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(In memory of beloved Yoga Master Mr.Iyengar, we have decided to repost this old interview and share his wisdom with you all passionate yogis.)
Many consider B.K.S. Iyengar, now 87, the world’ s greatest living yoga master. Named one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” by Time magazine in 2004, he is the author of the bestselling yoga book of all time, “Light on Yoga,” first published in 1966. Iyengar lives in India, and although he retired from formal teaching in 1984, he still serves as an advisor and an inspiration to students around the world.
What yogic practice allows us to do, he writes in his most recent book, “Light on Life,” is to “rediscover a sense of wholeness in your life, where you do not feel like you are constantly trying to fit the broken pieces together.” He describes yoga as an inward journey that can lead to happiness and inner peace. Corinne Schuman recently interviewed Mr. Iyengar via email.
Question: So, what does Namaste mean anyway?
My yoga teacher concludes every practice by saying “Namaste”, and I’ve always wanted to know what it really means.
Answer: Yoga teacher Aadil Palkhivala Weighs In
The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another.
Definition of Namaste
Nama means bow, as means I, and te means you. Therefore, namaste literally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you.”
How to make the Namaste gesture
To perform Namaste, we place the hands together at the heart charka, close the eyes, and bow the head. It can also be done by placing the hands together in front of the third eye, bowing the head, and then bringing the hands down to the heart. This is an especially deep form of respect. Although in the…
According to Swami Satchidananda, sangha, or community, is one of the most essential elements of a strong practice. He explained: “The spiritual path is a slippery road. When you are part of a sangha, if you slip, others will lift you up. That is the benefit of sangha. We need the support of others, so let us walk together.” A community is a place where all are welcome and supported; A community is serving as a refuge and offering interpersonal connection and support; A community is a place of fellowship where we celebrate similarities and see past differences.
There are many ways to build a strong community. We want to share five of them with you to help you get started to build your own tribe today:
Do you ever feel like it’s expensive to live a healthy life? I hear that a lot from my patients. Buying high-quality food, becoming involved in wellness classes and workshops, and investing in socially responsible products can add up — and it can definitely be overwhelming.
Well, the good news is that there are many things that you can do to optimize your health that are absolutely free. Here are 10 of my favorites.
Laugh it up.
Not only is laughter contagious, but it’s great for your health! After a good laugh, we can experience post-laughter relaxation for close to one hour, decreasing our stress hormone levels and eliciting a nourishing relaxation response. Laughter can help reduce pain, improve the function of our blood vessels, decrease stress and boost your immune system. Babies intrinsically laugh hundreds of times a day. How often are you getting in a good laugh?
Recently I was sitting at LAX on my way to host a Holistic Yoga Flow workshop during which one of the discussion topics would be “yoga as a lifestyle.” With the flight greatly delayed, I was provided with the opportunity to delve deeper into these seven essential yoga lifestyle habits:
1) Get Your Asana On!
If you don’t use it, you lose it! Our bodies thrive off being challenged, and rigorous classes offer us the opportunity to utilize all the athletic muscles of strength, balance, flexibility, and stamina. Through a dynamic flow, we flush out the toxins and irrigate our life force through the “landscape of our bodies,” leaving us feeling awake and alive. Once we reach a certain age (usually in the early 30s), if we don’t move our bodies regularly, muscles begin to atrophy. Be consistent, be regular and hook into the “Fountain of Youth” for a strong, supple body.
“No one will ever have the last word about yoga,” says Ukrainian teacher Andrey Lappa, who calls his own approach Universal Yoga. “Yoga is like mathematics or physics; there will always be more to discover. And as lifestyles change, the methods of yoga must change, too.” Though deeply respectful of traditional yoga teachings, Lappa has never been afraid of extending those approaches with new techniques. Much as he loves the hatha yoga tradition, he thinks there are gaps and imbalances within it.
“No yoga school developed poses equally for the legs and arms,” he says, “and most poses that train the arms focus on strength.” Of the few poses that focus on arm flexibility, most are active stretches, like Viparita Namaskar, Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose), and Garudasana (Eagle Pose), which use the strength of one set of muscles to stretch others. To create different and much deeper stretches for the arms and shoulders, Lappa developed the series of passive…