Laura Hansen started practicing yoga in 1990, at age 24, and has maintained her practice for 23 years. Laura enjoys a variety of different styles of yoga but her favorite practice is Ashtanga. While she has taken several teacher trainings, Laura prefers to practice. She works full-time as the C.E.O. of a nonprofit agency that helps chronically homeless people and part time as a writer of what catches her fancy. You can reach Laura at email@example.com.
- Contentment and Yoga
Santosha or contentment is the second Niyama of the ethical code of yoga. It is the ability to be grateful with what you have in the present moment. Moving from negative to positive thoughts is challenging times.
- Purity and Yoga
Purity is the first Niyama of the ethical code of yoga. It means Saucha, which is physical cleanliness. It also focuses on positive thoughts, complimenting people and reducing impure thinking.
- Yoga and Non Hoarding
Non hoarding is the fifth yama of the ethical code of yoga. It means not wanting or non-attachment. We always seem to want what we don’t have. This causes endless desires that we don't really need to acquire happiness.
Brahmacharya is the fourth yama of the ethical code of yoga. It means control over the senses, specifically it means chastity. By turning away from distractions of our senses, we can learn to control our mind.
Asteya is the third yama of the ethical code of yoga. It literally means non-stealing or generosity. It all begins with your mind, as feeling fearful or anxious can lead to unhealthy behaviors like stealing or hoarding.
Truthfulness, known as Satya is the second yama which requires knowing what is true, and knowing ourselves. It is more than just lying. Meditation is a way to further our practice of Satya.
Ahimsa is summarized as 'do no harm' and is the first of the yamas. Once ahimsa becomes more natural in your daily life, you'll begin to behave with compassion towards those who you like, and those you dislike.
- The Ethical Code of Yoga
The ethical code of yoga was codified in the ancient Indian Scriptures. It tells us about eight steps to enlightenment. These include yamas and niyamas which were practiced prior to yoga asanas. They are moral principles to live by.
- Practice of Purity
The practice of purity means that we look closely at all our actions. It is our responsibility to sharpen our mind, body and soul, which are the only instruments that we use for our actions.
Seeking material indulgences do not bring true happiness, they simply feed the ego, which distracts us from quiet reflection and simplicity. Your mind does not want all these superficial pleasures, it is seeking something else.
As we practice yoga we discover that what we thought was reality is just an illusion and our real world exists in our mind. While we have no control over the world of the senses, we can exert great control over our own minds.
- Care of the Body
The Buddha tells us that we experience suffering as a result of desire and aversion. We tend to want things we cannot have and we do not want what we have. Proper care of the body will constitutes healthy behaviors.
- Karma Yoga
Karma yoga means that every action has consequences which ripple out, as a pebble thrown into a lake. We are consciously and unconsciously motivated by selfishness, and getting what we want.
- Yoga Alignment
Ever notice how some people can do a yoga pose that just seems impossible to you? Is it their experience or could be that they have different bone structure, such as longer torsos which indicate a longer spine?
- To Yoga Prop or Not
Props can help yoga students with certain challenges to move further into a posture, but traditional yoga didn't require using any. To some, they are just considered the commercialization of yoga.
- Take your Yoga with You
Maintaining a yoga practice away from home can be difficult. While traveling, your alone time and transportation might be limited. Here are some tips on how to include yoga when you're out of town.
- Spiritual Reflection and Yoga
Varaha Upanishads is the fifth niyama in the ethical code of yoga. It means surrender to God and spiritual reflection. Taking notice which yoga poses require surrender and which require strength
- Yoga Etiquette
Yoga etiquette means showing respect for others instead of only focusing on yourself in a yoga class. Here are some tips on maintaining humility that can guide us to the right behaviour leaving ego at the door.
- Self Reflection and Yoga
Svadhyaya, the fourth niyama means self-reflection and understanding the God within ourselves. Developing spiritual practice, reciting prayers or meditative ponderings are ways that can lead us to self-honesty.
- Energy and Yoga
A wise use of energy means to expend your energy towards spiritual growth, and not towards endless desires such as hunger or thirst. Through discomfort, we develop a greater capacity for self control and contentment.