Friday, September 19, 2014

Yoga Awareness Month AND Talk Like A Pirate Day???? Way too much fun!

OK, so friend, author, illustrator, and yogi, Dana Sullivan has done it again!  He found out that it's not only Yoga Awareness Month, but it's Talk Like A Pirate Day!  Who knew?  So he's been kind enough to let me share his musings today.  And yeah, I'm pretty sure he thinks these things up during Shavasana!  :)

Avast, ye scurvy downward dogs! 'tis both Talk Like A Pirate Day AND Yoga Awareness Month! So instead of stretchin' out on yer mats for planks, try WALKIN' one - at the point of a sword, mayhap. Can't quite do Crow pose? Then haul yer pirate booty up the mast to the Crow's NEST and shiver some timbers there. And don't ferget to buy your yogi a round o' grog today! Namaste, lubbers!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Yoga Quiz #3: What is Pranayama?

Yoga Quiz #3:  What is Pranayama?

A.  Yoga Postures
B.  Breathwork
C.  Meditation
D.  Relaxation


The answer is B!

OK, so there’s a little disagreement about the literal translation of the word, Pranayama.  Some yogis think it is made up of the words Prana, meaning “the fundamental life force” (particularly the breath), and Yama, meaning “to control”.   So Pranayama is channeling or controlling our life force.  Other yogis see the two words that make up Pranayama as Prana (“the fundamental life force") and Ayama, which means “to extend or draw out”.  Which would mean that Pranayama is the practice of extending or drawing out our life force, vital energy, or breath.

Regardless, pretty much all yogis see the practice of Pranayama as breathwork.  You have probably practiced some type of pranayama.  Ever done a Three Part Yogic Breath (Dirga Pranayama)?  Ever practice Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana Pranayama), Victory Breath (Ujjayi Pranayama), or Buzzing Bee Breath (Bhramari Pranayama)?  If so, you are familiar with Pranayama!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Yoga Quiz #2: What does the word, "Asana" mean in Sanskrit?

Yoga Quiz #2:  What does the word, "Asana" mean in Sanskrit?

A.  Breathwork
B.  Body Posture
C.  Achievement
D.  Meditation


The correct answer is B.  

The word, Asana, means Body Posture.  Originally it meant a seated position (used for meditation), but this has morphed over time to include all variations of yoga asana.   Have you heard the word asana in yoga class?  In class it's usually at the end of Sanskrit words like Tadasana (Mountain Pose/Posture), Vrkshasana (Tree Pose/Posture), and Utkatasana (Chair/Fierce Pose/Posture)...sound familiar?   

What is your favorite yoga asana?

Navasana--Boat Posture/Pose
Utkatasana--Fierce Posture/Pose (AKA Chair Pose)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Yoga Quiz #1: What does the word, "Yoga" mean in Sanskrit?

Design By Dana Sullivan
Question:  What does the word, "Yoga" mean in Sanskrit?

A.  "To Stretch or Reach"
B.  "Flowing"
C.  "To Yoke or Unite"
D.  "Sun and Moon"

     Yoga    YOGA    Yoga    YOGA    Yoga    YOGA    Yoga
Yoga    YOGA    Yoga    YOGA    Yoga    YOGA    Yoga


The correct answer is C.  The word "Yoga" in Sanskrit means "to yoke or unite".  It can also mean "discipline".  

Yoga is a practice that allows us to become balanced and united with our own higher nature.  In the Yoga Sutras (considered by many yogis to be the text that defines yoga), Patanjali wrote, "Yoga chitta vritti nirodha," which means, "Yoga is the cessation of fluctuations or distractions toward evolved consciousness and being".  In other words, yoga helps us to get rid of all the distractions whirling around in our heads so that we can be more in tune with our higher nature and find happiness.  

Some yogis say yoga "yokes" or "unites" our body, mind, spirit, and breath. 

So now we've defined the word, "Yoga" literally, but more importantly, what does Yoga mean to YOU?