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Philosophy
Non Yoga, yoga lifestyle
...to demystify some of those preconceived notions and give a little insight into what a Yoga practitioner’s life (mine in this case) is really like and what are some of the pre-conceived notions that I come across.
Namaste, Vedas, Upanishads
Vedas are the sacred texts of Hinduism which were transmitted orally from one generation to another in a very systematic manner. While every religion has a corresponding holy book, the uniqueness of Vedas is that they were meant to be memorized and verbalized and were initially never written down. The Vedic emphasis was not on...
Temple Bell
Once upon a time, a cat found its way into a monastery high up on the mountains. In the evenings when the monks gathered to meditate, it would make loud noises which would disturb them. So, the teacher ordered the cat to be tied up and put away during the evening meditation. Years passed by...
Karma Yoga, fallen warrior pose, Virabhadrasana
As a yoga student, I used to believe that Karma Yoga merely involved going to a spiritual or educational institution and doing the assigned daily tasks. Subsequently, I saw studios advertising open positions for yoga teachers who were okay to work without compensation – I thought, with some misgivings, that too was Karma Yoga. But...
Ashtanga Yoga, Yama, Niyama
Milk may exist in the udders of the cow, but we need a means or process to extract it – Vacaspati Mishra on Ashtanga Yoga This rather awkward and somewhat amusing statement actually carries a profound meaning behind it. Vacaspati Mishra was a prolific and influential scholar of the 9th century who wrote extensively on...
Galava
Sage Galava’s story is fascinating in the bizarre turns it takes so the Sage can fulfill his odd promise to his preceptor. It has often been written about from a mythological as well as a feminist perspective and is even spoken of actively in the #Yoga community –  given that the sage has a popular...
Alo Yoga debate
This article with more comprehensive background coverage and related links is now available in Elephant Journal. Please click here to read that version. The Alo Yoga controversy has the entire Yoga community up in discussions. Dana, an activist yoga teacher who promotes yoga for all body types, is being sued by Alo Inc and Cody...
spirituality
Spirituality is not for losers, but it often loses because of them. The problem is not so much with spirituality but with what people do with it. And very often it is a function of how we got introduced to it. There are three ways for that to happen – (1) by birth/family/culture, (2) due...
Nadi-Meditation-Chakra-Spine
Two types of Samadhi described in the Yoga Sturas are Samprajnata and Asamprajnata. Both are states of corresponding to the eighth step of Patanjali's Ashtanga Yoga.  Samprajnata means Samadhi with Prajna or highest wisdom. On the other hand, Asamprajnata has two prevalent definitions because scholars disagree on it.
Dhyana Meditation
To understand the difference between these two it is first important to clarify the definition of Yoga and Meditation. ‘Yoga’ today can mean either Hatha Yoga (Mastery over body ~ Asanas) or Raja Yoga (Mastery over mind ~ Meditation).