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21-day Yoga Immersion, Feb 26 – Mar 18

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: Monday, February 26 – Sunday, March 18, 2018
  • Time: 6:00 AM – 7:30 AM
  • Where: Integral Yoga Studio, 4000 Bear Cat Way, Suite 102, Morrisville, NC 27560
  • Fee: $120 (cash, check or paypal)
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The Five Pranas

pranas
Five Pranas

The word “prana” (prāṇa – प्राण) is derived from the Sanskrit root word “an” (अन्) with the prefix “pra” added. “an” means to breathe. When we add the prefix “pra” then prana assumes a much broader meaning in addition to simply the breath. Prana can mean the cosmic life force or the individual vital life energy. It is the life force or the life principle that keeps us “alive”. In many parts of India, when a person dies, the statement made is “prana left the person’s body” and the implication is that the person is dead. At the time of death some of the organs in the body like the liver, kidney, eyes etc. may still be functional. In fact, that is how organ transplant is done from a cadaver. The only reason these organs are of no use in the body is because there is no prana in the body. In a different body where the prana is still there, this organ can replace the damaged organ and resume normal function.  

There is a story about Prana that we find in ancient texts, the Upanishads. Our five main faculties – the mind, breath (prana), speech, ear and eye – were arguing with each other as to which one of them was the best and most important. To resolve this dispute they decided that each would leave the body and see whose absence was most missed.

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A 7-Point Program for Perfectly Healthy Eyes

A few years ago, I attended a workshop on “yoga and eye care” taught by one Dr. Khare who was visiting from India. The workshop presented a pretty comprehensive set of practices for improving/stabilizing vision. Part of the information was based on the book, “Better Eyesight without Glasses” by William Bates. This book came out in the forties and has been a standard resource for eye care ever since. Recently I found this website which also provides similar information in a detailed manner – “The Complete book of Eye Care” – http://eye.taragana.com/ by Dr. M. S. Agarwal. I am presenting below the “7-point Program” in a condensed version of these practices.

I suggest that you add at least a subset of the eye exercises given here as a part of your home yoga practice. Those who have attended my yoga classes will recognize many of these exercises as we try to pick a different exercise for each class. Personally, I have found that regular eye exercises have helped me maintain my eye prescription the same for over twenty years now. I use glasses only for reading and computer work and have given up using them for driving or outdoor work

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Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) with Upper Body routine (video)


chaturanga

If you’ve attended a yoga class with me, you would have noted that Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) is an integral part of the routine that we practice. Typically, we practice three rounds of Surya Namaskar. In the first round, we go through the basic sequence which has the classic 12 movements. In the second and third round, we add some variations to many of the movements to emphasize stretching specific areas of the body.

In today’s post I will be discussing a sequence that will help develop upper body strength. This sequence will be integrated into the second round of the Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) routine.

My friend Anupam Jain has graciously agreed to be your guide for the video presentation. Hope you will enjoy practicing along with the video.

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Vairagya (non-attachment) etc. – workshop transcript (10/21/17)

 [This is an edited version of the transcript of the monthly workshop on the yoga sutras held on October 21, 2017. In this session, we covered the following sutras:

  • Sutra 1.16: higher form of vairagya (non-attachment)
  • Sutras 1.30-1.31: obstacles to the path of yoga
  • Sutra 1.33: Four attitudes for four categories of people
  • Sutra 2.28: why practice the eight limbs of yoga?
  • Sutra 2.29: Listing the eight limbs of yoga]

Invocation to Sage Patanjali

In this invocation, Patanjali is credited with three areas of knowledge – science of Ayurveda to purify the body, the commentary on Sanskrit grammar to purify the speech and the science of Yoga (Yoga Sutras) to purify the mind.

योगेन चित्तस्य पदेन वाचां । मलं शरीरस्य च वैद्यकेन ॥ योऽपाकरोत्तं प्रवरं मुनीनां । पतञ्जलिं प्राञ्जलिरानतोऽस्मि ||

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Reclining Hip Opening Poses, part 2

figure4
Figure 4 foot down

In an earlier post, we discussed a few of the reclining hip opening yoga poses. In the hip opening sequence given here, I will be introducing two more poses – the Baddha-konasana (bound angle pose) and the Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby pose) in addition to the figure-4 stretches that we did the last time.

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

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Suryodaya (Sunrise) Yoga, Sunday, Oct 15, 6-7:30 AM

warrior2
Virabhadrasana (Warrior2)

As you may be aware, I have been teaching these early morning yoga programs – 21-day yoga immersion, the 14-day meditation and 14-day pranayama intensives, from time to time. Many of the participants from these programs have expressed a desire to have an occasional early morning yoga class which can help them rejuvenate their own personal yoga practice.

Here is your opportunity to either begin a new yoga practice or rejuvenate an existing one. I invite you to join me for this new early morning Suryodaya Yoga class as per details below.

register here

No prior asana, pranayama or meditation experience is required.

  • What: Suryodaya (Sunrise) Yoga
  • When: Sunday, Oct 15, 2017
  • Time: 6:00 – 7:30 AM
  • Location: 4000 Bearcat Way, Suite 102, Morrisville, NC 27560
  • Routine: Asana (postures), Pranayama (15 min), Relaxation (10-15 min)
  • Live video streaming: the class will also be broadcast live via "facebook live".
  • Fee: Voluntary donation (cash, check or paypal); Suggested donation:
    • $10 (at the studio)
    • $3 (if you are attending via live video)
  • To register: fill out the registration form, providing information in all the fields, and submit it online

Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. I look forward to your participation.

Five Vrittis – workshop transcript, yoga sutras 1.6 thru 1.15

 [This is an edited version of the transcript of the monthly workshop on the yoga sutras held on September 16, 2017. In this session, we covered sutras 6 through 15 in chapter 1. Visit the podcast page on my blog for the audio recording]

Invocation to Sage Patanjali

In this invocation, Patanjali is credited with three areas of knowledge – science of Ayurveda to purify the body, the commentary on Sanskrit grammar to purify the speech and the science of Yoga (Yoga Sutras) to purify the mind.

योगेन चित्तस्य पदेन वाचां । मलं शरीरस्य च वैद्यकेन ॥योऽपाकरोत्तं प्रवरं मुनीनां । पतञ्जलिं प्राञ्जलिरानतोऽस्मि

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yogena cittasya padena vācāṃ । malaṃ śarīrasya ca vaidyakena ॥ yo’pākarottaṃ pravaraṃ munīnāṃ । patañjaliṃ prāñjalirānato’smi

"I respectfully bow down with folded hands and offer my salutations to Sage Patanjali, the highest among the Munis (sages), who has presented the remedies for removing the impurities of the body through his treatise on Ayurveda, of language through his treatise on grammar (Patanjala Mahabhashya) and the impurities of the Chitta (mind field) through his treatise on Yoga (Yoga Sutras of Patanjali)"

In the session last month, we covered the first five sutras of Chapter 1.

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14-day Meditation Intensive, Monday, Oct 23 – Sunday, Nov 5

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Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

I am pleased to announce the next Meditation Intensive. In this program, I will discuss the basic concepts of meditation and practice several of the concentration (dharana) and meditation (dhyana) techniques. Most of the information that I will be sharing is based on the concepts discussed in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and related classical yoga texts.

No prior asana, pranayama or meditation experience is required.

Here are the particulars:

  • What: 14-day Meditation Intensive
  • When: Monday, Oct 23 – Sunday, Nov 5, 2017
  • Time: 6:00 – 7:30 AM
  • Location: 4000 Bearcat Way, Suite 102, Morrisville, NC 27560
  • Daily Routine: Light stretching (10-15 minutes), Pranayama (15 min), Relaxation (10-15 min), Meditation – discussion and practice (45 min)
  • Commitment: A firm commitment to follow this schedule and attend every day
  • Fee: $90 (cash, check or paypal)
  • To register: fill out the registration form, providing information in all the fields, and submit it online

Strongly recommended

  • Light,’sattvic’, nutritious, VEGETARIAN food
  • No alcohol, drugs, tobacco or any other item of similar nature
  • A personal commitment to continue the practice after the program is over

Please visit here for more details…

Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. I look forward to your participation.

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) with Warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana)

warrior2
Virabhadrasana (Warrior 2)

If you’ve attended a yoga class with me, you would have noted that Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) is an integral part of the routine that we practice. Typically, we practice three rounds of Surya Namaskar. In the first round, we go through the basic sequence which has the classic 12 movements. In the second and third round, we add some variations to many of the movements. For example, in the second round some of the common poses that we practice include warrior 1, warrior 2, triangle pose, pigeon pose etc. In the third round, we usually practice the upward facing dog and also occasionally some twisting variations from the lunge position.

In today’s post, I am presenting the sequence of three rounds of Sun Salutation with warrior 2 and the Reverse Warrior 2 integrated into the second round. My friend Bipin has graciously agreed to be your guide for the video presentation.

Continue reading »