asana lab

Paścimattānāsana

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देवमनुष्या दिशो व्यभजन्त प्राचीं देवा दक्षिणा पितरः प्रतीचीं मनुष्या उदीचीं रुद्रा [Tait. Samh. – 6.1.1]  Gods and men divided the directions. Gods took the east, pitaras took the south, men took the west and rudras took the north. Paschimattanasana, or stretching the west pose, is one of the archetypal forward bending asanas. It is a symmetrical forward bend that, […]

philosopher's corner

“What Does Your Tattoo Mean?”

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When people ask for the meaning of my tattoo, I am often times at a loss for words. I am never quite sure of how to best answer this question. The mantra is from the Upanishads, and it is an often-recognized chant nowadays. Om Poornama-Adah Poornam-Idam Poornat-Poornam-Udacyate Poornasya Poornam-Aadaaya Poornam-Eva-Avashissyate || Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih […]

philosopher's corner

Karma and the hope of freedom

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  The traditional notion of Yoga as liberation can hardly be understood without its counterpart of karma. Karma is the mechanism that keeps an individual consciousness at the core of the human personality bound to the conditioned cycle of existence called samsāra. Samsāra is the provisional reality that we navigate in the course of daily life. […]

asana lab

The Healing Edge

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A couple of weeks ago I got a little bit carried away during practice, and now my lower back and hamstrings are paying for it! Even after years of practice, some lessons are to be learned time and time again. This is not a bad thing at all. It is just one more opportunity to […]

asana lab

Kurmasana

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Kurmasana is known as the turtle posture. In the Hindu puranas Kurma is the 2nd avatar of Lord Vishnu, the maintainer, preserver, and protector. Vishnu is said to have 10 avatars or incarnations where he takes form to restore dharma or cosmic order. In several puranas, we see the story of the churning of the […]

philosopher's corner

Bhagavad Gita 2.15 yam hi na vyathayanty ete

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Bhagavad Gita 2.15 yam hi na vyathayanty ete purusam purusarsabha sama-duhkha-sukham dhiram so ‘mrtatvaya kalpate Translation from Stephen Mitchell (2000) “Only the man who is unmoved by any sensations, the wise man indifferent to pleasure, to pain, is fit for becoming deathless.” Translation from Swami Tapasyananda, Bhagavad Gita: The Scripture of Mankind (2000) : “O […]