locks and keys

November 29, 2018 in Blog, yoga philosophy

I’ve been really cranky lately. Irritable, tired, short-fused, impatient, or as it was called in my childhood home, owly. I don’t know the origin of that Sockmanism or why owls got such a bad rap early on. But while everyone is entitled to the occasional day of being in a Way, I’ve had too many of them lately to just let it slide. Peace of mind has given way to a piece of my mind a little too often.

I could blame this on a whole host of external happenings, circumstances and situations. I’ve been really, really, really busy. Too busy.… Read the rest

letting go

November 29, 2016 in Blog

Letting go

by Jill Sockman

At the end of Patanjali’s list of niyamas (personal observances) is ishvara pranidhana. I tend to believe it was placed at the end for a reason — a culmination of sorts, and some great commentators on the Yoga Sutras argue if one can master this niyama, there is no need for anything else. No surprise then, that perhaps it’s the hardest to do.

As with everything else in Sanskrit — and yoga for that matter — there are many definitions and interpretations of ishvara pranidhana. To wrap them up, boil them down, titrate to the essence, I offer you this: to dedicate our efforts to present moment awareness without attachment; to be in a continual state of offering our actions to something bigger than ourselves; to ever surrender our small, individual will to that which is greater — whatever your personal interpretation of “greater” might be.Read the rest

Refine your practice: understanding sthira and sukha

June 27, 2014 in Blog

Refine your practice: understanding sthira and sukha

by Kathleen Yount

Explore yoga’s “yin and yang” concept the next time you’re on the mat

One of the fundamental concepts behind good yoga practice comes from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, a source text for many of today’s popular styles of yoga. In the Yoga Sutras, the sage Patanjali defines the physical postures of yoga (called yoga asana) this way: Sthira sukham asanam (2.46), which is commonly translated from Sanskrit to read “Asana is a steady, comfortable posture.

bl_mg_9527_reduced”In other words, every yoga pose should be done with the qualities of both steadiness (sthira) and comfort (sukha), effort and ease.… Read the rest

Svadhyaya (self-study) is around every corner

April 1, 2013 in Blog

Svadhyaya (self-study) is around every corner

by Jill Sockman

During a heated conversation this weekend, I was informed that I am uptight. What?!? Me?!?! UPTIGHT?!?!? (DO YOU WANNA SEE UPTIGHT?!?!?!?) After about forty minutes of mental yogic breathing techniques, I was able to return(-ish) to the conversation as a human being rather than a rabid Grizzly. But later on, it did get me to thinking…

My life is built around a somewhat inflexible set schedule. Not only the classes, workshops, meetings and trainings that comprise my workweek (which is a 7-day endeavor), but my own routine of getting up early, doing my practice, walking the boo, drinking my tea… It’s a rhythm that, when well in place, is very healthy and helps keep me in balance.… Read the rest