Favourite reads & quotes

The 8 Limbs of Yoga

There is so much more to yoga than the poses we do on the mat.

Yoga is a life long journey and one of continuous study and learning.

The 8 limbs of yoga teaches us, moral precepts, personal observances, the postures, breathing, to draw our awareness inwards, concentration, meditation and union with the Divine.

If you would like to learn more I highly recommend

The Eight Limbs of Yoga - Pathway to Liberation

by Bhava Ram. It has brilliant easy practices to follow.

Follow the breath

I feel the energy rise and fall with my breath.

Closing my eyes I follow my breath,

Like Alice down the rabbit hole I seek the edges,

Of reality,

Of my body,

Of the Energy.

When I encounter resistance,

Within my body in a pose,

I have come to understand that the root,

Of this resistance lies within my mind.

Memories etched in the unconscious mind,

In movement revealed,

Come as I am ready to heal them,

So I let them come.

I do not resist because I know,

All things in their time will surrender,

To the Love that lives within,

And the pose will evolve.

I have come to trust my breath will lead me to relinquish the pain And bring me to that moment of release,

Where my being conjoins,

And I reach the state of Oneness.

Beautiful poem by Liz Smith-Anderson from The Poetry of Yoga

Lemon water in the morning

I love a glass of warm lemon water in the morning. It's refreshing, wakes you up, it's an internal shower and a good source of vitamin C.

Turns out there are real benefits to drinking lemon water, but some over-hyped ones as well.

Here is a great article by the Wellness Mama on it's benefits and myths.

https://wellnessmama.com/35192/lemon-water/

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Must reads for Yogis & Yoginis
Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali
Bahagvad Gita
What Is Yoga?

The word yoga, from the Sanskrit word yuj means to yoke or bind and is often interpreted as “union” or a method of discipline.

The Indian sage Patanjali is believed to have collated the practice of yoga into the Yoga Sutra an estimated 2,000 years ago. The Sutra is a collection of 196 sutras (aphorisms) that serves as a philosophical guidebook for most of the yoga that is practised today.

It also outlines eight limbs of yoga: the yamas (restraints), niyamas (observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breathing) pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyani (meditation), and samadhi (absorption). As we explore these eight limbs, we begin by refining our behaviour in the outer world, and then we focus inwardly until we reach samadhi (liberation, enlightenment).

Today most people practising yoga are engaged in the third limb, asana, which is a program of physical postures designed to purify the body and provide the physical strength and stamina required for long periods of meditation.

What Does Hatha Mean?

The word hatha means wilful or forceful. Hatha yoga refers to a set of physical exercises (known as asanas or postures), and sequences of asanas, designed to align your skin, muscles, and bones. The postures are also designed to open the many channels of the body—especially the main channel, the spine—so that energy can flow freely.

Hatha is also translated as ha meaning “sun” and tha meaning “moon.” This refers to the balance of masculine aspects—active, hot, sun—and feminine aspects—receptive, cool, moon—within all of us. Hatha yoga is a path toward creating balance and uniting opposites. In our physical bodies we develop a balance of strength and flexibility. We also learn to balance our effort and surrender in each pose.

Hatha yoga is a powerful tool for self-transformation. It asks us to bring our attention to our breath, which helps us to still the fluctuations of the mind and be more present in the unfolding of each moment.

What Does Ohm Mean?

Ohm is a mantra, or vibration, that is traditionally chanted at the beginning and end of yoga sessions. It is said to be the sound of the universe. What does that mean?

Somehow the ancient yogis knew what scientists today are telling us—that the entire universe is moving. Nothing is ever solid or still. Everything that exists pulsates, creating a rhythmic vibration that the ancient yogis acknowledged with the sound of Ohm. We may not always be aware of this sound in our daily lives, but we can hear it in the rustling of the autumn leaves, the waves on the shore, the inside of a seashell.

Chanting Ohm allows us to recognise our experience as a reflection of how the whole universe moves—the setting sun, the rising moon, the ebb and flow of the tides, the beating of our hearts. As we chant Ohm, it takes us for a ride on this universal movement, through our breath, our awareness, and our physical energy, and we begin to sense a bigger connection that is both uplifting and soothing.

The Yoga Journal

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