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Archive for the ‘Gratitude’ Category

Sthira Sukham Asanam

Verse 2.46 of Patanjali’s yoga sutra states Sthira Sukham Asanam. Sthira means steady, stable and motionless while Sukha means comfortable or ease-filled. Asanam means meditation posture derived from the root “as” which means to sit. It also means to be present in one’s body, inhabiting fully in it. (more…)

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The Sanskrit word “yoga” has the literal meaning to “yoke” from the root “yuj” meaning to join, to unite or to attach. As practioners of yoga we are literally yoking to our experience each time we arrive awake to this moment. The mind is habitually lost in worries about the past or fantasies about the future. It is rarely here in this moment. Our practice is to wake up to that reality. We set the intention over and over again to wake up to this moment for this is the only moment we have. Hatha yoga is a set of physical postures that are merely a form or vehicle to practice the true meaning of yoga – waking up to this moment afresh, alive and renewed. Without the intention of waking up, yoga is nothing more than a series of physical exercises. Yoga builds greater strength, flexibility, emotional stability and clarity of mind. These are all secondary benefits to yoga’s true purpose which is perfect harmony with the world and union with all things.

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In the article, Seven Fact about the Brain that Incline the Mind to Joy, author Rick Hanson points out that the brain naturally emphasizes negative experiences. The term survival of the fittest means that those who successfully passed on their genes over millennia paid a lot of attention to negative experiences. Constantly on the alert, our ancestors were quick to freeze or bolt or attack depending on the situation thereby ensuring their survival.

Rick states that “the brain’s circuitry for the positive is like Teflon whereas negative experiences are like Velcro even though most of our experiences are either neutral or positive”. When you look back at your day, does your mind tend to focus on all of the good things that happened during the day or the one bad thing that happened? I know that my mind tends to revert to the latter.

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