|Q: What is yoga?|
A: The word yoga means union in Sanskrit, the language of ancient India where yoga originated. We can think of the union occurring between the mind, body and spirit.
What is commonly referred to as yoga can be more accurately described by the Sanskrit word asana, which refers to the physical postures you perform during practice. In the West, the words asana and yoga are often used interchangeably. Asana is only one of the eight "limbs" of yoga, the majority of which are more concerned with mental and spiritual well-being than physical activity.
Q: How do I choose a style of yoga?
A: If you are brand new to yoga, you may want to take a few Hatha classes to learn the basic poses. Hatha is usually slow paced, so if you are the kind of person who likes to move around more, you might choose a style that's more physically demanding.
Even if you are already in great shape, take a few beginner's classes to learn the poses and avoid the risk of injury. And while there are many great yoga books and videos available, there is no substitute for learning directly from a good teacher who specializes in the style(s) of yoga you wish to practice.
Q: What kind of equipment do I need?
- Comfortable, breathable clothes. Shoes aren't needed.
- Yoga Mat
- Blankets (optional)
- Blocks (optional)
- Straps (optional)
Whenever you choose to share your mind, heart, and perhaps your body with another human being, you will encounter expectations, fears, and conflicts. Yet, in a yoga of love, each of these offers you a step towards fulfillment.
Yoga can actually help improve relationship habits and emotional patterns. Relationship concepts are implicit in the art of yoga. Enlightenment usually refers to transcending suffering and desire. In a yoga of relationships, fulfillment may be better described as tapping into the deep, multi-dimensional happiness available to you. In this case, the goal of fulfillment or shared happiness is attained through reactions, shared love, and thoughtfulness.
Are your relationships in a romantic stage, a power struggle, or a crisis? Yoga for two might just be the soul work you need to help you through your struggles, heal your wounds, and set you both on the path of expressing and receiving the love you want to share. Try some partner yoga exercises which use the buddy system to dissolve tension and establish a natural state of harmony in body, mind, emotion, and spirit.
In partner yoga, much attention is given to the importance of intimacy and touch. Touch is seen as a basic human need which, in the modern world, goes largely unsatisfied. Partner yoga offers a system that treats touch and intimacy as integral parts of our mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
In poses and exercises, partners rely on each other's support to maintain proper body alignment, balance, and concentration. In a deeper sense, this physical support fosters deeper feelings of nurturing, acceptance, and trust. When you feel safe and supported you develop the courage to confront your fears and embrace your true self.
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|Yoga Recipe of the Month: Baked Apples|
- 4 large apples (such as Jonagold, Rome Beauty, or Granny Smith)
- 1/2 cup low-fat granola
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider or apple juice, or more if needed
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Core the apples from the stem end, leaving the base intact to form a well. Arrange the apples in a shallow baking dish.
2. Fill each apple with 2 tablespoons granola, and drizzle the maple syrup over the apples. Pour the cider into the baking dish.
3. Bake uncovered, basting occasionally, for 40 minutes or until the apples are tender. If the cider has almost evaporated, add enough fresh cider to cover the bottom of the dish.
4. Serve the apples hot, at room temperature, or chilled, with the cider syrup spooned over them.
Source: Mother Earth Living