relaxation

  • 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

  • Feature Friday: What’s New?

    We have some new and exciting classes to tempt you with in this week’s online yoga video lineup.

    core workouts  Gigi Yogini and students filming her new Hard Core on the Floor class at the Secret Studio.
    1. Chill Out. Supta that Padangusthasana with Annie Carpenter in yet another raved about, alignment-conscious "Quickie" SmartFLOW. This online yoga class is perfect for the end of the day, post airplane sitting, or traveling. Completely relax and restore and still the mind and body in this reclining yoga class.
    2. Got Core? Now you do. Try Gigi Yogini’s new Hard Core on the Floor class. Build strength. Connect to your center. Plus, rest easy knowing that the practice never picks you up off the ground. That being said, be prepared for a challenge intermixed with some humor and JOY.
    3. Play with Pranayama. Try an online meditation from a lineage of teachers in the Himalayan Mountains, brought to Jeanne Heileman from her grand-teacher, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait. Learn a special form of Pranayama to heighten your access to the Third Eye, increasing the amount of Prana (Life Force) you are able to gather and maintain in that region. Once that gathering is established, be guided on where to move this amazing ball of Prana. This is a powerful practice and worth repeating to improve your ability to build Prana and then keep it inside.
    4. Free Up the Hammies and Shoulders.  Try Joan Hyman's new class - a short online yoga sequence designed to open the shoulders and hamstrings in preparation for a yoga practice or any type of athletic sport. There’s no need to roll out your yoga mat for this one. All you need is your lovely self, a wall, and a strap.
    5. Shake Up Your Shakti! Try a Mixed Level Dharma Yoga practice that gives one a very real experience of the classical yoga teaching that has made Yogi Sri Dharma Mittra in such demand as a teacher the world over for so many years now. Those new to yoga and those who already have an established practice will all find much to inspire them in this complete online yoga practice. Maha Shakti is primarily asana (yoga postures), but what's on offer here represents a complete practice including both guided Deep Healing Relaxation (7 minutes) and a final meditation (3 minutes). This program is an excellent introduction for those new to Dharma Yoga and the powerful teaching of Sri Dharma Mittra and it will make those that miss spending time with him at the New York Center feel very much at home. Overall, a well-rounded and complete yoga practice. "I look forward to serving you only the best of the best," says Sri Dharma Mittra.

    There you have it, yogis. Chill options. Core challenges. Pranayama play. Hammie and shoulder liberation. Plus, the best of the best. Enjoy!

    ~Tess

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