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Ishvara Pranidhana and the Power of Surrender

The last Niyama teaches us how to surrender to life, to recognize when we are fighting the changes that life wants us to make and to let go and let God guide us on our path. I like to kayak and when I am in a river where it has rained recently and the current is moving more swiftly, I practice this art of surrender. It doesn't mean that I don't participate by navigating as skillfully as possible WITH the flow of the water. When I am able to do this, it becomes more easeful and enjoyable. There are times in my life where I want to control or resist whatever changes are upon me. Life becomes

Svadhyaya : Self-Study to Discover Our Nature

This niyama epitomizes your ability to know yourself inside and out. To be able to recognize your divine nature and how sometimes your human nature clouds that recognition. One of the best practices to develop in this quest is known as "witness consciousness." This is the ability to observe yourself as if you are watching a movie. How do you show up in the world? What are the thoughts and belief systems that you operate from? Are you willing to recognize both your divine nature and how you cover it up in challenging times? In the method of Ashaya yoga that I teach the philosophy centers on your own ability to recognize your "shadow side" as well

Tapas – Cultivating Self-Discipline To Navigate Through Life’s Challenges

This niyama literally means "heat" and can be translated in many ways. The heat of "cooking" ourselves in the practices of yoga so that we transform ourselves into someone of character and strength is the translation that speaks to my heart. It takes the self-discipline of cultivating daily spiritual and yogic practices in order to align more fully with our best selves and to have the tools to navigate life gracefully. Tapas also means that you will rise up when you go through the difficult times of your life and in that process, you will learn any lessons you were meant to. You will look inward to see what part you played without a victim attitude. As

Santosha- your path to contentment

Yoga continues to invite us on an inward journey to discover how we think, feel and act in our own lives. Santosha is known as the jewel of contentment- it asks us to be grateful for what we have without the constant striving to have, be and do more. I have a girlfriend who used to say: when I meet the right man or when I find the right job, right house, lose weight; the list went on and on. Then she could be happy. This constant striving for something outside of ourselves takes away our ability to focus on being totally with what is right in front of you in each moment. To allow life to

Yamas and Niyamas – Ethical Principles To Better Understand Ourselves and Others

As we all try to find new ways to navigate through life -- feeling as if we’re being pushed and pulled in all directions at once by events that are out of our control, I wanted to share something that has helped me and my students quiet our minds and feel more hope as we look beyond our immediate problems.Today’s blog is about the Yamas and Niyamas, which as many of you already know, are yoga's ten ethical guidelines that are foundational to all yogic thought.  They comprise the first two limbs of Yoga's eight-fold path and provide us with a simple guidance to help us understand ourselves and others more deeply, which in turn can enable

Yoga’s Highest Intention for Practitioners – By Janie Gunn

Yoga's popularity has continued to grow as people flock to the practice looking for the physical, mental and emotional benefits that the practice offers. Many yoga classes focus on just the physical aspects of the practice. Oftentimes, after a class I will have a student come up to me and say "that was a great stretch." I used to take offense but then realized that was what served their needs at that time. They hadn't yet grasped the bigger purpose of the practice.Now, I want to stretch students minds to awaken to yoga's highest intention for the practice. In the philosophy of yoga that I teach we strive to recognize and connect with both our individual nature

The Ashaya® Yoga Method at Source Yoga

I am a trainer and teacher of the Ashaya Yoga method which was developed by my teacher Todd Norian. Ashaya means "abode of the heart" and is a style which incorporates 4 Essential Techniques in order to align optimally in the physical practice while weaving in a heart centered theme. This method deepens the experience of yoga on all levels physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. When I opened the center 15 years ago, I had gone through 2 teacher trainings and still felt like something was missing. And as they say when the student is ready the teacher will appear! I met Todd Norian at a yoga event in Chicago and felt I had met a sincere

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