Yoga Mala: A Whole Body Prayer

A mala, meaning garland in Sanskrit, evokes a circular, continuous form. In practice, a mala is the devoted offering of repeated cycles (typically in divisors of 108) of mantra japa or yoga asana. Within a mala, there is always a sense of beginning, continuing and completion. Both inside each individual cycle and in the practice as a whole. This three-form (trimurti) quality allows us to embody, in practice, the rhythmic cycles ever present in the natural universe: creation (srishti), sustaining (sthiti) and destruction (samhara).

Read more at Gaia.

Source: https://www.gaia.com/article/yoga-mala

Yoga for Beginners: The Basic Principles of Physical Yoga Practice

We're all beginner yogis at some point and the practice welcomes us to be beginners always. The following is from one of my latest (and possibly favorite) pieces on Beginner Yoga, check out the full article on My Yoga on Gaia. 

The word “beginner” in the context of Yoga has a number of different meanings. There is the beginner who is completely new to the practice, unfamiliar with physical movement modalities and somewhat disconnected from their physicality. There is the beginner who has never received instruction from a Yoga teacher, but has an intimate connection to their physical body and breath from participation in athletics or other disciplines. There is the beginner who can muscle their way into arm balances, but does so while holding their breath and the beginner who can readily touch their toes, but feels bored when they get there. The difference between a beginner and an advanced practitioner is awareness and awareness has a tendency to ebb and flow.

 

Morning Yoga: From Waking to Awakening

Please enjoy my latest article on My Yoga Online to explore the benefits of practicing yoga in the morning. 

On a cellular level, exposure to morning light initiates the body’s start-up procedure. Upon first exposure to light from darkness, the brain shuts down melatonin production thereby stimulating physical systems and corresponding bodily functions. Unfortunately, our eyes do not distinguish between natural and unnatural light sources, so that middle-of-the-night glance at a smartphone screen to check the time, is like telling your body it’s party time.