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How to Choose a Qualified Yoga Teacher

Since antiquity, traditional Yoga instruction was from teacher to student on a face-to-face basis. It was relatively easy to choose a qualified yoga instructor. As early as the 1980s, things began to change. Due to popularity in the Western Hemisphere, offering a limited version in a class format became common. Expertise — or a lack …

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Is your yoga instruction spiritual?

Here in the United States, teacher-training programs commonly avoid the spiritual instruction aspects that are Yoga. A brief review of some of these schools and seminar offerings reveals much about the lack of content in their programs. In many modern teacher-training programs, only a small percentage of the curriculum deals with spiritual aspects, which are …

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Pursuing authentic Yoga practices

It’s becoming more prevalent for practitioners to abandon Yoga as spiritual pursuit and look elsewhere for simpler instructions and techniques. This even happens among some of the teachers, scholars, authors, and publishers who profess to be experts in pursuing authentic Yoga practices. Some turn away from traditional meditation and contemplation techniques to “customize” these methods …

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Yoga: a spiritual tool that needs recognition as such

For a student longing for spiritual attainment, the path of traditional, authentic Yoga may be a perfect fit, including all of the many aspects that it may encompass. However, when authentic seekers of spiritual truths start to explore the landscape of approaches, they may quickly become daunted. Students rarely pursue Yoga as a spiritual tool …

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Authentic Yoga: Displaced from its proper role?

In recent times, there has been a commingling of methods on Yoga and the variety of fitness programs. As mentioned in previous blog posts, the word Yoga has lately come into popularity. There are many styles and types of exercise, ranging from aerobics to calisthenics to jazzercise to kick boxing. Quite a few have come …

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Yoga spiritual practice and money

Yoga spiritual practice and money: Is it wrong to use the subtle methods and powers of Yoga as a money-making technique? We don’t have to look far to find a seminar about making money with Yoga. If we’re calling it a fitness program, physical therapy or medical treatment, isn’t that already over the top? Well, …

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Success with Yoga

What establishes success with Yoga? There are differences between traditional and modern perspectives on its nature. In relation to modern Yoga and the shift from traditional Yoga, there exist two main perspectives worth considering: According to the modern or contemporary concept, an improved state of the physical body and/or the reduction of physical disease indicates …

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Yoga is Yoga, not asanas

There is no alternative word for Yoga. It is all-encompassing, embracing all its various forms simultaneously, not separately. So, when people try to find a synonym or substitute word, they misunderstand what Yoga means. For example, the term Yoga is sometimes mistakenly used in reference to Hatha Yoga or, in some cases, asana. People think …

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Is Yoga no longer true to its goals?

Approaches to the True Goal of Yoga (part 3) Let us remain mindful that the original goal or destination of Yoga is union of the little self, or ego, and the true, or Universal Self. Yoga becomes the realization, of and through, the direct experience of this pre-existing union. Accomplishing the merger between Atman and …

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True Yoga: On or off the Mat?

The True Goal of Yoga (Part 2): On or Off the Mat? Practitioners commonly refer to Yoga as on or off the mat. But the Yoga mat is a relatively new creation, usually made of some sort of synthetic rubber or plastic material. Too many people today accept the false notion that using such a …

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Yoga – Is It a Religion? (Part 1)

Approaches to the True Goal of Yoga (part 1) “Yoga is in Religion. Religion is not in Yoga” … Swami J. Yoga practices that involve the body, mind, and breath, including the transcendent goal of direct experience may be found in many religions. None of these typically define any specific religion, nor do the followers …

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The Fallacy of Composition in Yoga

The misuse of the word “Yoga” quite often relates to what logicians call the “fallacy of composition.” Being an informal fallacy, it infers that something is true of the whole simply because it is true of some part of the whole. Oftentimes this can lead to false conclusion that whenever a person is performing any …

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The goal of Yoga is Yoga – period!

Approaches to the True Goal of Yoga (part 6) A human body is a wonderful, functional machine, and proper care of it is essential. However, according to traditional Yoga the body is simply an instrument, and its maintenance is not the ultimate goal. There is no anti-body perspective nor a conflict between philosophies. Instead, the …

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Vedanta and Yoga

Approaches to the True Goal of Yoga (part 5) Previously we reviewed the six classical schools of Indian philosophy. This article focuses on one of them, “Vedanta.” More specifically, we consider what Dr. David Frawley (aka, Pandit Vāmadeva) writes about the nature of Yoga and its relationship to Vedanta. Yoga-Vedanta: A Complete Science In his …

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True Yoga and the 6 Schools (Darshanas) of Indian Philosophy

Approaches to the True Goal of Yoga (part 4) This synopsis of these six schools or Darshanas will easily clarify the true nature of authentic Yoga as being a system of spiritual pursuit. There is not universal agreement on there being only six schools. Some scholars consider the teachings of Buddha to be a seventh …

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