Those Famous Fluctuations of the Mind

Years ago I worked on a project with someone who showed up one day with a tee shirt that had Yogas Citta Vrtti Nirodhah printed on it.  He was clearly horrified that I had only a rough idea what the words meant, and it was fairly obvious that I plummeted in his estimation.

In retrospect I’m a little horrified as well, since I had been practicing and teaching for a number of years at that point.  And yet somehow this essential definition of Yoga, “the restraint of the fluctuations of the mind” hadn’t fully registered with me. (more…)

Refining Your Vinyasa (Part 1)

It’s March, and in the (vain) hope that we are on the verge of transitioning from Winter to Spring, I’m going to make the next few pieces about transitions of the Yogic variety.

First up is one of the most important transitions in a Vinyasa-based practice, moving from Chaturanga to Urdvha Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog). When I first demonstrate this transition it often elicits an audible “aahhhh,” I think because students can instantly see how huge the impact is on each of the poses it connects. (more…)

Teaching the Scary Stuff

I recently read an article about a popular Asana teacher who makes a point of eschewing any reference to the less Western elements of Yoga — Sanskrit, chanting, “spirituality” etc — because these aspects supposedly scare Americans away from Yoga and she wants to make the practice accessible to as many people as possible.

I’m all for throwing open the Yoga doors, but rather than simply rejecting the traditions and historical context that separate Asana from aerobics, how about we all just get a little more skillful at translating the parts that might initially seem mysterious? (more…)

How I learned to Sit

When I first began practicing Yoga I was only interested in Asana.  And not only did meditation hold absolutely no appeal, but I was also completely convinced that I was the one person on earth who was actually incapable of it. (more…)

Do Just One Thing

It’s pretty hard in this day and age not to succumb to the siren call of multi-tasking.

There never seems to be enough time to get everything done, so we try to do many things at once.  Which really means we don’t do any one thing fully or completely. (more…)





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