Maybe you could practice Yoga with Deepak Chopra and Tara Stiles on your iPhone

Get your bliss on anywhere with a new yoga app for your iPhone or iPod Touch.  iTunes has a decent number of yoga apps available.  Some look good, some look horrid, but this one featuring Deepak Chopra and Tara Stiles looks promising.

Any recommendations for iPhone yoga apps?  I’m possibly in the market, but don’t want to waste money on something that’s not top-notch.

10 Reasons to Participate in Yoga Day USA 2010

Even though it’s nearly the end of January, do you still find yourself writing 2009 instead of 2010 anytime you have to date something?  Perhaps this annoying quirk just goes to show how difficult it can be to wrap the brain around something new.  Old habits die hard.  And sometimes new habits just require a little motivation.

If you’re looking for a little motivation to re-jumpstart your New Year’s intention to make yoga a habit, this weekend, 23 January 2010, to be specific, looks like an excellent time to head over to the local yoga studio for Yoga Day USA.  Read more about Yoga Day USA and find a “free – or nearly free” yoga class in your neighborhood.

Here are 10 really great reasons for cultivating the yoga habit:

  1. Stress relief
  2. Pain relief
  3. Better breathing
  4. Flexibility
  5. Increased strength
  6. Weight management
  7. Improved circulation
  8. Cardiovascular conditioning
  9. Focus on the present
  10. Inner peace

Staying on the Path


After yesterday’s triumphant announcement about completing the 30 day yoga challenge, I just about blew it on the last day.  I got home from work, sat down in my chair to read a book, decided the bed looked more comfortable than the chair, relocated myself to the bed, clicked through a couple of pages of Pride and Prejudice on my Kindle 2, and then next thing I knew I woke up a couple of hours later; which happened to be much later than my normal evening yoga time.

As I groggily came to my senses, I realized it was going to take some serious will-power to roll off my bed and onto my mat instead of crawling under my covers and calling it a night.  Despite the invisible hands that were pulling me back towards my comfortable sheets (the bed’s a whole different story though — a military cot might be more comfortable than this spring-loaded nightmare), I managed to flip open my May copy of Yoga Journal to the “home practice” section.  I did the ten poses just like Patricia Walden instructed, took a shower, and then laid in bed wide-eyed for most of the rest of the night.  That’s pretty much par for the course after a two hour nap just before bed. Enough to make a person crazy!  But I don’t get crazy ’cause I do yoga, right?

As penance I dragged myself out of bed again this morning at 4:30 and did the hour long abbreviated Ashtanga Primary Series sequence I’d planned to do last night.  This last week or so, I noticed my motivation and dedication levels declining, which was probably caused by exhaustion from all the running I was doing on top of my daily yoga practice.  I think I sort of used running as a crutch because I started to doubt whether yoga alone would be enough to keep me fit.  Running and yoga every day was a bit much though, and the intensity of my practice suffered.  By the time evening rolled around and my dinner digested, I had a hard time getting pumped up about working up a good sweat.  I was just ready to chill out and relax.

But now that my 30 day challenge is actually complete, I’m beginning to feel the fire building up inside again and I have a new plan.  I’m going to cut back on some of my running so I have more energy for yoga and I’ll move my yoga time to the mornings so I can jump into it while I’m fresh and on an empty stomach.   I should be able to get to bed earlier and the early mornings shouldn’t feel like a drag.  The perfect way to start the day.

When all is said and done, I believe in yoga.  I believe in its power to make my body and mind healthy and happy.  And for me, yoga attunes my spirit to follow with more dedication and devotion the sacred and spiritual path that guides every thought, decision, and action in my life.  When my yoga practice is strong, my spirit is strong, and I feel more unity, peace, and balance in my body and in my mind.  And so, though my 30 day yoga challenge may be history, I remember once again the famous words of the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, who said simply, “Practice, and all is coming.”  Having caught only a sliver of a glimpse of the fruits of a dedicated yoga practice, that sliver is more than enough motivation to regain my balance and coax my sleepy head out of bed for many more days to come.

30 Day Yoga Challenge: Day 10 Sleep-deprived Yoga

Today was day 10 of my 30 day yoga challenge.  So far, so good, other than it was the first day where I felt like going to bed instead of throwing out the mat.  It was just a long, exhausting day of work.  And even once I convinced myself to get practicing, every movement felt like it required more energy than I had inside me.  I ended up modifying the intensity of today’s practice so I didn’t collapse in defeat on my mat.  Nonetheless, I still practiced for an hour before I relaxed into a savasana that turned into a one hour nap.  Obviously a signal that I need more sleep.

Despite today’s struggles, it’s been great to get on the mat every day.  I can feel my body loosening up and becoming more skillful at the less difficult poses as it prepares to take on more difficult asana challenges.  I usually like to run a lot, but I haven’t ran at all this week because I wanted to see how pliable my body could become if I only focused on yoga.  Of course this is a slow, gradual process and most developments only seem noticeable when comparing beginning and end performance, but not necessarily day to day progress.  I’m just going to keep moving along in my practice and hopefully a good night’s sleep will bring more energy to tomorrow’s efforts.

30 Day Yoga Challenge ~ Day 5

“Anyone who practices can obtain success in yoga but not one who is lazy. Constant practice alone is the secret of success.” — Hatha Yoga Pradipika

Okay, so my last blog entry was written not only for everyone else who wants to take on the challenge of a daily yoga asana practice, but also for myself. Right now I’m on day five of my own 30 day yoga challenge. Prior to the last five days of yoga, it’s been a while since I had strung out any number of consecutive days that resembled anything like a dedicated yoga practice. My list of excuses for a “lazy” practice goes go on and on. I’ll spare you the details.

Right now, even though I basically work 90 plus hours a week (12+ hours a day, seven days a week, tis my life in the military these days), I probably have more free time in my day than I have had in a long time. I go about doing my military/lawyer stuff over here in Iraq during the day, and then I’m lucky enough to have a little time in the evenings to go back to my room and chat with my family, relax, and get some exercise. A few weeks into my little adventure in Iraq, I realized that despite the nasty dust storms and wicked-awful heat, I could make my six months here memorable by really focusing on building a “constant” yoga practice; a yoga habit if you will. Funny thing is, I don’t even have a mat yet (though one is on the way). I bought a six dollar blanket that I fold in half and throw out on the floor. The idea was good in theory, but in reality it’s like a two hour battle with a large piece of polyester, with all the bunching and slipping and shifting around it does. Despite the less than perfect floor covering, I have a totally quiet room, with nothing better to do than to sweep the floor, lay out the blanket, turn off the A/C and work up a dang good yoga sweat.

Thanks for stopping by Daily Cup of Yoga and indulging me as I share a few details about my life sprinkled with tidbits of yogic wisdom. Namaste!

The Yoga Habit ~ 30 Day Yoga Challenge

“This practice becomes firmly rooted when it is cultivated skillfully and continuously for a long time.” – The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali 1:14

If you’re anything like me, then you may have noticed that the intensity of your yoga practice surges at times and then peters out at times.  You practice regularly for a week or two, and then nothing.   You move on to something else for a while and then realize one day that you haven’t seen your yoga mat for a month.  It’s a strong likelihood that this pattern of inconsistency affects not only your yoga practice, but other aspects in your life.  It’s human nature.  While this pattern is certainly natural, for many people it becomes a habit that hinders them from taking their performance and skill in any activity to the next level.  For most people, myself included, it’s not that they one day decide they don’t enjoy yoga practice, it’s just that they have not taken the necessary steps to develop the yoga habit.

Habits

“It seems, in fact, as though the second half of a man’s life is made up of nothing but the habits he has accumulated during the first half.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Habits are powerful, unconscious patterns of behavior that once formed, play a large role in influencing the direction of one’s life.  To a certain degree, our lives go where our habits take us.  Our bodies, the vehicle; our habits, the chauffeur.

How to Form a Habit. Habits can be both good and bad, and interestingly enough, creating a good habit pretty much involves the same process as making a bad habit.  Without delving into neurological explanations for habit formation (check out Scott Young’s great explanation here), the bottom line is that habits form through REPETITION. The philosopher Aristotle nailed it on the head: “We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”

To form a habit, all you need to do is repeat the activity over a period of time.  Opinions vary on the length of time it takes to form a habit, but most agree that it takes anywhere from three to six weeks of conscious, consistent, repetitive, and focused behavior to develop a new good habit.  It’s not always easy, but the end results are almost always worth it.

The Yoga Habit ~ 30 Day Yoga Challenge

If you want to consistently enjoy the benefits of yoga, then you need to take the steps necessary to make it a habit.  One of the best ways to develop the yoga habit is to commit to a 30 day yoga challenge.  

30 Day Yoga Challenge.   The heart of the 30 day challenge is commitment.  It means making a promise to yourself and following through on it.   It means banishing from your life all your old wimpy excuses for failure.  It means promising to practice for a certain amount of time each day and just doing it.  If you commit to 15 minutes a day, then you practice for 15 minutes every day.  If you commit to an hour each day, then you practice for an hour.  Don’t set unrealistic expectations, but commit to a goal that pushes you.  Whatever you commit to, do it for 30 days and you will drastically improve your chances of turning your yoga practice into a habit.

Here are a few suggestions for succeeding in creating a yoga habit.

1.  Make yourself accountable. Another aspect of commitment is accountability.  Write down your goal and/or tell someone about your plans.    Memorializing the commitment on paper or telling a friend helps set it deep into your mind that you will practice yoga for 30 days in a row.  Make yourself accountable to prove that you can do anything you set your mind to.

2.  Prioritize your life. If a 30 day yoga challenge is something you want to commit to, then make it a priority.   Use these 30 days to simplify and streamline your life.  Examine your current daily routine and activities and determine what really needs to stay and what needs to get the axe.   Maybe that means watching less TV or cutting back on social web surfing so you have time to dedicate to your practice.  Most people have plenty of time, they just don’t use it well.  Depending on how high the yoga challenge ranks in your priorities, you may also decide to temporarily give up otherwise worthwhile activities to create the necessary time.  Chances are if you cut something out of your life, you won’t even notice it’s gone in a month.

3.  Set a time and have a practice plan. A lot of our daily routine, i.e. when, where, and how we do things, is determined by our habits.  Since you’re trying to make yoga a habit, figure out the best time in the day and place for you to get on your yoga mat.  Morning or night doesn’t matter so much as picking a time and then sticking to it as best as possible.   Maybe there are certain yoga classes you want to attend.  Plan for it.  Remember, you’re trying to form a habit, and consistency will help with that.  Not many people can make it to the yoga studio for 30 days in a row, so you will also have a chance to work on your home practice.  For many people,  myself included, home practice is the only option available.  My advice is to go to bed a little earlier so you can practice in the quiet of the morning before the world wakes up.  However, when setting your schedule, also allow for some flexibility.  Life would be boring if there weren’t any surprises.  If you know your regular practice time won’t work one day,  or something unexpected pops up, have a backup plan in place already so you’re not tempted to skip a day.

4.  Educate yourself. This is also a very important step in maintaining your motivation throughout the 30 day yoga challenge.  Spend some time at the bookstore or library and browse through the yoga section.   If you see a book that interests you, buy it; you’ll probably never be more deserving of a purchase for yourself.   Throughout the month, turn to your yoga library and other yoga-related magazines, DVDs, and websites to increase your understanding of whatever aspect of yoga interests you, be it asana sequences, philosophy, history, whatever.

Here are a few good places to start:

5.  Write about it. Keep track of your 30 day yoga challenge by writing about it in your journal or blog.  You may even consider following this 30 day yoga journey designed by Florian Yoga Companion.  If nothing else, at least have a calendar to mark off each day that you practice.  Nobody wants to have an empty square on their 30 day yoga challenge calendar:) If you do  decide to write about your 30 day yoga challenge, let us know so we can cheer you on!

Just Do It!

Completing your own 30 day yoga challenge will require discipline, commitment, focus, and sacrifice.  It won’t guarantee that you have a yoga habit for life – you can fall out of good habits just as easily as you fall into bad ones – but it will be a step in the right direction.   So take the leap, start a 30 day yoga challenge, and enjoy the journey of a daily yoga habit.

Ashtanga Yoga First Series Video by David Swenson

I happily surfed my way into David Swenson’s Ashtanga Yoga First Series video on YouTube the other day.  The whole thing!  I enjoy reading  and practicing with Swenson’s Ashtanga Yoga book, — it’s one of my favorite yoga books of all time — but have never had a chance to preview his yoga videos.

I haven’t watched the entire film yet, but so far I have a very favorable impression of both the video and Swenson as an instructor.  That’s pretty much what I expected based on his book.  Nothing flashy, but Swenson is very easy to listen to and his knowledge and wisdom of yoga seems to just kind float out of his mouth in a humble, yet authoritative way.

If you enjoy this first clip of instruction on breathing and bandhas, check out the rest of the video here in one convenient location.

Savasana ~ A Great Pose for Practicing the Art of Doing Nothing

“…every day, a little ‘bit dying.” Pattabhi Jois

Perhaps you’ve discovered, as I have, that you have some of your best do nothing time when you’re laying on your mat in Savasana (“Corpse Pose”).  For another take on the subject, check out the article “Find Serenity in Savasana” over at Yoga Journal.

And for an amazing analysis of savasana, click on the resting stick figure below:

Sticky Yoga Mats Avoid Sticky Recession

Although lots of people have cut back on luxury item purchases recently, apparently luxury yoga mat sales have never been stronger.  A Time magazine article reports that Manduka, the undisputed Porsche/Ferrari/Cadillac/[insert your favorite luxury car] of yoga mats, has seen its sales rise 55% in the first quarter of 2009.  A slightly odd trend when apparently moola is in short supply.

So, how do you explain the numbers?  One smart sounding marketing professor explained, “With hedonic consumption, at some point you’re going to feel quite a bit of guilt,” but “[i]f the luxury item has some kind of functional value, you’re not going to feel that guilt.”  I certainly can’t disagree with that assessment, especially when yoga makes you feel so good.  I also think the rise in sales simply has to do with the ever-growing number of people trying out yoga, wearing out their first yoga mat, and then deciding to upgrade.  Honestly, is there ever a bad time to buy a yoga mat?

I definitely love my Black Mat Pro (I mean everyone’s buying one so I had to get one too).  I just wish it wasn’t so heavy or I would have lugged it out to the lovely desert.  Currently I’m searching for anything that resembles a mat, luxury or otherwise.  I certainly wouldn’t mind the Manduka Prolite, but I have to draw the luxury line somewhere, so basically I’m considering using an old pink blanket a previous occupant left in my room as a yoga mat.  You do what you have to do.

And if you really want to splurge, why not just get the package deal?

Video Review: Yoga Foundations with Hillary Rubin


If you’re into yoga podcasts, then there’s a very good chance you know Hillary Rubin.  She has a great blog full of yoga wisdom and routines that are perfect when your home practice needs some motivation.   A certified Anusara Yoga teacher, Hillary has a great story that illustrates the power yoga has to improve lives.  Taking her teaching to the next level, Hillary recently released a DVD, Yoga Foundations with Hillary Rubin.

For the last couple weeks, both myself and my four year old daughter, Kennedy, have enjoyed lining up our yoga mats and practicing to the DVD.  It’s not too long and it’s not too short.  Kennedy is a great yoga buddy and it makes me laugh every time she calls downward facing dog “hot dog.”

One of the interesting things about Hillary’s new DVD is that I didn’t really pay attention to the title of the practice, “Yoga Foundations,” until after I was partway through it the first time and started thinking to myself how grounded my body felt as I implemented the various corrections Hillary suggested.  I was surprised at how some of the subtle adjustments Hillary recommended entirely changed the way certain poses felt.  While the main practice is not too complex or physically demanding, it effectively does what it sets out to do:  create and cultivate a strong foundation.  Highly recommended for those looking for an easy-to-follow introducation to yoga.  Kennedy gives it two thumbs up.

Book: Hatha Yoga Pradipika

Find out what Hatha yoga is all about by reading the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.

From Wikipedia

The Hatha Yoga Pradipika (Sanskrit: Haṭhayoga Pradīpikā) is a classic Sanskrit manual on Hatha Yoga, written by Svami Svatmarama, a disciple of Svami Gorakhnath. Said to be the oldest surviving text on the Hatha Yoga, it is one of the three classic texts of Hatha Yoga, the other two being the Gheranda Samhita and the Shiva Samhita.

The text was written in 15th century CE. The work is derived from older Sanskrit texts and Svami Svatamarama’s own yogic experiences. Many modern English translations of the text are available.

The book consists of four Upadeshas (chapters) which include information about asanas, pranayama, chakras, kundalini, bandhas, kriyas, shakti, nadis and mudras among other topics. It runs in the line of Hindu yoga (to distinguish from Buddhist and Jain yoga) and is dedicated to Lord Adinath, a name for Lord Shiva (the Hindu god of destruction and renewal), who is alleged to have imparted the secret of Hatha Yoga to his divine consort Parvati.

Read the e-book here…

Mayo Clinic – Do Yoga to Improve Your Stress Management and Relaxation Skills

Check out the following article from the Mayo Clinic for a basic introduction to yoga and the variety of health benefits enjoyed by its practitioners.

Yoga: Improve your stress management and relaxation skills – MayoClinic.com

Garmin 405 ~ My New Obsession

I had a sudden urge of the “I wants it” (really bad) today when I found out that Garmin is set to release its new Garmin 405 for runners sometime this winter. Think of the opening scene in Lord of the Rings where Golem can’t stop talking about his “precious.” That was me this morning.

While I can’t stand having anything on my wrists when I do yoga, running is a different story. For me, checking my time when running has become an absolute necessity. There’s something about looking down at my Ironman Timex that makes my legs move faster. I came perilously close to buying the Garmin 305 last summer, but chose not to when I decided it was still too big for my skinny wrists. It was also a couple hundred dollars cheaper to just buy the Nike+ shoe insert that connects with my iPod. The only problem with that setup is that I feel like I have to listen to music all the time when I run.

However, I think I am now fully committed to saving up for a Garmin 405. I think it will look quite nice on my skinny wrist. Despite the fact that I clearly recognize what a materialistic obsession this is, it’s probably going to be a while before I completely eradicate my thoughts of fascinating new gadgets. Interestingly enough, Lifehacker has a post today on how to avoid getting sucked into buying the latest and greatest gadget. That ought to hold me off for a while at least.
Runner’s World video of the 405
Pre-order on Amazon (great description of the watches capabilities)

Yoga for Men

I love books! I especially love free books! If you don’t mind reading books in PDF format, I ran across Yoga for Men by Thomas Claire on Scribd. It’s probably not the top book on my list of places to start reading about yoga, but it’s pretty hard to beat free! In perusing the book, I was surprised at how much information Yoga for Men contained, especially concerning different styles of yoga. While some of the information is targeted towards men, most of the book just deals with yoga subjects that would appeal to anyone interested in yoga. One of my favorite parts of the book was the depth of resources the author provided for further study. If you’re looking for a good list of yoga books to read, I highly recommend checking out the additional resources at the end of each chapter.

There are quite a few books uploaded on Scribd (some yoga related), making it a decent place to look if you want to preview a book.  I also found Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi, one of my all-time favorites.  If you’ve never read it, you’ll eventually end up buying you’re own copy.  I like the Scribd version because I can put it on my Pocket PC for reading late at night in bed.  Good stuff!

Yoga, Babysitting and Kids

I’ve been told that dads don’t actually “babysit” their own kids. My wife says it’s called ” “parenting.”  Whatever. Whenever mommy is gone it is a crash-course in babysitting for daddy around here. Tonight mommy had some meetings to go to so it was just me and my three-year-old daughter Kennedy “hanging out” after dinner. Having been rather busy lately, what with moving across the country and starting a new job, life has probably been a little more hectic than a three-year-old deserves. So, I decided that tonight I would focus on doing exactly what my little girl wanted to do. With a face like this how could I resist?

 

We started out reading a book, moved on to coloring, and eventually the idea popped into my head to see how well an informal yoga class with my daughter would go over (with me as the teacher). A few weeks ago I received a free copy of a little yoga book from LibraryThing‘s “Early Reviewers” program titled The Yoga Adventure for Children by Helen Purperhart. Pretty much all I had to do was put the book in my daughter’s hands and she was quickly busy turning herself from a caterpillar to a butterfly or balancing herself like a tree in the wind. Each pose in the book is illustrated with a different animal juxtaposed with a drawn picture of a child in the pose, so she knew exactly what the pose was to look like and pretty much what it was called. Another fun part about the book is that it has an adventure story that children can act out through yoga poses as it is being read to them.

Kennedy loved it! I’m sure there are other good yoga books for kids out there, but I was very impressed by how well Kennedy connected with the pictures. As it turned out, we did yoga together for almost 45 minutes and Kennedy really worked up a sweat. When I finally got Kennedy into bed (late I might add), she told me thanks for teaching her how to do yoga tonight and asked whether we could do it again tomorrow night. I’m not sure Ms. Purperhart needs a much better endorsement than that for her book.

Are you a haphazard yogi?

Check out this interesting article from the New York Times on September 6, 2007, discussing some of the current trends in yogi practice habits. The article states:

Haphazard yogis are the norm nationwide: 25.7 percent practice once a week compared with the 8.7 percent who practice more than five times a week, according to a 2005 survey of 4,700 people conducted by Yoga Journal and Harris Interactive.

While most of us would like to think that we practice more than we do, “haphazard yogis” is probably an apt description for many of us. If there was one other thing I got out of the article it was a reminder that it’s probably time to begin another 30 day home practice challenge. If only the 30 day challenge was as simple as this picture implies:

yoga.jpg

Yoga for Work

Lucky for me, I’m not currently sitting at a computer 14 hours a day. Hence, I’m less in need of ideas for getting some physical movement in during the day while at work. But, for most people some simple stretching, breathing, and mind-centering during the workday could make a huge difference in productivity as well as physical and mental well-being.

I ran across a series of ten minute video clips designed by a yoga instructor for bringing a little bit of yogic awareness into the workplace and thought I’d share. The exercises are designed to counteract the effects of sitting down hour after hour. So, if you’re stuck at a desk for most of the day, use a few breaks during the day to do some desk yoga.

.MOV files .WMV
Part 1: Introducing the Exercises (9:40 minutes)

14 MB

Part 2: Linking the Exercises to Your Breath (12:17 minutes)

16 MB

Part 3a: Varying the Exercises (9:57 minutes)

14 MB

Part 3b: Varying the Exercises (8:40 minutes)

11 MB

Weekend Yoga Video: Soldiers Learn Yoga

Here’s another segment from the Y Yoga movie. I’m pretty sure that Diamond Dallas Page was a professional wrestler and now it looks like he’s changed his focus a bit. Talk about a no nonsense yoga instructor. I was pleasantly surprised with his earnestness in giving the soldiers in Iraq a gift that will help them better face the challenges they are up against.  I really quite liked this clip.

It sounds like the full-length feature film will debut in December of this year or February of next year.

Enlightened Exercise

Men cannot see their reflection in running water, but only in still water.

Chuang Tzu, philosopher (c. 4th century BCE)

It seems like those who are really into yoga sometimes think that a yoga practice must be done at the exclusion of all other physical exercise. While it’s true that there are only so many hours in the day into which a person can cram a yoga routine around work, family, social life, eating, etc., I’ve found that a balance of yoga and other physical exercise seems to help my mind and body feel its best. Although some of us may wish we lived in Himalayan caves, practicing yoga night and day, for the overwhelming majority of us, that dream is simply not reality.

While there are undeniable benefits that come from regularly finding time to step on the yoga mat, there are many other pathways for developing the mind-body connection. Almost any physical activity, whether it’s tennis or running or swimming, when approached with the same yogic mindset can be used as an opportunity for contemplation, meditation, and breath-awareness.

Zen Habits has a great article on The Zen of Running, describing how running can be used to develop present-mindedness and concentration. Lately, I’ve been totally into running. Even though I can’t say that I always get the same peaceful, relaxing feeling of yoga when I run, I often leave the iPod at home and use the repetitive nature of running to enter a meditation-like state, concentrating mainly on my breathing patterns. All I can say is it works for me. Everyone’s different, so it may or may not work for you. But, you never know until you try.

One of the suggestions from the Zen Habits blog is to keep a journal for recording thoughts and impressions that come while mindfully exercising. Since I like running, I’ve used a website called RunningAHEAD to track my running progress. In addition to tracking miles, times, and routes, RunningAHEAD also provides a convenient way to journal any ideas or thoughts that come to mind while out running. It’s nice to look back sometimes at the journal entries and remember those days I was in the zone. It’s also very motivating.

The principles of yoga can be applied to almost any activity. For me, both running and yoga get me into that “stillness” that Chuang Tzu says must be discovered before human beings are able to see their true reflection, before they find out who they really are. For ancient yogis, it took A LOT of experimentation before they started systematizing the limbs of yoga and creating a system of movement that almost magically led to inner stillness. In fact, that experimentation has never stopped and continues still today. As John Parker said in Once a Runner, “If the furnace is hot enough, it will burn anything.” That is what yoga does for me; that is what running does for me. If that’s not yogic, then I don’t know what is.

Bottom-line: Be like the ancient yogis and try something new; you might find enlightenment along the way.