The world of yoga is astonishingly rich in its array of schools and practices. Yet, as diverse as they seem, they share a common aim: the discovery of the essence of existence that can be found at the core of our being, and the liberation that comes from that discovery. With this worthy goal in mind, Richard Freeman presents an enlightening overview of the many teachings, practices, and scriptures that serve as the basis for all the schools of yoga—hatha, bhakti, jnana, karma, tantra, and others. He shows how the myriad forms are ultimately related, and can even be perceived to make up a vast, interpenetrating matrix, symbolizing the unity, profundity, and beauty of the ancient tradition. Richard's wide-ranging discussion includes the Upanisads and Samkhya philosophies, the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, the eight limbs of astanga yoga, the process and purpose of hatha yoga, and much more. He also explores the role of the guru, chanting, meditation, and the yogic imperative of offering service to others. All of this is applied to the actual practice, giving the reader the tools to digest and apply the wealth of information to daily life. The Mirror of Yoga will be a welcome resource to all yogis who wish to better practice the profound philosophy underlying their practice.
the mirror of yoga
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The Art of Vinyasa takes a unique look at Ashtanga yoga as meditation in motion that produces profound inner change. Two of the most well-respected teachers of the Ashtanga style of yoga, Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor, explore this rigorous practice not as a gymnastic feat, but as a meditative form. They reveal that doing the practice—and particularly the vinyasa, or the breath-synchonized movements—in such a deep and focused way allows practitioners to experience a profound awakening of the body and mind. It also develops an adaptable, flexible practice that can last a lifetime. Freeman and Taylor give an in-depth explanation of form, alignment, and anatomy, and how they work together in the practice. They also present a holistic approach to asana practice that includes an awareness of the subtle breath and seamlessly merges yoga philosophy with practical technique. Unlike other books on Ashtanga, The Art of Vinyasa does not follow the linear pattern of the sequences of postures that are the hallmark of Ashtanga yoga. Instead, it interlinks the eight limbs—yama and niyama (ethical practices); asana (postures); pranayama (breathing); pratyahara (nongrasping of the senses); dharana (concentration); dhyana (meditation); and samadhi (harmony, insight)—and shows how to establish an internally rooted yoga practice.
Sometimes illumination occurs spontaneously or, as Ram Dass experienced, in a heart-wrenching moment of opening. More commonly, it happens when we polish the mirror of the heart with daily practice—and see beyond the illusion of our transient thoughts and emotions to the vast and luminous landscape of our true nature. For five decades, Ram Dass has explored the depths of consciousness and love and brought them to life as service to others. With Polishing the Mirror, he gathers together his essential teachings for living in the eternal present, here and now. Readers will find within these pages a rich combination of perennial wisdom, humor, teaching stories, and detailed guidance on Ram Dass' own spiritual practices, including: Bhakti Yoga—opening our hearts to unconditional love Practices for living, aging, dying, and embracing the natural flow of life Karma Yoga—how selfless service can profoundly transform us Working with fear and suffering as a path to grace and freedom Step-by-step guidance in devotional chant, meditation and mantra practice, and much more For those new to Ram Dass' teachings, and for those to whom they are old friends, here is this vanguard spiritual explorer's complete guide to discovering who we are and why we are here, and how to become beacons of unconditional love.
This book, The Mirror of Dharma With Additions — Dharma means the teachings of enlightened beings — gives practical advice on how we can solve our daily problems of uncontrolled desire, anger and ignorance, and how to make our human life meaningful. The author, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, is an internationally renowned meditation master and scholar. In this book, he explains as practical instructions the complete path to enlightenment, based on his deep experience gained from a lifetime spent in meditation. With this new edition, the author has added inspiring heartfelt advice on how to engage successfully in daily meditation, as well as instructions that clarify important aspects of spiritual practice. "We can see and find the sun of the supreme happiness of enlightenment from The Mirror of Dharma. How fortunate we are." Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche This practical guide includes: • Essential insights on the advice from Je Tsongkhapa's heart called The Three Principal Aspects of the Path to Enlightenment • How we can use the Request to the Lord of All Lineages prayer to contemplate and meditate on all the stages of the path of both Sutra and Tantra • How to train in the meditation practice of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion • A special presentation of the practice of the stages of the path to enlightenment, known as Lamrim
Yoga Therapy: Theory and Practice is a vital guidebook for any clinician or scholar looking to integrate yoga into the medical and mental health fields. Chapters are written by expert yoga therapy practitioners and offer theoretical, historical, and practice-based instruction on cutting-edge topics such as application of yoga therapy to anger management and the intersection of yoga therapy and epigenetics; many chapters also include Q&A "self-inquiries." Readers will find that Yoga Therapy is the perfect guide for practitioners looking for new techniques as well as those hoping to begin from scratch with yoga therapy.
The yoga and classical dance traditions of India have been inextricably entwined for millennia. The exacting hand gestures, postures and movements of Indian classical dance can only be achieved through yogic concentration. Conversely, the esthetics, symmetry, and dynamism of dance enhance the practice of yoga. These two traditions, so complementary and essential to one another, are united and explicated for the first time in A Yoga of Indian Classical Dance. Twenty-five years ago Roxanne Kamayani Gupta embarked on a journey of dance and yoga, yearning to unlock their mysteries and discover their common origins. As a twenty-year-old student from America she was miraculously and mysteriously absorbed into Indian culture, became a Hindu, and began an odyssey so unusual and unique that the reader will be enchanted by its telling. Choosing the path of the dancer, Roxanne Gupta accomplished what no Western woman had done before: being accepted and trained by Indian masters and then performing in the Indian classical traditions--from the palaces of maharajas to the arts festivals of Europe and America--while at the same time achieving a doctorate in the anthropology of religion and being initiated into a number of yogic traditions. Having mastered the classical form of Kuchipudi dance and studied with teachers of the hatha and kriya yoga traditions, she brings together these two great streams of consciousness and practice. In this tantric approach to yoga and dance, expressed through the body and through a yoga of emotions, we see the traditions embodied in a manner that embraces the totality of the human experience. The result is the dance of the yogini, the sacred feminine initiatress who dances with one foot in nature and the other in the realm of the gods. With extensive photographs of innovative yoga routines, Roxanne Kamayani Gupta distills her experience into techniques for yogic study certain to assist students of all levels to achieve a dynamic, beautiful, and graceful practice.
Whether you are completely new to yoga, a more advanced practitioner who feels they can't see the wood for the trees or simply someone who would like to know what all these people who seem to go on about yoga are actually talking about, this is the first book you need to read. The Incomplete Guide to Yoga is a comprehensive introduction and guide to yoga, covering everything from the philosophical background and history to the nuts and bolts of how to practice - and pretty much everything in between. There are hundreds of books about yoga, covering hundreds of topics and viewpoints, many conflicting with each other. If you have ever stood in a bookshop and thought I AM JUST A NORMAL PERSON WHO WANTS TO KNOW WHAT YOGA IS AND WHAT ON EARTH I AM SUPPOSED TO DO WITH IT, then reading this book will do the job nicely. The Incomplete Guide to Yoga is a unique synthesis of the many aspects of yoga, and its relationship with modern thinking. It provides clear, unbiased explanations and will leave you with your own coherent picture of yoga and how it will work for you.
Through yoga philosophy towards more awareness for body, mind, soul. Living Yoga Wisdom is a practice book for beginners as well as for advanced yoginis and yogis, who would like to deepen and advance their practice through yoga philosophy. Each of the 18 chapters is coupled with exercises, which not only make yoga philosophy more comprehensible, but also applicable and experiential in everyday living. The book demonstrates that yoga philosophy means a lot more than only theory. The philosophical exercises help to create awareness of the meaning of yoga practice in its original sense. It becomes possible to experience yoga as a pathway of training the consciousness of body, mind and soul, and also as guidance for everyday living.
Books, audiotapes, and classes about yoga are today as familiar as they are widespread, but we in the West have only recently become engaged in the meditative doctrines of the East--only in the last 70 or 80 years, in fact. In the early part of the 20th century, it was the pioneering efforts of keen scholars like W. Y. Evans-Wentz, the late editor of this volume, that triggered our ongoing occidental fascination with such phenomena as yoga, Zen, and meditation. Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines--a companion to the popular Tibetan Book of the Dead, which is also published by Oxford in an authoritative Evans-Wentz edition--is a collection of seven authentic Tibetan yoga texts that first appeared in English in 1935. In these pages, amid useful photographs and reproductions of yoga paintings and manuscripts, readers will encounter some of the principal meditations used by Hindu and Tibetan gurus and philosophers throughout the ages in the attainment of Right Knowledge and Enlightenment. Special commentaries precede each translated text, and a comprehensive introduction contrasts the tenets of Buddhism with European notions of religion, philosophy, and science. Evans-Wentz has also included a body of orally transmitted traditions and teachings that he received firsthand during his fifteen-plus years of study in the Orient, findings that will interest any student of anthropology, psychology, comparative religion, or applied Mah=ay=ana Yoga. These seven distinct but intimately related texts will grant any reader a full and complete view of the spiritual teachings that still inform the life and culture of the East. As with Evans-Wentz's other three Oxford titles on Tibetan religion, which are also appearing in new editions, this third edition of Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines features a new foreword by Donald S. Lopez, author of the recent Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West.
Go beyond the physical exercise of yoga with the founder of the American Viniyoga Institute While there is no denying yoga's popularity as a form of physical exercise, the other life-enhancing aspects of this tradition remain obscure to many Westerners. In Yoga for Transformation, Gary Kraftsow introduces techniques that treat not only the physical body but also the emotions, mind, heart, and soul of the practitioner-the places where real transformation can take place. There are breathing techniques to control energy levels, exercises to train and sharpen the intellect, and meditative practices to help increase self-awareness. With more than 350 black and white photographs throughout, this unique and accessible book is dedicated to strengthening the whole self-body, mind, and spirit.