By: Virginia Iversen, M.Ed. What can Yoga Teach us about celebrating life? For the past twenty-five years, I have been diligently practicing Yoga several times a week. I began to practice Yoga when I developed severe lower back problems in my mid-twenties. One day, as I was walking across a city park in Denver, the [...]
By: Virginia Iversen, M.Ed Creating healthy habits can be difficult for many of us. Establishing a regular time to practice Yoga is one of the primary keys to benefiting fully from this ancient system of physical postures, pranayama exercises and meditation techniques. For instance, engaging in a thirty-minute practice several times a week, or even daily, will benefit [...]
Whatever your life might hold, it just takes a bit of curious exploration and mindful commitment to find healthful practices that you can regularly maintain. Such rituals can make a world of difference in how you come to approach both consistent and unexpected stressors, as healing and dependable despite any and all of them.
During the cold winter months, maintaining a steady Yoga practice, with the inclusion of japa recitation and Yogic chanting, will help to keep your heart and your mind light and positive. When the weather permits, spending time out in the sunshine is also an important aspect of mitigating depressive symptoms during the wintertime.
I also gained a few private students when students whom I tutor in my university’s academic support center discovered I teach yoga, and expressed interests in having me teach them. Though busy and incompatible schedules could make those commitments short-lived, the bits of experiences (and extra cash) were valuable enough to make my efforts more than worth it. For anyone who might have to suspend formal teaching temporarily because of other work and financial obligations, I believe that similar connections are possible.
In order to maintain a strong connection with the divine energy in one’s own heart, many spiritual teachers or Gurus have recommended the practice of japa. This practice entails the silent or barely audible repetition of a sacred mantra. The practice of japa is well known in Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism. Japa is similar to praying the Rosary in Catholicism, although it is slightly different. During the practice of japa, the repetition of a sacred mantra or phrase clears the subtle pathways in a Yogi or Yogini’s energy body, known in Sanskrit as nadis.
It has been a long winter in the house. I cannot wait to get outside for a dose of vitamin D and some fresh air. Some studios offer monthly full moon meditation or yoga events once the weather turns warmer, and I will definitely be on board for some warm evenings outside.
When the dormant winter season comes to a close for the year, your body is ready for action, and it wants to draw upon the accumulated energy of winter. To help your body prepare for spring, you can combine meaningful yoga movements with thought and a cleansing diet.
The practice of regarding all living creatures with compassion and respect elevates spirituality beyond one's own self-interest. However, many of us forget the importance of being compassionate with ourselves. Without self-love, it is difficult to truly love those around us. Additionally, a lack of self-love can sabotage our ability to take care of ourselves, which will hamper our ability to truly uplift those we love.
Yoga is often a great way to concentrate on things happening now instead of the future. This is important because the future is something that doesn't always go according to plan. Issues need to be dealt with one day at a time. Thinking about the future can put pressure on a relationship, which can lead to a problem that could have been avoided.