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Yoga Principles

The Principles of Yoga: The Connection Between Breath and Prana

There’s a yoga body, there’s a light body. On the way to your light body, it’s fine to want to look good. That’s a yoga body. We work on the asanas day after day, to wrestle ourselves into the yoga body: lean and strong. But if you know one simple trick, you can make the whole process happen much, much faster. Faster to your light body, and faster to what you were meant to become.

The Principles of Yoga: The Four Gifts, Getting Them To Come Back

If any person does yoga on a modest, daily basis, then they will inevitably attain the extraordinary benefits of yoga. And so the question for us, as teachers, is simply getting students coming back to the studio. About sixteen centuries ago, the Indian sage Master Asanga—in his book called The Jewel of the Sutras—described four gifts that we give our students, so that they do come back for their practice.

The Principles of Yoga: How Yoga Works, The Karma Onion

Two people walk into their first yoga class. One of them leaves with the most exhilarating experience of their life. The other leaves with a sore neck, and never comes back. Why the difference? Our entire being is like the layers of an onion. The outermost layer is the gross physical body. The next layer down is what feeds this layer, the breath being our most important “food.” This breath layer is linked to a layer of subtle physical energy—the prana, or inner winds.

The Principles of Yoga: Breathing

Learning to breath properly during asana is essential in getting prana or inner wind to move through the body properly—which is the whole point of the asana. Throughout any practice of yoga asana, it’s important to maintain what’s called ujjayi breathing in Sanskrit. The throat is lightly constricted to make what’s been called a “Darth Vader” sound, or heavy breathing sound, as you practice.

The Principles of Yoga: All's Well That Ends Well, The Yoga of Dedication

The following bit of advice on how to finish our yoga practice was excerpted from The Crystal Mirror which Reveals the Machine of the Body: a book of instruction which grants—within a single year, or at least within this single lifetime—both the highest spiritual goals and the worldly goals of this life (Trulkor Selway Melong), compiled by Marpa the Translator, also known as Marpa Chukyi Lodro (1012-1097).

Advice to Yoga Teachers, Part Two: Get Them to Practice Daily

If one task is to get people to come back to yoga class, another is to inspire them to do their yoga practice daily, if only for a short amount of time. Anyone who has truly gotten deep benefit out of yoga knows that this requires a daily practice—opening up the channels and chakras is really a lot easier with a modest, regular, daily practice. Here then are some tips for getting people to actually do a daily practice.