dharma mittra yoga online

  • Impressions of Maha Shakti with Sri Dharma Mittra

    OK. I am completely, for the lack of a better word, obsessed with this online yoga class and totally in love with Sri Dharma Mittra.

    dharma yoga

    Words that come to mind post-practice? Healing, humbling, challenging, relaxing, enlivening, and inspiring.

    This well-balanced, 42-minute class offers a little bit of everything. Start with a brief warm-up of Kapalabhati – an energizing form of pranayama. Follow that up with some unique Sun Salutations, spiced up with lots of side plank action (Vashitasana) and lunge twists. Though this class is beginner approved, expect challenging asana. I’m a yoga teacher, yet I wasn’t able to do everything. Fortunately, there are modifications for most of the poses, making this practice fairly accessible.

    vashitasana Sri Dharma Mittra in full Vashitasana...

    Also, expect lots of Savasana goodness. This surprised me. I’m used to ending my practice in Savasana, so it was kind of hard to accept that it was coming so soon in the practice. I was wondering, “Is this it? Are we there already?” Rest assured, there’s more. After I let go of my Savasana expectations, I definitely appreciated getting into the pose more. Savasana is a lovely opportunity to connect more with the breath and achieve greater stillness.

    Speaking of stillness…

    I love how Dharma Mittra guides you to stillness, even in some of the more advanced poses. In Sarvangasana and Halasana, his message really resonated when he said, “Learn how to meditate during the poses.”

    Sometimes we get so caught up in alignment, adjusting the pose, the elements surrounding us, and/or the activities of the mind, that we completely miss out on the benefits of the pose. Yes, alignment and awareness are important. Yet, in this practice, I found myself letting go and seizing all movements once I found my way into my full expression of the pose. I found myself resolving to stillness and receiving whatever the pose had to offer me in that moment.

    If you are receptive, each pose does have something wonderful to offer you. Sarvangasana for example, “…brings good mental ability, telepathy, cleverness, the veins of your legs rest, it brings radiant health, and some mental powers,” says Dharma Mittra. When you are fidgeting around or caught up in your head, you miss out on the magic.

    Speaking of magic…

    The deep, guided relaxation element of this class is so beautiful and healing. Expect to feel normalized and recharged!

    And last, but so not least, enjoy a simple, brief visualization meditation – the cherry on top of this delicious online yoga experience.

    In this meditation you will construct the symbol Om, visualizing it emerging on the space behind the forehead between the eyebrows. Simply create mental patterns of Om. This space, says Dharma Mittra is, "The seed of your mind – the location of your 6th sense.” By practicing this meditation, you are stimulating your Pituitary gland and tapping into your 6th sense.

    Yogis, it doesn’t get much better than this. Dharma Mittra truly does deliver the best of the best.

    ~Tess

  • Weekend Intention: Embrace the Journey

    Yoga and Devotion

    I was asked the other day: "What makes yoga so different from other types of exercise.” I paused. I meditated on it for a moment. Then, I muttered some lazy reply about the spiritual component or something along those lines. Truth is, I didn’t really have a solid answer in that moment. Perhaps a part of me didn’t really want to reflect on it. I already know and feel yoga to be different than any other physical practice I have experienced. It's super experiential. Knowing and feeling it is enough for me. Sometimes understanding it all doesn’t really matter.

    But then, it hit me…

    I was, per usual, striking up an asana chat with a fellow yogi. On and on we went about arm balances, hip openers, twists, physical limitations, and asanas we considered (or would soon consider) walks in the park. All very riveting stuff, I know. And then…this escaped my mouth:

    “The thing about yoga is even when you feel you have mastered a pose…there is still room to go deeper or learn something new.”

    I called the poses microcosms of infinite potential.

    Then, I realized (as I have in many different ways at many different stages) that the yoga practice is totally a metaphor for life.

    That’s what makes yoga so different. That’s what makes it stand out from the crowd of physical practices. Yoga is a metaphor for life.

    Then, hours later, the conversation picked up again with the same yogi. We briefly touched on romantic relationships and the potential “tests” that arise in relationships. Me and my idealist of a brain said something along the lines of, “Well, there should be no tests...not with your partner.” Then, this was handed to me:

    “The thing about relationships is even when you feel you have mastered one…there is still room to go deeper or learn something new.”

    Well played, my friend. Well played and so true. You can apply this yoga-inspired lesson to just about anything.

    Because, really, there is no mastery. There is only the journey – a journey of unfolding possibilities and infinite potential. That’s yoga. That’s life. The mat is a powerful place because it continuously teaches us that there is infinitesimal ways to go even deeper and raise our vibration (and the vibration of others around us) even higher. As long as we are living and breathing, there is no stopping point. There is no end goal. There is, instead, constant evolution.

    So, don’t get caught up in this illusion of an end goal in yoga or in life. Your practice teaches you that there is no such thing. Heck, I’m still discovering and rediscovering Warrior I and I started my relationship with it about 10 years ago. That’s a good thing! We want our practices, relationships, and lives to keep us on our toes. We want to keep evolving and elevating. So, if you think you’ve mastered something, think again, yogis. There is still room to go deeper or learn something new.

    Think not?

    Try out these advanced online yoga practices. Then, get back to me.

    Embrace the journey,

    ~Tess

    “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” Ernest Hemingway

  • Yoga for Tension Relief

    corpse pose

    Stress. What a buzz kill, right? Life can be moving along just delightfully and, suddenly, stress rears its ugly head and rains on your hunky-dory parade. It’s unfair. It’s annoying. But guess what yogis? It’s life. Stress is a part of each human experience. Maybe that’s a buzz kill, but don’t you worry. We’ll conclude this post on a high, positive note. Just stay with me.

    So, maybe you’re thinking that there are clear ways to avoid and ward off stress. I agree.

    You could definitely sit down right now and devise a plan that minimizes your current stress and potential risk for stress. In fact, I think this is a good idea. I believe that most of the stress we experience is the stress we create or choose. For example, if you have a relationship that has you in a chronically stressed out state, maybe it’s time to cut the cord on that. If your job causes you an unhealthy level of stress, maybe it’s time to reflect and redirect. It’s super important and helpful to realize all the stress in your life that you are creating/choosing. Why? Because then you have the power to choose to a different, less stressful path!

    I can only imagine all the excuses and “buts” bubbling up in your head: “But I can’t because…”, “But you don’t understand...”, “But this is all I know…” I get it. Change and letting go is messy. Here’s another buzz kill moment…that’s life! What will you choose?

    Yet, even with a solid, stress-reducing plan in the works and even if you choose all healthy, self-supporting decisions (let’s face it…we all slip up on this), stress will still show up to your party uninvited and unwarranted. Unfair! Yes. But, again, that’s life.

    There’s good news here. Again, you have a choice. You have the ability to choose how you allow that stress to effect you. Do you catastrophize the situation? Do you let that stress own you? Do you blow up in rage? Do you let it gain a strong hold on you? Do you allow it to leak into other areas of your life? Do you place blame? Do you give up? Do you tense up? Or…do you choose something different?

    If you’re like me, you want a different, less dramatic reaction to stress. You don’t want to freak out in the face of it. You don’t want to carry it around in the form of chronic tension. Instead, you want to release its strong hold, let it go, blow it off, and move on. But how?

    Yoga.

    If you so choose, you can hit the mat to release the tension you accumulate from stress. Instead of venting to your partner, putting a hole in a wall, or pouting like a baby…hit your mat.

    Here are some yoga videos with a special focus on tension relief:

    • Shoulders, Neck and Head: A Practice to Relieve Tension with Gigi Yogini - Headaches are one of the most common ailments among American adults today. They can be due to a variety of reasons, including tension in the neck and shoulders. Practice these simple exercises in this online yoga video to loosen and relax your shoulders, neck, and head, for stress relief. (18 mins.)
    • Time to Unwind with Rolf Gates - This online vinyasa yoga class is perfect for releasing stored tension from a long, intense day. (31 mins.)
    • Wring Out the Day with Shala Worsley - Move your spine in all directions, throw off stress, and wring out tension in this online vinyasa yoga class. Burn away the unwanted layers built throughout your day and emerge calm and vibrant. This online yoga class includes backbends, hip openers, shoulder openers, inversions, and pranayama, and blends the heat building properties of vinyasa with the deep tissue release found in yin yoga. (86 mins.)
    • Yoga Nidra: Psychic Sleep Relaxation Method with Sri Dharma Mittra - Guided Relaxation removes tension and fatigue in the physical body, relieves depression and anxiety, relieves headaches, reduces cravings and desires, rejuvenates and energizes the entire system, bolsters the body's natural healing capacities, and normalizes the circulatory system's functioning. No previous experience is needed to experience this amazing online yoga practice! (45 mins.)
    • Wrists, Shoulders and Neck with Gigi Yogini - In this free online yoga video, practice some simple, restorative exercises to release tension in your wrists, shoulders and neck. These are surprisingly fun and helpful and perfect for a mid-day yoga break.
    • Chair Yoga Break: Neck Opening with Margaux Permutt - In this free online yoga video, run through some simple chair yoga exercises to release tension in your neck.

    Choose something different. Choose yoga.

    ~Tess

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