“Your everyday activities will improve and become more efficient. You will have less time for useless occupations that are constantly in the way, preventing your contact with more essential things;
You are going to have a better digestion if you do some poses before eating when you are tired;
You will need to sleep fewer hours, as your body will be more relaxed during the night;
You will gain a few inches, eliminating that curve along the back of the spine, and therefore you are going to be a little taller;
You will be able to stand for hours without getting tired, if you gravitate properly on your heels with the knees straight;
You will be able to improve the poses, as there is no end in progress;
You are going to straighten yourself if one part of the body is weaker than the other, by paying a lot of attention while doing your poses, and by continuing this attention throughout the day you will reach a better balance;
You will no longer be a slave to your body, as the independence from it is the greatest gift your can receive.”
From: “Awakening the Spine: The Stress-free New Yoga That Works with the Body to Restore Health, Vitality and Energy” by Vanda Scaravelli
Posted in Asanas, Freedom, Heart-Based Healing, Knowledge, Life, Mindfulness, Quotes, Wisdom, Women, Yoga
Tagged Asanas, Freedom, Health Benefits, Jennifer Miller, Poses, Postures, Vanda Scaravelli, Yoga
“In an asana, the mind has to reach inside the body to find a quiet space until a point comes where perfect balance is felt. If the mind is wandering while practicing, then one is not fully present, and there can be no union. Involvement, interpenetration and insight are the required qualities for the practitioner.”
Geeta Iyengar, Eldest Daughter of B.K.S. Iyengar
Posted in Asanas, Meditation, Quotes, Self, Silence, Soul, Women, Yoga
Tagged Asanas, Balance, Body, Geeta Iyengar, Jennifer Miller, Mind, Quiet, Quotes, Yoga
Dharma: Knowledge of or duty to undertake conduct set forth by the Buddha as a way to enlightenment.
“…A Life of dharma is exactly like a great yoga posture. Everything must be aligned around the spine. The dharma is a strict taskmaster. It will require you to reach — to work at your maximum potential.
In order to do this, you will have to learn to take better care of yourself. You will have to sleep and eat properly…You will probably have to create a regular schedule. And one day you’ll realize you’re in training like an Olympic athlete. But not any old training– a particular kind of training, the particular kind of training that will support your dharma and no one else’s.
The dharma itself will prescribe this training, and you will know it when you stumble onto it through trial and error. You’ll know it by its results, because in moments when you’re in proper training, you will feel yourself a channel…You will have stepped aside somehow (and let it come through you)…And this is an experience so far beyond any pleasure you’ve ever had that you will most definitely want more of it. And so you will henceforth be increasingly careful about your training regimen…You want to be clear…”
From: “The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling” By Stephen Cope
Posted in Asanas, Heart-Based Healing, Knowledge, Life, Mindfulness, Quotes, Reflections, Self, Soul, Spirituality, Wisdom, Women, Yoga
Tagged Asanas, Dharma, Jennifer Miller, Life, Stephen Cope, Training, Yoga
“If we sit with an increasing stillness of the body, and attune our mind to the sky or to the ocean or to the myriad stars at night, or any other indicators of vastness, the mind gradually stills and the heart is filled with quiet joy.”
“The Wisdom of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras: A New Translation and Guide by Ravi Ravindra”
Posted in Asanas, Knowledge, Life, Meditation, Mind, Mindfulness, Quotes, Self, Silence, Soul, Wisdom, Yoga
Tagged Asanas, Meditation, Mindfulness, Quieting the Mind, Stillness
By Jennifer Miller
Walking through the doors at the Recovery House, the ladies came up to me with a request: they wanted to see a picture of me before I started yoga. “I bet you always looked like this” said one. The group’s interest turned into a discussion of one of the big benefits of yoga: getting in shape after having a baby. These questions and others are all very honest and touching, reflecting how concerned they are with their appearance and bodies.
A question then came up about whether my yoga practice excited my husband when I was married, again showing the physical and sexual interest the poses had in their minds. I then told them about very painful parts of my life, where yoga helped me to process my grief, to the point where I am now able to laugh at many of these traumatic times.
I could feel, and see in their eyes, that my words were very comforting to these women, all of whom were dealing with trauma and change in their lives. One of the young ladies asked me why I volunteered here.
I told her that presenting the gift of yoga allowed my soul to give back some of the beautiful calm and peace I felt during times of great pain…
They were all very moved and I knew some were true believers. I felt my heart sing with joy that they could understand. I began to work on some individual asanas with a few of the girls. At first they are scared in trying something new, but three of the girls all nail the “crow” pose. I was cheering and clapping and didn’t know who was more excited.
A girl in the back of the room asked me what poses would help her tighten her stomach and lose weight. I told her that yoga connects our minds and bodies, and that by maintaining the connection while eating, she could learn to eat only until feeling full. This honors the body as it is the temple for our soul.
Nearing the end of our time together, I hear that one of the girls is cleaning a yoga mat to take to her room to practice, while another one is listening to a yoga tape. I can see the slow progress we are making, and know in my heart that if you can touch one life you’ve made a difference in the world. On my way out they bring their babies over…the beauty of connecting with the human spirit.
Namaste, Jennifer Miller
Posted in Asanas, Life, Mind, Recovery, Soul, Wisdom, Women, Yoga
Tagged Asanas, Body, Jennifer Miller, Recovery, Recovery House, Soul, Women, Yoga, Young Women
“Yoga…is the path and not the goal. It is the experience of the path that matters. The bliss that we experience during this path is the experience of realization, samadhi.”
“Tittibhasana” Pose by Jennifer Miller
From “Bhagavad Gita Demystified” by Nithyananda Paramahamsa
Posted in Asanas, Book Reviews, Life, Mind, Quotes, Self, Soul, Women, Yoga
Tagged Asanas, Bhagavad Gita, Books, Jennifer Miller, Path, Poses, Realization, Samadhi, Tittibhasana, Yoga
“Even in simple asanas, one is experiencing the three levels of quest: the external quest, which brings firmness of the body; the internal quest, which brings steadiness of intelligence; and the innermost quest, which brings benevolence of spirit.”
B.K.S. Iyengar, From “Light On Life”
Posted in Asanas, Knowledge, Life, Light, Meditation, Reflections, Self, Soul, Wisdom, Yoga
Tagged Asanas, B.K.S. Iyengar, Inner Life, Inner Wisdom, Quotes, Wisdom, Yoga
As a yoga practitioner for the last 10 years, I have personally observed the mind-body connection. When I work on “inner growth”, I know that my practice will act as a mirror to my soul.
And there have been many “aha! moments”.
The times when my ego would restrain the movement into difficult asanas; but through “Pranayama”, or the control of breathing, I was able to relax and flow like a river, expanding my ability to learn.
To remain open and let go is to find the answers that are already there.
Once, I found myself blocked and unable to complete a difficult asana for two years. It also happened that this time of frustration “mirrored” a difficult time in my life, a time when I was forcing life and trying to control it.
To master and move through this asana, I would have to “trust” myself and overcome mental obstacles.
A now simple “forearm balance” created an overwhelming amount of fear inside me. My life also lacked “balance” as I was I was going through so many transitions; I was overwhelmed. My ego did not let me accept what was happening. As I observed myself and this asana, the issues became clear and I soon progressed through the asana. Yoga is a great gift to the inner workings of the mind as it connects through the body.
Namaste, Jennifer Miller
Posted in Asanas, Balance, Freedom, Life, Mind, Soul, Wisdom, Women, Yoga
Tagged Asanas, Jennifer Miller, Mental, Overwhelmed, Yoga, Yoga Practice