion, cooking and our ability to digest food. When the element...

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Meditation and Restorative Yoga

Complementary Practices to Promote Relaxation and Healing by Melissa Goodwin Students often ask, “What is the difference between meditation and restorative yoga?” This is a great question, because we tend to think of both in terms of the same set of desired results:...

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The Myth of RAHU and KETU: the Lunar Nodes

In Vedic Astrology, Rahu and Ketu are the important Lunar Nodes. Unlike the seven visible planets, Grahas in Sanskrit, they are massless yet potent mathematical points in space, sometimes referred to as the shadow planets. Our solar system is structured such that it...

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Navrati: The Nine Nights of the Goddesses

September 21st - 29th, 2017 by Gwen Burdick Navratri, a nine night-long celebration of the Divine Feminine, occurs every year on the New Moon in the Vedic month of Ashwin (usually our September) near the autumnal equinox. Worship of the Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and...

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Shreem, Shreem, Shreem

The technology through which Spirit takes form as the manifest world commences with sound vibration traveling through the Akashic realm of space. The shortest possible sound in Sanskrit, the ancient language of the Vedas, is the mono-syllabic sound or Beej Mantra. The...

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The Vedic Trinity: Create, Sustain, Destroy

In the Vedic tradition, the ancient root of yogic philosophy, the concept of God or Supreme Reality is understood in a three-fold manner. The triple function of God, Trimurti in Sanskrit, is expressed as Brahma the creator, Vishnu the sustainer and Shiva the...

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Exploring the Yoga Sutras: Sutra 3.7

Our most recent exploration of the yoga sutras ends with sutra 3.7, which states, Trayam antarangam purvebhyah: These three [dharana, dhyana, and samadhi] are more internal than the preceding limbs. Following last month’s sutra, also focused on the last three limbs of...

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The Four Ashrams: Stages of Life

According to Vedic tradition, a human being spends a lifetime in four stages or ashrams.  The word ashram in Sanskrit literally means "place of spiritual shelter."  The framework of the four stages allows for comfort and clarity as spirituality is developed throughout...

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Exploring the Yoga Sutras: Sutra 3.4

Yoga sutra 3.4 states: trayam ekatra samyama: The three [dharana, dhyana, and samadhi] as one is called samyama. The last three limbs of the eight limbs of yoga are considered those limbs that happen naturally, whereas the first five limbs are actively practiced....

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Exploring the Yoga Sutras: Sutra 2.46

Yoga sutra 2.46 states, sthira sukham asanam: The posture for yoga meditation should be steady, stable, and comfortable. You may have heard this yoga sutra in class—at least in its English translation. The yoga postures are to be done with steadiness and ease. Without...

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