Sign up and get a FREE meditation audio
* indicates required

Live video streaming of yoga classes via Facebook

Many of you have requested the ability to attend yoga classes that I teach over the internet via live video streaming. I was recently made aware of the "live video" feature that Facebook provides. I plan to use this feature to broadcast some of my yoga classes via live streaming.

As you may be aware, I started the 14-day pranayama intensive, 6-7:30 AM EST daily, this morning. I plan to broadcast the remaining 13 days via live video starting tomorrow. Please go to my FB site – https://www.facebook.com/scmittal a little before 6 AM and look for the live video.

The fee for the class will be purely by voluntary donation (suggested donation: $2 per class/$20 for the full two-week program). You can make the payment via paypal on my website (go to the bottom of the page).

Given that this will be my first attempt to go live, I do not expect the broadcast to be perfect or without problems. At the end of the class, I would love to get your feedback/comments and, most importantly, suggestions for improvement.

I certainly hope you will find this live video feature helpful in attending my classes, especially if you do not live in the triangle area of North Carolina or are traveling.

Looking forward to your participation in this 14-day pranayama intensive via "live video"!

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Five Tibetan Rites (fountain of youth)

twirl
Twirling

The book Five Tibetan Rites (The ancient secret of fountain of youth) was originally published by Peter Kelder in 1939. It contains a description of five exercises, now knows as the Five Tibetan Rites. Even though most of these exercises are the ones we do in our class in one form or another (with the exception of twirling), what makes the practice challenging and enjoyable is the fact that each exercise is to be repeated 21 times.

The book is based on the experience of a British Army Colonel who visited India and Tibet seeking knowledge about some of the esoteric Eastern practices that help maintaining good physical and mental health. He ended up in a monastery in Tibet where the monks, even though advanced in biological age, looked amazingly youthful. They told him that the secret of their youthful appearance was the regular practice of these five rites. Based on the story told by the colonel, Peter Kelder wrote the above mentioned book describing in detail the practice of these five rites.

Continue reading »

14-day Pranayama Intensive, Sep 18 – Oct 1, 2017

nadi-shuddhi1-small.jpg
Vishnu Mudra

I am pleased to announce the next Pranayama intensive. In this program, we will be practicing some of the main pranayama techniques given in our ancient yoga texts. I will also discuss the underlying concepts in the practice of pranayama and all the wonderful benefits that the practice can bring us.

No prior pranayama or meditation experience is required.

Here are the particulars:

  • What: 14-day pranayama intensive
  • When: Monday, September 18 – Sunday, October 1, 2017
  • Time: 6:00 – 7:30 AM
  • Location: 4000 Bearcat Way, Suite 102, Morrisville, NC 27560
  • Daily Routine: Light stretching (10-15 minutes), Pranayama (40 min), Relaxation (15 min), Yoga philosophy/meditation (15-20 min)
  • Commitment: A firm commitment to follow this schedule and attend every day
  • Fee: $90
  • To register: fill out the registration form, providing information in all the fields, and submit it online

Continue reading »

Yoga Retreat (August 2017) experience

lakulish.jpg
Lakulish Ashram 1

"… the retreat was a life-changing experience, because I truly came away from it a different (and hopefully better) person. … Since the retreat, I have been practicing every day, and I have found myself using some of the concepts from our lectures in my daily life. The retreat was one of the most joyful experiences I’ve had a in a long time… "

"… Wonderful! Thank you for facilitating such a magnificent time of reflection and community.  I felt a lot of my resentment towards my ongoing physical pain and the ending of a relationship melt away over the course of the weekend for which I am very grateful…"

" … Incredible, emotional. We covered a lot of material in a short period of time. Would love to have continued 3 more days…a month? …"

[Please read the full reviews here ….]

Continue reading »

Reclining Hip Opening Poses, part 1

In a previous post, I talked about a few of the seated hip opening stretches. Today, I would like to present some of the hip opening poses that are done in the reclining position.

I hope you will enjoy watching the video and practicing with me.

Reclining Leg Lift with strap (Supta Padangushthasana)

leglift
Reclining leg stretch

  1. Lie down on your back in shavasana
  2. Bring the feet together and put a strap around the right foot. As you inhale, using the strap, lift the right leg up and try to bring it to a vertical position. Try to keep the left thigh pressed to the floor.
  3. As you exhale, slowly bring the leg down to the floor
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for two more breaths keeping the movement synchronized with breathing
  5. Next time you raise the leg up, hold it up there for four deep breaths. Then, while exhaling, slowly release the leg down.
  6. Repeat the above sequence with the other leg

Reclining Spinal Twist with strap

  1. Lie down on your back. Using a strap, while inhaling raise the right leg up to a vertical position. Try to keep the leg straight, without bending the knee.
  2. Continue reading »

Seated hip opening poses, part 1

cradle
Seated cradle

Tightness in the hips is one of the most common problems students face in a yoga class when they try to do any of the yoga poses involving hip flexibility or hip rotation. This tightness usually is a result of long hours of sitting either in an office chair or in a car if you have a long commute to work. The situation gets further aggravated if you happen to maintain a poor posture while you are sitting. Poor hip flexibility can usually result in low back pain or poor support for the knees.

In the accompanying video, I have presented a few simple seated hip opening movements. In future articles, I will be presenting more hip opening poses from the standing, seated and reclining poses.

Continue reading »

Three stages of transformation during meditation

Prakriti, as we know, is a composite of three gunas – sattva (purity), rajas (action, movement) and tamas (dullness etc.). These three gunas are in a constant state of flux all the time. The dominance of one guna over the other keeps shifting from moment to moment. Since the mind is also a part of Prakriti, it also is going through constant change all the time due to changes in the gunas. In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali has given the name "vritti" to these constant fluctuations going on in the mind.

Patanjali, in sutra 1.2, gives the definition of yoga as "that state of the mind wherein these constantly changing vrittis have been restrained or subdued and the mind can stay in a state of stillness" – yogaś-citta-vr̥tti-nirodhaḥ ॥2॥ (sutra 1.2). Patanjali has given the eight limbs of yoga as the means to achieve that state of stillness of the mind. Of these eight limbs, the most important and essential is the practice of meditation. As given in chapter 3, the broad category of "meditation" is actually a continuum of three practices called dharana (initial focus/concentration), dhyana (one-pointed contemplation, also called meditation), and samadhi (final state of absorption). When these three are practiced together, it is called "samyama" (sutra 3.4). In this article, I’ll be using the term "meditation" to imply the practice of these three stages of meditation – dharana, dhyana and samadhi.

In this article, I will be talking about the various stages of transformation that the mind goes through as we continue to deepen the practice of meditation.

Continue reading »

Yoga Retreat with Subhash, August, 2017

lakulish.jpg
Lakulish Ashram 1

I would like to invite you to a yoga retreat in the beautiful rural setting in Mebane, NC. At this retreat you will be able to slow down and experience yourself at a deeper level, nourished and supported by the beauty of natural surroundings. You will be able to deepen your personal yoga practice and develop an understanding of the underlying concepts in yoga in an ashram setting under the guidance of Subhash Mittal. Subhash is a long-time yoga practitioner and a dedicated yoga teacher who has been teaching yoga since 1996. Subhash brings the best out of the traditional, ancient yoga teachings and weaves these teachings in the practice of asana, pranayama, meditation and relaxation leading to a fulfilling and enriching life experience.

Come to this beautiful retreat center to tune in to the rhythms of nature and make a deeper connection with your true inner Self! This is a rare opportunity to spend time away from the stresses and strains of daily life and immerse into a yogic way of life.

Continue reading »

Sama-vritti (square wave pattern) Pranayama

samavritti
Samavritti pranayama

Normal breathing, which happens 24 hours of the day without our intervention, is a continuous flow of inhalations and exhalations. As part of pranayama practices, in addition to inhalation and exhalation, breath retention plays a very important role. We have the ability to voluntarily hold the breath at any time during the breathing cycle. We can hold the breath during or after inhalation or during or after a complete exhalation. As such, a pranayama breathing cycle can consist of these four components:

  • Puraka (Inhalation)
  • Rechaka (exhalation)
  • Antar kumbhaka (breath retention after inhalation)
  • Bahya kumbhaka (breath retention after exhalation)

Continue reading »

21-day Yoga Immersion, June 10-30, 2017

warrior2
Virabhadrasana (Warrior2)

I am pleased to announce the next 21-day Yoga Immersion program. The past programs have been very well received by all the participants. For most of them, it has been truly a life-transforming experience. I invite you to join me on this exciting and deeply rewarding 21-day yoga journey. Here are the particulars:

  • What: 21-day yoga immersion
  • When: Saturday, June 10 – Friday, June 30, 2017
  • Time: 6:00 AM – 7:30 AM
  • Where: 4000 Bear Cat Way, Suite 102, Morrisville, NC 27560
  • Fee: $125 (cash, check or paypal)
  • Continue reading »